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Asperger’s Syndrome

Back-to-School Information Sharing with Teachers

submitted by lawilcox

Like most parents of young children I know, I’ve been scrambling to buy school supplies and revert back to strict bedtime routines to prepare Ethan to start school in just over a week. Additionally, since Ethan lives with an Autism Spectrum Disorder – Asperger’s Syndrome – I’ve also been busy working to prepare information to be shared with his new classroom teacher next week at “Meet the Teacher” night.
Every year I tend to do the same thing(s) and I’ve had rave reviews from teachers, administrators and support staff, so I wanted to share some ideas.


Disneyland Guest Assistance Card

submitted by lawilcox

Last month we packed up and left Texas for an adventure on the West Coast. I have an aunt and uncle who live in Orange County who offered to let us stay with them while we visited Disneyland Resort and other tourist attractions in the LA area. Fortunately for us, they live about 20 minutes away from Disneyland. We were very thankful to be welcomed into their home and probably wouldn't have been able to afford the trip otherwise. Needless to say, our “accommodations” were perfect; my aunt is on a gluten-free diet herself and was very careful when shopping and cooking with all of Ethan’s additional dietary restrictions in mind.
Speaking of dietary restrictions, Disneyland was also super accommodating. If you missed Kendra’s excellent post about dining with allergies in Disney World, it is a MUST READ! We had a very similar experience in Disneyland…the staff were accustomed to hearing the words “gluten free” and “special diet.” How refreshing!
Another bonus about visiting Disneyland is that they offer a “Guest Assistance Card” for individuals with disabilities.


LEGOLAND with a LEGO Lover

submitted by lawilcox

During our recent trip out west, we spent 2 days at the LEGOLAND® California Amusement Park in Carlsbad (just north of San Diego). Several friends and even one of Ethan’s doctors have been encouraging us to take him for a couple of years now because they have seen how much he adores the little plastic building blocks and can create intricate sets and unique designs with ease. I must admit, they were right to encourage us to go! Ethan loved LEGOLAND® and we’re glad we went before he got any older.


Home Emergencies

submitted by lawilcox

Life is full of twists and turns. As kids we learn to “roll with the punches” and as adults we must handle the unexpected in life as best as we can. Raising children, especially those with ASD, we adults have the responsibility of modeling what it looks like to be flexible and handle the “curveballs” the game of life throws us - with grace and dignity. But, it isn’t always easy, is it?
Saturday evening Greg, Ethan and I arrived home from a two-week vacation out West to visit family, dig our feet in the sands of the Pacific Ocean and experience all that Disneyland and LEGOLAND have to offer. Our trip was phenomenal! Staying with family not only made our trip fiscally possible, but it was such a joy to see cousins, aunts and uncles we rarely get to see. But I’ll write more about the amazing trip in future blog posts…for now I want to share about coming home to find our Master Bedroom ½ flooded thanks to a cracked plastic connection for the toilet supply line.


The Gluten Grump

submitted by lawilcox

Many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) function in their daily environments on a Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) diet…but they’re not the only ones. More and more adults and children without ASD are finding that they, too, feel better and function better with no gluten and no casein in their diets. As one of those adults, I am here to tell you that foods can greatly impact not only our stomachs, but so much more!
While I’ve been on a 100% GF diet for about 12 years, anytime I inadvertently get cross-contaminated foods (from restaurants or items sold at the store) I get Grumpy with a capital “G”! I notice that it really affects my state of mind; I am much less patient, feel significantly more negative about life in general and find that I’m more likely to lose my cool with both Ethan and my husband. I am opposed to yelling as a parent (or spouse), but sometimes when I’ve had gluten, I am so much easier to anger and yes...sometimes I yell. I literally feel less in-control of my actions – such a miserable feeling!


Making Friends and Taking Names

submitted by lawilcox

I don’t even know where the phrase: “Kicking butt and taking names” came from, but occasionally it pops into my mind…even though the word “butt” is not commonly used in our household. However, I’ve watched Ethan do some pretty great things [socially] lately, and I have decided to alter the saying above to fit Ethan’s progress…he’s “Making friends and taking names…”


Only Children and Cousins

submitted by lawilcox

When we started our family, we never thought we would only have one child; three is what we agreed upon, two would be okay, but one was not even a consideration…until it became our reality. Trust me, I’m not complaining. I’m blessed to have Ethan; this I know. But both Greg and I grew up with brothers (I have one and he has three). We each have lots of memories of childhoods packed with adventures (and a few misadventures) with our sibling(s).
Now that Ethan is 8 and has is an only child, sometimes I catch myself feeling really sad for all that he’s missing, but I notice that when we get together with cousins around his age, I seem to ruminate about it more.


Friends with New Babies

submitted by lawilcox

If you’ve followed my blog for much time, you probably know that I’m very concerned about how changes to our environment in the past 50-100 years have affected the health and wellbeing of our entire society, but especially our children’s generation. With Autism Spectrum Disorders, asthma, life-threatening allergies, ADD/ADHD, diabetes and so much more at record numbers and on the rise in our littlest population, I’ve come to the conclusion that many variables must be to blame for these frightening increases.


Summer Heat and the Lure of Electronics

submitted by lawilcox

I don’t know about you, but with the Texas summer in full swing and triple digit temps now a daily occurrence, we’ve been spending a lot of time inside. Obviously I want Ethan to be active both inside and outside, but when we’re stuck inside in the heat of the day, he yearns to do nothing but watch TV/DVDs or playing video games.
During the school year I’m pretty strict; Ethan gets 30 minutes of video game time and 30 minutes of TV time every school day (both subject to loss for poor behavior). Weekends are more relaxed, with more TV time allowed and additional game time can be “earned” on occasion. But in the summer months, our rules are different…


When Mom Feels Lousy

submitted by lawilcox

Last night I went to bed around 9pm. That’s unusual for me – I’m a night owl and often work or watch TV after Ethan is asleep. But, I knew I needed to go to bed early because I felt lousy. Even though I’ve been gluten-free for well over a decade, there are times I get food (either from stores or restaurants) that has been cross-contaminated and it wreaks havoc on my body. Last night was one of those nights…
That also means that this morning was one of those mornings…I awoke at 7am still feeling the effects of a migraine,


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