Tooth Fairy Horror Story

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It would have been a cute and funny story. Even a milestone moment in Keri’s conversation skills ….

But then the horror of the situation revealed itself!!!

Let’s first start at Saturday morning…

I get Keri up like any other weekend morning. I get her as soon as I hear her stirring in her room – the scripting, babbling, the pitter patter of her at play on a good day. That morning was a good morning upon waking. I sent her off into the bathroom to go potty and to take off her pull up. I went to find Keri something to wear. Once done with that, Keri received a quick bath. I got her dried off and dressed.

I went back to cleaning and having coffee. The previous night, John brought over some of his belongs. We are in the transitional stages of him moving in. The living room and dining area was a mess. It had to be cleaned before Keri’s BA came over.

During the time I was cleaning,  Keri was happy, prancing and dancing around the living room. She was excited and wanted to talk about the Tooth Fairy. Keri in her way of mini conversations,  was telling me:

“Tooth Fairy flys”
“Tooth Fairy lives in blue skies”
“Tooth Fairy has wings”
“Coins under pillow”

I was asking questions about the Tooth Fairy based on what Keri was telling me. When she gave me gave me one word answers, I would correct her with what sentence she should say.

I was excited to see that Keri understood what the tooth fairy was all about. It took Keri about 7 years to fully understand the idea of Santa Claus. I thought she was beginning to understand the meaning of the tooth fairy after all these years!

Before the BA arrived, I took Keri back into the bathroom to brush your teeth. I was shocked to find that two of her canine teeth were missing!! Her teeth were there Friday. The canine teeth were not lose in any way shape or form.  I have to help Keri brush her teeth on a daily basis. I would have known if her teeth were loose. In the past, Keri have come up to me and would tell me if her tooth was loose. Keri would also be seen playing with her loose tooth , as in pushing it around with her tongue or finger.

To my horror… Keri had decided between going to bed Friday night and Saturday morning , that she was going to pull out her own teeth !!! At first, Keri would not tell me why she removed her own teeth. I had told the BA what she had done. Keri also would not tell her therapist the reason why. So it remained a mystery for a few hours.

Later, Keri was once again talking about the tooth fairy and coins.

At that point , I sat her down and firmly told her that the Tooth Fairy does not visit little girls who remove teeth from their head that are not ready to come out. At that point, Keri started to cry. Apparently, as I was able to get it out of her, she thought by removing her teeth the tooth fairy would leave her money. Keri thought she would have enough money to buy herself a watch.

Now understand that Keri has an obsession with watches. She has over 30 different watches. Some given to her as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Others she has earned for good behavior. Also she earn money by doing chores and her homework, so she can buy watches or cheese sticks.

It might be considered a funny story if she had not pulled 2 completely good teeth from her mouth. The canine teeth normally do not become loose until the age of 12 or 13. In this case, she is 9 and those teeth were not ready to coming out for another few years.

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Boo boos, bruises & hard decisons

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Being a human chew toy is not my idea of fun. Neither is being a victim to my daughter’s rages – which happen often … more often the I care to admit. But it is a not so fun part of her autism.

It is a very real part of her autism that affects our day to day routine. There is no real rhythm or reason as to why she gets this way. I  know a few triggers are her father, vehicles that look like ones he drives, being told no, having to wait, being over tired,  changes to the routine,  other times it is just because of no real reason at all.

We have a schedule. She works with a BCBA and a BA. She has an out of district placement for her school in a very good program. We have done ABA therapy. We have tried a gluten/ casein free diet – she was in that small percentage  where the diet does not improve her behavior. We have tried cranial sacral therapy- which helped, but got to be too expensive.  It’s not covered by insurance.  We have tried esstinional oils – which did not work &  got to be costly.  Also again not covered by insurance. We have tried pecs, reward boards and other ideas.  We have tried various medicines. I have priced out a DAN doctor, but cannot ever afford in a million years. Again they do not accept insurance. She sees a psychiatrist.  It’s more to monitor the meds then being therapeutic because of her lack of real conversation skills. We also have tried horseback riding and music lessons. I have also tried compression vests , weighed blankets, joint compressions, brushing her limbs, in various other techniques.

We have even gone as far as having her hospitalized for her aggressive and violent behavior. That was when her behavior had become so extreme that she was a  danger to herself and those around her. So within the last 10 years we have tried a bunch of  different options – some have worked others have failed. Another thing about my daughter, is that what works today may not work tomorrow.

