Saturday, May 14, 2011

Showcase: Karen from Confessions of an Asperger's Mom

Today we're showcasing Karen from Confessions of an Asperger's Mom.

Please tell readers a little bit about yourself. 

I grew up in Los Angeles. My husband dragged me kicking and screaming to Texas when my first born was 1 years old and my stepson was 8 years old. What I didn't know then is that I would end up raising 2 boys with special needs and Texas would be the better place to do so. Though, I love southern California, we couldn't afford to live there and have me at home raising these boys full-time.

How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for about two years. I started writing as a therapeutic outlet. Then I decided it would be the perfect place to educate others about the reality of raising two boys with Aspergers. People, especially have a tendency to be judgmental when they see the behaviors of kids with Aspergers. I wanted them to understand the behaviors an the diagnosis.

Before I had my kids, I was one of those people who would see kids having a fit, and think, "What is the deal? Why is that mother begging her child to behave in public?" Now I thoroughly understand!

What kinds of things do you normally write about? 

These are my confessions, the good, bad and the ugly about being a mother of 2 adolescent boys with Aspergers. My sons are 12 and 15. They both transitioned into middle school and high school this year. It has been shall we say, "Very Interesting!" I try to write with a combination of humor and blatant honesty. Some things are difficult to share, but I feel compelled to do it anyway. I love when I get a comment from some one who says, "Are you living in my house?"

Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
I am a huge fan of Tanya @ Teen Autism, Jess @ Diary of a Mom is my fresh cup of love in the morning, Jill @ Yeah Good Times provides laughter when I need it most. Laura @ The House That Aspergers Built, is very insightful.

What do you wish people most knew about you?

Once upon a time, I had a life! I was an original party girl, before I traded it all in to become a wife and mother. Someday, I will find her again. She's going to travel all over Europe, without a care in the world. P.S. I love my children, but I can't wait for them to get out of my house!

What has surprised you the most since you started blogging?

Blogging has provided a wonderful community of support, at the click of the mouse! It makes me feel like I'm traveling the world, when I communicate with people from all over who share the same journey. When I get rid of these kids...I'll be coming to see all of you!

If you could tell parents new to the diagnosis anything, what would it be?

The earlier you know, the luckier you are, because you can put therapies and interventions in place. Don't be afraid of the labels. Get your child all of the help that they need, especially in school. Just know, you will probably have to fight to make it happen. Every child with Aspergers is different. I have proof of that right here in my own house with my two boys.

This post gives you a taste of our life in the Circus:

7:25 a.m. -five minutes before it's time to get up for school, Blue hears singing coming through the walls of his bedroom. He comes running, "Mom! He's singing! He woke me up! Why do I have to wake up to this? He's ruining my morning! Why does he have to live here!!???"

I try to explain that it's time to get up anyway. I ask him to lay down and let Daddy rub his back for a minute so that he can calm down.

He's had it with his brother. He went to bed, not exactly happy because in his opinion --his brother ruined my birthday the night before with his antics. Now he wakes up to this irritation.

A couple of nights before that Red had a meltdown at bedtime that ruined Blue's nightly routine. When Red melts down it's hard to tell what is acting and what is real. He screams like Chester from Linkin Park in a rock song. He can make himself cry. His words are full of drama. He blames everyone else for his problems and turns the table on the issue at hand.

"Why are you guys being mean to me? Why do you only care about yourself? Why are you making me suffer? Why are you abusing me? Why do you have to force me to do things? You're not being fair! You're being selfish! This is your fault! This is Blue's fault!"

He balls his fist and hits doors, tables, pounds his bed, harasses the dog, he invades my personal space, follows me around closely. I assure him that any physical damage will be paid for with his money. If he doesn't have enough, we will sell something that belongs to him to pay for it.

He doesn't scare me in the least, because I mostly see it as drama -a way of acting out his pain or frustration with himself. I have what may very well be a delusional attitude that I will knock the shit out of him if he goes too far. Mind you -I am 5 ft. nothing and he is 5ft 10" and weighs twice as much as I do.

Blue however, sees Red's behavior as a threat to our safety and security. It isn't fair that he has to live with this. Blue suffers from anxiety and these antics make him nervous. He told his dad the other night, "I'm just afraid that one of these days, he's going to break something or hurt someone."

My husband says to me, "Blue is really nervous and anxious about his brother's behavior. He says, Red needs to go. He doesn't want him to live here anymore."

I respond, "He's also nervous and anxious about thunderstorms. We can't make those go away. We can't just give up on his brother." Of course, that's not what my husband was asking but he and Blue are both right, he shouldn't have to grow up with this.

Fortunately for Blue, a very low dosage of medication keeps his tantrums under control. Where his brother who is on several meds, at maximum dosage, is anything but under control. He does manage to hold things together very well when he's at school. Here at home is another story all together. I swear I hate this whole trial and error psychiatric medication crap!

What is choice, what is real, and what do we do about it? I find myself pondering that all too often. Blue thinks the answer is to send his brother away -give him to another family. Give him to the circus! The only problem with that is we live in the Circus. Just call me the Ringmaster.

I also have a Facebook Community Page, where you can drop in to vent and discuss topics of interest:

1 comment:

kathleen said...

Oh I look forward to reading more of your blog. :)



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