Monday, December 31, 2012

The First Cut is the Deepest

We have had some ups and downs this week. I learned on Thursday that Roger has a girlfriend. He told me a little about her. She knew all about him being OCD, autistic, all the good stuff. She didn't care she liked him for him. I asked what she looked like and his answer a person. He says I know he can't describe people.  I responded with well hopefully you never witness a crime because the description of they looked like a person really isn't helpful. He got a good laugh from that.
 They were planning on going to the movies on Saturday.  At first I said yes you can go but you need to have some other friends go along.  One friend said he would then couldn't at the last minute.  Roger did try to find someone to go with them.  Since we saw him attempt to find a friend I told him he could go just this once.  I asked if the girls parents were aware, he said yes. 
On Saturday I dropped him off at the theater to meet her to see Lincon. Yeah I know 13 year olds wanted to see this movie and at that she picked.  Her grandpa dropped her off. Everything seemed fine when I picked him up.
That was until I saw his Facebook post. "my girlfriend and I just broke up I think, anyways we are not dating anymore" I questioned m and he started to explain that her mom said no more dates.  Ok. Then he said I just don't get this stuff.  I don't get how it was ok for her to go on Saturday but afterwards her mom changes her mind. Shouldn't she have said so before we went anywhere? I told him maybe his friend did not tell her mom the whole story up front. Of course he wants to know why wouldn't she her mom will just find out. Of course we g into this whole talk about how sometimes people hide things or don't tell you the whole story a idea that is completely foreign to Roger.  In his mind everything is black or white there is no gray, but we all know there is a lot of grey area in life.
The girl tells him she still likes him just her mom is saying no right now.  Of course he wants to know why she changed her mind and really we will never know.  In his mind he just sees it as someone blocking him from a friend who accepted him as he is. He was not really upset by the whole I think we broke up as much as he was by how confusing the situation is to him.
He says he knows that a lot of what other people see in situations he doesn't. I had to tell him unfortunately the world is going to get more confusing before he figures it out, but he will.  The first time is always the worst. After that you start to see what's comming.  I'm sure there is more to this story and it may be the first but won't be the last.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Lines in the Sand

http://www.strangehistory.net/2012/10/19/mythic-lines-at-the-alamo/

In our house lines are drawn in the sand.  Why you ask well that's the easy part because they are always moving.  We think we have figured our stance on a issue, then a wave comes and washes the line away and we have to redraw.  Thing is when you redraw you never redraw in the same place.  Husband would tell you if you give me a inch I will take a mile.  He has also seen times where he thought I was backed in a corner where I was the wave that erased the line and came up swinging.

The most recent line has been this blog.  Husband thought I was losing myself in basically a pretend world to not have to deal with stuff.  He knows I write this but dose not read it so he really was not sure what I was saying.  Now this line can be drawn in cement.  I thought about taking it all down but we talked and I told him I do not use real names and seldom share pictures.  Almost everything posted here is approved by kids. If they don't want me to post it, it dose not go up.  Same rule applies for my personal Facebook if they say no don't post that picture I don't.  Now it's not that I am allowing them to control what I write but rather I am respecting them, and that someone they know may read this one day. While yes I love that people read what I wrote, if the day comes that husband or one of the kids say enough is enough. I will be done.  I never went into this to be popular or go viral (though that would be cool). I just went into this to tell our stories. 

There are lines drawn in the sand in the blogging community.  Each persons lines are different. There has been some recent discussion as to what bloggers share and how they share it. This is not a new conversation just one that comes up once in a while.  We all have our own ways of writing.  Some like myself use a alias for everyone.  In mine husband dose not even have a name he is just husband.  Others use alias's for the children but real for adults.  Still yet others use real everything.  I can't say what is right for anyone.  It is a personal choice. I am not in your house or head so you do what you want.  As children age their friends could find our blogs if they went looking for it. Eventually our children become adults and will enter the real world.  I have to make sure that nothing I wrote puts them in a bad light that can harm them later in life. If its getting a job, getting in school, running for a public office, it dose not matter because you know none of us have a crystal ball that shows what our kids will become and what they may want to do with their lives.  What we write today could affect them later in life.

We can draw all the lines we want for ourselves but not for someone else.  Another part of the discussion has been what do we do when someone dose post a demeaning post or one with false information.  I don't know the answer, for me I do not call them out.  Calling them out publicly only gives them more attention.  The only thing I can do is keep doing what I'm doing. Yes the waves may come and wash away our lines and we may change our stance on different topics.  It's not that we are hypocritical it is that the line has been moved.   

So yes keep doing what you do. Keep writing, keep talking. Slowly I may change a few minds, you may change a few minds, and someone else may change even more minds.  There's no grand motion that will change everything its slow and steady.  Don't back down and if you think you've reached you end dig deeper and keep moving forward.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Christmas Pickle By: Lucy

Once upon a time there lived a pickle names pickles.  He lived in a pickle home with his mom and dad.  One day, he thoutg being a pickle elf would be fun, so he flew in his pickle airplane to the pickle north pole and became a pickle elf.  He also changed his name to Pickle Elf. He worked hard on toys for the good girl and boy pickles. One day he did not want to get out of bed, but he did and he brushed his teeth with his pickle toothbrush and rode on his skateboard to his workstation.

On the way a bully pickle came by and called names. He started to yell at him. He was't paying attention and bumped into the christmas tree and a ornament fall on his head. OUCH!!! He said as he walked to his workstation. As he made his toys another pickle showed how big his truck was. Pickle Elf throw a fit. He was sent to time out. While he was in time out Santa Pickle came to talk to him. After the talk, Pickle Elf said "I can do this" "I'm OK" I'm Happy. From that day, pickle elf was happy and ok.

THE END


Friday, December 14, 2012

Dax the Dog

Making the Long Drive to The New House


Lounging in the Sun
Like many families we have a dog. A miniature dachshund to be exact.  He is a mean little dog to anyone outside of this house.  Roger got him as a puppy seven years ago.  We also say he has super powers. What is his superpower you ask?  He can calm a kid out of a meltdown in three seconds flat.  They start melting down he starts jumping around and barking at them.  Next thing you know the kids and the dog are running around the house playing. 

Dressed up as a Pumpkin



This past week when Lucy was sick for three days he just laid on the couch with her.  While he may be Roger's dog he has attached himself to husband and Lucy.  If Lucy is upset or just not right he will sit near her and stare her down until she pays attention to her.  He is a annoying little dog but the kids like him so he gets to stay.












Checking Homework


Yes He Thinks He is King

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Did I Respond Correctly??

http://copywebsiteservice.info/hello-world/

OK I have to ask if I responded to this lady at the grocery store correctly, it all happened so fast. There was a woman at the store 2 people in front of us. I had My daughter with me as did she both girls were sick thats why they werent in school. Hers looked like death warmed over mine was pretty much over it. The elderly lady between us asked me if she was sick I said yes, she asked if she had had her flu shot I also said yes, that she is on day three of the flu but will be going back top school tomorrow. She then asked the lady in front the same thing only her response to the shot is what set me off.

When asked if her daughter had the flu shot she said: We dont do shots!
Me in my head: oh well to each their own.
Elderly lady: Can I ask Why? My daughter dosen't either.
Lady: because shots cause "the autism"
Eldery lady: Thats your only reason. Autism
Lady: yes don't you know autism steals kids and rips families apart, haven't you seen the latest article (Time??) and the comericals about it. (I'm assuming she ment autism speaks)
Me: EXCUSE ME!!! (both women look at me) Can I ask you a question do you have a child with autism
Lady: No
ME: teach autistic kids? have a friend with a autistic kid? (trying to see where she was comming from)
Lady: No
Me: so your judgement is from a poorly written article and commericals. hmm Well guess what I have two children with Autism. Guess what Autism did not steal them from me. if anything Autism has made our family stronger. If you gave me a magic pill that would remove autism from them we wouldn't take it, that child would not be my child who is perfect quirks and all.
Lady: I'm sorry I didn't mean ummmm
She was probably happy she was through the line at that point and could get the heck away from me. If my daughter wasn't there I probably would have blown up at her. As she walked away I just said Have a nice day. Elderly lady who started it all with a innocent question just smiled at us. Looked at Lucy and said she looks pretty perfect to me.

While this all happened very quickly less than 3 minutes, did I have the correct response? I mean I didn't physcially injure her like I wanted too. ALso why do these crazy people always end up near me? I feel like I'm a magnate for them?

