Saturday, May 30, 2009

may 30 2009

Last week I went with son3 (ADHD) to the neurologist.

I warned him several times the days before to wake up in time and don't complain about anything.

He was in time, we even arrived in time in hospital and during the long walk through the corridors, following a number, he complained about 5 times before we finally arrived at the other side of the building.
Walking through an enormous empty hall, like a spaceshiphangar, I spotted some nerves, but when we mentioned our name, spelled it, and spelled it again, standing in front of a desk and a colourless secretary, he smiled and even mentioned his birthdate twice without blinking his eye.

Waiting was fun, with nurses and assistants walking past, new people arriving and little babies moving their little hands like peekaboos outside and inside their prams.

We were called by a familiar nurse.
In a way it pays off in a children's hospital when you're having 6 kids, because there's always some nurse who knows either one of the kids or me.
We had a nice chat while walking the labyrinth of small examination rooms, and in the meantime I thought that the farther away we would get from the main waitingroom the more important the neurologist would be. And ofcourse I was right.

He arrived and his eyes immediately caught a wonderful eyecatcher in the room: a bubbling watercolumn, changing colours every so many seconds. I loved the bubbling sounds, but he didn't.
The nurse immediately tried to track down the electricity cord and after pulling it a strange silence filled the room.

He smiled at me and I could barely catch his eyes behind the very small round windows of his horn glasses. But when I did I was pulled into the past and both of us enjoyed trying to find out the reasons behind the problems of my sons.

My son has to wait for the EEG, but the ECG showed just one lead with problems, so that might be a technical flaw of the instrument or a reason for the cardiologist to meet us.

When we went home I smiled all the way.

Sometimes it's soooo good to see someone from the past.
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Uninvited

May 30 2009

1. Do you mind people to show up uninvited?

Depends on who it is and on how untidy the room is.
I don't mind good friends popping in, but when someone, like the council representative comes to check on my autistic kids I don't want them to invade my private world.

2. Last person you talked to on the phone?

The father of the kids.
He was angry that he couldn't reach me because my phone was switched off.
He had nothing else to tell though.
Men!!

3. Last person on your missed call list?

I don't have such a list, so that's easy.
People can always mail me, so when they're too lazy to call they don't need me enough.

4. Who calls you the most?

See nr. 2

5. What is your favorite song about breaking up?

What a strange question.
Why should I have a favorite song like that?

6. If someone sent you an unexpected gift, what would you like it to be?

A free holiday with everything covered, to meet my online friends all over the world.
But I'm OK with a book, something nice like a silk scarf, jewelry, vintage jewelry, or dollhouse stuff for 1:12

7. Your classic rock station plays the top songs of all time. What is number one?

I don't have only one topper.

8. Do you live for today or tomorrow?

I live for today... with all that's going on here one day is enough. More than enough.

9. What movie villain scared you as a kid?

It was an old, bald man who killed a child in a german movie.


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Update

may 29 2009


Finally the computer is made again.
No high costs. Phew!
Just the fan.

Now I'm trying to catch up with all the mail and stuff.
Lots of autism questions again.
That's good. I didn't start the new autism organization for nothing.

It was great to find a mail from an old friend. I'm looking forward to the update on her life.

I've finished the paperwork for the boys.
Pfff, what a piles!
Each and every organization, board and commission needs the same content, wrought into different answers to different questions.

One even refused to take the files without me filling in a stupid questionaire.
How do you feel about questions for a 20 year old like: is he potty trained? Ugh!

When all goes well, son 2 will move out within 6 weeks, and so will his clutter.
I'm quite happy to hand him all his clothes for the last time and clean the empty space he'll leave.

My autistic son will be entering a new life soon too.
His paperwork is gone for the last signature and then it'll be reviewed by a board.
I think it's just a formal decision that needs to be taken and then he'll go for a couple of days to daycare. It's a kind of working environment.
I sure hope he'll enjoy it, because we all need a bit of space to be ourselves.

I'm now looking forward to my first vacation in 23 years.
July the 10th I'll arrive in London. Before breakfast, so my agenda is open for invitations from that moment on.
We don't know when we'll go back. It's that the girls stay at home, otherwise I wouldn't go back at all. LOL!

Well, we're rather serious about wanting to move to Scotland or somewhere else in Great Britain, so when you can advice us, please do so.

Right now I'm looking for a bag of 50x40x20 cm.
Maybe I should make one myself.

Ah, the girls are here.
Bye!
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Need your help, yes...I mean you!!

may 22 2009

My computer is having problems.
I hope it's only the fan.

Next tuesday someone will have a look.

I was supporting Michael Buckholtz with his hunger strike.

He's on strike now for over 15 days and he needs help to spread the word, which you can do by placing a graphic on your blog.
Just click the one below and go to the place where you can find more info and more graphics.

And he needs money to help people who can't afford to get a good diagnosis and proper therapy and support.

He doesn't want money just for the cause, he also wants you to have something in return.
He's written a book about his journey with Asperger Syndrome. He was diagnosed when he was 40.
You can find it at different places online. It's called:

Autism is my universe.



Publication Date: Jan 01 2008
ISBN/EAN13: 1442112786 / 9781442112780
Page Count: 234
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5.25" x 8"
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians

As said it can be found at different places and one is here.

Michael is on twitter @Aid4ASDKids and @The BuckNation

There are also other ways to spread the word about autism.
Look here.

Please take over some of my efforts to write to papers, radio- and TV stations to make the aware of the hunger strike.

Undiagnosed autistic children are often bullied and told by teachers and family that they're products of bad upbringing.
When they're not diagnosed, their lives will never be well and they will never get the support they should have.

Please, please....



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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

May 23 2009


1. Is summer your favorite season? Why?

Well. it depends on the weather.
When it's too hot, too wet or too much from something else, I like spring better.
I love summermornings though.
Walking into the garden and being there with the birds, without all the human noises.

2. Do you exercise more in the summer because you wear less clothing?

No.

3. Do you enjoy tanning or are you more concerned about the dangers of basking in the sun?

I've got a very white skin and reddish hair, so I burn easily.
Not seldom with blisters.
I don't like sunbathing.
I'm aware of the dangers of the sun, so my kids get sunprotection, but i'm not acting too much on it.

4. You are on the beach when a waiter appears for your drink order. What do you ask for?

On the beach and a waiter coming?
Hmm???
I'm not going to sit between those posh sunbathers with wrinkled brown papered skin and loud sounding bracelets.

When we go to the beach we bring our own stuff and walk a lot.

5. Do you camp in the summertime?

No, never. Not with autistic kids like ours.

6. What was your favorite summer vacation as a kid?

We didn't go on vacation often.
I liked being in the woods. Walking with my dad.

7. Do you enjoy sleeping outdoors?

Not really.

