Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #146~The Many Faces of Nick

Blog #146~The Many Faces of Nick

I was cleaning out the camera roll on my iPhone the other day.  There are so many funny pictures of Nick.  My son is 22 years old, he has Down syndrome and autism.  This week, a light hearted piece, featuring the many faces of Nick.

I could never get Nick to wear hat and gloves on any frigid, winter day here in Chicago.  He’ll leave the house with them on.  But, flings them off before the yellow bus pulled away from the curb.  Yet, he willingly wears hats and gloves (on his own terms) around the house…….

“Elmer Fud Nick”

Nick Elmer Fud

“Snow Bunny Nick”

nick snow bunny

“Gloved Nick”

Nick gloved

“Hoodie Nick”

nick hoodie

Then, there are the random things he gets a hold of……

“Suction Cup Nick”

Nick suction cup

“Wrestling Team Nick”

Nick Wrestling

“Googly Eyes Nick”

Nick Googly eyes

“Salad Ninja Nick”

Nick salad ninja

“Silly Nose Nick”

Nick Silly Nose

“Seatbelt Nick”

Nick seatbelt

“Fashionista Nick”

Nick fashionista

“Collegiate Nick”

Nick College

Here’s a couple using the CamWow and Snap Chat Apps…….

“Infared Nick”

Nick infared

“Twin Nicks” (Can you imagine that?)

nick twin

 

“Pantomime Nick”

nick pantomine

“Rainbow Burst Nick”

nick rainbow

Hey Nick, The Village People called.  They want their costume back…

nick police

I hope you enjoyed the many faces of Nick.  He’s quite a character.  I love this guy and his sense of humor.  Many thanks to his respite caregivers, Jodi and Kelsey for capturing several of these moments.  Have a great week, and take some time do something silly like Nick.  That’s what is in my noggin this week!

~Teresa

Follow Nick:

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Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism, Fun Side of Nick

Mother’s Day Break

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Break

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  This week, I am giving myself a break on posting a blog.  My son Nick, has Down syndrome and autism and is 22 years old.  He is doing great in his adult day program.  Well, except for one thing. Yes, the spell has been broken.  But, he did manage to make it 3 full months without pulling a fire alarm.

firelite-pull-station

Current fire alarm pull count=35 pulls since third grade

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It’s Nick’s world, the rest of us are just trying to keep up!  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa

Follow Nick:  (See what he’s doing with a mallet)

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Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Education and Special Needs, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #136~Nick Turns 22

Blog #136~Nick Turns 22

I got a bit choked up buying these candles the other day.  What is the significance of 22?  That is the birthday in which a child with special needs ages out of the school system and enters the adult world.  My son Nick, has Down syndrome and autism.  Yesterday was his 22nd birthday.

22 candles.jpg

Last Friday was Nick’s last day in school.  They celebrated his birthday and wished him good luck….

22 birthday cake.jpg

Make a wish Big Guy! 🙂

22 wish

Nick had a wonderful experience in his Post-Secondary Transition Program (STEPS).  It was hard to say goodbye.  The cord has been cut, and the little yellow bus made it’s final stop to the door……..

bus last day.jpg

Nick’s birthday celebration continued over the weekend with family at Mr. Benny’s Restaurant in Frankfort. Nick enjoyed a nice steak dinner and another round of singing Happy Birthday.  We celebrated both Nick and his Dad’s (which is the day before his).

22 Nick and Dad

Yesterday (Nick’s actual birthday), we made a run to the border.  Oh happy day! 🙂

22 nick taco bell

Nick had a great time and we thank you all for the well wishes. We look forward to sharing the new adventures that lie ahead.  Nick started his new adult day program full time today. The fire alarm pull count is at 34 since third grade, but for how long?  Cheers to you Nick, for making us smile and keeping our reflexes razor sharp.   That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Follow Nick:

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Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thanks for reading and sharing Nick’s world.  A new blog coming in two weeks!  In the meantime be sure to check out our Facebook page (Down syndrome with a Slice of Autism) for daily pictures, articles and other musings.  And there are plenty of blogs to read in the archives. 🙂

Cheers,

Teresa

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick, Recreation/Leisure and Special Needs

Update~Nick’s World

Update~Nick’s World

I just got back from a routine doctor’s appointment for Nick.  He completely enjoyed imitating the coughing and throat clearing sounds the gentlemen next to us in the waiting room.  Since the morning has dwindled away, I am opting to give you and update on Nick’s world instead of pulling something out of my noggin to write.  Nick is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  Here’s a little slice of his world and what he’s been up to (besides imitating others hacking and sneezing)………

Nick attends a post-secondary transition program called STEPS.  His days are full of work jobs,  occupational and speech therapy, cooking, community trips and other school-related activities.  A big thank you to Jodi, who took many of these pictures of Nick’s world.

Nick helps to make ice packs which he delivers to the schools in our district….

Nick delivery

Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong, guess who’s here?

Nick delivery 2

Community trip bowling…..

Nick bowling ramp

Sensory break time at school……

Nick relaxing.jpg

Dinner with his buddies at Ci Ci’s Pizza……

Nick Ci Ci's

Visit to WVHS Wrestling Team venue, he had to try on the headgear 🙂

Nick Wrestling

Nick dancing in Miss R’s (respite worker) boots….

Nick Dancing

Nick the “winter ninja” relaxing at home…..

