Thursday, December 17, 2015

Choices

Tonight's blog is not about autism or Aspergers. 

Tonight we discuss (or I vent) about feminism. 

Feminism is defined as: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities (webster).  

So what does this mean?
Does it mean that I get to do everything a guy does? Or they get to do what girls do? Either option is ok really. If you want to be something other than what you are well that's a choice each person has to make for themselves. 

I once read, in a fictional story, that the mother figures thought that feminism means that we women have the right to choose.  We can pick kitchen over board room and it's no-ones place to judge one or the other. The feminist movement gave us a choice and individually we can pick what we believe to be important.  

I think that a woman choosing where they wish to be is vital. I kind of like where I am now. I work at a place that lets girls be girls. Yet, we can learn all the fun stuff (power tools and fork lifts) and how to make things too. I still want to learn how to replace a toilet - and other stuff too.  

Regularly my son tells me what my job is. It's my job, according to him, to wash fold and organize the clothes, keep the computers  et.al. In repair, clean cat barf and poop and do all the stuff he doesn't want to do. This is all a "moms job".  

I told him to stuff if out his Azores. He needs to learn all this and to feed himself before he moves out of this house. 
As for the boy's/my son's role assignment for me I do not concur. 

I can choose what role I am in and where I'm going. Thank goodness I have my cuter one with me for all this.  Otherwise I think I'd be pretty lonely. 

FYI. My role is chief chick at this house 
So I get to keep the whole girl thing while doing my damn-edest to avoid the picky princess bullshit. 

FEMINISM is my choice of who, what and where I want to be. 



Friday, November 13, 2015

I want what I want when I want it.

Holy shit. 
Ok the deal is- house = mess. The maid quit last week (means there is no time to clean it) and the boy wants friends to come over.  

Are you freaking kidding me? We have car hair balls on top of cat hair balls. I don't have time to run the vacuum. Or scrub tile or well you get the picture.  

I'm trying to sleep and he's debating me over what I've said  (no we can't do this right now).  Duh.  No debate here no is no end of story. Don't ask me again and debating me just pisses me off (I won't agree to anything then). 

Constantly interrupting me (telling me what I'm thinking) this goes over well as his abilities this way are slightly skewed.  

And after all this I just realized he missed a preferred activity. I really need to get this on the calendar.  We keep mixing up the weeks.  

Badgering me and the cuter one makes it hard all the way around.  
4 more weeks. 


Please think of/pray/meditate for the people of Paris. Their devastation during this terrible time needs as much good karma as is available. 

 (March 2013 our first trip to Paris and hopefully not our last). 



Monday, October 19, 2015

Because we need something.....

This is a lovely, unhealthy dessert that is really wonderful.  
We love it and it is amazing: dark chocolate, mousse and toppings.  

Not a gluten free or carb free dessert this one is total food p---.

We love it.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

One never knows.....

W all the mess going on we had some "regular" chores to do recently.  
The boy HAD to renew his drivers license.  Almost everyone knows the unmitigated joy of doing this.  

I'm quite certain those poor people who work there see it all.  

I had the boy go up alone to speak to the reviewer.  He was doing ok but off the cuff ASPIE comments can be a little much for some people. For example, "I think I need to wait to be a donor I don't want to curse myself and die too soon"
That one cracked her up.  

I couldn't hear what else was said but I did ask him if he was giving the reviewer a bad time.  He said "No Mom I'm almost done go sit down."  Then at the cashier line (I'm the checkbook) another lady came by and told me how polite the boy was answering all the questions. 
??????????
Really? 
Huh. Who knew. 
We must be doing something right. Kind of a shocker that was.  

Oh and the guy who found my wallet and returned it to me (w nothing missing I have no $$ anyway) - you are an amazing wonderful person. Thank you again!!!!


  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It happened 6 effing years ago......

The boy is trying to resurrect arguments that happened 6+ years ago. Most of these arguments have been resolved but he is bringing them up like they happened yesterday.
My latest strategy is to tell him that we are dealing with the NOW and not the THEN. If he wants to discuss NOW great lets have at it. If he wants to discuss THEN, well lets get our butts to the therapists. In some ways, I know I should apply that to my experiences, and when certain things stop emotionally hurting I probably will. In the mean time, as always the focus is on the boy (even though I am sick and tired of the focus always being on him).

The weird thing is that he is obsessing over things that haven't even happened yet. He has gotten stuck on friends coming over or what we will do when and all that. Little realizing that he has another semester to get through then a job to find and all of the rest of it. WE are exhausted and in his Aspie-land self centeredness he could give a damn. His complete self-centeredness is costing him a future relationship - we just don't want to hear it anymore.

This Aspie-land self centeredness is a huge deal here.

Frankly, the cuter-half has had enough of it and has little or no tolerance for the boy and his shenanigans. I am not here for most of it these days. I work most of the weekend and I am not enjoying the arguments and garbage that seem to bloom out on the weekends. The latest thing is this lack of understanding that really makes me want to scream and that if I am not here I am NOT making promises for the cuter-half that I cannot uphold. It is like trying to break a palace wall to get this kid to grasp that I really don't want this new friend to come over. We are not a babysitters. The boy's lack of understanding that we do not care to have anyone here and if they want to hang out they can go to the screened in patio and hang out there but I do not want them overtaking the house.

Yeah, kind of rude right? Whatever.

Since the more recent outbreaks (I don't mean meltdowns, just stuff happening), the cuter-half and I are doing more things for ourselves. You know, we always gave up everything we wanted to do for the boy. We never put ourselves first. Ever. Now we are tired of giving it up. We want to do what we want and our main goal is to get him through school so we can determine what WE want to do and then do it. We don't know what all that will be but it is unlikely that the boy will be at the center of it like he always has been.

For those of you who think this is terrible, this is called "parental burn-out". This happens to parents who have no back-up, help or resources available to them. We are at this part in our lives and once the boy moves out it is unlikely he will be allowed to move back home. We can't go through all this drama any longer. We are tired.


Monday, September 7, 2015

13 weeks

The boy has 13 weeks and he will be done w school except for 1 class.  Then completely finished. 

13 weeks. I often wonder if we should have forced him out when he first graduated.  Go away to school figure it out good luck.  

