We gave my son his first and last dose of his ADD medication. We expected the fatigue but not the other behaviors we had not seen since he was four years old reemerge. Within an hour of giving him the medication he was reactive (he had a complete disproportionate response to a small request we made) which continued into today. He was mumbling his words and completely spaced out. But the most disconcerting behavior we observed was while we were at the park today and how he was interacting with his peers. When he was smaller he would walk up to a group of kids and just start talking but he really wasn’t talking to anyone in particular. Collin did this today. I could see the looks of the other kids and it was a look of confusion. It was as if I time traveled back to three years ago. It was heartbreaking and alarming to see him do this. He is such a happy silly kid; today he looked angry.

When Collin received the ADD diagnosis a few weeks ago, I was surprised. However I really shouldn’t be. He has all the symptoms of ADD, however I am so use to how he is I don’t think of him any different. Up until the diagnosis it never crossed my mind he had ADD. All I want is my son back, ADD symptoms and all. And for the other symptoms to be gone.

I’m not sure where this leaves us. I don’t want to see my son regress and for his soul to be hijacked.


I want a different story


imageI was walking passed several of my son’s classmates on my way to pick him up from school. As I was walking passed them, one of them said “That is Collin’s mom. Yeah, Collin is annoying.” My heart just broke. Since my son was diagnosed at three, I have been fast forwarding this tape in my head wondering at if some point kids where not going to be as receptive to him as they have been. My son will be entering second grade in the fall. His peers are becoming more socially sophisticated and more aware of differences. I’m not sure what to do, how to protect him. Is it even possible? I feel panicked inside.

I was bullied in school. It started because a boy in eighth grade liked me. It continued throughout high school because I was different. I don’t want my story to become my son’s. I want a different story for him. How do kids like my son have a different story? Is it even possible? Where are the success stories of kids who are different, who are able to escape bullying. Do these stories exist? I want to know what they did different. What did there parents do?

Behavior and the Gut

2013 Spring 034It bothers me when I share with someone that Collin’s behavior at times can be strongly impacted by overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in his gut and I am then given parenting advice.  In the last  two days Collin has hit me multiple times. Collin has not hit me since the last time he had a bacteria and yeast overgrowth in his gut.  Along with being aggressive, he has been compulsive about doors, reactive to minor situations and holding his body differently. All these behaviors together usually means he has an overgrowth in his gut.   So today he tried to hit his swim teacher multiple times. After class I explained his behavior has changed in the last couple of days including being more aggressive. I told her this usually means he’s having problem’s in his gut. I am in no way excusing Collin’s aggressiveness and their are always consequences whether he is having issues with his gut or not. I made Collin apologize to his teacher. I know she was well-intentioned but she started giving me advice which included doing a behavioral chart. Continue reading

Having the baby talk part 2

2012-summer_fall-499.jpgThe baby conversation started off with my husband saying, “This is not a no”.  However all I hear in my head is no (no, we will never have another child). Maybe I’m just protecting myself.  We agreed before hand he would share with me all his thoughts and feelings and I would remain silent and listen. Then after I had some time to process what he says he would  have a chance to listen to me.  The days leading up to this final moment, I was a wreck inside. I could not sleep. I imagined all sorts of awful scenarios in my head about how I would react. The hardest part was knowing after I listened I would want to turn to him for comfort, yet he would be the last person I would want to be around. Continue reading

Having the baby talk

IMG_4132It is time to have the baby talk. It is a conversation I have been avoiding with my husband because I am so afraid we will not agree. The stakes feel so high. All I want more than anything is to bring another life into this world. I have always wanted to have two children but when Collin was diagnosed with Autism, I didn’t know if I could handle having another child.  Along with knowing I could not handle the extra responsibility, I also knew I would have to be willing to accept I may have another child on the spectrum. I wasn’t sure. Continue reading

Peaks and Valleys

Banff“It is what it is.”  I say this a lot to myself when I am around Collin. Collin has issues with yeast and bacteria in his gut. We have treated him twice with prescription medication. When we clear the yeast and bacteria from his gut a lot of his most difficult behaviors either disappear or minimize greatly. To the point I even question whether he would still be considered on the spectrum. The last time he had an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in his gut was September. The first couple of months after we treated his gut, I held my breath wondering when his gut was going to crash again. It has been 6 months and while he has not crashed, he doesn’t seem to be doing as well as he was two months ago. Continue reading

Another World

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Sometimes I forget their is a whole other world out there. This weekend I was able to get off the hamster wheel of life and do something totally outside of my box. I went and photograhed the Chitidarod “Chicago style”. Continue reading

Being Present

2013 Christopher Bday 028I woke up the day of Collin’s  5th birthday feeling sad and anxious. The day before his birthday I took him to the place where we were going to have his party to drop off party favors. Collin walked up to the window saw other kids playing inside and would not go in. I had to practically pick him up to get him inside. Once inside he laid on the bench and covered his eyes. A few days before I told him who was coming to his party. He said, “Oh that’s a lot of people. I said, “What are you going to do?” He said, “Im going to hide”. Continue reading

Good Intentions lead to misunderstandings

2012 Spring_Summer 184I know most people have good intentions even strangers. However in their good intentions comes misunderstanding. Yesterday Collin asked me if he could open the door to his martial arts class. I said fine because he asked first. As he was about to open the door someone came out and decided the door needed to remain open to let the warm air into the room. I told Collin he could not close the door and reopen it. In the past opening and closing doors have been associated with compulsive behavior and most recently controlling behavior. Collin started to cry because I changed my mind and he couldn’t do what he wanted to do in that moment. I took him over to a chair off to the side to let him calm down. While he was crying a well-intentioned older gentlemen in a sweet voice said to Collin everything is fine and he doesn’t need to cry. Well everything is fine from outside appearances but from the inside it is complicated. I found myself frustrated in this man’s good intentions. More accurately I was really frustrated with the whole situation. Continue reading

Bullies in my head

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“Parents of extraordinary children have to figure out so much for themselves and there’s certain wisdom that comes out of that struggle” Andrew Solomon

I hate not knowing. When I was younger I loved tarot cards because they gave me a sense of control over a world that left me feeling powerless. Yesterday I felt powerless.  I watched Collin multiple times get pushed and shoved by other children. We where at an indoor playground that was incredibly busy because of the holiday. He was there alone and had no one to play with. He couldn’t do the things he normally liked to do when he goes their and he couldn’t engage anyone to play with him. He wanted so desperately for the environment to conform to him and he was getting frustrated. Eventually this led to confrontations with other kids, Collin being shoved multiple times and me intervening. I felt so angry at these kids and their parents. Aren’t they watching what there children are doing? We finally left with Collin in hysterics and all I could say to him is “kids can be mean.” Which seemed like a poor explanation for an incredibly complicated situation. Continue reading