Friday, April 30, 2010

"hit them hard fast and under the belt"

Nice huh?
I thought that one up myself. Even Googled it to make sure no one else had it... it is an original.

How I thought of it? Well, I am not so proud of that one. It was in description of someone else. Definitely not flattering. And not the way i was brought up. I really was brought up better than that. However, there are times when a thought like that one does take over. There are people who are just really totally unkind, unhelpful, wastes of skin, flesh or whatever. Maybe this is why I don't fight with them; I try my best to walk away from issues and interpersonal problems aka drama (unless it is my husband, son or I). Most of the time, it just isn't worth the fight... and ends up making a pretty decent blog topic. I can even get sarcastic, no one complains about it... it is great stuff baby. Oh, if anyone does complain, as my son would have said, "Talk to the hand."

Really what it comes down to, there is so much in the just day to day living with a child on the Autism spectrum, merely the thought of dealing with a family of users, or people who are so one sided you can see thru them is something we will avoid. My husband is more tolerant than I am, although this week he did ask me to look into mission trips to Timbucktu for this family that is giving us grief. I think he was kidding.

Our son has had a decent week, the state testing was a total drag, but over all volunteering, helping, calling for a ride home. It all worked...kind of like the A Team, "I love it when a plan comes together."



I don't know what the next days will bring. I will be frank and say I found a temp job. It sounds OK. Basic research stuff, and another adjustment. I will be working again...albeit temporarily. Just how the market is right now. My son is looking forward to it. He thinks it will be cool for me be back at work, and he can come home slug out and watch more garbage TV than he needs to. Too bad Jamie Oliver isn't going over TV shows, I would bet that he would be making a mess of the game night line up.

Tonight there was a show about Spike Lee and how he found his roots.  I wonder if people looked for their roots maybe learning from their families pasts would change things. Dr Suess onece said, “Out there things can happen, and frequently do, to people as brainy, and footsy as you. And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t Stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.” —Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Our kids will go too btw. We need to stay consistent and have faith and KNOW. Easy huh?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Overloaded.

When I get overloaded, Your voice is my Novocain, When I feel overloaded

Overloaded.
 
That is so classic us. We are constantly overloaded. We don't do other peoples drama well, no, we don't handle it well. Actually, given a option, we don't deal with it at all. Ever. Unless we REALLY like you and then we try to protect you from our drama. Honest, we do.
 
Most of our lives is spent figuring out how to get our son to function. For a LONG time we were rarely sucessful. It has only been in the last year or so that we are actually getting positive results. We are finding that focusing on our church and having God as a focal point is really helping us put things in perspective. Yeah, I know, for those of you who think Christians are morons and that only dorks believe in God. Well let me tell you here and now, you got it backwards.
 
WE have gone with NO church to go to. We went out on a limb and started going to a HUGE place. N and L invited us to a party and we went and we started going to church... and we have never looked back. It was the best choice we could have ever made. WE stretched ourselves.... the last time I had been at the place where the party was, I was about 6 or 7 and visiting my sister who lived in a group home and was helping kids. I called it a commune, but it probably was more like a training center. Anyway, going to this party was a huge deal for us, showing up at someones home and not knowing them, or who else would be there..SO not us. They asked us to come to their church and their support groups and we did and it worked for us.
 
When we started going to this church and they allowed our son the opportunity to go to SS and learn about God in a good place, that was secure, and allowed us to sit thru a sermon without having to go to the hallway and walk our son outside. It was a miracle. We are overjoyed that he has a good, safe environment to go to and learn about God and the world as it stands. We are so blessed. Although, right now we are feeling a tad nervous, we will see what happens.... we are certain that our son will learn and come through this with the support of his group and will be fine. IT is hard to wait and see, though. IT is more like we want to fix it and make it work and we can't it is just something htat has to work itself out.
 
It is hard for us to realize that there are people who have issues with us. In our prior school experiences we never had other parents to deal with. Most of the kids were wards of the state, the red tape was so extensive to have one of the kids here for a play date by the time we were done we may have well adopted one. Although adoption is wonderful, it is not where we are as a family. Anyway, dealing with some of the parents is really different for us. We are close friends with a number of them, warily watch some, and avoid the other. like my Dad used to say, "Use me once, shame on me. Use me twice, shame on you. Use me a third time; guess what, there isn't a third time." One family used us repeatedly for IEP services information. Did they really think we would never find out? DUH. That is the family we avoid...they almost ruined our sons mainstreaming school experience.
 
Anyhow, it is almost like the user family has this thing where they want what we have. It has been kind of a shock to us that people want what we have. SO strange. WE can't imagine others wishing they were us... w'as like us? EWWWW. I think the fact that we are so focused on what needs done for the kid, we forget that others have things going on that may be as bad or worse than what we deal with regularly. We have support, that we sought after, we have friends that we have trusted and nourished. Life is a give and take deal and I don't know how many people have room for that after it is all said and done. We are fortunate. We also work hard at it. FYI- I don't want any more than what I got, just so it is out there.
 
Like yesterday for example, I hate state testing. I know it is to measure the growth of the students and how the schools are doing and blah blah blah. Whatever. My Aspie son comes home SO STRESSED out about these blasted tests, there is no reasoning with him. He doesn't listen and he won't cooperate with me. He slept for almost 15 hours yesterday and woke up today a different kid. He missed dinner and had an enourmous b-fast and went off to school to start a new day. New day, new kid. Works for me, people. But what I am getting at, if my friend called with a problem, yes I would drop whatever it is and help out. Doesn't matter that I am messed up, a friend needs help. when I go back to the kid, the perspective may be different, or like yesterday, he is still sleeping and I am gonna leave him be.
 
God gives us what we have, what we need and eventually where we are going. We need to be happy with what we got and not go after what other people have just because they have it. That is just plain ignorant.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's the point?

I know, it has been a couple days since I last wrote. Nothing bad, really, I have been sick and my mind is not working in composition mode.

I think there comes a time where people have to ask what their motivation is for their kids. There are many who, like us, are unitentionally self absorbed. There are others who are solely for their kids ONLY and just will work for them alone and use anyone or thing who gets in their way. Although I place my husband and I in the unintentionally self absorbed sector, I will tell you that we are trying to expand our horizons. We are working on committees, hanging with the "Club" and learning to know, expand and grow. It is a great and wonderful thing.

Sometimes the great and wonderful are taken for granted, not intentionally naturally, but because we as humans are imperfect and that happens. As it turns out, we are realizing how important our son's HG and SG are to him. He has expanded, grown and learned this year and we are crediting the wholesome, Christian environment to which he is at on Sundays. It helps him and he is doing well.

