The Best Sensory and Toys For Autism Kids

I never heard of the word ‘sensory’ until Antonio was diagnosed with autism. It is hard to define what it really is because it can be different for different people. Sometimes they are over-sensory and sometimes under censored. There are plenty of ways to show off sensory; stimming, chewing on something, fist hitting, head hitting, etc. There can many that might seem normal or not normal. Think about when you are overwhelmed, or stressed, we all have weird habits to react to this feeling; so do autistic children. 

Read more about sensory here.

However, the one thing is that once a child starts to get older we can’t always allow their regular sensory items to take place (aka; stimming or head hitting, etc). So it always helps to allow them to have sensory items such as the list below. 

Drawing Stencils Set for Kids (54-Piece) – Arts and Crafts for Girls & Boys with Over 300 Shapes

Plugo Letters by PlayShifu – Word Building with Phonics, Stories, Puzzles

Crayola Ultimate Light Board Blue, Drawing Tablet

163 Pieces Creative Construction Stem Learning Engineering Set

Dolanus Transformers Toys – Remote Control Car Contains All Batteries

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game and STEM Toy

Sensory Ring and Fidget Toy 3 Pack | Soft, Flexible Ring and Rubber Spikes

Sensory Stress Ball Set, 12 Pack Stress Relief Fidget Balls for Kids

Fidget Toys and Textured Sensory Toys by BUNMO 

Pull, Stretch and Squeeze Stress Balls by YoYa Toys – 3 Pack – Elastic Construction Sensory

24 Pack Bundle Sensory Fidget Toys Set-Liquid Motion Timer

ENTHUR Fidget Toys for Adults and Kids – Bubble Sensory Fidget Toy Fidget

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 to be successful as a Single Mom

The other day I was on the phone with a client and she said those words “I think I’m going to get divorced.”  My heart sank I remember that feeling all too well. I wanted to cry with her and empower her. I felt the chills as she was telling me her struggles. I honestly never thought I could be a single mom and 100% on my own, I never thought I could. 

So of course… Her biggest question to me was “how do I do this Susie financially and mentally.” 

My heart sank again, I wondered the same thing when I started my divorce process. I fought trying to save my marriage. I questioned myself DAILY this same thing before I was divorced. We all think about this whenever it might happen. 

I have no right answers it’s tough and hard period; there is no way easy way around there. However, I was able to grow my business during a divorce and be 100% independent and profitable in a few months. I call it hustling you can call it whatever you want. I knew I was going to be on my own and be a mother to my son. I knew my business could be successful so I had to make plans. 

When you become a single mom, you realize all the things that you have to take care of and do in order to be on your own. So here is my advice if you are going through a divorce, or thinking about it, and even starting a business as a single mom:

  1. Make a plan: You have to figure out a way to make it, you have to set realistic goals. These goals can be financially, mentally, professionally or all the above. Rely on yourself and know that you are one person but can achieve goals. 
  2. Look at a budget: You will have a new budget any way you look at it. You have to look at things to cut back on, how to shop smarter, and how much you will bring in. All of these factors are important. I ended up hiring an accountant and financial advisor because I wanted to be smart about this since this was a huge change for me. 
  3. Ask for help: This is huge because I always was stubborn but I ended up hiring a lawn guy, CPA, babysitter, and so many other people to help me. I ask for help whenever I might need it. For example, I have had my neighbor help me unclog my toilet a few times; there are times you will need to ask for help. DO IT and pick your battles. 
  4. Hustle for clients: Set goals for how much money you want to make then divide it by how you can make it and how many you need to achieve that week. You will be surprised at how much money you can make when it comes to hustling. 
  5. Hire a sales coach or business coach: My biggest advice for anyone starting a business is you need a tribe and also a coach of some sort. Having a business, or sales, a coach can help you have accountability. We need accountability as an entrepreneur because we can put things off to the back burner to procrastinate whenever possible. 
  6. Set deadlines:  You can set deadlines, but you must achieve them and have that accountability in order for them to work. I always tell myself every single day I will accomplish these three things after that anything else accomplished is considered a huge success. 
  7. Celebrate wins: There will be days where you feel like you have not accomplished anything, or feel down. It happens no matter what. You have to look at how far you have come, but also what you have accomplished. Whether that accomplishment is personal, financial, or professional, you need to celebrate it. 
  8. Celebrate failures: You will feel defeated and like a failure sometimes. This is normal with anyone but you have to learn from these failures or mistakes. I always look whenever I can for new ways to grow and overcome mistakes. 
  9. Outsource: In order to grow my business I needed to find ways to outsource. What did I outsource? The things that I can not do but know that my clients need such as SEO, website development, and copy editing. I also realized that I needed to have a VA/assistant. 
  10. Revisit your business: You need to be able to revisit your business as often as you can. Whenever I revisit I see so many more new opportunities. I launched some new programs and found ways to make additional revenue. 

