Thursday, October 23, 2014

This week sucks.

So far, this week from hell has included: the 2 year anniversary since my niece passed away, 3 phone calls from the school concerning Bryce, us trying to figure out how to pay bills and keep food on the table, that our State legislators are asshat morons that can't understand it's hard enough to pay bills and put food on the table with the crappy ass salaries they pay the State employees without them taking another $1000 a month from us just to pay for better insurance then the crap they make us only pay $130 for therefore making it impossible to get said better insurance, and, my new CPAP not helping me at all. Needless to say, I'm ready for it to be over. Of course, I can look at the bright side, at least none of the calls from the school have resulted in suspension or expulsion from said school.  I know that sounds like a really crappy upside, but considering my son threw a shoe at a window and ran off school property, trust me, it is a huge bright side. This week has really made me think "is it a full moon???????", but strangely, the answer to that is a resounding no. In fact, it is a new moon. So, that has me thinking (a dangerous past time, I know)... All a new moon is, is a full moon during the day, right?  That's why we can't see it, it rises and sets with the sun.  So, technically, it is still a full moon, just an opposite full moon. So, with that in mind, maybe that's why my son has gone Bat Crap Crazy all of a sudden.

Since I haven't posted in awhile, I'm sure you are thinking, "isn't he always going BCC???", but the answer to that is now. In fact, we had an awesome 9 weeks.  He mainly got great behavior scores and he even managed to get all A's and B's for the 9 weeks!  No, Bryce had a great 9 weeks.  It was Dylan that went BCC on me last 9 weeks.  Okay, not so much Dylan as Dylan's new first grade teacher.  Wow, this woman had no clue who she was dealing with.  She learned fairly quickly though that I was seriously not about to back down and she better lay off my kid or things were gonna get "going to the School Board" ugly real quick.  Now that has all settled down, Bryce has gone ape shit over who knows the hell what, and I'm at the end of my rope.  Can't I just have one 9 week period where no one is going Bat Crap Crazy????  PLEASE????

Now, one last thing for this post, I can't just let this slide. 2 years ago on the 21st, my niece got her angel wings.  This was an unexpected passing and quite a shock to the whole family.  In case you don't know, my niece was 17 years old, had gone out with some friends to the bowling alley.  Somehow, an extra person joined the group, and on the way home, instead of getting another ride, my niece decided that, for the short journey home, it would be safe to ride on a lap, unrestrained, in the car with 5 other passengers (all of whom were wearing restraints). The driver then swerved to miss a deer and our lives were forever changed. The car she was riding in, flipped, and lets just say, from there, the situation was deadly for her.  The other 5 passengers walked away. The reason I go into such great detail is, my hope is, that whoever is reading this, will stop and think a little harder about vehicle safety. That her death, while tragic, and unthinkable as it is for us to endure, will serve as a reminder, that there is no such thing as a "short drive" or that it will be "okay, just this once" to go without a seatbelt.  I wish I could go back in time, to all the talks we use to have, and, quite frankly, slap the snot out of her and tell her "don't you dare EVER not wear that seat belt", but, I can't. My beautiful niece is gone from this world, and nothing I say, nothing I do, will ever make our family's world right again. Hopefully, though, what I can do, is prevent another family from having to endure this pain. Cause I watch her mother, and my heart breaks for her.  I can not, nor do I want to, imagine what she feels.  So please, for me, always buckle up.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So Much Saddness

Hello world, sorry I've been gone awhile. Summer has been hectic, chaotic, and, just plain crazy. First, I start with a jab to insurance companies. They have denied Bryce's therapies for this year, so we are in limbo. Once they go back to school (Tuesday, Yay!) I will have more time to really look into this and see if we just need to move to a different place, which is gonna suck because it took forever to find a place I felt was actually helping him. So, yeah, I'm not happy with Insurance companies. So, I have not had to run across town twice a week this summer, so we've spent some time at the water park and amusement park, but most our time at home, as this has been a very wet and odd summer. Lots of games and movies and books. Lots and lots of books. It was nice, actually.

