Change Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

We are now multi-generational household! Aren’t WE trendy!

Grammy, Poppy, The Boy and I are all living under the same roof now, along with two disgruntled felines, and lots and lots of stuff that either has to find a home, or find its way to the dump. Change is always difficult, especially the older we get, and also especially for those on the spectrum. So while there is lots to be thankful for here (no chance to be lonely in this small house!), there is also adjustment – poor Grammy doesn’t really have a space to her own, and we’re still bumbling our way through setting up boundaries and routines.

But this is all in preparation for the long game. This will save us money, time, gas, and provide a little more support to The Boy and I. It’s also going to help us move toward our next step – something I’ll share more about when we know more. This split has been harder on me in many ways than my first divorce. That one was expected, and a bit of a relief. This one was neither. I didn’t want this, so working through the stages of grief will take more time, especially since there wasn’t really any closure.

The Boy, too, is still struggling, even though having grandparents here is mostly a good thing for him. Change is change in his eyes, and it’s unsettling. But the nightly upsets have decreased, and he gets more time to do what he likes after school because he gets dropped off at home now, which I think he likes.

I’ll post about the normal autism-related stuff we’re going through soon. Can you believe he’s a month away from turning 16? I sure can’t.

Cheers to all of you for hanging in there with us!



What Do We Do?

I followed Avonte’s story from afar.  I didn’t allow myself to get to close, especially as the search went on.  I know the statistics, that after the first 48 hours, the chances of finding someone who has gone missing are infinitesimal.  And that is probably a statistic attached to neurotypical, verbal people.  When you add nonverbal autism into the mix…  Let’s just say my mind stretched toward dark places.

So I stayed aloof.  Until Thursday.  And then I couldn’t stay away any longer.  I knew it was him.  And I began to cry whenever I let my mind get close to the story.  I pushed it away, waiting for the other foot to drop.  And yesterday it did.

There are no words.

I just can’t imagine.  And I can, and I don’t want to, and it hurts, and I feel such sorrow.  And anger.  And hopelessness.

So the question now is, What Do We Do?  Do we say “That’s so sad,” and go back to our lives and do nothing like when Newtown happened?  Or do we actually do something?  Is this acceptable in our society?  Can we lose more nonverbal kiddos so easily?

What do we do?

Maybe the first thing to do is send our condolences to the Oquendo family:

The Perecman Firm
Attn: The Oquendo Family
250 West 57th Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10107

Grief, Beauty, & Inspiration


Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My uncle died last week.  He was 80, but it still came as a shock to everyone.  I was not very close to him, but I was sad for my aunt, and for my cousin who has Down’s Syndrome.  They would feel this loss most acutely.

I had decided to have The Boy attend school as usual, as he didn’t really know this uncle of mine, and missing school is a catastrophe.  Better that I go with my parents, and arrange for Fantastic Babysitter to pick him up from kids club so that we wouldn’t have to worry about making it back in time.  Mom and I sat in the family section off to the side, while Dad sat with his sister, who wanted and needed him by her side.  I had a clear view of her and my cousin, and as the funeral went on, I witnessed her grief ebb and flow, and then I watched as my cousin just lost it.  I’m not sure if this was the first time it really hit him how final this was, but he was inconsolable.  And I watched my aunt abandon her own grief, with eyes only for her son.  At one point, she switched spots with another son so that she could sit next to him, and hold him.  He was instantly better, and the two of them were able to share their grief and their comfort in each other.  It was sad, and yet beautiful.

My aunt has been a special needs parent for almost 50 years, and I realized that day what an inspiration she has been for me, since I have taken on that role.  My dad’s brother turned to me at the end of the funeral and told me how proud he was of me, and how strong I was to raise my son on my own.  All I could say was “Thank you,” and look to my mom, and my aunt.  We Tough Cookies are not just born that way.  We are inspired.