Sunday, December 28, 2014

Burn Out

Back in my day being a "burn-out" was not something I aspired to. Just didn't want to loose control of myself or what I was doing....Control is still something I struggle with as I am not really in charge of anything. Even at home - my kitties tell me what I need to do and when. If I listened every time Troubles wanted food though he would eat his way through the entire pantry.....



Once again I am at a turning point in my career. It is odd to me that I would be at that point but then again, here I am....messing about applying for jobs that aren't really there once my application is in...."We are sorry but that job is no longer available" as soon as you follow the link to the company website. It just makes things more interesting I suppose but frankly I am tired of it.
Now if I wanted to be a truck driver, forklift operator, or warehouse manager....I am in luck. Or if I wanted to research naked underwater basket weaving at the local University.....there is a whole market out there for internships that will pay about $5.00 an hour. However (thankfully) I am not qualified in any of those areas.

I am just not certain what I really want to do. My GOD I am almost 50 and I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.....Shit. I am grown up already and I am still out looking around for something.....Yeah, I know, take Briggs Meyers or one of those other tests. I have. Taken them all. Repeatedly, often, and more recently in desperation. Each and every one tells me I should be a psychologist, a social worker (eww people), or some other community type person.

Yuck.

Let me explain.

My son, sees psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, analysts and any other "ists" you can think of. I, and the cuter half, have spent more than have of our 16 + years together taking the boy to an "ist". Which is fine because they are wonderful people; doing great things with the boy. We have a ton or respect for them (just having the MD or Phd doesn't mean you get automatic respect...in the Aspie-land it has to be earned).... The thought of me doing what they do....OMG no I don't think I could do that. I really don't have the patience to suffer fools like us nor do I want to deal with an Aspie who his hell bent on doing things their way and messing themselves up, or a misguided person who believes they "deserve" whatever they cannot afford. I do not believe that telling someone to go pound their head against the wall until they learn some common sense would probably not be a totally ethical response if being an "ist" was a career option for me.

Unfortunately, my opinion of social workers is probably not much better. The last one I was in touch with berated me for 45 minutes for taking a long overdue honeymoon with the cuter half. At the time the cute one and I had never spent any time away from the boy; she thought was were irresponsible for taking 10 days to go off to another country. Seriously, how many 6 year old boys do you know that got to go on their parents honeymoon? Ours did. When we went on our "delayed honeymoon" (about 12 years after our wedding) it  was about time for the cute one and I to get a break. Obviously, this social worker was not running with all her dogs barking. If that is an example of what I would be dealing/working with I think I would be better off making bathtub gin (another interesting career choice but I don't think "bootlegger" is a viable any longer).

So here I am - 1:00 AM and blogging- wondering what am I going to do now.

I was talking to an old friend who made an apt observation. She mentioned that I sounded "burnt out" (hence the title and thought processes). She is right - and I know I need to do something about it but I am not sure what....so I do what I always do during times like this. I sign up for every single job/employment web site I can and view all the job descriptions out there ( did you know you needed a special license to be a forklift driver? who knew?) and then realize that it is gonna be awhile before something I know I can do is going to be out there.

Yes, the American media will tell you the economy is getting better....and it is- for the truck drivers, forklift drivers and warehouse managers. I usually don't watch much American news....they don't report much of anything interesting. Unless you want to know about "that bass" or the Kardashians....well then we have it all here in the USA. BTW - I really don't mind either....the song is cute and the Kardashians....not paying attention (unless Kris or Kim want to offer me a job...then I am all over it).



Recently, I had one job interview where the interviewer was asking me why I had "so many career changes" and why I kept not being able to stay at one job and why I tried so many things.....I never thought I had; getting laid off is not usually the employees fault. It is a decision made for that person that maybe you agree with or maybe you don't but nonetheless there it is. Your reaction to it is what is really important- and as usual I am attempting to react in a gracious and appropriate way (even though I don't know what the fuck I am doing). Damn - swear jar here I come.

Unable to sleep, which is strange, because we had  a bottle of wine at dinner and I am usually out for the count after that.... or I am writing. There is something to be said for Hemingway being drunk when he wrote....I wonder how many writers  do the same?

Oddly enough, this post kind of wrote itself and no I am not drunk this time....just over tired.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kitten told me it was cold.

I was putting some stuff away and found Kitten. He was sitting NEXT to the heater vent waiting for the heat to come on so it could blow on his kitten butt.

What a creative idea. Kitten is no dummy. He is a master manipulator and really good at getting what he wants when he wants it.

We have been trying to teach the boy how to do things, not be manipulative but use experiences for his advantage and really learn from them. He has asked me to include recipes in his "Life Book"

If you do not know what a "Life Book" is; it is a book that tells your kid how things are supposed to be if anything happens to the adults in his life. It can be comprehensive, with all the details, or kind of lame depending on how seriously you take it. Ours has "warnings" about people, things and possible situations. Recommendations for what to do and who to call....what the boy needs and where to take the kittens to the vet. In fact, the boy wants a "Life Book" of his own. He tells me he wants me to help him make one up about what to do- how to set up his weekly vitamins/meds and when to pay the rent- the tools he can  use to make things work successfully for himself when he is on his own.

