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Friday, April 3, 2015

In the Autism World Lately


I've talked many times over the years about Spencer and his
love of printing pictures of trains off the internet.
He tapes them together and folds them accordion-style
and builds these stacks containing thousands of pages!

About twice a year, when the stacks get so high they start to
topple over, I sneak and remove several inches from the bottom
of each stack.  Well, today I was cleaning up in their bedroom
and noticed how badly they needed to be thinned out.
I filled two garbage bags full and got a little nervous that
I'd taken too many! But it sure looked better!
There was no turning back at that point, so I hid the garbage
bags in the garage and distracted Spencer the best I could when
he arrived home with chatting about this day, offering a snack
and giving him another sucker to put in his row.

Spencer noticed something was different but he
 didn't seem upset.  He made note that his line of suckers
was untouched, as were his stacks of DVD's, so he seemed
to be alright with things.  Whew!

Living with strange quirks takes some flexibility
and you have to keep your sense of humor.
It could be worse, right? lol....

And Keith...your latest train magazine to the boys is taped
to the top of the stack furthest on the right. :)

It's Autism Awareness Day today!
If you know a family living with autism, make
sure you send them some love!
You seriously have no idea how difficult it is.
Autism affects every area of their lives.


65 comments:

  1. I'm so glad he was OK with that, you just never know do you, lol, I can relate to this very much!

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    1. No, you never know! ha. He adds new pages into the middle somehow. His favorite pages are on the top of each stack and are probably 10 years old...they never change! So I know I have to remove them from the bottom!

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  2. Heh. A little sneaky, perhaps, but necessary!

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    1. I usually let him do his thing as long as it isn't too burdensome on the rest of us. ha.

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  3. Thank you for making all of us aware of Autism on a daily level, only tripled!
    No, we don't know how hard it is, unless we share your experiences.
    You are such an inspiration!
    Sharing some LOVE to you and the Mister, even Taylor & Lauren too.
    {{{{Hugs}}}}

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    1. Thanks, Christine..that was really sweet! :)

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  4. You are an inspiration to me.
    I have lived with autism my entire life and yet find myself feeling clueless.
    When my brother was small my friends said he was "retarded" and my parents called him "brain damaged."
    I know God never makes mistakes (even when doctors do).
    Somehow God is using my brother to mold and shape the rest of us.
    I am blessed to love him.
    Thank you for sharing your sweet boys with us.
    :0)

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    1. God using your brother to mold and shape the rest of you....oh yes, I totally agree with that!
      It does change us in so many ways...hopefully we're wiser, insightful, and appreciative people...
      we certainly learn what is truly important and that life can be wonderful even if it wasn't what
      we had planned for ourselves or our kids....

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  5. I know a few people who deal with autism or deal with their children having it. I have such admiration for them all. I used to work with autistic children many years ago using music therapy and I remember the challenges. I can't begin to imagine what you, the Mister, and your family experience on a daily basis, year after year after year. Thank you for being an inspiration and for letting us in to occasionally view that part of your lives. It helps us all understand a little better. xox

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    1. Coincidentally, I just now heard on the news that one of the many things happening in our neck-of-the-woods to make people aware of autism is that the CN Tower, Toronto City Hall and Niagara Falls are all going to be lit in blue tonight.

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    2. That's cool....the Falls were pink for breast cancer awareness last month!

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  6. Not only does autism touch every aspect of his life, I think it touches every aspect of your life too. You are a good mom to find a clever way of weeding the papers.

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    1. Yes, I agree and that's what I meant about it effecting every area of the family's life! Thanks, Terra. :)

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  7. Betsy, you totally amaze me! Not sure how you do all that you do, you are one special lady. I love reading your stories they make me smile.

    Saun

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    1. Well, I think you're special, too, Saun....I really admire people that choose to work with special needs kids....

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  8. Today is world Autism day! We wear our blue proudly to show support!
    Our grandson is autistic.

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    1. Yes..did I call it the wrong name? I thought it was Autism Awareness Day....well, whatever it is, I'm glad we have a day to remember. Actually, the entire month of April is devoted to autism awareness!

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  9. You should be receiving another train mag any day now for Spencer to add to the stack! When the AgeUK sales get going I will be able to send them mags by the crateful, what do you say to that? Ha!

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    1. Thanks, Keith. :) A crateful? haha.....can you see him making that stack? Better get him a longer desk!

