Three Birthdays Down, Two To Go

Kids birthday parties are stressful. Like most moms, I want my kids to feel special on their birthdays. Unfortunately, there are some moms out there that make this extremely difficult. You know the ones I’m talking about. They rent gigantic bouncy houses, treat their girl and her twelve friends to a spa day, rent a pony, and other ridiculous stuff like that. I handled the stress pretty well on the last birthday. I rented a cabin and we had a sleepover by a lake. There was a pool. I thought it was wicked cool and the girl, when asked how she liked her party, shrugged and said, “It was fun, I guess.”  Trust me. That means she liked it. She’s subtle like that.

This party was for my Aspie. I was worried. Turnout for a summer birthday party isn’t the greatest, especially when the birthday falls two days after the Fourth of July. That’s stressed Mikey in the past. “What if nobody comes?”

Ouch.

Burger King

Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a creepy king and a Whopper.

I held my breath when I asked what he wanted to do for his birthday this year.  He didn’t hesitate.

“I want to go see The Amazing Spiderman and go out to eat and I want Noah to come with me.”

Whew.  A movie and dinner with a kid I know would come.

“Where do you want to eat?’

“Burger King.”

Burger King?  Really? Alrighty then.

“What kind of cake do you want?”

“A map of the world.”

I love this kid. He made it so easy on me. A sheet cake with a drawing of the world. Easy peasy, right? Well, kind of. I had to do it free hand while looking at a picture. As usual, my kid got the short end of the cake decorating stick. Their cakes are always so…shoddy.

map of the world cake

I seriously need to invest in an airbrush system.

He liked it. Though he did point out that I forgot a body of water to separate the too small Africa from Eurasia, Alaska looks like a hawk’s head, and Italy in no way resembles a boot. All valid points and he was gentle about it. He’s a good kid.

He got everything he asked for–a super impressive Atlas (geography buff), a watch, and a gift card to Game Stop. Again, he made it easy on us.

He was funny on his birthday. Everything we did was “the first time I’ve done this as a 12-year-old.” I took him to the beach. “This is the first time I’ve been to the beach this summer AND as a 12-year-old.”  We had pizza for dinner. “This is the first pizza I’ve eaten as a 12-year-old.”  You get the idea. I’m glad that only lasted for a day. As funny as it is, I really didn’t want every minute experience commented on in that manner. “This is the first time I’ve eaten lasagna/hamburgers/ice cream/a ham sandwich/a bowl of Captain Crunch as a 12-year-old.”

So birthday number three is in the books and it was a success. Next up is Billy, the soon to be seven-year-old. He’s going to say Chuck E. Cheese or Jumping Jacks. I’m prepared for it. I have no idea what kind of cake he’ll ask for. I’m sure it will be difficult and he’ll want it just so. I’m really gonna have to step up my game on that one.

Related Posts:

A Birthday Party at the Commune
Three Cakes 
The Leaning Tower of Rapunzel 
The Lego Head Cake Debacle 

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My Brother is Autistic?!

Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April is Autism Awareness Month.  I don’t imagine there are a lot of people who don’t know what Autism is. Well, stereotypical Autism, anyway–not speaking or making eye contact, hand flapping, head banging, a penchant for numbers, and a nearly debilitating dependence on schedules.  While these traits are true for a lot of Autistic children, they’re not for all of them.  I think that’s why Autism Awareness Month is important.  People need to be aware that Autism is not a cut and dried diagnosis.  It’s a diagnosis based on symptoms and every child presents with different symptoms of varying degrees.  (See Autism Spectrum Disorder.)

Sometimes, the symptoms are so mild, they are missed by the general public and even some doctors (my experience with that here .) Sometimes, the symptoms are so mild, they are missed by the child’s own family members.

My son is Autistic, but very high-functioning.  He’s been medication and therapy free for years, is mainstreamed into a regular classroom, and was even tested for Advanced Placement at school.  Now that he’s almost 12, I’ve noticed some of his autistic behaviors returning, probably because of the onset of puberty.  While making dinner the other night, I casually mentioned to him that I noticed he was stimming lately and asked him if he thought he needed to go back to the doctor.

