Tantrum vs Meltdown

Today my mom asked me how I knew Heidi wasn’t just having a 4 year old tantrum.

Then I started thinking and thought I’d share in our house how we know the difference. I think actions are determined on how to handle each one differently so it’s important to understand there is in fact a difference.

A tantrum is simply a way for child to express their anger, sadness, frustration. It’s easily recovered from. And crying ceases when given the object of their desire.

You might see

Whining

Crying

Hitting

But it’s usually diminished after a few minutes.

A meltdown is a tantrum of epic proportions. It can go on for up to an hour.

It’s irrational.

There could be hitting.

Harming themselves.

Or completely shutting down and just sobbing.

A meltdown goes on for a while and leaves the child emotional and distraught for most the day.

I think it’s important to understand there is in fact a difference in both.

A tantrum may also lead to a meltdown if it’s one of those days.

The sensory systems of our children are heightened. They feel and see differently than a typical mind.

I’m not saying the response of a meltdown should be tolerated. I’m suggesting that there is a way to teach and grow alongside your children by understanding it a little more.

Just some thoughts from one Autism mama.

Pass on Roundup in your cereal and give Nature’s Path a try instead

The latest report on the dangers lurking in our food should be a huge alert to our country.

I know for me the latest which included breakfast cereals with Roundup chemical has been a huge eye opener for me.  For one how is this poison getting into our food and two what are we going to do about it.

I know for me my small stance against these companies includes paying a little more for organic and then documenting and sharing with others what foods are a better option then Cheerios with a side of Roundup.

I also have started emailing the companies that provide safe quality food and thanking them for their products.  It may seem stupid, but in my mind I wonder if we started supporting the good businesses would we see a demise in the pollution to our food.  If everyone truly stopped funding these large companies maybe there would be a change in the food industry.

It’s a tiny gesture but I’d like to think it helps some.

If you are eating processed food the odds are you are ingesting Glyphosate.

I strongly encourage you to take just a moment and read about it.

I notice a huge change in my kids behaviors depending on what they’ve eaten.  Goldfish, chocolate graham crackers, Quaker oats bars are like poison to my kids.  Behaviors almost immediately come to the surface.

It makes me question more of what is put into all these processed foods that are so readily available.  It makes me question what sort of harmful effects this will have on our generation and generations to come.

I am in no way saying food causes Autism, but I am saying that I do believe there is a correlation into the unhealthy ingredients in a lot of foods on the shelves and how could this not hinder our children’s development?

So today I wanted to feature one of our most favorite staple items in our house.

Nature’s Path Organic instant Oatmeal Brown Sugar Maple

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This oatmeal is affordable, and almost has some sort of sale to make it affordable for our family.

I think its time that more people took a stance.  Bake some banana bread, start somewhere.  Try replacing one thing at a time.  It’s hard to start a new diet, change a way of living, but it’s worth it.  Why would you want to subjectively eat a daily dose of Roundup with your morning cereal.

Danielle

YL Natural sponge cleaner

Yeah it’s actually Friday night and I’m writing down my latest thoughts on my favorite natural sponge cleaner.  What has my life come to?

But it’s about the only time in the day I have a few moments for free thought.  As I write this Lucile Ball is batting at the keys with her tiny kitty paws.  If it’s not kids it’s an animal.

It’s no secret I’m frugal.  I’m not one to have a lot of possessions.  And I try to use products I truly believe in.  I use a variety of cleaners but for sanitizing my sponge I use this every single time.  My sponges last longer because I’m not likely to throw them out in a few days.

I hate the thought of what can lurk on a sponge.  Mine was looking a little funky today.

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A quick google search may freak you out enough to sanitize your dish sponge.

I have some serious smell aversions, and a stinky sponge is something that I just can’t have.

Here’s my recipe!

