I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Noah's "Spooky" Halloween Story

Once upon a time there was a monster. He was so nice. On Halloween he didn't scare no one.  Instead, he gave all the kids candy. The End.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Noah Has Such an Attitude!

Noah's really making me laugh today.  His spelling is still sporadic, but when he's "on" he is on!

We were sitting at the table and Nandi & Eli were spouting off math facts and getting them all wrong.

"7 + 3 IS nine!!'

"No it's not, it's 8!!!"

This went on for about 5 minutes and Noah got increasingly upset. Finally, he started rocking back and forth and shrieking while banging his head.

I asked him, "Noah, are you mad that they're messing up all the math facts?" (If you'll recall, Noah's favorite thing for me to do is to sing the multiplication tables.)

And he spelled out Y-E-S.


"B-E-C-A-U-S-E  I  N-O  E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!"

I didn't point out that he obviously doesn't know how to spell "know".  We'll work on that one later. =)

We also started on Noah's diet again today. The past month was just awful. My hat is off to any parent who works full-time. I don't know how you do it!! I spent the last month working on the auction and our diet went by the wayside. I just can't seem to focus on more than one thing at a time. Anyway, today it's back to sweet potatoes and kale!

Well, Noah doesn't seem to be too happy about that. Sim made him a really tasty lunch with beef and sweet potatoes and zucchini, but Noah refused to do touch it.

I said "Noah, do you like what Daddy made you?"


"What do you think of it?"

I-T-S  N-O-T  M-Y  T-O-P  C-H-O-I-C-E.

That cracked me up. It sounded so much like Simeon. It'll be really interesting to see if Noah picks up on some of Sim's phrasing and the British slang he uses.

Finally,  Noah was tugging on me a lot while I was at the stove. I was trying to multi-task and cook, talk to my mom on the phone, and figure out what video Noah wanted to watch all at the same time. But Noah kept coming up to me and tugging on me. I ended up burning the pumpkin "pancakes" (they're just pumpkin and egg and VERY difficult to make, I think. They don't hold well).  Well, I got aggravated at Noah and he stormed off.  When I asked him what was on his mind, he spelled out...

"S-O-R-R-Y  F-O-R  N-E-E-D-I-N-G  Y-O-U-R  T-I-M-E  M-O-M!"

What a stinker!  It was like a knife to the heart... which he knew. But he spelled it with such attitude. He reminds me of me at that age. Scary thought! Have a I ever blogged about my third grade teacher who told my parents that I would end up in juvy hall by the time I was a teenager?  I was a pistol in elementary school. But I turned out okay.

I think.

And I'm pretty sure Noah's going to turn out just fine, as well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Noah's First Poem

Things have been so busy around here that I haven't had a chance to actually sit down and write much. Right now, I'm just writing down Noah's conversations so that I won't forget them.

Here's his first poem. He wrote it (well, pointed it!) last Friday when were in Austin to work with Soma.  She had him pick two words that rhyme and then she told him to make sentence using those words. I think it adds an extra dimension to his cleverness. =)

1.  The ride was long
     I heard a song

That was written after we finally arrived at HALO. It took 4 hours to get there because I was stuck behind a mobile home going 40 mph for a good 70 minutes.  I sure hope Noah didn't pick up any the words I was saying along the way....

2. I heard a noise
    I had no choice
    It came from running boys
    Not from toys

This was written after our lunch break. We were headed back and some college kids thought it'd be fun to dart in and out of traffic - on foot.

Again, I'm just waiting for Noah to spell out his first cuss word...  uh, I plead the fifth.

Last night we were at my parents' house and we asked Noah what his favorite thing about Papa is and he spelled out


Then we said, "What else?" and he spelled out H-I-S  R-O-Y

That's when we realized that Noah was meaning the songs that Papa makes up. My dad is forever making up rhymes and songs and several of them call Noah "Roy" in them, after Roy Rogers. These songs were made up when Noah was a baby and they're all about Noah being Papa's future cowboy.. hence, the name Roy.  When he was little, my dad called him Noah Roy a lot.

Who would've known that Noah would catch on to that??!!

Again, it goes to show that our kids are constantly listening to everything we say and are constantly aware of everything that's going on.

Then we said, "What else do you like about Papa?" and he spelled out M-Y O-T-H-E-R  S-O-N-G-S.

Since Noah was the first grandchild, he has about 5 or 6 songs that are exclusively about him.

Anyway, I said, "Okay, Noah. Pick something else."  and he spelled out S-O-N-G-S.

"Noah, what do you like about Papa besides songs?" and he spelled out S-O-N-G-S.

Guess who has a stubborn streak?? lol

So I said, "Noah, pick something else and don't start it with an "S"! ", so he spelled out H-I-S  S-O-N-G-S.

Isn't that hysterical?  He's so funny. I mean, he's totally straight-faced while doing it, but you know that he's cracking up inside.

Oh, one more thing!  He brought me a can of Sprite from my mom's fridge and wanted it. Normally, I wouldn't give it to him (we are trying soooo hard with this new diet), but it'd been kind of a bad day and I was all emotional and gave in. Kids sure do know when you're most likely to say yes, don't they??

