I’ve watched Jason develop. I am getting to the point that I can tell you when he will act up before he does. If you bring someone to a outing that he doesn’t expect, he will be off for most of the day. As he was on Sunday, I expected it. For that matter, it gets my panties in a bunch when someone would bring an extra couple to a double date type situation. I didn’t know how to respond. I don’t do well with new people. Jason is the same.
I prefer to do things on my own. Jason is the same. I can’t handle something interrupting me on a project that I love because its hard for me to go back to it. Jason is the same. New situations make it me anxious and nervous. Jason is the same. I can’t tell when to shut up so I can easily drive someone else up the wall with something I find interesting and they don’t. Jason is the same. Power rangers yikes… That he does most of the things I now realize that I do scare me.
We went to see his therapist today who asked me to take the standard Adult Aspergers test. He said that he thinks that I have Aspergers as well. He explained that after working with Jason and myself for two years he sees it in me. Ok so I brought the test home. Then I searched for the test online. The very same one is here.
I took the test and I scored 44.
For those of you have taken the AQ / Autism Test, you are probably wondering what the results mean. So while you’re interpreting the results, please bear in mind that the scores of the AQ test are based on statistical analysis of people with Autism who have taken the test and while it isn’t an exact science it does give an indication of ones level of autistic tendencies.
In terms of the distribution of the scores of the general population, it can be said that getting a score of:
- 11 – 21 is Average for most of the population.
- 22 – 25 Indicates that one has slightly higher than average autistic traits.
- 26 – 31 Is a borderline score. 86% of people with this score have can be correctly classified as having Aspergers Syndrome
- 32+ Is the official criteria for having Aspergers Syndrome.
So now I’m sitting here wondering if I just found out more about me than him.
All my life I was different than most people. I figured that it was my family life at home as a teenager. We were definitely dysfunctional. I worked for my parents as a teenager. I never got involved in school events. In fact, I never really wanted anything to do with the kids at school. I was the outcast. I didn’t fit in. I was incredibly shy. I thought people were talking about me all the time.
At times, I’m driven to succeed at things but then the other times when I no longer have the drive. It’s near to impossible for me to return to something I loved. I have to stay in a routine to keep my life balanced. With the kids, we are constantly on the run like there is a little motor attached to us. Jason has tons of doctors appointments and both are socially in programs. Both have social issues. Jason is…. well Jason. Faith is shy to a point of painful to see. She’s always questioning herself. She’s like me.
I have to take a lot of down time. I need to go somewhere to recharge at least three or four times a week. Mom’s rest time is what we call it. But lets be honest here… I simply need to get in sync with my life again when I’m taking down time. Sometimes its hard for me to connect with the kids. I have to make that extra effort to understand how they feel. I can easily be snappy or rude without knowing when things change.
I never realized that I didn’t really look people in the eye until today. The therapist told me I usually look away. Now that makes sense to me as well. I’ve always rubbed people the wrong way. I migrated towards adults because I seemed to understand them better. I’ve always been told that I was highly intelligent and gifted but I, myself, don’t see it. My writing I think is mediocre at best but yet people tend to love it… especially the new fictional story I’m writing. I’ve always been able to go into my makeup world and pretend. I trusted my characters in my stories (not other’s stories) because I could make them do what I wanted too.
Now the question remains: Do I have asperger’s syndrome as well as Jason?
If so, is this another sign of God’s miracles?
Jason is having a hard time with school. It’s the beginning of the year. He doesn’t know his teacher. There are new classmates for him to figure out. He has RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). He tries to fool everyone when he first meets them. He wants them to like him but… He doesn’t want them to as well.
Jason will be good in school right now. He will do his best to contain himself. He doesn’t want to let others see him for who he is.
This weekend was Jason’s time to be himself. Off the charts screaming tantrums occurred. I finally figured it out… my head phones are a Godsend. I can put his screaming out of my head by listening to something else. Yes, it means that I tune out a lot of things but I can’t handle his screaming anymore.
He was upstairs screaming “I hate myself.” “I hate what I do.”