My 8-year-old daughter Molly, who was coloring at the kitchen table, perked up her ears at the word, “doctor.”  (Traumatized by her recent bouts with strep, no doubt.)  “Why would he have to go to the doctor?  What’s wrong with him?”

Mikey looked at her in his usual “oh my gosh you are such an idiot” way and said, “I have autism.  Duh.” and rolled his eyes.

Molly’s eyes got really big.  “Mikey is Autistic?!”

Mikey rolled his eyes again and shook his head.

I told her, “Yes, your brother is autistic.”

She was flummoxed.  “I did NOT know that.”  She sat there, wide-eyed, and I could almost hear the wheels turning inside her head.

My wheels were turning, too.  How could she not know that?  It’s not like it’s a secret.  I worried if maybe I didn’t talk about it.  Like I was ashamed or indifferent about it.

Molly had an ah-ha moment.  “Is that why Mikey runs funny?  And talks a lot?”

I opened my mouth to tell her to not be so mean, but Mikey beat me to it.  “Yes!” he said in his slghtly-offended-it’s-the-truth-but-you-didn’t-have-to-say-that voice.  Then, “Jeez,” quietly, in the “you are an idiot” voice.

The next day, Molly informed me, while I was making dinner (again) that she’d been watching Mikey.  “I think I see that Mikey’s autistic now.  I just never noticed before.”

Mikey, who was in the kitchen with us, rolled his eyes, and in his perfect tone that conveys contempt and incredulity with the ignorance of the world, or, in this case, his sister, said “YOU are really unobservant.”

And that’s what Autism Awareness Month is about.  Being more observant.  Recognizing Autistic behaviors when you see them.  Realizing that the “weird” kid in your class or at the park with your child has a very good reason for mumbling to himself or walking the perimeter of the playground.  Abstaining from offering unwanted and unwarranted advice on how to discipline a child to a mom whose child is having a full-blown meltdown in the Walmart aisle over what kind of cookies she put in her cart.  Listening politely as a kid goes on and on about airplanes or vacuüm cleaner parts.  Ridding yourself of any preconceived notions of what Autism is, and, instead, being aware of what it looks like.

Faces of Autism via deviantart.com

Photo courtesy of Aery-La-Bel at deviantart.com

For more information about Autism Spectrum Disorders, to become an Advocate, or to find ways you can raise money for Autism research, visit www.autismspeaks.org.

Related Posts
A Child’s Wish
The ABCs of Autism
A Good Kid Isn’t Hard To Find
What Do I Know?  I’m Only His Mother

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

The House Fire: Aftermath

So, it’s been more than 6 months since the house burned down.  Several people have asked how we’re doing now, so I thought an update post would be the easiest way to answer.  The shock wore off long ago and the depression that I convinced myself wasn’t depression, is gone.  Now, it’s just the Aftermath.

First and foremost is the housing situation.  We are so blessed to have a home to live in but it’s not where we want to be.  It’s out of our kids’ school district, it’s too far from church, and it’s in a town that smells like cabbage farts.  (There’s a paper mill here.)  We’re working on getting back to our normal smelling town.

Second, is the kids.  Now, to look at them, you wouldn’t suspect anything is wrong.  And I didn’t, until I asked my 12-year-old a question in a moment of frustration because he was taking too long to get in the car.

Me:  Why do you have to carry so much stuff with you all the time?  We’re just going to the store.

Him:  Do you remember what happened in June?

Me:  Dead silence.

What could I say?  The poor kid is toting all the stuff that’s most important to him around everywhere he goes.  I wonder how long he’ll do this.  How long until he feels comfortable leaving it behind.  I look forward to the day he stops worrying.

Junk Lady from Labyrinth

Hope this isn't my son is 50 years time...

