On the left my son is almost 15 years old. However, I still see him as the little boy on the right🤷🏽♀️. Yes, it’s unrealistic, but there’s something about my Scoompy that makes me want and need to protect him forever. I’m so grateful to God for every milestone he has reached and every obstacle he has overcome. We were once told that he would never speak clearly and didn’t know if his writing would ever be legible. MJ continues to learn and grow. And through the process, I continue to do the same.
I recently received this alert saying that I have been blogging for 3 years! I honestly cannot believe that it’s already been that long. I remember how nervous I was to begin blogging. Where MJ is concerned, I tend to be a little bit more private than I normally would be. MJ was ending his 5th grade year and hadn’t even started middle school yet! Boy was I anxious!!! As the days and months go by I continue to write and read other blogs and learn so much from other special needs parents. The knowledge and support that I have received has been truly wonderful. I’m looking forward to many more years of blogging 😁.
My daughter’s birthday is coming up. This year she wanted to do something different so I mentioned Disney and of course she was totally excited about it! I immediately went online to try and find what weekend would have less crowds. My daughter’s birthday is Presidents Day weekend and I knew that would be a nightmare for MJ ( heck, for all of us)! After researching I found that February 8th-11th is a non peak weekend and therefore would work well for us. When we do visit Orlando, we only focus on one theme park. There is no park hopping over here. MJ would never be able to tolerate that. My daughter decided on Animal Kingdom this time. I was pleased because MJ loves animals and I knew he’d enjoy it too. We always pack the essentials: gold fish, Caprisun, apples, headphones, portable DVD player and his tablet. Im so relieved that he does well on road trips. He is relaxed and mostly looks out of the window while occasionally asking, “are we there yet?” When we first get to the hotel we settle in and then walk around and check out the resort. Then it’s time to eat! They always have his favorite (nuggets and fries). Next up is always the arcade. It’s so nice to see the kids playing together and not getting on each other’s nerves (yes Jesus)! The next day is our theme park day. I prepared MJ by showing him videos of Animal Kingdom with the attractions and rides. We also reviewed a map of the park and the hotel we’d be staying in. When we first got there we immediately went to guest services for their “disability access service” which allows MJ to go on attractions a little faster, in order to avoid meltdowns. After that it was time to explore the park! MJ was a bit hesitant when we got there. He walked slowly, with his head down, and looked aggravated. Hubby had to hang back with him for a few minutes while I went ahead with Morgan. She was thrilled with all there was to see and I could tell that it bothered her that MJ was less enthused (insert prayer here). It took about 30 minutes for him to ” warm up.” We had fun on Kilimanjaro’s Safari, and on rides in the Dinosaur area. The Festival of the Lion King show was great! Unfortunately MJ slept through the entire show which was really a bummer because I knew he’d enjoy that (One of his favorite TV shows right now is The Lion Guard). Six hours flew by and I could tell by the look on his face that it was time to go. We are always sure not to over do it with him. After Animal Kingdom we had dinner then the kids enjoyed the resort pool for the rest of the evening and the next day. We had a wonderful time and though this trip was really all about Morgan, we can never really go anywhere without planning for MJ.
The only picture of All of us together that we took:
Ain’t this the truth!
Courtesy of @bloomingwithautism
Am I the only autism parent that believes some behaviors are not directly related to autism?
Am I the only autism parent that actually believes that early intervention is key-That we have to begin teaching our kids early on?
Am I the only one who believes that our kids can learn to say please, thank you, and excuse me etc?
Am I the only one that believes we need to teach/discipline our kids when we know that they are purposefully being defiant or disrespectful?
Am I the only one that expects her 11 year old child to know now that it is inappropriate to throw things across the room.
Am I the only one who has to teach her child not to yell at adults when he doesn’t get his way?
Am I the only one that didn’t take her child to church/ restaurants because there was no way he would be able to sit through a church service or meal; and refused to take him until he was ready?
Sometimes it is difficult to know if the behavior is related to autism or if the child is just being defiant. In my opinion, it is up to the parent to know their child and to know the difference.
My husband and I have returned from our “stay married vacation” and we have checked all the boxes:
- Have sex without the kids interrupting…CHECK!
- Miss the kids but prevent ourselves from calling them 3 times a day…Check
- Have fun…check
- Reconnect and fall in love again…check
- Come back refreshed and in a better position to parent…check!
We really did have a wonderful time and I am already planning next year’s vacation. I hope we have inspired someone to take their own “stay married vacation” 🙂
Haven’t we all heard that 50% of all marriages end in divorce? Well add a special needs child and that rate goes up to 80%. Many people say that rate is untrue. Regardless of your own personal view I think most people agree that marriage can be difficult. Even if you are swinging from the chandeliers every night, there are still difficult moments and seasons in a marriage. About 6 years ago my husband and I began taking what I call a “stay married vacation” once a year. It has become a priority in our marriage to take this vacation. This is a KIDLESS vacation! This is our time to relax, reconnect, have sex without a child knocking on the door and asking us to open the door, and just have a REAL break! It has been amazing for us. We return home rejuvenated and better prepared to handle our daily lives. My dad and stepmom have stayed with our kids for all of these vacations. It is wonderful for the kids as well because they know it’s their special time with granddad and grandma. I am forever grateful to them for this. We are able to go away and not worry about the kids at all. Soon we will be going on this vacation. This is one thing that we do as a couple to make sure we maintain a happy marriage and a happy home.
Last year’s stay married vacation in Puerto Rico 😊