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The Bully & The Brat… And One Mama That Is Fighting Back.

As some know, my son has a lot of problems mentally and behaviorally (which stem from the mentally disabling aspects). And for YEARS he has been bullied. But only primarily by one particular boy.

Now another boy is in the mix. As is a girl as of late, and where this morning’s call to come down and intercede is rooted. Because my son completely shut down on his teacher and the student teacher (or whatever his area is).

So we got myself, the teacher, my son and the other person who was TRYING to handle things together and got the complete story. We (as in my son and I) talked about what he should have done (again), versus what he didn’t do. And what he wouldn’t let the adults do to rectify the situation.

Yes, my boy will be punished (at home) for how he mishandled all this and not cooperating with his authority figures, and for not coming to the phone to talk to me as requested, resulting in my having to go down there.

But the girl is also in trouble for starting crap and calling my kid names and making fun of him.

Hell, I’m so classy and I’m so awesome, I have the balls to not be ashamed of leaving the room and crying in front of the teacher. Again. I’m just sick of this BS. Add in embarrassment and the fact that once more, I felt like I failed him, and it’s a mess of reasons behind why I broke down.

And people are wondering WHY our youth are offing themselves?

Gee! Let’s take a look at how them bully kids are being raised in a home of intolerance and no teaching of respecting those that are different from themselves in terms of disability (of ANY nature). It’s not just the teen and pre-teen GLBT group.

Then, opportunity knocked on my imaginary door… Have (one of the few of them) bullys in room, take a chance. That’s how good I am. I don’t have to talk TO you, for you to know I am referring to you.

Let’s hope my conversation with the brat being present sinks in. It was dealing with the one boy that has picked on my son for YEARS in this school. And now, they are BOTH going to the same Middle School next year.

I even made certain the little demon heard about MY OWN problems with being made fun of as a kid.

I KNOW he listened because if I turned to glance at him, he turned his eyes from me like he wasn’t paying attention. And he now knows I will NOT tolerate it, am utterly sick of it, and this is DAMAGING my child.

Believe me, bullying today is on an entirely different level than it was in my days as a kid with physical differences. I would NOT want to be a kid in today’s society.

What A Difference A Fish Makes!

Meet Lumineon, formerly known as “Petrie”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew that a fish, of all things would be just what Dr. Mom ordered?

B’s birthday was on the 12th, and his grandparents gave him $10 to spend HIS way. So, he thought about it, and knowing that the girls were saving for a hamster, he wanted a pet too. And I thought that between the three, they were going to break me. Because, whatever the $10 did not cover, Dad and I would have to make up the difference.

To my surprise (and relief) B said he wanted a Tetra Beta fish. He’s been actually bugging hinting towards having a fish for a while now. But it really picked up steam once he had received money for his birthday. So, seeing as his older and younger sister had saved up enough of their money from chores, and he had his birthday money, a-shopping we did go!

My husband went downstairs to the fish department with B, as I stayed upstairs with his sisters. The guys (as usual) were done WAY before us ladies were. But everyone was happy when we left the pet store.

After Dad set up Lumineon in his bowl and placed him back in to B’s room, the next morning, I’d found something that my son had written. Something that kind of had taken me aback.

A *reminder* note! No one told him to do so. He had thought of this on his own.

Basically, it was stating to feed his fish in the morning and evening with 3 or 4 food pellets.

So far, so good, too. He has been doing well to remind me to feed him if he couldn’t, or to feed Lumineon himself. Let’s just say, we have a VERY happy Tetra Fish.

Oh, and as for the name? Petrie (pee-tree) was initially the name. For one thing, it made sense. The other was that it was easily stated. But, of course the boy just had to switch it on me. And being the Pokemon nut that he is, why was I even surprised at this? Because apparently, the fish is the same colors (blue and red) as some Pokemon that is named “Lumineon”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I honestly HATE typing the name out too, because my fingers get tongue-tied and I cannot for the life of me, get the name spelled straight on the first try. But I will have to admit, that the Pokemon version of Lumineon is cute.