Sadly, it appears that there may end up being a "fly in the ointment". It appears that a kid who has threatened to kill our son in the past; this Spring this kid chased our son in the school hallway pretending to have a gun and or knife in his pocket. The School completely altered this kid's schedule and issued him what we were told was a very harsh punishment for his actions. Which had this episode happened during the school day, and not as the kids were leaving for the day, would have resulted in a complete lock-down of the campus. The school has this episode on video tape and have assured us they will keep the two as far apart as possible. This kid has now shown up at the HG and SG with only a few weeks left to the year.

Trying to fathom what this family is thinking is BEYOND our comprehension. We have NO idea what would have brought on a sudden desire to send a kid to church, without and aide or warning to the staff. Going totally against what had been said by one of them at a public meeting with witnesses present that dumping your special needs child at a church activity is not appropriate and that the staff needs training and warning on how to handle such things. Yet this is the same person that dumped her kid on an unsuspecting staff recently? Amazing, the unmitigated gall of some people.

Oddly enough, I am not angry (yet) but truely disappointed in  this episode. Although, our son will continue with the church program. We have made a committment to him and he will see it through, it is not our concern about this other kid and his family. They need to make some better choices, apparently.

I will only get angry if and when it affects my son. If and When that happens one will think the wrath of God is nothing in comparison. I don't get mad often, as long as people don't mess with my family.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thinking in Pictures

When I was much younger, I assumed that everybody perceived the world the same way I did, that everybody thought in pictures. Early in my professional career I got into a heated verbal argument with an engineer at a meat-packing plant when I told him he was stupid. He had designed a piece of equipment that had obvious flaws to me. My visual thinking gives me the ability to 'test-run' in my head a piece of equipment I've designed, just like a virtual reality computer system. Mistakes can be found prior to construction when I do this. Now I realize his problem was not stupidity; it was a lack of visual thinking. It took me years to learn that the majority of people cannot do this, and that visualization skills in some people are almost nonexistent.- Temple Grandin.

WOW.

This banged me on the head in multiple places. Temple is right, most of us don't "see in pictures". Last night is a classic example. My son was writing a paper (yet another) on WHICH version was the best one of Romeo and Juliet. He chose the movie because it was easier for him to see and visualize what was going on instead of having to make it up and think it out himself. He is a visual learner, but he prefers to "have the hard part done for me" and then just expand upon what he had seen. It seems to me that the class he is in for R & J is working at a pretty slow pace. He is done with the book, his papers, and the subsequent requirements. Yet he is expected to work at the others level and is waiting to move onto the next requirement. It doesn't appear that the rest of the class is done, but it is hard to tell what is going on because he has finished so much by the time he gets home from school.

As I am getting older (UGH) I am finding that I am a little less patient with things that don't work right. My son is never patient, and it is weird reminding him that he needs to work on that and try harder to understand how others are doing and feeling at a given time. Lately he has been very tactile, lots of hugs and such. It is fine, but I start feeling a bit mauled over and have to instruct him to stop it. It makes me feel bad to tell him to knock it off, but mauling a person and hanging on them is just annoying and a bad habit that needs broken. To subsittute, he is learning to pay attention to the cats, although Bert is the only one that will allow for our son's attentions. The constant reminder that Bert likes him, but will walk away when he is done with the attention is getting a little redundant. However, we are getting better with that part and our son is understanding that our cat, like Kipling's , "And he went back through the Wet Wild Woods waving his wild tail, and walking by his wild lone."

Speaking of that, another interesting thing happened last night (actually more than that but this is all I am mentioning here), I discovered that my son KNOWS that he acts differently at school than at home. HE DOES, and he told me last night that he keeps it all in all day and then comes home and has to let it out, by either acting like a goofball or just being weird. It makes sense, home is where we let our hair down, so he is taking that totally literally and letting himself totally relax. It is also making sense to me about WHY he doesn't call "friends". He has to be "on" all day. When he comes home he wants to rest, relax and just be DONE with all that for a while. Ergo, the asking for longer break times from homwork and splitting it all up so he gets breaks and the work gets done. Makes sense doesn't it? I know this had nothing to do with visual thinking, I just thought it was cool. Such a great observation from a kid who is really not supposed to be aware that he is doing this stuff. I think it is uproarious, and amazing, seriously, what a miracle from a kid who was never going to talk or go to school. Then he pulls that one out. Fabulous.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trying too hard

I see this with my son a lot! He tries too hard to fit in, make friends, be nice and all the rest. Don't we all try too hard at some point? I know my husband and I as both "youngests" would fit into that category. We want all to be right with the world even if there is no real way of that happening.

Prior to our son knowing people (OK and us having a life), my husband and I would "self medicate" by either going out for dinner, shopping and then having a glass of wine or two. Then we would go a little nuts and go shopping at an outlet mall. Fun, expensive and really not good for us.

Now we are learning not to try so hard. I don't me that we are alienating ourselves from our friends or anything. We are relaxing a bit, not pushing the envelopes and we are pushing our son, but not as hard as we had to before. For instance, last night our son did his homework with little or no help. It goes faster if one of us are pushing him, keeping him focused, but I thought it was more important for him to practice doing the work on his own. He has kept it together, is writing his papers and I am trying NOT to edit them as much as I used to. THey need to sound like HIM not like me. His work is strictly his work, if we help him to focus; that means he is dictating to us and finding the materials and trying to reword it. I find that if he is able to reword the materials that means he undestands it much more than just copying out of the book. However, this takes a ton of focus and extra time in the evening and after school. IT is a constant reminder, working to finish to watch TV, a new favorite is "Lost", and keeping him into what he needs to work on to finish the class materials.

How do you work it all out? DK. we are still trying to figure that out. we do expect our son to work ahead for classes and we are hoping he is making firends, in fact he may have a new one but I am not sure. Boys are hard to read, Aspie boys especially, when they aren't sure if they are firends or not and think they might be but don't know for sure. DRAMA at the teen boy level is way more than what I remember it being as a girl....or maybe I wasn't that dramatic. Who knows?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It is a good day..

OK sort of.
I lost my original blog there and then I messed up my idea. Then I decided to make a link and messed that up too. Like I said, "It is a good day"

Today is finishing the paper on Romeo and Juliet. It has taken weeks and gone on and on and on. The play wasn't even that long and we are just wrapping it up? Good night. Anyway, my son's view on this hasn't changed much, although instead of just Rosaline, he is also after the Prince and Friar John. At least he has remained consistent right?

I am dead beat tired, I am not sure why, I think it is the actual arguing about the homework, lack of lunch (I got busy and forgot) and trying to finish too much in one day. I will say I saw some lovely family pics on Penelope Trunk's site, and if no one else says so, CONGRATS! They kind of brightened my day and made me realize that life is pretty good and people are able to make their own place in the world. People like my kid.

