Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Lone Voice of Disapproval

The Kirton family has 6 kids, all of whom are on the spectrum. They live in a 1100 square-foot 3 bedroom home with one bathroom.

Get your poison pens ready, because I'm going to be honest enough to say that I think what they have done is selfish and irresponsible. According to their site, they didn't know that their children had issues until the last one was born (they wanted to have a "larger than average family" and kept having children until "that feeling was gone").

We have one child on the spectrum and made a conscious decision not to have more children when she was diagnosed. We have a 1000 square-foot home with 1 1/2 baths, and feel crowded. I would have liked to have another child, but we decided that it wasn't safe to risk another child (possible more severely impacted) with autism, because then someone would get shortchanged. I felt I had my hands full enough with the child we had, and since many of the responsibilities fall to me, the burden would have been largely mine. Add to that, the financial cost, the lack of space, the lack of time to ourselves as a couple...

The Kirton's are "hanging in there by the grace of God," but if they'd just stopped having kids, they wouldn't have to rely on the grace of God and the kindness (and donations) of strangers. In this day and age, in this financial climate, big families just don't make sense.

I don't think they deserve any more attention and financial support than the McCaughey (septuplet) family. No one forced them to have those kids, and I don't believe God had any more to do with those kids' autism than he did mine. It's irresponsible, not admirable.

Jealousy? Hormones? Insanity?

Our lovely daughter objects to us talking. If she's at the other end of the house, she closes the doors to muffle the conversation. If I walk into his office, or he into mine, she will walk to the doorway and whine and complain. Now she's doing it in the car, too. It makes for an unpleasant drive, let me tell you! We're either silent, or talk anyway and endure the (annoying) fuss that ensues.

The only thing my mom could think of was jealousy. As in, she's jealous that we're talking and not including her. It's as plausible as anything I can come up with, but why did she wait until 10-11 yrs. to start this behavior? I am seriously considering taking her to the psychologist who diagnosed her, and demanding he fix it! (Oh, OK, I wouldn't put it quite that way, but that would be the gist of it.)

Since she can't answer the question "Why are you unhappy?" I have to assume it's an emotional issue she just doesn't understand. If the conversation continues, it will escalate to angry sobbing and screaming, and that's even more annoying than the whining. I really (really!) want this to stop.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Very Limited Edition Prints to Benefit Autism Speaks

My Etsy shop, Shattered Photos, is finally stocked! Eight limited edition photos (all of the ones currently listed are #1 of 10). I will give half ($20) of the proceeds of each print to Autism Speaks. I'm still in the process of stocking my main site (also Shattered Photos, not an Etsy site) with blank greeting cards and more photos (unlimited editions).

Coleus leaves

I hate politics...

But I hate the McCain/Palin ticket more. If you are concerned with autism, disability law, and how the candidates will affect them, GO READ THIS BLOG NOW: http://specialneeds08.blogspot.com/

Regardless of your political affiliation, the color of your skin, your gender or your religious beliefs, parents of kids on the spectrum MUST BE AWARE of the policies of the people they would elect to the White House.

Know what you're voting for.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a week...

Thinking I was on to something awesome, I joined a Street Team at Etsy, offered to take over as admin of (what I thought was) the Team's blog, got excited about doing some charity work on a global scale, and ran into a brick wall all in one week. Some philosophical and personality differences caused me to leave the Street Team, but I am going to continue to maintain the blog under a different title, Art and Autism, but with the same basic focus. After a pretty vehement "this isn't welcome," I didn't feel I had a choice. What a shame...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Autism Art

I just ran across this really amazing glass artist on ebay: Dichroic-Art-Jewelry-by-Dave! The puzzle pieces aren't the typical all-primary colors we're used to seeing, but they're unusual enough to make people ask, and give the chance to raise awareness.

I'll try to post such finds whenever I can. We can raise awareness and support a cause without looking like Romper Room, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One of the Lesser Known Disadvantages

Because of Diana's language limitations, it is sometimes hard for her to tell us what's wrong. This evening, she came to me hunched over, one hand on her belly, and asked "Does your tummy hurt?" I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom, and she whined "yeah" and went to the bathroom with no results.

When my husband got home, he asked how long she'd been that way (not long), and asked if she had a temp. I didn't think so but he took her temp with an underarm digital. (She wasn't feverish.) I felt around on her belly and she didn't flinch or complain, so I don't think it's her appendix, but it could be menstrual cramps... I gave her some Motrin and she's much happier now. 

It's really hard when we can't ask her questions and expect detailed answers. She's a lot more verbal than many autistic kids are, so we actually have an easier time than some. But it's still a little frustrating and sometimes scary when we don't know what's wrong and she can't tell us.


Last year, Diana would typically have only one item in her backpack as homework. Not so this year. She's been pretty consistently having 2 things each night, math and reading. Another year, more responsibility.

She's already managed to lose her required-to-be-worn-at-all-times student ID. There are so many kids at the middle school, they all have to wear IDs like press passes at a convention. I'm not terribly amused by that or the $5 replacement cost or the "points" they take away for not wearing one. (Token economy, points for privileges; won't work with my kid, 'cause she doesn't want the so-called privileges they are offering.)

I suppose I should be grateful metal detectors and guards aren't present... though can it be far behind?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Still No Apparent Issues

Some might think I was asking for trouble, waiting for something to go dreadfully wrong with the new school situation. She's changing classes, in a much larger school, has a locker, and is around older, meaner middle school kids - what could I possibly have to worry about?! We're only a week and a half in, so there's still plenty of time for things to happen, if they're going to. I'm actually looking forward to parent/teacher conferences.

Still no word about speech therapy, and I have no idea how long I will have to wait before they get another therapist to replace Becky. I think I'd be better served by finding a clinic closer to home, but then she'd just be uprooted again when we move. 

I hope that my contacting the autism groups speeds up the process for the Autism Awareness specialty plates. Guess I'll find out if/when I hear from the DOT about getting the plate I said I was interested it!