“Why” is not easy to answer

Children with autism have a hard time answering “why” questions. “Why” something happens is an abstract concept and they struggle with it.

Today, we had a small group of special needs children in the gym at church. They were playing ball and of course, because it’s a gym, sound is amplified. It was very noisy. Peter left and made his way to the foyer and I followed.

Me: Peter, what’s wrong?

Peter: I’m going to stay out here.

Me: Why?

Peter: I’m going to stay out here.

Me: Okay, how about this. Can you finish the sentence? I want to stay in the lobby because…(?)

Peter: because it’s noisy in the gym.

Yay! I was so excited because he has such a hard time with answering “why” questions. It really is a challenge and has led to some funny situations. Once, a few years ago,  Peter was up in his room crying. I went up to find out what had happened to upset him and asked why he was crying.

Me: Peter, you are crying because…(?)

Peter: I’m angry.

Me: Okay. “I’m angry” because…(?)

Peter: Because I’m crying.

This went on for well over five minutes. Back and forth, back and forth–Peter crying the whole time. I finally decided that we weren’t going to get anywhere with the conversation we were having and I needed to distract him with another activity.

I never did find out why he was crying and sometimes, after events like these, the puzzle remains. But everyday, we move forward just a little more.

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Studies Show Zinc-Copper Rhythmicity and Zinc Levels May Play a Role

A study released in Science Advances shows that baby teeth can show the relationship between copper and zinc— levels present both in-utero and post-natally—can be a predictor in diagnosing autism.

According to study authors, “Using novel tooth-matrix biomarkers that provide direct measures of fetal elemental uptake, we developed a predictive model to distinguish participants who would be diagnosed with ASD in childhood from those who did not develop the disorder.”

The study authors used laser ablation to take 152 samples from each tooth. Children while in utero and in the early months of life, add a new layer to their baby teeth before they erupt. Researchers found that using these samples, they could predict with 90% accuracy which children would later develop autism.

Earlier studies such as one from Australia that links zinc deficiency to communications issues in brain cells. Children with autism frequently have zinc deficiencies. Now researchers must determine if zinc supplementation will help and if so, at what levels. Too much zinc can be toxic.

 

Whoo-hoo! New Kindle, Here I Come!

I was cleaning the desk in the house (the same desk my dad and I custom-built so I could write comfortably but that I currently don’t use because Peter broke the chair) and found the paperwork for a warranty I purchased for my Kindle. I had completely forgotten that I had bought a warranty! How I could forget that I bought one is beyond me right now–after having had two Kindles broken and replaced, you would think it would be automatic to buy a warranty.

But I have one and I can get a new Kindle (or at least a suitably appropriate replacement)!

Career Goals?

My kids are too young to have serious career goals. Gabrielle is close–she is thinking about teaching special needs children (not surprising).

Nathan, who is now nine, is all over the map.

I have often said that if Peter wants to be a bag boy at the grocery store, I will support him 100 percent. But I am hoping he will get the opportunity to do more.

Today, I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up. I made suggestions such as doctor, lawyer, scientist, teacher and then I asked, half in jest, if he wants to be a game tester. What does he say? Game tester. Not at all surprised. Given half a chance, he would spend all day playing games, videos or songs on the computer, iPhone or Kindle.

An Interesting Summer

Oh, Boy. Just when you think you have a handle on all things autism, you discover the joys of parenting a pre-teen with autism.

Wow.

Let’s just say, I’m glad my older son is only 10 and keeps his underwear on even in the house. Let’s also note that he will not stay 10 forever 😦

I’ll post more about this later but I can foresee an interesting number of events during Peter’s teen years.

I’m Gonna Write a Book!

Seriously. I am.

I keep saying this but, this year, I am going to sit down over the summer and work on a book. Chapter titles include:

Peter, Get the Pencil Out of the Apple

It’s a Phone, Not a Gaming System

Nathan, Where are Your Glasses?

You Guys are not Old Enough for Such Smelly Feet!

Peter, You do not Wipe Poop on Your Belly!

Oh, No! My Coat, My Jacket, My Phone, etc.! (Pick One)

And other wonderful titles. You get the picture. My hope is that other parents will take heart from my crazy stories. We all have them. Most of the time, the stories become funny over time but it helps to know what others have been through. I tell you, most days are great and funny–some days, not so much.  😛