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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rejecting Viciousness

I used to think that if I didn't add to a negative or vicious conversation that I wasn't doing anything wrong.  However I realized that not rejecting or speaking up when someone says something negative or mean about someone else, is almost as bad as saying it in the first place. 

I have a very different perspecitve after seeing and experiencing what my son has gone through with preconceived notions and ignorance.  I feel if our 'gut' and 'conscious'  is telling us that something is 'wrong' then we need to listen and 'speak up'.  Telling someone you think something is mean or even vicious, when you really feel that it is, is the right thing to do.  It may or may not change their oppinion or actions.  But they will at least realize that not everyone feels the same way they do or thinks they are funny. 

It's the same way with bullying.  We have seen a lot of horrible consequences of that in the news lately.  If we as parents teach our children that it's wrong and that it won't be tolerated by us; maybe our children will 'reject' the harmful actions of their peers.  It has to start somewhere and I feel that it all starts with the power of the word being used negatively.  Even a mean joke that one person thinks is funny can lead to more and more things being said to try and top the last words that were spoken.  Leading to vicious words and bullying.  Causing emotional harm, depression and worse. 

It took me a while, except for where my children our concerned of course.  The 'tiger' in me comes out right away then.  However with co-workers and friends I kept my opinions to myself most of the time.  Recently thought I have felt that I'm not being true to myself and my beliefs.  In fact, I realized that I wasn't being any better a person if I did not stand up for those who aren't there to stand up for themselves. 

Yesterday, I heard a radio show where the DJ's were talking about a local lottery winner.  He was a father of 3 down on his luck and $36 in his checking account when he won.  The man had been on the news this weekend talking about paying bills and taking care of his children.  Even getting his teeth fixed.  Something he couldn't put in front of taking care of his children.  My son says 'How nice.  It sounds like he really need the money and that's a nice thing.'  Then we got to the school and my son got out of the car and went in.

The radio DJ's kept talking and I was greatful my son was no longer in the car.  They proceded to make fun of the appearingly genuine and kind man.  He gave no indication that he was anything else.  Not that anything would be an excuse for what these 2 men continued to do.  They made joke after joke about what the lottery winner said, about his children, his circumstances, even his teeth.  They both thought they were very funny.  And what I felt was even worst, was that they felt they had the right to make fun of him.  They had callers call in to add to their jokes and vicious humor.  I was so appalled and outraged!!  I made a phone call and sent an email.  Not sure if it will change anything.  However I did what my 'gut' and 'conscious' told me too.

This was my son's favorite radio station; but it's not allowed on in my car or home again.  Once I explained it to my son, he totally agreed!  We talked for a long time about what we can do to 'regect' these types of conversations and behaviors.  I am really going to make a 'conscious' choice to speak up and explain how I see it.  I know that's a good choice!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

DVD aims to help raise awareness about Asperger's - Related Stories - CEC SmartBrief

DVD aims to help raise awareness about Asperger's - Related Stories - CEC SmartBrief

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Trusting a Mother's (Or Dad's) Intuition

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” - Albert Einstein
Do you trust your own Intuition? I have a very strong intuition, but I don’t always listen to it. I second guess myself and then over analyze or think too much.

However when there is an emergency with one of my children, I only have time to react using my intuition. That has turned out for the best many times.

When my oldest son was a toddler he became very sick. Months went by with him remaining sick. Once in the hospital a specialist was brought in who went in the lab and ran test himself in order to get the correct diagnosis. He saved my son’s life. Twice!

The staff doctor argued about the specific diet my son was to have. Something inside of me knew my son would die if that doctor was allowed to limit my son’s diet. He had already lost half his body weight and still didn’t feel like eating.

I was able to find the specialist, before he was about to leave the hospital to fly back home. He totally agreed with me, placed hospital orders for my son, and had a talk with the staff doctor before leaving.

When my youngest son was an infant and very sickly from being 10 weeks premature, he was in the hospital for pneumonia for the 3rd time. The doctor ordered the same antibiotic that had never worked in the past. He always started off with that one, only to order something else a week later. It had happened 3 previous times.

