Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Excerpt And Giveway For "David And Me Under The Sea"

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RU8D5AC

Yes, you read that right! April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, so this Saturday, David And Me Under The Sea will be a FREE Kindle Download at Amazon.com!

David And Me Under The Sea is a chronicle of ten years of life with autism, and how profoundly my son's diagnosis has changed me - in many ways for the better.

Here's a little excerpt - a chapter about expectations and growing out of them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: You Never Forget The Way It Felt


Every person has a moment in their life 
When their mother put them down 
And never picked them up again 
She probably didn't notice at the time
But she'll feel it later
Oh yes, she'll feel it later





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

See Something, Say Something - It Means More Than You Know




The kids and I spent Easter Sunday and yesterday in our nation's capitol, taking in the museums of the Smithsonian. With all the terror attacks recently, Homeland Security has a new campaign called "See Something, Say Something" to keep us all aware of the potential dangers around us. The signs were all over the place.

I had no idea how very spot-on those signs were.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 15: The Fallen And The Forgiven



Tonight we start with the Cruellamobile, racing along the streets of the Underworld, and Henry in the passenger seat, having sneaked out without anyone noticing he's gone. The kid has not one, but two mothers, he's in hell with horrible people who want to harm him, and nobody seems to notice he's out and about. Alrighty, then.

They're racing along looking for a signal, because according to Cruella, Henry (as the newly crowned author) can sense the broken pen. Like a horcrux, or something. They pull off and trudge through the woods, and the Apprentice suddenly appears to warn Henry about resurrecting Cruella.

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The apprentice cautions Henry that he's merely a recorder, not the person who should be writing the stories. He tells Henry to get the key from the sheriff's office and head to the Author's mansion, where the quill will be hidden. The only way he can move on is if Henry makes the right choice. But no pressure, Henry.

Meanwhile, over at Emma's Underworld house, she gently leads Killian to the couch to tend to his battered face.

"Hades knocked some of the handsome out of me," he tells her.

"No one's that powerful," she quips, then uses her magic to heal him. Just as she's about to go in for the lip-lock, Killian pulls away and thousands of Captain Swan shippers gasp in abject horror.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Time For Another Edition Of The Daily News




It's Friday of a long weekend for me and oh, do I ever need it! So let's stop with the whining and get with the laughter as we catch up on today's daily news:

This is what happens when you hire a Dad to write your headlines:




Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sorry I've Been Off-Schedule Lately...



I'm updating this blog at 10:20 PM. Not my usual schedule, I assure you.

In fact, I usually blog everything on Sunday, and schedule it to post, but this last weekend I was beating my head against a wall of writer's block. If you've been following my author blog for the upcoming YA book, you know that my manuscript is done.

Well, it was almost done. My editor came back with a few tiny tweaks and one big thing that unfortunately was going to change the ending a bit. Not in a way that seriously altered my story, but it created some ripples that I had to figure out how to address.

For some reason, it just wasn't coming. I was brain-fried. And stressed. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Texts That Make My Day





He's just recently discovered that his iPad can text
He's been video-chatting for a while
But texting never appealed much
I guess he saw the other kids doing it
And now he wants to
So I get texts like this
And he gets to practice conversation
And fine motor skills
And social interaction
And I get to chuckle
And remember how I once wondered
If he'd ever be able to do stuff like this

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Holy S**t, Does This Mommy Need To Curb Her F***ing Potty Mouth


From the time I was old enough to know what bad words meant, I have sworn like a sailor. This was problematic in my teens, as I was raised Southern Baptist and attended church five days a week, but I was smart enough not to do it there. At school, though...as long as I was out of earshot of a teacher, I held nothing back.

College as a Theatre major meant nothing was sacred (except rehearsal time) and my friends and I elevated swearing to an art. I still love a well-crafted obscenity. Then I entered the professional world and guess what? People swear in the office a lot more than you think they would. We're just smart about who we swear in front of and make sure the office door is closed.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 14 Recap: I Guess Only The Dead Get Closure



Tonight we begin with our beautiful battered pirate and the deliciously horrible Hades. Killian refuses to play his games and chisel his friend's names into the headstones, so Hades sends him off to solitary, via a boat on the wretchedly eye-raping CGI River of Lost Souls.

Across town at Gold's shop, Pan has left Rumple a note telling him to take the shop (while he's busy on his other TV show, I'm guessing) and reminds Rumple that his offer still stands.

