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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting It Right...Occasionally: Do We have To Change It?

Getting It Right...Occasionally: Do We have To Change It?: Kalisha likes her room just as it is ; dust bunnies and all. She knows where everything is and wants to keep it that way, even if 'that ...

Do We have To Change It?

Kalisha likes her room just as it is; dust bunnies and all. She knows where everything is and wants to keep it that way, even if 'that way' is a bit of a mess.
I recently made a list of all the tasks I wanted to do in each room of the house, including the basement, garage and deck. (I work much better with a list in hand, even if I change some things on the list.)
Kalisha's room was chosen to be the first in this undertaking; partly because it just required cleaning, rearranging and some 'throwing out' but no painting or redecorating.
She has had a FatHead ... this is a peelable life-sized image of someone....of Colts player #29, Joseph Addai, on her wall for several years. He is no longer a Colt and I'm not even sure he still plays in the NFL.
Although she really, really liked him, she did allow me to peel him off the wall, along with his number and helmet. THEN, I suggested we throw him away, instead of trying to 'save' him. I was pretty certain I was going to get some pushback, but she acquiesced, after hesitating for a bit.
Then I asked her to sort through all (and I mean a lot) her CDs and decide which were still good and which were scratched. That required entirely too much effort on her part, so we left them in the large bin under her bed. Another day, perhaps.
Drawers and DVDs were sort of sorted. That means I threw out all the socks with holes in them while she watched. I discovered 4 new pair, never worn; at the back of her drawer. Kalisha suffers from "male syndrome" (sorry, guys) which is this: If it is not visible in the immediate front of a drawer, it must not be there. Therefore she wears the same holey socks instead of looking for the new pairs in the back of the drawer. As you can see, socks are not high on her priority list.
THEN, we tackled the closet. Oh my. That took a bit because her closet isn't very big and she doesn't do the best job of hanging things on hangers. So first I had to empty the closet, then start putting things back.
Moving right along......we threw lots of scraps of paper away; old library receipts, notes, bank slips, grocery receipts. God forbid she ever throw any of it away when she gets home. No, it accumulates.
She also allowed me to put the last of her American Girl dolls in their boxes and store them in the back of the closet.
She wouldn't move or remove any Build-a-Bear animals.
 We did get some things on the shelf.
 And we added the clips to keep current papers visible.

 I covered up the Budweiser word on the top of her Colts sign..with electrical tape.
All in all, it looks good and the closet, drawers and desk are cleaned out. YES.
I was impressed with her agreeing to almost everything; she was more of the 'sidewalk superintendent' than the actual laborer, but I was happy she didn't argue about the boatload of stuff I threw away. That is particularly hard for Kalisha.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Keeping My Mouth Shut....close to impossible

I read a post on FB today that simply stated: "Some days my biggest accomplishment is keeping my mouth shut."
Since we are in the 'social media' age, for me some days, it is also an accomplishment to keep my fingers from typing the words I want to say. (They aren't nice, in case you were wondering.)
I'm much better at  'Let It Go' when it is on my page or in a string of comments on a friend's page, but I have a very hard time when the comments are directed at Kalisha. I have always been a Momma Bear kind of mother with all my kids, unless I thought they could handle it on their own, but I really have to bite my tongue or shut my fingers in a drawer to keep from pouncing on some people.
Possibly 6 months ago, Kalisha and a friend had an argument about something. I ignored it since it wasn't the first one they had. I could hear Kalisha's end of the phone conversations. I wasn't eavesdropping; she was setting right by me. Kalisha was holding her own until the other person's parent and 2 more friends jumped in. Well, that was all she wrote. I took the phone and didn't stop for breath until I had said all I thought needed to be said.  (no swear words..are you impressed?) Needless to say, that friendship has never totally recovered. Surprise, surprise.

Now...I have already posted about Kalisha and her putting too many posts' on FB. She loves FB and uses it as her morning (and afternoon and evening) newspaper. Occasionally, I insist she delete a post or two.

Last week, she thought she was going to the mall with someone. They cancelled, saying they had to work. THEN the same someone was making plans to go with another person. The only thing Kalisha commented, was, "I thought you had to work."
Wooeee. Several people (females, of course) jumped in with scathing remarks to Kalisha. These were people she didn't even know. I was reading the remarks and wishing I could reach through my monitor and slap the snot out of a couple of them.

I refrained, but my fingers were almost purple from pinching them in my desk drawer. I advised Kalisha to withdraw from the conversation for her own good and because it would have only been a matter of time before I took over. (I know me so well.)

We have a few new rules about posting. Once in the am, once in the afternoon and once at night.
I am very proud of her. She is doing an excellent job. Her mother, on the other hand, is still wishing she had jumped in and retaliated but I'm sure I will have another chance to exercise my willpower, in the future.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One way or another I'm gonna find ya/ I'm gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha

The title is the lyrics to a song by Blondie. Several other artists have recorded it, also. In the song, I believe the singer's intention is to find a particular person and 'catch' them doing something.

I chose the title for a very different reason. This is Kalisha's thought process when she zeroes in on a person she desperately wants for a friend.
She is like one of those little red lasers and it is pointed at a particular person. It has been a bone of contention at our house many times in the past and it probably will be in the future. No amount of talking, discussing, explaining or threatening can unlock her laser beam mentality once it is set.

I am giving away a copy of the book I wrote about 30 years of living with Kalisha.
If you already have a copy, win one for a friend or acquaintance. If you don't have a copy, leave a comment on this blog site (not on FB) and I will randomly select a winner on Monday, July 21st. I will contact you via e-mail and send your copy in the mail.
The friend obsession and MANY other topics are in the book. I think you will enjoy it.

Several months ago, Kalisha found a young woman on the bus and decided she would be her next 'friend conquest.' She has known this person for a long time, but for some unknown reason, has just recently determined to make her into a friend.
She begins by contacting her and messaging her on FaceBook. She gets her cell phone number and calls (only at designated times; she understands boundaries). She invites her to go places and although disappointed when it doesn't happen, she won't give up.
We discuss the fact Kalisha wants this person to be her friend a WHOLE LOT MORE than she wants to be Kalisha's friend.

Kalisha does understand that. She will even repeat it, but she can't quite convince herself of it.

Don't feel sorry for Kalisha; she has a lot of friends. However, there is always that ONE that she must conquer. Does she sound like a stalker? A little bit. She invited this new person to a baseball game; even bought the tickets and I was going to be the transportation both ways. The day before the game, the friend cancelled for a flimsy reason. I was furious with the friend, but I could have predicted that happening.
Kalisha was sad for a while and extremely disappointed, but the minute the friend suggested meeting at a concert, all was forgotten and forgiven.

Kalisha has come a long way, believe it or not. When the FRIEND couldn't go to the baseball game, she called another friend and they had a good time together. In the past, she might have refused to go with anyone else or been a 'sad sack' all during the ballgame.
 There have been times in the past when she was obsessed with a CAPITAL "O" and the obsession ruled her every waking moment. She wouldn't attend any other events or volunteer or anything else. Her entire world revolved around the selected person. She has matured 98% from those days. She goes to her obligations and talks with other friends, but this 'friend' is always in the back of her mind.
I will let it play out as long as she isn't in danger and pray it will be a legitimate friendship. Sometimes, once the friendship is solidified, the obsession is gone.
*Remember to leave a comment so you will be in the drawing for a free book.
Until Blogger can fix the 'comment' box on this post, please leave a comment on my facebook page and you will be eligible for the free book. GRRRRRR

Monday, July 7, 2014

Full-Blown Meltdown

Kalisha has not had a 'meltdown' for a very long time. With the help of weekly visits with her BC (behavioral consultant) she has matured so very much. She is in control of her actions and her feelings and seldom, if ever, loses that control. She goes to work every day she is scheduled with no complaining, she gets up and cheerfully does her volunteer work each week.
What happened?
Usually, when Kalisha becomes totally unglued, it has some connection to an event or plan which did not go as planned. That doesn't mean she is not handling changes well, because she is and I am very proud of her. However, last week was not typical and way off the charts.
Her 13-year-old niece, Anna, (my granddaughter) came to spend a few days at our house. The first day they watched movies and laughed a lot. The second day, Kalisha invited Anna to go along on the city bus to meet her friend, Jenny, for an excursion to Wal-Mart. The plans got changed when Jenny missed the bus and Anna and Kalisha had to wait an hour for her. I was so very proud of Kalisha for handling that situation very calmly. All was well and they returned home with the 'rubber bands' needed to make bracelets and necklaces. Anna was going to teach Kalisha how to do it.

