Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The wind

Autism in this is house is like the weather.  It can be so unpredictable.  It can be so glorious while at the same time life changing and yes, even damaging.   This morning's event was like a wind gust.  It came out of no where and knocked me on my bum.  In a good way.  (Don't worry about me.  My bum is wide.  It's pretty cushy.)

Waiting for bus at the door like always, with the dog posse in tow.   Kiddo sitting with the iPad, cracking himself up making the "Talking Ben" dog app burp no less than 39 times in a span of a minute.  I'm puttering around on my phone reading the blogs I follow, reading them like my newspaper. A pretty typical scene.  We both know our roles in this play.

The bus starts rumbling down the street and my small dog starts barking her head off as she does every single time when she sees it.  Kiddo closes the iPad and puts on his backpack.   We walk outside and then he goes off script.  Completely.

Kiddo: "I love you!"

He is nine years old and he has never ever said it first.  I often wonder does he really knows what it means or is he just repeating it because he has learned this is some sort of acceptable social convention that moms like to hear.  I still take them as counting because I know I am lucky to hear it.  Not all parents get that.  Today was the first time though that he has ever said it before I did.  He's never spontaneously said it on his own.  Ever.  I almost fainted dead in my driveway.   Which would of been really embarrassing to have the bus to pull up and find me just laying face down on the blacktop.  They probably would of thought I was drunk.  They've seen my recycling bin full of wine bottles.

I whispered back "I love you.  Have such an awesome day Kiddo!" 

This moment is the wind.  I almost want to bottle this moment up for when I need some wind in my sails.  I need memories like this because I know there will be storms coming that will wreck me.  I need to remember what this felt like because like so many things in this life, I don't know if it will ever happen again.  No one can predict which way the wind will blow.  I also want to share this with you who might read it.  Maybe you need to know that this kind of weather can happen.  Maybe it has already and you need to remember what it felt like.  When it lifted you up.   Maybe this hasn't happened yet and of course I can't predict that it will.  Just know when you least expect it, that breeze will come by.  Just when you need it. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Letting go of the dream.

Ever read that inspirational letter to special needs parents called "WELCOME TO HOLLAND" by Emily Perl Kingsley?  If you haven't, you might want to go Google that.  It's kind of required reading for our lot.  Go on.  I'll wait.  Then come back to this blog.  :-) 

Hey, the message is nice.  I get what it's about.  I appreciate our Little Holland in New Jersey all the freaking time.  I've said it before in my blog.  Autism is a trip I didn't plan on but I sure do love my tour guide.  Acceptance of my travel destination came in stages.  I'd be lying if I said I was there completely.  I'm not.  Some days I am completely submerged in our Autismland and down with the natives.  Other days, I am wandering around like a tourist in culture shock so busy studying my map and travel guide that I completely forget to stop and actually enjoy the scenery around me.  I've accepted the fact that I'll probably be like this for the rest of my life.  I'm hoping the kiddo learns to deal with this neurotypical quirk of mine as part of me.  Believe it or not, he's displayed more patience in dealing with me dealing with the fact that I've had to let go of the dreams.  Not only letting them go but finding some new ones at the same time.  I'm sure mine aren't all the same ones you had or wanted but I know a few off the top of my head that I bet some of you need to hear.

Potty training.  It's not gonna happen like every other kid you know at that age.  Let go of that dream.  Your other kid did it at 3?  Super.  So and so kid's did it at 2 when they saw their older sibling did it?  Great.  It's just not going to be your kid.   It might take years for all the steps to be mastered.  You may even get the fun of having them suddenly forget them and having to teach them all over again.  It is what it is.  Don't beat yourself over it.  Also, realize this might require a team effort.  Talk to school.  Get it in the IEP.  Make "going" the same across the board.  Trust me.

