Apr 25, 2010


Having "things" isn't important. We've learned this the hard way.

Between Hunter and Ryder and sometimes dear hubby, objects around here don't get to enjoy their full potential.

Hunter has the opposite of the Midas Touch. Since he was old enough to grasp something he has had the ability to destroy it. Sometimes it is just by curiosity. Sometimes it is by carelessness. Sometimes it is because it was "Made in China" as he puts it. Hunter's 11th birthday was last week. I've learned not to spend a lot of money on him for his birthday because 1) He'll break it without meaning to, 2) he's perfectly happy with things from the dollar store. He is beginning to get very frustrated with himself however, and asks, "Why do I always break things?"

With Ryder, you learn to keep everything out of reach. Just when I think he can't reach that, he proves me wrong. This morning, lamps were on the floor, chewed up baby wipes were all over, and he destroyed a new crafty thing I bought. (luckily it was only $1.)

They say living with Autism is similar to a soldier on the battlefield. I'm always in a constant state of alert. Every ten minutes, "Where is Ryder? Where is Ryder? Who knows where Ryder is?" He can be very sneaky.

And now, for Dear Hubby's Midas Touch. Hubby is very accident prone and can look at something wrong and it will break, or not work, etc. Then out of frustration he'll talk to it as if it were a live person. "Stupid piece of dog meat!" is his favorite. I have yet to hear the object talk back, but when that day comes, the state hospital is only 30 minutes away.

Apr 15, 2010


Have you ever wondered how ants follow each other in straight lines but sometimes you'll see an ant going in reverse and then they will turn a little and go forward in a different direction? Are they looking for a certain path that the other ones took already? How do they find their way?

I've been observing some ants that I found in my bathroom. They follow the tile floor grout as if they were ant superhighways.

Ryder had thrown some peanuts on the floor of my bathroom, and because I was on a sweeping strike for several days, the ants arrived taking over hostage. How did they know to come?

I looked it up. Ants communicate by using pheromones. They leave a pheromone trail behind them in which the other ants follow, doing the same. How's that for brilliance? I wish I had a trail to follow. I feel like I'm on my own. I'm on my own super ant highway, but without a lot of direction.

With three children on the spectrum, I'm amazed that my little children "ants" bring home friends that are also on the spectrum. Do they leave a pheromone scent behind them or what? Like minds think alike? I'm amazed. How do they find each other? Even my Aspie husband, whose best and only friend is 20 years younger than him, (and whom I wondered whether he too was on the spectrum) just told us he is being tested for Asperger's. Again, I ask, do they leave a pheromone trail behind them? (Nevermind farting. That is a given.)

And why do they always want to come to our house? The boys never get invited to anyone else's house to play.

I guess I'd rather have it this way, then I can keep an eye on them since I am the Queen Ant. On a bad day, my colony is full and I need respite ant workers to help me out. On good days, I don't get stepped on and I can carry a picnic basket of food off and keep all to myself without the risk of bloating myself up so much that I explode. Of course that day doesn't really exist. But wouldn't that be fun?

Ants are social insects and live together in large "group homes". Ants communicate really well with each other by using their antennas. Well, we have a "group home" but I wouldn't necessarily say we communicate well. It would be nice to have antennas, so I could bop the kids on the head from afar when they are acting out. Imagine that. Me in my Queen Chambers, sending my male worker ants out into the big world. Them, leaving a trail that I could follow if need be and knowing that the threat of an antenna lurks behind each corner if they don't stay on task.

Growing up, my dad would always call down the stairs for the "army of ants". To me and my brother and sisters, this meant he needed our help. Did we hear the call? Yes. Did we know ants were expected to carry twenty times their own body weight? Not so much. Doesn't matter, we did as obedient (sort of) children do. When the call comes, you get to work. My call has come. Time to work.

Apr 14, 2010


Just a shout out here for those of you looking for T-shirts.

Cafe Press has some cute ones, not just your average Autism T-shirts. They also have other products such as stickers, posters, mugs, totes, notecards, etc.

A portion of their proceeds goes to Autism Speaks. And through April 17, all orders over $40 benefiting Autism Speaks receive free shipping.

