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Storygirl last won the day on April 11

Storygirl had the most liked content!

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About Storygirl

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  1. I got my garlic press as a wedding gift almost 22 years ago. It's as good as new, still, and works very well. It's by Pampered Chef. You can find their garlic press on Amazon, but it's an improved design, so it's not exactly like mine. But it still has 4.5 stars and is all metal. You don't need to peel the cloves before using it.
  2. You may need to try an extended release version. The regular kind helps with falling asleep, but we found we needed the extended release for one family member -- he needed help with getting to sleep and staying asleep, and he needs the extended release kind to stay asleep. I have only taken it a few times, though I have family members who use it nightly. I found for myself that I had a window of time, where it would work, and if I did not go to bed during that window, that it didn't help me. So my advice is to take it right before you turn out your lights. (If you had trouble getting to sleep, I would say to take it 15-20 minutes before turning out the lights, so that it had a little time to take effect, but not too much time). Some people find that it gives them bad dreams, but no one that I know has had that problem.
  3. My dad had this kind of feeling, although it did bother him when he swallowed food. The doctor did an endoscopy and found some kind of nodule in his throat, and they took it out. So it's possible that there could be a physical cause in there.
  4. Storygirl

    OCD, ASD?

    I know you've worked to figure this out previously and have been told that others don't see the issues. I also think you are switching to public school for high school? It's an excellent time to do some evaluations this year, so that you can present documentation of issues to the high school and perhaps request them to evaluate for an IEP, if support will be needed. A new school gives you new opportunities to get people to listen to your concerns, but the school will be more likely to pay attention if you have some things documented already. High school has been a big adjustment for us. Even though DS was in the same school district for 8th grade, the issues popping up in high school have presented new things for us to deal with. Since your daughter has some routines that she is attached to, I think it's wise for you to expect some bumpiness with her transition to a new school system and a new high school all at once. With stress, anxiety increases, and problems such as you mention in your OP can magnify. It's good to expect that, and having counseling already in place before the transition happens might be a very good thing.
  5. Storygirl

    OCD, ASD?

    I cannot tell you how many people, including pediatrician and psychologists told me over the years that DS did not have autism. But that was just their personal opinion. One of them did run a screening tool (GARS), but everyone was stating opinions based on what they were observing, not by running testing. And they were wrong. He was finally diagnosed when we found someone to consider the issue fully and look over his entire history. This seems to be a pretty common story. I was so used to people telling me that they didn't see ASD when I brought up issues that I worried that seeking more complete evaluations would result in just spending a bunch of money to hear the same old tune. I also had qualms, because I didn't want it to seem like I was shopping around until I got someone to tell me a result I agreed with. The truth is that we had been dealing with life-long struggles, and it was past time to get to the bottom of the root issues, so that we could access some better support. DS has a history of disliking any kind of therapy, and I have born the brunt of his anger about making him do things anyway. I've put off getting him certain kinds of help, knowing that it didn't go well in the past. But I've also persisted, and this time around, with the new diagnosis, I think I know a little better what things to look for in counselors and therapists. So far, DS has been working well with his new counselor, because we chose to work with an agency that has experience with autism. So I am encouraging you to pursue evaluations and counseling, even if your child is not fully on board, and even if you question whether you are going to get helpful results. This time around, I told the professionals upfront that DS might be resistant to cooperating with them, and they had ideas about how to address that issue, which we were able to implement and found helpful.
  6. Thanks, guys!!! If he decides to try, maybe I can do it myself, then. If it turns out poorly, he can buzz it off. Thanks @Corraleno for all of the specific tips. I love the photo -- my girls would totally envy your daughter's hair (they have black hair, too).
  7. DS15 has spiky black hair, and he would like to bleach the tips. Has anyone done this? I do color my own hair, but I would need to take him to a salon for this. I'm not keen on the idea, because of the expense, the fact that it can't be good for his hair, and the fact that it would not last long, because his hair grows super fast. I'm skeptical that he can get it to look the way he wants, because his hair is so dark. But I promised I would find out what would be involved. If anyone has advice, please share. I know costs can vary by region, but I'm still interested in what others may have paid. I don't have a regular hair dresser myself (I just go to walk in places, because my hair is easy, and I'm frugal), so I'd be starting from scratch on finding someone to go to.
  8. Storygirl

    OCD, ASD?

    Just to clarify, I wrote mostly thoughts about ASD in my post, above, because that is what I know about. I think that there are things in your description that could point toward either result, and that to figure it out with more certainty, professional help would be needed. By the way, in our situation, the need to get in the last word, no matter what, is related to Theory of Mind, now commonly called perspective taking. Some people with autism only see things from their point of view and cannot consider the other person's perspective. Not only can it cause friction socially, but it can also impact academics in multiple ways, including reading comprehension (because understanding characters is important for understanding the story).
  9. Storygirl

    OCD, ASD?

