Autism, Aspergers, Rob Gorski,Special Needs Parenting, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fibromyalgia,

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Jun 02 2012

Rare form


My three boys are literally all over the place. I’m just gonna say it,  they are driving me crazy.  While that you need a short trip,  it’s still an unpleasant one.

They just seem to have this endless supply of energy.  It’s very reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny.

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May 29 2012

Hands on with the NYKNYC Weighted Vest


As many of you already know, I’m a father to 3 boys on the #Autism spectrum. Each one of my boys have various degrees of sensory processing disorder as well. When I was contacted by a company called NYKNYC and asked to test out and review their weighted vests for children with #Autism, I was pretty excited. Below is my, rather my children’s experience with the weighted vest and the weighted lap dog.


How or why does a Weighted Vest work?


Before I actually get into my thoughts and opinions on the NYCNYK weighted vest, I thought it would be a good idea to explain the how’s and why’s behind the benefits of a child wearing a weighted vest.

Weighted vests work much the same way as a weighted blanket and can be highly beneficial to some children with autism, sensory integration disorder, ADHD and other neurological disorders. Weighted vests are designed to apply deep pressure touch stimulation or DPTS. This works by providing the child with unconscious information from the muscles and the joints. The added weight or pressure provides DPTS and may help the child calm down and better integrate sensory information. As a result, the child may become more organized, and improve in their ability to concentrate on play, learning or eating.

Keeping in mind that all kids on the #Autism spectrum are different, generally speaking, children who are easily distracted, hyperactive and lacking in concentration respond positively to the additional weight these vests provides.

Make sense? Great.

Hands on with the NYKNYC Weighted Vest


When the vest arrived, I was really excited to check this thing out. I had been asked what size I preferred and I opted for a small because that would fit two of my three kids. I hadn’t seen any pictures or had any idea what these would look like prior to opening the box. I was actually surprised that that they -I say they because I received both a red and black vest- looked like regular clothes. There was nothing that stuck out as really obvious that this was a weighted vest.

The vests themselves are constructed of a neoprene type material. It’s soft to the touch, elastic and should hold up well to pulling and prodding.[flagallery gid=8 name=Gallery]

The front of the vest has a zipper just like a regular sleeveless jacket. There are two Velcro pockets on the front, each pocket has two sections. The back of the vest has the same two pocket setup, minus the Velcro flap. These pockets are where the weights are located.

The weight is made up of small, rectangular steel plates. The vest I received, contained four of these plates and easily weighed a few pounds total. I don’t know for sure what the vest actually weighs. The plates are spread evenly around the vest, as to provide consistent, even weight. The steel plates themselves are thin enough that you actually don’t visually notice them when they are in place. I also noticed that due to the rectangular shape of these plates, they are actually rather difficult to remove from the pockets.This may be by design, in order to limit the child’s access to the weight and prevent them from hurting themselves. Personally, I would prefer to see more rounded edges, but that’s just me.

When the vest is put on and zipped up, it’s very snug but not restrictive. Your child would likely wear a t-shirt underneath it and the zipper is thoughtfully covered up on the inside by a large flap of the same neoprene material. I really liked that because this helps to ensure it’s sensory friendly.

The one thing that I noticed and would definitely change is the small tag stitched into the inside of the vest to indicate the size. As many of you are surely aware of, many kids on the #Autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorder don’t tolerate tags. We have to remove any and all tags from most of our kids clothes before they will wear them. Perhaps, some type of stamp would work better and keep the vest sensory friendly. Having said that, the tag is small and very easily removed. Problem solved.

Now that I have covered the construction of the vest, the important part is how well they actually work and whether or not my kids benefited from wearing it.

My kids weigh in on the weighted vest


When I opened the box, Emmett was right there helping me. He immediately went for the red vest, which was actually a bit smaller than the black one and had no weights. The weights that came with the black vest didn’t fit the red one. I found that to be a bit odd. However, it actually worked out well that the red vest was smaller because it provided really good compression for Emmett. He actually preferred the red vest over the black one.

I explained to him that when he wears the vest, it will feel like a great big hug. He loves it and calls it his big red hug. 

