Can you tell just by looking?

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Can you tell,

Just by looking,

That this beautiful girl,

Has Asperger’s Syndrome?

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Can you tell,

Just by looking,

That sometimes,

This world,

Is just too much,

For her?

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Can you tell,

Just by looking,

That sometimes this world,

Makes her feel,

Broken?

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Can you tell,

Just by looking,

That she is,

The most precious gem,

In the world,

To me?

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Can you tell,

Just by looking,

That,

My daughter is just one,

Of  the many girls,

Now being diagnosed,

With Autism.

Remember when the NDIS was the NDIS? A Carer’s Lament.

As the parent of a child with autism I don’t need a pat on the back for all that I do.

Nor do I need to be placated with the odd carers lunch.

I don’t need to go to workshops every week,

Or wear a gold name badge to tell me I’m important.

 I don’t need to be invited to meetings

To serve as the token parent of a child with a diffability

Just  to make you look good.

Chances are I’ll be far too busy looking after my own son ,

To attend your pretense of a meeting.

But then again,

If you really had any understanding of the true issues,

That carer’s face

Then you’d already know that

Wouldn’t you?

Or perhaps the fact that we are all to busy,

Filling our days with the things,

That need to be done,

Instead of discussing the ways,

In which you think they should be done,

Is exactly what you are counting on?

So you can continue to conjure up,

Your stealth legislation.

Either way I don’t need to be the only person in the room not being paid,

To sit through yet another round of your dead-end discussions,

That so skillfully fail to address every real issue,

When it comes to the idea of disability reform.

 So let me make this clearer for you,

 I don’t need to attend carer’s workshops,

I don’t need someone condescendingly telling me that I need to take care of myself,

Whilst  simultaneously denying me the right to have my ‘care’ valued at a rate,

That would be equivalent to a living wage,

 I don’t need any more bureaucratic solutions,

To what is in essence, a very human condition,

So please stop waving your over-designed justifications,

And compulsive needs,

For economic rationalisation at me.

Let me give you some economic rationalisation of my own,

Carer‘s save tax payers billions of dollars every year,

Given that cost benefit analysis,

Are you seriously going to try to tell me,

That this country can’t afford to pay carer’s,

Even so much as a sub-standard wage,

For all of the work that they do?

And while you’re mulling that one over ,

I have another list for you,

It’s called ‘The things that I need’.

I need you to pull your head out the sand,

To stand beside me,

Not above,

I need you to make a sincere commitment,

Toward fulfilling your obligations,

In securing the unfailing provisions,

Including all of the forms of assistance,

That my son may need,

To respectfully be,

Who is,

In the best,

Most humanly honorable way possible.

This means doing more than just standing by,

As policy makers turn what once was a hard-fought campaign for equality,

Into a maybe we should change the name of this pony,

And then lets pop in a few more vote winning extras,

Into the mix,

Like Work Cover Assistance,

This is meant to be the NDIS,

Not a free for all for anyone who might get injured at work.

So please,

Can you just try to remember how this reform all started out?

And the people whom it’s meant to represent.

 

Lyrics and Poetry to Live By

On a Clear Night

Have you ever found a song that just  somehow sums up your journey through life beautifully?

For me, being the mother of a son with Autism, life for us has definitely had its moments.

Yet one of my core beliefs has always been that,  no matter what,  I will be there for him.

For me that means always trying my absolute best to understand him,

To put myself as best I can in his shoes,

And to see the world through his eyes.

To hold him when it all gets too much for him,

And to encourage him soar like an eagle,

When ever he can and in what ever way chooses.

So this song for me called “Night Minds”  by the wonderful Missy Higgins,

Pretty much sums up how I feel about my son,

Our life’s together,

And the promise that I’ve always made to myself to be there,

Not just for him,

But with him.

Night Minds

Just lay it all down.

Put your face into my neck and let it fall out.

I know ,I know ,I know.

I knew before you got home.

