I am a bad autism mother.

And today I say hello to another crack in my heart. 

I was dropping off Loudon for afternoon pre-school, and after finally convincing him that he wasn’t too sick to go to school (something he has been faking of late), I walked out with a smile on my face – mission accomplished! 

You have to walk along the length of the front of the school to get to the parking lot, so I was passing classrooms – one of which is Ro’s integrated K class.  As I was approaching his room, I heard the familiar shrieks.  Uh oh, what’s going on. 

I look inside the windows to see Ro clawing at Mrs. H., trying to get to something she had in her hands.  He is screaming at the top of his lungs, uncontrollably.  The WHOLE class begins to chant, “TOO LOUD RONAN!”  Two little boys cover their ears, and one little girl starts to sob – “It’s too loud Ronan!  It’s scary!”

The teachers (two of whom I see are subs today – of course, he’s not a fan of change) are trying to comfort the kids above the screeches, “It’s okay, kids, it’s okay!”

I am outside, clinging to the windows, wanting nothing more than to dive right through and rescue him.  Do I get his attention?  Try to comfort him through the window?  Go back into the school?  I want to scream his name, and tell him it’s okay.  I want to scoop him up and hug him.

The teachers spot me, and they just try to keep controlling the situation.  I take this as a sign that I should just let them try to handle it.  I don’t want to. 

I tear myself away, and go to my car, where I’m thankful I parked behind the school, so nobody can see me crying really hard.

I knew it wouldn’t be an easy day.  This morning I sent a letter to his teacher, letting her know that he didn’t sleep well (he’s been up since 4:00 am), he has to poop, and he has been very stimmy for the past couple of days. 

It’s getting cold here, and he’s been inside more than usual.  I hate New England for this reason.  Ro always has a hard time in the winter.  Not enough vitamin D, less exercise, etc. 

Then, as usual, I move on to blaming myself.  I should engage him more.  He should be on the computer less.  Why haven’t I enrolled him in a few classes for the afternoons and weekend, yet, to up his stimulation?  Why the hell did I move all the way back to Boston, when he was doing so well in Cali with all that sunshine and activity?  Should we go back to the diet? 

I know all mothers go through these days, but with autism, it’s all encompassing, every day, all the time.  What other kids pick up neurotypically, kids with autism have to be drilled every day, all the time, the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.  And when you have processing that is very similar – well, it’s the blind leading the blind, except the blind has to get its ass in gear, because it HAS to teach this child, regardless of the blind’s situation.  Now, divorce, bankruptcy and total sleep deprivation…I’m sorry, but for those of you who hate autism being referred to as a puzzle – it IS a frikken’ puzzle!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like a very bad autism mother.

And I want to scream at the top of my Goddamn lungs, just like Ro.  But I won’t. 

I’ll go pick him up, and try to do better, because he needs me too.



And yes, I have PMS.  I always write these posts around the same time of the month.  I think I need some Midol.

My new favorite. WTF is wrong with me, seriously?


kids with autism are “mental”?

Somebody actually said this to me the other day.  I used to care what other people thought, and in the past, I would have slapped that bitch down (well, verbally at least – Mami no likey the violence) and then I realized that this volcanic reaction was just my own mourning of this “imagined” child rearing its ugly head.  Those were my insecurities, and they only got in the way of my seeing Ronan for Ronan, and not for who I thought he would/should be. 

Also, I’m getting hip to the realization that people really just don’t get your situation, or understand your child, unless they are, well, essentially – you!  So, being that I’m the only me, and Ro is the only Ro, why bother slapping at ignorant bitches?  Now, I may offer up an informative counter-fact to a ridiculous bitch’s misconception about autism, but it’s a very liberating acceptance, this knowing that I don’t have to school everyone about Ro’s talents, gifts, beauty, intelligence, uniquity and great big heart.  I know – he knows. I wish I was Ro, seriously! 

He’s right behind me now, bouncing on his therapy ball, doing what they call “verbal stimming”.  He’s listing animals, changing the voices for each one – (high pitched) DOLPHIN, (growling) BIG LION!, (whispering) meow, meow cat.


It’s music to me.

Anyway, here’s a poem for the bitches.  A little verbal slap.

The Misunderstood Child
A poem about children with hidden disabilities

by Kathy Winters

I am the child that looks healthy and fine.
I was born with ten fingers and toes.
But something is different, somewhere in my mind,
And what it is, nobody knows.

I am the child that struggles in school,
Though they say that I’m perfectly smart.
They tell me I’m lazy — can learn if I try —
But I don’t seem to know where to start.

I am the child that won’t wear the clothes
Which hurt me or bother my feet.
I dread sudden noises, can’t handle most smells,
And tastes — there are few foods I’ll eat.

I am the child that can’t catch the ball
And runs with an awkward gait.
I am the one chosen last on the team
And I cringe as I stand there and wait.

I am the child with whom no one will play —
The one that gets bullied and teased.
I try to fit in and I want to be liked,
But nothing I do seems to please.

I am the child that tantrums and freaks
Over things that seem petty and trite.
You’ll never know how I panic inside,
When I’m lost in my anger and fright.

I am the child that fidgets and squirms
Though I’m told to sit still and be good.
Do you think that I choose to be out of control?
Don’t you know that I would if I could?

