June 28, 2017

The Christianville Spirit: Include, Not Exclude Rerun

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Makes You Wonder
June 28th, 2017-TCS # 551

Hej, My Readers! That is the Swedish Greeting for “Hello” and For Those of You who are wondering, It does sound like “Hey” only with a Swedish Accent to it. So, The Other Day, My Mom told me that She saw a Gold Newsletter that I wrote a Few Years ago on Her “On This Day” Feed and thought that I should Rerun that Newsletter. Funny Enough, I actually thought of Something that A Friend of Mine said, that made me think of This Newsletter. You See, My Mom’s Former Student and Expat/Repat Friend, Monica had moved back to Dallas a few months ago and Was wanting to have a Meeting of Her Stockholm Expat Friends, some of them that I knew, Met, and Ones that I have not. Anyway, I found that One of My Friends as well as Monica’s Stockholm Expat Friends, Heidi was coming to Town and I had always wanted to meet her. So, I commented to Heidi and She told me that Her, Monica, and Other Expat Friends were going out to Dinner that Night. Long Story Short, I went to Meet Her and The Other Expat Friends. They were all Very Interesting to talk to. One of The Things that We talked about was PTLS, PTLS Family Members, and How Having Special Needs makes us feel. Anyway, I think, Heidi asked me after I mentioned about My Brother, Michael, asking “Does Your Brother Take Good of You?” I answered Yes and Saying “He maybe in Colorado right now, but He has always took Care of Me”. I never got to Finish all the Thoughts about that, That, Yes, My Brother did not just take Care of Me, He did something even better, He made me feel Included in Whatever He was doing. During High School (9th and 10th Grades) and Senior High School (11th and 12th Grades), He would drive me to School, as well as My Mom would drive me from Time to Time. But, I would join him sometimes for Lunch with His Friends. I would join him hanging out with His Friends, Even if They were over At My House. But, Best of All, I felt Included with My Brother. So, This Week, I am going to rerun a Newsletter about Being Included in Things. So, without further a due, This is The Newsletter “Include, Not Exclude”. Enjoy!

This Newsletter was written on June 26th of 2013 (Refer to Newsletter 357)

So, This Past Sunday, My Mom and I went to a really cool party, It was for one of our former neighbor’s Birthday. You See, when we first moved in to the house we live in Now, 16 Years Ago, we had this neighbor that would always say hello to us and Every Monday, at least, she would bring us a Box of Bagels for all of us to eat. We would hear the doorbell ring and it would be her, giving My Mom the box of bagels along with her sweet saying, “To Feed The Children”(She still takes Bagels to work with her and tell them the same thing) or Just to come over and say Hello and see how we were doing. Anyway, It was her 70th Birthday at her daughter, Michelle’s House. We thought that Michelle still lived down the street from our house, but she had moved to a new house that she built in The Country. She did have a nice house though and a big yard. When we came over, I saw that they were throwing a big party, complete with a Pool, Basketball Court (if you wanted to play), and A Huge Adult Size Water Slide. So, We had a small reunion with Our Neighbor and Michelle, and then, I was off to the Water Slide with all the kids. I had forgotten until the night after the party, that the last time I hung out with them, one of children that had been invited as well called me “The R-Word”, but that didn’t cross my mind at The Party. Because The Kids welcomed me, much to my surprise. I had to make sure to take it slow going on Runs down the water slide because I start getting overwhelmed, My Heart beats really fast, and My Vision starts getting blurry. By The Way, The Slide was an Inflatable one and the hardest part (and, most tiring) is climbing up to the top of the slide, to Slide Down. But, I did have a lot of fun playing with kids, one of them, later on liked the way I jumped and then, slid down and I would go all the way to the end if I was on My Belly. Whenever I was done with the slide and ready for the pool, I would hang out with whoever was in the pool. Now, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I am a Social Butterfly, but sometimes because I don’t know a lot of people and I’m not sure how the kids will accept me or not, it feels a little lonely. One Wish I had was that My PTLS “Brother” and Friend, Tyler (who is in town) was there to hang out with, talk to, and he could join us playing on the Water Slide. Even though, I was having fun, I still felt like I didn’t Belong. Many of the kids were asking me if I still go to School and I said that, “I graduated” and then, they follow with, “Do You go to College?”. You Know, when it comes to talking with Kids, The Topics of Driving and College come up and they have this impression that You have to go to College or else you are considered Stupid. I don’t mind this question when it comes to Parents or Adults because they are truly interested or they understand. I am aware that I cannot live in My Own Little PTLS Crew or “Bubble.” But, If I could, I would feel accepted and have plenty of topics in common to discuss that we like. Don’t Get Me Wrong, I love Meeting People and Socializing, but there are times when I wish I had PTLS Friends around My Age to Hang Out with more often. And, We don’t have to do things that are “Age Appropriate” which we often act either less than Our Age and Sometimes, Because we are Smart, over our age. All in all, It was a fun party with a few moments of loneliness.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Include People, Don’t Exclude People. 

