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

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Dec 14 2012

Dedicated to all the victims of the Connecticut shooting


Regardless of your personal beliefs, what happened today in Connecticut is an absolute tragedy. Please put what divides us aside for right now and join hands in a moment of silence for the victims of today’s tragedy. 

With that said…….

Very rarely am I at a loss for words but……….I am today.

My heart breaks for all the children and families affected by the Connecticut school shooting today. The loss of life is beyond a senseless tragedy. I want to say how completely heartbroken for those killed in this despicable act.

Everyone is in our thoughts and prayers and will remain there. angels_never_leave

As a parent, this is my absolute worst nightmare and I can’t even begin to understand what these parents are going through.

Please hug your children tonight and be thankful that you have them.

As a society, we have to work together, despite our differences, be it race, religion or political beliefs and do everything possible and then some, to ensure this never happens again.

When I personally experience a tragedy, I tend to find meaning and comfort in music. For that reason, I wanted to share two songs I felt compelled to listen to after hearing about today‘s events.

Please keep all those involved in today‘s shooting, the victims, their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers.


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Jun 05 2012

#Autism and Occupational Therapy


Every once in awhile,  I’m totally floored by my kids. Today was one of those days. This is something that shows me,  just how incredibly intelligent Emmett is,  despite his delays.

This post will really be appreciated by our friend Julia. She’s our go to person for all things OT and PT and she has become a really good friend to the Lost and Tired family.

Emmett and I were shooting baskets when he decided to turn the trampoline on end and lean it against the wall.  Next he began bouncing a ball off the trampoline and catching it.  This was something he did at PT and OT,  the only difference being, the use of weighted balls,  which we don’t have access to.

Either way,  to me,  this is a huge stride towards independence.  I’m so totally proud of him.

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May 30 2012

Phoneless for my family


This auction directly helps my family

Hello everyone. I’ve been largely absent today because I have had a few things come up that I had to address right away. Basically, we have had some expense come up that I simply cannot cover. However, I have a fix in the works that will hopefully help.

As you all know, I’m a techy and I love all things android. In order to address these recent issues and better provide for my family, I’ve listed my New Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Sprint) on Ebay. Yes this means I will be without a phone, at least for awhile, but I’m okay with that. As part of the auction, I’m including a ton of extras, basically everything that I have to sweeten the pot. These are all things I have received from various promotions or gift cards and they are significant.

My goal is to bring in at least $400 from this auction. If I hit the $400 mark, then the auction winner with receive the phone and all  the accessories. If the auction ends for less, the winner will receive the phone but not the extras. Make sense?

While I hate the idea of doing this, I love my family and I have to do what is needed. I have not regrets. :-)

I know this may not seem like a big deal to many of you but 99% of this blog was run from my phone, making it my outlet. Having said that, all I’m asking is that you help spread the word about the auction. I would really appreciate that. The auction is running for the next 24 hours and will end when someone uses the BUY IT NOW or about 2:30pm EST on Thursday, May 31st.

Below is the information for the auction as well as links :-)

Thank you all in advance for helping me get the word out. I really do appreciate the help…

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May 26 2012

I’m selling my Samsung Transform Ultra


This is just an FYI. I have listed a new Samsung Transform Ultra from Sprint. There is no contract required and the ESN is clean. I’m selling this 2 week old phone in order to bring in some extra money to cover the travel expenses for next weeks doctors visits. We have a couple appointments at Akron Children’s Hospital for infectious disease and immunology.

I figured that I would list some of the things that I can sell.

Please only bid if you actually need it. In other words, please don’t feel obligated to bid, solely to help us out. I just sharing this to spread word about the auction, that’s all.

The auction is only for the next 23 hours.

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May 15 2012

Today’s Victory: 05/15/2012


The boys were all driving me crazy and I mean banging my head into a wall crazy. In a last ditch effort to broker a peace deal,  I took them outside,  which is something we don’t always like to do in our neighborhood.

We got the tee ball set out of the garage and set it up.

Elliott and Emmett took turns hitting while Gavin played outfielder.  Gavin didn’t get to hit because he would have likely broken something as he’s really aggressive and this was meant for Emmett.

My kids completely surprised me.  They all got along and Emmett and Elliott actually took turns hitting,  all by themselves. It was really,  really nice and I’m so proud of my 3 boys.

This is one huge friggin victory for the Lost and Tired family.  :-)

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May 08 2012

What is #Autism: Running For Autism


Running For Autism

Meet Kristen and check out her awesome blog, it’s at Follow her on Facebook at and find her on Twitter, her handle is @running4autism.


When we first got hit with my firstborn son George’s autism diagnosis, people kept telling us it was a good thing. Now that we knew what was wrong, they said, we could find out more about it and get the right services in place. We could get George on the waiting list for this service or that funding. We had a word, a specific condition, to Google.

These well-meaning folks, most of whom did not have any first-hand knowledge of special needs parenting, made it sound so easy. All of the answers and help we needed, just a phone call away.

