Saturday, December 20, 2014

I Believe

He believes in Santa Claus.
So I promise to keep the spirit of Christmas.

He believes in full body hugs and sticky kisses and snuggles.
So I promise to keep him warm and held.

He believes in tickles and chicken jokes and goofy faces.
So I promise to remember to make him smile.

He believes in popcorn in Momma's bed and late night cartoons.
So I promise to break the rules.

He believes in big splashes and sparkling bubbles and water guns.
So I promise to remember to get wet.

He believes I'm a princess.
So I promise to let him rescue me.

He believes in loud laughter and squeals and giggles.
So I promise to remember joy.

In everything.

Every day.

Because life is more than the lot we've been given.

It's what we believe.

And it's what we do with what we believe.

And I promise to remember that.

Because today...


this very minute...

He believes in Santa Claus.

And that's all I need to know.

Merry Christmas,

Pic of my Boy. Which is also a pic of 100% pure, innocent, perfect belief.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dear "NT" Family & Friends...

Dear Neurotypical Friends and Family,

Um. So, hey, I just wanted to let you know that... yeah.

I don't do jealous.

I don't know why, I just never have.

I've never wished I had someone else's job or car or house or family.

I've wished that I had a bestseller on the New York Times... but it's more of a naptime fantasy than actual jealousy over anyone else's book.

I don't want THEIR success.

I want mine.

And I want success for my Boy.

There are a million ways my mind wants to go when I start down this thought-road, so I'll try to line up a clear, easy to follow map.

And it starts with this: I am not jealous of you.

I am not jealous of your child.

I am not jealous your child is not autistic.

I am not jealous your child is top reader in his school.

Or that she won a state solo contest.

I am not jealous your husband helps with your laundry. I'm not sure how such a thing happens exactly, but I'm not jealous.

I'm happy for you.

I just want to throw that out there.

Because lots of someones are apparently concerned, since I started talking about my Boy's autism, that they can't share with me. They can't brag. They can't talk about the wonderful, amazing, fabulous things their kids are doing.

Out of kindness and consideration for feelings I don't have.

But maybe one day I will. Maybe, as my Boy grows and our differences are more noticeable and our struggles more intense, I will have a hard time celebrating with and for you.

But not today.

Today we are living in that soft, gray cloud that floats ambiguously between the storm of pre-diagnosis and the soft, lily white fields of "we've totally got this autism thing."

We are somewhere in the middle.

Where life is manageable.

Where hope is concrete and pain is fleeting.

Where I can share ''us.''

We don't have it all down yet, but I can see that the tunnel we're in doesn't end at a brick wall.

I can see that the very, very rough years we've been through had purpose.

And that's why I'm sharing everything I do. I'm sitting here on Facebook every night talking through my thoughts and feelings. Sharing the hard and the easy. Sharing the laughs and the tears. Reaching out because I know we're not alone.

I'm not jealous of what you have, I'm trying to share what I have.

I know our life looks very different from yours.

And I'm okay with that.

Because I love what we have. I don't love that my Boy has to struggle to get through a meal or to get dressed or go to the bathroom. But I love him. I love how he loves me. I love how loving him is turning me into this insane advocate-ish, educated, aware human being.

I love this crazy, messy, stained, saturated life that we have going.

So, I said all that just to say "congratulations, I'm proud of you guys.

You guys are awesome.

Tell me all about you while we're here."

And I hope, really, really, really hope, you're proud of us.

Let me tell you all about us while we're here, too.


Pic of Me holding my Boy. Who is wearing iLs headphones. At Occupational Therapy.

A Picture I took because after 5 months of his wearing them twice a week he's finally decided there's absolutely nothing wrong with putting and KEEPING them on.

Which is a huge triumph.

One of many we had today.

Celebrate with us.
feeling blessed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Because, ornaments.

Happy Christmas!


Because there may not be ornaments left on the tree by Christmas.

So I'm taking pictures now.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spectrum Boy's Christmas List 2014

There’s a strong possibility that all these ‘Special Needs’ wish lists, toy lists, therapy lists are all exactly what your kiddos need for the holidays, but few of them work for my Boy and I’m guessing some of you might have the same problem.

So here's my take.

Here is the dream gift guide-slash-Christmas list for 2014. As written by the Momma to a 5 year old verbal, moderate-severe ASD/ADHD/ICD kid. Aka Freaking Awesome Boy. FAB. Totally FAB.
So here are my ideas for Christmas or Hanukkah or even just an "Omigosh I'm going insane" kind of night. Which is every night here, really.

Oh, and nothing is over $50. Because, for reals.

So there’s that.

And, without further ado and JUST in time for #CyberMonday or #PaydayIsntTilTheFirst... Here's our list.




Because by all that I consider holy, this was the best discovery of my life. Now, if your kiddo is still putting everything questionable in their mouth, this is an obvious no. Mine only puts hard things in his mouth and has serious aversions to slipper foods so slippery toys are also a no for eating. So this is a win for us. Not just any win. 24-7 hands out of trouble win.

This is a fidget extraordinaire.  Tips: Move it slow and it will stick, move it fast and it will click. AKA the faster you move it the easier it is to clean up. I wouldn’t recommend this for carpeted homes. Unless you could care less about your carpet. Or unless you’re desperate.

Now, I say $1 and it usually is. Unless you buy all they have, in each type, at every Dollar Tree in your city/town/county/state. Because you should. I did.

If yours doesn't have any or you'd rather go online there are plenty.

Trust me. Please.