Then this week happened. My heart is broken at the news of Robin Williams. I may not have known the man personally, but he was someone that I could always rely on to make me laugh. Especially through the journey we've been taking the last 5 years. Especially, after reading an article during the early stages of our Autism journey, that said he was also an Aspie. I do not know if this was true or not, to be completely honest, but it isn't surprising really. Now, though, I sit here and wonder, if he had been an Aspie, had he gotten the help needed as a child and an adult to learn to deal, maybe he would still be with us today. Even if he wasn't an Aspie, I have to wonder the same thing. Mental Illness, whether it Autism or Depression, Anxiety or Schizophrenia, Learning Disorders or Dyslexia, ODD or ADHD, no matter what they are, takes it's toll on the person and their family. Unless you have lived it, you have no idea what it is like to hear your 9 year old child tell you he wants to kill himself. It's heart wrenching.  And all he did was say it, I don't even want to imagine what Robin's family is going through right now. The sadness they must feel. The guilt that they didn't help him enough. The anger that he would take his own life, leaving them here to suffer the loss. We all can spout off how "suicide is not the answer" all day long, but unless you've been on that side, you have no idea what it's like. None. I do. I was there once. I tried to. I took a lot of meds and laid down, with a note on my nightstand. Had my roommate not forgotten something, and come back early, well, lets just say, I probably wouldn't be here today. But she did. She found the note, couldn't rouse me, and called 911. I woke up in ICU the next morning. I am so thankful for her today, as she saved my life that night. No words could ever express my gratitude. I was able to receive help, to realize, life is so precious and so short, and nothing is worth ending your life. But, I GOT help. I couldn't do it on my own. People don't understand how hopeless life looks from that side. How it feels to be so completely lost and alone. You don't think how much people will miss you, in fact, depression has told you that no one will. That their lives would be better if you were gone. That no one loves you. DEPRESSION LIES. It's not just a tag line, it's the truth. It lies. I know how Robin must have felt before he tied that belt. It's a hole that only those that have been down will ever understand. I wish he had seen the light. I wish he had received the help he desperately needed. Because one thing he didn't understand was, the world is a darker place without him in it. The only thing I can hope is, his death will inspire others to get help. That no one else will be lost to the dark monster that is depression. That no one else will ever hear it's lies and take that leap. So, I end this note with this thought... Robin, wherever you are, I truly hope your tortured soul is at rest, that those demons that you fought for so long are finally gone forever. Rest In Paradise. We love you, and will miss your smile.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Where to begin.

I have typed and deleted three posts since Friday, trying to sum up my feelings about the numbers released by the Oklahoma State Department of Education about the staggering number of 3rd grade students that did not pass the reading portion of the OCCT state testing last month. Almost 8,000 3rd Graders did not pass this test, 33 in our district alone, and it's a small district. Approximately 400 3rd graders in our district. I am proud to report that Bryce did pass, and passed proficiently, which is a huge relief for him and us. However, those families out there, the 7,917 families that have a child that failed this one test, I can imagine the pain and anger they are feeling right now. Anger because I guarantee at least half of these students are good students, probably A or B students, that just freaked out and had severe test anxiety because failing THIS ONE TEST could change their lives for ever. It's not right. Absolutely not right. And I'm not even talking about the kids, like Bryce, who have enough anxiety over school as it is, the sheer panic those kids went through before this test is not only wrong, but borders on emotional abuse. I am still very angry about the torture they put my kid through, and he passed, so I can imagine the rage these parents must feel right now. I've said it once, I will say it again... Shame on you Oklahoma. These children are our future. And you threw them to the wolves, all in the name of "excellence".