Although, this week I have been wondering but I think it is just becasue I am tired from having the kittens jump on the bed all night long. The little buggers never stay still. Anyway the deal is that my son needs to learn to get along with people. I got a call yesterday that he got annoyed with another kid and kicked him. I did call his case mangager this morning and pointed out that 2 Aspies that are not able to function socially are teasing each other it is kind of a weird thing and that maybe they need to work on the social end of things with my son and the other kid in order to make things work a little better. Oddly enough, my son tells me that he KNOWS social skills just doesn't choose to use them. Smart kid, but not a bright move, if you know what I mean.
He is blaming me for him having to go over the social stories. Although he does want to have and be friends with people he doesn't have the skills to keep it going most of the time. The reason he has to do the social story time is because he kicked a kid, and now has to pay the piper. Too bad he didn't realize that his poor reaction would have a worse one at another time.

I am not terribly sympathetic to his cause, he needs to learn to behave himself and not be mean to others in order to get what he wants, which is friends.

this is Bert trying to pack himself and have his own way about everything. Typical Tabby.

I read a book last night

Yeah, big surprise right? Most of the time I am reading pop fiction, or classics. I rarely read a book about living with an Aspie. Why? Mostly cause I am doing it myself and I get frustrated easily. Kind of like that wretched show Parenting (I barely make it thru the credits). They show an autistic boy become "cured" and playing ball with an instructor and some girls. In this venue Ron Howard is an idiot of unproportioned view (mine that is). He is making it look easy and that makes it bad on the rest of us. Other reg paretns think, "Oh hey that is a cake walk, do it right and there won't be any problems. Why are you so dumb?" Here's a challenge, "Hey, Mr. Howard, haul your fat CA butt here and deal with my son for a month or two. My husband and I need a break and don't have the money for a nanny." THEN write your program and tell everyone how fun it is to live with an autistic child (mines a teenager, so mix the hormones in there too).

I think my favorite part in Shonda Schilling's book was about the negotiating for 14 million a year. Must of been a tragedy for them, poor things, she might not have been able to afford the nanny to take care of the kids because she was overwhelmed. DUH, yeah you are supposed to be overwhelmed sweetheart, you have kids. What about those of us who don't get help? What about the kids who struggle becasue of the insurance issues, what about the problems socially that most kids have. Honey, your kids have friends. Mine has a couple, one that comes over regularly, and acquaintances that he knows from school. The phone never rings for him...yet she is complaining, and then to mention the "attack" on her verbally by other parents about Little League. That thing is a serious business, and let me tell you the more into it you are the more serious it is, as the wife of a pro baseball player, you of all people should know that these underclass folks are in it to make their kids pros. DUH! As you say, they might not make it, but these parents have a dream, and that dream is to live off their kids when they make it big in a sport, or at least get college paid for.

Otherwise, what I got out of that book, is that they live sort of the way we all do, sans the nanny and gobs of money. I couldn't figure out if they have 1 or more nannies, but it sounded like just 1. I am impressed about her melanoma foundation, and she has done some useful things, at least that is the way it sounds. It seems like her experiences are almost written like an out of body experience, not like there is any emotional attachment. Overall, I am rather ambivelant about her book. I enjoy that everyone's Top Ten lists are so different, to me that is funny, and I believe that although she is trying, it would have been better to have put some more feeling into the story. This may be becasue my friends and I are living it ourselves, and we know what is going to happen. For example with the evaluations and such, that part was hard for her to write about, it was hard for me to write about it in my book too. But there are details about the evals that are really necessary to make it real in the story. Wish she could read mine, but that would never happen....then she would know what an ed eval is like, it doesn't sound like they ever had one. Those are a ton of fun!

Anyway, read the book, watch the program, make your own opinions. These are merely mine, so don't give my husband a bad time about it as he hasn't read the book yet and may not be as hard nosed as I am.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Making the big life choices

Lately, we have been making a bunch of changes. Ok, so longer than lately. Over a year ago we decided to try to live greener. My husband and I had talked about it and we decided that living like we were, with no thought to what was going to happen, what we were gonna spend and what we really needed was just a real drag. Basically, when you are dead it will go to Goodwill, E-bay or a garage sale, so what is the point? Now for those of you who are going to wail on me and tell me what you want out of our home, go take a jump. This is about the excess stuff, not the family heirlooms, FYI our son gets what we have.

Last night I was told that we were the ultimate recyclers, we drive along and find working TV;s on the street, we find stuff to sell and we find things that others might need to give away. It sounds whacked and maybe it is, but it is better to use it and not toss it if it still works. We recycle cans, and we clip coupons, we also work on re-using what could effect the environment. People pick our flowers in the front lawn, that is OK, they will grow back (although if they pick a prickly pear cactus flower I am not responsible for that stupidity). In my usual obtuse way; what I am getting at, is the little bit we are living green is helping. Maybe not a lot, but bringing our own bags to the store, using our stuff effectively, cleaning things only once instead of forgetting what was in the washer and having to re-wash it again.... for us, we are living green. Oddly enough, people don't pick our garbage. By the time it hits our curb it is really garbage. I find that strangely amusing; it must be all the Monty Python my brother and I watched when I was a kid. (See bro, you taught me to laugh, that is a good thing.)



As for our son, well, he is frustrated by some of the rules around here. Like, "No you can't throw that in the regular garbage take it out to the blue bin" or "No it isn't 30 degrees, and I know you are cold, go get another sweater." or his favorite, "Why would we let you play a computer game for $50.00 a month, have you lost the brains God gave you?" We are worse than my parents ever were.... most of his new clothes come from second hand stores or church sales, he needs to dress right so we dress him right and he looks good, it just isn't from the store on the label. He doesn't care about where the clothes come from as long as they are there when he needs them. When he is done with them, we sell them on E-bay and belive it or not, if it is the "right" designer, people will buy them.

Right now, his phone is one I used several years back, it is cracked on the screen and is not good on the battery charge. It is paid for, it works, and he went thru 4 phones in 2 monthes and I refused to buy him another one. He can use this until we are out of contract. Then he will learn how to look for another phone service, and we will move the phones next year when mine runs out. How is this important? It sounds really dumb. But it is a life lesson that he needs to do, it is something useful and practical and he needs to learn about stuff like this.

We will be doing something new this year. A local church has allowed people to use their "back yard" as a garden. We will be growing our own food in back of a church parking lot. I keep thinking about the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell,  "They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot, With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot, Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you got till it's gone, They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum, And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them". We started prepping the seeds today.



Talk about feeling crunchy....and like a city person, we have to go elsewhere to plant our garden because out yard is too damp. We are going further into our life of doing without and doing it the way we need to for our own comfort level.

Teaching our Aspie about these life lessons is weird. As I have said before, "It isn't for the faint of heart". Telling him to do things a certain way is just plain ole bizarre. We are trying to get him to be the way we want him to be and to be sure of what he thinks and how he is. To be like this he needs to self advocate. Sometimes he is able to self advocate, other times he asks me to help. Soon I will not be helping anymore (I can't, it won't be that I don't WANT to, it will be time for him to fly). He will be doing it on his own. It is all a life lesson and a might big change for everyone.

