** CALLING ALL AUTISM PARENTS **

I have just launched a page on my website where I will be featuring your child’s story! This will help parents with concerns and the parents of newly diagnosed children. I believe that being aware of the early signs is key! Help me spread the word by sharing your story.

Please email me your stories in the following format:

To: letsgethealing@gmail.com
Subject: My Story
Message (Please include the following in your story):
-Your name (can be a pseudonym or left anonymous)
-Your child’s name (can be a pseudonym or left anonymous)
-Where you’re from (optional- this is used to meet new, local people who are in the same boat)
-When your first concerns were and what they were
-What services or lifestyle changes, if any, that you have pursued since diagnosis

*If you have a blog or website of your own, please include that so I can put that in your story.

Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Kids with Special Needs

840e8fa549680d52fffea867cf0d6f5f

Read more: http://www.jadelouisedesigns.com/weighted-blanket/

Oliver’s weighted blanket seems to be the only thing that will send him to sleep. I don’t know how naps existed prior to our purchasing of one. I love supporting small businesses (and paying less money is a plus, too), so we got ours from the Etsy shop Weighted Creations. This one to be exact: https://www.etsy.com/listing/182119049/weighted-blanket?ref=shop_home_active_15

Do your children use weighted blankets? How do they like them?

Changes!

I have updated the following pages:
‘Our Story’, ‘What is Autism?’, and ‘Resources’

Feel free to look them over and offer your thoughts and feedback!

I also just started a new page that is titled ‘Other Parents’ Stories’. Visit this page to read more. I’d love to feature your story on this page!

Oliver Approved & Allergy Free Bread Recipe

Allergy Free Bread

I was so fortunate to have a friend with a child on the autism spectrum point out to me that the Udi’s bread that Oliver was eating held ingredients that he was allergic to in it, which I somehow missed when ingredient glancing at the grocery store. She makes her son’s bread and gave me this delicious recipe that even my picky little eater enjoys.

Ingredients:
1.5 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour or potato starch (not flour)
.5 cup teff flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp Egg Replacer
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 TBSP olive oil
1.25 cup warm water (110%)
2 tsp yeast or 1 packet
2 tsp sugar

Directions:
1. Mix yeast & sugar in bowl, add warm water, let proof 10 minutes or so.
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Add vinegar & oil.
4. Add proofed yeast and thoroughly mix in mixer or by hand (no kneading).
5. Spoon into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, set aside to rise for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350.
7. Bake for 53 minutes, let cool a few minutes before removing from pan to a wire wrack.
8. After cooled, store in plastic bag. One day on counter is OK, then refrigerate.

** Comment to let everyone know how your bread turns out!

Diagnostic Evaluation Part 4: The Diagnosis

Today, at our final appointment at the autism center, Oliver received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Today marked our first major step towards healing and, while I hold a heavy heart and am experiencing some fear in what our future will look like, I am trying my best to channel all of my negative thoughts into a place of love and hopefulness. 

Diagnostic Evaluation Part 2

Today was the second of four appointments and, within those, was the first of two evaluations. Last week was the first appointment which was exclusively questions about Oliver, this appointment (and next week’s appointment) was the evaluation portion, and the final appointment is the diagnosis and next step discussion. As I’ve said before, I will be posting after each one to give other parents an idea of what to expect. We arrived and were shortly thereafter called back by the doctor. We followed her to the room where we had also been for the first appointment. She gave him the option of two toys to see if he’s shows preferences, offered him kitchen utensils and toys that require pretend play, and other developmental tests through toys and play. She asked me many more questions then had me try and get his attention while he was engaged in his own play; I couldn’t get him to look up. Then, as he played alone in the corner, she said that she was going to lightly blow a whistle. She said that a “normal” response would be for him to turn his head to see the noise. I told her that he does not like loud noises, but gave her the okay to see his reaction for herself. She proceeded by blowing into the whistle and, as I sat by his side, I watch him lift his head from his play, stare blankly into the corner he faced, then cover his eyes as tears welled up and his chin erupted into an immensely sad, pouted lip. He covered his eyes, then covered his ears as he screamed. After a few minutes of this, he buried his face into my lap as his screams transformed into more of a hyperventilation. I rubbed his back, talked to him, shhh’d him in attempt to calm him. Giving him a bottle of coconut water and a toy aided him back to contentedness but  it took around 30 minutes to get him smiling again. She tried to see if he would sit in a chair at the table, but he can’t sit still for the life of him, so sitting him in a chair set him off again. She asked a few more questions and then we closed the meeting and went on with our day. She said that next time a doctoral student will be joining us, and his session will be video taped in a new room. She told me that I will be with him most of the time, but I may be asked to leave the room to see how he does with me leaving briefly. I’ll post again after next week’s appointment. 

Have any of my followers gone through a diagnostic evaluation process– if so, did your appointments look like ours? Comment any similarities or differences to give other parents an idea of what to expect. 

Diagnostic Evaluation Part 1

Today’s appointment was what they call an intake appointment. This was an hour and a half, where the doctor asked me 10 million questions. If you read my posts about our evaluation at the early intervention center, you know that he acted completely abnormally and was freakishly well-behaved. He contradicted many of the things that I was saying for the first time and it made me feel worried that they may think that I had made these behaviors and delays up. Of course, being the awesome team that they are, they completely understood and apparently see a lot of abnormal behavior in their evaluations. Anyways, to get back to the present, today’s evaluation went much differently. Oliver cried. And cried (and cried and cried and cried). He didn’t want his drink, he didn’t want his snack, he didn’t want his toys, he didn’t want to be held. The inconsolable crying made it hard to remain calm and focused on the doctor. He flapped his hands, ran in circles, spun in circles, got into a downward dog position, closed his eyes when the doctor looked at him, hit me, pushed me, covered his ears, etc. I tried the only thing that I had left and gave him my notebook and pen to doodle with and he was suddenly entranced and allowed our meeting to set forth. She asked me about his health, his diet, his sleep, his behaviors, his tantrums, his triggers, his regressions, his repetitive actions, his obsessive actions, and how he does in certain situations. She really liked that I had been keeping track of every single one of these things and brought a 9 page document full of them all, categorized by Behavioral, Social/Emotional, Speech and Sign, Regressions, and Sensory (I highly recommend that any parent with concerns do this, as it can be extremely difficult to remember everything, as regressions come and go and each day is different from the next). By the end of our meeting she had said that today’s appointment wasn’t even focused on Oliver and she, peripherally, saw a plethora of characteristics that she looks for and that the next two meetings will be evaluations/observations and then the final meeting will be the findings and a discussion of next steps. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction and I must say that it felt really nice to be heard.