Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Archive for the ‘Foreign Service Life’ Category

R is for R & R

leave a comment »

Pudding reconnecting with my mum.

One of the benefits to living in (cue ominous music…) The Most Dangerous City in The World, is that the State Department grants us two R&R trips during our – assignment there.  Now, you know that we love Johannesburg, and what we have seen of the rest of South Africa.  But it is equally true that we need that break.  Back when we initially started planning that trip, we really needed it.

Then seasons change, and life alters, and you kind of get on with things.  Pudding has just started Kindergarten, and is doing very well.  I’ve only been working for a few weeks, and it isn’t the best time for me to be out of the office.  I adore Jozi in springtime.  The weaver birds are back, the weather is perfect, and it just feels lighter and happier there.

It reminds me of the early weeks when we first arrived, and just couldn’t believe our luck.  And then when, inevitably, the trip started to look like more hassle than a break, I wondered what kind of R&R it would actually turn out to be.

And then we actually arrived in England for the first time in almost four years, and it was all worthwhile.  It was Cubby’s first time here (outside of the womb) and he revelled in seeing double-decker buses and black cabs in London.  Both kids delighted in spending time by the sea- not the ocean.  And the kids got to meet their cousins, and spend time getting spoilt by their grandparents, and living, and playing, and being themselves.

We are having the time of our lives.  Or a time in our lives.  A time of many R-words.  We’re recharging, and reconnecting.  I’d even go so far as to say we’re resting and relaxing.  I knew we needed it, but I didn’t know how much.  I’ve taken lots of photographs here, and in almost every one, the kids are smiling.

Who knows, the kids might even start feeling so comfortable with their grandparents that we’ll even be able to have another elusive R-word: a few hours of respite.  Because just as we love Johannesburg, but need the occasional break…the same can be said of parenting high-needs children.

And if we can successfully Recharge and Reconnect, we’ll be Ready to go back to Routine.  And nothing to do but plan the next Rest and Relaxation, and make sure we don’t wait for four years next time!

This post is part of my A-Z series.  You can read the rest by clicking >here<.

Advertisements

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 5, 2012 at 8:42 am

Meet and Greet

with 6 comments

You may have noticed that I’ve been a little preoccupied lately.  Just two weeks into my new job, my boss let me know that I would be in charge of a Meet and Greet event with the Secretary of State.  So, no pressure, then!

A visit of this magnitude requires all hands on deck, and an incredible amount of effort and organization.  The Secretary has a very full schedule with lots of important bilateral meetings and discussions.  But she also likes to take the time to thank the people who work in the Embassies and Consulates all around the world.  Yesterday was the turn of Consulate Johannesburg.

My little part lasted for only 20 minutes, but it took hours of arranging things to be just right.  Inevitably, some things went wrong leading up to the event, some things went wrong on the night, but all in all, it was amazing!

I’ve long been an admirer of Hillary Clinton.  This wasn’t the first time I’d been in the same room as her, but it was our first official meeting.  She was graceful and commanding, intelligent and inspirational- everything I’d hoped she would be.

The kids, however, were not so much into the whole thing.  I’d written a social story- I hadn’t been able to find one about meeting a Secretary of State or former First Lady!

Pudding got a little pensive.  I think she was wondering why somebody was getting more attention than her for once.  As she got closer, Pudding found things really hard to handle, instead of posing for photographs, she knew she had to get out of the way.  But she did allow Secretary Clinton to touch her face, which is huge!  I liked to think she was perhaps inspired by Hillary Clinton.  And when Pudding took her turn on the stage, it didn’t seem quite so audacious that we might be looking at the first female, autistic and foreign-born President.  Sure, those are some barriers, but I wouldn’t be betting against Pudding.

Cubby was also a little bashful, but The Secretary declared him adorable as he handed her a bunch of flowers.  He wasn’t going to stick around to pose for the official photographer.  And he let her stroke his cheek as well without having a meltdown.  I’m hoping that there might be a better photograph than this one out there- time will tell!