In the end, having a fish called Lumineon is teaching my son, who usually is one to pass off responsibility to others, and not take ownership of pretty much anything, that HE is responsible for HIS pet, and it’s proper care. And it is teaching him about ownership, not just of a living creature, but that he must take ownership of his own actions and decisions, and of his own things. Plus, B seems to be more focused with tasking than before Lumineon came in to his life.

Thanks, Lumi (my short nick-name for the little guy) for helping my son see the true value of being a responsible, honest and reliable person in his community, and within his home. You have accomplished what most “experts”, and even us as his parents have failed in doing. He may have his “quirks”, but now, we have you. And you, my friendly fish, are showing him the way to being the kid I know he can be, and you are helping to let his full potential shine through.

Lessons From A Grocery Checkout Line

I have a friend, if not more-so an acquaintance. We both belong to and participate actively in a group on FaceBook that caters to parents of Special Needs children from around our general area of living. Some things, our kids share, but mostly don’t, in the terms of having diagnoses. In the end though, we love our kids with a passion, and are more widely accepting of children that “act out” and of their parents than most people in the general consensus of society.

Yesterday, this dear lady, who’s a mother of three, with two of them being Special Needs, told the group of a great story. Of courage. Of self-preservation. And of compassion.

My husband works for the Kroger Food & Drug grocery store. I had also been employed with them for a few years, up until my youngest, who is now seven years old was born. And his (now transferred) Grocery Manager, and he have a common bond.

They both have Special Needs kids. We only have our son, really. But the Grocery Manager has twin boys. And they are BOTH (severely) Autistic, and one is non-verbal. Both, like my son, have behavior issues, as well. ADHD, too. Both of our families have come under scrutiny out in the community. Mainly because of the aforementioned behavior issues. We have dealt with the stares, the head shakes, the whispers. And yes, even with the unwanted “advice”.

But what this one mother and her children went through, really speaks of all of us in one way or another. And of our children. When I grow up, I want to be JUST like her, I think.

Here, in HER own words (with names left out to protect her privacy, and that of her family), is a recount of what had transpired at her local Kroger store.

“We were in Krogers this evening checking out on a unplanned but unfortunately necessary grocery run, a disturbing event for all of my boys because of their sensory issues. My oldest son was turning over each of the boxes of chewing gum one by one so that the labels were all facing the same way. My 8 year old was clicking and rocking, and my 5 year old was pushing meltdown because of his discomfort being around so many people. My 17 month old daughter was beginning to overheat in the store, because the heater was turned up so high to overcome the cold outside. As I went to try to cool her off a bit by unzipping her jacket she began to fuss because she was becoming uncomfortable.

A woman in line in front of us who was already checking out said to the cashier “I hate it when mothers don’t take the initiative to discipline their children… Its so sad to see someone have so many kids.” The cashier knows our family, and looked at her in a bit of shock.

She said “The boys are autistic, and they’re pretty amazing kids.” The woman shook her head and started to say something under her breath about what a waste, and my 9 year old Aspie son turned sharply and snapped,….

“**I am not a disorder, I am a person.** Just because I appear not to be listening to you does not mean that I cannot hear what you say and do not understand it.”

She looked at me and said “Well, aren’t you going to say something to him?!” I looked at my son, I looked at the woman, and then I looked back to him. I was so proud, it was the first time that I’ve ever heard him speak up for himself, and he certainly doesn’t speak his mind or feelings often.

I paused and looked at him and said “You’re absolutely right bug… you’re an amazing kid.” And then I looked at her and shook my head, smiling. I said to her “Yes, its such a waste when people don’t try to understand what someone else might be going through.” She huffed, paid her bill, and then left the store.

The cashier smiled at me and said “He’s having a good day today, huh?” For everything these kids have been through this week, it wasn’t just a good day… it was freaking amazing.”

WOW! What an amazing testimony. And to me, not only did the mother and the son stand up for themselves, but they also stood up for ALL of us. Parents and afflicted kids alike! They said outright what so many of us want to say, but can’t. Maybe out of fear of retaliation. Maybe out of utter embarrassment of the situation (though not due to OUR actions/reactions). But they had the courage to do it. And I HIGHLY commend them for it.

