My Dormant Blog

So my blog has been dormant for quite sometime. Here I am checking in only to see my last blog written was what I was thankful for last year around this time. Also, found out that I had started a ‘Cheers to 2015’ blog for New Years Eve last year, only to save it as a draft and not publish it. Good grief my life!

I do love to write and really wish I made more of an effort to write on here often. Trust me, I have plenty to say but between work, home and kids I find myself having little time to put my thoughts and words into a sentence much less a full blog or article. By the time I get home in the evening I’m waving the white flag and most times find myself on my couch staring at the TV because lets be honest, most of the television today requires no thinking or even brain cells.

I really want to try and keep up with my writing I at least hope to give a valiant effort but there’s no promises. Truly, life is happenings at warp speed right now.

  • Adrian
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What I’m Thankful For in 2015

Well this year has passed by in a nanosecond! Here we are the day before Thanksgiving. Publix is a cluster F%*&. My emails are bombarded with Black Friday deal teasers and this year, due to my complete insanity and quest for home ownership I now am working a second job IN RETAIL. HELP ME!

As much as I can go on about the craziness of the season that is about to ensue, I wanted to write a quick post about what I am thankful for. Why, because that is what we as Americans do. We stop for one day and say what we are thankful for only to flip the script and became ravenous holiday shoppers until we pass out or have mental breakdowns before Christmas Eve.

Any who, I myself have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my family and friends and their health.

I am thankful for my husband and kids.

I am thankful that I somewhat have some sanity left (although some would argue that’s a stretch).

I am thankful for wine for allowing me to keep that small amount of sanity.

I am thankful for CARD and my co-workers.

I am thankful for Dunkin Donuts Mocha Macchiato each morning for giving me a swift kick in the arse so that I can function and work each day and be somewhat pleasant.

I am thankful that I graduated from USF and will no longer have to write a paper or take an exam.

I am thankful for my discovery of the TV shows, Scandal & The Royals.

Mainly, and being serious, I am thankful that 2015 has been a great year thus far. I can only hope that 2016 will follow suit.

I wish you all and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Adrian

Autism & Shots: My Thoughts

I’ve been asked my opinion about his great debate so many times i’ve lost count. So i’ve decided to write my thoughts on this so that in the future I can just provide a link to my blog….LOL So here it goes….

It has been a long standing debate about vaccines & the cause for autism. The battle lines have been clearly drawn on this issue. It most likely will continue for quite sometime as there currently is no known cause for autism. All we know about autism is that it has increased significantly just within the last 10 years, now at 1 in 68 children, 1 in 54 boys specifically.

Since there is no known cause many feel that vaccines are the culprit. Many also feel that on top of the shots environmental factors play a role. There are many theories that have been pushed into the public, mainstream media regarding the cause: ranging from flu shots in mothers while pregnant, pitocin medicine given during delivery and even c-sections were once considered a possible cause.

There are also the cases where doctors are over diagnosing kids (I’ve seen it) parents will stop at nothing to get a diagnosis of something so generally doctors hand out autism diagnosis because it is such a varied, wide range diagnosis anything could easily fall on the autism spectrum; which this could also explain the increase in diagnosis numbers as well.

However, there still is not any clear cut indication what causes autism or how to ‘prevent’ it. Autism is definitely neurological what researchers are looking at are these children born with these neurological defects that develop over time or are the defects caused or intensified by an out of utero variant. That is still the big mystery.


As a mother, my personal feelings are as such:

I feel it is a genetic/biologic gene that is mutated or deformed by some variant whether that is in fact the shots OR environmental factors.
I don’t believe it is JUST the shots nor just biological because again families who have multiple children can have 1 out of 5 kids have autism. Also, if it is just the shots why is EVERY child not affected by autism. Some children get all their shots and are not on the spectrum.


As for the great SHOT debate I continue to vaccinate my daughter but space them out. I also do this with my neuro-typical son who does not have autism. I space them out not because of fear of autism or the rise of the numbers but because there are just too many especially given all at once.

Water Safety is Critical

CARD-USF

water safety tip

There are a number of swimming lessons and water safety education resources throughout the communities we serve through CARD-USF. They may or may not have expertise working with students with autism spectrum disorder. CARD-USF staff provide trainings upon request to various recreation programs, but even with our training, you need to make sure the instructors and programs you choose are right for your family. Please let us know if there are some terrific programs that worked well for your family so we can share the good news with other families. Here is a list of resources for all 14 counties we serve: swim lessons

Disclaimer: As a policy, CARD will not lend its name to the endorsement of any specific program, practice, or model that is offered for service to people with autism and related disabilities. However, the sharing of information and training opportunities are key functions of the…

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Those Moments When Autism Hurts

