Katlynn~ March 5, 2011

Katlynn~ March 5, 2011
I might be bias... but she is beautiful!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

I totally had an epic fail with the 52 week posts about Katlynn and her progress through the year.

There was a lot we had going on and the biggest thing was my husband getting really sick and being sick over the course of about 3-4 months.  It was a complete nightmare.

Anyhow about Christmas.  Katlynn still didn't show all the enthusiasm and hype about Santa, but she did seem very into the Christopher Elf making his visit and stay for 3 weeks moving every night.  Katlynn was almost always the first one to find him with a big smile and joy.

Santa of course brought her tons of horse books, and goodies and she was totally into it.  She enjoyed it this year.

Katlynn had a great year with progress.  She grew so much in ALL areas, but mostly in speech and social. She is like a completely different kid now.  It's been really amazing to watch her blossom into this kid who seems... well,  typical in so many ways.  She talks back,  storms out of the room and tattle tails.  All age appropriate behaviors of typical kids.  She is no longer having 20 minute crying fits and uncontrollable tantrums.  She can now vocalize pretty much anything and every need or want.

She did pick up the whole Sponge habit and repeats a lot of things I would prefer her not to, but I think that's minor in the big scheme of things.

And... Drumroll... She is completely potty trained!!!!!  Even dry 90% of the time at night.  It was a long year with potty training and I think in just the past 6 weeks it just clicked with poop and everything.  It's been amazing and so nice having her just go on her own and not having to take her every hour on the hours.

Sometimes I wonder if her diagnosis will change.  I don't believe autism ever goes away though, I just think if caught early enough in kids like Katlynn the signs and symptoms are less severe and CAN be reversed.

And to think this has all been done with no special treatments, diets, or programs.  I can honestly speak from my experience as her mother and say that Pre-school and the fact I have never treated her any different then I do my other kids or any other kid, has made a difference.  I treat her like she is completely normal, and therefore it really shows.  There have been times, where it's been VERY trying when she was first diagnosed, but I promised myself I would not single her out due to her diagnosis.

Her quick progression has me so much more intrigued by autism and ASD's.  How one kid with the exact same diagnosis as Katlynn can be non-vebal, non social, stems,  has gastro issues,  feeding issues, etc and then you have kids like Katlynn who are at the top of the classic autism diagnosis.

Anyhow, for Katlynn 2011 has been an amazing year and I can only hope 2012 is just as amazing and wonderful.

Katlynn with her friend Allie and twin sister Audrie at Toy Story 3 on Ice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mad PC skills....

Do all these kids on the spectrum just get it?  I mean a month ago Katlynn could barely maneuver a mouse and now she is amazing with it and can navigate a PC quite well for a 4 year old.  I had even bought her a little kiddie mouse because I just thought she wasn't grasping the concept of the bigger mouse with all it's little functions and stuff.  Anyhow, I was wrong.  As soon and the kiddie mouse came in the mail and I opened it up to put in the USB,  it's like something clicked.  She was using the regular mouse.

Anyhow,  She is doing well overall.  She is still lacking in areas socially, but she is really trying and academically she is doing so good.  This kid has a serious memory.. but again, I think it is a spectrum thing.

She and Audrie have been in the same bed sleeping together for about 3 weeks now.  It is so sweet and she really adores her sisters.  I am not sure how long this can go on though since they are sharing a toddler bed and are continuing to grow.

Her teacher told me today she is going to push for Katlynn to be mainstream in the gen ed classroom.  Great news... and as the rest of preschool goes on.. I am sure we'll make more finite decisions on her Kinder plans.

Here are some recent pictures.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week # ?????

So, I have realized I have totally blown this whole 52 week blogging project.  It's been so crazy here, I just can't seem to find the time.  I have been focusing a little more on "ME" and the family as a whole then just Katlynn and, well you know,  the blog was put on the back burner.

We're going completely pull up free during the day now with exception to places, like under jumping, etc where a potential mess can create an issue for all kids.  She's doing really great with pee.  Poop again is still another story.  She's getting there though. I have faith she'll be trained in time for kinder.

