Friday, April 30, 2010

Freedom, Safety and Parental Peace of Mind

When collegeman was three years old and HSB was 6 months I used to take them to the city playground by myself. I never really thought about it. I figured, the baby is stuck in the stroller and collegeman would do his thing with me keeping an eye on him. It was a really nice little playground near us. It was very kid friendly and for the city at least, very kid safe-there was only one entrance and exit. There was a jungle gym; slides, monkey bars, and a fountain in the middle were the children would go in the hot days of summer and sun under the sprinklers. There were benches around the fountain where the moms would sit, talk and get some adult time while they watched their children play.

It was not a big deal to stand with collegeman and watch him play. While we didn’t know at the time that he was autistic we knew that he didn’t talk and interact as other children did, but everyone told us there was nothing wrong but a slight speech delay. I didn’t think that I had to watch him extra careful. He always did seem to be underfoot and quite happy to do as he was told.

Well, it was a bright beautiful day in the neighborhood. The park was full of children and their moms running, playing and laughing. It really was a scene out of a1950s suburb but of course it was in the middle of the city and so there was no grass, but a lot of concrete. Collegeman was having a great time. He loved spinning the wheels of the jungle gym and was quite content to do that, after a few times on the slide. (Yep, a missed indicator I know). Well, I decided it was time to go home. It was getting late, the baby needed a nap and I needed to start dinner. I told collegeman that we needed to leave. I bent down to fix a strap on HSB’s stroller and when I looked back up collegeman was gone. Now he wasn’t gone in the sense that I could see that he had run over to the monkey bars. He was not anywhere in sight and would not answer when I called his name.

I can’t even begin to describe the terror. I know for a second I was in disbelief that he wasn’t in front of me and not answering. I ran from apparatus to apparatus. I ran out to the front gate, and asked the hotdog vendor if she had seen a little blond boy leave all by himself. No one had seen him. I ran back inside and kept calling his name. The mommy bunch on the benches, asked if I wanted them to watch the baby. I thanked them profusely and proceeded to run around, sans baby and stroller I had been pushing the stroller as I went running around the playground calling for and looking for collegeman. This time, I even went into the nooks and crannies calling collegeman’s name. Finally I wound back at the mommies and one of them asked me if he was the blond boy by the spinning wheel. (Of course, he had returned to his favorite spot after he had been who knows where inside the playground.)

I ran over to him, grabbed and kissed him and began to yell at him in the middle of the park. I continued to yell at him at home. I fed him his dinner and sent him to bed early so he would remember not to run away. I know you can probably understand the panic. Collegeman never did anything like that again. Neither one of the boys are runners. HSB however, would at times in his life decide that he didn’t want to be somewhere and decide to leave, but that’s not the same as just exiting or running. (You have to understand HSB, he gets something in his craw, ratchets up an attitude and decides he isn’t going to listen to anyone.)

Meanwhile over the years, we never truly faced an issue like the playground again, probably because I also never went back to the playground by myself again. We never went anywhere alone with the boys until they were both much older and even then, we would go in groups of threes everywhere including the ladies room if the need arose. I remember being in a major bulk market needing to go to the ladies and taking my ten and seven year old in with me. I don’t know if the other ladies cared. I don’t know if the other ladies thought something was amiss. (Of course if anyone knows me they also know I wouldn’t have given a damn either) I even took them into the stall (did have them turn around though). In this world you need to do what has to be done. My children, nor yours, need to become a statistics because someone has no idea about the real world and the problems in today’s society.

Anyway, fast forward to today. The boys are much older and we thought more cognizant of the world and people around them. We thought that they understand that when we tell them to call us they are supposed to call. We thought they knew that when they made an appointment to meet someone that that person will be waiting for them. We thought they knew that when people expect you to be someplace and you are not there, those people begin to worry. Not on your life. It was a really fun day yesterday. Collegeman is glad he’s too big to send to bed early.

