What is the 'KeyS To Me' series?
This series helps children with disability/Autism understand themselves, gives parents conventional & unconventional ways of helping their child, and allows other children without a disability-to learn about them.
It originally developed years ago when my son was born. I knew he was different. He wouldn't smile unless I touched his face. He didn't seem to have the bond my other child had with me. He ate an immeasurable amount of food & every little noise had him screaming as if he was being beaten to death. He had tics and never looked directly at me, unless I had a phone to my face-hiding my eyes.
Since writing poetry allowed me to truly analyze my feelings-I went that route. Truly, it was just a way to understand him. As we grew together and many hurdles prevented me from working in my field of expertise (babysitters couldn't handle him)-I decided to work from home. Babysitting and after school care isn't hard. Although I helped people to a certain degree-it wasn't enough.
Later, I uncluttered my life by getting rid of old papers. Wouldn't you know it-my old poems dropped out of a folder. There they were-the beginnings of my new life with Chris-my disabled son. As I read through them, I realized how far we have really come. Since I enjoy being an advocate, I decided to make these poems into stories-to aid others. I also wanted other people to understand.
No one will ever know -unless you have a unique child yourself, how many times I was asked, "What's wrong with him?" For me, there was nothing "wrong" with him, he just didn't know how to express himself and make sense of the world he was placed in -through NO FAULT OF HIS OWN. Ironically, I've had more children ask me politely or want to understand -more so than the person raising them.
These are the reasons I do this. I'm underpaid and overworked. There are times I feel like, "Why am I doing this? No one truly cares." It is at that moment, God sends someone to say, "Great work" -"Love what you do" "Thank you, it's helped me and my child a lot". Like the day I met the boy who loved my signed copy of the first book-he brought it in for show and tell. Words cannot describe the warmth that surrounded the embrace. I was no one in the world, but to him-my books were his world.
When I say I'm an advocate for Autism/disability- sure my corner is with the children and parents who live and breathe this life everyday. But, being an advocate doesn't mean you stop where you're comfortable. An advocate isn't just someone who supports a particular cause or policy! Although, this is the dictionary's definition-it's not mine. I will embrace and shout out for anyone who needs help. As long as they are willing to work with me, not just covering up a gushing wound with a band -aid. I will help you find the doctor to give the stitches needed-not give you a month's supply of band aides and pray for healing.
As I have watched this page blossom from 10 people -almost 2k; I have to stop and ask myself with each email, why? Is it because they thoroughly support what I do? Do they, themselves have these issues? Do they truly need aid? Do they want to become an advocate themselves? If I can't answer "yes" to one or all- I'm sorry, but you are wasting your and my time being here.
Due to me having very limited time to do all the things necessary for my son-my life-and everyone else- I don't have time for small talk or "getting to know you" or helping you with a break-up. I don't send pictures -or want to see your parts. I feel for your situation and if only loneliness was a disability. Unfortunately, it is not. Maybe that's your sign to divulge into something bigger than yourself. Sometimes, by helping others-one doesn't feel so lonely in the world. You feel a part of a whole universe.
I asked Andy the other night, "What's the worst thing you had to worry about today?" Of course, there is some long drawn out story about this person or that- I said no- simple list.
He said - work.
My reply, "At least that is all you have to worry about. You have a job and you are worried about what crew you're on. What dillweed won't pull his fair share of work. There are people who don't know if their children or other's they've taken on will eat tomorrow. They don't know if they will wake up to find their child dead. They don't know which "worry" is more because there are too many of them. Ironically, not 1 WORRY IS ABOUT THEM- it's about someone else."
Every night you go to bed- I want you to ask yourself something, "What was your biggest worry today?" See, if your worry is truly something to worry about. See if it's all about you- or was it about someone else your responsible for. It is then you know - you're either an advocate or not.