This world you’re in now,

It doesn’t have to be alone,

I’ll get there somehow, ‘cos,

I know, I know, I know,

When, even springtime feels cold.

But I will learn to breathe this ugliness you see,

So we can both be there,

And we can both share the dark.

And in our honesty, together we will rise,

Out of our night minds, and into the light,

At the end of the fight…

You were blessed by,

A different kind of inner view:

It’s all magnified.

The highs will make you fly,

But the lows make you want to die.

And I was once there,

Hanging from that very ledge,

Where you are standing.

So I know,

I know,

I know,

It’s easier to let go.

But I will learn to breathe,

This ugliness you see,

So we can both be there and we can both share the dark.

And in our honesty,

Together we will rise,

Out of our night minds,

And into the light,

At the end of the fight.


A Mother’s Love

seventhvoice:

Yes indeed. A mother’s love can melt the world with her soul. Absolutely beautiful.

 

Originally posted on Lady Lovely Blogger:

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A mother’s love

Triggers her daughters grace

Turning mountains into gold

Melting the world with her soul

***

“A mothers love is the fuel that enables a normal human being, to do the impossible.” Unknown

 

View original

Plain Label Genius I Ain’t……..

hair styling tools+bobby pins+hair spray

After spending all morning crunching data and getting really excited that the numbers I’m  beginning to see are indicating that women with Asperger’s Syndrome are now attaining university degrees at  a much higher ratio rate than that of  their male counter parts, I then went and followed up my statistical breakthrough  by doing something so incredibly scatter brained that even my daughter is still laughing about it……..

Ok…. so here it is…….. I’d spent far too much time lost in the world of data analysis……. so much so that I’d left my self  way short on time to get myself respectably  ready to drive half way across town to pick my son up from college without looking like some kind of mad, unkempt woman…..

So I took a short cut and decided to use my daughters bathroom…… Which trust me, is normally considered un-enterable hallowed ground, but does however have the advantage of  usually being  a one stop shop for  every kind of  bib and bob you can imagine,  and all spread out within easy reach of her incredibly cluttered hand basin. (Yes she has her own bathroom. Don’t ask why, just accept that life is far easier this way).

All’s going well….. Good plan I’m thinking to myself,…… making good time,……. looking like less of a dragon and more like an actual human being…….because I know….. I just know that it’s always the days when you haven’t made the effort to at least look reasonable that someone at the College will be wondering if they could just had a “quick word with you about something that happened today in their office”……….

So I’m making good time and secretly thinking to myself that I should sneak in and use my daughters bathroom more often when…….

Now let me just preface this  next bit by saying that my daughter is always telling me to stop buying her plain label deodorant and plain label hair spray, as she often gets them confused, what with the cans being the same shape and the same color and all,…. but me…..being the ever budget wise mum that I am (AKA Scrooge) ….. and knowing full well how many liters of the stuff she goes through on a daily basis……  I of course insist on  continuing to  buy her plain label, maxi size, everything…..

Well today the joke was well and truly on me……. in my rush to become more recognizably human….. I  accidentally sprayed deodorant on my hair and only narrowly escaped spraying hairspray in those places where no one ever wants their hair to stick  straight out like narrowly quilled razor blades,  (and just to clarify I do indeed mean under my arms and not anywhere else)……

So….. It just goes to show that although I  may have 2 degrees….. and am somewhat good at making sense out of what often appears to be nothing more than random sets of numbers to others,  I’m actually not all that smart……

And sometimes….. Just sometimes…… my daughter’s right……..

Never the less,  she’s still getting plain label everything until she learns that quantity does not equal quality……

And I of course…. will never, no matter how tempted I may be, ever  use my daughter’s  bathroom again!!!!!

The Asperger’s Parenting Obstacle Course…… Why Hair Extensions Are Never A Good Idea.

How Could You Do This To Me, Mum?

 

Some days being a parent is like being expected to run 5 different obstacle courses simultaneously.

It’s always one step forward, three steps back.

