Saturday, December 20, 2014

Beyond Behavioral- The necessity of medical tests for ANY behavioral changes in a nonverbal person

I may have briefly mentioned some of Beans violent meltdowns lately. I tend not to share a lot of the personal day to day happenings that I think may reflect negatively on my kids. Not because I think one should never talk about autism in a negative light, but because I feel there needs to be a limit to how much of my children's stories I share with the public.

Anyway, back to my point... He has been having pretty severe meltdowns several times a day that have been leaving the whole house exhausted. Obviously, the meds he was taking were no longer helping, so I took him off of them. His mood improved overall, but the meltdowns did not cease, even a little.

When I took him to the doctor about it the first question was if I wanted to try more meds.

That is never the right first question when dealing with a nonverbal autistic child. Really, any autistic child, but especially not one who is extremely limited in communication.

I asked if his lab work we had done several days ago was back. It was, but not even really considered. I had to ask for the lab to be done, and for it to be read.

Turned out his blood sugar levels were a little low, and his thyroid was high.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tips on Selecting the Best Christmas Pet for Your Family

So, you want to buy your kid's, or family a pet for Christmas? It seems like a great idea for the best gift ever for your kids. What child doesn't think getting a puppy is like the best gift ever?

But, wait..... First let's consider a few things.

First off I will address the fact that many consider giving a  living animal as a gift to your child cheapens the value of the animal being a living thing, and reduces him/her to a toy. I see that point, and agree, but hear me out. There is no such thing as a free animal from rescue, or from anywhere. They all have fees associated with them, and require immunizations, and other things. Even a rescue dog is likely to cost upwards of a couple hundred by the time all is said, and done depending on the fees at your local shelter. For a lot of us that money needs to come from somewhere, so the gift fund is often where it comes from. The same as this year Christmas in our household is a little short (okay a lot) due to our dog getting sick, and requiring a lot of very expensive vet care. The money had to come from somewhere, so it came out of our Christmas budget. Merry Christmas to us. We still have a healthy dog.

Now that I've got that out of the way let's get back to the main point. Picking out a pet.

Friday, December 5, 2014

I'm Too Old For....

Today is my birthday. This last week I have been thinking back on my life, and how things are. I have a hard time believing that I am 36. It doesn't feel possible. When I was younger I always felt so mature for my age, but now as I age I feel my internal clock is moving in reverse. I feel like I am still in my twenties, and the 90's were just 10 years ago.

I was thinking about the things I like about my life, and the winding path that has taken me to where I am. I was also thinking about the things I am tired of, and done with. Things that I said I wanted to change a long time ago, but realized I never bothered with.  I began to compile a mental list in my mind about these things. Things I felt I was too old for, or done with.

I'm too old to keep being the victim. I know this one seems to be a bit strange to say, but hear me out. We've all had bad things happen to us. A lot of the things that happen to us when young is not our fault. We have no say in what kind of family we're born into. We have no say over a lot of the most painful of life's circumstances. They happen to us no matter who we are. We're all going to experience the loss of a loved one at some point in our lives, for example. However, there are so many things we do have control over. These are the situations that I am talking about when I say that I am too old to keep playing the part of the victim. I think what often happens is that many of us that came from dysfunctional families where we were not accepted, or cared for tend to subconsciously seek that pattern in other relationships. This is not to say that we want to keep feeling bad, but we are used to it. It's comfortable. It's the role we know, so we play it. I know this has been the case for me. I don't like being rejected, or never having my needs considered by others, yet it keeps happening in so many of my relationships. Somehow, I keep seeking this role out, hating it all the way.

I'm done with it.

I need to actively seek to better my life, and not blame others for my own problems. If I don't have enough help, or enough affection, or enough anything I need to problem solve on how to resolve this. I can't keep just expecting others to meet my needs without me being active in putting the process in place.

With that being said.....

I'm too old to be giving myself away. This one goes with the victim role I was talking about above.  I'm getting too old to keep getting into the role of people pleaser. I am getting too old to waste time on people that are only there to take advantage of me. I can't keep being taken by the same type of people, and expect my life to not feel drained.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The #Ferguson Decision- My Thoughts

Earlier today I posted one of my opinions about the Ferguson decision last night on my facebook page for my blog. To say that it was not well received would be an understatement. I ended up being so flummoxed, and out of time to properly explain my thoughts without a litany of swear words, and ranting, so I shut the page down for a couple hours. This was just my way of pausing the whole thing so I could think for a minute, and gain my emotional control. I needed to have a moment to write, and I have not had that time until now, so I am. I put my page back up, but have not been on it, so I can imagine it is quite possible that things have gotten worse, and I have lost 10 more members.

I thought about just deleting the thread that caused the issue to begin with. I thought about trying to clarify what I am trying to say on that thread. One of the reasons I am so mad is not at the people that disagree. I know the critics are there. I am more upset at the people that agree, but have opted to remain silent withholding comment, and even likes so as not to enter the conflict. I see them saying similar things on their private (read safe) pages, but will not engage in a wider arena due to being too afraid to get attacked.

I have opted not to go the safe route, so it's time for me to put on my big girl undies, and deal. This post is where I am going to offer my opinions about the Ferguson decision. You are welcome to address these points, and bring up any of your own (provided you're being respectful, and remaining on topic) in the comments section. I will not be returning to the thread that caused the issue, and commenting further there. I feel what I was trying to say has been twisted around, and that was a few hours ago. I can't imagine how out of hand it's gotten since.

First of all, I want to clear one thing up that seems to be so misunderstood. I am not angry that a cop 'got away with murder'. I am angry

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Uneven- How my brain works

Last Wednesday I went before our state board of education to speak along with our state's disability rights center about the current lack of enforceable regulations regarding seclusion, and restraint complaints in our state. There are regulations in place, but no real way for the board to enforce them if a parent files a complaint. The complaint process is really a meaningless gesture the way it's all set up at the moment. I strongly feel that needs to change.

As passionate as I am about having strong laws that protect vulnerable children I almost as terrified of public speaking. I don't like being the center of attention, and I don't like speaking in front of groups of people. This combined with news cameras, and closed circuit television really was my idea of anxiety hell. It was so many of my fears rolled into one event.

I sat there listening until it was my turn. The people that went before me were better at public speaking, but not necessarily in getting to a point that makes sense, and is action oriented. You only have three minutes to speak. One needs to make their point quickly, buy effectively, as well. There needs to be a directive at the end of what, and or how you'd like to see your idea implemented into public education.

