Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Grocery Store and (more about) Bananas

(A Collection of Facebook Statuses)

Saturday Afternoon:

DC: Oh, Vickie
(Oh???)
Me: Yes, DC
DC: "DC's beautiful mother! I L-O-V-E YOU!" 
(hahaha, now I know he is up to or wants something)
Me: I love you too.
DC: We're out of 'a-bannas'
(How is that possible?)
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-For those that may be new here: He is an adult and in his mind he should call me by my adult name (at times)
-We always seem to be out of bananas and I will hear about it every five minutes until we get some....

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Later that night:
Just now: His nightly ritual - 
DC: Good night, Mom. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. 
Me: Pleasant dreams.
DC: (going off script) I have good dreams. 
Me: Oh? What are you going to dream about?
DC: Tipps
(The grocery store, because as you may or may not have heard .... we are out of bananas)


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Sunday Morning:

The List:

First thing this morning, he made his shopping list. Yes, he does yell "check" and make a check while writing the list instead of checking the items off when he gets them. We're working on that.
His shopping list for this particular grocery store is always a bit different than his list for the larger grocery store that we go to weekly.


Bananas, paper and black markers will always be found on both lists. But chicken wings and a black and white cookie do not appear on the list for Tipps. Instead you will find pizza and a whoopie pie
.



DC has particular reasons for visiting each grocery store. Long ago he discovered that this particular store carried Stromboli. He decided that this was his favorite thing to eat. This was the only reason he ever chose Tipps over the larger grocery store. It has everything a pizza has but there's more bread. Stromboli is also the name of a character in Pinocchio, so he could also pronounce it perfectly.

Later, he discovered whoopie pies. 

Unfortunately, as with almost everything DC loves, the store recently stopped selling Stromboli, so he opts for a frozen pizza when he is shopping there. Yes, frozen pizzas are available in the larger grocery store, but THAT store is for wings, so frozen pizza will only be purchased in Tipps.

But the real draw now that Stromboli is no more, is his new-found love of the whoopie pie...


Last week's Birthday Post (Breakfast of Champions):


DC just has a love of grocery stores in general. So much so that when I run out of Birthday or Christmas list items for the friends and family that always ask me what to get him; when the movies, band-aids, paper, markers, scotch tape and books have all been doled out (not that he can ever have enough of any of the above), I have resorted to assigning someone a grocery store gift card. 

And he is always happy to receive one!

Sunday Afternoon:

Bananas - Check
Whoopie Pie - Check
Pizza - Check
Mission Accomplished

Here's the funny part.... I said earlier in this post that this store stopped selling his favorite thing, Stromboli a little while back so he made the switch to pizza - not very willingly at first, but the switch has been made.

Today there was a whole section of Stromboli and quite a few with the ingredient combo that he prefers: Sausage, Pepperoni and Cheese. Believe it or not, he refused to get one!

He made the switch to pizza and pizza is what is on his list....






So, end of story.......

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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time










Thursday, March 23, 2017

'Chills', My Favorite Place!


We celebrated DC's Twenty Sixth (Twenty- Sixteen: DC-speak) this week. His favorite thing about his birthday (other than cake, parties and gifts, that is) is going "out to eat". It is expected and he seems to do a good deal of "going out to eat" around birthday time.

There is also a very strict list of DC-approved foods for eating in restaurants. He will eat other things at home, but in a restaurant he must have:

Wings, a Cheeseburger (sometimes with Bacon) and French Fries.

If we happen to be somewhere that does not serve the food listed above, then he will move on to the "B" list and order Pizza, mozzarella sticks or in a pinch, ribs.

We always have to study the menu before going anywhere.

OH! There must be bread!

DC has had a favorite restaurant ("My favorite place!") for many years. It is a lobster house.

Now, he will call whatever restaurant we happen to be in at the time, his favorite place and just last weekend while visiting the Catskills he announced that Vastra's Bistro was has favorite place before he even got to the table. You can not always believe that somewhere is actually his favorite, but this particular lobster house, I can definitely say, was his favorite place.

Will he eat lobster?

No!

Will he even taste it?

No!