If any of you are familiar with manipulating the joints of a child with sensory issues, you know the immediate relief that provides them. That is actually one of the few things that we can do for Emmett that will immediately calm him down. You can see it in his face the moment we start working on his joints. Relief washes over him and he is calm and relaxed.

That’s the same response that Emmett had when I put the vest on him and zipped it up. He really like the pressure it provided him. He doesn’t understand why it feels good, he just knows it feels like a hug. I would love to see how Emmett responds to adding some weight to his vest and so I’ll have to look into that at some point.

Elliott has taken to the black vest. It fits him better then the red one, so that worked out nicely. It fits him snugly but again, isn’t restricting. There is also room for him to grow into it still. He noticed the weight right away and said it felt good. I think Elliott would probably benefit from additional weight and so I’m going to look into that for him as well.

Both he and Emmett wear the vests all the time and were upset when I had to take them away in order to take pictures of them.

I think the concept of the weighted vest is pretty simple and sometimes, simple is good.

As anyone who has been a long time reader of this blog knows, my kids are very sensitive to things like texture and color. The fact that they have taken to these vests is a testament to how well they work.

The Weighted Lapdog


While I really like the vests, I have to say that I’m truly in love with the weighted lapdog. If your familiar with Pillow Pets, think a heavy Pillow Pet and your in the ball park of the weighted lapdog.

The concept is the the same as for the weighted vest or weighted blanket. They all work by providing the child deep pressure touch stimulation or DPTS. The applications for the weighted lapdog are many. Let me give you an example of how we have used it.

Emmett is a little boy that is always full of wiggles and often has a difficult time sitting in one place for long or sitting still at all for that matter. When Emmett is having a hard time sitting on the couch without jumping, we simply have him put the weighted lapdog on his lap and he finds himself much more relaxed. The same works while he’s eating as well. Emmett also uses it as a pillow at night sometimes as well.

I could see this being beneficial in the classroom setting as well. So many kids on the #Autism spectrum have a hard time sitting still in their chairs at school. This is something that could be brought to school and provided to the child when the need presents itself. I would think that this is something that should be stocked in special needs classrooms everywhere.

Until you actually picked this thing up, you would never know that there was anything different about it and it looks, as I said, just like a Pillow Pet you see a the store.

Pricing and Availability


As far as pricing goes, I think the prices are reasonable but may still prove a bit expensive for many. However, in my opinion, the benefit is well worth the expense if you can make it happen.

The vest costs around $68 and is shipped to you for an additional $12.

As far as the lapdog is concerned, I can’t confirm the price at this time. When I can, I will update this review accordingly. I would also refer you to their website for more information as well.




My kids really enjoyed their time with the weighted vests and weighted lap dog.  would have no problems recommending these products to any special needs family that could possibly benefit from them.



-The vests were very comfortable for my kids and really seemed to provide sensory relief.

-The weights were well concealed and secured in place.

-Benefits of both the vest and the weighted lapdog are significant and the applications are many.

-Both the vest and the lapdog seem well built and durable.



-I would like to see rounded edges on the actual weighted steel plates, to limit possible injury.

-Using some sort of stamp to indicate size, rather than an actual tag on the vests would prove to be more sensory friendly.

-I think the price may limit some peoples ability to purchase, although weighted vests are expensive in general, much like weighted blankets.


Contact NYKNYC


Any questions or to order, call NYKNYC at 1-845-688-7612 or email [email protected] 


 If you have a product that you would like reviewed on Lost and Tired, please fill out the form below and I will get back to you ASAP. 

[contact-form subject=”Tech4Autism Review Request” to=”[email protected]”] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /] [contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”true” /] [/contact-form]

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Mar 16 2012

Bumps along the way


Fridays plans have had to change.  When we arrived home today from picking up Lizze,  we were met with a surprise. Dominion left a little present in the form of a shut off tag.

Truth be told,  we have always struggled to meet our expenses,  at least more recently.  However,  since the van was stolen,  things have been a bit more challenging.

That goddamn van getting stolen is like the gift that keeps on giving.

I managed to get it turned back on but not until tomorrow,  sometime between the hours of 7am and 11pm. I explained that I really could use it back on tonight but they weren’t moved. We sent Gavin and Elliott to Lizze’s parents because they need showers and baths. 

Her mom is taking them to school so I can wait around all day for them to turn it back on. I realize it’s my fault and all but I’m doing my best.

