A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oral Surgery For The Win

46 almost 47 years ago two people had a baby. She was a colicky baby. She screamed and screamed and screamed at night. Sometimes they would get in the car and her father would drive around in his 57 Chevy, because the sound of the engine would soothe her to sleep. Of course, they weren't getting any sleep, but at least the screaming would stop.

Her mother would sit with her baby in her stroller, throughout the long nights, and gently rock the stroller back and forth with her foot, while playing solitaire, hoping the baby would fall asleep. Sometimes it would work. The father would stop by these late nights from his night job as a cabbie and bring egg rolls to her mother, a token payment for dark circles and exhaustion.

At some point, the baby decided she'd sleep if she had a bottle. By this I mean not that she would take a bottle and fall asleep after consuming it, but that if she was laying down with a bottle in her mouth and drinking on it, she'd fall asleep. This was a great solution for a baby who would not be comforted and for parents who desperately needed this child to sleep.

Until she grew her teeth.

Her teeth you see had been rotted by the pooling of milk that her mouth held at night from this bottle. Her baby teeth shattered and broke off. Her father had to hold her in the dentist chair and pieces of her broken teeth were removed. It was unpleasant. Her irrational and incredible fear of dentists was probably set in motion during those visits.

That baby is me.

Hard to believe I was a difficult baby I KNOW, but I apparently was. And it's no one's fault because who knew back then? Science wasn't what it is now. Hell my mother's baby book for me says that you shouldn't drink when pregnant because it's just too many calories and you don't want to put on weight and be unattractive. TIMES WERE DIFFERENT.

46 years later I'm still dealing with this crap though. I've had so many root canals. And now one of them has "gone bad". I went to the endodontist to see if they could "retreat" the root canal. NOPE. So my next option is? ORAL SURGEON.

I met a very nice man today who told me that if it all goes well, it'll be $184 dollars and they'll just pull the whole thing out. If it goes poorly, the root will shatter and they'll have to cut into my gum and stuff to get out the bits. Also, the tooth behind it had a root canal and they are SO closely packed together he's concerned pulling this one could shatter or knock that one loose - so loose that it has to come out.

I'm expecting the worst.



Monday, March 30, 2015

I Love These Things

I'm not sure why but I'm obsessed with the golden waving cats at Chinese restaurants. What do they mean? I don't even know. I don't want to know. Except of course I do want to know so I looked it up.

So they aren't Chinese but they're Japanese. They're called Maneki-neko. They're good luck charms according to the wiki, and the different colors are meant to have different sorts of luck attached to them. Gold is good luck for money. They aren't waving, but they're beckoning - to welcome you. 

The complete wiki is here, I don't vouch for it's veracity but I consider at least partially informative.

What I took away from this is this - it's something not to believe in. It's a wish of good luck and good fortune. It's a hope for better things, for protection, a talisman as it were. 

They're such a simple thing. People don't worship them, but they place them in hopes of good things and hey - they're cute. 

From the wiki:
The original story of a waving cat as distributed in Goutokuji temple cat statues shop: The story of a Monk and a waving cat: A long time ago when the temple was a shabby hut and the Monk could barely live on the small income he gained as practicing mendicant. He had a cat and cared for it like his own child, sharing his own meal with it. One day he said to the cat, "If you are grateful to me, bring some fortune to the temple." After many months, one summer afternoon, the Monk heard sounds around the gate, and there he saw five or six samurai warriors on their way home from hawk hunting, approaching him and leaving their horses behind. They said, "We were about to pass in front of your gate, but there a cat was crouching and suddenly it lifted one arm and started waving and waving when it saw us. We were surprised and intrigued, and that brought us to come here to ask for some rest." So the Monk served his bitter tea and told them to relax. Suddenly the sky darkened and heavy rain began to fall with thunder. While they waited a long time for the sky to clear, the Monk preached Sanzei-inga-no-hou (past, present, future reasoning sermons). The samurais were delighted and began to think about converting to the temple. Immediately, one samurai announced, "My name is Naotaka Ii. I am the king of Hikone, Koshu prefecture. Due to your cat's waving, we were able to hear your preaching. This has opened our eyes, and seems to be the start of something new. This must be the Buddha's will." Soon after they returned home, Naotaka Ii donated huge rice fields and crop lands to make the temple grand and generous as it is now. Because of the cat, fortune had been brought to the temple. Therefore, Gotokuji is called the cat temple. The monk later established the grave of the cat and blessed it. Before long the statue of the cute waving cat was established so that people might remember the episode and worship it. Now everybody knows the temple as the symbol of household serenity, business prosperity, and fulfillment of wishes.

