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Thursday, October 28, 2010

After having a mammogram in August, I recieved a letter stating that something had shown up on the images and I needed to make an appointment for more tests.  I followed through and had that appointment on Oct. 20th.  Fortunately, all that was found were cysts that are not dangerous.  But in the ensuing days ....

  
    The day of my appointment was more eventful than I had realized.  While I was at the Breast Care Center, our AS son was doing other things.  You all know how he loves photography and takes great pride in his camera.  He decided to sell his camera because he wanted to purchase a bass guitar.  I found out about it the next day.
   I knew he had done this in reaction to what was happening to me and I also knew he would regret it.  He obsessed over the bass all week long and insisted on taking it to the LDS jam on Tuesday night.  Like a child with a new toy, wanting to show it off to the folks, he carried it in.  I had been warning him that it would not be welcome in our jams because we are all acoustic.  He did not listen to me but when he was told that he could not play it there, he proceeded to the parking lot and had a “melt down”.  I had been in the back room giving a lesson and when it was over, I was told that he was in the parking lot.  I won't go into all of the details about how I was told.  But I went outside to check on him, he was so upset I had to take him home.  He had taken it very personally, and was hard to console.
   On Wednesday morning, I knew that I would probably be spending the day helping him work through the ordeal and that is just what happened.  He called and said that he had decided to take the guitar back and buy back his camera but he had lost the receipt and could not get cash back.  He finally decided to exchange the electric bass for an acoustic bass.  I took him to the Guitar Emporium to do so.
   My greatest fear was that he would be told not to return.  He has been "asked out" of several organizations because of his melt downs.  I say “melt downs” because that is what I have heard other parents of AS kids call it.  It looks like a temper tantrum, but it really isn’t quite that.  It is the result of the frustration he feels due to his lack of expressive communication skills, which is the most difficult aspect of his disorder. 
   He has never hurt anyone, but people are sometimes afraid of him because when you mix a meltdown with his 7’ tall, 400+ lb. stature, it is intimidating.  He has learned to remove himself from the situation to calm down but Tuesday evening, the only place he had to retreat was to the parking lot where it was getting dark and people were trickling into the jam. 
    I don’t know if he will be able to play the bass guitar or not.  I hope he can play it.  After a talk with the society president, we agreed to ask him to come every other week.  He has lost only half of the priviledge, fortunately.

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Hi, I am Teri West, a wife, retired home schooling mom, 2nd year breast cancer survivor, crafter, musician, and primitive artist living and working in Kentuckiana, (the Louisville, KY and S. Indiana area). My family heritage is in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. I grew up in Louisville, Ky and attended Eastern KY University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with degrees from both in education. I married in 1979 and have three grown children, one a degreed artist, one a techie/artist, and an autistic one, a photographic artist. Hubby is a techie. I work out of my home creating primitive items for friends, family, and you. My loves are American folk music, primitive crafting, and American folk art which all emanate from my devotion to my faith, family and friends. I belong to the Louisville Dulcimer Society and I play mountain dulcimer, guitar, violin, native flute, tin whistle, bowed psaltry, and ukelele as well.