Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the category “being a mom”

summer summer summertime

It doesn’t seem to matter the age of the kid

from the second day of school they are looking forward to summer break

and then summer break comes

and they after a couple days

are bored

As parents we have choices

some schedule every second of their child’s life

giving them “choices” of this sport or that class

but in doing that they neglect the need of the child for downtime

for creative play

homemade obstacle courses

just sitting and reading a book or magazine

even perhaps a little extra screen time

So many over book their kids all year long

feeling it is the right thing to do

and in doing that

they forget to schedule in quality time for interaction with their parents, and friends, and just being kids

As adults we are so over scheduled

please….

let your kids be kids

while they still can

soon enough

they will grow up and

have full enough schedules

let them live

in the moment

learn creativity

let them learn how to occupy their own time

let them

be kids.

Cherish this summertime

Fears of daily living

Look,

it’s a fact

life is full of things that can

and

do happen

you know:

“Why do bad things happen to good people”

no…autism/aspergers is not bad but it is  a huge change

a change in how you think about actions and reactions

an everyday, uphill battle at times not just for the one diagnosed but for the whole family

I digress….

When bad things happen to good people

 you buck up

you learn to deal

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and you go on with the daily task at hand

…living…

but once that diagnosis comes through the door

on top of multiple other medical problems and issues for that child.

and you need to start researching

and then doing

and following through

and constant checking and rechecking

there is an unending indescribable level of anxiety

am I doing enough

am I teaching enough

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will my actions lead to my child being able to live on his own???

only time will tell.

until then…

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carry on.

Light it up BLUE for autism awareness

Autism is becoming more and more common
more boys than girls….does that mean it’s a recessive thing??
when girls “get it” it seems to be more severe

is there something in our food source affecting people
our often overuse of medications
medications getting into the water supply from “toilet dumping”
something that happened in the womb???


science doesn’t know though they are examining many theories

we may never know the cause

but what is important is that those of us with loved ones with autism

that we keep reaching out to them, to make connections, on their level and that we try to have understanding that


even though they may not reciprocate in the way we would like

that they know they are important to us and that we love them

as a parent

we must do everything possible to get them ready to function in a world that is not often “autism friendly”

they must learn how to act/adapt/behave in a world that does not always make sense to them
autism is (for my son) a diagnosis, finally a reason for his behaviors, thoughts, actions….not an excuse….

so for that reason…..for awareness……

thank you to all who light it up blue!

from autism speaks :https://www.autismspeaks.org/liub

check out this blog from Dallas news

http://specialneedsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/04/light-it-up-blue-for-world-autism-awareness-day.html/

#LIUB

On April Fools Day

I woke up this morning

unsure what I’d find

I have 3 kids

with quirky minds

I turned on the lights

and what was found

the living room furniture

was all turned around

the pictures

I’d carefully

placed on the walls

were now upside down

well…almost all

the specialty paper

in the bathroom was gone

thankfully

I didn’t turn the shower on

for low and behold

what did I find

on a towel in the tub

the paper for behinds

I love my children

each and every day

but to them it’s a month

not just a day

and so I sigh

and try not to fray

as I patiently wait

for the start of MAY !

My Gray Stone

I am taking a MOOC through ed.x on spirituality and sensuality, how objects enhance beliefs/feelings through the 5 senses the course is led by S. Brent Plate

Ella Surreau is my online”persona” so if perchance Brent makes it to this page he’ll be like  who???  but I wanted to share this story with all of you so …here goes…

 

the following was an assignment about stones we could choose the stone be it a gravestone, an altar or something less specific the following is what I wrote:

I considered writing about the altar stone in church, but my desire to be creative led me to the stone sitting in the unused bird feeder in our yard.
It comes from my husbands grandparents yard, the last one had died and when we came I saw that each fence post had a stone on it, this one spoke to me and I asked if I could have it…with a resounding “of course” it came home with us.


