LivinLife123

Livin Life, one day at a time, and filling you in on the randomness of it all!

Autism Cares – Free iPad’s for Autism March 2, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Uncategorized — Sara @ 7:58 pm
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Autism Cares – Free iPad’s for Autism

**FREE iPad 2’s for autism kiddos** —-Nope this isn’t spam I PROMISE…Just passing on a deal I found out about….from one parent to another 🙂

Fill out the form, that you’ll find at the attached link, by MARCH 7, 2012 for your chance to receive an iPad 2 for your child. I know how much my sons have learned using *theirs and I’m sharing this link in hopes it will help some of you get an iPad as well.

My sons school sent this link to me. I am in no way affiliated with the company nor do they even know I exist. I’m just passing on the info that was shared with me…hopefully some of you can get some good from it!! 🙂

*I want to clarify when I say *their iPad’s above, we did not receive them through this company. We raised the funds through Give Forward, another great Autism Funding Resource 

 

 

 

Mom Meltdowns February 29, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Link Ups,Parenting,thoughts — Sara @ 7:00 pm
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I was at Target today, minding my own business, roaming the store and enjoying the first day the little man’s been back to school after being out sick for almost 2 weeks. Browsing the sales, riding down the aisles on the bar below the cart….just being a jackass…or rather partaking in my own jackassary….then it happened, it hasn’t happened in a while, and while I try to be worry free for the most part sometimes those things you push to the back of your head because the logical part of you knows you can’t stress over what you can’t control finds a way to creep out.

 

What happened you ask?? One of my biggest fear came true…a giant green monster came through the front doors of the store, ran down the aisles screaming and growling…yanking everything off the shelves…pushing everyone who was in his path out of the way…searching frantically for ½ priced orange juice…once he found the oj….destroying everything in his path…he made his way….still screaming and trashing everything in his way…to the checkout. He then handed the cashier his expired oj coupon, and when the cashier politely, and slightly terrified, tried to politely explain the stores coupon policy the angry monster bit her head off, said “There’s your coupon bitch” and walked off…oj and expired coupon in hand….

 

 

Wait—that didn’t happen—but I have your attention now don’t I?? And I made you laugh a little too…didn’t I?? So now on to my real semi-emotionally related-meltdown….I’m roaming the aisle, goofing off, admiring my own genius for the long johns I found on clearance for super cheap, and I saw an older lady with 2 teenage boys…they weren’t related, it wasn’t a family outing…it was 2 special needs boys…who if I had to guess lived in some sort of group home and were out running errands….The boys were happy, the lady seemed caring…as I was searching for the right type of sausage I overheard them discussing the items they needed and who they were shopping for. One of the boys was walking down the aisle with his hands over his ears. And as I continued to search for the red meat free Italian flavored sausage for my calzones tonight they vanished down another aisle and that was it….That’s where most people would continue to shop and go about their business not giving it much more thought…not me…that moment, when I saw the group of three walk down a aisle in the store, minding their own business, that’s when I almost lost it…right in the middle of the store.

 

I accept the fact that stressing over what you can’t control is pointless, I understand that it doesn’t get you anywhere and I still believe that 100%, BUT that doesn’t mean feelings don’t creep up occasionally.  I accept Autism and all it Is & Isn’t. I accept I can’t control the future. I accept the fact that I must live forever to care for my children, as many special needs parents do…..But I still cannot see a special needs adult without almost losing it. It breaks my heart, not for the person, but for my own family….yes I know that makes me sound like a selfish ass…but I want it all for my kids….and while there are great long term care options available out there I hate thought of any of it! My babies need to stay babies forever…or better yet…insurance companies could realize that 1:91 children will be 1:91 adults before we know it,  and start covering more intensive therapies….Even better that that I need to find the magic trigger that makes each of cuties tick in order to help them grow to be the best they can be….

 

So you’re waiting to hear what happens next right??? Did I cry my eyes out in the middle of the store like a nutcase? Did I say too hell with it and take out my frustrations on the green expired coupon using monster, kicking him straight in his monster rear? Nope, nothing that exciting. Actually, I sucked up my feelings, shoved them deep down where they, along with all the other worries you can’t control, belong, and I went about my shopping. Feeling a little bummed at thoughts of what the future holds, but more than anything feeling excited to see my cuties after school, hug them, and tell them they are PERFECT!!!

