Sunday, May 17, 2015

OMG, Did my child's Neurological Disorder ruin your day? I am not sorry.

 I am not going to apologize if this sounds a bit snarky and cynical, but the fact of the matter is this, I am just tired. Like other special needs parents, I  spend an ungodly amount of time trying to educate people on what Autism is, not only that, but how to accept people who have neurological disorders. I get that the vast majority of people don't seem to care one way or another. But there are times where I just want to scream,

"Listen, Asshole, you have no idea!"

After a full month of Autism Awareness/Acceptance stuff, the general public still has no idea. And the sad part is, is that every single year, we always get to this point. Well, I get to this point. That point where I don't think that any amount of Light it Blue Campaigns, Puzzle Pieces, walks/fun runs are going to make a dent into how society views an autistic person and their caregivers. Like clockwork, it never fails, right after the month of April, we always have at least one news story that hits the national news about an autistic person. Whether it be the mistreatment of one,a child has gone missing due to elopement or a story about the bullying of an Autistic child or that the mass murderer who just gunned down a shopping mall MUST have Autism. News stories chalked full of misconceptions about Autism.  Now I get that a lot of these stories are an all year round thing, but it doesn't escape me when I notice the stories that deal with the ignorance of it all, come right after, we parents have spent a large amount of time trying to make this world a more accepting place for our children for a full month.

It never fails, that just being out in public with my children prompts people to bring out their inner asshole. The looks, the whispers, the comments. I know I have written about stuff like this before. But how much effort does it take people just to be a decent person? The answer is zero. I mean what compels someone to tell a perfect stranger that their child is not normal, or that they should try disciplining them a certain way or even flat out tell a person they should keep their child at home because they are disruption the balance of their day? I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times stuff like that has been said to me in regards to my children. I have gotten to the point where I feel justified in responding with snark and sarcasm.

"OMG, Did my children's neurological disorders ruin your day? Gee, that must suck. Can't say I have much sympathy for ya..."

Its the butthurt look on their face that kills me. Like they had some sort of right to stand there and judge my child and lend their "Expert" opinions on how to deal with my child's stimming.

"Oh, well I was just trying to help"

Really? So helping is telling a perfect stranger how to live? You want to help? DO me a solid, and just accept that I have a child, who is currently stimming over the bright lights, noise of the place we are at, and that he is perfectly safe and not giving a crap about your judgement. Accept and move on. That would help me out.  Or instead of pointing out the obvious, how about tell me my child is cute or has nice eyes?

Listen up, I know most of the people who read my blog, understand my mentality, but for the rest of the world, I am going let you in on a little secret.. Paying Attention? Good.

Autism is everywhere. Look around you. Look at people. Since Autism has a spectrum, you tend to see varying degrees of it. Face it, every one of us experiences the world in our own unique way. Whether it be through a sensory overload or it be our own perception of it. With the raise in number of children and adults getting diagnosed with Autism, you are going to start to see more and more people on this planet who are different from you, in every aspect and that includes the neurological plane.

SO the next time you are out in public and you see a person with Autism or any other neurological disorder. How about not staring. How about not making judgmental comments or offer unsolicited advice.  You want to be helpful? Then accept. Accept that this person can't help some of the stuff that is happening to them. But they are trying. They are trying to be part of this world, just as much as you are, but just doing it differently. They deserve that much at least. And if you can't even do that, then maybe it's you who needs to stay at home. It costs nothing to be a decent human being.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Tale of Two Mothers.

Two women. Two extraordinary women.This is a story about two women who found themselves having a common bond. A child. A child that one day would learn to be appreciative of the lives of these two women who had through love and never ending persistence shape who this child was going to be.

For countless of women on this planet, who have not been able to bear their own children, the first woman of this story is that of a mother who adopted. It doesn't matter what the circumstances where at the time, of why she didn't conceive, but it was the reason she wanted to be a mother to a child is what was important. There are so many children out there that need a good foundation in life. Love, support, nurturing and compassion. And to those people who make the choice to adopt, accept so many of these children into their homes and into their hearts without a second thought. The power to be a parent to someone is a strong feeling. There is a unique bond that both child and parent have. The adopted child will grow up knowing they part of a family loved them for every breath they took. For the adoptive mother, it is a chance to finally be able to have that feeling of motherhood. There is that hope and chance that the universe has given her to be someone's mother despite the odds that were given to her and her partner. She can now be part of the many joys that come from being the mother of someone and  the heartache that comes as well. But in the end it is as simple as hearing a little voice call her " Mommy".

