Monday, November 26, 2007

Trying Out Profanity

Tonight, Alan was in the shower for a long, long time. I knocked on his bathroom door and told him he needed to wind it up. Finally, I told him, "Get out, now! There is a drought." Next thing I heard was "Goddamnit! God Damn drought! Damn it!" He did turn the water off and get out. I left for my study downstairs. I heard his Dad's voice having a word with him about the profanity.

After a few minutes passed, I told him he needed to put his dogs out and get ready to brush our teeth together. This time I heard, "Bummer! I wanted to get my autodidact finished." That made me smile. It is so age appropriate.

We are back to brushing our teeth together because at the orthodontist's visit today, the hygienist came out and told me that the braces will have to come off if he doesn't keep his teeth cleaner. We did brush together for three or four months. Then, he seemed to be doing fine on his own after we returned from our summer vacation. I have to say, since he spent a long time in the bathroom, I assumed he was doing the same job as before. Now we will have to set up the egg timer again. Do you have any idea how long three minutes are when you are brushing your teeth beside your son who is two inches taller than you are? Maybe I can make a few lighter moments out of it.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yearly Gala

Tonight's the night. It is the night of our only major dress-up occasion of the year. This year, the company dinner and dance is being held near our home. Last year, we rented a room in the Woodland Hills hotel where the event took place and Alan stayed there happily alone. We called him several times and we went up to the room about three times in the five hours we were at the event. He played on his computer, watched a movie and the last time we went up to check on him, he was putting himself to bed.

This year, we are leaving him at home. He will not leave the house. He will bring the two dogs inside and he will do his self-set homework which we call his autodidact. He will make his own supper and eat it and take care of feeding the dogs. We will be fifteen to twenty minutes away. Our daughters will call him on the phone and we will, too, just to keep him company. Alan may consider them unwelcome interruptions. Everyone is pretty sure he will be doing what he would be doing if we were here at home with him.

Meanwhile, Don and I will be at the Reagan Library and Museum just up the road. I have been to the hilltop site three times with Alan for his social skills group he used to attend. Every Christmastime, they would go there to see the trees decorated from different traditions. I would stay outside with one or two of the other moms drinking coffee and chatting. We did not want to pay the admission fee and plus our kids were supposed to be going with the one adult chaperone and we were not to tag along directing them, which would defeat the purpose of the class.

Now, there is also Air Force One at the Reagan Museum, which is a big draw. We are supposed to be eating at tables set up just outside it. I hope that I do get a tour of it. If not, I will insist on being taken back another time to tour it because I am told it is worth it. Also, this very day, the exhibit of Nancy Reagan's dresses throughout the years opens to the public. I don't know if it will be part of tonight's event or not. I surely hope so. I wouldn't want to pay to see the ensembles, but it would be interesting to see them for free.

I have a new little black dress. I wish I were more svelte than I am, but it looked decent last night when I tried it on. I have a beaded evening bag, which is like it is new to me, because it sat in Don's closet for a couple of years since he hung it up in his suit bag when we were at some out-of-town event. He forgot he had it and it remained hidden. I replaced it with a fifteen dollar evening bag from Target boutique. I figured that anyone who recognized that the purse came from Target and not from some tonier shoppe also had something from there. However, tonight I am carrying the beaded bag. The shoes have a little heel but they are sturdier than the usual pumps. I need some I can dance in. These have been worn before and are tried and true. I no longer wear any high heels. I also have a beaded cardigan to wear in case we are chilled. Don gave that to me five years ago for Christmas. I have been to enough of these galas where the air conditioners were pumping in such cold air I and others have had goose bumps. Of course, the men in their suit jackets were more comfortable. This week my hair got maintenance so no roots are showing. This morning, I went for a manicure.

It doesn't hurt to feel less invisible now and then. To feel special. I am looking forward to having a fun evening with my husband.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Where Have I Been?
I asked myself why I had not been blogging for three weeks. Usually I have something I want to write.
The thing is, RDIos has been taking up my spare time. What's that? RDI, short for Relationship Development Intervention, is the therapy we use with Alan. For a couple of years, the Connections Center, which is the e-hub of RDI, has been preparing to launch an online operating system. Many features will help us to understand RDI better. To grok it, so to speak. It will also be a place to connect with others who have kids doing the same level of intervention. Every message we send to our consultant will be there as will replies and all videos. We will be able to contribute to a shared library of videos if they are accepted and we want to participate. For the past three weeks, the system has been up, with new features being added and Webinars available to clients and to guests interested in the new system. The free period has been extended so if you are interested at all, get over to the Connections Center at and look at it.

Last night, I reviewed (I had seen this presentation in person at a 2-day given by Dr. Gutstein) the statistics on kids who are on the autism spectrum. There are many myths about autism and autism treatment which are covered in this presentation. What remains as fact, however, is that there are very few studies to follow-up interventions. In addition, the statistics on adults with a diagnosis of ASD are dismal. There are few available, but those that are show that a small number of these adults hold down jobs and an even smaller number of them live independently. IQ is not a measure of how successful they are in life. Having a large vocabulary and being able to use it is not a measure of how successful they are in life. These are static measures. Few individuals with ASD have a single friend, let alone more than one. Few have married and had children. These are dynamic situations. We need a dynamic kind of intervention which holds out the promise of these quality of life measures for our son.

My son is not slow to learn in most areas that are measured. He has never had an IQ test. However, people who know him say he is smart. Yes, he does know a lot of things. What he does not know is how to relate to people in a way that will keep them interested in him and not put them off even being in his presence. That's why I am excited about having so much more of the essence of RDI available to his dad and me to incorporate into our lives.