Yearly Reflection (2021)

Each year I like to take the time to reflect on the good and the bad and the ugly. Let’s face it, life is always up and down. I personally and truly enjoy where I am at in life. I have been working on my self-growth and development for many years. This is such a great feeling to have. 

I simply like to like to share my story with others to let them know they are not alone in whatever they might be struggling or content with. We all go through things in life that we can’t control. I love sharing experiences with single, autistic, and entrepreneur moms. 

Here are some good things that came out of 2021 

  • Grew my business 
  • Antonio started kindergarten (at the best school in the area) 
  • Antonio starting talking 
  • Antonio started to actually read aloud 
  • Antonio had such great progress in all things this year 
  • Made business clients and friends along the way 
  • We are all fully vaccinated. 
  • Slowly started to redecoerate the house 
  • Lost my last 8 pounds 
  • Worked on a healthier me 
  • Fully invested into my faith with Jesus 
  • Gave back to the local communities a lot 
  • Launched a podcast and reached over 3 countries
  • Decluttered my house (got rid of baby items + old items I dont use) 
  • Learned how to outsource in business 
  • Found an amazing dogsitter and babysitter

There was of course some ‘bad’ things that happened: 

  • Had a Gas leak 
  • Home repairs happened more than I’d like (lots of toilet fixes + fridge)
  • My cane corso had chronic ear infections 
  • Pandemic was still here 
  • I had to put down my cane corso (carbon) 

I truly love the independence that I am at right now. You see whenever something ‘bad’ happens it could be worse. Yes, my gas leak happened and cost a ton of money, but I was thankful that we did not get hurt in any way and that was found quickly. I learned a lot along with these areas. I love growing into this wonderful person each day by learning each day about new items, but also by truly being independent. 

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money is. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Kindergarten Thoughts From An Autistic Mom

My son started a whole new school this year, in kindergarten! It has been quite interesting. I have all the emotions and thoughts. I am totally happy that he loves it and enjoys it. 

He goes to a private school here in Akron Ohio, that focuses on his IEP and growth.  I never thought that he was ready for this day, simply because he was so behind. I also was not ready because my baby is all grown up; time flies by! 

However, he has been getting therapy for years now that it all caught up and he was really ready. I am so thankful and blessed for where he is developmentally, socially, and physically. It has been a long journey.

Here are some tips for an effective school year with an autistic child: 

  • I am so impressed with him, the school, and the teachers. It is important to keep communication between all of us. We get daily behavior reports, school updates, and updates at pick-up. I love that there is also an app where they can add images, and we can send personal messages too. I like that I can ask Antonio questions such as do you have homework? He knows and responds; it feels like we finally are having conversations! I love it, it makes me so proud of how far he has come.
  • I work with Antonio at home but make it fun. Regardless of whether he has homework or not, we work together on something. He watches his iPad and learns a lot from it, so when they say a certain word, I ask him to spell it or say it. A lot of times, I will be silly to help him have fun and learn. It is so cute how he reacts and really loves to learn. 
  • Make sure to allow time to play. Children need time to unwind. Whatever they like to do after school, allow them to do it and have fun. It is the same thing that we as adults do after work or when the kids go to bed; we all need personal time. 
  • Do homework right after dinner. I have found that Antonio is most productive at this time. After dinner time, we allow playtime and then relaxation, bath time, and pj’s. He gets tired and doesn’t do well after around 6 P.M. Find the time that fits your child’s needs.  
  • Allow packing lunch. I always pack his lunch, or at least most of it, the day before. The morning of I adds the sandwich. 
  • Encourage independence by having the child get dressed in mornings, etc. I always encourage Antonio to ask for help if something is too hard or he is too tired. For the most part he is incredibly independent and will try to do all things  himself and then ask for help when appropriate. 
  • Prep them for the day (if there is a test, or hard day coming up). I always like to talk with my son about what is coming up for the day or week, especially if it might be something that is hard. I usually know a head of time, so I can be effective with that. 
  • Allow prizes. This is one of the biggest things that I do, and we both love. Nothing is better than a cookie!! He loves cookies so I can always encourage him to do well for a cookie, or a favorite toy. 
  • Have a set scheduled. This is truly one of the biggest things that we both need. I need a set schedule and he does too; when it is off for either one of us, it is not a good mix or feeling. 
  • Ask an encourage how the day went. This one is our current work in progress. I like to ask how his day went, but usually it is just a yes or no question. “Did you have a good day?” I am trying to get more out of it now by asking what he did and try to get more communication. 

