Tag Archives: parent

AccidentalThong.com celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013

30 Apr

Here are a few of my favorite images which remind me of three of my favorite things about autism:
-When we are given the space to be ourselves, we soar.
-There are always new angles and new ways to approach everything (when in doubt, SPIN!)
-We understand each other even when we can’t find our words.

AccidentalThong.com celebrates 1000 Ausome Things #AutismPositivity2013
These are two of my favorite things! Happy Autism Acceptance Day!
Two Happy Aspies

Ten Tips… An Autistic’s Advice

5 Dec
Tomato Tomato.  It's only different if you say it aloud.

Tomato Tomato. Lets Call The Whole Thing Off....Doesn't work so well when typed.

A fantastic list of 10 tips for teachers, that really should read:  Ten Tips for Everyone.    Every person that interacts with the world, in any way, shape, or form will come in contact with a person with autism at some point and probably more frequently than just once or twice.  For that matter, every person does come in contact with people with various disabilities, some of them “invisible disabilities”… So yes, everyone should read this and mentally slather it onto their brains as “Ten Tips to Mindfully Communicate With Your Fellow Humans, Especially the Ones Who Seem To Be A Little (or a lot) Off Center In What You Consider To Be ‘Normal'”. 

My apologies for using that “N” word.  Most of you know that I find that N word to be outdated, on an even keel day, and mythical on the other 364.

Clickety click the link below, and check out the tips.

Please comment below if there is anything you would add and if you have examples of people doing the opposite… Me thinks it helps to bridge the gap between us and them when we can share examples.  Too many of the folks not living with disability or a difference that impacts every single morsel of their lives, think that discrimination and just plain douchey behavior doesn’t happen anymore because “people know better” and “there are laws” and when we do share our stories with others we are often told that we just misunderstood or worse, that clearly we have a chip on our shoulder.  Gee. Thanks made-for-cable-TV movies and sitcoms. Stereotyping us as bitter-because-of-our-physical challenges or extra-sweet and gullible because of mental and emotional ones, either keeps folks away or lets them feel no guilt whatsoever when they slip on in and take advantage of us.

Those of us who live with “it” everyday know that the treatment of people with differences and disabilities is like Betty Crocker’s iconic female face.  The clothes have changed.  Makeup and hair have been updated.  But it’s still a box of cake mix.  Capisce?

Here, as promised way back in the beginnings of this post, is the link:

An Autistic’s Advice: Ten Tips for Teachers.



Changes are afoot.

28 Jul

Make that two feet!  Two froggy legs!


(drumroll please)


Make that two JAZZ HANDS!

Cannot believe how epic this transformation has been.  Bouncy Billy (who until now was the ironically bounceless Rana sphenocephala of the pair we received way back in late winter 2010) just keeps amazing us.

Here’s Billy (who had been a frog for at least 14 months)…


I am forever thinking (and occasionally singing aloud) “who lives in a Pineapple peeking at me?”  He likes to hide and just has one eye visible through the window.  He’s much more aloof than his soon-to-be bouncy counterpart.


Long ago, pre-kid, we had a Betta fish named “Pants” who we adored and probably got more emotionally attached to than would be considered a normal adult reaction by anyone, but we did.  Not quite as much as the furry pets of my youth, but yeah, when he died I cried cried cried until my eyes threatened to swell completely shut and the snot factory had run dry from dehydration.  *sniff*

And now I have my very own human kid.

Every step of the way has been like one of those dreams where you step in concrete and it quickly sets around you and while you can still move every step is muscle tenderizingly arduous and sooo slow.

But respect and love for my kid has made me able to take those steps, and to take them with such joy that I occasionally bust out with a somewhat off-key yet somewhat operatic “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” straight from my tippy toes to the top of my head. “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”  And yes.  It often startles my sensory defensive little guy, but really, there is no other way for me to accurately describe this joy.  It’s just “Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

So to some folks in the outside world, our life may look too darkly serious and lacking in light and fun.  To some folks it may look like we take things too seriously and overthink each and every step of the way.  Don’t get me wrong, we definitely overthink everything.  When you are raising a different needs kid, you really learn to pick your battles and causes and goals and to take baby steps with everything, little steps broken apart from gigantic and seemingly insurmountable goals, not as much to keep you motivated, but it is mostly due to the simple fact that correcting a little misstep can happen with a little more grace and less of a delay in moving forward than a big mistake.  It’s the difference between repairing a pothole at 4am and closing two lanes of traffic during rush hour so you can repave the whole shebang.

So what does this have to do with frogs?

Something.  I’m sure.

