Wednesday, August 14, 2013

numbers game

Recovery from autism was the only option. 

Talking, then mainstreaming in a typical school with typical kids and then Recovery. BAM

Life is so much easier to manage when you have a plan and an end goal in mind. I came up with that plan two years ago and attempted to tackle the crap out of it.  And since then, it has changed a little.

Here is the new plan: 

  • No expectations. At all. Autism just doesn't care about my dumb plan.
 photo _MG_7336_zps880d8e13.jpg

 photo _MG_7835_zps48adf585.jpg

  • If he is happy being by himself, sometimes that's okay. Whether at a birthday party or at home. And if he is okay, I must be okay with it too sometimes. I've never seen anyone just own who they are as deeply as Grey does.

  • Do not ruin today by focusing on tomorrow.
 photo _MG_7339_zpsc46a896a.jpg
  • Sometimes it's good to let Grey pick his own path.
  • Try everything at least once. If it doesn't work at first, try it again and again and again. 
  • Then if it still isn't working, GIVE UP. 
  • Take time to enjoy the little things...

 photo _MG_7594_zpsda4726c4.jpg
Like barefoot Summers, the smell of warm asphalt and Sonic Diet Cherry Limeaids.

And as far as treatment is concerned, we try everything. If I find THE thing, I will tell you. But so far for us, the only home run is the hands on hard work stuff- like Speech Therapy and Behavior Therapy. 

 photo _MG_7830_zps58eb481c.jpg

No shots, creams, pills, treatments or special Doctors have ever come close. 

 photo _MG_7827_zps48ea82ba.jpg
And world changing. That totally helps with autism and with Moming.

Giving up was a concept that was foreign to me at first. Move on. Try something new. I think many people, whether affected by autism or not- can benefit from a lack of plan, plan sometimes.

I think lots of things in life are a numbers game. For every 100 things you try, one may work. Every 10 broken hearts may help you find true love. Every 8 crappy job interviews may lead to the one job that is your dream come true.

 photo photo-6_zps8ee020b7.png 

I have yet to find the cause of autism. I don't care if it was advanced maternal age or the crack I smoked when I was pregnant*. That doesn't help me today. I do not care about yesterday, only today. I have yet to find THE way to fix autism. Medical science hasn't either. It's amazing how little we know about the brain.

In my past life - before being a stay at home Mom, I was in pharmaceutical sales. I learned that sales is definitely a numbers game. You may have to touch 1,000 people to make a connection that works. Although there are many things about me that was born to do sales, there was also many parts of me that were in extreme contrast to what they were looking for. I remember one of my first phone call screening interviews with a potential company. 

The interviewer asked, How do you handle rejection? I answered the question wholly and honestly, which just so happened to be the absolute opposite of what they were looking for. 

Terrible. Not good at all really.  I keep focusing on it. I wonder what went wrong. It makes me mad.

After meeting with headhunters and doing research I learned the appropriate response. 
I learn from it, move on and do better the next time. And so for the next interviews, I learned to lie about that answer. I had to lie about a few things to give appropriate salesy responses. 

What do you like to do in your free time? I was told my real answer - reading and running weren't appropriate. Two solitary activities that are not social in nature and lack competitive drive. Running can be competitive but NOT for someone like me. Unless there is a contest for who is the slowest. I also prefer intimate settings versus large groups. I've never played competitive sports. I care about doing a good job more than I care about money. And although I am VERY competitive by nature,  I am mostly competitive with myself in a rather unhealthy way. Oh yeah, I also want EVERYONE good and kind to win. So you see- I kept a lot of this information to myself during my interviews.

And the canned answer I had to give regarding rejection, I learn from it, move on and do better the next time- ending up becoming my truth. And it's almost like everything I've ever done in my life has lead me to this very moment today. Well done, God. Because that is also a lesson I keep in mind when I try something for Greyson and Parker in regards to autism and it doesn't work.  

By nature, I am this guy.

 photo photo-741_zpsbcd03643.jpg

Hanging on for dear life. So tight I can hardly stand it sometimes. Until I can't hold on a second longer and I fall...and what I fall into is often so much easier to deal with than to hold on so tightly.

Just let go. Resist nothing.

Autism has taught me so much. To paraphrase Author Byron Katie, We don't have to like reality- but it's easier if we do.

