Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your son has Autism

PDD-NOS These are the words we heard yesterday as we sat across from Ryan's wonderful psychologist. And even though these were the words we expected and wanted to hear, it was still a very emotional day.

We have always felt Ryan was on the Autism Spectrum but could never get a clear cut answer. We had a not so pleasant experience at one place, where we were told, after being in the office for 15 minutes "your son just has a speech delay and I have no idea why your pediatrician referred you here". We knew our son and we knew there was something much deeper then "just a speech delay". We didn't stop there. A year later, we sought a private psychologist. After testing, she said I see what you see but on paper, he isn't qualifying for a diagnosis. We were ok with this as at the time. We didn't need a diagnosis but wanted peace of mind. Ryan was getting all of his therapies paid for through the county funding.

We were placed with a service coordinator to oversee all of our services and to make sure all of our paper work was in order to have everything paid for. When she was here for her yearly visit in February she mentioned we could hire a behavioral therapist if we thought we needed extra help. We did and that is how we found our psychologist, Dr. Janet and our wonderful behavioral therapist, Kate. We then signed up for a social skills class for the summer and sent Ryan to summer camp at Easter Seals so that he would continue to be in a structured environment.

Eight months have passed and we have seen tremendous growth in Ryan. The tantrums are now minimal and much easier to deal with. He used to reach his "point of no return" as we call it, several times a day. Now, it's down to once a week. We still have moments, every day, but we are able to bring Ryan back down much easier, before he reaches this point. Kate comes to our house once a week and works with me on Ryan's behaviors and how to help him cope easier. We use picture schedules and try to redirect him.

Over the summer, Dr. Janet really got to know Ryan during the social skills class and then started the testing in October. As we walked into her office today, we weren't sure what to expect. We were already thinking about next year when Ryan is supposed to start Kindergarten but we aren't quite sure he is ready. And the thought of putting him in a classroom with 26 other kids, makes us very nervous. If we didn't get a diagnosis, we were considering holding him back a year in hopes that his social skills and speech would be better.

As we heard these words from her, the tears started down my face. All of those emotions that I felt over the past 3 years when we first noticed symptoms in Ryan came back and all of the frustration of not knowing (even though we did). I wasn't sad though. I was relieved. Relieved to finally have someone say what we have felt all along.

This opens so many more doors for Ryan. He will continue to get all of those services he needs and we will be able to work more with the school district to make sure he is in the right spot. Our goal is a smaller special education classroom and some mainstreaming, possibly with an aid. We also have the option of looking at other schools that help kids with Autism and learning disabilities. It is good to have options.

Ryan's prognosis is great though. We will continue to do everything we can for him and make sure he gets the best education he deserves.

We are so incredibly grateful to all of our friends and family for all of your support and continued support.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat 2009

The boys went out trick or treating last night. They had so much fun. We had a Star Wars theme this year (yes, again). Ethan picked out Jango Fett at the store and Ryan decided he wanted to be Star Wars too so he got the hand me down Darth Vader costume. Ryan was totally into it this year, said Trick or Treat at every house and even remembered to say thank you too. And a big thanks to Uncle Justin for coming over and handing out candy so that we could all go out together.

Here are some pics:

Tonight is a big night as well. Greg and Ethan get to go to their second BlueJackets game this week. Another friend has free tickets and asked them to go so I decided to do something fun as well. I am taking Ryan to see the Disney Mickey Mouse show.

I hope he loves it and I can't wait to see his face light up.
Here are a couple of pics from Ethan & Greg's trip to the BlueJackets game. They had a suite! Talk about spoiled!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Run for Row 2009

Most of you that I met some of my best friends on a mommy message board. We all met while planning on our weddings on and made our own little board later. Last November I made this post about my dear friend Andrea. She lost her husband, Matt, in a horrible accident at work and we all rallied around her in support. A couple of weeks ago the company that Matt worked for held a memorial 5k to raise money for trust funds for the kids. I was so glad I was able to go. There were about 20 of us that were able to make the trip and we had the best time, all while holding Matt, Andrea and their children, Jacob & Sydney, very close to our hearts.

We made a pit stop first, to pick up our friend, Wendi, and party with Hair Razor. We had a few shots and partied like rock stars.

Saturday morning we made the trek to Buffalo where we met up with the rest of our group. It was so great to see everyone again and to give Andrea a great big hug. Saturday night Andrea threw a party for us, complete with awesome food and an open bar. I still don't know what she was thinking, giving us an open bar, the night before the race.

Sunday, was the race & walk. I was able to do some of it but had to call it a day because of my back/leg issues but waited at the finish line to cheer everyone on.

Monday we made our trek back to the Buckeye state but not before some tearful goodbyes.

Andrea is doing wonderfully though. She has to be one of the strongest, thoughtful and inspirational women I have ever met. Her strength is admirable.

I promise to put a real blog up soon.....

but if you could help us out for a minute, that would be great!
I never enter in photo contests but Ethan's pic was chosen as a finalist to win a birthday party at Coco Key Water park.
Here is the link: Photo Contest

At the bottom, click where it says vote. Ethan's is the top picture. Click on the little dot on the left side to check mark it and then cast your ballot at the bottom of that page. His really is the best picture.