I heard some good ideas from educators, and parents. One in particular spoke about the need for movement breaks being implemented into the classroom environment, Those of us familiar with autism, and sensory processing disorder call these sensory breaks. All kids (and arguably adults, as well) need these breaks. It's important to our whole mind, and body system to give our bodies the opportunity to rebalance after sitting for a prolonged time. Children especially are not built for long periods of inactivity. I loved her idea, and that she did a demonstration. What I waited for, and didn't hear was how to implement this activity in every class period. What I waited for, and didn't hear was how there have been numerous studies recently about the need for more movement being incorporated in children's school days, or even what solutions she is specifically asking the board to implement.

I noticed that many were pretty good at speaking while looking at the board members, and really just having fluid body language that I didn't have. It was taking all I had to read without losing my place. I also thought I might throw up. My voice shook, but the words came out as I wrote them. I was told I did a great job, and my testimony seemed to really make a big impression. I was approached by a few of the board members who had questions, and who wanted to get my contact info.

It occurred to me as I was on my way home what impression I left on all those people in that room. A willowy,  thin, well dressed woman who was was well spoken, and capable. That was something, wasn't it? I'd never thought of myself that way, and never thought others did, but in this moment I saw a glimpse of what I can look like in a small sliver of time to others. Strong, and educated. Privileged, even. The only way I could get through the entire ordeal was to tell myself that I was just as good as anyone else there. I had just as much right to speak, and be heard as anyone. That was a novel thought to me. It truly was. I repeated it over, and over in my head as I awaited my turn to speak until I almost believed it.

What they couldn't know was that I could never have gone if my husband hadn't driven me from two hours away. Driving on the interstate to unfamiliar places is not something I can do. It may as well be located in outer space if it were left to me to get there from far away. It's not laziness, or just anxiety. It really is beyond my capability to drive that far away, and find my way around without getting lost, or so completely overwhelmed that I couldn't function. All the little steps of traveling seem so hard for me. I feel like a child. These are the times that I know I am not capable, and am not strong.

But, you know what? This is a big part of what autism is.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holding Grudges & Social Politics

The other day my husband and I were talking about the school situation with Beans last year, and how I was still angry at one of our friendly acquaintances (Beans bus driver) for not taking a stand for Beans. He said I was taking it too personally.

I said, " I don't think you're taking it personally enough!"

Here we have a very outgoing, friends with everyone, well known,very popular person from our town, and probably whole area. In an effort to not get messy she chose to pretty much not take a side, though I do feel like she leaned on the school's side a little. She seemed to always give them the benefit of the doubt. "Maybe he fell down?" She would pose. Or, "So and so's mom said that her daughter had GREAT results with that teacher." She totally ignored the fact that my child was sent home seriously injured from that classroom, and then thrown aside as the school attacked me, as if I was the one who was wrong for asking what happened. She chose to remain quiet, and supportive of my family so as not to ruffle feathers.

It was very personal.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Less More When It Comes To Social Media?

I read an article several weeks ago about how we overuse social media, because of fear. The fear had to do with feeling like we're missing out. If we're not connected, and paying attention we might miss something, or be left out of an important social loop. Now, in all logic most of us know that 90% of social media is not really ever very important. This is not to say that some wonderful things haven't been done on social media. I don't mean to negate important social movements, charity events, and other such things that do very seriously impact our daily lives. We have to admit that funny animals videos, memes, and pictures of our meals are not exactly earth changing in, and of itself. However, many of us really fear that if we don't check in we just might not be in the loop, or involved in the latest trends. We might find ourselves left out of events, or without knowledge that everyone else will know, but us.

I thought that this didn't apply to me. I really don't care about most social practices. However, I couldn't overcome, or shake this feeling of irritation, and agitation that I would get when engaged in browsing Facebook, and Twitter. It seemed like it was not adding to, but taking away from my life. I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to change some of my online habits, because they clearly were not working for me.

But, what to change seemed to be the impossible question. I had to find the source of my upset. Was it the amount of time I spent online, or was it the content? Was it both?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Can

In my last entry,' Can depression be useful?' I brought up a few points about how depression could possibly be useful in some ways, such as really hyperfocused problem solving. For myself, my recent bout of depression seemed to really be an effective instigator in finding some solutions to long term issues that have been happening in my life. It seems that when something is a way for a long time we tend to not be able to see that it can be changed, even if the situation is negative. It's like we just resign to situations that don't work for us, even when we would like for them to be different out of habit. I had just resigned to certain things being less than optimal, because in my mind it was just the way things are. I swallowed my feelings about them, and moved on. That can only work for so long before mental health starts deteriorating in some cases where the situations are stressful.

The change in my mental state was a wake up call. It was what I needed to take stock of what mattered, and didn't. What was working, and what wasn't. It was the kick I needed to really reign in my energies, and make some changes that needed to be made.

As I pulled in my energies, and shut everything else down one theme quickly became clear in my life- I really was in desperate need of a break.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Can #Depression Be Useful?

I read an article the other day about depression being an evolutionary trait that has been passed down by our ancestors, because it does harbor some usefulness. I read, and re-read it. I read it several times when I was depressed, and I just re-read it again in my current frame of mind, which is melancholy, but not what I would describe as depressed. I really wanted to let this idea sink in before really having much of an opinion on it.

In the article it talks about how when people are depressed they tend to shut down almost all other activities, and focus primarily on their problems. It's narrows down our focus, and reserves our energy for solving issues that triggered the depression in the first place. This is exactly what I was referring to in my last post. I was tired, and worn out so many issues being constantly tossed my way at once that I think my brain just needed to pull in it's energy to focus on what was the most important, which was/is taking care of my family. It was also a big, huge flashing warning that something in my life was not working. I needed to take a break from the distractions of others to really dismantle everything, and really understand what was happening. There are some people that have disorders that may indicate that depression just happens to them without warning, or reason, but most of us have reasons behind why we fall into depression. Most types of depression is triggered by an event, or lifestyle that our brain did not/cannot process in a healthy manner. Depression is a way for us to examine that trigger, and what behaviors it set forth that is not congruent with our life.

