Friday, July 22, 2011

Resume Worksheet for a Mom of an AsperKid (For Fun)

Ever think what we do as caregivers of super special kids doesn’t add up to useful skills? Think again.

And read the following with a smile in your pocket and logic on the shelf. I wrote this just for fun, but there are underlying truths involved. Number One? Never underestimate the effort you put into doing the best for your child.

(Add your own thoughts in the comments section. Let’s have fun with this as we show that we really are a bunch of incredible, talented people!)

Resume Worksheet for a Mom of an AsperKid

Objective: To increase awareness and understanding of the autism spectrum, specifically as it relates to Asperger’s Syndrome.

Summary: Independent, persistent individual dedicated to my child’s best interests.

Current Position: Diaper days (insert year here) - present

Experience, Skills, Roles, and Abilities:
  • ·         Insurance Expert – Works tirelessly with the medical system to ensure adequate coverage as well as policies are followed, without raising any voices. Much.
  • ·         Private Medical Driver – Logged thousands of miles driving to and from various appointments, at all times of the day, to the other side of town and beyond, through piles of snow and relentless thunderstorms, accommodating last minute schedule changes.
  • ·         Waiter – Can sit quietly and patiently for hours on end in small rooms with uncomfortable chairs, bad lighting, even worse music, with bored kids in tow.
  • ·         Secretary – Adept at recording and setting meeting agenda and notes, as well as making sure communications between appropriate parties are initiated and followed through, sometimes in crayon or magic marker utilizing all sorts of recording devices.
  • ·         Short Order Cook
  • ·         Seamstress – Expert at tag and button removal, not leaving even a hint of thread behind.
  • ·         Unflappable – Able to deflect stares, glares and barbs from complete strangers.
  • ·         OT Assistant
  • ·         PT Assistant
  • ·         Speech Therapy Assistant
  • ·         Social Skills Trainer
  • ·         Advocate – Speaks up for those unable to speak for themselves, making sure that plans and laws are followed to the letter.
  • ·         Ambassador – Extensive experience explaining abstract and unfamiliar terms and conditions to others in an effort to further good will and understanding.
  • ·         Cheerleader - PomPoms not included, neither is a megaphone, as we can jump, wave our arms up and down and project our voices just fine. (Not that we ever have done that...)
  • ·         Research Technician – Experienced analyst, with expertise in dissecting red tape.
  • ·         Entertainer – Able to twist, turn and contort whenever the situation warrants, in an effort to keep peace and maintain stability.
  • ·         Director – Plans social opportunities as well as creates and participates in role plays, keeping meltdowns at a minimum.
  • ·         Model – Able to demonstrate facial expressions and body language on call.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review Time: Chalk Line by Paula LaRocque

After reading The Book on Writing, I was curious to see how LaRocque switches between genres. Plus, it’s summer, and the perfect time for reading something different.

Instead of giving a detailed play by play, I’ve decided to keep this quick and easy. (Trying to put into practice what I learned from reading The Book on Writing!)

In brief, Chalk Line is a murder mystery, set in two opposite ends of the country. Now, what did I think of it? Let’s start with my wish list and end with the gifts. Chalk Line took a little longer to for me connect with some of the characters than I like. Plus, my daughter saw me reading it and asked if she could read it after I finished. Due to sprinklings of strong profanity along with a paragraph or two of a sensually graphic nature (which are, admittedly, less than in most novels of this genre), I dissuaded her. This book is intended for older audiences.

On the flip side, I did enjoy many of the twists and turns the story took. One of the main characters, a sweet dog named Bood, is absolutely adorable. And, honestly, I think it would make for a terrific hit on the big screen. Does she have any desire to see her work turned into a screen play? I have no idea, but I’d love to see it happen, and think Chalk Line makes the beginning of a great series.

Pick up a copy, read it, and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Purple Specs

One thing I can't stand is a hypocrite. And until last week, I was one.

"Take care of yourself so you can adequately take care of your family," is a mantra I do believe in. Honest. I even mention it in my book. But when it comes to eyesight, I've always put my daughter first with the thought of another exam bill (not to mention pricey glasses) enough for me to justify otherwise. Really, do I need to undergo those obnoxious eye drops for myself? I mean, I can still read the big "E" on the wall. Plus, do I really want to see all those "smile lines" on my face?

As much as I can make excuses with the best of them, I finally made the appointment, sat in the comfy chair in a long, darkened room, and had my eyes examined.

The week after a major reunion.

A reunion where my old glasses solidified my dorkiness to fellow alumnae.


But now, I'm "hip" again. As hip as a mom of a "diva teen" can be. K came with me to pick up my new specs and offered up a look of surprise when I put them on. "Wow, those look good on you! They really go coordinate well with you - and the purple really BRINGS OUT THE GRAY IN YOUR HAIR."

Yes, I'm still going gray. Yes, I can see what you mean.

Thanks, kid. As always, you're right. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review of The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque

As social media continues to clamber for snippets over style, our writing is losing adequate structure, spelling, and sense. Not convinced? Consider endless “acceptable” texts, tweets, and posts on social media sites such as, “When r u going 2 be ther?”

Are you cringing, yet?

I can attest to the fact that texting has weakened my grammar skills.

Thankfully, Paula LaRocque’s The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well (Marion Street Press 2003), arrived at my doorstep last month, warning me to watch my wording and not give up on creativity. It emphasizes the fact that as crucial as concise writing is, it need not sacrifice style. Word as art is alive and well - one just needs to choose to pick up a pen and paint.

Admittedly, as the written word shifts from flowery and flaunting to purposeful, I feel a tinge of sadness, as I am personally drawn not only to the classics, but classic forms of writing. But change is an ever present part of life, and, as a writer, I need to learn and embrace this new direction.

Should you read The Book on Writing, even if you are not a professional writer?


We all desire effective communication skills, don’t we?

One added benefit to this book extends past the written word to the spoken. This book has me reconsidering how I approach conversation. Time to ditch lengthy, “wordy” replies for concise, “relevant” ones.

Chapter 19 energized me the most, perhaps, as it focuses on the importance of considering how written words sound once spoken. It is a tactic I use in my own writing and one I personally feel is sorely overlooked or unfamiliar to many writers.

Personally, LaRocque’s work will remain within arm’s reach whenever I sit down to write. From debunking writing myths to simple reminders on punctuation, this book is an asset to any writer’s (bloggers, you are included in this, too!) library.

Friday, July 1, 2011

So, What Did You Find?

So, when you looked at the picture in the last blog post, what did you find? (Click HERE  for the initial blog with the photo, or scroll down a little on the main page.) Did you see anything that made you have second thoughts about crafting with a Special Needs Kid in the house? Anything that made you feel tense?

Add a comment, and I'll post it in the body of this post. Once we have a good number listed, we'll start going over them. Are you game?

Ready? Set? Tell me! :)

(Ok, in all fairness, in the US and Canada, this is a big vacation week, so I'll let this run for a good week or more before we delve into the details. Sound good?)