Alex and Ani Autism Puzzle Bracelet

TBT.  I had featured this on my IG for April AutismAwareness month in honor of my son.  Alex & Ani puzzle bracelet from Nordstrom.  So in love with this gorgeous piece.  I’m all about trendy, environment friendly, good cause and affordable designer brands. Thank you A&A for this awareness bracelet!

Yes I was rockin’ out blue gel nails on autism awareness month!

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Special Olympics: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

http://www.specialolympics.org/eunice_kennedy_shriver_biography.aspx

I’ve always been intrigued by the Kennedy family, America’s royal family blessed with fame yet cursed with tragedies.  Surrounded by her glorious siblings was  Rosemary Kennedy, who had an intellectual disability.  Her sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the inspiring founder of Special Olympics.  She had a huge heart and determination for the special needs population, which back in the 60s were shunned and mistreated.  They were either institutionalized or ignored and shamed.  Eunice started off inviting special needs kids to her uxurious backyard for camp.  Many years later Special Olympics is an international event.  I’m so inspired to encourage Andrew to shine in swimming or track and one day be a competitor in this event.

From Worrying to Dreaming……

I often worry about my family’s life.  What my autistic son’s future will be like if my husband and I left this earth.  Will Anthony take care of him?  Would I want him to have that responsibility.  I guess we just have to see and let him decide on his own.  How independent will Andrew become?  Enough to live on his own. Enough to fend off the bad people and avoid bad situations.  Will he be okay…

As much as I worry, I dream just as much to escape my scary reality.  How wonderful it would be to travel to every part of the world.  To experience life in multi facets.  To see and touch corners of the world.  To delve into a variety of cultures for a few days and be lost in new flavors, sights, and experiences.

Dear IEP Team,

Dearest Teacher, Psychologist, ABA Supervisor, Regular Mainstream Teacher, Speech Therapist, Occupation Therapist, PE Teacher, Principal: Thank you for being here at my son’s annual IEP.  You have the right to state what you think.  But do not be fooled by my nice small appearance.  I will tell u what I know and feel are my son’s abilities are, what his goals will be, n which services he will maintain to get him there.  Please do not underestimate son.  Don’t give me the “oh but the school budgets.”  This mama knows the law so try it and I’ll simply remind you what our rights are.

I will not sign this legal document that lists the bare minimum of what you plan to provide.  I may eventually back down but I will call you & email you until I can convince you otherwise. You’ve seen, and you’ve heard me before, you would go the great distance if your or your child the tables were turned.  I won’t cry our scream at you during our intense meeting because this is a business transaction after all.  Your job is to save money, intimidate the parents and remind us how far my son has gone so that he no longer needs support.  I will keep at it even when I’ve given up.

Some of you, even your bosses at the district level know how extremely persistent this Lil mama can be.  I’ve learned who to call when to call and who to sic’ em  when you’re cleverly trying to sell me short of services.  Just don’t.  If you must, ask you’re higher ups what major differences I’ve made my son.  All without an attorney but instead with local heros who stick by my side.

BTW, if I haven’t yet mentioned I’m not signing the IEP today.  I never do, so you’ll be hearing from me.  I usually email, then call you, email again.  When we can’t negotiate, I usually will let the teacher know I’m calling another IEP meeting which I know most of you would dread another 2 or 3 hours going in circles with me.  I do bluff,  I mean I really do.  I’ll reschedule another one and then I’ll individually try one last pull.  If nothing, well it depends.  Like last year, this really difficult traditionally taught Occupation Therapist recommended to completely take away Andrew’s OT service.  My husband and I knew from his trustworthy private OT that this end was bound to happen soon.  However, we don’t go without a fight.  For 2 hours during the IEP meeting, we went back and forth with the OT arguing our stance.  At one point I said in rebuttal, ” That’s too bad you feel that way!”  She felt Andrew met all his goals in OT.  You know the traditional gross motor, fine motor, etc.  My argument is if OT can provide more sensory exercises, it’ll help him focus, regulate and learn better.  The OT responded that’s not an educational need.  I remained professional until the very end when I got tired kicked my husband under the table to take over.

I apologize in advance for my overbearing persistence and my Libra qualities. But you see, I’m a mom of a special kid I bore into this world and ummm well that should sum it up.