Rumple moves to a boiling cauldron where he drops in a twig, and eye and holds a crystal ball over it commanding it to show him "what he wants to see." The ball shows Belle having pancakes with a dwarf at Granny’s - which upsets Rumple so badly that he drops the crystal ball and it shatters. Well, can you blame the guy? You know what they say: once you go dwarf, you never go back.

Resource Monday: Researcher Wendy Chung Tells Us What We Do And Don't Know About Autism



Dr. Wendy Chung is the director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, which does both basic and applied science to serve people affected by autism spectrum disorders. She also directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University and uses advanced genomic diagnostics to explore the genetic basis of neurological conditions.

In this informative TED talk, she gives us an overview on what we've learned about autism, sorting facts from misinformation.



Dr. Chung's work is keeping us on the forefront of autism research and potential therapies, examining genetic and environmental factors, as well as the efficacy of various therapies. For a more detailed look at some of the research, check out this page at the Simons Foundation Website (links are at the bottom).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Signs Of The Times





It's the most wonderful time of the week - Friday! And in keeping with our search for fun going into the weekend, here are some signs to point you in the right direction:
Oh, Alabama....
Seriously, Tim? Seriously?


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Just A Couple Of Shares For This Fine St. Patrick's Day


If you were to ask me about my heritage, I'd tell you I'm a mutt, like most people here in the good old American melting pot. Truthfully, though, I've got more Irish heritage than anything, coming down through both sides of my family. You can see it in my fair hair and eyes, and my pale easily-sunburned skin.

I've always wanted to visit, and this year, it finally looks like it might be a reality. I'll drink a Guinness and have some decent tea and probably spend a stupid sum on cable-knit sweaters and stuff that's green. And I'll breathe the air and touch some buildings and stones and walk on streets that can measure their history in millenia instead of centuries.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Cooper, You're A Stand-Up Guy


We went out for pizza
And he saw you the second we stepped in
Shouting your name (too loudly)
Everyone looked
He said, "That's Cooper! From school!"
And then he told me he was sitting with you
I stood there, unsure
But you smiled and greeted my son
Motioned to the seat across from you
And under my semi-watchful eye
You ate together
And talked together
And laughed together
And when it was time for you to leave
You carried his soda for him back to my table
Told him it was great talking to him
Told him you'd see him tomorrow
And he turned to me and said
"Me and Cooper, we were talking, just like guys do."

Cooper, you ate a slice of pizza with my son
But it was so much more
And you are so much more for it
Thank you

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Who Are You, Really? Find Out With These Five Online Tests



It's a dreary, rainy day here and I'm more than a little miffed that I had to put away the sandals I was wearing last week and break out the boots and scarf again. Anyway, I'm a grumpy curmudgeon from the change in weather, and I thought it might be fun for us to pass some time getting to know ourselves. To that end, here are five tests that can help you along:

 1.  The IPIP NEO-PI. Also known as the granddaddy of all personality tests. You can find this test on a variety of sites, but this one is really in-depth and gives you a great overview. According to them, I'm open to new experiences, more than slightly neurotic and I want to be left the hell alone most of the time. I'd call that accurate.

2. Reading The Mind In The Eyes. This test was developed by a prominent autism researcher and tests your "theory of mind" by seeing whether you can recognize the intention of others based on seeing nothing but their eyes. I scored a little above average on this one, and as an autism mom, I found it kind of fascinating.  I had David sit with me and do it, and he came out in the low single-digits (no surprise).


Monday, March 14, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 13 Recap: Zero To Bandit Hero


Tonight, we begin by heading down to the depths of hell where we finally, finally (!) see our beloved pirate, looking gorgeous despite his battered and bloody face.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 10.02.52 PM

A young woman (who has to be Meg since we know we're meeting Hercules this episode) warns him against escaping due to the three-headed dog lurking in the shadows. Hook valiantly distracts the monster so that she can get away but not before he begs her to find Emma and tell her where he is.

Up on the surface, Snow is on a casual stroll through the Underworld graveyard and notices so many graves from her father’s kingdom. She’s feeling like a failure for not having protected them. David asks her to help Emma track, and even invokes the name of Bandit Snow to get her to agree.

On their way out, Snow spies a headstone that she find especially troubling: Hercules. Apparently, Herc is a mysterious man from her past and now she’s determined to find him and help him finish his business. “If we save him he can save us,” she tells David.

Resource Monday: The Top Sports For Kids With Autism





I've been getting more and more concerned about David's weight lately, and about his activity level in general. I'd love to get him involved in sports, but the truth is, he's very oversensitive when it comes to physical contact - a ball hitting him, a trip and fall or another player bumping into him would end the game for him and disrupt it for the others. So I have to look into sports that might permit him to be part of a team (because he loves to be part of a team) while minimizing physical interaction.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fun On A Friday - A Great Big World Of NOPE




What a yummy way to start your Friday, right?? Taste that deep-fried goodness!

