Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sock Hop

 The sock hop.  6pm.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Party Animal

A mural painting depicting a hot dog on the wa...Image via Wikipedia

Diver slept, he's back in sync, and he agreed he's up for a Saturday Night Sock Hop at the synagogue. Now Anonymom, the worrier, is moving into social-worry mode. Diver is a party animal, diving into the deep end of all party activities. Plays every game, dances every dance, eats every hot dog, paying no attention to the social mores of the group. What the cool kids are doing? He doesn't care. What others think? Doesn't matter. He's in the Zone, having a great time. I'm the only who cares what the other kids think. So should I let him party on or continue trying to clue him in to what the other kids think?
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

No more 3 day weekends

Down with Presidents Day weekend!  Down with Labor Day Weekend!  Down with all three-day weekends!  They wreck havoc in our kids' lives.  Diver had such a nice rhythm going, a tidy Monday-Friday routine, with a 2-day weekend break.  It kept him organized, competent, cognizant, cheerful.  A time for everything and everything in its time.  Then bam: No school Monday.  Diver got so out-of-sync that we are still recuperating; and, I do mean we, because if Diver doesn't sleep, I don't sleep.    He coped.  He went to school and made it through his day, but nobody here is in peak form.  Here's hoping that tonight he is so exhausted that we both fall asleep.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Budget Cut Worries

Thoughtful House graph of autism epidemicImage via Wikipedia

Diver is expensive. He's in an expensive school. He requires expensive services. He just plain costs a lot. All of our ASD kids do. The average lifetime cost of care for a person with autism is $3.2 million. Every family struggling to care for a child on the autism spectrum is already under unprecedented financial strain. Now the economy is tanking and budgets are being slashed at every level; school, city, county, state, federal. My kiddo with AS gets services at every level. He needs these services. President Obama just signed the stimulus; "There you go. It's done," he said.

Keep your fingers crossed.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blessings of Normal, part 2

Dad + Flowbee = Marine Corps buzzcut averted

I was putting in my time at the Y this morning when in walks a 5'9" hunk of burning love who looked like me; Diver, with a brand new, middle-of-the-road haircut. He headed straight for a recumbent bike and began pedaling. I was kvelling; so handsome and working out solo. But was that a chain around his neck? Was Diver wearing a necklace? Oh my sweet vanity, again. He looked like a middle class kid from Bay Ridge. Nothing wrong with that. Just didn't match my image of him.

But I can live with that. It's a rare luxury for a parent like me to be vain about her child.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hunka' Chunky Burning Love

hood stylingsImage by Homies In Heaven via Flickr

You know your Aspie is doing well when his biggest challenge is being overweight. Not social communication or meltdowns or depression or sensory overload. Just overweight. I try to keep it in perspective. Long term, we need to figure out some Aspie-specific approach, but in the meantime I feed Diver healthy food, keep him as active as possible, and keep him away from the barber.

That's what this post is about. Diver likes his hair cut short, military style; and on his hunka' chunka' husky frame, it's just plain wrong. He has great, thick, wavy hair and kept a moderate length, he looks pretty darn good. Buzzed-off, Quantico style, he looks f-a-t. There's no crime in that. But my personal vanity gets wounded.

So last night when he asked when he could get a haircut, I told him to call his father.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

If You Could Do One Thing Differently

Another parent has asked me to accompany her to her ASD son's IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meeting. 

As if I'm an expert.  The one thing I wish I'd done differently on my journey with Diver is learning about Special Ed law; but, raising an ASD child is one of those journeys where you don't know what you don't know until you need to know it.   After your umpteenth frustrating IEP meeting, you begin to understand what you don't know.  So, if I had to do it all over again, I would add WrightsLaw to my must-read list early on.

What about you?  If you could do it all over again, what one thing would you do differently?  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

AnonymomBlog: See no toxin, hear no toxin, speak no toxin

AnonymomBlog: See no toxin, hear no toxin, speak no toxin

See no toxin, hear no toxin, speak no toxin

A baby having milk from a bottle.Image via Wikipedia

As usual, Peggy Orenstein gets it wrong. From her lofty platform in the New York Times Magazine, she writes that toxins are everywhere so parents shouldn't worry so much. They're in your child's lunchbox and baby bottle, milk and water, tuna and pajamas. Everywhere. So why panic, especially you overeducated types. You're still standing. Peggy is still standing, and she grew up with creosote-tainted water. Sure, she had breast cancer, but what can you do? Worry about the things you can see: fire, car crashes, things that are already regulated and don't have carte blanche to poison you or your kids.

Peggy can't accept the simple fact that what you can't see can hurt you and wreck your children, who are especially susceptible to environmental toxins. Pound for pound, they eat more, drink more and breath more than we do. Which means they eat, breathe and drink more bisphenol A, mercury, organochlorines, creosote, arsenic, pesticides, heavy metals, particulates. Beginning in the womb, they are bathed, basted and birthed in a toxic stew.

What are we to do, Peggy? See no toxin, hear no toxin, speak no toxin?
Worry all the more. Speak out and stop it, because it is all preventable.
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Friday, February 6, 2009

Pity Party

Shabbos (shabbat) table at my house, a few min...Image via Wikipedia

It's Friday night and Anonymom is having a little pity party. Not big. She knows there are many people much worse off. But after working hard this week to keep all the plates spinning, racing to the finish line with a beautiful Shabbat dinner on the table, she wanted... something, anything; a kind word, a "How are you?", a hug, an invitation, someone else to spin one of the plates. But no. It's just me and Diver. Diver and me.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Twelve long years

CHALMETTE, LA - MAY 26:   Olivia Hoffman place...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Thirteen, really, since my father died.
He was Diver's namesake and he died thirteen years ago today while I was five months pregnant with Diver. What a bittersweet time; my child growing within me, my father dying.

His diagnosis of inoperable cancer came at the same time as the news of my pregnancy. The good news we held out to Dad like a flame in the dark, as if somehow it would save him: every sonogram, every developmental stage, every kick; as if the good news would negate the bad and make it not so.

But it was not so. He left us, with his whispered "I love you".

Diver, who never met him, carries his name. But Diver knows him, because we talk about him. He would think Diver a delightful, insightful, throughly charming young man. A Civil War buff, he would take pleasure in Diver's intense interest in the military.

He left a message for Diver, which we keep framed in his room:
"To Baby Boy Diver, who is as yet unborn,
I have seen you in utero.
I regret I will not be able to hold you and kiss your cheek, but I will be with you.
My spirit will watch over you.
Your Mom and Dad and your Grandmother will tell you about me and you will know me.
I love you very much.

Today we remember him.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

It Takes More than a Village

Major brain structures implicated in autism.Image via Wikipedia

Parents need to ask for help, says the New York Times, because it may not take a village to raise a child, but it does take help.

If that child has autism, it takes a small country. Yet who is harder to help than a parent whose child is loud, inappropriate, strange, repetitive; who seems just plain bad. Which leads to the assumption that said child's parent is bad.

That's unhelpful. Yes, our children are challenging. We live with them 24/7 so we know how challenging they are 24/7. We are doing our level best to love them and teach them and help them cope with their challenges, and many of them are as challenged as someone in a wheelchair, for whom we have ramps and push-button doors. Our kids need social ramps and push-button doors. And their parents need help.

P.S. The most helpful person in my life is herself the parent of three children with special needs, one with Asperger's, two bipolar.

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