When my son makes this play on his iPad:
He then draws this:
Not sure why, but it fascinates me each and every time! He concentrates so hard on what he’s drawing, and is very meticulous with each and every stroke.
I’m so excited to be a new member of the Panel of Blogaholics with the PTPA (Parent Tested, Parent Approved). The PTPA is the largest parent-testing community and seal of approval recognized worldwide. Here is my introduction as a Blogaholic:
“I’m single mom of 7 year old boy/girl twins. My son has Autism. My daughter has Anxiety Disorder. I’m also very happy to still have a relationship with my 18 year old stepdaughter, despite being divorced from her father. She has Asperger’s and Mysophonia. BUT, my kids are so much more than their respective diagnoses.”
Read the rest of my intro here. I’ll admit that I’m so excited to be part of the Blogaholics, that I actually had butterflies in my tummy when I posted my introduction!
I encourage you to sign up to become a PTPA tester for products here.
I got to pick my kids up early from their dad’s because it’s Mother’s Day. I had already seen my son’s Mother’s Day card, which he made at IBI. His therapist had written the words, and he had placed the hearts. He also gave it to me that day by saying “Happy Mother’s Day”…my heart melted.
But my daughter had brought her card and present home in a plastic bag with very strict instructions for me NOT to open it until Mother’s Day. She was really excited to come home to finally open and show it to me. A tear may have happened when she read the poem to me.
I also bought myself something for Mother’s Day, not that it’s much of a surprise if you read my blog regularily:
An extra special part of my Mother’s Day weekend though was when my stepdaughter came with my man and I to an SCA event (medieval re-enacting). She asked if she could come a few months ago and this weekend was the first one that was relatively nearby and on a weekend when she could come. She’s a huge history buff, so I wasn’t surprised that she asked. Because all three of us competed in different tournaments throughout the day (she and I did archery), we each received a carnation representing that we were fighting for eachother.
Once I found the right medication combination to battle the massive migraine I got this afternoon because of the crazy weather we’re having, I have gone back to enjoying being a mom (instead of being passed out on the couch, waking only when they ask me for something), and loving how unique and wonderful each of my 3 kids are.
My son’s new after school routine (within the last month and a half or so) is to get out of the car, run to the driveway of our neighbour 3 doors down, run back, play with his shadow, and then hang out on another neighbour’s porch for a while. Some days, he can be there for a good hour or so. If those neighbours are outside, and needing to go in and out of their front door, they just say hi, move around him and head inside. They even asked after we moved in late last summer how to communicate with him! How awesome are our neighbours?!
Until now, this after school routine has been a bit difficult for me, trying to keep an eye on him while my daughter is going in and out of our home, and honestly, trying to find somewhere comfortable for me to be for the hour or so he takes for this routine…especially when it’s raining (and the couple of days it snowed). A couple of days ago however, my man’s parents gave us some new-to-us lawn chairs and table (they’re even my favourite colour: green!). While my son did his routine last night, I was able to bring backpacks and everything inside, get the kids an after school snack, and make myself a chai. I then sat down in our new chairs on the front porch with my feet up, reading my book (shocking that it’s about Autism!), drinking my chai and still being able to keep an eye on my son.
A bonus too, is the view of and lovely fragrance resulting from the bush in my front yard:
Not a bad routine to have to “endure” each and every day!
Last week, the kids and I planted some seeds in peat pods to start germinating our garden in our new home. The peat pods before doing anything with them:
Then we added water, as per the directions.
The pods would start to float so my daughter would carefully push them down so they wouldn’t float away:
Then we started planting the seeds.
Our final product…we did it! We planted a bunch of veggies in one greenhouse, flowers in another. We have more seeds coming soon too so there will be more greenhouses.
Then we planted lavendar and basil in a planter for our porch too. The lavendar is in the middle circle drawn in the dirt, surrounded by basil. We’ll see if it works that way:
So exciting that only a couple of days later, the seeds in the peat pods are already starting to sprout. If only my son would agree with me as to where to put the mini greenhouses…they seem to have a passport around our dining room and living room with him moving them where ever he wants to.
This morning, I experienced moments that make everything worthwhile. The fact that my kids slept in until 7am was amazing. I woke up at 6:30, puttered around, did my own thing and enjoyed the quiet and stillness of the morning.
Just before 7am, I checked in on my daughter who had crawled into my bed overnight. She was soundly sleeping. I then checked in on my son who, as it turned out, was stirring awake. I crawled in beside him, said good morning and he quickly turned over, threw his arm around my neck and pulled me closer, while saying good morning too. We lay there cuddling for a while, and he would say “happy” and “I love you” a few times.
About 10 mins later, we went into my room to wake up my daughter. We both crawled into bed and I started rubbing her back. My son leaned over, said good morning, gave his sister a kiss, and rubbed her back too. My daughter stirred awake, and cuddled up with me. For a few minutes, I had both my babies cuddled up to me, and everything was perfect in my world.
A few minutes later, my daughter jumped out of bed and we were up for the day.
I went to a moms group this morning that meets twice a month. This morning’s speaker (who is absolutely fantastic and an amazing woman!) spoke about picky eaters. Needless to say, the room was filled with more moms than usual. It’s obviously a huge issue. There were some great ideas and suggestions, including replacing the terms “like” and “dislikes” with “I’m hungry enough” or “not hungry enough” when asking for snacks, etc. The speaker suggested telling your kids to try new foods by saying “someday you may like that food, and today could be that day”. Expect your children to at least try a taste of whatever food so they can determine if today is that day.
We started the meeting with brainstorming what the “go to” meals are for families. I even asked the questions on my Facebook Page. I looked at the list when the room was finished and just shook my head. I WISH my kids would eat even half of the meals people listed. I can list off why my son or daughter would or would not eat most of these meals.
During the presentation, I thought they were all great ideas…however, how do I translate the suggestions to my kiddos, both of which have sensory issues? My son needs all food to be specific shapes EXCEPT for when it’s crazy processed foods like chips…of course that’s when shapes don’t seem to come into play at all. My daughter can’t handle ANY kind of spices or herbs. Even salt, pepper or italiano herb mixture is too much for her. She says pizza sauce hurts her so she eats garlic bread/Crazy Bread while her brother and I eat pizza. If I eat something with lemon pepper or other spices in it, she complains that it hurts her nose and one of us has to move across the room.
It wasn’t until my man started cooking for us that I actually realized that the 3 of us eat different versions or completely different foods for each meal. It stressed him out because his son will eat everything he makes (and sometimes bigger quantities depending on growth-spurt status!)…but it was just “normal” for me to make different things for each meal.
When the kids were really young, I mentioned my concern about my kids’ restrictive diets, especially my son’s. He spent about 2 years eating only fruit, rice cakes and pizza. That was it. The fruit didn’t bother me obviously, but rice cakes are really high in sodium, especially that my son would only eat the basil & tomato kind. The pizza wasn’t so bad because I could hide spinach and vegetables in the tomato sauce but still had pepperoni on it. The doctor wasn’t concerned because my son was healthy and growing fast so his diet wasn’t restricting his growth. I met with the dietitian at my doctor’s office too, and she was surprised to find a huge blackhole in the nutrition field specific to kids with special needs. As a parent, I know the Canadian Food Guide and I told her that before out meeting. Her research discovered that it’s not a nutrition thing, it’s a behavioural and desensitizing thing for our kids on the Autism Spectrum.
So my question still remains though…how do I incorporate some of the great ideas I heard today to increase the diet for my sensory sensitive kids?