Apr 23, 2012 - Autism, Special Needs    No Comments

Currclick Autism Awareness Month Charity Bundle

I use CurrClick occasionally to purchase things for homeschooling. I follow them on facebook and I just noticed they have an Autism Awareness Month Charity Bundle. It’s basically a bundle of curriculum that can be used with any student. It normal retails for $48.84 and they are selling this bundle for $10.00 and 100% of the proceeds go to Autism Speaks. So that’s an 80% savings for you and a donation to an autism charity so check that out.

Currclick also hosts a Parent’s Lounge Live! Special needs addition which is basically an online support group for people who are homeschooling children with special needs.

Apr 22, 2012 - Autism, Special Needs    No Comments

AMC-Sensory Friendly Films

I was researching a little bit about The Autism Society of America and I came across a really useful link. I had heard about AMC movie theaters doing sensory friendly film days. They keep the lights up, the sound down, there are no previews or ads, and you can bring in your own gluten free/casein free snacks if your child is on a special diet. Perhaps most importantly kids who have trouble sitting still or being quiet don’t have to worry about it because audience members can walk, sing, talk, shout, flap…whatever they need to do.

So the link I came across has the name and date of the next movie and lists all the participating locations of the AMCs all around the nation that are doing the sensory friendly films.

Our family personally is not going to do the sensory friendly films simply because Adrian can already sit through a movie very happily and quietly so it’s not something he needs right now but we definitely could have utilized it in the past and I’m sure it will come in handy for tons of families. If we don’t take advantage of these programs they will go away. If they are not profitable the businesses won’t continue to do it, so if it’s something your family could benefit from use it so you don’t lose it and share with your friends and support groups!

And with all that CLICK HERE for the website.

Apr 22, 2012 - Autism    1 Comment

Winner of the Jamberry Autism Awareness Nail Shields

I assigned everyone’s name a number and used random.org and the winner was number four and that number was Missy! Congratulations Missy, I’ll be in touch with you.

If you didn’t win and you want to order check out TJ’s site and order yourself some. My nail shields have been on for a little over a week and there is no peeling or chipping. I really do love them and they have been a wonderful conversation starter because people ask me about my nails all the time. If you buy the Autism Awareness Nail Shields then $2 is donated to The Autism Society of America.

I have another giveaway going on right now so check out this post to enter my other giveaway and I have more coming in the days to come.

Apr 21, 2012 - Autism, Family    1 Comment

Does Adrian Speak Spanish?

I have a cute story about Adrian but first I just wanted to remind everyone that I have two giveaways going on right now. One of them is ending today. The Autism Awareness Nail Shields giveaway, so if you want to get in the drawing go to that post for details. I will randomly draw a winner tomorrow for a set of those. The second giveaway I have going on is a fabulous book called A Full Life with Autism. It will help you come up with strategies and put you in touch with various resources on helping your child with autism live up to their full potential as an adult. I truly highly recommend this book and I am thrilled to be giving two copies of this book away. So click here to go to that giveaway and get entered. The book giveaway will be open for the rest of April. I have at least two more giveaways coming up in the next couple of weeks too so if you like giveaways keep an eye out for more from me.

Onto my cute story. Last night the girls had a neighbor girl over for a sleepover. They live right next door so it’s really convenient and they have kids around the ages of my kids. They have a little boy who is the same age as Adrian and he comes over now and then. It’s been really fun to see him interact with Adrian. He hasn’t ever said anything about how Adrian talked or acted until this morning. He came up to me and said “I think Adrian speaks Spanish because I can’t understand what he’s saying.” I said, “You can’t understand him sometimes because he has autism.” Then he asked the next logical question “What is autism?” That’s not always an easy question to answer but of course I’ve thought about it a lot and this is what I said, “Autism makes Adrian’s brain think differently then some of your other friends’ brains. It makes it where sometimes he has trouble talking, making friends, or learning some things. Sometimes it might seem like he’s ignoring you but he can hear you.” and he said, “Ok, I understand.”

Adrian might be making his first friend. How neat would that be?

 

Apr 19, 2012 - Autism    4 Comments

Book Review and Giveaway: A Full Life with Autism

This book, A Full Life with Autism is written by Chantal Sicile-Kira and her son Jeremy Sicile-Kira. The very first book I read about autism is written by Chantal Sicile-Kira. Back when I knew pretty much nothing about autism I headed into Barnes and Noble in search of a book about autism. I thumbed through every book they had about autism and I ended up with her book simply titled Autism Spectrum Disorders. It really helped me in the beginning to figure out exactly what I was dealing with so when I was contacted to read Chantal’s new book called A Full Life with Autism I jumped at the chance.


