Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bad Day



1. Is there anything that you tend to do to cheer up when you are having a bad day?

The smiles of my children,
a bird in the garden forgetting that it's my garden too,
a butterfly,
music,
looking at a favorite present,
etc etc.

2.What’s the last card game you played, and with whom did you play?

That's a very long time ago, as I don't like playing cards.

3.What’s the last board game you played, and with whom did you play?

With the children, but I don't remember which one.

4.What’s the last computer game you played, and with whom did you play?

I don't game.

5.Is there somewhere you’d like to visit but have not, and where is it?

I have a long list of places I want to visit:
Tibet
Nepal
Mali
Scotland
Norway
Iceland
a vulcano,
but London will be OK too,
or the beach.

6.Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case?

Out of Africa.
Maybe I value an independent man?
It's not as much the story itself, but the feel of the whole movie which triggers my emotions.

7.What physical attributes do you find the most attractive?

I'm not a person of appearances, even though I can see who's handsome and who not.
I value eyes and facial expression.
So many people have no expression around their eyes.... or have I met too many people who are not in touch with their real selves the last months?

8.How many people live in your house? Tell us about them.

Right now: 4 kids and mom.
Dad sleeps somewhere else and that's a long long story, which the regular readers know.

9. Ever punch someone in the face?

No, not at all.

But there are people who need some "wakening u"p.... cold water will do.
So let the rains come in. LOL!



OK< I have to go to town to get some groceries I can't get here.
Have a nice weekend.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Sorry and ...



Sorry my site has been invisible for some time.
It was beyond my control.
As always, when people put their good will together, matters were solved in no time.

I'm very happy all is working well again.

In the meantime I've been bugging my mind if I would start a new site about buddhism and my journey on that path.
I'm not sure if you would like it, as there's already so much information online.

Let me know...please.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Need I be worried?

Yesterday I went for my mammogram.

They've got a rather new digital machine there and the last time I didn't feeled like a flattened pancake at all, as the anatomical structures were followed.

Well, this time there was another nurse and she used the diagonal view too, but squeezed the whole lot as thin as a coin... or nearly that flat.

I even had muscle ache after it, because she stressed the neckmuscles so much.

After the two shots she went to see if they were OK and she couldn't find one, or so she said.
I hope it was my breast I saw on the screen, because it was OK.
But I'm not sure.

I feel stupid not to have asked.

And then she told me she needed two shots more... the old fashioned way.
Arghh!!!

Need I be worried that she had to take two extra????

I hope they'll send the results home, because my doc is on holiday until the end of august.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's mammogram day again!

A few weeks ago I received the letter with time and date for the next mammogram.
I'm part of the age group that's screened every two years.

For years I had to visit a mobile clinic who was parked near the shopping centre.
The woman who worked there was more of a cartechnician than a careful radiographer.
Many women complained about her, but as she worked without supervision and without control she was kept at her place.

Two years ago I was suddenly called to the hospital for a mammogram.
First I was worried, until I arrived there and saw all the neighbourhoodwomen sitting there.
I hadn't been the only one worrying that something might be the matter, as it turned out.

When I was called in I saw a completely different machine.

No need to stand in front and have my breast pressed into a small flap of moaning crushed tissue, holding my arms away like they were unwanted elements.

No, this machine could be turned and the breast was just mildly flattened in an almost anatomical way, while my armpit was caught by the x-rays too.

The whole procedure was not as unpleasant as it had been before and the nurse was very friendly.

So I requested a note in my files to call me next time to hospital again.

Some people have asked me if I mind going.

No, I value the fact that I can be checked in such an easy way.
Breast self examination is a good way to signal any problems between two mammograms, but it would only catch a very fast growing problem.
The slow growing cancers can only be caught at a mammogram, and they would be caught in an early stage. So treatment would be minimally invasive and not such a burden as when cancer is found at later stages.

So, in a way, I'm grateful it's mammogram day again.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

autism parenting - the positives 1

Being a parent of autistic children means a daily confrontation with yourself.

Some see that as negative, as a burden.
Especially those people who think self reflection is unpleasant.

I consider it a real challenge.
A positive day to day experience that enabled and enables me to grow. Not only as a parent, but also as a human being.

Ofcourse I've thought about parenting before I even got pregnant.
I had a serious look at myself to see if I would like to be a parent, if I could carry the responsibilities of being a parent, if I would enjoy not only the babystages, but also the other developmental stages of human beings, etc etc.

The answer was "yes".

And then we were told we never would be parents.

The games fate plays are countless.

But against all odds I became pregnant, more conscious of the miracle I ever would have been.

It made me observe my child, enjoy each moment, each movement, and because of that the realisation that something was the matter, that my son showed autistic traits, entered my thoughts very soon.

That was in a time that autism spectrum syndrome didn't excist.

I mentioned it the first time when he was a few months old.

First the doctor of the babycheck thought our son was deaf, but he heard the sounds of the radio. He was tested nevertheless, because the doctor told me she had more experience than I had.
I was the one who said he had autism, many, many years later she agreed I had been right.

After checking him for deafness, she came with all sorts of other possible causes, like not enough sleep, allergies, and everything else in the books.
But she never seriously considered what I told her, because she just didn't know anything about autism.

During the first years I trusted my intuition.
So I learned him to look at me when I was speaking to him.
Like with deaf children I touched his chin to get attention.

I learned to stage communication, cut non verbal behaviour into small parts to teach my son how to show proper non verbal behaviour.
And I did the same with verbal behaviour, play and everything else..

With the gain of each small step I was happy.
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Manic Monday #215



What's your secret recipe?

Haha...I won't tell you!

Imagine you want to write a book. What's going to be in it and what is it going to be about?

It'll be about my years parenting.
It will contain my experiences with autism, with a mixed family of autistic and non-autistic children and about the people who are called professionals, and their needs to show me how professional they are. (That's very nicely said, isn't it?)

Name 5 things in your freezer.

Not the fridge, but the freezer. Hmm...

  1. fish
  2. vegetables
  3. soup
  4. meat
  5. water ice

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Manic Monday #214



Imagine you have a hundred dollars, but you couldn't keep it. You have to give it away to a person or charity. Who would you give it to? What would you want them to do with it?

A hundred dollars.
I would give it to someone who is very experienced to arrange sponsorships and I would ask him or her to use the hundred dollars to send letters to ask for sponsorship for an autism house in our town.

If you could cook any meal for your friends or family, what would you cook?

That depends completely on who's coming and what they like.

Chicken vegetable soup would certainly be on the menue.

List 5 things you want to do in your life.

  1. travel
  2. move to Scotland to spend my last years there
  3. write another book
  4. make some mayor changes to the benefit of children
  5. visit some of my friends abroad
  6. and a lot more

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

mistakes upon mistakes upon mistakes... even the teamleader!

Dealing with official organisations hasn't been my favorite.
Mainly because of the many mistakes, the unrespectful way people are dealt with, the hierarchy games and the enormous amount of nonsense rules.

When the Child Services entered our family a whole train of disgraceful events happened.
I've seen people I didn't even know excisted in reality.
People I can't understand. I can't understand how they can live with themselves and how they're able to raise their children in a proper way.
This all has raised my concern about our society .. a lot!

We wrote a reaction to the first report on our family. The law states we can.
I wonder if someone bothered to read it. It's filed... yep...it's filed.

With effort I got a second report. Not the corrected first. There are no corrections made.
No a second... even worse report on us.
We got it when the investigation was already closed.

We wrote a second set of corrections and comments.
I guess it's filed too.

We've send it by signed post again, because we didn't get a note of receival of the second set of comments and corrections.
The mail send us the official note, and the office took an effort to send us one too, as they should.

But:
  • It was send to one of our sons
  • It was about the first set of comments and corrections, appropriately mentioning we collected the note at the mailoffice.

This was a reaction of the teamleader.
So he or she didn't even bother to read one single word, otherwise it would have become clear it was a second reaction on a second report.
This is the person who should guard that the right decisions are taken. Haha!

These are the people who decided upon us.

The people who stated we're members of a sect, that I am burned out, etc etc.

