True ADHD Mother Struggles.

There has been a lot going on lately. Antonio was diagnosed with ADHD and has been having some issues in school. I knew this day would come. I want to make sure that I have taken action and quickly. As a mother, I always want what is best for my son; I am sure all moms can relate. 

I put out information about trying to see what could help and be best. I am always all about trying something new and different to see what can work. There isn’t going to be one solution that fits all, so when I asked others for suggestions I took a variety of things that we could implement. 

  1. We are trying some medicine. I was concerned about doing this at first but it is a SUPER small amount. It helps him get focused and listen more. He still has some behavior issues that need to be worked out but they aren’t too bad luckily. It is more along the lines of frustration because he tries SO hard.  
  2. We are also trying to change our diet slightly. I have to admit that I haven’t been the best at this. We used to be gluten-free and he used to eat more fruits and vegetables, etc. I make sure to monitor now what he is eating and allow more of the essentials that he needs. It can be an ongoing battle sometimes, but we are working on being healthier. I am in fact learning more about how important certain food is and what can affect the brain. 
  3. We are working out more, and doing it together. I have missed when I was a dancer and also missed when I was in shape. There is a study that being active can help ADHD since they can have extra energy. I have already started to implement new things for us to do as a team. 

Life always has some challenges and I  have learned to take them as they come. It is important to me to keep an open mind and always try new things, especially when it comes to my son. 

Susie Liberatore is the owner, and Art Director, of Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over a decade of agency and corporate experience, she brings businesses’ visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.

Susie helps businesses grow their brand presence and connect with their target audience.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Autism Struggles From a Mother’s Perspective

I used to see how people would look at my son and me when we were out and about. There once was a time that I cared what others thought about me.  I still remember when Antonio was young, and I knew he had autism. It was tough to do storytime at libraries; I had to leave so many times because I would break down and cry in my car. 

There was once a time when I had high anxiety because… 

  1. He wouldn’t listen: This can be so hard, I see people looking at me wondering why he isn’t listening. I felt like I looked like a bad parent but really, my child is just having a hard time listening and figuring out what I am saying. This might led to a tantrum, or behavior breakdown, I just have to pick my battles. “Normal” kids can go through this just as much as autistic and it can be stressful for any parent. 
  2. He would stim: Stimming is like someone constantly humming or making noises. It is uncontrolled and can be bothersome. It is how kids deal with being excited, happy, or even anxious. There is no way to have someone stop this, it is their way of dealing with feelings. However, people used to look at me, wondering why I couldn’t get him quiet or controlled. It hurt as a parent and caused so much anxiety.  I wish I could explain why he was doing this to every person, but instead, I would hurry up and leave whatever I was doing. 
  3. He couldn’t talk back: If I got frustrated, or he did, he couldn’t tell me what was wrong. It would more than likely lead to him stimming, which in turn made people look at us more. It is so hard sometimes to know and understand what is wrong with my little boy. 
  4. He had a hard time communicating: I ask each of you to be patient and not judge someone from the outside.  Parenting is hard as it is. If a child can not communicate, be kind and know auistic parents are doing the best they can do. 

The truth is that having an auistic son,  I realized what patience truly meant, and how to really deal with it. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I have learned to grow and be patient by this beautiful blessing.

Susie Liberatore is the owner, and Art Director, of Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over a decade of agency and corporate experience, she brings businesses’ visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.

Susie helps businesses grow their brand presence and connect with their target audience.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Nonverbal Facts and Ideas (From a Mother)

Here we are again, progress made with Antonio, then no progress. I’m not even mad though. We are making progress so much more than ever before. He is meeting goals after goals. He is a master when it comes to fine, gross, and even receptive language. The problem remains the same, how do we get him to talk?

We are using sign language now more than ever before. I can’t complain, we are all doing so well with the growth Antonio is having. There are still three things that lay into this nonverbal factor.