I really like this story.

We all need beckoning cats. 

That's all. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Even Happy Girls Can Get Depression

A friend of mine posted about looking for some guidance/help for what she felt like was depression. I reached out privately because despite my normally sunny disposition, I once had depression.

Most people don't really know that about me. I don't talk about it much. My husband knows, because the effects lingered for a long time in the form of an anxiety I've struggled to control.

I had a classic case of post partum depression. Depression is weird, it sneaks up on you and makes itself your norm. You don't feel it's invasion, or I didn't. It turns off some vital parts of you - in me it was the parts that cared about much of anything. I loved my new baby, but I didn't care if I showered. I didn't care if I got off the sofa. In fact, the sofa and the baby and I were a perfect trio. I didn't want to leave the house. I didn't want to be apart from my husband for any reason.

I wasn't sad but I wasn't happy. I wasn't anything. I was a life support system for a now external dependent organism. I functioned.

It was only when I should've been well enough to get back to life that it became apparently I wasn't myself. My OBGYN caught it when I went for my 8 week well visit. He prescribed me something, and I probably should've taken it but I couldn't see myself as a depressed person. I had trouble realizing depression isn't an emotion sometimes - it's a state of being.

I didn't want to be that person so I decided not to take my medicine and just back to work.

Work was good for me and helped a lot. But my anxiety focused on very specific things. I didn't want to go into shops. Sometimes I'd cry in the parking lot, not wanting to go inside Walmart. The worst part was realizing I wasn't being reasonable or rational and unable to stop. You sit and say to yourself "I'm an intelligent woman there's nothing more than the usual people of Walmart inside" but feeling an abject terror that someone in there might speak to me. What might happen if they speak? I don't know but I knew I couldn't handle it.

My fear of being lost while driving intensified. I've had this one for a while but it became crippling. I couldn't be lost for any reason. I couldn't be lost if someone else was driving, even that could bring me to tears. Why? I can't tell you.

I'm a lot better almost five years later. I can tell you for sure that 4 years ago I'd have been sobbing through the streets of Montreal as I tried to find my friend's flat. Two weeks ago I simply drove and followed Siri an when she didn't make sense I guessed. I got there just fine. It was a great adventure. I wasn't scared - and it wasn't until I realized I wasn't anxious at all about driving that I realized how far I've come.

I'm writing this because I'm usually the last person people think of when they consider depression, but I wanted to share because it can happen to anyone. It's chemical and none of us can control it. The best thing to do is talk about it with someone you trust and then to a medical someone you trust. I say pick the doctor you like BEST and talk to them, any doctor can refer you somewhere, but you need to be comfortable because it's not easy to say you're not "right". But it helps to realize you can get help.

Even a girl who is happy every day can have depression.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Everyone Can Help Someone

My husband started a KICKSTARTER for a mutual friend who is in need. It's actually a need rather than a want, as it's a computer for her and it's her link to the world day in and out.

Back in the day disabled people lived with family and the world came to them via newspapers and letters and occasional visitors. Today people who can be independent do so, but they can maintain their communications and relationships via computer. It keeps them in touch and part of the world whereas not having one disconnects them - leaving them adrift in a digital age that isn't very forgiving if you don't come along.

Here is what my husband writes:
Hi. My name is Scott and I'm trying to raise money for a new Mac for my shut-in friend. She was a vibrant young lady who's whole life revolved around helping others until one day she was in an accident that cost her her job, her personal life and her future. She makes almost no money yet she still tries to make other's lives better through charity work, despite being a virtual shut-in that is mostly bedridden as well. She will probably never get better. Her life now is online, through an aging Mac laptop. It is on its last legs and is how she lives now. She doesn't even have a cellphone. She has spent her whole life helping others, in both little ways and big. I thought it was time that someone helped her. I would like to raise enough money to buy her a really nice Mac. If I can't raise that much, I'll use whatever I raise combined with the money I have to get her the best that I can. She has no idea that I'm doing this. If you can't help out, that's okay. Help someone else if you can, I'm sure she would like that even more. Thank you very much!

If you're able to contribute anything at all, it'd mean a lot. She lives on a strict budget and when this one dies, there just isn't any way for her to acquire a new one. She's made her life work helping others and serving those who needed support and advocacy. It would be amazing if we could pay her back with this small gift that will mean the WORLD to her.

