Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meet My Siblings Day 4: Meet Ammon

So last time I did this...I posted every consecutive day..but seriously don't make me do that again.
So as I sit here and eat my graham cracker DRENCHED in nutella, I decided I am ready to do this one. This might me my hardest sibling to do...because #1 how do I get you to TRULY understand this sibling. It's difficult but as Ammon's favorite sister-he told me- Just kidding he didn't-because he can't really talk- I feel like I can sum him up. Or try to. When he was a baby I saw him for the first time in a room we call the Piano room now, he was in his car seat and I fell in love immediately.
At night when I heard him crying I would run to his room and rock him back to sleep or get him a bottle. He was the sweetest little thing. 
Can a person be hard to love? Can a person make life harder?
Can a person make life harder but more meaningful at the same time?
Ask my parents.
Ammon is number 13 child, and Ammon is autistic. 
ha! You know you hear that thrown around like it is icing on the cake.
Oh so and so is autistic.
Oh so and so just was diagnosed with autism.
Well friends...
Ammon is a whole new level of autism.
His forms of communication are:
Raptor scream
or banging his head on hard wood floor till he gets a bloody nose.
He doesn't know how to communicate so he has these above tendencies.
He knows the meaning to a lot of words, he just doesn't have the capacities or skills to communicate what he means. He is good at mimicking someone though.
I love how Brad is yelling at him to fold his arms...just so he can say our favorite thing..haha. 

He loves to streak...
Landon's wedding reception he ran through completely naked and rubbing himself....Think what you will of that.
He also has the 6th highest world score in Temple Run..some game.
He's pretty awesome.
He is getting so big, I cannot even contain him. 
I don't have a video of him freaking out-which may be the best way to understand him. But only pure strength can stop a freak out.
He was freaking out at Thanksgiving in the hot tub in AZ and some lady said, "What's wrong with him?"
I wanted to punch her.
Like seriously but instead I said, "He is handicapped, clearly."
As Ammon was tearing my hair out and biting my shoulder and I was trying to restrain him from running away and screaming in the public area.
Then she said again, "But why is he doing that-whats wrong with him."
Then I said probably ruder than I have ever talked to anyone, "He is autistic!"
Then Brad turned to her and said, "He is pretty severe."
She then asked what autism was and I learned quite quickly she was an uneducated soul.
We always joke about what Ammon will think of each of us when he can tell us in heaven.
He will say, "Mom- wasn't scared of you, you couldn't chase me or hold me down."
"Dad I was terrified of you."
"Miles I loved your baby hands and just wanted to bite them all the time, sorry about that I had a thing with biting."
I was on the phone with my mom today and Lad (Number 15) came in and said, "Mom can you PLEASE get Ammon to stop biting me?- he keeps saying, "Bite Please" and then bites me wherever!"
Oh Lad, just get over it and take the bites.

I wanted to take a picture with every sibling of mine that was home holding Miles. We knew Ammon would be tricky.

So Landon helped out-sometimes pure strength is the best thing to take with you when you have Ammon.

He kept grunting and grimmacing. And even bit Miles hand a few times.

Then a miracle happened.

And he just turned and smiled like he was a normal kid on a normal day.
We were all shocked and showed everyone.
He hardly ever looks at you or acknowledges you exist, and never smiles for the camera. And they were combo-ed. Best combo ever.

Then he went to biting his hands and grabbing Miles' hand to bite it.

We let Miles touch his face and play with him for a minute.

See how Miles is laying here? Shortly after Ammon pulled up his right hand to his mouth to bite and that put Miles in a complete choke hold. Ammon was rocking and biting all the while Miles is getting choked. But that's why we brought Landon around.

He saved Miles real quick. And we all had a quick laugh and I scooped Miles up to the rescue.

