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post #136 of 241 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 07:52 AM
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Re: Kenji's journey

Drerio,

I enjoy your posts. You are an uplifting guy. My daughter18 has a handicap. It will always be a challenge. She can cope but it will always be there.

It is great that you can be so friendly on the political threads. I think it helps people that you do not respond to attacks with rancor.

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post #137 of 241 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

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You sound like a great dad

Thank you. It does not feel that way sometimes, but I have discovered that it is one of my most important jobs.
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post #138 of 241 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

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Drerio,

I enjoy your posts. You are an uplifting guy. My daughter18 has a handicap. It will always be a challenge. She can cope but it will always be there.

It is great that you can be so friendly on the political threads. I think it helps people that you do not respond to attacks with rancor.

Thank you. And, thank you for sharing about your daughter.
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post #139 of 241 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Kenji's journey

I am working on doing a "interview" (audio recording) between myself and my son, Kenji, to upload to this thread. I want my son to put into his words some thoughts about his life for those who wish to listen to it.
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post #140 of 241 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

So as a family we have been seeing a psychologist twice a month to work through issues, not just for Kenji, but for the entire family dynamics. It really has helped to slowly employ some of the strategies and of course Kenji understands the reasoning behind them. It is our major attempt at tackling all that had been going on but without the pharmaceutical route. We at least want to give this a go before going the way of medication.

It is always hard when the stress level starts to get high and you have to temporarily step back and try a strategy. It has not been easy, but it is slowly improving. The good news, it has been a while since any major meltdowns like those described earlier. We will continue to chug along with the hope of more stability. I will update with more of our strategic details in the next post.
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post #141 of 241 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 10:09 PM
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Re: Kenji's journey

Drerio -- I wanted to say hello and tell you that I was thinking of you and your family today. I hope you were able to have a good long weekend with your family, and that things have been continuing on the positive trajectory of your last post. You and your wife are awesome parents; you need never doubt that.

I'm undecided on which pants to wear today -- smarty, fancy or sassy?
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post #142 of 241 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

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Drerio -- I wanted to say hello and tell you that I was thinking of you and your family today. I hope you were able to have a good long weekend with your family, and that things have been continuing on the positive trajectory of your last post. You and your wife are awesome parents; you need never doubt that.

Thank you and I hope you too are able to enjoy the long weekend.
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post #143 of 241 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Kenji's journey

So, we did a short four day "kind of" staycation to Kaua'i. Yes, it did involve a short 30 minute flight from O'ahu to Kaua'i and it did require that we rent a car and book a place to stay, normally at a small cottage out of the way of the typical tourist destinations. But, it always feels like going home since that is where most of my family still lives and where I was raised.

It was a great time, relatives (like us) who no longer call Kaua'i there permanent place of residence, came "home". So it was time to have family gatherings, which involved of course lots of authentic Hawaiian food. My wife spent one short afternoon tying up lau lau for the imu. However, most of our days were spent at the beach or hiking trails (lots of outdoor activity, as is always the case for Kaua'i). I even borrowed one of my brother's boards to catch a surf session at Pakala beach (like riding a bicycle). I even took my youngest son out to teach him. We did lots of others things that included the whole family, swimming in the ocean closer to shore and fishing (and yes we caught fish). It was a full weekend plus some. It wore all of us out, but in a good way.

Kenji, had a great time, but by the time we were ready to go, he was tired and likely overly stimulated. We normally check in at the airport during lull times, that is we check the flight schedule and anticipate most people arrive around 75 to 60 minutes prior to any flight. So, understanding the schedule is important for us and we look at a 120 - 90 minute window so that the check in at the kiosk and security stations are not populated with too many people. However, we did little to prepare him, since I was able to get all on the pre-TSA approved list which meant not taking off of foot ware as is normally required. My son instinctively took off his shoes, and to top it off his number came up to randomly check him. Wow, thank you TSA We did at that point tell them he was autistic and thus they then asked us lots of approval questions and whether he would cooperate with certain procedures. I said yes, but that still did not sit well with him and all this new stuff just overwhelmed him. I also did not do respond well as I tried to hurry him along through TSAs procedures (he needs time to process new things). He lost it. When we got through the last of the screening, he had a full No Hold Bar ASD meltdown. Now for those of you who are not familiar, ASD kids don't do meltdowns to manipulate parents, they don't try to get something from or to key in on getting parents to change their immediate actions. The cool down procedure is best facilitated by placing the individual in a quiet place for them to reset their mind. Of course no place like that truly exist in an airport setting. And, no giving or taking away things helps and often will make it worse since it is more stimuli and added stress. Anyways at that immediate moment, it was not good. We did attract the attention of security, which in an airport is never a good deal. We had cards that we handed out to the security in the surrounding area. A few of them rolled their eyes, but one guy got it and understood. Told the others to leave and he helped us through the situation. Finally 15 minute prior to boarding my son was back to his self and all was good. BTW, we did thank that security guard, got his name and I plan on writing a favorable letter on his behalf.

