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!

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

 

Easy Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls on first day of home school Kindergarten

So today we embarked on a new journey.

It was our first day Homeschooling.

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My kids made me this sweet salt dough necklace (with my help of course) to start off our first year of school together.

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People have said ugly comments regarding our decision to home school.  But I’ve never been one to be persuaded by someones opinions.

In short,  few of the reasons we decided to home school our kids was their sensory struggles.  We didn’t want them to be a product of bullying and public school.

By homeschooling them it allows us to give them the one on one attention they need in order to succeed.  In a busy classroom I could see how they could easily get lost or left behind.

So we decided to home school and today was our first official day of Kindergarten.

EBE is 5.  Miss H is 4.  She technically isn’t old enough to start kindergarten but she is so sharp and completed all the tasks right alongside her brother.  Amazing what an attentive one on one setting can encourage.

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When she was diagnosed with Autism the doctors were wrong.  They were wrong about her challenges.  They didn’t see what we saw.

She has some true gifts.  Some struggles as well.

Anyways the first day of Kindergarten was a complete success.  Aside from the fact that both were on sensory overload from the excitement and possibly the homemade cinnamon rolls.

But thankfully we’ve built a sensory area in the garage so we just moved our lessons to the swing helping them both to focus and lose some of the sensory challenges we faced.  I was able to give them gum to satisfy the oral seeking, screeching and licking behaviors I was seeing.

Today we went on a science walk to do complete our science lesson.  I have always noticed the kids learn best when moving.  We went over the  five senses of science; taste, smell, hearing, touch, and sight.  I used this lesson to my sensory advantage allowing them to dig in the dirt, touch flowers on our walk, smell the sagebrush.  We found quail footprints and drew them on our skin.  Both my kids are sensory seekers and relax with gentle touch.

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We brought a magnifying glass with us so we could get a better look along the way.

We move around often when we are learning if not I notice they lose focus so quickly.

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It was just our first day, but I noticed that the kids were more focused if I allotted 5 minute breaks to get the wiggles out quite often.  Hoping this continues to work for us.

I also diffused Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Melissa, Frankincense, Blue Cypress, Lavender to keep us focused.

I worked late into the night preparing homemade cinnamon rolls for the kids on their first day of school.  I wanted it to be special.  The sugar may have been to much for them, but it was their first day.  So lesson learned, tomorrow I’ll resume our clean eating diet.

This is my favorite recipe and I’ve had it for so many years I wouldn’t know who to credit for the recipe and I always throw a bunch of randoms in there too.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls -Bread Machine

Homemade cinnamon rolls  Quick and easy using a bread machine and few ingredients you probably have around the house. This makes about 24 cinnamon rolls it’s a lot of dough!  I also don’t make these often my kids don’t do well with sugar, but for a treat they are pretty tasty.

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Ingredients:

Dough

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1 1/3 cup hot water

1 stick of butter cut into small chunks

5 tablespoons of sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon dry-active yeast

Filling

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter softened

Icing

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I truly don’t measure much.  I just sort of dash and go.

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

4-6 Tablespoons milk

Anyways I won’t pretend this is a healthy recipe.  But on a special occasion it’s something the kids truly enjoy.  Even if I did have to survive the sugar high after.

Hope you enjoy!

All in all I’d say it was a successful day.  I have a few sensory strategies I plan to implement, but I think once the excitement of school settles down the sensory quirks will slow down a bit.

I had a really fun time learning alongside them and it truly is rewarding being a part of their education.