Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nathan's Catch-phrase

Nathan has created a new 'catch-phrase' for himself. He wants it to be his signature line. It started when I was pretending to be Sheldon doing the Penny knocking routine (if you're lost, see the video below from the TV Show "The Big Bang Theory").

I was poking Nathan 3 times then saying, "(poke) Nathan? (poke) Nathan? (poke) Nathan?"
Nathan: Yes?
Me: Am I bugging you?
Nathan: No
I did it again...maybe two more times, then he told me he has a new catch-phrase.

"I'm too autistic to care."

I love that kid!!! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thoughts from another Autism Mom

I know I haven't posted in forever. It seems like we have ended a lot of formal therapy and so much of what we do now is just my husband and I 'winging it' for social skills and more. But when I saw the article below, I knew I had to share with everyone. I hope you enjoy Leigh's thoughts as much as I did. 

Do you ever have a moment when you read something written by someone else that says absolutely everything as if you wrote it from your own heart. Well, yesterday I was blessed to read a post by Leigh from She answered--quite nicely--the question that we autism moms are often asked. I'm often asked if I'd like a cure for autism. The answer--NO!!!! Do I want to 'cure him'? Of what?!?!

Perhaps we need to rethink the question. He's not sick. He doesn't have a disease. If we 'cured' Nathan, what would the cure be for? If we took away his unique view on the world and the way he looks at it, wouldn't we lose the quintessential essence of who Nathan is?

My son Nathan. He doesn't
need a 'cure'--he needs
Would I love to make his road easier---YES!! But if it was easier, wouldn't we lose the things that make Nathan who he is? It's the essence of who he is that I want to hold forever. The fighter in him that never gives up...and his precious face when he succeeds. A few years back, I found another writing that moved me to the same level as Leigh's writing did today. If you would like to see about taking the road less traveled, check out the essay about Holland. 

Would I like Nathan's life to be easier? Yes, yes I would. Do I ever wish he could be as social as his sister--yes, yes I do. But not if we lost the precious boy who is an old soul in a young body. He sees things that others miss. He reads emotions and feelings of people (accurately) when they don't even realize they are feeling those emotions. He's attuned to the inner self of those he meets. He's loving and kind and truly cares about others. So why would I 'cure' that? 

So take a moment before you read this to follow Leigh on Facebook and on Twitter, then grab a tissue and read. 

If You Were Cured Tomorrow

Leigh's son Callum says "Cheese!"
for the camera when caught
"redecorating" his bedroom. 
If you were cured tomorrow, life would be easier for you.  You could eat without ritual, go anywhere without fear, and would understand everything being said – even when it isn't being said. 
If you were cured tomorrow, people wouldn’t stare.  Your play would not be questioned and corrected.  You wouldn’t feel compelled to move and shout and seek in the ways that you do.  You would sit in rooms where people talked to you instead of about you.
If you were cured tomorrow, I would ask you to explain so many things.
If you were cured tomorrow, you would gain better access to all those beautiful dreams we wished for you before we knew you.
But, if you were cured tomorrow, you would be a stranger to me.  Living a stranger’s dream.  And I would never get to see you live the dreams you have for yourself.
If you were cured tomorrow, my worries would be eased — but my heart would be broken.
Because I love you.  You you.  Not some hypothetical you.  Not the you you might have been had you not turned out to be you.  It’s all very complicated.  And it’s all very simple.
If you were cured tomorrow, I’d miss you.

**A special thank you to Leigh who granted me permission to copy her post in its entirety to share with you. Not everyone will allow you to repost their content and I am honored for this privilege. I hope you enjoy her words, too. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: The Autism Sisterhood

I was given a copy of this book to review for my main blog ( but I told the author, Michele Brooke, that I would cross post to this blog since it is so relevant.

Book Name: The Autism Sisterhood: A (brief) Manual
Author: Michele C. Brooke
Price: $9.95.
Available at

This book is just what the subtitle suggests it is. It's a small book that fits into my big purse easily. Each chapter is short (1-2 pages) and gives another piece of instruction or information that gets to the heart of things that women in 'the sisterhood' go through.

As a mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, I have tried some of her ideas and jotted notes of other ideas. I appreciated her theory on who makes up the Autism Sisterhood. She includes not just mothers of Autistic children, but fathers, teachers, therapists, doctors and friends who can be a sounding board or give insight or just celebrate the little things with you. I agree, the sooner you find people in your corner, the better off you are.

The chapters are as diverse as our children are. Topics range from reading skills to preparing for holidays, social stories and singing. There are practical tips that can be used with both verbal and non-verbal children.

The book is meant to be read in short bursts. I read it through the first time from cover to cover during a one hour therapy session. I was able to finish in about 45 mintues. It's a fast read and contains wonderful information and insight. Michelle Brooke mentions that this book is meant to be a quick read that you can keep in your purse because then you will have it to pass along to another person who could use it.

For those who have read books by other mothers of autistic children, Michele Brooke doesn't go into the emotional roller coaster of getting diagnosis, etc. This book isn't about the emotions or feelings of you or your child. The focus is strictly on finding ways to enter into your child's world and help them find more of our world, too. It is all practical advice and tips to help us find new ways to communicate.

I hope you'll pass the word about this book to others who could use the information contained within.

Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Michele C. Brooke for this review.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

You might have a visual learner when...