I honestly don't believe he could do it.  His big issue right now is that at 21, well, he's kind of a jerk.  I hear most are that way but this has been going on for awhile.  

That and he doesn't fix meals for himself, he quit the cooking major and quit cooking entirely.  He used to make paninis, omelettes, quiches, anything. Now forget it.  He won't even make a cold meat sandwich.  

Today I had to work.  I had not set up the vitamins/pills for the week.  Forgot it. I've worked the last 6 days in a row.  My patience is shot. He has this OCD thing where if it's not the right day he won't take it.  Which is stupid. It's the same every day. AM & PM. So I did the weekly set up and told him to go take it.  

I still believe his problem is pooping.  No shit out and behavior is God-awful terrible.  
Taking a dump is mandatory.  




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking the easy way out this evening: Social issues and Teen Aspie Boys

Several years ago I wrote the below blog post about social issues and teen Aspie boys. Thankfully, some things have changed- some things haven't but social issues and Aspergers is a continual problems for the kids who have it and the parents who are trying to help with it. I will say that at the point the below was written it was pretty much the final straw with us going to almost any church/religious thing for quite a long time.
 
Since the below occurance we have slowly started "churching" again.....at very snail's pace or slower- fear of joining in anything is big with us right now. That and we are just too tired to give a damn.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tonight I am frustrated. According to the boy I am frustrated ALL of the time. Some nights more so than others.

The boy, we thought, had met a potential friend at an outing. Age to us is pretty irrelevant. But I understand that this kid's parents are concerned about the age difference. We know a lot of people with kids of different ages....kids on the spectrum and not. Age is age; merely a number.

Tonight, however, I am feeling like my son has done something horribly wrong. It is unlikely that I will be allowing him to go out with this group except at a certain location and not with the younger kids. What did the boy do? He expressed an interest in a card game and found a mutual interest that this other person had. It is understandable that the parents are concerned- who wouldn't be- Aspergers is like leprosy to most people. Me, being the moron that I am, I was honest about it and mentioned it when I should have NOT said anything about Aspergers. I often forget that there is a social stigma/prejudice about others who are different.

However, contacting my son, leaving a message that the parent did and making it sound like my kid is a horrible person because of his Aspergers is stupid. This parent and his son were on the phone- like I am going to let my son talk to these two morons....telling me that their kid didn't remember meeting the boy....um that is a problem because how did the boy get your number....we don't have access to random phone numbers....at this point I think the parent and their kid both have major issues (too many cartoons). From what the boy told me the kid was there with a sibling, and the parent tells me the kid was there with 2 girls.....whatever. They were with the same group and went to a movie and had a dinner discussion the next night. Maybe if the parent had listened to me in the first place he would realize where these two kids met. According to the youth director both kids were at both things that weekend. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

Maybe there is something so inherently wrong with me and cuter half that we were really not that upset about it....maybe we should have freaked out a little more.

What we saw was that my son tried to make a friend, to be nice to another kid who looked bored......it seems like it is the parents that have the issues and their kid gave out his number....maybe their kid is in trouble. Hard to say. I understand, but it doesn't mean I have to like it much.....and it also means that there were some actions taken to protect my son after this happened.

Besides explaining that  the boy is not allowed to talk to anyone younger than he is....he is not allowed to talk to girls, he is not allowed to talk to the boys, he is not allowed to express interests, he is not allowed to talk about emotions, he is not allowed to question nor is he allowed to try to make friends.Quite a list. OMG - According to the parent that left me a message tonight maybe I should lock the boy in the damn cellar and leave him there.

On my end, I ended up contacting the director and asking what was going on and if the boy had met this other kid and what happened. The director confirmed that they had met and what happened- they saw a movie with the group and then were at a discussion dinner the next night. I called the parents back and left a message telling them what the director told me.

I asked the director to call the parents and confirm it....maybe he will, maybe he won't. Which is to be expected. It isn't like we are anyone important in this group...we attend sporadically and the boy goes when he can but not regularly. Oh and we don't donate enough to this or any church make a difference - they have to take that up with the cuter half though. He has the budget and money if there is any.

Explaining to the boy what the problem is, well that has been weird. We told the boy the parents are being responsible because the boy is so much older and although people have the same interests and age differences as adults are not that big a deal it kind of is a big deal at his age. The parents are doing the same kind of thing we would have done and are being responsible.
So the rules are what we mentioned above- "He is not allowed to talk to anyone younger than he is....he is not allowed to talk to anyone but the director of the group, he is not allowed to express interests, he is not allowed to talk about emotions, he is not allowed to question nor is he allowed to try to make friends or be polite to strangers."

Although we didn't mention this part, we think it is likely the kid figured out "who" the boy is and this is his way of getting out of being friends. Which is a garbage way to do it but typical for a younger teenager. Since we are pretty much done with this particular situation- There is one thing that should be stated: We think the parents should not allow their undiagnosed spectrimite to hand out their phone number; but that is up to them.

This is way more drama than I want to deal with and another reason I normally stay home from certain activities. I told the director that this was more drama than I normally would tolerate and I was tired of it already. Just one more thing not to let the boy go to. Great.

OH and so you know, MY SON HAS ASPERGERS- HE ISN'T A PERVERT. If you think he is then it is you with the problem and your mind is in the mud/gutter/shit-hole or whatever. Keep your prejudices and other issues away from us please we have enough to contend with on our own.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Skeptical

As a parent of a special needs kid/young adult there are times when I am skeptical of others motives.

The others could be other students, parents, people, cats dogs and what-have-you. In fact, there is a Mr. Robin-busybody who is trying to build a nest near our backdoor light. At first I thought it was funny, but after a while, and a good dose of "Critter Ridder" (eau de pepper spray) that finally convinced the robin to move along.

I do NOT intend to be skeptical. This malady seems to be one of those pesky things that has been put upon me. I wonder at some peoples use of terms, or lack of compassion for those who are disabled. I really hope those people have karma bite them in/on/up their ass. Which really is not a generous thing for me to say....but then there are times that I am too tired to feel generous to those who have not been generous to others than themselves.

