Twirling Naked In the Streets – And No One Noticed is now available on audible.com!
Go check it out!
For the next SEVEN days, Twirling Naked will be going on sale starting at midnight tonight!
The Kindle E-book will be on sale for only .99 cents for the first 24 hours of the sale only!
If you ever wanted your kids teachers, or your friends and family to get a glimpse into the mind and heart of someone on the spectrum, here’s your chance to get it for them or let them know how they can!
Pass it on!
That stone wall would be the South Carolina Public School System District One. Today we went for our first IEP meeting with Monkey Boy’s school. And yes FINALLY Monkey Boy has an official diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder!!! (Insert cheer!)
Now first let me just say that the district people themselves have been very helpful. They gave him one of the most comprehensive evaluations I’ve ever seen, sending 3 people out independently to observe him in his classroom setting without telling him who they were and why they were there. They met with me, my wife, they recorded everything we said as evidenced in the summaries they provided us.
The DISTRICT people were very sympathetic and helpful. The autism specialist and the district psychologist were WONDERFUL….the SCHOOL staff…especially the principal, let’s just say I had to put my hand on my wife several times to make sure she didn’t attack them. Several times people at that table almost got an award winning book thrown at their heads!! (Let me say that the Occupational Therapist and the Resource Teacher were very sympathetic and really seemed interested in helping Monkey Boy, it was the two higher up representatives which were completely dead set against us).
The gist of it is that Monkey Boy is struggling in areas of organization, completing tasks, and the largest battle…he can’t seem to bring his daily agenda and homework sheets home on a regular basis, and when he does and we sign the damn things, he loses them or leaves them home or we the parents forgot to sign something and they (the school/his two teachers) take away his recess and ice cream privledges as punishment.
Instead he has to sit inside and complete missing homework, even if he did it, brought it in and the only thing missing is our signature! This has happened often enough that they have destroyed his desire to go to school. The kid comes comes home, flings his book bag across the room and screams in frustration EVERY DAY!!! Which of course prompts my wife to email/call me at work about it, which completely destroys any hope of me getting anything done.
Today, we went armed with a 7 page document of possible accommodations to discuss with them. They however wanted to only implement the things they wanted to implement. They adamantly refused to even consider removing the taking away of recess as a punishment. Saying, “Well we have to teach every child the same and we don’t want him using his disability as a crutch, and contribute to creating uselessness/helplessness in him. He has to be accountable the same as every other child.”
Which of course beggars the question “WHY THE F*** WERE WE THERE FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE ANYWAY? Isn’t the whole purpose of the IEP that measures be put into place because he CAN’T function like everyone else? They insisted that his organizational skills can be improved on, without addressing WHY he has organizational challenges…basically they don’t want to acknowledge that his disability is DISABLING….and the source of his disorganization!
They all want to say that we understand he has Asperger’s…but don’t want to acknowledge that his difficulties are stemming from it. Most likely because then they’ll have to actually do something about it. They did put some things in action which give me hope for some measure of success, but they barely touched the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say that my wife will begin the research for an advocate tomorrow.
They don’t know the fight they just started. I only hope we can survive long enough to win it. We are also looking at putting Monkey Boy into a school which actually has an autism/Asperger’s class in it. We are reluctant to pull him out in the middle of the school year, but we may end up having to.
I’ve been doing some light research on autism etc. for various reasons and I came across something that disturbs me. There are so many people being told their children and themselves as well will never be able to exist on their own, to live their own lives, to love someone or be loved by someone. That they and their children, their loved ones are doomed to a life of perpetual supervision and loneliness.
It makes me ask one question among the hundreds that flit through my ADD brain…ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???
PLEASE stop pushing this garbage on people, and children especially!!!
My wife grew up without ever being diagnosed. She is high functioning, and struggles in so many areas. And she struggled without ever knowing she was autistic. Along the way, she had too many bad experiences to count but she developed into an intelligent, driven young lady, who despite all the challenges she faced persevered and is still fighting today!
She was living on her own at age 14 and raising her 3 brothers in lieu of parents who were there but didn’t make any of their kids a priority. She worked several jobs at once, maintaining a place to live that her brothers could come stay at whenever they wanted. She went to school, she went to church, she dated, got hurt, dated again, got fired from jobs, quit others, but always came back.
