Horrid Halloween and Autism

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As a Doodle, I take my job very seriously. I was brought into this dysfunctional family to protect and guide and that is what I will continue to do…..no matter what. Mr Store Manager, Sir, Don’t you Understand, Halloween can be confusing to a doodle who has to protect.

Sunday, just like every other Sunday the GIRL, the BOY and me, the Doodle, load into our little car with me jammed in the back seat and the BOY complaining that I’m to close to him…. head out to do our Sunday errands. Grocery shopping, lunch, and today we decided it was a beautiful Fall feeling day so we were going to the Home Décor store to get some Fall decorations to make the house feel festive inside and out.

All was going well. There were no erroneous odors eliminating from my bottom today like the other Sunday. The BOY was in a great mood and well I was feeling rather light from my new haircut and the day was like a Triple D (Dandy Doodle Day).

We pulled up to the Home Décor store and unloaded. The BOY, GIRL, and I jumped out of the car eager to get inside. The large glass doors opened as we neared the entrance and there is was. The 12 foot green, mean ,orange faced ,long clawed monster, who if ever got ahold of the BOY or GIRL would chew them up, claw them to bits and pieces, and throw them out.

orange head

I immediately went into Doodle Action.

I showed my teeth, I put my hair up. I braced my hind feet so I was prepared for any blow from that monster and then I let out my meanest, hardiest, Doodle bark, I could manage. It was so loud and vicious that I actually frighten myself the GIRL and the BOY. They both jumped like they had no idea what was going on and yelled at me for doing my job.

WHAT THE HECK….ARE THEY BLIND? DO THEY NOT SEE THE DANGER?

And why the heck is the BOY yelling at me to STOP BARKING…..HELLO I’m protecting here. Now the GIRL….DOODLE, STOP IT.

The GIRL is now dragging me around the corner, from the beast that I am protecting them from, only to bump into the U-GLEE EST lady I have ever seen with a wart on her nose and she starts talking to me and I once again go into vicious DOODLE PROTECTION MODE.

ugly woman

BOY: Doodle stop barking. No barking Doodle.

GIRL: Boy, I think he is afraid of those things.

BOY: I DON”T CARE …..DOODLE STOP BARKING. SHUT UP

BOY:  I gotta stop saying that.

GIRL: Boy, you don’t need to yell at him.

BOY: YES, I DO. DOODLE STOP BARKING.

ME: BARK, BARK, BARK, I’LL RIP YOUR CLAWS AND THAT UGLY FACE OFF IF YOU COME NEAR US. BARK

In walks Mr. Store Manager. “Excuse me ma’am. We have an open policy about pets and yes I see he is a service dog, but we can not have him upsetting the customers or disrupting the store.”

BOY: SHUT UP DOODLE…OH I GOTTA STOP SAYING THAT.

GIRL: Sir, I am sorry, yes he is a service dog and I just think this stuff is giving him a fright.

ME: Bark, BARK

BOY: SHUT UP DOODLE…OH I GOTTA STOP SAYING THAT

ME: BARK BARK….what the heck is wrong with these people. These things are gonna kill them.

BOY: SHUT UP…..OH I GOTTA STOP SAYING THAT

MANAGER: OK, ma’am you need to get them both under control. I understand so can I help with anything?

GIRL: No thank you . Doodle come on let’s go, Boy stop saying that.

ME: Alright, we made it by those monsters.

BOY: Phew that was horrible.

GIRL: Yes, it was.

BOY: Doodle when I say no barking you are supposed to ZIP IT. Get it?

ME: If they only knew what I just fought off for them.

GIRL;  is it cocktail time?

The GIRL, the BOY and me moved away from those monsters. I must have scared the crap out of those monsters because they didn’t move. I’m strutting NOW. OH YEAH, whose the KING of DOODLES.

the GIRL quickly got some things for the house and we checked out to head home. Did I do something wrong. What’s a doodle to do?

Be kind support autism peace hugs love a doodle.

 

YES…….AUTISM DOES SUCK

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I am really very tired of people saying how awesome autism is.