 

And no matter what parenting move we might try and make in the present to please our children, it all too often ends up becoming the root cause of a wrong parenting move in the usually not too distant future.

 

A future that always appears to be, for some odd reason, so much further down the track than it really is.

 

Hidden out of sight where you  can’t see it and so have no hope what so ever of  making any  necessary corrections in the present in order to avoid making, what will eventually become, a wrong move in the future.

 

 

For instance……..

 

Hair Extensions by Bridget Christian (109)

 

After months and months of pleading, I eventually bought my daughter some inexpensive (AKA cheap) clip on hair extensions off e-bay.

 

She was delighted when they arrived in the mail and for a few short hours, well at least in her eyes; I could do no parenting wrong.

 

That was until I asked her if they came with any instructions as to how to put them in.

 

Which of course, being inexpensive, (okay, okay, cheap), they hadn’t come with any information of the ‘how to’ variety.

 

That was entirely my bad.

 

So instead of panicking, we found a “how to put in your clip on hair extensions’ demo on YouTube”.

 

We watched it together and suddenly I was back to being a wonderful parent again.

 

That was until I tried to actually clip the hair extensions into my daughter’s hair.

 

At which point she screamed loudly and them promptly expressed her opinion that I was either blind, stupid, hadn’t paid attention to the demo closely enough, or was deliberately trying to hurt her.

 

This of course placed me back in the worst, most stingiest parent in the world ever, camp.

 

Now this is the parental camp in which I usually spend weeks, months even, existing in.

If any of you have teenagers of your own I’m sure that you will be entirely familiar the place.

Apparently I only further increased my state of residence in this camp by pointing out to my daughter that if she’d tried sitting still and waiting patiently like the model in the demo had instead of wriggling about on her chair, things might now be going a bit smoother in the hair extension department than they currently were.

 

She of course, was very resistant my logical response and let me know about it in no uncertain but very colorful terms.

 

English: cup of coffee

 

At this point I figured ‘what the hey’, seeing I was already in the bad parenting camp, I may as well make myself a cup of coffee, settle in and stay a while longer.

 

So I picked up all of the hair extensions that I’d so carefully laid out on the table in order of their size and appropriate application position and walked away.

 

Dodging her resentful gaze as I went.

 

Right about that time she finally realized that if she wanted her new shiny and supposedly life altering hair extensions in, that she’d have to start playing nice.

 

And right on cue, from out of her mouth a whole string of apologies and flattery flew toward me:

 

“Please mum, I didn’t mean it mum,”

 

“I’ll sit still this time mum,”

 

“I’m sorry I promise mum,”

 

“You’re the best mum in the world for trying.”

 

Yes a child’s flattery will get a mother (almost) every single time. So, after letting her know that unless she held true to her word about sitting still the whole deal would be off, I slowly laid the extensions back out on the table and we began again.

 

And wouldn’t you know it? This time it worked.

 

Her hair looked amazing and she loved it.

 

Instant hugs.

Status as best ever Mum in the world had been briefly regained and peace in our house had been fully restored while she spent hours (and I do mean hours) admiring herself in the mirror and sending photos of her “new amazing hair” to all of her friends.

 

But, and you know that there’s always going to be a but coming somewhere.

 

But…..

 

Then it came time to take the hair extensions out.

 

This news apparently came as a rude shock to her.

 

She didn’t want to take them out.

 

She loved them.

 

She wanted to wear them to school the next day so that all of her friends could see them “for real”.

 

I didn’t care.

Those bad boys were coming out.

Whether she liked it or not.

 

Once again out came the charges of “bad parenting” as her outrage at being “made to do something she didn’t want to do” bubbled and brewed while she sat unwilling on our kitchen chair as I gently and methodically unclipped her extensions one by one and laid them neatly back on the table.

 

After I’d finished she glared up at me and said “fine, but I’ll be waking you up at 5 in the morning to put them all back in again.”

 

To which I emphatically replied, “No you will not. You are not wearing those to school. They are for special occasions. Not for school.”