Parenting & Religion

http://www.catholic-kids.com/





I follow Confessions of an Aspergers Mom (Facebook Page), she has two teenage boys on the spectrum so they have been where we are going.  She is a proud mom of her boys and you can feel the love in her writting.  She's also very real, it's not all butterflys and rainbows with her.  She tells it as it is no sugar coating anything.  One of the things she writes about on her page is her son Red's religious journey.  It's something he has chosen and she supports.  I have always admired this about her.  How she steps back and supports her sons journey but dose not push her own views on him.









http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/c/catholic_school.asp
Promise I have a point here.  My oldest has expressed a intrest in recieving his conformation.  I was raised Catholic and left the church once I was old enough to make my own choice.  For me some of the Catholic doctrine is a hard pill to swallow.  Not saying they are wrong just not the right fit for me.  Anyone that knows me knows I am not a religious person.  My kids were baptized Catholic to make family members happy.  Roger went to Catholic school up until fifth grade.  The public schools were lacking so I put him in private. Other than school he has never really been exposed to church.  Sometimes we go with the inlaws but other than that it is just not something we have done as a family.



When Roger first brought up wanting to recieve his conformation honestly my knee jerk reaction was not only no but hell no.  This is where Confessions comes in.  I've been reading her posts about Red's journey and while it may not be what she would do she completely supports him in his quest for faith.  I say say may because I don't know what her beliefs are and don't want to say the wrong thing. Based on what I've read she would support him wherever his journey to God takes him, except maybe a cult she would probably draw the line there.

So the point being I have learned from others, just because I don't follow the doctriane and it is not right for me dose not mean it is the same for my son.  Roger needs to have the ability to have his own journey in religion without me pushing my beliefs on him.  So if he wants his conformation I will support his choice.  I will do what I can to help him.  If he decieds later no I really don't want to do this I will support him again. Part of the journey is finding out what you believe for yourself. Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a parent is to put our own belifes aside and allow our children to decied what they believe.  Now he comes and tells me he's moving to a commune in the hills with some crazy man I'm going to have to put my foot down.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Step Away From Autism


This comes from a discussion with autism bloggers. Yes we are real people behind our pages.  The group is made up of parents and autistics.  The topic came up of do you sometimes just get sick of autism.  Not the autism itself just that all attention seems to be on a diagnosis rather than  a person.

Overall response yep.  As I said before we are real people.  We may write about about autism but part of real life is autism is not always center stage.  Sometimes we don't want to talk about autism, sometimes we want to talk about the most recent game, a book we read, what we are doing at work, there is more to us than just being autistic or being a autism parent.  Sometimes you have to step away from the autism and focus on life. 

http://quoteshelp.com/life-quotes/
Autism is the only dx I can think of that makes people stop living. It's not the autism that dose it, it is the person typically parents that fall into this fear trap.  If I had just stopped our lives and avoided doing things and going places because I feared a meltdown how many things would we have missed.  How many parties, shows, movies, sports would have been missed because of a fear.  I'm not saying meltdowns don't happen but I'm not going to avoid life because one might happen.

http://quoteshelp.com/life-quotes/
Let me put this another way.  I also have a child who is a hemophiliac.  If I refused to let him play outside, ride a bike, really just be a kid because he might get cut or scraped what kind of life would he have? A pretty boring one.  So I don't.  A lot like meltdowns we live life and if he happens to get cut or scraped I'll deal with it then.  Sometimes we end up in the ER but that's going to happen time to time its part of being a hemophiliac.

Then there is the whole title thing.  Once you have a dx you become autistic or a autism parent.  The person you were before the dx is still there but it seems like people can't see that person anymore. Everyone wants to over anaylaze what you do.  There must be a reason why?  Yes there is a reason because we like it. You become this walking information booth.  Where conversations may have been about your recent trip before now they are about autism.  Don't get me wrong we love that you want to ask questions and learn, but dose it have to be every conversation. 


http://www.boolumaster.com
Roger says "I'm still the same person as before.  Now we know why I sometimes do things that seem strange, why I get stuck on things, and why I sometimes just don't get it.  Not everything I'm interested in has to do with me being autistic.  Plenty of people without autism like to read and play with Lego's."  What he says is true.  Before the dx his likes were just that likes, now everyone wants to analyze and find some autism connection to his fascination with Dr. Who.  Really people he just like the show.  He doesn't over analyze your obsession with the Kardashians it's just a stupid show you watch. 

Overall what I am saying is step away from the autism dx and see the person.  Ask them about the book they read?  Ask how work is going?  Find out about them as a person.  We will never stop advocating and fighting for what we or our children need, but not everything is a fight.  Yes autism is a integral part of my children but it is not all of them.  Sometimes autism needs to be center stage, but not always.  Live life, have fun, let your kids be kids.  They may just surprise you.  I think Brad Paisley's song says it best "yes I have a hard life but in someways everybody dose."



