Thursday, February 24, 2011


Wylie went back to his doctor for the 2nd time this month and she said his ears looked pretty bad, so basically, I've learned my lesson. I feel pretty stupid, actually. I was just talking with another mom whose son was constantly sick, and she said it was his ears, and they were so bad, and she just did not know. Wylie was sick for a while. I mean this last time since... Friday. And it's early Thursday, but we will just say Wednesday. I know, I know, that doesn't sound long except when you think that just a week before that, he had been sick for about 3 weeks, and we'll just say "etc... etc..." so you get the point that he has spent many more days ill than well since last September. So anyway, for the time being, he is taking medicine and is feeling much better.

I really just popped on here because I was thinking about the first post I made about a month ago, trying to tally up how many words he knew. He is kinda cute now, and instead of 1 word requests he has kinda moved on to "More Ba-ba [Spongebob] Peez!" and he uses up and down almost always correctly ("Down Peez!"). I had no freaking clue he knew "chicken" (not as a farm animal, as McDonald's nuggets- um, don't judge) and "pen" (likes to write) and my hubby apparently thinks these are things I should know, judging by his response of sighs and eye rolls to my surprise. Haha.

I'm so glad he's feeling better. Hope it lasts. Friday he has a speech evaluation scheduled. He had one scheduled 3 weeks ago, but he was sick. I told him today he has to think about learning how to talk so he can say something like "Mommy, my ears hurt!" next time instead of crying and sleeping all day. Hopefully speech therapy will help.

Ugh. I'm kinda over February. Bet March will be better.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Welcome to Never Easy...

Well, that was the day from hell.

I am sooo thankful for the fact that it is no longer Saturday. That was, like, THE worst. Uh. I mean. Emotionally draining and situationally unfortunate.

I'm losing my cool when it comes to the Never-Ending Illnesses of Wylie. Thursday he was fine. My best friend came over and we celebrated my recent birthday, and we all had a very lazy, family oriented day. We took Wylie to the park where he played on his favorite toy... the bench. He went to bed at a decent hour, and was still sleeping when I left for a parent workshop in the morning.

9 hours later, I arrived back home, tired, but eager to try new things with Wylie. I saw my hubby and opened my mouth to tell him about the workshop, but he cut me off. "Wylie's sick again..." he said gently. Still, it was a harsh blow. He has been in school for 6 months, and he has been ill enough to miss school at least once a month, This month it has been several days. He just got over something nasty. I yelled. "He has to go to school tomorrow!" I said angriliy to my husband. It was pretty absurd, you know, I always find myself having these conversations that are a little untimely. The exasperated "He knows 'doggie' but not 'mommy'" would be kinda funny if he were, like 8 months old. Now I'm grumbling about how much school he misses and he's barely 2.

Anyway. He did NOT go to school the next day. He woke up pretty miserable and hot and then slept for most of the day.

I went off to work, but got in a car accident before I made it there. Now I'm just kinda bummed out. I think I'll go to bed now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I am reading Let Me Hear Your Voice while Wylie sleeps off yet another sickness

There exists on this spectrum some symptoms that could be considered normal personality variations. I don't particularly love a lot of company. I don't usually spontaneously engage in conversation with acquaintances. My dad is pretty gadgety, figured out how to build personal computers by himself. Doesn't really give a damn WHAT people think about him. Praise and criticism kinda falls on deaf ears.

Wylie struggled with his eye contact program when he started therapy. For the first few months he made zero progress. I did not exactly practice it with him enthusiastically. I hesitated for very valid reasons- I've read over and over again, from therapists and personal accounts from people with ASD and Asperger's, stories of behavior therapy exacerbating an aversion to eye contact. It seems to make sense, too, from a behavioral point of view- if you want a child to ignore his name, give him a task to do every time he responds to it.

On a very personal level, I relate. It has been said, although I don't know if it's true, that it's common for even pretty normal, neurotypical parents to share autistic traits with their children, perhaps to a lesser degree. Both Wylie's father and I have very poor eye contact. Years in the retail industry have provided ample opportunity to train myself to consciously make the effort, but the truth is, unless I'm making a point to prove to you that I'm listening intently, I almost never make eye contact. And, like people with ASD, interestingly, I have a VERY hard time recognizing strangers' faces, probably because I spend so little time looking at their face. People researching autism used to think there was a deficit in the ability to recognize faces when ASD was present. Now it is starting to look like it's just an effect of not looking, not seeing. Wylie's father probably has more abnormal eye contact than I do. While I just unconsciously ignore eye contact, he seems to actually get uncomfortable with eye contact sustained for over a second.

