Magnets, Meds and Memory

Let’s begin with my memory, especially for the things we do habitually every day and even more especially, the things we do out of habit or automatically in the morning.

Back before they invented coffee makers that shut off on a timer, I can’t tell you how many times I had to leave work to go home because I had convinced myself that I left the coffee maker on. When my job moved further away from home I had a friend who knew how to get into my house for just that reason.

Never – not even once, was the coffee maker found on – I just could not remember shutting it off because it was one of those things we do automatically and do not always remember doing.  If I can’t remember doing it, I begin to convince myself that I forgot to do it.

Morning is the part of the day that I seem most affected by this phenomenon.

The second thing that you need to know about me is that I stink at medication. I have never been on any kind of  medication with the exception of the random round of antibiotics that everyone needs at one time or another. I have a hard time remembering to take them and more than once during the course of the antibiotics, I am dumping them out and counting them to see if I remembered to take one.  I always joke that knowing how bad I am at remembering to take medications (or vitamins for that matter), it is fortunate that I have not ever had to take anything for a serious condition or for a long period of time, because I would most definitely be dead.

DC had never been on any kind of medication either until he was 25 and had to start taking seizure medication.

Knowing what I know about myself, I made sure to set alarms in the morning and the evening – not one alarm, but 3 – in case I was involved in something when one went off (like trying to get ready for work) – there would be another 20 minutes later. DC is also in the habit of shutting off my alarm if I am not right there to do it myself. I usually remember on my own, but I keep them set as a safeguard – just in case. He cannot swallow pills; his medication is in liquid form – I can’t dump them out and take a count if I am questioning myself.

A couple of weeks ago after a rather difficult morning – I was convinced that I had given DC his medication twice. I did not remember giving it to him twice but once I get that idea into my head, I can’t let it go.

I was 98% sure that I had not, but ….. to be safe, I called his doctor and waited for him to call back.

When he called back he said that due to the amount of his regular dose, a second dose would not hurt him at all. He might just be very tired and/or drowsy and I should still give him his evening dose.

He was anything but drowsy when he came home from his day program and there were no notes that he had been tired during the day.

So there’s that.

But……. being the queen of overthinking and over-reaction, I felt I just had to come up with a better system.

His medication is in a bin on the stove (we have to use the stove for something, right?).

We have quite a few refrigerator magnets on the refrigerator so I figured I could put a few to use.

About now you might be thinking/wondering why I can’t just write it down when I give him his meds. Easy enough, right?

Well no, because then I would have to find a pen. All pens, no matter where I put them end up in DC”s “It’s Mine” stash. If I wait until “later” to write it down when I get around to finding a pen – I may not ever write it down and then we are in the same boat.

“I’ll do it later. I’ll remember to do it later” never works for me.

Easy solution…..

I took two of the many magnets from the front of the refrigerator and moved them to the stove hood.

On the side of the refrigerator, that is against the stove, I put two clearly marked labels: “Morning” and “Night”.

They will be right in my face when I go to pour and measure his medicine so I can’t miss them.

I was all set to start my “ingenious” system the following morning.

Ten minutes after setting up the magnets on the hood – I walked into the kitchen and they were gone.

I never explained this system to DC because he already takes it upon himself to shut my alarms off, so I did not want to get him involved in this.

Apparently it did not occur to me that DC would see these magnets out of place and need to put them back on the front of the refrigerator.

“DC, you can’t move the magnets. These are for Mom”.

DC: Okay, Mom!

That night Doug was over and I asked him to give DC his meds while he was in the kitchen. I reminded him to move the magnet.

He did.

The next time I went into the kitchen – the “Night” magnet was gone. Doug had moved it but he moved it back to the front of the refrigerator.

sigh…..

Seriously, there are labels. Even if it hadn’t been explained (it had been); this is pretty much self-explanatory.

Before bed, I moved them back to “start” position. I did. I am 100% POSITIVE that I did. No doubt in my mind.

The next morning I went over to the stove for something to find that the “Morning” magnet was moved as if I gave him his meds.

Someone is “messing” with me ……

(or am I really losing my mind?)

I asked DC. First he said yes and then he said no which is pretty standard for him. If he did move it, why just move one? Why didn’t he put them both back on the refrigerator as he did when he thought they were out of place?

I put them back and again told him not to touch the magnets.

“Okay Mom!”

The following morning after the first alarm went off but before the second ….. the same thing. The morning magnet was moved.

“DC, did you move Mom’s magnet?”

“Nooooooo, I didn’t”

I put them back.  When the alarm went off the second time I saw him anxiously pacing, reaching for the magnet, stopping himself and pacing again in front of the stove.

“Mom. You have to move the ‘mag-let'”

As I had never explained all of this to him, I could not understand how he figured out that this all had to do with his medication or why he was getting anxious about moving the “Morning” magnet. From the pacing I figured out that he must have been moving the magnet as  soon as the first alarm went off in the morning and because I told him not to and moved it back, he did not know what to do except to pace.

