Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher,

Tomorrow morning I will bring him to your classroom door. He will be the little boy with a big smile and big heart, wearing a backpack that bears his name and a lunch box that has food he will eat. Did I tell you he won’t be eating the cafe food….it’s not for him..not right now anyway.

He is excited. He is four. He is Autistic. He is my boy…my heart..my world.

Please treat him gently. Please help him learn. He doesn’t need the academics. He already knows all of his numbers, shapes, colors, and even reads some. What my boy doesn’t know is how to interact with others. He needs practice and he needs a gentle person to help him find his way, to help him grow.

He needs you… I need you to help him.

I’m sure I won’t sleep tonight. I’m sure I’ll have a hard time leaving your classroom. Please be gentle and understanding to us both. We are connected you see. He is my heart…. I am his voice….you are his teacher….

Help him, help me….this is hard…..
Xoxo
Lori
Bob’s momma

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IEP…..Lawd help me!

The dreaded day…the one you read horror stories about, the one that you know is coming as your little one approaches school age….you know the one..the day of the IEP meeting! (Insert dramatic music)

Having been a teacher I have sat at the table with literally 100’s of parents over the years… Making plans for their children..assuring them it was all good..and making sure I held up my end of the bargain with their child’s IEP… It’s slightly different when you are the parent component of the team not the teacher..administrator….psychologist…(insert random school personnel)

I’m not going to lie. It’s intimidating!

I sat at the table of the team and they reviewed all of Bob’s testing and input from therapists to paint a picture of Bob and his specific needs. I swear y’all I was loaded for bear. I had my ,I’m not taking any shit face on, with all the ammunition I needed to get what my boy needs. Truth is, I didn’t need it….

The Head Psych from the District who headed up the meeting…had been a kindergarten teacher for 20 years before she went into psych..never married …no children..she was in it to win it..for my Bob and all children…you’ve been in education long enough you can spot it..the ones that are really there for the benefit of the kids…

Her name was Dr. Pigg btw….don’t laugh..if y’all know me you,know how I feel about Peppa…but Dr. Pigg (yes two g’s) may have changed my mind …

After all of Bob’s strengths and weaknesses were reviewed…she spoke..
Dr. Pigg said the words I wanted to hear….Bob will be in an inclusion classroom with 12 kiddos who have developmental delays at the start of the year..as he adjusts to the routine he will begin to be mainstreamed in to a typical 4k program that they have along with speech and OT supports. She felt strongly that my boy was exceptional in many ways….and that he would do well in the school environment. I pray she is right……I’m optimistically looking forward to the start of school in August….he’s got a book bag ..a lunch bag and one bad ass mommy behind him!

As always, love and hugs
Bob’s mommy

It really doesn’t matter to me…what you believe…

Everyone is on their own journey….not matter what type of parent…

You’re a parent of a NT kiddo…your struggles are your own…you wanna be green and clean? I applaud you! Am I doing the same? Nope…it’s not in my cards..I’m scrambling for any food my kid will eat…chicken nugget or kale? I don’t care..just eat something….anything…

But you keep up your good fight..I applaud you…it really doesn’t matter to me…what you believe…..

I’m fighting my kiddos struggle…he is as different as any other kid..none of them are the same…. None of us are the same..we are all human..for God’s sake…we are…..

You can’t compare yourself, your kid, your family to anyone else….never.. Ever…….

Here lies the crux….do we crucify others different from us? Ourselves…do we do it because we feel inadequate? Not up to par? Or are we jealous?

Good lawd..I have my own share of jealousy…but I’ll be damned…if it keeps me from respecting someone else…their journey..their beliefs …let it be…go forth and prosper..my motto…..

Alicia Silvestone..yeah..the Clueless girl…she’s vegan..a newbie momma..wrote a book..started a website for vegan..clean living.. The kind mama..I think she calls it….if she wants to be kind and clean and works for her..so be it……I applaud her….