Oh.  That caring for and watching our little mutant tadpole/tad frog/nearly a frog “froglet” has been one that has, in a very focused and microscopic way, paralleled raising a child who is different from his typically developing peers.  It has also, surprisingly, offered up a parallel to my own journey in becoming the authentic me.  The warts and all me, if you will.  The me that isn’t dictated by internalized scripts of my upbringing, or internal monologues trying to make sense of what has gone wrong and my role in it or apart from it.   Just me.

Jazz hands, laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!, and all…



UPDATE:  As soon as I finished typing this, I went out to the kitchen and saw something amazing in our little vivarium.  Bouncy Billy WALKING.  Yup.  Not swimming but walking along the bottom of the tank.  Like a big frog!

I think he likes me!

22 Aug

He thinks…

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

I think I need to make a little shrine-like thing of all the amazing things Alex makes for me.

This will be in a frame, next to my “1000 sails” card, the pop-up book, and in front of them will be the “mama rocks“…. This one is extra special because he wrote it without any prompting or suggestions or help from anyone. This was totally under his own steam, from his heart (and from his trains!)

We gave him his zuchertute/schuletute on Thursday- his last day of Pre-Kindergarten. We didn’t want him to be distracted by the treats on his first day of actual Kindergarten. (I’ll post pictures of the cone/tute soon! Promise!)….

He wrote this note on his personalized notepad from ThisIsIt.Etsy.com with his new fountain pen (I realize he is not even 6, but I have always found fountain pens to be easier to write with and he has been fascinated with mine, and it requires a little more responsibility than traditional disposable pens but I thought he was ready) and mechanical pencil….

How cool is this?

I’m thinking of heading to Cafe Press to have them put it on a Sigg water bottle so I can be inspired and feel loved and healthier all day long.

I have a serious case of the warm fuzzies. Going to hug my boy again.



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Rolling Rolling Rolling….

5 Aug

You Got To Roll Me….

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

Keep the dice a rolling

keep the game a moving

don’t ever lose that die!

Rain and wind and weather

hell bent for jenga*

wishing my bro would lose and cry…
*uses a six sided, six color die according to wikipedia.org. Yes. I checked. Would you expect less of me?
We are just getting to the point where playing board games is not eerily reminiscent of my childhood (as an only child, living in the middle of the woods, no cable, and I was the weird kid. I learned to play every game by myself. Even hide and go seek. It’s true. More on that someday. I’m just starting to own that part of me.)…

Alex will sit and play and follow directions (with a great deal of repetition on our part) for a little bit- though his attention is still somewhat short…

All of the games we have happened upon lately seem to have die or dice involved. We have been rockin’ the Monopoly Jr., Clue Jr., and Mouse Trap.

Part of the motor skill challenge has been rolling the die or dice (and actually having it change to a random side). Part of the “I have an almost 6 year old” challenge has been getting him to not pretend to roll it so that he miraculously gets 6 every time, because at almost 6 bigger always seems better even if it gets you sent back to the start of the game board.

We also tend to play around our lovely Noguchi glass coffee table as we can all sit comfortably (and my work is usually overpowering our little kitchen table…Still want my Edison farmhouse table. Someday it will be mind. Someday.) Not only is there glass, there are a few choice knick-knacks near by that are probably not-so-durable and there are two big club chairs and a love seat. My arthritis refuses to get down on the floor to retrieve overzealously thrown dice (actually it’s more of a problem evolving back into an upright position these days).

And I fear glass chips and broken knick-knacks. And face it, my kiddo is wonderful with many things, but his motor skills are a major work in progress.

So here is my solution.

I took a tin with a clear lid (the lid covering is plastic- I do not suggest trying this with a glass-topped tin) that is of the “deep” variety (I got them from SpecialtyBottle.com – the one shown in my image is a 4oz/deep). I popped the die in, closed the lid (the lid isn’t terribly loose but it is not secured outside of friction- so if you feel you need a sturdier hold try some masking or electrical tape around the edges.

And voila! Alex can shake-shake-shake and I no longer have to go fishing for game pieces, the coffee table is intact, and my curios are happy campers and have removed their helmets and safety goggles.

This also helps teach him the rules of “rolling” – he has to give it a few shakes and put it down. This has made a huge difference in his comprehension of rules- those of the game and those little social game play rules. Eventually he’ll roll by himself, but for now this lets us play and show him the joy of playing boardgames as a family. He can focus on playing and not obsessing over this one small part.

The containers are too big to squeeze into most manufacturers game boxes and I like to keep all parts in their respective boxes, so we have one “rolling” container. If he was younger and more apt to try to consume the parts during game play, we would probably secure the lid more permanently.


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