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Good Mama Karma

Does anyone have trouble teaching their spectrum child how to throw away empty containers when they are done?

About two weeks ago when planning for a shopping trip I neglected to get my son’s goldfish shacks. Well…I could take this as a bad mommy moment, but I am not responsible for my son’s snack cabinet…that is HIS responsibility.

I have tried on several occasions to teach my son to throw away the empties. I’ve even taken measure to walk him through our recycling process so he would know how to properly dispose of empty boxes and such. Of course that was all for not, because he had not yet processed that he should discard the empties to begin with. As it were, my “Good Mama Karma” (my newest catch fraise) offered up the perfect teaching opportunity. Sooo, as any good mama would do…I left the empty right where it stood. Days had gone by and I noticed little signs of mild disharmony. A little red snack bowl left on the kitchen counter…alone and empty. Hmmm, has the child been perusing the kitchen for his favored snack? I checked the cabinet and the empty was still there…just a little shifted. I leave it… A few more days pass and it is time for another trip to the grocery store. This time I ask my son if there is anything he can think of that he wants from the store. We go…he indicates nothing…okaaaaay. Later that night I hear my son growling in the kitchen. He’s had enough…(giggle giggle). Wait…let me translate my son’s growls for you, “What measure of mutiny has befallen me that I am STILL not able to find a reasonable snack to my liking IN…THIS…HOUSE!!!” Well…that’s what it sounded like to me. Opportunity has knocked…loudly. I seized the moment and took great delight in explaining to my son the practicality of disposing of empties once again and even took him through the recycling process in order to paint a complete picture. I think he’s got it this time… I’m gearing up for another shopping trip soon and guess what I found…a properly disposed of empty goldfish container. Bravo kiddo…job well done…

Thank you, Good Mama Karma 😉

In the Land

I wake up in the am hours,

Thoughts flashing in my mind,

Of how mankind has disintegrated,

Mutilated and now demonstrates

The ugliness of being.

Hands of time turn counter clockwise,

Our existing shifting before our eyes,

Old wounds re-opening,

Hope fading,

Civility becoming a thing of the past.

We are told, “We Can,”

Our governing bodies say we can’t.

We vote them in anyway,

Despite what they say.

But operating in hate never pays.

In this land the goal is to destroy us,

Considering a small percentage,

Worthy to represent us.

Not giving a damn about us.

They aim to proclaim power over us,

What just cause do they have for hating us?

Killing us?

They say,

Generations grow weaker and wiser.

Listen…shhhh…listen,

Grievous cries in midnight hours.

Lying in wait as they devour,

Our dreams and passions,

Bullies…cowards!

Where is the wisdom now?

We stand still to watch it happening,

And don’t know what to do.

An agenda once hidden.

The wolf sheds sheep’s clothing,

Exposing…

Laughing at its boldness too.

We are at the center if this tug of war.

No winners to be found,

Casualties left behind.

The freedoms of our time.

Living in excess excluding the rest.

This way of thinking,

Is the reason for living,

In a land no longer giving.

Drawing the Line

There is a fine line between love and hate.
Between wellbeing and pestilence.
Good and evil…

Where do you draw the line?

I received mixed reactions to this statement, so here is my reply…

Sometimes a viewpoint can be askew due ones desire to be set apart from…or to not adopt the precept of another outside of ones grouping, be it ethnicity, sex, religion, logistics or otherwise. When we look at words, we must look at the truth of the meaning as it is globally and not corner it into…or by way giving power unto an inadequate source.

Lets take a look at creation as we know it. In creation there are opposites; male and female, good and bad, light and dark, hot and cold, left and right, up and down, inside and out and so on. In order to achieve balance there must be opposites. One cannot stand alone as an “only child,” less it be unidentified and if unidentified how can we justify it’s existence? How would we no love if we did not know hate? How would we know good if we did not know evil? How would we know direction if there were no left and right or up and down? How would we know days, years or any measure of time if we did not have day and night? How would we be here if there were no man and woman? In all things there is a cause and effect. And with all things in human nature the lines are drawn, but can be easily crossed…it is just a matter of ones perception of what they see as a truth or not.

