Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Mom and Me

I love this picture of my mom & me. This was Christmas 1970, so she was very pregnant with my sister (who was born in January).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three in a Bed

I woke up this morning with a face-full of long black hair and on the edge of the bed. Sometime after my hubby left for work in the middle of the night, I got visitors.

When I was able to push the hair out of my face, I saw my 75 pound dog laying on her back with her head on the pillow next to me and her legs spread for maximum pet-ability.  Pressed up next to her was "Buddy" snoring away.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do Not Assume

invisible disability bully bullying aspergers autism parkinsons Do not assume that my child is trying to be rude or childish... He is on the Autism Spectrum.

Do not assume that my son is older than he really is; therefore, holding him to the standards of a child much older... He is very tall for his age.

Do not assume that my mobility issues are due to my being overweight or lazy... I have an invisible disability.

Do not assume that I have been drinking when I stagger or drop things... I have Parkinsons.

Do not assume that I am uneducated or am not ambitious... I chose to be a stay-at-home-mom and use my college degree in many ways.

Do not assume if I do not introduce myself or participate in a conversation, then I am unfriendly... I am shy.

Do not assume if I have experienced abuse, then I am weak... They call me a survivor for a reason.

Do not assume if I am poor, am different, or do not stand up for myself, then it is OK to bully me... I am worthy of respect and have been taught to turn the other cheek.

Do not assume that since I am a parent of a child with special needs, that I need pitied or am unhappy with the life I have been given... I was chosen by God to love and care for one of His most precious creations.

Phineas and Ferb Live!

"Buddy" getting ready for the big show with his goodies!  
He is a HUGE fan! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Party Planning Checklists: Get Organized and Host Stress-Free Parties

This is a very helpful resource for planning your next party or get-together... no matter the size.  You can even get it for free.

It contains four handy checklists that lead you through the process of planning what you will serve, your grocery list, preparation schedule, and even planning for tables and other necessities.  You just fill in the blanks and then can rest assured that you thought of everything.

I especially like the last checklist.  This is where you plan what tables, chairs, beverage containers, and garbage bins you will need... along with where to place them for the party.

It is in PDF format and available here or by clicking on the picture to the left.

I received the product mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I have tried and believe will be good for my readers.

We Are All Related - aka Kids Say the Darnedest Things

My son "Buddy" is a BIG fan of several Disney stars. All of a sudden, he exclaimed, "I'm a cousin to all of the stars!" He went on to say that since we are all directly related to Adam and Eve, that makes him related to Selena Gomez, China Anne McClain, etc, etc, etc........

After I told him that he was correct, he asked if that genealogy site I use has information all the way back to Adam and Eve. I said that they don't. He then asked in an apprehensive tone, "Is it ran by atheists?"

I had the hardest time controlling my laughter. I couldn't believe that he just came up with that out of the blue. It took me a few minutes to be able to tell him that no, that wasn't it at all. It was a good thing that I was at a long stop light and not on the

I then explained to him that there are A LOT of missed records throughout the years and that is why doesn't go back that far.

Kids say the darnedest things!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Great Quotes for Aspergers and Autism

"If autism means... don't pretend, be a little shy with strangers, dance, laugh, and show yourself the way you are... Then yes, I am autistic!! So why are you trying to change me?"

"Autism is cool. When *I* like something, I like it a whole lot more than my friends like their things."

" 'Normal' is a dryer setting." - Elizabeth Moon

"Get to know someone on the spectrum and your life will truly be blessed!" - Stephanie L. Parker

"Autistic today. Genius tomorrow."

"Just because I can't speak doesn't mean I have nothing to say!"

"God made me special."

"Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I LEARN!"

"You are beautifully unique and uniquely beautiful!" - Stephanie L. Parker

Said by a 6 year old boy after his first Aspie support meeting: "Other people are different like me."

"It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential" - Hans Asperger.

"Aspergers - it's not a symptom, it's a feature."

"Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive… It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world… It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps."

"If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not - because then I wouldn't be me. Autism is part of who I am." - Temple Grandin

"Autism Rocks! (and rolls and spins and flaps and loves and laughs)"

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I were neurotypical because I would have been interested in social things. Having a little autism helped me achieve my goals and not miss what most people thought I was missing out on." - Evan Delaney Rodgers (autistic politician)

"Autism is not contagious, but my smile is."

"Autism to me, says that I accept my child wholly. I celebrate his differences and his quirky-ness. I advocate diversity. I try to empower him. I am proud of his successes, no matter how small they seem. I hope he holds onto the compassion he has in his heart into adulthood. I do not think he needs “fixing”. I am proud that he is my son, and sometimes I am humbled by that very same thought." - by mommy-dearest at

"The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means your deficits are ignored, and low-functioning means your assets are ignored." - Laura Tisoncik

"Nobody can be a better you!" - Stephanie L. Parker

"You don't have to have a disability to be different." - Kim Peek (the real "rain man")

"Asperger's Syndrome - It worked for Einstein."

