Mom thoughts

Sensory Processing Disorder – what worked for us.

img_2272

Here is our 3 boys playing monopoly. Jr is in red shirt. (2010 Sidney house)

My youngest son has sensory processing disorder and we have tried multiple therapy ideas with him in the past 16 years. The best therapy we found was a swing shaped like a laundry bag with 2 open sides. We hooked it up in our basement at the Sidney house. It was very helpful when he was over stimulated. He’d swing until he was calm. We also used a bumpy seat cushion, a ball seat with legs and sand paper. At school he had gum to chew to keep him from being fidgety. I also got erasers you can disassemble and put back together. They didn’t last long he got bored and was throwing them.

fa333da7-2d82-446b-8f9d-88546e2ef070

Looking through pictures I think he’s always wearing blue.

We have learned to pick your battles. The clinking of metal silverware really bothers him. So we go to restaurants that use plastic silverware one where kitchen is further away from seating area. For special occasions we can’t avoid those restaurants. We would tell him a few days in advance and talk again day of meal. With positive reinforcement we have avoided major meltdowns. Advance preparation is the key. No surprises for him. I can only remember one instance that I was not able to avoid a meltdown. I took him to church and they had really loud music. I tried distracting him with paper and crayons. It did not work. He curled up in a ball and hid under the pew. We excuse ourselves and left earlier. Another time before he was 5 the fire alarm went off at the dentist office. Loud screeching noises and flashing lights. My poor child. Fast as a mouse he ran to a corner away from people. He sat down pulled up his knees and covered his ears. It was upsetting. He pretty much was in the fetal position. To this day he hates the dentist. We even changed offices 😦

Products we have found to help during his growing up have been limited. Here is a link to online store where we found awesome products for sensory issues. https://www.southpaw.com We got a swing thru them and it was like night and day. It really helped Brian Jr a lot. Other items we bought from them was Feetballs pictured here. He used it at home when he was using the computer. He could wiggle all he wanted and it never tipped like a regular chair would. We also used a Fitball seating disc. I sent to school so he could use there. It helped him keep attention longer. Tri-grip pencils really helped also. Order a catalog they have tons of items for sensory issues. 

feet balls

I’ve been doing some research online to see what has helped other parents. People are very supportive nowadays. When jr was first diagnosed we got a lot of crap. People didn’t understand that he was not choosing to act this way. I kept getting told ways to discipline him the old fashioned way. I chose not to do those ways. Why discipline a child for something he couldn’t control ? That’s like punishing him for having brown hair. Not going to happen by me.

Here are some remarks from my Facebook friend Denise on what has helped for her son. He was diagnosed with Aspergers. She says “They had my son listen to 20 minutes of classical music at school before he was sent to class. It seemed to calm him. He also had three safe places at school. If he ever felt overwhelmed, he was allowed to get up and just walk out and go straight to one of his safe places without asking. This kept him calm. He got to pick his 3 places. One of them was the vice principal’s office. That’s the one he used the most. So they had a little chair over in the corner. And he could just walk in and sit there without anyone saying anything to him. So safe places work. Another good therapy is actual therapy. My son was on Medicaid. So it may depend on the insurance. But Medicaid actually sends therapist around to schools. My son’s therapist would pull him from one of his less important classes (like art or music or P.E.) once a week to talk to him. It was free of charge to me. Sometimes these therapists can offer suggestions on exercises they can do to concentrate more or to stabilize their moods. Another thing that helps is rewards for good behavior. For instance at my son’s school, they purchased a PlayStation for him. And if he was able to go so many hours without having an episode, he was allowed so many minutes on the PlayStation. They had it set up in one of the rooms not used for teaching. Also my school provided my son an adult shadow to sit with him in class. She couldn’t help him with his work. But she was there to kind of guide him. For instance if he would space out, she’d tell him to take out his book and pencil. Stuff like that. They also allowed him to go only half a day once he got into high school. So he would have the special needs bus bring him home at lunch. Because high school can be overwhelming for a regular teen, can you imagine how overwhelming it is for a child with aspergers? Well he’s an adult now. Out in the world. If it wasn’t for his amazing teachers/school staff coming up with all of these great ideas during his IEP meetings, it would’ve been hard. He was sent four hours away when he was 7 to the medical university in Charleston. Because for several years before that, the doctors couldn’t get his diagnosis right. Once he was hospitalized for a week, his aspergers was brought to light and life got easier. There was no more uncertainty. When he turned 18, I finally put in for him to get SSI pay. He was approved in two months. Because of the referral letters submitted from the doctors, therapist and a lady at our local department of disability and special needs center. Everyone has always been so supportive.”