You don’t vaccinate..you think it damaged your child..I get it…I vaccinated mine..that’s my journey..not yours..I applaud you for doing what you think is best for your baby….

It really doesn’t matter to me what you believe…that’s you and yours ..not mine ..I applaud you..for sticking up for what you believe ….

Breast feeding is your thing..or not…it’s up to you…I breast fed neither of my kids..one NT genius…the other ASD genius…. Your journey ..my journey..makes no difference…

It goes deeper then this post..my diary.,my thoughts ….

I jaunt wish there was more understanding for everyone…and acceptance…that is the most important part…

Disclaimer: I write like a diary..I am NOT a blogger..these are my pieced together thoughts..if you get it..great! If not..move on!

Lori
Mother to Bob and Bob

Everybody hurts..sometimes…everybody needs to whine…sometimes…

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I am woman, a mother, an advocate….. I don’t have time for pity..or hurt ..I have things to do…I have a child that depends on me….depends on me….depends on me having my shit together…

Well, guess what..I’m human..I’ve struggled this week…I’ve been in a funk….

A lowly self pity funk….it doesn’t solve or help anyone or anything….

What does help? Picking yourself up and standing up…..stop saying it’s ok…when it’s not…stop saying I’m good..when you’re not..be honest..be real…for you..for your kid……..mostly for your kid

Pick up your big girl panties and move on….

Easier said then done…I know..I’ve been there..I am there

But the world still turns…and I’d rather struggle… And feel alive then the alternative

My whine is over…for,now at least…everyone hurts..we do..and we will survive…

Love,
Lori
Bob’s momma

The world spins, he spins, the world spins…..

We take a girls vacation each year. By girls I mean, my daughter, mother, MIL, best friend, and for the past 4 years…Bob. Bob is the only man invited. I have to bring my fella.

Every year I’ve taken Bob on this trip..I always say next year will be easier. I really thought this year would be the one. Day 1 went great. He listened..no melt downs..good times…Day 2… A few minor meltdowns….day 3… Holy shit..Houston we have a problem…

The world spins….

The morning started off with Bob, my mom, and MIL going to the beach.
Easy enough…not!
He immediately went into stimulation overload…wouldn’t listen..wanted to run into the water… The whole incident ended with my MIL holding him down while my mother got the golf cart…he’s to big and strong to force to do anything he doesn’t want to do…

He spins…

They got him back to the house..it took me 15 minutes to get him upstairs to wash off the shells and salt of the ocean…..when I did get him upstairs…after he threatened to run away…it took another 45 minutes to get him in the tub…it was the hardest meltdown I’ve seen as of yet….I help my child my boy…I shushed him..I kissed him..I prayed for him to let go and just do what I needed him to do……he never conceded…I just lifted him into the water and bathed my baby..my boy..my love…

The world spins, he spins….

I knew the beach would not be in our plans again today…I couldn’t do it…he couldn’t do it..so we ventured out…to the big town of Charleston..respite away from the beach…they have a children’s museum…he can play with kids…he can be active in a safe place…so we are off….

The world spins…..

On the car ride there..he is happy..calm..he needs his sunglasses and music…I oblige….a few minutes into the ride he says…Mommy….
I say yes….he says ….I love you… Yeah, the world stops spinning that quickly..all is good…

We get to the museum….there are other kids..he plays appropriately….with an 8 year old and two other 3 year olds…..castles and dress up..water tables and a pirate ship…outside water play and a full size fire engine…so much adventure for children…while the other parents sat and watched. My mother and I interacted with all of them…we do this to facilitate appropriate play….and hour into to this..we had a Bantu of children following Bob..to play interactively….once a teacher always a teacher…

The world spins….

