- I know, it’s been a few days since I posted, and you missed me. :P
- It’s nice to be missed! Even if I am talking to myself…it’s a sign of genius, you know…
- G & S have their end-of-year assessment tomorrow morning! It’s going to be a hot one!
- Because we currently have no A/C. *wiping sweat from my forehead*
- I’m missing my baby nephew something awful…and he misses me. I just know it. Aunts know these things. :D
- We’re not finished with all of our curriculums yet, but we need to get this done and let the county know that they have moved up at least a grade level.
- We’ll keep right on trucking until the end!
- I hate season finale episodes. It makes for an emotional month of May. Why does everyone have to die or be on the verge of death?
- I want my A/C back.
- Spoiled, I know. Thankfully it’s not the absolute heat of summer here, yet, and we’ve had some cooling rains.
- We are starting work with an ABA therapist (behavioral) to help G with his tantrums and anxieties and so on and so forth. So far so good! What we have put in place based on Dr. K’s recommendations are working beautifully! She comes again this week to observe our “school day.”
- We’re enjoying spending some time with my aunt and uncle this week as they stay with us while attending the TPC.
- In and around all the traveling we have been doing lately (visiting family on both sides), we are trying to hard to finish up our schoolwork before the assessment date next week.
- I think we can, I think we can, I think we can…oh, wait, no we won’t.
- Upon reflection, we won’t be done for a little while after that but we’re working on reviewing all our material just the same.
- I am super excited about next year’s curriculum, too.
- Jacques the Superpoodle and Huntley the Lovebuggy Golden Retriever have taken over our couch.
- No humans allowed.
- So thankful we bought leather, or a material resembling leather. Whichever.
- We are going to plan a short family vacation soon – just the four of us! I can’t wait! We certainly need it.
- I love texting with my kids when they use daddy’s phone. Precious.
- Swim team summer season has started! Yea!!
- Definitely a benefit of living in Florida. Swim teams are abundant – even year-round teams.
- Have a great day today!
This is my last post for April’s Autism Awareness month. Today? Support. We are learning as we go while we figure out what supports G and our family best. I can tell you thus far what support has helped us, and then my recommendations – for now.
Professionals who help G are great! Our speech therapist, A, is worth her weight in gold. No, make that gold, silver, AND diamonds. She’s been with us since G was 5 years old (G has been in and out of speech therapy since he was 2.5 years old). She does not have an easy job by any means. G can go from loving her some weeks to not being happy with her at all because she’s making him do that which he does not want to or is hard for him to do. She’s offered wisdom and support when needed as well. Gold and diamonds, I’m telling you! If you have a speech therapist in your life, hug them for me. :)
Another area of support that we have appreciated is when family members are willing to learn about what we are dealing with by diving into books and websites. Forgive us if we forget that it might take a long time to accept it, because it took a long time for us to get here, too. Either way, that willingness to go there with us is a gift and an incredible support. Also, just hearing, “Hey, you are doing a GREAT job!” has been much more helpful than anything else anyone could ever say.
Our church family has also been fantastic. Our children’s minister was more supportive than I could’ve imagined by asking how they can help us and what they can do there to help him have a great Sunday. Anyone can easily say, “Thank you for letting me know and we will be praying.” But to take the extra steps to be proactive means the world. Yes, G loves church, but he doesn’t love crowds, loud noise, intense emotion, changes in where and when and how his classes run – even if it’s a substitute teacher for that day. The prayer support is also invaluable. We have had lots of answered prayer!
Friends. Oh, our wonderful friends. It’s amazing to look back and see the path God laid out for us and who He placed in our lives “for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) We are blessed.
How can you best support a family member or a friend who has Asperger’s? I’m really not an expert on this topic, but I know what helps right now.
- Educate yourselves. Google search. Buy a book. If you’re not sure and don’t get it, ask us.
- Listen, respect and trust us as G’s parents. We didn’t just “decide” this was how G’s brain operates; it was a long, thorough diagnostic process . (Not to mention countless hours of research and discussion into the wee hours of the night!)
- Respect routine. This effort keeps emotional outbursts to a minimum, long-term and short-term, and helps G to thrive without the anxiety or frustration that can come at any point because his senses are overwhelmed. Imagine standing in a freezing cold or a very hot shower with your radio up full blast and a bright light in your eyes and someone is trying to have a conversation with you at the same time. Overwhelming, no? As one author put it, he wants the volume on everything in the world turned down.
Here is a link to a website called “My Asperger’s Child” and their page about helping family and friends understand. I recommend reading it if you want to know more. (Note: #1 is not applicable to us because we homeschool.)
- We’re getting close to 100 Randomness posts! Who knew that there were 100 days to be so random about things?
- I read a great book about a kid who is autistic and his mom who worked with him tirelessly, and now he is a child prodigy in astrophysics or something crazy like that. Very inspiring and encouraging book.
- She focused on what interested him (and other children she works with) and what he can do as opposed to what they can’t do, then used that approach to work on everything.
- It’s called The Spark by Kristine Barnett.
- We went to the zoo yesterday with friends who also homeschools. Taking advantage of that membership! It’s a lot of fun.
- You know you are a homeschooling family when your kids pick up rocks from the ground and yell, “Look! Mom! I found a mineral! Let’s find more minerals!”
- Homeschool high-five.
- (That’s where you high-five yourself, clap your hands above your head.)
- I’m not going to admit I was disappointed when Chris and the kids came back from the comic book store without the next issue of My Little Pony. Nope.
- I’m going to hug my Pinkie Pie now.
Hollywood has taken on Asperger’s in sometimes a direct way, and in other times, through an indirect approach, leaving the audience to wonder about a diagnosis just as we in real life never truly know a person. That said, here are some characters from TV series or movies who are said to be Aspies, without the writers directly indicating as much:
- Dr. Temperence Brennan on Fox’s “Bones”: Her strictly logical and scientific approach to her cases and social situations provide for a touch of humor in this crime drama.
- Dr. Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory”: The writers, according to one source I read, indicated that they chose to not specifically label Sheldon as an Aspie, but it is widely recognized that he displays all the characteristics. And, really, how can you not love Sheldon??
The next list are characters from TV series or movies where they are specifically labeled or diagnosed as Aspies:
- Max on “Parenthood”: One of the families on this drama has a child who is diagnosed with Asperger’s early in the series. It presents their struggles as he grows up.
- Dr. Temple Grandin: There is an HBO movie, as well as several books, about her life on the autism spectrum. She has made significant contributes to her field of speciality as well as autism. Truly incredible lady.
- Heart surgeon on “Grey’s Anatomy” – this character appeared in one or two episodes and is specifically noted as having Asperger’s. She’s brilliant and the actress portrays it well.
- “Adam” – this is a movie (romantic comedy?) about a character with Asperger’s and his relationship with a girl. I have not seen this one yet but I have heard good things about it.
I believe there are a few more examples out there and you can find them if you google them, but these are the ones that are most notable to me. I look forward to watching “Adam” and the movie about Temple Grandin. I hear they are quite excellent.