Thursday, August 14, 2014
A Haboob, or as we refer to this as a dust storm, the Arabic word is haboob. Yesterday morning Selena sat out to discover what caused this and why. She has heard and seen images of huge dust storms with her Uncle TJ living in Arizona, but has never witnessed one in her own State. After looking through all the images we could find, and mapping out the areas affected by this storm, she quickly went to work researching, learning all that she could learn. This research took us on various paths, what is atmospheric gravity, how is a thunder storm created, and what is the difference between warm fronts and cold fronts.
We spent most of the day discussing all that we were learning, then came the time to summarize our understanding. Selena learned that first of all these haboobs happen in very dry areas, such as deserts. Due to lack of rain in our State, it created a perfect place for this occurrence. She also learned that the air or winds from the warm front were traveling in the opposite direction of the incoming cold front or storm cells. All clouds have moisture in them, so while we maybe did not see or feel rain from the clouds on the ground, non the less when the two systems interceded, it did cause rain from the clouds. This rain quickly started disturbing and cooling the warm front, causing the winds to disperse out and change directions. The friction of these two systems caused an atmospheric gravitational pull which began to pull the dry soil up into the sky, the winds became very gusty due to the unsuitability of the two systems interacting with each other. With the soil being pulled up and wind gusts of up to 70+ mph a huge wall of dust formed, which was pushed along by the winds. This storm engulfed many areas in Central to Southeastern Washington.
Maybe we didn't explain it like a true scientist would have but we did learn a lot and had fun doing so. I leave you with one last picture of what this storm looked like.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Our big news is the welcoming of our new grandson, and Selena's first nephew. He arrived early but was healthy and beautiful. We just wish he wasn't so far away in Arizona.
Born July 3, 2014
Our son has made us so proud, the way he has taken to being a Daddy. Jaxon's Mommy is a very special Daughter-in-Law, I couldn't imagine a sweeter wife for my son, mother for my grandson!
I am preparing to take a vacation in a couple weeks with my best friend. We will be heading over to Spokane, and will meet up with another sweet friend that we have in common. Selena is a little nervous that she will miss me a lot while I am gone, but I know her and Papa will have a lot of fun together. I am looking forward to a weekend with good friends and no children!
Once I return, we will be settling in to start school. I have so much I want to share and catch you all up on. I just don't know at this point how much I want to share. Selena will have a say in what we share, or what we don't share. She is getting to be a big girl now, and does have her opinion over everything. I sure hope the rest of you are enjoying your Summer!
Friday, June 6, 2014
When we began this journey working through the diagnosis of Autism, medication of course came up as an open discussion. We had been directed to different resources, and detailed diets designed to treat or help with the affects of Autism. I think our psychiatrist summed it up best for us though, when he asked what her meltdowns look like. It became pretty obvious as we worked through that to realize we needed to do more then the diet and therapies.
For those who are not familiar with an Autism meltdown, let me give you a quick description of what one can look like. They tend to come on when the child is facing a bump in their normal routine, something changes, they have to face something new, or they don't get things their way or within their timing. Their world turns upside down, now keep in mind one of the most common trait of Autism is the need for a very strict routine, very rigid about everything. Suddenly things become overwhelming for the child, they just can't communicate how they feel. At this point they will do one of two things, go into flight mode, (an attempt to run from the situation that is bothering them) or total collapse on the ground kicking, screaming, hitting, biting, throwing objects, with no regard for their own safety nor the safety of anyone near by. These meltdowns do not always happen at home, they can happen anywhere, a parking lot, in the middle of a store, church, school, just about anyplace the child might be. If you can imagine trying to stop your screaming child in a busy parking lot who for one reason or another didn't want to be touched, and you accidentally brushed her shoulder. It is no fun, and you as a parent are at your wits end, on how to prevent them from running out in front of cars, or tripping another customer up when she is laying on the ground thrashing every part of her body, screaming the entire time.
I think as you can imagine it didn't take us long before we had to take the mindset, that we were not medicating her for our sanity, but for her own safety. I know I hear many comments from those unfamiliar with these special kids that parents only medicate their children to be able to control them, all they need is better parenting skills. Boy what a sweeter world we would live in if that truly was the case. What they miss is what is the child going through, how are the affects of Autism affecting them, the one who lives with it? We watched Selena go without sleep, worrying about the unknown, her obsessive thoughts running her day, and preventing her from having any fun or enjoying the simple things because she couldn't calm down enough. Yes, we got tired of being on edge ourselves, wondering when she would flee or fight. We were becoming prisoners of Autism itself, worried about taking her to a store knowing all it would take to set her off was for something to be out of place on the shelf.
We tried a few medications before finding one that worked for her. It does come with side affects, but none that we can't live with at this point. She does have an increased appetite and since this medication is known for putting weight on we do watch her diet more. It does make her a little tired, and it isn't uncommon for her to take a 15 to 30 minute nap in the afternoon. At first we had to watch her closely for temperature changes, such as playing in the sun, or the temperature of her bath water, but this last one has seemed to resolve itself. Of course we had to find the right dose, this is where we appreciate our psychiatrist, instead of starting her on an amount that the books say is normal, he started her on such a small dose, then allowed us to add more as we felt needed. I believe we have finally found the dose, that is right for now, she seems to be able to hit a bump in her day, have a slight reaction, but be able to pull herself back on track for the rest of the day.
