Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to Aldivia Designs

Aldivia Designs is artwork inspired by my children. My son, Alden (4), has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and my daughter, Olivia, who is a typical 2 year old, inspired the creations of this funky flair for color and design. Aldivia (the name combination of Alden and Olivia) Designs was developed to help others understand and love the difference of what ails 1 in 110 children... Autism. My Alden is part of the 1 in 70 boys that are afflicted with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I began creating the signature "Alden's Heart" candleholder after I left my job to stay home with my children, as I found that daycares were unwilling to care for my son. It was a true blessing to be home with my children, however, an enormous financial burden to be without a second income. Despite the challenges of finances, therapies, IEP's, doctors, potty training, obsessions, severe sensory, auditory processing, meltdowns, sibling acceptance, structures, and fears... I knew. It was absolutely and unequivocably where my heart was and needed to be. Always having a creative aptitude in pretty much everything that I undertook, "Alden's Heart" was actually a vision of color and beauty that was easily enlightened by my Alden's divine and elaborate soul and my Olivia's angelic and nuturing allurement. "Alden's Heart" represents the celebration of difference where Love (half red/half orange asymmetrical heart), Hope (stars), and Understanding (puzzle pieces) heed a solace, yet whimsical interpretation of Autism awareness. I am here for a reason... or should I say two... Alden and Olivia. This website is dedicated to the beauty in difference of all children or adults afflicted with this all too common disorder and those who love them. My hope is that "Alden's Heart" will symbolize and spread an awareness to love the difference.

10% of all sales will be donated to,
an online community & global Autism resources center.
Also, please visit
The crafter of the exquisite "Alden's Heart" jewelry.
Enjoy, Shop, Follow my journey blogs, Share your stories.
"Alden's Heart" can make a difference.
Thank you for your kind support.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beyond the Wall

I watched early this morning with coffee in hand and babies still asleep, as my large cat, Simon, relaxed on our screened-in back porch. I don't let my cats, Simon and Joon, go outside, so the porch is the closest to freedom as they can get. 20 lbs was sprawled out on the flagstone floor just beside the right end of the wicker loveseat. Enjoying his morning breath of fresh, humid air, he lay anticipating a bug, chipmunk, or bird to interrupt his otherwise lazy stance. I watched him in anticipation that his hunting skills would kick in, but found myself feeling a bit sad for him. A large, white, PVC fence was added to our landscape about 4 years ago and pretty much blocks any view that Simon and Joon used to have. It is a giant wall. The giant wall encompasses the length of our 2 foot backyard and the alley side, concrete patio. The front of the yard and park-like other side creates the "white-picket fence" illusion. I keep thinking that I need to build some sort of perch for the cats, but the porch is currently screened 10 feet, from top to bottom. Simon has been know to bust through the weathered screen and escape, leaving us with having to put up a baby gate and even duct tape just so he wouldn't ruin more of the tattered screen. The six foot fence doesn't seem to bother Simon or keep him from enjoying his lackadaisical catnaps. Maybe it is just me. Knowing that what is beyond the fence is something that he is missing.

We all have walls. Whether it is trying to see beyond them, climb over them, or just wonder why it has to block the view. I wish that I could build a perch for Alden. My arms get weary from holding him up to look over the wall. Sometimes I feel that my arms get so weak that they are going to collapse, dropping him, and leaving him helplessly wondering what is beyond the wall. Somehow, I find a kind of superhero strength, reaching him way over my head to give him the best view. Does he see it? Does he understand it? Does he wonder? Alden's wall may just be my wall, knowing that what is beyond it is something that I feel he is missing. Maybe he is missing nothing at all and has the most spectacular view that we could only imagine. What I do know, is that his view is just very different. I believe that as a mom, we just try to make it easier for our children to climb over their walls, or build a perch for them to safely view what is beyond. We would do anything to make life a bit easier for them. Alden's wall my be translucent to him, discovering the clarity to which he can relate, but to me, I see stone, blocking my view for him. My arms get weary, my heart heavy, and my mind drained as to how to unobstruct his view.