So I explained that I would move the magnet AFTER he had his medicine.

Then I decided I would let him move the magnet after he has his medication.

Usually I will bring his medication to him where ever he is in the house, but now he stands in front of the stove with me,  takes it right there and moves the magnet when he is done.

But only in the morning.

He does not seem to care about the night dose, the alarm or anything with the exception of reminding me to “Move the Mag-let”.

I guess I will never have to worry about forgetting ever again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication and Deciphering DC

 

 

DC’s way of communicating is oftentimes mentioning a tiny detail that no one at the time found important (but it was important to him).

It is my job to go back in my memory to see if I can remember anything that might connect to what he is trying to tell me.

This one,  turned out was not as difficult as some but it took some thinking and questioning. Knowing that too much questioning will shut him down, I had to do my questioning in limited doses.

Trust me….. no one called him a “jerk”. He made that connection all by himself – which is actually pretty impressive.

I posted this conversation on my facebook page in November:

DC was going over his Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule (as we have done daily over the last week).

He was very excited about everything we have planned.

While describing and jogging his memory of the Holiday Stroll from last year that we’d be attending again this year, DC jumped in with…

“I don’t want to be a jerk”

(I’ve never heard him use that word and I didn’t even know he knew the word until today)

Me: What do you mean?
DC: I’m sorry to the people.
Me: What people? When were you a jerk?
DC: At the fire. I’m sorry to the people – jerk like Gaston.
Me: Did someone say that to you?
DC: I’m sorry to the people at the fire.


He does not seem upset at all, just stating facts and still excited about the weekend.
This is going to take a lot of thinking to decipher. I think I have to concentrate on the times he’s been around a bonfire and work from there.
#Communication

*****

I will confess that I laughed for an entire day about the “jerk” comment.

Later, I asked him again about the “people at the fire”.

He said: I’m sorry to the people.

Me: What people?

DC: Fire……. Hurt Mom’s feelings.

I had a little glimmer of a memory.

I vaguely remembered that we had gone on the North Pole Express before going to the “Holiday Stroll”. By the time we arrived at the stroll, DC was a “little bit” agitated because …… Arrival Anxiety AND he wanted dinner.  Even though we went directly to a restaurant, his agitation was already in full gear. I remember that he said something mean to me – I don’t even remember what it was, but as soon as he said it, he knew that he had hurt my feelings and the “apology tour” began.

This explained “Hurt Mom’s Feelings” but not the fire and “The People”. I was thinking that maybe there was a fireplace in the restaurant? But who were “the people”?

After thinking about it for a while, it all came back to me. He was talking about and combining two different incidents on the same night.

After we left the restaurant, we walked up the street and waited in line for the horse and carriage ride (it was a long wait). After the ride we continued on the stroll where he saw Santa outside of the ice cream store and next, outside of the bank, a musical trio of girls that could not have been more than 14 years old. We stopped to listen for a minute – only a minute because DC decided he would announce loudly, while blocking his ears (while standing only 10 feet from the girls) ……

“No! Stop Music! Want to Go. Stop Playing”

Yes, it was a long day, yes, I got it. I knew it was not about him not liking the way they were playing but I would have to assume that the girls would have no reason to think that it wasn’t about the way they were playing. And, yes there was a bonfire.

bonfire

 

So listen, DC has autism and I understand his reactions BUT everything he does is not because of his autism. I know the difference between him having a hard time because of autism and him manipulating the situation to get what he wants.

We left that area and continued on our way down the sidewalk toward the green for the tree-lighting. I took that opportunity to explain to him that he acted rudely and those girls probably thought that he did not like their playing.

<Insert> Another “Apology Tour”

Having figured all of this out, I asked him where he heard the word “jerk” because I would have expected him to have said “rude” because that was the word I used at the time. Knowing that new words often come from movies that he’s seen, I was not all that surprised when he answered:

“A Christmas Story Live”

Not that “jerk” is a word I would have taught him, or would like him to continue using, BUT it is impressive that he took a word he heard in A Christmas Story Live, related it to Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and THEN related it to his own actions that night.

After laughing to myself all day, I did explain that he was not a “jerk” and that it was not really a nice word to use.

Now…… if anyone can help with this one, I would be eternally grateful:  Snowvee, Miss Snap, Teacher, Good Time ….. Anyone?

*****

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday Free-For-All –  “share a photo and the story behind it” post, or with a 2018 review, or anything else…… Free For All.

Finish The Sentence Friday – hosted by Kenya at Sporadically Yours and Kristi at Finding Ninee

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Last Book I Read Star Trek and Autism Meet

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is “The Last Book I read was….”.