Usually when I think of the word "skeptical" I start humming the Wicked song, "Popular" for some reason those two terms seem to run hand in hand with me. Which may explain my current state of mind. I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. I am working and enjoying my new job, however it is really physically demanding and usually I am hobbling  to my car and in the door at home by the end of the day......it seems like I want to really consider some things but I am just too damn tired to care.

The boy, cuter half and I have been kind of having a tough time getting along. We are having some respect issues and there are a number of other problems that seem to be coming down the pike. Although we are unsure of what is coming in the next year or so we are trying to be positive (through our constant state of exhaustion) and using our time a little more proactively. The boy decided to take some classes online this summer. He had success in the spring and fall with online classes and he finds his concentration is better as well as his grades. He feels that he misses social interaction but at this point he is wanting to get done with school and "never return".

He is always wanting to learn something... he has been reading his textbook for a class he is taking and his comment tonight was that it was "much more detailed" than he remembered from prior classes. He is working on any number of things at home and helping around the house. I started the listing it out thing again and now including making the boy's own meals. He is also in charge of laundry, cat feedings (during the day if needed) and cleaning his own room (debatable).

I am just too blasted tired to know/think/wish what will happen with the boy.



 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

the drive home from work

Today's post is about the drive home from the boy's internship. He had called and was walking home but requested a ride because he was hungry (running late and left w/out b-fast) and felt kind of yucky. I made a RARE offer to take him to Starbucks as he was in need of a muffin and I thought a rare decaf mocha would be a nice treat since things have been accepted as part of the new realm around here (he is living in a sort of purdah- things are tightly monitored and controlled - he has to earn our trust again).

We were talking about people who were disabled. Some who have become famous and how they handled what they decided to do for themselves. There are so many wonderful people; he mentioned Dr. Stephen Hawking. I thought he made a good choice there.

Then I asked him, "Do you know who Susan Boyle is?" Have you seen her first video on Britain's Got Talent? If not I will include a link here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x908j7_bgt-2009-susan-boyle-i-dreamed-a-dr_shortfilms  I have found this to be totally inspiring - I first saw it at the LH where Princess lives. We were in the lobby watching it on the computer with the other residents. Tears just rolled. Susan's talent is overwhelming. It still brings me to tears to see how much she is able to do with her music. Absolutely wonderful.

Anyway the boy was asking me who inspired me to do more. I told him, "Susan Boyle" then I asked him if he knew who she was and why I thought she was so wonderful?  I explained, "It is because she has DONE MORE than what was expected. No one expected her to do much of anything and she made the choice to take herself out of where she was and make MORE of herself."

The boy is in college and wants to be MORE. He is trying so hard and yes there are times when he blows it (with exceptional talent and in a big way too) and you know maybe the cute one and I should have given up on him years ago. At one point he pleaded with us to help him be more. He still tells us we work him too hard and push him; but think about it - most of the people he is acquaintances with don't do more. Maybe one class a semester, maybe not, or maybe once in a while.....there is no pushing, no goals, no spoken dreams and whatever happens will happen.

Being More: this is a total state of mind - for those who are not exactly esoteric that means that you are doing so much more than what is expected of you - sometimes being nothing and doing less is just easier than going out and kicking ass.

I have to believe that Stephen, Temple and Susan would agree that being MORE is better than being less. It is what I believe and I wish the expectations of others would mean that the kids on the spectrum can DO MORE than what most people expect. Pushing the envelope- raising the bar- wearing jeans and khakis and no sweatpants (except in gym) Being MORE.

It is easier to not do it.
Hell yes, why stress, why push, why do?
Because when the karma, shit and all the other stuff hits the fan and we are asked why we didn't try harder I will be damned if I am asked that question. I will not be the parent of the kid who didn't TRY to make their kid MORE. OUR kids only reach as far as they are pushed. I am disgusted and disappointed with these gen schools who lump all our kids together and then work to the lowest common denominator. I have heard it way too many damn times and it is time now for parents to quit supporting these lower expectation losers.

So assholes, you want to raise taxes, and have us pay more? Rock on and you know what? MAKE YOUR SCHOOLS get off their lazy asses and make these kids work. Where would we be without Einstein,. Hawking, Edison, Grandin, and all the rest? Ford, and Jobs, and the others who think outside the God-damned box?

Where we are now. With our American kids not able to be hired for jobs that require advanced math and using the brains they have for something more than what they are doing or taking the easy way out.

So yeah, it's hard and as parents of a kid like mine we are bone weary tired. SO effing what? We still have to work with our kids because society will NOT change for them. OUR kids can be MORE and do MORE and STRIVE FOR MORE only if we hold them to the standards that our schools are miserably failing at.

Be like Susan. Be MORE.





 

Friday, April 10, 2015

I am so exhausted I don't know

 .......applesauce from baby shit.
NOT LITERALLY.....

Anyway, a friend of mine tells me that this blog is so effing awesome it makes him pee his pants..... I am not sure why but I think that is just the funniest damn thing I have heard today.

($.50 to the swear jar)
Actually, this being so funny shows how really exhausted I am.

There is so much serious going on with life. So MANY people we are worried about- family, cousins, princesses, fur babies....Master Berticus is sleeping in a warm spot almost constantly and is very un-athletic these days. I am worried about his lethargy.
And yes, I will tell you all about the cats, the boy and the cute one and I but I don't dish on family stuff unless it is directly related to us....ergo all you need to know is that we are concerned and thinking about a number of people who are very important to us.

Since I am not dishing on that we are moving onto another topic:
The boy is doing a lot of writing these days. I have said that he has a semi-colon issue and problems with commas. The other big thing is the use of the word "also".....one paper had 13 "also"'s in it. "Also" over-use is a big problem. I told him I would charge him for every "also" - a nickel a use....and it got up to over $2.00 when I finally edited the last paper.
His writing is improving. He is getting much better- although thesaurus use really needs to be improved upon. He has full, complete ideas; it actually is fun to see.

