Friday, September 30, 2011

Lack of Common Sense

I think because we are suffering from depression these days I am harder on the boy because of his lack of common sense.

THere are some phrases that I know I have used recently that I'm not proud of but they are used more out of frustration than anything else.

It is dumb to be annoyed at him for loosing a hoodie. But I am annoyed. I repeatedly asked him to put his NAME in his jacket and he didn't. I know, I should have but when I am dead am I going to be doing that for him? NO probably not unless I come back from grave and have use of a marker.

Maybe it is the fact that I KNOW he is not a moron. He just acts like one periodically. It isn't his fault. I know the cuter half and I have little or no patience. Good Grief, the cuter one told me a story about a guy and his dog and the perfect day for the dog before the dog died and I cried like a baby. We definitely have depression issues around here.

Not bad, but enough that we are aware of it....and recognize that we both need ot work on it.

The thing is, between the boy, the incident at school (he got a kid to stop taking pictures of a girl who had asked the kid to stop doing it- and got a detention), my Mom's thing, then getting some long overdue advice, Then getting some other news about the coming week....good night no wonder we are depressed.

We are trying to go to some places just to get away......make things we enjoy and then try to do things that are fun. Although, maybe not right this minute. We are tired. There is something to be said for moral support...and although we have some we don't have a whole bunch right now or at least it doesn't feel like it. I really think that maybe these feelings are because we are long overdue to go away for a weekend. The last time we did was in Feburary and I know, we were on a vacation.....tutoring the boy and getting through school is hugely draining on us. You don't know what it is like until you do it....and although it sounds like fun, most of the time it isn't. IT feels like every time we turn around we are getting into an "object lesson" for the boy or we are working him through some process to get him to do something or listen to someone about "x-y-z"

Sometimes it feels like we have shot ourselves in the foot.

Then other times we remember the weekend we went to see an exhibit that I really wanted to see and we took the boy to a Presidential Museum and he ended up having to see an exhibit on dresses from the 1970's....Funny to the cuter one and I but not so funny to the boy. Or the time we were staying down town and we discovered that our hotel room had two bathrooms....good night you would have thought we were at the Taj Mahal. NOW that was exciting...the cuter half and I didn't have to share with the boy.....and we could take our time in the bathroom with a lovely room and nice bar for dinner. Fun!!


Maybe when it comes down to it....its the little stuff that means so much. The kind words, the encouragement, or the just being polite. Not that we always are....a month behind on thank you cards but we will get them done.....maybe when the power goes out again but it will still happen.
But lately the cuter half tells me that I should only be writing about how wonderful Master Bert is and if I am not doing so I should not be writing at all.....I digress. As parents of an Aspie teen kind words from him are few and far between. the boy is kind when he wants something or is making some kind of demand on our resouces, time or thoughts. There isn't a whole bunch of kindess after his mini-meltdown over having to study for a test on Monday. There isn't a whole bunch of patience either.

Maybe the cuter one and I are depressed becuase we don't KNOW what the boy can do. We HOPE he can do any number of things but we don;t KNOW that he really can do it or handle it.Whether we like it or not....if he moved out now he would be up for horder of the year......can't even walk in his bedroom right now- house rules are " close your door: I don't want to look at that mess."


maybe he's right. I wonder what a blog about the glories of Master Bert would start people thinking? Or at least give me a break and the cuter half some awesome story ideas.....hmmmmmmm

Thursday, September 29, 2011

We are tired

There is something to be said for being tired.
Most of the time we are so busy we don't know we are tired. Last night we met a new person and gave him a rundown of what has gone on with us. From the therapy almost every night of the week, to the cuter half working obscene hours as a manager.....and we are better off now with less money but more family time.

Talking about all of that made me tired. I think that most people don't realize the amount of effort we put into having a kid like ours. He is very high maintenance.....and we are working very hard to make certain he is an effective person in society and not a drain on the resources.

It ain't easy.

Sometimes I read about things, or comments people make/made and I realize that we are kind of in the dark ages. Most of the time, those people have no idea what they are saying, what things are like or what is really going on. It is hard to read, but it is good for me to read it....it makes me re-evaluate what I am writing about and why I am doing it.

I am doing the right thing. Although my readership is comparatively small to most, it  is something that people need to read about. Most of us parents, or should I say parents in our situation, don't have the energy to post what we really think. Since the cuter half and I decided this was something that needed done....well I make myself have the energy.

This has been a tiring week: we started off with what I will call the "big coverup" that was a BIG shock to the cuter half and I, to then deciding how to set things up financially for the future, to getting the boy into the orthodontist. Then helping my Mom with her stuff....which needed done and she is fine.
We are so worn out.
On another note, I had been told that the Mom thing is "my job". Well if it were my job I would be getting paid and I don't get paid so it is what I do because I am a good daughter. Besides, I like hanging out with my Mom, she is a hoot.SO for the person that said that, "No I haven't forgotten it and you are not worthy of further response." (bothers me still that someone would be so ignorant as to mention it....I am not their personal house-elf)

Anyway, this whole thing with running around....we have more to do and it isn't the end of the week yet. I think we know the direction we are going with things, and we are almost comfortable with that, but we are in a state of flux....there is so much to consider when planning out things. It is kind of scary but completely necessary.