I am so proud of all the accomplishment he has made in just a short amount time. It is truly amazing that I have been able to get him into the right programs over the years to help him blossom and grow. 

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money is. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Six Year Old Christmas List

I know it is super EARLY to think about Christmas, but I like to get started on my shopping and so many others in my family. I usually put together a list for Antonio. He personally picks them out and lets me know what he wants from Santa. 

I thought this was a great list so I am sharing it with you in case you need some gift ideas, too. Antonio is six years old and enjoys a variety of toys as you can see. Enjoy and Happy Shopping!

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

How I Got My Nonverbal Son Talking

My son is now six years old and is really moving mountains by increasing his speech. He has been nonverbal for most of his life. He still is considered nonverbal just because he can’t form sentences and communicate efficiently. However, he is at the stage in life right now where he is talking and repeating words more than ever before. 

Here are some things that we have done to increase that talking: 

  1. iPad with music and songs: he loves to listen and repeat what they are saying!
  2. If he wanted something say it and reward: I would ask him to say something and offer a reward  (a cookie usually) if he said it. 
  3. Help break down the words: We worked on making the noises rather than words. 
  4. Form small sentences whenever he wants something rewarding: I ask him what do you want? Do you want cookie? He says yes, I say okay say “I want to eat cookie.”  
  5. Allow time: This one is hard, we can’t push him. We have to allow it to happen on its own! 
  6. Don’t cause frustration: Frustration leads to being mad and tantrums. He wants to talk, and he is trying his hardest. 
  7. Always praise: Even if it is NOT exactly pronounced correctly, I make sure to praise him as best as I can.  
  8. Video record so he watches it: He LOVES to watch videos of himself saying words and then trying to say it back to me. 
  9. Communicate talk at times so they can take it all in: I try to ask engaging questions to him, as well as communicate with him. I tell him what I am doing so he can take it in and understand more. 
  10. Ask him to say .. (whatever word you want him to say): This is great! He really does this and tries so hard to repeat it back! 

All of these items have helped grow a little bit more and more each day. Whenever I really give him great praise and get super excited, he loves it even more and laughs. This is one of my favorite things. I get so excited every single time he makes a new noise and tries to communicate verbally. He also loves watching the videos I record and repeats the words back that he says in there! It;’s so cute and a win-win. 

I once was told that he might not ever talk; I’ve been praying hard for YEARS for this to not be true. Patience is a must and I have learned that just by having an autistic son. It is important to not ever give up on any child no matter what they are going through. There are plenty of resources and tools to help your child out. I had Antonio in many therapy sessions to help and would work with him at home. 

We are not able to fully form sentences yet, but also it can be tough to understand him sometimes. However, I can usually pinpoint and understand more than others what he’s trying to say; it’s a work in progress.

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

Happy Sixth Birthday Antonio

I literally can not believe my son is turning six today. I remember when he was born like it was yesterday. 

It seems like time flew by… everyone warned me, it would go by fast. I believed them, but not this fast. 

You are no longer my baby… or my baby boy… you’re now my little man. 

We have such an incredible bond and journey. 

This year feels so special to me. I am so proud of you and how far you have come. 

You are independent, stubborn, and have a personality…. Quite the personality I should add.  

You are developing into a young boy and are so talented. I can’t wait to see where life takes you! 

I am glad that God blessed me with you. Happy Birthday Tony D; you’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings you. 

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

Balancing life as a single mom and entrepreneur

I wish that I had advice for single moms…. balance, and entrepreneur life. I do not have much to say other than I need help. I am burnt out, I am tired. 

I beat myself up day in and day out, am I doing what’s best for Antonio? Am I taking time for myself? Am I growing my business the way I have planned? 

