Friday, December 31, 2010

Year End Meme

I would have sworn I did this for Anthony last year but I can't find it.  So anyway, here goes for 2010:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Turned five.  Completed a full year at his school.  Move to a new house.   Went to a movie in a movie theater!  Met a walrus!  

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't remember what I said last year.  So let's say he kept them from last year.  I think he should resolve to not have any more tantrums in 2011.  Wouldn't that be nice?  

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, at least Anthony's mother didn't give birth for the first time in two years!  He's probably relieved!  

4. Did anyone close to you die? I guess no. 

5. What places did you visit? Oh jeez, I don't think we went anywhere out of town, but we did go to Mike's mom's for Thanksgiving and Anthony went on those community outings from school - the State Fair, the Museum, 

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?  As usual, we would like Anthony to communicate better with us and with his therapists.  We have to try to find another way to do this.  He is better this year than last year, he does have spontaneous speech.  But obviously, it's not enough for him because he must be mad about something!  

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I don't know the date, but we went to the zoo and met the walrus this summer and that was amazing.  Anthony's last day with his therapist Heather was in April and that was significant but probably just to me and her, because we miss her!  Anthony got out from the yard in June and that was terrible.  

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? Oh, he has daily victories.  He went to a movie, he touched that walrus, he is so patient and good with the girls.  

9. What was your biggest failure? It's not a failure but I wish these tantrums could stop.  

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Jeez, I don't think he's been sick at all.  He may have had a fever once this year.  

11. What was the best thing you bought? His therapy?  We started with a new occupational therapist this year and I'm happy he's back into that regularly, although his OT is not much of a communicator (irony) so I am not sure how he's doing.  She has a lot of experience, so I am assuming all is well and that she's just not much of a people person (irony).  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Anthony.  I know he is trying so hard, I feel bad to even complain about these tantrums.  Nobody would want to feel like that.  He is a hard working boy and I want to celebrate that every day.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Speaking as an autism person, I am appalled at people who hurt their children, or God forbid kill them, because they have autism. I am appalled more than ever when people are cruel to children. 

14. Where did most of your money go? Co-pays, as usj.  We bought him a chair/bed for his room but he seems uninterested in it.  We have had to buy a lot of sleepers, if you know what I mean.  

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Anthony loves to succeed, just like everyone else.  

16. What song will always remind you of 2010? Amy, who drives him home for home therapy on Friday, says he likes the Glee Soundtrack.  

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. 
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? I wish he would talk more.  I wish he would be happy and content.  

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? Last year?  This year?  Last week on Christmas, we had my family here, including my brother John, who we haven't seen for a while.  The day after Christmas, Mike's family came up here.  

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?  I hope he's in love with all of us.  

22. How many one-night stands? He only stayed with us, so none!  

23. What was your favorite TV program? He is not into tv anymore, but he does sometimes like the Doodlebops, Signing Time and The Wiggles.  He likes on the Wiggles when they speed up the film.  

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2010?  I don't know.  I assume we had cake?  We don't go in for big parties anymore.  He did get a card signed by everyone at his school.  

25. What was the best book you read? I just got him two BIG books for Christmas, and I hope he likes that one.  His therapist Pam told me he likes one like it at school.   

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Glee?  Maybe?  He and his father have that in common, ha!  

27. What did you want and get? I don't know what Anthony wants, but I don't think he's gotten it yet.  

28. What did you want and not get? He wants more Oreos than we give him.  He wants to be left alone but we are always bugging him.  

29. What was your favorite film of this year? He saw Toy Story 3 in the theater!  

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Anthony has a friend that he plays with at school, apparently he is about Anthony's age and also pretty non verbal.  

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? We'd all be more satisfied if Anthony were happier and less tantrum-y.  

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? He's so cute, he wears jeans and camo pants and long sleeved tshirts.  He wears a belt here lately.  

33. What kept you sane? School, I bet.  His long time therapists, Pam and Amy.  

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, I guess.  

35. What political issue stirred you the most? I have been thinking about prenatal testing and eradicating disorders by eradicating the people who might have these disorders before they're born.  It's so gross how now they want every pregnant woman to have prenatal testing, when it used to just be for people over 35.  Then they do the 'test', which is really just checking of data, and then they say, you are this percent likely to have this problem.  THEN they do an amnio (risky) and then if the baby shows up, say, with Down Syndrome, they talk to you about what life is like with a child with Down Syndrome.  A few weeks ago, there was a big hubbub about a card for sale at  It showed a child with Down Syndrome in a ... bad light, I guess.  Lots of people wanted it taken down and lots of people (jerks) thought if it was offensive to you, you just shouldn't buy it.  But the thing is - when you make fun of people for having something like Down Syndrome, when you use them for your amusement, you are sort of separating them from human beings.  There are going to be less and less people with Down Syndrome in our lifetime, because people are just going to abort their babies when they find out that they have it.  I can't imagine this is going to ADD to advocate services for people with DS, and it's unnerving.  If they start doing prenatal testing for someone who may or may not have autism, are we going to start aborting them, too?  Now it's like 1 in 110 or whatever and it's barely a BLIP on the RADAR of us, as a country, so what is going to happen when people think we can start to ERASE autism by erasing PEOPLE with autism?  This is why I am not too into "recovering from autism" or calling it a "diabolical nightmare of a disorder" or whatever.  My son has it.  He is not diabolical.  He is a human being and he has worth as such and it drives me BONKS when anyone threatens that.  But this is Anthony's meme, so I guess I won't say anymore.  :)  