 In other news: I am happy to report that my assistant editor, Garfy, is back at his post on the printer. His ability to print what does not need to be printed is legendary. His kitty-hugs are a constant source of comfort when I am worn out, tired or just cranky. The new talent of purring has increased Garfy's viability and he is definitely a literary kitty giant. His posing in a box of "Cuties" is his statement on how absolutely adorable he really is.







Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making Applesauce

Making applesauce is kind of like making mush.


We did it as a family this year. Although in the past it has been just me doing it. This year I had help. The boy chopped, used the corer thing and got rid of bad spots. His abilities got better as time went on....but the corer thing was a challenge but fun to use. Fortunately we have 2.



I read in the paper today about an Aspie that is in prison. He was sending threatening messages to an ex-girlfriend and it sounds like some other people his parents included.

I got upset after reading it. I cried, not only for the kid who it doesn't sound like had appropriate guidance, but for the parents.....who may or may not have understood that the choices they had offered may or may not be appropriate for someone with Aspergers. Frankly, from my viewpoint I doubt I would let the boy move that far away with out one or both of us going with him. There are better schools that have supports and that have them in place if they actually know about what is going on.

The article in the paper scared me. The worst of it is, this is how people see ALL the kids. Portential criminals in the making and the parents aide and abet them. We are seeing it at the school level too. Why have goals and expectations for these kids they are all loosers.... none of them will do well and all they will do is waste our taxpayer dollars in education....naturally they would never say that but as a parent of a kid like ours we can tell they are thinking it.

God, fighting an uphill battle with these people. Our son is very good. He has morals, and he has direction....but then an article in the paper about a kid on the spectrum who eats with his fingers and is in prison. Thanks alot....that's helpful.

Why can't someone write about us? Normal (ok our normal) with a kid who does well, and uses the damn utensils and isn't going to go to jail? He may not be doing EVERYTHING right but by God he does do a lot right.....and what makes the front page of the paper, "Hey look an other Aspie goes to jail and is completely off the bend."

Nice thing to read on a lovely Sunday morning...All I want to do right now is crawl under the bed and hide. I wonder if Trouble left any room for me.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Smile

Today's post is going to be a song. Charlie Chaplin wrote it and it seems to be appropriate for how the Mom of the house is feeling right now about a number of things.
Hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Using technology

The use of technology at schools is increasing.

The use of technology at the school we are in, well isn't. We have tried to get our son to use his assigned technology for school things- worksheets, papers. The big problem is that the teachers aren't digging it (except for science and history). Using google docs is kind of like getting into a foreign language. When we try to explain the use of it...well it doesn't happen.

Right now the boy is mad at me. I asked his social worker and case manager WHAT he was using the current technology for? Is it writing papers? what is going on with it? What classes are using it? Well whatever they said to him he has absolutely flipped a cork. He would be better off with a laptop but then we are back at the use of technology again. Would he use it for the school items? probably, he wrote almost all of his papers on it his first year.
He is a mess: the joy of Aspie hormones.  Oh and according to the boy: they told him it was my fault...nice. I got yelled at for the better part of an hour. I am now avoiding contact and trying to stay away from getting yelled at some more.....
I even did the unorthodox and recomended that he download a free book program and look at free textbooks (I got yelled at about that one too).

If they could only use technology in a classroom or use a white board or whatever they have spent $$ on instead the worksheets are on paper, with uneditable PDF's (although we are taxpayers so it must be our fault).

The kid is having a cow......walked out of here madder than a wet hen, Unfortunately I can't reach anyone to tell them he is pissed off. Why should I? he is mad at me anyway and very angry....I left work early to take him to his thing and he was so mad at me he left and refused the ride. Off he walked....hope he has a good practice.

The thing is, some of what they did isn't very helpful. I got upset about a conference call this week and for some obtuse reason none of them can understand why. Generally when there hasn't been full disclosure it is a little hard for me to accept being blindsided by obscure comments. Naturally, this is all our fault as well....our son has aspergers you know and we can't expect those kids to do things like other kids do. Oddly enough, I haven't been the one saying that....but other people have strongly given us that impression. Again we go back to expectations and on a general societal level expectations are at a minimum. Wonder what Edison's Mom said to that?

Oh that's right, I forgot....most people don't have expectations of kids on the spectrum. They are not normal society so these kids are not expected to do things the way others should. Oh, yes that right, it is the parents fault.

Forgot about that part. How silly of me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Great titles

I really have to start writing my blog titles down when I think of them.
Here I am, ready to write and can't think of a single decent title.

There are several issues at play. One in particular I can't discuss yet....still too fresh and I am extremely hurt.....those are the ones it takes a while for me to process and talk about. The cuter half is much more eloquent; he can at least write about it and talk to the people that need to know. All I can do is cower and try to recuperate in the background.

The others are pretty basic.
Right now we are excited about one of the boys classes. He gets to do an extra credit report about a modern farm....so interesting and we are really excited about using the information he got when we were there last weekend....I know, a report for a kid excites the family but when you talk to the people that live there it is way cool.

