The Road to an ADHD diagnosis

By now it’s no secret that Alexis has autism. I can see it in her every day life;  the small signs of autism rearing it’s characteristics in my daughter.
The confusion on her face when she sees someones reaction.
The mirror of someone’s expression I see on her face.
I see the confusion when she thinks she is supposed to be laughing, but the person she is communicating with is upset.
Her interaction with children her age is more a parallel play ground than playing with them.
The melt downs, the crying, the confusion, the frustration, the transition from one thing to another, the anger when she isn’t ready or doesn’t have enough warning about things changing.
Routines gone bad.
It’s all triggers for my girl, it’s all there yet so mild that most think of her as a goofy 5 year old. A hyper fun silly and unique 5 year old. Trust me, I see it too. Her awkwardness and silliness to those around her causes her to act out and most of the time you can’t help but laugh at her silly statements or the confused answers she gives. It’s easy to chalk it up to laughter and silliness, but it’s deeper than that.

Being around family over this past Holiday season was not only an eye opener, but a reminder that most view her as a “normal” kindergartner and probably question what in the world this “autism” diagnosis has to do with their little niece, grand daughter, cousin and friend.

What you don’t see is our behind the scenes and the way I know my daughter. When you come in for a hug and she is in a world of hurt not expecting that. She may run away, she may scream in pain and most of the time, when she receives unwanted affection, she screams.

Autism shows it’s head every day and with out warning, but what causes her  most distress is the diagnosed ADHD symptoms. She spins, she role plays, she reacts, she thinks, she hums, she sings and she moves… constantly. There is no off button, and there is no telling her to stop. To have no control over ones own body must be infuriating. To hear her cries and screams “I CAN’T CONTROL MY BODY” not only hurts to hear, but hurts to watch.

Over the last couple weeks it’s been a painful realization that not only does Alexis have Autism, but she is also going to suffer from ADHD. I guess a part of me has always known this, but the fear of what the doctors are going to suggest when we receive this official word is terrifying. MEDICATION!!

How can I medicate a 5 year old who only weighs 40lbs? She’s my little baby.

I put off what needs to happen, the doctor appointments, the therapies because I’m scared but I am doing NO GOOD with this procrastination of the inevitable.

So here we go, into 2017 with a year full of doctor visits, evaluations, debates over medication or not, therapies. In the long run these things are all good. She is so young and we are getting a head start on her future and for that I am so thankful. But I’m scared.


Tag Team Parenting

I am married. I have been married going on 8 years this coming January and for the majority of my married life, my husband and I have worked opposite shifts. I work during the day and he works at night. It sucks, I hate it but we realize it’s what needs to happen. For the most part Monday through Friday my husband and I do a quick “tag your it” as far as parental responsibilities and to be honest with you; I feel I get the brunt of the responsibility. 

During the day is when most action happen with kids, responsibilities, demands, phone calls and basically all things pertaining to life. The business hours in our world are 8-5 and 8-5 is when the hubs sleeps. You can probably guess who gets to take on all the fun? Momma bear. To say the least – it is overwhelming and most of the time I feel like a single parent. To all those single parents out there, I give you credit, respect and a massive amount of applause because this stuff is for the birds.  

When school calls to discuss the kiddos rough day – I answer

Parent teacher conferences/activities/sports/plays – only me

When bills need to be paid – I organize and pay

Sick kiddos during the night – I wipe the snotty noses

Doctor appointments – I miss work

House is a wreck – I put it back together

The biggest and hardest is when the special education coordinator calls to discuss IEP meetings, therapies, behavior issues and any issues pertaining to our youngest during school, who has autism and takes quite a bit of our undivided attention – I attend, discuss and listen  – alone

I parent which includes disciplining, nurturing, teaching, caring and all things involved – by myself 

The list could go on…  

What bothers me most is, this is not what I signed up for. When I got married and had children I was excited to start on this adventure with a partner, someone who I could lean on to take some of the stresses of life. That is not at all how things have turned out. Now, before I start making all my readers, if there are any out there assume that I am bashing my husband … he does what he can do. He makes the big bucks and his contribution is often monetary which I am more than thankful for. We wouldn’t have all we do if it wasn’t for his contribution.

