Black Friday, Biofeedback, Farmhouse, and WFG

Its been a while since I last wrote. I find it hard to write in here unless I’m all alone in the house. But regardless I shall try.
Black Friday was AMAZING. I was wake for 40hours straight, but all was good. I managed to grab a Powerwheels 4×4 for $88. The car was so packed on the way home Jenn and I were pushed right up to the dash and you could not fit one more thing in that car. Can you believe I got TWO powerwheels jeeps in a Saturn Ion LOL and they said it couldn’t be done.
Saturday I worked. Then I went out with my friend Lisa to her parents farm. There house is amazing!! Her dad is a contractor and gets unused marble and pillers and makes his house look amazing. I would kill to live there.
Her mom also does this thing called Biofeedback. Which is suppose to be usually when it comes to kids with autism. I was alittle skeptical at first but after OMG it was AMAZING!! When I have a few more minutes I’ll come and write all about his session. One thing I know is we must do a detox and start cutting back on his sugar intake.
I’m looking at getting involved with this group my friend Lisa is in. Its call the world financial group. If you google it you get mixed reviews. But Lisa has been trying to get me involved because she knows about my dream to homeschool. I could do this part time and make $45,000 a year min. If it wasn’t Lisa and Dave involved in this I would say its BS. But Lisa is one of my friends I trust the most. So I’m going to look into it. Worst case senerio I waste $300 on the classes, and I would have a licences to sell insurance. I mean if it will give me the chance to stay at home most of the time with my son, then I’m all for it. Hours at work are getting slim and I want to pay off all my debt and get my house ASAP.
Well I best be going πŸ™‚

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He read his first book!! Great Learning Songs CD

Well all are hard work paid off! Wesley read his first book almost independent. He even read a new word without being taught it. Mind you this is a very simple book “The cat sees me… The dog sees me…etc.” BUT even so this is his first book, he was reading the words by himself, and he had never read the story before. I’m so proud of him.
Basically what happened was I had these books ready but never showed them to him. We had our parent tutor overlap today and his senior tutor just suggested we just try them and see how well it goes. Well he read about 85% independently. His senior was just jumping with joy, saying “I can’t believe this, I mean he’s only four!” “You have to bring this book to the next clinic meeting so we can show Rene(his ABA consultant), he’s not going to believe me when i tell him this.” Makes a mother proud πŸ™‚
Another thing he has learned this week is his days of the week!! Its so cute to hear him recite them to me.
http://www.acceleratedlearningmethods.com/learning-songs.html#back
I love this product. The songs are simple but help kids learn. Right now we are focused on the cementing the days of the week in our head πŸ™‚ Repetition does wonders for our minds πŸ™‚ Were also learning our months of the years, and countries and continents. Its amazing.
The company I purchased it from is great too. One of the two discs only plays when it feels like it. So I emailed and explained my problem and they called me back in 5 mins. No joke it was that fast. They orginally wanted me to send the product back but when they found out I was from Canada, they said to nevermind that part because shipping would be so much. So they are sending me a replacement disc πŸ™‚
I hope everyone is having a great week like me. We are one step closer to getting a mortgate. Hopefully in the New Year we will be moving into a new house!! This apartment living is hard with 3 people full time in a 2 bedroom apartment and an extra person every weekend when my bf’s daughter is here.
Well have a nice evening πŸ™‚ And thank you to my 2 new followers, how cool is that πŸ™‚

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I want to be frugal…

I love saving money and watching my debt go down. I love hearing about people feeding there families great dinners for $40 a week, I love hearing ways of saving money. But its hard for my family. I’m willing to trim the fat off our spending, however my bf is not so crazy about this. We are trying to save to buy a house, and I know things are going to have to change. I want to have another baby in a year or two. I think once that happens and I’m at home again, saving on meals will become easier. Another thing that makes the food budget difficult to manage is the fact my son has an allergy to dairy and gluten and my bf is gluten intolerent.
Can anyone suggests some good sites or blogs to me, has anyone ever sucessfully converted a non-frugal person into a frugal one?