 

My heart goes to you, I feel your pain. I feel it 100%, but you got this. You are strong. Here are the strong business owners. 

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of visions2images.com

 

Four Things No one Warns An Autistic Parent About 

Being an autistic mother has had some challenges, all of which I had to learn and problem solve.  It is after all whats parenting is all about. No one can tell you exactly what you are going to go through, or the right things. I would not ever change this challenge that I was given.  In fact, it has helped me to become a better person, mother, and business owner. I have gained so much more than I could ever imagine. I was determined to do what was best for my son. 

If you have an autistic child, I am here to share some of my personal thoughts, inspiration, and battles that I have gone through: 

    • You are going to cry. Embrace it and let it happen. It could be better, it could be worse. It doesn’t matter. You are a mother to a special needs child and it is TOUGH. You wish things were different.. Just let it out and know you are doing the best you can. You will cry for every little milestone, but also for all the goals missed. There will be a lot of comparison, but only compare your child to how far they have come and NO ONE ELSE. 
    • You are going to be super protective. No questions asked. There was a time when I didnt put him into programs because I didnt think he was ready or because people couldn’t handle him/us. You aren’t going to take any crap from anyone. You will be mama bear with a full wall built around the both of you. 

 

  • You are going to research and take risks. Let me tell you, there is not enough research out there. There just isn’t stay off Google and find advocates to talk with. Take risks in new things and new developments. I know that I took a HUGE risk by signing my son up for neurofeedback. There isnt enough data or information out there about it, but I took that risk because I knew it could be a great benefit if it worked. 
  • You will learn to NOT judge other parents or kids. We are all at different levels, we are all different and just cant compare or judge one another. We need more happiness and acceptance in this world. Period. 

   

I used to think of having an autistic son was ‘bad’ but it has made me patient and the best mother I could be. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I LOVEE all the things about autism and Antonio.  I learn to LOVE every single milestone and praise him. We have to learn to not see autism as being something so different and negative, but in reality it is pretty incredible.   

raisingchild2

Ways to Embrace Your Parenting Style

Author: Jessica Halverson

“If you don’t embrace who you are and accept who you are, you won’t be able to live a happy life.” ~ Ciara

This quote speaks to me on many levels. It especially rings true in parenthood. If you embrace who you are as a parent and accept that as the truest version, then perhaps you can have a happy time parenting.

Now, I’m not saying you have to be on top of your game every second of every day. I’m not even saying you are doing your absolute best at each turn. All I’m saying here is that if you fully step into the light of what YOUR parenting style may be, then you stand a chance at feeling the blessing and happiness that being a parent has to offer. Bad days will still happen; some days you may want to hide under a rock. However, strength will come from knowing that you are confident in the way you are raising your child(ren) and the laughter and fun times most likely will outweigh those rough patches.

What are three ways that you can enhance learning through your parenting?

 

  1. Know Your “Rules”
    The hardest part of parenting is watching your kids be upset, especially if you are the root cause of that frustration/upset. Boundaries are healthy, however, and establishing “rules” that should be adhered to is key. They associates consequences to their actions, learn where rules can bend, and understand that having a set of expectations can help their behavior and growth. These guidelines also help you stay consistent and realize where your lines are drawn to avoid too many loose cannon moments (that’s not to say those won’t happen from time to time – parenting can be stressful). The fact that rules, whether they are family rules or simply an internal list, will help both parents and kids have some semblance of routine and order to their days.
  2. Decide on Priorities Getting caught up in work, consumed by social media, or other “to-do’s” tends to happen every now and again. If you have created an order for your priorities, then you’ll be able to remind yourself of those and regain a better juggle of efforts. Pulling yourself out of whatever tunnel vision you let yourself go down will be needed. Priorities you have set may even shift, but allow that to happen. Once you decide on what parts of your life are important, bringing yourself back out of work-a-holic mode or down rabbit holes becomes easier. Give it a shot!
  3. Go Easy on Yourself Nothing that comes with parenting is a cakewalk. Lessons can be taught in any situation. Repeat that sentence to yourself. One of the best teachable moments every day, in my opinion, is that of forgiveness. Not only can you grant yourself some grace but when your child(ren) see that, they understand that adding that into their repertoire is okay also. My favorite motto for motherhood stands as, “Some days will be better than others.” Once in a while, I want to hide away and have two seconds of alone-time. Much of the time, I enjoy being around my heathens. My kids have rough days, I have rough days, and all of that is A-okay. We work it out, hug, talk, whatever may be helpful, and hold on to “Tomorrow is a new day.” A momentary lapse of judgement on the proper behavior does not a horrible day make. Attempting to focus on the positive and not beat yourself up for a mistake means we have a chance to support each other as we get older.

