Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In Search of New Recipes

We are still stuck in a rut (again. or still). I make the same handful of meals over and over. We are tired of the same old same old, and I continue to look for recipes that might please my picky eaters while fitting the dietary restrictions of one child.

I have to make a cake or cupcakes for a birthday party later this week that my GFCF+++er will attend. 

Eldest and I headed to the local library for the first time to look for books to check out. I have borrowed e-books for my e-reader, but had not borrowed any hardbacks or paperbacks until now.

 I borrowed Carol Fenster's "Cooking Free"; Leslie Hammond & Lynne Marie Rominger's "the Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook"; Donna Washburn and Heather Butt's, "125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes"; Roben Ryberg's, "The Gluten-Free Kitchen"; and "Slow Cooker Revolution" by America's Test Kitchen.

Right off the bat, I find Coq Au Vin in the Fenster book, but Fenster says "It's absolutely delicious and perfect for a fall or winter day."  I would prefer not to heat the oven and have the oven competing with the air conditioning on this hot July day.  If I save the recipe, will I remember to try it in fall or winter?  And why did the publisher of this cookbook separate recipes in such a way that the directions are on the back of the ingredient page?

Fenster's "Cooking Free" offers 200 recipes that are not simply gluten free, they are for folks with multiple food allergies.  So is "the Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook" by Hammond and Rominger.

"125 Gluten-Free Recipes" has a good number of recipes we can use, although some use milk products.

Ryberg's "The Gluten-Free Kitchen" offers 135 recipes that are just gluten free. If you are more than gluten free, you'll need to know how to substitute. 

I think I'll spend some time with the slow cooker cookbook.  America's Test Kitchen has not failed me yet, and they tend to produce more recipes that don't use cream-of-something soup or flour.  They tend to publish recipes that are good as-is or are easy to substitute.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"I found them! I found them!"

a WOW moment. Actually, SEVERAL wow moments...

We went to see the new Ice Age movie with a friend that A. met at camp for kids w/ special needs.

In the movie, the good guys are adrift on the ocean and happen upon some Sirens who have transformed themselves into attractive animals, who are making beautiful music, saying beautiful words, . Manny, (mammoth played by Ray Romano), realizes that they are Sirens and that they are in trouble if they are drawn by the beauty of their songs, so he stuffs leaves in his ears to muffle the sound.

As we were riding home from the movie, my daughter - the one who regressed into autism after her first birthday - asked what those creatures were. "Sirens," I explained, from Greek Mythology, and their songs were so beautiful that they could capture sailors that way.

She thought for a moment, and then exclaimed in a big voice, "OH, SO *THAT'S* WHY MANNY PUT LEAVES IN HIS EARS!"

 So many times, for a kid on the autism spectrum, an action has no meaning. Manny stuffing leaves into his ears is simply Manny stuffing leaves into his ears. Context and past experience come together with actions to create meaning, and today, she made a connection that delighted me! Now, she is going through her books on Greek Mythology to try to find some information on the Sirens and she's looking on the internet for info about them. When she found Sirens on the internet, she exclaimed, "I found them! I found them!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Active Participation - Gentle Discipline In Action

I stumbled across a facebook page called Janet Lansbury - Elevating Childcare that comes from a developmental perspective. It is something that would have helped me eight years ago in our do-over, eight years ago when we switched away from a behavioral autism intervention to a developmental, relationship-based intervention.

Back then, we were encouraged to watch younger children, to study the non-verbal foundations of interaction and communication that our kids missed (or lost in regression). I still watch neurotypical children for cues and clues to better use myself with my girl who is on the autism spectrum.

I am happy to tell you, Janet Lansbury posted a video on facebook today that may help you on your journey.

The link is HERE.  Watch how the teacher slows her pace to allow each child to interact, non-verbally.  Watch how she waits for each child to offer his/her own hands to be wiped.  Watch how she scaffolds an interaction by opening the banana and then allowing one of the children to strip the peel away.  The teacher stays close, she uses few words, she is big on actions, and she works at a pace that allows each child to be an active participant with her.  Not once does she assume a child won't respond.  Not once does she rush through hand wiping and wipe the hands of a child who has not yet engaged.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lycra Hammock

In the category of DIY Sensory, this hammock is in the office of our 'autism' consultant. Four bolts, and layers of different lengths of brightly colored lycra are all it takes. I'd like one at my house.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Teenage Driving

"There needs to be a teenage driving lane on the highway, and it's just lined with mattresses and tires." -- Bill Engvall

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