24 Comments

  1. Karen in Toronto
    January 11, 2016 @ 12:14 pm

    Carrie…I love your writing. I truly look forward to your weekly blog. Please bear with me as I offer up a question as I am sure to get told a thousand ways to parent your children all the time. Several of your son’s symptoms remind me of my own children at the same time. Could his teeth…12 year old molars… be bothering him? I know your husband is a dentist, but I offer up this as it has truly caused a lot of pain for tweens, not just sore teeth but sore stomaches, poor sleep etc. All the best.

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  2. mctag2015
    January 11, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

    I admire your tenacity, your patience and your willingness to share. Only those who have been there or are now there understand the pain that accompanies autism. I understand. And I’ll remember you in prayer.

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  3. Erin
    January 11, 2016 @ 1:30 pm

    A tiny snowflake of success drifted your way! May there be more single flakes that delight your soul until the storm ebbs again.

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  4. Jill
    January 11, 2016 @ 1:36 pm

    Exactly!! Carrie, I love your blog. Your stories remind me that I’m not alone. Our son, Luke, is 10, and so much like Jack. And like you, my biggest struggle is to know when the bad behavior is because of autism or because he’s a kid pushing his limits! I totally understand. Thank you for sharing this! I will keep your family in my prayers!

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  5. Mia
    January 11, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

    You are doing such a good job, especially with self-care. I’m going to try to learn from you on this. When my son with ASD began the “I hate yous” and swears at 12, his therapist gave us thumbs up as it is a typical milestone for kids this age to push those boundaries. I wanted a pretty milestone like showering; but I got swearing. I’ll take it, kind of: he gets 5 to 10 pushups for each swear or inappropriate/disrespectful remark. It shows him (and the younger 4 kids looking at him) that it’s not ok and gives him some physical input that he needs to ground himself emotionally. It’s nice to see someone else going through something so similar. Thank you!

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  6. autismmommytherapist
    January 11, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

    Just know you are not alone, and there are so many people rooting for Jack. Just finished your first book and loved it. Hoping he comes back to you in all his glory soon.

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  7. Lisa
    January 11, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

    Another great post. You have no idea how helpful they are to me. I look forward to each one every week and I can always relate to them. Thanks for sharing your life with me.

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  8. lisa
    January 11, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    Just beautiful Carrie, thank you so much for sharing these moments and I especially love the note you found, totally get that little joy, those beautiful snowflakes xx

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  9. Jessica (@jessbwatson)
    January 11, 2016 @ 2:27 pm

    Oh this is us right now. My daughter, or the one I was mostly used to, has been gone since October. Even a hospitalization didn’t bring her back. We are finally starting to see glimpses of her again and I realize how much I’ve been holding my breath.
    “Are you only as good as Jack is?”
    That hit me really hard.

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  10. Sara Williams
    January 11, 2016 @ 2:40 pm

    What a great mom you are. To keep trying from one angle to another to still one more. It’s such hard work, and you do it beautifully. I wanted to tell you a bit of my own history with antidepressants and antianxiety, medications.

    Depression clearly runs through my family. I remember my mother in the bathroom for hours every day, smoking cigarettes and reading philosophy, every day. They had no antidepressants back then. As for myself it started in my early 20’s and there were still no antidepressants. When they were finally developed, they changed my life, and made it infinitely better. And here’s the thing – if my husband took them, I don’t believe they would have any effect on him. I don’t know if that’s reassuring at all but medication can help lives in so many ways.

    Exercise is also good for brain chemistry, and as an artist I can attest to art being very effective at helping me with depression and anxiety. My son went to a counselor who helped him to deal with his anxiety with exercises that he then used in school to great effect.

    You are doing a great job. And it is the hardest job even without all these other challenges piled on. So keep up the good work and thank you so much for sharing your insights, your joy and your pain. You are always inspiring me.

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  11. Megan
    January 11, 2016 @ 4:06 pm

    My kids had similar symptoms that would come is waves. We finally figured out that they had PANS/PANDAS. There are a lot of ASD kids who also have PANS /PANDAS.
    http://www.pandasnetwork.com

    Reply

  12. Tracey
    January 11, 2016 @ 7:14 pm

    This is my favorite post from you yet. I am so sorry you are all going through this. I can relate to a lot of this. I can especially relate to your happiness being tied to your child. Thank you for being brave enough to share this part of Jack’s story.

