Susan McCorkindale

Author. Editor. Autism Advocate.

Confessions

10.8.18

Coffee Before Fuel Is Cool. Reverse It, and You Might Regret It

Certain Cars + Diesel = Disaster. 

Sleepily, she slips in her debit card, punches in her zip code and hits enter. Then she looks down to select super-premium or sort-of-super premium or whatever the heck the hundred bucks a gallon gas her BMW demands is called, but she can’t find it.

Hmm. That’s weird.

She lifts the bright green handle. Maybe the super-premium or sort-of-super premium is underneath it? It’s not. She looks around. None of the other drivers out in the early morning drizzle appear to be having trouble with their pumps.

Maybe this one only has one kind? she wonders and then looks – really looks – at the bright green sign with the white writing and it registers. Oh dear God, it’s DIESEL!  She grabs the nozzle that she’s thisclose to plunging into her gas tank, shoves it back into place on the pump, replaces her gas cap, and slinks into her car wondering if anyone’s been watching her stupidity.

And then she drives off, vowing from then on to get coffee before getting gas. Because clearly she’s incapable of doing one without the other.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY. THAT HAPPENED TO A FRIEND. AND SHE WANTED ME TO SHARE IT. NICE OF HER, HUH?

 

 

 

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9.26.18

Thought of the Day, 9.26.18

Self-care is critical. You can’t pour from an empty vessel.

Today’s thought of the day is a simple reminder to take care of yourself. I see you out there, managing kids, a successful career, and the house. I see you out there killing it, batting away obstacles like flies, shining as you cross the finish line – another goal achieved.

I love watching you.

I am so proud for you.

I pray for you, too. I pray you’ll remember to take care of yourself. I pray you won’t skip the gym, the Zumba class, the early morning walk, the massage.

No matter where you are in the pursuit of what you’re after, remember that self-care is not selfish. It’s necessary. So please,  do rest in whatever manner fuels you.

You can’t pour from an empty vessel.

For more thoughts of the day, please join me on YouTube for Flaws Are The New Black, and on Instagram

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9.25.18

Thought the of Day

Be present for your life.

Today’s thought of the day is simple but significant. Live In The Moment. I remind myself to do this almost constantly. Stay in the moment, Susan. Be present right now. Don’t let your to-do list or anxiety or unruly adult ADHD take your brain racing off to some imagined future place or worse, some place in the past. Life is short. Don’t miss it. Stay in the moment. Sometimes it’s tough. I could be having a conversation that’s bothering me, setting alarm bells off in my belly, and my mind wants to run away to the beach or go over my grocery list or whatever. But I need to pay attention to the alarm bells. They are, as my friend Marianne Clyde says, information, and I need that information. Whatever it is my gut is trying to tell me I need to hear. So being present isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. Don’t miss a minute of today, my friends. Live in this moment. It’s not coming around again.

For more thoughts, please join me on YouTube for Flaws Are The New Black, and on Instagram

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9.21.18

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Driver’s License

Like every other kid on the planet, I wanted my driver’s license. It didn’t matter that I was an absolutely terrible driver, the kind that clips corners, hits curbs, and knocks down street signs when making a right, and who has an uncanny ability to make a left onto a divided highway, end up on the wrong side of the road, and come face to face with oncoming traffic. None of it mattered. Not nervousness, nearsightedness, or my abysmal lack of skill was going to deter me. I wanted my license. And somehow I got it. Can you imagine how petrified my parents were?

When my eldest reached driving age however, it was a different story. He couldn’t navigate the high school driving class and I was too busy caring for my husband to call and demand accommodations. And since all my son has ever wanted is to fit in, he was happy I wasn’t on the phone or in the school office making a scene. Instead he dropped the class and we decided to wait until after his dad passed to deal with it.

It’s funny, when Casey was diagnosed we were told he’d never drive. And yet he was driving the farm truck with almost no instruction. He had incredible focus and never drove fast. If anything he drove too slowly and hey, what parent doesn’t pray for that?

When it finally came time to find him a driving school, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I called school after school and none were equipped to teach an ASD student. One man even said “Oh no, ma’am, we can’t be responsible for that!” My son is not a “that.” He’s a human being who deserves to learn to drive and pass that damn test no matter how long it takes him.

By some miracle we were contacted by the Department of Rehabilitative Services and Case was given the chance to learn to drive at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville. And we thought we lived in the boonies. This place is no place. And it looks like a psych ward. Case was not happy. I pretended to be happy. Case refused to go. I dragged him there.

He stayed just long enough to get the basics. Then he escaped and showed up at the front door. I said, “How’d you get here?” And he pointed to his friend and replied, “He drove me.” Oh really? I then informed the friend that he would be finishing my kid’s training and getting him to pass the written test. Yes, I paid him, but I wanted to shoot them both.

Since you’ve probably seen my son in town, delivering pizza, you know he passed. What you don’t know is he passed the first time. He still drives a little slowly but he’s never turned into oncoming traffic like his mom has. Recently. Yeah, let’s not get into that.

Ah, sweet freedom. And they said it couldn’t be done!

So what’s the moral of the story?

One, young adults with ASD, don’t despair and parents, don’t give up hope. There are driving schools popping up all over the country that specialize in teaching kids with ALL KINDS of special needs.

Two, if you live in Virginia, Woodrow really does have a great driving program (despite it’s being ugly), staffed by talented, patient professionals, and it’s not your only option. There are other resources available to you. Yes, there are. I found them.  Too late for Case but just in time for you.

And three, don’t believe everything the professionals tell you. Just believe in your kid.

Love,

Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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