In terms of my statement, “There is a fine line between love and hate,” it stands true. There are instances where one can love something or someone so much that they develop hate for another. So my question is where does one draw the line. Do you love in all instances or do you choose to find reason to hate within the loves you have? There is always a beginning and an end…a this or a that. So my friends it is not to give western society the blame or fame for this cornerstone remark. It is simply a reflection of a perception of that which is.

In stating this, my point is simple…a proverbial line exists and we need to recognize it and think about where we are on that line…why we feel the way we feel and do the things that we do.

“The root to freedom is knowing ones truth beyond the scope of damaged perception.”

You Can’t Hurt Me

“You can’t hurt me…”

What say you?

You speak an untruth.

You are hurt and are sore afraid.

Pain beyond measure…incomprehensible.

Who hurt you?

You vow that no one will hurt you again.

“You can’t hurt me…”

Walls thick.

Enemies surrounding you…

You strike out.

They must be hurt before they hurt you,

Even if it means hurting yourself to hurt them.

But you’re not hurting them.

They can’t see you.

Not the truth of you,

Only a shell of you.

“You can’t hurt me…”

You’re screaming to be heard,

But there is no sound.

They can’t hear you.

They won’t hear you.

Do you understand?

The readers of your words,

Can they see the bigger picture?

Or will they seek to prove you wrong?

Visions of a deeply wounded soul…

Blood drips from your words.

“You can’t hurt me…”

Doing the Right Thing or Not

Hurricane Andrea blew through last week and caused some flooding and wind damage in our general area. Unfortunately I have a building that is located in a flood zone. The rains weren’t too bad, but the street level is low and at its lowest point there was flooding which wreaked havoc for a moment. We had no idea how high the water level would get, so I called the power company to have the power shut off…better safe than sorry…right?  I’ll admit the jury may still be out on that one. Not because of any doubt about my decision to make that call, but because the power company made me feel like I was being bullied. I’d been given partial instructions on what to do and then punished for doing what I was told.

 I just don’t get it. Why is it that people don’t/won’t/can’t communicate in a way that is clear and concise? Why do they tell only part of the story and cause constant confusion?

I was told that I would need to have the building inspected in order to have the power restored. Not a problem. I called my electrician, had a preliminary inspection done and then made arrangements with the city for an official inspection. I was then told to that the power would be restored within 24 to 48 hours. As far as I could tell, there was no logical reason why it should take more than 24 hours to restore the power…or so it seemed.

After checking in several times and still no power, I decided to contact the power company again to see what the holdup was. There was no major flooding in the area, so there should be no delays. Upon speaking with a representative at the power company, I was informed that my account had been dissolved and I would have to apply for a new account. What sense does that make?! Where’s the logic? Why would a company create such a policy where a perfectly good, paid up account is dissolved because the owner of the account requests the power be cut for safety? Why couldn’t they just reinstate the power under the existing account? It’s not like the power was shut off due to non-payment and even in that, once the bill is paid the power would come back on under that same account…right? So what’s the difference between the power being shut off for non-payment as opposed to being shut off due to an emergency?!

I received a call from the power company wanting to confirm which building needed power. My son and I hopped into the car to race down the road to be present for the reinstatement of the power. Overrun with joy and anticipation I jump out of the car and ask, “How long will it be before the power is back on?” The young man said, “Ma’am, I’m just here to inspect the meter and to see if there is any current going to the building.” Umm, perhaps someone failed to inform this man that the power lines had been cut and there is no electricity going to the building…at all. Well…well, just another useless step in the grand scheme of things. Now I’m told that this man will place a call back to the company to dispatch a crew to reconnect the power. I thought that was what the Inspector was supposed to do…at least that’s what he told me. Nonetheless, a few hours later I received another call from the crew and they reconnected the power lines and all was well.

From the time I called to have the power shut off until the time it took to get the power restored was a total of 6 days. Thanks a lot corporate power company for succeeding in wasting unnecessary time, effort and money…as usual. One would think that you could come up with a more effective way to respond to your customers and a better turn-around-time for completion of services. I guess that would be too much like right, so here we are…trapped. We find ourselves at the mercy of corporate higher ups that spend way too much time on the golf course and are completely clueless as to how the companies they oversee operate.

