One too many…

One school shooting, one too many. One mass shooting, one too many. One AR-15, one too many. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. Action needs to be taken. Policy and change is what’s needed. Congress needs to act now. I’m going to act now.

This just feels like the most common sense. This is a gun issue to its basic core. Yes, there are underlying factors of grief, depression and mental illness but those on their own don’t cause the loss of innocent lives until a gun is put into the mix.

Furthermore grief, depression and mental illness prevail around the world on a daily basis. Talking about how more funds and support should go towards these resources are all good, but hollow at the same time because those that want more emphasis in mental health illness over gun laws are the same people who have cut mental health budgets in the past. AND for this autism mother, these people have reduced spending and slashed the budget for those with disabilities recently. They go hand in hand! Those with mental health issues have disabilities.

Then there are those that think school staff members should be armed in school. Are you kidding me! I won’t go into all the reasons why this is absurd but I will tell you this: as an autism mom, I have already seen way too many children with autism being hand cuffed at school. What would happened if my J had a meltdown and became aggressive, which he does at times now due to sensory overload, lack of understanding or being unable to communicate. Handcuffing him would be a violation, but who’s to say that this armed staff member wouldn’t decide to pull the trigger on him because they thought that was the only option with J’s aggression? What if they didn’t understand or were aware of the situation and J’s autism?

I’m mad. Mad that I have to be worrying about all of this. Mad that this even has to be a debate. I’m mad at the reason all flags are at half staff. Our children should not have to worry about being shot at school with a gun that should be banned.

It’s not something that should be easily escapable. Innocent people, innocent children, lost their lives because our laws are broken. Something needs to give, something needs to change with the way people think about gun control.

Until it is changed, or better yet fixed, are all parents and their children waiting for their school to victimized next? Are we all just waiting for our life to be affected next? We shouldn’t have to worry about our children going to school, our family shopping at the mall, my son going to the movie theater or my husband & I enjoying a concert and being shot. We should have a better sense of knowing we are safe within our communities and country. That illusion has been shattered one too many times. When will one too many be no more?



Movie Meltdown

Last week we finally had to take a few animated movies away from J, his favorite movies to be exact. His love for them was becoming a little too much for both himself and for us. His stemming becoming something negative for himself, with negative outcomes for us both.

When he watches his favorites, that he has viewed so many times, he is able to visualize, recognize and anticipate the most stimulating scenes. He then prepares for them to come. Being hyped up from all the excitement becomes too much for him to handle and leaves us pondering our parenting decisions.

What went from innocent flapping (is fine), bouncing (the couch springs need a break), running away (which is hilarious) and giggling (my favorite) at his favorite scenes is mild compared to his overstimulation. What ensues is screaming, crying, biting himself or us, hitting, kicking, basically a full fledge meltdown because he has worked himself into a sensory overload of anticipation. Hence our decision to remove some of his favs for a while, or for him to get them more sparingly throughout the week.

So far, so good. He doesn’t enjoy the animated classics so much, but it doesn’t help when your copy has the voices delayed from the scene on screen. Oops. And in other movies he enjoys the music, but they quickly wear off. Or there are others that he likes, aren’t his favs, and still get to be just too much for him.

MovieWhen it comes to his favorite movies, we are consistently on alert, ready for a flying iPad to appear or a fanatic J to come at us. Its so very difficult to be mad at him. He doesn’t have the understanding/signs/words to express to us how he feels. Therefore, we have to stay beyond calm in order to calm him.

His movies are his world and though we could easily just remove them altogether, that wouldn’t benefit him or us. It would be like taking my books away from me, I wouldn’t have that outlet, my hobby. Movies are his. We just need to teach him awareness and provide him a little distance from time to time.