He is a perceptive young man.

The children slept through the entire drama this morning, so I decided not to tell them and so scare or worry them as the whole incident with the van has them on edge too.

The moment everyone but he and i were in bed, the teen boy cornered me in the kitchen.
“Yeah ok mom, whats going on?”
“Something happened.”  *crosses arms and frowns at me*
“Oh you heard it?”
“i didn’t hear anything. You’re acting different, and I saw the pipe stuffed behind the radiator. SO what didn’t I hear?”

So i told him about this morning.

He promises not to bring it up with his siblings.

His word is good.

(bought a tracfone for 20 until i can get to working out a new virgin mobile plan phone, and then will use if for back up)

4am attempted break in.

Hyper vigilance from PTSD paid off this morning. I’m a light sleeper because of it. Even when calm I am in a high state of alert and since the break in to the van, doubly so. I mentioned, anxiety has been high this week.

I also have good hearing.

This morning, I woke to this odd soft noise.  Thum thum thump. Door rattle.

Then a loud pounding noise, back to thum thump.

I went upstairs.  Grabbed a kitchen knife. Looking all around.

No one was at the front door, no one at the downstairs side. No-one at the back up-stairs porch So the only other door was the back door that leads into the unfinished basement area.  Its a pretty impenetrable door, dead bolted.  There are no windows right at the door so i opened the window directly above it and looked down. Now that area has a little porch roof, so I can’t look straight down.


I saw little flashes of movement.

Someone was down there trying to hide. I yelled at them to go and they ran out from under and up the stairs to that backdoor and started slamming that door. (also a nice solid door)

lt was a light skinned black man, 6 ft. wearing sweatshirt with a faded emblem, filthy blue jeans, ball cap, glasses, yelling something unintelligible at me, and slamming his body into the back door.

My alarm system has been broken (vector security, tip- never use them) and my phone broken (yesterday, cannot believe my luck) and not yet replaced,

So I ran out the front door (it locks as it shuts, i had grabbed my keys) and across the street to a neighbors and asked to use their phone. I told 911 my children were still in the house and I was going back. The neighbor gave me an iron bar, and I ran back. I checked on the kids and stood on the stairway to their bedrooms (its a tall city row home, I didn’t know whether he’d gotten in or not) with the bar until I heard the police out back – yelling at the guy.

He was DRUNK. Insisting to the police he wasn’t breaking in because he lived here and I was his sister.

All that happened after that, was that he got a ride home.

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What Acceptance is Not

Originally posted on Musings of an Aspie:

Parent A: I love and accept my autistic child just as she is.

Parent B: So you’re just giving up on her?

Acceptance is not giving up.

 Parent A: I love and accept my autistic child just as he is.

Parent B: How can you just do nothing? My son gets at least 30 hours of behavioral therapy a week plus all-day preschool and adaptive sports and OT and PT and . . .

 Acceptance is not doing nothing.

 Parent A: I love and accept my autistic child just as she is.

Parent B: I love and accept my child too! After 5 years of ABA, daily social skills training, and a star-chart-sticker-reward-gummy-bear-timeout-management system validated by an elite team of MIT scientists you can’t tell she’s any different from the other kids in her mainstream class.

 Acceptance is not what happens after you’ve fixed someone to your liking.

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I pick my battles. (Anxiety/Depression and Self Care)

I promised updates.


Thank you all for the help in getting that way.  It is drivable.  I find it handles differently.  The key sort of sticks in the lock, and steering feels…weird. Yet is drives just fine. I just need to get over it “feeling” different.

I need to get over the waves of anxiety that have descended.

I drove it home, and have not gotten in it in a few days.  We’ve all been down with a cold/virus/flu thing so we haven’t had a pressing need to go out.  I need to get out today though, our one and only phone broke and I fight with strong anxiety concerning driving.  I also feel less secure. I wonder what will be ruined next. I look outside wondering who will try to hurt us next.  I don’t want to go anywhere.

