Saturday, April 11, 2015

B.... is for BUSY

As in I was so busy today that I did not even have time to blog and get it in before midnight....

Up at 4am, catch a 6am flight.  Fly to Chicago.  Fly to LaGuardia.  Take a shuttle to Newark.  Drive home.  Short nap.  Meet friends at the church.  Help decorate and plan for wedding reception tomorrow.  Go to Walmart for last minute supplies.  Pick up Matt at midnight. Drive home. Post this. Cya tomorrow.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A is for..... Aspbergers

I can not believe that it has been over six years since I last blogged here. I am sorely out of practice. I was recently invited to the A to Z blogging challenge and have decided that it was time to give it a try. I post almost daily to Facebook, but that is not quite the same. I have shied away because I am not an eloquent writer. I do believe, however that we all should learn new skills, and develop skills each and every day. So, here goes.

April is Autism Awareness month. My social network feeds have been bombarded for the past two weeks with posts about Autism, so my guess is that the awareness campaign is working. I am concerned, however, with the difference between awareness and understanding. By understanding, I do not just mean an awareness or deeper comprehension of what it means to be on the spectrum, or to love someone who is. I mean understanding as in acceptance. People with Autism do not simply need us to recognize their issues. They need us to accept them in spite of them.

I recently posted a link on Facebook about the anxiety that plagues adults with Aspberger Syndrome. Aspbergers is consider high functioning Autism and those who are diagnosed with Aspbergers are considered "on the spectrum". Anxiety is a huge part of this condition and probably the one characteristic that drives so much of the behavior associated with it. If more adults could recognize that it is anxiety that causes an individual to "act differently", and work to reduce the anxiety level for that individual, we could improve their quality of life dramatically. Most people with Aspbergers are bright, talented, compassionate hard working people who just need to be given a chance instead of being ostracized for being different. We are ALL different. Different is what drives the world. We just need a better acceptance of what makes some people different than others.

To that end, I WISH I could help each and every parent who is faced with a child who is "different" to accept them for who they are. I encounter every day people who are "worried" that their child is not "normal". They do not want to see what is right in front of them and often ignore very blatant signs that their son or daughter is on the spectrum. It has been my experience that once a parent can see, and accept what makes their child different, and work WITH them to identify their triggers the stress level for both the child and the parent decreases tenfold. I recently came across a great post entitled "Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew" All parents and teachers should read this article. HELP the children cope. HELP them to understand themselves and their behavior. HELP them to be understood and accepted.

Why do I care?  As an educator, I have dealt with children with Aspbergers in academic settings who were misunderstood for years.  In addition, as many of you know, I have several children with Aspbergers. It has been a long struggle to bring them to adulthood and I am realizing that our journey is far from over. It is just as difficult to help them navigate being an adult with Aspbergers than is it to deal with it as a child. Made more so by the fact that most adults are far less tolerant towards other adults who are "different" than they are towards children. I implore each and every one of you reading this to think about your interactions with others. If you get a "vibe" that they are uneasy dealing with you socially, do not just write them off as "weird". They are probably struggling with how to interact. A bit of compassion and understanding can go a long, long way. Give them a chance. They may surprise you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I've been tagged again...

I didn't sleep well last night. A touch of insomnia mixed with anxiety, mixed with the beginning of a stomach bug. It was one of those nights when your head will just NOT turn off. I know you know what I mean! One of the things that kept running through my addled brain was the fact that there were things that I should have written about in my 7 Things post that I didn't. Since I have been tagged again... I decided to add some more things...

1) I am truly a "Jane of many trades and a master of none" I have, over the years, had more different jobs than I can count. Every time a specific job comes up, my kids ask "mom have you done that?" The answer is almost always yes... I have been a babysitter, dogwalker, window washer, short order cook, waitress, mural painter, caricature artist, fast food manager, deli sandwich maker, baker, messenger (in NYC... NOT FUN!), pizza maker, pizza delivery person, carnival worker, party clown, party planner, direct sales person (Pampered Chef), food chemist, factory auditor, microbiologist, teacher, trainer, and customer service rep for a mail order catalog.

2) I spent the evening of my 21st birthday locked in a gym with The Secret Service and about 5000 balloons. Walter Mondale was running for president and was going to make a speech at my college. I was to be on the stage as the President of the Student Council. Once I was cleared by Secret Service I had to stay in the gym overnight for the speech at 9am the next morning. I spent the evening helping the "balloon people" decorate the gym. It was there that I learned one of the most important skills that I gained from my college experience... making balloon arches... I am an EXPERT balloon archer..

