More – and embedded links – forthcoming about:
Rhiannon Fieri (Mommy)
I am like a lodestone to the iron filings of crazy. If that’s not enough for you to find me, listen for the squeaking sound of my polishing silver linings. Once you’re in the right frame of mind, I’m easy to recognize. Give or take the latest set of aliases (so I can talk honestly about things like school systems and other touchy, legal-schmegal-ish things), what you see here is what you get. I talk the way I think, and when I can get away with it, I write the way I talk. I’m not a for-better-or-worse sort of woman, I’m a for-better-AND-worse sort of person. I believe in getting through things, not just “over” them. I’ve gone through too much to waste the energy on bullsh*tting anyone, myself included.
Got through all that and you’re still with me? All right!
If you want to bring things down to credentials, I’m a physically disabled breaker of family chains of emotional / psychological abuse, and a well-practiced trudger through the quicksand of debt. NOTHING is more important to me than my relationships, especially those with my husband and child. I blame loquaciousness on too many 40 page papers back in college, and insist that my English degree earned me the right to make up my own words. I’ve worked all kinds of jobs, though most of the dribbles of income I bring in these days come from my work as a freelance writer and professional artist/artisan/jeweler. I used to teach and run programs for special-needs kids, which combined with high-level psych courses and some uncanny instincts theoretically prepared me for the special-needs parenting that’s the near-pervasive center of my world now.
Steffan Fieri (Daddy)
My husband has what most would consider a bit of a bum deal. He’s stuck blowing wistful kisses to nearly all of his tangential aspirations, so that he can fill the multi-faceted “provider” role for our needy family, of which he is the only non-disabled member. As I can do less and less, he does more and more, yet he does it with a level of love, dedication and good humor that too many women have trouble believing can exist in a husband and father. And he thinks HE is the lucky one. I swear, if he wasn’t already my best friend and soulmate, I’d be really, really jealous of me.
He will also give me funny looks if I go on about him too much.
Ash Fieri (He who is NOT disabled in “cute”)
If I’m playing the bard of the everyday anecdote, and Steffan is my knight in shiny armor, keeping me sane enough to do anything other than babble incoherently, then — as if there was any doubt! — Ash is the hero of these tales. Our little froggy prince began life as a medically fragile preemie with a blood disorder, and is now a healthy, happy little miracle with several neurological disabilities and a spirit that can inspire anyone to want to do anything. Although there has quite literally not been a minute of Ash’s life that has not been a struggle for him, he wakes almost every day dancing and singing. He will make you laugh, cry, tear at your hair in frustration and drop your jaw in amazement. Above all, he will charm the pants off you. It’s what he does.
Now six years old, Ash is in an integrated, full-day Kindergarten program. He will be attending an integrated program over the summer as well, by our request, and then it’s on to the first grade! He has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (at least in part coming from his light sensitivity from the SPD) and an as-yet-unspecified neuro-muscular disorder. They thought it was mild Cerebral Palsy, but now they are second-guessing that. All of this is believed to be the result of his early medical-schmedical. Essentially, he was born before his brain had finished developing to handle the outside world, and then his outside world was more than even a typical “finished” brain could handle well. Nevertheless, he is extremely bright, has an eidetic memory, and the willfulness to find ways around the many processing issues which challenge his ability to apply those strengths appropriately. At this point he is sort of middling-functional, but that takes non-stop support and therapy. Good thing he will do almost anything for a book, a dragon, or a shared smile.