Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

We are looking forward to a wonderful and excitng 2013.
More to learn, more to grow and more to be.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

recent discussions

The boy and I have been discussing some things.

I know, most of you think he has the social intellect of a teaspoon. Many uneducated people believe that aspies don't know applesauce from baby poop when dealing with social issues.
This time they are wrong.

Recently, there was a "episode" at school where the boy said something wrong. It was a term he has NEVER heard in this house. I find that making racial comments to be worse than swearing- I do swear periodically, but I won't condone inappropriate language and racial comments. Everyone is people- God made us. ALL. End of story.

I won't have the boy behaving that way. Not in this house and not coming from this house either. As a disabled kid, he is that last one ever that should be throwing (verbal) stones at anyone.

In fact, the boy didn't know what the term meant. He had learnt it at school, in a media class he is taking.

I was appalled.

Not that he learned it at school but the exposure didn't include an explanation about how it was inappropriate. The boy got in MAJOR trouble....not just with his coaches but with his parents. He was grounded...and almost lost his bedroom door priviledges (although that is a MUCH bigger punishment for his parents than for the boy).

Anyhow, the boy in this situation had reminded me that when he was young he had broken his nose. He went down a slide too soon after another student and after bleeding everywhere. Later on, he mentioned, "Mommy, _______ has very ______ skin. He looks a lot different than I am." I responded, "Yes, I think he does. Isn't it wonderful that he is such a nice person. He is the same as you are. Everyone is the same; we are all people. We might look different or be different but we are still the same."
I never thought about that conversation least until recently.

We are still the same. We might be blonde, brunette, redheads, Asian, English, Irish, African American, Hispanic, straight, gay, redneck, trailer trash, Christian, or not, purple with pink polka dots, blue, green, disabled or anything else.
All in all we are still people.

That's it.

Just people.

Teaching the boy that being "just people" is harder than I have ever imagined. The cuter half and I have agreed that the intolerance of others is not to be allowed here. That is the last thing we need is an aspie with tolerance issues. My Gosh, they have enough problems socially as it is. Teaching them that kind of behavior; well is isn't helpful one bit.

The boy is the last one that should be judging anyone.

I found a Yahoo Answers page and the question is below:
Is it rare for someone with aspergers to hold very racist views?

Here are some of the answers:

(voted best answer) Yes, it's rare...but not unheard of - racism has a lot to do with how you were raised. To an Asperger there are generally 2 types of people in the world; those who like you and those who don't. An Asperger will usually spend so much time trying to work out why people don't like them, bully and abuse them, the thought of bigotry toward someone based solely on the colour of their skin probably would not occur to them.

(another answer) People with AS tend to be very good observers, so their views tend to be empirical or those of a objective sort. Most likely accurate though. For example, it is offensive to a lot of people when people hear a claim that religious people statistically have lower IQ's than atheists. It is statistically sound from empirical evidence, but is offensive non-theless and a normal person who isn't trying to piss someone off wouldn't quote it. It's a provocation by most standards, but people with AS don't usually intentionally provocate.
I have AS and I have a hard time picking up on some very universal rules of socializing. Normally a list of what is considered to be racial slurs or derogatory terms for people. I've referred to people from other countries as 'Aliens' before, because they are technically aliens. People take it as me saying that they look weird, misshapen or space alien like.
In conclusion I would say that it's rare that a person with AS would intentionally hold views that are racist in a hateful sense. It's just more likely that others are misunderstanding their intent.

There are several more answers, these were the most verbose and I thought well explained.

I will say that when I was younger people used to judge me because I preffered "Preacher Pillow" and "Brother Blanket" and "Sister Sheet" after a rough week in classes while in college. I needed the down time and I was not going to become a different religion for 4 years while in college. It was hard for me to adjust....I had to do a lot of growing up myself at that time. I learned to be different and I liked being myself and not what others wanted me to be.

There is nothing wrong with being different.

As the cuter half and I are trying to do; there is no need to judge's not our job. HOWEVER, it is our job to do something about it and not put it off on other people if it is happening when we are around. The boy learned that saying what he sad was wrong....

and every once in a while (maybe more than that) I still appreciate Preacher Pillow's sermons.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas!

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful times of the year.

For myself I haven't always thought so but then I didn't have a lot of the traditional family stuff going down after my siblings all moved away, In the end, it was my parents and I and where my Mom decided to make reservations that year.

Everyone is different.

When I think of the holidays  I think about what I miss are the weekends in MI at my (technically) great aunts farm. I miss the shelties, snowmobiles, tractors, horses, cousins, stories, life, feeling free and needing to go to mentally recuperate.

I miss the old movies, the big family parties where the other cousins were people that were OK but I didn't know very well....I was not the most talkative unless I knew you well. The funky gifts- the year my aunt and uncle gave me a bird marionette...."____ you know those damn feathers about did me in." In the summer the knowledge of which shrubs had the branches so you could run through them without tripping in your swim suit.....the flowers...and that stupid cactus "Don't go near the cactus, it will shoot spines at you." (I have some of the cactus now. I love it) the yucca, the money plants....
The holidays. The year that we did not having a good working car and having to drive up in a Pinto that had been recalled. Mind you the Pinto had no heat and there were 4 of us in the back seat with a fern on our laps for my cousin....we drew names for gifts back then- the adults did anyway. If you gave to the kids you gave to the kids...I don't remember it being mandatory.

I miss my Daddy, I miss my cousins, I miss being about 12....riding on the snowmobile and going against the hill, Daddy almost dumped us into the ditch...I miss the cold and the ginger snaps and the hot chocolate. I miss the aunt would make gobs of food and then have this room in the basement with a fridge for drinks and we would eat until we were done. I miss the fudge, and the funny spritz cookies and the weird food....even the stuff I would never be caught dead eating.

Then it was songs, stories, talking....presents. The year I got a kitten, from my sister, and everyone kept telling me that my aunt loved me because she never allowed animals in the house.....Those old times may not have been perfect; there were plenty of negatives....I remember those too. But I remember the love that was there and no matter how bad it got; going home to MI meant that it was a safe haven for us to be us. I never felt more like myself when I was there.

The cuter half feels the same way about the cabin. The boy feels like that about our current house.

