I can't believe it's almost April! Where did the winter go??? Not that I am sad to see it go, I am tired of snow! We have big things planned for April and are very excited!!! We are already lit up blue. (we couldn't wait til April) Our shed is done up in mutilcolor lights (thanks Christmas) that I will also be lighting in April to represent the spectrum that is Autism. I already dyed my hair blue. Wonder what kinds of looks I will get from the elderly this time???
I am currently awaiting the decision from our town council about decorating the street lamps blue for April. That meeting is April 1st, so if we get the ok, we will be rushing to get it done on the 2nd. Thankfully I will have some help from our local Autism support group, PASKA. (they are my autie family <3 )
On the the first or second, I will publish my Go Blue video. I have it ready and waiting and can't wait to share it with all the parents who sent me pics of their kiddos to join us in "Going Blue." I hope we can get over 1000 shares, so I will be bugging you all to share, share, share to help us spread awareness. <3
The night of the 2nd is Liam's LIUB Dance Party. He has invited all the neighbor kids and their
parents to come over that evening, to learn about Autism and to have some fun. He has asked them all to wear blue. (I think I may get a special ribbon or something to give to the person who has the most blue on) He has decided to serve blue cupcakes, blue kool-aid and blue jello jigglers :) He and his friends have chosen all the music and it's ready to go on my iPod. Mama needs to figure out just what I am going to say and write it down because I don't do well in front of people (even when I know them.) Liam said he will "just say what comes to my mind." Love my kiddo!
On the 5th we are taking part in our first First Friday in town. We are setting up a table to educate our area about Autism. I am still working on handouts for that. Today I will start the posters. (I love making stuff like that!) The 2nd table set up will be for kiddos. Liam and I created autism awareness coloring pages. He has chosen to take his blue water beads for one sensory bin, and then the other will be a blue rice sensory bin. He has put some thought into this and I love how involved he gets. He will be a great advocate some day because he is already a great one now!
So that is a run down of just the beginning of April.....I am not sure how we will top this next year, but I am sure I will think of something. I am also sure PITA is hoping I won't think of something, because that always means more work for him too ;)
Yesterday Liam had another eval to reinstate his TSS hours (since there was a lapse between providers, the insurance company took them away.) So anyway, he was very excited about this meeting, as he loves to see Dr. Dan. He dressed extra nice for him, and packed his pockets with snacks, even some to share with Dr. Dan.
During the meeting, his obsession with collecting things was brought up. I opened my mouth, and out fell, "ugh yes, I think it's stupid." SAY WHAT???? DID I JUST SAY THAT????? Wow! Liam immediately looked at me, and was not happy. I quickly told him that's not what I meant.....but did I???
For the most part I think they are cute. The one where he has to save EVERY fortune he gets from the cookies. He does this because he feels if you "throw it away, you throw away your fortune." That is cute! The one over rocks is pretty cool too. When ever we walk the creek bed, Liam will find some really cool rocks, and bring them home. Ok, not cool in my house, but he is perfectly happy storing them in the flower bed, so that obsession is A-Ok with me. The ones I don't like are: hanging onto clothes that no longer fit, saving his faves shoes even when they are falling apart and no longer fit, and bullet shells.
For one, our house is much too small.....I am thinking we either need ANOTHER shed, or we need to rent a storage shed. As far as the shells, these are spent shells from when PITA and I target practice with my parents. Liam loves to watch us shoot, and once the shells cool, he loves to search the grass for them. Super cool, but then he brings them home. He plays with them alot! They are always all over the floor or the couch. It looks like we took party in some massacre aside from no blood on the walls and floors. They stink, they are dirty, and if we touch them, ALL....HELL....BREAKS....LOOSE.....
Last night I sat him down and explained that mommy was sorry. I didn't mean to say they were stupid. What I meant was, I don't understand some of his obsessions. I made sure I pointed out the ones I love, but I also explained why I don't like some of them. I hope he understands. I still feel like crap about it. My mouth has no filter, and sometimes just spews crap that I have to clean up....
I swear, I am NOT an insensitive jerk, but I also am not perfect.....
