I know what you did last summer

Zion, age 7

Zion, age 7

I have been mostly quiet about the actual struggle portion of our lives, because it has been very painful.

Me, quiet?  About anything? Surely you jest, woman.

Only those closest to me and my children know what we have been dealing with since last August.

I don’t make a habit of posting our struggles with Autism all over Facebook and social media.

I try to be positive and encouraging, because that is the heart of who I am.

So let me try to tap into that, while explaining what happened last summer.

We tried to transition Zion from his ABA therapy center to public school.  The insurance offered through my employer only covers 180 days of ABA therapy per year, and we were out of alternative options.

So the team geared up, created a classroom environment at the Center, and we all did our best to prepare him for public school.

Zion would be transitioning into a functional classroom setting, which is basically somewhere in between a typical classroom and special education.

Functional classrooms are typically educating children with high intelligence, but problem behaviors.

Zion lasted just shy of 3 weeks.

On his second day of school, he was suspended for taking his clothes off and running down the hallway.  This is a behavior he displayed to get out of doing schoolwork.

I begged that dean not to suspend him.  I cried and pleaded and point blank told him that suspending Zion would only reinforce his behavior.

I have never been more sorry to be right in my life.

The next couple of weeks in public school saw Zion “disrobing” (getting naked) to get out of everything.

When that didn’t get him the desired attention, he urinated on one of the school desks.

When that didn’t get him his way, he urinated on another student.

The day I removed Zion from public school, he shattered a glass aquarium in the school library, and disrobed and urinated in the middle of the school cafeteria.


The ABA Center contacted me that very night, due to the generosity of a benefactor, they were able to take Zion back.

And for the past 8 months they have been trying to undo the damage that was done during those 3 weeks of public school.

To this day he is disrobing and urinating to avoid work.

He is engaging in self-harming behaviors.

He is destroying our personal property in the home.

He is wetting the bed again.

Now we can sit here all day and argue about the efficacy of insurance coverage, public school, and ABA therapy….

but that’s not the point of any of this.

I really don’t care who is to blame.

I left that battlefield long ago.

What I do care about is finding a way to reach my son…because I know he is in there somewhere.

Because of the generosity of our Starfish Throwers, (that’s you) we have been able to secure a child only insurance policy for Zion.  So this year, in 2014 when my employer-provided insurance exhausts it’s 180 ABA therapy sessions, we will still be able to receive services for Zion through our secondary policy.

We were able to purchase this policy because of your support here.

My struggle right now is that I have to face that Zion is equating his failed transition into public school with the transition back to his current ABA Center, and so I have some difficult decisions to make.

Anyone who knows us, knows a few things:

  • I am not a homeschool mom.  That is not an option.
  • I am all about results, not excuses.
  • At the end of the day, all that matters to me is what is best for Zion.

I adore his current team.  They are lovely, selfless people who have poured their lives into my son.  But for whatever reason, Zion is not responding to their treatment.

There is nothing wrong with him.

Or with them.

It just seems as though they are no longer a good fit.

Let me explain this a different way.

Lindstrom Side Cutting Pliers

Lindstrom Side Cutting Pliers

I LOVE this product.

This is a pair of Lindstrom Side Cutting Pliers.

These are used in jewelry making, and they are $70.  And worth every penny.

They make precision cuts to wire, and are easily my favorite and most used tool in my jewelry tool collection.

The trick is that you have to be careful and only use the tip of these wire cutters on finer gauged wire.

These pliers are created to fine tune a jewelry piece, and get to those tiny and hard to reach places where the wire needs to be cut flush to the wrap.

Now, if you use these pliers to cut larger gauged wire, you are going to get a cut that isn’t smooth.  Besides, if you use the tip of these pliers for any extended period of time on 16 gauge wire, you are going to break the tip of the pliers.

I have purchased 3 pair of these pliers in the past year for this very reason.

Is this Lindstrom’s fault?

Of course not.

I was trying to use the pliers at the wrong angle, on wire that was too thick, so they broke.

But because I love the way these pliers work, and no other pliers can fine tune my work in quite the same way, when they break, I replace them.

In short?

Zion needs a new pair of pliers.



  One thought on “I know what you did last summer

  1. April 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    This is a powerful post. Thank you for sharing your story. Bless you, and Zion.

    • April 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you, momocular! I adore your blog, I am officially honored that you read mine. Note: I had to type momocular 862 times because autocorrect insists that your name is mononuclear. Bahaha! Yikes.

  2. Ashley Trump
    April 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    You are a beautiful woman who has the strength of a thousand. My heart goes out to you while you climb this mountain. I am beginning a much smaller journey with my child but understand the love that you have for sweet zion. I pray that you may find a perfect niche for his continued support.

    • April 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you, Ashley. I am just now remembering that I never fully responded to a message from you on Facebook. Excuse my scattered brain, love. I will be in touch…

  3. The Beckster
    April 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I am continually honored to have been allowed inside this precious circle, and to get to know this precious young man, your daughter Zoe, and the inspirational strong Earth-woman-mother that you are. You are forever an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your update with us, and I will continue to pray for his continued treatment and finding that new pair of pliers! Hugs and much love!

    • April 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Becki, you have always been in our corner and that is such an incredible gift! We love you dearly and we know we can count on you. Thank you for that. xo

  4. Shanon Caballero
    April 8, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    You are an iconic woman, trust and believe you are serving your purpose in life! You are in my prayers daily. Your children are beautiful beings!!

    • April 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Shanon, thank you. I know you understand our battle better than most. Your unwavering support is greatly appreciated. 🙂

  5. Heather Masterson
    April 9, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Love you my sweet friend! Such an honest, emotional post. My heart and thoughts are with you all.

    • April 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you, Heather. You have been so supportive, and I appreciate that more than anything. xo

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