It hardly seems possible, but it has been ten years since I had my first publication on a national level. It was also the first time I opened myself up, allowing readers a front-row seat to witness the raw emotions of learning to parent a special needs child. American Life League’s magazine Celebrate Life, took a chance on me and published I’m DJ’s Mommy. The response was amazing. Now, ten years later that piece is what has inspired me to write the memoir, The DJ Journey. Please join me in celebrating this very special anniversary by clicking the link and reading the original article in Celebrate Life Magazine.
Have you ever considered the sensory benefits presented by the Kentucky Derby? A well-rounded sensory diet has been touted as one of the great hallmarks to proper childhood development and education. With minimal effort and even less cost, you can create a fun-filled, sensory balanced day for you and your kiddo.
Whether your child is typical in development on the autism spectrum or somewhere in between, a well rounded sensory diet is crucial to proper development. So, with no further ado, let’s delve into how we can turn this typically adult day into a fantastic childhood memory.
If your child doesn’t already have those plastic horses that have been around for what seems like hundreds of years, you can pick some up at your local Dollar Tree or other discount store. Using paint, markers, stickers or whatever else is at your disposal decorate the horses so they are different and therefore, visually stimulating. Even getting horses in different colors and sizes makes an impact to the eye.
The tactile sense is enhanced by not only holding and galloping the horses around the track but in making the track itself. Depending on the preferences and needs of your child you have two options for creating the racetrack. You can spread sand or freshly dug-up dirt in a plastic container to create the track. But if that isn’t a preferable option you can create a turf track by using rocks or other markers to create an oval track in the grass. Just make sure the track is big enough to accommodate the number of expected children racing horses, be that two or twenty.
Everyone knows that the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps are synonymous. But did you know that mint is believed to stimulate the brain? For your child’s Derby Day allow him/her to nibble on raw mint or suck on peppermint candy. For an additional health boost try drinking water infused with lemon. Whether you use the mint and lemon together or separately it is sure to rev up your child’s taste buds.
Auditory input can be achieved musically or by isolated sound. For the former try listening to or singing My Old Kentucky Home prior to the start of your race. You can find it, as well as other auditory gems, such as the bugle Call to Post, the sound of releasing the horses from the gate and the calling of an actual horse race, by performing a simple Google search.
Of course, no Derby would be complete without a cheering crowd. The app Instant Applause is fun, free and easy. Once you’ve downloaded the app and opened it, you simply tap the large orange circle to hear the crowd’s cheering and applause. The beauty of this app is that the more and faster you hit the button the louder and more ongoing the cheers. Therefore, you can simulate real racing by increasing the number of times you press the button as the horses draw closer to the finish line.
The winner in your derby doesn’t need a blanket of roses to stimulate the sense of smell, a single rose will do the trick. The scent of roses has been known to enhance a feeling of well-being and calmness. This is especially true in individuals who have ADD/ADHD, sensory processing disorder or are on the autism spectrum.
Now that you know all the information let your child have some fun on this typically adult day. Allow him/her to take his/her decorated horse around the homemade track while sipping a mint and lemon drink to the sounds of a cheering crowd. Then let the calming aroma of roses fill the air as all the racers claim their spot in a fun-filled, sensory satisfying day.
And when the fastest two minutes in sports is over you can bask in the knowledge that not only did you have fun with your friends but you fed the ever voracious sensory appetite of your developing child. Happy Derby Day, everyone!
Today I saw a video of you shamelessly mocking a kid on the autism spectrum. I am the mother of two special needs sons one of which who is on the spectrum. I am also the founder of P3 an online support group for parents with special needs kids. I say this to let you know I am well-versed in dealing with people such as yourself.
It appears you singled out an average working man to mock for your own narcissistic reasons. Who knew that the average working person who spends money on your albums was such a scourge to you. Your defense in such deplorable behavior is that you found his behavior odd and thereby deemed the “younger generation” messed up. That would be your second insult upon the individuals who buy your albums. At this point, it would be fair to say you must have a disability of your own or be strung out on drugs. Why else would you insult, video and mock the very people responsible for your monetary livelihood?
At this point, it would be fair to say you must have a disability of your own or be strung out on drugs. Why else would you insult, video and mock the very people responsible for your monetary livelihood? However, unlike you, I don’t force such unmitigated opinions upon others. I am educated enough to know that in this world there are a significant number of individuals with debilitating disabilities that you know nothing about. Therefore, I will enlighten you.
The fact that the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport employees someone on the autism spectrum should be commended not mocked. Too many of these able-bodied individuals are discriminated against in the workforce. Businesses often fear their patrons will respond exactly as you did and therefore a person who could make a decent living is left with nothing except government assistance because he/she can’t find employment.
Thankfully personnel at the airport know what you do not, that individuals who are on the autism spectrum are not only employable but often make the best employees. They are committed, hard-working people who have more courage, strength, and stamina than you could possibly exhibit in a lifetime. And considering that you love to doctor your vernacular with f-bombs shows that you lack the exceedingly intelligent vocabulary those with Asperger’s Syndrome possess.
Your behavior was atrocious,despicable and you should do exactly what you are doing, fail to respond and hide your face in shame. Your behavior, rooted in ignorance and un-education, is something the “younger generation” doesn’t need exemplified.
So I am asking you do the world a favor and educate yourself. If you find that task impossible then please the next time you feel the need to point out ignorance find a mirror or turn the camera on yourself.