Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, July 29, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Badly Placed Advertising


It's Friday, folks, and as you read this, I am sitting on a beach, loaded up with muscle relaxers because I was in a 5 car pileup on Wednesday night, starring as "Car #2". 

Yeah. It's been a month. But I've had this beach weekend booked since December and I'm not missing it. I deserve a beach, and I'm going to have a good weekend anyway.

And to usher you into yours, here are some very, very badly placed advertisements. Enjoy!

Yeah, maybe not the best tee shirt to advertise, there...


Thursday, July 28, 2016

I Wish I Had Known A Grandparent


I grew up a military brat, and as such, we moved a lot. I mean whole lot. It was heartwrenching leaving friends behind and starting over again and again as a kid, but the adult in me now recognizes the benefits I got from it, too. I saw places all over the globe, I met people from other cultures, I learned to find the commonalities with a whole new group of kids and that's a skill I've carried into adulthood.

One of the downsides of that, though, is that I never grew up around a big and loving family. My parents both benefitted from that - they were one of six siblings each, and their families all live geographically close to each other. Visiting the Colorado or California relatives was always a little dizzying - tons of cousins who'd grown up around each other, getting passed around the aunts and uncles, marveling at the play of DNA across our faces and bodies and hair colors. And of course,  there were the grandmas (my grandfathers passed away when I was very young). Each was different from the other, but still just as vocal in their exclamations of my size, my beauty, my resemblance to this one or that one. 

I didn't know them much beyond that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Don't Listen



When they tell you that you won't be able to do it
Don't listen
When they tell you that you won't find time
Won't be noticed in a sea of other people
People who want the same thing you do
When they tell you the odds are so far against you
And you can put your energy someplace better
Tell them to piss off
And do it anyway
Do it because you love it
Do it for you
And to hell with them all
Sing loudly
Drown them out
Don't listen

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let Me Tell You About My White Black Friend



Over the weekend, a fried on Facebook shared this amazing post by Patrick Knight, concerning the way his white friends knowingly and unknowingly perpetuated racism when he was around. So much of this resonated, but I particularly got hit by this passage:

"It's also messed up to introduce me to your other friends (whom I've never met) as "the whitest Black guy you'll ever meet." I've never met this person. They've never met me. But thanks to you trying to make what seemed like a harmless joke (to you), this stranger not only now has a pre-conceived notion of how I might behave or think, they also now have implied permission to call me the same thing."

As a person who works in corporate America, and has worked for a few large global companies with people of many diverse races and cultures, it pains me to say I've heard this exact phrase many, many times. Not just at work, but at outings, in my neighborhood, and hanging with friends. We white people think it's like giving our stamp of approval, or something. It's okay. He's practically one of us!

How nauseatingly arrogant.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Resource Monday: Stimtastic Makes A Wonderful Line Of Jewelry and Toys For People With Autism

Today I want to introduce you to Stimtastic - an amazing online store that sells jewelry for people with autism! Necklaces and bracelets like the one above carry pendants that can be chewed (if the person has an oral stim fixation like my son), and they also carry pendants, rings and even earrings that can be fidgeted with, spinning and making sound - not truly noisy, but things like ratcheted and spinning rings. Here's a video of their ring products:

Friday, July 22, 2016

All Signs Point To Friday - Let's Have Some Fun




It's FriYAY and I am less than a week from a hotel on the beach. Praise the Lord and pass a margarita!
Let's get this weekend rolling ahead with a laugh, courtesy of sign-making people with something to say.


This copier has some stories to tell...





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What Grinds Your Gears? Tell Me About Your Confluence Of Irritants



I have a very good friend who refers to a series of annoying events as a "confluence of irritants." I am adopting that phrase to apply to the last month of my life, because it fits so incredibly well.

I had a big book deadline looming, and my laptop got swamped and killed by an annoying kid at a campground (not mine). Then I finally turned the book in and decided to tackle the Jurassic-Park sized weeds in my yard and trim up my hedges and boom! Poison ivy everywhere. Add into that the garage that replaced my dead alternator with a bad alternator (covered under warranty, but still an irritant), my bank being bought out (necessitating the changover of every website account that has my old debit card, every online bill pay setup, etc.), a beyond summer-bored teenage girl and a pre-teen boy with a massive head cold that is now settling in his chest and I have had a wonderful trip to irritation land.

Monday, July 18, 2016

People With Autism Have Empathy - What A Surprise! (Said No Autism Parent Ever)



When neurotypical people think of people with autism, they get two distinct pictures in their head: Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man, or Sheldon Bateman from The Big Bang Theory. They're genius savants with no social skills and a distinct lack of empathy and the ability to feel and express emotions.