This past June Brian graduated from high school with a regents degree. I remember a man saying “Every kid that he’s seen go into the Boces program ended up in jail by their 18th birthday.” He was CSE chairperson in Sidney and this was over 10 years ago.  Needless to say he was fired. It was a conference call and Jr’s therapist heard it. Guy was a horrible person. He never should have been in a position of authority for special needs kids. So for all the parents out their with a special needs kid “NEVER give up. You can prove negative remarks wrong and do miracles for your kids.” We never gave up fighting and never will. God gave us Brian Jr as a gift. It has been amazing to see how far he has come. he even got his driving permit this week. He was laughing because other teens at DMV took almost 1/2 to do test. It’s 20 questions – 30 minutes really? Makes you wonder type of people we have out there driving on our roads. Jr will climb mountains and fight dragons for the rest of his life. Mom and dad will be right besides him fighting with him. Take 30 minutes out of your week and have a 1 on 1 conversation with a special needs child. You will be surprised how awesome they really are if you take the time with them. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. We are a community raising these angels and need to support each other. Join me in this fight it’s so worth it.

Till next time hug your hubby really tight. Mine is my first line of defense in this crazy world. Stick tight to those that support you and those that don’t they can “Kiss my britches” hugs to all. Have a great week.

img_2619

His diploma arrived from school and dad was proud to present it to him.

Exploring with hubby, Mom thoughts, What was I thinking?

Life was simpler then.

IMG_3515

I’m way out in God’s country taking a peek into how the other side lives. Peace, quiet, vehicles from the years past and cute little baby goats. If you look hard enough at any situation you can find the silver lining.

Presently it’s raining outside. Crappy for some but peaceful comforting music to others. We are way out in the back woods of NY. Last sign we passed, many miles back, said South New Berlin. There was a school, a gas station, a few churches and a bar also. Typical small town country life. Out here you’ll never now what you will find. It’s the country way of life. It’s the way I was raised. Little tiny town called Schenevus NY. Somewhere between Albany and Binghamton. Just follow route 7 and you’ll find it. Many small towns getting smaller while bigger places like Oneonta and Cooperstown are growing.

IMG_3536

The little mom and pop stores are pretty much all gone. A fine memory of times passed. Penny candy and candy cigarettes. How I miss those easy days. Nobody was trying to steal other people’s kids or your retirement investment, out of your back yard. We lived way out on a hill. For awhile I was oldest kid on the school bus, in elementary school. No school shootings or your neighbors kid strung out on heroin. Tad poles in ditch by the road to watch grow. Poor frogs they have no clue what awaits them. Maybe it would be kinder to just squish them now. Don’t make them suffer watching their siblings be run over by grandmas caddy on her way to church. I miss those days. Hell I miss my dad. He passed years ago but I think of him everyday. He’d be so proud of my son Logan. Bringing home another project car and “yes” it’s a Ford. He loved his Fords. Waiting for the idiot my son bought the car from. He knew we were coming a week ago. But still his ass was not here. He said 10 minutes which in country time is 2 hours. No respect for others this younger crowd. I would have “gotten swatted” our parents would say. As for me and my boys it was “Dad ain’t gonna be happy. We’ll have hell to pay”. Or mom’s famous words “The shit is getting deep pick up your feet”. Or my saying “I don’t have a shovel big enough to deal with your shit. Also heard “Go running home to mama you sissy” lol. Simpler days ☹️

 

IMG_3517

Do the kids nowadays even know how to entertain themselves? How about going in the back yard and climbing trees with friends? I remember a picture of my friend Harmony way up in a tree. Happy as a pig in shit I reckon. Simpler days. Hide and go seek in the back yard with flash lights, for hours. No body going home till mom starts to holler. New it was time to go home when street lights came on or out in country the lightening bugs would come out. Just 5 more minutes. Same people nowadays live far away. Different states even. Some of to explore this big world in places like Japan and Thailand. I’ll never go to any of those places. But hubby and I joke about going to Australia, Germany and Ireland. Getting back to our roots. Seeing how our ancestors lived. Battery dying and son took charger. Why would you need phone charger when your outside with no electricity? Like the old commercial “Only time will tell”. Tootsie pop commercial if I’m thinking right. I loved tootsie pops. Getting to the center and biting into that tiny piece of tootsie roll was pure heaven. My favorite was the raspberry ones. Do you remember the wrappers that had Indians on them? Not allowed nowadays might hurt someone’s feelings. To hell with that. “Suck it up buttercup as my hubby would say”. Simpler times.

IMG_3519

Been 20 years this past September for us. I’m ready for many more years. Some would have called it quits years ago. But I’m old school. I strongly believe my wedding vows. Till death do us part. May we never stray far apart. My lover. My best friend. My soulmate. I want to see eternity come with you. No one else I’d rather be with. Wish others had relationship like ours. Up and downs. Knock down, drag out fights. Small times apart. But if I need you your right there next to me. Like when I had surgery and was hurting really bad. You crawled up into that hospital bed. You held me until I fell back to sleep. That’s true love. Sadly many people will never experience that. Like my hs friend Rachel. Dying in a car accident because someone wanted to see “Just how fast this car could go”. Poor Kahlee having to grow up with out her mom. Thinking about it breaks my heart. So glad I found her on Facebook. It’s a modern day friend and family finder. Back when I was growing up everyone knew where everyone was. Life was simpler then.

