Posted in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Holidays, parenting

Let the Holidays be Quirky

In our daily lives, we accept the quirkiness of our special needs kids. But when the holidays roll around some parents strive to present their child in the best possible light, which translates to what other people deem appropriate behavior but is a foreign concept to our special one. You have the rest of the year to work out your child’s idiosyncrasies. Don’t torture you or your child by trying to live up to someone else’s misguided notion of normalcy. You’ll find the holidays much more enjoyable if you just embrace the quirkiness.

kid-pout-foodIf you have a picky or sensory eater on your hands the holidays are not the time to try new foods. If you cannot get the menu ahead of time be prepared by secretly taking a favorite food in with you. To avoid, setting a very bad habit I advise not letting your child see the favorite food, lest she start wanting to transport food into restaurants and such. If the preferred food happens to be a favorite among children in general, it’s always best to pack enough so no child is left out. Avoiding a meltdown for your child b setting off a tantrum in another is not good for anyone.

If you have a middle of the road kiddo, who is doing well with new food introductions and  seems to be handling the day well, go ahead and try a new food. Just know her limitations and don’t force the issue to the point of a meltdown. Once your kiddo has a meltdown you probably will too and the rest of the family will likely follow suit.

Have a “safe” quiet place in mind, before you arrive. Even on his best days, my Asperger’s kid cannot tolerate crowds for extended amounts of time. To avoid him locking himself in the bathroom for hours we had a plan in place. He knew where he could retreat to when needed. We reviewed the plan before we arrived. He could use the isolation place but he couldn’t remain in it for the duration. In the beginning, he spent more time in seclusion that socializing. But as he got older and more confident he spent more time in the mix of things. Now, at 23 he rarely bolts from the social scene.

If you’re dealing with severe sensory issues you might consider taking a favorite blanket orspd-1 sheet which can be used to cover himself, including his head if necessary, to cut down on sensory stimulation. For young child, I recommend fidgets to help them self-calm. A fidget or small favorite toy kept in his pocket is a good calming tool. It takes only his hand in his pocket to get a steady stream of reassurance. Of course, stuffed animals, dolls, and other treasured toys or pillows can have the same impact.

If noise is the spark to your child’s sensory wildfire, try taking noise-reducing headphones. Classical music has been proven to have a calming effect. If you don’t have a CD player with classical CD’s set up a Pandora station on your phone. Show your child how to thumbs up or down the songs in order to achieve the perfect blend for your child.

My son Colton could never get enough tactile stimulation. He would lick the tips of his fingers before touching anything in order to increase the sensation. Not only was this super gross, but unhealthy as well.  Sitting on the floor at home and rubbing his hands as hard as he could against the carpet was one thing. But essentially, licking other people and things in public was quite another. I nailed a small piece of carpet to each side of a thin block of wood. He carried that with him and when he needed stimulation he rubbed it between his palms. A much more hygienic way to increase tactile stimulation.

It’s all about controlled chaos. You may not be able to fully prevent your child’s meltdowns but a little pre-planning can lessen the chance of one occurring or reduce its severity. The goal is to gently prod them into new and difficult social scenes but in a way that is manageable for them. This is not the time to worry about Aunt Becky will view your parenting skills, or what Uncle Frank will think when you ax his desire to have a tickling tournament with your child. This is the time you do what’s best for your child.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Moment of Serenity

Very well said & excellent advice


Well, it’s safe to say that my last post struck a nerve…


Juuuust kidding.

In all seriousness, thank you to everyone who left a comment and shared the post on social media. Respectful and healthy dialogue is so needed right now, and I loved hearing – and learning – from everyone.

Question for you: What do anti-Trump rallys, the opera, and a hijab have in common?

And no, this is not a bad joke…


Well, they all played a key role in a surreal experience I had this weekend.

If you’ve been watching the news at all, then I’m sure you’ve heard about all of the anti-Trump protests in New York City, LA, Portland, Chicago, all over. People are taking to the streets in anger over the results of the election.

Also happening this weekend in NYC, my best friend (since childhood) performed in an Opera Gala at Carnegie Hall. It…

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Posted in Celebrities, In The News, Politics

The Giant Heart of America is Awake & Roaring

The ridiculous behavior of people after the election is EXACTLY the reason Donald Trump won. The real Americans are sick to death of your endless belly-aching and temper tantrums when you don’t get your way. We’ve had enough of your entitlement attitude that everything in life should be free and handed to you without you lifting a finger to improve your country, your community or even yourself. Our ears have gone numb from hearing about your oh, so offense mechanism and victim mentality. You want to place blame on your precious Hillary not getting into office? Blame yourselves. Everything you are doing now only confirms that Trump was the right choice.

A good portion of the blame rests on celebrities who for reasons that baffle me, have reached the erroneous conclusion that they have the right to tell us how to vote. They stand before us like gods of knowledge who don’t know the first thing about the backbone of this country. They’re not upset because Trump won. They’re upset because they lost. Now, they must face the reality that they are not as powerful as they thought they were.

