Wednesday, April 9

Thankful Thursday and a Fun Country Show

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find out all the information there.

As always I have much to be thankful for this week.

1. That Barry, Michelle and the boys will be staying nearby. I love being able to take the boys out and do things with them. Things as simple as taking a walk in the woods, going to the park, playing a game of baseball, riding bikes, watching a movie and of course, visiting the farm.

2. I'm thankful that Mom is in fairly good health and is still able to do things with us. We are so lucky to have her with us.

3. That we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Some are not so lucky. We may not always have what we want, but God provides our needs.

4. For friends that touch my heart every day. One such lady did so today and she knows who she is. Thank you, my dearest friend for making my day.

5. For babies, robins, red-winged blackbird, hawks soaring overhead on the wind currents, flowers, signs of spring, sunrises and sunsets and other beauties of the Earth. I am a nature girl and all of these things bring me joy.

6. For Meeko who brightens our life with his antics and he takes us outside in all kinds of weather with his walk. He tries his best to keep us in shape.

7. I'm thankful for the little girl at the grocery store who held the door and started up a conversation when I thanked her. We had quite a talk and her mother was so kind to allow me to have that conversation. A random act of kindness that touched my heart. That little princess made my day.

8. For grandsons who want me to buy my fishing license so we can go fishing together.

9. For a husband who is diligent, hardworking and puts up with me even when I'm not having a good day. Sometimes he should have a medal. Of course sometimes I should too. LOL

10. For all the blessings that God bestows upon me each day. For all this I am truly thankful.

My husband is crazy for Patsy Cline. Mom loves all of the music that the great old entertainers brought to us via the radio when I was a kid. Sooo, a couple of weeks ago Mom phoned and asked us if we would like to go with her to see Connie Burton as Patsy Cline.

I was a little leary because I've found that many impersonators don't do a good job. I must tell you, I'm glad I went. This little lady is good. There was a few times I noticed that she didn't sing a note just as Patsy would have, but they were very few. She did a smash-up job of impersonating one of the greatest country and western singers of all time.

Hubby and I don't get out often and this was a wonderful outing. Thanks, Mom. We sure appreciate it.

Yesterday when I posted about Asperger's Syndrome, Edge of Design asked this question:

Would you mind refreshing my memory Mary? While reading more about AS, I was wondering what it again that alerted you to the possibility it might be something like AS and not just a personality thing? I'm just waking up so some of the details are sketchy to me. I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?

When Brandon was young, he used to line things up rigidly. If they were moved out of place, he would instantly align them again. I mean perfect alignment. He would spent hours doing this. Another thing we noticed was that he was obsessed with trains - all kinds of trains and by the time he was about four years old, he could identify a cross-section of a steam engine. By this I mean all of the parts. Besides this, he did have meltdowns from the time he was about 3 or 4 months old - usually because he was too hot. I mean he would scream until we realized that he was too warm. As he grew older, he had meltdowns about other things and as he got older, the meltdowns became worse, especially if there was a change in his routine. He had a lot of problems at clock change. He still has some issues with this, but not near as bad as he used to.

One of the specific indicators that he was on the autism spectrum was what we called, Brandon's little dance. When he became excited he would flap his hands and do a little dance. He would bring his right elbow down and his right knee up until they almost touched - very similar to the dance that football players do when they score. We thought the hand flapping and the dance were cute. Little did we know at that time that these were specific signs of autism.

Brandon started Junior Kindergarten when he was four and he had a very good teacher. This same teacher taught him in Senior Kindergarten and it was then that she told us that Brandon had problems socializing with the other children. We thought that odd because he usually got along well with kids his age. However, matters continued to get worse at school and we had no idea why.