He orders wings, a cheeseburger and french fries every single time. He just wants to eat them there apparently.

We have gone there for EVERYTHING; his birthday, Mother's Day, his graduation dinner - any occasion you can think of, we have spent at the lobster house.

Quite frankly, I was getting tired of it.

The staff changed, the menu changed, we had a few bad meals towards the end aaannnnnd they stopped serving his favorite desert, Chocolate Fantasy Cake - but still... that was where he wanted to go until... he discovered somewhere better...

This year, finally he changed his mind. He did not even mention the lobster house when requesting his birthday dinner - He wanted to go to "Chills" (Chili's - DC-speak).

I think what pushed him over  to "Chills" was the chocolate chip cookie skillet dessert. (Much better, than chocolate fantasy cake, in my opinion). They do not have bread, but they have chips - and he loves chips.

He got his chips, wings, cheeseburger, french fries and a song with his cookie skillet...




And just like that, he has a new favorite place......

(They also have a lighter menu options so I can pretend to stay on my diet)
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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

IP Meetings (No 'E" since he's left the school system)


                                 

                                           (a collection of Facebook Statuses)
Today

6 month IP (no "E", he's out of school) review meeting this morning - <insert sarcasm font> Can't think of anything that I would enjoy more! <end sarcasm font> #FunTimes #WeDropTheEButTheFunRemains

From Take Another Step Facebook Statuses

Also Today

So.... because there are program changes coming down the pike at DC's work program, my caseworker specifically requested and planned this meeting around a person who could explain (hopefully) how these changes will effect DC. She was not there (she had a good reason) so he requested that another person come into the meeting since we were already there. She did not, but relayed a very vague reply to his question. So..... we now have to schedule another meeting to go over the issues we should have gone over today. Was there really no one in that building that could have answered his questions? Really? That in itself is rather frightening.

I will be writing about those changes on my Official Blog Page when I have a minute to let it all soak in. I don't have much information but what I do have seems ridiculous.

(update: I let it soak and wrote about what I could piece together - here)

From Take Another Step Facebook Statuses

 And Previously on IP Meetings:



"After IP" selfie (IEP's are not over once they leave school, they just remove the "E")

From Take Another Step Facebook Statuses



From Take Another Step Facebook Statuses


 The Only Plus that comes from attending these meetings is I get to have lunch with this guy afterwards.

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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time


Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Time to Take Action on #AHCA (Via: The Spectral Zone)

IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION ON THE PROPOSED HEALTHCARE BILL!!!

IT'S TIME TO JOIN TOGETHER AS ONE COMMUNITY!

Many Thanks to Andrew at The Spectral Zone for putting this Call to Action Together.
This is not about politics - it is about our children!!! Take a minute to read the post and another few minutes to send a letter to your Representatives (he has made it easy for you by providing a template to use as is, or to modify to your own liking or disability). 

Let's all come together and make this happen!

Facebook Statuses at Take Another Step


A Time for Action 


Guys, it's time to take action on the proposed health care bill. It is a clear and present danger to all autistic adults and children. Take action right now.
Please share with all of your networks.
There are additional details in the post, below, but here are the action steps all of us need to take:
I have drafted a letter template drafted for you to use as a base for writing to your representatives: https://docs.google.com/…/1oLGhWqDrQ35Whi_e9evo5FTJQvO…/edit
Copy the text into an email and modify it as necessary to fit your circumstances.
Send the letter to both of your Senators:https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
Send the letter to your Representatives:http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.
Together we can win this fight!
Time for Action!
"This weekend, I finally had a chance to read through the proposed GOP Health Care Bill, called the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA).  I read proposed laws and regulations for a living,  but this Bill left me concerned and upset in a way few other pieces of legislation have done. Put simply, it poses a direct threat to the disability community, one we need to address with a single voice.

This bill is the clearest threat to disabled kids and adults that I have seen in a long time.  The bill would end Medicaid as we know it, prioritizing tax cuts for individuals making over $250,000 over health care for Americans with disabilities.  Amendments to the bill have so far made it worse for disabled Americans, not better.