We used to have recommendations about what to wear to school (NO SWEATPANTS) and how to get around to places he likes to go. Instructions on what to do and where to drive and how to get where he needs to be.

I think more people should have a "Life Book". Call it whatever you want.... but make certain you have what you need in the book itself....we  have found ours is excellent when we do not remember who to call about whatever it is we are working on....

Below are some links to ideas for book formatting.  See what works for you or make up your own.

If you are certain you won't need to make alterations try this:
http://lp.blurb.com/g/bookmaking-v1?ce=us_mi&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=goog&utm_campaign=all_standard

OR a better option- use Microsoft Word or MacPro....there are recommendations when searching for templates that could work for you. Or go outside your box and make up your own.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

There are some people...,,,

That do not know applesauce from baby shit.  

From what I've heard the boy has met several very recently.  


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alien Possession (serious language alert)

Please note- if you comment about what a rotten parent I am that means YOU get to come and help and I really need someone to assist with the kitties and the housecleaning... the cute one and I could use another day off.....
Thanks
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We have been invaded by ALIENS.....at least that is what I am thinking with what has been going on lately. 


I believe that saying bad or good luck is kind of lame so if I blame it all on aliens I won't feel so weird about all the hassle this semester with the boy. Fortunately things have calmed down since my lovely cousin and her patient husband came to assist the boy with a difficult class - It has gotten much better in the last week or so since they were here....

THAT being said- MOST of this is the boy being frustrated with the current situation and the amount of extra work/practicing that we are requiring. ALSO NOTE THAT - Aspies do not get practicing. Most are perfectionists that are able to do it right the first time without a ton of effort (explaining that these buggers are smart, and able to do the work).

_________________________________________________________________________________


Here is the story- I will get to the alien possession part soon....

I think I need a cattle prod. NO I am not serious keep your twisted undies out of your clinch.

Pretty recently, the boy had been telling me it is my job to contact an old teacher of his so he can go to the movies with a group of people he used to hang out with. ????????? No I don't think so.

Then I got to hear about how I was a "lazy pooper" which, being the good Mom that I am, I proceed to tell my son if he calls me that it means I am within my rights to call him "dip shit". He then tells me that I am not allowed to call him names....Excuse me? He continually yells in my ears and then tells me that I must do whatever because it is "my job" as his Mom. Seriously, really? He is perfectly capable of writing a text message or an email.
No. It isn't my job and it is time for the boundaries to be back in place. I wonder if there are firewalls available and if I can put them up in my home.....

I will not be ordered around by some unimpressive know-it-all who thinks he is perfection itself but in reality knows nothing at all. When the boy annoys me this much I really don't care what is Aspergers and what is normal. The most I want to do right now is lock him in the garage until he is a human again. I have heard that normally happens around the age of 21; for the boy I am thinking it will happen around age 26 or 27. The other evening I asked the cuter half if I could move the boy to the garage. The cute one said "No, it will be all right. The boy cannot go to the garage there is no space for a bed or even a blow up mattress."

this is not our garage- we do not have a path.....

Sigh

It is horrible and intolerable to be around the boy right (developmentally he is about 15) now. He can be downright mean...and yeah I know responding with "dip shit" is not mature parenting.

For instance, on a charming Friday afternoon not long ago, I was exposed to a classic example of self entitlement. I got an earful of "You mother fucker how dare you make me walk to and  from from ______________. Open this God-damned door, bitch, you owe me because I am not going to get out my key." It was so outrageously ludicrous all I could do was stand there and laugh- while he was pounding on the door, and the glass yelling at me, "You fucker you will open this door right now." (even better, the new neighbors were walking by and heard the entire thing- YEA). It is no wonder the neighbors won't talk to us or act like we exist....I wouldn't talk to us either if I heard someones kid going off like that. BTW- I didn't open the door, and the boy did get out his key. Then I got to hear about how "You are a lazy piece of shit and you never do anything for me."

this is not my garbage bag- I would need a larger one.

I guess this means I can take his clothes and throw them out the front door. He certainly doesn't need me to do his laundry for him; as I never do anything anyway, The cute one told me I can't do that though so I guess I am doing the boy's laundry - still.

Lately the cute one and I are really burned out and really sick of the drama and unfortunately it hasn't gotten better with time.

I wonder if we have some wine in the fridge. I think right now that is about the only way I can stand being anywhere near him after a fun afternoon and evening of being told I am a "fucker and a piece of shit".

Oddly enough, after a day of this - he comes up to me after his shower and is being nice. All please and thank  you......It is freaking me out and I am not going to say anything to him because it will erupt again and I don't want to hear about it any more.



People tell me that he is never like this to others outside the home. He is polite, nice and pleasant to be with. I think they must be talking about someone else's kid. An alien must have taken possession of him during those nice and polite times. That is certainly NOT the person we know 90% of the time here at the house. Lately, I have refused to be in public with him and I certainly don't want to talk to him unless I absolutely have to. The boy is lucky to have the cuter half. If I were a single parent he certainly wouldn't be here any more. He and his lazy ass would be in a group home.