Holidays.  Your kid may not ever like them for a variety of reasons.   To many people, to much fuss, to much different, to much upset of routine.  Gatherings that used to be casual will now be work.  So much work.  In fact, some years, you might even fake an illness to get out of a family gathering just to cut yourself a break.   (Not that we've ever done that family.  Nope I swear!)  The kiddo is nine.  He finally got into holidays last year.  You know all those magical first years where I was suppose to be making this perfect Christmas morning scene for him.   Yeah, I had to let go of that dream.  There was no rushing down the stairs at 3am to see if Santa had been here yet.  He was pretty indifferent to it other than the lights outside and on the tree.  Last year was the first time we even attempted to go see Santa in years.  There are no annual shots of him on his lap for our holiday card.  I let go of that dream years ago. 

After school events and sports.  When the kiddo was five, I signed him for special needs soccer.  I live in an area where soccer is THE sport.  I was excited by the idea of sitting on a sidelines with other moms and my coffee and watching our little runs play.   I even thought the idea that it was made for special needs kids would help. I thought I was ahead of the game on that one.  You know what?  It still sucked! Majorly.  He could of cared less.  He ran all over.  He refused to listen to the coaches.  So even though I thought I had found something that could accommodate him, it still didn't work!  I had to let go of that dream too.  Cookie cutter accommodations don't work.  I just can't throw my custom made boy into a ready made event and expect couture looks.  Not going to happen. 

It's not about me.  It's not about you.   I know letting go of the dreams and trying to find new ones that you both like is hard.  I'm not saying it's been a side of fries.  I just know that the more I check my ego at the door, the better he usually is for it.  Sometimes I think I must of known this trip to Holland was coming.  I've always liked tulips. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The lollipop.

A lollipop made me cry on Thursday.

I took the kiddo for a hair cut.  Most ASD parents right now cringe at the very idea of such run of the mill event.  Yeah, hair cuts were dicey for a very, very, oh what the hell let's just let him be a hippie, long time.  We found through the autism parent grapevine, a hairstylist who's specialty was "moving targets".  She also sports the most warm and laid back personality and doesn't blanch when said client is screaming bloody murder in her face.  She was the one that encouraged me to keep coming with him often.  That he would get used to it the more we did it.  Don't put it off.  Don't have the kiddo look like Justin Bieber.  (She was really right about that one.  Even Justin Bieber doesn't sport that floppy mop top anymore.  Plus, he's kind of a tool.)

So between this hair stylist with a heart of gold and the good sense NOT to use the blow dryer to clean off the strays because she knows it scares him, lots of OT work, a couple of social stories and the kiddo's teachers last year who arranged for the principal of the school to have a hair cut in front of them by a barber (I know right? Epic!), the kiddo now takes his buzz cut like a champ.  It's become a pretty standard non event for us until last week.  When the tiniest moment just seemed to hit me like a ton of weighted blankets. (Autism humor! I slay me!)

He hops off the seat and does a quick lap around the shop to regulate himself.  Eventually he meets me up at the register as I pay and generously over tip his stylist. (She's worth every freaking penny and dammit I will keep her happy. Shut up and take my money!)  She offers the big jar full of Dum Dum lollipops to the boy.  He takes one. I prompt him to say thank you.  He does.  End scene.

Once we are in the car I text Daddy Fry with a message of that the deed is done.  Even though they have been really good lately, well, I guess you could say I have hair cutting PTSD.  I'm still a little dumbfounded when they go well and feel the need to report this to someone who can truly marvel at such a thing. By now the kiddo is buckled in his seat and unwrapping his lollipop.  I turn around and ask him "What flavor did you get?"  but I'm not really expecting an answer because the kiddo doesn't care.  He NEVER eats them.  It would mean putting it in and out of his mouth or sticking his tongue out to lick it, which never happens.  He usually just holds it in his hand like some sort of small trophy and usually drops it on the ride home.  I've cleaned up a ton of lollipops never eaten, covered in carpet lint and dog hair on the floor of my car. 