I know there are many other special needs families out there facing the same or even worse struggles.  I would love to see these companies be a bit more understanding.  I realize it’s wishful thinking but I can still dream.

I hope that everyone out their struggling,  knows that they aren’t alone.  Hang in there.  :-)

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

Please join our Community Autism Support Forum Registered & Protected

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Mar 04 2012

#Autism, Overstimulation and OMG my kids are driving me crazy


OMG are my kids in rare form today.  Emmett has been melting down all morning and Elliott has been literally bouncing off the walls.  Neither one of the two youngest can be still. 

Gavin is the only one listening and following the rules. 

It’s like they are hopped up on something.  Realistically,  this is all overstimulation and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.  We’re going to have to limit their exposure to anything,  even remotely stimulating.

This is not an easy task but it must be done.  Until someone invents a destimulator, there isn’t much else we can do but wait it out.   :-(

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Feb 23 2012

Life After My Broken Heart


A message from the author, Rob Gorski:

This post is a day late and a dollar short. I have been wanting to write a follow up to My Broken Heart for quite sometime now. It’s really hard for me to put into words just how much meeting the bare-handed man has affected me. I was so upset and depressed in the months following this experience that I ended up back on antidepressants. I just couldn’t understand how this kind of thing could happen and I still don’t. We live in a world that has its priorities in the wrong places.

As a society, we seem to value money, power, fame and fortune. We can put a man on the moon and pay an athlete millions of dollars a year to play a game. However, when it comes to helping those in need, the ones that society has failed and forgotten or otherwise devalued and dehumanized for being different it’s a whole other story. That is something I will never understand or accept.

Life After My Broken Heart

It was one year ago today, that I met the bare-handed man for the first time.  I say for the first time because I have actually met him several other times this past year. I have wanted to write about this for awhile but to many things happened this year that captured my attention and held it hostage. Among those things were my youngest and middle child both being diagnosed, officially, with Autism.

Meeting the bare-handed man last year, was a truly profound experience. There are few things in my life that have had this type of complete, all encompassing impact on me.  The most important of these life altering events being the birth of my children. Trying to put the impact these events had on me into words is no easy task.

It’s like somewhere,  buried deep inside me, is this pocket of emotion.  Very much like the magma buried deep beneath the cauldron of a volcano. This pocket of emotion, over time, builds up pressure. As more time passes, it works its way closer and closer to the surface and yet never quite reveals its presence. It takes a truly earth shaking event to trigger a release of this built up pressure. When it does eventually release, it’s in the form of an uncontrollable eruption. In the case of the the volcano, the eruption consists of hot ash and molten rock. In my case, it’s an eruption of uncontrollable emotions.

When I witnessed the birth of my children, I experienced one of these emotional eruptions to such a degree that I literally wept and was unable to stop.  There is such a vulnerability attached to this type of experience and perhaps that’s why they are so few and far between.

Meeting the bare handed man and witnessing the cruel way in which he was treated, led to the only other time I have experienced such an emotional eruption. Since I first met him on February 22 of last year,  I have spoken with him several times.  I’ve never set out to find him but it seems he always finds me. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I suppose I just wasn’t prepared to go through this multiple times.

A few months after I wrote My Broken Heart our paths crossed again for the first time since that snowy afternoon. This time however, I was at the Walgreens by my house, picking up prescriptions. What I thought was amazing was that he actually remembered me. I’m not sure why that really surprised me, but it did. I took the opportunity to introduce myself and learn more about him.

I introduced myself as Rob and asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tim and he told me where he lived. Although he used the word stayed and not lived. I have a feeling that was significant. We spoke for a few minutes and he asked me for help again. I couldn’t drive him anywhere but I gave him what little I had before we parted ways, this time as friends…or at least knowing each other a little better.

Each time I’ve met him since, I was with someone.


The second time I saw him again, I was with my wife at the Giant Eagle Get-Go putting gas in the car. Ironically, that encounter took place just across the parking lot from where I initially met him. I didn’t have much to offer him, other than the change in my car. He didn’t remember at first but I reminded him that we had met twice before and that seemed to spark something and the memory returned.

