Monday, January 21, 2013

Salon Day

A local salon donated employees, time, and hair color to mother/child duos today.
My daughter wanted pink highlights. I wanted her to have some natural highlights. She got both. And a trim. She sat through the two-hour appointment as if it is something she does all of the time. Part of the time, she and I were in separate rooms. She was a pro today. And now she looks like a rock star! ;) A local TV station came to cover the event for the evening news.

My experience was interesting.

The young lady who shampooed and rinsed my hair took the time to massage my scalp while my head was back in the sink. I blinked back tears because it felt so good. I realized that I am tense and intense and on alert for my daughter in such a way that I don't relax much. I'm still doing too much for her. As much as responsibility for herself as I think I've given to her, I realized today that I have more to hand over to her.

Self-awareness. A good thing.

As for me, I wanted something to lighten (darken, really) my gray, to disguise some of it. I really don't want the upkeep of coloring it, and I have a LOT. I walked out of the salon my original natural color, zero gray, the color I was before all of the free stress highlights, and as I looked in the mirror, I saw a glimpse of the person I was many years ago, the one before autism, before kids. I didn't expect that. I miss that person. The unexpected emotion caught me off guard.

Self-awareness. A good thing. Now, I have work to do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Take two: Don't treat her like she's autistic...

I continue to be surprised by professionals who have low expectations for my child. I wrote about one experience here.

Last week, I took my child to an appointment with a Ph.D. who works with children with special needs. The Ph.D. evaluated my child using interactive testing. I was invited to watch.

My daughter has a tendency to speak really fast. I suspect that she fears she'll forget what she is going to say if she doesn't rush it out of her thoughts quickly. Her anxiety plays a role in it, too. Sometimes I am unable to understand her.

The Ph.D. asked her a question and in her answer she spoke so quickly that the Ph.D could not understand her. I knew what she said. Her back was to me, but she was turned toward the Ph.D.  And The Ph.D. looked at ME with questions in his expression, waiting for ME to interpret what she'd said in such a hurry.

All the researcher needed to say was, "Wow, you said that so fast, I didn't understand all of it." to let her know there was a breakdown, to put her into an active thinking position and to allow her to be an active participant and take her own action to slow down.

Looking to ME for interpretation when she spoke to fast is making her even more passive than just flat out demanding/prompting her to slow down, which is still putting her into a passive position:  "I don't have to monitor communication for breakdown and repair because my mom does that for me."

Um, no. 

My daughter is capable of repairing a breakdown if you let her know there is one.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free: GF Baking for the Bread Machine

Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine is free for Kindle at the moment. Go HERE to see if it is still free.

If you don't own a Kindle, you may download Kindle for PC, free.

The Autism and ADHD Diet is just $2.51 for Kindle as I type. Go HERE to see if it is still a bargain price.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Teaching the Concept of Balance

My latest Homeschool Mosaics column is up:


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On the ice

Homeschool learn-to-skate has begun. My girl has requested time on the ice again. We went almost two years off the ice, too long. I love to watch her skate. I love to watch all of my children do the things they love. My skater's desire to return to the ice prompted me to write about the importance of movement and gross motor work and my post will be featured in my Unexpected Detour column at Homeschool Mosaics in February.

I searched the internet for autism and ice skating and found a blog post that gives me insight into perhaps why my girl is drawn to it:

Monday, January 7, 2013

How My Autistic Son Got Lost in the Public School System

the Atlantic features an article by Amy Macklin about a child on the spectrum in public school.

Here is an excerpt:

The autism spectrum is wide and varied, and every autistic person is unique. People like Henry need someone looking out for them, particularly in overwhelming environments like school. The problem is that public schools are mostly worried about academics and test scores. They have to be—their success in those areas dictates the percentage of state and federal funding they get. Few schools have designated psychologists (most often, multiple schools share the same one). Teachers aren't psychologists, and asking them to be is not fair. 

Homeschooling IS the LRE for many children on the autism spectrum. It is for mine.

In many areas of the United States, the homeschool community is active and vibrant and provides social, academic, and extra-curricular classes in small-group settings that are a good fit.

The full article is HERE.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back on the Ice

After close to two years off the ice, I finally got the girl back on it again today in preparation for a homeschool learn-to-skate class. She remembered everything her coach taught her before we moved. ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Read The Bible in a Year, Chronologially

My resolution is more of a theme or concept: balance. We are out of balance in many areas of our days at the moment.

Here's my start. I found a daily calendar that looks like planner pages and has a puzzle on every page.

Our church is reading through the Bible together (plan below) and I happen to own a Bible that is arranged according to the plan the church is using.

Here's the plan.
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