Thursday, February 25, 2010

diploma for my asperger son

When he was a little boy he encountered many difficulties, because people didn't know anything about autism.

Because he was tall people treated him like someone older, and kept telling me that I should consult a doctor as he was way behind. When I told them he wasn't 4 but 2, they were amazed.

When he was 4 I was told he should be more social, when he was 6 I was complimented with the fact that he learned so fast and when he was 8 I was asked how it was possible that he knew so much about trains and trainstations.

All those years he'd been playing with trains, and because his father had free travelling, he went with him on many trips through the country.

We used to read books to him, and when he was old enough he started to read by himself. He loved "the 5" series, and later sone other series.
Individual books were not appreciated. I think it took too much energy to understand the people and their characters.

When he was 8 his movements were not smooth enough, when he was 10 he was too much of an individual to fit in a group.
When he was 12 we were told he was too intelligent, eh highly intelligent, and school said they were sorry to see him go.
Which was not the case, but hej, he did extremely well in the last year theatre play, which was a signal of how often he had played the person they wanted him to be. He was well trained.

The new school was a relief.
They didn't know anything about asperger syndrome, but they wanted to learn and enjoyed helping him.

He did very well, and those 2 years were the last years without huge problems.

%Then the schoolsystem changed and it was said that pupils needed to be prepared for university and later life far better,
Instead of the routine and structure of regular classroom teaching the students had to work in groups, solve their own problems and ask their teachers for help.

So: interaction, problemsolving, no routine and structure and reaching out.

I told them this should be taught and learned before throwing these young people in the deep, they said they would learn during the process.

I was right.

Quite some young people drowned in the system, mine too.

He was placed a level lower, and he was bored to death, starting to phantasize, getting lost in his chaotic mind.
Right at that time his father brought a computer into the house, against my wishes.

My son got hooked within weeks, and what the school didn't provide the computer did.
He taught himself english, programming and a lot more, which was far more interesting than average schoolstuff.
He went to bed late, because being tired meant he wasn't as susceptible for the overstimulation school provided.

He started to hate school, because he couldn't keep up with the development of other young people, with the requirements and with the girls who loved his handsome looks.

So he dropped out.
Of school I mean, not out of the computerworld.
He discovered more and more and had a great time.

After a few months he started at a new school.
He enjoyed studying there, but they considered him not social enough.

He started at ICT, but they hardly knew how to deal with autism at that time.
His teachers offended him. They were used to critical students who would say what they wanted, not to a silent boy that was enable to ask something.

He left.
It was not his world and not the world he ever wanted to be in.

It took a while before I found an organisation where people would listen.
Well, they told me to call them and explain what I wanted... but how could I call with 6 children at my arms?
So I mailed that all I wanted was one simple appointment and then it was up to them to decide.

I got the appointment and a social worker was put on my sons case.
She knew what we didn't know.

A school which is only accessible for disabled students and, sonce shortly, for autistic ones too.
They had quite some requirements, but he moved out into protected living and lived up to the requirements.

They accepted him and within a few years he studied as much as normal people do in twice or three times the time.
It took a long time to find a place where they wanted him to do his practical assignments, but when a firm finally agreed to take him, they were so surprised by his skills that they asked him for a steady job even before he'd finished his studies.

Tomorrow he'll get his diploma.

For him it's just a stop between days of work he enjoys.

He plans to work here about 3 to 6 years and then move to England/Scotland, because he'll earn more there.

For me tomorrow is a day I never ever expected to come.

To live towards this moment would have been so much easier when schools and people would be less focussed on making children into model human beings, without a good description of the average person and the wish to mold young people to be someone they're not.

Many autistic young people live under pressure and stress, because they can't live up to all the expectations of modern society.

My son, and many others, show that each person needs to be treated as a unique human being, with his own pace of development.

He did it.

And with that he's an example for others and a promiss to parents.