These are the people who messed up our lives and put a second organisation on us who wants to bring us to court as bad parents...based on that first organisation.

I wonder how many people in my country have suffered from those same mistakes.
The rights of children are violated over an over again, the law is trodden by providing the court case information based on the idea that people can defend themselves there.

How I would love to have someone knowledgeable from the European Union or the United Nations have a look.
This is not work for a normal lawyer, but for a famous international lawyer.

You're invited to get in contact with me.

I can't pay you, but you can do a lot of good for children and their parents.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sun Rising



1. When was the last time that you watched a sunrise? Who were you with?

Last week.
I was alone.

The colours were magnificent. Such a pure turkoise. Amazing!

2. If President Obama promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do?

Well, he's not my president as I'm not a usa resident.

Right now I would ask him to speak out against bullying and against the idea that the victim of bullying should be treated with psychotherapy and such.
I think bullying is a lack of respect for others and those who are the bulliers should get proper psychotherapy.

I would ask him to honor my daughter who speaks out against bullying so often.

3. What is one experience that has strengthened your character the most so far?

Hmmm...I've had many experiences and many one strenghtened my character.
So this is a very difficult question.

To experience those people who are not humble and honest, who show no respect for others... yes... that's one of the main strengthening forces for me.
I've met people who told me they knew their job, as a teacher, a psychologist, as a social worker, as a psychiatrist, and they badly failed.
I don't care when people lack knowledge. Maybe they have read other books...
But I do care when people claim to do their job well and they place themselves above others, and I can see that in fact they mess things up, hurt people, and lack selfreflection on their enormous ego's.

People like that create the need to stand up for my children, other children, other people.

When my first daughter died because her heart couldn't cope with life without medication and some doctor was not available to sign for new blood, to sign for the meds and he even failed to look up how much anti-D I needed, resulting in active rhesusantagonim, I learned a lot.
It was in a time when dead babies were not spoken about. I thought that was wrong, and I changed the whole lot here in this country, with the help of some friends.
Now parents can hold their babies, take picures, footprints, have balloons at funerals, etc etc.

I found out that my experience and my feelings about justice and injustice, about what's good for people and worng for people can make a difference for a lot of other people when I put my shoulders under it.

The result is that a crisis in my life makes me stronger, see things with a sharp eye and often brings about changes in more lifes than those of my own family.
That's a strength: knowing that bad things can be turned in good things.

4. What is the first thing that you usually do after completing Saturday 9?

Take a sip of coffee.

5. Tell us about someone either in your life or in the blogosphere that you think is extremely funny.

I have a friend who is spontaneous. Who is in contact with the child in him and won't let go.
I walked around town during the 4 days marches festivities a few years ago and he had a handdoll...a dog.. and he caught the attention of many people.
The way he dealt with people... awesome!
He made everyone smile... everyone.

6. Where was the last bed that you slept in that was not your own?

Uhh...that's a long time ago.
After a ballet performance, when I had to stay the night with the group.
I slept in the bed of a friend, while she went to her parents.

7. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything?

No never. Absolutely not.

8. Have you ever licked something to clean it?

Yep, my glasses.

9. Who, outside of family or a S/O, has influenced your life the most?

What's s/o??

I think it's my professor of clinical psychology.
He questioned me about my opinion about autism and schizophrenia in a time when we didn't even think about autism spectrum syndrome, ppd-nos etc etc.

His questions made me develop a way of observing, thinking and reacting which has helped me a lot with my children.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Dance and.. he made it!

Yesterday we went to town to take part in the festivities of the international 4 days marches.

At a special stage for world music, initiated by the organisation for fugitives many years ago, it was africa evening.

So we met old acquaintances, many of who have worked in the third world or worked with fugitives here. Some are wives of african men.
We see each other every year at least once: at the africa evening.

This time we first decided not to go, but when the clock turned we decided to go anyway. A friend brought us to town by car. He doesn't like the festivities, but he gladly brings anyone who needs a trip to town.

While we were on our way it started to rain and before the centre we were confronted with a traffic jam due to a car-accident.
We decided to take a walk to town, so he could leave the jam and return home.

Realising we wouldn't be in time for the main performance (in our opinion) was kind of sad. We were at the wrong side of the centre.

But when we arrived it turned out the performance was postponed due to the bad weather and we still had plenty of time. Yea!
They were cleaning the stage, trying to get rid of the water and repairing the damage.

It was nice to meet old friends, walk around a bit and then mingle with the others just before the performance started.
The group of the Lions of Africa was split.
The main part of the group is in Bulgaria at the moment, but those who were here were aboslutely the best.

One jumped over a standing man!!!

We intensely enjoyed the music and the dance and we danced ourselves too.
The weather was amazing and one could almost feel like being in africa.
As always of the group of oldies I was the one who danced longest... haha. Never beaten.

Today we were watching TV and expected to see one of my sons finish.
One of the other boy texted him to ask where he was, but he didn't get a reply.
Then suddenly the door opened and he stepped in...
He didn't want us to come to the finish... now we knew why.
He was so early that we would have been the first ones to sit there.
Now he surprised us, very proud.

He didn't walk officially, because he walked with some soldiers to made a record in photos of their experience, and he wasn't sure he would make it.
He didn't walk yesterday, but managed to walk 3 days the full 50 km. Wow!

Next year he'll walk officially and we already know we should be very early to see him finsih.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

A quiet day - a very rich day

A strange rest has entered nature. It can almost be touched like a strong thread between trees.

The morning started with sun and lots of birds in the garden.
When I went outside a yellow butterfly rested on the lavender and the toad, who has found refuge in our garden, jumped to a pot with some water.

I had planned so many things to do, but instead I did some gardening in the front garden, greeted friendly by neighbours, and the usual household chores.

The children woke up one by one, enjoying the lower temperatures.
Letters from school arrived for the next year, creating the familiar feeling of leaving the schoolyear in the past and moving on.

(Oh, I wish people would allow us to move on the way we were moving on.
We were all doing so well, we had so many plans, for the vacation too. But now we have to wait for other people to decide. It doesn't feel right.
How I hope they'll see the truth.)

Thoughts, moving through me like that one single small fly moves through the room.

We had lunch together, small talk, funny remarks.

And after that we all went quiet for some unknown reason.

We didn't hear the music of one of the boys, just laughs and giggles of the autistic boy and one of his sisters while they were doing an sport activity with the computer.
But after a while they got silent too.

The other girls left to see one of her friends and when I stood outside for a moment I heard their voices merge with the sounds of the birds. Soon after a third girl joined them.

I'm grateful for hours like these.
They enable me to let go of all the criticism. It's like all my tentacles retreat and the silence of my sould speaks louder than everything else.

To be honest: I don't like the fighting, I don't like to conquer untruthfullness and lies. Especially not when they concern my person.
I know I'm OK. I'm a good mother, a good person.
Under normal circumstances I don't feel the need to sell myself, to show I'm OK.
Just being is enough.
Kindness, compassion, sweet care, gentle guidance, listening, observing, that's me.

Someone once said that a mother who wasn't able to show tough love was no real mother.
Oh, I can make straightforward decisions, but one way or another I've alwasy been able to show my children why.
Reaching the soul of a child is true motherhood.
And it means that gentle guidance always facilitates development.

Maria Montessori was convinced that all children have an inner urge for development, and that's what I've found out too. They all develop at their own pace to fullfill their own destination.
Sometimes development in one area stops for a while, while other development suddenly goes very fast. Sometimes developments takes another route than we want, mainly when other people interfere, but children are strong people and with the right guidance they'll learn. Like we all make mistakes and we'll learn.
As long as other people don't suffer we're allowed our mistakes.

A while ago I heard a buddhist lecturing about mistakes people make.
He touched me deeply because he spoke with so much compassion.
He didn't speak with criticism, showing he knew it far better, but taught that we're all at different levels of development and enlightment.
Some are reincarnations and their souls already know a lot. Others are new souls and need to learn almost everything.
He called those who made mistakes: unknowing... unknowing how to act better.
This gave so much room for people the learn from their mistakes, and so much room for others not to be critical, but compassionate and caring.