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YL Natural sponge cleaner 4 ingredients

  • Fill a bowl with water and submerge your sponge.
  • 5 drops Purification Young Living Essential oil
  • 5 drops Lemon Young Living Essential Oil
  • 2 drop Melaluca Young Living Essential Oil

Directions:

Microwave on high for 1 minute.  That’s it!

There are quite a few different oils that are great for cleaning, but these three together allow my OCD to relax on what could be lurking in the sponge.

If you give it a try please share your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

If you ever have an interest in essential oils, come take a look at all Young Living has to offer.  I’ve always loved oils, but felt like I couldn’t afford them until my mama so sweetly signed me up to distribute them.  It’s a nice little way to make some extra money doing something I truly believe in.

Danielle

 

Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

Both my kids would be considered picky eaters.  And anytime you think you have it figured out that they like something they change it up on you.

But something they will both eat consistently is french fries.  With all the horrible stuff in the news about what is actually in some of our store bought food products I’m encouraged to grow more and eat healthier.

The kids dug 27 potatoes out of the garden.  They had a blast doing it.

And today we ate the fruit of our labor.  I’d say it was a good lesson in all and everything tasted so delicious!

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Hopefully this is something your picky eaters will like.

Homegrown french fries for picky eaters

  • 10 potatoes cut into whatever sort of shapes or wedges you’d like.
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Lay potatoes on lightly oiled (I use a little avocado oil or coconut oil) pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes on 400.

I don’t get any complaints about these.

Hope you enjoy!

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Official Autism diagnosis: Yes or No?

An hour and a half into our lesson I realized I had lost EBE.  His attention span was non existent, no matter what idea I tried to teach him he was gone.  Unfocused.  What we call zoned out in our house.  Even after my failed attempt at a bath to increase focus.  Pinterest fail one of my biggest pet peeves.

I know it was a lot for him having a new routine this last week, but I wish there was a way I could help him.  I’ve tried some calm down sensory strategies, tactile play in the sand table usually seems to do the trick.  But he’s emotional too.  Simply he’s on sensory overload.  He took paper and rubbed it across his lips so hard that he now as a lip full of paper cuts which today are a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Anyways.  Lately I’ve been thinking wondering would he benefit from a true diagnosis of Autism.  His sister has one.  His occupational therapist without “officially diagnosing” him saw Autism displayed in both our children.

The thing is I never want to hinder him.  Or Miss H.

I’m not afraid of him getting a diagnosis although somehow I always feel like he knows it’s assessment time so he pulls himself together and nails their checklists.  Then I just appear insane.  Which is totally fine.

I just want him to succeed.

So I pose the question to parents of kids with Autism, or even those with Autism themselves.  Are you happier knowing there is a name for how you feel.  Or do you wish you hadn’t received the diagnosis?

Evan was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.  Heidi with “Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Globally Developmentally Delayed” an obnoxious mouth full for a little girl who spoke late.

Anyways I’d love if you would ask, or share this post or pose those questions.

I have my own mixed emotions about Miss H’s diagnosis, and some of the poor practices of those in the medical field as well as therapy vendors.

We do practice our own occupational therapy in home each day.  Which I feel like has really benefited the kids.

Anyways eventually I’ll come to a decision on having him assessed again.  Until then we will push through this phase and I’ll complain to my girlfriends and problem solve ideas on how to help them through this phase.

Thank God for good friends.

Happy Friday!

Pros & Cons to goat ownership

I’ve been discussing autism lately, and thought I’d switch gears for a bit and share in our homesteading journey.

I want to talk about goats.  And share just some thoughts on them.  Maybe you are a long time goat owner, maybe you are considering getting a goat (remember if you get one you should get two.)

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Goats are social animals so you should always get at least two, that’s how we ended up with Gus and Randy.  If you were a fan of Love on Netflix you might recognize the names.

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So here are just my personal pros and cons to goat ownership from my own experience.

We purchased two baby nigerian dwarf wethers.

Side note a wether is a castrated male goat.

I know I can still get confused with goat lingo.