I tip my locks to you…BRAVO!!!!! (sarcasm)

Bottom line, you just can’t trust what companies tell you. None of their agents ever have the same information. Isn’t there a better way to inform your staff of the company’s policies so they can convey up-to-date information to your patrons? Good grief, did anyone get the memo?

Perhaps more companies should be run by spectrumites like myself. Patrons would never have to worry about the head games these companies play. At the very least we would be sure to properly inform agents and patron of rules and procedures.

They…Them…Us…Me

What’s that noise?

What noise?

Nevermind.

Where is it?

Find it!

Here I am.

It must be stopped…

Destroyed.

You want to destroy it?

Find it.

Wait!

There it is…

It?!

Don’t you mean who?

Who?

Yes…

A little girl,

Girl…

Over there.

Where?

There…

I am here.

Can you hear her?

No…

Can’t you hear?

No…

Listen…

NO!!!

We’ll destroy it.

Why?

We loathe it.

Why?

Not perfect.

Tear it apart.

Put it together.

Is she alive?

No…not really.

 

Yes I am.

Look at it!

Hideous, monstrous…grotesque,

A real life Frankenstein.

People will run and scream.

Don’t say that…she’s beautiful.

 

Retched!

Imperfect!

Undesirable…Unforgivably…Useless!

Worthless!

Abomination!

Not good enough.

Not like us.

Send it back.

Back to where?

We don’t care!

 You can have it.

But she’s yours.

We don’t want it.

But she’s here.

No it isn’t.

I’m still here.

We’ll get another.

Let her stay.

It’ll be better.

She’ll be good…I know she will.

We don’t want it.

Mommy…daddy?

The Rain

Funnel Cloud Storm

Cloudy skies overhead,

Air so thick,

Feel the cool dampness.

It coats my skin.

The winds shift.

Warmth rises and falls.

I close my eyes…

Airy thrashings locked in querulous embrace.

Clouds majestic,

Circling in slow melodic motion

Dark heavy swollen,

They watch me watching them.

The dance quickens.

Circling faster and faster

Arms reach down from the sky.

A grand spectacle.

I am seduced by its power,

Heart racing,

Too captivated to run,

Hauntingly beautiful…magical,

Suddenly,

A touch withdrawn,

The rain begins.

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Comment to a Post Written by a Friend

Sharing my thoughts with a friend and all.

The link below is to a heartfelt and eloquently stated post written my friend Seventhvoice.

http://seventhvoice.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/love-me-or-hate-me-this-is-my-response-to-a-comment-that-to-me-tipifys-the-worst-aspects-of-the-autism-community/

Love me or hate me this is my response to a comment that to me tipifys the worst aspect of the autism community

An exert:

This is how the response started;

“While I acknowledge that many parents have fought the good fight– and continue to do so– on behalf of their autistic children, it is also sadly true that many autistic children suffer a great deal at the hands of their parents. Some of that suffering is due to societal problems, and some of it is due to neurotypical parents misunderstanding or being unaware of their autistic child’s needs.”

Ummmm….. I’m sorry but I simply do not believe that children with Autism are suffering from having “misunderstanding” parents.

_______________________________________________

I see where you are coming from in most of what you’ve stated in your post, and agree with you in that respect, but I have to agree with the above aspect written by the commenter on your post as well. It is my experience and observation that NT parents can sometimes misunderstand or are unaware of a need the child is trying to communicate. Even if the need is understood, the NT parent may not know how to address it. They can go to other NT parents, friends, family or even professionals in the field, but that does not guarantee they will receive good council. These parents are doing their absolute best and are at times still coming up short. This is a terrible burden to bare. It is not any fault of theirs, but of society for not acknowledging that there are resources readily available if asked. We on the spectrum offer an honest, unprocessed, matter-of-fact point of view, but society deemed us unintelligent and incapable. We were silenced. What would be the point in their listening to us? We are but lab rats to them.

It is our duty to education each other and the world about our autism. We don’t need these third party entities or their science to speak for us…we have our own voice and have the greatest ability to create our own science… Thanks to science for indicating that we exist, but now it’s time we take the reigns. It’s time that WE are heard!

