Monday, December 30, 2013

Is Acceptance becoming a lost art?

It seems to me that as of late Acceptance has become one that is getting ignored. It seems it doesn't matter what you are, this need to tell people what you think of them regardless of who you are is astonishing. In the past couple of weeks the internet has exploded with this thought process, well if you don't agree with me or you are different from me you must be inferior.

Not saying that we all have to be friends, but the point of accepting someone's thoughts and opinions or uniqueness and moving on has become a lost notion. You can agree to disagree or ignore a person that you don't like. I am finding that social media has become the gladiator type arena for people to take bashing one another to a whole new level. You have to ask yourself what is the point? Most of them its random stranger pitted against random stranger.

I think what worries me is that when you are in a certain community and there is need to bash some one for their thoughts and questions or their uniqueness. I see this a lot within the Autism Community. A Community that screams acceptance and fights for it, but yet within it's walls can't accept those who are in the confines of it. Either it has been a page, who is set up to provide information about Autism and Advocacy blasting those who ask questions, protecting the very people who attack those who happen to come upon this page with inquiries. Or its a personal attack on those who have discovered something about themselves. But it is truly sad that a community that wants Acceptance from the World, can't even accept their own.

It doesn't just stop there. The past couple of weeks have seen internet debates that include Military retirements to Duck Dynasty. My religion is better than your religion. My political side is better than your political side. I can't make a point about how Reality TV has skewed the priorities of this country without religion and politics being pulled into it. It wasn't  about religion. It wasn't about who you voted for. But that turned into a shit storm because people thought religion was being persecuted. Back to my religion is better than yours mentality. Back to the whole question of "Why can't we just accept that others are different and move on.."

Personally, I have always been a fairly open minded person. I don't care if you are Gay, Straight, Autistic, Neuro typical, Republican, Democrat, Hindu, Muslim or Christian and so on. I care when you don't accept me for who I am. You can disagree with me, that is fine. But move on. Respect the fact that even though I don't agree with you, I have accepted who you are. Don't bash me for being who I am because I don't conform to your idea of what is right.

Acceptance is becoming a lost art.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Embrace the Suck.. They have no idea.....

What does it say about a country that can ask it's military to go off and fight its wars for them, then turn around and take the hard earned retirements, benefits and services away from their own troops, but yet refuse to take a pay cut themselves to help balance a budget?

I feel as if once again this country's proud military is getting thrown under the bus. Its like this vicious cycle. But no one, not one of them sitting high and mighty in Washington, want to take the blame. No one. I get that this country overspent. We do all do on occasion. But the biggest difference is, is that most people when they do that they own up to it. Yeah I fucked up. Most people don't sit there and blame other parties.

So yeah, you are damn right that people are angry.You bet that the military is looking at the actions of Washington, and thinking WTF? How dare you ask us to sacrifice our lives and our families to do a job that none of you are willing to do while you mess about with our entitlements. You are damn right that if you put yourself on the front line protecting this country, you should be entitled to something.

Embrace the Suck? Nancy Pelosi? Really. You have no idea how much that makes you sound like a callous, ignorant, insensitive person. You have absolutely  no idea, not one iota of what that statement means to the ones you are screwing over. You have never had to fight for anything like your pay, retirement and services you receive for being a Politician. But yet your statement stings. Until you know the full meaning and impact of what your words mean, don't sit there and tell us to "Embrace the Suck." Because if you did, you would never have uttered those words to the American People. The people that got you to the place you sit now.This goes to all those who thought that this budget deal was ok. Remember those who put you there and how you are throwing them under the bus to save your ass.

I urge you all to please if you support our military and the job they do to protect your freedoms, please contact your local government officials.Let them know you stand with this country's Military.

Thanks again Washington for yet another fantastic way of showing you support your military. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

So this is Christmas....

So this is Christmas....
And what have you Done?
Another Year over...
And a new one just Begun....

Its remarkable that there are some songs out there that can touch your heart and trigger emotions. For me its John Lennon's Happy Xmas, War is Over.  Originally it was a protest song for the Vietnam War. It now has become a standard on most Holiday albums. For a lot of people it is just a song that comes on the radio along with all the other Holiday cheer.  For me, it makes me wish that all those who have loved ones deployed this Christmas could have one day where War was over. Just for one day.

I, like many other families are missing those who matter the most this holiday season. Many of us would love for conflict that has taken our loved ones away to stop. But in order for us to maintain peace or for peace to happen, our loved ones are the ones trying to do it. Most of us, we know that when we do have our loved ones with us, its makes the holiday extra special. But its not always possible.

We try our best to get through the chaos of the season. I won't lie its hard. No one will truly understand what its like to stand in line at the Post Office mailing off packages with APO addresses, making sure the customs forms are filled out properly. Boxes filled with all the goodies and love you want your loved one to have while off in a far away land. Just a little touch of home. Not everyone is going to understand the sadness you have when you are trying to make spirits bright for your children, but yet you are dying inside. Nor will people get it when certain songs  trigger emotions while in the mall or grocery store. But like we always do, we soldier on.

Holidays are always hard on Military Families with deployed family members. As it is a continued reminder of the sacrifice we all make.Be easy on the mother who is struggling to hold it together while running her errands. Or to the father who is trying desperately make sure his daughters are looking pretty. Or to the spouses who just miss that special person they would love to kiss under the mistletoe. Also be joyous for those who continue to make sure you have your freedom. Freedom to worship this season in your own fashion, regardless on what faith they are from.

So wouldn't it be nice if the War was over and people could be at peace?

I think John Lennon was right on so many levels. Just Imagine :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A simple Holiday Request.

Its the Holidays. I get it. We all do. Its been quite evident since the beginning of September that the Holiday season is going to be upon us.

In the world of Autism, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season means something all together different. The noise of it all can be overwhelming to our sensory sensitive children. While we shuffle about trying to get our presents wrapped and shipped off or our holiday parties planned. I often wondered how our little ones get through the chaos of it all.

For me I find it hard when you have a child that doesn't understand the concept. No fault on them. Just that Santa Claus and all of his elves are foreign. Or that the lighting of the Menorah is too much for them. In this world that is so critical of others its hard to maintain a level of cheer this holiday season.

We have a love/hate relationship with Christmas in this house. I love everything to do with Christmas. But my ASD kids don't. My daughter hates everything to with Santa. The even thought of him will spark a meltdown. . Its not the crowds or the noise that bothers her, but just the very thought of him. Pictures, ornaments, you name it we can't have in our house.We don't even do the Elf on the Shelf, as the thought of an elf that spies for Santa also sparks an autistic "Hell No" To her and maybe the Church Lady from SNL he very well could be the devil himself. But that isn't the sad part. Its the reaction from people who see the panic in her eyes or the fear they hear in her voice when she says " No Mommy, No Santa.." We get the " Oh what a silly thing to be afraid of.. " or " No one can be afraid of Santa Claus..." Its like everything else when it comes to publicly parenting your children. The looks and the comments.

And with my youngest son, the lights and sounds of the holiday are an overload. You can't walk into a store or a mall without lights blinking on and off rapidly or the Xmas music blaring at decibels that would wake the dead.  People wonder why he vibrates out of his stroller or carts. Or why he chews on his wrist like a cannibal. Its called over stimulation. And 85% of people will not know what its like to live in a world where your senses are magnified. Holidays are hard enough at times to get through, the added scrutiny certainly doesn't help.

So this is what I ask this holiday season. Its a simple request. I wish people would be more accepting. I know that more malls out there are doing Sensory Safe Santa. Which I think is fabulous. But for those children that Santa is really not their thing, don't sit there and question it. Don't make the child feel guilty because they have no desire to talk to the Jolly Old Guy. Its not their fault. Its just who they are.  Make them feel that its ok not want to participate. Holidays should be celebrated without the added pressure. It should be about love, support and acceptance.  So the next time you see a child that is scared of something, ask yourself...

How you feel if you were in a room by yourself with the one thing that terrifies you?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

When They were Young...Remember Them.

When they were young.. they were just beginning their lives. Many of them were not even of age when they enlisted. But they had made the choice to sign up and join the war effort. They wanted to do their part. They wanted Patriotism to flow so strongly to that it echoed from shore to shore. They were too young to realize just what they had signed up for. They left most of them boys, but they came back Men. They left most of them girls and came back Women. These are our Veterans.

