It’s Thanksgiving..

 

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.

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..

Happy a Happy Holiday!

*****

Happy Thanksgiving!

(November 2015)

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving…..

Someone I know is looking very forward to a turkey leg –

or “Chicken with bones and sprinkles”

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

It’s all about the bones.

But bones aside,  right now he would just like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

“I Love you, Mom” (Just a little Thanksgiving Quickie)

(November 2013)

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

Who would not be thankful for this wonderful child who will just flash me the “I Love You” sign, just because he happens to be walking by or just randomly peek around the corner to say “I love you, Mom”.

Happy Thanksgiving…….

***

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Everything is related …. Camp “Special Days”

special-days

DC’s summer camp sports a calendar chock full of “special days” or themed days. Every single day is some sort of theme, if not a theme then a cookout or a group day (meaning each group gets a special day during the camping season). Every day on the calendar is filled with something.

DC, being DC loves themes and loves nothing more than wearing a costume. Not all days require a costume, but he loves going to camp wearing something specifically for that day.

Most of the Special Days are easy for him to get excited about and relating things, places and activities to his beloved Disney (and other) movies and characters makes it fun for him.

– 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.

Some of the Special Days at Camp are:

  • Pirate Day, which of course he relates to Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and even the Dread Pirate Roberts.
  • Luau Day – Lilo and Stitch – what else?
  • luau glassesluau day
  • Western Day relates to Toy Story
  • Chief Day complete with a visit from Chief Gotchbagollie, the elusive Chief that lives in the “forest” behind the camp who ventures out of said forest only once a year –  for him relates directly to Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.Chief
  • Super Hero Day – DC has little interest in Super Heroes but he does love his patriotic songs so Captain America always   works in a pinch (but only after he out-grew his Captain Hammer shirt)
  • And of course, the beloved Hat Day which needs no relating. He just loves wearing silly hats.

 

A few years ago the directors felt the need to change things up a bit and added 80’s day and 90’s day (these days have since been combined into one day called “The Battle of the Decades”). Now, I can dress DC up in anything and he would go with it, but I really like him to understand and know what he’s wearing, so these additional days took some thought. He has more fun and gets into it more when he can relate the theme to something else and I wanted to be sure he could.

After giving it some thought, I realized that 80’s day would be relatively easy and better still, easy for DC to relate.

There are only a handful of songs that DC knows and likes from nowhere else but the radio. Almost everything else he likes musically has a connection to Disney, a movie or one of his TV shows. It always surprises me when he tells me to stop changing radio channels so that he can hear a particular song. Even then, most of the time the song is from a movie. The few that I have not been able to determine the DC connection are:

Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz (I’m going to guess that he likes it because, in his mind it’s about flying)

‘Don’t worry ’bout’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as December – Collective Soul

Light Shine Down – also from Collective Soul

‘Don’t you cry no more’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas

‘Roses on a grave’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Kissed by a Rose – Seal. I do know this song was in a Batman movie, but he has no interest in Batman and has never seen the movie.

We’re not gonna take it – Twisted Sister

Sister Christian – Night Ranger (I’ll admit that this one is only because I am obnoxious when it comes on the radio and I make him sing it with me).

The reason I am telling you all of this is because DC is definitely my “Broadway Baby” and he has seen quite a few Broadway shows. 99% of the shows we see are DC-related. On Mother’s Day 2012 it was Mom’s choice for a change and I wanted to see Rock of Ages. Doug and I weren’t sure that DC would be able to sit through it. I went on-line to find the song list and was happy to discover that “We’re not gonna take it” and “Sister Christian” were on the list. Also on the list were “We Built This City”, which he loves from “*The Muppets” – Any Way You Want It; **Glee and of course “Don’t Stop Believing” also from Glee but more importantly from Adam Sandler’s “Bed Time Stories”.

All relatable enough for him that he did sit through it and he loved it. He loved it so much that he saw it again for a second time locally with his friend BB and he owns the ***movie version.

I also have to mention that DC wants nothing more than to have long hair. Unfortunately his hair grows out instead of down so being able to wear his Rock of Ages shirt AND a wig to camp……. priceless.

Rock of Ages

80's Day

 

80’s day was a hit that year and the following year. Even though it was 80+ degrees both years, he insisted upon wearing the wig all day long.

Although the concept of ‘decades’ is not something DC understands, he knew he what he was wearing. He did not understand that the wig and the music and oh, I completely forgot – the tattoo arm sleeves were about the 80’s, he just knew that all of was related to a show and songs that he liked.

