Sunday, August 13, 2017

Aspergers Mental Illness and Church

Within the LDS church we teach a lot about things like Eternal Marriage, Families can be Together Forever, Service, Atonement of Jesus Christ and so on. 

Today in Sunday School we talked about Eternal Marriage. What it was and how you should treat your spouse and children. Comments have came up, things like:

  • Don't take your frustrations on your spouse to social media. If you do have a problem with your spouse then talk to you're spouse alone not to anyone else, unless you do need to have a therapist to be a "coach" and to help create a safe environment to discuss hard issues. 
  • It is ok to set strong boundaries with your spouse or anyone else, so you can have your time, and so that you can be you. Or to in-laws so that you and your spouse can be going in the direction that you want to go as a couple. 
  • Love beyond the Grave. that is one of the concepts that we as a Church teach and can allow to have a Marriage that is not just "Death do you Part" your marriage can be forever if you are married in the LDS Temple. It is a beautiful concept and lots of couples or singles for some other reason do not have that chance to be married in the LDS Temple but, will have that chance. 
  • Just because you are married in the LDS Temple, that does not guarantee that you will still have that chance to stay together for all eternity. If you don't treat each other right, then you're spouse might not choose you. 

There where more obviously, but they were just the key points that I wanted touch on. You see my brother who has Asperger's, and Mental Illness, was having a hard time through that class. He wants his "wife".  He wants it so badly everything that God has promised to him if he lived the teachings of Jesus Christ. My brother is no different then we are. Who doesn't want a love that will last long beyond the grave? Shakespeare, believed in it enough to write Romeo and Juliet. There have been countless Love Serenades and Ballads throughout the years. People believed in it enough to write them.

Then came the combine class about  Self Reliance. It was good, it was just an introduction on what you might expect from taking a 12 week course that the church provides. I have not taken that course yet, I am sure that I will.... However, as the class progress my brother got agitated and a little anxiety started to show through his bodily physical movements. I just put my hand on his back, patted him a little, told him that he was ok, he calmed down and then I asked if he wanted to go home. He said yes. So I took him home about 15 minutes before church ended. 

You see, one of the tools that his therapist gave us is to be aware of my brothers needs and his anxiety, if we need to leave then ok, we will. We don't mean to be rude, we don't do it because the speaker might be boring, or we think they are stupid or anything in that negative sphere. It is just sometimes we need to take him out of the situation so that he can feel safe and or accepted. 

Not everyone on the Autism Spectrum, will have the same reaction and need to be taken out of the situation. Some are ok, if someone just holds their hand and accept them for who they are. Everyone who are on the Autism Spectrum will respond different and therefore will have a different way to handle whatever is giving them anxiety/agitation/stress, or whatever it might be and it depends on how bad it is. Just pay attention to them and just give any extra help that they might need. 

The key is patience and love. 

Cheers everyone!         

Friday, March 3, 2017

My expirence with the Autistic Spectrum

I get the comment all of the time that people know what the Autism Spectrum is. They tell me that there nephew/cousin/neighbor/church member/ etc is on the Autism Spectrum so they know all about it. Hmmm.....Right. 

No, you don't. Thank you. I have lived with my brother who is on the Autistic Spectrum, (Asperger's in fact) all my life, I am the youngest of my family. So yes, I do have life experience, but I am no expert, but then who is? And....first of all...not every person on the Spectrum are the same. They are as individual as Snowflakes.( Not that new stupid political term, but the it's-so-cold-the-water-coming-down-turns-into-ice crystals, snowflakes.) 

Unbeknownst to my parents and I, we were going to have the ride of our lives. You see, just over a year ago this brother of mine developed psychosis on top of his Asperger's. It was a year of fighting for his rights with the state of Utah, and my Mothers right as a Mother to keep her son safe.
  • My mother had to go to the Utah courts to get guardianship over him. She won.  
  • Me, I fought with him to take his pills. He thought that we were poisoning him. Nothing could be further from the truth. I even wrestled him for the pills in question, he was going to throw-them-a-way in the garbage. Later I was told that you never do anything like that with someone with mental illness. Oh well....I won. 
  • My mother fought with the State of Utah for my brothers Medical Care, and his medical insurance.  She won.
  • My mother fought with the doctors to give her son adequate medical care. Long battle, but she won. 
  • My mother fought with the creditors to get his Student loans forgiven. She found a company to help her. In turn he can't have a steady job for 3 years. Well we are not worried about that because of his disability and his mental illness, really he can't do anything for very long. His mental stamina along that come with his Asperger's and the mental illness wont let him. She won.
 I assure you, if we need do it all over again....we will. My mother and I have become a force to be reckoned with.