Some of the triggers are not things we can choose.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Refilling My Reserves

There has always been something about gazing up at the night sky that captivates me. The smell of night, and the calm stillness pulls my thoughts into another world.It's one that transcends physical practicalities, and realities. It's a dimension of me that only I know, and wish so deeply that I could pull another person into it for just a moment to share in the richness. I wish I could express it in words with the depth in which I feel it. There are no words that describe how I feel sometimes.

As I step out into the intricate moonlight the blue hues in the sky remind me of every happy moment I had as a child. It's like every memory melds into one time, and one experience that is stored away in the recesses of my mind until something triggers it, and there I am as happy as I could ever be.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I Can't.

I can erase, and begin again so many times with this post, but in the end I know it doesn't really matter. I can try to craft an entry with words that captivate, and lend ease to reader's sense of imagination who happen upon my words, but that is not what this post is about. That is not the content I am able to put forth today. That is probably my least favorite form of writing. I like to write freestyle, letting the words pour out of my fingers almost as quick as I can think them. I like the freedom of the words showing up on the screen in front of me almost quicker than they can be recognized in my own head.

Truth is, right now I am not able to write any other way. My ability to speak, relate, hear, understand, and just be near people is severely compromised. It isn't purposeful hiding. I have hit a place mentally I cannot people. I can't hardly write. I can't hardly speak. I can't hardly think.

I just can't.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sometimes Foods- How to Tweak Your Diet for Optimal Nutrition and Taste

When we think about diet, nutrition, and healthy eating habits most of us know that we should eat more natural foods, and less fried sugary types of foods. That is really basic knowledge that most of us know is factual. We're taught that from a young age. Then why is it that it seems so hard to put into place?

I do think part of this is due to misconception of what the diet industry has taught us about low fat, and fat free foods. I think people have been generally mislead to believe that unhealthy foods are healthy. I also think that we become accustomed to eating certain foods, and our bodies, and minds crave these foods.

I think the other major part is food availability. Being able to access quality produce that one can afford is also a major concern. When I see big name TV shows, and celebs give meal advice it may as well be in another language. I know for a fact that my family cannot afford to eat the way they are suggesting. It feels impossible to me even hearing it. It seems that no one ever considers that maybe not all of us can afford to buy that much produce, and other pricey items. It can be off putting for people living in poverty that need to eat better for their health.

I have heard from numerous sources that our bodies get accustomed to certain foods. Eating a lot of processed foods will dull our taste buds to anything that is not packed with preservatives, and sodium. Anything that has less salt than a Dorito chip may render not as tasty to our tongue as a result of eating too many similar items. This leads to most of us craving foods that we know aren't very healthy, because the rest taste so bland. It feels like a chore to choke down fruits, and vegetables.That is why many, many diets fail. The dieter feels like they're being punished by having to live in a world of bland food, and they decide that being overweight really isn't that bad compared to eating like that every day forever.

The good news is that you can reprogram your brain somewhat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Damage @TheDrPhilShow Has Done

I don't watch daytime TV, nor do I get involved in large social issues that typically involve choosing opposing sides, so I learned of the interview on Dr. Phil's show in the 11th hour yesterday.

I am still sitting here this morning in a shock, even though I did not watch it. I caught a few glimpses. I read things from others who saw it, and I followed the event a little on Twitter.

This shock is one that I find myself in when I can't understand a social way of doing things. It's one that I can't shake, because I can't make sense of it. Not only did that interview upset me,  (I am not even going to use her name here. She doesn't deserve to have her name in print giving it anymore attention.) but I saw a string of other articles yesterday (that I am also not gonna go search out, and share here) about abusive caretakers, and residential homes harming, abusing, and killing autistic residents.

My brain loops in confusion, and profound sadness.

I cannot make sense of why this is allowed to happen. Why is someone who tried to kill their child getting so much publicity? Why are they granted interviews with influential TV hosts before they are even sentenced? While she sits in jail accused of a heinous crime the spotlight shines on her struggles. This is not justice. This is not right. My mind trips on the fact that socially this is influencing people.

Then the fear sets in.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

6 Week Milestone!

Last Tuesday was my 6 week mark from when I had a hysterectomy. I thought that since I did a pre-surgery post, and a one week post op post I would do a 6 week milestone post.

The doctor gave me the all clear for exercise, and other activities. He said I healed up well. I have been taking my return to normal activities very, very slowly. As I said in my last update post, I definitely did not get much of a reprieve from my regular duties around the house. My usual routine was most of the way in full effect by week two. My exercise routine was not. Neither was my ability to lift heavy things like the trash, cases of water at the store, and jumping on the trampoline with Beans.

I was pretty nauseous up to week 4. That is when I finally got my appetite back fully. I still needed ibuprofen for pain, and occasionally pain meds, too. My stomach was still pretty swollen, and I really felt a bit deflated emotionally between weeks 3 and 4, too.

Week five is when I began to feel much better. My swelling went down to reveal a much flatter stomach then what I had before the surgery, so I was pretty happy about that. I had no pain, and was feeling fine. The doctor said that my uterus was twice the size it is supposed to be, so I think without that in the way everything was moving along pretty well.

Week five is also when I decided to start back up on my exercising. I began with this video, which I did daily:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How To Make 5 Meals Using Only 1 Chicken

When I am really needing to be frugal for a week's worth of groceries one of the items that lands in my cart is a whole chicken. It takes a lot of time spent in the kitchen, but you can make a chicken last for up to 5 (sometimes 6, but that isn't always possible) meals on the cheap. When I am less inclined to take all of the fun out of a succulent roasted chicken my family loves I can make it last 2, or maybe even three meals. Chicken is also a lean meat that is healthy. Most things you can do with a roasted chicken doesn't involve a lot of things like frying it, and whatnot, so you end up with a frugal meal that is good for you, too.

I know many of these steps are what many would consider common knowledge, but I am being very detailed for those reading that don't have a lot of kitchen experience, and especially not a lot of budgeting experience. I remember being 18 on my own, and not having a clue how to stretch my money to last. I wish someone would have laid it out for me step by step.

So, how do I do it?

Step One:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building Positive Interactions in the Classroom- Bubby goes to middle school

Tomorrow will be the one week marker of the start of school. This year was a big deal, because Bubby moved to middle school. I really had anticipated the worst. I thought for sure the teachers would be less than inclined to indulge him with all of this idiosyncrasies. I had anxiety filled thoughts of him being bullied, and crying. I tried not to think too much of it, but truth be told I was about a third ready to homeschool him. I really thought it might be that much of an ordeal.

To my utter shock it has been the total opposite.