So check them out and help raise some awareness with a cute T-shirt!

Apr 12, 2010


How do you know if you are doing too much? The little things that are associated with Autism are so time consuming. It is definitely a job. I'm sure I spend 40 plus hours a week dealing with it. (DEEP BREATH)
Everything from signing forms, saving GFCF food receipts for tax purposes, documenting visits to doctors for taxes, creating supplement forms to keep track of, creating job charts, raising awareness and participating in the local Autism community meetings as secretary, driving here and there and everywhere, phone calls to get medication refills, participating in a family Autism Research project, where info is updated periodically, trying to update my blog, weekly meetings with therapists, meeting similar moms for lunch, IEP meetings, meetings with Social Security, volunteering up at the women's prison with crafts class (nothing to do with Autism), helping the boys work on scouting and homework and chores, appointments for Ryder's AFO's, eyeglasses, teeth grinding (dentist), seizures, tubes in his ears this week, pick up diapers and pull-ups, visiting teaching plus calling all ladies and entering info on church computer, appointments with Medicaid/Health and Welfare, DAN dr appts, documenting behaviors and progress, art lessons for Hunter, and cleaning, repairing, shopping, laundry, cooking, and LOTS of decision making.
I always try and go with my gut and listen to the spirit. The best time for me to do this is in the middle of the night when all is quiet or just after waking in the morning. This is when a lot of ideas and direction come to mind. Then it is time to act. Like right now, gotta go pick up Ryder from school. It's an early release day.

I'd love to write more and have fun with it, but alas, time has escaped me once again.

Apr 2, 2010


Our daughter was assigned to write a vignette for her 9th grade Honors English class. I'm learning that she is a great little writer. I'm also learning how much she hates vignettes because of the lack of punctuation and grammar. :)It about drove her crazy!

I felt it appropriate to share this since today is World Autism Awareness Day. This comes from our daughter, age 14, who lives day to day with all the males in our home diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum.

A lone little boy sits on a swing; you can hear the creak of the old metal as he slowly swings back and forth. His eyes are the color of a cloudy sky, with muddy hair, and he sits alone, in a large school yard, with no one around him, not caring; for no one understands the little boy who has never had a friend in his 6 years of life, who has never learned to love or to hate, who has never even learned to speak in a language other people understand. His eyes, so vast and huge, take in everything in his view as he stares off, seemingly at nothing, when he is really seeing something that people don't take the time to notice, no one understands when he starts to cry, or starts to fight, they all shun him and treat him like an outcast, who sits on the swing where no one wants to play. No one sees his smiling face, though he shows it to all he sees, but they think he is insane, unable to care for himself. Sitting on the swing every day, at every time, like clockwork, not even bothering to try to talk or make friends because the others don't see him the way his family sees him.

Little do they know how special he is, how gifted he is, and how talented but his brain can't process it properly. Little do they know how much he can comprehend. Little do they know, little do they know, how sweet he is like fresh honey on corn bread, or the smile he makes when he knows he's done something mischievous, or when he feels how sad you are and says nothing but climbs on your lap and rocks back and forth, trying to make you feel better. No one understands the hardships he has gone through, the pains and the medications, the emotional pain his mother and father went through so he could be there, be here as he is today, he has a chance, a chance to be able to live and to learn as much as he can, he has a chance to be able to breathe air and to take long walks under the summer sun, he has the chance to learn how to learn, he has the chance to learn how to speak and to read and to write so he can bring his brilliant intelligence to life.

Other children don't understand him, making funny comments about how he moves his fingers, delicately rubbing them together as he tries to process things, or when he rocks back and forth and moans, and even when he screams and tyrants over the smallest things. Everyone thinks he is a loser, and one who will never be able to succeed in life. After school, though, after school his face brightens up to melt even the coldest of hearts, his aura glistens a brilliant gold as he runs into the arms of his mother, who knows him and knows his desires, she herself cries silver tears as she sees him waddle up to her and lay his head on her kneeling lap, the boy doesn't say a word, but buries his head in his mother's side, as if telling her he wants to go home. Tenderly she holds his hand, and starts the slow walk toward home, the little boy, known as Ryder Liam McBride, where he can be free from the world for ever.



Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!