In our own case I can deal with the poeple who are doing us wrong the same way.
I can let go... at the moment I can. Yes.

But what about the harm they're doing?
They´re hurting the children... How do I deal with that?

Anyway. A day like today is a very rich day, because we all feel whole and happy.

That's our strength: to keep in touch with what's really important: our own souls.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marching along




Today was the second day of the international 4 days marches.
My second son wants to become a photographer and an event like this offers a lot of practice.

To make a kind of chronological report of the marches with a group of soldiers as the sunject, he walks with them.
Because he hasn't subscibed to the event as a walker he won't get a medal or anything else, but he's also free to stop wherever he wants.

He didn't stop though, but walked the full 40 km's yesterday and today.
I admire him for that.

He's confronted now with some of the common problems of these marches, with pain at the front of his leg. I hope he'll be able to find some medical attention along the route tomorrow, otherwise he has to stop walking with the group.

Tomorrow we'll try to go and have a look at the event.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sailing

Last year lots of people had an opinion about a girl who wanted to sail the world solo as the youngest girl ever.

Child Protection Services jumped on her case and the girl was put under protection, as they call it.

When everybody thought she'd fulfilled all the requirements of safe sailing etc etc the protection was extended, and even when it was clear the girl was not benefitting from the protection but clearly showed signs of depression because she was put under pressure, according to her father, the protection was extended.

Today I heard the news, between advertisements for icecream, acne creams and a new kind of fruit drink, that the girl had been to court again.
This time Childcare pleaded the end of the protection measurements, but Child Protection Services wants them to be continued.

Next week we'll hear what the court has decided.

What is very interesting in this case is that the mother spoke out against the organisations.
They were not providing the truth, according to her.

Hmmm... though I heard that on this blog before.
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Twitterbar

The 4 days marches are enriched with yet another social initiative: the twitterbar.

At "De affaire" you'll find the twitterbar under the twittertree.
When you can't find the place, just ask.

On internet: http://twitter.com/affairebar

When you want people to twitter in english, just ask.

It's fun that people in my town are real tweeters.

Last month they had a real twitterlunch and last year during the 4 days marches people met under the twittertree.

Social initiatives is one of the positive consequences of being a university city.
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Healthy weightloss

Some people think they can use the international 4 days marches as a means to loose weight.
My father was a member of a medical team at these marches and I always went with him.
I've witnessed many discussions about healthy habits during the hours we've spend on the road and at the mobile posts.

Ofcourse movement is the main way to weightloss, and eating not enough endangers your wellbeing, espcially during sportive events.

Yesterday one of the walkers said he was going to drink less than adviced, because weightloss often meant losing water.
I've never heard a thing like that and I told him so.

In fact, during these hot days one has to drink more. And when one is wise, one starts drinking more the day before, so the body is used to the flow and has already lost toxins.
Yes...drinking more means cleaning the body and the result is a healthier feeling.

Like everything in nature, the body finds a balance itself when you treat it well.
Plentry of drinking, healthy food in adequate quantities, a good state of mind and enough body movement brings a body in a state of equilibrium, and also at a balanced weight.

Depending on age it's more or less of the average weight.

When you want to know more about bringing your body in balance and weightloss have a look at the curvatrim reviews.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Continuing Story - disability? Work!!

Applying for a disability benefit for my son.. I wish I hadn't done it.

First we had to see a doctor, like my son hasn't been assessed over and over again.
Then we got an appointment for the... how shall we call it...workexpert.

I've said before, no matter how a person feels, he or she should work in this country.
Even when someone isn't able to make dinner after coming home and sleeps all the time until the next morning, there's no consideration at all.
We've grown from a caring country to a country that puts the use of people on top of everything else.

The excuse is that we have to pay for the elderly.
But it's forgotten that care and human interest should be put first.

I wouldn't mind caring for an elder person or couple next to my house.
I would volunteer to do so when a nice couple lived here. No problem.
But society would tell me I'm nuts to do it without payment.

My son has had a terrible experiences during schooltime and after it too.
You know the troubles we went through to get him on track again, the struggles to find a place to be.

We've found him a place at a backery. It's a mixed place: daycare and learning people some skills, which might result in a diploma of assistant breadbacker or something like that.

We've applied for the financial backup and it can come in anytime now.

Because the leaflet of the workexpert mentioned the cancellation of an assessment meeting I phoned and the woman agreed with me that no meeting was necessary, gave me some information (when you're not doing what we want you won't get the benefit) and she told me that my son would receive a disability benefit.

We were all very happy here.

Then the phone rang.

I was expecting a call from a friend, but it was the workexpert.
Her teamleader said that as my son has a normal intelligence and people of 18 can still develop they won't agree with him going to the place we want him to go, but they want to assess what he can do and make him do that.

I told her that he's come from far, that we've had a long and intensive struggle to get him as far, that he tried at the coffee factory and restaurant and that he couldn't cope there and that this is our final resort.

She wouldn't listen, so I referred er to my son's social worker.

I am soooo fed up with people who know it all better!!!!!!!!!!!!

They haven't even seen my son and they want to change his life completely and throw him in the deep.

Well, if they don't want to give him a disability benefit they should leave it that way.
This is not a third world country, this is The Netherlands.
A country I was proud of.
But I feel so very much ashamed.

Experiencing how people are treated nowadays... me oh my.. those people are kinder to dogs.

Let's get back to the facts.

The disability benefit for my son is not even enough to rent a place for himself.
When he's forced to be at a place where he's unhappy, overstimulated, where people don't understand him etc etc. I get the full load everyday when he comes home.
Not those people who know it best.

But they don't provide extra assistance for at home.
What happens outside work with people... that's not a matter of concern.

I hope our social worker can deal with that workexpert, otherwise I'll have to fight this extra fight too.
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New shades?

When fortune doesn't change for us, we have to consider moving to a smaller house.

I hate it to take life's changes as a drawback. I'd rather see them as new opportunities. And even when we're not realising a dream (yet), we're developing.

If the summerweather continues to be like this, we need to make changes, whether we move or not.

Not all windows have blinds, because curtains were sufficient. But with these high temperatures I'd rather have roller shades because they're much easier to handle and provide more opportunities to play with the light.

Sometimes the sun hits the top of the window, but with curtains I have to close them all to keep the sunlight out.
With roller shades I can pull them half way, and this keep the sun out and still keep the opportunity to look outside.

No need to put plants away.

A few years ago roller shades were boring, but these days the patterns are so diverse that for every window and room a fitting design can be found.
I love the fact that there's a choice of materials and that even different weaves are available.

Keeping the sun out isn't a problem anymore with such beautiful shades.
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webcams during events are great for decisions

Each year our town hosts a huge event with free open air concerts and many other activities.

In the past we highlighted the activities we wanted to participate in, looked at the weather and went.
Sometimes to find out, after 45 minutes on the bicycle, that there were too many people to enjoy the concert, or to find out that a road was blocked and we needed a walk of 20 minutes to enter the area.

Now I just have a look at the webcam, see if the area is accessible, if it's crowded, and sometimes we even have an appointment on webcam to see if friends are in town.

Today I had to look at 15.00 hours, because friends would be there when they'd arrived in town.
And there they were... waving.
Now they're shopping for some necessities, they'll have dinner and when the weather allows they'll meet us at one of the concerts.

It saves us a lot of calls.
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Backup!

My oldest son is an ICT specialist and he always advices his clients to use an online backup service apart from a backup which can be put in a safe.

Especially schools, but also people with files like photos, financial documents, scanned diplomas and such are dependent on a direct availability of their files.

We all know that hard drives fail, especially at a time you need them to work flawless.
When you've gone to the despair of having lost everything, you know exactly what I mean.
Without a proper back up, which can be read out under all circumstances, you'll lose important files which can never ever be replaced.
And even when they can be replaced... even in that case... it takes time, effort and often a lot of money to be able to use them again.

Online backup enables you to shift your attention from disaster to direct attention, because your files are available in almost no time.
You don't have to stop working, you just call for your files, and that's it.

