Showing posts from 2010

I'm back.... again

I haven't written since September 24. "Dear Diary, I haven't written since September 24...." ha ha ha sometimes writing a blog is like confession.

A few days ago, a friend paid me a ridiculously high compliment. She said I was a great writer and that my writing touched lives. I'm going to be honest about one thing.

I don't take compliments well.

I can hear my friend Michelle laughing.

Because I don't take compliments period.

But, that conversation is for my therapist. Let's just say -- I was honored but not sure if I totally believe her. Either way, she told me to write a book.

Well I don't know about all of that because truth be told I can barely keep up with my blog!

September! What's wrong with me people? I told my friend that sometimes it's harder to write when there's an "expectation" there. When you know people are out there kinda waiting for you to write something "life changing." Ok, maybe not "life&…

How can you mend a broken heart?

It's all about perspective people.

I had a crappy day today. No other way to say it. It was pure crap. Anything that could have gone wrong, did. It just did. None of these things amounted to HUGE deals but man did they make my day....suck.

Some days are just like that, right? We've all been there.

Truth is, I've had a rough couple of weeks. OK months. I won't bore you all to tears with the whys and the hows and the details and the drama but suffice it to say, in the last few months I've loved, I've lost, I've laughed, I've cried, I've cried some more and then when I was all done crying, I found a way to release a few more tears. There have been days when getting out of bed was about the best I could muster. There's been even more days when putting on "the show" was almost more than I could bear.

I'm calling it a mid-life crisis and we'll leave it at that.

But it's allllllllllllllllllll about perspective. EVERYTHING …

Different. Not more.

I post a lot about autism. This blog, is called, "April Walks with Autism" after all. But really what I try to talk about is "special needs." "Differently abled." "Not normal." But today we will broach that small line under the title of my blog that reads, "and a few other things too."

Today I write about...
the GIFTED child.
Yep, I got me one of those, too.

But wait? Doesn't that fall into the category of "special needs?" "Differently abled? "Not normal?"

I mean Luke is autistic and he has an IEP.
Jared is gifted and he has an IEP.

So I think it's time we talked about it.

It's interesting. I meet a lot of parents with autistic kids that are sort of embarrassed to talk about their child's autism. Almost like there's this badge of shame in saying that your kid may be less than "whole" somehow. I'm the mom with a puzzle piece tattoo on her a$$ so what does that tell you abo…

And The Emmy goes to....

I'll admit, most of my life I've been somewhat of an entertainment junkie. And by somewhat, I mean........totally.

But in recent years, my priorities have shifted quite a bit and I can't even remember the last year I watched the Emmy's. I mean, who has time to WATCH television let alone watch a show that celebrates the accomplishments of said media? Not me.

But not this year. Oh no. I was GLUED.

How many years in the past have we all watched the "documentary of the moment" walk on stage and scoop up their prizes? In years past we've seen made for TV movies ranging from war to depression to religion to politics to disease and everything in between. And it's been great. I'm really happy for all of the winners (hits FF button on the DVR remote).

But this year, I cared. A lot. Because this year, I was up for an Emmy. Luke was up for an Emmy. Anyone who has been touched by autism (and there's a lot of us) was up for an Emmy. It was OUR nig…

Just be.

Oh dear blog readers, it has been awhile.

If you've read my blog before, you know ~ I am one of the most honest people out there. I pride myself on giving the brutal truth at all times. So here it comes.

I've been in a hole for 6 months. And I've liked being there.

I think it's safe to say, I'm having (((((gasps for breath))))) a mid-life crisis. Or, is it a mom-life crisis? I'm not sure. Either way, I haven't felt very good in quite sometime. You know, upstairs in the brain part? Also that thing in my chest? In my heart?

I mean for 6 months I've all but avoided human contact as much as I could. It was like if I talked to my mom on the phone, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fake it well enough and she'd ask "the dreaded question." Same goes for my best friend. Even my husband.