….that said I often imagined why each fence post had a stone on top and this is MY STORY of this stone came to me…


My Gray Stone.
His hands were younger then, as he worked the ground, starting a garden for his not long in coming family of 7. This was before the arthritis set in before he hairline started receding and many years before cancer would take him from this earth. He worked the shovel back and forth and further down, removing cold sod with his hands. Working faster still, it was the end of the day the setting sun was painting the sky in a vibrant fuchsia, “Just one more hole and tomorrow we can set the fence posts” that’s when in a final thrust he stomped on the shovel in an attempt to dig a little deeper and that’s when he hit the stone. It made him shake, he would say that’s what caused his sciatica. Unable to dislodge the stone, he dug deeper, wider trying to remove what was keeping him from his destination. Then in a final pry attempt the stone was pulled forth.
Dirty, muddy, set aside, it would wait in the pile for several weeks till the neighbors came by to help set the fence. Then one by one, the stones were chosen, set on top of the 6 inch wide diameter logs that made up the fence.
This rock was on the second from the left. He put it there because he did not want it knocked down by someone carelessly walking around the corner of the garden.
This of course all happened before I walked on this earth. It happened in a different place, a different time. A time when man valued simple things, simple life, a simple beauty in the nature of the rock.
As the old man aged, he would walk with his dog along the garden fence. Reflecting on the family he raised, the crops he grew, and the generations yet to come. He would stall on his way to the stream to fish, and run gnarled fingers over the stone now smoother after years of nature, he admired the sparkles of quartz that would change with the clouds and the wind. In awe he wondered how he had the strength to do what he did when he did.
He would never meet his great grandchildren.
But one day, when this writer is closer to the end of her story, she will tell her children once again where the stone came from originally, the house, by the cemetery, where great-grandfather lived and worked and took pleasure in working the earth, providing for his family, and simply living, while living simply.

Sink or Swim, you’re on your own

This post is venting my frustration with the system

The system we call “school”

My teen, recently diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/Aspergers

is in that “system”

except I don’t think he’ll qualify for special ed so then we will need to set up a 504 which I think he does need and should qualify for….

but this is taking so much time

this is the point I’ve been at since diagnosis….which was 3 months post requesting an evaluation by the school and we are still sitting two (nearly 5 months total since first request for evaluation)months later with nothing in stone

yes

I could go to the DPI

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but that isn’t going to get things moving faster for this year

so

I take into my own hands

as most parents probably do or should do

and I research…

what can I do to improve his fine motor skills at home

like ideas from this site

and from searching on pinterest

borrow/rent/buy every book on High functioning autism I can find

then

move on and realize a couple books by Temple Grandin is enough for now.

and move on to reading up on IEP’s and 504’s

in an attempt to maintain sanity and know as much possible before the meeting occurs

It seems in this current culture

if a child is getting halfway decent grades and is not a problem in class

they are are not a concern for the school

the focus is on disruptive kids

and while they do need help

so do the high functioning kids

I don’t know the solution

or

how to change the system

but I do know

I’m going to teach my child how to “swim” in this world

Meeting our Children where they are

Whether we have a 3 year old or a 15 year old

Whether they are developing normally or are having difficulties

we need to meet them….where they are

that is not an easy concept

so often we expect things of our children.

Whether it’s room cleaning, putting away dishes, or packing their own lunch

We assume they should be able, or should automatically know from seeing us.

We expect them to do things we have seen other children perhaps even siblings of our child doing

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and we think, say …”why can’t you do that….________ can”

I am still guilty of this

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and I look back

and see expectations I’ve set that were not appropriate

and now that we have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s for my 15 year old

I know why

he was not able to do some of what were asking

he was not defiant(most of the times)

he was not cantankerous (at least not all the time)

I have spent much of the last 13 years teaching and reteaching, simple tasks, simple social skills, simple thoughts

I have noticed my daughter is much more observant about household duties than either of the boys(who couldn’t care less which cupboard the bowls go in, or how laundry is folded)

but the boys know lots of facts about world news and products( something my daughter doesn’t care about)

So it’s hard teaching a 15 year old to once again…not touch the serving spoon to the plate you eat off of

or

wash hands before getting food out of a container

or

put wet swim clothes/towels in hamper…not under bed.. for the umpteenth time

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and that’s where my learning sets in

I am learning

to be patient

to reteach in different ways

watch Temple talk about Teachable moments

to be compassionate

to teach things thoughts, feelings, actions, in a way that the Autistic/Asperger’s mind understands.

