Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Last week my kids and I went up to Reno to meet my parents to take their new RV out on it's maiden voyage.  We haven't traveled to many hotels and resorts with my kids because the new environment and transitions is a bit of a challenge with autism, and I can not always guarantee success.  I thought going in an RV where everything is familiar and we have all our stuff, food choice ability to cater to the dietary needs of my kids without a huge hassle.

So we met up in at their home in Reno and went on about a 60 mile journey to Graeagle, CA at the Little Bear RV Park.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I was way more than pleasantly surprised.   The setting was stunning, the grounds were very well maintained and the staff was beyond helpful and polite. The other campers were very friendly and courteous, almost not like being in California.

The RV Spaces were big, large enough to put a 38' motor coach in there.  The park had WiFi, enormous pine trees and a river running through the park at the back side. It was a little climb to get down the river, but we drove about a mile and found an easy spot to get in the river.  The kids were ecstatic that swimming was on the table for activities.

My older son and I rented one of the small cabins in the park.  The cabins had electricity and a small TV,  bathrooms with showers were available, and located less than 30 feet from our cabin.  They were exceptionally clean and well maintained.  The Cabin had a set of bunk beds and a full bed, it was a good fit for us and allowed a great night of sleep for my son and myself.

The area Graeagle is gorgeous, there are cute shops in town, there is a lot of rivers to float down, I had no idea how many people floated down rivers and the bridges were such a great back drop.

The whole RV experience was absolutely ideal for traveling with children with autism, I was able to bring all their creature comforts from home, their special dietary needs as well as their particular picky foods that they like to eat.  Sometimes on vacation that just doesn't workout and my kids don't eat well or at all.  So being able to know they are getting good food, rather than vacation crud was so relieving.

I would and can't wait to do another RV trip, talking my husband into trying it out, and we were so successful at the Little Bear RV park, I would without hesitation go there again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

My Kid Did the Unthinkable....

Yesterday after a few errands and taking my 9 year old for a haircut, we stopped off to pick up a few things at the market.  Now he has autism,  I don't label kids as low functioning or high functioning, because there is no such term - it's something parents have made up to make themselves feel better and school districts use to enable their lack of services they will give your kids (but I digress). 

I manage with and adapt his "quirky" behavior as best as I can, and work on constantly, the kid rarely has a break from some kind of activity or therapy.  I expect certain things, statements, stims, behaviors and perseverance depending on our activity or location, and have the tools after years of observations and training on how to limit or redirect.  So I'm pretty much on guard and ready to ninja warrior autism at any second when we are out in public.

We did our shopping, our routine, or obsessions on certain items in the store, redirecting, moving forward and then as we are checking out, he asks the checker for some stickers "May I please have some stickers, please?"  - So I am cockily beaming at his politeness and manners.......then the little asshole (yes sometimes my kids are assholes, and it's okay) SPITS on the checker.  Yes, you read that right, he spat on her.   There was no rhyme, reason, or anything that a 25 year old behavior therapist could smugly lecture me on that would prepare me for this mortification.  I mean I'm an autism mom, I live with a pretty fair level of mortified everyday depending on how awful the "perfect OC mom" stares are on any given day.  But this level of mortification left me stunned, and amazed at my parenting skills that I didn't backhand him right in the store or in my car.  I just drove home crying.  That was all I could do.  I mean, I wasn't prepared for that, there is no parenting book or blog that tells you how to "embrace the spitting on store employees"...  there isn't.  I'm not the mom that just accepts "well it is autism, he isn't responsible for what he does".  Nope, my kid knows right from wrong, he does - I constantly drill him on what is the good choice vs. the bad choice. 

This is not the first time he has done this.  About 3 years ago, he used his birthday money to buy an extremely over priced Star Wars set.  As we checked out at Target, he spit on the cashier.  We apologized, and in my humiliated state I walked right over to the returns desk, and made him return the toy and give the money to me.  You would think that would have taught him, because he cried about the Star Wars crap and his money for about a month.

So today my walk of shame will be back to the store with my son to give her the note of apology from my child, and hopefully the manager will allow me the 2 minutes to take this learning experience for my son and for me as a parent.

Because autism isn't an excuse, if I want inclusion everywhere in school but don't expect appropriate behavior and use inappropriate behavior as teaching opportunities I'm not doing my job as a mom.

I will rally through this day of him crying that he doesn't have an Ipad or his "Cars", but he will learn, it may happen again in 3 years, but he will remember this consequence.  I don't have a trick but my work today will be to get him to understand WHAT he did, that it was WRONG, MEAN, and UNACCEPTABLE.   I'm doing my best at being real, there is not plastic surgery, medication, or ignorance that will hide autism, I just have to take it on a day at a time.  We are Autism Tough, and while Autism may have won this round, I intend on winning the fight.