Nearlythebionicwoman's Blog

I have been reading a new book, Empowered Autism Parenting, written by William Stillman (who has Aspergers) and I feel that I have learned even more about these kids (adults too) than I could have learned from some therapist that has never physically experienced it. While Autism is different from Aspergers in many ways, which Mr. Stillman never disputes, he still can use his own experiences to help. He does not go into an evaluation to help the person with Autism. He goes in to help the caregivers who care for the person with Autism. It’s amazing what can be done if only you understand why something is happening, or why the person “behaves” that way.

This past Sunday, I was able to sit down and have a more in-depth talk with a woman who teaches children with Autism. To say the least, I am heartbroken and disgusted. Not in this teacher but with the parents and the lack of steps that the  Cincinnati Public Schools is allowed to take to protect them. I am not sure that I have it in me yet to put into written word what I have been told regarding the abuse from the parents so that will take time. You can only imagine. Although, I hope not.

child in a boxWhat I am thinking though is that there has to be something more that can be done in the school. Most of these kids in the public school system are low-income families. No matter what your view on the parents, I am talking about a child. Just because you were born in to a family that is poor, doesn’t mean that you cannot be happy and pull yourself out. What happens though when you are born with Autism and you do not have the same opportunities as others and most likely you do not have the ability to care for yourself enough to “pull yourself out” of your circumstances without someone’s help?

This particular teacher (name withheld for safety reasons) prints pictures off of the internet, colors them herself and laminates them. All for “her” kids as a way to teach them. The thing is that some of the children with Autism (adults too) could benefit from a machine that would help them communicate however, I have been told that they are very expensive. After hearing the horror stories, I wouldn’t trust sending them home with these particular students but what if they were available to the students in the classroom? What other improvements could we make available to help them become the independent people they would love to be if only given the opportunity?

Benefits are taking place every day for different charities and disabilities and that is great however, it doesn’t help the individual families while all of this research is going on to find a cure that may or may not ever come in their lifetime. What if there was a non-profit that adopted a family or a school to help the here and now? Would you be willing to trade in your Starbucks coffee each morning or your elaborate holidays to help another person that physically cannot help themselves without you if that’s what it took?

I am looking for ideas and possibilities of what can be done. What do you think? What are your child runningexperiences, questions, comments? Anything. I too am looking for guidance here. I feel lost and helpless and I am not even the parent or caregiver of a child with Autism. These people are amazing to me and there has to be more we can do to help these intelligent loving human beings be all that they can be.


The other day while in the grocery store, I witnessed a mom with her daughter and her son with Autism. To the naked eye I could see how the child could appear to an uneducated stranger as simply a misbehaved child. The boy was trying to get away from his mother and when he could not, he grabbed a bag of apples and threw them onto the floor. I could tell right away (through my studies) that the child had Autism. What I did not know is exactly why he would throw the apples except that I believed this child couldn’t help it. What I now know (and wonder if this Mom knows) is that he was trying to communicate with her.

While I was standing there in the produce section, I simply saw the things I needed to get. On other occasions, when I am not in a hurry, I stand around and notice all of the different colors and possibilities. New things I’m excited to try. As I look back on that day, what I remember is that it was very bright and crowded. out of control

As I read Mr. Stillman’s words, I am reminded that someone who has Autism can be very sensitive and easily overloaded. Imagine if I took away the mental list of what I needed, the ability to block out anything that did not apply to why I was there at that moment. One would see only bright (keep in mind artificial) light, strangers everywhere reaching, grabbing and moving all around you, different shapes, colors and smells at every turn. A child with Autism takes in everything. They do not have the ability to filter out things like a “normal”, also called neurotypical, person whereas this type of child cannot.

His throwing the apples on the floor was the only way that he could try and communicate with his Mom that it was hurting him and he didn’t want to be there. This may sound selfish and yet we are not talking about a typical child. Some times my son doesn’t want to go to the store because he wants to go home and watch a movie. Unfortunately, this is not a fair comparison. Not wanting to go because it’s not what they want to do verses being in pain from over stimulation is not the same. What I have to wonder is if this young boy could sit in the cart and perhaps have something from home like a favorite blanket, toy or book, Would he be able to sooth himself? Would having something familiar to him help him to feel more in control?

If you are ever in this situation try and remember something that makes you feel out of control. Personally, I cannot stand it if I have somewhere to go and cannot get around the people in front of me that seem to have no concern for those around them. I also cannot stand certain repetitive noises.I feel like I am crawling out of my skin. Imagine living life like this. So, before you judge that child in the store as simply being a brat, or judge the parent as being a bad parent, please find a little compassion in your heart and realize there could be more to it than you first see.

It is five in the morning and I have laid awake for at least an hour now contemplating that very question:

What Is A Good Night’s Sleep? sleeping kitty

For quite a while there I was prescribed Ambien to sleep at night. If only in my own mind, I was becoming afraid that the use of Ambien was a crutch. I felt that I was addicted. If I didn’t have my sleeping helper then I couldn’t sleep at all. The problem is that I want to be able to take it by a certain time each night and that was not always possible with my work schedule. So, this meant that on those nights, I panicked myself into thinking that I would never get any sleep that particular night since I wouldn’t take it at all past a certain time.

