Monday, December 31, 2012

I Need Some Peace... and Quiet!!

Big news in our house yesterday was we got a new printer!  I guess James has been desperate to print something because he patiently waited for his turn at the computer to create/ write a story and print it out.  As he sat at the computer, the rest of us chatted around him.  The TV was on and the cats were racing.  There are very few places you can go in this house for complete silence.  James turned to us and in a very authoritative tone declared, " I need some peace and quiet."  James is the loudest person in our house 98% if the time.  I looked at him and simply said, "Then stop talking."  He simply said, "Okay" and got back to his epic novel.  Enjoy....


Galaxy Pegasus can fly up in the sky , But if you are playing with this toy it will just go fast. The performance tip will make your Galaxy Pegasus go fast. This is the legend Beyblade.

The launcher has 4 buttons and a key shaped as a sword. You have to put the key in the hole on the launcher but 2 holes are in the launcher. First test both holes then when you find the correct hole put the key in the hole.

Chapter 3
If you got it then pull the key out of the hole.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh the Language of Autism...

One of the major characteristics of Autism is a delay in language.  Or kids are also black and white thinkers.  Idioms are difficult to understand because they don't make sense in the black and white world.  James is a "mean what you say and say what you mean" kind of guy.
While on vacation, we traveled south to visit family we hadn't seen in a long time.  James's Nana asked him what his favorite thing to do at school was.  I expected, recess or Saturday to be his answer, but he said Science.  James does love Science so she continued the conversation.  She asked what they were learning about and James thought for a while.  He said that they had been learning about how sometimes cities get flooded.  (Learning about natural disasters is important for 3rd grades to know about I guess so they can be scared every time it rains that their house will be underwater and all of their stuff will get ruined!) Nana said, "That is good." James looked at her and said, "Not of the people who live there!" Just another day and another precious "Autism quip!!"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Awesome Archery and an A+ Early Christmas!!!

We did our Christmas early this year because of travel plans.  James was super excited this weekend because we finally had the archery party on Saturday for his birthday and we were celebrating Christmas with my husbands father today, Sunday.  Lots of excitement and opportunities for crazy behavior.
Quickly, the archery party was a total blast with the rain starting exactly on cue at 3:00 when the archery was beginning.  James hates to get wet but for this party, he wore a red knight tunic that we made and ran into the rain to collect his arrows when given the all clear.  It was AWESOME!!  As the rain pelted down, it eventually gave way to a beautiful rainbow which made James super happy!  Everyone had a wonderful time at the archery party and James got a fabulous bulls eye which made him extremely ready for more!
We got home a little moist from the rain, but happy and really tired!   Most of us got to bed early knowing that Sunday, today, would again be exciting for James and we had to gear up for the most horrific tantrum when he opened up the stuff that he didn't want.  I had a plan so I was more confident that we might have a great morning.  Or so I hoped as I drifted off to sleep.
Today, we got up around 7 and the kids dove into their stockings.  We all kept an eye on James trying to look for any signs of distress.  All was clear so we went onto the main event, the presents.  Before James started to open them, I gave him a firm warning... for every gift that he said sucked (like at his birthday birthday disaster here) I would take away one of the really cool ones!  I meant it and he knew it because every gift he opened he was appropriately receptive and thanked the giver.  It was awesome!!  He got some really cool stuff including a Mario chess set that he has wanted for years!  Later, he announced that everyone, even Santa got an A+ for Christmas this year.  Phew.... made it through!!!

Happy holidays everyone and I hope your celebrations will be merry and drama free!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rain Makes a Rainbow!!

We have been so dry for a long time here in our little corner of Cali.  We have had more rain in the past month than in years.  Today as we drove we saw a beautiful rainbow.  James got so excited and named all of the colors with such pride.  After a short period of time the rainbow started to fade.  James got upset and stated... "The rainbow is fainting!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sad, Sorrow, All is Quiet

No matter how you celebrate Christmas this year,
make sure you hug your kids and remember
those families who can't

** this isn't a typical Laughter, Could be the Missing Piece Blog**
I grew up in New England, Massachusetts to be exact.  I love the beautiful scenery, distinct seasons, tiny towns and tree lined neighborhood streets.  I love the history, the culture just about everything about that part of the country.  I have been to or through 49 of the 50 states, lived for one year on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands (my senior year of high school) and have lived in Cali for the past 18 years.  I would move back to Massachusetts in a heartbeat on any day of the week except for yesterday (12/14/12).
The sorrow that reached us was likely defused a little by the distance but still it was heart stopping.  The senseless act broke the joy my kids were feeling about it being the last day of school for 2012.  My daughter was visibly shaken and I made a decision not to talk to James about it yet.  He doesn't understand a lot about violence involving children and for now, I would like to keep it that way.  We will talk to him about it soon but not right now.
Today, we all mourn for the families who are trying to pick up the pieces in that community.  Those who lost loved ones, those who have young children who will have to go on without best friends, siblings, teachers they loved.  I hope the community has an amazing mental health support system to help these elementary children now and for the years to come.  I hope that the families who lost their children so close to the holidays find peace in the season if not this year, then in the years to come.  They will have to make peace with the presents that won't be opened, the family vacations that may have to be cancelled, the start of school in the New Year that will likely be horribly difficult seeing the other kids in the neighborhood walk to school.
How does a whole community recover from such a terrible violent act?  By coming together and loving each other through the pain, the emptiness and the out of control feelings.  This was posted on  Facebook and it has amazing wisdom and advise from a gentle giant from my childhood...