Collegeman was supposed to meet his art class coach after his law class, have lunch with her and go see his art professor about some projects he was working on. He has done this for several weeks so I didn’t really think I had to remind him what to do. I did remind him to take his portfolio with him. That he would have forgotten. So off he went to school and all was right with the world. (Well, actually HSB was really sick with a viral infection, complete with headache, hacking cough and fever. He is fine now but think Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, complete with blanket over head, complaining how sick he feels and the refusal to bend over because his sinus’s hurt. At least HSB doesn’t like vic’s vaporub on his chest and didn’t ask to have me sing him “soft kitty.” Just set up the computer, humidifier, TV and recharge his phone to play his games.)



Shortly after 1pm the art coach called and asked if collegeman had come home by mistake, because she had been waiting for over an hour and he had not shown up. I decided to try not to panic at this moment and tried to call him on his cell. He did not pick up. I tried again, again he did not pick up. I texted him. He did not respond. The coach called back and no she hadn’t been able to get him either. She decided to take another walk around the campus check out his favorite spots (the library and his advisor’s office) while I called hubby. I texted hubby and he did not respond either. So I called him on his cell.

Now hubby was in a very very very important meeting, but he answered and I started to yell a little about not being able to find collegeman. Yes, he said, call campus security. So I did. They know collegeman because he gets picked up and dropped off every day in front of the building where their office is. They also know him because the disability director introduced collegeman to them. They should know who he was (one of them happens to be a special education teacher by trade and understand aspergers) plus they are all trained as EMTs incase collegeman has a bad seizure; he should know that they will be there to help him. I explained the situation how he wasn’t where he was supposed to be and he wasn’t answering his cell and I am concerned because of the seizures that he might be hurt somewhere. I also told him that when you find him and he is ok, yell at him for me. “We can’t do that ma’am he told me. I have to let you yell at him. But we will go look. Don’t worry.”

Meanwhile, after several more minutes of anxiety, trauma and thoughts of him being tricked into a situation where he was in mortal danger, collegeman called. He was actually annoyed that the art coach was not waiting for him in the place he was supposed to meet her even though he was one and a half hours late. You know I yelled at him when he was three and took off in the playground, this time I used every four letter word I could possibly think of.

Now was it the best parenting moment I had. No, not really, but then again I don’t think I had ever been so afraid in such a long time. He claimed that he didn’t hear the phone ring (He kept telling me that so I resolved that once he got home I would check his phone to see what was going on) and that he was doing work in the library and then just grabbed food in the cafĂ©. He truly did not understand that anyone would be worried about him.

Meanwhile I told him that the coach would meet him at the art professor’s office and to get his ass there. I immediately called the security office and told them I finally heard from him. Apparently they were also worried about him, because he had sent half his force out looking for collegeman. He also insisted that even if he came by the security desk, he could still not yell at him.

Collegeman called on his way home and didn’t want to get yelled at. He had had enough and wanted everything put behind him and decided we should move on. Oh no, way in hell. When he got home we had another loud discussion. But it had more to do with the fact that he had was not grasping in any way shape or form the reason that anyone would be worried about him. I tried to explain it to him. Then of course he got angry at me that I called his father. Not because he would be embarrassed but that I had the nerve to bother hubby at work. He hates when I bother him when he is doing his work and I have no right to do the same to his father. More yelling and more who do you think you are. I called because no one could find you and I needed some advice on what to do next. I fixed the ringer on his phone.

Now the thing that he didn’t want to deal with in any way shape or form was having an additional talk about this with his father. He had had enough and truthfully I was not getting through to him. (Yes I know a combination of teenage stupidity and asperger mindblindness)Hubby called and spoke to collegeman and promised that they would not talk about it when he got home from work. This morning was another thing, as collegeman kept insisting that I had no right to bother his father at work. We tried to impress upon him how frightened we were. That when you tell people you are going to be somewhere and don’t show up that they will worry about you. I actually even told him, the thing he should have done was go to meet the coach, tell her what you wanted to do and then go do it. This seemed to mollify him a bit, but I think he still really doesn’t get it. Truthfully whether he gets it or not, is no big deal right now, what is important is that he understands what he has to do when he wants to change plans and others are depending on him to be at a certain place at a certain time.

