My ship, the USS George Washington CVN 73 going through the Suez Canal, on our 2001 deployment.
raising a daughter with Autism
My ship, the USS George Washington CVN 73 going through the Suez Canal, on our 2001 deployment.
I woke up this morning to the sound of a toilet being flushed. A few seconds later I heard my daughter shouting, “My toy!” I cringed as I quickly jumped out of bed and headed towards the bathroom. Lately my daughter has been flushing items down the loo. I’ve been trying to tell her that mommy can’t retrieve whatever she flushes down the potty, so once she sticks it in there and pulls the handle to flush it, it’s gone forever.
I walk in the bathroom and immediately she’s pointing at the potty saying, “My toy! My toy!” I tell her once again, “It’s gone baby. Don’t you remember mommy telling you, once you flush something down the potty, it isn’t coming back?” She only stares at me with a frown, then looks at the potty and starts to cry. I pick her up and remind her again that she has to stop flushing things.
I thought I was being clever and putting one of those door knob covers on the bathroom door. I had removed it off of her bedroom door, thinking it was okay. I had not thought about the bathroom door being left open during the night as my grams and I routinely use the bathroom. My daughter is usually the first to get up. Obviously she saw I had removed her door knob cover and let herself out of her room.
I know that there are potty locks, but where do I find one? I’ve searched a few stores, Target and Walmart, but haven’t seen any. I didn’t want to keep the bathroom locked as I want my daughter to be able to let herself into the bathroom to use the potty. A lot of times I cannot be in there, hovering over her, waiting on her to actually pee. Those with kids know how that usually goes. She has her very own little potty, but she has a habit of flushing things down the bigger potty as well as turning the facet water on and washing stuff down that pipe too.
In Sociology class we are learning a little bit about religion in society. One particular religion that we discussed, other than Christianity, was sun worship. How ancient societies would worship the sun, until science came along and explained the world and it’s surroundings to us. I wrote a response paper on a particular sun worshiping group that I had seen on a TV show a few months ago. I had to do some research to make sure what I was saying was accurate, as always. Enjoy!
I love watching the History channel. Some of the shows on there always catch my attention, especially when it comes to talking about historical items in the museum, archeology, or historical exploration. Last year I started watching a show called America Unearthed. Scott Wolter, a world renowned forensic geologist is often called to check out some rock or stone someone has found. Usually that stone has some history relevance to a past society or tide to a particular group of people.
These groups of people or societies are relatively known to have lived there, so history says, but with the evidence that’s being found today and the evidence that’s been looked at again from the past, says otherwise. Such as the Mayan’s built temples in Georgia, Egyptian tribes once lived in Oklahoma, the Knights Templar roaming in the Nevada desert. All of these groups of people past history says is inaccurate, but evidence being brought forth shows otherwise.
The show is primarily based on correcting the history that we’ve been taught in school. Scott Wolter travels all over America, even across Europe trying to put an answer to some of the items that are brought to his attention.
We talked about a particular religion were people worship the sun. I saw an episode of America Unearthed where evidence of a particular group called Mithraism was found in Oklahoma. Mithraism is an ancient Roman cult of the Apis bull.
Mithraism was it was a secretive sect. It is part of the Zoroastrianism religion that was founded in the 6th century BC. What is known is that it dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
Mithras was a very important Persian god. He was a sun god and a bull slayer. Images are often found of Mithras slaying a bull. It is believed that those in the Mithraism sect sacrificed a bull to honor Mithras, but the blood was used to baptized newcomers.
This particular group would have been outcast in America as they were very different from Christianity. However, archeological evidence shows that Christianity and Mithraism influenced one another. They both developed in the same area of the world. They both have communal meals and have similar beliefs and practices. It is believed that Christianity adopted one aspect of Mithraism, Christmas Day.
Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th; he was born sometime in the fall. December 25th is the day of the birth of the sun, or the sun god, to which is closely related to Mithras.