More times than not he works 10 to 12 hour days at a very labor intensive job, rightfully so – he is exhausted when he comes home. Sleeping during the day is not at all like sleeping during the night. Naturally, our bodies don’t understand what you are trying to do so the quality of rest just isn’t there. When he does have some awake time during the week before work – he will do what he feels is sufficient around the house. Reality of that is, the impact those things make on the function of our life, is minimal. (((I’m sorry hunny – you know I love you))) 

At one point, or should I say many points in our life – these things have caused major issues in our marriage. I am not ashamed to say that we have been at a point where divorce was our only option. We have been so close that all it took was signatures to finalize that. When you risk losing everything you have built for the last 10 years you tend to look at life a little differently. You actually think about your decisions and what that decision looks like on the other end. With every action is a reaction, a ripple, a mark on your future and on your children’s future. I am thankful that many long talks, many heart breaking crying fests have changed mine and my husband’s outlook on life and our marriage. We don’t look at quitting as being an option anymore, we look at sacrifice as being something you do.  

With that realization has come acceptance of our roles. Just as I get to be there for my children every single day, my husband misses out and it hurts him. For example – this week marks our oldest daughter turning 10 years old. That is a HUGE milestone that he had to miss out on. He didn’t get to see her on her birthday, he didn’t get to go out to her birthday dinner, he didn’t get to see her excited when the workers at the restaurant sang , “Happy Birthday”. He likely will miss out on her birthday party over the weekend as his work has called mandatory overtime. The reality of “tag team parenting” is ugly and someone ends up missing out and that someone is dad. The girls miss him. I miss him, but this schedule is what needs to be done. I have accepted that I am the one who takes most of the weight of our life and he has accepted he will more than likely miss out on important moments.


This life is definitely not made for everyone. There are moments, few and far between where I get a quick feeling of strength. I look at all I do and think, wow I really am doing a lot and I’m actually doing OK. Most of the time I am left feeling inadequate. I wish I had more energy in a day and I wish I could do EVERYTHING each of my children want me to do. Fact is – I have to know my limits because living as a single parent Monday thru Friday leaves me exhausted. 

We sacrifice and we push through so we can appreciate those two days a week (sometimes just one day) where we are together, all four of us and we soak every last minute up. I’m proud of where we have come in the last 10 years and if we can beat the hurtles that have been placed in our way, we can make it through anything.

Tag team parenting isn’t easy – but it’s worth it!

What do you stand for?

I wouldn’t say I have a large amount of friends on my Facebook page. To be honest, in comparison to some I really am the size of a pea in the world of social media. So I realize what I see and who I interact with is a small portion of people in this world. With that said I am lucky to be in the circle of, in my opinion the most amazingly strong willed, loud voiced, factual and passionate people I have ever met. Some I have never met in real life whom I have been friends with going on a decade, some are people I’ve met in my journey of life/career and a small portion are those I call my real life buddies. Regardless of the relationship with this women/people, they inspire me.


I spend a good portion of my chill time/alone time/me time (whatever you want to call it), with my phone in front of my face scrolling and reading. Often times I will read a post of one of these inspiring people and I will sit in awe. As all humans do; I find myself comparing myself to their life. I question what happened to them in their world that made them that passionate individual? What caused them to stand for something like “that”? I will even say to myself “wow, I wish I had something I could stand for” and “something I can put my all into”.


It’s almost like I begin to put myself down in a way, as if I am not a good enough mom, or I’m not a good enough member of our society or that I must be lacking some form of compassion, empathy or drive. I even begin to question my own parents, parenting. Why didn’t they instill some type of cause to fight for in me?! Why didn’t their parents? The cycle of thoughts can go on and on but recently these thoughts have been met with a sudden thought of clarity.


Just a minute, hold on… that is THEIR path. That is what they feel passionate about. That isn’t who I AM. I am me. Lynsey. I’m a mom, wife, daughter, full time career woman, housekeeper and I assure you the list could go on and on. So what if I can’t save the world from drugs, vaccines, GMO or the campaign to “GO GREEN”. I definitely am not going to change the worlds beliefs on topics such as abortion, immigration, education or unemployment in our country. There are some who may look at those statements as pessimistic, like I’m doubting myself, but I must pick and choose my own battles on my own scale. I acknowledge that I wasn’t born with a voice on that level.


