Life changing true stories told to encourage, empower and inspire us!

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"Fill your mind with light, happiness, hope, feelings of security and strength, and soon your life will reflect these qualities." ~Unknown

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"The Greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance!" ~Brian Tracy

All post and stories are the sole property of Velvet Over Steel aka Coreen Trost. I write and create post in order to help others, so share as you want. I just ask that you link back or give VOS credit. Some of the stories are going into a book in progress. Thank You ALL.. for your support and help!!
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Asperger Syndrome "Falls Through the Cracks"

Every since I found out my son had Asperger Syndrome I have been trying to find services and support for him. I wanted him to get all the educational, social and job skills training that is available.
What I quickly found out is that his diagnosis ‘falls through the cracks’ in regards to services available. He doesn’t have Autism, Mental retardation, Down syndrome or any of the more commonly known disabilities. He has Asperger Syndrome, which is often referred to as High-Funtioning Autism and falls under Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD.

Of course those with more commonly known disabilities should receive the services they do, no doubt about that. But it has been very frustrating and disappointing to both my son and I that there is little to nothing available for those with Asperger Syndrome.

One main example is job training and assistance. My son has wanted to work, have a job, for many years. Something I always knew would help him mature, build his self-confidence and gain more social skills.

However we have struggled to find job opportunities. Even harder to find is the funding for job training and job coaches. Those with Asperger Syndrome need these not only for the training needed but also to help them through the initial anxiety that is so common with Asperger Syndrome.

This is an issue that I am constantly being told is because Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder or PDD, “falls through the cracks” of services available. I have refused to accept that answer and continue to fight for more services and opportunities for my son and others like him.

I know my son can succeed and I only want the tools he needs in order to be fully independent someday. Isn’t that better than the alternative for these children and young adults?  I think more should be available to encourage their independance instead of dependance.  The system is broken and it needs to be fixed.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

What wrong with my Son Part? II

My youngest son had obvious developmental delays from being 10 weeks premature. Doctors and teachers thought he had many other things wrong with him, such as ADHD and OCD. He was finally seen by a specialist at University of Nebraska’s Munroe-Meyer’s Institute. That is when he got a correct diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome at the age of 11.

I had my son in speech therapy at age 2, because he didn’t talk yet. He went to a special education pre-school in a town 15 miles away at age 3. He started kindergarten at his home school at age 5. At age 7 we were told there was a better school for him about 40 miles away. It wasn’t. In fact it was a horrible school that treated every child as though the only reason they were behind was because they didn’t want to learn and had behavior problems. It was more like a juvenile detention center for ‘elementary’ children, than a place of learning.

Children with learning disabilities can learn, they just learn differently or need extra help. It was not the right place for my son and certainly not the environment that was going to help him in any way. I pulled him out and caused uproar; evidently no parent had done that before then. Oh and I may have told the administration what I thought.

I found another private school for my son and he thrived for about 1 ½ years there. However the last six months there were internal upheaval with the administration and teachers. That caused the school to came into financial problems and closed. The director that had left six months earlier started her own tutoring business for kids who learned differently. Special individualized reading and writing programs that focused on how each child learned. The concept worked, but it was only an hour or two a day, so my son went back to his primary school the rest of the day.

The principle and teachers were very nice and welcomed Brandon back very warmly. By now he was in the middle of 5th grade and back in regular classes. Still very far behind the rest of his peers, he at least was getting some social exposure. This is the same time when Brandon received the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. The school and I finally had an answer and some resources to work with.

Asperger Syndrome explained the lack in social skills and the extremely high anxiety. It also somewhat explained his unique IQ. Math and anything ‘non-verbal’ came very easy for Brandon. He could do 8 part math in his head and he could build incredible creations with just about anything. However, reading and writing were Hugh struggles. Reading was extremely difficult even with the private tutoring. Writing took him 10 times longer than the rest of kids his age so he avoided it at all cost.

Finding ways to motivate him, while keeping his anxiety under control, was very challenging for everyone involved. We all worked together his last year and a half at the elementary school and I felt he made progress. I also felt that people truly cared about him there and learned about Asperger Syndrome in order to help him learn.

