Sunday, April 28, 2013

Starting to Pay Off

Wil has a thing for one of the cantors at church. He idolizes her. He has watched her with rapt attention for so many years now, that he can imitate her in such a way that when she is up there, it feels like she is imitating him. It's really true, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Two weeks ago he got it into his head that she simply had to read "our book." "CARE! WE NEED TO GIVE HER A BOOK SO SHE WILL KNOW ME BETTER. SHE DOESN'T KNOW ME VERY MUCH. LET'S GIVE HER A BOOK SO SHE WILL KNOW ME BETTER!"

He signed the book himself, "I think you are the best music leader in church history," then he wrote his first, middle and last names. The end result was a title page filled with letters and no clear path through them. I translated on a Post-it and stuck it inside the jacket. We marched ourselves to church early that Saturday evening. She wasn't there. It was the other cantor's turn (who has already read the book), whom you might recall doubles as his  case worker because, say it with me, there are no accidents.

Thus began his all-out, week-long recruitment process to get everyone and their mother (literally) to church at 10:30 Mass the next week. He was betting on the cantor leading the choir at that service, and he wanted a full church when he presented her with our book. I cannot tell you how many people came up to me at church last week and said, "Wil told me to be here, so I am."

Thankfully, the plan paid off, and she was there. We gave her the book before Mass started, she asked if she could give Wil a hug, he obliged, and she thanked us both profusely. Early this week we received a very sweet thank you note in the mail. "CARE! OUR PLAN IS WORKING! SHE IS GETTING TO KNOW ME BETTER! SHE IS READING THE BOOK!"

He was higher than a kite yesterday in anticipation of going to church last night and seeing if she'd finished the book. We were greeters, and as we stood at the door and welcomed people, again the church filled up with people he'd arranged to be there. At the sign of peace we ambled over to the cantor and she again hugged and thanked us. "I haven't finished the book yet," she said, answering his next question before he asked it, "but I'm about halfway through, and I love it."

He grinned all the way back to his seat before saying in a too-loud-for-church voice, "Care! Our plan is working! She's reading the book! She is getting to know me better! The book is really paying off!"

Then I sat down in my seat, bowed my head and offered a silent, "Amen."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkey in the Straw

Wil woke me up at 5:55 on Sunday morning to tell me I could sleep in. Then he proceeded to play (and record himself playing) this:

He asked (ordered) me to blog about this, and in addition to two other fun facts:

STM told him they would go for a run at 7:15, STM is trying to get Wil to build up some muscles to go with this 5'11 1/2", 115 lb. body. "CARE! GET ME A BARF BAG!" he shouted upon this announcement, followed immediately with, "CARE! BLOG ABOUT THAT! BLOG ABOUT ME TELLING YOU TO GET ME A BARF BAG! DON'T FORGET TO BLOG ABOUT THE BARF BAG, CARE!"

He then spent the bulk of his day texting everyone and their dog to arrange for a certain family to go to 10:30 Mass so he could sit with them. He didn't have contact information for them, so he went through his exhaustive list of people that might. When they did not show up at Mass despite his efforts, he moved on to Plan B: get them to meet him at the park after Mass. That proved fruitless, as well.

He returned home and played a "concert" for us that was a louder, more varied form of the above, but this time it went on for a full 20 minutes. He repeated this pattern of trying to reach the family, playing a concert, trying to reach the family, playing a concert, all day long. And let me emphasize, long.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I am at Hopeful Parents today talking, once again, about the fun IEP process! Please join me!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Restrictions ON!

There I was, just minding my own business this morning, finishing up some e-mails, scheduling some appointments, your basic TCB-ing (taking care of business), when in popped an e-mail from STM. "HOW did we spend $1,100 on iTunes this month?" He was going through the alarmingly high Visa bill and was not liking what he saw (even more than usual).

Ever since I fell in love with Pandora, my iTunes downloads have gone to zero, and the only other person with access to my iTunes account is Wil. I put all the information on his iPad when we got it so I could load it with appropriate apps, and until this very recently, it has not been a problem. I gave him the don't-buy-any-apps-without-my-approval lecture, and for well over a year, he didn't. But, apparently the lure of Coin Runners was just too much for him.

I contacted the iTunes Store immediately, and was placed with an angel named Nadine. If you have phone phobia, then Apple will work well for you - there was not even a possibility of speaking live to a  person from the iTunes Store, and at one point I even said, "Could you just call me?" It was at that point where Nadine requested the order number of each and every order for which I wanted to be refunded. Let me tell you, dear readers, there were one hundred. I counted. I still don't get it, but there was no cutting and pasting option, and even if there had been, each "page" of orders, 10 orders to a page, 10 pages, had only 8 of the 10 digits on them, I had to click each of them (let me remind you, there were a hundred) to get the last 2 digits. Of. Each. I then laboriously wrote each one down, eventually coming up with a system, because Henry Ford ain't got nothin' on me when it comes to assembly work. As pathetic as this sounds, I was sort of born for this tedious, laborious, repetitive, mindless work.

After coming up with my handwritten list of 100 order numbers (all from March to April), I typed them all up and had to attach them in an e-mail. Apparently that impressed the powers that be at Apple because I was informed within 30 minutes that I would not only recover the $1,100 I originally went after, but a grand total of $1,608.38! ($500 in charges hadn't hit the Visa yet.) That is a helluva lotta Coin Runner! I think he would order it, load it, play, delete and repeat. Sometimes multiple times a day. And yes, I did play the special needs card, but it didn't take too much arm twisting to "win" my case.