90’s Day was proving to be more difficult. I could not come up with anything, so I resorted to thinking about the songs he liked. While I was thinking about that and out of the clear blue sky I remembered the day not that long before this when he came running downstairs and through the living room yelling “I’m going to be late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”

What?!?!?!?!?!?!

“I am late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”

When he comes out with something random and odd like that I always have to ask what movie or show it is from, because it always is from a movie or a show.

“Sabrina”

Okay, I got it. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (He has the entire series; he loves witches because they relate to Halloween and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that in this house we LOVE Halloween). There is an episode entirely devoted to Sabrina trying to go to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. Does he understand who or what Smashing Pumpkins are? I do not think so. I am sure he is imagining people actually smashing pumpkins. I did try to explain that they are a band and that Sabrina wanted to go to see this band play in concert. Did/Does he “get” that? I am not sure. To this day any time any Smashing Pumpkins song comes on the radio, I say “DC, it’s Smashing Pumpkins singing” to which he always replies “Smashing Pumpkins Concert” because that is the way it must always be said.

For 90’s day… it was something – if only relatable to Sabrina, it was something. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to find a Smashing Pumpkins shirt and that was good enough for him.

Smashing Pumpkins Concert

 

“Look DC, I got you a Smashing Pumpkins shirt for 90’s Day at camp”

DC: “Smashing Pumpkins Concert”

“All-righty then…”

New Camp Special Days? We got this….

********************************************************

More “relatables”:

“*The Muppets” – With the exception of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, the Muppet version of the Frog Prince and the song “Sir Robin the Brave”, DC was never a fan of Sesame Street or the Muppets in general. The one and only reason he is now the Muppets biggest fan is Amy Adams. Amy Adams was in Enchanted (and any princess is related to Disney) and he will now watch anything and everything she is in, including non-Muppet or non-Princess movies like “Leap Year” and “Trouble with the Curve”.

**Glee – Music and dancing always being a plus, he then realized that Mr. Schuester was Sir Harry in “Once Upon a Mattress” – one of his favorites. In addition, Kristin Chenoweth from more of his favorites, “The Music Man” and “Wicked” made quite a few guest appearances. Then of course there was Neil Patrick Harris in a guest spot that tied it all up for him. Neil Patrick Harris being “Dr. Horrible” and Barney from “How I Met Your Mother”.

I was thrilled when he started asking to watch “How I Met Your Mother” because almost all of the television series he does like to watch, like Full House, Sabrina and The Brady Bunch have been off the air for many years. It is nice when he discovers something contemporary that his friends might also be watching. How I Met Your Mother was a windfall of relatables for him. He got there originally because Lilly was Willow on Buffy, but then he discovered Marshall was Garry in The Muppets and of course Barney who we have already covered.

Speaking of Dr. Horrible: Dr. Horrible and Neil Patrick Harris not only brought him to HIMYM but it also brought him to The Big Bang Theory by way of the character “Moist” aka Howard on Big Bang. Next he noticed Penny, who was in his favorite Easter Movie, “Hop” and holding tight to that witch theme; Billie on “Charmed”. The few appearances by Wil Wheaton did not hurt at all. Wil along with Felicia Day (running neck and neck with Amy Adams as the love of his life) appeared in ‘Erica’ (DC-Speak – “Eureka”) and of course played Penny in “Dr. Horrible”.

Eureka: It is just a great show. He loves it. I love it more. For DC, there was Felicia and Wil and they had him interested enough to start watching episodes from the seasons before they appeared. He still watches the animated Christmas Special year-round, with the voice of the sheriff’s car being none other than Sheldon from Big Bang.

One big giant circle of relatability for DC and in all honesty, this is the way he comes to many things in his life, not just TV shows or Special Days at Camp. Relating things for him has helped him adjust and made him more open to a variety of new things.

*****

***movie version – Anyone that knows me well, knows very well that I would never spend money on anything that Tom Cruise is in. I knew he wanted the Rock of Ages movie and I also knew that I would not be buying it for him. He got it only because I added it to his “What does DC want for Christmas” list and one of my friends bought it for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving…..

Someone I know is looking very forward to a turkey leg –

or “Chicken with bones and sprinkles”

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

It’s all about the bones.

But bones aside,  right now he would just like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Two Years ago – “I Love you, Mom” (Just a little Thanksgiving Quickie)

(November 2013)

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

Who would not be thankful for this wonderful child who will just flash me the “I Love You” sign, just because he happens to be walking by or just randomly peek around the corner to say “I love you, Mom”.

Happy Thanksgiving…….