There's a great choice in prizes, services, system compatibility and support. For a few dollars a month you can have unlimited storage.
So follow the advice of an expert: backup!
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The schoolyear is over. Good reports!



The schoolyear is over!

We all, yes all, are very happy with that and never ever have we been so glad to leave a schoolyear in the past.

What should have been a very good year had been a complete disaster except for the very good reports both girls got.

When children are 12 they move to a different schooltype and different school.
So did my girls.
They came in a 2 year basis and kept their groupteachers for both years.

At first all seemed well: an experienced guy and a young gymnastics teacher who was rather popular by some of the girls.
But soon it turned out they were not the people they seemed to be. They were not as devoted to the group, especially not in matters of bullying, as we expected them to be compared to former experiences with schools.

Then the girls noticed they were treated different from others, but we couldn't find out why.
We discovered it during the last weeks: they thought we were members of a sect, or extreme religious group, if you prefer it to be put that way.
And which was worse: they mentioned this to child protection services as a fact. Including the remark that my daughters were not allowed to do many fun things.

You know what happens when people think you're part of a group they don't like: they ascribe all unwanted characteristics to you, or stereotype you.
And so they (man and woman) stereotyped my girls: they didn't mingle with others, didn't feel well with themselves and preconceptions like these.
That too was reported to Child Services.

Even though child services know we're not belonging to a sect, they won't even believe us when we tell them my girls feel OK.
Now I'm trying to find a psychologist who can test them and proof that way that my girls are allright. But it's vacation and the licensed ones are spending they money at expensive hotels.

I can't belief that those people of Child Services are not able to see my girls are allright, or maybe they do, as they're targetting my mothering skills and are saying I'm burned out, which I'm certainly not.

Last week the girls had a day out with their group.
The female teacher was not present, and suddenly all the girls behaved normal and had a good time with my two ones.
The male one had a good drink and a good time bothering one of the women up to the point that she had to tell him to back off.. Yep, that's the guy who persists he sees my girl right and brings us to court.
That's the person child services beliefs and who's opinion is put above those of all of us, our doctor and a therapist.

The last day he refused to give one of my daughters a hand.

He's supposed to be grown up. He looks like it.

Well, my girls got a good report and showed that they can concentrate and work on their future even though all sorts of nonsense is said about them.

I'm so proud of them that I almost drop from my chair.

A big hooray for their good reports!!
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From the inside out

When the children were little I thought that puberty would be a terrible time.

But it isn't.

It's almost as interesting as the time directly after birth, when I sensed a character in a baby and had the privilege to see it fold out like the petals of a flower.

Ofcourse children who develop into puberty have developed their own chanracter to a certain level. Puberty is the development into a more mature version. The time that impulsiveness becomes behaviour that's more controled by individual inner motives, that thoughts are questioned and lots and lots more happens.

Seeing autistic young people develop is as interesting as seeing non-autistic young people develop. It's their individuality which breaks through more and more and it's beautiful to see which choices they make.
I don't always agree with them, but it's part of life to find out what you really want, to make choices and to live whith what comes next.

There's no difference between those on the autism spectrum and those who are not.
Especially not when acne is concerned.

We've seen all sorts of pots, bottles, lotions and creams in the bathroom. We've seen miraculous changes from a clean face to terrible acne and vise versa.

During the years my statement has been clear: when you sleep well, eat healthy and take care of other things too, your body won't find the need to make acne worse than the hormones have caused it to be.

It's good to see that we don't spend amounts of money on products that don't work. Some cleaning milks do the trick and the rest is done from the inside out.

Kids have learned that chocolate and cheese cause exacerbations, for instance.
So they have a choice and they experience that choice.
They don't feel helpless against acne.

Some young (and older) people need a bit of extra help to keep their body in perfect shape and control acne from the inside out.
Acneticin can be of help.
For about a dollar a day you'll help yourself deal with acne. And as an added extra you feel a lot better too, as it's based on detoxifying the body.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Looking forward to

We're looking forward to the homecoming of some military men and women from Afghanistan.

The command of camps and posts, except for Camp Holland has been transferred to the americans.

The NATO wanted us to extend the mission, but as we're without a missionary government the decision to stay couldn't be taken and material and personell are returned home.

It means that schoolfriends and other friends of the boys are returning home and I assume that some of them will stay here for quite some time, which means that we're in for interesting discussions and visits.

As my father has been in the RAF and a friend of the family was an army chaplain and because I've heard many, many stories I'm considered to be someone they can confide in and they do.
I've heard the most terrible stories about injuries, but also about the way people behave towards each other.

Well, I'll just wait for what I'm going to hear the next months.
You won't find anything on my blog about this, though. It stays between the walls of this room.
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A healthy event

The festivities for the international 4 days marches have begun yesterday evening.
One of the boys went to one of the open air concerts. I think there's a list of 600 of them, so you'll find an account of at least 1 of them from me this week.

The concert my son went to was of a very high standard and I'm sure the result will be an increase in the sale of CD's.

A large event like this attracts each year a tremendous amount of visitors and the town is used to more than a million extra people eating,shopping and doing all sorts of things.

The advertising companies face however more rules and regulations than ever.
I don't mind though, because I'd rather see the best products well advertised than all sorts of junk handed out.
In the past we used to throw away all leaflets and papers, but the past year the quality of what we got was so good, that we took it all home and had a good look.
We used some coupons and took a look at the urls to find nice discounts.

One of the sites that should get attention this year is the site of Dietpillcomparison.net.
They compare Lipofuze and other dietpills on a number of well described criteria.

As the 4 days marches should not only be a healthy event for the walkers but also for their supporters and those enjoying the festivities special attention for good products is always valued here.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Love Hurts



1. Tell us about the last time that you got hurt in the arena of love.

Can't remember.
We grew apart gradually. I've had my moments of grief, but as it was gradually the hurt was bearable.

2. Have you ever been part of the wedding party, other than your own?

Yes, and it was special.

3. Let's say you find yourself in Hell after you die. Think about everyone you've known in your life. Who would be the one person that would least likely to surprise you by being in Hell with you?

Not 1, but 2.
The teacher who told child protection services one of my girls is depressed and a lot more, but she isn't at all.
The person who researched as the first one our "case" and painted a picture about us, and especially me, that was not the truth, and she knows it.

Problem is that I'll be in hell to report about the conditions there and leave to find my place in reincarnation, and they'll stay there together....evaluating each other.

4. What brings you good luck?

Tell me, I could do with a lot of it.

5. Do you have a photo blog? If so, feel free to share the link with us!

No, I don't.

6. What is your biggest source of news? (Internet? Newspaper? Television? Radio? The Daily Show? Other?)

Internet, but at times: other people.

7. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life?

When we were in Italy during a heatwave.

8. If you had to choose a theme song for your blog, which would would you choose and why?

That's a difficult question.
Better ask me for a theme song for the movie about our lives...

9. Who was the last person you had an online conversation with that you've never met or talked to on your phone?

With Irene.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

When human lightning strikes - crisis means new beginnings

My gram always said that a crisis means new beginnings.

Living with a large family through WW2 under the German occupation, with every member above 18 being part of the resistance, she knew what she was talking about.

She showed me her power often enough to be a perfect example.
Even when the last son she had at home, because he suffered bad health, died in her arms and she had to sell their new home, she told me she would find a place to be happy again.

She returned to her former neighbourhood, found an appartment near a backery and enjoyed the smell of bread each and every day.

When she died I was expecting my second child. My baby died 6 months after her.
It was like the chain of generations broke and left me floating around alone.

Not for long.
I realised that some people were afraid to talk about my baby, and some just left the theatre of life. They didn't even give me a chance to help them to stay in our lives.
I bought a new agenda, like my gram did, and threw away the old one.

The friends who stayed grew closer and to my surprise many new people entered my life and became close friends too.
It was true... losing my daughter opened new doors.
I didn't see it then, because I grieved, but looking back it's like a miracle visited my life and left a lasting impression.
Even little babies who live not even two complete days can change lives forever.
And my daughter changed many lives, as I could help many parents with my experiences.

The same is happening now.
New people are entering our lives.
New precious people.

