Friday, September 20, 2013

I Found My Courage

After some silent time of contemplation, I am back. 

During that time I thought about what is happening in my life right now, and what it means. The simple fact is, I am a natural born writer, and thinker, but not one that likes spotlights, and controversy.  I like to share, but from a quiet corner. I know that many of have urged me to go to the media with this latest awful situation with Beans, but I have to say that is my last resort, because it is so far out there in my comfort zone that I would literally have to left with no other options, besides defeat. To be honest, I'd almost rather accept defeat than to be on TV talking about such a high conflict situation that is going to bring fire down onto my family.

I don't handle high conflict situations well. What else that I don't handle well is situations where there is a very serious social injustice.  So, I feel that in this case, I am dealing with it whether I want to or not. It's on my doorstep, and isn't going anywhere.I can buck up, and stand my ground, or cower. The consequences for standing up will be harsh. I will be subjected to scrutiny, and I will lose friends, and alliances. Making noise, and being the proverbial whistle blower is not an easy task to carry through.

I thought about all these things the last couple days. I gathered up all of my strength to make the decision to carry on. I have made note of the close friends, and family I thought I had that have not been supportive. I make no apologies to the people that want to get their panties in a bunch when I don't take their advice, or ask them politely not to do something on my personal facebook page. They want to think of only themselves, then that is their right to be selfish, and petty. Fuck them. I won't let them bring me down any longer.

So, I am back. Rested, and ready to go forward, even in the face of adversity. I have to stand up for what is right for Beans, and for all the other kids that this situation has, or will have happened to.


"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Update- Beans and the School Investigation

In my last post I talked about the beginning of what has turned out to be a nightmare on so many levels. Today, that nightmare has gotten scarier.

I received the update from the school police officer who told me that he could not find any criminal conduct in his jurisdiction. He says he interviewed everyone, and no one is criminally liable for Bean's injuries.

I asked him then how does he explain them, and he just kept repeating that he couldn't find anyone to hold criminally liable. No one (obviously) owned up to it, and Beans can't tell us, so he says a crime hasn't been committed.  This makes about as much sense to me as finding a murder victim lying dead with a gunshot to the head, no gun around, and declaring it not a crime, because the victim can't tell anyone what happened, and the police don't know what happened.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Injured Wrists and a Nonverbal Child- Autism mom looking for answers

There is one thing that is in the back of almost every parent's mind when they send their special needs child to school everyday. Those of us parents with nonverbal children are even more prone to worrying about this.

Is my child safe? Are the staff treating him/her well?

Tuesday afternoon when my son got off the bus I quickly realized the answer to both of those questions was no.

I'll start from the beginning.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Space Where My Picture Used to Be- healing and accepting parental rejection

This morning my husband mentioned something to me that set off one of my triggers. It's the trigger that is linked to a sad, desperate, despairing deep in my the pit of stomach. It doesn't matter what it was, because that's not really important. What is important is that something so seemingly mundane should not release in me such extreme emotions that I sit on the edge swinging my feet, and tossing pebbles curiously into the pit of despair for the rest of the day. I make no fuss. No one around me would likely guess that I feel this way. I have matured enough to know that my reaction to something so small is out of proportion to the situation. It's a quiet sadness that longs for reassurance.

I know where this pain comes from, and while it's understandable, there is no logic in getting upset over something I can't control.

A few weeks ago my grandfather, and his new wife came to take my two oldest to stay with them for a few days. I jumped at this opportunity, because neither my parents, or my husband's parents (except his father) do anything with my kids. They literally don't ever have the grandparent experience.  While they were there they visited my parents.

My daughter said that there was no evidence in their home that I even ever existed. All pictures of me have been removed

Sunday, September 8, 2013

17 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Tight Schedule

Do you think that you're too busy to eat healthy? Do you often find yourself stopping at a convenient store, or drive thru due to tight schedules, and a a rumbling stomach?

This is such a common issue that I believe it is warranted a bump up on my blog posting list about developing healthier habits. On a previous post about this topic a reader asked me for some tips about how to eat healthy while balancing a hectic schedule. I would have liked to do a post about what to eat, and what to keep in check first, but I wanted to address this question, because it is a terrific one. I believe that time is probably one of the biggest, second only to maybe not having the correct information, obstacles most of us face in eating better, more nutritious food.

I will address the reasons why in a later post, but here are some tips to eating a healthy diet when busy:

*If you can afford it, take advantage of the already prepared produce trays at the store. This can cut down time when you're in a hurry, and is still likely less expensive to prepare a meal using already prepped ingredients than eating fast food.

*Cook things likes beans in bulk, and freeze them for tacos, and chili meals.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to School IEP Tips and Ideas

A few weeks ago I promised that I would share some tips about how Bubby's IEP meeting went.

It wasn't quite an 'IEP' meeting. I guess it was just an informal meeting designed to update old staff, and inform new staff about Bubby's needs. It was not to change, or alter the IEP, so I suppose that is the only difference. The whole team was there, as well as as the coordinator of  our local educational coop's special ed dept as per my request.