"I'm disordered, not diseased"

"I am not a category... I am me"

"Warning - Tendency to be brutally honest."

"I didn’t get where I am today by not being autistic." - Larry Arnold

"My son has autism, but autism doesn't have him."

"Though devastating at first, Autism isn't the end of the world. It's the beginning of a whole new one."


Said by an 11 year old girl, "Having Asperger's means I'm a genius in my own special way!"

"Don’t underestimate persons with autism, try to understand."

"Autism is not something I have. It is integral to who I am. Eliminate the autism, and you eliminate me. When you say you want a cure, you are saying I should be put to death. Think about it." - Parrish S. Knight

"Someone with Asperger’s really is like you, just more extreme."

"My child with autism.....PRICELESS"

"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

"Society says I'm Autistic. God says I'm Perfect!"

"Nobel prize-calibre geniuses often have certain core autistic features at their heart" - Allan Snyder (director of Sydney University's Centre for the Mind)

"Your child is the same person he/she was before the diagnosis. The diagnosis does not change the child you love."

"I would never have wished for an able bodied child, because that child would have been someone who wasn't you."

"You need to quit worrying so much about your child and enjoy your child. Because if you don't, you will regret it later."

When a 4 1/2 year old boy was playing near another kid at a park, the kid walked up and asked, "Why do you talk so funny?" The first little boy turned to him and said, "I have autism, but it's okay because I'm secretly a rock star!" He then carried on acting out an entire movie.

"Autism - it's not a processing error, just a different operating system."

"Building up a weakness just makes you less disabled. Building a strength can take you to the top of the world.” - John Elder Robison

"Autism is all around us. We can help people with autism enter our world, if we encourage them to let us into theirs."

"Maybe not required, but the autistic can do phenomenal things if their special interests are in the right field. There's no doubt autism has been of great benefit to science."

"Borderline artistic."

"I'm just like everybody else... only different."

"I may not be where I intended to go, but I am exactly where I'm meant to be."

"I am more than autistic. I am somebody's heart."

"Autistic doesn't mean I draw well......BUT I DO!"

"The path I travel is lit by those who came before me, and it will shine brighter for those who follow me. See my potential."

"For all we know, the first tools on earth might have been developed by a loner sitting at the back of the cave, chipping at thousands of rocks to find the one that made the sharpest spear, while the neurotypicals chattered away in the firelight."

"You all laugh because I'm different, I laugh because you're all the same!"

"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal', must necessarily be 'inferior'" - Hans Asperger (1938)

"Crying doesn't indicate that you're weak. Since birth, it has been a sign that you're alive."

"You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it."

"I see people with Asperger's syndrome as a bright thread in the rich tapestry of life" - Tony Attwood.

"What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool? You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done." - Temple Grandin

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Tim Page

"Yes, I am Autistic. Stare if you must. I am not paying attention to you anyway."

"I have autism. Autism does not have me."

"AUTISM means I won't lead an ordinary life.... I can lead an extraordinary life!"

"I know of nobody who is purely autistic or purely neurotypical. Even God had some autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin." - Jerry Newport

"My child has autism. Questions are appreciated. Parenting advice is not!"

"Autism is not a tragedy. Ignorance is the tragedy."

"I do not suffer from Autism, but I do suffer from the way you treat me." -Tyler Durdin

"Nobody said it would be easy, But it will be worth it."

"All cats have autism."

Said by a young boy, "My autism makes me smart."

"If you've met A child with autism, you've met A child with autism. Each and every one of them is so wonderfully different."

"Children with Autism are angels who lost their way to heaven and fell down on earth."

"She may not be perfect, but she's 100% right."

"I exist; therefore, I am loved."

"Autism is as much a part of humanity as is the capacity to dream." - Kathleen Seidel

"I deserve acceptance and respect as I am."

"Parenting advice is not appreciated unless you too have a child with autism."

"If you're an auti and you know it... Flap your hands!"

"Autism is not contagious, but kindness is..."

"Autism - See the potential!"

"My Autism just might make me smarter than you!"

"Autism does not define my child, but it's part of who he is.  When society understands this, then my life will be easier." - Frances Vega-Costas

"Look beyond the autism and you will see someone very special."

"Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud." - Alex F. Osborn

"Autism is not a puzzle, nor a disease. Autism is a challenge, but certainly not a devastating one." - Trisha Van Berkel

"...research demonstrates that autistic traits are distributed into the non-autistic population; some people have more of them, some have fewer. History suggests that many individuals whom we would today diagnose as autistic – some severely so – contributed profoundly to our art, our math, our science, and our literature." - Morton Gernsbacher

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Misconceptions About Aspie Meltdowns

Beth @Mother_Warrior tweeted a question yesterday on Twitter.  She asked, "If you could correct one misconception about #autism #aspergers, what would it be?"

