Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Salt and Vinegar

Today didn't work exactly as planned.

Obviously I am blogging earlier in the day than normal....I have time now so why not do it.
Anyway I came home and, didn't/haven't felt great. I was talking to the boy and guess what? the dishwasher was leaking soap.
A lot of soap.
All over the floor....I asked the boy what he did and he tells me that he used Dawn dish soap in the dishwasher.
The first thing that ran through my head was, "Since when did you run through the stupid forest and hit every tree twice."
Then - "Well look it up online and see what YOU can do to fix it." Yes this was HIS job - and he fixed it....naturally he didn't want to get stuck having to pay for it.
If he breaks it he pays - we don't.

After some searching he went to wiki-how and found a post that showed how to clear out soap from a dishwasher... he needed a bucket, vinegar, salt and two cups - one for scooping and one for vinegar.

After 4 rinses - it finally came clean....the floor is spotless (nice side effect) and the dishwasher is CLEAN.....

So what did he learn today- do not use anything that doesn't say "DISHWASHER" in the dishwasher. dish soap is for the sink.

Frankly, I am annoyed because he had more sense when he was six than he does now.
BUT he did clean it up and did fix the problem...after I yelled at him....which is probably not the best way to handle it....the boy has done dishes since he was 8 and this is the first time he has done this.
I think cartoons have melted his brain and I am downing the wifi tomorrow AM.....then I am going to find time to reprogram that TV and see if we can ditch cartoon network.......


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Art that brings you motivation

I have a number of friends who are artists. I am including almost all areas of the arts- music, painting, sculpture, graphics, design,

They have such an interesting perspective.

I know I called this art that brings you motivation but really I am thinking about art that inspires you to do better.
I have several favorite artists- OK more than several- OK a LOT of artists: Seurat, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir, Warhol, Kandinsky. I always wished I could paint someone's portrait. I tried several times when I was in college and thought I could be an artist. Then using Warhol as an example, the silkscreen favorites were the Marilyn series....

But then there is Seurat- thinking of the park- mapping out the sky - then the musical about making the painting and how obsessed he was....31 when he died. Uncompleted work, naturally. He was 31 - had a secret family and an ill child who died only several weeks later.

It seems like people worked harder - tried more - did more....we are so lethargic; generally speaking.
I am not judging anyone - just a general observation....
For example, this evening, the cuter half and I were out mutilating dandelions....technically we could have said that we would grow a field of them for the first taker....instead we would rather not have a garden full of them so we decided to clear them up and pull them out.
Then we found a thing I call the "Rumor Weed" (if you know your Veggie Tales YOU know what this is) this thing has big, huge nasty looking leaves.... it can GROW though anything.. I swear it grew under our driveway and then sprouted up under our garden hose is a nasty piece of work and weed killer doesn't work on it....nor does hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or comet.

I got desperate....and I wanted to see what would happen.
Which, if you think about it too is what happened to the great artists. They wanted to see what would happen. Whether an impressionist, a dadist or a portrait artist...see the reaction and what would happen was a big deal.

I am not as nearly as dramatic.However, lately I think that my drama with the : "Rumor Weed" is up there with some kind of performance art....
Digging the ick out...the depth of the root made me think of the "Rumor Weed" and now...well it is something more. Digging the ick out with the boy....well it is digging the ick out...he can be icky - unconfident, unhappy, unwilling, uncooperative, unpleasant....or he can do better than that.
Like the artists did - he can do more, be more and try more than what other people think he can do.
He can persevere.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why My Mom Was Right About Aspergers

Looking back it is pretty hard to admit that Moms are right about much of anything.
It is easier to think that most mom's know what they are doing by the time we "kid-lings" have become adults.

I will admit that I didn't become an adult until I had a kid. I wasn't worried about much prior to having a kid so when I did have one; there was a major perspective change. I was required to be responsible for a little person that needed a TON of help- he had milk allergies and on prescription formula, was in need of a lot of blood tests, then he was into everything. but very well behaved for a baby....I remember warning my Mom that his diapers looked like explosions....his food habits were a little different- and we had to deal with the inability to keep certain foods down. I looked like I was starting a new fashion- burp rags safety pinned on my shirts, coats and redesigned as a scarf (my idea - take it and you have to pay me a royalty). When the boy and I were home; we had been there a week and my Mom said that the boy needed some additional help. I couldn't leave the house, not even to get food. The boy was still having bottle issues and had some other sensory development problems....and he was not talking well yet although the cuter half understood him not many others did. Thus the time for diagnosis- Grandma hit the nail right on the head, although I don't think she realized it at the time.

Then when diagnosis were in need another perspective change.
This perspective change I often compare to the allegory about traveling:

"There is a trip to Italy that you have always wanted to go on. It is all planned, the passport, the tickets, the hotel and the food. Everything is ready.
You get on the plan and are told, "Welcome to Holland".
This was not on the schedule. You are supposed to be in Italy. What happened to Italy?
What the hell am I doing in Holland? I didn't want to be in Holland.