After that, I noticed my Autistic son is stimming more.  His talks nonstop and his fingers are never still.  He knows how many days ago, exactly, that the house burned down and I’ve noticed he classifies events as “before” and “after the house burned down.”  He’s autistic.  He needs normalcy, routine.  Of course he’s stressed.   How awful of me not to notice.

pink flower guitar

Pink guitars make everything better.

The other three are taking it better.  My daughter, once she got her guitar and an MP3 player to replace her one-week-old birthday presents,  shows no signs of stress.  Number 4, who could only remark on the condition of the relatively undamaged porch when the rest of the house was burning to the ground, talks about the fire like he saw it in a movie or something.  Number 5 is two, so she doesn’t care.

Hey, 3 well-adjusted, if not materialistic and/or clueless, children out of 5 ain’t bad, right?

Then, there’s the husband.  He’s found refuge in golf.  Playing golf, watching the Golf channel, talking about golf.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he dreams about golf.  Golf, golf, golf, ad nauseam.  I mean, it has to be stress about the house, right?  Otherwise, he likes the most boring “sport” in all the world and that is unfathomable.  (Sorry, honey, but I like to take digs at you on the blog where you can’t do anything about it.  Love you. *wink*)

ugly loudmouth golf pants

If he starts wearing these, I'm having him committed.

Then there’s me.  You know that expression, “Eating your feelings”?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve eaten the feelings of every person whose ever had anything bad happen to them since the beginning of time in the last 6 months.  That translates to a whopping 15 lbs. of extra weight on my already overburdened frame.  It’s ridiculous.

Oh well.  Problem acknowledged, so now I’m doing something about it.  No, I’m not sharing what I’m doing or posting fat “before” pictures and asking you to hold me accountable.  I still have my dignity (what’s left of it after writing the term, “cabbage farts,” anyway.)  Okay, maybe just one picture.

big beach ball

Picture this with arms and legs and my head. That's me, exactly.

Point is, we’ve all dealt with the house fire incident in our own ways.  None of them terribly bad.  I don’t think any of us are scarred for life.

Unless the husband does start wearing those ridiculous golf pants.


Related Articles:

House Fire Leaves Family of Seven Homeless
Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are
Depression

My First Year of Blogging

Well, it’s December 31, 2011.  Time to make resolutions I won’t keep and talk about how much next year HAS to be better than this year because this year just sucked.  Actually, I’m not doing either of those things.  First, the only resolution I’m making is not to make resolutions.  WIN.  Second, this year was tough, but so many people had it so much worse than I.  My family is healthy, we have food to eat, a roof over our heads, so on and so forth.  A great portion of Earth’s population cannot say that, so I’m going to keep the pie hole shut about how bad I’ve had it this year.  (If that ‘s the kind of stuff you want to read, take a look around the blog.  There’s enough whining and groaning to keep you busy for hours.)

Now, for the end of the year blog stuff.  I’ve been perusing The Blog and marveling at how it’s changed, what people like to read, and how often my favorite posts get no traffic/comments whatsoever.  I’m telling myself  it’s because my favorite posts came in the beginning, when nobody but my family was reading.  It’s a shame because I was a much better blogger in the beginning.  Odd, but true.  Evidently, practice doesn’t always make perfect.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown of Momfog 2011.

Top 5 Posts

1. Cakes.  No-brainer, really.  Cake is good.  (More cake pics available under the “cake decorating” category.)

2. Curls Without Heat.  I’ve managed to answer that lifelong question:  “What do women want?”  They want to eat elaborate cakes and have good hair while doing it.

Apparently, hair and cake go hand in hand, as my most viewed cake post is the Rapunzel one.  Too bad it was a complete failure of a cake.  Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful to those mommies wanting to make their little princesses a birthday cake to remember.

