Where does the time go?

Everyone in the house is asleep & I’m up on the laptop. As I’m shuffling images from one drive to another I come across a folder labeled ‘Phone’. I apparently dumped an old phone into this file around 2008-ish or so. As I scrolled through them I just can’t adult anymore man. I don’t know if its the fact that the house burned down or the kids growing up so much & so fast or what. I just can’t! I can remember people saying when I was a kid that you grow up fast. Then when my oldest Jayden was born it was ‘Enjoy it while it lasts, they grow up fast’ What did they know? This shit is lasting forever! Now here I sit at 35 with the oldest in high school. Its all just slipping past. Not just them but me. Am I the only one who sees pictures of their friends on Facebook & is like “DAMN look how old that person looks!” without realizing that I myself am looking my age as well. I don’t feel middle aged so its hard to look at myself like that.

I belive 2008

I wish I could tell this guy a few things! It’s gonna be okay when this happens. Don’t do that its not predictive! Don’t put that job over your family. Don’t waste your money & free time on this or that. I also wish I could tell that guy “Be a better jew & grow the bear already!” or most importantly “You look super stupid with a shaved head!”

Somewhere around 2009, so young!

There’s just no substitution in life for hind sight is there? You just miss the little things. You know what? & don’t judge me here! I even miss the early years of autism a little. Just a little. I miss the belly laughs at things he didn’t understand. I miss his special interests that he used to have. All those little things, for all three boys are just gone. Some of them they don’t even remember were things anymore. I know I know, this is starting to either read like the start to a hallmark movie or a suicide note! Maybe both? You’re welcome for the free ideas Hallmark.

Who’s House Burns Down Twice!

adventures in aspergers house fireIf you follow me on social media or Youtube you have probably seen that on September 8th in the wee hours of the morning we woke up to smoke filling our house. My wife got me up because of the smell and as I opened the bedroom door I was overwhelmed by thick black smoke. We both went into emergency mode. As we ducked under the choking black smoke rolling over us I opened the doors to the kids rooms. We ducked and crawled down to the floor to head to the front door. As I watched Samantha and the kids go out the front I realized Jayden wasn’t with us. As I turned around to see him he wasn’t there. After finding the hallway I found Jayden standing in the hall with his hand over his nose and lips clinched tightly. We crawled out the front door & after getting the pets out the fire department arrived. We watched from the cold front lawn, covered in blankets from our neighbors, as they worked to put out the flames eating our home of the last 5 years.

About 5 and a half years ago we were out of town for our wedding anniversary only to arrive back to a burned out shell of a house so this hits us very hard. I don’t know if it was the roar of the flames, the exploding glass, kids crying, or hearing Samantha’s sobbing “not again, how could this happen again”. All of those things jumbled me. I pride myself on being put together in times of hardship or emergencies but I was broken at that moment. I could do nothing but hold my youngest, cry with him, & watch the fire do what fire does.

Its been a couple of weeks now. We are staying with my parents. Never did I think I would be back in the room I grew up in at 35 with my kids just down the hall. That said, things are okay. Not great but I can go with okay. We are waiting to find out what we can get from our renters insurance & crossing our fingers its enough to get our family into somewhere new all the while working to keep business going. Life moves on. It begs the question still though…Who’s house burns down twice!?! Freakin’ twice y’all!

Thanks so much for all the messages, prayers, donations, & other well wishes! You have no idea how much we appreciate it all.

 

Explaining Autism To An Asshole {An Autism Parents Madlib}

explaining autism parenting harry potterA friend of mine got a nasty letter from her HOA the other day. A woman who doesn’t care to understand autism or what we autism parents like to affectionately call an “Asshole” lives near her & complained to the HOA about her Autistic households noise level. It brought up the discussion in the comments section of her post about how to best describe to an “Asshole” that our kids are a bit different from NT kids. In my view there was only one thing to do to ensure that you could communicate with said “Asshole” in a professional & adult manner… A Madlib! An old school madlib about explaining autism. No, I didn’t make it about her situation specifically but something a lot of us have been through. Also no I didn’t use the correct mad lib descriptions like verb, noun, adverb, because to be honest I would probably have to go through & look up each meaning to ensure I was correct only to screw it up & be murdered in the comments section below by a reader who stumbled across this blog 4 years from now.

