Monday, March 23, 2009

Note Home

Today in my son's backpack was a note home from school. It's never a good thing.. the note home. My first thought was "what bad word did he say now? I hope he at least used it in the correct context. Now, that would be a step in the right direction..."

Hey, I can find a silver lining in any situation.

But, no, this note was quite different.

It turns out that my son and his new friend, whom I posted about below... are an "item". They were holding hands and kissing on the playground.

I guess my son goes for "older women" because his friend is the ripe old age of 10. Son just turned 9.

Anyway, both of them visited with the principal (!!) and I guess the matter is resolved.

But I have two comments about this...

1) Since when did having a boyfriend/girlfriend on the playground become such a no-no? No, he shouldn't have kissed her (or she shouldn't have kissed him... who knows who initiated it). But it seemed from the letter that the hand holding was as much of an offense as the kissing. I think all of us can remember back to elementary school and how we either kissed someone or got kissed on the playground. Rite of passage? Who knows... But, if you got caught, you were told "hey, don't do that" and that was pretty much the end of it. Did we really need a note home about the whole thing? I guess the principal lectured both kids (who have autism, remember) that we don't have girlfriends/boyfriends in elementary school. We just have friends, nothing more. How much of that do you think actually stuck??

2) Obviously, my son has autism. He has social deficits... so much so that he has several social goals on his IEP (Individualized Education Plan). How did my son go from "autistic-boy-with-no-social-skills" to Casanova? Hmmm... I guess we are making some progress in the social areas.

I told you I could find a silver lining in most anything....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I know I've been absent from blogging. (Yeah, I know, what else is new?) And for that I apologize. I get an idea, and then if I don't blog about it right then... Poof. It's gone.

I must learn.

But! This was a bit of good news that I feel compelled to share.

First, let me say that my son has no friends. And no, it doesn't bother me. They've tried working on that with him at school. He will tell them, "I have my Mom and Dad. They are my friends". While that is charming... the kid needs some friends that are his own age.

Friends have always been "out of sight, out of mind" with my son. He might have some "buddies" that he likes to talk to, or play games with on the playground. But as soon as he leaves the school, he doesn't think about them. My son has never asked me to have a friend home, or a playdate, or whatever you want to call it. My son has never phoned any of his schoolmates, nor has received any calls.

Then... came "Abby".

Abby started school with my son this year, and is in his regular education classroom, as well as his special education classroom. She has issues of her own, which I'm sure fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, and would include social difficulties, just like my son. However, I'm beginning to think in the eyes of my son, Abby is absolutely perfect. It's been "Abby this" and "Abby that". "I want Abby to come over."


My son turned 9 about a week ago, so we invited Abby over for a playdate.

My son talked about nothing else from the moment we scheduled the playdate, until Abby actually arrived.

Once she came over ... I wasn't sure what to do. After all, autism is my "normal". And we've never had a playdate before. I've never had a playdate before, from the Mom's point of view, anyway! What do I do with myself?? Do I hover over them and faciliate play? Do I retreat to the next room, on the ready to rush in if needed? I didn't want to be in the way. But, I didn't want to be absent, either. I was probably more nervous than my son was! :)

Overall, I think it went very well. Aside from the fact that Abby is a complete opposite of my son. She seems to be very "girly" and, well, we don't do girly around here. We don't have dolls, and we don't have princess movies, either. She seemed to tolerate the non-stop Beatles jukebox, and wasn't phased when my son refused to color with her when the crayons came out. Most important, though, was that she seemed just as enormed with being around my son, as my son was around her. So, it was a success!

Of course, now all that I hear about is "when is she coming back?"

Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 - Year of the Beast

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2009 is the year of the Ox. I assume they chose this animal because it represents power and strength. However, when I think about an ox, I think of a hairy, smelly beast. Yeah... a beast. That's exactly the word that comes to mind when I think about how 2009 has progressed so far.

A beast.

Let me explain why...

2009 has been in existence for six short weeks. 47 days by my calculations. In that short span of time, my immediate family has experienced: a case of the flu, 2 confirmed cases of pneumonia, and a suspected case of strep throat. (I go to the doctor tomorrow.. we'll see). This has resulted in 6 doctor visits, 4 x-rays, and at least 5 prescription drugs if my memory serves me correctly. (Of course, that total does include a nuisance doctor visit to retrieve a bead that my son stuck in his ear. But, it was a doc visit!). 7 total doctor visits if you count tomorrow, and another possible Rx. If I sit here long enough, I could equate a dollar value to the co-pays, co-insurance and Rx totals. However, that would depress me past the point of no return, so I'm not going to do that.

Speaking of money, let's talk about our jobs. I have missed so many days - again, I don't want to total it up because it would depress me. My husband has already used most of his vacation days in his attempt to overcome pneumonia. 6 weeks into the year and it's gone. I guess we're not going anywhere this summer. Though, I guess that might make a nice essay.. "how I spent my vacation" (hack, cough, hack)

So, 2009? You win. I give up. I surrender. I am waving the white flag here. 6 weeks into the year, and I'm done.

What's scary is that the more people I talk to about my battle with 2009 - the more I hear of similar stories. Others who would like to declare this dreadful year over with already. Is the Ox that scary?

Here's hoping that the next 6 weeks brings better weather, better health, and better finances. To all of us.