Just “Doing Something”: A Tale of Autism




I was half a mile from home when my cell phone rang. “Hello?”

“Hi Mom. Are towels made of cotton?” My 13-year old and his questions. Always, questions.

“Yes usually, why?” I replied.

“I was just wondering.”

“Are you done with your math yet?”


“So you’re not done with your math?”

“Not really. No.” As if I didn’t already know the answer to that. “Well I’ll be home in 2 minutes so get to work.”

“OK Bye.”

Just "Doing Something": A Tale of Autism

I clicked off my speaker phone and made my way home. I walked in to discover my son in the laundry room.

OH. Cotton towels. He was moving them from the washer to the dryer. Isn’t it funny how often we jump to conclusions? I really had thought my son was just stalling on his schoolwork, which is NOT unusual for him, but he was doing something.

That makes it okay, right?

But he’s always just doing something. 

Just checking the mail. Just feeding the dogs. Just getting a pen for me (because he heard me say something about not having one in the kitchen.) Just….

Always just SOMETHING. And it’s always so he can avoid something else.

Here’s the thing. He has Autism. He is attentive to a fault. The boy cannot simply turn off input. Any input. He knows what is happening in the house at all times. He hears all conversations (and acts on them, even if he was not asked to.) Due to this, he is probably the most distractable kid I’ve ever had, and we had six. 

He’s a joy and a challenge, all bundled up in a tall (taller than me!) boy with a gentle disposition and sweet brown eyes. The boy who is so innocent he honestly still believed in Santa and the Easter bunny until just the past few months. (I’m off the hook! Wahoo!)

How do you teach a kid what he needs to know to graduate high school when he can’t keep his rear in a chair or his head on any one subject for more than five minutes? How do we bring this young man through these last few years, assigning credits and accumulating work that proves his transcript, when he is limited to keyboarding ALL written work?

Welcome to my world. But I know it can be done.

I know it will be done, by God’s grace and provision. I have never been so nervous about taking on a high schooler as I am with this boy, but God’s plans for him will beat mine every time.

April is Autism Awareness Month. Do you love someone with Autism?

The Momma Knows

Dawn (22 Posts)

Dawn is still happily homeschooling after 16 years. She teaches her two sons, 13 & 11, enjoying every minute of "the second time around". She lives in Eastern Washington with her husband, the youngest 2 of their 6 kids, and an assortment of barking, squeaking, and clucking critters. She writes at her homeschool/parenting blog The Momma Knows and her new chapter, Dawn Marie Perkins. You can also find her on Twitter @DawnMPerkins, , and Pinterest.

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The Parenting Road to Good Character

Teaching Character by Example

Parenting is like a road that begins before our children are born and carry on through the entire journey of a life.  I think most parents hope this for their children, that they will grow into productive honorable men and women. But when does good character training begin?

teaching good character


It’s not always easy, this thing called parenting. Some days you smile and laugh at your adorable child as they smile up at you and bring laughter into your heart and you think all is right with the world. Other days you feel like you are going to lose your mind when you repeat the same instructions, over and over and over again, and again. Yet, that is our job, to train up a child. The child’s job is to learn and this is most often accomplished by repetition.

So how do we train up a child to become adults that have honorable character?

I believe, like anything, the earlier we can begin to teach, train and lead our children in good character qualities the more grounded they will be when they reach adulthood. It begins by setting an example. Children learn best by the example that we live before them. {Tweet This} They see it, hear it, observe it and reflect it in their own life. We set the standard for them, from the earliest of ages.

As our children get older and we begin to set expectations for them and they begin to reflect the life we have lived before them from their earliest childhood. We will begin to see who they may become when they reach adulthood. They will reflect the example you have laid for them. This is where the do as I do becomes do as I say and the two better be aligned. If they do not, then you will be living a lie in front of your child.

Which Parenting Road are You On?

