Thursday, May 31, 2012

Love of quilting

I have not done any quilting for some time now.  Since before I moved into this house in November of 2009.  I had put away a fat quarter quilt that I had started cutting up when we decided to put the old house up in August 2009.  I had to pack up all my projects to have the house ready to view and never really set up a new area in this home.  I had sewed some things but really the area was a disaster.

We are cleaning out the basement and organizing our areas now that the playroom has been completed.  I am finally organizing my sewing area that I share with the 5 guinea pigs  :D  I got a 9-cube shelving unit with fabric drawers.  Craig put up a peg board on the wall and I am setting up a second folding table to create a T-shaped sewing desk.

I have a co-worker whose little man turns 1 in August and has invited us all to share with her excitement on his big day.  So what does a crafter do?  Starts planning ANOTHER project!  WOOT WOOT!!!

I start scouring for fabric.  Immediately come across the center piece fabric and enlist my co-workers for opinions on coordinating fabric choices.  Order it and got it over the weekend.

Last night I started cutting the three fabrics.  Cut out the squares for the main fabric. Pieced the coordinating fabrics that I had cut into 16- 2 1/2 stripes and cut out the 31-6 1/2'' rectangles and the 40- 2 1/2'' rectangles.   Then it was bedtime!  Well, after I check out how it will all look together.  Then it was REALLY bedtime.

This morning I sewed the 40 pieces together into the alternating squares and sewed two rows together.  Very pleased. 

I had forgotten how much I loved doing this.  The sewing....the cutting....the ironing....the final piece assembling itself.

So while cleaning the basement over Memorial Day Weekend, I came across two quilting projects that had been bagged up and put away.  One project has been put on hold of over 4 years!  So I took it to work today to see if I can salvage the project and was astounded to see how close I actually was to completion!

All the squares had been pieced together!  I even had one row sewn together.  The fabric had been in a closed bag,  I even have the border and backing that I had purchased for it.  Just needs to be sewn all together and then I will throw it in the wash before adding the batting and hand-tying the quilt.  Just to get any musty smells out and to iron over 4 years of wrinkles. 


BACKING-actually sad that I do not have more of this instead of the border
  Might as well finish it up and put it up online at my Etsy store.  Then perhaps complete the fat quarter quilt that is half started.  Waste not....want not.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tandem Bike Riding Continued......

So, Memorial Day weekend was another couple of successful bike rides!!!

Saturday, we rode around the neighborhood before lunch.  It was so warm.  Amanda had a blast.  She did lots of pedaling with Daddy.

Monday, we went to the Blackstone River Bike Path.  We rode 5 miles.  2.5 each way.  Amanda was nervous at first because she did not recognize the area.  But soon as we pedaled over the river and along the waterway, I could hear "WHEEEEE" and "Daddy, go FASTER!!!!!"

She was so happy.  It was great.  This was what we wanted to do as a family.  Amanda's autism and sensory delays threatened to not allow us to do this.  But the WeeRide Pro-Pilot allowed us to be able to do this.

So if you have a child with Autism or any other disability that interfers with them being able to ride a bike with you, please consider this.  It has added to our family.  Amanda is enjoying bike riding.  Looks forward to getting on the bike.  And wants to go faster!!!!!

I have already ordered the secondary hitch for my bike to make for easy changes and a new seat post that I can attach it to easily without crushing the suspension.  Hopefully, she will adjust  to me on the front!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WeeRide Pro-Pilot update

I sent an email Monday and got a response today to call the company directly with an 800-number. 

Ordered an additional hitch for my bike for 20.00 and then 4.95 for shipping.  It is being shipped today or tomorrow.

I will just need to take the basket attachment off my bike and replace the seat pin.  The seat may need to be raised a little too.

My Schwinn Discover Hybrid

Of course, biking with Pro-Pilot and Amanda on the end will greatly increase the workout and the soreness for the next few days :D

This way, she can ride behind Craig part of the time and with an easy switch of a linch pin, we can put her behind my bike.  Then both of us can ride with Tessa ahead.

Cannot wait for the hitch to arrive!!!!!!!  Now to get myself a basket for the front for juices and water for the family.  Yay us!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On a bicycle now built for two....

Saturday morning, Amanda's tandem bike attachment arrived!!!  She was very excited and ran out to see the Fedex man.

That afternoon, Daddy put the bike together.

Watching Daddy read the instructions

And they were off for a brief test ride.  She was very nervous.

