MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘MOM’

Last Night

Posted by mbamommy on March 7, 2012

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Last night, my evening consisted of:

  • Great kids eating all their dinner and happily splitting the last cookie for dessert
  • Both kids in time out (z with his pants around his ankles) because i couldn’t get them to stop playing long enough to wipe them down (no bath tonight, my call)
  • Every single fire alarm in the house going off at the exact same time (or triggered by each other? dunno)
  • Me running around frantically trying to turn off said alarm because everyone was completely freaked out
  • A dog who hasn’t left my side since said alarm (well, once she agreed with me that it was ok to come out of the closet)
  • A failed attempt at reading books because kiddos couldn’t stop fighting over toys so i sent them to bed without books
  • A failed attempt at discussing said punishment with sarah and telling her i wasn’t going to listen to her screaming and when she was ready to talk, i’d come back in
  • A rushed shower listening to sarah scream at the top of her lungs “i’m ready to talk!”, not to be outdone by zach yelling “mommy, sarah says she’s ready to talk!”
  • A rocking/calming down session with sarah while still in my towel
  • An agreed upon second attempt at books, this time only one and mommy’s choice
  • Two kids pulling out all the tricks to get me to stay in their rooms longer
Stick a fork in me. I’m done.
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Posted in MOM | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Posted by mbamommy on March 4, 2012

I somehow have never mentioned this book on this blog. And, I’m a little baffled as to how that happened. Because I really should have. I mean, really really really should have.

My sis-in-law sent me this book about a year ago. It’s written by two (VERY funny) sisters who are raising special needs daughters. One daughter has asperger’s syndrome and one has bipolar disorder. Neither of which one would expect to be very funny topics. And, frankly, if I had read this book when Z was first diagnosed, I may not have found as much humor in it. I think you need to be at a certain comfort level with the diagnosis and your ‘new’ life to truly appreciate it.

But I read it at the perfect time. And, it made me cry from laughing so much. From their description of an IEP meeting to chatting with mom’s of “perfect” kids, it was perfect. Light hearted, informational and real. I totally wanted to meet these women and have SEVERAL glasses of wine with them. 🙂

And then I found out that it’s not just a book. That there’s a whole Imperfect Movement out there. There’s a Facebook page. There’s tweets (@shutupabout). And there are lots and lots of parents of special kiddos joining together in support of one another, embracing their (our) own imperfect-ness and our children’s.

And then….in all their glorious imperfect-ness, these “Shut Up Sisters”, Patty & Gina, didn’t update their blog enough. And they decided they needed to let their imperfect readers/followers have a voice. And they asked if anyone wanted to be a guest blogger.

Both of my hands shot up immediately. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me be a guest blogger!

And, guess what? They did.

My readership has skyrocketed. My ego has been inflated. My soul has been humbled. And, my writer’s block has been lifted.

So, thank you, Patty & Gina, for everything you do.

And, for those of you interested, BUY THEIR BOOK! (or borrow it from me!) It’s awesome!!!

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

An Ode To Shel

Posted by mbamommy on January 24, 2012

Listen to the Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me–
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Listen to the Should’s

Listen to the SHOULD’S, mama,
Listen to the MUST’S
Listen to the OUGHT TO’S
The HAD BETTER’S, the WOULD’S
Listen to the HAVE TO’S
Then listen to your SELF–
She knows what can happen, mama,
EVERYTHING can be.

-MBAMommy

Posted in MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Labels

Posted by mbamommy on December 15, 2011

I am….

a mother

a wife

a sister

a daughter

an advocate

a friend

an ear

a shoulder

a heart

a brain

a body

a life

a tear

a smile

a giggle

a tickle finger

a Mommy monster

a squeeze

a hug

a kiss

a hand

a sigh

beautiful

strong

willful

independent

curious

scared

unsure

confident

loving

angry

sad

joyous

…me.

I do…

autism

a job

an exercise

a meal

some housework

a lot of talking

a lot of reading

a lot of writing

some yoga

some meditating

errands

pick up/drop off

child care

driving

discipline

…things.

