Autism, Aspergers, Rob Gorski,Special Needs Parenting, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fibromyalgia,

Tag Archive: life

Mar 26 2013

#Autism Awareness Month is more than a fundraiser or platform to debate #Vaccines

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To this father of 3 on the Autism Spectrum, Autism Awareness Month means a great deal to me.  It means that for the month of April, the media will be once again interested in the Autistic Community.

When I think of the Autistic Community, I included persons with Autism (of any age) and their families.

When the media takes interest in Autism, as a

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community we can and should take full advantage of this because our voices can be broadcast across the world.

How we choose to use this attention, greatly impacts it’s effectiveness and overall benefit on the Autism Community as a whole.

Typically, it seems that this brief window of opportunity is squandered and not used in an effective manner. I know I may sound like a scratched record but here I go again. 

Autism Awareness Month must be more than a platform for Autism “charities” to fundraise and the antivaccine movement to spread propaganda. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but at some point, we have to deal with the reality on the moment.

The reality is that even if vaccines did cause Autism, it would be only one of the causes and not the cause. There are vaccine injuries and while that’s rare, it’s a very real and tragic fact. Having said that, if we spend all our time fighting over whether vaccines cause Autism or not, we are wasting valuable and irreplaceable time that could be better spent helping the families raising kids with Autism and the adults Autistics that the world seems to have forgotten even exist.

As far as the fundraising goes, in many cases I have to wonder where the money goes? Does it actually go to people that need it most or does it help keep the bloated organizations showing a profit or helping to pay it’s employees and officers?

To me, this is all a huge waste of time and very, very self-serving.

I would love to see more support and donations going to smaller, less known organizations like Community Betterment, that while they don’t focus on Autism, they reach out and provide life changing assistance to families in the community and on a local level, all across the United States. 

This is just one example but there are charter schools for kids on the spectrum that need funding to help continue to enrich and improve the lives of children on the Autism spectrum and their families.

Autism Awareness month should be about the people. 

We need to focus on those dealing with Autism and their families.  We need to shine the light on the fact that Autism does not go away when a child turns 18. We need to provide support for the adult Autistics that are venturing out into the world on their own. 

There needs to be education for employers so that persons with Autism can have a chance to support themselves by entering the work place.

In my opinion, we should use this time to share our stories while the world is listening. 

We should help to educate those around us as to what Autism is like in real life.

We should listen to what the Autism Community needs and not pretend that we can or should speak for someone that has their own voice.

I hate to see all the potential for advances within the community wasted because we get caught up in all the blue light bulbs, pointless no win debates about vaccines and marketing campaigns that don’t seem to actually help anyone.

I’m just a father to 3 boys with Autism.  It’s not like I have a vested interest in seeing Autism Awareness Month successful…

This site is managed almost exclusively via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. ;-)

Check out my #Autism Awareness Store to find really cool and unique #Autism Awareness Clothing and Accessories, designed by me. ;-)

For more ways to help the Lost and Tired family, please visit Help the Lost and Tired Family.

To reach me via email, please Contact Me


Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2013/03/26/autism-awareness-month-is-more-than-a-fundraiser-or-platform-to-debate-vaccines/

Mar 24 2013

How often do you use the word #Autism or #Autistic in real life?

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How often do you use the word Autism or Autistic in real life?


This site is managed via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. ;-)

Check out my #Autism Awareness Store to find really cool and unique #Autism Awareness Clothing and Accessories, designed by me. ;-)

For more ways to help the Lost and Tired family, please visit Help the Lost and Tired Family.



Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2013/03/24/how-often-do-you-use-the-word-autism-or-autistic-in-real-life/

Dec 21 2012

Learning life skills at @GiantEagle

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I’ve written about this before but I’m going to write about it again.  I really feel strongly about trying to use everyday activities as a chance to teach my 3 boys with #autism important life skills.

We have some wintery weather blowing in soon and I wanted to pick up a few items at the grocery store, in case we get snowed in.

I grabbed Elliott and we headed off to our local Giant Eagle.  I swear it’s like we live at that store. 

Anyway, Elliott is 6 years old, has aspergers and loves learning new things.  Whenever he comes with me to the store, I always make sure to let him practice things like making good food choices, working within a budget, ringing up the groceries in the self-checkout and even bagging the groceries afterward. 

Some might be wondering what the point is.

That pretty easy to answer.  The point is that he’s gaining real life experience in a very important life skill. He’s going to need to know how to do this on his own eventually. 

The way I see it, it would be a crime not to take advantage of his eagerness to learn and desire to help.

During today’s trip, Elliott was ringing things out while I was bagging them up. When it came to the bananas, they have to scanned and weighed a little differently.  One of the cashiers that sorta floats around making sure no one else needs help, took it upon herself to teach Elliott how to manually enter the produce.

He was able to duplicate what she taught him and use that new knowledge on the next batch of bananas that needed scanned and weighed. 

He did a fantastic job and I was really impressed with the cashiers willingness to walk him through what he needed to do and tell him how good of a job he did, instead of trying to rush him though our cart of groceries and get us out the door.

This is one of the reasons I really loves hoping at Giant Eagle.

Taking the time to allow Elliott to get hands on experience might seem pointless to some but I see this as one step closer to his independence. 

Every skill he learns and masters now is one less that he has to learn in the future. 

I strongly encourage everyone to embrace these opportunities to teach. After all, you are your child’s most important teacher. 

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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/21/learning-life-skills-at-gianteagle/

Dec 20 2012

Companionship for a child with #autism

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Even before I know of what #autism was and certainly before my kids were diagnosed, I had this one wish for them. 