Simon doesn't seem to mind the 6 foot fence blocking what is beyond, but seems to relish in his screened-in spendor. However, I still want to build him a perch.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Power of Disney

Disney Pixar really has an amazing thing going. Reaching out to different children using extraordinary characters. Alden has never really sat down to watch a television show, let alone, a two hour movie, mostly due to his auditory processing disorder. However, he is an advertiser's dream come true, recognizing logos and slogans from products shown in commercials, and you guessed it... especially cars! It wasn't until about six months ago that the Family Channel aired "Cars" on its network, that Alden had any interest in watching TV. With Alden's facination with his model cars, I tuned in after Alden and Olivia's relaxing bathtime to see if we could have a family movie night, thinking movie night would last for about 10 minutes tops. Surprised and bewildered by Alden's interest, I had never seen Alden so excited watching the TV. "A Mazda!," Alden shouted. Lightning McQueen was a Mazda, according to our car whiz. Alden related each character with the type of car he thought they were. He was probably right. "Look Mamma and Daddy, it's a Porsche!," Alden shouted when the character, Sally was introduced. "Yes, Alden, that's a Porsche," Olivia would repeat to acknowledge Alden's excitement, as she usually did. It was truly amazing to see how wonderful and attentive both kids were with the movie. Needless to say, movie night lasted for the whole two hours and Alden was literally beside himself in excitement. Lightning McQueen was becoming his new hero... and ours.

The Family Channel reaired the show the following night and I was smart enough to record it on our DVR. Thank goodness for that! Waiting for at least a week, I told Alden that if he was a good boy at school and at home, that we could see if the "Cars" movie was on again, hiding the fact that we had recorded it. Alden had an amazing week at school and at home, so I punched in the DVR recordings button, as Alden watched the screen with sheer excitement. "Look Sissy, there's the 'Cars' movie on there!," he screamed in delight as he read the TV screen. Somehow he now knew that we had the movie recorded, even after never having used the DVR. Too smart for his own good! Again, he sat through the whole movie, with me forwarding through most of the commercials unless he would ask to see one of the commercials. Amazingly, he remembered, from just having seen the movie once previously, what commercials were where. Incredible. Lightning McQueen was becoming his new hero... and ours.

Realizing now that his pull-ups that he had been wearing for months were starstruck with Lightning McQueen and Mater, potting training became a "whiz" for Alden. Not wanting to make a mess in his "designer - labeled" pull-ups, Alden seemed to quickly get the hang of using the potty. Grampa found Lightning McQueen underware, or as Alden calls them, "Lightning McQueen Hanes," and life quickly changed as my son now was growing up! Even Olivia shared in his excitement for wearing the Lightning McQueen "Hanes!" "Yay, Alden! You are wearing Nightning Keens," she would exclaim in excitement. Lightning McQueen was becoming his new hero... and ours.

From potty training to feeding, Lightning McQueen was the most popular topic in our world. Having found a Lightning McQueen sports bottle cup, a plate, forks and spoons, Alden was drinking some out of a cup and trying a few new foods. We rewarded Alden with the miniature cars from the movie, as these became his new obsession. They worked, using the bribery of the miniatures to get him to eat eggs and drink juice from a cup. Our world with Alden, was changing because of Lightning McQueen. Though Alden still has many feeding and drinking difficulties, he is trying all because of his "Cars" items. He even tried Lightning McQueen macaroni and cheese, which he would have never even touched before.

Disney Pixar probably has no idea the impact that they make on certain children, perhaps they do, but I celebrate the characters of the "Cars" movie everyday! Without Lightning McQueen, where would our lives be now? Oh, the power of Disney! Alden has truly found a hero in Lightning McQueen... and so have we!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do Children See Angels?

