Behind starburst eyes

Pincer Grasp Games

We’ve been working on Mr.N’s pincer grasp during his OT. Of course that means I want to work on it at home as well to truly maximize his personal gains. To that end I went to our local dollar store a few weeks ago and picked up some foam and felt hearts and mini clothes pins with hearts on them. Each day until Valentine’s Day we would play a game where we tried to pick up the most hearts first. After Valentine’s Day we started with foam eggs, bunnies, and baby chicks and Easter colored clothes pins. It’s fun for him while helping to improve his pincer grasp. A total win win :-) Below are pictures of the game supplies, as you can see they are easy to purchase or make.

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It’s not money that is the root of all evil it’s….

greed (1)

I don’t believe money is the root of all evil. How can it be, it’s just a bunch of paper and some metals shaped or coloured in certain ways. Numerous parts of Earth have different looks and patterns for their money. It’s simply a physical representation of a value we as a people have decided to use to barter with for our time or goods or services instead of bartering directly for the goods or services we need with one another.

That being said, the ability to collect money, to hold onto more than one needs for their well-being can become a negative thing when the right (or wrong depending on which way you look at it) person is the one hoarding it. The endless pursuit to obtain more, to never be satisfied with how much one has, that greed is the evil, not the money. It doesn’t really matter if it’s metals, jewels, or painted pieces of paper, when one is consumed with collecting to the point that they no longer can see how their actions might affect others, or even worse they don’t care how their actions affect other’s then it’s just plain greed.

It’s greed in general that is the real evil, not money. When we stop looking at one another as people, deserving of respect and common decency and instead simply evaluate how we can use them to bolster our collection of material goods it’s a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in.
Does this have anything to do with Autism? In a way yes actually it does, but it’s so much more than just about Autism. See, when we only look at other’s and evaluate their worth to us in terms of potential return we don’t see them for who they are. And it’s very easy to miss all that they could contribute to our lives. That can easily and readily be said about every single person on this planet! Each human being has the potential to add to this planet in meaningful ways. Some contributions might at first appear smaller than others, but just as the ocean is made up of countless rain drops, every contribution does make a difference!

When we decide that a person is worth less because we don’t believe they will make enough money for us, or provide us with an opportunity to make more money we are devaluing human life. We are saying that a collection of material goods that cannot feed, house, heal, or love us is more important that our fellow human beings.

There is a Pagan song that is sung often at different festivals around a fire, and the chorus is “We all come from the Goddess” No matter what religion you believe in they all state in their own ways that we all come from a central place, a central being or set of beings.

Even most Atheists agree that human beings come from a central source, even if it has no “Higher Power” but was in fact an evolutionary thing.

So while the entire world can agree that we all come from the same source (regardless of what we personally believe that source to be) why can we not see the intrinsic value each person on this planet holds and treat them better than we do our money or gold?

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Depression, Suicide, and Pills

I had what I’ve read is one of the “hard” talks with Mr. C tonight. We talked about bullying, depression and suicide. We talked about how sometimes some people that are being bullied feel like they have no other option to escape their situation than to take their own life. I promised him that there is always a solution. That if we had to I would pack everything and everyone up and move 500 km away to get him out of that kind of situation. (I also explained there are other less drastic solutions we’d try first) But to never ever think he was trapped in that scenario, because if all else failed I’d hire a moving truck. I meant it. I wouldn’t want to move because of something like bullying, but I’d sure as shit do it if I knew it would make the difference between having Mr. C with me and not. See there are lots of studies that show a correlation between Autism and depression. But more importantly I know his family history, including his maternal medical history.

We then talked about depression. We talked about how sometimes for many different reasons (including but not only because of bullying) some people end up feeling like they’ve “lost their happy.No matter what they try to do, including activities they used to love, their happy seems just out of their reach. I explained that it could be because the brain isn’t making the right amount of certain chemicals. It could be because of a really hard time in a person’s life. I also explained it could happen with no obvious cause in sight. I told him it was important to talk to me or another grown-up he trusted if he felt like his happy was gone. We talked about the difference between being sad, having the blues, having the blahs, being upset and being depressed. I told him it didn’t matter which one he was feeling it was okay to talk about it and that his feelings would be respected. I promised him I would never slough off his emotions when they weren’t “happy/shiny”

I’ve read that these were hard conversations to have with your child, but for me personally that wasn’t the case. Instead I was grateful to have them with him. I was glad to hear him say that he knew suicide was never the answer. I was thrilled to hear him say he trusted me to help him find a solution should he be bullied or feel like he’d lost his happy. I’m glad because I’ve struggled for 11 months to find my happy. It’s been since we lost Joy that I can’t seem to find it. I try, and I have brief moments where it seems almost within reach, but then it slips through my fingers again. I end up staring off in the distance trying to remember how to smile like the woman I was in the hopes that if I go through the motions long enough I’ll finally BE her again. Only it hasn’t worked. I see her staring back at me through the mirror, so clear I could almost touch her, but really she’s like a faded photograph, because she’s just a reflection of who I used to be. So I went to my doctor finally and I am now taking something to help. Because I tried everything I knew, but I still couldn’t find the happy woman I used to be. Which is part of the maternal medical history I know of for my children. The part that makes me aware of how needed conversations like tonight’s was to ensure should he ever be facing a rough part on his path he’ll ask for help in walking it. Because that’s what I’m here for, to help each of them in whatever way they need. I acknowledge a part of that is also taking care of myself. In part so that I CAN be there for them, and also to show them it’s OK to ask for help when you truly need it.

