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1st Blog Post….The Beginning

Our Journey all started when we were given a referral for our son Greyson for a speech evaluation at about 18 months of age. I made the call and set up the in home evaluation for them to come and assess Greyson. The day came and 2 therapists showed up and started the evaluation with a lot of questions about development, milestones, etc… The evaluation lasted about 2-3 hours and at the conclusion of the appointment I heard one of the therapists say possible Autism. In that moment I immediately started to cry. I had absolutely no idea the road I was about to go down. When neither of the therapists comforted me or even said “Well we don’t know for sure, let him be evaluated.” They then walked out, the appointment was over, and at the moment my entire world was rocked. I remember walking into the other room since my husband Shawn was working from home that day, and blurting out Greyson has Autism, he is 100% autistic. I knew for sure in my gut after that first initial meeting that Greyson was autistic. After telling Shawn , I think he was a little confused, and didn’t quite understand what I was saying to him. He said we would figure it all out. I then turned to the angry emotion. I said “This will not be happening in our house” or “I’m going to fix this and get rid of it”, and I can’t forget the classic “Why Us” phrase. “What did we do to deserve this?” I was completely ignorant and uneducated. I was one of those people who had absolutely no idea about any of it. No one I knew had autism, it wasn’t in neither of our families, however now I do think it exists in our families somewhere. That following week I went into a depression, and almost then grieving on what I thought life would or should look like.

After those few days of sulking, I thought to myself I can either sit here depressed and do nothing, or I can get to work and learn everything I possibly can so I can help Greyson. From this point on I have completely enthralled myself into the world of Autism, and I would never have it any other way.

Post 58 Struggles

Recent life has felt really cold and cruel. The Craziness, anxiety, stress and monumental challenges are weighing me down like I am simply standing in quick sand. I am sure so many people can relate to how I feel right now. For as long as I can remember life has been throwing challenge after challenge at me, and I do my best to remain positive, but it doesn’t always work out the way I would like. I have always looked at the world as a place where God, or the greater power always evens everything out at the end of the day. I always said, we are going to have a huge breakthrough, because things can’t go wrong forever. However, the point I am at now is that I do not know if a breakthrough will ever happen. I try to tell myself that we are paying our dues and no one could have bad things happen forever. That eventually god will pay us back 10 fold for all the challenging times. Well, I don’t know how much longer I can maintain that thought process. It feels like the last little bit of hope that I was holding onto is slowly but surely slipping through my finger tips.

I didn’t intend to write this particular blog post. I just started to connect with how I am feeling and decided to share it with everyone. I know a lot of people have felt this way or are feeling this way right along with me, right now! That is what makes a platform like this so great. Being able to be open and share my emotions, feelings and challenges can help me grow as a person. It can help me refocus myself and move forward. Sharing all of these things with others can help them do the same.

I just pray that any and all of us who feel this way can survive the tribulations and enjoy the abundance we all deserve afterwards. God Bless!

Post 57 Socialization

Social Skills are a challenging area for people on the spectrum to learn and excel at. We are lucky in many ways, when it comes to social skills because Greyson doesn’t want to isolate himself and loves to be around other people. He prefers to be with people, provided he can still do things he wants to do. In other words, if you are trying to force him to do something he really doesn’t like, he will isolate to avoiding being involved in that activity. However, if you do an activity he enjoys he loves interacting with other people. It is all about getting him in the right environments and the right situations, that give him the best chance at success.

We have been going out a lot for walks every day, sine the weather has gotten a little nicer and he has absolutely loved it. The 4 of us go out for a walk and always end up with Grey leading us to the playground. A couple of the times we went, there were other kids there. I have to say, that their has been a huge difference in him around kids lately. He was engaged in what they were doing and saying, and he spent a lot of time watching them. Then he started following them on the playground and even tried holding one of the kids hands.

The thing that really makes social skills so challenging for him is being non-verbal. Being around him all the time like we are allows us to know exactly what he needs without him even asking. However, other kids do not understand that, nor do I expect them too. I know it will get easier for him as his use of the AAC device improves and as kids get older and can understand that he is on the spectrum and non-verbal. Despite all of that I was so proud of how he was acting. So proud he tried to interact in the ways he could. I know how smart he is and how well he can connect with us, his therapist and others. So I know he will have good social skills eventually but I would love to see him connect with kids his age a little more now. Build friendships and play with other kids a lot, like we all did as kids. Especially, now that he is losing his therapist. But all that being said, no matter what we will always be here for him, to support him, protect him, teach him and raise him to be the best person he can be!