Then it was time to go to the junior high school, on the other side of the football field in our small town. That’s where everything changed and I’m afraid not for the better. It was a horrible 3 years going backwards again………………….

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

My 3 Sons

This is a picture of me with my 3 sons. They are awesome young men and very good to me! They are very close to each other and very respectful and compassionate toward other people. I could not be prouder of my boys!

Michael is my oldest son. He is a powerlifting champion and has also been on the United States Powerlifting team 6 times. Graduated from college and is now in grad school. He is going into the medical field because he truly wants to help people. Says he made the decision from seeing what his youngest brother with Asperger Syndrome, has gone through.

Matthew, my middle son, was leading tackler and All State in high school. He thought he wanted to play college football too, but after one season realized it wasn't fun anymore. So he changed colleges and career direction after his first semester. He is now a graphic designer/brander in Chicago and finishing his bachelor’s degree. So cool!

Brandon is my youngest son and my triple miracle! As most of you know by now, he had Asperger Syndrome. But there is so much more to the story. I had my tubes tied after my second son Matthew was born; another story in itself for another time.

I got pregnant after my divorce from one time; I swear that is totally true. To say I was shocked.. is an understatement. I carried the pregnancy test around in my purse for so long that the pink ‘plus’ sign finally faded.

I had a rough pregnancy while taking care of a 2 and 4 year old by myself. Brandon was born 10 weeks early and only given a 25% chance of making it. He of course made it and will be 20 years old next month. He doesn’t agree, but we all know that he is a Miracle to me, his brothers and anyone who takes the time to know him!

Brandon has overcome so much in his life. He is now in college for Culinary Arts and doing extremely well. He attended 5 schools, before finding a good one ‘for him’ and overcoming his learning difficulties. The school that finally helped him says he is truly a “success story”; and of course he is!

So there is the ‘short’ version of My 3 Sons! I have been and continue to be very blessed by them each and every day! I love them more than anything! This is my family and they are my world!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Love Manual.....please

I've been waiting for the right man to come along for quite a while now. I've grown and figured out who I am. I've rejected the wrong men and learned what the good ones should be like. I've put myself out there trying to find true love and been hurt and even embarrassed a few times. 

However this time, I feel totally different. A calm inside of me from being absolutely certain that he is the 'One' capable of loving me and appreciative of genuine love in return. The one whose own heart, soul, character, and ability to love is a perfect match to my own.

I agree with the understanding that taking your time will season a relationship and make it even better later on. But after a while you start to think 'Life is too Short" to wait too long. So when is the right time and who should make the first move?  An even harder question is who should say the 'love' word first? 

I understand that everyone has other things in their life that occupy their time. Jobs, kids, homes, and other responsibilities and stresses. But you don't want the right one to slip away because they didn't think you were interested. Or to run away if you scare them by being too forward too soon.

I've never had a problem in the last 5 years, just walking away from men, because I knew they weren't the one. But what do you do when you think they are? How much time do you give things to work out?

Can someone please give me a love manual to follow, so I don't make any mistakes?  A love manual for the great relationship I am so longing for and finally believe I deserve....please!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons

I recently read the book "Falling in Love for All Right Reasons" by Neil Clark Warren. He is the co-founder of eHarmony. He goes through the 29 dimensions of relationship compatibility. The main characterizes are in regards to values, character, mindset, temperament, and attitudes toward parenting.

Nowhere in the 29 dimensions does he mention either age or location. Yet most people pick someone to be in a relationship with based on one or both of those 2 things. Location especially seems to be a top priority for many people, just because it’s easier and more convenient.

I have always thought that after high school or 21, that age is just a number. So it was extremely interesting that age was also not one of the 29 dimensions.

The men I've dated have been a variety of ages. With none of them has age ever been a determination of their maturity, respect for others, values or morals.. In fact in my experience, age has nothing to do the character of a person or their compatibility to anyone.