I wanted to share an exchange that he had (told to me by his para) with his science teacher. It was the first, or second day of school, and they were coloring something. The teacher asked the class something related to the material they were studying.

Bubby's hand shot up, and she called on him.

Bubby: Does anyone tease your dog? (This is one of his special interests.)

Science Teacher: Well, we're talking about _________ right now, but I'd be happy to talk about my dog after class.

Immediately, Bubby starts to cry, and get worked up. Meltdown is pending. The para decided to let him be for a second, which I would agree with at that time. He needs some space to work through his upset at feeling criticized, and probably embarrassed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Not a Choice #depression

There is this graphic that I see passed around the internet from Facebook to Twitter, and undoubtedly other areas of the net that I don't frequent. I can't find it at the moment, but it features a man on what looks like a bus with two opposing views. On the right side the man has a view of a gray, gloomy terrain. He is leaning against the window sullen, and despondent. On the left side the view is bright, cheerful, and sunny. The man looking out this side of the bus wears a happy disposition. The graphic states that we choose the view.

Every time I see this graphic I want to scream.

Being Me

One major change that I have been working on in my life is not caring what others think of me. It is not true that people on the spectrum don't care what other people think about us. I do care, and I know others that do, too. What I don't care about is impressing people with status symbols, like clothes, cars, and a big nice house, ect..

However, I very much care if someone thinks I am annoying, stupid, ugly, a bad mom, or a host of other negative personal attributes. Not knowing always how to read people, and how to gauge situations I have learned to cope by playing it safe, and not saying, or doing anything until I am 100% certain it is appropriate to the situation.

I have stopped doing that. Now, if I feel like saying or doing something I do it. I worry that others' will think less of me for doing so, but the truth is I have to be me. I am tired of painting myself in the corner just to blend in. I'm going to do what I want for a change.

Sure, maybe not everyone will like what I do, or say, but that's fine. One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn (and to be honest I am still learning it) is that not everyone is going to like me, and I am not always going to like everyone else. It's the way it is. We're not all always going to get along.


What I have found so far is that the less I consume my mind with wondering what others are thinking of me the less I think negative things about others. I simply notice the differences between us, and that's all. I am taking things much less personal these days. It's true that people are still doing the same things that always have gotten under my skin, but it affects me less.

This new outlook has improved my life

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recovering from a Hysterectomy in an Autistic Household

In my last post I talked about preparing for an upcoming hysterectomy.  It now has been a week, so I thought I'd do a little update. When I was recovering what I appreciated most was knowing what to expect in my recovery period. Especially the first week. I knew the vague details I had been told by the hospital, and read online, but I wanted to know a more day by day play of what others experiences were. I thought that I could write about mine so that other women might be able to learn something from it. Especially, those of us on the spectrum who need a lot of preparation ahead of time for things. Also, this might be helpful in terms of what to expect if you're a mother of children with special needs. This post is bound to be long-winded, and maybe boring to many. You've been warned!

Day 1- The Day of surgery.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anxiety and Routine Change- preparing for surgery

About four months ago I posted an entry titled 'Could it Be Irritable Bowel Syndrome?' I have a major update to that post.

I did follow those steps for awhile, and my stomach did not feel better. As a matter of fact, some of my issues got even worse. Thankfully, I have obtained insurance (Thanks Obama!) to actually see a doctor about what to do next.

It took me several visits to finally get my regular doc to hear what I was saying. I think this is not due to her inadequacy, but more leaning towards my failure to communicate in ways people understand. I am still trying to work out why I am not able to typically get people to listen, and respond to me when I need something. In this instance, I finally wrote down all of my symptoms, and brought them with me to the office for my appointment. That got immediate results. Upon hearing all of my symptoms my doctor said it sounds like I have endomentriosis. She scheduled me for a appointment with an OBGYN.

At that appointment he concurred that it sounded like endo, and he quickly got me scheduled for a surgical  procedure called laproscopy that would take pictures of my reproductive organs to see if endometriosis, or anything else was present.

The results were that I did indeed have a fair amount of endo. scarring, and a condition known as adenomyosis, or enlarged uterus. These were definitely the cause of so much of my stomach distress, which has worsened considerably the last few months. The doctors all assured me the only cure is a hysterectomy. Without one, the problem would likely continue to worsen until menopause. I am several years away from that, so I have opted to get the hysterectomy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What If He Isn't Ready for Potty Training?

A couple weeks ago I decided to delve into the whole potty training thing again with Beans. We've been trying for awhile, but I decided to really dedicate myself to the endeavor, and try a new technique.

It didn't go well.

All the usual familiar thoughts started going through my head. I worried that I had not tried hard enough, or that others would think that I hadn't. All those sorts of anxiety laced imaginings that catch up to me while I am laying in bed trying to sleep.

But, then I remembered that I am trying to be a better mom by being kind to myself. The happier I am with my decisions the happier of a mom I can be. If I am always looking to others to define my worth I can never be sure of how I feel, or who I am. I'll forever trying to reach an imaginary, unattainable standard. I stood up to those negative thoughts.

I began to ask myself some tough questions about whether I really thought that I did give it a good effort, and if my instinct was that he wasn't ready. I felt that my answers were genuine. Giving up the potty training for now is what is best for him. There has been so many other times where I listened to other people's ideas on what was best for my kids, and in the instance of developmental types of things I was rarely wrong. My instincts (much like most parent's) were almost always correct. There have been times where I deeply regret not listening to my instincts, and letting other's dictate the situation. Some of those times have greatly added to my children's anxiety, because I know the situation was too overwhelming for them at that time, or just the wrong fit.

I did begin to reassure myself about all the cool new leaps he's made lately. In the last year Beans has been able to do so many new things. His developmental progress is nothing to be upset about.

Let's have a look at all new skills Beans has acquired recently.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Q&A- Meltdowns, Tantrums, and Shutdowns from an autistic perspective

I have received two very important questions regarding meltdowns. The first one was from a few weeks ago when I said I'd do some video type of blogging on my FB page, and the other was via email. I do think that I may be able to cover more material in a quicker way if I were to do a video, but I am not up to it at the moment for a variety of stress, and health related reasons. Sometimes, it is nice to use chatting as a way to convey a large quantity of info more efficiently, but sometimes I just can't get the words out verbally, so typing is what I have to do.

The first question I have received is:

"How do you tell the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum?"