Do you believe that children see angels? I am a believer. We all would love some sort of proof that angels exist. It would be amazing to know that an angel watches over us. I am a believer. Alden has seemed to attract angels since we brought him home from the hospital. He would stare up into the corners of our living room and smile or just laugh. I didn't have any proof of what he saw until he was about four months old. I had been video taping him in his exersaucer and was stunned by what I had just witnessed. Using an older video recorder that took 8mm tapes, I was filming his cute antics and babbling. After several minutes of priceless moments, I noticed a circular white light glide across the LCD screen. No way. What was that? I was taken back a bit, but continued filming. There it goes again, gliding across from the other direction, then shooting upwards. OK. I stopped the filming at that instant so that I could rewind the tape and review that I wasn't just seeing things. Sure enough, white orbs of light had glided just as I had thought I saw. I kept rewinding and reviewing in disbelief. Over and over, I watched the orbs of light glow across the screen, right in front of Alden. So taken back by what I had caught on video, I at first failed to watch what Alden was doing at the time. Rewinding again, in my bewilderment, Alden's eyes were following each light orb as they passed before him. He was smiling at the balls of light, following their rather intentional paths, reaching them with his eyes. Did Alden see angels? Did I? As Alden got older and able to speak, and several other videos showing similar lights around him, Alden would say, "There's the man," pointing to a corner of the living room or by our front door. "He's happy," Alden would say. Shivers would travel down my spine because he would say this just out of the blue. Then, one day, when Alden was two, I was cleaning out an antique secretary that held a photo of myself with my grandfather who passed about twenty years ago. I was his only granddaughter and had an extremely close relationship with him. Actually, my wedding was in his memory and Alden holds part of his namesake. As I had the photo on the dining room table, Alden looked at the photo and seemed to be studying it for several minutes. I asked him if he knew who this was, pointing to myself, as I was several years younger. "That's Mamma," he replied with no hesitation. Then, my heart dropped as he said, "And that's Grandpa, the man."

Do you believe that children see angels? I am a believer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Losing Me

Mamma! Honey! Mamma! OK. What ever happened to Laura? For brief moments, I remember what my life was like. A much more awakened soul that had dreams of really becoming someone. Someone that people would remember. You know, leaving a stamp on someone else's heart. I knew her. I remember her. A much more motivated soul that had dreams of success. I knew her. I remember her. A much more independent soul that had dreams of taking the world by storm. I knew her. I remember her. My life hasn't exactly gone according to my plans that I developed when I was 13, 18, 25, or even 39 for that matter. My heart took a different path when I got married at 30 and became a mother at 36. My heart took another path when I gave birth to my children and one has Asperger's and the other does not. My heart took another path when I quit my job to stay home with my children. So, what ever did happen to Laura? Well, Mamma and Honey seem to proceed me. And that's OK. My heart is on a different journey now. My dreams are different, but my soul is still the same. I am learning to accept that my life didn't go according to plan. I live for something other than me. For brief moments, I remember the awakened, motivated, and independent soul. I cherish those memories of becoming me. So, in losing me, I have really just found another part of me. People may remember me, people may not. I may have left a stamp on someone else's heart, maybe I didn't. The journey that I seemed to have gotten lost in, is really the beginning of what I was meant to be. And that's OK.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Angel Has Fury