They were laboring under the misconception that if they threatened to leave the country that we would be so desperate to keep them we’d do exactly as they bid us to. Surprise! We truly do see you only for entertainment value. What’s not a surprise? Not one of them is leaving the country.

chelsea-handler-president-trump-reaction-netflix-300x200Chelsea Handler made a complete fool out of herself with her crybaby stunt about staying only in the country because we need “her voice.” Uh…. we didn’t listen to you before what makes you think we care now? A trained monkey could perform as well as you so, adios.

Then there’s Katy Perry who should be locked up for trying to incite a riot. She instructed her fans to “fight” and warned of a coming “revolution.” Well, that’s one thing I’ll agree with her on. The revolution is coming, Katy. It’s just not the mind-numbingly stupid one you have playing in your head.

The election map gives a vivid picture of what is taking place in our country. The middle of the map is covered in red and the bookend states are blue. The bookend states, California and New York, epitomize everything that is wrong with America. They have spent years amassing their wealth by stepping on the backs of middle America. They have shoved their personal agendas down our throats disregarding the fact we were choking on them. They mocked and ignored us. They wrote us off of as inconsequential. All to the tune of gaining more money, power and fame for themselves.

While they paid to play and partied over their certain win, the heart of the country seethed. While the most loud-mouthed in the country built Hillary up and enshrined her, the heartland waited. We knew our day was coming. Unlike Hillary’s motor-mouths the heart of America didn’t waste time arguing with them. What would be the point in that? We knew exactly how to strike back – at the polls. And on Tuesday night the sleeping giant awoke and took back what had been stolen – the heart of America.

So, if it makes the spoiled college brats feel better to throw a temper tantrum in the streets, go ahead. If all of election-protests-californiaHollywood has to cry a whole new ocean of tears, have at it. It’s not going to change a thing. Your day is gone. It’s our turn to see what happens when the president can’t be bought. It’s going to be a long eight years for you. See, that’s the thing about sleeping giants – you never see them coming. And once you’ve rattled the cage enough to wake them you’re hard pressed to put them back to sleep.

Posted in In The News, Politics

Hendricks vs Mayfield – Choice is Easy

How sick are you of bickering politicians? Have you had enough of the nasty attacks launched by desperate, hanging-on-to-the-bottom-rung politicians? Ever hear those vicious radio or TV ads and say to yourself, “Don’t tell me how bad your opponent is. Tell me what YOU can do!”?

10646778_365019330329150_6708033455147814221_nWell, Kentucky State Representative Donna Mayfield’s re-election campaign ads have always put an emphasis on what she has done and will continue to do. She lets her record speak for her. She has faced many opponents but her honesty, integrity, and hard work have always ensured her success.

Representative Mayfield is currently facing off with John Hendricks in this election to represent Clark and Madison Counties as a Kentucky State Representative. Fully aware he lacks the ability to stand positively against Rep. Mayfield, Mr. Hendricks has launched an eleventh-hour vile, personal attack. Hendricks and his campaign consultant(s) sent out a mailing with such blatant lies against Rep. Mayfield that even someone with the very basic fact-checking skills could disprove.  Hendricks actually had the audacity to attack Rep. Mayfield’s faith.

Unfortunately, this is not a new tactic for this particular group of individuals. Clark Countians recall the election where this same tactic was used against Dr. Ralph Alvarado. Alvarado was running for Kentucky’s Senate when a spliced and intentionally misleading video began running on TV and online accusing Alvarado of running his medical practice as a pill-mill and frauding Medicare and Medicaid out of millions of dollars. Dr. Alvarado not only won that election but the defamation lawsuit he filed as well.

So, the question begs to be asked; why would these people repeat the same scandalous 14572831_10210940573456061_6444636208776001669_nbehavior? The answer is simple. They have no other choice. Mr. Hendricks lacks the ability to compete with Rep. Mayfield on even ground and he knows it. If the voters of Clark and Madison Counties look at the two equally, what they have done, and what they are capable of accomplishing in the future, the choice is clear: Donna Mayfield.

Knowing he is unable to compete with her work ethic and integrity, not to mention her tireless commitment and relationship with the constituents, he had no choice but to turn to negative fabrications. The only way to make himself look good and fit for the job was to make her look bad. With no truthful negativity about Rep. Mayfield, he had to use distortion and outright lies. That behavior only highlights how much he does not know about the people he wants to represent. Namely, that we are not as stupid as he thinks we are.

Hendricks is banking on people simply being gullible enough to believe some words he had printed on a flier and mailed out. He doesn’t find us capable enough to see through the mud let alone be fully aware of all Rep. Mayfield has done to improve our communities. Hendricks is laboring under the misconception that he can deceive and trick his way into the state representative position. His motto may as well be “keep the people stupid.”

14910387_10211047548130361_5409731838046637223_n-1The last thing Kentucky needs is more negativity in Frankfort. So, on November 8th go to the polls and send a clear-cut message to John Hendricks and others like him: We are not stupid, we prefer positivity over trash talk and we see all Rep. Mayfield has done for us. Each time we reject these vile, personal, shockingly libelous fabrications being touted as truth we shift ourselves in a more positive, life-affirming direction.