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

WINNER My Memories




The Winner of the My Memories scrapbook software as chosen by random.org is wildworldofautism. Email me noguile04(at)yahoo.com with your email address.

Didn't win a copy click on the link to the right for My Memories use the code

STMMMS31260 to recieve $10 off. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There's Something In The Water

Homestyle Mama started it I blame her with this.  That post lead to this one and this one.  What am I talking about meltdowns and not just a simple melt down (yes they can be simple) but a full out nuclear meltdown.  I'm not talking about the kids I'm talking about mom.  As a person you can only take so much before you lose your shit.  I finally hit my breaking point last Saturday in my driveway of all places and yes there were witnesses.  Who are still looking at me like I'm a little crazy.

On Parenthood last night I completley got Juilia's story line through the whole show watch Here

Now I know you want to know what happened, otherwise why would you still be reading.  Husband worked most of the day, the neighbors family was all off doing their thing dad was left at home.  As soon as husband pulled in the drive he came over he was really bored.  They talked for a little bit, I did my usual get kids fed and going in the bath, then I went out with them.

Yes we are all kinds of redneck around here three of us standing at the back of our truck drinking beer.  Kids were fine, everything was fine for a while.  I've been under a lot of stress from multiple things lately and husband knows when I get stressed out my body literally starts fighting me.  That was his first sign things weren't right.  I was complaining about pain but not my normal back pain that I'm used too it was different.  I had been sitting on the tailgate of the truck, but I kept standing and sitting I just couldn't sit still.  I went to pick up my beer and my hand twitched and I knocked it over we just laughed it off no big deal. a second later I reached my arm back to grab husbands hand and he saw my arm spasm and I knocked hi beer over.  Again laugh it off don't want anyone to know somethings not right.  Went to pick up my beer and I couldn't get my hand to grip enough to pick it up.  Once I got my grip on it I threw it at the garage door and just broke down in tears.  I just keep saying this isn't right somethings wrong.  Husband said I know you're doing too much you have to stop your killing yourself.  There is no shame in taking a break from everything and just being mom.

Obviously there is a lot of backstory to this.  As for my bodies reaction to stress, yes I have seen a doctor and they have no explanation at this time as to what is going on only that it seems to be a reaction to stress.  Our whole life is stress right now 4 kids, I'm in school, husband had lost his job,  he got a new one but rent is late and landlord is asking about it daily (which yes they have every right too), Utilities need to be paid, Porkchop's birthday coming up and no money to do anything, no second car so trying to figure out logistics for kids after school activities, oh paying for activities, I'm sure you've been there the list goes on and on.

Of course I took Homestyle's lead and we looked at everything, If I can't control it I'm not going to worry about it. If the landlord wants to evict us for being late once so be it nothing I can do about it.  On that note we are going back to how we used to do things. Husband is responsible for the rent. Landlord has been told you have questions concerning the house or rent contact him not me.  I have the utilities, keep up on the house stuff since I'm home and school well I'm taking a break from that.  For how long who knows.

Now just because I take care of the house does not mean I am a maid.  Everyone is responsible for their own rooms and helping keep their stuff picked up.  If you leave dirty laundry in your room and it doesn't get washed oh well you will have to wait or do laundry yourself. The only person I will go hunt dirty clothes for is husband, you know he works and lately it's been very long hours. Nine times out of ten clothes go where they should but sometimes they don't.

Some think I'm crazy leaving school because I am three classes from being done but it was a large part of the stress.  There have been so many tech problems this past class no being able to post, can't get assignments to post, unable to log into the system I am failing my current class.  Not due to me but tech issues.  I can't control the schools inability to fix or even address the issues with me so I'm not going to worry about it.

Overall one thing husband said was I have to stop holding everything in, until meltdown point.  That no one expects me to do it all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Explaining Death


Friends and acquaintances dying is new territory for us.  In most peoples minds kids just don't die, and you never think one day it could be someone your kid knows.  It has happened and we have spent the last week trying to explain it, answer questions, deciding what to do.  In our case the school had already explained the circumstances to the kids.

On Monday Roger came home from school and said "school was depressing some kid I know died." Umm what? He handed me a note from the school and said he was going to go ride his bike.  The page long note from the school explained that a 8th grader from the school had died the previous weekend.  On Saturday evening he went flying with his dad and there was an accident, neither father or son survived.