IMG_3524

I remember when our kids were younger. Dominic got head butted by Jiminy the goat. Over at Gasper and Elaine’s house. Friends of grandpa Fred’s. Out in the country in Worcester. Another one of those quaint little towns of yester years. Elaine is now past like my dad. Not a clue about Gasper. His parents brought him all the way to the “America’s” from Italy. For a better life. It was I’m sure. Elaine was a great woman. She canned her own sauce and had a huge garden. I’ve tried but can’t get pass 5 or more small plants. I grew a 4 foot patch in our backyard in Sidney. The chives were awesome. We loved cutting fresh chives for our potato salad. Kids enjoyed growing a sun flower plant. It got so big it was taller then our front porch roof. I remember decorating for Halloween. Our friend Kathy Walker brought up some blow ups for the front lawn. We got a blow up Frankenstein. Guess he had “too many to drink. We ended up putting a brick in his Butt. Brick was from destroying old porch steps. So unsafe. Did a lot in Sidney house. Many good memories and a few bad. That was back then this is how. So many changes. We got a new house and had unsuccessful first year doing a garden. Maybe next year. Logan wants one to so as long as he helps next year could be good. I hope. Will have to get all our friends together to help us. The whole huge group of 4 or 5.


		
What was I thinking?

To blog or not to blog, that is the question ???

When I first mentioned I wanted to do a blog on Facebook group, everyone was excited. Here we are and I've posted over 8 and noone has started following me but a brave few  :-( Worried my topics are boring to some. It is the life of a trucker's wife, not much glamour there. We've been married over 2 years so that might be part of it too. Doesn't really matter our kids are older now and we can pretty much go off anytime we want. I'm collecting ideas of places to go if anyone has an idea. Ok now onto the true reason for this post.

Should you blog ??? There are many groups on Facebook that will show you how to blog. Most will give you links to sign up with. They are getting a kick back from companies like Blue Host every time someone signs up using their special link that offers a special price. If you search the internet you can get the same discounted price without lining someone else’s pocket. That’s how they make $1000’s every month. Enticing you with prices and offering to give you low prices. Ha Ha you can sign up without them. I’m signing up solo and getting same price so I’m doing it my way.

img_3220-1

I will win this race 🙂

They offer multiple classes instructing you on how to set up your blog, how many times to post a week and to make sure your blog automatically shares with Pinterest, Facebook and twitter. A social media savvy friend can help you with this also and they are usually w free. I’ve done a lot of research on blogs and what catches people’s eyes the most. It’s the pictures. Make sure you have good pictures. Foggy out of focus pictures won’t do. Post bright happy pictures they draw more attention.

img_3085

Need to get comfy to read.

Recently I was researching what type of blog post catch the most attention. So I tried it out to see my response. It increased my view but not as high as some would think. I’m going to research further their must be a magical way to get readers some how. I just need to work harder or do I ? Some post daily while others like me try to do 2 a week. I’ve been watching my stats on WordPress and it’s showing me great information. Shows me Tuesday is most popular day for people to view my blog. Early in the morning also.  thinking of setting up new blogs to post early in the am maybe around 6. Luckily WordPress let’s you schedule in advance. You can go to bed and it automatically does your post at your chosen time. Those that sign up for email will automatically have post in their email just waiting to be read whenever they want. Pretty convenient I think, I’ve subscribed to a few. I like to go to a quiet place, with a cup of coffee and enjoy reading. Lots of interesting blogs out there, something for everyone. Here’s an informative blog I found that has some interesting statistics, Life hacker.  I’m a numbers person so I like to see the statistics. Thousands more online but this piqued my interest. I’m willing to answer questions if anyone has any and if I don’t have answer I will research online to find it.

Here is an article about Blog Strategies. It might help you decide if you want to jump right in or just test the waters and do it slowly. I jumped right in and am learning everyday. Just realized today that we can change the size of the pictures we use. Who knew > wow. My biggest tip to new bloggers is to play around with your platform. So many options out there your guaranteed to find one that works for you. From font color, size, type it’s endless on what you can create. I’ve been checking out other blogs to get an idea of what I like. WordPress is amazing they have 100’s of preset designs you can use. Try them out and see what fits best for your style of writing. You can always change if you find something you like better. It’s not carved in stone so explore. I remember watching Flintstones as a child and seeing how the newspaper was carved from stone. That’s some heavy news for you. Glad times have changed. Italics tell me what you think. It’s the little thing that can add up to great things. Can’t hurt to try. Final tip before I leave. It’s a big one. SPELL CHECK. Make sure you run it. Nothing worse than a crappy little mistake drawing, away from the focus of your blog. It’s quick it’s easy so make sure you do it. I’m not an expert I’m learning as I do. But hey, that’s the fun way anyways. Another great tip is pug in your laptop. Nothing worse than it dying mid sentence. Like just happened to me. LOL

 If anyone wants to share their blog links in comments I can check out your site. It's a learning process but I'm up for it. As always hug your trucker tight and have a great night.
Kathy O.