AUTISM SUCKS

It’s that plan and simple. Yes, you heard me …..it sucks. I want to bark it as loud as I can, but before you judge my words….understand what I bark.

Does the GIRL love the BOY?

Oh course she does, but she would love him as much without autism and life for the BOY, the GIRL, the dad that died, and every other family member would be so much easier to live without this damn autism thing controlling it.

I really get so tired of people talking about how great autism is. What is so flippin’ great about autism? You tell me what is good about autism? I really want to hear and I don’t want to hear something like, “well they are kind sweet people.” BS, you think the BOY wouldn’t be sweet without autism? People say that autism defines who they are, well again I’m going to say you define who you are….. not autism.

OK, don’t misunderstand me. I am not asking for a cure here. If I am asking for anything I am asking for a way to decrease the severe symptoms in some to make life more tolerable for those on the spectrum that need it (I have met many with the GIRL that autism does not CONTROL they lives, but many it does). Why is it that life is just so darn difficult for some?

I watch the BOY so many times want to do something and then that darn autism gets in his way and he can’t get around it. It’s like a big bully blocking him from doing what he wants to.

The GIRL sometimes will tell the BOY that he needs to get it under control and the BOY answers he can’t. WHY? It’s that bully autism getting in the way.

Yes, sometimes it makes me angry. Angry because I watch the BOY work so hard for so many things and he is controlled by this Autism thing.

Years ago the BOY started noticing he was different than his classmates, so he thought if he changed his name he would be the same as the other kids. Now we understand that everyone is different and this is a blessing, but he just wanted to fit in. You all know the feeling, because I am sure at one time or another in your life you too wanted to FIT in.

For weeks the BOY continued to change his name from Tom, to Dick to Joe, to Anthony and so it went Clark, Harris, Mandel and so on, BUT that damn autism kept kicking him.  The GIRL told him he could not change his name everyday. If he insisted on a different name than he would have to pick his first name, middle name or last name and stick with it.

The BOY chose his middle name. He still uses it many years later (the GIRL is happy because it is what she wanted to name him anyway) and the damn autism still controls him.

So, yes, autism sucks. It controls many individuals and until we can learn how to help those with autism not be controlled by it…..I, the Doodle will continue to say.

AUTISM SUCKS…

Be Kind…support autism (even if you hate it, because it’s really the person you are supporting) peace hugs love a doodle.

Bullies are a Problem Everywhere

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Some people shouldn’t be let out in public on some days. If you are not in good mood , then STAY HOME. Society is a bully. How do we teach our children not to bully when their parents are doing it all the time in public for children to hear and see. Stopping bullying begins at home. I hate bullies and want to bite each one, but then that would be like bullying ….right?

The GIRL stayed home this morning because she worked very late the night before. The BOY went to work. I stayed home with the GIRL today. I love the house alone with the GIRL. It’s so quiet. Sometimes we put the music on. Today we talked about the BOY and she shared a story from long ago…….

When the BOY was younger he always wanted to ride in the shopping cart. He didn’t want to walk along side the cart he wanted to ride in it. He was getting a little big for riding in the cart and the GIRL knew they would have to make a change soon. One Sunday, the GIRL, the BOY and his dad went to Target. It was the first time they had ever seen one of those shopping carts with the kid seats attached. The GIRL would name them the limousine carts. The dad, who never had ideas said to the GIRL, “hey this is it, the answer to our dilemma. If you sit on one side he (the BOY) will follow and sit on the other side instead of wanting to get in the cart.”

The GIRL wasn’t really up to it that day.

AUTISM RULE NO 1: always pick and choose your battles carefully. The GIRL has a sign in the house that says, ‘don’t get in the saddle unless you are ready to ride.’ It’s the same for behaviors. Don’t start a behavior unless you are going to run it out. That could be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Be prepared or don’t start.

Plus, the GIRL was thinking the size of that seat is really small. Now that girl at that time wasn’t anything large, but those little red, hard plastic seats are small. Really small. The BOY’s dad continued to push the GIRL to do it and she reluctantly gave in and was going to ride (in both ways …the cart and any behavior).

