The summer is slowly becoming longer and longer. The first month seemed to go by quickly, due to the newness of not being in school.  But now that boredom has set in, Sketch has taken to running away when he is outside, and throwing tantrums when he is inside.  The days are getting longer, one by one.

I have been thinking about this post I wrote last year, as it really applies again (more so than normal) now. I need to remember to notice the time that I have that is wonderful. To be present in the moment, and grateful for what it holds.

Treasures In The Dust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
White space may refer to:
  • White space (visual arts), portions of a page left unmarked
    • Space (punctuation), the space between two words of text
  • Whitespace character, a computer character for the space between words
    • whitespace characters, a character class in regular expressions
  • White spaces (radio), allocated but locally unused radio frequencies
  • White space (management), an area where no one is responsible
  • Whitespace (programming language), an esoteric programming language”

I have been thinking about White Space lately, but not the kind mentioned above.

I’ve been thinking of the kind of White Space that is more like White Noise–that background static that either drives you crazy or that is so common you don’t notice it anymore…or maybe you love White Noise because it drowns out some other sounds you would rather not hear.

The White Space I am writing about relates to T-I-M-E.

That four letter word…

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The Treasure of Friendship

Sketch ran away. Again.

It is really getting frustrating to have to constantly think about where he is, what he’s doing.

Is he still doing what he was doing just a minute ago?  How about now?

It’s a source of constant anxiety leading to panic when he’s out of sight.

So many times he is right where he should be, we just can’t see him.  But, the anxiety continues to rise until his body is visible again.

Just yesterday this happened. He went exploring in the small strip of woods along the side of our yard. It was about to rain, and I’d seen him go back there so I wasn’t too worried. Not worried, that is, until I lifted PolkaDot to my hip and walked across the yard with aching back, wrists, feet and knees (due to RA) to tell him to come inside only to find that I couldn’t find him at all. He’d vanished!  I knew I couldn’t search far, especially while carrying my 1 year old. Then I heard him scripting (I thanked God for his scripting this time!) and knew he was nearby.

But tonight when I wasn’t worried, is when I should have been worried.  That’s how it works, you know.

Sketch was outside snacking on Pirate Booty.  I was inside with my new best friend, the Kitchen Aid, watching it tirelessly work kneading dough for pizza tonight. Mr. Incredible was with the other 3 kids.  Next thing I know there is a house shaking “KNOCK – KNOCK – KNOCK” on the door, scared me right out of my rolling pin!

It was our neighbor, “Is this one yours?” he asks, as Sketch happily trots and scripts, signing to himself in the back yard.

“Yes it is.  Where did you find him?”

“Oh, down at my house.  I thought he was yours.”

“Did he give you a hard time coming back here?” I cringe, sure he fought him the entire way…like last year.

“No, he just ran to each house along the way, knocked on their doors.” He said with a smile.

Yes, I am very blessed with friendly neighbors who find my children far more often than I know they need to be found. It is an interesting way to meet ones neighbors, I might add.

Tonight when I posted on my Facebook wall that Sketch ran away again, several friends joined in the discussion because they either have the same problem with their child with autism, or they have ideas on how to help keep the children from running away.

I have made so many friends because of autism, that I never would have known otherwise. Friends literally across the world!  Some of these friends are among my closest friends, even though we have never physically met (yet!).

That is a true, true Treasure:  Friendship.

Friends who really do understand what it’s like to raise kids who don’t fit the mold.

Who have kids who are so smart there is no child proofing that can contain them.

Friends who struggle with children who go three days straight without sleep.

Friends who know what it’s like to have children prone to outrageous meltdowns due to sensory processing disorders that travel along with autism.

Friends who know what it’s like to have a child missing, not knowing if they are alive or if they drowned in the pond down the street. Not knowing if they were hit by that car coming over the hill ask they pranced up it oblivious to the dangers.

Some things we deal with in the autism world are so opposite from what “normal” parenting requires, but we are not alone.  God has given us each other.  He has made us find each other even when we reside on opposite sides of the globe.

As strange as some of the things that we deal with are, we are not ever alone in dealing with it.  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes  1:9

Social Stories Continued: Veggies, Potties & Streets

Here are some more social stories I made for the kids.

This first one I made when Sketch went through a phase of peeing where ever he happened to be, instead of using the potty. Sketch loves Veggie Tales, so on the advice of a friend, I had the characters “talk” to Sketch about using the potty.

Veggie Tales Characters Encourage Sketch to go Potty

When I first started drawing stick figures to make social stories relatively quickly, I assigned everyone in the family a certain look.  So Dash always has his hair spiked up like Baby Einstein, Sketch always has a little poof on top of his head because when he was a baby, his hair on top of his head, stood straight up!  And for Princess Buttercup, her hair is always was long and spirally curly, and red…just like when she was “little”  Her hair is still long and red, but the curls have relaxed into waves.

This next social story was made because…well… I bet you can ALL relate to this one!

This social story is probably not rated G. But, Dash got his name from his reputation of dashing away, with lightening speed. So it was imperative that we put some fear in his fearless style.  By the time this graphic story was created, Dash had run off into the street many times, and he had actually run away as well (he was 4 years old!)  He did not “get it” about how hurt he could get, since with all the stunts he pulls, he never gets hurt!  So we needed to be very blunt with him and try to give him a visual of what could happen.  It is very hard to give a child with autism a visual that they have not already experienced and put in their own memory bank of photos!!! This did seem to make an impression on him though, thank God! And now he has doubled his age and is still with us with no ER visits!

Stay out of the street!

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