• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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Craziness Plus Doggie!

welcome home rocky

I am so ready to be settled!

I am having trouble getting back into the swing of things after our move to the Northern Country of NY. Life is still in great upheaval and for us ASDer’s this is a huge problem-don’t misunderstand me, I know it is stressful and upheaval is hard for everyone. We arrived here the last day of November, and have bounced around from hotels, to vacation homes, to hotels, and now are still living in a furnished vacation rental. I am very anxious to get all our things back, unpack and be settled in a home of our own already!

If any of you caught my Facebook status update the other day about what the Tot said to his dad, you can tell being displaced is wearing on us all.

“Go get my god-damned stuff off the moving truck! “~the Tot

(Yikes!) But, yes, that is what he said-awesome context though, right?

Great news though, we made an offer on a house last night (finger’s crossed the seller’s will sign too!) but it does mean moving towns again after the Little Man has been doing so great in his new school. The saving grace is that my mother will still be living here and I think we can manage to keep him in this school until the end of the year. Next year he will be starting middle school (another YIKES!) but at least that is a natural breaking point to switch school districts again. Thankfully, even though the home we are looking to move to is in another town, it is in the same county we currently live so the Tot’s pre-school would not change-in fact, he already goes to school in the other town. I am hoping so much that all this will work itself out and we will get settled real soon.

The Tot’s Autism Service Dog is here!

On a different note, the Tot received his autism service dog on the 7th. We had considered feeding him a raw diet, and even looked at a raw feeding calculator to see exactly what we would have to feed him each day, but we decided against that for the time being, especially while he’s settling in. The Tot is doing wonderfully with him, is learning to go to the dog and pet him to calm down (averting meltdowns) and is also using this same “let’s pet Rocky ten times” to help him wait. And-it is helping. He pets Rocky while Dad (or Mom) gets him a drink in his Sippy cup, or while a movie is loading and it really has helped him not to freak out because these things don’t happen instantaneously.

The Tot is also going right for his leash to walk with Rocky when we leave the house. (Rocky has an extra short lease attached to his service vest that the Tot holds, while I have ahold of the leash attached to his collar. ) This has been doing a great job of keeping the Tot with me more. The biggest thing I have noticed is the way the public world interacts with him now though…instead of looking at him like he is the unruly kid they ask about the his dog. People focus on how wonderful it is that the dog can help him, instead of why they hell I can’t control my child who does not “look” autistic.

Adding Rocky to our home has been exciting, but also a lot of work-work that I am positive will pay big dividends. I’m a huge dog lover so I’m happy that we’ve now got another. I’m thinking about buying Tot a few dog lover gifts for Christmas since I know he’s fallen in love with Rocky. He’s a great dog after all.

Here is my husband’s “Welcome Home, Rocky!” posts. I’ve been so tired and overwhelmed that by the end of the day I am out of words, and that even includes written (blogging) words. Actually, I have felt out of words for a while now…this too I am hoping will get back to normal (my normal at least) very soon.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.