Recently the boy was working on a project about defining autism. As I mentioned to my friend- an Aspie's take on autism....this is great stuff. I was so excited - he went to the library (he does this a lot) AND he brought home 2 Temple Grandin books and a book about autistic cats. THIS IS NOW GREAT STUFF. Dr. Grandin (yes, I know I don't use titles but this chick has earned it so she gets to be CALLED DOCTOR) has really made an impression. I, in fact, read all of her books when the boy was diagnosed. and let me tell you this is like talking to a friend you haven't seen in a while. Kind of like being comfortable in old shoes and blue jeans.....affirmation.... Parents should have expectations and teach good manners......yeah this feels great. It has been MUCH too long since I had any affirmation and I know MY cute one feels the same way. The boy on the other hand took out what he needed for his project and has moved onto the next piece of work.... the autistic cats....which is cute and seriously we all need more autistic cats... he relates but as the boy tells me, "I get uncomfortable thinking about all this stuff. I would rather fix it or do something important to help other kids learn to get into their untapped potential."

Since I am now even more than tired (my eyelid is twitching so I am either over tired or whacked out on caffeine).... my friends chuckles made me laugh and then promptly wore me out. So for an incomplete ending to what I was talking about I am going to include a bunch of Dr. Grandin quotes:

Autism is a neurological disorder. It's not caused by bad parenting. It's caused by, you know, abnormal development in the brain. The emotional circuits in the brain are abnormal. And there also are differences in the white matter, which is the brain's computer cables that hook up the different brain departments.
 
I would never talk just to be social. Now, to sit down with a bunch of engineers and talk about the latest concrete forming systems, that's really interesting. Talking with animal behaviorists or with someone who likes to sail, that's interesting. Information is interesting to me. But talking for the sake of talking, I find that quite boring.
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.
 
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don't have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can't stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there's too much stimulation.
If you start using a medication in a person with autism, you should see an obvious improvement in behavior in a short period of time. If you do not see an obvious improvement, they probably should not be taking the stuff. It is that simple.
 
As you may know, some of the stereotyped behaviors exhibited by autistic children are also found in zoo animals who are raised in a barren environment.

This one touches home way too much:
Autistic children are very difficult to take care of, especially severely autistic ones. When I was 4, I had almost no language; when I was 3, I had none at all.

One big question that's come up is: Has autism increased on the mild side of things? I don't think so - they've always been here. Some of this is increased detection.

It's much more work for the mother of an autistic child to have a job, because working with an autistic child is such a hassle until they go to school. (Yeah - been there done that and its a bigger hassle because then you can deal with the daily afternoon phone calls those are a joy to last forever)
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE:

I was expected to sit at the table, learn how to eat properly.

 




 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April = Autism awareness?

I don't know this person but she is right.  
I despise this month too. 
I despise that my son was so nervous today he has been calling me "Mommy" all day.  

I despise the ignorance and intolerance he deals with regularly.  


http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/02/my-three-daughters-are-autistic-i-despise-autism-awareness-month/

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tonight's blurb

Explaining  "sociograms" and why some students are isolated and rejected to an ASPIE.  

This is like trying to explain to Troubles that he doesn't need kibble every time we pass his dish.  

"Like shooting a fish in a barrel" 

This is the target technique.  Yup it's a target all right. The boy asked me who got to be outside the rejected circle.  

I don't have an answer. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Public Service announcement

Anyone who begins an observation, note, letter with the length of time they have been at their job working w the disabled is probably going about "talking" to said parents the wrong way.  
Or at least parents like us who don't do these peoples boxes well. We don't say much but we would like to. 

The other thing- cuter half and I have decided we are tired of being cutting edge in ASPIE-land, and the worlds guinea pigs. We are now looking for free booze and "sumethun' shiny". So don't tell us about the latest trend/thing in treatments because we will add, "naked underwater basket weaving" to the end of every sentence just for fun. 

Troubles says, "Hi" btw. 


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Guest Blogger Today. The Boy

Today's guest blogger is my irrepressible "boy". He was working on an assignment and I liked it so much I asked him if we could put it on here.

Therefore I get to show off and say, "See what expectations can do!!!!!!!!!"

The websites he chose are below:
========================================================================
For "students with disabilities"
1. www2.ed.gov, the United States Department of Education

For "teaching students with disabilities"
2. http://www.dsp.berkeley.edu/teachstudentswithdisab  at the University of California at Berkley
    Developed by: National. Dissemination. Center for Children with Disabilities

            I think these sites are interesting because even at a younger age a disabled student should be encouraged to think about getting ready for college. All students can go to college and be in regular classes. I think limiting a disabled student because they are disabled is wrong. Unfortunately,  most teachers do it whether they realize it or not. I should know. I am disabled. I can tell when a teacher is thinking I am stupid because I have Aspergers.  My parents were told I could never attend college, or even graduate high school.  We need our future educators to be better educated in the accomplishments disabled students can achieve if they are given the proper support and encouragement.   We need disabled students to feel welcome and included in the school environment and not relegated to the special education classroom, resource room, or "special" section of the classroom.  Students who feel included and are included regardless of the preconceived notion of their ability will accomplish amazing things

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

He did it- the boy knows grammar.

Shockers.

We were looking over a paper that he wrote for class.

Generally I am the grammar expert (although on here not so much)....and the boy asked me to review his work. Usually it is the typical run-ons, no colons, or incomplete sentences. I find them, highlight them and he goes back over it again to make the corrections.

This time it was a tricky grammar question; I told him what I thought. He looked it up and he was right and it did make his paper better.

Times like this when we know we did it right.....kind of nice to see once in a while.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Have you read The Alchemist?

"So why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people do?"

"We do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us from going forward. We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well was us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey."

"Each day, each hour is part of the good fight."

Quotes by Paulo Coehlo

Finding the treasure within.

What a concept; each of us has a treasure within ourselves to use, rely upon, and learn to know. How one locates the actual inside of your soul is your individual life-long journey.

That just gives me the chills.
Thinking about my day today....

I did laundry, the washer quit (it decided it wanted a break), the washer tub leaked on the floor, then Princess' laundry was still soaked...I worked on that - at least the laundry room is sparkling clean...the boy asked me to edit a paper that he wrote....he has issues with semi-colons. Then fed the cats, Troubles is now liking pumpkin but I much preferred his fur when he was on greenbeans. He and his furry brothers shed more now. I am not even done with my day....there is more....putting out job applications...I swear if I had by truck driving license I would have a job by now.

Where is the treasure in all that?