 

“But mum, you don’t understand. You’re ruining my life! I promised everyone that I would wear them to school to show them. Now everyone’s going to think I’m a liar and they are going to hate me if I don’t wear them.”

 

Silence on my part.

 

“I hate you.

You’re a bad parent.

You don’t care about me.

All you care about is yourself”.

 

More silence on my part.

 

“Okay then, I’ll wake you up at 5-30 instead”.

 

At this point I reminded myself to breathe.

 

“All right, all right, 6 AM then but that’s my final offer” she shouts as she storms out of the kitchen and stomps up the stairs to her bedroom.

 

Following her statement up with the obligatory teenage door slam which works as an exclamation mark for any and all parental arguments.

 

Ah….. Conversation over. At last.  I’m going to bed. Good night.

 

At 6am the next morning she walks into my room with a cup of coffee ready to hand over to me.

 

Me, all bleary eyed  and slightly confused as to why she’s up without my having to drag her out of bed, but admittedly very impressed with the whole coffee angle that she’s got going on, till I suddenly remember,

‘Oh no, those bloody hair extensions again’.

 

So there she is hovering menacingly over my bed, with her hands on hips when the sounds of my son beginning to stir down stairs land in my ears.

And I understand right then and there that I’m just simply not up for the same level of fight that she is.

 

I also know that if I’m to have any hope at all of avoiding said immanent fight, I need to get going on her hair extensions immediately so that I can  have them all in place before my son (who needs help showering) requires my assistance.

 

More infuriatingly, she knows it too because any change in my sons routine can create untold degrees of catastrophe that have a strong tendency to rumble on throughout the entirety of his day.

 

So call me crazy, call me weak, call me on the fact that I’m setting a bad example for parents all over the world, but right then and there I didn’t care whether I was making the right parenting move or the wrong one, whether I was stepping forwards or stumbling back on myself.

 

I just wanted to get the whole hair extension nightmare that I’d unwittingly created for myself over and done with.

 

And amazingly the hair extensions went in quickly, with no problems at all and once again they looked fantastic and best of all I still hadn’t managed to throw my son’s daily routine out of whack.

 

Yay me.

 

Not!

 

Apparently, within the space of my daughters school day, a day which I might add I had nothing what so ever to do with, her friends had gone from telling her she looked gorgeous, to being chronically jealous.

 

Her glory day had turned into a stormy day and yes you guessed it, it was all my fault!

 

Once again I had “ruined my daughter’s life”.

 

Like I said, some days, parenting is like being expected to run 5 different obstacle courses all at the same time.

 

One step forward, three steps back.

 

And no matter what parenting move we might make to try and please our children in the present, it all too often ends up becoming the root cause of a wrong parenting move in the future.

 

Which is why I now say that the future should come complete with rear view mirrors at all times.

 

Parenting in the Digital Age. The Dangers of Mobile Phone Uploads and “Selfies.” A plea for teenage girls and their parents to become more aware of what’s going on out there in cyber space.

This is just one example of the phenomenon known as a “Selfie” ( a photo taken of oneself by oneself) that is beginning to flood the pages of Face Book, Instagram, YouTube and other various forms of social media.

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What’s disturbing about this photo, amongst oh so many other things, is that the girl in it is obviously quite young.

Young enough to not be posing for pictures like this in her underwear, (even if she is the one taking the photo of herself), and certainly not yet old enough to realize the dangers inherent in posting photos like this on the world-wide web, where anyone can download them and do whatever they want with them.

As a parent, I have to admit that I am shocked to see this kind of photo being posted regularly via links to my own daughter’s Facebook page.

As a mother, whenever I see these images, I wonder whether or not the girl’s parents are aware of what their daughters are posting on-line?

This is a very different response to the one I would have had less than a year ago, when I would have automatically condemned the girl’s parents for “letting their daughter’s take such photos”.

