Headline Monday

Our first article up is on Autism:

What is autism? Beyond the symptoms and stereotypes.
Donna Williams

What is autism? Beyond the symptoms and stereotypes.

My definition of autism has evolved through my experience as an autism consultant with hundreds of children since 1997 together with my own experience as a person assessed as a psychotic infant in 1965 at age 2 and later diagnosed with autism.

My definition has been captured in various ways in my 9 published books, perhaps most particularly in Autism; An Inside Out Approach and in The Jumbled Jigsaw.

In my view, autism is NOT ONE CONDITION and hence there is no one-size-fits-all approach which will best fit ALL people diagnosed with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Click Here for Full Article

A must read for those dealing with autism, as the author is autistic herself.

Boy caught in middle of teacher aide debate
by Kelly L. Holleran
Daily Mail staff
Schayne Martin sits in a chair in his kitchen, happily eating the macaroni and cheese his mother is feeding him.

Click Here for Full Article

The article is about how the school district laws are standing in the way of this boy getting consistent care. One thing, though, that disturbs me is that there is no mention of special education in this article. Yes, he has an aide (what the whole article is about,) but I got the impression he’s in regular school classes “because he is of school age.” Somehow, in this case, concerning his mental age (toddler) it doesn’t seem right. The article put me off in some way – and I’m not talking about the staffing issue. What’s your take?

How a School in Florida Got Mainstreaming Right
Grades Rose Amid Push To Include the Disabled; Adam Nystrom’s Test
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Adam Nystrom remembers being taunted by classmates in middle school for needing so many special-education courses.

“They’d say, ‘Oh, that’s the retard class,’ and everybody would laugh,” recalls Adam, who suffers from a learning disorder that impedes reading ability. “I wouldn’t really say anything because there isn’t anything funny about it.”

Click Here to Read Full Article

For our part, Joseph is doing very well with mainstreaming. Thus far, he hasn’t been subjected to any ridicule. He’s in both his regular class, and then special education classes during the day for the subjects (and therapy) that he needs. What are your views and experiences with mainstreaming?

New Title for Fridays

OK – NO more Q&A Fridays…  Instead, we’re going to have Free-For-All Fridays.

What does that mean?  Anything goes.  Got a question?  I’ll try to find an answer.  Need to vent about the !@#$$ who did !@#$%?  Vent away!

Go on!  I dare ya…

Tools That Rule

OK, I have both a tool for you – AND a request.

First – the request… What Social Networking sites or other websites do you find particularly useful? Why?

The one tool I have for today is a social networking/resource site, Disaboom. It’s basically for living with disabilities – but us parents can always use the help of the adults that have been there, done that. So, go get active, research, and ask questions. Become part of the community.
From their “About Us” page:

Disaboom.com was founded by Dr. J. Glen House, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation who is also a quadriplegic. His firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and those whose lives they touch has driven the Disaboom.com mission: to create the first comprehensive, evolving source of information, insight, and personal engagement for the disability community.

Disaboom.com is based on the following core beliefs:

Expertise comes in many forms. Often the best advice comes not just from medical experts but also from “peers” — others who’ve walked the path you’re on. That’s why in addition to providing solid medical expertise, we’ve also put together the largest online network of individuals to share their personal experiences with you, providing honest, practical answers to hard questions.

Knowledge is power — and so is community. Disaboom.com strives to provide you the tools and guidance you need to live active, engaged lives. But when it comes to sharing stories and personal insights, there’s nothing stronger than the power of community — which is why we’re connecting the millions touched by disability to both information and each other.

You don’t have to be disabled to be touched by disability. The Disaboom.com community is as diverse as the communities we live in, made up of mothers and models, surfers and surgeons, babies and baby boomers. Our network of 180 million and growing includes not just individuals with disabilities, but also medical practitioners, caregivers, employers, family members, teachers, and others. In so many important ways, people with disabilities may be anyone — and everyone.

The word “disability” may apply to us — but will never define us. We decide who we are, and what lives we will create. The goal of Disaboom.com is to provide the information, community, and connection you need to define who you are, and what life you will lead.


A clean slate

Happy New Year to you all.

It’s time to get up and running around these parts.  Look for more posts!

from the heart

To all who celebrate the birth of the Savior…


A heartfelt Merry Christmas to you.


May the coming year be full of the Spirit,


And full of Joy and Blessings…



Tools That Rule

OK, I’ve got another tool for you that I use…  Again – this isn’t disability specific, but it is something that makes my life easier.

Mvelopes Home Budget Software.  No, I’m not an affiliate, and no, I’m not getting a kickback.

This software takes the old envelopes budgeting principle and updates it for our mostly cashless society.  It has done wonders for our financial situation.  It used to be, that since my husband and I use the same account, but I handle the money, inevitably he would lose receipts so they wouldn’t get to me.  At the end of the month, when reconciling the account we’d be hundreds of dollars in the hole that I simply did not know about.  We tried different approaches, and none worked.  So I bit the bullet and bought a subscription to Mvelopes.  Here’s the reasons why I love it:

  • I can create any envelope I want.
  • It attaches, online, to my accounts and downloads the transactions, so my account balance is always up-to-date.
  • Because of the fact that it gets the transactions from the account itself – lost receipts don’t  matter because I see it anyway.
  • Instead of a budget where I see how we did at the end of the month – I see it in real time in order to make the necessary adjustments on a daily basis.  Since we both get paid weekly, this is extremely helpful.
  • For big ticket items, like the monthly childcare bill, I fund the envelope weekly – but I don’t have to move the money out of the checking into the savings, because I can see that it’s already spent in my envelope.  The money just sits there until I need to use it – which is fabulous.

