Friday, August 31, 2012

Meltdown vs Tantrum

One of the biggest issues I deal with on a daily is behavior. I know all parents do but discipline with a kid on the spectrum is a smidge more stressful.  For all. Including the dog.

Many folks may think a screaming hissy fit is just a bratty kid having a tantrum.   OK all the autism parents, let's all have a collective laugh because we sooo know it is not.  Hahahahahahahahaha!   For when my son has hit meltdown stage, fire in the hole!!!!!  Nothing can be said or done to talk the the boy off the ledge.  Not even his beloved fries.

You see a tantrum has a defined want. Whereas a meltdown is a weather front that just has to run its course.  Now like any parent, I can see potential triggers.  I have a defend and distract approach. Circle the wagons or get the heck out of Dodge.  If this doesn't work, well no need to sound the alarm.  My son's screams will be warning enough to the surrounding counties.

This is not to say I just let him go.  The 80's band Tears for Fears had it right with that song of theirs "Shout" (come on sing it with me.  Shout! Shout! Let it all out!  These are the things I can do without! Come on now! I'm talking to you come on!)   Oh I feel the need to tease my hair up big and spray it with Aqua Net.  Pink can of course. Whoops! Slightly off tangent. Anyways, sometimes he just has to scream it out. Lately he is accepting going to his room to do so.  This is big improvement from kicking holes in the walls. (*fist bump* to all the parents who keep spakle and wall patches on hand.  HOLLA!)

  Like knowing his triggers, I just know sometimes I just have to let him get all his anger out.   This is also combined sometimes with being so emotionally spent at that moment where I just throw my hands up and wish someone would send me to my room.   Please Mom!  Come over and ground me!

Then he finally asks for a tissue.  Wipes his face and I starting thinking maybe the storm has finally passed.   Plus hope like hell he's not just recharging for round two.  By then I'm wondering how much hearing I have since lost since becoming a mom or if one can have a seizure based on listening to so much screaming from their own child.  How many grey hairs have I gotten?  How is it I cannot bring the comfort my child needs to him?

And lastly, when is Daddy coming home?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now on Facebook!!!!!

Hey all!  This blogging stuff is all so very new to me but by popular demand Autism with a side of fries is now on Facebook!  Go "like" it to keep up on latest blog posts and doings at French Fry Inc.

School?!?!?!? Where are you?!?!?!?

Back to school can not come soon enough in this house.  On September 5th, the beautiful sight of my kid on a bright yellow bus driving away from the house will be glorious.  I love the kiddo but dude I am DONE with being "Julie the cruise director" for his entertainment.

Kiddo does not have siblings.  Well there is the dog but since my medical insurance won't cover him, I guess he doesn't count.  Don't tell him. He'll get a complex. Anyway, I don't have those instant playmates for the lad.  It really took till this 8th year where he not only wanted to see other kids but he actually could verbally express it.  It's pretty huge.

So I organize the "play date"  which is dating for moms in the burbs.   I'm not sure which one of us is the wing man but I must say he and I do make a good team.  Seriously folks, the kiddo and I are a darned good tootin' time.  It's nerve racking.   Let's face it.  He can get along with the other kid but if the moms don't click, well... And since his social skills aren't the most appropriate at times, it can get ugly, fast.  When it works it's like angels singing on a cloud passing out margaritas!  Whoohoo!

Plus this poor kid, he may not have the best verbal skills in the world but the look on his face says it all sometimes.   I know he's tired of looking at my face.  He needs his neat ordered scheduled day of school time.   Where the ringing of the bell for the next period is a comforting sound to him.   The neurotypical kids might resent every minute of the school day planned out of him but my boy LOVES it.  

This has been the summer of "and then?".  I swear he would love to have his life fully scheduled till he is 72.  Or this could just be how he plays me for another order of fries.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pay it forward was a really crappy movie.

But dammit if it's not the mantra to this autism mom.  We started this journey when my kiddo was about 22 months old. He's 8 now.  It that time, we've have gotten A LOT of advice.  Believe it or not, some of it was actually helpful!   (except that early walker, late talker bs.  From his doctor no less. Geez let's just blow up that already for the nonsense that it is).

Yesterday I was asked to share a day of my life as a autism parent by a local radio station. (read it here if you are curious. Hell yeah I'm pimping this out.  It was beyond cool to do it! An amazing thing happened.  Perfect strangers contacted me and thanked me for it.  Another parent just sent me an email asking me where we take our kid to therapy.  If the school gives us trouble for services etc.  And here I am passing on what I know.

I've become the Circle of Life y'all!!  Cue the music!!!  I can't pick up my kid over my head.   He's way to heavy now. But you know what I mean.

And then these awesome friends I have started sharing it on their Facebook pages and their friends started giving it props.  Then it got shared again!  I can't even begin to describe how incredible that felt. It was amazing.  

So whatever you do, pay it forward.  Trust me, what comes back to you makes you feel so uplifted and kind of like a rock star. 

We live in mortal danger!

Here I am.  Wondering what direction to take this blog in and the kiddo decides he needs to press the "test" button on the Carbon Monoxide detector for the 783rd time.  Which makes the most god awful high pitched beep that scares the piss out of the dog. (warning, I cuss like a sailor on shore leave). Ive had enough and have removed it for the time being.  If I never post again on here assume that I have been overcome by fumes and have passed out on my keyboard.

OK I probably won't but this is an excellent example of what I deal with everyday.  You've seen Groundhog Day right?  (Spoiler alert if you haven't.  The same thing happens to the guy every day till he gets it right.  Don't complain I ruined it for you.  That movie has been out for years). That is my life with the kiddo.  8 years of the same thing, day in, day out. My son has the ability to find what button to push to drive me and my poor dog over the edge.  It's his super power. Five minutes in a room.  That boy will know exactly what sound,behavior or whatchamacallit to make you loose your effing mind.  The parents of kids with autism are nodding right now. Fist bump folks!  

Once that boy obsesses, he could power a small city with his passion. 
Not another autism blog!

Let's get a few things on the table.  I am not a writer.  At all.  I suck at grammar and spelling and you better thank your lucky stars I'm typing this. My handwriting is abysmal. 

I have done two things really well.  One, I picked an awesome husband. Two, we made the best kid on earth. Handsome too. We also made one that is on the autism spectrum and here I plan to write about that.  

When you have a kid with autism, you really have a whole household with autism.  The rules change dramatically. (and often without warning).  Now I don't plan on addressing the how's and whys of it. Although that does interest me and I may.  Hey, my blog, my rules.  Look at me switching them up like my kid or something. :-). Nor do I want to make this a Debbie Downer my life is the pits.  (I'll give you all fair warning if it's a pity party I'm inviting you to and you can just chose to skip it) 

I tend to be snarky and rather flip.  About autism, life, marriage etc... It's just what I do.  I'd rather be laughing than crying and if I can be cracking the jokes first, all the better. 

I just know one thing, life with my son is NEVER boring.  Often funny.  And frustrating. And repetitive. And challenging. And messy and repetitive.  (oh see what I did there? ha! I am funny) 

So I will try to share that with you all. To show you what life with autism and a side of fries can be life.  If there is one thing the kiddo has taught me, fries go with anything.