Post 56 Greyson Lost His Best Friend

This has been one of the saddest times I have felt in such a long time. My heart is breaking for Greyson right now. I write this with tears in. my eyes!

Our RBT of 2.5 years is moving on and taking a new position. I am obviously very happy that he is growing in his career, and he has earned it. I am just so sad for Greyson. Outside of Alex and I, the RBT is the person he is closest to and they have built an incredible relationship, that seems so special. I mean it is to the point that when therapy is here, Greyson wants nothing to do with me. It is hard to find a therapist, especially a good one. We have been very lucky finding him and having him for 2.5 years. We are on the waiting list again to find another RBT, and until that happens our BCBA is working with Alex on continuing therapy.

We can overcome those things though, we had to do it during the COVID lockdown, and it may take a while but we will find a goof RBT again. However, the hard part is the emotional connection for Greyson. That can not be replaced so easily. My heart is breaking for my son right now. I can’t do that much about it right now. We plan to try and see him somewhat regularly after his last day. I just worry so much about Greyson, his growth, his development and his happiness. I just hope he gets through this, and we can help build many more bonds that are this meaningful to him in the future.

Post 55 Mother’s Day

This year was a bit different for Mother’s Day, and in many ways. I had to work for the first time on Mother’s Day, so we didn’t plan anything to crazy. During previous years we would go out with Alex as a family, give her some time for herself and have a nice dinner at night. However, since I was working this year we did some family activities another day and focused on having a wonderful dinner with her that evening.

This was definitely the first time Grey had an idea of what Mother’s Day really was about. I spent the previous 2 weeks having little talks with him explaining that Mother’s Day was coming up, why it was so important and what I need him to do for his Mom that day. Since he is non-verbal we aren’t always sure how much he really understands. I knew he understood the basic idea behind it but I was pretty confident he did not fully understand. He ended up totally surprising me though. When I got home from work I got flowers and a card for Alex and helped him sign the card. Then I handed them to him and he very nicely walked in and gave it to Alex. I told her Greyson wanted to do something special for her since it was Mother’s Day and this was his idea.

Of course she knows all of this, but saying it all out loud in front of him really helps him to start understanding it better. When he was done giving it to her he was so happy and proud of himself. It was definitely a beautiful moment. When you have a child on the spectrum, you never know what each day is going to be like, or what to expect in the future. So every time we have a beautiful experience like this was, it means so much more!

Post 54 Alone With Grey and The Puppy 2 Weekends in a Row

So Easter has passed now and Alex wanted to go to see a friend out of state. It is her best friend and they haven’t scene each other in 4 years. So I was more than happy to stay home and watch Grey and the puppy. However, then she asked if she could go away the weekend before that with another friend. I was reluctant but said I would take care of it. She needs the time to relax a little after all she does on a daily basis for our family.

I was super worried about how this was going to go. Most of the time it is no problem to take care of them, however, every now and then things can get a little crazy. I decided to write this while I am wrapping up the final few hours of the second weekend, and I have to say things were way better then I expected. The dogs a shadow of Greyson, and even slept next to him in bed, 2 of the nights. I only had one crazy stretch, this morning that drove me crazy. Greyson walks in the kitchen and he has poop all over him. It is in his hair and everywhere. I walk in the other room and of course the dog is eating it off the floor. I had to crate her to keep her away, and I went to survey the damage. Well, he decided to do the twist on top of his poop, and had managed to grind it into the carpet. I quickly got him a bath to clean him up, and he wasn’t to happy about the bath. Then I cleaned up the mess. After about a half hour of cleaning him up and the floor I was all done and went to let the dog out again, since the coast was now clear. What do you think I see at this point?

The most wonderful sight! She decided to learn from her brother and do the same thing in her crate. So it was her turn to get a bath and then have her crate cleaned up. What a morning, I looked at the clock and an hour and a half a wake and I had hardly done anything. Even though that was literally, a mess, both weekends went great as a whole! It is always wonderful to have some time with just them, which just builds those bonds even deeper. These are the experiences and times I will remember for the rest of my life!

