Saturday, 29 October 2011

Live, Love, Laugh And Be Happy

Staying in Campbell River has not been easy for me.  My dad and I don't really get along and don't see eye to eye on many things...  for example swearing in front of children...

Dad's big on swearing.  Every second word is an "F" bomb, and he believes he's a man's man, and all real men behave as he does.  Now picture a 240 lb man in his 60's, who considers himself a lady's man, swears like a truck driver and has an attitude resembling that of a cave man.  With a thick European accent.  Archie Bunker couldn't hold a candle to my dad.  That's what I'm dealing with here.  I love my dad, but wow...  Abrasive, rough around the edges...  Loud...  A customer service representative's worst nightmare...

So...  Glen took Dayton fishing yesterday with his Aussie brother in law Iain, the one who presented grandpa's beautiful eulogy...  and fell in the water with his iPhone...  You can imagine the agony.  I know I myself can not live without my blackberry...  The screams of horror. 

So Dayton goes to grandma Margaret and tells her all about how "daddy only worried about his God damned phone." 


All my hard work of teaching Dayton to use his words properly have gone out to pasture.  All done.  Months of work, all gone.  And let's not forget my dad's brilliant idea of getting him a PSP with an army gun game...  Poof!  All my hard work gone straight out the door.  My boy's back to drawing guns and cutting them out.  I'm mortified.  Thinking of keeping Dayton home for an extra week when we get home.  I don't trust him to go to school now.  My dad thinks this is funny. 

So, I'm left with a couple of choices...  Risk angering my dad (please keep in mind that he's 240 lbs, and strong as a bull, and has been known to throw his weight around) which I believe to be physically dangerous, or continue whining that his behavior is inappropriate.  Either way, it doesn't look good, and I have a week to go...

So, in my search of comfort, I've found a poem I'd like to share with you, and I wish I knew who the author was to give them credit, but here it is anyways... 

When you are so sure that someone is out to hurt you, it becomes very difficult to forgive their shortcomings.  It is much easier to believe that people develop clever and malicious ways to inflict hurts on you than it is to accept that they are merely humans doing what humans do.  For some strange reason, it is much easier to take everything very personally rather than to accept people as they are, forgive them for what they do, and release them from our lives.  We know very well how to be a victim.  Being a person who refuses to be  victimized seems to be where we have trouble.

Perhaps it is easier to be a victim, because if we really try to understand people we will see many pieces of our self.  If we see those pieces of our self, we would have to forgive other people.  Forgiveness takes courage.  Courage begins in character.  A good solid character requires a level of self-esteem so many of us believe we do not have.  One way you can enhance your self-esteem is to stop being so willing to be a victim.  In order not to be a victim, we must develop the courage to speak up for ourselves.  The only way we can develop this kind of courage is to be real clear about who we are.  When we know who we are, we will realize that no one can do anything to harm us unless we keep them around and allow them to do so. 

Seems I have some things to think about in regards to my dad, don't I?

Consider yourselves hugged,


Friday, 28 October 2011

Grandpa's Funeral

Wednesday's weather forecast was dull, gray and rainy...  The funeral set for 12:15pm to match with Grandpa Jerry's time of death on Thursday. 

Grandpa Jerry's funeral was short and sweet, just the way the man himself was.  Short, sweet and to the point.  He had zero patience when it came to anything that took too long.  "Say what's on your mind and be done with it already" was his attitude.

Dayton was devastated.  He cried through the whole funeral, making me having to 'keep it together.'  But once the bagpipes came out, I lost it along with him.  That is one thing Jerry and Dayton have in common, the love for bagpipes.  While Dayton can not handle loud noises or music class in school, he loves the loudest instrument of all...  bagpipes. 

It was odd to see Dayton so devastated over her grandpa's death.  The two of them barely spoke, and lived so far away from each other, separated by two provinces and just under 1300 miles...  Dayton seemed unfazed by the news of his grandpa's illness while at home in Winnipeg, but now that we're here in BC, that's all changed.

The poor boy's developed a rash all over the right side of his face, from his forehead to his jaw.  His right eye hurts and is red.  I took him to the doctor's office and he said he had no idea what the problem was.  When I told him that Dayton has PDD-NOS, he had no clue what that meant.  I had to explain it was a high functioning form of autism...  once he understood we both agreed that the rash may be due to stress.  Fantastic, thanks for your help doc.  Benadryl hasn't helped much, telling me it's not an allergy, but at least the Advil is helping Dayton with the pain. 

The pastor had prayed that the rain would stop at least for the burial, and God answered his prayer.  The rain let up just long enough for us to finish the ceremony. 

I wanted to keep a copy of the eulogy Jerry's daughter Monica wrote for her brother in law to read at the funeral, and I thought what better place to keep it than here...  At least I won't lose it, and I can share the beautiful eulogy with you all. 

Well I’m pretty sure that a few years ago Jerry probably would not have expected an Australian giving his eulogy – but here I am. For those of you who don’t know me my name is Iain – Jerry’s son-in-law. I have been given the honor of presenting Jerry’s Eulogy and representing his family – returning the favor just over a year after when Jerry gave the father of the Brides speech at our wedding. First a big thank you to all of you who shared your love, condolences and memories with us over the past few days – it has meant a lot to us and thanks for coming and showing our family that Jerry holds a special place in your heart. And a special thanks to those of you who have traveled from afar to be here and support us and to Brian Shaw, a dear friend of Jerry`s for playing the bagpipes today.

While I have only known Jerry a few years, I feel particularly close having spent some intimate time with him, a relatively large Canadian Elk, and a chainsaw. That certainly was a life changing experience for me – Jerry definitely had his out-of-the-box solutions for things.

Jerry Abraham Toews was born in 1947 in Smithers B.C. At around the age of 5 nearly hung himself. He was playing around an old, scrap car when he jumped off and his collar was caught. He was blue in the face by the time he was found and spent a month in hospital recovering. We have been very lucky for every moment of Jerry’s life as there were several near death events in his life.

Jerry came from a very large family – his father being one of 17 children, some of who are here for Jerry today. Jerry also had 7 siblings who all have a remarkable resemblance to him. When he was around 4 years old he nearly chopped off his older brother Ernie’s finger with an axe and in his early years had his front teeth knocked out by his younger sister Susie during a fight over a hockey stick – perhaps that’s why he didn’t enjoy watching hockey or other related sports? One thing is for certain - he had a special place in his heart for each of his brothers and sisters.

In 1970, Jerry met Margaret nee Bjorklund. In the early days, it was obvious Jerry was very fond of Margaret – so much that one day he wore a very large corsage Maggie gave him. Jerry later married Margaret and spent the rest of his life with her – the next 38 years.

Through marriage Jerry was blessed with 2 sons who he loved very much. Shortly after getting married, Jerry, Margaret, Glen and Dale moved to Campbell River where, to add to their family they had a beautiful daughter, Sheila and only 1 year later, twins. When Margaret was 8 months pregnant they found out they were having not only one but two babies!!! He was in so much shock he did not eat for three days. From then on, Jerry called each of the kids `Brat` - an endearing term to prevent him from getting the kids` mixed up. Jerry was then blessed with 10 grandkids with one more on the way.