The next day, Anna made plans to spend some time with a neighbor girl who is 13 also. I had to work away from home for a few hours, never expecting the 'tempest in a teapot' that was going to take place.
Apparently, Kalisha insisted on accompanying the girls which they adamantly refused to allow. She became angry; screaming that she had let Anna come with her the day before and hang out with her friend, so she should be allowed to be with them.
She ran (I said, RAN) after them when they went to the park. The dog got out of the house but by this time, Kalisha was in such a frenzy, she didn't care. She didn't even try to coax him back; her sole effort was to be with them. She stood in the alley and screamed, really screamed, horrible things about Anna. She told the neighbor lady to go ahead and call the police. She didn't care.
Finally, she laid down on the sidewalk and yelled. The ants thought her leg would make a great meal. (Natural consequences are the pits)
By the time I arrived home, she had calmed down and was asking for Anna's forgiveness and telling me all that had transpired. I was dumb-founded. I had not seen Kalisha out of control for a long, long time. If I had been home, I could have headed it off (the meltdown) but I wasn't and it grew out of control.
She called her BC and discussed it over the weekend. Today when they had their hour-long chat, they devised a plan in case there would ever be a time when it would start to happen again.
I don't want you to think this would ever happen if you took Kalisha somewhere with you. She would be able to hold it all together if she was upset. Her BC explained to me the thought of the unfairness of the situation and because it was a relative who was supposed (in Kalisha's mind) to be spending time with her, culminated in the breakdown.
  I wasn't seeing too much positiveness here; I was just furious with her. Sometimes her BC teaches me as much as she teaches Kalisha. This is the 'plan of action' Kalisha and her BC formulated today. I think these would be good things for all of us when we are ready to have our own meltdown. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Getting It Right...Occasionally: No, You Did Not......

Getting It Right...Occasionally: No, You Did Not......: If you are new to this blog, welcome, and I will give you a few sentences as backdrop. Kalisha is my daughter, she has autism and is 30 year...

No, You Did Not......

If you are new to this blog, welcome, and I will give you a few sentences as backdrop. Kalisha is my daughter, she has autism and is 30 years old. She has always had a difficult time with money; counting it, spending too much of it, purchasing things and then not having enough with her and allowing other people to use her debit/credit card.

She doesn't get to carry her card with her any more, so that has eliminated the one problem. Her BC (behavioral consultant) and I and a few other staff, have talked, worked, explained, cajoled, given consequences and set up budgets for her but she has a few addictions and occasionally, they still get the best of her. NOT illegal addictions, but fast food and 'good deals' are her downfall.

Commercials for certain deals at McDonald's burn themselves into her subconscious and she has a difficult time resisting. Several years ago, the commercial showed a bucket of McNuggets; 50, to be exact, with a marching band taking a break and swarming to the sidelines to devour them. She came home with 50 McNuggets. FIFTY. "But Mom, it was a good deal. They only cost $9.99"

Fast forward to yesterday. Kalisha took enough money with her to buy 2 tickets to a minor league ballgame on the 13th. One for her and one for a friend. So far, so good.

 On the way back home, she decided to stop at a McDonald's because she found 3 five-dollar bills in her purse she didn't know she had (I didn't know it either) and she had been looking at the 'box' they were advertising for $15.

When I arrived home, she asked if I saw the box on the counter. Thinking I had some surprise waiting for me, I quickly went to the kitchen.

Imagine (no, don't really imagine it) my surprise, frustration and total disbelief when I saw this box.

"What the heck were you thinking??????"
"Who exactly is going to eat all this food?"

"Well, I was going to eat one Big Mac for supper and take one with me for my lunch tomorrow at the preschool. And I would share the fries and McNuggets."

"Kalisha, nobody here even likes McNuggets and they certainly aren't good when they're cold."

"I like them and I'll eat them for snacks."

"Please tell me what possessed you to buy this box of food."

"I don't know. I just wanted it. Oh, and I didn't have enough to pay the tax, so the cashier paid it for me."

Now that was the last straw. She has been warned about consequences when she allows someone else to pay the 'rest of the bill.'

The agreed-upon consequences are she has to return whatever it is.

Obviously, she couldn't return food. So now, I had a bit of a dilemma; I could eat it in front of her and not let her have, that wasn't going to work. Her BC suggested she be reminded she wouldn't be able to buy any fast food for 3 weeks, because her budget is $5 per week for that. That seemed too far out in the future to make an impression.

I decided the best thing to do was get rid of it. Yep, you know I did. Right in the garbage can and luckily, trash day was the next morning.

She didn't have a meltdown. She said, "I just knew you were going to do that. When I was standing waiting for the bus, I was feeling badder and badder because I knew I shouldn't have bought it."

Kalisha really wanted those Big Macs out of there. She was googling 'getting food out of the garbage.'

I asked her what it said. "Oh it just keeps telling me how to put food in a garbage disposal."

I laughed. Even Google wasn't helping.

Was it the correct consequence? If you believe the "children in China are starving and you never waste food' that I grew up with, then no, maybe not.
Will she remember it the next time? I hope so, but there are no guarantees.
Was I too hard on her? Nope. I don't think so.
Did she have something else for supper? Of course.

Could a lot of us learn a lesson from this? Probably.
What if the things we buy that we really don't need were put in the trash?
It is something to think about.

*I did ask Kalisha's permission to write about this. Obviously, she agreed.