8. Do you throw a summer barbecue every year?

We're not a BBQ country.
The houses and gardens are too close to each other.
Some people in the neighbourhood like to burn their evening meal, and I hate it, because we have to stay behind close doors and windows.
Asthma....

9. Have you ever been to a nude beach? If yes, what did you think?

They'll get burned where I'll never burn.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

just another day....ugh!

may 19 2008



Yesterday evening I had to fill in more paperwork for son2.
Again the same information, but ordered in another way.
Added to it questions which invaded my privacy as a parent, and some questions which are acceptable when a child goes to live in a psychiatric facility, but not for a young man of 20 who wants to live on his own with minimal special support.

Something snapped and I wrote a letter on top of the form stating that not only it was for the so-maniest time the same information, but in yet another different order and that I referred them kindly to the file of my son.
Told them about the invasion of privacy of the parents and that I was not willing to fill in paperwork that was clearly for a psychiatric institution. A place my son isn't going.

After attaching the whole lot to a mail I hit the button "send".


This morning we were on our way rather early.
This time for son3 who had problems at his job practice.
He told me he wanted to stop studying, and I was not happy with that decision.
So I called in the troops for a meeting.

The guy who waited for us was a former inhabitant of the neighbourhood.
So we talked atticwindows and new neighbours, before we slowly and gracefully manipulated my son to staying at the same department, to stop with that jobpractice and to find another place for his practical work.
We went on our way out with a better feeling than coming in.

I spotted a little shop in school.
It's where students of the bakery department sell their products.
We took a little something for every child and pushed our noses to the sun on our way home.

These are the moments to realize that life isn't a complete slaughterhouse that only differs from hell because the roads here are covered with stone.

I didn't know then that there was only one cup of coffee between this wonderful sunny spring morning and another problem because people just fail to leave their ego's in a deep hole in the ground.

An envelope fell behind the door when I was thinking to make a second cuppa before throwing myself into the huge pile of laundry.(I know, it sounds kind of descriptive, but it's the way I feel).

It was from the topmanager of the shop we'd been talking about.
This time it was about his normal job.
He's on special leave because he will be examined by the neurologist because he experienced some episodes that might be epilepsy. And the assistant manager agreed to that.
Well the topmanager didn't get the right information.

My son was summoned to visit the arrogant guy to tell why he was not working. Within 3 working days. Otherwise he would be sacked.

The tone of the mail was so intensely...eh...disrespectful, that I was reading legal stuff before I even realize the doorbell rang.
It was the mailman with the same letter, but this time registered. Ugh.

Quite fast I wrote a good letter, pointing out the guy's mistake, and wrote an additional letter to the national management of the concern, asking them to review the shops internal communication, etc etc.

I had to do this, because last time he lied to me and he knew I knew. So I told him that no other mistake or lack of decency towards my son would be permitted. That I would inform central management.
So I did.

I was in the right spirit to write a lot of other letters that needed to be done.
Including one to set a mistake straight in one of the boys files.
In between the laundry got a place in the wind, and some other chores were done.
By the time it was time to start cooking I felt like I was run down by a bulldozer.

His majesty called. The father of the children, living in his own world of wishes, completely unaware that other people have a life too.
He wanted me to bring the phone to my autistic son.
At the time I had the phone between my shoulder and jaw, was watching the potatoes and other stuff on the furnace and had two hands almost glued to the ice in the freezer in an attempt to grasp a few packages of spinach and red cabbage.

So I asked one of the girls.

When she came downstairs she fell and badly hit her arm.
That means, it rubbed during her fall, so firm against the carpet of the stairs that her whole lower arm was one red scraped injury.

I helped her to put the arm under the cool water, but soon after she stopped blisters appeared and one after another they burst open.
She always helps people out, and now she was in pain because her father needed his own wishes granted instead of taking into account that it was the busiest time of the day.

Before going to bed we put a sterile wrapping on it.
Cut the foot of an old and sterilised long sock and put that over it to keep the sterile pad in place.
It was a red sock, good enough for a smile and some fun.









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Finally...

may 19 2009

Well, well, well, finally the news came in that the council representative agreed that my son doesn't go to school the next 6 months to 12 months.

I got the news from the social worker of my son, who called her.

After all those years of struggling it didn't feel as a triumpf at all.
I didn't even feel that justice was done.

I just felt extremely tired, and I felt disgust.
We could have had this permission a complete year ago.

She's put us under extreme pressure, made us fight against things we shouldn't have dealt with.

Well, the paperwork was finished this weekend, so all we need is to get the financial matters dealt with.
The place he's going to is a combination of daycare and work.
It's a place where coffee is burned, wrapped and sold, and there's a coffee restaurant, where people can try different kinds of coffee with bread or applepie and such.

Many people who work there have down syndrome.
I don't know if there are people with autism.
It just doesn't matter.
My son is almost 17, but he's functioning at a level of a 12 year old.
I think he'll feel safe there, cared for, and after adjusting he will enjoy himself.

It's time for positive feelings.

Suddenly had to sing this:




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Monday, May 18, 2009

Manic Monday #168

may 18 2009

The past weeks I've been so busy initiating the new autism organisation It's here and I can use some followers ;) and filling in forms for the kids that I passed the memes in favor of twittering.
But here I am again!

If you could completely redecorate any room in your house at no expense to you, what room would you choose?

The livingroom, because that means the whole level. LOL!

I need new tiles on the floor.
Jim refuses to take action, because he can't oversee how it should be done.
I don't have a problem knowing what to do, so please bring them!

I love the topcurtains. But I need new see true ones (how do you call them?)
The ceiling needs to be whitened.
And I want a new, smaller, table and a new couch. (The three seater).

A new house is OK too. LOL!

Which hour of the day do you feel goes the slowest?

Cookingtime.

Some children are begging for food,
others aren't home yet and I don't know whether they will join dinner or not,
I'm hungry and I can either eat something unhealthy and take my diabetesmeds, or keep on cooking while feeling bad.

If your birthday could be in a different month of the year, when would you have it?

In the spring.

I love spring, and I'm sure I've been a springchild before this life.







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Saturday, May 16, 2009

a new baby, a new role.

may 16 2009

Welcoming a baby in life might be one of the highlights in the lives of the parents, siblings are not always pleased to see the little creature enter their hearts and house.

It's not because they suddenly have become little monsters on a quest to make life as difficult as possible for others, but because they have lost their secure place as only child.
It's kind of losing your identity and suddenly feel degraded from king to guard.

My first son was a very kind boy.
Because he was so quiet we took him with us for check-ups, and he heard the heartbeat of the baby at the same time as us.
He helped creating a babyroom, months after he moved to his new room, so he didn't feel he had to make place for the baby.