Well true to his word, hubby came home as I said, and did not mention the incident to collegeman at all. We ate dinner. Watched TV and everyone went about their usual evening business. The boys went to bed and dreamt their usual dreams. Unbeknownst to them however, hubby had found a service through the wireless phone company that allows you to track the phone users’ whereabouts. He called the phone company and bought the service. He set it up for each boy, not trusting that HSB one day wouldn’t pull the same crap that collegeman just did. Luckily both boys obsessively take their phones with them. Collegeman takes his phone because it is what grown-ups do, along with taking with you when you leave the house your wallet (complete with id and money) and keys. HSB takes his phone so he can play the games he’s downloaded.

So the boys dreamt their sweet slumber of innocence and dreamed the dreams of teenage boys. They awoke the next day and off collegeman went to school. Secure in the knowledge that the issue won’t be discussed anymore, but innocent to the reality that we had just lo-jacked his ass.

Until next time,

With child locator in hand,

Elise

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Manners, Etiquette and Social Convention

When collegeman was very little we nicknamed him Little Lord Fauntleroy. He had the most innate impeccable manners that anyone had ever seen. He sat nicely at the table. Put his napkin on his lap. Kept his free hand in his lap as well, and chewed with his mouth closed. While he didn’t really talk and couldn’t say please and thank you, he could say “more” when he wanted another helping. The truth is we thought that because he was genetically predisposed to manners that there would not be a problem when he got older. Guess again. Somewhere along the line, he forgot every table manner he had ever known and added in a few really bad habits. On the other hand, with HSB we didn’t even have to think along the lines of regressed table manners, he just never had any to begin with.

The truth is that I think manners for a person with autism do not come easily. Remember as with every aspect of social convention and norms, our children need to be taught the whys and wherefores. They will not pick up manners as other children do, just by watching. They will not understand why they need to use a utensil as opposed to their fingers. They will not understand that they can’t walk around with a mouth full of spaghetti sauce. They will not understand that to chew with their mouths open is decidedly unpleasant to those around them. They will not understand that their face does not belong in their food. They will not understand that it is the norm to converse during meals. As with every aspect of their lives, social stories are a handy tool

Actually I think though that we have hit on some additional issues when it comes to manners. As far as using utensils: many of our children cannot hold a fork or spoon. They have fine motor issues which prevents them from using a typical grasp. However, you can find specially designed spoons and forks for children with fine motor problems. This will help them to understand that you cannot eat with your fingers. Interestingly, that cheerio-grip that everyone‘s child starts to do in infancy, when they start to learn to self-eat, does not come so easily to our children either. Again it is all connected to the same issue. Pediatricians tell you that with practice it will all come, but truthfully if you see your child struggling with learning something that should just be a regular developmental milestone, it should set off alarm bells. Of course we know that now. I wish someone had told me about that a long time ago. It may have saved years of not knowing what the problem was and what to do.

The open chewing problem could also be attached to an occupational therapy and sensory processing issue. As with HSB who still to this day, chipmunks his food, your child may not realize that their mouth is open. In fact, it might be terribly uncomfortable for them to chew with their mouth closed. Additionally those sensory issues that prevent your child from understanding they need to close their mouths, may also prevent them from actually being able to identify when their mouth is full, or to feel how chewed food is different than whole food.