"Dear GOD please do not let anyone ask THE QUESTION."

You know the one.

"What's wrong?"

Because here's the thing. I don…
Every single day of my life people ask me what autism is.

And that shocks me.

1 in 110 kids in the United States alone are being diagnosed with autism. If you don't know what it means...hang on to your hat. Because autism is about to become "the new norm."

Whatever "the norm" means.

Here's what our friends at Wikipedia have to say about it.
"Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old.[1] Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.[2] The two other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and PDD-NOS, diagnosed when full criteria for the other two disorders are not met."

Autism Society of America says, "…

Temple Grandin Changed My Life ... Again

Last week I had the privilege and honor of attending a conference hosted by one Dr. Temple Grandin.

One word: Wow.

Once again, I thought I knew all there was to know about autism. I thought I had read it all, heard it all, seen it all.

Nope. Not even close.

Dr. Grandin said A LOT of really amazing things. The fascinating part about listening to her is that she speaks not only as a PhD, but as an autistic person herself...........what an absolute GIFT it is to get the REAL perspective from her not just from a "clinical" perspective, but from a "real" perspective. As the talks, it's almost hard to listen and focus because you are so in awe of all this woman has accomplished.

Temple said something that just keeps haunting me. My friend Michelle and I looked at the slide and then looked at each other.........not saying a word but just sharing that, "Holy $hit," moment.

"Fear is the main emotion of autism."

What? I thought it was frustration, m…

Are you ready................

I've been neglecting my blog duties.


Can't help it, y'all! The sun is shining... there are weeds to be pulled and worms to be had.

Luke thinks worms are cute. And I think Luke is pretty cute. So we dig for worms together.

Today is Monday, which means that in just a few short days, World Autism Awareness Day will be upon us.

Did you know that there are only 3 "world" days recognized by the UN? Autism being one of them? Kinda cool. Sorta. I mean, sucks that we NEED a day but kinda cool that autism is one of only 3.

Anyway, I digress. Are you ready?

Autism Speaks is sponsoring a "Light it up Blue" campaign. (You may have noticed the ginormous sidebar?) The EMPIRE STATE BUILDING is going to be lit up blue on April 1. Wow. That's a lot of lightbulbs. I bought ONE lightbulb. I'll be lighting up my house blue, will you?

What about your autism gear? Got a tshirt? No? Well, you should have ordered one from my etsy store! Nonethele…

Temple Grandin changed my life

I've read about Temple.

I've even read a few things written by Temple.

But somehow, watching the movie.............the visual representation of what Temple, or a person like Temple (autistic) lives through...........


I thought I had this thing knocked.

Not a chance.

HBO, I commend you. Thank you for airing a major television event on the topic of autism.
Mick Jackson (director), I commend you. Your vision, Temple's vision...the way you brought it to life, the way you brought it home -- without words.
Claire Daines, I cannot wait to watch you win your emmy, although it will not even begin to give you the accolades you deserve. For you this may have been "just a role," or perhaps even "just a paycheck," but........what you showed us.........was nothing short of a miracle.

I cannot stop thinking about this movie. There's a scene where Temple first walks into her new bedroom and the camera zooms in on the ceiling fan, then back to Templ…

And the winner is............ ME!

Woah Nellie! I got props from Jen at Noting Grace. She gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award!!! I think she may have given it to me because I'm so mad at her for moving to Vegas but, alas, I'll take it anyway!!!!

I was having a few weeks of blog dundrums..... you know...anyone who blogs must get in this funk, right? What to blog about? Time to actually blog? So this came at the right time for me. Gave me the "feel good" that I needed to push forward!

Here's the rulez....

1.Post the award.

2.Thank and mention the person who gave you the award.

3.Pass the award on to seven bloggers whom you think embody the spirit of the Kreativ Blogger Award.

4.Name seven things about yourself that others don't know.

5.Don’t forget to notify your seven Kreativ Bloggers about their AWARD and post links to their blogs.

