Saturday, April 17, 2010

Time for a change...

Today is a new day... at least for my blog.  For last three years I have been blogging on Blogger and I have finally made the switch to adding these words directly to my website.  I think it will be easier for readers to scan the Parenting Autism website for new stuff while also keeping up with my blog.  Two different website to maintain made my head spin which sometimes resulted in lack of writing. 

So, if you vow to come back here and read my blog, then I promise to write more often.  Got to run after some little boys.  Hugs, Angela

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parenthood... Is it good or bad for the autism community?

I love to junk-out on TV.  That doesn't mean I actually get to watch mainly due to the fact we don't own a television.  Like many other families with kids on the spectrum, we gave away our T.V. after we caught two year old, Tristan watching static.  I guess now not owning a tube doesn't stop you from watching shows online which I do a few times a week, but I do find myself having to schedule and prioritize. 

Last night I found myself watching Parenthood once again.  Parenthood entertains and keeps me coming back week after week.  At first I wanted to see how the writers and actors would incorporate the Aspie character, Max, but now Parenthood draws me into the drama of the relationships and struggles families face.

Sure, Parenthood is a Hollywood version of real life and always seems to end the hour on an upbeat.  Like last episode when Max received his first home behavioral services and by the end of the show Max had his first play interaction.  Not so realistic, but at least the mainstream gets a glimpse of the challenges and joys faced by a family affected by ASD.

Frankly, the most misleading part was in the second episode when Max, who is highly functioning, was asked to leave public school and the parents agreed.   First Parenthood sent a message to their viewers that parents are suddenly able to enroll their child in a private school and that they were able to dig up the money to pay.  But, the most disturbing part of the story line is that the writers erased the last thirty years of special education law that clearly states that all students are entitled to an education even if the school district must make accommodations.  

Instead of portraying parents working with their public school to create an educational environment conducive to learning  for their child with ASD, the writers took the bland way out.  Often advocating for your child within the public school offers some great stories that the Parenthood writers could have pulled from.  Perhaps the writing staff should call some parents with kids on the spectrum to see what everyday life is really like for families.

With that said I guess I will sit down tonight and watch this week's episode and I am sure I will be entertained. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blueberry Yogurt, really?

Tristan added a new food to his diet this past weekend.  Ya, we are celebrating because I can't even remember the last time Tristan added a new food.  I think it has been years.  Usually, Tristan discards a food item from his shrinking list of edibles, but his time he added blueberry,  Horizon Yogurt Tuberz.  Blueberry!  Can you believe it?  I can't, since Tristan's only fruit and vegetable he has eaten for the last 4 years has been hard (no bruises), green apples.  Maybe a red, Macintosh once in a while, but only if hunger hits and we are in an apple orchard.

I can just hear the screams, you are just dying to know his food list.  OK, here it is:
      • Manghi's whole wheat rolls
      • Chocolate Koala cereal, no milk
      • beef as a hamburger or in taco corn shells
      • Vermont Cure breakfast, maple sausages, but only at lunch time
      • Green apples
      • Corn chips
      • Plain potato chips (if we let him)
      • Pretzels
      • Veggie Bottie
      • Plain pasta with soy sauce
      • Brown rice with soy sauce
      • My homemade peperoni pizza
      • Green apple jelly beans (when let him)
      • Beef hot-dogs no ketchup
      • Fries
So, there you had it, the fifteen items Tristan will eat.  His occupational therapist and a nutritionist have been working with Tristan for about five years to expand his menu choices with minimal change.  He plays with food and smells different items (which he loves), but until now the therapy has just improved Tristan gag reflux.  Sometimes Tristan will even try to taste the food, but often it ends in a tantrum.

I have a theory on the Horizon Yogurt Tuberz, Tristan can't see what he is eating. In addition the texture is smooth.   No lumps, bumps, and-- no chewing.  I have tried freezing shakes or fruit to make Popsicles and Tristan refused, mainly do to how it looks.

Perhaps I will wash-out a Tuberz and insert some pureed carrots or strawberries and surprise Tristan.  He would probably catch-on to my deception, but it could be an idea.