But as with any reputable OT, the person that is working with your child should be able to help identify these problems and teach your child how to cope. They should also teach you how to help your child as they are not there on a constant basis. You should be given exercises and self-help techniques that you can teach your child. Also, whether we like to discuss this or not there are many types of foods that can provide your child with the nutrition that they need and you can try what works so that it is easier to chew and swallow. Everyone talks about food preferences for a child with autism, or special wellness diets for children with autism but no one talks about it in the context of sensory issues. It’s a child on an all white diet, gluten free or lactose free diet that everyone discusses, but some of our children need a sensory free diet. Granted there are many of you out there who already know this as well. Look at Temple Grandin who for years ate only yogurt and jello. Sensory eating issues are nothing new.

So once you have mastered the sensory and OT issues surrounding the mouth, what do you do about the rest of the table manner conundrum? Some children just do not have the wherewithal to sit for a long time at the table. Whether it’s because they have upper trunk issues and it is physically difficult for them to maintain that upright position in a chair, or they do not have the capacity to focus on the events at the dinner table, or they become overwhelmed by the sights and smells of dinner itself. We need to go slow and methodical when we teach them.

Start with sitting in a chair for as long as they can. Reminding them that for no matter how long they are at the table, the napkin goes on the lap, that they need to use a utensil not their fingers. (I know, they finally master the cheerio-grip and they can’t use it and have to use that special fork you bought. Just another confusing day in the world of autism). At first it is important for them to understand that these issues are important and that this is the accepted way to interact. Oh well, back again to that social convention issue that our children just never seem to get. Mine still ask about it all the time. Why is it important? What is the purpose? How is this going to affect my life? Why do I need to make conversation when I eat? What is the big deal about not using a napkin when my shirt works just as well? Why can’t I blow my nose at the table? Why can’t I lean on my free hand? Why are you bothering me about all this crap? (OK when they are little they don’t use the word crap. But as they grow they are able to pick up on some social norms that you would otherwise they didn’t.)

They truly don’t get the social convention idea. Luckily for us collegeman does have an eye to his future and we try to explain to him about interpersonal relationships and their direct relationship to success in the working world. He does sort of get it now, especially since everyone else seems to be telling him the same thing, not just us. You know he is at that age when whatever the parents say means they do the opposite, well just what I tell him, hubby is still considered the wise sage for now. But I give hubby that, a relationship with his sons is something he has longed for, for a really long time. The fact that collegeman in his own way worships his father is nice for the husband.

HSB on the other hand, while he isn’t so hard to direct about social conventions nonetheless doesn’t really care about them. He goes about his life, happy in his world and if you want to join in you are always welcome. We call it “HSB Land.” He will gladly invite anyone in who wants to come and sees no reason to really leave. He does however; get the social conventions of proper interaction and its need, especially since being still in highschool it is enforced on a daily basis. He is constantly reminded by those that work with him. Hopefully it will sink in and things in the future will be easier for HSB than they have been for collegeman.

Meanwhile, collegeman was making fun of HSB the other day, that people have to keep on top of him all the time. He likes to tell HSB that no one had to do that for him in highschool. I interjected and told collegeman that they didn’t teach him properly and it’s why he still needs help today in college with the classroom coaches. We are trying to make it so that HSB may not need the same level of support. “Oh,” collegeman said and he promptly stopped making fun of his brother. I could see the introspective look on his face. He was thinking that those in highschool didn’t help him like they should have. It is not something that he is outwardly talking about, but I bet if he meets any of the teachers from the highschool again it’s going to be a question in the conversation, and so it should be. But as hubby said about the mistakes made with collegeman by the highschool, what is important for the school is for them to take their errors and make sure that they do not do the same with any other child. Truthfully we also have to stay on top of everything too. We do not take anything for granted as we did with collegeman and demand real updates and discussions and meetings about the progress that HSB is making or not making in the realm of social convention.

I can’t explain enough how important these lessons are. We do call them social skills in some way. When your child is taught to take turns and play nice with others. When they are taught to raise their hand to ask a question and how to advocate for themselves throughout life. But the real world requires an added level of social convention that many of us forget. We make allowances at home for our children and we sometimes forget that manners and etiquette are truly important in the everyday work-a-day world.