Jerry was a very private, strong and proud man. He was proud of his country and British Columbia, which is deeply evident by his love for hunting, fishing and the wilderness. His love for the country worked hand in hand with his job as a truck driver – it provided an opportunity to explore the country, spend time alone, visit family, and take magnificent photos through the windscreen.

But his love for exploring was grounded – he simply refused to fly so he could never visit Monica & Carrie who live in Australia. So when the girls decided to get married together in Canada he was extremely excited.

While Jerry loved fishing and hunting Jerry loved of his family most of all. In his last few months, he wanted to leave Margaret something special – so with some help from Ernie, his son-in-law Mike, and a few others he finally build the extended patio Margaret had been asking for the past 35 years. After Jerry found out he had cancer he decided he wanted to visit Australia and make that commitment – yes, he was going to fly and has his passport to prove it. That would have been a huge milestone for Jerry as he was dead set against flying.

For those that knew Jerry well, also knew he had a quirky humor. Jerry had this humor until the day he died, sticking up a for sale sign with a bold Sold Banner for Margaret`s surprise on her return trip, or asking for a `cute` nurse in a humorous way. Thanks to all his Legion mates who helped play the Sold Banner prank on Maggie – he loved spending time with you, playing a game of pool and having a drink – it would only have been made better by taking away the house rule `ball in hand rule``.
In his last few years, he said that if he passed away he would not regret his life – he loved his life with Margaret and was extremely proud and happy to have his life fulfilled with his kids and grandchildren.

Well Jerry, I can say that you will be greatly missed but far from forgotten – we will hear you in the memories that are stored in our hearts and told and retold to our children. We will hear you each time we hear Alan Jackson or a great country music song. And we are all humming your tune, ``um-hum`. And yes, Jerry, you are here in the eyes of those gather here. I can see you in each of your children, your grandchildren, and your siblings. And I especially see you in Margaret, and in the love she holds for all of us. You have taught and given us so much strength and love that you will never be forgotten.

No Jerry, you will never be forgotten.  Rest in peace. 


Sunday, 23 October 2011

Destination Home

We had a lay over in Edmonton on our way to BC.  During our hour and a half wait in Edmonton, I figured we should probably grab a bite to eat for lunch and maybe have a coffee.  As we sat at a table with our subs and drinks, I glanced over to the table next to us.  There sat two pilots, who gave us a friendly nod and a smile.  One of them turned to Dayton and asked where his destination was.
In his monotone voice used when he's not sure what's appropriate Dayton says:  "I'm going to BC."  Less then a minute later he says:  "Because my grandpa is dying."  He said it so matter of factly, like he was telling someone he's going to eat his sandwich.

If there is such a thing as a 'Stop Button' for conversations, I think that that was it right there.  Astonished into speechlessness, the pilots just sat there dumbstruck.  Slowly, they turned their faces away from us, mumbling something like "I'm sorry for your troubles..."  I mean, what do you say to something like that?

As for me, I was struck by Dayton's way of thinking, his way of looking at things as white and black with no emotion.  The sky is blue, not black...  In my moment of sadness, I couldn't help but wonder if Dayton's missing a 'sensitivity chip' or something.  How can he not feel?  I thought back to my conversation with Dayton's school, where I was told that yes, Dayton had told them about his grandpa dying, but because he was still smiling and carrying on as he usually does, they weren't sure if this was actually the case.  Now I got to see it first hand...

Not only that, but I also realized just how delayed Dayton is...  Dayton is turning ten in February, and he speaks more like a five year old, with that call it as you see it innocence.  If you're a parent and remember your child as a five year old, you know exactly what I mean...  "Mamma, wow!  Look mamma, look!!!  That guy's covered in tattoos and his hair is pink!!!  Look at those chains!"  He's still in that narrow window of life where he hasn't learned the art of tactfulness...

But then we got to Vancouver and got the news of grandpa Jerry's passing...  Glen got the news first directly from his sister.  He was beside himself, crying.  Then I began to cry and couldn't stop.  And then I looked over at Dayton.  I was struck by his smallness...  He was really just a little boy, who either a) finally understood what's happened, or b) got freaked out by his dad and his mom both crying and instead of seeing them on guard, he saw them trying to give each other comfort, reassuring each other that there's nothing they could have done differently...  Who could have predicted how quickly grandpa Jerry would go...  Dayton's dam of tears broke...  and broke my heart further...

Autism...  such misconceptions of people with autism not having feelings...  and I myself almost wondered this too.  My son has feelings, he just doesn't understand them as well as we do.  

Considering myself hugged,


Friday, 21 October 2011

A Dollar Short And A Day Late

We did not make it on time.  Once we got to Vancouver, we found out that grandpa Jerry had passed away shortly after lunch.  Stuck at the Vancouver airport for two hours, crying uncontrollably, all we had was each other.  An elderly lady saw Dayton sobbing and feeling horrible for him, came to ask me what was wrong with my son...  I explained we had lost his grandpa, and she shared with me how she had just lost her husband a month ago...

Shock does not begin to describe what we went through at the airport.  I felt a sense of exhaustion that I cannot begin to put into words or describe.  I just sat, held my son, rocked back and forth more for my sake than his.  I just wanted to go home.  I saw no point in going forth in my travels.  I just wanted to go home.  My facebook friends told me to be strong, to continue my travel to Campbell River as family and friends needed me.  I wondered who would be there for me...

I do not wish to sound selfish when I say this, but I always end up being a care taker of others.  When push comes to shove, there is no one there for me.  My friends always call me when they need something, wanting something or are in trouble.  When I tell them my sorrows, their eyes seem to glaze over.  There are only a few friends that have never done that to me:  mom Kathleen and dad Paul and another friend of mine, but the two of us have a hard time getting together in person.  Speaking of Dad Paul, he is going to come to Campbell River just to be of support to the family.  I know I can always count on him. 

When we got to Campbell River, we drove straight to the family home as the body was waiting for us in the living room to pay our respects.  I wasn't sure if I wanted Dayton to see his dead grandpa, but at the same time, I didn't have the right to make this decision for him. 

Dayton was and still is a trooper.  Yes, he cried, but he was not afraid to be in a room with grandpa Jerry.  He doesn't mind talking about grandpa, but he is sad...

As for the long trip yesterday (eleven hours of travel), Dayton did fantastic.  Hes been a good boy and very comforting.

Considering myself hugged,


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

This Is It!!!

Our last day home before we head out to BC.  We're flying from Winnipeg to Edmonton, then to Vancouver, then finally to Nanaimo.  Flight with layover time will take 7 hours and 35 minutes.  But it ain't over yet.  We have to drive another two hours from Nanaimo to get to Campbell River.  This gives us 9 and 1/2 hours of travel for the day.

The more I think about it, the more freaked out I'm getting.  How will a kid on the autism spectrum make out on this long trip?  But then I think of his aunties and their husbands traveling from Australia to be there with their father, one of the couples with an infant.  27 hours of travel with a baby can't be an easy thing either, so I really gotta pull up my big girl panties here and chill out.  If they can do it, I can do it with Dayton.  I just hope he gets tired and passes out, at least during our two hour car ride.  I can't have Dayton be too cranky when he sees his grandpa, otherwise I'm going to have to wait an extra day to see him.

