Sunday, December 28, 2008

Failure to Communicate (or Understand)

Interesting Points of View from my 9 yr old daughter:

Dad: I setup an email account for you - want to use it?
Daughter: I can only use my email after you buy me a laptop computer!

Me: What do you think about getting a Wii for the family?
Daughter: Dad, we can only play Wii if you buy us a flat screen TV!

Both of these comments came within 24 hours. Can you picture the look on my face?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resources for Dads

I am in the process of gathering online (and offine) resources for Dads. Books, websites, articles - anything of interest for engaged Dads. If you have websites to share - send a comment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

A glimpse into an EARLY Christmas morning.... (Did I say it was EARLY???)

Stocking Stuffer

Letter from Big Sister to each of her brothers (found in their stockings). Speechless Dad.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting Bullied on a Daily Basis

One of my biggest fears for David is his being bullied. The article: "Kids with Asperger's Syndrome: Being Bullied on a Daily Basis" really touched me with points to consider.

I guess my biggest fear was not necessarily now but during the middle school years. That is where a lot of concern lies for me as a Dad and we as parents. Your worries are not ONLY in the now stage, but in "the what will happen when he is stage.

I balance these fears with the POWER moments. Tonight, David and I completed a mind game puzzle together. Well he actually did it (I was there for moral support). I know I loved just being with him. I sensed he loved it too.

After puzzle time, I played catch with A, talked with J about her day (while holding her) and helped JuJu go peepee (when he woke up at 11 pm).

You know what, maybe I won't worry so much (who has time)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wondering About Aspergers

Our latest concerns surround the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome. David has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS but it has been on our hearts for some time that Aspergers may be reality for him. Read the symptoms ..... and if you know David....then what would you think?

It's another body blow to take on as a Dad. I trudge on. Life is not dull. David is strong and we will move forward.....together.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perception IS Reality

David has been struggling with fitting in. My struggle as his Dad is understanding what he is facing. More specifically trying to get to his level and understand his view of the world. It is painful to see him be ostracized (or feel like that). It is painful for me to not be able to help (i suspect every dad's dilemma)

His interaction with his siblings and friends seem to be fine. There are definitely some awkward moments (sensory issues - touching, hugging, extreme yelling, emotional or over-reaction). So as an outsider - looks can be deceiving.

He has communicated that he feels left out at school. HIS PERCEPTION is others are forming groups and leaving him out. The facts are still coming in. These groups may be forming but what is being perceived as an intentional slight (to him) is nothing more than a group of kids playing together (or eating lunch together).

So my struggle is when to protect or push. My anxiety is worrying about him being bullied. I don't have an answer right now. Seeking wisdom through prayer and seeking support through community.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cherish the Good Days

Today was a good day. Not so much for me (tired), or for Rachel (feeling sick) - but a good day of social interactions with David. In fact it has been a good 24 hours (since last night).

If you are a parent of a child on the autism spectrum - you understand.

Last night I made strawberry milk for the boys. This was a first time drink for David.
Upon drinking he said, "Dad, thanks for the strawberry milk..... JP and I love you".
This wasn't silly talk or a common reaction from him.

For the first time in 7 years - I knew he truly meant saying those 3 words to me.

Tonight, upon arriving home we had our silly rambunctious play (Dad and all 4 kids).
I had dinner while the kids were having dessert (homemade cake from the kids)
I started my standard questions regarding the day for David. But today I asked
"Did you have any special visitors today?" David replied with his face beaming, "Yeah, Mom! She did a presentation in my class" I asked (feeling bold), "How did you feel seeing her?" David replied while giggling "Very happy!" We talked about the rest of his day, he went through the rest of bed time routine, told me that JP was doing poops.

The word that came to mind regarding our interaction was that he was ENGAGED. He was uncharacteriscally VERY socially engaged.

Engaging with my son has been a long time prayer of mine. A simple prayer just for a moment. I feel grateful and blessed on this day. I will cherish this day hoping this will be one moment in a lifetime of many moments. I will continue to pray in Jesus' name for change in David's life and especially change in mine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Females in Training (FIT)

Hats off to Jaclyn and Rachel who ran & finished a 5K last Sunday in New Milford, CT. The weather was freezing! Yet, they still perservered and did it! I am so proud of both of them. Proud of Jaclyn for:
- Sticking with the FIT program and completing her goal.
- Trying a new experience and meeting new people.
- Being athletic and aware of fitness

Proud of Rachel for:
- Commitment to fitness for the family
- Being a leader for Jaclyn
- Doing all of this WHILE being a mother of 4 along with working, teaching, GS leading, etc... (major props!)

We (the rest of the gang) cheered them on along the finish line. We played in the snow while we waited and as a Dad I hope it reinforced a couple of things:

1. fitness as part of our family (healthy mind, spirit and body)
2. supporting other family members (through good and bad weather)
3. take time to celebrate these times (All Aboard Pizza Shop with Abu & Ita)