We are all just trying our best. Life as an ASD parent.

I was giggling and expressively finishing my story, arms wailing and haphazardly climbing the curb in 5 1/2 inch neon orange heels with my mind on ice cream and a smile ten miles wide, as I often have when spending time with a very dear friend.

“I have to say hello” a woman says to me from the the door or her car in the parking lot. Friendly kind face, a knowing smile. While I could have been on guard being stopped in a darkish parking lot I knew that she was friend immediately.

We stood and spoke a few minutes. I had been recognized from my Husbands Facebook site Ink4autism a Facebook group for parents, friends and ASD people.

She told me she was also an ASD Mom and told me about her great kids and how she enjoyed the site.

I gave Jack the well deserved credit for his labor of love.

When I went inside and sat down to enjoy my childhood delicacy I smiled and felt that great glow of being part of Something special. And I am.

Motherhood with a child on the spectrum is a secret knowing. There is a component of the journey that is just different and you truly have a bond with other parents that despite wanting to a non ASD parent can’t.
Sometimes we draw upon each other for strength. Others times understanding. We celebrate the wins and know just how pivotal and powerful they are, even when they seem insignificant. Especially then.

We are never alone.

As we struggle and persevere in an ASD world that sometimes seems dark remember you are never alone. The world is coloured with so many of us. Your community is highlighted with so many people like you that understand your fight and support it.

It took a late night run to DQ for me to be reminded of that but it was a gift I’ll hold with me always.

Autism again gives gifts and I count the blessing.

Madhouse or Oasis? Life on the spectrum

It can be an utter madhouse, a cacophony of loud voices, background noise, clutter and action or the purest form of beauty. The innocent timbre of a child’s wonderment, the tinker of unabashed laughter, the joy of watching them interact and learn from thier environment, the loveliness of childhood in its purest form.

Im home from a long day of work and I’m hungry so I decide on one of my childhood delicacies, a peanut butter and banana sandwich and stand at the window and watch the six children in the frontyard play the classic child pass time- a game of tag.image

Regardless of how many times I’ve warned the kids to stay off the road I’m leery as I permit the littlest one to join in the fun but I also don’t want to coddle him too much so I stand back and trust he’s heard my warnings and he’ll heed them.

My oldest son floats through the empty hallway and peers over my shoulder at his comrades, he fidgets and I can tell he’s thinking something.

“Mom?…”

“yes babe”

“can I go out too?”

A simple request. At 11 yrs old it even seems redundant as he should be allowed if the younger boys are outside already.

 

Autism  has kept him protected. At times regular kid activities are just too dangerous without supervision. Lincoln wants permission to go outside alone or he’d ask for me to come outside as he normally does. He’s testing and wanting his independence… And I want him to have it.

“of course. Please stay off the road and don’t touch the car”

“ok”

He slides his shoes on and calls to the others.

The mere fact he WANTS to play with others is exciting, I’m bursting with giddiness that outweighs the concern.

I slowly edge away from the window. As the minutes tick by my trepidation slowly wans and I slide into the couch cushion and close my eyes as I chew my sandwich and just enjoy.

It is a tricky balancing act parenting an ASD child.

Like the circus plate spinner balancing act you must slowly add another plate in order to allow your child to grow and become self sufficient.

Each spinning plate precariously turns on a ridiculously thin post, your child will venture out with the hope of being “just one of kids on the block” and the reality of it is… They are.image

The days it is a madhouse I reflect back on these simple moments and draw strength and on the days of childhood simplicity and beauty I smile and thank God for giving me the gifts I have been blessed with in my children.

And If my days are full of children playing tag out my window I will never want for anything.

Enjoy the simple things. They are the foundation of greatness.

My ASD kid still needs Mom hugs

As a busy working Mom I sometimes depend on my children to be responsible for themselves more and more as they grow and with that increased responsibility I suppose at times I forget they still need me. Perhaps, even more than ever.

