Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Griffin In The Snow

This picture is for Big Brother. He wanted to see the snow in Alaska so here is Griffin in the snow out on our deck. I will be taking more pictures before we leave because as much as I hate driving in it I sure am going to miss the snow. Maybe we will make a snowman for you Big Brother. How would you like that?

Nothing going on really, just being a hermit as usual in the winter and getting my packing done, throwing away a lot, and have tons of stuff to donate. I do have a funny story to share about something that Griffin said at school, Kathleen told me about it yesterday. She said that they have been taking their lunches from the lunchroom and into the classroom to eat and that the milk is taken away from the children at the beginning of the meal so that the kids don't fill up on milk before they have a chance to eat. So, the kids were walking into the classroom with their meals/milk and Griffin looked up at Ed (the teacher's aide) and declared, "Why don't you take my milk, Ed!" and Ed replied, "Well, I think I will Griffin thank you!" so Griffin said, "No problem". For Griffin to use language like that is amazing, that's what makes it so funny. He just seems so mature when he talks like that and I am so proud of him.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Griffin is doing very well, his vocabulary has expanded over the last few weeks and he is beginning to ask questions such as: What are you doing? Why not? and What's that? This is great progress for him and I am very proud that he has made such improvement lately.

I am, on the otherhand, kind of a mess during the day when there is so much to do. There are things to pack, throw away, and donate. There are errands to run, places to go and phone calls to make. I just feel so overwhelmed even though I have a list that I check off as I go I still wonder how the heck I am going to get everything done in time for the move. I am hoping to be out of here by December 1st but somehow a month just doesn't seem like long enough to get all these things done. Does anyone know how I feel? Have you had to move in a short period of time and felt overwhelmed? I would love to hear from you and read your stories about moving, it would be a most pleasant distraction and a great source of support for me.

We got our first snow today, not much just a dusting of snow, and I look forward to getting a huge load of it before we have to leave because I am going to miss it. We won't be seeing any snow in S.C. that's for sure but there may be a teensy bit of it in N.C. when I go up to visit my brother and sister there. Unlike southcental Alaska (Anchorage) the snow is very wet in N.C. when they do get it and it is bitter cold because of the moisture in the air but here in Alaska it is quite dry and when it gets way down on the thermometer it doesn't feel so cold. Of course there are people who would beg to differ but for me it is easily tolerated with just a sweater and a jacket.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


1.Things that scare me
-Griffin being hurt/taken by someone
-Falling into water while in a car
-Griffin getting loose from me and running into traffic

2.People who make me laugh

3.Things I hate the most
-People chewing with their mouths open
-Exhaust fumes
-Being depressed

4.Things I don't understand
-Lack of compassion
-How someone could harm a child
-Griffin's babble

5.Things I am doing right now
-Watching the dog and cat play together
-Listening to the news
-Missing Griffin, he just got on the bus, but enjoying the peacefulness.

6.Things I want to do before I die
-To own at least one horse
-Make sure that Griffin is set for life
-Grow very old

7.Things I can do

8.Ways to describe my personality

9.Things I can't do
-Listen to someone talk to me while the t.v. is on
-Eat pork, I'm allergic to it

10.Things I think that you should listen to
-The crickets on a summer's night
-Elderly people
-Your children

11.Things you should never listen to
-Negative self-talk

12.Things I'd like to learn
-How to write a book
-More foreign languages
-More and more about Griffin & autism

13.Favorite foods
-Anything/everything Greek
-My mom's potato salad
-Godiva ice cream

14.Beverages I drink regularly
-Red wine

15.Shows I watched as a kid
-The Flintstones
-The Brady Bunch
-Starsky and Hutch

16.Persons I am tagging to do this meme
-Melissa H.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Top 10 Terrific Traits of Autistic People

If you're sick of hearing about all the "deficits" challenging people on the autism spectrum, join the club! But for every down side to autism, there seems to be a positive -- an unusual trait that rarely appears among the "typical" community, but shines out among autistic folk. These plusses are well worth celebrating.

1) Autistic People Rarely Lie
We all claim to value the truth, but almost all of us tell little white lies. All, that is, except people on the autism spectrum. To them, truth is truth -- and a good word from a person on the spectrum is the real deal.
2) People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice what's in front of their eyes because they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People on the autism spectrum truely attend to the sensory input that surrounds them. Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness.
3) People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter? For people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions hold much less importance than for typical folks. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.
4) Autistic People are Passionate
Of course, not all autistic people are alike. But many are truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. How many "typical" people can say the same?
5) People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations
If you've ever bought a car, played a game or joined a club to fit in, you know how hard it is to be true to yourself. But for people with autism, social expectations can be honestly irrelevant. What matters is true liking, interest and passion -- not keeping up with the Joneses.
6) People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
How often do typical people forget directions, or fail to take note of colors, names, and other details? People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details.
7) Autistic People Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally true -- but in general, people with autism are far less concerned with outward appearance than their typical peers. As a result, they worry less about brand names, hairstyles and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do.
8) Autistic People Play Fewer Head Games
Who was that woman, and why were you looking at her? I know I TOLD you I didn't mind if you went out, but why did you believe me? Most autistic people don't play games like these -- and they assume that you won't either. It's a refreshing and wonderful change from the Peyton Place emotional roller coaster that mars too many typical relationships!
9) Autistic People Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what he wants -- he is telling you what he wants. No need to beat around the bush, second guess, and hope you're reading between the lines!
10) People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals
For some of us neurotypicals, having an autistic person in our lives has had a profound positive impact on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations. For me, at least, being the mom of a son on the autism spectrum has released me from a lifetime of "should" -- and offered me a new world of "is."
By: Lisa Jo Rudy

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Today Was A Good Day

Just a short post to let you know that today was a good day, the sun was shining and I came into some money that I didn't expect to get and now I can buy the S.A.D. light that I so desperately need. Griffin is doing great as well and I think that he senses when I am feeling better because he seems so much happier. Maybe it's just my perception of the situation that comes into play but I could swear that he was squirrelly today because mommy was in such a great mood. He didn't do much in speech today because he had a hard time focusing but hey, he is allowed to have his off days too and I am just grateful that he is such a happy kiddo most all the time. I notice that when I am depressed and having a bad day that he tends to act out a bit more but if I talk to him and keep my wits about me then he will straighten up. Anyhow, I wanted to thank all of you for your great support and all your kind words, it helps me even more than you could ever know. There's a rough road ahead of me and I know that I can get through it because of you! I love you guys! Take care, and have a great day!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Depression Had Kicked IN

If you look closely you can see the snow on the mountain tops and it is just a matter of time before it gets down here. We have had so much rain and gloom that it has kicked in my depression early this year. On top of that, it is getting really dark earlier and earlier. I wake up and it's dark and that is depressing! My ANP (Advanced Nurse Practioner) told me that I am not a candidate for anti-depressants because of all the undesirable reactions/side effects that I have had in the past. So this year I am winging it and I am on my own with my depression. She recommended that I get a S.A.D. light but the darn things are just too expensive, I simply cannot afford one right now. So, wish me luck and cross your fingers for me that I don't end up in the Crisis Treatment Center like I did last year. I just can't wait to move gosh darnit! I sure do wish that I would hear something from Social Security soon. It is way past the deadline for a hearing but who knows, they do things in their own time not when ya want it or need it to happen. For those of you who may not have read my previous posts, I applied for SSDI and am awaiting a hearing and we're fast approaching the 2 year mark. I just want to be near my family and to feel happy again and I am NOT looking forward to seeing the snow. It rained all frickin' summer and now it is already in the low to mid 40's and will be freezing very soon. If it seems like I am complaining then you would have guessed it correctly because I feel like hell and I desperately want to feel good again. I wish you all a great day and hopefully the sun is shining where you are. Sorry for the gloomy mood I wish that I could just switch it off :(

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Swimming for the First Time

This is a picture of Griffin petting the little piglets at the Alaska State Fair's petting zoo. I think that he had a grand time on that day, I will be showing more photos in the next few posts. Griffin had swimming on Friday at OT and on Saturday's swim lesson at one of our local high schools. Both times he did a great job going under the water and jumping into the pool with no fear whatsoever. At OT he actually "swam" for the very first time all by himself. It's true that he was just treading water but he did it without any kind of assistance, no floatation device or anything! Gayle let go of him and he smiled and paddled his legs and arms like crazy trying desperately to keep his head above water and he did and I am so very proud of him. Griffin has been getting hyper after swimming lately and I cannot figure out why. It is unusual for him to become so full of energy in the evening and one would think that he would be tired after swimming but it seems to invigorate him. Does anyone have any idea why this might happen? Along with the extra energy that he has he also misbehaves by getting into everything and driving mommy bonkers. As a rule Griffin is a mellow sort of guy who typically behaves and plays nicely on his own but when he is "energized" he bounces off the walls and leaves no stone unturned, always looking for something to get into. I welcome any ideas or comments that you might have about why this might happen and what I might try to do to help him through it. Have a great day all of you and thanks for your comments!!!!