All toddlers have a dark side. Our little angels turn into to into someone that we don't even recognize as they are learning their boundaries and their dislikes. Little triggers of tantrums are unavoidable in a world that is unfair, even to us, as adults. Some people throw things; some people cry; some people hit; some people just shut down. We all handle stresses and disappointments differently. In the mind of a child, irritation can become outrage - if only for five minutes. In the mind of my Asperger's son, irritation can become outrage, then can become fury - for half an hour or longer. Where did my angel go? This human emotion of anger is natural for all of us, but with Alden, at the age of three, it seems exacerbated and uncontrolled when he is overloaded with information that he cannot decipher or the organized world that he created around him simply falls into disarray. Alden is just not sure how to channel his anger and frustration. In his line up of toys, mostly hotwheel cars, or now, car characters from the movie, "CARS,"one falls out of line, the world ends for a moment. It is best that his sister not be in his path, for she may fall victim to his catastrophy. To Alden, it is such that... a catastrophy. This thickened emotion ails Alden especially when he is tired. Alden is a wonderful, little guy most of the time. However, lately, the meltdowns seem to occur when we leave somewhere that he wants to stay or just before he goes to bed. Screaming, kicking, hitting, pushing - his outlet to finding his way back to good. Recently, I seem to find myself avoiding going places because, though he is only three, he seems to possess superhero strength during these meltdowns. Funny how anger is inherent, but patience is learned. We are teaching Alden to use his words when he is frustrated, which is so difficult for him in his rote world of extrinsic language. Patience and breathe... patience and breathe... patience and breathe... Hugs, kisses, persistence, and consistency, then more hugs and kisses. The angel has fury, but the rage of momma's demure will prevail.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Uppitay, uppitay, uppitay! Who would have thought that Alden would use a made up word from a phrase that I would tell him when I was lifting him up saying, "uppitay, uppitay, uppitay," to name his blanket. Yes, the ever so almighty power of the blanket. "Uppitay" is the hug when feeling down. "Uppitay" is the smile when Alden sheds a tear. "Uppitay" is the safe place, the security, the cuddling, the support, the warmth, the beauty, and the strength all sewn into the threads of what others may perceive as just a blanket. He carries his Uppitay with him just about everywhere, except to go to school (at first, he did take it to school in his backpack). So gently, he holds Uppitay close to his face, gliding it across his cheeks. He then moves it down passed his chest and tummy. He holds it out, never taking his eyes off of it, almost like he is counting the worn threads or perhaps, studying their patterns. He moves his fingers across the chenille core over and over again where the fabric is raining, separating piece by thread. Alden brings Uppitay again to his face, and jumps up and down and moans, "ehhhhh." Life is now ok.

Alden holds Uppitay like it is a lifeline. Well, to him, it is. The familiarness of what he has always known. Since birth, this was Alden's warmth and comfort. Now, this is what makes sense in Alden's universe. Uppitay is a constant; a beautifulness to life's chaos. When life doesn't make sense and language overloads the already overloaded stimuli of the world around him, Uppitay is his serenity.

Alden is my Uppitay. Life is going to be ok.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The "Other" Momma

All children amaze me when it comes telling what is on their little minds. The truth of what they are thinking, well, it just comes out. In Alden's case, sameness is essential for him. Even when it comes to his momma. When I was working full time, I would wake up, shower, and get ready before I would get the kids up. The kids saw me dressed, "made up," and ready to go. Since leaving my job, I still wake up before the kids, so I have time to jump in the shower and have a little time to get ready before the chaos begins. However, there are times when my little guy, Alden, hears me and wakes up at the same time. Alden has to wake up early to get ready for his 2 1/2 hours of preschool. Alden will come into the bathroom and look at me. Staring. I give him a big hug and tell him, "Good morning, Alden." "I am so proud of you for waking up all by yourself." Alden, still staring at me, will then say, "Where did the other momma go?" "I want the other momma." OK. I just have to crack up. Do I have to get up even earlier just to put makeup on for my three year old? :) Alden does get over the fact that I am not made up and I get him off to school. When Alden arrives home on the bus, he hugs me, then just stares at me... In shear excitement, Alden exclaims, "It's the other momma!" Got to love it!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wrote in Rote

Auditory Processing is something that I am simply trying to wrap my brain around. Complex in its definition, I can't begin to imagine the struggle that my son feels in his little mind. With Alden's normal ability to hear sounds, he has a difficult time interpreting those sounds. Can you imagine? I think of auditory processing as a word search - there are lots of words that you can recognize, but they are all jumbled up. It is difficult enough to make sense of our world, and even more so for Alden to find a way to make sense of his world. Perhaps like learning the grammar of a foreign language for us. The amazing ability to adapt to the communication barrier is for Alden to have rote and repetitive language. Sameness, go figure... Alden speaks using what he knows and often using the same phrase after a typical activity like drinking his juice, "Momma, you were so thirsty." (Speaking of himself). Alden also frequently speaks in the third person. It actually makes sense that he says, "Alden is so thirsty," or "You were so thirsty," because that is what he hears. We do correct his patterns, and sometimes he repeats the, "I was so thirsty." Other times, he says with frustration, "No, Momma." I let it be and just from his response I know that at that time, it is too much for him to comprehend. That's OK. Just imagine, hearing a language all day long and constantly trying to make sense out of it. Exhausting. I have learned that patience and understanding are key to what we take for granted. Just as Alden is learning to make sense out of his world, I am trying to find ways to help him make sense out of ours.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hidden Wings

