Saturday, September 26, 2015

Everyday of the Unknown

This morning came across my Facebook page an article titled "My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About" by blogger Bonnie Zampino. (The link is posted for you to read as well) This article truly hits home. Having three children on the Autism spectrum, all with various degrees, I have been through this and continue to go through this. It is hard to comprehend and to process that at any given moment something may or may not trigger a tackle, throw of an object, a hit or an elopement of some kind.

Our days consistent of routines but as we all know things can and do change. Anyone who knows having an autistic child change is a major issue. Changes can cause many things, meltdowns, elopement, screams, crying, behavior changes, etc. With all that said, what about when you are just outside playing and change happens there, then what? Right, then what? Parents are supposed to know their children the best so if your children have behavioral changes then it is the parent's responsibility to ensure everyone's safety. We have had to do this in the past, made several changes with how we did things and how we approached things. Today, our autistic teenager has overcome many obstacles but a lot of road blocks were on the way. He still has things he battles but we just have our routines on how we battle them. Every day is a learning process.

Now being on the spectrum road again, we are figuring out what works though I have not completely isolated us; I have changed how I approach things and what we do. We have stopped going to church (we watch on livestream) as I cannot leave him in the social setting as he needs one and one. Play dates are minimal as it needs to be in a controlled setting. When we go to the park, I am right there like glue making sure there is distance from others. Kids could be playing in the sand including his own siblings and he just grabs and takes, possibly hits and elopes. I am there to ensure that does not happen. Most of the time I am successful but I miss a few. Nobody is perfect and there is a lot of redirection. He is obsessed with balls or just running around so I direct him in those types of things while my other children play other things. Nothing is fool proof but improvising comes in handy, definitely not the mom you see sitting on the bench drinking coffee talking to the other mom about their week or what will be for dinner while their kids are off playing.

Their brains are wired differently.

Truly the kids all can be playing and next thing you know a toy is flying across the room or at your face. I now have things I watch for but I have to say I do not always catch it or see it and things fly. I have been hit many times, many times without warning, the therapist in our home have been hit just out of the blue; the part that is hard is the understanding of why it is happening, there really is none.

Their brains are wired differently.

The kids can be playing and running around and next thing I know, a full running push to whoever is right in front for no rhyme or reason. Once I catch him (I am not very fast now), we talk about it as that is not nice, do I am sorry, we do not hit or push our sissy, brother or our friend, we have done time out, then two second later it happens again. This can happen over and over and over almost as it just does not click.

Their brains are wired differently.

Interesting part he can be sitting, next thing jump up, jump on, jump where ever. If someone was sitting there oh well. It does not matter. If he wants to lay on someone, oh well it is his world and to him that is okay. To see it this on a day-to-day basis, it is not done to be malicious or done to hurt anyone, these actions are done no awareness of social etiquette or social clue. Then factor in the part of high pain tolerance or no feeling of pain. That in itself is an issue.

Their brains are wired differently.

When it all comes down to it, the autism spectrum is wide. Many sides, good and bad but maybe the next time when you hear the screaming child at the grocery store, the child eloping and screaming "I hate you" or the child hitting and running away with the sand toys at the park or a child who appears to be having a tantrum in the parking lot (Is it a tantrum or meltdown? Do you even know the difference?). Maybe think a little differently as this maybe this is the only time they came out to a public setting for the week or maybe the parent had enough courage to try again. I have been there just recently too. I have received the looks, the stares, heard the comments but nevertheless these my beautiful children.

My children brains are wired differently.

GOD BLESS...Until Next Time Make it A Day

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Keeping An Open Ear

At first I went to write about a different subject then upon opening my page another post popped up regarding National Suicide Prevention Week reflecting a kind gesture of thanks to the person who posted. As today being World Suicide Prevention Day, the post struck a chord as over the course of the last couple of months, I have been dealing with someone who has been in such a tornado of emotions that the word suicide has been brought up. Before anyone can say it or think it, yes, a long list of resources for the person has been addressed. I will write nothing more on the person’s situation but I will on my own feelings.

Being on the receiving end of someone who has entrusted their feelings of many or whatever it is at the time, is very overwhelming. I felt sadness, a bit of being scared, anger and at a place of what am I do to. I found myself checking in to make sure all was okay many times. To top it off, a very heavy load to carry.  With that being said, I am also a mandated reporter, though it would not have mattered, I did what I was supposed to do, I reported the information. Plus it is not just about reporting the information, you are finished, and you wash your hands of it. It is about still being there, listening, really listening, providing resources when necessary and letting the person know there is someone just there for that moment in time when needed.

I became that person for that someone. I was now advocating for someone in unknown territory. This was out of my day-to-day routine but GOD entrusted this in my life path and I was going to be there no matter what. I understand truly that you can only do so much for someone. As they say, leading the horse to water but cannot make the horse drink but when you can truly support someone genuinely with their good or bad; things tend to be different. I do not mean doing, giving or helping their bad habits. I mean sometimes it just lending an ear, a text message exchange, a late night email chat; a basic support that they are not alone in our world of everything and nothing. Just a reminder time and time again that somewhere out there, the WATER EXISTS! 

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

College Move-In Day: New Chapter Beginning

Yesterday, I was privileged to watch my baby girl well really not my baby girl; my beautiful young lady step into the next chapter of her life. She moved on her college campus. Just another reminder how fast time flies.

As much as I wanted to be the "cool parent" as they give you the versions in the college orientation, we dropped off her and two car loads of personal belongings, I was good on holding back on most opinions on how to make her dorm room work, did my best on holding back on shedding minimal tears, chalked one up on taking minimal pictures for minimal embarrassment; sum it all up, I was dying inside.

After leaving her dorm, got into the car and the tears came. Not from sadness but from the graciousness that we were her parents doing our job. Sometime good, sometimes not so good but in this instance our child had left the nest to do more in life. This is what we or I had ever strived for. A successful milestone was completed! 

I have to say, I could not experience this with our first born. Yes, he left during the night of his eighteenth birthday as I woke up to a note. He stated he needed to be on his own, independent and referenced we were great parents. Kind of the same thing, right? Did we do our job as parents? Though the note he left stated he needed to be on his own and independent there still is a disconnect still to this day. We did not have preparation, no goodbye, nothing. Nothing ever has been truly communicated about his departure, the issue has been swept away. Well anyone reading this, knows sweeping away issues frivolously only causes bigger piles. With our daughter, my belief was nothing could feel any worse. I had already had felt pain, sadness and emptiness with our first born. So I believed I was ahead of the game and the mere fact that that with our daughter we have been given the opportunity to see her journey to begin to unfold over the last several months. We have been being prepared for this day in many different ways but are we really prepared for the departure? After yesterday, I will have to say, No.

When I woke up this Saturday morning, the house felt different for some reason. She has been gone before but this time I knew she would not be returning today, tomorrow or next week. I did not even have the heart to open her bedroom door. I just looked at the door knob and walked away. I know in my heart, mind and soul this is where she needs to be. Starting her life, spreading her wings of independence, beginning to learn life through her eyes not ours. Succeeding and feeling proud, falling then learning to get back up. Whatever the case, everything will be okay as this is her time to SHINE!

NO matter what age, she will always be our Baby Girl. For now I will keep in her prayer for her safety and guidance thus knowing that at one point her dorm room refrigerator will need something and laundry will need to be done. "There isn't a child who hasn't gone out into the brave new world who eventually doesn't return to the old homestead carrying a bundle of dirty clothes.” ~Art Buchwald


Until Next Time...Make It A Great Day!