Saturday, Please Repeat

Today was another good day. Which is very fortunate after ASD son was lost at the town fair for fifteen minutes. I have never squinted so hard into a crowd or yelled for him so loud. Thank you, local police and ladies who escorted him to the police! Thank you, ASD son, for memorizing my phone number! I hope he doesn’t sprint off anymore!

So. Middle child has some decent medication. Not as great as the Tenex was for that three months or so, but still decent stuff, this Clonidine. His weekend tantrums, which could last well over an hour, have become five minutes of stamping around with a side of mouthing off. Twenty minutes after the last of it I have been getting apologies. Apologies!

So Saturdays have been relaxing. Not nightmarish. I hardly know what to do, when I can cook and clean and even read a book- and suffer no injuries at all that day. Today no one got hit. Not a single one of us. I hope I can get all my Saturdays like this, forever.

Today I put the baby down for her nap. I laid with her a minute at her request, and when she got sleepy she told me to get to my own bed, as hers was small. So I went to mine. Each son wandered in eventually and fell asleep beside me, I became sandwiched and fell asleep myself. In heaven.

I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if we will be found and if we will have to run again. I am hoarding pay, and I have been looking at houses and talking myself out of it, daily. I don’t want to go. I love my job and I like the area and I love the medical staff.

I just want them to be safe, so they can reach more potential. They are so much better than they used to be, and their treatment team is good enough that I am not looking for any other.

I want the stability to last on all fronts. I want to buy them a house. A fenced yard. Some place to dig and plant and swing and be children.

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Getting Lost At The Fair

Last spring, at eldest son’s IEP, the school district told me they thought I should get a personal aide for him because he is considered to be socially vulnerable. They told me I should have one for when we go out.
I registered him with the county and they told me that I could get respite care for him, meaning he goes to a host family’s house for the evening or something, but that they do not provide any aides or attendants.
Yesterday we spotted a bouncy house at the fair, and he couldn’t wait. After being told to stay with me, after being reminded to stay with me, he left a position immediately behind me while walking to an attraction and took off to the bouncy house. He was behind me, so I didn’t see him go. I called his name, went over to the bouncy house, and could not find him. He had already realized I was not with him and gone walkabout. Some nice ladies brought him to the police, and he called me from their phone.
I think it was less than fifteen minutes. He was sobbing when he got back together with us.
This is a boy who cannot be in a room away from me, who is afraid in the bathroom and in the mornings when he wakes up alone in his bedroom.
This is a small town. During the time he was gone we saw a half dozen people we knew, even at a busy fair, and all of them had an eye out for him.
I couldn’t help it. I just kept telling everyone I was told to get an aide for him.
My neighbor volunteered for the next event. I will pay her. I think I will cave and get those BuddyTags before spring, too.

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Symptoms Fade

Both boys saw the psychologist last week. She took them in for a joint session for a little while, with myself present. She was amazed at the amount of activity in her office. They are busy little kids, who cannot even sit down. Anyway.

She asked Eldest Son about his nightmares, which he said he still has. I told her our last session was the first I had heard about his nightmares. She went back through notes and found one from last year, when he was initially screened for her care and found to be recovered from PTSD. The note was about his nightmares, he used to wake up screaming. I provided her with this information a year ago.

I forgot this. Completely.

So here my kid still has all these fears, and still has nightmares, and because he does not verbalize in the night, I am clueless. Even worse, I cannot remember it from before. Eldest Son has stopped hitting people, stopped throwing major tantrums, stopped repeating phrases three times, and will wear all of his wardrobe instead of two yellow shirts and one pair of soft pants. So many of his autistic symptoms have faded.

He can no longer stand being in a room alone. I tap on the outside of bathroom doors so that he does not freak out and open the door, unclothed, to escape the torment of being left alone in there. He will scream at you if you tell him something untrue, even if in jest, especially if it is about himself. He will call you a liar, if you insist chameleons change color or something fantastic but true like that. What is from ASD, and what is PTSD?

So if his fears are present, even amplified, does that mean he has learned to pass, and is just stuffing his issues down? This is my fear. Are his symptoms just internalized, manifesting in fears and bad dreams? Is he in fact not happier, but less, because he is overwhelmed, because we demand too much from him?

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Middle Son, Behaviour, and Medication

Middle son has been getting sick from the Strattera. I thought it was from the Clonidine, but it was actually the Strattera, so the doctor dismissed it from our medicine cabinet today.

We see the child psychiatrist next Thursday for the first time. I am so glad.