As we go forward, we should try to remember that we need to look to the helpers around us.  Let us also look to those who help people who have violent tendencies, mental illness and uncontrollable violent thoughts.
PEACE to all from Laughter, Could be the Missing Piece!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Teacher Gifts with a Side of Autism

Front Cover

Okay, it is parent etiquette to give a teacher gift before leaving for the holidays.  James certainly added a little spice to the experience this year.   This year we gave James's teacher 3 books for the classroom.  One was about George Washington, another about Lincoln and the third, was about Benjamin Franklin.  OMG... James went into a complete meltdown last night!!  HE wanted the George Washington book, his teacher had never given him anything (except for 6 hours a day of quality education)... This certainly went on and on until he was in a great lather about everything he has ever felt was unjust!!
At that point, he stopped talking to us, stopped having affect, stopped being the James we know.  He woke up at 4 AM and insisted on finding the George Washington book.  My husband successfully got him back to sleep but in the morning he refused to talk to us, look at us or do anything we said.  I started in on my one sided conversation with him...
I see you are angry.
I know you are angry because you really want the George Washington book (first eye contact)
The one we got yesterday is for your teacher but we can get you one today so you will have your own copy (first smile)
Would you like us to get it before you get home or do you want to go with daddy after school (1 finger went up telling us the first option was correct)
Are you going to talk to us again? I love you mom!! Yeah, my Jamesie is back and we are going to learn a lot about George Washington.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Compound Word Love

James adores compound words!  He loves the way they look I guess.  He gets excited when he sees them and is more likely to want to spell them if they are on a spelling test.  This week, James missed his pretest for spelling so I didn't know if he was on the regular list or the alternative list.  His teacher told me to use the regular list so I did.  When we did it at home, he got 100% so I decided to go to the harder, alternative list.  I told him that there was a compound word on the list and he got excited. The compound word I meant was "sunlight" but James found another
POLELIGHT!  I stand corrected... 2 compound words! By the way... this was the only word he got wrong on the harder list.  Last grading period, James got a 2 for spelling which is below grade level.  This time, he will definitely be at or above grade level for sure!  Go James!!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What's Bugging You?

I just read a Facebook feed from another blogger (AutismDaddy) on what pet peeves we bloggers have about blogging.  I think my biggest blogging pet peeve is how few comments I get on my blogs.  I comment on every blog I read.  I feel it is almost good blogging etiquette to leave a little piece of our selves for those sharing with us.  Whether it is a simple ;) or a paragraph letting the other blogger know that you hear what they are saying. By the way... It isn't good blogging etiquette to ream the blogger out for having a personal opinion.  Blogging is a very personal experience and those of us who do it with our kids as the main event, we are just looking for a family environment who understands what we are going through.
SO... talk to me!  I am just a mom with a very funny son who does crazy things as part of his everyday life.  And he is super cute!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Used Car Shopping Autism Style

It has been a while since I have been here loosing myself in my blogging fun.  James is finally back to school and already has a new cold but transitioned back to school without any major blowouts.  His homework behaviorist has seen him at his best and worst so that is moving along.
What I have been spending my time doing has been looking for a new, used car for my husband.  The 1993 Honda Civic has finally died, it needs a new engine to work correctly again.  We have had many conversations about fixing the relic or to stop throwing roses at the pig and get another used car that he can drive.  He needs a great commute car because he drives 70 miles one way to work.  Anyway, we have spent a lot of time test driving and looking before we finally found the car that seemed to fit his criteria.
Yesterday, Bri, James and I went to a used car sale at our bank and after parking me and my wheelchair in the warmth of the building, they disappeared across the street with an attendant to help them look through 200+ cars.  Most were way out of our price range but one was found that warranted a test drive.  I guess Bri had given James his cell phone to keep him happy but I received 7 calls from that little man.  Here in brief is what transpired...
Call 1: Mom?  I want to hear you play my game.  James, I don't know how to play your game.  It is simple mom, (long explanation on how to play) random hangup
Call 2: Mom? Still me!  (giggle) random hangup
Call 3: Mom? random hangup
Call 4: Mom? When are we going to Papa's house?  Well Papa is meeting us here.  NO!!THAT ISN'T THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE!!! random hangup
Call 5: MOM!!I am going to end the call on purpose this time.  purposefully hangup (slamming the phone down loses something without the 20 pound receiver my grandmother used to have!!)
Call 6: Mom? I'm walking over now by myself.  No you are not sure!  Give the phone to your dad.  hangup
Call 7: Bye Mom. hangup
New, used car was finally purchased and all is right in the Laughter house.