The rules

There has got to be common ground. I have started this blog to give people a place to tell their stories...positive stories . Too often we are mired down in the hows and whys, causes and cures. It is easy to forget that we are talking about people. One of the misconceptions that I have run into is that because I have children with disabilities-I am not allowed to have joy-nor are my children allowed to be joyful. Some of the comments I have received after relaying a funny story or anecdote...well you would think I had been kicking kittens.
So here are the rules. Anyone can submit a story,OR just a couple of sentences,OR a list of five great things either about their children or themselves. It must be positive, There will be no discusion of causes, cures, treatments, etc. There are more than enough places for that. Mean people will be deleted. If you are interested in taking part in this adventure please submit your story to please no pictures or video-lets keep it simple.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last night at the grocery store...

Here is one from Papa Bear...

Last night in the grocery store, an employee stopped me. He said he didn't know if I remembered him, but when I was in the store with GL, last week, he'd said hi.

"Oh, yes, you're Colin. He's been talking all week about how his buddy said hi at the grocery store."

"Well, I didn't have time to stop and talk then, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed working with GL when I volunteered in the Special Ed classroom. I'm leaving for college next week, majoring in business, but I almost changed my major to Special Ed because of him."

I told him that I'd been worried about sending GL to high school, wondering if he'd have any friends. "But he has so many friends, the best part of high school turned out to be that all over town, wherever he goes, he's always running into his buddies from school."

"Everybody likes GL." Colin said, "He's a lot of fun. He's such a neat guy."

It was nearly closing time, and the last few shoppers were making their final selections. We chatted another minute or two, I thanked him, and left with a full and happy heart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A post from Lexi of "Mostly True Stuff"

This is a post from Lexi who blogs at "Mostly True Stuff"

Welcome to Walmart.

Okay, so when your child gets diagnosed with a disability, they give you some antidepressants and a copy of Emily Perl Kingsley's "Welcome to Holland." She's a mother of a child with Down syndrome who, by all accounts, is the shiznit. I'd go into detail, but then you'd compare me to her, and I'd hate for someone as well known for being awesome to be taken down a notch or two because of my own awesomeness. You understand.

Anyways. This little metaphor is PERFECT for when your child gets diagnosed with Down syndrome. PERFECT. It's short, so I'm going to paste it here:

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Okay, so cute right? But it doesn't quite work for children with autism. So I rewrote it (aaaand you're welcome):
Having a baby is going to Costco on a Tuesday morning with your executive membership. It's quiet and the isles are wide and clean. People smile at you and some even give you high fives. There's treats on the end of the isles for you to try. The cashiers talk to you and call you by name. If you're lucky, Pete on isle 5 will say your name in his breathy sultry voice (I have no idea what that part has to do with parenting, but I liked it). Now, getting through Costco isn't always easy. Sometimes you get stuck behind a silver-headed centenarian who still uses a check but doesn't have an ID because they took her drivers license long ago. If it's your first time to Costco, it could be overwhelming. There's a LOT of stuff in there. You get confused. You get lost. You ask people around you and they are happy to help you on your way. Because they've been there before. Costco is even more challenging when you have other kids to take with you. But you'll make it through- because it's worth it in the end.

So you think you're headed to Costco. Everything seems normal. You take the same roads. But when you get there BAM! It's a freaking Walmart. You don't want to go to Walmart. You've heard about it. More and more people around you have been having to go to Walmart. You don't want to be a part of that club. You have an executive membership to Costco, dammit! But in you go. The isles aren't wide enough for you to get around the meth head who's hotwired the motorized cart. It's loud. It's frustrating. People don't look you in the eyes. There are no treats on the end of the isles and no one gives you high fives. They mostly just keep away. Your anxiety seems to peak and you head to the nearest dark corner in the store hoping to lie down in the fetal position and rock a little. But you can't. Because the floor is always dirty. You can't take a break at Walmart. You've just got to endure.

You find your way around and realize it's not ALL bad. It has lots of perks. Inside, you meet other Mom's like you. Who found themselves stuck at Walmart. They are some of the greatest people you've ever met. Occasionally, a stranger will walk by and smile, and it means more BECAUSE you are at Walmart.

Your friends will call you from Costco and tell you all about how wonderful it is. You'll be sad that you can't be there with them, too. But you've realized that in many ways, Walmart is better than Costco, you just have to REALLY look hard to see. There's much more variety. There's more depth. You can buy 100 goldfish, everything you need to make pretty jewelry and milk in one place! You didn't know there could be so much good stuff in one store.

