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

The Best Easter Basket Gifts

Easter is such a fun time of year. I love decorating eggs, then splitting them open, going on hunts, and of course having gifts. Baskets are super simple, fun, and easy to do. You don’t even need to spend a lot, unless of course you want to.

I have a three and half year old son, and we are to the point where he likes so much fun and different stuff… even chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate?? What are some of your traditions that you are doing this year? Do you keep the same traditions every year?

This year, we are doing things slightly different, but it will still be fun. I am always up for changing things a little and trying new thing, especially as my son gets older.


  1. 48 Pieces Easter Basket Stuffers, Easter Egg Fillers, Easter Eggs Filled Small Toys for Easter Party Favors, Goodie Bag Fillers, Pinata Toys and More  These are perfect if you have a lot of kids to buy for. You can even save for stocking stuffers later in the year. My son loves all of these items.
  2. Count on the Easter Pups! (PAW Patrol)  My son is at a stage where he LOVESS to count, so this is the perfect gift for him.
  3. Ehome Wooden Percussion Musical Egg Easter Maracas Egg Shakers Kids Toys with Assorted Colors. he LOVESSS being able to use his senses and shaking is one of them, so this is so much fun for him too.
  4. Crayola Color Bath Dropz 3.59 Ounce (60 Tablets)  Bathtime is always fun, this makes it even more fun. He loves colors, and seeing how they turn in baths!
  5. Purple Ladybug Novelty Slow Rising Easter Bunny & Friends Jumbo SQUISHIES Pack in Gift Worthy Box: Bunny, Chick, & Easter Basket Kawaii Soft Squishy Toys & Bonus Stickers Come with The Squishys! This is a great sensory item for him when he is over stimulated or stressed.
  6. 6 PCS Easter Eggs Filled with Building Blocks Construction Vehicles Toys to Build Forklift, Crane, Bulldozer, Excavator Car Educational Toys Great as Party Supplies , Easter Basket Fillers for Boys  Of course what boy doesn’t love cars, or trucks? Mine does!!

easter2
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Focusing on Your Child’s Strengths for Success

Guest blog post by Jennifer Elia-

If you have a child with special learning needs, you know the frustration for trying to make progress. You are both working so diligently to find a solution and make it over the learning roadblock. At times it seems insurmountable. What do you do when your child’s education get derailed by struggle and you have exhausted your options?

You focus on their strengths and let go of what isn’t working!

The Counterintuitive Success Formula

In a society driven by stats,  data, and success the answer to a problem is always try harder. Right? Wrong!

Drilling math facts for two hours instead of one is not the solution. We want to fill gaps with more of what is missing, but instead of filling the valleys, I propose you need to build longer bridges.

When it comes down to it, every person has strengths and weaknesses. Some may be more obvious but it exists in every human being. Special needs children are no different.

Not Different, But Amazingly Unique

In fact, special needs children are different, just each and every person. Our difference is what makes us special–not our high grades, our prestigious job titles, or our award winning talents. What makes us each special is that every one of us is different. Those differences work together to create a pretty amazing world.

Just like a tapestry, we each have a thread of life to share. Sure the crimson thread is more noticeable, but the white and gray threads give the picture definition. The beige adds depth and light. Take out any one color no matter how noticable it is in the complete work and the masterpiece becomes second rate.

Start with What Is Good

Everyone needs some basic knowledge to get through life, there is no denying that. Completely abandoning math or social skills would not be advisable for anyone. However, we are more than what we cannot do!

Just as no one should be defined by a diagnosis, our life should not be defined by our weakest moments, by our biggest struggles, nor by our current flaws. No one is perfect.

Focusing, as is typical, on what needs work creates an environment of defeat instead of success.

You paint beautifully but you still have not learned your times tables. Obviously, you need to paint less and spend your afternoons doing flashcards.

Have you or your child ever been in that situation? There is a passion and a gift that is beautifully blooming, but the glaring deficit is all you can see. STOP!

Start from A Place of Strength

Before building a system to overcome whatever is holding your child hostage in his educational journey, create an environment for him to enjoy what sets him free. It does not have to be academic if the struggle is academic. It does not have to be physical if the struggle is physical. It just has to be his passion and unique gift.