Tomorrow we see his psychologist and his behaviour therapist. These appointments were already scheduled. Today there was an incident at the pool at the daycare, that made made me grateful that the other child was only scratched. Pools are dangerous places to engage in fighting, the child could have drowned.

My son was bumped by another child. He took it as intentional, and turned around, fighting.

Whatever the reason for it, he also was not given his lunch dose of Clonidine. I do not know if that would have helped him to resist impulse, but that is why he is taking it.

My son is in jail. I took everything fun out of my room and put him in it. I tried to do bread and water for his dinner, but I failed. I did dry turkey burger (quantity 2) and water, instead. I told him if he behaves in jail, he can come out for the last half hour before bed and have that time to watch the before bed movie with the rest of us and still get a story.

Taking away his possessions does not work. Depriving him of electronics time does not seem like it fits the crime.

I reminded him of this story:
In the shelter, there was another mother who had an older child (eleven), who was violent with the smaller children. I found some threatening messages from him regarding our family, and I went to his mother and asked her in the nicest way to help me in keeping our children apart. I had made this arrangement with other mothers before, if our kids got into trouble or my kids were a bad influence on hers.

This mother did not like my suggestion that her son should stay away from my kids. The most profound case of denial I have ever seen. Her son had already removed the skin off of my son’s back by dragging him around a playground, and I had watched him throw a bicycle into a six year old who was going full speed on another bike. Those were not the only incidents, only the ones I was involved with.

Here are the parts of the story he did not know, that I explained to him today after reminding him of the above history:
She became very angry. She became aggressive. She backed me up and was attempting to intimidate me and provoke me into taking the first shot. I don’t fight, and I have a decade’s worth of experience with violent men, so I wasn’t about to fall for any traps.
I talked her down. When the staff called us into a meeting the next day, I continued to talk her down. I talked the staff down. She and I remained friends after she had left the shelter, until she got busy with her new life. Friends who had nothing in common but eight weeks of shared space.

I told him, if someone tries to pick a fight with you, you cannot fall for it. It is always a trap. You must walk away. You must never answer a hit with a hit, it creates a cycle that never ends. I told him if I could stand up to a big aggressive woman and insist on the right things, and demonstrate the correct responses, and gain respect for it, that so can he. He is my son.


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Backpacks, Bribes, and The Medical Staff or THEY KNOW WHO I AM

I call the clinic today, which is a multi-clinic, actually, as well as a hospital with over eighty beds and a hundred doctors, give or take a few.

I am leaving a message for my son’s doctor with the nurse who was manning the phones for the day, when she interrupts me and says ¨I remember you! You came in for flu shots last year with your kids, I was the administering nurse.¨ I told her how proud I was that they did not cry. I had the nurse give me the first shot, with a needle in the arm, and then the kids had theirs up their noses. I did that in front of them so that the kids could see that shots might hurt, but are routine and do not always require tears. Whatever the reason, we managed to make it through without crying.

She tells me she remembers me because I had everything all planned out. I had the backpack with the books and little toys, I had the M&M candies to hand out after the flu shot, and I went first. She told me it seemed so under control. I laughed. I needed to hear someone say that. Twice in two weeks, first the psychologist, then a nurse. Maybe I am getting somewhat on top of things. Or maybe I should knock on wood.

I did try to ditch the backpack. I spent some of the summer without it, but it got to be a bother to not have what I needed, when I needed it. I have it again now, it is my daughter’s. She allows me to borrow it, and reminds me of her favor now and then, so I can thank her.

I actually did try to buy a purse. I wanted one that held everything and also had outside accessible pockets. I found the perfect one, a miniature backpack. I keep it inside the bigger backpack and take it out to use when I am on a rare errand sans children.

Flu shots are coming up again, next month. I am so glad she reminded me, I need to throw some Tootsie Rolls into the backpack and schedule an appointment.

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Checkers and the Beach, But Not In That Order

Yesterday at daycare my children were each coloring Mario and Luigi when I arrived to pick them up. They wanted to finish, and I let them, because finishing a task is important, and a good habit. Also because my autistic child NEVER colors. He seems to be unable to handle the drag sensation of a crayon or pencil on paper. But he was doing it, and I want him to, so I waited for them.

Middle child finished first. I secured his paper. He began asking for games. He always wants something, and for that minute it was a new Mario DS game. I told him if he could refrain from throwing a fit on Saturday I would buy it for him. I do not like to use large rewards, they smack of bribes, but I am intensely curious to see if he can manage any self control at all on any Saturday.

