Thursday, October 31, 2013

When Special Interests Lose Their Appeal

 I see my special interests like trees. Some grow big, and strong, and some only make it to saplings, grown out of a seed of another tree.  My interest in psychology, for instance is a mighty oak who has grown for about 20 years. It has spawned many other saplings in it's time, but none have outlasted the tenacity of the psychology interest.

Autism is another that is related, but not on the same tree. It's been around for almost 8 years now, and is strong, and been by far my most compelling interest, as it has a lot to do with my everyday life.  Some of the branches on that tree include this blog, and my Inner Aspie FB page. They're definitely a part of my interest, but they're not the totality of it.

Sometimes, I out of nowhere I will decide that I have had enough of a special interest. This might happen to a short term, or long term interest. Sometimes, how I know if I am about done with an interest is I begin to not enjoy it as much. It's not exactly that pronounced, though. I might become moody, and edgy.  I have that nagging, something needs to change feeling.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#Autistic Inertia

I have erased, and began again on this page. I look at the blinking cursor as I try to get my thoughts out, but none are quite what I want to convey. I imagine this blockage would be worse if I were having to actually speak, instead of type. So many thoughts in my head, and emotions building that I can't quite articulate any of it, and it's seemingly stopping me from doing anything productive.

I call this phenomenon autistic inertia. I may be not even be enjoying whatever repetitive activity that I am doing, or thoughts that I am dwelling on, but they are looping in a manner inside my brain, and freezing my body in a way that I can't seem to break free from.

I know that I should do something else. I know that I have tons of things that need done. I know I am behind, and should get moving. I am aware of the time. The clock is making me nervous,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ouch! That Hurt My Ego!

In my last post I talked about not only fearing, but expecting rejection, and another recent post I spoke about feeling almost depressed, and needing a break.

I think I see a pattern here.

In sharp contrast to me almost rock solid confidence in the recent post about letting go of preconceived notions of limits post I wrote just a few weeks ago I see a decline in mood. I see a decline in energy, which shakes my confidence up, leaving me feeling like maybe I don't got this.

I'm noting my ego is easily bruised by things that I usually would just let slide. I'm sensitive. My physical body is ill. My stomach is in knots,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Expecting Rejection-How can I stop?

Last night Hubby, and I went out on a date, as we do most Friday nights. I know that is like a dream for most parents, much less special needs parents. I am aware of how lucky I am to have this opportunity to go out for a few hrs child free with my husband. However, it rarely ends well, or is even enjoyable.

Last night was another failed attempt. It wasn't a total waste, but it wasn't all that fun, either. We can't seem to find anything to do that we both enjoy in the time frame we have to fill. The sitter gets to our house at 7:30 and we have to drive 30 minutes into town, and be leave town by 11 PM or so. So, that leaves us with * PM-11 PM for eating and whatever we decide to do. That's roughly 3 hrs. The issue is filling those hours, My husband doesn't drink, and I don't like movies. Nothing is open for shopping, and such that late. Museums, and other places are closed. So, unless you want to be in loud, places with loud people there is not much left to do. Parks are okay, but not terribly safe to be sitting in late at night.

My mood is our biggest barrier. I get excited about going out. I look forward to it, but then once we are out around people I just want to go home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bean's First Speech Session

Today was Bean's first session at the new speech clinic. It went pretty well. When we arrived the SLP was just finishing up with another child, so Beans, and I waited in the waiting area. It's an open floor plan, so he darted out of the waiting area, and into the offices some as I tried to corral him. He loves to push the levers on the water cooler. He does not like to drink, or collect the water, but just to play with it. Getting Beans to be still in waiting rooms has never been easy, and as long as he isn't bothering anyone, or in their way I see his moving around to be a sensory need, so I let it go. Hubby, and I disagree about this, but that is my way.

In any event, it went pretty well. She first had him check his schedule, which he did not like. It was the same
type of picture to picture schedule we used to use. I am hoping that that is not something she wants me to continue with at home, because I don't think he understands the whole picture thing, and he tries to eat them whenever he gets the chance. I think we had talked about using objects before, which I know that he did understand when we used them at home. We ran into the same problem, though with him wanting to rip them up every chance he got.

