Monday, August 26, 2013

#Autistic Know-it-all, or Could it be #Anxiety?

On my Inner Aspie page I spoke of a  little personal challenge to not correct my husband, or critique anything he does for a whole entire week. I made it about 24 hours before I blurted out "That's wrong!!!" when we were making the bed, and he was going to put the blankets in the wrong order. I tried to slow my thoughts down, and think of another way to say it, but I got so anxious.  In the afterthought of it all I realize that something so small as the blankets being in the wrong order shouldn't feel so nerve-wracking. I wish it wasn't met in my mind with such obsessional urgency that I feel the energy shoot from my stomach, up through my chest, down my arm, and out my fingertips in a flappy expression of overwhelm. However, it does.

In my mind at that moment it feels like the world is collapsing. My blankets won't feel right while I sleep. They'll probably not stay on the bed right. The satin fabric one is too slippery. It will slide off in the middle of the night, and I will be cold, then I will have to get it. Then, I will be tired from fixing blankets all night. Not to mention what it will do to the color scheme of my room! They won't match like that, and then my room will look dark, and dark shadowy room hurt my eyes, and , and, and,....

That is how anxiety works in my head. I'm not trying to be critical of others. I'm trying to control my world so that I can feel comfortable.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Hateful Letter, #Narcissism, and #Bullies

I have been asked by more than one person to do a blog post on my opinion about the letter that was anonymously written and delivered to a Canadian family last weekend. I have been reluctant to do so for a few reasons. None of which are popular with the autism community, so I tend to stay out of these conflicts. I wish I could respond like everyone else, and have an emotional reaction that outweighs my logic on these sorts of events, but I don't. I've been a lot of places in my life, and seen a lot of things. More so than the average person in respects to places that most would call unpleasant, dysfunctional, and dangerous. It's these experiences that have left me with a realistic view of people. Some people are not nice. Some are sometimes. Most are most of the time, and a small fraction of people are so dark that they are devoid of any human conscience at all.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Understanding the Why When Teaching Autistic Children

I have seen a theme of discussion here lately about "pushing" autistic kids. From Temple Grandin's speeches to autism pages, and blogs that I read. I have posted, and spoken about it a lot on my own personal page, even going so far as to tag educators that work with my son. I somehow feel they probably don't appreciate that. Their knowledge comes from classroom teachers, and textbooks, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with that, but the picture is not complete without the perspective of people that are on the spectrum weighing in on the subject.  After all, we once were the kids they are teaching now.

I have argued in real time with some of the people that work with my sons about the idea of pushing. What it means, what it doesn't, and when it should occur, if ever. I still don't think I have made myself clear, or come to any agreement so far with many.

I think part of the issue is what does pushing really mean? Does that mean 40 hours of ABA? Does it mean constant repetition, and hand over hand?  Does it mean do this, and get this? This is where it gets sticky, because what seems like pushing to one person isn't to another.  We're all different in how we interpret things.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Most Parents Are Lazy

Did the title get your attention? Good. If you agree with it, then this blog is written with you in mind. Please, keep reading, before skipping to the comments section.

It happened again. I got sucked into another dreadful parenting debate. I always tell myself that I won't, and usually I don't, but sometimes I do. I just have to respond to people. I have to let them know just how narrow minded they are being, and in the end I doubt it matters to them one iota.

These people know just how every child should behave, and how every parent should respond when they don't.

These commentators know that every misdeed of the kid (no matter how old) is the parent's fault.

They know, because their child would never...

They know because back in their day......

How do I know these parent's POV so well? I have a confession to make here.

Our First Bowling Trip

In one of my recent posts I talked about date nights, and what we could do differently.  I promised some follow ups.

Last Thursday evening we decided to mix it up a little, and make it a family thing. It occurred to me that my kids have never gotten the opportunity (except for maybe field trips) to go bowling, or to the movies or a lot of other fun things. There's various reasons for this. The main one, is that Beans (and up until recently Bubby on some things) would never be able to tolerate it. The other is lack of fun funds.  If one can't hardly pay their bills, my philosophy is that one shouldn't be out spending money on nonessential activities.  In other words, I am a stingy, party pooper.

I left Beans with respite, picked up my daughter's boyfriend, and off we went. The fact that we waited so long to go is evidenced by the fact that my daughter is old enough to have a serious boyfriend. My heart hurt leaving Beans out of family fun, though. I knew there was no way he'd enjoy it. I feel the same every time we go to a carnival, too. It's always bittersweet, because I always feel like I am leaving him out. It's like on one hand, I want to give my other children life experiences as they age, and grow. I want them to have fun. I want them to know what it's like to live beyond our four walls. On the other hand, I don't want to leave Beans out of these experiences, even the ones I know for a fact he would not enjoy.  It was hard, but I did it. I am glad that I did!

We had so much fun! Bubby only had one small meltdown, because he had issues getting his shoes on. He's not terribly accustomed to laces, so he got really discouraged. We moved on quickly, though. The rest of the night was super fun, full of laughs.

I wish I had some pictures to share with you. I didn't take any, because I was too busy having fun!

I'm looking forward to our next activity, and am more open to trying new things, sans the guilt! :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Losing Beans- Last night's bad dream

Last night I had one of those dreams that you wake up from sobbing. At first, I thought that the meaning was pretty straight forward, but after thinking on it, and looking up some of the main themes in my dream dictionary I quickly realized the meaning was much deeper than I originally thought.

In my dream, I was sitting around with some friends that I used to have when I was a teenager. We were back at my hometown, doing fun things that 14 year old girls do, except I was not 14.  I was the same age I am now. It was nostalgic, and I was having a really nice time. Then, it was evening and we were sitting by a pool. The next thing I know Beans has disappeared. I can't find him anywhere. Panic sets in, as I look for him.

Then, I am in a sort of haze, or something. It was like I was unconscious, and had woke up. I asked some people around me where Beans was, hoping it had been a dream, or he had been found, but they confirmed what was my worst fear... he was still lost. They said he had wandered into a nearby forest. I held back my tears, as I asked how long had this been the case. Two or three weeks was their reply, and with that I knew. I knew he was gone, likely forever, and I just kept saying "Oh man, oh man. no." as I sobbed, and sobbed. I think I made a few attempts at following up, but I knew it was pretty final. He was gone, and that was that.

I tried to move on, but life felt so empty. I tried to keep things