GizmoPal Update

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It’s been about a month since we started using the #GizmoPal #GPS #KidsWatch and I thought I’d do an update! 🙂

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When we first tried them with the boys, Justin loved his! but Tyler couldn’t stand wearing it. He wouldn’t allow it to be on for more than a minute or two and that was with massive redirection.

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I finally realized how to fix the problem and help him keep the watch on! You can read that here.

But the short version is: I stopped trying to make him wear it inside and made it a routine that when we leave the house, it goes on (since that’s when he’ll be wearing it anyway).

After that light bulb moment, it’s been all down hill since.

He progressively got better and better about keeping it on longer and longer without wanting it off.

We are in the second week of school and both of the boys teachers tell me that they both keep their watches on the whole time they’re at school, with a few exceptions. If they get sweaty from running around outside, they’ll take them off for a little bit but then put it back on once they’re not sweaty any more. 🙂   (I’m the same way)

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And I have tried out the GPS before, but I actually really got to use it yesterday. The bus was later than I was expecting… I needed to get Jaxson up from his nap, but I didn’t want to take a chance that I’d be in the middle of a diaper change as the bus pulled up (it’s happened).

After about 10 minutes standing at the window, getting frustrated… I realized he was wearing his watch! Duh!

Checked with my phone app where he was and saw he was only a minute or two from home. So I waited outside and sure enough a minute or two later and the bus pulls up! 😀

So considering we were able to put the watches on our phone account (we didn’t have to pay all of it up front), and the kids have adjusted well, I give it a 8/10.

With a few things like making the band bigger (not sure it’ll fit Justin next year), and making it also harder to get off could make up for points lost. 😉

If you want to check out the watch online, here’s the link.

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Rookie Mistake

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I just walked half a mile back from the park with Tyler kicking and screaming over my shoulder and pulling Justin who was pulling back and crying… in this weather (96℉).

I’m in more pain… And physically/emotionally exhausted… And all because of arrogance and Autism. I forget on occasion, that I do not have normal kids.

Berate me. Call me names. Tell me how horrible I am to say that about my kids. But if my kids didn’t have Autism… This wouldn’t have happened. At least not to this severity and at this age. Now… Before you start harassing me, finish reading please.

So… Let’s back up a bit.
I just laid Jax down for a nap and decided to take the kids for a walk. I wanted to start getting Tyler used to wearing his GizmoPal watch. I really don’t want him to be upset wearing it by the time he goes to school in a few weeks. He’ll have enough to get used to by then.

So I got everyone ready, I put on Tyler’s watch and we started walking. It worked perfectly!!! He tugged on it a few times, but I took his hand and he left it alone. He was focused on our walk.

We walk around our block twice.. We got to our first turn and Justin started getting upset. Feeling like I just won the lottery, I decided to go against my better judgement and follow him and see where he wanted to go so badly. Instead of the normal route. (Arrogance)

We made a few turns and ended up in front of a park. I knew I was screwed right then and there. I tried a few times to just keep walking… To go back home, they both wanted to go so badly… But ugh… It had been 20 minutes already, it’s hot… And it’ll be another 20 minutes home.

Finally I gave in… Thinking we’ll leave after a bit. Maybe once they play for a little, it’ll be easier to get them home.

That’s the lie I tell myself… Praying it actually turns out that way.

It never does.

There were kids playing basketball, but other than that, we were alone to play as we wished. They found the slides and the kids had a blast! We had been there for 30 minutes… Jax was still sleeping, but it was so hot and I was getting thirsty, so I knew they should be too.

I started prepping them.
“All done?”
“Let’s go?”

They look at me like I’m crazy and keep playing…. I’m looking around… I realized the house is actually only a minute from where we are… But the gate is locked from the inside. -Figures.

A few minutes go by, and I tell them this time.
“All done. Let’s go.”

They start whining… Tyler throws himself to the ground. _lovely_

“Come on. Let’s go. All done.”