When Constantine converted to Christianity from Mithraism, he decided to change December 25th to Christ’s birthday, rather than Mithras’ birthday. Mithraism eventually died out in the 4th century AD when Constantine converted to Christianity.
I’ve started to notice my daughter’s Autism progressing more. She’s more sound sensitive, even more scared of the washer, blender, and vacuum cleaner than she was before. The sounds of fireworks terrify her to the point she’s screaming with fright. She’s even more attractive to things with bright, flashing lights, like glow sticks or the light up wands you would find at Halloween or at concession stands at parades or carnivals.
Last night we had our Christmas parade here in Bryant, my hometown. I didn’t take her due to her reaction to the Christmas parade we went to in Benton the night before; Benton is the town next to us. She showed interest in the floats, decorated with bright Christmas lights, with cheerful people waving and shouting ‘Merry Christmas’. My daughter cheered and waved back at each one as they passed by us. Then she started to push away when the band started coming near us. I calmly walked behind the crowd of people that was around us, but started to dance along with the band’s music, showing her that it was okay.
As soon as the band passed by I put her up on top of my shoulders, where she would sit for majority of the parade. She resumed her clapping, waving, and cheering at the brightly lit floats driving past us, until the motorcycles started to approach us. She started to scream and try to climb down from my shoulders. I cuddled her as best I could, trying to comfort her as she hid her head in my chest, covering her ears and whimpering. I placed my hand over her head, bringing her into my chest and covering her ears as best as I could, telling her all will be okay. The more the motorcycles revved up their engines, the more she stirred and cried.
I continued to stay at the back of the crowd, far from the parade procession. Though as each loud group that passed by us, I would put her back up on my shoulders so she could enjoy the rest of the parade. It was soon coming to an end and it was time for the firetrucks to make their appearance, followed by the fat jolly man on top of the last firetruck. It wasn’t hard to tell they were nearing as each one would blast their sirens, causing it to echo off of the buildings, making it sound louder and louder as the approached. It was our Que to leave.
I didn’t need to stay any longer to see Santa and I knew she could care less if he was approaching or not. It was the loud sirens that had her terrified and her wanting to leave. So leave we did. She loves firetrucks, has several firetruck toys at home. She just doesn’t like the loud sirens that they have.
Children don’t come with handbooks or manuals, nor does Autism. It’s all a learning process. A few years ago I had to learn from these similar reactions that fireworks aren’t something that we’ll be into viewing each fourth of July. Every fourth we’ll go to the carnival, but we return home way before the crowd shows for the fireworks display. I try to distract her with cartoons, puzzles, and games on her kindle as each whistle, pop, and crackle noise is made from the neighbors setting off their own little fireworks.
Parades and fireworks won’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. We might not go off to watch it in person, but that won’t stop us from finding something else to entertain ourselves, such as a Disney movie in the comfort of our own home.
Today the temp outside was a chilling 27F. My daughter didn’t want to wear her coat, instead she wanted to wear her jacket. Who wouldn’t want to wear it, it has mermaids on it. She calls it her Bubble Guppies jacket. I happily agreed to put her jacket on her just to refrain from her having a meltdown. I then chased her down and put her coat on her as well. She then wanted her mittens and knitted owl hat to go along with her coat.
Though it’s cold out and I want her to dress warmly, I do have an issue in her wearing the bulky winter coat when I have to buckle her into her car seat. I loosen the straps just so I can get her arms through them, then I buckle her in. I try to re-tighten the straps so that they’re snug, but not cutting off circulation. To me, it just seems unsafe. I just need to get her a mile down the road. It’s already hectic getting her into the coat, just to get her out the door. It isn’t even near thinkable taking her coat off of her before I strap her into the car seat. I need to rethink this one over, I thought to myself.