So, for those of you reading this, and don’t really understand “our world”, please take note. Do not EVER judge a person or a situation solely by what you are seeing, or even hearing. If a child is doing something quirky (like moving/situating a space bar at the grocery checkout counter) but is in NO way harming you, then leave the person alone. If they are mumbling to themselves, don’t stand there and stare. When you think that someone cannot hear you, that’s when they can hear you the most. When our children are acting out, don’t just auto-assume that it’s a “bad seed” with parents that are just not willing to “parent” our child.

It’s people like you, that when you are THAT mean spirited to be as the lady in the checkout, that we hope, wish and pray that you too will end up having a child or a grandchild JUST like ours, to show you the ways of OUR life. Sometimes, lessons are learned the hard way.

Our children never asked to be the way that they are. For some, their minds are their own personal prisons or hells. They can be locked up inside. With barely being able to speak, think straight or communicate their needs and desires.

We as their parents and caregivers, struggle EVERY single day to make life as “normal” as we can for our children. Sure, we have to do SOME things differently with interaction and behavior management. But we take it on as a labor of love. Unconditional love. We see what you REFUSE to see.

So, the next time you see a child in the grocery store being “strange”, know that they CAN hear you. They DO see you. And they indeed HAVE feelings that can and DO get hurt because of oggling eyes and opened mouths, that seem to go right along with CLOSED minds. And us as parents WILL find you to be the DISABLED one.

Special Needs Parent of the Month (February, 2012)

Welcome to the “Special Needs Parent of the Month” post, where MONTHLY, I will feature a Special Needs Parent. If you are interested in being considered as a featured SN parent in a future posting, please email me at melmom2angels@yahoo.com.

This month’s parent is Holly. She is a sweet, very energetic, hilarious and a bit of a potty-mouth (LOL!) lady. She wears her heart on her sleeve. And she has a pretty full plate. In her own words, she will tell of herself, her family, and her life with having a disabled child.

This is Brooke.

She’s my fourth child, my second daughter, and the only one born with an extra chromosome….

Brooke has Down Syndrome.

But please, don’t feel badly for me-or for her. Don’t make that cutesy smile and give me a look of pity mixed with wonder at how I do, especially with four other children…

Because Brooke? Is absolutely fantastic and a joy to have in our family…

I’m not going to pretend she’s exactly like our other children, because she’s not…

There is a developmental delay with Brooke. We just had an evaluation last week and she’s about 6-9 months behind her typical peers…not horrible, but still something that needs to be addressed so that Brooke can the best life possible…

So we do therapy. Brooke has physical therapy once a week for an hour, and occupational therapy and speech therapy twice a week for 30 minutes each. Is it a pain in the butt? Sometimes. Is it inconvenient? Sure, there are days I’d like to not plan around it…but we love Brooke, and we want her to thrive…so we go…

And Brooke loves it! She gets a kick out of people applauding for her, in fact, she expects it now no matter what task she does, so getting constant attention and love for doing puzzles or pointing out pictures in a book is right up that chunky girl’s alley!

But life isn’t all about therapy and trying to make her better…I’m a firm believer in letting her be a regular child.

Brooke plays with her brothers and sister. She pushes her babies around the stroller. She throws the ball. She colors on the walls. She claps and dances along to The Wiggles. She gives hugs and kisses. She throws her lunch at the wall when she’s not happy with what I’ve made.

Brooke is more like your child than different…

So what if she’s going to need a little bit more help learning? So what if she doesn’t have as many words as your kid does right now?

Brooke will catch up…

And we’re going to do anything we can to help her have an amazing life…

Because she’s worth it.

I’m a shameless self promoter by the way…read my blog at Holly’s House-Not a Perfect Mom’s Blog and check me out on my FACEBOOK LIKE PAGE too. And if you really love me, follow me on twitter. And uh, I hate to admit it, but I have a Google + page too #hangsheadinshame. Warning: I have a potty mouth….

