autism, autism Ryan, children, chris, Christmas, colleen, deafness, dogs and cats, God, health, holidays, life, medications, Pans/Pandas, photos, Ryan, sleep, work, work at home, writing

2020 Christmas newsletter

Christmas newsletter

Just one of the 2020 pictures.  https://www.criscollrj.com/2020-monthly-picture-blog/   Click for our 2020 picture blog!!!

Verse I choose for Christmas cards


I wrote the following and printed as my first printed newsletter in 6 years! So much information, yet so much unsaid. I feel like the biggest lesson in this past year is to just grasp each moment and try and live to the fullest, and express gratitude for any good thing that happens. There is so much negativity right now, it is good to be positive as much as possible. And pray for your loved ones, and talk to them as much as you can even if you can’t see them.

Prayers to you all at the closure of this crazy strange year!  Do not believe I’ve sent paper Christmas newsletter since 2014.  I did do electronic newsletter in 2019 (published 12-31), and RIGHT after that my criscollrj.com site failed.  So whether many of you had an opportunity to read it I’m not sure!  I mentioned some dark scary times.  Faith in God is so important, and prayer of family and friends is paramount.  This post says a lot.  Please read if you can.  https://www.criscollrj.com/2011/04/11/the-powers-and-exponents-of-faith/, emphasizing Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I read through entire blog this year and reviewed it and edited it in preparation of moving back into my soon to be revamped original blog site.  I’m glad I wrote so many of these entries years ago – I’d forgotten many of them.

Continue reading “2020 Christmas newsletter”

autism, chris, college

breaking back in –

So out of this habit it’s ridiculous.  So guess I’ll just start with a small post.  I never finished the Christmas newsletter picture section – but will just start over with that next Christmas season!

2017-05-11 18.19.17 I’m still working many many hours for our sweet Chris, and we have discovered new parks to walk in, which I try and eventually introduce to the rest of the family eventually.  This one is the Perry Bluffs and is so beautiful!  The endeavor for an easier way for Christopher to communicate continues, and we try to get more and better ideas all the time.  When we get a day all together as a family we treasure it.  Funny how when something normal like that is discontinued for a time it is so treasured when it happens!

My three month semester break was ending May 31, and I knew I was not going to make that deadline.  So I wrote and asked for another month, not thinking I’d get it, but they granted it until June 30!  So I won’t have to return to my courses until July 1.  Hopefully by then things will be more stable for us with my work schedule and everything else.  I have one more semester of lesson plans, then another semester to write a large research paper.

The BAES degree is more described here BAES Degree– I have decided to get it and believe I will be satisfied with it.  I will have a solid background in both special education and regular education and the ability to make lesson plans, and also I have the year or so of speech pathology and related prerequisites from Kent.  when I do finish and get a job at some point I may seek something managerial in perhaps even the special needs/disabilities arena for adults, or something similar.  I am most familiar with that!  We’ll see what happens.  If everything goes right I should graduate by June of 18 or a little before.  I will also have the opportunity if I wish to to reenroll later and get my teaching degree by completing student teaching and observation.

autism, residency, Uncategorized

things seem to have not changed much in 6 years…

In 2010 we tried to get Chris into a medical placement to help adjust his meds, to no avail.  I posted about it https://criscollrj.com/2010/05/23/the-brick-wall/ .  After that in 2011 we did manage to get a waiver and group home placement (in 2012), and I’m so grateful.  I also can work for Chris there which is a blessing, as I can still spend time with him and see how he’s doing.  But we never were afforded at that time a medical adjustment placement, to see if we have the best mix of medicines possible for him.  Soon he is seeing a sleep expert, and I hope we get some answers there.  His sleep and behaviors are all over the place.

I will add that prior to that, in 2004, we did receive a med adjustment, with the urging of his psychiatrist.  He was just 13 then and had a 10-11 day stay.  He had good results after that that lasted two years.  But as an adult he did not get a med adjustment placement.