If you can contribute please click here. ANY amount no matter how small is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One Year Ago Today

I have this app on my phone that I love called TIMEHOP where every day it shows you what you posted on Facebook exactly one year ago, two years ago, three years ago etc. It's fascinating. It gives me a look back at amazing days, at terrible days, it cements moments into my memory so I love it. Today I opened it to this.
"I am having some chest pains. Might have had some stress this week."
Next was this.
I remember that EKG tape really well. I remember the look on my doctor's face. I remember the look on the face of the triage nurse at the hospital as I handed it to her. It was that look  medical people get when then they are concerned as shit and are being calm for your benefit.

I remember thinking wow, this must be really bad, and then realizing that it was in fact really bad as I signed all the release forms for surgery "just in case".

My friend Dave stayed with me all day and we watched questionable reality TV including CHEATERS which is forever burned into my brain as one of the most hilarious shows ever.

It turned out I didn't have a heart attack but a heart defect that had turned itself on full forcing knocking on my ass a bit. It was one of those"I HATE BEING MORTAL" kinds of days. I gained a new OLOGIST in my life, the awesome Dr Romm and I realized everything had to change.

I haven't been as hardcore as I should've, I haven't worked as hard as I should've but I have changed a lot mostly my weight and my attitude.

Losing weight (quite a lot since this day one year ago) has completely changed my life and despite the fact that it's a lot, there is so much to go it's not funny. I can go up and down stairs without my knees screaming. I don't have to plan where I'm going to walk. These two things really are amazing differences when they occur.

Mostly though, I love every day even the shitty ones. Yes, there are shitty ones. I won't let go of people I love. I need them and I only get one life and no one gets away. I need them all. I let more things slide and hug the people I love more. I have a bucket list but it's not "things to do before I die" list it's a "things to do to be even more alive" list.  I want to do the zipline tree top quest near my house. I want to swim with the whale sharks in the big tank at the Georgia Aquarium. I want to run a 5k just once. Maybe something bigger, just once.

I am greedy and I want all of my minutes and all of my days and if you are reading this then I want you in them.

I want to be Bill Murray.

Only cooler.

Monday, March 16, 2015

What They Don't Want

It's really normal for kids to give you shit about things they don't want to do. For instance, my oldest child just had to be visited by me FIVE TIMES in order to get his butt out of bed. I predict that in about 30 minutes he'll whine about "WHY DIDN'T YOU GET ME UP EARLIER?" But during the five times it was whining mumbling about tired, tired, sleepy, can't get up, too tired, no no no no no....kind of like that. The last time I stood there like statue and refused to move until he actually STOOD UP. Even then, he argued that THIS time of sitting on the side of the bed was different that then last three times he'd done it. This time he WAS actually getting up. No really. No you don't have to stand there. GO AWAY MOM. 

No.

When he was little, we attended a music class for toddlers and preschoolers called Music with Mar. It was wonderful and magical. Except he only liked the parts he liked and the other parts could go hang. The first six months of this class were punctuated by either joy or him being a total terror during the class, screaming and refusing to participate, screaming and crying because the thing he WANTED was ending (such as banging cymbals) etc. It was organized, it had a lesson, and he had to stay on track and he didn't want any part of that at 18 month or 2 years whichever it was. he was very little when we started. I was lucky to have a great teacher there, Miss Monica, who told me "they all do this at first." So I persevered. Honestly, sometimes I'd have to collect myself in the car before driving home because he'd be such a little terror in the class. By the time we moved away when he was four he loved it, all of it. He was a pro. 

Most of us go through those pains at "the right time", when they are toddlers. We teach our kids to push through learning pains, we teach them to keep going and be strong and eventually they learn that we're right just like our parents were right and once a thing is learned we all enjoy it (usually). The challenge we're facing right now is that for our special little guys, these kind of programs just don't much exist.

There are literally hundreds of various kinds of things we could do with them/for them if they were higher functioning. The ability to talk and by that I mean CONVERSE, to follow multistep instructions, to sit down and listen, those few skills would jet them into a different future and a different life. They could participate in camps, and theater groups and tons and tons of activities. There are social skills clubs, there are gatherings. 

For those on the severe end of the spectrum? Nope. 

There are some good reasons for that. It's hard, I mean, WHAT CAN THEY DO? They're all so different with different challenges and different needs that I can't imagine what you'd organize regularly that they'd all enjoy. 

