Category Archives: parenting

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

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:

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A Day in Photographs | Focusing On Family

We have been working a lot, it’s easy to do when you are self employed. It’s so cool to be able to travel to new parts of the country photographing weddings at beautiful places. Your business gets just a little popular & it’s super hard not to want to please everyone that asks you to do work for them but so goes life, we have to start turning away some jobs because otherwise your family life suffers. That being said my wife & I both committed to scaling back, re-centering, & focusing on being successful at home as well as at work instead of putting all of our eggs in the work basket. This not only means working less & more efficiently but also doing more one on one things with the kids, doing different things as a family, & of course taking more photos of them just hanging out. We photograph weddings for a living & one of my favorite things about that is the photojournalistic style we bring to it, just capturing it as it happens, moving away from the classic super posed photography. We both wanted to bring this to our home life so Samantha picked up the camera on our day off & used the day to document our stay-at-home mulligan day that we dubbed our ‘no work mental health day’. Take a peek!

Don’t forget we are now doing a web show over on YouTube & if you or someone you know happens to be getting married jump over to our other site Hibben Photography to take a look at our work…Yeah, shameless self plug! 🙂

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An unlikely cure for autism: Dr. Sheldon Cooper

3-big-bang-theory-sheldon-cooper-quotes1We love Big Bang Theory! From the time our son was diagnosed we have always had friends & older family members who had a hard time understanding what was going on with him. ‘He’s just an odd kid’ or ‘He’ll grow out of it’ were common sayings that made us want to pull our hair out. Slowly as shows like Parenthood became more popular they showed some of those people what we go through daily people started to get it. Even more than the heavy story lines of parenthood, Big Bang & Dr. Sheldon Cooper came to the rescue showing the masses that these kind of people are not only productive members of society but they are awesome! It wasn’t just a win for getting people to look at kids with Asperger’s in a different light but it was a release for patents like us, a time to laugh & say ‘he totally does that!!’ Last night we settled in to watch the most recent new episode in which Penny & Sheldon do an experiment to see if they can fall in love by going through questions. Aside from the fact that the episode was hilarious there was a moment where he went all high functioning autistic on us talking about how he wished he could read minds because facial expressions & social cues were so hard to understand. He told penny he was envious of her because she could do these things so easily. While millions of people tuned in & laughed & laughed again at the antics the characters were going through I couldn’t help but take a second to realize that while all these NT people are laughing there are scores of parents just like us watching, welling up with a tears at the realization that it’s going to be okay that our kids aren’t the same as yours. It’s a big deal that the writers add these kinds of story lines. When someone comes along who doesn’t have contact with one of these kids & 10 years ago would have just written them off as an odd ball now they associate them with someone like Sheldon making them, even unknowingly, more accepting of our kids!

Is it a cure for autism… kind of yeah! Because the kind of cure we need is acceptance & awareness! Autism isn’t chicken pox, it’s not something that is going to go away after taking a pill or drinking a fruit smoothie. Granted there are a boat load of opinions on these last two sentences but even if you do think autism is something that is curable we can all agree that awareness & acceptance is always a good thing.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my previous post about Parenting Tips I’ve Learned From Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Doctor Who Holiday Awesomeness GO!!

If you follow me on social media you know we just got out of the hospital with our middle son Zion. Asthma is always a looming problem in our home and for the last couple of years we have been pretty well controlled but this year it caught us off guard. Three days in the hospital for breathing treatments and steroids was rough but back to “normal” we go! I just wanted to take a second to say thank you so much to all of the followers that took a second to comment on social media, message, or email sending good thoughts/prayers our way. You have no idea how much that means to us.

We started the fun off by renting a limo to drive us around looking at Christmas lights. I won’t get into how horrible the day was when our transmission went out on the highway stranding us an hour from home in traffic trying to limp to where we were meeting the limo. Our brand new (new to us anyway) SUV….our brand new, most money I’ve ever paid for a car & makes me sick to think of the car payment on a car that’s in pieces at the shop right now…our brand new, the extended service plan they sold me better flippin’ cover this or I will be the only male stripper trying to make money by taking $1’s to put my cloths back on, car. Yeah… you get the picture. The kids had no idea & when it pulled up to get us it was all worth it. Their faces were glowing!

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Over the last few months we have officially become Doctor Who fanatics in this house! I say we because despite my resistance at first I am now sold on the Doctor. So when it came time to search for Christmas gifts we turned to one of the only places that really get our kids: Think Geek. We got sonic screwdrivers, we have stuffed Daleks that MUST be cuddled but let you know that they want to EXTERMINATE you, books, games, a magnetized floating Tardis, you name it we got it this year! BUT the one thing I was banking on to blow minds was a massive Tardis tent that folds out to be bigger on the inside. It did not disappoint! At one point I could hear Jayden giggling when I peeked in I found him in the Tardis with his plasma ball, very sciency! Yeah, sciency… thats a word right. It was a great holiday & I hope that all of you had a great one two!

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I was just supposed to put it together but TOTALLY got sucked in!

 

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The two youngest called dibs on sleeping in the TARDIS first!

 

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Even Grumpy Cat got in on the action