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SAHM of 3 wonderful kids, one brilliant one Asperger Syndrome. This is not a living shrine to his disorder, but rather a place to share & discuss the different challenges that came with it and other things about parenting & life in general.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What a way to spend a day, hike challenge by W

It was a challenge from W. I knew I wasn't ready, much like parenthood. I got a few good pictures, well, more like W got great pictures. I had mine handed to me. :) 

My long hike with W.

W's view from top of Kokohead

W's view from the top

Long way down

P.S. I didn't make the 1000 steps. I stopped half way. As I sat on one of the wooden blocks, I fainted. No damage. I am alive. But my steps going down was even longer than my climb. A memorable day none the less.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My aspie's rude awakening

W has had an uneventful life. Our family was revolved around him since he was the first born. Grandparents gave him allowance every week, I would give him money when he went out with his friends, and his aunt would pay him for some of the chores. 

As brilliant as he is when it comes to academics, but he has no ideas about how to handle money. He read about it, but never really learned about money. 

I found he had no qualms about buying things that weren't necessary and paying for his friends when they went out to Waikiki. 

So we decided to cut out all the free money we've been giving him. He applied to 15 positions from cashier, note taker for the disabled students, stocking person, and even greeter at Walmart. 

He couldn't understand why he hasn't received a call yet
. And after calculating his earnings, he said, "I need to work an hour to buy lunch!" 

I said, "Welcome to the real world!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Me, the problem?

There have been many changes this year, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I won't bore you with details, but I am waiting for this year to be over. 

One of the change came as Will began his senior year and his younger brother A started kindergarten. 
You shouldn't compare children, but I couldn't help myself. I found his little brother to be more responsible and able to follow through than the 17  year old. 

Will stopped being a non-verbal child in speech therapy a long time ago, but I was, in many respects treating him like he was. I was nagging him about the same things and instead of teaching him the basic life skills, I was giving him a long to-do list to follow. I was putting his socks for him instead of teaching him how. I lectured him about responsibility, but I wasn't giving him a chance to be responsible. I didn't give him a chance to fail. Everything was done for him and my time was mostly dedicated to him. 

After feeling guilty about my parenting failures, I saw my opportunity to redeem myself. My first challenge came in the form of a boy scout camp. I did the unthinkable.

Yes, I actually let him pack his own bags. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but do you realize how hard that is for me? I didn't ask him if he packed all he needed and I didn't double check his bag. If he forgot something, he would have to go without it and  hope he would learn something from it. 

I came home with a sense of accomplishment (especially for keeping my mouth shut) but I was still curious about what he left behind, a sleeping bag? a poncho? or tarp? It was hard to tell because I had many duplicate things and he wanted to take a different bag. After looking around, I realized he actually remembered to take his bathing suit to this camp out at the private beach. 

When I picked him up, he was very happy and proud of himself of what he remembered to pack. He went on about his camp and what he managed to get done. I was glad for him, but I had to hide the guilt of keeping him back from growing up. But I am not going to dwell on it.

I'm not perfect, but who is. Will is growing up and so am I. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Instincts of a parent

The school began at the end of July. But A's Kindergarten class didn't begin their full day until the second week.

I saw him walking behind his sister with the back pack as big as he, and he didn't look back.

I made all sorts of excuses for keeping him back a year. A has a late birthday and technically, he could've entered Kindergarten last fall.

I didn't want him to be the youngest in class and I didn't think he was ready. Honestly, he was my youngest and I wanted to keep him awhile longer.

I questioned my decision countless times and sometimes with regret especially when he asked me why he couldn't go to school. Other times I found myself having to justify to other parents of keeping him home.

On the first day, I waited in front of the class along with the other anxious parents. Soon the teacher appeared and began to speak.

A's eyes and ears were focused on her and not me. That was when I knew I was right all along. I was right to wait.
I waved and walked as my life depended on it with a smile. If I stayed any longer, I probably would've been in tears.

It may not be the right decision for everyone for different reasons. I was lucky to have a choice to keep him home with me. And now I appreciate the extra time I had with him even though I wished I had some free time.