Pros

  • They will most definitely eat your weeds.
  • Gentle animals.  Ours are so gentle with our kids.
  • They don’t cost much to feed especially if they have some where to graze.
  • You can feed a lot of your yard trimmings to them.  I’m all about recycling.
  • They don’t require much time or effort.
  • They are really cute and funny.  (The humping cracks everyone up)
  • It’s a great experience if you have kids
  • It doesn’t cost much to startup.  We built our goat house from repurposed barnwood.
  • Goat poop when added to compost is great for gardening.You can make a little extra money renting goats out to neighbors needed help with weed control.  With the recent fires in California neighborhoods are seeing an increase in rental goats to help control the brush.

     

Now let’s talk the cons.

Cons

  • They will most definitely eat something of yours that you don’t want them to.
  • They are little Houdini’s, ours eventually find a way to jail break at some point, and they let all the animals out too.
  • They poop everywhere.
  • The poop is seriously hard to rake up.  (just being honest here)
  • They beg, and beg, and I usually give in and give them a treat or two.
  • They jump on everything.
  • One of the most stubborn animals I’ve ever owned.  Have you tried pulling your goat somewhere you want him to go?  It’s harder than you’d think.
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All in all I think adding Gus and Randy to our mini farm has been great.  It’s nice to be able to throw them a lot of yard waste as we clear more areas on the farm.  They are really sweet and gentle with the kids and our other animals.  I think it teaches the kids such a valuable lesson as well.

If you are considering adding goats to your homestead do you have any questions?

I know before getting goats we researched and researched.  But overall it’s been a pretty simple adjustment and we’ve really loved having them around.  I’ve been letting them wander in the evenings while I do yoga, and I think the belly laughing has done some soul healing.  It’s not nearly magestic as people on social media would have you believe.

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Danielle

 

What I wish I knew about sensory meltdowns before the diagnosis

There was a time when sensory wasn’t in my vocabulary and I was clueless to a lot of behaviors.  But these are just my thoughts on what I’ve learned over the years and how we handle meltdowns in our house.

When one of the kids is having a meltdown.  I don’t mean a tantrum either I mean a full blown sensory meltdown…I always try to take a moment and step back to look at the entire picture.  See what is causing the meltdown.  I let both my kids meltdown as they need to.  It needs to come out, then we need to work together to see how we could have helped prevent the meltdown.

The meltdown is always a product of a variety of things.  You see your child isn’t sobbing uncontrollably, or hyperventilating over the fact that they couldn’t get their pants up  easily or because they dropped their toy.  It was the straw that broke the camels back.

In our case it’s been a major upset in our routine.  We started school this week, and even though its at home there are different rules in place and it’s different than the usual.  Then there’s the fact that Miss H has started ballet and has been gone from the house for 2 hours a day.  EBE has struggled the most with this.  And he worries about her, he’s a sweet little soul.

And Miss H is loving her new profession as a ballerina, she is such a social butterfly.  But anytime we get home (or in the car) from exciting activities like this we usually have a lot of struggles after.  As exciting as it is, it does cause sensory overload.  She doesn’t remember to use the bathroom as often, she forgets to eat, it’s a combination of things.  Thankfully we have weighted blanket that someone so generously gifted to us.  It’s gotten so much use, and truly is helpful when the kids are on overload.

And in these moments I’m exhausted.  It’s hard to watch your child struggle.

But it’s only a fleeting moment in time.  And I know the meltdown will end.  This is just part of growing, and changing.  This is part of our journey with Autism.

But I will tell you.  There’s a gentleness to both my spectrum kiddos, a kindness for everyone, and heart for things that the typical don’t always see or understand.

So I will tell you this.  If you are overwhelmed and exhausted after your child’s meltdown.  Also think about how they feel.  They are growing and working through something.  Help them. Rather than give it another label.

Labeling it won’t effect the outcome, but providing coping tools, sensory input, a lot of love can make it easier on everyone.  A few essential oils helps out too.

Danielle