I talked to him about the statements a few times but that doesn’t stop him when he’s in full mode. I ask him what that means. He can’t explain. It’s just how he feels.
God, I so wish that I could take his pain away. Jason is a high performing autistic child. I’ve had people tell me they were always wondering if being high performing was better than low performing. What I’ve realized is that being high performing means that you are aware that you are different. You want to fit in but you can’t. At least in Jason’s case, that’s it.
He doesn’t get seem to get upset about having no friends until he sees Faith with hers. Then he realizes that something is different about him.
He’s intelligent enough to know that he’s different. But he can’t do anything about it since he does have autism. It’s not going to go away. Sometimes I wish it would for his sake.
I’ve gotten a lot calmer lately. I’m learning Jason’s reactions to things. I knew that I would have these screaming tantrums because of what we call his “honeymoon” stage at school. He has to release his frustration somewhere. It will definitely be where he feels safe. His safety net is here…me.
My son sees things with such a different perspective than you and me. It’s amazing and yet the challenges that he faces are extreme as well.
He is my Godsend. He is my blessing just as much as Faith is.
Tommy The Cat
When I think about Tommy, Coal, and Jasmine, I realize that they are my pets, my children and my children’s playmates. They are part of this family just as much as any one of us.
Tommy is an indoor outdoor cat. He loves to play outside. He follows us around like a dog would. The neighbors all know him. But at the same time, Tommy is very cautious and will run from anyone if need be including me. He knows if he is out late at night to wait until my husband opens the door for that last smoke about 11 pm. The door opens, he comes in. I can holler his name and he will come even when he is up in the tree area in the backyard.
Coal, the puppy
Coal is a young lab mix. We haven’t had him to long. He is Jasmine’s playmate. He is my son’s confidant. He is the sweet dog that my daughter loves to show off. He loves to put his nose in your hand. He loves to play catch until a butterfly distracts him. When he first came to the house, he barked like a seal. Arf! Arf! My husband and I used to laugh at it.
Jasmine – The Newfy
Jasmine is a Newfoundland. She is a huge dog. She is very lovable. She is almost ninety pounds and still thinks she should be able to jump into my husband’s lap. (His fault… I told him in the beginning when she was small that was a bad thing to start.) She is the one that I know won’t lay in the doggy bed because the kids did or Coal sat on it. She is the one that will lick your face if you are upset until you are laughing. She always wants her butt scratched. She didn’t play catch until Coal came. She looked like a little monkey the first time we saw her at the pound.
You see, each one of our pets now come with memories of great times in the past. They come with our hearts. We would be lost without them. This thought is why I microchipped our pets.
The chip is really small and is implanted in your pet’s neck. It was just like giving them their rabies shot. They didn’t even react to the shot. In our case, we got them chipped when we bought our licenses. We have to have licenses in our county for any pets. It only cost us $15 with the chip. I think they cost between $25-$50 normally.
I’ve had other dogs that chewed off their collar which of course had their tags on it. With the microchip, they always have a form of identification which leads directly back to us. You have a way to prove that it is your pet if you have too.
For your own peace of mind, please have your pet microchipped. There is no reason to regret doing it but there is if you don’t… if your pet gets lost.
Jason has a doctor that I can not stand. He has made so many bad comments to me or my kids. It drives me nuts. Here is a list of why:
- There was one day that he told me that if I kept ignoring him he would stop seeing my son. All I did was check on Jason.
- Jason was playing rough with the toys in the office. He told Jason if he didn’t stop that we could leave. Boys play rough.
- There was another day that Jason had an accident in his pants. Very mild. I couldn’t even tell but he did. He told us that someone should be wearing a diaper.
- One week he told me that maybe he should stop seeing Jason because we had missed so many appointments. We hadn’t. Yes, we had rescheduled some or canceled but never not shown. I was in tears before we left. Turns out his computer doesn’t show if you reschedule or cancel… just that we didn’t come in.
- One day he was running behind. He came in and I left with no prescriptions at all. The whole reason we see him.
Yesterday, doctor nightmare strikes again. Faith had on a skort. She was sitting in a way that you wouldn’t if you had on a skirt. He looks at me and tells me.