If anyone reading this has ever been told they have no hope of ever being loved or loving someone let me tell you right now that is LIE!!!
I didn’t know my wife had autism till we had been married for around 10 years. There was plenty about her that I could not explain, but you know what? Because I loved her I let them go and kept at it. Our marriage was ROUGH the first 10 years. Mostly due to my immaturity and stupidity, but dealing with the issues which arose because of her autism (though we didn’t know it was autism) was not easy on either of us.
But I have to say this, without my wife’s devotion to family, her drive to make our marriage work, and her ability to forgive, I would not be the man I am today. I most likely would not even be around to type these words, I would have given up on myself and ended my pain, but SHE gave me reason to hope, reason to change. She inspired me, she showed me how to truly love someone and how beautiful love could be. My children, and myself are so lucky to have her, autism and all. Her autism doesn’t make her less…it makes her more…more than I am …more than anyone else I know.
So keep the faith. There is hope for you. You are not doomed. You can and will lead a full satisfying life. There may be some limitations you might have to adjust to, but just don’t give up.
My wife put her heart and soul into our marriage. She put her heart and soul into her book. And though she’s stuck with a husband like me, tonight at least she was honored for her hard work and dedication on one front. Tonight was the Awards ceremony for the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, which she took second place in her category.
I am so proud of her. She deserves recognition for so much more than this but at least she is being recognized for her work on this book.
Congratulations Jeannie. I love you and I am so very proud of you.
I gave Tantrum Tot a stuffed Snoopy doll this week to snuggle in place of his mommy who’s gone on a trip. Well Monkey Boy has a stuffed animal too though he hasn’t really used it in a while, but it was down in my room on the dresser.
Well as I’m sitting FINALLY trying to have my coffee…the yelling from my room starts…Tantrum Tot wants Monkey Boys stuffy. Monkey Boy will NOT relinquish it. He cannot understand or learn (and believe me I’ve tried to teach him numerous times), just give the item to Tot who will lose interest in it in 5 minutes, and walk away from it, then he can go get it again. No instead, Monkey Boy’s screaming cause Tot now has him by the hair in one hand, and nails dug into his chin with the other!!!
It’s not even 8 a.m. yet. Is it too early to put Baileys in my coffee? It’s got to be happy hour SOMEWHERE on this planet right?
Aspie Teen has received his official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder!!!!
Now we can pursue an IEP with his online school and get some much needed accommodations. He’s not doing that good according to his mother, and he failed two subjects this quarter.
Unfortunately, Monkey Boy’s diagnosis did not go so well. He’s just too damn social to receive a diagnosis.
Everyone keeps looking at how verbal he is and how interactive and they automatically rule it out…I’m starting to doubt myself. Maybe he’s an NT incognito and just displaying Aspie traits….a lot of them…I just don’t know anymore.
You remember that Tantrum Tot was screened and it was decided he was eligible for support services through a local program?
Well they sent us for a STAT screening and of course he failed that one again. But at least they acknowledged that the STAT screening as it stands does not allow for high functioning autism and they are going to have him undergo a full autism screening again.
And he still qualifies for services with their program due to his severe speech delay.
So their is still hope on the horizon.
This is an ongoing frustration for me being an NT dad & husband. I’m kind of old school in a lot of ways. Dealing with my kids is definitely something that I keep jumping back to my old ways of thinking, (before I found out my wife and kids were Aspie’s.) With.
It frustrates me having to explain everything I say to them. I’ve never liked having to explain my reasoning and motives for every little thing. Especially to kids. I mean I’m the dad right? Shouldn’t “Because I said so” be sufficient reason for a 9 year old?
And shouldn’t “because I want to”, or “because that’s the way I’ve always done it” or “just because” be enough reason for why I do things? I’m a grown man after all…(my teenaged six pack of a stomach giving way to a man sized 3 liter of a stomach is proof enough of that right?)
But these are things I daily have to remind myself of. My kids and my wife want to and need to understand reasons and motives. They can’t just grin and go with it, because without understanding, they feel lost and sometimes adrift. And though we all feel that way sometimes, my wife and kids really are effected very differently when they feel like that.
