Saturday, April 28, 2012

Unconditional Love

There are some things that are just nonnegotiable. Love is one of those things. When you really love someone you always love them. It doesn't change because you don't get what you want. I am so grateful for Daniel and his family.
It isn't often that you hear about how wonderful someones in laws are, but mine are awesome. I came into this every mothers worst nightmare. I had two young children and contentious divorce, I was damaged beyond belief and really just a total mess. If I had been in my Mother in Law's position I would have told my boy to run for the hills, and she may have, but I never heard about it. Instead this woman invited me to her house, treated me with respect, and was never any less that awesome. She took my boys right in as though they had always been part of her world, allowing them to call her "Memere" just like all the other kids.  The boys loved Mem and Pep from the beginning . Even when the boys couldn't spend Christmas with the family because of legal issues, the entire extended family still gave them gifts. That Christmas I couldn't give them much, we had just moved overnight days earlier. I had no money, I couldn't give them a thing. The entire family pulled together and did for the boys (without even knowing it) what I couldn't do.

It's at a point that when talking to my mother in law about AJ or Tyler she will say something about them being a lot like their dad, forgetting that there is no genetic component between them. How amazing that must feel to be so unconditionally loved by someone who doesn't need to love them. The rest of the family, cousins, sister in law, brother in laws, aunts, uncles, and cousins have all been so amazing and loving to these boys, and for that I am so grateful. It was never about me, they didn't have to know or like me to like the boys, and I am so blessed to have them as part of our family.

No one is perfect, but love does so much.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Sometimes in my house it's quiet and peaceful. When everyone sleeps in their beds snuggled in beside their pillows and stuffies. Sometimes in my house ,if I close my eyes real tight, I feel like everything is perfect and wonderful.

Sometimes I look around and feel nothing more than overwhelming joy that I am so blessed with all that I have. Sometimes I even get a cup of hot coffee all to myself. Sometimes I get to finish it while it is still hot.

Sometimes I look at the clothes to wash and dishes to do and it makes me cry. Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed with where I am in my head that I can hardly take another breath.

Sometimes I struggle with balance and being a good mom. I struggle with understanding when certain things shouldn't matter. Sometimes the messy bedroom, dirty dishes, and forgotten home work have to be swept under the rug and forgotten for the day. Sometimes they scream my name as I walk out the door with my sunblock in hand as we head to the park. Sometimes I get to the park and feel guilty.

Sometimes I just feel so grateful that I am so very blessed and happy. sometimes I look at my husband and I see the person he was before we embarked on this incredible, hectic, intense life of ours. Sometimes I remember how young we use to be.

Sometimes in my house it's just quiet, just the way I wished it would be a few hours before when everyone was talking or screaming or crying or yelling. Sometimes, when it is that quiet I get lonely. I sneak over to the little ones and snuggle beside them. I kiss they foreheads and nuzzle their ears. I say prayers over them and inhale the scent of them.

Sometimes in my house and it's just quiet and really bothers me

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Second Chances

You all know how heartbreaking it was when our dog hurt our little girl. I have been slowly working through all of this in my head for over a month now and I have made some major discoveries. The bottom line is the dog, our sweet Chance, is not aggressive.

We talked to the original shelter and found out that Chance is 5 years old and a Labrador/Fox Hound mix.

We started training with him 2 weeks ago with RICK from SOUTH COAST CANINE we just love his thinking and he has great people skills as well as dog skills. Since beginning training we have a completely different dog. He is no longer jumpy or skittish. He follows commands very well. He stopped pulling on the leash when we walk. He heels, sits, stays, comes and goes to his kennel. We set up a gate across the playroom so Chance and Grace are never alone in the same room together. He eats in his kennel just to be safe even though he really doesn't show any food aggression. He no longer gets rawhide treats. Grace isn't scared unless he barks. He can sing and that doesn't seem to phase her . Oh the joy of hound type dogs.

This was tonight. Dan was putting Sammy to bed and in true Dan fashion fell asleep too (so much for watching the new Footloose) Chance snuggled up beside them. Sammy really is that dog's person it seems. Chance loves that boy in a way I have never seen. He tattles on him when he sneaks out of bed. He keeps him from leaving the yard. He sits beside him when he melts down.

