orange you glad you aren't a bully?

The boys are wearing orange in support of Unity Day. Unite Against Bullying.

I saw it in a tweet last night and asked Andy if he had any orange shirts. "I'll have to find out." I knew he had a long sleeved shirt in orange and mentioned it. "What shoes will I be wearing?" Whatever shoes you want to wear? "I will wear socks and tennis shoes." Did someone tell you to wear those? "I don't know."

Both boys have some odd "rules" they have placed on themselves. It is a coping mechanism to live with things they cannot control. Andy prefers to wear short sleeved shirts, shorts and sandals. If he wears a long sleeved shirt then he "must" wear sneakers and socks. OK.

I went to tell Ryan about Unity Day but he already had an orange shirt pulled out to wear. I looked in his closet and saw he had several orange shirts though he doesn't wear them. The long sleeved shirts in his closet had a layer of dust on them. Ryan doesn't wear long sleeved shirts unless it is very cold. He will only wear them outside the house and change when he comes home. 

This morning, Andy got dressed and came to me, "I found this one." It was an orange short sleeved shirt. He hasn't worn it much and it looked new. Andy wears mostly grey t-shirts from Cotton Bureau. I think it is because they are so darn soft. Andy was happy that he didn't have to wear sneakers and socks.

It was 66 this morning. Both boys were in orange t-shirts, shorts, and sweatshirts.

it is bowling season for special olympics

The high school open house was a little different for the ESE kids. Most of their classes are in the same room with the same teacher so they added extra topics for us to learn about. We went to one room to learn about Special Olympics. We were told that the kids need an average of 30 points for 10 games in order to qualify for area bowling on September 29. The first event is scheduled for September 12. They usually play only 2 games. When can they play the other 8 games?

I asked Andy if he wanted to bowl on Saturday. He wanted Ryan to go but Ryan wanted to stay home. I got Andy to understand that he needs to bowl if he wants to qualify. I emailed Pin Chasers to ask about open bowling but didn't think I needed to reserve a lane. I emailed two other moms to invite them. One mom emailed me back and said they would try to be there. I did not hear from other mom until Saturday morning. She texted me to say she was going to be there with her kids and her sister's kids. She called Pin Chasers to reserve a couple of lanes and texted back that Pin Chasers was booked with a Breast Cancer fundraiser. (They never mentioned that in their email.) They might open some lanes depending on the crowd after 1:15. 

I decided to take the chance and we went to lunch. Andy wanted to eat inside at CFA. We drove up Morris Bridge to Pin Chasers. 

The boys also like to play video games. But each game is $1  to play and you must purchase tokens.  We brought some tokens we had purchased from Extreme Adventure. (When we were there in June, I learned that the tokens are interchangeable.) I didn't worry that I was using other tokens to play video games at PC. We spend at least $30 for bowling and tokens on a typical visit.

We got to Pin Chasers about 12:30. I explained that we needed to bowl for Special Olympics. We asked for a lane and were told there was one opening up soon. He asked how many games and I said 4 and was charged $1/game. The last time we were leaving, one of the senior workers asked if my kids had specials needs. I said yes and he said he wish he had known as we would have gotten the discount. I said that was OK not knowing how big the discount was. We paid about $24 for the boys to play for 2 hours but they only played 2 games.  

Andy played the first two games with the bumpers. He did well. It was good that he didn't have to wait for someone else so he didn't wander away and get distracted. We took a short break between games two and three. Andy played the last two games without the bumpers. He did better when he concentrated. I think he was getting tired and bored. His scores were 62, 89, 66 & 47.

Andy played some more video games. He liked the speed boat. I played the pinball machine. We played one game of air hockey then went home. We have a lane reserved for next Saturday.

a visit to the doctor

I procrastinated again. Andy brought home the special olympics application form a couple of weeks ago. I did not make an appointment for a physical until Wednesday. On Tuesday, I went to the high school for Open House. We learned that the form had to be in by September 7! Crud. 

I made a reminder to call 9 am on Wednesday. And when the alarm sounded, I called the doctor Andy saw 3 years ago. However, Dr. Sikes no longer gives physicals for Special Olympics. Double crud. Now I had to find a doctor and pay for the exam. 