“You know you need to tell your doctor that boys can only think beaver when she’s like that.”
Are you kidding me? He had no right to say that. To make it worse, he later asked her if she understood the beaver remark. She just looked at me. When we got in the car, I explained what he was talking about. She said, “Mom, he’s gross. I have shorts on under this.”
You ask why I keep going to him…. Because the therapist that has figured out how to help my son is there. Otherwise we’d be going somewhere else. I won’t give up this therapist.
Sigh… what we have to do to keep our kids well.
This song my very first boyfriend told me fit me. I think its fit every relationship I’ve ever had. I always find the diamond in the rough.
Gary Morris..Singing “The Love She Found In Me”
The crazy blonde woman has resurfaced on Sundays. I figure a recap of the week is in order.
The first day of school went awesome. Both kids had a blast which I’m thankful for.
Faith has made friends with the little girl up the street. She’s lived here forever but until recently she didn’t realize that Faith was the same age. Faith’s birthday is in October while Betsy’s is in July. Since they were in a different grade, school cut off date is October 1st. The girl never wanted to talk to Faith. Silly, huh? I think so. The mean girl who used to live across from Betsy is gone. So now Betsy is friends with Faith. I don’t really care how it came about. I’m just glad that Faith finally has a friend in the neighborhood. I wish Jason did.
Jason has therapy twice a week with an outpatient therapist (I’ll call him Michael) and once a week with in office therapist. It’s a lot to do but it has been helping him to understand himself. Michael has come up with the idea that he will bring another patient to a session. By doing this, he will be able to teach both autistic boys how to develop a friendship from the beginning and then how to maintain it. Social issues are large in Jason’s world. I think this is an amazing thing. That is happening.
Right now in school, Jason’s teacher is very lucky. Jason has RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) which means that he is on his best behavior until he trusts you enough to be himself. It’s hard to explain. Even after four years I still don’t totally get it. He is able to hide his autistic issues as well during this honeymoon stage. Friday spoke volumes to me. Jason had a melt down in the morning. He ended up going to school with out his medicine. In most cases, this would have driven him to instigate or get in trouble. At noon, I got a call from my husband that the nurse had called asking if Jason had his medicine today. My husband tells me that Jason is already in trouble. I run to the school with the medicine. I find out that Jason has just been jumpy. He’s bouncing in his seat. He wasn’t doing anything wrong just fidgeting. The fact that was all it was means HONEYMOON. Last year, he was in that stage for six months. It’s the last part of the year that is the hardest. The flip side to this is… Jason has major meltdowns at home because he can’t at school. Somehow knowing that its coming is easier on me.
I got to meet my mom for lunch this week. I try to once a week. We meet halfway. That’s thirty minutes drive for me and fifteen for her. It’s fair. After all, my mom is ancient. I am thankful for her more than I could ever say. I have to say that she has been the best help with Jason. When I really can’t take it and I need a break, she will take him for the night. She’s the only one I trust with him. Jason is special. He doesn’t see the world the way that we do. But sometimes I think he sees it a whole lot clearer than me.
As always, my kids are my life. They hold my heart in the palm of their hand. I thank God every day for them. I know that without his guidance, I would never have had children. Some day I’ll write about that.
After a night of drinking, Steve crept into bed beside his wife who was already asleep. He gave her a peck on the cheek and fell asleep.
When he awoke he found a strange man standing at the end of his bed wearing a long flowing white robe.
“Who are you?” demanded Steve, “and what are you doing in my bedroom?”
The mysterious man answered, “This isn’t your bedroom and I’m St.Peter”.
Steve was stunned, “You mean I’m dead!!! That can’t be, I have so much too live for, I haven’t said goodbye to my family…. you’ve got to send me back right away”.
St Peter replied, “Yes, you can be reincarnated but there is a catch. We can only send you back as a dog or a hen.”
Steve was devastated, but knowing there was a farm not far from his house, he asked to be sent back as a hen. A flash of light later, he was covered in feathers and clucking around pecking the ground. “This ain’t so bad” he thought until he felt this strange feeling welling up inside him.
