Sharing the Autism Spotlight

I have a few favorite bloggers, as I am sure you do as well.

Things have been very hectic in my house lately, so I thought I would share one of the posts that I related to recently.  It is by Bacon and Juiceboxes: Our Life With Autism.

“G.I. Joe’s”

“They’re not as sweet as an old family heirloom. They aren’t as romantic as Daddy’s first BB gun, or Little League baseball glove. But for me, they are nostalgic. They bring me back to a simpler time in my life. I spent countless hours playing with them in my bedroom, in our basement, in the patch of woods behind our house that, to me, was as expansive as the universe itself. They dominated every Christmas, birthday, and the occasional good-report-card day of my childhood.

When I turned fourteen and discovered those mythical creatures called “girls”, I packed them with more love and care than I would ever admit to those scary, pretty creatures and stored them away in our attic.

Even back then, I had a silly fantasy of carefully wrapping them all and giving my future son one magical Christmas morning. I figured his ninth, maybe tenth. We would unwrap them together and set them up in a magical epic battle scene of good vs. evil. Until then, they would remain in their protective boxes, stored away in the secret corner of the attic. I had such grand and silly plans.

First, I met my beautiful wife. Still, they sat unopened. (Well, I may have opened them once and may or may not have whispered a “pew, pew” or two)

Then, our first child. Her name was Anna. She wouldn’t be interested. They remained unopened.

Then, our son. My plan was unfolding perfectly.

My parents sold my childhood home and the boxes were moved into their new basement. God slowly revealed His own plan to me. It was different than mine, of course, and as I have learned, it’s the only plan that really counts. My son is turning fourteen himself this year. Those boxes are still sitting in my parents’ basement. That makes me a little sad (a lot sad sometimes) and that’s O.K. It was a silly fantasy that was never promised. I’ll trust God’s plan and focus on the wonder that is our life. And, I’ll forgive myself and allow a minute or two of self-pity when I feel like a good epic battle of good vs. evil that has never interested my beautiful son. Then, I’ll get back to it… back to what makes him happy… back to God’s plan… back to what really matters.”

This touched me as Buddy recently had a birthday… this year was harder for me than most.  I actually had a week or two where I was honestly depressed. I think, because this birthday would have been one where I had imagined him on his own, married and starting his family of 2 children (a boy and girl). He would have been working at his dream job, and asking advice on buying his first home.  I would have been helping his sweet wife pick out curtains and baby clothes.   But instead, I bought him a new Tonka truck, and a bunch of airplanes.  And I also did something that was very hard …I went up into the attic and got down his highchair (that I was saving for his children) and I gave it away.

That was last month,  things are back to normal now…Buddy loves his Tonka and planes (he sleeps with them all) and we are also back to God’s plan, and yes, it is what really matters.

Please take a minute and go to Mr. Bacon’s Facebook page and enjoy some of his wonderful posts.



ISO A New Best Friend

ISO  Best friend, must have a great sense of humor, compassion, be intuitive and know how to “take it to the grave”.  Preferably a woman, with at least one child, bonus if the child has special needs, such as autism, extra bonus if said child is a young adult.

She must be able to differentiate between venting and literal meaning in regards to husband ranting.  If I say “I want to kill my husband” she needs to know weather to hand me bowl of ice cream, or to start Googling “How to get blood  out of the carpet without fading the color.”

She needs to be able cheer with me when my autistic child reaches a long overdo milestone, and not get grossed out when I talk about some of the not so pleasantries that come with being an autism mom.

She needs to be able to look at me and know that I NEED to get out of the house and have a girls day, because the overwhelming black cloud that follows me around, is getting so close that it’s starting to block out the sun. Or that I need  her to just bring her hubby and kids over with a board game and snacks for a communal gathering.

She cannot be judgmental, especially about the condition of my house if she drops in unexpectedly, or about my weight.  However, she needs to motivate me by saying  things such as “Your house smells great,  I think it’s the smell of the fabric softener lofting through the air, from the heaping pile of laundry on the couch, waiting to be folded.” and “Come on, get your sneakers on, I feel like a 2 mile walk n talk.”

She needs to be able to read between the lines, when I say things like “Mary’s daughter just had a baby,  Mary is now a Grandma!”  and know that what I am really saying is “How lucky Mary is, I envy her, I will never be a grandmother.”

She needs to be able to blurt out the lines to a movie or sing a bit of a song that pops into her head as it relates to our conversation.  Bonus if she can join in as I do it.

She needs to be able to get along with my family, and mix well with the white collars, blue collars and rednecks.

Above all, she needs to know that most of this information that I share with her, has to stay hidden in the room that I have created, because no one on the “outside” can ever know… they just wouldn’t understand.

This position is open until filled,  compensation will be matched accordingly.  Serious Inquiries only.


Dear New Person working with my son

Dear New Person working with my son,

I just thought I would share a few things with you as you begin working with my child.

I hope you are a kind, loving and firm person.  I hope that you are creative and imaginative. I hope that you see outside of the box, but also see inside of the box that my son is in.

I hope that you have some kind of background and knowledge about autism, but not enough to make you an “expert”.  I don’t care that you have 3 degrees in “Autism Spectrum Disorders” and that your parents had a special needs daycare for 15 years (but you never worked with an autistic child).

That doesn’t mean that you know what is best for MY CHILD. My son, is not a case in a book that you studied, he is not the kid that your parents babysat.  My son is an individual, one of a kind, no one like him kinda guy. (as are all autistic people)

Most of all, I hope that you have what it takes to be such a huge part of my son’s daily life.  You see, I am and always will be his #1.  But you will need to be able to fill in as the runner up.  He needs to like you, TRUST you, rely on you, respect you and bond with you.

So here is what you need to know,  my son is a very happy young man, he loves his music, watches, planes, trains, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Scooby Doo and pictures of his favorite DVD’s.  Do not take these away from him…use them as tools.

He loves food, but if he has a day were he doesn’t eat for you, that’s okay…he will make up for it at home.  Because of his love of food, he needs to be kept active.  He can’t be allowed to sit and do nothing all day.

He understands 99% of what you say, and if you allow him to, he will manipulate you with affection or aggression.  This is where you need to be firm and gently push through any of his attempts to distract you.  He is a sweetheart and a flirt, and he knows how to use this to “sweet talk” you into letting him off easy.

He is smarter than we give him credit for…he can figure out how to make things work, either by pushing buttons, or by kissing your cheek until you melt from the sweetness and give in.

Although he doesn’t speak, if you pay close attention, you can figure out what he is trying to say., he can be very cleaver when trying to communicate with you.

With that all said, I hope that you and Buddy connect and that you can help him to make some strides in his skills and cut away, some of the autism box that surrounds him.

But keep in mind that,  that non-verbal, 6ft, young man that you are working with, is my baby…my life.  If you hurt him in any way, you won’t have to worry about the Wrath of God…but you WILL have to worry about the Wrath of Mom!

Welcome to the team!