Why all the fuss about Medicaid?  Medicaid is typically the only health insurance plan for persons with disabilities who have limited income, including the majority of autistic adults. " ..... {Continue}

Continue Reading at: The Spectral Zone and write your Senators and Representatives!
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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time

Monday, March 13, 2017

#TravelingWithDC - Mom's Birfday - Catskills

(a collection of Facebook Posts and photos)



DC: Mom's 17th Birfday on Monday!
ME: Yes, but I am not going to be 17.
DC: (Ignoring that) Going on a little 'twip' tomorrow!
ME: Yes, just a short one.
DC: For Mom's 17th Birfday .... coming home Monday (we haven't even left and he is worried about when we are coming home)
ME: Yes, coming home Monday, but I don't want to hear that all weekend. I answered that question.
DC: So excited about Mom's 17th Birfday on Monday! YES!
Go to the restaurant?
...and right there, exactly there is the ONLY reason he is excited about my birthday............ #AllRoadsLeadToWingsandBurgers


and so it began....

We had planned a weekend (4 days really) road trip for my birthday - or really during my birthday weekend as nothing is ever really about me, ya know.

This trip was what I like to call a "looking around" trip. I started using that term for DC's benefit, so he would understand that:

We will not be boarding an airplane or ship
We will not be going to Disney or any place like that.
We will be in the car for long periods of time.
We will be staying in a hotel, but sometimes more than one.
We do not know what we will find.
There may not be a bookstore.
We will be driving and just looking around.

Of course we do usually have a destination in mind and we do check to see what else is around in that area, but mostly we really are just looking around.

Doug happened upon a hotel in the Catskills awhile back called the Roxbury and he noticed that they had (among others), a Wizard of Oz themed room. Now, if you know how much DC is obsessed with Disney, just know his obsession with the Wizard of Oz is right up there with his Disney obsession.

But.... they also have a Star Trek room! Did you get that? A STAR TREK Room!
But how could I pass up the Wizard of Oz room with "DC in the house" even when it is my birthday?

I couldn't... We booked OZ.

We kept that detail a secret from DC and left on our "Looking around" trip on Friday.

#Priorities

We had booked a different hotel for Friday night because the original plan was to loop around and visit the Woodstock sight. Being that is was 12 degrees and snowing, we decided to do that another time, but kept the reservation and continued on our way via the scenic route.






On Saturday morning we headed out to the surprise hotel, stopping and looking around along the way.








Onward....

We made it to the hotel. I was so excited for him to see the room...


Sooooooo not the reaction I was hoping for. Yes, he said "Wow" but I could tell that it did not really mean "Wow" - he did not know what to say.
The part of the video that is missing (only because I said his real name and had to cut it) is when he came right up to my face and said:

 "Mom, I don't want to say here! I don't!" 

Sigh...... did I mention there was a Star Trek room that we could have booked???? 

He was nervous about the whole thing but more so, I think over the fact that it was dark, much darker than even I expected - he hated it!




Doug tried skipping him down the yellow brick road, but he still was not happy.





Okayyyyyy, so we left the dreaded room and went to find lunch... 

(did I mention there was a Star Trek room that we could have booked???)

I should have prepared him but I really thought it was going to be a good surprise for him! I thought he'd be thrilled! I really did! #ParentingFail 

Lunch seemed to get him back on track and he seemed to be back to his old self. We talked about the room a bit and he seemed to be more excited about it. He just needed a little bit of time to process it all.


He needed to set up his spot. 


 Within and hour or two, it had turned into fun. By the next day he was doing jumping jacks down the Yellow Brick Road.

Phew!

(Now for some random pictures of the hotel and the surrounding area)







They light it up at night...


Of course there was dinner and more wings right across the street.



We also knew that there was a town close-by that was dubbed THE BOOK VILLAGE, so that was on our agenda for Sunday. We set out to explore and visit this village, but first..... lunch.



After the crackers; you guessed it..... wings.



THIS.... he was excited about.

#1. Blenheim Hill Books



#2. Liberty Rock Books


#3 Creative Corner who as it turned out did not have any children's books but the shop was cute.