It was the experience of a lifetime.  In fact, those 20 minutes felt like a lifetime!  But what an honor to be part of it, and I’m sure one day the kids will look back on this day too.  If not, I’ll always have these photographs to show them.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Ten Things About Johannesburg

with 23 comments

Johannesburg Skyline

Johannesburg Skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband likens Johannesburg to Angelina Jolie.  She is glamorous, wild, and a tiny bit dangerous.  Oh, and if I had Angelina’s income, I’d also be adopting a bunch of orphans here too.  Life in the ‘World Class African City’ is an experience in extremes.  You might love it or hate it here, but you’ll never be bored.

Ten Best Things

1. The Weather.  I may not ever again live in a more perfect climate.  The summer was hot, but not too humid- such a pleasant escape after a DC tour.  We’re in winter now, but only a couple of days has it dipped below freezing.  Oh, and the sun shines every day, restoring vitamin D levels after a rainy three years in Luxembourg.  What’s not to love about that?

2. Community.  From cups of tea and a chat, to getting together for book club and talking about everything but the book- we have felt incredibly welcome here, quirks and all.  Perhaps because it is my first time at a Consulate rather than an Embassy, or perhaps I’d just had an isolating few years, I’m especially grateful for the warm and inclusive support here that comes straight from the top.

3. Children’s Activities.  I don’t know that there is anywhere in the world that is Johannesburg’s equal when it comes to family-friendly things to do.  Just about anything that interests your child is available here, from cutting-edge art spaces, to polo.  The best part for us was finding a swim instructorwho was experienced with special needs children.

4. Dining Out.  It is very affordable to eat out as compared to a domestic tour, and just about every dietary requirement is catered to here.  But the best thing for us is having decent restaurants which not only welcome children, but often have supervised play areas too.  You could still hang out at McDonalds, but there is no reason to do so here.

5. Language.  Okay, so there are eleven official languages, and the people here rightly take pride in that linguistic heritage.  But the official language is English, and almost everybody you encounter speaks it fluently.  Much as I am a language nerd myself, I wouldn’t much fancy trying to find therapists and schools that can support my kids’ special needs in any language other than English right now.  After almost a year, I even like the accent now- which is just as well because Cubby is picking it up a little more every day.

6. Woolworths.  Woolworths is not the same as the former Woolworths of England or the US, but part of the Marks and Spencer family.  To know Woolworths is to love it.  To know their Chocolate Millionaire Brownies is to develop an addiction that makes your clothes stop fitting.  Everything you’ll ever need in one store, and it is still cheaper than grocery shopping in the US.  It will give us Hot Cross Buns at Easter, and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.  Pudding appreciates it as a regular supplier of Hello Kitty products, from clothes to nut-free advent calenders.

7. Tea and Coffee.  I like my tea, and used to have my parents bring huge quantities to wherever I lived, but no need here.  Five Roses tea is wonderful.  Rooibos tea is a refreshing delight.  I can go out to any cafe or restaurant and the quality is equal to what I would drink at home.  Living in the US I developed a certain fondness for Starbucks, so was dismayed to find that it hasn’t made its way over here yet.  Imagine my delight to find several quality alternatives here, from Mugg & Bean to Vida e Caffe.  And they make babyccinos for the kids.

8. Comforts.  I’ve been known to enjoy the finer things in life, and the same can be said of the good people of South Africa.  For instance, it was a little chilly in Sunday morning, so we popped into a coffee shop where I could sip a Lindt hot chocolate while wrapped snugly in the cosy throw provided on the oversized leather chairs.  Bliss.  Did I also mention that South Africa is wine country?  If you like a glass, trust me, you’ll enjoy it here.

9. Wildlife.  Can you believe we haven’t gone on safari yet?  We want the kids settled, and a tiny bit older to fully appreciate it.  But we have been to game parks and wildlife reserves that have taken our breath away.  It is incredible to see such creatures as giraffes and lions up close.  We actually stayed at a crocodile reserve (though alarmingly, it sold crocodile skin handbags).  One of the highlights of my life so far was feeding a family of elephants, and I know we haven’t even really begun our animal adventures here.

10. Scenery.  You don’t always hear about South Africa being a beautiful country, but that just makes it even more incredible to discover.  The Drakensberg mountains are incredible, and I can’t wait to add trips to Cape Town and Durban.  I don’t think we’ll come even close to exploring everything we want to, but if we do, there is always Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique to check out, all (relatively) close at hand.