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  10. Yes In this world today we see so many special things and we have to adapt to them
    which means that man is flexible and can change and do things he would not ordinarily do and isn't this a wonderful thing ?
    I know how much I've changed living my life having to deal with family and I would do it all over again if I had to.
    These children may be different but they also have gifts other people do not have which may become useful to them in their lives.
    Having wonderful parents to support them is also a gift. They are so lucky to have parents who believe and trust in them and see the light in their eyes. God Bless.

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    1. Thanks, Lady...oh, they have light in their eyes, alright....well, more like an ornery twinkle! haha.

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  11. Just to let you know, I sure enjoy reading your blog every day Your photos are wonderful as are your insights. Thank you also for times when you share this other, enormous part of your life, your boys' autism. I'll never forget the time you wrote that you were in a support group where moms were venting about having an autistic child ... and you had autistic triplets. Difficult? Either one--triplets or autistic children--would be difficult. You and the mister must be very special indeed, for being able, not only to deal with it, but to seem to thrive with it as well.

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    1. Hi Catherine! Oh, I remember saying that about the support group! I didn't fit in with the moms of 'normal' kids and I didn't fit in with the group of moms with an autistic child! haha....I tried both kinds of groups and quit both very quickly. lol....

      Thanks so much for your comment....we have our ups and downs, certainly, but with God's help, we are enjoying life instead of just surviving and I think that is the goal....

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  12. Getting sneaky at your sea
    As you depleted the piles and made them flee
    Maybe he secretly likes it though
    As that means he can add more to his row
    Quirks aren't so bad
    Good you don't let quirks drive you mad lol

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    1. I just try to manage the quirks
      and not forbid them like a total jerk.
      Maybe he thinks they are now nice and neat
      and having a clean room is a real treat. ha.

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  13. Miss V wore a blue t shirt to daycare today...for National Autism Day...they do a lot of fundraising to help with the cause...
    Enjoy your evening...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  14. Our school nurse, who is a good friend of mine, has a teenage son with Autism. It is like nothing people can imagine. Kudos to you, Betsy, for your positive attitude!

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    1. You're right ...people can't image...especially the teenage years! lol....would not want to relive those. She's lucky to have you for a friend, Michelle!

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  15. I'll send my love to you - I think you are really amazing and I don't know how you do it. You keep your sense of humor, although I'm sure there are often hard times. So Yay for you! (And the mister too). Glad you got those trains thinned without Spencer noticing.

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    1. Hey, I'll take all the love I can get! ha. Thanks, Mari...yes, there are very hard days, but the majority are happy and good. It's all about perspective and knowing one day it will all make sense..and that this life isn't about us, it's about God...

      Spencer was fine all evening and his desk still looked nice and neat when I tucked them all into bed. Yay! ha.

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    2. You are so right. Without knowing that God is in control and has a plan, our lives would be so much harder.

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  16. Hi Betsy - yes - how right you must be .. so trying for them, as well as for the family and the wider world sometimes. You are patient with them and seem to manage so well - but I'm sure it's stressful so often. Have a happy Easter time .. and well done on the sneaking despatch - Keith's magazine is much loved, that I can see ... good of him to send it on .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hope you have a nice Easter, too, Hilary! Any plans? Yes, they love the magazines that Keith sends and he is so kind to do that. :)

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  17. What if he stacked it in a little tall box with a base and open top so it can be contained and won't fall over . . . bless him . . :)

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    1. Well, you're assuming he'd reason it out like we would and his mind doesn't work that way. haha...I think he wants to be able to see the stacks and not have them hidden. It's like a display to him. ...and he pulls them out and adds to the middle and rearranges the pages at times. ...mom just dusts under them and cleans them up a bit when he isn't looking! :)

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    2. What if the sides were perspex so he can see what is inside and say all his work is safe inside it and can't fall over . . . and he can get it all out any time he wants . . .

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    3. I appreciate you trying to come up with a solution, but I'm not really looking for one. He's very possessive about his stacks. They are his most prized possession! He won't let anyone touch them and would get very upset, even cry, if I were to try to put them in a box or any kind. Then he would remove them from the box and cry big crocodile tears as he tried to get his stacks back like he had them.

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  18. Several people around the office were rocking blue today in honor of autism awareness day. I am glad you are keeping your humor. :)

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    1. yay...good for them!

      Yes, gotta keep the humor....life would be so sad without it. lol...