The Leaning Tangled Tower of Rapunzel

3.  House Fire Leaves Family of Seven Homeless  This is one of my favorite posts.  Not because I enjoyed writing it (my house burned down) but the comments were so great and supportive.  I had people who I consider “blogging celebrities” wishing my family well.  That was when I knew the blogging community was something special.  We don’t know each other in real life (IRL) but when real life happens, we know exactly what to say to make it better.  Thank you guys so much.

4.  ‘Tis The Season For Stupid Commercials  I’d like to thank Lexus for making those ridiculous ads of people who recognize the Lexus song, whether it be in Guitar Hero, Elevator Muzak, or music box style.  Truly, you made my December a happy one.

5.  A Child’s Wish  This is one of my favorites.  My autistic son wrote an essay that broke my heart.  Five sentences that brought back the day of his diagnosis and all my fears and desires for his life.

My 5 Favorite Posts

1.  The Ultimatum.  My first “horror” story.  So much fun.

2.  My Old Kentucky Home  So homesick I could barely stand it, I wrote a tribute to all the old folks at home.

3.  Things Moms Say and Kids Are Annoying  Yes, this is two posts but the annoying kids are what makes us say these crazy things, right?

4.  Growing Pains and Good Kids Are Everywhere, You Just Have To Pay Attention  Sending my kids to middle school freaked me out.  Not just because that makes me old-er, but because kids can be cruel little buggers.  Amazingly, they were fine.  And so was I.

5. The Psychology of Me (According to Reliable Internet Sources)  I used to be funny.  I also used to take oodles of internet quizzes.  This is the combo of the two.

So, there you have it.  My five, er, seven, favorite posts.  Are they my best?  Probably not.  They are so ME, though.  And I figure, at almost 34, it’s time to accept who that is.

I hope you all have a very happy and prosperous new year.  I am so honored you take the time to read the ramblings I put out on a semi-regular basis.  I’m even more amazed by those of you who take the time to comment.  There are some great people out there on the interwebs.

Love you!

Momfog  (AKA  Erin)

scary lunch lady

This is NOT me, though many thought it was when I posted this picture before, which I find hilarious. Trust me. I'd wax if this was me. *shudder*

What Do I Know? I’m Only His Mother

Daily Foglifter:  “Spectrum”–A broad sequence or range of related qualities, ideas, or activities

I had a very busy week last week with the kids home from spring break.  In addition to all the shopping trips we had to make as a family, we also had to go the doctor’s office.  More specifically, the psychiatrist’s office.  No, it wasn’t for my pending emotional breakdown.  It was for my autistic son who has been having some obsessive compulsive issues.  Why in the world I made that appointment when I would have all five kids, I couldn’t tell you.  Although, any psychiatrist worth their salt would suggest it has something to do with my pesky martyr complex.  But, I digress.

I took all five kids to the psychiatrist’s office and got there on time, only to wait for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  My kids were uncharacteristically awesome.  Of course, I made everyone take their Nintendo DS and forbade them to sit within arm’s length of one another, but they could’ve complained.  They didn’t say a word.  It was a proud moment.  There was a funny moment in the waiting room.  A little old crotchety man in a wheel chair, oxygen tank firmly attached, was irate and summed up what everyone was thinking.

Why make appointments if you’re not going to keep them?  It’s very inconsiderate and he’s a SHRINK for God’s sake!  He should know better!

I love old people.

Well, they finally called Mikey’s name and I took the baby and told the rest of the kids to sit quietly in the waiting room while I go see the doctor.  The nurse asked me, “They won’t get up and go outside, will they?”  Um, no.  We may be in a psychiatrists’ office, but they’re not crazy. Of course I didn’t say that.  I opted for the more polite answer of, “No, ma’am.”  She didn’t look like the type who would take a joke very well.

We were ushered into the Doc’s office and were met by a very pretty med student who would be observing.  Another ten minutes passed and Doc finally made his appearance.  He introduced himself and stretched out his hand, but before I could return the courtesy, his pager went off and he went to the phone.  I waited another five minutes for his conversation, which was medical in nature, to end and then he flipped open Mikey’s file.