I have taken mundane housewife to a whole new level....and I am not even very good at it. There are some of my friends who are amazing....they can do it all and have a spotless home to boot. I don't feel like there is a treasure there.


A thought just ran through my head Luke 12:34 34"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I guess my treasure would be socks, underwear, cat barf and home organizer.
I often wonder about what I am supposed to do. Like Santiago, the wandering shepherd boy who dreamed of Egypt, I know the cute one and I have plenty of dreams - when we actually have the energy.

So the question is "What is treasure?"
Defined it is a quantity of precious metals, gems, or other valuable objects. OR to keep carefully

Now specifically, "What is your treasure?"

Is it prepping for work?
Doing things the right way or just half assed?
Not being good enough, smart enough or social enough?
What about taking care of yourself, your kids, pets and helping others?


I think mine is with the cuter half and the boy (if I get into the family bit - well I would forget someone so lets just not go much further).
I am sad to say it isn't church. To the cute one and I churches are scary, some of the experiences we have had, well we keep our distance. We are afraid to get attached.....

So we go into dreaming - or wanting to try new things...when we have the energy. Or have slept enough the night before.

I am going to read The Alchemist....I will, I might not get to it until I can get another Itunes gift card though....I am on a bit of a tighter budget and I think I have already spent the one I had at Christmas.



Monday, February 9, 2015

How did this get stuck in my head?

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky


Once again I am suffering from caffeinated insomnia. This is an illness of my own doing and a real problem because of my coffee addiction. I really should know better than to go after the Cafe Francais at 8 PM - Not a good option.....at least at that time of day...

While doing my usual late night early AM perusal of the ever popular FB I started thinking of this old hymn.  I used to know all of them....given the religious upbringing and the baptist college it is no wonder I have a litany of the traditional older hymns buried in my brain that eek out every once in a while. 

Did you know the history of this hymn? It was written in 1933-34. So technically not that old. but still pretty interesting story. I am going to use the Wikipedia version here:
 is a Christian folk hymn, typically performed as a Christmas carol, written by American folklorist and singer John Jacob Niles (The Dean of American Balladeers). The hymn has its origins in a song fragment collected by Niles on July 16, 1933.
While in the town of Murphy in Appalachian North Carolina, Niles attended a fundraising meeting held by evangelicals who had been ordered out of town by the police.In his unpublished autobiography, he wrote of hearing the song:
A girl had stepped out to the edge of the little platform attached to the automobile. She began to sing. Her clothes were unbelievable dirty and ragged, and she, too, was unwashed. Her ash-blond hair hung down in long skeins.... But, best of all, she was beautiful, and in her untutored way, she could sing. She smiled as she sang, smiled rather sadly, and sang only a single line of a song.
The girl, named Annie Morgan, repeated the fragment seven times in exchange for a quarter per performance, and Niles left with "three lines of verse, a garbled fragment of melodic material—and a magnificent idea".(In various accounts of this story, Niles hears between one and three lines of the song.) Based on this fragment, Niles composed the version of "I Wonder as I Wander" that is known today, extending the melody to four lines and the lyrics to three stanzas. His composition was completed on October 4, 1933.Niles first performed the song on December 19, 1933 at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. It was originally published in Songs of the Hill Folk in 1934.
Niles's "folk composition" process caused confusion among singers and listeners, many of whom believed this song to be anonymous in origin. Niles undertook lawsuits to establish its authorship and demanded royalties of other performers of the song.
On John-Jacob's website there is this tidbit as well:
"I Wonder As I Wander' grew out of three lines of music sung for me by a girl who called herself Annie Morgan. The place was Murphy, North Carolina, and the time was July, 1933. The Morgan family, revivalists all, were about to be ejected by the police, after having camped in the town square for some little time, cooking, washing, hanging their wash from the Confederate monument and generally conducting themselves in such a way as to be classed a public nuisance. Preacher Morgan and his wife pled poverty; they had to hold one more meeting in order to buy enough gas to get out of town. It was then that Annie Morgan came out--a tousled, unwashed blond, and very lovely. She sang the first three lines of the verse of 'I Wonder As I Wander'. At twenty-five cents a performance, I tried to get her to sing all the song. After eight tries, all of which are carefully recorded in my notes, I had only three lines of verse, a garbled fragment of melodic material--and a magnificent idea. With the writing of additional verses and the development of the original melodic material, 'I Wonder As I Wander' came into being. I sang it for five years in my concerts before it caught on. Since then, it has been sung by soloists and choral groups wherever the English language is spoken and sung."
--John Jacob Niles

It is interesting that an evangelist had some part of this hymn but not terribly surprising. How many songs and hymns have come from obscure, unusual or weird origins? Greensleeves was supposedly written by King Henry VIII - however the style of the song would have only gotten to England long after his passing and was most likely around during his daughter's reign. There are several different editions of this song roaming around- the tune was also used in "What Child is this." 
I guess I am kind of in a quandary about any number of things (so distracting myself by messing with the history of songs is a way to get away from stress??). Trying to explain to the boy that if he decides to get a house someday he will have to do yard work, and his own laundry and keep things neat....oh and pay his mortgage and taxes and other bills. Then to explain why having a pet is so expensive and keeping the pet healthy is one way to keep costs low. He gets it but it kind of worried me that he thought a mortgage was paid 1x a year instead of monthly- somehow he got the idea that the mortgage on a house was like taxes....I had to burst his bubble on that one. He is attempting to plan ahead- "I don't think I will need a car because I can walk to work, the grocery store and other places." What about the doctors? Your therapists? If you have a meeting somewhere, are you going to hire a taxi and then try to figure out how to get home? 
Hey- at least he is thinking.....better to think now than fail and not think at all.
Right now we are in a binge mode...getting rid of things to not replace what we have but to downsize - which is crazy since we aren't at the geezer stage but there is a lot of clutter around here. Teaching the boy what to keep, get rid of and "Do you really want that? Why? and is it useful?" Recently he decided to sell some of his PC games. Mostly because I won't let him clog up the computer - and the really good one won't work on the computer any longer - "Trailer Park Tycoon" Seriously great game- trailer park taken over by aliens....OK it's lame but it was fun. The other family fav was "Zoo Tycoon" - my zoos were HUGE- and had unicorns....there could be dinosaurs, and a total mayhem if they started eating each other.....T-Rex and stegosaurus do not live well together (who knew?)
Anyway, we are trying to diverge ourselves of things we aren't using....or haven't used in a large number of years. Some of it is silly stuff, we bought some things when we were getting together with a group that more or less disbanded - so who needs a carafe the size of a barn or champagne flutes in vase? Not useful -at least for us - but VERY COOL looking. Ergo we are subsequently teaching about what we need and what we don't. The above hymn came to mind (haven't heard it in years) and the need to get rid of excess seems like a good idea before we become serious hoarders. 
Maybe the itinerant preacher and the singing daughter had the right idea....I don't know but I do know that we are going to try to not clutter ourselves up as much as we have been. It is too much work to keep track of the stuff - OH and NO we aren't ditching the family heirlooms so no land grab requests are necessary. 




