I tried to make it a Melatonin loving household. Personally, I loved the Melatonin. It was like a magic potion. Within 30-45 minutes of a 1 ml squirt in the boy’s mouth, he’d be passed out in dreamland. He was going to bed at a decent hour. He slept through the night. And hallelujah, I slept too!
Then, Saturday before last, he had the mother of all meltdowns. I was shocked and confused. I wrote about it here.
Shortly after I wrote my post, I read this one by Jen over at Still Looking Up. Thank you Jen! The light bulb in my brain physically came on. The Melatonin was the only change in my son’s routine and his life. I stopped the Melatonin. He quit grinding his teeth. No more freaky meltdown. Everything is back to ‘normal’. And when I say “normal”, I mean, well, you know… And he’s back to going to sleep between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m.
I get up at 5-5:30 a.m. It kinda sucks to be me at 5:00 a.m.
That’s how this Monday morning began. I knew I had to get up extra early because our local PBS television station was coming to my son’s school to tape him in class, interacting with the other students and at my office doing programs run by his ABA tutors. And they were going to tape me.
A couple of weeks ago, our wonderful neurologist, Dr. Chez, asked for my permission to tape my son’s follow up EEG visit with him for PBS. I was excited. After all, the whole purpose I began blogging in the first place was to “increase awareness of autism”. So, I agreed. Those of you who know me on Facebook would have seen this photo of my son with the cameraman, Kevin that day:
While we waited for the doctor, the producer of the program, Kelly Peterson, spent some time talking to me. I shared as much information as I could think of with her, including promoting and giving her a copy of Wit and Wisdom from the Parents of Special Needs Kids, the book on my sidebar, that is available through Amazon that has the great collection of essays by autism parents.
I asked if there were plans to interview adults with autism. She told me that yes, she was interviewing one adult male (age 42) with autism, a 19 year old female, a family with two children ages 3 and 6 and my son. She’s interviewed Dr. Chez and someone from the UC Davis MIND Institute where my son was diagnosed as well as from a regional center where partial funding for services is derived. The program, I found out today, is scheduled for a half hour.
I tried to provide as much information as I could. Kelly is bright but how much could she possibly cram into a 30 minute slot? She agreed that autism could be the subject of a series, on funding alone. What she actually makes with this program remains to be seen. I don’t know if we will make the cut or whether it will be a small clip, but, regardless, I wanted to help.
During it all, I asked if the program would be aired in April for Autism Awareness Month. Ironically, she admitted she had not known about Autism Awareness Month until after she began working on the program when it was already scheduled for late May. So, even though most of us who read a blog like this one, live, eat and breathe autism, an intelligent, mainstream media producer did not know. We cannot become complacent in our circumstances. Spreading the word is important to help our own children. Learning replaces ignorance, and promotes understanding and acceptance in place of bigotry and hate.
As Kelly and I talked in Tootles’ neurologist’s office, I shared that I planned to light my hair up blue for Autism Awareness at the end of March. She asked if she could tape it. I feared the idea, but I said yes.
She asked to tape my son at school. I arranged it. I explained my understanding of ABA to her and offered to arrange an interview with our behavioral therapist who has made an incredible difference in my son’s life. And so it was set to happen in my office.
And that is how, with less than six hours of sleep between Sunday and Monday, I woke up to prepare for a morning of television taping and interviews for my son, his class and for me. My 15 minutes – my chance to make someone, somewhere aware.
The program is set to air in late May or early June and we will get to go to a screening before it airs!
The amazing part I learned, through all of this, is the good in people. I see it in the fierce determination of Kelly Peterson to gather information to share with the public from people who know, even though she is not personally touched by the diagnosis.
I saw it in the director of my son’s school who granted permission to tape there. I see it in my son’s kindergarten teachers every day, and especially today, donning their blue hair extensions in support of my son and my effort to bring awareness of autism to our community.
I saw it in my son’s senior tutor who rocked the blue today too.
I saw it in the parents of my son’s peers, every single one of whom supported by son by signing a release allowing their child to be taped.
And most of all, I saw it in the tremendous support and friendship extended by my son’s kindergarten peers, who are all neurotypical but clap and support and talk my son through his difficulties each and every day, and then, did it again in the classroom on Monday with the cameras rolling.
As for my son? He now is quite certain he is a “movie star” and a “TV star”. And like any run-of-the-mill TV star, he’s looking for a contract. This morning, I said, “Are you going to be on TV today?” His response was this,
“Yes. You’re [“I’m”] working for a Wii gun blaster at Toys-R-Us. Mommy to get it for you [me].”
Negotiations are tough but underway.
In contemporary Italian, diva and divo simply denote much-admired celebrities, especially film actresses and actors, and can be translated as “(film) star”. Wikipedia