As babies and toddlers I always snuggled and cuddled them. I always had my arms full of boys and a child on a hip… Sometimes both.

with independence comes a change in maternal coddling. You sneak kisses and hugs when you can but you loose the strings and allow your child to venture out on thier own, with held breath, hoping they down stumble or fall. So similar to those first trembling, unsteady steps as an infant.

My autistic boy is 11 now. He stands just shy of 5 ft and weighs in at a solid 120 lbs. He has a robust vocabulary and unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He is funny and sweet. He is sensitive and kindhearted. He comes in minutes before my alarm to mother hen me and make sure I get out of bed in time for work before he goes downstairs to take in a few of his favorite cartoons before school.

The other day he was under the weather and asked to sleep with me. I said ok and he climbed into bed. He kept pulling my arm over him and I asked softly if he wanted me to hold him.

“Yes” he answered warmly “you give the best hugs”

linckiss

The tears welled in my eyes instantly and i held him tightly to me. Rubbing his back gently.

 

“arn’t hugs the very best Mom?”

“Yes Lincoln, they really are”

They may grow. We may I courage them to be independent, but they will always be our little ones. Needing love and encouragement and just simply thier “Mom”

 

My great ASD kid.

A lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to be in a family with  autism. As a mom of a child on the spectrum there a lot of things that just happen in our home that friends and family don’t understand because they don’t experience,  and sometimes if you handle it well even close friends that understand you don’t see because you just don’t let them see you and you don’t share the struggles that sometimes do occur if we are truly honest to each other.

It’s nice though to have an opportunity such as this to share a short look into how life is with an ASD kid. Mine is being goofy in this video and it’s the end of the day is his attention span isn’t the best, he’s more interested in what he’s playing with them what is dad’s asking but you will get the jest. Here is my funny loving quirky but adorable ASD kid.

http://www.ink4autism.com/LincolnQuestions.avi

The best thing we can do for kids except them as is. Give them room to grow, and encourage them to be the best that they can be just the way they are.

I think we could do the same for each other is well. Even as adults, we all need encouragement to bs that were perfect just the way we are.

11 years on the spectrum – happy birthday to my boy!

With an audible “pop” at 6:30 am on a Saturday 11 years ago my water broke.

it was unmonumental at the time, lack lustre really, just a tiny kick and pop and I sat on the edge of the bed thoughtless… Almost as if I unconsciously knew as soon as I stood up my world would change as I basically wet my pants.

Shortly after 9pm to the most ludicrous one hit wonder ever “Tarzan boy” my 9 lb 6 oz beautiful love of my life came into the world with a hearty but peaceful cry.

For all the childhood crushes, broken hearts and love gone wrong … Love gone right and crazy love I had experienced to date, nothing prepared me for the love of a child.

The maternal bond I wondered if I’d feel with the stranger that shared my body for 9 months seized me fast and hard and has yet to let me go. He holds my heart in his smile and I am forever thankful to know what real love is.

To my boy who makes me thank god everyday for him, who makes me laugh and smile. Who holds my hand even when he is a big boy now. Who asks if it’s ok he doesn’t have a “special someone ” and loves snakes and obscure animals I thank you for making me a Mom. A role I could never appreciate the value of until I was one myself.

I am so very proud of your loveliness and strength. Adversity will not stop you and you will not bow down to any challenge.

Happiest birthday my son. May your every wish come true.

linckiss

 

2016 -A new beginning on the spectrum

Welcome 2016!

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It snuck up on me as a child might when playing tag or manhunt.

I was not prepared for the birth of a brand new year as I have been for past ones. There is a specific mental state that normally possesses me and I am prepared to begin anew with clarity of goals and desires for the next 365 days.

Perhaps it was due to the milestone birthday year of 2015 or maybe the sleepy way the year closed out but I found myself sitting 11 days in to the year feeling like a girl on a less-then-perfect blind date.

A tad uncomfortable, and unprepared. A little gipped that this was it.

It was a sobering reality to look in the mirror and evaluate the situation.

