I’ve been away from the blog again. Our dear cat died last week, so we’ve been pretty sad around here. I had hoped to post a little story about her by now but, again….the sad thing. Nevertheless, one is in the works, safely tucked away in my “Drafts” folder. In the meantime, I thought I’d blog a little something to cheer myself up – and maybe you, too!
If you know me, then you know how I love my statistics. Statistics in general are pretty cool – ever notice how you can twist ‘em/tweak ‘em/bend ‘em to say whatever you want? – but today I’m talking about my blog statistics. There’s a secret page over here that tells me how many people are reading the blog, what countries they’re from (what’s up Slovenia!)….and so on. My favorite bit of information, though, has to be the search terms.
I’m always interested in how people find their way to my blog. Many of the search terms are what you might expect (autism, autism awareness, gluten-free, etc.) – but every other day or so I’ll find something really funny that makes its way onto the list, so I’m going to share them with you now. Of course it turns out that a few of them aren’t so much funny as they are “exotic” and/or “unfamiliar”….so I learned a thing or two while writing this post. Thanks for making me smile, everyone, and I hope you find what you’re looking for.
This is the search term that started it all. And by “all”, I mean this Top Ten list. I love it because, when I see it, I imagine in one of those spiky speech bubbles from an old superhero comic. And, as you might have guessed – this is one of those terms that is not at all uncommon in other parts of the world. Upon Googling the term myself, I discovered that this is a perfectly acceptable spelling variation, most often seen in places such as Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pretty cool! You learn something new every day. But when I see the word, it still looks like this in my head:
2. “I always knew he was autistic”
Hmm. I wonder about this one. Were these the searcher’s own words? Was the searcher annoyed at someone having spoken these words to him or her? I can relate. One of the most annoying things ever said to me about my son’s autism was just that - “I always knew he was autistic”. Oh you did, did you? Shut up. Not you, reader! I’m talking to the lady in the supermarket that hadn’t seen us in a few years…
3. “autism paleo”
First of all, I’m proud of you. While I don’t like to attach a “label” to our eating style, this is pretty much where we’re at – and I feel like we’re finally on to something. Not just for autism, either. I think the omission of grains and dairy (okay, *most* dairy!) is beneficial to just about everyone. We’ve definitely been happy with the way things are going. Although it took us a while to get here. The funny thing is that I have a Master’s degree in Anthropology (with my background being predominantly in physical anthro), and I feel like I should have drawn my own dietary conclusions years ago. Duh. What can I say? This is America. I’ve been brainwashed by the Whole Grains Council.
Anyway, here are a few sites I love to get you started. You’ll have to spend a bit more time cooking, of course, but when you really start getting into it, I think you’ll find that you’re not missing a thing.
4. “waldorf nine year kill myself”
Whoa! That sounds bad. It’s also so absurdly specific that I think the searcher must have read an earlier post of mine, and was trying to locate it again. You can read the original post here.
5. “hug box autism”
I really thought this was someone being adorable. And, later, a handful of other people being adorable. I sincerely did not know that the Hug Box is a therapeutic device invented by Temple Grandin herself! See – I’m still learning, too. You can purchase one of these from a company called Therafin. If I may take the liberty of sparing you some sticker shock should you decide to visit the site – this device costs $4525, plus shipping. Ouch! But if it helps your child, well…we do what we have to do. And maybe you’re one of those lucky few with a generous insurance company…!
6. “autism waldorf”
Our son attended a Waldorf-inspired charter school from first grade until the middle of third grade. It was awesome. Were it not for the fact that his teacher basically checked out and gave up on him last year, we’d still have him there today. If you’re considering a Waldorf education for your autistic child, I strongly recommend it. Especially early on. Lots of gentle sensory input. Lots of art, music…no computers, no plastic. Knd of meant to educate children in accordance with their natural stages of development. It’s just so nurturing. Don’t be discouraged by those who will roll their eyes and say “Well you know they don’t teach math or science…”. These people are stupid. Of course they teach math and science. It’s still *school*. Don’t be afraid to follow your own drummer. Give it a try.
7. “autism saying wow”
Indeed. Autism. Lots of “WOW” moments. Some good. Some bad. Some, just……..WOW. You know what I’m talking about.
8. “autism doesn’t define me”
Nor should it. It’s something we live with. Sometimes struggle with. It’s something we hope and pray that our children won’t struggle with as much in adulthood. It’s also something that makes our children creative, quirky, insightful observers that have a lot to teach us. Autism is different, to be sure – but it can be amazing.
9. “autistic child healthy pancakes”
I love this! Access to healthy pancakes is a basic human right. Please visit the links posted above in #3 for some ideas – but here’s one to get you started.
10. “autism everyone happy”
Who are you, searcher of this phrase? I wonder. Are you a cockeyed optimist? Are you someone that was having a rough day, and needed some encouragement? I may never know. But I hope that you found something when you came to me that day. I’m a person who has gotten through life largely relying on my sense of humor. I never sugarcoat things, but I think that I do try to approach our tough times with humor, and maybe a little grace. Autism has kicked my ass from time to time, but my god – the in-between times can be so amazing that all the struggles seem worth it. It’s like enduring a cold, gloomy winter – and just when you think you can’t take anymore, there’s your spring. And you feel alive again, refreshed, like you can take on the world. Like most things in life, this autism thing is cyclical in a lot of ways. At least it has been for us. There are periods of progress, periods of regression, depression, joy…..and though it’s a tired old cliche – it’s very much like a roller coaster ride. It’s a wild range of emotions and experiences. You’re scared, you’re exhilarated, a little queasy at times….but you close your eyes and hold on tight. This is life. This is love. And at the end of the day – you’re happy.