Going Blue

Today is National Awareness Day for 2014! I know there are many days on the calendar that are designated for a special purpose or cause. In fact, you can find a 2014 calendar here that shares many of these special days. There are many people who suffer with many issues. Honestly, cancer sucks, diabetes sucks, cerebral palsy sucks, and the list goes on! For this day, we turn our attention to the effects of lives of individuals and families who are affected by autism.

We are one of THOSE families!

In November of 2012, we found out that one of our beautiful sons was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which is a high functioning form of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Later in the next year, we received the notice that a second son was diagnosed with autism as well. It is fair to say that it was a fairly complicated year.

Do you know that 1 in every 68 children are dealing with autism, which includes 1 in every 42 boys (www.autismspeaks.org)? Children with autism are more likely to be bullied or harassed. If you are dealing with this possibility I highly recommend checking into the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit. You can find information about that kit here.

One of the struggles that we face as parents is that we face the comments and concerns of other parents and “concerned” adults. Our children have emotional outbursts that they cannot always control. Some of the simplest things can send them spiraling out of control. Recently, in school, a teacher was disciplining a whole class but our son thought they meant only him. He lost it at school. Autism is hard to explain to others because our children do not experience the world the way “normal” children experience it.

I am starting to hate the word, “normal!”

What is normal anyways? What does it mean to be “normal”? Are any of us truly normal? By definition, if we truly believe that we are all unique creations of a loving Heavenly Father, we are all different. There is no normal. Actually, normal is found at the foot of the cross. There is where we are all at the same place. But, I digress…

I do not hate autism. I cannot hate autism because autism is part of my kids. It is part of my family. It is part of what makes my kids who they are. Do I wish that things were easier for them? Would I take their place in a heartbeat? Will I fight every day to make sure they get the help and consideration they need to get where they want to?


So, will you join me in remembering the individuals and families who deal with autism every day?


Twitter vs. Facebook: Round 1

Written by Lindsey Fleeman

Ding. Ding.

I love Twitter.  There…I said it.  I might even dare to say (though I’ve only had a personal twitter account for a week) that I may love twitter more than Facebook.  OK, I was just joking on that one, but seriously, Twitter has some good pros that all should look into.  Firstly, with Twitter you can follow anyone in the world, which really helps one keep up not only with their friends, but with celebrities, magazines, companies, and funny people they don’t even know.  Unlike Facebook, there is no stigma attached to users who update their “status” every other minute. AND, there’s no pressure or bad feelings if no one responds to your tweets.  Whereas on Facebook, I always feel like a loser if my profile page is full of nothing but my own status updates.  No comments on Facebook to me is a sad day.  But you see on twitter, it’s not really expected that reply to anyone.  Nice, sure, especially when someone with 1,000 followers responds to you, but it’s not expected.

Next: Twitter knows everything.  Seriously.  If it’s happening in the world, Twitter knows first.  And you can follow news sources on Twitter, which will help you trust the outlandish tweets…like Obama is an American Citizen (though I am pretty sure that they checked on that before he ran guys…).  For a person who doesn’t read news blogs, or watch the news on TV, or read it in the newspaper, Twitter is quite a reliable and fast alternative, often pointing me towards articles that I can read for self-betterment.

I’m sure this is a discussion I will continue in other entries, but come on.  Both Facebook and Twitter are awesome, but in the end it comes down to the fact that I love rooting for the underdog.  And come on, the real reason people aren’t on Twitter is because they don’t really understand what it’s all about. Check it out folks, test the water, but in the end, I’m pretty sure you’ll end up seeing things the way I do.

by Lindsey Fleeman