Category Archives: Parenting

Conscious Parenting.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the impact of what I say. This applies all the time; when talking to anyone. As Jasan gets older, I realize how influential I am to him specifically. It feels like a huge responsibility. I don’t want to screw him up. At the same time, what an honor! There is a little human on this planet that lives and swears by mostly everything I say. I guess I am quite important. 🙂

This really came to mind on a morning when Jasan came to my bed after he woke up. (He is my alarm clock on non-alarm clock days!) We had a little family argument the night before, and he was very concerned about it. He shed a few tears and just really wanted everything to be ok. I told him, as I was putting him to bed that evening, “Everything will always be ok. Let’s just all sleep and we will feel better in the morning.”

The first thing he said to me as he climbed into my bed that morning was, “Mama, I don’t want to be mean. I want to be a good guy. I feel much better. Are you ok now?” Which I replied, “Yes. I am ok! And just so you know, you are NEVER a bad guy. We all can have bad moments, but you are not a bad person. EVER.”

We laid there in silence, all snuggly, and I thought about how sweet that was. He really absorbed what I said and verbalized it back to me. Umprompted and on his own. WOW! He is growing up. This type of interaction would not have happened last year.

I read this recently, “Give your child the benefit of the doubt when their behavior seems unwarranted. Their immaturity leads them to perceive and respond to the world around them much differently than you.”

THIS COULD NOT BE MORE TRUE; with all children, but especially with our autistic kids.

Some more goodies from  this article:

How we learn to respond or react to life is driven by our interactions with others. And the patterns which are set up in early childhood form the basis of our future relationships – including the one we have with ourselves.

As we mature, we collect, sort, and file away our emotional experiences as reference points. 

A foundation of self-regulation, resiliency, and attachment is built – memory after memory – shaping our perspective, beliefs, self-concept, and outlook.

Everything can be completely changed – mood, behaviors, emotional intelligence, the ability to give and receive empathy, cognitive processing, and even our immune function, by altering how we experience our primary relationships and close attachments.

Choose to give your child quality feedback about how to respond to the world. 

Conscious parenting deepens your child’s trust in the world and secures your influence as something to be regarded as safe and reliable. This cultivates the environment your child needs to develop and thrive – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Fill the hearts and minds of your children with acceptance, understanding, and confidence. Try these three conscious parenting tips to start building a more influential relationship with your child.

CHECK YOUR LANGUAGE – is it harsh, sarcastic, cruel, degrading, impatient, insensitive, or otherwise disconnecting in tone or attitude – verbally or nonverbally, or is it kind, respectful, encouraging, and confident?

CHECK YOUR EXPECTATIONS – is your request developmentally appropriate? How can you help your child? Can you control the environment to meet your needs w/out your child’s help?

CHECK YOUR SELF-REGULATION – is your manner calm and confident? Are your limits set with kindness regardless of how your child reacts? Can you remain composed and non-argumentative even when your child is not?

Here are a few more points to consider:

13 PRINCIPLES OF CONSCIOUS PARENTING

(by Alfie Kohn)

  1. Be reflective.
  2. Reconsider your requests.
  3. Stay focused on your long-term goals.
  4. Put your relationship first.
  5. Change how you see, not just how you act.
  6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  7. Be authentic.
  8. Talk less, ask more.
  9. Be mindful of your child’s age.
  10. Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts.
  11. Don’t stick to no’s unnecessarily.
  12. Don’t be rigid.
  13. Don’t be in a hurry.

I have discovered many things about myself since becoming a mom, and I have to say, one of the most important for me is DON’T BE IN A HURRY. Jasan (and I assume most autistic children) do not handle transitions easily. He is learning as he grows how to cope, but it has been key for me to HAVE PATIENCE. If I rush the process, it makes the whole experience a million times worse.

I like to think of conscious parenting as really learning my child and responding appropriately to what he needs. It requires looking a little deeper and taking more time. It is also a process of going more within myself and changing my default habits. Default is not better.

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The Power of LOVE.

My mind is reeling with thoughts. I am awestruck at a radio talk that I just listened to.   [http://www.radiolab.org/story/diy/ : Second half]

Stories, from parents of children with autism, who have seen the most amazing breakthroughs. You know why?

Because they LOVED so much that they figured out how to get into their child’s world. Like REALLY figured it out. I thought I had a lot of this autism thing worked out in my mind; in regard to my son anyway. I have a whole other level of understanding as of today.