We've been working on pedaling a trike or bike and neither of them she has any interest in really learning the concept, but we keep trying regardless.

Her speech again is blooming.  New words and sentences.  Her social skills are slowly starting to increase as well with other kids.  She is starting to play more with other kids instead of being on her own and has become increasingly social the past few weeks.

Until next time...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Skipping a couple more weeks~ Sigh

Anyhow... Dave is finally getting better.  Things were so crazy with him being in and out of the hospital so much.

Katlynn's still doing Summer school for 2 more weeks.  She's also picked up some bad habits there.  Pushing, bitting,  and pulling hair.  I am not 100% it is from school but I am sure it has added fuel to the fire since the staff teaching the preschoolers don't have any recent experience with special ed 3-5 year olds.

We're back on the potty training bandwagon.  She is doing well.  In fact, she has just gone on her own into the bathroom and went potty without having to be reminded.

Still working on getting her ABA hours back to normal.  Seems they're having a turnover at the vendor we're using.  Sucky!

She is loving the pool as always and we took her to ride ponies the other day and it was such a joy to see the smile on her face.

Until next week...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Skipping a couple weeks

So... these past few weeks have been Chaos with my husband being so sick and in and out of the hospital.  He is finally home again (for good this time I hope) and is slowly feeling better.

Anyhow,  the kids finished up the school year a couple weeks ago and we are planning a lot of Summer festivities.  Katlynn's ABA services are finally creeping back up to her required hours.  I have a ton of play-dates and social outings planned as well as Swimming,  art, and other activities.  She is in Summer school for the rest of this month 4 days a week which is good so she doesn't regress with school type settings.

She has regressed some with potty training, but it is our fault.  Due to the circumstances with Dave,  she has been with sitters a lot and our routine has been messed up.  Hoping this next week we can get back to normal.  He speech is still increasing all the time.  She has started up a couple bad habits again like mouthing her clothes,  saying "no" a lot and even pulling hair or throwing things.  Nothing too extreme, but I would like to get them under control before they get worse.

Here are some pictures from the Huntington Library yesterday.  We had fun with the kids.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Week 16- Just random

So there are a couple things I am bothered by right now.

 #1- pool safety and children with autism.  I know many ASD parents can vouch that kids with autism are attracted to water.  Look at all the drowning reports in the past couple years.  It can happen in a split second and cause neurological damage beyond repair.  I used to work for a pediatric sub acute in Loma Linda.  Many many of those children where in a "vegetable state" with permanent brain damage.  Many of those children's conditions came from near drownings at their own homes. I have seen the loss and devastation.  Why can't others see it?

#2-  We all know ASD kids thrive on routine, right.  So why would you have a teacher for your child one year,  a different teacher for ESY (end of school year) and then another new teacher the following year?  I know for a fact my daughter should have the same teacher as last year, but I am getting the run around about how I would have to do a district transfer and that there is no guarantee, blah, blah, blah... BULL SHIT. I know several parents who have requested the same teachers and have gotten them. I am willing to bet even with the district preschool changes this year, some of those parents will get the same teachers EVEN if that teacher is not at the child's home-school.  It's all a crock and a ploy and what's the worst is they are toying with my daughter's future and education and it really pisses me off.    I will not stop fighting for my daughter's rights.

Okay, I am off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review- Point to Happy: For Children on the Autism Spectrum

I am pleased to announce that I was given a chance to review the book Point to Happy: For Children on the Autism Spectrum. I tried it out with Katlynn during her therapy sessions and on my own time with her.
This book is a godsend to any parent and child dealing with autism, aspergers, add, adhd- but to be perfectly honest, every parent should read it with their kids especially children that learn better about emotions visually. Who doesn't learn better visually using real life photos of classroom and social behavior? I was pleased to see the simple and basic feelings shown beautifully.  It touches on simple life skills such as playing,  staying close,  quiet time, colors, routines, etc.  There is even a section in the back where you can add your own social or emotional story yourself.   

