Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, January 29, 2016

Signs Point To FRIDAY!!


TGIF, baby! And no snow in the forecast! Whoo hooo!! This week we're looking at signs again, and I've got some beauties...starting with this ad for Match.com, proving there's someone for everyone:





Thursday, January 28, 2016

Make Time For Your Kids - Individually


So we're trying something new, the ex and I. An adjustment to our parenting agreement, and so far, it's a good thing.

It all started with Anna, expressing a wish that we could just take the day off and play hooky every now and again. We had an incident a few weeks back that landed her in the E.R. for the day and even though the circumstance was lousy, we had a lot of fun, just hanging out. We talked and we laughed and we talked some more, and when she asked if we could just be the two of us again sometime, I realized that we never get alone time anymore. Not her and me. Not David and me. 

If her father was still here, we could easily trade off so we got some time with each kid, but now they're shuttled together from me to him and back again, and they never get time alone with either of us. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: He'll Never Be Too Big To Cuddle




I can worry about his social skills
I can fret over his stilted communication, his lack of coping skills, his over-sensitivity to just about everything
I can obsess endlessly over the reading levels, math scores, history tests, fitness tests in gym class
I can wrap myself up in all the challenges he faces every single day that make him so different from the others
But I can also rejoice in some of those differences
He cannot tell a lie - it wouldn't even occur to him
He forgives instantly, easily and completely any slight or wrongdoing
And best of all
He curls up next to me
And cuddles
Part of me knows
He always will

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Science Is Some Crazy Stuff



I have always been fascinated with research scientists, particularly biologist-type research scientists. Genetics is fascinating (come on, they mapped the genome - how cool is that?) and it always amazes me when I find out they've come out with some new breakthrough treatment made of microbes they found in Amazonian monkey-dung or something.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Today Puts The OW In SNOW


This, ladies and gentlemen, is my back deck. I haven't gotten to it yet, because I spent most of the day yesterday digging out the driveway and a path to the front door (thank God the garage door opened, or I'd still be trapped).

My neighbors - who are amazing people - all banded together, sharing snowblowers, offering help, and without them I would have never gotten dug out. God love 'em.

I'm telling you, if I ever win Powerball or Megamillions, I'm going to fly in a team of shirtless, kilted Highlanders to shovel my snow for me every year. Every. Year.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chillin' And Illin'


House a mess? Check!

Stuff that needs to get done at work? Check!

Snowpocalypse on the way? Check!

102 fever, chills and throwing my guts up? Check!!

Not much fun on this Friday, folks. I'm off to bed to rest up for the shoveling that is to come. Catch you on Monday.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Year, I'm Being Selfishly Healthy



I got to start my day with a pap smear. Yay.

Actually....yay.

I will confess to you now, that I haven't had a yearly gyno checkup since my last baby was born. He's twelve now.

I don't know how I fell out of it - I used to go religiously - but life happened and kids happened and divorce happened and somewhere along the way, I lost the idea that taking care of myself was important.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Just A Pair Of Hobbit Feet





Just a pair of Hobbit Feet slippers
A Christmas present
For a boy who lives in the Shire
But takes frequent visits to Hogwarts
Or Narnia
They're the first thing he puts on in the morning
Until I badger him into sneakers for school
And the first thing on when he gets home
Until I tell him it's time for sleep
And he reluctantly puts them under the bed
Where they wait
Until the next adventure

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When You Utter The Unforgivable Curse



Oh, God, I finally did it.

It's been on the tip of my tongue in too many fights, lurking in the back of my mind in oh-so-many silent conversations held in my head afterwards, and now it's been said.

We were fighting - as mothers and daughters do - and I said it. The unforgivable curse.

"You are just like your father!"


Monday, January 18, 2016

Resource Monday: Check Out "Quirks And Chaos"


Lisa Smith is a blogger  (and an Autism Parenting Magazine award winner) as well as mother of seven children - two of whom have special needs. When her youngest son, Tate was diagnosed with autism she began chronicling her journey (and his) and her posts are poignant, inspiring, educational and hilarious.

I wanted to shout her out today because she put together an amazing resource - especially if you have friends or loved ones who really don't have an understanding of autism or what it's like to live with autism (personally, or as a daily observer). Lisa decided to illustrate some of the common descriptors and terms relating to autism, and these are spot-on. For instance:



You can see Lisa's entire post here.

And I wholeheartedly recommend that you subscribe to her blog, Quirks and Chaos. She and her family are amazing.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Fun On A Friday - Time For Yet Another Edition Of "Today In The News"

It's been a really crappy week for British Entertainment in the news, hasn't it? I don't know about you, but the one-two gut punch of losing Bowie and Alan Rickman in a span of days is seriously bringing me down. So here's a little cheer-up, with some better news:

Florida.


Florida again.



Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Wearing Of The Stupid Ridiculous Pants



Today, for some bizarre, I-must-have-been-crazy reason, I am wearing the stupid ridiculous pants.

These particular pants look just fine to the casual observer (that's how they suckered me in) but are possessed of two things that are torturous in the extreme.

First, they have a hook-and-eye closure at the side, and not a button in the front, guaranteeing that I'll have to twist my body in a really odd and uncomfortable position in order to see this itty bitty little hook so that I can undo it.

