Monday, April 29, 2013

Hey Soccer Moms.....Listen Up!!!!

  Are you listening??? Hey, all you NT soccer mom's out there, we (the special needs parents) are jealous! Yes, you read that right. We are jealous, annoyed, maybe even a bit pissed off! Why you ask, well have a seat, let me explain!

  We are jealous because while you have to juggle your kids to different sporting events. Or juggle birthday parties, play dates, coffee dates, maybe even mani/pedi salon days, or dare I say it, DATE NIGHT with your significant others. We don't get to do this. Instead we juggle therapies, doctor's appointments, and errands around our child's moods.

  Our kids often aren't invited to birthday parties. They aren't invited to play dates. We mom's don't get a day to beautify ourselves for our husbands. (My hubs is shocked to see me in something other than pajamas!) We, as special needs parents don't always get date nights. We don't have babysitters. Hell, my son and I share a room, and PITA has his own room because it's the only way we can get our kid to sleep is if he is in the same room as mama.

  So, the next time you see us, please don't tell us how stressed you are because kid one has a tee ball game, and kid two has a little league game, and kid 3 has a birthday party. I may smile to make you feel better, but what I really want to do is slap you. No lie. I don't get to sit on the side lines and cheer my son on as he rounds the bases. I don't get to anticipate him hitting or catching that ball. I don't get to juggle sports, and all that jazz.

  You see, my son won't play organized sports. He knows he isn't good at sports. He knows his coordination is terrible and he just yesterday caught a football. That is HUGE in our house. My son is picked last to be on a team. He is the last man standing and that breaks our heart. Pita and I long to sit on the sidelines and cheer our little turd on in a sporting event.

  The neighbor kids were playing flag football yesterday and Liam walked away. He had tears in his eyes because he didn't want to play. He said, "mom, I can't do it. I suck!" That ripping sound you heard, that was my heart being torn from my chest. PITA heard him and stepped in. He helped Liam in the game. He helped Liam catch that football. That screaming sound you heard....Yeah, that was me! I was screaming like a lunatic. Clapping and jumping like an idiot. For the first time, I was a mom on the sidelines cheering my little boy on. I was ECSTATIC!!!!

 But you know what??? That was one time. It may or may not ever happen again. When it was over, when the kids picked up the outside toys and we headed in for the night, I was pissed. I was pissed because you get to do this on a weekly basis. I was pissed because you complain about having to go to these games. I was pissed because you don't want to be there. I was pissed because you take it for granted.

  We long to be in your shoes. We don't long to have your life per say. We long to see our kids do something that yours take for granted. We long to see them included. We long to see them as part of a team.

  So the next time you go to open your mouth, and complain about being a soccer mom, think twice. Be grateful for your life. Stop and could be very different. If it were, stop and think how you would feel....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bubbles are a choking hazard....

  So I got up this morning with the bright idea to do something fun. Sunday Funday right??? I got on Pinterest and looked up some warm weather fun. I chose bubbles. Because who doesn't love bubbles???

  I found the recipe for "Giant Bubbles," and as luck would have it, I had all the ingredients. I mixed up a batch and was excited to try it out. We (Liam and "A" took the bucket outside to try them out.) Now, if you are familiar with this recipe, every pin on Pinterest says they are "indestructible." Indestructible my arse!!! They weren't any better than the cheap bubbles you buy at Dollar Tree. For the time, and money it took to make them, I wouldn't waste my time again.

 Next we decided to try bubble snakes. My kiddo loves snakes ( *gag* ) so anything snake related is right up his alley. This seemed easy enough. Soda bottles (20 oz size) from the recyclables. (Now I say soda bottles because the new water bottles are too flimsy for this.) next, you'll need an old wash cloth or towel. Cut circles out of it. Big enough to cover the bottom with about 2 inches to spare all the way around. Cut very bottom off of bottle, then put towel/washcloth over it. Attach with rubber band. (A hair tie works well too ;) )

  Now comes the fun part. We used that junk bubble mixture we made. Dip the bottom into bubble mix, and blow. This is super cool.

HOWEVER, make sure kiddos DO NOT BREATHE IN!!!!!! Another neighbor kiddo came over, and oddly enough, BOTH NT kiddos, sucked in and choked when they ingested the bubbles....Yep, got to meet his mom when she came over to find out what happened. AWKWARD!!!!

  So all in all, the kiddos enjoyed it, until they ingested it, and I dumped it in the yard. So enjoy, but PLEASE be careful!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

He said WHAT?????