Canada:

If you are contemplating suicide, please contact your doctor, or go to your local emergency room, or dial 911 from any telephone.

If you are being bullied, depressed or just need someone to listen and you are under 20 you can call Kids Help Phone 24/7 for free: 1-800-668-6868.

If you are an adult and find yourself in a mental health crisis: Canadian Crisis Centres is a list of crisis centres across Canada, with local free phone numbers.

You can also dial 211 from any phone and ask to be connected with your local crisis service.

In the USA:

Crisis Service: 24/7 for free help 1-800-273-8255

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Suicide Sucks

starbursteyes:

Because it needs to be talked about. Depression needs to be accepted as real and difficult, and needs to be talked about. As does the potential consequence of living with it.

Originally posted on Vintage Hearts At Home:

It was later on Sunday evening, the 7th of December 2014 when my cell phone rang. It was next to me on the couch. My battery was low and I couldn’t answer it but I saw that it was my sister Carrie. We had just talked a few hours earlier about nothing really, just our Dad and how old he was. We joked that he didn’t look his age and that we were inheriting good genes from him in exchange for bad knees and hips. When I saw her calling I remember thinking that was weird because if she forgot something, she would of sent a text. As soon as I had that thought the house phone rang. Our landline. Which no one calls except telemarketers. Without even seeing the phone I knew it was her. I told my hunny to toss me his cell so I could call her…

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Long, short or none, still a woman

My womanhood is not dictated by the length of my hair.

So last week I found lice in Mr. N’s hair. I checked my own and found a nit. My solution was simple, I washed everything and I shaved our heads (and Mr. C’s just in case as Mr. N loves to climb into bed with him and lay his head on his brothers and snuggle. A fact that leads me to near tears because of the vast change in his ability to handle physical contact, but I digress)

I thought I was judged a lot when I had pink hair, but WOW it was nothing compared to walking around as a woman with a shaved head. I have had people stare, snort their distain and even ask me if I actually think I’m still pretty without my hair. Here’s what it’s made me realize. We as a society are FAR too critical of everyone, especially strangers! While I logically understand that our judgemental tendency most likely stems from thousands of years of not trusting anything different our “outside of our tribe” as part of our means of survival, it doesn’t stop it from bothering me at times when I am judged by strangers. But then I breathe and try to remember that no one, not a stranger, not a friend, not even a family member has the right to dictate what I do with my body.

Something as temporary and superficial as a hair cut does not change what gender I identify as. I am not “less of a woman” because I only have an 1/4 inch of hair on my head. Just as I was not “more of a woman” when I had long tresses. What makes women; women is their intrinsic belief that they are. What makes me a woman is within me, it’s my spirit, not my hair or clothes.

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Unbirthday Tea Party

images-4  Mr.N has been quite emotional lately. Very easily upset, to the point of being distraught. It hurts my heart to see him like this. A big part of it is he’s so very sick of being sick. His cough has finally stopped sounding like a seal’s bark and he can breathe through his nose again, but he’s still not 100% better. Tonight I looked at him, quickly looked at the calendar and exclaimed “Oh my goodness! I almost didn’t realize what tomorrow was!” Intrigued he asked me “what?” So with great seriousness I told him “Why, it’s your unbirthday of course!” He told me it wasn’t. So I asked if it was his birthday, he said no hesitantly so I said “Well that settles it. It must be true, tomorrow is your very own certified unbirthday!” I made a big deal of looking at the calendar again and exclaimed “Oh my! Well it just can’t be…But it must. Yes…Yes it must be!” He got excited at this point and asked me what it must be. I said “Why it’s ALL of your unbirthdays tomorrow!” He started to giggle, a sound all too absent these last couple of weeks. I told him we had to have an unbirthday tea party to celebrate. I assured him that while he was sleeping I would make special star covered cakes to nibble on during their unbirthday tea party. Which are now finished, and come morning I’ll have them help me make and decorate our paper top hats which we’ll wear for their unbirthday tea party. Cause silly is totally doable if it’ll make them smile.

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New Years Resolution Update

I don’t often make New Years Resolutions, I think the concept is overrated and tends to lead to personal disappointment when they are broken shortly thereafter. Last year however, I did make one (to learn ASL) while I didn’t learn as much as I’d wanted to on my own (the syntax really is something that has to be experienced to be learnt properly, at least for me it was) I didn’t give up. Instead after trying my best on my own, I enrolled in my local college’s ASL 101 course. I finished it with an 3.3 GPA (88%) and I’m proud of all I’ve learnt. The instructor was invaluable to the amount I learnt. She was patient with all of my mistakes and would take the time to show me the correct signs. That is on top of the actual course load she taught us all! I am now enrolled in the second course with the same instructor and due to start that one in just over a week’s time. While I am far from where I’d wanted to be in terms of how much of the language I’ve learnt, I’m proud of both all I have learnt as well as my continuation of this learning journey. I didn’t give up when I found it difficult, I simply found a different way to go about it. One that might be a bit slower than I’d hoped, but slow and steady is far better than just giving up.