I hope the wine is chilled by now. I really could use a glass or two or maybe the whole bottle.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Current Favorite Quotes- Hey give it a chance you might like them

I have been thinking of these quotes - some are original and some are from wonderful books I have read and movies I keep going back to.

Michael Oher: Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you're not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn't at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up, and joining with the other side? I mean, valley of death that's pretty salty stuff. That's why courage it's tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good. I think that's what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too.
Lately I have been getting inspired by "The Blind Side". For some reason it is speaking to me on a level that even if things are tough - my kid can do it too and be the best he can be. 

Here is another one that makes me think of the boy and how most people view him:
“He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence.” 



As always Dumbledore- JK Rowling is able to turn a phrase and keep me thinking:
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” 

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” 

“If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” 



“It's very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you're not perfect.” 

I'm a visual thinker, really bad at algebra. There's others that are a pattern thinker. These are the music and math minds. They think in patterns instead of pictures. Then there's another type that's not a visual thinker at all, and they're the ones that memorize all of the sports statistics, all of the weather statistics.

Then there are my own - I call them my finest Mom moments:

"_____ put your clothes away before Kitten pees on them!"

"You are not actively serious, are you?"

"Could've, would've and should've mean absolutely nothing" (I think I have pointed out before that the boy hates this one)




"

Friday, October 24, 2014

Being Candid- and I don't mean Candid Camera


I have always been an open  book.


My mom used to tell people that I could not tell a lie because I would end up cracking up. I laughed because I thought lies were stupid and if you fell for it -  not only did I think I ought to question the intelligence of the hearer - well it was so unbelievable to me that anyone would believe a lie that I would just laugh.

My transparency has cost me a lot.




Every once in a while I get a surprise and I get shocked into being transparent. I really need to start prepping myself for anything; then I would be ready and not be so open and honest. It would save me a TON of aggravation in the long run. I really need to keep reminding myself that "no one wants to know your opinion about everything." (I was told that once and haven't forgotten it) With certain people I need to remember to keep it to myself and not tell them much of anything unless it is vital. Especially if it concerns my actual opinion about something. I really need to watch that....my Dad used to say "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. There won't be a third time." My big issue is that in some cases hope springs eternal and I want to  wish for something so much that will never be there or happen. I need to remember the "There won't be a third time".

Thank God for the cute one - he saves me a ton of trouble in the long run. A slight squeeze of his hand and it reminds me that I need to stop and think about who or what I am talking to or about. He reminds me that there are people out there willing to take on a special needs kid, and this kid's mom and the situation that life has us in. The cute one reminds me that there are wonderful, loving people in the world. That in spite of all the crazy shit with school, therapists, doctors and the boy; the two of us are worthy of being a family with him and my God we are lucky.

Anyway, the candid, transparent part of any Aspie family is really detrimental to said family if there is a perceived problem with someone else outside of what I will call the Aspie-life. Being this transparent with schools, doctors, therapists, and counselors is not for the faint of heart. It really becomes a habit. Allowing someone to tip toe through the tulips of your home/personal life is something that is normally not considered acceptable. Which means that being candid/transparent/honest will probably mean you will get kicked in the ass at a later time. As long as you are ready for that - well then you can allow people into your inner sanctum (home/mcmansion/castle/shack) and be able to effectively manage everything for your Aspie. Having people run in and out of your lives means that you have to let people leave when it is time. That can prove to be embarrassing but as long as you are able to not let it get in your way of helping your Aspie at home - well you should be OK.Frankly, if you have an Aspie and are getting embarrassed about things - you are wasting your energy. Start talking your Aspie about sex, masturbation, drugs, alcohol and appropriate behavior therein and then have the fun of being embarrassed,  It doesn't work that way - embarrassment is a luxury- not for parents of an Aspie child.

OOPS I did it again, I got honest and transparent. Damn it.
Which goes back to getting surprised and getting shocked into being honest about your experiences. See what I mean, being so transparent is a habit just as being honest and candid is a habit as well.

On the negative though, it means you are TEACHING your Aspie to be the same and this may be detrimental in the long run. Because of this, most of the time,we are instructing the boy NOT to tell everyone exactly what he is thinking. I am telling him what is for home, his therapists and what is OK in public.IT is hard for him to figure out what he can and cannot do or say. He gets told "No" more times than most people his age (OK ANY ONE his age....or at least the ones we have met anyway). He has a friend, she is marvelous, and puts up with the grind here, the scheduling and the over all upheaval when things get crazy,

For example, for her, today was a test in flexibility. The boy had a test to take, it was going to take a long while and he had to take it for this one class. Suffice to say he completed it early and was going to wait for the cuter half to pick him up. Because I was sort of nearby I went to get him early but then the cute one got home late and then we got stuck at the restaurant and had to wait in line which for some reason took an hour (??).....
The lesson is that this friend was willing to wait it out. and be late for a party that was planned by other friends....and she was still gracious, kind and always helpful and as always friendly. Lucky for us she is part of our little family.

So what is tonight's lesson?
How the hell should I know?

Keep your mouth shut? Maybe especially when there is a shock involved.
OR teach your Aspie to keep it in and let it go at home in their assigned room?
          HMMM that is a thought and a really good idea (we do this - Aspergers is for the bedroom. You can have Aspergers there; once you leave your room or your home and go outside the Aspergers stays at home.)