We told a friend of ours what our year have been like. She was shocked, amazed. She told us that  "enduring to the end" we think that it only means our own physical health, but no, it means to endure whatever life throw at us. This takes on a whole new meaning of "Enduring to the End"1 Nephi 13:27

   And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

It has been a very hard year. Last spring we thought that we were doing good. Hmmmm. No, we were wrong. We are fortunate to have a therapist for my bother to come into our home and give him and us the tools that we need to take care of my brother. We needed these tools. We need to first make sure that we are ok, then we can take care of my brothers needs. Slowly but surely with the help of the therapist, we are making progress, they are there, no matter how stubble they are, it is still progress.

Now like the analogy of the fitness journey. When someone is on that journey, they eat right, they work out, but sooner or later, they will hit bumps in the road or that fitness plateau. It's normal. Well it is the same with our year. We have hit bumps in the road, and have hit the plateau, the therapist assures us that this is all normal and there will be more.

It has been emotional frustrating, taxing, and exhaustion. There have been times that we all wanted to give up, someway, somehow just give up. We have been blessed by God. He has gave to us the mental stamina, the will power, the knowledge, and more tender mercies. All of this progress it is all because of Him. If we do everything in our power to do what God wants us to do then He will bear us up.And He has. I am so thankful for Him and what He has done.

"The unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah" ~Elder Bednar~

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Love/Hate Summer/grown ups

So I came across one moms perspective on how she hate's summer with her autistic son, called:

~10 reasons why autism and summer clash

I can totally relate on all accounts but two. 1), I am a little sister who has an older bother with Asperger/High Functioning Autism. Yes, they pretty much mean the same thing.  You see Asperger is High Functioning Autism.  

No, there is no cure. No, the shots didn't cause him to be on the Autism Spectrum. And No, the Shots didn't cause this! No. it didn't, so don't ague with me on this!

10 Reasons why Autism/Asperger and Adult hood clash:

  1. Yes, he takes showers, just about every day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes he'll go without taking a shower for 2 days. Yes, we do remind him to take a shower, brush his teeth, brush his hair, and etc. He just wont think of such trivial things. 
  2. Yes, he is smart. I mean Very smart. He was talking to a neurologist about the brain. What each part does, why it does what it does. How it works, why it works and yeah, everything. The neurologist, dropped his jaw and said "He has as much knowledge about this as I do. He could have my job!" While he was in 3rd grade his teacher could have let my brother take over teaching the class. Yeah, he is THAT stinking smart!  
  3. He is alone, almost all of the time. In so many ways he connects with the Young men. Ages 12-18. His social level is at 7(?), sometimes it is as 12-18. He has melt downs just like other people with Autism and Asperger. In some ways, he is like a child, a 7 year old child. So other people have a hard time connecting to him. Heck, so do we, his own family! He loves his sweets. He'll stay on his computer for hours learning about different things. Right now it is cake decorating. Way cool that he is learning, but hate it that he is alone. 
  4.   Tries to "go with the flow", but really likes his routine, structure, things must be the same. While during Thanksgiving, I'll be just as Thankful with a BLT, he on the other hand, needs to have the full Turkey dinner. And the Turkey left overs just keep coming back, like some bad nightmare! You see, 11 years ago the family lost everything. Jobs, house, friends, everything. He tried to keep his cool, but no, things propped up and we are still dealing with the after math.  That is because he hates change, I mean really hates change. He had tried to deal with it but had a very hard time in doing so.
  5.  He needs to know everything you are doing. Like everything! Your day, if you are cutting back roses, or mowing the lawn, making brownies, cake, or simply what the heck you are making for dinner. What is it?!? Yes, he needs to know, and he'll hover for ever. And yes, it drives me nuts. 
  6. He only plans for the here and now, not the future, not even 3 hours from now. It is the "here and now." That is ok, for the most part. but he needs to be reminded to do things and that things are coming up in the future. See number 4.
  7. You see while he'll eat just about everything, now he decides that he can ONLY eat some foods and not others. Why? See number 4.
  8. His mind keeps him wanting to learn more. See number 2. That is way cool, that he wants to keep learning more, but it exhausts him, to the point that he needs to have a nap during the day, sometime more times during the day. That is because both his right side and his left side of  his brain doesn't communicate to each other very well, so he becomes mentally exhausted, so he takes naps.   
  9. He is very trusting. That can be a good thing. The problem is that he really trust everyone else and not his family. He will to a point.We can say things that are true and he will believe us about whatever truth we are saying. Other times his mind is SO made up that no matter what we'll tell him, it won't do any good what-so-ever. 
  10. He has learned to be every creative in just about everything he will do. It is fascinating to see what he can come up with, but still he need to follow the written directions. Because remember number 4?
  11. He'll say things and does things that will hurt people emotionally, he doesn't mean it, and it is usually not his intention....because you know see number 3. I love to see him socialize, but cringe every time he does. I don't know if that person will become offended or not, or just be shocked. Usually I just think.....Pass the popcorn! We're having a party! And just set back and watch the reactions of people. Pass the popcorn, it can be fun!?!    
 What I have learned with working and living with special needs
  • They can show pure love. They don't care what you look like, or what you are wearing. They are just happy to know that you are their, and safe. 
  •  They can teach you patience and how to love in the purest of forms.
  •  He finds beauty in ugly things, like snakes, lizards, Alligators, weird painting's and sculptures.  You name it he'll find it. I have learned to do the same because of him and others who I have worked with. 
  • He'll mix his food as he sees fit, because remember number 4? Yeah. I know, but that is just how it is. This is Special Needs, welcome to it.  
  • Living with Special Needs and work with Special Needs are two different things. Very Different Things
  • No, two people who are on the Autism Spectrum are the same. No, they are not, don't even try to argue, no, just no. They are different. You can't put people with Autism or Asperger's in one box, you can't even put them in 100 different box's. You might in a 1,000 different box's, but that is being generous. 
  • I have also learned that while working with special needs, the ones who are on the Autistic Spectrum, it is Normal, yes normal for them to have some type of Psychosis. And you thought that I was kidding about the box's? HAHAHAHAH! Not even! The best to prevent/help this is Psychotherapy or Counseling very early on,  depending on the person, and what is gong on. Sometimes they need both. Don't believe me? The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper, that should explain it all. Or how about Sherlock Holmes? Know the signs, of Psychosis. Look it up, check out books, whatever you need to do to educate yourself.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Poetic Ironic Justice.

