Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism, Education and Special Needs

Blog #145~Hitting Milestones, Moving On

Blog #145~Hitting Milestones, Moving On


This weekend we had a big milestone.  Nick’s brother Hank, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Communication.  Nick is 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  He recently reached his own milestone, finishing up the Post-Secondary transition program.  Nick now attends an adult day program.  He has a full day with activities including on site activities, community trips, vocational jobs (recycling, cleaning both on site and at a local church), and working a food pantry).  He keeps busy and is very happy in this new program.


On the way to the NIU campus, we passed by his old high school. I pointed MVHS out to Nick and he instantly replied and signed, “All done”.  My niece, Anna, their Grandpa Jim, and I were astonished.  Nick recognized that he had been there, done that and had moved on.

Nick at MVHS graduation a few years ago, held at NIU Convocation Center…


The mood in the NIU Convocation Center was festive.  Nick swayed back and forth in his seat to the music of the steel drum band jamming in the background. I’ve never heard the Pomp and Circumstance played quite like this.  Instead of getting teary eyed as I normally would, it felt more like a delightful celebration.

NIU Steel  Drum Band=Awesome!


Nick was very patient and kept quiet through all the speeches.  It was a lovely day, and a proud moment for the whole family. Nick’s Dad was full of pride, as he is an alum of NIU and also a marketing major.


Nick looks like he is eyeing an alarm in this picture, doesn’t he?  He didn’t pull one on graduation day (whew)!  But, he did get another last Friday at his adult day program site.


Current count=36 fire alarm pulls.

At last, both of my sons are done with school and moving onto their adult lives.  My wish is for Hank and Nick is for them to feel productive, contribute to society, and be happy in all they do.  I am very proud of my guys.  It was a good day at sea.  That’s what’s in my noggin this week.


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Posted in Autism, Down syndrome

Blog #95~ Do Just One Thing

Blog #95~ Do Just One Thing

It feels like a Monday morning.  I’m bouncing around from one thing to the next and getting off track in the process.  I started a load of laundry and took off upstairs to grab my sweaty gym clothes. Speaking of the gym, what playlist am I going to use for spin class tonight?  I paused at the bottom of the stairwell to rescue a drooping hydrangea flower which badly needed water. While upstairs I made the bed, grabbed some hangers and scooped up another basket of dirty clothes.  I heard a strange noise coming out of the laundry room.  The spin cycle wasn’t working on the trusty Kenmore, crap!  I sat down at the computer to schedule a service appointment, but the dryer buzzer went off.  I’d already hit the fluff cycle twice.  Stop and fold them now T!    I tried the spin cycle a few more times, but no go.  After wringing out each piece of clothing and putting them in the dryer, I sat back down to the computer.  What was I doing on it earlier?  I better pop another K-cup in, I have lost my focus.


 The phone rang and on the other end was a message regarding problems with DHS (Department of Human Services) and an old timesheet from April 2013.  That’s just great.  What was I going to do on the computer?  Oh, that’s right I need to schedule a service appointment. Sometimes I wonder…….

Do I have ADHD?


So, here is my to-do list for the week:

Finish resource list for NADS

Schedule NIU lecture and get respite for Nick

Fill out PACT survey

Deposit Nick’s stipend checks

Write article for NADS newsletter

Research essential oils and Bach Flower Remedy

Make Nick’s visual shopping list for fridge

Get eye exam (I am completely out of contacts)

Write thank you notes

Plant flowers

Over half of the list items are related to Nick and his special needs. Managing his adult affairs has become another part time job.  But, I refuse to freak out today.  I’m certain that there are lots of moms *running around like a chicken with their head cut off, much like me.

chicken with head cut off

I am going to follow my own advice from last week’s blog.  Don’t beat yourself up T.  Prioritize this list.  So I made the service appointment- Check!   As for the rest,  I’m going to take a breath, slow down and focus on just one thing.  That’s what is in my noggin this week!

~Teresa 🙂

*According to Wiki Answers:  A chicken with its head cut off tends to still run around aimlessly for several minutes after death. This is because the nerves in the body are still active for a short time. The saying “like a chicken with its head cut off” is a shortened version of “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”