After a day of gut-wrenching news coverage, I went to bed only to be jerked awake several times with nightmares.  Most of them involved me not being able to find my boys in various situations.  I woke from them screaming, heart racing, and sweating, with a soul-searing panic that I never want to feel again.  I cannot ever imagine what intense agony and ruin these parents and families feel.  It’s unfathomable and so unbelievably wrong.

After a long consideration on whether or not I should keep what happened from my kids (ages 7 and 10), my little guy heard a snippet of news coverage on the car radio before I could switch the channel.  “Mom, what happened in Connecticut?”  Ugh.  How do you explain this to a precocious child who worries WAY too much anyway?  I ended up with an explanation that gave him simple facts, trying to soften the anxiety with the idea that this is something that is a freak occurrence and it will not happen to him.  Then came the million and one questions.  Why?  What was wrong with the boy?  How could he shoot kids?  How did he get in the school?  Will this happen at my school?  Will someone shoot me?

What a sad world that we live in when your child needs to ask these questions.

I limited any TV/news coverage but we still all shed tears and talked about it most of the night.

Now, we are left panicking about 3 large and looming concerns that have all of us “up in arms” so to speak:   Gun control, managing mental illness, and security for our schools.

To sum up my thoughts, and I am just one person, but anyway…

Guns:  I never want a weapon in my home that can kill dozens of people in the blink of an eye with the push of one finger.  I wish I had specific solutions on how to balance the right to protect oneself  with the right to have an environment that is safe from the danger of these types of weapons.  I wish with all of my heart that we could all work together to come to a reasonable conclusion to keep our children safe.  From what I am reading today, it seems unlikely, and it’s sad, very sad.

Managing mental illness:  I wish the media would stop trying to slap certain diagnoses of mental illness/neurological conditions on persons who commit horrific crimes. Of course these people are sick.  Nobody who is mentally healthy would do anything like that.  It is, however, hurtful and irresponsible to link a specific diagnosis, like schizophrenia, autism, Asperger’s, etc., to a criminal without knowing for a fact what that person was diagnosed with and without understanding the nature of these illnesses and reporting about that.  It does a great disservice to the many persons who suffer immensely with these conditions and it’s completely unfair to malign a whole group of individuals by linking their diagnosis to a sick person who has planned a mass murder.

I do not know what the shooter suffered from, but many outlets are stating that he was autistic or had Asperger’s.  The same thing happened with the CO murderer.  To throw out these terms and link horrific crimes to people who they label as “somewhere on the autism spectrum” and then not follow it up with the fact that people with autism have no more likelihood of committing a violent crime like this as you or I or anyone else.  I have also been hearing that “people with autism lack empathy” and this could not be further from the truth.  Say that to me when you see my child cry because he feels “devastated that the kids got hurt and had to go to Heaven.”  Most people on the spectrum have trouble expressing their feelings of empathy but this doesn’t mean that they don’t FEEL empathy.  The challenge comes with showing their feelings in a way that others understand.  And again, individuals with autism have no higher incidence of exhibiting planned violent behavior like this.  I am very worried for my child when our society ignorantly links his neurological condition with insane mass murder.

Obviously, this person didn’t get the proper care that he needed, and I have no instant solutions for this issue either, but something has to give when it comes to figuring out why so many young men are violently ill and not getting the proper treatment before they resort to something unimaginable.

Safety in schools:  The other day, I had to run to the middle school to pick up a paper.  It was like Fort Knox getting in there.  I had to ring a buzzer and explain my situation, stop at a kiosk and scan my license, type in personal information, and take a picture of myself for a printed name badge, and then I had to sign out with the machine on my way out.  I laughed so hard at this and joked that they might as well do a full-body scan.  Little did I know that today I would be grateful for that sign-in process and even wish for more intense processes when it comes to entering our children’s schools.  I sincerely hope that we will take safety for our schools much more seriously.  I am all for one entrance with metal detectors and an officer on duty at all times.  It sounds extreme but I will happily get frisked and not give a second thought to “my rights” when it comes to safety for my children.  We have to make this happen.  No child or parent should fear a school day.

My thoughts and my heart are with those in CT.  I am so, so sorry for their loss and pain.   Click below for ways to help.


Ro loves this game, and I love playing it with him!  SO amazing to hear what is flying around in that fantastic brain!

Ro:  Mom, what do you like best about yourself?

Mama:  Do you mean how I look or how I am?

Ro:  How you are.

Mama:  I like that I can love a lot.  What do you like best about yourself Ro?

Ro:  I like that I’m nice…and I like my hair.

LOL!!! I’m so in love with him.

I never imagined that we would see the day when Ro was asking and answering such abstract questions.  It’s enough to make a Mama cry like a whiny Caillou!!!

LOVE this Short Docu on ASD and Education!!!

Three boys with various forms of ASD are profiled in the short docu below.  My fave is Joe, the middle son:  “I’m like a cat.  I never stop moving!”  These kids are amazing, and their Mom is fabulous!

It just goes to show how individual each child’s needs are in a classroom – also, how difficult of a job it is to teach each child appropriately.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right support in the classroom, and sadly, most times teachers don’t have what they need 😦

Behavioral and Disorder. Two Words that Don’t Belong with Autism.