Justin’s getting more upset, won’t come down. Tyler throws himself at my feet and screams. Normally they get upset, but they listen to me.

Now the teens playing basketball are looking at us. Great.

I take their hands, “Come on. Let’s go. All done.” And they pull and tug and scream. There’s no way they are both going to walk home. Justin will throw a fit, but will at least walk if I pull him along.

So I pick Tyler up and throw him over my shoulder, grab Justin’s hand and start the half mile back to the house.

Tyler is kicking, screaming… Crying… Pushing off my back trying to get down. Hoping he’s trying to tell me he’d rather walk, I put him down, only to have him throw himself on the concrete. I pick him up again, but he starts thrashing around before I get him over my shoulder and I pull a muscle in my leg… We’ve barely made it out of the park. I grab Justin and I push forward.

A minute later a car actually stops just ahead of us with a woman staring back at me… Apparently I don’t look like someone trying to steal kids… Then drives away. In my head I scream “No I’m good thanks!” I bite my lip and push through… Pulling Justin, carrying Tyler.

It’s hot… Like sitting in a hot car, on a hot day with the hot air on full blast with the windows up, hot.

My shoulders are burning with pain from my fibromyalgia… It feels like someone is squeezing- digging in their finger nails as hard as they can into the muscles of my shoulders.

Tyler continues screaming and kicking, Justin is more crying because of Tyler than being upset. My leg is killing me by the time we’re about half way home. I try to set Ty down again to see if he’ll walk now. I’m barely able to catch my breath. He falls, kicking and crying. Neighbors are watching.

I take a deep breath, pick him up, grab Justin and keep walking.

I wanted to just stop… To cry. To give up. It seemed to take FOREVER to get back home. So much longer than it took to get there.

I just keep yelling at myself in my head.

“Stupid! You knew better! What did you think was going to happen? Always follow a routine. Even if they don’t like it. But I just wanted him to be happy…. I didn’t want to hear him scream the whole way home…. Well he’s screaming now ya dumb a**”

At this point, I couldn’t even be sure I was going the right way. I could be lost and might have to walk even farther to get home.

Almost in tears, i finally saw their dads car in the driveway and started running. All I could think was “Praise God I didn’t get lost, and we made it.”

I dumped the kids in the living room. Got their drinks, and turned on a movie… I grabbed a fan for me, a water and stripped down. I looked in the living room and Tyler is doing the same thing. Lol

There are days that being Autistic has no real effect on our lives. Mostly because we’ve made it easy for us to be ourselves… For them to live and play Happily and safely.

Then there are days where we get smacked upside the head with a reminder… To remember to not take the little things for granted. Like being able to take my little cousin to the park and it not end up with everyone screaming and crying… But not my kids.

And yes, I understand things like that happen with kids. “All kids do that.” But not almost 6 and 7 year olds. Toddlers… Little kids… Not kids their age.

And Yes, I am thankful I even was able to have kids, yes I’m thankful they can even walk to the park… I don’t need people to try to make me feel bad for complaining… I need people to just understand. For people to not stop in the middle of the road because I have a kid that looks like he’s 8 over my shoulder. I’m doing the best I can and you’re just making me never want to leave the house again.

Ironically… I would have been that woman, only I would have asked if the mom wanted a ride. And I HAVE done things like that before.

Me and my kids are not perfect, we’re not better, we’re not less. But there ARE things about our Autism that makes life harder.

Anyone who disagrees with that… Can keep scrolling.

On a side note… The walk DID work with Tyler being used to the GizmoPal watch. I think next time I’ll have to only take Tyler. He’s better with the route we take that doesn’t go by the park. I ruined walks for Justin for now. :/

… They really did love the park. Maybe I’ll leave the gate open, take the kids in the morning when it’s not so hot and actually bring a diaper bag. At least if I have to carry them home, it won’t be nearly as bad.

Light Bulb Moment

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I’ve been going about this #GizmoPal GPS watch completely wrong with Tyler. Which I know is actually kind of surprising, because in general that’s a good way to get any child used to wearing something (and it’s working for Justin). A little bit each day until they work up to the point where they’re comfortable wearing it.

