Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ugh......

Well, Casey's Christmas vacation started off early and with a bang! But not a good bang.

Friday was his last day of school, and as anyone can recall, the Friday before Christmas is usually fun and not overly productive. Casey was looking forward to watching a Christmas video at the end of school with several classes. I'm sure snacks were to be involved. I was looking forward to shopping and spending as little time working as I possibly get by with, which is what I was doing when my phone rang.

It was school. I was hoping it was just his teacher calling to thank me for the gift I sent in. But the tone of her voice while greeting me made me ask "What happened?".

She proceeded to tell me how when he came into class that morning, one of the parapros told him to do something and he said something that sounds like "Pluck my Venus!". Yeah, it's what you're thinking! Yeah, that's bad.

I gasped, feigned shock, and just went back quickly in mind, trying to recall where the hell he had heard that line! Dad doesn't walk around saying it, out loud, and we are pretty cautious about what we watch on TV in front of him, and most things we watch wouldn't have that line in it! Only once place.... Internet.

His teacher then asks me what other things I think would be a good punishment. I told her I often tell him that he better watch his mouth at school because if he doesn't he'll have to go to the principle's office (a lot of good that did). I told her maybe a visit there might help. She agreed, but went on to say that she felt this sort of behavior should be punished at home as well. I agreed.

I went on to say, not taking any of the blame from him, I would also like them to find out what is causing him to act this way when he comes in. He has had a few incidences in the morning but nothing this bad. But there is something causing him to be, well, belligerent in the morning, and you would have thought they might have tried to figure this out themselves. She said they would research it after the holidays.

In the meantime, she let me know that I should do something at home to punish him as well. Thanks for the suggestion... pfffff. Usually, I sorta feel like what happens in school should be punished at school. I guess she was right, but boy, getting all your fun taken away on the last day before vacation sure seems punishment enough to me, considering they hadn't really tried to help the initial problem with mornings to begin with.

So, I said something about taking computer away for the day when he got home. I could feel her waiting on the end of the line, and I felt pressured to say "or the weekend!?". She felt that was sufficient. Okay.

About 20 minutes later, she called again. She told me they had taken him to the office, much to his chagrin, and that when the principle found out about all that happened decided he would have a half day in-school suspension, and then was to be picked up and taken home!

Wait a minute! Wait one darn minute! I meant for the whole Principal dealie to be sort of a "scared straight" scenario!!!!! I didn't mean for it to be a life altering experience that would leave a stain on his record! Geeze o' peete! She said I needed to come get him after his suspension.

A bit exasperated at this point and not feeling like getting into a big "thing" on this day, I asked "What time?".

His Dad and I decided we would take computer away, at least Friday and Saturday and keep things low key, not a lot of outings, but a lot of talk about why he lost his favorite privilege in the whole world.

This story could go on and on, but to shorten an already long post, I'll finish up by saying, I got him, he seemed ashamed. He cried when he found out he lost his computer. Friday was rough, Saturday was better after some visuals were provided explaining why and what for. And quite honestly, it was pleasant to have his full attention and watch him do some things that he doesn't usually pursue, ie Wii and a few toys.

I know his saying such an offensive and sexual line was bad. I know that. Coming from the perspective that I don't want him to get suspended again, fired from a job, or worse yet, arrested someday, for saying such offensive stuff, I realize this is something that we need to get him to know he just can't do. But at the same time, I kinda feel like this could have been better handled in school. I think that if he had stayed, and had to sit in the "team" room during the festivities, knowing he was missing them, he would have realized that what he had done was so wrong! I think that would have worked much better than coming home and laying around all afternoon in his comfy room.


So in the grand scheme of things, such occurrences may take a village to resolve, but somehow, this side of the village seemed to get the brunt of that job!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Credit Cards.... So Easy, Even Autistic Kids Can Use 'Em!

So, I'm talking to my sister today about how Casey wants a subscription to an online gaming site. It's 25.95 for 3 months. A perfect gift I decided, from his grandparents, who give us money each year to get him something because he is so very hard to buy for.

More discussion ensues, when suddenly Casey comes up behind me and says "It's confirmed!"

"What's confirmed Bud?" I ask innocently.

"My subscription has been confirmed." he replies innocently.

"Hold on Cheryl!" I say laying the phone down, a feeling of panic taking over.

I run into the kitchen to look at the laptop, Casey padding behind me.

On the screen I read "Your Nick Jr. Boost Subscription has been confirmed."

Quickly, I try to page back, only to find that he filled out all the info needed to send the subscription as a gift perfectly, making the recipient and the sender himself, but otherwise, perfectly. Still panicking, I couldn't see anywhere that he put in credit card info.

"Casey," I called calmly, "what number did you use to confirm your subscription?".

"From the card."

"What card?"

"Dat one." he replies, not pointing, not helpful.

"Which one?"

"The Mastercard."

"Did you have the number memorized Case?" I ask, still not seeing a card.

"No, the Citibank Card." his cadence taking on that of Dustin Hoffman's Rainman.

Suddenly, I notice my credit card laying off to the side of the computer, as if lightly flung after it's use was rendered. My eyes shoot over to my wallet laying open, the spot where that card calls home glaringly empty. The perfect crime scene.

I grab the phone, almost forgetting that Cheryl was waiting there, listening to the whole thing.

"Did you hear that?" I ask her.

"I believe a social story is in order!" she says with official Occupational Therapist confidence (because she is).

"Yeah..." I answer, still amazed that he was able to put in enough information from my card to confirm his subscription.

Yeah, a social story is in order, and a lock box for our credit cards!

Oh my, the possibilities!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Splish Splash Casey's Takin' a Bath.... in the Morn, and it's Good!



A marvelous thing has occurred at our house on school mornings! It has become pleasant! Yes, pleasant! No more screaming, no more having to tell him 45 times to come and eat. No more boy sitting and kicking the wall under the breakfast bar singing not so sweetly "Little little assholes!"....ahhhh, yes, more pleasant.

It all started one morning after being completely exhausted the night before, and not having the drive to mess with a whole shower thing. I decided a shower for Casey in the morning wouldn't be the end of the world (although the thought of the days bodily grossness on his sheets was on my mind). And so, that morning, I told him to get in the shower after a nights rest and strength had been restored. He asked if he could take a bath and since I was still fiddling around with my morning primping, I said okay. He burst into the bathroom, took off his jammies and hopped in before the tub was full. The rest of the morning went smoothly. And I didn't connect anything, thinking it was just one of those rare and lucky days that everything wasn't a big clusterf^&*.

So, the next morning, despite a shower the night before (still thinking about the days grime, despite that mornings bathing), he actually requested another bath. Finding it odd, I allowed for it, and again, a pleasant morning ensued.

This pleasantness isn't just quiet, this is beyond that. I can actually get the boy out of bed with the sound of the bath water running and a silly song about Prince Casey's bath being drawn. He leaps out of bed, strips and sits calmly in the tub for a good 20 minutes. This is awesome, because before, getting him up was quite a challenge, with a lot of threats and cussing on both our parts.

Oddly, this bath routine has now blossomed into a whole routine, and one that needs no prompting. He gets out, dresses himself (something I was helping him way too much with pre morning bath because we were usually running late), and then he makes his way to the kitchen to nibble on some breakfast. Again, NO PROMPTING! This is huge! On top of all that, his teacher has mentioned he has had excellent days, and getting him to get ready for the bus and transitioning is no big deal anymore.

Why and how does a simple bath realign the planets and make pigs fly? Why did it take so frickin long for this to happen? Why, when I take showers every morning, had it not occurred to me that this might be good for Casey as well? Who the hell knows... trial and error, trial and error.

Whatever, it's workin' now, clean sheets be damned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Viva La Dora!

I know, Dora the Explorer? Am I really going to blog about Dora the Explorer, that annoying little Nick Jr. gal with the nasal voice, who asks way too many questions, has a much bigger head than all the other characters, and has a best friend as a monkey? As a matter of fact, I am.

Lately, Casey has taken a real shine to Nick Jr., formerly the Noggin channel (don't even get him started on the name change, that's a whole other entry). He actually sits and watches and pays attention to the shows they have on, despite the fact that they are made for preschoolers.

Dora, being one of those shows, was one that he has watched on and off over the years. But lately, I've noted a whole new awareness on his part as to what Dora is really all about. It's a very participatory children's program, with Dora and the other characters stating facts and then asking about them later, requiring the viewer to, in each episode, remember what landmarks Dora has to go to in her adventures, where items are on the screen, etc.

I have caught him several times answering Dora's questions, and doing so correctly, or I'll here him go "There it is!". Casey's participating! He's making conversation, albeit seemingly one sided (not in his head I'm guessin'). He's thinking, he using his rationalization skills, comprehension skills.... all the cool stuff! Heck, he's even pointing at things on the screen from time to time. I would have given my left arm to see that oh so many years ago when he was supposed to be pointing!

