Books and Movies


I’m sure most of you remember the scene from A Christmas Story where Flick gets dared to stick his tongue on the frigid pole in the schoolyard. It’s a classic.  Eeeeu, you think.  I’ll never try that. You think that because you are not a 10 year old boy.  And if you DID try it and proved to yourself that, yes, the tongue really does painfully stick to the pole just like in the movie, you most likely would never do it again.  You think that because you are not my 10 year old boy who has what he calls ‘Temptations’.

A couple of years ago he did this at his bus stop.  The house up the street where he waits has a pole right in their yard–apparently a very tempting pole to stick one’s tongue to.  The first time he did this I chalked it up to a boy just being a boy….or even a curious person just being curious.  Who wouldn’t want to know if something like that really worked?  (in fact, I guess I’ve gotta hand it to him– I would have been way too chicken as a kid to even try it!)  The incident happened when he got off his bus–he was a couple of minutes late and came home crying with blood running from his mouth.  I admit that I tried not to laugh as I consoled him and figured he definitely learned his lesson.

So then just the other day he shows me marks on his tongue and says he did it again–bragging, in a way–and that he had one of the girls run across the street to get a cup of warm water to pour on there so he could get it off…this time he knew what to do.  But this was before school, I would have been SO angry if he would have made himself and the girl miss the bus!!!  He was a bit confused that he got no sympathy from me about the whole business.  Good grief.

Ahhh, the Temptations. I kind of thought the meds he’s been on had nipped those in the bud, for the most part.  Indeed he hasn’t been obsessive about doing things he knows would be unpleasant like he was pre-meds.  But this incident really irritated me–this time not only did it involve him, but someone else as well.  And it scares me–it’s sticking his tongue on a pole now, but what will it be later??  Let’s hope this time he really has satisfied his curiosity about that whole thing.  And all this without even a ‘double dog dare’.

What kind of mother doesn’t post anything about her child’s Halloween experience until the middle of November??  A busy one, I guess.  A mom that’s trying to juggle full-time work (in retail, no less!) , the rest of her family, grocery shopping, etc.  Sigh.  Why can’t I just be inherently rich?  Blogging and eating bonbons all day long?  A girl can dream.

Anyway, Halloween was another good experience this year.  Scout’s friend Jacob came along to trick or treat once again.  Isn’t begging for candy from strangers so much more fun with an accomplice?  In true Scout/Aspie form, Scout went as a Barrel Of Toxic Waste.  He got this idea from his beloved ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ comics.   It was a big success, getting lots of great comments, but not so fun to run around in across root-infested lawns, up and down stairs, and around curbs in the pitch.  Scout looked like a cartoon himself, trying to run from house to house with his little legs only able to take baby steps as he went.  Of course when one is getting boat-loads of free candy, one doesn’t notice.  It was another successful haul.  So successful, in fact, that Mom ate all of the Snickers and now he’s old enough to notice.  I had to promise next time we go to the store I’d buy him a full-sized one.

Overall, things are going well.  I would say the meds Scout is on definitely is helping his temperament.  He can roll with the punches, go with the flow, much easier these days.  Blessed C-man does his homework with him and says he isn’t as quick to get frustrated and upset, which of course is a very good thing.  Scout had a sleepover at a friend’s house over the weekend, which of course makes me want to jump for joy.

He has again started practice for the Geography Bee at his school.  It’s interesting, this year he is not studying for it and talking about it as much as last year.  I’m curious how he’ll take it if he doesn’t do as well.  Of course if he doesn’t it will be everyone else’s fault but his own.  Ownership and consequence is something we constantly work on.  They are concepts he just doesn’t seem to understand and/or care about.  It’s a worry that plagues me as I try to cling to my mantra, ‘day at a time, day at a time’…and not wonder how in the world he will ever complete anything on his own as an adult.

Guess I’ll go back to my Snickers and finish this blog post…

Happy New Year!  I hope it indeed is a happy one for you. I’d say mine is starting out on a good note, what with this little journey about Scout and I being featured in the January issue of Minnesota Parent magazine! Thank you, editor Kathleen, for the amazing shout-out!!  I only hope a parent looking for an answer, a shoulder, or a shared victory will be happy they stumbled upon us.

Scout, on the other hand, would probably tell you that his year hasn’t started out so grand.  Not because anything major has happened, mind you, simply because with the beginning of the new year came the end of winter break and that means… going back to school.