When Roger came back in I asked if he knew the boy?  He wasn't really sure, he knew he wasn't someone he hung out with on a regular basis, once he saw a picture of him he said yes I kind of knew him.  It does not matter if you know the person or not when someone your age from your school dies it hits everyone in the school.

Most adults are at a loss when it comes to death, sometimes there is just no explanation or reasoning that can make it make sense.  With the death of a friend it opens that thought to a child that it could be them.  They may have questions, they may not.  What we found has worked for us is to let Roger lead. If he has a question he will ask it, if he wants to bring it up he can but I am not pushing him.  When he wants to say something he will and you just listen.  There is no right or wrong way to feel.

As for the funeral I left the choice to him. Just like with adults some people need to go to a funeral they need that closure others do not, it is a personal decision.  Roger is 13 now and some of these choices he can make for himself.  He was given three options a) go to the funeral, b) stay home, c) go to school.  He chose to go to school, even though many kids and teachers will not be there he still wanted to stick with what is normal for him.

When it comes to autism I call BS on all the articles I saw that said a person with autism does not understand death.  He understands he may show his emotions differently and may have trouble finding the right words, but just because you do not respond as people think you should does not mean you do not understand.  He knows K will not be returning to school ever.  He knows and understands death is permanent.   

Sometimes we just don't give our kids credit for being able to handle things.  They really can, it is expected for them to be upset, confused, anxious they need to know thats ok and perfectly normal.  They need to know its ok to be mad, its ok to be sad, its ok to not know how you feel.  Not many adults know how they feel after an unexpected death.  If we don't know how do we expect our kids to know.

Overall the best thing we can do when helping our child deal with death doesn't matter if it is a grandparent or a friend is to just be there.  Let them set the pace, don't push them to talk if they do not want too.  Of course as parents watch them.  Pay attention and if there is any sign that they are not processing or handling well get them someone to talk to.  Don't wait if your gut says they need help get them help.




Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Memories

Here it is, Finally the review/giveaway Lucy and I promised. We were given a copy of the My Memories Scrapbook Suite for review. The best part they are throwing in a extra copy for give away.

"MyMemories Suite digital scrapbooking software is SO fun and easy to learn and use that you will find yourself creating great project pages that can be used for a TON of different things in no time!  You can also use the software to create scrapbook pages and photo books and even customized photo gifts!
We have an incredibly busy Facebook page (over 17,000 fans now!!) and engaging, creative community where people can come and share their ideas, their projects and make some new friends!
 Come and check us out at http://www.facebook.com/MyMemoriesFans
he software does come with 1500 digital background papers and 1300 digital embellishments, though - so they never HAVE to buy anything else to create amazing projects right away!  Their "pages" can be saved as individual jpeg images and then printed, or emailed or shared in a blog post or used to create TONS of personalized goodies from sites all over the web!" (mymemories.com)

Lucy and I had fun with this one you can make books, scrapbook pages, as well as different crafts.
When you are finished you can print from your own printer, have it professional printed, or even burn it to a disk. There are so many options. The site itself has many FREE pages you can download and add to your software. 
This is a sample video Showing one book Lucy and I made

Off to the right there is a link you can click on and check them out. If you use the code 

STMMMS31260 you get $10 off.

Now go check them out online and their Facebook page.

GIVEAWAY TIME:
Do you want to win a copy of the software? It is a full version not a trial up for grabs.
Here's what you need to do:
Visit The My Memories Website look around leave a comment telling which Digital Scrapbook it you would love.
EXTRA ENTRIES
My memories facebook and like their page Here (Leave comment when done)
Visit My facebook Page Here Like me (leave comment here when done)
Share My giveaway on your facebook (Leave comment here when done, with link)

Remember each entry step is worth 1 entry, Fore each completed step leave a separate comment. Open to USA

All views are mine, product offered to me for purpose of review and giveaway.

Lucy will pick the winner next Saturday Sep. 29, 2012 at noon EST, by name in the hat method

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In Case of Zombies


Last night during dinner the kids had a planning session in case of the zombie apocalypse, what would they do?
Roger: We need a distraction, it will slow them down.
John: I know we will let the dog out at them!
Husband: That won't save you the dumb dog will just bark at them.
Lucy: OK we will feed them something what do zombies eat?
Roger: Brains
John: Feed em Lucy?
Roger: no shes too little we might need her to get in small places to save us.
Porkchop: Dad?
Roger: no he cooks gotta keep him. I know MOM! We will feed the zombies mom
Me: WHAT? Why do I gotta be the zombie food?
Roger: because the book says so (really he has references for this stuff.)