Would I've liked to have seen such participation eight years ago, when he was just a little tot, and it was more socially appropriate for him to be watching and reacting to Dora? Of course! But, as anyone who has a kid in their life with Autism knows, milestones form a completely uneven path in our world, but they come, scattered here and there.

And personally, I am proud to be there whenever he gets to one of those milestones, no matter how long they take or however far apart they are!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A "Flash" of Self Control


So many things have occurred since my entry of October 28Th. The very thought of trying to share so much stuff makes my brain hurt, seriously. In the interest of keeping my mind in tact for my upcoming meeting with my boss today, I think I'll focus simply on one new phenomenon that reared it's ugly head in the past couple of months.

I've been inspired by Kristina Chew's account of her son's encounters with dogs and his wonderful way of dealing with creatures who have struck fear in his heart for sometime. In our case, Casey's "dog" is a camera flash. Camera flashes now cause a total freak out reaction for Case.

I theorize that it all started during a recent photo session at school for class pictures. Apparently, instead of his little class having their time with the photographer alone, they were grouped with a hoard of other students getting their photos taken in a assembly line fashion, flashes going off every few seconds. The noise, the chaos, and the flashes really made it's impression on Casey. I guess when he couldn't take it any longer, he shouted "This is crap on a plate!" and ran out of the room and down the hall. Later on that day, he actually told his teacher he was ready to get his picture taken, and he did well. But since then, flashes have been a major ish for Casey.

And oddly, it seems with this new issue, comes more people taking pictures wherever we seem to be. Or maybe, we are now more aware of people taking pictures, especially whenever a flash goes off and he screeches and if able, tries to take the camera from the photographer at hand! He even reacted to the camera flashes in the stadium at the World Series on television! Much screaming of "Turn off the TV!" commenced during the games.

Recently we were at a restaurant where the seating was close, the area small, and everyone around us seemed to be taking photos of each other. And with the bad lighting, the flashes more extreme. Each time, Casey would screech "oh no!" each time, and his voice is no longer soft let's say. It was getting ridiculous really (along with the irritation of trying to find a damn outlet to plug in his stupid DVD player whose battery wasn't charged like I thought), so, I got into my WWCD mode (What would Cheryl do, my Occupational Therapist sister, who always seems to have a good idea on how to deal with situations) and dug through our goody bag. I found a pair of 3-D glasses used earlier at the movie theater and told him to put them on and it would protect his eyes.

Along with this I also told him, not in no many words, to be proactive and watch the people who have been taking photos, and when you see them raise their camera, look away. Do what he had to do, pretty cut and dry.

And it worked, he was really watching out for himself, burying his head in my arm before a flash went off, and was quiet and it was nice. He was self empowered, and it made me think how this issue of self empowerment will be so, well, powerful, as he grows up and more of these eccentric, if you will, behaviors come up.

Having said all this, Dad on the other hand, really knew nothing of his new empowerment. It didn't really come up as he wasn't with us that night. And so, who knew that some irritating parent would be snapping photos at a recent Dad and son event at school last Friday night. Casey's new skills didn't carry over and he was very upset. Bill tried to explain to the parent about Casey's aversion, but she was still around taking photos of other kids and it still bothered him.

Lesson learned, assume there is going to be cameras where ever we go, carry the magic 3D glasses, and Mom and Dad need to get in sync on how to help Casey empower himself, and never assume he can necessarily do it on his own....yet!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously, is this all there is to it?

I was tired when shower time started at around 10pm last night (yeah, I still help him, I'm an enabler, whatever). I was tired, he didn't want to leave the TV to take a shower. Bad combo.

And this conversation ensued after helping him pull off his duds and stepping into the shower....

Casey: singing "Oh yeah, thats the one, my asshole!"

Me: silence

Casey: singing again "Oh yeah, that's the one, my asshole!"

Me: still silence, helping him wash.

Casey: staring me right in the eyes "I don't get computer tomorrow?"

Me: silently looking at him

Casey: "I don't get computer tomorrow because I said a bad word!?"

Me: a silent shrug, still making sure everything was touched by soap and water.

Casey: "Say something Mommy, say some words!"he said nervously.

Me: "What do you want me to say?"

After that, total silence from him, and total cooperation.

Seriously, is that all there is to it? All I have to do is not respond to diarreha of the mouth and it will stop? Really?.... Wish I would have known this for the last several months, especially when I thought my throat was going raw from repeating the same admonishments every time he cussed.

Geeze..... More to follow.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't Need to Get this Guy His Own Cell!



Sure, he looks friendly enough, but I made an amazing discovery about my little boy last night that really should have been apparent all along but never really occured to me until the situation arose!

Here it is: Casey does not know how to talk on the phone to a peer and also has no desire to do so, despite the particular peer being someone he really likes!

So there it is. I don't know why I was surprised by this....

A little background and I am not going to stream through my blog to see if I had ever blogged about this 'cause you probably wouldn't remember reading it anyway, but in 4th grade Casey made a friend. His name was Jason, and they really bonded. Jason was in regular ed, but they hung out on the playground together from all accounts. He caught Casey's fancy by indulging him in commercial talk, and particularly, Geico Insurance commerical talk which was of hight interest to Case at the time.

This boy was like a ghost to me, I never met him, I couldn't find his name in the student directory. He, aluded me. Then the last day of school, while talking to another mom, I noted Casey standing and talking to this dude, and Casey literally followed the kids mom's car (not after I caught him of course) out of the parking lot. I saw the back of the kids head and that was it! So weird.

Jason goes to the same school now as Case, but it's large with many 5th and 6th grade classrooms. Casey still spoke of Jason, and I heard about him being on the playground once again with him last year. This year, not so much Jason talk although every once in awhile a commercial for the Jason G. doll is spewed out by Casey. Don't ask me where to get one, I can't find one myself!


I check my phone for messages last night after being in a store, and lo and behold, there is one. When I take a listen, it's a little boys voice asking if he could talk to Casey and how he wants to ask him about 4th grade for his homework, and maybe they could talk about Geico a little. It was Jason!!!!! Cute message, very exciting, no number was left to return his call, and no number was in my phone that he called from! Again, so weird.

I told Casey he called and let him hear his message. Casey let out one of his patronizing "Yays" that he does when he knows I'm excited and that he should be but isn't really.

Jason finally called back and wanted to ask Casey a question about what they used to talk about on the playground because he was doing a report on Casey! How sweet is that?

By this time, Casey was shoveling KFC chicken strips in his mouth and watching a Youtube video (I am such a good mom) and had absolutely no interest in speaking to Jason, so I asked him to call back in a little while.

He did. Again Casey showed no interest in speaking with him. I forced him to answer his questions a little but when it seemed some expletives were beginning to ooze from this frustrated boy, I quickly ended the conversation.

I was bummed. Casey doesn't have anyone call him, let alone someone he really likes friendwise. I was surprised at his lack of interest and irritation at talking. My sister, the OT, the treasure trove of knowledge, sweetly reminded me, as I recalled the evening to her, of his lack of social reciprocity, social awareness, blah blah blah and stuff and how not unusual it was that he wouldn't want to talk on the phone, let alone in person. I know all that, I just thought, maybe......

One good thing that came out of it, Jason's number did show up that last call, and I got it, and, and.... I don't know what I'm doing with it, but, I got it!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Work Outs and Togetherness

For the last several months, my dear hubby Bill has been taking Casey to work out at our local rec center. As you know, we've had concerns about Casey's weight, so it's only fitting that he does this.

They have quite a routine worked out, consisting of several walking laps around the indoor track, 22 minutes (to be exact) on the Eliptical machine (by far, Casey's least favorite part of the work out), and 4 running (jogging) laps to finish thing off. It's quite a regimen!

At the beginning, I always let them go alone, allowing me some alone time which is always welcomed, but better yet, some bonding time for them. I fear sometimes that they are so similar in so many ways seen and unseen, that they tend to clash occasionally, so it's always good for them to be together without me prodding in. But after my crazy thought of accompanying them on an occasion, it's almost always expected. Bill likes for me to go just for the "company" aspect since Casey isn't very chatty, and Casey likes for me to go because I think he believes I'll get him out of activities he doesn't like, but I don't. So, my alone time, has been cut....

Today we went, despite a rough morning for me after having several glasses of wine last night with friends. It was a good idea at the time. The rec center wasn't very crowded and we pretty much had the track to ourselves.

Bill and I conversed while following Casey, whose pace tends to speed up as we go. He was chatting away to the wind about a new video coming out, "A Daddy Christmas" on Oct. 24th, starring his Daddy and Casey.

We quietly joked about some of our fellow worker outers on the machines below the track, reminised about the gathering last night where I drank too much wine and how nice it was to see our friends who we hadn't seen for a while.

