The Affordable Security Camera Any Mom Needs!

Last year I invested in the Ring Doorbell and I love it. There aren’t any monthly fees, nothing. It was exactly what I needed to feel secure and know that I was safe. 

So this past Christmas, I invested in security cameras. I used to have other ones in the past, but I hate the monthly fees and upkeep that come with it. 

I personally love this one just because of the fact it is easy to use and doesn’t have any additional fees. It was super easy to set up, too. I didn’t have to waste time trying to deal with tech support!  

Get Ring Stick Up Cam Battery HD security camera with custom privacy controls! 

Meet Susie Liberatore

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 are. 

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

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

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

How to explain to your friends and family your son is nonverbal

Whenever I go somewhere new, and they say hi to my son, I have to explain “he is non-verbal.” We will either try to say hi vocally or with his device. He is getting better with words, that is for sure. However, it still can be challenging because after that they might want to have more conversations or ask questions. 

They don’t know what to expect. What does nonverbal mean? How does he communicate? You mean he doesn’t talk at all? I get these questions all the time. It has given me anxiety over the years, but in reality now it doesn’t bother me as much. I am thankful and grateful for this little boy and accepted him for who he is. 

However, whenever we see someone new or haven’t seen anyone in a long time, I like to make sure they understand what this means. 

  1. Set boundaries: You want to make sure to let them know what to do if he gets frustrated but also how to talk calm. There are certain things that a child might like or not like. There are certain ‘triggers’ that can cause a child to be overwhelmed. If there are any triggers make sure to share it. 
  2. Make sure to tell them how he communicates: Whether it is sign language, a device, or verbally (just not well) you will want to tell them. If it is a combination of a few of these make sure to make it clear as well. Also, what words he knows, make a list for verbally and on the device. Be open and share the most common phrases and words used. 
  3. Eye Contact: This is one of the first things that I learned about having an auistic child. Eye contact is important, it really helps ausitic children to relate easier. It helps to also listen carefully and communicate better. Get down on their level so they can understand you better. 

It is important to let others around you such as friends and family know this, and how to handle it so that everyone can have fun and communicate. Nothing is more frustrating as a parent and a non-verbal son than someone trying to figure it out or not understand. Also, one more key piece of advice, be patient. Sometimes children can get frustrated and overwhelmed.

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

The Progress of a Five Year Autism Boy

I always say that I love the age Antonio is at all the time. Truth is every day he changes and I LOVE IT.  I love seeing him grow. Isn’t that what parenting is all about?  I am SO proud of this kid. 

Lately, he is SO independent. He literally doesn’t like to ask for help unless he HAS to. He loves getting dressed, undressed, putting his clothes away, and giving himself a bath. There are so many chores that he has to do each day and really likes it. In fact, he really LOVED setting up the Christmas decorations all by himself. I let him decorate anyway he wanted to because he really enjoyed it. I couldn’t pull him away from the Christmas tree; I am excited for Christmas this year with him.

He is a good listener. He literally is a rule follower and listens *most* of the time. I mean he is a toddler and sometimes I have to say things a few times, but he will listen and do what is asked. He is very curious about so many things. When he wanted to help with cooking I had to make sure that he knew the kitchen was not okay to be in without mommy. He picked up on it pretty quickly. 

He is so creative. Back to his Christmas tree.., it does not look professional but it looks adorable and he used his imagination. He put a Santa hat on top of the tree, he wanted it. I am very open to allowing my kid to use his imagination and think outside of the box. Even, when he plays with his Legos he has so much imagination and creates so many amazing things. 

All of these things might not seem like a huge deal, but as an autistic mama, IT IS. He is still incredibly behind with so many things and whenever I see progress improve, I get so excited. 

It makes my heart so happy to see him growing each day and having fun. I love seeing how much progress he has made every day. Hang in there mama’s this too shall pass.

After working in the agency and corporate world I saw so many businesses missing out on creative opportunities. There is nothing worse than going to from a website to social media only to think to yourself “is this still the same company?” Because their branding isn’t consistent! This is how businesses lose leads.

I help mid-size businesses bring in new leads because of their digital branding.

I turned my passion into a profitable business as a single mother to an autistic kid. I love filling in the gaps that are missing in businesses I crave this!

I am the Art Director of visions2images & invested over a decade mastering the digital design world and was an early insider to the Digital Marketing space learning the twists and turns of exactly how to bring that physical brand to the online space.    

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 Journey of A Non-verbal Four Year Old.

Every time I hear my son make a new noise I cry a little bit 

I’m so proud of that kid and how determined he is. Ask anyone and they would agree that he is the hardest working determine kid ever. 

No doubt. I work hard to get him to communicate verbally. Even when he makes a new noise I get so excited. When he makes a new word I get excited. I keep enforcing all the good things he does by clapping and smiling after all it lights me up. Here’s the thing though.. I can’t even imagine how hard and frustrated he is because he can’t use his vocals as well as he has hoped. I can’t even imagine.  Sometimes I want to break down and cry because it is so hard for him, but he keeps smiling and laughing away. It is hard for me to see him struggle sometimes because I want to make it all better. His determination is what helps me every day. 

He tries sooooo hard to make the noises when asked to. It is so cute and fun to see how hard he tries. I begin to think why can’t be put the noises and words together? I begin to wonder if he thinks he is making the noises. I wonder what is going on inside of his head. Sometimes they sound right on but most of the time not so much. The one thing I do know is when music is on he tries to imitate the noises more than ever.  

I love the support he gets and how excited everyone gets. Just over the past 50 days he has made such critical progress including some random ya, na. So many people have cried when he makes such progress and I couldn’t be happier. People love listening and hearing his journey. This has been such an amazing journey to have him home with me and help him increase his noises. 

But he can make consistent noises when asked “up” and “oh” this is huge and has been such a blessing. I learned from his teachers how to shape the words and how to implement them with him. He has mastered these and is still working on new ones. With a non-verbal child you have to really open your mouth and show them the noises, tongue, and mouth. At first, Antonio thought it was so funny, but now it is a habit for him to make those faces when he makes those noises and it is the cutest thing ever. My closing thoughts to anyone struggling with a non-verbal child; hang in there and keep working at it all the time. Support your son, cheer him on, and love him; he will appreciate it and become even more determined and excited. 

The one thing I know is that with all the love and support he has he will be fine. One day he might talk one day he might not. It’s all in God’s hands, to be honest. But I’m here for him every single step of the journey. 

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. 

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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