I started to simply reply back, but I could not easily narrow it down to just one misconception and/or something that was short enough to tweet on Twitter... As I began typing this post, I soon realized that I can write a series of blog posts in answer to her question, but for today, let's delve further into Beth's answer.

Beth had tweeted regarding the misconception she would like to correct, "Mine would be that meltdown issues are misbehavior."  I totally agree!

It may simply look like a temper-tantrum to the general public, but there is much more going on when someone on the Autism Spectrum is having a "meltdown". may be asking, "How is a meltdown different than a tantrum?"

Your run-of-the-mill tantrum usually has to do with the current situation like, "I want that toy, NOW!"

A meltdown (often referred to as an "Aspie Meltdown") is usually caused by an overwhelming amount of other issues that have built up.  This building up could have started well before the meltdown and even in another location, the day before, etc.  The issue that seems to have caused the ruckus is only the tip of the iceberg and it may or may not have anything to do with the meltdown.

Here are some causes that are common for triggering Aspie meltdowns:
  • Too loud and/or certain noises (regardless of the volume)
  • Too many people and/or new people
  • Too much going on
  • Lights are too bright
  • Too much air blowing on them and/or the temperature
  • Not on their usual schedule
  • Different location and/or environment (could even be that they are not in their "usual" seat)
  • Hungry, thirsty, and/or tired
  • They are simply "done" with the activity, regardless of whether or not the event is over.
  • Don't have a certain coping mechanism in place and handy (My son still likes to have at least a small item in his pocket most of the time.  It seems to calm him.)

I realize that some of the meltdown triggers can also be the triggers of a regular tantrum.   A point to remember is that someone on the Autism Spectrum can also have a basic tantrum just like people not on the spectrum.  My son, "Buddy", has had those, too.  Believe me.

The trick to successfully end a meltdown or a tantrum is knowing which one you are dealing with.  Before Buddy was diagnosed, I thought that he was just a really good fit-thrower!  The problem was that the usual "fixes" to end a tantrum would just make the ordeal a lot worse.

There have been a few times that we would be at an event to see one of his favorite cartoon characters and he would have a meltdown and want to go home NOW!  Did he really want to miss out on getting up-close-and-personal with some of his faves?  Definitely not!  The problem was all of the over-stimulation going on around him.  While other children could be having a tantrum, because the line was too long and they had to Aspie could be having a meltdown about the crowd, noise, new location, etc, etc....

With a child throwing a tantrum, you could encourage them by showing them that the line was moving and their time would be coming soon.  You could also redirect their attention by talking about what they would like to say to the character, etc.

Does this work with someone in the midst of a meltdown?  No!  The trigger is the only thing that matters.  If it is too loud, for example, nothing is going to diffuse the problem if it doesn't directly annihilate the trigger issue.  Now, if there are multiple trigger may as well hang it up and go home.

But, does that end it all?  Not necessarily... Buddy's meltdown usually ends when we get back into our vehicle and the trigger issue is gone.  But then.... if it is something that he really wanted to do, he starts in with the injustice of it all... If it wasn't for all of the other people, he would have been able to do it, etc,etc, get the point.

Of course, this is a bit better than what he used to do in instances like this: start in with an all-out-fit!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stephanie's Turkey Melts ~ Easily Gluten Free, too!

Gluten Free version minus the top slice of bread,
so you can see all the yumminess.
I had a similar chicken sandwich at a restaurant once and it inspired this wonderful way to use leftover turkey!  My family likes it so much that I make sure that I get all of the ingredients for this every time we have turkey...or I am in trouble.

For one sandwich:

2 slices of bread (I previously used a garlic sourdough bread - YUM! Now, I use my favorite GF bread and sprinkle just a bit of granulated garlic on with the pepper later in the assembly.)

leftover turkey
1 slice Swiss cheese (make sure GF, if necessary)
mushrooms, sliced and sauteed (I add minced garlic and pepper during the last 1-2 minutes)
avocado, sliced
mayonnaise (check for gluten, if needed - there are a few that aren't GF)
cracked pepper, ground (optional)

This is on the sourdough bread.... definitely NOT GF.
The mushrooms are also under the turkey on this one.
Reheat leftover turkey with Swiss cheese over the top in microwave.  Slice and saute the mushrooms.

Layer each sandwich in the following order: slice of bread, layer of leftover turkey, Swiss cheese, and sauteed mushrooms.  Spread a few thin slices of avocado on top.  Cover the top slice of bread with mayonnaise and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper (if desired), and top the sandwich.  Enjoy!