autism assistance dog for conor

helping conor in a furry and cuddly way

Waking up with Charlie Mars

Yeah, I wish. Okay, what I mean is that to get Conor out of bed in the morning for school, I first ask him nicely. Then, when he ignores me or worse, screams at me, I play “How I Roll” by Charlie Mars really loud on the Ipod in our kitchen. Like a rocket he shoots out of bed, runs to the kitchen and jumps on the counter to turn it off. If he goes back to bed (which he never does now) he knows I’ll just do it again. 

So, while I love Charlie Mars…I mean I love Charlie Mars music, Conor is not a fan. Well all I can say is he is in therapy several days a week and maybe one of these days he too will become a fan. In the meantime, thank you Mr. Mars for providing me with what I need to get Conor out of bed.

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What’s this world come to?

Today marked the first day of 2nd grade for Conor and the first day of Kindergarten for Jack. Conor got up early and kept asking me to go back to bed. I guess he figured if I were in bed, school wouldn’t happen. Jack on the other hand couldn’t wait to get there. He had his clothes picked out days ahead of time and when we got to his classroom he couldn’t wait for me to leave. 

That, however is not what I am referring to in my title. So I am running errands with every other Mom in town, and one of my stops is the library (please read previous post for another library story). Many Moms have mentioned seeing my posters fundraising for Conor’s assistance dog around town, and of course one of the locations is the library where we frequent. They were kind enough to not only put up a poster, but also a piggy bank that I set out to collect coins for the dog. The bank is actually a pig with sunglasses (Old Navy donated about 30 of them–thank you!) and a picture of Conor and a little text on the side telling about the dog. Ok, l love all the stores around town who have put them on their counters, and I still love the library for doing so, but someone took it! I mean come on! Taking a piggy bank that is fundraising for an assistance dog for a boy who needs one goes beyond the pale! All I can say is Karma’s a bitch! Ugh!

Anyway, so many parents, teachers and even the principal at school today were excited about Conor’s dog and have asked what they can do to help. There are so many good people out there that I am continually surprised and brings tears to my eyes. So thank you once again to those of you who have helped, plan to help or are just sending good thoughts our way! And to the person who took Conor’s piggy–well what can I say. Karma is looking for you.Image

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To quote Bart Simpson, we had a “craptacular” day

So today we went to get Conor’s wrist x-rayed. And by “we” I mean Conor and me. The Hospital in Westlake where I had called ahead of time and explained our situation, i.e. he’s autistic, I need lead gloves to hold him down which I would supply need be, and he would be an unethusiastic patient to say the least, originally said no problem. Then when I go they tell me they can’t handle him and he will need to go to Dell Childrens Hospital where they can handle such a case. Okay, I’m pissed. Then we drive across town (actually I called first and made an appointment and told them the situation) and they were very nice and helpful. At one point, the technician suggested I bring him back when he was calmer, and I said that this was as good as it is going to get. The tech I spoke to on the phone came in and we played a game which Conor eventually played and we got the x-ray done. God bless them at Dell’s Childrens Hospital!

So, while it was originally a “craptacular” day (okay I love that word), it turned out ok. I even blew up a slip-n-slide that I had previously gotten, and was slightly worried we may end up back at Dell Children’s Hospital (at least I knew where it was), but all was well. Unless letting little boys play naked in a slip-n-slide in the (fenced) in backyard is a bad thing. I didn’t and don’t care what the neighbors thought. 

Also, I am very disappointed in the folks of Wham-O. I mean if my son can’t lose his front tooth that’s dangling by a thread on a slip-n-slide what’s this world come to?

 

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“Do not spoil the wonder with haste”

I have always hoped that I didn’t worry so much about Conor that I forgot to enjoy his childhood. Many time’s it has been difficult to remember and some time harder to embrace. Part of me wants him to hurry up and improve, but I forget that each accomplishment, each step forward is a miracle. His aren’t as big or obvious as other kids, but they are just as wonderful.

Conor has had many sensory problems over the last few days and have been exasperating and difficult to get through. And not just for me. Example: today in therapy, Conor kicked his speech therapist in the face and broke his glasses. Then, at the end of Occupational Therapy, he nearly kicked his brother Jack in the face. For those who don’t know, Jack does not like to get hurt or experience any type of pain, yet he likes to egg his brother on to the brink of insanity. Luckily, Conor has never played soccer and therefore his aim was poor leaving Jack with all his teeth and nose intact. 