I spoke up and asked if he ever looked at my son’s chart to see that Amoxicillin never worked. He told me that I wasn’t a doctor. I told him he wasn’t God and that medical charts were kept for a reason. I requested another doctor, who agreed that my son needed a strong antibiotic ‘that worked’. He ordered the one that had worked previously and immediately. That may have saved his life.

Another time, my oldest son had a lifting accident in which 340 pounds fell on his foot. His little toe was smashed, with the bone sticking out and all. He layer in the emergency room for hours before they finally gave him something for the pain and an ER doctor was available to see him.

That ER doctor was very arrogant and abrupt. He said they were busy and that my son really needed an orthopedic surgeon. However he also said that they wouldn’t be able to get one off the golf course on a Saturday in July. So he was just going to wrap up my son’s foot and send him home. Told me I could call an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. Two days from then.

Again, my intuition kicked in and I said NO! That I wanted an orthopedic surgeon today! The nurses started making phone calls. Meanwhile the ER doctor pulls me from my son to yell at me. He said I embarrassed him in front of his nurses and that there was nothing an orthopedic surgeon could do that he couldn’t.

I’m pretty sure they would disagree, given their extensive extra training. This doctor was too busy and didn’t do anything but offer to wrap my son’s foot, with the bone sticking out and all.

The orthopedic surgeon did come off the golf course that day. However he certainly didn’t mind and was glad I had insisted. The surgeon said my son would have had Gangrene by that following Monday; two days after the accident. He said my son would have lost at least his foot if I had waited. My son still lost his toe during surgery but the surgeon was able to save his foot. So again I was glad that my intuition kicked in and that I listened to it.
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock
So trusting our Parental Intuition can save our child's life!  Have any of you had similar experiences?
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life Lessons and Blessings

This past week has been full of both Life Lessons and a Lot of Blessings!

My oldest son had finals and starts a new clinical tomorrow. He's going to be a physical therapist with lots more clinical assignments during the next year. I’m so excited for him!

My middle son who is a Freelance Graphic Designer got a new job in a large Chicago company's Graphic Design department. He starts tomorrow. I’m so happy for him!

My youngest son who is in culinary school, is going to be cooking for a children's home tomorrow afternoon for lab hours. He's going to do such a good job. So proud of all three of my sons!

On Friday, my middle son came from Chicago for the weekend. We all went out to dinner and hung out. We had a great time! Since the boys have gotten older it isn't as often that we can all get together. So this was a Hugh Blessing to me as well as the Blessings in each of their lives right now and the weeks ahead. We are all feeling very blessed, proud and happy for them!

Until Friday evening, when I was with all my boys, I had a trying week full of life lessons. I learned that you can't change anyone but yourself. I learned that I still need to stand up for myself more. Or at least speak my mind, ask questions and protect myself more. I learned that I am still naive and too trusting. I learned that I shouldn't tell some people absolutely anything, because it will get twisted and turned around. Basically I learned to not trust, at least not for a while.

I felt like once again gossip and selfish people have affected my life. And once again I've learned to keep to myself, for my own sake. I don't know if it's this area, this state or what it is exactly. Regardless of the reason, it's very stressful and causes a lot of pain to the people it effects. I have thought long and hard to figure out what I need to do to protect myself and know when and whom to trust.  I've decided to make some big changes in my life as to the people I want to surround myself with and those I do not want to be around anymore.

After hearing my sons talk about all the things they have going on in their lives and how happy they are right now; I decided that I have to make the changes in my own life, so I am as happy and fulfilled as my sons are. That was a goal as a parent for my boys their whole lives. Now I think it's my turn.

So all of my old friends and new blogging friends, please help me keep my goals and help push me forward whenever I start to stumble. PLEASE! I need true friends who I can trust and lean on. I promise to return the favor whenever any of you need Me! Promise!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

So Proud of You, Son!

Now you all probably know by now, that I have 3 awesome grown sons.  They are kind, respectful, hardworking, amazingly talented and very good to me!  Above all else...they have great character! 

Last night was my youngest son's time to shine.  He is in Culinary school and yesterday he was the Host of their Spring event.  He looked so handsome all dressed up and took his job for the evening very seriously.

