Monday, January 23, 2017

Bullying Barron

A writer for Saturday Night Live made a disgusting tweet. One so horrible you won't believe it. You also won't believe how NBC and SNL haven't done one thing about it.

If this was posted by someone employed through another station, you best believe NBC would be all over it. I will continue to post on NBC's and SNL's Facebook page and tweeting. I think they underestimate special needs parents. We never left the trenches and are prepared to fight for equality 24/7.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Hypocrites, Hate, History and Healing

On this historical day, I feel the need to post about inclusion. You may be happy your candidate won, or angry yours didn't. This doesn't matter. We are all Americans and life goes on.

So what does matter? How we treat each other. You can respectfully disagree. It's possible and the right thing to do. You can draw a line in the sand, or you can be the better person and realize opinion isn't the only thing about a person you can get to know.

I'm going to share an article about feeling completely left out and I do hope you read it. Things like this happen every day. People are judged for their background, color, beliefs, how they dress and yes - even if they happen to be the parent of a child with special needs.

To the Special Needs Parents that Feel Excluded

"When it was time to go, I loaded Addie into her infant seat. She was the only child still in one, as the other children had grown out of their own, so we were the last ones to leave the house. Before I picked the seat up, the host pulled me aside to tell me that she’d called her homeowners’ insurance company about having Addie over, and they said she was a risk."

If we, mothers of these very, very beautiful children, can get back up after every fall, grieve and go on, and stand back up stronger - so can anyone else. 

Let's stop focusing on one big thing. There are millions of other small things that add up to something much greater.

-Boog's Mommy

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Scary Mommy: Way More Truth Than Terror

If you haven't been to yet, go there now. I can wait. You'll be there reading for a while. Just open it in another window.

Okay, welcome back! I thought you might like it. Unlike many "Mom Life" sites, scarymommy has a section specifically dealing with special needs families and children. It's got really, really good articles and updates regularly.

Here's one I could really relate to:

12 Things You Should Know About Special Needs Parents

This one actually gave me relief, believe it or not. At almost any given moment I have the same thoughts somewhere nagging at me and they never go away:

"What have I not researched enough? What is out there that I haven't read or seen? Programs, ideas, a new book. There are so many things you don't know and you need to know it all".

"What am I not doing enough at home? Making requests without pointing. Two part requests. Working on identifying parts of the body. Working on riding a bike. Getting him to do more when I get him dressed. Don't forget to use every new skill or it won't improve."

Yeah, it's busy in there. The next time I forget to call you back, your birthday and maybe even your name you know why now. My brain only has so much room and Boog is priority over all.

10. All parents experience fatigue. Many special needs parents live with it every day. 

We are not superhuman. We did not suddenly become the Energizer Bunny when our child received a life-altering diagnosis. And because it is often more challenging to find help with our child, we might have fewer opportunities to take care of ourselves.

Thank the Lord. So it's not just me? I am always thinking of the next step or idea. Right now I've made flash cards I keep in the car that have one word only on them, explaining where we're going. If we're not on schedule, Boog looks confused sometimes and for good reason.

Imagine that you're being driven without any details of where, when or why. Is it lunch? Therapy? Going to see someone? Shopping? How long will we be gone?

So I took some plain index cards and wrote one word on each:


Basically where we go 90% of the time. I keep them clipped to my visor. That way when we make a turn that's not where we regularly go, I pull out a card and show him where we're going while speaking the word as well.

The bags under my eyes often explain things quite well. But we get through it.

Now what was your name again?

-Boog's often frazzled, preoccupied Mommy

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Creatively Cultivating Confidence

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Got some DIY for you today! Don't worry, it has nothing to do with upcycled pallet boards, apple  cider vinegar, or a glue gun 😊

When someone has Autism, they usually have a few other things like sensory issues and/or Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

Here's Wikipedia's definition of APD in case you haven't heard of it or know much about it:

"Individuals with APD usually have normal structure and function of the outer, middle and inner ear (peripheral hearing). However, they cannot process the information they hear in the same way as others do, which leads to difficulties in recognizing and interpreting sounds, especially the sounds composing speech".

So basically, we think it's easier for Lucas at times to read something rather than hear it. The great news is that APD can improve with the help of teachers, speech pathologists and parents continuing at home what occurs at school.

Anyway, I tell Boog how much I love him and how amazing he is all the time (so do quite a few others too). Now that we know his vocabulary is incredibly higher than we thought, I had a simple idea.

Maybe he doesn't always hear my praise every time, so what can I do? The good news is that this project is easy and costs less than $3.00!

I got a small dry erase board. Target of has them and sometimes they're just $1. Actually you probably have one stuck away somewhere (I did). 

