Friday, October 15, 2010

Walk Now for Autism

I am so excited because our walk is finally here! Tomorrow is our families first Walk Now for Autism which benefits the Autism Speaks foundation. We are so excited that we finally met our goal of $1000 donated through our team, Gibson's Goonies. I got to chat with the walk coordinator yesterday who let me know that we are members of the Grand Club because we raised over $1000! This means we will get recognized with other teams that have raised $1000 or more and get to join everyone on stage during the ceremony.
I was so excited to FINALLY get a chance to speak with another mom of a child with Autism. It is so refreshing to speak to someone who understands first hand the struggles as well as happy times that all come with having a child on the spectrum.
So last night I was going over my emails and found one from the walk coordinator that I had spoken to earlier. She asked me in the email if I would be willing to speak along with other parents about why I walk, and who I walk for. I am jumping at this chance to let my voice be heard, but I am very nervous. I don't really like public speaking all that much... I am fine in a small group but I am guessing there will be a TON of people there tomorrow, and I will have a mic and everything. Kind of scary and quite frankly as I am typing this my stomach is already doing flip flops. But all in all I don't know if I will have this chance again... so I am going to do it!
The following is the speech that I wrote last night at midnight that I will be reading for all to hear tomorrow during the walk ceremonies.

My name is Callie, and I walk for my son Gibson. At the age of 2 Gibson was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). We finally had an answer to so many questions. Why was our son of 2 years not talking? Why did any little thing cause a huge meltdown? Why would he not respond when we said his name? And so many more.

Once we found out that Gibson was a part of the ever growing spectrum that is Autism we got to work getting him into therapy. Speech therapy once a week, and behavioral therapy once a month. Now almost a year later Gibson is talking… he has over 250 words in his vocabulary! He copies just about everything you say and has a memory like no one I have ever met before. Of all the words he knows and says “I love you” is the only phrase he doesn’t say. My husband and I know that one day he will say those three words that mean the world to a parent and we will probably both melt down and cry.

Gibson is a kind, loving, on-the-move, silly little boy that brightens my heart every single day. Don’t get me wrong we have hard days… days when I want to fall down and cry and wonder why? But those days are far out-weighed by the good days like when he finally understands something for the first time, that gleam in his eye when he finally figures something out completely brightens my day.

I never dreamed that I would have a child that has Autism, no parent ever really thinks that this will effect them, but it can and it does effect so many families. I hope that through amazing organizations like Autism Speaks that we can fight to make our voices heard. That we can make changes that will not only effect the lives of our children, but also the children of our future. I know that the road ahead is a long one, but through the help of friends and family and a community of other families like ours I know that we will forge ahead without ceasing and that one day things will change.

Mommy and Daddy love you Gibson, and even though you don’t say it we know that you love us too. You have a bright future ahead and even though we know there will be struggles we are right beside you and we will walk this road hand in hand.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in any way through out this project. I only hope that next year can just be bigger and better for Gibson's Goonies (that's our team name). Think of us as we walk tomorrow in honor of Gibson and every other family, child and adult out there who suffers from Autism.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gibson's First Day of School!!

Gibson had his very first day of school today. He didn't cry or scream when I dropped him off which was amazing! Even more amazing is that his teacher said that he had a great first day! We are so excited that Gibson is in this class. He has an awesome teacher who is studying different ways to teach Autistic children so we couldn't be any luckier that Gibson is in her class, because the Special Education teachers are not required to take those classes.
I became "that mom" today... I took pictures by the car, all the way inside the school, walking down the hall, and even more in the classroom. I am sure people were thinking "That lady is crazy" but I didn't want to miss out on this BIG FIRST for Gibson. He has a long road ahead in his education, and we are so glad that he will be getting lots of help his first three years in school. 

Here we are in front of the car
 Ready to go inside Mom...
 Pushing Chad in the stroller... this has become a great tool for me to get Gibson into school/MDO without a fight. He LOVES being Mommy's helper, and he enjoys pushing Chad around. Too sweet!!
Walking down the hall to class 
 Checking out the kitchen in his classroom
His chair... Yes I took a picture of it! (hahaha) 
 Chad was worn out... he fell asleep in the car on the way to the school, and stayed asleep through getting in the stroller, going into and out of the school, getting back into the car, driving home, and finally getting into bed. Poor baby was TIRED!!
 Day one down... Many more to go! I cant wait till he can get in the car and tell me all about his day!
Have a wonderful rest of your week everyone!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lots going on!

There have been so many things going on lately. The biggest thing going on in our lives right now is Gibson getting ready to start school. I will finally be finished with his enrollment tomorrow morning, and then he starts pre-school on Wednesday! We couldn't be happier with his teachers, they are amazing and I can't wait to see their work in Gibson.
We are also working on getting Gibson into some outside therapy for both speech and behavior. The issue lies in the fact that Oklahoma doesn't recognize Autism as a "disability" so it could get pricey once we start outside therapy. At this point though we want to take full advantage of getting him as much therapy as possible before he enters kindergarten. We are very excited about all the changes we are working on and we cant wait to start seeing even more changes in Gibson. He has already made amazing strides in less than a year so we are anxious to see God continue to work and mold him into the person he is meant to be!
Chad is doing great! As always he is smiling 24/7 and laughing all the time. Lately we think he has been teething because he hasn't been sleeping as well as usual, but otherwise he is doing great.
I have been having some pretty bad back pain lately so I plan on checking our insurance coverage for chiropractor visits. I have done this once before and I didn't seem to be having as much pain as I am now. I am hoping that I can get this whole thing figured out because I am getting tired of hurting all the time.

I am really trying to keep the blog updated but it has been crazy lately with everything going on with Gibson, photography sessions and our recent travels. Hopefully things will slow down a little bit but I highly doubt it! I love keeping busy but sometimes I think it would be nice to have a bit of a break.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Testing... Testing...

Oh my goodness! I am in love! I have been trying to figure out an easy way to get my pictures larger for the longest time! So glad I finally figured it out thanks to Rita over at the CoffeeShop blog!!