Bill and Casey did their running laps while I read a magazine on the stationary bike, and then together we did the eliptical, counting down the minutes till we were done.

Casey always chooses the elevator to get down to the first floor of the facility to leave, rather than the grand staircase we use at first to get up to the second floor, enough working out for sure! He doesn't grab my arm anymore like he used to on elevators, but rather, stands like he's been riding them for years without a problem.

Casey informs me that he and I both get 116 "smiley faces" for our efforts today, and Daddy only gets 1. We're not sure why but have a laugh about it. And back home we go for lunch and some luxuriating in the freedom of Saturday.

I'm starting to think not having that alone time isn't so bad.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Bus"tration

Hormones are a' ragin' here at our house as of late, and other places too. At least, that is what I'd like to think.

Case in point, got a call from Casey's lovely teacher yesterday morning. When I see the school number on caller ID I'm always ready to hear that either he puked, hit someone, or cussed enough to get him thrown out of school. Happy news comes in the form of emails, never calls to the cell.

So, with a much regret I answered. She had that tone to her voice straight away that really just made me want to hang up and run. As we got through the standard greetings, she asked "Did Casey have a rough morning?". I had to think back an hour or so, and recalled that, no, he had actually had a pretty smooth morning, with laughter and good vibes all around!

"Well," she continued, "reports came from the other students on the bus that he swore, and when he arrived at school he said several curse words and laid down in the hall!".

Scratching my head, I thought to myself "Damn, the kid gets on the bus and is at school in a matter of 5 minutes if that. What the hell?".

We continued to discuss this issue, both of us as usual assuming it was someone or something giving rise to such a tantrum and not a random act of belligerence. He usually isn't random about such behaviors, and in fact, I contend many kids on the spectrum verbal or non, have reasons for such episodes.

Anyway, I requested what she had already considered, that they do some investigative work to find out what happened, what triggered him.

After interrogating some children, info surfaced that the bus driver had pulled away that morning before Casey could properly fasten his seatbelt, frustrating him to the point of cursing, and even having the kids help him get it on didn't make things better. This carried over into his arrival there, it's hard for him to let things go quickly. So, there it was, the reason. It may seem like a silly reason, or not serious enough to justify an out burst like that, but it mattered to him.

It mattered to him, and it bothered him, and I contend that his current biological state is not helping him handle things well sometimes. HORMONES! That has to be it. I swear, when the kid wakes up and seems an inch taller every week how can anyone argue?

Is there a pill for hormone control? I know they give therapies to us gals going into our middle age years, why not for kids on the spectrum who don't have the wherewithall to handle the feelings that engulf and enrage them? I need to call Dr. Oz or somebody....

Anyway, prepared today to get on the bus behind him and insure his belt was fastened before he took off to avoid yet another episode, I was pleasantly surprised. As he stepped on, I heard several children say his name in a happy manner, and one girl imparticular spoke to him as he passed her saying "Casey, sit by me!". He plopped down and she immediately helped him with his seatbelt, and he was all smiles. I stepped off the bus, smiling myself.

Hhhhmmm, just like a baby who cries to get attention because he needs something, Casey's outburst could certainly fall in the same vein. He got what he needed apparently, some direction and help. We just need to teach him he can get that without using the "f" word!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Take it Back... A Little......



Quite a while back I went on a rant about how much I hated Youtube because we felt it was probably the leading expletive inducer for Casey next to our own potty mouths. Plus, it's just disturbing how a child can put in a search for "Blue Clues" video snippits and they could suddenly be seeing "Blue Balls" video snippits..... Just really inapropriate.

Anyhoot, he still plays Youtube sometimes, but never without my ever listening ears and watchful gaze in the vicinity. He does pretty well censoring what he sees, with only the occasional cuss word blasting over the airways, quickly cut off by a giggling boy.

He has his own account that I allow him to put videos on, mostly for his own entertainment but to share with family and friends as well so it's public. If you are unfamiliar with Youtube, let me explain that there is a forum after each video posted that allows viewers to comment on the video they have just watched. We have recieved, of course, snotty, obnoxious, and rude comments as you can well imagine because it seems there are a group of people out there who watch boring little videos made by children and then rake them over the coals. An admirable way to spend your time right!? But, we just delete the nasty comments and move on.

I have read comments of some of the videos Casey watches, not his own, and people write horrible things sometimes, just about say, a Wiggles Video. I beg him not to read the comments, afraid of what he'll pick up even there.

So, this morning, while checking email, I noted that we recieved 2 emails from Youtube, and I almost didn't read them. I don't know if it's how we have our account set up or what but when someone comments on one of Casey's videos, they get sent to our email.

Thinking that they might be nice comments I could show Casey, I opened the first and it read....

SBloxLines has replied to your comment on Oobi DVR challenge:
They still play it, If you have DISH It's on 169 at 12:00 and 12:30 (PM) Sometimes 5:00 AM Also.
You can reply back by visiting the comments page.


"Replied back?" I almost said out loud. That would mean that someone in our house had commented on someone else's video. Bill would never comment on an Oobi video, it's a kid thing, no interest, and well, I just don't care. So I clicked on this video of SBloxLines and skimmed down the commments section, suddenly eyeing one from our account, named Billboncasey, that read:

what happen to noggin?

Casey had taken it upon himself to comment. A little background, this Oobi was a show on a network for kids named "Noggin" and they dropped "Noggin" and call it Nick Jr. now, much, much, much to Casey's dismay. He has been asking me about this for a couple of days, why it changed, why it isn't Noggin anymore, and now, he was seeking out info on Youtube! So cute. And this fellow nerd, SBloxLines, replied to tell him where he could still find Noggin being broadcast! Too funny!

The next email was from the same person and again was a reply to a comment, made by Casey himself...

SSBloxLines has replied to your comment on Oobi Short Program Promo (Commercial) for Babies and Toddlers:
And PBS Kids. (Noggin = 169 DISH | PBS Kids = 13 DISH
You can reply back by visiting the comments page.


Yet another reference to where he could find this Noggin channel still. Being nosey once again, I went back to this person's other video Casey clearly watched and skimmed the comments only to find....

1999-2000 the good old days of noggin huh?

Casey wrote that comment! Casey referenced the year it was from and typed out a nostalgic thought he had on it! I was floored. I know this was a long post to get to this but really, finding out he commented in this fashion, and that he commented at all made me almost cry, it really did.

I hope this post made sense, and I hope you understand why I posted about it, Yet another one of those instances where even the smallest cool thing seems huge in your head, especially when you are dealing with challenges day in and day out. That just made my day.......

Monday, September 14, 2009

Man Boobs Won't Stop Us!


Well, in our case, boy boobs! Yes, Casey is currently dealing with a phenomenon some pubescent boys experience, boy boobs. It's odd, my little boy, who was always skinny, skinny, skinny, has in the last year and half developed quite a belly, and well, boy boobs. We're all a little concerned, but I've read up online of course, the ultimate source of knowledge, and found that it is quite typical among preteen boys.

I also came upon some info on tea tree oil and lavendar oil and it's use in various products and how those can also cause this breast growth in young boys. I've been using such items regularly since November on Casey, but I found photos of him from last summer, and the boobs were there then, just less severe, so that theory sorta went up in smoke!

So, now, while waiting to see if this irradication of all things tea tree oil and lavenderish will qualm the boobage, we still have to endure the stares and glares from those at the pool who are just too ignorant not to stare and glare. It's not enough that this awkwardly tall boy who starts stimming the minute he steps into the pool area can't help his stims, but add on those 34 B's, and well, he's quite a sight!

I know what people are thinking... "How did she let that happen to that boy?" and "She should reallly cover him up!" etc. I don't know how it happened, I still contend it's puberty and the accordion theory will go into effect soon and he'll grow 5 inches and everything will stretch. I truly didn't plan on my kid having boobs, it's not my fault! Wahhhhhh!

We were going around the lazy river and two little kids literally swam in front of us to get a better look at him and the one said to the other "He's got BOOBS!".... Being the mother Tiger that I am, I quickly rushed to his defense, he being oblivious.

"What did you say?" I growled.

"She said it!" the one kid said.

"He can't help it!" I snapped "and you're rude!".

The kids paddled against the tide of the lazy river as fast as they could, and I'm pretty sure they were, well, frightened of me, and I really couldn't care less, little shits. I was hoping they would go "tell on me" to their mommy and she would come over to "talk" but no one ever showed up. Perhaps I scared them a little too much. Perhaps they knew they did something wrong, and didn't want to tell their mom. Perhaps.

Anyhoot, acting as a human shield and urging Casey to swim so his bod was mostly underwater the rest of our outing, I thought to myself "Well, this is great, his stimming is bad enough, but now, should I even put him through being scrutinized about his boy boobs? Should we not come swim anymore until they disappear? That could be years! Should I buy him a a man bra of some sort? What to do?".

