I know it has been over a year since this was updated. We have been in an intensive program. It is an educational therapy program and it has been womderful for us! We go through a nonprofit, Christian organization in our town. I put a link to what educational learning therapy is. I hope you all can find something as great as we did. No, my son is not up to grade level. He still struggles with abstract concepts but it is slowly getting easier for him. While not cheap is is making our days just a little bit better.
Category Archives: Encouraging Words
We have quite a few kids in our lives who live with Autism. They live it because they were diagnosed with Autism or they are a sibling of the child with the diagnosis. As I look around at our society today, that is supposed to welcome all those with a disability, Autism seems to be the only disability that needs to be cured according the general consensus. Look it up. There are hundreds of ways to cure your child of Autism. From diets to heavy metal cleanses and other wacky theories (actually as a science major I should say hypothesis because many of these “cures” have NEVER been studied) WHAT THE @#$%$#@#!?!
What is that saying to these kids as they grow up? A logical conclusion is “You have a disease and we need to fix you.” It makes me sad that this is one of the last groups of people with disabilities that still struggle with this perception in 2016. Many people will deny their perceptions about Autism until you put them in a corner with their own “logic”.
So for all those precious kids I know and love with Autism here is what I want to say to you. You are all precious just the way you are. You are precious to God, your family, your friends, and to me. You have struggles navigating this world but you are little super heroes, every single one of you. You give so much to your own little world. You give joy, you give beauty, and you give a different perspective on the world around you.
To the parents I understand the struggle. I understand the trying times with your kids. Those difficult times that seem to come up every single day and never have an ending. The anxious feeling when you go out or the heartbroken feeling of declining yet another invitation because you don’t want to have to navigate another social situation. I understand the guilty feeling coming from all those voices telling you it is your fault. To you I say the following: You have done NOTHING wrong. You did not cause your child to have Autism. Contrary to what society is telling you, it is NOT your FAULT. Society does not tell a parent of a child with down syndrome or triple X syndrome that is was their fault their child has a disability. Just chew on that reality for a while. Parents, you are my super heroes as well. You may not hear it all the time but you are rocking this parent thing. Thank you for your love, your time, and your effort in caring for your child. This is not an easy gig. You are precious to your child with Autism.
So for this month I challenge you to challenge the status quo. To fight for these kids and adults to be respected as they are. To be understood as they are. To be able to come into society and be welcomed as they are.
PS I because I understand society likes to hotly debate Autism (unlike other disabilities) I will not be taking comments on this post. I don’t have the time. I have my own children to raise. But please like the post, share the post, pin the post, tweet the post ect. Hopefully a good dialogue can commence in your own small spheres.
Awe yes, like we moms need one more thing to feel guilty over here comes the “eat whole foods or your kids will DIE” and the various other food movements. A bit harsh and overboard on my part but I have a reason. My reason is that we have to be on a wheat free diet. My kids are allergic, blood tested, and IgE certified. We found out 10 years ago and have been gluten free ever since. (We are gluten free because it is just easier. And have you ever tried to make rye bread with just rye? It isn’t a tasty endeavor.)
Back on track now. 10 years ago the availability of gluten free stunk! Tapioca bread……I rest my case. I had to go whole food not by choice. Let me tell you it is tough! Making sure you have everything in stock and at all times. Quick meals are not a thing. I was fine with it and learned how to make things work and to make them taste good (see me over at madscienceofglutenfree.wordpress.com).
As a veteran in the whole foods movement I am giving you some advice. Don’t stress it. You have too much on your plate with a child or two or three with a disability. Yes cook healthy food and don’t reach for that box of instant dinner every night. Yet give yourself a break. Buying your loaf of bread isn’t going to kill your family. There are healthier options at the stores now. That hot dog or corn dog for lunch isn’t going to kill them either. Cereal for breakfast is okay.
Also moms don’t give yourself false guilt when your kid is a super picky eater that is likely a cause of the disability. I have worked with enough families to know that it just isn’t worth the fight every…….single……meal. I worked with a lovely girl with autism who would only eat tomato soup, eggs, and applesauce. For a treat I could take her to go get fries or pizza and after a few years even pizza was out. Texture was a huge deal to this child. So much so that it affect her eating behaviors.
Yes, the above example is an extreme case. I just want to let you know that you can let it go. In fact you can let go of all those food movements that have popped up in the last 10 years. Yep ALL of them.
Free yourself mom and dad. It is okay to eat at that fast food restaurant. It is okay to have boxed mac and cheese with dinner. I envy you moms with so much freedom. Don’t trade that freedom for chains. By giving into those chains you are on shaky ground of breeding discontent. These food movements will never feed the soul. They only feed frustration. Frustration that others are not following your food rules. Frustration that everything on the kids menu is off limits. Frustration can lead to a sort of food narcissism. The kind that talks about how your food choice is superior to everything else. Trust me I have had to endure my fair share. As a General in whole food eating I give you permission to not feel guilty. I give you permission to be free and to be you and to have fun with meals and to “cheat”. Go forth and eat in FRRREEEEDDDDOOOOMMMMM!
There seems to be a trend going around on the internet lately in which it is pretty much a bad thing to be worried about our kids’ happiness and trying to keep them happy all the time. Pinterest is full of ideas on how to keep your kid happy. The premise I agree with but in my world I do not see parents doing what the bloggers are lamenting they are doing.
