Don’t Pity Me

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Eye contact is not really a requirement in our house. At least not constantly, or even while I’m talking to them.
 
I do request it at times… usually I ask for it as a sign of acknowledgement or a show of love.
 
Usually the way I request it (or teach it to the boys), is the way I show it. If I tell the boys I love them or give them a kiss, I pick up their face to look at me first, smile and then give kisses or say “I love you”.
 
Or if the boys want something from me, if I’m busy I don’t look at them… (and I try not to make them wait for more than 30 seconds to a minute because then they just think I’m ignoring them and start pulling on me lol) then look at them in acknowledgement that I see their needs and that I’ll help them or get them what they’re asking for (Jax isn’t quite there yet, he just starts pulling lol)
 
It’s cute because Jax, who is my least eye contact giver will turn my face to look at him. Like “mom! pay attention to me!”
 
So with Jax, if we’re playing a finger song or an activity, I make sure that I stop singing or playing until he’s looking at me again.
 
If the older boys want something, they have to ask for it with PECs or with the AAC, then they look at me, it’s like them saying “please” or if I give it to them, they look at me after as a “thank you”.
 
I love this “language” we’ve created with each other… out of mutual respect and understanding (that and a LOT of process of elimination). Don’t get me wrong, I’m only human and don’t handle every situation well, and they’re still kids and don’t always listen to me.
 
But Justin was busy running around, doing his own thing… very serious… I stopped him, put his face in my hands and had him look at me. He’s got his serious face on… I smile huge and he can’t help but give me a huge smile too. Then I give him a kiss and he knows he’s done, so he can go off running again, but thsi time giggling and smiling.
 
I don’t know what my life would be like if I had “typical” kids… and as hard as our lives are sometimes with the lack of verbal communication or understanding… the GI issues, the aggression, regression, learning delays, whatever… as hard as it is for all of us some days… I have admit, sometimes I wonder if I would have this type of relationship, this closeness, this bond with them, if they didn’t rely on me so much. If they didn’t look to me as their interpreter (to help them understand others and for others to understand them)… Because we really do speak a different language than the rest of the world. One really, only we truly understand (most of the time lol).
 
I think about how many times people have given me the “pity” eyes because I have three non-verbal, Autistic boys… but sometimes, I think I’m the lucky one. My boys are loving, kind, friends with everyone, silly, goofy… don’t have a malicious bone in their body… they’re not prideful… they’re not greedy or envious… they don’t hurt others (intentionally) or make fun of others…
 
They’re generally happy and content.
They’re a little crazy, and a lot of work sometimes… life can be frustrating and difficult… but I mean, considering… I have been insanely blessed to have the children that I have. 🙂
 
#Grateful
#Autism
#ProudAutismMom
#DontPityMe
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I’ve never met my support group.

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If you ever met me you wouldn’t think that I wouldn’t have a problem making friends. I’m bubbly and seemingly outgoing. I’m the goofy and animated friend who always tries to make people laugh.

But when you become a special needs Parent, your choices in friends drastically diminish. It’s not that there aren’t amazing people out there… and it’s not like the friends you had aren’t still there. But after a while, you get tired of explaining the same thing over and over. Or answering the same questions… Or answering those “well have you tried…?” Or “why don’t you just…?”

I know MOST of them mean well… It’s not like they’re bad people, but it can be exhausting. Especially when my life is exhausting enough on it’s own, the last thing I want are my friendships to be also.

I don’t even do it on purpose… But I’ll realize I’ll respond less frequently or I’ll respond later and later to posts. Not because I don’t want to, but because just thinking about everything I’ll need to say, explain or give an excuse to is overwhelming.

I can’t “just find a sitter” so I go out less and less. We can’t come visit you because your house isn’t nearly child-proofed as ours. You could come over here, but a kid is bound to show up naked and really… When do i have time to clean? So I don’t invite you over anyway. It’s not that I don’t miss you. Or want to see you. But things change.

Every once and a while you find that amazing friend who “gets it” and doesn’t live too far. Either because they have kids on the spectrum or are your kids teachers/therapists. And when you find one, you about leap out of your skin because you don’t have to apologize for your house or naked kid, or explain what your kid is chewing on or what they’re scripting…. Because they get it.