  • Doc:  “Who referred you?”  Me:  I answered.
  • Doc:  “What’s the problem?”  Me:  “We need new meds for some obsessive-compulsive issues related to his autism.”
  • Doc:  “How many children do you have?”  Me:  “Five”  Doc’s pager goes off and he makes another ten minute phone call for another obviously more important concern than ours.
  • Doc:  “Is the father in the home, or is it just you?”  Me:  “I’m married to the children’s father and we have always lived together.”
  • Doc:  “Who diagnosed autism?”  Me:  Dr. _________.”
  • Doc (to Mikey):  “How are you?  Do you do well in school?  Do you get good grades?  Do you like school?  Do you feel okay?”  Mikey answers all his questions and the Doc turns to his student and says, “There are no signs of Autism.  His previous doctor had a reputation for misdiagnosing Autism.  That’s why she moved to Florida.”  I wasn’t looking in a mirror, but I’m sure the look on my face was one of shock and awe.
  • Doc:  “What makes you think he has Autism?  Has he had psychological testing?”
  • Me (stammering):  “It began with sensory issues, loss of speech, no eye contact…He’s had tests, when he was three and last year.”
  • Doc (to student):  “Do you see the problem?  Sensory issues…a lot of toddlers have this.”
  • Doc (to me):  “Does he have outbursts?  Is there a history of depression in your family?”
  • Me (still reeling)”  “Yes to both.  But he’s not moody.  He only gets upset if his expectations aren’t met or he feels like he was cheated because things didn’t go according to his plan.”
  • Doc (again to the damn student):  “Depression can present many ways…blah, blah, blah.”

Mikey's First Year in School Age 3

I’m not sure at what point I became invisible, but he was talking to this student as if he knew what in the hell he was talking about and that I was inconsequential.  Or very dumb.  Did he think I wouldn’t notice he said that Mikey’s diagnosis was wrong?  That what we thought was autism for the past 8 freakin’ years was a matter of a genetic disposition to depression?  Did he expect me to accept that and say nothing?

Apparently he did.  Every time I tried to explain what led to Mikey’s diagnosis, I was cut off by another dumb phone call or a stupid, uninformed asinine opinion of his.  An opinion he formed in a total of 10 minutes with me and my son.

To make matters worse, I was completely blind-sided.  I had no idea that I would be challenged on my son’s diagnosis.  I was completely unprepared for that.  I didn’t bring in the mountains of documentation I’ve accumulated over the past 8 years.  For God’s sake, I could barely form a coherent sentence, between my shock and his dismissal of anything I had to tell him.  I’m not sure when he decided I was an idiot who wasn’t worthy of his attention, or even his comments, but I suspect it was around the time I said I had 5 children.  What intelligent person has 5 children in this day and age?  Everything he said was to his student.  She at least had the decency to look embarrassed about it.

I was trying to collect my thoughts when he started talking meds.  He believed me about the OCD, (“It’s another way depression presents itself.”), and was writing Mikey a prescription.  It was what I went there for and as I was really too angry to speak or even to know what I wanted to say, I took the prescription and ushered Mikey out of there as the benevolent Doc took yet another phone call.

I’ve been thinking about what to do for the last four days.  The meeker and non-confrontational side of me says not to worry about it.  What we wanted was meds for a condition the Doc actually believes Mikey has.  We got it and as the only requirement will be to do periodic med checks, it isn’t necessary for the Doc to agree with the diagnosis of Autism.  The meeker and non-confrontational side of me is an idiot and a coward.

Mikey is not depressed.  He has Autism.  While it is encouraging to think that even a doctor can’t tell by speaking to him, it’s more insulting to be summarily dismissed.  That man has no idea the hard work it’s taken to get Mikey to this point. He wasn’t there for the sensory integration therapy when Mikey would scream his 3-year-old lungs out because he was forced to touch sand or shaving cream.  He wasn’t there when Mikey would stare off into space when I spoke to him.  He didn’t witness the hand-flapping, the echolalia, the made up language.  He certainly wasn’t there when Mikey used to bang his head against the wall or the floor in order to feel something.  That man doesn’t know anything about my son.

