I Took the 7 Link Challenge!

I was perusing through my favorite feeds and came across a unique content idea from ProBlogger that I just HAD to use!

The article recommends publishing a list of 7 links to posts that I (and others) have written in response to 7 categories, complete with reasons why I chose each particular post.

Here are my 7 links – I hope you enjoy them!

Your first post

Top Five Reasons I Volunteer Before I began my Autism site, I helped DeKalb County start a citizen branch of support for Fire Rescue. Along with several extraordinary team members and an amazing Captain, we formed a vision for what was known at that time as the Citizen Reserve and watched it come into fruition. It was an incredible experience. Since moving out of state, I watched Citizen Reserve change organization, duties, protocols, and eventually redefine itself. It seems to have circled back around to its original vision, and I can’t wait to be involved again in any capacity!

A post you enjoyed writing the most

… and That’s What Little Boys Are Made Of Writing to share my experiences and help others ALWAYS helps me. I can talk about being patient, kind, and empathetic with ease, but I am also a single (human!) mom that balances a LOT on my daily plate. I make mistakes. I get caught in pity parties and frustration at times. I lose my patience. This post was very therapeutic for me, as it reminded me that I don’t always have to live in an the analytical and diagnostic world of Autism. Sometimes my son is just being a boy!

A post which had a great discussion

Why Does My Autistic Child Scream?! I am always honored when someone experiencing the things I write about first hand comments on my posts or tweets. As much research and energy as I put into understanding my son, I am still an outsider when it comes to Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. I don’t feel what he feels, or see the world quite the way he does, though I always give it my all! I was thrilled to read Jason’s thorough remarks about this post, especially when it was only my second post on the blog!

A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written

Little Specks of Autism by stark. raving. mad. mommy. This post is just beautiful. I related to it so much! I especially think about all the quirky rituals I have in my daily life, from having a favorite plate that no one else can use, to my odd parking space logic, to accidentally bumping my elbow on the table and having to re-create the same volume of pain on the opposite elbow for it to feel “even”. Yep, we all have little specks of Autism alright!

Your most helpful post

Parents: Who Supports Us? This is dedicated to all of us that live with and fight for our special needs children. It’s not a job for weenies! It reminds us that our feelings are natural, however appropriate or inappropriate we are judging them to be at the time, and that support for US is vital to our children’s success.

A post with a title that you are proud of

“I’m funny how? Funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you?” This was a really fun bit to write explaining how children on the Spectrum typically do not understand sarcasm. Ironically the entire post was sprinkled with said sarcasm, as it runs rampant in my house and in my head.

Actually it’s a tie…

Are You Going to the Hardware Store for a Loaf of Bread? Another playful post that starts off with a famous scene from The Electric Company. Though quite humorous, the post really hones in on our expectations and how it’s not really fair to keep demanding things from people that they are not capable of giving.

A post that you wish more people had read

A Letter to my Son – Clearing the Past Read with tissues nearby. That is all.

“I’m funny how? Funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you?”

Sarcasm: Remarks that mean the opposite of what they seem to say and are intended to mock or deride.

Add irony, hyperboles, understatements, metaphors, oxymorons, or the anticlimactic punchline – no, this isn’t a Language Arts pop quiz. These are the things not understood by my Autistic child, who lives in a literal world.

Last night we viewed a commercial for a new movie in which the main character exclaimed, “There is no such thing as—“ “DEREK!” his wife interjected. What my son heard was, “There is no such thing as Derek,” and promptly looked me in the eye and asked, “So the Derek in my class isn’t real?” Oh boy : )

In a household where sarcasm is spun more intricately than a debate between Alan Rickman and Joe Pesci, I find it extremely ironic (and entertaining!) that my son doesn’t comprehend the figurative language. Phrases like, “I laughed my head off”, “She cried her eyes out when she watched that episode”, or “Don’t blow a gasket, it’s just a video game” are lost on him. I certainly have to think twice when he asks if it would be cool to see him jump from the chair, over the dog, and onto the coffee table and I reply with, “Sure – that’s not dangerous…”

Before stumbling upon the realization that Autistic children can have trouble interpreting sarcasm, I wondered why classic momilies such as, “I’ll kick you into next week” and “Back off the TV or you’ll burn your eyes out” would elicit a mortified response from the boy. Can you imagine how confusing your universe would be if you took every message literally? No wonder I never got the desired result every time I reminded him to keep his hands and his feet to himself. In his mind, that meant keeping them attached to his body. Duh, mom!

I also used to think he was just being difficult when I would tell him it was his bedtime and he would immediately retort with, “It’s NOT! It’s 8:57!” Rounding up doesn’t exist, nor does approximation. A couple always means two and a few always means three when I am talking to him. And he holds me to it! We’ve also had many arguments arise when he would ask me how much longer until dinner and my answer was something like, “Not much longer” or “twenty minutes or so”. Frustrated, he would repeat the question until I answered in a way he understood. I had no idea that he simply doesn’t process vague statements.

My daughter and I are the complete opposite of him – we exaggerate for humor, paint mental pictures of the ridiculous when trying to prove a point, and typically function in a “go with the flow” state of being. It can be challenging to stop and alter how we communicate with him so he gets it, but I now see the importance of it! To him, we are sometimes speaking another language. He already feels left out being the only male; the last thing I want to do is isolate him further when I can simply adjust the way I phrase something.

When my daughter and I are laughing hysterically, shooting rapid-fire examples of “Imagine if” jokes and he either corrects us or chimes in with something completely irrelevant, we have learned to appreciate his beautiful mind. It is quite a gift to have such a different perspective presented to us on a daily basis.