The spectrum of autism ties

Since my “induction” into being a mom of an autistic child, I have studied hard to find the ties that connect autism to us. I’ve researched all ends of the spectrum, from biological, medical, environmental, neurological, and sociological ties. In these 7 years since I have been baptised by fire, I will admit that I am in no way a global expert on autism. I can, however, look at autism globally and see the ties that many people try to make with their theories.

From what I’ve witnessed in our autism community, some actions, attitudes, and axioms are very polarizing. We have a very turbulent community, almost heartbreaking in its non-support of each other as we all cling ferociously to our hypotheses of the cause of autism. We even have a dichotomy within our community of people who want a cure for autism, and those who support “neurodiversity” and are happy with being autistic, claiming it is their essence so why destroy it. I have attested on various occasions of intense debate among all levels of the spectrum, the “cure-bies” (the ones that a cure), the “bio-meds” (the ones who believe that autism is caused by vaccines), the “neurodiverse” (autism is a neurological part of their brain, please accept it for what it is), and those of us who see all sides and just want all of us on the spectrum to support each other.

How can the “outside world” take anything that we say for fact if we are all shouting different messages with varying degrees of intensity, often drowning and cancelling each other out?

In my experience, you need to look at all sides of this issue. It is such a monstrosity that if one doesn’t take time to study each level of the spectrum, he/she would be foolish. I have much family experience with autism from not just my son, but also other family members including myself. (Yes, I have Asperger’s traits as well.)Β  You could say that not only does autism run in my family, but it gallops. πŸ™‚

So, I take this personal knowledge with me when I engage with my spectrum of autism friends. I try to take a loose end and make a tie with it so that hopefully after I’m finished with all my interactions, I can see a web of support, love, and understanding within my wonderful spectrum.

Untangling ties

Today was THE day from hell. Not only did we forget to set the alarm so we could wake up in the morning, but we were running late. You know the panic that runs so high when you’re running late? Take that and multiply it thousandfold. Then add your loving child telling that you’re a “bad parent” because you forgot to set your alarm. You have the start of a recipe for a disastrous day. I felt like I was in knots.

The above episode is just one layer of the tangles that entwined my day. I was still reeling from my emotional meltdown from last night. For those of you relatively new to The Den, I have clinical depression, which almost borders on being bipolar. I can go from one extreme to the next very quickly when things are incredibly tangled. Some things that really tangle up the ties include not getting enough sleep, not eating well, and constantly feeling isolated.

Mix into this day more tangles from acidic arguments,Β  malodorous moments, and rancid rage. At this point, you can see the taut knot, tightened to the point where it is almost impossible to see where it begins or ends.

How can one even begin to untangle such a tied-up knot like this? I don’t know at this point. Today’s knot has me in a stranglehold.

One thing upon which I can usually rely is music. I have a memory bank of songs that I extract for days like today. Granted, some people say that if one listens to music that is sad, then it will augment the sadness. For me, it is like a security blanket. I know that I can retreat into my music and be comforted by words from other people who understand how I feel.

This song is one of the many I have in my security blanket chest.

(Photo was graciously provided by Mr.Greenjeans by a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.)

Exploring Ties

I’m throwing my proverbial blogging hat into this month’s National Blog Posting Month The last time I participated in NaBloPoMo was in March 2008. My gosh does that seem light years ago. Sadly, I did not reach my goal of writing a post a day. Hopefully, I can reach that goal this month. I have to focus; I only need to write 28 posts!! πŸ™‚

This month’s theme is TIES. I can write on so many variations upon that theme. Stay tuned, my fellow Den Dwellers. I’m excited about writing this month.

Milestones and musings

We’ve had a couple of huge milestones here at the Den. First, Casey learned how to ride a two-wheeler bike! After much practice, telling him that we can’t put the training wheels back on because he’d only bend them out of shape again, he has started to master bike riding! I can’t tell you how much of a thrill it is to see him finally bike riding independently. For a while there, I thought we were going to have to shell out beaucoup money for one of those three wheeler bikes.

Another huge milestone is that Casey *finally* pet a dog without getting scared. This. is. huge. In the past, he would run away from dogs, either screaming or crying. This time when he saw this little fluffy puppy, he said “I’m not scared of dogs any more, Momma.” He then went up to the owner, asked if he could pet the dog, and asked, “Which way do you pet him, Momma?” It was so wonderful. I hope this fear doesn’t regress. Oftentimes, kids with autism will progress, then regress. I hope he continues on this path of progress.

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A while ago I reported that I was put on Abilify to stabilize my ever-changing moods. One of the horrid side effects with that medication was feeling that you are in a perpetual state of sleepiness. You can literally feel the sleep in your head, at the base of your forehead. Please note this is one patient’s experience. Your mileage may vary. πŸ˜‰ I went to my nurse practitioner psychiatrist, and complained about the side effects. I am now on Lamictal, which is another mood-stabilizing medication, mostly used for bipolar patients. Thankfully, I was already off the Abilify for a week since I ran out (the weaning off process wasn’t too bad, except for a few wacky dreams). The titration process for Lamictal was brutal. The first two weeks I was on the 25mg dosage, and I was so irritable. Take cranky and multiply that times 1,000. That was me. When I was graduated up to 50mg for the next two weeks, the irritability finally dissipated. I started feeling level, a lot more balanced.

Now I’m up to 100mg of Lamictal, and I’m starting to feel that sleepiness again, but at least this time it’s not a constant fog that invades my head. It waxes and wanes during the day. I can almost set a clock to it and know exactly when it’s going to happen.

My impression of Lamictal versus Abilify thus far is that I like Lamictal much more. One caveat, however. You need to take it at the exact same time every day. Do. not. miss. a. dose. Trust me on this one.

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I’ve been wanting to go on a political rant for the past few days. What the hell is happening to our country? First, let me disclose that I am a conservative. I will not apologize for my beliefs. I strongly believe in the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, and One Nation Under God.

This Cap and Trade bill, aka “Cap and Tax” is a tragedy. What’s the deal with the 3:00am extra pages to the bill? Doesn’t anyone in Congress read what is given to them? Then, I read an article that explains how some countries want to amend the Kyoto Protocol, which caps rich countries’ carbon emissions while developing countries are not capped, to “focus on rich people everywhere”. Now, I am by no means a wealthy person. But, if someone wants to drive an SUV, live in a large house, and fly their private jet to their vacation, let them do it. We should not live in a Nanny State.

And what’s the deal with Michelle Obama being elevated to some fashion icon worthy of celebrity status? I’m quite pissed that she is using tax dollars to purchase a $6,000 handbag, then she has the nerve to wear $500 tennis shoes to a food bank? I’m sorry y’all, but this boils my blood. They can talk about ‘distributing the wealth’ and looking out for each other (cue the Kum Bay Ya guitar strumming), but the Obama’s think nothing of jetting off to New York for a glitzy date, a Paris shopping spree, and rubbing it all in the faces of Americans, while so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet.

Ugh. End rant. I could go on, but I don’t want to raise my blood pressure more.

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Here’s a tune to sum up how I feel about our current economic mess.

Shutting Detroit Down- John Rich