Why am I here?
Well, here I am in Holland and now I have to learn to appreciate Holland for what it is.
It is lovely, the flowers, the views, the people the food. Holland is pretty darn nice.

But my trip was supposed to be different. I am learning to live here but I really want to be in Italy.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had left here gone to Italy instead.
Then I think I am where I am supposed to be: in Holland, learning the names of the different tulips and learning about Dutch cheese pancakes."

Having a kid like ours, is like planning a trip but ending up someplace else.
We planned a wonderful trip - but are in a totally different location than where we thought we would be.

I think the trip allegory is the same for the Grandparents - not much thought goes into what they think about their kid's kid with Aspergers. I think some are supportive and others not, kind of like families generally are.
We were lucky - my parents were helpful and had ideas on what to do with the boy and how he needed to behave himself.
He was not allowed to touch Grandma's things. - no knickknacks or other good stuff. Running through the dining room with several balloons (after being told not to) resulted in getting in big trouble with Grandma. As I used to tell the boy, "The person who controls the cookies controls your world." That would be Grandma.
Although, the boy did learn to sneak cookies for him and Grandpa- I have recently heard it was at any given opportunity when Grandma or I were not in the kitchen.....

Anyway, getting the Grandma take on things - the diagnosis and then the boy doing his bit... well we aren't in a bad place, Just a confusing one. Then expanding with the cuter half and realizing that all the hard work has to pay off eventually and maybe, just maybe the boy will do better than anyone imagines

The new experiences this year have been broadening- from going to a new school, having a car accident, changing majors, and learning about is all new, exciting and interesting.

I hope things stay interesting - although I could loose the exciting aspect and be comfortable with that I don't know if the cuter half and the boy would like it much....

Saturday, May 10, 2014

10 Signs You Should Invest In Aspergers

Do you love this title?
I have been hitting dry spells here and I went to a generator website to see if they could help me out of my funk.
This cracked me up.

Investing in Aspergers.
The parents of these kids have an investment in them. Think about it. A number of years ago it was estimated that raising a child would cost about $200,000 en total. That is costs for diapers, furniture, shoes, preschool tuition, school fees, anything and everything - and for a gen kid I would wager that is right. Although I have heard prom dresses and girls shoes can be nightmarish-ally expensive.
(I still would like a pair of Manolo Blaniks or Jimmy Choo- just for fun)

I think my cuter half and I have spent marginally more on the boy over the years.
OK not marginally - A hell of a lot more than anyone we know.  The boy's overall costs are probably much more than the $200,000 total. I think we are looking at $500,00+
For example, we cover therapy costs - many times with not just a solo therapist. The boy sees multiple therapists for different things; social anxiety, meds, social skills, emotional well being, and more.Then the meds, this isn't like trying a new vitamin from GNC. this the the real stuff of what, when where and if there is an interaction with the Cal Mag Citrate, or Vitamin D. Med changes are serious business. Then if you have to "baseline" or more crudely get completely clean of all meds - well that can take 6 months to get it all out of your system.

Then actually changing of meds, then the anti anxiety issues  that could crop up and the additional therapy phone calls then the transition costs then the private school extras (which more than likely you will pay more because your student may require additional supports to get through the after school activities/. This doesn't include the additional supports to get through not only the grades, middle school and HS but college too.

This isn't just financial stuff this is the employment stuff too. We both work at jobs that are OK but we really could be managers and make more. We don't want the stress and we don't so we stay grunts.....and take the time to be grunts to help the boy do what he needs to do. We give up a lot to help the boy learn to be sucessful. We give him the additional support and are there to help him review, read, learn and pull his thoughts out. Writing a paper is a full blown deal and writing out the topics, ideas, main ideas and soforth can make a huge dent into our time.
SO you know, I am not complaining - I am just being matter of fact. It is what it is and Damn it I think the cuter half and I handle it pretty gracefully (BTW: I don't care if you don't think so if you aren't living with it you don't know a thing about it)

My God, investing in Aspergers, we invest our time....more than our time. Every single available resource we have and then more. This is not parenting for the wussy pant wimpy parent. This shit is hard core and it is hard work. The cute one and I give more than the average parent and frankly we live more for the boy than anyone else.
We work our sorry butts off every day for those who are important to us.

We have to do daily lists for the boy, just to get him to do chores, homework or even take a flipping shower. This is a lot of effort.
In fact the other AM I didn't do a list. I texted him his daily requirements....and he did some of them. We are still working out that he needs to eat. Although really for as little activity that he does I think he could skip some meals and loose the flub. But that is for another blog.

Right now we are trying to survive finals - this second semester is not nearly as awful as the first one. However emphasizing the studying is another mountain to climb. The boy is smart and was able to coast along until HS....then the work started. Now he has to work more....and he is lazy.
I still don't get the hang up with cartoons. I am still thinking of blocking the channels on the TV but then the cute one says that the screaming would begin. I dk about that but I do know that the next time I am here alone it is possible that the "Cartoon Network" may permanently disappear off our cable network.