Bells were ringing the day my daughter, Olivia, was born. There was a purpose chosen for her. This beautiful, endearing, little girl had a path already leading to bring heartfelt empathy and understanding to all that have the priviledge of knowing her. Though only two, Olivia has a brightness and passion, and of course, an inherited stubborness from her mommy, but a giving soul when it comes to offering her heart to her brother. Of course, Olivia doesn't understand that Alden is different than other three-year-olds. She doesn't realize that disturbing the lining up of 50 Hotwheel cars will cause utter chaos - or does she? Olivia does test Alden - How close can I get to Alden's cars? Will Alden lash out at me if I touch one? I think I will try anyway. Determined, Olivia glorifies in each moment that Alden acknowledges her attempt to play with him. They laugh. It is the most beautiful sound. Olivia tries so hard for Alden's acceptance, even though she may get turned down on many occasions, she is inclined to win him over. The bells rang many times the day Olivia was born. It takes most of us a lifetime to earn our wings. Though hidden, the wings upon which she flies, we know that there is an angel among us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Parent's Promise

Bring power to me in all that will be,
understanding what is unknown.
Bring love to me in all that will be,
to never walk this path alone.

Bring sense to me in all that will be,
realizing the fate of choice.
Bring strength to me in all that will be,
as my heart becomes my voice.

Bring soul to me in all that will be,
absorbing each moment I start.
Bring passion to me in all that will be,
giving my hand with my heart.

Now, take all of me from all that will be,
Remembering moments of what has been.
Power, love, sense, strength, soul, and passion,
I give it ALL to them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Logos and Emblems and Labels, Oh My!

Many children with Asperger's Syndrom, Autism, or any other Autistic Spectrum Disorders tend to display areas of exceptional aptitude. Since these "disorders" (which are quite orderly) affect an area of the brain, our understanding of how these children think and view life is quite immeasurable. At the age of two (2), Alden really had little interest in reading books with mom and dad. Alden's interest sparked when I pulled out the phone book to look up a phone number and address for a local body shop. I never saw his big eyes light up so much in excitement when he yelled, "AT&T!" Of course, I was amazed at his ability to recognize the AT&T logo, but I had no idea that the AT&T was only the prelude to the logo world! I sat with Alden, as it was rare that he took interest in any sort of book, and showed him the car adds in the yellow pages, as I knew that his interest in cars was peaking. "Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Buick, Lexus, Toyota, Mercedes!," Alden could hardly stand it, he was so excited. As for me, I could barely contain my excitement of how brilliant my young, 2-year-old son was who could recognize the emblems and the spelling of the cars. After an hour of studying the cars, Alden started turning the pages, and yelled with excitement, "Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Chili's!" WOW! My 2-year-old could read! Of course, I picked up the phone and called my husband, then my parents to brag what a genius Alden was. I don't think a phonebook ever got so much use! Alden would literally spend hours looking through the phonebook - studying the pages. He would rattle off phone numbers, attorney names, letters, and jump up and down in sheer enthusiam, but Alden always returned his attention back to the cars, remembering exactly which page to turn to. We are not exactly sure why Alden chose cars as his "thing," but now, at the age of three, he can differentiate between makes and models of even the most obscure cars: Lotus, Lamborghini, Ferrari! Alden also likes to see the mail - "ComEd, NiCor, US Cellular," he recognizes them all! Alden's mind works different and we are now trying to tap into how to use his thought process into real life applications. We even made Alden an "Alden Emblem" so that he could recognize things that are his. Alden's life in emblems and logos makes sense to him. With his emblems, he finds safety and contentment in his world that is ever changing and language that he doesn't always understand. Emblems and logos are constant and that is what Alden can endure. We all have a safe place when stress overcomes us. We resort to what we know because we find comfort in what we understand. Alden has guided us outside of our comfort level, but through him, we find that the world of discovery charters the footsteps of what others may someday follow.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh, and the "A" emblem. Well, even though the Aston Martin turned out to be a Dodge, the emblem, according to Alden, was now an "Alden emblem."