June 21, 2017

The Christianville Spirit: My Brother's View on Me-A Christianville Classic

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Makes You Wonder
June 21st, 2017-TCS # 550

Happy MidSummersdag (or Mid-Summer), My Readers! Okay, so Mid-Summer is actually a Swedish Tradition that basically honors The Summer Solstice, The Longest Day of The Year, and To Us, Americans, The First Day of The Season of Summer. Anyway, so After 10 Years of Writing, I see really good Newsletters that come up on “On This Day” Feed on My Facebook Page and Some of them are Really Good, Some of them are Gold, and Others deserve to be Classics. So, I have decided to announce Two Newsletters that will become Classic and One of Them, I am going to showcase This Week. Last Week I mentioned about how I should make the “Why We Have Children” (Refer to Newsletter 273) a Classic. Well, I added it to My “Christianville Classics” List (It is on The Lower Right Corner of My Newsletter Site). So, the New Christianville Classic that I am going to Showcase This Week is The One that showed up on My “On This Day” Feed. I saw it and thought, That should be A Classic! To Explain Why This Newsletter should be a Classic, This will Explain It!
You see, This Newsletter is actually an Entirely Different Point of View. It is actually The View of Myself from My Loving Brother, Michael. PTLS Family Members, They don’t make it be know too much, but They do worry that How The Siblings of PTLSers feel about Being The Sibling of a PTLSer. I am here to tell you, My Brother views me Very Greatly, but You will have to read on to Find Out How! Without further a due, This is The Christianville Classic “My Brother’s View on Me”!

This Newsletter was Originally written on June 2oth of 2012 (Refer to Newsletter 305). Hope that You Enjoy what My Brother has to say!

So, Now that I have written Last Week on My View of My Brother and you enjoyed it. Well, now your really going to enjoy this! It’s the long-awaited Newsletter on how My Brother views me. This idea has been in My Head for a while before I finally decided to do it. My Mom and PTLS Family Members had always wondered about My Brother how My Brother felt about me having Special Needs and Having PTLS (or dup.17p11.2, as it used to be called). The idea came when one of the PTLS Members suggested that I should do a Newsletter on My Brother and his view of it all. I mean, considering that I mention him a lot in My Newsletters, people start to wonder about him and how he deals with it. It took a while at first, getting the nerve to ask him to do this, and even the idea of what questions do I ask? Because first off, I didn’t know what to ask him or even more unnerving, what would he say? So, I sent out a post on Facebook to PTLS Members on what questions they want answered and/or curious about and I got quite a few responses about what they want to know. After reading a couple questions, I thought, “Man, these are deep questions” and “I’m not sure if I really want to know about it or not.” So, then came, “How do I do this? A talk? Dictation to My Mom? or an Interview?” Well, long story short, I asked My Brother about it and he said, “We’ll do an interview” and finally, after a while of asking him (because both he and I kept forgetting or it wasn’t the right time of day,) He sat down to answer the questions. He finished it yesterday and it’s ready to go. First, I want to thank him and let him know I appreciate his honesty and willingness to do this. So, Get Ready Everyone cause here’s the interview. As a note: the Bolded Questions are from the PTLS Family Members and below it are Michael’s Responses. So, as they say in Television and Radio, Roll it!!!!!   
TCS: When you were about 10-13 years old, can you tell us as a sibling how you felt when your bother had an aggressive outburst? Did you truly understand what was going on with him?
 Michael: For as long as I have known him, which is practically my entire life, he has never had an aggressive outburst. For the most part if he ever got really upset he would get more emotional. He would work himself up and start crying. There would be the occasional times where he would raise his voice but nothing that could ever be put as an aggressive outburst. At that age I had already seen him do things like that before so I wasn’t to worried about it. I just figured that he was more sensitive to things then I was, I never really linked PTLS to his sensitivity. I also figured out by then he was extremely stubborn and if he didn’t want to do something, he would put up quite a fight. Which would also cause him to get upset.