So...  my plan to keep Dayton preoccupied?  Let's see...  thank God for the guidance counselor's interactive social story!!!  I'm so going to be all over that!!!  We're definitely using the books she gave us on air travel.  Dayton's teacher also gave us some work to do, so I'm packing Dayton's school backpack with all of the work given to us by the school, this way he can not be bored.  I'm going to bring some Uno cards to pass the time during layovers.  Naturally, the iPod touch is coming with us too, as is the Nintendo DSi.  I've gotta find his little MP3 player, it's around here somewhere...  And I cannot forget to buy some gum, and a little wee bit of sedatives for your's truly...

Today will be spent finishing up on laundry, cleaning my home, and packing...  Yey!  You know I'm going to forget to pack something.  There is every reason to believe I'll forget something personal, like my underwear...  What did mamma say about accidents and clean underwear again?

I've got to get Dayton and I for a haircut, pick up our medication and some time tonight make time for Dayton to say goodbye to his buddies. 

We're told Jerry needs help with the simplest of things, to sit up, to stretch his arms and legs, and he's lying in a hospital bed in the living room.  He's surrounded by his favorite music, friends and family.  Communicating has become difficult for him and exhausting.  He's described by one of his daughters as kind, gentle and loving, much more so in the last few days.  While he may not be able to have a long winded conversation, and may only say two to three word sentences, his sense of humor is still in tact, and his witty personality still shines through.  

I do not know how much time I will have to write while in BC, but I will do my best to try. 

In the mean time, consider yourselves hugged,


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Anxiety Strikes Big Mamma

The closer we get to Thursday, the harder I chew on my gel nails.  They're really starting to hurt, I need to go get them babies fixed or yanked off...  I'm dreading this trip, feeling completely helpless and praying we see Dayton's grandpa in time.  Please Lord, hear my prayer!  We've been told to pack our funeral clothes...

It's so hard not to be selfish at a time like this.  I just want more time, you know?  The man's always been good to me, even when I knew he was seriously frustrated with me, especially when we played cards.  He always wanted me as a partner, but Lord knows it had nothing to do with my poker face.  I think he just enjoyed to see me squirm under his scrutiny.  "Lou, you have a partner you know!  Think about what I may have in my hand."  My all time favorite:  "Can you not count to fifteen girl?"  Ahhh yes...  He knew how to make a girl come close to tears.  But underneath that tough exterior, I know that he'd give me the shirt off his back.  There is a sensitive side to Jerry too.  I know he loves us, never had a doubt.  It breaks my heart to think I may not see him alive again.  It breaks my heart to see him alive and in pain.  I'm a mess...

Dayton on the other hand is doing just fine.  Looking at him, you'd never know our family was going through tough times.  This would be autism's blessing.  His biggest concern is getting on that plane, and being bored because he doesn't know anyone there and his friends can't come with us.  Neither can the cat, or his playstation.  "What am I going to do forever?!"  Little drama king...

Dayton's school has been super supportive.  The guidance counselor sent home a couple of books on flying, and an interactive social story for Dayton to present to the class when we get back home.

Dayton's teacher sent us a huge package today, filled with books for Dayton to read, sight word cards for Dayton and I to go over, and lots of writing material to help Dayton learn how to write.  She then called me after school to let me know she doesn't expect us to do all of the work (thank goodness!  I just saw the package!), to do as much or as little as we can, and that we were in her thoughts during this tough time.

I finally got to see the doctor this morning, and guess what?  Good news and bad.  I'm not contagious, so I can visit with Jerry.  Bad news is I have bronchitis and a sinus infection.  Awesome...  Thursday is going to be a super long day...

Consider yourselves hugged,


Monday, 17 October 2011

Are You NORMAL Enough?

If there's one thing that grates on my nerves, it's hearing "Oh, he looks so normal!  I see nothing wrong with him...  You're being too hard on him."

And then Dayton does something that hurts someone.  And discipline is expected.  And I don't wanna give it.  And I see other kids not being disciplined for hurting my son.  And I don't like it.  And the other kids annoy the ever living $#@! out of me.  And the kids actually look for things to get Dayton in trouble.

No, I'm not imagining things.  Before Dayton got grounded, his little seven year old buddy came running in tow with another kid whining that "Dayton picked his nose and wiped his finger on his pants."  Seriously?!  Sitting with his mom, I looked him straight in the eye and said:  "Seriously?!  That's what you came to squeal on Dayton for?  Get out of here!"  His mom, my friend, did NOT look impressed.  Oh well.   I'm tired of the chihuahua barking at my heals, telling me every single time Dayton goes pee, wipes his face, or picks his nose.  Enough already.  Maybe I'm getting fed up with kids in general, or maybe it's the stress talking.  I have been going through quite a bit of stress lately, haven't I...

Anyways...  Yes, Dayton looks normal.  He's a beautiful child, with blond hair and light green eyes, almost blue.  Doesn't change the fact he has autism.  That's why it's called a spectrum.  Dayton fits on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum (diagnosed with PDD-NOS), but less functioning than someone with aspergers syndrome.  He is cognitively delayed, which means it takes Dayton twice as long to learn something, which means he's behind academically, which means he needs more help in communicating, etc...

Maybe I am a little more protective of him than the average mom.  Maybe I am a little more apprehensive of letting him play outside with his friends without me being present.  Maybe I am a little more anal retentive than I should be.  Maybe I intervene too much with his friends in order to prevent a physical fight or melt down for Dayton.

It's even more frustrating when a friend tells me that I'm too involved with Dayton's play with his friends, or that maybe this is just who Dayton is...  it's a personality "thing."

Really?  A personality thing?  Seriously? 

I hate the term 'normal,' but here we go...

Dayton is cognitively delayed, making him academically behind his peers, yet he is normal enough to know it and feel embarrassed enough to have a melt down.

Dayton's communication skills are delayed, and he has a problem expressing his feelings to others, yet he is normal enough to know when his peers are getting annoyed with him, interrupting him constantly so he can't finish telling them what his problem is, which makes him blow up and throw a fit.

Dayton's got swag like his big mamma.  We tend to trip over air, which means he's not very coordinated and he's normal enough to know that the kids are laughing at him.  This makes him not want to participate in playing sports like soccer.

Dayton needs to be explained the rules to a game, or he'll make his own.  If you break the rules, he freaks.  And he's not "normal" enough to understand that people break rules and cheat ALL the time...

Dayton can't handle loud music, it hurts his ears!  He has sensory issues that most of us don't.  What would you do in order to avoid pain?

These are just five examples, there are many more.  But I'm sure you get the idea.

Personality types are completely different from deficits.  Just sayin.  Like my personality...  I'm a giver, a care taker and a fixer.  I have to fix everything and everyone.  If someone's sad, I have to get them to smile.  I'm a people pleaser, and can't stand it when I feel someone doesn't like me.  I mean come on!  I'm awesome, right?!  As a parent, I don't want my boy being looked upon as a trouble maker or a bad kid.  That's my 'personality.'  I know that sometimes I can be overbearing, and that's OK.  I know as I'm doing it that it's something I can continue or should stop and I can.  Dayton on the other hand has no control over his 'personality.'  That's the difference.


Consider yourselves hugged,


Difficult Times Acknowledged By Guidance Counselor

I've been stressed with the latest developments in Dayton's grandpa's health.  It seems things have turned for the worst, and rather than having months or weeks left, he now has days left...  I pray we make it there in time for him to see Dayton one last time.

