Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turtle Power

No not the Mutant Ninja turtles....



but upwards of 150 diamondback turtles heading to their nesting grounds. These turtle parents-to-be interrupted air traffic at JFK International Airport in New York for upwards of 15 minutes by cutting across the main runway. Glad these humans understand their true place in the world.





Kowabunga Dudes...

Until next time,


Elise

Happy July 4th-Let Freedom Ring

I wanted to wish everyone a joyous Independence Day. Let us not forget those that sacrificed so much so that we, their posterity, would enjoy the freedoms to which we are entitled under the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. By the way, just one of those obnoxious asides, the vote on the Independence Resolution, aka the Lee Resolution, actually took place on July 2, 1776. The Declaration was not read to the public until July 4, which is why July 4th is the day that we celebrate our Independence.













IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton





HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA



Until next time,


Elise

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Because Its About All Children

The tremendous pop-star Shakira has the most amazing charity dedicated to the education and well-being of children world-wide, in addition to  being active in many international charities including UNICEF...Remember  the FIFA official song about Africa...



Here's the same song all in Spanish at her recent concert in Barcelona...she went straight to Spain after her appearance in Jerusalem at the President's Conference.



Remember it is never just about autism or about our children alone. Let us all work to make this Earth a better place for all.

Yes, I am definitely into music this week.

Until next time,


Elise

Scheduling Homework and the Urge to Battle Mutant Zombies

Join Special Education Advisor in a repost of one of my indelibly insightful homework help posts.

There is a general acknowledgement in our house that if you can’t find my youngest son, go find a computer and there he will be. This really wasn’t too much of a problem until he hit high school. Then the workload for school became so intense that it really cut into his computer time and the battle was on.

How do you get a child who is fixated on computer surfing and gaming to concentrate on his homework, which is all done on computers nowadays. At first we tried not allowing any breaks when he came home from school. Right away to the homework. This way we figured that he would still be in school mode so there would just be the push towards the end of the day. Read the rest HERE.


Until next time,

Elise

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to DANCE

I find whenever I am hit with something new (just found out I have to go para hunting for the boys for the fall) it helps to turn up the volume and move. Of course none of us look like those in the video anymore (well at east most of us don't), but hey its not your BMI that counts, its the music in your soul.



God Bless Britney's parents and that California judge who saved her life....

Unitl next time,

Elise

Monday, June 20, 2011

Graduation Day-Bring Tissues, Not What You May Think


I promised to give everyone an update about graduation. Well, you know how you think you have prepared for every eventuality. Not. Our biggest concern for CM2 was that he would yell out at the speakers if he didn’t like what they said, or he would decided he had enough and make a big scene leaving the ceremony. So what happened?

We got there very early in order to get seats close to where we knew he was gong to be sitting with all the graduating seniors. His back would still be to us, as everyone faced the stage. He was actually on the end, which was good, and the school district had placed a para on the seats directly across from him. In addition, the Vice Principal who has been our go to person for CM2 for the past four years was also seated directly across from him.

He got through the class picture and the period right before where everyone hungout. He actually came and sat with us instead of hanging out in the hot gym with all the other students, which was fine. Hubby then walked him back to the gym and helped set him up for the procession. He walked in fine with all the graduates, to the melodious tune of Pomp and Circumstance. I have to say I certainly had a catch in my throat.


He went right to his seat and sat quiet for the first speaker. Next thing I knew the VP was over looking for tissues. I had seen CM2 wiping his nose from time to time, and I thought his allergies were acting up. I had stupidly forgotten to give him a Zyrtec that morning. But no, it wasn’t allergies, my son was crying.

In fact it wasn’t even a little cry, if you took a good look at him, he was really upset. The VP went over to him and asked if was OK and he said yes that he wanted to stay. Brilliant-computer-sis who has come up for the ceremony told me that the girls who were sitting around CM2 asked him if he was OK also.

At one point he did look back at me and I waved. The boy’s eyes were all red and puffy and I waved at him to sit still. He shook his head yes and turned back to the stage. The para did bring him more tissues and the VP kept checking back with him. Hubby started texting him and told him if he didn’t get a hold of himself he would have to leave. So he said he was OK and would calm down. He wanted very badly to stay for the entire ceremony.

He was able to pull himself together eventually and walk up to the stage and receive his diploma, but he seemed very discombobulated. He forgot how to exit and the VP went up and got him. She then walked him over to us and we left as quietly as possible.

We told him how proud we were of him and lauded him for being able to sit through the ceremony. We asked him what happened. It was the reminiscing of all the speakers about his 13 years in the school system; a system that had provided him with comfort, joy, compassion and understanding. He is very attached to the people that helped him, and very comfortable with all the children he has been in school with, some since he was even in pre-school. He didn’t want to leave anyone or anything behind. My CM2 is a gentle, sweet youngman, with a truly lovely kind soul.

On the way out one of CM2’s old paras, who had come to see him graduate, ran over to make sure he was OK and took his cap and gown for the donation project. In our district it has become de rigeur that the seniors donate their cap and gowns to a high school from a poor neighborhood where spending $25 for a cap gown would result in a family hardship. Our seniors get to keep their tassels, which they really should be able to do since it is afterall their graduation too, but this is just one of the many programs that this school district supports. That is one of the nice things about our district and this particular graduating class-charity and giving to others is very important to all of them. In many ways that is probably why CM2 had a minimal of nuisance incidents with students throughout the years. (Not that it didn’t exist by any means, but quite frankly it was so muted it did not really make a mark on CM2.) Compassion and understanding seem to be the watchwords of this particular group of young people.