Ten Worst Things

1. Crime.  You might know that Johannesburg is considered the most dangerous city in the world before you get here, but living it is an entirely different experience.  That feeling of security I’ve always known is absent here, and for all the precautions you can take, you can’t change the amount of crime that happens.  There are sections of this city that I’ve never been to, nor will I.  Even in the suburbs I don’t feel safe at night.  A woman is raped here every thirty seconds.  There was an armed robbery right where our children play.  I’ve held a woman who had just been told her son was murdered, and not had the words to comfort her.  Crime is by far the worst thing about Johannesburg.

2. Driving.  I have to drive a lot here, so my experience is probably a little different to those who manage to avoid school run during the rush hour.  You have your usual big city lack of courtesy, together with potholes and traffic lights that don’t work.  I also have a lousy car, so I’m just grateful if I get through the day without being towed.  This is not the place to have an unreliable vehicle (see above).

3. Kombi Buses. Perhaps they should just come under the driving header, but I hate kombi buses so much that they get their own special heading.  From constantly honking, to driving on the wrong side of the road, to pulling out without looking: a day driving amongst these vehicles feels like you’re in the middle of war zone.  Needless to say, we’re not actually allowed to ride in them.

4. Growing Pains.  You’ll sometimes hear South Africans refer to their country’s struggles as ‘growing pains.’  Indeed, the post-Apartheid nation is still young, but still an interesting way to describe such deep inequality and corruption.  Sometimes living history comes at a cost.

5. Racism. Apartheid may have ended in 1994, and South Africa probably has the best constitution in the world, but there is still disproportionate challenges facing the black African population here.  When you go to a restaurant in the northern suburbs, you still tend to find that most of the customers are white, and the serving staff are black.  There is a reason why ethnic tensions still exist here.

6. Inequality.  The flip-side to living amongst these luxuries, is knowing that you are surrounded by people who will never know these creature comforts.  I find it hard living in relative wealth when I see the extreme poverty of those living in settlements or more rural parts of the country.

7. Poaching.  Rhino horn poaching is brutal and tragic, and actually increasing here.  Although the horn is made of the same material as fingernails, rhino horns nets a fortune for poachers selling to the Asian market.  Poaching is so endemic that some wildlife reserves are actually removing the rhino’s horns in an effort to protect them from slaughter.  There are few things that make me sadder than the thought of this beautiful animal becoming extinct because of man’s greed.

8. Window washers.  With official unemployment rates at 25%, and unofficial ones even higher, I can understand people looking for ways to make money.  That said, the people who clean my windscreen at the traffic lights have been unreasonably aggressive.  Driving alone with young children, I feel particularly vulnerable to their hostility.

9. Disability.  This is another world of contrasts in South Africa.  There is a young disabled black African girl who frequently sits at the traffic lights close to our home.  Who knows how many years she has been doing this, but she certainly isn’t getting a decent education.  Often you’ll see (presumably) family members leading their disabled companions through traffic to beg.  It is inconceivable that the famous disabled athlete Oscar Pistorius comes from this same country, but with a radically different experience.  Likewise, my autistic daughter’s education is entirely different to if she was born here in rural poverty.

10. Distance.  South Africa is a large country, but this is a HUGE continent.  At times it feels really far from home, and the internet doesn’t always behave as kindly as it could to the homesick.  This country has a wealth of attractions, but it can’t always compete with a 17 hour flight when you’re looking for visitors.

So there you have it.  Johannesburg is like nowhere else, but for us it feels like home.  I’ll probably never feel easy living here, but at least we’re very comfortable.  This post was inspired by a fellow Foreign Service Blogger’s contribution: Fabling.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Lucky

with 7 comments

Pudding’s American Girl doll came back to us this week, following a brief stay in hospital.  Did you know there was a hospital for dolls?  I remember reading stories about dolly hospital when I was a girl, though no such thing existed back then.

So, shortly after Pudding cropped Kelly’s hair, I discovered that for about 1/3 of the cost of a new doll, we could send her to hospital to be made good as new.  That was the easy part.

The hard part was deciding if that was the right course of action.  If the doll could be fixed, would Pudding ever learn the consequences of her actions?  Would she just do the same thing all over again.  I didn’t know the answer to that, so I decided to let Future Me decide.