He will learn a great deal the next time we meet.  I have videos, reports, test results, IEPs, and a ton of other paperwork.  He may not want to listen to little old me, but he will be forced to look at the history.  He will have to acknowledge the validity of my son’s diagnosis.  He’ll see the tremendous effort put forth by his parents, his teachers, his Occupational and Speech therapists, and above all, of Mikey himself. Of course, I’ll be respectful.  If, as I fear, he still doesn’t want to listen, I can be something else, if necessary.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s a hint:  It starts with a “B” and rhymes with “itch.”  While it’s not my nature to resort to this, I am quite capable of it.  Just ask my husband.

Picture Day is Stressful for Autistic Children

If all this fails, we will have to find another doctor.  If there is one.  Because Mikey has a disability, he is on Medicaid.  This was extremely helpful when he was younger and needed the OT and Speech therapy, but it’s not served us as well the last few years.  Finding a doctor, particularly a mental health professional, that accepts Medicaid is difficult.  Of course it is.  With what Medicaid pays, I’d be reluctant to accept it, too.  The wonderful world of government health insurance at work, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a cut and dried diagnosis, hence the use of the word, “Spectrum.”  Those on the spectrum have a myriad of easily recognizable symptoms–non-verbal, no eye-contact, no social interaction, sensory integration issues, and stimming.  Some autism cases are very severe and represent what people typically think of when they hear the word “Autistic.”  Mikey presented with all the classic signs of Autism when he began Early Intervention Services.  He began school at age 3 and even attended summer classes so that his therapies could continue.  A lot was required of him and he benefitted from the constant “training.”  I thank God every day for the wonderful doctors and teachers who helped him.  I never thought it might hurt him in the long run.

If this doctor refuses to support the diagnosis of Autism, it will go into his chart and could potentially complicate his future.  Mikey may appear “normal” but he still has issues related to his Autism that will undoubtedly affect his ability to work and live independently.  He will likely depend on his disability benefits.  If Autism is ruled out, these benefits will disappear.  Not because he isn’t Autistic, but because he isn’t Autistic enough.

A Good Kid Isn’t Hard to Find


Yesterday was Olympics Day at my son’s school.  It’s one of the highlights of the year.  There were relay races, a concession stand, and lots of talking and milling about.  The school managed to take approximately 600 fourth and fifth graders and create an organized day of fun and games.  The teacher in charge was able to quiet an entire gymnasium of chatty children simply by raising his hand in the air.  I can’t even make five kids shut up without yelling until I’m blue in the face.

The Kid Whisperer

Mikey loves Olympics Day.  He talks about it for two weeks before and envisions his class winning every race and himself an integral part of the victory.  To say he’s competitive is a gross understatement. He insisted I be there to watch.  I arrived just as the gym teacher was laying down the ground rules.    Of course, she reminded everyone that the goal of the day is FUN, not winning.  I was bracing for the statement “We’re all winners” but, thankfully, it didn’t come.  Instead, the idea of good sportsmanship in the face of losing was emphasized.  It seems I live in one of the few areas of the country that still recognizes the character-building that comes with failure.  It’s a lesson my children need to learn.  As of now, they pout, cry, and get really angry when they lose.  Their favorite reaction?  “He/She/They cheated!”  Ah, me.

After the rules were read, the children lined up for the relay races.  Each race had a team of 10 from each homeroom.  Everyone had to sign up for at least two events.  The first race began.  The boys were going at it as if their lives depended on it.  They were intense, fast, and pumped up.  The girls took a different approach.  They giggled, they sauntered instead of ran, and they stopped dead in their tracks to adjust their clothes or ponytail or to cover their faces in embarrassment.  Their natural instinct to travel in packs didn’t help matters, either.  A successful relay team should stagger the skill levels of its members, but the infinitely slower and more reluctant girls were grouped at the end of the line.  Basically, the team with the silliest girls were destined to lose.  Of course, Mikey’s team had an inordinate amount of this cute-as-a-button-completely-useless-as-a-relay-team-member contingent.  They lost and they lost big. Twice.  I watched Mikey closely.  His reaction?  “I am VERY ANGRY.”  He was using his words.