Now maybe it is just because my world is small and has gotten smaller now that I do not work with people with disabilities. In my world I just don’t see having to keep kids happy a thing with parents of kid with disabilities. We are in a different realm. From the very beginning of a diagnosis we are looking to the future; a future without us one day. A future were they are going to have to handle disappointment, shattered dreams, and people who just don’t get them…… at all.
We deal with the tantrums and work through them. We know our kids can’t be doing this in school or the work place and we need them to be able to self regulate for a productive future. We need them to work through the anger. We work through the sadness because it will be a companion following disappointment. We work towards feelings of pride because it is going to be the little conquests that make up a mountain top experience. Yes we want our kids to be happy but for them to be happy all the time is not our reality.
Emotions are more intense in my world. Thus I don’t care about how happy my child is. If I cared how happy he was I would have boughten the chocolate milk instead of a new bike. Yes we almost had a melt down because I would not buy the chocolate milk at the store because we were buying a bike which he needed since he was way to big for his other one. So you see happiness is not on our radar all the time. If I cared about happiness now I would buy him a pack of gum every….single….time….we went into a store.
Our happiness meter is future oriented. Kuddos to all you parents who are struggling with the fluctuating emotions. You are teaching them skills that many of their typical developing peers are not learning. Good job parents with challenging kids. You can just skip over all those articles because most likely they don’t apply to you. You are in the future zone and doing all you can to help your child grow into a productive adult.
There seem to be a million and one blog posts about how kids these days are always on their phones or iPods/mp3 players. They are head down and not engaging in life. There are calls to throw out the tech and get into the fresh air. I agree with them so much in fact that I found myself judging another parent. We were in Target and about to check out. There was dad with a few kids. There was a teenager, a pre-teen, and one about in 2nd grade. The boy (pre-teen) placed earbuds in is ears and followed the family. My first reaction (I am sorry to say) was that of judgement. What the heck! Get those things out of your ears and engage with your family. Dad, seriously do something. Then I was convicted deep in my soul. The child was engaging. He was looking up. He was paying attention. He wasn’t head down and absorbed in his own little world.
He could be my son. My son doesn’t look like he has a disability. Yet he sometimes needs his drummers earplugs. No he isn’t a musician but they help keep the noise level down while still being able to hear sound. If someone saw my son with them on it would look like he is listening to music and tuning out the world. They would judge as I had.
What if this child was just like my son? What if he needed the music (or perhaps a podcast) to help him navigate a crowded store? I had no idea what the story was and I judged. I did the very thing I cringe at when it is directed toward my son. Just because one looks like a typical kid does not mean they live a typical life. So to the family in the store I am sorry.
Now I will be more purposeful in not stepping onto a soap box and I will give grace.
My God give you grace and patience. Keep on trailblazing.
I have tried to post this for the last 2 days. I have made 3 drafts but each did not post with an error message. My title was 1000 Way to Make the Holidays More Meaningful. Then I went into the reason for the title and then gave you my 1 tip and how we simplify in our house. It was a beautiful post. And I truly wanted to share all those words of wisdom. But alas it was not meant to be. However, my tip for all you this year is simply to:Simplify
That is it. So go simplify. Don’t stress over your simple holiday plans. You need to simplify for your own sanity and because having a kid with sensory issues this time of year is tough. Don’t over plan the season to the point that you can’t enjoy the season. So what if you only have 4 sides to the Thanksgiving meal; 2 of them being cranberry sauce and store bought rolls. So what if you don’t do Elf on the Shelf or Advent Calendars or bake cookies for the neighborhood.
Take a step back. Breathe. You are doing good.
You don’t have to do every thing with everyone. Saying “No” is okay. With friends and family wanting our time I have to say no, a lot. However, it has allowed our family of 4 to niche out traditions that we want to do and that the kids are interested in doing. Be flexible and be willing to ditch traditions that are not working. Or at the very least modify them so they can work.
Like I stated above, I had a beautifully written post on many ways to simplify. Ironically the post itself was not simplified. So taking a cue I will end the simple post with a simple message.May your days be filled with joy. May you and your children find the wonder in the simple things. May God give you patience and grace. Keep on trail blazing!
It has been that month. You know the month were it seems your kid is on the upward track and then it either a) stalls or b) takes a nose dive. That month when you question if you can do this thing called Home School and with your child with a disability. That month were friends and family (mostly family on my part, aaarrrrhhhhh!!!!) ask when you are going to get tutoring because the child is so far behind, in their eyes, that there is something wrong.
At times I just wanted to scream, “Yes, there is something wrong. He can’t communicate clearly thus he is struggling with reading. His little mind is trying so hard. And can we stop talking about him like he is not in the room!” That is what I am thinking but didn’t say. Luckily my husband was home from his business travels and shut the conversation down before I went praying mantis on everyone.
My remedy for this is family time. Not time with those family members who want to remain clueless but our own little family. I tend to need to recenter myself as a wife and mom with just the four of us having time together. This weekend will be spent outside and getting our energy out. We will explore the river, perhaps drive to the mountains, or there is always the Zoo or Discovery Center. A date night is happening this weekend too.
There is a day this month were I will get together with my friends. Who have a better understanding of my son then some family members. Why is that? A support system is key. I have written about this before. They pray for me, study the Bible with me, and truly rejoice and cry with me.
If you are having one of these months I encourage you to step back, reevaluate, and have some fun.
I hope your school year is off to a better start than mine. If you are having one of these months I encourage you to step back, reevaluate, and have some fun. I pray that each of you will find joy during each day.
May God give you patience and grace. Keep on trail blazing.