There’s a difference.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Welcome to the Club

Posted by mbamommy on December 1, 2011

Next up: Welcome to the Club.  Jess, over at A Diary of a Mom, is hands down my favorite blogger.  She makes me laugh and cry on a daily basis with her stories of her two beautiful girls, one an NT and one with PDD-NOS and pervasive anxiety.  Honestly?  I just want to hug her and grab a cup of coffee with her and chat for a day or two.  She’s THAT amazing. Please, click on the link and go over there and read her post. It’s well worth it.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You Might Be

Posted by mbamommy on November 29, 2011

So, along with this blog and Facebook, I dabble in Twitter. I can’t say that I’m a big user of Twitter. I tend to go in spurts, tweeting a lot for a week or so and then falling back on it. Honestly, with everything else I try to keep up with I just don’t have the time or inclination.

But there’s been a shift recently. A few weeks ago someone started the hashtag #youmightbeanautismparentif and I somehow got wind of it. And then, all of a sudden, my Facebook updates dropped off, checking my email dropped off and I found myself reading other parent’s tweets throughout the day. And tweeting like crazy myself.

Some of my favorites are:

@red_ambert #youmightbeanautismparentif helping another autism parent means just listening because you understand what they are going through.

@Jasonoldfield #youmightbeanautismparentif you have a therapy room as a living room

@diaryofamom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle might want to duck.

@trydefyinggrav #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you ignore the judging eyes of others and instead seek out the knowing nods of “us too”.

@helenhamill #youmightbeanautismparentif you wouldn’t change your child for the world- but want often to change the World for your child!

@KristinMacchi #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve thought about including your ABA therapist in your family holiday photo.

@trydefyinggrav #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you are a first responder, teacher, therapist, event planner & financial planner rolled into one.

@DrKyle #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf your child tells a lie and instead of getting mad you think, “Great! We’ve finally hit that dev. milestone!”

@ghkcole #youmightbeanautismparentif you prep to watch parenthood by getting a box of tissues

@robsavva#youmightbeanautismparentif you have to work out if they are being naughty or autie.

@hollyrpeete #youmightbeanautismparentif you are amazed at how much more compassionate kids can be than their parents #autism@HollyRod4kids

And a few I’ve posted myself:

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you love that there’s more awareness for #autism #aspergers but hate that it’s because of more diagnoses.

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf scenes from next week’s #parenthood where Max goes missing terrifies you.

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf ur friend’s offhand comments abt their kid lining up their toys and not looking ppl in the eye makes you pause.

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf Dr. Temple Grandin is your hero

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you know what a puzzle piece really means

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you know what Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates all have in common

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf a staycation is more relaxing than a vacation

@mbamrsmom #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf weighted vests are a piece of everyday clothing not just for a workout

I’ve thought a lot about this list since I discovered it. I’ve read things that have made me laugh, made me cry and made me cringe. Some have made me think “Wow, them too!” and others have reminded me that it could be much much worse. I’m surprised by how many people are out there raising their voices and how much understanding and acceptance they have. I can imagine these other parents reading along with my same half smile on their faces and tears in their eyes.

What I find most striking is the sense that everyone has a love/hate relationship with this Twitter feed. We all seem to be saddened by the fact that it’s been created. No one chose to be in this club. No one truly wants to be involved. But, there is a need. And we’re all thankful as hell it’s been created. It feels like a collective sigh of relief to be able to take a step back from our day to day lives and find the humor in it. To laugh at the bittersweet-ness of it all.

So, go onto Twitter and do a search for #youmightbeanautismparentif.  You may be surprised at what you find.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dilemma

Posted by mbamommy on November 18, 2011

I have a problem.  Well, I think it’s a problem.  Maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s a dilemma (are those even different?).  See, on one hand, I can’t figure anything out that’s actually wrong with my situation.  But, on the other hand I can’t figure anything out that’s right.  Something’s not quite fitting in my round hole/square peg life.