But often, those amazing people who get it… We will never meet in person, because they’re all over the world.
Sitting in a house, nodding along to your child’s most recent milestone, celebrating with you because they understand just how truly amazing every new skill is.
No matter how small it seems to the outside world.
They might not have to go through or have gone through the exact same thing, but they get it.

Or they’re the people who don’t have kids or aren’t personally on the spectrum, but love your family and want to learn more about them.
They’re pretty freaking awesome too.

I have an amazing support group.
They laugh, cry and mourn with me.
They’re nodding along and raising their fists in excitement because they GET IT!
They share stories.
They give and ask for advice.
They’re amazing.

And I will probably never have the honor to meet them in this lifetime.

But I love them and I’m thankful for all of them.

They’re my support group, and I am theirs.

How do you really feel about Autism?

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“I would love to hear how you really feel about the boys possibly all being affected by ASD. And if you think you would have another baby.”

So, I was going to try to make a video about this, but when I did… it ended up being about 20+ minutes long. lol Sooooo I think I’ll make this one a blog. I’m sorry if you guys would have preferred this one to be a video.

I know that I am going to get bashed no matter what I say.

There seems to be a huge divide over Autism being something that should be celebrated or something that makes life harder.

I think it really depends on who you’re talking to, the severity of the “symptoms” and how they were taught to look at it, or how they choose to look at it.

Please remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and just because ours might be different, doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings. I’m a very sensitive person and do NOT have thick skin. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but I do mind when you’re rude about it. So, please be considerate.

I diagnosed myself as Autistic with ADHD about a year ago after doing research, talking to others and taking tests for about 6 months. I do some day plan to try to get an official diagnosis. So I feel that I can speak both as an Autistic and as a Mother of Autistics.

Because I didn’t know I have Autism, there are many aspects of my life that were difficult. However, some of the things that are seen as “Autistic” that would normally be hard for some, I’m pretty good at, or I’ve learned to be pretty good at. I can socialize and make small talk in conversations… although I’m not a HUGE fan of it depending and it can be draining. I’m pretty decent at public speaking (at times). I had to practice a lot. Eye contact isn’t too bad for me most of the time. I can hide my stimming (depending on how long I’ve been made to sit still). And every day I’m getting better at dealing with being overwhelmed.

But despite my Autism and despite NOT knowing it, I really think that I would have had a different life (better relationships) had I known (or got a diagnosis as a kid)… I am still functioning. I am still growing and thriving. Heck I’ve got three pretty awesome kids, I got my cosmetology license, and plan on going back to school to become a Speech Therapist. Is my life what I wanted it to be? Not exactly. Could it have been what I really wanted if I wasn’t Autistic. No clue. Lol

Are my kids’ lives what I wanted for them? No. I wanted my kids to be little football players… who would stand up for the kids being picked on, who would go to college, do amazing and great things, get married to the love of their lives, have kids and all live happily ever after. (short version) Could they still do all those things? Absolutely!! I’m not going to allow anything to get in their way. Including Autism.

My job as a parent is to help my children thrive no matter the obstacles. And no matter how you look at Autism. It IS an obstacle. Sure, there are many reasons Autism could be an asset. Heck, how many inventions and advancements in the world were because of Autistics?

But how many of them were isolated? How many of them struggled through life because they couldn’t talk, couldn’t explain how or what they were feeling? Treated poorly or put into mental hospitals because they didn’t know what was “wrong” with them? To say that there is no downside to being Autistic would be a lie (at least in my personal opinion). But there are ups and downs with all aspects of life.

I really think that it’s all in how you look at things. That being said… has my life been harder because of the boys Autism in compared to what it could have been like had they been born Neurotypical? YES. Absolutely yes. Especially the time frame when we didn’t know Justin and Tyler had regressed. I felt like the worst parent on the face of the Earth. We would have meltdowns just going to the grocery store. It’s still hard. Did you read my post about the strawberry syrup?! Do you know just how sticky that stuff it?! lol

They can’t tell me their wants or needs. I don’t care who you are or what your stance of Autism is… but if you were picked up, dropped off and left with no help in a place where you didn’t speak the language, you were HORRIBLE with charades and couldn’t get anyone to understand you… and you couldn’t understand them… both you and the others you’re trying to talk to would get incredibly frustrated.