  1. Occupation Therapy (if he holds the spoon properly, he will be able to eat correctly!). Right now, when he does attempt to use his utensil, he licks whatever is on it, so he doesn’t use his full oral movement. By not having his motor movement here, it can affect his talking. We have to keep working with him; there’s no real way to prevent or make this happen otherwise.
  2. Physical Therapy (this is exactly what it sounds like). No, he doesn’t need it because of some accident. He needs it because he has sensory issues. The sensory problems affect his learning. If he is stimming, he can’t learn. If he focuses on getting sensory input, he simply isn’t going to be receptive at all to where we need him to be. (Read more about stimming here.)
  3. But, more importantly, we are trying to get him to speak. He’s in speech; how do we get this to work? I’m sick of hitting a wall. I’m sick of trying new things. But not really; I just want SOMETHING TO WORK. We are working day and night to get him to imitate our sounds (because he mimics everything else). It’s only a matter of time I keep telling myself.

We have a few actions that we are going to try out, so be on the lookout as we share our journey with these ideas. I know there are other moms out there struggling and going through this, so I want to share our experience so that you can have a good outcome, too.

“Good things happen to those who wait” is my current saying, along with “nothing will happen overnight.” Let’s face it it’s how I am feeling.

Put on your mama bear and move on girl, you need to try new things and take risks. I’m a business owner, right? So, I’m always taking risks, and it’s no different for my son now either, let’s do this!

Put on your mama bear and move on girl, you need to try new things and take risks. I’m a business owner, right? So, I’m always taking risks, and it’s no different for my son now either, let's do this!


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Asthma in Toddlers, How To Cope

Antonio was diagnosed with asthma about a year ago. We had two-three episodes where he had to be hospitalized for a few days. We had to put him on an inhaler for a long time, and we started to wean him off of it because he was doing better overall and got through some of the sick seasons without issues.

We were doing fine, alright. We went about five months off of Antonio’s inhaler when we had an episode. He was starting to get sick on and off but was acting normal. You know how sometimes being sick is crazy and unpredictable. Well, I picked him up from school, and he had a cough, the cough was worse than the day before. We went home, and usually, he takes a nap on the way home. This time he took a nap, but it was short. He woke up as soon as we got home and he was coughing horribly (almost like a choking cough) and couldn’t go back to sleep.

My husband was away for the day and wasn’t going to be home for a little while, so it was up to me to do this on my own. We came inside and tried to do activities, but he just seemed SOO tired and out of it. He started to cough more; the cough at this time was a dry cough. He didn’t have much of an appetite (which is SO unusual for him). By the end of the night, his cough worsened, and he was coughing up gunk. I started to give him his emergency inhaler, cough syrup, Tylenol, and even Claritin. He has horrible allergies and sinuses just like me.

I was worried about him going to bed; I just had a feeling. When your child coughs like that, you constantly worry if they are going to choke or stop breathing. He kept trying to fall asleep but waking up due to his cough. It was a LONG NIGHT. I brought him into my bed because he couldn’t fall asleep, and I wanted to monitor him. I thought I could get some sleep monitoring him. All that said, I started to worry more. He was wheezing and gasping for air. I was on the phone with my dad, and he said “Susie, what do you think? Don’t you think his breathing is kinda bad?” I said yeah, but no one wanted to believe me. I knew he was off and it started hours ago, but I couldn’t prevent it from happening.

It’s one of those things where it has to take its course. SO, I didn’t even think twice, hopped in the car, and took him to the ER. We were in the ER for about 4 hours (till 3 AM!). The staff did a lot of breathing treatments (with a nebulizer) and then gave him some breathing steroids. It was a LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG NIGHT. I don’t even know how we stayed up that late.

Finally, they said, “You need to go to Akron Children’s Hospital and get admitted for the night.” I tried talking myself and them out of it mainly because I wanted to sleep. I said okay let’s just go. They put him in an ambulance while I ran home to get an overnight bag and let the dogs out (again, my husband was gone, so I was the caretaker).

Once I arrived, I was panicked. I didn’t know where my son was, the hospital was all locked up (which is good), but I literally couldn’t get in or find my son!!! It was so quiet and dead during the 4 am rush. I was worried… Is my son here? Is he sleeping? Did he throw tantrums? Did he scream the whole way? What was really going on? I just want to sleep. My hands are full. All these thoughts running through my mind.

I finally got to his room and let out a sigh of relief. He was SOUND ASLEEP. The ambulance ride put him right to sleep. I was so worried that he would need me, or be scared, but he wasn’t!  The nurses said he was a champ. I won’t get into too much detail about asthma because it is complicated. I crashed hard for the night and relaxed finally knowing that my son was in good hands and recovering.