Explaining Autism To An Asshole {An Autism Parents Madlib}

Greetings & Good Day Friend,

I noticed you (Descriptive Word Ending In ‘ly’) staring at my child having a meltdown here at the (local store) & since you saw fit to bless me with some parenting advice I thought I would take a minute to educate your dumb (Body Part) head about autism. Prepare for a PSA (Nick Name An Old Person Would Use)!

Despite what you have been told by your friends (Sister/Brother/Cousins)’s (Aunt/Uncle/Neighbor) told you that one time you went (Activity Ending In ‘ing’) at the (Place In Your Town). Autism is in fact real & does cause my child to act a bit different. It can’t be beat out of him, starved out of him, or even (Activity Past Tense) out of him. He is just different & that’s it. Sometimes he will (Something Your Child Loves To Do) & other times he will (Something Your Child Does During Meltdowns). I know it’s a bit odd to you & while that’s okay I’ll still thank you to keep you’re (Type Of Food) hole shut within my ear shot. If not I will lay down some autism awareness on your (Sensitive Part Of The Body) Sodom & Gomorrah style my friend!

Thanks & Have A Pleasant Day

Hello Autism! Welcome Home | Remembering My Son Is Autistic

Well it’s been to long friends! I can’t believe as I logged on to the blog I hadn’t posted in so long. Honestly last year was so autism friendly that things just coasted along. We had great teachers, great support, & things just worked. In my mind I thought ‘This is it! We’ve Crested!’ I think it has taken this long into the new school year to realize I had tricked myself. I have tricked myself & let others trick me into forgetting my son is autistic. I feel guilty even saying that because I know so many of you have lower functioning kids that you get none of those moments but none the less it’s how I feel at the moment. Don’t get me wrong we still have some great teachers but middle school is hard, impending high school is scary, & life is crazy. We started off with little missed assignments here & there then more didn’t make it home or were turned in half done. Grades fell, social interactions slumped, & I allowed myself to stay in blissful ‘normo town’. The other day I logged in to take a look at his grades to find them spinning downward so I reached out to the special needs staff asking them to take a look & give me some insight as communication about school is not our strong point to say the least. I asked for any missing assignments to be sent to me so we could work together to knock them out. What I got was a big black folder with around 20 front & back pages of work from multiple classes that he had not done. Lost on the way home, finished & lost before they got turned in, didn’t feel like doing them so he tossed them, you name it it has probably happened but it doesn’t really matter in the end. I wasn’t as vigilant as I should have been this year so when it was left up to him to get signed up for Robotics club it didn’t happen. He disliked band because he just didn’t fit in & hated all the noise so we dropped that as well.

Now that my eyes are open I realize we have taken several steps backward. Its hard to see it when you’re not looking for it because he is just so happy and positive. Even when we had bully problems he was just positive all the time. When a kid is that content with himself and his life its hard to see problems as they arrive when your rose colored glasses are firmly attached to your face like mine have been.

