It’s about cool?

June 29, 2010

Hamhock likes to wear a beanie.  It started sometime this past winter. He would most often wear it to bed, or put it on first thing on in the morning.  It looks really cute, I have to admit.

But I just thought it was a sensory thing. . .like, he likes the feeling of the fabric on his hair, or the weight of the beanie on his head, or the enclosed feeling the hat gives while shaping his cute little face.

Not so, my friends, not so.

One day he forgot it while we were getting ready to pull out of the garage.  He asked me to run back in the house to get it.  When I returned and gave it to him to put on, he asks me to pull down the passenger side mirror so he can look to make sure “it looks cool.”

WHAT?!?!?!  My six-year old son, diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2, is wearing his beanie because “it looks cool?!?!?!”

Wow.  I honestly had no idea.

Why are we Moms always the last to figure these things out?  I’m sure it’s because we brought these precious babes into the world (in my case with the help of Hamhock’s beautiful birthmother) and we just want to hold onto those precious innocent moments.

Well, innocent moment #2 gone.  My kid likes to look cool.

(I think innocent moment #1 was kissing a girl in Kindergarten!)

Here’s a pic when he was probably about three, being silly with this same beanie (it’s actually Foo’s).


I love you, too.

June 28, 2010

My boys are best friends one moment, bitter enemies the next. (Needless to say, it’s exhausting.)

Last night as I was putting them to bed, Hamhock called out from his bed to Superboy tucked into his bed in the next room:  “I love you!”

Superboy returned back:  “I hate you!”

Then Superboy got up and stood in Hamhock’s doorway with a silly grin on his face.  When Hamhock started laughing, Superboy started laughing hysterically.  Then he said:  “Just kidding!  I love you too.”

Har.  My boys.

You’re a good boy!

June 28, 2010

I like to tell my boys often that they are “good boys.”

Most especially because Hamhock struggles often to follow the rules, keep his impulses under control, learn to deal with his anger, etc.  I want them both to know that even though the may make a bad choice, or do something wrong, that the choice was bad, but they are always good.

As I was walking through the hospital to visit my mom after her knee surgery this past Saturday, Hamhock called me from Gramma’s house.

Hamhock:  “Mom, I’m eating an orange!”
Me:  “Good for you!  That’s healthy.”
Hamhock:  “Can I hang up now?”
Me:  “Yep, have fun at Gramma’s.  Bye.”
Hamhock:  “You’re a good mom.  I love you!”
Me:  “I love you, too.”

So super sweet!  That makes up for the rest of the time when he gets mad at me and calls me a liar when something doesn’t go right . . .which happens at least a dozen times every single day (hurmpf).

So, I’ll take it, sweet good boy of mine.

Anyone living in Salt Lake City need another option for speech therapy?  Give Helen at Scottish Rite Children’s Learning Center a call!

We only had to wait about 4 months, we were able to see her once a week for this entire school year, AND IT’S FREE (privately funded by the Masons/Shriners)!

The other *huge* benefit for using Scottish Rite is that even though your school assessment may indicate your child doesn’t need speech help, Scottish Rite will see the deficits and offer help where you know your child needs it.

Hamhock was tested with Jordan School District (right before the Canyons split) and they tested him as too high functioning to receive speech therapy services.  Scottish Rite, however, offered us services.  Their main therapist on 3300 South and Highland (in a small office building sandwiched in between Tres Hombres and Crowne Burger) is fabulous.  She has 30+ years experience, raised her own 4 active boys, and has a fun, playful approach to therapy.

She told us to come back in the fall to work on Hamhock’s “r” and “l” – you know how kindergartners make the “r” and “l” sound like a “w”?  She has confirmed with her public school SLP colleagues that the public schools in Utah definitely do not have the budget to start treating kids with that speech issue until they are 8 or 9.  She’ll tackle it as early as 6 or 7.

My favorite thing about watching her work with Hamhock was how playful he’d be with her.  She’d use reverse psychology (as appropriate) with him:  “I bet you can’t pick the right one. . .”, he would accept the challenge, by focusing on her question, answering correctly, and then shouting out:

“In your face, Miss Helen!”