I finally did an internal calm down and came to my senses and decided SCREW IT! Boy boobs are not going to stop us from coming and doing something that Casey loves to do. Boy boobs will not run our lives! Boy boobs are no match for our seeking out fun activities and getting excercise (to get rid of the boy boobs)! Nope, these boy boobs won't bring us down! Let 'em stare, let 'em whisper, let 'em speculate, let'em, who cares?

Having said that, anyone who might come up and say something to us point blank will feel the pain of my mother tiger teeth!!!!

Perhaps a t-shirt for Casey may not be a bad idea.......

Editor's note: non of the images used in this blog entry are of Casey ..... but that guy with the "mansierre" is awful sexy!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Does Anyone Else Find This Offensive?

I was listening to an interview yesterday on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. She was speaking with the creator of a new show on TV called "Glee". I guess it's about a teacher who is trying to help out a rag tag group of students who want to start a show choir. It's a comedy. They played a short soundbite from the show, and it hit me hard. I found the transcript of the interview and particularly the soundbite transcript. It's a discussion between the teacher trying to form the show choir and apparently his arch nemesis.
(Soundbite of television program, "Glee")

Ms. JANE LYNCH (Actor): (As Sue Sylvester) So I had a little chat with Principal Figgins, and he said that if your group doesn't place at regional, he's cutting the program. Ouch.

Mr. MATTHEW MORRISON (Actor): (As Will Schuester): You know, you don't have to worry about glee club. We're going to be fine.

Ms. LYNCH: (As Sylvester) Really? Because I was at the local library, where I read Cheerleading Today aloud to blind geriatrics, and I came across this little page-turner: "Show Choir Rule Book." And it turns out you need 12 kids to qualify for regionals. Last time I looked, you only had five and a half. Here - cripple in a wheelchair. I also took the liberty of highlighting some special ed. classes for you. Maybe you could find some recruits because I'm not sure there's anybody else who's going to want to swim over to your island of misfit toys.

Mr. MORRISON: (As Schuester) Are you threatening me, Sue?

Ms. LYNCH: (As Sylvester) Threatening you? Oh no, no, no, presenting you with an opportunity to comprise yourself? You betcha.


Oddly, I just had the part about the special ed classes on my brain but wow, that's overly offensive on so many levels now that I read it instead of hear it.

Hey, I have a great sense of humor, and I laugh at a lot of offensive stuff. Clearly they are trying to portray this character as an insensitive bitch, but they are also trying to be funny. I don't think this is funny. I don't think the fact that I personally have to have our son in a grouping of "Special Ed." funny in the first place, or that he has to be segregated by it or that the buses for the "Special Ed." are always short and are the brunt of many jokes. Don't people in "Special Ed. classes" have enough to contend without being put down on television where millions more can laugh and get humor out of their situation?

Am I overreacting to this? I hope to hear from a lot of you on this one. In all fairness, here is the whole transcript to be fair, but reading the rest doesn't really change my feelings.... And if you feel the same way I do, what can we do about this?
http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=112721367

Friday, September 11, 2009

The First Week of School, in His Teacher's Words and Mine



I recieved an email from Casey's lovely teacher this morning concerning his week, so I thought instead of going into extreme and no doubt boring detail from my perspective, I would just allow her email to tell the tale of his first week back. Not one for sitting back and saying nothing, I shall add in my remarks where I feel they are appropriate/add to her thoughts. So remember, the italicized words are me, Bonnie, who writes this blog, the regular words, Casey's teacher....


Hi Bonnie,

I must apologize for not getting back to you sooner...I am so sorry. I
have been swamped - 11 hour days at school and I am remodeling my kitchen
at home, plus putting up a fence in my boyfriend's yard, so my life has
been a bit too busy.


No problem at all Teach, I feel lucky to hear anything let alone a multi paragraph email from you when so many other parents have told me they receive nothing! So you have a boyfriend? Merowwwwr!

Let me just say that Casey has been having awesome days, and is doing
fantastic. He is getting his work done, is excited to be at school, and
talks about being happy. Can you send in some bite size butterfingers
again? He still asks for them and likes to work for one when things are a
bit rough for him. On Tuesday he had trouble turning off the commercials,
and yesterday he wanted the headphones, but was able to pull it all
together both days.


"Awesome" and "Fantastic" in one sentence!? This is where I stop reading right!!? I love that he is excited about school, I hope that he stays excited. I should have remembered to send in the Butterfinger incentives the first day, but I'm glad she reminded me! I'm not surprised he couldn't turn off the commercials since he DVRs them! Pulled it all together? Now that is awesome and fantastic!

I know things were a little bumpy for him in the morning yesterday coming
in (he stomped some of the flowers in the courtyard on the way in from the
bus), and said he didn't want to come in to school. Just an FYI - his bus
has been arriving late in the morning and in the afternoon as well. It's
getting better, but it has been late.


Well, flowers are overrated and I wouldn't want to come to school after a 20 minute bus ride either when I only live 5 minutes from school! I've been struggling with this whole bus thing because timewise, it would just make more sense for me to take him since we really are barely 5 minutes away. BUT, he wanted to ride the bus, and I thought it would get him into a routine better. We'll see how it goes....

We have the same students this year plus one more - his name is Marvin, so
you may hear Casey talk about him. Mrs. Moxham is the other teacher this
year and we have been doing things with her room as well, so if you hear
him mention her, that is why. Mrs. Walsh is also in that room, as well as
some of Casey's friends from Coolidge, so he is surrounded by familiar,
friendly faces.


She's eluding to all the people who were invovled with him in 4th grade, who he loved. So how nice is it to think he is in with a teacher he loves and has the one he loved in 4th grade so close by along with old friends from that class? I can't ask for much more right now!

We will be asking for money for CBI trips again, but we are not sure how
much we will need this year, so we will let you know. I am so excited to
have Casey back, and think this will be a wonderful year in many ways.
Casey asked me about my trip to Europe which was so nice. He will be
joining Mr. Ziegler's room this year for World Language which will begin
next week.


"CBIs" are "Community Based Instruction" where they go out into everyday situations IE grocery stores, fast food restaurants, etc. and learn how to do things. I love them, not only do they get instruction, but if it's nice they walk and get out of school. It's a long day. I hope it will be a wonderful year too, I love her attitude! I love that he asked her about her trip. He asked me several times over the summer about her being in Germany (I think he was thinking he would get a souvenier!! The World Language Class is with regular ed I believe and it should be awesome since he is really into Spanish and other languages.

I need to run so I can get ready for work. I hope all is well with all of
you at home. Talk to you soon,

J.


She wrote this at 5:12 am. She is awesome. We're very lucky, she totally understands him and I pray that this letter is a precursor to a great year and that I won't be using parts of it to write a nasty blog about her at some point! First week down, 49 to go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How Long Will This Go On? Suggestions and Comments PLEASE!

THE CHILD IS 5'5, 130 ODD LBS, LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY FROM BEING 11 YEARS OLD AND HE STILL WAKES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND GETS ME OUT OF BED TO COME AND SLEEP WITH HIM BECAUSE HE'S SCARED!!!!!!!!

WHAT THE HELL?

Monday, September 7, 2009

That Time of Year Again....



Yes, it's back to school time again! Yay! Yippee! Hoorah!...... Yay......

If I sound less than enthusiastic, it's because every year at this time, my guilts hit me like a brick wall when I realize time has run out, and I have to wonder what the hell I've been doing all this time he was free, and now he won't be... OH, I was working! Yeah, it sorta stinks that I had to put so much energy into figuring out who got to spend time with my child on his summer break, but such is life.

Now, he's gonna be at school all day, I'm gonna be workin' all day, and, well whatever. I'll quit complaining. I just think about all the things that could have been...zoo, Cedar Point, trips to the local lake/beach, trips to the museum that I planned but never took him to. Oh well, maybe next summer.

On an upbeat note, he seems very excited about going back, and keeps repeating his commercial pertaining to the subject. ""Blank" Elementary School is back, and bigger and better than ever! Coming September 8th!".

It's also so nice to think he's going to be with his teacher from last year. I know some say that kids should switch up teachers every year, but familiarity is good for Casey in every way. He loves her and trusts her and she really pulled a lot out of him last year. I think she's going to be pleasantly surprised to see how much more talkative and conversational he is this year. Hopefully, the gross stuff from my previous post won't rear it's ugly head in the classroom, but, she can handle that too. She probably won't believe how huge he's gotten over the summer either. I'm guessing at least 2 inches have been added to his already above average frame, as well as a few more pounds!

