Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Break In Transmission...

Lots of sorries, peoples. I have gone over to the new blogger setup thingamajig and my laptop/internet/life is having conniptions.

To use a favoured term from Boy 1, I am feeling ever so slightly discombobulated!

I cannot post from my old laptop, the error messages are flying thick and fast. I am sitting at work (Shhhhhhhhhhh!) secretly typing away to get this up so you don't think I've had another little wettie and runded off to my cupboard of shame.

Will be back as soon as I can... and shamefully, it should never have to come to this as I purchased a new dell laptop prior to the blogger's conference...

Have I mentioned I don't like change?

Well, I don't.

*Sniff, sulk, pout*

Oh, I don't even have access to my coolest dude ever signature on here.

So this is what you get instead:


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Supanova Gold Coast 2012

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother
"That's a verrry nice everything you have there...
be a shame if something were to happen to it."

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother
Boy1, Boy 2, Best Mate

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother

Copyright Madmother

If you recognise anyone in these photos, please comment so I can add their names to the credits.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Can I Scream Now?

There must be something in the water, or should I say something stirring my waters... But like the wonderful Kelley over at MagnetoBoldToo I have had this horrible feeling of dread for weeks now.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop...

My child is a complex blend of brilliance, blinding beauty and batshit craziness. My child dazzles in his happy moments, and despairs in his darkest depths. My child, who puzzles all of us... even his psych, with his inability to understand the social web of life, whilst being so far advanced of his years in articulation, emotional perception and intellect.

His teachers, whilst wonderful, just don't get what his short life has been like with a brother on the spectrum.

One of them did the unthinkable today, the cardinal comment sin. We talked of the incident last term, when he once again lost the plot. We discussed the "why" theories... the catalyst of this climactic conflict of character that is my youngest son. And then whilst I brought up and spoke of the content of the post I wrote for Autism Awareness Day (though I cheated and called it an article, lol), of how he had been shunted aside in the early years... she brought up the dreaded comparison of "Oh, we all do that, I did with my kids due to the age difference..."

I did not scream. I did not curse. She meant no harm.

But seriously? Don't ever fucking tell me it is the same thing. Don't ever, ever dare to compare the white bread niceties of your life with the charred black toast of ours.



Or as my youngest son would say... Indubitably.

Still waiting for the thud of my left foot shroud to tell me it has hit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Yesterday was World Autism Awareness Day. Yesterday was also Light It Up Blue for Autism all over the world.

And so there I was in my blue dress.

MM 2010 - but this IS the dress I wore

With my blue hair.

Copyright Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
Who was edited out because she is so
damn hot she would overshadow my blue hair!

And how did I feel?


Surprised? After the last week, I'm not.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2nd 2012 - World Autism Awareness Day

Today is Monday the 2nd of April 2012. It is World Autism Awareness Day and part of Autism Awareness Month.

I sit here struggling to decide what post of mine to add to the link. What powerful part of our story would be the best bit to add to raise awareness of such a major part of our lives? The Road Less Travelled posts which detail our journey through to a couple of years ago? The Hope posts, which describe the incredibly powerful young man he has become today? The myriad of other posts with the massive highs, the bottomless lows, the fears, the dreams, the days of gripping on for dear life on the autism rollercoaster as it soars and dips?

Boy 1 & Boy 2 2011

So many stories, so many years. But I cannot decide, for deep in my gut there is a knot of anguish so deep it festers hidden.

And this is the story which must be told today.

My mobile phone rang as the cab crossed the bridge, heading into Melbourne. Sitting, laughing with my friend, I glanced at the screen. The school, oh fuck, it is the school. The one rare time I get away... the school. I answer, already in my heart knowing. "I'm sorry to ring, but we have a situation here," my child's teacher shakingly tells me, "He is standing in the rain threatening to kill himself."
Boy 1 & Boy 2 Sept 2011

Oh God, I knew it, I knew I shouldn't have been selfish enough to come.

Boy 1 was formally diagnosed with PDD-NOS under the umbrella of an Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 6. The paed had unofficially told us at age 4, but in the days of over a decade ago funding was not involved, age cut offs were not a concern, official paperwork was not needed until Grade 1. There was no assistance.This was the period of the meltdowns, the obsessions, all the glaring running riot signs, the restricted life, the childhood depression; oh God, THE MELTDOWNS... controlled our lives.

The Boy 1 of younger years. Now in this turmoil of a life lived another boy, Boy 2. A child of amazing beauty, strength, laughter, intelligence (well, really a lot like his brother, but without the complications of being on the spectrum). A child who, at age not quite 3 would circle his brother as he lay screaming on the floor "I want to be dead!" and gleefully join their mother in sniffing and uttering "Ooh - he's starting to smell! The worms are coming... better chuck him onto the compost before the rot really sets in" until said child screaming would giggle and twitch and forget the blackness and surface back into the light.
Boy 2 2003
This was the child, around the same period, who nappy on bum, dummy in mouth, walked up to the older bully in the playground who had just pushed his OLDER brother who was now in tears, shoved the much older, bigger him and told him in no uncertain glaring terms, "You leave my brudder alone or else!"