Brandon was very smart and went on to grade one. That year he had a teacher who had just graduated from Teacher's College. She knew nothing about working with special ed children and at this point we still didn't know that Brandon had Asperger's Syndrome. We had many problems that year. Brandon was very curious about certain things. One boy in his class had really curly hair. Brandon would stand behind him in line and touch his hair. He was asked over and over not to do this, but continued. The teacher and principal labeled him as bad. We knew this wasn't true and couldn't figure out what was going on. Usually about four days out of five when I went to pick him up from school he was in the principal's office for some small infraction of the rules. Brandon touched someone. Brandon wouldn't sit in circle. Brandon wouldn't join in a group. Well, children that have Asperger's do not like to be in a group. So, finally we took Brandon to a behavior specialist and he tested Brandon. Several appointments later and after a trip to a child psychologist at Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Before the beginning of the next school year, Barry & Michelle moved so Brandon would no longer have to attend that school. That is the year that he got Mrs. V for a Vice Principal. Mrs. V had been a special education teacher before she became a VP. She saw right away the tendencies that Brandon had and went to work to have him formally identified as PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Defined.) She wanted this identification so he could have an Individual Educational Profile. This allowed him to have a educational assistant to help him in the classroom and also allowed him special privledges in areas in which he had problems. Over the next two years, with Mrs. V working on his behalf, he learned a lot and improved greatly. He is doing great at this time and is learning to cope with daily life with far less problems.

Now to answer your other question Edge.

I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?

Asperger's Syndrome is a form of autism. So, if the child has been diagnosed with autism, it depends if he is at the high or low functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. Asperger's and PDD-NOS are much the same. The reason that Brandon was formally identified with PDD-NOS is because if he had been formally identified with Asperger's Syndrome, he would not have been eligible for an educational assistant. Brandon's only physical attributes that show are somewhat of a large head, a bit of awkwardness in his motor skills and an odd gait. People who are not familiar with AS would not know that he has issues.

Low functioning autistic children often do not talk until almost two years old and sometimes never learn to talk in the way we call normal. That is a word that I hate. What is normal for one is not normal for another. We are all different. Low functioning autistic often have to be put into group homes as they age. Brandon, if we teach him all he needs to know, will live on his own and do just fine. Low functioning autistic children will have severe mental and physical challenges. I count my blessings every day that Brandon is high functioning autistic.

Brandon was actually a blessing to our family. We have learned so much from this young lad. He has taught me to look at the world through his eyes and it is a much different world when I see it from his point of view. Liken it to a tapestry. We see the entire thing while kids with Asperger's Syndrome see every thread. It is a complicated world for them.

Edge, if you are still with me, I hope that I have answered your question. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask. If I don't know, I will research it and find out. The more educated we become on the subject of Autism, the better it is for all concerned.

Take care and have a wonderful Thursday. Sorry the post was so long. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Your thankful list was so sweet, bless you my dear friend.

  2. Good Morning Mary,
    I enjoyed reading your "THANKFUL THURSDAY" list. We all have so many things to be "THANKFUL" for each and everyday. I am "THANKFUL" that GOD has provided my DH with a good job and we are doing better on our finances now. GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME, GOOD IS GOOD!!!! The Country and Western Show sounded like it was a good one and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Back in 1994, I flew out to Las Vegas to visit some Cousins of mine. We were going to go see some real stars, but the tickets were way too expensive, so we went to a show that had the look-a-likes. Most of them did a great job and I enjoyed the show very much. I even had my picture made with an Elvis Presley impersonator. LOL. He was a very handsome young man too. LOL. I enjoyed reading more of the information you posted about AS and about Brandon. We are already under a Tornado Watch until 11:00a.m. this morning. That could be extended later on as this system is suppose to last thru this evening sometime. There have already been some Tornado Warnings to the West of us. I did put up a new post for this morning. I am hoping to visit everyone on my blogrolls, but it just depends on the weather around here. Take care my friend and have a great day. May God Bless You and Yours.

    Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.

  3. Yes, thank you Mary! You have answered my questions and then some. A part of me thinks that your love was and is a contributing factor to how well Brandon is doing too.

  4. HI Mary,

    This is definitelly an enlighting post! Thanks so much for sharing this information. I learn something new everyday!!

    I have so much to be thankful for and sometimes all I do is whine, and grumble. Pray for me!

    Today, I am Thankful for you!!

  5. Good Morning Mary...... I have missed a lot while I have been fussing with this Central AC/Heat
    so am trying to catch up......I love your TT list and especially where the GS wants a fishing license to go fishing with his grandma! How wonderful is that.. By the time I have grandsons to fish with I will not be able to hold the pole!!!!!!!! hahahhah

    Have a very Thankful Thursday!

  6. Don't be sorry your post was long - it was wonderful to read. I love your thankful list, especially the little girl in the store. Random acts of kindness make the day so much brighter.