Saturday, January 31, 2015

"I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing." - Socrates

Tonight we are going to discuss Intelligence Tests.

I was dyslexic, I had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever. I certainly would have failed IQ tests. And it was one of the reasons I left school when I was 15 years old. And if I - if I'm not interested in something, I don't grasp it.

These are those pesky little tests that show a day in the time of a student and are probably not completely accurate for the lifetime of said person.
Although I doubt that Mensa would agree with me; a number of the university textbooks the boy has have basically said that an intelligence test is noway an accurate measure of what a student is capable of.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

The cuter half and I were discussing this actual thing while in the car....the boy had showed a quote to the cute one and the boy was quite, um, well, lets say "disconcerted" about how it appears that most gen ed teachers are thinking that special ed kids are essentially stupid (the boy said, "morons"). The boy has even seen things that indicate that most incoming/new teachers do not want that kind of kid in their classrooms.

There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.

Naturally he is disturbed by this and the next big question he has had, "How many of my teachers really felt this way?" His normal reaction is to think all of them; more so since he had transitioned from a therapeutic day school to a gen school. He is feeling this way even more so now that he is in university. He keeps talking about the teachers in special ed who assume most special ed students are morons.....one even indicated that by using spelling words; cat, and, tv.

Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another.

The boy is beyond anxious now. He is worried that most people believe that people like him are generally stupid. The fact is that he was damn lucky to have the core teachers he had at the therapeutic day school and he tried and still does try damn hard.

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

It makes me wonder how often these kids are left in the lurch because most educators do not wish to bother, take  the time or even try to understand where these kids are coming from.
We know that a goodly number of educators firmly believe that the parents of special ed students (the parents with expectations) are beyond psycho....or at least extreme nut job weirdo freaks (we are all of that - at least that is what we have been told). My usual reaction to educators like that is: until you live it, don't tell us what we are doing wrong. Come here and try it out for a week....you wouldn't last 24 hours. (Wimps - they all refuse)

The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people.

Thinking of that, I remember an early IEP where the teacher kept telling me what to do, and I finally asked her if she had a disabled kid at home. She told me she did not. My response was, "Well, until you have one of your own, you really do not know what living with one is like. Maybe you should have a disabled child then come back and we can talk about what I need to do."  I know I have mentioned this before but the thinking of it.....sometimes these things come back to us when we least expect it.

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

The students my son is in classes with want to believe he is stupid (this is what he has told us). He is so frustrated with the impression; because once someone gets past the "dopey" part you can get a person who is really intelligent and has a lot of thoughts and ideas. It is kind of like pulling caramel out of a pan....it takes some effort and to do it right takes a lot of time.....but in the end it is worth it.


Which, what it all comes down to is prejudice. Many people have a distinct prejudice against the disabled students. Our son sees it regularly and often mostly now with professors.... one even told him that he would NEVER pass her class and he needed to change his major. SERIOUSLY?! He was devastated....his reaction was classic and he will be tutoring in that subject (we are still trying to rake the $$ together- its expensive).

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.

And yes it goes back to people talking and not really knowing anything about what they are talking about. Live it; do it; make your kid MORE than what some stuffed shirt doctor tells you they can be and PUSH - then come back and tell me how hard it is. Otherwise it is all just talking and most people who don't really know the drill are the ones out there doing all the talking....

Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense.

Basement goals is NOT where it is at any more. Basements are cliche..... go for the maximum your kid can do and don't hold back. Another thing - Living off social security is not an entitlement. It is there for people who really need it - not those who can work more, do better and try harder.

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.

*** you have to click on the link to see who said the quote***

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movie Review: Biloxi Blues 1988, Neil Simon

This movie came out in 1988 staring Matthew Broderick as Jerome. The story is narrated by Jerome and at points is melancholy and almost historically accurate. Neil Simon is the author. The first review I saw when this movie originally came out was in the New York Times in 1988 by Vincent Canby
http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=940DE4D61F39F936A15750C0A96E948260

I am including the link but with my luck with links they usually disapear after a short while - so Vincent's actual review is below.

It's funny because in an odd sort of way Matthew Broderick was one of the "cool" guys from back in the day (the 80's for me) and he not only did this movie but was in Ferris Bueller's Day Off -pretty much if you don't know that movie you must be dead. 

Really what it comes down to is that there are some movies that start you thinking about something else.... Matthew Broderick movies can do that with me. They either bring back a boatload of memories, or the usual should've, would've, could've,,,,or even remind me that I need more wine or another box of chocolate (exaggeration here). Most of the time it reminds me of what we can do when we have the desire or the real belief that we can do so. 


This Biloxi Blues is probably a dirt house relation to what actually happened at boot camp. My Dad was in Boot camp during WWII. He was in the army air force and although I am certain it didn't turn out like this movie has I am 85% certain that there were multiple similarities.

I think that we all need to think outside our boxes....and this movie/ story whatever you want to call it HAD the characters do so. Each one thought outside their comfort zone...and ultimately that is a big deal. Neil Simon did an interview with the Paris Review 1994 (I don't have room for another article so we will just have to hope this one stays up). http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1994/the-art-of-theater-no-10-neil-simon

One of Neil's comments about Biloxi Blues is (to me) especially poignant, "No, but I listened to him (Frank Rich, reviewer NYT) saying, I’m interested enough to want to know more about this family. Then, Steven Spielberg, who had gone to see Brighton Beach, got word to me, suggesting the next play should be about my days in the army. I was already thinking about that and I started to write Biloxi Blues, which became a play about Eugene’s rites of passage. I discovered something very important in the writing of Biloxi Blues. Eugene, who keeps a diary, writes in it his belief that Epstein is homosexual. When the other boys in the barracks read the diary and assume it’s true, Eugene feels terrible guilt. He’s realized the responsibility of putting something down on paper, because people tend to believe everything they read."