A friend is handling bee’s music lessons tomorrow,  if she’s feeling alright. She plays several instruments and her father’s family has gifted this fall’s lessons. I probably wont be able to afford the spring set, but she is devoted and self studies, so we’ll pick some things for her to learn on her own then. Bee is an amazing everything- sister, daughter, budding musician/mathematician/engineer. It’s not bragging. It’s fact. (ok, maybe a little ;-)  )

This Sunday is a kick off for this years entomology meetings (it follows the university school year). Purely a social thing. I am dreading it.  Feeling like, I’ll be a total mute and look inept, and just end up sitting silently…and, I’m not the caliber of scientist that I should even count myself among them. Why go anyway?

Feeling sick (and I do) may be a way to avoid it, but if I’m feeling alright, its an obligation in a way. Shirking my obligations… great Amanda.

Yes, evil viscous negative self defeating thoughts, running round and around. The plus is I recognize that.  This is anxiety.

I’ve seen pity-plea gifs. online comparing autism to a battle, and parents as battle worn.

I don’t battle being autistic. I don’t battle ADD. I certainly don’t battle my children’s autism.

I DO battle crippling anxiety. I battle depression.  (two lovely PTSD add-ons)

As unfortunately, seeing it for what it is, is NOT enough.


It leads to paralyzing inertia.  I have all these thoughts and ideas that  spin round my brain, and I should move on them..all of it.

Life ebbs and flows, I’m sure this will pass. I’m just lucky the ebb has coincided with a school break for us, or I’d probably be whining about failing as a homeschooler too.

So dealing with this (since i do recognize it)

Since my phone broke, and I have to get out, but we’ll also go to the park for a picnic.  That should help.  Also will addressing goals for the next week or so… that should help too.

This is self care.

So is withdrawing a bit until I feel better.

I need to decide for myself what works and what doesn’t and you know, if the anxiety is too bad Sunday, I shouldn’t feel bad, or be made to feel bad, because I can’t go.  Painting that free day instead may be just the thing. this is self care.

Many people do not respect that.

Oh well.

Issy Stapleton and Autistic Victim Blaming

I have some news concerning the van, different projects, and some home school stuff, but today wont be about that.

Today I’m blogging for attempted murder victim Issy Stapleton.

When parents kill, or attempt to kill their children, there is justifiable outrage. Parents should want the best for their children and do their best to love, provide for, and cherish them. We also know it doesn’t always happen, and those a child counts on for care are capable of abuse, neglect, and murder.

I think of children lost to neglect and murder.
I think of Caylee Anthony, I think Zara Baker, I think of, most recently, the Jones children.

Then there are the autistic children.

I think of Alex Spourdalakis.

Alex S with no hype

I think of Jude Mirra.


I think of Issy Stapleton.


In all three cases, their mothers decided for themselves their lives had no value. Unlike Alex and Jude, Issy Stapleton survived the attempt on her life.

Have you heard of Issy?

Issy’s mother was an autism blogger who regularly wrote on her blog how horrible horrible the nasty autism monster was and what a burden she felt raising her daughter was (in blog and through video).

She got sympathy.

She got pity.

She got attention.

She continues to gain sympathy, pity, and attention as she sits behind bars after attempting to kill Issy by placing charcoal grills into the van in which Issy was strapped.

This Monday and Tuesday, (9/15 and 9/16) “Dr. Phil” will air a jailhouse interview with Issy’s mother.

Many times when disability is a factor, media portrays the murder a bit differently.

There is sympathy for the caregiver “desperate, or “driven to the edge.”

There is discussion of the disability and always a connection with lack of services, as if, it somehow explains what has happened.

We do not hear much about the victim except how difficult it was to care for them, as if somehow, it makes them less human.

This attitude is not just among the media, it is reflected in the courts often going easy on perpetrators who commit crimes against the disabled.

In Issy’s case, even though her mother intended to murder her, she will only be held accountable for “first degree child abuse.”

Issy Stapleton is a victim.

There is NO EXCUSE, NONE for attempting to murder your child.

No one offers sympathy for the murderers of badly behaved non-disabled kids.

We don’t say to ourselves, well, they were a real handful… every ones a victim. NO.

It is irresponsible of the media to paint the mother as a victim.

It is irresponsible to encourage the victim blaming of Issy, not just for Miss Stapleton,

but also for EVERY OTHER disabled child and adult.

Spreading this hateful messages affects how the disabled viewed, not just in terms of violent crime against us,

but our worth as people as a whole.