Now that I am off my state testing soap box, let me tell you some good news. Last week, we went to anger management therapy for the first session. Our therapist is a genius y'all. She came up with the best freakin' system ever. It's so easy, and so simple, I'm angry at myself for not thinking of this A LONG TIME AGO!!!!!  Here's how it works. 1st, go get poker chips. Yes, you read that right, poker chips. They are colored (so you know whose is whose) and not easily duplicated (as in, most of us don't just have poker chips laying around the house). Next step, decide the reward. Make it something they can cash in on every day. In my house, it's X-Box or Kindle time. We give them 1 hour a day (during the school week, 2 hours on weekends and holidays) to play X-Box, and Kindles are only for bedtime in our house. Yes, I know that "experts" say that kids shouldn't be using electronics before bedtime, but those "experts" have never been in my house at bedtime. We would try to put Bryce to bed at 7 pm, and he'd still be up at midnight. Now, we put him to bed at 8, with his Kindle for one hour, and 9 times out of 10, when we go in at 9, he's out cold. So, the "experts" can stuff it... anyway, that's we have wanted things to work anyway, but a lot of times, we were giving in to them and letting them play longer (too cold or wet outside was one popular reason). No more!  They get their allotted time, then, if they want to play longer, they have to "cash in" a token. One poker chip (or token) is worth 15 minutes of either X-Box or Kindle time. They can cash in as many or as little as they want at a time, but when they run out of tokens, that's it. The only way to get tokens is to earn them. If the boys gets dressed in the morning with little to no drama, and does as they are suppose to do, then they get 2 tokens. If they pick up when we ask them to, they get 2 tokens.  If they get in the shower and wash, dry, and dress themselves with little or no drama, they get 2 tokens. I know a lot of you are probably thinking, that's stuff they should be doing anyway, and you are right. And, Dylan does for the most part all of this anyway, but Bryce has been a struggle. And that's where this comes in, this is not really for Dylan, it is for Bryce. However, It's important that Dylan earn the same as Bryce for one main reason. It shows Bryce that neither of them are treated any differently then the other (meaning Dylan has to earn time for the electronics just like him). Now tokens earned for school will be different. For one, Dylan isn't graded yet, he get's +, -, and check marks. For another, Dylan doesn't have a behavior sheet like Bryce does. So, we haven't quite worked out how this is going to work for Dylan yet. For Bryce, he gets a daily behavior sheet. 0-10 marks. We told him that we expect him to get an 8, at least. So if he gets a 9, he gets 1 token, if he gets a 10, he gets 2.  Each subject will be determined by his ability. Like Math and Science, we expect him make at least a B. If he gets an A, he will get a token. Reading, English, and Spelling are his worse subjects so we expect him to get a C, if he gets a B that's 1 and an A gets 2. We started this on Saturday, and so far, it's going so great. They are really taking to it. They have kept the playroom clean, they are doing the things with out fighting us on it. It's going really well. I'm loving it. We have the whole summer to work with his therapist to perfect this system, especially as it applies to school, but so far, this has been the best thing we have done. It just so simple and easy, I can't believe we hadn't come up with this! We tried allowance, and jars of coins and marbles, but, it never stuck like this is. This is tangible to Bryce. He understands what each token means. Plus, we did tell them, they can save their tokens and once a month, turn them in for 25 cents each, to help show how to save money and the like, but for the most part, all they want to do is turn it in for time on the electronics. And, they've come to realize, 2 hours on the weekends is not a lot of time, so they save their tokens during the week for weekends, and are playing outside or with lego's and other imaginative things more and more. It's been great. Okay, so we are only on day 4, but still, it's working awesome. I highly recommend this system for anyone with kids with behavioral issues.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So, maybe I lied... or I'm just lazy... or both. And a dead cat.

First, I must admit, Star Wars day did not go off like planned... It didn't go at all. I will spare you the details and just admit, I was too damn lazy to go to the store for the stuff to go all "pintrest" on it. It just wasn't that important. Maybe, next year, I will actually plan ahead and get stuff when I go to the grocery store rather then do the "Oh, hey, it's Star Wars Day tomorrow. Let's go to the store and go ape shit over a movie". Cause, let's face it y'all, it never happens.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering about the dead cat. Prepare yourselves, cause this is not a metaphor for how my week is going (although, it could be. Keep reading, this was just MONDAY). It really was a dead cat. So, we have this cute little puppy, Maggie. Maggie is about 4 1/2 months old. She is a mutt. Mix of Bichon and who the hell knows what.  We rescued her in February from a rescue at exactly 2 months old. When we got her, she was only 5 pounds. Little Bit was actually her name at the rescue, as she was the runt of her litter. She's now 12 pounds, and yeah, Little Bit does not fit her any more. More like Porky. But, I digress from the story. Maggie is not very bright. Don't get me wrong, she's as cute as a button, I love her to death, but she's as dumb as a rock. We can let her outside for hours at a time, and she will wait till she comes inside to do her business. Seriously. She also chews on EVERYTHING. I tried blocking doors, but she's a little escape artist. She can get out of her cage, and get into our room. She can get out of a harness too, when on her leash. So, I started to put her in the backyard when we are not home. It's got lots of shade and I leave plenty of food and water for her. It's only about 6 hours. Well, I came home Friday, and man, she stunk. I figured she had rolled around in poop. So, gave her a spit bath of sorts, I have these "puppy wipes" I use. She smelled much better. Well, I got home Monday and dear lord, she stunk to high heaven. I ended up leaving her outside till Jeff got home so we could shower her. Yes, I said shower. Don't ask. Well, he had just got home, and I looked outside and she was dragging something along the yard. At first, I though it was a tree stump...  Then, I realized, she was gnawing at it. And, the part I thought was a limb, was in fact a limb.. of a cat. Insert moment of gagging here. OMG, no wonder she stunk so freakin' bad!!!!  So, we got rid of the animal (dumped over the fence into the woods), got her cleaned up, and took her to the vet the next day. I think I'm still having nightmares about this. Excuse me while I go puke again........ The joys of living in the country folks.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"May the 4th be with you".