Now they did take it back when they asked for dessert and I said No your planning on feeding me to the zombies. They still say the book says to do it. Thanks Max Brooks, when I get served to the zombies I'm blaming you.

Where in this book does it say feed zombies your mom?


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blogger Idol

I auditioned for Blogger Idol 2012! Please go like the Official Blogger Idol page and let them know you want me to make it to the Top 12!

http://www.facebook.com/bloggeridol

Go check them out they have some great prizes for the winners and it looks like it will be a fun contest.

Autism Goes to Kings Dominion


Last week we took the kids to Kings Dominion.  At first we didn't tell them where we were going just said get dressed with tennis shoes on and get in the truck.  We told them we didn't know where we were going.  My children have no sense of direction they didn't notice we were going the wrong way, missed about three signs, they finally figured it out when we pulled into the parking lot.


We had bought our season passes before the season started yet only went once, you have to go at least twice to make the passes worth it.  We still had not gotten Johns pass so while husband took him over to get his I took the others to guest services to get what my kids call the power.  Yes Kings Dominion has the skip the line pass and accepts autism as a reason.  Really I swear they get it, technically I believe the pass is only supposed to be for 4 people. Both times we have gone they gave it to us for our whole party all six of us.  We are the same family and the girl this time said don't want him to have to wait for you after the ride so how many are with you.  I said six and with that she wrote six on the form.  She got it without me saying anything that if you only let part of the party skip the line guess what your still waiting for the other part to get on and off the ride, it just doesn't work well like that.  Now that everyone can skip the line it makes the trip run very smoothly.  Just so happens the day we went there were no lines.  Seriously Husband and John rode The Intimidator twice in a row no lines. Watch youtube video I found to see what it is.


As we went through the front gates Roger had the backpack, security asked to see it and he just handed the whole bag over.  She had meant for him to open it so she could take a quick look.  I of course had the green paper in hand, she saw it and her approach changed.  She told him step by step what she needed done and what she was doing. Seriously are you kidding me? Am I in some weird autism land that everyone gets it.

Front of The Crypt Ride
It was like that all day long, all the ride operators were awesome.  When the kids couldn't quite figure out a seat belt they helped them.  When Porkchop wasn't tall enough to ride a ride they were not rude just very nicely told him sorry bud your not big enough yet maybe next year.
Porkchop in the sample seat for the crypt I think he might fall out.


John rode this ride 6 times.





The kids got to ride everything they wanted to, everyone was nice, and they even did the little extras like letting Roger stay on the scrambler for a few rides. He was liking the movement I guess. We will defiantly be buying season passes for next year and be returning again this year for Halloween Haunt. I'm telling you everyone there just gets it. Not once was a rude comment made by any staff member, they were all very accommodating and it made for a great day.







Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Winner

The winner of the Over The Sea book is chameleon please email me your address at noguile04(at) yahoo.com.

WINNER MUST EMAIL BY SEP 8, 2012 11:59pm EST or a new winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This Years Letter

This is this years teacher letter, updated and edited hopefully to help for the year. I leave out IEP info because teachers can read that themselves and I don't want to start the year off seeming like I think they don't read it. I also leave out any medical descriptions of any of our dx's. I assume they know what autism is and if they don't they can always ask. I always felt it was patronizing when someone would start explaining autism to me. Yes please tell me about your autism, yourself, your child, but leave out all the medical stuff. When I was in the schools if I didn't know what something was I would ask or go look it up, so I always assume and give the teachers respect that they are professionals. I do tell them about my child though, that's where I'm the professional.


Dear Teacher,
  
We have set up this form letter to give to every teacher to help them better understand our son, Roger.  His IEP has all his testing and the education plan so I will stick to some things you may experience with him.   Roger has been diagnosed with autistic disorder.  The co-existing conditions that Roger has are: Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, Anxiety, Executive Functioning Disorder, a movement disorder, as well as a history of what we believe are absence seizures.   I just wanted to let you know a little more about him in writing and it’s easier than verbally trying to explain it all.

While these issues are complex, you probably won’t be able to tell anything is different, at least for a while.

