ABA: HOW I KNOW THAT SHIT WORKS. 

RIOT’S FIRST SWEAR WORD.

If you have the absolute pleasure of knowing me IRL (.. or, no, not even.. I’m sure you’ve gathered just from what translates through this plastic internet bubble I live in..) than surely you know that I’m unapologetic with my choice of descriptive cuss word adjectives. There may have been a point at the beginning of Riot’s existence that it crossed my mind to attempt to filter out some of my most favorite words since, you know, I was now a mom and the rumor was that these kids copy everything you say. Clearly it was a fleeting thought between putting the cookies down and deciding which Dominos coupon would get me Cinnastix along with everything else I wanted.

The infographic right below this blurb is great for a point of reference.. So lets peak at that for a second.

Pathways.org

Okay- now for a quick recap on where Riot was at around 12 months: yes, around 10-11 months he had said mama, dada, and pasta. And, good lord, that child never shut up. Noise. Constant. Noise. But, yea, other then those 3 words, you can forget everything else this chart says was supposed to be happening, because it was definitely not. The fact that he was not imitating any word sounds or trying to make an effort to speak my language was exactly what I said at his 15 month well-baby check up.. And wearing my Mama Bear War Paint, I made sure we walked out with a referral to see an SLP.

Just to be clear though, there was nothing alarming or some big red flag waving.. probably because whenever he uttered his last mama, dada, pasta just completely blurred in with his round the clock shouting, giggling, humming white noise that filled our home. And, at that time, I hadn’t been searching all over the interwebz for speech development timelines to cross reference; I just knew that there was either something up or he really just thought we had nothing in common to make small talk about everyday. (I’d be lying if I said that didn’t cross my mind quite a few times.)

okay, okay, okay,

let’s get to the point here!

ABA: That shit works. There’s no question about it. I know I suck and slacked on writing up anything about Riot’s team IFSP review meeting back in October, but I’ll just sum it up by saying his ABA provider recorded a video of him killin’ it during some discreet trial training and will be showing it to all of their new BCBAs they hire. Uh, yea, obviously here’s the part where I’m all LOOK AT HOW FUCKING RAD MY SON IS. Keep in mind that just over the summer he was still non-verbal.

OH and you know those little clickers that bouncers use to keep track of how many people are in a bar so they don’t go over capacity? Last week Riot’s team leader tells me that they are bringing one to a session next week to add up the words he’s mastered.. because  they suspect that that number has just suddenly launched over the 200 mark, in which case she’ll have to write all new programs and goals again to make sure he’s still as challenged as possible with learning.

200. like, what?

At his IFSP meeting on 10/28 he was at 39. This kid does not fuck around.

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I swear I’m getting to the point of this post! We talk now! And joke around! And sing together! That stuff was always happening before, but mostly with me just looking even crazier than I am since I would just be carrying on the entire conversation by myself.. speaking for the both of us.

So, we were out getting stuff done today and I forgot that we had bought popsicles about 3 errands prior. Of course the second we walked in the door, my dude is in the kitchen asking very specifically for a “purple pop”. The half-melted ones. I distracted him for a few minutes with his iPad praying that they’ll beat science and be frozen again within the next 5 minutes. HA! 5 minutes! Riot gave me maybe 2 before he remembered I was supposed to be fetching him that popsicle. Now, he’s in my room. I’m in the kitchen. I tear open the wrapper and that damn half-melted purple pop went flying through the kitchen and landed with a SMACK on the floor as I laughed and yelled OH, SHIT!

I heard him running out to assess the damage. He spots the popsicle, locks eyes with me, and shouts..

OOOOH, SHIT!!

and the biggest belly laugh that I joined in on.

Proud mama moment #9346782.

It was amazing.. Not because I’m happy that he swore..

..But because now I’m a mum with a child that copies everything she says.


People, let me tell you ’bout my best friend.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who pitched in a few dollars to keep RRRIOTmama up and running!

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Alas! After weeks of no ABA, they have found a new teacher for Riot and she starts with him tomorrow! Fingers crossed that he hits it off with her and she sticks around for a while. While we waited for a new ABA teacher, early intervention kicked in a few extra hours a week so there wouldn’t be any regression.. and just those few hours over the last two weeks proved to be 100% worth it – Riot has had so many developmental leaps this summer with his communication that it’s mind blowing. He has words now! PLURAL! WordS! It’s amazing. Man, that boy makes me so proud. And for the words he hasn’t mastered just yet, he uses his sign language so accurately now.

People, let me tell you 'bout my best friend.
People, let me tell you ’bout my best friend.

He’s still on a waiting list through early intervention for an SLP (speech language pathologist.. Lingo, people!) to get added to his weekly therapy hours. That list must be hella long because he’s been on it since we started this whole thing back in November. insert all the eye rolls.  

 

So, I added a link to another blog that had an awesome Crash Course in Autism Lingo glossary.. The link is under Autism 101 all the way at the top of the page.. Right here..

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Now it’s there to stay. It’ll help you out if you’re wondering what the f*ck I’m talking about OR if your kiddo is newly diagonosed and your head is still spinning from their evaluation a month ago.

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If you have the honor of knowing me IRL (in real life, get with the lingo) then surely you’ve heard me refer to my Mom Group – 1,030 mums from all over the world who have little ones born in May 2014. The group lives on Facebook. Most of us came from similar forums while we were still pregnant (theBump, What To Expect, Baby Center) though we’ve gained some stragglers who were lucky enough to know someone that got them in.. And now, after purging sanctimommies and trolls a few times, we have really perfected the ultimate mom group.