We make sacrifices for our kids. We just do! Even if you only care about your kid a little bit. 😉 (Ha.) It is part of being a parent. Our lives turn into a different existence, not just an individual one, but a life that revolves around another human in the hugest way possible. Being a great parent creates ENORMOUS shoes to fill.

Throw a little one into your life, that you have indescribable love for, but…you can’t connect. You can’t reach inside their world. It is the most devastatingly horrible feeling ever. To hear that your child has any sort of “diagnosis” pretty much sucks. There are all the different stages that, as parents of special needs kids, we experience. Disbelief, denial, sadness, loss… and if you can make it to the other side, there can be so much HOPE.

Strings of hope that lead to FIREWORKS when words are spoken…eye contact is made…physical touch is expressed. When you finally, after years of waiting and giving everything you’ve got, see a glimmer of a personality that you overwhelmingly long to connect with. Even if for one minute. It makes every second of every sacrifice worth it. If you keep riding the wave of hope, more fireworks, even if it takes a while, even if it’s just a firecracker, can come along.

Jasan age 2

I think the reason I feel so amazing is that I feel validated after listening to the radio link above . I feel like a really good parent. I feel like I am COMPLETELY doing the right thing for what my son needs. I see him changing. I see him turning into an amazing little boy who is quite the charmer with a HUGE heart. He is like that because I have loved him so incredibly much and found him in his world. I have stayed in his world long enough (and still do) that he is blossoming.

One of the most common phrases you will hear about autism is that, “When you meet a person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” No one is the same. My story is not going be your story. My triumphs with my autistic child is not going to be the same as someone else’s.

The parents who have hope and dive inside find that sparkle. They know what color their fireworks are.

Jasan age 7

Therapeutic Day School. REALLY.

 

Us.

This post has been a long time coming. (I have been absent for a while. Re-creating my love for this blog…)

Jasan started at his new school over the summer, and is now in his first full school year there. I cannot express enough how completely IMPRESSED I am by his school.

At first I was scared. Really concerned that he would hate it and have a hard time transitioning. Of course, he was fine. (I need to give him more credit! I get freaked out more than he does about these things. I love his resilience.)

I was a little nervous, but as time went on, my emotions flipped to appreciation. Amazingly, every staff member at the school, whether they are his teacher or not, KNOWS HIS NAME. There are children from ages 6 through high school! That is a lot of people. They have a monthly parent night where we are provided support. They have gone as far as thinking about the parents and their struggles too… it’s a complete family package and that means the world!

I have realized how important these types of schools are. As I learn more and more about kids with special needs, including Jasan, it is apparent that they really do need extra support. They need to learn all the details of the way the world works down to the specific steps of socialization and just learning how to “do school.”

Neurotypical kids don’t need to learn how to accept redirection. They naturally pick that up on their own. Accepting a NO. Looking people in the eye. Having boundaries. Learning how to calm their bodies and how to label and understand their own emotions. These beautiful kids need these special and amazing teachers to be on their side and help them learn and navigate through the school years. I am so thankful that Jasan is where he NEEDS TO BE.

Details…

FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Look at the person
  2. Say, “Okay.”
  3. Do the task
  4. Check back (ask “Is this what you wanted?”)

ACCEPTING FEEDBACK

  1. Look at the person
  2. Say, “Okay.”
  3. Make the correction
  4. Check back (ask “Is this what you wanted?”)

ASKING PERMISSION

  1. Look at the person
  2. Make the request
  3. Wait for an answer
  4. If granted, say “Thank you.” If not, say “Okay.”

ACCEPTING REDIRECTION

  1. Look at the person
  2. Say, “Okay.”
  3. Write the redirection
  4. Ask staff to “Please sign.”

BRINGING UP A CONCERN

  1. Ask staff for permission to bring up a concern
  2. Appropriately state your concern
  3. Accept the final decision
  4. Say, “Thank you.”

REDIRECTION CONCERN

  1. Accept the redirection
  2. Wait 5 minutes
  3. Ask staff to bring up a concern in private
  4. Accept the final decision
  5. Say, “Thank you.”

The universe has taken care of us, again. Always will.