#4 Butternut Valley Books. It was closed but the lady at Creative Corner opened it up and DC did find something cool. (Also the home of quite a few Star Trek <did I mention there was a Star Trek Room that we could have booked?> books)



It was FREEZING so we did not wander the streets any longer, never mind the fact that this was turning into a very expensive street with DC along. 

I do believe he would very much like to live there.

Monday morning came and it was time to check out. DC, the "boy" who was originally afraid of the room wanted to know if we were "coming back again sometime soon" (I'll take that as a success).

He enjoyed the room.
He had his fill of wings.
He visited a real live Book Village.

We only had 2 meltdowns while there - one of them being me, when I was locked out of the coffee room for a second morning!
The other was DC on the last morning. He really hated the shower. It was one of those very deep soaking tubs and he just had enough of it. It was hard for him to step into it to take a shower. The semi-meltdown went on loudly for a good 15 minutes. 
(I call them semi meltdowns only in comparison to those he had when he was younger. They might in fact be full blown meltdowns to some, but I call them semi by comparison only).

Fortunately most of the other guests had checked out the morning before.  

We did a bit more "looking around" on the way home...



We never did find the 3rd largest kaleidoscope but we found the proverbial Fork in The Road..

  
Giving Yogi Barra's quote of "If you come to a fork in the road, take it!" an entirely different meaning.


So there you have it. DC definitely had a "Happy Mom's Birthday" (so did "Mom")

We will be going back again and next time it's Star Trek, or as the hotel named it, The Final Frontier Room..... Did I forget to mention there was a Star Trek room that we could have booked?



***
Link to The Final Frontier Room (did I forget to mention there was a Star Trek room?)

Links to our other Oz Adventures:

Because, Because, Because, Because….BEEEE CAUSE - Autumn in OZ




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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let's Talk About Inspiration Porn...

Updated - April 2, 2018 to add:

I just saw the first "Inspiration Porn" Prom proposal of the season in my news feed today. The issue of Inspiration Porn is not strictly related to Autism, but since it IS Autism Awareness Month, I felt the need to post this again.... You are NOT doing a wonderful thing for someone if you have to share the video of that wonderful thing you've done with the world. You did it to make yourself feel like a hero. A real hero does not need to broadcast...

Facebook Status April 2, 2018


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From My Facebook Memories one year ago - (later, I read a post from my friend over at Running Through Water:- about this very same clip. Her post is linked at the end - give it a read)
**
Whether they meant to or not..., they nailed it! SNL, nailed viral disability videos and inspiration porn .... 

- Asking someone to the prom does not a hero make. Making it a video using the boy with autism which then goes viral, does not a hero make. 

 -An employer standing up for his employee, by posting the story on Facebook 'after the fact' without asking the customers to leave at the time of the incident - does not a hero make.

- Using that same employee in an article that states many many times that his employee "suffers" from autism - does not a hero make.


- A football player eating lunch with the poor autistic boy (oh, but wasn't that so nice of him? As if the boy does not deserve to have lunch with anyone) - does not a hero make.





From Facebook Statuses at Take Another Step

Because I am a bit vocal about my aversion to inspiration porn, I have received a few comments about a post I wrote a few years ago, thanking a restaurant for going out of their way to do something nice for DC. 






Yes, I wrote it.

Yes, I thanked them..... profusely!

Here's the difference though.


" I " wrote the Facebook post and the blog that came later.



" I " thanked them.


I asked them about the character. They chose to go out of their way to do this for him.
DC was sitting at the table and not even with with me when I was talking to the waiter.
They did not know of his autism, although I am sure they figured it out by the time Shrek arrived.
It was a nice thing for them to do for ANYONE and anyone (I would hope) would have thanked them.

More importantly:


THEY did not post it to social media in order to pat themselves on the back for doing this for him. I patted them on the back for going out of their way for their customers and my child.

There lies the difference. My son was not used as a pawn for a pat on the back. They did this because they are wonderful people. They did not expect anything in return. 

It was a nice thing to do..... period. When someone goes out of their way for my child, I will thank them as I am sure most of you would.....

(You can read the full story here) - The Honorary Swamp Guard


*******
As promised, that post from Running Through Water that I mentioned above.

That one time Saturday Night Live was super un-PC and it worked…



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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time