She did not pedal at all.  Just hung on for dear life!  But they went around the block.

Not so keen on the hill and turn.

But it was a successful test. 

And Sunday, late morning, we arrived at Rocky Point Walking Path.

Getting set to go.....
 And then they were off.  She yelled at him all the way down to stop.  He would stop and allow her to settle and then start off again....This repeated a few times until he just kept going.

She hung on tightly, very nervous until they went around one corner and I heard "WHEEEEEEEEE" from an excited little girl.

Tessa and I followed until we caught up with them.  Rode until the end and turned around.

Her bike gathered lots of attention from walkers and fellow bike riders.

Stopping to show off the bike

Starting back again
On the ride back, I rode behind them and coaxed Amanda to start pedaling.  She needed to be reminded to switch legs.  First she was just moving her legs forward and back.  So I rode behind yelling "LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!!" until she remembered what to do.  Then I just told her what a great job she was doing.

Craig offered to stop and let her play at the beach and she did not want to stop.  So we raced up the hill to the start.

All in all, it was a great first bike ride as a family.  She knew she was safe.  Hills are still not her favorite.  We have to get another hitch attachment for my bike and remove the basket holder so it can fit.  But for now, she is comfortable behind Daddy.  Amanda will be able to learn to deal with the sensory input of riding a bike and learn to control her balance.

So, for your littles, who for whatever reason, cannot ride unassisted, this is a great alternative.  You know they will be safe and able to keep up with the family. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike riding with Autism

Tessa learned to ride her bike without training wheels last fall.  She has been wanting to go bike riding with both Craig and I for ages.  Now that the warm weather has come and both Mommy and Daddy have new bikes, the poor girl is so excited to go.

Amanda, on the other hand, cannot ride a bike unassisted.  Even with training wheels.  She is distracted by the world.  The multiple sensory inputs of the wind in her face, sun in her eyes, having to pedal the bike, steer the bike all while trying to pay attention to where she is going and the world around her.

We toyed with a few ideas.  One was a tricycle but finding a tricycle in her size is difficult without spending a great deal of money.  The adaptive tricycles are extremely cost-prohibitive.

I scoured and came across this:

Bike USA Junior Stabilizer Wheel Kit
Those wheels attach to a 20'' BMX Bike Frame.  I started doing research on the type of bike.  Went to lots of bike stores looking at bikes to see which ones could have this attached and still be a pretty princess bike for our Ms Panda.  Asked many associates on their thoughts.  Showed it to Amanda to get her opinion.  I thought it was a great option.

Last Saturday, we took turns trying Amanda on Tessa's old bike with the regular training wheels.  She was so anxious and scared.  We both were cramped and sore from holding onto the bike, hunched over.  Reminding her to pedal.  Trying to get her to steer.  Watching her as she watched her shadow on the ground.  I realized that this was going to be too much for her right now.

But we are not ready to leave her behind.  And her sister needs to bike with both parents too.  And she is too big to ride in those trailer attachments or seats.

So back to research mode.  And I found this:

Tandem Bike Attachment
 The attachment will fit both Craig's mountain bike and my hybrid.  She has the option of either pedalling or not.   She just needs to sit and hold on.  This way, she can join us biking and slowly gain her confidence and learn to deal with all the sensory inputs of bike riding.

I bought it last night and paid 9.00 to have it shipped for Saturday delivery.  Will post pictures and let you know how it worked out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Knitting beyond my comfort continued....

Yesterday, I blogged about my attempt to knit beyond my comfort zone by knitting a lovely sweater seen here:

Zoe Sweater
It is a top-down knitting pattern with lace work and cables, both of which I have never done.  I have knitted a ballet sweater for my daughter that required seed stitching at the edge and the rest was knitted in stockinette stitch and seamed together.  I knitted it in 5 pieces, two arms, the left and right side slanted front and then the back.  It was cute.  But this is one piece with picking up stitches to complete.

The new techniques that I would be learning would be lace work, cable stitch, casting on in the middle of the work, picking up stitches and binding off in purl stitch.  WHEW!!!  Wow, that is a lot when I write it out!!!  Thank goodness for YouTube videos!!!

I posted that I was not convinced that the pattern emerging looked right, but that I was not giving in and frogging it.  That I was going to believe and follow the pattern. 

I looked and looked at my emerging work.  I looked and looked at the pattern picture.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.