Spring is here. Well not technically speaking, but the warmer weather is here and that means our neighborhood comes alive. At any given time there are about 10 children roaming the streets here. Liam often gets angry because he doesn't have the freedom they do.....(sorry, but my child stays where I can see him....that's just the parent I am) So he works very hard to get the kids to come here and play with him, in his "territory" and my comfort zone.
PITA has been telling me I need to let him stretch his boundary a bit. Instead of confining him to only the front yard, I should let him be free to play all around our house, as he needs to "spread his wings." I am working on this slowly, but let me tell you why I'm not comfortable with this.....
It seems, that as soon as they are out of ear shot, the older children start running their mouths to the littles. Yesterday I let him go to a friend's house with another boy to play Xbox. They came back and informed me that the kid got mad at them and called them both the R-word!!!! To say I was livid was an understatement. I quickly called this boy over. On his way, he apologized to Liam and the other boy, but I still gave the lecture. "Do you know what that is? Do you know how hurtful that is? You know Liam has Autism, and many think that kids with Autism are the R-word. You do know that's wrong???" He did, he agreed, he had utter guilt on his face. (He is a good kid, but like all of us, we're not perfect.) He apologized to me, and both boys again, and I asked him to never say it again. Off they went into the yard.....the back yard.
Now, we can see these kids from the window in our living room, but we can't hear them. I am ok as long as I can sort of see what it going down.....Well it wasn't 15 minutes later and Liam comes back to tell me that another boy (12) called him queer.
Okay, now I am seething with rage. My child is 6, NO ONE calls him that!!!! I went out front and asked the kids to have this boy come over here. In the mean time, PITA speaks up and says, "what are you doing? Are you always going to be there to run defense for him?" I stopped, and just glared at him. "Yep, I will be. He is 6, I will NOT put up with this!"
PITA goes on....he is mad at how stubborn I am being. "You won't always be there. You have to let him grow a thick skin. You have to let him learn how to deal with this on his own."
Okay, I get this, I do. Part of me knows he is right. (and oh how I HATE to admit that!) I won't always be there to run defense. But he is SIX!!!!!!! I am here now....Isn't my job to set these other children straight now.....teach them to be more caring, more tolerant, and do my best to make them aware of other with special needs? If their parents aren't doing it, then who will? Liam is my baby, and he is still young. I feel it's my job to protect him......
Am I wrong??? Am I over stepping??? Should I step back and let him handle it???
Today is a BIG day! Today is the day we all work together to bring awareness to the vulgar use of the R-word. I won't even type it here because it disgusts me so....I think you all know what word we are working to end.
Unfortunately I hear this word too much among neighbor kids. It makes me sick, and I make no bones about telling them so. After all, they need to learn NOT to use it, so when they grow up, they don't teach it to their children. For a small few, it has worked, and for the rest, not so much. Though when I hear it, I again preach the importance of NOT saying it. After all, they are children, they learn it from other kids, from their parents. I think that schools should have an assembly on this day. They should be stepping up to teach their students the importance of not using this hate word.....In a perfect world, this would happen. Until then, I will continue to do my part spreading the word.
I have to admit, there was a time my hubs would tease me about riding the short bus and wearing a helmet. Don't hate him. It was before he was a special needs dad, and before he knew so many wonderful special needs kids. He also wasn't meaning harm to anyone with special needs it was a joke because I went to a school in such a small town that many people in this area tease that school for being behind all other schools, and not being up to par as far as education.
He doesn't say that anymore, because he knows how horrible it is. Your whole life and perspective changes when you become the parent of a special needs child. You see the world in a whole new light, and you see the people around you in this new light as well.
I have corrected "friends" in the use of that word. They look shocked when I do. When I tell them that is derogatory to my son and his special needs friends, they don't get it. "But he looks normal?!?!" I don't care how he looks, he is special needs, and that is putting him down. He doesn't want to be referred to with the r-word. Would you want your kid to be called that???? Look at his face, does he deserve that treatment????
So for today, share some of the pics posted here, on your facebook and twitter pages. Make posts about how you will "Spread the Word to End the Word!" As for yourself, please, for me, for Liam, and for all the other wonderful special needs people in this world, refrain from this word. There are so many words you can use in place of that world, as you will see in the graphic below....