Most of the people we know are getting to where we are now. They are trying the "living cheap" methods. Or as our church would say, living within our means. I don't know what is right or what is wrong, but I do know I sleep better at night than I have in a while and I am living a healthier, happier life than my husband and I had in years. That is saying something isn't it?

Here you go friends, the blog on living cheap, and with an Aspie, what more can one ask for?

I totally love "The Club" and you all know who you are.

Disappointed.

My son disappointed me this evening. He dragged his buds with him. He knew the rules and knew vidieo games were not allowed. He located a play station controller anyway, I thought I had taken them all out of his bedroom. Guess I missed one.
His friend was going to show him how to play a game, after I had explicitly instructed my son NOT to play video games or do anything like that, they had books and board games. I informed my son he had lost any and all Television shows for a month. The disrespect shown to me in my home was beyond anything he had done before. Now part of me is rejoicing over the atypicality of this situation. He tried to lie and cover up and he got busted big time (our kids don't do that, the lies i mean, it really is a huge gain). Nonetheless, he deserves his punishment and is grounded from telelvision viewing purposes for a month and may loose the TV out of his bedroom on a semi premanent basis. He did it, it was his own fault and he knew better.
Disappointment with me is more than anger (this goes for anyone, not just my son). For me to be disappointed with him it means I am beyond hurt by the fact that he has no respect for me as a parent. I don't care that they were bored. There were plenty of board games and books in that room to look at. As one of his friends said, "It is a sentance for one and all." This was after I had informed my son's friend that this home is not a democracy and there is not defense for breaking a direct command. I refused to listen to the defense and that it is better to show them that I am not a push-over parent who has no standards. I get the feeling his buds don't like me much.
Am I a bad parent? No, I don't think so. Am I strict? Yes, I am. Do I have high standards? Yes I do. Would I tolerate a direct violation of what I told him, NO I won't. As parents you shouldn't either.
So many kids argue back, mine does. I will state here and now, when I tell him I am disappointed with his behavior he KNOWS he was wrong and he had better monitor the show and fix it fast to make certain this doesn't happen again.
I guess Mom here plays hardball. But I did tuck him in bed, and make certain he was warm and sleeping we hve a big day tomorrow. I do love my kid.
tonight my love for him is tinged with disappointment with his behavior and lack of respect.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Teachers should listen to the parents if the parents are right.

They really should.

Kind of a funny, but a little sad, story.

Our son loves playing Magic, Yugioh and Digimon card games. Personally, unless we play "Mommy's revised and improved rules" I won't play with him. Much too complicated. Think D & D in the early 80's multiplied by, oh, a billion, rules, regs and other miscellany to drive the game player goofy (namely me). At one point he was Forbidden by the all powerful Mom of the house to bring them to school. Through elementary and middle school the cards stayed home... unless I didn't know about it.
Then in the HS school the card games were allowed. We didn't agree with this choice. We thought it was a bad idea. Today we were proven correct, the other kids didn't want to play, and our son got pissy with the teacher and the other student. Although, I will back them (teachers) up, they know I will not approve him bringing the cards until I hear from one of them His current obession with the card games is because he can't play video games. He still is without the controllers and all video gaming systems are still down in the house.

I guess I should feel kind of bad that the teachers didn't listen or agree that the gaming cards at school were a bad idea. There are times when even the house "washer woman" is actually right about stuff. It does happen. He is well aware of the status of the video games, and although he opted out of Jaime Oliver's program, I thought decompression time was in order. this means he does watch more cartoons that I would normally allow but there was a Ben 10 special (I think) and by the time I got back into his room the TV was off and he was reading and finishing his homework. We still have some to go but can complete it tomorrow; easier materials and he needs to work ahead in Biology.

I would like to point something out about food.Yeah I know, here goes "Little Miss Crunchy" again (thanks T, I borrowed that from you). But really, if you look at behavior, and food choices, My husband and I checked out the cafeteria choices this week and there was NOTHING our son would eat. Preprocessed cassarole (big ewwww) and pasta and some other stuff that according to the food list just sounded nasty (bigger ewwwww). Now I am not saying we are "all that" with the food. We are having a party tomorrow and our son is making a French Chocolate cake from Julia Child's cookbook. We are not the best choosers around here. We eat icky stuff, and regret it later. What I am obtusely trying to get at here is that there is a better way than cafeteria food that is all rude. Seriously.

For example, what I remember about my college years (besides the joy of classes and friends) is the cafeteria food. Most of the time I couldn't eat it. There was something in the cafeteria food that made me break out in hives. Not little tiny hives, Big ole monster ones that kept me on a diet of salad and peanut butter sandwiches for a year and then in the apartments I bought my own food that I could eat and not get sick (my roomates could verify this). People swore to me that there was nothing that shouldn't have been in the food there. If that was the case, why did I regularly break out in hives when I went thru the general line? The Dermatologist told me not to eat there and my parents had to pay for the food because I lived on campus. During my 4 years they fed me twice because I got to the point where I wouldn't step foot in the cafeteria if they were serving certain things...I would be hungry, eat it and get sick. It is the preprossing the whatever it is to make the food that makes us sick. I haven't been back to my college since graduation, but I will tell you I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to eat anything they served there. (I am chicken)

Behavior, food, and other stuff can make things a little hard on the parents. So if my kid wants to make a homemade chocolate cake that Julia made, and we need cake flour and other stuff, we are going to get as close as possible to getting it "healthy" as it can be. Boy, that is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. But I really do want a slice of that cake.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This breaks my heart

I know, everyone is talking about that "Mom" that returned that little boy to Russia, alone. It is tragic and heartbreaking. As John Kass had said, "And there's no Child Store open for returns and exchanges". A child, a young boy, having lived in an institution in Russia, with pretty serious issues, and she lasted a couple months? GIVE ME A BREAK. Kids are a lifetime gig, whether they are disabled or not. You got 'em, you love 'em and do what you have to do to make it work.

Our son is a challenge on a bad day and a loving affectionate child the next. He tells me daily that he misses me when he goes to school and loves me because he KNOWS I am there for him, his Dad is there for him and we love him even when he is a little berk. We help him and work with him and try our best to understand him and work through the problems. That woman in TN didn't even give it a good shot, she had probably several problems and BAM, "I am done he is bad, he is not worth it". What a pathetic way to live. There is no fullfillment in that. She has to live with that decision for the rest of her life, the woman that returned her kid. Hope she is ready for it....even on the hardest days, I wouldn't let anyone take my boy from me. He is MY BOY, or my husband would say he is HIS boy.

I heard about this little boy when the story first broke. My husband and I stared at each other open mouthed in horror. My first inclination was, "Send the boy to me, I will take him; he sounds like a classic case of autism and needs a triple dose of therapy to boot. Bring it on, we have done this before."