While it's true that people on the spectrum don't always process those emotions like neurotypical people do, that doesn't for a second mean that they don't feel them. I want to share with you this article from Scientific American that goes a lot more in depth into the fallacy behind the stereotypes about autism and feeling emotions. The article discusses alexithymia, or the inability to self-identify emotions, something found commonly in people on the spectrum.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dancin' My Way To A Weekend - Let's Have Some Fun On This Friday!



It's a beautiful summer weekend, my poison ivy is almost gone and life, my friends, is good. So slip on some dancin' shoes and watch as these people get their groove on!

This kid leads a dance team like a boss!


Check out granny - she's still got some moves!




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back In The High Life Again...Once I Stop Scratching



I was at the grocery store on Saturday, picking up some odds and ends...eggs, bread, Lunchables for the kids to snack on, cereal....diuretics and Ivarest.

Because I have a wicked case of poison ivy. One of the worst my doctor has ever seen, or so he says. That's what I get for doing all the yardwork I've put off while I was finishing a book. Anyway, it's all over my arms, some on my shins, and a scattered patch on my torso here and there where I've carried it over while scratching myself in the night. I've tried every over-the-counter product, baking soda paste, oatmeal baths, apple cider vinegar, but this stuff is hanging on with a vengeance. I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor and he gave me a high-dose steroid prescription and I'm making slight improvement now. The diuretics are keeping me from swelling to impossible sizes because that's what Prednisone does to you.

So anyway....

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dollywood Amusement Park Adds "Calming Room" For Guest With Autism

Photo credit: WATE/Knoxville


A visit to an amusement park should mean family fun for all, but when you have a family that includes a child who is overwhelmed and overloaded by the sounds, the lights, the smells, the motion of the rides, it can be a very difficult thing to navigate. One amusement park has decided to make it a little easier.


The room features a teepee that children can crawl inside for some alone time, calming ambient noise, and a variety of items commonly used in autism-related therapy that the children would be familiar and comfortable with. Lights are dim, sound is low, and it gives a child and their family someplace to calm, recharge and regroup before heading out into the noise and the crowds again.

Several families have written letters of thanks for the use of the room, and Dollywood has now influenced other parks to look into implementing calm rooms of their own.

I think this is such a wonderful idea - I only hope we can see it become more widespread throughout theme parks in America and all over the world!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Happy Friday - Prepare For The Puns!





It's Friday! And my friends (I call them that while making big finger quotation marks in the air) have been loading me up with puns these last few weeks. So I'm going to share a few choice morsels:





Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Observed 24 Hours Of Social Media Silence....And It Didn't Kill Me


Yeah, yeah, I know...some of you didn't even notice. I'll tell myself that's because we were coming off a holiday weekend, but come on...I'm not exactly carving this blog out between red carpet affairs and weekends in the Hamptons.

I just had to get a book finished, and due to a series of really unfortunate events (and by that I mean a dead MacBook Air and a wicked case of poison ivy eating me alive) Tuesday was crunch day. I didn't post or check anything anywhere.

Which is radical when you run 3 Wordpress blogs, 2 Tumblr blogs, 1 Google Blogger Blog,  3 Twitter accounts, 3 Goodreads accounts, 4 Facebook accounts, 2 Instagram accounts, and a partridge in a pear tree.

All while working a full-time day job that has ramped up significantly in the last couple of months.

Yeesh.

But the good news is, my debut YA novel will be in bookstores on February 7, 2017 and you can already pre-order it on Amazon. Book two of that series is now in the hands of my editor and all is right with the world. If you want to Like my FB author page or follow my author blog or follow my author Twitter account I would be really, absurdly grateful. Book 2 of that series (which I just turned in to the editor) will be out after that - don't have a pub date yet but I'll keep you posted.

I'm going to spend the weekend growing back some gray matter (hopefully), de-weeding a lawn that looks like Jurassic Park, and then I'll probably have to nuke my house from space for safety's sake instead of attempting to clean it. But the book is done. Hallelujah.

Onward and upward....

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: What Dreams May Come


He texts me at 6am
From his father's house
Just making sure
I don't like to see him afraid
But I'm afraid
Because I know 
Forever will come someday
There's no getting out of that
For either of us

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Time For This Breaking Report....



Sorry for the radio silence yesterday, but I honestly just could not write one more post that ended with "F**k Cancer."

Yeah, it was that kind of day. And he was an amazing human being with a loving wife and young daughter and the world is a lesser place without him.

And that's all I want to say about that.

But today is Friday - a holiday Friday if you're in the USA! - so we're going to keep it fun with this collection of newscasts, sure to pull a laugh out of you.

And speaking of laughs, how about this guy: