Tag Archives: autism

The Younger-Big Sister

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William and Margaret are the perfect Harry Potter and Hermione Granger

Seth Says…

Can you imagine being 5-years-old and being told that one day you’re going to take care of your older brother…and understanding what that means?

Looking back, maybe we shouldn’t have started telling Margaret (now 10-years-old) that, but we were just trying to be honest and to keep encouraging her to love her brother William (12-years-old).

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William wasn’t quite sure of what to think about Margaret at first

Recently in an interview with WORLD Magazine the reporter asked Margaret (we call her “Bubba”) for her thoughts and perspective.

“I mean, it’s not the easiest thing to understand and know what it really means when they say, ‘you’re going to take care of him (William),'” said Margaret.  “I guess I’ve never known any other way – and I’m okay with that.”

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Everyone always thinks this is the sweetest photo – in reality – William was trying to choke Bubba – trust me I was there and have the next photos to prove it

While only ten, she sure is mature beyond her years – and she’ll have to be forever.

Hopefully William and Margaret will continue to grow in their relationship and love for one another.  Sure they fight – she seems to get frustrated because he has a “different set of rules” from time-to-time…but she doesn’t realize how fortunate she really is in her situation — she gets A LOT of perks in her life.

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Even as they get older – they still enjoy being around one another – and that’s a relief!

She loves ballet.  She loves acting.  She loves her iPod Touch.  She loves talking to cousins on said iPhone.  She loves watching movies.  William isn’t into any of those things.

William got a trip with daddy to Disney World when he turned ten.  Bubba and daddy are going to NYC to see some shows!

Who knows what the future holds.  Melanie and I certainly want Margaret to experience the world and freedom that comes from leaving the home when the time is right.  The last thing we want is for her to feel a burden or obligation to be close to home while we are still around and able to manage William’s situation.

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What does the future hold?  Who knows.  But I do know that Margaret will ALWAYS love and care for her brother

But one day the younger sister will become caretaker…that makes me sad but grateful that God has created Margaret with such a soft heart for her brother.

To be continued…

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

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Adolescence or Autism?

 

Seth Says…

Wow has the time flown!  William is now 12-years-old (he’ll be A TEENAGER in two months) and you know what that means…

ADOLESCENCE!!!

Ready or not, here we go!

It’s not just puberty.  He’s been going through that for about a year or so now and WOW can he stink!  When did boys (and girls) get so stinky?

Fortunately he seems to have Melanie’s beautiful skin so very little acne might be in store for him…whew…don’t know if I’d want to subject anyone to the issues that I had (but yet still turned out pretty good).

We are dealing with a new stage where we are wondering if his behavior and actions are caused by the fact that he’s 5’2″ and 105 lbs or because he’s on the autism spectrum.

If you have any advice…feel free to share

Sometimes it’s Okay to Bop Your Sister?

Let me be clear – I’m not condoning bullying or violence between siblings.  I still have scars from where my big sis clawed me.  BUT – every once in a while a younger sibling might become a little annoying and “deserve” a little shove on the trampoline or bop on the head.

We’ve gone through some scary incidents of aggression – and that is a totally different thing – but yeah, Margaret (10) can be a little pest and “big brother” needs to put her in her place from time-to-time….and for that I say “okay!”

Where Did These Opinions Come From

I’ve always prided myself on my amazing dancing and singing abilities.  No one can come even close to my Sweet Caroline, by the legendary Neil Diamond, rendition and if Michael Jackson were around – he’d admit that he stole moves from Yours Truly!  Trust me 🙂

“Daddy no singing!”  No more singing!”  “Move please…move please”

HUH?  When did William develop such a distaste for quality entertainment?  How dare he?!  But I get it.  I actually like it.  William will tell me when he wants me to stop or move or leave the room.

Some might find it rude and annoying (and I do at times) but it’s also what a typical teenager would do…and that’s fine with me.

Living in Two Worlds Must Be Exhausting

In the end – the answer is probably both.  His behavior is influenced by his stage of life as well as his condition.  He’s still a sweet boy (most of the time) and I’m almost glad that we aren’t dealing with the drama and heart break that comes with being a teen.

The great thing is that regardless of the cause…we know that deep down he still loves his mommy and daddy – and that’s all we could ask for!

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

Buddies

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It took us a while – but we are buddies

Seth Says

If I’m being honest, I probably never thought my son, William, and I would be buddies.  After he was diagnosed I went into a depression and malaise regarding him and regarding what I anticipated the future with a child on the spectrum would look like.

Initially those anticipations proved to mostly be true…William and I would do things together but I never got the feeling that we were developing a relationship or bond or that either of us really craved being together.

William is still really quiet.  He has language but doesn’t initiate talking (unless he wants something badly enough) and he’s not one for having conversation.

That’s okay.  I get it.

What he can do (and does a lot) is respond to my questions.  He tells me when he wants something.  He tells me if he likes one thing or another.  He will answer in his own way – maybe not with words but with a hug or kiss or simply by not leaving the room immediately if I enter.

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In the last blog I mentioned his penchant for doing puzzles.  That has become something we do together.

We went a TCU vs Texas basketball game together earlier in 2018…that was something I never thought we’d do.  He’s never going to follow players and their matriculation through high school to college to the NBA like I did (and still do), but he enjoyed clapping, high-fiving, eating popcorn and other treats when we went to the game.

He still says, “Daddy stop singing…stop singing, stop singing” when I’m into a singing mood…and that annoys me.  He will still refuse to work on a puzzle together if he’s not in the mood.  He will still sit silently in the car if I don’t try and pull word out of him.

