#WorldAutismAwarenessDay 2015

2nd Annual World Autism Awareness Day photo montage:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/I5_aw8XBdDI“>

Last year’s montage is available here: https://youtu.be/9V51KVuGAr4

My family’s journey: https://youtu.be/siP4DLOm-YU

Please leave any questions you have below. I will answer them as best I can. 🙂

#MarchBreak fun

My kids were at their dad’s for March Break this year…so, what does one do when they find themselves childless for a week? Go to their parents’ place, of course! 😉 And in my true form, I started my March Break with a Starbucks chai for the drive to the farm.

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When I got to their farm, I needed to study and work on an assignment due that night at 11pm. Easy, right? Tried getting online in their office…nope. Went into the house where I know my laptop connects to the wireless internet (yup, a farm that has wireless internet…cool!)…and nope. Not working. We tried rebooting the router and doing all the magical stuff we knew of to make it work. It was another 2 days before it worked! I was shaking…thank goodness for my Blackberry so I could still access the internet, otherwise, I’m sure I would have been going through complete withdrawal.

 

But then there was a big problem…I still had an assignment due for my ONLINE course by 11pm that night. Plus, I’m in Small Town, ON where everything closes at 6pm at the latest. Sigh. No worries, I was going to Medium-Sized City, ON that evening to tape the 2nd episode of the Many Faces of Autism so I figured I could go to a Starbucks and submit the assignment as long as I had everything done before I have to leave. So, I finished all research required and wrote up the assignment, got ready to be videotaped (eek!) and headed to the family’s home (thanks Vimi and family!). We taped the episode (Vimi did AWESOME!) and, while we were waiting for our tech guru to do his magic on his end, I was able to submit my assignment while my laptop was connected to her wireless internet – yay! Got an A on that assignment too…so double yay!

 

The next day, I got to cross off something from my “bucket list”…take my parents’ four-wheeler in for service. I know, you all have it on your bucket list too. 😉 Who knew that taking it in for service meant taking it to a Honda dealerships…where the showroom was filled with beautiful motorcycles. I’ll take them all! 😉 Spent some time with my dad though, so it’s all good. Later that night, my mom needed to sew some things so I FINALLY sewed on a button on my jacket that has been on the verge of falling off for most of the winter (silly, I know but I have a sewing repair kit around here somewhere…).

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Have I mentioned that my parents’ live in the snowbelt? And that my dad uses a tractor to clear the snow? This is a picture taken BEFORE the snowstorm hit on the day I was supposed to leave. Reminder: I’m 5’10”!

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Then the storm hit. We didn’t get too much snow, but it was whipping around horizontally and the wind was really strong so it wasn’t safe to drive anywhere…but a lovely girlfriend of mine (who has snowtires on her car…alas, I do not) made her way to the farm for a tea before the storm really hit. She even brought tea biscuits that had bacon in them. A woman after my own heart!

 

I stayed an extra day because of the weather…but it was all good because the internet repair guy also made it out before the snowstorm really hit that day and was able to fix the internet. So, I was back online and able to continue working on my assignments and write an exam while we were snowed in. Insert happy dance here!

Gratitude Project 12/8

The last week has had tons of emotional highs and lows, including a tragic reminder of how precious life is.

This week, I’m thankful for:

  • My son and daughter
  • My parents
  • My man putting up with the highs and lows I’ve been through in the last week
  • My CAA membership (BEST annual Christmas present from my parents!)
  • The tow-truck driver being so kind
  • The community we live in, for many reasons including our own needs and the tragic death of a friend of mine’s brother-in-law resulting from a work-place accident
  • My kids and I being healthy, happy and safe

What are you thankful for this week?

“Scary Mommy” Reflections

 

 

 

 

Scary Mommy has a great blog post this week – well, they are all great, but this one has caused some reflection on my part because my son has Autism. It’s inviting parents of typical kids to ask those hard questions to us parents of special needs kids that they are afraid to ask.

I have three pet peeves…firstly, don’t ask “what’s wrong” with my son. There’s nothing “wrong” with him. He just interacts with the world differently, same as there’s nothing “wrong” with me for not aceing science and math in school the way you might have; or that you didn’t ace languages, music and history the way I did.

My second pet peeve is when someone calls my son “Autistic”. Someone with Cancer, isn’t “Cancerous”. My son has Autistic traits, but he isn’t Autistic.

Lastly, when people tell me that they are “sorry” about my DS having Autism, I try not to look at them like they have three heads. Why are you sorry? I’m not. Autism is PART of how my son learns and interacts, it isn’t WHO he is. My son is AWESOME!

There is also a long discussion on Scary Mommy about how to help a parent of a child of special needs. My advice is to be there, whether emotionally or physically. If you hear we are having a bad day and that we aren’t leaving the house because of it, show up. Give us time to have a shower while you are there, bring us our favourite drink (mine’s a Starbucks chai latte, lactose-free milk, no water…in case you were wondering), do the dishes, fold laundry, bring us a home-cooked meal, etc. Sure, they are “chores” that you probably don’t want to do at your place but I can tell you from experience that my stress levels increase exponentially by the second if I haven’t had time to do the dishes (don’t have a dishwasher) and I can’t find counter space to prepare whatever food my DS wants at that moment.

At the end of the day though, just ask how you can help – please don’t be offended if we say there’s nothing you can do though…sometimes it’s just harder for us to explain how to help because you might unintentionally trigger a meltdown. Ask about the specialist appointment we took our child to today – just be prepared for a detailed answer if you ask about the appointment. 😉 Invite us out at a time of day that works best for us, whether it’s a playdate for the kids or some grown-up time. We get very isolated very easily as we have been asked if “other moms groups might be more suitable for my son” often.

Most of all though, share in our excitement about developmental advances our child makes. Remember how excited you were when your child started talking/walking/went potty the first time? We are just as excited, if not more so, when we finally get to experience those advances when our kids are older. Can you imagine how excited I’ll be when my soon to be 6yo son will finally be potty trained??!!!

Above all, if you happen to witness my son’s complete meltdown in public, walk over, ask if there’s anything you can do to help and offer to hold my bags, then try to keep up with us as my son takes us on a “Meltdown Adventure”, which can lead anywhere or nowhere. Hope you’re wearing your running shoes!