As I am no longer the avid reader that I once was (the whole “reading glasses” situation is explained below), the last book that I DID read was close to a year ago, now.

The subject matter being two subjects that I can relate to and also very close to my heart; I had no problem getting through it (even with the glasses) and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts again.

 

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens ~ By Elizabeth W. Barnes

I have to begin by saying that I always loved to read, until I hit the age where my arms were no longer long enough to see the pages clearly and I had to begin wearing the dreaded “reading glasses”.  I do not know why reading a book while wearing the dreaded “reading glasses” bothers me so, but it does. Although I have from time to time, purchased a book with all good intentions, I can’t say I have been able to get through a single one.

The subject of Star Trek and autism relating to each other was intriguing to me. I have been a Star Trek fan since the first episode of The Original Series hit the airwaves; a VERY long time. I have a parent to a child with autism for over a quarter of a century. These are two subjects that I can relate to more than most.

I have always looked at Star Trek as diverse and inclusive. After my son was diagnosed and as he got older, I of course saw the similarities between him and Mr. Spock, Data, and Seven of Nine, but it never occurred to me just how much more there could be found in the Star Trek Universe. It was fun and eye-opening to look at Star Trek again though the scope of autism.

It took me a little while to begin reading it, because….. “reading glasses”, but once I picked it up, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to finish it – glasses or not.

It was an easy read. It was not clinical or technical. It does not read like a “how to”, or an instruction manual.  There is no advice or counsel as to what you should or should not be doing. It does not preach.

What the book does, is point out the regular every day issues that our children deal with through Star Trek episodes. It provides thoughts and tips for discussion as a means of assisting our children though these issues.  It is a collection of episodes and specific scenarios from those episodes that are relevant to our day-to-day life. These situations and the manner in which they are resolved are broken down in a clear and simple manner to promote thought, discussion and understanding about anxiety, social situations, problem solving and much more. Once you read this book and begin looking at the episodes in this way, this method could then be applied to other episodes, other situations in the same episodes and even different television shows, movies or books.

Being a Star Trek fan, it was actually fun reading over all of these episodes and looking at them in this light.

If you are a Star Trek fan with some connection to autism; this book is definitely for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan who may want to learn a little bit about autism while reading synopses of episodes from most of the Star Trek television series; this book is also for you.

If you are a Star Trek fan and the parent of a neurotypical child; this book can also be helpful as many of the issues covered such as bullying, acceptance or fitting in and peer pressure are not specific to autism.

If you are not a Star Trek fan; first I will ask ……..

WHY?

Next I will say that I do not think it matters. I have to admit that there were a few episodes that I did not remember and it did not take anything away from the point of the book. To the Star Trek novice or the person who has no knowledge of the  franchise other than the name, I believe this book would be just as interesting and informative to read as a collection of short story synopses that begin with a problem, end with a solution and the break down of the steps the characters took to get to that solution.

I found “To Explore Strange New Worlds – Understanding Autism through a Star Trek Lens” a fun, informative and quite fascinating romp through the Star Trek Universe and the autism spectrum. I highly recommend it!

 

Click Image To Purchase

To Explore Strange New Worlds: Understanding Autism Through A Star Trek Lens – By Elizabeth W. Barnes (click image to purchase)

 

 

 

***

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post. This week’s prompt;  “The last book I read was…”
Finish the Sentence Friday is Hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee 
and Kenya at Sporadically Yours

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No stuffing please

 

DC has been counting the days waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive and just know that he would never imagine keeping me out of the loop on this…… daily/hourly/every few minutes.

I do have to say that his ‘Thanksgiving’ pronunciation has improved over the past year but “firsday’ is still ‘firsday’

I am not really sure why he looks forward to this holiday so much. He will eat turkey (preferably with bones) but other than that, there is really nothing else “Thanksgivingy” that he will eat.

Turkey and bread. That is about the extent of it and honestly if there are no bones (legs or wings) to be had, the bread is really the main event. He will eat the turkey but he is not very excited about it.

Last year, he skipped the turkey entirely and went with prime rib – a big switch for him!

Stuffing? No! No way!

Funny thing about stuffing, though…. he will not touch it! Every year I tell him that stuffing is made from bread (as the song below tells us). Every year I tell him that when he was little, he would not eat chicken or turkey, but he loved stuffing.

I tell him that he loved stuffing so much that I had to buy stuffing on a regular basis and hide chicken in it to get him to eat chicken or turkey. He loved stuffing and hated chicken.

Now-a-days as we all know, he eats chicken almost every day

or “Chicken with bones and sprinkles”

-although I’m sure the wings will do in a pinch.

It’s all about the bones.

“Sprinkles” being Mrs. Dash Seasoning.

But he will not touch the stuffing.

He does look forward to seeing his aunt and uncle. He enjoys staying in a hotel.

And there’s dessert. We can’t forget the dessert.

Or the bread..