The Valentine Box

It amazes me on a daily basis, the perceptions of my children. For Alden's preschool, family project, we had to design a Valentine Box. OK, so I got a heavy-duty shoe box (supplied from my dad), contact paper (supplied from my mom), and lots of creativity supplied from Alden and Olivia. I asked Alden what kind of Valentine Box he would like, and he said, without hesitation, "I want Mickey Mouse's Aston Martin!" For all of those who are unsure what an Aston Martin is, it is the souped up, fancy car that James Bond drives in his films and apparently what Alden believes that Mickey Mouse drives. I had to laugh to myself, for what 3 year old knows what an Aston Martin is, let alone, most other people? I had to laugh to myself thinking how I was going to make an Aston Martin! I first cut the box top to fit the Valentines. Then, I used the white contact paper and wrapped it around the box like I would a gift. The contact paper did not stick properly, so I had Alden help me glue the sides. Alden did not care to work with the glue, as he does not like to get his fingers dirty, however, Olivia was right in there, gluey fingers and all. Well, the glue did not hold so I had to come up with another plan. I found some heart wrapping paper and decided to wrap the box in that instead. I did that and Olivia loved the hearts. Alden did not. "Momma, Mickey's Aston Martin doesn't have hearts, it is red." Time to bust out the acryllic paints. Alden and Olivia both painted over the nice heart paper with bright red paint. Alden was done for a bit after that. Baby steps. I cut out some wheels, a grill, a spoiler, and a Mickey Mouse picture that I attached to some cardboard. Alden and Olivia painted the wheels black and we added a heart stamp in red on each wheel. Again, Alden had a difficult time with getting his hands messy, so I kept a wet paper towel nearby for him to wipe his hands. Of course, Miss Olivia, was all over the paint and loved getting messy! I helped paint the grill and we all finished the spoiler. I got out the handy glue gun and constructed the pieces together on the shoebox. Once together and the glue had dried, I cut out some oval circles in white paper and had Alden help paint an "A" in the circles. These pieces would be the crucial emblems. I added the "A" emblem to the spoiler and the grill along with some headlight circles that we also painted. It was a complete Valentine Box work of art! Alden hadn't seen it all together yet and I brought it to the dining room table. Now, Mickey was not on the Aston Martin yet since Alden had to play with the cardboard Mickey for a while. I was so excited to show Alden our finished, amazing work of art and was even more thrilled to see his reaction bringing his Aston Martin to life. "Look, Alden! Look how awesome your Aston Martin Valentine Box looks!" Alden looked at the box, then looked at me, then looked at the cardboard Mickey and said, "Momma, that's not an Aston Martin! That's a DODGE!" I had to laugh to myself. I then asked if we could glue Mickey onto the Dodge, but Alden said, "Momma, Mickey can't drive in a Dodge!" As for the "A" emblem, Alden was Ok with that and called it the "Alden Emblem." Well, needless to say, we tried to build Alden's Aston Martin, but sometimes in life, we just have to settle for the Dodge!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Beauty in the Beast

Like a rose, perfect and beautiful, it has its imperfections. Asperger's and Alden has its imperfections in this perfect little guy. OK, I know, we all think that our children are perfect, most of the time... Alden's beauty in this beast far outweighs the negatives. Trying to find the the beauty is sometimes the hardest part. Life is imperfect, and this is just the reminder. However, life's perfections are quite beautiful if we can only see it. There are days of constant struggle - not as much for Alden, but for me. Questioning "Why?" seems to plague the unnecessity of it all. Screaming "Why?" seems to wear out the energies that you need to guide these, or any children. I have given up the "Why?" and faced the unraveled beauty of it all. I truly believe that Alden is here to teach me something - perhaps something about myself. The beauty in recognizing all of the challenges for him that I take for granted. I am trying to understand things through his eyes, soul, and heart. Not an easy task, but it seems that putting myself in his shoes, helps me to help him. The cliche' really exudes power to its action and not just its words. Through the meltdowns when Alden's Hotwheel cars get misaligned or the frustrations in him not wanting to even try new foods or a sippy cup, I look at him - simply - but with a huge breath - and grasp onto his challenge to help him through. He loves... and that is what it is all about. My beauty in this beast of life must be the example for him (and for his sister, Olivia). It is definitely not as easy as these written words speak, however, embracing the beauty may be what can ultimately conquer this beast.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Intuition and Asperger's

