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.

#Workshop – #Financial & #Family #Support for #Autism, #HamONT

Back to School 3

Excited to announce the first of a new workshop series being held in Hamilton, ON called “Financial & Family Support for Families Affected by Autism”. It’s being held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at St. John United Church, Hamilton ON, doors opening at 6:30pm.

The first workshop is called “Getting Ready For Back To School, and Finances“. More information: 2014 August – Financial & Family Support – online rsvp.

Speakers will discuss:

  • Back to School: preparing financially and emotionally – by yours truly… 😉
  • RDSP – Melissa Greaves, Primerica
  • Budgeting – Christine Lasebnik, Primerica

Please join the Facebook group created specifically for this workshop series: Autism – Family & Financial Workshops.

New #Printables Page

printer

Have decided to add a new Printables Page to my blog, where I can share print-items I find useful for myself, the kids and/or our home. Would love to hear from you whether you find the printables useful and/or if there are items you would like to use. I’m hoping this will be a very interactive part of my blog.

 

First set of printables include Summertime activities:

  • in the community
  • inside fun
  • let’s get outside

 

Enjoy!

 

#PanicAttacks are NOT a sign of weakness!

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A couple of weekends ago, a very dear friend to me had his first ever full blown panic attack…while in my car. I pulled the car over, he opened his door, and “fell” out onto the parking lot. He was flashing back to when he was a passenger in an accident 8 years ago, when the vehicle he was in was hit by a drunk driver. He was so disoriented that he started walking home, while swerving all over the sidewalk and almost into the 2-lane each way busy street. Thankfully, I was able to convince him to sit down in the grass, in the shade as it was really hot. Because his mind was playing tricks on him, sitting in the grass was confusing him even more because his previous accident had been in the middle of winter. But at least he was safe.

 

It took almost two hours from when the panic attack started to getting him in the car and back to his home. Took another two hours to bring his blood pressure down, calm him and get some food and drink in him because of the amount of adrenaline going through him. He was actually having *physical* symptoms as part of this panic attack…where the two body parts that had been injured in the first car accident actually swelled up so I put ice packs on them. I kept calmly letting him know that it wasn’t 8 years ago. That he was safe.

 

He was mixing up timeframes, between the accident from 8 years ago in the middle of winter to the day this happened…on a hot sunny day, so that was confusing him even more. When I was finally able to get him to retain that he was having a panic attack, he kept saying that he’s stronger than that. Strength has nothing to do with panic attacks. You can still be the strongest person on the planet and a panic attack can take you down in the matter of seconds.

 

In my early to mid 20s, I had panic attacks on a very regular basis so I was able to recognize it in someone else. I always hated when people around me would tell me “just breathe”. Gee, thanks. Like I hadn’t already been trying to do that, while I’m hyperventilating! The best thing someone could do was hug me, tell me I was ok, and look after whatever stuff (ie: purse, etc) I may have on me at the time.

 

The irony of the timing of my friend’s panic attack is that I had just submitted an assignment the night before for my “Abnormal World of Psychology” course about mood disorders, including panic attacks…which I got 100% on so apparently my experience and my textbook learnings “worked” in a real life situation AND an academic paper!

#Guelph Workshop – Managing “The Look” (#Autism)

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

Our kids meltdown. They stim. They headbang. They turn at the drop of the hat. And they do it at home AND in public. These behaviours are much harder to manage when they occur in public, and the key is YOU. Your inner calm and strength goes a long way in helping your child calm and how others react.

 

In an hour-long chat, learn some tools to calm your mind, how to take some “me time”, and what to say when you receive “the look” from parents who don’t understand.  This is a building block to help you find your inner calm and inner strength, which will allow you to manage “the look”.

 

PRESENTATION DETAILS

When:  Tuesday, June 25, 12noon – 1pm

Where: Autism Behavioural Services, 251-259 Woodlawn Rd W, Guelph, ON

Cost:   $25, payable by cheque or electronic funds transfer

Snacks and drinks will be provided

 

QUESTIONS / WANT TO REGISTER? 

Email: Meghan  imamomtoo (dot) meghan (at) gmail.com

#Momstown Guelph

Momstown logo I’m happy to be speaking at Momstown Guelph on June 26th from 10am – 11am. I’ll be speaking about what to do when you believe there is something different with your child, and how to support a mom-friend who has a child with special needs.