The GIRL carefully squeezed her behind onto the hard red plastic and the BOY’s father began to push her. The BOY was running along side screaming. He was refusing to get on it. The dad stopped the cart and told him to do what mommy was doing. He continued to scream louder. What did he scream, “she’s gonna kill me, I can’t do it. I’m gonna die,” (that is from Charlotte’s Web incase you are wondering, wait till I tell you about the police officer and that same line).

The Target shoppers starting quickly pushing their shopping carts from the back of the store to the front, like it was a blue light special at Wal-Mart, to see who was gonna get killed. The Target carts starting to surround the GIRL, the dad, the screaming BOY and the special limousine cart.

The girl was starting to sweat as she crouched on the little seat. The BOY continued to scream loudly. “I’m gonna die, she’s gonna kill me.” The girl was very stressed. She still hadn’t adjusted to the ‘clickers and shakers’ (you know those rude bullies who click their tongues and shake their heads saying what a horrible parent she is and how disgusting that child is). She was ready to stand up to say she was not ready to ride all the way (which would have been a HUGE mistake) when her purse turned upside down and all her private items within her purse were now rolling on the floor. The BOY was still screaming and the dad said, “forget it” and he walked away leaving the screaming BOY and the GIRL now on the floor on her hands and knees collecting her personal items that were rolling at the crowds feet that were forming a circle around her with their shopping carts, clicking and shaking.

All she heard was blah, blah, shh, blah…….the BOY was loud.

She collected her items and with all her will tried to look straight ahead and ignore the bullies. She placed her hands on the cart and the BOY abruptly stopped screaming and sat on the red hard plastic seat.

The GIRL just pushed on like everything was PeRFecT. Next aisle she sees the dad coming back with a regular cart and she waves him away. All was good.

On that Sunday at Target the GIRL learned rule number 2.

AUTISM RULE NO 2: If your child is not harming himself or anyone else around you the h-ll with society and those clickers and shakers. You are teaching your child a very valuable lesson that will be something he needs for a long time. Piss on those bullies, they should have stayed home.

Sorry society but our kids don’t learn like yours. Sometimes they may get loud, but you know what. They are not bullies. They are kind, sweet, innocent people who just need a little more support than most do.

 AUTISM RULE NO 3: NEVER, I mean NEVER allow those clickers and shakers bother you.  THEY ARE BULLIES!!!  Bullies should stay at home and learn how to be kind before they go out in society.

NOW GO ON….no BLUE LIGHT special here.

 

Support Autism Peace hugs Love a Doodle………

No Halloween Allowed

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Halloween is around the corner. What will you do and how will it be handled in your home.  We gave up on Halloween years ago………….

The GIRL used to like Halloween. When she had the BOY she was so excited his first Halloween. She couldn’t wait to dress him up.

The BOY was only 8 months old on his 1st Halloween, so he didn’t really fuss when she dressed him as a beetle. On his second Halloween he wasn’t too excited to be a crayon and by his third Halloween he HATED being Elvis.

The GIRL didn’t give up on Elvis.

Every year she would sit for hours making his custom. Yes, the silly GIRL MADE his costumes. She wouldn’t go out and buy one. She would sit for hours at the sewing machine making him one. WHY? Because she has that crafty hand crap thing in her and she has to do it. She says it’s therapeutic for her. Personally, I don’t get it. Just go buy it and bring it home and wear it. Hmmm, who has autism here……

Together they would carve pumpkins with intricate designs. She would put newspaper on the floor and have the BOY help her take out the pulp. The BOY liked that part, but the candy and costume part didn’t cut the mustard in his book.

SO………….

After several more years of meltdowns that lasted hours and maybe one stop at a neighbors, the GIRL stopped making the BOY dress up. She thought that maybe he would do best handing out the candy when the other children dressed in costumes came to their home. That didn’t work either. He HATED the kids coming to the house and wouldn’t go near the door on Halloween.

So the GIRL and the BOY have not celebrated Halloween for years. The GIRL would just hand out candy to the other children who would stop by the house. It’s not always important to celebrate every holiday.

