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Thursday, January 22, 2015

30 seconds inside my son's autistic mind series

As a father raising a son with autism, I always wondered what was going on inside my son's brain.

What are his thoughts?  How does he see the world around him? How do we sound to him? I have so

many questions that can only be answered by him; unfortunately, he is not able to do so at the

moment. However, last year he started revealing a glimpse of his thoughts and how he possessed the

world around him. My purpose for this series is to share his thoughts, actions and reasoning skills to

parents who have a child with autism and parents who do not.

@2014 JSmithjr/Couponhustla.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

8-year-old boy with autism arrested, put in straitjacket

I discovered the article linked above, about an 8 year old boy with autism that broke my

heart.This story hits home for me because my son is 9 years old with autism and have meltdowns too.

The school and law enforcement failed this child. Unfortunately, due to their poor judgement and lack

of knowledge, this little boy has a criminal record, which could have been avoided. This is also why I

feel teachers, police officers and first responders need training about autistic behaviors and

individuals. Resources are available, due to the rapidly increasing numbers of individuals being

diagnosed with autism. As a dad who attends autistic training and workshops regularly, I realized

that the people in authority, who will benefit from these training the most, do not attend.

Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge,.."

I do not want my son or any individual with autism harmed or injured or destroyed because society

refused to learn how to interact with people who have autism. As parents our job is to protect our

children, and we are told to trust teachers and police officers to protect our children when they are

away from home. Then, this incident happens and our worst fears become reality.

As a result, this boy now has another issue to deal with along with his autism.

His parents who followed proper procedure to prevent incidents like this from happening, now must

try to help their autistic son get over this terrible experience. An experience that he does not

understand and one that will remain with him for the rest of his life. Sadly, the articles does not

mention that he will be labeled as a violent child, as a result of his meltdown and arrest.

@2014 JSmithjr/Couponhustla.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bedtime Dance Party Featuring Ed Sheeran (1-15-15)

My kids finished saying their prayers, and I did not feel like reading a bedtime story tonight.

Instead, I decided to play music videos on YouTube.

The first video I played was: Ed Sheeran - I See Fire (Hobbit Soundtrack)

This is a beautiful song, with a smooth melody, calming vocals, and great for a relaxing mood.
However, I got no reaction from the kids at all, so I decided to play another Ed Sheeran song.

The second video I played was: Ed Sheeran featuring Pharrell Williams - "Sing"

As the song played, I started to sing the lyrics that were appropriate for kids to sing along with me.

Next, I stood up and danced because I wanted the kids to focus on me and not the video due to some

adult content. (Nightclub scene) The kids loved this song or loved my dancing and singing and before

I knew it, they were up and dancing with me. The three of us, was having an impromptu bedtime

dance party together as a family. We were having fun! Once video ended, each of them received a hug

and kiss, and I told them goodnight.

What have I done? I wonder if the kids will request another Bedtime Dance Party.

Disclaimer: "I see the fire" video contains scenes that might not be suited for all kids, such as: fire burning objects, a dragon, creatures and etc. "Sing" video contains scenes that might not be suited for all kids, such as: adults at a nightclub, alcohol and etc.

@2014 JSmithjr/Couponhustla.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Follow Up

Disclaimer: If you have not read "The incident that happened 2 days after Christmas"; then, please do so now before you read " The Follow Up".

The Follow Up

            Two days had passed since the incident happened, but it still bothers me. My daughter was dropped off this morning, and the departing words of her mother were: “give your brother, his cookies.” After having dropped our son off, two days earlier, and not calling once to check on him, the only mention of his name from her was about him getting some cookies that she sent in a bag; unbelievable!  No mention of her missing him and that she hated to return him home early. This's the part which bothered me the most; because, I should not be the only one who feels this way about our son. Nevertheless, she just gave the final instruction to our daughter, and off she went.

What was my reaction after the first phone call?
My initial thought was why she would ask me that question about bringing her to his medication. After all, my car is broken (which is knows this) and she has transportation. Once she decided to keep the kids on Friday, she could have picked up his medicine. Originally, I was told that she would only be off on Christmas Eve (Wednesday) and Christmas Day (Thursday), which usually meant that the kids would return home on Friday. I figured that it would be okay because I would give him his medicine after he got home. However, she decided to keep them; while being fully aware that she did not have his medicine.

