Thrice

Why choose to go on and on and on when three little words will do?

Such as:

* I Thank You
* I Trust You
* I Believe You
* I Understand You
* I Forgive You
* Please Forgive Me
* I Am Sorry
* You Are Right
* I Am Wrong
* Let Me Help
* Count On Me
* Go For It
* Good For You
* You Did It
* Proud of You
* I Love You
* Pray For Me
* God Bless You

Consider the power in each statement, visualize the bridge that will be built, the rift repaired, or a sentimental moment that will be an all life memory in the making. All in just three little words. Come on, just give it a whirl!

“All My Best!” ~ Wendy Frye

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Stereotyped

Per Wikipedia: “Stimming” – A repetitive body movement, such as hand flapping. The term is shorthand for self-stimulation. Repetitive movement, or stereotypy, is often referred to as stimming under the hypothesis that it has a function related to sensory input.

Just simply try to imagine an even more uninformed and ignorant world. A world wherein society is made up of all walks of peoples who are even less accustomed to an ever-emerging population. The population of individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

Our son was only one in ten thousand. In a city of only 200,000 it was a rare day to see another family out and about with their child on the Spectrum.

Our beautiful son, diagnosed so many years ago, yes, he too “stims’. When he was a toddler, he usually did visual stimulation. Looking at light/dark contrasts over and over to beef up his visual pathway. Later, he would hop, skip and yodel. And yes, it is very distracting for the unaccustomed.

Newer to Facebook, I can boost a new family who too are impacted by Autism. I have other moms, dads, groups, interested parties, and adult friends with Autism. These people are priceless when it comes to understanding this new world, populated by one in eighty eight persons on the Spectrum.

One particular friend rallied around a sincerely provocative idea. Parents and therapists utilizing ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapies and behavior interventions should conduct those sessions in public, say Target or Costco. Consider it an Autism field trip. Let societies ears ring with the deafening screaming and witness the erratic behaviors Autism Families share behind their front doors.

Personally speaking, we get out as often as possible. Quick trips here and there. Classes, adventures, and the like – usually its me and my son alone. He’s typically on point, not exactly engaging, but aware of his surroundings. Not exactly polite, but not as rude as he can be. It’s been very fulfilling for me to spend quality, caring time with him. The people we meet along the way, pretty understanding – maybe with more people affected the mainstream is getting it. Oops, I need to slow down here. There was one day not long ago…..a real game changer for our family.

I simply took my then 18 year old adult son on the Spectrum to Walmart (I know, never again) and left him to test video games while I picked up a few groceries. Massive visual stimulation! Sensing the expiration of time out he will tolerate, I backtracked to the video department. Oh, there he is, I thought – he’s walking my way. Good mom senses here! Wait a minute. Whoa. Why are there 6 employees, keeping their distance, following my son like the Presidents secret agents? I was instantly made aware why – he was stimmin while skipping/walking/yodeling over his path back to me. I had to laugh. No more are we embarrassed. Why? He’s doing what he naturally does – just being himself.

Just be you, James Frye, just be you…. ~ Mom

” You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon

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Bulls Run

http://darien.patch.com/articles/nj-dad-on-youtube-teachers-bullied-my-autistic-son

This link, this tiny scrap of space stored on the mighty, mighty internet has been viewed over 3 and 1/2 million times since being posted last month.

It’s just a Dad, who needed to understand his son. You see, the beat of his heart is his son with Autism. His boy had been returning from school agitated, sad, depressed and not himself. Dad wired his son, sent him to school, to later hear himself how his boy spent his day. It was a way to shine a light on the mystery of his son’s situation. His son is not verbal enough to tell his own story with the words to garner his fathers help with being bullied.

My husband is a professional educator. Our son is Autistic. We watched the video this morning and are sickened for this Dad. While bullying happens in schools all over the world – this situation is especially heinous. We have been blessed with mostly excellent educators over the years. There have been some mean kids who infiltrated our son’s life, but as we say, “Can’t fix mean, rude or (insert your own).”

