Tag Archive: Aspie’s


Success at Last!!!

Today wifey and I went to a very successful IEP meeting! After the debacle of an IEP meeting at Monkey Boys school 2 weeks ago where the principal insulted my son, my wife and Aspie’s everywhere, (and almost got an award winning book thrown at her head), my wife and I met with the District Autism coordinator, (whose eyes were bugging out of her head at that meeting), who encouraged us to come take a tour of another school in our city that actually had an Autism program and is fully staffed with Autism specialist teachers and aides and occupational and speech therapists.  AND it had a 3K program for kids on the spectrum as well!

We agreed though we had our misgivings at first. We were very impressed with the school. The entire time we were there we saw aides walking kids down the hallways. The kids were very laid back. There were kids in wheelchairs and kids with physical handicaps and everyone was very laid back and all the other kids didn’t give them a second glance. They were accepted as normal and included. The kids were allowed to talk quietly while they walked in the hallways. (In case I’ve not mentioned it, in his current school Monkey Boy had his recess taken away because he was humming to himself in the hallways!), the kids were allowed to talk while in the cafeteria (Monkey Boy’s current school has Silent Lunch for students although the hypocritical teachers are allowed to make as much noise as they like), AND Monkey Boy LOVED the library!!! When we left Monkey Boy was like “So when do I start?” And since he went on the tour, every day after school, “Am I starting the new school yet???”

Anyway, we had an IEP meeting scheduled for Tantrum Tot, because he qualified for services…and since he qualified under PDD-NOS, they had to go ahead and place his qualifying factor under ASD…so Tantrum Tot has his official diagnosis!! So now Aspie Teen has been officially diagnosed, Monkey Boy has been officially diagnosed, and Tantrum Tot has been officially diagnosed!!! The BEST part…is that they are now actually going to receive the help they need!!!! 

We are still working out services for Aspie Teen but the District coordinator said that even though he’s in online school, he still qualifies for services in this district. So we’re starting the process for him as well. FINALLY  a ray of hope in the storm that is our lives!!!

The next step? My wife and I have to decide whether or not to pursue legal action against the school principal for her actions and the actions of her staff who adamantly refused to consider or discuss the accommodations we brought forth in our initial IEP meeting as well as the insulting, condescending and bullying behavior of the principal herself.

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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.

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?

I went to bed at 1:30 this morning. Don’t know why, but I suspect it had to do with yesterday being my late night, my Adderall was taken later and it might have still been in my system. At any rate, Monkey Boy had his friend from down the row sleep over. That went VERY well. I was so proud of him.

And Aspie Teen as well. Maybe your house isn’t like my house, but my house is almost always in a state of somewhere between I just picked this place up and who the hell blew up what in this room? It’s a constant struggle for me, but I’ve learned to just let it be. What’s more important, that your kids saw you constantly live in a state of agitation because you were constantly cleaning, or them remembering you taking the time to NOT clean and sit down and watch TV with them? (I would’ve liked to say something more positive there, but I don’t feel like lying tonight I’m too tired).

Anyway I say that to say this, I told Monkey Boy that if he wanted to have his friend stay over, he had to clean up the downstairs and him and his brother had to clean up the Cave of Aspieness  which is their room.

I came home from work around 7:00 p.m. yesterday and my wife told me they got up first thing in the morning and started straightening up the house. The living room was neat, and vacuumed, and they spent a good amount of time in their room which looked SO MUCH better. I can’t even begin to tell you how most days I’ll just close the door after telling them to get the plates and cups down to the sink. I just don’t have the strength.

Anyway, because Tantrum Tot went to bed at a decent time, Wifey, Aspie Teen and I got to watch the movie Identity Thief, which was SO funny (except for some overtly sexual content/innuendos that they SO did NOT need to put in), and we all had a good time. After the movie wifey and I retired to our room with the Tot, Aspie Teen went upstairs and Monkey Boy and his friend got control of the large TV in the living room to watch a movie.

I told Monkey Boy that he was getting a late start watching the movie (10:00 p.m. to be exact), but hey it’s summer vacation right? But made him promise to shut it off right after the movie was done. Well we went into our room and I could NOT fall asleep for anything. Wifey was snoring away and this is a role reversal for us because I can literally fall asleep ANYWHERE and am usually out 2 minutes after my head hits the pillow. (Which is why I make sure my wife is set up with her drink, all her meds and pillows etc. before I get in bed).

Anyway, she’s snoring by 11:00 and I’m still reading my Kindle Fire. I hear the boys clowning around but after the movie they drop off to sleep too…finally around 1:30 a.m. I pass out. To be awakened by Tantrum Tot’s crying for a bottle at 4 a.m. I get up to get him a bottle, come back with it to Tantrum Tot on all fours in our bed, giggling like a maniac and from that kneeling position, jumped off the bed and ran out to the living room! WTH???