They kept giving tons of treatments through out the night. People kept coming in and getting vitals. The saying is you won’t get any sleep while you are in the hospital. I felt this. I woke up next morning, knowing that we could go home soon. BUT, he wasn’t passing his tests for breathing.. I thought he was fine, but it was better safe than sorry. It was better to leave it to the professionals…

We had to stay ANOTHER NIGHT. There were lots of things happening, and, again, I won’t get into much detail. But, I realized that Akron Children’s Hospital took incredible care of us.

Here are the elements I liked the most about our stay at Akron Children’s Hospital:

  • The food…

Hospital food isn’t horrible. We were able to order food up to our room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had access to the kitchen on the floor so that we could get other food at any time as well as drinks. There were so many options to choose from for food! It even had healthy and heart recipes noted on their menu.

  • The people…

The people were the NICEST and answered all of my questions. This instance wasn’t his first time for admittance, but I still needed my nerves to be calmed, so I kept asking questions. Talking to people calm me down and I needed this at that moment in time.

  • The overall feeling…

I felt safe, secure, and on top of the world. The hospital isn’t meant to be fun by any means, but I honestly can say that we were taken care of and had the best two days there considering. I left the facility knowing that my son was well-provided for, and they REALLY did care.

All in all, here is something that I took away from this horrible visit:

Always follow your gut and motherly instinct. I second guessed myself and tried to explain it to my husband and parents; they didn’t understand because they weren’t there. I kept talking myself out of going to the hospital, but I needed to go.I knew I needed to, but kept trying to talk myself out it. I was so glad that I was able to take him to the ER.
antonio asthama

 

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Frugal Tips for Halloween

I don’t know about you, but I feel like the whole fall/winter holidays drain my bank account. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas; they all happen quick!! Think about how much money we go through during this time; It’s exhausting. But I want my son to have the best memories, so I try not to feel guilty about it.

I can still have a good time AND feel good simply by being penny-pinching more. I put together a list of ways you can be frugal this Halloween season.

Halloween is one of those holidays where lots of opportunities arise to get creative and make unique crafts, decorations, and costumes. The best part is that you can do all of this on a budget! Halloween has no rules. Follow these 8 Frugal Tips to a Fun Halloween, and you’ll be sure to impress your friends and neighbors!

Here are some frugal tip for Halloween

  1. Create Your Costume: My goodness! I feel the costumes go up in cost every year. There is no way dressing up should be more than $50 per kid. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. You can even find some costumes at thrift shops or Goodwill that cost WAY LESS!! So, if you want to DIY your look, there are so many fun ways to do so. Use what you have and go to the dollar store for some smaller accessories that you might you need. If you do not have the time to create a costume check out costume for less.
  2. Reuse Items: Each year we keep pieces for the next year. We saved all of our pumpkin carving kit parts and just washed them all out so we could use them again! We even kept the little tablecloth that we carved pumpkins on so that we didn’t have to buy a new one. Also, keeping your Halloween basket simple and fun is great. Kids don’t always like the same characters each year so just get the pumpkin buckets so they can reuse them without a fuss!
  3. DIY Halloween Decorations: You can get super cheap items to put together from the dollar store or even Amazon. You can find mason jars and add orange lights inside of them. BAM! It is THAT easy. You can have your children make some crafts and even use those! There are so many different crafts to do. Taking coffee filters and making them into spider webs is a great idea!! (enter sponsor links here)
  4. Watch Sales: I always love to get items AFTER the holiday when they receive a heavy discount. Be smart about this though because the total can add up. Only get what you REALLY know you will use and are a great sale!
  5. Make Candy Creations: I don’t mean literally create your candy because, well, no. What I mean is, buy some small items and make goodie bags from them. You get a better bang for your buck this way, and can fill them with treats that you know kids will love!
  6. Pumpkin Carving: Carving pumpkins is expensive. Do you know how much pumpkins cost these days? If you have more than one kid, you recognize the amount increases quickly. Try going to a pumpkin patch where it might cost you less, or allow kids to share and be creative with their pumpkins. Sometimes smaller pumpkins are EVEN better than the larger ones. If that doesn’t work, then try a different kind of craft other than a pumpkin carving!