Roger is a very smart child that pays attention to very small details and can get “lost” in the shuffle of daily activities.  Working together as a team with open and frequent communication is the key to helping Roger manage himself and find his place.

We have been working with Roger to develop self-help and coping techniques so that he can manage the over-stimulating and confusing world around him. This year we are hoping he begins to use some of the self advocating skills we have worked on, such as asking for help, knowing when he is overwhelmed and asking to leave to regain composure, and asking for clarification on directions.

Some of the things we have found that help Roger are:

One of the challenges with his auditory processing disorder is sometimes he does not always hear what was said to him.  Visual Cues are key:  Charts, Outlines, Graphics (Visual will always work better than auditory).  He will have a folder for each class, inside of it I will place a checklist for him to look at to help him remember what supplies to bring to class. He will also jump into following directions as he thinks it should be done. A example from home is emptying the dishwasher, if he is told to empty the dishwasher he will, but he will not look to see if they are clean, so he will do as he was told empty the dishwasher but skip looking to see if they are clean first.

With The executive function disorder Roger has almost no organization. In the past, he would often forget his belongings and then later would “melt-down” over forgetting something.  He is determined this year not to improve on this.  Roger almost never relays information to me about his day and would never remember verbal instructions to be told later, using a planner has been a struggle for Roger.  He doesn’t know what to write down or how to write it down. We have found that by using technology such as his iPad he can place reminders in and use the alarms to remind him about important assignments. If he gets behind on assignments which he has done I ask that I am notified immediately preferably by email.  If I know about it at the start I can assist him in getting back on track before it snowballs into something that overwhelms him.

With the sensory processing disorder little things in the environment will distract him.  He does not have problems with the loud noises it is the little noises that affect him.  An example is the sound of pencils on paper. When the environment becomes too much sometimes he needs a short break to clear his head.

Some things you may notice are Roger has a few what we call tics.  He constantly has small movements, tapping legs, moving arms, and some facial and head tics at times.  He cannot control these movements and when they are pointed out they become worse as he tries to control them.  When he gets anxious or frustrated these movements also become more noticeable.  There have been a few occasions that this has looked like a seizure.  He has had extensive testing and does not have a seizure disorder it is just anxiety.  Usually removing him from the situation for a few minutes will calm him down and help him to regain his composure. Again the best response is to allow him to leave the room and regain his composure.

While he does not have a seizure disorder he does have a history of what may be absence seizures.  There are no movements with these. More often than not he will just have a blank stare, if he is speaking during on his speech will slur.  They are very quick and often not noticed by anyone around. Rarely he will get a headache after a episode and become very tired.
  
Roger is a very mild mannered boy and won’t cause any trouble in class.  He is shy at first and then he becomes very entertaining the more he opens up to people.  School can be difficult for him. Especially the social aspect of it.
We appreciate your willingness to educate our son.  We are looking forward to working with all of you and having a great school year this year.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or if any problems that arise.

Sincerely,
My Name
Phone number and email address

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Literal Thinking

One thing we have to remember in our house is that the kids think literally. By this I mean what you say is what they expect. Couple of examples of this.

Once someone said its raining cats and dogs. Lucy ran to the window expecting to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. Of course they were not. She said its not raining cats and dogs it's raining rain.

Yes Gordon Ramsey comes into this. Roger got up early today. He was hungry so he used his iPad to look up how to make scrambled eggs. Then he waited for someone to get up so he could cook. Husband walked by and asked what's up with Gordon Ramsey here? Rogers response I'm not Gordon, if I was I would be blond, speak in a french accent, and be yelling at her to get out of the kitchen. Husband just laughed and walked away.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All Cats By: Roger

**This is Rogers Review of All Cats Have Aspergers.  We checked this book out from our local library and the views presented are his views.****


What Roger says:  It basically says that people with Asperger syndrome are like cats. I HATE CATS!!!!!

What mom Says: Cute pictures, a lot of the stereotypical things are said such as likes to be close to people they love but not held by them. Attached to objects not people. Even though stereotypical examples are used they are used well by saying he may or its possible rather than he will and everyone with aspergers does. Overall I think it had a good message of acceptance in the end. Also one of the few I have seen that points out strengths as well.  Lucy liked the pictures, Roger is allergic to cats so that is where the I hate Cats comes from.

a youtube video of aspergerkid (his youtube name) reading the book. I do not know him just found the video.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Petitions and Why I Avoid Them




Don't get me wrong I'm not living in Lala land where discrimination never occurs. I know it does and I'm sure many petitions are valid but you have to remember it is only one side of a story without both sides you really don't know the whole story. I know things are not black and white there is a lot of gray and their are always exceptions and extreme cases that need to really be looked at where the status quo wont fit.