However, posting this for a friend of mine (below) who is having similar trouble placing her son, but he is only 9!!  You would think it would be easier to get help for a child than an adult!  Sharing to bring awareness and hopefully more ideas for help for her, and changes to the system….

Hello,
I have a bit of a long story that people need to know about. I live in Duncan, OK. I need someone to listen and bring light to this devastating situation. My family is being failed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and lack of services available for children with Autism in this state. I hope that by getting the word out, some change will come and my son will be given the help he desperately needs. Some background:

My son is 8 years old. He has severe Autism and is nonverbal. He is globally developmentally delayed. He is also very aggressive. Sometimes his triggers are apparent and sometimes he just snaps. He is nearly 5 feet tall and weighs 90+ pounds. He has been aggressive since he was 2 years old. He has been getting more and more destructive the last 6 months or so. On July 14th, my fiance and I took him to Shadow Mountain in Tulsa in hopes that he would be admitted to their inpatient program because his aggressive tendencies were becoming increasingly worse. After driving all the way to Tulsa, we were told that even though they could see that he needs help, they couldn’t help him because he was “too delayed” and with him being nonverbal, he wouldn’t be able to participate in therapy. We were heartbroken but used to being told that there was no help. Services in Oklahoma are TERRIBLE for Autism, especially severe Autism.


On July 16th, my fiancé’s mother was sitting with our children when my son completely lost it. He attacked his Nana and his baby sister. They were both left with bleeding wounds from bites all over their bodies. He had also bitten a portion of his 3 year old sister’s ear completely off. Police and EMS were called. Both of my kids along with their Nana were taken to the hospital. DHS became involved. We were told that night that our kids had to be separated. They were not allowed to be under the same roof. By the time we got to the hospital, DHS had already had my daughter released to go home with her Nana. They made sure that she was gone before we could get there. Duncan Regional refused to keep my son because “he wasn’t their responsibility.” DHS made it very clear that my daughter couldn’t be in the same house as my son. The worker told my kids’ Nana that if she found out that we had been allowed to see our daughter and our son was present, she’d have our little girl taken away.
Continue reading “things seem to have not changed much in 6 years…”

autism, chris, colleen, college, health, Ryan, weight, work

Transfers and Changes!

2013-06-04 16.40.07

summer13

 

After a very busy, enjoyable summer, we are headed into a fall of changes yet excitement!

First, Chris had a very nice summer camp, along with Ryan, part of the time, where the boys got to swim, go to the mall, the movies, play at the park, and just generally get a lot of activity and movement in the sun, and rain!  Both boys enjoy it a lot and we hope they get to attend next year!  Then Chris went back to his workshop and is really accelerating his progress now after their acquiring an autism interventionist (which is what I’m striving to be, eventually!) that is working wonders with him.  I am also putting more programs on the IPad including Autismate Lite and a Social Story program that we hope will be helpful to him.  He also has been playing on a spelling matching game with me that he enjoys a lot!

Ryan also greatly enjoyed that summer camp, and went to another as well, which was from his school and was an autism camp at a local school.  That was more academic, and we were so pleased that he was actually promoted to a higher level class when he was there.  He then decided to test that teacher with some behaviors but then calmed down and did his work the rest of the time he was there.  He then had another week at the activities camp, and is now half done with his first week of NO camp.  This has been hard on him and we are just trying to keep him busy and happy.  Today is scheduled with going out to the store and later going for his before school physical.  Then tomorrow I work and Grandma watches him, then the weekend is full of time with his brother and then only one more week!  AND the 20th he has 2 hours at his school for orientation.  Before I know it, Ryan will be in 6th grade – August 26!  New school, new teacher, but most likely mostly the same classmates.

Colleen is preparing for her 2nd year of college and most likely will be working at the same time.  This will be a busy new year for her, and she and Scott continue to plan their future and have fun together.  He is working a lot and they try their best to schedule time together around their schedules.  She continues her love for all pets, and our telling her NO MORE PETS continues.

As always Rog and I are scheduling our quarterly business trips together and have some much needed alone time as we drive miles around the area to these SE Ohio and Western PA counties.  We most likely are next going on October, with the blazing fall leaves.  It is cool to see the seasons change as we do these trips.