Second, the zipper jams. I don't know why. I've made sure it's not snagging on fabric and it's not. I've rubbed paraffin wax on the zipper to no avail, as it still has a tendency to jam. Couple that with the itty bitty hook-and-eye in the really uncomfortable side placement, and the fact that I vowed to drink a gallon of water a day in this new year, and you have some serious agony, lots of expletives and a whole lot of second-guessing myself over buying these damn pants no matter how good they make my ass look.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: We Had A Really Wonderful Lousy Day





Spending all day in the E. R. was not ideal
Watching them poke and prod you
Seeing the electrodes and X-rays and EKG's
Feeling the relief as they ruled out the big stuff
One item at a time
Leaving the non-life-threatening but still painful thing
That will eventually clear up with time and medication
You were such a trooper
And as lousy as that day was
It was also one of the funnest days
Because I got to spend the whole day with just you
Laughing (so much laughing) and joking 
And finally eating mexican food after
Making fools of ourselves for laughing so hard
And being so silly together
Picking up your brother and heading home
With the secret of our day between us
A lousy, but wonderful day
Next time, let's skip the E.R.
And just have some fun together


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I've Known Too Many People In Too Many Pieces



So I was procrastinating on Reddit Saturday morning (instead of writing, like I should have been), and on one of the topic threads an appearance was made by someone who's kind of a Reddit celebrity. The user name is Poem_for_your_sprog (a.k.a. author Sam Garland*) and he shows up every so often on a topic thread and writes an appropriate poem - sometimes lighthearted and silly, and sometimes with some beautiful insight. 

That particular topic was about something someone said that turned your life around. A user commented about her grandfather telling her he loved her to pieces but he wished there weren't so many pieces. Poem_for_your_sprog replied with this, and I just think it's beautiful:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Resource Monday: The Interactive Autism Network Needs You!




I first became acquainted with The Interactive Autism Network through The Kennedy Krieger Institute, having taken part in their ROAR (Ride On for Autism Research) event every year. IAN is a great way to share your insights and help take an active role in providing critical data for various autism-related research projects.

This NPR article will give you a little more information on how IAN works, and what you can expect if you choose to take part. The following ASD diagnoses are included in IAN Research:
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Autism or Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

Sign-up is easy, and the data you can provide is absolutely invaluable.





Friday, January 8, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Let's Take Another Trip To The Land Of NOPE






Every so often in my travels across the internet, I come upon an article or a picture or a video of something that just makes me shudder and nope the hell out of that link. So without getting too graphic (you don't know some of the stuff I've seen....), here are a few of my recently collected "Nope's":



I'll pass on the hotdog for now... 





Take the kids out for an afternoon of NOPE.




Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ten Movies I'm Going To Finally Watch In 2016



Yes, that's right. I made it all the way to 2016 without ever having seen "Die Hard."

I have no idea how that happened, but there it was. And once Christmas rolled around, people started making Die Hard references and I was feeling left out of the game. I rented it on Google Play on Sunday, and finally gave it a watch.

Fun flick. And Alan Rickman...ooooooh, Alan Rickman. DAYum.

Which reminds me of another sad confession: I didn't watch "Love Actually" for the first time until last summer. What a wonderful movie and now a Christmas (and not Christmas) staple in our house.

There are a whole slew of movies I missed either because they're classics I never caught up on, or they came out when I was young (my family didn't see a lot of movies out), or they came out when my kids were young (and we never had a sitter, so we never went out). I have a lot of catching up to do. So here (in no particular order) is the list of movies I'm going to see in 2016:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The New Normal



I put them to bed
I pull out the laptop
The alarm goes off in the morning
I pull out the laptop
Sitting in my jammies
Or at a table in the back of the cafeteria
On my lunch break
Every kid-free weekend
This laptop
These stories
These words that need to be free
And then revised because they were crap
The occasional moment of brilliance
Then I reach for my tea
And my laptop again
Never forgetting as I curse this process
Just how lucky, so very lucky I am

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, New Personal Motto



In 2014, I took a walk on New Year's eve. There, in the middle of the woods, I found a path, and in a moment of freezing-my-ass-off-on-a-rock epiphany, I realized I had a path in front of me for 2015, and just like these steps in the middle of nowhere, I had to take them one by one in order to figure out what was waiting for me.

Like, a serial killer who hangs in the deserted woods in case some lonely woman without a social life is hiking on New Year's eve hoping for an epiphany.

Lucky for me, that didn't happen. Instead, I took that epiphany and I decided it was time to just do it. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resource Monday - PBS Launches A New Series: "Autism In Love"



This month, PBS will be running a new series examining the lives and romantic relationships of people on the autism spectrum.  Here'a a glimpse at the trailer:



As the parent of a boy on the spectrum who will someday be a man on the spectrum, I find this both heartwarming and fascinating. And while I will always, always worry about people taking advantage of my son for his lack of social skills, I want him to find love. Deep, loyal, steadfast love. I want him to have the unconditional care and support of another human being in his life. Stories like these give me hope. 

Autism in Love premiers on January 11th - check your local PBS affiliate for airtimes.