Now with the benefit of hindsight and a rapid education in the modality of our modern social media, (thanks in large part to my own children’s use of social networking), I am beginning to understand that such photos can be taken without a parent even so much as being aware that their children are doing anything more than playing with their iPod’s, iPad’s or mobile phones all within the safety and the privacy of their own bedrooms.

And of course, therein lies the rub.

We think that as parents, our children are safe when they are in the privacy of our houses or in the safety of their own rooms.

But the truth is….. Sometimes they’re not.

Sometimes, especially for teenage girls, privacy when combined with the ability of mobile phones, iPod’s or I pad’s to take photos and upload them instantly onto the internet, along side the peer pressure they face to  be cool, can  become nothing short of a recipe for disaster.

A disaster that anyone can download, copy and redistribute to as many different web sites, as many times as they like.

As if that isn’t a creepy enough thought already, my major concern in all of this is for my own daughter.

What happens if these kinds of photos appear often enough on her links that they become viewed as common place and no big deal at all?

Will she then, in time, begin to believe that it’s acceptable to post up similar images of herself? As if it is no ‘biggie’ to expose her face and her body in such a way to the world at large?

That if enough of her friends start doing it then eventually it won’t matter to her how many times I tell her that it’s wrong……. and that it is a big deal…..

And then maybe…..

Just maybe…..

The first time I’ll know anything about it will be once it’s already too late to take it back.

And perhaps the scariest part of this line of thinking is that when it comes to questions like this……

How do I know that she hasn’t already snapped a shot of herself like that within the privacy of her own bedroom?

With the phone I brought her to keep her safe while she’s out and about in case of emergencies.

The answer is….. I don’t know. And if even I have to admit that I don’t know, then there must be other parents out there who may also have to admit that they don’t know either.

So I think the days of believing that we as parents can control what our children do, show and say have well and truly been taken away by the digital age.

So we’d best get on with the job of understanding this and start looking at finding new ways of safe guarding our children’s best interests.

In the meantime here’s a simple truth for every teenager out there………

Once a picture has been posted on the internet you can never really get it back.

It is there to stay.

Yes sure, you may be able to delete the original copy that you put up……… but can you track down and trace however many people have downloaded it in the meantime?

Can you prevent them from sharing it?

Can you prevent complete strangers from downloading your photos?

You may think that you can….. But you can’t……

Unfortunately the photo at the top of the page is proof that anyone, and I mean anyone, can download your personal pictures from any unprotected social media sites……

Scared yet?????????

Because I know I certainly am.

The photo used in this post is the least offensive “selfie” shot of its variety that I could find. Believe it or not, this young girl is actually wearing more clothes than most of the others. Disgusting I know.

Body Clocks and Brain Fog

Tackling Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Dear Body Clock,

Please try and understand that 3 Am is not an appropriate hour to finally let me fall asleep.

I’d much prefer 10pm, 10-30, 11pm or if that’s just too much for you to handle, I could see myself settling for 12 am at a push, if I really have too.

Seriously body clock, it’s time to give it up before I lose all sense of comprehension.

You see the milk doesn’t belong in oven, nor the car keys in the sink.

Clearly we simply cannot go on this way.

I can’t continue to let you lull me into drifting my days away on the sea of  hapless brain fog  that your fun and games are creating  for me.

It’s time to put the milk back in the fridge and the car keys back on the hook.

As school is returning in less than 2 weeks, and whilst I have greatly enjoyed relaxing into your unwholesome descent into island time, quite honestly, right about now, I need my sleeping life back.

So please body clock…… what do you say……how about tonight we give 10 o’clock a try?

 

Instead of developing thicker skin……..

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Instead of developing  thicker skin,

I wish the world,

Would instead,

Decide to become,

 A  little kinder.

Kinder to everyone,

Whether there be differences,

Or similarities,

Kinder to everyone,

Regardless of gender,

Kinder to everyone,

No matter their skin color,

Kinder to everyone,

Whether two or eighty,

Kinder to everyone,

No matter their IQ,

Just think of the world,

You could be living in,

If one day we decided,

To all be a little,

Kinder to everyone,

Kinder to you.