Miss Kate, with her autism, never-ending energy, unnatural upper-body strength and penchant for refusing meals, baths, homework, bedtime or really anything she doesn't want to do, has been giving us a run lately. A run like we haven't seen since she was small(er).
It's not been easy in the behavior department, to say the least.
I've made every single version of a god-forsaken sticker chart and frankly: fuck those sticker charts.
I've tried every way to reinforce and reward. I've done social stories, and social-thinking activities and I've even made futile threats. I've pretended to cry and then, just for fun, I really cried and that little blonde spitfire doesn't respond.
She is not responding to all of the things the books are telling me to do. She doesn't respond to things that used to work, she doesn't respond to things that should work and she sure as hell doesn't respond to the damn sticker charts.
However, after each battle, as I sit down in 'my chair' and thank my husband for the abnormally large glass of wine he just handed me, I try to remind myself that she doesn't fit in, and that's because she isn't meant to.
This little girl. who prefers costumes to clothes and is aggressively social to everyone she meets, is not going to follow our rules, or the rules of 'autism' or anything else, for that matter.
She has made her own rules and she is spending a lot of time trying desperately to help us understand them. She is likely just as exhausted from our battles as we are. She must marvel at how dense we can be; what with always asking her to do things she wouldn't prefer. (Theory of Mind)
So, when I arrive home this evening ready for battle, I'll find her sitting at the kitchen island, wearing a chicken costume, holding a sword in one hand a barbie in the other, I'll give her a hug and tell her that I love her because there is nothing I would rather do.
And then we will try again.
Okay, we have, in the past, raised money via this website for charities like National Service Dogs, a charity we both benefit from and strongly believe in. We've even raised money to hold autism friendly events in our city.
However, I must make this clear, once and for all. We are NOT here to raise money for anyone, least of all ourselves.
As soon as I announced we were going to Boston, the emails started coming. People asking if they could help us raise money for our trips over the next year. At first, I thought, yes, great, we could use the help. The Exchange rate is going to hurt us big time. There are hotels to pay, baseball games to see and expensive Tori Burch wallets to buy. (I'm kidding, we weren't going to take anyone's money).
It seemed innocent at first; a small business owner asking to donate ten percent of their sales to our "Cause". Of course, it's soon made clear that we must promote the business to generate sales and every sale generated from our website will earn us that dime.
Am I being a jerk here?
We very much appreciate the many. many, many, MANY offers to give us a portion of your sales from Scentsy, Thirty-One, Tupperware, or any other number of companies. However, when you ask me to promote your business to the loyal followers of this blog so that we may earn ten cents on your dollar, you can see how that just doesn't sit right. I love that you are venturing into business for yourself and I truly wish you the best, but this just isn't for us.
I feature small businesses, and shops frequently in our Products We Love section, which allows me to support artists and best of all, do giveaways for our readers. And that is as far as I am willing to delve into that world.
Why do I feel rude saying this? Is it because I am Canadian?
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)