I trained myself to go to sleep without it and when I woke up during the night, I would simply not allow myself to open my eyes. Instead of panicking I would simply lay there and daydream of something lovely but stay as still and relaxed as possible. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. But, what about the nights like last? Since I do work on an aircraft for a living, I try to drink extra water during the day to keep from becoming dehydrated. This means of course that I was in the bathroom 4 times last night. That’s 4 times that I woke up for that alone! Then, there’s the times that my legs begin to charge up and jerk me awake (which did not happen with the sleeping pill). And, the time that I thought I heard something weird, or my husband coughs, or…well, you get the picture.

So, is it possible that one could use the aid of a sleeping pill only a couple of times a week? Would that be so bad? Why is that my calm approach to non aided sleeping works sometimes and not others and what determines this? It’s not as if I know going in that tonight’s the night that I wish I had taken that pill!

What do you consider a good night sleep?

written by William Stillman.

As I head back to work after a brief hiatus (mandatory vacation), I brought with me the book Empowered Autism Parenting. This volume as he calls it is written by a man who was diagnosed with Aspbergers. Aspbergers is a mild form of Autism. The book is meant for the lower spectrum (mild) forms of Autism and from what I have read so far is meant to give hope and understanding to parents of these kids who may not be getting it from other places.

As I read more, I will give you more information on the book so please check back!

Thanks and have a blessed day.

orange drinkSometimes my husband feels weak or light headed all of a sudden. He thinks his blood sugar is low and I am pretty sure that he fells a little better after he eats something sweet. Does this automatically mean that he is hypoglycemic? Could it mean that he has diabetes? Since he just had a physically for surgery, I would hope that the blood work would have revealed something.

Let’s visit and see what they have to say, shall we?

Your liver controls the amount of blood sugar goes into your blood stream, the kidneys filter the blood and your pancreas produces insulin, which is the hormone that your body uses keep the blood sugar in a normal range. If you have an underlying problem with any of these, this could be the culprit.

Medicines can also cause the problem, such as anti-depressant, malaria medicines and aspirin. Oh, I will have to ask how much aspirin he is taking!

Does anyone in your family have metabolic problems? Have you had any stomach surgery? These are some things to take into consideration.

While I would love to believe a piece of candy is all you need, you should probably see the doctor for the above reasons. Sorry.

According to the webmd site these are the symptoms:

  • Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy.
  • Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking.
  • Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death.

So, pick up the phone and make that call for your own good!

aloe plantThis is an aloe plant. It is one of natures wonders and used for many things as it has for thousands of years. The main thing that I have used it for is burns. One can either cut off part of the plants leaves and then rub the gooey inside on a burn or you can purchase it already made up in a neat bottle. Personally, I think it’s best in it’s most natural form. Better for the environment too!

Another thing that the aloe vera is good for is healing the gut and helping with digestive/indigestion/ acid problems. Just the other day, I saw a commercial for a drinkable form of aloe that portrays it for acid reflux sufferers! Someone is clever.

The other day when I was in Trader Joe’s up by Kenwood, I saw Aloe Vera in a can. You know, just like you would buy canned peaches. Ok, this looks interesting. I opened the can last night. No real smell to it. Looks like light green, slightly opaque cubes of jello. I poured out the “light syrup” that it’s packed in, took a cube on my spoon and tried it. The consistency was like old honeydew. The taste leaves a lot to be desired. Not sweet like a melon at all. Very strange. My brain could not retrieve any memories to describe the taste. It was very confusing. Almost a little bit like mildew would taste and a little bitter yet bland. I know, that description makes no sense at all.

I put it in the freezer. Perhaps I can use it for a smoothie instead of ice. I will let you know later.

My legs have been bothering me so badly lately that I am forced to take the Requip twice a day, every day for over a week. I take it with my morning meds AND with my night meds. So, why is this happening?

One thing that I can put together is the fact that my knee replacement has been horribly wrong for over a year now and aches (no, is excruciatingly painful) more and more every day. I remember that after I had the knee replaced, the RLS became really bad too. Can you imagine a leg that jumps around and is already in serious pain from surgery.

Dear PHD who replaced my knee,

Although you were really nice and caring, I am thinking that perhaps you should go back to school or maybe even have your own knee replaced and not use the Continuous Passive Motion Machine! I believe that your exact words were “There’s nothing that machine can do that your own body cannot.” Ha!

Don’t think that I will ever recommend you to anyone.  Good luck in your venture though!


Unhappy patient

OK, with that rant out of the way. I wonder if I am more stressed out about the fact that my knee hurts so bad that I can barely get up or down the stairs half of the time or that I am looking into having the whole procedure done again?