My kids can’t talk. After YEARS of practice we’ve developed our own way of communicating, but I still don’t always understand them and they don’t always understand me. And if I were to talk to them as I’m talking to you, they wouldn’t understand any of it. Struggles are part of everyone’s life. But not being able to understand someone, for them to not understand you and not being able to really communicate to each other… I find that to be our biggest battle.

It’s taken us years to be able to go to the store without a meltdown.

They all still have problems with eating.

They have no real understanding of danger (like drowning or getting hit by a car).

None of them are potty trained… they can’t really get dressed on their own. We had to buy GPS watches for them because them bolting or wandering and getting lost is a real concern.

They will strip down out of their clothes anywhere with anyone watching.

Justin doesn’t know his numbers, letters, shapes, colors…

Jaxson is 20 months old and doesn’t know his own name. He doesn’t point to objects. He has one word and he doesn’t use it appropriately. He has issues eating.

At 17 months, 6 years and 7 years old… I still have never been told “I love you Mommy”. Jax is the only one who even says Mama and it’s just a sound he can make.

If I died… no one would REALLY understand them and couldn’t take care of them the way I could because I’ve been with them ALMOST every single day of their lives and I’ve made it my mission in life to truly understand them the BEST that I can so that I can advocate for them and help them to be who they were meant to be.

But these are things I generally don’t talk about. Because I choose to focus on the things that they CAN do.  The things we’re working on… the things that they’re getting better at. Sometimes it’s purely because if I stop to dwell too much, I could end up crying for hours of just being soooo overwhelmed. But just like if they weren’t Autistic… I wouldn’t go around talking about all the things my kids couldn’t do unless someone asked me specifically.

Do I want my kids to have to struggle every day to do things that their neurotypical counterparts mastered years ago? No. I don’t. Not at all. But I also don’t want my kids to ever get hurt. Does that mean I’m going to keep them from everything that could possibly hurt them ever? No. They’ll fall down and I taught them that they get up, brush it off and keep going. If they’re really truly hurt, they know they can come to me, I’ll help them clean up and offer support, but I’m teaching them to be fighters. Because in this world mostly dominated by neurotypicals, they’ll need to be fighters. To get what they deserve and what they want in life.

Would I have another kid? NO! lol I actually wanted to adopt all of my kids… don’t get me wrong. I love my kids, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world and I don’t regret having them for even a second. But no… I wouldn’t have any more. Their Dad and I actually talked about not having any more kids and possibly adopting a little girl after a few more years (maybe once the boys progressed more) just a few months before we found out we were pregnant with Jax. (ohhh the irony lol)

We believe that Autism is Genetic and we obviously are making Autistic kids, and didn’t want to chance it that we would have another baby who was Autistic. Not because we are against Autism… or that we don’t like Autistics… but 1: we really wanted a girl (kind of glad I had a boy though lol) 2: we weren’t prepared to have another kid (especially right away)… because the older two still needed a lot of our time and attention, and finances are tough. 3: despite the fact that we love our kids no matter what, we didn’t want to knowingly have another child who may struggle the way the older two are struggling. It’s not fun to see your child hurting… but it’s even harder when your child is hurting and they don’t understand why and you can’t explain it to them.

But we did have another baby… and it’s been obvious to me for almost a year now that he was also Autistic. (We’re going to be starting the process of getting him diagnosed within the next week or so). I don’t believe in abortion, but even if I did, and I had known beforehand that Jax was going to be Autistic too… we still would have kept him. There was actually a very small possibility that because of the meds I was on when I became pregnant, that Jax could have been born with shorter arms and legs. His body would grown normally, but his arms and legs could be stunted. And I told the doctor then, that he could be born with two heads, it didn’t matter… we’re keeping the baby no matter what.