    It can be hard to distinguish between things that are due to OCD or ASD or even tics, and it can take a professional to sort it out. Often more than one professional, since they specialize in different things. I have a few thoughts that are just from me as a parent, without medical basis, but perhaps if OCD is involved and is treated, it would become more apparent which traits might be something else. Autistic traits can be tricky, because they are supposed to be evident from very early years, but the manifestation of the traits can also change over time. So something that a child did when two is not exactly what they do now, but the underlying reason is the same. For example, when my son was two, his particular obsession was his toy vacuum. He is not still attached to that now. But he is attached to playing his drum set or his bass guitar now as a teen. And he had other perseverative interests along the way; they changed focus, but they were there. So, if you are noticing something like a perseverative interest in nail polish or other grooming now, it can be a teen expression of the general need to fixate on one thing, which is common for many who have ASD. DS's interest in his hair is another of his perseverative interests, by the way. He washes it, gels it, spikes it, takes pictures, talks about it, repeats comments that friends have made about it, has to redo it after school and before going back out of the house, and so on and so forth (DS has ASD). Because therapeutic help is available for both of these things, I think evaluations would help. DS was against having evaluations this past summer, so we gave him a lot of lead time, and we talked about why, and we gave him a big incentive for participating in the sessions with the psychologist. (His incentive happened to be going to get his hair shaved on the sides and spiked on the top, because he was intent on having that hairstyle.) So there can be ways to increase buy-in from the child, if you decide that you want to pursue some professional help without her being too willing.
  10. I stopped doing cards perhaps 10 years ago. I still wanted to do them, and would even get the photos of the kids printed on cards, but I wasn't getting them sent out. I tried organizing them early and sending them out right after Thanksgiving, but I found I had trouble making that happen, too. After a couple of years of ending up with the stack of unsent cards, I decided just to stop doing it. I regret it, a bit, now, because I'm also not on Facebook, and the Christmas greetings were my only connection to some of my old friends. When I stopped sending cards, people stopped sending them to me, and now I get very few. Many of those connections are gone, now, and I never hear from them. As long as you won't regret not GETTING cards any more, I think it's fine to stop sending them. But realize that once you stop, others will take you off of their lists.
  11. The services available will depend on where you live and also what each organization determines that the needs are. The above are just examples of things that we've discovered in our area so far. I also thought it may be helpful for DS to be able to advocate for himself by naming his diagnosis, should he so choose. One of the problems for employment for him is that he can come across as uninterested or unwilling, when really he has communication barriers that make him appear to not care, even if he does (he has a flat facial expression and does not interact much verbally). He also can misunderstand what to do and fail to ask questions. Employers may be confused by these things, and we thought that it may help him to be able to say, "I am on the spectrum." Whether he will want to or need to or not, I don't know. But it's something that might help him. It's an option now for him, whereas it was not before. His previous list of diagnoses was long and cumbersome, and it would not help him advocate for himself very well by naming them. Many people do not disclose to employers. It's a personal choice, of course. Sometimes employers will know that disabilities are at play anyway, if job coaching or other services were involved when they obtained the job. But having the diagnosis does give that option, should DS choose to disclose.
  12. Getting help preparing for employment is our number one priority. Because DS will not be going to college, he needs to have some work skills by graduation. But there are other things that he needs help with, and having the diagnosis makes it easier. Driving, for example. DS also has ADHD and very weak visual spatial skills, so we expect driving to be very hard for him. Getting his license and being a good driver will make having a job and being independent much, much easier. The county and state services will help pay for driving services. So, he is scheduled first for an OT evaluation to determine driving readiness, and the county will pay for a portion of that bill. If he needs OT to get ready, and if our insurance won't cover it, the county can help pay for the additional OT. If he can't pass the road rules test to get his temps, the state will pay for a private tutor to help him prepare for the test. If he needs adaptive driving lessons once he has his temps, the county can help pay for those. We've been told that it can cost $5000 or more for these services, so we are glad to be able to have help with that. DS does not take instruction well from DH and me (we can get him to cooperate usually, but he gets angry and it's frustrating for everyone), so we are not sure that we will be able to teach him to drive. DS can also get help from the county with personal skills, like learning how to shop for food, prepare meals, clean up after himself, etc. If he is unable to drive, the county can provide transportation to work or appointments. After he ages out of the teen services and is expected to be more independent, he can get help paying for medication or therapy appointments, and he can have a job coach and help with finding living arrangements, if needed. Although we consider it our primary responsibility to build these skills, DS is delayed in some areas, and sometimes he can learn better from someone outside the family.
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