Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

Today was my Mom's birthday.  It's been two months since she passed away and I still can't believe it.  It doesn't feel real, yet it is.  I've been angry with God, but lately the anger has turned to sorrow.  I'm glad she isn't suffering anymore.  She was so sick the last year of her life. 

As I look through more recent pictures of her I can see now how sick she was.  I can't bear to put any of these pictures up now.  At the time I couldn't see it and that I feel was God's grace.  I couldn't have cared for her had I fully seen how sick she was.  Tonight we shared cake and remembered how wonderful it was to have her with us. 

I've decided I don't want to miss any opportunities to love on others.  We need to take every opportunity to enjoy our family and friends.  To enjoy life's little simple pleasures while we can.

Dear God, please give my Mom a great big birthday hug from me and tell her that I love her - Amen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why Bother

Why Bother?
One day I figured out that if you took into account all of the reading, writing and traveling I've done over the years I've been working for less than minimum wage at National Autism Resources.  There are now many more autism stores and sites out there.  New ones pop up every day...

Sometimes, actually many times lately, I ask myself - why bother!?  Do you ever just stop and look out the window and wonder if what you are doing matters?  if I stopped would anyone care?

It's worth it!
But then I get a note like this:

Ashley put his noise reduction ear muffs on 
and immediately said, "these feel good".  
The amazing part of this story is that 
Ashley is still considered non-verbal!
 How great is that!  Ashley is the reason why I bother.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Visual Gift Ideas for Autistic Teenager

It's time for my annual post on my favorite toys and gifts for teens with autism.  As always its a challenge to find really great gifts that are socially appropriate for a teenager with autism.  This year I've found some really good ones that are highly visual.  I like highly visual gifts because most of the teens on the spectrum I know are fascinated by highly visual items (including my son LOL).  Anyhow here, is a sneak peak at our Christmas list.

Laser Stars
This projects a bunch of floating stars and what kind of looks like the Milky Way onto the walls and ceiling of a dark room.  Once in awhile a shooting star will go across the ceiling.  It is so awesome to look at.  This would make a great calming gift for a teen with autism.  It could turn any darkened room into a quiet planetarium.

Here is a video but I don't think it does it justice:

Super Light Doodler
The super light doodler is big sphere of light (about eleven inches I believe) that you can manipulate which is really neat.  You can make the light spin, or stop, or it can randomly change designs.  This is really interesting to look at and best of all other teenagers think it's cool.

OK to understand the greatness of the Strobotop you've got to watch this video:

Now that you've seen the video, you know how awesome the Strobotop is.  What I like is that you can make your own animations, draw in your own designs.  For teens with autism who are also artistic this is a really fun and interesting toy.  

Hoberman Sphere

The Hoberman Sphere is another really interesting, highly visual mechanical toy.  This thing literally expands to three times its size.  My son is fascinated by mechanical pieces in action.  I think this would also be a great gift for other autistic teens, but they have to be careful.  If your teen is rough with items then I wouldn't get it.  Some of the plastic pieces in the joints are small and can break if not handled carefully.  Super interesting and fun to play with. 

Mosaica is a magnetic mosaic set.  You can make a wide variety of colors and designs using the tiles.  I like that it comes in a sturdy tin so all of the mosaic pieces stick to the tin.  This is a fun travel toy or holiday distraction for teens that need one. 

What about you what are you buying for Christmas?  If you've got some good gift ideas for your teen please share them!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Death Sucks

Lately I've had a morbid infatuation with death.  I'm watching zombie movies, asking people about their experiences with death, my ears perk up when I hear anyone approach the subject.  I can't stop thinking about it I can't stop talking about it.  I seem to be weaving death into every conversation.  I even brought death up with one of my bubbly sales reps...

Awkward pause...

And then I knew it.  I've turned into a grieved, death obsessed weirdo and I've got to control myself.  At least I have to control myself while at work.  At home I'm free to watch all the zombie movies, Walking Dead episodes (yes I'm a fan does that offend you???), talk about death, talk about my mom all I want.  I talk then become tired and fall asleep... and my family still loves me.  I'm glad they love me because my death talk doesn't always make sense.  Who knows, this post probably doesn't make sense.  But it doesn't matter because the way my Mom's death went down still doesn't make sense to me.

She suffered.  She suffered and I held her hand through it.  Have you ever been glued to a situation and part of you didn't want to leave, but the other part wanted to run away screaming madly to somewhere?

That's what it was like for me.  I couldn't stand to watch her suffer and I couldn't stand to have her alone in her suffering and so I stayed.  I stayed and held her hand, and cleaned up her vomit, and prayed...

and then God didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted Him too.

I never wanted something so desperately and I didn't get it from God.  It's not like my prayer was selfish, I just wanted the suffering, the vomiting, the nausea, the pain... I wanted it to stop and it didn't.  So now I just feel so angry.  I'm mad that my loving, kind, fun, people lovin' Mama had to suffer. God could have helped the suffering and He didn't.  I don't understand why He didn't.  It was ugly, it was hard and I hate that it happened.

Death sucks

The Process of dying sucks even more.

I hate that all of us will have to face it.

Like I said you probably don't want to read this blog.