Here is a great explaination of what a positive affirmation is from a Huffington post article:

"Affirmations help purify our thoughts and restructure the dynamic of our brains so that we truly begin to think nothing is impossible. The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen".

Here's the whole explaination and I encourage you to read this in full. Our children aren't the only ones often needing to feel important, caring and worthy and this article is applying this tool to adults:

So now is the next part: Put the dry erase board in a location your child visits regularly. I chose our dishwasher because the board sticks to the medal (it has magnets) and Boog often goes over there to see his reflection.

Every couple or few days, write a positive affirmation about your child. It can be as simple as three words, make it right for your child. This way, our kids know how proud we are and how much we love them because they hear it and see it.

This article has amazing positive affirmations specifically for children and a lot of them. You can check these out and apply them to the reading level of your child no matter what that level may be:

Positive Affirmations for Children

Have fun! And by the way, here's your free affirmation from me: 

You are a great parent and it is working.

-Boog's sometimes creative Mommy

Monday, January 9, 2017


Sometimes Boog gets frustrated. An example would be if his iPad was acting funny and I just need to restart it. It's an easy fix, but I can't exactly explain that it will be fixed in about 3-4 minutes. Plus, 4 minutes seems like an hour when you're seven. All he sees is Mommy taking away the iPad for eternity lol.

I really don't have any idea when I started saying it. At some point I learned to be calm even when he was upset. I just tell him the same thing "Have a little faith in me" and tell him I will fix it.

Those are lyrics to a song I haven't heard in probably 10 years. For some reason they just came up.

It's a really touching song. Have a listen one day if you have time.

John Hiatt - Have a Little Faith in Me

"When the road gets dark 
And you can no longer see 
Just let my love throw a spark 
And have a little faith in me 

And when the tears you cry 
Are all you can believe 
Just give these loving arms a try 
And have a little faith in me 

Have a little faith in me 

When your secret heart 
Cannot speak so easily 
Come here darlin' 
From a whisper start 
To have a little faith in me 

And when your back's against the wall 
Just turn around and you will see 
I will catch, I will catch your fall baby 
Just have a little faith in me."

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Surprising Spotlight

I watched the Golden Globes last night. Meryl Streep was recognized with a special award and rightly so. They played a montage of some of her roles and I was tickled to see scenes from "Death Becomes Her". Love that movie!

Meryl's acceptance speech was articulate, thoughtful and to the point just like you would expect. What I didn't expect, was for her to use that speech as an opportunity to remind the country that our president-elect made a mockery of a disabled reporter live, on tv, with millions watching and no remorse. Donald Trump has *no* empathy or idea of what it is like to not have something. He's always had money, he's never had a difficult physical limitation, he's never had to watch a loved one struggle.

Here I am, caught in a sad situation. I do no like Hilary Clinton. I think she is the definition of an opportunist. She's shady and pompous and assumed she'd win. Do I like Donald Trump? Obviously not. So where do we go from here?

The only choice for now is to be thankful for any bit of sunshine that breaks through. Meryl Streep put a spotlight on a topic that needed to be addressed so much more than it was. Okay, that's something. If Trump makes a decision that even inadvertently helps the disabled, I will take that.

For five years I have watched the lazy people of my state get rewarded for doing nothing. Why work a mediocre job when you can sit on your tail and receive everything from free daycare to a free cell phone. My son is disabled and we get no assistance in any way because my husband has a job. Punished for doing the right thing. If any of that changes in the next four years, I will be thankful.

So for now I will just look for anything helpful, no matter what side it comes from and try to ignore the rest. Sadly, I've no other choice.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Blogging Four Years?

I was looking at a blog with some hot chocolate recipes earlier and noticed it hadn't been updated in about a year and a half. That's really common, actually, and I can totally see why. You start something with the best intentions and then you get busy and life gets in the way.

It made me wonder how long I'd been blogging so I checked. My first post was November 29, 2012. Over four years ago. Wow. I don't think I've kept up with any project that long. Not even close.

Then realization hit. Why do I see so many family, recipe or thrifty blogs just stop? Because things change. The family blogger had twins and hadn't even thought about blogging in two years. The recipe blogger wanted to lose weight so she no longer makes those really good three ingredient brownies. The thrifty blogger got a job and doesn't have to stress about money as much. It's absolutely understandable.

So why has this blog remained for so long?

Because Autism doesn't go away.

I may not blog for 3 months because I'm busy, or maybe it's because I'm just sick and tired of everything in our life being about Autism and the thought of blogging about it makes me wanna have a panic attack. But I come back. I have to write. I need to write. If I don't I can't move on. I also can't journal traditionally in a book because I'm sure I'd lose it or get mad and rip pages out and stomp on them. Really. I can get pretty pissed off for someone just a bit over five feet tall. Ask my husband.

