First Day of School

Tyler is starting school on Monday. Today is the day that it finally really hits me. No longer is this an occurrence that will happen in the future or near future. It is here. Parents have a lot of worries about their kids going into school.

Tyler is not potty-trained yet. There will be times he will need to go to a quiet place to come down from an overload. We are going to have to pay the school for every breakfast and lunch because what Tyler will eat does not qualify for an acceptable brought meal. The list of requirements for his meals is a portion size specific list that has protein, vegetables, fruit, carbohydrates, and dairy. Tyler won’t eat protein, vegetables, or fruit. He can become sick if he consumes too much dairy. So instead of sending him off to school with the food he will eat, we are going to buy him school meals. I am hoping that watching the other children eat these foods will motivate him to give them a try, but this is something no one has been able to make any progress in so far. His parents, his grandparents (both sets), and his therapists have never been able to get him to broaden his range of edible foods. I have always been a very picky eater and as I grew I accepted more and more foods into my diet. Improvements will come, but they will come on Tyler’s schedule.

I am nervous about Tyler’s teacher finding out that he is still in diapers, but this is an important time for me to remember not to allow expectations (good and bad) to dictate the outcome of a situation. It is what it is and that is all there is to it.

I am actually sad that there is no list of cute crayons and notebooks that I need to buy. I know these lists will come soon and then I will be mortified with the cost, but I enjoy buying things like crayons. Thinking about all of the crafts and letter learning he is going to do is very exciting to me. This is the beginning of a new chapter in Tyler’s life. He will meet new kids of his own age and be able to play with them. His therapists are at the school and can do his therapy while he is there.

This really is an amazing opportunity for him. He is going to be in a 4-year-old program so he is starting a year early. This is going to give him a huge advantage.

I am going to bawl like a baby after I have dropped him off Monday morning.

Good luck, my sweet little guy! I love you! Keep trying, you can do this! You are my strong, brave little man!

From my heart,


In a mere 7 weeks, our family and friends are participating in the Arkansas Walk Now for Autism Speaks to raise support for Autism Speaks. We would love to have your support for this great cause. The website for my Walk Page is Go to the main page and search for Team Ty-ty to learn more about our team and to join us!


(c) Rachel Flinchum 8/15/2013


Day 2 of Potty-Training (For Reals This Time)

I knew when I started potty training Tyler he only showed 2 of the 6 signs of an autistic child being ready to potty train.

What I didn’t know was whether or not my being at work during the week was interfering with a For Reals effort.

After two days of potty training, I have come to the conclusion that Tyler is not physically capable of either knowing he needs to go or keeping himself from doing it as it happens.

He sits on the potty now when I ask him to but does not understand trying to pee. He also is very embarrassed when he wets his clothes and will try to hide it. But when I ask him why he didn’t let me know he needed to go in between the every fifteen minute potty sessions, he looks lost. He only looks like that when something is beyond his comprehension. He also doesn’t seem to care or notice when he goes on the toilet, even with all my mega-praise.

He has also started having stronger physical reactions to it. He starts shaking and stimming with his hands. He loses all speech when he has wet clothes or is in between clothes changing.

We have moved from diapers to pull-ups at night with underwear during the day. So a full-time transition from diapers to pull-ups is a big step up.

Two days is not a long time to try potty training. But I know my son and I know he is just not capable of doing this right now. I am glad I took time off work to be with him and figure this out. It gives me a great measure of peace about the fact that it hasn’t happened yet.

I have two more days off with Tyler before I go back to work. The other issue that Tyler has been having is decreased verbal communication and interaction with people.

Time to accept victory over moving beyond diapers to pull-ups and focus on building Tyler up and encouraging him to talk and interact.

Time to play! Heaven knows Tyler and I need a little playdoh time after the past two days.

I would like to thank everyone for their advice and support during this effort. We haven’t given up. Just giving Tyler’s body more time to mature.

My mind is split in two right now as I fight to reconcile my perfectionist side which hates defeat and my mommy side which is learning to interpret defeats as a victory in something unintended. We all fail…if we did not, would we ever learn anything?

I feel like I have been learning A LOT lately. There is still A LOT I don’t know yet. Maybe playdoh can show me some answers.

From my heart,

My beautiful boy bathing with bubbles


If you are able and interested, please consider a donation to Autism Speaks to help families like mine.

(C) Rachel Flinchum