One thing I do want to say… is that all Autism is different. There are no two Autistics that are the same. If you would have seen the boys four or more years ago, around the time they regressed and compared them to what they are like now… you’d be amazed. Just like with Jaxson now. In 4 years he’s going to be doing so much better. Autism is not a death sentence. And no matter what age you or they are, there’s always time and room for improvement.

So don’t give up and make sure to get them the therapies that they need and deserve. Everyone needs something a little different in order to grow to be who they were meant to be, and it’s okay if they need the extra help.

And you know what, if I wasn’t or my kids weren’t Autistic… I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. I have no clue what God has in store for any of us… and maybe His plan for me is to raise my kids and talk to you guys. But who knows what these kids are going to do. Just because the future I wanted for them might not happen… doesn’t mean they don’t have a future at all. Let alone an amazing one full of potential. 

Do we still have bad days? Yes. Are we still going to continue to have bad days? Yes. But everyone does. It’s how we choose to deal with those bad days that matter. Granted, writing this… we’re having a bad day… and it sucks. And it’s hard. But we still TRY to look on the bright side and push through. Praying that things will calm down and tomorrow will be a better day.

I hope this answered the questions…. I talked long enough that you’d think that I would have had to by now… but I ramble so much and go off on tangents… lol Maybe I did… maybe I didn’t. I hope I did though.

If you have any other questions, or topics you’d like me to talk about, leave them in the comments. 🙂
Love you guys!!! And talk to you later!

No Concept of Danger – #2

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I love swimming.
I grew up learning how to swim. I think I was only a few months old when my Mom first put me in my Nana’s pool. I’m a pretty decent swimmer, considering.

When I had kids, I decided that I they also should learn how to swim. It was important to me. It wasn’t until after my kids were diagnosed with Autism, we moved 2,000 miles away and we were at the beach, that I realized just how thankful I was that I tried so hard to teach my kids to swim.

Justin was about 8 months old when we started putting him in the pool. Tyler was about the same age. In the summers, we spent every day for a few hours a day in the pool. The kids got really good at it considering! When they were 4 and 5 we moved 2,000 miles away… and pretty close to the beach.

They LOVED it.

They loved the waves. They loved the sand. Tyler was always more interested in the sand. He didn’t like the saltwater getting in his mouth and didn’t like the waves when he was trying to swim, so he never went out very far. Justin on the other hand, he loved walking out as far as he could go before I stopped him. Bobbing around in the waves. “Body surfing”.

The currents would take him farther and farther down the beach, but after a while, he was getting really good about figuring out how far he could go out into the ocean before he couldn’t touch any more.

I was huge, and pregnant at the time. We were at the beach for the 4th day in a row, when I asked their Dad to keep an eye on Justin so I didn’t have to walk all the way down the beach and into the water this time.

I did it last time after all.

Justin kept getting farther and farther. Finally I told him, “you really need to go get him. I’m scared he’s going to end up getting pulled out too far and it’s going to take us too long to get to him”.  “I’ll go in a second. He doesn’t look too far out.” he said.

I’m watching him intently. Something in my gut is telling me something is wrong. I can’t hear him over the waves… so if he’s yelling I can’t hear him anyway.  He doesn’t know to wave his arms if he needs help. I just see him bobbing.

My heart starts racing. I can feel it. Something isn’t right. “You need to go now. I don’t think he can touch.”

But before he got off the back of the truck, I jumped down and I just start running. I’m not going to wait for him to go. I can’t. Something is wrong. I know it is. I’m trying to run as fast as I can. But this huge belly is slowing me down.

The closer I get to him, the more I can see. Every so often his head goes under the water. He can’t touch!

I start praying. “Lord, please just let me get to him in time! Please. Please. Please.” I feel like I’m going to start crying. I bite the inside of my cheek… I can’t see if I’m crying and I need to get to him as fast as I can.

I run into the water, pushing hard on the ground with my feet. Trying to push through the water as fast and as hard as I can. You don’t realize how hard it is to walk through water with waves pushing you back until you need to do it quickly.

I get closer and I can hear him crying and screaming. I can see his face twisted in fear. Begging me to help him.

“Please let me get him in time. Please. Please. PLEASE.” I push back my tears again. I could never live with myself if I don’t make it in time. My soul would die.

