Thursday, July 31, 2008

Red, Mick and Kasmira on Carmel Beach

Yo! Mick Here. The one smiling with their tongue hanging out.

Mum is so happy! She picked up Red's sister, Kasmira at the airport on Sunday. Kasmira lives with Red's and her dad in Georgia - 3 time zones away! We went to the Carmel Beach on Monday and played around some. Red and I were quite happy to see her too.

Kasmira is a cutie! She's also smart and as I soon discovered, more than a match for our brother, Red. Me, I like to do just a few things on the beach, most of them involve chasing down flying objects. Sleeping is also good.

Red however missed the sport of annoying his sister. She seemed to understand the gaming activity well herself. As she demonstrates in the photo below, she is quite good with self-defense.
She and Mum took a class a couple years back and she got a reputation for hitting well. She also has some good take-down moves she's perfected over the years

Kasmira and Red were quite tireless in their game of body-checking. What I don't understand is why Red kept going back for more! She was obviously the better player in this game! Kasmira's a die-hard hockey fan - she knows body-checking.

Watching these two in action is hilarious. Mum has been trying to get Red to watch the 3 Stooges because of the slapstick. I don't know why, Red's perfected that already. Red will usually instigate or provoke Kasmira (and it doesn't take much!) and she responds in a predictable manner and takes her brother out.

Red then acts as if he's mortally wounded. If you ask me, he's mellow-dramatic! He's so mellow he looks asleep! He also gets sand in places I sure wouldn't want sand!

I was almost envious of the time they spent bantering, but then I couldn't decide who I wanted to hang with. I miss Kasmira too. She was there when I first met my boy and even helped Mum decide to introduce Red and me. She's got a grace and style that I really admire. And did I mention she gives a good scratching to the ears?

While our brother is, well, lovingly annoying! He can get carried away, especially when he's rough-housing Sometimes he just doesn't know when to quit!

Kasmira has no problem holding her own and reminding Red of his place as her "little brother" Ha! He's growing - by this time next year Red won't be her little bro (aham, that'd be me anyway!), he'll be her younger brother.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blood tests and inoculations are stressful

Yo! Mick Here. Red's dog-brother.

Mum had to do things she'd rather avoid this past week. Red needed first to have some blood work to ensure his meds were not causing problems internally then a few days later Red had to have his inoculations updated. Shots! Yowie!

Because Red would just stress for days, hours or however long, Mum didn't tell Red about the blood work or the shots. She wouldn't let him eat breakfast the morning of the blood work and instead promissed him a trip to Jack-in-the-box after the "errand". I got to go with them but had to wait in the car. Still, it was awful. I heard him yelling from the car!

I heard the story later. Mum went in with Red protesting that he wasn't going (hey he's no dummy. He recognized the building as being some type of doctor's office) but as usual she ignored his protests and he followed. He does that. He'll be yelling no! no! no! and doing whatever "it" is anyway. Teachers and others are picking up on this and just ignore his protests.

Well, he was sitting all folded up in a chair saying things like, "this sucks!" and "I'm not going", while Mum was calmly telling the lady behind the counter, "I'm sorry. My son has Autism, he's not medicated today yet because he's fasting for the test and he needs blood work". She then apologized to the man just ahead of Red.

The staff was excellent. They needed to call regarding a question for one of the tests but otherwise got Red right on back to the room where they draw the blood.

Red had tried to "escape" twice before they brought him back though. He'd charge the door yelling, "You can't make me! I'm leaving!" His hand never let go of the door and Mum never said a word to him until he was back in his seat. She patted his hand and told him, "I know you're upset. I'm sorry for that".

Wow. When Red saw the room back there he was really paniced and yelling and crying. Mum had to use a stern voice to get his attention but she asked if he wanted to sit in her lap when they drew the blood. He did.

The nurse was excellent. She introduced herself and her assistant (yes, it took 2 - one to get the needle into him and the other to hold his arm steady so that he didn't hurt himself). Red sat on Mum's lap he placed his arms on top of hers and she held the hand not being used for the shot in a loving hold.

Red was still worked up and yelling until Mum sorta shook him once and reminded him he was 15 and told him to act his age. He pulled it together and the whole thing was over that quick from there.

He ran out of there and right to the car so I could hug him and lick his face. It took 2 orders of french toast sticks from Jack-in-the-Box to appease Red. He was starving.

After he'd scarfed up one. He and Mum talked. She asked him, "How bad was it really"?

"It was horrible! I'm never doing that again!"

"Was it worse than a cat scratch?


"Does it still hurt?"


"Is it starting to feel a little better?"


"Do you remember when you got stung by a bee and how it kept hurting and feeling worse?"


"Which is worse, a bee sting or the blood test?"

"bee stings."

"Cat scratches can hurt for a long time too right?"


Then Mum talked to Red about going to the dentist and how that can be sort of like the blood work or getting shots at the doctor. It only hurts for a little bit and then feels better.