My Maternal  Grandfather was 21 when he left for WWII. He had just married my Grandmother in 1942. His first ship he was stationed on the HMCS Achates, it sunk off the coast of England after only 10 days after he began his service. He was put on the HMCS Haida. The the Fightingest Ship in the Canadian Navy. He worked in the boiler room. I remember my mother telling me that he used to have nightmares about his experience. As he got older he shared his stories with me. He was so proud  of his time on the service. Every November 11th, he would honor his fallen shipmates at the cenotaph. A tradition that was instilled in myself. I was fortunate to visit the HMCS Haida when she was moored in Lake Ontario. It was an honor to be where my Grandfather had once so bravely fought during Operation Overlord. I remember being overwhelmed with emotion that day. As this was part of me. This was part of my family's history.

As I sit here and write this, military service is still alive with this family. With my husband currently serving and deployed, we will never forget those who have served before us. Veterans regardless with what ever conflict should have our love and respect. Political,religious and civil differences aside, these men and women deserve the upmost respect. They volunteered their lives to fight for freedom. Remembrance shouldn't be limited to just one day. We must continue to learn about the wars of past. We must listen to those who share their stories. Many of our WWI and WWII Vets are dying. Many of our Vets are facing poverty and illness due to the ignorance of others. 

I would like to say thank you. Thank you to you,our Veterans. You are so valuable to what makes us who we are. You have helped shaped the course of history while paying the ultimate sacrifice. You came home from war, broken and in need of love and support. We as a nation need to make sure you are taken care of.  Thank you to the families that quietly served at home. Without you, there would be no one to love and support our retuning Veterans. Your sacrifice doesn't go unnoticed. I thank those who have come before me. 

In the end, thank a Vet. Not just on Remembrance Day or Veterans' Day, but everyday. They are the most deserving people of your gratitude and love. On November 11th, we honor those who didn't come home. We put their spirit in our hearts and never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Lest we forget.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I am not going to apologize....

Part of my nature is that I am forever apologizing for things, regardless if they are my fault. I apologize for things that are beyond my control or that I had nothing to do with. Its a fault of mine. Maybe its because I am Canadian or maybe not. I don't know.

Its like I am a serial apologizier. Its like an addiction. The sad part is its me trying to please everyone. In someway it goes back to my childhood of trying to make sure everyone is happy. Adulthood has definitely taught me that there is no pleasing everyone, not even with an apology.  So here goes..

I will not apologize for feeling the way I feel sometimes. Whether it be angry, sad or happy. I will not bow down to those who want to invalidate my feelings. There is a reason I feel the way I do. Its called being emotional. There is nothing wrong with that. I am going to have my highs and my lows.There are times where I feel sad over situations or resentment when it seems that the world is perfect on the outside and I am struggling in the inside. But there are the highs that make it all worth while.  Everyone has their own Emotional Roller Coaster they ride. The trick is finding people who will ride it with you. And not apologize to those who won't. 

I will not apologize for my children. Unless they have done something harmful or destructive. I have three children that have their own special needs. Two of which are autistic and the other one with ADHD.  Yes they are loud when they have meltdowns when overstimulated. Yes its like a circus when we go anywhere. Its not their fault that the world is somewhat different to them. Its not their fault that they are wired different from the rest of the NT children. They are good, sweet kids. I will not apologize to people who can't see with their heart rather than their eyes.

I will not apologize for my parenting choices. They are the ones that work for my family. People who don't get it, well they don't have to live by my rules and boundaries when it comes to my children. I will not apologize for inoculating them or the therapies I fight for them to have. I will certainly not apologize for being fierce when it comes to my children. They all have their own journeys to travel, some of the road is hard, some of it will be a breeze. But they certainly don't need the ignorance of those around them hindering them. I will not apologize for teaching them to accept themselves and defending their person. They will learn that they are valuable to this world.

I will not apologize for being human. With that I make mistakes. We all do.To Err is to be Human. We live in this world that is so critical of others that we forget that we too make mistakes. Learn from them. And to the people that can't accept that, well wouldn't be nice to live in a perfect world.

Most importantly, I will not apologize for being me. No one should have to apologize for that. I am an emotional fun bag of crazy on good days. I am also a wife, a mother, a daughter, sister and a friend. I am a person who has anxiety and wears her emotions on her sleeve that can jump to the worst possible conclusion faster than the speed of light. I am a good person. My heart is in the right place. I try. I will not apologize to society that isn't willing to get to know me.

So in the end, I will not apologize for this post.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Haven't been around much..

I haven't been around much. I know. Life has a way of keeping me on my toes. It seems that every time I get a chance to catch my breath, I am running again and out of breath again. Life never seems dull when spouses are deployed and when Autism and ADHD tag team you like an amateur wrestling match. But it's times like these where I learn more about myself. Sadly its more like how much can I be pushed until I break.

I have come to the realization that sometimes enduring bad situations can help you discover things about yourself. And help you overome the hardships. With each deployment my spouse has been on, I have been forever rediscovering a new aspect of myself. Growing from whatever life has thrown at me. Whether it be dealing with diagnoses of family members or the ever changing relationships with people. Sometimes it isn't always a positive thing.

Sometimes I feel like it's this "Ah-ha" moment where the light bulb gets turned on. And I ask myself why on earth I am staying this situation when it has a negative connation to it.

Lately I have been dealing with people who have these insecurities with themselves that they have to try and bring me down with them. I have gotten to the point, where I just don't care anymore. I would rather protect my sanity rather than endure the pettiness and nastiness of others. So I have become more guarded. Finding out who I can trust and who I can't. 

It seems that the daily grind is wearing me out. I am finding it hard to separate myself three ways. It seems that once I have one child set,the other two are in need. It is a rare occasion when all three are in sync. At the end of the day, I can barely function. But I stretch myself thin to accommodate. As that is how I roll. There are days where I impress myself getting through a day with very little sleep and having not killed someone in the process.

I have had to take a step back. Some have understood, some haven't. But to the ones that have seen me at my worst and still held on, they are worth their weight in gold. I am sorry that I have not been around lately. But I have had to dig deep down and find myself again. I want to feel happy again. I  needed to see that I could be that again,despite all that is happening around me. Yeah is my spouse still deployed and autism and ADHD alive and well in this house, but I am starting to find the daily little joys that keep me smiling through the hard times.

Thank you to those who have stuck with me and that have respected why I have had to do this. I am glad that I have taken a step back. It's made me learn to slow down. Process things better. Not put myself into situations that are going to hurt. I am a better person for it. And I finally feel like I can catch my breath.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Even a hearty bunch needs love and support

We military spouses, we are a hearty bunch. We marry those who have one of the toughest jobs in the Country. We marry for love,regardless of what job our spouses do. Sometimes their jobs takes us to distant lands and far away places, which means we are often moving away from our families and friends. A lot of time we are placed in areas the are completely forgien to us. Language and culture are something we have to adapt to. So with us always on the move, its hard for us to connect to people and form a close bond with people. And if you are not a social person it is even harder.

So what do you do when you are left on your own when your spouse deploys? Who can you rely on when you have reached your limit? Or when you just want another adult to talk to...

A lot of us try and establish ourselves in our neighbourhood. Try and introduce ourselves. If you live on base, you are lucky that everyone is kinda rowing in the same boat. We all have our individual stories but we all have a common denominator. Military. I find though that even if you do not live on base, you tend to gravitate to other military without knowing it. It's like the Special Needs card. Without knowing most times I will meet people along the way that have some way or another have special needs in their lives. The same theory applies to military.

I have always found luck in online groups. Sometimes with those you end up meeting a great group of people. Ongoing conversations that can be both entertaining and infromative. I think blogging and Facebook pages are a great way to meet like minded people. From personal experience I can say that both of these venues have been great meeting great people.

With times being the way they are, Military Spouses need to stick together. Power in numbers. We need to keep up the good fight with Tricare. And especially now with a Government shutdown, we need to be there for each other. There is so much uncertainty that there needs to be a constant.

My thoughts are that always know who you can count on. There are going to be people that comes and go. Some will be genuine and some will not. You need to weed out the good. You will have some on your life that separation will mean nothing. You still talk, through lines of emails,phone calls and of course social media. I credit a woman at my first duty station where I married  my husband as being one of my dearest friends. She is a fellow navy wife. Another is a civilian who just gets me. I can call on both of these women and they will know exactly what I am talking about. I think every Military Spouse needs that. I think we all need that support when we are having a tough go at things. People who will understand that, yeah deployments suck or that yeah the military screwing up your spouse's pay is annoying.Or that your fight with Tricare to get services for your autistic child is indeed frustrating.

As I said at the beginning,we are hearty bunch. But even the strong need support. Thanks to pages,forums and programs out there through the different Commands, the strong can have place to feel connected. 