  TCS: How did having a sibling with PTLS effect your life both good and things that were difficult?
 Michael: Well growing up, nobody knew what PTLS was including myself. I was told that my brother had special needs and I just took that as the literal sense. I never considered him special or different though. I treated him like my bother with no exceptions and restraints. Naturally I picked on him and gave him a hard time. The one thing that I did do growing up was take on the role of big brother. I looked out for him and tried to teach him things. Christian has also taught me a lot growing up with him. I learned from a young age that people in the world see things differently. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the world differently and having a sense of individuality. Everyone goes through highs and lows, it’s how you deal with the situation that makes the difference.

TCS: How do you deal with your peers asking questions about your brother?
 Michael: Honestly, when I was younger I can’t really remember to many people asking about him. I think the main reason was that he was always pretty friendly to everyone. No one really could tell just by meeting him that he had special needs. After a while of getting to know him or seeing him then they might ask questions. I’m always proud to tell them what’s up. I just tell them that he has this rare chromosome duplication and he was forth to be diagnosed with it. After that, some people keep questioning and are really interested others just move on to the next order of business, whatever that might be.

TCS: PTLS kids need a lot of attention/ extra help. Were you ever envious of this?
 Michael: Nope. If anything when I was younger I found it annoying and frustrating. Not that he was getting more attention then me or anything like that, it was just because I was ready to move on and progress while Christian was still trying to learn.

TCS: As a sibling was there a time say around preteen where you were embarrassed when you were out with the family?
 Michael: Not really.

TCS: What did your mom do to help you understand Christians PTLS?
 Michael: I think that the best thing for me was learning patients and acceptance. I was taught that not everyone learns the same way and each person is different. Some people require more training on particular topics. Really that advice goes for everyone and didn’t segregate my brother from other people. It didn’t hurt that my mom likes the medical field and could give me facts and explain information easier to me.

TCS: When did you realize Christian was different?
Michael: I don’t think there was really a point of epiphany where all of a sudden I knew he was different. Living with him and growing up together, you just kind of known as life. Its really the same as getting to know anyone else, you hang out with them enough you learn things about them. All it takes is some powers of observation.

TCS: Growing up, can you give some examples of things you showed him how to do/ taught him?
 Michael: Ha ha ha!!! When I was seventeen or so I let Christian drive my car down the neighborhood street. That was exciting to say the least!! I taught him how to play video games and things like that. To recall everything I taught him would take some time. I just try my best to show him and explain to him anything that he has questions about and would like to learn about. His memory is pretty freaky. He can recall all sorts of random stuff. If others put in the effort and energy to teach him, he can learn anything.

TCS: Do you feel any angst or nervousness about being Christian’s guardian later in life?
 Michael: I suppose so, it is kind of nerve racking. I’m not stressing out too much though. We get along great and for the most part he is pretty self-reliant. I am confident in my self and my abilities to overcome any obstacle that dares to stand in front of me. Ha ha ha! But for real, I have known about being his guardian for a long time now, so I’m mentally ready.   
So, I hope all of this helped to answer your questions on Siblings and My Brother. It was quite surprising to hear some of these because I didn’t expect it. Well, you know, I guess it’s like they say, “You’ll Never Know Until You Ask”, simple as that. This whole interview turned out to be more fun than I thought it was going to be, but then again, I didn’t know. I mean, you know, how much someone loves you but, sometimes, every now and then, you might be curious as to how much that person loves you. As for me, I know that My Brother loves me and understands me, and I love him so much for that. All in all, I say it a lot, but I’ll say it again, My Brother, Michael, is Awesome!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Let the ones you Love in your life, know that you love them; Everyday.  