Anyway…  While it isn’t disability specific, it makes my life so much easier, and I don’t have nearly as much anxiety over our finances.  In my opinion, that can only be a good thing.


http://www.dailymail.co.ukMy next featured blogger has been in the hospital, so that’s going to have to wait for a bit.

So, today I’m going to talk about boundaries… My own, that is.

Sometimes I find it really hard to parent my kids. Not as a parent or a woman or any kind of title… Just as a person. Just as who I am.

Let me give you an example. I am not a morning person. Actually, that’s really an understatement. I know this, my husband knows this, and my kids know this. As such – I need my time in the morning. My husband usually wakes me before he leaves (I’ll sleep through the alarm otherwise) at 5:30 am. That’s my time. Not my “get ready” time, but MY time. The children are supposed to be asleep, and my husband’s gone. It’s the only time I have to myself alone. The rest of the day or night, the only time I’m alone is on the way to and from work. So – this is my wake up, coffee, devotion, computer, think time. It also provides an opportunity for me to wake up so I’m not snarling.

I don’t have a lot that’s just mine. You know, that’s not being shared with the rest of the family. There’s the usual items, like my toothbrush, makeup etc. But even that stuff sometimes gets stolen used. My husband’s been known to use my toothbrush, and my husband and kids have been known to get into my makeup for Halloween and such. I have no daughters, so at least the tampons are safe… Wait! That’s not true… My kids discovered them and made them into canons. That was an interesting day. My point is – my stuff is not my own. I have two things: the pink blankie is MINE… You’d think the pepto bismol color would throw off attempts at usage, but no. And my desk. Mine. All mine. The pink blanket may be used by others when sick, but that’s it.

I wake up, or allow to get up, the children at 7am. At 7am we start the getting ready, breakfast, cleanup, dress routine for work and school. We’ve got a system down now this year. While the kids are eating/brushing/dressing, I take my shower and get ready. Luckily I can do that now, as they’re old enough to be able to do that much on their own. If they get completely ready in time, and are not mean, they get to watch cartoons then until it’s time to go.

Yesterday, during my shower time, when the kids were supposed to be eating, I had to run into my bedroom for something that I forgot. Lo and behold, there’s Joseph sitting at MY desk. He had heard the door to the bathroom open so he was trying to hightail it out of there, but it didn’t work. He was investigating my token fob – a little digital thing that allows a code for me to get into my work email from home as necessary. Something that costs $75 of my own money to replace if lost – which I’ve had to do twice so far… Hmmm… There was a big blow-up. Disobeying and not doing what’s supposed to be done etc.

But my point is – my boundaries were crossed… Because I may have to use the MY time to get ready in the morning so the kids can be completely supervised while they’re getting ready. And he violated MY space.

I realize I’m sounding selfish. I realize that. And it may work itself out, so that he has more self control. But that’s one of the problems with his particular disorder: impulse and self-control.

So, I’m cranky. I’m tired of my personal boundaries being crossed… I don’t have a lot of them. I really don’t. Time to rev up my day, and one small square space to call my own. Everything else has been invaded, and I’ve given it all up gladly. Is it selfish of me to want to continue having these things? Am I a bad mother? Am I a non-understanding person of my son’s particular issues? I struggle with this. And yet, I want to act like a petulant child, and stomp my foot… Mine!

Do you struggle with your boundaries?

Monday Headlines

Riding program helps kids with disabilities gain confidence, strength

By Eileen O. Daday

Ted and Debbie Sulaski of Aurora suspect Danielle, their adopted daughter from South Korea, suffered a mild stroke at birth, which explains why she has struggled to gain muscle control and barely can hold her head up.

While the couple immediately sought out early intervention for their toddler, they have discovered something else that seems to stimulate all of her senses: horseback riding.

Read Full Article Here

Have any of you used Equine Therapy? What was your experience?

Student Charged With Selling ADHD Pills

UNION, S.C. — A student at Union County High School has been arrested and charged with selling ADHD pills to his classmates.

Read Full Article Here

I would just like to use this article as an opportunity to remind you of the importance of talking to your children – Don’t just assume they know something. Talk to your child who is on prescriptive medication and explain that anyone else using their drugs could get really really sick off of them, because their bodies weren’t meant to tolerate them. Explain the importance of them not taking anything that their friends might bring to school.

Therapy Can Reduce Tics And Tourette Syndrome

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2007) — At a time when doctors reach for drugs as a first line of treatment for psychological disorders ranging from attention hyperactivity/deficit disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder, a review of the reported research indicates that behavioral programs and procedures can effectively reduce the symptoms of tic disorders.

Read Full Article Here

Have any of you tried Habit-reversal training (HRT?) What was your experience with it?

Q&A Friday

Where are the questions??  Let’s open up some discussion!  It’s Q&A Friday…  What do you need to know?

Thursday Tools

I contributed the last two “Tools”…  Your turn!!  What works for you?  What doesn’t?  What do you need more info on?