So, Sunday is Star Wars day, and in my house, there is nothing, that can hold Bryce's attention for more then 10 minutes better the Star Wars. I will be honest, I had no idea such a day existed, but now that I do know, I have decided to go all out and celebrate with my three favorite boys, who are all Star Wars geeks at heart. Sunday morning, I am hoping to wake the boys with Vadercakes and Jar-Jarsausages, with Leahaide to drink. Then, the boys and I will be spending the afternoon making lightsabers and, possibly, Star Wars shaped cookies. I will also be making either a C-3PO or an R2D2 cupcake cake. For dinner, we will feast on HanBurgers, Chewbacators, and Han Solo in a Cryojello sleep. Oh, and how could I forget, the Yoda Soda!!  We will watch a couple of the movies, and we will just have a day of fun. I love my boys, and I love that something as simple as celebrating one of their favorite movies, can be turned into an entire day of memories. Cause let's face it y'all.  That is what it's all about. Making memories with our babies. So, I say unto you, "May the fourth be with you".

Thursday, May 1, 2014


A lot of times, when out in public with my son, we get stares and comments.  Most of them are things like "I would have never gotten away with that when I was a kid" or "My parents would have beat me if I talked like that to them". The last comment is the one that bugs me the most, mainly because I'm sure their parent's never would have actually "beat" them, more like they would've gotten a spanking or two, but not truly "beat". However, the thing that I think irritates me the most is the fact that it's true. When I was a teenager even, and had the "I hate everyone and everything" attitude, I would have never, ever, ever told my mom out loud "I hate you". Never. I may have thought it, but never would have said it. Unfortunately, that is something I hear frequently in this house. No surprise really. He's been yelling it at me since he was 5. And, it's not just the "I hate you"'s that drive me banana's, it the out right disrespect that he shows to me and his father. He has a teenager's attitude in a 9 year old body. He talks back, will (it looks like anyway) deliberately disobey us, and worse of all, when he gets in trouble, he will yell, scream, and slam doors. For those without children on the Spectrum or with ODD, this may appall you, but I guarantee, many out there with Spectrum kids or ODD kids will tell you, this is normal place. And, for an outsider, it may look like we have an out of control child, but here's the thing, it's not him. It's not something he can control. And, honestly, he's not deliberately disobeying, it's probably more of the fact that what we said can not be processed correctly in order for him to receive the message and stop the behavior or attitude or do the things we have asked him to do.  Think of it like this, consider our brains to be computers. Now, most computers process information quickly and efficiently. You give the computer a command and it does it instantly.  An Autistic child or person, their brains are also computers, but when their modems were "hooked" up, the wires were crossed. So, they process information slowly, and not all commands reach the hard drive. You have to actually learn to parent a child on the Spectrum, especially if that child has ODD. Yes, your read that right, you have to learn to parent. And it can't be taught out of a book, trust me, I've tried. A few years back we started a therapy called PCIT or Parent-Child Interactive Therapy. PCIT taught us how to talk to him in order to build up his self esteem instead of tearing it down. I will tell you, this therapy helped us tremendously. However, at it's core, PCIT is for younger children (2-6 yrs old), and therefore, it's not translating very well into pre-teen adolescences.

