I have learned a lot in the last month. I have learned that horrible life experiences can help you put things in perspective. I lost my job last month. I was (and still am) terrified. I have learned that LOSS and GRIEF and PAIN are going to happen... learning to use these moments to drive you and refine you shows your character. My first thought was "WHAT NOW!?" I am a single mom raising a child with autism... doesn't this cut me some sort of "break" on life? on drama? on pain? on bad things happening? The answer is "NO!" Pain, Loss, Divorce, Fear, Job Loss, and a whole other slew of bad things CAN happen to anyone! I gave myself one day to cry about it, dusted myself off and hit the road looking for a job! (If anyone has any leads... please let me know!!!) I realized that I have to be an example for my son... I can't continue in meltdown mode... I can't feel sorry for myself... and getting through ANYTHING (job loss or autism) takes work and determination. Please say a prayer for me and my son after you read this... I am praying that I will be able to report that I have an AWESOME job the next time I post! Blessings to you all! - Tiff
I haven't blogged in forever... mainly because life has been so crazy lately. After going through a divorce and having to transition two children with autism through that... I am picking myself up and continuing on with the site and the Families for Autism Support of Texoma! TODAY, we got a Families for Autism Support of Texoma bank account!!! I am so excited about this small step!!!! I will continue updating other areas of this site as I get the chance... just know that I have not given up! I know many of you parents out there keep up with the site and want/need more info. Big HUGS to all of you and keep up the good work with your kiddos!!! :) - Tiff
After a fairly low-key summer, the beginning of school began! So far... so good for us! :) (crossing my fingers and knocking on wood!) Two AMAZING educational interventions happened for our youngest this year! First of all, he was evaluated and recommended to receive music therapy! He is now receiving music therapy once a week at school from a music therapist!!! YAY!!!! Also, the school cafeteria is providing him with GFCF foods for breakfast and lunch.. (NOT an easy task people!!!) We have had him completely GFCF for 2 years, and 6 pages of paperwork later... he has GFCF meals at school. NOW the challenge is getting him to eat "Cafeteria food!" I hope everyone is starting the year off great. My oldest son has been bitten by the theatre bug - and will be auditioning for a play at our local theatre next week! In addition to his guitar lessons and choir at school, he is staying busy and fitting in with the other kids! I am SO happy that he found his little "clique". Our family is at an awesome place right now, and I am so proud of our boys, and how well this year is going so far... Hopefully, I will be singing the same song in a month or two! Blessings and Hugs!!! - Tiff
I was so worried that I wouldn't find a good place for our asperger's child to spend his time in the summer. He is terrified of overnight camps, and some day camps are overstimulating and too crowded. I let him have some input on choosing ways to spend his time. For June, he will be attending a Parks and Recreation camp with 50 other children from 7:30 to 5:30. In July, he will be attending a theatre camp as well as attending guitar lessons.
Summer is just around the corner. Some of our kids will receive ESY, and some of our kids won't. What do you do if you have to work all summer and your child doesn't receive ESY, and is afraid to stay at an overnight camp? Most day camps have a really inappropriate child/staff ratio - and if they don't then they cost an arm and a leg! I have been thinking that IF I had a job where I was off all summer. I would do whatever it took to create a day camp for kids with autism spectrum disorders. A place where kids can get social skills and life skills training, a place where they can relate to their peers, and a place where they feel safe because the workers are trained in working w/ kids with ASDs.
A big THANKS to all of you who came to the FAST meeting tonight! I appreciate all of you being willing to listen and learn about food aversions, and I hoped the information was helpful! It is so great to see you all and I can't wait to see you all again at Miracle League games and FAST meetings - and especially at the AUTISM Conference!!!! For those of you who couldn't be there tonight, Michelle Hicks (one of the co-chairs of the conference) said that there are already about 100 people signed up! That is AWESOME! And if you haven't signed up already, you better get to it!!! The deadline is April 17th!!! There is no reason that we all can't be there supporting this cause. I truly feel like year by year this conference will grow. I am so thankful that we have a community that will band together for autism! Hugs and Blessings to you all! - Tiffany
How many of you have Spring ARDs for your kids coming up? I know I do, and I am sure many of you are very organized and plan out every detail! I try to be like that as much as possible, but it just seems like this year, I am EXHAUSTED!!! It also seems like the stricter ESY rules are making it pretty hard for all of us that know our kids need ESY, but are almost too tired to fight for it.. Just know that we are all in the same boat, and we all have to sit through ARDs, and most of the time we all have hear d "no". Remember that YOU are your child's advocate and NUMBER ONE FAN!!!! My kids' well-being drives me, and even though ARDs are rough, and tiring, and can wear you down, it is what we must go through to make sure our kids are getting what they need. I want to give you all some encouragement to stand strong, smile sweetly, and think about the angelic face of your child while you are talking to the ARD about your child! Hang in there parents!!!! Good luck with your up-coming ARDs!!! Here are a few ARD tips:
1. Be prepared. Make yourself an "agenda" of things you want to discuss with the ARD committee (if possible, get the members of the committee a copy of this before the ARD so they will be ready to answer your questions and address your issues.) Also, if there is specific data or work samples you need to share, take that in too.
2. Breathe, and be calm. I have cried in WAY to many ARDs... especially when Mason was 3, 4, 5, 6... and I skipped a couple, then cried in 3rd and even this year in 4th.. so I guess I am preaching to the choir about being calm. LOL
3. Go in with a positive attitude. Going in mad, demanding or bossy is probably not going to get you too far, it stresses you out and nothing gets accomplished through anger. You will get much more accomplished for your child if you can remain calm. (No one is perfect though... I have lost my cool before.. and it didn't help my child ONE BIT..) If someone ticks you off, squeeze your hands together under the table or start taking deep breaths to calm down. Try to be calm before speaking. Ask for a break if you need one.
4. Always ask questions if you don't understand something. Always stop someone if you are "lost", because you will be signing off on everything when the ARD is finished, and you want to be able to truly understand what you are signing.
5. If you need to have a staffing meeting about your student to follow-up, be sure you ask during the ARD, alot of times, while everyone is there together, they can go ahead and set it then.
6. SMILE!!! :) You are advocating and helping the committee get the best possible services and goals for your child. You are on the same team, even if you feel defeated sometimes Hold your head up and speak up for your child.
Hi! I wanted to start this website for parents to network with other parents, and to gain information from each other on topics such as toilet training, GFCF Diet, supplements, travel tips, activities, education, and much more!
After raising 2 boys on the autism spectrum, I may not be an "expert", but I sure do have alot of "on the job experience" as an autism mom! My goal is to help other families just starting out on their autism journey, or hitting road blocks that I have been through before. Thanks for visiting Autism Parent 2 Parent!