While surfing FB I noticed a particular blog link someone had posted. Interesting I thought, as I clicked on it. It was discussing the same issues I was having earlier today. Car seat ponchos or taking the child’s coat off, buckle them into their car seat properly, then have them wear their coat backwards. Hmmm, not a bad idea, but curious how an autistic child with sensory needs would react to this. I’m going to give it a try.
Here’s the link to that blog site. She’s made some really good points, so I encourage all to give it a read. http://thecarseatlady.blogspot.com/2011/01/coats-n-car-seats-are-not-safe-combo.html?m=1
Today in Sociology class we watched a video called ‘Slum Insight’. It was about a small nation in Africa whose people are living in absolute poverty. Absolute poverty means that it is life threatening. There is no access to clean water, no shelter, or the means to obtain food. There are over 1.4 billion people on the planet who live in absolute poverty. Though it is rare, there are some people in America that live in absolute poverty. Relative poverty however, is the most common here in the United States. Relative poverty means that people have the ability to afford the basics, but are unable to live in the average standard of living. The basics are food, clothing, shelter, and clean water. There are very few people here in the United States without access to clean water, but it is rare as our country makes it possible for its citizens to have access to such an important basic need.
It was really hard to watch the video without shedding a few tears. There was a scene where a family lose their young child and were laying him to rest. I could not imagine life without my daughter. She fulfills me in every aspect of my life and is the reason why I look forward to waking up each morning. I am going back to school to better myself in hopes to sustain a better life for us. I grew up knowing what it is like going to bed hungry, being bullied because I lived in a shack, and bullied because my clothes were dirty and ragged and worn.
Growing up I lived with my parents and two sisters in a small 24X24 house. It had a basic house frame with a plywood exterior and basic sheet-rock interior. We did not have any walls separating rooms in the interior of the house, we had sheets. Sheets hung from the ceiling to the floor, sectioning off an area for a small bedroom for my parents. Later they moved their waterbed out and move a twin bed in, placing it in the living room area. It was also used as a couch. My sisters and I slept on bunk bed, they were on the top and I was on the bottom.
There was a curtained corner where a ten gallon bucket was placed where we would use it as a potty. It was my job to dump it daily. I resented my parents every day for making me do this job as I found it disgusting, but that was one of many chores that I had to do…every day. Not to mention it was too heavy for me to carry at times and the contents would slosh out on me making me feel even more resentful.
We had to heat our water for bathing, which was time consuming, so they were not a daily thing. At first we took our baths in a thirty gallon tin tub in the middle of kitchen until our grandparents found us an actual bathtub. It sat outside for the longest time until a bathroom was built on to the house. We had running water in the house that came from our own well that we dug out, but in the five plus years that I grew up there, we never had hot running water, nor an actual toilet.
It was extremely hot during the summer time. Our house had three windows and one door. Every summer we would have one box fan sitting in the window, facing inwards, and another box fan sitting in the window facing outwards to have some sort of air flow going through the tiny house. This sounds like a great idea, but it only cooled it slightly. Not to mention, we lived on a dirt road, so each time someone drove by, a cloud of dust would make its way inside the house.
During the winter we had a three foot tall kerosene heater that was used to heat the whole house. Mind you it was still cold in the house, but not as bad as it would be without that heater. We were fortunate to have a grandmother that had the ability to make quilts. Our beds were layered with them, at least mine was. I think at one point I counted how many blankets were on my bed and remember it being around eight or nine.
After about two years or so the sheets that were used for walls came down, except for one sheet left separating the living room area from the bedroom area. This gave us some privacy for three growing girls. By that time we had a bathroom and a front porch built on. Our potty bucket was replaced by a portable potty and moved into the bathroom. It was still my job to empty and clean the thing. We had a washer put in the bathroom, but it only used cold water. The tub was moved from the front of the house, into the bathroom and running water was hooked up to it, though we still had to heat our water for our baths.