I started my page for support. As we are spread all over the country and even the world, it's nice to know that you are never alone. That in the sea of social media, there is always some like minded person out there who will lend an ear. I consider myself one of those people who will listen to those who need or want it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Being Social and Autistic

Life can be cruel for those who don't know how to navigate through it. Especially kids who don't understand why things happen. Autism is one of those things that the person misses the social cues and relationships and doesn't understand why people say or do the things they do. It is especially hard for Autistic Children to pick on these cues, as they are still trying to figure the world out and most times developmentally aren't where they are suppose to be.

There is a sadness as I watch my daughter struggle to just fit in. I watch as people be mean to her or say things to her, that she doesn't understand. I see that look of confusion on her face. She is a sweet kid with a great heart. But she lacks in the social aspect of things. She doesn't understand when people drop her like hot cakes for something bigger and better. To her, her friends are the best thing in the world. She doesn't understand why someone would call her Stupid or Dumb. It hurts my heart to see this.

Every parent wishes all the best for their kids. But I think ASD parents for the most part want their kids just to be accepted. To avoid the ridicule, the stares and whispers. I was once told that my kids were considered "High Maintenance" because they acquire a little extra thought or awareness and that was  the reason they didn't get invited to things. She wants to do what everyone else is doing. Sleepovers, painting toe nails, playing dollies and dress up. But I see her lack of acceptable social behavior preventing her from doing all of that. I know in time she will get it, but children can be so cruel.

And I get it. My daughter flies off the handle when she thinks she has been wronged. Its because she doesn't understand,she cries and is loud. And its frustrating watch her slowly lose friends.

All I can do is my best to teach her to be proud of herself. Yeah she is unique. And she has this funny thing called Autism. But I don't want that to stop her from being who she is. I hope one day when she gets through childhood she knowledges that.She is a good person despite her struggles. And when people can see that, then I can stop worrying.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Who is going to Fight for those who Defend this Country?

We Military members don't ask for much. We really don't. Its the simple things. Respect, a little understanding that our way of life is different, some medical benefits,retirement and maybe a paycheck..

It seems that every time the Government has over spent, the Military takes it in the shorts. As of next Monday, if Washington can't figure out a way to budget their money, We, the Military Families and its Service members are faced yet again for the 5th time in two years, to live our lives without money. So my question to the masses is this.

How in the world are we supposed to do that?

Since Money makes the world go round. Can't pay your bills with services. Can't barter for our food at the grocery store. I will give two of my best dogs for some eggs? Um No. So I would love to know how the Government gets off telling us we have to live without getting a paycheck. We could go to all of our utilities and beg and plead with them not to turn our electric or water off, because well we haven't gotten paid.

Listen I know times are tough and people are struggling. But if you are going to ask your Military to go off and fight another war, when we are still fighting one and then turn to us and say.. "Guess what, you aren't getting paid, because we over spent." Can you imagine if a company like Walmart or Costco turned to its employees and said that? That is called getting laid off.

I speak from my experience of being in a Military family for almost 12 years. I can honestly tell you that people in the military often times live paycheck to paycheck. We deal with the military jacking up our pay. So when we complain about how its unfair that we get treated this way by our own Government, we would like for someone to be actually listening. It seems as of late, with all that is going on, Budget cuts, Programs gone, retirements being lessened and medical benefits being taken away, that Washington doesn't care. It angers me that the Bigwigs at Capital Hill sit there with their high salaries and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. While we fight to save our families, income, retirement and medical.

When are we going to see someone fight for those who fight for this country?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Fly Fat-Ass Fly" A Lesson learned from the Ignorant.

"Fly Fat-Ass, Fly"

Yelled to a woman that was on a jog, trying to loose weight by a man sitting in his truck at a red light, who was drinking his coffee and shoving a doughnut in his mouth. That woman was me.

Why is it in this age, we are still dealing with asinine comments like that one. A friend of my sent me a link to another blog that was written by another woman who is trying to loose weight and her courage to stand up to the ignorant. Her blog inspired me to write this.

It makes me sad, when people have to be ignorant fucks. There is no call for it. Its mean and its nasty. With all the suicides among the younger generation because they are bullied or they feel like they don't fit in, due to weight, looks or even sexual orientation. Makes me wonder just what kind of world we are going to leave our children to, if we Adults can't even treat each other with respect.

Now I am a big girl and I had put on my big girl panties, being a Parent of two special needs kids, I know full well the tact the Ignorant like to use. This guy wanted to make me feel ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I am overweight. That I am not some hot thing trotting down the street. He wanted me to think of myself as some monster that had stumble from it's house in workout gear. Well, he didn't succeed. I am not some monster. I am a warm blooded human being who is working on herself for nobody else but me. I thought to myself as I kept on running, That man must have some insecurities that really need to be addressed in order for him to shout at a random stranger something he thought was hurtful. I hope his doughnut was good as it just might be the catalyst that gives that man Diabetes. As the Southerners say "Bless his heart".

So take this as something that furthers my determination to lose the last 20 lbs of the goal I set forth for myself. I don't want to be super skinny. I just want to be healthy. I want to be healthy for my husband and kids, but most importantly for myself. I am not going to let someone like this guy take that away from me.

In way its a lesson I want my children to learn. To not let people make you feel like you are inferior. I want them to be proud of who they are. Be strong in their character, but to accept people for who they are. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

When Anxiety rears it's ugly head...

I suffer from Anxiety. Really Bad. And I have tried my best to keep under wraps for so long as I did not want people to see that side of me. In a sense I am embarrassed by it. Who wants to admit that they can't put one foot in front of the other, paralyzed and can't breathe. No one wants to admit that. It is a very ugly side of myself that I pray doesn't come out in public.

Luck hasn't been on my side lately and I failed at keeping my anxiety in check yesterday. I could not get myself out the door to go pick my kids from school. I had to rely on friends. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate asking for help as I feel like I am imposing. I managed to walk myself up to the school with my youngest in tow, during a violent thunderstorm, shaking. Trying to keep my composure. I honestly wanted to vomit. People staring at me like I was bat shit crazy. I hate that feeling.

I hate that people assume things about you when you are going through stuff like this. Nobody knows what it is like, unless they have gone through it themselves. Its hard to admit sometimes as it is kind of embarrassing as you don't think people are going to understand. Granted some will, but most won't. You hear the whispers behind your back and it just hurts even more. Makes you want to keep it all the more secret.

I am writing this as I need to get my thoughts out. For me to accept that its ok. I know there are other people out there that suffer from Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

 I am ok now. I have medication to help. I guess I am sharing this aspect of my life in case there are others out there rowing in the same boat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why September 11th,2001 is Important to never forget.

I remember. Its one of those events that happen in your life that you will never forget where you were and what you were doing when it happened. It seems that every so often we have things like that. These events shape us.

Every generation has an event like this. Something momentous that shapes our view of the future. With events like WWI, WWII,Pearl Harbor, Kennedy getting shot or even Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. We listened to our grandparents and parents telling us where they were when these events happened.  September 11th, 2001 will be one of those days that We will talk about with our children and grandchildren.

Pearl Harbor was the first time that we were attacked on our own soil. 60 years later, we were faced with the same horror. The same fear. But the difference between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 is back then we knew who bombed us. We didn't know who had attacked us on 9/11.

I remember thinking when the news broke and finding out that it wasn't just some poor schmuck with poor navigation in an airplane who crashed into the side of the World Trade building, who hates us that much. Now at the time, my husband and I weren't married and he was deployed, stationed in England. I was among my American Brothers and Sisters to feel the same wave of emotions and fear. I held my friend in her front yard as she sobbed into my shoulder, with tears running down my face.. We felt powerless. I remember the next few days as a blur. News reports, images, haunting images. Fire Fighters, Police and EMTs, exhausted from searching, tending to the wounded or just trying to maintain order through the chaos.  I remember listening to my friend trying to explain to her young son what had happened in terms that he could understand. I can still hear his voice, "But why Momma..?" My husband came home from deployment and I never wanted to let him go.

September 11th, 2001 was the day this country came together. Race, Religion and the colour of skin, were all put aside. We came together as a united front. To prove to the world, 'Yeah you kicked us, but We aren't going to let you win' In a sense, to those who do not like us, that our spirit will not break. Yeah we all have our differences. But when faced with something like 9/11, the bond is strong.

In the years that followed, Wars were fought and are continually being fought.Things have changed.

We continue to show the world that we can come back from this. And that if something like this happens again, the American People will stand strong. We are a nation that will overcome whatever the world throws at us. If through the heartache and the fear, We can take 9/11 to remember just how strong this country actually is when faced with tragedy. The time we set aside our differences and worked together. That is what the world should see.

Every 9/11, I like to thank my local first responders. I don't care where I am in the world. It was them in NYC, at the Pentagon and in PA who saw first hand this horror. It was them who worked around the clock to search for survivors. Some lost their lives doing just that.Saving the lives caught in the middle. So thank a Fire Fighter, Police Officer or an EMT for their protection.