He then rocked my world.  The kiddo, who's oral motor tactile defensiveness is the stuff of speech pathology legend, put that mutha trucking lollipop in his mouth!  I actually gasped out loud, which caused him to yank it back out in fear and confusion.  I quickly said "Oh no honey.  That's OK.  Go right ahead!  Give it a kiss.  Lick it.  It's yummy!" and gently prompted his hand back to his mouth.  I saw the tiny tip of tongue come out and lick it.  He smiled and I cried.  Not just tears in my eyes.  We are talking the ugly, snot bubble in your nose cry, right in the parking lot of a kid's hair cutting place.   Then he gave me an annoyed sigh and rolled his eyes.  Oh my god, he's so age appropriate at this moment!  I even took a picture of him eating it and uploaded it on Instagram.  I sent a text to his magic speech therapist that gets him to try ALL THE FOODS!!  That's how excited I was in that moment.  Tiny victories like that get me through the day.  He finished it by the time we got home and handed me the stick. I still have it in the cup holder of my car.  I look at it like a holy relic.  I still can't believe it happened.

You know what this means?  That all this stuff we do is working.  That all this therapy is paying off.  You know what also this means? He might actually eat his Halloween candy this year!!! Trick or treating won't just be an exercise of trying to catch him before he barges into some one's house.  He might be excited to get some candy! 

Kiddo, I will not touch your lollipop stash but I make no promises that you will have the same number of peanut butter cups when you wake up in the morning of November first as you did the night before.  Candy Tax kiddo.  We buy your costume.  We pay your bills.  You can spot Mama some chocolate. 

Maybe it's ridiculous to get emotionally wrecked by my kiddo eating a lollipop but to me it represents just how far we have come.   I'm going to enjoy our tiny victory and now try to figure out a way to explain to the kiddo to never take the "Mystery Flavor" Dum Dum.  Cause I'm not sure what the Hell flavor that is. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Autism at the movies.

"Let's all go to the lobby.  Let's all go to the lobby.  Let's all go to the lobby and get ourselves an overpriced snack!"(Seriously, 12 bucks for water and a popcorn? That's insane!)

One of the kiddo's favorite past times is to convince me to take him to movies.  He especially loves to charm me into seeing the same one more than once.  Sometimes I'm pretty convinced my dollars are paying for some Pixar employee's kid to go to college.  I've mentioned this before on here and on my Facebook page and everyone is very quick to ask about if we go to the Sensory Friendly showings that the AMC theater chain is offering.  Here's the thing, we don't.  I know you're shocked that I'm taking advantage of that but it's not honestly something we need.  Plus when we started going to flicks, it wasn't even available in our area.  So Mama had to make due.  I've got nothing against the concept but rarely do the times it's offered ever work for us.  Not to mention it's usually only done ONCE for each movie.  You miss it, you're out of luck.  So if you are wondering how I have done it, here's the breakdown of what we do.

1) Timing, timing and timing.  Critical timing is key. (aka Give them their medication BEFORE you leave the house.)   Kiddo is always calmer, chill, zen like in the mornings.  We always go to a first run of the morning.  I've learned my lesson.  After noon, and it's like he turns into a Gremlin in a theater.  When is your kid at their best?  Go then.  Also, go Sunday morning or mid week. Nobody goes then excepts maybe us.  That's cool though.  Come sit by me.  Realize there's a good chance I might be snoozing.  If my snoring is getting to loud, poke me.  Blame your kid that they did it.  And for the love of your sanity, don't go that first weekend it's out.  You know it will be madness.

2) Prep work.  Order tickets online. This saves you the hassle of waiting on a line there to get them  Plus you know you got your seats.  My local theater now even let's you choose your actual seats too.  How awesome is that?  So I get to pick my preferred location which is on the end by the door.  You never know when you might have to make a potty run or a complete retreat.  Best to make it easy on yourself.  If you go to AMC theaters, get their "Stubs' card. It waives online ordering fees AND let's you upgrade your size on drinks and popcorn for medium prices.  Eventually you get enough points and you get reward bucks for more free movies!!!  If you ever rolled your eyes when they have offered it to you, get it.  Trust me.  Apply online.  I walk right up to a computer kiosk that never has a line, wave my card, POOF!  Tickets printed.