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  19. My preacher is an OT over several schools in our area. He has such a sweet spirit, and I imagine you do too. I'm sure if one of my children were on the spectrum I would live and learn, but I would probably struggle because I don't have much patience- it is one of my worst faults. You inspire me when you talk about life with your boys.
    Y'all have a wonderful Easter weekend!

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    1. Well, we are start out living and learning...and patience comes through the years. ha. Sounds like your pastor is a great OT. We never had a good one all through school...very frustrating..glad those days are over.

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  20. Much love to you, my new friend! And, Happy Easter.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie...the weekend has started off very well...hope yours is wonderful, too!

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  21. Awww Spencer! Maybe I have to do the same with Esperanza's bedroom lol (is a mess)
    Happy Easter Betsy!

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    1. haha...well, good luck with that! I think she would notice and not be happy with you!

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  22. i have learned much about autism from reading your blog, Betsy. Thank you. Happy Eastervt,onyounabd your family... I keep you and your men in my prayers.

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    1. Thanks, Anita....I sure do appreciate my blog friends like you. Happy Easter! Do you get to see any grandbabies?

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  23. My grandson has autism and is now 16. He has not yet asked to drive but he says he thinks about it. I think he could do it. His mom depends on him to remember names of streets, how to get there and back and things the rest of us do not remember. He got a new laptop computer and spends a lot of time on it. He also loves trains and the two of them drove to Union City, Indiana/Ohio to watch three different train systems pass by. He can tell us about any train he sees on television or in a magazine or book. He is totally fascinated by trains and even train crossing signs, signals and gates.

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    1. Noah, right? Yes, I remember...but can't believe he's 16 already! My boys love their laptops....I'm sure Noah does, too! And there is just something about trains that fascinates them....amazing!

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  24. Thank you for that post Betsy. I totally get what your are saying. Enjoy your boys and their quirks, we too have chosen to do that with our son. And sometimes you just have to be a little sneaky:)
    Happy Easter to you and your family.

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    1. Yep...a little sneaky...just like with any child. haha. Yes, I know you can relate with our special kids...but we moms are special, too, I think. Nothing like a mother's love to stretch you and give you strength to make you do things you never believed you could do! :) Happy Easter! Hope your family enjoys the weekend!

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    2. A mother's love has no boundaries..ask any Mom:) Yeah and I agree Moms are special too:) But I know you are stretched more than some..and yes we can do things we never believed of ourselves. It is a journey, and it takes us through valleys and mountain tops.
      As far as the quirks go..we all have them. I just find our boys have the special ones that make us smile more:)
      Please keep on posting Betsy, I get much joy and encouragement from your blog.

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  25. We are/were aware of yesterday's significance and it did receive a great deal more publicity than in the past. Perhaps some day a cure or prevention will be discovered.

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    1. yes, perhaps some day....that would be a wonderful miracle!

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  26. You and your wonderful family are such an inspiration to me, Betsy. Sending thoughts and prayers and gratefulness your way. Taria

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    1. Aw, thanks Taria...I'm the lucky one to have such fun and caring blog friends like you! Hope you have a lovely Easter...

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  27. Hi Betsy, I've followed your blog for a while and have never commented. I haven't been affected by Autism I am the mother of a 20 year old son and just felt like saying hi and sending some hugs your way because I think your a wonderful Mom and all us Mom's need to stick together and empower and lift each other up..((((( ))))) so here's some hugs. Love your blog

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    1. Hi, Kim :) Wow...thank you so much. I love it when a reader tells me that they read! I appreciate your kind words so much. I really do agree that moms of all kinds of kids need to stick together...love and encourage each other. We have the most important job in the world. Congrats to you on making it to 20 years with your son. How wonderful. My Taylor is 23 and it's so fun and gratifying to see them grow up into fine adults. So, big hugs right back to you! And thanks so much for reading! xo

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  28. Even though we can really have no idea how difficult living with autism is,
    you are an inspiration to so many.
    Autism affects every area of their/your lives.

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  29. Back from vacation and getting caught up on my Betsy blog posts. So glad to see that Spencer didn't get upset with your cleanup job. That pile was getting massive!

    Have a Happy Easter, Betsy!

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  30. Hi Betsy,
    I've said it before, I love and admire the way you just "go with" all of the little quirks and see the bright side of your family's life in the autism world. What a great mom you are! Have a wonderful Easter with your family!

    Laurie

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  31. Being. Retired educated, i wish I had found your blog whike I was in the classroom to have had a peek of home life. I believe I did okay but probably could've done even more for those kiddos! Thanks for sharing.

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