Please, please take autistic people the way they are, and look at what they can and guide them from there.

I'm sure all people involved will be a lot happier.

In case you want to donate to give him a present he likes, you can use the donate button at the top of the site and mention: diploma.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sven Kramer has grown up

He smiles again.

Sven Kramer has changed from a puberty hormone driven boy into a wise man.

Yesterday he had a talk with the man who made him doubt himself by pointing him to the inner lane instead of the outer one, which resulted in his disqualification.

And this morning they were seen together smiling.

In an interview he stated that he wants to move on.
Everybody can make a mistake.
He realised that he's won so many medals with this coach and that they share so much, that one mistake won't change their bond.

The interviewer asked him if he was putting up an act when smiling with the coach.

"I'm not here to play theatre, but to skate as fast as possible", was his reply.

My admiration has grown for this young man much more than it could have ever grown when he'd won gold.

He's an example for my kids and for many other people.

Let's move on!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

disaster at the 10 km?

Is Sven Kramer skating in the wrong lane?

What's happening?

He's skating the race of his life.

Lee is already celebrating his gold medal, while Sven is skating 6.66 below Lee's time.

Me oh my!!

They're still counting the time, but he will be the uncrowned king.
He doesn't know he'll be disqualified.

What a disaster!!!

witnessing history

I love the olympics, and it seems to grow each 4 years.

Those atletes have worked so hard to reach their dream, that I don't even mind when they end last.

Ofcourse I'm thrilled when someone from my country wins, o yes, I am.
But to hear the stories of some people touches my heart even more.

A few days ago someone asked me if I allwed my children to watch in the middle of the night.

When they were younger I would do the same as my grandma: ghet them out of bed to see history when it was taking place.

She threw herself in a huge row at the time of the first moonlanding. She made my mother clear that missing some sleep over something that should be remembered was of a lot more importance that a yawn during the day.

I still remember how my father and I sat only half at the couch, both bending forward to see it all even better. To witness the first steps. No other light than the TV.

It has changed me. I'm still missing sleep over a shuttle mission. (I even dream of witnessing a launch one day.)
And I even stay up late to see "our" skaters give the best they have.

When I can't be in Vancouver I can at least watch it when it happens.

I know it's ridiculous. We can get replays here all the day, and they're as good as the live version.
But the special feel of witnessing it right at the moment it happens creates something special that can't touch at the feeling of seeing it hours later.

Some people ask me what my secret is of appearing so young.
My gram was asked the same.

We share our enthousiasm for special events in life.

Thanks gram!!

Photobucket... updated

To my big surprise photobucket exchanged my photos to an ad for a premium.

I guess people have been hyperlinking my photos, because the account couldn't have reached bandwidth at all.

I'll look into it.



Links are changed.

Please don't take these photo's, but ask me.

That's not too complicated is it?


Monday, February 22, 2010

curling and my kids

february 22 2010

When I would yell as hard as the curlingladies when cleaning the floor, my children would take over the complete household.

For those who expect some photos, here is some of the olympic happiness.
This time: Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto, icedancers.

Maybe it's time to give a price for outfits too.

Ireen Wüst gold on 1500 meters!!

february 22 2010

She wanted it,
but how often do we want something and we'll never get it?

She went for it, with utter dedication.

And she made it:

gold on the 1.500 meters.

It was like she didn't belief it.

But when the national hymn sounded the tears came.

Here they are:

1.56,89 Ireen Wüst
1.57,14 Kristina Groves
1.57,96 Martina Sábliková

We're so proud of Ireen Wüst!!



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Sunday, February 21, 2010

BC Blogger links


Olympic Gold for Mark Tuitert

february 21 2010

Speedskating 1500 m

First we thought that Kuipers did it.

Then we got our realism back,
and we hoped that Tuitert did it:

Then we waited, and waited...
We thought Shani Davis would break it...

then we knew he made it...


On what we call the king's number.

