I was thinking about all the different cable television channels that are out there now. There is literally something for everyone – sports fans, decorators, cooks, handymen, mechanics, fisherman – I could go on and on. Shouldn’t there be a channel for people with autism and their families? I can think of at least a dozen shows that we could broadcast on that channel! Here’s a sampling:

· UFC: Autism Version – This show would feature kicking, screaming, punching, and tantruming and all WITHOUT a special fighting ring! We autism parents are treated to this entertainment daily – and our kids don’t need to go through any extensive exercises or hire personal trainers!
· Top Chef: The Picky Eater Edition – This program will be a spotlight on all the delectable foods our kids enjoy – hot dogs, chicken nuggets (the kind that only get the breading eaten off), cheese, frozen pizza rolls (no cooking required – just grab ‘em right out of the freezer like my son!), spoonfuls of butter (much like the one I found on my kitchen table today),, Cheez-Its. There could be a special show on reinforcers that are used by our kids’ therapists ane teachers – Skittles, M & Ms, marshmallows, and chewy fruit snacks.
· Decorator Wars – My father-in-law thought up this one today when I was describing a situation in my home. I have been going through a battle of wills with Michael lately. I have my Christmas decor out right now, and have one particular piece on top of our DVD storage closet. Each morning, I find this pretty piece on the couch, replaced with one particular wooden puzzle from my son’s room. I also continually find Crocs all over the house instead of in the closet, pajama bottoms strewn on the furniture no matter how many times I put them in the hamper, and one particular plastic helicopter place on top of one of my family room tables instead of the toy box.
· Ceiling Fan – You know how some of the stations broadcast that “yule log” at Christmas time? Well, I going to run a 24-hour ceiling fan channel. Much like the Baby Einstein videos, this station will feature running ceiling fans. Maybe I’ll even get different fans from various parts of the world, just for an added cultural aspect.

So……..what other shows can we add to our lineup????


Boom Boom Pow

No, this not the lyrics to the Black-eyed Peas song.  This is what my life sounds like without the radio even turned on.  I cannot remember what it’s like to visit with my very old friends “Peace” and “Quiet”.  At any given moment at home , you will hear the following sounds

  • a ball smacking the wall or floor
  • Michael screaming at the top of his lungs
  • Michael throwing something because he’s mad
  • Michael crying because some random toy isn’t doing what he wants
  •  feet pounding on the floor (usually Michael running on my hardwoods)
  • a squeaking mattress that Michael is jumping on
  • SpongeBob or (even worse) Pokemon blaring from the television
  • a wooden puzzle (or other flat wooden toy) that Michael is spinning on the floor or furniture
  • Michael repeating the phrase “One more. One more.” (For some reason he says this when he has helped himself to his umpteenth snack of the day. It’s like an alert “I have food! I have food!)

Oh, and regarding the holidays, I am finally learning to purchase decor that doesn’t play music or cute little sayings, unless it is something I don’t mind hearing 100,000 times a day.  Take, for example, the little mechanical mummy that I thought was so cute last Halloween.  It sings and dances to “The Cupid Shuffle”.  After one day, I was ready to shuffle that toy right out the front door into the swimming pool.   All tree ornaments that have buttons to push for music or sweet little inspirational Christmas sayings have climbed to the top of the tree out of Michael’s reach.  I had a nice little Peanuts ornament last year with Linus reciting the gospel of Luke from the Christmas special.  Poor little Linus didn’t make the final cut this year.  (Frankly, I’m not even sure where that one ended up; probably at the bottom of a toy box somewhere.)

None of this bothers me all that much most of the time.  It just so happens that today I have a splitting headache, a Christmas party to attend, and a class full of students who, for some reason, today of all days, could not stop approaching me and saying my name for more than 30 seconds.  Any other day, they’re usually fine to work on their own.  It’s like they sense that I’m not feeling good and suddenly become helpless.

Ah……such holiday fun.