How dare she take a child from his homeland, adopt him, play Mommy for a couple weeks and return him! IT is appalling, horrible and beyond belief. I swear if this faux parent ever tries to write a book, talk before Congress or do anything with self promotion...I will be there protesting on this faster than you can spit nickels.

Now that I got that out, aren't you glad my vent is over? HUG YOUR KIDS and tell them you love them no matter what!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What we do to get along.

Our son has a person he calls his "Arch Nemisis" This child has an IEP, and issues, and is a manipulative little berk that he can't stand. Our kid isn't perfect but there are a lot of things he is, and this kid is what we call a little turd.

Anyway, I found out today that the two boys inadavertanly joined the same club, my son has fished for years (since the age of 4-5) and loves it, the other kid i know nothing about. Frankly, I see this as a non issue, my son has sports and schedule conflicts so it is unlikely he would attend anything this kid was at. On the other side I doubt this kid would show up to any club activity. It means an effort to be consistent on his part and his parents, and I really don't see that happening.

I guess I shouldn't be so harsh, but it is difficult to maintain perspective to people who use others. That is just one thing that gets under my skin. They used us for IEP information and took the data back to the school to get what my Aspie son had. It was ridiculous, stupid and really ignorant tothink that we would never find out. DUH. We avoid these people as much as possible, there is no reason for them to know what is going on with my kid, and on top of it we just don't want to deal with their drama. It is too much work. We aren't the only ones they have used, very quickly, it appears they are going thru the entire community. It is amazing to watch from a distance.

Anyhoo- we all need to at least have the sembleance of getting along, and that is what we are attempting to do. Probably not terribly successfully though. :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not everyone gets to go.

This is track and field season. Not everyone goes to every meet. There is a meet today and our son is not assigned to go. Not like it is a big disappointment or anything. We have been scheduled for an appt this evening and he would have had to leave anyway.

This is kind of like a life thing. People aren't always invited to go. Not because you aren't good enough, smart enough or strong enough, just there isn't enough room on the bus, and we need the runners more. Sometimes, life changes, or you change and things are just different. It isn't what you thought it was nor will it be what you thought it could be. Like in band, you are just "marking time" (marching in one spot). Aspies don't normally mark time very well. They want the instant gratification.

Last weekend, my Aspie son was a putz. He lost privledges right, left, and center. I decided to "straighten" his room. This means I go through the room, throw things out and take things that he needs a break from. It isn't honest, but it beats having an argument with him. SO several things have gone "missing" I know where they are and as soon as he stops pestering me for them it is more likely they will suddenly "appear". Last night he lost his game controller, the rest are going today, so when we have our party this weekend, the boys can watch movies in his room or play a board game in the dining room, but not play video games, or weather permitting, go outside and play out there. They are gonna love that. All but one of them are what we call house kids, they are indoors all the time and don't like being outside. To me, I see this as instant gratification. It has to happen NOW or I will have a fit; some of that is what video games to do people. As for my son, pestering me to "find" his stuff, I didn't have time to do that today, and I won't have time tomorrow nor next week. I know that is controlling and kind of mean, I don't really care. I have to put up with a surly, unkind kid when he plays these games and anymore it doesn't matter WHAT game he plays he turns into a jerk. So part of helping him is controlling the environment he lives in so we can all learn to live peacefully together.

Yesterday, I read Penelope Trunk's latest post about moving to the farm. It makes sense to me, get out of the over-stimulization and be able to think, breathe a bit and live with the cows...BTW the newborn baby calf was adorable. What a great thing to be able to witness something like that...there is my secret desire to become a vet coming out right? Anyhow, she talks about being able to think, and I believe that my son needs the same time, he needs time to THINK, not play video games or get over stimulated, just think, read a book, do his homework and then watch TV. Last night we watched "History Dectetives" it is a great show and it makes you think about what you are doing and where you are and who did what. Good stuff. It gave us time to think about what is going on and where we are going.

I know, I am strict and kinda mean. In the long run, my son will be happy with me. Well, maybe.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Teaching Common Sense

and I don't mean teaching Thomas Paine's Common Sense I mean teaching out kids common sense, the quality that everyone on the planet needs to survive.

Teaching our Autism Spectrum son common sense is kind of like pulling out all of your teeth and replacing them without Novicane. There are a number of very bad habits he has picked up over the years, and if they were from us it would be easier to manage. Unfortunately, they are not. There have been times when we don't have control over what goes on around him and at those times he picked up things that are not necessarily positive things to do.

One of them is being overtly generous with money we don't have. That one drives us insane. He will make OUTLANDISH offers, just to be nice and not have the money to back it up. He MUST stop doing this as it will only get worse as he gets older, he cannot continue to offer extravagent things and expect people to tolerate him or the offer. It could land him in a pile of trouble. For my husband and I we are disturbed that he expects us to OK a crazy request, but we are still frustrated with his lack of comprehension. He still has NO CLUE that spending all of his money at one time is just a really dumb thing to do. We had another episode of this today on the way to church and having to explain that saying that is really dumb and don't expect it to happen caused a minor panic attack in the back seat of the car. We weren't saying that he was dumb, he isn't, but the idea was not workable for us and that he would need to come up with something better than that or nothing at all.

How do we teach common sense? I had always thought it was ingrained and that it was something that was practically genetic and now here we are having to figure out how to teach this process to our son. If he could stop the constant chattering and really listen (and not have to constantly have the last word) it would help tremendously. Because of his exposure to negative things, I am quite impatient with some of the laws in this state. It seems like the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few (disabled children). Our son has these immense bad habits to unlearn, and still function with the gen's of society. I keep refering back to Penelope Trunk's website, her comments on Aspergers are fascinating and she really is able to describe what is going on and how things are supposed to be. I keep hoping I can get my son to be functional or at least able to get the words out so he can comprehend what is expected of him and what he needs to do. It is hard to keep everything we need to do with him straight....the other is that we are expected to make certain that our son says and does everything like everyone else. He doesn't. There are times when he says a bunch of stuff he doesn't mean, OR he doesn't comprehend what the meaning is supposed to be.

We are working against trememdous odds. His abilities weren't supposed to be where they are now. We are looking at the common sense issue as that, an issue, albeit a large one. This would encompase a huge amount of effort, therapy a nd additional work on our parts. He has a ton of work and a long way to go before he can hold a job, work or keep his head on straight when constantly told "No".

Some days I wonder if we will get him there and other days I know we will.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Managing Mom's Mental Health

Oh, and I don't mean my Mom's I mean MINE.

Today was nuts. The boy came home yesterday and informed me that there was a track and field event today, all day, so he would miss church, and come home sometime later. I was able to reach a coach to let them know we wouldn't be able to pick the boy up today from the meet. Fortunately, a generous soul (in the form of a HS junior or senior) gave our kid a lift home.