I know, I have it - skip lunch, go to a wine tasting and then have a late dinner....now that sounds like the perfect lesson for today. If I told you what I REALLY thought I would be back at the censorship option and I don't want to go there again - it will just be annoying.




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Censorship-GGGRRRRR

I hate it when I really want to blog about something but don't dare because certain people would use what I have to say against the cuter half and I.

Sigh.
Guess I will have to come up with something banal then.

BANAL



There we go - have a great week everyone!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

FLASHBACK POST - DOUBLE DOSES

FLASHBACK

 Over the summer there was an evening that I was reminded of an evening at home with my parents:

I was in high school, the fall was a busy time for us three. My Dad was into his meetings and committees and my Mom was cutting edge, she worked from home and was busy doing that and her other committees and such. I had band and some church stuff going on (this was back in the day when I did go to church regularly).

This particular time I was sick with a terrible cold - and being the way I am - I hate taking any kind of medicine. During the beginning of the afternoon, my parents would be doing there usual prep for the evening thing - they had a dinner to go to and since finals were coming up I was staying at home trying to get over my cold. It was my usual doozy of a cold, I couldn't breathe and I felt like a sledge hammer was in my temples.

First off my Mom comes in the kitchen, "Take this cold medicine and go to bed. Dinner is in the refrigerator. Heat it up and eat" (most likely this was a rice and bean meal since I didn't usually eat meat unless forced to). For once, I do as I am told and I take the medication. To show how AWFUL I felt - me taking any kind of medication is like a cold day in hell. I really have to feel terrible (this still stands- ask the cuter one about me on my  pneumonia meds a few years back).

Then my Dad walked into the kitchen, "Here take this and don't argue back. We have no time for you to have a cold right now."  Dad hands me more cold medicine, I am trying to tell him I already had some. Mom brought it and I did really take it... he wasn't having any, "I know your Mom did not bring you anything. She is getting ready to go and you won't take it unless I argue with you. We need to go - take the medicine." So to stop further argument, I took it.

Phew.

I was out of it....I have NO clue what went on that evening - my friends told me I was pretty wild with silly conversations.... I have no idea what I said or did that evening but I do know I slept and got up and no more cold the next day.

Tonight feels like the same kind of thing. Only now we are SO busy we have not a clue what we said or what we did or anything.

We have had quite the days lately....just a lot going on.

Last summer the princess has had some big ole changes - which means we have made big ole changes. Her changes were a little hard to take and frankly could have been handled in a better fashion than they were. But it appears that she is doing what she can and is doing OK so I can't complain about what happened then but be satisfied with what is going on now.

On the less significant portion; for us it appears our holidays will be changing - and other things that are minor to others but a big deal to us (celebrating birthdays, little parties; we are catering now) - we don't really know HOW we will manage the holiday changes or what we will do but it appears that we will be handling HOW we celebrate a little differently. The cuter half and I are TRYING to figure out all the details but it is likely that we won't get very far until the time actually arrives.

During the summer, the boy had to drop a class for the first time ever. He told us that he was relived he doesn't have to go back. The prof was too esoteric for an Aspie. We should have known that a class with no book and short cuts discussed in class but not in the book or notes the boy had....well this class was a time bomb waiting to happen... and pretty much it did. I think it is interesting HOW a teacher can pretty much make or break a class. This guy appeared to be hell-bent on getting this particular Aspie out of his classroom. THIS IS a Mom's perception but reading the stuff in class and this teacher's attitude towards the boy's penmanship (or lack thereof) and not accepting dictated work- well what is one to think? Thankfully it appears that this semester is tough but it is going much better and he is really liking these classes.

Anyway at that point during the summer we needed a night off. There are advantages to having the Binny's club card and although we aren't big drinkers some evenings do call for a change in the atmosphere. It had been a good night for a rum/coffee/mint drink. Then the cuter half brought me a grasshopper. Yup; I was a two-fisted drinker that evening......which brought back that time with my parents and the cold medicine. Although the rum/mint/coffee didn't taste like medicine and the grasshopper was great - I was pretty much trashed out by the end of the evening.


I am SUCH a lightweight.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Distractions from the way life used to be.

Tonight's post is going to focus on my word of the day: distraction

Distraction is defined as:
a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
"the company found passenger travel a distraction from the main business of moving freight"
OR
extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
"he knew she was nervous by her uncharacteristic air of distraction"

My current level of distraction can come from a myriad of sources.
For example, tonight I was doing the weekly pills- we call it "doing the pills" really it is a boat-load of vitamins set up for the cuter half, the boy and myself.  This part of my week is the time where I usually have my best ideas. Unless, of course, if I get distracted. 

Tonight's distractions were twofold. 