The Ekorre swing by Ikea

$34.99 + Shipping from Ikea. Unless you have a store nearby. In which case I hate you. They sell these on Amazon also, but make sure that it’s not more expensive than the Ikea $+Shipping. Cuz that’s what I did. (head butts wall)

Because he needed a therapy swing. And those suckers cost more than a down payment on a car. Well. My car..

It's a therapy swing, trampoline, Tarzan rope, indoor climber, savior extraordinaire. This should have been item numero uno on the list. 


I needed my Dad to hang it for me and it took him about 15-minutes once he worked up the nerve to do it. Hardware included. Squishy, nearly indestructable pillow insert can be blown up with a hair dryer. Canvas. OMG. Get. It.

The cube chair. Because he saw it when he was 1 in Gymboree and we spent months looking for it. And because he’s used it ever since. He’s 5. Math that up all ya need to.

Step stool, table, chair… whatever. My kid ruins everything. This thing is still going strong. And it’s totally perfect for  a Momma to stand on to change a lightbulb if step ladders are dangerous. Which in our house they totally are. Amen.

$49.50. If you have Prime then the shipping is free. Some other sites are a few dollars cheaper but charge shipping, so since Prime is free shipping and TWO day shipping at that, it’s my winner.

Oh. And it's nearly impossible to throw. Which wins at my house.
Stability ball. Or sensory ball. Or the I-know-everyone-says-to-get-it-but-I-haven’t-yet.

Do it.


Let them roll over it, roll it over them, kick it, chase it. My Boy is still learning to catch a ball. And still getting bummed when he doesn’t. He never misses this one. Win.

 If you pay more than that because it says ‘’sensory’’ then that’s just... yeah. I found the cheaper ones work perfectly, so I'm not ready to bump up to $40-$75. This one has lasted me 8 years, 5 of those with Boy.

I keep it out in the netted trampoline during the summer. Because he won’t use the trampoline unless there are balls in it. BOUNCY MOOOOOOSH PIIIIIIIIIIITTTT!

I use it all through the winter when he needs a squeeze or a squish or a roll. Which is all the time.

The Matryoshka, aka Nesting Dolls.


Because my Boy has a thing about containers. And lids. And bags. And hidey holes. And cups. And tea pots. And okay… anything that he can store/hide things in or pour water in. Or out of.

Bathtime much?

I need plastic ones so they can get wet. And they don’t shatter if they are thrown at you. They might crack if your Kiddo stands on them, but heck my Boy cracked my wood ones opening and closing and opening and closing and opening and closing them. Repeat. To infinity. And there are no lids to open, so the fine motor is getting worked but not frustrated. Saweet.

Wood or plastic or pink or blue, they're awesome. My Boy is getting the Robots.

Because, awesome hiding/lid on and off/pouring things.

Sandpaper letters. 


Because my Boy really, really, really, really struggles with letters. He doesn’t like trying to write them. It’s too stinking hard. So we went the tactile-sensory input way. He loves them. And he started tracing other letters after we worked with these for awhile.

Letters on his timeout mat. Letters on the signs at stores. Letters, people.

Also make really great, non-digestible, non-advisable chewies. Meh. We outgrew that. But just a head's up, sandpaper hurts teeth. Don't get it if you've got a paper chewer.


Autism t-shirts. 


Because nothing says "Back away slowly or I will unleash my years of ASD research on your nosy self" quite like a label.

But hey, it makes life easier. People smile at you more. They hold doors open. They don't call the cops on you. Sometimes they even let you cut in line at the store. And since when isn't that exactly what I want from Santa?

We have the ones from this Etsy shop. The t's are like SILK and my kiddo who freaks out over EVERYTHING I put on him wears this like it's his favorite blankie. 

More than my usual $3-5 per shirt budget, but worth it for me. The others are just cute ones I put in my "next" file. Because I love Think Geek. Because, Geek. And it's $8.45. Win Autism T-Shirts: Ninja (MADE TO ORDER)

Handheld water ring game. 


Because, I have no idea. But he freaking loves it.

I've had this for 20+ years and no matter which shelf I put it on I find it back inside his swing, click, gloop, click, gloop.

Okay so the first two years he just opened it and dumped out the water, but now he gets it.

And it's the reason he doesn't have a handheld video game. This works for us. Thank you, Old School Santa.

Oh. And water. It's just water. Which is always awesome.

Playmobil Ark. 


Because, water.

It floats.

And it can be any water story you want it to be or anything they want it to be. I teach our best homeschool lessons in the bathtub.

He's calm. He's happy. He's looking at what I am playing with. And he's more likely to join in or take it away and finish the game. He doesn't even care that much about the animals, but this he likes. WIN.

And seriously. It floats.

And you can take it with you.

And it doesn't have those nasty black, moldy holes in the bottom that most bath toys have.


Favorite snack!


Because some people seem to forget how much fun it is to open a present! Granted, some kids don't care. But my kid? He unwraps a box of Cheezits on Christmas morning and he's going to be doing the freak dance.

In a big way.

Wrap that baby up and watch them smile.

Or maybe those Cheetos Cheese Puffs. Or beef jerky. Anything I don't want him substituting real food for. Unless of course he won't eat real food if he's given the treats, in which case ignore me. Completely. 

Nuts. He'll go NUTS.

For $1.

Wanna REALLY blow some minds? Get the snack pack sizes and wrap those. Full stocking for $2.50.



Merry Christmahanakwanzika.

Which in our house is really just Christmas.

With Challah.