And those who are deciding about our family?
Those who think they know us and caused the dad of our children to leave, to show them that we take our children more serious than our happiness?
They won't reach the new addressbook.

But the others will.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

nature and me

We still feel lucky that our garden and house survived the terrible weather of yesterday.
At our place just a tiny old branch fel down. 10 cm is nothing.

But when we leave the paths between the gardens it's like we're suddenly thrown into another world.

Broken branches of considerable length, leaves everywhere, blown away toys from children,
whole trees pulled out of the ground with roots exposed completely, cars with dents, roof tiles broken on the ground.

The garden of a friend living behind us is smashed by a fallen tree.
Her garden is less exposed than ours.

In a way it feels good to be confronted with the forces of nature.
It makes human created problems seem so small, and it clearly conveys the message that all will pass.

Nature always makes me feel humble, because it's so much bigger and linked to eternity,
but it also makes me feel very rich.

People can attack me with their unkindness, hatred, lack of compassion, hypocrisy or whatever.
But nature shows me her beauty.
It never attacks me intentionally, it just is.

And it's being that counts.
Being in the way that is close to your core, your inner self.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A strange day and strange weather

Today was a strange day... again.

Because we bought new bicycles for some of the children we had to be early in the shopping centre to bring these very same bicycles for their first free service.
I like those free service sessions, because at the shop where we go the repairman looks at everything.
He had all the time in the world, because not many people went outside for fun.
The temperature was far too high and it was too humid.
When we got the bicycles the minor problems were all repaired, even those we didn't find outselves.

Then we went with the girls to buy new glasses.
They're still at an age they can have new ones every year.
One of the girls has a face that compliments every pair of glasses, so it's just a matter of taste to make the right choice.
The other girl has a small face and she's not very tall.
She started looking at the children's glasses, because she thought she wouldn't find anything at the other part of the shop.
But I saw something very nice. I didn't like the colour, but the size and looks of the frame were OK.
She put the frame on and the colour fitted her perfectly.

I was happy we succeeded to find something for both of them.

One of the frames we bought last year lost the paint.
We got the choice for another frame but even after we went there about 10 times we hadn't found anything nice.
So we're very happy we could make a very good choice today.

After a short visit to the supermarket we went home.
After drinks and lunch we felt just a bit better... even putting on a new set of clothes we felt like coming from under a shower and having no towel.

Then I got a call from child services. I'll write more about that tomorrow.

When we went to get the bicycles the sky was blue and bright.

But a few hours later my second son and I watched the clouds drift in like a wall.
We went to a place where we could see more of the sky to see what was happening.

We heard the weather alarm, which included a tornado warning, which is very rare in this country and wanted to know if danger was approaching.

We saw the front part of the dark clouds drop down a bit and then turn. The whole cloudmass started to turn.
Beside of it an ever darker area of clouds approached, with a hanging part that didn't look like it would cause trouble, but intuitively I said to my son that would cause trouble for those under that.

Just when we stepped aside to go home everything that was on the ground started to fly up.
Leaves, dirt, small stones. A plastic pool made a nice flight in one of the gardens.
We went home.

Then the real bad weather started.
Lots of lightning again and a tremendous amount of rain raged around the house.

We just switched all electricity off and pulled the plugs out.

When it allw as over we had no damage. Just the TV was down, but not broken.

The other side of the lake, where I saw the hanging part, was hit badly.
Trees down, whole gardens destroyed, parts of roofs damaged. A roofwindow completely blown away.

2 of my sons went there to help the father of a friend saw the trees that fell down.

After that they came here, told their stories and then my second son went to his own home.

The appartmentbuilding was without electricity.
Turned out that 40.000 houses were without electricity in our town alone.

I think again we havbe been lucky.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When human lightning strikes - no depression



After I was nearly struck by lightning I feel very priviliged that nature didn't hit me.
I wasn't taken away from my children so they would be in the hands of those people who want to break up our family and take the girls way just because they're not able to think outside their own created box.

After the conclusion of my doc that I'm not burned out and have enough time for my children we had a next appointment yesterday to hear if my daughter is not feeling well, is depressed and everything else that teacher claimed.

When it was nearly time to go the sky went very dark and we heard two enormous thunders.
Shortly after the phone rang.

The house of the eldest was struck by lightning, leaving the whole house in the dark and half of his room.
The other half was OK.
He couldn't swith on the electricity because the disability elevator couldn't move and it was stuck in front of the closet with the electricitypanel. LOl!

Then the second boy called, told us he was OK in case we worried because lightning struck straight into his building. All electricity went down, but he had it reconneceted already, but in the hallway it was still dark.

It's a strange feeling that three of us could have been hurt by nature, but weren't.

This made me think for a name to file the blogposts about the family issue under: when human lightning strikes.

When I had to leave it was still lightning, but higher in the sky, and it was raining terribly. I was already soaked, before I was in the next street, even though I was wearing rain clothing.
It wasn't cold at all, just felt like a tepid shower.

The therapist told us my daughter is perfectly OK.
No depression, not traumatised, nothing.
She observed sometimes a sligh delay in reaction, like my daughter heard something, took the time to let it bubble. Each time she was surprised by the wise reaction.
(Yep, we all consider her an old soul.)

She had spoken with Child Services, and had the same feeling like us.
They didn't really listen and looked down on her because she's not a registered psychologist but a registered therapist.
We agreed there's a role for her professional organisation to speak up about this.
They deserve to be considered as a full, worthy, professionals. And we should be able to use their professional opinion the same way as that of a psychologist.

So there's work to do.

This morning I filed my first complaint about the first organisation who assessed us.
It's a governmental complaint service about how paperwork is handled.
Complaining took 2 minutes, but might have good consequences, of they dare to take it on.

And now I'm off to do some chores.

Have a wonderful day!
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Youth and clothes

With kids in the age of self-decision hairdo and clothing can be subjects of many discussions.
Each of my children has a different taste and a different way to tell the world who they are.

I see that the girls are still a bit finding out what they like best, which is quite a job with everchanging fashion, but the boys have found their own identity, which meakes it easy to buy what they need.

A trouser for the oldest means something completely different than for the second son.

My oldest son wants to buy his own clothes, but the second one doesn't mind us buying them, because that usually means we're paying them too. LOL! Within limits though.
He wears just one kind of trousers from one shop where they sell hip hop clothes.

Ofcourse I would love my children to have a wide range of different looks, but he's got PDD-NOS and feels good in them.

This week his shop offers huge discounts. And as you can order online this might be a perfect moment to have a look yourself.

We're very happy with the wide range of choice and often we sit with more poeple in front of the computer and I end up with a list of items, for the girls too.
And as a matter of fact: I love the shoes they're selling too.
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The Continuing Story - work

A while ago my autistic son applied for disability benefits because he's a classic autist and he can't live up to the regular requirements for schooling and work.

One doesn't get a benefit here for being diabled.
Society has a different means of dealing with the weaker in society than to care for them and grant them a stressless life.

All have to work at their own level, with the input of extra assistance which costs the country more than just taking care and providing them daily activities.

So after a check with a doctor who had more eyes for me and the social worker, suggesting that seeing us has been the sole joy in his life for years, we not have to see a work-expert.

As you know our son will be starting at a special daycare for disabled people, and we feel it's the only socialising he can deal with. So throwing him on the job market is not only unwanted, it's ridiculous.

The procedures have to be followed though, so before he gets his benefits (high enough not to die from hunger, low enough that he needs to stay at home) he needs to see a job-expert.

The guy called my sons father. But as he doesn't live here anymore he doesn't have access to the main agenda of our family.
He gave my phone number...I'm waiting for his call.

Nothing at all.

""sigh""
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We're waiting, they're too...

We're waiting for visitors. They should have arrived hours ago.
Because I didn't hear anything and their home phone wasn't picked up, I tried to call the mobile phones.
One was off, the other gave a response.

Turned out that their car gave up and they tried to reach the roadside, but with the risks for their own lives they had to push it there.

They've been traveling the world with their motorhome for years now, so they cbn deal with a lot.
But with routine mistakes slip in too.

This year they went on their way without a roadside assistance plan and they didn't realise it until today.

