Thursday, August 23, 2012


We are tackling Spanish again with the child who is on the autism spectrum, and for the first time for her typically developing twin brother. 

We are using Spanish for You! as part of a review at the moment, and I couldn't resist buying a Spanish workbook at the warehouse club to go with it.  I saw Buenas Noches Luna at a local Marshall's store and purchased it, too.

Spanish for You! has lesson plans for older children and younger children, so I am able to customize for my same-age learners who are working at different levels. 

I took Spanish in college because it was required and I barely got by. When we lived in California in the early 90's, I took a Conversational Spanish offered by a local community education organization, and the teacher there used a lot of materials for children with the class of adults.

I'll continue to look for materials in Spanish; I'm sure I can find a Bible and the last couple of times we went to the Scholastic warehouse, there were story books in Spanish for sale. 

I think we're off to a good start! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dance Class

We discovered a new dance class for young people on the autism spectrum and with Downs Syndrome. I took my girl to try a class, and she was the only student in attendence (there are two more who were absent this week), so she got a private lesson. I observed via closed circuit tv in the lobby.
The teacher is a gem. ;) The exercise, the body awareness, the sensory input, and when other students are there, the social experience are so good for our kids. I'm excited about this dance class!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I have no idea how to rotate this photograph.
At a used curriculum sale, I purchased a coloring book of coloring pages with Bible verses. Most are pictures you'd typically find in a coloring book, but this page is simply a verse. I printed it on card stock, handed one to each homeschooler, asked one to memorize it, and will work on memorization with the other. My daughter colored hers in bright colors. I asked her to read it to me a couple of times during the day when she was working on it. Last night, I asked if she remembered anything about that verse, and she replied, "Trust." Yep, "Trust in the Lord," I replied. We have a good beginning.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mari Nosal: Ten Commandments for Interacting With Kids On The Autism Spectrum

Spotted in my facebook feed; a must-share!

Ten Commandments for Interacting With Kids On The Autism Spectrum...

1. Thou shall not yell when speaking to me. My disability does not impair my hearing and I am extremely bright. Perhaps even brighter than you are.

2. Thou shall not ignore me, talk negatively about me, speak unnaturally slow, or ask questions to others in the room that pertain to me. I can comprehend what you are saying just fine.

3. Thou shall believe in me and help me believe in my skills and self worth. Note the good in me and do not merely point out my negative behaviors. Believe in me and I will believe in myself.

4. Thou shall not perceive me as dumb. I am extremely intelligent. I do not learn in the same way as you, and maybe not as quickly as you expect me to. Have patience with me. Once I recall information, I never forget.

5. Thou shall not judge my behavior. I can get overstimulated in certain environments. I may be hypersensitive to sound and loud noises may hurt my ears. Fluorescent lights are distracting for me. They have a humming noise, and can pulsate. All the noises in a room can blur together. Please make accommodations to help me.

6. Thou shall not be so quick to scold me. Do not tell me that “I know what I did”. I do not. Tell me what my infraction was in a simple, concise manner. I want to please you, but I have difficulties inferring meaning within a vague statement. For instance, do not say please clean up your bedroom. Tell me exactly what you want, such as ‘Please make your bed and pick up your toys”.

7. Thou shall not compare me to others. Please remind me, and note the talents that I possess. This increases my confidence and positive self worth. Learning disabled or not, we ALL have talents to contribute within society. I need you to help me realize what mine is. Believe in me and I will believe in myself.

8. Thou shall not exclude me from activities. Please do not mimic me, ignore me, or bully me. Please invite me to play with you. It hurts my feelings when I am excluded. I like to run and jump in the playground, and be invited to birthday parties too. Grownups can help me make friends by encouraging other children to play with me. I can be a loyal friend if you get to know me.

9. Thou shall give me choices. I do not like being ordered about any more than the other children. Give me choices so I know you value my capabilities and opinions. Make them simple and concise. Present two options or so. I get confused when too many questions or directions are given at one time due to my processing speed. For instance, ask me if I would like to wear my blue sweater or green one, rather than asking which sweater I would like to wear.