Mother’s Day and The Macaroni Necklace

Macaroni

Macaroni

My only Mother’s Day gift wish when DC was little was a macaroni necklace. You know, the macaroni necklace that every child makes for their mother eventually, for some occasion or holiday or for no reason at all. I think I remember making a few of my own when I was a kid. I really wanted a macaroni necklace! Unfortunately,  there was no one that was going to help him do this, with the exception of me, of course,  but that would not be the same. In other families if there was not another parent or sibling to make the suggestion and help with the project, eventually the child got old enough to come up with the idea as we all did when we were young, on his own. I knew that this was also something that was not going to happen in the foreseeable future, at least.

I know it was an odd thing to be fixated on, with so many other things to worry about, but it really made me sad that  my son was never going to make and present me with a macaroni necklace. I talked about it all of the time. Whenever my birthday or a holiday came around, my friends would have to listen to me whine about the fact that I would never have that cherished macaroni necklace. In my mind it was the “right of passage” of parenthood.

Now, yes of course I realize that this necklace that I wanted so badly was just a representation of the many ways our life was and would continue to be so very different from the way I had imagined when he was born.
I know that very few people end up with the life they imagine, but I knew ours would be very different.

DC was in school, but at this point in time, they really hadn’t done many of the “school gift” projects that most children come home with around the holidays ~ probably because the projects would not  make it home in one piece ~ therefore my hopes for a macaroni necklace were dwindling.

One day, the Friday before Mother’s Day, when DC was 6 or 7, I opened his back pack and found a package labeled “Mom”. I called DC over and asked if this was for me. He signed “Yes”.

I opened it and there it was,  a macaroni necklace! Made with HEART SHAPED macaroni, no less. Also included was a photo of DC and his aide stringing the pasta.

This was absolutely THE best Mother’s Day gift! Of course, he didn’t really understand that he had to give it to me, I had to find it in his back pack, and of course the writing wasn’t his, but there was photographic evidence that he had made it himself!

I wore it all day on Mother’s Day and  to work on the Monday after Mother’s Day. He seemed to be very pleased that I was wearing it!

My office mates were happy too, believe me….. I specifically remember one saying “Thank God you finally got that macaroni necklace, I was about to make one myself!”

Now-a days DC is no longer oblivious to holidays. He knows when they are coming, he knows what they are about for the most part. His mind still doesn’t go to “Hey let’s make Mom a card or a gift for Mother’s Day”, but he now has some help for that.  But he does remember to give them to me, usually early because he is too excited and can not wait. He does make the connection with the holiday and the gift and he is very, very proud of himself when he gives me a gift. Such a difference from the boy who didn’t know it was a holiday or to know that he should give me the gift he made at school sitting in his back-pack to the “man” who just can’t wait to make me happy with his gift!

There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing him proud of what he’s done and accomplished.

So, Happy Mother’s Day!

May your jewelry box runneth over with pasta and your day be filled with joy!

Happy Mother's Day

 

 

A poem by my friend Charlie

The poem below was written by my friend, Charlie Henbury. Aside from his busy schedule as a college student Charlie spends a great deal of his time spreading Autism Awareness. He is an inspiration and I am proud to know him.

In your eyes I met like snow in the rain. Robbing comfort in the predictability and as I revel in your gaze I bleed into anonymity can I be close to you? can I admire you for a moment. Compare you with a spectacular view how can a simple glance from you be so visceral. You broke down so many of my walls like I’ve dug up my own pitfalls cold from the outside but warming rapidly as days unwind. I know I can no longer lie, no matter how hard I try.

– Charlie Henbury -December 7, 2013

I am proud of you, Charlie!

– used with his permission, of course-

You can follow Charlie’s blog at:
https://henburycharlie.wordpress.com

“I Love you, Mom” (Just a little Thanksgiving Quickie)

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

Who would not be thankful for this wonderful child who will just flash me the “I Love You” sign, just because he happens to be walking by or just randomly peek around the corner to say “I love you, Mom”.

Happy Thanksgiving…….

 

 

 

 

A Series of Ridiculous Events

To whom it may concern - Lost a Dunkin Donuts

To whom it may concern – Lost a Dunkin Donuts

(To lighten the mood a just a little bit.)

Many of my stories are about my son, DC and his autism. I suppose this is one of them, in a round-about kind of way. Ten years later, this series of mishaps still makes me shake my head and laugh.

DC does not like to have “baby-sitters”. He is good with the people he had after school and now that he is finished with school, the people he has after work.  He is fine with that because they are here when he gets home and I am not; I am still at work. If I am home and then leave him with someone; that is a whole different ball game. He doesn’t tolerate it well, at all.