Falling into your parenting will undoubtedly have stumbles along the way. Embrace them all, be confident in your abilities even on those tough days, and know that you are NOT alone in any of those struggles. Your way may not be the exact way I parent, but that does not make it wrong or worse in any way, shape, or form. Accept all the bumps and make those happy moments. Keep up the good work!

parenting2

For a more in-depth look at how you can embrace your parenting to help your children learn and develop, check out my ebook here.

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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with Susie Liberatore | Entrepreneur. 

The Best Autism Parenting Books

Being a parent is no easy job, especially when you have an autistic kid. I really enjoy reading the different books that are about autism parenting books. These are all fantastic books that will help you develop a better relationship with your child.

  1. Positive Parenting for Autism: Powerful Strategies to Help Your Child Overcome Challenges and Thrive
  2. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism 
  3. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition 
  4. A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive 
  5. Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism 
  6. Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World 

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Summer style guide


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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with ways to make money AND save money!

The Best Victory Yet – Autism Parenting

I am going to GET REAL honest here. Parenting is hard; you have heard me say this time and time again. There were times when I doubted myself. There were times I laid on the bathroom floor and cried and begged God to help me. Life has thrown curve balls at me for some time now.

I had an emotional day the other day. I literally cried most of the day in between sales calls. Why? Because Antonio had some new assessments and evaluations. For some reason, my anxiety was through the roof. I had to hurry up and leave so I could have a panic attack in my car before driving home. I had to take a deep breath and think of God during this time. 

Why a panic attack?

Because at that moment in time nothing else mattered but Antonio. I used to pray so hard to God to make Antonio talk. I hated the word autism at first. I hated life. But since making changes in our lives, we saw the progress that we needed. That is what I should have been praying for instead of speaking. He can follow directions and listen and imitate; the list goes on and on. They told us that he’s 40 months old, but developmentally he’s at 30 months old. This moment is when my panic attack kicked in. Hearing that was like a victory dance! We are finally catching up, we aren’t slowing down, and he’s doing amazzzing. Some could argue with this, but going dairy and gluten-free has been the best decision ever. I’m forever happy and grateful for our health insurance and aba team.

I had the hardest time adapting to these obstacles of being an autistic child’s mother. But I had to do what I had to do. I would cry and beg everyone for any help. I didn’t know what to do about any of it. All that needed doing was to get him some therapy and patience, and it would all fix itself in time.

Due to the many obstacles in life, I have changed a lot. I have started journaling, having a better schedule, allowing family time, less screen time, more kid activities, more physical activity, going to church, and self-care. Because all of this does matter, you cannot be by your children all day every day. It will DRAIN you and your life out. Trust me on this. All we can do is pray and know that time will get us through anything!

autismtruth

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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with Susie Liberatore | Entrepreneur.

The Best Sensory Books For Autism Kids

Sensory books are so much fun for autism kids, they really do love them and are the best way for them to learn and have fun. These are some of our favorite books that we use on a daily basis. We know that any mom and child can appreciate these books!

  1. Touch! My Big Touch-and-Feel Word Book
  2. Never Touch a Monster 
  3. Noisy Farm (My First Touch and Feel Sound Book) 
  4. Never Touch a Dragon 
  5. The Ocean (Touch and Explore) 
  6. See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book 
  7. ABC & 123 Learning Songs: Interactive Children’s Sound Book (11 Button Sound) (Early Bird Song Books) 

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Summer style guide


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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with ways to make money AND save money!

Autism: Positive Parenting Makes the Difference

Life has a tendency to throw a lot at us. We all are going through some obstacle at one point or another and manage to pull it all together. I see this more and more everyday. When my son was diagnosed with autism, I felt lost and sorry for us. I wanted people to feel sorry for us. I felt like I was alone and no one else could understand.

Then, I started to notice so many people, moms included, going through their own struggles. I witnessed people going through infertility and felt bad for them. I observed moms who’s kids had been sick or in ICU after birth. We all face some hardship in our lives and should not compare each person’s problems. Every issue is so different and unique that we can’t say “oh she doesnt understand what I am going through or even care.”

DSC_6792

People tell me all the time I am so positive. Well, why should we be negative? I try to make the best of a situation whenever I can and stop being so hard on myself and those around me. The truth is that I am so hard on people sometimes. I am so hard on Antonio’s teachers.. my parents.. my husband… even Antonio. All because we can’t get him to talk or make the progress that he needs. So what do I do? I take my frustration out on someone else by being rude, mean, or just thinking I know it all (but I don’t).

Recently, I wasn’t happy with Antonio’s progress. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I literally hold him like a baby and let him watch my lips while I make different noises or sounds. Next, I allow him to imitate me to get the results that I want. I thought, “it can’t be that hard. Why aren’t they doing it at his speech?”