We love being able to save money and still celebrate all the holidays! Do you have some ideas on how you make your Halloween frugal? Let us know in the comments below!

Frugal Tips for Halloween

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Why Sign Langugage Matters

It has been a while since I wrote about our autism progress. Quite frankly, I don’t remember where we left off. A lot has changed; we started a new program. This program is fantastic, but at first, I was so bent out of shape and cried. I was scared that it wouldn’t work after having a bad experience with the previous one.

I was in denial, I was hopeful, I had to push ALL my feelings aside and be a mother. I had to get my act together so that my son could move forward. I didn’t have time to think and be mad. I put everything aside and was open minded.

I was impressed with how structured this place was and how they had great communication. But besides that, I was able to learn a lot more about autism. It’s important to understand all you can and ask questions. It’s essential that they know his strengths, goals, and weaknesses. These were all great elements that the new place had.

The first thing that I noticed was that we kept track of progress. We are focusing on a lot of sign language, along with some other gross motor skills, but the sign language we learned was implemented at home immediately. We kept data on how many times he signed without us showing him and how many times he did it on his own when he wanted it without us asking.

For example cookie – show me cookies (he shows the sign for cookie). Independent is when he can show cookie when he wants one and not when we prompt him.

All of these signs help us communicate, and not get frustrated, but also know what he wants. Before, we never knew what he wanted. We are continually making noises and sounds, even with the sign language, so that we can take away the sign language in a few months and get him to be verbal hopefully.

The fact that he understands all of this makes me feel like the proudest mother ever. And, that he can communicate and tell us what he wants makes life so much easier for us both; from this moment on, I realized that we are on the same page and doing alright. So, yes,I am glad I made the decision that I did and pushed aside all the personal problems.

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Check out some of our other autism posts:

WHY YOUR CHILD NEEDS A SPORT, ACTIVITY, OR PRESCHOOL

HOW SIGN LANGUAGE HAS HELPED US

BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR THREE YEAR OLD TODDLERS

 

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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DIY Natural Lip Stain.

No one likes the feeling of chapped lips, but it’s an all-too-common phenomenon. Our lips possess the most delicate skin on our faces, so they’re even more sensitive to summer dryness. doTERRA SPA Lip Balms are great for keeping your lips feeling hydrated. With Original, Tropical, and Herbal blends, the doTERRA SPA Lip Balm is a favorite in the doTERRA SPA product line.

Tropical, Herbal, Original Lip Balm

If you want soft, hydrated, healthy lips, the doTERRA SPA Lip Balm will give you the benefits you desire—all while providing a lovely aromatic essential oil experience. doTERRA has created three lip balms each containing a select blend of essential oils. Along with their Original blend of Wild Orange and Peppermint, experience the scents of paradise with Ylang Ylang, Clementine, and Lime essential oils found in their Tropical Lip Balm, or invigorate your senses with their Herbal Lip Balm containing Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, and Spearmint essential oils. doTERRA’s extra-moisturizing lip balms contain coconut, moringa seed, and avocado oils along with beeswax to glide across your lips, leaving behind deep hydration that lasts throughout the day.

To make your lips look even more fabulous, check out this DIY Natural Lip Stain.Lip stains make for a perfect DIY project because they only contain a few ingredients, and the colors are completely customizable. These recipes contain Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint and Grapefruit oils, which can all create an invigorating aromatic experience when applied topically.
doTERRA Spa Lip Balm-1

Ingredients
Lemon-Cherry

Lavender-Blackberry

  • 5 blackberries
  • 1–2 drops
  • Lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon Fractionated Coconut Oil

Raspberry-Blackberry Peppermint

  • 5 blackberries
  • 5 raspberries
  • 2 drops
  • Peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon Fractionated Coconut Oil

Pomegranate-Grapefruit

  • 2–3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 1 drop Grapefruit oil
  • 1 teaspoon Fractionated Coconut Oil

Instructions

  1. Place your chosen fruit and essential oil into a small bowl.
  2. Add coconut oil and mash the fruit into a soupy mixture.
  3. Drain the liquid into an airtight container, removing any chunks.
  4. Store in refrigerator for long-term use.
  5. Apply a layer or two to lips and enjoy your customized, 100 percent natural, gorgeous lip stain.