So, we had been prepared for our son to be overwhelmed by the noise and the smells, and the heat. But we were not prepared for him to be overwhelmed by his own emotions. We did not even think that he would become sentimental and sad about leaving and feel a tug and a pull in his heart. I knew he had started to feel sad when we pulled up to the ceremony. I heard that little quiver in his voice, but when he sat with us before everything commenced he was fine, really fine and I didn’t give the quivery voice from earlier a second thought.

So we left early from the ceremony. But CM2 had sat through practically the entire event and even received his diploma in his own hands. He came home. Had a huge piece of the chocolate fudge cake I bought for celebration asked for a baloney sandwich for dinner (I offered Chinese but he only wanted a plain baloney sandwich) and then promptly fell asleep in front of his computer games by 8:30. Emotionally drained he just couldn’t stay awake. Which is fine. Sometimes sleep is truly the best way to regroup, heal and compose yourself.  Hubby moved him up stairs around midnight and he slept til noon today. He still seems a little out of sorts, but he is going to be just fine.

Emotions are a tough thing to deal with. It is hard enough when you know how to filter everything around you, but when you can’t and are not quite sure of the steps to take to help yourself, it has to be very very hard. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that autistics can’t form emotional attachments or understand relationships. I am still seething about the show Dr.Oz did on autism and that is how he started off the program, telling everyone that autistics can’t form emotional attachments. I am going to tweet him this story. But I know he won’t answer. I already told him in an email that he owes the autism community a big apology. That of course never happened, so I am not holding my breath that I will get a response to this story.

So anyway, hubby and I learned several lessons yesterday. Whatever you think you have prepared for, it is never truly enough. Even if you think you have practiced and practiced the situation, your child will come up with challenges that you thought would never occur. CM2’s reaction to graduation truly took us by surprise. That boy can be such an enigma at times. The other lesson we learned is that in the future, whenever we go to a major life altering or changing event with CM2, we are going to bring several boxes of tissues.

By the way, on the way out one of the boys that had been picking on him at the end of the year happened to be at the graduation ceremony. CM2 saw him with the posse of morons he hangs out with, called the jerk’s name and promptly stuck his tongue out at him. No it wasn’t mature and yes, we told him he should not have done that (you don’t lower yourself to the level of stupid just because someone you are dealing with is an idiot) but CM2 said he was glad to do it. I am sure he was. No, not very mature, but he did get the last lick in and that is sometimes OK too.

Meanwhile here is CM2 from the back in his cap and gown.  (We don't show his face, for privacy reasons.)
By the  way the Chinese characters on the fireplace mantel say, harmony, tranquility, happiness and love.



Until next time,


Elise

P.S. I would like to clarify one point: CM2 was allowed to stay for the speech practice run through right after graduation practice, but he said he did not need to. He had performed so well at the general graduation practice that he, and we, thought he had it down pat. I don't know if hearing the words beforehand would have helped with the feeling of being overwhelmed emotionally, because it was an in the moment experience, but perhaps it may have muted it a bit. At least there is always next time, for there will be a college graduation at some pint, to be certain.

In Honor of Autistic Pride Day

As many of you know I have my own issues with the neurodiversity crowd, as well as the woe-is-me crowd of parents. So this video does not really speak for me. Some it does. In fact most of it does. However, I am probably someone the author may not like at times, too. I just thought this video is such a personal perspective and  says so much, that people should see it for themselves.




h/t Inner Aspie

Until next time,


Elise

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Don't Call Them Boys with Aspergers, Call Them Boys

In honor of Collegeman2's (CM2) graduation from highschool I am reposting this article from June 9, 2010, that I wrote for A Mother World an online magazine.


When I was asked to write this article about what our life is like in raising two young men with Aspergers Syndrome, I started to think about just what that meant. What did it mean to raise a child with a disability?  The interesting thing I figured out is I actually have no point of reference for raising a child without a disability so the truth is I am not really sure I can answer that question effectively. But I think what I can do is tell you something about my children’s worlds. May be this will help the reader to understand what it means to be completely different than everyone else.

Yes, they are completely different, but you can’t tell by looking at them. There is no outward manifestation of any issues on an ongoing basis. It’s not like they need a wheelchair or walk with a cane or need to carry oxygen with them. Their disability is invisible and when you speak with them, there is no indication that there is anything out of the ordinary. In fact their language capabilities are far beyond that of the average person. So when they get overwhelmed by the sensory input of noise, or smells or even the feel of the clothes on their backs and have a meltdown or become cross for what it seems is no real reason, people just assume that they are for lack of a better word, brats.

You have no idea how many times parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are told that their children are brats. That if they took a firmer hand or were better parents these children wouldn’t behave this way. We are told by total strangers yet, what is wrong with our children and how we should handle a situation that presents itself. I find it so amazing that there are those who would never interfere with anything in another person’s world, but they feel that they can tell you how to raise your child. I have been given more unsolicited advice from the most ignorant of people. Of course, I suppose if they weren’t ignorant then they wouldn’t be butting into someone else’s business. But I digress.....