The Catalyst

Then it was time for the final race–the Olympic Rings Relay.  The teams  divided into groups of five at each end of the relay lane.  In the middle of the lane was a bucket of mason jar lids with numbers taped to them along with 10 labeled with the Olympic Rings.  The object was to search through the bucket, find the coveted Ring lid, and run to the other end of the lane and release the next person.  Mikey was at the end of the line and he couldn’t find the stupid lid with the rings on it.  They lost, but this time it was HIS fault.  He forgot how to use his words.  He started crying instead.

Mikey crying when he loses is an interesting thing to see.  He doesn’t just let loose.  He prefers to build up to it slowly.  First, his face registers anger, flushing crimson with eyes flashing.  Then his lips begin to quiver.  He fights for control but can’t manage it before the tears come.  The battle between anger, acceptance, and devastation plays out on his face as he tries to talk himself down.  He complains (the lids were sticking together!), criticizes himself (I’m not good at ANYTHING!), deliberates (It’s just a game), and apologizes (I’m sorry I’m upset).  He oscillates between restraint and turmoil.

I was watching from the sidelines, deciding what to do.  I knew that if I talked to him, the crying would get worse.  His teacher was standing beside me with a look on her face which I assume mirrored my own–indecision.  Then the decision was made, but not by either one of us.

A boy sitting beside Mikey put his arm around Mikey’s shoulder.  He began talking to Mikey with a genuine look of concern on his face.  I let out an audible sigh.  The teacher looked at me and said, “That boy is one of the popular kids.” Thinking I might not understand the importance of that fact, she started to explain.  I stopped her with a hand on the arm and a muttered, “Yeah, I know.”  We turned our attention to the quiet scene taking place amid the chaos of 300 screaming 11-year-olds.

The boy was comforting my son–the kid who was having a mini-meltdown over a relay race.  He was patting Mikey on the shoulder and talking to him about God knows what when other kids started to notice.  They turned their attention to Mikey and they were comforting him, too.  Once Mikey stopped crying, the boy removed his arm but still included Mikey in the conversation until it was time to line up for lunch.  He had enabled Mikey to get through the drama with his dignity in tact.  That boy is my hero.

A Good Kid

It’s very difficult to find a positive news story about today’s youth.  The consensus is that they’re a bunch of ignorant, under-achieving, lazy, video-game obsessed bullies with a skewed sense of entitlement.  Well, judging by what I witnessed yesterday, this simply isn’t true.  It would be nice to see the good kids portrayed in the media from time to time.  This is my small contribution.

What about you?  Do you have a “good kid” story to share?

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”  ~Lady Bird Johnson

 

The ABCs of Autism

Daily Foglifter:  April is Autism Awareness month.

Mikey and Mama

Life with an autistic child is stessful.  It’s difficult.  It’s unfair…..

.

Life with an autistic child is also…

Pure Joy

Awe-Inspiring
Beautiful
  • Crazy
  • Delightful
  • Educational
  • Fantastic
  • Galvanizing
  • Play Ball!

  • Humbling
  • Incredible
  • Jovial
  • Kinder
  • Loopy
  • Mesmerizing
  • Novel
  • Loving the Water

  • Optimistic
  • Philosophic
  • Quixotic
  • Rambunctious
  • Sweet
  • Tenacious
  • Unpredictable
  • Vigorous
  • Wonderful
  • Xenial
  • Yielding
  • Zany
  • …and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  • “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

    ~Angela Schwindt

  • Autism Resources:

  • http://www.autismspeaks.org/
  • http://www.autism-society.org/
  • http://www.autism.com/
  • http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/brain/autism.html