Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy Almost-New-Year! Try Not To Overindulge...

 ....because you never know who's going to be watching (and recording) you! Let's check it out:


That's gonna hurt the arm hair


 Drunk and Dog shaming



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: I Forgot To Think Right


He suddenly stopped wearing his favorite pair of Converse
Telling me they don't work anymore
I assumed they were too small
So we went shopping for new ones
Red this time
And he pronounced them a perfect fit
They were exactly the same size
I told him so and he reiterated - they don't work
Then I saw the problem
The lace has a very tight knot near the end
It's been there a while
He told me about it
But it was in so tight, I couldn't get it undone
It's the lace, isn't it? I ask
The knot bothers you
Yes, he says 
I told you
There's a knot
I don't like it
I can't wear it
I'm sorry, I tell him
I knew about the knot
How about some new laces?
No more knots
I wasn't thinking that the knot 
Would make it so hard for you
But you're thinking now? he asks
You're thinking right?
Yes, I assure him
I'm thinking right now

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Time For My Steamy (Soggy?) Confession: I've Got A Real Thing For Rain



It's not a dirty confession, really. Especially since it involves water. But the truth is, I find rain to be impossibly romantic.

I was mostly raised in the southwest, where rain is rare and when it comes on, it's usually with a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning, all drama and wind and passion lighting the sky. I can remember as a child rushing outside and standing in it, twirling round and round as my mother shrieked at me to get inside. 

And let me tell you, as a former resident of the great state of New Mexico, Land of Enchantment....if you've never smelled rain on sagebrush, you need to add that to your bucket list. There is no smell like it in the world anywhere. God, I miss it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Resource Monday: 17 Things Princess Bride Taught Me About Autism Parenting


This one's been around for a while, but it's just so great I have to shout it out again. Bec Oakley at Snagglebox.com blogs about autism parenting with heart and humor, and in her article, "17 Things 'The Princess Bride' Taught Me About Autism Parenting", she drops pearls of wisdom like shrieking eels for all of us who adore that movie and take up the mantle of autism parenting every day. Take point number four:

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles

Be patient. Change and growth takes time, and there are no corners to be cut here. Every kid is working to their own schedule and developing at their own rate.

 Bec's blog can be found here, and it's worth a read and a bookmark! I mean it!

(Anybody want a peanut?)



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: What A Christmas





This year, we pretty much have it all
She's got a 4.2 grade point average
He's a solid B student who just sang his first solo in chorus
Me? Someone bought my book
We're all healthy
Bills are paid
Presents are under the tree
And I paid some of that joy forward
Cash donations, presents to those in need, the food bank
It's been a very, very good Christmas
And it looks like we have it all
But the truth is, we always have it all
No matter what the bank account reads
We have each other
And we have love
So much love

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Have A Happy Christmas - P.S. Stop Drinking


This was posted on Reddit this morning. Someone found a ripped-up Christmas card on a bus, and pieced it together before they took this picture.

Bad things happen to good people sometimes, but how you react to those things is what defines you. 
You always have a choice, there are better things ahead for you but it's in your hands, it's your responsibility. 
Have a Happy Christmas
P.S. Stop drinking. Get help from someone.

It's a picture of a card, but also a picture of so much more.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Resource Monday: "NeuroTribes" Is On My Reading List


A reader sent me a link to this Forbes article about Steve Silberman's book, NeuroTribes and now I am waiting impatiently for Amazon to deliver my copy.

Silberman goes into the history of autism and its perception and impact through that history, but one quote from the review really, really stuck with me:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fun On A Friday - More Memorable (And Hilarious) Signs!


It's getting close to holiday time, and I'm just plain lazy today. Here, have a laugh and pass the eggnog!

They mean it.




Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Ridiculous And Strange Talents Of My Children





My children are wildly talented.

I could sit here and brag all day about how Anna can out-Math the Math-iest person in all of Math-dom or  how David can sing the background music to just about any movie he's ever watched, but that's Christmas newsletter fodder and you certainly don't need to read me droning on about all that.

No, today, I want to talk about their lesser-known talents. Stuff that still amazes me every time I see or hear it. Here is a list of some of my children's more amazing feats:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Inquiring Minds Want To Know: What's The Worst Christmas Present You Ever Got?



We've all gotten a present that's gone wrong, haven't we?

I'm not talking about bad news like a death in the family or the diagnosis of a terminal disease at Christmastime - those are hardly "presents."

No, I'm talking about the well-intended gift that just ended up being a train wreck. The half-assed attempt that fell laughably short of the mark. Or worse, the one that was meant to be as awful as it was.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Time To Get Cracking On Those Holiday Cards - And Here's Some Inspiration!



It's the holiday season, folks, and every year I slave over a pile of Christmas cards, wishing I could be as clever and witty and exciting as everyone else seems to be. Here are a few people who are absolute pros at the whole Christmas card thing - maybe their inspiration will rub off!


For you single gals...Bridget's Oh-So-Single Birthday Cards feature offerings like this one:

These are great, and I have no idea why some gorgeous man hasn't snapped this beautiful and hilarious woman up already. Warning - language on one of them but makes it even funnier.
Here's her 2015 card.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

When The Fire Alarms Go Off, A Lot Of Things Become Clear





When my daughter was a baby and I was carrying her brother, the ex and I were jarred out of bed at 3am one Sunday by the sound of the smoke alarms screeching in the night.

We both leaped out of bed and ended up colliding as we both tried to get through the doorway of our daughter's bedroom. Once we'd figured out the issue (we'd been remodeling the basement and drywall dust had clogged the downstairs smoke alarm) and realized there was no real threat, we were able to laugh about the way we'd slammed into each other, both of us with just one thought in our head: save Anna.