Mama does not like the words “behaivoral” or “disorder.”  It’s time to smack those negative associations down when referring to autism.  Smack them down!!!  lol

You would be surprised at how many people still think of autism as a behavioral disorder, a mental illness or even refer to autism using the “R” word – which Mama hates SO much, that I won’t even reproduce it in reference for you – you can figure it out, I’m sure.  I tell people this all the time, and they are always surprised – Autism is a NEUROLOGICAL condition.   Yes.

Snackie and I were having a long discussion while watching the Oscars the other night (which I thought were really good this year, but that’s for another post) and we were griping about how even the words “Autism Spectrum Disorder” have such negative connotation to them.  We need to come up with another way to talk about this!

I’m not saying autism is a walk in the park for anyone touched by it, but the way some view the words associated with the labels, the depreciating way that someone with autism is sometimes viewed – well, Mama doesn’t like that!  I’m sure other individuals with autism don’t love it either.

First, we need to throw “disorder” out.  Does this mean that any pain suffered by those with autism or their families should be discounted?  No, but we don’t say Cancer Disorder, do we.  The person who has the cancer is not defective, it’s the cancer itself that is causing the pain.

Then, even the word autism is looked at in a negative light.  Like Mama said, so many people have no idea what autism really is, and they just assume that this means a child with a behavioral problem, or that the child is that stupid “R” word.  They assume that they are intellectually “less than.”  And Mama doesn’t like that reference for anyone, regardless of whatever “label” that individual has been “crowned with” from our society.

We ended up enjoying “Spectrum Processing.”  We thought it was important for the individual with autism to be able to categorize their challenges for themselves, but by doing so in a way that wouldn’t depreciate them.

Scientist Carl thinks that we should add another word to make it an even three-letter acronym, like HBP or ESP, because it’s easier for people to reference that way.

Mama has to think more about that one.  Hmm.

Click the link below for a good site to dispel some autism myths…


A friend of mine posted this link to my Facebook wall…well, actually, she is the LITTLE GIRL that I used to nanny, except that she is now 22!!!!

Ouch, that hurts Mama.

To sum up, Aspies are pissed that their label is being considered (by whoever writes the diagnostic manual of mental illness) as no longer a separate diagnosis.

Instead, they want to use an umbrella diagnosis of “Autism Spectrum Disorder”  and lump them in with all of the “Autistics.”

Mama says, why the hell do they have still have autism considered a mental illness diagnosis when it’s a neurological condition?

Also, again, I don’t care if they call it the “Mama Don’t Play That” disorder.  Just make my insurance pay for therapy.

Click link below…

The Only Thing We Have To Fear…


What is wrong with all of you?  How can you all walk around so nonchalantly, ridiculously ignoring the danger that lurks everywhere??!!!!! 

Germs!  Everywhere, sinister germs!  Death, at any moment, death could claim you!  Aneurysms, lightning, car, plane, train, bicycle, motorcycle, unicycle, roller-blades (if you are klutzy me), and even bathroom slipping accidents!   All can happen at any time!!

And did you know, that when you are sleeping, ghosts, devils, demons and spirits can haunt you??  Yes!  Even at rest you are in danger!

Strangers can kidnap you, idiots can judge you, you can make mistakes and suffer the consequences and loved ones can get very mad at you for any given reason!!! 

And as if this wasn’t enough to be terrified of, did you know that you can actually be afraid of being afraid????

Yes!!!  I am here to tell you that, indeed, you can!

Oh, Mami, and it is the worst fear of all!

This is the fear that you wind up with when your never-resting Brain 2000 ponders and pokes at the very ends of imagination day in and day out, 24/7!!! 

I like to refer to Ro’s brain as “the super computer”, because I know that he treks the suffering trails that his Mama does…except his Mama is a Mad Hatter, and he is not.  Thankfully.

Anyway, my Brain 2000 never, never rests.  Nothing can stop it.  It goes from “which fruits have cores, and can you name them all??” to “why do they refer to opiates as ‘smack’?? ” –  this happens in a nano-second.  Don’t try to understand it, it just is.  Ro’s Dad used to say, “I can’t understand the way you think!  You go from one thing to the next, and I can’t follow it!”

This is because he is a somewhat “normal” humanoid.  Or as we refer to “those people” in our family -“a straight”. 

Straights can’t grasp it.  We just accept this.  The Brain 2000 is an anomaly.  I don’t want to say “freakish”… okay, it’s freakish, but whatever.

I have made an art out of worrying about worrying.  Sadly, I think I passed this on to Ro. 

At least five times a day he says, “Oh, it’s okay, I won’t worry about worrying!”  This was my tip-off.

With Ro, his Brain 2000 is continuously tormented by seemingly harmless things.  For example, the oven timer counting down  when it’s warming up – this is excruciatingly unbearable. Other things, like whether the car is backed into the parking space or facing forward, can also elicit terror.  And the new one, my favorite – fear of actually uttering the word “helicopter” himself (he got PTSD from one that hovered too close at the Halloween parade last year), even though he loves them and will draw them and enjoys talking about them.  He refers to a helicopter as “that thwacking thing that flies in the sky”. 

Sigh…sometimes, there’s no reasoning with the B 2000.

Sorry, Ro.

As The Snackie says, “When you have smart kids, not much you can do but ride it.”

Y’mama’s right, but hot-damn, it is one wild ride!!