Point to Happy: For Children on the Autism Spectrum  is a must have for EVERY child that is entering preschool and/or kindergarten. Every library needs this book ... tell yours! 

You can purchase it HERE.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well.. the little stinker is doing great on the potty with #1.  However, with #2 we're still hit and miss.  She's had a few successes, but I am still catching her crapping in her pants, putting it in the toilet and then telling us she pooped in the toilet.  We've actually believed her a few times until we see poop caked to her bottom or her undies streaked. I know, I know some of you are thinking TMI, but this is my life.  I live this day in and day out, so I can't help but turn some of it into humor.

Tonight we hit another milestone (at least in my book).  She was sent to timeout for trowing toys.  She typically sits in timeout really well without a fuss (why can't Halle and Audrie do this?). So anyhow,  after her 3 minutes was up,  I went to her and I asked her why she was put in timeout.  She was able to correctly tell me why and that she has thrown toys.  Jackpot.  She understood... phew.  that little brain of hers that is constantly working on overdrive, is working quite well.  

So I snapped this picture of a person she drew.  Now, I did not see this happen, but Dave and the other 2 girls swear Katlynn drew it so I will give her credit because I really think she did it, I think.  She can draw legs, arms, hair and eyebrows too.  

Cute, right.  

Anyhow,  we're in search of a swim instructor for Katlynn.  Haven't had any luck yet.  I called a lady yesterday who is a private instructor and she charges $300+ for 8 lessons... are you kidding me?  I was thinking holy shit balls this woman means business and in 8 short sessions my kid better be a future Olympian for that price. Anyhow,  with all these drownings happening to kids with autism lately (there are articles all over the internet) I am terrified for Katlynn's safety.  Pools, ponds, beaches all freak me out right now.  So I am hoping to at least get her more comfortable with water and a little more familiar with safety. 

Ps... No, I am not paying $300+ for swim lessons.  Future Olympian or not,  that price is insane to me. 

oh, oh, oh~ one more thing... I found this picture of Katlynn  at 10 months.  Her first piggies.  Aww... 

Monday, April 11, 2011


So, I think Katlynn's IEP went well.  Part of me feels as though I might have under estimated her capabilities for the goals I agreed on with the team.  I didn't want to put too much on her, but I also wanted to make sure they were addressing key academic and social areas.   She has 2 goals placed I know for a fact she will master in the next 6 months.  Counting to 20 consecutively and tracing her name all caps.   Tonight she traced her name.  While it wasn't great, she actually did much better then I thought she would.  So... I am hoping this doesn't turn into another IEP saga down the line.  Crossing my fingers the communications just go smooth and she keeps her teacher she has now.

I also addressed the idea of the girls sharing a classroom for their last year of preschool.  It is something the staff was willing to discuss and get back to me.  Crossing my fingers on that one.

The potty is still going pretty good.  We actually had a poop success tonight.  Yay!!!

We're still having issues with her saying "no" and " I not..." constantly for everything lately.  It is something new and is frustrating to see her doing.  Even stuff she enjoys she is responding to this way.  I am hoping it is short lived and with the help of her behavioral interventionists, we can find a solution to the issue.

That's all for now folks.

Oh.... I started a fundraiser for an  I-pad for Katlynn.  If you know anyone who would like to take part and donate or support, please check the tab to the top left for donations information.

Friday, April 8, 2011

CONTEST... Please check it out!!!

We’re Socking it to Autism with Autism Spectrum Magazine and bringing you an
 Autism Awareness Month Give-away!  We’re putting together a prize with some 
cool goodies for your child and some pretty neat things for you too!

Dizzy Disc Jr
Eye Spy Sensory Bag
Tactile Discs
Color Wonder Lap Desk
Hand Print Canvas Set
Flower Head Vase
Flip Video Camera
2 pairs of SmartKnitKIDS Socks
1 pair of SmartKnitKIDS Undies
1 SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Under-Tee

Check out this link to enter the contest and see contest rules.