3) Now you either take out a small loan and get snacks on the concession stand or you can rock the big mom purse.  Let's face it.  We all know we're not suppose to sneak stuff in.  They know it too but we do.  I've walked in with my Mama Sherpa bag and they have never said a thing to me.  I usually bring some cookies and some juice boxes because I need to pay my mortgage next month.  If you're a dad reading this, wearing cargo pants. That's why the good lord invented pockets dude.

4) Hit the bathroom before you go in.  Expect to make a potty run sometime in the middle of the show and you'll probably go once more when you leave. If you're a mom of a son, take him in with you.  Yes, the ladies rooms I find are pretty full of moms and kids, both sexes.   We all get it.  Who wants to send a 8 year old into a men's room alone?  If anyone says a word to you about that, explain why.  I bet ya that will shut their flapping gums.  Hey theaters of the world, maybe it's time to make a family bathroom ya dig?

5) Yes, the sound is loud and the advantage of the sensory friendly is it's usually lower volume.  Got noise canceling headphones?  Bring them with ya!  You're already sporting the Mary Poppins's handbag.  What's one more thing?  Also a fidget or two doesn't hurt.  Also, skip the 3D viewings.  If your kid is like mine, they don't really see 3D anyway because of visual processing issues.  Plus the glasses are annoying.  Frankly 3D is a gimmick on most movies that stink to begin with.  You don't need to give them another three bucks.  That's all that three stands for.

6) Now of course you can prep your kids to the moon and back about being quiet and considerate of fellow movie goers but they are kids.  Noise happens.  Here's the thing, I do find there's a smidgen more understanding/patience at kid movie showings.  They get excited.  They suddenly remember that they need to pee.  They drop stuff and then cry.  It happens.  My point is, your kid will not be the only one making noise.   Now if you have the type of kid that wants to scream the entire viewing, clearly abort the mission and get out of there.  But if junior squeals with delight every time there is a well timed fart joke, let it pass.  Your kid or any other there.  You're not watching a production of King Lear.  It's Smurfs 2 or Alvin and The Chipmunks or some junk like that.  Let it roll.  The noise will pass in seconds.  Of course redirect if it gets out of hand but don't think it's the end of the world either.  Chill fool.  You got this.

7) Hold something over their heads for motivation.  Good behavior in the movies means a run to a drive thru where if the timing is right, one can get a Happy Meal with a crappy piece of plastic junk toy that's a character from that flick.  Extra bonus fun!!!

8) Expect to be bored.  You're not really there for you.  You're there for them.  Expect Pixar movies cause they're well Pixar.  Hello Toy Story 3!?!?  If you didn't sob at the end of that movie you have no soul.  None!

9) If you happen to be one of those adults without kids who still likes to go to these movies because you are a big kid at heart or whatnot, do me a favor and go later.  Do yourself the favor of not being bothered by kid noise at a late night showing.  Don't come to my 9:45AM showing and be all huffy under your breath at my son squeals.  This is the mom zone time.  Suck it up sunshine. I'm not going to be a hermit and never take my kid out. I will be on him like white on rice but don't get in a snit because we are there. 

10) While I dig this whole sensory friendly thing for movies cause folks, I sure won't care if your kid is flapping as mine would be too, here's my issue with it.  I don't see them offering any sensory friendly viewings for older kids.  Like the tween, sparkly vampires, superheros set.  So I guess one of the reasons I don't go to them is that I want the kiddo to get use to going to any show.  If this blog is read by any higher up in a movie chain, how about more sensory friendly flicks for older kids?  And french fries!  You offer chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks.  How about fries dude??? Come on!