Trying to figure out social stories and picture schedule for Dayton and prepare him for the trip has been exhausting.  I've chewed of my gel nails, have no idea how I managed that, those things are tough, and my fingers are hurting from traumatizing them. 

Fortunately for me, Dayton's guidance counselor came through with her promise and has emailed me stuff she's sending home with Dayton today, cutting back on my stress level...  Maybe I will have the time to go see my doctor after all!  God bless her!

She's sending home a social story titled an Airplane Trip, a booklet I can use on the plane with Dayton that has three sections in it:  This is me, I felt, I did..., and two story books:  First Flight and Vehicles In The Air.  Thank God...  Dayton was worried about getting on the plane, so this should definitely be a huge help!!! 

Consider yourselves hugged, and pray for us to make it there on time...


Saturday, 15 October 2011

What The Hell?! Is This Resource Teacher For Real?!

If I have an obsession, it's definitely facebook.  I love it, crave it, want it all the time.  It's the reason I carried my blackberry around everywhere I went in the summer time (normally before that, it was because Dayton's school could call at any time and I'd have to go get him).  Now that the school situation has calmed down (Thank God!!!), I continue to carry it around for texting and facebook.  OK, so I have two obsessions.  Anyways...  the point of this post is not about my obsessions, but another mother's venting on facebook last night...  Man!  I can so totally relate as I've had to deal with this kind of crap for two years before this year.  Again, it's hard to believe I'm dealing with the same school this year.  I don't know what's changed, but I am so grateful for the fantastic start to the new year.  I only hope it continues...
If Dayton's school staff is reading this, keep in mind that I love you this year, and I don't want to damage our relationship...   Autism Diva Help is not about YOU, it's about all parents with children on the autism spectrum in Winnipeg, and the crap we have to put up with because of our wonderful government.  By the way, thanks Premier Greg Selinger.  You're such a freaking gem.  Thanks for your non existent support.  We so totally appreciate it.  Thanks for continually passing my emails and phone calls to someone else so you don't have to deal with our kids. 
Naturally, the little girl's name is changed to "your daughter" to protect her privacy.  Other than that, I've copied and pasted the message word for word.  I thank this wonderful autism mom for allowing me to blog about her facebook post: 
my fb msg to resource last night
******, the agenda book has come home maybe 4 times, notes like "bring a hard thing" today she informs me her diorama is due tomorrow- what diorama?!?!?!? ok, so I've got her older sister out looking for ecosystem stuff, she can get a box from the garage (that I didn't let my husband throw away this weekend) and we can put something together quickly this evening...  I cannot keep doing this, I don't know what time she's supposed to be there on shops day, I don't have any idea what her homework is, she's being stalked by **** at ****, **** has issues with her shoes, and tries to trip her on a regular basis, **** is what she is...especially in the gym change room., which we talked about. please stop the freaking madness.

response- Your daughter has been working with the EA's on the research and written component of her ecosystem. Her diorama is not due until Monday. Tomorrow, she will work with the EAs on the diorama itself - we thought this would be easier than having her try and explain the details, assemble the materials and work on it at home. She is not presenting until Monday. If there are "touch ups" that need to be done, we'll send it home with instructions. If not, we'll just be sending home her practice notes for the presentation. We did not put this is in as homework as we thought it made more sense to do it at school.
Kids need to be at shops for 8:45am.
I know nothing about **** - I know he was supposed to be going to ****, but never had this confirmed.
If *** is tripping your daughter, I'll address it. If **** is still ruling the gym room, I know nothing about it and yes we did address it but something has apparently broken in the plans.
I tried talking with your daughter yesterday? - but she was so excited about going to the doctor's, she couldn't connect with me.
I talked with the teacher this week and asked how your daughter was doing and she said all was well.
I will address the madness and touch base with you tomorrow.
if your daughter ever comes home and says something, about which you know nothing, is due tomorrow, exhale , have a glass or red wine (good for the soul and the blood)and say "How lovely!"
I'll try and touch base with you tomorrow.

my response-
a glass of wine while my daughter melts down...sort of like fiddling while Rome burns .. nice thought though

my girl did the diorama (we didn't know she had til Monday until10pm) insisted on doing her presentation today, would have gone on for hours, was very enthusiastic and detailed - while I'm at my therapist discussing ptsd and the stress that comes along with my beautiful autistic daughter....need wine now!! TGIF!!!!!
· · · 17 hours ago
Naturally, I had a response which I will share with you in a moment.  I've linked my name to my facebook page, so feel free to add me as a facebook friend.  Before I share my facebook response, I would like to add my thoughts on this...
What the hell?!  Seriously?!  These people are teaching our kids!!!  And this is how they send a message to a parent?  I especially like the wine comment.  Very professional!  And what the heck do you mean "If this is really happening?"  Are you calling the parent a liar?!  Seriously?!  Really?!  Yeah, us parents, we like to imagine our children being bullied, 'cuz that's just how we roll.  We enjoy emotional pain.  We also enjoy putting our kids through two projects:  one at home and one at school, because we love putting our kids through double the misery.  Yeah, that's right.  We love tormenting our kids.  Thanks for the 'communication.'
I remember Dayton's last year's teacher leaving a similar comment in Dayton's agenda...  It had to do with a self watering project.  Holly crap.  Really?  I'm supposed to help Dayton with a self watering project with no instructions as to how to accomplish this?  If I knew how to make this happen, my plants would not have died!  I'm not kidding when I say I have a black thumb.  Even my freaking cactus bit the dust.  Literally.  And who's homework is this anyway?  Mine or Dayton's?  I honestly thought the school was trying to send me to the freaking loony bin.  I went as far as to go on facebook to beg people for help.  Not one of my 558 facebook friends knew how to make a self watering system for plants.  Anyone who offered help sent me internet links they found trying to help me out. 
Another good note in Dayton's agenda last year was to memorize a poem.  Also, a grading system was included:  does the student make eye contact?  Does he/she speak in monotone?  Does he/she know all their lines in the poem?  Does he/she interact with the rest of the class as they recite the poem?  How difficult the poem is...  
No list of poems to try to memorize, no authors of poems to check out.  Are you wanting freaking Shakespear here or is Mother Goose enough?!  Define appropriate difficulty woman!!!  What d'ya mean eye contact?  Ummmm, he has autism!  He doesn't like to make eye contact!!!  Monotone?  Have you not met my child?  Again, he has autism!  Interact with the children?  AUTISM!!!  For the love of everything holly!!!  Work with me woman!!!  
Fortunately, it all worked out, too long to write about the whole entire ordeal, but Dayton did all right.  "Whew."  He ended up doing jokes AND a poem, again doing double the work because last year's teacher had no communication skills what so ever, and claimed that she didn't have enough time, and I quote "to write a novella" to tell me about all of Dayton's negative behavior.  Yes, her and I were tight friends! 
All right.  Here's my response to the facebook post. 

    • Ljubica Lovrin
      OMG!!! Can I copy and paste this on my blog with of course my opinion, which in a nut shell is WTF? This is exactly the kind of crap I've dealt with for the past 2 years... Lack of communication, and the famous "if this is happening, then we will address it."
      I'm freaking telling you IT IS happening, so freaking deal with it, cuz you don't want me comin down there and layin the smack down on the kid's rootie poo candy ass byatch!
      As for the wine... Right, if the school thought I even sniffed at a wine cork, they'd be calling CFS in a blink of an eye.