But Walmart still sucks a lot of the time. It'll always be loud. It'll always be claustrophobic. But in the end, you'll find that your a much stronger person from having to go to Walmart than if you had to go to Costco.
And now that you're there, you'll take some time to walk to the furthest back corner and find the mother who is looking for a place to lie down and rock back and forth. Help her.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Carolyn from neurotypical mom

This post is from Carolyn over at neurotypicalmom. Why don't you all go check out her blog! 

My seven year old has Aspergers and I need to become a Pediatrician.  It still feels very strange to say both of those things.  Perhaps because we have only had an official diagnosis for 5 months?  But that's not it, not really.  Getting the diagnosis was such a relief, after years of Z being thrown out of schools, acting oddly on play dates, destroying our house and making me curl up in a ball and cry weekly.  No, once we had the diagnosis I actually exhaled.  Consciously, I never even knew that I was holding my breath, but I must have been.  For five years at least, because once I heard Aspergers, my first thought was, 'finally, thank god!  Now we can actually help him!'  And help him we did.  A whole new world opened up to our sweet boy, he began to blossom in ways that I could never have imagined.  Our relationship flourished as it never has before.  We are close now, he comes to me when he's sad, just last week - he told me he felt sick!  Hence the need for the aforementioned medical degree.  

What a huge victory that was!  I can assure you that has never happened before in his entire existence.  I've spent most of his life feeling as if I were a perfect candidate for 'Worst Mother of the Year' award.  Especially when I would do things like take him on a plane and he would say, casually, mid-flight,  'huh, my ear just popped'.  Why - you might ask - does his ear pop?  Well, that would be because of the raging ear double ear infection that he had prior to getting on the plane.  The one that I never knew about - I swear!  
The doctors would always look at me with reproach, 'this looks like it's been going on for a while, Mom', they would say as I looked at them helplessly, a mix of guilt and anger churning in my gut.

'Do you think I knew and I kept it from you? That there is any part of me that would want him to suffer, EVER?  No folks, he didn't tell me.  He didn't act different in any way.  He was his normal self, running around the house, banging into walls, falling on the floor and laughing.  He was only BUSIER, MORE EXCITED and MORE FRUSTRATING - that's all!  That's the only clue I would ever have that all was not right in Z's world.  And, I'm sorry, sometimes I missed the signs.  I didn't do it on purpose, I would just get busy, in the way that parents do and suddenly it would occur to me that Z was acting like he was on a day pass from the loony bin and had been for the past 48 hours...

How much would be solved if I was a pediatrician.  Then, if Z started acting a little more hyper and I could break out the stethoscope and look in his ears.  Or pull out a throat swab and test for strep.  How I could avoid so much pain for Z (not to mention all of the judgement for me).  If I have one more doctor look down his or her nose at me and treat me like I'm a bad mother I think I will lose it.  I may actually scream the words throbbing in my head!  
'I'm not doing it on purpose!'  
'He didn't tell me!' 

And when he's really sick, the times that I actually do know how bad he feels because his behavior is soooo over the top,
'I want to help him too',  
'I want to hold him and make it better',
'I want him to stop screaming every time I touch him'
'I want some peace'
Most of all, I just want to know how to make my baby feel better, it must be hell to be in his mind sometimes. I can’t even imagine and if I try to, it hurts my heart.  Maybe if I was a pediatrician, this would all be better.  At least, that's what I tell myself.  Soooo, anyone know any good schools that take stay-at-home moms?  Or perhaps there is a way you can get that M.D. online?  Any thoughts?  Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is a lovely post from Kitty Kay who blogs here..Why don't you stop by and say hi.

I had a talk with Roger's teacher recently. At the start of the year when ever they would conference about his writing he would have a complete meltdown. Calling himself stupid, trying to hurt himself, and the motion disorder that was a whole new story that would go into overdriveThese conferences are just when the teacher talks to the student one on one about what they wrote, what she liked what needs to be changed, and how they can change it. The last time she conference with him which can be stressful for her as well as she knows the normal reaction, she got the surprise of the year. Even though she had some things he needed to fix his response this last time was OK, no meltdown. She says the only thing that has changed was he is no longer doing pencil and paper writing she allows him to use a computer and has seen where she used to get a sentence out with handwriting she can get 2 whole paragraphs now. While his ideas are on the paper as he thinks them with no order, they are now out of his head and on paper. We can work on the organization later. Baby steps and he has a great teacher who we will miss when he moves on to middle school next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kicking Kittens gets an award!!

  Isn't that nice?  Scott from "On The Spectrum"( A really unique, funny and positive webcomic/blog) nominated kicking kittens for this award. I am thrilled.  I started this blog a little over a year ago.  The idea was to have a place for people whether they were bloggers or not to tell a positive story about themselves or their kids. People with disabilities, like anyone else in the human race, have dreams, thoughts, ideas, accomplishments...and far too often that is forgotten. No one is "less then" because of disability. That is the point of this blog.  The people who have participated thus far whether it be in a post or a comment have made this the wonderful and positive place that it is. So this award is shared by everyone.