Give your child a taste of success and enjoyment, make that a priority as you bolster the needs and wants. Here are some examples:

  1. Your child has an unbridled passion for horses (pun intended) but reading a simple sentence is as difficult as emptying the Atlantic with a spoon. So, you take some time to learn more about horses, sign up for riding lessons, and turn science into an equine anatomy study.
  2. Your child is Miss Personality, her outgoing and loving nature attracts everyone to her, and in her spare time she hosts pretend radio shows for her stuffed animals, however her gross motor skills are far behind age level. So, you set up a podcast channel on Itunes and help her market her first podcast to family and friends.
  3. Your son is a math genius, his fascination with solving equations as big as your house is mind-blowing, but his interpersonal skills are lacking and he struggles in group settings. So, you employ find an open access class online through Harvard and let him try his hand at being one of the youngest kids in the class.

Abandoning The Struggle for The Strength

None of these actions will erase what is causing your child to struggle. Their needs are still very present, and require assistance and support. However, they will give your child that taste of victory in being who they were meant to be!

On of my favorite quotes is from St Catherine of Siena,”Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world afire!”

Can you imagine the world set afire by your child? Yes, the first child will need Orton Gillingham intervention. Sure, the second child requires physical and occupational therapy. Most definitely, the third child needs social skills and coaching on how to interact with others. However, one of that should ever define any of them.

When life get overwhelming because of special needs, focus on the special, not the need. Taking a short break, whether it be days or months depending upon the situation, and allowing the child to just be who she was meant to be will help diffuse the frustration and allow that special, unique, amazing little person of yours to show the world what she is really made of!

About the author: Jennifer Elia, homeschool mentor, curriculum creator, blogger, and author, is Founder of Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center which is dedicated to giving homeschool moms the tools they need to thrive in their home education career. Jennifer provides one-on-one mentoring, personalized and original curriculum plans, and practical advice for those just beginning their homeschool journey, as well as those who just need a little boost. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children whom she has been educating at home for the past 10 years. When Jennifer isn’t busy researching the best curriculum solutions, she enjoys gardening, crafting, and writing. You can find Jennifer on Facebook and Pinterest.

Focusing on Your Child's Strengths for Success

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The Top 5 Items For An Autism Preschooler

We have been prepping for pre-school behind the scenes. The truth is, I am a nervous anxious mama. Like all mom’s I am sure. However, I just don’t think my son is ready, so I decided to do some research and find somethings that can help Antonio get ready for preschool. These items help with the fine motor, gross motor, and even the letter and number recognition. They have been working wonderfully for us, and I know fellow mama’s could appreciate this!

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Do you have something that we are missing out on and you know we would enjoy? Comment below and let us check it out!

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8 Fun Activities For Kids

I don’t like having my son watch tv or play on the iPad all day – or even simply just play with the same toys every day…. I was having a hard time finding what to do to keep him occupied, so I created a list of activities/exercises that we have enjoyed.. and they are SUPER simple.

Try These For a Fun Screen-Free Time:

  1. Create a Gymnastics Area in the House. Lately, Antonio has been loving the gymnastics thing and likes to pretend to walk on a balance beam + do somersaults so we set up an area and take it down as needed.
  2. Paper Plate Ring Toss. This is super easy and enjoyable. Just cut the plates in the middle and toss on to an old paper towel roll. You could even color the plates and make it more fun and colorful if you’d like!
  3. Masking Tape Car Track. This is uber entertaining for boys especially. You just grab masking tape and put it all over with a line in the middle. Have the kids put their cars on the “tracks” and play away.
  4. Under Hammock. You put a hammock under a table, square, bed, or even a playground. This will be a sure hit for warm days; let them bring a toy or book with them.
  5. Pool Noodle and Rubber Band Activity. This is a cinch, a delight, and great for fine motor skills. Cut pool noodles in half and let the kids put rubber bands on the noodles. You could even get creative and have different colored rubber bands!
  6. Cardboard Tube Drop Chute. Collect all the paper towel rolls throughout the week and put the little brown pieces on a wall, or floor, etc. Allow them to create a chute with about 5-6 of them. You will need to tape them together, so make sure you aren’t worried about possibly losing some paint on the wall. Once again, have a good time with painting the paper towels!
  7. Cardboard Bead Threading Activity. All of those extra toilet paper rolls now have meaning and a purpose. Save them and allow the kids to make a really large thread. You will need to put the paper rolls on a really long and strong piece of string or yarn.
  8. Pool Noodle Stringing Activity. Cut the pool noodles into about 10-15 pieces. You will need to put the noodles on a really long and strong piece of string or yarn just like you did with the toilet paper rolls.