How many times have we all heard that there is too little focus on adults with autism and the transition from a child with autism to an adult with autism and what we as parents are supposed to do to help our adult children make a smooth (well as smooth as possible) transition into adulthood? You hear it so much because it’s true. I didn’t know where to start as far as preparing Adrian for adulthood. This book is amazing in outlining resources and strategies for preparing your child with autism to become a happy and fulfilled adult.

This book has not only advice from Chantal who’s son Jeremy has autism and mostly communicates through his ipad but it also has invaluable advice from Jeremy himself. I love that Jeremy has the ability to communicate his advice and ideas about autism and how to help people with autism become everything they dream to become.

I’m thankful that I read this now when he’s at 8 years old so I can guide him in the right direction young because I know I personally baby Adrian at times and I cannot do that if I expect him to become a functioning independent adult someday. Reading and re-reading this book are going to help me help him now and in the future.

As you can tell I highly recommend this book and I’m thrilled to be able to give away two copies of this book to two readers. I’m keeping it very simple, leave me a comment on this post and you are in the drawing to win. Continental United States only please. I would like to keep this giveaway open through the rest of April so hopefully anyone who wants in the drawing will get a chance to comment and get their name in there. In exchange for this review I was given a copy of the book for myself but all the opinions above are my own.

You also have a couple more days to enter my other giveaway so click here for details.

 

Apr 15, 2012 - Autism    No Comments

The Winners of The Golden Hat:Talking Back to Autism

I get to pick two winners for my giveaway of The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism book. I’m really excited to give this one away, it really is a wonderful book. I ended up with 16 entries and there will be two winners. I gave everyone a number and I’m using random.org to choose two winners.

So the first winner is #7 Laurie and #2 Jessie! I hope you ladies enjoy the book and I’m be contacting you for your shipping address via email or facebook.

If you didn’t win the giveaway please go purchase the book here for $29.95.

Also don’t forget about my giveaway I have going on right now. A cashier at a store I went to today asked about my Autism Awareness Nail Shields. These are a great conversation starter so throw your name in the hat to win some nail shields for yourself.

Apr 14, 2012 - Uncategorized    7 Comments

Jamberry Autism Awareness Nail Shields Review and Giveaway

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for The Golden Hat:Talking Back to Autism book and as one giveaway ends I’m excited to begin another!

 

This is a very cool giveaway for Jamberry Autism Awareness Nail Shields and if you missed my picture yesterday on facebook here are the nail shields that I put on yesterday:

First of all, and most importantly, when you purchase the Autism Awareness Nail Shields $2 of your purchase is donated to The Autism Society of America.

These nail shields are really easy to put on, I had never done it before and I think it took me about 15 minutes to do all 10 of my fingernails.

The nail shields are a great conversation starter. I just put them on last night and already I was outside checking on my kids and my neighbor was outside checking on her kids and she noticed my nails right away and said she loved them and it opened up the opportunity for me to tell her more about my son and autism.

So I’m sure you want some Autism Awareness nail shields of your own to try out right?

So here’s what you need to do to get entered in the drawing: You need to follow TJ-Independent Jamberry Nails Consultant on Facebook and come back and leave me a comment here on this post telling me you’ve done this. You can also tell me what your favorite nail shields are from her website. If you want to gain a second entry into the drawing you can follow TJ on Twitter, just make sure you let me know that you’ve done this so I can get your name entered an extra time.

I’m going to keep this giveaway open for one week so you have until next Saturday to enter and I will draw one winner next Sunday April 22nd.

In exchange for this review TJ sent me a free pack of nail shields, of course the opinions above are all my own. I must say though, I like these a lot better then nail polish and I think there will be more nail shields in my future.

 

 

Apr 7, 2012 - Autism    2 Comments

Movies About Autism that are Available on Netflix Instant and Other Stuff

These are the movies that have characters with autism in them or are documentaries about autism. These are only the movies that are available on Netflix Instant Watch. I’ve added what I thought of the ones I’ve had time to watch and will edit this post as I watch more of them.

Documentaries:

Loving Lampposts-I did a giveaway of this movie last year and it’s a really good documentary. It shows how unique people with autism are and interviews lots of adults with autism. I really enjoyed this one.

Frontline: The Vaccine War-This one has Jenny McCarthy and most people in the autism community have strong opinions one way or the other as far as vaccinations go. This movie has the potential to have you steaming mad or nodding in agreement depending on your vaccine stance.

Her Name is Sabine

Unforgotten:Twenty-Five Years After Willowbrook This is a pretty horrifying documentary about how some people with special needs were treated at the institution of Willowbrook.

Fiction:

Ben X

Chocolate

Fly Away is about a young woman with autism and the struggles that she encounters and the struggles that her mom encounters as she grows up into adulthood. I liked this movie, I thought it was well done. Adrian and Sanura sat and watched the whole thing with me.

The Horse Boy

A Child is Waiting

Imagination

If you see any I missed message me and I’ll add them.

