Workin’ for a living

Posted by theothersideofnormal on November 5, 2014 in autism, coping skills |



We’re entering November and I can’t even believe that this year is nearly gone.

How did this happen?

When we last spoke, Tony had just graduated from the high school transition program and there were a lot of unknowns ahead.

Summer came and went and we did our best to keep him occupied.  My niece, Elizabeth, came to help out this summer and moved in for awhile.  It’s fun having a girl around!  She’s great with Tony and it’s fun for him to have a “sister” in the house for a while.  We managed to get Tony out on the lake a few times, which he loves.

Summer 2014 017 - Copy - Copy Summer 2014 033 Summer 2014 065






Even Beau got to the lake

Summer 2014 147 Summer 2014 144






Of course, there were weekly trips to thrift stores

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And family gatheringsiphone summer 2014 022

(notice his crazy uncles in the background)





There was an introduction to a new family member

iphone summer 2014 166(meeting Kelly’s new baby girl)






And construction projects

Tony's pics 10.14 038(Tony’s new “library” in his room, with his collections of books, DVDs, and VHS tapes from thrift stores)





We survived football season and all the pre and post game “meetings” too!

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fall 2014 034 iphone summer 2014 080iphone summer 2014 148






Although Tony was not able to attend the games due to the large crowds, noise, and incredibly high stress/loud cheering among family members — Ok… I’m talking about me here —  I truly feel Tony followed all the games and knew exactly if we’d won or lost.  He always waited up for us (which was not always a good thing, because we elevated his stress levels at times).

I was able to make every single game for the first time ever!!!   And that was because of my completely unselfish and caring mother who drove up for every game to stay with Tony so I could attend all of the festivities and watch Tony’s younger brother play football.  And let me tell you, I attended with gusto and had a ball!  I think I’m just now getting my voice back.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mom… I will always treasure those memories.

Although there were times this past summer when I felt like I had no freedom, no flexibility, and the days would drag on, there was always something on the horizon.  Something on the books.  I realized what it felt like to be Tony at times — needing a plan, needing things on the calendar, needing something to look forward to.

There were behavior issues this summer too, as I watched Tony wanting to become more independant and certainly not wanting to be “watched” or “babysat”.  He only ran off a couple of times (thank you, neighbors, for your watchful eyes) and we always were able to work through it after time passed.  Only two broken pieces of furniture and a broken iPad this summer — I’d call that a success!

So, after a summer that, at times, felt like it was the longest one of my life, Tony finally started his work program at the end of September.  We hit a few bumps in the road to getting it all set up for him, but in the end it really feels like a good fit and he’s doing great.

He has a job.

He has a routine.

He has purpose.

He’s a workin’ man and he’s so very proud.

Phillips family reunion 2014 096tony2014






Even though life can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Pave your way.  There’s always a sunrise on the horizon.

Keep the faith,






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