Pray on Autism Sunday!

CatholicMom.com just posted my column about Autism Sunday, a reflection on “I Am Sam.”  Check it out!

prayerToday is the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in the UK. Let’s join our prayers together!

Pope Benedict XVI wrote to the co-founders of Autism Sunday, Ivan and Charika Corea, invoking his apostolic blessing on the autism community. For more information, click here.

Lord, today we remember families touched by these chronic illnesses.

In their isolation, may they experience Your presence.

In their frustration, may they know Your peace.

In their sorrow, may they feel Your joy.

Calm their anger with Your infinite love.

Together with our brothers and sisters all over the world, we thank you for those you have entrusted to us, for as long as they are with us. Teach us to measure each other not by our challenges, but by our blessings.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Miracle Monday: “In Your Eyes” by Victoria Ashmore

Kristen West McGuire — a friend and true Extraordinary Mom, and editor of the Catholic women’s newsletter “My Secret Is Mine” — recently sent me this poem that I thought I’d share with you as today’s “MM” entry. It’s written by the mother of an autistic boy, Christopher. And yet, it expresses with simple eloquence every mother’s heart for her children. Enjoy!

In Your Eyes

(Victoria Ashmore shares this poem with us about her son Christopher, who has autism. Victoria is a military wife whose family is currently living in Montana. We’re so grateful she shared this with us!)

 

Long days
        And even longer nights
I think time and again
         Something’s not right
Those tell tale signs
         Upon my face
Grow more obvious
         It’s time they trace
And I think to myself
         My youth has gone by
But then you come home
         And I see my beauty in your eyes.

 

Children are special
         Especially these
God blesses these children
         With special needs.
Days full of battles
         My will against yours
It takes much of mine
         To not slam the doors
The day often dissolves
         Into my own sobs and cries
And then you come home
         And I see my strength in your eyes.

 

The day gets started
         I’m already behind
It’s hard to get going
         I run out of time
One more mess to clean
         More laundry, more dishes
My heart – 
         It feels bitter and useless
And just when I think
         Compassion and passions all lies
That’s when you come home
         And I see my love in your eyes.

EMN Carnival: Thanks, Mom!

Congratulations to Kate Wicker, who presents the winning entry for this month’s EMN “Moms we love” contest! Her entry, entitled My Nana, is posted at Momopoly. In my favorite bit in the post, Kate recalls asking her grandmother “how she did it.”

“Did what?” Nana asked.

“Had nine kids,” I said. Like duh.

“Oh honey, if God gives you rabbits, He gives you grass,” was her response.

Clearly, Nana was of the God Family Planning mindset. God plans families; couples don’t.

Lori in “Dakotacityquilter” writes: “My mother taught me to accept gifts graciously and always thank the giver–whether it was something we wanted or not!!  And she told me to always hug my kids, she thought she wasn’t a “good mother” as she was always busy and working and didn’t hug us enough.  Hey Mom–you were the best!!”

At “Mommy Monsters,” yours truly offers a tribute of a different kind at “Ghosts of Mothers Past.”

I’d also like to alert you to one of my all-time favorite mother tributes, which I’m reviewing for “Secretum Meum Mihi,” entitled The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less . As I mentioned in my newsletter, I find Evelyn Ryan (the subject of the book and the author’s mother) a truly Extraordinary Mom. She raised 10 children — and upheld her vows before God in a truly difficult marriage — with an amazing combination of faith and tenacity.  Why not order the book now, and give it to your favorite “mommy bookworm” for Christmas?

Lastly, a few posts came through the transom that didn’t really “fit” the theme of this particular carnival, but I’m including them here — lots of good advice for those who need it!

Julie at “More4Kids Parenting and Family” contributed a helpful post for families with children with ADD/ADHD. Along with “Don’t answer when someone asks if your child has taken his meds that day — remind them that everyone has good and bad days,” these four pointers will give you a taste of her helpful, practical advice!

  1. Improve the organization within the home. Order is will help decrease distractions.
  2. Set a regular schedule. This will help your child know when to expect certain things such as “quiet time,” breakfast, lunch and dinner, bedtime, wake up time, practice.
  3. When you or your family talks with your child, make sure that you are making eye contact with the child.
  4. If your child has a list of chores to do, give them one chore at a time and let them complete it before giving them the next. After all, it is a problem with attention we are talking about. Sending them to their room to clean it won’t work. They will go in and start to pick up something and then they start playing with it.

For those who are struggling to cope with a child’s diagnosis of autism, Michelle at “Autism Assistance” sent “Creating an Autism Intervention Action Plan.”

“Therapydoc” at “Everyone Needs Therapy” contributed “Pull versus Draw: Enmeshment” with the observation: “The best moms are the ones that know when to let go, who have the faith in themselves that they’ve taught their kids well enough to think for themselves.”

Thanks to all those who joined this month’s carnival!