He's taking the bus, this year to school so can get into a better routine in the morn, and it gives me something to remind him to get ready for in the morning. We drove by school today and I showed him the route the bus would take to get him there. I showed him the door again where he went into last year. We've always done this little routine over the years, it seems to help.

And so, with his new cool red and black backpack (I picked it out, so I hope it's cool, 'cause he could care less), a snappy new outfit, and a good attitude, his first day of school should be great, especially since it's a half day, which I don't get. You know there will be pictures posted of course!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When Did My Kid get So GROSS?

Again, when did my kid get so gross? All these new things are starting to happen and I want to know why all the sudden like? Oh wait, puberty? He's not even 11 years old.... But I did discover just recently underarm hair as previously mentioned which disturbed me to no end so it could be.

I mean, when did it become okay to shout "I let out a fart!" on our bike ride while a woman is walking by, right in earshot. When did it become fun to lay in bed without one's pants on doing who knows what under the blankies? How is it suddenly fascinating and necessary to touch various parts of one's body and smell your finger afterwards, discreetly you think, but it's not. Why does one become deaf when picking one's nose out in public, total oblivious, or so I think, to my reprimands? Why would one feel it's okay to kinda push one's self against someone inappropriately during an innocent hug?

I know, I know, he has Autism, he's getting hormonal, expect it. I also know that these are things "Neuro-typical" boys do or want to do too, I think, but just have a conscience or a little voice in their head or something that tells them to not! Or at least, be discreet, please.

Where can I buy that voice? Can I inject a conscience into his brain? Anyone got a good sexuality book to suggest? Is it too late for a cocktail? It's 8:46pm, I think it's the perfect time for a cocktail!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here, Allow me to Set You Up for Failure......



As the parent of a child with Autism, one should always be prepared for any predictable event that comes your way, especially ones that you plan, especially ones that have been historically, horrific...and especially events which cause your child extreme sensory discomfort. Yes, one should always be prepared....

So, allow me if you will, to beat myself up, and in turn, I will allow you to beat me up in a likewise fashion! How many people do that? Usually folks write blogs to receive helpful and supportive comments from the readers but not today my friends! Oh no, please, not one supportive comment please, just rail on me, agree with me, let me have it.

I will now get down to the reasons you will all give me grief (and I want it, I really want it). I will do it in bullet point fashion as a story would be as montonous and long winded as this opening....

-I announce to Casey, at lunch, right before I plan to take him that he is getting his hair cut today.
-this is bad.
-this is bad because he:
a) hates haircuts
b) does much better if I can talk to him about things that he doesn't like to do but has to do for a few days ahead, maybe include a social story.
-As we're driving to the cheap hair cut joint, he tells me quite clearly "I'm very nervous about this haircut!" while breathing heavily and holding his tummy.
-I react not at all to this and say "Oh come on, you've done great the last couple of times we went to this one!"
-this is total disregard for his feelings, total...on top of the fact that he just found out it was happening!
-We walk in, and it's crowded, and it's hot and the chairs of full of potential starers, that's all I can think about are the stares we will recieve, not about how he's feeling. YOU SUCK!
-The girl that always has done well with him waves us in, telling us everyone there is waiting for someone getting their haircut. It won't be long....good, this girl leads us to believe she will be cutting his hair.
-He sits and looks at magazines, saying commercials about the ads loudly, I threaten him with the loss of a trip to Salvation Army, which begins a long line of threats.
-He looks nervous and he's sitting and I should have gotten him up and outside walking until it was time, walking is good, it's calming, not sitting amongst 5 people who have nothing to do but stare (and not one of them were reading or feigning interest in something else. THEY SUCK! I SUCK!)
-He passes gas loudly, probably nervous stomach since his mom threw him into this situation. I'm hoping they think it's a leather chair fart...why do I care what they think? More threats. Can a 10 year old boy hold in gas? Threats!
-When our turn comes up, the girl we like says she'll sign us in, but she's leaving and that ANN will do his cut. Ann looks nervous already and I should have said no then, I should have just picked up on her Aura if you will of stress and nerves, 'cause it was comin' his way. It was comin' his way like a match to a briquet heavily doused in lighter fluid.
-I didn't say no, we had waited and he needed a cut....
-He sat, he fussed, he squirmed, he called out he wished he was a girl (makes sense, girls don't necessarily have to have tickly over stimulating clippers used on their sensitive neck, 'course neither do boys really).
-My tension level rose with theirs and I began more threats, as I tried to hold his head where she needed it to be, getting more and more irritated with him..... if I had only done things differently......
-Ann worked efficiently, too efficiently, but faster the better I suppose.... he calls out "You're ga...." I was able to cut off the "y" at the end of "gay"....Ann was non the wiser.
-I've never seen someone so relieved although not visibly glad to have finished a haircut in their lives, and I'm talking ANN!
-Casey stands up, looking gorgeous, hair covered, flustered, and red cheeked. "Sorry" he says on his own to ANN. My heart breaks....

No Casey, I'm sorry, I'm sorry I set you up for failure despite 10 years of knowing better.... I can't promise, but I will try never to let it happen again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thoughts on My Thoughts

Clearly, I've confused and baffled all my readers with my thoughts. I suppose it's because some of my thoughts weren't clarified enough, like who they were specifically about. That can be a problem when one's blog is about one's son who has Autism, and you mention a change in underwear for instance. That is confusing to be sure. I have to say I got a certain guilty pleasure out of the comments I recieved here and on Facebook, considering their humorous nature, which sometimes was intentional, but often not. So, I feel it is my duty to clarify my thoughts, plus, it makes for yet another easy blog entry! That's two in a row, baby! (I've been following up a lot of my sentences with "baby", I don't know why, it just feels right)

(just to clarify further, because clarification is what I'm all about, baby, my original thoughts are marked with an asterisk, and my thought on my thought, or clarification, if you will, is italicized! Clear, baby?)

*underarm hair suddenly appearing...a real shocker
Yes, this was about Casey, I have had my own for quite sometime, although I do discover it occasionally which brings about feelings of surprise when I've forgotten to shave for awhile

*how can one get their boy to stop, well, touching themselves, unconsciously, or conciously out in public?
I know this is a "guy" thing, but most guys don't walk down the street with their hand clearly exploring their nether region. This is the point I'm trying to make. If they did, everything would be okey dokey.

*why haven't I ever attempted to teach Casey to cook so he doesn't have to grab a chip or cookie whenever he is in need of something? Seriously, because one time he took cold pizza out of the frig, on his own, placed it on a plate and put it in the microwave! He's got the potential to learn! What's wrong with me?
this is more than clear, I suck.....

*What's wrong with me in general?
I was hoping I'd get more comments addressing this one, but you all failed me, as I fail Casey daily...

*I promised his teacher we would go over specific lessons this summer. Did I? Barely.....
sigh, again, I suck....


*To stay on the pill or get off it, one girl's story......(that one would be all about me, probably not the proper forum here in this blog, but it's a thought I've been having)....
ya know, sometimes my male relatives read this, so, what was I thinking? Well, I'm not takin' it back now, it's out there for all to see, enjoy, and reflect on. Hopefully my 84 year old father-in-law will comment soon!

*we went to Chicago for the weekend and it was great and he was great....
I want share the photos but I don't want to bore you...I guess that's the chance you take every time you read my BLOG!

*working full-time sucks when there's a 3 week window between camp and school starting...
what more can I say, I think you can all tell how I feel about this thought....

*can I lose 20lbs by Oct. 10th?
NO!

*will any of his school clothes from last year fit and do they make elastic shorts and pants in men's sizes?
thanks to so many of you for telling me that there are indeed men's spandex pants and shorts, but could you tell me where to get them for God's Sake? Egads....

*a change in underwear style...
no, I have not joined the "thong nation" nor plan on it (sorry R.) Casey changed his underwear style thank you, and not to thongs.

*sudden and much welcomed return to watching the Pee Wee Herman show after a couple of months of watching Blue Clues and having to discuss several times why Steve had to go to college.....
this might show up later as a blog entry....

*his disdain for his daddy's well intended every other day work outs and how I suddenly have had to accompany them....that was my time dammit!
I didn't have to go last night after Bill read this, and that was my main goal in sharing this thought!

I got so many good responses on this original post that I'm beginning to think that all my posts will just be lists of thoughts...it couldn't be anymore dull than my full bodied posts, baby!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thoughts

Yet another huge gap of time in my blogging....I truely don't know why I do this, I love blogging. Guess I'm just busy or whatever. I think of things all the time and go "Oh, I should blog about that." but clearly I don't. So, I am going to jot down some of the thoughts I have that I think I should blog about. I'm not going to go into detail about them, just jot them down, then perhaps, refer to them later as fodder for future entries. Please leave your thoughts, on my thoughts!

*underarm hair suddenly appearing...a real shocker

*how can one get their boy to stop, well, touching themselves, unconsciously, or conciously out in public?

