unfiltered

 

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It’s the truth I tell you and it’s unfiltered.

Random and usually unspoken.

We have them. Most of the crew just doesn’t share… for all sorts.

Lucky you, I’m not most. <ahem>

If I had a penny for every time someone told me that their own child does the same thing too, I would have gone on every bucket list trip of mine… twice.

It’s not that parts of what is being said are not true, but I can’t help but want to squeeze their head between my thumb and forefinger.

My neck is literally a swivel and I’m sorry if I don’t seem interested in what you are saying. I’m checking and re-checking.

Be prepared for just about anything when you are with us. A potluck dinner if you will, mixed with an array of behavior and emotions all rolled up into an undefined but flavorful dish.

Thank God for the creation of drive-thrus AND safe wide-open spaces.

I know your issues are issues but please don’t tell me how hard it is to decide which sport to choose for your child, soccer or basketball. Or even better, how tired you are of going to the weekend games. For the love.

If you have something high to climb on, be prepared. We climb. Way higher than yours… and no, we won’t sue you.

I’m sorry you didn’t sleep well last night. I haven’t slept in years <smile>

Spur of the moment? What you talkin bout Willis? Pre-planning keeps us all sane.

I’m sorry I had to cancel again. I’ll do it again next time too.

We are late but we are dressed and his hands are only partially down his pants. Are you going to eat that fry?

Oh, this is a great day for us. Can’t you tell?

I dislike ignorance almost as much as the noisy Target cart that always seems to choose me.

What a load off. <smile>

Come on mommas, comment and add to the random truth.

You know you want to.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

 

He’s Growing…YIKES!

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Seth Says…

When William was born he was a pretty skinny kid.  His first few years we would call him “Noodle” because he was this long and skinny child that had very little meat on his bones.

I was a pretty skinny kid growing up too.  I remember when I was in elementary school I had this great party trick where I could suck in my stomach and pretty much touch my backbone–okay not really but it was like something out of National Geographic Magazine.

Earlier this year I went on a trip with a few buddies.  When I got back I was giving William a bath and noticed he seemed thicker…heavier…meat-ier.  WHAT?  Could it be that “The Noodle” was growing?

Sure enough we took him for his check-up and the doctor said he was gaining weight at a pretty good clip.  “The Noodle” was becoming “The Gnocchi” apparently.

He’s getting taller…he’s getting thicker…he’s not a little boy anymore.

I can’t hoist him up so he can touch the ceiling anymore!  I can’t carry him up the stairs with ease as often as before.  My little dude is becoming a little man.

NEW TERRITORY!

Now I know that all parents go through the child becoming an adolescent and all that that includes…but to go through that plus autism?  Oh boy…this should be fun!

Not only how are we going to handle this–but how is William going to handle this?  Surely he’s dealing with things and emotions and changes and yet can’t explain them as a typical child could.

Once again the reminder that there’s not blue print for our situation.  We’ve said it over and over…every child on the spectrum is different.  What “works” or helps for one child might be totally different for the other.

So there’s not stock answer.  There’s no guide to refer to.  There’s no 1-800 hotline when crisis is happening.  Now what?

I’m so thankful for the few fathers out there I’ve met with sons on the spectrum–but many of their children are YOUNGER than mine.  So now what?

I guess we’ll find out…

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

hear say

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I’ve taken such a nice long break that I forgot my password.

I remembered it. <smile>

It has been good. I needed it. We all need it.

For me, vocalizing is not usually difficult or strained. Facial expressions too… I can’t hide them. Gosh I really can’t.

My husband. If you know him, you know expression is his world. He’s a talker…much, MUCH more than I am. It comes easy.

For William, every word is mainly work. Something for others to hear.

I see the wheels turning, the eyes shifting… I know there are thoughts, but many times it is silence I hear.

With two expressive parents, it must me in his genes somewhere. Trapped at times.

I can’t speak for him, not always the way he would like me to. His sister has, does, and will often. Those two.

My questions are not always the right questions.

But I do try…probing constantly to get a true depictive response from him.

But, those are words. Really, just words.

If I look closer, he speaks often.

Each raised eyebrow, pause, snicker, and hand gesture… speaks to me. It’s loud sometimes and yes, I do sometimes yearn for it to come in one easy box of simply uttered words.

Sometimes it does and I relish…pondering on it for days sometimes. Ok years.

His expressions. I’ve learned to live and breathe for. I’ve learned to hear him with passing hours of no words in sight. It’s all there.

It’s a different bird though and not easily caught.

In fact, I know I have missed it many times by waiting for words.

Don’t get so caught up in the words that you miss the expression.

Sometimes you just need to just shut up to watch the expression unravel. <smile>

You’ll hear so much more.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com
   

believe

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The first race he wanted to be with the parked cars in the parking lot.
We had a big team.
Fussing and fighting, I showed him our team…his team.
He stayed in the parking lot.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The second race, I managed to get him out of the parking lot.
He wanted solitude and ate way too many chicken biscuits.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The third race was cccccccold. He said, “I go home” and never stopped. Not even during the consumption of his chicken biscuit, which he squeezed through his fingers and threw on the grass.
He wanted to go home <smile>
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The fourth race was a blurr but he watched the race from afar.
His team ran well and hard without him but for him.

The fifth race he laughed a little and hugged the chick-fil-a cow a little too tight.
He ran a little, walked a little, and then I carried him… a little.

This year, his team ran well and hard with him and for him.
His biggest fan ran by his side <smile>

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com
   

july 9, 2015

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This date deserves a title. 

He said them.  Those 4 words.  Beautiful words.

Of course I always say them and he says them back.