We had a garden that was at least an acre or two in size where we got our fruits and vegetables. We raised rabbits, chickens, and a couple of turkeys, so we had eggs and meat. Later our grandparents bought beef cows, so now and then we had beef in our freezer. Our mother only went into town when she had transportation. She would get basic commodities, which included peanut butter, powdered milk, beans, and cereal. At times the only food we had was what we ate at school, so it was crucial to not miss a meal or to not leave food left on our tray.
Having watched the video, Slum Insight in class today, I can say that we were much better off than most. We did have running electricity and clean water, so our situation was not absolute poverty. It will always be something that I will not forget from my childhood and it is something I would not like my child to experience.
For those of you who would like to view the short video, it is free and it is only fifteen minutes long. Go to: http://www.gapminder.org/videos/a-slum-insight/
*NOTE: This timeline of my childhood was from when I was in the 5th grade until I completed the 9th grade in Prattsville, Arkansas
Since I’ve been told my daughter is on the Spectrum I have been curious. Curious on how she would be treated, how she would fair in a regular daycare, how she would get along with other kids who aren’t on the spectrum. It is a fear of mine for her to be held back because of how delayed she is. But what people don’t see is how smart she is. She knows her colors, letters, shapes, how to count to at least fifteen. She can even count to ten in Spanish. She’s non-sociable with kids around her age only because she’s used to being around her older cousins. She is particularly hard to deal with for some people when it comes to them not knowing how to communicate with her. She isn’t that verbal and when she is, some people have a hard time knowing what she’s saying. This leads to meltdowns. I’ve been approached many times on how to deal with this when she does that, or how do I do this when she does that.
Well, some of my fears have come true. I found out a few weeks ago that she’s been held back in her daycare due to the fact that she’s still in diapers. Instead of being in the classroom with the 3 1/2 and 4 year olds, she’s in the classroom with the 2 year olds. Why had I not paid attention to this sooner? Well, with the high over turn in teachers, and the fact that she was moved around twice since putting her back in daycare a few months ago, had me thinking she was in her proper class. I did not find out she was in with two year old until I was signing her field trip form and it had what class she was in. I was not happy and even expressed this. Because I can’t get her to be fully potty trained, this causes a problem with the daycare she’s in.
This past week one of her specialist handed me a list of daycare’s to look at. These are daycare’s that have pediatric services. Daycare’s that have qualified teachers who specialize in areas for kids with special needs, such as Autism, down syndrome, delayed development, etc. I have checked out at least two of them on the list and one of them I like already. I especially like that it has proper security measures, such as a door you have to push a button to request getting in and press a button to get out. At my daughter’s current daycare you can just lean on the door and it opens without issues. This becomes a problem with me as my daughter is a runner. She has on a few occasions gotten right to the busy street before I catch her. I swear I lose five years off of my life each time she heads for that door.
Upon checking out one of them, the one that I like the most, I have seen so many things that would benefit my daughter and her sensory needs. For the past month she’s been giving everyone a difficult time due to the fact that she’s in need of sensory input and I just so happen to be picking her up after a few hours of her having a lengthy meltdown. No one knows what to do for her when she has a meltdown, nor do they recognize that she’s even having an meltdown or the fact that she’s requiring some sensory input. Instead, they put her off to a corner and tell her to play by herself. At the daycare I checked out the nurse giving me the tour showed me all kinds of sensory toys. Thinks for yoga balls, slides, trampolines, ball pits, special swings, you name it, they had it and my daughter will benefit from these items as I’m sure she’ll be using them on a daily basis. This will also help me when I come to pick her up, as she won’t be cranky and out of emotional balance.
This daycare also has a wonderful staff that I had the joy of meeting. Their classrooms were much bigger and situated differently than the daycare my daughter is in currently. I noticed immediately that I was in a classroom for children that require structure and stability, something that my daughter needs. Actually I think every child needs structure and stability. I was also told that she will be placed in a classroom with her peers. I think my heart leaped with joy when I heard that. There are a list of other things that I liked with this daycare, though I still feel the need to look at a few others before I make my final decision. I’m sure I’m already biased in picking which one I want her to go to already.