So tonight as I watched them for a moment I thank God for all the second chances in our lives. Without them, things would be so different.
I am quiet certain that Chance is glad to have another chance too...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frustrated and Angry

Has the world forgotten that children are people too. Our kids are people and just as important as those bigger people around them. Have we all forgotten that we were children once too?
Each day I  read through posts of children that are being hurt, abused, abandoned and killed by people that should be caring for them.

This makes me ill. This child is helpless. When will people understand that no verbal does not mean non thinking?  What were these teachers thinking? There is no excuse for this in any way


Then there is this post from Jess over at Diary of a Mom at the Huffington Post about parents killing their autistic children. I understand the stress. I understand the sadness, the uncertainty. I know these kids are awesome I know these kids are incredible. I wish everyone understood it.

and then this weekend at BJ's Wholesale Club in Dartmouth MA. A manager pushed my son Sammy to brush passed him without a word. She pretended like he wasn't even there. He is a person too. I am quiet certain that if it had been an adult, this wouldn't have ever happened.

These children are not throw a ways. Our children are not garbage to be treated like this Our children do not deserve this...
No One Does

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For My 1 in 88s

My darling boy, my sweet sweet Sammy. You can't possibly understand how very much I love you. Too the moon and stars isn't even close and 10-100 is too small a number. My darling feather headed boy, you light my days with your smile and hope. You shine  through your beautiful blue eyes like nothing I have ever seen before. I cannot imagine my days without you. I love you so much, your being, entwined in  my heart strings. I keep you close by and hold tightly because I don't know what your future holds. You asked me tonight to check your brother to make sure he was ok, one year ago that would have never happened. The moments and phrases that are uniquely you make my heat leap with joy and pride. Seeing your beautiful school pictures come home, with your hair that you combed yourself. You are a powerful force my boy. You are amazing in so many ways that even we haven't figured out yet. you have made me aware of emotions I wasn't entirely sure I could feel. I am grateful to be your mother.

Even in your darker moments, my fluffy headed boy, your being resonates with everything around you in a way I have yet to find words for. You are often so connected yet detached, happy yet sad, angry yet joyful and always uniquely you.

My sweet fluffy headed boy I hope you know how much I love you. That someday, when your "big as daddy", you will read these words I have written for you and smile. You will picture me with my arms wrapped tightly around you and my nose buried in your hair and you will remember what it was like to be  little. I pray that you will be happy with where you have been, who you are, and what you have accomplished. You see for some of us, things come easy. Yet, we still give up, we still complain and we still get angry with God because we just don't understand.

 So for now I want you to know.

I have done something out of the ordinary, something hard and scary for me. I signed up to participate in a half marathon for you. Because I can't fix so many things that are difficult for you, the least I can do is step outside of my comfort zone, raise a flag, raise awareness ,raise money for autism. I am doing this for you my sweet fluffy headed boy, because after all the determination you have showed me in you life it is the least I can do.

I hope someday you look back and remember how very much I loved you. I hope you read this in 30 years and it makes those difficult moments less painful. . I can't eliminate sorrow or stress, I can't make the world bunnies and tea parties. I can't save the world. But you sweet fluffy headed boy make me really believe I can.

And as always Linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Perspective ~ Blogging for Avery's Bucket List

Have you ever had those days where you just feel sorry for yourself?  Do you have those days where you just look at everything around you with an ungrateful angry eye? It can't be just me. I know I can't be the only one here that has bad days and I can't be the only one who cries in my coffee some mornings. This is hard. It really is and on those days when nothing is right and everything is sad I feel sorry for myself.

Yesterday being one of those days in reality this week has been horrid.This week I had dreams crushed,stress increased and drama unfold . The baby girl had a fever and a weird rash, then Sammy started feeling sick, nothing was getting done, then my tooth broke. I found out at the dentist that I would have to have yet another tooth pulled. "Just add it to the partial you are going to make" was the response of the dentist. Yeah thanks it's just that easy. I am 34 years old and I have some dental issues, those have caused me to loose most of my back teeth at this point. You see, not taking care of your wisdom teeth can apparently cause roots across your other teeth to shift and break, that causes hairline fractures in the tooth, opening them to decay. My teeth often go from the inside and by the time I know something is up,its too late. It sucks and I was really angry.
I sat there on the way home crying (who thinks that it wasn't necessarily just about the tooth?) and yelling at God that I didn't get it. This week has been one major disappointment after another and I was angry. I keep asking God what exactly it is he wants from me... I still haven't gotten an answer. It's almost funny right now how angry I was about this. Then I came home and relaxed for a while on face book and I found this.