Other comments we have heard, is that now she should be able to do the things she couldn't do before the medications. This is a huge myth and so not true, she might be able to handle the situations a little bit better, but this medication and no medication is a cure all. If it upset them before starting medication, it will still upset them on the medication, but they should be able to meet these situations in a calmer state and not end up in total meltdown mode.
We know that Selena is happier being on the medication, she comments all the time how calm she now feels, and how much easier it is to do the things she couldn't do before. She still has her quirks, and list of things she doesn't like, but she at least tries. She still will do therapy with a psychologist to learn things that she lacks, such as boundaries, coping skills, and communication skills just to list a few.
I feel to medicate or to not medicate is something that any parent has to work through themselves, with the help of Doctors, and psychologists. They have to find the fit for their child and family. Most families dealing with Autism has no problem answering questions, and helping you understand what it is like, but they truly do not need to feel like everyone is criticizing them for a decision they have made for the safety of their child.
On a side note, I have not been a great blogger this past year. I am trying to get myself back online, back on the computer, and back around to all my favorite blogs. I have been very busy this past year, between appointments 2 to 3 times a week, and keeping up with everything here at home that something had to give. I look forward to moving forward with my blog and getting back with my bloggy friends, who believe me I have truly missed.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Instead of trying to prevent her from picking up every single piece of grass that got left in the driveway from the lawn mower, the whole time hearing her state, "Grass is suppose to be in the grass!" I find myself walking along allowing her to finish the task at hand. I know if I don't it will just eat her up inside, and every time she looks out the window, or goes outside, she will feel such disapproval, her stomach will feel ill, which will soon turn into an uncontrollable anger. For as much grass as she picks up, the less she wants to hold it in her hand, and begs me to hold it for her, now excuse me, if she is going to pick up the grass then she can hold it or go dump it back in the yard, I do have my limits.
I now understand why she suddenly jumps to the other side of the sidewalk when we are out for an evening walk, it could be anything from a small limb from a tree, or a rock that just seems out of place to her. I get it now when she stops dead in her tracks with a look on her face of what now, over the little things we miss, such as a change in the texture of the sidewalk under her feet, or the fact it just doesn't look the same as the rest of the sidewalk to her.
It hasn't all been easy to put into perspective, especially when faced with do we medicate or not. None of us want to medicate our children, and I say don't judge when a parent chooses to do so. While I agree some may choose to medicate so they don't have to deal with the outbursts, or it gives them a sense of relief, but I know there are many who are in our shoes who do so for the child. You see without the medication, Selena would put herself in grave danger with her meltdowns. Her anxieties had her so tied up in knots all the times that one has to ask how could she be enjoying life, well to be honest we watched her zest for the fun things slipping away. Yes, we did choose to medicate her, and feel very lucky we have a good psychiatrist, who helped us find a medication that doesn't rob Selena from us, doesn't make her a zombie, though she is a little tired at times, she still feels everything, still expresses her anxieties, but remains calm in the storm, or I should say calmer.
We are off on a new chapter in our journey.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I know this was a picture overload, but come on how better to show our neighborhood, our little town, and just how much fun we had on this walk! Looking forward to more walks weather permitting.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
I haven't blogged about much that has been going on with her of late, I really just couldn't or anyway not until we got all the loose ends pulled together and truly knew what we were dealing with. As time went on everything began to point more and more towards the Autism Spectrum. After being so sick, we dealt with a Selena that we had never seen before, one who couldn't even enjoy being outside without being afraid of every bug, fly, or bee. Now if you have been following my blog for long you know this is just so not Selena.
Anyone who has ever been around an Autistic child knows or has seen the melt downs they can have, well, yes, Selena was having melt downs that would go to the extreme. These were usually brought on by a change in her schedule, or a day of just way too much OCD or Sensory overload.
Her psychiatrist tried that one last medication in hopes it would calm her down, which it did but her reaction on it also brought him to the firm conclusion that she has PDD-NOS Autism. Now this is a diagnosis we can agree with and except. We have started a new medication, not that we really want to medicate Selena, but we felt it was necessary for her own safety from the melt downs she has.
Here are just a few of the things that has brought us to this conclusion. If an item has a * by it you will know it is something we have seen from a very young age.
- Rigid in her routines, schedules, diet, life in general. *
- Hard time making friends, she wants friends but just doesn't know how to make friends or what to say to show them she wants to be their friend. *
- Doesn't understand many verbal or nonverbal cues. *
- Sensory issues with foods. *
- Sensory issues with textures.
- Separation Anxiety. *
- OCD tendencies *
- Melt downs
- Not willing to eat anyplace but home or food prepared at home and served on our own dishes and will only use our utensils *
There truly is so many other things we see, but this gives you a good taste of what we see, and why we have come to this diagnosis. The picture above was taken on a day trip to visit some friends. Selena did great, but did get a headache from worrying as we drove there. She didn't want to go out to eat, but come home and eat, we insisted that was not going to happen. She is sitting happily at Skippers, where yes the only thing she would eat was french fries, so long as they were not on a plate. Being a finger food that took the worry out of using utensils. She had a great day though and enjoyed every minute of it. She did however, sleep almost the entire trip home.