Most of all be proud of this Country. We have grown. Its days like this where we come together. We need more of that.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Reaching that Point of No Return.

We have all been there. That point where there is no return. Given up hope. Just to find some peace.There is no more energy to fight anymore. The Autism Community is once again rocked by a story of a mother that has gotten to that point of no return. So desperate that she turned to murder suicide. What she did was not at all right. But the onslaught of negative press and idiotic petitions against this woman is what failed her and her family. Society.

If we are going to survive and try and get our children through to adulthood, we need to be there for each other. We cannot let our ASD parents get to the point where they feel there is nothing left but death. We fight so hard for our children, that we forget about ourselves. We forget that we are only human. Parents of children with special needs aren't superhuman. And when our mind breaks, it is essentially game over. If we go, what is left for our child. Their champion has been taken down.

The vilification of Kelli Stapleton is uncalled for. Why? She tried everything she could for her daughter. When the system failed her, she had reached her point of no return. There was no one to pull her back up.So what happens when we fall? We try to rely on our support network. Friends and family. It seems, however, that certain Autism communities are unclear to how much support they are willing to throw out. I don't care what your choices in life are, if you are standing on the edge ready to jump, I will be that person to talk you down. I don't give a fuck. It saddens me to hear that people have turned their backs on a woman that shared pretty much every aspect of her life with the world. Started petitions condemning her. Just watching the online discussions is horrifying. Makes me wonder who will be there for me when I need to be talked off the ledge.

Life has a cruelty to it. In so many ways. But in order for people to survive its cruelty, we need to know we will be there for each other. Autism in all its forms is demanding. It can be sunshine and it can be the darkness in someone's life. One of the reasons I started my page was to support. First and foremost. If things are going to change, we need to be a united front to make that change.

For Issy and the Stapleton Family, I hope they will over come this tragedy. I hope Kelli's cry for help is finally heard. Its sad that something like this, is what made heads turn.

For those who are reading this, I hope you all have someone that you can call when you think you are at the point of no return. If not, please get to an ER. There is no shame in that. Your mental health is the most important thing to keep healthy. Remember you are your child's best Champion for their future.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sometimes I need to remind myself.

Well it started. The beginning of the school year. Where some children get that sad look on their faces, others are happy to get back into a familiar routine and most of us parents are rejoicing as we watch our kids get swallowed up by the school or get on a waiting bus. This also starts the season of academic competitions. Not the debating clubs or anything like that, but the on going comparing of who did it better.

To a child with Special Needs, they have to work harder than anyone else to achieve simple goals at times. As a parent, We tend want things to happen, just so we can see our children not struggle at the basics. Its hard for us to see children that have things come easy to them, as we calmly get our children through their own struggle. Each Parent is always proud of their children's achievements. Its natural.

I look at my three. Each of them has an IEP. They have them because they need extra help. In a way, I am glad that their school recognizes the fact that children learn differently. I feel that I am blessed that I don't have to fight a lot to get what is needed for my children. But I won't lie, that I don't have feelings of " I wish my children didn't have to struggle with so many things". Sometimes its a hard pill to swallow when it is comparing children.

Its at those times, where I have to remind myself that my children dance to the beat of their own drum. They do things at their pace. And when they achieve a goal, its momentous. Fireworks and Cookies worthy. And that is what puts things in perspective. As I know the hard work my children put into things. I know it means more to them.

So when the Parents are talking about how their child is doing 7th grade math or reading at college level, I smile to myself. Yup, that is awesome. My non verbal autistic three year old, just said "Momma" for the first time or that my autistic 8 year old found someone she calls a BFF or even my 9 year old ADHD son aced a test in a subject he struggle with. . Sometimes I just have to remind myself of all those things...

Friday, August 23, 2013

WWII Vet gets beaten to death. Is this how Society respects our Veterans?

As I sat down to drink my morning coffee this morning, a story came across my news feed concerning the beating death of an 88 year old WWII veteran. This was done at the hands of teenagers out in Spokane, WA. Here was a guy that fought in Okinawa, survived getting shot there, proudly served his country and this is the respect that he gets? What is wrong with people, I have to ask myself.

I am beginning to wonder about the treatment of our Veterans in this country.Being married to the military, I am saddened that this is how we treat our veterans. Now, I know that not everyone is like those teenagers, but what happened to our youth, that they have so much disregard towards those who have made more sacrifices than they have. Sure, they could learn about the World Wars, Korean and Vietnam Wars in their history textbooks or even talk to a Veteran about their experiences. But it seems that the youth today just don't care. And why should they? Look at the social attitudes towards Veterans. People protesting at our service member's funerals. People calling our returning Military horrible things like murders and torturers. Let's not even talk about how the government has treated our Veterans. Cutting back on programs essential to their well being or the well being of their families. Or even cutting back their pay, because they can't see past their own selves.

I have always been a huge supporter of Veterans. I have listened my grandfather tell, through painful memories, his stories and experiences of seeing the horrors of war. I look at all those who bravely fought for the freedoms we have today and have the up most admiration and respect. I have it for those who are now currently coming back from War Zones. The treatment of our Veterans hits home for me, as I am married to one. One day he will retire. One day he will sit with his shipmates, and talk about the old days back when. Just as my Grandfather used to do and the countless of other Veterans still do.

Delbert Belton served his country. He served proudly. And the level of respect he got was to be beaten to death by a bunch of ungrateful teenagers. This wasn't about race. It was about people taking advantage of an elderly person for gain or boredom. It would be nice if some of the younger crowd would take the time to thank those who fought. As they don't know what holds in the future, the world just might be in for another Major conflict, where the draft just might be put in place. You learn from your past.

Here is the story about Delbert Belton. I hope they catch the guys who thought it was necessary and cool to beat down a WWII Veteran.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear "One Pissed Of Mother"

Dear "One Pissed off Mother ",

I am writing to you concerning your outstanding letter to a member of your community that has special needs. Since it has now gotten international recognition, I am assuming this is the attention you wanted, there are some things that need to be addressed. As it is very apparent that you are misinformed about a couple of things concerning Autism.

 Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive behavior.To put that in terms that most would understand, Autism is something a person cannot help to have, thus the implication of disorder. As if to say, its something that a person has to live with. Now there are things that we as parents can do to help our children with Autism. There are therapies, like ABA, Speech, OT and Physical. But its all a process. Nothing happens overnight. Special Needs Parents have this thing called Patience. It means we wait with hope that any one of those therapies I have mentioned will provide some help to our children. See the trick is, they didn't ask to have Autism. It wasn't something that they all woke up one day and thought " Hey that sounds nifty, I want that." Its like everything else that can happen to a human body, Cancer, Down Syndrome or even MS, nobody asks to have it.

Here is the thing. Your letter that was filled with such hate and disdain, was no better than those attitudes of the Nazis or the KKK. To even suggest that someone euthanize a child because you don't like the way he communicates makes you no better than those stated above. You also took the most cowardly approach as you couldn't even sign this letter with your real name. You obviously have strong feelings and opinions about how another parent should deal with their child.  Are you afraid of the retaliation that will happen? If that is the case, then maybe you shouldn't have written this letter. A lot of talk, but no action? Maybe you made the choice, because you are truly afraid of us parents. You clearly have underestimated the fight power of us Autism Parents. When it comes to bullies, Adult or child, we take it very seriously and we don't mess around. We will fight for the rights of our children till we are blue in the face. You will know why your letter is the prime example of the ignorance we face.

Your letter is now the prime example of why we need to still educate and make people aware. You letter serves a purpose to all of us Parents, that we cannot and will not stopping fighting the good fight for our children. If anything your letter has fueled more desire to fight the ignorance that is still out there. It has stirred up so much anger, that people like you will not know what is coming to them if they challenge a Parent of a child with special needs.I will say that it is nice to see this boy's community come together and rally around him. If anything positive to have come out of your letter, its to see that. That must be a giant F U to you. Just sayin'.

So I hope your goal was to piss off a whole world of Autism Parents. If that was your goal, you have succeeded.Now you have to deal with the repercussions of your actions. If anything it makes this parent very sad that you can't take your blinders off and see what wonderful and unique world is out here because of people who live with Autism. Your loss. As the world is a better place because of people like Max Begley.

A Proud Mother of Two Autistic Children.

Monday, August 19, 2013

When Something Simple Becomes Something so Big.

I am a firm believer that somethings take time to figure out. That you need patience sometimes to see an end result of hard work. But when you see the positive impact of working hard and achieving something, its priceless. I saw this today.