Wanna hear about it?  Great, I’m glad you asked.

I work part time right now. I work for this amazing company who’s agreed to let me do my job when and where I want to do it.  This is a company that is considered THE thought leader in my industry; one that I’ve admired since I began my career 10 (15!) years ago.  They pretty much have said, “So, what do you want to do?  OK, how about a mix of that and a little of some stuff that isn’t super interesting but needs a capable mind to manage it?  Yes?  OK great!  Now, how much do you charge?  OK, that’ll work.  Here’s your deadline.  Send the work in by then.  Thanks so much for the help and let me know if you have any questions.”

I am still able to do kidlet drop off and pick up.  I can still take Z to his therapy appointments.  I can still run errands and go grocery shopping.  I can still (in theory if not in actual practice) go to the gym.  And I am contributing to the family checking account.  I have one foot in the business world and one foot in MBAMommy-land.

Perfect, right?

And then this amazing company invites me to attend and work at their conference.  Again, this is THE conference for my industry.  One that I’ve wanted to attend since I began my career 10 (15!) years ago.  So, they fly me to a warm place, put me up in a gorgeous hotel and give me a job that’s fairly mindless but allows me to watch all the presentations for 3 days.  I don’t really have a whole lot of responsibility, especially compared to my counterparts working the registration booth and speaking with clients and being the collective face of the company.  I can just sit back, relax, and watch things unfold.  Hell, I even have time to go to the gym almost everyday.  No kids, little responsibility and warm weather for an entire week.

Perfect, right?

Seriously, how could I ask for more?

And therein lies my dilemma.  I don’t have a lot of responsibility.  I don’t have to be in front of the client.  I have one foot in the business world and one foot in MBAMommy-land.  And I sit back and I watch major events unfolding on both sides.  While sitting on the sidelines.

Back at home, poor J is dealing with one illness after another.  Before I left, Z had strep and croup and I was sick as a dog, staying in bed trying to get better so I could come to this conference.  So, J comes back from his own business trip and jumps in with 2 feet to take care of all of us.  2 nights before I leave, Z runs downstairs at 9pm to inform us that he’s just swallowed a nail.  And, off to the ER J & Z go.

See the watch pin?  Turns out we didn’t have much to worry about.  But that damn pin didn’t see the light of day until AFTER I’d already left for the conference.  Since I’ve been gone, J’s had to deal with gross kidlet issues from both kids and both ends (‘nuf said).  And, here I am, at this amazing conference, soaking it all in very intellectually.  Sleeping well, working out, eating like a queen and getting to know my co-workers.

Can you say Mama guilt?

But, the issue is more than just Mama guilt.  I’ve found myself in an awkward position here too because of the one foot in, one foot out situation.  The MBA in me is frustrated that I’m not busier, that I don’t have more responsibility, that I’m merely benched and watching everyone else work their magic.  And, when I am confronted with doing the polite chit-chat of getting to know someone professionally, I struggle because I’m most comfortable talking about kids and Asperger’s…..not exactly a hot topic at a business convention.  And, I’ve found it hard to explain my role and my background.  Below is an example of a recent conversation:

Co-Worker: “So, I’ve heard your name before….what is it that you do?”

Me: “Well, I work part time as a project manager, but I also dabble in sales stuff and research stuff and I’ve worked on X and Y and Z.  But, really I’m also a stay at home Mom to 2 kids that are in school full time.  My older one has Asperger’s so I can’t really go back to work full time because he still needs someone to drive him to his therapies and neither kid handles a full day with after school care very well.  But, I can work part time while they’re at school and still pick them up when school is over.  Hopefully someday I’ll be able to go back to work full time….”

Versus a similar exchange 5 years ago:

Client: “So, what’s your role at your company?”

Me: “Well, I’m the Director of Client Strategy.  I oversee the account teams and help with strategic direction and business development.”