It is upside down!!!!  Turn it around and I am in a happy place.
I continued with my stitching, confident in my pattern.

Then tonight, I realize that it cannot be that way as this is a TOP DOWN pattern.  Stress.

It has to be this way.....see the markers where I would slip the cap sleeves off....

It could be the rolling of the stockinette stitch that is throwing off my perception of the project.


Just when I thought I was working this right.  I have only 5 more rows until I slip the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn.  Then, perhaps, I shall see this more clearly.

"In your pattern, believe, my young padawan." Yoda, as a knitting instructor, says in my head.

"Yes, Master Yoda."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Knitting beyond your comfort zone

As I have previously mentioned, I am better at crochet than knitting.  But I know that my knitting skills are never going to improve unless I start knitting projects outside my comfort zone.  I have baby hats on DPNs under control now and felt it was time to push my boundaries.

I saw this sweater this weekend and feel in LOVE with it!!!

Zoe Cardigan

I have never done lace work or cables but I decided to give it a whirl and bought the pattern.  I LOVE instant downloads :D

Grab myself a longer size 6 circular needle and some lovely silk bamboo yarn and off I went!!!!

Here is where I was at yesterday:

Not completely convinced that the cast on stitches at the end are correct....

 Today, I am here:

Still not convinced it is correct.....

I shall keep trying to see how this plans out.  I am not giving up and frogging yet.  The lace work and the cables are coming out beautifully and I am in love with the yarn.  If I am able to pull it off, this shall be a gorgeous sweater with a nice drape.  So I shall endeavor to carry on believing in the pattern and my pattern reading skills, which luckily, are pretty good as the pattern has left out a step or two so far.

Wish me luck and check back in for my progress!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Placement meetings and IEPs

Nothing makes a parent of a special needs child panic and sweat like getting home the annual meeting notices.  It is May and for us, it is THAT time of year again.

So at the beginning of May, I got home the notice for Amanda's placement meeting where I would meet with a room full of professionals, all of whom had already decided Amanda's placement for next year should be.  All this prior to writing her IEP.  Amanda's IEP expires at the end of June, technically.  And placement for 2nd grade needed to be made.

Oh God....oh God.....the nerves.  This year has been so difficult for her.  And the last few weeks, she has had to be removed from the classroom for tantrums.  Even with a one-to-one aide, she has struggled.

Where would they ship my baby off to?  She was so excited to be able to attend the same school as her sister this year.  She had to attend a different school for Kindergarten.  She would be heartbroken to have to move.  But honestly, if the school did recommend it, I would have to go with it.  This school has been incredible in trying to understand Amanda and teach her. 

What if they recommended retention?  Would I be able to hold back Amanda?  Her handwriting is difficult.  The thought of her handling the Math Minute quizzes and other things Tessa has done this year is something I could not even imagine her doing.  The anxiety of doing as many math problems as possible in a minute would put her over the edge.  But she is smart.  She knows her stuff.  But again, if the school recommended it, I would go with their recommendations.

So this morning, I head off to the school after a not so lovely night of sleeping....Wait in the office with butterflies doing mach 1 flight testing in my stomach.  I head down with Mrs M, Amanda's teacher, to a room filled with people.  There is the school psychologist, Speech therapist, school Social worker, school's special educator, the principal and Mrs M.

So Mrs M started talking about Amanda's year and how even with everything that they have done, with in itself is impressive, Amanda still requires more support.  That she has made great improvement and belongs in 2nd grade and that she feels that she does belong in a regular classroom, she just needs that much more support.

Drum roll please.....Here is comes.....

Ms D, the principal, says that she has created a classroom that is a partial self-contained.  It will have a special education teacher and an aide.  It is like a home room set-up.  That the goal is to have Amanda in the regular classroom as much as possible.  But this room would be there if she needed pullouts to help with academics or breaks, rather than a desk in the hall for one-to-one work if the aide was at lunch.  A safe room when she cannot control herself or needs self-regulating time with a weighted blanket or beanbag chair.  A place to present new materials and give her time to learn it such as with the Math Minutes etc.  This way, she will maintain the relationships that she has built in the school and still be safe and meet her educational needs.

I started to tear up.  I cried in the meeting.  Here is a school doing everything in its power to keep my baby there.  Most schools would have welcomed the opportunity to say "She needs these accommodations and it is available at THIS district school."  Not this school.  The principal went toe to toe and pushed for this classroom so that the students who needed more support did not have to be placed elsewhere.  A school that in only its second year of inclusion is doing EVERY in their power to keep THEIR students there.  This is a principal who cares deeply about her students.

