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Wow. It is great to see how this community has grown and developed. Hello all.

As a refresher: I am a dad primarily and then a nurse (R.N.). I currently do a lot of volunteer type stuff (setting a good example for the kids) and I work with homeless, drug addicted, HIV+ youths in a major USA west coast city.

I live about fifty feet from where my exspouce and her fiancee live. We get along together pretty well (we all went to the California Academy of Sciences today and all had a pretty good time.) and usually eat meals together, help the kids with homework, and things like that.

'The kids' are J who is 8 years old and has Asperger's autism, loves trains, wants to be a police officer "...Ohh, what have I done wrong?", and is doing well in school (more or less).
R is a little more like me. "Egads". He is 6 years old and doing very well.

D and E are actively trying to have a baby girl.

Of us parents two are disabled with nonvisible disabilities.
Two work outside of the home and one works from inside.
Two have very 'advanced' college degrees but the third is a 'genius' (so much for 'numbers') as well as 'disturbed'. A certified and certifiable genius.

Lastly all three often seem to be really needed to raise a family.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2001 06:10 am (UTC)
J has Asperger's, yet wants to be a police officer?

Please, correct me if I'm misinformed, but I've been led to believe that Asperger's is characterized by a total lack of empathy. This does NOT sound like a good quality for a police officer, or in fact, any one in any form of law enforcement.

May. 7th, 2001 02:03 pm (UTC)
True there is a lacking of a sense of empathy. We are working on it. Why he picked this 'job' is somewhat of a mystery, however he used to have such violent behaviors in public that the police were often called in by other people.

Likewise we would prefer he eat more than pepperoni pizza. It is what he almost exclusively eats, much to our chagrin. D and to a lesser degree E (and I) are orthodox jews (I am also wicca leaning). Kinda like 'no pork'. I am also a vegetarian.

May. 7th, 2001 07:44 pm (UTC)
You says he' only eight....if you and the other adults buy the groceries, how does he eat pepperoni pizza?

I wouldn't want my kids eating it either..yuck!

Have you tried introducing him to veggie pepperoni? It's a staple at our house- tastes just like the real thing, with much less fat.


May. 7th, 2001 09:30 pm (UTC)
So interesting... I knew you would ask this question...
I had asked this question a few times myself when I heard other parents telling of their child's food preferences as well...

I thought naively it was 'poor parenting'. Such is not the case however. When the child is willful and refuses to eat anything, it becomes a struggle of wills. Seeing your child not eat anything is awful to the point of gladness when anything is taken. However there was a biological reason for his food preferences as well. Apparently autistic children are often born without adequate enamel on their teeth. J's was flaking off his teeth, exposing the nerve and subsequently very painful. Not apparently clinically correlated, no one looked at it nor noticed it till much latter. I find this strange cause most of the children like J I have seen have stainless steel capped teeth. Anyway he had to have his baby teeth capped, refused to eat anything but soft foods, and had no words or experiences to tell us of his pain. There was insurance problems. Dental insurance said it was a medical problem. Medical insurance said they could put in a feeding tube afterwards but said it was a dental problem. Meanwhile his teeth rotted and he smelled of death. If he ate anything it was a blessing. The stress it put on D and myself is one of the reasons why we are no longer married. She had to lobby various foundations and grant writers to fund his immediate treatment. Each day that passed was dreadful especially as she had to take care of him while I had the pleasure of working during the nighttime so I could take care if him during the daytimes while she lobbied...

Whoops. Kid's are falling asleep. Gotta go. More latter...

May. 8th, 2001 08:42 am (UTC)
Re: So interesting... I knew you would ask this question...
Poor kid. Sounds like he went through a rough time of it. Autism, in any form, is SO tough. At a certain point, they can't tell you what is wrong, and you go out of your mind trying to heal them.

On the dietary front:I eat pepperoni pizza pretty often (about fortnightly); I just add veggie pepperoni to a frozen cheese pizza. The pepperonis taste identical to real pepperoni, and are healthier- and they won't offend or distress anyone.

good luck with this; parenting is hard, parenting a special needs child even harder.

May. 6th, 2001 06:14 am (UTC)
Hello! Nice to meet you. :-9

I'm afraid you lost me, though, after the part about your kiddies. I think it's great you get along with your ex. Mine and I happen to be housemates, and it works quite well. Sometimes, you have to go to hell and back with someone to realize what a good friend they are. :-)

You sound very pro-active, and that's great! I agree, you're setting a terrific example for your kids.

Your son wants to be a police officer, and you see that as bad? lol I suppose I'm defensive because many friends of mine are "blue" (although they are specialized...but they all represent "LAW" lol). The thing I like about such a job is it allows your kids, if exposed, to see that everything is NOT black and white. In other words, even though the "law" says you can't jaywalk, how many people actually get cited for it? And if there is a person in a high-risk situation who is breaking the law, most police officers will offer help rather than be asses and bust them. At least, those are the kind I know lol.

Kids are (esp. if you follow Piaget and other developmental theorists) usually prone to more conventional thinking, anyhow, so anytime you can broaden their minds, it has to be a good thing. I imagine you do that quite a bit with your activism.

Anyhow, did not mean for this to end up a novel. Just wanted to say hi, and I'm glad to see yet another LJer who takes such social and parental responsibilities seriously. :-)

Have a great day!

May. 7th, 2001 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting. It is good to meet you.

We are not 'adverse' to his adoration of police officers. I know not what he, as a child, believes cops do however. I believe that he might do well in a 'Crime Scene Unit' or other investigatory type capacity. At least those are areas that D and I find interesting and appealing.

There was a point where J wanted to be a conductor for a train yet live in a lighthouse in the middle of the Atlantic ocean to protect ships (like the Titanic specifically) from hitting icebergs. He was only recently dissuaded by the fact there are no trains in the Atlantic. :-9

May. 8th, 2001 10:54 pm (UTC)
Hi, nice to meet you. I am impressed that you and your ex-wife and her fiance get along so well. That has to be a positive thing in your children's lives.

J will probably change his mind about what he wants to be when he grows up as he gets older. I went through phases where I wanted to be a photomat girl, a rollerskating waitress, a teacher, a lawyer, a horse trainer, a newspaper reporter, an artist, an interior decorator, and a
novelist. I write and draw occasionally and decorate my own house, but I do none of these things professionally, and I can't even roller skate very well. :-)

MMM (Mary)

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