Thus concludes my list on how we do the movies.  The kiddo has been going for five years now.  Every kid movie, we go.  I've only had to take him out twice.  That's pretty good odds when you think about it.  :-)  So try it.  You might be able to do it.  Also, you didn't hear it from me BUT if you do have to leave early, sometimes managers will see you struggling and give you comps to come back another time and try again.  But don't tell them I told you that.  Shhhhh.  Our secret.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Redirect me please, my own behavior plan.

OK, this is hard.  All is not sunshine and fluffy unicorns laughs at French Fry Inc lately.  For lack of better words it's not a huge amount suck but a series of little things that suck all grouped together at once that is wearing me down. I'm the first one to say it's better to laugh than cry but I got to get some stuff off my chest because it's late in the day and I want to take my bra off for the night.

1)If you follow me on Facebook, you know Daddy Fry broke his ankle a few weeks ago.  While he finally graduated to the walking boot, he is still not 100% back in the game.  All the little things I take for granted that he does aren't getting done well or at all. I suspect I am giving him the same look of confusion that he sports when I have been deathly ill and to sick to cook, leaving them to fend for themselves. Aka "Go to Burger King".  The lawn isn't getting mowed, I forget what day is trash day and what is recycling. My husband is Captain Vacuum.  It's always been his thing.  Over the weekend we got the kiddo to do it.  It was good sensory OT for him so I consider that a win win.  Mainly though, he is my kiddo's preferred playmate of choice. I'm Mommy and I'm a member of Team No Fun.  I focus on schedules, baths and bedtimes. Plus the weekends are really when my kiddo can see his father.  He works a lot.  This has been a tough adjustment and we have weeks of recovery still to go.  My husband has been sick quite a bit this year and I have informed him that according to HR at French Fry Inc, he has no more sick days left to take for the remainder of the year.  Nor did he fill out any time off request forms. 

2) Kiddo has had another day of not so hot behavior at school.  Throwing stuff, yelling, general anxiety through the roof. A big thank you for the teacher for contacting me that day by phone to let me know as soon as she could.  I appreciate that.  It's still a great big mystery of why to me right now.  There is no in your face reason to what gives.  It has me very worried.  We just took OUT his behavior plan at the last IEP in June. He didn't need it.  Great behavior for well over a year and a half and now this.  The kiddo is only getting bigger, not smaller.  I don't want him to be miserable.  I don't want him to be sad.  I also don't want him to be violent.  Towards himself or others. This behavior scares the ever loving crap out of me.  I worry about his future. I saw how fast nine years went. In nine more, he will be eighteen. If he acts like this in a public setting, police would be called.  I want to figure out what is going on.  It makes me worried that the progress we have seen could be slipping away.

3)My older dog Ronan, who has been with the kiddo since he was a baby is not doing well.  He has had some health issues recently that make me wonder if we are starting the beginning to the end with him.  I am devastated to even think of how the kiddo could handle that.

4) I am currently having to make some medical choices of my own to make coming up that are a little daunting/confusing.  Don't worry.  I'm not at Death's door but they are not things fixed with a band aid or a pill.  Some minor surgery will have to happen but as Daddy Fry is still limping around, I got to put it on hold.  Which will make this possibly scheduled right in the middle of the holidays.  Although the possible scripts for pain meds would be like a fun gift from Santa, I'd prefer not to have to go through medical stuff in order to get them.  Recovery with a kiddo bouncing around is going to be challenging at best. This is the same kiddo that tried to take off my husband's cast on his own when he wouldn't go on a dog walk with him. (Mama does it wrong).  Making choices for the kiddo with doctor input seems almost easier than making my own choice in this for what I want to have happen to me. 

5) My family still expects to be fed dinner again tonight.  I still have no idea what that will be. Alright so maybe in the grand scheme of things, this isn't a huge problem but currently it's weighing on me.  All I know is I will be having a glass of wine for dinner with another glass of wine for dessert. 