I remember when I wanted Amanda to attend Kindergarten there.  This team strongly suggested where she ended up.  Ms D walked me to the office and I will never forget these words, "No matter what Kindergarten she attends, she comes back here.  She is OUR student."  Imagine what those words mean to a parent?  Someone WANTS your child.  Not something we experience often.

So Amanda will be placed in a classroom created for her and a handful of other students that this school wants to keep there but need more support.  Right now, there are about three 2nd graders, one 1st grader and one third grader.  No one older than 3rd grade.   Mrs M said that the group of 1st graders that Amanda and the other two have been with have been compassionate and learning themselves.  They also do not want the typical children to lose that by taking those who need more support away.

I was blown away today by my daughter's school, teachers and principal.  I walked away wanting to have flowers delivered to the school.

Not every day will be easy.  But today was a good day and I walked outside and set those butterflies free to fly where ever their hearts desired.............

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ode to a good night's sleep.....

Amanda slept through the night last night. Third night in a row!  And for our Panda, that is huge.
Craig had to wake her each morning.

Last night I tucked her into bed and pulled up her weighted blanket.  She cuddled down up the blanket and looked up and said, "Thank you so much Mommy for making my new blanket.  I love it."

There is nothing more rewarding than that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A weighty subject-part 2

 I finished Amanda's weighted blanket Tuesday night. 

She was already in bed when I finished.  I had to run a 1/4 seam around to close in the ends and tidy up the blanket.

She was still up at 10pm so I brought it up to her room and placed it on her bed.  She was very happy.  She has either a head cold or allergies right now and was pretty miserable trying to sleep. 

Checked on her about 20 minutes later and she was out!  And she stayed in her room all night and woke up in a good mood, except for having to scrub dried snot off her face.

So on THAT note, here are the pictures of the finished product.

All tidied up with strings cut

On top of her bed in the morning

Tonight, Craig drove out and got her some allergy meds to help with the stuffiness.  She could barely eat dinner because she was so stuffy.  About an hour later, off to bed she goes.  Snuggles down under her new blanket.  8:40 rolls around and miracles amaze us.....she is not moving around in her room.

9:30, I go and check on her.  She is OUT.  Sleeping peacefully.  IN. THE. DARK!  She had turned off her lamp!!!  Amanda has slept with a lamp on for over a year now due to anxiety and nightmares.  

She turned it off and went to sleep!

Whether it was the allergy meds, the blanket, or a combination of both, I will certainly take it!!!!  She was relaxed enough to turn off her light and go to sleep!!!

Sleep well, little Panda-girl.  Sleep well.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A weighty subject

Amanda has been seeking deep pressure more in last year or so.  She always rested her chest on her computer desk enough that she has a rough spot on her skin.  At one point, I was afraid that she had displaced a rib because I could not feel it.  Seems she has a floating rib there.  She was wearing a weighted vest at school to help her with her need for deep pressure.  Her school therapists were seeing her put pressure on her face at times.

Lately she has been using a weighted blanket at school when stressed.  She actually curls up in a bean bag chair and pulls the blanket over her, seeking to be surrounded by the pressure.  Her one-to-one aide, Ms Elizabeth was nervous because Amanda is tiny.  She was worried about suffication.

So about a month ago I made her a weighted lap pad for classroom work.  I made both sides out of cotton fabric and added ribbons to the sides for sensory play.  My first attempt was rough.  The number of poly pellets were not equal.  The squares were not equal either.  The ribbons did not match exactly in the middle of the squares as intended.   But as a rough draft, I was pleased.  So I brought it to school the next day with Tessa and Amanda to give it to Ms Elizabeth. 

First attempt
To my surprise, it came home with her that night.  I was concerned that perhaps either the OT at school did not appreciate it or if Amanda had been too distracted with it.  Amanda had told me that she had cuddled with it at school, so distraction was a concern.  I took her to school the next day with it to make sure.  Ms Elizabeth told me that Amanda had loved it so much that she did not want to leave it at school.  She had tried to find a special place for Amanda to leave it but Amanda was resistant.  Ms Elizabeth sent it home rather than having something postive turn into a negative.  Good call.  So it went back and forth while I planned another one.