Now the father of the bunch is trying to convince the insurance that his intention was to extend their contract, and after over 20 years one would expect some consideration and belief he indeed had that intention.

He can use internetbanking to transfer the money so that's no problem and then they have to wait for the repairmen to arrive.
They're in good spirits, have enough to drink, and the weather isn't as bad as yesterday, but still.
I'll be happy for them when the problems have been fixed and they're here.
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That one last booklet



For one reason or another there's always one simple booklet missing when the children have to bring their books back to school.

OK, we've had one year that a CD was missing, but I found it without problems between the ones near the CD player.

But all those year among 6 kids, there was always one single item completely lost in space. Their space, that is.

I used to feel a strange kind of stress, because i wanted to have everything as perfect as possible, and to have a complete pile of books was one of the main aims of life.

I've spend hours searching through bookcases, on shelves, behind shelves, under beds, behind desks and everywhere else, feeling superstressed, only to find out that the owner of the lost book already found it the evening before in his bag, or something like that. He just forgot to tell us so.

Again a small booklet has disappeared from earth.
I know it can't be in space, as I've seen it during the last shuttleflight and the new flight has been postponed.
I know it's not downstairs, as I've spend hours this morning cleaning in corners and behind and under couches, and I've experienced the growing sensation that all my intuition told me it would either be in the locker at school, at the girls' room or in a bag.

It should appear before 12.00 hours.
I'm sure it'll be found between 12.01 and 12.05.
Don't you think so?
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Shopping now and then

Yesterday we went to the shopping centre to get some groceries and when we walked in the supermarket and scanned a bag of carrots I suddenly remembered the first time I went to our neighbourhood shop.

I think I was 4.
The Symbol LS2208 didn't excist, and we didn't have the faintest idea we would scan our groceries ourselves, pay and leave the supermarket without talking to one human being.

The shop was small, loaded with all kinds of cheese, and with shelves with other groceries.
We would ask the lovely lady or her husband to give us what we needed and they took it one by one and put it on the counter.

Then they wrote the names of the items down and their prizes and calculated by hand how much I had to pay.

The man would turn on the large machine and a drawer would open so he could put the money in and, if needed, take the change out.

The ritual of shopping wasn't finished without a sweet, a piece of cheese or a slice of meat.
And ofcourse a large smile from ear to ear, friendly words with the invite to come back soon and a thank you.
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Manic Monday #213



Name 5 of the simple pleasures in your life:

Caring for my children
Hearing the birds
Spring
Music
Writing

What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Doing things inside the room.
Or sit at a friend's house in Amsterdam hearing the rain in the street. I haven't been there in ages, but the memories...

I deserve a big compliment for taking care of my family so well, instead of being confronted with nonsense stories about me.

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pills and critics

I think that there are many people who use supplements and diet pills, but only a few who are critical enough to have a close look at the pro's and contra's.

Reading at a site where a critical opinion of quick trim was given I got a smile on my face.
Until I came further down the page and saw what the real intention of the writer was.
Giving diet pill reviews is a real business.

As a mom of teens I'm not in the least impressed by pills to compensate for the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables and the abundance of fats and calories in the food.

I've taught them all healthy cooking.
And it comes in handy at many times.

My sons are part of a group of friends and they love to barbeque.
They get lots of meat, but often forget the vegetables, unless my son goes with them to the shops.
Smooties, fruit and vegetables are part of his shopping.
And each time that's a huge success.

I know however there are times that supplements are necessary.
Making the right choice is important and good review sites are a welcome help in making a responsible choice.
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Coincidence?

My sons often visits his friends at home and often we said his friend's mother and I should meet one day.
But we greeted each other friendly, sometime had a short talk, but never visited each other.

Yesterday I landed on her couch and we had a very long talk about the situation we're in.
We also talked about the reports and how little evicence based facts they contain and how many negative statements about people and families without any grounds.
I said that I wanted to make politicians aware of this and she replied that she knew someone who was collecting stories like ours and who worked in politics.
I think it's a good idea to get in contact and try to think about a strategy.

I'm glad we finally had a good talk.
And I don't think it's a coincidence we've had it yesterday.
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My son and cars

Young people are not always aware of the expenses of cars.

One of the boys considered buying a car from one of my friends.

I'm very grateful my friend took the time to inform him about everything about the car. Yes, everything.

Not only did he show a repair, which was done very nice, but he also told my son that he should take all sorts of costs in consideration, like taxes, insurance but also a few tickets young people often get.
He showed my son in his car while we drove home how easy it is to forget to stick to the speed limit.
Very good.

My son asked him about buying an RV, so we could use that car to go on vacation.
Again he got good information, including about an rv insurance en extra repair costs.

The result was that my son told me he needed extra time to think about it.

Good!
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Nearly hit by lightning

Yesterday evening we had the scare of our lives.

After a day with too high temperatures and a tremendous humidity, the weather warnings seemed to be right.
In the southern part of the country bad weather had caused already a lot of damage, and what was left over of grey and black clouds drifted towards us.

I got the laundry in, closed windows and did those pre-thunderstorm things we do here in the house.
Then I wanted to step outside.
One leg, foot on the ground, the other... and I looked up to see the sky between the wal and the roof over the back door area.

A beam of light appeared in front of me, and the light was soo bright that there was no difference between it through the clear sky and through the plastic roof.
I jumped back closed the door terribly fast. The sound merged with the enormous bang that shaked the earth.
In the cabinet the porcelain things moved and the children hurried downstairs and looked afraid.

My though was that the lightning had hit the christmastree in the back garden, but I didn't see fire.

Then we got a call from one of the sons... if we were hit, because they saw a beam of lightning come down right above our house, with a cloud lightning up inside, and balls of fire around it.

Turned out it was somewhere very near, as internet and digital TV were gone.
At a friend's house nearby they had no light at all.

No people wounded in the neighbourhood, it turned out today, no open fires, but many people had no internet, tv and some even no phone.

I won't forget that lighning, because it was so very very near me.

Ugh!!
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wrong door

Some people here in the neightbourhood are getting ready for they vacation.
The final exams are over and those families who have no younger children have no ties to stay here.

Even though it was very warm, some men were working on their camper.
One of them asked me if we had some spring plungers for him.
Ofcourse I didn't have them.
We don't use spring plungers here.

Then he asked if we had a car hook for the camper.
We don't have a car and no camper, so I asked him why he asked.

He looked at me, started to stammer and them excused himself.

Wrong door.

Haha!

Update

Funny thing is that the whole subject kept nagging on my mind and I went to the site of the Reid Supply Company to learn more about spring plungers.
I've learned a lot and because they have such good photos of all the items they sell I found not only some knobs I needed, but also a strange device that fell out of the wardrobe door of a friend and we couldn't find in the shops here.
As Reid offers industrial supplies we contacted the home owner to place an order for the houses here and informed the neighbourhopod committee we did.
Got their compliments. :)
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Go Your Own Way



1. When was the last time you were told to go your own way?

I don't think anyone told me that ever.

2. What one experience has strengthened your character the most so far?

Having autistic children.
When my kids need something I go for it.
I heave learned to trust on my opinion and my feelings.

3. What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Listen to the rain, and do my things inside the house.

4. How long can you go without your cell phone?

Forever. I hardly use the thing and I hate to be called by people when I'm bussy with something.

5. Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?

Yep, the judge in our case. Haha!

6. Of all the people you've ever known, who have you most feared?

The people from child protection services, because they can say something and bring it to court without any proof, and some judges take their statements for the truth.
That needs to be changed and I'm already taking intitiatives.

7. Do people tell you that you look your age?

No, they tell me I look younger, and some even tell me I act younger but I am wiser.
Isn't it wonderful?

8. Your ex shows up randomly at your house, what do you say?

Well, no real ex here.

9. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

Yes, except for serial murderers, but it's their own responsibility to live up to it.


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Saturday, July 10, 2010

A year ago

Remember that last year my mother in law and my brother in law died soon after each other?
It's a complete year ago, everything has been settled, the taxes are done, everything.

And suddenly we get a bill over something we haven't seen at his house.