I have thought long and hard about this one. The short, and quick answer is there isn't one.

Let me explain.

My philosophy is with kids in general is that they typically do the best with the skills they have. Every behavior is a way of communicating something. Today's world seems so hellbent on forcing children into complying. It seems that the better behaved one's kids are the more effective you are regarded by others as a parent. I find that this is erroneous, and based on a belief system that all kids are here to fit our molds, and not have days where they are human with their own needs. Plus, it's often that we are only judged on what people might see in public for a short time, which says virtually nothing about the way we conduct most of our lives behind the scenes.

What I find most often with autistic kids is that a tantrum almost always turns into a meltdown due to the overwhelming emotions that come with a meltdown. With both of my boys it seems that not getting something they wanted might spark a tantrum, but quickly moves into a meltdown where even if I were to give in to what they wanted initially it would not matter. They suddenly cannot be calmed by anything. I do see that in a desperate attempt to not even go there in the first place many parents of ASD kids will just not ever say no to begin with out of fear of the impending meltdown. That is also not a desirable way to deal with the situation. Kids need to be taught how to handle strong emotions when they arise, and they can't practice if they never get the chance.

Equally, as important... don't say no, then stick to it with veracity to prove your point if your kid cannot handle that situation. Sometimes, we don't know if they can handle it, or they want something that is impossible to give. If they're already seeming vulnerable I try not to even get into situations that might cause a tantrum/meltdown. Like, I know that Beans cannot handle walking past the pool while it is open, and not going. That is beyond his ability to comprehend, so I make sure to avoid the pool area while on foot. Once I say no to something I mean no, and will not go back, but I try to be sure I mean NO before I say it. If I can avoid certain situations that I don't think the boys have the emotional skills to handle I will, instead opting to work on building up to those challenging situations.

The very, very worst thing that one can do is not ever try little situations that might give a child the ability to be successful in handling the situation, thus they never learn how to manage their emotions. An example I see a lot is parents that say they never go out to eat, or virtually leave the house with their autistic child. This is not doing anyone any favors in the long run. This all or nothing thinking leaves the autistic child with no exposure to the outside world, and no opportunity to learn in small steps how to behave, and handle oneself in public.I know that it can be difficult, awkward, embarassing, and even unsafe if you have a runner, but if done in small enough steps it can be done. I take all of my kids with me to the grocery store, and to restaurants alone, and it is usually fine. We didn't get there overnight. This took years of work to get the point my boys can behave in places like restaurants,and other public places. I wrote a short tutorial about this HERE

Question two: What are shutdowns?

This question was a hard one to answer. I don't really know how to describe them, but I will try.


What do they look like:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Helpful Guide to Understanding Meltdowns

One of the most common questions that I am asked is about meltdowns. It is understandably one of the biggest issues a person on the spectrum can face, and it can really make loved ones feel helpless. I always feel a little bit hesitant on giving much general advice. I find that there are about as many different types of meltdowns, as well as ways to help as there are autistic people. What works for one may not work for another, and vice versa. So, I thought that I could offer some general tips and ideas based off of what I have seen in my life. Some of these won't apply to you, or the autistic people you might know, but hopefully a few will be able to at least provide a little insight.

So, what is a meltdown?

This questions jumps right to the center of what this entry is about. It's also one that is really hard to answer. I don't know how to describe something that has no physical form. It's almost like trying describe what an emotion is. I just can't quite find the right words to convey the depth of a meltdown, and it's many, many facets.

I think a common misconception is that there is only one kind of meltdown. This is what makes it seem so elusive to onlookers who want desperately to problem solve when their autistic child/loved one is in the throes of what they think is a meltdown. What worked last time might not work this time, and a trigger that seemed to be mild last Thursday might be too much today. There's different types of meltdowns, as well as different combinations of things that tend to set one off at different times, and believe it or not is even unpredictable to many of us adults who are very self aware.

I can list a few different general types, and triggers so that you might be able to gather some info from here to possibly compare to your own situation. One thing that I heard once from a behavior specialist is that a meltdown is like a seizure in that you cannot stop one once it's started. You can make one worse, and you can prolong it's effects, but once the brain has reached that tipping point it is over. You can't unspill the overload, which is is to me what a meltdown is. It is an acute reaction to too much happening all at once, in which the brain has no way to cope, or contain. The excess must go somewhere. From what I can gather there are three main categories of meltdowns. Sensory, Executive functioning mishaps, and Emotional.

The different types of meltdowns:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wife and Mother of Two Unable to Express Affection on Social Media [Satire]

*********This blog entry is satire, and intended for entertainment purposes only.
 I know this is not my usual writing style, but it is truly how I think. I really enjoy satire comedy, and would like to incorporate some of this natural thinking style into my blog writing. I hope you enjoy it, but if not that's okay, too. All that I ask is for you to NOT leave comments if you are not fully understanding what satire means. Thank you.************
 

-Local mother, Jane Smith scrolls past a cheerful graphic on her Facebook wall that says "Share if you love your daughter" leaving room for doubt in her family that she does indeed love her 10 year old daughter Sarah.

"She always scrolls right past them, and never shares." says Sarah tearfully.

Jane admits that what Sarah says is true. She maintains that she doesn't share graphics about having the 'best son ever', either. "It's just that I find that amount of sharing to be nonsensical" she explains.

Jane's husband, Bob also finds himself wallowing in doubt about his wife's true feelings for him. "While other wives share their affections openly via social media about their husbands Jane is always suspiciously quiet about her personal life when posting on social media sites."

"Bob is not incorrect." says relationship guru Dr. Fruad. "We often see many women posting via their mobile devices how much they love their husband to Twitter, and Facebook right from the couch where they both are sitting. If a man wants to know how his wife feels about him he can usually tell by checking her timeline." he explains.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sensory Solutions Part 3- Auditory

In the first two sensory solutions posts I discussed the different types of sensory input and began to break down the different ones by category starting with visual senses first.

In this post I would like to discuss the sense of auditory as it relates to someone with sensory processing issues.

I feel like this topic is one of a very wide terrain. It will be a difficult task to cover every auditory type of issue one might be prone to with sensory processing issues, and autism. I will try to touch on all of the ones that I know about, and have heard of in this post.

From what I have seen auditory issues are the most frequent of all sensory issues to affect people on the spectrum in a way that really alters our life. I have found this to apply to those diagnosed with Asperger's to those with profound autism. We all tend to be able to relate to each other in the way of auditory stimuli wreaks havoc on our lives at times.