Read the rest at A Mother World 


Until next time,



Elise

Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Beginning...and Beyond

This post is adapted from an earlier version (April 22, 2010). It has been revamped, rewritten and reposited to suit the topic at hand-HSB, aka CM2's graduation.
******
In the beginning God created heaven and earth. 
The Earth was void and without form and darkness was on the face of the Earth 
God’s spirit moved upon the waters 
God said let there be light and there was light 
God saw that what he had done was good and God separated light from darkness 
It was morning and it was evening, the first day…
                                                                                            Genesis (Bereshit)1:1


Today is HSB, aka CM2's, graduation practice and I began to think about that first line from the Bible. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. We celebrate the milestones in our lives with pomp and circumstance and parties and a very big chocolate fudge cake. We remember what makes our children who they are and we remember what makes us who we happen to be. Life has a way of keeping us on our toes and wondering what will be the next shoe to drop, but then again there comes a time when all you have to do is enjoy the moment at hand and revel in your child's accomplishments.

It does not matter whether you believe the Bible was written by the hand of God or by the hand of man. For the important point that is made in Genesis is that it all begins with the Earth. The Bible does not start its story about the dominion of mankind over the Earth or the animals of the Earth. It begins with the creation of the Earth. How everything upon it was lovingly made by the hand of God, that each and every blade of grass is a testament to the beauty and wonder of life. We as human beings are charged with its care. We are the last things made in the Garden of Eden and there is a reason for that, for we are not supposed to be the usurpers of the Earth’s bounty, but its guardians.

Even if you believe that the Book of Genesis was handed by God to the people of Israel at Sinai,was written by scribes in the court of David or written and rewritten by prophets and rabbis over millennia, does not matter. For the intent is still the same. Ancient man knew and understood what it meant to be a part of the world around you. They knew what it meant to be part of the rhythm of the seasons and the caretaker of the land. It was sacred to them. There is a reverence in those words that so many in our world have forgotten.  We rush about our modern lives forgetting who we are and where we come from. We forget to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the beauty of a thunderstorm, the chirp of a new born bird, the song of a cricket seeking a mate, a kitten discovering a ball of string, a human baby learning to walk or  child learning that they can control the world around them.
You know that I can still remember collegeman’s face when he discovered that he could stand upright. We were at my parent’s house and he had been “cruising” the furniture for months. It wasn’t a big deal for him. He held on and off he would go. He, then like all 11 month olds, would fall right to his knees and scoot off to his destination. Well my parents had a little dog; she had been abandoned and followed them home one day. A tiny misbegotten animal, which had been sorely mistreated wherever she had been, we knew she was not wanted for there was no collar or tags to identify her by, someone had just thrown her away. Instantly that pup and my mother bonded. (The dog has been gone for years now and my mother still misses her.) Well, collegeman left the safety of my parent’s couch and headed for the bookcases. There was that little dog, all 15 pounds of her right in his way. Collegeman instead of holding on to the bookcase held on to her and lifted himself up. Looked down at her, looked up at us, looked down at her, smiled and patted her on the head, thanking her for the hand-up. He realized that he was now taller than the dog. His smile was immense. He never crawled again.
It was a beginning of a new adventure for collegeman, and a new adventure for me. If I had not learned to run yet, I definitely learned to run at that moment. For he just didn’t walk he ran. Giggling and laughing and raising toddler hell wherever he could. That day the light was turned on for collegeman and it was good. Later on in life there would be another light that we would need to kindle; a light that a disability had tried to extinguish within my child.But as with everything that he does, collegeman pulled himself up, looked down and thanked in his own way those that helped him up. He thanked those that had given him a hand-up and proceeded to raise some kind of hell. He thanked those who gave him a hand-up by being who he was meant to be. (Right now he is level 85 warrior in World of Warcraft.)
HSB, aka CM2, had his own way of turning to the light. He waits and fights the world around him. He decides that he doesn't want to do something until he does it. It can turn you upside down and inside out until that boy decides to proceed, yet once he puts his mind to something he is on his way. Case in point, the boys had bunk-beds with a warning that children under 6 years of age could not go on the top bunk. CM2 never went on the top bunk. Didn't even try. Then the morning of his 6th birthday, you guessed it, I found him on the top bunk. School was always hard for CM2. Attention and impulse issues along with the social problems always gave him a terrible challenge early on. But First grade was truly tough. This child would not read, not a word. We knew he was so smart, there was no reading disability and could not figure out why he couldn't read. Well it turned out that he just didn't want to. Once he decided to read, he read at such a high level that he surpassed the schools testing levels. The same happened with using a razor at the barbershop. Not one to get his haircut in the first place, CM2 announced that on a particular day he would allow them to use a razor and lo and behold, he reminded them that they could now use a razor on the day of that haircut. The light for CM2 goes on at his calling and noone else's. That is he lesson I learned about my son over the years.
Everything is a beginning I think. Everything that we experience for better or worse is an opportunity to turn on a light and separate it from the darkness. Ancient man knew that humans were endowed with this remarkable ability to mold and shape their world. We are given a set of gifts as we enter into the world and it is up to us what we do with it. When we learn to walk do we thank those that helped us up or do we mow down those that get in our way. When we grow do we grow straight and upright or do we sink beneath the darkness and destroy that which is good. What do you do with the gifts that you receive?
Genesis speaks about respecting the world around you. Thanking a little pup came naturally to a toddler; even one we did not know at the time was autistic. Perhaps it is a lesson we all should learn and try to remember going forward. We are given a chance to shine with the light. We are given this opportunity to allow the blessings of the Earth to be bestowed upon us. We need to thank the Earth and protect her. We need to remember that we are but temporary custodians of this planet keeping it safe for the next generation and making sure that it is safe and whole and cared for with our whole heart.
The Earth provides us joy, warmth, food, shelter, and sustenance. It provides us beauty by which to rest our souls on days when we think we could go on no further. It is a gift to us. It is how we stand upright to carry on. It is God or Mother Nature’s hand-up to a weary parent dealing with overwhelming issues and burdens. The irony is that we think our problems are so different than the burdens of generations or civilizations that came before. But they really are not. All people throughout the ages wanted a good life. All people throughout the ages wanted happy and healthy children. All people wanted to love and be loved. All people throughout the ages wanted the freedom to be who they were meant to be. But the one thing that they, ancient man, did that I fear we do not do enough, is stop and see what is around us and marvel at Earth’s glory and its wonder. So while we tackle our day to day existence and go about our world in our so very modern society, with our very modern problems, I hope that you head the words of the prophets, or God, or Mother Nature and listen to the wind. Try  to worry less about the future and marvel at the greatness of your child on that one particular day, at that particular moment in life.
By the way I will let you know how well I keep my worries in check as CM2 goes through the graduation ceremony. Honestly, and this being as honest as possible, I  make no guarantees that I will take my own advice.
I know I couldn't believe it was Ozzy too.