See the difference?  One is a great elevator pitch.  The other? Ramblings of someone who’s not quite sure of where she stands because she’s got one foot in two distinctly different worlds.

So, I guess my dilemma is this.  In MBAMommy-land, things are perfect.  I’ve found an amazing balance between work and life that I’ve wanted since I had kids.  I’m in a perfect situation with a great company.  I get to experience things I’ve wanted to experience my entire career but don’t necessarily have a lot of skin in the game.  But out in the real world, when i’m confronted face to face with those that have skin in the game, it’s not easily packaged and delivered.  At least not yet.  I’ve got my work cut out for me figuring out this new spot I’m in.

What about you?  Does anyone else out there have this same challenge of explaining the round hole/square peg you live in?

Posted in MBA, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Be Real Not Perfect

Posted by mbamommy on September 30, 2011

I’ve been ignoring my blog for a few days now because I’m trying to get this post straight in my head.  But, I also can’t get it out of my head so I might as well dump it here, right?

The other day I read this amazing post from Single Dad Laughing called “The Disease Called Perfection“.  I found him because a friend posted a link on Facebook, I in turn re-posted it and several friends of mine re-posted again.  Viral, anyone?  And, here’s the thing.  The post is SO FLIPPIN WORTH READING.   It shocked me, made me cry, made me re-evaluate everything I’ve ever thought.  Literally.  I was already a fan of the Imperfect Movement.  And, now I am a HUGE fan of SDL.  I guess the perfect/imperfect issue isn’t limited to just  special needs kids.

So, here it is.  Me Being Real.  Wait….please, read SDL‘s post first, otherwise this list won’t make a lot of sense to you.

There are days when getting out of bed is a chore.  Well, not really getting out of bed.  It’s the getting through the day that’s a chore. When I’d rather just sit and stare into space than work, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, pick up and drop off the kids, cook the meals, playwith the kids.  These are the days that I daydream of escaping.

I hate the way I look.  I’m embarrassed about my weight (and, sadly, if you looked at me, you’d probably think I was nuts).  And I tend to not have the follow through to really do anything about it.  As soon as I start to see a difference in how I look, I sabotage myself.  And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

I’m extremely critical of others.  And I think it’s to make myself feel better.

I scream at my kids too much.

I don’t have enough patience with my kids too much.

I’m short with my husband too much.

I’ve spanked my kids before.  Out of sheer anger and frustration.

I pick my nose.  And then I get mad at Z when he does it.

I’m extremely hard on myself, beating myself up for ever error and mistake I make.  Whether it’s large or small, it’s completely all-encompassing in my own mind.

There are more Real things about me…waaaayyyyy more imperfections…I could go on and on about those imperfections.  But, I’m not going to because that would be a downward spiral that I don’t want to get myself into right now.  Instead, I’d like to point out where I think SDL comes up short.  He challenges all of us to Be Real.  To show our Imperfections.  OK, I did that.  But, what about the things that are good?  That I should be proud of?  That I NEED to shout out about as much as I NEED to shout out the imperfections.  Isn’t that a part of being real?  Not just being honest about the tough stuff but also being honest about the good stuff.  All too often we focus on the negative, shameful things in our lives…even if it’s in our own head.  We don’t give the good stuff enough light.

So, here it is again.  Me Being Real.

I’m a good friend.  I may not have a ton of time to see them, but at the end of the day, I’m someone my friends know they can call.

I’m a good advocate for my son. I’ve changed my entire life plans and aspirations in order to give him the tools he needs to be happy and successful.  No, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  But, it’s what I needed to do.

I’m a good role model for S.  And, it’s because of her that I continually try harder.  Because I want her to grow up to be like the best me.

I’m a good wife.  I support J in any new initiative he wants to do.  I rarely say no to his plans.

I’ve got some good ‘guns’.

I have a pretty face.

I’m smarter than the average bear.

I’m a good writer.

What about you?  Be Real.  Here.  Now.  Tell me everything.  Especially the good stuff.

Posted in ME | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

You Want The Truth?

