Some Things Are Unacceptable

7 06 2013

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet two young teens with autism and their parents. Both boys were very friendly, engaging, funny! But…

Although both of these young men are more verbal than my son and both have better coordination, they are both are allowed to use autism as an out. Their families make excuses for them and accept things that society finds unacceptable.

One of these teens has hygiene issues. His grandmother, who he lives with, is frustrated and wants him to bathe, brush his teeth, stop picking at his pimples… but, “he has sensory issues” so he “can’t”.

The other teen interrupts constantly, is physically aggressive (because he doesn’t know his strength not because he’s mean or an intentional bully)… but, he has autism and “can’t control it”.

Disclaimer: I am just a mom. Every child with autism is an individual. I’m telling you what works for us– not making recommendations for your kid.

There is no “can’t”. There are accommodations, modifications. There is creativity and patience. Whether we like it or not, people with autism have to live in a world that is uncomfortable and unforgiving.

hygiene: Sensory issues do make it difficult… how do you get a child who gags when a toothbrush is put in their mouth, to brush his teeth? How do you get a kid who has poor self-control to not interrupt? We’ve done it slowly, consistently and creatively.

J used to gag with a regular toothbrush– so we used the baby toothpaste and brush for years (you know the kind– they’re usually blue, soft rubber bristles, fits over your finger like the finger of a glove). When he discovered Sponge Bob (around age 7-8) he made the switch to a little kid Sponge Bob toothbrush and toothpaste. Finally, at age 13 (when being a teenager was a big deal to him) he switched to a tween toothbrush and matching toothpaste– mild mint.  We used his interests and peer pressure to get it done. It’s taken 13 years– but he’s done it!

We’re still not “done.” J hates falling water so showers are out of the question for now– but, baths aren’t. Puberty is already here and swim team is coming this fall so he’s going to have to learn to take a shower this summer.

Lotion, ointment etc. don’t feel good to him– but, girls don’t like zits… and Stridex isn’t a cream. We’re still working on deodorant… haven’t found the right smell yet but we’re working on it. He doesn’t consistently use shampoo but we have an ongoing deal that he can keep his hair long if he keeps it clean so the threat of a haircut usually gets it done. He chooses the lesser of two evils.

Manners: This has always been a big deal in our home. We stress treating people the way we want others to treat us, we say please and thank you. We ask rather than demand. We do not interrupt.

When J was younger we used to stop the conversation and teach him the right way to get attention (“excuse me”, wait to be addressed, ask your question or make your comment) and praise him before returning to the conversation. From there, we would just say “manners” and continue our conversation until he did it appropriately and now, the raised eyebrows do the trick. It’s not a mastered skill but the frequency of interruption is so reduced that it’s not an issue anymore. Please is required to get what he wants. Thank you is required before moving on.

These skills will keep him out of trouble. Polite people do get what they need more often than the rude or demanding. It helps us value others and shows respect for them. Teachers, therapists, secretaries,  cashiers, lifeguards and peers respond much better to polite people. Having good manners helps people forgive the bad days as out of character rather than something  that is punishment-worthy.

I know I’m oversimplifying things here. But, the mentality of “can’t” because of autism is what dooms kids with autism to a life without reaching their own maximum potential. Life can be very uncomfortable for those with– or without autism– but, if we use it as an excuse, if we let our kids accept that they “can’t” then they won’t… And, that’s unacceptable!

Proving Gandhi Right

3 08 2012

The behavior of both right and left in the current debate is proving Gandhi’s point when he said: “I like your Christ but I do not like your Christians; they are not like your Christ.”

The hate from both sides of the gay marriage issue is hurtful. Those who oppose forget that LGBT are loved by God. Those who favor “marriage equality” forget that God loves those who oppose it. The rift that was already there is widened and many of us are left without a place in the “christian” community.

I objected to “The Christian Left” on Facebook mocking a dirty toothless white man. So the administrator and posse mocked all of us who spoke out against the bullying before banning us from the page.

My God commands me to love my enemy, not to judge, to treat others as I want to be treated. No where in the Bible does it give the religious right or the christian left permission to hate those they disagree with. No where does it say that God approves of bullying– regardless of the rightness of your stance on an issue.

Have we, Christians, as a group so lost our way that we have forgotten that God loves all of us? Does he love LGBT more than he loves “rednecks”? Does he love the right more than the left? Does he overlook hate speech when it’s done for the “right” reason? Does he condone hurtful words if we only use them as  part of the mob and not when we are alone with him?

If all I knew of Christ is what I see in christians, I would not follow him. The God I know is not hateful or mean-spirited. He is just and loving. He is forgiving and kind. He is powerful. He gives freely of himself whether we agree with him or not. He is the manifestation of love.

How many will stay away from Christ because christians hate them? How many will never know the love of God because christians are unwilling to love them?