Add that to that the fact that he will not go to sleep until I get home. He is alright for a few hours but after awhile he will begin asking/ repeating “Mom is coming home soon”. There is nothing anyone can say to make him stop asking/repeating that phrase.

(File that, bit of information for later)

Now, onto Doug…..

Doug is always the last to embrace any sort of technology. In 2003 (or 2004), he did not own a cell phone. But, in his defense, that was still a time when not everyone owned cell phones. We were still required to actually KNOW other people’s phone numbers.

Doug had my cell phone number programmed into his landline – “Speed Dial #2” – my home phone was “Speed Dial #1”.

Many times I mentioned that this was not the best idea. Some day he would need to call me and he would not be at home to hit “Speed Dial 1, 2 or 3 (3 being my work #) and he would not be able to get in touch with me.

(File this bit of information for later as well)

That particular year a group of parents got together and decided to make an attempt to pressure the Town Park and Recreation Department to develop Adaptive Recreation Programs for our special needs children. There were really no programs available at that time and we believed that it was only fair to have programs available to our kids just as they were available to all of the other children in town.

This project required quite a lot of time, parent meetings, petitions, and meetings with Boards, Commissions and the Town Council. It did not help our cause that this was a particularly hostile budget year; a proposed Zero budget increase year.

On the night of the Town Council meeting when they were to approve or not approve the proposed budget, Doug came over to stay with DC, so I could attend the meeting along with the other parents in the group.

I told him it would probably run very late since, as I said earlier, this was a very volatile budget year.

(“Very late” – another point to file for later)

I told him he could try to get DC to go to bed, but if he couldn’t he should just let him “relax” on the couch and with any luck, he might just doze off.

The meeting was long… very long. I checked my cell often to be sure there were no problems at home. I even went out into the lobby to call home around 9:30 and told him again that it was going to be late.

When it got to be about 11:00pm, I started to worry that if DC was still awake, and chances are, he was; he was really going to be driving Doug crazy asking for me. It was also a school night and I didn’t want him to be up that late.

One friend, knowing how obsessive I am about weight and my backside, said jokingly “If you get up now, your a## will be on live TV” as the council meetings are televised live (file that too!). So I stayed. After another 15 minutes, another friend and I decided we would risk it and got up and left together.

I got home around 11:30 to a note on the kitchen table:

It’s 11:15! Where are you? We went out to look for you.

So now I’m home, and they are out looking for me! Doug had no cell phone, remember, so I couldn’t even call to say I was home.

It was another 15 or 20 minutes before they came back. DC is now upset because not only was I not home, but Doug dragged him out at 11:15 to look for me as if I was lost.

I asked why he didn’t just call me  if he was so worried or if DC was driving him that crazy.

Blank stare…… crickets……..

BECAUSE HE DIDN’T KNOW MY CELL NUMBER AND HE COULD NOT HIT “SPEED DIAL #2”!

He then told me that they were searching the Dunkin Donuts hoping to find me there.  When he didn’t find me at the Dunkin Donuts’ in town, and the one in the next town over, he decided to look for me at my friend Donna’s house, because he assumed we were there  “gabbing”. Luckily they stopped back at my house first before barging into Donna’s house at 11:45PM.

!!!???!!!

Why didn’t he drive to the Town Hall? They had to go right by on the way to the first Dunkin Donuts and again on the way to the second.

“Who would ever think that a meeting would go on that long?! You people must be crazy to sit at a meeting that long!” (I said VERY LATE, I did, TWICE!) – If we go back to our “filed information” we remember that the meetings are TELEVISED –LIVE and he only needed to turn on the TV to see it was still in progress.

To add insult to injury, he wrote the note on THE BACK OF DC’s HOMEWORK!

So now, I am trying to get DC to bed and desperately trying to erase the note on the back of the homework page and seriously considering “loosing” his homework just so his teacher wouldn’t have the impression that I was out gallivanting (yes, gallivanting, I’m old) to the point that they had to go out looking for me.

So what did I take away from this series of events, you might ask?

–          Wear a long coat to all televised meetings.

–          I obviously don’t get out much, so 11:15 is cause to send out a search party.

–          I must spend much more time at Dunkin Donuts than I ever realized.

–          I should leave messages at random Dunkin Donuts in the event people may think I am missing.

–           Trying to erase crazed notes written on the back of my son’s homework is futile. –  Fortunately I had a parent/teacher conference the

following week and his teacher got a kick out of the story. And… yes… she did see the note.

And regarding “Speed Dial #2”

– Never pass up the opportunity to say “I told you so”

 

*The Adaptive Program budget was approved