I knew from the beginning that something was truly different about my son, Alden, who is now three. Of course, when he was born, as every parent feels, he was this perfect little baby. At 7 lbs, 15 oz, delivered by C-Section, he was a healthy, perfect little guy! Not ever taking a pacifier (he would simply just turn his head or spit it right out), he also never, ever put anything in his mouth. I could lay pennines on the ground and he would just simply line them up, not ever thinking to put them in his mouth. Breast milk, then formula, then baby cereal, then baby food, it was never an issue. Alden was an amazing eater, up until he was ready for solids or a sippy cup. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of that. I simply thought that he just wasn't ready. When the doctor asked about his developments, I did express many concerns about the mouth and his eating. "Oh, he is just pretty spoiled," he would reply. My gut knew otherwise. Alden also only played with certain toys. The Fisher Price rings were the hit. Not stacking, but lining each one spacially perfect - at 8 months old! Then, it was the Mickey Mouse, little stuffed figures. All perfectly lined up in his crib. If any of his stuffed friends fell out of place, he would fall apart. This was the beginning of the difference. As a first time mother, I would think, "Wow, he is brilliant!" "My son is a true genius the way he lines everything up!" Alden is brilliant and a true genuis in his own right. His beautiful patterning is still a part of him. It has just evolved into HotWheel cars - hundreds of them. Maybe an OCD of some sort, naming each one by make and model (and remembering who gave him each one), or his safety mechanism to resort to what he knows is constant and can truly understand. This seems to make sense in his world, but to be honest, constant and understanding would make sense in anyone's world. Alden just has the ability to express that more than we do. I am learning from him to make sense out of my world. The Asperger's is difficult to understand sometimes. If I could just get into that little head of his. He patterns every thought which is expressed in his patterning of the objects that he plays with and in the rote language that he speaks. If I could only be so organized! I am now home full-time, having quit my job last June to be with and guide both of my children. Yes, I quit my job in this economy! Who does that? Well, my parents, who were watching my children full-time, got quite burned out, and no daycare would accept a child of Alden's age (2 at the time) that had to be fed and still took a bottle. I suppose they thought that he would convince all of the other children to take back their bottles and being fed was the way to go... Oh my little Prince! Out of necessity - I am home. Out of love - I am home. Now, my husband I are sacraficing the financial situation of our decision. That would be another post! Follow in my journey of my son and my daughter, as we try to make sense of the world. I am here for a reason, I believe and still hope - to be my children's voice and help in filling the hearts of others lost in search for answers. I am only the expert of what I know, but the guide of I what I search.
I will find comfort in knowing that I can guide another heart.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Miracle Witness

I am the witness of two miracles - my Alden and my Olivia. I have learned that I can't control everything in my life. My Alden (3), such a beautiful and amazing little soul, who lines up 50 hotwheel cars in a perfect row - perfectly spaced, and can tell you the make and model of each one. My Alden, who still drinks out of a bottle and eats baby food. My Alden, his heart full of love, but his brain has Asperger's Syndrome. My Alden; my miracle. My Olivia (2), such a beautiful and sensitive soul, who blesses you if you sneeze and asks if you are OK if you get hurt. My Olivia, whose gentle heart bleeds if her feelings get hurt. My Olivia; my miracle. I witness the miracles emerge every day. They grow; my love grows. They hurt; I cry for them. They smile; my world adores. They love; I love more. Though the challenge of the miracle is a miracle in itself, I am blessed to be the true Witness.