For me, the worst time of day with Bryce is mornings. It's bad mainly because he does not want to go to school and his meds have not kicked in.  Yes, I medicate him. No, I do not suggest that all parents do, but it is a decision every parent has to make for their own child. I admit, I fought medication hard at the beginning of our journey.   In fact, the first therapist we went to made my worse fear come true... Which, at the time, was that she would spend 5 minutes with him then immediately jump to "you have to medicate". While it wasn't 5 minutes, it pretty much worked out just like that. She took my 5 year old child, sat him in a room for 2 1/2 hours, asking really stupid questions (like, what's another name for "Mom") and then counting him off for answering a really reasonable, and literal way (he told her another name for "mom" is "Regan". That's right, that's my name, it's another name for me. She was looking for "mommy" or "mother") then had the audacity to tell us that he was not Autistic and all that was wrong with him was ADHD because he wouldn't sit still for TWO AND A HALF HOURS while she "tested him" for ASD, and that we just needed to "medicate" him into submission. First, I don't know any 5 year old child that will sit still for 2 1/2 hours, let alone a kid with ADHD. I never argued the fact that he didn't have ADHD, just that, how can you tell when you try to make a 5 year old sit still for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Second, one of the telling signs of an Autistic is that they answer and take things very literal. And, that's exactly what he did. He took her questions literally, and answered them. Third, she never did any tests that are considered, in the world of psychology, "Autism" tests. She just did the IQ test, and that was it. While there's no real definitive test for Autism, there are some tests that can judge if it may be a possibility, and she never did a single one of those. She billed our insurance for them, but never performed them. I know this because, when we took him for a second opinion, the new therapist tried to get approval for them, but couldn't because it showed they had already been administered, yet the records we got from her showed she never did (and we promptly turned her in for fraud). In the end, his school administered the tests, and it did show he was on the spectrum, and every single therapist we have taken him to since this particular doctor has also said he is on the spectrum. Moral of that story, always check out who the doctor is and their reputation before you actually go. But, anyway, I got off topic. Yes, Bryce is medicated. We realized fairly early on that we would have to. I liken him to one of those bouncy balls. You know, the ones that if you bounce them in a place that has no walls or grass, but has a way for them to bounce constantly forever.... That is Bryce before his medication takes effect. He literally bounces from room to room and sometimes, even off of the walls. Poor child was also blessed with his mother's coordination, as in we have zero. So, yeah, mornings are rough around here. Add to the bouncing ball, a smart mouth, and an attitude that could make even Ghandi nuts, and you have what it's like in my house in the mornings. This morning was particularly rough. One thing I have not mentioned here yet is that I also have some medical issues. I have gout, which is basically where my body does not filter out uric acid in my blood stream, therefore causes inflammation in my joints. I also have Fibromyalgia, which is basically like someone ran over me with a Mack Truck. AND, I also have a bad back. Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord), bulging disks (4 of them, yay...), and Degenerative Disk Disease. So, yeah, it's kind of like I'm a 38 year old stuck in a 90 year old's body. So, some mornings are harder then others. We just had a massive temperature shift. It was 90 degrees Sunday, and yesterday was 58. Back to 90's this weekend. So, I'm in a Fibro and Gout flare.  So, I'm not sleeping and in tons of pain, in other words. So, I'm kind of miserable, and Bryce starts to tease his brother, which of course then makes Dylan whine and cry, which is kind of like nails on a chalkboard. Bryce thinks everything is a race. He wants to be the first one dressed, the first one done with breakfast, the first one to brush his teeth, and so on. He does this at school as well. He wants to be the first one done with tests and papers, which is one reason his grades have plummeted this year (for the other reason, see A Public Letter to Oklahoma Department of Education). So, he's running around (literally) singing "I beat the slow eater!", while trying to brush his teeth, and I'm saying over and over and over "Get at the sink!" because he can't stand still for the 2 minutes it takes for his toothbrush to play Party In The USA and brush his teeth, therefore getting toothpaste EVERYWHERE, not to mention, how well are those teeth being brushed if he's in the middle of singing while brushing? I'm trying hard not to loose it, cause trust me, in the mornings, that is extremely hard. Meanwhile, I can hear Dylan crying, because that's Dylan's thing... to cry and whine, and all I can think is... I NEED a vacation.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Public Letter to the Oklahoma Department of Education

I wrote this last month concerning the new standards in Oklahoma and State Testing. I felt that it's important enough issue to share with the world. Please feel free to forward this post on to anyone that feels their kids are being treated with the upmost disrespect that Oklahoma has to offer.