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What dairy and gluten does to my son

I was asked to write a little blurp about gluten and what it does to some people like my son, so this is what I came up with. I figured I’d share with you guys too:)
My son has been gluten free since he was 2.5 years old. What is gluten? Why did I choose to remove it from my son’s diet?
In 2005 I had a beautiful little boy. As he grew older he started sending us red flags. I always imaged myself teaching my son so many things. However he was a difficult baby. Always throwing up, screaming and crying all hours of the night. We tried everything, from Ovol gas drops to chiropractics. They both helped him with the stomach pains but something was still off. He was in and out of the doctors office, he had a chronic cough, runny nose and was on and off anti-biotics. When I first switched my son from breast milk to formula and started to notice the difference in him I ask the doctor if he could be allergic to milk. His response was “No the chances of that were one in a million, Milk allergies are so rare. So I believed him and for months we had these issues. I was a young mom having had Wesley one month after turning 20. I was a straight edge parent, following everything the doctor said to a tee. Things were not right, Wes was not crawling yet, he sat there all the time and stared into space. Finally after one day when Wes was 11 months old I noticed mucous in his diaper. That was it, I called around the city and finally booked an appointment with a pediatrian. He sent my son for allergy testing.
After waiting for 4 months to get into the specialist. I held my little boy down while they marked his chubby arms with little a pen to match a little grid with all the possible allergens on a paper. Then they started scratching those pen marks with little needles. As he screamed they wrapped his arm up in paper towel and taped it. I was instructed that it would take 15mins for the results to be available. He screamed and screamed, finally I opened the door and asked the nurse if this was normal. She told me some kids have a harder time then others. So I tried cuddling and rocking him and nothing seemed to help. My last resort, I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a sippy cup of milk. This settled him, just in time. The nurse came back and removed the paper towel. She said he seem to have a reaction the one item, the milk. I looked down at my baby’s tear stained face and he sucked back the white poison.
Wesley started developing language well and at 18months had about 15 words he used regularly. Then we went for our 18month check up and that’s when things went down hill. At the visit they gave him his vaccine, and that night he had a terrible fever. From then on his words were gone.
I started thinking about removing gluten from my son’s diet after reading Jenny McCarthy’s book “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” when he was 2. Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins are also found in rye, barley and possibly oats. At this time I was in denial, I knew he was language delayed, but I refused to believe he had autism. But deep down I think I knew.
It wasn’t until that terrible day in January 2008 when Wesley was diagnosis with autism did I revisit the idea of removing the gluten. A month later we visited a naturopathic doctor, who had me remove gluten and soy from his diet on top of the dairy that was removed a while back.
It wasn’t an easy, kids that are sensitive to gluten are sometimes actually addicted to it. Wesley went through a withdraw period, where his behaviours went threw the roof. But after the rough stage things did get better. His speech started to improve. He started adding in little phrases, seemed happier. Another thing is we were able to start potty training him because his digestive system started to work right. Basically what was happening to my son was the gluten was effecting the lining of the intestinal wall and large particles of food were getting into his blood stream and effecting the brain. The body was then sending out antibodies to fight the particles. This was causing my son little body to go into overload.
You can see a MAJOR change in his attention to detail, and if he accidentally has something that has gluten in it he does act up and has trouble with concentrating. One day we will try and re introduce it, but for now he’s doing great.

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Maybe losing our tutor!!! Oh No!!

Well we found out off the record that our tutor might be leaving us πŸ™ The centre that hired her promised her a certain wage after for 3 months, and in the end after a raving review gave her a an insulting 26cent raise. So she was depending on making more and now may not beable to afford to keep with Wesley.
I told them his dad and I are prepared to offer her the 2 dollars an hour more out of our pockets. But really the centre should honor there promise.
Its so damn frustrating we had a bad tutor who fell asleep on a public bus and a public park during a field trip while supervising Wesley and that cost us 3 months of a 3 year program while they trained and got our current tutor. We can’t afford to waste another 3 months.
I’m at wits end. Its not fair! Plus Wesley is running so many program, it would be so hard for a new tutor to jump in and keep up to him πŸ™
So once she announces this is what she is thinking, Brian and I(hopefully our consultant too) are going to the CEO of the company and were going to fight to keep her.
The person that told me this doens’t think she would accept the money from us, but I don’t know I have to figure something out…