Until next time,

Elise

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Road Less Taken; Bravery in the Face of Fear-The American Way


So this morning I went out to do some errands and ended up sitting in the parking lot of a supermarket for 15 minutes crying my eyes out. I had been thinking about the events coming up this week and instead of being overjoyed and excited I became unbelievably sad. So sad in fact that I could not even leave my car. I have absolutely no idea what happened to me.  One minute I am thinking how HSB’s last day of high school is tomorrow and the next thing you know I am balling like a baby. I know I did not feel this way when collegeman graduated. In fact I was nervous and anxious about college for him but not sad or melancholy by any means.

One of the errands I needed to do this morning was to drop off a bottle of sparkling wine as a present for the Vice Principal who was so supportive of HSB over the years. I mentioned it to her in passing how sad I was. She reassured me that it is very normal. She hears it a lot and even remembered when her youngest left high school and how sad she also felt. Glad to know I am not alone. But I wonder, do these mothers of typical children and we mothers of special needs children cry for the same reasons?

In the back of my mind I know what I was thinking and why I started to cry. It is a passing of a milestone for HSB as it was for collegeman. For collegeman it was even a larger step because when he was first diagnosed no one, and I mean no one, thought this child might even talk, never mind graduate from high school and have a successful college career either. But that never was the issue with HSB. Oh, he has had his issues, as I have documented on this blog. But nothing that would have ever made anyone say, he never could accomplish any goal he set out for himself. It was more of the idea he just needs a little more growth and maturity and he can then get his act together. Which by the way he has done through leaps and bounds this year.

I was not sure what to truly make of my self-indulgent crying.  For many mothers when their baby leaves the nest they feel empty without purpose. My baby as with his older brother is not going anywhere. He will live at home and attend the same college that his brother attends. It’s a great school. It is a traditional liberal arts college that emphasizes, writing, analysis and thought. Yes, as with most colleges it is decidedly on the liberal-political side of the aisle, but I think HSB may be able to weather it. Or at least the college may be able to weather HSB. I definitely think they will challenge each other. Oh I doubt any of the professors will change their minds, and I am certain HSB will never give up his purview of the world. Stubbornness runs in the family. But it will be a good experience for him and a growing experience as it has been for collegeman. So I am actually looking forward to transitioning him into the next phase of his life. (As with everything, I do not think that there will not be issues to tackle, but having been through it with collegeman I do feel more prepared going in with HSB. Of course I also know that there will be new and different challenges ahead since collegeman and HSB are completely different people. )

No, I am not worried about the loss of control of my children. As I said they will live at home and the college has allowed me to put support in the classrooms with him. So in the beginning with HSB at least I will have some idea of what is going on. (How long the para will last with HSB will be decided after a semester review with the disability director.) Honestly it is a good balance I think. They are on their own in a college setting but secure at home in case there are any problems that arise out of their decision-making. HSB will start with the life skills coach like collegeman did at this time and also learn to be more independent in society. Of course there is also the driving issue. HSB has been slowly learning to drive. That without a doubt is an independence lesson I can wait for, for years to come. But it too is rearing its ugly head and is not too far in the future.

I think in many respects I do not have the same separation issues that a lot of parents have when their baby graduates from high school. It’s that aspergean in between stage that our children go through. While they have that intellect that propels them forward they do still need the time to mature a little longer than their peers. HSB does not have any need to live at school, not yet any way. If the issue comes up then we will address it at the time. There will be all kinds of factors to consider and the largest of course would be-how is he adjusting to college academically and how independent is he when it comes to life in general. At present if there were a question there would be a resounding “no,” so luckily it is not even a thought in his head. I know its not even something he contemplates because I asked him. He is also not shy and has no problem hurting my feelings, so if he wanted to live away he would most assuredly tell his father and me.