   Unfortunately, someone (who has never been here) took offense to the award because of the blog title. Not understanding the meaning behind it. They thought it awful that with so much violence in the world etc. a blog with the title "kicking kittens" was somehow horrid and disrespectful. I tried to explain the reasoning behind it-it is even posted very clearly on top for all to see. Sadly, they chose not to come over-and instead decided to lambaste me with criticism. I needed to "Act like an adult" "Put on my big girl panties" "Grow up" and even went as far as saying that the title was the same as calling it "Raping autistic children". Unfortunately, people believe what they want to believe-and sometimes nothing will change their mind-ever. I can't stop that.  What I can do however, is continue to find and share all the positive stories that I find and post them here. So I will.

  In order to accept this award-I need to share seven things about myself that you wouldn't know-and then nominate three blogs for this award.  So here goes...

1)  This is my cat "Joe" I have never kicked him.
2) I kicked the diaper habit and have been wearing "big girl" panties for about 43 years.  Now, 43 years is just a guesstimate-but I clearly remember being three years old and trying to pee standing up like my playmate, Billy-and wound up being mortified because I couldn't.
3)  I have kicked butt playing pool. Although I have mostly had my butt kicked. Before I had children, I played pool avidly. I also worked in a billiards hall- learning from and playing with professionals. (thus my butt getting kicked)  I still own my own cue.
4) I have three dogs.  Last year I inadvertently kicked one of them in bare feet.  The dog just looked at me-I however broke my toe.
5) I have never learned how to "kick back" and relax. I am constantly moving. I have a very difficult time sitting still. This makes me no fun to go to the movies with...or sit next to(I'm always squirming) I am most happy when I am busy.
6) I was never any good at soccer. I have trouble kicking and running at the same time. I was however given the "most valuable player award" for both basketball and softball my senior year of high school. 
7)  Before I had settled down-I was quite the carefree party girl. I didn't give much thought to my health or my safety. Then I got married and had kids.  There is nothing that makes you question your mortality more than having children does. I worry about "kicking the bucket" before they are ready to be on their own.

  So there you have it-seven kicking things about me that you never knew...Now on to the fun part. I have to nominate three blogs for this award. There are so many to choose from. Here goes..

1) Welcome to the roller coaster ride I think she is wonderful..

2) Floortime Lite Mama Her writing is like beautiful poetry.

3)Out of the Fog She is incredibly informative and personable AND she offered to take my Lima beans off my hands.

So there you have it.  Seven things and three blogs. As always, I would love submissions from anyone interested.  It can be an old blog post you liked..a new one..even if you don't blog but want to tell your story. As long as it is positive-you have a welcome place here. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooray! Gl learned to use scissors today!!

Another really wonderful post from Goldilocks and the three Bears...

Goldilocks has many struggles with fine motor skills. We've been focusing on the most essential, but trying everything, and cheering and encouraging any success, however small. Scissors was one I'd just about given up on. He tends to hold the scissors backwards, with the blades pointing toward him, and even when we can get them turned around, he rotates his wrist so the blades are parallel to the surface he is trying to cut. Then the thing he wants to cut just slides between the blades, and he is once again convinced that the task is impossible: these scissor things just don't ever work! And since we're not doing a lot of kindergarten art projects, there are more urgent skills to work on.

He loves microwave popcorn. He can safely run the microwave (it has a popcorn button); he just needs to get the bag of popcorn out of its plastic outer wrapper first. Sometimes the end of the wrapper is two layers fused together, and relatively easy to separate. Sometimes there is a small notch to make it easier to tear open. Others are difficult or impossible to open without a knife or scissors. He was trying to open one of the latter packages this morning and asked for help (a good sign to begin with). I was about to do it for him, when I thought, "Let him try. What can it hurt? If it doesn't work, I can still open it for him."

So I handed him the scissors, and with verbal instructions and a little help with hand placement, he snipped a notch and tore open the package! Hooray! He may or may not be able to do this next week, tomorrow, or even later today, but at age 13, he successfully cut something with scissors for the first time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How Rude!

This is a really funny post from the blog "Goldilocks and the three bears"  Take a minute to go check this blog out-it will be worth your while.
GL has a hard time telling when people are joking, so when he gets it, it's a big deal. When he responds with a joke of his own, it's a bigger deal. When his joke is actually funny, it's the biggest deal of all. Yesterday I was out in the yard, and he asked MB for the 500th time, "Where's Dad?" 

In exasperation she said, "I ATE him!"

"Mom, that was rude! You didn't leave any for me!"