tamara.harpster's blog

San Diego River Run 5K – I Made It!

This morning I completed the San Diego River Run 5K. Over the last year I have been running during the week and gradually increasing my distance. A little over a month ago, I saw a flyer for this event and after some research, decided I want to run in this race. My only goal was to run the entire way and I was successful.Before the Race

Moving From Red Alert to Green Light.

In the last few years I have changed  how I view my sons autism. For many years I focused on getting him to fit in with other people, completing his studies so he could go to college, and pushing him to find work and start earning money. I always felt like I had to push, to keep bringing up these topics to remind him of what I thought he needed to do.

Next Step in Workouts

I have been busy the last couple of weeks but lots of ideas for my blog and posts running through my head. One quick post this evening, I am taking a new step in my workouts, I will be running in a 5K on May 6th. My goal is to run the entire distance, I am pretty sure I can do it but I'm glad I have a couple of weeks to continue working my distance. I have not run in a race since grade school so this is a milestone for myself. I won't be the fastest or most elegant runner but I do plan to finish, one way or another.

Movie Reviews: Po and Life, Animated

In the last year I watched two films about families dealing with autism. The first movie was Life, Animated, based on a true story of parents and their son, Owen. The book described how the family connected with Owen with Disney films. The second movie was Po, based on a fictional story of a single father raising his autistic son, Po, after his wife passed away. The films showed the struggles the father has in taking care of his son while still working.

Book Announcement - "You Don't Want to Go for a Ride": Our Family's Journey with Autism

As part of autism awareness, I would like to announce our upcoming book about our family and experiences with autism. The book has completed our editing process and I am in the process of pulling it together for publication. The plan is for a release in September 2017 and I will be posting more information during the next few months. Writing this book has not been easy for my husband or myself, but the feedback we’ve received has been positive. I hope that sharing our experience can help other families.

Ignoring Signs

My family is interested in photography and I taking pictures when out on walks. On one of these walks, I saw two signs next to each other that caused me to pause at the odd message. The top sign read “CLOSED” while the lower sign displayed in large letters “JOIN US!”. They caught my eye because of the implied contradiction. I wondered about times when I have said something, then contradicted myself. I suspect it has happened at least once or twice. :-)

Autistic Burnout, Family Burnout

I continue to learn about autism and I found a new concept, autistic burnout. The term is not an official diagnosis but adults on the spectrum have reported on it. It occurs when an autistic person is spending their time and energy trying to appear normal without any break or rest.  Due to the stress of maintaining normalcy, the body and mind wear out and the person suffers from burnout. When this occurs, the person loses skills for social situations, and suffers from fatigue, depression, insomnia, increased illness, and anxiety.

Why Parents Want Autism to Go Away

In the last few years I’ve been reading articles by autistic adults. Many of these adults comment about parents how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are treated.  One of the common issues in these articles is parents focus on curing autism instead of providing support. Autistic adults view this as an attack on them and a lack of empathy for their difficulties.

Pages