So what was it then? What was getting to me? The more I thought about it, the more I came up with only one reason. I always tell people that when dealing with children with special needs that they have to prepare for the day when there is no support except what you can provide on your own. Even when collegeman graduated at least there was the school providing the support during the school day for HSB. I had people I could call if there were problems and people who truly knew HSB, who he was and what he was all about. While collegeman depended only upon us to help him through the world (and whatever village I could muster for him), at least there was a ready-made village for HSB in his little world that I could count on to be there for him besides us. As of graduation that will be no more.

I realized that I suddenly became very frightened and felt very alone. I know that hubby and I will do for HSB everything we did for collegeman. That is not even an issue. I realized that the village that supports him will dissolve and that if a new one is created it will be our doing and our doing alone. No one, nowhere is responsible, morally or legally, to care about what happens to HSB other than us. If we can’t afford certain supports for either of the boys because of a downturn in the economy, which means they can’t attend school, no one will care. If they are left to flounder, as so many adult aspergeans are disregarded and unsupported by society, no one will care.

So I became frightened. I became terrified. I started to have heart palpitations. I needed to grab ahold of my own tuchas and get a grip. I suppose if things had not been so topsy-turvy in the world over the past few years I would not be so frightened about the future. But they were and I am. Believe me, I will survive. I will get over myself and do what needs to be done. But it doesn’t mean my fears and nightmares are not real nor unfounded. I felt suddenly as I did when the boys were little and we had just moved to the town; alone with two disabled children (even though HSB’s disability had not been diagnosed just yet), with no friends and no support, snowed into a rental without an idea of what to do next. I felt like that young mother who knew she was in for the fight of her life and needed to figure out just how to get it done.

Someone once asked me what would I have done different when the boys were little. I replied I would have been braver earlier in the fight. I suddenly remembered that as I sat in my car, outside the supermarket.  I vowed to take my own advice. I decided it was time to be braver now. It is fine to be frightened at crossroads I think. It is fine to feel that you are even at a loss when faced with crossroads. But what is not fine is to not pick yourself up, not dust yourself off and get going on the business at hand. Sorry but to wallow in self-pity is so totally just un-American.

OK, so where did I get this idea? You see we had just finished watching a wonderful documentary about the history of the United States over Memorial Day weekend. It is called America:The Story of US. The documentary honored the wonderful exceptionalism of the people that created this nation; the drive; the stick-to-itiveness; the relentless pursuit of a goal. That goal is the right to be anything you want to be and that NO ONE has the right to stand in your way (yes yes yes, as long as you are within the law…) So the drive that made this nation the greatest and freest nation in human history, I think is in our genetic makeup. We American descendants of those that came in the hulls of ships (chained or unchained), those that come in shipping containers today or cross deserts on foot, all have one particular thing in common…. we come from sterner stuff. We come from survivors. We come from some of the most stubborn people to have ever lived in the history of the world. Some call it hubris. I call it bravery. For above all else these people faced the complete unknown and met it head on. Much in the same way our children meet the unknown in life head on and face it bravely. (They are our heroes.) We, parents of special needs children and young adults, have it in ourselves to be brave too. Brave beyond our wildest dreams as a matter of fact.

So yes, mothers of highschool graduates do cry especially when their youngest graduates and leaves the nest. It was not why I was crying though. Sometimes you do get overwhelmed when you think of how far your children still have to go. But then I look back and realize how far they have come and I know we will make sure that they reach their final destination. As with those that built this nation, our children and we along with them, travel the road less taken, but that road will be taken nonetheless, and taken successfully I might add.


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
    ---Robert Frost (1916)

By the way as of next week I will have collegeman 1 and collegeman 2. How does CM1 and CM2 strike everyone as monikers?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Morgan's Wonderland

When we talk about what activities to do with our children over summer vacation, or places to go visit,  don't forget about MORGAN'S WONDERLAND.  Everyone can always go to Disney, Universal or Six-Flags, but for those that would still have a hard time, even with accommodations at a typical theme park, think of Morgan's and have a BALL. It's also not just for children....

By the way, here is their story:








click here to go to Morgan's Wonderland


Until next time,



Elise

Friday, June 10, 2011

Order- The Seasons of Our Lives


This month marks the year-end journey of my Happiness Project. I started these posts one year ago in June and have come full circle. I had actually thought that I would stop the posts and move on once I reviewed all the aspects of my life and added my own particular touch to the monthly topics. But as with all plans, everything changes. I found that writing on these topics was quite cathartic and that it brought some focus and meaning into some issues that I faced. 

You see as I write how when it comes to your child’s autism, it is NOT about you or your spouse, but about your child, the Happiness Project posts were about YOU, or me or anyone you wished them to be. These posts are meant to be an examination of your world and how everything, including YOU, fit into your everyday life. What events mean and how you will approach them. That is why I have decided to continue with the posts. I will be using the same topics as laid out in the original plan, because even one particular word such as the word for June, which is “order,” can take on different meanings, at different times of our lives.

In fact the word “order” has had a profound meaning for me this week. Life is supposed to have an order about it; a reason that things happen and a wherefore and whyfore that they happen as well. There are the seasons and a time for everything under heaven, or so we are told. 


But order is not something that we in the special needs community hold on to with all our might. Now do not confuse order with structure. Structure is that anomalous creature that allows our children to function and help them grow and develop. Order is the way of the world. How things are supposed to happen and how the world is supposed to turn. But it doesn’t always follow the path it is suppose to.