I called Andy's pediatrician. Andy is no longer in their system, his pediatrician no longer works at that office and they have no appointments before Friday. I call another office. They do have an appointment for Thursday at 11:00. They told me to bring Andy's immunization record. I looked in his binder and saw that we had not been to see this pediatrician since 2002. 

Because of the autism, we did not go to the doctor unless necessary. We saw plenty of specialists and each visit was stressful. The boys got sick but not anything more than a cold or flu. Nothing that required a doctor visit nor antibiotics. For immunizations, we went to the county clinic because they were free and didn't require an appointment nor exam.

When Andy got home, he asked about the appointment. He would be happy to go back to Dr. Sikes. He recalled that the restroom only had one toilet and no stalls. I told him about the new office. He seemed OK with it especially knowing he would get out of school early.

I got to the school early. I never know if it is going to be a problem bringing him to the office. Also, new school, new procedures. There were no problems and we got to the doctor's office early. It was good because I had so much paperwork to fill out. They even gave Andy his out confidential questionnaire regarding drugs and sex. It was in its own folder so he could fill it out and give it to the doctor without me seeing. I filled it out for Andy. If there is a benefit to autism, I am pretty sure my boys will not smoke nor take drugs as they are so picking about eating. Neither boy will take medication and would rather cough that take cough syrup.

We were alone in the well child waiting room for a few minutes. Two women came in with a toddler. He was loud but happy. He screeched and soon got on Andy's nerves. I was ready to take him out but the mother noticed and offered. I thanked her for her generosity. Another mother and son came in. This toddler was quiet and Andy was not bother by his presence.

We were called back and they weighed Andy, 168 pounds, took his temperature, and measured his height, 72". He did not want the “squeeze” so they skipped the blood pressure. We went into a room and finished the paperwork and handed it over. Andy walked around the room and then sat on the exam table. He did not like the paper rustling under him. He didn't like that it ripped.

The doctor came in and gave the exam. Andy was hesitant but the older doctor was patient. He asked me some questions and said he would skip the genital exam. Whew! We were done and ready to go. We had to wait a while for the doctor to get the charges posted on the computer. Andy waited outside under the covered area.

I was happy to see the charges were only $40. The clerk explained that I was charged the camp physical fee. That made sense because it was not a true comprehensive exam.

It was raining heavily and didn't look like it would be stopping soon. Andy did not want to get wet so I ran for the car. And by ran I mean jogged as quickly as my fat self could go. I got soaked. I picked Andy up so he could remain dry. 

We drove down to Chick Fil A for lunch. Andy chose the one farther away. It would have been a good choice but he chose the Interstate rather than the direct route straight down Livingston. Oh well. Then we drove back up to Toys R Us. I wanted to look for more series 8 Minifigures and I felt Andy deserved a treat for behaving well. There were only 6 Lego bags left and I took them all knowing that at least three were figures I already had. Andy was happy to look for Grem and Acer from Cars 2. He played with them the whole way home.

duke and seventh grade talent search

On the way to the dentist, Ryan pulled out of his backpack a sheet informing him of an invitation from Duke University Seventh Grade Talent Search to take the SAT or ACT in seventh grade. Huh? Had it not been for Bonnie, I would not have known about this program before hand. Two of Bonnie's nieces were invited and participated. One of them was invited to Duke University for a special ceremony. As it happens, I was on the phone with Bonnie at the time. She got excited and said "You have to make him do it!" I replied that I can allow him to do it but I cannot make him. Ryan is much better than me at being obstinate and cannot be forced into something like this. However, I asked Ryan if he wanted to do it and he said yes. Really? Had I been asked to take one of those exams in 7th grade, I would have freaked out and said no way. I hate long tests. The scores for the test(s) taken in seventh grade can count for later. How cool. There is no or little pressure now as compare to junior year of high school.

