Unexpected Grief

Unexpected Grief

I have two children. I have written elsewhere about how I have moved through my grief of only having two children. I wanted more, but that wasn’t what happened. What has caught me by surprise is my daughter’s grief over not having any more siblings. Read more…

School- Why is it SO Hard?

School- Why is it SO Hard?

“We are in a messy middle trying to figure out how to make school work for my 12 year old son with Autism, ADHD, Dyscalculia, a sleeping disorder and a few other things.” Read more. . .

Is It a Mid-Life Crisis? At Forty?

Is It a Mid-Life Crisis? At Forty?

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany about my life. They don’t come often, but it’s always interesting when those glimpses come. Suddenly the fog clears and you can see clearly what was hidden before. Perhaps turning forty has something to do with it? Read more . . .

Sunshine Blogger Award and My Favorite Things

Sunshine Blogger Award and My Favorite Things

“I was nominated last week by Mrs. A at Hooks and Dragons blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This award is for bloggers to give a shout out to their favorite bloggers and answer some questions about themselves. Mrs. A lives in the UK so some of her questions come from one of my favorite countries. I’m delighted that someone thought enough of my blog to nominate me as one of their favorite bloggers.” Read more. . .

Should Community Have Room For All?

Should Community Have Room For All?

But still, those words burned into me. “He doesn’t fit into our community.” Those words are daggers to a Mother’s heart. They all agreed with this statement. We unanimously agreed to change his school placement. I had won, but I walked out of school heavy hearted. Read more. . .

Divergent Views and Friendship

Divergent Views and Friendship

”Christ didn’t just hang out with his most devout followers. He spent time with people who thought differently than he did, that had different values than he did. He let his light shine everywhere. We need more light in this world and less darkness. Don’t let the polarization start with you. Let it end with you.” Read more…

Update: Life During and After 30 Days Respite

Update: Life During and After 30 Days Respite

In my post, “The Hard Things, The Necessary Things,” I spoke about how we were sending our child away for awhile. This was so that we could have 30 days respite. The last year or so has been really tough on all of us. But it isn’t easy to let your child go or to know that you have made this decision to send him away.

Week One

The first week of respite, honestly was a lot of coming to terms with the situation. There was a lot of Netflix binging and escaping into books. I struggled to find any energy to be able to accomplish life. It was our daughter’s last week of summer before school started. I really felt bad that I couldn’t be a fun Mom and go do things with her. It took everything I had just to get through the day. While I do struggle with anxiety and depression, this was more physical, mental, and emotional weariness. I could no longer keep pushing myself forward with.

Our son called crying and begging me to come to visit the second day he was there. I couldn’t because I had appointments- some of which were for him. But he seemed to settle in after that.

Week Two

The second week, our daughter started school and I found myself alone at home. I think I started to realize that week just how much his medical care takes, beyond all of the issues with behavior with Autism. I started to breathe again during that second week.  We are SO grateful for this time we have had to nourish ourselves.

At least until “the” phone call from him. One of my biggest concerns about sending him away was that I couldn’t keep him safe. One day he called and told me about his trip to the park that day. He didn’t want to go on a walk with the caregiver and the other child. So she locked him in the car with the windows rolled up on a hot day and took a walk with the other child. To say I was concerned would be putting it mildly. The caregiver was placed on leave immediately and a CPS investigation started. As it seemed isolated with the one caregiver and she was no longer there, we decided to keep him there after visiting him and talking with the Director. We went to see him at least once a week and talked to him almost every day during his stay.

Week Three

Week three it started dawning on me that he was going to be home soon. I was in the middle of lots of IEP negotiations during this time as well. I spent that week riddled with anxiety. The respite place where our son was staying was letting him watch a LOT of TV. I was worried about him transitioning back home and him not getting as much TV. Not getting TV one of his biggest triggers.

Week Four

Week four we spent trying to make the most of our remaining few days. Dinner and a movie, games, downtime. We installed solid core doors and doorknobs with a keypad on them on 2 of the bedroom doors. There should be no more holes in these doors no matter how mad he gets. Week four was a calmer week.

After Respite

He’s been home for a week and a half now. Although the school has agreed to place him out of district at a private school, we are still waiting on the particulars of which one, so he is home with me all day. We are trying to maintain our normal schedule as much as possible so that when we get school figured out we can hopefully get him into the groove with as little disruption as possible.

So far he has transitioned home well. We have had hardly any physical behaviors and things seem to be going well. We are all much calmer. Not so keyed up and just reacting. We have other trials on our horizon. But for now, we’ll appreciate this win.

I didn’t know how this would go. I was afraid of letting go. But after having those 30 days to concentrate on ourselves and each other, I think we are all doing better than we were before went away for respite.

*Extended Respite Care was provided by the State of Washington and their Medicaid/Waiver program without which this would not have been possible. This provides a way for people with disabilities to stay in the home and caregivers to not get completely burnt out.

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Autism Is Never Going Away Video~ My Favorite Things

This week for my Video Favorite Things, I’m pulling out of the archives a video that I made about Autism and reposting it here.

Autism is not one of my favorite things. But it is part of one of my favorite people. This is one of the most honest things I have ever written, but it was shared with the hope that other parents with children with Autism will know that they are not alone. Please share.

A Life in Pictures: We ARE Enough

A Life in Pictures: We ARE Enough

I have been getting acupuncture treatments and my Naturopath suggested that I work on meditating while getting the treatments as I spend an hour lying on a table with no distractions. To direct myself and help focus I usually find a mantra for the day that I’m trying to help myself find peace with. The first one I chose was, “I am Enough.” Read more…

“This Is Us” Is Really Us

“This Is Us” Is Really Us

In an era where an opioid epidemic is facing our nation, and every other week it seems like someone famous is committing suicide, it’s important that shows like this accurately portray these issues. They put faces, families, and circumstances to what happens. This makes people realize these issues are far more common than they realize, and we are not alone. Read more…