The holidays are supposed to be the times where we enjoy things, remember the good stuff, try to forget the bad and ignore the rest.
It doesn't always work that way.

I think as we get older the holidays get more complicated. there is always the family order garbage...then the trained things where people who don't know anything about you or who you are have already made distinct judgment calls. The drama.

I guess I was lucky. I missed out on that drama stuff. The drama I mean. Since there were 3 of us (Mom, Daddy and I) for so long there wasn't a lot of drama going down.....we did what we did.

Maybe that is what we need now. To do what we need to do and forget the rest of the stress, the anger and the frustration of trying to do it all and do too much.

The cuter half and I try to cram too much into one day. Maybe we need to stop craming as much as we can in and do what we can do.
Maybe that would be a better Christmas tradition than we have now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

CORRECTION-Charles J Sykes

I stand corrected- this is NOT a Bill Gates but  Charles J Sykes.
Snopes does a nice overview and summary-

This is about 50 rules.
We don't get all of them here.....but these are good ones.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

... Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.


Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes; learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Violent Video Games

I have hesitated to blog since the horrible experience in Newtown, CT.

The misinformation that first came though from the media was frustrating enough.

Then finding out about the video games.
Really violent video games.

This has been a sore point with me for a number of years. I do not allow violent video games. Actually I would be happy to sell off the video games and the components to the highest bidder but I think the boy would have a conniption.

Our history with video games normally have ended up with me getting a black eye or a bloody nose.
In the past we would allow for unlimited use. The boy could play Mario as much as he wanted. The last time he did I ended up with a broken thumb.
Ironically, the cuter half and I did go to a game store and ask to sell some of the boy's games. The girls behind the counter gave each other significant looks when we told them the boy was violent after playing Mario. They knew.

Since those experiences, I have cut off access.
IF the boy gets to play at all it is for less than 10 min intervals, and if he is on the Wii he better be jumping around and moving his body while playing. In other words, "He has to shake it to make it work." Or suddenly there is an instant power outage (yeah I know, I am not above flipping the switch).

Oddly enough, there are plenty of parents who will allow for what I call uber-violent video games. You know the ones, World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, or Beat the shit out of people and there are no casualties.

CNN posted an article that I am linking to here. They hid it in the tech section.
I am copying this part of the article- from the president of a video game chain:

"David Kaelin, president of Texas-based video game chain Game Over, said part of the confusion around the issue is because some parents and other adults only deal with video games once a year, around Christmas.
Kaelin said he tries to help uninformed parents get the information they need, including ratings, before choosing gifts. But ultimately, he said, parents are responsible for keeping an eye on their kids.
"I have two young kids myself," Kaelin said. "For any parent to be able to be involved in whatever your kid's doing, you need to be (educated). You need to know what those things are"
PARENTS are responsible for what the kids play. It isn't the government, it isn't the video game companies. IT's the PARENTS job. Parent need to be responsible; know what they are purchasing and pay attention to what they are doing. 

One way to get the violence to stop is to stop the violent games. Why the hell do we need to see blood and guts splattered all over the video game screen? If life is that boring go learn how to do something new....wasting time with a video game is not going to help you figure out life. IT is a time waster. I have a cousin I respect highly and he once said that he gets caught up with time wasters. Actually I do it more than he does. I am terrible about needing brain loss time....I am very stressed out and I read my books and my i-books more often than I should. Many times I just want to forget or I don't want to think about all the stuff I know I need to do....laundry for one.
This evening, the cuter half and I were discussing the assailant's home; the guns. I am saying here and now I would never have a gun in my house with the boy. Even if he knew how to use it. It would terrify me. I do not believe the boy ever would do anything like that. The assailant's mom had told people she was "loosing" her son, but from what I have read she was traveling the country trying to find a place to put him....she was taking ownership of his future while her son was not. He was playing "Call of Duty" in the basement.
However, with the anger that can show up even with the boy (who is nice, polite and resonably good natured)- why in the world would any parent be so stupid? The anger the boy has can come up at a moments notice. Reminding him to study for a test, making him do his homework....telling him to brush his teeth and was his hair. Tantrums, hissy fits or whatever....they happen. We can see them more so after video games.
During breaks I hide his school i-pad, I delete games ("Oh, Rats. How did that happen? OOPSIE"). I have hidden all of the game "parts" in the house. I know where they are and NO I am not telling you. They are hidden....and the boy, well he is not going to be happy but he is not going to be playing what I call "damn video games" this Christmas are going to go missing. IT is unlikely he will be able to access much on his ipad even if the cuter half lets him have it.....there are parental controls on wifi that are a gift from Heaven. I use them regularly.
Going back to the assailant; why would anyone ever put something like that in a kids way? Even gen kids are thoughtless, forgetful and somewhat stupid. If the assailant thought he was going to end up in placement, maybe that is where officials need to start. It sounds like he was angry because his Mom was going to make plans for her future without him being at home.
I would be a liar if I didn't say that the cuter half and I have thought about doing that too.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mental health in America.

This is written by Liza, her son is mentally ill. The services available for her son, and other students like him are deplorable. Mental health services are continually swept under the rug.

Written by Liza Long, republished from The Blue Review
Friday’s horrific national tragedy -- the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut -- has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanza's story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.
At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.
Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.
The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”
“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”
His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”
That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.
“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”
“You know where we are going,” I replied.
“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”
I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”
Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.
The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork -- “Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”
At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.
For days, my son insisted that I was lying -- that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”
By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.
On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”
And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.
When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”
I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise -- in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.
With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill -- Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”
I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.
God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.
(Originally published at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Remember the names of the victims

Morgan Freeman:
"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

Here is a list of people we need to remember- just remember one name that is all you need to do.
Sandy Hill students:
- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hocksprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Russeau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

Thank you Mr Freeman.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

From the desk of Frank Sinatra

I saw this on a friends FB wall and I liked it so much I thought I would share it here too.

from the desk of

Chicken — a thought.

Strange, but I feel the world we live in demands that we be turned out in a pattern which resembles, in fact, is a facsimile of itself. And those of us who roll with the punches, who grin, who dare to wear foolish clown faces, who defy the system — well, we do it, and bully for us!