This is the child who was punished for refusing to leave his Grade 2 midst of major meltdown brother in the unattended forest area of the school. Yes. PUNISHED. For being a loving, loyal brother and doing THEIR FUCKING jobs for them!

Don't worry, we soon corrected it... but how do you undo being told you are naughty, and wrong when you are 6 years old and just trying desperately to help your sibling? No matter what they say later?

I watched this special on A Current Affair a few weeks back. The sister of twin boys on the spectrum spoke of her life. I cried bucketloads for her. And then, on my return from Melbourne "The Black Balloon" was on. The torrential downpour of tears increased hundredfold. The siblings, oh dear Lord, won't someone think of the siblings?

The teacher continued to babble away. He had threatened his best friend too, something along the lines of punching his head in. They needed him to be collected, but what the fuck was I going to do from Melbourne?

He had struggled as he grew older, social niceties were lost, the pressure of his life moulding him into a new, insecure, angry boy. A teacher bullying him, punishing him for not being her accepted norm, the loss of friends as they moved, and then the final straw that changed him completely, the loss of his beloved Nanna, Wise Woman.

He broke. We thought we would lose him. The school stuffed up time and time again (not the teachers, but the system and the disgustingly incompetent passive-aggressive bitch of a barbie-doll principal). Friends dumped him in droves. Little boys don't know how to deal with threats of self-harm.

And of the two that had stuck to him like glue, and supported him when he was slipping under, well, one of them had just had his head threatened to be punched in...

I hung up, looked to my friend, shook my head, and rang my husband.

"You need to pick up Boy 2. He has had a major episode, get there fast." With little explanation I knew he would leap to it. But I wasn't there. My baby needed me and I wasn't THERE.

The siblings. Autism Awareness. The brothers and sisters shunted to the side again and again and again. Not deliberately, but choices have to be made, and when you are dealing with some major emotionally and physically straining meltdowns the drawing little Johnny is trying to show you gets lost as you scream "NOT NOW DARLING!" whilst holding flailing arms and punching fists and kicking legs.

Not. Now. Darling.

My older child has Asperger Syndrome. He is doing well, really, really well. My younger child has a brother with Asperger Syndrome.

He is not doing so well.

World Autism Awareness Day 2012.

Please, add your chosen link below.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

DP Con 12 - The Madmother Review

Well, it is over, done and dusted for another year. The Digital Parents Conference 2012. Now, I could sit here and give you a detailed breakdown of every session, the speakers, the tutorials, the damn fine examples of talent that were shared with all us attendees... But I'm not going to. Many others will provide you with those essential breakdowns.


I am going to tell you what I learnt for me. There was much about finding your niche, carving your market, reasons behind successes. And whilst it ignited a fire in my belly whilst there, it is only since returning home that (sorry Valerie - there it is, my unnecessary yet so much a part of me fail word) I have had time to process, analyse, decide my path. What my blog, and blogging is to me.

My stunning, funny, amazing roomie... oh, and dear friend, Leanne from DFF.

I have come away with this. It is mateship. It is about connecting on an emotional level to others. It is about laughter and tears, shared experiences and new ones too. It is about friends.

MM & Suz from Segovia, who I have decided is dipping in the fountain of eternal youth.

Whilst I truly enjoyed and inhaled every learning experience at DPCON 12, it dawned on me later - the main reason I was there was to meet, touch, talk and be face to face with those I have made an online connection. Too many to name, and I'm sure I'd be forever editing the list as I remembered others, old friends, people from the before whom I've followed from early days (May, 2009 I joined up), women I have connected with in recent times. People I have felt close to without actually meeting face to face. People I now feel a stronger connection with after our irl conference encounters.

Diminishing Lucy & Suz

I discovered new friends too. Blogs I had not visited, or some I had once, but been unable to find again. Bloggers who started as strangers, by the end of the two days were friends. Some I shocked, some I laughed with, some I held as we cried in unison at shared pain.

The MOST fabulous of photographers... FE & me!
Old friends who shared a lightbulb "OMG IT'S YOU!" moment on the first night.

Every one of you made it an incredible experience, and I am so blessed to have been able to attend.

Lisa from Simple Loving Thoughts & Bernie from The Bernie Brand
Psst - watch out for me on your blog roll lovelies.

P.S. A massive thank you to Brenda and the whole DPCON team. This has to be one of the best conferences I have attended (and believe me, there have been a few). It was well organised, professional, smoothly run and yet still welcoming, and engaging. A hard balance to attain, but one you seemed to have mastered effortlessly (I know it was not without massive effort, but you made it look simple - the sign of an incredibly cohesive and organised team). So thank you.