My youngest is pretty much non verbal. We get the sounds and the grunts and the occasional random word. But today was different. He said a two word sentence that meant something. " Bye Bye Momma". He said that.He said as he walked out of the kitchen waving Good Bye to me. I just stood there in complete Awe. I can't tell you how endearing it was to hear that little voice, beaming and clear. My heart just sung. And if this is all he says for the next couple of months, then I will take it. As it means, there is something there. A connection has been made. We have made a step towards something very awesome.

I write this, because I want to give others hope. I know its a frustrating process watching your child struggle with something that comes naturally to others. But when you see them overcome something, its a heart warmer. Its like Christmas or any other joyful Holiday. You are that giddy. See this is what Special Needs Parents do. All these milestones that get hit and achieved we Celebrate them with all the gusto we can, as we know the hard work that gets put into these goals.

Never stop fighting the good fight. Celebrate all the achievements, big or small your child has made. In time and with guidance, things will happen. And when they do, be prepared for your heart to just explode.

Anyway I hope this gives some people some hope. And know that we are all in this and well all understand the Joys and Frustrations.

And that folks, is my good news of the day :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

It never gets easy.. Ever.

Whoever said being a military spouse was easy was living a lie. Sure it has its perks. But the reality is it is a hard life to live. I write this as we are two weeks out before my husband deploys (again). Sure it is familiar territory, but every deployment is never the same.

 I sit here wondering if we made the right choice. See we tried to get him orders to stay. But as the Military is, they didn't want to work with us. So here we are faced with an 18 month deployment. A deployment that is going to keep our kids in an area where they will benefit from the education as well as their medical needs, but a deployment that is going to send my husband across the globe. This is a Sacrifice we made with our marriage and his involvement in his children's lives. But I often wonder if we made the right choice. I mean we could have been stationed somewhere else, but there was a huge part of me that didn't want to restart a battle for not one but three kids in a new area for all their individual needs. So here we are.

It never gets easy, ever.  Watching the Seabag get packed. Making sure all the official documents are in order. And all the rushed things that need to get done before the final day arrives. You squeeze so much into two weeks. The date nights( that happen when you have awesome people look after your kids), all the various activities that each child wants to do with their parent that is leaving and then when it is all done, its time to leave. We sit there and ask ourselves, where did the time go? Why can't we have just 24 more hours.

In a way I guess I have it easier than the spouses that paved the way for me. I can look forward to the Skyping and emails. But there is still that common feeling that we all have of missing our spouses. Of Course, we sailor and soldier on as that is what sets us apart. Our ability to put a brave face on and take on whatever life throws at us.But in that, we quietly know deep down that sometimes it sucks. It sucks hard. Military Spouses are allowed to have that.

So in two weeks or so, You will have to pardon me if I am emotional. You will have to pardon me if my heart feels a little sad. Even the seasoned Spouses will tell you that deployments never get any easier, but you will always grow stronger after each one.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Is Jenny McCarthy the Poster child for Sanctimonious Parents?

It appears lately that we have had an influx of Sanctimonious Parents on the blogs, pages and just general day to day. I have never been one to criticize the parenting choices of others. What you do with your children is your business, unless it boarders on abuse. So with the recent addition of Jenny McCarthy to The View, I can understand why a lot of parents are taken back by ABC's choice to hire her to replace Elizabeth Hassleback.This has spawned a whole new level of you are wrong and I am right arguments. I know my stance.

I am not going to sit here and say that she is a bad mother. She apparently like the rest of us wanted the best for her child. Any parent would be that. What I have issue with, is her need to spread false hope to the world of Autism Parents, with her "Cures", " Diets" and her "Google MD". I know she has all the money in the world to afford the best cures, the best food and be able to fly anywhere in the world to take her child to various Doctors. That is great for her. But lets take a look at the average everyday person, who is currently battling the system just to get basic services from their insurance. They are paying out of pocket for a lot of stuff. Not everyone can afford the top notch food. Heck most of us are lucky to afford organic or even gluten free. Having a special needs child can deplete the money.  She doesn't factor that in when she talks about everything she has done. I don't agree with a lot of what she done with her son, but that is her business. But if you don't follow her ideals, you are wrong, in her eyes. 

I don't have an issue with this woman's stance on inoculations.  To each their own. But it doesn't just stop there. According to Ms.McCarthy, if you don't agree with a lot of her stances on things you are not considered one of her "Warrior Moms" but a "Victim Mom". I take issue with that. As it gives all those Sanctimonious Parents out there a Celebrity Cheerleader. She is more than welcome to have her own opinion on things. But this whole thing to generalize a group of people that don't agree with your current stance of things is wrong. I don't agree with that.

If she wants to blast parents for making the decisions they need for their children,then we have every right to blast her for her choices. She thinks she lives the everyday life of the average person. She doesn't. I bet she doesn't know that the military right now is fighting for ABA services. A service that has been proven to not cure, but help those with Autism. I am willing to bet she wouldn't put her money where her mouth is and lend Us her voice. I know most of us don't think her spread in Playboy in the name of Autism Awareness was classy. And lets face it, Autism was the last thing in people's minds as they looked at her naked breasts.

Do you know who is a strong Celebrity voice for Autism, people like Holly Robinson Peete. A woman that goes up against Rap Stars for their usage of derogatory language towards Special Needs in their songs. A woman that celebrates her children. Accepts her children for who they are.She has yet to call out parents that have a difference of opinion.

I feel bad for all those who think they are "Victim Parents" because Jenny McCarthy thinks so. We are all "Warriors" or "Fighters" in our own right. We have all taken our child's diagnosis and did the best we could to ensure them the best possible life we could give them. We have fought the schools and the insurance companies. Many of us are still fighting. We don't need some B Celebrity telling us that we are doing it wrong for the choices we have made. She did what she thought were good choices for her life. And sadly not everyone lives the life of a Playboy Centerfold.

I don't dislike her for her stances on things. To each their own. I dislike her because she judges those who don't conform to her ideals. And that is wrong.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Fighting Power of Military Families needs to continue. Tricare vs Military Families.

Did Tricare think that Military Families wouldn't  notice the recent changes to our benefits? I am beginning to wonder if they thought we wouldn't notice somehow. How very sneaky. These past couple of days have proven to the Tricare Administration that we do pay attention. They can't just go around and change things without us noticing.

Tricare tried to change the coverage of ABA therapy. The Pilot program that they had initially proposed had so many restrictions and requirements on it that we wondered what the head hunchos were thinking. How could they sit there with a clear mind and tell service members that, "We'll provide services only for those that fit the stringent requirements and continue to jump through the hoops we've laid out." Well we fought back. They underestimated the power of pissed off Military Families(and Spouses). Tricare came back and revised its policy saying that active duty coverage, but with restrictions( If you are currently getting services, you are fine. If you are new to Tricare, you will have to deal with Tricare's guidelines)  would remind unchanged. That's great. So what happens to the Retirees?

The fight isn't over with Tricare. We have to continue this for our retirees. They have families. They have people that rely on the coverage Tricare provides. Everyday Active Duty member transfer to Fleet Reserves after successfully completing a full military career, or worse are transferred to Fleet Reserves after being wounded in combat and given an honorable discharge and medical retirement. Their family member don't suddenly not require the coverage any longer. As per Tricare all those requirements and restrictions will apply to them. This worries me. Why? Eventually everyone has to retire. What Tricare has basically done is slapped the faces of this Country's military retirees.

We, the Military Families, will continue to fight. Our service members have fought to protect the freedom of this Country. I think they are entitled to something for volunteering to serve. A decent Medical isn't too much to ask.

If you are reading this, I urge you to help us fight. Think it of this way, you have insurance, and if that Insurance Company starts changing your policy or your coverage, you would fight like hell to keep it the way it was.

Write to Tricare.

Write to your Congressmen and Women and your Senators.

And lets not forget your command itself. Write to the Ombudsman. They are your civilian representative to your command. Your word gets spread to the Commanding Officers this way. Commanding Officers can take these concerns up their chain of command lines. Let the Generals and Admirals know. They fight from the inside. 

I understand that there are some Insurance Companies that don't cover services for Autistic People. Its not like we aren't thankful, but there is a need. The need still continues.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Furloughs Threaten Military Mental Health...

When is the Government going to get it that Mental health among its service members needs to be supported?

Due to the furloughs, it seems that the Military took a kick in the shorts. From everything to commissaries shortening  their hours to civilian workers with in our military medical system taking a cut. It sucks. But really grinds my teeth, is the cut back to the already failing system our men and women in uniform have for their mental health. Its bad enough that Families that have special needs have to worry about their services being cut, on top of that many of them are returning back from the War Zones this country has sent them to, without a proper mental evaluation. Its like people think they can just carry back on to the routine of normal life, after being in such extreme conditions or seeing things that the every day joe shmoe wouldn't see.

