Monday, May 23, 2011

Lets all bounce!

Its been a while since I've posted and people have sent me some fabulous blog ideas which are currently in the works.  By "in the works" I mean, I've been thinking about them A LOT but not much else and here is why.... I'm too busy BOUNCING!

Sounds fun, right? Enh... not so much.  You know when you have a particularly stressful meeting and you leave completely drained, mentally, emotionally and physically? Of course you do! Then you look at the clock and realize thats its only 10:30am and you still have the whole day to be productive, accomplish goals, cross off the to-dos and don't forget to pick up the kids from school! It is then that I require a BOUNCE! Bouncing is when I finish a draining task and have to get myself back on track and here is how to do it:

1. Let yourself go. Go ahead and fall all the way down. You're exhausted? Take a quick nap. You're stressed? Take a deep breath (or 10). You're angry? Turn up the radio as loud as you want sing out loud, scream or yell (please no babies in the car). You need to talk, rant, be heard? Call your "person" (i.e Husband, friend, Mommy, Daddy). You're sad or that point past sad where you are mad that you are sad? Go ahead an have a big cry, don't worry no one is watching. 

2. Stay down for a bit, get it all out. Stay down as long as you need to (or lets be honest, as long as you can). 

3. Then BOUNCE! Sit up. Stand up. Stretch out. Deep breath. Look around. Find your list. Get back on track. Put the stressful event behind you for now and feel free to re-visit it later when you have more time and mental capacity (I prefer the hours after the kids go to bed). 

Now I don't know if this is the most psychologically appropriate way to come back from a stressful event but it does help me get stuff done when really all I want to do is crawl back in bed and forget that the morning ever happened. Last week truly tested my BOUNCE theory, seriously I thought I would need to find a more supportive bra I was bouncing so much!

Monday: IEP (just under 3 hours long!) BOUNCE, Cameron's in home therapy after school.

Tuesday: Allergy Shot with 30 minute wait (which I am convinced is more stressful for me than my son!) BOUNCE

Wednesday: Chiropractor (for me!), Meeting with new RDI consultant BOUNCE, Sanity Check BOUNCE, Specialist Appointment in Baltimore at Kennedy Kreiger BOUNCE, my baby boy's 7th birthday!!!! (I needed all those bounces to be fully present for his special day)

Thursday: Both boys go to the dentist! BOUNCE BOUNCE (no cavities!), another Specialist Appointment in Baltimore at Kennedy Kreiger BOUNCE.

Friday: Baby boy's annual check up BOUNCE, Mommy's med check (I'm on track!), Chaperone the 3rd grade field trip to the Earth Space Science Lab which would have been great except that MY 3rd grader wanted to learn all about space (one of his passions) and not about fossils and the water table. oops! BOUNCE. Cameron's in home therapy after school.

I have NO IDEA what my Lunatic Autism Mommy brain was thinking when I scheduled last week. I will say though that 2 of those appointments were last minute additions and, in my defense, out of my control. The good news is that with all my BOUNCING, I got to skip my Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred video work outs. The bad news is that she is back this week and just waiting on me to get back on track. I think I'll chose the gym instead.... maybe they have a trampoline!  :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Mother's Day! At the end of my day I want to give you all a gift of a list of things I hope for each and every one of you.