In practice, this should have been true. In Ontario, autism services – specifically, IBI therapy, which falls within ABA – are funded by the government. That’s the good news. The bad news is that not all individuals with autism qualify. Even though we had in our hot little hands a fifteen-page report detailing the level of George’s autism and what his strengths and deficits were, we had to take him to be assessed by a government social worker. The results of this assessment would determine our eligibility for services.

We were a collective bag of nerves on the day of the assessment: George because he was being lugged across the city to unfamiliar faces at a strange place, and me and my husband because so much was riding on this day. If the assessment did not go in our favour, we would have to fund the IBI therapy ourselves, and we hardly had two beans to rub together.

After the assessment, we couldn’t get a sense of which way the wind was blowing, and we went through three unbearable weeks before we got the results.

I cried when I finally got the news that George had been deemed eligible. Gut-wrenching sobs of relief for us, and tears of sorrow for all of those families who weren’t so lucky.

After languishing on the provincial waiting list for another year and a half, George finally started IBI therapy. We were nervous about it: we were well aware that if he did not make notable progress, he could be removed from the program, which was strapped for government funding.

As it turned out, George could have been a poster child for IBI. Going in, he had virtually no communication skills and no daily living skills, and a multitude of issues relating to behaviour and emotional regulation. We started seeing results within two weeks of him entering the program. He got better at making verbal requests, there were fewer scary head-banging incidents, and a true aptitude for numbers emerged.

In his first year of services, George made 23 months worth of gains. This was nothing short of phenomenal. No-one had expected him to launch himself on this kind of trajectory. The potential in this kid just exploded. Far from being discharged from the program, the staff at the therapy center were itching to see what they could accomplish with him.

Over the next two years, we gradually shifted the bulk of George’s time from the IBI program to the special ed class at his school. Almost every day we saw some form of progress. By the time he made the transition to full-time school, he was making requests using full sentences, he was initiating some simple social exchanges, and he had learned a number of valuable daily living skills. We also started seeing the emergence of his quirky sense of humour (it has to be said: the kid is funny.)

It hasn’t all been plain sailing. George still has some intense challenges. He panics when his hair is washed or his nails are cut. He still doesn’t talk unless he absolutely has to, and his social communication skills still lag far behind. He struggles with emotional regulation and has meltdowns that break my heart. Any change to his regular routine is enough to send him into a tailspin.

As hard as it is, and as much as I sometimes want to hide in a corner with my hands over my head, the good far outweighs the bad. When I look at George, I see a child who is smart and funny, who sees the world differently to the rest of us. I see a child whose way of thinking is totally unique yet sometimes, highly effective. He can focus intensely on something that interests him, and he pays careful attention to detail.

At the same time, he is chock-full of love, never short of a hug for me, his dad, and his little brother.

He is an amazing kid, and as long as he continues to receive the support he needs, the sky will be the limit for him.

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Apr 16 2012

#Autism Stories: Nathan’s Voice


I have had the pleasure on knowing Lorrie Servati author of Nathan’s Voice for awhile now. She is an amazing writer, #Autism advocate and friend. I encourage you all to take the time check her site out and learn about #Autism through Nathan’s Voice. 

Lorrie, it’s an honor to share your amazing story with my readers. Thank you for allowing me to do so. :-)

The Life Story of Nathan’s Voice


I have been blessed with one beautiful daughter, three handsome sons, a energetic grandson and a precious granddaughter. My husband and I have been together for almost thirteen years and getting ready to celebrate eleven years of marriage. We dated for almost a year and a half before getting married. This is mostly due to the previous relationships that each of us had experienced. If I was going to commit to a relationship, it was important that this person accept my daughter, my son and I as a package deal. I quickly realized that this wonderful man was put in my life for a reason. My daughter and son were afraid that my new husband would try to replace their father, instead he offered them additional support and treated them like they were his children.

Vincent was born a little over ten years ago. When I returned to work after having him, we thought that we had found a good home day care. I dropped him off one morning on my way to work and there was a child with green snot caked on his nose standing just inside the playroom. The woman whom I trusted to care for my infant promised that he was just waiting for his parents to come pick him back up. I made the mistake in believing her because the next morning I was taking my son to the hospital because he was running a fever and was having difficulty breathing. My infant son was only two and a half months old and he was being given breathing treatments every four hours. He had been exposed to an upper respiratory infection by one of the children at the home day care. When my husband and I were able to take him home, we decided that I should become a stay at home mom, or sometimes referred to as SAHM.

It was almost six years later, we found out that Vincent has had only one kidney since birth. This means that skateboards, trampolines, football, joining the military like his older brother, race car driving and motorcycle racing are things that our son should not dream of. My sister, who is a RN and works in dialysis, has already explained to him that if his one kidney is damaged, he would have to do dialysis for the rest of his life. Even if he doesn’t fully understand the consequences, we did.

Just four months later, our youngest son, Nathan, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I was sitting in the office of the Special Education Department at our local School Board. Nathan was playing with toys behind me, oblivious to what was happening around him. The school psychologist had just brought Nathan back into the room where I was while he was being evaluated. She sat down across the table from me and said “Your child has Autism”. I felt like I had been knocked off my feet! The recent development was not exactly what we imagined for either of our sons but, our family believes in Philippians 4:13 where it says that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. God has always taken care of us, even though we may not agree with His designs.