June 14, 2017

The Christianville Spirit: Why We Have Dads

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Makes You Wonder
June 14th, 2017-TCS # 549

Oh! A Movie Trailer, My Readers! Let’s Watch! Excuse while I perform in a Movie Voice for a Second. (In Movie Voice) From The Newsletter, That Brought You Many Classics and One Newsletter that should be a Classic..... The Newsletter that brought You The Should-Be Classic Newsletter, “Why We Have Children” (Refer to Newsletter 273; November 2011) and The Christianville Classic, “Why We Have Moms” (Refer to Newsletter 351; May 15th of 2013. Or Over on My Christianville Classic List on The Right)....The Newsletter, I probably should have written a Long Time Ago....Introducing The Newest Newsletter, “Why We Have Dads!” (Back to Normal Voice) Okay, Father’s Day is coming up and I figured that Perhaps Dads need a little Love and Props for Father’s Day. Now, My Own Father was not the Greatest Father Figure to Me, to put it Nicely. However, I know Great Father Figures in My Life, Many that I model after, even though I don’t plan on Father to Children in My Life. Unless You maybe count being a Father Figure to Our Little Puppy, Paco. Anyway, Most of The Time, People (including Myself) celebrate Mother’s Day more over Father’s Day. But, As much I don’t want to believe, Fathers Contribute also to Their Children and Growth of Their Children. Now, I would not call Myself an Expert on Fatherhood, based on My Lack of Father Figure, but, This is what I imagine to be The Reason Why We (Like or not) should be Grateful that We have Dads. So, This is The Reason Why have Dads.
  1. In The Shortest and Effective Way Possible to Explain. In a Little Health Class Lesson. Your Mom may have Birthed You but, Your Creation had to come from Somewhere. The Sperm from Your Dad
  2. The Sperm from Your Dad is actually, The First Element  (after God) in What Created You. Sometimes giving You a Gift that You would not Imagine coming from.
  3. One Thing that I can Thank My Dad for is, probably The Best Gift of All, My PTLS. He did not have it, It just happened out of Pure Luck (Clearing Throat) Destiny!
  4. Aside from That, They are The People who will Maybe Feed You a little extra of Your Favorite Food (in All Ages. Favorite Baby Food or Favorite Food in General) when Your Mom is not looking. Spoiler here, Folks!
  5. They take you on what would seem the Most Mundane Adventures as a Kid. (like Searching for Something You know where it is.) But, It would be Cooler to Go with Your Dad. It may be Mundane, but It matters!
  6. Now, Everyone has an Opinion about This, but Ya gotta have those “Dad Jokes”, at All Ages. and, Yes, Folks! The Lamer, The Better
  7. They will play endless Games of Baseball with You until Their Hands fall off (Not Literally, Of Course)
  8. They will Hug on You and Love on You, being a Pillow, just like Mom. But, in a Dad-kind-of-Way
  9. If You do something Wrong. Dad will talk to You and Make Sure You never do it again. I learned about The Rule of Taking Off Your Shoes in Someone’s House, because Mr. Jeff (The Nice Guy My Mom was Dating) would get upset if There was Mud on The Floor
  10. If Someone is a Bully or Hateful Person to You. Mom will Protect and Guard. Dad will get out The Gun for Good Measure, He won’t Shoot but, If The Person does it again, Yes He Will!
  11. They give a Pat on The Back and Say that Old-Fashioned Line, “I’m Proud of You Son!” or “I Love My Son” (Reference to The Movie, Lair Lair)
  12. They will talk to You in a Very Guy Way about Things. Guy Talk, Guy Code. The Classy Version of Barney Stinson (Actor: Neil Patrick Harris) from How I Met Your Mother of It All.
  13. When It comes to Dating or Girls, They won’t say “Hey, Check Out My Son, He’s a REALLY Good Catch!”. Dad will just go up to Them and be like “Have You met My Son, He’s Really Handsome”. They will make sure that You treat Women the Right Way.
  14. If You Have Special Needs, He will be in The One in IEP Meetings, Literally Grilling The Teachers to the get The Help that You Need
  15. They will Understand You to The Best of Their Abilities and Pretty Much, Make Your Special Needs like It is was Their Own!
So, Those are My Reasons as to “Why We Have Dads”. All in all, Men deserve a Great Father Figure so, They will become Great Men! and, The World needs Great Men!

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. The World need More Great Dads. Be a Great Dad!