The third time we ran into each other, I was with my Dad. We had stopped to pick up some ice cream at the local shop. As we were leaving, I saw Tim approaching people in the parking lot.  It soon became our turn and I introduced him to my Dad. My Dad reached out to shake his hand. I could tell that Tim wasn’t accustomed to the friendly gesture and so to say it was a bit awkward would be an understatement. I didn’t have anything to offer him that night, however, my Dad gave Tim all he had on him at the time. My whole family already knew the story. They knew I had experienced something truly profound on that fateful 22nd day of February. However, being able to meet Tim put things into perspective.

I guess it would be like wearing glasses for the first time. Once you put on the glasses, everything changes. Well, in reality, everything is the same but you just see more clearly. It was a really amazing experience.

My path has crossed with Tim’s only a few times this year. While the few encounters were brief, the experience has taught me a great deal. When I look back over this past year, I realized that meeting Tim had opened my eyes to things I had been closed off to or simply unaware of. I learned just how important it is for me to see what lies just beneath the surface. I learned that beneath the tattered, inappropriately dress for the weather surface, lies a person that needs our understanding and compassion.

You see, there are people out there, all around the world. Just like my friend Tim. They are real and not only need but deserve our love, understanding, acceptance. They are people, human beings and were once, if not still, someone’s child.

Meeting Tim, for me, was like being graced with a glimpse of the future. While there was much about that day that should never have happened, some good did come of it. I was reminded that someday, my kids will be all grown up and I may not be around anymore, something that oddly enough, had escaped me until then. Reality can sometimes leave you feeling like you were kicked in the gut and this was one of those times for me. However, I have become much more aware of what needs to be done in order to both prepare my kids for the world and prepare the world for my kids.

I would like to think that my experience that day, the things I witnessed those people do in that frozen parking lot to my friend Tim, was an isolated incident. Sadly, I know it’s not. Things like this happen all the time. To this writer and father of 3 beautiful boys on the Autism Spectrum, this is simply unacceptable.

We need to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else. We need to do what we can today to help the world better understand kids and adults with Autism. I’ll be completely honest with you. I’m terrified of what the future might hold for my children. I have witnessed just how cruel and unforgiving the world can be to people that are perceived as different. It an ugly reality but one that I’m working to help change.

By working together, we can help those in need and at the same time, lay the foundation in which to help build a better future for our own kids. This blog is dedicated to spreading Autism Awareness and providing support to those traveling on this most challenging of journeys.

Life AfterMy Broken Heart isn’t easy but nothing worth having ever is. Please help spread Autism Awareness, even if it’s one person at a time. Remember that the Autistic children of today will be the Autistic adults of tomorrow. Let’s help to ensure that what happened to my friend Tim in the parking lot of the Giant Eagle, doesn’t have to happen to anyone else, ever again.


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Feb 12 2012

When medications do more harm than good


The Lost and Tired family is no stranger to medications. Gavin has been medicated for a very long time.

In all the years Gavin has had to take medications,  we have only ever had one major problem.  That one problem was a very,  very serious and life threatening one,  but we made it through.

Medications,  while not something we take lightly,  have become a necessary evil.  They have become a fundamental part of our lives and for the most part,  they have brought about positive change.

Over the past few months,  we have been discussing the possibility of having to put Elliott,  our 5 year old,  on medication for his anxiety.

Elliott has been struggling with anxiety for awhile now. 

It really began to get out of control last year when he became very preoccupied with germs.

You may recall,  from past blog posts,  that Elliott began obsessively washing his hands with hand sanitizer.  It got to the point that he was sneaking away to wash his hands.  You could see the relief in his eyes when he would rub the hand sanitizer on his hands.

Over the last year,  his anxiety levels have continued to climb.  They reached a point where they are now compromising his quality of life.

As I mentioned earlier, a few months ago we began discussing the possibility of providing relief to Elliott in the form of medication.  He was already in therapy every week and we had really run out of ways to help him.

Medications have always been a last resort for us, especially when it comes to our kids. 

However,  we also realize that medications serve a very real purpose,  when used correctly and for the right reasons.

While it’s true that the entire Lost and Tired family benefits from improvements brought on by these medications,  that isn’t the deciding factor. 

When we are trying to decide what to do,  we talk to our doctors,  therapists,  teachers ect. Lizze and I do exhaustive research on the potential medication and then weigh the pros and cons.