Well a few days later I figured out why she was having that conversation. I got to go to the doctor's office with Red again. I also had to wait in the car - again - which made me nervous after the last time.

Red was in there for quite awhile getting a complete physical. He also got 3 shots! 3 of them! But this time he didn't scream or anything. Mum said she was so proud of him! I am too. He came out and told me all about it and showed me his 2 bandages.

I know it must be hard on mum to have to let people hurt Red with needles like that but she explains that it's to keep him healthy.

I told Red that they must work because I get shots and I stay healthy. Mum said that there is some risks for shots. She also explained that there are many people that claim their kids got autism when they got their shots. Red's doctor apparently doesn't believe that. Still it must have been real hard on Mum. I gave her a slurp on her hand to make her feel better.

*** Mum, Irene here. Please note! I am not advocating for or against inoculations. These are highly personal decisions that should be made by parents with their family doctors. I am merely sharing what I have done and do regarding shots.

I ALWAYS ensure that the shots or inoculations are thimeromsal free. Even as the medical rofession claims that it was never the cause of or triggered autism, they removed it from the inoculations. But do be aware! One of the remaining shots that may contain thimeromsal is the flu shot. There are some batches being made with it and some without so always check with your doctor if there is ANY CONCERNS. As Red is not in a high risk category for the flu, I don't think I will have him get the flu shot this year either.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beach, Bonfires and the eating habits of my boy with autism

Yo! Mick here. The four-legged brother.

My idea of a perfect day is one spent on the beach followed up with a small bonfire and roasted meals (which is not to say I won't scarf up a dropped hot dog before it's cooked!).

Red, like a lot of kids with autism, has quirks when it comes to food. For example, his choices at this recent beach party. He ate an entire bag of Cheetos, a soda (Mum only allows one a day - at most!), 2 hot dogs without any buns, and his marsh mellows roasted over an open flame just barely a light tan with just a few black speckles. This takes an incredible skill. He eats his graham crackers separate. Red does not like chocolate except Oreos because they don't taste like chocolate or have a chocolate texture or smell. If they'd been available at the picnic he'd have had a lot of them. Red does not eat s'mores but Mum will when he accidentally burns up his marsh mellow.

A lot of people make the mistake that food quirks are about the taste. This is not true at all. It can be the smell, the texture or color or - well you get the idea, it can be almost anything. The same goes with food combinations. There may not be an obvious reason.

Good nutrition can become a concern for people with autism - at least a concern for their families. Mum has Red take supplements but by far the best supplement of all is MonaVie. It has the omega 3s, 6s and 9s that have a huge benefit to the brain function (see our story tomorrow for the impact these nutrients made for Red), amino acids, vitamins and minerals and the highest antioxidant ORAC value that is over 10 times blueberries, fiber and much more! At the rising cost of fruit, it is actually cheaper than buying all of the daily fruits and veggies (which he wouldn't eat anyway).

Getting all of the required nutrients can be a challenge but Mum has one less worry now! Check out our story, and a few others, do your own research if you want. But do check out MonaVie or better yet, try some yourself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wii Play We Movie

Yo.Mick Here. Dig my shades!

We had one of those totally awesome days. Red took me for a run on his skateboard. He rides and I pull him along. We rode over to collect his friend for some Wii challenge. Our favorite games are; Wii Sports, Wii Play and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.

I'm best at Wii Play, Red is best at Wii sports, especially baseball. That guy gets home runs all the time. Red's friend, Mohawk is sweet on the Guitar Hero. He rocked out on, ZZ Top's song La Grange. We want Spikey to come over sometime to show us what game he's best at.

Afterwards we went to see the Josh Hutcherson movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Bummer though, our local theater does not support 3-D. That's OK. It was a great movie anyways. My favorite part was when the prehistoric fish got slammed out of the raft.

We love hanging out with our friends. Sometimes it works better for some kids to have friends who are either younger or older than them. Are all of your friends the same age?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Dog, his Boy, and Autism: an introduction

Yo. Mick here.
The hottie with the blue eyes, fuzzy ears and tongue hanging outa my smile. That's right. I'm the dog-brother.

I want to welcome you to the, Mick and Boy blog, where we share some of the daily aspects of our lives. Primarily it will be Mick, Red, and our mom, Irene, making comments and posts but we may on occasion have guests.

Be sure to check out our primary site, where we have more information about autism and our stories. We also have a forum, tips and strategies, and resources. This site is mostly just us having some fun and LOL opportunities.

We invite you to share your own stories and comments (with or without autism) with a comment or join our autism forum on our primary site, Mick and Boy.

I am a Queensland Heeler and although I am not officially trained as yet, I am my boy's therapy dog. One day I hope to be officially trained but in the mean time, I'm happy just being Red's best friend in the whole wide world. Check back frequently for photos and fun!

Your pal,