Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Elephant in the playroom

I've been reading this book lately, and I LOVE it! It's a group of short stories, written by parents of special needs children, and when I first bought it, I thought "wow, what a great book to give to a parent of a special needs child" but now that I'm reading through it, I think it's something that would be wonderful for parents of TYPICAL children to read.

I have read SOOOOOO many books about autism, the spectrum, sensory processing disorder, you name it, I've read it! As a parent of a child on the spectrum, I do feel that I need to educate myself as much as possible --- but this book was a fun read, just something to make me think! Many of the stories made me cry -- and made me thankful that our issues are surprisingly small compared to what some families have to go through.....ALL the stories have further reinforced my feelings that parents of children with special needs really are a "different" kind of parent -- we get pushed to limits sometimes that other parents just can't understand -- that's why I think this is a book that ALL parents can relate to -- you don't need to have a special needs child to understand.

As you can see from the image, which I borrowed from here the book is on sale too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Horton gets 2 thumbs up!!!


We saw "Horton Hears a Who" today after MUCH anticipation from my son!!! I thought March 14th would never arrive, as he has reminded me DAILY ever since we saw the trailer for the movie back in January, that we had to see the movie on today's date (it's premiere). Even Mr. Limefreckle came home early from work so we could all see the movie together, and it did not disappoint. Jim Carrey is amazing, as he always is in anything he puts his stamp on -- and it was a funny, warm, family movie. Steve Carrell is also fast becoming another favourite in our family (my son first discovered him in "Evan Almighty", and I can't get enough of "the Office"!)

A good time was had by all, and I'll be very surprised if this movie isn't the box office #1 of the weekend! The story is so heartwarming --- my favourite quote of the movie? "I said what I meant and I meant what I said....an elephant's faithful 100 percent!" Now who doesn't wish more people would just say what they mean, and mean what they say???

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ever have one of these days?




I felt like this guy today......as many of you know, I have an almost 7 year old son that has autism. He's pretty mild, and I THOUGHT our meltdown days were behind us....but today he had one, at the local pool -- he wanted to go to the Snoezelen room at the recreation centre (it's a room designed to relax the senses) -- we've been several times before, not in a few years, and he's swam at this particular pool many times without insisting on visiting the snoezelen room....but today, he was having a hard time understanding that we couldn't just go into the room and use it -- (you need to book the room, a "facilitator" accompanies you in, etc.) His meltdown wasn't too bad, as meltdowns go, not nearly as crazy as the little guy in this video, but there was some yelling involved, some pulling of hair (him pulling mine) some crying (both of us) --- it was NOT FUN!!! What occured to me, as I sat on the floor of the rec centre desperately trying to convince my son that we needed to get going, and that we could come back to use the room another time, was that the meltdowns aren't really that hard to deal with on your own....it's the reactions of everyone around you when they are happening that make them so hard. Take a look at the faces of the other shoppers in this video....I know them well! And don't get me wrong, it's natural for people to be startled when they see a child melting down......it's just human nature to turn your head and watch ---- I suppose it's just something that I will have to learn to live with. One time I remember when my son was young, he had a MASSIVE meltdown as we were leaving a store....I was wrestling with him, the cart, my packages....a kind, older gentleman was trying to cajole him into good humour (he was I think about 2 or 3 then, couldn't yet talk, and I'm not really sure how much he understood). When we got out to the parking lot, I had to abandon my packages at the door to the store, and head to the car with my kicking and screaming son. The older man came along, and did he offer to carry my packages? No ---- he came up to my son and said "stop crying, or I will take you away from your Mommy, and you will never see her again!".......I don't know why, but that struck me as absolutely HILARIOUS!!! Here I was, mid meltdown, and this guy thought that threatening to kidnap my son and never return him was going to help this situation!!!!! It was just what I needed at the moment to lift my mood, get my son into the car, and get us home......I will never forget that! Many people thought it was shameful of him to say that....but I guess I just sensed that he was truly trying to help...no matter how misguided.....like I said, perhaps carrying my parcels would have been a great option.....but hey, he at least made me laugh in the midst of it all.....

So I do always try to find the humour in the situation.....I try to be patient, to help my son work through his frustration and his anger -- but it's hard!!! Today, just as I was thinking that our new home was going to be this recreation centre, because my boy was NOT budging until that door opened......one of the front desk employees came over to tell us that a "facilitator" had been found, and we could go into the room! Oh joy of joys!!!!!!! I wrestled for a moment with the fact that I would be rewarding the bad behaviour....but I figured that, as the snoezelen room was designed to help people with sensory and other related issues, we should probably use it to help whatever was bothering him today.......so in we went, for some much needed relaxation for him AND for me!!