Miss Gillespie is a teacher in a grade school in Utah. She has been their for years. In fact she was all of my brothers teacher. When I came along she didn't have me in her class.  Another teacher came along with a higher seniority, only because she had a higher degree. She was upset, she even went to the principle crying, argued, and begged to have mien her class. She even said:

"I have all the Robbs! I want/need the whole set!" 

Come to find out poetic ironic justice have been in the works all these years. Miss Gillespie, now known by a different name, is my nephews teacher this year!  So now she is starting on the "second set" of Robbs. 

I just laughed when my nephew told me who he had as a teacher. She even told him that she new his grandma very well. Yes she does, and it was all my brothers fault. This time it really is, she was never my teacher. 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adventures of a Temple Worker

Not to worry I'm not going to put anything that shouldn't be on line, but I can't resist blogging about some of my experiences. One thing I will say is that, in the Temples, miracles happen. Some are so amazing, so tender, you want to "Keep it in your heart" like Mary the Mother of Jesus did.

I have been a LDS Temple Ordinance Worker at the Jordan River Temple since February of this year, 2015.  Things have been interesting. The questions that people asked me are interesting. The Temple Presidency have asked the workers to direct the Patrons to one of them IF they have a question that pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or to the Temple it's self. I don't get such lucky questions. I get others. For example:

  • Is your hair natural, (curly)?
I always answer that question with a yes. followed by: "Do you want to trade?" People always laugh when I'll ask that question. What I really want to say when ask the natural curly hair question. "I took the wool from the sheep and stuck it on my head, only because I don't have anything else to do." Or "I wanted to know what it would be like if I stuck my finger in the light socket"

  • Are you a Return Missionary? You sound like one.

Sadly no. But thank you for the compliment! That is awesome! I have always wanted to go on a LDS mission, but every time I would pray and ask if it would be right for me to serve a mission the answer would always be no. However I have been through a lot of hard times. I identify with Alma 32:12

I say unto you, it is well that ye are cast out of your synagogues, that ye may be humble, and that ye may learn wisdom; for it is necessary that ye should learn wisdom; for it is because that ye are cast out, that ye are despised of your brethren because of your exceeding poverty, that ye are brought to a lowliness of heart; for ye are necessarily brought to be humble

I have to really ask myself: "Where is my testimony? Is it in the people, or is it in the Atonement of Christ?" I decided that it was in the Atonement. So I still read the scriptures, I get frustration along with comfort from them. Frustration, but that is just Isiah, he makes everyone frustrated.  

  • Where are you from? You sound like you have an accent, a British one.
 Here in Utah, born and raised. I've always thought that I had a Utahan accent. I did say that I did have family from the UK,  they come over here like a hundred years ago doing the Handcart thing with the other brave saints from the UK. So now not only do I seem like a RM. but I also talk funny! Too much BBC?

A patron had the last name as my first name, it was just spelled different, but not much. She told me that I need to marry someone with her last name. Now if you have ever seen Ghost Beakers. Bob Hope's character had the name of Lawrence. A line in that movie was: "His name is Lawrence 3 times!" All I could think of was "Her name is Hollie 2 times!" I couldn't wrapped my head around that and all I could do was laugh.

