Archive | October, 2012

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

I’ll be spending this Halloween with 2 teenage clients. I noticed online there are a few public social stories about trick or treating. But I didn’t see anything for kids too old to trick or treat, or those who prefer to stay home and pass out candy. So I made one. It’s short and simple. Feel free to use it or share on your site. Just make sure to link back to me.

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Happy Birthday….to me!

29 Oct

Well, today’s my birthday. And this morning I got an awesome present from Sharon and Gracie over at Shout Out Online Magazine. Their November issue came out today, and they featured yours truly as the Sibling of the Month.


I was asked to be featured as Sibling of the Month a while back, and felt 1) So excited Shout Out Online Magazine exists! 2)So honored to be a part of it! And 3) So happy to get to share my story!

Shout Out Online Magazine is a monthly magazine for siblings of children with Autism. Their goal, “is to create a special place where siblings can go to express how they feel, to laugh, to cry, to feel inspired and most importantly…know they are not alone.

Their audience is mainly children and pre-teen readers. They feature articles about various topics; this month focuses on friendship. They have an “Ask Dr. T” section, quizzes, polls, book reviews, and a YOU Shout Out section for readers to join in and see their answers posted.

Shout Out Online Magazine brings siblings together, and let’s them know they matter and they are heard. Sharon and Gracie are doing an amazing thing, and I really am honored to be featured in their November issue.

 

Check out the article here.

 

And please feel free to leave some love for Shout Out Online Magazine. You can find them on Facebook here.

Notice

20 Oct

Let me set the scene…
2 adults, each fiercely gripping an arm of a little boy who is flailing around on a stranger’s grassy front lawn. The kid, laying there; kicking, crying, writhing. The two women each using all their might to wrestle this power-house of a little boy off the ground. Meanwhile, two bright blue shoes lay in the middle of the street.

To me….this is an obvious scenario. Clearly this child has some special needs- hence the public meltdown on a neighbor’s front lawn; hence 2 adults pulling and straining and fighting and pleading and begging him to please get up.

But to the owner of the house…apparently not an obvious scenario. Instead, his look of horror and disgust said it all… His first thought was not that something must be wrong here. There must be some bigger issues at play here. No, his first thought was “What are these people doing on my lawn!”. As he pulled into his drive way, he raised his hands and shot a look of irritation, aggravation, and anger.

He must have missed it.  All the clues were there, though… How did he not see it? How did he not notice?

He didn’t notice the struggle on my face.

He didn’t notice the pain in the boy’s eyes.

He didn’t notice the fight we were putting up just to move this boy an inch.

He didn’t notice the frustration in our bodies.

He didn’t notice the tension.

He didn’t notice the desperation.

He didn’t notice the strength it took.

He didn’t notice the battle.

He didn’t notice the toil.

 

No, he didn’t notice any of that.  How did he not notice?

Sibling Resource- Part 1

17 Oct

I was googling some autism stuff over the weekend, as per usual, and I found this wonderful resource for siblings of people with autism.

Sibling Support Project strives to acknowledge, connect, and support siblings of those with special needs. They hold SibShops (workshops for siblings), they offer online groups tailored for each age sibling (child, teen, and adult), and educate parents on how siblings are affected.

Their mission is to “increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents’ and providers’ understanding of sibling issues.”

Sibling Support Project realizes that a diagnosis doesn’t just affect one person, but rather the entire family.  They know that often times the siblings are the ones who will look out for a special needs person after parents pass away.  Sibling Support Project recognizes what an important role brothers and sisters have, and the believe, “the sibling relationship gives new meaning to ‘being there for the long haul.’ “

Please check them out here.

6 Degrees of Separation

7 Oct

The 6 Degrees of Separation  “is the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away,by way of introduction, from any other person in the world,” (Wikipedia). Well this weekend I had an experience that reminded me just how connected perfect strangers can be. So this is my story of the 4 Degrees of Separation…

Friday I was poking around on my Autism Onion Facebook page and I saw this post from another blogger in my news feed.  Because They Chose Us is a parent’s blog about life with their autistic daughter, Allbri, and son Kingston who has Aspergers.

You see, as it turns out, my husband’s good friend works on the television show The Biggest Loser. And after seeing this post, my first thought was, “How can I help get this little girl an autographed picture?” So, we sent a screen capture of the above Facebook post to our friend, and within minutes he replied that he was getting Jillian’s autograph at that very moment. Our friend happened to be right there with Jillian, showed her the post, and she happily signed a picture for Allbri. I was so excited I could barely wait to e-mail the family and let them know! I mean, I had hoped our friend would be able to pull some strings to get a picture. But I certainly didn’t expect such an immediate response!

So I wrote the family that I had seen the post. I explained my connection with Biggest Loser, and shared that I had been able to ask a friend to get a picture signed, ready to send to them. I also noted how strange it must be that a random internet stranger was e-mailing them about this.  They e-mailed me back and shared how touched they were to get my message, and how happy it made them. We wrote a few more messages back and forth, marveling at the wonders of how connected the ASD community is. So, little Allbri will have her signed picture from Jillian Michaels in time for her birthday.

This is an excerpt from a post the family wrote: “Anyone that knows me in real life knows that it takes A LOT to make me speechless. When I read this email from this stranger, another fellow blogger, I cried […] because Allbri, my beautiful girl mattered to someone. Allbri mattered to someone who hadn’t even laid eyes on her. The Autistic Onion isn’t a stranger, or a fellow blogger. I should have known this; we are all on these pages for a reason. She is a human, a real person, someone who lives autism like us. She is a sister, a friend, a wife, an advocate. The Autistic Onion opened my eyes and my heart; she has shown me that all the way up in North Dakota, a little girl matters.”

So I’m sitting here, still smiling at  how connected we all are, especially in the autism community.  This family lives 1800 miles away from me. And yet, one Facebook post, and a favor from a friend later, we have impacted each others lives. We reminded each other of the humanity behind autism blogs and Facebook “likes”. We reminded each other that we’re all in this together.

 

From the post–> to me –>to my husband’s friend –>to Jillian. It’s amazing how intertwined people are, even without ever meeting or speaking!  I love a feel-good story, and this is sure one of them 🙂 Our friend was SO  wonderful to spring into action right away and get Allbri a signed picture. He is the one who made this happen. I was just the messenger. And I’m so grateful Jillian was so kind and wanted to help make this little girl’s birthday special 🙂 Jillian rocks!

 

Stay tuned for the follow up when Allbri actually opens the picture! And in the meantime, check out Because They Chose Us on their Facebook page, and their blog .

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