  • Respect- I hope that you are given the respect you deserve from the school, the therapists that work with your child, your friends and family and the community in which you live. Yours is not an easy job and it can be made only easier by being given the respect you deserve for your knowledge, your gut instincts and your commitment.
  • Honor- I hope that you will honor yourself, your body and your needs. Know when you need a break, a hug or a snuggle and allow those around you to help you.
  • Support- Support of friends, family and community. I hope that you will value this as a gift and make use of it when you need.
  • Endurance- I hope that when endurance is needed, it is found. Be it on a long wakeful night or on a month long fight, I know you all have it in you.
  • Strength- Strength to ignore the stares of the people who don't understand and will never fully comprehend, strength to stand up for your child when they can't stand up for themselves, strength to fight the fight every single day, day after day and never give up.
  • Power- Power to use your voice and the ability to alter the volume to meet your need. To remain calm with your child when all you want to do is scream, to be firm at an IEP when all you want to do is crumble. 
  • Tears- I hope that you value the tears you shed as a way to release the stress of the every day and to never hold back the emotions that make you human. Tears do not make you weak and they are not a waste of time.
  • Faith- Faith in yourself, faith in your child, faith in your partner, faith in your God. Wherever you put your faith, allow it to be strong and unwavering.
  • Passion- Passion for life and love. If you are going to feel it, you may as well be passionate about it. 
  • Knowledge- Use your brain, feed it facts, trust your knowledge and share it with others.
  • Words- be it sign, PECS, approximation, spoken or felt, keep the words close to your heart. Never give up on hearing Mom and Love. They will come and they are precious.
  • Hugs & Kisses- Each and every hug is unique and special. Each kiss is love given and received.
  • Time- Not just time on a watch but time to hold dear what is fleeting. It passes so quickly and yet some days not quickly enough. Time is a constant that can bring your day back on track, it is also a precious count down from 10-0 that can bring yourself back on track as well.
  • Breath- don't forget to breathe, this is the one thing that you can do for yourself that costs no money and can be done in a little bit of time. 
  • LOVE- I wish for you love, to be given freely and received gratefully. It is not found in grand gestures but in quiet moments and precious connections. 
My most treasured Mother's Day gift today came from each of my boys at two very different times.  First thing this morning, I'm looking haggard and worn and Adam leads me to the couch to sit down. He takes my hand and says, "Happy Mother's Day Mom" and then places a kiss on my palm. He closes my fingers over it and says, "Keep that one for later." Putting Cameron into bed, he usually says, "Love You Mom" and turns on his side. Tonight he said, "I need a hug, will you sit by me?" Precious moments, lasting memories, love personified. Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Autism Books: Not Even Wrong by Paul Collins

This blog entry is the first of many solely dedicated to books on Autism that I have on my "highly recommended, all time favorite Autism books" list. I wanted to do one big blog about them but I am never going to have the time to do it all at once, this way is easier and I can add new books as I complete them! Please share your recommendations too. Enjoy!

You can buy it here on

I read this book years ago, it was the first Autism book that I read that was NOT solely dedicated to "fixing" the problem. Paul Collins is a historian and writer and that is the focus of this book-- the History of Autism from the perspective of an Autism Dad.  I originally bought the book for Rob for Father's Day and thought I would just read the first chapter to see if it was any good. Five hours later I read the last page with eyes burning from fatigue.  Rob had long since come in from work and I looked up and showed him the cover and said, "Happy Father's Day, now be quiet, I'm reading". I found the stories and the history inthralling.  Of course Rob is not a reader, and in the end I actually read the book to him on a long car drive to visit my parents. (FYI- now if there is an Autism book I want him to read, I just pray that the library is going to get the audio version in because I do not want to read aloud an entire book again). I went on to read another book by Paul Collins as well called Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World it isn't about Autism but it is a fantastic book just the same. If you are someone who likes obscure history (like me) check out his books.

Here's the description from Amazon:
In Not Even Wrong, Paul Collins melds a memoir of his son's autism with a journey into this realm of permanent outsiders. Examining forgotten geniuses and obscure medical archives, and beginning to see why he himself has spent a lifetime researching talented eccentrics, Collins shows how these stories are relevant and even necessary to shed light on autism.

Here's my review that I posted right after I read it for the first time (on Amazon as well):

5.0 out of 5 stars "It's not a tragedy, it's not a sad story, it's not the movie of the week. It's my family." too.June 8, 2006
M. Harris (Frederick, MD United States)
This review is from: Not Even Wrong: A Father's Journey into the Lost History of Autism (Paperback)

My son has ASD and I've got all the books they tell you to buy to find out more about Autism-- this one should be added to the list! Initially I bought this book as a gift for my husband for Father's Day, I read the first page and was hooked. When he saw what I was reading I said, Happy Father's Day and went back to the page. Not Even Wrong has securely found itself added to my list of all time favorite books. Thank you, Mr Collins, for such a great book that everyone should read and all ASD families will treasure. 

Stay tuned for more Autism books!