Practical Tip #41 – Cooking Fun! Visual Recipe for Making Pizza

With all this rain lately, we find our family doing more indoor activities.

I remembered how Tristan loves to help me in the kitchen. So for an activity/meal, I had him make Continue reading

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Practical Tip #39- Interacting with Non-Verbal Church Attendees

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Over the past six months, we have seen growth and development in our non-verbal son, Tristan. We have always taken him to church. This is a pattern and routine that is part of his world.

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Autism Crisis In Indiana

I think it is important to shed some light on the myths and lies that exist around issues of autism.  Especially when the autism population is growing or more people are being diagnosed.  (That is a topic to discuss another time.)

The myth is that there are programs for everything and for everyone who has autism. The hard truth is there is not a plethora of resources to tap into!  When families are faced with a crisis due to autism there is even less.

Let me explain and give some details.

Two years ago my husband and I looked at each other and asked ourselves, “Are we the first family in the state of Indiana to have a 13-year-old non-verbal autistic child with severe behaviors?” I know we aren’t but it felt this way.  And sometimes it still does.  We have been denied programs and other avenues of help due to:

his age-too young or too old, his cognitive level, he is non-verbal, he lives at home(before he left our home), he is not a ward of the state, etc.

There will be Tsunami of children and young adults that will need care for their entire life.  The State of Indiana needs to do better.

There needs to be:

Day Programs during the summer months (No Public Schools do not provide summer school.)

Inpatient Acute Hospitals

Group homes in counties all over the state for elementary, middle-school, and high-schoolers with developmental needs beyond a family’s ability to handle.  Believe it or not there are families with very young children who need this type of program.

I’m not really a fan of the government over seeing this.  However, the need is so vast that anything at this point would be helpful.  Ideally communities would come together and start something.  A few parents have and I don’t really know how they muster the energy.  At the end of the day most of us parenting special needs children are purely exhausted from the normal activities of living.

Hopefully, my story will compel you the reader jump into action.  It’s not enough for the community to be aware of autism.  It is important to be active in the special needs community.  I understand the average person is not immersed in the special need culture to know how to help.  That’s okay.  Ride along with me in this journey of life I will share from my heart and hopefully spur you to help make a difference!

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Practical Tip #32- A Golden Resource

I am always grateful for the people God puts in our lives to help with Tristan.  Sometimes these people have had business or service ideas that are big, and we benefit from them.  One place I want to talk about is Harsha Behavioral Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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Practical Tip #31-Everyone Can Help

Lately, I have been asked by friends and family, “What can I do to help you?”

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I will share one tip that almost every special needs family needs. I would even go out on a limb and say all special needs families need–prayer.  Specifically prayers for sleep.  Prayers that all the children in the home sleep through a full eight to ten hours.  Prayers that the parents sleep through the night.  Life is so much easier when we are all getting the correct amount of sleep.  I know many families spend years with interrupted sleep patterns.

I know it may sound too simple, but believe me, it truly is a blessing.

Practical Tip #22 Chores & Special Need Children

A month after Tristan was placed in our family, we had early intervention therapists come to our home.  Susan was Tristan’s developmental therapist.  She came to our home weekly for two years.  Susan and I spent a lot of time together. I clearly remember one of our chats. She would gently encourage me by saying, “ALL children need to do chores.  A child needs to feel like part of the family.  Special needs children must do chores.”

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