It's a product review kind of week.  So, I ask my friends over at smartknitkids if I could test their socks for my kiddos to see if it would help Audrie keep socks on and if they would help Katlynn when wearing her SMO's.

I was very surprised to get a couple different sizes and colors in the mail.  First off, the packaging is too cute.  The socks are so soft, yet thick and really well made.  They work perfect with Katlynn's braces for her shoes.  They didn't bunch up like normal socks do and leave creases on her feet causing pain or blisters. I was very pleased.

Audrie actually kept the socks on for a longer period of time then she normally does, but I don't think she'll ever be very fond of any sock... Maybe I should give the panties a shot.  I think for most sensory sensitive kiddos, these socks are great.

Overall I would give this product 2 thumbs up.  Please visit their facebook page or their website list above for more information.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Running a little behind here since were already midweek into week-13.  That's okay.

So last week was Spring break.  Rained a lot, so the kids didn't get to get out as much as we would have liked, but we made due with movies,  board games, Chuck-E-Cheese and the indoor jumping place.  None of which I happened to have captured pictures.

I didn't get a call about Katlynn's EEG. I am assuming no news is good news, but I still swear she's had seizures.

She's starting to recite EVERYTHING and her echolalia is coming back.  Ugh...She was doing so good for a while there.  She is still using most of her language appropriately though.  So I am happy about that.

Today I Put her down for nap and I heard her jibber jabbering and I walked up stairs and found her clothes she was wearing in a pile outside her door.  I opened up her door and she had dressed in her PJ's inside out. lol... It was cute.  I had to get a picture.

 When I took this picture, she told me, "I'm happy mommy".  Melts  my heart.  Especially since just 30 minute earlier she was screaming her head off and in a very foul mood.  I think she has an ear infection.  not 100% sure, but I have dealt with a lot of them with 3 kids and I am pretty sure I am right.  I am going to just give her pain meds and ride it out for a day or 2.  I avoid antibiotics like the plague these days as it seems to break down their immune system so much and the medicine needs to be stronger and stronger each time to do the job.

She is still doing amazing with potty training.  I think we pretty much have #1 down pat.  Even naps and and morning she is waking up often dry.  She has woke in the middle of the night a couple times the past couple weeks and I think it is just because she had to go potty. She will go and then go right back to sleep.  We're still working in #2.  She will come to me and tell me she pooped in the potty ( after trying to dump it) or she will often tell me she has to go potty ( meaning she already pooped in her pants), but we're making headway.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So we are continuing potty success after potty success.  In fact, I would pretty much consider her pee-pee trained if that counts.  Poop is another story, but I don't care since it is one less mess to clean up and one less package of pull ups to buy.  I am so proud of how she is doing.  I talked to her speech pathologist and she is met all her goals on her IEP already for speech related goals.  Woot-Woot.  (I just have to figure out a way to keep her with group speech services).

So tonight I was very happy to see Katlynn playing with a doll and brushing her hair.  I was so excited to see that because you see,  those little things are HUGE with kids who have autism.  HUGE.  I won't mention she was brushing the hair of Halle's $100 American girl who now has a a matted mess of a fro atop her head now.  That's gonna be a fun project.  But again, I have to smile about it, because it was a huge milestone for her.

Here are a couple more:

We were eating dinner and I gave Katlynn some carrots.  She didn't want them on her plate and instead of throwing a huge fit  like she normally would have and like many ASD kiddos do, she simply said, "No carrots, no thank you". For that, I could do nothing but remove them in awe and again with a smile on my face. I could care less if she ate carrots at the time being because her telling me "no thank you" was way more important.

Cortney and Jacob came over the other morning and when they walked through the door Katlynn said, "Hi Cortney, hi Jacob" with no prompts.  Just simple said it like a standard greeting... again, I felt like we SCORED. She actually greeted someone without having to be prompted.  Awesomeness.

She had her EEG today and I should know the result in a couple days.  Crossing my fingers it is nothing, but also hoping they didn't miss anything.

