Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stop Shoulding On Yourself



I have a friend who shared with me something her therapist told her this week. She was mentioning some of the things she's working on in her life and her therapist remarked that she needed to stop "shoulding" on herself. She keeps saying "I know I should this," or "I should probably do that" and the therapist said, "Listen to you! You're "shoulding" all over the place. You're "shoulding" all over yourself."

This really struck home for me....the woman who "shoulds" a good portion of her life away on a regular basis.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My Kind Of Happy


They say happiness can't be contained
But once in a while
You can strap it in
And happiness lets you drive to the mall

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5 Rules for Parenting My Teenage Daughter


This April, I will have been parenting a teenage girl for two years. If I should survive that long. 

I have put together this partial list of things I have learned. It is by no means a complete list, because I don't have the grey matter to devote to all the nuances of parenting a teenage girl, and because the rules are always changing. Today, they are as follows:

1. A drawer full of clean jeans are useless when they are not "the" jeans. You know the ones she means. Oh, wait. No you don't because you never pay attention to anything. Oh my God.

2.  Making a bowl of ramen half an hour before mom gets home and makes dinner, then turning down dinner, then asking mom to make you eggs and toast at nine-thirty is seriously no big deal. No. Big. Deal. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Resource Monday: Does Your State Cover Autism Treatment? A Helpful Graphic & Info





The article features a terrific animated map of the US that you can mouse-over to see the coverage levels in each state, and the article goes a little more in-depth on some of that expanded coverage (or lack thereof).

For instance, here in Pennsylvania, you can see that ABA and other autism-related therapies are covered until age 21, with a cap of $36,000.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs....



It's Friday! Can I get a "Hell Yeah?"

This week I've got quite the collection. Check out these communicative catastrophes!

Don't dumb around here no more...


A very good point





Thursday, February 18, 2016

Keep Calm And Be A Mom



When my daughter was four months old, she got a very, very bad cold that settled in her chest. It was an incredibly hot and humid August, and she was just not getting better. I called the pediatrician in a panic because her fever still hadn't broken after three days and she'd developed a cough. They agreed to see her right away even though it was a Sunday morning.

The doctor on call was this petite no-nonsense woman, who listened to Anna's breathing and ordered me across the road to the hospital for an immediate chest x-ray. We got the result back and I stood there terrified as she told me my daughter had pneumonia. It wasn't severe enough for hospitalization - we caught it early, thank goodness, and she detailed for me the medicine she was prescribing, the side-effects, other things I could do to ease her cough and help her congestion, etc.

I stood there in silence, nodding and paying close attention to everything she said as I held Anna close, and after giving me a huge spiel, the doctor looked at me very seriously and said:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: She Still Makes Me Laugh


She was seven
The sign reads:
"Free jokes, just knock"
So you knock
The flap came down
And she told a joke
Followed by a uncontrollable laughter
(Hers and yours)
And to this day
She can still make me laugh
Loud and long
No box required



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's The Little Things That Break Your Heart





We had a snowstorm yesterday that turned to freezing rain. The kids were with their father for the weekend, and he brought them back after dinner. 

I had shoveled and salted, but it didn't have much of an effect after several hours of solid sleet. My driveway was a skating rink (on a steep slant) and the sidewalk was a solid sheet of ice. I texted Anna to warn her and I kept watch so that I could help David when they pulled up.

Because David needs help on ice. A lot of help. 

When he was seven, he broke his leg, falling on the ice in the parking lot of his daycare. It was a spiral break - especially painful, and it led to four weeks in a wheelchair and another four in a walking cast and a walker, since he couldn't get the hang of crutches. It was grueling, and understandably not a great memory for him.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Resource Monday: Microsoft's Commitment To Inclusive Hiring Is Paying Off For Those With Autism

Photo Credit: Microsoft.com

A friend pointed me toward this item on the Microsoft blog about Kyle Schwaneke, an employee on the autism spectrum.

Kyle's story is unfortunately entirely too common. People with autism have a high unemployment rate, even though many of them are more than capable of holding a full time job. They frequently do not interview well, and that often sinks their chances before they're even given an opportunity to show what they can contribute.


I'm glad to see a corporation as huge as Microsoft thinking outside the box when it comes to hiring and recruiting. Cookie cutter candidate searches and generic interview questions don't work for everyone - and you may be missing incredible talent because of that. Finding a way to connect with a candidate and allow them to share with your their unique voice and perspective can only make you both better.



Friday, February 12, 2016

Just In Time For Valentine's Day: Cooking Videos You Never Knew You Needed



Valentine's Day is almost here, and you may want to make your beloved a delicious and romantic meal. You scour the internet for just the right recipe, hoping to impress them with your culinary skills. You need a great how-to video that'll turn you into The Love Chef, culinary artist extraordinaire.


These videos ain't gonna do that.

Seriously. These videos will have you scratching your head and wondering if there really are people out there who are too stupid to boil water. They are hugely amusing, though, so settle back, grab a notepad, and get ready to learn how to cook from these experts!