The farmyard rooster strolled over and said, “So you’re the new hen, how are you enjoying your first day here?”
“It’s not so bad,” replies Steve, “but I have this strange feeling inside like I’m about to explode”.
“You’re ovulating,” explained the rooster, “don’t tell me you’ve never laid an egg before.”
“Never,” replies Steve. “Well just relax and let it happen.” And so he did and after a few uncomfortable seconds later, an egg pops out from under his tail. An immense feeling of relief swept over him and his emotions got the better of him as he experienced motherhood for the first time. When he laid his second egg, the feeling of happiness was overwhelming and he knew that being reincarnated as a hen was the best thing that had happened to him ever!!!
The joy kept coming and as he was just about to lay his third egg he felt an enormous smack on the back of his head and heard his wife shouting,
“Steve, wake up you drunk, you’re poppin’ in the bed!
Note: On Saturday, I will be posting a clean joke. Well as much as possible since I am PG rated.
Jason has been diagnosed autistic. The other day his therapist was doing Jason’s circles of trust.
In the first circle (core one), Jason listed me, my husband, Faith, Nana and our dogs. I thought it was interesting that if he included the dogs why not the cat. He told me that the cat was known for scratching him if he was being mean to it. He doesn’t trust the cat all the time. As a parent that makes sense to me.
The next circle surprised me a bit.. he listed cousins and 7 individual friends at school. He doesn’t know how to connect to people so that surprised me. I asked why he didn’t list his aunts and uncles. He said he didn’t know that well. He is closer to his cousins. Then we asked about his individual friends. He said they were classmates that he plays with at school. He doesn’t have to call or speak to them during the summer. I delved into his friendships. Did you always play with them? Only when we weren’t fighting. Did you want to call them during the summer? No. We have friends that we meet all the time. I asked why they weren’t included. He said that they were cousins. To him a cousin is someone who the family spends time with. I like his description of that. So our best friends are his family.
The next circle is his therapist, doctors, teachers, librarian and so on. His community people.
I’m glad that I am in Jason’s inner core because he’s an amazing little kid.
I have found as an adoptive parent of a foster child that one of the hardest things for my son to accept was that he was my daughter’s half-brother. He didn’t believe us. In the beginning, I thought that they instantly connected but I was wrong. They heard the words come out of my mouth that they were half siblings. They heard the state tell them. What they didn’t feel was the connection as siblings. They didn’t feel it in their hearts. I wouldn’t know that for years.
Jason was looking for details about Faith. He didn’t understand how they fit together. Truthfully, it came down to how many siblings he had in foster care. The first home he had ten siblings which in fact were his cousins. The second foster home he had one sibling who wasn’t related to him by blood. Then he comes to my house where he has a blood sibling and he doesn’t believe it. Faith is older and understands that she has three siblings. But for Jason, why should he believe it? Others had said they were his siblings and they weren’t.
Faith, on the other hand, had grown up as a single child in our home. She had no protective instincts for her little brother. She didn’t know what it meant to have another child in our house. All it meant to her was that she suddenly had a grown three-year old child in the house that was her brother by blood. She didn’t see him as a baby. She didn’t get to learn to tell him to watch out.
As an older sibling, our parents coach us to protect. You hear those comments like: “Catch your sister before she falls”, “Watch the baby for a minute”, etc.
I believe that foster care made it harder for Jason to get his barrings because he couldn’t believe that they were siblings. He had been told differently in the past. Why should he believe now?
When Jason began to show signs of his mental disorders, Faith got to see him in full-blown rage. His anger was pointed in her direction. I couldn’t quite understand it. I think I do now. He was jealous of the attention that she got. He was jealous about the fact that she was here before him. He couldn’t connect with her emotionally.
In March, we started sibling therapy with a therapist with Impact Plus. He worked once a week for two hours with them. They would go to the park and he would help them to learn to play together as a set. They did a lot of play therapy. Just last week, we have decided that they don’t need sibling therapy anymore. They have connected finally. They are very protective of each other. Now for my part, I can’t help but not like it when they act like TRUE brother and sister. Fighting all the time.