Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rated "E" for Everyone

For some unknown reason, my son has shown a great interest in reading Video Game Ratings lately. He feels compelled to read and alert us to each one, and also explain what the rating means. Sometimes this is humorous, because he often will be very animated as he is explaining the details of the rating.

He came to me today with a new idea.

"Mom, I just figured out something."

"What is that son?" I inquired.

"Jesus' forgiveness is rated 'E' for EVERYONE"

Be still my heart!

Yes are so right. 
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Another "Jonathanism". 

And another visual aid to remember just how much God loves us.  I think whenever I see an "E" as a rating, I'll always remember that His forgiveness is rated "E" for everyone!

You can read more about our AWEtism experience by clicking: 
AWEtism....Life on the BRIGHT SIDE of the Spectrum

Friday, March 18, 2011

Where Would You Go On Your First Date?

From time to time I play Family Feud.   Occasionally, Jonathan will join me and we'll take turns answering the questions.  

The question came up:  "Where would you go on your first date?"

I answered, "Movie".   57% of those polled also said "Movie". 

"Good answer, Mom!"  he said with a high 5.

Jonathan's turn.

"I'd take her to my bedroom."

"WHAT???  NO!  Son!!  What in the world???  You NEVER EVER take a girl to your bedroom, Jonathan!!  Why would you take a girl to your bedroom???   (Knowing my son is still very innocent in anything to do with the birds and bees, I was really quite curious.  Had I misjudged his naivety ?)

"Why not, Mom?? That's where the video games are!"

"Ohhhhhh, of course!  The video games!!   

"But don't worry Mom, I'd let her win sometimes.  Then she'd keep playing with me."

Wise young man...

So much for that game of Family Feud.  I think we got sidetracked.  : )

You can read more about our AWEtism experience by clicking: 
AWEtism....Life on the BRIGHT SIDE of the Spectrum

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

He's a Poet and he Didn't Know It! (Neither Did I...)

My son decided to write some poetry tonight.  He just kind of whipped out the verse...giggling as he made it up:

"Gilbert was such a greedy glutton, as he gnawed upon a leg of mutton.
He couldn't believe his sea-blue eyes, when the leg kicked him by surprise.
Now he only eats rolls and bread, because he knows that they are really dead."

It rhymes...that is good.  I'm also impressed by his vocabulary. And his creativity.  But what strikes me the most is his seemingly planned humor.  I just love it!

And "they" told me he might never talk.  

"Look Mom, I'm writing poetry, and it makes people laugh"

What a guy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Team Player?

First let me start out saying that I LOVE MY SON. He has some wonderful qualities that I find absolutely intriguing.  I can promise you that life is NOT boring in our house.  If things seem mundane, in a minute or two it will change, without a doubt.

My son has come so far on this journey through ASD Land.  Once he was very much a loner, unhappy most of the time, unable to communicate even the simplest of needs. But all these things have changed.  He now yearns for friends and enjoys playing games and interacting.  He is no longer unhappy!  He is a funny kid, and enjoys life.  His joy often overflows to others around him, as he shares his latest joke, or amuses us with a crazy antic.  He's also able to share his thoughts as he's learned how to express himself, first with PECS and now with words. He is now conversational, with some word retrieval difficulty, but he manages to let us know (probably more than we want to hear!) what is on his mind and his likes and dislikes.

One thing, however, that my boy has not had great success with, is being part of a team. He's good with a few kids, but the complexity of actually functioning as part of a larger group escapes him.  He will typically zone out and not participate, or he will do "his own thing" without consideration for the others participating.  

Jonathan, much to our surprise, made a request to be on a soccer team.  He's not really very sports minded, but he was sure he wanted to play.  I contacted a few Soccer Teams trying to decide what would be the best fit for him.  Ended up registering him for an AYSO team.  Their focus is on fun, good sportsmanship, and everyone playing. Not so much on competition and winning.  This is not a special needs league, but they are aware of Jonathan's "Quirks and Perks" and were very accommodating to include him on a team.   Due to some clerical errors, we started late, so he only had 2 practices before the first game.  