We started off the day with breakfast, a little bit of media time while I did some chores and had coffee, and then we went off to the beach.

The tantrum started at the beach. Middle child started bullying his brother and sister, I think due to jealousy over sea gull feathers, and I would not allow it.

So he threw himself down and had a nice fit. He threw sand at me and I explained he was not to do that. He began to throw a rock at me and I told him he may not. He threw it, to the side. He threw the sand at my feet. I ignored him and pretended to eat his sister’s sand ¨cookies¨ that she had prepared for me. He cried and cried about not being able to dig a pit in the sand. I offered to teach him, he refused my help.

I really like tantrums at the beach. The risk is the running off, which he has not tried lately. I weighed the option to take everyone home, but this sort of thing throws a wrench in plans too often. What I like about tantrums there is the space. The crying sounds far away, there are no walls for it to bounce off of. It bothers me much less, I have water to look at while I wait, it’s soothing. I decided to let it pan out.

When he had slowed down a bit I asked him if he wanted to go look for fish. He did. We went. We all had a nice time. The baby let us go out deep without panicking this time. Everyone insisted we do it together. We pretended to be sea creatures.

After two trips to two parks to get his energy out and keep him sane, we played checkers at home. His first time. He grasped the rules more quickly than his brother ever did. He lost. Of course. He cried, a lot, and started kicking. He asked me to let him win. I explained that if I did that, he would never learn to play well, and his friends would beat him, and he would come home and ask me how his friends got to be geniuses at checkers while I was so stupid at it. He laughed(the word stupid is like swearing at our house), and I unwrapped him when he said he was ready.

I don’t know why each game he learns we have to start over with the sensitivity to losing. I would have thought it would be just when he started playing games at all, but it is every time he learns a new game. He is starting to understand it is part of a process. Kindergarten is in two weeks, I hope he is ready.

He also figured out for himself that he would have to try again next Saturday for a Mario game, that this Saturday was lost. He took it well, it helped a great deal that he was the one putting two and two together, and not having it spelled out for him. That is the best way to give him bad news, it keeps the blame off of myself, and normally translates into zero tantrums.

Much better than last weekend.


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Today the Kurdish Yazidis die on the Mountain

These are the cousins of my children, dying on the mountain. ISIS has been culling the Yazdis. They have been killing the men and selling the women and children. This is Sunnah. That means that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, has done this very thing before, and it was immortalized. It was immortalized because Muhammed is believed to be a perfect human, chosen by God to lead people onto the right path and therefore into Heaven. Everything he did has been written down and read over a million times, to be emulated. That right path is called the Sunnah, and ISIS is comprised of Sunni Muslims. The Prophet said Islam was perfected in his lifetime. Nothing new can come after his death. This effectively seals the religion into the dark ages.

What they are doing now is exactly how the Al Saud tribe seized power in the Arabian Peninsula and declared themselves to be royalty, about a century ago. Kill anyone who does not believe as you do, who does not swear loyalty to you and your ideology. And they could, because they had superior arms, as does ISIS.

So. This has been done before. To the Bani Qurayza, a Jewish tribe. That is where this began, in Medina, fourteen hundred years or so ago.

The world has seen this previously elsewhere, and more recently. It happened to the Armenians, the Jews in Europe, the natives of anywhere that were overrun by superior arms. We could go on, and list Rwanda and the Congo, and talk about Pol Pot or the Cultural Revolution in China. But the point is that we are supposed to stop this sort of thing. Not allow for it again. Is that not why we have the UN? Is there any difference between Nazism and Islam?

Did you read what I said at the beginning? Did you read that this is Sunnah? There is no escaping the history that the Prophet left for all of us. This is his legacy, to insist that the ¨traitors¨ and ¨apostates¨ and the unbelievers remove themselves from existence, or pay an exorbitant tax, called Jizya, if they want to live. Oh, and swear obedience to the ruling power.

No money? Your men are slaughtered and your women are sold. Your children are sold. What are they sold for? To live in servant’s quarters and play with children and cook meals? Don’t be naive like that. ISIS is tapping into the oldest profession in the world. This is for sex slavery. They have been selling Christian blood, you know. To wealthy Saudis. Now they can sell women, too. Did you know many Kurds are blonde? A very popular haircolor on women right now, I am sure they realize.

The parents on the mountain are watching their children die. They are deciding, right now, sex slavery for my boys and girls, or death? What would you decide, for your children, for your wife, for your mother?

These are our cousins. The Nazis have come for us, this time in Iraq. No one stopped them.


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