Because my job involves working with young kids in day cares, I see a few here and there in my classes that I know need that kind of one on one support. I see autism, ADHD…just undiagnosed. I go in to different centers every day and spend short periods of time with them. I try to take extra care of those special needs kids because I know their words are different from the other children. I hope that they end up like Jasan, in schools that can offer them what they need.

This is a chapter in our journey that I am so very thankful for. I had no idea what a school with that label “Therapeutic Day School” was going to be like. I am blown away!

Jasan and Rose.

This is Jasan and his new friend Rose. They are in the same class together. I love how there is no judgement between them. They can both be their unique personalities and accept each other completely. Priceless. <3

 

Other kids…

This is a subject that has been creeping on me for a while. I’m not sure how to approach this one really; I have mixed emotions about it.

What a difference a year makes…

I have noticed a change between this summer and last.

There are a lot of kids in our neighborhood. Some of them are a bit older; maybe 8 or 9, but there is definitely an age range. When we first moved to this area there were no kids. As the years have passed, the little area where we live is full of kids. Now they are riding their bikes or taking walks around our circle as summer starts. (We are our own circle of houses; the road is a dead-end; not a cul-de-sac.) Most of them run wild. There aren’t parents outside keeping an eye on things. I don’t know what that feels like because that isn’t my situation. I try to think back to when I was a kid…did I roam the neighborhood? Probably. I guess it is just a different time now and I have a changed opinion on it.

If I were to let him play outside without me, Jasan could go into someone else’s house and if I am not there what may occur? This is the problem. I have no idea if something may set him off, at any time, that parent would have no clue how to handle a meltdown. Hence, he isn’t out by himself at the age of 6. I like him to stay nearby, and if he doesn’t, I walk with him.

Last summer all the kids were in our driveway. Probably between 5-7 of them. Jasan didn’t necessarily play “with” them, but I think he liked having them around. As much as he may be doing his own thing, he loves people. What breaks my heart is that I felt they all came to play or talk with ME, not to hang with my son. I had one kid for a reason and what felt like a hundred children that I had to watch over was exhausting (and annoying.)

So, with that said, this is a catch 22. Kids over or no kids over? I was finding the resentment towards other parents brewing in me. It wasn’t their fault, but at the same time, could they not see I had to watch all of their kids? Not fair in the least. In their defense, I am not comfortable with Jasan being outside on his own. Their kids can be. But, there is a kid in the neighborhood who has autism. Can they teach their kids to give our house a break sometimes? Do they just not get it?

2015 summer ended and winter came; no one is outside.

Now, here is 2016 summer. So far, the kids pass by and do not even say hello to Jasan. They know he is different and it’s almost as if he is dismissed. A birthday party just occurred last weekend a few houses down and all the kids in the circle were invited, but not Jasan. Even though, he was last year. We probably would not have gone because of the chaos, but it still…

hurts.

I am sure that Jasan is happy as a lark playing in our driveway and hanging with his mom. He doesn’t know any different. Maybe this summer I can have a huge break and enjoy only my child.

Those are my selfish thoughts.

What bothers me is that he is just ignored. No “Hi Jasan!” anymore. I feel as if he is looked as the weird kid. You don’t have a child imagining he is going to be the strange kid on the block that no one comes to play with.

I love him beyond all comprehension so I feel sad.

Jasan isn’t sad one bit. Thank god for that.

buddies

Therapeutic Day School? Really?

FullSizeRender

Jasan has been going to the same public school since the age of three. He is now six. For the past two years he has been in the autistic program within the public school.

In the last IEP meeting we had, the team that works with him felt that some of Jasan’s behaviors were beyond what they were able to deal with. Destructive behavior without any reasonable or predictable antecedent. This is different from the year before and they feel like they are at a loss, therefore, the suggestion was made for him to be transferred to a therapeutic day school where they work with kids that are in a similar situation.

I was not averse to that recommendation. I want whatever is best for my son. I will do whatever it takes without hesitation. So, we (my mom and I) checked out the schools that they recommended and decided on the one that felt like it would be the best for him.

After the first visit, I was not expecting the emotions that arose within me. I was crying the whole way to work after our morning tour of the first school. Why was I feeling sad? Was I scared for him? Is this another feeling of loss to experience of a mom of an autistic child? He can’t make it in public school?

Probably all of the above, but I thought I was stronger than that. I thought, especially knowing the way I reacted to the idea from the team to send him elsewhere, that I was cool with it. NO big deal. It would be better for him.