I got thinking about this. Our parents did not take those tests. Our generation all took the test and now we can compare ourselves to our kids. OK, I know this is wrong. I just can't help it. I am really proud of Ryan for getting the Duke TIP invitation. I don't recall and of my nieces or nephews getting it. It has been around since 1980. See, there I go again. Turns out that Matt & Joey got invitations. Matt did not accept the invitation but Joey did because his friends were doing it.

science projects

I hate them. I always put them off. I remember my first project in fifth grade. I did it the night before it was due while watching TV. It was clay study of the parts of the flower. I think my dad put more time into the project backdrop. (That was when they were made of wood and three dimensional.) I got an honorable mention. The next year, I copied one of my sister's projects and got a second place. I tried to copy her a second time and barely passed. Then I copied myself in the eight grade and got another honorable mention. I was lucky. In those four years, we had four different science teachers who didn't realize I was recycling my projects. I did do the work, I just wasn't original. I just didn't care.

Somehow, this apathy was passed onto my son. And the poor kid had to start early, in the third grade. We also share the tendency to procrastinate as well as not ask for help. In my case, I probably would not have gotten any help, just a lecture that I should have started earlier. In Ryan's case, he is worried about rejection so he won't ask.

I try to let Ryan do as much as the work himself. I get involved when I have to help with ideas and prod him along. I usually get frustrated with Ryan and my dad. My dad likes to chime in with complicated ideas. He doesn't understand that Ryan does have the drive or motivation to push himself to do more, to do his best. And Ryan will not say he doesn't understand so my dad thinks he has gotten through. The one year I let my dad type out Ryan's charts, Ryan got his lowest grade. He could not explain what was going on.

I do help Ryan with the presentation. Only because the artist in me cannot help it. I try not to do anything more than could be expected from him. I am sure other parents are helping out more than me. But Ryan has no interest in entering the science fair. He just wants to get it done and get a good grade.

All this leads us to this week when Ryan is conducting his experiment on water evaporation. He tried it last night and it was a failure. Ryan thought he would see results in an hour. He didn't see anything after four hours. The due date for the trial work is Thursday. A failed experiment is OK and acceptable but not to Ryan. He teacher is letting him rework and redo the experiment and turn it in a few days later. Ryan started this morning and planned to check the results this evening after 12 hours. I came home to see that my dad was checking every hour. I tried to explain that it wasn't necessary nor wanted since it was supposed to be Ryan's work and how could he get those readings while he was at school. This fell on deaf ears. Then I asked my dad if he was planning on getting up every hour during the night. He understood and stopped.

Getting Andy to do a book report seems so easy.

14 september 2011


1. Happy Birthday Arlyn!


2. Andy went bowling today for special Olympics. This is the first event of the school year. Most of his class went to a local bowling alley, play two games, eat lunch, and go back to school. In the past, it has been crazy and chaotic as there are loads of schools coming and going. This year, things seemed less crowded and ran more smoothly. Andy had only one other boy in his lane so the games did not drag on. And once we learned that Andy needed 30 points in each game to qualify for the next round, he had incentivtive to do well. Andy finished with 44 points in the first game, and 57 points in the second game. We were done before noon. Andy got a second place ribbon.

The one part that did not get better was the food line. The small grill can not handle all of the kids. It was taking 20-30 minutes to get a personal pizza. Andy did not want to eat at the bowling alley. He wanted to go to Chick-Fil-A. We stopped at the produce stand on the way.

26 august 2011

This week went by quickly. I only got done about half of what I wanted to do. I never even touched Andy's computer to upgrade the OS. He doesn't seem to mind.

I ended up driving the boys to school every morning. The bus driver was so late. On Wednesday afternoon, she asked if the boys were riding the bus. I explained that if she was later than 8 am, that I would be driving them. So she doesn't even need to come into in the village if she is that late.

Ryan had his schedule changed twice. He is now in advanced math. He says math is his favorite class.

Andy has the same classes, PE and art. No art until they work out the schedule.

I stopped at Starbuck's each day for breakfast. It was a big indulgence so I felt I should stay home for lunch. I did make it out a couple times, once to Panera, and once to Five Guys.

Savi came over and helped me move the shelves in the office. I cleared one off for her. I need to organize paper packs and such for a garage sale.

I got a haircut on Wednesday. I needed it. The boys were supposed to go tomorrow but it was change to next week. Andy is excited that I will pick him up from school.

I participated in the Big Idea Festival. Each day was another prompt for a 6x6 page. I made mine all similar. I am not sure about making it into a mini book or printing out the pages. Now I can get back to Design Your Life class.