*why haven't I ever attempted to teach Casey to cook so he doesn't have to grab a chip or cookie whenever he is in need of something? Seriously, because one time he took cold pizza out of the frig, on his own, placed it on a plate and put it in the microwave! He's got the potential to learn! What's wrong with me?

*What's wrong with me in general?

*I promised his teacher we would go over specific lessons this summer. Did I? Barely.....

*To stay on the pill or get off it, one girl's story......(that one would be all about me, probably not the proper forum here in this blog, but it's a thought I've been having)....

*we went to Chicago for the weekend and it was great and he was great....

*working full-time sucks when there's a 3 week window between camp and school starting...

*can I lose 20lbs by Oct. 10th?

*will any of his school clothes from last year fit and do they make elastic shorts and pants in men's sizes?

*a change in underwear style...

*sudden and much welcomed return to watching the Pee Wee Herman show after a couple of months of watching Blue Clues and having to discuss several times why Steve had to go to college.....

*his disdain for his daddy's well intended every other day work outs and how I suddenly have had to accompany them....that was my time dammit!

...and so on. So you see, I have lots I could blab about, I just haven't and well, I need to get my shit together!
Thanks for listening!

*

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back By Popular Demand and This Summer in a Nutshell


....or so I'd like to think as much. My friend teased me in my own comments section no less, that the woman who wrote the "Julie & Julia" blog, now made even more famous by the wonderful movie by the same name that is out now, never missed a day of blogging. And I have missed, well, several. No way to get one's blog made into a movie she reminded me! Well, that whole thought is a bit moot, even if I wrote 4 entries a day! But, it does remind me how much I love my blog, and how neglectful of it I've been, if not in relation to the movie companies, but more in relation to my own sanity!

Many factors have contributed to this neglect. Summer in general has proven overly busy for me, us. I can't even remember if I ever mentioned this, recalling only my crappy attempt at poetry as the last thing I posted, but Casey has been going to a summer day camp for the second year. The camp is for kids 9 to 14 and 11 months (weird), who have any variety of disabilities, be they physical and/or mental.

Last year he was the youngest there, and seemed most of the kids were boys who were in there teens, likely at the 14 and 11 month mark, and Casey seemed really little next to a lot them. This year, they were all gone, replaced by more, but not so intimidating big boys, considering Casey seems to have grown about 4 inches since last summer and put on about 20lbs (gulp). There are also several young ladies of various ages, who Casey seems to reference more than any of his fellow male campers.

The counseling staff is made up of a group of college age kids, most going to school for education and special education degrees. One woman was a parapro for years which adds to that secure feeling I have when leaving him with the camp. He really seems to have clicked with them this year, giving them all "Toy Story" related nicknames.

They have done so much stuff, from water parks, to a trout farm of all things, to ceramics painting, to Chuck E. Cheeses. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they stay around the area and swim in the indoor rec center and have theme activities. Yesterday was "Hawaii Day" for instance. Casey came home with a grass skirt he had made out of yarn and strips of paper and a lay with his name in Hawaiin on it.

It's funny when I pick him up, he's very ready to go, as is apparant when I'm signing him out, chatting with the counselors, and he's already gotten his back pack and is getting into the car.

The conversation in the car on our way home is well, very limited. Not many details of the day are offered on his part, and at first I would dig, dig, dig, but it would only serve to agitate him. I finally wised up towards mid camp and just let him tell me what he wanted, considering it was a long day of activities and he just always seems burned out, but in a good way.

This could be taken as a sign that he's not enjoying it at all, which occured to me at one point early on, but, when he comes home and wants to see his schedule the camp so kindly supplied for each week, so he can see what's going on the next day, I have to think, things are going pretty well. I never get a fight in the morning, and last week, he was actually sad that it was Friday (unimaginable to me) because he didn't have camp all weekend! Guess Bill and I just aren't that fun!

So, as you can gather, the whole camp experience has been a success! Friday is our last day, and then we have 3 whole weeks to fill before going back to school, which poses many challenges. Namely, work for both Bill and I!

My mom is coming in to help out for several days next week, and then that Friday we're going on a family trip to Chicago which hopefully will be fun! But then 2 more weeks to follow! Oh well, I'll stress out when it comes I suppose, finding taking things day by day sometimes is best for my psyche!

I also haven't been posting due to my irrational and well, embarressing addiction to Farm Town, a stupid game on Facebook, where you maintain a virtual farm, while having friends be your "neighbors" who come over and "harvest" for you, and you for them. Your goal is to get to certain levels so you can buy new things for your farm ie houses, fences, ponds, rivers, etc.. I'm up to 27 and can buy rivers now.....boy, I've accomplished a lot this summer huh? My addiction is wearing down, although I still have in head that I want to reach level 34, the highest level. I don't know why, just do.

And, along with nightly bike rides, and weekend trips to Indy and trip to Kings Island, and blissful nothingness, the summer is slowly creeping by, and I'm loving it. The thought of school starting, although it will alleviate child care issues, is daunting and sad when I consider he is going to be a 6th grader.

Oh well, I'll just take that day by day too.......

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our Hill



The breeze blows the grass
that he's ripped from the top of our hill
Our bikes strewn below
The sky dark orange and blue with no sun or moon
between day and night
Skinny long clouds float by, tinged in aqua and gold
Cars headlights coming on, passing us on our hill
He wears his bright colored camp shirt, dotted with
the same pizza sauce thats on his cheek
as he rips that grass out of the hill
His sweet innocence glowing in the dimming day
We sit quietly, taking in summers free show on our hill
He asks a question, that is totally relevent
Does it get much better than this, I ask myself
Time passes unnoticed, happily, peacefully
Our arms grow goosebumps as the breeze cools us
Reminding us night has come
And without a word, we carefully trek down
with the satisfaction of drinking in the passing of
a summer dusk
on our hill

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

He's Growing Up...sniff sniff......

As mentioned in a previous post, Casey's tastes don't often reflect those of a "typical" 10 year old. At the time I wrote that one, he was really into Barney of all things again, and the Wiggles. Currently, he is really gotten back into Blue's Clues, which I have to confess is fine with me, I always thought Steve was kinda cute. Watching them now, I have to say that honestly, although the show was clearly produced with young children in mind, it's really not all that "babyish". Steve actually talks straight to the camera, and he talks normally, not in a weird sing songy way (ie Barney), and they teach pretty good, if not basic lessons in English, math, science, and even history sometimes.

I bring this up because most 10 year olds wouldn't be caught dead watching Blue's Clues. No way! I would fathom to guess some 7 or 8 years olds wouldn't even put in such a video. So, was I wrong when I assumed Casey would enjoy a show put on at our local library by a woman called "The Music Lady", which is geared for toddlers and young children? He likes Blue's Clues, he probably would still like "The Music Lady".

We'd seen her about 2 years ago, and Casey LOVED her then. He got up and danced, sang, and even joined into a follow the leader sort of song around the auditorium, even then towering over the children that were at the time a year or two younger than him. He blended in, a bit. When I told him "The Music Lady" would be performing, and asked if he would want to go see her, he answered yes, less than enthusiastically. That should have been my first clue....

When we arrived, we found the performance starting in a small meeting room (well, it seemed small considering the 25 or so little ones sitting on the floor with all their parents sitting in chairs behind. The first time we saw her, it was in an auditorium, roomy, airy, good acoustics, less crowded.

As mentioned, the kids, all ranging from ages of 1 to 6, were sitting in front of her on the floor. I asked Case if he wanted to sit with them and he said no quickly, and I sensed embarrasment when I asked him. I wasn't used to this, and the light started to flicker in my brain, "What was I doing to this boy?".

So, we sat in the back row of chairs, behind the kids, behind the parents. The Music Lady began her performance, and I'm sitting there with a shit-eatin' grin, enjoying her goofy yet lovable deameanor with the kids. She started singing and I immediately started clapping along, not really thinking and looked over at Casey. He was sitting, rubbing his face and his eyes. He quickly looked at me and, I believe now, feigned interest for my sack and sort of started clapping.

This continued, and when she told everyone to stand up so we could do "Ring Around the Rosey" and "Motor Boat", the truth hit me like a wet dishrag! He was too old for this, physically, and mentally! I tried him out, grabbing his hands to see if just maybe he wanted to participate, and he quickly pulled his hands away, and asked if we could go look at the videos in the library. I gave in, respectful of his boredom, and lead him out.

I stood behind him as he pulled out each video, thinking about my faux pas. Why would I bring a 5'4, ten year old to a show clearly for little ones?

Well, he likes Blue's Clues, and that's on the same level, I thought.

Maybe I should have picked up on his sudden awareness of, I don't know, wanting to look his age(?) when that same morning he didn't want to bring his Blue's Clues sleeping bag to camp for "Camping Out" Day. He chose a more mature sleeping bag with a non descript rocket ship on it.