Of course, there are those who do not. And the reason I think is that, (and I say this with some sadness) those up-tight, locked in people who resent and despise us, who fear us, and are bewildered by us, will one day come to realize that we possess rare and magical secrets, and more — love.

Therefore, I am beginning to think that a few, (I hope many) are wondering if maybe there might be value to a firefly, or an instant-long roman candle.

Keep the faith


Monday, December 10, 2012

What does

The Truman Show, Plato's The Cave and the boy's mom drinking heavily all have in common?

A hs class called Contemporary American Lit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On the outside looking in.

That is kind of how I feel right now.

We were with a number of gen parents this weekend. It felt so strange. The cuter half and I were talking about it and when I told him, "I feel like I am on the outside looking in." He reminded me that we are.

We are on the outside....of several social mores.
What I mean is that most parents in our position would NOT be looking at life goals, college, a career or a job while the boy is in hs. The goals part isn't there for them (at least some of the ones we have met). So the isolation with what is supposed to be out social group sets in....that and believing that being at a gen school is a priviledge and not a right for our kids is a whole nother issue.

As for gen parents....we are the parents of that kid. Hanging out with a special ed family or parents is not high on the social scale of things to do. Frankly, yesterday I was so tired all I could do was sit there. The cuter half was having fun at the fundraiser but I was not even remotely functional....

We do put ourselves out there.....most of the time. Actually I really did want to join the hs PTA. I got scared and chickened out. It was too draining....and I am not a good one for joining clubs. Maybe it I am too shy....or maybe I am lazy. The cuter half never cared one way or the other so I never made the effort. Besides the meetings were on the same nights as the boys therapy sessions.....but I did want to be in the group.  Most of the time people think that if you have a special ed kid that automatically means that you are friends with other families with special ed kids. I used to believe that but not so much any more. Like with trying to force the boy to be friends with a another aspie kid it just doesn't work. The same goes for the boy and a kid we know now. THey are hot and cold. Actually this kid is someone who is friends with the boy only when he needs something from the boy. Otherwise this kid can't be bothered to give the boy the time of day....which is why I have told the boy that they are acquaintances. As I explained to the boy you can have good/close acquaintances or just people you say Hi" to. Nothing wrong with that...then you can have the long term friends that you went to school with that you still hear from....some of them from kindergarten. -Although, for the boy that wouldn't ever happen. Most of the kids the boy went to kindergarten with were wards of the state and who knows where they are now.

Socially this leaves us in an abyss. We are not going to the parties or social group things that most people would expect from us. Most churches don't have much to offer us, and we aren't good at fitting in a box.... Since most schools and churches and social groups are in boxes of sorts we are not able to make those things work for us. As the boy gets older the abyss is getting larger and deeper. The cuter half and I are too tired to try.

The last couple of years has taken a lot out of us. We are just tired of trying to make it work for the boy. IT will have to be done on his own. We are getting to the point where we can't do it for him and we aren't going to try. That being said we aren't going to step in when he blows it and save his sorry butt either. After this year it is all up to the boy. We are pretty much done doing what we can do.

The cuter half and I are good at breaking molds and not doing what we are told. Not listening to a doc who told us to lock up the boy and forget we had him....yeah, we are good at not listening to that kind of drivel. Or the teacher giving our son an "F" and telling me that it is some points is a load of horse shit (yeah quit whining...its not clean- deal with it)....and you know that smells worse than cow dung. Tolerating the intolerable is something the cuter half and I are not able to do much of any more.

Right now it is hard for me to think that we need to look ahead even further. The cuter half and I are exhausted. Really exhuasted. Ironically, to some people that means they can walk all over us and tell us what to do. I should think by now they would know better.
Seriously, telling people like us what to do and how to do it is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot....besides being really stupid. On many levels, don't you think we have enough to do? Listening to stuff that really doesn't make a difference....well don't waste our time. On that note, just so you know, our time is really valuable. There are friends who appreciate our time....and we give it to the freely and whenever they ask us for it.

I think it was spending time with gen families this weekend.....really made me feel like we were in a black hole... it isn't their fault. It is just being on the outside and looking in.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Changing Gears for the Holidays

OK, So I want to wish everyone a Happy Christmas.
I heard this song on the radio and I kind of liked it so I am posting a link here.

I have my baby here but it is still nice to think of when he is on his way home from work.....

If everyday was Christmas
If we could make believe
If everyone would care a little more
There'd be harmoney

The city is covered in snow tonight
The children fast asleep
I'm waiting for him, but he's nowhere in sight
And I wonder if he can hear me

Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
I wish with all my might
Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
Bring my baby home tonight

Why does it feel like it's colder than winter
Even by the fireside
My baby said he'd be home for Christmas
And now it's almost midnight
The Christmas lights up and down the street
Are such a sight to see
But all the presents by the tree
They don't mean a thing till he's with me
[ Lyrics from: ]
Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
I wish with all my might
Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
If you hear me won't you hurry
Bring my baby tonight

I know your sleigh is full inside
But won't you stop and give my baby a ride
I'll be waiting by candle light this Christmas
The Christmas lights up and down the street
Are such a sight to see
But all the presents by the tree
They don't mean a thing
Santa please hear me

Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
I wish with all my might
Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
If you hear me won't you hurry
Bring my baby tonight

The Christmas lights up and down the street
The presents by the tree
I hear a knock, oh can it be?
My wish is staring back at me

Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
I guess you heard me tonight
Hey Santa
Hey Santa...Santa
I'm underneath the mistletoe
With my baby tonight

Sleigh ride...
It's Christmas time...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So mad I could spit.

The teachers course description: "Students will examine mass media and its impact on its audience - particularly a teenage audience - in terms of consumer habits, trends in entertainment, and formation of opinions on local, national and international issues. Students will deconstruct and construct media messages to explore them as products designed to not only inform or entertain, but to persuade. Students will illustrate their knowledge of these topics in a variety of ways, including discussions"

The districts course description: "This course is a one-semester version of _______ and________without an explicit connection to sociology courses. This course will emphasize the study of contemporary American literature, analytic reading, and composition. The study of other cultural texts will also appear prominently in the course. This class meets the elective English credit."

The teacher is giving the boy a D and therefore destroying his chances at 8 semester B honor role, his sport season and effing up the ciriculumn for the entire district because the teacher wanted to teach what he wanted to teach and not what the district told him to.