In the time period of planning, a friend of ours whose daughter has sensory issues, asked if I would make one for Abby.  Abby is a dear friend of Amanda's.  Of course.  My first sale!

So I came across an idea to use a piece of muslin fabric to plot out the grid for the squares and borders using a fabric marker.  With the quilting rotary pad in the picture above and a quilting ruler, it was a BREEZE to plot the grids.  Off I went with my small balancing scale and weighed poly pellets, sewed rows, cut ribbons and then added a pretty pink minkee fabric to the back rather than cotton. 

Pretty minkee.  Oh so soft and pleasing to sensory seekers.
The difference between my first and my second/third(Abby's and Amanda's are identical) is amazing.  The inner muslin liner made a huge difference.  My rows were even.  The placement of the ribbons were perfect!

So I kept home my first attempt and sent in my second lap pad.  Both Abby and Amanda love their princess lap pads.  Abby said that "it makes me feel much calmer" and she sat in her chair at school without a problem!  And both girls are pretty princesses so the fabric was a hit!
Now, onto my next project!  Because anyone who knows me knows that I am never at rest but go from one project to another.....I have many UFOs(Un-Finished Objects).  A weighted blanket for Amanda's bed!!!!
Amanda has many sleep issues.  Sleep and her are not friends.  Heck, they are mortal enemies.  Amanda has frequent nightmares and often has anxiety about going to sleep. 

Cannot imagine why............................

Off to the fabric store we go!!!!  Also picked up a digital scale to weigh the pellets.  Much easier to do the required grams per square!!!

Now of course, the muslin is much bigger than the quilting pad so there is some mental planning required to plot out the grid.  So I did it in halfs.  So the grid was plotted on Sunday afternoon and sewn to the cotton fabric on Sunday evening. 

Yesterday was the measuring and sewing!  Measure 6 dixie cups of 55 grams of pellets.  Pour into the 6 channels.  Sew across the row to encase the pellets.  Rise, lather and repeat for all 11 rows.  Amanda helped stack the cups and pour into the channels.  She kept the whip cracking on my back asking when I was going to be finished.
Muslin lining with all 66 squares stuffed and sewn

Close up of the squares.  You can see the lines for the seam allowances.

Finally, a picture from the front:

 It is HEAVY.  It is only 8 lbs but feels like so much more.  I have to add the flannel backing tonight.  So Amanda should have this for tomorrow.  Although after her NOT sleeping last night,  I may be working OT after dinner to get it done for tonight.  Wednesdays are also a highly anxious day for Amanda for some reason that we have yet to pinpoint. 

So I am planning on having lap pads, small blankets and twin-sized weighted blankets added to my Etsy site soon and will be taking orders.  I would love to make these for other children in fabrics that they love.  Little boys with trains, planes, pirate, and adventure hero fabric!  Dancers, butterflies, princesses, and fairies galore for the little princesses out there.  So if you know of any one in need, send them to me!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Family Genealogy and Black Sheep

I have been researching my family tree on and off since 2000.  We have come across a great deal of information.  It appears that Craig and my family NEVER left New England.  Sure some may have gone west but the majority stayed here.   We are New Englanders tried and true.  Craig is descended through William White, Mayflower Compact and from the first baby born in the New World, Peregrine White.  I am descended from multiple Revolutionary War soldiers and am the 8th great granddaughter of Roger Williams.  Also, I am descended through the Bucklins which were involved in the burning of the Gaspee.

Well, I came across some information on an ancestor named Margaret White Colwell born about 1635 and died 1717.  Her father's name was William White.  was excited to see perhaps if she was a White from the Mayflower, but alas no.....but there is even more curious information.

She was married 3 times!!!!  In that time period....As a woman.....Now, men often remarried frequently due to the rate of death in childbirth.  But for a woman???

Craig started teasing that I was descended through a Black Widow.  So I did some more poking about and found this interesting little tidbit:

In a separate incident, William's daughter, Margaret, already married to Robert Colwell, ran away with her married neighbor, Thomas Walling; both deserted their families. Colwell secured his divorce
2 July 1667; Margaret had returned to Boston and was ordered to be publicly whipped 15 stripes
and was fined £5 in October 1666. Colwell went to Long Island, Walling also obtained a divorce
and he married Margaret in 1669. After his death in 1674, her third husband, Daniel Abbott, took her to court. Apparently they reconciled, she was named in his will.

