The Best Five-Year-Old Birthday Gifts 

Can we just talk about how my little boy is going to be FIVE!?!! I can not believe that he is going to be five, I mean it flew by. For real. I love being his mom and seeing how he grows every day. 

Each year has brought so much joy and fun times. Each year has been so unique, but I am loving how things are so different now. He is so independent and really enjoys new things. He LOVES Mickey, but he also has other favorite shows now, which is so GREAT! 

He is so curious and interested in so many things, that it makes me so excited to see him developing his personality. We went through Amazon together and handpicked these items that he wants. I thought I would share it since I know how hard it can be shopping for a five-year-old! 

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Ravensburger Mickey & Minnie: At The Skate Park 100 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle 

 

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Ceaco Disney Friends Disney Diner Jigsaw Puzzle, 200 Pieces

 

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toddler Musical Instruments Wooden Percussion Instruments Toy

 

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Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards

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USA Toyz Moosh Fluffy Modeling Clay – Soft Foam Non Drying Clay 

 

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MAGTiMES Magnetic Letters and Numbers for Educating Kids in Fun

 

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LEGO DUPLO Disney Mickey’s Vacation House 10889 Toy House Building Set

 

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Delta Children Chair Desk with Storage Bin, Disney Mickey Mouse

 

 

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Mickey Mouse Disney’s Mickey’s Musical Express Train Set

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Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope, Extra-Large Dual Eyepieces, Preschool STEM Toy

 

 

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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.   

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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 

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How Motherhood Changes Us

Why are we so hard in ourselves?  

Lately, I’ve been hard on myself – like, super hard. I wish I was farther along, I could get my life together, and I had more motivation. I mean, the list can go on and on.

Why didn’t I meet my sales goals? Why isn’t money magically appearing? Why are there more expenses and bills this month? Why can’t I manage all of this? Why are all of these things and more happening?  

Oh, I forgot to clean today. The clothes are still in the dryer. Oh, and my son is climbing on me for attention. The dogs need food and now have my shoes. Like, this is life. I’m sure every single mom can relate.  

It doesn’t matter if you have a business or you’re working, if you have one kid, three kids, none of that matters. We’re all going through the same experience. We feel these frustrations often, and we sit there, we try to navigate through, and think our lives are harder or different than the person next to us. We’re all just trying to figure it out together.

I honestly think that trying to manage a business while having kids, personally, is the hardest. I’ve worked when I have kids, and it was hard too. But I think owning a business and being a mom is by far the hardest thing ever because you have to have the time management and everything under control.

The truth is it is hard to be a parent. Before being a parent, I had no idea… right? No one does. But I had no idea how big of a role time management and multitasking played. I didn’t realize how forgetful I would be and how much I would procrastinate. At the end of the day though, I know my son is only going to be this age once, so I need to take it all in while I can.

What are your biggest obstacles as a mother or business owner or both?

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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) 

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Should Parents Really Give In?

It doesn’t matter if your child has autism, like mine, or not, parenting is hard. It doesn’t matter if you only have one child or four; it is hard. I noticed how hard it has been to have an autistic son more so now than before. If you would asked me prior to kids what I would with an autistic son.. I would of looked at you like what is that? If you would of asked me years ago what being a mother was… I would say love and being there. But things change, people change.

That’s the truth people change. I know I have changed. When you become a mother you change in so many ways. I never would’ve imagine going gluten free. I never imagined going on antidepressants. Most of all I never would of imagined having an autistic son. But you know what? I changed. I grew up and realized so much! We all need to come together as parents and help each other out and stop comparing. Why is it natural to compare?

Let’s talk autism, though. We don’t use traditional ways of playing with my son because it doesn’t work for him. I am starting to see more of the toddler years in my son. He is ‘behind’ so his terrible twos are happening in his three’s. But at the same time we are working through these tantrums. Man, he doesn’t talk yet, but he can throw some serious tantrums. He tests me every day lately. It’s important to keep your cool and even keep your rules.

I realize we have to learn how to laugh more and give in a little more. So what if my son didn’t eat all of his dinner? So what if he wants a cookie for a snack? Does that make us bad parents? Not at all. It keeps us sane.

So, let the kid eat a little more today. Allow the kid to have fun and play on the iPad for a little longer.  He is only going to have these moments. This all too shall pass.

The next time you want to lose it, don’t because there is another mother who is right there laughing with you, trying to get through the day. Let go of the things that can be released.

parenting

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The Top Reasons for ABA

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

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

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

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

Our favorite Autism Finds

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