15 People You'll Find In Online Mom Groups
15 People You’ll Find In Online Mom Groups

My village is my Mom Group and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I like my online mom friends more than most of my IRL friends. We have been there for each other not just for every milestone, but through every new job, new home, breakup, engagement, job loss.. You name it. With that being said, these amazing mamas have had my back and been phenomenally supportive over the last year.. And especially so since Riot’s dad and I went on our staycation to Splitsville. In all honesty, I didn’t even think that people  as nice or generous as my online mom friends existed in the world.. And I don’t know what I ever did to deserve having these women in my tribe, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

20 Reasons I Prefer Online Moms Groups Over IRL Moms
20 Reasons I Prefer Online Moms Groups Over IRL Moms

This is just one of the reasons from the ScaryMommy article above (and for real, you guys should read both of the links about mom groups that I’ve posted so far because they are hilarious and on point) that rings true.. 

#16 The Group Hug: Sometimes, life happens in a bad way. I have seen multiple mommy groups come together for an individual and their family, offering incredible resources of love, kindness, and support.

 

 

peace, love, and all of the positive vibes-

maybe

Well, well, well, check out who else is AUTASTIC!

Just a little while ago I got a msg from my awesome friend Mr. Matt Kenney. Before even continuing with what his Facebook message revealed, I’m going going to give him a huge shoutout and thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul that I likely do not have because way back in February when I first shared our flier for Team RIOT GEAR raising money for the Autism Speaks walk (hey! there’s still 31 days left to donate, you guys!) Matt was beyond generous and gave us our largest donation to date. So. Rad. I can’t even begin to express how kickass it was and how Riot and I appreciate it so much.

Ah, yes, so the Facebook message! This was the screenshot he sent me.

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Satoshi Tajiri – Totally Austastic. Rock on, nerds!

SHUT UP! Who knew?! I mean, I didn’t, obviously. But, pretty cool, right?? Yup. Share that fun fact of the day with your friends while you’re out on the Pokemon hunt because.. Ugh I hate this phrase.. So cliche.. So bandwagon.. #AutismAwareness, punks!!

Eff you, autism.

Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that "it's okay" (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla.... No. It is totally okay to have the "Well, this wasn't in the plan! This totally sucks!" feeling.. Because it's the truth.
Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that “it’s okay” (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla…. No. It is totally okay to have the “Well, this wasn’t in the plan! This totally sucks!” feeling.. Because it’s the truth.


Sat down late last night to open the mail and had this big envelope from Autism Speaks.. And all by myself, out loud, in the most monotone voice I yelled, “ooooh, fuck you, autism”, because that’s how I really feel all of the time. I make the best of it and laugh as much as possible, but, really now.. Can I just get a big “fuck you”? ‘Cause no one ever dreams, “aw man, someday I want a kid with autism!” Nope. Nope. Nope. No one. 

With that being said, my kid is still cooler than yours. Hands down. Last week at his playgroup I witnessed the most comical thing that the other littles were doing. Out of 6 or so kids, Riot is the only one on the spectrum. He’s made unbelievable progress when it comes to playing and interacting with other children.. but for whatever reason, last week he just wasn’t feeling it and wanted to play on his own. This made him stand out a bit, at least to me because I know he’s the only autastic one in the bunch. I had a moment of sadness dreading the future kids in school being assholes, (I hate using this word, but..) bullies, and just all around jerks not including autistic kids in their cliques. And then I snapped out of it and realized that the funniest, best thing was happening.. Riot was coming off as playing hard-to-get, ha! The rest of the kids were now trying to get his attention, trying to get him to play with them, and chasing him around the classroom like chicks that never got a call back after that first date. Man. It was amazing. My boy being a bit of a loner, anti-social, and not wanting to get down with the peer interaction was giving off the vibe that he was the cool kid instead of the stereotypical standoffish, “weird”, quiet, “different”, _____ insert-every-word-from-an-anti-bullying-campaign-here _____. aaah, proud, proud mama moment. That vibe, my fellow mamas, is not a learned behavior, but an inherited trait, a rare gene, that can only be passed down from the illest, dopest parents. You see, it’d take way more than a touch of autism to throw Riot off of his playground game.

 

We've made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.
We’ve made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.

I’ve been so wrapped up in birthday party planning that I’ve been slacking on shoving Team Riot Gear’s fundraising down your internet throats. We’re at $2,945! We have 90 more days until the Autism Speaks walk to continue raising money! If we’ve been able to raise that much in under 3 months, I’m shooting for at least $5k by the walk on August 20th. I’m so competitive that every time I log in and check Riot Gear’s fundraising page, I always wish there were a Smack Talk section like in fantasy football so I could talk shit to the other teams that are clearly no where near as good as I am when it comes to convincing people to empty their pockets.. for a damn good cause, of course! Ahem, and I’m not even counting “Christian’s Crusaders” as beating us because they’re totally using the fame card to get dough. And, you know what? I’m gonna say it.. I don’t care.. “Christian’s Crusaders” is a horribly generic, totally NOT creative fundraising team name! I give it a D (at best) for effort. I hope they at least have some amazing t-shirts the day of the walk to make up for their bla team name that I have to watch blow Riot Gear out of the water by several hundred thousand dollars. eye roll eye roll eye roll.

If you haven’t already – or even if you have – click on our flyer at the bottom of this post (or on the sidebar on any of the RRRIOTmama pages) and send a few dollars our way.. It’ll help you sleep better at night, I promise.rrriotmama_dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO IT.