Over the following weeks, Pudding’s interest in her doll dwindled to nothing.  She went from playing with her all the time, to discarding her completely.  It seems like a big part of her interest in the doll was her hair.  I don’t know to what extent that was because it made her “pretty” or because she enjoyed the tactile sensation of the hair.  It doesn’t really matter.

What mattered to me was that a source of play had gone from her life.  Some might say that the way Pudding played with her favourite doll- changing her diaper and dressing her up- was repetitive, a hallmark of her autism spectrum disorder.  I would say that she played in a way that made her feel comfortable.  In a challenging, confusing, and out-of-control world, Kelly was hers, she’d earned her, and she played with her just the way she wanted.

So then all the clothes and accessories that relatives had bought Pudding for Christmas went unused too.  There was not only a emotional investment, but a financial one too.  That very pragmatic reason, is what prompted me to finally check Kelly into hospital.

Or so I told myself.  I knew the real truth as we watched her open the box to find her friend complete with pigtails and hospital gown.

Image

Do you see that smile?

Image

That is why.

Sorry, she was moving too fast to get any good ones, but you can definitely see the glee.

I’d do just about anything for that smile.  Even run the risk of another hair-cutting incident.  She adores the gown, her new pinktails, the little get well soon card that came with it.  Most of all, she is happy to have her doll back.  Her real doll, not the short-haired imposter she couldn’t play with.

Pudding is incredibly lucky in that she comes from an advantaged family who can afford to replace a doll.  Goodness knows there is a settlement a little further on from her new school with kids living in shacks without water or electricity.  American Girl dolls are from an entirely different world.

She is growing up learning that we need to help out others who aren’t so fortunate.  Whatever challenges our family might face, they pale into insignificance compared with the way others are struggling.

We’re incredibly lucky in that we get to see that smile.  We get to connect with her, share in her enthusiasm, and see her happy-flappy joy.  Oh, I know how fortunate we are!

Pudding will always be an American Girl, just one growing up with a wider view of the world.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

Jubilee

with 8 comments

Last week I was talking to another “foreign born spouse” as people like to call us, about how things are different for us.  When we move to a new country, our husbands go to work the next day, and essentially return to America.  They have all the structure, routine, and familiarity immediately in place.  Not so for us, who are immediately trying to find ourselves (again) in a foreign land.  We are the ones getting lost as we drive around trying to find new schools, and so on.

Now, likely all those married into the foreign service are nodding their heads at this point.  But things are different if you’re not US-born.  We get lost in a different way.  When homesickness creeps in, you know that it won’t be long until there is a Thanksgiving, or Independence Day celebration.  You know that when it is time for home leave, you’ll actually go home.

It is over three and a half years since I was in England.  My son has never been to the mother country.  I have nephews and a niece I’ve never even met in person.

The same day we had this conversation, we went into one of those fancy shops that make you forget which continent you’re one because everything is imported.  Lo and behold, there was an entire table of decorations and accessories for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that had been imported from Blighty.

My husband often laughs at the way I’ve become so much more English since becoming American too.  He was particularly perplexed when I suggested demanded that we host a Jubilee celebration in honour of Her Majesty!

I’m the same person who, when living in England, was so disinterested in all things to do with the monarchy that I don’t even remember The Golden Jubilee taking place.

But then, am I the same person?  It isn’t just about being an expat now.  Since being married, my identity has changed so much.  First I was a wife, then a mother, then American, then a special needs mother.

Soon I’ll be a working mother too, and I’ll proudly serve my American community here, but at times I wonder if I’m losing every part of who I used to be, as I become identified only in relation to somebody else.  I’m Spectrummy Daddy’s wife when I go to the Consulate.  I’m Pudding’s or Cubby’s mum at their schools.  I’d say there are many people here who don’t even know my name, let alone who I am.

Later that evening, I tried to explain things to Spectrummy Daddy.  I turned to Cubby (my kids are also dual nationals) and asked him if her was American or English.

‘Merican.  I’m not English, I’m a ‘merican.

Spectrummy Daddy tried to rememdy things by asking him if he liked soccer, I mean,  football.

I like soccer!