Ahem.

Anyway, in keeping with our fun-on-a-Friday theme, here's a whole bunch of NOPE to ease you into the weekend. Let's kick it off with this charming doll made from lobster parts:


Not that fond of lobsters, you say? How about crabs? Migrating?


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Inquiring Minds Want To Know: What Food Is Your Downfall?


Yep, that's it. My Kryptonite. Frosted Cherry Pop Tarts.

Not Strawberry. Cherry. And get right on out of here if you're the kind of person who eats their Pop Tarts unfrosted. What the hell is the matter with you people? Why even bother?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Busy Doing Nothing



If I am ever reincarnated
I want to be a cat
I want to sit on the back of the couch
And contemplate the possibility
Of perhaps eventually
Maybe getting up off the couch
I want to sleep all day
And play all night
I want to be loved and cuddled
Whenever I feel like it
And freeze someone with a death glare
When I do not
Knowing they will forgive me
Because I'm so very cute
It's good to be a cat


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Daughter Asks: Does It Worry You? Getting Older?



My daughter and I were talking the other day about growing up and growing old, and she asked me a very interesting question:

"Does it worry you?" she asked. "Getting older?"

I mulled on that a moment. I'm not afraid of growing old and dying - that's all a part of life and when the end comes, there's really not much I can do except strap in and take the ride.

I worry about getting ill and needing help someday. I worry about losing my independence, or worse, my cognition.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Once Upon A Time - Season 5, Episode 12 Recap: See You In Hell, My Friends

100

Holy cow, it's here. It's finally here! The endless hiatus is over, and we are packed and ready for the highway to hell!!

We begin with Emma waking up in her VW Bug on a street in Portland, and we all let out a girly shriek as we see Neal pop up in the back seat in a wonderful callback to S2.

100K

He's warmth and love personified as he warns Emma not to go to the Underworld. He's in a better, but vague place (let's not get into dogma, here, we're trying to run a show) but he felt he had to come through to try to talk her out of this trip to the Underworld. She tells him no, and then wakes up in Charon's boat.

We land in the Underworld, which, as we all already know from the teasers looks like a dilapidated version of Storybrooke in sepia tones.

Resource Monday: Field Training For Police Officers Who Encounter Individuals With Autism



One of the many worries I have as the parent of a child on the spectrum has to do with David's lack of communication skills. He has a hard time comprehending any large chunk of conversation - his mind has to digest all the words being thrown at him and then he has to decide which words you want him to act on.

If he has to do this at a time of stress or anxiety, it becomes all the more difficult. David also (like many people on the spectrum) has no filter when it comes to the things he says. He can sometimes be inappropriate without even realizing that is.

All it would take is David being in the wrong place at the wrong time answering pointed questions the wrong way, and he could be staring at an officer who's ready to take action.

Friday, March 4, 2016

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


It's Friday, folks. Whoo hoo! Here, have a laugh at these news-worthy items.

 Calm down, Grandma.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Just A Thank You To My Readers






So many of you reached out to me after yesterday's post, through personal messages and comments, to let me know I shouldn't be doubting myself and to let the jerks not bring me down.


I love you for it. Please know that.

And I feel honor-bound to state for the record that the jerk who was peeing all over my happiness wasn't the ex. Strangely enough, when I told him about the book deal, he was really, genuinely happy for me. And very, very gracious about it.

The hardest part about somebody not seeming to give a crap about your happiness or being utterly un-enthused by your success is when the jerk is not, in fact a jerk, but a family member that you love very much.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Enough



This isn't a rant
Or a passive-aggressive barb
Just a simple observation
More for me
Than for you
I know you're not reading this anyway
So here it is
I believe in me
And I'm not going to waste
One more second of happiness
Wishing that you did, too

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bring Me A Higher Love....For Myself



I know I've mentioned that in my past, I did some acting. And singing.

And once, more years ago than I'll cop to, I entered a "Star Search" type competition called "The Great American Screen Test." I tried out in both the actress and spokesmodel categories, made it to semi-finals in both, and then they chose me as a National Finalist in the spokesmodel category.

Fifteen men, Fifteen women (all young, gorgeous women but the men were all ages. I didn't question it then but now it makes me roll my eyes) and we were given an all-expense paid week of modeling workshops, wardrobe and makeup support, and at the end we filmed our very own screen test.