- I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.
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Friday, February 20, 2009
a very sexually explicit note in her locker this week. This small, torn piece of
paper...with words that no 6th grader should know..with acts that no 6th grader
can conceive (especially my very sheltered daughter)...has shaken my daughter
to the core. She is afraid to sleep, because "she doesn't want to dream". She
has stopped singing (which is all she used to do).
Because of this young man, who thought it would be funny to pick on the
"Autistic girl"...I would like to write him a letter...
Dear "cowardly" Bully,
Because you thought it would be funny to write my daughter a very inappropriate
letter and you and your buddies could get a little chuckle out of it.
Let me tell you what it has done to my daughter.
It has taken the "song" out of her voice.
It has made her smile leave her face.
It has made her afraid to sleep, in fear of dreaming about the horrible things
you describe in your "prank" note.
My daughter is 5 feet 10 inches tall. She used to walk tall and proud, but with
one small-minded swipe of your pen across a sheet of paper torn out of a notebook,
you have taken what was a carefree, unafraid to try anything child and made her
into a person afraid to walk into the classroom.
But fear not....you will not win this one. Picture me behind every corner, every
nook and every cranny. I will be there watching your every move. Know that
you will not get away with this, even though the school has done very little to
punish you. Know that this is very far from over.
The Mother of the daughter you were so "stupid" to mess with.
The school has decided not to do anything to the boy(s) who wrote the letter
to my daughter. Therefore, it is now up to me to pursue the matter.
I have called for a meeting with the principal and will decide after her decision
what we will do.
This is really far from over!!!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
daughter Caitlin turning 18 years old.
This lovely person reminded me why I blog.
This past week, I let myself get caught up in the Andrew Wakefield drama of
Autism. That is the autism that is supposed to come from the MMR vaccine.
Funny thing is...my most affected child has never had the MMR shot...so there
shoots that theory (no pun intended).
I feel very badly for the parent's who feed into the propaganda and spend so much
of their time and energy on "fixing" their children...that they forget they have children
I have been there and done that...I was almost drawn into the whole Wakefield
farce. I thank God I have a husband who can rationalize and told me, "Jeanette, I
will believe it when I see it".
I thank God everyday that we did not see it.
I cringe that my child(ren) may have been prodded, poked, and scoped...among
other horrible things.
Guess what, our children, 4 years later from our first meeting with Dr. Wakefield,
have surpassed all expectations. All while on a Gluten-filled and Casein-filled diet.
I read every thing there is to read about Autism every day. I am amazed by the
reasoning parent's give themselves to "cure" or "recover" their children. I am amazed
that they give into the McCarthyism of today.
I blog because my husband and myself have tried our hardest to raise 6 of the most
amazing people on this planet. Children who should have failed, because they were
I thank the people who let us look past the label and continue to try to raise responsible,
kind, respectable and smart children.
I thank those in the blogosphere who have helped me to realize that I was not the crazy
one in this journey called Autism.
I truly thank God for giving me these children to show me what unconditional love is.
Through teaching me patience, love and understanding in a world that many do not understand.
Thanks commenter...you have brought back my spark !!!!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
the day where I say..
"I am now the parent of an adult"...
When Caitlin was born 18 years ago...I remember making promises to her.
I promised to always love her and make sure she was happy and well-cared
for. I promised she would never need for anything. I promised her when she got
scared, I would do my best to comfort her.
I hope she feels that I have fulfilled my promises, and will continue to do so.
When Caitlin was diagnosed with Autism, I really did not know what was ahead
of us. What challenges Cady would face, and how, as her mother I could help her
meet those challenges.
I was going to stick by my promises and make sure she was protected and safe
from all outside elements that might hurt her. I would be her armour..
In doing so, I was shielding her from things that she needed to experience.
A very good friend of mine gave me a little piece of advice...
"Let her go, Jeanette"..."let her fall a bit and see what happens".
The minute I gave her more independence...Caitlin flourished. She became
happier and more grounded. She showed me that she was smart and capable.
Her Occupational Therapist gave me the same bit of advice when she wanted
Caitlin to be in the Special Olympics. I was not sure she could handle the noise
and the competition.
The OT said, "Let her go, Jeanette"..."you won't be able to hang on to her forever"...
I let her go...Caitlin went on to win 2 gold medals..one in softball pitch and one in
the short relay race. Caitlin was so proud of herself and we were just as proud of her.
At the age of 3, when Caitlin was still not using her voice, I was not sure she would
ever talk. Frankly, that was the least of my worries. But, around the age of 9, her
voice came. She has been vocal and opinionated since. That is how I know she is my
daughter...she has her opinions and is very vocal about them.
As Caitlin went from Elementary school, to Middle School and now well into
High school....she has proven that she is capable to be able to tolerate most
situations. Caitlin is respected by both her peers and her educators. She has
remained to make me a very proud mother.
As this day approached...I came to realize that it is not Caitlin who is having
an issue with becoming an adult...but my issue.
As her mother, I felt comfortable with the decisions we made in Caitlin's
journey through adolescence and teenage years. I know that we did our
best in making her decisions for her. We worked hard with Caitlin to make her
be able to be at the place she is now....
I, as a mother, am comfortable with parenting the rest of our children because
of the lessons I learned by being Caitlin's mother.
You see, it is I who is having the problem of Caitlin becoming an adult. I have
never been the parent of an adult. Hopefully I will learn from parent's who
are ahead of me in this area. Parent's who have had to make decisions for their
adult child with Autism. Decisions that might not be the easiest to make, but
what is best for their adult child(ren).
So, there you have it...the day has come.
Happy Birthday to my daughter...who I hope continues to challenge me and
teach me more about being the best Mom I can be.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAITLIN !!!!
Monday, February 02, 2009
Not me..our daughter Caitlin.
Caitlin will be 18 years old in 6 days. We are going to be the parent's of an adult with Autism. I am not quite sure what the difference is going to be..but, I have aged 4 years just by typing this paragraph.
I went Caitlin's annual review meeting today for High School. I told these educators, in not so many words, that they had better get better at these meetings by the time Kiernan, our 7 year old, crosses their doors..believe me, they are pretty pathetic in the Special Education department in High School.
I like the people and the educators that work with Caitlin...they truly are good people. But, let's be honest, their hands are tied because of beaurocratic "bull". The higher ups in the Austin education system do not know what to do with our adult children with Autism.Man...I guess this gives me something to do for the next 3 years as Caitlin ages out of the system on her 22nd birthday.