 
REMEMBER [When those darn emotions and worries, about whatever it is you may be stressing about, start sneaking in] :::::Van Wilder said it best:::::Worryings like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere
 

 

Vanishing Words!? February 24, 2012

Filed under: Autism,Link Ups,Parenting,thoughts — Sara @ 7:56 pm
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Remember when your baby was first born, you’d watch him or her sleep? On nights they slept more than 2 hours you’d find yourself checking them in their crib to make sure they were still breathing…not in a morbid way, in a mom way….As they grow you learn to enjoy the silence, let sleeping babies sleep so to speak…right?

Then your kiddo gets sick for the first time, you’re up all night, even when they finally crash out. You’re checking fevers, checking breathing, etc.  I’m not alone so far…right? We’ve all done this….

Then came autism, and first words….when my son first started using words, I’d wake him every morning and ask him to talk to me. Make him repeat that one word he knew at the time. I just needed to make sure his words didn’t magically vanish while we slept. Why would words just disappear, with no rhyme or reason?…No logical reason, but nothing about autism at the time seemed logical to me.  I’m not a mom who knows her kids were born autistic and I’m not a mom who knows something else [whether environmentally related, vaccine related, whatever] caused the autism…Actually I believe autism is a combo of genetic and environmental triggers, and is at times misdiagnosed because it shares symptoms with other, possibly yet to be identified disorders. One day I think they’ll be able to break down what they today call ‘autism’ into 5, 10, 20 different conditions. There are too many variants in every case of autism for it all to be lumped into 1 category…but that’s neither here nor there..that’s actually just my ADD kicking in….getting back on track….

Hmm….where were we? Words!!! Once I realized the words wouldn’t magically vanish in my cuties sleep, next came the new speech/illness fear….Every time a cutie gets sick there’s the fear the sickness will take the words with it. Not in a weird mystic word sucking virus type of way, just in an I don’t really get it but it scares the beejeebus out of me kind of way.  I’m sure in time this fear too will pass and be replaced with some other odd parent fear, in the mean time I guess I’ll just drive the monsters crazy making them say words so I know they’re still there…

What are your irrational, semi crazy, odd, or just amusing mom fears?

Mama’s Losin’ It

As you know I’m a rule breaker bender, and this week’s topic was “Capture what it’s like to spend a day or a moment talking with your kiddo”….Instead I’m telling you what it’s like to worry that moment may never come again….In my rule bending defense, when you’re monsters are nonverbal sometimes you have to bend the rules to fit the topic…right? Either way, hope you enjoyed my ramblings, and I look forward to hearing your mom fears too…Come on now, I know I’m not alone!! 😉

 

Autism Is & Isn’t February 22, 2012

Filed under: Autism,kids,Parenting,thoughts,Uncategorized — Sara @ 5:27 pm
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Autism is:

  • Finding new creative ways to teach our cuties, it’s not that they aren’t smart it’s that they learn differently, you have to find what works for each child individually
  • Knowing when to stop pushing to avoid meltdowns / but knowing how much to push to encourage learning.
  • Positive Reinforcers (aka bribery)…and lots of them….hey I don’t work for free either…just saying
  • Different for every child …just as every child is different, autism or not
  • As a parent, trying to give your child all the fun experiences any child should get the opportunity to enjoy, all while sheltering them from the stares, the possible sensory overloads, and the general assheadness of many out there who mistake things like stimming for misbehaving
  • Celebrating the small victories
  • Remembering that autism is not our kids, our kids may have autism, but our kids are still just kids
  • Realizing that no matter how frustrating it may feel at times from the parent side of it, remembering it’s a million times more frustrating for our cuties…not being able to express what they are trying to, it’s heartbreaking
  • Being a translator…to the world my sons speaks a foreign language, to me he speaks pretty clearly
  • A constant fear of regression
  • You, as a parent, fighting for all the services your kids need and finding ways to make sure they get them

Autism isn’t:

  • Caused by lazy parents..while experts cannot agree on what causes autism, and I have my own 2 cents on the issue….it is 100% NOT caused by lazy parenting
  • All savants and rainmen, yes there are some true geniuses out there…some with autism, some without, but autism doesn’t always = geniusness
  • Excuses….as parents it’s our job to make sure our kids learn; learn right from wrong, learn appropriate behaviors, learn anything and everything they can learn, anything and everything we can teach them, no excuses are acceptable
  • Therapy 24/7, or at least it shouldn’t be….yes consistency is important, but remembering that everyone needs a break and needs down time is equally important. I don’ t get parents that push therapy all the time…My job is to be mom, to tackle the mom duties, the therapists job is to do therapy….my job is to carry over what I can into the home, not to do hours of nightly drills after my kiddos already put in a full day at school and after school therapy
  • Bad…I hate all the whinning…in fact I have 2 posts ranting all about it, just waiting for my Bloggy Blankitis to go away so I can finish up the posts….Venting is 100% okay, but realizing autism isn’t bad/terrible/tragic/the end of the world is so important.

So…to sum up my mini rant….Autism is learning new creative ways to make sure our cuties learn, everything else is just parenting….remembering our kids are still kids and are perfect just the way they are, and LOVING them like CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And a final thought on being nonverbal, “Just because I have no words doesn’t mean I have nothing to say”.

 

No Social Media?? I’m Lost! February 9, 2012

Filed under: Autism,humor,Link Ups,Parenting,Uncategorized — Sara @ 6:32 pm

I’m stumped this week…

Mama’s Losin’ It

I was going to tell you where I was 10 years ago today, but that was my senior year of high school, and I’ve already shared more than enough about High School Me in last week’s link-up. Then there’s a poem to your Valentine. I LOVE my hubby, but we don’t do Valentine’s Day, and as for a poem I’m lost after Roses are red, Violets are blue….Next topic choice, a twist on the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If you give a mom _____. This one didn’t work for me either since I haven’t read the book.

Two choices left – Who’s at your front door….That’s not a very interesting story….other than the occasional door to door sales person (who I ignore), and the monthly diaper delivery our front door is a pretty uneventful (and thankfully so) place. Last up, Without social media I….

Without Social Media I

  • would get a lot more done around the house, I waste spend entirely too much time playing online
  • would have taken all the books on autism, that I read nonstop after we first received out autism diagnoses, books written by experts and specialists, too seriously and would have lost my mind.
  • wouldn’t know what’s happening anywhere in the world at any moment…usually before the major news stations break the stories
  • wouldn’t be able to ask random questions to strangers and get an answer within minutes
  • would actually have to watch the commercials….our remote broke and until I replace it social media provides entertainment value during those commercial breaks
  • wouldn’t be able to say a mom who lives across the county, or halfway around the world, whom I’ve never met in person, a friend
  • wouldn’t be able to tell tons of people I’ve never met about all my fake problems
  • wouldn’t be able to stay in touch with family as easily…okay this one’s an excuse, there’s always been phone calls, writing letter, etc., but I’m a slacker and things like FB make it easier to stay in touch
  • couldn’t have my random ramblings heard, for free, shared with anyone interested in reading them…by the way Thank YOU For Stopping By 🙂
  • might have stabbed my own eyeballs out during #SummerVacayChaos, and ripped off my ears by the time #SummerVacayHell kicked in
  • don’t think it would be nearly as easy for anyone, anywhere to have their voices heard
  • couldn’t bribe positively reinforce the kiddos good behavior during therapy with YouTube on their iDevices….not to mention how much the kids have actually learned from YouTube Videos
  • think kids’ lives might be a little simpler….yes there have always been ways for kids to get into mischief but things like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (does it even exist anymore?) put those mistakes out there for the whole world to see….and they don’t go away
  • would actually have to open a book to find a recipe for what I want to make for dinner
  • would lose my mind!!!

To sum it all up (I’d say to make a long story short but I’ve rambled wayyyy to much for that lol) ….Without social media I would be lost, bored, and have a much cleaner house…funny how just 2 or 3 years ago I knew nothing of any social media and I never felt anything was missing by any means, but now I’m spoiled, I love the convenience of having the world at your fingertips….So…without social media where would you be?

That’s all I’ve got….Have you linked up yet???

Mama’s Losin’ It

 

 

Mom Lessons January 17, 2012

Filed under: Autism,kids,Link Ups,Parenting,thoughts — Sara @ 5:17 pm

10 Things I’m Learning Being A Mom

Note I say I’m Learning, not I’ve Learned, because every day I learn something new, every day that quote from The Real World flashes through my head saying, ‘You think you know, but you have no idea’…. Here’s my list of 10 things that [I think] I know, as of now:

10- Siblings fight more than any only child thrown into parenting can ever be prepared for….autism or not, brothers will be brothers, boys will be boys, and they will shenanaginize as such

9- YouTube can be a great teacher. I would have thought this one was bs a few years back, but my son is addicted to a YouTube channel called kidsTV123 My son has learned his colors, days of the week, months of the year, all sorts of good stuff….check it out (and no KidsTV123 has no knowledge of me or this post, and I am in no way being compensated for my opinion, I just think it’s a great fun learning tool for children)

8- Sometimes it’s easy to over parent…know what I mean? Kids have to learn to work things out for themselves, how to entertain themselves, and how to manage their kiddo business (for lack of a better word lol)

7- Sanity Savers are important for any parent….and by sanity savers I don’t mean wild kid-free nights out on the town….I mean simple things you can add in your daily routine to make your day a little more laid back. Check out mine HERE.

