Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Letter For A Child With Autism.

***This a repost of something that is floating around on FaceBook. I don't know where it came from and would like to so I can give proper credit. If you know please make sure to comment below. If there is a link to the original post please include it. Thank you.***

To my child/ren with Autism.

I am sorry.

I’m sorry that it took me so long to understand that your brain works differently. I’m sorry I didn’t get it. I’m sorry I grew frustrated with you so much and had a short fuse when you were only acting out what your physical body needed to stop from hurting or feeling uncomfortable at that given moment. 
I’m sorry you spent your formative years believing...... you were not good enough, or stupid, as you so often would tell me that you were. I’m sorry I did not realize just how amazing your gifts are, and how sweet and loving your spirit is. I’m sorry I did not provide the right resources for you sooner, though I know you chose me as your mom for a reason and we are walking this journey together.

Please forgive me.

Forgive me for all the times I disciplined you and thought you knew better. You didn’t. Forgive me for putting you in situations you were not equipped to handle. Forgive me for being inconsistent with rules and messages, as if things aren’t confusing enough in your world. Forgive me for all the times I wanted to give up.

Thank you.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for accepting me as your caregiver, your teacher, your guide. Thank you for all the gifts you bring into my life every day. Thank you for inspiring me to rise above my perceived circumstances and start to help others. I would not be following my heart’s song without you. Thank you for not giving up on ME. Thank you for trusting that everything is working out exactly as it’s supposed to.

I love you.

I love you exactly as you are, today, in this moment. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed or forgiven. You are all a mother could ask for. I will love you no matter where this journey takes us. All you have to do is keep being you and keep your heart open. ♥

Love, Mum

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Special Manners 101: We all get worn out

I am under half way through 2 months of extra appointments, endless phone calls, and unwinding red tape. I'm not sure what is going to pop up after the end of February and I don't have the energy to think about it. I am already beat. Someone asked me how my day was. I told them that it was good because the fact that they asked on a Sunday meant no doctors could ruin it.

Let me fill you in a bit. My son sees therapists, a regular doctor. a neurologist, a dietician and a muscular specialist all the time. We average about 2-3 appointments for him a month besides the three therapies a week. Until the doctors find something else to look into. We are looking at the mobility folks, the eye specialist, the ENT, a sleep doctor and study, new braces which require a casting and I can't remember the rest right now. This all with in the first 3 months of this year. I also have a medically fragile husband, an autistic daughter with 3 therapies a week, a fairly above average almost teen and my medically interesting self that all have our own issues.

Then there is insurance issues that need to be dealt with, schooling to be done, money to be earned, laundry to be folded..... all the normal stuff and then some. For every specialist there is a packet of paper work, tests to go through and the stress of going through it all. There is the lack of sleep from pain. If The Boy can't sleep, than mom doesn't sleep. Normal stuff in normal families can wear a parent thin. Special needs parents deal with all of that and so much unrecognized more.

Special Manner #107: You have it tough, and so do we - so give us a break.

When a parent has a bit more on their plate some things slip off the edge. Don't judge. Again, it is just that simple. If you are up for a bit more, you can always offer to help, but try not to push to hard. Sometimes we don't think the crumbs need to be dealt with or we know they can be handled later. No big deal.

If a special need caregiver is a bit sharp with you, don't take it personal unless you did something to deserve it. Lack of sleep, proper food, and general mind rest can  make things a little harder to smile through. We can be a bit um... short tempered. Keep in mind that we try to be calm for the kids, not cry in front of them, and not yell at the doctors... that means anyone else is fair game when all that locked up crap is too much to deal with anymore.

We worry about our child's life, money, the car, the insurance, the other kids, our spouse, the house, the law, the school, the therapy, the doctors, the money (yes I repeated that on purpose... it is a huge worry tied to every thing else,) if we are doing the right thing, are we doing too much, too little.... I could keep going but I would hope that you get it.

We don't want to take it out on others. We don't like to ask for too much help in case we use up what we may need later. We know our kids best. We don't always trust others to do our job. It's hard for us. Be patient when we start chewing on your leg or puling out our hair. We will be fine after we put in some time in the adult time out. 

My point is that sometimes it adds up to a meltdown. It isn't that we don't like you, love our kids, or are ready to call it quits. It just means we need to chill out and regroup. We don't need interference that makes an already tough life tougher. We really don't need to be judged if the dishes aren't done, the laundry not folded or we forgot to make the bed. At least we changed the diapers, paid the phone bill and went to the 12 appointments in the last 2 weeks.