First of all, it was a night, and day difference with the way the principal behaved with the Special ed. coordinator there. He still said a few things that were not in line with today's laws, and regulations, but all in all his obstinate, bully-ish demeanor changed to a subdued version of that demeanor. He barely concealed his contempt at having to use what he would consider nontraditional methods on his school, because he doesn't feel he should have to bend for any student, but rather if the student can't acclimate to his environment, then they should go to a different placement. But, since that is a violation of law I work my way around him. If you had not been up to date with Bubby's school situation here is my last entry about it.

First, here is the letter that I write every school year to help acquaint them with Bubby,. and his needs.

Hello!

At the beginning of every year I always like to make up a little info sheet about Bubby to hand out to teachers, as well as a shorter version for you to tuck away in your sub folders to help quickly acquaint substitutes with Bubby.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Empathy, Familiarity, and Murder

This is my current thoughts about the latest tragedy in the autism community. I am not meaning any of it sarcastically, or rhetorically.

When one person commits a heinous act of murdering her child we scream "Nail her to the cross!"

But, if someone we have kind feelings. and positive associations with does the very same thing, society gathers to defend said person.

I am trying to understand how the two are different.. How is the action, the result, the crime committed, the pain inflicted different between person 1 and person 2?  How did the facts change? Is it just your view that changed? If so, should people be treated differently with different consequences due to how we *feel* about what they've done, and less by the  the action itself?

I have sat all day thinking on this issue, and trying to find reasoning in it, but I just can't. I am not a cold callous individual. I don't believe in the concept of good, and evil. I think sometimes when someone does something as unthinkable as trying to kill their child there are mitigating factors. I'm not an unreasonable person. As a matter fact, I'm a very logical person and today's reaction from the autism community to the tragic news of a mother trying to harm her child is not making sense in my head. If a stranger harms another being is it still not the same amount of harm being inflicted if it is your best friend doing it? Does the harm amount to less if it's a familiar person? If the harm is the same, then why should punishment be any different? Why does one scenario have almost all of the autism community saying in unison that lack of services is never a reason to kill your child, but today that is different? This case is different, because...?

This isn't me talking about disability rights, or who could have, or should have done what. This is me trying to make sense of the social concept of empathizing with a murderer/attempted murderer, because this person evokes familiar feelings of love, and care. I am not as angry as I am confused. How I feel about the action of the mother in this case is another post entirely. For now, I am lost in what appears to be a social custom that I cannot wrap my head around. Others are free to hold their own opinions. I'm just trying to understand them.


*Please keep comments respectful, and read this before you blame my autism for not understanding your POV. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#Autism Mom Mcjudgypants

This is one of those posts. If you're a writer you know which kind I mean. Those posts where you begin, and erase, and begin again. You feel the words, but they remain elusive, just out of reach..... You know what you want to say, but can never manage to really convey it. The words you write don't do your thoughts justice, so you erase them, and stare at a blank page, and blinking cursor, until it's time to do something else. This has gone on for months with this post.

I think I have touched on the issue quite a bit about parentingkindness, and what we can gain from not being so judgmental. I talk about it quite a bit on my page, too. I know it's not a novel concept, yet I want to bring this topic up again in the context of special needs parents speaking to other special needs parents. (Sorry, I don't use person first language).

What does this interaction usually look like?-You may ask.

Well, it usually goes something like this:

Scenario One:
Usually, a topic is brought up by parent 1. Parent 1 may be asking for help, or may just have mentioned a certain topic of discussion, but either way parent 2 has heard, and has some advice to offer. They offer it, even if it's completely not useful to parent 1. If they are pushy, they will insist that it works, and ask a bunch of questions about why it won't work. Now, this is where I get flustered. Usually, I can just thank the advice giver, and be on my way, but if they are insistent, then that is much harder. I am not good with being evasive. I always respond with long detailed answers that will usually make parent 2 try to come up with reasons why their way can work despite all of those things.

With this scenario I feel kind of defensive, and almost like I am being attacked. I feel like it is obvious from what they are telling me that my child's autism is not the same as their child's.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bean's Developmental Pediatrician Appointment

Last Thursday my husband and I made the journey to take Beans to see his developmental pediatrician.  To be fair, it's only about a 40 minute drive from our home, but getting Beans there is a journey in, and of itself.

First, I have to actually obtain an appointment with the the doctor. She is one of the only doctors who can diagnosis, and 'treat' autism in our state. You can imagine what her schedule looks like. When I initially called a few weeks ago I was originally given a January date. Umm... no. My son is not in a place where he can wait that long. He is having some really serious self injurious behaviors, and I need him to see the doctor. Soon. So, I explained the situation. I said there was no way my son can wait 5 months. He's not a new patient. He's been her patient for over 7 years, and I have only brought him in 2 in the last 7 years. This is an emergency. She checked with the nurses, and found that there was an opening due to a cancellation in a few weeks. I really didn't want to wait a few weeks, but it's better than months!

So, I get the appointment, and the day comes to get together to see the doctor. I forget how terrified he is of the whole process. We get there, and he doesn't want to exit the van.