But NO stuffing…

Happy a Happy Holiday!

*****

Reposted with a few additions from Thanksgiving 2017 

 

The Costume Parade Is Lacking This Year

……. but we DO have “Jim Dear”

As Halloween’s go, this could be the “lowest key” low-key Halloween we have ever had.

This post, which would normally be our “Halloween Wrap-Up” post is not much of a wrap-up post at all.

With only 3 parties scheduled this season, we were already down a few activities (and costume choices) before the season began. One party was rescheduled to a time when DC could not attend, so we were down to 2.

He chose Peter Pan for his camp party. Chip and Mrs. Potts from the cancelled party will have to be put on hold for another year.

But…. he did go with “Jim Dear” for his Halloween/Trick-or-Treat party and he was pretty excited about it.

As you may or may not know, DC asked to be “Jim Dear” (of Jim Dear and Darling fame from Lady and the Tramp) for many years. I always talked him out of it because Jim Dear, is basically just a guy in a suit and no one would know who he was supposed to be – which honestly would not be the first time, but …….. a guy in a suit? We could do better than that.

A few years back when all of the Steam Punk clothing and costumes became popular and easier to find and while shopping for a hat for a different occasion, I happened upon a derby-type hat, I thought that would be the year he could finally be Jim Dear.

Well…… he already had other costumes in his head and Jim Dear was not on the list! It had ALWAYS been on his list but for some reason, that year it was not.

This year, it was his first choice.

He finally got to be Jim Dear.

 

Yes – still just a guy in a suit, but he loved it.

Yes, most people thought he was Charlie Chaplin and I am not sure why Charlie Chaplin would be carrying a briefcase, Lady and Tramp, but…..

he knew who he was, so that is all that mattered.

He had fun eating pizza and trick-or-treating with his friends, so in the end, Halloween was a success.

 

 

 

And we’re ahead of the game by one costume (Mrs. Potts and Chip) for next year.

In DC’s world, Halloween is over as soon as we arrive back home. That being the case, the calendars were changed to November first thing and

“Vickie, I am so excited for Thanksgiving” began –

because……

#ItsWhatsNext

 

 

 

Party Choices; The choice is not always clear.

This is more about DC’s ability (or inability)  to choose between two or more options than it is about Halloween but Halloween is a factor in this particular story.

DC takes Halloween and the costumes he chooses, pretty seriously. It seems as though we used to have more parties to attend and more costumes to put together than we do now, but this year we knew there would be the basics, Best Buddies, Camp and Halloween night. The camp party was scheduled for Saturday at noon and Best Buddies for Sunday at noon.

Perfect! Right?

No…

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the Best Buddies party was being rescheduled from Sunday to Saturday at noon; the same day and time as his camp party. I knew this was going to be a battle. Not only would he have to pass on one party and give up on one costume, but he would have to UNDERSTAND that he could not do both.

First of all – it was on the calendar and when something is on the calendar, it is engraved in stone.

Second of all – This was not something getting cancelled, which is usually cause for some trauma, but he gets over it. This is not “Mom” making a mistake on a date, where there is no choice involved – which is not fun either but he gets over it…… eventually.

This is him knowing about and planning on attending both, and now having to make a choice between them.

DC cannot always grasp this concept. He does not always understand, as many times and ways I have tried to explain, that if he chooses one that means he can’t go to or have the other.

It is not that he expects to “have it all’, it is more like he thinks of choices as being what he chooses will now come first and the thing he did not choose will still come later, just not at the originally expected time.

The many years of explanations and the times when he had to make a choice and did not get to do or have whatever he did not choose, does not seem to stick or help him understand any better the next time.

I knew for a fact that DC was not going to be the only one who might have a difficult time understanding that going to one party means not going to the other.

Originally, when I first explained the change and conflict to him – the chose the Best Buddies party, but when it was explained that he would not be able to go to the camp party, he changed his vote and went with camp.

After a week of him yelling at me at random intervals that he wanted to go to the camp party, I stopped explaining that it meant he could not go to Best Buddies. There is always a point where the explanation causes more anxiety than the choosing.

Even though I never want to see that heartbroken look on his face after I was sure he understood the choice only to discover later that he really did not, I stopped mentioning the Best Buddies party.

He continued to randomly yell about wanting to go to the camp party for the next week as well. I continued to tell him that he was going; no worries. There was no more mention of the Best Buddies Party on my part or his.

I still waited a little while before telling his Buddy that he would not be attending just to be sure he did not change his mind.

On Friday morning (the day before), he brought up the Best Buddies party out of the blue but I told him that he chose camp and I already told his buddy that he would not be there.

No reaction….. Phew!

On Saturday morning he mentioned a few friends that would be at the Best Buddies party, not at camp. I again explained that he chose the camp party. He was getting his costume on at the time which distracted him so I did not get a reaction about his party choice.

