Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Facing Autism in New Brunswick

There is a blog I have been following for quite some time.  I encourage all parents to please read this blog "Facing Autism in New Brunswick".  It is very informative and extremely heartfelt.  It is written by a wonderful father fighting for his exceptional son, Conor, and others with autism.  Just read his pledge on his page and it will touch your heart!  He is an articulate warrior!

I asked permission to post this link to my page so people could read about what Conor, his family and others endure everyday.  It is so different from my son's stories, and frankly, I do not think that the media puts enough of these realities of autism out there.  Mr. Doherty, thank you for letting me publish this link and I implore anyone reading this to please go to the blog and read the posts.  It is so important that awareness covers the entire spectrum!  Thank you!


All the best!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Austin was badly bullied last year by a boy at school.  It really did get difficult and poor Austin dealt with it much better than I ever would.  This year, there is another child who bullies and bothers him a lot.  (I have blogged about it in previous posts.)  After an Autism Awareness rally at school not too long ago, Austin announced to his classmates that he has autism.  This seemed to make sense to the little boy who is bothering Austin.

I explained previously to Austin, that this little boy is struggling with his own challenges and if he does something to upset him, just walk away.  Do not engaged in conversation or play, just turn the other cheek and walk away.  Austin has done so and this seems to be helping with the bullying by reducing it.

It is was brought to my attention that this other boy is very upset that Austin will not acknowledge him, even if the boy says "Hello".  Austin's teacher approached him and tried to appeal to Austin but, being my son, of course, he will have none of it!  You can only mess with this lad until he has hit his limit and then, he's done!  I approached him and explained that what he was doing was very rude and it costs nothing to say "Hello".  I told him he does not have to be his friend but if someone says "Hello" please say "Hello".  If the little boy asks a question or says something that requires a response and it is of an appropriate nature, please respond.  It does not have to be a lengthy conversation and no one is expecting a friendship.

During this discussion the other day, when the situation was brought to my attention, I broke down into tears because I know Austin is like this because of the terrible bullying he has endured in the past.  This one child, hit, kit, smacked, punched and pushed Austin so he hit his head, it was cut and there was a big bump on it!  He was so hysterical that day his head was injured, I had to be called to the school to calm him down.  When I showed up (only minutes later) Austin was in his classroom with the other children around him, some trying to calm him, overcome with tears!  OMG!  I cannot tell you the heartbreak I felt for him!  It brings me to tears every time I think of it.  I explained during the meeting the other day, Austin has been down this road before and trust does not come easily the second time round.  Who can blame him really?  Poor guy, there is always someone picking on him, very sad.

After I spoke to Austin, he understood that he would not like someone to not acknowledge his "Hello" or ignore him, so he promised me he would respond to the boy if spoken to.  That is really all I can ask and do not expect more from him.  I am very PROUD to have such a tenderhearted young man.  I LOVE YOU DUDE! :) OX

All the best! *HUGS*

Facts! Facts and More Facts!

Austin LOVES anything factual.  He is like a sponge and can retain and repeat many, many, many facts he learns.  He is very interested in history and geography.  It is amazing how much I learn from him everyday!  (I was not the most studious person when I was younger.)  He memorizes things very well for projects at school and is doing so well when given assignments that require him to do oral presentations.  WAY TO GO DUDE!  SO PROUD OF YOU! :) OX

All the best! *HUGS*

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mothers' Mourning

My Grandmother passed away on April 17th, she was 96 years old.  She was my Mother's Mom.  I was very sad to hear the news.  She was really good to us when we were little.  Anyone who reads my blog will know that my Mother walked away from me 7 years ago.  (See the post "Mulligans 4 Mommies", it has a bit about my Grandmother as well.)  The thought of seeing my Mother at the funeral caused me great anxiety and I became very emotional.  I tried to hide my tears and sadness from Austin and Kaleigh, I did not want them asking too many questions about my Mother.