I am pissed.

The cuter half has never ever seen me this angry. At least not recently.

There are a lot of things I want to say. I would like to start cussing a blue streak and not stop. I would like to hit some inatimate objects. I would like to scream myself sick.

I would like to tell this arrogent.....

and I can't.

I have to play nice and play the damn game.

It sucks.

Maybe I will calm down before the IEP meeting and maybe I won't but I do know what I am gonna do if I am given much more crap about this classs....and that is for a later post......

I can't give away all the secrets.

Monday, December 3, 2012

WORD OF THE DAY- Harassment

noun /həˈrasm(ə)nt/  /ˈharəsm(ə)nt/ 
harassments, plural
1.Aggressive pressure or intimidation

a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented; "so great was his harassment that he wanted to destroy his tormentors"

the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism

(harass) annoy continually or chronically; "He is known to harry his staff when he is overworked"; "This man harasses his female co-workers"

(harass) exhaust by attacking repeatedly; "harass the enemy"

(harassed) annoyed: troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances; "harassed working mothers"; "a harried expression"; "her poor pestered father had to endure her constant interruptions"; "the vexed parents of an unruly teenager"

Harassment covers a wide range of offensive behaviour. It is commonly understood as behaviour intended to disturb or upset. In the legal sense, it is behaviour which is found threatening or disturbing. ...

Harassment in the United Kingdom is a topic which in the past couple of decades has been taken increasingly seriously and has been the subject of a number of pieces of major legislation. ...

(The Harassed) The tenth season of Frasier originally aired between September 2002 and May 2003, beginning on September 9, 2002.

(harass) To fatigue or to tire with repeated and exhausting efforts; To annoy endlessly or systematically; to molest; to put excessive burdens upon; to subject to anxieties

(Harass) A small group of units that attack the enemy base to pick off workers or important structures. Also called a “drop” if the units are transported via Overlord, Medivac, or Warp Prism.…

(Harass) In the definition of "take" in the Endangered Species Act, means an act that actually kills or injures wildlife. ...

(Harass) To pester or annoy someone.

(Harass) putting pressure on another player with units, usually in a highly mobile and hit and run fashion. Harassment can be conducted in a variety of ways with a variety of different goals. ...

(Harass) the enemy solo to the point that is us unwise to look for full conflict.

Harassment of any person by a student of SMC. For the purposes of these policies, ‘harassment’ is: the use, display, or other demonstration of words, gestures, imagery, or physical materials, or the engagement in any form of bodily conduct, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ...

The act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands.

Use of our service to transmit any material (by e-mail, uploading, posting or otherwise) that harasses another is prohibited.

Harassment is a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. The term refers to acts by a landlord or agent likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or involve the withdrawal or withholding of services reasonably required for occupation. ...

Unwelcome conduct in the workplace based on an individual's disability that creates an environment that makes it difficult for that person to work.

Behaviour or comments towards another person or group that are abusive, hurtful or unwelcome. Harassment can include name-calling, jokes, graffiti, insults, threats, rude treatment, or written, verbal, or physical abuse. ...

both interpersonal acts of emotional or physical violence, and structural violence that stems from hetero- and gender-normativity within school systems and curricula, and among school personnel…

can be based on the personal characteristics or physical appearance of a person or group (age, disability, ethnic or national origins, race or colour, sex) or on their beliefs, opinions or affiliations. ...

To intentionally irritate or torment someone with annoyances, threats, or demands. (Also see Sexual Harassment)

Harassment is illegal when it involves discriminatory treatment based on race, color sex (with or without sexual conduct), religion, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation. Generally, the conduct must be sufficiently frequent or severe to create a hostile work environment. ...

refers to any form of behaviour in relation to a protected attribute which is not wanted, not asked for and not returned and is likely to humiliate, offend, intimidate or distress the person(s) concerned.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

managing time

the boy is learning to manage his time.
He is doing his homework, being in his sport, and managing to do everything, see friends and still keep it together.

It isn't easy or fun. For him or us.
Keeping things together is difficult and tiring on too  many different levels.

As for the cuter half and I - this has been an extended weekend.
For as much as we had off this feels like we are going back to work tomorrow and we are going to be recuperating. I feel like I got nothing done. We did a lot, had an IEP, then had another meeting, shopped, cleaned the house, got our ebay going, put up lights, put up the tree, started decorating, got out the holiday plates, put clothes away, cleaned the kitchen....did dishes (lots)....Ok well we did do stuff. I am just tired from all we did then.

I am begining to think that Trouble has the right idea, eat, sleep, play with his carrot, then get brushed then eat, sleep, run about, play with carrot, sleep, eat.......

I am tired thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012





EVEN IF YOU AREN'T CHOSEN TO BE ON SAID STUDENTS IEP TEAM; THAT MEANS GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR __________ AND USE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LISTED. (FYI - it is a legal and binding document and if the parents don't hire legal counsel to deal with the school when you don't use the students IEP it that doesn't mean that the parents don't want to hire counsel.)


Oh and before I forget your union will protect you. We know that. Which is why most of us will refuse to vote for your raises and referendums.

Phew, just sayin' after recent experiences.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

juice glasses

Do you remember the juice glasses? You know the ones, that were from the Welch's jelly? They were little, cute and extremely collectible. The Muppets were on some, or some funny cartoons, Archie, Josie and the Pussycats, Veronica, Betty, these were fun and they were very cool.
Everyone had at least one in their kitchen as a kid.
My Mom had several, mainly for my Dad and I. She always wanted us to use the juice glasses for juice. I don't remember doing so but feeling like I had completed a double dare by not using the correct glass for whatever I was drinking.
That was back when there were the juice glasses, the milk glasses, and the water glasses (the largest ones).

Essentially I was learning economy in my Mom's kitchen. Unlike my siblings, there wasn't a whole lotta cooking going on when I was a kid. My brother was in grad school and my sisters moved out, well I say I was 5, but maybe by the time I was 8. I really don't remember them being at home. By the time my brother moved out dinner was at a banquet hall where my dad was networking or I ate at home where used those Lipton rice things and ate an entire packet.....even then cooking was not my thing.