6- Kids will be kids, let them…..teach them, guide them, but don’t rush them into being an adult

5- Trust your gut….for everything an expert or professional knows, 10,000 parents have known and told said professionals about numerous times (i.e.- autism parents have been speaking of the powers of probiotics for years, doctors laughed at us for years, now every grocery store diary isle loaded with yogurts preaching the powers of probiotics…those same probiotics we were nuts for using a few years back…)

4- While eating healthy is important, stressing yourself out to the point of sickness over your kids not eating isn’t worth it. Offer healthy choices at each meal, limit snacking when possible, and never forget the power of a multi vitamin

3- Kids will have meltdowns, especially with autism – they just happen , that doesn’t mean our whole world stops, that means ‘You can be mad, but go be mad in your room, and come out when you’re done’

2- Pick your battles

-and the number one lesson I’ve learned being a mom, and this one I know is a FACT

1- Your kids are 100% perfect, tell them that and that you love them EVERY DAY!

20120117-114048.jpg
-In my early days of parenting, 19, pregnant with the little man, hanging out outside our soon to be built house with my hubs and the twins….about 7 years ago.

So what’s on your list of 10 Things You’ve Learned as a Mom (or Dad)? Do a post of your own and add your link, I’d love to check it out 🙂

I’m entering this post in LoveLinks #40….I’ve been reading the LoveLinks Link-Ups for weeks now, and this is my first week to join in…click the link below to check out all the other great posts /bloggers linking up

 

Autism Funding Resources – Nation Wide January 12, 2012

Filed under: Autism,family,kids,Parenting — Sara @ 7:05 pm
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Therapy is EXPENSIVE! Hell, kids are EXPENSIVE, but throw in therapy, durable medical equipment, respite (if you choose to use it), afterschool care….the list could go on and on…..and as many of you know a lot of insurance companies don’t cover things like therapy for autism. I guess they don’t realize, or maybe just don’t care, that 1:91 kids will be 1:91 adults sooner than any of us are ready for, but that’s a rant for another day….In an effort to help cover the costs some great organizations have set up grants to help out special needs families. This is a list of national programs available, but don’t forget to check out local charities and foundations too, they can offer a lot of help.

 

I’m sure there are more organizations out there, these are a few I’ve either had a good experience with or heard good things about from other families. I am in no way affiliated with / or being compensated by any of the organizations listed below, in fact most of them don’t even know me, or that this blog exist. Also, I encourage you to do your research before working with any organization, sadly there are companies out there who will take advantage of those in need…whatever the need may be.

 

 

The Brett Woodhall Foundation – they mainly provide funds for ABA, there is a spot on the site that talks about Grants and Resources available to families http://www.woodallkids.org/contact.html

Variety – offers a lot of assistance to special needs families, they helped us receive funding for ABA therapy for our sons.  http://www.usvariety.org/programs.html In our area they also do *FREE*special needs showings for every kids movie that comes out the Saturday after the movie is released. Check out your local Variety to see if they offer special needs movie showings too!

United Health Care provides grants to families with private insurance (you do not have to be with UHC insurance) http://www.uhccf.org/apply_applicant.html

There are a long waiting lists, but if you have Medicaid there are Medicaid waiver programs, such as CLASS and HBCS, that provide funding. They vary by state but here is a link to a national list that will let you search for state and the waivers available to you http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Waivers/Waivers.html

The Shriners / Masonic Lodge is also a great resource for funding, however grants are handled by state, not nationally. After a simple application I found online, and a letter from the my sons doctor they covered almost 6 months of 1:1 ABA therapy for my sons (I cannot guarantee you would get the same results we did, but they are definitely an organization worth looking into)

And finally a list of random grant available to families of children with autism—Some of these I am unfamiliar with but it can’t hurt to look into

http://autism.about.com/od/financialresources/tp/grantsforautism.htm

Still need funding? Not finding what you need to help meet your child’s needs?

Try http://www.giveforward.com/ Give Forward is an amazing website where you create a charity for whatever you need to raise money for. This is how we raised the funds for our childrens’ iPads, thanks to the generosity of friends, family, loved ones, and the kindness of strangers. (note – they do take a small percentage of your total so be sure to factor that in when setting your total fundraising goal)

 

Have any grant programs or charities I missed? Leave your favorite, and a link or contact info, in the comments sections – If it is a group that is only to the area/state you are in please not that in the comment.