Saturday, June 30, 2012

Autism Rant for Moms


So something very disturbing is going on in the “Special Needs Kids” circles, which are beginning to piss me off.  It’s actually been brewing for a while, and now a celebrity and her irritating shrillness has taken it to level that I want to respond to.

There is a lot of tension between moms and groups of moms in the autism community, and I think it’s just because everyone is missing the point.  Our kids are sick for crying out loud. We all want help and answers, and a cure and peace of mind that what we are doing is the right thing for them, nothing more, nothing less.

But my point is, does it really fucking matter anymore?  There are new parents and families entering this community of autism and special needs arena daily.  The number is 1 in 88.  Parents are coming in with that same deer in the headlights look that I still have and that many had years ago.  Do you know what these people need???? They need compassion and a hug, and an ear.  They don’t need the militant person telling them what caused autism and how it’s their way will recover them.  They don’t need anyone telling them anything, unless they ask, and when they ask, the answers should be polite, and caring, and just share your experience, strength and hope. 

I have 2 boys with Autism, one child is vaccinated, and one isn’t – so in my world the vaccination injury thing isn’t necessarily the end all be all of my life.  But in your world it may be the thing that caused autism and injured your child, and I don’t judge either way, your family, your kid, your autism.  In my life and my circumstances, I’m just not sure.  But because I’m not sure, and haven’t made a concrete decision on weather or not I can do the diet, or not do the diet, and do or not do bio-med – doesn’t make me a shitty parent. 

 My boys both have autism, and they are both completely different.  One is non-verbal, one is allergic to everything (practically), one has sensory issues, one has feeding issues, one has social deficits that are heartbreaking, one has tantrums, one has sleeping problems… and the issues go on and on.  But each one of them has their own autism, and their own issues, and each is treated and behaves completely differently, and I have to treat them as such. 

Because I still have questions and am not convinced that I caused autism by vaccinating him, or that my lifestyle choices caused it, or that a mitochondrial abnormality is the cause.  I just plain don’t know, and I am doing the best I can to help navigate these kids through this field of minutia that has been laid in front of us.

Jenny McCarthy recently spoke at an Autism One conference, and part of her speech went like this,

During her address, she found it necessary to state the following about moms who have children with autism but reject her own methods that supposedly helped her child "recover."

"They fall into this victim role and they like it. It's almost as if they didn't get attention in their lives ... and now this incredible door opens where all of these people come over and say, 'Suzy, oh, Suzy, I'm so sorry, is there anything I can do for you?' There's all this attention. And they're looooving it. They're loving having people feel sorry for them. They get extra, you know, home-cooked meals from their neighbors. Ya know, oh ... So to me, I can't stand that. Like when people do that I'm like shut the [expletive] up and get away from me. I don't want your sympathy. I'm over here. On this train. This warrior train."

So sorry Jenny to disappoint you, but let me tell you, ‘eff you and your warrior train.  There is no one that I allow to feel sorry for me.  Those that stuck it out with our family have helped us out and done what they could and what I asked for are in our lives for the long haul, and we for them, those that didn’t – well bummer for them it’s their loss.  They don’t get the amazing gift of having my AWESOME kids teach them unconditional love and acceptance.  Is this stupid blonde bitch aware of the animosity that she is creating among parents and families that are devastated??  Is she aware how hurtful she is?  Is she aware that some of these families have financially ruined themselves for her methods and have no recovery from autism? Is she aware that the “real” people she is forcing back into a bubble because her delivery is so violent to the emotionally vulernable?  Probably not, and its just another testimonial to how out of touch Hollywood is with real people.

Moms group’s are already a hard circle to navigate, because there is that whole women cattiness thing going on.  Some women have the maturity of a nine-year-old spoiled Beverly Hills kid on Ritalin.  So here is just a little tid bit of advice, to keep the peace and not cause new parents and families to crawl back into the prison of their homes for fear of being judged and attacked.  Just be nice, and share your experience, your strength and hope.  That is much more comforting and appealing that a militant psycho pontificating what someone should or shouldn’t do. (Especially if it isn’t about autism or special needs)  Parent’s groups are there to help each other, not judge.  I stayed away from a group of parents for more than a year because a crazy mom accosted me and told me all the things I had done wrong with my first son while I was holding my 8 week old infant in my hand, and if I did it her way my 2nd son wouldn’t get autism – well guess what crazy bitch? – HE GOT AUTISM.  Now what do you have to say?  But in the end this group has helped me get a better hold of autism and the treatment I seek out for my kids.  I could have gotten in the group earlier had the delivery of the message not pissed me off and scared the crap out of me 3 weeks into our diagnosis of autism. I was kicked out of and ASD moms group basically because one mom didn't like that I didn't like Barack Obama (no shit).   But it's all good, I got what I needed from that group and moved on to a healthier group of women, that is a better fit for me.