As you may or may not heard the Utah Jordan River Temple will be closed for extensive renovation. The Temple was opened the year I was born 1979. Now you know how old I am along with the JR Temple. The Temple is dubbed "The Peoples Temple". The land was donated, and the church wanted to have the people raise money to build the temple. It is currently the most visited Temple in the world! We are told that on average we do around 1500 ordinances a day in that Temple! It is still not used in full. We always have one endowment room closed, we just rotate the rooms, and if we had enough workers then all of the Initiatory booths would be open. Sadly we don't have enough workers, so the waiting time can be 1-2 hours on average. On February 15 all Temple workers will be released, yep, including me. Our Temple president and Matron wont be.  
Now here is the Rumors that is now surrounding the Jordan River Temple. These are good, remember they are just rumors, nobody really knows what is going to happen.
  1. They are going to build a second baptismal fount. That would be cool, the JR will be the only temple with 2 baptismal founts.  Makes sense, we do get a lot of Youth coming to do baptisms for the dead.
  2. They are going to get rid of the escalator's. We don't know, they are expensive to run.
  3. They are going to redo the kitchen, and cafeteria. It really does need it, plumbing problems and it is small. 
  4. They are going to rebuild it from the bottom up. If they do, then I hope they keep the outside design. It's unique, and gorgeous in it's own way. 
  5. They are going to make the Celestial Room bigger. Again we don't know.
  6. Living Endowment will be changed, because of the bathroom/toilet chorus. Well the NN area also have the bathroom/toilet chorus. Yes, it's an interesting chorus to hear.
  7. They are going to redraw the Temple districts. We don't know, but I can tell you that the Oquirrh Mountain Temple is freaked out by the traffic that is coming their way. I can't say about the Salt Lake Temple and the Draper Temple. I have also heard that the Provo Temple will be closed at the same time as the JR Temple. 
Remember the 1-7 is rumor mill. We don't know what is going on, other then what was announced a week and a half ago. The JR Temple needs it, and I think that it will be fun to see what they would do with it.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pineapple Coconut Chicken

Pineapple Coconut Chicken! Wow, this one is good! Not only I get to play with my one of my favorite spices....Ginger, but one of my favorite foods....Pineapple.  You can also dub this as a all natural cough syrup. I'll tell you how later on.  Really it works! I used this while I had a terrible's Awesome!


4 Boneless Chicken breast
1 Pineapple
1 lemon
3inch of Ginger root
1 tsp Honey
1 Tbl of coconut oil.
2 Tbl shredded coconut


One whole pineapple pealed, discard the outer layer. Cut ALL of the fruit...yes even the hard core of the pineapple. According to Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist: the hard core of the pineapple is full of nutrition. Like high dosage of vitamin C,  manganese, and enzymes. It's that stuff that helps the body brake down proteins and turn it into energy. Put all of the cut up pineapple into a food processor. Fresh squeeze the whole lemon in to the food processor with the pineapple. Peal the ginger cut it up and place that in there as well, with the teaspoon of honey. Put the food processor on high.  Now you need a fine wire colander or a cheese cloth. Drain the liquid/cough syrup. So...the liquid is the awesome all natural cough syrup! Place the cough syrup in a mansion jar, or some sealed container, put it in the fridge. Take 2 teaspoons every 4/6 hours. 

Now the pulp, is used for your chicken. Place chicken and pulp in a frying pan with coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of  shredded coconut. Cook until your chicken reaches 160 degrees, or until you are confidant that the chicken is done!  This is supper good! 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Romanticizing: What Could Be

Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up and everything will be Beautiful? No more killings, hate, or fear? How about walking at night alone on the streets of your favorite city? Possibly a city you've always wanted to visit, but haven't yet?

With all that is ugly things happening around the world, sometimes it is hard to find the simple beautiful joy. We hear or see of killings, threats, the terror people will cause on others. Why? Why must people do and say such things? Could it be jealousy, fear, or just plain zealousness? 

We learn in the scriptures "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20 & 3 Nephi 14:20). As in, look in what they are saying, and doing. A good tree cannot bare rotten fruit. How about: a genuinely good person will always do good, because they want to. 

There is beauty still. Beauty is everywhere. It is in art, music, flowers, and etc. It is 1 am my time. How much fun would it be to walk alone in the dark in your city of choice and not have fear? You could enjoy the city at your own pace. Take everything in, all the sites, smells, the sounds. That would be a fantasy right now. 

Everyone from time to time do a little Romanticizing. Be it for the past, present, or future. We all somehow, in some way do just that, romanticize. Does that make one a romantic or a hopeless romantic?

One of my goal is to find the beauty in this world. It may seem heard or overwhelming, but it can be done. Beauty is in the simplest act of kindness to the simplest and smallest of pleasures. Joy and beauty can be found. We just need to realize it, if we don't now.