So how does all this affect my mental health. Well, to start, the boy was pissy because we didn't pack gym shorts in a bag that he is supposed to be in charge of and couldn't be in the team picture. Frankly, this is STUPID, it isn't like there is a team uniform for these guys anyway. The throwers (shot put and discus) are big burly guys that are taller than I am and just huge. I can imagine they eat their families out of house and home on a meet day.

Anyhow, the meltdown and fit that followed that the boy was pissy was enmou...oh heck, it was huge. I was so upset I ended up taking a piece of my "happy pills" (FYI -baby aspirin) to calm down and then just got tired and worn out. These meltdowns and threats are taking its toll on both the husband and I. In fact, the loss of the treasured handheld game system and specific games are the punishment for putting us through that first thing this AM is now in place. As I pointed out to my son, it is my job to keep clothes clean, it is not my job to make sure you have all the stuff you need in your smelly old gym bag. That is your job, and you need to check it in the evening to make sure it is ready to go. I think it got thru but still, it is a bit of a let down or wear down when you are doing your best and the kid is still blaming you for everything under the sun.

Time for a time out for Mom, but I will tell you that when I get the "look" in my eyes the boy does go running. I think it is time for him to be responsible for the nasty gym bag and ick within. It probably isn't really icky, but it does smell, and I only go near it with lysol or something in my hands. PHEW. He is now planning on checking it when he gets home from school (a first). Fortunately, he did remember to thank the kid for a ride home; at least if he is being a jerk to us he is at least polite to strangers.

AFter all this garbage, my mental health is OK. I am not good at this at home stuff (how did my Mom do this, it is SO BORING), and then dealing with an Aspie meltdown today, my nerves are a tad shot to poop. I know it is all part of being a mom, but as my dear husband pointed out to me, if we had a regular one we may have had more kids....right now we can barely manage the house, boy and three kitty cat brothers. I can't imagine having another human running around in here. Thankfully, my friend, told me that I need to be at home because this is the start of where I am supposed to be and I need to be patient. Good thing I didn't have mascara on, I bawled like a baby. I absolutely LOVE our small group.... the best group of people that get what goes on... this lady KNEW I was at the end of my proverbial rope and gave me a mental boost. IT was a good thing too.

So where does all this go and what in the heck does it have to do with Austim? It has to do with being able to talk to people, friends, family or your favorite pysch (or 2, I have 3 that I like). Being in a group of like families is helpful, we can talk and figure out life and what to do and just be. Thank you GOD!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Siblings of an Aspie kid.

First off, I AM NOT SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE, nor am I pregnant or planning on becoming so. This is purely by observation, thought, and things my husband and I have noticed over the years.

Aspie parents talk. A lot, to each other about our kids. Their pluses, their minuses, their failures, and their awards. We generally seem to talk about Aspie issues, which is good because that is how we learn about new techniques, therapies, and if we are gonna stay where we are or move onto something new, or not try anything else at all.

Since we only have the one boy, and 3 kitty cat brothers, I often wonder what it is like to be the human sibling of an Asperger's child. Do they, the siblings, need more attention? I know my son's friends have siblings and he is totally fascinated by them. I like these kids because they have a real unique perspective, and frankly are a hoot.

Our lives get so insulated, or at least ours does, with our son's issues that other things get laid aside, or forgotten in the long term. We are so wrapped up in the therapy, the lists, and the OMG what happened a minute ago...our kid did WHAT? What is it like for the siblings? Do they have to work harder, or behave better or be better students to prove what? I know this is a venue where we are sadly lacking in perspective. I, for one, had siblings, much older than myself. Although I am happy my son goes to the school we went to I can say with MUCH relief that I am happy that most of the teachers that were there when I was there are retired. I often heard, "Are you going to be like your sister?" from many teachers remember when one of my sisters was at the school. She didn't do anything wrong, as a family we considered most of it was considered pretty funny stuff. But as the insecure, shy high school student that I was that statement mortified me beyond belief. I attempted to go out of my way in the other direction....whatever that was, and looked like a big goof.

Anyway, my point is, we need to keep the kids, and siblings in mind. All kids are all different, just like our Aspie's and because of that I admire parents with mulitple kids, I can barely keep my human boy and the kitty brothers straight...how in the world do they manage?

OH and totally unrelated, I hope you are all watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. It is produced by Ryan Seacrest and if you get a chance go on Twitter and tell Ryan how much you LOVE the show. It is amazing and if we can improve the diets of our kids the way of health will be clear.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The French Cooking Class

Last night was fabo for our son. My husband and I were beyond bored.

Last night was the first outside of school cooking class our son has ever taken. He was able to go to a "Julia Child 101" class and loved it. The food smelled GREAT, although my husband and I didn't have any of it. We roamed the halls and actually ran into my old band director (he isn't old, he retired) visited and then hung around waiting for the class to end. For the first class we were asked to be in the general vicinity in case it got to be too much for our son, we agreed, brought some stuff to do and sat around for the first 45 minutes or so. After that we got tired of just sitting there and started walking around the halls; found out about some things at school and noticed that our old neighbor's name was up on a wall at the school (EXCELLENT)

Our son, on the other hand, was enraptured with the cooking class. He pointed out that the instructor's chocolate was possibly burning (it wasn't, our son over reacted), and had some other comments to make that appeared to help during the class time. At least that was what we were told.

What I am getting at here is that our kids are WAY different at home than they are at school. In fact, my band director pointed that out to me. He was right. They are different, and that goes for the gen's as well as the Aspies and all the others. The man should know, he has worked with Aspies all of his career, whether he has realized it or not. As the parents of an Aspie, we can tell when a kid has been undiagnosed or just barely on the spectrum itself (we saw some and saw pictures of others). I am happy to say that after all my struggles in band, it was nice to see my director, and be able to give him a hug and ask how he is doing. But that is just a side point.

My son is different at home, he is bossy, uninhibited and sometimes a pain in the neck. Outside of the home, we have heard that he is sweet, helpful and thoughtful. (!!!) I don't believe they are talking about the same kid. Anyway, back to last night, our son loved the class, showed us the receipes and was excited about making some of them at home. Honestly, I might trust him with the chocolate cake, it sounded amazing but at that point he could have made anything and I would have eaten it. I was hungry and had a headache.

When my kid is in his element, the kitchen, or the gym, he is like all the other kids (otherwise known as the gen's). He knows where and how he is supposed to be; what to do, what is OK and what isn't. Finding these interests, or telling him what his interests are, is part of it. These kids can't find themselves without some GENERAL direction. We started early, when he was in 5th grade and got him interested in cookbooks. Then in sixth grade we were told he was big enough to become a wrestler, that was fine, works for us. Now he is into cooking and wrestling, track (new one this year) and would like to be in theater as a hobby. Loves to play games and go fishing. He started fishing when he was 5 and we went to the cabin, he used a stick, a saftey pin and some worms. Now he has 2 rods a box of tackle that would make a fisherman cry and stays down on the pier all day long (if we would let him).