Davis, Tuitert, Bokko



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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breaking news: Dutch government has fallen

february 20 2010

See my other blog:

Crisis in the Dutch government ends in broken trust


Uruzgan was central issue in the discussions

I was asked whether I regret what happened.


I think this government was far too controling and requested too much respect (without deserving that respect).

Changes in education and healthcare were made without listening to people who had to live with those decisions.

I saw a movement to centralised control, influencing people to become a kind of puppet of the controling organisations.

One of the main changes I saw was the way young people looked towards the future.
When I was young there was hope, confidence, and a feeling of expectation, because when we worked hard we could become what we wanted.
We didn't need strict rules, because we wanted the best for ourselves.

Young people now are confronted with so many rules and regulations that it's only a natural reflex to go against them.
The government already has made the choice for them that they will be forced to go to school or work until they're 23, that all their mistakes will be recorded in a central file, etc etc.
It's a feeling of being repressed and of being a burden to society. The intense feeling of choice and responsibility to create our own future has been taken.

There's no respect for the individuality of people, no respect for those who are different and need our solidarity.

People who are handicapped are not seen as unique individuals, but as a burden to society.

The value of people is not in his or her being, but in the economical value.

I think the devaluation of people should be stopped and I hope a new government at least can stop the tendencies I've described here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

High...on top

february 19 2010

Some photos made yesterday.

I've been told that the Canadians are more focussed on icehockey than iceskating.
Well, they should review their options, because one of their lovely ladies won gold.

This gold:

OK, these ladies stay close to the ground,
unlike some others, like Sara Bright,

who seems to have time to have a good look at her supporters while flying through the air.

Want a better shot?

Enjoy the olympics!!

Zenni Optical - affordable fashion

february 19 2010

One of the ways parents can feel better is to change the way they look.
Glasses are one of the best ways to do so, and are way better than a new hairdo, because glasses can be changed within the blink of an eye and adjusted to the colour of clothes, the colour of eyes, or just the colour you like that moment of the day.

There's no need to say that's expensive, because with Zenni Optical eyeglasses, you can afford what you like and like what you can afford.


Zenni Optical doesn't need to pay for advertising, for renting and furnishing nice shops, for all sorts of people who earn money and stand between you and the factory.
Because that's why Zenni Optical glasses are within your reach too: they deliver to you straight from the factory.

When I say affordable, I mean affordable.
Ranging from $8 dollars up, for complete bi-focal eyeglasse from $25 dollars and up. Need I say more?
A sunglass color coating is available for $4,95 which is even cheaper than children's sunglasses from the grocerystore.

Just order online, using the precription from your eyedoc. Ask him to measure your eye distance too, as that's not part of the regular check up and it's needed for well fitting glasses and enjoy making a choice.

There's a standard shipping and handling charge of a flat $4.95 per order, no matter how many glasses you've ordered.

The collection Zenni Optical runs is huge.
You can find all sorts of looks and twists on looks, so whatever subculture your teenage daughter and son belong to, you can even find glasses for them without the trouble of leaving the home and go shopping.

Good luck!

Grinding with Laane

februari 19 2010

There are days I long to sit at my grandma's table and grind coffee with her.
The strong smell of coffee, the sweet light through the window and the soft smile on her face.

Wouldn't it be a great introduction for a meme?

Well, you're allowed to consider this as much.
When you want to take part, let me know and I'll send you the graphic, with your own name.

Grind away what happened this week so you can start your weekend a bit better.

The main event this week was another drama the government created around Uruzgan.
A letter from the NATO requesting an extension of our stay so closely for local elections made the whole issue a game to play people into the webs of political parties.
Lies, intrigues? I wrote about it and turned my attention to the olympics and the International Space Station. The world will turn on without this government and I'm OK it falss over the issue.
I do however care that it's international interference into our politics that created the problem in the first place. None of the other NATO countries wants to succeed this mission, and the pressure is put on us because our prime minister has the name to want to be a nice puppydog to the USA.

