Thursday, August 27, 2015

Deep Thoughts From Noah #64

Car ride convo today...random, but I think he has a point.

"Ice cream trucks are creepy."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Musings From Natalie #115

"Mom, it's almost time for me to go back to school...who are you going to play with when I'm not here?"

Me: Hey, Nat! Check out these cool jump ropes! Only a $1
Natalie: Mahhhm! No one plays with those!  They are from the olden days...the only kids who play with them are the Flintstones.

We went to Emmy Park and Nat was disappointed to learn that the beach where she had found loads of baby toads with her dad the week before was now under water....
Natalie: I can't believe it!  I've been waiting all week to come here and catch baby toads
Me:  We can come back when the water has receded.  We'll find more toads.
Natalie: Yeah....but I've been waiting all week and one week is like 88 weeks in kid years.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Many Autistic Kids Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Question: How many Autistic kids does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer:  Zero

Whether you ask one kid or a dozen kids with Autism, their first response is likely to be the same…“Why?”
This may seem like a silly response to someone with a “typical brain”…but that’s just because your brain hasn’t considered all the options like someone with an Autism brain.

For example:
Outwardly the light bulb looks the same as it did yesterday. There seems no reason to change it.
On an anxiety scale of 1 to 10, people with Autism rock a Spinal Tap 11.  Any change, whether trying a new food, rearranging furniture in a room or taking a different route to school sets off the fight or flight response in them. 

If the light bulb doesn’t work…just go to another room. No matter if it is inconvenient or not even a suitable solution to a problem – someone with Autism will always prefer the path of least change. Because what if they try to change the bulb and mess up? What if they break it? Changing a light bulb could be dangerous…what if they get hurt? Better to be safe than sorry.

Anxiety over choosing a new bulb from the dozens of different watts and styles available isn’t worth it…just buy a new version of the old lamp. Making decisions, whether it’s what to eat for lunch or what to wear to school can cause panic.  What if they choose something new from the deli counter and it tastes gross? 

While the examples I’ve shared may seem funny or ridiculous, for families raising a child with autism – they are often more fact than fiction.  On August 22, 2015, Action for Autism is hosting their 7th annual Family Fun Walk.  An organization that has supported our son’s academic and social growth by helping us send him to a special needs program each summer.  I shudder to think the regression Noah would have experienced without this support.  I realize there are lots of wonderful charities to donate your time and money to, but if you can and feel led to – please give to Action for Autism. I'm looking for 20 family and friends to donate $10.

To donate visit Action for Autism Family Fun Walk  then type FELGENHAUER in the comments section of the form. Or, email me privately to make arrangements.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Deep Thoughts From Noah #63

Me: Alright, so we need to run some errands today.
Noah: I don't want to do that.
Me: I know, but one of the things we need to do is buy a gift for your friend's birthday.
Noah: Why?
Me: Because it's expected that you bring a gift when you go to his party.
Noah: But, isn't it the thought that counts.
Me: sigh...

Friday, July 31, 2015

I Know What You Mean #23

Noah: "Mom, what's a sour crotch?"

After excusing myself for a moment to recover...

Me: "Hmmm...I think you mean sauerkraut.  Did you read about it in one of Nat's recipe books?"

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Deep Thoughts From Noah #62

Noah: "I don't know what to have for lunch."
Me: "What about a peanut butter sandwich?"
Noah: "No! I always have that.  I don't want to eat the same thing every day."

Ten minutes later I walk into the kitchen to find him eating a sandwich spread with butter and sprinkled with roasted peanuts.  Apparently, it is NOTHING like a peanut butter sandwich.

Me: "Noah, don't forget to floss."
Noah: "I don't like it."
Me: "I know, but you need to do it -- so you have strong healthy gums."
Noah: "I like them weak."

Monday, June 29, 2015

Missouri State Park Adventures: Onondaga Cave

Last summer our family participated in Cakeway to the West -- a fun way to celebrate St. Louis' 250 anniversary and an excuse to visit many landmarks and museums that we had never been to before. This year, we are extending our love for learning about the Show Me State by visiting as many Missouri State parks as we can before the kids return to school.

On Saturday, we began our tour with a trip to Onondaga Cave State Park.  Located about 60 miles from St. Louis, the cave is a national natural landmark and truly an underground wonder.  Our adventure began in the visitor's center with a five minute introductory video.  Next, our trained guide led us on a 90 minute tour over lighted, paved walkways as he explained the history of the cave and pointed out unique geologic formations such as "cave bacon".

Metal railings made the nearly one mile trek easier as we traveled down slippery paths to reach depths of 180 feet below the surface and trudged up steep inclines to view the "lily pad room" located just 15 feet below the surface. It was a really enjoyable trip for all of us and we look forward to visiting the park again as they host many unique events throughout the year including; hummingbird banding, flintknapping demonstrations and an underground music series.

Fun fact: Missouri has more than 6,000 caves (second only to Tennessee which has 10,000+).

Natalie puts her hand on the "touch rock" the only place you may touch while in the caves as the oils from our skin greatly affects the formations.

An unusual sight - a tiny plant growing in the caves.

Noah and Nat in the Lily Pad room