Isn't that the truth.
People believe what they read.....people believe it to be fact... when I worked in a library there used to be a saying "If it is on the internet it must be true". Which in another way means do your research, get your head out of your ass and don't automatically assume you know everything about everything.....

Think about it, this would be especially true in cases where people tell Aspie parents what theya re doing wrong and how terrible they are when in fact these same people don't have a fucking clue.

Before I get off on another tangent- take some time, go watch a movie- tell Jerome, Ferris and Matthew, "Hi" and grab the bowl of popcorn and enjoy the show.


_________________________________________________________________________________
NY TIMES REVIEW
WHEN first seen in ''Biloxi Blues,'' the movie, Eugene Morris Jerome is not, technically speaking, actually seen. He's an indistinct figure in the window of a World War II troop train. With more purpose than hurry, the train chugs across a broad, verdant American landscape, shimmering in the golden light of memory, as well as in the kind of humid, midsummer heat in which even leaves sweat. On the soundtrack: ''How High the Moon.''
In one unbroken movement, the camera swoops down and across time and landscape into a close-up of the ever-observant Eugene. He's headed for Biloxi, Miss., and basic training in the company of other recruits who, to his Brighton Beach sensibility, seem to have been born and bred under rocks.
They are Wykowski, Selridge, Carney and Epstein, the usual American cross-section. They're an exhausted but still tirelessly obscene crew given to communication by insults - rudely frank comments about each other's origins, intelligence, odors and anatomies. Says the voice of Eugene (Matthew Broderick), who has a would-be writer's way of stepping outside events to consider his own reactions to them: ''It was hard to believe these were guys with mothers and fathers who worried about them. It was my fourth day in the Army, and I hated everybody so far.''
It now seems as if the entire Broadway run of Neil Simon's 1985-86 hit play was simply the out-of-town tryout for the movie, which opens today at the Baronet and other theaters. However it came to be, ''Biloxi Blues,'' carefully adapted and reshaped by Mr. Simon, is a very classy movie, directed and toned up by Mike Nichols so there's not an ounce of fat in it.
Here is one adaptation of a stage piece that has no identity crisis. ''Biloxi Blues'' is not a movie that can't quite cut itself loose from the past, and never for a minute does it aspire to be anything but a first-rate service comedy. With superb performances by Mr. Broderick, who created the role of Eugene on Broadway, and Christopher Walken, who plays Mr. Simon's nearly unhinged, very funny variation on the drill sergeant of movie myth, ''Biloxi Blues'' has a fully satisfying life of its own.
In one brief but key sequence, the camera watches Eugene and his buddies as they watch the Abbott and Costello classic ''Buck Privates.'' The beautifully timed, low-comedy scene that so delights them continues to be funny in itself. It also helps to place ''Biloxi Blues'' in a very dif-ferent movie-reality, in an Army that's racially segregated and in which ignorance and bigotry are the order, though, in hindsight, World War II remains the last ''good war.''
''Biloxi Blues'' is about the education of Eugene Morris Jerome, who has three goals in life: to become a writer, to lose his virginity and to fall in love. Even if, through some warp in time, we'd never before heard of Neil Simon, the existence of this first-person memoir would reveal how Eugene succeeded in his chosen craft. ''Biloxi Blues'' recalls how he made out in the sex and romance departments while also growing up.
It makes no difference that there's never any doubt that he will make out. That's a given. The pleasure comes in witnessing Mr. Simon and Mr. Nichols as they discover surprises in situations that one might have thought beyond comic salvation.
Beginning with young Richard, the lovesick poet in Eugene O'Neill's ''Ah, Wilderness!,'' would-be writer-characters in the American theater have been sneaking off to brothels virtually nonstop. However, not one of those earlier adventures equals the nuttiness of Eugene's with a Biloxi woman (Park Overall) who, on the side, deals in perfume, stockings, black lace panties and other items hard to find in a wartime economy. Says Eugene, ''Do you sell men's clothing?''
There is also an idealized funniness in Eugene's sweet, tentative romance with a pretty Catholic girl (Penelope Ann Miller), who sends his head (and the camera) spinning. When she tells him that her name is Daisy, the delighted Eugene says that Daisy is the name of his favorite female character in fiction. Responds this no-nonsense Daisy, ''Which one, Daisy Buchanan or Daisy Miller?''
Even more important are Eugene's relations with the other recruits, including the slobbish but pragmatic Wykowski (Matt Mulhern) and Selridge (Markus Flanagan), and especially Epstein, played by Corey Parker with seriously funny arrogance. Epstein is a young, bookish fellow with a delicate stomach and utter disdain for what people think.
Epstein serves as Eugene's conscience, but Eugene still can't bring himself to stand up for a fellow Jew: ''Epstein sort of sometimes asked for it, but since the guys didn't pick on me that much, I just figured I'd stay neutral, like Switzerland.''
Eugene's coming of age is sharpened in the film by having Eugene, rather than Epstein, become the key figure in the recruits' late-night showdown with the crazy Sergeant Toomey.
As Sergeant Toomey (''You're not fighting men yet, but I'd put any one of you up against a Nazi cocktail waitress''), Mr. Walken gets his best role in a very long time, possibly since ''Pennies From Heaven.'' Mr. Broderick is wonderfully devious as a young man who's so taken by life's spectacle that he sometimes forgets he's a part of it.
As if he believed that a wisecrack left unspoken were a treasure lost forever, Eugene won't keep quiet. This is an endearing characteristic in Eugene but a problem in some of Mr. Simon's other works. ''Biloxi Blues'' is different. Mr. Nichols keeps the comedy small, precise and spare. Further, the humor is never flattened by the complex logistics of movie making, nor inflated to justify them.
''Biloxi Blues'' is the second play in Mr. Simon's ''Eugene trilogy,'' which begins with ''Brighton Beach Memoirs'' and ends with ''Broadway Bound.'' It may not be as good a play as ''Broadway Bound'' but, with ''The Heartbreak Kid,'' adapted from a Bruce Jay Friedman story, and ''The Sunshine Boys,'' it stands as one of the three best films Mr. Simon has yet written.
''Biloxi Blues,'' which has been rated PG-13 (''Special Parental Guidance for Those Younger Than 13''), is full of uproariously vulgar language. Barracks Bildungsroman BILOXI BLUES, directed by Mike Nichols; screenplay by Neil Simon, based on his play; director of photography, Bill Butler; edited by Sam O'Steen; music by Georges Delerue; production designer, Paul Sylbert; produced by Ray Stark; released by Universal Pictures. At Movieland, Broadway at 47th Street; Baronet, Third Avenue and 59th Street; U. A. East, First Avenue at 85th Street; Bay Cinema, Second Avenue at 32d Street; 23d Street West Triplex, at Eighth Avenue; Metro Twin, Broadway and 99th Street. Running time: 104 minutes. This film is rated PG-13. Eugene ... Matthew Broderick Sergeant Toomey ... Christopher Walken Wykowski ... Matt Mulhern Epstein ... Corey Parker Selridge ... Markus Flanagan Carney ... Casey Siemaszko Hennesey ... Michael Dolan Daisy ... Penelope Ann Miller