It has been proven through history that after wars have taken place, the returning servicemen and women had PTSD or as they called it back then Shell Shock. A large majority of those coming back from WWI and WWII were undiagnosed. It wasn't until Vietnam that people started to notice that our Veterans needed help coping with returning back to the way of life they had before they left. Even still it was lacking.

It bothers me that the Mental Health of our military is considered a back burner issue. It me it seems like the Government thinks its got super humans, who can deal with anything thrown at them. Which isn't the case.

So with this furlough, there is cuts made to the mental health program that does exist for our military. Many Behavioral Health Professionals are not accessible to those who desperately need it. But it all goes back to looking at Washington. Do they really care? I'd like to think they do. But it seems as of late, they have forgotten about us. They have forgotten the job they ask us to do. They have forgotten what its like to look into the eyes of a member of the military returning back and seeing the pain, stress, and the sadness and most importantly the struggle they have just coping. They have forgotten that Mental illness is invisible.  Just because they have come back with all of their body parts, doesn't mean they don't need support. They have forgotten about the families that have to live with someone that has PTSD. Yes, we are in this too. Its time for the government to see what its doing to its military. Yes they want us to protect America's freedom and borders. But yet they aren't willing to help us out when we need it.

Just my two cents.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Even Perfection has its faults...

I am not perfect. There I said it. I have never claimed to be. I have my faults. I make mistakes as I go along on my journey on this planet. Mistakes that I learn from.But why is it that there are people out there that seem to think that pointing the faults of others is like a Olympic Sport? I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but just because you have doesn't mean you always have to voice. Especially when you are sitting there criticizing a perfect strange for a choice they have made, or an emotion they are feeling. Seems a little hypocritical to me for some one who has also made mistakes in their lives or who doesn't understand the life lived by the other person to sit there and pass judgement.

I sit here and as I write, I think back at all those times I was judged unfairly by people. People that have no idea what is going on in my life or understand why things need to be done a certain way. And its sad that I don't have enough fingers and toes to count on. Sometimes it makes me want to scream. Right there. Whether it be in the middle of the Supermarket or in front of my computer.

I wrote the other day about Sanctimommies.They are everywhere, not just on the internet. Most of them hide behind a computer screen. But you have the few that you run into in public.  I always find they are the most vocal about pointing the faults of others, but yet overlooking their own. That was very clear to me yesterday when I tried to get the few items at the grocery store and watching my youngest son have an epic meltdown while sitting in the cart. Granted my day started out with an early am birthday party at the Ninth level of Hell, otherwise known as Chuck E Cheese in this house. So my child was over stimulated and had, had enough. I needed a few things. I thought.. Ok, I can get this down quickly and then I won't have to come back out later to do it. Great Logic right? I thought so. Apparently the woman behind me in line didn't think so. After listening to the first couple of barbs muttered behind me about how I was a bad parent for bring a tired cranky child shopping, I finally turned to her and said...

Me:"Really? Do you live my life? Do you?"
Her: " No, but I know better not bring a cranky child shopping"
Me: " Really? So you were the perfect angel when you were this age? Never gave your parents grief? Never had a meltdown? Or got cranky or tired while your parent were trying to run a simple errand?"
Her: " Well.. um..."
Me: " He has autism. He is overstimulated. I have a deployed husband who isn't here to look over his children, while I grocery shop. And your comments and staring will not stop him from melting down. You need to keep your judgmental ignorance in check"

She promptly moved to another line and the cashier stood there stunned.

It just seems that you could be doing the best job at living your life and people, random strangers, will always have something to say about it. I mean, who's business is it of theirs to sit there and make a comment about someone they know nothing about. Maybe it was the way I was brought up, but to me, I have no right to criticize the choices  or way of life of others.

So to all those who feel the need to pass judgement on random strangers, guess what? You have faults just like the rest of us. You make mistakes just like the rest of us. And pretty soon the skeletons while come out of your closet while you are off making inflammatory comments about others.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sanctomonious Parents....

Sanctimonious Parents.

We get it, you have the perfect child. You are the perfect parent that hasn't done anything to permanently scar your children for life. Never made a mistake, never had to deal with meltdowns or have never had to deal with the criticism  of others.Why? Because you are perfect, right?

Here's the trick, we all make mistakes. Its called being human. So when we post about the things that makes us the parents we are today or why we do certain things in order to find a balance in our lives, the last thing we need is for you Sanctimomommies jumping down our throats about it. So what if what we do, differs from what you do with your children. Its not your right to sit on the "High and Mighty" pedestal and post the most inflammatory posts you can squeeze out of your brain.

Parenting is hard enough without the chitter-chatter of the Sanctimommies judging your every move or every personal story that is yours. A lot of bloggers post about personal things going on in our lives.Yes we made the choice to put ourselves out there, but the fact is, we do it because we tend to think that maybe our personal stories will help others get through a tough period in their lives. As in to say, "Hey, you are not alone."

Recently, another blogger did a fantastic piece about feeling jealous over the accomplishments of NT children compared to her own. It was raw and it hit home. Why? Because she had said what a lot of us Special Needs parents often feel, but don't say. She got torn to shreds by a bunch of people that have no idea what her life is like to live. It makes me wonder, what is the damn point is?

I mean, aren't we all in this kinda together. We all have children that require special attention. We all have children that are truly amazing. Why on earth do these Sanctimonious Parents feel the need to rip into other parents simply because of a difference of thought or opinion?Is this the lesson you want to teach your children, that just because you dislike the opinion of others, its ok to publicly blast them,call them names and say to them " Hey you don't love your child" because you aren't parenting your child my way.

It annoys me that even in the world of Autism and Special Needs, we are still fighting Acceptance among ourselves.  I am looking at all the those who have ever sat there and told another parent how to parent their child, or said anything mean. It seems you are the ones that need to take a step back and re-evaluate your life if you think its ok to blast someone for their own parenting choice or thought.

If you are reading this, go check out Mostly True Stuff. Why? She had enough courage to put herself out there and say what a lot of us Special Needs Parents are afraid to say.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We'll send you off to War, while we cut your benefits.. Thanks for the Service!

Its a sad reality when a Country asks its military to go off to war, fight its battles only for them to return home and have their services being cut or downgraded. At what point should the government actually start caring for the people that do its dirty work or the work that average congressman isn't willing to do?

I sit here watching Tricare trying to revise its policy on covering ABA therapy for its servicemen and women's children and it makes me wonder, is this what they go off to war for? Are they not entitled to having some sort of security regarding their healthcare? How are you going to expect your military to perform at the standards you set for them, if they are constantly worried about if their family is taken care of. I know the old saying that if the military wanted the guys and gals to have a family they would have issued them in their seabags or rucksacks after bootcamp. But it begs to ask the question, does our government really care about the welfare of its military?

Sadly, it seems that lately it does not. With the furloughs happening with the DoD workers to Tricare cutting back on its policies. What's the point of enlisting if this is what you can expect. Military lifestyle isn't a bad life. Its a hard one. But it isn't bad. Sure you get to see the world, you meet people along the way,you get to do an interesting job(most of the time) and you get some sort of job security. But when people want to say that our medical benefits are a perk. I would like to point out that, we have to fight to get a lot of things covered. Especially,  if you have special needs. And now that its getting even harder for some services to be provided or even covered, it really isn't a perk, is it?

We always hear that this country is broke or it has no money. Take a look at the salaries of our government officials. Do you honestly think they deserve the amount of money they are getting paid? This isn't a pick a side kinda thing, either. Its a, "Why are these people getting paid buko bucks, while our military members are getting barely nothing?"

I would love to challenge anyone of those sitting in Washington, to saddle up, go boots on ground and do the job of the average Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman who are out fighting a War they were told to go fight. Not just for one day, but for a month. Then I want them to come back and be told that their family's benefits are being cut or downsized. And top of that, they are going to get less in retirement and their pay is going to be less. Then, I want to see if anything will change. I want to see the salaries of these people go down. Maybe they should start doing the job they were elected or appointed to, then maybe they would be worth the money they get.

Its ridiculous that this is even an issue. That our government can't fight harder or even work together to help it's own military.  That's my two cents.

I urge people to write to their member of congress. Maybe someone in Washington is listening

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Celebrating the Holidays with an Autistic Flare

With the summer Holidays picking up, its easy to get caught up in the festivities. The parties, the cookouts, the fireworks and the large venues. This time of year is often difficult for some, as all of those things can be difficult to handle. It can be a sensory overload, even for the regular person. When you throw Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder into the mix, it makes things a little harder.