What matters to me is that, in the walls of my house – the little humans I am raising know what is right, and what is wrong. I care that they will be prepared for what that life (with all of the above issues going on) is tough/miserable/ugly/cruel. I am teaching them that you look out for people around you, you lend a helping hand, you stand with integrity even though it might not be the “cool” thing to do. They will know that their word is their bond, when you start something you finish it and you put your all into what you choose to do. No quitting, no excuses and no whining. You will be kind, accepting and forgiving.  They will learn that no one is better than anyone else, we are equals. The words that I hope ring in their ears as they journey through their life, “Never back down from something you feel strongly about in your heart”.


These are the things that are important to me. Those two little girls of mine are my passion. Because one day either of them may see something they don’t like and they will decide to fight against popular belief and feel the passion that I so desperately wished for. I may not have been chosen to be the voice I am envious of in my friends, but I sure as hell plan to give those tools to my daughters just like my parents did with me. They gave me the tools I needed to make being a mom, my priority and passion!  


So I ask myself, What do I stand for?? I stand for my children’s future!

To breathe new life

I am having a hard time putting into words the feeling I have this morning. I think it could best be described as determination and happiness. Happiness?? wow… happiness! This feels good.

Last night my oldest daughter started Girl Scouts. It has been some time since she was a part of something. About a year and a half ago she stopped doing gymnastics. This was both her decision with a combination of my own. Unfortunately funds were low in our family and we had to cut a few recreational activities plus, she was not enjoying it anymore. She would always ask to not go on her gym nights. I decided to stop gymnastics with the full intention that, as soon as finances were back on track that she would join in something. Well, money never got right.

I can almost compare this to families who plan to have a baby…
If you plan for the perfect time to have baby, you will never have a baby because something always happens.

I couldn’t let that stop my kids from joining something. In fact, I believe children MUST be in activities outside of school to keep them focused. Well, after much talk she decided to join girl scouts.  Last night was her first troop meeting. After an hour and a half with her first meeting my daughter ran out of that school happier than I have seen her in a long time. She had made a group of friends and she was on top of the world.

I felt like a new life had swam right thru me. I couldn’t help but smile for my baby girl. We went home and I found I instantly had energy to do things around the house and I was HAPPY.

To see my daughter happy and thriving is one of the most incredible feelings. These are the things we as mothers  must see. When our children are happy, we are happy.

I guess I just wanted to update the world wide web with the fact today – IS A GOOD DAY!

The journey with my other half – depression

I would say that 6 days out of 7 I have a constant inner argument with myself about staying motivated. I’m running out of excuses to stay tucked away in my bed weekend after weekend or pressing snooze on my alarm clock every. single. day. It’s becoming even  more depressing then it has the past few years of my life. The excuse of “i just don’t feel good” or “mommy had a hard week at work” or “daddy needs to do more around the house instead of me”…. I have run out of things to say so all there is, is… “i’m too tired to move” and the ones that are suffering the most are my children and that saddens me to the core, even more!

If you have read my previous blogs you will know that I have talked about suffering from depression a big portion of my life. I would say that the last 3 years have been the most awful form of depression I have felt in my life and I have no idea how to explain why or where it comes from.

This is such an on again off again battle to try and be someone that I just don’t have the energy to be. There is a person inside of me who I miss very much. On the weekends I used to wake up with a pep in my step, drink my coffee and get to going on the daily chores I needed to do. I remember being extremely motivated after work, so much that I wouldn’t even sit down from the time I walked in the door until I read my girls their bed time stories.

Now though, now I can’t seem to get the energy to even change my clothes after work. I can’t even find the motivation to cook my children a well balanced meal. I can’t even find the motivation to take the folded laundry up the 15 stairs to my girl’s bedrooms. I simply just want to sit on the couch and dwell on all the things I have no energy to do.

I am writing this smack dab in the middle of my depression and I cannot find a way to come out from under this wave. I wish I were writing this blog with the outlook of someone whom has discovered the answers and is looking back on a life long past.

I have good days – sometimes. Just two weeks ago I had a good 3 days in a row where I was happy, energized, motivated and ready to get things done, but right as those good days passed onto the next – I became a recluse.

I know the answer: go talk to someone, work out, eat healthy, and erase all the negatives in your life, but I’m scared. You know… that social anxiety that screams at me every day?? It won’t let me go talk to a stranger… A STRANGER!! I’m terrified.

I just keep living this life trying to find a way to cope with these feelings or push my way thru these feelings. I tell myself “one day at a time” or “get over this – you’re being ridiculous”.


I cant step out from under this dark cloud and I’m losing all of my joy and who I AM.

