Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Day

Today is April 2nd.  It's international Autism Awareness Day and in our house, that means something.  We live every day with autism.  The meltdowns, the concrete thinking, and the brilliance twists my view of the world.  My younger kids (unfortunately) have to deal with the fallout of that.

I am learning how to set boundaries and holding the kids to them.   As a family, we are becoming more organized and more structured.  I can happily report that I took the electronics away from the two younger children when they refused to keep up with their chores and clean their rooms.  IT WORKED!  I am beyond happy about that, I tell you what!

My last blog entry was rant.  What I didn't tell you is that I wrote that the day after I lost my brother to colon cancer.  It was easier to rant than to face that loss.  You see, my brother was a school counselor and a doctor.  He was my ally in the autistic world I lived in.  He was my encyclopedia.  I knew that he would help our mother understand that I wasn't a poor mother and that I wasn't doing such a bad job.  When she had a question about Rodney, she called my brother first.  And now she can't.

I know more about Asperger's Syndrome than I did just last year and I learn more every day.  Today, I watch my 14 year old fight in imaginary wars outside with a nerf sword and a stick.  I wonder if he will ever really 'act his age.'   I wonder if he will ever find his place in this world.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ranty Rant Rant

I need to briefly rant.

WHY is it that my boy children do not get the concept of be quiet and don't be weird?  We've tried Cub Scouts and now Junior Grange, but in neither case did my boys understand what it means to sit down, be quiet, and LISTEN.  Nope.

In Scouts, they were young and our pack was small without a lot of men volunteering.  With my hubby gone for long periods of time, the boys don't get a lot of male influence.  Top that off with a health dose of Asperger's Syndrome and a lack of understanding of what that really entails and you've got a recipe for disaster.  That is exactly what it was.  I played the Scouting game for a year and a half.  I threw in the towel because of a problem with the Cubmaster, but I should've just given up the first year when my boys refused to try and actually EARN their badges.  There was nothing in it for them.

The latest failure involved Junior Grange.  We are just start a Junior Grange group at our Grange and I had all three of my kids going.  I really enjoy going to the Grange and I wanted my kids involved too.  Small town= not so many kids and all of mine were picked as officers.  We had our first official meeting and my boys were being themselves.  I could split hairs and tell you how well-behaved (or misbehaved) the other kids attending were, but there's no point.  Long story short:  I got a call today from the adult leader and she thinks my boys are too aggressive and not respectful.  She also thinks they will "scare" some other children, "sweet little girls," that haven't been able to come to Grange because they've been sick.  That's fine.  My boys just won't be a part of the Junior Grange.  There's nothing in it for them. 

In both cases, I was trying to get them involved in extra-cirricular activities so that they would get the experience of interracting with kids that aren't in their class or even necessarily in their school.  It just occurred to me that I can add self-defense class to this list as well.  Rodney lasted one class with that before I pulled him out and Raymond made it through half the year before the instructors booted him.

I'm not blaming here.  I just wish I knew how to get my kids to understand the importance of staying quiet and listening.  At least I think that would help, but really I don't know.

Oh and if you read this and you don't know me personally, don't think for a minute that my children aren't disciplined.  I have tried my best and I know that's not good enough.  I don't need anymore input on that, thank you very much.