Stay tuned for week 12.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

oh dear.... Week-10

So Dave and I moved the girls into our old office about a year ago so we could make their room a playroom.  The office had this 2 tone poop brown set of colors on the wall and we decided that for the girls 4th birthday we would re-paint and decorate their room.  So Dave demo'd the baseboards and we put the girls to sleep in our room (or so we thought) and went to work painting.  Little did I know, Katlynn was in my closet creating artwork with the combination of my FAVORITE smashbox eye palette and tampons.  How she was using them I have no clue.  Maybe she was going to use the tampons to paint the makeup on?  Or maybe she was trying to clean up the evidence.  Either way, I was light humored about it (even though getting that make-up out of the carpet is going to be a pain in the ass).  After-all, kids will be kids.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Potty training is going super good. In 5 days we've only had about 5 accidents. Not to shabby. I love how aware of it she is becoming.  Tonight she was hiding in a corner pooping and I saw her and I told her I knew what she was doing and I told her I knew what she was doing and she said, "I have to go to the potty".  Of course, she'd already pooped, but that's okay.  It's a learning process.

Another another good note, I did not realize how well she cuts using scissors.  She did amazing  holding them properly and everything.  She was really enjoying it. In the past I gave up quickly because she just wasn't getting the hang of holding the properly and I would just give up trying with her.  Now, I know she can totally do it (Thank you Clouds preschool)... More crafts to come.  Writing on the other hand is still a work in progress.  We're still trying to teach her to hold a pencil properly.  She'll get there, I know she will.

She amazes me everyday with songs she is singing and learning as well and reciting books to the "T".

Her IEP is set for April... I have so much to think about with her.  She's made so much progress I haven't really thought about her goals recently and I have been focusing a lot of Halle for the time being because she needed more help. I have a friend who has been struggling and advocating for her son who is also preschool age and I have realized, that I really have no clue where Katlynn is with her goals.  If she is meeting them, etc.   So,  I ordered a great book on IEP's that, that same friend recommended.  I do feel much more confident going into IEP's now.  Much more informed, and armed with what I want for my daughter.

I can't believe she and Audrie are going to be 4 in just 2.5 months.  Crazy how time flies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So we had a fun filled weekend full of horses, ponies,  trains and a local zoo.  The kids had a great time.

Friday, February 18, 2011


We've been hard at work with potty training.  We've had 6 success's in 6 days. Is that good?   Averaging 1 a day?  I am at a loss as to give up and keep plugging.  I know she is clearly capable regardless if she is autistic or not.  I also think she is ready for the most part.  She has most all signs and is pretty aware of it when she goes in her pants.

Well.... guess we'll keep plugging.

Here's a valentine pic of Miss K.  Not sure she is happy, sad or just overwhelmed from all the pink and red.  Maybe even the red dye and sugar she is obviously ingesting?  Who knows...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week- 6 Continued....To poop or not to poop

So I was trying to catch up on the world news while the kids were playing quietly and in comes Katlynn into the living room naked, throws her undies in my hand and runs  off.  They were damp, so I figured she just didn't like it and took them off (although she has a tendency to pull off her pull-up and chonies whenever she poops too).
So I took them to the laundry and help her sit on the potty and went into the kitchen to throw away some wipes.  

What do I almost walk into?  Why it's a poop trail.  

Fun times, Fun times. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


While to most it may not seem like much, to me it is everything.  Katlynn is actually starting to trace letters.  We're still working on he proper grip, but she is getting there.  

She's also now singing "1-2 buckle my shoe" and  "This old man". 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Week-5 (I got side tracked)

Okay,  So this week Katlynn has been starting to get anxiety when we leave the house.  Even if it is just to go to the car.  She thinks we are leaving her and starting crying and freaking out.  Even if we tell her we are going to grandma's house and we don't take the routine direction she starts crying thinking we aren't going.

Time to change things up and change up the routine some.  I feel so bad because she gets so sad, but she has to learn.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Passing this on that I got from a friend.

