Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We're moving to....

Nathan was diagnosed with Autism today. Yes that's right he has both RTS and Autism!!!! What are the chances of that???? I am both relieved and overcome with emotions upon this diagnosis. Relief because there's so much about Nathan's behaviour that didn't make sense to me. So much about him that I couldn't connect with or understand. I'm overcome because I have a whole new disorder to learn about.
Today is such a weird mix of emotions... I am absolutely exhausted as I type this. I have cried so much today and yet the diagnosis of Autism is a good thing because it will open up SO many more doors, so many more services and more funding to help Nathan. It's all in his best interest.
Nathan is still Nathan. That hasn't changed! He's still the same kid with the same challenges; the diagnosis has confirmed suspicions we have had for the past few months and will help us help Nathan the best we can. So now we pack our bags and move to Schmolland. I'm going to start researching this new world and once the initial shock settles I'm sure we'll adapt to living life in a new country.
I know many of you are familiar with the poem "Welcome to Holland" I am posting it again for those whom may not be familiar with it.
The second version "Welcome to Schmolland" is a version that hit close to home as it has been rewritten to reflect Autism.
Hope you enjoy them both. I will blog again soon but for tonight, I need to take in all of this... It's a big move and I hadn't planned on moving after Holland.

Welcome To Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability... to try to help people who have not shared the unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this: When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip... to Italy.

You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, Michelangelo's "David", The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.
It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?" you say. "What do you mean,Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plans. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. You must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And, for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposedto go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Welcome to Schmolland
by Laura Krueger Crawford

In Schmolland, it is perfectly customary to lick walls, rub cold pieces of metal across your mouth and line up all your toys end to end. You can show affection by giving a "pointy chin." A "pointy chin " is when you act like you are going to hug someone and just when you are really close, you jam your chin into the other person s shoulder. For the person giving the "pointy chin" this feels really good, for the receiver not so much, but you get used to it. For citizens of Schmolland, it is quite normal to repeat lines from videos to express emotion. If you are sad, you can look downcast and say "Oh Pongo." When mad or anxious, you might shout, "Snow can't stop me!" or "Duchess, kittens, come on!" Sometimes, "And now our feature presentation" says it all. In Schmolland, there's not a lot to do, so our citizens find amusement wherever they can. Bouncing on the couch for hours, methodically pulling feathers out of down pillows, and laughing hysterically in bed at 4:00am, are all traditional Schmutch pastimes.

The hard part about living in our country is dealing with people from other countries. We try to assimilate ourselves and mimic their customs, but we aren t always successful. It s perfectly understandable that an 8-year-old boy from Schmolland would steal a train from a toddler at the Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table at Barnes and Noble. But this is clearly not understandable or acceptable in other countries, and so we must drag our 8 year old out of the store kicking and screaming while all the customers look on with stark, pitying stares. But we ignore these looks and focus on the exit sign because we are a proud people. Where we live, it is not surprising when an 8-year-old boy reaches for the fleshy part of a woman's upper torso and says, Do we touch boodoo? We simply say, "No we don't touch boodoo" and go on about our business. It's a bit more startling in other countries, however, and can cause all sorts of cross-cultural misunderstandings. And, though most foreigners can get a drop of water on their pants and still carry on, this is intolerable to certain citizens in Schmolland who insist that the pants must come off no matter where they are, and regardless of whether another pair of pants are present.

Other families who are affected by autism are familiar and comforting to us, yet are still separate entities. Together we make up a federation of countries, kind of like Scandinavia. Like a person from Denmark talking with a person from Norway, (or in our case someone from Schmenmark talking with someone from Schmorway), we share enough similarities in our language and customs to understand each other, but conversations inevitably highlight the diversity of our traditions. Oh your child is a runner? Mine won t go to the bathroom without asking permission. "My child eats paper. Yesterday he ate a whole video box." "My daughter only eats 4 foods, all of them white." "My son wants to blow on everyone." "My son can't stand to hear the word no. We can't use any negatives at all in our house." "We finally had to lock up the VCR because my son was obsessed with the rewind button."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Weekend in Pictures (Guest Poster)

Thinking about eating a fry from KFC...

Playing a little Kneebouncers...
Shooting some hoops...
Helping Daddy wash the car...
Hiding from the sprinkler...

Jumping for joy...
Smile number six...
Feeling sleepy...
Bunny Bear is tired too...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's day

On Sunday morning- Mother's Day
I woke up a little later than usual, I heard the laughter and giggling of happy children playing with their daddy....

I was greeted with much love by all...

I even cried because all of it was so meaningful and a little overwhelming.
The kids each worked hard on their own surprises....

Alyssa made me this very beautiful card,
a puppet and a special Walrus pin.

Nathan too has been working hard at school,
Here is the card he made for me and with it came a silk flower snow globe.

I just "love" his little hand flower

My wonderful husband treated me to a pedicure and a wonderful day of complete relaxation.

Being a mom is the best gift I've ever had.
I love being a mom and I'm excited about doing it again soon.!