Posted by mbamommy on September 21, 2011

When you think of autism (and when I say you I literally mean you, not the collective you) what comes to mind?  Rainman?  Jenny McCarthy? Vaccines? Epidemic?

Those are the things that came to my mind before we started on this roller coaster journey with our Z.  We were sorely uninformed.  And why would we be anything else?  Autism….the big A….makes headlines only when it’s discussed in the most fantastic, terrifying, horrifying light.  Because….well….unfortunately, that’s what makes headlines.  The media throws it out there and we as consumers gobble it up.

And, once you’re required to become educated, you still wonder.  Even if you read all the scientific articles and listen to all the experts, you still wonder if all the hype is right and all the data is wrong.

But, here’s the truth…from me to you.  The hype?  The media?  It’s a load of crap.  Autism does not equate Rainman.  Jenny McCarthy is not a medical expert and she did not cure her son.  Vaccines do not cause autism.  Autism is not an epidemic.

Lemme break it down for you….piece by piece.

Rainman.  Autism is a catch all phrase for the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-IV.  The technical name is actually Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  ASD encompasses a HUGE range of disorders.  Underneath the umbrella of ASD, you find Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, “classic” Autism Disorder, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Syndrome.  On one side of the spectrum, there are the non-verbal, non-communicative individuals who truly live inside their own world.  They are what you think of when you think of autism.  On the other side of the spectrum, there are individuals like Dr. Temple Grandin, John Elder Robison, Einstein, Bill Gates (both of these are unofficial but lots of folks believe they’re on the spectrum)….and, my man Z.  ASD comes in all shapes and sizes.  No two individuals present with the same symptoms.  Some of the comments I’ve heard within the autism community that ring true to me are: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”, “A Star Trek convention is code word for Aspie reunion.”,  and “Engineering?  Oh, you mean Asperger’s.”

Jenny McCarthy.  I have mixed feelings about our little Playboy Bunny.  On the one hand she’s done enormous good for folks and families living with autism.  She made it a household word and brought more attention to the issues than any every day type Mom could.  She’s famous and loud and outspoken.  So, thanks, Jenny.  I appreciate what you’ve done to raise awareness and I respect what you believe you’ve been able to achieve with your son.  I also respect your right to believe what you believe.

But, that’s where I stop.  I do not believe you can “cure” autism.  There is no cure for autism because it’s not a disease.  ASD are neurological disorders.  It’s the way an individual’s brain is constructed.  People on the spectrum experiences and understand our world in a much different way than we do.  Their brains are wired differently than us “NT’s” (neuro-typicals).  It’s not something to be cured.  And, anyone that’s on the spectrum and has a voice will tell you the same.  They don’t NEED to be cured.  They don’t WANT to be cured.  They want to be understood and accepted.  And, I’d argue that not only do we need to understand and accept them, we actually need THEM more than they need US.  These are folks who, because they view the world in a different way, can come up with different, better, newer solutions to the myriad of problems we have.  I’ve heard it argued that Aspies are actually the next step in human evolution.  There’s no denying that most are extremely intelligent.  And there’s no denying that if given the right tools, they can make extraordinary changes in our world.

OK.  So, no, I don’t think you can “cure” autism.  I do, however, think you can help.  These folks need to be taught basic social and behavioral skills that come naturally to us NT’s and are absolutely required in order to function in our society.  Take Z for example.  When he was younger he had no capacity for imaginary play.  That’s why his first instinct when he came across a new toy was to flip it upside down and spin its wheels…he was trying to figure out how it worked.  We literally had to teach him how to play.  We had to teach him to use his imagination.  It was a fascinating time.  At first, he would just hold his airplanes or spin the propellers or wheels.  We’d intervene and start flying them around the room, making airplane noises…..and he’d follow.  Then we’d start playing take off and landing.  And people getting on or off the plane.  And planes going to different places.  He progressed from copying us exactly to choosing destinations he knew about to making up names of places, things people saw there and things people did there.