For vocabulary words, the kids are to know the meaning of the words and how to correctly use the word in a sentence. As we went over the vocabulary words for this week, Nathan had all the meanings correct. Until we hit "ponder". He tried to break it down that the word 'pond' was in it so maybe it was something to do with water or ponds. When we told him it's thinking hard about something, he said that it WAS like a pond.

Huh?? Pond?? Water?? For Ponder???
Sean & I don't see it. We asked Nathan to clarify.

Nathan's answer:
Well, if I remember that my brain is like a big pond and the ideas are the ducks. When I ponder, I wait for the ducks (ideas) to come into the pond (brain) and that's pondering.

Oh yeah, I think he's a visual learner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's in a name?

We have a new art teacher at school this year. When we were at back to school night, we made Nathan introduce himself and meet her so he wasn't surprised that she is there. (Our former art teacher was part time and was able to go back into the classroom full time. We had to show him where her room is now so he knows she didn't disappear.)

When he met the teacher, she said her name was Mrs. Reed. He studied her name by the door and finally looks at her and says, "You know, if you took out the extra E in your name, it would be Mrs. Red. That would be a really artistic name."

We smiled, told him great reasoning and mentioned that he is a special little boy with a unique perspective. Then, we giggled. How sweet was that? I'm not sure if she saw the humor that we did, but I think he's a smart little cookie.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A story about life at a 2E home...

One day at the Twice Exceptional Home, a packet of information arrived from a local school called Elementary. Inside the exciting packet was the room number and name of the teacher for a little boy named Nathan. This Nathan waited with baited breath for his mother to share the big news. His mother said, "You're in Room 6A with Mrs. R." The older brother, Andrew, shouts, "You're so lucky--I only got Mrs. R for 3 weeks. You get her for a whole year!!!"

The little boy named Nathan held a brave face. Then a lip quiver started to show. Then his face crumpled and tears were streaming down his face. With a wavering voice, Nathan says, "But I wanted Mrs. S."

Thinking fast, his super mother asks, "Why did you want Mrs. S so much?"

Nathan tells mom, "Because of Reading Buddies."

"What--did you say reading buddies?"


Realization dawns on the mother who says, "Which classroom was with Mrs. S last year?"

"Mrs. B!" (Mrs. B was our teacher last year.)

Ah-ha. "Good news, Nathan. There is now one more room in last year's grade so there will be changes. You might still have Mrs. B for Reading Buddies. Besides, she moved around the corner and there's only one room between her room and your room this year. Isn't that great?!?"

"I might get Mrs. B for Reading Buddies? Cool."

Thus ends the saga of teacher assignments.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

On Demand Learning for Today's "iGeneration"

I had the opportunity to review the Online School Solutions website. I honestly did not think I would like what I found. I've never been convinced that online learning is as good as traditional learning--even though I have friends whom I deeply respect who homeschool and use online learning to supplement homeschooling.  I know we can learn a lot online, but to give schooling over to online learning is a bit beyond my scope.

I started looking at the online school solutions sites for my oldest. I wondered if these classes would help supplement his learning. What I started to realize is that if Nathan begins to have too much trouble in Middle School or High School, this website would be a wonderful resource for me to have at my fingertips. Many of the courses are geared at High IQ (gifted or AP) learners. Well, what's a 2E but a gifted learner with a learning disability? I started looking at different schools available and what classes they offered. While it looks like the private online schools would cost about $1800 per year to do full time online education, individual classes are only about $250-300 per class. I was impressed at the broad scope of classes available to students.

If you need any sort of supplement to learning for your child--whether he is in public, private or home school--I'd suggest looking at this site. The information was pretty clear cut and I had the opportunity to watch a video demo of some of the techniques used. They don't leave the kids flying solo. There is support online for the kids, they can interact with other kids and adults and some of the online schools also have live people locally whom you can call if you need additional help.

Here is some information I was provided by Online School Solutions:

Today's students, known as the "iGeneration", are the first to crave and benefit from education "on demand" - or the option to choose where, when and how they want to learn.

To put it in context, the "iGeneration" has never known life without the Internet, being mobile, using avatars, IMing or choosing and watching content whether they are at home, in the car, at a football game or shopping at the mall. To reach them in their high-tech, high-touch world, many parents and educators are looking at how to rewire schools to match how the iGeneration learns.

Taking classes online is one way to give middle and high school students (and their school districts) new options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment, and even experience enhanced, one-on-one relationships with educators. Whether they're in need of more assistance, looking for wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child's needs.

Students are increasingly able to take online classes in partnership with their local school districts. Schools facing budget cuts and a reduction in teachers are turning to online classes to supplement their curriculum, from offering classes for which they have no teachers, Advanced Placement® classes for students who excel, and credit recovery options for students who struggle. In fact, today there are 1 million children learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more than 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent within a couple of years, according to industry research. (Simba Information).

KC Distance Learning (KCDL) offers online learning options to fit all types of students and learning situations.
From the home-schooled family, the student brushing up on skills to compete at the next level or the child facing challenges in traditional schools such as bullying, KCDL provides academic solutions to fit your child's needs. We welcome you to look through the website at, and then click on your state to find the online school serving your area.

A recent survey found that compared to traditional learning environments, online learning is proving to be an effective way in teaching today's "iGeneration" who live in a world of customized and instant feedback. See the results of the Student Survey here.

If you ever have a need or are interested in learning more about online schools, take a look and see what you think.

Disclosure: I received a gift card to compensate my time in researching and writing this review. The gift card does not affect my review and all personal thoughts and comments are my own.
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