Life with an Autistic Son- now available as an ebook!

Life with an Autistic Son

LWAAS 3d book cover‘Life with an Autistic Son’ is now available as an ebook from Amazon. Posts that were featured on this blog can now be viewed via the book, alongside some exclusive content. Please help raise autism awareness by taking a look at the book, spreading the word and maybe even writing a review on the Amazon page. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Amazon UK: here

Amazon US: here

(also available in other territories)

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Hands

We take so much for granted and our hands are one of them. Since Sarah and I believe in God and  is now using her hands more and more to create beautiful things and my hands are growing older, I thought I would share this.

Hands

This is good. I’ll never look at my hands the same!

Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat, I wondered if he was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine.
Thank you for asking,” he said in a clear strong voice.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to him.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” he asked.
“I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making. Grandpa smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak have been the
tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.

They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.

They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I
was married and loved someone special.

They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse
and walked my daughter down the aisle.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and
cleansed the rest of my body.

They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.

And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works
real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again
continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the
ruggedness of my life.

But more importantly it will be these hands that God will
reach out and take when he leads me home.

And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there
I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God
reached out and took my grandpa’s hands and led him home.

When my hands are hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he has been
stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too,
want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Autism and Weather Conditions

cropped-841250_10200437245794851_826823598_o.jpgTo be honest with you, I have not found a whole lot about how our weather conditions can affect a person with Autism. I have found through my more than 20 years of experience with Sarah, that  the weather outside plays a key role on how her behavior is going to be.

A Facebook friend of mine whose daughter is only diagnosed with Autism seems to have the classic Autistic meltdowns when the weather is bad. The meltdowns seem to be a little better when the weather is good.

This made me rethink the connection between the weather conditions and Autism. It seems to me that since people who are diagnosed with Autism or on the Autism Spectrum have processing problems, then that would include the weather wouldn’t it? They have issues with smells, sights and hearing, not to mention any particles that might be in the air.

One of the few studies on this topic explores the connection between rainy climates and autism prevalence. According to the study, “Children in California, Oregon and Washington are more likely to develop autism if they lived in counties with higher levels of annual rainfall when they were 3 or younger, suggesting that something about wet weather may trigger the disorder.” This could be because of the lack of sunshine, the increased exposure to television because of the inability to play outside, longer exposure to cleaning chemicals or other toxic substances, or the pressure changes inherent with weather systems which produce precipitation.
This can describe exactly what we go through here in the north when  we have the sun setting at 4pm and bitterly cold climates that result in more time indoors.

In 1898, Edwin Dexter, a Denver school teacher, became curious about how barometric pressure affected the behavior of his students (neurotypical we can assume, since it’s unlikely that autistic children were permitted in standard classrooms at this time) and studied 606 cases of corporal punishment over a 4 year period. He found that days with abnormal barometric pressure did in fact have a higher rate of behavior issues.

Another study looked at in a 2004 issue of “Crime Times”  found a connection between psychiatric symptoms and barometric pressure. The researchers documented both violent crimes, suicides, emergency psychiatric visits, and psychiatric admissions in Louisville in 1999, and weather conditions such as humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure. They found a link between acts of violence and emergency psychiatric visits with the barometric pressure (none between suicide or inpatient admissions). Schory and his team noted that barometric pressure was associated with changes in cerebral blood flow, premature labor, and changes in certain endorphins related to depression. Their ultimate finding was that “”barometric pressure may alter the propensity toward impulsive behavior through changes in brain monoamines or cerebral blood flow.”

Although the majority of these studies did not directly connect autistic behaviors and weather changes, they do all show that mood and behavior are affected by barometric pressure.
If even neurotypical people have a difficult time pinpointing what is making them feel upset or easily frustrated, and children have a harder time with it than adults, how much MORE difficult is it for our children on the spectrum?! In addition, since we don’t know exactly what makes our children autistic to begin with, and scientists are still exploring the biological and physiological differences that cause or are caused by autism, we have no idea to what extent changes in weather really affect our children and their behavior.

I think weather conditions change all of our behaviors to a certain degree. People with Autism just seem to have a harder time with it.

What do you think?

http://heartofautism.blogspot.com/2012/11/weather-affects-on-behavior.html

http://www.autism-pdd.net/testdump/test6379.htm

Not With The Empty Hands

Karina's Thought

Prayer_Hand

Not with the empty hands
I come into the Your presence

Expressed my gratitude
For all Thy blessings

Not with the empty hands
I worship Thee

Dedicate my whole life
upon Thy altar

Everything I have
everything than You

I’ll take my tribute
the best just for You

Karina

Photo credit: blessedtrinityprayerteam.blogspot.com

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Autism, Garbage Truck, People = Amazing

Greyson-1374877954I came across this story the other day. I shared it on https://www.facebook.com/SarahsVoice and I am sharing it on our blog. It is amazing.

You just never know what might trigger communication. For this family that has a son diagnosed with Autism, a man and his garbage truck has made a huge difference 🙂

To find out more information, please read their story;

 

Bowen Therapy for Autism

I know that I have posted about Bowen Therapy before. When I start learning about some thing that I believe will really benefit people with challenges, or even people without certain challenges, I am like a dog with a bone, I will not give it up!

So yes, I am posting about Bowen Therapy again 🙂 I believe it is a treatment that really works! Anyone who would think that it is rubbish I encourage to try it before you criticize it.bowen_child

Now, please realize that I am going by my own experiences and I am not a doctor of any sorts. If you have been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum it may take a while before you see any results. It is a process, but in the long-term very well worth it.

Most treatments for children will last anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Sometimes the treatment will take place on a couch, sometimes while on a parent’s lap – the therapist will make allowances for the nature and behavior of each child, especially if remaining still is not an option!

Although sometimes only a few treatments may be needed to help (for instance) a chest infection or sore neck or back, there are many conditions in which Bowen may be needed over a long period of time.

For those with Cerebral Palsy, Autism or chronic conditions, we have found that weekly or fortnightly sessions over much of the year to be of great benefit. Some children respond rapidly, whilst others take more time. We are all individuals.

Many children (and parents) benefit from a few regular treatments every year, to maintain their health as they grow.

Other conditions responding well include ADHD, asthma, bed-wetting, constipation, dyspraxia, growing pains, headaches and muscular-skeletal issues including posture, balance and co-ordination.

PARENTS LOOKING FOR A SUCCESSFUL AND DOCUMENTED MODE OF ALTERNATIVE COMPLIMENTARY THERAPY THAT CAN IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR A CHILD OR YOUNG ADULT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANY OF THE LEARNING, SOCIAL DIFFICULTIES, OR OTHER CHARACTERISTICS UNDER THE AUTISTIC SPECTRUM UMBRELLA. ASK QUESTIONS, INFORM YOURSELF AND BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

Positive changes achieved from the inclusion of Bowen Therapy into your child’s care :

✶ Ability to lay on back or front
✶ improved balance, co-ordination
✶ reduced obsessive/repetitive behaviour
✶ improved sleep habits
✶ change in frustration levels
✶ eye contact and change in sense of self

Bowen is a complementary therapy that encourages the body to heal itself, it is natural, drug free and non-invasive. Bowen does not attempt to force the body to change, instead it asks the body to recognise and make the changes that are required.

It is used to help a number of ailments and health conditions such as sports injuries, whiplash, migraines and IBS. Pactitioners make small rolling movements with the use of their fingers and thumbs on precise points on the body.