We have to teach him basic social skills.  A good example of this was a few weeks ago at a playground.  Z was playing by himself with his airplane and S had made a friend and was running around with her.  As an NT, she took to the give and take and loosey-goosey structure of playing with another child naturally.  On the other hand, Z wanted them to do what he wanted to do….bury his plane in the sand.  And he couldn’t understand why they weren’t doing it.  So, he came up and asked me,

“Mommy, how come no one wants to be my friend?”.

After I picked my broken heart up off the floor, dusted it off and duct taped it back together, I said, “Well, Z, sometimes other kids don’t want to do what you want them to do.  They want to do what they want to do.  Did you ask the girls if they wanted to bury your plane in the sand?”

“No.”

“Well, why don’t you invite them over?”

…..”Girls, you can come bury my plane in the sand now.”

OK….not a perfect invite, but it worked.  Mostly because S adores her brother and is always looking to play with him.  The girls came over and buried the plane in the sand with him.  That is, until he got upset because they were doing it differently than he was and he tried to force them to do it his way.  At which point they got up and went off on their merry way…playing something totally different.  Again, it wasn’t a perfect attempt but it was a successful at bat and it gave me yet another teachable moment with him.

“Hey, buddy.  Why do you think the girls stopped playing with you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I think it’s because you wanted them to bury the plane your way and you got upset when they were doing it their way.  Sometimes it’s ok for people to do things differently than you.  It’s not wrong.  It’s just different.  I bet if you tried it again sometime you could get them to play your way for a little while if you played their way for a little while.”

He thought about it for a moment (it takes him longer than a typical kid to process things sometimes) and then jumped up and ran off to play on the jungle gym with the girls. “Girls…..I’m going to play with you now.”

Mommy 1.  Asperger’s 0.

Vaccines.  Vaccines do not cause autism.  Let me repeat that.  Vaccines do not cause autism.  The study that showed a link between vaccines and autism has been debunked multiple times and Dr. Wakefield, who did the study, has lost his license.  Here’s the truth.  Autistic traits don’t generally become apparent until around 18 months at the earliest….which is right around the time that kids get their MMR shots.  Autism is a neurological disorder.  Or, to put it in a more positive light, Autistic brains are wired differently than NT brains.  And, it has a genetic factor.  When you start learning about ASD, you start to realize that the traits associated with ASDs run in your family.  Or, at least, that was the case in my family.  But, and I repeat, Vaccines do not cause autism.

Here’s the other thing about vaccines.  All those sensationalized stories about kids developing properly until they got their vaccinations and then started losing skills?  Well….that’s a small subset of people diagnosed with ASD.  And it’s not entirely accurate.  There are kids who develop properly until they get to a certain age and then start losing skills.  It’s called Childhood Disintegrative Syndrome.  And, probably more than any other diagnosis on the spectrum, it breaks my heart the most.  I cannot imagine what the parents go through.  Here they have this perfect, beautiful, developing child and then for some unknown reason, their child stops talking.  Stops making eye contact.  Stops responding to their name.  Stops giving hugs.  It’s heart-wrenching.  And I understand why these parents search for answers and point fingers…they just want to know why.  And why them.  I would do the same thing.  But, I do stand by my belief that vaccines do not cause autism.

Epidemic.  Everyone’s seen the headlines: 1 in 110 children diagnosed with autism.  1 in 80 boys.  That’s up from 1 in 1000 a few years ago.  That’s scary as hell.  And, it’s true.  More kids are being diagnosed with ASD these days than ever before.  But, it’s not because it’s an epidemic (although I do believe that the crap we’ve been feeding our kids: GMO, chemicals, etc is certainly not doing anyone any good.).  It’s because more kids are being diagnosed with ASD.  Because the diagnostic criteria for ASD has been relaxed since years past.  Historically, the DSM required a ASD diagnosis to have something like 12 of the 15 criteria confirmed.  Now, it’s something like 6 or 9.  Asperger’s Syndrome as a diagnosis didn’t even exist until 20-30 years ago.  And it wasn’t until even more recently that it was lumped under the ASD umbrella (side note; they’re considering separating the two in the DSM-V because…wow…that spectrum is HUGE right now).