There are moments through this autism journey that will test a parent’s strength and emotional well being. These moments will also touch upon this spot in our heart that is soft, delicate and extremely fragile that we as autism parents have mended back together time and time again. This part of our heart was initially broken the day we received the diagnosis and through the years we learn to persevere and mend our broken hearts so that we can remain focused and strong for our children. My fragile spot on my heart cracked a bit tonight. As I was brushing Avah’s hair I said excitedly, “only a few weeks left of school and then Summer!” She looked up at me with a smile and said, “Summer Camp?”. As I began to say, “No, not this year” she begins to say, ” Science Camp, make slime?”. She was referring to last Summer her week long camp at MOSI. She finished out the week program but after that week they felt it wasn’t a good fit for her because of some of her behavioral needs. In her mind she had a great time at camp and loved creating things there. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be asking me a year later. However, they thought differently. At that moment, that spot in my heart began to ache and crack once again. “Damn you autism” but most importantly, “damn you society”. I so badly wish people could see past her autism and the difficulties it brings. I so badly wish people could see Avah the way I see her. Most importantly, I wish people would give Avah and others with disabilities at least a chance! I’m not saying it will be easy, it will be trying at times BUT it is so beyond worth it. Just give them a chance. Work through those challenges and give them an opportunity to at least show you their true self when they are in a understanding environment. So here I am weakened by my hurting heart. The only thing I could think to say is, “Avah, people suck and sometimes they don’t understand”. I’m not sure if she understood where I was going with my comment but It just came out. I kept brushing her hair and changed the subject to her upcoming surfing event. Once again, the spot in my heart is on the mend but will soon be healed and tucked away until the next time autism life rears its ugly head. ~ Adrian

I Got My Degree. Now What?

Okay.

So I know some people, (*cough*) my family in particular, will be the first to respond to this post with, “What do you mean, now what?” or “Already getting bored with no school?”. So let me just say NO! To both questions. I am not getting bored. And for those who are asking if I am going to grad school, the answer is also no! So far I am enjoying my ‘freedom’ of coming home and being a productive member of the household.

What I mean by the title of ‘Now what?’ is simply this. You work so hard for this degree; for this piece of paper that essentially says, ‘Yay me I survived countless all nighters, mastered APA writing standards and a time management ninja” but what now? I’m an ‘older’ graduate already working full time and providing for a family. I just don’t feel as though I am ‘ready to take on the world’ like a young graduate might feel. Hell I’ve taken on and lived in the real world already (Ps. it isn’t fun).

I guess I’m at a cross road now with my degree. It is harder to chase your dreams and go after these career goals when you have a family to think about and provide for. However, you feel like your selling yourself short by staying put and not utilizing your degree the way you want and exploring your passion.

What are your thoughts? Did you feel this way when you graduated? I’d love to know or maybe I’m just the only one who feels this way.

~ Adrian

A year at CARD

quote blog  Today marks a whole year that I have been with CARD (Center for Autism & Related Disabilities). When I got the opportunity I was thrilled to do the work that I enjoy for a cause    that I’m so passionate about. I truly feel that Avah’s diagnosis and having to become a ‘warrior mother’ has given me purpose in this life. Has opened my eyes and heart to help people in  general but mostly a deep desire to work with and help families and parents like me. When I got the opportunity to begin working at CARD I was so excited and thought this will be amazing. Boy was I right. This past year has flown but never fell short of amazing.

Most importantly the friendships that have been created this past year, I am beyond grateful for. Each and every one of my coworkers are hard working and passionate individuals wanting to help families and assist individuals on the autism spectrum overcome their challenges. It is amazing to see each and every day the work they put in for families and young adults here in our Learning Academy. I am in awe of my co-worker’s perseverance and over abundance of joy they get from helping people and celebrate with the families for each milestone or hurdle the individuals overcomes. I have built relationships with other warrior mothers that are on staff and our constituency board members. Being able to share stories and learn from mothers who have already traveled the path Avah and I are on is an honor. Being able to see their beautiful daughters who are grown and doing amazing things helps give me hope for Avah’s future. These women have become a huge part of my life and know the struggles I face and no how to lend a hand and kind words anyway possible.

We work hard. We are dedicated here at CARD but we do have fun. Laughter can be heard bellowing down the halls. Our lunchtime together is always like a comedy show. Everyone clicks. We all have our place here to do the very best for individuals and their families who face many struggles daily.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to come here to work each and every day. Most importantly, it feels great to know I am exactly where I am suppose to be. Here’s to many more years ahead.

Blowing up balloons with Beverly for our WaWa party

Blowing up balloons with Beverly for our WaWa party. Sad it wasn’t staying up LOL

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Surfers for Autism

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Sensory Skate night ❤ these ladies

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Bulls game with MK and Beverly

CARDUSF

College Spirit day with the co-workers (some missing)

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Autism Mommas ❤