The juice glasses were a lesson in life in a weird sort of way. My Mom was teaching me to not drink all the orange juice. She also didn't like us drinking from the container.....I know my Dad and I did that more than we should have.

Right now we are teaching the boy to economize. He is learning that drinking all the orange juice is going to make him rather unpopular in the family. Last year he learned not to drink all the peppermint soy milk, being personally responsible went far with him. It took him a LONG time to earn back all the $$ he payed out to me to replace what he took. I am still holding him responsible for his behavior. Maybe if more parents did that their kids wouldn't be as messed up as they are.

The funny (not funny Ha-Ha) thing is, people thought I went to far with that punishment (recently I was called "f------- psychotic"). In lieu of that punishment, the boy still banged back about 10 lbs of expensive chocolates this summer (at $15.00 a pound he will be lucky to ever see me buying that kind of candy again). He can be a little berk. And yes I may be a little nuts about stuff like that but let me tell you being responsible, considerate and respectful goes a long way. In a family unit.....not taking what is for everyone is being considerate.
I can still remember asking my Mom if I could eat or have the last Matt's Cookie, or the last drink of juice in the fridge. I was taught that you ASK if someone else wants the last one BEFORE you take it. The boy leaving 5 chocolates, or enough for one glass of juice then going off about being tempted to take whatever it was is a load of horse caca.

Being polite and personally responsible for your behavior goes a long way at home and at a job. Making my son be responsible is a big deal. Maybe the person who thinks I am nuts had never been responsible for themselves ever. Blaming other people or not being responsible is what I know my son does. Regularly. His inability to control his compulsions is what gets his sorry butt into trouble most of the time. That and his mouth.....his, "what did i do?" whine really doesn't get very far when the cuter half and I have been informed we are "terrible excuses for parents." or "we are pathetic and mean." Normally that is when I am out the door and either hiding somewhere- many times in the car listening to the radio or as I did on Thanksgiving, sitting on the porch swing and watching the rain come in over the fields.

Half the time I don't think that the boy realizes what he is saying. He doesn't use the brains God gave him to think that being unkind or cruel is going to have an effect of some sort. To him it is just words. He still doesn't realize the effect his words have on others. Which goes back to him being personally responsible.
Whether it be the juice, peppermint soy milk or $15.00 a pound chocolates, or his words....or my questionable (at best) use of language (as aforementioned I can curse with the best of them).
The boy has a ways to go, people tell us he will get there. I hope so. The cuter half and I are about wore out....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

chocolates and thorns

Things with the boy either go really really good or not so much.

Right now we are dealing with the chocolates part which depending on how you think that might be a pretty good place to be.

We are dealing with a class at school that forces the boy to think outside the aspie box. He has to read, infer and correlate materials in this lit class to fit in with what is going on. After discussion with his teacher I started going thru the assignment. I can see why he doesn't get it....some of the terms have NEVER come up for him before.

Really before you can explain to him how to do the work getting the definitions is a must.

I have scribbled, made notes discusssed materials and have talked about why this is important. We are looking at the beginings of journalism....using terms like "Libel", "Muckracker", "Mass Media" "Penny Newspapers"

There are more.

It made me realize how few people actually look outside themselves. It is so comfortable to think that there are no people who are disabled, elderly, or living differently than we do. It is easy.
Then when you are sitting there trying to explain to your kid why certain papers are more conservative, or liberal or whatever it makes things more complicated....and that goes back to why he didn't understand what was going on.

I guess we could say we are in the "chocolate" part of life right now.

I dk. I got home from work today and fell asleep on the couch with Trouble.....he sat and purred so pretty....hard not to fall asleep with that going on. I don't think we are in an easy bit at all. there are too many other things going on... the cuter half and i have enough stress to last us for years.

Nah, won't mention it here.
Maybe later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

credit cards and charity

Its lovely to be generous. People look at generous people and think that they are wonderful.
Bill Gates, Oprah, Sergy Binn, there are more. Look at the Philanthropy 50

We get a TON of offers for the boy to save the planet and order their crap.

"Order this and get a FREE gift."
Yeah, I'll order whatever it's good to help the less fortunate. (we are trying to train for DISCERNMENT- not look at the gift I get to have)

We are trying to train the boy otherwise. Being generous, making absurd generous offers isn't being nice, it make you sound like an utter moron. Most people don't realize that people like the boy and the elderly are taken advantage of by disreputable (and some reputable) charities.
We are seeing this very dangerous potential in our home. It is time for some discernment but it is also time for the lessons in Common Sense.

We are telling the boy to only support what he can see. For example, his church, his school, his environment.....that is where he should keep his charity....for now. I think using a group called Charity Watch should help-

Getting the junk mail- we are getting we are getting really good at removing his name, our name and any variations from junk mail lists.

Take a look at these links if you are concerned

You don't HAVE to support what you don't know. It doesn't make you less of a person. It's your money and it is your right to be picky. YOU get to pick where your money goes and which groups you think meet up with YOUR expectations.

Help the people that need it....go to the Gideons, The American Red Cross, local shelters and childrens home and give your donations there.....volunteer, do your thing. Make your time and money count.
Don't donate if you don't know WHO you are sending money to. What a waste that  you can't discuss what donations you have sent.
THIS is what we talk to the boy about. Stuff like this makes up about 90% of our recyling. Save a tree, get off a snail mail list.

A basic resource to help figure out the donation process:
  • 1. Determine how much you want to donate annually. Meet with an accountant or tax preparer to identify an appropriate amount for your personal financial  situation.
  • 2. Decide whether you want to donate to just one charity or to multiple charities.
  • 3. Contact the charities and ask them to provide you with information about the donation process.
  • 4. Determine, with your accountant or tax preparer, the optimal time to donate the money or property.
  • 5. Give your donation.
  • 6. Ask for a receipt that details your donation.
  • 7. Keep records of the value of any property you donate.