The second woman of this story is that of story the woman gave a child up for adoption. Whatever the circumstances that were, it doesn't matter. The choice that she made to give up her child in the hopes that someone would give it a better life, is a selfless act. Some times that choice is a difficult one to make and sometimes not. But in the end, this child had the possibility to live a life that could better than the woman could provide. It does not make this woman a horrible person. It makes this woman brave. Brave in the sense, that most women who give their children up, often wonder if they had made the right choice. Most carry that worry till the day they part from this world. There are some fortunate to meet their children, as adults and find the strength, through love try to reconnect.

The Child. The child eventually grows up, wondering who gave them their eyes, colour of hair, shape of their mouth. Whether or not its from their mother's side or father's side. But aside from physical differences, the child often wants to know where they came from. There were times that those questions where often difficult to answer. One day that child would grow up to be an adult, who would be on a path of self discovery. That child was me.

Two Women.Two Mothers. Both on very different paths, have one common bond. Me. These two women are remarkable as they have embraced the situation for what it was. The mutual respect and admiration, the mother who gave another a chance at motherhood and the other who raised, loved and supported this child as her own. Both women who embody just what a mother is.

The two of you have no idea the impact you have both made in my life. Not just in parenting styles, but who I am today. Why I am who I am. The choices that both of you made so long ago, shaped me. Never for a moment did I ever feel unloved or unwanted. You have both empowered me to be the woman and mother I am today with my own children.

You both are remarkable. You both are wonderful and I am so blessed to have these two strong, amazing women in my life. Thank you. Happy Mother's Day!  

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Brotherly Bond

Its not often that I walk out of an IEP meeting feeling velkelmpt over something the teachers have said about my children. Most times its hashing out the goals and objectives for their academic future and either coming out feeling some what apprehensive about the meeting itself or worry that the goal will have to be redone in 6 months as they are not working. But this time was different. This time I walked out of that meeting elated, not because my child had met all his goals and needed new ones, but being told about how he interacts with his sister within the school.

As he sets forth to begin a new chapter in his life, as a middle school student, the talk of transition on his part is often the main topic. As he is a child that is my social butterfly, I have no worries that he will make this next step with very few complications. What I fear is how this will be for my daughter. You see, what most people don't know about these two children, is that they have a unique bond. Not just because they are close in age, but because when my daughter didn't have a voice, my eldest was there to lend her his. He has always been her protector and her biggest champion. Sure, as brothers and sisters grow, so do the emotions they have for each other. They get on each other's nerves, just like other brothers and sisters do, but at the end of the day, my son will always be there for his sister. Nothing is more further than that truth, when hearing his teachers talk about how he is with her at school. The joy in him when he sees her in the hall, guiding her and making sure she is ok or going to where she needs to be. Taking her hand and walking as if his peers weren't looking and not caring if they were. I think in a sense, he has taken it upon himself to make sure her well being is taken care of before his own. For a boy at his age, it is a very unselfish act.

I know that next year will be an interesting one for everyone. My daughter is going to have to get used to her buddy not being there. Which for her is a big deal, as she thinks her brother is the bee's knees. But in a sense it will help, hopefully, get her out of her shell a bit. Force her to find her own, as she has always relied on her older brother to break the ice in social situations.

Despite him moving on, I don't see the bonds of siblings breaking anytime soon. In time, it will grow and mature into mutual respect they will have for each other. For him it has been good to have siblings that are special needs, as it has taught him to be more open minded. Many don't get that unique lesson in life.

As for my children, they learn from each other. They see how each other deals with what life throws at them. They will be there for each other when that time is needed. But as of right now, I am enjoying seeing the bonds being made, by simply accepting someone for who they are and not caring about what the rest of the world thinks.