I had piles of little wiping cloths, and it seemed to be a good idea he would be in charge of the ones with the blue border.
So he was allowed to put them on the shelf.

One evening we had fun with a large bear.
I put a diaper on the bear, and then taught his father (the kids father) to diaper the bear.
Then I told my son to get a wiping cloth.
With his little legs he ran as fast as he could, and came back with the cloth and a proud face.
First I taught him how to wipe a hand at the top. Just a swift brush.
I saw the young ego grow, but I also saw how well he listened when I told him a baby has a very soft skin.
So then I told him the baby would drink breastmilk and that sometimes a drop would slide away and it was his royal honor to wipe that drop away.

He asked to practice a few days after.

It was clear he had found a new role in the family.

When the baby came we didn't want anyone to be in the room.
The bay was in the crip.
Ofcourse someone else had told him his brother was born, but I was the one to tell him he now was my oldest son and we both had to share our responsibility for the little one.
Already months ago I'd told him that babies can't play, can't speak and can't built with blocks.
And I told him that again. That babies use crying and little sounds to talk with us, and that we have to stay calm when they cry, because they need to learn that people listen. That they first have to grow the muscles to speak and play.
Then I gave him a present, a little book and asked him if he wanted to see the baby.

So the baby came and together we were amazed and happy.

I was very lucky all my sons did well with this approach.
They understood babies were not to be played with.

Some children have a hard time accepting a baby.

One of the main reasons is that they see their parents completely caught up in the care for the baby and the festive attention of others.
I'm always amazed that visitors don't divide their attention between the new and the old one.
Or that people think that taking the older child for a day out will help. (Message: you're not welcome at home, you're too much at the moment.)

Just offer to make dinner for a couple of days and put it behind the door, so the mother isn't so busy and the new family has time to adjust to the new situation in the intimacy of their own family.

Before feeding the baby, sit down and play a bit with your other child.
Take your time to make a drink for your both and eat a cookie.
Make the moment festive and pleasant.

Then go both to see the baby and, especially when you have an autistic child, tell what you experience when you see the baby.
It has been such a pleasure to share my thoughts about the tiny toes and little fingers, but it has also been a learning opportunity for the oldest to learn to read a face. Is the baby happy, tired or even still asleep?

I've also used changing diapers to tell the baby the smell is not so nice, or he should make it less wet.
That way the oldest would realize that I don't regard the baby as a perfect being he can't compete with.

Giving the oldest little tasks, like holding a towel, putting back the shampoo, and complimenting him straight into heaven, not only kept him by my side, so he couldn't rebuilt the house without me seeing it, it also made clear how important he was and is.

Don't think it was all a pink cloud.
I've never been drifting high.

I know that some children pinch the new bay, slap it, create havock and become jealous devils.

Realize that all behaviour is learned, and that maybe on the way to the birth of the new baby things have gone wrong.
The oldest has felt you change during pregnancy, perceived you to become another person with a big belly and slow gait.
Maybe his autism made him feel more and more alienated from you because you became someone else in his eyes, and now you've lost the belly you're still smelling different.

He needs to be loved even more, and he needs his behaviour corrected as soon as possible.
A positive approach always works best.
So when he's silent, or pleasant, or funny, or doing well in any other way, let him know you like him and his behaviour.

When he does something that's not right, don't start yelling, but keep calm so he will hear the message well.
Tell him "no".
And try to distract the attention. Most of the time it works.
Keep favorite toys, CD's, videos and whatever available.

Three times "no" means with a little child before the age of 4 that it's being removed from the scene and has to sit down on the floor in the kitchen.
Count until ten and let the child go.
When it's older you can lengthen the time.
Well, you know how The Nanny deals with those situations.
On TV it works, but in your home it will work too.
Be consequent and be consistent.

When you have an autistic child which shows very difficult behaviour, consider getting help in the home.
There are family services which offer behavioural training.
The earlier you start, the better it is.

Enjoy your baby.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

To stay calm



Often I've been asked how I stay calm with 4 boys on the autism spectrum, testosterone flying freely and abundant around, 2 giggling girls and their friends, and meetings with people who care more for their job than for my children.

Let's be honest: sometimes I don't know.
There are days I completely understand why people commit suicide, days that I want to leave the house and never come back, days I want to call the psychiatrist of my kids and let him send the well trained heavy muscled nurses with their big Valium shots to take my kids and put them in an asylum forever.

But instead I stay at home and try to cope with what's going on as well as I can.

I've found out that showing my emotions to my autistic children only add to the problem.

During all my years of being a ballet dancer I've learned to show the world a smile, even when I was crying inside.
Sometimes, when that same smile is glued to my face, I remember a friend who told me to get in therapy so I wouldn't be so kind, and he could read my emotions from my face.

Well, let's say I'm happy I've never took his advice and my true friends take the effort to read my eyes, see my movements and feel the person I am.

When the emotions of my kids are all over the place they don't pay attention to the underlayer of my emotions. They react to the superficial layer of smiles and well coordinated movements, and that's perfect.

My calm look and quiet movements help them to calm down.

As a psychologist I know that people are interesting beings.
You can make yourself a complete idiot by thinking the wrong thoughts and you can calm others and yourself by acting calm.

Like you can stop unwanted behaviour in young children by diverting their attention, you can stop your own behaviour by diverting your attention.
It doesn't help a lot to tell yourself to stop acting the way you do, you just have to start other behaviour.
So instead of being that yelling mother who wants to glue her kids behind the wallpaper to never see them again, you can start acting the person you want to be.

So steal the mp3 from your kids and listen to the music.
Put yourself in another world, even when you hate the music, it's always good for some gymnastics. Loosen your muscles, dance a bit. Let the tension flow away.

Chance is the kids will be staring at you, amazed to bits, or maybe shocked, but who cares?
They stopped their irritating behaviour and you're starting to feel better than ever before that day.

Staying clam is easier when you know what you're dealing with.
Oh, I'm not speaking about the kids.
It's all about you.

Why do you feel so angry, irritated, helpless?
Are your children a disappointment?
Are you jealous because the neighbouring kids are always so kind and funny?
Do you feel your children limit you to fulfill your own wishes?
Do you feel responsible for their behaviour and they won't listen one single moment?

Take yourself serious. Look in the mirror.
Identify your problem and look at it.
Often people loose their calm, because they want to ignore the fact that they're as responsible for a situation as the kids.

Most of the time when my emotions start to boil it's because I'm too lazy to play mom.
When kids know for certain what the boundaries of their behaviour are they will stay well within these boundaries.
But when they feel things are changed they want to know of these boundaries are still present.
The quicker you react, the better they'll know.

