MISTAKES I’VE MADE: Practicing with Addison

Tonight’s mistake is one I make all the time. I try to make Addy learn and do things other kids have done. It always blows up in my face. Can she sign? Yes. Will she? No. Can she use AAC? Will she consistently? No. I think she knows she’s supposed to speak. Anyway, I’ve had luck in the last few weeks teaching her how to type. Check out tonight’s work by clicking the link below.

Instead of trying to make her do what others do, I need to lean and work towards her interest. When I do, I am finding more success. So, don’t feel like you have to do what others are doing with their kids. Whether they are typical or not. Pay attention to what your child likes and or is interested in and start there!   What do your kids like? How do/could you work towards their interests?

Man v #autism



It’s going down I’m yelling TIMBER!

I’ve never used a chainsaw before so it only made sense to let me cling 20 feet in the air and use a saw!

How many people does it take to trim a tree? 3
One to cut, one to hold the ladder & one to sing ,”IT’S GOING DOWN! I’M YELLING TIMBER!”



The time her belly button exploded…



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I was a new dad and had no idea what I was doing with a baby. One morning I woke up and went to change her diaper.  When I noticed this clear gel like substance pouring out of her diaper.  WHAT IS THAT? I didn’t want to call my wife because my daughter may have radioactive material coming out of her BOOhonkas! So I did what any rational male would do! I jumped to an outrageous conclusion and made the situation worse.  Addy could flip her belly button in and out. It made me cringe! It was a crazy trick. (In hindsight it’s SO a sensory fidget thing #autism) I decided that the clear gel must have come from her belly button. She pulled on it until it exploded and now my child was leaking important bodily fluid. I wasn’t sure what fluid that was but I decided it was time to tell my wife that Addy was leaking alien blood.

It must be motherly instinct, Leah knew right away that it wasn’t alien blood. Plus, she told me that it was highly unlikely that Addy was bitten by a radioactive spider and had powers similar to Peter Parker. (Crap that would’ve been awesome!) Addy had pulled her belly button out but she also pulled on the diaper itself. The gel was from the inside of the diaper. How did I not know that there was expandable floam like gel inside a diaper? Lesson learned! Dads anytime there is fluid coming out of your child and you don’t know what it is, ASK YOUR WIFE FOR HELP! Don’t panic and jump to crazy conclusions.

I hope someone shares this with a new dad. I don’t want them to freak out like I did. If they eve find the clear gel inside a diaper.Also, share it with them so they get up and help change those diapers.


Thanks for reading. What are some mistakes you have made changing diapers? How have you learned from them.

TP Man v #autism


Watch your kids play & learn what they CAN DO! Man v #autism

McKade is 11 and has #autism. He was MISLABELED SCD by his teachers and school. (Severely Cognitively Delayed) I want people to see that kids like McKade can do so much more than people give them a chance to do! He made the Mixels, took their picture, cropped them into the app, and created the videos above. No, they are not perfect narratives. But, they are proof that this young man is smart, imaginative and a lot more than just a LABEL! Watch your kids play. Focus on what they can do and run with it!


MAN v #autism


We both loved @JohnCusack so we had that going for us.

I wanted to be Loyd Dobler.  You remember Loyd. Nothing beats that moment,  when Loyd stood outside of Diane’s window boom box over his head blaring “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. He was nobody. Just an average guy who took a chance and got Diane Court to go out with him.  It was a simple, honest, and real love story. I searched yard sales, flea markets and video stores for years for a copy of the movie. Before iTunes and the internet it was pretty tough and expensive to find a copy of a movie to watch at home. One random afternoon about 15 years ago I went into Brandon Discount Video. It was an old “mom and pop” run video rental store. It was have a “Going Out of Business Sale” at the time the new Blockbuster down the road and Kroger Video rental made it impossible for them to compete.  Inside the dusty old trailer of a building I found it. Sitting on the shelf was an original 1990 copy of Say Anything on VHS still in the original packaging.


It was awesome and it was going home with me!  I binge watched that film like it was a season of Walking Dead on Netflix. I loved it and pined for my own Loyd Dobler moment with my “Diane Court.” I had  movie issues, and then one day… it was gone. I wasn’t sure where or how or what happened to it. Before I had kids, I was a media hoarder. So I must have assumed that it was there.  I remember one afternoon hearing “In Your Eyes” on the radio and spending an hour scanning the shelves for my movie. It wasn’t there. I was super bummed. Like most first world problems, I forgot about it quickly.  It still hurt because I loved that movie, but I had other things to keep me busy. I had just started teaching fourth grade at a new school and was bar tending on the weekends.

Two Years later…

I had planned to attend school in Hattiesburg in the fall and Stephanie, a friend, had mentioned that Leah her sister would be returning to Hattiesburg too.  I had always known Leah but never really spoke to her. Her sister, Stephanie, had two baby girls that we both adored.   I was planning to attend school in Hattiesburg in the fall and Stephanie had mentioned that Leah would be returning to Hattiesburg too. She suggested that maybe we could be roommates. I called Leah one evening to talk about it. The phone call led to a movie. (I will share the birthday party story another day. The Birthday Party preceded the movie. It included Leah’s date and my girlfriend at the time) The movie led to dinner.

The first time I went to Leah’s apartment, she was showing me around and there on her shelf was a 1990 VHS copy of Say Anything in its original packaging.  I told Leah that is one of my all time favorite movies.  In my head I was thinking, “We both loved John Cusack so we had that going for us.”  Turns out she had gotten it from her sister’s house. Stephanie had borrowed it from me. She loved it too! I had found my movie and at the same time my “Loyd Dobler Moment” with my own Diane Court!

“The resolution of all my fruitless searches….” In Your Eyes…

When I think about all the little things that had to fall into place that led me to that video store that day, it baffles my mind. That movie was rented and thankfully returned to that store for me to find, buy, love, lose, find again, and love. It led me to the woman I love.  I didn’t see it at the time; but now I know that every little thing that led me to a movie that led me to Leah, now my wife, was God working and guiding me on the path he wanted me to be on. There is no other way to explain it.

My 15+ year marriage started partly because of previously viewed 80s movie on VHS.  Our first date was in February of 2001. We got engaged on Valentine’s Day and were married in July of the same year. People thought we were crazy and it would never work. July the next year, we had our first of three children. Shortly after that, two of the three were diagnosed with autism. So now, we had people expecting us to fail and statistics predicting our failure too. 80%+ of all couples who have ONE child with a disability end in divorce. We had two! Nobody thought Leah and I would work. Leah was my gift from God and I know that there is nothing else I would rather do then be with her! Things get messy, loud, gross and sometimes downright unbearable in our life but I am so grateful for it.


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