Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Support, not Silence.

Posted: April 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Early Evaluation, Support Groups | 13 Comments »

Twitter november 2011

1 in 88.

1 in 54.

1 in 50.

These are the numbers that have swirled around the Autism community for the past year or so.  That 1 in 54 is important to me because it most closely represents us- 1 in 54 boys will be diagnosed with Autism.  At least that is the finding from a study of 8-year-olds in 2008.

That 1 in 50?  That is from the most recent study.

1 in 50 kids has autism, according to a 2012 study.  Of course, this study, along with all of the other studies, has it’s detractors.  But really, 1 in 50 doesn’t seem too out of the ballpark to me.

So, what can you do?

Well, for one, if you have an infant or a toddler, and you have a nagging feeling that something is up- even if it’s “just” a speech delay…do me a favor and call Early Intervention.

If you have a friend who is worried about their child- let’s say he isn’t acquiring language at the same rate of his peers. (I’m using language because it’s usually the thing that triggers and evaluation, yet most people blow it off.)
Please, do NOT say any of these things:

– Boys talk later than girls
– He has an older sibling/ twin who communicates for him, it’s OK
– You always meet his needs for him, he doesn’t *need* to talk
– He was premature, he will talk later
– My cousin’s uncle didn’t talk until he was 4 and now he’s a lawyer…

Instead, LISTEN.  I have a son who was a late talker and I have twins who lost language and became non-verbal.  The gut feeling was completely different.  The fear and worry was different.  I knew pretty quickly that something was not right with the twins, and I didn’t worry at all with my youngest.  It’s different.

If you have been in this place of worry, if you have ever called Early Intervention, if you have ever had a child diagnosed with Autism or another special need- please, SHARE your resources.  Support a mom or dad when they have worries, do not blow them off.  You should be their first shoulder to lean on, you have been in their shoes!

It is a really isolating place to be when the mothers around you abandon you in your greatest time of need.  Telling someone not to worry is the equivalent of telling a mom to sit down and shut up.  Sometimes things are not OK.  Sometimes things warrant a professional opinion.

Why are we so quick to tell moms that everything is fine?  Is it because we are afraid we are missing something with our own kids?  Is it because their fear is also our fear and we desperately don’t want to peek behind the curtain and deal with what might be waiting for us?

Don’t wait.  Don’t tell others to wait.  Resources are available and completely irreplaceable.  You do not want to “wait it out”- waiting is just wasting time.  The only thing we have in this fight is early intervention, the key word being EARLY.

And one more thing- if there is a mom you know who is taking steps to figure out what is going on with her child, don’t tell her that she should stop looking.  Don’t tell her that she can instead fix her child with oils (or herbs, diet, a warm bath before bedtime and spinning around 6 times upon waking up in the morning)- it only serves to prolong the inevitable, which in some cases takes away free and affordable supports.

This isn’t going away.


Support with Integrity

Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding Blog Hop | Tags: Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Blog Hop, Support Groups | 12 Comments »

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Happiness Redefined, The Gnome’s Mom, and ME! This week’s topic is Support with Integrity. If you haven’t taken the pledge I hope you will. Every single one of you has been the picture of judgement-free support over the past year wherever and whenever it has been needed. For that I thank you! Be sure to link up your posts and spread around the love!

Support with Integrity

I’ve talked a lot about how in the first 6 months of nursing Judah, I spent a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook. It was easily accessible from my phone with one hand. There were always breastfeeding moms and breastfeeding advocates on at any time, day or night.

Most of the time it was helpful. Some of the time it was not. Some of the time it made me feel worse than I already did about the issues we were having. My will to succeed was often questioned. I was told on numerous occasions that I was making excuses, that I didn’t really want to breastfeed so I was blaming it on supply issues. I was reminded time and again that supply issues are very rare and I probably was not suffering from that. I was told it was more likely I just didn’t want to try harder, formula companies had marketed their way into my brain and I was now unable to think for myself and was going to take the easy way out…

After awhile you learn to delete these people from your Twitter stream, but it can be hard to see that some support is just bullying and not supportive at all. It’s even harder when those people are held up as advocates above everyone else.

I have vowed to never be that person. Every single mother deserves the right to feed her child however she chooses.

One time.
One hour.
One day.
One week.
One month.
One year.

Every mother deserves judgement-free support for simply being a mother and should not be questioned or interrogated because of how she feeds her baby. Not everyone has the same ideals, and you can’t force breastfeeding.

I had to learn to step back a bit after my sister had her daughter. I feel quite protective about breastfeeding and I wanted her to feel the same way. She was much less attached to it. I almost demanded that she be on board and strive for long term goals.

That wasn’t the right approach. I knew that. It didn’t work on me with the lactivists on Twitter, why would I turn around and be that way to my own sister?

Sometimes you just have to step back and see what happens. In this case, Sweet D is nursing like a champ and just passed 6 months of breastfeeding. (And I get texts and phone calls for advice every now and then.)

I just read an interesting article out of the UK about pulling back a bit on the Breast is Best rhetoric. I think that is a good start. Trusting mothers to make the right decisions for themselves and their families, even if it’s not what you would choose should be the number one rule for supporting moms.

Take the challenge, sign the pledge.

It Takes an iVillage

Posted: October 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Breastfeeding Blog Hop, Diary of a Devil Dog Wife, Life with Levi, Support Groups | 5 Comments »

I’ve talked before about how easy it was to find help and support through Twitter when I was breastfeeding Judah.

And I do think that it was helpful.  But, a lot of the “help” could also be construed as propaganda. There was always someone to cheer you on, but there was also a lot of negative vibes.  As a woman who struggled with supply issues (real supply issues, not, I think I might have supply issues but OMG I’m so engorged issues) most of the advice came with disclaimers that I probably wasn’t actually suffering from low supply (why would I be in that lucky group- it is so small after all).  That clearly wasn’t helpful.

The one place I knew I could always get great advice, with no agenda, was the expecting club groups I joined on iVillage with each of my pregnancies.  We talked about everything and because everyone had different circumstances and different goals as parents, there wasn’t a lot of judgement that came with the advice.  I don’t know what it is, but I really lucked out.  SAHMs, working moms, single moms, breastfeeding moms, bottle feeding moms- the one thing that ties us together is a common due-date.  And everyone brings the support when needed.

There is a reason I have always gone to iVillage as soon as I got that positive test, it’s a great place to find support.

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi, Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself.  The hop runs every Thursday and Friday and is open to posts that are relevant to the weekly topic.  This weeks topic is Breastfeeding Support Groups.

Link up!