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As always if you are interested a wholesale account send me a message susielib003@gmail.com or sign up here https://www.mydoterra.com/susieliberatore/#/and make sure to use my ID: 43961

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How Sign Language Has Helped Us

Since my son has been diagnosed with autism, it has been hard to get through to him. He is nonverbal and has been for most of his life. We have tried everything but end up getting frustrated. Since he joined ABA, we know now that sign language can work; we just have to keep working to learn and know how to use sign language.

That was our biggest problem, or mine rather. I couldn’t follow through because I wanted to give up. I wanted to just get him to talk and thought I could do so by skipping a step. But when I look back on it, I see that this was an important step. In fact, most babies sign before they reach toddler age. So in order to really move forward, we needed to use sign language for him to communicate.

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We tried it for a while, but it didn’t work. When he was in ABA he would pick up on things much better and easier there just because they knew what they were doing and could dedicate time. It’s hard when you are a mother and have a million things going on or just give into your child so you can get other tasks done. It is a constant toss up.

Once we really started to use signs, it made all of our lives so much easier. Whenever someone else watches him, we make sure they are using the signs. Before sign language, there was a lot of frustration and getting mad (from both of us). Now, we can really understand each other. I ask him if he wants more and he shows me the sign for more, please. I mean, that is incredible.

Autistic or not, there are so many great reasons to teach your child sign language and really help them to understand.

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The Top Reasons for ABA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a great tool for autistic kids. It really helps them get the help that they need in order to be successful and learn properly. It covers so many topics, ideas, and curriculum. At first, I was scared of this program because I was still in denial about my child being autistic. I am not certified in any of this, this is all my opinion from a parent standpoint. 

This program takes some time before you see results. Nothing will happen overnight and for the longest time I had to keep telling myself that. Here are the top 4 reasons why I would recommend ABA for anyone who is autistic:

  1. They still get social interaction: There are other kids in the program and they do circle time in addition to fun activities. Most of the time people claim the children don’t get the interaction they need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
  2. Non-verbal communication: Before we started ABA, communicating was a complete mess. We tried sign language. We tried a lot of things. Now, we are able to actually communicate either with pictures or sign language. Obviously, our end goal is verbal communication but we were able to really gain a lot from this and not be as frustrated!
  3. Celebrate small victories: You can see the progress that your child makes. The program keeps you updated and lets you know what they are working on. This way, when your kid does it at home you can celebrate and keep track of each accomplishment!
  4. Get a break: This might sound kind of rude, but parents need breaks. Especially when you have a special needs child. When I send my kid to ABA, I know he is in excellent care and is receiving the 1 on 1 he needs that sometimes I am not able to provide.

I am not an expert when it comes to ABA, I am just a parent who has her own personal thoughts and feelings. I’d love to hear how you feel about ABA and what has worked for you!

Our favorite Autism Finds

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My kid isn’t Attached To Me; It’s The Other Way Around

The problem is that with an autism toddler, I can’t let him do what he wants because he doesn’t understand. I don’t expect people to feel bad for us or treat us any differently. But I know it appears that my son is attached to me because I am watching his every move.

When he goes to play with others I have to watch him and make sure that he is understanding things. I have to make sure that he isn’t throwing a tantrum or isn’t making other children mad. See we don’t communicate well. If there are stairs, I have to make sure he doesn’t try to go down them without me. It is a constant battle to try to get him to understand.

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When he starts to get nervous or scared, he will take my hand and point or walk me towards whatever it is that is making him feel uncomfortable.
I imagine this is all part of parenting, but I don’t know any different. Autism or not we all have to watch our kid and be a parent. But I feel like I’m doing it while other people are looking and judging.

The other day we went to a kids gathering event. I know the people there, but it still makes me nervous. I want to make sure that my child is behaving well. Sometimes, he goes up to others and takes toys or food away from them. People will say hi, and instead of responding, he will ignore and run away. They probably think my child is rude or mean, but that isn’t even the case. I like to tell people why he does these things to help them become aware of this; especially if they are kids.

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View some of our favorite items for autistic kids.

  1. elmo tub 
  2. elmo letters
  3. cookie drop roll 
  4. potty songs 

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