Today we had an hour for lunch in between morning and afternoon Behavior Therapy sessions. And nothing sounded worse than leaving the house, which made me realize it was probably a good idea. Greyson lives to be outside, and I owe it to him to soak up the last drops of Summer.  We went down the street to Woodward Park.

 photo _MG_7857_zps1ed21eaa.jpg

We only were able to stay for 15 minutes, but it was well worth the investment- for all of us. They all cross together because it's better...safer. We can learn a lot from Geese. We the people Geese.

 photo _MG_7916_zps98dbc18c.jpg

 photo _MG_7893_zps76a1ac33.jpg

And tonight I completely broke routine. My Wendy came into town for the night and we met Friends for wine. I haven't done that in FOREVER.

 photo _MG_7923_zpsb0a0d765.jpg

On a TUESDAY. That's almost as outrageous as taking off for Mexico to get a tattoo. Yes, I told you I was the suction cup ball thingy. Sometimes it's so nice to just let go. (sigh).

Time for bed. It's practically MIDNIGHT and my Moming job starts much too early in the morning. Fingers crossed that Doodle sleeps in. Chatting with you is worth the tired though.

Much Love,


Life with Greyson + Parker on Facebook

* of course I didn't smoke crack. 


  1. Chrissy,

    Thank you for all you're doing to change the world - you have opened my eyes and my heart to so many that are affected by Autism. I've been reading your blog for a few months now and wanted to share a story with you. I'm a photographer, photographing mostly children and families in my area - I love it, love meeting new people, love interacting, love creating beautiful memories for them. You probably know where this is going....this past weekend I met a beautiful family for the first time, the Mom had seen some of my work on Facebook (a friend of a friend) and asked my friend how my patience-level was. The Mom and I corresponded over details, but all I really knew was she and her husband had 2 small children - ages 4 and 2. When we met at the park for their session, after the introductions were made, she told me "B" - her 4 year old little girl, would be a challenge and it was OK if she didn't smile or look at the camera, that she most likely wouldn't. I just knew, knew from reading WHY she was saying this - and then she told me "B" had Autism. We talked a bit about how the session would flow and I asked her to tell me if I did anything to frustrate or upset "B", if we needed to stop to give her a break, etc. It was a beautiful, eye-opening experience that I was so grateful for. While "B" never looked or smiled directly at me, she certainly loved smiling at her parents & little brother, especially when her beautiful Mommy was holding her! Such a precious family.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and raising awareness around the world.

    Kathi Mahoney

  2. I can't even begin to understand what you have to cope with everyday.But I do know that seeing pics of your boys. lifts my heart. I truly believe those little beings were sent to teach something to all of us. It's probably something different for each of us.But you only have to look into their beautiful eyes to know they have wise, old souls. Treasure them. They are wonderful boys entrusted to a Mother who will find a way to bring out their special gifts. I'm not into religion, in fact I'm a Pagan, but I believe you have been truly blessed. Blessings

  3. Happy Wednesday, friend. I think there is a beauty in letting go that some people can fear. I think we get wrapped around ideas and beliefs, that is becomes our identity. Then, letting go of them becomes personal. Sometimes, not only for you but for others. When it became apparent my son was on the spectrum (quirky, his doctor calls him), my parents had a tough time accepting it. Even though his quirks have tempered, they are still quick to normalize everything he does. As he has grown (4 yrs) I have tried to let go of my ideas of him & get to know who he is becoming. He is nothing short of amazing <3
    I read an idea on a blog called that said "think you might be wrong". Just for a minute, think what would happen if what you thought, was wrong. It's scary, but freeing.
    Love & happiness to you, sweet Momma. Jennifer

  4. Happy Wednesday, Mama.

    at our first intake meeting our worker from the regional center asked me "what are your long term goals for your son" and i just stared blankly. He was my second son with autism (my oldest is 9) and I've learned to not have expectations. Accept them for who they are, encourage them to push farther than their comfort zone, but not to have goals. Either the goals are too little and after they're met you become complacent, or they're too big and an exercise in frustration.

    I told her I wanted him to be happy. She paused and then asked "i mean like, graduating high school, going to college." She didn't really get it. I just nodded and said "sure."

  5. Excellent post. While sometimes I feel like I don't have anything to offer, I AM reading.

    Thanks for writing.

  6. I just found your blog this week and it's brought me so much comfort. My 2 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with ASD 10 months ago. It's been quite the ride, so far. I also have a 7yo and 4yo and have found it difficult to make time for much therapy. We do speech and OT, but with school starting and reading your blog, I feel like I can finally do ABA with my little guy. Thank you so much for your honesty here. It has made me realize, I'm not alone in this journey:).

  7. Isn't this so true for all kiddos - no expectations, just let them be who they are. I sometimes forget to do that. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Thank you. There's not much else i can say or do, except read your beautiful words, and to just let be.