Avery's Bucket List

I will let you head over and take a gander. It's ok I will wait, I have time. All I could think was "My God, and I was angry over a tooth"
It got me thinking... How does a person parent when the end result isn't going to matter? How does that change your train of thought on which to choose? I had read on another blog a while back the same concept, the child was older when they found out and for whatever reason it didn't resonate like this does. Perhaps its that Avery reminds me of grace, perhaps the joyful looks on mom and dad's faces coupled with the words of a post "SMA please don't take my smile away" It's hard for me not to cry. What do you do when those big decisions that the rest of us stress over have absolutely no consequence? The end result never changes, it's always the same. This little girl may live to be 18 months. That is just six short months from now for Grace. After looking at my girl, and reading Avery's blog I thanked God for his blessing and I quit whining.

Because yes while this is hard and this can suck We are all still here. No one knows what tomorrow brings and yes there may not be one for any of us, but to know your child's last day is coming, It makes my heart hurt just to think about it. Autism is hard, but there are tons of people in our corner. It doesn't mean the fight has been won, it doesn't mean the best options for our kids are there, it doesn't mean much really. It just means that someday something may come of all the research that can maybe help some of the 1 in 88. No one is researching SMA. How can this be? Kids are dying from this and there are no clinical trials or anything? Here you can read more information on SMA and find ways to help get the word out.

Families of SMA

So today I will hug my babies tight, because even though dealing with autism sucks some days, I will likely have very many more and that, no matter how you look at it, is a blessing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Things I shouldn't do

Like Shell over at Things I cant Say there are certain things I shouldn't ever attempt. It doesn't really matter the time because honestly , I can make really awesome messes anywhere.

1. Change my look when I am upset. the last time I did this it was drastic...and scary. It was right after my wedding I was upset about something (read irrational and pregnant and didn't know it yet) and I freaked out. Yup, chopped 9 inches off my hair and spent the rest of the year looking like something between a confused boy and a shaggy puppy. It's funny as I type this I have been thinking about a change and was thinking about just (you guessed it) cutting my hair! Thank you Shell for posting this to remind me DON"T DO IT.

2. Go bathing suit shopping after lunch. Ok, really ladies ,getting a suit is hard enough. The lighting in the dressing rooms make us all looklike something out of a Tim Burton flick and then to try to find something that covers all the places on us that we wish weren't there...well it's traumatic. Now add to that lunch and the post lunch belly that goes along with it, added to the body of a woman who has had 5 kids...

3. Reply to blogs on my phone. I learned my webOS system sucks and for whatever reason tells me "you suck and can't post! Make your comment longer" meanwhile posting the said comment each time. Ooops..sorry Shell <3

4. Go to places that sell fluffy pretty girl dresses with witnesses. I cry. I sniffle.  I get all over emotional. It is embarrassing! I pride myself on being a pretty tough lady and dress shopping for a one year old made me cry uncle. I am such a marshmallow inside. Just don't tell anyone...ok?

5. Let down my filter in public. I am known for being filter-less. People who love me understand, but in a crowd most people don't know me. I am that person who says wildly inappropriate things to people. Like saying "It's nice to see you upright again" to a woman who passed out at my neighbors or "wow I didn't know the mole you had was that big, but look at the whole it left" Yes, both things have come from my mouth on separate occasions. Funerals are the worst, I will always say or do one thing I really really shouldn't do.

6. Post when I am angry. My  husband says that I have "rough edges" and that I am "prickly". I think my parents may have used more colorful language to describe my not so sweet disposition. I tend to let the fur fly when I am upset and I can be quite caustic (think battery acid). I always feel badly after and then I don't know what to do. Once something is posted it is there forever and then it eats at me for months.