10. Thou shall not judge me by my diagnosis, but by my character. I am an individual, just like other children. As my son used to say, “Mom my name is John (name changed for his anonymity) not Asperger’s”. A profound statement I would say. :-0) ~ Mari Nosal

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A New School Year

Long time no post.

 I spent the month of July sick. Pain, pressure, and numbness on the left side of my face, centering on my eye, had me hopping from doctor to doctor and in an MRI machine twice and a CT scan once. I still have no answers and I am glad that my eye feels better. A horrible cold wiped me out for a week, too.

We withdrew our son from public school last week, just before public school began. The public middle schools were much better in our former state and after a year of frustration at many levels, we pulled him out.

Yes, I am homeschooling two teenagers, the same age, who are working at drastically different academic levels, and who learn very differently. For my son, I am using Thinkwell Math; Apologia Science; IEW for writing; Spanish For You; and Tapestry of Grace Y1U1 for history; he is enrolled in the local homeschool band program and he participated in a camp with the local homeschool baseball team.

For my daughter, the child with an autism spectrum disorder, we are using Math U See; Spanish For You; we are going to try IEW (IEW customer service showed me a web page that has lesson plans for younger children that accompany the same package that I bought for my son); Apologia Science; and Tapestry of Grace Y1U1. She participates with a cheerleading team for kids with special needs; I want to enroll her in a homeschool ice skating class and possibly a dance class for kids with special needs. We have to fit in a speech therapy research project somewhere.

My public high schooler has a busy year with her first AP class among honors classes; she is in the marching band (which keeps us hopping until almost Christmas) and the Wind Ensemble there. She is learning to spin and throw a rifle as part of the marching band show. The first football game of the season is this weekend, followed by the first marching band camp Saturday as we head into football and marching band competition season.

We are still battling anxiety, sensory issues, eczema. We have a busy year that includes settling in with a new student. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Friday, August 3, 2012

The 3-Minute Difference

I didn't have time or energy to review books, yet when "The 3-Minute Difference" popped up as a review opportunity, I couldn't turn it down after I read the book description.   I'm disorganized and overweight, for starters, and attempts to address those challenges are overwhelming to me.  I sometimes wonder what is wrong with me that I cannot fix myself.
Wayne Nance's life was out of control once. He smoked. He was obese. His marriage was a mess and he was in debt. And he found a way out. He says he can help others out, too.

I was interested.

First is the 3-Minute Survey. I described myself by choosing from lists of adjectives and sent my choices off to be assessed. The whole thing seemed a little bit hokey to me, a little "cootie catcher" to me, but I was willing to see what Nance says the choices I made describing myself say about me.

I was not ready for the results. Well, in some ways I was ready. In others, not. I'm not sure how choosing a few adjectives while ignoring other adjectives gives Nance that much insight into a person.

He *nailed* me. And he opened a door to insight and perspective about myself that I recognize is there that will help me move forward. 

Let me give you an excerpt from the book, from page 87: "This means that 40% of the population is not predisposed to what we call 'responsibility.' ... Practically speaking, your wiring puts you at risk for lifestyle problems like obesity and debt."  That insight is power.  If I am not predisposed to responsibility, I have to work harder at being responsible and I need to KNOW that I have to work harder at it.

"3-Minute Difference" walks the reader through finding his or her pattern and in families, how individual patterns work together in a family unit.

And Nance takes me through the challenging steps that will change me for the better.  I have to change my attitude.  And I can change my life. 

You'll have to stay tuned because I am a work in progress. Nance's words make sense and he breaks things down in a way that I can begin to apply. I still feel like a bit of a failure because I don't seem to be moving fast enough for me. I can't let my own thoughts bring me down, and Nance reminds me to concentrate on the successes, even when they are few or small.

The survey is HERE.

The book is priced at $16.99 and Nance includes the survey in the book and he walks you through interpreting your "score" (your pattern).  Or you may choose to take the survey online and choose from report options there.

I like the insight into myself.  I like the encouragement.  I like the way Nance walks me through steps and goal setting.  It seems doable and within my reach, and practical.  Thumbs up.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -

Stat Counter