January 16, 2010

Last year in preschool Hamhock would say girls were icky, although he loved to chase them around squealing at high-pitched decibels at recess.

This year in Kindergarten, Hamhock has made friends with two girls in his class, Ahnika and Mackenzie.  Although, I have to say, they are definitely more tomboyish than cute and princessy.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but hey, he’s my kid, you know!)

So. . .we had a playdate with his friend Ahnika at our house!  It was so cute.  She marches right in and asks Hamhock to see his room (usually boys just start playing and they want to see his toys, not his room).  Very very cute.

The other day we were picking up Foo’s drycleaning when Hamhock pipes up from the back seat:  “That girl is pretty!”  “Which one?” I asked.  “The one with the long hair and glasses.”  Oh. My. Gosh!  So very cute.

Superboy, on the other hand, has always been in touch with his feminine side.  He’s very comfortable playing with and talking about girls.  He’s going to marry a hundred super hero girls when he’s a man, he says.

I can read!

January 16, 2010

Hamhock read his first book this week!  And, Superboy followed right along.

Mrs. Larson started sending home this week these little books for the Kindergartners to read and check off.  Like always, my anxiety hits, and I was nervous how to get starated because we of course have a bit of a struggle to do homework (thanks to Foo, it’s been going better – dads rock!).

Well, Hamhock was excited to read it!  We’re working on only 3 words so far:  I, See & Sam.  He read all 6-8 pages of the story using those three words, and I couldn’t have been prouder!  Then, Superboy read it too, (which is great, to have Superboy follow along as I struggle to do these things with Hamhock).

It made up for my feeling like Lousy Parent #1 this Monday when karate so did not go well.

We left early because Hamhock was about to meltdown for not getting a sticker because he moved during the “focus your body” exercise.  Superboy was his typical silly little goofball,  – not paying attention, making other kids act goofy.

ARRRGGGHHH!  I just hate being in those situations where you feel like every other parent is looking at you (because you’re the loudest thing in the room) and probably feeling grateful they’re not me, and you feel like such a sore thumb.  Of course I went home and cried all night.  Karate instructor was not worried, though.  He said Superboy’s the youngest in the class, and he’s willing to be totally flexible with Hamhock, and for me to  just stay consistent.

Buddy the Elf

December 22, 2009

After getting our Christmas tree, we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with the boys for the first time and they loved it!  It whet my appetite to watch Elf with Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf again. . .

Hamhock has a buddy too. . . the fourth grade class comes down once a week or so to do various activities with the Kindergartners.  One day while dropping off Hamhock in the morning, I watch him run over to a big kid and drape his arms around his waist.  So cute!  I went over to see what was going on. Hamhock just stared at him with adoring eyes.  He told me this is his buddy, also named Isaac.  He is a really nice boy and was very patient with Hamhock holding on to him in the school yard.

Here are a few things Hamchock answered during their “get to know you” Buddy activity one day:

1.  My favorite color is red
2.  I love to eat donuts & hamburgers.
3.  My favorite tv show is Wolverine, Hulk & Ironman.
4.  If I could be a make-believe character, I would be Hulk.
5.  My favorite thing about school is drawing.
6.  I love to play video games.
7.  If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to Candyland (hee!).

Moms who let their kids. . .

September 16, 2009

. . .watch CN and Nick will appreciate this one:

I’ve allowed my kids to enjoy spending their credits on Fruit by the Foot treats on the way to and from school. Here was this morning’s conversation:

Hamhock: “I replace your cough by Fruit by the Foot.”
Superboy: *coughs* “So you did.”
Hamhock & Superboy: *laughing*


This morning as we approached the Kindergarten playground I hear lots of squealing. Apparently, it is ‘boys act like monsters while chasing the girls around the playground’ day. Human nature is so fun to watch in action. The boys have these silly smiles and goofy tongue-protruding faces, while the girls are running from them with their little-girl-high-pitched-screams and huge smiling faces.

I’m just so happy that Hamhock joins right on in.

I don’t know why. . .

