Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summertime and the Livin's Easy?

Oh YEA! Time for summer vacation! 10 days away from work for me. Well... WORKwork. We still have a house to clean; laundry to do (aka Mt Colors and the White Cliffs of Whites). Three NT kids also need entertaining and persuasion NOT to kill each other. We also have two youngsters on the spectrum with a drastically reduced school schedule. It's a pretty universal fear amongst the parents of younger autistic spectrum children that they will 'lose' their skills over the summer. Schools either have greatly reduced programs or are non existent for those 'higher' functioning Autism Spectrum children.

Time to start supplementing with private camps, therapies and for those highly motivated and creative parents to create their own programs. (GROAN)...if only... If only we had the time, the patience, the extra appendage to do some of this ourselves. Get the other kids motivated to assist, become junior therapists. Draw up a schedule, have each girl get a half hour a day of one on one with one of us while the other one is entertained by the three others.


Linda has precisely 2 hours 31 minutes and 47 seconds of free time per day, which INCLUDES the time spent in the car going from therapy to therapy; including laundry and cooking time. A FedEx logistics manager has an easier job! The kids can be motivated to do individual projects, but a summer of assisting with therapies would result in a greatly depleted bank account; because promises would need to be made for trips to various theme parks and shore points in the area. The least of which results in 3 figure costs...

So, back in the real world, we scrape together what we need to send them to private 'camps' We have a wonderful autism non profit in Northern Monmouth in NJ that operates at a greatly reduced price to cover off on those spaces between spring and summer sessions and summer and fall. Swimming lessons/Sat. OT once a week for Liv. Since Grace only started school last month we hope that there won't be too much regression. I mean, we have the 3 other kids in some activities this summer, but I don't worry about their skills falling back. I guess I do, but it's not as critical if my son loses his division/multiplication skills as my daughters losing their socialization skills. It's part of that psychosis an autistic parent goes through needing to make sure we do all we can with the time we have.

I do feel bad for the three older ones though. We get requests from various parents that "we have to get together and do something with the boys. They're going to get bored." With all the therapies that still go on, with the school schedule that's STILL there in the summer for special needs kids, we're kinda hamstrung and can't as easily take them on excursions that 'normal' parents do. In that respect the phrase should be "summertime and the livin's guilty".

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, summer RULZ! Remember those endless summers when you were a kid. We have a gang of 8 kids all within 5 years of each other, a group of houses in a cul-de-sac that will ensure dawn to dusk running around, 1000 adventures, arguments, skinned knees, ice pops, ball games, lighting bugs, claw games, and seashells. Happy summer everyone, may they create a new month between July and August to keep it going even longer...
With no relation to the post, here's a tie to the picture of Madam Marie's and to one of my fave songs about the summer:
4th of July
Bruce Springsteen
Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight
Forcin' a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July
Down in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast, so shiny, so sharp
As the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark
And the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers on the shore
Chasin' all them silly New York virgins by the score
Sandy the aurora is risin' behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight for I may never see you again
Hey Sandy girl
Now now baby
Now the greasers, ahh they tramp the streets or get busted for sleeping on the beach all night
Them boys in their high heels, ah Sandy their skins are so white
And me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades, bangin' them pleasure machines
Chasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they all promise to unsnap their jeans
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on her last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinnin' baby, they didn't think I'd ever get off
Oh Sandy, the aurora is risin' behind us
This pier lights our carnival life on the water
Runnin', laughin' 'neath the boardwalk with the boss's daughter
I remember Sandy girl
Now now now now now baby
Sandy, that waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me
I spoke with her last night, she said she won't set herself on fire for me anymore
She worked that joint under the boardwalk, she was always the girl you saw boppin' down on the beach with the radio
The kids say last night she was dressed like a star in one of them cheap little seaside bars, and I saw her parked with Loverboy out on the Kokomo
Did you hear the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do
For me this boardwalk life is through baby
You ought to quit this scene too
Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us
This pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever
Oh mean it Sandy girl
Now now now now now baby
Yeah promise Sandy girl
Shala la la la baby

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