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A Child’s Journey out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure

I sat down and read this book a few months ago. Now anyone that I hear that get the diagnosis of autism and try to get them to read it. Its called “A Child’s Journey out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure” By Leeann Whiffen.
Its a story about a mother who pulls her son Clay out of autism and saves him from being trapped in his own little world. Her story truly touched me, I could not put the book down. I myself was in the process of setting up an ABA program for my son and I really truly felt the emotions she was writing about.
I feel blessed to have read her book because she helps mothers like me see that were not alone. She gives us hope that we to can save our children. It is amazing that she puts her heart and soul into the pages she write, her pain and suffering, and her great successes out there for us to read.
I think its important that people with autistic children and heck even parents with typical children learn that it is our responsibility as parents to protect our children and not everything the doctors and specialist say are right for your child. I had one specialist telling me that the gluten and dairy free diets would not help my child. That his digestive issues were not related to autism. Well we did it anyways and poof, I have a whole new happier child.
What I’m trying to say is educate yourself, ask questions, and follow your gut. I combined alot of therapies and make them work. My son attends a full time ABA program, attends daycare full time, is on the gf/cf diet, has an at home Doman program, home schooled in the evenings, has a good pededitrian, sees a natropathic doctor, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. All these programs as contradicting as they may seem all have there time and place. I am very involved in every aspect of my son’s life. I let him live his life but all these people know that I have high expectations out of all of them, and if they fall short and fail my son I will be following up with it. I also pull my weight with this, I research, provide materials and make sure they have what they need to help my son. This has put me thousands of dollars in debt, but the window of opportunity is closing alittle everyday. I will have years to pay off my debt, I only have 10months left till my son goes to kindergarten.
The author of this book help me realize I have to fight to save my son and it is possible. She had the strenght to challenge people and the fight to prove them wrong when they told her there was no cure for autism.

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My thoughts so far on Little Reader by BrillKids

Well after spending a long time hmmming and hahhhing last week I finally took the plung and purchase the Little Reader program by BrillKids. Originally I thought maybe I could just get by by using PowerPoint presentations to teach my son how to read. But the more I read the forum the more I needed to get this for my son. But to be honest money was an issue. I’m working really hard right now to get out of debt and purchasing such an expensive product that was really intended for babies kind of worried me.
For those of you who have never heard of Little Reader before(like me a few months ago) this is what the website describes it as “Ideal for babies and young children, Little Reader is the most effective learning system for teaching your child to read. At the heart of Little Reader is a revolutionary software system that delivers lessons in ways never before possible, making learning ENGAGING for your child, and EASY for you.”
Lots of people suggested I try the free trial, get a feel for it. But it was one of those things where you needed a credit card and I’m terrible at cancelling stuff like that before the date. (Right now I believe you don’ need a credit card)
So then last weekend I noticed it was on sale for 40%. Well that was it, I struggled with my credit card, called the company and waited on hold to get a secure code and there I had it, Little Reader.
So like I said we’ve been doing it for a week now. At first I didn’t feel he was really learning from it because he wasn’t transferring what he new from LR to paper flash cards. Now I can see after a week, I write the new words that he has been introduced in LR and it seems to take him much less time to transfer that knowledge to flashcards. Plus its easier to get him to work on his paper flashcards where I have him read the words to me now that I can use some of Little Readers more fun presentations Like “Counting Bubbles” or “The Alphabet Song” to encourage him to do his lessons. I also like that the Little Reader community has put together so many programs and now I can start an Encyclopedic Knowledge program with him with ease. My only complaint is that I don’t like that it freezes so often when I’m doing a multi sensory program.
So all and all as a mother of a 4 year old son, I think this program is totally worth it. Now that I’ve used it a bit I would have paid full price for it. LOL But of course being from Winnipeg the bargain Hunter capital of the world lol I’m glad I got it at a discounted price πŸ™‚ My son loves this program and it is opening his eyes up a little wider every day.
Now I leave you with a pic of my son yesterday at the park. We were goofing around with a few friends and a camera. πŸ™‚


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I have to remember to not blame myself and remember to take care of myself too…

