Please Cover Your Butt Crack! (Sorry; I don’t know how else to say it!)

jeans picAs parents of an autistic son, we have had our share of embarrassing moments. Our son doesn’t have much of a filter. He is the youngest of four, and our first three were always quite well-mannered in social settings. I have had a myriad of experiences in the last few years to get me over people pleasing, many situations of my own making, but nothing calls for instant humble acceptance more than social faux pas with your own child!

There was the time when we were at a quaint, conservative, outdoor wedding and our son pelvic thrusted front and center … oh! Bad timing, really bad timing on a lot of levels! My eyes, already rather large, grow three times their regular size and my smile turns inward as I clamp my lips into my mouth! There were the times when we attempted to visit a restaurant and my beautiful son would expel gas from various parts of the body in fairly quiet setting with all eyes on us! (See my It Took Nine Years To Go To A Restaurant.)

But nothing turns me inside out more than seeing my son’s butt crack exposed when he bends over! Why does this undo me so fiercely? I think it’s because so much of this journey feels out of control for me. I didn’t get the instruction book for this child; there is so much to learn, so many new tools to try in a moment’s notice.  I already feel so inept, so unqualified for this job description. When my son bends over and inadvertently exposes himself, it’s another reminder that I didn’t plan appropriately, I didn’t do enough, and that I am not the best caregiver for this person entrusted to me. (All these thoughts I work through, by the way, one minute and one day at a time as I walk out my humanity.)

You would think that after it happened more than once, we would have put a plan together to ensure that it didn’t happen again. But you just do not understand, unless you understand what a cascade of events happen in a single day of an autistic adventure.

Well, the catalyst day came while we were at a Christmas party. We were having a lovely church Christmas party held in a picturesque, historic castle in our area. There was a white elephant exchange going on and it was time for our son to pick out his gift, which was done one by one, in front of the congregation. He walked up front to pick his prize out of the basket and displayed a lovely, round, full moon for all to see.

That was it! We had an epiphany. It was NOT going to happen again on our watch! It is OUR responsibility to ensure his dignity and teach him to care for himself when we aren’t around to remind him.

We bought him long tank tops and a new belt! He is not to leave the house with out tucking his tank into his jeans and putting his belt on, with a shirt over both. It works so well. He has a new routine, which he thrives in, and we have peace of mind that he has self respect.

I have had the opportunity to work part time at a school this school year. My eyes have been opened (literally) to the amount of buttock cleavage that is on display! It is just gross. I mean, don’t we all wince a little when someone bends over and the moon comes out? It is not reserved for just the kids either, which is even more disturbing! Remembering my son, I have bought a belt and tuck my shirt snugly in my pants because I bend over quite a bit on my job, speaking to children and otherwise.

Sometimes I want to shout; “Please cover your butt crack!” as I am sure people felt like  shouting to our son from time to time. But it is our responsibility as adults to teach these character qualities to our children. I know I must sound like a dinosaur in such a free spirited and filter-less culture, but I see what this one small shift has done for our son’s confidence and showing concern for some one else other than himself. We were all made for quality, importance, and distinction—this is just one small way of showing it.

I’m Doing The Best I Can




“Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing! Mom! Mom! Mom!??? Mom, why didn’t you tell me the oatmeal was overflowing? (I remain supernaturally quiet). Mom!! Why are you ignoring me?” Assuming everything in the universe that is wrong has been caused by yours truly...”Mom why didn’t you tell me….”

“Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it  heats up and overflows.” “Oh!” he says, as if he has truly learned a new concept. A few minutes later…”Mom, why didn’t you tell me that the oatmeal was overflowing?!!Mom! Why are you ignoring me?” ( I thought we just had this conversation a few seconds ago and he accepted my response as a reasonable answer?) “Dorian, when you put food in the microwave too long, it heats up and over flows.” “Oh!”, he said.

