New School Anxiety

This year the boy had to change schools. Not because we moved. Not because he is leaving elementary and going to middle school. No, it’s just the way the exceptional kids program works in our district.

Just in case you’re new to our blog, I’ll catch you up. We have two kids on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. The girl is in high school and the boy is in elementary.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry quite as much about the girl these days. During her earlier years we were in a different school system where one of their big focuses was to teach our daughter how to advocate for herself. Since we’ve moved and she started a new school this ability has been huge. We are still there to support her and help her make decisions. But at those times that we can’t be by her side we know she can speak up and tell teachers or fellow students what she needs. BIG win. Continue reading

Back to School

OK. I want to get this out in the open.

I Am Strange.

I am a strange person. I am a strange daughter. I am a strange wife. And more than anything else, I am a strange mom.

And guess what? I’m OK with it. My family is OK with it. But I guess they don’t know any better so that might not be saying much. Continue reading

NOPDX

When the girl was little she was very hard to understand. This is not uncommon for kids who are on the Autism Spectrum. Many are completely non-verbal so we were truly blessed that our girl was even partially communicating. And, as her parents, we were able to understand most of her words. Friends and family, however, had some difficulty. Continue reading

Mommy, I show you….

My boy can say the sweetest things.

“You make the best tacos mommy.”

“I love you to the stars and back again.”

He can also say some very scary things. They don’t seem scary on the surface but trust me, they are.

“Don’t worry mommy, I’ll make your hair look beautiful.”

“It’s ok mommy, it’s just a little poop.”

But one Saturday morning when he was about 2 ½ I heard a phrase that proved to be very scary. You see, he woke me when he ran in our room calling my name. He was excited about something and I was very tired. With my eyes closed I reached out toward him to try to determine what was going on. That’s when I discovered something odd. Continue reading

A Classic Blunder

I fell victim to a classic blunder. No, I did not get involved in a land war in Asia. And no, I did not go in against a Sicilian when death was on the line. My classic blunder is blaming myself for my autistic son’s struggles.
Let’s be honest, all parents gauge their success at parenting on how their children are doing in life; school, sports, friends. Some parents even cross the line and try to “help” their kids in areas where they are struggling. We’ve set the bar so high for what is considered success that only a small percentage can achieve it. And then we compare ourselves and our kids to that small percentage. Continue reading

Snack Jail

There’s a great song by Larry Groce called Junk Food Junkie. If you Google it, you’ll find that it was released in 1976 but don’t dismiss this comic gem because of its age. It’s the story of a man living two lives. By day he is the epitome of natural living: Natural fibers, organic products, vegan meals, composting, recycling, low carbon footprint. But at night, when no one is watching, his alter ego emerges. He binges on Big Macs and twinkies and drinks corn syrup sweetened caffeinated beverages while hiding in his closet. Continue reading

Stop Slamming the Door!

No!  You can’t make me do it!  SLAM

I hate you!  SLAM

I don’t want to go to my room!  SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM

Maybe it’s just us, but door slamming has from time to time been a serious issue in our house.  My kids have each at different points in their lives felt that this was the ultimate way to inform their father and me of their intense displeasure about a given situation. So I decided to find a solution. Continue reading

We lost the boy at Disney

We love Disney.  I truly can’t say that enough.  We are a Disney family and we love visiting our home away from home.  But even the best visits, the most magical visits, have their not so great moments.  This particular not so great moment happened as we were preparing to leave. Continue reading

Common Denominator

What do coconut oil, nail polish, Nerds and nose bleeds have in common?  No this is not a convoluted word problem. And those are candy Nerds not smart people.

Give up?  The answer = a 4 year old boy.  

Yes.  After a relatively nice dinner with friends we came home to what at first seemed to be a quiet house.  I was excited to think that the boy might actually be in bed, asleep. And then I noticed that the sitter was not immediately visible.  This should have been my first clue but I continued in my delusion and assumed that all was well and she was just upstairs checking on the little prince.  This bliss lasted for about 10 more seconds and then the sitter came around the corner and seemed out of breath. Uh-Oh. Continue reading