Dealing with autistic children is not difficult.
It's boring.
Each day a hundred times you have to say the same.
And even when they're older there are days time seems to have gone backwards and you have to teach them things all over.
When they're not allowed to jump on the bed, you have to teach them they're not allowed to jump on the bed of their brothers, and not on your bed.

I've learned to accept my laziness as part of the problem.
When I'm not the policewoman I've never studied for, they'll think they're allowed to do things like I'm not there.
When I stay in that role long enough, they expect me to stay in that role all day and I can enjoy some moments for myself.

Children with autism don't internalize the rules as well as other kids.
It helps a huge lot when you realize they're not out to irritate you.
Like other kids they rather please you than violate your rules.
But because they can't spread their attention as well as other kids, they just forget.
So all that's needed is a kind reminder.
I've learned to give them space to remind the rule and say sorry.
"I think you've forgotten for a moment that you're not allowed..." with a kind smile, helps a lot.

I feel happy I'm not perfect.
I've used the TV as a babysitter to divert attention and get myself a cup of coffee.
I've put on my music so loud that I wouldn't hear the kids.
At times I need to count to ten before speaking, and sometimes I needed a glass of cold water to prevent myself from boiling over.
6 kids are a challenge, I can tell you.

But when I can stay calm, you can stay calm too.
Realize that to stop an unwanted situation a grown-up is requested, and you are that grown-up.
You're the one who has a choice. So think about a strategy first.
Often it helps to react completely different from what a child expects.
I've made applesauce at the strangest hours, because my kids love applesauce.

This afternoon I stopped a terrible row between my autistic son and one of the girls by suddenly remembering we were supposed to have home made cake at mother's day and I thought waiting another day wouldn't be good for the eggs.
They were both so taken by the thought of cake, that the offered me to make the cake without my help.
They worked together within 3 seconds.

Ofcourse I had a talk with them later.
One by one I told them I disliked the row. Described the behaviour I disliked most and gave them a good alternative to bring their message across in a far better way. I also explained the behaviour of the other kid and translated the message that was conveyed.
I never ever let them go without the choice for alternative behaviour.

Because I see each day as a new day, I have the chance to start a day as relaxed as possible.
When I'm stressed, I try to use the energy to write letters that need to be written, clean something in the house, or I just start to sing or make music otherwise.

When I feel irritated I try to discover why and tackle the problem.
Sometimes it helps to imagine I'm on vacation. Or I watch a nice program on TV.

I'm a much better mother when I'm trying to be the mother I want to be.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009

We have to stop people like her.

may 14 2009

My second son has to deal with an autism spectrum disorder.
It's not the disorder that poses the problems, but some people life pushes on his path.

Right now we're in a rather difficult situation.
I wrote about it before:

part 1: she told me she knows all about autism
part 2: realized we clashed,
part 3

So this lady has decided he's not good enough for the school, without even giving him a second chance.
She's able to decide on two meetings (with other people present) and one day that he's unable to study there. She's better than a whole team of psychiatrists and psychologists and maybe we should make her head of new autism developments. (NOT!!!)

I wanted to send in a formal complaint, but the social worker of my son kindly told me that we might need that school in the future...
Ofcourse she was right... but I still feel things should be set straight.

It can't be that children and young people are treated like disposables and that those people feed their egos like vultures on these autistic human beings without being set straight.

What makes it worse is that we sensed she was not able to deal with autism and were quite open about that.
Now we're treated like we're some second or third class human beings.

We're not stupid because we have autistic children!

I think it's time schools should be able to provide certain services to autistic young people, and they should be certified to deal with autism.
There should be a system of inspection, and a special board or commission that deals with complaints about lack of autism care.

Too often I've seen teachers protected by principals when it was obvious they didn't care about the feelings of their pupils or/and that they didn't keep their promisses for simple things like writing down assignments, or checking them in the agenda.

10 days from now we're having a meeting with this woman.
Yep, it's the 25th.
But due to some strange reason it sticks in my mind as the 35th.

Right now I feel kind of lost for words.
I know there are too many things going on at the same time, too many meetings, too many forms, too many plans. And I'm too tired.

But one way or another I have to find a strategy to stop this woman of destroying the future of my son and the future of others.

It's can't be that people claim to have knowledge about autism, when it's perfectly clear they haven't.
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asparagus and salmom

may 14 2009

Rinse the asparagus and break off the hard pieces.

You can boil or steam them, or even bake them.

One way is to keep the soft end out of the water and steam them while the rest is boiling.

Ofcourse you can just boil them,
put them on a dish and cover them with ham and boiled eggs.
A drip of olive oil or, as I like it best, with real fresh hot creamy butter, will bring the dish up to taste.
Some prefer wine, white wine.

Some people like blanching the asparagus. Immediately after cooking you have to cover them with fresh iced water, so they keep crispy.
Slice them and make a salad with them with lettucce, tomatoes, and fresh salmon. Some love fresh apple through the dish.

When you want a nice look,
slice carrots in long pieces and cook them until they're just a bit soft.

Use a long plate and serve one asparagus, one slice of carrot, one slice of salmon, repeat it until you have a nice pattern.
You can use long beans cross the dish and make it into a piece of art.

Oh, and did you know that you can roast your asparagus? Dip them into a bit of seasoned olive oil and put them for about 10 to 15 minutes into a 450 degree oven.

I myself don't like steamed salmon, because when steamed certain enzymes get active which mess up my metabolism (I have a certain amino acid disease), but when you do, don't just steam them like floortiles.
Take aluminiumfoil or a steambasked with baking paper at the bottom and put beside the salmon slices of lemon, cherry tomatoes and sliced bacon in the package or basket.

When you're more of an experimenter with food, take the salmon in thin slices and put them flat on a plate. Put in the middle a mixture of cheddar or a spicy old cheese, and creamcheese and roll it up.

Or try spiced rice in the middle.

Delicious!!
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Monday, May 11, 2009

mother's day 2009

may 10 2009

He slammed the door behind him and then used the stairs with his feet like heavy drums.

My start of mother's day.

Some people don't want to hear the problems families with autistic kids experience.

Oh, I do love my kids, but at times I don't like their behaviour.

Especially not when they pull me from the pink clouds advertisers have created for mother's day. (one cloud is not enough anymore...LOL!)

I imagine all mothers of the world sweetly sleeping, dreaming from roses and love, under satin sheets. Sleeping in, until they're awaking because their stomachs make awful noises, or their kids wake them with smiles and a tray with orange juice and a healthy breakfast.

I shot out of bed like a torpedo, trying to be as calm and smiling as Doris Day, ofcourse not as good looking with my red and grey hair reaching out to all sides of the universe.
Ofcourse he complained, ofcourse I got an angry shout about something that had nothing to do with me, and ofcourse I had to repress feelings of self pity.
The thought that all those moms have to sleep in a bed with breadcrumbs tonight helped a lot.