As with all sensory issues those auditory in nature can be hypo and hyper sensitive.  With auditory issues I find that there is certain things that bother each person that would make them hyper, and hypo sensitive, as well as have what is known as Auditory Processing Disorder- which I will cover in greater detail later in this article.

Hypersensitivity to noise

What are some the things that can cause someone with auditory processing issues to be sensitive to noise?

* Children yelling/babies crying.
* Dogs barking.
* Horns and sirens
* Motors
* White noise- such as fans blowing, water running
* Chewing noises
* Breathing/snoring noises
* Any repetitive banging, ticking, or clicking
* Lots of people talking at once
* High pitched noises- some of which others seem to not even notice
* Toilets flushing
* Phones ringing
* Other people's music
* Voices in general can cause overload 
* Any noise that is unexpected 
* Any noise that is above the level of a quiet conversation has the potential to be too much for someone with an auditory processing issue.

What are some of the things that can cause hypo sensitivity to noise?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Altruistic and Autistic- Coexisting and breaking stereotypes

I know there is a TON of stuff out there about how us autistics really do have empathy, and all that. I don't have a long windy argument to support that argument.

Instead, what I have is the photo below.

The worksheet that is pictured there is one that I filled out when I was in 4th grade. As I have mentioned before, I have a formal diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, yet even as a young 10 year old child I held very strong values, and ethics about helping my neighbor.

I set the value of wanting to help others above fame, admiration, and power. This was not the outcome of sophisticated behavior, or social skills training. These things did not exist for me people like me back then. I wanted to help others, because that is who I am, and what I am naturally driven to do. I didn't need to be coached to have a strong need to treat others with kindness. I recognized their humanity as important, and I wanted to lift the well being of everyone up. Sometimes, my way of going about this may have needed tweaking, and others I might have missed the mark, but empathy was always there. I have always cared, and extended efforts to help others anytime I had the opportunity.

What examples do you have the support autism and altruism coexisting within the same person at the same time naturally?

Also, as a side talking point..... Do you think that we should have more worksheets like this one in school nowadays?  It's been about 25 yrs since this was filled out by my class. I wonder if these types of activities get kids thinking about values, and behaviors further supporting thinking about how they treat others. I haven't ever seen my kids bring home worksheets that support this type of thinking exercises.


B

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thoughts From the Unlovable Alien

The air outside is cloudy, cool and in stark contrast to the hot, windy days we've had recently. I hear the rain drop on the windows, and roof much like the tears in my lap. It's one of those days. If you're looking for warm , and fuzzy... this post isn't going to fulfill that.

It's happened again. I have been lied to. Betrayed, and forsaken.

At first there was anger, then the inevitable piecing out of what would be the logical way to handle the situation. I figured that out, and decided it was what was to be done. For a few days this was okay. Then that little voice inside of me got harder and harder to silence. It's the sound of my inner child, or whatever you want to call it. She began as an essence, but moved to a whisper. I escape her by daydreaming of times where things were better. There's no better way to soothe a current hurt than to get nostalgic. Suddenly, I am 15 again, and the possibilities are endless. I can remember when I felt I was something, and that I mattered. I don't search for a specific memory as much as how specific feeling. If I can at least artificially feel loved, and important than I can figure out how to get through another day. If I can convince myself that I am an okay person then I can cope, just one more day. That usually works for small bouts of loneliness, or rejections, but big ones? I just can't escape inside of my own head enough to alleviate that much sadness.

So, the little voice grows louder. Her mumbles begin to get more audible. "....doesn't like you..." and "..Your fault"... and more cynical statements begin surfacing. With it are the images of memories, and times long repressed to the back of my mind.

I get busy. I try to drown her out with tasks. I really don't have time for all this negativity. I have stuff to do! My house gets cleaner, as I fall apart inside. Perfection is soothing to me, as I strive to have the best of everything. Obsessive would be a good word to describe this phase of mental deterioration. To others it looks like I am just getting things done. I am. Sometimes, this motivation is all I need to snap back to feeling good again. However, if it isn't.... it is pretty much the last stop on the coping train.

If not, then what?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Give Me a Sign- Expressions of PosAutivity: #AutismPositivity2014

I have been thinking about doing a Autism Positivity blog post entry  for a few days. I kept drawing a blank on what to write about, so I was unsure if I would participate. Then, I read last night that this year's suggested theme is communication, and expression. This new info reminded me of a post that I have been thinking about writing for awhile. I hesitated, because I don't know if many will think it's positive. I don't know how it will be received by others in the autism community, especially those that don't typically follow my blog who don't know our story. Then, I remembered how much I tend to care about people who don't know my story who want to lend judgment on how I should express myself. I have no cares to give about those opinions. While speaking about the themes being self expression,and communication style of people with autism I can safely say this blog is how I express so much of my inner self. The people that follow me here know me more authentically than anyone I know in real life who has never read my writing (save maybe a couple people), so I do myself a disservice when I censor my writing to fit what what I think others want to read.

As most of you know I have a 10 year old profoundly autistic son named Beans. He is nonverbal. For years, the school, and private speech tried to teach him to use Picture Communication Symbols, or PECs for short. We tried the symbols, the actual pictures, and even objects. We tried devices, and differing methods all the while Beans became more, and more irate while virtually not improving in any of the methods, at all. As we all know, behavior is communication. It didn't take me very long to decipher what he was upset about. Life is confusing, and overwhelming for him as it is, but imagine being asked to participate in an activity for 7 years that made no sense to you, everyday. You were asked to point at random pictures, and not allowed to do anything until you did. This activity would follow you from eating to playing. Always that book of pictures. I often wondered what they looked like to him. Were they just colorful pieces of laminated paper? How did he feel when he saw that book come out day after day? He melted down more frequently, and his communication had not improved any measurable amount in that seven years. We had some of the best service providers in the country teaching him to use the book in private speech, and public school. No, to little improvement was a clear indication this was not working for him. The meltdowns from frustration was a clear sign to me that he does not learn this way.

I didn't know the struggle that lay ahead of me in getting professionals on board to use another method. It was such a shocking, and sobering experience to me to be completely shot down when

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does Your Scalp Tingle Sometimes? Unraveling the ASMR mystery.