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Warhol-ism

Who wants the truth? That’s what show business is for--to prove that it’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are.”
Andy Warhol, Popism, 248

Read more at warhol.org: http://www.warhol.org/collection/art/selfportraits/#ixzz3PUrUn3nV



It is what people THINK our kids are that is the problem. The truth is that our kids are smart funny and really able to do more than what society THINKS they can do.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quote of the day

"Cleaning up the gut clears the brain" - Jenny McCarthy.  

Basically get the poop out and a good percentage of the problems will disappear.  

Really -it does work.  Look at your kids gut- distended? Ok you have a kid with poop stuck in there so bad it will take a doc appointment and serious laxatives to move that shit.  

Yup- tonight's thought is all about poop 
This is why my parents sent me to college. Oh yeah 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Unfinished Projects

When I was young my Mom taught me to sew. I learned to do crewel, embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, quilting, and even latch hook (it was the 70's everyone did latch hook). She taught me this stuff to keep me out of her hair. It would force me to sit still, concentrate and focus on what I was working on. My projects usually varied by my mood. Several silks I never did finish although I have wanted to (frankly the picture is 70's modern aka UGOOOLY) and although I go back to it  I still don't have it done.

I still embroider. I have done this on and off for years. When the boy was in therapy daily (Monday- psych, Tuesday- speech, Wednesday- social, Thursday- ot/pt, Friday- off, Saturday- speech, ot/pt, Sunday- ot/pt) I was doing "projects". Usually I would leave one in the car trunk to be pulled out while I was sitting for hours in a waiting room; listening for the boy. "Projects" were something to do when I tired of the trashy magazines (a good doc office is only as good as their trashy magazines).

I had to stick around for most appointments.The boy was still at his "wild child" phase and me being close by was pretty much mandatory. I was/am his security. This kid might not listen to me on a regular basis; but I am the person he calls when he has a problem.

Anyway, doing all this sewing gets to me...I have gone in "fits and spurts" over the years and I have a number of things that I have made that are a masterpiece of one. My favorite projects are those that I can pick the colors I want myself. Like Picasso, I am in a "blue phase" The cover I am working on is in different shades of blue and ecru (eggshell white). Looking at the pattern I can tell what I need to do- back stitch, daisy, satin, or even a french knot.



Most "old" stories talk about women becoming "accomplished" girls schools taught sewing, and to be really accomplished one had to do a sampler.The one's I have seen are counted cross stitch - these are done sans pattern, and colors are what was available maybe even dyed at home. It is fascinating to look at the history of these samplers and try to figure out what the students were thinking. I think my favorites are those done by boys. No hearts and flowers- cows, horses, buildings, (I can't find a picture of my fav one so I am using the one below)

I found this picture (below) on Wikipedia- this is an interesting one done in 1805 by Catherine Ann Speel who used silk on linen in Philadelphia PA.


Isn't it interesting that something like this was used to teach letters, numbers and some moral sayings or thoughts. Most students ended their education at a young age....there was no such thing as a behavior disorder, or having Aspergers, Kids were in the classroom, sometimes multiple grades in one room and the teacher was able to keep order. Either by intimidation or because the students liked him/her. Expectations were HIGH- students got busted for "giggling with a seatmate" or "whispering to much".
I don't see the same kind of order these days (God that makes me sound old). I hear about students wanting their time in most classrooms. Seriously? Really? so what, you get to sit all day, play video games and do nothing? Better yet, having a teacher "model reading so these students know what a reading person looks like" (total cop out there). Yet parents are expected to take whatever our kids dish out and be OK with it. (Nope, sorry not going for that one).

Like with a lot of things, embroidery is only as good as the effort you put into it. 

Let me explain; the expectations we have of the boy are high. We know he can do it but he has to want to do it and believe he can. It drives us spare that other students will tell him that we are pushing him too hard or that we are cruel and mean and awful. The last time I heard that one I told the boy he could move out and go live with friends since he didn't want to be here. They can put up with the joy of not being respected and see how far it goes......
SO, if you put a lot of effort into whatever you are doing- well then we should all be as successful as Bill Gates. Well, no, not necessarily. It is important for people to work to their highest ability. We strive to be our best and do our best. 
What we see around us isn't always the best. 
Usually what we see in the special ed world is an over abundance of minimal expectations and a lot of excuses about why not. 

Using the allegory of embroidery- if the missed stitches are there then the piece isn't going to be as good. But being careful (and me using my reading glasses - gah) the piece can be completed, look nice and have some reasonable use.
Just like the boy.....being careful, having high expectations and he should go pretty damn far. Unless he is kept from his full potential by listening to uniformed/misinformed "friends" who (it appears) do not want anyone to do any better than they are... why should they? It would mean they would actually have to work harder and not play video games....