At Home Together

This stay-at-home thing is really putting our new house to the test. We had no idea when we moved in here a year ago how much we would be appreciating the extra space. We can be at home together. All the time. And not kill each other (so far).
My son and I have developed a fairly decent weekday schedule. We toggle between active engagement on various things and downtime (for him) so that I can work or find other creative ways to ignore my still lengthy “to do” lists.
Since we’ve been gifted more time at home together, my son is making steady progress on learning how to do his household chores. Enough so that I’m already scheming which things I could move from my list to his. 
He even expressed an interest in my sewing machine, and actually learned how to stitch a few runs for some cloth masks – perhaps a new skill in the making? (The sewing part, not the mask-wearing part. That won’t be sustainable for him, so we’ll be staying isolated a lot longer than most, I’m afraid.)

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Behind the Curtain

We opened the door to the clinic and knew immediately that this wasn’t going to work. The developmental pediatrician’s waiting room was jammed with parents and young children. Noisy children. I was pretty sure most of them were families in those early stages of trying to figure things out for their newly diagnosed kids.

We hadn’t been to this office in a number of years. We are “been-there-done-that” autism parents now, and it’s been awhile since there’s been anything an autism specialist could really offer us.

Well, until now. Our teenager’s anxiety, and the self-injurious behavior and aggression that stems from it, is our reason for returning, to meet with a new psychiatrist, adjust meds, discuss options, and try to find our way back to calm.

So, yes, we brought our stressed-out kid to a noisy, crowded, unfamiliar office to get help for his anxiety that worsens in noisy, crowded, unfamiliar places. That makes sense. Read More

Patience and Progress [Thank you, Dude Crush]

Yesterday, I read an article from journalist and autism advocate Liane Kupferberg Carter, writing on the Huffington Post. In “Autism Acceptance: Don’t Stop Believin’,” Carter describes how her autistic nineteen-year-old son had gradually transformed – from a little boy terrified of haircuts into a young man who asks for a trip to the barber often.

Her story resonated with me, because at 15, our son has already shown us, gradually and through much hard work, just what he can do when given the supports he needs to succeed.

Just as I was contemplating the importance of patience and belief, life presented an opportunity to test the theory that progress is always possible.

It began when my son asked to watch his Toy Story DVD for the five-millionth time (Thank you, Pixar, for creating brilliant animated films that don’t make me want to stab myself in the ear. You’ve got a friend in me.) Read More