What we've found is that there is a wing of our soccer organization locally that hosts a TOP SOCCER group and on Sundays those children with disabilities are welcome. Even us. There are lots of different kinds of disabled children there. Physically disabled, downs, various degrees of autism are there. We seem to be the most severe in that regard although I believe we have some sitting with us on that side it seems, they're just younger and it's harder to tell when they are younger. 

What happens is at first there are desirable activities, running with a parachute on etc, and those go well. They like those. But then we get to activities they don't want to do. And there is a world of difference between how a 10 year old reacts and how a 2 year old reacts when faced with an undesirable activity.

There is screaming. There is stomping. There is hair pulling. At one point Miles started bashing himself in the head. The hysteria winds up into full on Autism melt down.

I spend part of the time on the field, being positive and supportive and trying to get them to participate. Some stuff they do well "kick the ball". Some stuff like "let's run after the ball" they are like "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU". They don't say that, but that's how I translate it. 

Yesterday I just walked off the field during the game and sat down. Miles followed me for a while, and at some point he walked back onto the field. He wasn't playing but standing around watching. Eventually we made them both go back out, but I stayed behind. I was remembered Louis when it was time to put up the cymbals, and the crying. Or the crying if someone else took the cymbals. The shaky egg was no substitute. The shaky egg was bullshit, everyone knows the cymbals are the only thing a two year old wants. 

My ten year olds want to run with the parachute and kick the ball once or twice and then be left alone. We'll keep going back, and I'll keep running on the field with them and being positive and encouraging. I won't let them give up. This might be the only activity they ever have and they need it, no matter how much it pisses them off.

We're not above bribing them with ice cream after. Pavlov was probably on to something.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Culinary Adventures in Canada

I just spent a week in Canada for work, and it was exhausting and awesome all rolled into one. I didn't write at all while I was there, or even hardly look at social media which is pretty unusual for me. I think it was a combination of the whirlwind of busy plus being so entranced by the place that I was just soaking it up. I do have some pics but not nearly enough. WHY didn't I take more pictures?

I don't even know.

What I did take was food pics because that's what we do now. So I thought I'd share a few.

My favorite place we ate in Toronto was a cool Japanese buffet (with a couple American Chinese and American items thrown in for the less adventurous). The food was tasty but my favorite thing was THIS.
My first inclination was fascination but I was a bit scared of it. However, I thought WHY NOT how bad could I get and grabbed one and the sauce pictured. I wish I had lopped off the head now. It was possibly custard, possible vanilla jello if such a thing exists. I'm not even sure. Thicker than custard. The sauce was a vanilla cream-ish thing. It wasn't bad. It wasn't good. It was just ok. It was just entertaining to eat so maybe that's a win.
I was really looking forward to feasting in Montreal as the place is SO renowned for their food, and upon arrival I was treated to a gourmet lunch the locals call "COSTCO".

The carton the food was served in was so oddly shaped - I suppose that's because of the metric system, I just don't know. But I enjoyed their strange and exotic faire. It was a culinary adventure the likes of which I haven't seen in MONTHS! 

I went out to dinner with a good friend who quickly righted the above travesty by introducing me to the local comfort food, poutine. I have to admit, I was skeptical because to me it just sounded like TOO MUCH.
I was quickly converted to the other side.
My team at work sought to also introduce me to local flair for lunch the next day and had food brought in, which was tasty but hey I forgot to take a picture. I don't know what's wrong with me, forgetting to photograph my food!

Dinner that night was really about the best suggestion ever from Christa, which was that we go to Romados and dine on their chicken.
There was nothing about this idea that was bad. It was better than the poutine even.
I couldn't even finish my food there was so much, and the chicken was so fiery hot it was amazing.
The wee custard pie was the perfect finish, even though I was too full to eat honestly.

I ate french fries and massively fattening foods nearly every day except breakfast and while I was gone a miracle happened. I didn't gain any weight.

My friend Erik had a great explanation for that.

The metric system, obviously.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Cocktails and Coca Cola Cake

I decided that I wanted to try a shellac manicure as I'm going to be travelling and if I didn't have to take my nail stuff that'd be awesome. Allegedly these things last for up to two weeks, and I'm travelling for one week so hey, that's a win to me.

A new nail bar had it's grand opening right by my house yesterday, and after I ran an errand in the morning I stopped in. The sign said they opened at 9:30 am. As it was after 10 I figured why not.