He went to camp and had a great time. There was no mention of Best Buddies.

He even found a “Captain Hook” to go along with his Peter Pan costume. (bonus theme and he loves babies!)

 

I was sure he would start on the Best Buddies party as soon as the camp party was over, but he mentioned nothing about it when I picked him up.

I haven’t heard anything since.

If he does not mention it by the time Halloween night rolls around, I am home free and I will know that he “got it” – but as long as there is time in his mind for another party before Halloween night, I cannot be sure.

I am thinking positively (with fingers crossed) because it really seems like he understood….

Finally!

Maybe?

We will see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supernatural – I wish I was able to hear that Conversation #SPNNJ

 

This week the Finish The Sentence Friday prompt is a Listicle – “Share 10 photos from your phone”. There could not have been more perfect timing.

As you may or may not remember, I lost all of the photos that were stored on my computer a few weeks ago. The computer went to the “computer guy” just before we went away for the weekend. It took much longer to get it back (with some of the photos recovered) than I expected, so all of my photos from that weekend are still on my phone waiting for a computer to download them on to, so I could write about the weekend as I do with every Convention, ComicCon or the like that we attend. They were already cropped and cartoonized (not a word, I know) and ready to go.

So here goes.

As you also may or may not know; DC loves New York City. He also loves Kim Rhodes. He met her last year at the some convention in NJ that we would be attending this weekend and I believe it was the highlight of his year (Let’s Talk About Kim Rhodes #SPNNJ)

As we did last year, we decided to take the weekend to go to New York City on Friday to do “DC-Stuff”, as he puts it, go to the convention on Saturday and back to New York for more “DC-Stuff” on Sunday.

Photo #1 (since this IS Supposed to be a “list)

“DC-stuff” means Times Square, The Disney Store, The M&M or Hershey Store (he chose Hershey this time), The Book Store and Lunch at Hard Rock. We accomplished that on Friday.

The hotel where we were staying was in NJ, within walking distance of the convention center.

Photo # 2

 

He started getting a little bit anxious at the hotel. He was done “of” walking (DC-Speak) but also excited about the next day. But this is normal for him. He “Flapped Furiously” for a while and got it out of his system.

Photo #3

Because I have learned much over the years, we had to go over the rules. Briana Buckmaster has beautiful long flowing blonde hair so he had to promise not to touch it (he would be reminded again the next day, but it never hurts to begin the reminding early) and of course, he is not allowed to “pick up the people” (a lesson I learned the hard way)

Saturday came and DC did a <insert sarcasm font> “little bit” of stimming outside the hotel (I’m sure it is on you-tube somewhere) and once he got himself together we walked over to the convention center.

He had his picture taken with Ruth Connell who had her hair up, luckily – but before he got anywhere near her, he was made to listen to the rules again – just to be on the safe side.

Photo #4

We sat in on the panel with all of the women characters where he got his first glimpse of Kim Rhodes. I had purchased autograph tickets for Kim Rhodes and I thought Briana Buckmaster because DC really wanted to say or hear her say “Okey Dokey” or in DC-speak “Ok-kiddy-Do-key” but #MomFail, I did not buy both. I don’t know what I was thinking. But he got to see Kim Rhodes, so he was sort-of okay with my error.

In line, waiting for the autographs, DC was, for some reason rehearsing “This is my mother, Vickie *LastName”, but when we reached the table and Kim asked him who I was he just said “Vickie” – not his mother – just Vickie.

Onward to the photo ops.

Photo #5

First ….. Kim Rhodes. The ‘Boy” is very happy, in case that isn’t 100% obvious.

Photo #6

Even though I failed with the autograph tickets, I did get a photo-op ticket for Kim and Briana Buckmaster together. Briana had her hair up too, so she was safe from DC the Hairdresser. He was thrilled, as you can see. I did not hear if he was able to give her an “Ok-kiddy-Do-key” and if she would even understand what he was saying if he did, but he was one happy guy. He wore his “Jody (Kim Rhodes) and Donna (Briana Buckmaster) shirt very proudly that day.

Once photos are taken, it is a good amount of time before they are printed and put out on a table in the vendor room. We only had one more photo-op to go before we were going to leave, have dinner and go back to the room for a break before we came back for the concert at 930. I try not to schedule anything after 3 or 4 so we have that time to take a break before the concert. It’s a long day for DC. Doug checked the photo table while we were in line for Misha Collins.

The last photo-op of the day and I have to say, my favorite photo of all time.

Photo-ops move quickly and there is not really any time at all to say more than “hello”. I was standing off to the side and saw that Misha Collins was taking to DC and DC was answering. I do not know if he was getting actual answers to the questions he was asking but I could see that DC seemed to be responding to whatever he was saying. It was more than a quick “Hello, what is you name”.

Whatever they were talking about; the conversation led to this photo.