I am also working on Quick & Simple Clutter Control. But sometimes I forget to check in for the daily challenge. I need to make this a routine but I am super lazy.

The Lego minifigures Series 5 are out. I went to Toys R Us today and found a box of them. I felt through the packages and hope I got all 16. I did place an order from Lego on Wednesday so I will have some repeats.

I started reading Street Gang. It is full of tedium about children's television programming.

Other than the POTD, I did no photography. Doyle cancelled on me twice. I should set up a photo walk for next week but the weather is still kind of hot and it is a holiday weekend.


The ese classes had a picnic at Zephyr Park. I met them at the park.

I got there early and took done photos of the brave squirrels and ugly ducks.

Once the bus arrive, the kids wanted to eat but were led to the play area. Some kids knew about the water park and brought extra clothes. I would have brought clothes for Andy had I know they would be allowed to play.

The kids had fun and the teachers could not relax. The play area is not contained and they had to keep the kids from wandering off or getting near the lake.

The kids ate lunch then played some more. They fed bread to the ducks and birds.

special olympics bowling


We were told that the class would be at the bowling alley from 10:00 until 1:30. I didn't want to sit there that long so I took my time getting there. I arrive about 10:45. It was crowded. One thing that I don't think about are the variety of dsiabilities. Andy has mostly been around kids with autism. I don't recall seeing any kids with downs or similar disabilities at his schools.


As I walked through, one boys was taking French fries left on the plates by those who had eaten and left. A group of high school (girl) volunteers looks shocked and giggled at him. It reminded me of the time when a 4 year old Andy did this at an outlet mall. The man whose fry he stole was European and felt it his right to smack Andy's hand. Yep, I was pissed but not at Andy.


After two passes through the bowling alley, I finally did spot Andy's teacher. She told me that the kids were outside waiting to come in. Apparently they did this in shifts. The behavior specialist asked about Andy wearing a size 8 shoe. Huh? No, she read that wrong. 10 1/2 please. Oh are they ugly these days. After the 90s fashion craze of wearing bowling shoes outside the alley, they have made the fluorescent! And Velcro!!


Andy was actually doing pretty well bowling until he discovered the foot foul signal. He thought it was fun to make the light go off and hear the buzz. He lost a lot of points that way. There were volunteers supposed to help keep order but they were mostly useless flirting with each other instead. There were 3 boys in our lane and they got to play 2 games. Everyone got a ribbon but they weren't award per lane. Andy got a 4th place ribbon which he wouldn't pin on. I don't blame him as they weren't safety pins! S got a second place ribbon and was very upset that he didn't get a first. T was mad that they wouldn't give her more food. Watching the other kids made me more grateful for mine.



The bus was late this afternoon. Twenty minutes late. I knew that Ryan would be upset. The bus driver said that dismissal was delayed because of criminal activity. He didn't know anymore than that. He said the boys did well.

But Ryan wouldn't open his eyes. It's his ostrich tactic when this are going badly and he doesn't want to face them. I carried him from the bus to the garage then made him walk. Still he would not open his eyes. Lucky for him I was in a pretty good mood even though I had just spent over $100 at the grocery store. I stayed calmed and sympathized. I find that agreeing with him lets the foul mood pass more quickly. We laid down in my bed and talked and then played. He didn't want to go back to school ever again. He wanted to switch schools. He wanted the school to go out of business. At 5 pm, he felt better and was ready to go on his way.

That's just one of Ryan's quirks. He has to be on time. Once he got his watch, he demanded that everyone else be on time as well. It drove the teachers a bit mad. Last year, they took down the schedule which listed the times each activity was to be started and completed. There are no class bells so the times could be a bit flexible. Ryan is not.

This year Ryan got into some behavioral problems. They took away some items that they deemed "privileges." One of the items is his watch. He cannot wear it in school until he earns it back. So he outsmarted them and wears it on the bus but puts it in his backpack before he gets to school. Then he puts it back on when he gets on the bus to go home. So he knows when he is "late."

Ryan makes up a lot of rules dealing with time. At 7:15 pm, he sits on the potty and plays with his DS. At 8:00 pm, he takes a bath. At 8:30 pm, he wants kisses and the light turned off. Early is OK, late is not.