During the second school tour, I felt good. In comparison to the first tour, this school kicked ass. I liked how the principal presented their mission and how he described the way the try to really understand why kids have the behaviors that they do. Actually getting to the root of the issues. Again, when I left, that strange wave of sadness took me down.

I have vivid memories of separation anxiety with my mom. BIG TIME. Almost debilitating to me. It was a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and I can see some of that in Jasan. I see a lot of similarities between him and me. Parts of little Heidi; emotional behaviors in my childhood that give me anxiety just thinking back that far. Gut wrenching feelings. In all honesty, that scares me.

IMG_9346

I don’t think that he fully understands that he will be going to a new school in a month. We visited the new school (which upset him very much because our morning was out of routine) and once we got there, he seemed okay. Timid, but going with the flow.

In my mind, I was sad for him the night before. I was explaining what the morning would look like. The tears and the begging “I just to stay at (his current school)” was making my heart hurt. I don’t think I have ever loved so much to where my heart literally feels like it is being crushed to bits when he is sad. The thought of this transition and his discomfort is pretty paralyzing to me right now. I did not expect these feelings at all.

I get sick to my stomach and angry sometimes when I hear parents that have kids (that transition with no issues) say, “Kids are resilient. He will adjust fine.” I have no doubt that eventually he will be in a new routine and all be will okay. But, the transition may be something that creates distress inside that he may NOT forget. That happened to me. I didn’t forget, and it made a difference in my life in some respects.

I realize I cannot control every aspect of his life. I cannot save him from pain; from sadness. Again, having a child is such a lesson in life. Oh, letting go of control. That is  hard one, especially when it has to do with what he is exposed to out of my sight. He is the love of my life and the closest person to my heart. Autism…ugh. He doesn’t tell me what happens play by play at school or when we aren’t together. He doesn’t share much at all. I am not sure he can yet. That is always something that I have struggled with. It’s really tough.

Today, after the visit to the day school with Jasan was rough for me. I don’t like the idea of him being so far from my office every day. Right now his current school is 7 minutes from me. Sometimes I think I have separation anxiety with him; there are days when I long to see him and can’t wait to be with him again. <3

This is a lot to take in. For him, once he starts making the change. For me, taking in all of this new information and watching him go through this move. He needs to go to a special school and that is okay. It is not what I envisioned for him, but again I have to change the expectations in my mind.

Why is it so hard to just not have expectations? It is impossible.

I want him to be successful. I want him to be able to hold a job and be independent. Ii hope he is a scientist or a sound engineer…whatever his dream ends up to be. I want him to thrive in this life. I hope he finds the perfect woman who understands him like I do and that they are able to have a love that is beyond measure within a fulfilling relationship.

These are expectations I have for his adulthood because I love him so much.

If life takes a detour to get him there, then I guess so be it. This is my lesson to go with the flow and let go of my childhood memories of anxiety. At least I know how to spot it and can hopefully help buffer it for him. The feelings of anxiety and sadness are going to come up for me in the days ahead. I will try to keep my thoughts positive, but I need to get my feelings out as well.

I want him to FOREVER know how much my heart LONGS for him, and to know I could inhale him I love him so much. 🙂

FullSizeRender 2

Just talk to me…

2015

It seems to me that within the past week, Jasan’s language is becoming more conversational.

THIS. IS. BEYOND. EXCITING!!!

I have waited 6 1/2 years for these moments. 6 1/2 years.

It’s really happening!

Tonight, after lights were out, we laid in bed and just talked. I have been trying to come up with some more adventures (new experiences for him) for us to do together, and camping came to mind. (I am SO not a camper, but I’ll try anything for him.) I suggested in the summer we could do something like that if he is interested. We literally had a whole conversation, where he was coming up with ideas and asking me questions, and we have a tentative plan.

  1. Do research on the perfect tent to buy. (Jasan and Mama size of course.)
  2. Buy a book and watch videos on YouTube about camping.
  3. Buy the tent in June.
  4. Learn how to put the tent together.
  5. Practice “camping” under our bedroom glow in the dark ceiling stars. (LOL.)
  6. Give it a go outside on the backyard deck one time.
  7. In July, pick a campground. Go check it out and visualize the experience. Make a list of things we would need/do.
  8. Camp for real. I hope I can make a fire.

(Did I just really write all of that? <3 Total elation.)

And guess what the last thing he said to me before falling asleep was?

