Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Feeling Fall

Every Fall I eagerly await the first colors of the leaves to pop out from the trees. I check daily from the first of August for any sign of color changes, even just a little. This year I found that the colors began to turn quite early. I began to see leaves turning olive green, and darkened yellow hues in September! In the region I am from that is really early. We are often still having triple digit temperatures off, and on through out the month of September, so to see the change of colors starting to peek out so soon was a surprise to me. Since then it has been slow progress, however. The changes have come in short bursts.

One thing I know for sure is that every Fall season produces different results when it comes to the trees, and losing leaves.

Last year's colors were rather disappointing. The trees went from an olive green, to a muted yellow, to barren. There was not much in between. The weather snapped rather quickly from hot to cold, and the leaves just went from mid-fall colors, to dead. I missed the golds, and bright oranges as they fell gently from the sky over a couple week's time. The environment dictated what needed to happen for the trees to stay safe, and strong. The trees adapted, and did what they needed to.

They were the same trees that lit up the sky in years past with brilliant displays of reds, and golds, and oranges. I'd take pictures of them. Some years they'd explode with color, and some years not so much. I'm not sure which one this year is going to be. Of course, I am hoping for a colorful year, but I understand the times where energy conservation is also needed.

I was thinking that sometimes we are like those trees. Sometimes we explode with color, and excitement, but other times, we need to pull in, and care for ourselves. It's the same tree, and the same place, same season. Nothing changed, but maybe the environment. The tree does what it has to to be healthy. Maybe other people might have judgments about that. The tree might not be as beautiful to the eyes of others while it transforms into energy conservation mode. That's not why the tree changes. It changes to prepare for winter, and others just get the benefit of witnessing the process of this change. Sometimes the change is spectacular, and other times it's a quieter event that seems to takes place in a flash.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Intellectual Disability and Autism

This is a post that I have physically began to compose, but have deleted a couple times over the years. In my head I've written it over, and over thousands of times, each time composing it with a little more understanding, but not enough courage, or possibly enough knowledge yet to feel competent to write about it, maybe? I'm not sure. I am sure to get some of it wrong, but what I am sure about is the time I've spent thinking, and knowing my [autistic] brain, and understanding both of my sons, as well as being around others in the autism community has led me to where I am. I think I will get more right then I will get wrong.

So, what is this tumultuous topic that I tread so delicately to address?

Intellectual disability, and Autism; or rather where they intersect.

It's a very taboo topic to even broach within the autism community. If one were to even hint that their child might have an intellectual disability, plus autism to another parent whether this be in person, or online this is almost akin to saying, "I would like to start a fight with you." Never mind that this other person may never even have met the first person's child. All they heard was the words autistic (or autism), and intellectually disabled used in a sentence together, and that's enough to begin a verbal onslaught of angry facts, as if the other person insulted every autistic person under the sun by what they just said.

That in, and of itself is ableist. Let me explain why.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Do You Time Budget?

Every night before I go to bed I like to take a few minutes to think about how my day went, and how I feel about it. There was a time recently where I felt like there was a lot of nights where I was going to bed feeling like I failed to complete what I had set out to do that day, leaving me feeling frustrated, and unsuccessful. I would sit in the quiet, and draw in an exasperated breath as I blew out my candle, and headed to bed unsure how to go about resolving the issue.

This is likely a familiar scenario with a lot of you reading this whether you're a parent/caregiver of a child with special needs, or are disabled yourself, or are just caught in a busy life with a high level of demands for a multitude of reasons.

I found myself redrawing my schedule, and reworking plans, but not able to make things work. There was simply too much to do, and not enough of me to do it, not to mention the moments I craved of solitude were becoming fewer, and farther between.

One day as I cleaned out some old stuff that my daughter had left behind when she moved out the answer started to become more clear. I grabbed a set of decorative pillows that had a small tear in the seam, and as I took them aside I went to find a bag to put them into so I could set them aside to sew them the tear later, and then likely sell them. Then I thought, but what if i didn't? I reasoned that I would likely never get to it, anyway, which was true. What if I just gave them to someone else who could give them the attention they needed? So, that is what I did.

I began to look at a lot of my belongings this way. Piles of projects that I wanted to get to someday suddenly seemed like they were more in the way, and taking up space than anything.I started getting rid of clutter, and clearing out the clutter in my mind, too. My attitude started shifting from

Authenticating My Look- Which Type Are You?

One of the goals that I recall having the year before last was to get more (or back) into fashion. I don't follow a lot of new trends, o...