It is interesting to hear in Sociology class how clean water is a part of our daily needs. Water is a precious commodity, but not everyone has access to water. And those that do have access can only find unsafe water to drink.
According to Water.org, there are over 780 million people without access to clean water. Each year, 3.4 million of those people die from the diseases they get from drinking dirty water. Only ten percent of waste water gets treated globally. That water is then let back into our lakes, rivers, and streams, where most people go to fetch their drinking water.
It is also stated that over eighty eight percent of those people get severe diarrhea from drinking dirty water. Ninety percent of those are children and are under the age of five. Sadly those children cannot survive from the diarrhea that get and there is minimal medical help.
In forty five countries, women and children spend majority of the day collecting water from the closest water source they can find. Sadly this water source is not safe to drink. It can be from a nearby river where it is polluted with trash and or sanitation. Also, not everyone knows to boil their water to make it safe for drinking, yet in some cases, boiling their water may not rid all of the deadly bacteria swimming around in their water.
Though I am not a wealthy person, I feel very privileged just living where I do. I have the access to drink from a sustainable source, where I know the water is safe to drink. If I am not sure of its safety, I can go to the store to buy water in bottled form, or buy a tap filter to use at home. I am saddened that there are others out there that lack water as a resource, let alone safe water to drink. There are companies that a person can donate to ensure people have a safe source of water, but those countries who are too poor to help clean up their sanitation problems, to help build wells for clean water, to help their people obtain the resources they need are almost heartbreaking.
A few weeks ago I had gotten my first mammogram done. All the old wives tales the older generations of women tell us younger generations of women can be really hard on oneself. I was already feeling stressed out as I had felt a few knots in my left breast and one painful knot in my right. I made an appointment to see my doctor, who then made an appointment for me to get a mammogram to check everything out. Though I’m only 34, I’m not that young to start getting these exams done regularly.
From the stories I’ve heard from those who have gotten a mammogram done, I began to have nightmares. I picture an old dinosaur aged machine that was going to smash the life out of my tatas. I was also worried about my results after having the mammogram done as cancer runs heavily in my family on both sides.
I was led into a small room with this huge machine that didn’t appear to look anything I imagined it to be. Oddly I felt more comfortable. Maybe it was due to the welcoming conversation I was having with my nurse. She adjusted the machine to my level of height and had me place one of my girls on this cold metal slab. She then started turning some knobs on the machine, bring this plastic tray looking thing down on top of my girl, which squeezed it just slightly. I had to move my head out of the view of the xray camera, which had me standing a little awkward and had me pressing my ribs into the machine slightly which was the only uncomfortable feeling I had during the entire exam.
After about a half hour of waiting on my results the doctor came in to say she couldn’t find anything, but she was going to have me go get an ultrasound. It seems that the knots I have are too small to read on the mammogram xrays. Another ten minutes and I was walking with another nurse into the ultrasound room. Being a mom I was already familiar with this device and started to relax more. Though as I was laying there, watching the screen as she moved the wand over my breasts, she hit the knot, causing me to jump. She then slowed the movement and pressed in, trying to find it the knot on the screen. Now this was the most painful part of the whole procedure.
I held my breath and tried hard not to jump as she kept running the wand over the already inflamed area. Finally she found it on the screen, but wasn’t done with me yet. She had to hold the wand over the knot and take pictures of it, documenting where it was located and how big it was. She told me that it was a cyst and that was a good thing. The cyst however can grow or reduce.
After several uncomfortable minutes later she moved to the other breast. She didn’t have me jumping as badly as she had before as this side wasn’t nearly as sensitive as the other. Though I had two knots on this breast, she couldn’t find them. She had to get the doctor to come in and have a look to see if she would be successful. After another few minutes of the doctor searching she told me that it wasn’t anything to worry about, that it could just be breast pain and inflamed ducts and that’s the reason why it isn’t showing up on the ultrasound. What a relief. Then she had to take a look at the cyst. Oh joy! Just when I thought that part was over. She was more generous to me then the nurse and didn’t use as much pressure when going over the knot.