I finally get to him. He clings to me for dear life, and I realize I can’t touch either. I can’t position him the way I was taught for “rescuing” someone. I’m treading water, trying to hold up my very pregnant self, and my 80lb kid. I’m already tired from running and from pushing against the water to get to him.

I lean forward and kick with everything I have. I try to paddle with one arm. After a few seconds… I realize I’m not getting anywhere.

I scream at the top of my lungs, “HELP!!!! HELP!!!!” Their Dad is walking down the beach towards us with Tyler. He’s still too far away. I scream again “HELP!!!!”.

He can’t hear us. I’m barely keeping us above the water. All I can think is, we’re going to die. My baby, who I’ve never met is going to die. Justin is going to die… I’m going to die. I can’t reach, and he’s not going to get to us soon enough. And I’m getting more and more tired fighting against the waves trying to pull us out farther.

I push Justin up and let myself sink to see how far away the ground is. I can’t find it. I come up for air. I’m barely keeping us both up.

No one is going to save you. You are the only person who can save you.

So I start kicking, with every last bit of energy that I have. I pull the water behind me with my arm. I don’t even look. I close my eyes and kick as hard as I can. Holding Justin up above the water while I sink lower.

Finally I feel the sand brush against my toes.
It’s working!

I kick harder.
Finally I get my footing and push off the ground, through the water until Justin can reach and he can walk out by himself.

I did it. I got us out. I finally get out of the water and sit on the sand. “Thank you Lord.”

Their Dad asks me “Are you okay?”

“I was screaming for you. I was screaming for help.”

“I didn’t even hear you.”

“Take the kids back to the truck. I’ll be there in a second.”

From that moment on, Justin was only allowed out to a certain distance, and was only allowed down the beach so far. Which, for a few weeks, HE didn’t want to go out past his knees. But eventually, he forgot about what happened, and tried to go farther. He wasn’t happy about the restrictions… but it was obvious, that he still doesn’t really understand, and it might be a long time until he does.

That day more than any other, I was thankful for all the practice we had with him learning to swim. It wasn’t until a month later that I could close my eyes to fall asleep without seeing his terrified face and end up bawling my eyes out over what could have happened to him… to me… to Jax.

I remember that day every time I think to let my guard down. That I think that he’s finally understanding “danger”. But until he can tell me “Mom, I understand”… I won’t make that mistake again.

Birthdays…

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Justin and Tyler are 363 days apart. Justin is 10/10/08 and Tyler is 10/08/09.
We actually brought Ty home on Justin’s birthday.

I’ve always loved birthdays.
Not really mine – Opening gifts was always weird and awkward for me.
But I loved celebrating other’s birthdays.
Because I’m glad they were born.
So when I had kids, I always wanted to try to give them the best birthday I could… No matter our financial situation, I tried to make their birthdays special. Because I was happy they were born.
Cake, decorations (even if I made them myself), friends and family… games and food.

But I noticed each year was becoming less fun for them.
They would get overwhelmed by the people.
They didn’t want to eat the food, let alone the cake and ice cream.
They didn’t want to interact with the other people or the other kids, they didn’t like their routine being changed.
Although Tyler has finally figured out “presents” and LOVES opening gifts, Justin doesn’t really like toys, so he has no incentive to open them.
He humors me and opens one, but then gets bored, rounds up all the wrapping paper, takes it to his room and rips it up into confetti.

So each year we’ve backed off on what we did with them, had less and less people over.
It’s hard for me though.
I WANT to show them how special they are to me.
How much I am thankful for their birthday.
Thankful that they’re alive and in my life.
Show them just how much I love them.
For me, one of the ways I “show love” is by doing things for people.

So when I’m not able to have the big parties for the kids, it makes me feel bad… like I’m not being a good Mom.
I’m not showing my kids that I love them because either we can’t afford it or it’s too much for them.

Then I remember that those big parties, those gifts… those are things “I” want for them. That’s not what they want.
That’s not how they receive love from me.