3) I was single handily responsible for a MAJOR scare St. Mary's of the Assumption in Elizabeth NJ. My first fall teaching chemistry, the students were taking a quiz and I snuck into the back room to prep for a lab. I DROPPED a bottle of concentrated hydrochloric acid on the floor and the room filled with fumes. The entire school was evacuated and the fire department, and HAZMAT teams were called. Many of us ended up in the emergency room for inhalation irritation. It was right before lunch and made the 12:00 news with helicopters and everything! There were all kinds of rumors... in the emergency room I overheard one reported telling another that a teacher had "Blown up" a lab and three were dead... And to think.. it could have all been avoided if the prep room only had a bucket of baking soda!

4) I once drank a whole bottle of Southern Comfort (before it was legal for me to do so).. needless to say.. even typing the words "Southern Comfort" gives me the heeby jeebies...

5) When I was a food chemist I became an "entomology expert". I took a two week class in Florida on how to identify bug parts in food. With the right tools I can tell the difference between a grain beetle mandible and a paint chip. Let me just tell you that IMPORTED pasta does not have to follow the same standards as we do here... nuff said.

6) I have not swam (swum?) in my own pool in the past two years... hope to change that this year.

7) I once thought about becoming an ordained minister. About 12 years ago I felt that I was called to become an Episcopal Deacon. A deacon is an ordained minister that works mainly with the lay people and their ministries. At the time I was working a LOT with the church's youth and really felt the call. Why did I not do it? Every time I got up to preach, I would cry. I could not put the emotional side of what I was talking about aside... I could not preach without making it personal and personal made me cry... no one wants to watch me cry... it is not pretty.

So... there it is.. 7 more things... I will not tag anyone else this time. I think most of my PLN has been tagged by now. IF you have not.. consider yourself tagged and JUST DO IT!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tag... you're it!

It has been a very long time since I have played tag with others the same age. Today I was "tagged" by a fellow "plurker". The "tag" was actually a challenge. The challenge... to blog about "The Seven Things That You Did Not Know About Me". The person who tagged me had no way of knowing what she started...

I have been blogging for a few years now. I have a class blog, a trainer blog, a family blog, and even a blog for my Brownie troop. Trouble is, I have never had a blog where I could just BLOG. By that, I mean I have never taken the opportunity to just write what I am thinking. To be honest, I have been avoiding it. My PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network) is chock full of excellent bloggers. Some of these folks really amaze me. Their writing is Witty, timely and eloquent. All of my life I have been plagued by run on sentences, the over use of the .... and REALLY bad spelling. I have never been really proud of my writing and often second guess myself. In times when I really had to write an essay I have agonized over the task. Writing and rewriting over and over again. In this time of resolutions I have decided to give it a try. I promise not to edit over and over again. If it is OK with the reader, I will use the spell check though.

So... The Seven Things That You Don't Know About Me...

1) I guess that I have just given you number one. I am a hesitant writer. Being a science teacher I have not had to focus on the art of writing. Things in the world of science are very "bulleted" for lack of a better phrase.

2) The last time I DID play tag with others the same age was in college. I was one of those crazy people who joined in on the "Tag Game" craze of the 80's. I had a "hit profile" and had to "hunt down" someone in the college community. The goal of the game was to "tag" the person with a water or rubber dart gun before you were tagged yourself by the person hunting you. Once you tagged your "victum" you gained thier "target" and worked your way up the list until there were only two of you left. It was great fun. I was still playing with about 10 other people when the college administration shut us down. Since my dad was one of the deans, I felt it was in my best interest to comply...

3) I HATE to clean my house. Probably do not do it enough.

4) I met my husband John at an italian restaurant in Jersey City, NJ. Two friends of mine had gotten jobs there and suggested that I do as well. I went in and asked for a job as a pizza delivery person. They guy doing the hiring said that I should be a "phone girl" because it was not safe for a "girl" to deliver pizza at night in Jersey City. I insisted that I could do it and ended up doing it VERY WELL. That guy... the one who hired me... is now my husband of almost 15 years.

5) There are days when I would rather stay on my couch all day then do ANYTHING else...

6) My shoe size has changed three times in the past 10 years. Each time I had a child my RIGHT foot got 1/2 size bigger!

7) Speaking of shoes... I wore white Chuck Conners with thick green socks under my gown to my wedding!

OK... I did it... kmulford, you have probably created a monster... there have been many times in the past few months when I have meant to start a blog for just me. Now that I have, you may be sorry that I did :)

I am suppossed to "Tag" more people now... I have to do some research to see who hasn't been tagged to death. Check back soon for my "tag list"