  7. You know I love the "Thankful" posts. What a wonderful list to be grateful for. Thank you as well for the continuing education on Autism. I sent you and email last night about a blog carnival on Autism / Aspergers did you get it? Hugs! Have a grand day!

  8. Aren't we all so lucky to have so many blessings in our life? What a wonderful list of things provided straight from God.

    Have a blessed week!

  9. I loved reading your Thankful Thursday list! I am so glad you got out and saw the Pasty Cline show! Even it it wasn't Pasty!
    I have tagged you for a meme again!! Love and Hugs Grams

  10. Hi Mary, I'm thankful for all those who share their knowledge, wisdom and kind I'm thankful for you and all the other ladies who are in the circle of friendship! Hugs, Debi

  11. I am glad Edge asked the questions she did. Very informational.
    I thank God For bringing the ones into your grandsons that he needed as a young boy.

  12. Thank you for more good information. It is a complicated condition and lots for us to learn. Loved your thankful list. We all have sooooooo much to be thankful for, so many blessings!

  13. Hi Mary:-)

    I so enjoyed reading your Thankful Thursday...I know how much it means to you that your family will be staying nearby! The boys would have been lost without you as well!! We certainly do have a lot to be thankful for:-)

    How wonderful that you were able to go with your hubby and mom to go see that Patsy Cline impersonator! I've always loved her music and have a few of her cds. My mom & Ross are going to see Anne Murray in concert when she comes to the Sudbury Arena in is pretty excited:-)

    Darn, I've been meaning to call you all week and have ended up being out every afternoon! lol I will surprise you real soon!! Can't wait to tale with you:-) xoxo

  14. Mary....I am sooooooooooo late getting around to visiting. It's been a busy day again for us. The other day we were out and about and a rock from the truck ahead of us was kicked up by him and hit our windshield! Cracked it good. So, the last couple of days it's been either out working in the yard 'til it gets too hot, and then out trying to find the best place to get the windshield fixed. What a pain vehicles are...and a very expensive toy. LOL

    I love your thankful list...the part where the young girl held the door open for you and instigating a conversation just...well, I couldn't help but smile!! That was terrific. Some great things on your list.

    And the Patsy Cline impersonator? How cool is that? I like her songs too. It would have been a fun night for me too!!

    And no....your entry is NOT long!!! It's too worthy to be too long!! Believe me.

  15. I am thankful for YOU as a friend..I enjoyed reading your list....
    Glad you enjoyed the P. Cline show.
    Have you seen the movie of her life? It was really, REALLY good...
    hugs, bj

  16. Yes Mary I too am very thankful that we have met, It is so nice getting to know you.

  17. Hi Mary, while surfing the net late last night, I found a site I thought you might be interested in...the link is at the bottom! Enjoy!

    Welcome to the April 9, 2008 edition of Dessert May Come First– Or Not, the Many Flavors of the Autism Spectrum. This is the first edition of the only Blog Carnival entry to date to deal with autism, Asperger’s and issues of the spectrum. I’m pleased that we received entries from a number of different perspectives, and I’m proud to share them with you.

  18. Mary, Your TT list is so sweet and wonderful. I'm glad you had one on one time with the boys. I think that is important. And I loved seeing the photos at the farm. Jordan did a good job.
    The angel you showed today is beautiful. I love Angels. On Tuesday I found an Angel candle snuffer at the antigue store and today I bought my sister and me ribbon bookmarks with an Angel on the end.
    The Circle Journal is on the way my friend.
    Have a great weekend.
    Mama Bear

  19. You are right about being blessed with food and a house. Some people do not have this - and we tend to forget that.

    How cool that you had the conversation with the little girl :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your grateful heart with us this week.

    Blessings to you and your precious family.

  20. Mary,

    Hooray!! Michelle, Barry and the boys are staying nearby!!! How wonderful. I am very happy for you all. :-)

    Thank you for sharing Brandon's story. I hope it helps Edge. I'm sure it will help anyone who reads it. You are teaching readers not only about Autism/Aspergers, but giving us all a valuable lesson about judging others. The administration of the school that labeled Brandon as "bad" has a lot to learn. For the sake of other children, I hope they learn soon.
    Love & hugs,

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