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An Autism sharing moment

Today, I was asked to participate on a panel at Towson University. The panel was designed to give the students in their autism studies classes a personal look at autism. These folks either already worked in education and were pursing a Masters degree or were training to work in special education.

These folks are the few, the brave, the "heart on the sleeve" teachers that are placing themselves in the valuable position of special education teacher. 

We were there to tell them about the thrills of autism ownership and give them advice on how to help/ connect with their students and their families. 

There were five of us on the panel with children of different ages and experiences. We were handpicked for various reasons and asked to share our stories. The similarities in our stories bind us as a community. 

Here's a few things we all have in common:

* We all noticed something was different, off, atypical of our children at an early age. Trust your gut.
*We all had to pay out of p…
Recent posts

Coming out of hiding

I was attending my high school reunion and a former classmate approached me. "Why aren't you writing the blog anymore? I want you to know how much you helped me when I needed it most. You need to start it again."

She actually liked the blog long before she realized I was the one writing it.

I explained to her, that sometimes life gets in the way.

Shortly after my last post,  I took a job as a personal assistant for a CEO. It was demanding and they became my sixth and most demanding child. The money was good, but the stress was greater. When your kids  beg you to quit because they miss spending time with you, well, that's the signal things need to change. So, I quit after my third year.

Three years ago, #1 started middle school and  two years ago, #2 entered middle school.
That journey is worthy of a post all it's own.

Add school, sports, scouts, music, gardening and other activities to the mix, and life became an overwhelmed fury; constantly running from place …

I'M NOT DOING IT!

When #1 got off the bus, he was agitated. Usually he does the same thing everyday; walk in the house, walk right to the family room to see what is going on, check out the kitchen for snacks on display, and then take off his shoes and backpack. While he does his rounds I ask him how his day went and he always replies "great", before he runs upstairs to get the iPad. 

Today during his rounds, he said to me, "I'm not performing with Mrs. Allen's class tomorrow. I'm not doing it."  And then he ran off. Well, ok then.

Volunteer appreciation day was scheduled for the next day at school and his special education teacher asked him to perform a song with the other kids. He has a great voice and can bust a serious move, so it seemed like a good idea. That was until I heard him, "MOM, I'M NOT DOING IT!"

I wondered what could be the issue. Was it because he was fully mainstreamed and didn't go into her class anymore? Was it that he didn't like th…

World Autism Awareness Month: A Time To Focus On Our Similarities.

Tomorrow, April 2, is World Autism Awareness day. I thought about all the things I could say about awareness and then I realized that the people who read this blog know all this stuff. With the latest release from the CDC about the number of children diagnosed with Autism now at 1:68, there will be a day that everyone will know or be related to someone with Autism. And unfortunately,  It is only when something affects everyone is when things will change.

I decided to re-share excerpts from my post: We're More alike than you think. The post was inspired by Willman Stillman and my self-observations. Everyday I look at my children and realize I have more Autistic qualities that I realized. I have also realized that it not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe melting and throwing myself on the ground if I can't find my keys may be over-doing it a bit, but many things are really a core part of me; like my ability to memorize information. It comes in handy on Black Friday for sure.

You asked me a question. Here's your answer.

When people meet me and learn that I have three children with Autism, they look dumbfounded. 
I really think it throws them into a confused daze, because many times, they look at me and ask, "How could that be so?" And, "What causes Autism?" Like somehow through ownership, I know why my three boys have different manifestations of Autism. 

The answer is, I don't. My guess is as good as anyone else's. 

I do have my hypothesis, though. 

I believe we all have certain characteristics that are passed down through genetic lines, like hair or eye color. But there are also less tangible characteristics that jump on the band wagon. We can all look at something in our children, ie: perfect pitch, introversion, ability in sports, science, math, music, quirkiness or some other abilities we possess and link it to our genetic line.  When we choose to reproduce, our offspring inherit whatever is mixed among the DNA. We have no control over it. 

With that said, most of us have h…

Snow Day

Today we had another snow day. I read many of my friend's Facebook postings about hiding in closets and wallowing in despair, but I'm not one of them. 

You see, I actually LIKE not having to get five kids ready to leave the house. I'm sure my body does too. If someone were to monitor the level of cortisol in my system the 10 minutes before we leave the house in the morning, I'm sure it would be off the charts. Snow days mean no ugly transitions from the bed to anywhere. Forget about getting dressed, f-that. Stay in your pjs. Why? Because I don't care. Underwear? Well that is optional isn't it? I don't have make sure everyone has socks, is dressed, fed, brushed and has their shoes and coats on ready to roll. No lunches, backpacks or that f-ing homework that they remembered they hadn't done at 9:30 pm. 

And just when you thought it couldn't be any better than that, there is one thing that makes its super-fantastic: I can sleep in. Yes, you read it corre…

Just Give it a Try

I admit, I dropped the ball a little. Once the girls began going on the potty full time, I really didn't mind begin summoned, "I"M DONE", to wipe their bottoms.  Hey, the hard part was done. I didn't have to follow them around and watch for the potty dance, clean up accidents,  or buy diapers which greatly depreciated the wine fun. 

So when they called, I assumed wipe duty.

And now they are five and will be starting camp soon and I realized that they will have to be transitioned out of this dependence. 

So this morning, Twin "S" was on the potty after her  announcement, "I HAVE TO GO POOPIES". When she was finished, she called out her usual, "I'm done." I handed her the paper and told her, " You know, you're five now and you will be going to music camp soon. I won't be there to wipe your bottom for you and you need to learn how to do this yourself."

She scrunched her face up and said, "then I won't go pott…