When you get done with these fun activities, there are so many other great and engaging activities:

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Simple Tricks To Advocate For Your Child at School.

 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the muck of school. This is your baby after all! Keeping emotions in check to work through tough situations can be super challenging. To work most effectively with your child’s team, use a few simple tricks to advocate for your child at school.

  1. Keep an open mind
    You see one side of your child at home. They are comfortable with you and in their environment. This can lead to different behaviors and work habits.
    At school, they could feel less sure or work hard to be on their best behavior. Which means that things you see often, might not ever happen at school. Or the opposite might happen: school is seeing things that don’t happen at home. School can only act on what they are seeing and what the data reflects. If they don’t see it in the school environment, they can’t address it. Additionally, school might have resources or treatment options that you might not have considered. It is really easy to zone in on one therapy or education program. There could be other options out there available through the school that you might not have considered. Keeping an open mind could help you to see things from a different angle or find new solutions.
  2. Lead with the positive
    When you want something, it pays off to soften them up with a little positivity. In meetings, pay compliments to team members. Via email, sandwich your request or concern between two positive statements. Leading with positivity helps everyone remember the silver linings and the benefit of the child. The teachers and therapists will feel warm fuzzies for you and your child. That makes it easier for them to say yes to your request or answer your concern. Your positive statements don’t need to be huge. Pick something that you genuinely like or feel is going well. It could be as simple as thanking someone for their kindness and concern for your child. A fun field trip, an interesting experiment, or even a cool book could be your positive thing.
    Setting an uplifting tone early, or often, can help the meeting stay on track and find solutions that work for everyone.
  3. Know your rights. There are a few rights and laws that can help you. FERPA gives you access to your child’s records and can help you correct errors. IDEA governs IEPs and special education plan implementation. Section 504 control how 504 Plans are created and put into place. Additionally, at every IEP meeting you should be offered a copy of procedural safeguards. Make sure you have at least one copy in your files at all times. This document outlines your rights and options, as well as timelines for special education procedures in your state/district. Certain deadlines vary by state, so making a cheat sheet to help you keep track of everything can be a total lifesaver.
  4. Ask for help when you need it. Parents have options for assistance. Many districts offer volunteer parent advocates or mentors to help parents find solutions. Every state also offers a parent education center. These centers have lists of local advocates and other resources, like trainings, to assist parents for low or no cost.
    For targeted assistance, parents always have the right to hire a private advocate or attorney. Bringing a professional on board can make a huge difference when things get really contentious.
  5. Always have a plan. Before your meeting, write out your goals, concerns, and questions. Gather all your data and color code it. What really helps is to write out a script and then practice repeatedly. Having a guide of what to say helps you stay on point. Practicing will let you get comfortable with how to speak and the tone of voice to use. Prepping this way helps you to stay in the moment and keep your emotions in check. Remaining logical can help you make your case for an additional service, change in placement, or extra test.
  6. You’re all on “Team Child” At the end of the day, you and the school want the best for your child. You might just have different ways of handling it. Propose solutions to the teaching team and back them up with data or evidence of effectiveness. Keep an open mind when the school shares their data or ideas, too. How do you advocate for your child at school? Share your best tips in the comments!

Guest Blog Post — MilKids Ed is an education blog and advocacy service providing easy K-12 solutions for busy modern families Meg Flanagan founded MilKids Ed in 2010 as a military family-focused tutoring business. MilKids Ed has since grown into a flourishing education blog. Since 2015, MilKids Ed has been a reputable source of education tips, advice, and support for families around the world.

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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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The 5 Best Stem Toys For Kids 


Whether your child is autistic or not, all kids love stem toys. What does the term stem even mean? Stem stands for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This is typically used when addressing education policy and choices in schools, to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. These items will help them get the education they need with you right at home. They are all such great resources and tools for you to use.

