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...