Post 53 Easter Eggs

We decided to spend Easter at home this year. Alex’s Mom came up to visit us for the holiday and stayed for a few days. I had to work a lot all week so it was nice to spend Easter at home and relax. the night before Easter, we decided to do Easter eggs with Grey. When I got home from work Alex was nice enough to have all the stuff set up for us. We sat down at Greys’s table with him and explained what we were going to do. Then we showed him how to put the Eggs into the bowls. He immediately started doing it. Like with most things we do with him, he had a huge smile on his face. Then it came time to rotate them and we asked him to rotate them and showed him how. We then went color by color and he went through them rotating them in the bowls. Man, he immediately knew which color was which and what eggs needed to be rotated still. He really enjoyed the Mickey decals and stickers as well. Once we were all done we showed them to him and let him play with them, we told him how well he did and as he always does, he smiled with an overwhelming pride! What a wonderful time we had!

Post 52 First Trip To The Beach of 2022

On my day off the other day I wanted to do something special for Greyson and the family. It has been a long winter and we have had so much going on this winter we have been stretched really thin. It was supposed to be in the 70’s for the first time this year, so I decided to take everyone to Asbury Park. They allow dogs until mid May and Greyson is an absolute beach bumb. It as perfect. We always regretted taking Savannah our last dog, to the beach as a senior. So it was something we wanted to do just as much with the new puppy as we did with Greyson.

Well the day did not disappoint. The weather was great, the water was cold and the fun was plentiful! The dog was in her glory! It didn’t matter if it was the beach or the boardwalk. She loved being outside, with her family and socializing with other people and other dogs. Greyson was in his own world. He was truly in his element. Running around, playing on the playground and watching his phone at a bench on the boards. These are the days we will remember for ever. It is not always the big major events and experiences, but the simple ones that mean so much!

Bonus Post 2!!!

We are now promoting Green Compass Global. Green Compass is an industry leader that grows, harvests, manufacturers, sells and distributes help and CBD products. The product line is centered around the oils, tinctures and gummies, but also includes beauty products and pain cream that is absolutely incredible!

These products have changed my life and the life of our family. CBD has helped all of us including Greyson!

For More info check us out at: https://alexandriamg.greencompassglobal.com

Bonus Post 1!!!

I am super excited to announce my book has finally launched! “Every Frog Is Special,” is a beautiful and heart warming story about Greyson! I hope the book helps kids understand that every person on this Earth is unique and special!

If you would like to purchase the book, we will be adding it to our site, and in the meantime, you can find the book on Amazon. I will leave the link below.

I would also like to thank everyone who has supported the book, especially Alexandria!

Post 51 Taking Strides Forward

Over the past 6 months a lot has developed and changed with Greyson. For the First 4 of those 6 months Greyson was in a bit of a rut. He had some tough challenges with behavior, obsessive compulsive demands and therapy. He was going through a period of regression, frustration and probably boredom. As many of you know this is a hard time for a family physically and emotionally.

Regressions are like punches to your gut and as a parent working so hard to help your child it can be extremely disappointing. Despite the frustrations, as a veteran autism parent, I am used to going through this. We have had many regressions, and all of them have been different. Even when you do not see a way you know based on past experience, that you will get through that time and back to a time of growth. Even if you do not know how it will happen.

I treated this time no different than every other. The surprising part always comes in the way that things change back towards to positive side. Well, our BCBA is where that started this time. She wanted to make some changes in strategy and use a newer form of ABA that is much better at resolving problem behaviors. It allows Greyson to have much more control of what is happening and builds trust so that he will be more willing to listen and comply when demands are placed on him. I could spend hours explaining this type of therapy and how this approach works, however, I am not going to get into all that in this post. We can save that for another time.

This is about how much it has changed Greyson. I has totally turned everything around for all of us. Greyson is happier, more compliant, less meltdowns, and less challenging behaviors. He is responding to demands without delay or elopement. He has also built a much deeper and closer bond with his RBT. He asks for him everyday now and even refuses to have me do anything with him when his therapist is here. He is now enjoying therapy so much, and looks forward to it every day! It has made me incredibly happy!