PLEASE DO YOUR PART~SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD!
<3 <3 <3 <3
TRIGGER: I have never used a trigger warning on a post, but I feel this one may warrant just that. Trigger I guess for upsetting content..... (NOTE: this post was started as another idea....After seeking some opinions on the content, I chose to change it up a bit so as not to stir up too much controversy.)
I am a Generation X kid. I grew up during the height of grunge where the best music was booming out of Seattle. I was having a flashback day the other day and revisiting my youth through my music. Upon doing so I came across an old fave. Jeremy, by Pearl Jam.
(If you haven't heard it, where the hell were you in the 90's? If you have well then it's been awhile so let me refresh your memory.)
Now if you are unfamiliar with this song, CLICK HERE for the lyrics. This song was inspired by a true story. Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics based on the story of 15 year old Jeremy Wade Delle, from Richardson, Texas. This boy was described by class mates as being "real quiet" and "acting real sad." Did anyone notice? No. Not until he placed a .357 magnum to his head and killed himself in front of his english class...... CLICK HERE for more on Jeremy.
So you see, this song got me to thinking......Do you think Jeremy was depressed from being bullied?? A bad home life to boot??
Bullying is a very real, and very sad issue facing so many young people today. Many schools boast a "Zero Tolerance for Bullying" but it isn't always enforced. I hear all too many horror stories of children who lose their lives to bullying. Either at the hands of the bully, or at their own hands because they feel they can no longer take it.
Just last year a boy my step son attending school with, took his own life. He did this because he was being bullied at school, and he could no longer take it. So he took his life.......what is our world coming too?????
Have you heard the story of Bailey? The young man who was beaten so badly by a bully that he had a concussion. This resulted in seizures where doctors had to place him into a coma. His brain gave up and could no longer fight and on March 3rd (one day after he turned TWELVE) he passed away! (to leave a comment for the family, or a donation to help with expenses, please CLICK HERE.
This saddens me. This enrages me. What is our world coming too???? I fear ever sending my son to school. What with school shootings, and with bullies!!! My son is 6 and has already been bullied. At home, by a neighbor kid. When we sat this child down, he cried and revealed that HE was being bullied at school, and" wanted to make other kids feel the way those kids made me feel." How sad is that?? It's a viscous cycle and it NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!!!!
What can you do?? Well, as a parent, you can educate your child about bullying. You can teach them right from wrong. Teach them to stand up for others. Teach them to get help. Whether it be through you, a teacher, a counselor at school.
Schools also NEED to step it up! Don't claim you have "Zero Tolerance for Bullying" and then let it go on right under your noses. Step up, look around, pay closer attention. I know teachers have their hands full with such large class room sizes these days, but there has to be some way of preventing these deaths.
I think that maybe if each teacher were to stand outside their classrooms between periods, and watch the students, then maybe, just maybe this could be prevented, or even caught so something could be done.
Have an assembly, play the movieBULLY for the older kids. Make them pledge to stand up for bullying. Let them know this is not the way the world works, and that sort of treatment will NOT be tolerated!
Liam attends a cyber school, and even they had an assembly on bullying. They even played the video Liam asked me to help him make about his experience with bullying.
We all know that high school years and puberty are very tough. (having been there ourselves once, we know first hand.) It's not a wonder these kids are being targeted, and that some just can't handle it. It's so very sad!!!! So maybe we need to start reaching out to the younger generation more as well. Teach them all we can about bullying so that when they are in their teen years they are more aware, and less likely to bully, or be bullied. (here is a GREAT book for younger kiddos. Liam has it and LOVES it....Billy Bully
We have to take a stand. As parents, as educators, as counselors, as communities, as people who give a damn about what our world is coming too.
Don't let another child like Bailey lose his life. Don't let another child like Jeremy take his life, and be just a memory in a song. Let our children grow up. Let them be safe. Let them flourish. Let them be who they are without fear of being teased or taunted.......
here are some things on Pinterest in regards to bullying... CLICK HERE
This took place a few days ago, but with so much going on, I was unable to sit and write about. I left myself a note on my phone. (Once again, a HUGE thank you to mom and dad b for my iPhone. It makes my life so much easier!) Moving on. So let me set the scene for what took place that morning a few days ago.....