Sometimes a glass of wine helps at dinner too. Tonight we had a very late dinner for us. We were doing stuff and the boy had a question about Thomas Jefferson and well one thing lead to another and we were finally eating dinner around 7:30. That's late even on a meet night. I guess all my rambling is to diffuse a very distressing issue. Actually I am trying not to think about it. I know I need to but I also need some space.....and when it becomes all encompassing then it is too much.

Right now, I need documentation. On everything. On whatever anyone tells me regarding the boy you damn well better have paperwork signed and notorized to back your sorry butt up.

Oh an writen apology would work wonders too- just saying.

Monday, September 19, 2011

That's a crap answer!

Language Warning- for those more delicate readers be warned.
___________________________________________________________________________________

There are times when people give you crap answers.
As a parent of a kid on the spectrum it is not a comfortable place to be. Generally speaking it isn't necessarily polite to tell someone, "Dudes, that is a b________ answer and you know it." Most of the time it is much more gentle to say "crap". Although I am known for any number of things, being delicate is not one of them.

I never used to call teachers or admins on what I thought were crappy answers. I used to let it slide. It would fester and then I would get upset or really angry....have a couple sleepless nights and cry a lot.
Not so any longer. I am really blunt. It can be intimidating, but I am not going to listen to crap answers. Especially when they know it is a crap answer and as I usually say, "My Daddy didn't raise no stupid daughter." Another favorite of mine is, "Thank you, but I didn't run through the stupid forest and hit every tree twice." So much for crap answers......

The last year or so has taught me a couple of things:
1. Keeping secrets is crap.
2. Bullying acceptance is crap.
3. Dealing with bullies is a full time difficult job and those covering up for them are crap.

(FYI- My long term friend is a medical professional and they tell me that crap really stinks)

All 3 levels of crap have been dealt with at the educational level and personal level by the cuter half and I in the last year.

Recently I blogged about bullies. Those of you who know are aware that the boy has/had been bullied by the same kid for about 5+ years. We have contacted the school and authorities at almost every instance.

Dealing with a bully really sucks. It is very wearing (that is what they are hoping for). The boy is already in bed this evening because he was so concerned about the bully issue he didn't sleep last night. Which means as a mom I was up most of the night with him.

The answer I received today was: it was a passing period, the bully was escorted by a teacher and it was 15 sec or less in the classroom. Then the kid couldn't find what he was looking for? Get out of here, he found what he was looking for....he found his favorite target and will be planning to come back again for a little more torture. I regarded it as a poor answer (polite for "crap" answer)

To me, as a parent of the victim, well, it's a crap answer. I told 3 people reporting what "happened" what I thought, and yes I did use the b-word. Maybe that wasn't "Christian" of me but you know what, it was honest. Passing in the halls may be one thing; stalking in a classroom is totally another story. This bullying garbage is something I will not tolerate from this family or anyone else.

We have never claimed to be the paragon of virtue, or even of parenthood. as the Mom of the house, I blow it and make mistakes all the time.  As such, I will say when I am wrong and if I were wrong in this case I would have immediately said that I misunderstood and apologize. Guess what? I wasn't wrong and this whole deal is going to be taken care of ASAP. The boy is learning to avoid and cope with that avoidance. He will have to work out and deal with these issues and maybe that means MORE gym time and more running on the treadmill but it will be dealt with effectively and on the boy's terms.

Although, this isn't a mistake, we made the boy pay for damages he inflicted on the car. It is an older vehicle; he broke the automatic window......over the bully that scared him (slammed the door too hard- note the door was already broken this clinched it). The boy will learn that inflicting his emotions on someone or something is NOT acceptable. We can accept his fear but we will still make him pay for the damage to the car window. He paid it this afternoon-gave me the money; I cried after he did it. It took me 45 min to be able to leave the bedroom. I felt so bad, but he HAS to learn that breaking the window thingy doesn't come free.

Give a family like ours "crap" answers is kind of like the circus bears story the cuter half told in another post.....Don't give us crap. We have enough of it to deal with on our own.

Just so you know- there is enough kitten crap here to fill up all the other crap you want to dump on us....let us know when to bring it over and we will be happy to share.




Sunday, September 18, 2011

Expectations

There are times when our expectations are pretty high.

We have been told by some other parents that our expectations are much to high. If you really think about it though....they aren't unreasonably high. We expect that our son will be able to live on his own with minimal support. We expect that our son will be able to hold a job or possibly run his own business.