Ahh, school.  No more waking up to his best friend iPod, playing games together off and on (probably way too much ‘on’!) all day.  No more computer games on school days, and no more TV during the week either. I don’t think any child relishes the thought of having their freedom taken away once again to get up early every morning and go hit the books.  But Scout looks at this schedule as torture, the poor guy.  You’d think being an Aspie he would thrive from the schedule of a school day, but no.  He’d MUCH rather do as he pleases and tune out the real world.  Now of course that is very Aspie.

Speaking of his beloved TV, I have to mention that he’s been totally into a show called ‘Shaun the Sheep‘ lately–a british claymation comedy made by the same people who did the movie ‘Chicken Run‘ and ‘Wallace and Gromit.’  I find this really interesting as back when Scout was doing OT at Therapy for Me, one of the things they would do is watch ‘Wallace and Gromit’ with his group.  They chose this because the way you understand what’s going on in this show is by watching the actions and reactions of the characters.  There is no dialogue.  You must pay attention to their facial expressions to figure out how they are feeling, which is something many kids on the spectrum have trouble doing. So the fact that Scout stumbled upon Shaun the Sheep and is so captivated by it really fits–and makes me very happy. He obviously DOES get all of the facial expressions and emotions implied.  Lucky for me, like the other Aardman shows, an adult can enjoy this just as much as the kids–they’re great! Highly recommended for some good shared laughter–and we could all use some more of that!

Laughter is a GREAT way to start out the new year…school or no school.

You know how in Lord of the Rings, the whole craziness with the One Ring started because the King of a King of a King didn’t just get rid of the darn thing when he had the chance? The King’s name was Isildur, and the Ring was titled ‘Isildur’s Bane’ because of his doomed choice.  We may not have the One Ring in this house, but we do have Scout’s iPod.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPod.  I have an iTouch and it is my lifeline, no doubt.  Where would I be without my music, my calendar, my Word Warp game??  The difference between my iTouch and Scout’s is that I can put it down and walk away when need be, without a complaint.  At this point, I’m about ready to toss Scout’s iPod right out the window.

Scout has always been obsessed with anything electronic.  TV, computer, computer games.  Which of course is quite normal in this day and age, Aspie or not– I dare to say we are all addicted in some form or another.  Last Christmas all he wanted was a Nintendo DS –a handheld computer game that you can take anywhere and everywhere.  We had already made our rule of ‘no electronics during the week’ throughout the school year because we figured it would result in less distraction from the things that are truly important to do…you know, homework, after-school activities, dinner with your family…  Those things were all getting rushed through just to get to the beloved electronic of choice. Then when it was time to turn off said electronic, we had more whine than Orson Welles. (we will sell no wine before it’s time.)  So the idea of Scout having an electronic device that COULD go anywhere and everywhere with him didn’t strike me as such a grand idea.

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Wow, I go right from reading ‘Mozart and the Whale’ to the book ‘House Rules’, by Jodi Picoult! It’s Asperger’s reading month, I guess.  I think my next book had better be something a little more light-hearted and less close to home…any suggestions??

I have never read a Jodi Picoult book before, so I can’t compare this to any of her others.  I would assume her books do not typically revolve around a character on the spectrum, however.  In ‘House Rules’, an 18 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome becomes the lone suspect in a murder case.  Proving his innocence is not an easy thing when the boy is obsessed with anything related to crime scene investigation, to the point of creating his own fake ones to try to stump his mother.  It is also said that many of the hallmark traits of a person on the spectrum–not looking a person in the eye, fidgeting, changing the subject when being questioned–can all be signs of a person who is guilty of committing a crime.  And as the book goes on we wonder….did Jacob really commit the crime??

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I just got done reading “Mozart and the Whale–An Asperger’s Love Story“, written by Jerry and Mary Newport with Johnny Dodd. Of course this book caught my eye because as a mother with a child on the spectrum I desperately want to get any insight I can into how it is possible for my child to find a loving relationship. It’s definitely a mystery, how a person who has trouble picking up social cues or communicating in a ‘socially acceptable’  way could possibly connect with someone on a romantic level.  I’ve often joked around about how when Scout gets older he’ll just have to tell the girls he meets and wants to date that even though he really likes them he probably won’t call them, they will have to be the ones to do the calling!

My biggest fear is that Scout will end up lonely–he really is a snuggle-bug and thrives on the loving relationship we have.  Because of that I can’t imagine that really happening…but at the same time, some lucky woman will have to be pretty tolerant of a messy house, someone who may be lost in a book all day instead of having a conversation, or when there is conversation, she’ll have to work pretty hard at getting through the random facts.

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