I LOVE YOU MAMA.

Eighth time I have heard that unprompted. That is few and far between in his life so far, but each one of those eight times my heart has been filled so full it makes EVERYTHING; the impossible times when I want to give up, and the billion times I have said those words to him with no response ALL WORTH IT.

little jasan

little jasan

little jasan

I have been in a very down period lately. Most of my friends don’t even know. The reason I say this is because my boy, who is totally growing up, has been the most comfortable place to be. Our energy. That space. That place. The universe completely organized a week or two that he has been pretty much amazing at home and has been the only one to put a smile on my face. And, HE IS TALKING TO ME.

It feels so different. I am used to being ignored all the time unless he wants something from me. As much as I love him inside and out, I still feel lonely. A lot. This past week has been an eye opener for me in regards to thinking about him…an older him. A different kind of mother/son relationship. The possibility of sharing dreams and feelings. Just plain old reciprocation. Damn, that would feel good. There is a new excitement I have about my son and this autism thing.

Pretending is exploding. He has willingly been EXPLAINING to me what he is doing. I think this is making our connection even stronger because I get him. When he tells me something that wouldn’t make any sense to someone else, I know what he means. I know what sounds/songs he is mimicking. I can play along in his pretend world and wow, is this COOL.

I just watched this the other day. A Brilliant Young Mind…OMG. It stayed on my mind for days. Just watching the trailer again now makes me cry.

There is so much to think about as Jasan’s mom and how society will play out in his life. Seeing glimpses of an older kid is exciting. Really exciting.

age 4

School on the other hand, well, that is a different story. His behavioral therapist was over in our home a few weeks ago to help with some things. Better use of language we use at times, things to do at home to make life a bit easier, and the main reason was to make sure what they do at school carries over to what we do at home. His behavior is THAT BAD. Don’t get me wrong; I have seen it at home too, LOTS, but just not as severe as what they are experiencing almost daily. The biggest thing I took away from that meeting was she was so surprised how engaging he was at home. He was like a different kid than what they see at school.

I was completely surprised. He is almost unreachable at times in school. There are two modes for him they say; destructive meltdown or unreachable, unteachable; in his own mind.

What?????

This bothers me. A lot. My gut tells me that some type of alternative school, not necessarily one only for autistic children, but somewhere where there is a different approach to learning. The typical public school, “try to fit me into your box” thing maybe isn’t the best for him. (He is in an autistic class within the public school system.) Maybe he is just to young to tell. The school thing is perplexing to say the least. I hate to think of his days as so difficult, especially being there so many hours. Heart breaking.

(I do need to add, he has an awesome team at school. I fully believe that he is in the best scenario for now in the area where we live.)

But… then there is real life. We all follow schedules. We go to work. We don’t always get to do what we want to do. How does he learn this? Through the “typical” way of doing school? I guess I will figure it out as time goes on.

Winding this post to an end, I just want to say this…

He is talking to me. A lot. I love it. I feel like we have a real thing going here. It is only going to get better. I love him so much I could explode. He told me he loved me tonight. We are the king and queen of adventures and I love that too. He makes me smile so big and my heart hurts when we are apart. he agreed with me that we are best friends while looking me in the eye. He is so beautiful in every way to me. Should I keep going?

<3

I mean, seriously. Look at that face!

little jasan

 

 

A re-post with LOVE.

Lounging around this morning, I started reading some of my old blog posts to remind myself of where I used to be and also realizing how much Jasan has grown up. Wow. So much has changed. This post grabbed me. Wanted to share again……..

https://followingjasan.com/2014/06/15/love-bedtime/

I love him.

Waves of grieving.

This may be difficult to write.

I have to admit; I have definitely had a rough day. I am quite blessed to say that tough days where I let my emotions go down the negative path are few and far between. Today has been the exception to my positive streak. I am sure parents of special needs kids are here, where I am today, more often than not. Hence my decision to just sit and write.

I love my son more than I can even explain. I think that is why it feels so incredibly horrific when I have days like today. Days when I just give in to complete mental exhaustion. Why can’t I just have a day where I don’t feel like I am walking on eggshells? The mood swings can come out of nowhere and I some days feel like I am done with it. I am done with patience. I am done with overthinking. I am done with staying calm and looking at the bright side.