I am the child with the broken heart
Though I act like I don’t really care.
Perhaps there’s a reason God made me this way —
Some message he sent me to share.

For I am the child that needs to be loved
And accepted and valued too.
I am the child that is misunderstood.
I am different – but look just like you.


Sorry, I’m getting my period.  I think I’m a little hormonal.   Last night at work, I snuggled with a huge chenille chocolate brown men’s bathrobe (I’m doing overnights at Target – putting out merchandise) for twenty straight minutes, calling him my new boyfriend.  It’s sad.


Of course, I don’t avocate slapping a woman, but this made me pee a little with laughter.  I like imagining myself as the “take that, bitch” man slapper.  Okay, so maybe I’m not exactly liberated from the volcanic reaction to dumb beyotch comments.  I’m trying.


LOUDON:      Mom, how do you measure?


MOM:           How do I measure? 

                   I’m not sure what you mean.


LOUDON:      I’m three years old! 

                   What are you?


MOM:          Oh!  You mean, how old am I? 

                  I’m 36.


LOUDON:     (gasps in mock horror)  THIRTY-SIX!!!!!! 

                   I can’t even count that high!!!!


…man, I feel so young today.


Oooohhh! If you live in the Boston Area!

…well, I do!  And Mama calling this place tomorrow!



All Mamas have to balance caring for the kids, work, keeping house, school activities and conferences, time for the marriage, shaving ones legs to refrain from being mistaken for The Yeti, etc., etc., etc.  It’s an exhausting schedule that we try to keep in our society. 

Add a child with special needs to the mix.  Then you must balance the engaging of the stimming child with the ever insistent demands of The Loudon, school activities and conferences, iep meetings, research on getting an advocate to fight for good education placement for next year because next year’s classroom sucks, o.t., p.t., speech, social skills classes, how to teach a 6 year-old hyperlexic savant that is not fluent in English yet and has the attention span of a puppy….breathe…saying sayonara to the marriage, and really laughing hard at the thought of shaving ones legs – not caring at all if small children are frightened by The Yeti appearance. 

However, to avoid my PICA suffering boy from ingesting harmful and disgusting unidentifiable matter, Mama have to do the vacuum!

Enter my new fav soldier in the line of time management….



Ahhh, just looking at him makes me sigh with content.  Isn’t he handsome?  He cleans, he isn’t a picky eater, he does his job when I need him to, and he’s very low maintenance.

The best part about him – he plays with the kids, too!  Ronan and Loudon took turns dancing with him across the entire apartment!  And when they were done, the house was clean, and the handsome one went back on standby waiting for me to call on him again!  It’s brilliance.

So, if you are having trouble doing the balancing act, I recommend that you get one right now on ebay – he’s reasonably priced at $40!

Don’t be fooled by those slick damn SHARK sweepers, either!  While they may be more of the pretty boy, they will leave you in the dust!  I went through two of them in 6 months!  Sorry, but Mama needs a sturdy, reliable MAN – and you do, too!!

**Honorable mention goes to THE PANASONIC WET/DRY ELECTRIC RAZOR**


Now, she is a faithful girlfriend that will tell you when you really need to start caring about the fact that you are resembling The Yeti.  She will also quickly remove all of the hair from your legs, armpits and other areas if you ever want to have you some frisky times!  This is very nice of her, and she will do it for you in the name of all the sisters in the world – unlike some unnamed sisters who have their esthetician’s license yet refuse to give you a bikini wax because they like to be difficult *cough* TRACY *cough*  (Seriously, you can’t really still be traumatized by watching me give birth to Ro seven years ago.  Break out the wax, sista!!)

Find this true friend on amazon.com for about $30, and say goodbye to your Yeti days!

I think I may have to make this a daily post of things that make Mama’s life easier…




Now, Ronan James voted for McCain in the school-wide mock election.  After weeks of Obama Mama rhyming songs, all of my training went down the drain!! 

Who did you vote for, Ro?

I voted for John McCain!

RONAN!  After my weeks of training!!  NO!  WHY??!!

I like his name.  It’s easy to say.




My favorite males in the world on Halloween…



They are about to give each other a kiss…how precious is that???



Yum, yum and also, yum.

Oooh!! I just noticed my tortillas and hot sauce on the stove in the background!!  We had tacos on Halloween!!  Damn, now I need Mexican food!!!!  Real Mexican food!!  SNACKIE, CHEL!!???  Lily’s in Malibu!!!! 

I need a 12-step program for food addiction.  Does that exist? 

I’m going to look it up right now.

Good Ronan Hunting

RONAN:     Mom, how do you spell Dolphin in numbers?

MOM:         Huh?

RONAN:     I know!  Do you know?

MOM:        I don’t know what you mean Ro.

RONAN:    4 – 15 – 12 – 16 – 8 – 9 – 14   !!!

Mom needs to process for a minute to figure out wtf Ronan James is talking about (the old is coming for me…I think I may need some Ginkgo Biloba…anyway…)  Mom is reminded once again that Ro is a code-cracking anomaly of nature – albeit in a good, yet sometimes terrifying way.

9       12-15-22-5      25-15-21        18 -15-14-1-14