As A learns the abcs, I've learned to trust my instincts just a little more and hope I make the best decision for my kids.


I miss taking a nap w him though.

My baby...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Disaster at the movies...

If you've read my tweets, please forgive me for repeating myself but it was one of those odd experiences that needed to be shared.

The last few weeks, I had a string of visitors including my in-laws to W's legally blind friend (I found out later.) I was staying with mom for a while since I didn't feel like staying home after my husband left. It was my vacation with my mommy. But I digress.

W wanted to spend time with some of his friends that were moving, A(5yo) and B(9yo) to the movies to see Ice Age. Yes, this was my vacation.

The movie was predictable and enjoyable to the kids. But the appalling twilight zone like phenomenon happened.

I've experienced kids, as expected, in the theater. The talking ones, crying ones, and giggling ones. As a parent, those things don't phase me much because I went through that too with my kids. I usually feel embarrassed for the parents because I know exactly how that feels.

But last 25 minutes of the movie was just an odd experience.

A girl about 3 or so in age was walking up and down the aisle with her light up shoes. Every step she took, the lights would flicker. For a few times, I thought it was my phone that was on silent but flash alert was still on. But I was wrong. She went all the way to the screen, sat there for a few seconds, then she was in the middle of the aisle, then back of the theater.

I don't know why I didn't go get help from the people who worked there. I couldn't see the parents. I don't know whether they were hiding or they thought it was really cute the way she was roaming all over the theater during the movie. 

I took my little one to the bathroom and came back. And you know what happened?
She sat right next to my A and began to eat his popcorn. I asked her where her parents were, she just had that surprised look on her face. My A5 began talking to her. She sat down for a while and I was embarrassed because I'm sure some were thinking she belonged to me. 

The movie was finally over and I looked in the back to see if the parents or anyone was to be found, but they must have taken off before the lights came on. I was just speechless. 

Am I being too judgmental when I ask where the parents were during this time of her wandering? 
Either way, I made my way out of the theater but didn't see the girl. It's almost like the parents or whoever was watching took off. 

I was a little upset, but didn't want to make a scene but it was an interesting conversation with my own kids about what we shouldn't be doing in the theater and laughed about it. I guess you can have something interesting happen at the movies. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tired of repeating myself...

I find myself having the same conversation with W.

Lately, I'm having harder time deciding whether his behavior is due to him being a teenager or it is because he is an aspie and he is regressing to his old habits.

Reminding him to do daily activities has become a part of my job. It is different from reminding kids to clean their room or do homework. I have to ask him of he brushed his teeth, shaved, brought empty cup from his room etc. And I'm exhausted.

I sat him down and had a talk with him. I didn't raise my voice even though I felt like screaming.
I had to explain to him about the things he would have to do on his own. He is heading off to college in a year and living on his own. I may or may not be living in the same State.

I described the basic things that he needed to do on his own and I could not be there micromanaging every part of his life. I won't go into details but it made him cry. I just hope it was my sincerity that came through, not as a huge lecture.

I woke up next morning with the sound of music. It was the sound of W practicing his piano. In the dining room, his brother and his sister was having freshly cooked breakfast. Their clothes for school was laid out on the counter with their socks and back packs. His bag, charged phone & itouch & wallet was by the door. So was my bag & keys. Dirty dishes were in the sink. Coffee was brewing.
I walked into the twilight zone. He did all the things I do every morning and then some. He was practicing his piano to top it off. All of this without me asking or reminding.

He showed me that he was capable of doing things on his own. I was relieved.

So did I stop repeating myself?
Nope. But the difference is that I'm no longer worrying about his ability to do it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busy weekend with my aspie

End of school year brings on the flurry of activities and planning for the coming school year.
This past weekend just made me realize that W is all grown up. Well, almost.

My nerves began to get to me at the JROTC banquet. He won a few awards, I was happy, but I kept hoping he would keep his eye contact and his posture.

Then he had his piano recital on center stage in the middle of the mall. It was the most longest five minutes of my life. His piece was the highlight of the recital with viola. The wind blew his notes breaking his concentration, poor boy with viola had to stop to hold on to it. Luckily, W recovered but the other boy didn't. My aspie remained cool and he was happy with the performance and stayed amazingly positive although I was still shaky inside.

