Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Soccer and Asthma

Our community has a great AYSO chapter. Imagine the excitement in our home when they announced a first-ever spring soccer season. My kids love soccer and were eager to secure spots within the various age brackets.

While this marks our first venture in spring soccer, it also marks another first. This will be the first team sport played by our son since his asthma diagnosis last fall.

Most people have heard of asthma, but many have no idea what it really is. Asthma is a serious, chronic condition that affects the airways of the lungs. During an asthma attack the lining of the airways swells and becomes narrow. This swelling can be present to some degree all of the time, but worsens considerably during an attack. When the airways swell they become more sensitive. Finally, added obstruction is caused when the muscles surrounding the airways tighten.

During an asthma attack a child may tire easily, cough, feel tightness in the chest, wheeze and complain of shortness of breath.

There are many causes, or triggers of asthma. Common triggers include pollen, mold, animal dander, cigarette smoke, respiratory infections and exercise. A person with asthma can respond to any combination of triggers.

With daily medications and peak flow checks, we are working hard to control our son's symptoms. He hasn't had any problems during physical exercise, but we are armed with knowledge and a doctor-endorsed asthma action plan should he have problems.

We are looking forward to a fun and successful spring soccer season because we have equipped ourselves for success on and off the field.

Kids with asthma do not have to sit on the sidelines. If you suspect your child may have asthma, contact your doctor.

You can find out more about Asthma and AYSO soccer here:

Asthma-American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

Asthma- American Lung Association

AYSO- The American Youth Soccer Organization

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bye-Bye Blondie....

The craziest thing happened recently.

Within a few short moments, the clippers emerged victorious. The job at hand was complete.The seat once occupied by my beautiful, blond, baby boy was filled by a dark, bouncing preschooler.

Difficult, it was, to process. My mind was overloaded by the concept. I was torn. I'm so thankful for this child grinning up at me, and yet, fighting desperation. I wanted to rake the blond wisps from the floor and somehow return them to their rightful position.

So, this is what it feels like to leave this stage in life, to watch your youngest child transform. It's sad but not at all unpleasant. Once again, I find myself thankful.....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Looking At Me!

"Touch red. No, this is red. Touch red....GOOD JOB!" Several high fives and loudly proclaimed yays later, we are back at it.

"Eli. Eli. Look at me. Look at me....GOOD LOOKING AT ME!" More yays and high fives and maybe a tickle.

"No. It's worktime." (Sign work time.) "First work, then ball."

"Ont baw."
"ELI! Good talking! Good talking to Mama!"

"Touch stomach. Stomach. Here. This is your s.t.o.m.a.c.h. Eli. Touch stomach...YAAAY!"

"Now it's breaktime." (Sign break time.) "Take a break, Eli."

And so it goes. Over and over. This is what Discrete Trial sounds like. Discrete Trial is a component of ABA therapy, or Applied Behavioral Analysis, the therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Kids with Autism must be taught in small repetitive increments. One skill must be repeated ten times, one hundred times, one thousand times. The color red, for example. Eli is learning the color red. We have been working on the color red since November. He is 'touching' red most of the time now. But, we haven't started adding a distracter yet. It's just red. A red square or a picture of something red. No other color. Next, we'll work on blue. When he willingly touches blue at least 80% of the time, we'll start back with 'touch red' while showing him a red object beside a blue object. And we'll go on and on until he can identify his colors.

At 3 yrs, 4 months old, Eli has speech therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy every week. He attends a public school preschool that is ABA methodology-based five days a week. He receives his discrete trial therapy every morning at school and works again at home in the afternoon.

Every opportunity is a learning experience. This is true for all of us. With Eli, every opportunity is a basic, broken-down-into-pieces learning experience. If he wants to work a puzzle, he works a puzzle. We talk about the picture on the puzzle, we trace the shapes within the puzzle, we point to the color red. If he picks up a toy, someone in the house is down with him for Floortime, another component of ABA. This is when he learns to interact with another person and make more eye contact, share (my turn, your turn) and play with the toy appropriately instead of just, say, spinning its wheels.

Eli is diagnosed with PDD-NOS. This is also called Atypical Autism or sometimes High Functioning Autism. Eli happens to love discrete trial work. A real blessing. He lives in a home where he has four siblings and two parents who love him and care about his future. Everyone pitches in to help. Another blessing. Blessed? By autism? We are so blessed because of Eli!

Because Autism therapies are not covered by health insurance, his home therapist is....me. I'm not a trained ABA therapist. I'm just his mom. And I'll do whatever it takes to help him.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Here are some facts about Autism.

*Taken from Autism Speaks.org:

  • 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
  • 1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
  • 67 children are diagnosed per day
  • A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

To find out more about Autism, visit the following web sites:




I earn FREE Amazon gift cards just by searching the Web! Click the banner below to sign up for your own SwagBucks account and earn FREE MONEY in 2012!

Swidget 1.0

The things I talk about~

ABA ADHD anniversary Art Asperger's Syndrome Asthma Asthma attack Autism Autism Awareness Autism Awareness Day Back to School Beads of Courage Beale Street Believe Believing in myself Biggest Loser Biggest Loser Finale birthday birthday cake Black History Blog4CHD BlogFrog Blogging Body parts Book Sneeze Review box of rocks Breaking News Cade Cake camera hog cardiology CHD CHD quilt chickenpox chocolate Christmas Civil Rights Clever Girls Clint congenital heart disease congenital heart disease awareness CSN giveaway CSN Stores CSNBaby product review and giveaway CSNBaby product review and giveaway winner Cyber Monday Daily Blog Review Dare2Shine Dawg Deep South Moms dentist diet Discrete Trial Dish Network Disney diy Dollhouse Project DSL problems Easter easy canvas prints ecosmart Eli Elvis Emma's quilt Emmy Couture Epilepsy Excuses exercise family Family Friday family life family verse of the year FIAR first lost tooth Flu Focus on Autism Follow Friday Food Fran Friday Follow Friday ramblings Frustration Funky Heart Gigi-to-be Giveaway giveaway winner GKTW glenn shunt guest post Halloween Happy New Year high school holiday Home home decor Home School Wednesday homeschooling infant loss inquiring minds Jack joy Jump Rope for Heart kids LeBonheur Life 360 Lily losing weight Magical Moments Make a Wish marriage Me Medical Monday Memories Memphis Memphis Zoo miracles miscarriage Mississippi River Mother's Day My Garden Novica OHS Ouch Painting Perfect 10 Preschooler product review and giveaway product giveaway product review Project Living Room propeller questions Randomness reflection Review Week Room a Month Makeover Sam School School days scrapbooking Shelby Forest Shrek Simple Woman's Daybook small town life snow Special Needs SpellQuizzer Spring Summer SVT Thanksgiving The Truth Project To Do Tuesday Transformation Thursday Trent Tyndale Blog Network Review Ultimate blog party valentine's day Watercolors Winner winter word of the year WORDLESS WEDNESDAY WORTHY Writer's Workshop Yum