To the Oklahoma Department of Education and our State Legislators...
You suck. How dare you put so much pressure on 9 year old kids. It is unfair and just inhumane to torture these kids with "pass or be held back" for one single test. One test??? No one should be held back for one test result. That's for all 3rd Graders, now about MY child. How dare you raise the anxiety level of my child so high that he can't eat or sleep. If a parent were to put this much pressure on a 9 year old, you would call it abuse, so here I am, a mom and I am accusing you, the State of Oklahoma, of ABUSE ON MY CHILD. That's right, you, Mrs, Bitch Superintendent Barresi you are abusing my child. My child is one of a kind. He is smarter then you ever will be or even hope to be. He is a rare gem, and you have made his sparkle fade this year, and I despise you for that. Before you started all the pressure of "pass or else", he breezed through school, always scoring above grade level. Now, he is so stressed out about your one damn test that his grades are slipping. I blame you. He has been anxiety ridden since passing 2nd grade last year. He has begged me not to make him do 3rd grade because of your "test". How dare you do this to my child. He is so anxiety ridden his immune system is weak, he's losing weight he didn't have to loose, and he is not sleeping. Seriously, how do YOU sleep at night knowing what you are doing to these kids. You fail to think about this when it comes to your need to prove to the world that Oklahoma has "the highest standards of learning". I call Bullshit. All you have done is proven that Oklahoma is as backwoods, ignorant, and shortsighted as the country already sees us to be. Congratulations Mrs, Barresi, you are the most hated person in Oklahoma, and considering who we have as a governor, that's quite an achievement.

A seriously pissed off mom

Start of a Journey

Every year, I think to myself, I need a blog. I start writing one, get it all designed, then I quit about a month into it and boom, I forget my blog title and where it is and I give up. I'm lazy like that. Or, maybe it's just because life in my house is chaotic and unpredictable and, sometimes, life just gets in the way. In case you are finding yourself here and you don't know who I am, my name is Regan, and I am a mom, a warrior, and CEO..  of my household that is. I have a wonderful husband that works hard to support us, and allows me to be home for our two children, one is Autistic (Hence the chaotic and unpredictable household.). Bryce and Dylan are my world.  Bryce is 9 and Dylan is 6. Along with Autism (or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)), Bryce also has ODD (Opposition Defiance Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), Anxiety, and Depression.  Yes, that's a lot of initials. They list them all out on every single form, though most of these disorders are actually not separate from the Autism. If you have found your way here through researching Autism, then you have probably heard the saying "If you have met one child with Autism, then you have met ONE child with Autism", because not every child with ASD will exhibit the same symptoms or behaviors, though most will fit a common pattern.  Our journey with Autism did not officially begin until Bryce was 4 years old, and in Pre-K, though he has been Autistic all his life, we explained away his behavior with excuses ranging from "Well he's an only child" to "He's just sensitive". We were living in blissful ignorance. Bryce became a big brother about a year prior to his diagnosis, so he spent 3 1/2 years as an only child, and we always assumed, since he didn't attend daycare or any other child care programs, that his social awkwardness was due to that.  When he started Pre-K, I still used the "he's only had a brother for a year, and he's still a baby, so that's why he is not being social with his peers" excuse. However, his most awesome Pre-K teacher recognized what we had been turning a blind eye towards. Now my life is filled with therapy visits twice a week and constant trips to the school for meltdowns. He is a lucky kid, his peers seem to love him in spite of his "quirks". He may not know all their names, but I see them. I see them helping him, guiding him, as best they can, and it warms my heart.

This blog, it is going to be my journal of  our journey. I will journal about Bryce's behavior, and I might even track his behavior in coordination with things he's eaten, the lunar cycle, and, even, the weather patterns. I am a believer that weather and lunar cycles can have just as much effect on our bodies and moods as the food we eat. Some posts maybe funny, other's maybe stress filled ramblings of a mom that is doing her best, but sometimes, it is just too much. Like I said, my life is chaotic and unpredictable, but I will let you in on a little secret... Through the tears, the struggles, the laughter, and, yes, the occasional meltdown (mine, not Bryce's), I wouldn't change a thing about my life, or my son. One common phrase you will read from me throughout our journey will be "We will not let Autism define us, instead, we will define Autism".  This is why I named the blog A "Peace" of Autism. Because while a "piece" of my son is Autism, we are at "peace" with it, as it makes him who he is, and who he is is pretty dang awesome.