7. Deciding to change a few things about a room when I am alone. The last time I thought about that I ripped down wallpaper and pulled out light fixtures in 2 separate rooms. Granted my lovely friend Miss J came to save me and fixed my mess...mostly. I still have unfinished stuff around the house which leads me to my next DON'T

8. Go to home Depot, Lowes, or Craft Stores alone. I will buy things I don't need with a ridiculously grandiose idea about what it will turn out like. I always over estimate my skill level and end up with crap I never use,put up,fix,change or paint. I have 2 gallons of lavender paint down stairs and small containers of blue, pink, and yellow to paint the bathroom bubble theme I wanted when we bought the house almost 2 years ago. I have to go there today to rent a tiller for the garden...pray for me...please!

9. Plan Parties. I become obsessed with details and I get crazy. I over plan, over feed and I always end up in a hysterical lump of tears at some point before everyone gets there. I get it out and I move on but still it can't be good for my blood pressure.

10. Visit new babies in the hospital or at home. OK really just even looking in the direction of new babies makes my ovaries twitch. We are Quiverfull and all but I am tapped out mostly at the moment. Would I be happy with more HELL YEAH but I don't know that I am really ready for that right now. Seriously though if I am within sniffing distance of new baby smell I just want one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Top 30

So I am thrilled to see YLMB up there in lights... well maybe not lights but at the very least it's cool to be on the same page with so many heavy hitters in bloggy land.
There is a list over at babble of the top autism blogs and YLMB is on there. I would be ever so grateful if you happen by here if you took a few seconds to head over and click like.
There aren't any cool prizes or anything but it's still really cool! It only takes a second. You can also check out some of the other awesome blogs over there. Also feel free to come find us on Facebook We would Love to Have YOU



I don't know if I have mentioned my dear friends Mr and Mrs G. They are so fantastic. I don't know what I would do without Mrs G. I guess you could say she is my best buddy. She gets the chaos here and never judges. She understands Sammy better than most. She's loving and considerate and just plain awesome! Ohhh and she makes some amazing food!

Well Mr. G is a firefighter in our community. Sammy has begun to obsess over firefighters,emergency vehicles, 911, police and everything related. My darling friend Mr. G (who I went to school with) let Sammy try on his turn out gear.

Isn't he the cutest thing? I love this picture. Can you see the happy in him. This moment made the rest of the day easy to get through. It was Grace's birthday party and that is always hard for Sammy. He did wonderfully and talked about this for hours after.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Wrong Side of the Road

Photo credit source
Sometimes what you want and what you get are very different things. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but simply resign to the change in the picture. Autism was a lot like that for me. It was so much like getting on a plane headed for somewhere warm and ending up here. The seasons are great but I really thought I was going somewhere warm all the time. I don't love it any less now and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Even still, what I have is very different from what I asked for.
Sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is that your past follows you. The choices you make, the person you were,follows so closely behind that you don't even notice. Then that past, jumps in front of you and takes over. It is sad that sometimes people aren't ever allowed to change.
I want more than that for all my boys. I don't ever want them to look back and be ashamed of the person they use to be. I know when I look in the mirror I don't see what everyone else does. I want so much more for them. I want to see them grow into adults that can contribute to society in any way they feel led to. I don't want them to make choices that set up road blocks.
The same goes for Sammy, I want him to be happy and fulfilled. I want him to be able to look back on his life and be pleased. I want him to always hold his head high and proud because of how awesome he is is.
Because he is awesome.
People are more than the mistakes they have made. People are more than bad choices, bad relationships,bad circumstances. It's hard enough to survive a badly dealt hand but then to have it haunt you your entire life is even harder. It never goes away.I want more than that for my children. I want so much for them...
More than anything I don't want them to be me.
I don't want them to feel the way I do when I look in the mirror. Someday I will stop beating myself up over the mistakes I have made. I keep letting God work through it for me. I don't really have a choice since I am surely not strong enough to do it alone. I'm tired of running from it and I am facing it down. Every ounce of me hurts right now and the tears are bound to come. The only way to make it stop chasing me is to turn and face it head on.
It's time to face those demons, those horrible dark creatures that have been following me for 10 years. It's the only way I know how to do things. So I will take a deep breath, firmly plant my feet on the ground and make it happen.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Suit Yourself ~ My Heart Monday

Spiffy. Yes that is the word he used to describe the outfit I gave him for Easter Sunday.