But see, that is the point, WE directed him, slightly encouraged him and he is fishing, interested in cooking and has a career choice made out for him. He is a bright and engaging kid....just like yours.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Agreeing to Disagree.

What does  agreeing to disagree mean?
That we compromise and agree with everything?
Or does it mean that we are disagreeing because we are just dumb and don't know any better?
Or could it be the principle of the issue at hand?

Well, the the Asperger's world it means any number of things. It means my son needs to get over himself when he argues with me and thinks I am dumber than a brick. It means to step back and decide that a relationship is more valid than an obscure thought or principle. It also means that people who aren't smart enough to argue for themselves will then become angry and frustrated with what you are talking about.

Recently I have been feeling more than inadequate. Our financial planner got on my neck; told me I wasn't motivated enough to find a job, and that I am going to make my family suffer terribly if I don;t get back to work soon. The worst of it was, on the way home, my husband agreed with her. I wasn't able to speak to him for a while and it still bothers me that he kind of blames me for the stiuation we are in. I spent the evening looking at the same jobs that were up last year and applying for them again. I am tired of jumping through everyone else's blasted hoops.

While researching "what to do when you can't find a job", I then found this blog page. OMG. Penelope Trunk's page is everyone's dream. I wish I had the abilities that she has and the forsight to use them. She has this thing about how everyone lies about parenting and goes into the why's and wherefores of working women to support your kids. Some of it is true, Ok a lot of it is true. I loved working. It was like therapy to me. Being at home has been rather a boring existance for me. I am not a goer like some people are and to sign up for a bunch of stuff has just been a real hard thing for me to contend with. I keep wondering how I dealt with my son, his issues and still worked. Well, for one thing, MANY things that should have been contended with were ignored. Unless it affected EVERYTHING it didn't get dealt with on a regular basis.

Today I have been watching Susan Boyle's 2 versions of "I dreamed a dream." I am not sure why, or what I am thinking, but it seemed to make me feel slightly better. Maybe I need to expand more, or maybe just learn to be happy where I am: selling stuff on e-bay, blogging (and learning how to do it and do it right) and working on my book.

Agreeing to Disagree. That is where I am with our nightmare financial planner, my husband with this issue, and my son when I tell him "NO".

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thank you for being a friend....

Thank you for being a friend, Traveled down the road and back again, your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant, I'm not ashamed to say, I hope it always will stay this way, My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow, And if you threw a party, Invited everyone you knew, You would see, the biggest gift would be for me and the card attached would say, Thank you for being a friend - Andrew Gold

Friends, you can think of the ultimate friend TV shows like "Golden Girls", "Friends" or even "Boston Legal"; these shows have permeated society and told us how it should be. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is not. Now I am not saying we do not have any friends. Thank goodness, we have good ones that we just love to hang around with (you can tell I am from the Midwest, right?). We are lucky.


Our Aspie kids on the other hand struggle with friendships. Our son does not know what to do with a friend, and only one comes over here regularly. That is only because the mom and I call each other to make sure we can manage to schedule a time for them to get together. I rarely see or hear my son calling anyone to come hang out or go to a movie.

It would be great to have phalanxes of friends. However, are they friends or are they acquaintances? There is a difference, a big one between the term friend and acquaintances. There are relatives we are acquainted with and friends who may be closer than relatives may. It is messed up how this can be. What if you think a friend is merely an acquaintance but is really a friend and how do you fix the difference?

Well, you do not fix the difference, and it is OK to have close friends. Our society makes us think we have to have GOBS of friends to be happy, successful and popular. Our kids may or may not make the cut. Their social issues are not generally acceptable. Nor are their social abilities up to speed. In the mean time what does this mean? Well, in our case it means we go with Plan B. Plan A (Gobs of friends), well, that ain't working. Plan B is where we stay with the plan of focusing on his direction and where he is going and what he is going to do.

It is a common lament amongst Aspie families that our kids don't  have friends. To have friends one must BE a friend first, that means we are nice to people, polite, don't kick their pets or do harm to their home. It also means that there is little or no complaining about what people have in their homes and how they do things. It is hard to be a friend to people who are not friendly. Our son has finally gotten to the point where he is cutting people off if there is too much criticism. He is pretty much learning to let go of people who are negative towards him and that is hard because he wants to be friends with everyone no matter what. It is a real hard thing to watch him let go of people, places and things, but it is OK. He is now accepting that he may not have a ton of friends to go out with but will have to sign up and make up his own activities and choices. He needs to hang with people who have similar interests to him and since his interests are now so subject specific it gets more complicated. Joining clubs, signing up for sports and doing whatever, to meet people and make friends/acquaintances, learning FB that can help too.


Our best example is that for about 4 years now our son has been a wrestler. He started in 6th grade, none of it he did well and he struggled. One of the boys helped him, the kid is amazing and we were so happy when our son started cooperating with wrestling (it was the kid that helped him… he did it all). We never ever thought our son would do it or even get on the mat. I think he has won one match ever, and he tries his best. As his coach told me the other evening, "The boy would wrestle a grizzly bear if I told him to." We noticed this evening, at track and field, that he is finally being accepted by the other kids. After FOUR years, mind you. This has been planned, worked on and finally the kid is getting advice, working on his throwing and learning shot put (imagine throwing a canon ball) and discus (like throwing a weighted Frisbee). He supports his teammates and they support him. Our son threw 19ft tonight…pretty good for a freshman discus thrower who has only been doing it a couple of weeks.

This did not just happen overnight. IT has been ongoing and we have been trying for ages to get things happening. Our son has ACQUAINTANCES, and like his parents very few friends… people we enjoy and who understand us and we understand them. We got their backs…hopefully they have ours.
What I am getting at is that we don't need the TV show type of friends; we need to appreciate the ones we got and be happy that they let us be friends with them and we are hanging together and learning about this weird thing called living on the edge with Aspergers.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What's a Mom to do?

I found out today my son is texting girls. I am not happy about this. He doesn't know how to talk to girls or what to say. If I comment about what he is texting or make a suggestion I will be screamed at. SO I keep my big parental mouth shut. He thinks I am dumber than a brick and if I mention girls or anything he gets mad at me so I am just trying to not say anything but keep in mind that he is a little behind socially and needs to catch up. The smart way is to have my husband do it (mention the texting and what to say), but after driving all day yesterday (typical family holiday for us) he is exhausted. I will be taking my Mom to the doc tomorrow so I am already tired....which naturally doesn't excuse the fact that I am not dealing with the girl issue. It needs taken care of, but I have read all the texts and they really are lame. I would rather the boy text me, but that is just part of the learning curve. There is only so much my brain can handle and then I have to go read tripe and garbage to clear my head. What does any good Mom do? she heads straight for her kid's bookshelves and buries her brain in something ridiculous. I will tell you I miss the days of Harold and the Purple Crayon; that book is all over amazing.This is not the time for me to be reading Tony Atwood or something about what to do about blah blah blah.  This is the time to eat the granola, take an aspirin and go to bed. So what do I do? I am sitting up here writing and trying to retain my mellow.