Once she found it, they took more pictures, then told me that it is too small to do anything with and that she wants me to come back in another six months to have another look at it. She said cyst can be quite painful, but if it gets worse or get any bigger to come in earlier.
It was an interesting exam, not what I had expected from hearing my Gram’s and her sisters tell me about their experiences in having a mammogram done. I’m still curious, why isn’t there a better method of having these exams done? We as a whole have bettered our technology by way of phone and computers, but haven’t found better methods in bettering women’s exams than the already outdated techniques.
It’s hard to break habits once they start. Giving up chocolate, coffee, smoking. No, I’m not a smoker, but I was just naming a few habits that could be hard to break. I can’t imagine going without the thought of popping a delicately sweet piece of milk chocolate into my mouth and savoring it. The heavenly bitter-sweetness of it rolling over my taste buds, as it melts into my mouth causing it to water even more. The chocolaty smell hitting my sense of smell and…hang on a second while I go get some…
It started about a year or so ago. My daughter had this high fever that I was having trouble breaking. I had taken her to the doctor and she was given meds for an ear infection. But that was only the day before her fever reached 103F. She woke me up crying in the middle of the night. I rushed into her room to find her not only covered in sweat, but she had thrown up all over her bed. She was burning up so I thought what best than to put her straight into the bath. I washed her off, telling her everything was okay. Once she was out and dressed I put her on the couch, gave her something for the fever, then went to change her bed sheets. When I came back she had nodded off to sleep, so I left her there, all snug and warm, tucked into a fresh blanket on the couch.
About an hour later she woke up crying again. Same thing, sweaty and covered in throw up. Another bath and this time was put in my bed. She stayed the whole night without waking and without throwing up, though that didn’t mean I slept peacefully. Her fever had reduced a few degrees, but was still too high. I even made a trip to the Children’s hospital about thirty plus minutes away, only for her to be given a gatorade and nausea meds. She stayed with me that night and the following night, just so I could monitor her fever and be close by in case she needed to throw up again. But ever since then she thinks it’s okay to hop into bed with me, especially when she’s not feeling well.
“Don’t you want to go sleep in your very own bed?” I ask her.
She casually shakes her head while sucking on her thumb. She stares up at me with those bright blue eyes of hers and immediately I thought of Puss in Boots from Shrek and how he would look at people with a cute little pout and those big soft eyes. I could tell I wasn’t getting anywhere. She was winning me over. I had to change tactics. Think of something that may work.
Finally, I had a thought. “I thought you told mommy that you were a big girl.” She nodded her head. “Well, big girls sleep in their own bed. Don’t you want to be a big girl and sleep in your own bed? Mommy’s a big girl and she sleeps in her own big girl bed. You have your own big girl bed too. So what do you say I take you back to your room and put you back into your big girl bed?”
She looks at me and nods her head. It worked! Though for the time being as she still gets up in the middle of the night and crawls into bed with me. This whole big girl thing however, seems to not work so much on her any more. Time to think up of something else to use.
There’s a written law, or code if you will, for Mother’s all over the world. It’s an extensive list and yes, every mother has one. One of the things on that list is the fact that a mother cannot go very far without her children knowing her exact destination or knowing where she is at any given time…it’s under the “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” clause. Your child(ren) can find you, especially if you think you’re going to have a little ‘me time’.
1. A mother locks herself in the pantry just to scarf down a sandwich or cup cake before dinner time – this is due to the fact that she’s the last one to eat, and by the time she does sit down to eat her food she had placed onto her plate, she has noticed it has gone ice cold. She gets up to warm her plate only to be distracted by her child(ren) asking for seconds, set up a movie on their TV, or any other long list of things that will have her coming back to another cold plate. By this time it’s already time to get the kid(s) into the bath, then bed.