I stood in the store in tears looking at that outfit for a few moments. Thinking only to myself how deperatly I wanted to dress him up for a holiday. How badly I wished my family could just once go out and be above the chaos. I wanted to be able to go to church without the fight and without pajamas. I didn't want to spend the money if he wouldn't wear it. I really didn't think he would.

Thank you Wonder Hubby. Thank you for stepping in and believing our boy could do it. To most parents it seems like a given, holiday = dress up. Not here, and I am sure not for most families like us. Sammy saw the outfit and put it on. I was being so careful not to get my hopes up. Even if he got it on doesn't mean it would stay on. In fact if one thing bugged him he wouldn't wear it at all.

We kept the tags on. Just in case.

He put it on with daddy's help. He even combed his hair. he came into the room for me to see and I was speechless. He posed for a picture. Wonder Hubby asked him

 "Sammy where did you learn to pose like that?"
Sammy's response ~"Napoleon Dynamite"

 The tears, the hope, the dream of just feeling like everyone else for just a little while was standing in front of me. I don't know why this was such a big deal to me. It shouldn't matter, but, it does. After all these years, it still matters. I held my breath on Sunday for the shoe to fall, for it to swing back and hit me in the face.
It was nothing Short of magical. Thank you Lord for the reprieve. It went by fast but it was a very good day yesterday.

This just reminds me that I can't assume. I can't get stuck on what Sammy doesnt do yet. I need to make sure I give him the same options the other kids get and stop jumping the gun. He may have autism, He may really struggle,but he is still an incredible 7 year old boy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I knew it

Sammy has been amazing the past few days. Homework was done without a fight,he earned 2 full light sabers in a row. He went to bed with no fight,he stayed asleep 2 nights in a row in his bed without changing jammies. He got dressed for school and did not argue. He completed his video game time without tears. He has been amazingly awesome the past 3 days. I told my mom "mark my words ,he is getting sick"

Last night he took his bath and went strait to bed. At 3 am he wakes up and comes in my room. Grabs my hands and places them against his chest. His little heart was flying so fast. He was panicked. He felt like he was going to throw up and it was making his heart pound,which made him scared,which made it worse. Daniel and I spent the night comforting him. He never did throw up,it only lasted until 6 am. Coincidentally the same time about that Grace was wide awake refusing to sleep at all. She was dancing on the bed at one point giggling.

Just like that, Sammy felt better. How do I know? He punched his brother in the back. So much for being sick and mellow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Show me The Money

Sammy and I set this up today. he is thrilled to be raising money for autism research. So if you would like to head on over to the fundraising page, click on my name, and add a donation. every bit helps. Sammy wanted to raise 20-100 dollars but we will settle for 100. Lets help make it happen for him


Faster than the speed of Autism

I am aging faster and faster these days. I swear I am only 34 but having a 17 year old makes you feel older, add to that a child with autism and I am not aging as gracefully as I would like. Perhaps its the lack of sleep, perhaps the stress, perhaps it's just not enough martinis? Who knows! I even quit smoking before I got pregnant with Sammy. Oh some days how I wish I hadn't quit, I need a vice and Hostess orange cuppies are not the best one to have (that obsession is waning thank goodness) but they are fun to eat obsessively.

1. the edge of the frosting that dripped
2. then peal off the orange plastic...I mean frosting
3. split the sponge(cake) into two
4. suck out the glue...I mean filling.
5. eat the bottom then the top of the sponge
6. then nibble the frosting until nothing is left but the white squiggle.
7. eat the squiggle and leave last bite.

yes... I know obsessive but it's how I roll and if I keep eating them I will roll for sure. The crap and additives in them are a big no-no in my house and if my kids knew I was eating them they would for sure string me up and treat me like a pinata.
ok well maybe not that bad.

I have begun to obsess over jelly beans. I found all natural jelly beans at the health food store and I can't get enough. Surf Sweets...yummy

Back to my point. I am aging faster than the speed of sound and I can't just blame autism. I do suspect that the sheer stress of having such a large family is probably part of the real issue, and adding autism to that doesn't help. Picture a swarm of angry bees only made angrier by say a leaf blower. yeah... that's my life.  I think in the last 7 years I have aged 14 but the last four  years has been more like a decade.So pardon me while I go drown my sorrows in jelly beans  since I am out of orange cuppies right now.