Here is a list of posts from my blog from last April that I thought might be useful to someone:

Guest Post:Baby Sign Language-Good for Child, Good for Family

PBS Autism Now-All Six Parts of the Series

Guest Post: Pictures and Autism: Using Pictures to Teach Creative Language

Autism Charities

Links to Share Including All the Articles from Goody Blog Voice of Autism

Also don’t forget to enter my giveaway if you’d like to have a chance at winning a copy of The Golden Hat:Talking Back to Autism. There will be 2 given away and you have until April 14.

My blog was listed on Healthism Blog’s list of Most Inspiring Blogs from Parents of Children with Autism, I’m honored to be part of the list so check out the other blogs on that list.

And just to update on Adrian’s leg, the limp seems to be gone so hopefully whatever it was is all healed up!

 

Apr 5, 2012 - Autism, Family    No Comments

Why it Sucks When Your Kid with Autism Gets Hurt

On Tuesday night when I was ushering the kids up to bed I noticed Adrian was limping. I figured his foot was asleep or something and I wasn’t worried about it. On Wednesday morning when I was taking him out to the bus I noticed him limping again and then I was worried.

When he got home from school yesterday Glen and I started looking his leg over. Not seeing any obvious signs of bruises or scrapes or anything that would indicate what part of his leg was hurting him we started asking him questions.

While pushing on his ankle we asked “Does this hurt?’ Adrian says “hurt.” “Adrian, does your ankle hurt?” Adrian says “Ankle.”

Moving up to his knee and pushing on it “Does your knee hurt?” Adrian says “All done” and tries to leave.

“Did you hurt your leg at school?” “Leg hurt, all done”

That was all he would tolerate with the questioning.

It’s hard. We have no idea what happened. The plan is to wait a couple days and see if he’s still limping since he’s not crying about it and when he stims he’s still jumping up and down on it so I doubt it’s a serious injury. I just wish he could tell me.

Apr 4, 2012 - Autism    No Comments

Guest Post: More Jobs To Do

I am excited to share a guest post with you by writer Jeff Stimpson. He generously offered to share this story about jobs and autism, a very important topic for those of us who have children with autism because after all they are going to be turning into adults with autism before we know it! Enjoy!

My son Alex’s service coordinator dropped by his school the other day. “Alex seems to be doing well there,” she e-mailed. “He was sweeping the floor when I arrived.”

Really? I thought, looking at the crumbs on our living room floor. Knew I had kids for some reason!

Alex does now: setting the table so the handles of the coffee cups face the same way; emptying the dishwasher every morning. I get the feeling he has the skills. “Alex,” I ask as he tucks in the sheets at the foot of his bed, “would you like a job?”

I expect him to parrot back something like, “Like a job?”

“A job to do,” he says, tucking.

We all have a job to do, but sometimes the job doesn’t find us. Writers know about this; I hope Alex doesn’t have to know about it, too. He could probably scrape by the next six or so decades on what amounts to the pure compassion, maybe the pity, of society. I’d prefer, however, that Alex, who is almost 14 is solidly on the spectrum, learn about that spring in the step after a day of good work you enjoy. He has the skills, I think.

Some people also have the attitude, like when a teacher from his school went into a local thrift shop to ask about employment for her students. “We don’t hire the handicapped,” she was told.

“We don’t actually use that term anymore,” the teacher said.

“Well whatever you call them, we don’t hire them!”

LinkedIn connection Jennifer tells me her son started as a cart attendant at a local Target; after three years they added “sales floor” to his cart duties. “He also straightens the store, stocking and fronting items,” she adds. Jennifer advises parents in my position to connect with local stores, making introductions early with businesses that would accept a person with a disability – “really ‘accept,’ not just legally.” Around a student’s junior year, work with a vocational rehab department to secure a job coach and internships.

Jennifer’s son had some “less-than-perfect” jobs before Target, she stresses, “so stay positive and keep pushing.”

I wish I pushed Alex more. The dishwasher is a dawn routine now, true, yet often simple sweeping of the crumbs slips my mind. Instead, I think how he’s on his iPad watching too much “Sesame Street,” and I let him alone. I’m not together enough to be Alex’s dad. I’m not smart enough for this job.

Jeff Stimpson lives in New York with his wife Jill and two sons. He is the author of Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie and Alex the Boy: Episodes From a Family’s Life With Autism (both available on Amazon). He maintains a blog about his family at jeffslife.tripod.com/alextheboy, and is a frequent contributor to various sites and publications on special-needs parenting, such as Autism Spectrum News, the Lostandtired blog, The Autism Society news blog, and An Anthology of Disability Literature (available on Amazon). He is on LinkedIn under “Jeff Stimpson” and Twitter under “Jeffslife.”

If you would like to share your autism story send me an email. My contact information can be found here on my Contact Me page.

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