36. Who did you miss? I think he misses my parents when they are in Florida.  

37. Who was the best new person you met?  We are all madly in love with Amy, Anthony's therapist.  They started in April.  

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.  I tell Anthony all the time, this is not how it's going to be.  This is how it is right now.  It will get better.  It will!  

Thursday, December 30, 2010


We have had some warm weather today, so the snow (mostly) melted and we got to go outside. But except for our outing, it has been a pretty crappy day. Anthony slept in and then starting whining and having a tantrum and has barely stopped at all. I don't even know what to say about it anymore. He has a cold, and a runny nose, so maybe that's bothering him? It's very hard to say. It's impossible for Anthony to say.

The other day I put some tights on Maria. She wanted to wear a dress and it was freezing out, so I put these tights on her and her boots and she went somewhere with Mike. She came home and wanted the boots off and then she was shoving her foot at me, too, but I told her she should keep the tights on. She said, showing me her tights were gathered at her toe, "my tights are wiggly". So I fixed them and we moved on. I felt so bad, thinking about it later. Here's Maria, not three years old, and she knows that she doesn't even have to say the right word, exactly, to get her needs met. Her tights weren't really 'wiggly', but I knew what she meant, with the visual, and I could fix it. Hell, she could have probably fixed it if she wanted to.

Mike and I spend all day and night guessing what is wrong with Anthony, exactly what bug has crawled up his ass now. SOMEtimes it works, but it never works for long. It's so frustrating to not be able to help him and it sort of adds insult to injury when you get, like, kicked in the throat or punched for your trouble. I do not understand what I am supposed to be doing for him.

His school is closed on MLK day this year. The director wrote an email and said that they were going to have staff training that day. Because they are open so much, and the kids are always there, the staff has to go to training on the weekends a lot, so this seems like the best solution, she said, and I can see that. But she said that since a lot of schools are closed, many families keep their children home anyway and I think who? Who does that? Because it is hell on earth when Anthony is home and not in school and I just - I guess other people have very different lives, even families who have kids with autism. It sucks and I hate it. I hate being so worried about what we are going to do with him for the week. We can't take him to the museum or anywhere because EVERYONE is off from school and it's hard for us to handle the crowd with him. It feels very upside down, here lately. I am just glad that Mike is off on MLK day too so that it won't be just me with the three of them. I know that is a terrible way to feel and I wish I didn't, but there it is.

Anyway, nice pictures, right? He really was happy to get outside. We're going to try to go for a walk tomorrow. We'll just keep trying and trying until it gets better or we are worn down to nubs and we all have to go live in a home somewhere.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


He just has a hint of a smile here, he can be a real stingy SOB with the smiles. We are on Day 2 of his week off and so far, it's rough! He wakes up rough and goes to sleep rough and we just try to have some happiness/contentment in between. I am trying to work with him on some school stuff, but it can be challenging. I try and remind myself that when he starts having a tantrum, it won't last forever, but since it feels like it, it's hard to remember.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Post 1400!

That's a lot of posts, right?  It doesn't feel like a post over 1300, ha!

So, it's Christmas Eve and the girls are sleeping and Anthony is in the living room with Mike.  He just pulled the (damned) tree down again and I for one cannot WAIT until I can take that tree down.  Now he just came in and he is pulling me away!

He just wanted to do the alphabet - where I sign it and he says it.  Then I signed one through ten and he says that, too.  He is such a funny duck.  What is he thinking?  What is going on with him?

Last year I said that by THIS year I hoped he could say "Merry Christmas!" and yesterday when I went to pick him up at school, he was going around with his newest therapist, Lindsey, and saying it to everyone.  He wasn't saying it spontaneously and God knows he probably doesn't really get what it is, but I hoped he could say it and he's saying it.  So.  Good for Anthony!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

He took off two seconds after she sat down, ha!

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He's putting the string from the blinds in his mouth, here, isn't he funny? Amy said he had a hard time this afternoon and that he seemed hungry so I got him a shake on the way home. I don't know, he definitely seems hungry but he also seems to like having something in his mouth. I wish I could get him to chew gum better! That's a weird thing to want, but it seems like it would help him. Maria is driving us mad this afternoon, she wants to dance with Anthony allll the time, she insists on twirling around, too!