At this point we have one regret. That he has to live with the label. Most people never had to live with a label....jokingly we will tell people that everyone has some form of autism. It is kind of like having a stick of chewing gum or a piece of chocolate. Choosing, as we did, to do things differently from most parents,  is kind of like going with the line, "Life is like a box of chocolates", and although I despise the Forrest Gump allusion...it is apt. You never know which one is which until you pick your chocolate. That and you never know if you are gonna get the chocolate nougat or the Oreo cream and depending who you are depends on if you like it or not. Choosing us, as God picked me, and the cuter half, to have the kid we have. We were chosen. Not anyone else and certainly not the so-and-sos. Maybe that is half the problem....being chosen means that we have to work harder, try more and do more than most parents. Although many of them don't know WHAT they are missing, they aren't getting the fulfillment that we have because we got PICKED. Other’s don’t get picked…maybe getting chosen without being asked is all the difference in the world

But everyone has autism. Everyone in some form or another gets chosen. Our son has the label. Back in the day people had it but there was no label....or the label was different and the kids were expected to fit in the best way they could....it was harder.....but maybe not. Maybe it was harder to teach the kids but in the long term the highest functioning kids did better off being expected to maintain and stay with the kids in the classroom and be forced to sit in a chair.
Like the boy was at N. He had to sit int he chair or go to the ALS site. WE all learned a lot about ALS; I didn't know what it was at first. I was GLAD to not know what it was....I didn't WANT to know what it was. I knew the boy spent most of his time there at the beginning of school at W. I was OK with that. He got bored enough being in ALS that he decided going to the classroom was better than being stuck there. THAT was when he learned to sit in a chair in class during the day.

Like kids on the spectrum: Gen People get stuck on their own things, like horses, dolls, shoes, cars, homes, money, greed, power; you name it.

Our kids get just as stuck a little more often and may be harder to unstick. For example, our son's interests have changed over the years. He liked trains, then cars, then boats, then fishing (still likes that) then.....well you get the picture. Slowly his interests are catching up to his peers. It is taking him longer...largely because of the language delay he had when he was younger. But the one thing that has stayed was the coooking. He loves to cook....he loves to eat and he is now doing great with the cooking end of things.....it will get better and he will be a chef somewhere...

It is our expectations that have created the interest changes though. we never allowed him to get stuck permanently. Over time, the cuter one and I have expected the boy to change and have encoraged the alterations. For example, today we needed a simple recipe for refrigerator pickles. He went to his "library" of cookbooks and started looking. He and I decided to look online and see what was there....we found one, and although it looked simple it was pretty time consuming. We made some basic changes to the second one we did and then decided to try mini pickles with tarragon.

I know to you that seems boring and lame. Well to us it isn't. the boy took a recipe, changed it and was willing to experiment with the outcome. That is cool. He felt secure enough in our encouragement....and the fact that the only thing we had for one of his recipes was tarragon that we are trying garlic tarragon mini pickles. Being comfortable in his own skin means that he can and will experiment. Just like his hero Mario Butali; trying new things giving it a shot...what is there to loose (pickles that we got for free to see what works for them). But Mario tries new stuff and is secure enough to give vegetables a chance....pretty impressive.

As parents of kids on the spectrum if we don't expect we don't get. that means we have to work harder and push the kids more. We are tough....and although there are people who will be doing the line dance and toga when the boy graduates there will be a gladness for them. They will KNOW he is all he can be and will be more because his parents have expectations. The boy will work to the highest expectation available. He will not go higher than that.

Frankly, the cuter half and I have been discussing a couple of things. Really our son leaving the N district meant that academically he has been less but School wise he is given more opportunities. For example when he left N he was at a Jr in HS reading level. When he graduated from gen middle school he was at 4-5th grade. HE DROPPED a good 4-5 years. OMG in a gen school the boy's rate of learning had DROPPED- how did that happen. Once the cuter one and I realized that there were negative academic changes we decided to push. We push him hard. We push the teachers hard....we aren't shy and we certainly don't have the demure thing down....think the cuter one and the sledgehammer wife.....that is about as subtle as we get.

The boy doesn't like being pushed (who does?) and there are times when we will argue with him. There are also times when we will unhook the cable, take away the video games and loose the TV outlets.....
IT is called having expectations and although it would be nicer for us to have a drink, relax and not worry about it....we would not be as stressed out, not have spent as much $$ on therapy and not had to explain the details to the boy. But then we would be different people, and as such maybe we wouldn't have been the people to be banished from one location or maybe we would be so laid back we could float.....

The thing is, once we stop having expectations is when we have to save up to build a basement. The boy would have to live somewhere and as I tell people now, he can't live in our basement, we don't have one.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Bullies part 2

We know a bully.
We have dealt with a bully.
We are no longer patient with this particular bully.

This is a bully who has threatened to harm our son, ourselves, our home, our cars our cats (taking them out to murder and skin the cats was my favorite).
This bully is a child whose whacked up hippy parents tell us "Our son would never do that." Whatever. These are parents who have bullied other parents and have wreaked havoc within our small special ed community. They are a nightmare. Their son is worse. The difference is now, I call them on it and I have little or no patience with their garbage. Hippy purile nonsense.

This bully threatened out son again. Not with words, but with actions. Our son is terrified. We have had to walk around the house with him lock all the windows, doors and then check the cars and lock those windows too. Yet this bully is allowed to continually harrass our son after it has been reported to the school. NO MORE.

I was bullied as a kid and I will tell you I never filed a report and neither did my parents. I was assalted too. I had a broken finger afterwards and it never did heal correctly. My son will not suffer as I did.
I will put up with a lot of crap. I will not tolerate a bully. ANY Bully.

