Saturday, February 26, 2011

Being The Friend of a Family Dealing with Autism | Healthmad

Being The Friend of a Family Dealing with Autism | Healthmad

Here's a quick look at Autism and how to not be a creep to the parents. I was inspired to write this after some recent garbage from a family friend. It's hard for people who don't know or understand the quirks of a family dealing with a condition that has no clear lines. I hope you will enjoy the article, be able to take something away from it, and maybe share it with others.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who blames the gun?

"The love of a child, is the love that carries you forward"

You often hear people playing the blame game, judging from their armchairs, or thinking they would have handled what ever far better. People are quick to say that if we get rid of guns there would be less murders. Or my favorite is that video games are to blame for kids growing up to be mass murders. 

I was reading a news story about a man who killed his twin infants. They were just 5 weeks old. Their mother had left them in his care to go to work. They were not living together and he had a shady violent history. 

I made the mistake of reading the comments. 

Mom had known that dad was a drinker with violent leanings. This means she should have some how known he would kill the kids. She should have defied the law and the custody papers. And because of his actions, she should be equally blamed for the death of her kids, if not carry the total weight of it.

*blink blink* Really?  I get that I would have tried to find another sitter. I get that there may (heavy on the may) have been a way to prevent him from seeing the kids alone. I get that there was issues. I don't see how that means she caused their deaths. Do people really think she doesn't beat herself up enough over this and the choices she made?

No gun can fire without human help. It must be left unlocked for a child to find it and kill their best friend. It has to be bought, loaded and carried to some place to be used to rob and kill. It is not the gun that kills.

It is not a video game, TV show, book, song or a movie that causes children to become off centered. Parents are the ones who buy or allow their children to watch, read or play the items. If they don't offset the lessons in them with lessons of right and wrong, then they are allowing the potential for bad things to happen. But at some point everyone must be responsible for their own actions no matter what they watched on TV when they were kids.

A parent should use care when leaving their children with someone. A parent should put the welfare of their children first. BUT the reality is that if they are at work and the child's other parent commits a crime, it is not their fault. What they do about it, how they handle it, and what they do in the future is what they are responsible for.
The parent that comes home from work and finds the baby in pain but doesn't call 911, they deserve to be held accountable. If the boyfriend said that they feel like harming a child, but the girlfriend sends the baby with him anyway, she deserves to be held responsible. If you hand the drunk the keys knowing he has downed a fifth... You all get what I'm sayin'

We can never really know if we would have done better, if there really was warning signs, or if there was really something that could have prevented the tragedy. We are not the judge, jury, or all the perfect ourselves who are we to try and say? What we can do is learn from it, raise our kids right, and hope we don't screw up as badly.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

One person's junk...

"Give of yourself and you give a gift to yourself"

I am "poor" but only in money and things. Many times friends and strangers who have helped my family through. They give their junk, their time, their kindness, and even their money. I can't re-pay them in kind but I can honor their gifts by returning the favor to some one else in need.

Too many people have no one to pick them up when they are down. They aren't looking for hand outs, just a hand up. So that's what I try to do when I can. I know what it's like and that understanding is why I know that even a set of clothes for your little boy can mean tons.

So how does one go about helping others when there isn't much going into the family budget? If you haven't used it in 6 months, if you don't like it, if you don't need it, or if it doesn't fit anyone.... find it a new home. There are places you can drop off your "junk" like the Salvation Army. Or you can meet specific people's needs with groups like that allows you to offer your stuff and even find new "junk" for your own home. 

We clean our cupboards out three times a year. What we haven't, can't, or won't use is given to the homeless that live near by. You can give it to your local food pantry. There is always a need there and it has grown to a constant battle to meet the demand.

Want to teach your children a good lesson? Twice a year, have them clean out their toys. Anything they have out grown, don't use , don't like... donate. Have them deliver the donations. Talk to them about sharing and giving even when you don't have a lot. 

"If you have enough, then there is always room to share."

In sharing what you can, not only are you helping another person but the Earth. I have seen people put perfectly good, well working items to the curb to end up in a land fill. It breaks my heart for so many reason. Think of the little girl who could play and love that dress up table that your little girl out grew a year ago. Think of how long it will rot and poison the environment in a land fill.

The biggest payout to giving your "junk" to someone else, is that you will feel good about it. You will know that you are helping make the world better on many levels. You will know that you are making someone's personal world brighter. You will be doing the right thing.

I am thankful for every gift I have been given,
~time, friendship, clothes, food, or money~
I vow to honor those gifts in the trues way 
I am able.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Special Manners 101 - No two alike...

When you are someone with disabilities or are the caregiver of one, you learn quickly a few simple facts. Not everyone understands simple common courtesies. So as we blog and I think of things I'll include them here. I would love to hear your thoughts and solutions as well.

Special Manners #100: 

Don't assume you know everything about this disability because you know somebody, who knows somebody who has this disability. You may even have a close friend or a family member dealing with it, but you still don't know it all.

Just like typical children, no two disabled or special needs kids are totally alike. I know Meg's autism. I know her quirks, sensitivities, and needs. I have several friends with children that have autism. I know some of the traits. We compare notes on what works and what doesn't but our children are very different.

Good meaning (or not) family and friends may not see your child as the special and unique individuals that they are. They may also see "nothing wrong" with your child if they can't see the disability. When they talk about your child they may even tell others that there isn't anything wrong. That can create a mess. I understand that not seeing my son have a seizure makes it hard to understand what we go through with him. On the other hand it doesn't make it not real. 

The Manner: Don't think you know all there is to know about someone's life, disability, or struggle. Be accepting and open. Follow their lead, not your own idea of how things should go while keeping in mind that not everyone even needs you to pay them any special way and others may need you to adjust to them.