So that's what's up here.  I know logically we will get through it as really, do I have any other choice?  Nope.  There is no sub to call in. It's all on me.  I guess you could just consider this a problem shared is a problem halved.  So which one of you would like to come over and help?  Or just vacuum?  Anyone?  Don't all jump up at once.  Yeah yeah yeah, i know. Call the school.  Set up a meeting.  Take care of yourself.  That's important.  You all know I know this.   Just right now though, the thought of it all just makes me so damn tired.  :-/

Oh well, let me go cook another side of fries.   That's always a constant to depend on. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Putting my emotions on a shelf

Bottling up my emotions has never worked out well for me.  I pretty much can't do it.  If you know me personal, there is no such thing as a Poker Face on my mug.  This tends to be a problem when I have to maintain a calm demeanour in challenging situations especially in regards to our autism life. (aka Dealing with asshats)  Allow me to provide an example.

Last Thursday the kiddo came home from school scripting the same set of lines again and again.  "No throw the white binders!  No hitting Mrs. G.  No yelling."  I figured something went down during the day but he was lacking in the finer details, like who did it. Was he merely repeating what he heard staff say to the student having a crisis?  Or was he just ratting himself out in his literal and honest autism way?  He's been known to do both.  No note in the communication book about it, so I shoot an email off to the teacher to find out the scoop.   No response that night, or Friday, or all weekend until 7:30ish Sunday night.  Literally minutes before I try to herd my kid off to the Land of Nod.  He's finishing up watching The Polar Express and I'm checking my phone when I get her response.  Why yes, it was my kid who decided to redecorate his classroom by tossing everything and yeah that was kind of really different for the kiddo because he is not like that at all at school.  So yeah, I got confirmation on this radical change of behavior four days after the fact.  Prefaced with she tried to email me back earlier but it didn't work, which I found so amusing as the PTG and it's multiple requests for me to join committees never seem to get lost that weekend. 

I'm not going to lie. I sat there seething.  I was livid. Four freaking days go by and not a peep!  Not a "Hey there Your kid had a radical 180 change in his behavior and manner on school." in the notebook on Thursday or Friday.  He does not do this stuff.  Wouldn't you as a teacher want to follow up on that?  Why did it take me even to have to make that first step?  Hell hath no fury like an autism mama pissed off.  At that moment, Satan himself would of been warning folks to leave me alone.  But I can't go in there swinging as much as I would like too.  Not yet.  This is only our first tangle you see.  I have to put it up on my emotion shelf for future reference. Storing it if you will.  I quickly email back, CCing the piss out of that email to the husband and the caseworker and calmly, without cussing,  explained how four days later doesn't do much for addressing behavior.  Or trying to figure out if possibly this was the start of one of an ear infection or illness or the autism go to, does he have to poop?  I need more details because my boy is on medication.  This is the kind of thing I need to discuss with his doctor too.  Personally, if the kid in your class is stellar and happy every freaking day to be there, wouldn't you want to nip that stuff in the bud before it became a habit?  Or worry about his well being?  But that's just me.  To her credit, she emailed me back within minutes.  I think she realized that the ball got dropped and if she wasn't careful it would soon be thrown at her head by yours truly.  We figured out what needed to be done for future events should anything like that happen again. I'm glad we got to a solution that works for both of us.  But you'll noticed I'm not completely without anger.  I'm like Diet Livid.  Same rage taste but with less a chance I'll meet her after school with a sock full of Thomas the Tank Engines.  

It's just another experience to add to my shelf of anger, disappointment and frustration.  There's only so many deep cleansing breaths you can take before cracking wise as a stress reliever becomes cracking skulls.   This is only the beginning of October.  This doesn't sit well with me for what our year will be like and I'm worried.  My son is nine and that shelf is already becoming quite crowded.  I might need bookcases for it soon. I'm constantly having to file and reorganize this shelf of emotions.  Which ones are my high priorities?  Can that group over there just chill out on a "keep warm" setting in a Crock Pot till I can get to them or will they boil over at the worst time possible?  Sometimes the shelf is straining.  Sometimes it's just sloppy and dusty.  (Who are we kidding? It's always dusty.  Mama Fry hates dusting)  Sometimes I just want to take my hand and sweep all of that emotional junk off the shelf once and for all.  