When Austin found out my Grandmother passed away, he did not react at all.  (I asked if he wanted to see a picture of her but he did not.  I did not push the issue.) Kaleigh, on the other hand, took this news very hard.  All she wanted to do was go and see my Mother.  She cried and cried for me to take her to her.  What I am supposed to tell her?  "You're Grandmother does not want to see you?"  Uh, no.  So I told her again, "Grandma is still very sick, we cannot see her."  Kaleigh replied, "She will be at the funeral!  I want to see her!!!"  OMG!  My heart shattered into a billion pieces!!!  I told her I did not know if I would see my Mother there (okay a bit of a stretch but what I am supposed to say?) and she was too little to go to a funeral. It took a few days but she eventually stopped talking about seeing my Mother and stopped crying, thank goodness!  What a horrible thing to watch your child go through.  Shame on you Mother!  (Sorry, if she ever does read this, she should feel ashamed!)

I decided to only attend the burial as it was my Grandmother's wish to have a very private service and burial.  I really did not want to go but as I said, she was good to me and I cared for her.  My husband came with me.  We sat in the car until the very last minute.  (It was cold and raining.)  When I got out to walk over to the burial site, I saw my Mother, the first time in just over 7 years! I was shocked at what I saw.  Her husband standing behind her holding an umbrella over her head.  My other siblings arrived with the precession from the funeral home.  I waited for them to gather and my Mum (my step-mom, I call her "Mum", she's a doll) came up to me, gave me a hug and kiss. She stood beside all of us and you could see the concern in her face. She was there to support us.  Thank heavens she did because it was so awkward and surreal.

The burial was starting and we all had to enter the tent.  I kept saying "I am not getting near my Mother, I am not going over there!"  My husband insisted I had to go and take my place.  My sister was saying the same thing.  Our Mum, gently encouraged me towards the tent.  It was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a very long time.  My older sister stood with my Mother for a while but I did not see her near her once the priest started to speak.  All of us were in the tent, my Mum right there with us.  My Mother stood out in the rain the whole time!  Her hands shook a lot (I am not sure if she is unwell or not) and looked like she had aged about 20 years.  Not what I expected at all.  I wore my sunglasses since I was determined I would not let her look me in the eyes after all this time.  Interestingly enough, she was wearing sunglasses too.  Possible she did not want us to see her completely either.  My poor sister sobbed through the whole service.  She was very close to my Grandmother.  I felt very badly for her.

Once the service was concluding, one of my Uncle's passed out pink roses (my favourite flower, my Grandmother's too?) we all placed one on her casket.  It was then, three men helped my Mother walk towards the casket to place a little flower arrangement she had hand made for her Mom.  I am not sure why she needed the help, possibly she really is not well or just very upset.  I know how devastated she must be since she loved her Mother dearly.  She sobbed and cried out as she lay the flowers down.  I could not take it.  My eyes welled up and I had to turn around walk away.  My Mum was right there the whole time, which was very nice to have her so close by.  I felt like I was in a dream, like this was not real, it could not be.  It tore my heart out to see my Mother sobbing.  I know, strange right?  Not in my eyes I guess.

One of my Uncle's came over to talk to me, get a kiss and a smile.  He is one of my Mother's brothers and I adore him!  Since I was little I have always loved him, he is such a character.  We spoke for a little while and then we all left.  I did not see my Mother leave.  I have to say, my other Uncle, did the entire funeral and burial.  He took excellent care of my Grandmother her whole life and he should be proud that he was such a wonderful son to his Mother.  He is one of the most elegant people I know and loved his Mother to no end.  I was so sad for him as well.

Once I was home and everything was over.  I felt a lot better.  I thought it went very well.  I had no idea how I would react seeing my Mother after all this time.  She never really looked at me and did not even try to come near me so the message was very clear, she never will, but then, I knew that, right?  I spoke to my husband later about how badly I felt for her.  He, does not have any sympathy for her at all.  When I said it crushed me to see her cry, he said it crushes him to see me cry for her!  He is right.  Not only me but Kaleigh too, which is unforgivable to me.

I explained to Kaleigh that she needs to focus on people who love her.  Like Austin, Daddy, Mommie, Grandma, Grandpa, Nana (my Mum) and Grandad (my Dad), her friends and all the other family and everyone else who is in her life.  I pray that she will not ask to see my Mother again, but I am sure that is wishful thinking.

I wanted to say to Austin and Kaleigh, I will never walk away from you.  I will always be here for you!  I LOVE YOU INFINITE!

The one thing that was hardest for me to admit to myself, is you always need and want your Mother, whether you are 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 or 70.  Just when I thought I was over the pain, I'm not.

All the best!  *HUGS*

P.S.  Thank you for always being there for me Mum!  LOVE YOU! OX