Now does this mean that the boys are ready to go out the door on their way after all these years of social skills and one-to-one help and even etiquette lessons? Yes, we gave them etiquette lessons. We thought at one point that if a total stranger taught them some table manners and interpersonal skills it might stick a little better than if we were the only ones working on this issue. They loved the lessons. She was a really nice and elegant woman who taught them, and I think in some respects it actually helped. We stopped after the summer because it was time for school and there are just so many days in a week and hours in a day. But since they took those lessons they do not give us too much of a fuss about sitting at the table, hand on the lap and conversation during dinner. But, yes, collegeman still forgets to wipe the spaghetti sauce off his face without a reminder. I can always tell what he ate for lunch at school by what is left on his face or the front of his shirt.

I have to say that eventually I think everything will come together just fine. This past Passover the boys participated not only in our little Seder but in a Seder at their aunt’s house. While they were not always perfect, it could actually be chalked up to them being teens instead of having an autism episode. They read their parts, ate heartily and participated in conversation. It also was a much smaller gathering than at Thanksgiving so I think that may have made a huge difference too. The sensory input was not so overwhelming for them. But at the same time I would like to think that they are finally getting the hang of that social convention called table manners, and etiquette.

Next on the list is holding the door for the little old lady walking into the store behind you instead of letting the door hit her in the face. Of course in today’s world, people figure that they have no social awareness because they are teens. We do get a smile when I chastise the boys for their bad manners, and usually I get the same response, “Don’t worry, dear,” the old women say,” everyone eventually learns.” Little do they know, that for that I say a little extra prayer as I make a huge nuisance out of myself and remind the boys once again about social convention, manners and etiquette.


Until next time,

Elise

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One Day

This morning during our tweetchat for @theCoffeeKlatch we discussed whether your child’s disability had brought you closer to God or did it destroy your relationship with God. I truly think that we as parents of special needs children are looking for calm in the midst of the hurricane in which we live. When the Biblical prophets talked about peace, we know that they talked about physical peace between warring parties, just as we still do today. But I think that the prophets also meant peace of heart and peace of soul. We need to find that beachhead in our turbulent lives. If the righteousness that is spoken of in the Bible, along with the joy and solace we so crave, can be found in a love of God, it is not for anyone else to judge. So for all my friends from @theCoffeeKlatch this is for you:




Until next time,

Shalom,

Elise

Monday, April 26, 2010

When Parents Screw Up

I don’t care how you add it up, trying to function on just three hours of sleep is not very doable and really not a lot of fun. You would think that by the time the boys are teens, all those sleepless nights would be a thing of the past, but then you forget the dreaded, the awful the monster with the hydra head, homework. Actually this isn’t so much about homework as about the lack of my boy’s ability to organize and successfully navigate their long-term projects. Executive functioning is all well and good on a daily basis, but it is knowing how to project the time necessary to prepare, facilitate and create a multi-week assignment that gets the boys right now.

Truthfully this is more about collegeman than HSB. I also think it’s not just about his executive functioning deficits either. He was organized and had everything he needed, too much if you want to know the truth. He was supposed to find five sources for his paper. Of course, he had a page and a half of sources. He was supposed to use the thesis statement that he and the professor agreed upon. Of course at the last moment he decided to change the thesis statement. He was supposed to keep a rubric replete with some grades that had appeared on it, which of course, we could not find, so we had to use an empty one. Of course, collegeman basically decided that he did not need all that much time to write an eight page paper. In truth he usually doesn’t need that much time, but he had major issues with this topic.