Ever feel like that?  Or is that just me?  I once had a doctor recommend I wake up an hour before the kiddo did each morning and meditate to help me center my emotions. I explained to her that my son likes to wake up most morning at 4:30am, meaning that would make me have to start waking at 3:30am.  Frankly the only thing I want to meditate on at that hour is the what the insides of my eyelids look like.  She quickly shut her mouth and then changed the subject. 

Pardon me while I go rearrange my shelf.  Have some fries while I do. :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Autism Homework

This morning within ten minutes I received a text from a friend and a post on my Facebook from two different people in my life that said pretty much the same thing.  "Hey have you heard about the book The Reason I Jump?" It's a book written by a non verbal autistic teenager and from reviews I've read, it's getting a lot of praise.  The man that works with the teen and helped him with the book was being interviewed last night on The Daily Show.  I suspect I'm going to hear a lot about this in the next few days. 

Here's the thing.  Yeah, I've heard about this book before.  I'm an autism mom.  I write a blog and run a Facebook page about it but honestly it is RARE when I read a book that has anything to do with autism.  Heck it's rare that I even get to read period.  It's not that I don't like to read.  Quite the opposite really and the good Lord above has given me many afternoons spent in waiting rooms at various therapies to do so.  If you put the new issue of In Style magazine in front of me and an autism book and an hour to read, you bet your sweet ass I'm going to seen sniffing the perfume ads and then rubbing them on my wrist in a sorry attempt to feel fashionable and current.  (You all ever notice that they all start smelling the same anyway?  Oh look! A coupon for my hair color.  Rip!)

At risk of sounding like a whining teenager, I don't want to read it.  I am in elbow deep in autism every damn day.  Being asked about this book this morning made me feel like I was back in high school and the teacher called on me to ask me to read my book report on it to the class.  Whoops, the dogs ate my homework??? No, you're not buying that?  I left it in my locker?  On the bus?  Ummmm it's due today??  Crap.  Can I just take the incomplete? 

Eventually I'm going to read it.  I have a feeling this is one of those few books I should.  Insight into my kid's mind and all but I can bet you dollars to donuts I will take FOREVER to read it.  I will put this book down a hundred times when it gets to real.  I will be stuck on a paragraph or two for large gaps of time with light bulb moments of "Ohhhhhh that's what my kiddo wanted" and then racked with guilt that I screwed something up by not knowing or doing the right thing.  If parental guilt was an Olympic sport, autism parents would take the gold every single time.  Of course I hope there will be a few "I knew it!" moments in there and see I was right in my gut about something.

Yeah, I'm aware of the irony of this.  Here I am asking all of you to read this while I'm having my pity party of not wanting to read that or any of the other books I have heard about.   I just have a bigger secret wish in this.  That more folks that don't have autism directly in their lives read books and blogs about this topic.  I mean it's great we autism folks have each other to read and vent and trouble shoot and whatnot.  We do need that, even when it gets painful and raw for us.  Bottling it up is no good.  We also need those hopeful stories that inspire us to go on.  Plus humor, lots and lots of humor.  We worry and cry enough.  Sarcasm saves my sanity.   I just know that if "civilians" read more books or blogs on it, well that only benefits us a bit doesn't it?  A little more compassion.  A smidge more understanding.  A tad more compromising. A few less looks. (which Pro Tip, if you think what my kiddo is doing in public looks weird, hold up a mirror honey. Your expression looks like you just smelled your own fart Mmm'kay?) 

A girl can dream can't she?  Well I would if I got to sleep. :-)  Now pardon me as I go smear on this sample of eye cream I got out of this month's Allure.