Good Question #1

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What are the odds that my daughter is the only one in both my family sides with asd?

Honestly… in MY PERSONAL oppinion. lol *Not a doctor*
I personally think it’s highly unlikely.

When we first got the boys diagnosed, we thought they were the ONLY ones in our entire family who were on the spectrum.

We knew VERY VERY little about Autism at the time, let alone how to look for it in adults or those who were on the other side of the spectrum from our kids.

Over the last 3 1/2 years since their diagnosis, I’ve started realizing there’s a lot more in our family… specifically me and my husband. Possibly one of my brothers, more than likely my father, my Grandfather on my Mom’s side, my Grandmother on my Dad’s side…. and probably a few on my husbands side too. And that’s not counting things like OCD, SPD, ADHD or other “disorders”.

See…. I don’t think that Autism is really getting “more popular”… I personally think that we’re just learning how to diagnos and recognize it better. If people from even the last 100 years were looked at and diagnosed the way we are doing it now, there would be a lot more Autistic people in the world. Not that there isn’t now… they just don’t know it.

If you would have asked me 4 years ago if I was Autistic I would have said no… if you asked me even 2 years ago, I would have said no.

So, for me, as a person who thinks Autism is genetic, I’d say it’s HIGHLY unlikely that someone else in your family isn’t on the spectrum or maybe has something else… like OCD or ADHD or SPD.Or something like that.

I’ve hear a lot of people say that it doesn’t matter… that Autism is just a label. There’s nothing they could do about it now, so what’s the point?

I’m self diagnosed, and personally, it’s a big deal for me. It’s helped me understand why I do the things I do and has helped me not be so hard on myself. It also has helped me better understand the relationships I have with people and family. Not only that, but it also helps me be a better parent, because I can relate to my Autistic kids better than I thought I could before.

About Us

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940837_10204878306707019_8798256172160932114_n Hi! I’m Jenna. I’m a stay at home Mom. I went to school to be a cosmetologist but moved out of state very shortly after I got my license, so… I can’t actually work in a salon until I get my license for this state. But I like to try to do hair on the side at my house.

I diagnosed myself as an Aspie with ADHD after a lot of research, tests online and talking to other women on the spectrum. I’m also not great at organizing my thoughts so, excuse me if this is a little chaotic.
I also have Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Depression and Anxiety.
I LOVE movies, books, photography, writing (really I collect hobbies) and I prefer being the goofball of any group.

We moved to Texas two and a half years ago from Pennsylvania, soon after their Dad got into a REALLY bad car accident (he was hit by a drunk driver). If you want to read about how it happened from both of our perspectives, you can read that here.

>>Update<< We’ll hopefully be moving to Colorado within the next two years because of  better Autism services/health coverage for me.

IMG_2489 Justin is 8 years old and is in a 2nd grade, Special-Education classroom. He LOVES his class and his teacher.

He was diagnosed with Hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s in July of 2016 (and we’re now working on getting him Gluten free), Type 1 Diabetes in August of 2013, and was diagnosed with Severe/Regressive/Nonverbal Autism in November of 2011.

Justin is completely non-verbal but has recently been given an AAC device from The Kreed Foundation and has been learning how to use his new voice!
He loves to wander… he can walk for hours on end. He LOVES being outside, playing with rocks, and water. Recently he’s been picking leaves off of trees.
He doesn’t really play with toys much at all, but loves to take his tablet (which gives him a LOT of comfort and joy) wherever he goes.
He is VERY sensory seeking. Loves weird textures, tight compressions, and heavy weights. He loves kids and babies but doesn’t quite understand how to play with them.
He also likes to line things up and rip paper.
He just started learning to mold plastic and he’s started to like to paint with his fingers again. 🙂

He CAN throw a ball like a champ, but he’ll only play “catch” for a couple minutes and then gets bored.
Justin is generally always happy and really chill.
He’s very rarely upset and usually is off doing his own thing.

IMG_1430Tyler is 7 years old. I pulled him out of public school to homeschool him at the end of Kindergarten because of anxiety, meltdowns, aggression and he completely stopped eating. He’s in 1st grade and may never go back to public school, but if he does, it’ll be when HE’S ready.

He was diagnosed with ADHD in July of 2014 and was diagnosed with Severe/Regressive/Nonverbal Autism in November of 2011.