I am blessed to have some people in my life who get it.  I am also one of the ones who was unfortunate to have friends who just didn't get it and the friendships ended.

So please read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week 4- Open gym

We took Katlynn to an open gym class.  She was a GEM.  She waited in line, followed directions and was really independant.  She did a zip-line, the balance beam, the pit, trampoline, obsticle courses with slides and pads for summersults. She enjoyed the class. We tried this same class 6 months ago and it did not go near as smooth as it did this time.  Much better outcome.  In fact, I highly doubt a single person besides myself knew she was even autistic. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Train for Autism

I am doing the surf City Run and supporting train for Autism and TACA.  Anyone want to donate?  Even $5 makes a huge difference.

Click HERE for more information or to donate.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week-3... With update 1/22/11

I think I heard one of the best things ever tonight.  Katlynn asked me for a banana and when I gave it to her she smiled at me and said, "I'm happy".  I have never heard her verbally express emotion before and it is something we have actually been working on just her and I lately.  For instance today we were drawing on the of those doodle boards and I drew a happy face and a sad face and I asked her which one she was.  She pointed to the happy, but did not say it.  So when she said it tonight, I realize she actually said it with a purpose and that it was meaningful.

Oh and her new favorite game is Hide-and-go-seek. She's been playing it with her sister and little friend daily with lots if laughs and giggles.

Melts my heart to see her happy.

UPDATE:  Katlynn was playing around with daddy wrestling and he was pretending to be hurt and Katlynn asked him, "you alright, dad, you okay?" Aww... empathy is VERY important with these kiddos and to see her showing it, is just another step we're going in the right directions. Good job, K!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week-2 Potty training woes...

We've started a new potty training program with Katlynn. So far it's not so great. We did however have 3 potty successes in the past 2 days. So in a sense, I guess it is progress, right. Anyone have advice for pottying training a kiddo on the spectrum?

Katlynn has also mastered the art of jumping on 2 feet, finally. She loves doing it in the trampoline. She's also starting to complete 24 piece puzzles now. Maybe she'll catch up to her puzzle master twin who is completing 45-50 piece puzzles at only age 3. Who knows. Katlynn's a smart cookie. We've been doing some mini home practice sessions for speech, fine tuning some of her articulations and such. She is starting to speak a lot clearer, but we still have a long way to go. I am still considering the GFCF diet. So many people swear by it that I really need to get on the ball. But it is spendy no matter who says it’s cheap, it’s not. I think that is the biggest deterrent for us. So we’re going continue to plug away at the potty training and also work on riding a bike with training wheels. Until next week…

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week -1

We're wrapping up the first week back to school and I got a report from Katlynn's teacher that she is doing well and talking more.  At home, she is initiating so much more conversation.  Even in the form of questions, answers and even statements.  It's amazing.  It seems as though her echolalia is not happening as often anymore either.

On the downside of the new year, I think Katlynn maybe be having absent seizures.  I am not certain as I have never talked to her Dr. about it. She had a scary episode where she just sort of went limp and froze yesterday and was unresponsive to her name or touch.  It was not the typical zoning out autistic children do.  But just as I was about to freak out she came around and was acting normal (well... normal for her) again. So, I have been pouring into research again and will have a million questions at the next Dr. appt I am sure.

We also started a new potty training program through ABA.  Not doing great, but some little progress here and there.  Lots of good rewards, but little progress.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

52 week project

I realize I am not blogging in depth enough about Katlynn's ups, downs and all around.  So I am committing to a 52 week blogging project.  I will post every week about what's going on with my lil' princess and the chaos of the Smith household.  So stay tuned for this week's post.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goodbye 2010~Hello 2011

This year has been filled with trials and triumphs regarding Katlynn.  We have worked hard with her this year and she also worked equally as hard to succeed.  She has made us so proud of her.  

Happy New Year and may everyone have a wonderful 2011 year. 

Here are some pictures from NYE. Our last pictures of 2010.