Then when I came home, I checked mail to find his first SAT scores. He did good for his first try, but looking at the scores just made me more aware how close college was.

The night ended with a nice dinner together just talking and relaxing. As big as he is, I kept seeing him like this:

I think I will always see him like this.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My aspie branches out

I was walking completely unaware of my surroundings until the shades of this trees hit my feet. 

What a beauty. 

It was sitting alone, in between buildings in a parking lot on a hill with its roots exposed. I don't know why but it reminded me of W.

He went to his Junior Prom and had a great time with date and his friends. Some may say, prom is just a prom, but for me it was more than just a prom. It was something I didn't expect to happen and it was a success.

He signed up to go to Spain next year with his Spanish class. 

He came home with all the details of the 11 trip to Spain (Madrid & Barcelona) and stop to Italy (possibly Milan or Sorento or Isle of Capri). He also came with how he will earn part of the money to go to the trip. 

My permission for this trip has turned on a switch. I didn't have to remind him to do anything today. He told me everything I wanted to ask, without my asking a single question. It feels like he has grown & matured years in the last few days. 

He also informed me he is getting a chance meet the Dalai Lama next month with his AP History class. That's what I call branching out.

I don't know how long this will last, but I decided to enjoy seeing the changes. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trouble with Facebook...Bullies again

Facebook. What can I say.
I was happy that W had friends period.
But it has come to bite me in the behind. Facebook...

W posted a drawing of a picture. Not his own, but he put it up. Maybe he took credit or maybe he didn't.
He took it down right away, but some of his "friends" were hassling about apologizing.
They cornered him in school hallway and even at lunch. Believe me when I say, it is more serious than the things I describe. I just don't want to go into detail.

This went on for a while until W came to me and explained to me the situation. He was really afraid. They could have made things worse for him and etc. They were pressuring him to put a big apology on Facebook.

Needless to say, my reaction is what you may imagine to be. This happened right before spring break so I had to sit on it for a week.

He blocked them from Facebook, received good counsel from his friends. But through social media, I was seeing the snowballing effect first hand. People started to take sides with their friends and it could have become a fight.

W wanted to take care of the situation on his own by going to the counselor without me getting involved.
He couldn't get their time because they were occupied. W started to panic as he texted me and he didn't want to go to class. I told him to walk into any counselor and have them call me.

I remained calm as I have had bullying issues before. I summarized as best I could. I left with few remarks.

"Take care of this or I will. You don't want me involved." She agreed. She didn't want to see me.
"Tell them to make it serious."
"Tell their friends to back off, or they will see me."

It was a short conversation. The counselor knows me because of the previous bullying incident that I went to Court for. She knew things would get very messy if I got involved. No one would come out clean.

3 hours and 30 minutes is what it took. The people were to stay away, not even discuss with friends and not even mention his name. They had their excuses, but there is no excuse in ganging up on one person.
I will see how it goes. Day 2 and things are quiet.

W insisted I stay away so he could take care of it. So I did stay back. I realized he needed to take care of things on his own. I just reminded him that I was there for him.

It occurred to me that the situation could have been handled better except for the fact he is an aspie. Social situations and reaction to those situations are difficult to him. But surprisingly, he handles the things that seem too intense to handle for the rest of us, very easily.

I was tempted to have him close his account, but realized I could not protect him from everything. He needed to learn on his own. I always preached about what he should not do online and even what he put up was completely appropriate, it still brought in a lot of headache.

I wish he would close his account. But I am not going to force him. So I await for the next drama.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Never thought I'd see the day...

I have been very vague about changes. The resets in my life as well as for my family. I left the details because I didn't feel it served any purpose.

So what is the purpose of this post? Well, the changes and resets I speak of didn't only happened to me but to W.

While I was in this realm of twilight zone, W grew up. While my eyes fixed on other things in life, my son matured.

I haven't micromanaged his everything for the last two months and the world hasn't ended as I thought it would.

He proved me wrong by staying strong when I was not.
He proved me wrong by doing well in school without me checking his work.
He proved me wrong by being proactive in all his responsibilities.