Nick Winter Ninja

As you can see, Nick has a very full life which he enjoys every day.  I have to thank his respite workers for taking such good care of him and getting him out into the community.  That’s a slice of Nick’s world and what’s in my noggin this week! 🙂

~Teresa

 

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving

In my noggin this week (besides the to-do list) is a post I wrote two years ago called, “5 Reasons I am Thankful for Nick”. Here’s the link:

https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/blog-755-reasons-i-am-thankful-for-nick/

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for all your support and for reading & sharing Nick’s world.

~Teresa

 

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

I just finished reading Dick Van Dyke’s new book, Keep Moving and other Tips and Truths About Aging. In the book jacket it reads:

“Show-business legend Dick Van Dyke is living proof that life does get better the longer you live it. Who better to offer instruction, advice and humor than someone who’s entering his ninth decade with a jaunty two-step? Van Dyke isn’t just a born song-and-dance man; his irrepressible belief in embracing the moment and unleashing his inner child have proved to be the ultimate elixir of youth.”

Dick Van Dyke Keep Moving

It was a quick read packed with some good advice, tips and anecdotes. After I put the book down, it got me thinking about my son Nick, who is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  Many of the suggestions given are things that my son does every day.  Here are just a few of the many ideas Dick shares:

*Keep moving! If Dick Van Dyke is at the store and hears music playing he starts dancing. Work out regularly.  Van Dyke was on the treadmill humming.  A guy next to him asked, “Hey you’re humming! The rest of us are huffing and puffing and you’re humming.  How do you do that?”  Van Dyke replied, “Vocal cords are muscles too.  But also humming, as with a Buddhist chanting, singing or even an infant making noises as it discovers its voice, sets up a sympathetic frequency in your body that simply feels good.”

Dick Van Dyke at store

*You don’t have to act your age. You don’t even have to feel it. There is no way you have to behave. Be a goofball, have fun, and be silly.

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*Keep your sense of humor. Van Dyke writes, “I once heard someone say that if you can’t laugh at life, you’re missing the joke. I agree.  As far as I’m concerned, a sense of humor is the way we make sense out of nonsense.”

*Have a daily routine. Get up and get moving, make lists, work out, go shopping, learn new things, ask questions, take a nap, and always enjoy a nightly dessert.

*Don’t forget to smile. Don’t forget to make someone else smile 🙂

While these ideas are simple, what stands out to me is having the right attitude to approach each day. It’s the theme which threads through his book.  I see a lot of this in my son. He wakes up; usually cuts a fart and laughs.  If you’ve ever been around Nick, you know that he spends a great amount of time dancing and humming.   He also thrives on his daily routines aided by a picture sequence that serves as his list. And yes, his infectious smile will make your day!

photo (30)

Inside the Keep Moving book jacket really sums up the essence of my message this week. “Dick’s optimistic outlook is an invigorating tonic for anyone who needs a reminder that life should be lived with enthusiasm despite what the calendar says”.  My son Nick embraces this.  He is my daily prompt to live that way each day.  That is what’s in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Education and Special Needs, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #126~Nick and the Varsity Football Team

Blog #126~Nick and the Varsity Football Team

Recently Nick and his respite worker Jodi were taking a walk around the Waubonsie Lake trail. Suddenly, Nick took off running towards the high school.  Jodi scanned past the trail to figure out what Nick was going after.  His face lights up.  Oh no, it’s the “KEY TREE!”

key tree

The football players hang their car keys here.

Nick is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism. Long before the 34 fire alarms he has pulled since third grade, he discovered car remotes.  He sought them out feverishly.  He’d even fish them out of babysitter’s purses, run to the front door, and set off their car alarms.

Back to the key tree…… Nick is cheetah fast when it comes to setting off alarms.  Jodi had no intention of letting Nick disrupt football practice so she sacrificed her own remote to distract him.  Hey, I’ve said it before.  Its Nick’s world, the rest of us are just trying to keep up. 🙂

When football practice was over, Jodi took Nick over to say hi to the team. Her son, Tyler plays center for the Waubonsie Valley High School football team.  Nick is about half his size standing 5’2 and weighing barely 110 pounds soaking wet.

Nick with Tyler….

Nick and Tyler

On Thursday nights after practice, the players get treated to a pasta dinner. Nick helps set up and pour drinks for all the players.  He elbow bumped each player as they came through to get their food.

Nick loves his pasta!

Nick meatballs

He also assisted in cleaning up afterwards…..

Nick and Dan

After dinner Nick helped the coaches pass out the senior’s white jerseys. He kissed each jersey before he tossed them at the players.  They would laugh and elbow bump him as each passed through the line.

Nick has a way of livening things up. The Warrior football players are always excited to see him at practices and dinner.  They have named Nick their “Warrior Dude”.  As a mom, it makes me so happy to know that Nick is getting out in the world, meeting new friends and bringing smiles (and chuckles) along the way.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.  Go Warriors!

Nick and Football team

~Teresa 🙂

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend.  I’m taking the day off and will press a new blog next week.  Until then, if you haven’t read “Stuff On My Cat, Part II”, kick your feet up and enjoy @https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/blog-62stuff-on-my-cat-part-ii/

~Teresa 🙂

Posted in Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Vacation and Special Needs Child

Vacation and Special Needs Child

Last week, Nick put together this task strip.  I think he is ready to go on our annual vacation to the Outer Banks, NC (OBX)!

OBX Task Strip

We have been going to the Outer Banks for the past 5 years. Nick loves the water.  It’s not easy getting a child with special needs to swim independently.  Nick is now 21 and has Down syndrome and autism.  Here’s some information on how he learned how to swim and why we love the beach so much@https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/blog-17-lifes-a-beach/

I hope that you all find your happy place and get to relax this summer.  I know Nick is ready to go!  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