So she was not a Black Widow after all.  Just a tramp!!!!!  Wow.  In that day and age.... Can you imagine the scandal that must have caused in 1666??? Sad that I am more boring than my ancestor.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day for Autism

Tessa, Amanda and I attended our first Project Autism of RI's Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day for Autism on Sunday, April 29th.  It was the 10th Annual Day.  Previous years, the weather had not been advantageous for us going but Sunday was 60 degrees and sunny so off we went.

I had hope to walk with the girls but Amanda was resistant to walking.  And seeing as how we were there to honor her in a way, I decided that taking her around all the fun things would be cool too.....

First was a bouncy house obstacle course.  Tessa had a blast.  Amanda had difficulty since it was a climbing wall.  She made it up one with Tessa but the second one was too much for her to face.  So off we went to another bouncy that had soccer balls to toss threw holes.

Then both girls got to hold a snake!  Proud mommy moment there since the little boys were refusing to hold them and up walked both my girly-girls who instantly held the snake. 

Then came pony rides.  Tessa had been wanting to ride a pony for some time now and had not had an opportunity.  Last year, Amanda had a paralyzing fear of horses.  She had a full-blown panic attack in the car when we stopped at the Goddard Park Stables to set up an appointment for Tessa. 

So we waited in line for the pony rides because Amanda wanted to ride a pony too.  Amanda got as far as sitting on the horse for a bit.  The folks were great as they are used to kiddos with Autism and their fears.  She sat long enough for me to get this picture:

And here is an ecstatic Tessa on her pony:

Next was the bubble machine with music.  Bubbles are Amanda's most favorite thing in the world!  I have pictures and the video!

Here is a link to the video as it will not allow it to be embedded due to the music playing:

There was face painting which thrilled the girls to no end......

It was nice to be surrounded by so many people who are there with you.  No one minded any yelling or meltdowns.  No strange looks at flapping children.  A teen-aged boy dancing through the bubbles?  Good for him!!!!  It was lovely and fully accepting.

The only sad part was to see how many families are touched by Autism.  And it hurt to see the older adults as well.  But there was hope.  And that hope was so tangible that it brought tears to my eyes and pain in my heart.
All in all, it was a wonderful day.  I really hope that we can go next year.  I would love to raise money for Project Autism of RI and actually get to walk in Amanda's honor.  Maybe get a team together too.  That would be great!!!  Anyone interested???

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Amongst my autism mommies, we have a saying, "FA".  Really, it more than a saying. It is a battle-cry to war, a scream of pain sent to God or a sad lamentation of pain. 

See, FA stands for F-Autism.  And substitute that F for the real word.  And there you arrive at the heart of FA.

And today, it is all of the above for me.  Today, we reached the day when Amanda's developmental pediatrician looked at me and gently said, "We have now reached the point where we need to discuss medication...."

Amanda has seen this doctor since he diagnosed her with Autism at 29 months old.  And at each appointment, it was always "Keep doing what you are doing....".  Now, what we are doing is not enough.  Granted, he said that if we had not been doing everything we had been, she would have arrived at this point earlier than today.  That we still need to continue doing it with the medication but she needs help.

Basically, her anxiety and her attention issues have gone beyond her control.  She is ending up being removed from class and it effecting her grades in school.  Her anxiety is causing her to not sleep.  She has nightmares all the time and gets up at 2:30-3:30.  Sometimes she comes into our room, other times she goes downstairs by herself.

I do feel quite a bit of guilt here.  I have both anxiety issues and ADHD.  And it seems that I have passed both of these curses onto both of my girls....... I know that anxiety and ADHD are the jelly to the peanut butter sandwich that is Autism, but I predisposed her to this in the first place.

So now we are starting her on an anti-anxiety medication.  I was given the choice between that or ADHD medication.  My fear with the ADHD medication is that they are stimulants and will cause appetite suppression.  Amanda cannot stand to lose any weight.  She will be 7 in July and only weighs about 40lbs.  The other is that they can also cause anxiety.  So my thought is to treat the anxiety first.   He agreed.  Once she is up to a good dose with the anti-anxiety meds, then we will have to start the ADHD.

And now I start the harrowing road of treating my child who cannot tell me of any side effects with medications that cause LOTS of side effects.  And trying to find the best balance of these medications.  All while watching her like a hawk for side effects.


Amanda sitting on a pony for the first time ever at the Imagine Walk for Autism Project of RI