The GIRL was looking at some antlers in the store the other day. She better not think she is gonna dress me up since the BOY doesn’t want to. No way am I wearing something like that.

If you are a parent of a child with ASD, please consider your child’s limits. I’m not comfortable wearing antlers maybe your child isn’t comfortable in a costume. Is it really that important?

If you do go out start small, maybe go to 2-3 houses and build up each year. Maybe even go to people’s houses that your child already knows. Write a social story about trick or treating and practice getting candy.

 

Most important be safe support autism peace hugs love a doodle.

Hold for five minutes and then Laugh…

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It’s Friday night. The GIRL and I have been talking. Yes, I talk with the GIRL. She shares stories with me about the last 25 years of raising the BOY and surviving autism.

For the last couple of days we have all been happy. When the BOY is happy we are happy and life is good.

Tonight we talked about being happy and how you can love someone so much that causes you sleepless nights, hours of paperwork, breaks things, ruins most of your plans, screams, yells and yet on the other side is sweet, kind, gentle and just a love. That’s the BOY.

He makes us smile and he melts our hearts. The GIRL says the hardest thing of raising someone with autism is society. Now remember the BOY isn’t a child, even though I call him the BOY, so when he was young autism wasn’t a household word. Everyone just thought he was an unruly child with a horrible mother. The GIRL has been in many uncomfortable situations through the years and it took her a long time to find comfort in those moments where society was cruel. How did she do it? Well after she thought about the moments she laughed and she laughed and laughed. Finally one day no stares or comments bothered her, because she just found the humor in it all. Sometimes we just have to learn to laugh like….

…when we are in the store standing in a line for a very long time and he leans forward telling the woman she is excused and repeats this at least 4 times before the GIRL says, “it’s fine,” and the BOY blurts out rather loudly in the line, “it’s not fine, she ripped one and is suppose to say EXCUSE ME.”

Or

…when you are in a restaurant and he is in a bad mood or doesn’t like the PIZZA (remember it’s all we eat out) and he spits the food back on his plate and very loudly says, “YUCK…this is gross, I hate this restaurant, the pizza is GGGGRRRRROSSSS.” Now remember the BOY never says something like this just once.

Or

…when he sees a 6’4” man over 300 pounds with a beard and tattoos all over his arms and he walks right up to the man with perfect, I mean perfect, eye contact, points his finger at him and laughs. Laughs right out loud…

or

…when he comes out of the restroom and in a very loud voice says, “now the pee feels better”

or

..when your out somewhere and he just decides to dance and starts laughing out loud and saying, “I’m so happy, isn’t this great?

Or

….when he tells the woman that her dress is really ugly

or

…when we are having a really difficult day but we must complete our errands and he is calling me a MURDERER or GOATFACE in a store and EVERYONE is staring and moving to the front of the store, like there is a blue light special but in this instance to see if someone is getting murdered. People love gore.

BUT…… you have to LOVE it when he puts his arms around the GIRL from behind and says to her, “oh mom, I’m so glad you are home. I missed you so much.”

YES, autism with the BOY is sweet and sour (wish he’d eat Chinese food, I dig the wontons), but he is ours and well to be frank we think he is dog gone great.

 

Dealing and living with society is not easy.  Most people do not understand autism because they can not see it or they don’t want to understand it.   You must learn how to get over the clickers and shakers (the people who click their tongues and shake their heads at your child’s behavior).   Your child needs to be out in society. It is how he will learn. Never allow the looks of others to bother you. Our thing is: if the BOY isn’t hurting himself or others he is fine and let them stare. The BOY needs to learn. The BOY always learns, sometimes it just takes a little longer, but in time with patients, a positive attitude and persistence…….he does.

SMILE….it will be over before you know it. As we read on one mother’s blog…”you can do anything for five minutes,” and if we remembered who said it we would gladly give her credit, but of course we don’t.  After 5 minutes….. LAUGH……….

Support Autism Peace hugs love a doodle.