As everyone who reads this blog knows, I posted a farewell to a young woman who the world lost at an incredibly young age. I did not really know Jennifer at all, except for the few times she was on The Coffee Klatch, but somewhere deep inside was a visceral feeling of loss. The interesting thing about my feelings was that at first I had read the obituary wrong and thought that Jennifer had lost her new baby shortly after birth. The irony of all of that is that it didn’t affect me so much. I felt bad but it did not alter my day at all. Later when I reread a post by someone else and realized that she was the one that died; it overwhelmed me for a while. It became very very personal. I mentioned this to brilliant-computer-sis how upset I had been and she put it like this…. we live in a world, we parents of special needs children, where it is not uncommon to hear that a child has died. It does not make us inured to the loss by any means, but it is something expected, especially when you know that an older child has had medical issues, but the passing of a “mother” or a “father” at such a young age is totally unexpected. It was something I could identify with being a parent.

After thinking about what she said, I partly agree with her and I partly don’t. I agree that we live in a world where a child’s mortality for many of us is just part of the package that we deal with. Medical issues that surround our children are overwhelming so it is not unfathomable that something terrible can happen. In fact, we have had many guests on The Coffee Klatch who have buried a child; Marianne herself lost her son in a car accident when he was sixteen. So yes we hear about it a lot. It is the unspoken reality of modern parenting that no one, not a sole, not even the doctors will admit to. The admiration I feel for these parents who can keep going and actually turn their tragedy into something that actually helps others is immeasurable.  So what was it exactly that I felt this past week. I think it was many things: the tragic loss of a young mother leaving a 4 year old and a truly newborn. I felt it in my life. I felt it through my soul. I think so much of it is my own fear. Dying before the boys are truly ready to stand on their own two feet. Hubby had even said that to me the other day when neither of the boys could function through a simple household chore properly. “We can’t die anytime soon,” he said. “The boys are just not ready.”

Honestly, I also had lost a good friend of mine when she was Jennifer’s age. That was over 15 years ago. I lost touch with her husband. Truth be told, we never really liked each other, but we made our relationship work for my friend (we both loved her you see), and after her passing, even though I had tried there was no way to keep a relationship just for my late-friend’s sake. He had family support of his own and her family to support him as as well. I have to admit I do google  her daughter's names once in awhile to see if graduation announcements are anywhere to be found. 

Also, on top of my friend being a truly good friend, her oldest daughter was collegeman’s first love. They were three years old and head over heels for each other. I think the memories came back this week too. It reminded me of my own personal loss and how I wished my friend was still here to have seen her girls grow up and to send them off to college. I feel cheated in some way because I know we could have been here for each other and to help celebrate our children’ triumphs and complain about our menopause together. I still miss her and whenever I hear a particular song playing that I associate with her passing I still start to cry. Even after all these years. I don’t cry for anyone else, not my in-laws who both died relatively young and not for any of my grandparents. But I still cry for my friend.  Here is the song:


But eventually when all the psychology books are put away and the inferences and the revelations are gone, the reality is that a young woman passed away for no reason this week. No reason what so ever. Honestly I do not know if God even knows why he lets things like this happen. Of course I could always talk to collegeman about the Holocaust and get a discussion of God’s callousness, fickleness or even God’s hubris in the face of allowing evil to persist, but collegeman has his own issues with an omnipotent deity and we shall just leave it at that. (Job is not thought of well in our house, can you tell? We consider him a bit of a putz.)

Now another event concerning order happened this week. One that had me well quite a bit on edge. My mother actually almost died. She had a bleeding ulcer that she did not know of, that hemorrhaged and my father found her lying in a pool of blood. Luckily they were able to get her to a hospital in time and she is home after a week in intensive care. The doctors said she had lost half the blood in her body. But with the help and the care she received in the hospital she has a terrific prognosis. And yes, I got yelled at for even the thought of flying down to help or do what ever I could, and so did my sister. At least my mother let me send her flowers and I called every few hours every day to make sure that I really wasn’t needed. And yes they live in Florida in a gated retirement community with everyone else's retired parents from New York, and New Jersey. You say why did I listen to her and my dad and not fly down anyway? Quite frankly because if I would cause her more stress, which would cause her to bleed again, then my thoughts of going to help would actually have the opposite effect. So I stay put for the time being. I tell you some old folks are very stubborn. Luckily for my mother it’s her stubbornness that will help her survive.

So again I thought about order and how life has its purpose and its reason. My mother was very very lucky. We all were very very lucky not to loose her. The order of our lives means that I am not going to be an orphan yet, which is good since at 50 I still think I am too young for that. I know my poor husband became at orphan in his early 40s. You know they say that no matter how old you are when both of your parents pass, you are suddenly an orphan. It is a profound thought and one that has more of an effect on you than you think. You are no longer someone’s child, and even if you are an adult and have been and adult for a very long time, your relationship to the universe changes. I can honestly say that that is not a relationship change I am looking forward to and if there is a God out there in the cosmos, then may he grant my parents both lives to their 120th year at least. (That is a Jewish blessing. Moses the lawgiver, the one who led the Jews out of bondage in Egypt is said to have lived to be 120 years old. So we Jews wish those we love to live as long as Moses. Now for those we do not care for, well, there are any number of curses, which by the way, do sound better in Yiddish than English or Hebrew for that matter. HeHeHe.) While not a curse, the boys after watching this VIDEO have decided that whenever I ask them to do something they tell me "kish meir yiddishe tuchas." After which they break out in peels of laughter or even just a huge Cheshire cat grin. Remember if you choose to watch the video it is tongue-in-cheek, whichever cheek you choose.