Watch the video if you haven’t yet. It’s not super complicated. Bullying never really is.

Now, move past this special education room to open up your own personal review on bullying. Reflect now, are you guilty of intentionally being a jerk? Did you make someone feel bad on purpose today? Have you mis-represented or given false information to intentionally trip someone up? Are you lying to yourself about this? Are you concealing your true self to ride on the coat-tails of someone else’s power trip? Did you intend to make someone’s day awful? Really, do you think it’s okay to blackball someone? The powers you wield, are you using it for the greater good? When you are kind or nice, is it really a game to get what you need from them to later screw them out of whatever it was you got out of them? Do you feel sick sometimes recalling your behavior with or against another person? Have you stripped someone of the tools they need to be successful at work or in life? Do you only find identity within the mob? Do you know what mobbing is? Are you making someone sick with the stress of having to deal with you? Are you showing physical signs of stress yourself for being such a person? Did you have to make them cry? Seriously, why do you act this way?

Or….. did you help your neighbor, friend, family member, co-worker or a stranger without solicitation? Did you give an intentional compliment and sincerely mean it today? Did you harbor warm feelings when you smiled at your co-worker or family member this morning? Can you honestly say “Thank you” and mean it? Do you reflexively stay positive? Do you expect the best from everyone and get it? Can you count more than 5 true friends in your life, that also includes your family? Are you nice because it matters? Are you the light on a dark day? Do you support others as much as they support you? Do you have to ask people to change or do you demonstrate the way? Do you lead by serving? Are you happy with yourself, your life and the people who populate your world?

Take inventory, does anyone in your household come home feeling bad from work or school? Have you or anyone you know had drastic personality changes – or show signs of depression or stress sickness recently? Talk about it, be open, listen to them and support the change needed to stop the madness of being bullied, mis-treated or abused. Don’t be tolerant – if you know it’s happening to someone around you, don’t join in, speak up and speak out against bullying.

Again, life is only a matter of our own perceptions. Perceive a life without bullies. ~ Wendy Frye

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

No Bull

Bullies abound. EVERYWHERE. Take a quick inventory, or deeply reflect upon the people who populate your life. Are all your relationships well and good? Are you working on any damaged links to get back to fine? Excellent! Let’s move on to the rest…..the people in our lives, with or without our choosing, that are known as “Bullies”.

Wikipedia: “Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power.”

Substitute passive aggressive and you’ve got typical human nature folks. Your day is probably studded with interrelations with this type of bully – necessitating an evening of Tums, Advil or a shot of vodka.

Bullies run rampant, many times moving in clusters or groups, and they have a common cause – to keep others from stripping them of their own imagined power over the rest of us.

Locker rooms, water coolers, hallways, parking lots, meeting rooms, playgrounds, cafeterias, family gatherings, churches, schools or any other place people interact – its always the same….someone (or “someones”) emerges as “The Bully”.

And bullies need their allies. The little piss-ant minions who are just the tool the bulls need to rock the equilibrium of their victims. Spy, negate, report, leverage, gossip, lie, bargain, or basically sell their soul to be accepted by the one who rejects the rest.

Is there anything meaner than a pack of middle school girls? Well, those girls grow up to become middle aged women. The elementary school kid who picks fights, suckers lunch money, threatens retaliation on the weak – they too grow up to be middle aged men. These people, the ones who think they have the power, Riggggghhhhttttt (wink, wink)…

These are the individuals who heckle our President and get away with it. The SOB who insults his laborers with with a grinding work schedule, no benefits, and “no hope for you” management style in an economy where any job is a good job. The person you work with that won’t let you finish a sentence because you might be right, and in their mind, that makes them wrong. The evil person who shot an innocent young man down while he walking home from the convenience store, talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone, and enjoying some Skittles. Tragic.