Cleaning Increases Tolerance

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I can’t say it’s a Sunday kind of love here, but it is a Sunday. The GIRL and I sleep in on Sundays. We don’t get out of bed until 7 or 7:30. Ah, how I love the feeling of those extra little cat naps, dozing in and out on Sunday mornings. The most beautiful sound is the one of  silence. The BOY doesn’t do laundry on Sundays and he usually stays on his side of the house until the GIRL and I get out of bed.

Sundays are usually spent cleaning the house and getting little things done like the bills, grocery shopping, and small errands. For me it’s almost like a day off, although I hate cleaning. I’m not a cleaning dog, I’m a service dog. Somehow the GIRL needs to understand that.

Cleaning is different here. The GIRL has to guard her broom, dust mop and cleaning rags as if she was a bear guarding her cubs. The BOY is always right there putting everything back in it’s place.

Cleaning goes like this The GIRL brings all the cleaning products in a bucket to the bathroom. She leaves the bucket to go get the cleaning rags and when she returns with the rags the BOY has put the bucket with the cleaning products back in their place.

GIRL; “ I need to clean this room can you please bring the cleaning bucket back.”

BOY: “Oh, I’m sorry. My bad and he mumbles I’m just trying to put everything in it’s place.”

GIRL: “hey BOY when I’m finished using it you can put it in it’s place.”

BOY: “Don’t bother me I’m busy. Leave me alone.”

The GIRL begins to clean and not 30 seconds later the BOY is hovering over her.

BOY: “Are you done yet?” “Can I put them back.” “Come on you need to hurry up, they need to go back.”

GIRL: “BOY, it takes some time. Just leave them. Did you finish the mirrors?”

(The GIRL has the BOY help with cleaning by having him do the windows and mirrors, This is his favorite thing to do for house cleaning).

BOY: “I put the glass in the dishwasher.”

GIRL: having no idea what he is talking about with the glass, because she’s busy trying to finish and continue to guard her cleaning products. “Oh, great, did you finish the mirrors?”

BOY: “I can’t talk now, I’m busy. Doodle stop looking at me.” (I’m trying to tell him, BOY she is NOT gonna be happy)

The GIRL continues her cleaning without giving the glass another thought.

The bucket with the cleaning products are put back at least 3 times before the GIRL is finished and the chairs that get pulled out to vacuum under are put back before the vacuum gets under the table, and this is why the idea of him being a bus boy was exnayed. When the subject came up to it being a good job for him the GIRL said no because he would 1: either be standing over top of the patrons waiting for them to take thir last bite of their food to remove the plate or 2. Telling them they needed to hurry up and finish or 3. Take the plate out from under them before they finished.   Yes, he has done that to many guests that visit us. I even know to wait patiently for them to finish, but the BOY needs ORDER.

It takes several cleaning rags to get the house done because the BOY continues to pick them up, if  left for over 18 seconds and he puts it in to be laundered tomorrow heap. Yes, Monday is a BIG laundry day. The BOY LOVES Monday.

After several trips to getting the broom again , more clean rags and retrieving the bucket with the cleaning products the GIRL finally finishes and decides it’s the perfect time to drink her green smoothie she made after our morning walk.

The GIRL goes to the refridgerator to get her drink.

It’s GONE.

GIRL: “BOY where is my drink that was in the fridge.”

BOY: “I cleaned the glass.”

GLASSES WITH DRINKS IN THEM DO NOT BELONG IN THE FRIDGE!

GIRL: “Doodle, why did you let him do this.”

OY vey, I think I need to find a place that isn’t so demanding.

Everyday and almost everything we do is a little different, BUT, we manage and our tasks get completed, not like most people’s but we do it.  Sometimes it just takes a little more patients, love and time.

Be Kind…support autism Peace Hugs Love a Doodle.

