Saturday, April 7, 2012

TASA Autism Awareness 5K


What a great day! COLD and WINDY! But so much fun and the guys all did so GREAT!
David ran with a time of 43:06 - great job Honey! :*
Holden ran with a time of 30:37 - great job Little Man! :)
Ashton and his runner, Joe, ran with a time of 27:57 - great job Joe!!! :)

Enjoy the pictures!

Ashton and Joe Moss
David (hubby), Joe (Ashton's runner), Holden and Ashton
Team Hoyt VB Runners and Riders for the Autism Awareness 5k
Ryan Carroll (Team Hoyt VB runner & Cousin)
David, running! 
Holden, running and lookin at me
and now he's just ignoring me LOL

FAMILY PICTURE!!!

Holden with the basket he won at the raffle :)

Basket that Holden won

Our face of Autism .... Day 7 of 30

Ashton with his Dad, his Team Hoyt VB runner and his younger brother
David (hubby), Joe Moss (runner for Team Hoyt VB), Holden (little brother) & Ashton

Friday, April 6, 2012

Amazing, wonderful update!

Wow.

I had meant to post an update and a bit of our Autism story before the first of April to kick-off Autism Awareness Month but time has gotten away from me!

First off the obvious. easter is coming! Ashton's turning 13 in 8 days! Holden's turning 10 in 11 days! This means, I'VE BEEN BUSY!!! :)

But oh what a joyful busy it's been. I look back on the last year and remember this time last year with a distant, far-off glance at a horrible time of our life. Ashton was doing horribly in school, had been suspended once and was gearing up for the second suspension. He was doing everything his soul could to let us know the placement wasn't working. I was fighting the schools to them provide what Ashton was entitled to, a Free and Appropriate Public Education. It took us until the fall of last year to finally get him to a place where things were looking up.

And that brings me to today..... I had the pleasure of going in to visit Ashton's class to drop off some books and puzzles. (by the way, having an open invitation to visit whenever I want is AMAZING, WONDERFUL and makes me feel WELCOMED and not like a burden the way I felt at his old school). Ashton's classmates circled around him and said "Ashton, You're mom and brother are here! Oh Look! Hi Mrs M!" Just their happiness in seeing me was amazing. This is such a wonderful group of kids and teachers; I could not ask for a better and more appropriate placement for Ashton if I had handpicked it myself.

He's got teachers who genuinely care for him, love him and enjoy every little quirk and trait he exhibits. They don't see them as deficits, but rather as tools that they have to learn to access to help him learn to his full potential. They see the smart and wonderful young man he's becoming. They UNDERSTAND him, and if they don't..... they try and learn to! A true feeling of acceptance is what you feel when you look in on this classroom. The kids are happy. The adults are happy. It's not a sterile, uninviting environment. They have a WINDOW in their classroom!

Anyways ..... the update. He's doing great! He comes to the table now for group work and doesn't run away. I don't think he's doing a lot of work yet, but hey, half the battle was getting him there and getting him to stay there. He's come so far since he's been in this class. The teachers were reading his IEP/PLOP from last year and they are absolutely astonished and amazed that the kid in their classroom is the same one they are reading about on paper. He's absolutely 100% done a 180 degree turn-around since he's been in there, and for the better for sure. We're right now on a slippery slope with meds. He started on Adderall XR in January and he's only on 10mg, but hoo boy has that been messing with his sleep (or, we think that's what's messing with his sleep). We started him on Clonidine to help with sleep and that coupled with Benadryl and Melatonin seems to have allowed him a great night's sleep last night 8:15pm-6:30am). We'll see if that continues over Spring Break. We're not giving him the Adderall XR over Spring Break (he doesn't need it for home) and see if we can get his sleep back on track. I know that *I* need the sleep and I can't imagine he's been doing super great given his poor sleeping. Although, according to school he's really been doing well.

So .... the last time i posted an update, I was pondering what we were going to do in the fall with Ashton, because he just wasn't picking up on the academic piece of his day. He's doing great in the elective and PE and the social periods, but that academic portion was just proving to be difficult. Well he's doing better now overall, so that helps. Plus, his teacher is pretty certain that her class make-up is going to be changing in the fall and that means she'll have more 1:1 attention that can be given to Ashton, which is what he needs. This means, not having to move him to another classroom.

YES! *happy dance*

Things are finally falling into place for him. He's happy! He's WELL-LIKED (!!!!) and there's even a girl who has a serious crush on him!!!!! :) :) :) :)

This has all made me one VERY HAPPY mommy! I can't begin to express how proud I am of Ashton, and of Holden too. They're both growing into such pleasant and well-liked young men. Despite their own sets of issues they each have, they really are thriving and become productive members of society.

I LOVE MY BABY (ok.. so they're not babies... but they're MY babies) BOYS!!!!

Our face of Autism .... Day 6 of 30

This was Ashton, deep in thought at the park back in August of '06.... just love it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our face of Autism .... Day 3 of 30

Ashton pretzel-hands! ;) He cracks me up.. he does this EVERY TIME he eats pretzels!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our face of Autism .... Day 2 of 30

With one of his very favorite people, Kalani - his very first Surfers Healing surfer!

Sunday, April 1, 2012