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Showing posts from November, 2011

Best and Worst

Every day I try to ask the boys "Best and Worst." What was the one best thing and the one worst thing that happened today? It is a nice, closed-ended way of finding out about their day. It is not that unfathomable "What happened at school today?" that throws every kid (especially autties) into such a loop that all you get is "Nothing." Instead you get the high- (and low-) light of the day. What was most important in a day of (hopefully) mundane-ness.

I love this new ritual for a lot of reasons. I love that Sam can do it. I love hearing what is important. I love the insights into Isaac and Sam's day and into their minds. I can't wait until Nathan can do it.

Tonight I asked Sam about best and worst. The best was nice, but not particularly remarkable. The worst was much more interesting.

Sam had a very hard time getting the words out. First he put them how they came out of his head, which to me was a lot of confusion. But he persisted (whic…

Christmas as Self-Advocacy

Sam was diagnosed in November 2000. About 3 weeks before Nathan was born. So I hope that shock plus pregnancy hormones explains the terrible thing I did that Christmas.

I bought everything. I hoped if we could get him to play with the right toys he would work his way out of autism. I was terrified and I spent money like I was. I bought probably 20 different wooden train engines and track. Who knows what else I bought? I don't remember.

It took me years to quit buying gifts with the hope that I could fix him (and then his baby brother.) The right learning toy, the right interaction. And, of course, the right supplements, the right diet, the right behavior program.

Fast forward a few years. Sam is always easy to buy for. He has very specific interests, and they change on a slow basis. So I don't run out of things to buy him and it is always easy to figure out. Nathan, not so much. He was hyperactive, random, explored things by breaking them and chewing them into small…

It's our anniversary. Let's have a Pity Party.

November marks the anniversary of when the word autism came to live at our house. The day when Sam was labeled forever. The little boy I was carrying in my uterus who was born 3 weeks later would also grown into that label. In spades.

Autism helps you to realize how important the little steps are. Yesterday in the car I was thrilled when Sam was able to talk about the best and worst of the day. The best was his grilled cheese sandwich at lunch (it beat out the $14 steak he had for supper. Go figure.) And the worst was me getting lost. I knew it would be, but to talk about his feelings from hours ago. It was a tremendous stride.

But, I'm afraid that as hard as I try to avoid wallowing, sometimes the best I can do is label it. "Yeah, I'm wallowing in self-pity today."

I was going to take the boys to Krispy Kreme and shopping. That would free Paul up to take a nice long bike ride. But then Nathan began throwing himself on the ground. Winging his iPad across …