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Judgment

Those of you that have a child with Special Needs knows exactly what I speak of.

It can be judgment from a stranger (most usual form). Or from a friend. Judgment can happen even with families.

Judgment is defined as… (via dictionaryreference.com)

noun

1.

an act or instance of judging.
2.

the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3.

the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
4.

the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
5.

the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.
    The type of judgment that we are talking about today is within the definition of choice numbers ONE, and of FOUR.
    Although, the basis of judgment more often than not, is primarily upon choice number ONE.
    Because most “outsiders” will not know (even within the family circle) TRULY what life is like for our children, or for us as their parents and their caregivers.
    My son, even at almost eleven years old, is a “safety risk”. He has no “I better be certain it is safe” button. He has a “‘wow, that’s cool and I want to go to it’ button”. He can only see what he wants. Not what it takes to get it. Including safety. I worry every time he wants to walk to school (which is not even five minutes from my home). Mainly because the section of road we live on is high-traffic early in the morning. But I have to let him be independent. If I see him crossing the street in the wrong manner, then after school, when he gets home (via the bus), we have (yet another) talk about safety when crossing the street.
    I have had him walking with us in the mall, and he suddenly is far back behind, because something caught his eye and he ran off to check it out.
    Because of things like that, and because of an incident at a huge Theme Park, over in the water area, I for a good while used harnesses on my child. I never have had to do so with the two girls. But then again, they don’t have the problems that he does, and they are really good about listening, staying close and asking to check something out or to go somewhere.
     The times that I have used the harness, be it a wrist one, or one that straps around the chest and over the head, I have gotten “the look” of disgust and judgment. And I say, KEEP ON JUDGING! You have no idea about my child. You don’t know the dangers he can get in to. You have no clue as to how fast he can honestly be.
      To judge ANY parent, based solely on what you see, and nothing on what is known (which in most cases you don’t due to not knowing the people at all), to me is demeaning and rude. And it’s something that sadly, millions of us mothers and fathers must endure every single day. Because people just don’t understand. Some don’t WANT to understand. Some cannot begin to. Not until they sadly have a situation like I have had. And we aren’t talking about a grocery store or a neighbor’s house.
      My son ran off from us at a Theme Park that has a Water Park built in. We were in the section of the Water Park for the younger kids, playing laughing. Back then, my youngest was a baby. About eight months old at the time. In one moment, when both my husband and I turned for a brief second, he was gone. We called and called for him, only to find him nowhere. That’s when panic set in. Next thing I know, we have Park Security, ourselves and a couple of strangers helping us to look for my son.
       Thankfully, he was found (by Dad) not too far off, in the other section, waiting for the huge bucket to dump water on them (Dad took him there a bit before and played with him and had the bucket splash them). He wanted to go back to the bucket area, but told no one, and just took off. He just got it in his head that he wanted to go back, but forgot the step to get his wish. Instead, he (literally) ran with the thought and took off.
        Hence why the next year, we placed him in a strap harness. It helped us, and it kept him safe. Back then, if it were on the wrist, he surely would have been slick and removed it, only to jet off to God knows where. It was a safety tool. Not an abusive parenting tactic. Abuse would be to NOT do it, and let him run off to anywhere he felt led. With no worry of what COULD happen to him. That’s abusive.
         These days, we are no longer using the harnesses. But I tell you what… IF there EVER came a time to need one, you can safely bet that I WILL indeed use one on him. It’s better than him being kidnapped and have unimaginable speaks of horror possibly done to him. My child is TOO trusting and has no boundaries where his social interactions and self are concerned. So, he is an easy target. Personally, I refuse to take that chance. Even at his age.

At almost eleven years old, even a wrist harness may be embarrassing for him to wear, and for us to have to use it. We will I’m sure get nasty stares and a few finger points and snickers. But it’s worth it when I KNOW my son is safe.

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The Perfect Night That Wasn’t

Last night’s trip to the mall was an embarrassment. Even Dad had a hard time with B. My oldest wanted to go to a few shops with her Christmas money. So we made it a (supposed to be) nice family outing. Dinner at Golden Corral and then the River Ridge Mall.

Even the restaurant thing kinda went downhill. But the mall trip was worse.