Right now I’m at the end of my rope. So I feel like I am at a dead end road. Her case manager  and 2 current therapists have also said that there is nothing else they can do for her. The right now, at this time, when she aggressive and violence all I can do is try to redirect her. When redirecting fails and she is trying to hurt herself or someone else, I have to restrain her. It is not something I’d like to do, but it is something I have to do. She is so incredibly strong for such a young age. She is about the same height as I am now and about 40 pounds lighter then me. I can barely restrain her without her breaking away. She is going to be so much more stronger then I am. I do not think I will be able to restrain her properly within the next year or two.

I have made the decision, the very very very hard decision, to have her placed in residential care. I think it is the best decision for her and everyone around her. This is mainly in regards to her aggressive behavior. We have not been able to really go out and do things. She well receive the 24 hour support that I cannot provide. Also she will still receive all the same therapies as well as ABA therapy. I personally cannot afford to pay for ABA therapy out of pocket it is so expensive. I have a Limited income which pays for a roof over our heads , utilities, food, clothes, and maybe one or two small outings a month.

Putting her in residential placement, does not mean I will abandon or stop being her mother. It just means I will parent her a little bit differently. She will still be able to come out on the weekends or during the week to see family and friends Or to do other activities. It is a decision that will not happen overnight. It will take sometime before this becomes a reality.

So before you judge, everything under the Sun I could possibly do , I have tried. It now become a question of what is safest for her and those around her.

**Check out the movie Fly Away http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1697920/

Welcome to our world of Autism

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Autism in every child is different. One child with autism cannot be compared to another. One child may be more verbal then another. Another child may have more behavioral issues then the next child. One child may be more social than another. There is high functioning autism, moderate functioning autism, and low functioning autism. And sometimes, child may fall somewhere in between the different levels of autism. The skill settings of a child maybe very splintered. What I mean by splintered skill settings, is that one child may have a phenomenal understanding of math, but cannot socialize with their peers. Another child may have awesome socializing skills, but may function on a level of a five year old. There are so many examples I can provide of the difference of children with autism. They are not all the same, even though they have all have the same diagnosis of autism. It almost would be like trying to compare all fruits as being one type of fruit. Apples, bananas, and strawberries are all very much different, even though all three are fruits.

So this blog is about my daughter and her autism. This blog is also about our journey on the path of autism. I am a single mother of  almost preteen child. This blog will act as a diary regarding our experiences together and how autism impact our lives.

My daughter would be described as being moderate functioning on the autism spectrum. What this means is that my daughter is high functioning in some areas and lower functioning in other areas. She is somewhat verbal. This means she can make known her basic needs and wants. My daughter cannot carry on a full conversation. She can speak sentences, but they are only about six to seven words in length. She uses a lot of third party talk in her sentences. She also speaks in a Yoda like talk at times. I try to help her by modeling the correct form of speech and having her repeat it back. She can carry on what I would call mini conversations. As far as her academic work in school, she is about a year or two behind her current grade level. My daughter likes to be around other children and grown-ups. However, her socializing skills are not up to par for her age level. She will engage in pretend play, however it would be equal to a level of a much younger child. She also is fully potty trained during the day, but is not at night time. She will also need help with basic self-care skills like brushing in her hair , brushing her teeth, bathing and dressing. Although, she will choose what she wants to Wear.  she can dress herself and get her shoes on, but cannot tie her own shoes. She also needs help staying on task as far as day today routine. She requires full time supervision and cannot be left alone for more than maybe 5 minutes. She is very impulsive. She also have many behavioral issues. The behavioral issues are aggression, self injurious behaviors , and the tendency to be violent to others. She will hit, bite, pinch, grab, kick, and other negative behaviors.

But enough of her skill settings and negative behaviors, I do want to share some of her more positive traits. She can be very humorous at times. She will pretend that she is some animals, numbers, for some sort of cartoon character. She will also pretend people around her are of the same items. She likes music especially the cartoon show yo gabba gabba. She likes to read and being read to. She loves roller coasters and going on rides. She likes to show affection by rubbing her face on your hands. Sometimes she will be cuddly, but not very often. She likes going to the flea market and picking out watches. She loves to wear jewelry. She likes to learn and love going to school. She loves playing with her friend. She likes being outside and blowing bubbles. She enjoys her trips going to Wawa and picking out  cheese sticks. There is so much more I can tell about her, but that will have to wait for another blog entry.

In another blog entry, I will go into her earlier years and some of those experiences. I will also post about her day to day experiences. I just wanted to say welcome to ourworld, to our small
slice of what autism can be like.