So what was collegeman’s topic? He is taking a course on Leaders and Leadership. It’s a wonderful examination on what makes someone a good leader. Now those traits are explored through exploring the history surrounding some very unique individuals in history. He studied Bismarck, Napoleon, Mussolini, and Elizabeth I to understand what made someone a leader. The interesting point of the course is that these qualities do not always make the leader a good person. I think it’s a fascinating dichotomy; needless to say, collegeman picked up on that issue right away. So which leader did he decide to research for his paper? He was given a list of thirty leaders alive today or in history. There were wonderful persons for him to choose from. He could have decided upon anyone from George Washington to Golda Meir, to Ronald Reagan to Indira Ghandi. So without skipping a beat, he chooses Mahmood Ahmedinejad. How much fun is that (she asks sarcastically)?

Much to my surprise there are dozens of books written about that man. I had thought it would be a ridiculous endeavor to try to find out information for the paper. There was so much information; collegeman just didn’t know when enough was enough. . Shocked the hell out of me. He was reading books, and articles and op-eds. He found a new article yesterday when he was finally supposed to start writing the paper. I guess collegeman isn’t the only one fascinated by that evil lunatic in Iran.

But the problem for collegeman is not knowing when he has enough information. I suppose that is the problem for everyone, but when you have a child with obsessive compulsive disorder (here, here), one that is afraid to make a mistake or leave anything out, then it becomes a different kind of issue. He just doesn’t know when to quit. Lately it has not been this bad. In fact, this semester has been the best yet in handling his anxiety over midterms and exams. He gets to a point that he says, well I’m done and decides it is what it will be. I was so proud of him when he would come to that conclusion I can’t tell you how much I praised him for being able to stop himself. Bu this was so totally different. Not really used to writing such papers, he just was afraid to not put in the proper amount of information that the professor wanted. He is so dedicated to trying to get an A that he almost just didn’t get the project done.

Finally, yesterday afternoon, hubby had to take him aside and say stop. It is time to write. Hubby helped collegeman stop and think to organize the paper around the leadership qualitities that were written into the thesis paragraph. Each quality was thoroughly discussed, analyzed and expounded upon; replete with references, class associations and text book allusions. It is probably a good paper. I don’t know because I am never allowed to read anything collegeman writes.

Finally at three in the morning he went to sleep. We, of course, were still awake. OK, truth be told, I fell asleep for a few hours, but woke up and rejoined the vigil. Then when collegeman finally fell asleep for a few hours neither hubby nor myself could sleep so we watched an Entertainment Tonight rerun. You know you are very desperate for something to do when you watch inanities on television at three and four in the morning. Finally we did fall asleep for a few hours, but then HSB had to get up for school, hubby had to go to work, and lo and behold collegeman really wasn’t done with the paper.

So everyone woke up, very reluctantly, and off to their regular days they went. I took HSB to school. Hubby went to work; Collegeman sat at his computer finishing off his paper. I then had to help him with the list of items needed in the paper or to be handed in with the paper that the professor required. It was very specific, but there were some questions about placement of page numbers and name, and cover page, and rubric. But hey what are you supposed to do. So we just took a shot, made a decision, and decided that it is what it is. Now onward and upward. What will be with the paper is anyone’s guess. He has been doing rather well in that class, so hopefully it is not bad enough to hurt his grade tremendously. Or who knows, maybe as with everything collegeman does, he will have pulled the fat out of the fire and proceeded on his merry way to “A” land nirvana.

One good thing did come out of this and no it’s not the fact that I still kept my mani-pedi appointment, (even though that was a good choice on my part) but collegeman recognized that the way he handled the paper assignment quite frankly was a huge fiasco. He did not handle it well at all. The professor, knowing that the students needed guidance with organization, timing and structure of such a project actually gave them step-by-step instruction on how to accomplish such a paper. He gave them dates that each part of the step-by-step was to be handed in. Collegeman did do those assignments without fail. He handed in the thesis statement, and outline. He handed in a preliminary list of sources. I tell you it was terrific. I wish someone had done that for me when I was in college instead of saying go write. The professor even said in his instructions do not wait until the last night to begin to write, and gave them an idea of when to begin to write the paper so that they could do rewrites, find more information and hand in something truly good. I think next time; collegeman is going to pay more attention to the professor’s advice.