So I come back with the good, the bad and the ugly. I promised myself I wouldn't delete posts and I don't. I think one day I will go back and read every post going forward to see how far we've come, but I don't know if I will. Maybe I don't want to relive the most painful time in my life thus far. After all, my very first blog post wasn't made on the day Boog was officially diagnosed with Autism. I remember the day very well, actually.

My first post was made in the afternoon. Earlier that day, my husband and I had an appointment with Boog's neurologist. Nothing had changed and all of his tests came back "normal". So what was the big deal with that day? I was sitting in a chair in one of the hospital rooms. Husband was across from me, holding Boog and keeping him busy while I talked with the doctor. He had a blank look on his face, but was trying so hard to look happy for little three year old Boog as he climbed all over his Daddy, happy as any three year old can be.

I had my hands in my lap, holding a shredded ball of Kleenex in my hand. So many tears had gone into it, it was falling apart. I had been falling apart more than the Kleenex. On November 29, 2012 I looked up with bloodshot tear-stained eyes and said "My son has Autism".

I had tried not to think of it, raged against it, then grieved the reality that it wasn't anything else. Nothing temporary we could fix with a pill. Autism.

My first blog post was the day I accepted Autism. I still hate it. I fight with it. I feel like it's a damn cloud that surrounds my brilliant son making everything so much harder to do. I go over and over everything I've done that could have caused it, I cry thinking maybe I could have prevented it, but one thing remains the same: It's Autism and it will never go away.

But here I am, still standing (most of the time?), still fighting, trying to come up with ideas that help Boog be as independent as possible and thanking God repeatedly for family and all those who have helped Boog so much over the last four years. Who knows, I may just quit blogging one day, but as of right now I'm staying. Staying for myself and in case this train-wreck that I call my brain may help someone somehow.

Screw Autism. It may be like a horrible neighbor that won't leave you alone, but I keep rebuilding that fence. I will never stop.

Let's end on a happy note, shall we? I came across this and thought it applied very well.

Happy New Year!!
-Boog's Mommy

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Proud, Pleased, and Patient

As always I beat myself up, feel so bad and then the clouds part to the brightest sunshine. I should know this by now. I have faith, but sometimes it's more difficult while in that state of mind.

Yesterday Boog saw the keyboard on my Mac and got excited. I forgot he uses a real keyboard at school. That's a big difference from typing on an iPad in notes (as we were doing).

I moved my old laptop into the living room and opened Word so he could request. It's an old and slow laptop, but is perfect for just typing a document. I showed it to him and told him he could use it. He was very happy and typed all this yesterday. He was elated at something new that acts as a gateway for him into "our neurotypical world".

Next step is to type feelings and answering questions. I'm so excited that Boog is excited!

I saw this recently and saved it. I need to read it every once in a while.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Autism, Appreciation, and Anger

No one really appreciates something until they no longer have it, or they see someone without it.

Right now my son is hungry. My husband went to get him food, but it's taking longer than expected.

My son went and sat at the table, just as sweet as he can be. So patient. He never whines or cries or gets upset.

I write on a sheet of paper "Daddy getting food". I show him and say each word slowly while pointing to it. He points to "food".

I have no idea how much of that he understood. I think he probably pointed to food because he's hungry, but I could be completely wrong. Why am I crying when this is so small compared to everything we've been through and continue to go through? Because I can't even tell if I'm comforting my own baby.

He waits a few minutes, then gets down from the chair and goes to play with a smile on his face. You would think that would make me feel better, right? No. It breaks my heart how he deals with so much with patience, love and a smile on his face. Boog is seven. Seven years of this would make most children so angry, but not mine.

The next time your child asks you a question and you answer, or if you ask and he answers, you think dammit. You think how blessed you are. I don't care if they ask you the capital of every state and you're exhausted. ANSWER THEM.

I feel like a failure because I can't do what I am supposed to do!!!! I am so angry it is making me cry. I'm in the bathroom so he doesn't see me cry. It's not his fault. It's mine. Here I am with a way above average IQ and I can't do this simple thing. Hell, he might have understood what I wrote completely BUT I DONT KNOW. HE CANT TELL ME.

I want to bang my head against a brick wall because I can't be even close to 100% the mother he needs and deserves. But no. No brick wall and stitches for me. He needs me.

I will now dry my eyes and go back into the kitchen. Did you know if you swallow it can stop you from crying? If you ever see me with a bottle of water - sometimes I'm not thirsty.

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