At the restaurant, he would barely sit in his seat, was boisterous and loud. He while in a happy mood at the time (which I AM thankful for) notably bothered certain surrounding customers with his “antics”. It was almost like the viewing of things to come. And that was the MILD part of the evening.

Like I said, the mall was FAR worse.

He was running around, trying to get (way) too far ahead of us, walking BACKWARDS or spinning as we walked in the semi-crowded areas of the mall.

As we were ending our night in Sears, where we had initially parked, anyways, it was BAD. Constantly handling things, running in to and hiding in racks, running off and “escaping” down in to other areas of the general area that I was at.

It got so bad in Sears, that at one point, I grabbed him by his shirt collar and held on for dear life. Of course then I was “choking” him and he was almost yelling for me to let go. I am SOOO thankful that barely a customer was in that area.

He also tried to go out the “merchandise pick up” door just off from the girls/baby section. And of course, I stayed there with him and the older one, who was still shopping as Dad took the younger one to use the toilet.

I honest cannot say what got in to him to be so freaking high strung. But good Lord, I was sure that someone was gonna call CPS on me for “man handling” my kid as a means to corral him.

Oh! And he almost knocked over a couple of displays or hit people as he walked backwards AND spinning. Both in Sears and in the mall area its self.

It was just a washout of an evening. All thanks to one kid and his actions. What was meant to be a NICE family outing, turned in to a chaotic nightmare for all (as in the two sisters and myself and Dad).

*Vent over*

Head Games

I’m still on my “hiatus”, but needed to come here to vent and let off a bit of steam.

All of last week, while B was getting up and going to Day Camp with the Behavior Therapists from where he gets his mental health treatment, everything was great. It was a REALLY good week for him all the way around. Both there and at home.

Somewhere along the line, on Sunday though, it all changed. I can’t say as to why, when during the day, or how. But B spiraled out of control.

There were no problems at church (first time back in about two years, almost) during Sunday School or Sermon. It was starting as we had to wait for my husband to get us (has poison oak and didn’t want to share). Smart answered, yelling at me, walking off, non-compliant.

It only got worse from there. At home. Picking on his little sister. Yelling at her and at my husband. Kicking things, tossing things or knocking them to the floor.

Then Monday comes around. One problem for yesterday was he was out of his Vyvanse (had his last pill Sunday before church). But he was pretty good in the morning, getting up, dressing, calm and pretty manageable. Even with the bus being almost 40 minutes late.

By 2:00 in came he dreaded call. What he did Sunday, he did at camp on Monday, too. I let her know that he can’t get any Vyvanse until this morning and that Sunday was JUST as bad, WITH the medicine.

Last night after he got home, about 3:00 and on until he had to go to bed early, was no picnic either. Same crap, different time of the day.

Why do I always get my hopes up? Why do I always think “hey, it’s getting better, let’s hope it stays that way”, only for this shit to happen within HOURS of saying it. It’s as if I jinx or curse myself EVERY single time. Because as soon as I see and verbally note a POSITIVE turn around, he reverts back to the same-old-same-old.

By evening, I just wanted to go off somewhere alone and cry my eyeballs out, scream, hit something…anything. I’m tired of this roller coaster with my kid. I have two others that need me to attend to them, too. But when B gets like this, ALL the attention is put on him as to ensure everyone (and everything, including animals) are safe from his wrath and destructive patterns.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the diseases. I’m sick of his mood and personality changes..I don’t PMS as hard as this boy seemingly does! I’m sick of others “handling” my kid, when it’s MY job, but basically am NOT allowed to “correct” theirs. I’m tired of family that just doesn’t seem to get it, that NO amount of “spanking” will make him “shape up”. I’m just sick of ALL of it. And sometimes, all of them…And him.

If that makes me a bad person or mother, then oh well. At least I haven’t walked out on him or my family over it all. Most people would. I can’t. I won’t, no matter how much at times I wish I could just toss my hands up and say “I’m DONE!”.

April Is…

I have a lot of causes and “awareness” topics/subjects I like to make others “aware” of. For one thing, I am a Transplant Recipient, so I have already posted about becoming a Registered Donor.

I have *tried* to bring forth attention/awareness to how Group Homes for the severely disabled are “ran”. Sadly though, barely anyone read, let alone said ANYTHING about the atrocities that had taken place in that facilities and in others ALL OVER THE WORLD like it. I found and used a couple of videos from a (now closed) institution in Bulgaria. To read and watch the videos (that are heart breaking, but THEIR voices SHOULD be heard), please CLICK HERE.