      Call the school division's special needs coordinator and demand a meeting to discuss the lack of communication between home and school. Unacceptable!

      16 hours ago via · · 1 person

      Consider yourselves hugged,


Friday, 14 October 2011

Layin' The Smack Down On Their Rootie Poo Candy A...

Normally, I have no problems with Dayton's behavior at home, with the exception of a few typical boy moments that happen when playing with his buddies outside.

We live in a beautiful condo complex that is in a park like setting, with an outdoor swimming pool and two playgrounds for the kids to play on.  We're surrounded by trees, shrubs, and manicured lawns.  We love living here, especially since everyone is so friendly.  We walk patio to patio, joining others who live here for a game of yahtzee or play cards, or simply shoot the breeze.  It's such a relaxing atmosphere, and it almost feels like we're camping in cottages at a resort, minus the maid service and beach.  I've thought of buying a house, but Dayton and I love living here...  I don't think either one of us want to give up the friends we've made and our easy access to them.  All Dayton and I need to do is walk outside into our back yard, and his friends are sure to come out within minutes.  If they don't, we walk ten steps to their door step and ring the door bell.  The moms hang out and have coffee while the kids play.  Living here has offered us plenty of interaction with others, a huge help for Dayton to practice some 'social skills' in the natural animal kingdom outside of school.

Dayton's made three really good after school buddies, and as a result of these friendships, I've managed to make friends with two of the moms, strong friendships that I cherish very much.  One of the boys is the same age as Dayton and goes to a different school, another boy is two years older at eleven years old, and the third boy is turning seven at the end of the month.  With exception of the eleven year old, the rest of the boys are crazy hyper, the youngest also being a wee bit on the 'mouthy' side.  Gives me an insight as to why some species eat their young...  The nine year old friend has been diagnosed with ADHD, and also has had troubles in reading and writing.  The shared diagnosis makes the two of them understand each other very well.  The two of them also get in the same kind of trouble with the rest of the kids...

So, last night, Dayton and the boys were playing hockey outside.  For some reason 'unknown' to the rest of the kids, Dayton grabbed the nine year old's hockey stick and threw it over the fence surrounding the swimming pool.  Of course, the boys got angry with Dayton...  Next thing I know, my boy is climbing the fence...  Holly crap!  Naturally, I lost my ever living mind!  The pool is covered with a tarp under which there is water.  He could have fallen in, and of course I would have made thing worse by jumping in to save my baby...  I can't even think about it, it just makes me sick.

Screaming and yelling and freaking out, I grounded Dayton without waiting to hear his explanation.  Autism or not, impulse issues or not, ADHD or not, global delays or not, I've told Dayton many, many times to never, EVER climb the fence and jump over it.  He's made the attempt before and I've always caught him in the act, but last night it was a friend that caught him, not me.  She called my cell phone to alert me, knowing my cell is attached to my hip at all times.  Dusk was upon us, making it difficult to see...

Freaking out I grabbed his hand and dragged him home, screaming at him how grounded he was and demanding to know what he was thinking, knowing all I would get is "I don't know," his usual answer (which naturally made me even angrier).  Screaming like a banshee, totally freaking out, I told him to go to his room, get ready for bed and hand over the playstation.  Grabbing the playstation, I left him in his room and walked away...  What I really wanted to do was lay the smack down on his rootie-poo candy a$$.

Later on I found out that the nine year old stole Dayton's hard earned cash...  $10.00 to be exact.  The brat took Dayton's two $5.00 bills and gave one to the seven year old.  The seven year old told Dayton about this, and Dayton lost it, grabbed the brat's hockey stick and threw it over the fence into the pool court yard, knowing it was locked and they couldn't get it back.  The hockey stick's owner let Dayton know that he would get in trouble, because now an adult had to unlock the lock on the door to get his hockey stick.  He suggested that since Dayton threw the hockey stick, he should go and get it to avoid getting in trouble.  Terrified, Dayton then risked jumping the fence to get the hockey stick.

Argh...  Dayton still climbed the fence...  Even though I understand now why he did it, doesn't mean he should escape punishment, does it?  Grrrrrr...  The danger is very real.  He could die.  If I don't remain firm on the grounding, he'll do it again, not learning anything from this incident. 

Making things even more interesting:
"Dayton, did you confront your buddy for taking your money?"
"Why not?"
"Because he knew he stole from me."
"Did you tell him that YOU know that HE stole your money?"
"Dayton, does he know what made you throw his hockey stick over the fence?"
"Yes, because he stole my money."
"OK, but you said you didn't speak to him about him stealing your money."
"I didn't."
"Then how does he know what made you throw his hockey stick..."
"'Cuz he knows he stole my money!!!" 

I somehow have to get it through to Dayton that he needs to use his words, not act out...  Two wrongs don't make a right.  Any advice out there???  I could really use some!

It's gonna be a looooong weekend...

Consider yourselves hugged, and yeah, I'm stealing one for myself too,



Aretha Franklin, you so had it right.  All I want is a little respect.  Don't we all?

I can hardly believe I'm dealing with the same school as I had last year.  Dayton is so much happier this year, which naturally means so am I.  He's doing so much more work, and I'm not sure why this year is so much smoother than the past two years of struggle and heart ache.  Don't get me wrong...  we still have a very long way to go to get caught up to his peers, but we've made such wonderful progress on all fronts:  behavior, compliance to work, work production, and making friends by being nice and SHARING.  Holly crap.  I never thought I'd see a report come home telling me how Dayton is sharing at school with others!!!  Wow!  I'm so pleased. 

I've dreaded walking into Dayton's school in the past.  We missed the bus this morning, because it's picture day, and we broke his regular routine by having me put gel in Dayton's hair, brushing it and styling it.  As my neighbor says:  "Oh Mylanta."  Breaking Dayton's routine is like having a freaking root canal.  Needless to say, there was some screaming, some "I hate you mom(s)," and some "argh's" flying about.  Missing the bus meant I had to drop him off at his school...  argh... 

Things have changed.  I tried to walk into the school unnoticed, but the principal and the guidance counselor were standing right there, in the office where I had to drop Dayton off...  and they were NICE.  Even the guidance counselor was nice, and this is definitely new as the two of us clash like Pepsi and Coke.  We're so similar, yet so different.  Both of us are stubborn and believe we know best what Dayton needs, and neither one of us cooperates with each other.  But today was different.

We both smiled, both agreed on how much Dayton has improved this year and she offered her condolences for our family's tough times ahead.  She then proceeded to tell me about this wonderful social story series she's found on traveling by air, and how she's purchased a computer strictly for Dayton's use.  She briefly described her plans for Dayton, and how I would take pictures of our trip and she would help to teach Dayton to put all the pictures into a power point presentation to show his class his travels and his stay in BC.  How awesome is this?!  I am absolutely thrilled!!!

Respect.  That's it in a nut shell.  For the first time in two years, I felt respected by the guidance counselor, and I finally felt she had respect for my son.  In turn, she has earned respect back from me.  I now see her as a 'guidance' counselor, and see her guiding not only Dayton, but also me.  And the time I'm going to save having her do the social stories...  Priceless!