I don't care if this bully was in the classroom for less than 5 min. This kid is to be kept away from my son no matter what.

Monday will be here soon and there will be much to discuss.

I know a bully and it will stay away from me, the cuter half, my son and my home.


ORganization

We need to organize.
The boy still needs to organize his stuff, put the new things away and write thank you notes. We are a tad slow.
We had this party....it was pretty large, for us. It went really well. At least that is what we think, we have had some reviews and the two big reviews were newbies; that are so nice....they had never been to one of our yard parties before so it was a new thing for them. Our yard or garden parties are just that....in the yard. we use our patio and we try to decorate outside (it is automatically decorated outside with flowers)....food is a given and because we decided to celebrate a lot we had to organize WHAT we were celebrating, when we did it and how it went.



Going back to my nerves about having parties in the first place, I suppose. A good friend brought muffins (thanks for that, they were great) another came a looonngg way with ALL of her kids and the one fixed out computer (YEA) and we saw family, friends and just enjoyed everything. I saw another good friend, my second mama and we got to hang with family.....and RELAX.

Ergo the need to write thank you notes.

THe thing is, we have been swamped since the party.....almost constant activities, the boy had club and a serve and some other stuff going on. Meetings, doc appointments....stuff like that.
Oddly enough we had a cancellation last night....I was doing the happy dance. We got to stay home....and realize our neighbors (?) have a skunk....or maybe it is us....who knows.

All of this stuff requires ORGANIZATION. I am encoraging the boy to use his Rush system....when it is USED right it does work....but he tells me that he is lazy. TOUGH BEANERS. Right now we are on a system where he earns points (like an allowance) for doing everything right....after a certain # of points he can cash them in for $$ for something he is saving for.....hopefully we can be consistent enough to keep it going.....it is hard for us we try but sometimes life gets in the way and we have to go back to being inconsistent and try again later (drives us nuts).

The cuter half went through a BIG pile of stuff that had collected. We found things we needed to save from 5+ years ago and receipts we needed to save and other stuff. OMG. and we still need to organize even more with all the evaluations, IEP stuff and get everything in one place. We really need a new filing system the one we have is working but even now it is hard to get to and maintain.

Organization is being learned and re-learned.

Even with that, we still had a great party....


And we are happy to say that the pictures look like it really was good enough for a planned family event. I would post more...but they have people in them and I don't have permission for use.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Functioning concerns

Did you know that the resources for a higher functioning Aspie are pretty darn limited? Since we don't think there would be many people to check up on the boy if anything happened to us we have been looking at options.

To put it bluntly; there are not many.

I have to call to get put on lists and pray that they would be able to help him function if the cuter half and I weren't around. We have to teach him details and everything. Fortunately some of the classes he has been taking will help him. IT would be nice to feel like we had more than a couple of people to help him if necessary. Neither of us see that happening though. That, to us, is sad.  After last summer his trust level is pretty low.

Kids like ours get taken advantage of, stolen from, and that is just the begining. Looking at setting things up to protect the boy is time consuming and expensive and worth it.

We are fortunate that he is able to function as well as he does. Now to get the rest of it in place so we can sleep at night.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NEw docs

For the first time in YEARs we are going to meet up with a new doc.

This isn't just go in and make an appointment and rock on wiht information. This is GO IN, have the prior evaluations, IEP, medical recommendations, work study reports, sports notes and if necessary information from teachers, administrators and any other person that you have hired to check out your kid.

Going to a new doc is like going to the dentist getting ALL your teeth pulled out and not having novicane.

It is that much fun. Maybe that is why we haven't gone to ANY new docs in 10 years. We have kept contact with all the ones we started with....I had to dig out ALL the information on the boy since the dawn of evaluations. Total pain in the poop.

I have the papers, I have the evals, I have the binder. They aren't in the binder. Where did they go. Oh that's right we used them for this other thing and they got put here. Now for the latest IEP. I looked all over the office....and although the office is kind of a pit, we can actually find things if we are tired or drunk enough to remember where we put it (KIDDING).

I finally wimped out and asked the boy's case manager for a copy. So we have two, when I find the first one...it is here I am just NOT going thru a pile of crapola to figure it out and there is NO PLACE to put it all and no room to store it.

Another reason NOT to "doc hop". Why keep everything on hand and available? We NEVER thought we would look at another eval again. Why should we? Been there done that, wrote the book. Besides we have been to Dr. Day-late-dollar-short", Dr Dope, and several others that did evals that were totally off the mark, WE have others that are better and although I wasn't HAPPY with the doc (he lied to me about another issue) the eval was pretty much spot on. The current group of docs that we have are amazing. We like them as people and almost pretend they are family. We hear from them a little more than we have from some of our family.

Besides Doc's hate it when you "doc hop", It means that there is a lack of continutiy in the care and unless the doc is totally a brainless wonder/scratch that a commonsenseless wonder....there may not be a real need to make a change. We rarely do.