2. A mother locks herself in her bedroom closet just to snack on a candy bar – trust me, if you haven’t tried this, you’ve thought about it. That stressful moment when everything is not going the way it should, (your child has dumped the entire contents of the cheetos bag into the floor and now has the color orange all over herself and the carpet. The washer is rocking, the phone is ringing non stop, someone is knocking on your front door, you’re trying effortlessly to clean up the other mess your child has made before you notice the cheetos disaster). All of this has you locking yourself in your closet just to escape for a few minutes peace and quiet before heading back out into the craziness that had you going in there in the first place.
3. A mother locks herself in the bathroom – oh yes, a must do occasionally just to refrain from getting a UTI. How many times have you sat down to pee just because you could not hold it anymore and someone runs into the bathroom crying because you are the only one in the world that could help them. A.) The TV is broken – another way of saying that they can’t reach the cable box to turn it on, their movie is rolling the end credits and they need it restarted right now or their cartoon ended and they don’t like what came on afterwards. B.) They spilled their entire bag of chips and is having a meltdown because they wanted one and now they’re all dirty. C.) I threw my toy into the washroom, but I cannot go in there because the washer is running and I’m scared of it.
I only lock myself in the bathroom when I know I’m not the only adult in the house. But this doesn’t stop my almost four year old from knocking on the door and calling my name in sobs because she needs me for something.
I just got into the shower and stood there under the hot stream. Two minutes had not passed when I heard a knock, knock, knock on the door, followed by, “Mommy, what you doing?”
“Mommy’s taking a bath!” I say calmly. I’m used to her knocking on the door or better yet, bursting through, stripping her clothes off, and getting into the shower without my knowing she even entered the bathroom. Kids are ninjas! I swear they are! Another good reason to lock the bathroom door – so mommy can get a proper shower.
“Mommy, door stuck!” she says with a grunt, referring to the fact that she cannot open the locked bathroom door. She starts to kick the door, then knocks on it again, “door stuck mommy!”
“I know it’s stuck baby, it’s okay, I’ll be done in a few minutes.” I reply, trying to hurry.
“It’s okay mommy, I fix it!” After a brief pause I can hear her yell just a few feet away from the door, “Nena (the name my daughter calls her great grandma – who is on the computer), door stuck! Nena, stuck!”
I could not help but laugh at how funny she sounds. Was she trying to rescue mommy, or was she trying to get into the shower herself. I quickly finish my shower, wrapped the towel around me, and opened the door. She stood there, giving me this mad look, then says with her thumb in her mouth, “Door stuck.”
I bit back a smile and say, “Door isn’t stuck now, what do you want?”
She points in the direction of her room. I followed her in there only to find that the cable box didn’t turn on and she was missing her Dora the Explorer show.
~ A blog post for my French class:
about a Parisian attempting, with mixed results, to live for nine months buying only French made products. Have you ever had a similar experience? How is Carle’s experience like and unlike an American who might try to do the same thing with US made products? ~
If you were to go through your house and look for ‘Made In’ stickers and tags, how many items would you find in your home that are made in your very own country? There may be a few people out there that choose to buy products made in their own country, which is where the term ‘economic patriotism’ comes from. As you may find, it is actually harder to do as everything may not be made in your own country, or maybe it is not sold in stores. It could also get expensive as you would have to buy it directly from a factory that makes the items you are looking for.
I have seen a few shows on television where a couple wanted to clear their house of everything that was not made in the United States. A team came into their home and removed all but two items.
Do you think that if people were more economically patriotic, it would be more beneficial to their country’s economy? It would probably see an increase in jobs. Do you think the trading industry will see a decrease in numbers? It is quite possible, but there is always something that someone wants that the other person has. Could you be economically patriotic?
Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.
Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.
There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.
My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.
Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.
Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.
A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.