autism assistance dog for conor

helping conor in a furry and cuddly way

Not all those who wander are lost…

…except for Conor. I love J.R.R. Tolkien’s quote, and I believe that’s true with a few exceptions. Case in point: we were at the mall one day and Conor and Jack were busy watching the fish tank in a store near the entrance of the mall. I asked my friend to watch them while I nipped into the restroom which was right behind the fish tank basically. I was in and out in a flash (no preening, no applying lipstick or whatever) and when I came out, Conor was gone. I asked where he was and she said he was there one minute and then gone. I ran to the dressing rooms expecting to find him playing in front of the mirrors, but he wasn’t there. I checked around and had no luck. I finally asked one of the store clerks to help. Announcements were made over the intercom, clerks were on high alert and looking and I was beside myself with fear. I told everyone that he can’t speak and won’t tell you his name or anything else. The staff stayed at the entrance to the mall on the upper and lower level to make sure he wouldn’t leave, so I left the store and combed the parking lot. He has no sense of self-preservation and I knew he could easily be hit by a car. Cell phone in hand I frantically waited for someone to find him or for me to see him running around outside. 

What seemed to be days later, I got the call that they found him. He had run clear across the other side of the mall. A security guard spotted him, heard the announcement over the mall intercom, and had noticed him with us earlier in the day and picked him up. He carried him back to us, and Conor couldn’t have been happier. He was hugging the fellow and smiling like he won the lottery. I was in tears both from stress and from relief.

I am pretty sure they would like to never see us return to that store or the mall. I also know that if Conor could focus, he has a good chance of winning the gold in sprinting. Wandering – yet another reason for getting an assistance dog. 

So, some who wander are indeed lost…

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Your chance to be the Tooth Fairy!

Conor loses his front tooth

Conor loses his front tooth

Conor lost his front tooth last night, and yes we found it, unlike the two other teeth he lost (and probably swallowed-yuck!). So for all you who’ve always wanted to play tooth fairy here’s your chance! Just donate to Conor’s fundraising site that will get him his assistance dog. Great chance to help Conor and play tooth fairy at the same time! No costumes necessary (although if you want to dress up, have at it! Send me a photo and I will post them!). For Tooth Fairy status, donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/assistancedogforconor

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A good time was had by most

Conor at Ellie's 2nd Birthday Party

Summer seems to be birthday party season. And everyone is looking for something to do with their kiddos. Conor and Jack went to our friend Ellie’s 2nd birthday party today. Happy Birthday to Ellie! Jack loved watching her unwrap presents and was dying to help her do so. Conor was just dying to go home. He acted a bit like a PETA member at a steakhouse. Yes, there was screaming indiscernable thoughts, glowering looks at all the attendees, and an overall unpleasantness emitting from him. At least he’s cute (in my humble opinion). He eventually settled into a corner with his ipad and glared away at the friendly friends and family that had come to celebrate with Ellie. Jack had a great time and left wishing he had another birthday on the horizon. Next July just seems too far for him to comprehend. Wait until he’s an adult–they come fast and furious then.

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Local news station runs interview highlighting conor’s fundraising

Our local fox news station came out to our house to interview Conor and myself to highlight our fundraising efforts. Big thanks go out to Loriana Hernandez and her staff for getting the word out and supporting our cause.

To read the story and see the video visit:

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/22649626/mother-of-autistic-boy-turns-to-internet-to-raise-funds-for-therapy-dog?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9013861

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Doctor appointments, change and the inevitable tantrum

Yesterday we went to the allergist. Our babysitter, Sara, came with and while the experience included a lot of screaming, tantrums on the floor in the middle of the office and stress, that appointment was only eclipsed by the visit Conor and I had today at the dentist’s office. Any change to Conor’s routine means there will be some unhappiness and stress on his part. I showed him one of the PECs picture cards to let him know we were going to the Doctor’s office and afterward the reward which was his beloved Ipad. Unfortunately when he saw the picture and knew it meant going to the Doctor his tantrum started early. He enjoyed the car ride as always, but the closer we got to our destination, the more agitated he got. The screaming really kicked in when we pulled into the parking lot. I had to pick him up from his booster seat and carry him in screaming all the way. The poor kids in the waiting area had to must have been freaked out, and when we went back to the procedure room, all hell broke loose. The only positive was the dentist was easily able to look into his mouth because it was open. Of course the negative was he was screaming at her. The nurse and I pinned him down while she checked his teeth (he had a front tooth that was bleeding. Turns out it’s going to fall out soon. Oh goody). Once she was done, he calmed down, played with the lava lamp and a mirror, and then wouldn’t leave the room! In fact, he didn’t want to leave the office at all. This produced a minor meltdown but nothing like when we arrived. I just hope we don’t have any more appointments for a long time…

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Potty Talk

Not about potty training (done with that thankfully!), but about potty incident. Jack was in the bathroom when the potty overflowed. Yuck. However, he freaked out and started screaming bloody murder. Then Conor freaked out and started screaming. Then I freaked out because I had to clean it up (no screaming on my part). All in all, a bad start to the day.

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Conor and Kila

Conor playing with our friend’s little dog Kila. He’s found a way to play with a puppy and an ipad at the same time. He’s a multi-tasker!

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My son’s Autistic, what’s your excuse?

Unfortunately some stories merit their own category, hence the title. Eventually I find some humor in these stories, but sometimes I just need to vent. Case in point: I take the boys to the library, a place I consider a “safe zone” since I can manage both Conor and Jack, even when things get rough. One day Conor decided to run around the Rec Room, which is a big area and not in use that day. There were two ladies in the corner talking. I asked Conor to come with me and he started having a tantrum. I used my usual calming method: deep pressure hug and have him count to ten (as many times as necessary). Jack kept egging him on, which made things worse. Then one of the ladies shouted at them “Boys, I’m a teacher and you better be quiet and behave!”. That just made things worse. Conor had a full on tantrum, Jack started crying and I was mad as all get out. I explained that Conor was autistic and she replied she wasn’t really a teacher, but she did that to kids to scare them so they got in line.

This was the time I wish I was quick with the witty replies. But no. I can think of many now, but couldn’t at that moment. I was on the verge of tears and having my own meltdown.

I picked Conor up (no easy task considering how big he is and when he is screaming and thrashing about), told Jack to follow me, and hurried to the exit. Then the lady came over to me, and I don’t know what she was going to say, but I glared at her and just angrily said “don’t even” and walked away.

So, I don’t know what the moral here is, or where the humor is for that matter, but I do know that woman gave teachers everywhere a bad name. Our teachers have been nothing but kind and helpful, and my kids have put them through a lot! I also learned that people are not as autism aware as I thought they were and perhaps not as autism-accepting. I also was reminded there are idiots everywhere, even at the library.

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Conor having fun at Speech Therapy

Conor and his buddy and therapist, Marcus, at speech therapy using the iLs system. The therapists at MLee SLP are the best! Looks like so much fun that I’d love to try it!

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Adorable New Childrens Purse!

Adorable New Childrens Purse!

We now have cute handmade children purses for sale at http://www.teamconor.com/shop.htm

Our children testers (adorable twin girls) have suggested making them in pink (shown) and purple. All proceeds go toward Conor’s assistance dog.

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