Okay so apparently I’m not very good at this lol. To be honest i thought no one was reading until I got a post on LR forum. So thank-you for the push. I guess I have to keep writing in order for people to read LOL.
So what does a mother of an autistic child worry about… Maybe the better question is what don’t we worry about. I’m one of the lucky ones, my son is very high functioning, my heart breaks for the the mothers who are completely locked out of there child’s world.
My major worry with my son is, will he fit in. I cry at night worrying about this, wondering what I can do during the day to make him better. When he was first diagnosed I spent sleepless night beating myself up, maybe while pregnant I had eaten only organic, maybe if I had not allowed myself my weekly can of Pepsi… Or when he was a baby maybe I should not thought people who did not vaccinate were bad parents, maybe I should have looked into it more… My boyfriend helped me realize there was nothing I could have done, it is what it is and now I have to focus on helping him.
Sometimes my boyfriend can be crude, he’s told me himself he couldn’t be with him if he were someone else because he thinks he’s an @sshole. But you know what, I can look over the faults because he’s one of my biggest strengths. I think all mothers with autistic children need to have someone to lean on. Most of us are single parents, statistic show that 80% of parents with autistic children are split. He’s there for me to take over when Wes is having a fit and I just can’t handle it anymore, he’s there to take care of me when we’ve had a bad day. He reminds me to take care of myself and when I’m putting out more then I can handle. He proves me all the love I need, the adult conversation, the list goes on. I could sit here and list his negatives too, but whats the point. After reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers Mandy, I started to think. She writes about her husband, and sat there and talked about all his positives and how not going behind his back and complaining about his negatives has helped there relationship. This really hit home, and I’m trying it out, and you know what things are getting a little better each day πŸ™‚
But an update about my little man now. He makes me so happy, he is doing great with his reading, I think were almost at 135 words, and we just started in August πŸ™‚ We read together, I point to the words as I read and I stop on the words I know he knows and he reads them for me.
He’s having some compliance issues at daycare but that’s too be expected. The real issue is the politics between the daycare and the ABA staff. Everyone is quick to blame and I sometimes get dragged in the middle. And I can’t choose sides because in the end daycare and ABA have done so much for my son. They just need to learn to get along(and things are getting better)because the main thing is Wesley, and in the end his misbehavior is not either of their faults, so instead of fighting they should work together to come up with a solution. But they seemed to have come to terms for now, there communicating better, leaving me out of there disagreements(things that really don’t effect me and my son that where causing me alot of stress)and there confident that Wesley will be alot more compliant πŸ™‚
Some days when Wes does something a little quirky I have to remind myself that he is just a child and that very few people that meet him think of him as autistic, and that his actions are more like his typical peers, and I have to because not to harp on him to much. Because he is who he is and “I’ll love (him) forever, I’ll like (him) for always as long as I’m living my baby (he’ll) be.”