But I made him spell it! That counts for something, right?

So he spelled out S-T... then he stopped. Then, I kid you not, he looked at the Sprite can and then spelled it correctly. S-P-R-I-T-E.  He's never done that. It was so awesome. Then I said "What do you say?" and he spelled out T-H-A-N-K  Y-O-U.  Awww.

I will say that this definitely didn't happen overnight. We first took Noah to Soma's 4 1/2 years ago and he still has a long way to go.  With Soma, he does most of the spelling independently, but with me I have to hold his hand.  I don't move his hand at all, although it looks like it. We're really working on this because no one will ever believe that he's actually guiding his hand, not me, and he'll do it independently with Soma. So that's what we're working on now. Plus, he won't do it with anyone other than me or Soma. There's definitely a lot of work left to be done.

Gotta stop right now or the kids will be late for school.  Then it's home, therapy, and mailing out items from the SCH auction that ended on Monday. We raised over $1500 for Sarah's Covenant Homes! Niiiiiice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Conversations with Noah

I know that if I don't sit down right now and put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) then I'll forget. And I know that I owe a big explanation on what we're doing with Noah and all that, and I will try to write something soon.  In the meantime, Noah is amazing us lately with his spelling on the letter board.

Noah, if you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be? T-A-L-K

What's the hardest thing about being 9 (almost 10)?  N-O-T  T-O-I-L-E-T  T-R-A-I-N-E-D

What's your favorite song at the moment? S-O-M-E-O-N-E  L-I-K-E  Y-O-U

Noah! I change that song every time I hear it. (I'm a bit tired of it).  Do you want me to stop changing it?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? T-E-X-A-S  W-I-T-H   M-O-M

If you could invent anything, what would it be? T-O-Y-S  T-H-A-T  D-O-N-T  C-O-S-T

When were you the happiest in your life?  M-E-E-T-I-N-G   A-N-O-O-P  (when he met Anoop Desai backstage at the American Idols tour)

What's the one thing you would change in the world? T-O-I-L-E-T  T-R-A-I-N    E-Z

What's the one thing in the world you couldn't live without? M-O-M-S   L-O-V-E

And, finally,  I went to check on Noah last night and he was still up.  He grabbed my hand and put it to his mouth.  I knew he had a loose tooth, so I felt inside and saw that he'd lost it.  There was also a tiny bit of the blood on the floor. I immediately said, 'Oh Noah! Did you lose your tooth? You poor thing!?"  He got agitated and led me to the door and pushed me out.

This morning I asked why and he spelled T-R-E-A-T-E-D  L-I-K-E  A  T-O-Y.  I said, "I treated you like a toy?"  Y-E-S.   "How should I have treated you?"  L-I-K-E   A  S-U-N  (son).

And it was so profound! Had it been Eli, I would have been like "Cool dude! Hi-5!  Tooth fairy's comin' to see you tonight."

But with Noah, I treated him like a baby.  And he didn't like it. Not one bit.

I am so grateful for all the new things I'm learning about Noah... and the lessons he's teaching me.

I promise that when things slow down, I'll try to explain what we're doing and why I think it's (finally!) working.  In the meantime, we've come up with these "Conversation Starters" by googling Conversation Starters for kids.  We try to ask about 4 or 5 to the kids each night at supper. We're having a blast with them!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Q & A with Noah

Q&A with Noah (on the letterboard)

What’s your favorite color?  G-R-E-E-N

What’s your favorite food? R-I-C-E

What's your favorite dinosaur? S-T-E-G-A-S-O-R-U-S 

What’s your favorite movie? E-L-M-O I-S G-O-O-D

Which Elmo movie?  H-A-N-D-S  (Elmo has Two Hands, Feet, and Ears)

Who's your favorite singer right now? A-D-E-L (he meant "Adele")

What's your favorite holiday? C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S

What do you want for your birthday? D-R  P-E-P-P-E-R

No, Noah. What toy do you want for your birthday? T-R-A-I-N

What famous person would you like to meet? M-I-L-E-Y  C-Y-R-U-S  (lol... really??)

What’s your favorite book? M-R  G-U-M  (fantastically brilliant, offbeat, slightly offensive British children's series that has a wicked sense of humor and keeps us both in stitches)

I'm loving learning more about my sweet Noah!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Baby Emma

I'm sorry I haven't responded to my emails or blogged this past week. I fried our computer. Long story. In fact, it'll probably be a blog post later in the week. (And if you've been reading this for a while, then you may remember that I fried our last computer, too!).  Maybe this is a sign that I need to stay away from computers??

Anyway, in my last post about the upcoming auction for Sarah's Covenant Homes, I showed a picture of baby Emma. I'm proud to say that Baby Emma is home! She's now at Sarah's in Ongole and weighs 5.5 lbs. She needs to gain 1 more pound in order to have shunt surgery. Will you pray for her health?

You can also read all about Emma on Sarah's new post HERE.

And if you would like to participate in the auction, please let us know!