I wonder what it would be like to have him come to the grocery store with me and just comply? Or go to a movie with me and sit through the whole thing? Or be able to play like other kids do and just go be free for awhile? Or be able to handle a simplistic no? Not even a NO to something big. A NO to the smallest thing and here we go.

Mama has to tiptoe so that there is no meltdown.

I. am. so. tired.

This feels like a different stage for me. The toddler days are over. Now he is a little boy. His mind is maturing and wow things are different. Interacting with kids are different. I see how other kids AVOID him sometimes.

OUCH that hurts. A lot.

I do realize these are MY feelings, not his. I need to always put that forefront in my mind, but man, is it hard. I have bawled my eyes out driving home from friends’ homes where I thought that he would never be pushed away by the kids. Well, I was wrong. Big time. I had a little guy say to me (a situation where a bunch of kids were present, and obviously the boy didn’t realize I was Jasan’s mom) “Oh, HE isn’t staying the night, is HE?” with that annoyed tone.

HEART. BROKEN.

I have to realize the situation as it is. Not everyone sees Jasan as I do. This is a new stage of grieving for me, the ideas of a little boy and the things we would do and how life would be without autism. This experience of having a child is my only one. Every stage is a learning experience, but now with autism involved. Completely different than what I imagined pregnant with a little munchkin in my womb.

But even as I sit here and write this, he is playing with water in the sink. He just said the cutest thing to me and it is words coming out of his growing up self. Adorable. Completely. I look at him and all of this bullshit washes away.

I have been practicing the mantra, “EVERYTHING ALWAYS WORKS OUT FOR ME.”

I guess I am going to add, “EVERYTHING ALWAYS WORKS OUT FOR JASAN, TOO…”

Tomorrow is a restart. No more negative. Positivity and LOVE always win and bring the best into my life experience.

Transitions.

This is can be a tough subject, but I am choosing to not look at it that way. This post is about the ever evolving lesson in how to chill out. 🙂

Old thoughts about transitioning through daily activities:

(Anxiety.)

We totally aren’t going to get there on time.

Seriously, I need to give myself an hour for a 15 minute store trip because of the million ways he is going to get sidetracked in this store. 

Crap. If I hand him this object of momentary obsession, is he going to throw it?

(Feeling rushed, but trying not to act that way.)

I would like to run into this store really quick, but we may not get out of there for quite a while and we just don’t have enough time. Ugh.

I know if he asks me for something and I say no, he is going to whip anything he gets his hands on across the room. Maybe we just won’t tackle this (place, activity, etc.) today. I don’t want to deal with what may happen.

Why can’t he just listen to me?

Why can’t we get through the day without having to set the timer a million times?

Wow. That woman’s kids just go with the flow and totally just listened to her when she said, “Let’s go!” How nice.

I can’t get anything done. He is going to have a melt down if he can’t play outside after school. When am I going to get to the grocery store?

The other kids in the neighborhood just roam. I need to be watching Jasan at all times. He is just so unaware! 

If he does not get enough sleep he is totally going to have a rough day. Actually, it will be a rough day for both of us. 

I wonder what a day of not having to over-think everything would feel like? 

Being a single mom sucks. I just need a break. Parents that get to take turns…I have NO idea what that feels like, and they have no idea what this feels like.

Should I keep going? I’m thinking not. You get the idea. Negative shmegative.

The more I expand and evolve as an individual, the more I know I need to just relax. Go with the flow. The thought patterns above are not even close to chill. Having the belief system that I do…your thoughts create your reality…the above thoughts are just going to bring me more of the same. More reasons to feel anxious. More meltdowns. More throwing.

So, I am ridding myself of being that mom. I have chosen to be the mom who is going to teach my son that it is possible to stay aligned no matter what is happening around you. The phrase, “think happy thoughts” is right on. If I focus on what I don’t like, I am shooting myself (and Jasan) in the foot. He feels everything I put out there. It’s funny how last year I was under the assumption that as long as I didn’t act “rushed” and kept those thoughts to myself, Jasan would go with the flow. Ha. He can feel me. He is highly sensitive and keenly aware of what I am feeling. He may not verbalize it to me, but he easily adjusts to my rhythm. If my rhythm is running tense or hectic, he will feed off of that. I know this about him, but I think my perception has changed in regards to myself.

