Standing Up For Our Kids -Tshirts

Standard

https://www.tstacker.com/view/StandingUpForOurKids#

I started my page after I decided I wanted to help others out there who were like me, who felt alone in their Autism Journey with their kids. Like they had no one they could relate to, no one who could really understand what they were going through. Having kids on the spectrum can be very isolating. So even if there are kids similar to yours or in a situation similar, you’d probably have a hard time finding one another.

After a year of having my page, there are over 4,000 people who follow my page! It’s truly amazing and a gift to be able to hear so many people say “thank you for showing me I’m not alone” or “I thought I was the only one”. Not only by the stories I tell, but also by the comments and stories of others who follow my page who can relate!

These shirts will be (hopefully) one of many different campaigns I plan to do. To help raise money for not only my kids, but to also find new and useful things that I can give away on my page to help other parents! 😀

Lastly, this shirt in particular, is going to help raise awareness for not only Autism, but those on the spectrum who can’t explain or verbally express their wants and needs.

So, as parents, we are their voice and will be for as long as we need to be.
We will NEVER stop fighting for our kids!!

(Feel free to share with others who might be interseted! Avaliable for 2 weeks!)

Advertisements

Digital DVD’s are Autism Kid Friendly

Standard

Over the last 4 years we’ve slowly been building up our Digital DVD/TV Show collection after our DVDs would get scratched, lost or broken. The boys loved collecting and lining up their DVD’s and would do just about anything to get to them so they could keep playing with them. We would buy their favorites over and over and try to hide them better or higher up… but eventually, they’d find them. lol

Now we have movies on iTunes and Amazon Prime that we bought (plus with Prime you have access to free movies and tv shows), we have Netflix, and we also use Vudu.com… you can take your movies to Walmart in the photo department, and then for about $3 convert your DVD into a digital copy that will be on your vudu account!

That’s actually how we started this whole digital thing – we would take our scratched movies to Walmart and have them put them on our account – we figured it was cheaper than buying the movies ALL over again… until we realized a lot of the movie’s our kids liked weren’t on the list (they have a list of movies that they have that can be converted). I’m sure by now that list has gotten a LOT bigger since we started doing it.

But iTunes and Amazon Prime are our favorite.
iTunes you can search through the titles in each movie to see where you want it to start or what part you want to watch (since you know… our kids don’t actually like watching movies from beginning to end! lol) but we like Amazon Prime because you pay once a year and then get to have a bunch of movies and shows you can watch for free – where iTunes is only the stuff you’ve already bought. So Amazon is like iTunes and Netflix in one (just not AS many titles as netflix lol).

Lastly we also use KidsTube! We used to allow Tyler to watch videos on youtube… which we switched to KidsTube after some of the really creepy videos of his favorite shows came up when we searched for them… or ones with bad language showed up. Sure… some of them were funny, but sooooo not kid appropriate! But thankfully they made the app KidsTube with parental control too! Tyler LOVES all the learning videos! 😀

Compulsions

Standard

Tyler doesn’t like finishing things.

He will drink his sippy until it’s half full and then ask for more. Same goes with food, if I give him crackers, he’ll eat half of them and then won’t touch the rest. If he’s still hungry, he’ll ask me for more, but not finish the half he already has. lol

It’s frustrating sometimes. So, we’ve learned to just refill what he has so we’re not really wasting… and we always encourage him to eat or drink the rest of what he has. Some days it’s not much of a fight… other days he gets so overwhelmed and upset it ends in a a frustration outburst.

It’s easy for us to just get angry when kids do things or don’t do things… because WE think that they’re just being kids and need to listen to us. But I know people who don’t drink the last few sips of their drinks because they think that it’s just backwash. Or people who won’t drink liquids that have no screw top and aren’t see through (something could have crawled into it and you’d never know). Everyone has their quirks… some seem absolutely ridiculous to people, where the people who believe them, believe them wholeheartedly.

Always try to choose your battles.
Is THIS really “the hill you want to die on”?

Food Issues Comment

Standard

The person who commented on this picture took their comment down which then also deleted mine… so I had to paraphrase the best I could. But, I think it’s important for people to understand, so I’m taking the time to rewrite and add on a bit to my responce since I’m making it into a blog. 🙂

(Not exactly word for word… but I did my best to remember everything)
Thank GOD my daughter isn’t like that. I never bought into all that crap. My daughter eats what is put in front of her. I’m sure she’d only eat one thing too if I only let her eat the things she wants to eat. It’s not good for them! If they don’t want to eat it now, wait. They’ll eat it when they get hungry. And a nutritionist I talked to agreed with me!

You know… I used to think that way too. That’s how I was raised. I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until I finished my plate, and if I didn’t, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything for the rest of the night. If it was something I just wasn’t going to eat, I’d sit there for hours. I’d TRY to eat it… but I just… couldn’t.

I even tried to apply this to my kids before I found out they were Autistic and had Texture issues/Food Aversions. I wouldn’t keep anything in the house that was bad for the kids (and if I did, they were hidden and ONLY every once and a while. Like gummies once a week)… before they regressed they pretty much ate everything and anything. I can remember back when Tyler was about a year old eating a sub with lettuce and tomatoes on it (torn apart of course, but he’d eat everything). Pasta, avocado, all kinds of fruits and veggies… Justin ate pretty much the same stuff minus the avocado. lol It actually makes me sad thinking about it. But then they regressed. They didn’t stop eating everything right off the bat. It was like they got tired of eating it, so I figured, ‘no big deal… they need a break from it, we’ll do it again next week…’. Only next week they didn’t want it either (or they would only eat a little bit of it)… and then the following week they wouldn’t eat it until I realized they just weren’t eating it at all any more. And slowly… most of the foods they loved started becoming foods they wouldn’t even try anymore without a screaming/wrestling match. I tried the “you’re not getting up until you eat” or “you’re not eating anything else until you eat this… when you’re hungry an hour from now, I’ll heat this back up and you can eat it then”… But it never worked. Knowing what I know now, I feel bad that I pushed them like that.

