It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Such is life (with or without autism)

Given a choice between my online life and my real one....well I've been missing for a while so you can guess which I'd choose.

Yup. Things have been really busy around here. Not in a bad way. I even went 4 days without even turning on the computer without even realizing it. It felt wierd.

The funny thing is, I can't even tell you what's been going on. Cause it's nothing. Inconsequential stuff like eye appointments, parent-teacher interviews, teaching big brother how to read, volunteering at school, Beavers.....and it doesn't seem like it'll slow down soon. Next week they both have their annual ped checkups, Patrick has his monthly speech stuff with the therapist, and I think we're going up to the cottage.

Busy is good though. Not crazy/everynight/run off your feet busy but just living life and having fun with your family busy.

So this isn't so much an update as a "gee, sorry to have dissapeared like that" kind of post.

Something I am working on though and I'll post about in the future is restructuring. We're doing a lot of that in our daily lives. For example, exercise at x time, clean bathroom at y time, reading with big brother every night at z get the idea. Patrick's life is pretty structured but somehow I forgot the rest of us. *silly grin*

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The boys (how great they are).

My post about siblings got me thinking about the boys in general. I'm sure you can tell from my writing that I rant a lot, I get easily distracted and my topics can be vague. But I want to share some specifics about my wonderful boys.

Older brother is 7. His most recent accomplishment is showering solo. He shampoos and rinses himself and can even turn the shower on and off. Sometimes I forget how much he's growing up as we focus so closely on Patrick's development. He's also starting to want privacy. Instead of just telling him I had company in the bathroom for the past 7 years so he can just deal with it(first him and still Patrick if I don't want him to get in trouble while I pee) I'm trying to make it possible for him.

Older brother is an artist. He's a 7 yr old artist but an artist just the same. He LOVES to draw and does it all the time. The sheer amount of paperwork that comes out of his room is insane.

Older brother wants to be a police officer and a teacher when he grows up. He's a wonderful teacher to Patrick and I think he'd make a great one. I've never met such an unselfish, calm and patient 7 year old.

Patrick is good at languages. I questioned the suitability of allowing him to take french at school (for about 30 mins each day) when english was an issue. Boy, was I wrong! He's picking it up like crazy. So much so that I'm musing about having him take a third language at some point.

I think he's going to read early. Or on time anyway. He's fascinated with books and his best language comes when we're discussing them.

Patrick's going to be great at sports. He's also really good at taking things apart but hasn't yet learned how important it is to put them back together.

We all have things we find difficult. I'm terrible at calling people on the phone. Patrick has language and social issues (among other things). Matthew's having a bit of trouble reading and he's shy sometimes. But somehow, when I think of us, those aren't the things that come to mind. I guess I'm a half full kinda gal...except my glass always seems more than half full. And some days, like when thy both wake up and give me morning kisses, my glass if overflowing. Lucky me.

Monday, March 12, 2007


We have a week off school for spring break. I'm fine, since I've always been home with the boys and tend to miss them when they're at school anyway. But I feel bad for older brother.

It's really difficult to be Patrick's older brother. M has really had to learn how to let things bounce off him (literally as well as figuratively). We've recently had to have an updated version of the "autism talk". Until now M has only really understood that Patrick is different. He's been able to say to other children "Patrick's not bad he just doesn't understand the rules". But I've seen lately that now we're at the point where he needs to know more.

So we did a bit of brain talk. We discussed the seizures and how those were because of a brain difference. Then we talked about how autism could also be because of a difference in the brain. We talked a bit about "age correction". I'm not into that generally but in this case it helped him to understand that Patrick isn't the same as other 5 year olds. We talked about how it can be hard because he's not just a big brother but he also has to deal with some stuff that just isn't fair. It felt like a good talk. Obviously it went beyond what I've described. I've just given the overview here. In a highly insightful moment he asked me what we'd do if Patrick became an adult and still couldn't do things. I answered as honestly as I could...I told him if he still needed our help then we would help him. M thought this was a good idea.

So far they're getting along ok. Occasionally I hear "mom, Patrick's bothering me" or "Patrick, stop throwing lego, you're not allowed to throw". I think he's dealing with it as best he can at this point. He is, after all, only 7 years old himself.

Sometimes I think about the unfairness. About how different M's life would be if Patrick wasn't his younger brother. But I think, generally, M has benefited from this the same way we all have. Knowing Patrick has made us better people.