Getting used to a different sunday is quite a job for some autistic kids.
All the toodoo with gifts, kisses, and deciding who's the first one to give a present.

I got a slice from an agathe from the girls.
A lovely present.
The boys gave chocolate, which can be interpreted in a certain way...I'm a diabetic.
Either the message was in line with what I was told earlier this morning (He said I'd better leave because he could do without me) or it was supposed to be a gift from me to them.
By lunchtime the box was half empty. LOL!

Slowly the boys came to rest and the sun entered the room.

Then dad had a go at ruining mothersday.
He's the only one who thinks people don't realize he's got an autism spectrum disorder too.
Usually he tries to leave the house on sunday afternoons to go to read somewhere.
Now he was at home.
He has more difficulties with a change of routine in the weekend than the boys.

Dinner was served as chaotic as could be.
By that time my bloodpressure was as high as the temperature of the soup.

By the time it was coffeetime the box of chocolates was empty, the chocolate had done it's work and all felt OK and I could lean back and watch my favorite program.

Tomorrow a very busy and stressful week starts.
But now I'm off to bed.
Bye!
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Need a fairy

May 8 2009

Wouldn't it be nice to have a fairy on our shoulder singing favorite songs all day long?

I could tell my son to listen to his fairy, escaping responsibility for a while.

Waiting for the phone yesterday, to hear the decision of the country representative, didn't bring nothing but stress. No call.

Ofcourse I had enough to do, but I did a lot that was not important at all.
I should have written an account of what I've done with my autistic son the last year.
Ofcourse it's already written down. But to prepare it for his psychiatrist and others who want to file it... I was completely blocked. Still am.

I wish I could have some time for myself.
Just me.
Well, me and my fairy ofcourse. LOL!

In a movie they would zoom out, or move to the window, to see the trees move in the wind.

In real life problems are piling up faster than I can solve them.

B3, son number 3, (the one with ADHD and dyslexia) has decided to stop with his study.
I can understand him, but I don't agree with him.

The past year he's showing more and more autistic features.
At home it's not very visible, but when I see him dealing with other people and see him dealing with the problems at school, it's so obvious we need a new diagnosis.

My agenda is almost full the next weeks. Most appointments are unpleasant.
It's all problemsolving and making people understand what autism means.
I don't mind telling people, but I do mind that I have to convince people who tell me they know all about autism. (Which is impossible, so I know they tell me the opposite. LOL!)

On top of it all the mailman brought a letter telling me that I should be available next tuesday morning at 7.30 because they want to put a new window at the attic.

No way!

I have to cancel appointments, prepare my autistic son, etc etc.
Should I spend mothersday at the attic moving all stuff I put there when the heatingcontroler came?
No way!

We waited 20 years for that small window.
After asking the home owner 25 times we stopped asking.
We sealed it and put a perspex window in front of it against the leaking.

So I called the guy who first told me other people got the letter a few days ago,
then told me more people had called because there wasn't enough time to arrange things,
then listened to me and agreed he would look for a solution and mail me what he wanted to do.
So I've send him the days I'm available, and he has to choose between those two or plan it between his job in another neighbourhood.

After the call and sending the mail I started to pick up the things my son has thrown around during his meltdown this afternoon. (He should do it himself, I know.)
He was angry the girls didn't want to sit with him.

Now he's asleep...
He stressed too about what his future will be.
He's dependent upon that one decision, made by people with huge ego's.

Peope who need more than one fairy on their shoulder. LOL!


Thanks Jaimy for the fairy.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Change of stresslevel: crashed

may 6 2009

After we came home from his social worker, my autistic son needed to release all the energy that accumulated before.

Leaving the house and going somewhere is difficult for him.
He wants to live up so much to what other people expect, that his stresslevels rise very high.
The rest of the day he was walking through the house..upstairs...downstairs.
And even though we could see he was happy with the outcome of the visit, he kept complaining.

His way of releasing his energy, but it drives us nuts.
I can ignore a lot, but the negativity of constant complaining touches us, each day again.

Yesterday and today, however, we saw him feeling OK.
He even took his own meds without me needing to tell him, made me a cup of coffee, and sat down with the girls to have a chat with them about how their day at school had been.

That the social worker took over contacting the council representative about our plans for his future, was a huge relief.

I think that's the reason why I couldn't sleep last night. (Well,... one hour.)
We're so used to the constant pressure of dealing with people who know things better.
It's like we're used to sleep in full armour in case we're suddenly faced with yet another fight.

Let's say I enjoyed the birds waking up and singing their songs.
Some still sing the abundant springsong, filling the gardens, with silences in which a lovely lady can be heard from far away.

During dinner I was soooooo tired.
And after dinner I just crashed.
I had to lie down on the couch and I slept so deep, like someone was holding my head in another dimension.
Waking up was like a last part of a crashtest.
Everything ached. Ugh.

Well, I might come down with something, or it's just the first step to a less stressful life. (OK, I love fooling myself by telling me that life will be better tomorrow. I know it might take a bit longer. LOL!)

Completed three forms and had them in the mail today.
  • forms for the neurological exam of son 3
  • forms for both girls for school
  • forms for the participation in a research project which tries to find the genes of autism.
    Well, with 8 of us, they'll have a good time. LOL!


I saw a nice cardigan at MS. Short sleeves, a very nice grey, wide.
But the recession... the recession.....
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Oprah - just read and listen with your heart

May 5 2009

Dear Oprah.


Like many people I love watching your shows.
The enthousiasm with which you embrace the stories people have to tell is heartwarming.

I've learned a lot.

One of the things was to stand up for what you consider is true.
Make people hear what needs to be heard.

That's why I started out a new autism organization in my country: so parents, autists and siblings will be heard.
I intended it to be for my country only.

But now I hear about the way Jenny McCarthy is able to spread her message, I feel I have to talk to you in person.
It's my time to speak up.

Have you ever considered what spreading the message of Mrs. McCarthy means for parents of autistic children?

(I hope you have used twitter the way it is supposed to be used. You follow your followers, so you're not only sending your tweet and get bored waiting for a reaction which never comes. You have to follow them too, so you receive their thoughts too.)

  • It means parents are made guilty of causing autism.
  • Parents who saw the autism signs before the vaccinations are completely wrong.
  • It means children with autism are lesser children than children who are not autistic.
  • It means that people are less willing to donate for research to find the real reasons of autism.
I can't believe your team hasn't take the time to see whether the claims of Jenny McCarthy are true.
Writing a few books on a subject doesn't make a message true. (It loads the wallet. I agree with that.)

Let's address some issues.

vaccinations

I know there's a large group of parents believing vaccinations caused autism in their children.