Every once and a while… holding them still and getting even just a small bite in their mouth to remind them that they liked it worked, but not often. Usually they would start gagging and spitting it out like it was the worst thing they’ve ever tasted.

Jax (their little brother) on the other hand started off with texture issues/food aversions. He’s NEVER wanted to eat fruits and veggies… pasta… He’ll eat some fruits/veggies if they’re purred, but he also has some other issues we’re trying to figure out.

It wasn’t until I started learning about my kids food issues that I really started to understand mine. My Mom would get SO ANGRY with me for not eating. Back then everything was just… gross. Everything smelled gross, looked gross… I was a lot like Justin. I would eat some things, but I had a very limited interest (and my Mom loved cooking with onions and peppers). I got picked on a LOT for being a picky eater. It got worse the older I got. “Why can’t you be more like your brother – see, he’s eating it!” or “stop being such a baby and eat it.” We would go to Red Lobster or somewhere for a special occasion and I’d order chicken fingers. They were safe and I knew I’d eat them. My husband says that I have “little kid taste buds”. I don’t like beer or wine or even most alcohols. I don’t like eating most fruits and veggies… I like most of the flavors of them, but I don’t like the texture. Like I LOVE apples… raw. But I cannot and will not eat an apple pie. I hate the texture of a cooked apple. Then there are some veggies I just can’t bring myself to eat because I recoil just thinking about eating them.

Believe me. I don’t WANT to be like this. I WANT to be able to eat everything and anything. Do you know how much it sucks when you wanted to “grow up” to be a chef, only to realize you can’t because you have to taste the food you’re making? I love to cook… with cool and crazy colors and spices… I love creating. But I can’t eat it. It sucks. I get SO BORED with my food options… but I can only get so creative with the limited choices I have when cooking for myself. I do try new things, but between just not being able to try it, hold it down, or the texture… I end up not liking much. There are a few times where I’ll actually try something new and like it! Those are pretty exciting days, but it’s often discouraging because they’re SO few and far between.

So in ending this blog, since I’m now rewriting it, is in two fold…

1: When you see and read things like the picture at the top, hopefully this will give you a better understanding and you’ll either keep scrolling and hold off on judgment or at least remind you to be thankful you don’t have to worry about all of this.

2: If you ARE raising a kid who has issues with food for one reason or another… to try to be patient. As a Mom of special needs kids with food issues… it’s frustrating. All I want is for them to be happy and healthy and have more than the few options they have right now to eat. Then I have to remind myself, I know what it’s like for them. It’s not their fault… and it’s not fun on that side either.

A special thank you to Autism Odysseys for allowing me to use their picture for my blog! 🙂 

Good Question #3

Standard

“So I am new to understanding my child’s needs… I am a counselor and I understand mental health but not fully understanding of the spectrum yet… Nobody would listen when I would cry for help… My son has gotten in trouble so many times for doing this UNTIL, I learned about the this… So I hope to learn from everyone here….. The standing on the head and climbing to high places and dumping everything out of the linen closet just to sit in the small cabinet on the top shelf… Or the laundry basket on the couch…. All of these things I understand as sensory seeking… But do you allow it? I know that he no longer gets in trouble for it… But it scares me that he will get hurt….he has a hitting problem so I bought him a punching bag because I couldn’t get him to stop hitting so I thought redirecting the hitting… Instead he climbed to the top and sits on it. I feel like crying, finally seeing other mamas.”

So… every behavior has a reason… The important thing to do is try to understand WHY they’re doing it. Because once you figure out why, you can either help them to continue to do it safely, or give them another option.

Like with Tyler, once I’ve learned that there is just NO keeping him from climbing on things because he feels he NEEDS to be up high and have that sensory input, I allow him to do it, but I stay close by and make sure that he can get down on his own – safely. So that way if some day he climbs something and I’m not there to help him get down, he can figure it out himself. Plus, it helps build problem solving. So if he climbs, don’t just help him down… make him figure out how to do it himself, but be there to catch him if he falls. Does that make sense? Because you don’t want him to climb a tree and get hurt coming down… but in all honesty… there are some things that no matter how hard you try… kids are going to be kids.

Now if it’s SERIOUSLY life threatening – like running off and possibly running into traffic, we DO NOT allow that. The kids know they stick next to my side or hold my hand when we’re around traffic. They don’t understand cars can hurt them, but through repetition and “training” they’ve learned that’s just what they’re supposed to do, even with their understanding being limited and completely non-verbal.

Then there are things that can be avoided or redirected. My kids and most kids on the spectrum LOVE water. If they’re not getting enough time to play in water, they go looking for it elsewhere. Like toilets or spitting out juice to play in the “water”. Those things can be redirected or avoided. If you notice they’re doing something like that, give them a safer outlet. Like I’ll allow them to play in the tub for HOURS if they want to… when I notice more yucky water messes, I increase the “safe” water play activities.

Believe me… you are NOT alone… until we got the boys diagnosis, I just thought I was a horrible Mother. I had no clue why my kids were so different than other kids or why they were doing all these things. I just kept adjusting our lives… but once you start really learning and understanding them, things DO get easier. Not because they’re not doing the things that might annoy you… lol But because you’ve learned to avoid them, redirect them or aren’t upset any more because you know it’s something they just need to do in order to cope in a world that isn’t easy for them to deal with.

I hope this helps, even a little, and always feel free to ask or vent! If I don’t think I can answer something, there are PLENTY of page owners I can refer you to who might be able to!