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  13. Deb
    January 11, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    Puberty is a pain in the butt for all children and parents and even worse for disabled children I think. Your plan sounds good. Just wish I had used it on my two “normal” kids:)

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  14. Tammy
    January 12, 2016 @ 12:53 am

    so close. I am always the target for Nash. But I am also the one that holds the line. I will not give in just because autism lives here. there are rules for everyone and just because autism hangs out at our house doesn’t mean you get to be a poo poo head whenever you want to be. and deciding that your 18 year old sister can be your personal target is unacceptable. autism sucks.

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  15. Kimybeee
    January 12, 2016 @ 12:58 am

    My son started this same behavior at about Jack’s age. Especially hating me. He will be 20 in March and it is finally getting better. I think you can chalk most of this issue up to boys and hormones and body changes. My daughter is two years older and she isn’t as bad, but she has had her moments.

    The basketball for discipline may just be the greatest thing I have ever heard in my life. I can see Jack using this as a self control method on his own. Maybe it is something that can translate at school. And exercise is always good.

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  16. K Smith
    January 12, 2016 @ 8:56 am

    I can pretty much leave the same comment on all of your posts….THANK YOU for sharing. You have no idea how much they help…it’s like you put into words what I’m thinking. It’s nice to know you’re not walking alone on this crooked path of ASD.

    Reply

  17. Erika with a K
    January 12, 2016 @ 10:37 am

    Thank you Carrie for writing this brave article. I have a 10-year-old son with autism and ADD that went undiagnosed until this year. I recently put him on Ritalin which has helped tremendously, but doesn’t take away the tantrums, especially at night after it has worn off. What you described is very much like what my son experiences. Your metaphor with the snowflake and the snowstorm is exactly how I feel about him, and I just had to cry a little knowing someone else feels the same way.

    Reply

  18. Gillian Pallas
    January 12, 2016 @ 11:51 am

    Hi Carrie,
    I read your post every week, always through tears. You absolutely nail the autism experience. You speak my words, my truth. Thank you for reminding me, every week, that I am not alone… ❤️

    Reply

  19. Kats76
    January 12, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    ‘Are you only as good as Jack is?’ omg that sums up my life, i am as good as my 8 yr old daughter is, thank you for ur amazing blog, meant to commen for ages!

    Reply

  20. GP
    January 12, 2016 @ 8:21 pm

    As every week, thank you!!! It is so hard to imagine how so many children could go through similar things. The tween years seem to be particularly tough. Reading your post and the comments, I definitely feel like we are part of a community. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  21. Jeff
    January 13, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

    Carrie — so sorry for what you are going through. My son came down for breakfast yesterday and the plates, food and placemat went flying. He was upset with his Minecraft server from the day before. Then he started crying about bullies on line. Then he calmed down as the ‘storm’ passed. Behind it was is smile —- his sunshine.

    Reply

  22. Gail Aubertin Brunt
    January 14, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

    Oh Carrie, I hear you. My daughter is on the spectrum, and is high functioning. She turned 18 last May, and in September started acting out so that hospitalization became necessary…10 times since then. I just brought her home this morning after she swallowed half of a pencil sharpener blade yesterday- in front of her therapist. Last November she was finally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, on top of the ASD issues. Although she has been difficult since birth, when she hit puberty things starting ramping up- the language, the aggression, the self-hatred. She was in placement for 18 months, which made matters worse, so we finally decided to take her out just before her “senior” year. This is a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. And I can’t imagine how awful it is for her to live inside her brain. No one has EVER been able to figure out what makes her “tick”, and yes, the question has always been “can she control it or not?” Is it behavior or disorder?

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  23. Patti Sobus Monteiro
    January 16, 2016 @ 8:34 pm

    My daughter is autistic. She’s 16 years old and has been fighting depression since puberty kicked in several years ago. Her new doctor recently took her off Clonodine as she said that her experience has shown that it makes kids angry and aggressive, although none of the literature shows that. My daughter is now taking Trazadone instead. I know these side effects vary by person so it may not apply to your son.

    Reply

  24. adoberoseblog
    August 22, 2016 @ 8:59 pm

    Just from one Mom to another, have you ever tried swimming? It has been the only outlet for me in so many ways. I can go underwater and cry, or scream, and make all the ugly faces I want – and NO ONE KNOWS!! And I can pray while I swim laps and I’m never bored. Been doing it for years and other than the relaxation water brings and the good-for-the-body-to-exercise thing, it has brought me through days when I just didn’t want to go on. Recently I laughingly shared it with another swimmer and then immediately wished I hadn’t of course. BUT he stared at me with huge eyes and said, “me too”.

    Reply

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