Dan and I before Sammy
After Sammy but before Sammy was diagnosed 

this summer at "ponytail's wedding"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Light it Up Blue People

So everyone in the community is talking about Light it up Blue. Our local school did (though with itty bitty blue year flood lights!) my house has been blue for weeks and I will keep it that way. The world may see April as Autism awareness month but every day here is. I wake up being aware and I fall asleep (sometimes not for very long) being aware. So for that reason my house will remain blue from this point on.

This year I chose to do something a little... shall we say different. I have this awesome gray streak in my hair. It's 100% natural and it just happens to be the way my gray has come in. see ^ totally awesome yes? Well, it's just kind of my signature. My mom's gray came in the same way, except back then the pinwheel bangs were in style. My mom ended up looking like a snowball in front. Kinda Neat. I like to think the gray streak looks more like Rouge the super hero chick just less hott and more mommy-ish. Even though I do think some days I may just be a super hero.

So anyway, of course I digress. It's semi quiet here and I may have just drifted into nap land (hey gotta take them where they come right?) Of course the sound of wailing from the other room brings me right back to reality. Pardon me while I go peal my 4 year old off the light fixture!

Seriously though I went ahead and took light it up blue pretty darn serious. My hair (well my gray really) is now blue. yup I am a blue haired old lady in a quiet little town. Nice huh. Ohhh boy are people going to talk. *smile* isn't that the idea?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Don't Say It

"Autism is the new add. It's over diagnosed because Dr's are lazy. "

Really? Really? 

I read this and became so mad I couldn't even write for a while. I think I have finally calmed down enough to put my thoughts together. If I have to explain why that comment is hurtful, then you can't possibly understand how much these kids struggle.

1. ADD is not a game either. It often floats with autism on the giant see of the spectrum. I have yet to meet one child with ASD that doesn't have some form of either attention difficulty or impulsiveness or both. Autism Diagnosis takes more than just a few minutes and creates a need for documentation. Hours of meetings and paperwork. I don't know any doctor that wants more of those.

2. It's hard for most parent to get help, and hearing crap like this doesn't make it any easier. Yes there may be some parent out there who are looking for a reason to complain, but, there are more over here on my side who really need the help. I still struggle with it. I still worry about what people think. Maybe that is why this comment is such a hot button for me.

3. HOW DARE YOU treat this like isn't earth shattering or mind blowing. ANY CHILD receives a diagnosis of anything it sends the parents for a loop. Comments like this completely disregard and discount the struggles our kids (and parents) go through each day.

4. Would you ever say something like this to a parent who just had a child diagnosed with cancer? NO? why not? Why is it that the world thinks that these issues aren't real? because you can't draw blood for them? Because you can't see it? Would you say this to a mom of a child diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Depression, Bi-Polar Dissorder, Cleft Palate? 

Comments like this are a slap in the face to every kid out there with autism. It discounts us, makes us small. It's demeaning and unfair. Don't Say It EVER

I get that  the person who said this probably didn't realize how caustic and hurtful their comment was.  Maybe they were just trying to help, to console, to empower. The comment above did none of those things. As parent of spectrum kids we second guess enough crap in our daily lives, we don't need you adding to it. This comment wasn't even said to me and in honesty the person it was said to may not have been as upset by it as I am. that's OK. If you don't know what to say just try "hey, how can I help" and leave it at that.

Autism is not the NEW anything. 

If you didn't know which child had autism , could you tell? Probably not. Autism may not show up in a blood test or a scan. It shows up in our houses, in our beds at 3 am, it shows up even when we try to ignore it. This is the face you discount when you say things like that Sir. It shows me how uneducated and uniformed you are. April is Autsim Awareness Month, perhaps you can learn something. After all "Ignorance is the NEW badge, people wear it simply because they are Lazy"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

a Land Far Far Away

I would love to move somewhere warm. I really don't love being in Massachusetts. it snows here and I get so anxious driving in it. I want to go south, but a lot of the research I am finding says that the further south we get the less services Sam will get and the more fight we will get. I know that isn't quite true for all kids south of the Mason Dixon Line but it seems to be true for a lot of autistic kids. I have heard about a great program in Florida but I Sammy seems to be ahead of that game right now.