Not only is this the month (April) for Organ/Eye/Tissue Donation Awareness, but also for Autism/Asperger’s Awareness as well.

I personally highly suspect Asperger’s in Bryce. But the doctor (is this a surprise?) INSISTS (without testing him, mind you) that he DOES NOT have ANY form of Autism.

These children (and adults) are more like us “neurotypical” folks than you think. They just have some quirks that can seem a tad bit odd to the lay person and see the world through a different pair of glasses than most other people do.

"American Idol" Contestant Is Beating The Odds & His Competitors.

We can learn a thing or two from this up and coming music star who right now is in the TV Music Competition, American Idol.

Read about the contestant, James Durbin and his personal battle with not one, but TWO mental disorders/conditions. Tourrette’s Syndrome and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Copied/pasted from YAHOO! News Article.

James Durbin, the American Idol contestant often compared to Adam Lambert for his heavy metal edge and high-pitched wail, literally dazzled viewers—and the judges—March 16th with on-stage pyrotechnics during his rendition of Jon Bon Jovi’s power ballad, “I’ll be There for You.” Along with his flashy showmanship, the 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, California has an inner fire that has propelled him to the top 11 so far in the competition, despite the challenges of battling two often misunderstood disorders: Asperger syndrome and Tourette syndrome.

At age 9, Durbin lost his father, a musician, to a drug overdose. After his dad’s death, he was put on medication for stress and a sleep disorder, then was evaluated at Stanford Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS), a high functioning form of autism, and with Tourette syndrome (TS). “As I was getting older, at school people would tell me, ‘Cut that out! Stop that!’ …I always got made fun of, beat up,” Durbin recently told Idol viewers, adding that when he sings, “it all just goes away, like I don’t have a care in the world.”

Dan Ackroyd is another celebrity who has both conditions, which frequently occur together and are three to four times more likely to strike males than females. The two disorders are thought to have genetic component, and researchers recently discovered a gene for a neurological syndrome that includes autistic behaviors. If inherited factors trigger AS and TS, that could be a concern for Durbin, who has a toddler son with his fiancée, Heidi.

Although involuntary swearing (coprolalia) is the best-known symptom of Tourette syndrome, only a small minority of people with TS have this problem. The condition, which affects about one in 100 Americans, is a neurological disorder that triggers involuntary movements and vocal outbursts called tics. These symptoms often start between ages 7 and 10 and tend to be worst during the teen years.On Idol, Durbin has shown such characteristic symptoms as blinking and facial twitches. Another Idol contestant reportedly affected by TS is Arkansas’ Dave Pittman who appeared on season 9.

Other TS symptoms include grimacing, head or shoulder jerking, repetitive throat clearing, hopping, grunting, and barking. About 200,000 Americans have a severe form of TS that may spark self-injury, such as people punching themselves in the face, uttering swear words, and compulsively repeating the words and phrases of others. Some people with TS can learn to camouflage their tics. Most don’t need medication, but drugs may be prescribed if the tics are severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder that can cause repetitive rituals, obsessions, oddities of speech, such as talking in a monotone, shouting or taking figures of speech literally, eccentric behavior and inappropriate facial expressions, trouble connecting with peers, and clumsy movements. It affects about one in 5,000 Americans and is associated with normal intelligence. There is no single treatment, but kids with Asperger syndrome can benefit from social skills training, cognitive behaviorial therapy, medication for co-existing problems like depression or anxiety, speech therapy and support from parents and teachers. Many adults with AS hold jobs, though Durbin is unemployed and prior to being on the show, was so broke that at times, he and his fiancée couldn’t afford diapers for their toddler.

“The thing about Asperger’s is that it’s about social awkwardness and not being able to contain yourself and being overwhelmed…” Durbin said on Idol. He is one of the most emotional contestants, known for crying easily. Still, despite his disabilities, he has connected so well with judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler that they deem him one of the competition’s frontrunners. “I have Tourette’s and Asperger’s, but Tourette’s and Asperger’s don’t have me,” he declared in an Idol interview. “I’m doing what I can to suppress it. It’s not who I am.”