Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Autism | 3 comments

Sparky and I generally have excellent communication skills. Not always with other people, I mean, between the two of us. When it breaks down, it breaks way the hell down. Like on Friday, when he was trying to do something nice for me, but our wires got crossed and we ended up fighting instead.

When I was alone and had time to think, I realized I was frustrated before we’d even started talking and I didn’t know it until after he had left for work. I texted him to tell him that and apologize. He texted back telling me  he’d sent me an email with his own apology about his pre-frustration.

Silhouette of a woman sitting under a tree reading a book with her lunch sitting next to her. So, we’re fine. When I looked at his email, I saw that he had been trying to figure out how to give me a small break from the kids – like a lunch on my own – because he’d read the article I posted that morning about the exhaustion that autism brings.

While I do often dream about the luxury of a lunch all alone when I’m supposed to be with the kids, I don’t think that’s the kind of break the author was talking about; at least that’s not how I read it. It’s not a break from the boys, but a break from autism.

Time when you’re not justifying good behavior. When you can just take a freakin’ compliment instead of feeling the need to mention all the ways he is not doing well. And feeling guilty about it. 

Time when you’re not mitigating poor behavior. When you can accept whatever the behavior is instead of feeling the need to mention all the ways he is doing great. And feeling guilty about it. 

Time when you’re not anticipating the next obstacle and how to avoid it. When you can be present in the moment instead of worrying what the next will bring. And feeling guilty about it. 

Time when you’re not worrying that you’re doing too much for him. When you can stand back and let him struggle with something, knowing he’ll ask for help if he needs it, not just give up. And feeling guilty about not trusting him to grow.

Time when you’re not worrying that you’re doing too little for him. When you can stand back and let him struggle with something, hoping he’s not traumatized by the struggle during the five minutes you took to finish the paragraph you were writing. And feeling guilty for taking a moment for yourself. 

Time when you’re not limited to three restaurants if you want to go out to eat. When you can try someplace new on a whim without triggering a meltdown. I don’t actually feel guilty about wanting that.

Time when I don’t have to cut off whatever I’m writing to go help BamBam process whatever it is he’s crying about outside. When he can lose a game without melting down in front of his friends. That day is not today. 

It’s not necessarily time away from the kids that I want, it’s time away from autism, but you can’t separate the two. I don’t really want to, as autism is part of who they are and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. I’d just like an autism pause button every once in awhile. 

Do they make a remote for that?

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Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Musings | 0 comments

Natural disaster scene with hurricane illustrationThe good people on the interwebs who know about weather are telling us that the remnants of Typhoon Songda are headed our way. We may lose power if trees fall on power lines and, you know, Pacific Northwest is virtually synonymous with trees.

Plus, said trees still have many of their leaves, which means they catch more wind and are more likely to be felled.

So I’m scheduling this to post just in case our power goes out and I can’t get online.

Oh, and I want to apologize to Lora because she’s commented here the last two weeks and I didn’t get a notification, so I’m just now seeing them. Sorry!

See you next week! Or later today, depending on how things go…

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Little Lamb

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Autism, Executive Functioning, Impulse Control | 1 comment

School for Zookeeper is going well. So well, in fact, that his special education teacher asked if she could move his writing help back into the classroom, as opposed to taking him out for it.

Also, he actually told me he likes being there again. I can’t even tell you how happy I was to hear that from him.

A boy, sick with anxiety, taking a test.The only academic obstacle he’s encountered so far is anxiety over tests. Severe anxiety. I believe he has PTSD, so that tests take him right back to last year. He opened up to his teacher about it, though, and they’re working on it. They will tell him when a test is coming in advance so it won’t catch him off guard. He will also get to take short movement breaks and ask for a scribe or to answer questions verbally.

Since academics are on track, Zookeeper’s primary issue right now is Lamb.

As I said in the post about Zookeeper’s first day, Lamb and Zookeeper started out sitting next to each other, but were separated the second day.

No less than three further incidents happened over the course of September:

  1. Image of a paperclip.Lamb began unfolding paperclips and throwing them, pointy part first, at Zookeeper. I asked if the teacher had seen it: yes. I asked if she had done anything about it: Not that Zookeeper saw. I asked if Lamb continued to throw them after that: No. I then explained to him that I was sure his teacher did something to stop it, otherwise Lamb would still be doing it; and that she might not be able to tell him what she did for privacy reasons, but that doesn’t mean she did nothing.
  2. Zookeeper let us know that, while they had been successfully separated elsewhere, Lamb continued to sit next to him in PE. I emailed the special education team to ask that they be separated in PE as well. I had already asked that all of his teachers receive the All-About-Me page I sent in regarding Zookeeper’s strengths and needs in school, but the principal told me she needed my permission to send it to the specialists (PE, music, and library teachers). I gave it. The next PE class, the teacher looked at Zookeeper and said, “Want to move?” He nodded gratefully and escaped from Lamb.
  3. A week or so after the paperclip incident, Lamb was moved up to the front of the class. Zookeeper told me he was upset about this because he could see the back of Lamb’s head and it made him anxious to have to look at it all the time. I told him I thought it was actually a good thing. If he could see the back of Lamb’s head, then Lamb couldn’t throw things at him without advance notice because he would see Lamb turn around. Zookeeper said, “Good point.” He hasn’t said anything about it since and he’s gone on to a completely different subject in therapy. I’m taking that as a good sign.

The other day in PE, when the teacher wasn’t looking, Lamb sat next to Zookeeper and whispered, “I hate you.”

Zookeeper said back, “Then why are you sitting next to me?”

Yep, things are looking up this year.

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Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Autism | 0 comments

Image of a stressed-looking mom with two wailing kids pulling her in different directions.Well, this is not what I expected to post today, but it’s what I’ve got, so it will have to do.

I’m pushing the piece I meant to post yesterday off until next Monday. I still haven’t typed it.

Sparky has been out of town since last Tuesday (8am), so I’ve been a single mom this past week. He gets back today and not a moment too soon because being a single parent is HARD. Seriously, single parents deserve all the respect. All of it. Because hard.

I have to go to sleep now. See you next week.

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