One the cuter half is painting a nativity that my great uncle made years ago. This nativity came from my great aunt's farm and to me it always meant Christmas, or that the holiday was actually beginning. The nativity itself is a simple wood cut - with Joseph, Mary and the baby. We have had this nativity for a number of years. The cuter one knows how I feel about it and is really good about getting it out and putting it up every year. The colors have faded....Joseph somehow got chipped, the set itself is getting old. Well the other day the cute one went out and bought outdoor paint to touch up the nativity for me. I was going to do it and as per usual I get distracted by whatever it is that is going on and then I forget about it. Anyhow, to make a long story longer, the cute one is now painting Joseph. He is carefully painting the lines, and using the colors to touch up Joseph on the living room table....it means so much to me that he is bothering (his back is out again....getting down on the floor is kind of a challenge). The cute one calling me to "Come see and let me know if this is too dark/light or looks wrong..." well all my grand posting thoughts promptly flew out the window.

Then the boy, "Mom I can meet with my Math Professor tomorrow afternoon. Can you drive me to school?" Making that arrangement and how he will get home and what we will be doing in the meantime. 

Another one is the princess. Princess is doing really well - she is in her 90's so every day is a gift to the rest of us....and she forgets things. Which if I live to my 90's I reserve the right to forget stuff too.
For example, the other evening we were visiting and she mentioned that she needed a manicure. I decided to do it before I forgot (right now I am doing things right when I think about it or it won't get done) and presto- she had her manicure. Last night we went by and she mentioned that some lady had come in and done her manicure the other evening....that lady was me. I thought it was pretty funny - but then my sense of humor has a pretty wide opening and I can get a giggle about almost anything.

So whatever it was that I had as my Grand Idea....It went.

  1. It could have been talking to people when we all went out the other evening (THANK you for whoever made that meeting a quick one - Good job!) 
  2. Or maybe it was talking to another parent about Aspies and college.
  3. It could have been about vitamins and medication.
  4. Or maybe it was about the boy and his lack of social acumen.
  5. May have even been about cat barf and how wheat grass is a great thing for the puttens but not so great for the one room of the house that has carpeting.
  6. It might have been about my regular use of vinegar and making things less - odoriferous.
I know I had been thinking about the boy and yesterday. 

Yesterday sucked.

The boy has had a TON of homework and having to get ready to retake another test plus midterms....well things have gotten a smidgen out of hand. Essentially, I once again showed by parenting prowess by blowing my stack at anyone who happened to get in my way. You would have done it too after listening to 48 hours of kibitzing.
Mid morning the boy had a meeting with his prescribing doctor. She is amazing and well, for the first time in 10 years I got annoyed with the arguing (cuter half and the boy) and I walked out of the office - and tossed the checkbook to the cuter half and went for a walk/jog around the upper part of the building. Me leaving had a slight effect on the day. 

Let's say it went down hill from there.

After several arguments and loud discussions with a lot of swearing (the boy is learning to swear correctly now- I don't think this is good but at least he doesn't sound like a dofus when he is angry about something) and screaming;  the boy settled down and started working on the rest of his math problems and whatever else he needed to do. 

Then on top of other stuff that came down the pike- lets just say there is an old saying abut "timing is everything" that probably would have been well placed at that time. And this addition, well I was in a royal "right state" about this time and ready to go look for the steam roller.

Really this whole post is supposed to be focusing on distractions - when in essence it is about flexibility. The cuter half and I exhibiting flexibility (even when we argue with each other and the boy) is showing an example. Us taking a break - even when we are pissed off - then coming back and looking at the questions/situations/goals/cat barf again means that we are prepared to step back and re-evaluate.
The boy doing the same thing is another tool that he has in order to make things work for him at a later time.

It was pointed out to me that the boy recognizing that he needed to make a change in his career path at such a young age is really a big deal. Unlike many, he knows where, what and how he needs to get where he wants to be. He is able to discuss "behaviorism" as a technique for his potential employment. We were reminded again how he is viewed as successful and that he really is doing quite well.
He is mapping things out and learning to be flexible at the same time. Now if we can cut out some of the distractions during the day - well we would be in a good place and doing just fine.....









Thursday, September 25, 2014

Handwriting issues- more Aspies have it than not

HEY YOU - yes I am talking to you.

My kid's handwriting sucks. REALLY BAD.
He will type, dictate, or try to write and then ask to dictate to one of us. This is serious business. As time goes by there supposedly is NO excuse for god-awful handwriting. At least that is what we are told now after hearing that kids don't need to write or be able to write clearly and legibly.

I do not concur.


During the time that MOST gen kids are doing their handwriting bit- since 2013 articles indicate that even cursive is not being taught but the focus on teaching to the testing is more prevalent. SERIOUSLY? So most of these kids do not learn penmanship in school any longer. My God no wonder none of us can read a blooming thing one of these kids have written.

Most teachers will not accept work that is dictated. Did you know that?
OK so if we are NOT teaching handwriting in schools - my son did not learn penmanship and at home during that time I was trying to work on reading, and taking him to museums, zoos and the like so he could be good at something. I did NOT focus on penmanship at home I mistakenly thought that was taught at school.

SO now what do we do. Well, we are encouraging the boy to dictate - there are things that use the spoken word to type out what he needs on the computer. WE also are having him practice his keyboarding. Although proper finger location is not taught at school either. I think my old typing teacher would be appalled. I am attempting to teach him the key thing that I learned but it is pretty slow going. Honestly I did NOT get good at typing until after I went back to work. I do not know what my WPM is but I know that I can go pretty quickly when I need to.