Do you know the scientist who started to publish this message was a fraud?
He publicly admitted it and withdrew himself from the researchgroup.
He himself told that there was no connection at all between autism and vaccinations.
But one way or another people wanted to ignore the true message.

In Japan vaccinations stopped and autism was rising the same way as in other countries.
In the countries where thimerosal isn't used anymore autism is rising.

Do you know that thimerosal was used to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria in large badges of vaccine, in the time that every shot needed to be drawn from a bottle?
It's no longer needed now all shots are wrapped individually.
Still, autism is rising.

I see research results cited in ways that make me shiver.
Some research didn't even exist!!
Some people belief everything they don't understand.

Reading scientific research results needs specific scientific knowledge.
I know. I've lectured the subject.

So I also know that only good research can be trusted.

Why don't you enable people to attend classes so they can learn everything about discriminating good from bad research, and about drawing the right conclusions from the right data?

Autism

Mrs. McCarty's son Evan is believed to be/have been autistic.
You can read the story of the diagnosis ::here::.

Autism doesn't come with life-threatening seizures.
Seizures are not common in autism and are considered a symptom of a completely different problem.
(Somewhere I read Evan was in a car collision before his seizures.)
Brain damage can cause epilepsy.

It can even cause behaviour that mimicks autistic behaviour.
But it is not autism.

The young brain can restore functions, can repair damage. So maybe Evan is cured... but not from autism.

The diagnosis of autism needs more than lining objects.

A good diagnosis requires
  1. to rule out all medical problems as good as possible.
    Like vitamin deficiencies, gluten intolerance, epilepsy, metabolic diseases, brain damage etc etc.
  2. a good description of existing medical problems
  3. constructing a careful and well controlled family history
  4. ruling out all other psychiatric problems (by certain tests and other means)
  5. careful questioning parents, family members, teachers etc.
  6. observation with one way screen so the child can be observed without strange people in the room. If possible observation of communication with parents, and later alone with stranger. If possible during play, during structured and unstructured tasks.
  7. This all should be done by certified psychiatrists and psychologists specialised in children and adolescents.
    Teachers, social workers, pediatricians, neurologists and others are not able to make a reliable diagnosis.
  8. The diagnosis should be made based on the DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders) which is most recent. The number of the DSM should be mentioned.
  9. The diagnosis should be verified every 2 years. Because of the advance of science, but also because change and additional symptoms will be documented.
Jenny McCarthy has brought autism to the attention of millions.

But have you ever asked whether she represents the millions of parents with autistic children?

We don't feel she does.

Because we know autism can't be cured.

We can try to gain development in our children by training them.
By training every little aspect of life.
Not once, not twice, but day after day after day.

My son could draw how to fasten his shoelaces.
But it took him until he was 11 to master the art, and he has to relearn every so many months.

We autism moms can't afford others to teach our children to learn how to shower.
We have to spend all our energy to guide every element of the process and when we forget to tell our kids to put shampoo on their heads, their hairs won't be washed.

Oh, all autistic kids are different.
These were just examples of the small things we have to deal with.

We want to tell you how life is without money to pay it all.

Do you know that some people live too far away from people who are able to diagnose them properly? We need mobile teams to observe the children in their own home.
D you know that people have to drive hours for treatment?
Mobile teams need to go out to the families, to advice them, to teach them the basics of those expensive therapies.

I'm a psychologist.
I was able to recognize autism in my children at a very early age.
Long before they were 1.
Money is needed to listen to moms who share my experience, so we're able to use our knowledge to make a test other parents can use.

I was able to use those far too expensive therapies, because I learned the skills during my studies, and I was able to teach my children to talk, to walk.
Modelling each behaviour like clay.
Old, strong, sticky clay that crumbled at the edges.
What was learned one day was lost the other, and when it was relearned, something else was gone.
The desperate journey of almost every mom of a child with autism.

I dared to look in the mirror and ask myself where I'd done things wrong.
Did I cause autism in my children?
Did I fail to give them everything they needed?
Did I deserve this?

People on the street telling me I should discipline my child, because he yelled.
Teachers telling me I was a bad mother because my child wasn't behaving.
Council representatives telling me they would bring me to court if I wouldn't force my child to go to school.
The place where he was bullied, where noises confused him, where he couldn't hear the teacher telling what to write down for homework.

Do you know autistic some children can't see whether someone feels ill or is angry at them?
Do you know that autistic children are told they should stop being the person they are, just because other people can't understand them?

I'm sure many parents worry about the future of their children.
Will they be able to work?
Will they be able to be happy?
Where are they going to live?

Does Jenny McCarthy worry about that too?

For normal autism moms life is a struggle that can only be fought one day at a time.

Most of them are exhausted almost all the time.

Autistic children have problems sleeping.
I only get 4 hours of sleep a night because of that.

Parents do all they can to help their children.
They sometimes resort to near torture and abuse, just because someone suggested a new miracle cure.

Do you know children died because their parents believed chelation therapy would cure them?
Do you know today children fought their parents today because they wanted to inject their children with vitamins, just because someone claimed they helped?

I can go on for hours.
And so can all those millions of parents.

Autism has many faces

Autism has many faces and not only that of Jenny McCarthy's son.

And all those faces have different stories, different problems to tackle every day.

There are enough grown up autists who can tell their own story, without others telling it for them.
They know autism from the utter inside.

All those people have talents, beautiful feelings, and problems to deal with, because society doesn't accept them as unique individuals, but wants them to be normal.(whatever that is)
They are not able to develop the way they would naturally, because they need to live up to expectations of society.

Even Jenny wanted her son to be normal.

Now she's preaching a miracle cure.

This means that she's saying to the world:
"See, my son is cured and all other autistic kids can be cured too."

She's telling all those other parents they're failing, because none of our children are cured.

How is society going to act when she keeps on telling autism can be cured?

We will be told we have failed as parents, because we didn't cure our autistic children.

What will society do with us?
Take our children away and put us into jail?

Dear Oprah.

Giving Jenny McCarthy her own show doesn't do justice to parents of autistic children.
And it certainly doesn't help.

She's not an expert on the subject.
Maybe an expert on her son.
We parents of autistic children respect each other for what we do to help our children, so we want to respect her.

But not as a representative of us all.
And certainly not as an expert on autism.

Please give all parents of autistic children a voice.

Donate for more research, make those mobile services I mentioned available for people who need a good diagnosis and a start to deal with autism.
make re-evaluation possible for all children, so parents are not told their child has autism when it's something else.

Create a place where parents can exchange their experiences.

Donate for proper research in all those miracle cures, so people won't try out everything in good faith, and thus postponing therapies which really help.

Please Oprah....

We have to tell our stories too.
And most days I feel they're at least as interesting as the life of Jenny and her son.
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The continuing history ...turn for the better?

may 5 2009

Is the end of a terrible time finally coming in sight?

