Friday, November 28, 2008

Going To Lone Star Comics

What’s it like walking into a comic book store the first time in your life?  Watch this?

What’s it like when Grandpa goes with you?  This is what it is like….
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Photos From Thanksgiving


Autism is tough with all the yelling, clapping, running and people at the Turkey Trot.  You just start lining up rocks to deal….


Nonni and Maya were able to get him up to race…


Up and racing he went.  He ran pretty much the whole race and got his medal (and some yogurt afterwards!)…


Maya got hers also…..


Afterwards we did face painting…..


A long day, and a hug from Mommy….

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Autism and The Hamstring – Lessons Learned

The 10K everyone in the family was running began at 9:00am in Fort Worth (about ½ an hour drive from my folks house outside of Arlington).  So I hopped out of bed at 4am and hit the gym so I’d be back to help everyone get ready and out the door on time.  So as I’m the only person at the gym, on a bike, no music blaring over the speakers at 4:45 am, I had time to think a bit.

Yesterday my mom asked me if I was upset that I wasn’t going to be able to run due to the hamstring pull.  No, I answered, not at all. Later in the day she asked me how I could be so unemotional about it after I’ve really focused my training the last few weeks.  I gave the flip “it is what it is” answer, but as I thought more about it – I thought it would make for a great posting.

Last year was a great year for my running.  I run a 4 miler at the start of the racing season, and end the season with this turkey day race.  I shaved more than five minutes off of my 10K time, and about the same with my 4 miler.  I also dropped another 15 lbs.  Great year.

This year, I’ve had colds in two of the races (one I could only do the 5K, couldn’t finish the second loop for the 10K), got the flu within a day of a third, and have this hammy problem today. I’m not a bit upset.

Why?

Because I’ve learned so much from Demetrius.

Just because I can’t run today…it is exactly that.  I can’t run today. Doesn’t mean I can’t run in a month. Just means today it isn’t happening.  Just because he can’t tie his shoes today, that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to in a month.  Just because he can’t read on grade level doesn’t mean he isn’t reading great – just today it isn’t where ‘it should be’.

A year makes a difference in the little ways that makes the worries seem trivial.

Three years ago there were so many conversations between SuperD and me where I simply had to end a conversation in the positive. I didn’t understand a word he said. Today, he speaks well and off the top of my head I can’t remember the last time we had such a conversation.  Or cycles.  We have 4-5 cycle conversations now. Still a lot of work on his bad days, but we have them now. 

I’ll run again and run fine.  It’s not an emotional thing. It is a ‘this moment’ thing.  I could get bummed about it, but what is the point.  Tomorrow will be better and the next day better still.  Just like Demetrius. And if we keep the perspective that our issues (whatever they may be) are a ‘now’ thing, well, in a year will today seem so bad?

Oh, and by the way, I still rode a training bike for 40 minutes and did a stair climber for another 20.  It was a great workout. I was totally soaked and my thighs are aching.  A great workout.  A good day in a different way? You bet. You’ve got to take notice of these things.

Hey, SuperD can’t tie his shoes today.  But he’s now got his shoe tying book out and he’s trying to do it.  A good day in a different way?  You bet.

I’m thankful this year that he has helped me keep perspective on something that I could be fretting too much about – this poor race running year.  I’m lucky he’s my son. I’m thankful he’s taught me so much about what’s important now, and what’s not. 

Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll.

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Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll

Hope everyone has a happy and joyous Thanksgiving.

Cheers from the Grassos

Posted by Jerry in 03:10:46 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maya’s New Boots

Nonni and Grandpa live outside of Fort Worth, and we are moving to the land of the horse farms…so, of course, Maya needs new cowgirl boots!

These fit her, and her ‘tude’ perfectly….

Posing with her new kickers…


Blue, red, yellow and butterfly-ey

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pictures Of Dallas Aquarium


Dad, Aunt Francine, Maya, Uncle Jimmy… right before a bird attacked Aunt Francine’s hair…you know for lining of its nest…


The attack birds…


Maya and a turtle…


Watching a mantee swim by….


Sharks swimming above and behind, this is kind of Logan’s Run-ning-ish


What more than a floor named after you at an aquarium!  Finally, people are getting this right…George Washington Elementary..phooey! Maya Court!