Tyler finally started to mimic and script starting around 4. Just a word here and there. Mostly it was babbling.
It wasn’t until the last couple of weeks that he’s been mimicking and scripting like CRAZY. He’s even been able to label objects correctly by pointing and saying their name when shown the object or it’s picture. Which he hasn’t been able to do a LOT of until recently.
But, as much as he “talks”, he still can’t tell me what his needs and wants are verbally if it’s not on a PEC card or if he has a script to explain.
However, with his new AAC device from The Kreed Foundation, he’s learning how to use his new voice to be able to convey wants and needs instead of just repeating what someone else has said!
Tyler likes being inside.
As much as he loves being able to go outside, unlike Justin, Tyler isn’t much of a wanderer. He has to have a goal/purpose for doing something. He has a hard time going to a park and just playing. He likes knowing what he’s supposed to do in every situation rather than just winging it.
Tyler is my little collector. He collects all kinds of things and carries them around or lines them up in random places. Like Bananas.
In the last 8 months or so he’s started to fall in love with books and those are the things he’s collecting and lining up.

Tyler is a ball of energy that literally bounces all over the house. Actually, the only time I can tell he isn’t feeling well is when he’s holding still for too long. Tyler isn’t too into his brothers but I’m slowly working on helping him figure out how to play and interact with them, but he isn’t there quite yet.
Ty LOVES learning and his devices… he’s also my sensitive little dude.
He is extremely loving and affectionate, but can also be overwhelmed or upset easily. He seems to have anxiety… and when he gets upset, he gets aggressive, self-harms and hits his head off of things. Tyler also used to be my runner. But he’s gotten a lot better about learning how to handle situations and doesn’t bolt anymore (or at least very seldomly).

Tyler is also mostly sensory seeking with needing input… but he’s also very sensory sensitive. He doesn’t like to wear clothes or shoes and has severe food aversions.

Lastly, he also got glasses. He does not like wearing them, but we’re working on it.

IMG_1765 Jaxson is 2 1/2 years old… and was officially diagnosed with Moderate, Nonverbal Autism, and Global Developmental Delay in November of 2016.
He has a LOT of sensory needs and issues with foods and in general textures.
We’ve been battling GI issues almost since birth. He was on 6 different formulas, 3 different milks, swallow studies, has had CT scans and allergy tests, probiotics… but I still don’t know why he wakes up screaming at night if we feed him the wrong thing or too much of something. Or why he has diarrhea and yeast infections. I eventually figured out that he has a severe sensitivity to Gluten. Now gluten free, dairy free, on a good probiotic, he’s finally able to sleep through the night without screaming in pain. As long as he doesn’t get a hold of brother’s food with gluten in it.

He’s absolutely hilarious and a complete klutz like his Mom. Poor kid is always falling or hurting himself somehow. He is getting better though. He’s learning to take him time when he walks and to actually walk – rather than just RUN everywhere.
He’s like Tyler – he never walked – he runs!

He loves Daniel Tiger, Little Einsteins, Dora, The Backyardigans, Team Umizoomi – we have TV going in the background about 70% of the day…. that’s actually how Tyler learned to start mimicking. I use it as an educational tool, rather than just TV.

He loves mouthing and chewing on things.
Absolutely LOVES water, spinning and jumping!!
He’s a VERY sensory seeking little guy.
He’s just started getting into puzzles and books.
But Jax prefers to be running around outside like Justin.

I just got him a really cheap and very simplistic AAC app for $7 and within three days he’s been able to tell me he needs help! So he’s doing amazing already!

13620306_872509906188417_3772524328601734256_n This is Daisy. We got her in April of 2016, and I THINK she was about 2-3 months old. We’re not sure what she is… We rescued her from an abusive home. She was covered in fleas and ticks… Afraid of everything and anyone.
She’s come a LONG way in just a couple of months.
But she still has anxiety and she’s been harder to train because of it.
Eventually, once she calms down a bit and stops trying to jump up and chew on the kids, she’ll be their Emotional Support Animal.

I can tell the boys WANT to like her… but she’s just too spastic right now

She’s incredibly sweet and loving, but she just needs a little more time and patience.

We’re working on finding her a trainer to help her learn, but with her anxiety and abuse from her previous owners, I’m just not qualified to train her the way that she needs to be trained.

14881183_677867052379503_905370874_o Last but not least, this is Amelia. Our newest addition to our family and our emotional support animal. I decided to find a very calm and chill cat while we’re working on training Daisy. Two months after I decided to adopt a kitty we found her. After only 2 weeks, the boys have really warmed up to her and allowed her to get a lot closer to them than they have with Daisy. Because she so still in very calm around them.  They’re still not completely comfortable with her yet. But with the amount of progress they’ve made in the last few months, I have really high hopes that they’ll all be best friends eventually. 🙂