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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 126 DMG

Dimethylglycine (DMG) is an amino acid with quite an exciting history. Its use in health and maintenance goes back to 1960s, where the Soviet Union came up with the idea that there was a vitamin B15 and called it calcium pangamate.

This particular substance was found to be very beneficial to human health, but time and research led us to understand that the active substance behind the supposed vitamin B15 was, in fact, dimethylglycine. It turned out that this was the nutrient that proved incredibly valuable to energy, healthy neurological function, athletic performance, liver health, and more.

Some Things DMG can help with:

  • Vocal Communication
  • Social Skills
  • Eye Contact
  • Improved Quality Sleep
  • Focus and calm
  • Methylation
  • Digestive Health
  • Detoxification

Our Recommendation:

DaVinci Laboratories is an awesome brand. We use the 300 MG Liquid Drops and they are tasteless, which is great for children with eating challenges.

Product Highlights:

  • Gluten Free
  • Made with Non GMO Ingredients
  • Supports 
  • Supports Immune System
  • Energy Enhancing
  • Supports Brain Function and Mental Acuity

Improves Athletic Performance

  • Promotes oxygen utilization 
  • Reduces lactic acid buildup during workouts

N, N-Dimethylglycine in 100% pure water with no preservatives. 

A dietary supplement to support endurance and immune system function. 

Remember, I am not a doctor so please consult one before using and supplements. I am simply sharing my experiences.

Post 125 A New Virtual World

Alex bought an oculus about 8 months ago, she spends a lot of time home with Grey while I am out working and it was an ideal hobby for her to get into. She is a Tech junky so it fits her interests perfectly. I have played it with her and it is incredibly cool. You can watch movies, play games ride rollercoasters, travel the world with a couple clicks and even create virtual worlds and hangout with virtual friends in them. It is an incredible platform! The technology is amazing and it is crazy to think what the future holds.

So the other day we decided to let Grey try it and I think Alex may have lost it forever! He absolutely loved it. He abandoned his iPad and refused to let go of the oculus. Looks like it is his now. It was absolutely hilarious watching him. Alex was able to split her screen and record a video of what he saw on one side and the other side was watching him move around. He was running into things and reaching out to touch things he thought was real. We entertained ourselves for an hour just watching him. These are those moments that make life so great! Moments that you just do something you didn’t really expect to do and it just turns out to be a blast.

Post 124 MultiVitamin

Multivitamins are a valuable source of nutrients and vitamins for people of all ages. Even if you have an exceptional diet, you probably still are not getting the proper amounts of all the nutrients your body needs to excel at a high level. So a multivitamin is essential for everyone and especially for children on the spectrum. Many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder have nutritional deficiencies. They could be due to there environment, genetic and biological makeup or because they have eating challenges.

As always, I am not a doctor so please consult a doctor about the subject before use. I am only sharing my personal experience and what I have learned from it.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A MULTIVITAMIN:

Nutrient needs vary since everyone is different, here are a few basic things to look for in a multivitamin for children with autism:

  1. Contains all fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, & K
  2. Contains active/methylated B vitamins for optimal absorption and methylation. Here is a list of all active B vitamins:
    • B1 → thiamin HCl
    • B2 → riboflavin 5’ phosphate
    • B3 → niacinamide
    • B5 → pantothenic acid
    • B6 → pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (P5P)
    • B7 → biotin
    • B9 → L-5-MTHF (L-methylfolate)
    • vitamins with folic acid are not recommended
    • B12 → methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin [vitamins with cyanocobalamin instead are not recommended]
  3. Contains at least 100% % vitamin C
  4. Contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, selenium, chromium, and molybdenum.
  5. Should not have both calcium and iron together.
  6. Vitamin D3 is more effective then Vitamin D2.
  7. Man sure it has been tested by a third party.
  8. Avoid artificial colors, flavors, artificial ingredients, added milk or added wheat.

TIPS FOR TAKING MULTIVITAMINS:

  1. Always take with food, because it prevents upset stomach and it also allows your body to absorb more nutrients.
  2. Drink plenty of water. The water will help flush your system of any extra unabsorbed vitamins and minerals.
  3. Make sure all nutrients are water soluble so that you prevent over toxicity from a build up of excess vitamins.
  4. Always take as directed on the bottle or by a doctor.
  5. If your child is a picky eater use a liquid vitamin that can be added to your Childs favorite drink.