A year ago, I never thought I would be where I am today, but I also know that it is okay to ask for help. I am grateful and blessed, but sometimes being a full time single mom can be overwhelming. 

I see my other friends or entrepreneur friends who are married, and they don’t get it. It is one of the hardest things ever to be a single mom to a special needs child and have a business. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I just wish there were more awareness and local groups to help cope. Sometimes it can be hard to cope or find people WHO get it and will offer support. 

My advice? It is important to choose good people and build trust with others so you can ask for help knowing that you can rely on them. It is also important to know it is okay to take time off of work and enjoy time with your children. Life is too short to not enjoy it.

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

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

Questions to ask at IEP meetings

As a mother to a special needs son, I know how hard an iep meeting can be. It can be frustrating and stressful day in and day out, year after year.  

Here’s some questions to ask each year (or whenever renewal is up for an IEP evaluation). 

  • What are your goals?
  • What is the child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How many kids have an IEP in the class?
  • How do you deal with non-verbal kids? 
  • Could you tell me about my child’s day so I can understand what it looks like?
  • Can we make a plan for updates about how everything is going? Will there be parent meetings? 
  • What support will the classroom teacher have in putting his IEP into place?
  • What training does the staff have in this specific intervention?
  • What does that accommodation/ instructional intervention look like in the classroom?
  • How will we measure progress? How will we communicate about this with my child?
  • What are the days and times for school? 
  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
  • Will he get any 1:1 support? 
  • Do they support additional support for speech and physical therapy? If so how much does he get and how many times a week??
  • Are there any Music and exercise activities?
  • What is the class size  or learning groups?

I get how hard it can be, but don’t ever give up on your child. You are the best advocate and need to fight for what is best; you know your child best. I know that these questions have helped me each year, and I hope they can help you as well. 

Susie Liberatore is a single mother to a special needs child and has successful businesses. She loves evolving and growth with others. 

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. 

STOP SENDING YOUR CUSTOMERS TO THE COMPETITION AND GET MY INSIDER SECRETS TO COMPELLING BRANDING THAT CONVERTS

The one thing every single mom needs

I used to have a security system in my house but the fees were annoying and I did not care for it much. There were too many bells and whistles. 

I had some strange visits during the holiday season and felt like I needed to secure myself and my son more. I realized I needed something to help be security but didn’t want to have tied into a contract.

I didn’t want to be locked into a contract or monthly fees, and I  heard great things about Amazon Ring. I decided to give it a try. 

  • I am able to chat when someone is at my door 
  • I get notified when someone is at my door 
  • I have recordings of when someone is at my door 

There are so many added benefits to it, and you can add on a lot of different security options.

There are so many security measures that are now in place. I have a few different sensors throughout the house.  It is great to have because now I can know when my Amazon packages arrive, hehe.  I highly recommend checking it out, no matter if you are a single mom, or have a family you want to have that safety acknowledgment

Susie Liberatore is a single mother to a special needs child and has successful businesses. She loves evolving and growth with others. 

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. 

STOP SENDING YOUR CUSTOMERS TO THE COMPETITION AND GET MY INSIDER SECRETS TO COMPELLING BRANDING THAT CONVERTS

Best Sensory Items

Part of having an autistic child is understanding sensory. It took me a while to understand it, and I still have sometimes where I do not fully understand it. I do know that sensory can be a challenge and my best advice is to find out what kind of sensory your child is wanting. 

Sometimes, certain sounds, sights, smells, textures, and tastes can create a feeling of “sensory overload.” Other times, Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, certain textures of food, and scratchy clothing are just some of the triggers that can cause children to feel overwhelmed. 

There are different types of sensory: One is oversensitivity which leads to sensory avoiding. Kids avoid sensory input because it’s too overwhelming. The other is under sensitivity (hyposensitivity) which causes kids to be sensory seeking. They look for more sensory stimulation.

There are lots of ways to help navigate through sensory, but it takes time.

Susie Liberatore is a single mother to a special needs child and has successful businesses. She loves evolving and growth with others. 

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. 

STOP SENDING YOUR CUSTOMERS TO THE COMPETITION AND GET MY INSIDER SECRETS TO COMPELLING BRANDING THAT CONVERTS