I find that this time of year is more difficult than Christmas. Now don't get me wrong, Christmas is also stressful, as someone in our house doesn't like Santa Claus. A topic for another time. For us, its the large crowds,the fireworks and being out of our school routine. I love fireworks. Growing up in Canada, we didn't have neighbourhood displays of fireworks. It was illegal and you couldn't buy them. You had to go watch the City fireworks display. Even back then when I was little, I still didn't like the loudness of it. And I can see how that would startle a child and make them fearful. Now that I have children of my own and see the very violent reaction they have for all things loud and overwhelming, I have an understanding of why things like fireworks or large venues might not be ok for some.

I am often asked why we don't do the huge celebrations.When I explain that I have two autistic children who can't tolerate large venues, 9 times out of 10, I get " Wow.. that must really suck for you.." Now I know that most people don't mean that as insult. If you don't live with it, you aren't going to understand the ins and outs of Autism. I get that. I honestly don't think that the average everyday person doesn't comprehend the full extent of what it means to deal with an Autistic sensory overload. Or what it means to always having to be on full alert because you have a child that bolts or wanders. That doesn't mean to say that all autistic people are like that. I just know my two and it could be different for someone else.

So I always say that we are celebrating our holidays in our own way. It doesn't make us any less patriotic or festive. There are lots of thing we do that are fun and still maintains the spirit of the holiday.

* We keep it local. Neighbourhood cookouts. Fun, easy and the kids are in their own environment. They can go inside your house if things get to overwhelming for them and they can take a sensory break.

* We like to make our own festive decorations. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy. Sometimes a Flag drawn by your little one can one of the best decorations, as you know it was done with love and by someone who worked hard to do it.

* We love to bake. Everyone likes to help bake. And that can also help with the sensory input. The different types of things that go into baking. And we know the end result is something yummy.

* Sometimes we like to read stories that pertain to the holiday we are celebrating. Or look at pictures of different ways others celebrate.

These are just some of the things we do in this house, that have helped us. We keep it simple or we try to. I want my children to enjoy celebrations like the 4th of July. I want them to have fond memories of it. And sometimes, We as parents have to find ways to help accommodate the special needs of our children. And if the rest of the world doesn't understand that, well, they are welcome to come take my children to a large venue with everything loud and then deal with the meltdown that I can guarantee will happen times two.

[Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!]

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ever look at yourself as a Pie?

Ever look at yourself as a pie? With Slices? How each of those slices make up a whole? I know I am talking about fractions on a 3rd grade level, but think about it....

I look at all the slices that make up me and how each slice makes up me. Right now I am the most important person in my children's lives(next to Daddy, he's cool, but no one beats Momma). I am the caretaker of all things regarding these children. I am a walking day planner for three people. Its a wonder that I can keep everyone on schedule. There is a reason I call my cell phone my second brain. I truly would be lost without it. Momma is one of the jobs I think has to be selfless. You do need to put your needs aside sometimes to accommodate those who still need guidance and navigation in this world. . A role that is part of me, its just a slice that makes a whole pie. And pie is awesome btw.

I am Wife. A Navy Wife. I write about often the ups and downs of that. I support my husband and his job. I will go with whatever the Military throws at me or gives me. Its what I do. Another slice of that pie that is me.

I am Canadian. Which will always be part of me. No matter where I am living in the world, my heritage will always be a part of me.

But I am more that. I look at all the things that make up me. I am open minded. I am kind. I think about things on a philosophical level. I like Poppies. I love Chocolate. I love being outdoors. I love to Barbeque. I am an emotional person. All these things are part of that pie.

I think sometimes we tend to get lost in our roles in society, that we lose ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I gladly wear my Momma and Wife badges with pride. But it boils down to Who am I? Really? We are always trying to change ourselves to conform to what we think society wants to see. But have you ever looked deep down and looked at yourself for you are and discovered that you are this very unique individual. You have all these things to offer the world. I think its hard for people to come out from under their roles in life to see the awsomeness that they hold on to.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, don't be afraid to let be people see you for who you are. Don't let your job, labels or disability define who you are on the inside. There are always going to be people on this planet that see faults and the mistakes. Ignore them. Make them realize just what they are miss out on by concentrating on the bad stuff.

I say enjoy that pie that is yourself. Every last slice of it. Savor it. Each slice makes up you.

Myself, I am a glorious warm pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The lesson Gay Equality has taught us.. Psst.. its the same one from the 60's...

As I watch my brothers and sisters rejoice in the landmark decisions made by the Supreme Court of this fine country, I can't help but wonder if we have learned our lessons. The Gay's right for equality is eerily familiar to that of the African Americans of the 1950's, 1960's and even the 1970's. Have we truly learned from our mistakes or are we going to be going through this in another 30 years for something else? When does the treatment of others, who are human beings, just as you are, going to get a fair shot at the necessities of life?

What people don't get is that this all translates into everyone's life. Mine, yours and our children's. Isn't what we all want is to be accepted for ourselves? That changing yourself to make society like you is wrong.We, in the Special Needs Community ask the very same thing the Gay and Lesbian Community, accept us. Accept us for all that we are. Don't mock us because we don't form to the same mold.

It is very interesting to watch everything unfold. To hear and see the fight that people have to go through just to be accepted in this society. I think we need learn from this as we didn't learn from the past. What this has taught us is that we never want to stop fighting for acceptance. Persistence. 

I write this because all we are, are humans. Simply living on this planet. We need to accept one another for who we are as individuals. Celebrate a person's uniqueness. Love them for who they are. Gay, Straight, Black, White, Asian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic.Even with disabilities. It doesn't matter what you have or which disease affects you. We are on this planet to live, love and be happy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For The Deployed Parents....

Dear Deployed Parent,

I know life is tough being far away from your family. It isn't easy. It never will be. Deployments suck. Plain and simple.

You all, do a job that requires you to be away from your family. I get that and thousands of other military families get that. We understand. We will always honor the service you have given this country. The sacrifices you have made. The memories and milestones missed. We, the military community understand that.

Take to heart that your children miss your presence. The memories you do make with them, stay with them. You are in their dreams, playing games, reading stories and giving those awesome hugs. You are in their conversation. When they speak of you, there is such pride in their voices. You are in their drawings and art work. Frolicking with the hand turkeys or a simple family portrait. You are with them in their creative play. GI Joe or Barbie always becomes Daddy or Momma.

Sometimes you are what evokes such powerful emotions in them that they can't understand why they feel they way they do. They don't always understand the "why" of your job. And they don't want you to go. Take that as a sign that you are such a good parent that your children miss you. Take it as your children are strong enough to cope, but they know that the day will come when they will see you again. Homecoming is always an anticipated event.

So to the Deployed Parent, take to heart that you are in the hearts and minds of your children, through pictures, stories and memories. It speaks volumes that your children miss your presence in their lives. It shows that even though you are not with them physically, you are with them spiritually. You are with them every single day. As I know there isn't a day that doesn't go by where you are not asked about or a photo of you isn't cherished. You are loved and never forgotten.

Make those memories that you children hold on to when they can't be near you. 

A Navy Wife who is grateful for the Service of Many. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

For Alex Spourdalakis.. Another Autistic life Lost.

It saddens me to hear that yet another Autistic child has died. He didn't die because of elopement or drowning. He died at the hands of his own mother. A mother that thought she was doing the right thing. A mother that should have had help for both for herself and her son. She thought in her mind that things would be better for both him and her, if her son didn't live. It is tragic and sad to hear that someone has gotten to that point.

Special Needs Parents all over know the stress that comes with making sure our children have the best quality of life. Its hard. Its hard to think that our children might need extra care when they are adults. That is the thing about parenting. You are on this journey for the good and the bad. Whatever comes down that road, you deal with it as best you can. And if you need to ask for help, then you do it. Its ok to feel overwhelmed. Its ok to worry. But if you are at the end of the rope where you feel that the only option is to kill your child, then its you, yourself that needs some help.

For Alex Spourdalakis, his life was cut short. We will never know what potential this child will have or what kind of impact he would have had on this world. His death has impacted the Autism community as we, parents are shocked that this would have happened. It is very easy to pass judgement on something like this. I would like to hope that this family had support. And it was something that just snapped with his mother. This is a prime example of how we the parents or caregivers need to take care of ourselves as well. Our mental health is just as important as our children's. We are who these kids look up to for guidance, love and support. Its their right to have someone that is stable enough to look after them. Children don't ask to be born. They don't ask to have disabilities either. Our role as parents is to nurture our young, regardless.

