Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rest in Peace, Barbara Curtis

I have not posted in a long while, but today learned of the passing of a lovely woman, Barbara Curtis.  I never met Barbara face to face, and I wish I had, but I had spoken to her over email several times.  Her wit, enthusiasm, and confidence inspired me to have George tested for Autism.  Just last week we received the official diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder (possible Asperger's).  If it weren't for Barbara's encouragement, I might not have had the nerve to go forward with the diagnostic testing.

Barbara converted to the Roman Catholic Church a few years back after a hard life of liberal femininism, and  is survived by her twelve children, several of whom have Down Syndrome among other special needs.

Donations to help her family can be sent to:

Barbara Curtis Mommylife Memorial FundPO Box 682
Lovettsville, VA 20180-0682
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Has it really been over a year since I last posted?  Wow.  So much has happened.  Let's see:

Surgery and recovery were fine.  As a bonus, I have not had intense back pain since the surgery.  I had pain for years attributed to an old injury.  As it turns out, it was my gallbladder.  Amazing how nerves work, isn't it?

George still loves being a big brother.  He is delighted by everything Ellen does, and takes his big brother responsibilities seriously.

Ellen is now a year old, and has just started to walk.  Of course, she still likes being in a "boat" with George.

Today, like most days, she ended up covered in food.  Where George was finicky about getting food anywhere but his mouth, Ellen prefers the "cover me entirely" method.

She is just like her Mama...always has a phone in her hand.  The amusing part is that she was actually holding it correctly and babbling into it.

A few months ago I recorded her making the strangest sound.  She still likes to make it, just slightly less demonic sounding now.

I love my daughter, she's such a hoot!  I have more videos but it will have to wait, my phone is being douchy.

Anyway, let's see, what else? George started preschool (3 days a week) this year, unfortunately it is in a town 30 minutes away.  But, it is the best school hands down in the area.  Next year he will be going 5 days, which I think will help him with a steady routine.  We are going to try to have him tested this summer for ADHD/Autism.  This will be an involved, complex diagnostic testing process, but hopefully it will help us determine if we need to seek additional help or qualify him for special needs programming.  He has some major behavioral issues such as hyperactivity (more so than should be normal), inattentiveness, detachment, aggression, and anger.  Some of these problems seem to be rooted in my own behavior, and when I changed how I reacted to certain situations, his behavior also improved somewhat.

One of his cousins has Asperger's, and the way his mother described the boy's early childhood sounded eerily familiar.  George exhibits many similar symptoms and I decided to see if there is a connection.  My research has uncovered studies that indicate a genetic link for autism.  Since autism and ADHD share similar characteristics, I figured testing might yield some results.

Only time will tell, and I'll try to update when I find out anything.

Looking ahead to the future?  A trip to Disney World, I'm running Vacation Bible School this year, and we eagerly await Ellen's first (real) words! Ciao!