This doesn't mean I won't be there for him every step of the way. I will be.

I just never thought I'd see the day when I could picture him growing onto his own without things falling apart. So I am stepping back a little to give him some space.

Well, I'm stepping back v......e.....r.....y little. I said I was confident, I didn't say I was going stop being a mom.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Resets in life...changes...moving on

Sometimes you are forced to push the reset button in your life.

Things happen for a reason and I'm still trying to find out what that reason is. I don't want to go into details.

I looked around. Made a list. A long list of all the things I was doing. For the kids and family. I realized I was doing a lot.

Where was I?  I don't know.

Gave myself a break. Reorganized. Simplified.

I thought I couldn't get back to what I've been doing, but as soon as I dropped my husband off the airport, got a call from W's school that he was hurt.
My normal began at a very quick pace. I took him to the ER, spent 4 hours, got his wrist in
a make-shift cast, but luckily nothing broken. My little one has a bad cold, but it could be worse.

I thought I needed to rest, but I felt normal as I started moving. I am back to normal. My normal.

As I write this post, I am camping out in the living room with my kids, minus one tired teen, reflecting on my lack of real presence for the last few weeks.

I realized if you don't give yourself time to reset, life will reset it for you.

I decided not to over-think things but just to enjoy life and enjoy my kids and family. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All's Well That Ends Well - Bullying & my Aspie

It has been a year since I began this blog. It began because of the bullying incident. I needed to vent, I needed to write, I needed to share. And shared I did.

Along the way, I met many people who took the time to read and comment and some shared their stories with me. I am grateful for all the support and advice I have received since then. But I digress.

I must have commented and updated about the bullying incident since then, but I had to make it a separate post, just to put the period at the end of the story.

I am happy to say, the bullying and the hush whispers regarding the incident has disappeared. The mediation session provided by the wonderful counselors did wonders to squash any rumors that remained. 

He became close with the girl from the incident. Now, they can truly be described as friends and she is one of his best advocates in school. She even came to his birthday party, although, she felt a little uncomfortable making eye contact with me, I didn't push it. I was just glad that ALL his friends came to his party even though I questioned how many would show (inside me of course). 

I still, like many parents aspie/NT alike, pay close attention and feel for anyone facing any kind of bullying. I am just happy our story has a happy ending which led to many friendships. I can only hope many parents won't have to deal with anything like bullying. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For aspie & NTs alike, where is the guidance from school?

Bridge to Fort Island where USS Missouri resides
This picture reminded of how far we came and how far we still have to go in our adventure called life.
I'm not being overly poetic. 
I always considered myself to be well prepared in managing W's school & keeping realistic goals. But it became very frustrating today.

We planned out his course schedule from 9th grade and on. Last year summer, after I've already put in for his fall schedule, I stopped by with W to see the career & guidance counselor. 

Although understanding and kind, she wasn't helpful at all. She printed out the copy of the schedule I completed and said we were on the right track. She gave me a 3 different pamphlets with dates for his AP exams and complained she was being kicked out of her office. 

Needless to say, I needed some guidance because I felt I was on my own. I am still on my own. W is already taking AP courses. I needed to know what AP courses he could take that was necessary and would be accepted at most colleges. He was going to be taking college courses during the fall in concurrently with high school, but she wasn't able to give me what courses he should take. I got that information from his current Senior friends that were on the same track.

I understand the school has a limited budget with many kids to service. But 3 pamphlets? It was a joke. I empathized with her situation, but that still doesn't help me or my son. It was the only time I regretted not forking out money for a private school.

I had to call college org to get information about SATs and AP exams and other advice. I also got great advice from my tweeps online and his current senior friends who were in the same track. 

So we are pretty sure the courses he is taking is correct and when he will be taking the SATs and applying for colleges. Now the only thing is to go through massive amounts of information to pick the college and it is daunting. 

Was it too much to expect guidance from school? I guess it was. I am on my own. I am glad I am able to get through most of the information, but my heart goes out to his friends with less educated and less involved parents. 

I am glad to have my friends on line giving me great suggestions including aspie friends. Wish me luck.