A few months ago I shared a link on my Facebook page about that special tingly feeling that one gets at certain times.  It usually starts in the scalp, and moves down the body in response to specific stimuli. It's extremely pleasant. It reminds me of the warm, happy feeling I get from muscle relaxers times 100.  Many of my friends responded to the post with a "I have that, too!" Most didn't know that it had a name. In fact it does- Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response I didn't think much of it at the time. I did put it on my mental list of 'things to research later' which is already years long.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when I was composing the blog post about General Anxiety Disorder. One of the things that I listed to help was meditation videos. I went to youtube to find some of the best examples of these that I could find for me readers, and BAM. I stumbled upon ASMR videos. This happy sensation that I get when I watch certain people talk, or hear certain noises, and most especially when I get a massage was easily accessible via hundreds (if not thousands) of videos online.

There is not much known about ASMR, and why it affects people the way it does. Even more surprising than that is not everybody can feel it. I always assumed everyone was able to have that sensation just like I was. There is still a lot of research being done about ASMR. Some say they're still trying to validate it, because scientifically it's still not really been verified. Much like synesthesia was years ago, there are still some people that deny it exists. I really am not sure how one verifies a feeling. If a ton of people report a physical sensation then I would have to say it does indeed exist. We're not assuming paranormal explanations for this phenomenon. It is simply like being ticklish. Either you are, or you're not. Either your nervous system is capable of this phenomenon, or it isn't. There is nothing hokey about it.

So what is ASMR specifically?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Miracle That Didn't Happen

Flipping through my FB, and Twitter feed I can see an array of autism related articles, and blogs. Just looking at their titles one can see a gleam of inspiration, and awe-ness that many of the pieces contain within. The feelings of warmth, and love. I think those pieces have their place, but sometimes the sweetness gets to be too much. I often feel like I am watching the end of a South Park episode where one of the characters always turns, and says "You know what? I learned something today." then continues to speak about the important life lesson they learned in that episode.

Why does that bother me? The short answer to that question is 'bother' would be a strong word. I certainly don't feel like I get to tell other people what they should write about. I'm not about to censor other people's words, because my experiences don't match theirs.

It just feels... awkward, or maybe too artificial in some ways to always be a parent of kids on the spectrum whose experiences aren't nearly that enlightened.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#Autism Awareness Month- Love it or Loathe it?

Today kicks of the start off Autism Awareness Month. Began by the Autism Society in the early 70's to address the need for concern  and awareness of autism nationwide. Autism Awareness Month is a month to educate, connect, and advocate for the needs of those on the autism spectrum. In 1984 World Autism Awareness Day was adopted by congress, and officially  by the UN in 2007 as a day of autism awareness for the entire world to observe every year on April 2nd.

Today, the world indeed seems to be aware of autism. We have certainly come a long way from the early years of connecting with others in the late 60's when the Autism Society was formed. We now have not just national attention, but international attention focused on the issue of autism. With all of that attention focused from so many different backgrounds of people conflicts are bound to arise. The autism community is not immune to human differences of opinion that can bring even the most well meaning ideas to a screeching halt. Some want awareness for a cure, others to raise money for prevention, and research. Others just simply want their neighbors to know that their child is a unique individual with a happy future, and that acceptance is paramount to any other reasons for the campaign. Still, many others feel the entire campaign overlooks the humanity of the people involved, and instead portrays autistics as statistics, instead of real living people. Many point to the fact that adults are almost totally overlooked as every campaign slogan, and graphic speaks only about children.

Many of us in the autism community have conflicted feelings about Autism Awareness Month. I have seen some express that they aren't looking forward to it at all. Is that how the majority feels? Would most just like to skip it? If so, how has this grand intention of autism awareness turned so sour that even those that this month is about don't want to participate?  I wanted to hear from those in the autism community about how they feel about Autism Awareness month. Below is a collection of direct quotes from a few people within the autism community about the subject. Please add yours to the comments section.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Could It Be Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

I can't recall a time in my life when I didn't have at least some stomach trouble. It mostly would arrive in the form of bloating, and extreme gas. There were times when it would become a little better. Sometimes, it would be mostly gone for a few days. Lately, it has been intolerable. I am constantly bloated, full feeling, gassy, and not able to go to the bathroom. I exercise quite a bit, and make a huge effort to be healthy. I really educate myself quite a bit about what that means, and do what most would call clean eating. The issue is the cleaner, and healthier I eat the worse I feel. This sent me to trying a juice fast earlier this week in an attempt to try to clean out my system, and give it a rest. I was desperate. Willing to try anything.

I got so very sick.

This is where I really began Googling, and asking questions. I came to the conclusion through lots of research

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Toxicity of the New Fitspirational Movement

It seems here in the last few years that being 'fit' is trendy. You can't scroll through any social media without seeing photos designed to be inspirational, and motivational. Fitspo, or Fitspiration as it's called is everywhere. It's staring at us from magazine covers as we check out at the grocery store, and screaming at us from our television programs. Photos of half naked women fall across our computer screens posed in dim washed light with sweat dripping off of their body. Motivational words splash across the photo letting us know that we can't give up, we need to train hard, remember to never quit, and that we can have or, be the person we want if we just try harder.

Are these posters really healthy? Are the ideas behind the words motivating? How is this trend affecting girls, and women everywhere?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wait! Don't Throw That Away! Tasty ways to reuse stale bread.

Do you throw away most of the heals on loaves of bread? How about when it gets dry, and stale? Stop throwing it away, and start using it!

It's so simple, and easy to reuse stale bread slices, and inedible heals (to most people- I am fully aware some of you eat the heals, but we don't unless we're making french toast), and buns. As long as the bread product is not rancid, or moldy this works well with any of them. Some people prefer to not use heals, or buns, and cut off the crusts, but I have tried it many times over, and the crust has never bothered anyone, or given my finished recipe a poor result.


How to do it:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Want To Be An Approachable #Autism (self) Advocate

A few weeks ago I made a mention on my personal page about some comments I had heard recently from Bean's attendant care worker, and a few other people that were less than politically correct. Some of the comments were downright insensitive, and misinformed. My special needs community friends on FB were appalled. I was as well, but I saved that reaction for behind the scenes.

