Our Move to Northern Idaho

We found a rental house in Northern Idaho, the Panhandle and moved here on July 2nd.  The move actually went pretty smooth, despite sucking up all of our savings, with much of the credit going to our friends, who volunteered to help with the packing, and our parents, who stepped in when we were in a bit of a financial pinch for having to change from a Uhaul trailer to a 17 foot Uhaul truck, in addition to the moving van we hired.  We were trying to keep the expenses low and the estimate was off, as well as our Yukon needing brakes, as well as Bryan’s car…which is still at the old house temporarily.

Our new house

Joshua had a hard time, initially, with our move as he is afraid of ceiling fans and this house has four of them, one in the living room and 3 in the bedrooms upstairs.  The first night, he refused to get out to the bathroom to sleep on the air mattress we brought to sleep on.  We had him change and get ready in there and while I got everyone settled, he fell asleep sitting on the toilet lid with his head resting on the lid.  Once I was ready for bed, I got him and laid him down next to me.  First thing in the morning, he was up and went into the bathroom where he hung out for quite a while, taking a luke-warm bath until I took him to the grocery store to get some breakfast food.

How does Joshua see the ceiling fan? Putting on his glasses or a hat didn't seem to help.

When the movers arrived with our belongings, he laid outside in the back yard, huddled under blankets, laying on lawn furniture cushions and sheltered by the wind, and later, the light rain with blankets draped over the furniture.  All we could do was to keep checking on him while directing where furniture was placed.  Once Sarah’s furniture was placed in her room, fortunately, before it started really raining hard, we had him go in with her.  Sarah has the only bedroom downstairs and that, as well as the office and play/school room have no ceiling fans, due to them being in the basement.  It’s a good thing there’s a bathroom downstairs, as that’s where Joshua stayed for two days except at night and at most meal times.  He was allowed to eat lunch in Sarah’s room the first day, and in Bryan’s office, but after that, I had him come up to eat in the dining room with his chair placed out of sight of the living room ceiling fan.

For the next 3 to 4 days, I worked really hard getting Joshua and Michael’s bedroom set up, the school room/play room and as much of the living room and kitchen that I could.  In fact, by the end of the week, the house was about 75 – 80% unpacked and after 18 days, we have the garage clean and organized, the pictures on the walls, and only a few boxes left to unpack here and there.  Getting familiar stuff around the house and in order has made such a difference for Joshua.  I didn’t take the helpful suggestion of some to see if we could get the ceiling fans removed as Joshua needs to learn to adapt to his surroundings like the rest of us, which will help in his autism recovery.  He’s done it at school and he’s already doing it here.  Thankfully, we have Air Conditioning, so we haven’t had to use the ceiling fans as much, and I’ve only put them on in the evenings after he’s gone to bed, for the most part.  He will lower his eyes and his head when it bothers him, but he now is able to enjoy watching kid movies on the television, and is again climbing into my bed in the mornings to snuggle/harass me.

Our second week here found us joining in with the parish we are considering as our home parish’s Vacation Bible School and we have already made a host of friends and have had one family over twice for play dates, who also have dietary issues similar to Joshua’s.   During the second day of camp, I finally realized that Joshua would benefit from using his iLs system to help him regulate and put it on him every day for an hour.  He was so cute and one day Idaho Fish and Wildlife came and showed the kids how to cast with fishing rods.  I worked with Joshua and he was able to nab (with help) 3 out of the 4 fish.  He had trouble getting to the “Blue Fish” and was thwarted in his solution of just walking over to pick one up.  By that time, I decided it was time to go for a walk as he had been at it for a good 15 minutes at least!  We were blessed by the welcome and understanding Joshua (and his siblings) received and on Tuesday, I asked the director if I could get up and give a little talk about autism to help the other kids regarding understanding some of Joshua’s behavior.  It was incredible.  I brought Joshua up with me and he soon wanted to sit down and I was amazed that he sat next to Sarah and listened, not only to me, but to the other kids as we talked about autism and how we all have something “different” about us and our own challenges.  I had expected Sarah to have to make sure Josh didn’t wander off, but he sat the entire time, listening attentively.  The kids were great and had a lot of good questions and one child was even asked to see if he could find out who the Patron Saint of Autism is.  One woman looked it up quickly and found St. Philomena, but the young man who did his research, found another:  St. Ubaldus Baldassini.  It was so sweet how all the staff and kids were so kind and caring of Joshua and kept an eye out for him.  He spent a lot of time writing out “Lickety Letters” from the “Super Why” show he watches and took every piece of paper he could find to write out “Secret Code”, “Map” and “Why”.  He even did a part in the talent show where I had him go up and “read” a “Pete the Cat” story from memory.  He was upset that I only would let him do one story and each time kids were called to come up to do their talent, he’d call out, “Joshua’s turn!”  The talent show ended up to be pretty long with 21 kids coming up, so he didn’t get a chance to go again, but how neat that he had now qualms about going up to share a talent!

The Church has two lovely ceiling fans that Joshua notices from the walk leading up to the entrance.

Kids love climbing on "Jesus".

It's such a beautiful, "old" church!

As we are making friends and meeting the neighbors, I am also getting my information in order to get Joshua set up with services.  The Special Education Director will be in at the end of next week and I will be applying for Medicaid on Monday and then the Katie Beckett Waiver after that.  We have a meeting scheduled with a treatment program that will also help with getting Joshua the help he needs next Wednesday and we are getting the rest of the kids set up for planning out our  school year.

The only downside of all this is trying to recover financially, get caught up on our bills and start building up our savings again.  We still need to get Bryan’s car back over here as well, so we are looking at economical options to get him over there to get that done, hopefully, soon!

Thank you, one and all, for your continued prayers and encouragement.  It has truly made a difference and we are starting to enjoy this beautiful part of the country and the warm summer weather, for a change from the soggy/cloudy Puget Sound weather.  We are looking forward to exploring and enjoying the many activities to get involved in, as well as the wonderful people we are meeting, while preparing our home for the wonderful friends and family we hope to have visit us when they are coming to or through the area.

Oh, and I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures to post.  One of my children accidentally broke my camera…sigh!   I hope to post something once I have a camera!


This entry was posted on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012 at 3:36 am and is filed under Autism Diet, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info, Sensory Integration Disorder, What Is Autism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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