Photo #7

Absolutely the

Best . Photo . Ever.

Let me also point out that DC TOOK HIS GLASSES OFF for the photo! That does not happen.

I did not see the photo until after we left and had dinner. We were able to get the first two photos before we left he convention center. We stopped at Outback on the way back to the hotel. After dinner Doug volunteered to go back to the convention center to check for the photo while DC and I went back to the hotel.

DC and I were sitting at a table outside the hotel when I saw Doug coming down the road with the photo, laughing. I don’t know if he laughed all the way from the convention center (I would have) but he was sure laughing on the way to the table.

Best picture ever.

It makes me really want to know what they were talking about before it was taken.

After our break, we went back for the Saturday Night Special (the concert) where DC got to hear them all sing.

Photo #8

Photo #9

Photo #10

Photo #11 (Bonus)

The concert ended with Justin Guarini. I am not sure why he was there, but……. cool. It was also a bonus for Doug because if you know Doug at all, you know that he has no idea who anyone on TV or in the movies is, but he did know who Justin Guarini was, not from American Idol but from American Idiot – one of the few Broadway shows that I dragged him to that he actually enjoyed.

A few things I noticed, though. We’ve been to a few conventions over the years and this one is one of the most organized conventions around, without a doubt.

DC had a few minor meltdowns while we were there. No one stared, no one made an issue about it. One lady was concerned and asked me if he was all right. I started to explain that he has autism and he gets a little bit anxious and before I got that all out of my mouth, she said “Oh, I know. Does he need anything?”

During another outburst, the woman behind us in line did not even flinch and offered us some granola bars in case he was hungry.

I guess I am not used to people knowing and understanding without me having to explain. It was nice. Maybe the whole “awareness thing” is doing some good in some places. It certainly was not the case when he was stimming outside the hotel that morning.

Sunday consisted of sleeping late; as late as DC would allow and back to the City for the rest of the “DC-stuff” on his list.

Central Park

and the Eloise Store at the Plaza

 

****

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday Post. This week is a Listicle and the prompt; Share 10 photos from your phone.
Finish The Sentence Friday is hosted by: Kristi at Finding Ninee and  Kenya at Sporadically Yours

 

 

 

 

Costumes…. back to an old favorite.

It’s been busy ’round here and before I knew what happened, it is the end of September with ……

Wait for it……

Halloween right around the corner and we are just now “getting ready”.

If you are new here, you might not understand that last sentence.

Halloween is a big deal for both DC and I (don’t you just love it when your kid is actually interested in the same thing that you are?)

We finally have his costumes picked out – much later than we usually do. DC’s choices are again, not as elaborate or I should say, not as difficult to find or “create” as they have been over the years.

Last year DC decided that he wanted us to be Chip and Mrs. Potts. I was thrilled for him when I found a Mrs. Potts costume…. BUT after searching everywhere, I was unable to find an adult-sized Chip. Finding adult sized costumes for whatever he chooses to be, has been a challenge over the last few years.

Randomly, around his birthday I searched again and (Yay!) was able to find one! Halloween costumes for your birthday? In DC-land…… yes!

Mrs. Potts and Chip were meant for Halloween night, because we always both dress for the big night.

We did the rest of our “holiday’ shopping the other day.

He chose “Peter Pan” for his camp Halloween party (Boring, yes but this is not about me …… not really anyway. Well maybe a little)

His Best Buddies party would require a different costume because; Halloween and that is how we roll.

DC met his new Buddy on Saturday and she asked about his costume (his Buddies last year were nice enough to do a theme with him – Lumiere, Cogsworth and the Beast – all costumes we already had in our collection) and I was able to talk her into wearing the Mrs. Potts costume to go with DC as Chip.

The Halloween Gods were smiling upon me and saved me from burning in Hot Flash Hell wearing that costume this year! Costumes for me are becoming more difficult as the years go by for this very reason.  #IsItHotInHereOrIsItJustMe

Now we had to switch gears. His Halloween night costumes are going to be worn at a party instead. So what did he decide to wear on THE BIG NIGHT, Halloween?

You guessed it!

Jim Dear! Yes, this year!

Me? I think I am going to try to sit this one out, unless that “little” voice continues to ask about “Jim Dear AND Darling”.

(From 2016)

“Jim Dear?” – Not this year……

 


hat

So Halloween is upon us.  It is already September and we are a little bit behind schedule this year. We usually have our costumes chosen and purchased in August. We did pick out our “official” Halloween night costumes way back in April or May so we are not 100% behind, but we are still behind. There are plenty of parties to attend for which DC must have different costumes (gotta love this boy!).

Okay maybe we like Halloween just a little teeny tiny bit -but we’re not obsessed or anything….