It's clear my autistic son won't be able to go to the school for hearing impaired and deaf children.
His communicative skills are far too good for that, even when they're within the limits of autism.

The brochure of the school states it clearly: he should be impaired in language skills quite a lot, beside being autistic.

Apart from that: bringing him into a schoolsituation once again would probably create the same problems again.

He needs to work on his self esteem, on trusting grown-ups, on social development.
When you're not able to use your intelligence, a high IQ means nothing.

I'm quite "passionate" when the council representatives are involved.
They have put us under so much pressure during more than a year now, without really listening to his needs and his abilities.

I think it's good that kids are forced to go to school when they roam the streets and hang around.
But when a child just can't keep up with school because of a handicap, and there's no place where people are able to deal with that handicap, on should look what's best.

We're not talking about second best, we're talking about best.

When his social worker saw how stressed I was about the new meeting, we agreed I should cancel it.

When she saw the letter I received, with "be aware we are certified to hear you", she told me she would get in contact and try to settle the matter for once and for all.

I can only hope and pray the council representatives will see how much effort we have done to keep our son in the educational system and to find a school.
Ofcourse I wish they will also realize what pressure they have put on us, but I don't expect they will. When people are convinced they are right, they tend to forget how others feel.

In the end there's only one thing that counts.
They need to step back and give our son the chance to go to the special facility where he can learn to work on skills he needs in order to find a place and a (protected) job in society.

It's a coffee restaurant, with a little shop.
People can walk in and drink a cuppa, or they can have a party, high tea, or a tasting session.
Coffee is burned there and wrapped.

So there are plenty of different things to do.
Some surroundings are real life, like the restaurant.
And some are very quiet, like the wrapping department.
Plenty of dedicated care workers are available to guide each step.

We've been there last week, and our son will be accepted there.
In fact, there's a place free for him.


I'm off to do more paperwork.






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remembrance day 2009


may 4 2009

It's remembrance day.

When you want to know more about it: see here.

I've always taught the children the importance of learning from the lessons of history.
It's something that needs to be taught.
So many people in this world think they can solve problems by using force, but never in history lasting peace has been achieved by using war.

So many young people have lost their lives.
We're not living in a country where the word "hero" is used often.
No need to make death nicer than it is: the loss of a beloved one by force.

The town I live has been front city in WW2.
There are many war cemeteries and they're all well cared for.
Today open air services were held, schoolchildren laid flowers on the graves.
At a place nearby a short service was held at an empty field where a Lancaster crashed.
As a special salute the last flying Lancaster gave a fly past (and a fly around).

My father has flown in a Lancaster as a flying engineer, and one of my sons is very interested.
It's a pity dad has died so many years ago.
We're trying to find his army friends... but until now we haven't found one.

My son went to see the Lancaster and tried to get it on video.
He thought he didn't do well, but when I saw what the cameraman from the national news TV shot, I was very proud of my son.


Thanks NOS


At 20.00 hours the country was silent for 2 minutes.

Before it was time, we all came together in the living room. Even the boys we didn't call.
We listened to the speeches and saw the Queen and the crownprince and his wife enter the remembrance service.
When the mayor said we were happy the Queen was present, a warm applause sounded. She has been through such a terrible time. (6 people died when a man raced a car into the crowds trying to hit the bus with the royal family. The guy died too.) We all were aware of the fear she must feel, appearing in public at such a place.


Speech Mayor Cohen


The service was beautiful.

At 20.00 hours the country was silent.
A car stopped one minute before and the guy just waited before he started driving again.

This is how we, Dutch people, remember those who lost their lives in war and peace missions.
From generation to generation we will remember those who fought aside our own soldiers to free our country in WW2.

Thank you.




Logo © Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 Mei.
More info here.
Permission for use was requested april 2004 and officially granted.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Remembrance day and a meeting


may 4 2009

It's remembrance day.

When you want to know more about it: see here.

This year remembrance day will be heavier than ever.
6 people were killed at Queensday. (the murderer died too, making 7)

It's like the weather has adjusted itself to the occassion: it's clouded. Nothing abundant.

This afternoon my autistic son will be visiting his social worker for the first time.
He's a bit nervous about it.
He shouldn't be.
She's a nice woman who will try to do whatever she can.

As always I'm cheerful on the outside,
but too often before we've had problems making him go with us.

Already he has refused to shower. It's not a huge problem as he showered yesterday (and he'll wash with a cloth), but one never knows if this is only his aversion against water speaking, or if he's going to refuse to go with us.

Refusal always comes at the last moment, meaning we'll miss the bus.
So often I start making preparations far from the time we have to go.

After managing everything for and with him for 16 full years, it feels strange to hand some things over to someone else.

I know I need to.

Some weeks I spend my days like someone who's working for an income.
Answering calls, one-to-one learning my son some skills other kids learn by breathing, attending meetings, filling in forms.

I've taped a paper at the top of my agenda with a list of meetings I still have to schedule.
Only things are added, it seems.

I'm off to get his trousers and other things and put them on the couch.
That we he can't hide his belt, tell me he has nothing to wear, and forget to dress himself.

Let's hope today will be another step towards a better life.
Less stressfull that means...



In a corner of my mind I still feel the need to meet people who have known my father when he served in the RAF in England.
Can't postpone looking for them, as so many have gone already.







Logo © Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 Mei.
More info here.
Permission for use was requested april 2004 and officially granted.

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top droppers of april

may 4 2009

Thank you all droppers!

Topdroppers for april were:


Autism Experiences
The experiences of one parent with an autistic child.

Symphony of Love
Bringing you Love and Inspiration!

Lisgold
I Blog about myself, my family and friends and talk about things that interest me.

Welcome To Bob's Blog
In this blog, I talk about politics, religion, sports, family, home life, retirement, Philippines, news, and more.

On The Bricks
People, Places, Things, News, World happenings, weird stuff and sometimes just plain oh stupid and silly crap. Or just anything that I feel like posting.
****** I AM NOT approving paid ads at this time! ***** Also the requests declined is showing to be going up. That is because I reject paid ads. I never turn down ec credit adverts!

Silver Sachet
A wonderful online shop that sells fine quality .925 Sterling Silver jewelry. Rings, earrings, bracelets, chains, necklaces, bangles, and more.

Lainy's Musings
A blog showcasing my mutterings, random rants, raves and whinings on life's daily maneuvers.

Proud Mommy



We're going through difficult times.
I'm sorry when I'm not always returning my drops.
Life sometimes takes over.
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

forms and forms and eh....forms

may 3 2009

I have an inborn error: I hate forms.

It was triggered some years ago when I wanted my sons diagnosed.

It seemed to be an easy step.
I knew what was the matter with my sons, all what I needed was a psychiatrist to confirm it.