  Okay, so any of you that have followed my ALFL page for any time, you know how much I love the show Parenthood. When Liam was first diagnosed I was told by another parent in an Autism forum to check out the show. We looked it up, and started from the beginning.

  If you follow the show, you know it's about the Braverman family. Kristina and Adam's son Max, has Aspergers. Though it's not the focus of the show, it's part of it, and it's nice to see it portrayed on tv.

  The other day it was rainy and crappy out, and Liam asked if we could watch it from the beginning again. I was game, because I love the show. I want to be a Braverman! (Not that I don't love my family. I just like the idea of a BIG close knit family.) So anyway, we started over. A couple things happened.

  First and foremost I cried. The pilot and episode two has a lot about Max and getting him diagnosed. It took me back to the day when Liam was first diagnosed. I cried and cried remembering that day.

   (rewinding back to Oct 2010) You see, Autism wasn't on our radar. When that first psych said Aspergers, I was speechless. What was it? Now what? Yes, I cried. For days. I sulked. I was depressed. I went through the usual grief one does when first told their child has issues.

  It didn't take too long though, and I realized, he's the same kid he has always been. I dove into online support groups, I started a blog, and then a few months later ALFL was born.

  Okay, fast forward to Saturday. I heard something on that pilot episode that apparently I missed when I first watched it. It shocked me, and it pissed me off.... Let me set the scene for you: Kristina meets up with Adam because she had just heard from the educational therapist. She is explaining to Adam that the therapist thinks Max has Aspergers.

 KRISTINA: A lot of people with Asperger's...

ADAM: Max is not autistic.

KRISTINA: Live very productive lives, Adam.

ADAM: Kristina, I've seen autistic kids. The Lessings' kid with the hand flapping…

DID HE JUST SAY THAT????? Is that what people think of my kid?????

  I was FUMING!!!! Did I not notice it the first time because my blinders were on? Maybe I didn't notice because at the time, I wasn't very "Autism educated." Was it because I too, was that ignorant??? Either way, that quote pissed me off!

  I turned to PITA with my mouth hanging open, and he too had the SAME look on his face. He paused it. I quickly said, "Did you hear that????" Yep, he did, and he was as disgusted as I was.

  Now, I still love this show. It shows a large family in good times and in bad. It portrays Aspergers fairly well. It has brought autism to the fore front, and has probably helped educate others as well.  However, that hand flapping comment was NOT cool NBC. "TOTES NOT COOL." (as Liam would say.)

  Part of me wants to boycott the show for that ignorant remark......part of me realizes that is probably how MANY parents feel/think when they embark on this autism journey.....

  So I guess that's where I'm at. It still makes me angry. Yet it also makes me was to create MORE awareness. MORE acceptance. So, I guess I will keep on keepin' on.....spreading the good word. Autism is AUSOME. And Adam Braverman, so is HAND FLAPPING!!!!

to view that transcript, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Go big or go home....

  That never really applied to me because I don't like the spotlight, and I would never seek it out. However, being Autism Awareness Month, I felt we needed to shine a spotlight on Autism locally, so we did just that.

  We started out our day making cupcakes for Liam's LIUB dance party to be held later that evening. We also were cutting up tablecloths to make plastic streamers for the light posts in town. We then rounded up the kids (Liam and two of his friends) and we headed into town to meet more of our friends.

  We decorated as many poles as we could but had to call it good by 130 in the afternoon. It was so cold, and we were all froze to the bone! While finishing up the local newspaper came out to interview us about what we were doing. I was excited that someone would shine a light on our efforts. (I was even more excited when I woke up this am, and saw we made the front page!)

The dance party was a HUGE success! The kids had a blast. We kicked it off with a talk about Autism, and what it is. (in a kid version) To check that out CLICK HERE.) Then the dancing began! Followed by chowing down on blue cupcakes and blue kool-aid. Hyper kids are cool when they are outside to burn that sugar off! Towards the end of our dance party the local news station came by to do a segment on Autism. (mama emailed them and when they called to come out I was shocked!)

  They interviewed a few of us, and 2 of the neighbor kids. Then took some video of all the kiddos dancing. I would be lying if I said I couldn't wait for them to leave. I was freezing, and so were the kids, and I wanted nothing more than to sneak inside and lay on my heating pad.

(to check Liam out on the news CLICK HERE)

  Though we froze our butts off for a good portion of the day it was worth it. We spread awareness. We had fun. We educated others. What more could one ask for????

                                                  <3 <3 <3 <3