I like your Christ but I do not like your christians; they are not like your Christ.

Grandmother has a favorite… and it’s not my son

16 07 2012

My mother in law’s behavior toward my son changed when he was diagnosed with autism 10 years ago…  I’ve tried for years to just ignore it… I’ve tried to pretend that it doesn’t matter and for a long time that worked. 5 years ago another grandchild was born and now it’s all about Charlie.

In an attempt to laugh it off we started a “Charlie Jar” where we deposit $.25 every time she mentions him and that had been filling up quite nicely until she quit calling or returning calls a couple of months ago. She’s still posting old lady nonsense on Facebook so we know she’s alive… and she recently let it slip on FB that she’s spending the summer with Charlie (We figured that was worth a whole $1 in the jar since it’s in writing… ) so I guess that explains the communication blackout.

My son doesn’t want to see her. He hasn’t seen her in over 2 years and she hasn’t called him in about 10… I don’t blame him for not wanting to see her… She obviously doesn’t want a relationship with him.  I’m done.

Can I unfriend her now?

Boccieri Vs Renacci Debate 10/18/10

19 10 2010

Last night my little guy and I went to the final Ohio 16th Congressional debate.

This late in the campaign there really isn’t much new…

Boccieri voted FOR healthcare reform and as a result my son, who has autism, has insurance– Renacci would get rid of it– “Repeal and Replace”– however in a new twist; Renacci says he would keep the provision that gets rid of deniable pre-existing conditions. His website does not reflect this position change:

Boccieri cites specific ways that the Stimulus has benefited NE Ohio (  while Renacci just stomps his foot and follows Boehner’s lead… NO! NO! NO! (course when the  asked what he likes to do in his spare time he said golf…)

On Energy: Boccieri knows that green energy will provide jobs, clean the air and keep money at home. Renacci on the other hand (and the energy companies who fund his campaign) think that global warming is fiction so, he didn’t answer the question and the panel didn’t call him on it.

There was only one real stunner in this debate– when asked about their approval/disapproval of the Supreme Court’s “corporations as people” ruling– Boccieri said resoundingly that he disagreed with the ruling while Renacci did a little dance about how the Supreme Court knows about these things and he trusts them– so finally– he said he does agree with the ruling. (WHOA!!)

The truth is that he does not agree with all Supreme Court rulings… he disagrees for example with Roe vs. Wade… So… apparently he only trusts the Court when their rulings benefit him. (Renacci’s positions per Project Vote Smart : )

My main take-away (since I already thought Renacci is pretty out of touch and self-serving) was that Renacci followers are rude.  When J and I arrived, we saw a man putting a Renacci sign on each side of EVERY Boccieri sign along the road into the high school… during the debate, they were out-of-bounds– rude! And, towards the end, when Congressman Boccieri cited my son as an example of someone who directly benefits from healthcare reform, the Renacci supporter behind us said– “Who Cares that it helps that kid?!” Well, Rude Renacci lady, I CARE!

Don’t take my word for it… here is the debate:

A Word About Viruses

27 09 2010


I’m on my son’s computer because mine is in the shop… I was curious about a comment that was in my “spam” file and… well… it was spam. So… now it’s gonna cost me 50% of replacement price to get the thing removed and my computer restored. 

My husband is convinced that, because the comment was about “Sharron” that there is some conspiracy to shut down her nay-sayers… although I don’t buy into that– it makes for a good story.

A word to the wise– if WordPress says it’s spam– believe them!

What the GOP thinks about Autism

24 09 2010

The Republicans think my son is a wrecked car with “autism”

Mike Huckabee:

Sharron Angle:

Why in the world would any family or friend (teacher, doctor, therapist) of a child with autism vote for the Tea- GOP?!


18 03 2008

I’m angry. So, please indulge my ranting… 

I’ve been working to clear the clutter out of our home and until recently have had a good experience on EBay… actually made a lot of money. Now, I’m running into problems with sellers who don’t send stuff (POMARIC) after the receive the payment and buyers who pay through Paypal and leave great feedback THEN Paypal does a review of the payment and decides the person wasn’t authorized to use that account or credit card and POOF I’m out the item, shipping and fees. (JFLORES70)

 So, the bottom line– if I choose to continue selling on Ebay I’m going to have to increase my “handling charges” to cover the extra things I need to protect myself from evil buyers– like delivery confirmation and insurance in addition to the fees that Paypal and EBay charge for using their services/sites.

EBay used to be fun. I bought and sold on EBay off and on for years without any problems but now there are too many people who are taking advantage of the system– and, the community– that it’s just not safe to buy or sell.

Not sure if I’ll keep doing it or not… At least when you have a yard sale you can do it all in cash and don’t have to monkey around with shipping.

Ebay-ers Beware of Pomaric and JFlores70