Parents and families in the special needs community need to come into a group and feel comfort.  They are in a fragile emotional state and don’t need a lot of extra bullshit on their shoulders.  We are all in the same war, the battle may be different from kid to kid but the war is the same. 

If you are a new parent or family with a dx, find yourself a group of strong parents, and take the information and knowledge from them that you need, and LEAVE all the rest of the nonsense, or stuff that doesn’t feel good or right in your gut.  Knowledge is power, take all the knowledge that you can, and leave all the other bullshit in the group.  Just take the stuff that helps YOUR FAMILY.   This is a long road to trudge, we need each other, like it or not.  Take what you need and leave the rest.  Don’t listen to celebrity or hype or snake oil salesmen, use your mommy gut and you will never be wrong. Because in the end this whole road that we are all trudging is for the kids.  Let's not lose sight of that.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

An Angel and a Freebie - What a cool day.

With the complete hot streak that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are having right now, who doesn't want an opportunity to meet an actual player?  

If you are available Saturday,  July 7th at 11am, you will have that opportunity!   Bobby Wilson the catcher for the 2002 World Series Champion Angels will make a special appearance at the OC Zoo and all visitors wearing Angels gear will get in free. In addition, all visitors wearing Angels gear will get half price rides on the train at Irvine Park Railroad. Both offers are good all day long. 

Bobby Wilson was behind the plate in July last year when Ervin Santana pitched his no - hitter.  He also only made one error all of last season.  He is in his 3rd year as an active Angel player.  How can you not love this guy?!   

The OC Zoo is nestled in beautiful Irvine Regional Park in the City of Orange.  Wilson and his family will make a visit to the zoo and make a special animal presentation with the Zoo Keepers and stay to take photos with the zoo guests.

My family is huge fans of the Irvine Regional Park, the OC Zoo, and the Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim, so for us this a great day for a family outing that has a little for each member, we will be there with our Angel gear on, and cameras ready for a day of pure Orange County  Park beauty, fun and Halos!!!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gunnar Challenge - Mid Way

Wow! What a cool challenge, I feel so blessed to be able to participate in it. I am enjoying the challenge for many reasons. First and foremost it has helped me workout in the gym, and not feel like a complete dork not knowing what I'm doing.

The video examples and workouts have been laid out that I get them done, quickly, and with no guess work at all. It has made me more aware, of the choices I make, and the food I'm putting in my body. If I go off track, I come back much faster. I don't have to make bad choices all day. I can have a bad meal, and then make the rest of the day good. I just have to know that I'm paying for it later via cardio or more of the "extra mile" as Gunnar calls it.

My kids were plagued with hand foot and mouth disease last week, and it is a horrible ridiculous sickness, and I was able to get a couple workouts in. I made some slothlike choices, and didn't do so well some days.  But what I couldn't get to the gym to do, I could do from home, because there isn't a ton of equipment that is necessary to complete the workouts.

I love the daily Video Vitamins they are a source of inspiration and something to look forward to and learn from daily, not to mention that Gunnar has quite the sense of humor.

My weight loss has been slow and steady, not fast and furious like I would like, but my body is changing, I'm getting stronger, and a few pounds off is better than a few pounds ON!

 Flat out I am the reason the pounds don't fall off, but better than beat myself up, I'm trying to learn why I go completely Tazmanian Devil at the buffet on the weekends? One day I will learn, and as I follow you people that are successfully doing this challenge I will eventually drill it into my thick skull.

There have been about 12 inches that have melted off my body, which is ridiculously cool. The big change and struggle is still in my own head. Slowly but surely, I am learning. My health and me are just as important as everything and everyone else in this family. PERIOD! If I don't take care of me and my health I won't be able to take care of the kids later. Special needs children are hard on parents, and it is absolutely necessary to them that I am in the best health that I can be, I have had cancer and beat it, but there is so much more to my health than just beating cancer. I have to keep it out of me, and keep all my other parts in the best shape possible.

 The absolute best part of this whole thing is that it is making me feel like a better mom, wife, and friend. Yes, I'm doing something for myself, but I am giving the "extra mile" to everything in my life, a lot more than I ever did before. Yes, there is always room for improvement, and I am my own biggest saboteur but the athlete is starting to kick the saboteurs ass sometimes! Thanks Gunnar and Betsey, and Stephanie, and Deanna for RUNNING this path with me, I'm looking forward to what the next 3 weeks brings! My kids go back to school after 2 weeks at home with me ALLLLLLLL DAY! I am going to kick it up a couple of notches and really crush it, because I CAN!