Needless to say, he refused to go back to sleep. I’ve been up since 4 a.m. Wifey got up as well. I missed the van in to work, and ended up having to take the Tot to day care, then coming home, switching vehicles and head into work driving under the divine influence of my Spanish coffee.

Made it through the day, came back and wifey had been at the doctor’s ALL day for an appointment. They finally started her on baby monitoring only she had to go for the first session today AFTER the doctor’s appointment and they made her go to the Triage center in the Emergency Room for the first visit??? She didn’t leave till 6 p.m.

She gets out, gets home, picks me up and we race over to the Day Care to pick up the Tot. I’m expecting him to be passed out on a mat or at least halfway to Pillow Street and Quilt Avenue.  But noooooo the little Energizer Bunny on crack is running around like he’s had a full nights rest!

We get him home, give him a bath and he’s still up and playing and giggling…now he’s starting to wind down, we put him on the pc playing Peggle but he starts losing it…hitting me, screaming. So I had to spank his little/meaty hand, because he mainly only gets spanked when he starts hitting during a tantrum, (not a meltdown). Well that sent him off the deep end…so I picked him up…sang to him a bit…and left him on my side of the bed with his pillow, blankey and bottle decompressing.

He’s asleep now, and I’m going to go move him, and then pass out. (hopefully). Wish me luck!

 

It has been a loooong 2 weeks around the Aspie household. It seems time stuck this household in a bottle, swirled the bottle around and watched us all spin around like crazy (emphasis on crazy), and when it seemed like the whirlwind would slow down, he’d spin it again.

Aspie Teen has been in RARE form, driving his mother crazy and being VERY self centered. Aspie Monkey Boy has been his usual crazy self, but it seems like the communication gap between him and I continues to grow. He wants to challenge every direction I give him. Which leads to minor melt downs and tantrums. Aspie Baby has been a literal Holy Terror. From morning to night he has been a NIGHTMARE on MY street!

I get emails and texts from my wife ALL day starting at 6:30 in the morning detailing how he’s driving her crazy. He’s screaming. He’s still screaming. Hasn’t stopped screaming yet. Now I’m (wifey) screaming! When I get home, he gets happy for a little while unless I try to do something crazy like leave the room or go to the bathroom. Then he’ll scream DADDY at the top of his lungs until I answer him or pound on the door to the bathroom with his head until I let him in or come out when I’m done. Image

(Those are his little fingers coming under the door).

He’s been waking up every 2-3 hours again even on Melatonin. I get up and give him a bottle and he goes back to sleep. Wifey is having a TERRIBLE time sleeping at night. Between heart burn, gas, and nightmare upon nightmare she has a hard time falling asleep and an even harder time staying asleep. Couple that with pregnancy hormones and it’s been a REAL blast! I feel sorry for her, and wish I could pay for her to go to a hotel down at Myrtle Beach and let her have a week for herself!

The past two weeks I’ve woken up feeling like the walking dead. If it wasn’t for my Bustelo and Adderall (for my ADD), I wouldn’t be able to function at work. Needless to say the house  is destroyed as well. I come home, help with the cooking. TRY to do the dishes but the next day some son of a bitch has come and used half the cups/glasses in the house AGAIN! I do laundry yet somehow lack the conviction to put it away after it’s done. Image

(found this pic on my iFunny app and thought it was SO appropriate)

Today we went to my wife’s cousin’s daughter’s 14th birthday party. She lives about an hour away. Her cousin is Italian/Irish/something and her husband is Mexican. So there was a LOT of food, music and while not a LOT, enough people that I could see the tension go into my wife’s body the minute we entered.  We spent most of the day by ourselves, as the boys splashed in the pool. I ended up having to chase Aspie Baby around all day with my wife spelling me at intervals. Aspie Baby wanted to go through the house, close every door a hundred times, flick every light switch on and off a hundred times, and finally ended up climbing in and out of the jeep for an hour or so. I had planned on getting SMASHED at this party, however when I saw how pooped my wife was getting and how Aspie Baby was behaving I cut it short and switched to Pepsi for the rest of the day.

We  walked into the house which after the clean orderly visit to her cousins house only drove home the disastrous mess we live in (for me anyway). Aspie Baby is passed out, Aspie Monkey Boy has had his Melatonin and is watching Netflix (and by the way the person who invented the streaming Netflix deserves a bloody Nobel Peace Prize), Aspie Teen, though he seemed to enjoy himself a LOT playing with the other teens and kids in the pool and in the yard afterwards, came home and ran right upstairs to his safe zone (room) to decompress after having had to interact with all those people, and wifey is laying down completely and utterly devoid of any energy whatsoever. I am waiting for the my last dose of Adderall to leave my system.