I can’t do this anymore

Living with Autism

After Alexis’ diagnosis I think I sat in a world of denial. I hope to discuss some of the emotions I have gone through in the last 2 years of her life towards the end of this blog.
Right now though, I would like to talk about some of the behaviors my little one has that make her who she is. I also want to explain what autism is to us and our family.
Even to this day I will see a specific characteristic in Alexis and it is almost like a light bulb goes off and I think… there it is… thats what it is…”That is autism”.
I think most people have a misconception of what Autism is and even to this day I get a lot of eye rolling from friends and family who either don’t want to accept that she is a child with autism OR they simply don’t believe in it. The amount of times I have personally heard  “she just needs more discipline” or “if she acted like that with me; I would put a stop to it real quick” or even “you just spoil her too much”. At one point in my life, even just a few short months ago all the back to the beginning days into her diagnosis; I would simply nod my head and even say “you’re probably right, I do spoil her rotten”. At that time I simply didn’t know enough about autism to come back at them with anything intelligent. To be honest with you I was extremely ignorant to autism and what it actually meant. I believe most of our world is, and that is sad because it is a very common struggle for our kids these days.

In 2014 the CDC released a statistic that identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That is an astonishing number of children in our country today who struggle with many of the same things Alexis does.

I think the misconception and the denial most people face is due to the outward appearance and behavior Alexis has. When she has one of her “meltdowns” (that is the term we – along with the school have decided to classify her most emotional times as) it is easy to assume it as a tantrum. I see it all the time, people look at me and roll their eyes, and I hear from their mouths “she needs to get control of her daughter”.  What these strangers who know nothing about my daughter and even FAMILY do not see and what no one even sees or feels – is what Alexis is feeling on the inside.  certain situations she literally feels pain. Pain from sounds (sensory overload), lights being too loud, Noises piercing her ears and yes, sometimes it’s a melt down due to being unable to work through her frustrations.

The biggest struggle for Alexis currently is being in public and the most common place we are in public is when we go grocery shopping or any type of department store. Alexis has yet to learn when is the appropriate time to act silly, hyper and playful. This is typical of any child 5 years old, but with Alexis – all the lights, all the people, all the different noises and all the different things she looks at completely overwhelm her. I would imagine it is something like a kaleidoscope of figures and something like what I have posted below.


All of the different things she feels, sees and senses become too much for her brain to analyze and the only way she reacts is by making her own type of noises, movements and distractions.

Giving her “the look” which I can easily do to my 9 year old and she instantly stops what she is doing – does not work. She sees my face smiling, sad, angry and it doesn’t connect to her brain to know what emotion I am feeling. To her, every expression on my face is the same. I must talk her through how I’m feeling and explain to her that she cannot act the way she is.


It is so hard for me to pin point all the challenges we have with Alexis because what goes on in our life has become our normal. I would imagine if someone came into our home for longer than a few days in a row, they would certainly be able to point out more specific things, but to list them all for you myself seems impossible. To make it the easiest and not draw out a big explanation, here are a few of the amazing fun, unique and interesting things that make Alexis who she is.

She can become consumed with a particular activity she is doing and drown out the world around her. Typically this happens when she is on her Ipad or when she is playing with her action figures, building blocks, marbles or magnets. It is almost like tunnel vision, she cannot hear or see anything else going on around her, therefore she is consumed with what she is doing and why I think she has such an amazing imagination.

Her biggest reaction she has to every particular situation is laughter and acting silly. Like I stated above, she doesn’t completely understand others emotions by body language or facial expressions so her way of handling this is to act silly, make loud noises and to get very close to the person she is around.

She is extremely loving and affectionate to whom she chooses to be.

School is very challenging for her due to the amount of people she is around, the lights, the noises and the best way for her to release the pain and uncomfortable feelings  she is feeling is commonly by moving her legs, arms, whole body, humming, singing and jumping. When she is going through a rough time in her day she has found that making loud screaming noises is a form of comfort.

She has an extremely high tolerance for pain.

She has yet to build any friendship, but we are working on teaching her to play with children instead of parallel to them.

I have found that she has successful transitioned into social situation by mimicking her older sister. More times than not I will see Alexis’ movement mirrored from what I have seen and heard Jaylin (her sister) do. It can be something as simple as putting her hands on her hips when she is mad to saying the same exact thing as Jaylin and following her around as if they were attached at the hip.

Last but not least – she just wants to have friends and be a kid like everyone else.