My Kreativ Blogger Seven are: (in no particular order, of course!)

1. Right back at ya Jen. I don't know if that's "legal" to give it back to th…

Life is....

sometimes... just life.

And you do your best to get through it. Sometimes we say, "one day at a time." And sometimes we say,

"one hour at a time."

Because that's all you've got. And you know what?

That's ok.

So right now, at this time of year when we're all in the winter funk and we're wishing and hoping for more sunshine and more hours in the day........I say..... it's ok to just do your best to get by. You don't have to be super parent or superwoman or superman every single day.

Just get through.

The sun also rises. The sun'll come out tomorrow... and all that jazz.

And also? The laundry will still be there tomorrow, so will the dishes, so will the dust, so will the bills, it will all still be there. So just get through today doing the best you can.

And be ok with it.


I've mentioned before that Luke is an awesome eater. He's got about 6 total things on his list that he will eat. At all. Period. I know most of you autism parents out there feel me on this one.

One of the things that Luke will eat is waffles. For awhile we had him eating homemade, organic, loaded with sneaky stuff waffles. That was good. And then somehow, someway, we switched to Eggo ONLY waffles. And for about the last year and a half we've been regularly eating, "Waffles with syrups in a bowl." He like us to cut up the waffles and then he dips the pieces in a little bowl of syrup. So "waffles with syrups in a bowl" has become part of the vernacular at the Schmidt house.

The other day I was re-organizing the pantry in all of my spare time and the good old waffle iron was sitting on the island. Luke spots it and says, "I want square waffles please." (Waffle iron = square waffles. Eggos = round.) I say, "Luke you'll have…

Speaking of a movie review

I just stumbled upon this fabulous blog. My friend Tammy is a photographer and member of a camera club here in TN. A few weeks ago, a new book was featured.... about autism. (Really?) So she told me about it. And I googled it and not only found the book, which can be found here but also the author/creator/brainchild of the book here. Her name is Leisa Hammett and she's an autism mom like me, but I'm guessing she's a little higher on the autism food chain because a) her book is published and b) she got a "press copy" of the Temple Grandin movie! Below is an excerpt from Leisa's blog, but I strongly invite you to go visit it for yourself.

Leisa's Review of the Temple Grandin movie

Whenever autism is portrayed in the popular media, seasoned parent advocates become leery, skeptical. After 13 years on the journey, I've learned repeatedly that in the end, It's All Good. No matter how inaccurate, offensive o…

A Good Way to Spend 2 hours

Recently, we rented and watched the movie, ADAM. It's a wonderful story about a 30ish year old man with Asperger's finding love.... and himself. I won't give my official review because I don't want to taint your watching experience. But whether or not you know someone with Asperger's/Autism.... it ain't a bad way to spend 2 hours. Hugh Dancy blew my mind as Adam ~ after having most recently seen him as the charismatic love interest in Confessions of a Shopaholic. Is this the most perfect representation of someone living with Asperger's/Autism? Of course not. And I don't think it was meant to be. Asperger's is not the star of this movie, Adam is. we all hope for our own kids.... Adam is so much more than just a man with Asperger's.

"This book"

I know, I know, I know. The topic this month is, "believe." I get it. I've been talking about "believing in yourself," but yanno what? Sometimes it's kinda hard. I get that. On a night like tonight, I get that more than anyone.
Here's the thing. It's sort of a dirty little secret. But I'm about to let the cat out of the bag.
A year ago, I wrote a book.
Yep, I, me, April Schmidt wrote a book.
Guess what it's about? Come on, guess........ it's going to be shocking.
A little boy with autism.
It's a children's book. A picture book, in fact. And here's the story of how it came to be.
About a year ago, Luke and I were having a really bad day. Sometimes we have those. Luke is REALLY into books and as we were laying in bed trying to wind down this bad day and put it behind us, I was really wishing I had a book. This book. A book that he could "read" and relate to. A book that he could look at the pictures and say, "Hey that&…