Lately, I am finding it difficult to keep my cool and still tutor the boy in his classes. This has been the week he had to work ahead. No choice, we have stuff going on every evening and won't be home to study for his test. I would rather just work through it all with him and finish the entire unit...he won't cooperate. Frankly, I can't blame him but it is nice to be able to coast once in a while. Keeping him ahead makes things easier for us when we are tired after a long day in "paradise". It is not for the faint of heart, the arguing that ensues first is always a treat. After that was done, the relief that the work was done was plain.

On another note, today I went searching online for a website to tell me what to do about my lack of job and resources. Although I didn't find much, I did find Penelope Trunk's website (see prior post). Not only does it discuss that, it evaluates autism too. Normally, I would say, "OK she is so sucessful, why should I continue?" Well, the thing is, she is doing what a lot of people do and that is hiting a bunch of areas at the same time; and doing it amazingly well I might add. I absolutely love her blog and have signed up on her website.

What I am doing is different; I am talking about life with our kid (she is welcome to come try him out... we need a break) . Why do I have to explain this? Really, it is only because I am explaining it to myself and reminding myself that what I am trying to do has some value even if I don't make any money at it. For today it works, and is cheaper than therapy ;-)

Anyhow, absolutely none of this ties into anything, I am wiped out and tired...I was Mercutio tonight while reading Romeo and Juliet and although he died, the guy was related to the Prince of Verona in the play. Trying to get several good thoughts out of our son and coming up with quotes with him  out of the play is similar to pulling out all of your teeth through your ears without Novicane. Reliving HS and the subsequent homework is really tough when it is the second time around.

I need a nap.

Penelope Trunk

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/

YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS. She is amazing.

Getting ready for summer.

Are you ready? It is coming, yet it is only spring, barely the grass has risen.
Summer, what is summer to you? Our summer is a time of intense planning. We have classes to schedule, plans to make and decisions to make.

This summer our son could have been in Driver's Ed. We decided that he needed to take 2 credit classes instead as he needs to keep his study hall during the school year. This study hall is a real help to him, and is a good way to check in with his case manager during the day. He needs it. We decided that he would have to take an art class and a computers class this summer and then decide if he wanted to take a thing called ESY. I think he should take it but if there isn't a lot of time left then maybe it should be abandoned for the year... from what we gathered he doesn't really qualify for it anyway. That in itself was a shock to us. He is disabled but so high functioning that he doesn't qualify for things? What next? According to the National Insitute of Health people with Aspergers can, "With effective treatment, children with AS can learn to cope with their disabilities, but they may still find social situations and personal relationships challenging. Many adults with AS are able to work successfully in mainstream jobs, although they may continue to need encouragement and moral support to maintain an independent life." Cool, huh?

Having 3 or more days of undiluted boy is pretty wearing. We were exhausted after having him home constantly and working with him and training and all that. My mental facilities are at a low point my patience with the boy is minimal and I was happy to send him off to school today. Best place for him and all of us.

Today, I am encouraged. Today the sun is out, the day is clear and the lights are shining through. Today, it is a good day. There are no guareentees for tomorrow, or the rest of the week. But for today, we are ready to bring on the summer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Perspective

This isn't necessarily about Austism. This one is just about life, or at least life from my point of view. You may not like it or agree with it but it is kind of where I am here, now and today.

I will say this, life with a child on the spectrum is different. My spirit is heavy many times with oddball concerns, thoughts and the inevitable, "Oh My Gosh's". I don't expect anyone to really understand that part; you have to live it to know it.

Today, I was duly informed by my financial planner that I am unmotivated. I was informed that I do not want a new job bad enough to sit in a strange office for an entire day and making them sick of me being there. I was also informed that I am a slob, and that I don't try hard enough at home. In the last 48 hours I have had to figure out how to get carnivores to eat green beans (they need more fiber), how to get this Easter holiday to include my Mom, and how to get my son off his fat butt and work on his homework so that he is ahead this week prior to his first professional cooking class.

I think I felt even better, when on the drive home, my husband informed me that I am not doing anything, I have a number of things 1/2 started and nothing finished. Oddly enough, I have been waiting for him at least 3 months to read my book and he now told me that he won't be able to edit it because it makes him sad.

I FLIPPING GIVE UP!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What about thinkening our skin?

I meant that metaphoically by the way.

This evening, we should have been insulted. Really, we should have.

We weren't though.

The instructor of our son's class mentioned to our son, " Dude, your parents aren't going to run for you or with you. You need to do it on your own." The words themselves were not insulting, per se. The tone, well, if you are a young and cocky kid, then yes they were insulting to seasoned parents like us.

Once again we were at class, this is a class we are proud of. We really like it. It is wonderful. Our son is too old for it. He is discouraged, but loves to go. He can't throw a ball, although my husband and I are not out there tossing it around with him. Should we be? Um, yeah probably. Will we be? Debateable at best.

What started the quasi- insulting comment was something the instructor didn't know anything about; we had been running around "hither and yon" all afternoon. My husband and I were wiped out. We had run about all afternoon, making changes to our life that we didn't think we need to be concerned about and then working like maniacs to get all the changes in place. ICKO. Then our son had a doc app't for his gut issues and we had to go to that, never dreaming that we would make it in time for class. Naturally we did make it. So our son was out there with the other class members running, working out and playing football. This is after 2 hours of practice this afternoon, and a doc appt, then another hour of working out...kid collapsed on the bed and was out by 10. It was great and just what he needed.

People believe we work him too hard. We are working hard now so we can not have to work so hard later. Does that make sense? Hope so. We figure if we work him hard and make him USED to busting his butt he will bust his butt all the time and we won't have to do it for him later. Yet again another example of that unpopular term "training". We are all over this kids butt, he has to work out, do his homework, this weekend he is working ahead because he has a bunch of stuff going on next week and we won't tell him anything about it until Sunday.

He has a test to study for, a paper to work on and a book to read. We will get it done this weekend if we can and we can coast for at least part of the week as far as the homework is concerned. Teachers hate that, but if they did our schedule, they would see the advantage of it too.

Believe me, we are not popular in our opinions. Many think we try too hard to make our son do what he needs to do. It is hard, we are tired and would be happy to just take a break. Unfortuately, it doesn't work that way. He needs to bust his butt (normally I use another term, but I am thinking this is a family show) to get where he needs to be. This kid puts in 10x the effort of the smartest kid in his class, he works harder, tries harder and lives harder than anyone I know.

The expectations are high....kind of like the old song, High Hopes (not exactly what I was thinking but will have to do for now). Set the bar and the boy will run or jump to meet it. Let's see how high we can go.