Bullies can be transparent, or obvious – and there is one universal reason why. Abject insecurity.

Consider this, the person who actively tries to destroy, hold back, ruin a reputation, play judge and jury, gossip, lie, injure, damage, pretend to care, or any other nasty thing they can think of to another human being, does not have the self confidence to do a true good deed. Any act of kindness is instantly negated by their historical behavior against their current or past victims. Period.

My son, diagnosed Autistic, does not have the type of ego that lends to being a bully. He is the one who has been bullied most of his life. Entering adulthood, he is a strong and capable young man. I am very proud to say, he is NOT a bully. Our family is learning every day, and we are grateful to be here, together – blessed knowing our purpose in this life.

Let go of “ego”. Live a day without saying (or thinking) “I”. Smile in the face of someone who is being horrible to you. Love your enemy. Sit with the unpopular person at lunch and listen to what they have to say. Dare not to care what people think. Walk away from gossip. Don’t be selfish. Go to church and listen. Stay home and heal. Get out of your own way. Learn to say what you mean and not what they want to hear. Take a chance. Be nice, it really does matter. Push someone else up the ladder instead of knocking them off “your” rung. Choose your words more wisely. Don’t gossip. Don’t react. Dance with the short man who had the nerve to ask. And above all else, remember this, perception creates reality.

Perceive a world without bullies. ~ Wendy Frye

“A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That’s where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It’s having backbone.” Robert Kiyosaki

The Best Person Ever

There are many different types of people that are welcomed to your life. Sometimes these people are invited, other times they barge in, and every once in awhile – somebody you never saw coming, lands their parachute on your front yard.

Scanning the paper, I ran across a tiny little advertisement placed by one of our now favorite people, Christy. Our 6 year old autistic son was so “severely delayed” that even the licensed speech-language pathologist we hired to come to our home exited him from the program after 3 appointments. Ouch.

Christy was in her last year of college to become certified as a speech language therapist. She was advertising “play therapy”. Wow! That could really be something to check out. Play therapy was a newer term being used for when a therapist would “play” with the child and look for opportunities to integrate speech/language techniques along the way.

I can’t tell you what she was thinking after she entered our home the first time and met our family. But, she came back. She came back again, and again for a long time. Over the years she became such a big part of our son’s life, taking him on outings, personal care, even trying to get him to cook something (not an easy task!). She even involved his little brother in their activities and going ons – we were the luckiest parents in the whole world!

She had her work cut out for her on some days. Mr Grumpy could bitch and moan like no other! Our younger son would totally rat out his brother telling us when he was rude to Christy. And let me tell you, if he was in a mood, there really is nothing like rude from our oldest – loud, unreasonable, and belligerent.

For many years, we as parents, went on auto pilot with Christy. So comfortable we were with her, coming over after school and before we got home from work, that I can honestly say I should be embarrassed that I turned it over so completely. I was working, my husband was working, and we had turned the whole thing over. That was trust.

I know she loves our kids, and has remarked herself how fortunate she has been to be involved with such a wonderful young man who has come so far along from where he started. They don’t see each other as often anymore. Our son turned 18 and we felt it was time to start another chapter in his life – getting ready for college and what lays ahead.

We haven’t formally “Thanked” Christy for all she’s done over the years with our son. We are not ungrateful, it would just be awkward. Along the way, our son and Christy spent their time together in an ongoing relationship. It was not “employer or employee”. No way! This was a person who was an integrated part of our son’s life. Honestly, how do you thank somebody that has given so much of themselves loving and caring for your son to the degree Christy has? How do you thank somebody that cherishes the fragile bond they have formed with a person “who’s not supposed to make friendships” You can’t.

Christy has a beautiful family of her own and practices speech pathology in her own home. Every odd time she comes over and takes our son on a little adventure. She has planted many, many milestones with our son over the years and will always be a part of his continued successes.

Christy (and you know who you are) you are the best person ever and we love you! ~ Wendy Frye