Our little family has had a rough go the last month or so. Between our car that we owe an obscene amount of money on breaking down & the fight that ensued with the warranty company who considers it a total loss leaving us on the hook for the $$ to a burglary at our home while we slept in the house things have been better. All that being said I had a realization over the last several days that my priorities are out of whack! I’ve been focusing on the problems, the worries, & the un-controllables instead of whats important. Yesterday it rained all 15310971_10211505165128874_2138217549_oday long & we stayed home. We made holiday cookies, watched pete’s dragon, & played video games. It was one of the best days I’ve had in so long. I realized that while I had my rose colored glasses on it was super easy not to see the problems but I also didn’t see some of the good things that were peeking through that I used to foster. He loves making comic books & then he puts them for sale in his ‘Store’ in his room where you can buy them for a couple of dollars so he can earn money. A couple of years ago I would have jumped on that & sent it off to blurb to be printed professionally so he could see his idea come to life but instead I just said ‘Thats awesome buddy’ & moved on with my day. I’m not trying to throw a pity party here… well maybe a little bit but hey, it’s my blog I get to do that… I’m just trying to say it out loud (okay, type it out loud) to help open my eyes and hold myself accountable. I need to be a better husband, a better father, a better special needs advocate, & even a better photographer as I realized I haven’t even been photographing my own kids. I walk in from a work shoot and put down the camera only to let it sit there until I am ready to work again. I guess its just time for re focusing on the things that matter. So this is one of those things. This blog helps me hold myself accountable. It helps me get feedback from other parents who know what the hell I’m talking about. It helps me tell horrible off color jokes that other parents cringe at but other special needs parents belly laugh at because they’ve been in the same shoes. Today is a new day.

 

Side Note: I thought I would share a few photos of our little moments & adventures since I last updated. Thanks for reading my ramblings! 🙂

Halloween 2016 was a blast

Halloween 2016 was a blast

Zion was electrocuted, Jayden was murdered, & Deano was Slappy from Goosebumps

Zion was electrocuted, Jayden was murdered, & Deano was Slappy from Goosebumps

Proving our kids are just as big nerds as we are this is a pic from our election night party!

Proving our kids are just as big nerds as we are this is a pic from our election night party!

We had a day on a party bus...with a stripper pole...okay maybe I should have skipped this one as a highlight

We had a day on a party bus…with a stripper pole…okay maybe I should have skipped this one as a highlight

Thanksgiving was fun, gluttonous but fun

Thanksgiving was fun, gluttonous but fun

Our elf on the shelf came back & since we have a new cat our youngest one had to give the elf a warning

Our elf on the shelf came back & since we have a new cat our youngest one had to give the elf a warning

 

3298a0bdd1762d2a9d2bfefdaccbda757c653eba787cf26a0e

High Functioning Halloween

It’s that time of year. You think it’s hard to get a kid with Aspergers to decide on what toy to buy, what they want to eat, or other menial decision? Then you just can’t wait for Halloween when you get to hear 4,377 different ideas on what they are going to be, how they are going to be the best version of that thing (accurate down to a T), & also how they are going to….wait….I think this new idea is better let me tell you all about it!! Yep!

That is really the only down fall of this holiday season because everything else is 100% awesome! As long as you can avoid reasoning with people over why the thing they are handing out doesn’t really constitute Halloween ‘candy’ & they should really be more prepared next time but you know what, that dentist down the street needs to be put in his place for handing out floss anyway! Go get me a butter fingers you uppity tooth fairy!

So far we have gone though a couple of ideas but nothing to elaborate yet. All three kids are SUPER into gravity falls right now, its like their soap opera! So my wife & I are trying to get them on board with a full family gravity falls themed costume. I’ll be grunkle stan, my wife is Mable, Jayden would be Dipper, & then there is some contention over the other two boys. The little one wants to be Waddles the pet pig & Zion is leaning towards Ol’ Man McGuket. Yeah, if it comes out it will be soooooo awesome! BUT if the kids flake I’m thinking of surprising them by making a Dalek costume & coming in with it on that day but we’ll see. I used to envy the parents of NT kids who would just run to the store & pick up an off the rack generic Spiderman costume but now-a-days it’s almost like a challenge to blow other kids costumes out of the water. (Yeah, I’m THAT dad) Last year’s Doctor Who, Demon, & Werewolf were pretty rad so I can’t wait to see what comes out of all the chaos this year.

Here is a look back at a few of our costumes over the years:

doctor who halloween costume

 

1391483_3612393405675_1395170379_n
10730784_882045285152413_9089753892852724551_n

487145_4848915984878_2117384361_n