And yes I TYPE a lot. I can think and type pretty much at the same time. BUT I have had practice, and I CAN STILL PRINT AND USE CURSIVE. The other night I had writers cramp. How often does that happen any more? We get tendinitis from typing or using the mouse- writers cramp is one of those odd things that used to come up years ago....
I guess the thing is that really taking more "teaching to the testing" whether anyone will admit it or not - taking handwriting out is such a little thing....that in the long term means a lot.

My Mom will still prefer a pretty written note to some typewritten old thing. She enjoys the fun of getting the mail and having something coming to her.
Using email to communicate is fine. I do it.  Same with FB and all the other online things available.
BUT the actual written word may be going out as much as we all think. And more's the pity I say- because although my handwriting is loops and curls and all that - I still believe that writing things down is important.

 So although some people will not be teaching their kids cursive and some will I am still not sure what we will do. I would like to teach my Aspie cursive. and hopefully he will understand why it is so important.and maybe just maybe someone will take a gander at the "Common Core" and realize that focusing on just that is going to loose us all (gen and Aspie) in the long run....taking out the things that make people well, cultured, is really cutting a generation of students to the absolute bare minimum of learning. The Common Core doesn't make everyone learn the same. It appears to make everyone drones and not thinking for themselves or outside their boxes.

Think about it. There is little art and music taught unless you as a student are focusing on Art or Music. My band director from HS taught me to learn the different instrument playing in a symphony. He did - and although I am not the most musically inclined person I will admit that doing that helped me to learn to appreciate the symphony (and gave me something to do in case it got boring).My first real art class was in college - the professor liked how I saw things and put up with me in his art room. He allowed me to paint, and see things the way I did and I was lucky to get so much out of it. I will never be a Rembrandt or Picasso but him teaching me "Less is MORE" is something that I  have applied to my entire life.

Any more a student practically has to be a rare talent in elementary school- there are Aspies who are GOOD at art. they can draw, paint, use pencil or whatever. These things are taught to them at home and then expounded upon at school. As for me; I didn't focus on that part. My son had a natural ability towards history and reading - so we are now working on the things we missed (art, music and penmanship) when we were trying to teach him to talk at age 5 (normally verbal starts at (1-3 years old).

Looks like I have my work cut out for me......

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Did you catch it? We did.

There is a new virus going around.
the boy brought it home to share with us and both the cuter one and I got it. The boy and cute one are pretty much over it.
Not me.

I have not gotten "Go to the doc sick" in probably 2 years. Since we left for London. I have not been sick, not even a sniffle... and I am now flat on my back sick with the good antibiotics and feel like someone dropped Troubles on my head.

The weird thing is that the boy is seemingly OK. We aren't sure how classes are going. He tells us fine - we aren't sure how to take some of his comments....although one prof this year about had me blowing my stack.....and the cute one and I have learned to let go. There are no traditional supports for a higher functioning student like ours; well there is note-taking and that seems to be about it. with note-taking you can tell the compassion function in most classrooms with certain students is just not there. Maybe it is that these people don't wish others to think they are friends with the boy. Or maybe he is just being big dumb and dopey....either is possible and I have no clue which it could be.


We have been so ill around here I could not tell you when the boy's assignments are due or what he needs to work on next.
I am too sick to really care and frankly it is time for him to start running the bases. That and he really HAS to graduate soon. I really can't handle any more boy+school=stressed out boy.

Oddly enough there are parents who get all excited that their kids are coming home from school and are living with them. We aren't those parents. Our plan is to get the boy to move out on his own in his own place.....yup. He has to function and do it. The laundry, his vitamins/meds, the cleaning, the cooking, paying bills, scheduling and all that good stuff.

He's gonna love it.

Although I think we will probably have to get him to the point where he is able to do everything that everyone else does on his own.

In the meantime, I need more tea/lemon/honey; this is what you get when you can't take cough syrup any longer.
Yea-ness.













Sunday, August 3, 2014

I thought of something else.....

Oxymoron defined - a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. "Make haste slowly" or "More haste less speed"

For example, people incorrectly using a term "retard" as a description. We hear a lot of name calling where we are at. People call the boy a retard regularly....although not in front of us. That would cause what I call a "Sarah Palin Reaction" via a barracuda with lipstick.

If you think about it retard is defined as delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment. "His progress was retarded by his limp". Which means that the definition does NOT mean a mentally disabled issue. It does mean to hold back in terms of progress. Which is totally different.

I wonder how many people think about what they say and if it is opposite of what they really mean.
People ask us how we are doing and if we aren't up to the big answer we just say, "OK we are doing wonderfully well thanks."

The reality of this summer is something totally different: what I mean is, although the boy had a rough summer....he is in college, a place we were told he would never go. He is interning and working with kids and may be working with other kids outside of school (Big ole maybe on this one) He is maintaining good grades, although biology theory almost did him in....and he is trying really hard to keep the right attitude even if he doesn't want to.

This summer has been really hectic (seriously scary busy). We had some stuff going on with Princess....and then we needed to do some more and pretty much the stress level around here has just about done all of us in. The boy actually had to drop the biology theory class. He had never willingly quit much (track and field senior year= organized chaos doesn't count) and the biology theory class was really kind of weird. No text book. What is with these prof's teaching off the cuff?  Ergo why I have re-named this class biology theory.