Remember that you are not alone and that you can make it through the storm... after all, look how far you've come.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Are Poor Because..... (a view)

I think that the real problem in America society is a lot more a basic perception issue then a culture issue. I am amazed on how people who claim to be non-biased, non-bigoted, non-whatever are actually the ones who are the worst of the lot.
There is a class war going on but it isn't just in the government or in the corporations, but on the everyday street level homes. People class themselves separate from others. The 99% are lazy good for nothings wanting hand outs. The 2% are money hungry Scrooges who will do anything to get richer. Really people? The Star Belly's are so snooty. And do those stars really make them any better? Didn't you kids pay attention to Dr. Seuss
"A US report published earlier this month indicated that nearly 1 in 2 Americans have now fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

Based on the report by the US Census Bureau 49.1 million Americans live below the poverty line, meaning 146.4 million Americans, or 48 percent are considered low-income or poor.

The US recession began in 2007. More than a year after the recession officially ended in 2009, the US unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, and the poverty rate rose to 15.3 percent in 2010 from 14.3 percent in 2009." (Read more on this topic HERE)
I asked some smart folks why the above was true. I also asked for solutions. I was shocked at the responses because they were basically blaming the poor alone for their inaction to better themselves:
    ~The poor folks are full of poor me mentality and ask for too much from others. They think they are owed something. They think the rich shouldn't keep their money and that the government should give them money they didn't earn.
    ~"I vote we get some skills and go earn more money. The divide between rich and poor is caused by behavior of individuals in handling their money, not by some conspiracy by rich folks to keep us all down. If you want to blame someone, blame the public education system, which fails to teach kids about how money works......
I asked if this person thought it was really that simple.
"I don't deny that people who know how money works will tend to try to accumulate as much to themselves as possible. Some of them will even cheat others to get it. However in this country the main reason for poverty is lack of education about money. "Poor folks have poor ways" is an old saying for a reason. Debt and unnecessary consumption, lack of discipline and chronic shortsightedness, the inability to delay gratification. These are the root of the problem, and the public school system does nothing to change it. And yes, most of us are in the laboring class because we don't really want or know how to not be in it. And yes, I include myself in that. I even know the knowledge is available, and I'm still too stuck in the security of get a job and earn wages to get out of it.
     ~Poor people are poor because they voted Democrat for 40 years.
    ~It is a myth that poor are getting poorer and the middle class is  disappearing.
    ~Anyone can get rich in America.... ANYONE! 
    ~And if the poor lived more simply, they could save more money and not be so poor. 
Now, I'll be honest and say that I can agree with some of the things above. But I also know that the simplistic nature of some of the statements don't reflect the reality of life.
My Break Down: 
Living Simply: Meaning- Buy a house you can afford and stay there after you get it paid off. Buy used when you can and go cheap where you can. Don't use credit if you don't have to. Pay your bills on time. Buy and grow food that you can freeze, can, or use for a while.
I can agree with this being a good thing. It can even mean a less stress free life. I do not think it makes one richer. Old cars break down, old houses have upkeep, and there is other money draining stumbling blocks that keep the poor in the red. Medical expenses add up in a hurry. Energy bills and gas prices rise while pay checks stay the same or are lowered to pay for health insurance.  Even the price of food has gone higher while people have getting poorer. 
Anyone can get rich: Not really. Those who start out poor often stay poor. Not because they are too lazy to work their way out but because that is how it works out. You are born into poverty and you go to school, get good grades, but get sick a lot because health care isn't there. You may get a job right out of school doing what ever you can find but there isn't much upward movement. But it is a job so you stay at it. You do the best you can to keep your family going. If you are to busy fighting just to get by it is really hard to overstep that poverty line.
Yes, you can try to get into college but is that really a sure bet at a better life these days? How many folks are struggling that have degrees? How many are drowning in the loans they took out? How many have lost their homes and lively hood even though they worked hard all through school and at the jobs they landed after?
Bottom Line: I don't think it is easy to be poor, to stop being poor, or to become poor after living that better life. I think it takes a lot of work to survive. I know that our country's poor may be another country"s middle class but it is all relative. If you don't have electricity there, you don't lose your kids. Here you must pay that bill or face seeing your kids sent to foster care, even if you find other ways to keep your food cold, family warm, and lights going. And the cost of electric in this country is over priced.
People who don't understand need to just try our side of the street. If you don't have health care, you get sick and don't get help. Your body wears faster so you don't survive as long, so you need more help. It is a cycle that will not end just because people try to make their lives better.
We are all responsible for our choices. We must realize that. BUT other people's choices also play into our lives. If I have been working my middle class job for 14 years but the boss decides to sell out to a company that is going to shut down the plant, it is not my fault my job is gone. A real life look at things is important when we consider other people's positions.
Think before you judge. Put yourself in to the place of others and think about what you could have done different. Or better yet... don't judge others, instead try to understand others and then be helpful to your fellow humans... and animals because they deserve love too.
On a side note and with a political twist: If you are in anyway an internet fan then pay attention. You need to make your voice heard: 
Congress shall make no law respecting ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ , or prohibiting the free ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ; or abridging the ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, or of ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ; or the right of ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, and to ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓█ Government for a ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ .”
Peace and love to you and yours.