Friday, October 23, 2009

A Little Good News...

Well, a few good things have been happening around here lately.  And no, sleep, unfortunately isn't one of them! ( not to dwell, but Aiden was up until 1:30 a.m. last night, and Margaret started crying at 4 a.m.)
But, a new support group for mommies of school age kids was started up by a local parent, and WOW!  We are all having very similar experiences, and most of the kids are older than himself, so I'm getting a heads up on how long I can expect certain things to continue and so on.  Plus, they're really nice ladies, so that's an added bonus.
And, very exciting for me, a letter I wrote to CBC Radio's The Current was aired yesterday morning.  So, I was very happy ..perhaps giddy from recent sleep deprivation...but feeling good nonetheless.
And, then, Aiden went to an Arts and Crafts group held with local homeschoolers...and he had a ball, was chatting away with the other kids, and just generally giving me hope for the future.
And I'm all about hope.
(and sleep too....but like I said, not dwelling.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sleep, Be Not Proud

Okay, hubby says I should stop complaining about it, and just accept it as our lot in life...but I am sooo tired!  I was designed to get my 8 hours a night... so this recent period of insomnia that Aiden is going through is draining me.  Hence the recent lack of posts.  Too tired.  Same reason my laundry piled up, and the kitchen floor is rotten.  Tired.  Neeed Sleeeeeep. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.
I remember when Aiden was a baby, who never went to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.  At first everyone consoled me that breastfed babies wake a lot.  Well, to be honest, everyone I knew with babies was breastfeeding too, and their little ones the proverbial baby.  Then I was told that he'd grow into sleeping through the night.  Also a lie.  I think you either get a sleeper or a non sleeper.   Little miss Margaret is a great sleep-thru-the-nighter...unfortunately, her big brother isn't.  He's always gotten up once during the night, but for the past couple of years, he's generally gone right back to sleep.  Then, the past 6 mos. of so, he's taken to waking up, and going back to sleep in a few hours time.  If at all.
It's now almost 11:30 p.m., and the little boy has finally closed his eyes...after 3 and a half hours of my waiting with him for sleep.  And now it's time for me to close mine....because he may be waking up soon.
So, my awareness message for tonight...autism/Asperger's greatly affects sleep.  And behind every sleepy child, is a sleepy parent.
Night night.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for:
family, friends, warmth, feeling safe, the odd few minutes to myself, good music, Barney, being in love, sticky kisses, shopping, good books, and the chance to read them, chewy candy, having more patience than I knew, those warm fleecey sheets from Costco,  my great fortune in being born Canadian, having my priorities straight (I think) and a hubby with a gift of giving me perspective when I need it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Social Question

The number one question I have gotten about my decision to home school, is, I believe the number one question that every home schooler gets.  But what about the social?
I think there's a prevailing belief that just by nature of children being surrounded by their age mates, that they're being socialized.  I can see that this belief is usually the case, for typical children.  So, it stands to reason that these parents of typical kids would think this way.
But, I gotta tell you.  Having worked in schools, and having been a student myself, don't you realize that for lots of kids, school is a very negative social experience?  Being bullied is a social experience, but it's one I think kids could do without!
Once people hear the word autism, they assume that kids need to be socialized.  I couldn't agree more. But socialization is more than being in the room. I feel that these kids, my boy included, needed to be helped with their socializing.  Just throwing them to the wolves, without the skills and supports they need would be disastrous!
So, Aiden's not going to school.  But, he is learning, and learning a lot!  So far, home school is in every way the right choice for us.  He's developing lots of great skills, and accumulating knowledge in a way that wouldn't happen in a regular classroom.
AND, he's getting the social aspect in a way that works for him.  He's signed up in music, swimming, and arts and crafts,  Plus he'll be doing drop-in skating and bowling during the week.  So, the social piece is there.  But, so am I.  I'm not sending him off to fend for himself, or to drift away from the group, or to act in inappropriate ways without being corrected.  He has my presence and suppport, and he needs that.

So, what about the social?  There's social.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Well, it's October 1st, so Autism Awareness Month is just begun.  Sometimes I can't help but wonder what our goals are in this.   Don't get me wrong, I am all for Autism Awareness, and like to think that through my blog I help raise awareness about autism.  But, my aim is not just to make people aware of how widespread, and crazily common autism is.  It's not that I don't think that's important, it's just that I can't help but feel that people aren't too concerned about it until it affects them directly.  None of us think these things are actually going to affect our kids...until they do.  I'm no different here from anybody else.  Due to my career, I was interested in various exceptionalities prior to my boy's diagnosis of AS, but I wasn't out waving flags.  It's just human nature I think.
Perhaps the goals of autism awareness should be for the public to understand what autism actually is.  Maybe the challenges of autism families should be better known, so that the public would have more empathy in general.  And so that society and governemts could know which supports need to be in place, and actually put them there.
Maybe we need to change the way we think about autism.  Yes, it's a disability, but when soooo many people have it, it has in many ways become a new way of being in this world.  So, maybe people need to be aware of, and accept that.  Maybe people need to challenge the notion of "normal"'s that for awareness?
I mean, the truth is, even the autism community can't agree on what awareness should look like.  Just look at all the controversy Autism Speaks sparks!   I'm not positioning myself one way or the other, but they certainly draw attention to the fact that not everybody agrees on what our message is!
I know what my message is. At the last event we attended at the local autism society, I was personally just struck by all these little boys.  Everywhere you look, all these little boys.  All of them working so hard to deal with their ways of being different in an intolerant world.  All these little boys, so loved, yet so challenging, and so joyous to their families.
We do need awareness, but what we also need is the understanding and support to go along with it.