Last week we discussed what party costumes he wanted to wear this ‘Holiday’ season. This is always a little bit of a challenge.  At times the costumes that DC requests are just people that he likes who happen to be wearing regular everyday clothing, or it is an obscure character that nobody knows but him (he might get that from me).  Most of the time there is no such costume available so my mission is to come up with something or make up something that at least in his mind, makes the point.

The one costume that continues to make the list from the time DC was very young is “Jim Dear” from Lady and the Tramp.

(sigh….)  A man in a suit…..

Not my idea of a Halloween costume, but – this is not about me….

……not ALL about be, anyway.

 But, this year I was prepared.

Last October we attended a fundraiser/gala with Tony Orlando. The gala had a 1940’s theme. It was not a costume party, it was a theme, but in keeping with DC’s love of costumes, I bought him a 40’s style hat to wear with his suit. There was also the added incentive to get him excited about going to the event of calling the hat and suit a costume.  While I was shopping for said hat, I came across a derby style hat that closely resembles the hat that “Jim Dear” wears. I purchased that to save for this year.

While looking for items to make a “Timekeeper – Spy Kids – All The Time in the World” (yes, we must use the proper and entire title) costume last year I came across a tremendous amount of steampunk costumes.  I discovered them too late for last years’ costumes (they had already been chosen and we can’t mess around with the costume line-up)  but I knew that they would be a great option for this year.

2015 would finally be the year of “Jim Dear”.

I had everything ready when we sat down to choose his costumes. I had a choice of two suits up on the screen, I had a few options for “Lady” stuffed animals for him to carry. I even found a “Tramp”…. and I had the hat.  I was excited because I knew that he would be so excited when he saw that one of his costumes would be “Jim Dear”. I saved the surprise costume for last.

He chose a Disney Character – surprise! He also chose a character from a television show – whoo hoo! – a current television show – bigger whoo hoo! When we had only one more to pick, I started to wonder why he hadn’t yet brought up “Jim Dear”. I thought he may have been so overwhelmed by looking at all of the other costumes that it had just slipped his mind, so I opened up the windows that I had saved, expecting him to be over the moon….

He said “No! No, Jim Dear!”

What ?!?  

“No, Jim Dear!”

I asked him again just to be sure he was not confused, I showed him the hat that I already bought. I showed him the photos of the suits and stuffed animals – “NO! Jim Dear!”

sigh…….

Anyone in need of a black derby hat complete with decorative feather?

– in great condition – never been worn….

 

 

As Summer Moves Into Fall

Never could I have ever imagined when I was younger, that I would at some point be counting the days until summer was over.

Summer was ALWAYS my season.

We were on the beach by the end of March or early April (maybe in not so warm conditions, but we were there) and perfectly tanned by the end of April. A co-worker and co-sun worshipper used to say:

“You realize, by the time we are 40, we are going to be nothing but leather and teeth”. When you are in your 20’s you really could care less or think about what you will look like in your 40’s.

As I got older – still worshiping the sun, I did take better care to use sunscreen.

The heat never bothered me. I could walk for miles in any kind of heat and it was never a big deal. I remember on one of my marathon walks, during a heatwave more than one person stopping me to tell me that it was just too hot to be out walking. It never bothered me.

DC always loved to swim.

All vacation destinations were somewhere warm and beachy.

Fall/Autumn meant Halloween (a good thing) but other than that, only meant that winter was on the way.

It’s amazing how things have changed.

My Listicle about the changing of the seasons is a bit different from what it would have been even 5 years ago:

  1. DC who is more and more annoyed with the Air Conditioner (“Hair-dish-on”) over the past few years, is getting antsy for it to come out.
  2. DC, who works outdoors and in a greenhouse is at the end of his rope with the morning bug spray and sunscreen application.
  3. DC, who hates to wear shorts, is already getting anxious to have his long pants back (It is still HOT here so that will not be happening soon)
  4. DC decided he did not love the water as much as he used to.
  5. Mid-August through the end of September have been difficult for DC over the past few years because of all of the above and because there is a limit to just how much he can take of all of the above.
  6. Fall is now MY Season. Once it cools down a bit, I might just venture outside once in a while.
  7. I wish the Autumn season was a little bit longer. I feel as if we are losing it as we have lost any resemblance of Spring over the last few years. The weather goes from Cold to Hot and really not too much “Spring” in-between. Summer seems to go on much longer than it did and is really starting to  taking a bite out of the Fall season.
  8. Our favorite “holiday” comes in the Fall – the one thing that has not changed over the years.
  9. We try to schedule vacations now, closer to home and with no beaches involved.
  10.  I am no longer “One with the Heat”.

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This is a Listicle Friday post. It’s the Week 2, of the old school blogging, prompt for the Finish the Sentence Friday writing community where I’m co-hosting with Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. This week we are sharing “10 things about the changing of the seasons”.