OUR CHOICE:

Our Favorite choice is Super Nu-Thera. It comes in a few different forms. We use the liquid because it has always been easier for Greyson since he has eating challenges. They are also Gluten Free and Hypoallergenic.

Another Recommended brand would be Pure.

As I stated above, I am not a doctor so please consult one or a nutritional expert before taking. I am only sharing what I have learned and experienced with our son Greyson.

Post 123 Turning The Page Into 2023

I currently have so many mixed emotions! I can say that 2022 was a nice year with a lot of great memories but it also came with many negatives and challenges that I look forward to turning the page on.

As many followers know, Alex and I have spent a lot of time pondering having more children. Well, on Christmas Day 2022 just a couple weeks ago, we found out Alex was pregnant! We were both completely overjoyed and more excited then we had been in a very long time. It was the best Christmas gift I could have ever dreamed of! Over the past few months we came to the realization that we really wanted more children. We always wanted more but pushed it off because of all the time and attention we needed to give Greyson. We realized that Greyson needed a sibling to grow up with and eventually have as a friendly face once Alex and I leave this world one day. So when we found out we saw everything lining up for us and the future of our family.

Well, unfortunately the joy was very short lived, as Alex started to become very sick over the next few days. Eventually, that lead to her losing the baby! This is now the 2nd miscarriage Alex has had. It feels a little easier then the last but it has still really rocked my world. Feeling the joys that come with expecting a new child, just to have it all wrapped away is really hard and honestly people do not talk about it enough. It is extremely common but until you go through it you really do not even realize how common it is. Now that it has happened you talk to people and find out how many people have gone through it and it was surprising. That tells me people do not open up and talk about it.

Alex and I have no problem talking about these things. I personally feel that talking about it is a great way to find support and part of the healing process. For the fathers, please do not hide your emotions if this happens to you and be supportive of your wife or the mother of your baby, because they must being going through so much with the hormonal changes and the physical pain that just exasperates the emotional pain. For me a day hasn’t gone by that I have not thought about the first baby we lost and I know a day won’t go by without thinking of this one either.

I know this is very hard but honestly, this could make or break our marriage. I think it is bringing us together, but I have heard many stories of it breaking marriages apart. If you ever go through this, I implore you to use it as an opportunity to turn towards your spouse and make you connection and relationship even stronger! If you already have children use it as a way to realize how special it is to be a part already and rededicate yourself to being the best parent you possibly can. Despite the sadness and disappointment we are excited and looking forward to the future of our family and whatever God has in store for us!

Post 121 Finding My Place

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July 2017

Greyson has really changed our lives in so many ways. I could not possibly have imagined that we would be where we are right now 5 years ago. Everyone always says that having a child is never what you expect, no matter how much you prepare you will never be completely ready. I believed that but I could never have imagined what would transpire in our lives. 

In the very beginning it was surprising how challenging it was to be a parent. Just like everyone said, I prepare myself but I still wasn’t prepared. Although, we quickly adjusted into our new lives and roles. We enjoyed being parents and growing our family. But as we uncovered Greyson’s autism the roller coaster ride of emotions got more and more volatile. Mourning what you thought your future would be and what you had planned for life was hard to handle. It took a lot of time and work for me to accept and get past all of that. 

I feel this all happened for a reason. It was really a gift. God gave us Greyson because he was meant to be ours and we were meant to be his. I would have never been a good parent if none of this happened. I have grown so much from the roller coaster and I am a much better person and father because of all of it. I have always felt out of place, like I didn’t belong and was different. Now I am a part of something incredibly special. A family that I am meant to be a part of. I never knew where I was meant to be but I finally found the place I belong, my home! This incredible family!

Post 120 Christmas

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year that the whole family really loves. This year we had another wonderful Christmas as a family! Alex and I got a chance to spend some extra time together, Greyson had plenty of time to play with Daddy and all his new toys, and the extended family got an opportunity to spend some time with all of us. Even the dogs got a lot of wonderful treats and toys and I got some time to relax and decompress.

We had a really relaxed holiday, going over my parents on Christmas Eve for the usual 7 fish Christmas Eve meal and spent some nice quality time with my parents. It wa low key but very nice and peaceful! We went home from there and got Grey in bed, but first we called Santa to see where he was and tracked him on the app. We woke up Christmas Morning and just spent the day in our pajamas. At least we did, Greyson as usual was naked all day since we are potty training. It is always a riot watching him running around naked all day. We had our morning coffee and exchanged presents. Greyson did a great job and he is really learning how to open presents and he is getting more and more interactive with it.