But we are going to see a new one. Although HIGHLY recommended I am not enthusastic. I am a little suspicious. Our prior experiences with social workers and such is pretty tenuous at best. When the boy was younger I used to ask them if they lived in the real world or lala land when they would tell me to "Use a card to tell the boy to "stop"' Pretty lame. We will give this new one a shot....I feel sorry for her (in a sick and demented way) because she is dealing with jaded parents who have done this a time or two and pretty much we have exhausted the resources here.....

I know, social workers are people too. I have yet to meet one in the private field that is able to speak "parent of a child on the spectrum" The cuter half has more faith than I do. I am much more sceptical. Seriously, the ones on TV look like they came off the "Hippie Show" or something. What is up with that? I don't mind the jeans, or the bed head hair; I do mind the "let's show how we can do this project" and then later encouraging the boy to practically fail because doing classwork isn't working for him (hello?). OR discussions about "team parenting" without knowing which parent you are speaking to.....that is another classic. My fav is the ones who call the boy by another boy's name....those I usually refuse to pay....they are working for someone else....because I don't know a boyin my house with that name.

IT has been a long day. I am tired....time for all good Mommies to go to bed.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

I am ashamed

Taken down per the cuter half.

I will re post this item eventually. Not certain as to when though. I thought this was particularly well written.

Keep checking and one day it will be back.

Let's try this version:

I wonder how many people have thought that.
Recently, I was told that someone was ashamed of me and what I thought generally speaking it should all be kept secret and instantly I thought of Penelope Trunk's "Keeping things secret in a family means that they can treat you like shit" ....Largely this person is ashamed of me because I just say it and write about life and am pretty darn up front. Oddly enough, my being up front is not by choice. I would rather keep my thoughts to myself and do my thing quietly without a lot of fuss or fanfare. However, telling it like it is on this blog is a commitment I made, the cuter half supports it and the boy tolerates it but doesn’t like it much.
The ironic thing is, the person that is saying they are ashamed of me little realizes how their prior behavior had affected others.

I know for myself I am very ashamed of that person.  
In the course of my life, I have had people regularly walk up to me and say, "Oh thank God you are nothing like so-and-so." When you are a kid or an adult; how embarrassing is that? Or the times in high school when your parents would say, "So-and-so did x-y-z if you ever get caught you are in big trouble." "No you can't go out after practice, so-and-so did x-y-z and you might do the same thing! “WHAT?? Doing whatever it was NEVER crossed my mind (I wanted to go get a pop or a hamburger at McDonald's not do that whatever it was I wasn’t quite certain)...Or walking out the door for practice....and all I am doing is going out the door for practice (sorry partner, our duet is gonna suck I couldn’t come and practice with you): I wasn't doing anything I should not....but because of one poor experience (or more) with another person; I didn't argue I went along with it (wasn't worth fighting over). Good grief....or my new favorite is someone else who told me about tag team bullying with others that so-and-so did...my goodness. I have a lot to live down from this other person....and that makes me ashamed of them. Unfortunately, I didn't do it...it wasn't me; I've borne the brunt of so-and-so's poor behavior for a good part of my life and I think did so pretty darn gracefully. Actually, I have gone out of my way to do the opposite of what so-and-so did/does; figuring largely that if I did, I might actually get it right. Generally speaking, most of the time it was felt an apology was necessary to someone that told me about whatever it was that so-and-so did; I apologized. The apology was for what exactly? For something I did not do; for something someone else did. That is so....what's the word....unfair (oh that's right, life is unfair).
Likewise, the boy is dealing with his own thing right now...we had a lovely party the other day; he spent most of his time in almost a state of panic. He was so worried about what some other people would think of his stuff and what he was allowed to do he got himself to the point where he wasn't able to function or able to help much at all. It was with relief when his other friend came over and she calmed him enough that he was finally calm enough to help entertain some new people and some kids he had met YEARS ago. His concerns were unfounded; the people in question were unable to attend. He needs to realize that meeting up to someone’s standards (who generally are never satisfied with him anyway) is really not worth it. Fortunately, he did better with take down of the party. But the thing is he was worried about his stuff or his interests NOT being up to snuff with other people.

Kind of like with his mom.....I have tried for years to be the way other people want and I am just not trying any more. (I keep going back to ‘Hope Floats’, “Birdie you used to be so pleasing”) I have absolutely wonderful people who are around me all the time and those are the people that I am working on being "pleasing" for.


The rest of the critics (or the so-and-so’s) I am either leaving behind or just plain ignoring. Those are the people who are never satisfied with me as a person or the life the cuter one and I have decided to lead anyway so why bother. Like with arguing with my parents about attending a duet practice in high school; why should I argue, fuss, and fight over something like this that is so unnecessary? Not worth the fight; since the thing that requires change on our part is ever adjusting and never quite seems to be the same thing each time (whatever). Sometimes the changes or the actions we are told are necessary are so off the wall….we just shake our heads, deal with months of fall out afterwards and are more willing to do what we are doing now so we don’t have to deal with supposed necessity alterations. Kind of like what a friend of mine said the other day, setting personal boundaries can create a crisis for the other person.

We have other more important things on our plate. The cuter one and I have things with the boy to think about and the future of what the boy is doing and what needs done. Thinking about what self-imposed critics want is just not in the big picture.