It feels rather strange, because we thought that paying the funeral costs and doing the taxes would be the last actions.

I can't believe it's a year ago they both died.

It sounds strange but with all the strange things happening to us I think it's good they're not witnessing what's happening with people they cared for.
Sometimes I long to discuss matters with my dad, but I know he would tell me the same I tell my children. That when I feel I'm clean in my conscience I'm OK.
No matter what people say about me, I'm the person who I am and in fact I'm the only one to make changes in my personality.
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Support us and other autism parents.



I'm a mother of 4 autistic boys and 2 non-autistic girls.
Just a few months and I'll celebrate my 25th parenting anniversary.
I've always been able to cope with everything, even with the worst experiences of life.
We're a tight, loving and caring family.
All children are lovely young people, who try to focus on the positive in life.

Two have left home in best spirits. They're grown up. And with a little bit of assistance they do well.

Due to some strange circumstances Child Protection Services entered our family, which set a whole sequence of amazing things in motion.
We knew the 2 group teachers of the girls were not very well able to do their jobs, but we never expected they would report our girls in such a way that we were told, not only that we were members of a sect (we're not!), but also that both girls were not functioning well at school. They lacked social contact, were afraid, etc etc. One even was depressed, it was told to Child Services.
And one way or another it was even written down that one was missbehaving and had to report in for punishment each day.

As we never heard anything bad from the school at the parent's meetings we were amazed and shocked.
The contact person from school told us the girls are perfectly normal 14 year olds and nothing is wrong with them.

But even though his message is clear, the people of Child Services cling to their own opinions, which have no proper foundations at all.
They want to force us to give them all sorts of tests and therapies. But when children are feeling well and are normal there's no need to spend enormous amounts of money so they can't go to ballet anymore, for instance.

As a mom I know my girls are OK.
As a psychologist I can see they're OK.
But I'm told my girls are growing up in a wrong environment as they have to adjust their behaviour to their autistic brothers.

And even though they've heard I stated that I could cope with my family very well, I'm told straight in my face that I'm burned out and that dealing with autistic children and non-autistic children is too much.
They even told me that I wasn't able to spend enough time and give enough attention to the girls.

Well, intensive parenting of the boys is done suring the schooltime of the girls. Including visits to the psychiatrist and such.
When the girls arrive home from school I have all the time of the world for them untill they go to bed. It's not only my presence, it's quality time.
I'm a very good mom, and I know it.

As an autism ambassador and advocate I've helped many parents and families, handled many situations of injustice to gain wellbeing of the autistic children and their parents. Sometimes with the unexpected help of children's rights lawyers who worked for free and many others.

I never expected to be in the position to need that very same support.

We've been threatened with outplacement of the girls.
They've created a pile of reasons to do so.
It's like they copy them from a list.

We're trying to do all we can to prevent the girls from being taken away.

Their father is sleeping somewhere else so he can't be a threat. (They said they were afraid at school so they would be afraid at home, due to dad. He's a man, you know...)

Today I've been to our doc and he declares I'm not burned out and I have plenty of attention, good attention, for the girls. (And the boys).

But now we need your help.

When you're a parent of autistic children you know that it's a challenge, but it's also a very enriching experience to be an autism parent (and a sibling).
Especially when you have more than one autistic child and have non-autistic children too you know that both groups of children benefit from each other, and that dealing with two autistic children doesn't mean there's no time for other aspects of life or other children.

I've stated that taking the girls away from the family will disrupt the development of my classic autistic son.
His whole world will change and he can't cope with that, or will need so much time to get over it that he will lose faith in himself and give up trying to built his future.
But he's 18, so not a target for Child Services anymore. They don't care.

Please, please write down for us that autism moms are perfectly able to raise autistic children and have more time in a day to spend on other people. Tell them that being an autism sibling doesn't mean you're second in a row.
Tell them your examples of that an autism mom can cope.

Send your support and stories by using the contact button under the header here at my blog.
Please give your full name and address so I can take all your mails as legal support.
I won't use your data for anything else.
Also state I'm allowed to use your mail in court if necessary and/or for a book.
Thanks.

As I'm used to creating something positive out of the worst situations I want to do more than only help my own family.
I know that many autism families are subject of investigations of Child Protection Services all over the world. One autistic child having a meldown and a neighbour complaining to Child Protection Services suggesting child abuse is enough to cause much harm.

Maybe it's good we bring this all in the open.
Maybe we should join hands in one international organisation, maybe I should compile your stories in a book and show the world how people project their own ideas on our children and families without even asking how we live our lives and how we think and feel about parenting.
As parents of autistic children we need to develop certain skills to be able to raise them. And we need to think well about how we want to do things, and we need self reflection. But as our children grow, we grow as parents too.

We shouldn't be confronted with social workers and other professionals who tell us they care, but act on their own subjective opinions and on some bookknowledge without looking at individual people with care, understanding and knowledge.
We're not average families, so don't use statistics of regular families to proof we're not doing well.
Don't project your own incapabilities on our families.

Many organisations use wonderful names and job descriptions, but they don't make a diagnosis right, they don't make the outcome of an investigation right.
Our children shouldn't be subjected to organisations who have the power to change their lives without proper proof something is really, really very wrong.
When people are brought to court, the police needs to give the court proof beyond reasonable doubt.
When children and their parent's are brought to court in matters of parenting and development, some social workers can state whatever they want, without scientific proof beyond reasonable doubt, and families are ripped apart and children traumatised forever.
This needs to be changed too.

Thank you.

You can download the graphic and put it on your own blog and link to this page.

Thanks!!
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Proof against nonsense

I was told yesterday by Child Protection Services that I was burned out and that dealing with 2 autistic kids at home was too much to give proper attention to the girls.

I was completely flabbergasted.

They want to bring us for the children's court and they're trying to get enough reasons to reach either an outplacement for the girls or someone who controls us in our responsibilities.

It's such a weird situation. It's like we're living a movie and someone forgot to write the script with us as the main players.

They even raised safety issues with their father (a teacher said they were afraid at school, so they would be afraid at home) and used that as an argument too and he said he would leave to take that motive for outplacement away.

So this night he's sleeping somewhere else and they have succeeded in breaking up our family.
After we found out we didn't want to extend our marital relationship, we easily agreed to stay at the same house to keep our responsibilities as parents.
We're good parents and all our time and attention was and is for the children.
We respect each other in our parenthood and that's more than can be said about many couples.

So with their sick thoughts they've reached that he sleeps on the floor somewhere to show he cares so much for the children that he wants to prevent an outplacement with all means.
An outplacement which would go against everything human, as they base their motives on wrong information.

I don't understand this.
When people are brought to court, the police has to investigate the issue and shoudl come with proof beyond reasonable doubt.
When parents are brought to children's court child protection services can just write down the greatest untruth without any proof and whole families suffer from the consequences of the lack for proof beyond reasonable doubt.

To take away the nonsense that I'm burned out I went to our family doctor.
He took the time for his assessment and we talked about a lot of things.

His conclusion was that (ofcourse) I'm not burned out. Far from that.
I'm perfectly able to deal with life, the kids and everything else.

We also had a look at how much time is available for the girls.
Plenty!! Plenty!!

He's going to write a report about this to be used in court if it ever comes that far.

The teacher at school stated that one of the girls was depressed and they both were afraid.
Well, our doc knows them well and he smiled and said that that certainly was not his impression.

Well, I don't think they will take note of that.

I worry that all these stupid allegations will undermine the self confidence and feeling of indentity of my girls.
Like they're telling me I'm burned out and that my life has no place for autistic kids ànd non-autistic kids, they're telling them that they're having feelings they don't have at all.
How can it be that they're called child protection services?

One of the girls wrote a letter to the teacher who gave the false information that will result in them/us brought to children's court. She was very honest and wrote a perfect mail.
He won't like it, but it's the truth. It's how she really feels. And what she thinks. She ended with that she hoped he and his collegue would never be groupteachers again, as they have made the past two years for this group a terrible experience.
She also hoped he would stay away with the group barbeque.

The clever girls also send the mail as a copy to the school contact person who respresents the board in this case.