Today, I learned that one thing that causes the RLS to become worse is stress. That’s why warm baths are suggested. By the way, how am I supposed to sit in a warm bath when my legs are jumping all over the place? I can’t even stand to not pace the floor? So many questions, so little time. My husband and I are going to be sleeping in separate beds before this is all said and done. A lot of the time,  I cannot rest because I am so afraid that my legs are going to become possessed at any time that I cannot think about anything BUT my legs. I know that I subconsciously make it even worse. That has to be the case since it never fails. It’s The Secret!

Dear God,

Can you please help me with this situation? I love to be able to help others and I will but a little less jumping would be greatly appreciated!


HARO tweeted about a parenting style called STEP, or Systematic Training for Effective Parenting this morning that sounds like it could be a relief to many parents. The website explains some of it, has comments from parents and offers ways of getting the program details. What I want is to hear from actual parents (not ones that are on the website, no offense just a little sceptical) that may have tried it or who have an opinion.

Thanks for your help and contributions.

I went to Wellington Orthopedic in Anderson today to check on my ankle that I was told was broken. Of course, since I found this out, I dropped a bunch of 18×18″ vinyl tiles on the top of said foot making it look just horrible! ouch foot1

I had to explain what happened that brought me there and WHY my foot looked like that if not for the reason that I was there. Ugh! I asked if he could put a really hard cast on it so that nothing else could happen to it. 🙂


Yeah! My foot is broken. OK, so that’s NOT the good news. It’s a clean break, I can walk on it or do whatever I need to do according to my pain level but no cast. Come back in 2-3 weeks to make sure it healed well.

Note to ‘the boy’ STOP STEPPING ON MOMMIES FOOT! Pretty please sweet boy….

I have a six year old son who is well, let’s just say really, really active. There are times when he will completely zone out and watch a movie if it’s a really good one. Then there are the times when he could not stop talking or sit still if you offered him all of the candy or money in the world. Trust me, I have tried!

“I’ll give you $1 if you can stop talking for 5 minutes.”, I’ll say. He gets all excited and tries really hard and yet exactly 30 seconds later he’s asking me something. We can tell him something 20 times and yet there will always be that 21st time, such as stop playing with that laundry basket please.

I have tried every kind of punishment I can think of, watched many episodes of Nanny 911 and even the reinforcements for good behavior and yet nothing. One thing I do even though he rebels is that if he is whining at the grocery store, then he definitely does NOT get that treat. That’s good, right? So, why does he just do it again the next time?

With the research I have been doing on children’s health, I have been led to research for myself and my family. One particular book is about ADD/ADHD and how to cure (help) it without a pill. A lot of the things in this book sound like I am describing myself no less my son.Look at me.

Craves more and more excitement/stimulation…check.

Doesn’t like some loud sounds/lights and yet is often so loud himself….check.

Can’t follow more than one instruction….check.

Ok, or could this just be the fact that he’s only 6? What about the fact that I am almost 36? Not to worry though. I am very excited to start some of exercises if only I can get him to play along with me. I tried one of the exercises the other day and he got frustrated and just wanted to get on the elliptical machine. We were in the gym playing on the mat. We tried playing Simon Says only instead of the usual touch your nose stuff, I asked him to touch his left hand to his right knee. It was really hard for him. According to this book, which lists this as an exercise to teach full use of the body, this works the same part of the brain that allows attention. Also, things like balancing, balancing while throwing/catching a ball and then adding talking to the mix. I hate to break it to ya buddy, but I doubt that I can do that and this is for kids. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken me a week to write this. I keep getting distracted!

As an adult though, we can train ourselves (hopefully) to concentrate by taking specific measures. I have to try and block out everything else. I finally sat myself down and said do it! Each time I want to veer away, I have to stop myself. One thing that I remember as a kid and that still helps today is that when I used to do my homework, I would have a radio playing. What this would do is to draw my attention from everywhere else into the radio and then to my homework. Since I already knew all of the words, I didn’t need to concentrate on them. Music has always been a way for me to drown out everything else so perhaps this wouldn’t work for everyone else. I can also use it to sleep better by drowning out the day.

One thing that I have to tell my son is to “concentrate”. If he is forgetting what he is doing, such as putting on his shoes, I tell him to concentrate. I also have a treasure hunt with clues that I want to do with him to work on his ability to follow directions. More that one at a time. I wondered why I would ask him to go upstairs, get dressed, put on his shoes and come back down. I would go up 10 minutes later and find him playing. Apparently, some kids cannot retain too many instructions or may have a visual spacial issue where they cannot visualize the area. What I mean by this is that the child goes into their room but cannot find his/her shoes where they think they should be and then become distracted.

Is this why I often walk into a room and have no idea where I am!?

Another issue could be if they find something too difficult, they shut down or become distracted. Such as the child that just stares out the window during a school subject they find too difficult. I personally did not do so well in English class because reading can often bore me or I simply get really tired when trying to read. If it’s not really exciting stuff, I will simply lose interest and go onto something else. I cannot even sit through a movie unless it too is really really good. I sit up and then back. Left, then right.

Sounds like trying these exercises with my son could help us both. It couldn’t hurt. I just have to let my broken foot heal first! ;9

et cetera