Out of Ordinary

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Today, the GIRL remembered…… and shared this story with me…. the Doodle.  I had nothing to do with this story, but here is how it went………

It was the later part of 1992 when the GIRL jumped out of bed like a greyhound taking off at the sound of a bell after a rabbit. It was four o’clock in the morning and the loud screeching sound of her alarm had just woken her.  The sun was still sleeping the night off and so was the two-in-a half-year old BOY.  The air was damp and cold for Orlando, and the GIRL shivered as HER bare feet hit the ground.  There was no time to crawl back into HER warm bed; SHE was on a very tight time schedule. The BOY and SHE had to be in Miami by nine-thirty in the morning. SHE knew exactly what had to be done to get out the door on time.  The one thing that SHE didn’t know was that on this day, one six-letter word would change their lives forever.

Five hours and fifteen minutes later the BOY and GIRL arrived in Miami at the Children’s Medical Hospital.  The BOY reached out and took HER hand in his as they entered the six-story stone building.  The lighting inside was dim; crying sounds echoed in the halls, followed by brief moments of silence.  Intravenous lines hooked to long metal polls on wheels were attached to some children as if they were an extension of their bodies.  Wheel chairs rolled up and down the hall occupied by small frail individuals.  If fear had an odor, the GIRL believed SHE smelled it that day. Parents lured behind their small fragile children, looking weary and worn in search of hope.

No one had a smile on his or her face nor did they look one another in the eye.  The BOY started to cry and tried to wiggle his small delicate hand from HER grip. It was almost as if he sensed, something was just not going to be good on this day. Unconsciously SHE tighten HER grip on the BOY’s hand and continued down the cold hall towards office number 226.

The receptionist was a middle-aged woman with a tight mouth and a turned up nose. She peered over her glasses, gave a little grunt noise, and abruptly handed the GIRL a clipboard with forms attached to it. “Fill these out and return them to me,” she said in a stern voice.  The GIRL took the clipboard in one hand, the screaming BOY in the other, and took a seat. SHE answered the extremely detailed oriented questions with speed and accuracy and returned them to the receptionist who simply pointed to a chair and informed HER they would have to wait to see the doctor.

After thirty-five minutes, a young nurse came over and escorted them into a small alcohol smelling room.  On the wall hung a stethoscope, a blood pressure monitor and an otoscope. The main piece of furniture in the room was a long shiny silver table covered with a thin piece of white crisp paper that you could almost see through.  The BOY seemed frightened as he tightly wrapped his arms around the GIRL’s neck like a baby monkey would to its mother.  The doctor came in; shook the GIRLS’s hand; and briefly introduced himself as Dr. X. He then asked the GIRL to leave the room in a somewhat polite tone. Outside the small room the GIRL sat like a statue.  The only thing moving was HER chest from HER heart beating heavily against it with anxiety.

Dr. X came out of the room with a frown on his face and beads of sweat on his forehead.  He simply asked the GIRL to get the BOY calm and meet him in his office.

Dr. X continued to ask a series of questions about the BOY’s three years of life. He placed his glasses on his desk, wiped his forehead, and said; “I don’t know how to say this, except to be up front.  Your BOY has autism.”  He proceeded to inform the GIRL that autism is a life long disability and what sorts of options are available for individuals with autism. SHE didn’t hear a word the doctor was saying.  The six-letter word autism kept echoing in HER head as if it had just been shouted from a mountaintop.

After explaining everything the BOY would not be able to do in his life to the GIRL and suggesting that the BEST place the BOY could live was in an institution, he bade his farewells and wished them luck.  The GIRL picked up the BOY and held him tightly in HER arms as if someone was going to take him away from HER and entered back into the busy cold hallway.  It was clear to HER now why no one looked one another in the eye in this stone building.  HER eyes started to swell with tears.  The BOY put his small hands on HER face and gave her one of his beautiful innocent smiles.  Suddenly something happened, HER tears stopped and SHE knew at that very moment that HER life with this atypical child would forever be blessed with treasures that many individuals would never have the pleasure of discovering so SHE looked in the BOY’s little face and said, “BOY, I promise I will make it better because I know you can and you will.”

SHE then undersood she was given a special child because on the day the Boys’ time came God knew an out of ordinary child would strive with the GIRL.

Her promise held.

support autism peace hugs love a doodle