Consider yourselves hugged,


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Morning Drill By Sargent Underpants

It's one of those mornings where I have unrealistic expectations of my morning coffee, again...  I AM SO TIRED!!!  I'm stressed, I'm still sicker than a dog with this terrible cold (almost three weeks of coughing is enough to drive any woman insane), doing my best to help out my friend struggling with addiction, and worried about Dayton's grandpa Jerry and praying to God we make it home in time to say good bye, while still praying for a miracle.  It seems my life has become much more busier than it had while teaching at the college...  How does that happen?

Crawling out of bed on four hours of sleep because I've been up till 2:30 in the morning due to my ever persistent cough, I stumbled into the kitchen to make a coffee while thinking up of an excellent TV commercial for Tim Hortons:  A man drives through the drive through and makes three large grunts.  A happy, chirpy voice comes through the intercom:  "Yes, sir, an extra large double double coming right up!"  Ummmmmmmm...  What I'd do for a Timmy's coffee right about now!!!

I somehow make it to my Tassimo machine with eyes closed shut, still sleeping yet awake just barely enough to find a vanilla bean coffee diskette...  Ummmmmm coffee...  The aroma of vanilla bean brewing makes my mouth water...  and then:  "Mamma!  Breakfast!"  Just like that, my morning romance is over.

Sleeping in is not an option in my house.  Dayton gets up at 7 am, rain or shine, snow blizzard or hail, school day or not.  His internal clock has no "off switch."   I'm thinking the least he could do is wake up with a smile on his face and cuddle up to me, but nooooo...  He's even grumpier than I am in the mornings.  Maybe my vision of the Tim Horton's commercial is actually a preview of Dayton as an adult!  I'm tempted to get him a double double right now!

Our mornings have evolved somewhat since toddler hood, however things are still in a rigid, self imposed schedule for Dayton on weekday mornings.  For some reason he has a whole other schedule for the weekends.  Mind you, so do I.  I cover his window with a black blanket on the weekends, praying for an extra hour of sleep...  I'm gonna have to pray harder.  When we're out visiting someone over night, he's totally awesome, and when we go camping, he actually sleeps in!  Why are weekdays so horrible for us (me)?!

So, our weekday morning schedule (I say our, because I am very much involved, whether or not I'm awake, sick or stressed) always begins with "Mamma, breakfast." 
"Excuse me?  Aren't we forgetting something?"
"Please."  You'd think he'd just say it, it's the same freaking argument every morning.  I bring his royal highness his cereal and his medication. 
"Fairly Odd Parents mamma."  He grabs the remote and switches the TV channel to YTV.  I'm so sick of YTV, and if it wasn't for my coffee, I'm sure I'd have thrown the TV out the window by now.

7:30 comes around, Fairly Odd Parents is finally over, and I tell Dayton it's time for a shower. 
"OK mamma, but when I'm done, if I'm still hungry, can I have some more cereal?"  I don't understand why he asks this question, as we never end up having enough time, and he never asks for more cereal when he's done his shower. 
"Yeah babe."
"Tell me when I've been in the shower for one minute."  I don't think I'll ever understand this request either.  What difference does it make?  I'm tired, let's just get this done and over with...  ugh!  But as always, I'm too afraid to rock the boat, so I give him my usual response:  "Yes babe."

"Dayton, you've been in there one minute!"
"In about eight to nine minutes he comes out, dries off and runs into the living room naked, looking for the clothes I always have to get ready for him while he's in the shower.  He gets dressed, then he watches the end of SpongeBob SquarePants, another cartoon I'd rather not have seen...  Then it's time to go out and wait for the school bus.

"Dayton, get your shoes/boots on."
"Awwwww...."  (I'm not kidding, EVERY MORNING!!!)
"Dayton, you put your shoes on the wrong feet!  Fix it please."  (I'm not kidding, EVERY MORNING!!!)
"Awwww."  Seriously, every morning.  Why are we not learning from these incidents?!  How I wish I could just tell him to 'get ready for school,' but he wouldn't know where to start.  I have to give him one instruction at a time...
"OK buddy, time to get your jacket on."
"Awwwww...."  No joke.
"Put your back pack on babe.  Let's roll."
"Awwwww..."  Argh.

"Mamma, let's play red light, green light."  How I hate this game.  He doesn't play fair.  I always lose and spill my coffee on myself.  I do my best not to wear white shirts in the mornings.

And then I see the bus.  Wooooohooooooo!!!
"Bye babe, mamma loves you!"
"Awwwww..."  I'm gonna take that as I love you too mom. 

Consider yourselves hugged,


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Cancer... I Hate You

I've  been busy avoiding this post for the last few weeks, but it seems I have no choice.  The time has come.  We're facing some difficult challenges in the next few weeks.  Cancer.  I hate that word.

One of my favorite people on Glen's side of the family, his father (and truth be told, Glen's dad is my favorite person on his side of the family), has been diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lungs.  No surgeon will operate on him, and he's lost so much weight...  I'm struggling with the decision to go home (B.C, two provinces away), knowing that I'll push everyone out of the way and fight my way to him to take care of him...  Upsetting everyone in my way, I'm sure.  I just don't trust anyone to do it right...  You know what I mean?  I'm like that with everything in my life.  And even though he's not my dad, I just want to do right by him.  I don't want to see him suffer, and I desperately want to help him...

I've tried to discuss this with Dayton, but he's just not old enough to understand.  I suppose that's a good thing.  Unfortunately, I'm a little testy...

So last night, my son tells me "I'm afraid of going on an airplane mamma."
"Babe, you've been on an airplane before, many times.  You loved the airplane rides!"
"I don't want to go on the plane."
"Babe, you're gonna love the plane ride, trust me."
"I said I'm not going on the plane."
"No, you said you don't want to go on the plane, and I'm telling you that we're going on the plane, you're going to have a good time flying, and I'll be right beside you."
"But what if the plane crashes?"
"Mamma's gonna wrap her arms around you, and if the plane crashes, it will hurt me, but you will survive."
"Whew.  OK."

And I'm thinking "OK?"  What do you mean "OK?"
"Babe, do you not care if I get hurt?"
"Yes, but I care more about me."
"Only ouch for you, not for me, you promised."
Double ouch.  What the hell?  I'm really trying hard not to get hurt by his words, but man!  Seriously?!  Does he not love me at all?  Ugh!  He's just like his father!  No, wait, I don't mean that...  Is he like his father?  I've got bigger problems than I thought...

So, after booking the flights, I'm gonna be busy getting picture schedules ready (thank God for the iPod touch), social stories ready to get Dayton prepared for the change of scenery and different faces, different routine, two hour time difference...  what else am I forgetting?  There's so much to do!  These circumstances are difficult enough to deal with without the autism, I'm not sure how I'm gonna make it through this.  I wish I could take my respite worker with me, but someone's got to stay behind and look after the damn cat.  Ugh.  

I'm going to be greedy this time, and consider myself hugged, just this once.  Hope you all understand.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Autism Moms Have Stress Similar To Combat Soldiers

When I read this article, I honestly wasn't all that surprised...