So, just as we decided last year, this year is going to be different from what “I” wanted…

Instead of making them go through a party where they would end up in a room somewhere with their iPads, we’re not inviting people over, we’re not doing cake (well… I might make a cupcake or two for myself 😉 )
If we can afford it, a present for each of them that they’ll actually like.
And balloons ON their birthday, because they LOVE balloons.
I’m PRAYING we’ll be able to afford Dad to take off so he can to us them to the beach. Because they LOVE the beach.
We’ll stay as long as we can, playing in the water and the sand, come home and return to our normal schedule.

It might not seem like much, but to them, it’ll be the best birthday ever… and considering it’s THEIR birthdays… that’s all that matters.

GizmoPal Update

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It’s been about a month since we started using the #GizmoPal #GPS #KidsWatch and I thought I’d do an update! 🙂

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When we first tried them with the boys, Justin loved his! but Tyler couldn’t stand wearing it. He wouldn’t allow it to be on for more than a minute or two and that was with massive redirection.

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I finally realized how to fix the problem and help him keep the watch on! You can read that here.

But the short version is: I stopped trying to make him wear it inside and made it a routine that when we leave the house, it goes on (since that’s when he’ll be wearing it anyway).

After that light bulb moment, it’s been all down hill since.

He progressively got better and better about keeping it on longer and longer without wanting it off.

We are in the second week of school and both of the boys teachers tell me that they both keep their watches on the whole time they’re at school, with a few exceptions. If they get sweaty from running around outside, they’ll take them off for a little bit but then put it back on once they’re not sweaty any more. 🙂   (I’m the same way)

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And I have tried out the GPS before, but I actually really got to use it yesterday. The bus was later than I was expecting… I needed to get Jaxson up from his nap, but I didn’t want to take a chance that I’d be in the middle of a diaper change as the bus pulled up (it’s happened).

After about 10 minutes standing at the window, getting frustrated… I realized he was wearing his watch! Duh!

Checked with my phone app where he was and saw he was only a minute or two from home. So I waited outside and sure enough a minute or two later and the bus pulls up! 😀

So considering we were able to put the watches on our phone account (we didn’t have to pay all of it up front), and the kids have adjusted well, I give it a 8/10.

With a few things like making the band bigger (not sure it’ll fit Justin next year), and making it also harder to get off could make up for points lost. 😉

If you want to check out the watch online, here’s the link.

Rookie Mistake

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I just walked half a mile back from the park with Tyler kicking and screaming over my shoulder and pulling Justin who was pulling back and crying… in this weather (96℉).

I’m in more pain… And physically/emotionally exhausted… And all because of arrogance and Autism. I forget on occasion, that I do not have normal kids.

Berate me. Call me names. Tell me how horrible I am to say that about my kids. But if my kids didn’t have Autism… This wouldn’t have happened. At least not to this severity and at this age. Now… Before you start harassing me, finish reading please.

So… Let’s back up a bit.
I just laid Jax down for a nap and decided to take the kids for a walk. I wanted to start getting Tyler used to wearing his GizmoPal watch. I really don’t want him to be upset wearing it by the time he goes to school in a few weeks. He’ll have enough to get used to by then.

So I got everyone ready, I put on Tyler’s watch and we started walking. It worked perfectly!!! He tugged on it a few times, but I took his hand and he left it alone. He was focused on our walk.

We walk around our block twice.. We got to our first turn and Justin started getting upset. Feeling like I just won the lottery, I decided to go against my better judgement and follow him and see where he wanted to go so badly. Instead of the normal route. (Arrogance)

We made a few turns and ended up in front of a park. I knew I was screwed right then and there. I tried a few times to just keep walking… To go back home, they both wanted to go so badly… But ugh… It had been 20 minutes already, it’s hot… And it’ll be another 20 minutes home.

Finally I gave in… Thinking we’ll leave after a bit. Maybe once they play for a little, it’ll be easier to get them home.

That’s the lie I tell myself… Praying it actually turns out that way.

It never does.

There were kids playing basketball, but other than that, we were alone to play as we wished. They found the slides and the kids had a blast! We had been there for 30 minutes… Jax was still sleeping, but it was so hot and I was getting thirsty, so I knew they should be too.

I started prepping them.
“All done?”
“Let’s go?”