During the next few months, I spent a lot of time searching for answers on the internet. I became more familiar with my son’s diagnosis and more comfortable with being his voice to the outside world. In the course of my search, I found that there was a Autism Speaks walk that was scheduled to happen in our area. I immediately registered and started our Family and Friends Team “Nathan’s Voice” making myself the Team Captain. The four of us walked in support of Nathan the first year. Several of our family and church members joined us over the next three (3) years. That type of support was important to us as a family.

Nathan was going to start kindergarten in about five months and I started working with him on communication and interaction with others. This was critical because he had difficulty doing anything that was not of interest to him. If it didn’t intrigue him and hold his focus, it wasn’t worth his time. This is where the red CVS pharmacy savings card became more than a discount card. He was so taken with it that he kept snatching it from my purse. No matter how much effort I put into hiding it, he always found it! So his Kindergarten teacher and I came up with rules for Nathan to be able to have access to the ever so popular red savings card. When Nathan got to class each morning, he would hand it to his teacher for the day. If Nathan listened to his teacher, followed her directions and made good behavior choices then the red card would stay in one of her pockets indicating he would get it back at the end of the day. But, if Nathan didn’t respond appropriately when he was asked to make the right decision, his beloved red savings card was moved to another pocket. This meant that it would stay at school, in his teacher’s possession, until the next day when he would start with a clean slate. That only happened a few times. It upset him so much that I asked the store for another one and let him “visit” it for thirty minutes after we talked about why he couldn’t keep it. This was a major adaptation in Nathan learning positive behavior

When Nathan started first grade, it was quite a transition because kindergarten had only been half a day. I spent most days volunteering at his elementary school, unless I was assisting in his classroom. With his teacher’s permission, I read to his class once a week and brought a small reward for listening to the story. I went on class field trips, helped with class parties and made myself available for anytime Nathan’s teacher needed my assistance with Nathan. I started noticing that I spent more time at school than I did at home but, it was worth it in the big picture scheme of things.

By the time that Nathan had started second grade, I thought that I would be able to juggle a part time job as a substitute teacher and still help at the school when needed. I couldn’t have been more wrong…it complicated things for everyone, especially Nathan! Even though I had made sure to tell Nathan’s elementary school that I was available as a substitute teacher, the only jobs that I was receiving were from the middle school in the special education department. The problem was that their classes started and ended almost an hour later than the elementary where my boys attended. My dear husband was willing to help pick them up in the afternoon, at first. After a while, he complained that he wasn’t able to finish what he needed to do before he had to drop everything to come get the boys. I knew that I needed to do a better job of managing my family to get things back on track.

Nathan had begun to have problems in school and it was probably due to my not being as available as I needed to be during the day. His second grade teacher, who seemed so understanding at the beginning of the year, had evidently been optimistic when it came to working with Nathan. She was becoming irritated with everything that he did and it was affecting him to the point that he didn’t want to go to school. I tried talking to her about what I could do to help her, Nathan and the rest of the class while we figured out how to get the situation resolved. His teacher kept telling me she had it under control but, all I saw was her taking out her frustrations on Nathan by taking his recess away when something didn’t go as she had planned. There weren’t any positive reinforcements being used in her classroom and it seemed as if she had given up on him. I was fortunate that his special education teacher and case manager had asked me to cover a month of her classes while she was on maternity leave. This was my foot in the door at the elementary school to show the other teachers that I was available to handle their classes, when and if they needed me to.

Nathan made it through the rest of the school year with a few minor incidents. His class was having P.E. outside on day and when the teacher blew her whistle for the students to line up but, he decided that he wasn’t quite ready to stop playing. He ignored her, which was wrong but, how she and her assistant reacted made the situation worse. Nathan was in “play mode” and when the P.E. teachers approached him, thinking that they wanted to play “tag”, he ran away from them! This made them mad and he was suspended for one day as a result of the situation they created. I explained to them that his disorder made him process everything different than what another child would. If that type of situation presented itself in the future, to stand completely still while using a stern voice asking him to line up. This would prevent the possibility of Nathan misunderstanding what they are trying to communicate to him. Nothing like that has ever happened again.

Over the summer break, I began to get frustrated over how the school year had gone and how misunderstood my child was. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was on twitter and someone asked why I wasn’t blogging about our experiences. It started me thinking that this might be the way to document Nathan’s diagnosis and progress for him to look back on as he got older. I would be able to keep friends and family up to date on what was going on with Nathan, Vincent, Paul, Candace, my husband and I in the form of a blog. If what I shared helped other families, then that would be a bonus!

Since I started my blog, Nathan’s Voice, I have met so many wonderful parents with children on the autism spectrum. I am happy that I made the decision to start blogging when I did. It has been quite therapeutic, helped me record Nathan’s progress, keep track of everything that we have been through, what worked in helping Nathan and what aggravated him! The little blog that I started almost a year ago now offers a variety of resources besides the details of our own experiences with Nathan’s autism spectrum disorder. We welcome anyone that wants to check out our autism blog!


Lorrie Servati
Autism Understanding & Acceptance
@NathansVoice on twitter

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