But there is one difference here… I am his mom. I am able to give him that comfort and love. I am his best friend. I am his go to person. He tried so hard to do all the things that I was doing. He made good progress. I again was wondering why they couldn’t get anywhere with him? I knew it was because I had the advantage of being his mom.

The other element I add is to be loud… and I make sure to really be annoying trying to get him to talk. I am silly and loud all the time. I don’t care if people look at us or laugh, etc. It is what works for us. I narrate situations constantly so he can understand and at least try to communicate whenever possible.

See, we all have some challenge and are all hard on one another. Just live in the moment and get excited when some small success happens. When Antonio made the same noise back, I gave hugs and kisses and he was super happy and smiling. Who cares about blaming someone. At the end of the day, we are all trying and have the same goal.

Shop Autism Things:

 

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of visions2images.com** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with ways to make money AND save money!

Mom Thoughts About a Nonverbal Child

I wonder all the time, literally all the time, if talking will make it all better?? By that I mean would life be “easier?” Would speaking make our bond even stronger? Would we have better communication? I ponder so many things all day. I wish that I had the answers and the easy way out, but I don’t.

Talking will make everything else go away, right?? That’s what I think. His autism will just be gone and we can be “normal.” But, it will always be there; it will just present itself less and less. Hence why it is so important he gets all the help he can now rather than later.

If he can talk, he can do what other kids are doing and can truly try new things, right? Does that even matter? Will that really help? These are my thoughts… constantly… as I try to fill my head with answers and wonder what ‘talking’ will actually accomplish.

What if he’s able to start talking but doesn’t want to and would rather throw tantrums? Because, let’s be honest, such is the toddler life. Nothing else can be done. But then he talks back and a whole new issue arises, right?

Will he still stim if he can talk? Will he follow directions? What would it be like if he could speak? What really does being verbal achieve?!?

There’s more to it than just talking — that’s what I have to keep telling myself.

It’s a two way communication street. He has to understand and talk in order for it to be successful.

Let’s just live in the moment and focus on what’s in front of us. Let’s stop comparing and questioning. Let’s enjoy those snuggles and giggles that he still loves and hold on to each a little tighter because one day he will be older, he will get a bit embarrassed, and I won’t be able to get those hugs.

Shop some of our favorite autism activities.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of visions2images.com

  1. Stages Learning Materials Language Builder Emotion Picture Cards Expressions, Conversation, and Situation Photo Cards for Autism Education, ABA Therapy
  2. Stages Learning Language Builder 9-Box Set Educational Flash Cards
  3. Stages Learning Materials Language Builder Picture Noun Flash Cards Photo Vocabulary Autism Learning Products for ABA Therapy and Speech Articulation

PS Check out these Amazing Cotton Baby Booties!  They are super fun and adorable. Plus they are brand new and are lightweight booties are made from 100% organic cotton. Don’t worry they are perfect for year-round wear. AND did I mention super comfy?!

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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with ways to make money AND save money!

The Autism Truths From a Parenting Perspective

People don’t understand what autism is and they think they can figure it out from Google. That is not the case. I don’t ever recommend looking things up on Google; I learned this the hard way. I tried to find the right tools and resources time after time but met dead ends.

I tried to ask people questions and they always responded “every child is different.” I got the answers that I didn’t want. They say that you know your child better than anyone else, and I was always like sure I do, but how do I help him progress in a normal way?  

I ask myself many questions…

 

  • Will my child be normal? This is the constant battle I go back and forth about daily. What really is normal? I can’t define it so why does it even matter? I define “normal” as not flapping his hands and stimming all the time. I define it as doing the activities and having the behavior that regular kids do… you know… everything. My kid is special and unique in his own way and there is nothing I can change.
  • Will he be in special ed?? Well, that is a question that I do not know the answer. I know that currently he is getting all the help that he can, but in the future it might still affect him. Only time will tell for this one.
  • Will he ever talk?? I am positive that he will, it is just a matter of time before he does. It is a never-ending crusade, but I have complete faith. Each day we make small strides that lead us in the right direction.
  • Will he ever calm the stimming down? Stimming is when he makes noises and flaps his hands. This behavior arises when he tries to adjust to stress, boredom, life, or whatever the case may be. It can be pretty constant. I am sure in time this will fade away as well. Once he can talk, I am confident that this reaction will decrease just because of the fact that he won’t be as stressed or frustrated.

DSC_6743

Being an autism parent is hard because I put a lot of the blame on myself. I know that it isn’t my fault, but as a parent we want the best for our kids and try to fix everything. When we can’t, we beat ourselves up and tend to find ways to escape.

Shop our favorites 

 Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of visions2images.com

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

Read our disclosure.

Like this blog post? Want more like this? Sign up for our  newsletter so you can stay up to date with ways to make money AND save money!