I’ve been reading a lot by Temple Grandin

in her books she is insistent that manners be expected and taught of all kids on the spectrum

that consistency is important

Image result for consistency

(yay I’ve done something right)

she also focuses  a lot on teaching to how the child learns.(which some teachers are better at than others, so if you have the option of watching how teachers teach and interact you should do that before placing your child in a classroom)

Temple has so many words of wisdom in her books.

Why are her books so great??

because She has Autism…..and yet she is able to put into words the thoughts behind some of the behaviors we see in autistic children.

her doing that putting into words what our children cannot yet do helps us understand, empathize with our children….and then work in as many different ways possible to reach them and help them grow to be successful adults

it

after seeing behaviors in my son that I have questioned to doctors and teachers for a good 10 years or so ….now that we have the diagnosis ….it’s all making sense….I and my son are not going crazy….he has a neurological condition that affects the connections in his brain that changes how he sees the world compared to what Aperger/autistic people  call nuerotypical people.

I don’t have a full handle on him and his behaviors, or his occasional outbursts.

but now I know why

and

now

I can do my best

(albeit far from perfect)

to Meet him where he is.

High Functioning Mild Autism/Aspergers

Yes that’s the very recent diagnosis of my 15 year old

something I’ve suspected for oh say 13 years!

because he followed the rules at school and got decent grades

but  was a beast at home fairly often, was not a concern of school personal

and by the way:

we’ve referred to him as Sheldon from big bang ever since the show came out!

but I’m getting off track…

in almost every book I’ve been skimming on autism,  that(different school/home behavior) is one of the most common things there is in autistics

they call it the Jekyll and Hyde symptom

you see they expend so much energy at school trying to appear normal, to perhaps not do their repetitious behavior or not speak out of turn by the time they get home they are mentally exhausted and cannot handle even the slightest stress, and they explode/tantrum/yell etc…

So what to do now??

for the last 12-13 years I have been his main source of therapy, talking about situations, and what set off the tantrum, and what he can do different next time but he is starting to need more than I can offer.

We are still waiting on the official report

so we can present it to the school, complete with suggestions for an IEP or 504 type plan.

which we’ll end up with … no idea…more later

I’ve just started wading through the books out there and one they all have one thing in common

way too much information.

OK  actually just enough information

but the way some of the books present it is overwhelming to wade through

that said I have started compiling information and making small decisions of “therapy” I can start to  add at home

like:

  • exercises in making eye contact
  • story sharing,  what would you do if…etc…
  • more dialogue practicing
  • more review of how day went(we already do quite a bit of this…now it will be in a different way)
  • and that’s enough of a start for now.

 

look for reviews of books I find most helpful to follow in the future.

keeping sane

I know we are so much more blessed than so much of the world

and yet

there are days

when I wonder

where did we go wrong??

in the midst of whining

arguing

fighting

the kids seem at times almost to HATE each other

then the next day they play together all day.

no medium if they

aren’t arguing with each other

they are most surely  plotting against the parents!

but right now they are playing on games they got for christmas(settlers of catan)

and are leaving me alone…with my coffee and paper.

I relish the alone time

and yet I know

all too soon

it really will be

all the time.

and I’ll miss their “mom he hit me’s”

and

“mom she’s saying lies again”

so I guess I’ll try to appreciated right where I am

in the middle

literally

November, the month of thanks

As we watch our children grow

we can become consumed

by the idiosyncrasies

and the everyday drudgery that at times plagues us

keeping up with the schedules of everyone in the family

and still keeping up with housework

while at the same time

having little chance for

“meaningful” adult contact

or

creative/intellectual stimulation

I know it’s supposed to be all about balance

but more often or not

and

it should be this way…

the kids come first

but

as parents

we can’t forget to take care of ourselves as well.

sometimes we need a break

sometimes we need to talk with an adult

sometimes we need to read something other than Seuss

and

thats ok

because

of course I say all this to convince myself

now to stop the rambling

and tell you

pray about your interactions

with your kids

with your spouse

with your family

with your friends

with acquaintances

if your kids are not  near the top

perhaps

its time to reevaluate that list

true friends are forever

your children are with you as children…such a short time

before you know it

the amount of time you are willing to  spend with them

will become the amount of time they are willing to spend with you.

and the lyrics from cats in the cradle, by harry chapin

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

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