Aspie on the plane I repeat…

Talitha, that's my girl
Talitha, that’s my girl!

My son rode the airlines for the first time unaccompanied last Spring, headed home from his grandparents, he was 8 at the time. In our family milestones are usually set by maturity, not age. So if Robby did X at age 5 that doesn’t mean that Talitha can do the same thing at 5 but only if she is mature enough for the activity. So I am thinking it will be years before I put my dear sweet lovable girl on the plane for grandma’s. I mean she has Asperger’s, right? She can’t possibly fly alone, right?

Well her therapist and her ABA tutor both agreed she was ready for such a flight and to be away from home, no schedule and lots of new experiences…I’m sorry what? I was not ready for this, I still get nervous when I drop her off at child watch, what if someone teases her, hurts her feelings, what if she’s scared and no one comforts her or worse mocks her pain? But when I take a step back, when I look at her 8 years old, not a little kid anymore, when I see her for the quirky lovable young lady she has become…WOW!

She is an amazing girl. She is caring, and giving, she is helpful and desires to please. She has a beautiful voice, she bright, catches on quick and is passionate in her beliefs and her love. When she called me from Big Mama’s to let me know she was alright and having a great time, I said is this my baby? Who is the grown child with a big girl voice chatting my ear off? Who is this autonomous person having normal childhood adventures and making memories that will hopefully last a lifetime? Is this my Talitha?  I’m floored. I’m proud. I’m starting to lay aside some fears I’ve been carrying around when I look down the road to her future…and it feels good!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Okay I’m a bit late but my husband and children weren’t! They celebrated me on the sly after a errand before the Sabbath. Bobby sent me out to the car to bring in groceries, I knew something was up cause he NEVER lets me bring in groceries. Waiting in the back of the car was a dozen green roses, so cool! My fav color along with a gift bag. He had picked out two sleep shirts one, Superman! cause I’m SuperMom, and the other said something sassy about me being crazy…which is true!  And a great card that plays, “I got you Babe”, lol!!

Then he took all the kids up to make me cards, I got a beautiful painting from my Talitha and Ephraim, Robby wrote me a poem and the little drew happy faces. I felt very loved and blessed to have my monkeys say thank you.

Then on the actual day, my dear sweet monkeys went out and got me a choc cake with choc frosting with choc ice cream to top, do they know me or what? I love those kids!!




Great day!

Sunset at Porto Covo, west coast of Portugal

Today was great!

Our neighbor’s offered to watch the kids for awhile this morning while we got some kid free time, it gave us the oportunity and permission to sit down on a Sunday morning and veg out together. It was awesome! Thanks Kris and Renae! They also set up pool time for the little ones so bedtime should be easy tonight!! Double Blessing.

Then our riding lessons were canceled due to heat, and so we had nowhere to go, very nice for mom and dad! We chose to go out to eat, no cooking for mom and a fun outing for the kids.

Now we are all in our own corners enjoying the last bit of the day before we go back to the workday routine tomorrow, but I am ahead of the game and feeling more relaxed, so B”H!

Sometimes we just don’t fit

My middle son has Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified. My son has a mischievous streak a mile wide. He has sensitivities to change in weather, to light, to skin irritants and others. He is prone to outbursts, violent, loud outbursts.  He has an amazing sense of humor, he is crazy smart, he loves legos…I mean LOVES legos.

My oldest daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome which is currently listed on the Autism spectrum. My daughter is very high functioning and has been therapy for a year now, some might not even notice that her behaviors are that different…maybe quirky, but not worrisome. She is flighty, says what ever she is thinking and did I mention she is flighty.

My other children are neuro-typical.

When I head out the door with my kids no amount of planning ahead, practice sessions or stern discipline will help me when my middle son has a meltdown, especially if it requires me to wrap him in a bear hold till it passes. Who will watch my kids? What if one of the toddlers runs off while I’m dealing with this son?

I don’t avoid social situations or home school co-ops because I don’t need them, I avoid them because they don’t have room for my family. What I mean is that so far my experiences have been poor to say the least. I can’t keep subjecting myself over and over to failed outings, long enough to make friends and educate people as to what will be helpful.

autism awareness ribbon

Going to a sit down restaurant with just the family is a learning experience, not an enjoyable, relaxing one. I get judged by strangers, waitresses and not to mention the berating I am giving myself.

When we first got to this duty station, my Autistic children were toddlers, 18m and 2 1/2 years. Going to Bible studies and the like were easy. They were both assigned to over staffed play rooms, keeping an eye them was easy. As they aged it became not so easy. Their play rooms had less staffers and their behaviors became more and more inappropriate for their age groups.

I have tried to go this last month to a home school field trip and to a couple of MOPS meetings. The field trip went horribly, no fault of the organizers or the venue, just can’t be with my oldest who are interested and with my son and toddlers who are not. MOPS went fine, but I took the kids tutor with me, I wouldn’t have gone without her. They have great childcare there, but not consistently the same staffer each time, or even the same location, no one’s fault. Just not conducive to my kids.

So why do I bring this up? Well it is Autism Awareness month and with new numbers coming out that 1 in 88 children have Autism, groups that cater to children or mother’s of young children, need to get hip to the Spectrum. If you know that one of your prospective clients, mom’s or volunteers has children on the spectrum ask them what you can do to make it easier for her and her children. I mean for real folks it is that easy. Let’s practice, repeat after me, “What can I do to make it easier for you and your children?” Now say that a hundred times or until you are comfortable enough to walk up to that Mom and really make a difference in her life.

My husband loves Messy Mondays, they are on youtube, look’em up! A couple of weeks ago they did a short on being an activist. It’s not just about hitting like on someone’s Facebook page or re-posting a status for a couple of hours or changing your profile pic, its about actually taking your time and resources and devoting them to changing or assisting in something you feel strongly about.

So often we are only a activist when they have cool swag…