Ammon goes to a school in Utah now where the rest of my siblings go to Idaho-we live on the border.
My mom drives him everyday the distance of about 3 hours round trip.
Good mom.
He is FINALLY getting the help he needs with trained professionals.
God Bless them.
Seriously for their safety.
My mom casually tells me that several of them have been sent to the hospital from Ammon, and its a normal thing.
One lady was bit by him. And she was older so they were worried about the blood vessels or something.
Another lady was restraining him and was standing behind him with her arms around him and he dropped quickly to the floor and that put her back out and she couldn't move.
And I think all the others have just been bit by him.
But these ladies love him with all their hearts, they told my mom they put his name in the temple, and my mom constantly apologizes to them and thanks them, and they just love him.
He has his own room at school, with a swing and padded walls and there is even a rock climbing wall.
Now you think we should teach him how to not bite.
Well people always give us advice, and they are just passerbys. 
Me a Kindergarten teacher-college degree of how to teach children........
would say to you, "You take him for 15 minutes, then you will give him right back and say, sorry I ever gave you any misplaced advice."
My mom said today he took a box of lightbulbs and started crushing them all over the house.
Our house has probably hmmmm over $40,000 of damage throughout it from him.
Mostly caused by flooding and smashing and unscrewing things.
He runs away constantly, and my mom said on the other day on the phone, "Oh Ammon is running through the snow drifts barefooted again, Oh wait! He has socks on!"
Perfect, glad he is protected from frostbite by socks.
Ammon is known for just taking things off of people's plates, or their plate altogether.
At Thanksgiving dinner this year, he just sat down by me while Brad was getting a drink and just started eating Brad's food with his hands.
My mom laughed and said, "Oh sorry, Ammon get away that is Brad's plate."
Brad graciously said, "I'll get a new one, no problem."
Haha. Ammon is KING of picking at everything.
These videos I had to split up but they are just awesome..and show a tad of his frustrated side, nothing comparative to what he can do, but he gets frustrated when things are out of order, not how he wanted them to be, when he can't have or do something, or when his 'stemming' (autistic word) is interrupted. 

So he has a robotic voice, freaks out and screams and bites his hands a lot (as you can see the damage to his hands in this video)
But he against all autistic standards, loves to cuddle and be held and give kisses.
He does love to unscrew anything in sight and Brad and Landon love to joke and make fun of his crazy dancing and jumping he does, but I think he will laugh in heaven, because they are quite funny and amazing.
Sometimes he will just come and sit on my lap and be still and I talk to him like he was a little baby again, and someday, he will be able to tell me he loves me in a non robotic voice where my mom or dad tells him what to say to me.
I hate it when he gets sad, I mean his freak outs are one thing, but sometimes he gets really sad when he hurts someone during his freak outs and realizes it.
So he is in there, he is a little boy in there, its just buried really deep and really hard to find, but it does come out sometimes.
He makes us laugh, makes us stressed, makes us not be able to go to any public places without feeling like we are being scrutinized and judged, but he also makes us humble, and better, and stronger and faster for chasing him and restraining him from hurting others and himself.
He makes us be able to deal and love people who are handicapped and different.
He is somebody's brother, son, nephew, grandson, and loved one.
My mom has been through all the grieving stages of having a handicapped child, several times over again but ultimately she knows one day she will be able to have a conversation with him and he will be able to hug her and say, "I love you mom."
But until then, she will ask him to go open the garage door, and wait outside in the car in a rainstorm for 20 minutes just hoping he will actually do it...... someday mom.
We love Ammon.
And his name really is a warrior name.


Stephanie Holmes said...

What a beautiful post. Love your perspective and love for your brother. He is so lucky to have so many loving family members. And, as you implied, you are lucky to have him.

Justin and Carissa said...

My favorite so far. I have just enough experience with autism to know that I pray for the families who have an autistic child and pray that the Lord will give me strength if I ever find myself among them. But they do have such a sweet spirit. I remember one boy I taught and when you looked into his eyes it was as if his soul would really speak to you, and I saw the beautiful boy inside struggling. Sorry for the random tangent...memories. Bless your family and it seems to be like Ammon has the best home and family to help him on his journey of life.

Natalie said...

Aww I love this post about your brother. It's perfect and sweet. I have quite a few students with autism this year. They are my favorites. One boy does things like walks up to the locked computers and shouts "alohomora!" And talks like a Dalek from dr. Who constantly. But he is my favorite.

Your family is awesome. You are awesome!

The Mashy Family said...

So this is Ammons teacher Mrs.Marble, your mom gave us your blog site to check out your cute family. Just read this sweet post about our Ammon boy. Brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing your kind words about my staff. He definitely keeps me on my toes but I can honestly say I love that boy more than life. He has taught me some great lessons. He melts my heart and I too pray for the day he and I can have a conversation.. He teaches me every day as I teach him. My little love marks from Ammon are reminders that he loves me too. I love when he is sad and cries for me and only me. He just melts in my arms and holds on to me. Slowly I have unlocked little pieces of him and every piece is joyous. So grateful he has your amazing family. So blessed to know your family I think your parents are amazing. I am in love with the picture of him and your baby. He held my two month old baby this summer and was so sweet and gentle. Loved it!! One special guy we got here!!

Erica Tanner said...

Brit, you're such a good sister. And your family is so good with him! Your mom is amazing!!