They look at me like I’m crazy and keep playing…. I’m looking around… I realized the house is actually only a minute from where we are… But the gate is locked from the inside. -Figures.

A few minutes go by, and I tell them this time.
“All done. Let’s go.”

They start whining… Tyler throws himself to the ground. _lovely_

“Come on. Let’s go. All done.”

Justin’s getting more upset, won’t come down. Tyler throws himself at my feet and screams. Normally they get upset, but they listen to me.

Now the teens playing basketball are looking at us. Great.

I take their hands, “Come on. Let’s go. All done.” And they pull and tug and scream. There’s no way they are both going to walk home. Justin will throw a fit, but will at least walk if I pull him along.

So I pick Tyler up and throw him over my shoulder, grab Justin’s hand and start the half mile back to the house.

Tyler is kicking, screaming… Crying… Pushing off my back trying to get down. Hoping he’s trying to tell me he’d rather walk, I put him down, only to have him throw himself on the concrete. I pick him up again, but he starts thrashing around before I get him over my shoulder and I pull a muscle in my leg… We’ve barely made it out of the park. I grab Justin and I push forward.

A minute later a car actually stops just ahead of us with a woman staring back at me… Apparently I don’t look like someone trying to steal kids… Then drives away. In my head I scream “No I’m good thanks!” I bite my lip and push through… Pulling Justin, carrying Tyler.

It’s hot… Like sitting in a hot car, on a hot day with the hot air on full blast with the windows up, hot.

My shoulders are burning with pain from my fibromyalgia… It feels like someone is squeezing- digging in their finger nails as hard as they can into the muscles of my shoulders.

Tyler continues screaming and kicking, Justin is more crying because of Tyler than being upset. My leg is killing me by the time we’re about half way home. I try to set Ty down again to see if he’ll walk now. I’m barely able to catch my breath. He falls, kicking and crying. Neighbors are watching.

I take a deep breath, pick him up, grab Justin and keep walking.

I wanted to just stop… To cry. To give up. It seemed to take FOREVER to get back home. So much longer than it took to get there.

I just keep yelling at myself in my head.

“Stupid! You knew better! What did you think was going to happen? Always follow a routine. Even if they don’t like it. But I just wanted him to be happy…. I didn’t want to hear him scream the whole way home…. Well he’s screaming now ya dumb a**”

At this point, I couldn’t even be sure I was going the right way. I could be lost and might have to walk even farther to get home.

Almost in tears, i finally saw their dads car in the driveway and started running. All I could think was “Praise God I didn’t get lost, and we made it.”

I dumped the kids in the living room. Got their drinks, and turned on a movie… I grabbed a fan for me, a water and stripped down. I looked in the living room and Tyler is doing the same thing. Lol

There are days that being Autistic has no real effect on our lives. Mostly because we’ve made it easy for us to be ourselves… For them to live and play Happily and safely.

Then there are days where we get smacked upside the head with a reminder… To remember to not take the little things for granted. Like being able to take my little cousin to the park and it not end up with everyone screaming and crying… But not my kids.

And yes, I understand things like that happen with kids. “All kids do that.” But not almost 6 and 7 year olds. Toddlers… Little kids… Not kids their age.

And Yes, I am thankful I even was able to have kids, yes I’m thankful they can even walk to the park… I don’t need people to try to make me feel bad for complaining… I need people to just understand. For people to not stop in the middle of the road because I have a kid that looks like he’s 8 over my shoulder. I’m doing the best I can and you’re just making me never want to leave the house again.

Ironically… I would have been that woman, only I would have asked if the mom wanted a ride. And I HAVE done things like that before.

Me and my kids are not perfect, we’re not better, we’re not less. But there ARE things about our Autism that makes life harder.

Anyone who disagrees with that… Can keep scrolling.

On a side note… The walk DID work with Tyler being used to the GizmoPal watch. I think next time I’ll have to only take Tyler. He’s better with the route we take that doesn’t go by the park. I ruined walks for Justin for now. :/

… They really did love the park. Maybe I’ll leave the gate open, take the kids in the morning when it’s not so hot and actually bring a diaper bag. At least if I have to carry them home, it won’t be nearly as bad.