Who’s to help the parent that reluctantly admits that they can’t always understand their child’s cues?  There are countless indications across the board that cues are being misinterpreted. Listen to the voices of the your kinsmen who are on the spectrum… You will hear the horror and dismay of what it’s like to be accused of undesirable behavior, being lazy, being irresponsible, lack of interest and so on…

NT parents, in the interest of wanting to better connect to their child are joining autism groups to gain further understanding of their child and how to parent them. They seek support from those who know the pleasures and the challenges of parenting a child on the spectrum. There are also parents thought to be NT who later find they too are on the spectrum. It is important that we band together and continue lifting our voices in groups and as individuals. This world can be a better place for us all.

I speak to you from personal experience.

In my childhood I was completely misunderstood. My behaviors and abilities were undesired by my parents. For being smart and having a love of sharing information I was condemned a trouble maker and a nuisance; for stemming, slow response to questions, lack of eye contact or too much eye contact and a multitude of other behaviors I was yelled at and/or beaten.

It hurts being slapped across the face because I stare blankly when asked a question I am struggling to process… and then… having to process why I was slapped… which leads to more slaps and yelling. I shut down…it is too much. I just stand there and take the abuse.

Perhaps there are parents that can only see themselves in the role of parent…. as if in an altered state, no longer aware of what it is to be a person.

It is as if becoming a parent makes one…godlike.

In a moment of anger, a parent may react harshly if they don’t immediately get the response they require. It is assumed the child is being disobedient. Has this parent forgotten what it is to be a child? Is there any wonder as to why some parents have difficulties relating to their child let alone relating to their child on the spectrum?

Autism is on both sides of my family. But that did not make childhood any easier. I suspect both my parents being somewhere on the spectrum; mom disconnected and childlike and dad a mathematical genius who hated higher education and all forms of authority. They were unfamiliar with the word Autism until my son was diagnosed. By then it was too late for them to understand me or even care to try. The deed was done…I’m invisible. All energy and hope are now placed on my son.

I could go on and on about this subject, but I will end my discussion with this….

I am an autistic parent who is raising as autistic child. I know the struggles and wake up ready for the fight everyday. I know the joys, triumphs and freedoms of being a parent who has an unspoken understanding of her child and I know the beauty of sharing the same corner of the universe with him.

There are some differences in the way NT and Autist parents experience their autistic child(ren). There are some differences in our ability to understand and our approach to dealing with the day-to-day challenges.

And yes, there are children that have been hurt by parents who’ve misunderstood.

If ever there were a call for change in the level of awareness and understanding…it is now. If ever there were a call to revamp the direction chosen in taking the measures to achieve higher levels of awareness and understanding…it is now.

We as a whole we will have to figure out how to bridge the gaps in communication between all groups involved (NT parents/Autistic parents/Autistic Individuals/Autistic children and teens/Siblings, spouses and friends of autistics/Professionals).

All groups need to be acknowledged and heard because all groups have their own perspectives.

Coping with Overstimulation

One of the more commonly defined links to autism is the many differences in sensitivity to stimuli. There are some of us who experience extreme sensitivity to many things where other’s may experience varying levels of sensitivity to certain things like light, sound, temperature, textures, smells, movement and the like.

There are those who have heightened awareness of their surroundings, not notably uncomfortable for some, but may be over stimulating and even painful for others. I imagine for the NT brain the receiving of information is much less noticeable with little to no thought or even recognition of the process. But for those who are on the spectrum it is quite different. Information flows into the brain and is systematically compartmentalized into varying categories and subcategories. This can be felt. It’s like having a bunch of feelers with sensors shooting out from your body and the sensors are touching, feeling and absorbing information from everything, event the particles in the air. This is a constant sensation and can be quite distracting. It makes it difficult to focus, sleep or even be still.

Image what it feels like to receive input from everything around you at all times. Some of the input can come across as light and benign or disturbing, disruptive and even jagged like broken glass.

Humming or some other form of stemming behavior helps with the effects of overstimulation. It counteracts the discomforts of being overstimulated lending itself as a way to control informational flow. That way we are able to receive the flow of information and still be able to focus on an object, task or the sorting and purging of thoughts at the same time. When this happens it is as if the flow splits into conscious and unconscious. The unconscious flow is the constant and the conscious flow is merged into the constant, so one can put more focus on whatever one is consciously doing or experiencing with less distraction from the unconscious informational flow.

