Wednesday, March 28, 2012

S is for Simply Being Happy

Simple. Simple pleasures. Figuring out what makes you and yours happy. What makes them enjoy the world around them? What makes them smile?

I always say it is the little things in life that give us the greatest pleasure.  I love when the boys laugh at the same jokes over and over. I enjoy when hubby smiles. Laughter. I think its a child's laughter that makes it all worthwhile. Even when your child is technically an adult, it is great to hear them laugh at any age for they will always be your child.

For isn't that what we want for our children the most...for them to be happy?

So now I am worried about CM2. Last night at dinner we were talking about issues and he said that he is never good at anything, has no friends and will live his life alone. We told him that he is very smart. (He received an academic notice from school yesterday about one particular class.) That there are some things he just needs to work at that may not come easy that is all. We reminded him how well he did last semester (3 As, 1 B- and 1C+). He said that he has had three friends in his lifetime and they all left him. We told him that was not his fault and that they lost out. We also told him that  we could get the para to help him try to find friends at school now..but he seemed to not want to...It's almost as if he has decided that its better to be alone. No one will leave you then.

Hubby and I had a discussion on how to help him. How to support him better and quite frankly if he is feeling too overwhelmed by college and should go part-time or even into more of a technical school? But he can get a computer science degree from his college and they let students go part-time if they need to. We will have to evaluate after this semester is over. I think the issue too is that even though he picked the classes this semester he is not enjoying himself at all. There is nothing that stimulates him except his video games and I am not sure if those are not just an escape at this point.

Meanwhile, CM2 sits most days alone too. Studying with little or no peer interaction. He talks about how when he goes to graduate school there will be people to talk to and people who are able to discuss real issues with him. I know he is happy in some respects being quiet at home. I do think though that he has just given up looking for friends and clubs and groups. Nothing he tried when looking for friends or compatriots ever worked out. Luckily he has us for support. I can't imagine if he was living alone at school. I hate when people start telling you that a 21 year old needs to be on their own and how the world is screwy because so many young people live with their parents. People really need to mind their own business no matter who they happen to be.

I know my children's issues of being overwhelmed and social problems stem from their autism. It has been that way their entire lives. I had thought that by this time though, life would be easier for them. But it is not. Its as if no matter how hard you try and find ways to support and help them some new challenge comes along that screws everything up. Some new situation that they need to learn to deal with and some situation that creates one heck of a hiccup. The feeling of being overwhelmed. The feeling of being out of place. The feeling of being lost and alone. There are days that I can see the sadness in my children's eyes.

So I love when my children laugh. I just worry that lately it hasn't happened all that often. That is why when I am alone, I sit and cry. So try, just try,  to tell me to embrace my children's autism some more. Go ahead tell me I am supposed to love my children's autism because its a part of them. Go ahead tell me that I can't change society for the better for my children unless I love/accept their autism. Go ahead see what you get.

I have also come to conclusion that I am going to stop explaining myself to others. As I said about Autism Awareness Month. Not participating. Not partaking in the autism politics. Don't care anymore. Don't need to prove myself to anyone anymore. Either you accept my positions and my advice or your don't. Come back or not. The information is freely there. Email me if you have a question. You can find me through my profile on the sidebar.

But in all honesty I think I am done worrying about what others think and needing to be accepted by the "autism community" myself. I will think and do for my boys as I see fit. I have taken my oldest from PDD-NOS, where they thought he might live his life in an institution,  to a possible law career or quite frankly he thinks about graduate school and a future himself. I did it. Not the "community." Not the doctors. Not the self-advocates. Not Autism Speaks. Not anyone else. Hubby and I did it. WE created the boys' village, ran it and oversaw it. I never let the doctors or teachers screw with my boys and I am not going to let anyone else do it either.

I am done with the philosophizing. I am done with the identity politics. I am done with the whole shebang. I will do what is necessary and needed to get the boys the life they deserve. I don't need anyone's permission to do what needs to be done and I definitely don't need anyone's permission to feel the way I feel. I am tired of seeing sadness in my boys instead of laughter. So unless you have something constructive  to say that we could try, just stay away.

Until next time,


Related Posts:
Political Correctness, Autism and Bullshit in General 
Psychiatric Showdown
Autism and Self-Determination
After the DX: Sadness or Terror? Terror with Alot of Pissed Off Thrown In



Quiet Contemplation said...

I'm sorry to hear what you and your boys going through. I've been thinking of writing a blog post about something similar that is happening with my ASD son who is only 10. Being autistic myself, I should have seen it coming, I should have known it, but I didn't and I haven't. I guess I was hoping life socially would be different for him. It's not that I don't accept autism in our lives, because in my mind that's just the way it is and I have a hard time imagining me or my boys as anything else. It's just that loneliness you speak of is devastating. When I think I can get through narrating a blog post about what my son's teacher told me the other day without crying all over my keyboard, I will. Sometimes, it's ok to just be mad and not want to be told what to feel. Sometimes, we need that space to be tired and not have someone telling us to stop, or see it differently.

Jim Reeve said...

I can tell that you're a long time parent of kids with Asperger's just by your positive attitude. We too try to stay positive when we think about our son's life and all the associated questions.

I'm sure our kids will meet good people that will enrich their lives, it just takes time. And when kids like our do create bonds with others, they'll last a long time.

Elise said...

Thank you. It was very upsetting to hear him talk like that last night. I thought he was feeling better about himself and was being more interactive with others. Apparently it has all been a facade. We too do not deny that there is autism in our lives. Honestly we really don't think about it 24/7, except when an incident like the one last night occurs. Then I get upset, angry and frustrated. I don't need others thinking they can invalidate how I feel. Its the height of chutzpah.

Elise said...

Jim- you knwo the old saying..from your mouth to God's ears? I hope for all our children they meet good, kind and accepting people withwhom to spend their lives.

Kaitlin said...

This might not be the social interaction that you are looking for for him, but I am 22 and have a 2 year old daughter with autism, and I would talk to him over e-mail if he wanted. I am near the same age and I understand autism. I also really like to talk about important issues to the point of annoying people. If he ever wants I would be more than happy to be an e-mail friend to him. You can check out my blog at autisble and see I'm not a creep lol. Anyway, if not I understand. Just trying to think of ways I can help, as reading this made me very sad for him.

Elise said...

Kaitlin- thankyou for your kindness and compassion towards CM2. Email would not do him any good as he doesn't read his and then finds himself in a fix. But you are so tremendously kind to offer your time to befriend him.

I want you to know that we do have therapists and specialists helping him and have even convinced him to go to a gaming tournament at school this weekend.

If you would like you can post your blog from Autisable up on the comments and I will add it to my blogroll. :)

Hope all is well with you :)

Kaitlin said...

I understand, if I didn't have my e-mail alerting me on my cell-phone I would have a hard time staying on top of it as well. I am glad he is getting help and it is obvious you are a great, involved and caring mom for CM2. I'm sure he will keep making strides forward with all the support he gets from his family. My blog is Thank you for offering to post it in your blog roll!