Anyway, Wylie's eye contact has dramatically improved. We have come a long way from me hysterically trying to yank his chin up to get him to look at me when he was 16 months old. But, you know, there is this assumption NT parents make about what their children on the spectrum need to improve upon. I quickly realize the fallacy of the parents lamenting the Birthday Party With Lots of Friends They Never Get To Throw mostly because I was a kid who had to spend her birthday hanging out with a bunch of kids I didn't particularly like. Social skills and pretend play. Pfft. Haha! I don't mean to offend. It's just that I meet a LOT of parents who are completely comfortable with a pretty high level of accomodation for individuals on the spectrum, but then insist on spending a lot of time changing a personality trait in autism because "socialization leads to better learning opportunities." You COULD just accomodate the learning disability aspect of it, in theory.

This book I'm reading is good, but the author is a little stressed out about her children's quirkiness. I don't think I really completely fall into the neurodiversity camp, people who think autism is just a difference that should be accepted and accomodated. I think very serious problems result from autism, and it worries me that my pets are more socially intelligent than my son. But weirdness is hardly something to fear if a person is successful and happy.

Monday, February 14, 2011


A while back I was kind of anonymously following the blog of a woman about my age with ASD. I found her style of writing fascinating- she was quite eloquent, but also a little bizarre. It was quite beautiful. One thing I found very interesting was her obsession with labels. The way she analyzed details of the categories she placed concepts in were unlike any other expression I had ever encountered. It was really cool.

Not really something I can relate to, you know. That is why it's so cool.

I think labels serve their purpose. I have never been ashamed of the very human propensity to over generalize. Stereotyping can have some unpleasant consequences, sure, but so can inefficient brain processing, you know what I am saying?

I guess I am just in awe of the aversion some people have to terms that at least describe a universal concept, even if people disagree with certain aspects of that concept. I mean does it really matter if I refer to my child as autistic or a child with autism? Call myself an autism mom or a mom with a child on the spectrum?

I mean. What could nobody get all pissed off about? "I have a child who is 2 years old and of the male gender. He fits the criteria of Autism Spectrum Disorder because he exibits the following symptoms: ..." Wow, that's a lot to say, when I want to point out that I relate to another mother whose children has symptoms that would qualify... oh, forget it!

On the other hand, when you look at something like the hot button issue of "recovery," people get all bent out of shape before considering its usage doesn't represent the meaning they had in mind. I think there are two different schools of thought when it comes to the Recovery-Exists crowd. I am sure there are people out there who really believe that true recovery is zero autism characteristics, no quirkiness, no odd person anymore. I mean. That could be true. But on the other side, there is the fact that autism, to this day, is diagnosed by examining behavior. Behavior can fairly easily be modified to at least SOME degree. Wylie has been in treatment for about 6 months now, and he seems like a different person. IS he a different person? I mean, probably not. But his behavior is more appropriate (and not by stupid society's superficial standards- he is able to communicate and relate more effectively, his eye contact helps him pick up on cues and pay attention... He has certainly moved on the ADOS scale towards less severe. It seems quite plausible that those on the milder end of the spectrum may have their behavior modified enough to move off the spectrum at least as far as meeting the diagnostic criteria.

I have to say, in light of all of this, I don't think NTs should go around bragging about their superiority in communication skills. Just Sayin'.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Follow the thought: Sickness

I'm just crazy.

I go off on little tangents. My interests are blocked out in waves of mania.

Eh. I'm seriously considering approaching my doctor about some ADD meds. I suppose I don't know if I uh. Have ADD or not. I've just been feeling particularly spacey, lately. I mean, for me. As in, I'm usually feeling generally spacey, at least.

Ah, no matter. Do I regret cancelling on ECI? No, no. What good would THAT have done, Wylie has been, once again, violently ill for an extending period of time, interrupting enough scheduled activities as it is. ...I've exaggerated. He was fairly ill, I'd even say sicker than he was when he had the flu a month and a half ago, and it was for a full week. So far. He woke up Saturday morning feeling better than he had in days.

His crankiness and lethargy actually freaked me out. I felt incredibly vulnerable. I don't know if it was superstitious or reasonable or... But. His mood change, his behavior change, easily explained by being under the weather, brought on a fear of another regression. He got real weird with it, staring at his belly button all day, and zoning out in one spot. But he was just sick, and by today, although he wasn't 100%, he was playing and talking a bit. Being a little bratty about getting his way, but in his defense, like I said, he wasn't 100%.

He got pretty skinny in a week's time, too. Funny we were so sure he was going to be such a bruiser. He overshadowed all his little nursery mates, at a husky ten pounds at birth. Now he is just a skinny little flash of movement in my peripheral.

Good to see him on the move again today...