Even though wifey and I stayed mostly to ourselves today, (I’m going to write a post about that next), the day still exhausted her mentally, emotionally and physically. She said today tired her out more than  a day at an amusement park. I hope that is so, because next week we are taking the boys to an amusement park. We’ll see how THAT goes.

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Ok, I’ll be the first to say that we NT’s don’t always think the way that Aspies think. And some of the stuff we do arguably doesn’t make any sense to some Aspies. But when my wife and I saw this, we both stopped, cocked our heads to the side and said “huh???”

The sign clearly says “No Wading”, but there are statues in the water of kids and parents doing what…WADING IN THE FREAKING WATER!!!

Now we were walking by with Aspie Teen, Aspie Monkey Boy and the infamous Tantrum Tot…and what’s the first thing all three wanted to do? You guessed it, wade in the water!

Now I’m an NT and I have to say this made no freaking sense to me. Why show kids an image of an action they can’t do, if they CAN’T do it?? What were they thinking?

Some things just boggle the mind, whether or not the mind is an Aspie one or an NT one…idiocy knows no bounds.

My Aspie Diner

I originally wrote this post about a week ago, however it was on my kindle fire, while laying in bed half dead. I thought that it had saved as a draft but sadly it didn’t.

My house at dinner time resembles a diner at the dinner rush. My wife and I will eat one dish, Aspie Monkey Boy is in his pizza mode which he’s been on for almost a year now, which means he will only eat pizza like items such as frozen pizza, pepperoni hot pockets, spaghetti with red sauce etc.

Aspie Teen will eat most of what we eat, but frequently will make special requests, or when told what we’re having will request a different item as well. Which quite honestly drives me insane to the point where I want to throw down the pans and walk out of the kitchen, because usually he announces he won’t eat what I’m cooking until I’m halfway through preparing it.

Aspie Baby, who my wife lovingly refers to as Tantrum Tot, is in a hunger strike mode where he won’t eat anything for days other than his milk bottle and Flintstone one a days chewable vitamins, and then all of a sudden will devour and consume the strangest things I’ve ever seen a two year old eat. i.e last might he inhaled fries pork ribs (WTH?) And then if its one of the rare times we actually sit at the
table together to eat, he will climb out of his chair, and sit directly on the table in front of her.

Keep in mind that usually (not always, usually) I’m coming home after working and heading to the kitchen to start dinner because my wife is exhausted from her day of either driving her mother around, and/or watching Aspie Baby and Aspie Teen, while trying to write her book, and home school Aspie Teen.

So I come home and try to do as much as possible to help alleviate her stress which oft times doesn’t reduce too much stress from her because I’ll end up yelling or scolding the kids for being to loud while mommy is trying to relax, or for being the messy monsters that they are expecting me to come home and clean up after them.

So when I go to the kitchen to cook, I feel like there should be one of those spinning wheels with the orders the waitresses clip on it so I can read the special orders I’ll have to make just to get through dinner.

In the immortal words of Flo from Mel’s Diner on the old sitcom Alice, (yes I know I’m dating myself here), sometimes I want to tell the little darlings to”kiss my grits”.

Do they do this intentionally? Probably not…they get stuck in routines. Routines help them cope, even if they don’t realize it, with the constant changing stimuli going on in the world around them.

Its their way of finding/permanence in an ever fluctuating environment.

While it creates more work for their mother and I, its usually much much easier than the contest of wills it would take to get them to eat one meal and take the old fashioned “You will eat what’s put in front of  you or you won’t get up until it’s gone” line. Believe me I know.

I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned in dealing with my Aspie family is that tradition is usually going to be tossed out the window. This is hard for me, being the old school Puerto Rican that I am. But the main thing to remember is that I’m not doing it for me, I’m helping them.

With all that I have to correct them on, and teach them, is dinner really the battle I want to choose to make my stand on?

I live in a house which is dominated by Aspie’s and Aspie’s who all have fascinations with soft feeling things no less.  (Due largely in part to hyper-sensitivity issues).

The Then

For instance, when Aspie Teen was about two, he went and hid in our bedroom closet. About a full minute later, he came out holding my wife’s blue and green silk nightgown against his face like Linus from the Peanuts gang, his eyes wide open. He stood and there and proclaimed “MOM…it’s MAGIC!” And from that moment on my wife lost custody of her nightgown.

That obsession hasn’t lessened in all these past eleven years.

When Aspie Monkey Boy (the middle boy) was a baby, he received a very soft fluffy baby blanket. He would not lay on anything else besides that blanket from that point on. Not only that, but I couldn’t stop the wifey from taking it every chance she got.