I think the issue has a lot to do with kids like Sammy and the fact that they "look normal". I always have well meaning people say that to me and it makes me mad. Just because he looks like every other kid (although way cuter than most) doesn't mean he is. It also doesn't mean he doesn't have the same feelings and emotions that the other kids do.

My point being, I want to move South. I want to move WARM and I can't, just like I can never die (EVER) or  have a day off. It's one more way that autism has changed our world. I can't just up and move to any place with a good school. I can't just choose to home school him as I would the other kids. I know he would still learn if I did, but forgive me I do need that break.

winter snow
I want to move, but don't know where to start. Where are your special ed programs for autistic kids? What is good/bad about them. Help me find an option in warmer weather. PLEASE, my toes are cold!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism Awareness Day

I keep trying to find the words to say what I am feeling and for once I am finding it very difficult. Rarely am I at a loss for words and never about something I am so passionate about. This... This is so different for me because it isn't just in my own backyard, it's inside of me. Autism is only a word, it doesn't have any REAL power , right?

The new numbers are 1 in 88. Those numbers are from 2008. The numbers themselves don't matter to me. The statistics don't really matter to me. Sammy is part of that number. He was diagnosed in 2007 at just over 3. He didn't speak, he didn't sing... he didn't even know me. He couldn't dress himself, feed himself,or play. He cried a lot, he was naked almost all the time and I would spend my days wondering how I messed my kid up so badly. I see that number and I see so much.

I  see that number and I see myself sitting in the neurologist's office and thinking I was about to hear that my child had ADHD and was just young for his age. I remember the numbing feeling that crept across my body followed by white hot sparks of lightening as he told us "Your Son Sammy has Autism, there is nothing you can do, ABA may help"

I see that number and I remember feeling so hopeless and lost. I remember the binder my friend Michelle gave me to help me keep track of the journey we were just beginning. I remember walking through the grocery store, feeling like I was on the battle field trying to figure out how to help my son and if his diet was a key. I remember sitting at the Fort crying and shaking being afraid to tell my friend that Sammy had autism, because I KNEW the doctors were wrong and feeling guilty because her son really did have autism. I remember the moments where I would be standing there trying so hard to catch my breath that  I couldn't even think. I felt like I was drowning all the time. I felt alone even in a crowded room.

Then I started You Leave Me Breadless. It has changed shape drastically in the past 4 years but through it I have found some of the most amazing people who "get it" I don't feel so alone anymore.

I see that number and I also see an amazing young man that makes me smile every day. A young boy with a sparkle in his eyes and penchant for mischief. A child learning to tell jokes. A child that loves me, knows me and the world around him. He looks at the world through very different glasses than I do but that is all just fine. I see a boy who lights my world up blue 365 days a year. He makes me cry with the sheer joy of watching him discover and feel the world around him in a way most people will never be lucky enough to. He lives life with a reckless wild abandon that I can only hope to muster under the best circumstances. I see him as one very amazing unique child that is just simply Sammy.

So yes, I am lighting it up blue (even my hair) and I am making the world aware. What I want most for this day, for my Sam I am... is not just the awareness that he has autism. I don't care about the label, it is after all just a word. I care that when the world hears that word that he is autistic they understand the REAL meaning behind it.  That AUTISM isn't the end. It doesn't change our children. It doesn't matter  what we call them really, it DOESN'T CHANGE THEM. It changes us. I hope and pray that the awareness days-months-years lead to people understand the sheer awesomeness that is our children. The sheer power behind who they are and our role as parents. Our kids are awesome. they make us laugh and cry just like everyone else. Yes it's hard and yes some days it sucks. Honestly, my kid is awesome and if Autism has a part in making him who he is, I can live with that.

feel free to check out these other bloggers this month. If you think there is someone I should add please send it along

Try Defying Gravity
Diary of A Mom
Susan Senator
Extreme Parenthood
Yeah,Good Times
Lost-and Tired