  • Read more: How to Donate Money to Charity |

    Sunday, November 11, 2012


    Having a bit of burnout? this is a common problem of parents and some teachers in a theraputic day school situation.
    Most parents of a special needs child or parents like us, of an aspie, are completely wiped out. Most of the time we don't qualify for community assistance nor are we able to do what we want to do to get a bit of a break.
    These lists are some suggestions- mostly this is for a person doing caring of a dementia pateint or a home carer. Much of this is applicable to a family of an aspergers student.
    Ten Ways to HELP a Caregiver

    Want to help a friend or relative who is a caregiver? Here's a few ideas to help you get started:

    (1.) Call the caregiver on a regular basis to find out how he or she is doing. Listen with an open heart--and a non-judgmental ear. You don't have to solve the problems--just listening is the best help you can offer.
    (2.) Volunteer to stay with the care recipient one evening or afternoon a week, every other week, or every month--whatever you can offer. Encourage the caregiver to enjoy the break--and not worry about you or the care recipient.
    (3.) Send a note expressing your love and admiration for the family caregiver.
    (4.) Encourage the family caregiver to keep up their own interests and hobbies--and help them find the time needed to do so. Often, family caregivers feel that they've lost themselves, that their own personalities somehow got "fuzzy" or out-of-focus. Ensuring a family caregiver has the time and support to pursue their own interests fights off the "fuzzies".
    (5.) Lessen the caregiver's load by running errands when you can. Offer to pick up groceries, medications, whatever the caregiver needs.
    (6.) Call the caregiver and say, "Don't worry about dinner. I'll bring it over at 5:00." It doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be from you.
    (7.) Be a library runner. Ask the caregiver what books/videos/dvds he or she would like from the library. A good book or great movie can be a refreshing break for a caregiver.
    (8.) Offer to make phone calls on behalf of the family caregiver to make appointments that can help.
    (9.) Stop for a visit--with the family caregiver and the care recipient.
    (10.) If asked to- share a HUG! Caregivers give so much of themselves--they need regular "hug replacements".
    The top 10 needs of family caregivers
    1.] Moral support
    2.] Help with feelings of resentment and guilt- not yours- the caregivers...for not doing enough and not trying harder.
    3.] Help with dealing with the caregivers and the patient's feelings of loneliness and depression
    4.] Listen about the patient's diagnosis and prognosis
    5.] Respite care. A break from caregiving
    6.] Diet and nutrition -bring apples, fruit or ask what a favorite fruit is and drop some off.
    7.] Talk about IEPs or legal information the caregiver might have.
    8.] Help with housekeeping, cooking, and house and lawn maintenance
    9.] Spiritual comfort - Most caregivers have little contact with churches or feel comfortable at a church....don't supportive.
    10.] The promise that someone else cares about and supports their caregiving work
    The 7 signs of caregiver burnout
    1.] Not eating properly
    2.] Becoming more emotional
    3.] Feeling overwhelmed
    4.] Starting to withdraw
    5.] Interacting less with peers
    6.] Having less mental focus at work
    7.] Having a disheveled unkept appearance

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Parents of a special needs child

    who do not admit to being depressed or feelings of depression are lying to you.

    There are times when life sucks.
    Really blows.
    Totally is in the pooper.

    Just remember how hard things are for these parents and tread carefully.
    Most of these parents are exhausted. Depression just adds on to it. It isn't just the kids who know they are different that are depressed.

    Most likely the parents are depressed too.

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    Favorite phrases and definitions

    "I model silent reading on Tuesdays and Thursdays."= this means that she reads a book silently in front of a class of about 20 students to show them what quiet reading looks like.
    Are you serious? Please..... This one was obviously a tenured teacher. No one else could have gotten away with it.

    "C-A-T, cat; T-V, TV, A-N-D, and; these are your spelling words this week" = our son was at a sophomore in HS reading level in 6th grade until he went to a gen school and dropped down to a 2nd grade reading level in a matter of weeks. This was a special ed class taught by a special ed teacher; we got him out of that nightmare. She got back at us though by making up lies about our kid at a transition meeting to HS.

    "No, you can't have this accomodation it isn't in your IEP. You have to ignore the test being read in the back of the classroom." = SO WHAT? It is being read anyway just let them listen to it. What, you are gonna give them earplugs? Give me a break.

    "No, you can't have copies of my notes. I don't have any."= same class where the teacher used the wrong book, and the articles never matched up to the questions on the following page.

    "A special ed "A" isn't really an "A"." = school principal said this what is it then?

    "He compliments girls and they don't like it. He shouldn't be talking to girls."= OK, so now he doesn't but he doesn't know who to talk to so what do we do now?

    Other favorite phrases coming from home or reading materials:

    Would've. Should've and Could've don't mean anything."

    "I am so tired my mascara is itchy"

    "Think only of the past as its rememberance gives you pleasure."- Elizabeth Bennet

    "The greatest gifts are a steadfast soul and a steady heart."-Peacock Feathers

    "If you want me you can find me, left of center, wondering about you."- Suzanne Vega

    "It's not what someone is born but what they grow to be" -Prof. Dumbledore

    ."Second- his parents don't put up with crap. None of it."

    "UGLY live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful mean person. Is you one a them peoples?"- Constantine, in The Help

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Saving the planet

    Tonight we were at Whole Foods.

    This is where many of the "save the earth", "buy organic", ONLY eat real food types of people go. We shop there sporadically. Usually for vitamins and for my guilty addiction to peppermint soy milk.
    Tonight the cuter half and I went to see if peppermint soy milk was at Whole Foods yet. Usually I buy a case of it....and that is enough that if I am generous the boy and the cuter half can have a sip or two of it as well.

    There was something we noticed this evening. For all the holistic, organic save the earth types that were there.....we were the ONLY ones with our reusable bags. I think we brought in about 5 or 6 bags. Normally they will charge us for a box if we buy a case of the soy milk so I thought it would be better just to have our own bags with us.

    Yup, reusable bags.
    You know the ones right...the ugly green ones that are 10 for $.99 after rebate at Menards, or the freebees from the bank, hospital, insurance company or grocery store. Shove the bags in the trunk of your car and then forget you have least that is what most people do.
    This is a habit, you have to make the effort to REMEMBER that the bags are in the trunk of your car and get them out before you go into the grocery store. Depending on where we are we may bring in 5-6 bags...we may bring Target we bring in about 8 bags. This doesn't mean we are using all these bags....most of the time we may only use 2-4 bags a trip but we figure it is better to over estimate.
    Wash these bags every once in a while, you may have to toss one or two after the dryer but you can recycle them when you are done and get some more bags later- Menards usually has the best deal on them and these are a good size.
    DID you know you can get $.05 a recycleble bag at Target, $.10 at Whole Foods....Trader Joe's will put your name in for a drawing for a gift card depending on how many bags you use....