Why?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Cope With Generalized #Anxiety Disorder

In my last post I discussed what Generalized Anxiety Disorder is, and what some of the common symptoms can be, and how it manifests in my life. In this post I would like to discuss some of the solutions to the issues caused by GAD. I have been doing lots of researching to come up with what I think is a good, basic starting place to address general anxiety worries. I will be trying all of these myself.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

For as long as I can remember I have been a worrier. I worry about worrying. I expend an incredible amount of time pre-planning, and preparing for everything to the last detail. While it's true that this has been a well developed skill in which I utilize to help my incredibly would-be chaotic, high level of need household functioning smoothly my worrying antics have a dark side. I lose sleep, energy, and optimism to worry. It's hard to see the good side of anything when you're always preparing for the worst.

There is a clinical name for this excessive amount of worry, and anxiety when it impedes one life. It's called Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD? 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lung Leavin' Day 2014- Letting go of fears

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Cameron Von St. James about joining him, his wife Heather and many others in celebrating Lung Leavin' Day 2014 .  

I was intrigued by the idea of doing something a little different than the usual autism related posts. When I read Heather's amazing story about being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma and the risky procedure that saved her life I knew I wanted to be help tell others about Heather's journey. Today we celebrate Heather's 8th year cancer free. It is the day 8 years ago she had her left lung removed- thus the name her sister-in-law coined Lung Leavin' Day!

 February 2nd is not just a day Heather and her family celebrates as being cancer free, but also a day they want to share with others to encourage them to face their fears. Every year the Von St. James family builds a fire in their backyard, and throw plates with their biggest fears written on them into the flames.  It's a tradition of letting go of fears, and celebrating life.

I have thought about what fears I'd like to toss into the fire the last few days as I anticipated writing this post.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Social Media and Dignity- When does sharing go too far?

"I had to go out in that storm to round up our horses, because my husband was too drunk AGAIN to do it. Pretty much like every other night."  a mother at our playgroup for kids birth to age 5 added to the conversation. She was mostly speaking to me as I was at the table with her, but her response to the horrible thunderstorm that had gone through our area was completely audible to the entire room. Everyone shifted awkwardly in their seats, and eyes lowered to the floor. I muttered something about "Sorry to hear that", or maybe it was "That must be hard." I don't quite remember. It was a good ten years ago that this occurred.  I don't remember exactly what I said back, but I think I said something to ease the tension.  I hated the feeling of all the momma judgement in the room.   It was only a decade ago, but long enough for social protocol to have shifted for what was private, intimate information, and what was okay to be shouted to a room of acquaintances. This woman's very private proclamation was socially awkward, and made the entire room uncomfortable. The social atmosphere was not one of best friends, and this private information was violating the small talk conversation style that was happening at the time.

This was life pre-social media.

Now seems to be the age of over-sharing  How many times do we come across Facebook posts, and tweets about subject matter that we would have never shared with a group of virtual strangers 10 years ago? We seem to have forgotten about the circle of familiarity rule. Suddenly, everyone's private life is in our face with information that we used to save for family, and close friends.

There's a specific kind of over-sharing that makes me particularly cringe.

Friday, January 17, 2014

You're Autistic?! No Way!

I don't always tell others about my AS diagnosis, whether I know them well, or not.  Sometimes I do, but with quiet trepidation as I await the response. I will not lie. The response determines how likely I might be in future  to disclose my diagnosis. I always blurt it out quickly, through the sound of my pulse rushing in my ears making me almost anxiously deaf to the world for that moment I await the response from the other party. I lean in, hoping for some sign of acceptance... I almost always get one of two responses.

The most common- "I would never

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Inner Aspie is No More!

I'm sure that many of you have already noticed that I have changed my FB page to Thoughts of an Introverted Matriarch.  Now, it's time to change this blog, as well.

I have been moving away from the term 'aspie' for awhile, and am wanting to incorporate a broader theme to my writing. You might have noticed that I am blogging about recipes, and other topics in addition to autism lately.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Autistic Student- Won't vs. Can't

It seems pretty common to hear parents of ASD children talk about a time when someone told them that their child can't or won't be able to do this, or learn that.  I come across stories like that all the time. As wrong as I think that is, that has been rarely my experience with my kids, or even myself. As a matter of fact, it's been the opposite.

I don't know how many IEP meetings that have been called by me to discuss services for Bubby. No one has ever said "He can't do it." It's always been "He can if he tried."

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Track Way

There are days, weeks even, that my head is swelled with ambitious writings, and tales waiting to be typed. Thoughts spill out in such quick succession that it's almost hard to catch them in words. To convert the images that are flowing through my mind to typed print is a challenge. I love those times.  I wish that I could quit my routine, and write for days when this happens, capturing the ideas before they float away to be never pieced together again in full by my conscious mind.  Of course, I cannot.  I still have meals to make, laundry to wash, pull-ups to change, and a child to homeschool. These are not negotiable. However, in my writer's mind I could dream all day writing one track ways entertaining myself days.

I'd like to try to describe this one track way.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Being Alone

I woke up to my husband asking me if I was okay. I tried to open my eyes, but they were all stuck together, and I was stuffy from what appeared to be sobbing.  I recall the dream I was having before I awoke, and I was sobbing in it. It affected me so much that I must have been sobbing for a while in my sleep by the looks of my pillow.

The details of the dream aren't important, but the theme is. It was about being not wanted by anyone, anywhere. I had nowhere to go that I was welcome, and yet I had to exist somewhere. The paradox was what made me feel so awful.

I have since realized that the dream was important in that it symbolized how I really feel in real life. I do talk a lot about support, and that sort of thing on this blog.  Online, and in person support is very important for special needs parents. I think if I needed some advice, or support in that area I would be able to find it online.  What I don't have is in person support for other life events.  I literally have no one to call if I had an emergency, or just needed to talk about private matters. I don't know if this is due to my autism, or just the way life is for my family, or what exactly it is that attributes to this secluded existence. I don't have any family to call on either side if I really needed help, and I have not managed to find any close friends to that I could turn to in times of need.

What does that mean? How does that effect one's life, you might ask.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

5 Easy Tips for Eating Healthier on a Budget

One of the things that astounds me about America (and probably other countries, too) is how unaware we are of nutrition. I mentioned a bit of this in this entry. We are diet obsessed, but that's not the same as being healthy. Even when I do hear people talk about healthy eating it's usually all about organic whole foods markets, and posh foods many of us don't even know what they are, nor could afford on a regular basis. There is a gray area between eating a bunch of junk because we don't know any better, and going to the extreme of being that know-it-all health nut that has a huge grocery budget at their disposal.

So, how do we eat better on a budget? What are some basic rules?