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On Being Articulate

starbursteyes:

Because the truth of how a person can feel needs to shared…

Originally posted on LOVE-NOS:

They say I’m articulate.

(I think about all the words that stay locked in my throat, and I give a small and terrified smile and look over their shoulder and into nothing at all.)

I’m really quite lucky I have such a command of language.

(There are maybe five people in the whole wide world I can talk to face-to-face without wanting to die, without having a panic attack, without needing to hurt myself or sleep for hours afterward. Two of them receive speech therapy. None of them obey the usual laws of dialogue. I know that, really, I’m lucky to have anyone at all.)

My verbal agility is a sign of something, they’re sure.

(When I’m trapped into a conversation in the kitchen of someone else’s home, I stare at the table and see nothing at all, and my throat closes and my ears ring and the world is…

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To the hospital and back again

I spent most of today getting Miss G’s arm looked at, and a cast put on for a supracondylar fracture (basically she broke her elbow) Here’s what I learnt from this:

1) Not ALL children feel pain the same way! She cried for the first 15 minutes after her fall, and then not at all. Even when compression was used to see if it was a break. She was however, very cold (shock) Why is this VITAL? Because it means pain is not always the be all end all marker for how badly someone is injured! (I already knew I didn’t feel pain the same, but didn’t think my Minx would inherit it) SO if your gut says this is not “their version of ok” get them checked out!

2) Many doctors will STILL not listen to a mother about her own child. I didn’t need medical school to know if she’s okay. I may not know it’s a supracondylar fracture, but I know she’s not okay. Besides without the x-ray, the doctor that kept telling me she was fine wouldn’t have known she broke it either! (Again back to point 1)

3) My Minx is a trooper, with complete and utter trust in me. She let them poke, prod, push, x-ray and cast her without fuss so long as she was sitting on my lap with my arms around her. This part made me cry.

4) This has NOT taught Minx to STOP climbing onto things!

SO what on earth happened? She climbed on top of a night table while I was in the kitchen cooking. She fell. I ran. She cried for more than 30 seconds, so I took her to the ER. She was sent home as “fine” She guarded her arm all day, I worried, but there’d been x-rays already looked at. Next morning I receive the call that the radiologist has double checked the x-rays the first doctor looked at and sees extensive damage and a supracondylar fracture, I’m supposed to see her family doctor to follow up. I take her, I get told, take her back to ER with this note, she needs her arm casted. I take her back to the ER. Doctor assess her without looking at her x-rays, says “she has good motion and she’s not in pain” I politely inquire about the x-rays. He goes looks, comes back and says “she needs that casted, there’s extensive damage” Really!? You don’t say! She sits like a trooper and lets them do what they need to do holding my arm that’s wrapped around her belly, snuggling into me as much as she can. She then comes home and tries to climb onto every bloody piece of furniture we own. The best part: Every time someone says “get down you’ll get hurt” or “stop climbing you’ll fall”  she responds with “No silly, I’n okay!”

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My holiday musings

I try my best to avoid the commercialization of this season. Partly because we cant afford it! But also because I want the kids to have strong make the eyes mist memories of our time together, of their childhood.

I think back to my own childhood, I was 10 the last time I had both parents alive. I’m still blessed with my mum and there is no amount of words that can express how grateful I am to have her! But still, there are moments when I wonder if my dad could see me, would he be proud? Would he be happy that I fight so hard and fierce for his grandsons or would he dislike the hard edges that fight has given me? Would he show off the magazines that sometimes print my articles of Autism or would he try to ignore the fact that my knowledge comes from both my sons being Autistic? Would he have been too “old-school” to accept them? I’ve seen it before in the workshops I’ve presented at, so I know its not rare.

While I wonder these things from time to time I am determined that my kids never will, no matter how long we have together. I want, I need them to know how proud I am of all three of them. How every single milestone no matter how small to the outside world is something I’m grateful to witness.

My dad’s doctor told him his heart was the strongest part of him, and yet a week later I was a confused and messed up girl dressed in black. So there are no guarantees that I’ll have another 10 Decembers with them to bake sugar cookie bells, or to teach them the true meaning of this time of year. So I tend to cram, and I don’t sleep much, and I forget meals for myself and I try so effing hard to make sure I’ve packed as much love as I can into each holiday, each birthday, and every regular day in between. So I post on here and on facebook about all the different holiday-ish things the wee ones and I are doing each day.

It’s not because I’ve gotten caught up in the commercialization of this time of year. It’s because I never got past being scared it might be the last one I had to show those I love how much they mean to me.

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