 

 

First Day of “College”

I had already decided which old post I was going to re-post for Finish the Sentence Friday’s “Share an Old Post” when I came across this status in my Facebook memories from 8 (gulp) years ago and decided (being that it is so timely) I would share the post related to the “college” status instead.

 

From the “Everything is Related” series:

Everything is Related – Toy Story

– Everything being related, many times, is the ability to relate one movie or actor to another. This has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based. This was not always the case, but now he can go and enjoy a movie with his friends or at an ARC activity without issue……..

Everything being related, oftentimes just explains his love for a particular city, game, song or some of the many other things that he does or says.

Everything being related,  has, many times been used as a learning tool. “

This post is about just that…

ts

DC as Woody and Candy as Jessie from Toy Story – Halloween

Again we start at Disney. Disney, Disney, Disney anything Disney. When the first Toy Story came out way back when, I wasn’t sure DC would really go for it at all. Yes, it was Disney, but it was not the Disney he was used to. There were no princesses, no castles, no Haley Mills and most of all, no music. Of course I know that there was music, but not the “Hollywood musical” type of music – characters would not be belting out a song at the drop of a hat. DC was never a “toy” kind of kid. He never really liked or played with toys, so the toys in the movie were nothing that he would be familiar with. But, to my surprise, he loved it AND the two that came after. This boy who does not like toys actually owned a Woody, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head and a Jessie. No, he did not want to play with them, he just wanted to own them.

Tom Hanks brought him to “The Polar Express” and of course “Saving Mr. Banks” (also related to Mary Poppins).

Tim Allen…..Tim Allen….. he loves Tim Allen. That love brought him to “Jungle to Jungle”, all of the Santa Clause movies, “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Home Improvement” (yes, woo hoo, an actual TV show)…. but there is more…..

When DC was younger, transitioning into a new school was never easy, but it did seem to be easier on him than some of his other friends (and me).  “School age” for Special Education here is 3-21 years of age. So there were many moves and many transitions during his time in the school system – kindergarten building to elementary, to middle school, to high school. The school handled these transitions very well. They started early with many tours of the new school, picture books with photos of the classroom and other areas of the school and a few visits (orientations) with parents. DC was always anxious about these moves but he always did rather well due to all of the work the school system and I put in to make the transitions go as smoothly as possible.

The number of children in SPED in DC’s age group seemed to be much larger than the kids moving up in previous years. This meant that the schools they were moving up to had a lot more students to accommodate at one time than ever before. We always joked that our kids always seemed to be the “test subjects” for these new or expanded programs. At times this did not go well.

When DC was in his junior year, I started looking at alternate programs for him to attend for his last two years of school. DC would walk with his class at graduation at the end of his senior year (at 18) and then either spend two more years in the high school or I could have him out-placed into a different program that focused more on getting him ready for the next phase – a work/day program and life. I already knew I did not want him in the high school for another two years and I was already leaning towards another program the next town over. Mid-senior year, the high school announced that they were creating a transition program of their own in conjunction with a local university. It would be up and running in time for our kids to start that September. The program they came up with sounded wonderful but, our kids would be the first ones through and again the “test subjects”. This worried me.

On the other hand, I was torn because it had only been over the previous couple of years that DC recognized “friends”. He had real friends. Not just the children of my adult friends, but real friends. People that HE considered friends. Friends that he did things with and wanted to do things with. DC had always gravitated more towards adults and with the exception of his friend of many years, BB, he did not pay much attention to kids his age at all. I didn’t want him to lose that connection. I rationalized that “social skills” were one of his major issues and if I tried this program and really did not like it, I could always move him to the other program I was looking at earlier.

Putting this program together was a long process. Obviously there are many legal issues to address when creating this type of program. By mid-summer the other parents and I were beginning to panic that this program was not going to be up and running by September. Fortunately by August it was a go, but they had lost all of that transition time they would have had during the school year. We did get to visit a few times before the school year started and I did talk to him about it all summer. Some of my friends children have siblings that went off to college so in turn their children expected to go off to college too. DC doesn’t think like that. He doesn’t have any expectation of what should come next. He lives in the ‘now’ until the ‘now’ changes to a new ‘now’, but we were calling it ‘college’ for everyone’s benefit. “College, College, College” he was going to college. I was still worried, having missed all of that transition time.

Toy Story 3 had come out right around this time. We bought the DVD and watched it at some point during that summer. It didn’t even occur to me while we were watching it or even up to the point when DC was standing at the front door waiting for the bus on the first day of school, that he made a connection in his head with the movie…..

He turned to me and said “Mom, I am going to college, just like Andy in Toy Story”

….. and he was.

With that, everything was just fine.

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday (5th Friday of the month) post – 

Share anything previously written! Post an old post for some new eyes, write something new and link that to an old one… 

Hosted by  Kenya G. Johnson  of https://www.kenyagjohnson.com/

and Kristi Campbell of https://findingninee.com/