First of all, let's face it.  Those of us with kids with any kinds of special needs, especially the type that alters behavior such as ADHD, we just don't get to rest-period.  We're on alert 24/7, with no escape.  Even during work, we're attached to our cell phones, and I've even heard of parents having pagers especially in case their child's school calls to come and collect their babes.  Personally, I've experienced the side effects of this stress and ended up taking a medical leave in February due to to the stress of continually having Dayton's school call nearly on a daily basis.  Thank goodness this is not the case this year...  so far.  I keep waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop...  I pray again that I haven't jinxed myself in this post, but it seems Dayton's teacher 'gets him', and so does his educational assistant.

I remember a time where I had an alarms system installed not to keep intruders out of my home, but to alert me when my babe tried to escape in the middle of the night.  Why he would try to escape me makes no sense...  I mean, I'm a gorgeous babe I tell you!  And I'm a super cool mom, always hugging and squeezing and kissing my baby right in front of his buddies.  'Cuz I'm cool like that and that's how I roll!

I did find it interesting that the article is titled "Autism Mom's" and there is no mention of "fathers."  I have met (via facebook and Autism Diva Help) two fathers who are very much involved with their children.  One of them is actually a single parent, who also is taking care of his two nieces!  God bless him, as two of the children are...  wait for it...  drum roll please...  TODDLERS!!!  It takes a very, very special man to undertake such a responsibility.  How many fathers are single parents, never mind taking care of their nieces on top of it, with two girl on the autism spectrum?  I can hardly wait to meet this dad in person!  He makes me ashamed for whining of my problems with one child...  Forget Superman or Batman...  This dad is my new favorite hero. 

"researchers say that parents need better respite options and flexibility from their employers..."  Yes, wouldn't that be nice.  Unfortunately, I don't see employers bending over backwards to make accommodations for parents with special needs kids.  They have a business to run, and time is money.  Missed time at work equates to loss of revenue not only to the parent, but to the employer as well.  And as far as respite goes...  I've been on a waiting list for two years now.  If I can't find a respite worker of my own, I go without a break, and so does Dayton.  Lets not kid ourselves...  the kid desperately needs a break from me.  As "cool" of a mom as I am, it appears that my little man thinks I'm "embarrassing."  Like when I expect a hug and a kiss before he boards the bus to go to school, dressed in my jammies and house coat, with my hair in curlers...  Then running after the bus screaming "mamma loves you baby!!!" and all this is on a good day!  I'm not going to describe myself on bad days like the past few weeks where I was sick with the flu...  It's just not pretty.  The run behind the bus resembles more of a zombie dragging its sorry carcass...  You know things are bad when your nine year old demands you "put your face on" before picking him up from the bus when he gets home from school...  

I wonder if this is what Charlie-Anne (my step daughter) referrs to as me being "over protective..."  Meh.

Consider yourselves hugged,


Saturday, 8 October 2011

This Thanksgiving, I am Grateful For...

All I can say is THANK YOU LORD!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  Did I say thank you?  Because I am one grateful mamma!

I've been so terribly sick this week, I think I need to go in and see a doctor.  I've been practically bed ridden, functioning long enough to keep Dayton safe, fed and smiling, that's about all I've been able to manage.  As soon as I get Dayton out to school, I end up back in bed.  As a result of this, I've had little to no energy to help Dayton study for his spelling test this week, and as I've mentioned in my previous post, I've felt terribly guilty...  But then, something happened.  Dare I say it out loud?  My babe is no longer a baby...  He's a boy.  I smart, responsible, young boy...

Friday came and I dreaded picking Dayton up after school.  I honestly didn't think he would do well on his spelling test, and that he would come home crushed.  Prior to this flu I'm battling now, we would spend at least an hour memorizing five words...  An hour of tears and frustration every evening. 

My babe, sorry, young boy came strutting off the bus with a huge grin on his face.  "Mamma, I got an A, not an A+, but I got an A."
"Huh?  You got ten out of ten right on your spelling test?"
"No, but I got an A."
"I did good mamma!"
"Show me babe."
And he did.  Boy did he ever.  The boy got eight out of ten words right.  Seriously?!  Holly crap!!!  My babe (OK, so it's gonna take a bit to get used to not calling him a babe anymore) done good!!!  Without my help!  WOW!!!

I don't know what's happened, I mean this is a kid who couldn't read or write last year, other than his name.  He had some sight words, don't get me wrong, he had some words memorized, but he never spelled a word in his life!  And here he is, doing it without me!!!

So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful to our heavenly father for hearing my prayers.  Thank you Lord for giving my son the chance to learn.  Thank you for giving us a teacher that cares.

Now let's talk about my health...

Consider yourselves hugged, and have a fantastic Thanksgiving day. 


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Fat Like Me? Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Liked KFC? Don't Cha...

Ahh yes...  at its finest!  A mom came up on facebook telling us how her son this morning heard the new song by lmfao, "I'm sexy and I know it" on the radio, then proceeded to repeatedly sing this one line for an hour.  Made me choke on my coffee, remembering some of Dayton's finest moments.

For those of you not familiar with the term "echolalia," it is the automatic repetition of vocalizations made by another person.  Echolalia is a common thread with kids on the autism spectrum.  The repetition can happen once or last for hours.  Typically done a the most inopportune time.  Sometimes embarrassing, but mostly funny, at least with Dayton.

Scene 1:  Dayton just heard the song Don't Cha by the Pussycat Dolls.  You know the one:  "Don't Cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me, don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me, don't cha, don't cha..."  Ahhh yes...  He liked the song so much, he memorized the above verse just by hearing it once.  Dayton kept singing the verse over and over and over again...  Oh my God!!!  What if he sings it in front of the boys at school?  What will they think?  They're gonna make fun of him and call him gay, I just know it.  How the heck do I combat this?!

Here's what quick thinkin' mamma came up with and started singing...  "Don't cha wish your boyfriend was built like me, don't cha wish your boyfriend liked KFC, don't cha, don't cha." 

I got a few giggles from Dayton, and pretty soon he joined in with me.  Whew!  Close call!!!

Scene 2:  Remember Aqua, and their song Barbie Girl?  Oh boy oh boy...  I mean, how could you not memorize the lines of that song?  It's so much fun!  And the tune is catchy, geared towards kids, but not really meant for their ears.  Dayton:  "I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world, life in plastic, it's fantastic!  You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere..."  OH MY GOD!!!  Dayton was only five at this time, so no school bullies to worry about.  But I couldn't take him anywhere for a while.  Quick thinking mamma wasn't smart enough to come up with anything.  Furthermore, he had JUST started talking!!!  All this time begging him to talk, I wasn't about to tell him to stop!!!  Ugh!

Scene 3:  My all time favorite.  This was bound to come to light, so you may as well all hear it from me.  I have a nasty habit.  I am a smoker.  There, I admitted it.  I enjoy a cigarette.  Benson and Hedges Deluxe, 100's.  Ma'bad.  Far from perfect me is.  And I like to eat, A LOT.  I don't like to exercise, which is why the first thought to Dayton's Scene 1 that came to me was "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was fat like me, don't cha wish your girlfriend liked KFC, don't cha..."  But that still wouldn't fix HIS problem.  Anyways...  I'm a smoker, not a heavy one (oooh, no pun intended, bazinga!), but one none the less.

