Fly away Mozart and the Whale

Okay, so maybe Fly Away hit just a little too close to home and that’s why I couldn’t finish the movie a few weeks ago like I said I would in my post entitled Fly away.

Tonight however,  I did sit down and watch Mozart and the Whale, another movie about someone (actually two people) with Autism. After the movie I took the next step and requested Fly Away again. Hopefully I can finish it this time.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Sheltered Workshops

I’ve talked about these before (see my Talking to friends post) and so with my son coming ever closer to graduating from high school, I’ve suddenly become more aware of sheltered workshops.

In my aforementioned post, I learned how in states with these, the pay is much lower for the workers. In some reading I’ve done recently, it explains it like this, if a typical worker (not in a sheltered workshop) takes one hour to do a task, they get paid the going rate (let’s say minimum wage) but if it takes one of these workers (in a sheltered workshop) two hours, then they get half of that rate.

In a recent article at Disability Scoop, they talk about how “In 2002, Vermont became the first state to stop funding sheltered workshops.” and so after the discussion I had with a friend plus the reading I’ve been doing, I’m leaning that way myself.

Vermont has change it’s thinking so that  “adults with disabilities are expected to take their place each day alongside other working people.” You can learn more about Vermont in the article entitled “A Bet On Inclusion Pays Off” by Chris Serres at the Star Tribune and courtesy of Disability Scoop.

Also, It now seems that Minnesota is headed in this direction, according to another article by Chris Serres, entitled “Minnesota’s workshops for people with disabilities could lose some subsidies. My question, when will Missouri begin this discussion?

Sincerely-

  
Autism Librarian

Christmas gifts of joy and happiness

As I sit on the computer deciding what to write, I realize how lucky I am. Every Christmas I make a donation to an organization of their choice. For my oldest, it was ASPCA.

Just like most kids, he loves dogs and cats. It wasn’t much but I know every little bit helps and so to all those dogs and cats out there who bring joy and happiness to kids and their families, we say thank you!

Happy Holidays!

  

Autism Librarian

Christmas story

Like I do every year, I asked my kids who they wanted to buy a Christmas gift and for my oldest son, he always says his cousin. For whatever reason, he’s always (I think) looked up to him.

This year he wanted to get St. Louis Blues hockey t-shirts for his cousin and himself, each with the name of one of the Blues goalies.  I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Parents

Just like I talked about in the importance of family and friends and the role they play, the parents play an even greater role. So great in fact, that this article really says it all.

It’s entitle “Doctors Listen Up! Parents Can Spot Autism Long Before Diagnosis” over at Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks called in one of it’s top ten stories this year. So if you have any doubt, do what I’ve always done, go with your gut. After all, no one knows your child better than you.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Friends (and family)

Unfortunately it’s taken me a long time to learn that the most important things in life are family and friends. I think for most people that just comes with age. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Talking to friends, I continue to be amazed at how life can give you what you need when your eyes are open to it.

Since that conversation, I’ve gone back to my reading to prepare for my son’s future and I must admit, it feels much easier now. I feel like I have a map as to where I am going and some of the stops along the way.

When you have a child with special abilities, there is  a community out there, you just need to connect. As I said, you just need to keep your eyes open but equally important, start a conversation.

As someone who is an introvert, that is one of the hardest things for me to do but when it comes to my son, sometimes I feel like it’s the easiest thing to do. That community is so open, it’s just getting your courage up to ask. After all, we’re really one big family.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Talking to friends

I was talking to someone who I’ve talked to before and who like me, has a son with special abilities. Now mind you, I was out with my daughter looking to pick up a Christmas gift for her other brother, so I was just there looking to buy the gift.

Little did I know I would receive a gift as well. We were talking about our kids when the topic of guardianship came up. Now while I’ve gone to workshops and have been doing some reading about them as of late, I was still unsure of what to do for my son. After our conversation however, I think I now have a much better idea.

We also talked about what are called Sheltered Workshops. These are an employment option for our kids, once they age-out of of their school. Like guardianship, between what I learned from our conversation and an article I just happen to come across on shelter workshops at work the next day,  I have a much better idea about what to do.

I’m one of those people that believes sometimes things happen for a reason. You just have to keep your eyes open when they do.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian