Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mean People Stink!!!

G has been watching me drop off mail and priority orders for National Autism Resources for quite awhile. I thought since we do this regularly this would be a good place for him to work on doing things independently. So first we started by G helping me carry the orders to the desk. Then I let him carry all of the orders to the desk while I reminded him to say hello to the postal workers.

For the last few weeks I have walked into the Post Office and watched G drop off the orders until last week I waited just outside the door.

Today I waited outside in the car while G went into the Post Office by himself... Hooray! This should have been great...

When G came out He was agitated and didn't want to talk. So he waited in the car while I went in to find out what was wrong.

Inside Gene, one of the postal workers, yelled, "Hi Bonnie, why don't you come up here."

Then he explained that when G came in to drop off the orders, some rude and impatient lady yelled at him to quit cutting in line. G didn't know what to do and froze. When Gene saw what was happening he told G it was fine and that he could come to the front and drop off the mail.

Can I just say that if looks could kill, I would have killed that lady with my eyes. I had laser eyes bugging out of my head. GRRRRRRRRRRRR...

So I went back to the car, told G sometimes people are rude and that he did nothing wrong. Tomorrow when he feels better I'm going to talk to him about what he can say if something like this should happen again. We are going back to the Post Office and we are going to get this down!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mild Autism

Recently I talked to someone who asked me, "how do you help a child with mild autism?" The term mild autism does not appear in the DSM. From what I can gather this is a term people are using (along with high functioning autism) to describe people on the spectrum who meet the criteria for autism but have higher functioning skills.

No matter what the child's diagnosis is, the first step to helping them is to carefully look at the evaluations used to diagnose the child. Evaluations contain a wealth of information specific to the individual child. Evaluations can help you choose appropriate interventions. For example, most likely you will be working with a Speech & Language Pathologist. If their evaluation states that the child has primarily pragmatic or social language impairments look at social skills groups or products that address this specific area of language delay.

On the flip side if in the evaluations you notice a reoccurring comment like "the child is overstimulated by busy environments" you may want to look into sensory integration therapy. If you notice this reoccurring comment and it doesn't seem to be addressed ask the people who evaluated your child, "how can we address this?"

However, the best advice I can give is this: don't get caught up in the label. At the end of the day its important to remember that each child is a unique person who has unlimited potential, needs love, lots of encouragement and acceptance.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ARC Solano Meeting

I was invited by my real estate agent Eilleen to the ARC Solano annual meeting tonight. They had several pieces of the consumer's art on display for sale.

This picture was my favorite, it was only $50. Unfortunately, my photo doesn't do it justice. Inside of each of the color spots are penciled pictures of people smiling and other things that make the artist feel happy. I felt happy just looking at it.

While at the meeting I met Loida. Her son Anthony is 25 and on the spectrum. She is standing by one of his paintings. The colors are so vibrant in real life! I wish my camera took better pictures!

This is the art director Tim Park. He is getting this art work out into the community for sale. The cool thing is the proceeds go to the consumers who painted them. You can follow his tweets here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

DMV Meltdown

I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles today without an appointment. It was a bad, bad, bad idea. The place was noisy, crowded and had an estimated wait time of at least one hour. I should have walked out, made an appointment and paid the late fee. But, I didn't...

I was fine the first thirty minutes. I sat in a somewhat dirty chair and was careful not to touch it with my hands... I positioned myself by a screen and watched for my number it was on B089 and my number was B216. While waiting more and more people took seats around me. It wasn't too bad until an elderly lady and her husband sat down right next to me.

It smelled like she was wearing expired perfume. The thought that came to mind was decomposing roses and alcohol. I started to feel sick, I looked around the room. It was crowded, I was surrounded by people. If I stood up I would lose my chair and move into undefined space... and then someone could definitely invade my personal space. I was frozen in stink and couldn't decided to move or not. So I went into my defensive position, I covered my nose with my shirt. OK I totally admit I'm a weirdo, but its better than a freak out.

I started to distract myself by finding something nice to look at. Unfortunately, there is nothing visually pleasing inside the DMV. All the cubicles, counters, and chairs are either grey or blue - its depressing. The floor has orange flakes in it (my favorite color) it also has black flakes in it (a nice contrast to orange...), but it was surrounded by fake cement? Yuck who would pick this flooring and why? Did they purposely try to make it ugly... As I contemplated this the elderly couple moved on, but now I had a headache starting...

Forty five minutes into my wait even more people are crammed into the room and it is so noisy. I have to keep looking at the floor because I can't stand to look around even at the number screen. So I can't plug my ears because then I wont hear my number...

And then IT happened.

A lady with exposed feet came and stood right in front of me. It was ghastly her feet were over flowing out of her flip flops and dirty.

I couldn't handle it I closed my eyes and covered my face with my paperwork just in case my eyes unconsciously should open and I would see the feet again. I felt like humming to help with the noise, but I had to hear my number and I didn't want anyone calling the loony bin... I could hear them call number B209. I started to tell myself I would be up there soon. But seriously, it was all I could do to keep from running out of the door.

When they called my number I felt shaky and my head was pounding. I jogged to the appropriate cubical and found I couldn't register my car because it needed to be smogged.

Oh sweet Jesus please let my husband finish this for me, thank God he puts up with me...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Visual Fun

My friends Katheryn & Gary visited last night. We had lots of fun eating, talking about favorite movies and playing with a new Blue Fiber Optic Lamp that we are selling at National Autism Resources. Here it is with the lights on. Its cool to touch and the picture doesn't do it justice...
We turned off the lights and then started touching the lamp it looked awesome and was really hard to stop playing with. Here are a few pictures: