Monday, December 24, 2012

The Magic of the Season

It's been a rough couple of weeks here on the Crazy Train, which I realize is no way to begin a Christmas holiday post, but it's true.

The holiday hubbub makes it hard for my darlings to deal with regular, everyday stuff, as was evidenced in Princess's school behavior two weeks ago (which will get it's own post, I am sure).  It made for a terrible week full of disciplinary action plans, visits to the principal, and tears.  I was sure the week couldn't get any worse until the tragedy in Connecticut occurred.

The Sandy Hook tragedy has left people across the nation mourning the loss of 27 human lives, most of which were too young to even comprehend.  On top of that unfathomable loss, the media managed to use this awful event to vilify Asperger's syndrome as well.  That unfortunate side effect has left parents like me-- parents of children on the autism spectrum-- doubly reeling with sadness and outrage, as we are left to defend our children and loved ones from the ignorant hate-mongering that abounds on social media and the news right now.

Add to all this stress two children with the flu and one mommy with a very high fever, a massive sinus infection, and what sounds like an emphysemic cough, and you can see why this Christmas season has been a little lackluster for me.

A funny thing has happened, though...

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Newtown Tragedy and Asperger's Syndrome

The tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday is just unfathomable.  I get a lump in my throat and my eyes burn with tears just thinking about it.  How are those folks in Newtown, Connecticut even breathing today?

The Newtown Fire Dept flag at half mast, courtesy of

How will I breathe when I go back to work?  This week, when I walk into the elementary school at which I work, will it look different to me?  Will I be able to look at the faces of the children I see and greet and hug every day, and be able to hold myself together?  Will I be able to reassure these children that they are safe-- and really mean it?  Will I break down when I'm unable to stop the thoughts that this shooting could have happened at my school?  To my kids?

I'm sure I'll do whatever needs to be done, just as my co-workers will.  But no matter what happens, being at work won't feel safe again for a long, long time.

So many things about this tragedy are beyond comprehension.  No one, except for the shooter, can ever really know what would lead a person down a path that would end in massacring children.  Doctors, neighbors, teachers, school counselors, and news anchors can spend countless hours speculating about the mental state of Adam Lanza, but only Adam could have told you why he did what he did.  I have listened to many of the details given about this young man whom, by all accounts, no one really knew, yet about whom everyone seems to have plenty to say.  Adam Lanza was obviously troubled-- any stranger could discern that from the events on Friday, December 14th-- but that is really all we will ever know for sure.

What troubles me about all the press this young man is receiving, however, is that many in the media are trying to link Adam's murderous rampage to his Asperger's syndrome diagnosis.  Please, please, PLEASE-- could the media just once do their research before treading into waters they don't understand...  While I, and parents like me, are out trying to spread autism awareness, the media continues to muddy the waters of understanding with ill-guided comments and suggestions about the relationship between autism and violence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Paramore, Twilight, and Endearing Sarcasm

Birdie began reading Twilight this weekend.  *collective gasp*  Yeah, I know-- what was I thinking?!

*image courtesy of the

Glad you asked.

What I was thinking was, my eight year-old daughter is going to get half-way through the second chapter of this Twilight book and realize it is a sappy, teenage romance novel.  (Which I totally dug, by the way.  Like, super nutso, I-have-to-get-my-hands-on-the-next-book-as-soon-as-I-finish-this-one dug it.  Not exactly a Twi-mom, but close.  Too close.)  Upon that realization, I was sure-- completely sure, as a matter of fact-- the book would be once again safely tucked away in the box from whence it came.

Weeellllll... yeah, no such luck, folks.  Birdie is completely hooked.  Hooked and racing around the elementary school, making recommendations to every grown-up and older student that she can find.  And as for her own classmates, instead of recommending it to them, she is telling them that "parental guidance is suggested for the content of this novel, which means you should ask your mom if you can read it first."  Go ahead and roll your eyes.  I did.  It seems I have created another raging Twi-hard.