Here is an actual excerpt of a 5 minute conversation we had the other morning at breakfast. This is very typical.  Of course the oatmeal isn’t always over flowing, but the intensity and seeming insanity is commonly overflowing. I am not sure why I have been chosen for such an enormous task as this. One which requires such superhuman love! I have not always dealt with it wisely and definitely have tried my hand at escape. Sometimes I think, after all of the education I have sought out, the prayers that I have prayed, the multitude of counselors and therapies we have implemented, that some how we should reach a plateau called, Easier! I am realizing that to get to the other side, you have to keep moving through, keep doing the next right thing, keep going through. Some times I let my son and my self down with how I respond but there is one thing I am sure of… I am doing the best I can.

National Autism Conference-Getting There.


We are blessed to be able to attend the National (and there are inter-national attendees here as well) Autism Conference at Penn State University this week! I thought I would blog nightly and reflect on the things from each day.

So now, I will back up and start at the beginning of this story :-)We never know how things are going to play out with our son in any given situation.  We have been prepping him all summer about this trip, but we cannot be sure how he is interpreting any thing. He is typically not happy about any plans we make that he hasn’t made, and he always complains, so we are used to that! We have to sell him on any thing we do except anything having to do with eating or playing video games of course!!

About 30 minutes into our trip a few incidents happened that made my husband pull the car over in a fury and make me want to say; “take me back home, I don’t want to go with either of you!” Sometimes it is one thing after another with our son. Things that make sense to him I guess, but drive us absolutely bonkers and add an incredible amount of stress to our marriage. During this frustrating scenario that was going on, my husband bit his own tongue by accident, enough to make it bleed!! It was just all so awful! I was angry and frustrated, they were each angry and frustrated, and then my heart went out to my husband because things like this happen so frequently. There was just nothing to say that was going to be helpful, I could only sit in the salty silence of acceptance. My flesh wanted to go home but I got out my guitar instead and started singing my songs.20170730_200513

We got through unexpected traffic and dinner ,which continued the “ordeal”, and made it to our room. The pool at the hotel is very nice and relaxation came, when we all got in the whirl pool. Peace…

When our son hit the bed, with all of it’s hotel comfyness and pillows, it didn’t take him long to go out! He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, all of that frustration he deals with in a day  fades away and it is well with my soul.20170730_223916





Remember to Keep Going!


If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been on a personal journey the last few years. Through that time, my husband and I were separated and every thing in the fabric of my life seemed to be pulling apart.

The way we parented, or did not parent our youngest, autistic, son together, was a definite strain on our marriage. You have these imperfections in marriage and parenting, but you can slough them off easier, I think, with “typical” children. But these inconsistencies will glare in the face of a special needs child and cause you to grow together or apart.

So, as we came to the bottom of everything we thought we had, and I personally was in the lowest place a person could be- I relinquished control. I told God, if He cared about me, and about this Holy Union He named Marriage, He was going to have to make something out of broken pieces. It has been a painful process, dying to self usually is! For if we are going to make something beautiful out of broken, it has to be sorted out, cleaned out, rebuilt and it won’t happen with resistance.

In the process, I approach my children differently. I am approaching my special needs son slower. I am more conscious of my being just a “vessel”, and I can pour out love to him, or frustration. I am in his life (and everyone’s for that matter) to pour out love, power and a sound mind. This is a work of The Holy Spirit- I do not have this kind of supernatural-ness!

Last night he asked me to pray for him and read the Bible to him, he was troubled in his mind. I was so blessed that he would even ask me to do that! At one point, he started kissing my hand, I asked him why he was doing that and he said; “your awesome”. Taken aback, I asked, “why?” He said; “because you are trying to help me!” How beautiful, how simple, how divine.

I was reminded of my friend buying me this Keep Going mug and how I would use it every morning and read it’s truth. When you  bottom out in life, it is not the time to quit and give up! It is the time to ask for supernatural help and run with endurance. There are Always second, third, tenth, hundredth chances. God NEVER gives up on you! Even if others do, and they will, you are there to be awesome for some one else. Keep Going- I am right here with you cheering you on!!


autism quote

I think this is a great reminder for all of us, not just how we see the people in our lives, but in how we look at ourselves! Perspective matters.