September 14, 2009

. . . but today was the first day that Hamhock went to school just fine without his strawberry Fruit by the Foot reward (ok, fine. . . call it a bribe, whatever. . .).  Two darn stores didn’t have the strawberry flavor, and so I bought the combo flavors, but he does not like them.  He smells them and says “yuk!”  I smelled them, too, and I get it.  The strawberry *does* smell better.

So he simply played with the yucky berry tie-dye all the way to school and was very silly about it, but didn’t fight me or tell me any reasons why he just shouldn’t go to school today.  We were even running late b/c of strep-frickin-throat for my 4th time in 5 years, and Superboy was up all night with a fever and asthma, and I was rushing to get him to the pediatrician after the Kindy drop-off.

Upon my return for pick-up, Hamhock runs straight to me and gives me a big hug and a smile.  So cute!  Then. . .

  1. On the way home, I ask him:  “What fun things did you do at school?”  He has, every day until today, ignored the question.  Today he totally expressed something about looking around the school for a special place and was obviously very excited.  !!!!  I learned later from Mrs. Larson’s weekly newsletter that they have written a letter to the Moon, and are waiting and searching special places in the school to discover a response back (patterned after a book they read).
  2. Then while he was coloring after his snack, he started telling me all about his old preschool teacher Mrs. Riley visiting the class, but more importantly that she brought “Mrs. Larson’s daughter Lora!  Mrs. Larson has a daughter named Lora!” Lora is actually in Superboy’s preschool class with Mrs. Riley this year.
  3. Finally, when Fooboy was asking Hamhock how school was on the phone, he answers:  “School was great!  It was fun!”

He was then a very pleasant, happy little boy all day.  He hasn’t broken one rule today and hasn’t taken one time-out.  (Until literally 30 minutes ago when bedtime started).  We went out searching for bugs in the rain and got 2 potato bugs, 1 weird ant-fly thing, a daddy long legs (minus one leg, sorry, spider), and a grasshopper!!!!!  The grasshopper was trying to hide behind our new sunflowers and kept moving 180 degrees behind the stalk, each time I would reach around.  But I got him, minus one leg, too.  Not sure if that happened already or in the capturing.  Sorry, grasshopper.

We also had our first speech therapy last Thursday with Helen at the Scottish Rite Learning Center (Freemasons in Salt Lake City offering children free speech therapy with a grant from Shriner’s Hospital  – go Masons!  Woot!)  It went great.  Helen has over 30 years experience, and a great, tough, kind of boisterous approach which just fed right into Hamhock’s personality.  The whole thing was a game and he loved it.  My favorite thing about the session was every time he would answer a question he would point at Helen and shout:  “In your face!” and then laugh hysterically.


Helen said about 40% of the children she sees have speech delays due to autism spectrum disorders.  She gave me the best compliment by saying that whatever we’ve done has given him some incredible skills!  YEE-HAW!!!  She said she can see why our school district tested him as too high-functioning and they wouldn’t touch him without alot of pushing from me, but she definitely had some areas that we can work on to help him improve in processing delays (took about 5 seconds to remember the word yellow, for example) and a string of adjectives (couldn’t point to the right cat:  “point to the little, black kitten in the corner of the box.”)

And, did I mention it’s free!?!?!

Now, if I can only get rid of the pain in my swollen throat gland. . .I must have a virus cold on top of the strep. . .ugh.  Hopefully Superboy will sleep through most of the night tonight. . .

Well, I’m beat.

September 6, 2009


First week of school under our belts, and I’m purely exhausted.  Getting Hamhock anywhere ON TIME is a challenge.  Doing it 5 days in a row is going to be exhausting.

And, I suspect it is for him, too.  Everything he does requires a lot more energy, focus and determination for him to get through.

I’ve been praising him every day for following Mrs. Larson’s rules, and telling him he’s earning extra credits (following our Nurtured Heart Approach by earning credits for following the rules).  We cashed in all his credits earned on Friday for a new video game.  I love seeing that flicker of excitement in his eyes, when I tell him that we need to count his credits because I think we’re getting close to enough to be able to purchase a toy/game.

I suspect we’re going to be buying lots of rewards to get us through each year. . .!