We're counting the months before my classic autistic son will be 18 and we'll be able to switch from the child- and youth psychiatrist to the adult psychiatrist. They've honored my request to create a special adolescence clinic, but only for ADHD.
There's still a lot of work to do, but first we have to find a place for our classic autistic son to live and a way to make him leave the house without meltdowns and destroying it all.
The constant puberty troubles between him and his ADHD brother are a burden to us all, and require my constant attention. I can´t be downstairs when they are upstairs without having all my senses there. Age starts to count, even though I still surpise myself by being upstairs within a few seconds. The pain in my hip follows later.

I hope this time this post can stay without comments from high functioning autists who want to tape the mouth of parents of autistic children who can´t deal with life without all day assistance.
The autism spectrum ranges from almost normal autistic people to those who can´t deal with life at all.
My 4 sons are everywhere on the spectrum, with my classic autistic son somewhere at the beginning. He´s functioning at a level years behind his chronological age, he almost never leaves the house, he doesn´t like communicating with others than his own family, and his communication skills are far below average. He has almost no ability to reflect on his own behaviour, which is guided by the feel and need of the moment.

This week I was offered the opportunity of a life time, but I can´t leave here for more than a few hours. And even that requires a lot of preparation. The break of routine, caused by a meeting I had to go to yesterday, is reflecting in my sons behaviour today.

Well, the snow is gone.
I´m even feeling the need to sow some seeds in small pots.
I love the first signs of spring, I love spring. The crisp air in the morning, the birds singing like they own the world, and walking outside without a coat on flipflops.

The weekend the Endeavour will return to earth, maybe we´ll gain some medals at the olympics and maybe that nagging headache will disappear when spring allergy sets in with itching eyes.

Let´s face the weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

iceskating: the 3 best!

february 18 2010

It wasn't quiet in the room when the women were skating their 1000 meters.


1.16.56 Christine Nesbitt
1.16.58 Annette Gerritsen
1.16.72 Laurine van Riessen

Nesbitt had a bit of a hard time, but she had the right frame of mind and won gold!!

Annette missed gold just by 2 hundreds.

And Laurine surprised us all.

It was wonderful to see their happiness.

Two of our winners, together.


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thursday mix

february 18 2010

It was fun to travel by bus today, even though I wished the world was still covered by snow.
I even didn't mind there were no seats available, because we all were so engaged in talking about politics that time and distance went by fast.

We all agreed that no soldier should be send to afghanistan again.
If we would have been our parliament TV would be boring!

And everyone agreed that we need a new government.

The older people longed back to the times that humor and integrity were the leading characteristics of politicians, and we engaged in citing old jokes and remembering wonderful moments.

It was a pity to arrive at the busstop where I had to leave.

The meeting about my son was as boring as expected. Going through some paperwork we received at home, and could have commented on by mail, is not my main priority.
I wondered why a pedagogue was present, because the people who deal with my son on daily basis were very well able to deal with whatever comes up.

Well, when I can propose a change to save money...

While the potatoes were boiling (I arrived at home just in time to make dinner at the regular time), I wanted to drop at some sites.

To my amazement I had a mail from someone who told me my site was added to some dropping system.

Well, I didn't ask him to do so.

Let's be clear: after the last EC-drama I reviewed my list of sites I was dropping on and I'm making a new one. Only sites with content, which are regularly updated and which are not full of advertisements are on the list.
These sites are bookmarked in my browser.

I love sites about beading, other creative subjects and real life, so when you think you should be on my list, please let me know.

Thank you advertisers for dropping at my site, but I won't be dropping back.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snowboarding and a huge package in a corner

february 17 2010

One of the favorites of the olympics here: snowboarding.

I was enjoying a very quiet moment, wondering if we would get snow or just a very cold night when suddenly I saw a face appearing out of the dark... and another... and...