The first thing she wanted to do was read 'Good Night Moon' which Beans was not wanting to even try. I had to sit down before he would go to the book area, then he sat on my lap while she read.  She had him point at things, and turn the pages. It wasn't his favorite activity, which I figured it wouldn't be.  I was actually glad that he came to sit with me, and would participate when I was helping. I know it seems ridiculous, but he never has much response to me, so I never really knew if he cared that much about me being around. He definitely proved today that he does.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Processing Change & Almost Depression Days

Today is going to be one of those days where I need to keep moving, even if I don't want to. I will have to push myself, as I can feel the energy, and optimism slowly creeping out, as darkness, and self-doubt creep in.

These days are processing days. Days that I need to do, as my mind processes all that has happened recently. That is how my brain works. It often downloads in the background as I do other tasks. Kind of hard to explain, but much like a computer updating software. I take in lots of info, but it doesn't quite 'download' right away.

It takes a lot of my energy to try to take in a lot of new changes, and information. This energy has to come from somewhere. For me, it often comes from my mood, and forsakes efficient cognitive processing for daily tasks.  Mostly my mood, though.

Days like today are days long with dysthymia.  Dull, color faded, melancholy days that are drawn out. I make myself keep moving through it, because if I sit, and think too long that negative voice gets too loud to block out.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quick Points for Effective #Autism Advocacy

Since Beans school incident recently I have become all that much more aware of how school improperly handles children with needs they don't understand.  I am seeing a re-occurring theme that I find so unsettling.

It's the over-correction, under-supportive, non compassionate, non empathetic way that schools often view, and treat our children.

It seems so common that I find most parents don't even notice it.  They just see the way their child is treated as the way it is.  It doesn't have to be. Most find what happened to my son to be appalling, but what they don't understand is that if their child is being restrained at any point in their day that could easily be their child.

I have written a lot about behavior supports, and such, and will include those entries at the end of this entry for a reference to those that may not have seen it. As a quick reference, here are some points I'd like people to remember when dealing with the school, and autistic children.

* If your child is struggling in any way with school personnel, and behavior request a Functional Behavior Assessment. Don't think that it would cause too much trouble, or think that just because a certain para is working with your child that they'll be okay. Don't let the school make you feel that they're doing so much that you should be grateful, and not ask for more. That was the biggest mistake I made, by far.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What If I Can?- letting go of the belief that I am limited

There are events that occur in our lives that change our path to something radically different in just a few minutes, or hours.  Last month, one of those life changing events happened to my family.

When Beans came home from school hurt on the 10th of last month my journey as a mother took a sharp turn.  I pulled everything to a halt, as I searched for answers as to what happened, and what I can do to help Beans get the education he has a right to receive.  I didn't count on the odds being stacked against us. I didn't anticipate so much hostility from the people that are supposed to educate my child, and have his best interests at heart. The shocking amount of covering up for each other, and adversarial nature of all involved was a life lesson I wish I never got.

As my biggest fears were realized in this situation I realized something else. I realized that my biggest, most tallest fear was that I was incapable. The way in which I underestimated who I am, and what I can do is by far my biggest weakness, and my biggest fear producer.

I realized that in this moment of adversity I could fight it, and get stuck on the part where we are the victim, or I could move forward on this path that I have been suddenly thrust upon.  I began to see the new situation, and the new found path as a journey full of opportunity, borne of unfortunate circumstance.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Next Chapter- #autism and #injustice

If you're unfamiliar with the entire story you can get up to speed here  and  here .

I'm sitting in a blissfully quiet house sipping coffee, contemplating my day, my week, and what to do next after a devastating outcome to what appears to be the final meeting with Bean's special ed provider at school.

I was not able to persuade them to allow Beans to go to another school. They stated it violates Least Restrictive Environment, due to the other structured learning room being further away than the one he was attending. I know that there will be 20 comments about how I can fight that, but their wording, and their reasoning doesn't have to make sense. I had 2 of the best advocates in my entire state helping me through this. If there was a way to fight effectively against our special ed coop they would have done so. If there was words to use, and ways to fight that wouldn't be wasting my time, and money they'd have jumped on that opportunity. The fact is, our local special ed coop is run pretty much like our government. We all know they're not doing things right by the people, but there isn't much we can do. We can take it to the courts, where their friends, and acquaintances work, and there is rarely ever a judgment in the parent's favor. Government agencies rarely like to step on the toes of other agencies.

With that being said, I am of course going to go forth with reporting the misconduct of the whole situation to