Special Needs Parent Monthly (#1)

Welcome to the kick off of a NEW blog series, where MONTHLY, I will feature a Special Needs Parent. If you are interested in being considered as a featured SN parent in a future posting, please email me at melmom2angels@yahoo.com.

First up is Robin. In her own words, she will tell of herself, her family, and her life with having a disabled child.

basic info….stay at home mom, married 16 years in Feb., I enjoy reading, photograghy and word games.

have 2 sons Derek 11 and Jacob 13..

life as a special needs parent well, I don’t sleep much lol. it’s a struggle to balance my time between my sons since Jacob needs so much of my time. Jacob was dxed at 2 years, he was a good baby, well a great baby…only cried when he was hungry. Everyone was jealous but in the back of my mind I was worried. He was To good! He didn’t regress, he just reached milestones late. He didn’t babble, point, or “play” like other kids his age. He started PT at 8 months, Ot and speech at 18 months and early intervention at 2.

He is in the 8th grade and I’m going to start home schooling next because he will be going into high school and I feel like he will benefit more from one on one and I can pay more attention to the areas that of important to Jacob. He LOVES music, football, water, and food. lol which is a challenge because he is on the gf/cf diet.

He’s a good dancer. He has severe IBS and when he is in pain he becomes very aggressive. He doesn’t know his own strength. He gives the best hugs in the world! He has a lot of sensory issues and likes deep pressure and massage.

He likes to be petted on his arms some times which gets us strange looks in public. lol Doesn’t bother me, I’m outspoken if people are rude I let them know about it.

Autism is just part of our family….you learn to adjust your life accordingly. Jacob is non verbal so I am his voice….and I have a big mouth (hehe)!

"Invisible No More" (video)

Take a journey with these people and their stories of having hidden/invisible disabilities of varying degrees and ailments.

This is an introduction to those that have been willing to come to the forefront and be the “face” of the Peoples with Invisible Disabilities Community.

Pete Monfre

Lauri Cohen

Andrea Fabry

**DISCLAIMER;**

I own NOTHING. These videos are provided through a YouTube channel for the Invisible No More Organization. And are solely for educational purposes, only.

NT Parents vs. SN Parents

I am a mother.

I am a mother to three children.

I am a mother to three kids, where one of them has “problems”.

I am a mother to three kids, where one of them has “problems”, but that I love all equally.

You say that there is NO way you could do what I do, put up with what I put up with, and defend what I have to defend.

You say we are a strong, but rare breed. But there are more parents like me than you most likely even know. Because we don’t look to be recognized or placed on a pedestal.

We do what we have to do, when we have to do it, as to ensure that our “special” kids are getting everything in life that they deserve.

That includes being as close to “normal” as we can get them. And to obtain the specialized services, that though are supposed to be rendered by Federally mandated Laws, are not always put in to place.

We rejoice at what most people take for granted. Especially when they are “late bloomers”. We cry from the frustration. Not just our own, but the frustrations that our children display.

We want what ALL (okay, MOST) parents want for their kids. A better and fulfilling life.

You and I aren’t THAT different in the world of Parenting. We, like our children, just do things a little bit different from the rest of you. And we see things (like first words, first steps and the other norms of growing up) a tad bit differently as well.

Other than that, I’m not much different from you. And yes, you CAN do what I do on a daily basis. Because when push comes to shove, when it comes to your child, you would do most ANYTHING and move every mountain and boulder to help your child achieve their very best potential.

Do I want to just throw my hands up and quit? YES! Sometimes, the fight to help your child achieve can really tire you emotionally and mentally. As can their daily struggles and fights of will. But in the end, no matter how much you want to just turn around and walk away, you CAN’T. You know for a fact that you have invested WAY too much time, energy, and most important, love in to helping your children succeed to the best of their ability.

So, the next time you think to yourself that you could “never do my job as a parent”, or think I must be a lot stronger than you, take a step back and think, and know that when it all comes down to that fine line in the sand, there is really no line at all.