Back to school blog coming soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Kelly" Camping 2009

We had our annual Syferd camping trip last weekend. Because of Ryan's graduation, Ethan and Greg headed up Thursday and Ryan and I drove out Friday morning. The boys loved the beach and the little wading pool. Ethan loved cooking with daddy and looking for firewood. Ryan wasn't as excited about that but he did love to walk up and down the steps to our cabin and look for rocks.

And you might be asking why it's called "Kelly" camping. Well, I am not a big fan of nature or sleeping on the ground. I am also not a fan of critters in the middle of the night coming up and stealing all of our food. So we compromise. We get a cabin where I can have a bed and running water (ie. shower & FLUSH toilet) and Greg gets the big fire pit where he can cook all of our meals. See, it's a win win for me! Greg is so awesome camping too. He does everything, including the dishes! It's a little vacation for me.

Here are some pics:

Ryan in the wading pool:

Ethan driving the boat.

Taking aim. Greg took him the naturalist center for an archery class. He loved it and was really good at it!

Ethan driving the boat and my new favorite picture of him.

Ryan having his turn driving.

And one of the many, yummy things Greg made in his dutch oven.
Caramel Apple Crisp

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our Graduates

The last week has been very busy. We feel incredibly blessed that both of their teachers were fabulous. First, Ethan graduated from Kindergarten. He is so excited to go to first grade and get to play on the big playground AND eat lunch at school. I don't think he realizes just how long the actual school day is but hopefully he will adjust. Here are some pics from Ethan's graduation:

Getting his diploma from his teacher. She was so wonderful for Ethan. So sweet & calm. I was always amazed at how well all of the kids listened to her.

High five from his teacher

Ethan and I (and some tears)

Tonight was Ryan's graduation from early intervention. He was pretty overwhelmed by all of the people invading his playground but he was very happy to receive his present from his teacher.

Ryan, with his teacher, Miss Lisa. We are so sad that Ryan won't have her a teacher anymore but he will have her for summer camp. I know I will be a crying mess on Ryan's last day of camp. She has been such a blessing to us.

Our graduate

Reading his music card from Grandma (with the kitty cats)

It is so bittersweet. I want my babies to be babies forever but I can't wait to see the wonderful, young men they will become.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Better watch out for mama bear.

I have a new pet peeve. People that are impatient towards buses.

First, some background. Both of the boys started riding the school bus this year. Ethan gets on at the stop at the corner and then is dropped off at home. Ryan is picked up and dropped off at home. I walk him out, the bus driver walks him to his seat and gets him buckled. Same with drop off, the driver unbuckles him and I wait at the bottom of the bus for him. Ethan gets on and off by himself since there are no buckles (and why is it that there are no seatbelts on a bus?).

Since Ryan is buckled into a car seat, it takes about 1-2 minutes to get him adjusted and for the bus driver to walk back to her seat, buckles herself, shut the door and turn off the lights. I can't tell you how many times people wait at the bus, honking their horns because taking 2 minutes to make sure children are safe & secure is too much to ask. There have been 4-5 times where his bus driver has taken down license plate numbers because they have ignored the red lights & stop sign, paused and then just kept on going. I hope they got a big fat ticket.

So today, I am outside waiting for Ryan to get home. I hear his bus coming and walk down towards the street. I see the bus coming, slowing down, yellow lights on. She comes to a stop in front of our driveway, red lights & stop sign on and then I see a old, beat up, black full size van (if I had the license plate I would post it) coming from the opposite direction, completely oblivious to the bus that is stopped. The bus driver is totally on top of it though and doesn't open the door. I then walk in front of the bus and start yelling at the driver. Hello!! Do you not see the big, bright red lights flashing? He said they were yellow when he passed and that he didn't have to stop. Yellow or not, ever hear of slowing down and yielding to protect our children? Are you in that big of a hurry that you can't slow down and yield to the bus? The lights were on so slow your ass down.
So about 10 minutes later, I see a lady walk up to the door and ring the doorbell. I get up to answer and she says she was in the passenger side of the van that I yelled at.
Uh huh. Your point?
Well, you really scared us when you screamed at us.
You were supposed to stop, dumbass. (Ok, I didn't really call her a dumbass to her face but well...)And I didn't scream, I yelled. I am trying to protect my child and get him on and off the bus safely. I don't care if I scared you, at least then you stopped.
Well, the lights were yellow. And we were distracted looking for a house number. (She then tried to apologize but really, there is no excuse.)
No they weren't and I hope the bus driver got your license plate number and called it in. And if you are distracted enough and don't see or acknowledge a huge bus with bright red lights, then you shouldn't be driving.

I then shut my door.

And I just love it how the man who was driving didn't have the guts to come up and confront me himself or even try to redeem himself to apologize.

Now, I really try to be a nice person and generally, I can be a nice person even if I don't like you (don't tell anyone my secret). I can put up a good front. But, when you mess with my kids or their safety, you better believe that mama bear is gonna come out with claws on.

Now, I am just hoping we don't wake up with our house tp'd or egged.