He is off from school starting Friday through the new year. God help us, I hope he does okay on the break. They sent home some stuff to work on from school, hopefully we'll be able to fill his time. I get a little depressed reading about people's traditions that they are making for Christmas. We don't have any traditions, really, except Try Not To Lose Our Minds, which is really a year-round thing.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Field Trip

Anthony is off on a community outing today, as they call it at his school.  He's going to our children's museum, it's really fun, especially at the holidays, as they have a giant Yule Slide and I know he'll love it.

He woke up so grumpy and sad this morning but his blanket had fallen off in the night and I think that was the problem.  Mike and I covered him up and I rubbed his sweet head for a while and he fell back to sleep for just about 30 minutes but it seemed to help his mood.

Last night I was at Costco and I saw this mom with two boys.  One, who was walking next to her, was maybe 10 and then the other one, who seemed older, was riding in the cart part of the cart, sort of tapping his fingers.  I thought he probably had autism, Anthony rides in the same place in the cart (he doesn't like to ride backwards) and - well, I just thought he had autism.  I wanted to speak to her, to say "how's it going?" or something but you just can't do that.  FIRST of all, if her kid didn't have autism I think it might be offensive if I asked if he did.  And secondly, you just can't talk to people like that, or at least I can't.  Maybe it's the NJ in me.  It wouldn't bother ME if someone asked me, but I guess I figure not everyone is as nice as I am.  Ha!

I was thinking maybe I'll start making tshirts.  I saw a funny shirt recently that said "Birth Control is for Sissies!", which I thought was funny and I also thought it certainly made the person's feelings on the subject known.  But can I do that?  Should I make a shirt that says "Ask me about my autistic son!"?  Lame.  I wish I could a) know the future and b) read people's minds and c) know the future.

Edited to add, of course they make Autism Mom tshirts.  I like the "Got Autism?" one.  Ha!  That is not a hint, I don't really like tshirts with messages, in practice, just in theory.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Anthony is home from school today, which is SUCH a disappointment, since yesterday might have been one of the worst days we've had, ever? Maybe not ever. Maybe in a long time. It started at 5:00 with a tantrum that was - I don't know the words for them anymore. Horrible. Really bad. Exhausting. SOUL SUCKING. It makes me feel like a different person, to see him in such torment. It makes me mad at him and mad at me and mad at everyone and everything. Everything I was trying wasn't working so I left him with Mike and Mike took care of him until he felt better. But he was at a low-level of danger all day. Anything will set him off when he is like that and lucky (sarcasm) for us, we have Maria, who shouts BOO! every time she comes in a room, or screams or squeals or is in general tough to be around if you are in a bad mood. So. Rough day. And here we are, just WAITING for Monday, and now there is no school, for Anthony or Maria. Anthony doesn't really know or care, but Maria screamed and cried for a long time when we told her that she wasn't going to school today. Hoo boy.

Last night he was so, so tired, and he fell asleep early. Veronica has been having some trouble sleeping all night so we left her to figure it out on her own last night and she howled it up pretty good from 1:00 to .... sometime, we both fell asleep, but we were so worried she'd wake up Anthony. She didn't, though.

I met several of my neighbors yesterday, I went to a cookie exchange which was really fun. I met two other moms of kids with autism, and I learned that there are a few other families in the hood that have kids with autism. But I feel like we are always the autism-iest. One of the moms had a son who was 12, he was mainstreamed in school, he always talked, etc. The other mom's son was 30 and married. It always feels like I'm going to have something in common with people and then .. not so much, really.

I have to say, Anthony is doing great this morning. I am trying to set up some sensory fun activities for him and maybe it's helping, I don't know. Or maybe it's just luck or maybe he's well-rested or maybe he's about to blow! It's a mystery! When he's happy, he's so content and cute and perfect and then when he gets so upset, it's just - well, like I say, there aren't good words for it. But if there were words for it, I'd scream them at the top of my lungs, and pound the ground with my fists.

I haven't been posting much, but it's because these other kids of mine are SUCH a pain. I can't do anything without some jerkstore or other grabbing my damned hand and pulling it away. Veronica's climbing is epic. She is sitting on the table next to me right now and it's a race - will I finish typing first or will she fall to the ground? I'll tell you in the next installment, ha!
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Friday, December 03, 2010


He's had a long week. He has been staying up super late and then he has to get up early for school and it's killing him. Last night he finally fell asleep around 9:30 and slept all night, but he still seems tired today. He has had a good week at school, it was his first full week there in a long time. He had his first home therapy day here today, I mean, his first at our new house. He seems to be settling in well, I bought him a chair for his room, because it seems so big! I'm hoping to get him some more pillows for him to bounce around in there. Don't tell him but we got him a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head for Christmas. :)

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