But, July 9, 2015 was different.  No mimicking.  No prompts.

Just him… spontaneously.

He is nine.

Most of those years, I wasn’t patient.  Outside, yes.  But inside, I was burning and yearning.  It was a  “long term” goal that I was not sure would come to fruition.

It did.  I wasn’t ready.

My hands were drenched in soapy water from the sink and I felt a tap on my shoulder.  “I love you mommy.”  It ended with a kiss on the cheek.

I was distracted and then became undistracted and… undone.  

It reminded me of the days when he was young and we would go over animal noises. For years.

Over and over and over and over and over again to only hear crickets.  Not a word.

One day I was nursing Margaret and he walked in the room, picked up a plush cow toy and said, “The cow says Moo!” and walked out, as if he were telling me with his middle finger pointed upward, “I am listening all of the time.”

I don’t know if or when I will hear those words again.  Speech is complex.

But, I heard them once.  The words came out of his mouth.

When the days are slow and difficult, a sweet gem of a blessing pops up to keep me going.

I know it does for you too.

This just happened to be a big one. <smile>

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com
   

When Autism Torpedos

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Seth Says…

Yesterday looked like it was going to be a good day.  We had a good breakfast.  William and I played an intense game of Memory while mommy and Margaret got dressed for church.

Church seemed to go well…he sat still and paid attention during the service and apparently did well with  his “Shepherd” so that’s always a good thing.

Yesterday evening we were invited by another family to be their guests at a local country club to swim.  This was going to be a good day!

William LOVES the water.  Gone are the days when he’d freak out in the water.  Gone are the days when our heads would constantly be on a swivel trying to pay attention to the person we were talking to but really (mostly) paying attention to where William was swimming.  Gone are the days when we have to explain to William how he needs to stand in line patiently and not cut in front of all the other children in the diving board line.

This was going to be a good day!

And it started out that way…William couldn’t wait to get in the pool.  He loves the water.  I think back to the early swim school he went through…then the times when he wouldn’t even get in the water…then the 1 hour I would drive him and Margaret and the $$$ that we would spend for private indoor swim lessons just to make sure he’d be semi-comfortable around pools.  Oh the memories…but they’re fading fast as I see him jump into the pool and splash around and go down the slide without hesitation and off the diving board like a pro.

I even chuckled to myself as I saw William swim up to a pack of older girls…maybe in their pre-teens!!!  He didn’t say anything but I could tell he wanted their attention.  He had no hesitation to just swim amongst them…not sure they even noticed him–BUT you know what–what they didn’t notice was that he had autism.

For a brief moment I saw a 9-year-old boy interested in little girls…there was some typical-ness there that gave me hope.

Then it happened…he lost a torpedo.

Last year William became fascinated with these little rubber torpedoes that zig-and-zag through the water.  He LOVES them.  He would toss them and dive for them over and over and over last year.  And this year would be no different.

He has accumulated four colored torpedoes since last year…two green, one orange and one purple.

One thing you have to understand about William’s “brand” of autism is that it comes with a pretty high level of OCD…the kid knows things that most people wouldn’t.  He knows when you got a haircut, new shoes, are driving a different direction to a location…he pays attention.

And sure enough, after we had swam and eaten and played with torpedoes…he was missing two of them!

“WHERE’S THE TORPEDO?!”…over and over and over…”DADDY…HELP YOU FIND TORPEDO…!”  Louder and louder and louder.

You see the angst on his face.  It’s like you just ran over his dog in front of him.

We’re talking about a freaking rubber $0.99 toy for crying out loud….

But it just continued…”TORPEDO…TORPEDO…TORPEDO!”

But it was no where to be found.  Didn’t matter what we did, what we said or who said it…the evening was O-V-E-R.

Our friends graciously sat there while we did our best to soothe him.  We tried our “tricks” and responses to distract or ignore…it didn’t work.

We left thinking, “well…we’ll never get invited back there again…”  But I know that’s not true.  Our friends are loving and understanding and they’ve seen this kind of stuff before and they still want to be around us.

It just SUCKS…I saw a 9-year-old boy try to flirt with girls…then I saw a 9-year-old boy completely fall apart and not able to recover because something in his world wasn’t orderly and understandable.

And I just hurt.

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

a watchful eye

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To the mother at the Museum of Science and History,

You walked outside while we were eating lunch. You had two children with you.

Your oldest boy was curious and wandering. I watched your youngest girl and thought how well she listened and obeyed you. She reminded me of Margaret so I watched closer.

I noticed how much time you spent with your oldest boy. Watching, closely following… very closely.

I noticed how your youngest just followed in line and…

Well, then I watched you.

I watched your eyes and began to see the picture. I know it well. Your watchful eyes, the concerns, the constant of it all. It was only after watching you that it clicked… autism.

Your oldest was moving about and your watchful eyes spoke thousands.

Once or twice you looked at me but in a flash, your eyes were back on him.

I wanted William to make a sound or move about so you could see that you and I were one.

He was eating.

The only time he is somewhat physically still and free of sound is when he is eating. So, we sat still and I watched some more.

You looked tired. Your watchful eyes looked tired but loving.

Watchful. Tired. Loving.

I hoped for you to have support. I hoped for you to have breaks and time away to recharge.

I hoped for you to have what I have.

William was finished. He leaped up and broke into a sonnet of some sort <smile>

Your eyes watched him. Then your eyes met mine and you smiled a big smile.

It clicked.

Your eyes looked revived.

And I think mine did too… <big smile>

To read more blogs from Melanie, Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

Special Thanks to Jewett Photography DFW Photographers http://www.jewettphotography.com