Sigh.  With no further delay, I set to sending out invites, making the decorations, and creating a menu as British as could be for our very own Jubilee celebration.  Pudding only became involved when she saw what amounts of cream and sugar my people use.  But every royal kitchen needs an official taster, right?

The party was a great success, and it sated my inner Brit until we get to go to England in September.  We toasted Her Royal Highness, we read out loud the Duke of Edinburgh’s gaffes, we drank Pimm’s and ate coronation chicken, cucumber sandwiches, scones and trifle.

But all this was for me.

The kids ate, then disappeared.  Cubby was upstairs playing with his  American/Chinese-Australian friends, while Pudding played outdoors holding hands with our American/Australian neighbour.  Our community is nothing if not like a 1980s Benetton commercial.

Proving once again that my kids have figured out lessons I keep having to live through.  It isn’t about where you hail from, or what your passport says, or where you call home.  It is about being true to yourself and enjoying every moment life has to offer you, no matter where you happen to be.

I’m going to start right now- by enjoying a cup of tea and a biscuit.  I’m sure Her Majesty would approve.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

The Hidden Curriculum

with 2 comments

I first came across the term hidden curriculum as a sociology student studying education.  It refers to all the things you learn in school, but aren’t expressly taught, such as social norms and values.  The hidden curriculum was used as an explanation for why students of different race, gender, and social class have different outcomes even when exposed to the same classroom setting.

Then I lived in France when I was twenty, and I learned that this concept needn’t be applied just to education, but as a way of understanding cultural differences.  Sometimes rules are expressly taught, or laws, and other times it seems like people just know when something is inappropriate.

I’ve since lived in a few different cultures, and I’ve learned to observe closely when somebody does something unexpected.  The chances are that I’m the one who is acting out of the ordinary.

Take driving, for instance.  Since we arrived here, driving has been a fraught experience for me.  Between avoiding kombi buses, and aggressive windscreen washers, my heart races as though I’m in a war zone.  I soon noticed that drivers here use their hazard lights for different purposes to elsewhere in the world.  While they are still used to indicate a hazard, or that the driver must stop suddenly, people also use them as a thank you to another driver who allows them  into their lane, for instance.

Upon learning this information, I decided to adopt this method too.  Indeed, now it makes sense to flash my hazards, and I’ll have to relearn not to do that when I move, lest I bring traffic to an abrupt halt everywhere I go.

But there are other social norms I’ve learned that I reject.  It is very common here to see children without seatbelts or car safety seats, but I haven’t adopted that as a way for my family.  Of course, the safety aspect overrides any desire I have to fit in.

When I go to the gym here, I’ve noticed that the changing room culture is quite different to other places I’ve lived.  I don’t consider myself particularly puritanical for an American or Englishwoman, but I was surprised by the difference between changing room behaviour here and elsewhere.

In England, after taking a shower, we keep our towel wrapped around us for as long as possible.  When It comes time to drop it, we turn and face the wall or locker and dress hurriedly.  We may still talk to a friend or acquaintance during this time, but there is no requirement for eye contact(!) and we tend to focus on the task at hand.

At the gym I attend here, things are quite different.  Women use their towels to stand on, sit on, or wrap around their hair, but covering the body seldom happens.  They tend to face one another in conversation, and are just as casual and comfortable as if dressed.

Now, if I wanted to make friends in the gym, I know that I’d have to adopt these practices myself.  Instead, I find myself modestly choosing a changing booth with a locked door to get dressed.  This behaviour must no doubt appear odd to everybody there.  If nothing else, it highlights me as an outsider.

For Pudding, life is going to be complicated.  Not only are there all these hidden rules and expectations that might not seem relevant to her, but even if she were interested in learning to fit in, we move every two or three years to a whole new culture.

How is she to decide what is worth paying attention to, or what values she should accept or discard when these things change all the time?  Or will she become really good at this?  Will she develop a chameleon-like ability to adapt to other cultures, even if she feels like an outsider at times?

Lately I’ve seen Pudding learn some new little things that haven’t been expressly taught to her.  She sees when it is time for dinner, and goes to set the table.  She took off her shoes waiting to go on a bouncy castle, and lined them up with those of the other children.

Whether she becomes really good at learning the hidden curriculum, or never develops an interest in it, our job is to make sure that home is always a place where she can be herself, no matter where that is.  And that is something that need never be hidden.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

The Whole Story

with 30 comments

I haven’t written about what has been going on, but I’ve decided that all parts of the story need to be told.  This month has been hard.  I need to let my friends who call me a super-mum know that I’m really not feeling super.  I need to explain that although we love living here, it comes at a price.  But most of all, I just need to tell the truth about hard times, because I know many people are going through even longer, tougher, more challenging times.  It isn’t fair to them, or myself to pretend everything is fine.

So, this month has been hard.  Mostly it has been difficult because I’ve been unwell.  So as not to scare away my (three) male readers, I’ll refer to my health issues as some ongoing lady problems that have been getting progressively worse.  Ultimately, I’m now very anaemic, which is good in that it is treatable, but bad in that it makes me feel lousy.  I’m weak and tired.  My brain feels like mush, and can’t seem to retain any information, I’m forgetting appointments.  I have heart palpitations, and wake up with numb hands, arms and feet.  My immune system is struggling, so I’m catching every germ I come across, and each one is hitting me hard.

Some of my medications have nasty side-effects too, and one weekend my fingers swelled up and I had to have my wedding and engagement rings cut off.  But I am receiving treatments, including iron injections every two weeks so that I’ll be back to speed in weeks rather than months.  Though I can’t exercise at the moment, I’m doing my best to rest, eat an iron-rich diet, and take all the supplements to support the healing process.  It just takes time.

I’m spending much more time indoors than I have previously while living in South Africa.  Unfortunately, living in a house with bars on the windows inevitably feels a lot like living in a prison, this is made all the worse by the fact that recent events mean I don’t feel as safe in my home as I used to.  Earlier this month, there was an armed robbery on our compound.  By a huge stroke of luck, all the families who live here were out at the time.  Generally on a Saturday afternoon, either our children or our neighbours are playing where the incident happened.  Anyone who has a young child on the spectrum knows that in the face of danger, they are likely to behave unpredictably.  I’ve lost many hours of sleep thinking about what might have happened if we hadn’t gone out that day.  The security officers here are great, and have already made some changes to minimize the risk of this happening again, but I’m shaken that an electric fence, gate, and security guard were ultimately so easy to overcome.

It has been hard because I’m always far more homesick after my parents visit than I am before.  Homesickness and culture shock are wrapped tightly together.  The more you miss home, the more alien a place can seem.  I’m struggling to remind myself to enjoy all the wonderful people and places here, rather than wishing for September to get here for an R & R trip back to England.

Last week brought things to a head.  I forgot to take Pudding swimming one day, then Cubby to OT another.  Then Cubby was ill, followed by Pudding too.  Instead of wanting to rest in bed, my kids become more hyperactive when they’re sick.  Not only was I struggling to keep up with them, but I’d missed the very things that help them to regulate.  By Friday, I was just exhausted.  Not only was I feeling too weary to face the effort of getting Pudding into school, or schedule an appointment for a 24-hour EEG for a child who couldn’t handle a 30 minute one; but I was too drained to get through another ordinary day.

Far from the “super-mum” a friend called me in an email, I was feeling physically and emotionally at rock bottom, and taking my frustrations out on the very people who most need my love and support.  When Spectrummy Daddy got home from work, I took a bath, and let my tears fall into the water, until most of the tension left me.  After we’d got the kids to sleep, we talked about what measures we could take to make things easier.  But, once I’d finally let go of trying to keep everything together, I no longer felt like I was coming apart.

It isn’t the end of this hard month yet, but I’m starting to feel stronger.  Yesterday when the car broke down, I didn’t join it.  I was just grateful it happened with Spectrummy Daddy there, and in a safe place.  I’m using visual strategies to keep me on track of the things I need to do this week, and hopefully that will keep me from getting too overwhelmed.  After all, if it is good enough for Pudding, it is good enough for me too.

So now I’ve honoured the truth.  I’m not a super-mum.  Though I love living here, it does come at a cost.  I can go through hard times, and while they have absolutely nothing to do with autism, they can challenge my ability to parent.  I’m going to keep telling the whole story, even if I’m hoping that this particular chapter will come to an end soon.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 26, 2012 at 11:50 am