  1. http://amzn.to/2DKSNzV 7TECH 1000 Pcs Snowflake Building Blocks Stem Educational Toys for kids
  2. http://amzn.to/2Bs8UNn Magnetic Blocks STEM Educational Toys Magnet Building Block Tiles Set for Boys and Girls by Coodoo-24pcs
  3. http://amzn.to/2Ghnf2S Dinosaur Toys Take Apart Toys With Tools – Pack of 6 Dinosaurs – Construction Engineering STEM Learning Toy Building Play Set – Toy for Boys & Girls Age 3 – 12 years old
  4. http://amzn.to/2Fg0zPq Build and Play STEM Learning 148 Pieces Playset, Educational Construction Engineering Toy Set for 5 models by Joyin Toy
  5. http://amzn.to/2DFOpmz ETI Toys | STEM Learning | Original 101 Piece Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set for 3, 4 and 5+ Year Old Boys & Girls | Creative Fun Kit | Best Toy Gift for Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr
  6.  BONUS http://amzn.to/2DQttIU Kidwerkz Dinosaur Toys, STEM Learning (106 pieces), Take Apart Fun (Pack of 3), Construction Engineering Building Play Set For Boys Girls Toddlers, Best Toy Gift Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr, 3 Years and Up

Which one is your favorite?

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Stock Those Baskets.. With The Easter Candy We LOVE!

Fans everywhere have been expressing their love for PEEPS® for more than sixty years! With delicious flavors and fun, quirky shapes — PEEPS® has grown to become a fan favorite for every season. (Peeps) 

You know what Easter calls for.. It calls for some peeps. No seriously peeps are a must have for this  season. You NEED to have peeps in every single Easter basket. You can even get them personalized right now with so many options. That’s right, you can now personalize a classic white wicker basket, water bottles and more! Plus, with the purchase of any of these new items, your entire order ships FREE with coupon code PEEPS18. Hurry, this fun deal won’t last long! Shop now 

Did you know that the peeps can also be sugar free? AND they still taste mighty delicious!! There are so many flavor options and they have expanded over the years with so many product options as well.

For a limited time, get the perfect Easter gifts from PEEPS & COMPANY personalized for your favorite peeps! With the purchase of any personalized item, get free shipping with code PEEPS18. Hurry before the sale ends!!

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15 Easter Basket Gifts For Kids of Any Age Under $5 Each!!

Easter isn’t always about all that candy, I know that we end up wasting a lot of it (espeically the stuff we don’t like!) So I put together a list of great basket ideas for kids of all ages.. The best part is that all of these items are $10 & under because they are super affordable. These are all of our favorite items and then some! I hope you can find some goodies for your little ones!!

15 Easter Basket Gifts For Kids of Any Age Under $5 Each!!

 

 

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10 LIFE SKILLS EVERY CHILD NEED TO LEARN

We have complied 10 important life skills for children at young ages to acquire. It’s important to get them started young, and these are very useful to have them learn as they prepare for the school years ahead.

  1. COOKING:

Ask your child to help you. Something as simple as mixing the batter, or getting out the ingredients for a recipe is a great way to keep them interactive with you.

  1. SURVIVAL SKILLS:

You can take your kids to survival camps. This will not only help kids learn how to “survive” without technology but it will teach your kids skills such as how to build a shelter, cook over a campfire,etc.

  1. HOME GARDEN BASICS:

Your kids can learn basic skills about how water and weather can affect plants growth. An example is how watering is important and needed in order to grow the food we want to eat.

  1. FIRST AID SKILLS:

Children hurt themselves quite frequently, so its important for them to know how to fix their boo boo’s but also their friends as well.

  1. SWIMMING:

I cannot swim and I wish I knew how; I hate water and I don’t want my kid to grow up with the same fear his mother has. This teaches them how to be self sufficient.

  1. MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS:

Money is a necessity in life whether we like it or not. Have them pick out a gift with their allowance, or even show them how to budget a small item.

  1. LAUNDRY:

Every kid should learn how to wash their own clothing. It could be a great reward for the both of you as they start to get older. Allow them to separate the loads and put them in the washer.

  1. HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS:

Children are always eager to know more about everything that is around them. Allow them to watch you as you replace a light bulb and get them to understand how to do it.

  1. DEFENSE SKILLS:

You can’t be with your kids all the time to protect them. This is something that can be taught by someone in your family or at a class. They need to understand stranger danger and how to protect their self in an emergency.

  1. TIME MANAGEMENT:

I still haven’t mastered this one yet, but it is important for everyone to have. Allow them to understand their daily schedule and when they have personal free time; this can help them understand tim much better.

Helping your child to learn these items at a young age can help your child develop great in the years to come. Have fun learning with them and be patient.

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