There were times when I thought this prof was really not "pleased" that the boy was in his classroom. Since I am not there this is purely conjecture on my part; but reading the notes and little comments on the homework gave me the impression that this was not a good fit for the boy from the get go. The boy's handwriting is less than stellar and he usually will dictate answers to either us, his tutor or he will type them. This prof would cross out any answers that were not what he thought were done by the boy.....which is strange because like most people, the boy thinks best when discussing answers or typing them out (which did not appear to be an option). We stuck it out until the boy couldn't recover his grade and he had to drop. I am not just poking fingers at the prof. The boy didn't do his part....his concern about Princess and other things related to her really made studying difficult (some nights completely undone). I had mentioned to several people at the beginning of the summer that the class was hard and that the boy was already struggling....and given the emotional component this summer; well the outcome was not surprising.
I don't believe that teachers or professors realize their impact on students. Although many have really great reviews and are on target, there are some that are not on the positive....which does that mean they really suck at what they do or is it that they know their topic but don't know how to teach it?

I am not sure how that works out ultimately but I do know that the boy being on the receiving end of some really quality teaching and some really poor teaching since starting gen education....well the thoughts kind of trouble me a little bit. I know that he was much more self reliant at a younger age and going into a gen school when he did brought down the quality of the education he got.....spelling words "cat", "and" and "tv" come to mind.

Like with all students (even those described as "retards") ONLY work to the highest level expected of them. Isn't that true for most mortals? We do what we must and not much more?

Some days I wish I could do that....the cuter half and I are usually running around doing our bit and spending what is supposed to be a day off running hither and yon without much of a break Although the wine shop stop was a good one....E-----////// Wi--////& S---///::::. Last night the first thing I said after an evening w Princess, the grocery and Tar-get, "This is the first time we have slowed down today. What would it be like to just sit?" The cuter half said, "I think we would go into shock if we sat still and didn't do anything."

He is probably right.
 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Does anyone know what time it is?

Do you remember that old song?
Does anyone care about time?

This has been a weird summer. I know, I say that a lot.
However with all the experiences and all the other stuff we had to do this summer....the summer just got weird, wild, overwhelming, confusing and best of all "How did a nice couple like us end up with all this mess?"

We have pretty much stopped everything. Literally. We have only been able to focus on Princess. She has needed a lot of extra help and attention this summer. This is fine - we are enjoying helping, figuring things out and still trying to keep up with our commitments (OK- so the commitments have been pushed back a bit)

Essentially, this summer,  our Aspie boy has had to make it on his own. He tried. Really he did. However, he did have to drop a class. I never ever thought that could or would happen. He used to be really smart. He could academically handle everything.....this class really nailed his sorry butt to the wall. There was no way for his grade to recover and although in one major this class is a requirement in the other major it isn't so he will probably NOT take it again.... nonetheless we were trying to get him to understand that although he dropped a class with a teacher who had no book - and what he had made it seem like he was teaching a theory class and not the class listed in the description.

On another note what is with these teachers that are unable to teach a described course? Yeah, be interesting to yourself but it is UNLIKELY that your students think you have a clue or maybe have your head screwed on backwards.

With all the hectic-ness of the summer we are kind of missing things that we need to do. Some stuff, like opening the patio and setting up outdoors....well that is not going to be happening this summer. This last week I wish we had it set up at least partially....my bro and nephew were in town and it would have been easier to have them outside than in....its OK I know I need to sweep and vacuum more often than I do. Having them here meant I kept the vacuum plugged in for my daily use.....

The boy is getting really good at laundry- Princess has needed extra help with laundry, and since the cuter half and I are not always available to do it... he does it. The boy is learning about vinegar rinses, when to use more than one Tide pod..... and if something smells really bad to wash it through again prior to putting it in the dryer.

The cuter half and I have learned a number of things too.

We have learned that if it does not directly affect us at this given point and time it is unlikely that we will give it much merit. As I told my supervisor at work, "I want to be empathetic/sympathetic but I cannot emotionally afford to get drawn up into the drama of this other person. I have to and will walk away until it is over." In fact, the other day, it was SO bad I had to go hide to try and get over my migraine. I told my supervisor why I was walking away ....I do not have room for extraneous drama. The cuter half agrees with me although he thinks that I get worried and fussed over nothing.

Did you know that migraines can last for more than a day? I have had mine for now going on 4. I even pulled my glasses out to see if it could help. Most of the time my migraines are noise induced....and because of this I am very sensitive to any kind of irritating noise. Almost any kind of noise can set me off....So here I am with the boy (noise) and I get set off, the cats meow (noise)- a fan blowing (noise), the dishwasher (noise)....my eyes start twitching and my sinuses start messing on me and well there I head right into the nerve bending headache of the century.

We have learned that no matter how much we plan a head there are some times that when you have bought your lifetime supply of Tide pods, hand soap and sanitizers  there comes a moment of clarity, " What the hell do I need another thing of soap for? Why am I doing this to myself and what the ____ was I thinking?" At one point we were told to plan ahead for the Princess. We had to be ready for anything. Now we are trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do with all the stuff we have for her use. Are we were able to return things if we don't know where the receipt is....the rest we are just going to use for her stuff alone.