    Now we do things unprecidented (shocker) and we may use meds on our kid and we may shop at rummage sales but WE USE OUR OWN BAGS.

    People stick their noses up at us when we do but you know what (you should see them at Carsons when we have a coupon or more- the b--- behind me today was more than extremely rude about having to wait to get our coupons right- total cob up her butt that is for sure)....
    We have used reusable bags for several years. We like them. We even got some for my Mom when she had a car. She complained when she gave them back to me. I told her to keep a few but she didn't want to....
    These bags are sturdy, they don't get nasty when it is too hot or too cold....there are even some with lining and zippers for frozen foods and we use them too.

    The hardest part is "teaching"baggers how to bag with them. At our old grocery store we had "Mr. Heavy-Packer" and then the ones who wouldn't want to use the resuable and still put everything in plastic AND then put the stuff in our bags (??) usually we line things up on the check out line HOW we want it bagged and after a few tries the baggers actually almost get it right....most of the time.

    DID you know
    FACT: About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year
    FACT: Plastic industry trade associations were unable to provide estimates of plastic bag use in the United States. However, based on studies of plastic bag use in other nations, the environmental group Californians Against Waste estimates Americans use 84 billion plastic bags annually.
    FACT: Last September, more than 354,000 bags -- most of them plastic -- were collected during an international cleanup of costal areas in the United States and 100 other countries, according to the Ocean Conservancy

    This is only a little bit of information. I am thinking if the hoi-paloi would get off their patotties and use the reusable bags there would be a cultural revolution and it could start wtih the snooties at the holistic grocerty store.

    Even the HuffPost did an article about using recyclable bags....this article pointed out that using paper only bags isn't much better than plastic and the only thing that is really good is to go recyclable all the way. Although cute one and I are not there yet we are pretty darn close.

    There are people who bring their own tupperware and rubbermaid to the grocery store for the deli counter. We haven't gone that far.
    We do recycle, we do take our cans to be recycled...

    Several months ago we got new "family cards" and have a new phone number. Rather than have the cards tossed and remade I am taking the time to do this mindless job of writing the new number on the cards that we already have. Nothing else has changed but.....why throw them out. The cards are still good except for the one number. Why waste the paper and if I am sitting there in the family room with nuthin' to do I may as well do that.....

    Going back to the bag thing...
    If you are going to spend the $$ on organic, at least be HONEST and bring your own bags. It looks stupid to be going to a place like Whole Foods, or Trader Joes or the grocery store without your own bags. You can say "Hey I am eating organic and saving the planet" or get off your duff and actually do it....

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Going back to school.

    Have you ever thought about what goes on in grade schools?

    The cuter half and I were discussing the, well, I will call it a "habit" of special ed parents coming into a mainstream school setting and "explaining" their kids disability.
    From what I remember this was especially common several years back in grade school.

    I have never done it.
    I never needed to.

    I will say that I don't see where it really has helped with compassion towards the disabled student. From what I hear, from the boy, most of the time disabled students are ignored. From what we saw the night at the school is accurate.

    Which brings the cuter half and I wonder if all those talks to the kids really helped. We don't believe it has. We see the boy, being ignored, but then we also see that he is not given much of a chance to make friends....most schools lump these kids all together and expect them to get along because they are all disabled. The boy's art class last summer was that way.....the teacher and the "aide" put them all in the same table and the boy and another Aspie got into it. the other Aspie was really mean. "I have aspergers too and I don't do what you do, you must be retarded." - the boy was appalled. I was disgusted....what is up with these teachers? Please.

    What I remember hearing aobut when he was in elemetary school  was that a parent would come in, do a bit of a programme and then talk about how the kids had to be nice to the disabled student even if the disabled student was mean because of the disabled students disability.

    I have thought of this as, "I am disabled and you as a society owe me blah blah blah."

    Here we were teaching our kid to be nice, polite, and try hard to be good to others.
    In reality, all I should have done was teach my son how to be self serving, rude and mean spirited. That's kind of harsh, but really what do we do now?

    The boy is having a rough time. He is socially awkward. That is to be expected. However, the compassion that I hear about in other places certainly isn't happening for him where he is. Maybe it is happening and I don't know about it. I certainly am not as connected socially as most of these parents.

    Oddly enough, I was one of those kids, the kid who was with the same group of kids from KINDERGARTEN. These kids and I could almost finish each other sentances. We saw each other every day from Kindergarten thru HS.

    My son had been in at minimum 3 schools by Kindergarten. By the time he hit second grade he was in school number 4.

    He now has several good friends and a couple of acquaintances at school but i wonder what would have happened if we had insisted that he go thru the gen ed school.....
    I guess I am back at the choices thing and how going to a gen school is not a right it is a privilege and should be thougth of as such.
    If you have a kid who can't be in gen ed but works their way out of a theraputic day school your view of the world is much different than those who haven't had to make more of an effort.


    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    It's everyone's Halloween.

    In a few days, a lot of creatures will visit your door.

    Be open minded.
    The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills.
    The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues.
    The child who does not say "trick or treat" or "thank you" might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute.
    If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental apraxia of speech.
    They are thankful in their hearts and minds.
    The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy.
    The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism.
    Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand.
    It's everyone's Halloween.
    Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child. ♥
    (writer unknown)
    My good friend posted this and I think it is lovely. Please remember to be kind, gentle and smile at the little goblins and princesses that come to your door.

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Think about what's said

    There is a song about speaking.
    I think the words are, "Little children think about what you say"

    The boy is learning to think about what he says.
    Tonight he told me that threats scare him. Yeah well guess what kid, they scare me too. I don't like being threatened or feeling scared and neither do you. Considering that I am smaller than the boy and he could whop my butt....I am able to hold my own because of intimidation. I look least to him.

    Do you remember things in the past where you look at something  or remember something and you were a little kid? I remember a lot of things that way. I think, there are times when the boy sees things that way too. Or maybe I am hoping he does.