The last thirty minutes..Bob was tired….he did so well all day..but he started to spin…stimming….we don’t have that often..but today we did…

The world spins…he spins…

We left…he held my hand…he looked at me and said….I missed you mommy….I was there the whole time..but he was lost in the play…..he also said…I love you mommy……

I love you more Bob….I always have..I always will…

Lori
Bob’s mommy

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Why I left FB Land Autism Community

I will preface this piece by saying I DO NOT BLoG! I keep a virtual diary! I don’t edit! If you are a grammar nazi..move on please…ain’t nobody got time for that!

I unpublished my page..I’m Bob several days ago. I left a following of over 1800 people. I left something I loved to do. I left a community, a community that I joined and built my only corner from the ground up. Yep, I built it. It wasn’t given to me! I wasn’t a lucky “newbie” as I’ve been accused of being. I left it for me. I left it to do something more.

Tired of reading rants..tired of ranting myself..I was ready to do something in the real world. With that being said ..I know that I made real connections…I know I helped people and was helped and supported by others…it just comes to a place and time where you need more..for yourself..your family..the community that is Autism…

So..I made the leap..the opportunity came…I was asked to mentor other newly diagnosed families. I will do one on one , face to face , talking to families. Families that are new to this journey. They need support, as all of us do when the journey starts and as you travel the road this journey takes you on. I’m up for the challenge and excited about it.

For those of you whom I have connected with through Bob’s page …I am not gone..just dormant right now. I have to focus on the present the tangible. But I will be back! For those of you who need to know what’s going on in Bob’s world…you are welcome to follow my blog. I promise to keep you updated!

Love and hugs dolls,
Lori
Aka Bob’s mommy

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The Underbelly

Your child is diagnosed with Autism. You are reeling. Scared. No one you know has a child on the spectrum. You scour the internet for information. You wind up on Facebook looking, reaching, searching for others like you. You find people. Lucky you, right? Maybe….

What no one tells you about this community is that it is not so much a community but a group of sub groups or zones. The community is not much different than a war torn country. You have the adult autistics, the Autism advocates, the parents of autistics and then you have the bloggers. A variety of community wrapped up nicely in Pandora’s box. You open that bugger up and you don’t know what the hell will come out.

I opened the box up. I jumped right in with a PollyAnna attitude. In my mind, my limited experience, I was over the moon happy… I had found my people. What I thought were my people…for the most part they were… For the other part…not so much…

I consulted trusted others before writing this post…they told me..you’ll be shunned…you better have a thick skin…you better be ready for what will come…I listened..I heard them..and I thought. I thought, what the hell..I’m opening the box. That Pandora’s box of taboo…don’t tell..don’t share..only with the group…but who is my group anyways…

I thought I knew. I didn’t. Facebook is a great connection for an Autism parent. You have time during therapy. It’s easy. There is no face to face or distance to close in..just a keyboard and your fingers and sometimes your heart. Yeah, you get attached to people you never met. I wrote a blog post about it. About these sisters I made through a page we made…a page that went big..really big..it felt good..no..it felt great almost 1500 people in two days…over a concept I devised..with a group of “bloggers” I admired.

It turned out differently than I expected. People were bickering behind the scenes. Some people wrote nasty blogs about others..very passive aggressive..I had one written about me…for just saying I felt bad for that person. Two of the sisters in the community got pissed and messed with the page behind the scenes…turning off all admin settings except for three on the page and leaving a present for all the followers to see…a lovely cake..that simply said..Fuck you….yeah..I called these women friends..asking about their children..even sending gifts to one of them because she didn’t know how her kid would have presents for his birthday….Pollyanna….I will be this forever I guess…. I thought….

I wanted there to be a point to this post…at first I thought it would be a warning…to not trust people you don’t know…but I can’t do that…there are good people..there are kind people..from all different zones..autistics ..parents of autistics and even bloggers..but there are some who are not…they lurk…they become your friends or not…it really doesn’t matter..I believe in people..their faults..their challenges..their journeys..

My point..to bring an end to this rant is…trust your gut…but if you don’t and you get the proverbial “fucked”… Forgive…release..forget…that’s what I’m trying to do….
Xoxox
Lori