So, this new phenomena of almost hiding his immature likings is throwing me for a loop, in good and bad ways. In terms of bad, it just makes me sad that the days of going to such shows are over. I loved taking him to perfomances like this, but if he's bored or uncomfortable, then I guess I just need to go rent a baby. As for good, well, it is good that he is aware of how he looks to some extent, maybe wanting to blend in with his peers, not wanting to be associated with little kids despite his secret video choices.

Yet another sign of his growing up, and in way, a typical growing up thing to go through. I mean, did I tell people I secretly brushed my Barbie's hair till I was thirteen?.....Wait, I didn't write that did I?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Can't ya just have fun?



Casey and I popped over to the local carnival last night, a bit spur of the moment. We had planned to go swimming indoors, despite his doing so at camp yesterday and the rain that had sorta stirred me away from going to the carnival had actually disappeared. The sky was clear and the air was noticeably dryer and cooler. Who could resist...

We had a nice time. He suddenly wanted to go on more rides than he did last year, and he wanted to play the hokey games! I brought a 20 dollar bill, assuming we would buy a treat and listen to music after walking around, as we always have in years past. This sudden interest in all the things carnival was new, interesting, and frustrating since I was an idiot and didn't pull more out of the ATM.

I managed to have enough for us to get a funnel cake, go on the old fashioned cars, and play one game which he lost of course 'CAUSE THEY' RE RIGGED I TELL YA!!!

Sorry... Anyway, as we walked I couldn't help but get that sad, regretful feeling about all the kids that looked around Casey's age strolling the grounds in packs, laughing, teasing the opposite sex, going on the big rides, having the times of their lives. And here's Casey, walking around with his boring mother.


I began to resent these kids, resent their normalcy. I began to wonder if Casey would ever have friends to walk around a carnival with sans supervision. Could he ever walk around a carnival sans supervision? Will he ever experience life as it should be for a kid, fun, free, an adventure of sorts?

Basking in my "feeling sorry for myself" attitude like a corn dog in hot grease, we passed a mom pushing her son in a wheelchair. The boy was in his teens and looked like he might have severe cerebral palsy. His limbs were crooked and very uncomfortable looking, tight. His neck was turned so that his head was positioned to the side. Your heart would go out immediately if you saw him.

But, he was smiling and eating cotton candy. He looked happy despite his obvious disability and discomfort. He was simply enjoying the carnival. I looked over at the tall, strapping boy lopping along side of me and thought "He suddenly wanted to go on more rides than he did last year, and he wanted to play the hokey games!"

Fun is in the eye of the beholder I guess......and clearly, my boy and the cotton candy muncher weren't seeing what I was seeing....

At that, I told myself "Get over it!".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Comedy of Errors, pre Casey's Return....

Well, Mr. Casey D. has returned to Motown after a fabulous week in Indy! He had a great time from all accounts (non of which of course were told to me by the good time boy himself). His Aunts Sue and Cheryl split up the week, and both showed him a rockin' good time. As mentioned in a recent blog entry, I don't think he really missed me at all but I guess that's a good thing.

My dear sisters offered to bring him home Sunday afternoon and offered to stay and hang out for a day too. I accepted, not wanting to make that long drive again in the same week! Plus, I was a little hungover from a wedding we attended on Saturday...Hey, I don't get out much okay!

So, Sunday, Father's day, started out okay. No Casey made it seem a little less fatherly for Bill to be celebrating. However his own parents did come over so he could celebrate his Pop (it's really only fair, Ernie (Bill's Dad) has been a father far longer than Bill and deserves some recognition).

We cleaned and prepared and I went to the store to buy some snackies to make the in-laws visit fun. But when I got home, Bill quickly lead me out to the backyard in a panicked fashion. Ricky, our youngest and most unliked at times feline, had made his way to the top of a tree in our backyard!

Ahhhhhh, funny, funny.....So funny...........

And so, that was around 2pm. The In-laws were on there way, stuff still needed to be done, and the cat was stuck in the tree!

Long story long, after many failed attempts at trying to get this idiot down, and much concern on the part of my in-laws and ourselves, making it almost unfathomable for me to be a fab hostess like I usually am, we gave up around 2 am. It was so sad, he meowed and meowed but nothing was bringing him down, not even the opened can of salmon we left high as we could on a branch. I had called the fire department and as I told my story, the operator cut me off, and said they will not come and that I needed to put a can of cat food at the bottom of the tree and he would come down eventually? Really? A cat can smell cat food from 40 ft? Really?........That damn salmon that I put high up probably didn't even make it's way to his nostrils!

On top of all this drama, my sisters who were bringing Casey back never arrived at the time we thought they would. Freaking out, I called, to get both their answering services on their cells! What the....? Suddenly Cheryl called to tell me Casey had puked all over Sue's pillow she had brought in the back seat and they were taking care of things, not to worry! Yeah, okay....

They finally arrived around midnight, and a sick but awake Casey seemed very glad to see us! He was also excited to see his new room. What then followed was about 6 trips to the toilet for not puking, but the other end's activities. So, between wondering if my little cat was falling off a branch out in the dark of night getting eaten by a raccoon and my son's mysterious and sudden onset bowel activity, non of us got much sleep!

Things got better the next day. Casey seemed to feel okay, despite more bathroom trips (finally remedied by some Immodium), I had to have our friend come with his lumberjack gear and get the cat out of the tree. He had made it through the night miraculously, but somehow got even higher! Kevin, our cat lifesaver, heroically made it up the tree and got the little ass down, risking life and some limbs (of my tree) to save the little jerk......(he's really up there, just look at our friend and then go up and to the left)

We later went and had Greek, made our way through IKEA, had some cinnamon rolls and coffee, drank some booze, watched the "Bacherlorette" (the sister's idea, not mine) and had a great time despite all the crap the had occurred! They left this morning before I hauled Case off to his first day of camp, which is another blog entry entirely....and I was sad. I miss them already......

If you don't have a sister, you really should get some....but not cats....don't bother........

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Promise Kept....

For the last two years, I have promised Casey that I was going to paint his room red (per his choice) every time he goes to hang out with the family in Indiana. Yep, that's what I promised...

So the first year, the time just got away from me and I just never quite got the old paintbrush out, and much to the disappointment of Casey, he came home to the same icky faded green walls and teddy bear border he'd known since he was born.

The next time he was away, promises were once again made. Well, in all fairness, I got the teddy bear border down. I tearfully ripped down the last vestiges of Casey's babyhood, recalling the day when, bulging with pregnancy, my sister Sue and I put that border up, wondering at the cuteness of it when we were done. It was sad, but change is good. The border was down but the green wasn't. Sadly, Casey was so wanting me to do something to his room that just this tiny change was much appreciated! In other words, he took what he could get! What a good mom.....

Considering his latest visit was to last a week, I told myself that I HAD TO PAINT HIS ROOM. Had to... I really had no excuse.


The red was still on my mind since that's what I promised him it would be, but the more I thought about it, red is well, stimulating. Actually, I've read it makes one hungry, but to me it's a busy hue, and I had to wonder if that would be a good idea for a room in which one had to go to sleep at night. Considering the fact that we have to give the boy Melatonin sometimes just to settle him down to go to sleep, red might not be the all around best choice. But I did promise. Well, four walls offers opportunity for creativity, so I chose to paint one and half walls "California Ruby" red, and the other two and a half "Almond Toast". Breaking up the red with a calmer, earthy tone seemed to make sense.

I started on Tuesday, and as of today, I have all the walls done, with two needing touching up/second coat perhaps. So I'm doing good. He's coming home tomorrow and I'm anxious to try and run out and get him a new bedspread to go with the room's new "big boy" look. I'm quite pleased with the results, and I hope he will be too, 'cause I'm not doing this for another 10 years!

It's still a little strange to pass by and not see that nursery color. I've sorta saved a little piece of those days though! I was happy to discover that at one point in his baby days I tried to start a measuring chart of sorts on his door, and it looks like I only got around to doing so twice, but it's there, and it's priceless. I can still see the green, and I can physically see how little he once was.....Sorry Casey, I won't be painting that!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

School's Out!

Casey is out of school as of last week. His last day was Thursday and it was really strange. There was no end of year party that the parents were invited to. They did have a huge bowling party with some other classes that Tuesday before but parents weren't invited to that either. I popped in anyway to see what was happening and say good bye to the teachers.

He was having a great time. The alley was set up like Midnight Bowling with dark lights and fluorescent stuff on the walls, rock music blaring. I was standing chatting with his teacher when he suddenly walked up and put his arm around her and did his little lovely smelling thing to her cheek. Yes, I was jealous, I was. But I'm glad he loves her so much. On the last day, his teacher came out to meet me when I dropped him off to let me know that she will officially be his teacher again next year! I was elated, but it got better. The teacher Casey had in 4th grade is coming over to take the other AI teacher's place and he loves her too!!!!! It's going to be teacher heaven next year and I am elated! I told Casey about it but I think it's too far into the future for him to absorb yet, but not me!

