Sunday, March 31, 2013

let's be friends

my 4 year old likes to stay up till 11pm talking to stuffed animals and watching netflix on the ipad.
she has the humor of an adult, but careful- she's a landmine and cries if you look at her cross-eyed.
she has the greatest giggle ever and she tells me she loves me 3,000 times a day. She loves to snuggle and is kind to everyone . but when  her brother bugs her she will charge like a rhino.
she eats about 10 things . that's it. she doesn't like to try new things. she thinks icecream heals wounds.
she likes to do anything her brother does.
she likes video games and drinks nothing but applejuice.

my 8 year old is afraid of black holes, clowns, spiders, math, deep water, natural disasters, heights, and the dentist. sometimes he carries a flashlight around "just in case".
he cries easily and it's a very loud screamy wailing cry they can hear in other galaxies. He hates fiction and loves to learn REAL things. He's extremely creative and talks A LOT. his favorite color is currently the brightest neon green there is. he is an adventurous eater. he loves his cousin. he loves legos. he loves video games, they also plague his life.

my 11 year old is never mean on purpose. he is highly motivated by other's feelings and does not ever want to make anyone sad or mad. he likes quiet. he likes it when other's follow the rules and do not upset anyone. he loves animals and is not afraid of any bugs. he will catch them and let them free outside. he likes movies and games because they are things that are already scripted out and he can follow along free of stress. he likes to anticipate things, he does not like surprises. he still snuggles with me and tells me he loves me every night. he likes to swing on the swings higher than anyone else and let go for a moment so he can float. he hates when people change things in  his routine, he hates when people talk about private or gross things. he hates waiting his turn . he hates it if he thinks he's not being listened to or understood.
he likes to paint and draw and he loves to tell jokes because he likes making people happy. he doesn't care what is "cool" he still appreciates shows he likes when he was a little boy. 
he loves video games, they also plague his life. 

i don't feel like i know what's going on. i don't feel capable. i have a phobia of paperwork and i hate making phone calls to people i don't know. sometimes i worry so much about other people that it makes me anxious and depressed. i worry about most things actually so i have learned to distract myself by Doing Things and Taking Care of People. my kids provide me with all that i can handle so it works out. 
painting makes me feel like myself again and i can float. i love art and colors and nature and music.
i am really bad at fitting everything in. i forget appointments and run out of time . i lose things. 
i hate bugs. i don't like too many noises at once. i'm not very good at making decisions. 
i'm a verbal processor so sometimes i have to talk about things A LOT to figure them out. 
i love the woods. i'm scared of deep water. (i'm scared of a LOT of things) i can't do math. 
letters and numbers always appear in color in my head. i love clothes. i like me when i'm running. i struggle with my weight. i feel lonely a lot. i love being a mom. i love being an artist. i suck at mostly everything else. i hate video games.  

i'm married to an ex skateboarder. i'm not completely sure who he is yet. i'm not sure if he knows either. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

social events #autism

i am tired of accepting invitations because I worry about someone's feelings even though i know it will be a difficult situation for my family. So why do i keep doing it? the truth is, it's hard to face a good friend or family member and admit that what you have just been invited to will be too hard for your autistic child and if you DO say it you are immediately met with this response: " oh he'll be fine!" or " we don't mind!" - Translation: we don't care if your child struggles or freaks out. This is NOT helpful and makes it even harder for you to say no. occasionally they will ask you what your concern is, but when you try to explain - they shoot down every reason you give. the truth is, if you don't have an autistic child anything i say will sound like a ridiculous excuse. "too much open space" "too small of a space" " too loud" " too many animals" " too many children" "boring" "smells bad" " dog hair" "he hates the food" what parent is really going to say that? no. you either make up the best most realistic excuse possible, or , you smile and start preparing. you pack 2 more bags than the average parent. you feed the kids PRIOR to the party so they don't get upset about eating things they won't like. you bring games and extra clothes and any other distraction you can think of. you spend the entire party glued to him with watchful eyes waiting for the signals that he's had enough. you don't eat, you don't have any meaningful conversations. you don't sit down. you have anxiety the entire time. it is a nightmare. when those signals start happening your hosts will suddenly decide to "help" he's raising his voice, trying to run out of the room/area, he's demanding to leave, he screams he hates the food, or the smell of something. And they try to TALK to him, they decide now would be a good time to offer conversation, and tell you "mom- relax, we're all fine, have a seat" etc. By the time you get out the situation is too far gone. the ride home consists of trying to diffuse your child who has just been through what he probably feels is a terrible miserable evening. he's had too much of everything and he's hungry. when you get home you need to do everything at warp-speed in order to get back into the groove so he can calm down. you run the shower, you get snacks, you turn on a favorite show. bedtime is pushed back in order to get back into a routine. you have a migraine. you're starving, your back hurts, you have been holding back crying all day. everyone finally goes to bed and all you feel is angry. why do we have to keep doing all these things to make everyone else happy? to make everyone else feel comfortable? just once i'd like someone to ask me what scenario would be best for me and my family to be able to participate? as a mom to an autistic child i can't even count how many social gatherings we've endured that i wish i could forget. the frustration. the sadness. the embarrassment. if you're going to invite us, at the very least give us a way out. let us say no. don't argue with us, don't pretend you understand. don't tell me it will be "fun" or " relaxing" don't tell me "he'll be fine" you don't know my son. spend your entire party doing everything you hate . put on clothes that are too tight and turn the music up too loud and cook food that smells too strong and balance a stack of books on your head while someone kicks you in the shins. did you have fun? don't tell me you understand. just once i'd like someone to be honest and say " i have no idea what you need, but if you tell me i'd be happy to try" or at the very least just let me say no.