Skip to main content


When I see your lips moving, all I can think about are the 
many ways I would 
smash your face in 
if assault was legal. 

Well, we all have dreams.I was reading an article in O Magazine, called "Cloudy With a Chance of Rage" in which the author explained how she found herself being increasingly agitated and verbally abusive with people while not knowing the root of the anger.

I thought about the many times I've had to suppress the desire to punch people in the face; bad driving, not holding doors, judgmental looks at my kid's behavior, and the list continues. It's not just a Jersey thing. And maybe, just maybe, there is a wee bit of stress in my life that contributes to these feelings.

I thought about how similar these feeling seem to the meltdowns that I deal with at home and then it all made sense. The feelings behind the meltdowns weren't solely an Autism expression of anger and frustration,as it was a person expressing their feelings. Although many ASD kids don't have the words or the ability to deal with or identify the root of their feelings, we ALL have anger issues which stem from frustrations and stressors in our lives. How we cope with them is as individaul as the triggers that cause them.

When our kids have meltdowns, we give them a time out and expect that they can redirect out of the mess in just a few minutes.  At the end of the time-out, sometimes they seem fine. When they don't, we do what we need to do to get them back on track. However, when they melt down again 10 minutes later seemingly from the same stressors as before, we seem suprised and even a  little annoyed that they are back in the melt-zone so easily. 

The author quoted anger-specialist, author, Ronald Potter-Efron PhD's book, Healing the Angry Brain. He said, "People assume they're calm after 30 seconds of deep breathing, but our bodies don't recover that quickly. Though we may feel a pseudo-calm, most people truly need 20 minutes to an hour to truly let the emotion pass." 

I had to read that several times to realize the good news; that is normal behavior that applies to everyone; It wasn't ASD specific. 

The main difference between the average mind and the ASD mind, is that usually we can reflect and determine what we need to do to get ourselves out of the muck; exercise, call a friend, drink a glass of wine, whatever. However, our kids on the spectrum have a bit more difficulty pulling out, redirecting, and moving on. It may even take days for those that tend to perseverate on things. I know that when #2, the Aspy, comes home from school in an agitated state, that he won't be good again until he takes a long rest in a quiet place, otherwise, he can't let it go.

The good thing about the article is that it reminded me that everyone feels anger and needs an adequate cool down period. I realized the cool-down time I give the kids is really based on what I think they need. At least in this category, I'm doing something right.  And I should grant that amount of time for myself and everyone else too. 

As long as I have an ample opportunity to keep my temper in check, we're all good. No one-finger-salutes on the highway today.



Popular posts from this blog

Zipping and Buttoning in the new dimension

We just bought #1 jeans for the first time. At the age of 14, he just mastered how to zip and button pants. Yes, I am crying.

In the last few years, he has grown considerably. In just four years, he went from a very cute 10/12 to an adult extra large. His feet are a men's size 12. We have big people stock. 

I had the moment when I realized that he has outgrown most of his clothes, so I had to take him shopping. I let him select colors and types of clothes; hoodies, t-shirts, sweatpants, and then I selected a few pairs of jeans to try. He hasn't worn jeans since he was a toddler because once he had to zip and button them himself, he couldn't. He just didn't have the strength or dexterity in his hands to do it.

In the fitting room, I told him, "We're going to try on some jeans, just to see." He managed to button and zip each pair I handed him, ON HIS OWN. I was thrilled.  Once we found the right size, colors and cuts, we tired on outfits, and he liked his r…

A letter to my fellow special needs moms

Dear fellow mom of a special needs child,

I want you to know that when I met you,  there was something about you that made me want to become friends with you. It wasn't the fact that your kid also had a disability, it was that I sensed that there was so much more to you that I wanted to learn about. Your kid sharing the same diagnosis as mine, wasn't a factor in my choice.

But it seems lately, that that is the only thing you want to talk about.

As you know, every single one of my five children have a developmental disability. It is a hard and draining journey and it makes life really difficult most of the time. When I get to leave the house, the goal is to spend time with people who make me laugh and refresh my spirit so when I go home, I can be a better person. I don't want to talk about my kids, I don't want to talk about therapies, or school problems, I just want to be me. I want to shelve the problems I experience every day and just take a break.

The problem is, al…

Diary of a music mom

Since fifth grade, both #1 and #2 have been playing instruments; #1, the saxophone and #2, the trombone. #1, Autism classic, plays the very same saxophone that I started on in fifth grade. I  teach him daily and we go once a week to our new sax teacher and they work on jazz. #2, the aspy is a lot more autonomous and he doesn't require my attention when he practices and gets by with his weekly skype lessons from grandpa and his private teacher.

Every year, our school district hosts a solo and ensemble festival. The kids have roughly eight weeks to choose a listed piece and then perform it with an accompaniment. Every year, I make the boys participate even though it means I need to spend more time with #1 to make sure he doesn't sound like a moose in the wild and more like a saxophone player.

It always turns out like this:
I choose the new piece and we trudge through it slowly and painfully.
I second guess my choice because I think it's too much, too hard, too intricate for …