It took most of the day, but when have I ever "made" $1,608 for a day's work before? And yes, I have applied restrictions left and right and deleted the credit card on file.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blue Day

Wil took it upon himself to come up with a make-shift "Spirit Week." He decided that he, his friend (and mine), Jack, and his two primary teachers, would wear a different color each day. He was relentless (shocker) in reminding poor Jack about Blue Day. He texted Jack's mom (probably several times), and at 6:00 AM the morning of Blue Day, I heard him on the phone. "Who were you calling?" I asked.

"Joyce. I told her to text Patty and remind her to remind Jack to wear blue," which of course Joyce did, and of course Patty still did not lose her mind, but instead, made sure her boy was outfitted according to orders.

The one fly in the ointment was he did not alert the teachers early enough, and one was already driving to work before he emailed her. "Honey," I said,"it's 6:45 AM, she is probably already on her way to work, she might not be wearing blue."


Well, she didn't, and when he started in on her, both teachers asked him why he chose blue for that day, and why it was so important to him?

"Well, because you-know-who (one of his favorite people) went to Notre Dame and blue is one of their colors, and besides, someone might be feeling blue today, and we can support them."

Hours later it was learned that you-know-who had had a death in the family.

I don't have to convince you, I know, he knew. He knew before the death even occurred. He knew before the death had been announced. He knew before his special person was feeling blue, that he would be feeling blue.

And he'd be dressed and ready for support.

Point to that on the bell curve.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Prayer Redefined

"Eventually you realize that you don’t just say a prayer by yourself. Rather, you recognize that prayer is happening, and you just happen to be the channel and instrument. When your mind, your heart, and your body are all present, which is always a gift, that full presence is prayer. At that moment God is able to use you, because you are out of the way and God is leading the way."
- Richard Rohr

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just a friendly reminder that You're Invited to A Children's Place Bookstore next week:

Thursday, April 18th
A Children's Place Bookstore
4807 NE Fremont Street
Portland, OR
7:00 PM

I'd love to see you! There is also another exciting event coming up that you're invited to:

Tuesday, April 30th
"An Evening of Hope and Inspiration"
Archdiocese of Oregon in Portland
Pastoral Center
2838 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR
7:00 PM

This event is for anyone with a family member with a disability.

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Torture a Parent

10. Evaluate your beloved child

9. Be relentless in identifying each and every thing that child cannot do

8. Explain the child's deficits as though you, the parent, have never met the child

7. Be patronizing

6. Slap on a condescending smile when the parent "pretends" to have a clue

5. Pull out the IQ bell curve and keep pointing to where your child is on the curve

4. Make sure the bell curve chart is extra big, laminated, and in the middle of the table, lest you forget it's there

3. When the parent gives every single social cue known to man that it's time to move on, including saying, "Let's move on," ignore the parent and elaborate further just how "extremely low" the child is

2.  Remind parent that the child really relies upon the parent for most things, including most executive functioning, and that if that were to be taken away, the child would be up a creek without a paddle, but make it sound much, much worse than that

1. Repeat every three years

Monday, April 8, 2013

An Untethered Soul

Every time I told Wil to "put on a nice shirt," he put on his favorite green polo that I got at Target for $12.00. Possibly $15.00. It went to church many times, most birthday parties, the occasional potluck, and school picture day. When I took it out of the dryer a couple of weeks ago, I saw that his Clearasil had gotten the better of it, and it was yellow in places it should have been green.

"Bad news," I told him, "I have to give away your favorite green shirt."

"Uh huh," he said, not looking up from his iPad, upon which he was happily engrossed in iHeartRadio.

"Wil, look at the shirt, your favorite one, you're not going to have it anymore," I said.

"Okay," he said.

"WIL! Are you listening? Your favorite shirt is ruined and I'm getting rid of it! You will be without it! Do you understand?"


Wil has had a string of people tell him lately that they are leaving. His favorite gal at his favorite frozen yogurt place told us this was her last day. His favorite counselor at school told him he was leaving at the end of this year. One of his favorite teachers at school that has been there for almost two years to smooth the way for him, she, too, is moving on. It's not looking good for him to work in the preschool this summer, as he has the past two. The teacher is going to retire.

He has taken each of these news flashes in stride with no kick back, no fussing, no sweat, and no apparent grief even. Total and complete acceptance of what is.

I was going to say that Wil is happy because he's learned to let go, but that's not true at all. To let go, you have to have held on at one point, at least. What he is is unattached.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And That's the Truth

I whipped you up into a frenzy back in February when I told you about the upcoming interview with the Truth Teller, right? Well, the wait is over!

This little gem is the "trailer" for my book:

Carrie Wilson Link - And That's the Truth Excerpt from Greg Koorhan on Vimeo.

The full episode is here, and you for sure won't want to miss a moment of it, I just know! Nothing says "fun" like 30 minutes with Care and Ter, I'm sure you'll agree!

I know you'll want to go to Terry's site and watch all of her And That's The Truth episodes, they're all goodies! Nobody cuts through it like Terry!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day

My friend,  Tanya Savko has created a very helpful guide, it's called, The Autism Parent's Journey. I thought this was the perfect day to share her guide with you, since today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Thank you, Tanya, thank you all of you, for raising our awareness, our understanding, our compassion, and most of all, our love for all those dealing with autism.

Monday, April 1, 2013

You're Invited!

My sweet, talented and generous friend Val, from the book, is hosting a book reading/signing for me at A Children's Place Bookstore, and you're invited!

That's Val right up there, isn't she cute? Don't you want to meet her in person?

Join us on THURSDAY, APRIL 18th at 7:00 PM at A Children's Place Bookstore
4807 NE Fremont St. in Portland.

Seating is limited to 20, so first come, first seated! There is lots of room for those that don't mind standing, so come, bring a friend! Listen to me blah, blah, blah, sign a few books, and you can browse the wonderful and amazing store, A Children's Place - which, BTW, has books for grown ups, too!

We look forward to seeing you there!


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