And the overpriced sucky restaurant was named after her too. So of course we went and ate there….


Maya with the Mayan dancers.  She ran up to them and said, “My name is Maya too!”


Cute picture of Demetrius with the turtles

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Videos From Maya’s Birthday Party At Nonni & Grandpa’s House

That is one serious cake….

I’m sorry my singing is so bad….

D’s eating as fast as possible so he doesn’t he can get back to his computer game…

Maya’s turning into a skater girl!

You have to listen to Demetrius here, he’s a hoot. Totally autistic moment, but still kinda funny (unless you are family, you may not want to watch the whole five minutes plus)

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kids and the Grandparents

When we got off the plane yesterday, Demetrius informed everyone he DID NOT want to go out to eat after the flight. He wanted to go directly to Grandpa and Nonni’s house.  He started yelling at us about not wanting to go out!

My mom and Kim debated on how he had sensory overload, needed to relax and decompress, etc..

I knew better.

Daddy and Demetrius talking alone in a corner by baggage claim:

Daddy – Demetrius, you need to apologize for yelling at Nonni and Grandpa right now!

Demetrius – But Daddy, I just wanted my new toys!

Yea, just like Daddy thought….

The boy is smart that way, or should I switch up some words, he’s way smarter than we are in his ways of getting what he wants!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Perspective

This week I posted alot about the move to Lexington, and the angst that we are having pre-move.  I also spent some time writing about mine in particular, and how I’m trying to keep all things even steven.

Well, a trip to the Marcus Institute will help cure you of it. 

As I worry about the short term hiccups we’ll have with Super D as we adjust to the new house, school, market, life….I walk in the Institute to pick up his prescription…and you know, there’s a set of parents there with their severely autistic boy, rocking back and forth waiting to get on the elevator with me.

Both parents have bite pads covering their arms as they take him to his appointment.  He’s not violent at the moment, but who knows in five minutes if he gets nervous or scared.

It got me to thinking that really our issues aren’t so bad. We’ll adjust. We’ll grit our teeth and we’ll worry…but for this family would a move anywhere really change what they are up against with their child? How do my worries look to them? 

Their life is so much harder than mine, maybe I should be thankful a bit that I have a child that can communicate on a certain level, who is in mainstream classrooms and loves his super heroes, and maybe I should quit worrying so much about what isn’t perfect, and be thankful for how good we do have it at this time.  And heck, I don’t even know what it will be like – I’m completely speculating!

Is it the Thanksgiving season?  Maybe.  Or maybe it is just going to a place that helps you keep everything in perspective at the right time.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Long Over Short

As we keep preparing for moving, I keep coming back to my ‘long term/short term’ thoughts about Demetrius – that being the short term will be bumpy as we transition from all services and support here in Alpharetta to… who knows in Lexington?

Short term will probably be painful (for him and Kim mostly – as she has more time to focus on issues than I will) but we think the long term benefits of living in a smaller market, college town with more intimate settings and less ‘white noise’ will be better for him.

But I get nervous worrying, as any parent would.  My friend Paul Trost, who also has an autistic boy (nick-named the ‘C-Man’) has recently relocated to Southern California.  His advice: be very aware of the structure and support you have in Atlanta – because you are going to miss it.  I think he’s right.  That said, we want to try to get there (as a family) so we can get him into school and see where we hiccup and fall, and then get up, rub some dirt on the scrapes, and keep going so we can develop those support levers and structure programs for the next school year.  Wishful thinking? Maybe.  But I think that it’s the right track…as long as we keep the long-term objective in mind.

Why am I nervous?  Probably because I keep hearing repeatedly, “Does Lexington have the support system for Demetrius?”  I am not sure. I wish it was as easy listing #1, #2, #3 – but that’s unknown at this time.  Will there be special services? Yes.  But will there be the same loving teachers that have his back in Lexington? Again, unknown. 

But we’ll have to build this for him, won’t we? Maybe it won’t be so painful since we’ve done it before.  I mean, the first time through we just didn’t know anything; and we know a little more now.  Or maybe it will be as painful.  But we’ve got to remember… the short isn’t as important as the long…

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