Here's my example from clear out in left field, A person puts a petition up against oh lets say a concert venue. The letter is full of feeling and emotion saying how they went to see their favorite band play and were so excited but when they got to the door they were denied entry by staff. They claim it was because they have a disability, everyone jumps on board signing the petition that the person should have been let in and some compensation should be made. You with me so far? Finally the public hears from the venue itself. It comes out the person had a ticket for the following night's performance and that is why they were denied admission. 

  OKI know my example is a bit extreme but you get the point. You never really know what the situation is unless you can see all the documents and evidence from both sides of the story. Just remember it's easy to claim lots of things against a party who legally can not respond to allegations due to privacy laws.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Somewhere Over The Sea Review and Giveaway



Somewhere Over the Sea: A Father's Letter to His Autistic Son
In this deeply moving and elegantly written book, Halfdan W. Freihow takes Gabriel, his young autistic son, on a journey through the full spectrum of human experience. With great love, profound tenderness, and gentle wit, Freihow captures Gabriel’s triumphs and disappointments, his joy and frustration, while struggling to help him make sense of a world that he himself does not, and cannot, fully comprehend. A powerful, honest, and achingly beautiful narrative, Somewhere Over the Sea describes a complex, loving relationship that is sometimes fraught with misunderstanding, but always bolstered by unconditional love. A must-read for all parents.” (www.barnesandnobel.com)


This is not your typical autism parent book. 

First this is a dad’s perspective, second it’s 

not doom and glum.  It is a sincere and loving 

account of a fathers love for his child. It’s 

not all rainbows and flowers he does show the 

hard parts but shares the rewarding aspects of 

raising a child. There is a very brief 

explanation of autism and ADHD at the end. 

Great story that everyone should read. Gabriel 

is shown as a real person, a person with 

feelings, a person who thinks, feels, and 

loves.


Thanks to the publisher I am doing a giveaway 

of one copy of Somewhere Over the Sea. If you 

want to win just leave a comment. Winner will 

be picked at random (name in hat method) by 

Roger on Friday August 31, 2012 at 4pm EST.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interesting Morning


We have had an interesting morning. Husband leaves at 6:30ish for work. Around 7am someone rang the doorbell for the first time, I didn't answer I never do that early in the morning. 7:30am they ring again this time I answer the door and noone is there (I think dumb kids playing around no big deal). 7:45am it rings again ok now I'm getting annoyed I open the door no one is there but someone is lurking around in our trees, hmm maybe a salesperson? I tell Lucy who is the only one up not to open the door. 8:00am it rings again OK now I'm pissed enough is enough. Lucy looks out her bedroom window and says mom the Sheriff is out front. I throw on shoes and walk out to speak with him.

As I walk to the of my drive I hear he is talking with someone and telling them you can't be doing this, I don't care why. For all you know they have a gun and will shot you, just so you know they'd be well within their rights to shoot you. Umm OK.

As I approach the Sheriff comes to me, I know how it goes I stop and let him come to me and make sure he can see my hands. He brings this guy over he's late teens early 20's over and asks do you know him? I see the kid has some sort of name tag on and I say nope never seen him before, but if you are from the buy here pay here or payday loan place the previous residents moved a month ago stop bugging me. The Sheriff gets a little smirk on his face and says no ma'am he was looking for his "girlfriend" he says he doesn't have her number. Of course I have to laugh at that a bit. Neither off us bought the girlfriend line he also didn't know her name.

The kid apologizes for ringing the doorbell and I tell him look it's fine that you were looking for someone no harm no foul, but ringing my bell several times this early in the morning is a bit obsessive. Had my husband been here he would have opened the door and punched you, or chased you down when you were lurking in our trees.  Once again Sheriff and his smirk.

This all ended with the Sheriff asking if I wanted to press charges, I told him I'll save you the paperwork not this time. He told the kid to get in his car and leave. He was also told by the Sheriff "I better not see you around here again". Told me if you see him again give us a call.
I guess one of my neighbors saw him pacing up and down my drive, lurking in trees, just acting strangely and knew he wasn't anyone they had seen before so they called the cops. Husband says locks will be changed today.