Categories
autism Homeschool Uncategorized

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!

Categories
Homesteading

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

 

Categories
autism Young Living

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

 

Categories
Homeschool Homesteading

Benefits of gardening with young children with sensory challenges

Gardening is a great way for children to get the sensory input their bodies crave.

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You can’t deny all of the input you receive from being outside, digging in the dirt, (barefoot if you are related to me and my children.)

I made sure to really understand and learn from the occupational therapists about the children’s different sensory needs.

Before Miss H and EBEs diagnosis’s I didn’t understand the term; sensory seeker, undersensitive, hypersensitive, avoider, just to name a few.

But I’ve made it a priority to learn, to take notes, to ask when something isn’t working.

Anyways I am a firm believer that we do need to go back to our roots sometimes.  No you don’t need to throw out your WiFi router, or toss your computer.  But, we’ve become a society obsessed with labels, obsessed with quick fixes, overly medicated, instead of making maybe a few life changes.

This is my first big garden.  Most of it was started from seed.  It was back breaking labor, but I love seeing our progress.  I love being able to teach the kids about the importance of diet (because in our home it truly does make a difference with behaviors).

I love knowing how things were raised, no pesticides, truly organic food.

I don’t have enough this year so of course I still buy from the grocery store.

It not only teaches the importance of working hard for what we eat.  Being grateful, and not being wasteful as well.

The kids absolutely love it.

Usually they are barefoot, which I wholeheartedly support.  If you haven’t researched grounding and barefoot walking you should.  It’s pretty interesting.

I have a sensory seeker, and a sensory avoider, one loves to be barefoot and one doesn’t.

EBE is the sensory avoider.  Somehow after we had spent 30 minutes digging for potatoes he barely had dirt on his fingers and asked for it to be immediately washed off.

Miss H and I had dirt in our hair, up to our elbows and were barefoot.

EBE is the avoider, and Miss H is a sensory seeker.

Both were so excited to be picking their own food and were tasting it along the way.

EBE has a lot of food aversions, but even he was so thrilled at our garden finds that he happily ate some freshly pulled carrots.

There is so much value in teaching your kids about healthy diet choices, teaching them to grow their own food.

I know for our house food really affects the behaviors we see.  I can always tell if we’ve been a bit to relaxed on diet and snacks.

Have you noticed a change in your child with autism or sensory processing disorder depending on their diet?

I find that whole foods and non processed foods are the best way to go for us.  I tried gluten free, but it didn’t make a difference for us I didn’t see a noticeable change in behaviors like I do with whole, natural foods, and lots of water.

Thank you for reading!

Danielle

 

Categories
Young Living

Pain relieving sleep rub – Young Living

I am a lover of oils.  I just love that there is a way to heal with something as natural as an oil.

I am more enthusiastic about grabbing an essential oil instead of an over the counter medication.

My husband was injured on-duty and has been suffering from back pain for almost 6 months.

I decided to pick a few of my favorite oils and add it to to whipped coconut oil to create the most relaxing massage oil I’ve ever used.

This isn’t an ad, it’s just something I’ve found really helpful with promoting healthy sleep as well as healing aches and pains.  The first night I had my husband repay the favor and rub it on my back I was out so quickly.  And I had the most relaxed mind and body.  Usually my mind goes a million miles per minute before I fall asleep, so this was amazing for me.

 

10 drops Lavender

7 drops Panaway

7 drops Copaiba

1 cup whipped coconut oil

How to whip the coconut oil:

First make sure you have organic unrefined coconut oil.  It  truly makes a difference.

Mix using a whisk attachment on high until coconut oil looks whipped.

Make sure the coconut oil is a solid before you attempt to whip it.  If it’s a liquid you won’t get the same look.  I’m not to sure it really makes a difference it does melt into the skin regardless.

Once you have whipped coconut oil slowly add in your essential oils.

Store in a cool dry place or you may wake up to a liquid.

I rub this down my kids spine before bed as well to help them sleep better and relax before bedtime.

If you try it please let me know how it works for you.

If you’d like to learn about Young Living Essential oils click here

Danielle