June 7, 2017

The Christianville Spirit: Labels, Labels, Labels!- A Christianville Classic

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Makes You Wonder
June 7th, 2017-TCS # 548

Love You, My Readers! Yes, The Words of Our Cruise Director, Schwartz saying “Love You” at the end of Every Announcement still rings in My Ears and I still use it Today. and, I say back, Love You More! So, My Readers and Veterans of This Newsletter know that I have written some really good newsletters in The Past, Some that don’t get as much Attention as Others and then There are Just Plain Gold no matter how many times I rerun it or Remix It. Yes, Folks! It is Time for another Christianville Classic and This one deserves to be a Classic. In Fact, I probably should have chosen it as The First One, but as Long it is on My Christianville Classic List, It is Okay. So, The Newsletter that is going to be made a Classic is Entitled “Labels, Labels, Labels!”, Originally Written on November 3rd of 2010 (Refer to Newsletter 223). But, I believe that The Remix of The Same Newsletter written on November 13th of 2013 (Refer to Newsletter 376), I believe explains something that I did not explain very well in The Original Newsletter, Something called “Rosa’s Law”, It is toward The End of My Newsletter, so Check it out! 
So, without further a due This is The Christianville Classic  “Labels, Labels, Labels!”. Enjoy!

The Following Newsletter was Written back in November of 2010 but, a few added twists in it. This is Showing Up as a New Newsletter because it is a High Requested Newsletter that Should be Rebirthed. Enjoy!
So, Let me ask you a Question, What does a “Label” mean to you? Does it to say where your from, a certain place like Europe or Canada? Is it a tool you use to judge someone? Well, the truth is that there are many labels to people and things. In fact, there’s pretty much a label for everything like what country or state your from (etc. American, Texan, Mexican, European, Norwegian, “Swede” or a Swedish Person), There are Labels to color of your hair like Brunette, Dirty Blonde, or just Blonde, and of course, there are what I’ll call “School Labels” like Nerd, Geek, Special Ed, Cheerleaders, and many more. And finally, there are labels to your lifestyle and things that, let’s just say, are your own business, like sexual preference. But, those are the most common labels that some I don’t like and others I don’t mind. The way I see Labels is that they are words to put on people so that others can judge. To know what it feels like to have a Label is like putting a sign on your front that says what your labeled by others and then, you walk down a street and watch the way people look at you. Now, I have to say, though, that sometimes in the case of having a “Rare Duplication” that not many people know what it is, in a way it’s helps and in a way it doesn’t. It helps so Your Child can get the help in school and the real world that they need. But, if you just want to be diagnosed with Autism (which to people with Special Needs is a Label) just so people know what you have, I believe takes away the “Rareness” and being more Special than anyone else away. Now don’t get me wrong, there is some Autism behaviors in kids and adults with Potocki-Lupski Syndrome. In fact, by a mere chance if My Mother didn’t jump in and say, “I know he has something else” at one of the many doctor’s appointments in The Study in Houston, I could have been diagnosed with Autism. The reason why was because there was an open window view of Downtown Houston and I wouldn’t answer the questions because I fixated on the view of Downtown Houston. So, Today when it comes to Labels, I know that I have Special Needs. But, I consider myself to just be Me, The special person I am. You See, when a person has Special Needs it’s more about them as People not what they have, People need to look beyond the label. Back in November 2010, a law that would help in many ways has passed, it’s called “Rosa’s Law” that eliminates the name, the government and some many people use to describe Special Needs, it used to be what I call the R-Word in all legal areas and now it’s called “Intellectual Disability”. By The Way, Even when The R-Word is used in an “Oh My Gosh, That’s Funny or That’s Stupid” way, it is still offensive to those with Special Needs because it promotes exclusion compared to Everyone Else. And Really, the only thing that People with Special Needs wants is to Be Included, whether they play along or they just observe. There was a Young Girl here in Plano named Shea and She was bullied because She has Special Needs. They sent her Horrible Text Messages via an app on the internet that makes the Phone Number Anonymous to hide the real number.  Now, in My Opinion, She is a Pretty Girl and it doesn’t seem like she has anything but, She has a Syndrome in which causes her to have Seizures. Luckily, Plano Police caught the people who did it.  Anyway, “Rosa’s Law” is A law that I am Extremely Happy to hear about. All in All, Labels are a tool to judge people. So, Learn to see pass the label of that person.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Labels are things you find on Canned Foods, Not hanging on People.