Wrong!!

Not only the psychiatrist was involved, but a whole team of psychologists and psychiatrists in training.

Before we were able to place one careful step in the building, we got a large envelope with forms, questionnaires, tests and other compilations of questions.

It was clear my child was kind of home tested by means of my answers.
I found at least three tests that tested about the same, some questions returned 3 to 5 times in the same words.
After a huge amount of time during 5 days the whole pile of paper was finished.
The interviews were not as boring and not as bad.

When we finally had the diagnosis, it turned out we needed other forms to apply for help.

Because the law had changed no one knew how to help us.
The former organisation wasn't able to help us any more. And the new one didn't know they were responsible now the law had changed.

Long weeks of waiting and plenty of calls resulted in: forms.

They were long, boring, and sometimes it was not even clear what they wanted to know.

This week I needed to fill in the same forms.

I downloaded them and started to go through the same boring sequence: name, address, number here and number there....


I have 4 kids on the spectrum...
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to some commenters

may 3 2009

The attack on the Royal Family is part of every conversation.
I still see the images of people flying in a free fall, hitting the pavement. The knowledge that the person I saw fall died, despite resuscitation, doesn't help.

I still see the child flying through the air.
Her hair drifting on the wind.
She bumped on the street so hard that she went up in the air again.

I've seen it happen on TV, and I'm deeply shocked.
Those who saw it happen have even worse images burned in their mind.
Lots of children were present. Waving to the Royal Family when a car threw them around.
Others saw it happen in the middle of the most festive day in the country.

Thank you all who reacted with compassion and care.

The reactions of some american people have been plain rude.

I know it's not 9-11.

I didn't know there is a kind of competition in seeing people hurt and die.
(2 of my babies died....now you!)

Grief and pain can't be measured, and who are you to belittle the experiences of other people?
Oh, I forgot you're always on top of the charts.

Well, you don't have a Queen and you don't have a Royal Family.

So how can you judge the impact of what happened on Queensday here?



I'm not the only one who got insensitive reactions.

All I can hope is that this will never happen to you.
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

the continuing story - an invitation for another meeting

may 2 2009

Yesterday I got a letter from the council representative, considering my autistic son (classical autism) of 16.

She wants to see me at may 7th to answer my questions and discuss the matter. (About sending him to a school for hearing impaired children).
Maybe she still thinks she can break the law for this school. Which states that only children who have speech and language problems can go to the autistic class there.

I'm OK with her wanting to answer my questions, but she also wrote that she has the right to hear me, suggesting this is a kind of courthearing/policehearing.
The whole way it was put was kind of intimidating.

Knowing her, I get the feeling this invitation is not to answer my questions, but to put pressure on me to force myself through all the rules and laws to get him a place at a school where he doesn't belong.
It's a better proposition than the school for kids with acting out behaviour, but still not what he needs to prepare himself for the future.

I have so much on my plate at the moment, that I feel it's too much to get into another fight.

My autistic son needs to go to the place we have found him.
The centre for people with special needs, where he is prepared for a future using his own abilities and where he gets full support from people who really care.
That's what he needs.



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Friday, May 1, 2009

drama at Queensday in The Netherlands (updated may 1 -16.16)

april 30 2009

Queensday is for us one of the highlights of the year.
All over The Netherlands festivities are held: open air concerts,traditional games, music performances etc etc. And children (and grown ups at some cities) sell their old stuff at socalled free markets.
The Queen and her family usually visits two cities in the country to take part in the festivities, but this year she was at just one place: Apeldoorn.
It's the 100rds birthday of our former Queen: Queen Juliana, and an exposition would be opened by the Queen.
Like during the reign of Queen Juliana she would be honored by a parade past the palace.

The girls had a pyjama party with some friends last night, at a friend's house.
My autistic son was all over the place, because he felt left out.
We had a terrible evening.

This morning he was caught in the joy of Queensday and wanted to go to the free market to, to find some Wii stuff, computer games, statues of cats (he collects them) etc etc.
He went with his father and I was watching the parade on TV.

First the Queen visited the open air activities. Tasting things, talking with people. The princes and princesses took part in the games.
It was fun.
The weather was perfect.

My son and his dad came home.
My son was agitated because he couldn't find games at the free market.
We ate some special Queensday cake and it was decided they would go to the main free market of town.

I sat down to drink a cup of coffee and just decided to go upstairs when the camera on TV caught a car driving from the crowds, nearly hitting a bicycle cop and crashing into a monument. The royal bus had just passed.



I was shocked.
Then realized the front of the car was a mess already before it hit the monument.

At first I thought it belonged to the parade. I'd seen in the old car presentation a fire engine, but no ambulance, so I waited for the old fashioned ambulance.

But then I saw at least 3 people being resuscitated.

It seemed the car changed course to hit the monument, but it was on course to where the bus was just a moment ago.




Many members of the royal family were standing in the bus, shocked.

Lots of people were lying injured on the street.
Help was available immediately.
Resuscitations started.
People were running around, disoriented and frightened.

Right now, 4 people have died.

The Queen appeared on TV expressing her grief about those who died and expressed how much her heart goes out to the families.
Many people were touched by the way she looked.

Festivities are ending at many places.

The suspect is in surgery.
He´s a 38 year old man.
Before he drove into the crowds, he had been at the gates wanting to go in, but the police didn´t let him. It´s told he said certain things that gave the impression this was a conscious attack.

13 people are wounded. 5 seriously.
According to the police it was not a terrorist attack.


We all feel very sad here.
The day started so happy....


update:

3 of the injured are children.
Among the injured people from a special needs band.

Prime minister came home from abroad.

Suspect has declaired he wanted to attack the royal family.

He's braindead. It's not officially confirmed yet.

In some cities the festivities are going on.
To stop them would cause problems, like in Amsterdam, where 600.000 people are attending Queensday.
Many artists have decided not to perform, at other places one or two minutes of silence are held in respect for the victims.

Update

The suspect died this night.
(We call him suspect, because by law a person is a suspect until he's convicted by court)

The whole country feels down.
In Apeldoorn people are visiting the place where so many people were injured and traumatised.
More than 18.000 people expressed their feelings in a condolence book online, and people are writing in the condolence book in Apeldoorn and in the online condolence book of Apeldoorn.

For the first time in three years, when different people came to live in our neighbourhood, it's silent here. Just an occasional call of a child can be heard.
Almost no one is sitting outside, not even now the weather is perfect.

I've had questions from Dutch friends abroad about the text of the speech of the Queen. It can be found here.

Someone asked when the suspect declared he intentionally drove towards the royal bus.
That was when he was lying down, already wrapped for transport, just before he was moved into the ambulance.

update:

Another person has died.

Any updates will appear on this blog.
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