Other than that, I’m still working for my senior ladies – two years now! And we have Chris every weekend and have fun with him and the family. Rog and I are battling our own health issues and trying to get healthier. I lost 13 pounds this year doing MFP and walking – think he has lost some weight too, but not sure how much. I’m looking forward now to fall walking and plan to sign up for hopefully two Y classes and start lifting weights a little. I think that will start my weight loss back up. I actually have lost a total of 25 since 2010 and think I do look better. Double chin is gone!

My driver’s license pic in 2010: license

 

Me now. About 25 pounds down…wgu pic

50 to go!

After waiting since March when I signed up for Western Governor’s to see any progress on my entrance (such as my schedule or what classes I personally need to take) I finally got my orientation page and my schedule page, along with all the courses I need to take, on my main portal today!  They had told me before the magic date would be the 15th of August.  So I get to start my orientation activities, which probably will take me a week or so, along with all my classes to investigate.  This is my cup of tea so I will be overly excited about it for a while… ha ha.

Time to put in a “more” tag and then those of you interested can read all about what classes I’ll be taking! Continue reading “Transfers and Changes!”

autism, birthdays, chris, colleen

18 years ago —

With Colleen’s birthday coming up on Tuesday I felt like posting some publishable parts of my old diary, from 5-12-94. Hard to believe it’s been 18 years.

Work told me I’m definitely getting my three-week vacation pay, three-week sick leave, and they want me to do tapes at home. I also may be able to go in and work some mornings and my mom may be able to watch kids on Fridays if I need to work.

First things first, I’m 2 cm. dilated (as of last Friday) and am working only one more week. I’m ready to enjoy this summer off with my children. It will be beautiful. I know I will be tired and frustrated sometimes, with a new baby, more work, less sleep, Chris’s reaction, Chris’s speech delay, worry over finances. Financially we are pretty secure right now but I only have eight more weeks of pay coming. Continue reading “18 years ago —”

autism, chris, God

More than we can bear? God bears it with us.

Woke up early this morning and was reading an older journal – and found these older posts from November 1994 and January 1995. 

November 19, 1994

Tomorrow is Christopher’s birthday.  4 years old!  He’s got a double ear infection but is now getting better.  He’s been sleeping in the daytime and stays up until 12 or 1 a.m. or gets up at 6:30!  I have laryngitis and can’t speak at all!  Hopefully we’ll feel better by Thanksgiving – in five days.  That’s when we’re celebrating Chris’s birthday.

Dr. X wants to have Chris evaluated for autism.  Hopefully it will be ruled out.  He’s really a sweet little boy.  We’re praying for him daily.  I know God can perform a miracle. 

November 20, 1994

It really hurts sometimes when we worry that something if really wrong, that our son can’t speak.  Also that he’s often seeming not to understand us, although when it’s something he really wants to do he understands perfectly (bath).  I’m worried we’re focusing on things that may just be nervous habits – grimacing, playing with his fingers (itzy bitsy spider?), looking at bowls and pop bottles. 

He snuggles, smiles, figures things out (like loading dishwasher), being affectionate to baby Colleen.  We do have the promise that God will not give us more than we can bear.1  It seems we’ve had enough trials this past 18 months to last a lifetime.  But there have been blessings among the trials.

February 6, 1995

I’m so happy being home with my children.  These years will go too fast.  Chris is 4 1/4, almost.  He’s stretched out so tall and now seems to be getting a little chubby to make up for it.  his sandy brown hair forms bangs to his light eyebrows, and in straight thickness just reaches his collar.  his chocolate brown eyes are framed with long eyelashes.  He snuggles with us a lot.  Especially while I’m nursing Colleen, Chris climbs up on my lap, on the other side of Colleen, and cuddles up to my shoulder.  At these times I thank the Lord for this time.

Christopher is mildly autistic.  He was tested January 24, and the doctor confirmed our suspicions.  Continue reading “More than we can bear? God bears it with us.”