Eight years later, Aspie Monke Boy will still go through the stores on shopping trips, rubbing his hands and face against soft items as he goes by.

The Now

For Christmas, Mrs. Aspie Writer got a plush purple fuzzy robe, a plush purple blanket, and VERY plush, VERY soft, fuzzy blanket that she loves to wrap around her entire body  at night. (Are you sensing a recurring theme here?) Nothing else I got her this year holds a candle to those three things.

Last night, Aspie Baby climbed up on the bed where mommy was cuddled up in her two blankets. He stripped out of his soft fuzzy one piece footsie pj’s, snuggled up beside his mommy, pulled the VERY soft purple blanket around him, being very careful to leave some to rub his face against, and started watching Smurfs for the 15th time that night. (I’m starting to sing the Smurf melody in my head at work now, thank you very much).

The Debate

I personally don’t get the fascination. As long as it’s not too scratchy, I can sleep on it, wear it, whatever. However, Mrs. Aspie Writer can’ even try it on, if it doesn’t first pass the touch test. As you may imagine this can get very frustrating for me. How many clothes out there are THAT soft really? Especially prior to buying them and having them go through the wash with fabric softener a few times? And you can’t buy anything online because of this. The result is when we go shopping for clothes with my wife, (and believe it or not I like to go clothes shopping), it ends up being me pointing out outfits and her touching them and giving me “that look”.

“That look” is a combination of “what are you thinking”, “are you nuts” and “no freaking way mister” all rolled up into  one  sarcastic semi-belittling look. Now it’s not always ” that look”, sometimes it’s just a matter of our tastes clashing, or her not seeing herself the way I see her, and not being able to picture herself wearing something that I’ve pointed out. We’ve done this for so long now, I KNOW what the issue is most of the time and most of the time, she will remember to tell me what the issue is with a piece of clothing.

Things To Remember

Aspie’s who deal with hyper-sensitivity issues have to live through so much on a day to day basis. Imagine sitting at your house, and you hear the filaments burning in the flourescent lights, you can hear the garbage truck that’s picking up trash all the way down the road. The TV your child has on upstairs, the one that’s on downstairs, the children playing, the tock clicking, the washer/dryer going. All these sounds going SIMULTANEOUSLY since Aspies who deal with hyper sensitivity issues have no filter that can tell their brains to process these sounds individually. They have no built in Fade button like on your car stereo where you can filter more sound to the back if you want.  Add on top of that the smell of the garbage can, whatever your kids are eating for lunch, the stuff down the drain in the garbage disposal, the bathroom someone just used. THEN on top of that you feel the label in the back of your tee shirt, the itchy scratchy feel of cheap fabric on your body as it rubs you every time you move. Here is a video that might help shed some light on it. (Though I’ve been told that this video still is not accurate because it introduces the sounds individually)

I believe my brain would melt and you would find me in a fetal position sucking my thumb and drooling.

Now our side of the story…We may be at work or school all day dealing with a myriad of things that really push us to the limits of our understanding, patience, will to live etc. We may work in a factory where our senses are bombarded all day or a busy office where the phone rings all day and the constant flux of foot traffic through our domain irritates the living s** out of us. At my job I supervise eight people. Our department has CONSTANT traffic through it. The doors are all locked from the inside and we have to get up and open them everytime someone wants in. My staff CONSTANTLY come ask me quetions about every little thing. My ADD brain is TRYING to focus on what I’m doing but I get interrupted constantly.   Some of us may work in customer service industries which is one of the most trying places to work. We have to deal with all sorts of people from nice one’s who are a pleasure to ones that we want to follow and attack from behind. Tt the end of the day, all those things are external and we possess the ability to block it out to some level of success, but it’s VERY tiring and exasperating for us as well. It’s exhausing mentally and physically. And then we come home to have to be dad, husband, honey do-er as well. We know you’ve been run through the mill all day. But so have we.

Possible Solution

When your partner gets home…give them 20-30 minutes to unwind. Then pass the reigns over to him and get out of the house for a while.  Partners who are left behind: let them go! They need time too! Come together later and discuss the challenges you went through that day and how you felt going through them. This will help both sides understand what they deal with on an daily basis, and create more empathy for each other. Aspie’s don’t lack empathy after all…they crave it.  As for the fuzzy-ness. After dealing with all that stimuli can I blame my wife for using the fuzziness as a comforting tool? Of course I can’t. AND I might add that since she’s gotten the blankets, she’s sleeping more deeply and more peacefully than she has in YEARS. Unless of course Aspie Baby wakes up. LOL. We all need comfort. We all use different things to bring us that comfort…food…drink…distractions like books and tv’s or movies and music. At least with a good fuzzy blanket they can still snuggle you while simultaneously being wrapped in their fuzzy goodness.

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