full size color prints available, email blog author for details.
Laminated, a set of four would make excellent place mats!
Really, my butt is SORE. Been sitting on soft cushions all day! All kidding aside, I don't wholeheartedly ascribe to any of those theories and speculations however, it bears mentioning that all that glisters is not gold.  In other words, as parents and/or guardians of challenged children, regardless of the challenges or how those challenges befell them, it is imperative that we remain vigilant advocates for their causes.
#1 - convince your child's therapist or therapy agency to comp their time, then start a support group that is attended by a mental health professional that is willing to offer behind-the-scenes advice AND listen to the parent voice
#2 - attend as many local and state parent forums as possible to stay apprised of available resources, agencies and changes in politics
#3 - keep a contact list of emails, phone numbers and websites for your local representatives and senators. Know what district you're in! Know where your representatives offices are located so if you needed to, you could show up and talk to a human.
#4 - bookmark the website for your state's mental health department. review it monthly for changes. Do the same for NAMI and MHDDAD
#5 - keep your ears open to news and events that are occurring in your state in regards to budget, restructuring and how it all affects mental health
#6 - be a canary - sing your song to ANYONE that will listen. you never know who will have a tip or a contact that will get you to an open door you didn't know existed
#7 - keep your nose clean and your reputation within the community in tact. the last thing you want is some nuisance thing you did to come back and bite you on the butt later. In addition, if you have people in the community that can vouch for your character it might come in handy if CPS is knocking on your door
#8 - when it's really important, draft well-written letters to your representatives (get someone to proof read them!) and cc: them to anyone and everyone that has anything to do with mental health in any shape or form in your state
#9 - find a pdoc and psychologist that YOU can work with. Forget how the kids relate because guess what? they won't relate to their physicians, ever. So hang up that ideal right now. If you can't work with your kids' doctor(s) find new ones. Be willing to drive for a good one. Then chat up those doctors. Be kind, friendly (even if you want to hurt something - bite your lip and chuck the basketball in your garage when you get home.) Doctors know a whole heck of alot about a whole heck of a lot. If you can get them to talk, you'll learn all kinds of interesting tidbits
#10 - Don't fight with your spouse, s/he's not your enemy. Spousal arguments strip your resolve. Find a way to work as a team. Forget what all the damn books say. Find the way that works for the two of you and then STICK WITH IT. You have to be a united front or you won't survive. Remember, eventually your kid will be out of your house and you'll be staring at the other person in your life whose life is nothing but debris and carnage, just like yours. Embrace him/her often. Apologize often. Forgive often. Get over yourself often. Your spouse is worth it and so are you.
#11 - stay sober, stay sharp, stay strong. If you falter in any of these areas, get immediate help in any way necessary. You come first. Always.
#12 - find a way to laugh every day. Find a way to be positive about something, ANYTHING, every day. Make it up if you have to!
#13 - Don't blame. Yes, the last two posts were all about blame. But I don't hang my hat on blaming. Don't blame the birth parents, don't blame government, don't blame pharmacy companies, or doctors or medicine or your kids or whatever the hell it is we want to blame today because it was hell this morning with our crazy whacked out wango-tango psycho mess traumatized delayed challenged kids. Blaming doesn't get you anywhere. Blaming stymies you. It makes you stagnant. It makes you fall down and never want to get up. It makes you question your faith. It makes you question yourself. You can't go back and change things, you can only go forward. Onward, upward, just.keep.swimming.
Then bend over because rainbows and unicorns just might fly out of your ass one day. And if not, it's at least a good posture to eliminate the gas in your gut.
FosterAbba, The Final Maze
Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice