A $20 Fix Stopped My Son’s Frustrations (#Autism)

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My son broke the zipper on his winter jacket on Friday, right before I dropped him off at his dad’s for the weekend. I brought it to his dad’s attention when I dropped the kids off, with the hope he would be able to get the zipper fixed or replaced, or (depending upon the cost of that) replace the jacket itself. I was so worried about the 3 of them going to the local Santa Claus parade he next day with my son having a broken zipper…it’s starting to get cold here now for the winter.

 

I picked the kids up on Sunday and my son immediately started saying “zipper broken” as soon as he got in the car. He fidgeted all the way home, screeched, repeating “zipper broken” and “fix zipper”, then asking for my man because he’s the one who fixes everything that gets broken. My son was clearly very upset and just needed it to be fixed. When we got home, he threw his jacket on the floor, said “broken”, stepped on it and started his circuits around the inside of the house (hello stim!). I was shocked by this as he’s always hangs up his jacket.

 

Thankfully, I had foreseen this situation and was able to get a free (!!!) winter jacket from a friend of mine whose son had outgrown it so I sent my son to school today wearing that jacket. Then, my man and I went to a seamstress he has used in town a number of times, and she was able to make it next on her priority list so we dropped it off at 10:30am and picked it up at 12:30pm after running some errands. She even made sure that the zipper itself was big enough for my son’s fine motor skills ability. Even better, it only cost $20 plus tax!!

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My heart hurts with the idea that my son went for 2 full days with a broken zipper. It wasn’t overly cold this past weekend but he definitely needed a winter jacket that closed properly, especially if he was going to be standing outside in the cold for the parade (thankfully, they didn’t go because it was cold and raining). It hurts that they went to the park with my son’s zipper broken. It hurts that either the zipper or the jacket weren’t replaced by the time I picked him up again. It hurts thinking of the discomfort (both physically in the cold and emotionally) he may have experienced through during the weekend.

 

I am thankful though is that I have such awesome friends who immediately offered their son’s outgrown jacket so I could take my son’s jacket in to get fixed. I am thankful to get it fixed so quickly…and the icing on the cake was that it was only $20! He will be so happy to have his winter coat back when he gets home from school!

Meal Planning & #SpecialNeeds…?! (#Autism)

I had an “aha!” moment yesterday at mom’s group. The speaker was talking about meal planning and, honestly, whenever this is the topic, I never want to attend. When I was married, I was very regimented abut meal planning. Every Saturday morning, I sat down with the flyers and my recipe books, see what was on sale for the week, make a meal plan for the week then take the kids to the market and library. I would buy staples during the week (pasta, rice, meat, etc), and buy fruits and veggies (and a couple of cookies as a treat for the kids while we were out) for the meal plan.

The rest of the weekend, my slow cooker and oven were going, cooking all the meals for the week so I didn’t have to do anything other than remember to thaw that night’s meal, warm it up and serve throughout the week.

After my marriage ended and my kids’ sensory issues became more prominent, I stopped menu planning. They are very restrictive with their foods, based on blandness (is that a word?!) or spice or shapes. I basically have been eating whatever I felt like of the two dinners I make them each night, or just do up a Mr Noodles for myself. I didn’t see the “point” of meal planning anymore.

My “aha!” moment today was that yes, I can still menu plan…I just need to tweak it a bit, same as what I do for pretty much everything else in our lives. So, I created a Menu Planning Template that I wanted to share…which includes space to write what the kids are eating and what the adults are eating. Nothing fancy:

Meal planning template

Please feel free to print off as many as you wish…and offer feedback below in the Comments section.

I’m also hoping (fingers crossed!) to vlog about my journey with getting back into menu planning so be sure to Subscribe to my Youtbe Channel to check in (or remind me to do it!).

Seriously though, I hope this template is helpful for you…and me! ;)

Why I Haven’t Been Writing (#YouTube)

Not only have I been crazy busy with school assignments, exams, and well, just life in general but I also started something new…my own Youtube channel! Here’s my Channel Introduction:

The entire playlist of the videos I’ve recorded so far:

 

The videos include:

  • Mommy Scenario Tag Video
  • 8 Things Never To Say To A SAHM
  • My First Poppy of the Year…Centered Around My Height…? – Apparently the “other gentleman” was hitting on me, or so one of my Likers on FB informed me. Clearly, I’m “out of the game” as I didn’t see it. Sigh.
  • Calling All Introverts to Support Network – A vlog based on reflections after yesterday’s “coffee time” with parents with kids with Autism, who are interested in the workshop series a girlfriend of mine and I have created.
  • First Dollar Store Video – I see these all over Youtube so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and do my own. ;)

So, be sure to Subscribe to my channel to see videos as soon as they are published. Comment down below if you have a Youtube channel, with a link to it as I would love to subscribe to yours too. Thanks to a few friends in real life and some online followers/Likers for supporting/pushing me to do this.

What My Son is Thankful For (#Autism)

Canadian Thanksgiving was a couple of weekends ago and I was sssooooo happy to receive this turkey made by my son:

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My son’s teacher wrote down words that all the kids in his class may choose to be thankful for. My son chose the following words:

  • puzzles
  • computer
  • iPad
  • family
  • park
  • Snoezlen

Made my day! Will be going in the tote for future Thanksgivings, to decorate the house.

 

#BlissDomCA Nuggets of Life Wisdom

Blissdom

Yes, it was a bloggers’ conference. Yes, it was a social media conference. Yes, it was an “online influencers” conference…and it was also so much more! I went to Blissdom Canada ’14 this year…my first time! I’m still working my way through the TONS of information I received during 3-day conference but I felt so many of the quotes I tweeted throughout the conference were also great messages for us as parents of kiddos with special needs, that I thought I would share:

“Value your own voice first” ~ @unmarketing

“Speak of anything in the affirmative…and it will be. Don’t let fear stop you.” @KarenCumming

“Your voice is your biggest product.”  @UnAlison

“Don’t ever fear making mistakes. Guard against not learning from them.” @PercyVites

“Keep going until someone says no, and there’s nowhere else to go, but there’s always another way.” @PercyVites

“No need to freak out. Assess problem at hand. Figure out the solution. Move ahead.” @PercyVites

“How do I stay sane? I laugh at the insanity.” @CaroleStaveley

 

Please share your favourite inspirational quotes/thoughts below in the Comments section.

I’ll share photos and other experiences from Blissdom in a future post.

Confession & New #Workshops (#Autism, #AutismSupport, #FamilySupport)

Confession: I LOVE public speaking! I know, I know, it’s one of, if not the top fear that most people have, but I love it. Role playing however…that’s a different story for me. And I have to role play counselling scenarios every week in one of the courses I’m taking right now…but I digress.

A number of years ago, I met a lovely woman named Melissa. We Facebooked and saw eachother every so often. Then earlier this year, she said that she was meeting a number of parents with children with Autism/Asperger’s through her career and asked if we could meet up. She wanted to understand more about what these families were facing (how awesome is she?!!). One coffee date later, and we decided to start holding workshops together, which where later called “Autism – Family & Financial Workshops“. She would be able to talk about the financial aspect of things (budgeting, RDSPs, etc) and I could talk about whatever was timely dependent upon the time of year.

Yesterday, we held another workshop, with me talking about IEPs since it’s that time of year, and how to work with the school. She spoke of budgeting, couponing and price matching. We also had an expert in RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plan…available in Canada) come share with us as well.

The chemistry in the room was awesome. I’m so glad that people felt comfortable enough to ask questions throughout my schpiel! If you’ve ever been to a presentation I make, I encourage questions. When people were leaving, they said they felt supported and asked when the next one is being held (January 28th at 10am, for anyone in Hamilton, ON Canada). We put it out there that maybe we should do a “coffee hour”…and people loved the idea. So, we’ve now scheduled an information get together over coffee (November 6th at 10am).

Something amusing happened during our workshop yesterday though that I also wanted to share. We asked for people to complete feedback forms, and when they gave them back, the form was put into a draw for a door prize (it was a beautiful Sherpa throw rug…so soft!). Can you guess which feedback form was completed by an adult who was newly (as in, this week!) diagnosed with Autism, just based on how the paper is folded? ;)

Feedback forms

Yup, that would be the “accordion style” one in the middle. She has a son with Asperger’s, a daughter being assessed for Autism, and she herself has now been diagnosed with Autism…and she’s proud of it…proud of knowing why she always thought of things in a different way; why she always did things just a little bit differently than others around her. Her son is NOT happy though…he liked being the only one in the family with an ASD diagnosis. Poor little guy. ;)

Anyway, if you are in the Hamilton, ON Canada area, please join the Facebook group to learn more about upcoming workshops and coffee times.

If you are outside the Hamilton, ON Canada area, but would like myself and/or Melissa to come to your area whether to offer a workshop series, or even a one-time presentation, please comment below or email me: imamomtoo.meghan@gmail.com.