With very little experience in playing, I wasn't sure what my son would do during the first game. My hope was that he would not run the wrong direction and score for the other team.

Amazingly, Jonathan was totally into the game.  He enthusiastically played, congratulated others when they made a good play, he focused on the ball, successfully passing it a few times to another player,  and did his very best for the entire game.  He did not even have a melt down that his team did not win. Even more of a shock was that he's actually pretty good at playing Soccer!  Here are some pictures from the game:

When we were leaving, several boys called him by name and said they were looking forward to seeing him at the next practice.  He ran over to them, gave them a high 5, and came back to me with a smile.  He's part of a team!

We've faced many issues over the past 10 years, and have found ways to conquer or adapt or learn to cope with things that are not "natural' for my son.  I think the "team" thing is on the docket for this year.  Soccer is the tool to learn how to be part of a team.

Life is teamwork.  Being part of a team is a good thing. A very good thing.

You can read more about our AWEtism experience by clicking: 
AWEtism....Life on the BRIGHT SIDE of the Spectrum

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Holy Scrubby?

A Holy Scrubby.

I promise this is not one of those “seeing Jesus in a piece of toast” proclamations. But this is my son's recent explanation of some of the spiritual things he's been contemplating.

One night after Jonathan had his bath, and was tucked into bed, he came out to the living room where I was typing on my laptop. My first impulse was to tell him to go back to bed, but there was something he really wanted to share, and I decided to give him permission. I'm so glad I did.

He started by telling me that he was in his bed thinking about Jesus. (That is a good way to get my attention!) He continued by asking me what I called the thing I used when I washed dishes.

A scrubby? (I really wasn't sure)

That was indeed what he was referring to.

He said, “I was thinking how Jesus is like a Srubby. One side is rough, and one side is soft. Sometimes, He can be hard on sin, you know, like the Bible Story about the men who were selling things in the temple. But there is another side of Him that is soft, like when you need a friend or you're sorry you've done something wrong.”

My son, the little boy with autism, who did not understand a word I said until he was 3, is now thinking deep thoughts. I wondered if he would ever understand anything about God's love. Now, he is able to think and express his thoughts about God's love with me. Profound insights. Awesome truths.

Yes, Jonathan, Jesus is like a Scrubby.

For me, washing dishes will never quite be the same again.

You can read more about our AWEtism experience by clicking: 
AWEtism....Life on the BRIGHT SIDE of the Spectrum

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How Many Apples In One Seed?

"Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed."
Robert H Schuller

I read this and remembered how the "experts" told me that my son might never talk or know I was his Mama. I was advised he might never have a meaningful relationship with us, and we needed to prepare ourselves for the possibility of autism having a profound effect on him in every way. One Neurologist told me my son was most likely mentally challenged as well, and that I would do my family a service if I found a nice home for him and tried again.

These people might have been well meaning. I'm sure they were attempting to get me to face what they felt was reality. But these professionals were counting seeds.
Thank the Lord, I did not heed their counsel.

Instead, I listened to God who told me NOTHING was impossible! I read how God could do exceedingly, abundantly above ALL we could ask or even think. Then I remembered God's promise that His plan was to give me hope and a future.

Occasionally I stray from keeping my eyes on God's Word, and the fear of the “what ifs” will plague my heart and mind. But I reset my focus on God's promises, and remember how far my precious son had come and once again my hope is renewed.

God has done a wonderful work. The days, weeks, months and years have only resulted in bushels of fruit. Despite what we were told by experts, our son, Jonathan, has grown into a fine young man. Compassionate, creative, bright, social, conversational and loving. He not only knows I'm his Mom, he broadcasts it. What a joy and blessing he is to us.

God has allowed me to be part of harvesting some of these apples. There is actually quite a nice orchard growing now. I am grateful.