As for the boy: his saving grace is that he is polite. He is extremely nice; and that helps. He tries hard, and that is good.....for him and what he wants to do. He needs to learn that being he is all he needs to be. Working on HIS stuff is what is important. Worrying about other people's satisfaction with those things or his interests, well, is second rate (or not ratable at all). He can keep other’s concerns in mind but those that criticize him for who and what he is….that is the part he needs to learn to ignore

Choosing, as I did, to do things differently is kind of like going with the line, "Life is like a box of chocolates", and although I despise the Forrest Gump allusion...it is apt. You never know which one is which until you pick your chocolate. That and you never know if you are gonna get the chocolate nougat or the Oreo cream and depending who you are depends on if you like it or not.

Choosing us, as God picked me, and the cuter half, to have the kid we have. We were chosen. Not anyone else and certainly not the so-and-sos. Maybe that is half the problem....being chosen means that we have to work harder, try more and do more than most parents. Although many of them don't know WHAT they are missing, they aren't getting the fulfillment that we have because we got PICKED by God to have the kid that we have. Others haven’t gotten picked to do what we are doing…and maybe getting picked is all the difference in the world.

As for our chocolate choice, I think we picked the trinidad with the white chocolate, toasted coconut on the outside and dark chocolate cream within. JACKPOT!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

General Recommendation:

As a gen.; if you think you want to criticize, families dealing with their kid on the autism spectrum do not do it. These families normally have a lot on their plates. Listening to someone, that a parent of a child with Autism thinks is uneducated on the Autism or Aspergers issues, is kind of like listening to a belching cow. Nobody really gets anything out of it, except for the cow.



I thought this bore mentioning really because I was re-reading some past comments and it is apparent that there are a number of people who make comments without truly understanding the issues that parents of kids like ours have to deal with....they may not LIKE how we do things but until they have learned what we have to do and how we have to do it....maybe thinking about dealing with this daily issues is something they have never learned. Don't know....

This is one of my favorite passages from the book I have written and I hope you enjoy it too.
Have a great middle of the week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quote of the day

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.
Euripides
This appears to be especially appropriate....

Flexibilities inflexibility

Our thing, besides being motivated, is being flexible. The boy...well he is into being flexible when it is something he wants to do. This appears to be pretty typical of many teenage kids but it makes me wonder how many are forced to do stuff they don't want to do.
Yesterday some good friends had a great party. We went. It was a long drive. The boy's first desire was to stay home. The cuter one and I decided that he needed to go with us. So he did. Complaining about being bored, but looking out the window and checking out the location of where we were. We got there and he was not wanting to play with the littler kids, being the oldest kid there was fine for him. He was generously loaned some books to read and read almost the entire time.
He enjoyed the brats, the guacamole, the brownies and the books.....the cuter half and I are still on his "poopy list" for making him go and not letting him stay home and play video games.

The thing is, we MADE him do something he didn't want to do. Unlike a lot of people we have been doing this for a LONG time. The cuter one and I remember being MADE to do things by our parents. Stuff we thought was dumb, boring or just plain icky. We have decided that doing stuff we don't like to do is healthy. Same with the boy. He has to do stuff to be able to enjoy what happens (reading cool books from the host of the party we made him go to). IT is a good thing....and I think if more parents MADE their kids do stuff the icky stuff might not seem so bad.

I've mentioned this before, my parents made me go to the retirement home to see my grandma, it was scary for me. I was shy and my parents told me I had to talk to these people when I would have rather hid out in the car. Hiding in the car wasn't permissible so I did what I could.....kind of like a walking doll but I did it. and you know, I am a better person for it. Retirement homes, nursing homes were never weird or terrible places to me. I had been to them before so many times. Same with going to the children's home my Dad was on the board of. Eating the food....I learned to mix the rice with the spinach and lumpy rice wasn't so bad.....the experiences you think of....those are the things we all learn from.

The best part about the party yesterday is, the boy learned that going to something taught him something cool about someone else. The boy enjoyed it AND he got to read some books he doesn't have at home and wants to play more and expand his game playing abilities. The boy's excuses about going somewhere different are proliferate. HE is insecure, he is bored he is turning purple and has polka dots you name it and it will happen; according to him anyway.

I think making excuses and blaming other people for problems is common. I have heard other people say that their kids, and others do it all the time. Rarely is responsiblity taken for kids own actions. They are very busy blaming someone, anyone, for something they did and not accepeting that the person themselves are the ones with the problems (sound familiar?) The boy uses this one all the time. The best part is, cuter half and I are not accepting of the excuses, blaming or anything else. We won't take it or tolerate it. Not with him and not with others.....we can't afford emotionally to take on
that stress too. Besides if you take on what other people are blaming you for they are not accepting responsiblity for their own actions whether past or present.