And that’s okay.

We are now buddies.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

unfiltered

 

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It’s the truth I tell you and it’s unfiltered.

Random and usually unspoken.

We have them. Most of the crew just doesn’t share… for all sorts.

Lucky you, I’m not most. <ahem>

If I had a penny for every time someone told me that their own child does the same thing too, I would have gone on every bucket list trip of mine… twice.

It’s not that parts of what is being said are not true, but I can’t help but want to squeeze their head between my thumb and forefinger.

My neck is literally a swivel and I’m sorry if I don’t seem interested in what you are saying. I’m checking and re-checking.

Be prepared for just about anything when you are with us. A potluck dinner if you will, mixed with an array of behavior and emotions all rolled up into an undefined but flavorful dish.

Thank God for the creation of drive-thrus AND safe wide-open spaces.

I know your issues are issues but please don’t tell me how hard it is to decide which sport to choose for your child, soccer or basketball. Or even better, how tired you are of going to the weekend games. For the love.

If you have something high to climb on, be prepared. We climb. Way higher than yours… and no, we won’t sue you.

I’m sorry you didn’t sleep well last night. I haven’t slept in years <smile>

Spur of the moment? What you talkin bout Willis? Pre-planning keeps us all sane.

I’m sorry I had to cancel again. I’ll do it again next time too.

We are late but we are dressed and his hands are only partially down his pants. Are you going to eat that fry?

Oh, this is a great day for us. Can’t you tell?

I dislike ignorance almost as much as the noisy Target cart that always seems to choose me.

What a load off. <smile>

Come on mommas, comment and add to the random truth.

You know you want to.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

 

He’s Growing…YIKES!

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Seth Says…

When William was born he was a pretty skinny kid.  His first few years we would call him “Noodle” because he was this long and skinny child that had very little meat on his bones.

I was a pretty skinny kid growing up too.  I remember when I was in elementary school I had this great party trick where I could suck in my stomach and pretty much touch my backbone–okay not really but it was like something out of National Geographic Magazine.

Earlier this year I went on a trip with a few buddies.  When I got back I was giving William a bath and noticed he seemed thicker…heavier…meat-ier.  WHAT?  Could it be that “The Noodle” was growing?

Sure enough we took him for his check-up and the doctor said he was gaining weight at a pretty good clip.  “The Noodle” was becoming “The Gnocchi” apparently.

He’s getting taller…he’s getting thicker…he’s not a little boy anymore.

I can’t hoist him up so he can touch the ceiling anymore!  I can’t carry him up the stairs with ease as often as before.  My little dude is becoming a little man.

NEW TERRITORY!

Now I know that all parents go through the child becoming an adolescent and all that that includes…but to go through that plus autism?  Oh boy…this should be fun!

Not only how are we going to handle this–but how is William going to handle this?  Surely he’s dealing with things and emotions and changes and yet can’t explain them as a typical child could.

Once again the reminder that there’s not blue print for our situation.  We’ve said it over and over…every child on the spectrum is different.  What “works” or helps for one child might be totally different for the other.

So there’s not stock answer.  There’s no guide to refer to.  There’s no 1-800 hotline when crisis is happening.  Now what?

I’m so thankful for the few fathers out there I’ve met with sons on the spectrum–but many of their children are YOUNGER than mine.  So now what?

I guess we’ll find out…

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

hear say

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I’ve taken such a nice long break that I forgot my password.

I remembered it. <smile>

It has been good. I needed it. We all need it.

For me, vocalizing is not usually difficult or strained. Facial expressions too… I can’t hide them. Gosh I really can’t.

My husband. If you know him, you know expression is his world. He’s a talker…much, MUCH more than I am. It comes easy.

For William, every word is mainly work. Something for others to hear.

I see the wheels turning, the eyes shifting… I know there are thoughts, but many times it is silence I hear.

With two expressive parents, it must me in his genes somewhere. Trapped at times.

I can’t speak for him, not always the way he would like me to. His sister has, does, and will often. Those two.

My questions are not always the right questions.

But I do try…probing constantly to get a true depictive response from him.

But, those are words. Really, just words.

If I look closer, he speaks often.

Each raised eyebrow, pause, snicker, and hand gesture… speaks to me. It’s loud sometimes and yes, I do sometimes yearn for it to come in one easy box of simply uttered words.

Sometimes it does and I relish…pondering on it for days sometimes. Ok years.

His expressions. I’ve learned to live and breathe for. I’ve learned to hear him with passing hours of no words in sight. It’s all there.

It’s a different bird though and not easily caught.

In fact, I know I have missed it many times by waiting for words.

Don’t get so caught up in the words that you miss the expression.

Sometimes you just need to just shut up to watch the expression unravel. <smile>

You’ll hear so much more.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com
   

believe

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The first race he wanted to be with the parked cars in the parking lot.
We had a big team.
Fussing and fighting, I showed him our team…his team.
He stayed in the parking lot.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The second race, I managed to get him out of the parking lot.
He wanted solitude and ate way too many chicken biscuits.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The third race was cccccccold. He said, “I go home” and never stopped. Not even during the consumption of his chicken biscuit, which he squeezed through his fingers and threw on the grass.
He wanted to go home <smile>
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The fourth race was a blurr but he watched the race from afar.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The fifth race he laughed a little and hugged the chick-fil-a cow a little too tight.
He ran a little, walked a little, and then I carried him… a little.

This year, his team ran well and hard with him and for him.
His biggest fan ran by his side <smile>

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com