When I got there the place was full of people, all standing around. They told me that they weren't grand opening until 11. So I needed to come back. I was kind of WTF about that, but went home, thinking maybe I'd go someplace else.

But 11ish came and I wandered back over there. Imagine my surprise when there was confetti everywhere, dancers dressed up in costumes (I'm taking a guess here - Korean?) and inside I was even more surprised. There was a grand piano set up and a guy playing, caterers were serving hors d'ouvres and and what seemed to be models were walking around getting a photo shoot done in various parts of the place. In the center I realized there was a bar, and at first they were serving wine, until two guys came in wit boxes full of spirits and someone called out "WHO WANTS A REAL COCKTAIL?"

Who am I to say no?
So I enjoyed the cocktails and the snacks despite that regardless of this being their grand opening, half the place seemed unprepared to be open. For instance, no actual manicure stations were set up. That seems odd. I had to sit in a pedicure chair. Pedicure chairs aren't comfortable if you aren't getting a pedicure. Where do your feet go?
But it was interesting anyway. Most nail salons are such assembly lines. This place was fun and full of excitement and everyone was treating it like a party. They've got chairs for little girls too, and I was amused to see all the dads in there with with 10 year olds picking out pedicures with them, it was a hoot.
With that adventure under my belt and a nice new manicure to boot I headed out for one of my last days with my family for a week. The girl had her first soccer game of the season. All of their practices were rained out/iced out/too told so this was the first time they had seen one another. Their coach laughed, "Let's see if they remember how to play." They did.
She ran and played and we sat and cheered as her team made short work of their opponent. She's still the littlest girl on her team age wise, everyone else is turning six while she's just getting ready to turn five. I'm so proud of her though, even when she pretends she an airplane rather than following the ball.

After soccer and some errands we went for dinner at Cracker Barrel and I felt very nostalgic for all the times we've been there on our travels the past few years. I had to have some Coca Cola cake to round out this last meal out with my family before I leave for five days. Coca Cola cake is a southern staple food.
My Saturday started with cocktails and ended with Coca Cola cake.

My god, I'm turning into a belle after all.

Friday, March 06, 2015

An Elephant Never Forgets

What I write about often ends up being very different from what I planned. My family went to the circus this past weekend. I love the circus. I love how terrible and campy it is. I love the animals. I love the elephants even though I'm glad Ringling is going to STOP using them. I love all of it.

My children do too. We have our traditions, which treats we get, toys AFTER the circus, family photo with all of us.
I want to make memories with my children, so that one day when I'm gone they'll remember these days and these moments. 

That's what my mind is on, memories.

My Dad has had an issue with his memory for some time. He's gotten things wrong, he's been just more than a bit off now and again. Since his heart attack he was more so, and my brother and I have been so very worried.

They assured us at the hospital that very normal people can be a bit wacky after heart attacks. He forgot how many daughters he had. He thought I was a twin, he thought my twin and I were lawyers. He got confused on time and date and the details of his life. After his bypass we learned that dementia post ICU was also a thing. Very common, don't worry, it's very stressful.

I think we both knew though, it wasn't the heart attack, it wasn't the ICU. There's been a thing looming with my dad. We knew what it was, but today I heard him say it on the phone.

"I told my therapist," he said to me. "That I've got dementia so I'm sorry if I say something out of line."

That is now tied with "Our baby died" as the most heartbreaking thing I've ever heard my dad say. My dad is still here. And today he knew he has dementia. His mind is unraveling. I wonder what that feels like, inside his head. I find it terrifying to consider, and it's happening to my dad. He won't remember his life correctly. I don't know what he'll lose, what he'll keep. I don't know how this works. How DOES this work? I guess we'll get a diagnosis with a neurologist, and we'll learn more.

My dad wasn't always a good guy. In fact a lot of the time he could be a real son of a bitch. But he was always the guy who took me to see Cinderella when I was three, and all of the Grizzly Adams movies. He took me to ride my big wheel at the college, he took me to feed the horses at the fair grounds. We'd ride around in his Satellite and sing American Pie loudly with the windows down, while he drank beer. I'd hold them for him sometimes. For some reason that memory doesn't even horrify me.My dad was the guy who lost me in the Gulf of Mexico under a wave and I never saw such terror on his face as when he pulled me from the water gasping for air. My dad was who I wanted to come home when I was sick, even though it was always my mom who took care of me.