It projects us as being less and so the idea that it is not as a bad a thing as it could or would be.

If it is the aim of the media to improve the lives of disabled children, we must be acknowledged as full members of society with no excuses or reasoning for abusing, neglecting, or murdering us.

Monday and Tuesday I am participating in an organized effort to https://www.facebook.com/events/766543076737457/

Tell Doctor Phil and the Media that Issy Stapleton is the VICTIM


My autism acceptance in practice

Originally posted on Outrunning The Storm:



Last Monday morning.

I shuffle into the boys room to grab them something to wear for the day as always. I’m not a morning person. The cogs in my brain grind slowly in the morning, but I begin to put together the pieces of what I see. Charlie is still peacefully wrapped under his pile of blankets sound asleep.

Charlie. Time to get up, my love. You’ve gotta start getting ready for school. You must have slept in today.

Charlie is a morning person. He happily springs out of bed everyday at some horrid hour. He usually just gets his iPad and hangs out in front of the heating vent until I get up and start the Let’s Get Ready For School band wagon rolling.

This morning a combination of the time change and a lingering chest cold have erased his morning iPad time. We need to start…

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Galloping Gertie, Grandpa and Farquharson the Future Duck.

Thank you to everyone that has donated toward our van repairs, I’ve been very touched by the kindness and generosity you have shown.

Random Story Day.

Some day I will have a pet duck, and I will name him Farquharson.

As a child I loved it when my grandfather would visit because life would improve exponentially in the week or two we would see him. My mother pretended to be loving, the arbitrary rules of our house would lift. We’d have food, and things…My mother’s motivations were primarily financial. Grandpa was quite well off, a successful engineer, and in later years when my father (his son) disappeared, he sent my mother a substantial amount of the trust fund meant for us which ran through her fingers like water.

Anyway, these times were moments of happiness.

He seemed so very wise and intelligent to me.

I had, and still sometimes have, selective mutism -which is the inability (not, that i didnt want to, the words are just not there) to speak in certain situations.

I recall many instances of simply sitting on the porch with Grandpa, silent, as he would tell me stories.

One was about professor Farquharson, someone he really looked up to as a young man.  He told me about  a bridge, that was swaying in the wind, and the government had asked Farquharson to find a way to fix it.  He had my grandpa and other students build a model of bridge and put it into a wind tunnel. They worked for hours, days on end, to find solutions.  Unfortunately, just as the professor had come up with ideas, the bridge collapsed. Much of  the story was over my head engineering stuff but, I remembered it, who could forget a name like that?

Years later, I was in the library basement of my college (first go at college 1994) looking through a disorganized mess of boxes for an old biology related film reel and there setting on top of a box was was something labeled “Farquharson”  It was old black and white soundless footage of  the wind tunnel experiments.

And I discovered that- that bridge, was Galloping Gertie- the  Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

I have not seen it since, in the age of the internet, I would hope someone has digitized it. But you can watch poor Gertie online:

this is a student documentary- but its excellent and discusses the professor

and read about Professor Farquharson on wikipedia

The Washington Toll Bridge Authority hired Professor Frederick Burt Farquharson, an engineering professor at the University of Washington, to make wind-tunnel tests and recommend solutions in order to reduce the oscillations of the bridge. Professor Farquharson and his students built a 1:200-scale model of the bridge and a 1:20-scale model of a section of the deck. The first studies concluded on November 2, 1940—five days before the bridge collapse on November 7. He proposed two solutions:

  • To drill holes in the lateral girders and along the deck so that the air flow could circulate through them (in this way reducing lift forces).
  • To give a more aerodynamic shape to the transverse section of the deck by adding fairings or deflector vanes along the deck, attached to the girder fascia.

The first option was not favored because of its irreversible nature. The second option was the chosen one, but it was not carried out, because the bridge collapsed five days after the studies were concluded.[4]

The professor is still in my head. It’s just, a great name.  One of these day I want to name a pet Farquarson in honor of the dear professor, and really, it should be a duck.  Because.

Galloping Gertie and the numerous videos online  is an excellent  way to discuss bridges, engineering, and physics.  If you do discuss the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse, dont forget the professor.




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