Saturday, May 30, 2009


Superman (Alex Ross)Image by chanchan222 via Flickr

SuperSensitive. SuperStupid. SuperDumb.

I chauffeured a quiet Diver to his volunteer gig at the Air Guard Museum. (He is mute with loneliness these days.) Before leaving, I stopped to chat with a volunteer in the gift shop. She told me how much better Diver was doing.

"He used to make Major S. nervous," she grimaced, "the way he followed him around."

I cringed. Diver has worshiped Major S since his first visit to the Museum, three years ago.

And he's been making him nervous.

As I drove away, I started revisiting every conversation I've had with folks at the Museum; every glance, every exchange. Are we a nuisance? Should I care?

We spend so much time greasing the wheels for our ASD kids; forecasting, planning, managing. I even volunteer for the Museum now, trying to counterbalance the challenges of working with Diver.

Good thing I snagged them some major media, 'cause it seems that to some people, Diver has been a major nuisance.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not the TV show

Palestinian children in NazarethImage via Wikipedia

My boy wants friends.
Of course he does. Everybody wants friends.
Even kids with autism.
There's a common misconception that people on the autism spectrum are loners. Not Diver. Diver is very social; out going, charming, a party animal.
He may not have the most advanced social skills, but he is still a social creature.
In past years, I got him a cat. I got him a dog.
But it's friends Diver craves.
Me, too.
Every day for the last week, Diver has talked about his desire for friends, and has asked both me and God why he has none.
"Just a friend or two. Is that too much to ask?" he implores.
"Then why don't I have any?"

Post script:
Last night, we drove past Diver's ex-friend, A., bouncing on his trampoline.  Diver and A had been close until Diver's undiagnosed autism made him a wild child.  His periodic attempts at rekindling the friendship were rebuffed, and Diver sadly let it go.  But when we got home last night, Diver hopped on his bike, saying, "I'm gonna go see if A wants to do some guy stuff."
An hour later, he came home, happy.  I don't know if this friendship will be rebuilt, but for one night, Diver felt that he had a friend.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two words

Pubic hair.

We really are 13.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Now we are 13

Today is Diver's birthday. He's barefoot in his swing, sucking on pop rocks while rifling though his bag of goodies from Dave & Buster's. 
Which turned out to be a good choice for his birthday. It's the grown-up version of Chuck E. Cheese, where he spent many a juvenile birthday. Dave & Buster's provided three hours of major fun;  so much excitement that Anonymom and Diver's Dad were sufficient company.

When the server brought the lunch bill to the table, Diver pulled out his wallet saying, "I got this" and paid the tab with his birthday money.

Now that's 13.

So is this:  Diver's 13th birthday photo opp with hose. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Suck up and deal

Subject: :en:Buzzcut Photographer: Photographe...Image via Wikipedia

As I detailed earlier in Hunka Chunky Burning Love, Diver likes his hair cut short, Quantico-style. And now that he is in the Civil Air Patrol Cadets, Quantico is more than a style. It's "regulation", he explains.

"But Diver, I love your hair. You have great hair!" I protest.
"Mom," he barks, "Suck up and deal."

.......................... ............. ........... (That's the sound of Anonymom, sucking up and dealing.)

Yesterday, when another substitute bus driver showed up in yet another vehicle to take him to school, Diver poked his head in the door and alerted me, "Mom, it's another sub!"

"Suck up and deal," I replied.

........................... ............ ....... (That's the sound of Diver realizing the trap he himself has set. And sucking up and dealing with it.)


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Monday, May 11, 2009

Truth, consequences

Dickinson wrote and sent this poem ("A Ro...Image via Wikipedia

Not to get all metaphysical but what if
We told the truth
Not, as Emily Dickinson wrote, the truth slant
But the truth
Is there such a thing?
Or is it all perspective
And if truth is relative, are consequences real?
So was my Mother's Day
Really crumby
Or did it just feel that way?
After all, the sky didn't fall, the creek didn't flood, fire didn't break out.
So how bad could it have been?
My child (and I do have a child) can walk and talk and laugh and run.
He was not able to worship me, as I had joked.
Nor was he able to put me first, which is what I really wanted. A day that was about me, instead of my child; when my wishes were indulged and my needs were met. News flash: a kid can't meet my needs. Not a kid with autism or any other kid. It's not fair for me to expect him to. So of course I was disappointed.
On the bright side (why must I always find a bright side?), my son has learned the concept of "pity party," which I held briefly yesterday.
Onward, upward. Summer (and camp) is coming.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Diver and Drivers

Rolling thunderstorm (Cumulonimbus arcus)Image via Wikipedia

Diver doesn't like change. Nobody with autism does.
Even Jerry, Diver's school bus driver (Bless him) knows this. After telling me he was leaving for his summer job in a week, Jerry let Diver know. We processed this with Diver, as did his teacher. And Monday morning, Diver waited anxiously to meet his new driver.
Only to be met by a new vehicle and 2 new drivers.

*!* Diver's emergency light flashed. *!* He couldn't get on the bus. And felt terrible about it.

I drove him to school. That afternoon, he came home in yet another vehicle driven by two different drivers during a thunderstorm. (Any thunderstorm sends Diver to the crawl space under the stairs, where he spent the evening.)

When he came out, he said he needed to rock and to talk. "Will you be my shrink, Mom?" he asked. Diver told me how much he liked Jerry; how steady and dependable Jerry was; and, that he was surprised at how much he was missing him. "Maybe I could have coped with a new driver," Diver continued, "But two new drivers? A different bus? A change in the route? And then two more drivers in the evening? And one of them, Mom, is so old, I don't trust him."

"I hate myself."

This is where Anonymom got really concerned. Diver continued, "I need to see Cindy" (his real therapist).
Bless her. She had an opening the next day, and found him "stressed and fragile".
Last night again, Diver repeated, "I hate myself" And this morning, when he could not get on the bus again, "I hate myself."
Diver is disappointed in himself, and unforgiving. He's made such huge strides this year, approaching something resembling neurotypical. I wonder if part of his disappointment is that he is behaving like his lower-functioning classmates, who he regularly criticizes.

I'm thinking humility and compassion may be part of his lessons for the week.
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Google SketchUp and Autism

Like many kiddos on the Autism spectrum, Diver has amazing spatial skills, 
but like many kids with autism, putting pencil to paper to illustrate this is excruciating.  
I'm intrigued to learn of how useful this google application has been for kids on the autism spectrum.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ye old swiss cheese

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

I've posted before about Diver's "swiss cheese development"; his ability to do theoretical physics side-by-side with his inability to spell.

Last night was Shabbat. I desperately wanted company, so despite Diver's insistence that he was company and no one else was needed, I invited family friends. I was fine with Diver's plan to spend the evening alone with a "Do Not Disturb" sign on his door.

Anonymom gets company. Autistic Diver gets to be alone.

In the middle of dinner (shabbat table cloth, crystal, baked chicken, wine), THUD. Something flies into the room: a piece of paper weighted down with an old squeeze ball. It looks like a ransom note. It reads:

muor chikin




Communication that didn't involve social contact. Finally a chicken recipe he liked. And he remembered to say pules*.


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