The Bottom Line
According to Google Maps, she stays 2 miles from my apartment, and it is a 6 minute drive to her place. If she wanted our son to have his medicine; then she would have driven to get it!

Actions speak louder than words!
On Thanksgiving Day, she picked the kids up before they ate dinner. When the kids told her they were hungry, she called me. I explained that she picked them up prior to them eating their dinner. Guess what happened next? She drove back to my place got their dinner, and “claimed” that she did not have any food or money; then she explained that she will go grocery shopping and cook the following day.
 What was my reaction after the second phone call?
            Honestly, I do not care about how much it would cost her to replace their tablets. I was more concerned with what caused my son to break something that he enjoys. My other thoughts were, where was the babysitter? How could my son break two tablets on the same day? My son knows how to plug up an iPads to charge it. Recently, he was caught charging up his iPad Mini he received this year for Christmas from me. My thoughts forced me to think about endless scenarios; such as, why did the other little boy let my son break his tablet? Was my son alone with two tablets? Once again, where was the babysitter?

The Bottom Line
My son loves and enjoys electronic devices, but his favorite device is an iPad. He would not break an iPad unless something was wrong with it.

The Knock at the door!
            One hour later, after the second phone call ended, there was a knock at my door. My son and his mother stood before me. I did not get an explanation as to why she only had him. Furthermore, she was not there to pick up his medicine; instead she dropped him off. Finally, I asked what time our daughter will return home. She replied she was not ready to leave because she was having fun, but she will return her home tonight. It was not easy, but I held my words and closed the door. Her behavior is just ridiculous; because, she was willing to make two separate trips to drop off each child, but not willing to make one trip to get his medicine verses returning him home.

Winners & Losers
            Obviously, I felt that my daughter and her mother were the “only major” winners. The mother of my children got to spend an extra day and ½ with only our daughter. In fact, it was more than just our daughter, the son of her boyfriend and their daughter together were there as well. My daughter was happy because she finally got to spend additional time with her mother without her brother.
            Surprisingly, there’s a small part of me that believed that my son won too. My destroyer of tablets appeared pleased with his mother's decision to return him home. Without any prompting, he cleaned his room and was not upset when I did not give him his iPad that night. Instead, he appeared to be a little disappointed, but he played on the computer with no problems. While I prepared his dinner, he found his sister’s tablet which is not an iPad and he did not break it. He even put it back in the box where he found it. Later on, he found his iPad Mini, plugged it into the charger, and played with it together with the computer.
            I also feel as if he lost; because, he has never been alone with his mother without his sister. I realized that it is completely possible for her to give him quality one on one time with his sister present, but I do not believe this has happened. I found out from my daughter, my son returned home because he did not have medicine. And that her mother returned to her place with crawfish after dropping our son off, and that was unfortunate because my son loves crawfish. So he missed out on crawfish; as well, because his mother chose to bring him home early and without feeding him crawfish.

How could a mother abandon her son when he needs her the most?
Our 9yr old son, has been diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, and this was his second major meltdown that caused his mother to return him home early. The mother of my children decided twice that it was easier to return our son instead of learning how to deal with him after he has a major meltdown. I am concerned about this because, of the repeated behaviors of his mother, I am afraid that my son has learned that he will return home if he has a meltdown.

 The More You know
The children were told not to charge the tablets and to leave them in their cases by their mother prior to her leaving for work on the day of the incident. However, the tablets were not placed out of reach and naturally my son wanted to play with his tablet. According to my daughter, the babysitter was on the balcony and my son was in the room with the tablets. My son brought the tablets to the babysitter when he could not charge them. The broken tablets were placed on top of the refrigerator afterwards. The tablets that were broken were not iPads. Why is this relevant? The only tablet my son is experienced with is an iPad, and the tablets were broken by accident.  

Why did I write this response?
I wrote this because my heart hurts for my son even though he does not understand that he being treated wrong by his mother. He deserves the same privileges as his sister and “those” other children. After having fought the school system to have him in “inclusion” (educated as a normal or typical child), I never thought I would have to deal with Inclusion issues with his mother!

Final Question?
·        If our daughter or one of the other two children would have broken the two tablets; would they have been brought home like our son was?

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts with me on this subject matter.

@2014 JSmithjr/The Couponhustla.