Do you think that girls is afraid and lacks self confidence?

.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

2 autistic kids too much?

What can I say?

We had another meeting with child protection services this morning.

I was told right in my face that even though I'd told them I could cope perfectly well with my autistic children and the girls they considered I didn't have enough attention for the two normal children.

So other people know better how I can cope and how my family copes with daily life than we ourselves.

Before the talk started we told them the school has invited them for a meeting, because the conclusions they're drawing from the reports from school are far too farfetched. And that most observations of the teacher are not done in knowledge and can't be used as a kind of diagnostics.

The look on their faces (3 of them) were undescribable.
Why?

Because they based everyting on the stupid statements of the teacher.
Stupid, because the guy doesn't know the girls and has never spoken with them about how they feel at school.

Yet he said my girl was afraid, depressed and whatever more.
And it's not true at all.

Whatever we said, it didn't make a difference.

Because of what the school stated my girls are prone for problems in development and thus the family needs supervision.

Which means that we're brought to court for being bad parents.

I can't believe this.
I trusted until the last moment that those women would see a good family for what it is.

Since when means having two autistic kids that a mother can't deal with more family members?

This is completely nuts and I wonder if a judge will accept this reasoning.
They haven't even tried to get a clear idea how a day at our family looks like.

And the fun is that one of the boys isn't officially diagnosed with autism, but with ADHD and not autism. But we'll keep that as an extra for the judge, so he can see how careful their investigation was.

The first two reports of the other organisation where not rewritten, but our comments were just added.
I wonder if they even cared there were corrections.
During the talk they told me I had 4 kids at home with autism. (wrong in the first reports)
But two left home and so I told them.
Then I was told it took time and energy too.
Hmmmmm.

The girls had a talk with them too and they had the same experiences as we had.
They felt they didn't listen to them at all.

The whole issue has a large impact on the feelings of wellbeing of us.
But isn't that what they want?

We will work on it that their gloomy look on the matter won't become a selffulfilling prophecy.

Thank you for standing beside us in this matter.
It's completely nuts that parents who have brought 2 autistic boys to adulthood in a good way, suddenly can't deal with 1 autistic kid of 18 and an even older one with ADHD and fail to raise their normal girls.

Each day when the girls come home we have a long talk.
We discuss everything we want to discuss, including boys and everything else.
They're 14, and go to the cinema with a boyfriend, or play tennis or something else.
They don't mind kissing, because their boyfriends were not as interesting they feel the need.
Suddenly child protection thinks they need therapy, because their sexual development is delayed. They're not experimenting with sex yet.

This is child protection services.

I am flabbergasted! I bet you too!
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Update



School should provide a safe and sound environment for young people to grow up and learn.

It's a motto that embedded itself in my mind many years ago and can be found in the law and in numerous schoolguides.

At schools for kids between 12 and 18 the mentors are the key figures in creating this safe and sound environment.
They should prevent bullying, communicate with the group and the individuals and keep in contact with the parents.

Ofcourse mentors are people with their own strong and weak characteristics, but the overall impression should be positive. Feeling a mentor can be trusted to mean well for the pupil is the basis for everything.

The girls have never ever caused problems to their teachers.
Instead they were called nice girls, helpfull people, caring persons and kids with their own identities.
We always got compliments for having raised them so well.

And we got the same when the girls were at this school.
Until recently someone reported us for an investigation by the Child Protection Services.
Many parents of autistic children are confronted by this, because many people take the meltdowns of the autistic children as signals of abuse.
People don't talk about this often, because they feel ashamed or are told to be silent about it.
But that way mistakes and injustice won't be mentioned and people suffer from them over and over again, giving the system far more power than it should have.

In our case the school reported strange things about our girls. They gave a description we didn't recognise, the girls themselves didn't recognise and their friends didn't recognise.
The descriptions were completely inconsistent with reality.

But we didn't know these descriptions were given by school.

We just felt treated very badly, like the researchers had many preconceptions about us. And I was even harrassed on the phone by someone who had nothing to do with the case.

I didn't understand the agression towards me, the way our parenting was commented on.
Until someone asked us if we were members of a religious sect.
That was at the end of a second series of interviews. So at a moment when all the work was done.

Turned out the school had told the investigators we were members of a sect and even worse: we suddenly understood why things happened the way they did.
The bullying at school, the exclusion of the girls, both by the mentor and the girls of the group, and some other issues I won't mention here.

Almost at the same time we finally got a copy of the first report on us.
Then we found out the school described our girls in such a way that one of them seemed to be a walking nutcase.

We contacted school and asked why they hadn't informed us so we, as parents, could have taken action.
"Oh no...it was not that bad at all. All kids had times they didn't feel well during puberty and had to find their place in a group again." The school didn't regard it as troublesome and it was not worth contacting the parents. No, it wasn't as bad as all.

So we had them write a correction to the investigators.

Not long after that a second report was send upon our request.
Turned out that some schoolcounsellor had given a description of my daughter which was much the same.
This was strange, as the woman never had spoken with my girls and didn't know them at all.

She mentioned that sometimes they didn't fit in the group, as she observed.
Well, my question was why she didn't take action then and helped them, as is her task. And why she didn't inform us.

It was clear she had taken the info of the school and had made this her own.

We filed an official complaint against the mentors and school agreed with us. In fact other parents had filed complaints before us.

They would send corrections on the second report too.

Yesterday I had to urge school to do so, as we have a talk tomorrow with the investigators about the behaviour lists the school and we filled in.
I'm sure there will be large descrepancies and I'm not sure the investigators will see it's the school's mistake to see our girls in the wrong way, and not ours.

Just a few minutes ago I received the corrections of school. I've sent them through to be copied without reading them.
It may sound strange, but we all feel OK at the moment and I don't want to introduce stress on this hot summer afternoon.
I don't want to be stressed myself.
It's too late to make school's contact person change his mind, so whatever is written is what will be presented tomorrow.

The mentors show far less adult behaviour than my girls.

The male one told another girls of the group not to tell the others that my girl spoiled the class gathering. He added later that she'd spoilt them all.
I asked several grils of the group if that was true and they all were amazed and a bit angry about the remark. My girls did nothing like that.

Being fed up with a person like that telling others what kind of a person my girl is we filed a complaint.

Yesterday he ignored my daughter, and everyone saw it several times.
Only when the contactperson was in hearing and sight distance he said hello to her.

I couldn't help myself to ask school if that's normal behaviour.

I can't believe that people so childish were given the responsibility for a whole group of new children at that school during two years.
They have made those years into a disappointing adventure and now I understand why they didn't take proper action against bullying and exclusion. In fact they were a role model for it.

I hope the investigators will see the truth and see that we're good parents and our children are well, even considering the fact that their teachers were more immature than they were.

After that I'll decide if I'll sue the school for negligence.
It's not often done in our country, but maybe it's time people will look into these practices.
We have agreed we'll report this to the schoolinspection.

We have tried to move the girls to another school, but there was no place. Homeschooling is not allowed here.

We're stuck with a school we don't trust.
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In the news now

The news reached me that Wilders has been nominated for the Sacharov prize.
It's a prestigious reward for people who fight for freedom of speech.
People who received it in the past were Nelson Mandela, and Hu Jia, two people who didn't only fight for freedom of speech, but also for freedom of living.

And that's what this prize if for.
To honor in particular, outstanding achievements in the fight to protect freedom of thought and expression against intolerance, fanaticism and hatred. This reflects its conviction that fundamental freedoms include not only the right to life and physical integrity, but also freedom of expression and of the press, two of the most effective means of fighting oppression and key yardsticks by which to judge whether a society is democratic and open.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/afet/droi/sakharov/inspiration_en.htm

I can't understand how someone can even mention the prize and Wilders in one sentence. (Ugh, I just did!).
The guy discriminates, uses freedom of speech as an excuse to bully and offend people and he doesn't even care that he hurts people and violates their human rights.

One of my main worries is that people like him have changed the wellbeing of a complete nation and will bring it in danger.
There are plenty of ways of dealing with people like him, learn more, but giving him such a prestigeous prize is not the best way.
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