Our Road to a Diagnosis

Since the day my youngest daughter was born; I always knew she was unique, amazing, incredible, her own person and extremely loving. I remember holding her as a new born baby and feeling astonished at the amount of, or should I say lack there of, crying she would do. She always seemed content and she had the sleeping thing down with in the first 3 months of her life. I truly could not have asked for a better baby.

When Alexis hit 1 years old she was already walking and I was amazed since it had taken our oldest 13 months to get the whole walking thing down. I do remember feeling concerned as to the vocabulary as months went on after her 18 month mark and even into her turning 2 years old. She would do a lot of pointing, grunting, whining towards her sister and to me. I always chalked it up to the fact she was the baby in the family and one small whimper and me, her sister or her daddy were getting whatever we thought she needed, so we didn’t put too much thought into it.

Once she turned 3, our in-home care provider whom my children have gone to since my oldest was 3 months old, mentioned getting her evaluated to start in the early child hood center. She  mentioned that she always recommends this program to families who live in our town and the earliest kiddos can get tested is 3. I was clueless about this program because we had just recently moved to the particular city we now live at this time. Our baby sitter raved and raved about this program and mentioned it was free (as far as tuition and what not – of course our taxes pay for it). We aren’t the most financially fortunate people so the idea of free school for my daughter who I did have some slight concerns about was everything I needed to hear.
At 3 years old Alexis was having a hard time focusing, listening, potty training (still), forming full sentences, sitting still and she would not talk to me, communicate with me or show she understand what I was saying. I was concerned.
So the next few weeks following her 3rd birthday I got her evaluated. Little did I know this school was exactly what we needed. This was put in our life for a reason and I couldn’t have been more thankful. This school is for kids who just need that little boost to get started before kindergarten and well, Alexis was accepted and we were thrilled.
At 3 years old we were going school supply shopping, preparing her for bus rides to and from school and helping to get her excited for teachers, new friends and all fun things involved.

Little did we know what was headed our way….

The school year started Alexis was cute as ever with her new back pack and her first day of preschool outfit.

She’s the little blonde below…


I could tell she was confused but excited for this adventure and I didn’t really have much hesitation sending her to school. I was happy she was getting this early jump on education, but then the phone calls started. With in the first couple weeks of the school year her teacher was emailing and calling expressing her concern for Alexis. She wanted to come together with a few other people/counselors/social workers/teachers with in the school to discuss Alexis.
Honestly, I was shocked. “what??”
At this point I could see and understand what issues they were having. We were having some issues similar at home and at daycare, but I’de never experienced this sort of thing before. My oldest daughter was in her 2nd year of school and she was thriving and I had never received a phone call of concern over her. I was confused, but I went to these meetings with an open mind.

The first meeting was overwhelming. If you’ve ever been to one of these you will understand. There is one of you and about 10 other people. They go on and on about their concerns for your child and you start to think, “do they have anything good to say about my baby” and they do, but you’re numb. At least I felt numb… or overwhelmed…

The next step was to have her tested and evaluated to start the IEP process. “the what??”
I was so confused. I had never heard of this before in my life, but it sounded like a good idea and it sounded like they all wanted what is best for my daughter, so the process began.

I was sent home with numerous documents and questionnaires to fill out about lexi. It took me daaaaaayyyy to fill them all out.
Again, I was overwhelmed.

After months of testing, evaluations and meetings after meetings… I finally had the final report of the IEP. Alexis tested in the young child with developmental delay. ok??
What does that even mean?
I guess I understood it, I recognized it and I even accepted it… but what can we do to help her is the question I wanted answered.

They were going to have some one on one time with her.

Alexis’ biggest struggles are as follows:
Social interaction
no focus
She can’t sit still
She doesn’t understand your emotions (As in someone she is interacting with)
No eye contact
Melt downs
Unable to understand what she is feeling.

As the school year went on, she didn’t improve or seem to be soaking in the help she was getting so I finally made an appointment with our local children hospital to work on getting her evaluated for what I thought  might be ADHD, ADD and at the most – autism, but I never gave that too much thought until the months after the evaluation – 2 summers ago and they diagnosed my daughter with ASD which stands for Autism spectrum disorder. My daughter has Autism.
She has been labeled.
She will live with this for the rest of her life.

The shock didn’t ware off until 2 years later, now… when she started kindergarten…

And I will continue on my next blog about the emotions that came along with this diagnosis.