Last night, at 11:30pm the alarms went off again, and I flew out of my bed in a panic, racing for their doors. And I promptly collided with Anna as we both tried to get to David. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Music To My Ears


His first solo
He was so excited
Not nervous, though
He's never nervous
And he was perfect
Just perfect
And I stopped his teacher
To say thank you
Thank you for giving my son a chance
And she smiled warmly
And said he had a great voice
But more than that
She wished she could put him in a bottle
and unstopper it
On the days when she needed to remember
Just why she chose to teach
Because he lives every day with joy
And sings with joy
And it rubs off on everyone
And then we both laughed
At the tears rolling down our cheeks

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I'm More Than Happy To Teach You All That My Son Has Taught Me


I was on a Reddit post the other day and someone brought up having a girlfriend with an autistic kid and how hard it was for them to be in a relationship with her - which turned into a full on dump on parenthood and parenting special-needs kids and as usual, on Reddit (with this subject, anyway) it just got ugly.

It shouldn't surprise me. Their demographic is largely teen-to-young-adult male so what do they know about life or parental love or anything beyond their own little bubble? Still, it hurts me everytime I read someone's short-sighted comments, and I felt compelled to toss in my two cents. I didn't preach or try to shame them - I just pointed out that while my son could be challenging, he's taught me solid skills for interacting with people that I never would have known before. And I love him just like he is.

I got downvoted mostly, but I did get a few direct messages from some people who supported me, and a few people on the spectrum who thanked me for being a decent human being. My detractors will hopefully grow up and learn to be decent human beings themselves, someday, when they've gotten knocked around by life a little more.

So here's the practical application of what my son has taught me, and how it helped me to help someone else:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 11 Recap: The Man You Want To Be



Am I ready for this? Is my multiply-wounded Captain Swan shipping heart really ready for this? Oh, God, the anticipation! I can't take it! I can't wait! I -

Have to watch the president talk about terrorists.

Ugh. Important stuff, I know, but really, couldn't he just have sent an email? And they damn well better not have a republican follow-up to his remarks or something dumb like that. He'll be addressing the nation next week as a bunch of rabid Oncers take the streets.

Okay, so now we're ready.

x37825m

We begin tonight with young Killian (aww!) in the hold of a ship on stormy seas, calling for his ungodly hot father.

"We're all braver than we think," Papa Jones tells him. "When you're afraid, look in here," he says, tapping Killian's chest. "What kind of man are you going to be?" Nothing like philosophical conversation to distract from imminent death. Way to go, Dad.

Cue to morning and Pops is gone, leaving Killian and Liam with the grizzled old man he sold them to, trading them into servitude for the money to make a getaway. "Now you know the kind of man your father really is," the old guy tells Killian.

Resource Monday: Check Out "Marathon Men"


Today's resource is a wonderful documentary about three people on the autism spectrum, and the story of their personal challenges in taking on the New York marathon. This is so heartfelt and amazing.



Friday, December 4, 2015

It's A Sign....That We Need To Laugh! Happy Friday!


Once again, it's Friday (yes!) and once again I've amassed a collection of signs for your perusal because I really have no social life and this is fun for me to do. Enjoy!!

My kind of place:


That is a serious parking fee:



Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gus Gus And Me: A Christmas Love Story







It was Christmastime and I was home from college. Mom suggested we run some errands and maybe do a little bit of Christmas shopping, and I was bored, so off we went.

Around lunchtime, we decided to stop in at McDonald's since it was close by. 

This is the shameful part where I tell you that I hadn't spent that many hours alone with my mother in years. I was a senior in college, and other than a few days here and there when the dorms were closed, I didn't visit home much. I loved my parents, but I honestly didn't want to live with them anymore.

My mother's only fault in this wasn't much of a fault when you think about it. She loved me too much. She was always trying too hard, overdoing, overprotecting, over-worrying to the point where it was cloying and restrictive and made me want nothing more than to be free of her. I loved her, but I loved her in small doses.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: It Ain't Christmas Without A Tumbleweed


Growing up in the desert
It's a Christmas tradition
You find a tumbleweed
You spray paint it gold
Or green
Or white
You wrap it in lights
And set it up in a pot
Or outside your home
Maybe build a whole tree with them
Or line your front lawn
But they don't do that here in the Northeast
No tumbleweeds, you know
Guess they can't cross the Mississippi
But I remember those Christmas tumbleweeds
I miss 'em
One goofy tradition
But it reminds me of home

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Thought Kindness Might Teach Her A Lesson, But Instead It Taught Me



I'll begin this tale by letting you know what a horrible human being I am.

I am one of "those people" who go shopping on Thanksgiving night instead of spending it with my family. I've already talked about how I have no family to spend it with on Thanksgiving and how much easier it makes my life to do this instead of fighting throngs at 6 a.m. the next morning, but that's not the crux of this tale.

This tale begins in the checkout line at Target, fully a hundred people deep, being routed in a winding pattern through health and beauty to await our turn at getting an open register. It was hot. It was long (though to their credit, moving quickly) and we all wanted to get out of there.

The woman two spaces in front of me was on the phone arguing with someone - loudly. Then she turned to address a young boy who ran up to her, and stood there talking to him so long (and again very loudly) that the line ahead of her moved a huge distance.

The woman in front of me very meekly cleared her throat and said "Um....are you going to go?"

The loud talker immediately turned on the girl, railing at her, telling her to mind her own business and just where did she think they were all going to go? "You're in line!" she shouted at the woman. "We ain't going anywhere!"