As far as the sensory problems, I have been trying to accomplish what the Occupational Therapists do with the resources around our house. It’s amazing what you can find in closets. I made a “burrito” roll out of a small sleeping bag and rolled him back and forth in it. Trampoline: check. Wrapping him in the hammock and swinging him: check.  I did a lot of deep pressure massage and joint compression. I did the brushing technique several times a day. I tried sensory boxes with rice and beans in them. In the end, he got a lot of help from Finnegan, our dog. Conor layed across him, and on him for about 45 minutes a time. Getting him his assistance dog will really help at times likes these. Instead of Conor laying on the dog, the dog will lay on him, or against him to provide that deep pressure that he craves. I am thankful that Finnegan helps work with Conor on these issues, but there’s only so much a Weimaraner can do…..

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Conor getting deep pressure input from Finnegan

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Tom Petty is Wrong

Tom Petty is wrong. The waiting is not the hardest part. I took Conor to have his blood drawn for some tests this morning. He happily waited in the waiting room with Jack. When he had to go into the room to have the blood drawn all hell broke loose. Fortunately, there was a really nice fellow, who was clearly a football player in a former life, help hold him down with me, while the nurse took his blood. Jack was a champ sitting quietly on a bench in the room. So Mr. Petty, if you read this, sometime the waiting is actually the easiest part….

Of course, after that stressful event, we went to speech therapy. Conor loves seeing his therapist and often hates leaving. So, we arrived and Conor was so upset from his blood draw that he wouldn’t even get out of the car. Normally he is out like a bullet because he can’t wait. This time he kept closing the car door so I couldn’t pick him up. Finally I got Jack safely waiting by the door and guarding my purse and grabbed Conor out of the car. I had given him my new phone to keep him amused and as I got a hold of him in the parking lot, he threw my phone like he was a pro baseball pitcher (albeit I don’t know anything about baseball pitchers but it was the furthest I saw him throw anything). I was in shock! First, I had just gotten the phone, and it was quite an ordeal as I couldn’t financially justify that expense for myself (of course I did though), then I was worried a car would drive over it since it was in the middle of the road. Cononudrum. Hold on to the flailing Conor or go get the phone? I did both. Dragging Conor and hustled over and got the phone not knowing it’s fate. I dragged him into the building and Jack (bless him) followed nicely carrying my purse. I deposited them into the therapists office and then checked the phone. 

Ok, thank God for Otterbox. The phone worked perfectly. I had just gotten an Otterbox case a few days before and put it to use today. Having said that, we had an Otterbox case on the Ipad the school loaned us and Conor was able to break the case, but it didn’t break the Ipad. I think Otterbox should use us for product testers. 

All that happened and it wasn’t even 1pm. The afternoon should be interesting….

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Caddyshack Moment

I’m not sure it is ever good to have a Caddyshack moment, but if you have one, then usually one would hope it to be on the golf course or involving drinks. Sadly, our moment was neither. We were at the pool (do I need to continue?) and instead of the Babyruth candy bar clearing the pool, it was the real deal. Conor told me he had to go potty, which was no problem and of course I was happy to help. Unfortunately what he meant was he already went potty. While in the bathroom I realise the confusion with the linguistics. Then my friend comes in and tells me there is indeed something in the pool that shouldn’t be there and would I prefer her to tell the lifeguards? Of course, I let her tell them as I was too embarrassed at that point to tell them (but I would have if necessary). I got Conor cleaned up, got a towel for him to cover up and went to retrieve our belongings. Meanwhile the pool cleared out in a hurry (just like Caddyshack). As we were preparing to leave, Conor sat looking sad at our table in his towel. It was then my friend and I realised he was embarrassed about the incident. Of course I told him it was an accident and these things happen. I felt so bad for him..

The next day I saw a post on our neighborhood Facebook page asking why there were no lifeguards at the pool and the gate was locked. My friend who witnessed the incident kindly reported that there had been a “Caddyshack” moment and the pool would be open later that day. 

Of course this happened Friday evening and the pool was shut part of Saturday. In Texas. In 100 plus degrees. 

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