He made mention a few times the weekend after that he was going to miss Ms. M.. When I asked him why, he replied "She adores me!". Like I don't. Yes I was jealous.... Anyway, it's cool that he wasn't that thrilled to leave school, it may make going back for 6th grade that much easier.

Casey is now with his Auntie Cheryl in Indy, being spoiled and being kept extremely busy. I don't think he misses me...yes, I am jealous...but that's okay because he's having a great time and I am able to work without worrying about him. He often talks of living in Indy, and I think he thinks his life would be like it is on summer break all the time. Trips to the Children's Museum, lots of fast food, fun, frivolity, sweet Aunts who hardly ever get mad at him. Since it probably won't ever happen, at least not in the near future, I'll let him live the dream....

I have personally felt a little like I'm on vacation, despite working. As any parent knows, not having to be "on" all the time is so nice. Not having to keep someone busy, entertained, worrying about someone's safety, feeling guilty if you aren't doing all those things every minute, that's a vacation in it's simplest form, for me at least.

We're going to a wedding Saturday night, and out to see a movie Friday night, another movie with my dear friend tommorow...nice. I have been working out, and cleaning, and organizing.

Somehow though, there's always a little emptiness, missing little sounds, rather cute or annoying, walking by a room to see what someone is doing and no one is there. It's weird. I enjoy my time, but I know by Sunday, I'll be havin' a Casey "jones" and won't be able to wait to hug his chubby little self!

Separation does make the heart grow fonder, at least mine!

Monday, June 1, 2009

This and That

First off, for all you moms and dads who have little ones with Autism read this because I think it could really give you a little hope despite things you are or aren't doing for your kiddo.

Go, read it, and then come back, I'll wait...tra la la la!....Cat! Get off the sink! Casey, don't chew on that! Stop! ugh.....

Okay, sigh.....oh sorry, you're back...yeah, so anyway, did that make ya feel good? I have to atest to it, Casey seems to get better every year, speech wise, independence, how he carries himself, all that. He still has a ways to go, but he's come so far, and I believe that most of it is attributed to age, experience, maturing. We have given him vitamins, lots of vitamins, tried the diet, done some therapies, mostly at school, and lots of love, but age has been the biggest "magic bullet" I believe. So, despite all the things that are yet to come, there have been so many things that have gone away, thank GOD!

Having said that, with age has come anxiety for Case. He's been experiencing it mostly in the form of saying he's hearing voices in his head, and allowing them to drive him to the point of crying. Another anxiety I think I've mentioned before was his problem with the year 2009, he hates it for some reason. Of course, he hated Saturdays for about a 6 month period, and he's over that now thank God again (he actually said to himself in the toilet at the library last Saturday "I used to hate Saturdays but now I think they're really cool"! Supports the age issue above I think, our attempts never helped, he got over it on his own for sure!) These are the two anxieties that have stood out.

So, we took him to a doctor here who I had heard about for years, all good things. I have known of her since he was around 3, and known a good many parents who have taken there kids there. She's a medical doctor, I'm done with going to a DAN focused doctor. The appointment was interesting, and long story short, she gave me two options for dealing with Casey's Autism as a whole: either try meds, or explore and stick to biomed with her support.

I really respected her at the point she said with no hesitation that in all her years of treating kids with Autism, biomed or otherwise that she has never "cured" one, nor has she seen a child who has been cured. I respected her even more when she said she didn't look down upon parents who chose the medication route over biomed. Biomed is a huge commitement and she understands that. And with that, she prescribed Wellbutrin and told me to make an appointment in 6 weeks after trying the Wellbutrin, and we'll let her know how that goes and if we want to persue the biomed stuff.

Well, it's been over 3 weeks since then, and I still have not tried the Wellbutrin. I immediately got home and started reading about it online, and honestly, I can't find anything good about it pertaining to Autism, nothing. If you have something to offer, please do so. Plus all the stuff that it can cause, including thoughts of suicide, really frighten me. So, other than a really good fish oil supplement that I found that she thought he could benefit from for his skin, I have given him nothing.

On another note, allow me to brag for a moment 'cause lets be honest, we don't get to brag as much as typical parents.

This morning, we were watching the news over breakfast, his choice, and they mentioned the date March 17th as the day of something happening. He goes "They said March 17th!" and I said "Yeah?" wondering what significance it held for him. He answered, "That was a Tuesday!". Really? I walked over to the calendar, and indeed it was. I started spouting off dates, one after the other, to which he would reply the exact day it fell on with no hesitation! I was a little breathless honestly, I really was not aware of this skill he has (yeah, it's a splinter skill, whatever, it's a skill and it's cool), and I couldn't stop asking him different days. He was never wrong on one, nor did he have to think more than a moment to answer. Wowzer! Do your kids have such skills? I bet they do, please share in the comments section if you can.

I think I was so surprised about this because he hasn't really displayed a skill like this since he was little and put the US and ABC puzzle together in minutes and he was only 2 or 3 years old. Also, his math skills are so awful, at least on paper and trying to do homework, that I have to wonder if he is doing this mathematically or does he literally have the calendar page memorized in his head? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.

One more thing, I have been reading an awesome book called "A Regular Guy-Growing Up with Autism" by Laura Shumaker. You really must read it. I have to confess, I don't read much more than stuff on the internet and magazine articles, so it says a lot that I have commited to this book. It's so interesting, relatable, honest, funny, sad, all that. I like it because for the first half, I could relate, as Mrs. Shumaker's son is growing up, but now I'm at the point of learning, as she recalls his years from around 13 on. I can't wait to find out what he was like as a teen and now. Please, please, please read it. You won't regret it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Facebook is my Friend

Almost a month! Almost a whole month it has been since I have last blogged! Shame on me.

It's not like I had nothing to blog about. On the contrary, much has happened the last 4 weeks that would have made great fodder for a number of entries. But alas, not a one has has made it's way here.

I haven't gotten any big requests for an entry, so I don't think I've dissappointed anyone, so that's good. My 12 followers haven't started a petition to get me to do another entry, so that makes me feel like no when really gives a .....

But like I always say, I blog for myself, and the only one I should care about disappointing ismyself! Oddly, even I'm not that bummed. I think it's only a genuine blog when one writes when they want to write and from the heart. So my heart hasn't been into it lately.

I have for some reason unbeknownst to me been capitvated by Facebook. I spend a lot of time there. It's cool, I've reunited if you will with some friends and family that I haven't seen or talked to in years, so there's that. But my fascination with checking in to see status updates and to see if someone has commented on my own is really sorta weird for me.

At one point I just quit Facebook, didn't tell anyone, just did it, my apparant addiction startled me so. I had to be free, I had to stop checking to see if someone found my witty status remarks funny, I had to stop seeing who was online so I could chat them up even though they probably didn't want to talk to me, I HAD TO STOP!

My friends were surprised and razzed me about it. And within a week, I couldn't stand it any longer and got back on. The only advantage to doing that whole martyrlike sacraficial act was that I was able to quietly ditch a person who I had accepted as a "friend".

He had been my manager years ago at one of my first jobs, and at the time, there was a group of us that partied together, and I always wondered if he had a crush on me. I mean, he did buy me all the Cadbury Creme Eggs that were marked down after Easter in our store. I think that says "crush" right there. And although I took and probably ate them all, we never "hooked" up so to speak. But alas, he found me on Facebook, and we reunited.

It was good to hear from him, but, he would send these daily queer heart things and happy faces and talk about Nascar and that was just about it for me, and so, I ditched him. I quietly ditched him. I figured after a week of me not posting, he'd think I fell off the face of the earth. Facebook let's you do that. I haven't be defriended yet that I know of but it could happen and I check periodically. If only real life could be that easy!

And so, that's what my life has been lately, in this order: Casey, Bill, cats, work, housecleaning, trying to lose weight for the weddings coming up this summer, Facebook, email, fish. Sad huh?

I haven't even been reading other's blog. I take that back, I have been reading the Queen of Autism blogging, Kristina Chew, formerly Autism Vox. But then, she's my Facebook friend, and she posts when she blogs, so that way, I go and read, I don't have to seek things out.

Facebook is just making things too easy. Reunions with people I haven't thought about for years, getting rid of people after I've met them, finding immediate approval about my status updates, reading blogs without seeking them out. I couldn't do this without Facebook. I love Facebook!

I gotta go and post that I blogged now, on Facebook.......

Hey, come over and look me up, Bonnie Stonebraker Davis. But don't you dare defriend me! http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/profile.php?id=1174800152