This may seem strange to other NT’s and sometimes it may feel like Aspie’s are control freaks…but it’s not really true. Sometimes it’s just that since their reasoning isn’t the same as ours, they feel extremely disconnected from us because they can’t understand why we’re doing what we’re doing and why.
This causes feelings of panic, anxiety, loneliness and isolation. And confusion! My kid can’t understand WHY he gets recess taken away when he forgets to have us sign a paper. “But I did my homework assignments !” But getting that paper signed was an assignment too…”But it’s not LISTED as an assignment!” (Even my wife has problems with that one).
So every day I have to take a deep breath, even grit my teeth when necessary…and remember…it’s not insolence…it’s not defiance…it’s just them being them. ..the way they are…and though I would spare them the difficulties they are going to have of I could..I wouldn’t change them for anything.
We are currently back in the doctors office for part two of Aspie Teens diagnosis. They were unable to complete the process last time. So here we are again.
I have Aspie Monkey Boy, Aspie Wife and of course Aspie Baby with me. Monkey Boy came home today near tears due to the fact that I apparently forgot to sign a quiz he had gotten an F on in school which was in his take home folder, which resulted in his losing recess today.
Now it makes no sense to me, that a child would be penalized for something a parent did or didn’t do. Perfect example is punishing the student because their parents got them to school late. Last time I checked a 9 year old couldn’t drive himself to school!
My wife is livid and can’t let it go and Monkey Boy is beside himself.Parent teacher conferences are next week and wifey is already planning her attack. Additionally, he left his homework folder in school again so I had to run him back to school to get it again, but when he got home he was near tears and throwing stuff from his book bag around.
Now we are sitting in the waiting room and Monkey Boy has his books on one little table and his bag is dropped in the middle of the floor. Now he has spread across the waiting room to where we are sitting. I told him to get back on his side and leave the empty spaces clear..to which he violently objected and of course his mother couldn’t see what was wrong with it.
These are the little things that drive me crazy being the only NT in the house. No-one understands why I object to certain things which makes me have to explain myself/reasoning which no-one understands let alone agrees with so my frustration level rises exponentially.
AND the doctor just brought Monkey Boy back to the waiting room because apparently they found him on the stairs going to the attic! He went to another waiting room to watch TV and apparently got bored!!!
Dear God I need a drink.
My wife, who is an Aspie cannot take meds that are supposed to put her to sleep. Instead of going too sleep and staying asleep she regains consciousness and jumps up in a panicked state.
Meds that would put me out for hours (and have) , merely induce a mild state of relaxation in her followed swiftly by the onset of panic.
During dental procedures the novacaine fades almost immediately after her being injected. Which causes no end of trouble.
I am wondering if any of you have similar experiences when taking such meds?
Our theory is that people with ASD metabolize these chemicals differently.
Please share your experiences with us?
Today Monkey Boy got home from his 3rd day of school. We asked if he had any homework, to which he replied yes and we promptly took out his school agenda where he has to write down his daily homework assignments.
Now let me just say, we knew this was going to be an issue this year, because last year he had a pre-printed sheet with his daily homework assignments on them. This year he has to write down his daily assignments himself. So he said that he wrote down each assignment for each subject where the teacher said they should go.
Warning sirens went off in my wife’s and I heads! We opened up his agenda, and sure enough the words reading, math and social studies were all written down in the apparent proper slots….there was just nothing else there!!!
Now my wife and I had read a few days earlier the things they sent home as penalties for not doing homework, etc. and I knew that if he did not do his homework he would be penalized and then we’d be having a whole different conversation with both him and his teachers.
So I grabbed his agenda in one hand, and my wife in the other and said we have to go see if their still there. We went to his school and met with his teacher. We explained the difficulty he had last year, told them to please go talk to the teacher he had last year. We gave them the low down on his literal mindedness, and how he has difficulties switching gears or tasks and the dangers of interruptions…we described his melt downs and described possible triggers and responses to the meltdowns and tried to reinforce the fact that they were not tantrums.
The teachers were very attentive and listened to us (seemingly). Time will tell how effective these conversations were. But hope springs eternal. I hope all you other parents of ASD kids have good luck this year.
My journey to getting a diagnosis, and now for my journey beyond diagnosis 💚
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