Three Cheese Pizza Blend:



This guy handles cheese in an entirely different way:



Thursday, February 11, 2016

5 Great Movies For Your Hopeless Inner Romantic



I love movies. But I especially love mushy, sappy, occasionally corny, funny, quirky, sexy, steamy love stories. Any or all of those elements are fine. Since Valentine's Day is soon to be striking like a blight upon my cat-driven life upon us, I thought I'd give you a watch list of some of my favorite romances for the holiday:


5. Valentine's Day



Yeah, it's schmaltzy. Even silly. This conglomeration of love stories that end up revealing themselves to be intertwined might make some roll their eyes, but it's got heart and it's got humor, and it's got a bajillion A-list stars in adorable cameos. It's a must.

4. P.S. I Love You



Pretty much anything with Gerard Butler gets a watch from me, but this one....oh the feels. It'll have you roaring with laughter, then sobbing uncontrollably into a couch pillow. The perfect movie about enduring love and taking chances.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mostly Worldless Wednesday: Nuisance Snow





"Nuisance Snow" they called it
Just a few inches
Enough to snarl traffic
And make you have to shovel your walk
And clean off your car
But I stopped in the middle of my driveway
To take this picture
Because it's not a nuisance
To see my tree look like it's in full bloom
With puffy white snow
And the red-gold of the sunset
Hitting it just so
It's not a nuisance
If you a take a minute
To look for the beauty
It's worth it, I promise

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Don't Quit Your Day Job" Said The NY Times Bestselling Author...



A few years back, I attended a writing conference that featured a keynote speaker who was a New York Times bestselling author. During the Q&A period after her talk, someone asked her what advice she'd give to someone who wants to make a career out of writing. She didn't bat an eye.

"Don't quit your day job," she said.

A year later, I went to a few blogger conferences - mind you, this was at the height of the blogger era, when banner ads abounded and not many people were reading on cellphones. There were bloggers giving all sorts of workshops about monetizing your blogs, and while none of them was willing to throw out exact figures, the few who were honest made it abundantly clear:

Nobody was making a solid living off this. Every one of these women (and yes, they were all women) had a husband with a good paying job. Every one of them.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Resource Monday: Empower Autism Features Conference Speakers Who Are On The Spectrum



If you're anywhere near the Carolinas this weekend, you might want to get your ticket for the 3rd Annual Empower Autism Conference. This year's theme: "Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness."

There are many great autism-related conferences all over the country, but what sets the Empower Autism Conference apart is that it features speakers who are autistic self-advocates. As a parent, caregiver, family member, friend or instructor, there is incredible value in hearing those who are on the spectrum discuss the challenges they face daily and from their point of view.

Friday, February 5, 2016

It's Friday - Let's Just Get Happy!



I am celebrating the official end to the week from hell. The kids are on the mend, the house is slowly getting cleaned, and the cats have stopped barfing on the carpet - for now.

So here's a bunch of videos that make me happy for various reasons. Enjoy!

A guy mounts his iPhone to a string, and swings it around his head while he skiis. This is hella cool.



The IKEA Punster:





For those of you who who delight in other people's pain, I give you Rhett and Link taking the Carolina Reaper pepper challenge:




And we'll end with this gem from reader Lori, because it made me smile in a really goofy way.



Have a great weekend, everybody!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Am One Tired And Overwhelmed Mom


I have two kids down now, one of them who's getting a strep test today.

My house looks like someone dropped a bomb on it, I have two very big writing deadlines looming and one lesser deadline gnawing at me.

My bosses are all traveling at the day job, but that somehow means they're sending me more work, and working from home with sick kids calling your name every few minutes is really less than ideal.

I want out of this house.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Dreary, Dreary Day



Raining over the snow
One fever, two fever
Both of them snuggled in my bed
As I look out the window
Tired, but grateful
That we're all here together
Taking care of each other
Guess this is what they mean
By being 'under the weather'

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stir Fry Makes Dinner Easy - And This Handy Cheat Sheet Makes It Even Easier!


I've decided I'm going to try to pass along a good time-saving tip every now and again, because we can all use things that make our lives less complicated.

I've been on a real push to eat healthier this year, but finding time to cook a balanced, tasty, healthy meal is tough when you're a single mom working two jobs.

Tossing everything in a wok and putting together a stir fry takes mere minutes, and you can really get creative with combinations of veggies and sauces. I recently came across this awesome Stir Fry Cheat Sheet with dozens of variations all from a core supply of simple ingredients. This thing is a GODSEND.

In addition to the cheat sheet, I also front-load a lot of the work. Here's how to make your stir fry a piece of cake:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Resource Monday: Europe Is Moving Forward With More Autism-Friendly Campuses



Last week, Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland announced the start of an 18-month initiative geared toward making their campus more autism-friendly.

The program has been developed in conjunction with AsIAm.ie, an autism-support website. The program aims to create a learning environment that allows students with Autism and Aspergers to take part fully in college life.