I hope that the family of
Alex Spourdalakis finds some peace and is able to grieve and hopefully celebrate this young life. I do hope that his mother is able to get the mental help she needs. I don't think she is a vile human being. I think she was a woman that was overwhelmed with her situation.  What she did was wrong. What is sad is that it got to the point where she felt she needed to end his life.

As I write this I think about the stress going on in my life. And believe me when I say, there are times where I wonder just how I got to the point I did. But when I do have those moments in my life, I know to ask someone for help. With Autism being on the raise, we need to be more of a community. Help each other out. Acknowledge that we all have one common element, but we all walk on a different path. Instead of trying to break people down, lift people up. Let them know its ok to feel a certain way. Its ok to be angry or sad. Its ok to say..

" I am doing my best, but I need help..."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adding a Little Autism Ambiance to your Life.

I am going to be blunt. Last night my evening went to shit. I am really hoping that this is not a prelude to my summer. If it is, I just might run away. I am trying my best. I am but one person, with three children who have all specific special needs. Also to put the cherry on my sundae, a deployed husband. Being stretched thin is an understatement. Although I do wish it was more literal, I could lose a few pounds.

My kids are having a tough go at things. Father being away. One of them dealing with new medications for a condition he doesn't understand. And then the Autism. There is always the Autism. With summer routines starting, the adaption to change takes a while. So we are a little out of sync. And that is ok, as I know it will change and it will get better. But we go through these periods where chaos is the normal.  The military lifestyle transitions so much and sometimes its hard for our children to process that.

I know everyone has their own stuff going on in their lives. I get it. I don't hold anything against people for dealing with their lives. But last evening proved to me on who actually cares and who doesn't.

As I said before I am but one person. So when I look flustered or I am trying to calm my child down from a meltdown, I don't need the parenting advice. I don't need the judgmental looks.I don't need to hear that you know who Temple Grandin and Carly are. Or that you have seen Rainman and that somehow makes you an expert on Autism. Do you know what makes you helpful to a parent with child with Autism, is compassion, understanding, educate yourself. Except that this meltdown is just adding the Autistic Ambiance to my life.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Online Bullies.. Hiding behind the Avatar..

Everyone has an opinion. I have one, you have one and millions of other people have one. Since the emergence of Social Media, it seems to be the perfect platform to express those thoughts and opinions you would never say to a person in real life. This creates the persona of the "Online Bully". What does that mean you ask? Well take a real life bully. A person who is so insecure about something that they have to take it out on those around them. An "Online Bully" is one with that nature to them, but hides behind a picture. Types out those empty threats and then presses send or enter. Thinking they have just got the better of a stranger.

Yesterday I was the target of  "Online Bullies". I will not call myself a victim of their idiot taunts or name calling. As it gave us a look into the truly insecure mind of these people. I made a picture, a while back. A picture that asked for the discontinuation of the word "Retard". A picture that I was most proud of, because it meant something to me. I am a special needs parent who have heard people refer to my children as that. The thing with everything on the Internet, is that most people think everything is free. So the mentality that since you put it out there, its my right to steal it. Well its not. We have copyright laws for a reason. I had a page steal my picture. No biggie. I emailed the page to asked them to properly share the picture so I could be credited for my thought. As the message of that picture came out my head. What resulted after that was incredible and not in a Disney Pixar Way. The name calling and the language was enough to make any of the girls from the  Mean girls Movie blush. But it didn't stop there. It came on my page, because I vented my frustration. Now I am not a prude when it comes to colourful language. I swear. Hell, I am married to a Sailor. But it was the irony of this picture about a name that people get called and all this certain page could do was demonstrate the very point of that picture was trying to make. Interesting look at people who think they advocate for acceptance and this is how they act. Now I used a site called to create the picture. They own the actual picture and the format, but the message is mine.

I get that I am not everyone's cup of tea. And I am open to people having their own thoughts and opinions. But when that level immaturity becomes an issue for myself and the people that follow me, then I feel the need to stick up of my work and those who help defend it.

So the next time a page like this wants to be nasty, instead of just saying "Hey I am sorry, let me do the right thing", you are not going to break me down. I will not let you terrorize my page with name calling and nastiness.I will not let you become a terrorist on my page.I will fight back.

This is my Intellectual Property.

Monday, May 27, 2013

When the Nightmare becomes a Reality.

Last week the Autism Blogger Community came together to support the families of Mikaela, Owen and Drew. With the deaths of these children it brought to light the huge issue, we parents(especially Special Needs parents) have to deal with "Elopement" or "Wandering". It was called upon the Nation to bring awareness to the issue. With so many children out there with autism or other developmental disorders out there, there needs to be more done. Its easy to blame the parents. But when the parent does all they can to prevent elopement and it still happens, why is that called bad parenting?

This weekend, a very real nightmare for me became my reality. My youngest son got out of the house, wandered across a very busy street in our neighbourhood and was found by a group of young men that happened to be driving by and saw this toddler. Within the five minutes it took me to tear the house apart, that is what he managed to do. He figured out the door, which I have locked up,and child locks as well,he took the opportunity of me being in the kitchen and walked out. Now we had company visiting who might have forgot to lock the door, I don't know. But I was lucky. He was lucky. I would like to think he had force looking out for him yesterday. I just kept thinking that people must think I am the worst parent. How could I not know where my children are at all times?

Calming my nerves, I reminded myself that I am not a bad parent. That I do everything in my power to ensure the safety of my children. Sometimes I am little over protective about it. I know that I am but one person doing this whole parenting thing by myself. I know that my spectrum children are wanderers. This will be the fourth time, despite me doing everything I can, that one of my spectrum children have wandered. Thankfully one of them has grown out of it and has attachment issues.I am very thankful that this weekend, my son had something watching over him. I am very thankful for the the group of young men that stopped had guarded my son on the grassy knoll, until they figured out what to do with him. I am very thankful that I was able to put my son to bed last night, and breathe a sigh of relief, as I know there are parents out there have not been able to do that. 

This weekend sucked for me. As I try to move past this, again I will learn from this. People who come to visit, will have to understand and follow the system that works for me. I live this life every single day of my life. I know what these children are capable of. If I have to put a sign on my door to remind people to make sure its closed and locked, I will. I don't expect people to understand. You can't understand something you haven't had to experience. But you can respect the reason why somethings are done a certain way. It may be silly to you. But its serious to me and my children. 

It sucks when a nightmare because a reality.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Is there a Memorial Day Sale on the Ultimate Sacrifice?

In Canada, we don't have Memorial Day. We have Remembrance Day. A Holiday the Country takes very seriously. November 11th. Its cold, most times its rainy and its somber. The way the day should be. We don't have a lot of "Remembrance Day" Sales. Only the Major cities will stay open, but for the most part people have the day off. We go to the Cenotaph to honor those who had fallen in the wars we were involved in.We lay our wreaths,bow our heads and listen to bugle play. We take the time to honor those who never came back. This our day of mourning for our War Dead.

Since living in the United States, Memorial Day always baffled me. Here was a day that was supposed to be about the War Dead of this Country. Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And yet I get bombarded with flyers for Memorial Day Sales both in the mail and on the TV. Has Memorial Day turned commercial?  Its like this country has forgotten what this day is about. I know this is the weekend that kick starts the BBQ parties, pools open and the summer activities start up. But it makes me wonder just how many of us will take pause and remember why we have this weekend.

To most military families, we get it. Why? Its our way of life. Our loved ones go off to war, some come home and some don't. War Never Changes. We know just what sacrifices our service men and women have made for this country.  When my Husband was in Afghanistan, this was the year that my eldest finally realized what Memorial Day was about. He had a hard time with it. He knew his Father was off to a place where there was fighting going on. His response was this.

" If Daddy dies in a war that we are fighting in, I honor him on this Weekend? We should honor him everyday."

"Yes, son"

He was 7 at the time. It hurt my heart a little to hear that come out of the mouth of someone so young. But it made me proud to think, he gets it.

I know people will say,"Well we have Veteran's Day for remembering those who have fallen" Here is the thing, shouldn't those who made a decision to sign their life over to their country deserve more than two days a year? People may not agree with where the military gets sent to or the policies. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of things, when something happens in this country, Terrorism or a Natural Disaster, the military are normally the ones called in to help. Whether it be the National Guard or Service men and women from a base. Those people enlisted. Those people, if need to will go to war for this country. Some will return and some won't.

I guess what I am trying to say is, between the BBQ parties, pool openings and the Memorial Day Sales, take the time to put this Country's War Dead in your thoughts. Reflect on why you have the freedom to live your life.

If you want to do something this weekend that shows you care, visit a War Cemetery or a local Cenotaph. Read up on our War history. Educate yourself. Or help a Veteran out. Say thanks. Some times its the little things that go a long way.