Friday, June 15, 2012

The Real Mom went for Real frills this time

I went for the frills. Over the top unbelievably nice, so much more than what I expected it to be.  I joined a new gym......mmmm wait, I can not just call this place a gym, because really it is just a small slice of heaven.  After spending the last five years of this stupid economy pinching every penny and cutting back on everything and basically getting by on barely nothing because of our additional costs of autism therapy for our kids and still paying for my cancer surgeries, I didn't think I was worthy or deserved a setting this pristine.

Renaissance ClubSport in Aliso Viejo is my new state of Nirvana.  It is a Hotel, Spa and Fitness Center. Long story short the place has EVERYTHING.  I am not even kidding, I couldn't find a thing that they didn't provide to make working out so enjoyable, convenient and I CAN BRING MY KIDS.

The Kids Club is amazing and so nice.  The staff understands autism they make special provisions for those with special needs and that alone is a HUGE selling point to me.  There are structured activities and playtimes, facilities are over the top.  I truly can't wait to try that out the boys will like it. This gives me absolutely zero excuses as to why I couldn't get to the gym.

They have pools, which everyone knows my kids love, and they have a splash zone water spray park.  I mean seriously,  I don't ever have to leave this place.  After my workouts I can pick up the kids and we can spend the afternoons at the pool playing.  It's the country club life!! The facilities are just beautiful, it's a world class hotel and I want to move in!!

What really turned me on and what I was looking for we're fitness classes. My current gym has some, but they really aren't held at a time that fit my schedule.  Renaissance has so many classes you'd have to be a member about 2 years to try them all out.  The cycle room was great and so clean.  The cardio equipment is state of the art and I will not be stuck watching reruns of Law and Order the TV's because each machine, get this has it's own tv!  Ha!

Do not even get me started on the locker room.  OMG! I will just post pictures because I can not put into words.  It smells like a spa not a locker room.  The lockers and showers are beautiful. The jacuzzi, steam room, sauna.  I probably could just hang out in there all day.  I actually think some women did :)

The last and final thing that I'll say is that the staff and other members are all so pleasant and helpful.  I guess if you work in paradise, or workout in such a calm and beautiful setting it will do wonders for the attitude.

In my final stages battle of my weight loss, and trying to get seriously focused and back on track to train for the Disneyland half marathon and get rid of this last 20 to 30 pounds, I decided I am giving my last 20 pounds to Renaissance ClubSport. 

If you'd like there are guest passes available, and tell the sales staff you heard about them from The Real Mom of OC for a special discount.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Gunnar Challenge Day 2 - Week 3

Okay, this challenge is teaching me a lot.  Challenging my brain as well as my body.  The workouts are challenging, but I'm killing them.  I've been sore, but able to work through them.

My biggest obstacle the first 2 weeks was ME!  Not planning for myself, the way I plan meals and days for my husband and kids kicked me right in the teeth.  The first week after killing EVERY workout and doing extra on the extra miles portion of the workouts, I lost 1 LB.  1 Freaking pound.  I drank on the holiday weekend, I ate too much guacamole and chips.  I was my biggest saboteur.  So week 2 I started the planning and was great at home, until I went away for my brothers 40th birthday.  No planning and I skipped workouts and meals, and over indulged.  I did lose  1.5 lbs, and 7 inches overall.  So something is happening to my body.  However more needs to be happening with my brain.

I need to learn, and know, and continually remember, I am worthy of the time that I give my family.  I am just as important as the rest of them, the kids and husband and dogs.  I need to plan and prepare and do for myself as I do for everyone else.  I do not always need to be the last on the list.

I got 80lbs off of my body in the last year and a half somehow.  But these last 20 are kicking my ass.  I appreciate and love the opportunity that the challenge is giving me to slim my ass down and rock this weight loss. 

I beat cancer, I continually help my kids fight their autism, I take care of my family, I have it in me to do this everyday, I just can't forget it.  The only way I'm going to get to continue to be a cancer survivor is to make myself the healthiest mom and wife I can be.  I ran a friggin' half marathon a month ago,  I am making this too hard, so I'm making every effort I can to CHANGE MY MIND, so I can CHANGE MY BODY, and I will "Look Great in 8".  So Gunnar, it's on!  This mom won't be stopped this week!