I'm making memories with my own family that I hope that some day they'll look back on, even despite my own failures, and realize how much I love them. I take them to the circus, and sometimes a 12 year old gets an elephant he coveted since he was a very, VERY little boy. Even though it's stupidly expensive.
I can't buy love but I can add a little cement on the memories maybe. I remember so many of their days, I can't imagine that in my life it could happen that some day I'll start to lose the details. This is unthinkable. I can't lose the thread and let all this magic slip away.

I've always believed that your children are your immortality.

I feel like my brother and I are being called to now be our dad's. It should be hard to forgive such a large catalog of asshattery but I'm finding it's not. I just remember, as my brother well knows, that R is for Race, and D is for Drag, and I feel sad that maybe my dad doesn't remember our joke and I forgive him everything.




Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

I sit on my porch any morning I can and I drink coffee & swing with Charlie while we wait for the bus. I listen to the birds, watch the squirrels scamper and occasionally laugh as a coyote or two freaks out that there is a human afoot.

I've been sitting out there pondering something the past few days. This post is going to just be me musing about this very thing.

A lady on a local listserv I'm on who has autistic children of varying degrees of disability recently said to her sister she should get her own child screened. The lady on my listserv recognized behaviors, (unfortunately when the Spectrum is part of your everyday many behaviors become NEON out in the world) and so because she cares about her sister she mentioned it. Her sister went ballistic. Told her never to come near her family again. Said other horrible things.

Why? Fear.

Fear can destroy you. Fear can destroy friendships and loves. Fear drives us in places we wouldn't otherwise go and puts words in your mouth that you would never otherwise say. I remember very well a very close friend's husband mentioning Miles displaying a behavior their own autistic child had shown at the same age. The person wasn't saying HEY YOUR KIDS SEEMS AUTISTIC. They simply said "Oh our kid used to do that all the time." I went ice cold at those words. I wanted to SCREAM at them, "MY KID IS NOT YOUR KID SHUT UP OMG SHUT UP SHUT UP."

I never asked them if they were subtly trying to show me something they saw. They might not even remember the incident. But what I know now is - they saw.

Autism is a disease. It's a birth defect. Why it's caused well, that's up for debate. I personally think it's genetic possibly aggravated by environmental factors that we don't understand. But I see it in my own family back generations. NOW I see it. I see my great Uncle Howard rocking and saying "EEEE" loudly. We called him "retarded" because it wasn't a slur then, and the story was he didn't get enough oxygen during birth, a problem had happened. I remember him well, and I see autism looking back at him.

As a disease, we should want to deal with it. We all know "early intervention is the key" for things like cancer. Guess what? It IS with Autism too. I was really lucky, in that we got the twins into an actual Autism Pre-K in our school system. But I wish we had a diagnosis at 2, 2 more years in working on their development and I might not still be trying to potty train one boy with the other in diapers full time. Two more years of working on their development and I might not have had to deal with those two years of very large babies which is what they were before they started school.

I know it's scary, but here's the thing, everyone on the Spectrum isn't like my sons. There are folks on my listserv with kids going to college, getting jobs, having relationships - these kids aren't going to live with their parents for the rest of their life. They just needed some EXTRA and DIFFERENT help from your so called normal kids. People on the list serv are on the Spectrum themselves. Communicating and holding down jobs and lives.

If you are worried, you should talk to your doctor. If someone approaches you, they aren't cursing you, they aren't wishing you ill. They're trying to give you what some of us didn't have, early intervention. Help.

I've seen people say "NO ONE IS TESTING MY KID FOR AUTISM MY KID DOESN'T HAVE IT NO WAY NO SPECIAL ED FOR MY KID BY GOD."

That's your ego. I can tell you, as someone whose home the proverbial short bus arrives at four times a day, Special Ed isn't the end of your life. You might cry a few times. More than a few. But the bottom line is that it isn't about YOU. It's about what your child needs. Don't be that person. Don't let your ego drive you, and your fear drive you, into making the wrong decisions for your child.

I sit on my porch and drink my coffee from a mug with a note saying Happy Wednesday (it was yesterday give me a break) and I think about these sisters, and the fear that drives wedges between people.

Fear tells us that someone is going to take something away from us. But the truth is, nothing is ever really taken away from us if we love it, it may change or evolve - but if we love something or someone it can never be taken away. We can't let fear drive our decision making.

Get your kid tested if you are worried. Get your kid tested if someone mentions it. Read about Autism. It's ok to be afraid. It's not ok TO NOT put your child first.