Maybe this will sound weird to some people out there and maybe I’m just a dork, but here it goes. 
I grew up with a dog for most of my life.

I was fortunate enough to experience how that kind of companionship can make a child feel like.  I know how it made me feel.  I found comfort and unconditional love in our dog Dusty.

When I had children of my own, that was one of the things I wanted for them. Whether it was a dog or a cat, a fish or a bird, it didn’t matter to me.  I wanted my kids to have the bond,  that connection with another living thing. 

It has taken awhile but I can finally say that Elliott has discovered that with his kitten, Dean (although we do have a name change but that’s a different post).

When Elliott is sad, he snuggles Dean. 

At bedtime, Dean sleeps with him for most of the night.  Dean actually seeks Elliott out and looks for his attention.  It’s amazing.

I’m so grateful for that. 

Has your life or the life of your child been impacted by a special animal??

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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/20/companionship-for-a-child-with-autism/

Dec 18 2012

Wanted: Parenting Advice

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Lizze and I have found ourselves in a position where we aren’t sure what the right thing to do is. Normally these positions revolve around Gavin but this time it’s Elliott.

As many of you know, Elliott has aspergers and severe anxiety.  He’s been through a great deal in his life, especially in the last month or so.

This week at school is martial arts promotion and the schools annual Christmas program. Elliott wants nothing to do both either.  Promotion is actually this afternoon around 2pm. However, that conflicts with Elliott‘s weekly OT appointment.

At this point, Elliott is doesn‘t want to miss OT. He’s also dead set on not participating in the Christmas show his classroom is putting on this Thursday.

As his parent, I’m at a loss as to what we should do.

I understand what’s behind this.  He really needs OT and knows that it will help him to feel better. He’s been through a lot this past weekend and is grappling for some control and stability in his life.  Personally, I’m of the mindset to let him have it.  Lizze however, thinks he should at least go to promotion.

Part of me knows that she’s right. Promotion is a pretty big deal and it’s all about building him up. She’s absolutely right

However, we both don‘t want to make his anxiety any worse.

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He’s already struggling with the fact that we had to put my old dog Rogue down over the weekend.  She has been there all his life and now she’s not. 

This is really his first run in with loss.  Do we really want to push him?

It’s not like he’s asking to just stay home.  He wants to go to OT and that’s productive and a physical outlet. I want to give him control over his life, as does Lizze.  The question is, how much control?

As far as the Christmas show on Thursday, I honestly couldn’t care less what he does. This is something put on for the parents and he’s really freaked out by this.  Lizze and I don‘t want to force him to do something that really isn’t important in the grand scheme of things, especially if it will upset him this much. 

He told me today that he’s having a hard time remembering the words to the songs and he gets confused and embarrassed.

I’ve offered to help him learn the words as well as encouraged him to go through with it. 

However, I think that all he really wants is to be rescued from this and told that he doesn‘t have to do it.  Again, I’m of the mindset to let him make the choice.

Having said that, I don‘t know if that’s the right thing to do. 

I mean, Elliott‘s only 6 years old and lost a great deal in a short amount of time.  If he needs to make some decisions in his life, shouldn’t we let him? We’re not talking life or death decisions here. We’re talking attending events at school that have him extremely anxious. 

Of course, he’s going to have to learn to do things, even though he doesn‘t want to.  However, he has the rest of his life to do that.  We have a chance to provide him with some relief and I don‘t see a compelling reason not to give it to him.

What would you do? Have any of your kids been in a similar situation? How have you handled it? How much control do you give a 6 year old little boy?

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. 

Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/18/wanted-parenting-advice/

Dec 17 2012

I’m so proud of Elliott

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I wanted to mention this because hopefully, it’s a good sign for what the rest of the week will be like.

Elliott has been struggling with life lately.  As a little boy with aspergers and significant anxiety, he’s unable to cope well with everything that has been happening within our life

He’s still upset about Gavin not living with us right now and understandably so. His recent diagnosis of food allergies as eliminated a huge part of his diet because it contains tree nuts.

What happens is that Elliott copes with this by trying to exert as much control over his life as possible. This presents as refusal to do things like eating and even cooperating.

Lately, we have been having a really hard time getting him ready for school.  He will flat out refuse to get dressed and most morning‘s results in a pretty big meltdown. As I’m sure you can imagine, this isn’t a positive way to start the day.

Having said that, today Elliott was up, dressed and cooperative.

This hasn’t happened in the last couple of weeks.

Elliott went off to school in a good mood.  I’m not sure what was behind this but I’m grateful for it.  I hated having to battle with any of my kids.  Unfortunately, that sometimes goes along with being a parent.

However, I’m grateful beyond words that I didn’t have to do this today.

It’s been a rough weekend for everyone and this was a well deserved, peaceful start to the week. I’m really proud of Elliott for making good choices this morning:-)

I made sure to let him know that as well.

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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/17/im-so-proud-of-elliott/

Dec 17 2012

When life catches up

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Lizze was kind enough to let me go back to sleep this morning.  After taking Elliott to school I just couldn‘t keep my eyes open.

Even after a couple of hours, I’m still dead to the world. 

I think that life is just catching up to me a little bit.  I’m really stressed out right now and I’m truly overwhelmed by a great many things. I’m going to have a healthy lunch and refuel my body. With any luck, that will help. 

Lizze got me a book on Green Smoothies and while they probably are horribly disgusting, I’m anxious to give them a try.  I’m all about healthy eating and that’s about as healthy as you can get.

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Permanent link to this article: http://lostandtired.com/2012/12/17/when-life-catches-up/

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