Dayton and I found a TV show we both enjoyed watching together called The Big Bang Theory.  You must have heard of it, it's freaking hilarious!  I swear Sheldon has asperger's, and he totally reminds me of Dayton.  Dayton's made a connection with this character and hangs on every word he says.  For those of you that have seen the show, do you remember the episode where Sheldon has to hold a secret for Penny?  The one where Penny lies to Leonard, telling him she attended a community college because she wanted him to think she was smart?  And then Sheldon not being able to keep a secret, takes cold medication to knock himself out because he can't sleep.  Well, in this episode he was so medicated, he uttered to Leonard:  "Mamma smokes in the car, Jesus is OK with it, but don't tell dad." 

Just at this time a law was passed making it illegal to smoke in your car with a child in the car with you.  Not that I ever thought it was a good idea to do it in the first place, law or not.

We're sitting at the supper table with friends and family and all of a sudden, completely out of context, Dayton says:  "Mamma smokes in the car, Jesus is OK with it, but don't tell dad."  The table goes silent.  Dayton repeats himeself again, and again, and again, and again...  Everyone looks at me without saying a word.  All I can say is thank God for PVR's.  If you don't have one and your child gets hung up on echolalia, you definitely have to get one and KEEP THE RECORDINGS!

I ran to the TV, found the episode and played it for everyone.  We all had a good laugh, tears of relief spilling down my face.  Whew!

Consider yourselves hugged,


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Top 10 Snappy Answers To Annoying Comments About Autism

I'm too sick to be blogging right now, but felt so guilty for neglecting the blog, I thought I should dig this one out from my facebook account.  Someone had sent it to me a while back, so I can't take credit for it, but it's a good laugh!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

If you're a parent with a child on the spectrum, you've probably responded to the same annoying remarks and questions a thousand times. Here's a handy list of responses that...  you'll probably never use out loud (but are fun to imagine using)!

1. He can’t be autistic -- he can talk! (or make eye contact, smile, engage)
And yet, amazingly, he’s still autistic! Y’see, autism is a spectrum disorder, and that means …

2. Oh, she must be SO good at math! (or science or music)
Actually, her great talent is in memorizing and reciting lines from Sponge Bob videos! (Or those annoying Thomas the Tank Engine songs!)

3. All he needs is more discipline, and he’ll get the message.
Yup, it’s true -- if you give a child enough time outs, he’ll just stop being autistic. And if I speak French to you loudly enough, you’ll become fluent!

4. You poor thing, it must be so upsetting to have a child with a disability.
Yes, it can be hard. And pity really helps me to get through the day and feel better about myself and my child. So…  thanks so much!

5. Will he be able to go to college (or get married or hold down a job)?
Hm. Good question. By the way, has your daughter’s divorce been finalized yet? And I’m so sorry to hear that your son was recently laid off from his job…

6. I have a friend whose child was autistic, and she cured him!
Wow! So I guess she’s enjoying the millions she made after figuring out how to cure autism? I bet her second home is a yacht!

7. If she can’t behave properly, you shouldn’t BRING her to the grocery store!
Wow -- that would be great. Should I fax you my grocery list, or send it by email? I’ll really enjoy the delivery service!

8. We can’t include him in typical classes, it wouldn’t be fair to the other kids.
Hm, that’s an interesting perspective. So I guess you have a pretty big endowment to pay for all the law suits? That must be great!

9. We can’t accept her at our school because she doesn’t have a learning disability
Ohhhh… what a shame! Oh, wait, look, she’s suddenly developed dyslexia! Can she come to your school now?

10. You should make more time for yourself!
You’re so right! So will you be babysitting tonight or tomorrow night?

Courtesy Lisa Jo Rudy's blog. is a part of the New York Times Company.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Soooooo Sick...

Ugh.  Flu season struck early in my home.  It seems as though since the first school day of this year, I've been spending my day time hours popping cold medications, knocking back DayQuil shooters like a morning alcoholic and taking random naps.   Unfortunately, I've developed another horrible habit...  My sinuses have become so congested, I'm beyond Kleenex and steaming showers...  I need a plumber's snake.  Maybe I'll just stick to alternating between the Drixoral and Otravin nasal sprays...  Seems a bit less dangerous.  Yes, I confess, I've become a nasal spray junkie.  I love my Drixoral nasal spray, and get down right irritated and itchy if I can't find the bottle for my next hit.  Who said being sick couldn't be fun?

My afternoons are reserved for Dayton.  Getting him home from the bus after school is always fun.  Dayton doesn't care that mom's sick, it doesn't even phase him that I am so hot, I wear my tee-shirt and shorts outside in the mornings while he's bundled up in his sweater, jeans and a warm jacket.  By the time he gets home from school, I'd better be ready to rock and roll baby.  This was not the case yesterday...

My babe got off the bus, and he looked so sad!  He looked ready to cry!  When I asked him "what happened buddy," he just dropped his back pack and jacket, sat on the pavement and said "mamma, I'm sick.  My tummy hurts."

I picked my babe up off the pavement and gave him a piggy back ride back home.  After settling him on the couch with his cat, I ran back outside to get his jacket and back pack.  By the time I got back, Dayton was begging for "medicine mamma...  Make it go away."  My poor baby!

I held and rocked my baby, cuddled him tight to me and watched cartoons.  I'm a cuddly kind of gal, and I relished every moment of the cuddles.  We didn't even look at his back pack.  Didn't do homework, didn't study our spelling words for Friday's test.  We just 'hung out' and cuddled.  And it felt sooooooooo good!!!

For those of you with kids on the autism spectrum, you know what I'm talking about.  When do we ever get to cuddle with our kids?  For those of you with kids not on the spectrum, let me tell you.  Almost NEVER.  Almost.

The only time Dayton allows me to cuddle with him is when he's sick.  He really doesn't feel well if he sits beside me long enough for me to wrap my arms around him.  These moments are so rare!  As a mother, I want to cuddle with my baby, but my baby doesn't really care to cuddle back with me.  So, I steal these moments with my son, and while I don't wish harm to my babe, don't want him to be sick, I also cherish the moment of intimacy with him.  Does this make me a bad mom?  I hope and I pray not.

Of course, being born a woman and a Catholic, I didn't stand a chance...  I feel guilty, not only for enjoying my son finally cuddling with me on account of his having a sore tummy, but not doing his homework, and I cat breed true by doze.  Today doesn't look much better.  Ugh.  Oooh, I know, a good shot of DayQuil, a squirt of Drixoral and a nice nap will make it all better!  Oh, and maybe a little gravol to stop today's visitor, Mr. Nausea...

Consider yourselves hugged,


Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Woman's Week At The Gym

Yes, I'm afraid this post has nothing to do with autism at all.  I had read this a long time ago, and found it in my notes on facebook, and thought it fitting to share.  I have gained way too much weight since my tango with the kidney stone, and now it's time to get rid of the weight.  I hate exercise.  I mean I really, really, really hate exercise, and I really, really, really love to eat, except for anything healthy...  So, I need a good laugh to keep me going.  Hope this puts a smile on your face for the day... 


This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, my Husband (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.
My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skilful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!
Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the he11 would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other sh1t too.
A$$hole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny b1tch to find me.
Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.
I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anaemic, anorexic little aerobics instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

For those of you in the same boat as me, consider yourselves hugged!