I’ve been meditating on the fact that I am deeply loved, fully accepted, completely forgiven, and fully pleasing to God. I can often forget that when I see myself through the filter of my mistakes. But if I look at myself through that truthful perspective, I tend to see others through it as well.

Perspective and perception have even more to do with holistic health than what supplements and essential oils you use. You can be literally “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

So today, take some time to encourage those around you in their strengths. Think about people’s strengths and tell them about it! We all get encouraged when we hear those things.

What are your strengths? What are your loved ones’ strengths? We want to hear from you today!

It Took Nine Years to Go to a Restaurant!


Our youngest son is autistic. When my mother-in-law was alive, her love language to us was taking us out to eat at a restaurant, and I would be so torn.

On one hand, I had four children and helped care for her, so it seemed like a wonderful idea to not have to cook one meal out of the thousands I had prepared over many years of marriage and motherhood! But taking along extra “special” food for my “special” son who had a “special” diet, along with the struggle of trying to combat his behavior the entire time, wasn’t worth the stress I felt. These are one of the many struggles those who care for a special needs child face.

It is so easy to feel entitled. “I deserve a dinner out without our son knocking over his hundredth glass of water and exasperating everyone at the table, dammit! I deserve to relax with a night off!”

After all, I’m not a masochist. I mean, Jesus retreated often and prayed! I need my rest. Oh buddy do I need my rest! But I also chose to receive my children and raise them to the best of my ability, and it is my responsibility to take care of them. However, if I keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, I will drive myself crazy!

So I decided I wouldn’t do that anymore with him. At some point you have to pull back and ask yourself what is best for everyone involved. I would hate myself for how stressed I was, how stressed I acted, and especially how I treated the rest of my family because of my stress. It was a lose-lose situation. I would leave the house loading my stress trigger, hoping this time he wouldn’t do a, b, and c. Then I would be totally rigid and on edge while we were out, then beat myself up for several days afterward because I felt like a failure… again.

It was not until our son started going to a vestibular therapy that was a bit of a drive from our home that I started rewarding him with a dinner out, if he did well at therapy and behaved while we were there. We have left many restaurants before, and I’ve gotten our food to go more than once. But this restaurant we chose had gluten-free items, which was a real treat! He started understanding that it was worth it to him to behave so he could have a special date with mom and eat his own gluten free favorites. He was nine years old, and I was like, wow! we can do this sometimes!

Since then, we have had some horrible experiences as a family. We have left restaurants as a family. But with every day that passes, these things are farther and farther behind us. Living with autism or behavioral issues is often like constantly looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing what road you have covered. It never feels like you have arrived at your destination; you just have to remember where you started and throw yourself a little party that you are not still “back there!”

As we left our family therapy session today, I was considering these things. We went out to eat, no glasses were spilled, no major behavior issues were exhibited, and we even enjoyed a few laughs together.

Happy dance!<3



As I was getting ready this morning, I decided I needed a new perspective! I decided to look these up and was encouraged as I read them. I hope they are an encouragement to you as well!

Honest Aromas

autism quote

I think that is a good reminder for all of us for any one in our life! Even when we look at ourselves! Perspective matters.

I have been meditating on the fact that I am; Deeply Loved, Fully Accepted, Completely Forgiven, and Fully Pleasing to God. I can forget that when I see myself through the filter of my mistakes. But if I look at myself through that truthful perspective, I can tend to see others through it as well.

Perspective and perception have even more to do with holistic health than what supplements and essential oils you use. You can be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

So, today, take some time to encourage those around you in their strengths….think about other’s strengths and tell them about it! We all get encouraged when we hear those things.

Have a great Thursday, we want to hear from you today!

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