On the other hand, we, the parents knowing that we have an obsessive child and one lacking in executive functioning skills should not really have left him so much to his own devises. Yes, I know that if he were away at college, the paper probably would still not be done. But one of the reasons that collegeman lives at home, apart from the overwhelming transition, medical and social issues that he just couldn’t handle right now, is the fact that we would be able to help him in situations like this. The college does have a tutoring program that students who live at school can access certified teacher to help them with long term projects, but we never signed him up, because, well we are here. Well we are idiots.

We really thought that child could organize himself and figure things out on a much more sophisticated level then he obviously can. Is it wishful thinking on our part? Possibly. Or the fact that he is organized enough to have gotten a 3.5 GPA last semester and similar GPA’s every semester since he started college. If I was to be truly honest with myself, I would have to say, we really missed the boat on this on. We forgot who he was and we forgot what his disabilities are all about. Next time we will be more strident in dealing with him and set dates above and beyond what the professor sets. We should know our child by now. Shame on us. (OK I won’t tell him that. He needs to understand that there are consequences for waiting until the last minute too, so that when we implement the stricter schedule next time, he won’t give us a hard time). Don’t be so hard on yourself, you say. Nah. Sometimes when you screw up too you have to take a step back, reevaluate what you did not do and what you did do, reorganize, review and redirect your energies.

Yes, we will all survive. Yes, we will all live through this. Yes, we will all figure out how to fix it the next time. But for now, I am looking forward to seven o’clock. Time when no one has to go anywhere. Time to kick back. Put our feet up. Have a glass of wine and watch Entertainment Tonight. Yes, I know, I need to put the wine off until bedtime; because with how tired I am I will take two sips of wine and pass out.


Until next time,

Elise

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Out of the Comfort Zone

You know how you teach your children that it is ok to take chances and to leap outside of their comfort zone? Well I have decided to do that for myself. I have moved my blog to a new venue. It was time for a change. Time to reach out to a different world and find a place that may make my world just that less secure. It is ok. It is fine to delve into something that challenges us. OK so it’s not really the same as when we tell our children to pick themselves up and leave the comfort of their homes or go into a social situation that may be a true challenge, but in a way I am as nervous with this change as my children are when their world turns upside down.

Of course this is of my own choice. It is a moment in time when I have decided to leave the comfort of my own home. In a place I had made myself, a place that I have lovingly created. I have decided to branch out and see what I can discover. Granted I am just changing blog addresses, but at the same time I am hoping to open my world up to a new and exciting endeavor and to walk a little on the wild side. I am trying to challenge myself with the possibilities that being sedentary and content in your ways and where you are is not always good or beneficial to whom you hope to become.

So where do I go from here? I write as I have always written about the adventures of my children as they navigate the neurotypical world and meet their challenges head on. I will continue to regale my audience with triumphs and troubles and anxiety and reward as they learn to live within the universe that we call society. I will try to relay the practical advice that has helped me with my boys and hopefully you will comment in return your thoughts, aspirations, criticisms and advice. For I believe as I have always believed that we walk through this challenge together.


We as parents of autistic children relate to each other in a way that the world does not understand. It is like siblings who growing up together need not relate an entire story but mention a mere word and laughter will ensue or shame will engulf. It is the mere understanding of who we are and where we come from that binds us together. We as parents of autistic children find that no matter the level of our children’s issues we find a common bond within how the world sees us and how the world sees our children. We have found within our world a common idea that we can and we will have each other’s back. We as parents of autistic children know that in the future we are a powerful and strong group of persons who can and will change the world for the better for our children.

Most of all, though, I think what we have found in this wonderful world of social media, blogging and internet addiction is the fact that no matter what happens, no matter the world outside, no matter the storms from across the neurotypical seas, we have found that we are not alone. So welcome to my new address. Come join with me and let us see who we will truly evolve to be.

Until next time,



Elise