So, those little engi-nerds you grew up with?  The super smart but socially inept boys in your high school that you teased but still wanted them to help you with your homework that grew up to be multi-millionaires and hugely successful business men?  If they were children today, they’d probably be slapped with an Asperger’s Syndrome label.

So, is that uptick in diagnoses good?  Or are we labeling every childhood challenge unnecessarily?  I don’t know.  J and I struggled with getting Z evaluated and labeled but eventually decided to because we recognized he needed interventions.  Regardless of the label, we know he needs some additional understanding and some additional support.  And we needed to be educated in order to help him be successful and happy in his life.  We also struggle daily with how much to tell people.  We want to educate people and make things easier for him as much as we want to help him be able to function properly in society.  We want the interventions but we don’t want the fear  and mis-understanding that immediately comes when you say the word Autism.  Which, honestly, is why we go with the label of Asperger’s more often than not.

So, there’s the truth.  At least it’s the truth in my book. Think you can handle it?  I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

“It is not enough to prepare our children for the world; we also must prepare the world for our children.”

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , | 19 Comments »

A Rose By Any Other Name

Posted by mbamommy on September 19, 2011

When I was pregnant with Z, he wasn’t called Z. Granted, we didn’t know he was a he until he pee’d all over J at birth, but his name wasn’t Z.  It was Matthew.  We loved it.  See, J and I were very scientific with our choices in names.  It had to pass 4 criteria.

  1. It had to sound good for a little kid. (“Matty, I just want to nibble your cute little cheeks!” Check.)
  2. It had to sound cool for a high school kid. (“Matt?  Yeah, he’s class president.” Check.)
  3. It had to sound good as an adult. (“Matthew, CEO”. Check)
  4. We had to love the way it sounded because we would be saying it 1,986,234,754,864,356,843,543,343 times.

So, obviously, Matthew cleared all hurdles.  We were all set.  And, we were almost 100% with the girl names too.  It was down to either Elizabeth or S.  Both of which had enormous merits.  They cleared all above mentioned hurdles.  Plus, isn’t Beth your best friend?  Don’t you just want to go play soccer with the team captain…Beth?  And…S…sweet, caring, loving S….honor roll, valedictorian, save the world S.  Totally set.

And then I hit 36 weeks.

And the crazies started.

I realized that I couldn’t name a son Matthew.  Under no uncertain circumstances could I…nice, Jewish girl that I am…name my son after one of the disciples.  Never mind that there’s a gazillion Matthew’s that are also Jewish.  And never mind that we were raising them Catholic, wherein it is perfectly acceptable to name a child after a disciple.  I couldn’t do it.

Nope….the crazies won.

And, instead of fighting his sweet, loving, axe-wielding, get-this-friggin-thing-out-of-me wife, J agreed to discuss.  Now, you must remember, it takes J a looooooonnnnnnnnggggggg time to make up his mind.  But once he does, it’s set.  Unlike me, who more resembles a ricocheting ball (yes.  no.  maybe. sort of.  no, yes.  wait….what were we trying to decide?).  So, for him to even entertain the idea of going back to the drawing board so late in the game (we had been discussing names since before we even got married) was H.U.G.E.

So, we talked, and negotiated, and I may have cried a little bit.  Like I said, the crazies had totally set in.

And then we landed on Z.  And we both kind of loved it.  It definitely met our criteria. And, almost as importantly, it made me put down the axe and stop crying (craaaazzzzzyyyyyy).

So, there you have it.  Z is Z and not Matthew because my husband loves me….and is only a little afraid of axes.

…in case you were wondering.

And, just as an aside….who do you think liked the name S more than Elizabeth?

Oh…and one other thing to noodle over….do you think the kids would be different if we had named them Matthew and Elizabeth?

Posted in MOM | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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