Then and only then,  will we make a decision.

Of course, life and death situations are the exception to this rule. If the kids are sick,  we give them whatever they need to get better. I’m referring to mental health related issues,  that may require the use of medication.

Having said that,  even when you try and cover every possible angle.  Even when you research as much as you possibly can,  or learn everything there is to know about the particular medication in question, there are no guarantees.

We were recently reminded of this very fact.

We started Elliott on 5 mg of Zoloft.  That is an extremely low dosage.  Elliott’s doctor wanted the low dose because we were only looking to treat the anxiety.  Zoloft,  in low doses,  is used for that exact reason.

Instead of relieving his anxiety, it made things worse. He went into a manic state and experienced rapid and extreme mood swings.

We contacted the doctor and after only three days and a total of 15 mg of Zoloft,  we were told to discontinue the medication.

We were told watch Elliott for the next 48 hours and call them back if he doesn’t get better.

He missed two days of school last week and will be missing school again on Monday,  as a result of the reaction he is having to the Zoloft.

I said, the reaction he is having because he is still struggling.

This is the third night in a row that he won’t go to sleep.  We tried melatonin,  our usual go to sleep aide,  but it doesn’t help anymore.

We spoke with the doctor again today and they told us to give him 1 mg of benadryl
at 5:30pm tonight. If he didn’t fall asleep within 30 minutes,  we were to give him another 1 mg of benadryl.

Since the melatonin was not working,  this was a safe alternative to help him fall asleep.

Unfortunately,  that was 5 or 6 hours ago.  As I’m writing this,  I sitting on the floor in his room watching Rugrats as he laying in bed kicking his feet like he’s swimming.

He isn’t even close to falling asleep.

There was absolutely no way we could have predicted this when deciding to try the Zoloft.

Every person is different and so their particular body chemistry can react uniquely to a medication. This can lead to undesirable results.

No matter how careful you are,  or how much you research, when giving any child a medication,  there are no guarantees. There are no guarantees that it will work the way it’s supposed to.  There are no guarantees that there won’t be any side effects.

As I said,  we were reminded of that a few days ago. Will this make us anti-medication?  Of course not. 

While we made need to try a different medication in order to help Elliott,  we will exercise a bit more caution this time around.

Elliott needs relief from his extreme anxiety. If we refuse medications in the future because of our experience with Zoloft,  we may miss an opportunity to provide Elliott with the relief he so desperately needs.

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired Registered & Protected

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Feb 02 2012

Why must everything be such a challenge


My kids have everything been in rare form all day

I mentioned earlier about Emmett starting another flare up.  Gavin is being….actually Gavin is doing pretty well,  all things considered.

Elliott on the other hand is just an emotional mess. He cries at the drop of a hat and is generally more difficult to keep moving.  I don’t know how to really helpful him but I’m really hoping the Zoloft helps to ease his anxiety because this little boy is just a bit higher strung lately.

I think I would die,  I would just literally die,  if I could say “please go get ready for bed” and it actually happened. 

Instead,  I have to remind Gavin because he forgot what he was supposed to do before he made it to the top of the stairs.  Emmett won’t wear clothes anyway and at bedtime,  it works to our advantage. However,  he hates brushing his teeth. Let me rephrase that.  He likes brushing his own teeth but doesn’t like us to do it for him.

Elliott will stall as much as he possibly can.  Then he will get all worked up and before we know it,  the tears begin to fall.

It takes a huge amount of effort just to get them ready for least most of the time anyway.

I love my kids more than anything in the world,  I really do.  However,  I still wish things weren’t always such a freaking challenge. Ya know what I mean?  I’m sure at least some of you out there know what I’m talking about.

I would be awesome to be able to make one dinner and not have to make different things for different texture and sensory needs.

It would be nice to be able to be able to get the kids ready for and then into bed within a reasonable amount of time and with minimal effort.

I’m so tired of battling insurance companies,  schools,  idiot neighbors and family that just never seem to get it. I’m tired of trusting the wrong people and finding out that we have been lied to.

I just wish there was a dimmer switch for the level of challenge we face sometimes. When things get to be to much,  I could simply dial things back a little bit.

Wishful thinking,  I know but it would still be nice……

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