And at first I was a little ashamed that I hadn’t thought of it sooner, however I hadn’t actually had to think about it for at least four to five years. So, I’m giving myself a little bit of leeway. 😉

I need to teach him to wear the watch the way that I taught him that he needs to wear shoes!! I keep putting this watch on him while he’s still in the house. He’s never going to wear this watch in the house!! He’s going to wear this watch when he leaves the house.

So the way that I taught him to wear his shoes is that he couldn’t leave the house until he was wearing them. I would even have everyone stand outside waiting for Tyler, and he would be just inside the door screaming bloody murder. But after a few minutes he would comply and allow me to put on his shoes and then he could leave. He usually took them off by the time we were all in the truck, but still he knew that he had to put the shoes on in order to get out of the house. And he really only reacted that way about twice. We still had to struggle to get him to wear his shoes or to keep them on, but we didn’t have that much of a reaction each time we needed to leave.

So as much as I hate the hot weather in this ridiculously hot and humid area of the United States. I’m going to start taking walks with the boys (hopefully) everyday to teach him that he cannot leave the house unless he is wearing his watch. Just like we did with the shoes. And he will have to wear the watch the entire time we’re outside (we walk around the block twice and takes about half an hour). It’s going to be a huge pain in the butt… But I’m really really hoping that it’ll click a lot sooner and a lot easier because he’s older and he understands more than he did when he first regressed about 4-5 years ago. Plus, they love taking walks. 🙂

So wish me luck! I’m going to try it for the first time today. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll have pictures and more to report later. But assuming this works the way that it did with his shoes, it’ll work better than the way that I’m doing it now.

If you think about it he’s a very logical little kid. He doesn’t wear shoes or clothes inside but he has to wear them outside. And that’s really the only time he ever keeps them on too. Lol so… I have high hopes! 🙂

And Justin, well he loves it. Lol So, nothing new to report there. 😉

#Autism
#Day3
#GPSWatch
#Wandering

#GizmoPal Review so far…

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So, it comes with its own phone number, watch (obviously), an instruction book, charger and three little stickers to customize (you can buy more – but sold separately).

You have to download the smartphone app before you can set up the watch (it’s free). The setup is actually really easy! It only took a few minutes.

So far it’s been really easy to use, but right now we’re focusing on getting the boys used to wearing it in the next three weeks before school starts.

With Justin it was really easy. I put it on him and he wore it for 2 hours without even trying to take it off. He actually seemed to really enjoy having it on.

I will warn parents have kids with chubby wrist. It just barely it’s Justin’s! 🙂

Tyler on the other hand didn’t do so well. It lasted for about a minute. But I already knew that this was going to happen which is why I’m taking 3 weeks to get him ready for wearing it full time at school. He didn’t freak out as much as I thought he would. I’m trying to use I happy tone, a higher pitched voice and praise/tickle him while he was wearing it so that he understands that it’s a positive thing to wear it and not a negative thing. Also trying to distract him from tugging on it, so he’ll get used to the feel of it and hopefully won’t bother him for too much longer.

As soon as he actually requested me to take it off, I took it off. Because I would rather him ask me for help to take it off rather than him trying to take it off himself.

I’m not too sure if Justin would be able to figure out how to take it off, Tyler on the other hand, I have no doubt in my mind that he would be able to figure out how to take it off. It might take him a while, but he would eventually figure it out if he really wanted to. Which is why I’m trying to make sure that he understands that Mommy is the only one who takes it off.

If you are just pulling on it, it is actually really strong and it won’t just snap off. It takes fine motor skills in order to pull and tug the pieces apart in the right directions in order to actually get it off.

But when Tyler has his mind set to something… Lol

I’ll make a video to show you so you can get an idea. I’ll also be posting a video of Justin’s first reaction to the watch and Tyler’s first reaction to the watch later today on my page facebook.com/mycrazylittlepeople 🙂