Anyway in thinking about order this month I am reminded of mortality, love and loss and how order does not necessarily work the way you want it to. Whether it is how our children develop and how we need to rethink what exactly is a milestone in our world, or the thought that the seasons, which seem to be really screwed up this year, may have a mind of their own. I was  reminded how sometimes you can bless God for the order of things, and thank him for really really good emergency room doctors and EMTs  but that sometimes the reality is that God is also a real shmuck.

Until next time,


Elise

Monday, June 6, 2011

In Memorium-Kysilka

We have had many people pass through our portal on The Coffee Klatch. One of the more memorable interviews for me were the parents who deal with medical issues, such as having children living with tracheotomies. This takes a type of fortitude that I cannot even contemplate. I have so much respect and admiration for what they go through and how they lead their lives. The guest that I spoke with was Karin Jennifer Kysilka Kincaid. She was a poster-child for what you do when you are forced into an unknown situation. You may have followed her on twitter or have even read her blog entitled "It's All Good if You Can Laugh." (I have it listed in my blogroll.) Jennifer passed away June 2 after giving birth to a healthy baby. The doctors say she died from amniotic fluid embolism. Someone who knew her wrote a lovely blog about Jennifer. Below is her obituary.








Karin Jennifer Kysilka Kincaid

Karin Jennifer Kysilka Kincaid, 38, of Vienna, VA, died unexpectedly on Thursday June 2, 2011. She was the beloved wife of Mark Andrew Kincaid and loving mother of Alexander Edward Kincaid and Brycen Matthew Kincaid; daughter of Carolyn and the late Edward Kysilka; sisters Cheryl (Jay) Yost and Lori Dell; aunts Marcy Kysilka and Gail (Jerry) Sirkin. She 

is also survived by brothers-in-law Scott (Kelli) Kincaid and Shawn Kincaid and the following nieces and nephews: Sarah and Austin Dell, Juliet, Susanna and Ricky Yost, Ashley and William Kincaid.

Karin was a graduate of Conestoga Valley High School, Penn State University and Harvard Law School. She practiced law for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, along with being an adored wife and mother. Visitation will be held at the Furman Home for Funerals, 59 W. Main St., Leola, PA on Wednesday, June 8th from 7:00-9:00 P.M. and Thursday 10:00-11:00 A.M. with a service at 11 A.M. Interment will be held at Bareville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alex and Bryce Education Fund at any Bank of America.



A young life snuffed out. May God grant her family peace. Requiescat in Pace Jennifer.


Until next time,




Elise

Why I am Thankful for The Coffee Klatch (#tck)


Anyone who follows me knows that I have been a moderator on the support group @TheCoffeeKlatch, aka #tck, since its inception. I had been approached by Marianne, aka @ChildAnxiety, and asked if I would like to provide support for special needs parents on twitter. It was a perfect fit for me as that was exactly what I was doing all on my own. So Marianne created not only a twitter based support group, but a website, a blogtalk radio program complete with iPod downloads and blogging articles. She introduced everyone to some of the most interesting names in the fields of special needs and support in the US and the world actually. In fact one of the more interesting experiences I had during the past two years was the 24-hour worldwide chat-event Communicate to Educate for Autism. We had over 75 guest moderators from every walk of life, every culture and every continent on the planet. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience.

So what gives with this blog post? No, I am not leaving The Coffee Klatch unless Marianne wants to get rid of me. It’s her call and she can give you the boot anytime she thinks anyone is not towing the line. The Coffee Klatch has one major rule-everyone must feel welcome. If anyone -a tweeter, or a moderator- makes people feel unwelcome they are asked to leave. You also check your assumptions at the computer door and do not bring your preconceived notions or prejudices with you. Believe what you want, that is your right, both politics and religion, but don’t bring them to the chat. Do you think it’s a little politically correct? Perhaps, but this way we create a total community of support and care. No one feels that they cannot come because of how they vote, their sexual orientation, their ethnicity or how they pray to God, if they choose to pray at all.

Now this post came about because once again I had a problem with a commenter on one of my blog posts, which had been syndicated on autisable.com. (Yes, I know I am always causing trouble.) It reminded me of why for so long I sat alone when my children were first diagnosed. Now I am not disparaging Autisable by any stretch of the imagination. I think they are a terrific website, bringing together much needed information and allowing the parents who are so heavily involved in autism an open and honest voice. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to autism charities. Also when you write to them they always send you “Blessings”…. Truthfully I don’t think any of us, receive enough “Blessings” daily.

This particular commenter even went so far as to say that unlike my sons, her son is really autistic.  That if collegeman went to college he should be able to take a test without accommodations and that I am generally a self-promoting ignoramus. Ofcourse I didn’t leave it alone, anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn’t dothat. But after my retort I decided that she is quite frankly jealous. Jealous of my children’s functionality and jealous quite frankly of the choices I had made in life, including what we have chosen as our professions, i.e. jealous of our income.

