I have two books free to purchase on Amazon now through Sunday. "Lost and Found" is a mystery full of action and adventure. In "Care for the Caregiver," I share some of my experiences as a mom of special needs kids and I try to bring encouragement to others. Click on the links below preview the books and/or to purchase.
Can Do vs. Can't Do
My youngest son is going to have academic testing this week and I've been filling out paperwork that describes what my son can and can't do. These assessments can be time consuming as well as depressing. Since my little boy first regressed, I have cringed any time I have had to fill out anything in regards to my son's abilities, disabilities, and age-appropriate skills. These bring all of the things that are difficult for my son to do to the forefront in my mind as he is compared to his peers according to age. I have to remind myself at these time of where we started and how far he's come, even if it has just been a progression of "baby steps."
There are many things that my son still can't do but the list of things he can do is growing daily. He can put on most of his clothes by himself and he is potty training. He can put on his sandals by himself even though he would rather I do it. He can read six sight words and orally count to twenty. These are huge milestones for him!
I encourage you to focus on the positive today. It isn't always easy to do this but it is healthier. Have a wonderful day!
P.S. Check out the Hints/Recipes page for a new quick and healthy dinner idea!
May 13th, 2017
May 12th, 2017
It's been awhile since I posted and I can definitely say that we have been unbelievably busy. I'm working on an encouraging book for caregivers and I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you.
The life of a caregiver can be extremely chaotic and stressful. I fight the battle against stress and discouragement each and every day. I want you to know that you are not alone. There are others out there who understand what you are going through. Take a breath. Don't worry about tomorrow or later on today; just focus on the next few minutes. You are strong; you can do this. Keep fighting, keep teaching, keep helping.
Try to take time for yourself when you can. I know how hard it can be to find the time just to relax but, even if it's just thirty minutes, try to do something just for you. You are special, extremely important, and you matter.
Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful, gifted, dedicated mothers out there! You are loved and respected and appreciated.
Have a wonderful day!
If you are on Facebook, as most of us are, there is a great Autism discussion page that I am now following. This page discusses several topics associated with Autism, such as behaviors, anxiety, diagnosis, etc. Please check this page out.
Teaching and Learning
I am homeschooling our youngest son with Autism due to his extreme sensitivity to environmental stimuli because of his Sensory Processing Disorder. He is unable to handle being in a regular school at this point in his life. Over the past couple of years, as I have been working with him, I have designed a program of sorts that seems to help him learn while addressing his sensory needs. I have learned that, in order for him to focus on the concepts I am trying to teach him, I must incorporate sensory activities into his learning. So, I have tried to get creative and provide activities that integrate learning, sensory activities, and even concepts his therapists are working on with him. So far, this approach seems to be working and he is progressing in his learning.
The most important lessons I have learned to is be flexible and not to have the same expectations for him as I do for my other two children in regards to his learning style. I cannot expect my youngest to sit in a chair and complete workbook pages for a prolonged period of time. He needs to move and get input in order for him to keep himself regulated.
Throughout this learning experience, I have thought about other parents who may be in the same situation that I am in: who are trying to teach their children at home. If you are on a tight budget, as we are, you might not have the money to buy all of the expensive teaching aids that are needed to help your child learn. I have tried to come up with learning activities that use things we already have on hand.
I thought I might start blogging about the activities I do with my little one and see if these ideas might help anyone else. I am not a therapist, but I do have a teaching degree, so I do have an educational background when it comes to creating some of these activities. Also, let me say that we do not do these activities every day. I adapt them to my son's mood, interests, behavior, attention span, sensory difficulties, etc. on any given day. What works one days sometimes will not the next, and vice versa.
So, here we go...
Counting Toys on the Scooter
My son loves stuffed animals, among other toys, and always wants to have them nearby when we are working. I have found that, instead of trying to keep the toys away from him while we work, it is easier and less stressful on us both to bring the stuffed animals into what we are learning.
I dump a pile of stuffed animals in the kitchen floor at one end of my kitchen and place a large storage container at the other end. I get my son's scooter (which I got online for under $20) and have him sit by the container. I have him roll to the stuffed animals, tell him the number of animals to pick up, then count with him as he places them in his lap. He then rolls back to the container and puts them inside. We repeat this a few times until all of the animals are inside the container.
You can vary the difficulty by changing the numbers you are counting to (we go to 10 right now). I also sometimes use two containers for him to put the stuffed animals in to work on his ability to follow directions by having him put the toys in the container I choose. You can change up the sensory input your child receives by having them run, hop, crawl, or gallop while moving the toys, too.
This activity does all of the following: reinforces counting, encourages following directions, provides sensory input, works on core strength, uses eye-hand coordination, works on gross motor movement, incorporates using the sense of touch(tactile), and probably works on some other areas I haven't thought of yet.
I hope you and your child enjoy this activity as much as we do. Have a great day!
I came across this article in my email today and I just had to share. This explains so much about my young son with SPD and Autism,
SPD Foundation Article
I have been researching private schools that cater to SPD or different learning styles. While researching, I realized that others may welcome this information. So, I found a website that includes a list of schools nationwide. I was also able to Google a certain metropolitan area and found other sites which also provide this information. The link to the nation-wide list is listed below. Have a wonderful day!
Awesome Autism Talk
I needed this today. After a week filled with changing schedules, intense sensory therapy at home to try to help my son to keep his equilibrium, etc., I needed something positive. I hope you will find the speaker's words encouraging, too. Have a great day!
Rosie King: How Autism Freed Me
Sensory Processing Disorder Links
A friend of mine shared this website with me and I had to pass it along. It has several links to website related to SPD. I hope it will be helpful to you!
Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SPD/SID) -- resource links
I am a mom to three special-needs kids. Writing about my experiences is something new I'm embarking on. I hope my musings help, not only me, but someone else out there who walks in shoes similar to my own.