I am sure it was just a combination of things (long weekend of lots of activities and people - family but still a lot of them) and the new TSA procedures that were placed on him. This morning when the boys were still sleeping my wife and I did a debriefing to figure out what we could have done and where it all went wrong to again not place ourselves in that situation again. As always, it comes back to one big thing, spending the time to prepare Kenji for how things were going to proceed at the airport even before we get there. A tough lesson to learn and as always a humbling experience to just have me realize I have so much more to learn about being a dad.
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post #144 of 241 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 03:53 PM
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Re: Kenji's journey

Just remember, it's difficult to prepare for every possible scenario and when you try, you get to a point of diminishing returns.

And while I know this wasn't meant to be your takeaway from the story... my id is doing a thousand fist pumps and a pretty stunning happy dance for Kenji. He got to have the meltdown that every single air traveler since 2001 has WANTED to have in TSA's general direction!

I know it was difficult to deal with and stressful for all....but for just a moment today, Kenji is my Hero!!
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post #145 of 241 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 04:02 PM
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Re: Kenji's journey

Kaua'i is my favorite island. We have a framed photo in our hall of our hike along a trail on the Napali coast.

You handled this as well as you possibly could, Drerio. Travel is stressful for everyone. Blessings to you and your family.


"You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you. Joseph Campbell
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post #146 of 241 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 04:02 PM
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Re: Kenji's journey

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Originally Posted by COGypsy View Post
Just remember, it's difficult to prepare for every possible scenario and when you try, you get to a point of diminishing returns.

And it's impossible with the TSA's seemingly random and ever changing procedures, it still suck even for seasoned travellers. So all in all well done.



Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #147 of 241 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:08 AM
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Re: Kenji's journey

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...but one guy got it and understood. Told the others to leave and he helped us through the situation. Finally 15 minute prior to boarding my son was back to his self and all was good. BTW, we did thank that security guard, got his name and I plan on writing a favorable letter on his behalf.

A tough lesson to learn and as always a humbling experience to just have me realize I have so much more to learn about being a dad.
It's a shame that people with common sense and decency are so rare that they stand out when you come across them.

You're always too hard on yourself, Drerio. Charlie's right; it's hard to prepare when everything's constantly changing.
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post #148 of 241 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

The last three nights I have been able to get all of maybe nine hours of sleep combined. The brain of a child with ASD is a curious thing, Kenji can get so very little sleep at night and yet function during the day. He has these times when he is awake and insist on someone else being awake with him. I know we should just look into medication for our own sanity, but then what. A lifetime of cycling off of one medication to the next so he can sleep, so we can sleep? I don't know. I just don't know.
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post #149 of 241 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 04:07 PM
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Re: Kenji's journey

I missed your update about the trip to Kauai. It sounds like you and your wife did the best you could. Sometimes things happen despite the best planning.

As for sleeping, how about something like magnesium or GABA before bed time? You could try a low dose of melatonin too. I find 3 mg of melatonin knocks me out. I've only used it a handful of times, but it sure works. All three are over the counter supplements.
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post #150 of 241 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Kenji's journey

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I missed your update about the trip to Kauai. It sounds like you and your wife did the best you could. Sometimes things happen despite the best planning.



As for sleeping, how about something like magnesium or GABA before bed time? You could try a low dose of melatonin too. I find 3 mg of melatonin knocks me out. I've only used it a handful of times, but it sure works. All three are over the counter supplements.

We tried the melatonin a few years back. I think I'm willing to go back to Down to Earth (store) to pick some up again this week. It definitely is worth another try.
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