Perhaps the bleakness of the non-committal winter so far adds to the less then glamorous feel of a 40 yr old Mom of 4 boys contemplating how shes fared in parenting this year that just ended, but something felt “less than” and I was perplexed by it.

I did a little reflecting and self critiquing and found this.

Maybe I was feeling less than stellar as a parent because of the false expectation everyone seems to have on what a successful parent is.

The need to be “super parent” increases when you have a child with special needs. You feel a failure every time your child struggles but the reality is, we all struggle.

Each and everyone one of us.

That is not a failure, it is a consistent theme in life. Strife is gain. And we are not failing due to it. We are actually succeeding.

On a rainy, soggy Sunday in January I sat caged in my home with my 4 boys. All of us suffering cabin fever and a bit of seasonal depression we were a bit bonkers and wanting to spread our wings and explore as we do all summer long.

I sat pretending to read a book while studying the boys playing and asking myself why I felt so disappointed in myself.

I kept feeling like I was not doing enough with my kids. That I shouldn’t be tired after a full time job, brutal commute and house that never stays clean.

“Why is this so hard?” I ask myself. “Why can’t I do it all!”

I look around and start to inventory the situation.

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Shirtless kid, but smiling. Using imagination. Hardy and strong. –check. This is a pass.

Two kids fighting, but not to aggressive. Seem to be working it out without parental interference. Getting tall. Little boys now resemble little men. –Check. This also a pass.

House, could use a little TLC but tidy enough, nothing major out of place or needing attention. Floor, although JUST vacuumed looks like it needs it again… Iffy, but pass.

Dog, slumbering peacefully in the sunlight. ..Pass.

Cat, curled up on chair out of the way of danger. Check.

My almost 11 year old ASD superstar is in the kitchen, I hear him recieting an amusing “scooby Doo” episode to himself zestfully.

I pad out to the kitchen barefoot and peak my head in.

“Hey Mom! I am making a treasure map, do you want to see?”

I smile, and stroll over to take a look.

“Amazing Linc, it looks good” as he explains the ‘cave’ and ‘x’ and mountain ridge I smile again, pleased that he took the time to draw out a map and not insist someone do it for him. He is a big boy now. Up to my shoulders, sturdy and husky. Not too much longer until he is bigger than me.

He is perfect. And anything I feel I have failed him with is not apparent.

Mom…

Mom is?

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Mom is drinking coffee and some semblance of put together. Maybe too hard on self. Dinners get cooked. Kids are clean. Chores get done. Looks ok, hair done, dressed and out of pjs. Maybe she just gets lost from time to time, and maybe that is ok.

I look over and see my 7 year old bouncing over to me. A big smile blossom on his talk show host mouth. A perfect line of pearly whites explode in the biggest grin ever.

“I love you Mom”

“I love you Kid.”

And at that moment, I’m settled.

We are ok and I am doing ok.

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My goal for 2016 is simple.

Be kind to myself and focus on the simple things.

Kids need time and attention, not fancy gifts, a clean house or an overachieving Parent.

Welcome 2016.
And thank you for the perspective.

 

 

 

Who doesn’t like to sleep ?!?!?

Was speaking to a friend today, thought I’d reblog🙂

4boysandaspergers's Blog

Sleep is a very important factor in my life.

I personally LOVE to sleep.

When I was single, I often came home after work, kicked off my shoes and treated myself to the 3 hour “God, I feel soooooooo good” nap.

Sometimes I even dared to do the “hell it is JUST one night wasted” sleep marathon. Falling asleep after work and sleeping until the next morning.

Since becoming a Mother the naps and marthon sleeps have ceased. I am not bitter over the loss, I can assure you I stored up enough ‘extra” sleep in my 20’s to help me through 10 more years🙂

In the 6 years I’ve woke to feed a baby, sooth a sore tummy, bad dream or nudge Jack to put the dog out I can honestly say I have had very little problem going back to sleep. I crawl back into bed, turn…

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