It is kind of blowing my mind that we are in this position. I have always kind of figured that this is what is going to happen with the boy. However I still wonder at his maturity level ....it worries me. I get concerned when all of his information is coming from Cartoon Network....that kind of bothers me. We are trying to incorporate a more family and higher level TV watching mode but it isn't working. I still want to know WHY we pay for the damn cable why can't we block what we do not want?

The other thing this summer - renting a storage unit. I have done this before, when I was moving. and well, it does make life interesting. This particular one is rather small and down the hall from a rat catcher. It kind of grosses me out but I guess at least it is there and hopefully gets cleaned out....I mean I hope they don't have rats but it is nice to know there is something in place if they do. It is like walking through CellBlock H....or at least that is the way it feels- ghastly orange doors in a long gray trimmed row..... I much preferred the unit I had rented years ago- it was outdoors and on the first floor....easy and not nearly visually nerve wracking. We were leaving today and I swear I saw a bat- the cuter half insisted it was a bird, but I don't think so...

I suppose, this whole summer thing, has been good for the boy. He is finding out what he is capable of doing- and what he doesn't do when I ask him to....which if it isn't Princess' laundry there are little or no guarantees..

As for me, and the cuter half, we have more to do and more to figure out and a garden to straighten out....I have a feeling we are going to be weeding with the car headlights beaming on us some evening just because we are so far behind right now.....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Troubles' poodle brush

Troubles is the super big cat in our house. He is on diets- currently doing probiotics, green beans and his version of "Jane Fonda"
Both are a nightly ritual- the cuter one will say, "Come on Troubles it is time to do your Jane Fondas cause you don't need the "Sara Lee"" Then the light goes on the Troubles starts his exercise routine.....his morning starts with wet kitty food/ green beans puree and probiotics and dry food later in the day.... everything is measured out. We are watching him and what he eats cause Troubs is a chubbo kitty.

Troubles' has what we call his "poodle brush" This brush is a heaver brush with thicker spines Troubles loves it and really wants to have his coat brushed with it every day.....sometimes more . The amount of fur on Troubles is kind of amazing. This cat has more fur than the average tabby....he has an undercoat that is so heavy it is hard to brush him and I have never seen a cat with dandruff before but this cat has more than his share.....

Troubles is our most autistic cat. He has Aspergers the most out of the three. I know I have said that my cats all have Aspergers.
If you didn't notice, Aspergers is the MOST over diagnosed issue in the last 15-20 years. In fact, remembering the term "Autism" and asking a doc about it I remember being told, "There is no such thing and I wish parents would listen and learn rather than try to find things out on their own" (This was from Dr. Day-late-dollar-short).

Troubles is a lot like the boy....they both like their "Things" and their "ways". The boy is really into cartoons and other stuff. I am still waiting until I can block cartoon network on his TV.....nickelodeon too....Yes I am that mean. I am sick and tired of dealing with a 9-10 year old mentality when he is actually older.
I am also tired of being called a "dumb ass" and the grumbling about how the boy won't listen to me anymore. (like he did in the first place). Right now the boy is mad about the wifi rules although there aren't any. I don't have any idea why the wifi does what it does it just does it. It reminds me of the part in the Wizard of Oz, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Some people think,"The men behind the curtain are the small number of elite that control the money and therefore have the power. They influence every decision that takes place and are the shadow government behind the real government. They have considerably more power than the visible political government you see. They are deciding the future of the world as I am writing this right now and will continue to do so because they believe that the mindless herd cannot do so for themselves."

If you consider that statement you will find that the people who think like that are also thinking that way about our kids....Dr. Day-late-dollar-short, she thought that way, some teachers, administrators and the educational elite....yes I think they may think that way too. So many times people think that they know more than they really do.
Maybe they do this out of guilt, or that they really believe that they are better and more astute than most of us "average Joes". Although the boy is obsessed with cartoons and lower level humor- he isn't stupid he was just exposed to students who were not expected to do much of anything. This exposure dumbed down my kid.
That is where I have a problem. Students working to the lowest level available to them and being told that a "C" is a good grade? A "C" is a passing grade it is NOT a good grade. My cat Troubles could get an "A" in olive oil sampling and bread. A "C" for a student who isn't dumb and has a good brain.....but trouble getting it out.....in the grades that is up to the parents to support the teachers and get the stuff out. Schools aren't gonna fix it. Like going to the vet with Troubles and expecting the doc to fix our kitty obesity issue....it isn't up to the vet to fix it. So we can't expect a school to fix lowered expectations of the special ed kids when the parents are so willing to wimp out and accept "CAT", "AND" and "TV" for spelling words for kids who know what Acrophobia* and  Prate** and Mitigate***

Because of all this (lowered expectations on the boys part) we have limited Wi-Fi- we have limited contact (the boy prating meant that I slammed my office door to get some peace and quiet) and we have Troubles who is waiting to be brushed asap.



* an abnormal fear of heights
** to babble incessantly
*** to lessen in force and intensity