I can control myself. I can control my thoughts. I can choose how I want to think about the ones I love. I can solely choose to see my son in all of his amazingness, even if he decides to throw my phone. (Otterbox!) The more I practice this, the stronger my love vibe will be, the anxiety vanishes, and what I put out there come back into my experience.

It’s a beautiful thing. No sloppy thoughts. Sloppy thoughts bring me what I have always gotten.

Time for change. Time for teaching through example and not empty words.

Autism sees right through that.

He keeps teaching me what unconditional love really means over and over. It hits me deeper every time. We were meant for each other and I love our reality! Our journey together is going to be the most enriching experience…now and for the years to come.

I am super excited about it.

happiness.

happiness.

It isn’t hard for him to find his happy. He is teaching me this. <3

 

Love grows.

I know most mothers have thought this:

The minute your baby is born, you experience a love that you didn’t even know existed.

Crazy out of your mind unbelievable love. You expand beyond your wildest dreams. It’s really a moment that cannot be described unless you experience it for yourself.

What has been blowing my mind is how this AMAZING love GROWS. So much. When Jasan was a baby and when we would wake in the morning, I felt like a child on Christmas morning. Every day. I remember thinking what a fabulous feeling that was to experience. Now that he is older and growing into this big boy, it feels more like an adventure. An excitement that is so full of promise and FUN…an adventure that we are on together.

Sink Play

What he teaches me is how life is just simply happy. It doesn’t need to be complicated. There is always something that we can learn and be in wonder of. As his language is really emerging and he is starting to be so much more “in the world” than when he was younger, the ability to start to have mini conversations is more satisfying than I ever imagined! To hear what is going on in his incredible mind is the best gift I could ever receive, and now I am living that daily.

Scales & Numbers

Life is so good.

Train ride.

If something brings me down, all I have to do is think about my son and our adventure together in this life. That changes my mood immediately. I am beyond stoked for what lies ahead of us and the journey we will go on together.

He has taught me how to live in the moment. He could not be more perfect.

Car wash.

I look at him in his perfection almost all of the time now, which is a personal goal of mine. The more I look at him and revel in all of the wonderful aspects of him, the more my love grows at a pace that in immeasurable. Getting frustrated or aggravated doesn’t benefit either of us.

I’m not perfect, no one is. But we do have control over our thoughts. That is how my photography series about Jasan began…choosing to highlight the beauty of him and his journey in life with autism, through my images. Since the beginning of this project I have learned so much, and still soaking wonderful knowledge in. Life will forever be so much better than it ever has been and can only keep improving!

Doc office.

One of the things autism has taught me is what being open-minded REALLY means. I am still grasping the concept. Life is so much bigger than I originally imagined. I would have explained myself as open-minded prior to my life with Jasan, and now that kind of makes me laugh. Nothing had ever really tested my beliefs before having a child.

Yes. I have experienced a lot of tough times in my life, but when something happens that is beyond your control and forces you to change otherwise you will wither in depression from not learning how to look at things differently…

Ah. That is when beliefs are challenged. Growth happens.

Exit.

Other paths in my life have wildly turned corners as well and I am still changing. Loving Jasan to full capacity is easy. He is the BEST part of my life, NO DOUBT. Because he is in my life I am learning what loving ME really means. (Funny how that works!) I will always be a work in progress; there is existing negative self talk that has gone on in my mind for a very long time, but it is now easier to get to the root of my issues that I would like to change. There is a great power in being aware of why stuck points exist in life and how to overcome them.

Knowing that I can practice thinking positively about my son makes it easier to start changing old thought patterns and “feeling” my way into changing those. Old patterns need to see the new light. If it feels icky, it’s not my truth. Anything is possible now. It’s cool that I can teach him this as he grows through my example. This is a dream that I am seeing come to light in front of my eyes which is very cool to me. As I learn to be true to who I really am and become all that I wish, he will learn to follow his instinct as well. That’s what my heart desires for him.

Bike rider.

When I look at Jasan, I want to explode with love. He is so precious. I love our life. I love him. I am really starting to love me fully. It all feels really, really good.

What I have learned and now completely BELIEVE is that when you FEEL good, the right path appears underneath your feet. Follow your inspiration. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. Love others. Throw negativity out the window and out of your mind. Live in the moment.

Love your kids no matter what. Even if they screw up big time. This is how they learn..

Loving them will always feel good and they will feel that from you! Isn’t that most important? <3

Wonder.

It’s a big learning experience. 🙂