Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Anxiety is prevalent in our home these days.  OCD is a pretty serious concern and I admit I could be jumping the gun.  However, when it takes up to 30 minutes to walk out of the house, I think it's safe to say we have a problem.

I read an interesting blog entry at Chosen Families.org written by a mom with a son that sounds a lot like Rodney, but he is two years older.  She was writing about how her son came to her worrying over some assignments at school and how she responded to his worry.  I found it very interesting because I could have written that blog, but with a totally different outcome. 

Rodney doesn't seem to worry about school work.  When large assignments come up, he will procrastinate until the last minute and then he freaks out the day it is due.  I have tried to explain to him that if all he did was a little bit every day, it wouldn't be so daunting, but he doesn't seem to get that.  I am just as enabling as the mom in the blog and I usually go above and beyond by finishing the assignment with my son. 

I say "with" because I don't want to ever be accused of actually doing his work, but, truth is, I do his work.  I know he is more than capable to do the work.  I know, logically, that by doing it for him, I do him no favors.  But there is a part of me that cannot let him fail. 

When I was in the workforce, I learned that it was so much better to allow my employees the "freedom to fail."  I was effective as a "boss" when I refused to micromanage my staff.  I had to give them this freedom.  It's really not a bad thing and it is very cool thing to watch someone master a task and gain the confidence to do it on their own. 

So, why can't I do that for my son.  Maybe it's because when I tried, it didn't seem to ever work.  However, those attempts were prior to his diagnosis and I am still learning how to speak "Rodney."  Maybe it's because I don't want to witness any of my kids failing.  I don't think I hold back my other two children, but I'm not really an unbiased observer, am I?

Life on Elk Meadows isn't failing...totally. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Post Traumatic Poop Disorder

Hi, my name is Kim and I suffer from PTPD.  When I was a child, I was severely affected by stepping in dog feces and urine with my bare feet.  I cannot stand feet.  Manicures-perfectly acceptable.  Pedicures are right out!  No one, and I mean NO ONE, is allowed to touch my feet.  I will only touch my feet in the rarest of circumstances and I will not touch the feet of my husband or children.  I know why I am this way and I have no intention of changing.  So there.  La.*

On a more sober note, this really does mess me up and I think it has contributed to my lack of connection ability with people.  I can form meaning relationships, but I struggle with physical closeness.  That, and here's the ASD angle, I think has precipitated some of my son's issues.  When he was in Kindergarten and 1st grade, he obsessively washed his hands.  Before Asperger's was even mentioned, I thought that he could be OCD.  However, he never ritualized this behavior.  It went more along the line of "if I touch anything my hands are dirty"  as opposed to "to get clean, I have to wash X amount of times."  I hope that makes sense. 

I equate it with my feet phobia in this way:  I became so accustomed to stepping on dog mess, that I theorized that it was easier to step in my bare feet to make clean up easier.  Therefore, feet=dirty.  I cleaned them off, but I don't think I ever really felt clean.  I know, logically, that is why I don't like feet.  Feet still equals dirty to me.  I don't maniacally scrub my feet.  I just don't touch 'em.  So, in raising my son, I taught him to be overly cautious about washing his hands and I'm sure that my reactions to dirty, icky hands were probably the same as my reaction to dirty, poopy feet.  However, with hands, we have to use them constantly and touch different things, the message to keep them clean rang loud and clear.

Couple that with the concrete thinking of a spectrum disorder and it's a trifecta of crazy!

*As I type this, it seems to me that this would also go along with my inability to lose weight and keep it off.  In the past, when I have lost a significant amount of weight, I have failed to keep it off for any significant length of time.  Could it be that by discounting my feet has helped to foster my disgust in my overall appearance and person?  Logically, I should appreciate my feet and thank the Lord always for the wonderful job they do, but I can't.  I don't feel that way.  I don't appreciate them.  Hmmm.  How interesting, but very sad, huh?

So, for now Life in Elk Meadows can't stand feet.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy? New Year!

Happy New Year!

OK.  Now that that is out of the way.  Am I the only one wondering why this New Year's seems so "positive?"  My Facebook feed is full of "looking forward to a great year" and "best year yet!"  I admit that I am a tad on the negative side today, but it just seems like the messages of "Thank God this year is over" just aren't there this year.  I dunno.  Maybe it's just me. I am also wondering about that whole Mayan Calendar thing, but I have bigger fish to fry.

Camp Asperger's or, as I like to think of it, my life has become more, well, animated as of late.  First, winter break is exactly the opposite.  Out of routine, no regular bedtime, along with lots and lots of sweets equals screaming, crying, fighting, and apologizing.  Unfortunately, that sums up my behavior as much as the kids'.  My hubby is still away at work.  He was supposed to be home for Thanksgiving, but then he was sent to another job in Alabama.  Now that job is almost a month over the finish date and I will be thankful if he is able to fly home sometime before the 5th of January.  So, no Dad at Christmas threw another monkey wrench into the mix.  That was sooooo not fun.  I really was never cut out to be a single mom.

Oh wait.  This is supposed to be a blog about living with Asperger's in the boonies, not my personal whining.  Sorry 'bout that. 

One of the behaviors that I mentioned above, the sticking fingers in the ears, is one of the most annoying we've ever seen.  He uses it to block out anyone and everyone speaking to him.  While he has his fingers in his ears he is usually saying, "Stop."  Sometimes, especially with me and his developmental therapist, he will add a "Shut up!" or two.

I'm sure that if you are a parent, you are thinking "WHAAAAAT!"  Trust me, the first few times he did that to me, I freaked.  Unfortunately, with this kid, freaking never works.  It might get me some short term victories, but it never works when it's an important life lesson.  As I type this, he just plugged his ears because his sister was trying to talk to him about Pringles.  Oi Vey.  I think we are going to have to learn to ignore this behavior to make it go away.  That isn't going to happen at school, so I foresee many phone calls and emails.

There are other behaviors, but almost too many to write about today.  I have a whole year for that, now don't I?  meh.

Life on Elk Meadows is {putting my fingers in my ears} Stop.  Shut up.