The 'Cajun' Culinary dinner consisted of Hors d'oeuvres, followed by a 7 course meal.  Appetizers of Alligator and Andouille Sausage over Red Beans and Rice.  Crawfish Bisque soup.  Grilled Fruit Salad.  Pecan-Encrusted Catfish with Remoulade Sauce.  Apricot Mimosa Sorbet.  Entree of Stuffed Chicken Breast and Sweet Potato Creme Brulee for dessert.  Yummmm, it was all so good!
This is a picture of the main course, Stuffed Chicken Breast.  I should have taken pictures of each course.  I will remember that next time.  I was 'visiting' and watching my son 'direct traffic' as he put it, with the servers.

The culinary students spent months getting ready for this event.  They all did an excellent job!  The evening and meal was wonderful!  Everyone, including the students. had a Great time!

My son has come so far and done so well!  I could not be prouder of him!  But even more than that, it was great to see him so proud of himself, to see him smiling and having a good time with his culinary classmates!

Thank you for a great evening and meal, son!  I love you! ~ Mom

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Teaching Compassion

The definition of Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. It is often thought to be the key component in Altruism (pronounced: pronounced /ˈæltruːɪzəm/) which is selfless concern for the welfare of others; as defined by Wikipedia.

I think of compassion as having great empathy for someone, whether it is because they seem to be struggling, hurting, lonely or lost either emotionally or spiritually. Meaning to have no faith or hope in anything.

I also have compassion for those who seem outcast or ridiculed in some way. Everyone is ‘different’ in some way. We should embrace with each others ‘uniqueness’. And really what is ‘normal’ anyway and to whom?

I think I’ve always tried to be nice to everyone. I was never the bully or even argumentative although I think I was ‘too’ nice and naive in the past. I really tried to treat other people the way I would want to be treated. I truly thought most people did what was right or kind unless there was a reason no too.

Watching what my youngest son has gone through has opened my eyes to the rest of the world. I have learned so much from seeing his pain and even fear at times growing up. From people yelling at a little boy walking his dog to get out of their yard, calling him horrible names, just because they considered him ‘different’.   Another time a neighbor told her daughter that he couldn’t jump on her trampoline with the rest of the kids.. yelling “get the “R” off”!  He was just a little boy at the time!

Then my son got older, and at his previous school, kids were allowed to bully and even ‘spit’ on him, trip him and call him names.  He was afraid to walk home because he would get chased and teased.  I was told that kids were just being kids. Really, my kids never did that.. nor would I have allowed it if they did.

Where are the adults teaching kids right from wrong and compassion for any one?  I think it should be both at homne and school.  The teachers and administrators at my son's last school did a great job.  There was no tolerance or excuses.  My son finally felt safe at school!

This has been a very troubling and upset concern of mine for a long time now. I would like to know what other parents or both ‘special’ and ‘normal’ kids think.  Who do you think should teach compassion and how would you handle these situations on either side.

Thanks my friends for all your comments and feedback! It helps me and other parents more than you know. HUGS to you all!!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

When the Autistic Want to Work

I fight with Voc Rehab and other organizations, for employment and training for my son with Asperger Syndrome all the time. The excuse is that his AS falls through the cracks for services. Very frustrating to me when I have a son who WANTS to WORK and all anyone can tell me is that he should apply for disability. He doesn't want to. He wants to work!

In addition to wanting to be independent, working also helps strengthen not only his jobs skills, but his self-esteem and social skills as well. I usually find his summer job myself with the help of great friends.

I have heard lots of excuses over the years; but none of them I accept. No excuses! These kids and adults can contribute to society and they will with more awareness and people like the founder of Specialisterne.  This company only hires people with Autism.

I saw the story about the Specialistern last night on ABC News.  What a wonderful father, family and story!  I have thought about that a lot, creating something like this for my son.  Some of the people that now work for this company have never had a job or have not had a decent job for 20 years.  So sad when those who want to work and can contribute considerably to sociaty are kept out of the work force.

When the Autistic want to work they should be given every opportunity and assistance possible!
We need more people and more awareness of the value of those brilliant people with Autism and Asperger Syndrome.  April is Autism Awareness month and hope that awareness brings a lot of new opportunities for people like those at Specialistem and my son!
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Founder of Specialisterne only hires those with Autism

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