Let's go back to making the boy do stuff. He is getting better at it every day. At the party, he was gracious, well behaved...a little stuck on reading the books, but understood that the owner needed them to play a game himself AND did well with being the oldest kid there (he read  books the entire time; but he doesn't have little kid acquaintances and isn't sure what to do with them). WE had a blast at the party, ate more than we should and came home and worked out again on the Wii. All in all a good day and a fun time. We are lucky we have good friends that will invite us to parties and such and we can have fun just chillin out. The boy had a good time too....and although I don't normally encourage the book reading during a social activity there really wasn't anyone there that he was going to talk to besides the cuter half and I so we let him go for it. All in all he did OK and the cuter half and I were able to enjoy some time visiting and hanging out.

Hurrah for the Labor Day Holiday!!

 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Did you hear......

.....about the girl that auditioned with glass in her hair?
I AM NOT KIDDING.
It was on Enterainment Tonight or something. A girl who auditioned on "Glee" went to her audition in spite of a car collision....she was pulling glass out of her hair during the audition. SHE WAS THAT MOTIVATED. There is a another girl; she is a great actress. And she was MOTIVATED to do her best, audition constantly and she is in movies and in a great TV show (no I never watched it....but she is a great kid).....You need a LOT of motivation if you are in drama, music, art, theatre, cooking, biology, math....EVERYTHING has to do with what is your motivation. Are you motivated to make money? Well that is a motivation but I don't know  if it is a good one; there is a show called SHARK TANK....those people take their motivation and show it to a bunch of "moguls" (another program I don't watch)....but it is interesting.

Motivation is a big thing around here. The cuter one and I are constantly motivating the boy to do something. Sign up for club, go out for sports....DO SOMETHING. Keep busy, be active No sitting on your duff get to work....finish your homework on Friday. Have the weekend free. Do your chores.....clean your room.

IT is easier said than done.
I frankly am motivated by the "Glass Girl" story. She wanted that part in "Glee". She didn't care that she was wiped out from being in a car accident. She was going to get that part no matter what. I wonder how many people are really that motivated. It seems like a lot of us (myself too) get stuck in a rut and don't want to make major changes. "Glass girl" could have said, "Oh no, I am too tired, I was in an accident and I am going home and going to bed." Instead she brushed herself off, got to the audition and GOT THE PART.

Why aren't the Aspies in our life doing that? Some are hurt, maybe emotionally, some are worn out from trying too hard during the school week. Some, like mine, are actually trained NOT to schedule things without checking with the Mom of the house first. These kids need to brush themselves off, FIND there deal, passion or whatever and RUN WITH IT. GO, Run, Hike, TOUCHDOWN.

JUST do it...whatever it is for you. WHO cares if you totalled your car? GO to the audition. WHO cares if the line is around the block? GET UP (EARLY) and GO audition, stand in that stupid line and SING or DANCE your guts out; try it out DON'T give up. NO QUITTING and if you do Quit KNOW that you did everything you could possibly do before you do quit......and be darn sure your parents aren't letting you cop out becuase it is easier for them to accept it. Lee DeWyze went all the way in American Idol....he got up EARLY stood in line and belted out some GREAT STUFF. He has some awesome music coming down and you really should listen if you haven't already. BUT HE DID IT; just like "Glass Girl"

Be your own "Glass Girl" and GO to the audition with glass fragments (or whatever it doesn't HAVE to be glass- she is just an example) in your hair and SHOW PEOPLE WHAT YOU HAVE GOT.
We don't accept the "I have Aspergers and I can't" from our son; don't you accept it either. Kids with Aspergers can do what ever they want to do.....

Try this and see if it works for you:

Do you remember the movie "Holiday"? A rich girl meets an ambitious man, and he decides to take a LONG holiday after making a bunch of money in company reorganization. Prior to him leaving for the holiday, Kathryn Hepburn's character says, "Oh, how I will believe in those peanuts." So, what do we do as parents of Aspies? We believe in the peanuts. It might not seem like much to you or worth much time, to you. That is OK…kids need to dream and maybe you can make the goal and dream a reality.

Now for the tough part; we see goals (or dreams) on 3 levels:

·        Level 1: Reasonable- "I want to be a chef" this is something we KNOW our son can do and it is a reasonable goal and definitely achievable.

·        Level 2: Nice Dream- "I want to be a librarian" this is something that could happen, although the educational part might be a challenge, the actual possibility is there and could be an achievable goal.

·        Level 3: Pipe Dream- "I want to be a physicist" this is not going to happen unless the reality of invention and the math scores and independence do not improve. Do not squelch it, but do not heavily encourage it UNLESS the kid shows definite ability in this area.

Now lets look at this, See Level 1 and Level 2 are pretty similar, not too high in achievement level but not impossible either. Now Level 3 on the other hand…. wow. For some kids, our Level 3 could be their Level 1, but for others "You gotta be kidding, right?"

In this area, if you are not practical yourself (and are able to recognize that fact), you could try to channel Thomas Paine (author of Common Sense) or you could ask a practical family member, psychologist or friend. You might not like what you hear but getting outside advice if you need it is a good idea.

Try it out, see if it works for you.....it may, it may not but having goals is like the audition for "Glass Girl" or Lee Dewyze.....you have to try and Aspies have to try a heck of a lot harder than most people.

Find your glass, find your peanuts....then believe....