    So what does that mean?
    It means that he has to start thinking about what the boy's Daddy and I think about what is going on. The boy doesn't like it much.
    IT is easier to yell and think you are going to get what you want when you want it. NOT!

    I like this card. It is right.....I am way tougher and have gobs more experience than the boy does....

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Not handling things well today

    The meltdowns are back.

    THe calm didn't last long did it?

    The cuter half and the boy are studying. I was there to "help" and the yelling began. The boy was faux sleeping and I got mad and starting asking questions....hard questions.

    Probably harder questions that the teacher would (considering that teachers have ZERO expectations so it really didn't take much).

    After the boy had a hissy fit and me getting poked and kicked at...I showed my parenting maturity (not really) I threw a 1/4 glass of water at the boy and walked out of the room.
    Practically speaking, when the boy and the cuter half go to bed I can clean the family room there was a positive for getting water on the floor.

    I am not handling things well. Tonight I have had close the home office door. I don't want to hear about this trype any more.

    THe boy is busy blaming us for his lack of interesting in probably one of the more boring chapters that he has had to study. The yelling and swearing is pretty bad.

    I am not innocent.
    I can curse like the proverbial truck driver when I am mad enough.
    I am mad enough.

    I am tired of being blamed for ever God-blessed thing that this kid is telling me is my fault when I have nothing to do with it. .
    I am tired of the person I have become because of having a disabled kid on the spectrum. My nature is not that intense....I was generally pretty laid back and don't get too hot and bothered about things. Not so since I had the boy. Everything is a problem. I feel like I am with my ex-husband all over again.

    I used to be fun.
    I used to have fun.

    I am worn out from fighting with this kid.

    The cuter half is being patient now. I blew my top and walked away.

    Not the example of good parenting this evening that is for sure. At least there is a door I can close.

    GOD - please make me not care, please make me dumb, ditzy and stupid. Then maybe when my kid tells me that I am poor excuse for a mother it won't hurt my feelings so much.

    I am glad we aren't the only ones.

    (I am glad to say that we have been able to find "our family" (they all know who they are)- these people love us, the boy and our cats for who and what we are.)

    When Your Family Members Reject Your Child On The Autism Spectrum

    In recent days I’ve had several conversations around the same issue. The issue is, why is it that the parents of children on the autism spectrum can often find support from complete strangers or close friends, only to experience hurtful criticism, profound ignorance and sometimes rejection from their own family members?
    Believe it or not this occurs in my own family routinely. With everything I know and how well I explain it, I am still told by some family members that my children don’t have Autism and that what they need is a good beating. I’ve been told that my wife and I are awful parents and don’t know anything about Autism. That our kids are wimps and need to toughen up. The list goes on and on.
    With so many conversations about this lately I was compelled to ask myself the question, “What’s up with that?”It seems so counter intuitive that family members turn their backs while others run to your side. I really want your input on why you fell this happens. In the mean time here are my thoughts.

    My Life Sucks So I’ll Fix Yours
    There is a tendency in people to go out of their way to fix the lives of others when their own life is a mess. When listening to others describe the persecutors in their own families and after examining those in mine, this appears to be a common trait. The ones doing the criticising are the ones with the greatest number of problems themselves.
    Even those who claim to have it all together as part of their ongoing effort to wrap themselves in a comfy coat of denial, are unable to prevent those around them from seeing the trail of chaos they blaze wherever they go. Especially when they bring it with them to our house.
    On a deeper level, when you consider how unhappy these family members are, it’s fair to say that the majority of the thoughts going through their heads are self critical. If this is their primary lens on the world then they’ll have little else to offer you or your child.

    It’s Your Fault
    Another reason family members blame the challenges with your child exclusively on your parenting is because a simple fix to any problem relieves them of any obligation to help you. I’ve seen family members step up in huge ways in times of medical emergency, where the solutions and outcomes are more clearly defined. But when a crisis arises with a child on the spectrum those same relatives respond with (I swear to God), “I’ll have to check my schedule” or “I have a party to go to.” Those statements have been said to me by family members.
    When others feel helpless to help you with your child they manufacture blame, put it all on you and can then rationalize not offering you help or educating themselves on how to do so. The reality is they aren’t obligated to help, but it would sure make life easier some days if they did.

    If You Feed Them They Keep Coming Back
    Another consideration is that we’re often slow to set boundaries with family. If a non-family member pulled this crap we’d likely respond by cutting them from our lives. We may seek support from friends when we feel wronged by others. Our friends then empower us to “Kick em to the curb,” “Ignore then, they’re idiots.” So we do and we move on.
    What makes it so difficult to bear with family, in my experience, is that we keep exposing ourselves to the ones who don’t get it and allow ourselves to be beaten up by their ignorance. WHY? For one, pressure from other family members. “You have to invite them, they’re family.” There’s an unfortunate code in families I call The Obligation of Inclusion which refers to the belief that you owe it to a relative to include them unconditionally. Can I say for the record that this belief is a steaming pile of toxic self-destructive BS.
    In just this past year my wife and I have reached our limit with the uneducated, armchair parenting quarterbacks in our family and are openly distancing ourselves from them. We are flat out telling people why we don’t want to spend time with them. The result has been interesting, they actually back off and leave us alone. Thank Goodness.
    So what do you do now?

    Find A New Family
    One of our best solutions, and an often difficult one for some, is to actively seek out new connections. When it comes to getting the support we need in life the harsh reality is that those we want support from can turn out to be the least qualified to provide it. We can either exhaust ourselves trying to convert them into team players or we can seek the support from those ready and willing to provide it.
    I can speak to a friend about the challenges of raising a child on the spectrum, after which I feel listened to, validated, vindicated, stronger and more proud of the life I’m creating with my children. Then I talk to a family member who proceeds to kick the confidence right out of me. It’s easier for family to do that because they are typically the co-creators of our feelings of not being good enough and have an all access pass to our buttons.
    The bottom line is that having Autism in your life requires a close knit tribe to navigate successfully. I wouldn’t be the successful adult spectrumite I am if it wasn’t for the amazing support system I have. I simply couldn’t do it without all the help I get. When I look at those who have helped me get where I am today, I can often give more credit to those who acted like family than those who actually are.
    We’re All In This Together : )