The book is very good and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand relationships and why some couples last and why some end up being polar opposites and get divorced.  Which is ok in my oppion, becasue I beleive people have a right to be happy.

So find the right person for you, fall in love for all the right reasons and above all "Be Happy"!
"Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons" by Neil Clark Warren.

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How to Spot Emotional Vampires

Thursday, February 11, 2010

ABC News 'Changes on Diagnosing disorders, such as Aspergers.

Should Unhappy Parents stay together for their Children? I say No...

My childhood was full of fighting, yelling, name calling and constant turmoil.  My parents were polar opposites who should have never been married, let alone stayed together 'for the kids'.  My dad was a good provider and a kind man, but he had a 'weekend' drinking problem sometimes.  My mother was just very unhappy, and that's what I remember most about her growing up.  At the time I didn't understand why she was so unhappy, but now I do.  I wish my parents had gotten divorced and been happy.

There has always been a Hugh debate on whether parents should stay together for their children.   

A recent on-line discussion at Should a couple ever stay together for the kids? has dozens of people giving their opinions and own stories. Few seem to feel that parents should stay together and most stories tell of unhappy childhoods and relationship problems later as a result.

Another website with opposite stories and opinions, is on the Daily Mail Do parents who stay together cause their children more harm? I wish my parents had divorced. I can totally relate to the first story and although the second author has a positive twist, I still don't feel she was better off.

I know many people who have experienced the damage themselves, as either children raised in unhappy homes or as parents who have experienced living in an unhappy marriage. I personally have experienced both. It's a cycle I finally broke and thankfully learned from.

Unfortunately many couples stay together for money reasons above all else. While money concerns are real, all the money in the world cannot make up for lack of 'peace' in a home.

I personally feel that unhappy parents should not stay together for their children. It's a proven fact that children who either hear verbal fighting and/or see physical fighting; have significant emotional and psychological damage; effecting many aspects in their life; especially their future relationships.

In my own personal experience, it caused much more damage than good. My parents stayed together because of money, and the effects on my self-esteem and relationship issues were horrific.  As an adult, I ended up in several controlling, abusive and dysfunctional relationships.  It took me a long time to overcome the anxiety and negative influences of seeing, hearing and experiencing the drama and even traumatic experiences that I was taught as a child, were normal and OK.

I now realize that people in these situations want to 'believe' those things, because the don't see a way out and justifying, making excuses and believing what they choose to, is one way they 'cope' and get through each day.

I remember after my own divorce, the feeling of 'calm' in the house and how my sons were more relaxed and happier.  My only regret was not giving my children a 'peaceful' home sooner than I did, because even 8 years later, I can still see the negative effects of exposing them to the drama they heard and saw for far too long.  I regret that more than anything else in my life.

More on this subject:
Staying for the kids sake
Can Unhappy Parents Raise Happy Children?
Together for the kids
Living a Lie

The Narcissistic Co-dependent Marriage/Relationship Symptoms

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Most Men Really Want from a Date.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I started dating about five years ago and it’s been one learning experience after another.

I realized rather quickly that most men don’t ask me out because they know I’m ‘special’.  And even fewer men want to really get to know ‘me’ on the inside. Most of these charming men just want to sleep with me.

They quickly discover that I’m looking for a genuine ‘relationship’ and not one based solely on physical attraction. Although the physically part of a relationship is important, I am looking for good character and similar values, morals and faith. I want a relationship built on a foundation of trust, respect and friendship. I am not settling for less.

Few men seem to understand what I’m talking about when I try to explain it to them. So I usually end up saying “I need some darn good reasons to take the estrogen and shave my legs” and that they haven’t given me any.  That usually gives them the hint that I’m not interested in them. 

I am very traditional and conservative in my beliefs. I love taking care of my family, home and being involved in all my children’s activities. I want a man who also enjoys those same ‘family’ values and activities. And I would love to be in a relationship where we take care of each other.

When I find a man with character, the same values, enjoys the same things and treats me like a ‘lady’, that will be the man for me. I believe it’s worth the wait for that ‘ONE’! 

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