He absolutely loved his presents and we were able to spend time playing with them and I think he really seemed to enjoy it. Then the day after Christmas we went over to Shady Brook Farms and went to the Christmas Light Show they have. It is another tradition we have been doing since Greyson was born. He seems to enjoy it more and more every year!

It was another wonderful Christmas and I think next year is going to be even better! more to come on that in the future. I am not ready to elaborate on that yet, but that time will come. Just leave everyone with a little teaser. Stay tuned! I am a little disappointed that it is all over already. It comes and goes so fast every year and family time is something I love and value beyond all other things. Unfortunately, that is just how life works. But all and all another wonderful holiday with the family and for that I thank God!

Post 119 The Journey

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that we have a new therapist, and that we lost our last therapist after 2.5 years with Greyson. It has been heard the entire time we have been transitioning. Losing Ed and bringing in the new therapist has been hard on all of us, especially Greyson and Alex. What I have realized and affirmed through this experience is that our journey as a family with a child on the spectrum, is just that a journey and not a destination.

I guess this is a true life lesson for everyone. I have read many books and articles and watched many video’s about the topic. One quote I like is, “If you are not growing you are dying.” That quote rings true in regards to our current situation. No matter what we do or how we structure our lives, change is inevitable. No matter how much you want to maintain your current life structure the world won’t allow it. So, we must embrace it and to be honest it does make life more entertaining and exciting. Embrace the changes life has to offer.

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To be honest with you, the joy of life doesn’t come from the destinations we reach. The achievement and the joy that comes with it is momentary and fading. When we buy a new car or a new home, despite that fact that is a life changing experience in our lives, the joy that comes from achieving that goal fades quickly over time. So the true happiness and joy in our lives, comes from the journey itself! The journey molds us and shapes us as human’s and shapes our destiny. This is where we find true joy and happiness in our lives.

It has taken a long time and a lot of pain, struggle and challenges for me to come to a place where I can accept and truly understand that is where we can find the true joy and happiness in life. But none the less I realize it now and I see it in every facet of my life. Greyson, and our journey with him on the spectrum is no different than any other part of life in this regard. And I believe the answer to managing the stress and anxiety of all the ups and downs is found in embracing the joy that we can all find within the journey itself!

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Post 118 Xmas Shopping

Christmas shopping seems to get more and more challenging every year. When you have a child like Greyson Christmas shopping is the polar opposite of what it is for a traditional child. Greyson’s interests are very narrow and traditional toys would not really mean all that much to him. Of course there are always things he could need but we do not always want to just get him some things he needs, but we want to have that Christmas experience where your child receives a gift that makes him so excited, they can barely contain themselves.

That type of experience is getting harder and harder every year. We are still trying to figure out what to do at this point and we only have a week left. I know your probably think we should be preparing sooner, but the funny thing is that we have been trying to figure this out since 4th of July. We have some good ideas but just are not 100% sold on having the right one.

Stay tuned for the future posts during Christmas to find out what we ended up doing. This is just another interesting aspect of raising a child on the spectrum!

Post 117 ABA Therapy

ABA Therapy or Applied Behavior analysis has been a very controversial topic for a while now. We have had a lot of experience surrounding ABA Therapy and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. When it comes to ABA and any other type of therapy, there are positives and negatives. We have personally scene and experienced the good and the bad that comes with implementing an ABA Program. It can be a really difficult process to start and implement a program.

I firmly believe ABA Therapy can be an amazing tool to help teach and support your children as they grow and develop, provided you are working with a good providers, BCBA’s and RBT’s. That is by far the biggest key to have a positive experience in ABA Therapy. We recommend staying away from Therapists who are rigid because they do not work as well as a team, and take parents opinions into consideration.

We have gone through many therapists over the years and I can tell you we have learned that within a couple hours that we can determine if a therapist is going to be a good fit or not. Always, go with your gut and move onto another therapist quickly, because as many people know it can take a long time to get a new one. When our kids are young time is vital and the more time we waste is time lost, not making progress.

There are currently some really great research studies being done with adults who once participated in ABA Therapy, in order to get data from first hand experience to use to make ABA Therapy best practices more effective for everyone. I think it is awesome to see that some professionals are taking feedback seriously and looking to determine how to improve everyones experience! We believe that with a good group of professionals ABA can be the driving force that leads our kids to success and to help our kids reach there full potential!