Within a moment the room was filles with skateboarders wanting the see snowboarding.

While I wanted to know how our Dutch participant was doing, they were only interested in the technical details.

They would have been a great jury.

Catching snowboarders is one of the most difficult things, because of their speed.

Here are a few attempts.

One didn't make the first slope.

Remember the icemachine problems I wrote about yesterday?
Special, from Calgarry, hidden in the corner before put into (successful) use:


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ice and skaters...and the dutch

february 16 2010

Iceskating is in our blood.
No wonder.
Ou country is below sea level, and only the dikes prevent our country from disappearing in the waters of the earth.
We took the land from the sea, used the water for transport. Not only for ships and boats, but also to go from one town to another. Before we had roads we had ice, and my forefathers skated in the winter from one place to another.

I grew up with lots of stories about that time, and I still teach my children the language of the ice: when you can stand on it, when it's dangerous.

Whenever the temperatures lower, there's a thrill going through the country.
Because there's one huge event we long for: the elfstedentocht.
But that event needs good ice, alongside 11 cities and between them, so it doesn't happen often.

So we need to flow all the energy into another event and the olympics is the perfect place.
Our skaters are our heros, skating a festivity, and when others are near, we welcome them into our world of happiness.

So we sing, make music, do the wave, cheer, and sing once again.
We dress up like it's carnaval and we collect the hats one the large factories of our country issues each year.
As an extra we got gloves this year. Things that come in handy, as folding the top away makes it fingerless gloves. (Great for bagpiping in the open air too).

It's all very normal to us, but ohoh, how amazed all those canadians and reporters are.

When iceskating is involved, we behave like nuts, we break rules where there shouldn't have been rules, but we don't do any harm. We've just entered that corner of our heart and mind that's called "iceskating".

So Sven Kramer won and was so happy that he wanted to embrace his family, share his happiness, and he crossed the ice, climbed the fence and fell into the arms of his family.
That's normal to us. That's how it works.
But there are rules, and he was told that if it happened again he was no longer welcome at the olympics.
Hmmm, we can't even share our happiness anymore.

We comment on everything, because we know a lot about icemaking and skating.
Ofcourse we feel they should have asked us to make the ice, and when one icemachine broke down, we looked in utter amazement and then started to make music again.

The second machine gave up too, but the 2 numbers the band was allowed to play were over, and a deep silence bordered between the olympics and our ice-skating traditions.
So we all waited, we don't want to break rules... but then the signal came that the music could go on, and we celebrated....what? Our presence..., the olympics... Who knows! Who cares!

The third machine came on the ice als left this:

We can skate on that, but that's not how olympic ice should be.

Those sitting in front of the TV in the middle of the night, our time, were told by the presenter to get more coffee, a bit later we got compliments for still being awake.
Friends called me, just to stay awake while waiting for the final moment of the start.

Which came, but not after the third machine was removed of the ice and another, repaired one had a go at it.

Then finally the shot sounded.

While we were still having a laugh because of disbelief that something like can happen, and someone placed an advertisement at our national online market, saying two icemachines were on offer, to be fetched for free in Vancover, our Jan Bos skated his 500 m.

He became 6th, which is very good.
We're not short track skaters, we're good at the longer distances.

We cheered for the other skaters and commented on the next ice incident.
A large gap was created in the ice and any skater who would be caught in it would fall.

The gap was just washed close and the contest went on.

A korean and two Japanese won, creating a final feel of justice.
"Short legs, short track", someone mailed me.

And then the light in the neighbourhood went out and we all finally went to bed.


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Monday, February 15, 2010

Proof that Sven Kramer got his gold medal!!

february 15 2010

In the middle of the night for his fans at home,
he got his gold medal.

Sven won the 5.000 meters iceskating for men.

No words necessary.

Lee Seung-hoon and Ivan Kobrev at his site

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Published 2/15/10 4.34 am
updated with names other winners.