The night before Liam was "camping out" with Daddy in PITA's room. (yes, we have separate rooms. don't judge, it works for us! Pita is disabled and doesn't sleep through the night. He is up and down constantly and always was waking me up. Also, Liam won't sleep in his room alone, so he and I share a room with separate beds.) I digress. So as I was tucking him in, he noticed some old comic books on daddy's night stand. He wanted them. Daddy told him no, it was bed time. He still wanted them. A few moments later, he comes back to my room, "Momma, I am sleeping in here because I NEED those comics and I can't sleep by them if I can't have them!!!" Good logic little man, works for me.
Next morning Liam comes out, comic books in hand. I say, "Did you ask daddy for those?" Liam, "no, he is sleeping, I'm NOT waking him up!!" I go on to explain that's fine, but without permission he needs to put them back. I then let it go, giving him time to mull over right and wrong in his mind.
He walks away. A few moments later he returns. "Momma, I put them back!" "You did?" I say, "how come?" He thinks a moment then replies, "well you know the other day when I took a "dolla" out of daddy's room? And he told me if I asked for it he would have gave it to me, but because I didn't ask I couldn't have it because that was stealing!!!" "Yeah, it was," I reply...... So then he shocks me with, "Well, I figured I was stealing the books. So if I put them back, and then I ask my daddy for them, maybe he will give them to me!" He was beaming with pride, and I wish I would have snapped a quick pic of the look on his little face!!!
Shortly there after when PITA got up, Liam asked him for the books, and sure enough, daddy said yes. Liam was ecstatic and began to carefully remove them from the plastic and mull over all the pictures inside. He was actually STILL and QUIET for 30 minutes!!!! Thank you comic book Gods!!!!
It's that time of the month again. A new month, and a new Spotlight Sibling. Meet our sibling of the month, Rylan. Rylan is 8 years old and his older brother Devon has Autism. Rylan also has a little sister named Emma. Rylan loves sports and plays baseball, football and soccer. Mom says that "because they have to explain everything to Devon, it has improved Rylan's reading. He can read at a 4th grade level even though he himself is in the 2nd grade. He is an A, B student and on the honor roll". Mom also relates that "Rylan is the mother hen type. He loves helping and caring for his brother and sister and even his classmates in school." He love the outdoors and doing yard work and lawn mowing with his dad. "He has a huge heart and loves helping others!" Bottom line, Rylan is a wonderful young man!!!! So without further ado, here is Rylan's interview. Please take a moment and leave him some love in the comments.
Q: I read an article that stated that siblings of autistickiddos feel like “victims.” Do you feel like a victim of a brother/sister withAutism?
A: No!!! Not at all
Q: In your eyes, what is the HARDEST part of being a sibling toan autistic brother/sister?
A: There's really nothing that's to hard except when Devon talks back to my dad.
Q: What is the BEST part?
A: When Devon plays with me.
Q: Do you resent Autism? If so, Why?
Q: How has having a brother/sister with Autism changed yourlife?
A: Autism is all we know (devon is the oldest)
Q: Has Autism taught you anything?
A: yes, it's taught me how to nicer to people and to be patient and help others.
Q: Do you think educating other kids about Autism is important?If so, Why?
A: yes, so that the kids won't be bullies to my brother and everybody with autism.
Q: If you were given the opportunity to speak to your school asa whole about Autism, what would you tell them?
A: Autism is just a word my brother is a person!
Q: Kids with Autism are 4x more likely to be victims ofbullying. If you saw someone bullying a child with Autism, what would you do?
A: I'd tell them to stop and go get a adult.
Q: If you had to write an essay about Autism, tell me, in a fewwords what it might say?
A: Autism doesn't mean my brother can't do things it means he does them differently.
Q: Here is your chance. If I left anything out, and there issomething you want to add about Autism (it can be positive or negative) feelfree to write it here.
A:I feel sad sometimes because I want devon to teach me stuff instead of me teaching him...
So there you have it. Another month, another AuSome sibling! Please take a moment and leave Rylan some love in the comments.