No matter what our cognitive ability or what level of functioning we are labled, our minds and bodies are always receiving information.

There are some of us who need physical help to calm from over stimulation like pressure applied to different areas of the body such as the arms, back, shoulders, base of neck and head. There are assistive technologies that can help with this such as weighted blankets, vests and bands. Bands are versatile because they can be placed on different body parts such as ankles, wrists or even worn as a headband. Some autistics may respond well to massage or brushing of the body or limbs. It all depends on the individuals need and what is most comfortable for them. Physical activity is another possible way to help like walking, stretching, jumping, running or carrying heavy items for short periods of time. All of these thing help to calm and center.

Lighting is also very important. It is crucial for me to be able to control lighting in my home because my sensitivity to light varies. I have also given this option to my son so he is able to control the lighting and light source in his room. He changes the lighting in his room several times a day depending on his need. He may start the day with curtains open. Natural light seem to help him be more alert. When he is settling into stemming mode he like a lessor light which he gets from a clip-on desk lamp. The lamp has an adjustable neck so he can angle it in any direction to get the desired amount of light. When we return from outings or when guests leave, my son likes to use either of his lava lamps which gives his room a worm amber or deep pink glow.

Sound is also something that can be soothing or excruciating. If silence does not seem to be calming and too many noises over stimulating you may want to experiment with other sounds such as a low snowy sound (like the sound made by old analog TVs when the station goes off) or perhaps the sound of slow flowing water. Music may be a little soothing. For some the sound of instrument and voice may be a bit much, so you may want to separate the two and try either all instrumental (one or more instruments) or a calm soft A Capella (one or more people singing).

I cannot speak for all of us. Each person is different and their experience is their own. I am one small voice on the spectrum.

Earliest Childhood Memory

I am diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder, which is considered to be a form of high functioning Autism. Psychologists say my Asperger’s is mild due to skill set and coping abilities. One of the things that made me aware of differences early on is an ability to recall unusually early childhood memories and an ability to communicate these memories in rich detail later on.

Research: I find after years of personal research the average person’s early memories “typically” start between the ages of 2-5 years. In some cases, memories may start even later if there is early childhood trauma. There have been subjects claiming to have little or no recollection of their youth before the ages of 9-11 years. This being said, those same subjects report having some scarce recollections of shadowy events, but do not seek clarity of memory, understandably so.

Since receiving my diagnosis, I began seeking out individuals on the spectrum (Autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s Disorder and High Functioning Autism) to pose my conundrum. So far, it has been a mixture of the “typical” response of 2-5 years alongside a small grouping of individuals who are noted for having early childhood memories that span as far back as 9–18 months of age. This is the first time, outside of a closely related family member that I have spoken with individuals having childhood memories before the age of 2.

In my case, it was during my pre-adolescent years when I first recalled memories going back as far as 6 months old (approximately). Those memories are as vivid today as they were when I first recalled them. My earliest memory is of my mother changing my diaper. She held my feet up to remove the diaper, cringing a little; she quickly removed it and began wiping me clean. I cannot recall an offensive odor. Perhaps I could smell the odor, but did not find it offensive at the time. My mother’s reaction is the only indication that there might have been an odor associated with my diaper.

Observation: When my son was an infant, I made a mental note of his reaction or should I say lack of reaction when changing a heavily soiled diaper and/or emptying his colostomy bag. He did much the same as I did…cooing, grinning and waving his arms which I gladly reciprocated. He did not react to the odor. And when I’d crinkle my nose and sing the “stinky dink” song, my son would simply grin and drool even more.

An infant’s lack of response to his/her own bodily smells appears to be a typical occurrence as observed with my son and other infants.

My diapers were white and made out of cloth. Mom folded the cloth into a triangle and then placed it under me. She used pink bunny diaper pins. I recall her using yellow duck pins as well. I found those diaper pins, many years later, in a little gold colored box, neatly tucked in a drawer. I can also recall my right arm resting on a white container that felt very cool and had a smooth yet soft granular feel to its surface. The tactile feel of the soft granular particles on that smooth cool surface were euphoric. Mom took the item from me and I could see something written on it…Johnson and Johnson’s.  Of course, at that time I did not know what the words said, but knew exactly what the words were when I recalled the memory.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

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