  • If we want our children to have a strong work ethic but we sit on the couch and watch TV all day, then they see that work isn’t very important to us.
  • If we want our children to be honest, yet we lie to cover our tracks, they learn that a “little lie” is preferable to honesty.
  • If we want our children to have strong marriages and we spend our time husband bashing, we fail to honor their father in their eyes and they learn that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  • If we want them to exhibit patience, kindness and love to others, yet they hear us grumble, complain and yell at them when they don’t get it right the first time, then they are learning that patience, love and kindness are not as important as the appearance of getting it right.

Parenting your way to good character

We can’t have it both ways. If we want our children to grow up to have good character then we need to walk our road exhibiting good character and we can not swerve from that path. It’s not easy. It requires us to live honestly. If you haven’t been setting the good character example then you can start today. Make changes to show you say what you mean and you mean what you say because you are living the example. Your parenting road should be a the example you want your children to grow into.

What do you believe contributes to children growing up into honorable adults who display good character?

Renée (12 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.

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What’s The Purpose? A New Perspective on Homeschool Conferences




Purpose and Perspective for attending a #Homeschool Conference @hsbapost

I wasn’t new to conferences. As a former public educator, I had been to my fair share.

Conferences are an excellent opportunity to learn from and connect with others in your area of expertise. It is also an excellent opportunity to check out the new and exciting products that you might just really, definitely, most absolutely *need*!

Don’t worry, it’s ok that you don’t realize you *need* those things. Truth is, you didn’t need it until you saw it, and then suddenly it becomes the most amazing fix to whatever problem you have. It is awesome like that, that’s how it works!

So, as a not so new person to conferences, I heard about the Titus 2:1 Conference. My friend was scheduled to speak, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to meet her. Oh yeah, and also an opportunity to fellowship with other Christian women who blog and homeschool.

As I started praying about the conference, I was sure I was supposed to stay home. Looking back, I am sure it was Satan planting that seed of doubt. I wanted to go for selfish reasons, and there seemed to be one road block after another. So, I prayed about why I wanted to go, and what I would gain by going.

Yes, I wanted to go for the chance to meet my dear friend, but I realized there were other reasons to go…

I was considering monetizing my blog. I had just purchased my own url and hosting, and I was ready to start letting the big bucks roll on in!

I was also considering homeschooling. We had spent a very difficult school year trying to get D back in school, but I really felt God calling me to consider all of my options for the littles.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, I needed to be renewed. I needed a chance to rest in the presence of fellow believers. I needed God to rejuvenate my heart and help me to remember my purpose, not my struggles.

With the new perspective of my motivation to attend, I started praying specifically for God to show me His plan.

Within a day of that new perspective, I received an email saying that my ticket for the conference had been purchased by an anonymous donor. Another company sponsored my hotel room in exchange for exposure at the conference and on my blog.

God was in control. His plan was for me to attend. I had the reassurance I needed.

As time drew closer, my plans for childcare and travel began to unravel. I realized that once again I was focusing on me. Satan was worming his way back in, and I let him take my focus off of God’s purpose for my attendance.

I put my head down and prayed. Within hours, He had worked it out.

There was no way to prepare for what God would tell me while I was there, though!

While I made connections with others and did learn from them, this conference was so different than those I had attended as an educator.

The purpose of this conference, for me, was two-fold.

First, I was to connect with God. Second, I was to learn about purpose.

I learned that my blog has one purpose.

My life has one purpose:  Glorifying God

I am supposed to focus my blog on Glorifying God. I am supposed to raise my children in a way that would Glorify God. I am supposed to conduct myself in such a way that everything I do Glorifies God.

When doing that, all of the other stuff is just that…stuff.

If you are considering a conference this year, whether it is Titus 2:1, or any other homeschool conference, consider your purpose.

Why do you want to attend? What will you learn? Who will you connect with? How will you apply that to your life?

And then…

Be ready for it all to be blown away!
Be prepared to hear God’s voice.
Be prepared to hear God tell you everything you didn’t want to hear.

Be prepared for your heart to be changed!

Oh yeah, and be prepared to spend a little money on those new and exciting products that you had no idea you just had to have!


Lena H (10 Posts)

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