She was terribly insulted because I wanted collegeman to become a lawyer in order to help people rather than a social worker or a teacher. I wanted him to earn a higher monetary living, this is a crime?  With money you get better housing, school districts, clothing, access to medical care, (it shouldn’t be like that but it is and that is not going to change anytime soon) which he will probably need his entire life and he will never qualify for government support, and oh yeah maybe he could have some money left over for fun for himself, too. Why is this so wrong? Sorry folks, but am I missing something that teachers and social workers happen to be overpaid for what they do or paid enough? Does anyone think that in the next decade that that situation is going to change?  I wasn’t disrespecting teachers or social workers, just telling the truth about their incomes. As I have said if it wasn’t for the fact that hubby was a lawyer earning the salary that he does, because the boys fall through all the cracks and we had to pay for most everything ourselves, especially now that they are adults, their lives would be terribly different and not for the better.

In truth the comment was more a pity party for herself rather than anything else. Luckily I have made friends on twitter and facebook who came to my defense, but as they put it, this person was not going to listen. Oh and the truly sad thing is that this hateful jealous parent happens to be a special education teacher. How would you like to be a parent with a mildly effected child being told by this individual that there is nothing wrong with your child? Heavens It makes me shudder to think of the children she may be denying services because they aren’t disabled like her son. She nastily decides that your child is not disabled enough to be considered disabled. WTF and who the hell does she think she is?

I suppose I had such a strong reaction to this comment because it reminded me of a time when collegeman was first diagnosed withPDD-NOS and we moved to our small town in Westchester County. I reached out to some other mothers who had a support group and who lived in my town or near my town. They wanted nothing to do with us as soon as they found out how functional collegeman happened to be. They wouldn’t allow me into their group because my child wasn’t disabled enough. True story. I had never heard of such a thing. How could a child not be disabled enough? What kind of people are these? You can wish that your child didn’t have a disability, I do that every day, but I have never been jealous of or resented the neurotypical or the less disabled child or person. I have only always wondered, why not mine too. Why does my child have to deal with issues that are at times so debilitating and why can’t things be easier for them.

Presently, when my neighbor tells me that her son is spending the summer in France at school to better his French I am not jealous of this child, I am sad for mine that he cannot have the same experience. When my niece studies dance in Europe, I am overjoyed for her, but sad that my children can’t have the same experiences. When my other nieces and nephews talk about their Birthrite Israel trips, I am glad they could go, but sad that even if there is an aspergers support group, neither one of the boys truly could go. Neither boy could do, or will be able to participate in, the  college junior year abroad program (unlike their cousins); quite frankly it was hard enough for them to go on class trips.

I remember when collegeman was in his self-contained kindergarten class and I went for a visit. I walked past a regular ed kindergarten where they were in circle time singing and clapping and laughing. I know I started to cry, not because I resented those children but it hurt that mine could not participate. I have never been jealous of others and what they have, angry at God because of what the boys have to go through yes, but jealous of other humanbeings never. I don’t understand those that are.

Honestly, all those years ago, I decided that I had enough then and there with support groups and other parents. I could not believe that people would be so cruel to wish that your child were more disabled. The jealousy was pervasive. Not only in the support groups that existed but also among those that collegeman ended up with in school.

In fact it just grew and grew as collegeman got older and more functional and was rediagnosed as aspergers syndrome. One of the classically autistic boys that collegeman had been in school with for years would pick on him and even attack him. It became so bad that this same boy attacked HSB and me one day. The parents would do nothing and I am truly convinced they may have felt it was ok. It seems this autistic youngman could drive a car but was not capable of not hitting and attacking my children.

Unfortunately it got so bad, that we literally had to threaten the school district to do something about it. My sweet and gentle husband actually told the district that he was going to call the police and how dare they put us in that position. I never in my life thought I would have to do that. How awful that we as parents, especially parents of children with disabilities, were put in a position that we had to threaten the school with the arrest of an autistic youngman because the district would not protect my children. Well at least that threat had an effect and the district corralled that youngman and watched that he did not go near the boys. I am sorry but as I have said, if your child can attend mainstream school, drive a car and hold some form of job, they know enough not to assault someone. As I have always said too, society needs to find a place for those who are terribly affected and at risk to themselves or others, but that doesn’t mean anyone else’s rights should be impinged. Noone has a right to harm another human being for any reason and if individuals cannot function within these safety parameters, society needs to find a humane and appropriate situation and solution for them to productively live out their lives.

By the way, my children never interacted with this young autistic man; they knew to stay away from him because of the youngman’s anger towards them. In fact when the district tried to get the boys to work it out, collegeman kept asking what he ever did to make the other boy so angry with him. The autistic youngman never answered. I do not know if he could, I just know that his parents never taught him that it was wrong. They did not even try, which I know for a fact because they said he was not capable of learning to not hit my children. Yes, I called and talked to them and constantly asked them to try.

I think it is one thing to be overwhelmed and upset about the hand that your child was dealt but to disparage another person’s pain and suffering no matter how minor you may think it to be, is disrespectful of the other’s humanity. Just because someone has it easier than you do, does not mean you have a right to take from them their civil and human rights. Anyway, this is one of the reason I am so glad to be associated with The Coffee Klatch.

At TCK we go out of our way to make sure that everyone is welcome and that everyone has a voice. No one’s issues are disparaged and noone is turned away if you have a problem. We work together to help people solve their issues and find support and comfort for their children. No one is not disabled enough and no one is too disabled to belong either. It is the beauty of the idea; A safe place for parents to vent, cry and be heard beyond the jealousies and hatefulness of some out there in the larger world. It still never fails to amaze me though, that after all these years and after everything society has had to deal with and the education that has been taking place, that so much hatefulness especially among other parents of special needs children still exists. It hurts my heart.


Until next time,
Elise