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First entries are always difficult to write. So please bare with me.
Since my son was born I wanted to teach him. I know how smart little children are and how much they can learn if parents just take the time. Things didn’t go so smoothly for us.
No matter how hard I tried I could not teach him. He was a late crawler, a late walker, a very late talker(were still working on this) and he was hard to control. I couldn’t reason with him, not even a little. Times he just plain ignored me. However he was smart, he needed to know how everything worked, he just would not allow me to teach him.
He did OK in the infant program at his daycare. He bonded with his caregiver. But when he was moved to the toddler room he did not adjust so well. Every morning, involved him crying in the parking lot before we even got out of the car. The staff was little help, leaving there to peel my son off myself and leave him there crying. Because of his allergies he could not sit at the group table instead he ate his lunch alone in a corner in a highchair.
At the time we were trying to get him into speech therapy and had to go through the Children’s Development Clinic. I had to fill out countless forms, and I dropped on off at the daycare for them to complete. When I got that completed form I sat in the daycare parking lot that night and cried.
It read comments like “Wesley spends most of his time sitting in a corner with a toy staring into space. If another child takes the toy from him he does not get upset just begins wandering around the room” or “Wesley shows no interest in spending time with his caregiver, when shown books he refuses to sit” They also talked about he could not do puzzles, which he did at home all the time. How he seemed sad all the time, Wesley has always been a happy kid, until he started the toddler program.
After I read this report I was done. One month in this room was long enough. Why would they allow him to sit alone and not engage him, even if he doesn’t respond right away try again! I could see he was being ignored because all the other children could talk and Wesley was never one to demand attention. I called around and put him on a few waiting list for other centres. I expected it to take months as childcare is difficult to find.
However only a week or two later I got a call at work from a daycare in our local deaf center. They had a spot available for Wesley to start the next Monday. I started to panic, I needed to give the other center 2 weeks notice or I would have to pay for that spot and this new one. Plus I wanted to visit the centre, talk to the workers and make sure this was for Wesley. Because they demanded a yes or no answer I had to turn them down. But a few minutes later they called back and said because Wesley(being non verbal at the time) could benefit more then the other children on their wait list they would hold the spot for the two week period as long as I agreed to come down the next morning check out the center and give a firm answer.
The centre was everything I dreamed, it was slightly Montessori. Children were cloth diapered, and they used a emerging curriculum. Children learned using things they were interested in. Plus they signed, and not baby sign, real ASL. What more could a mother ask for. I had been trying to teach my son ASL and it was starting to come along.
Wesley still cried when I left, but he was included into the group activities. They included him at lunch. They exposed him to more and more signs. He was understanding the deaf caregivers. And the children included him, they just assumed he was deaf and thats why he didn’t talk, and the caregivers helped them understand he wasn’t deaf, he just needed help getting his words out. And when he would say something all the children would cheer ‘Wesley talked!! Wesley Talked to ME!!” They were and still are so supportive of him. Plus his director put in a few words at the Children’s Development Clinic and helped get him bumped up the list.
What I found out on that cold January day in 2008 almost paralyzed me. Dr. Bowman looked at me in the eyes and said “Your son has many strenghts, however I do see alot of autistic tendencies” I tried to reason with her, ” Wesley is not autistic! He makes eye contact, he loves being with me, he smiles! He bonds with people, autistic kids don’t do that.” “Ms.D*****, the autism spectrum is very wide. I will run a few more test, but I already have a good idea what they are going to say.” I went on to ask about Jenny McCarthy’s method, she shot it down and not scientifically based. I asked if he would recover, they refused to give me real hope.
We did the test. Results were in he was on the spectrum. We were offered either ABA which I was told was for stay at home moms and would not be doable for us, or a one on one worker and an autism counciler.
We tried that path. It worked alittle, but I wanted more for my son. He needed MORE.
My new boyfriend at the time called me at work after reading an article about a family who moved across the country to participate in the local ABA program. I told him it was for stay at home moms, and he said “Monique, these parents were both busy doctors.” So I called and booked a meeting with the program. They assured us they could work with Wes at his daycare and I’d only have to miss work once ever two weeks. We got the ball rolling and wow. Just WOW.
I’m not going to lie, we hit some bumps. One being out first tutor who was good at first, stopped caring sore something. She fell asleep on a public bus during a fieldtrip with Wesley’s daycare while she was suppose to be supervising him. Then the next day feel asleep at a public park while she was incharge. When I found out about this I demanded she never come near my son again as she was neglecting him and putting his life in danger. I don’t think I have to go into detail about what could have happened to him.
Now Wesley has a wonderful tutor who teaches him so much! She’s really an angel to us.
When Wesley was 5months old I became a single mom. Things just did not work out between me and his dad. When Wes was a week shy of 3 I met my current boyfriend, who in his own unorthodox ways teaches Wesley so much. As soon as I learned to step back and allow him to get involoved he helped teach Wesley boundries and respect. He helps me every day, I don’t know what I would do without him.
Now Wesley where is he today. WOW he is doing AMAZING. He can sign over 100words, but is depending mostly on his speech. He’s still uses short sentences, but is improving everyday. He can spell his name, count to 25, read 50 words(just started learning a few weeks ago and is just soaking this stuff up) knows hos alphabet and what sound each letter makes. He plays with his peers, loves trains, cars, puzzles and Franklin.
I have ABA to thank, and also a modified Doman Technique, Your Baby Can Read and The Letter Factory.
I hope to come here and update regularly about Wesley progress and any new programs were trying.
Love Monique


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