Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Camp

That he does not have a one-to-one personal assistant is why my son was turned down for attending a summer day camp in Long Beach, California.  It is a reasonable decision on the part of the camp administration, but a real eye-opener for me.

Who can turn down a child who wishes to play with the others?  Why aren't there more options for recreational activities for Special Needs children?  The ones that do exist cost an arm and a leg, and they do not last the whole summer or even for a full day or week.  I am quite discouraged at this reality, and today I am making it my personal goal to establish and/or find a program that makes my son, and other kids like him, feel as important as other children.  Moreso than other kids, autistic kids really need to play and interact with other children their age, so why there are not more programs that encourage this, I do not know.

Our workload is heavy and the days to carry it are long, Super Parents, but let's hang in there and get some proper and equivalent services for our autistic kids.  It is the only right thing to do because, after all, they only have one life to live just like the rest of us.  They deserve to enjoy it -- especially in the summer while they are still young!

Peace, love and happiness to you all...


My son has definitely improved his behavior since implementing the lesson of the timer, and he has made some definite strides.  I am happy with the way he controls his behavior while expecting a treat in the near future.  I must truly thank my classmate and friend, Antonio, who taught me what to do.  In short, I give Junior his favorite thing (which is currently four M and M's), every time he behaves properly for a five-minute period of time.  That's it!  It is just that simple.  The continued treats encourage ongoing, long-lasting good behavior from him and he no longer has time to behave badly.  Who knew!

So without the timer, but by using my mental timer, I have implemented a successful behavior strategy that really works.  Super Parents, go out and give this technique a try!  I guarantee you will be happy with the results.  Thanks Antonio, and peace, love and happiness to you all!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Timer

Last week my friend and classmate was very gracious and supplied me with a timer for my son, along with instructions on how to use it.  Basically, I will time the intervals of good behavior that my son displays, and when the timer goes off and he is still behaving nicely, I would then reward him with a treat.  This is a type of conditioning in order to solicit continued good behavior and deter him from throwing tantrums.

I am very grateful to my classmate for this idea.  He works with Autistic children daily, specifically in an attempt to improve their behavior.  I hope that this will be a positive solution to his tantrums, and I cannot wait to try it out.  I will keep you all updated on the results of the timer.

Thanks, friend!  And to all you Super Parents, let's get through this together!  Pease, love and happiness to you all.

Fight Mode

While researching some remedies to my son's behavior on the internet, I was reminded that my energy needs to shift into combat mode if I want to receive any district services for him.  The district, other moms of autistic children report, is notorious for not supplying the students with the proper therapy they need to thrive as young adults, such as speech therapy beyond the normal 30 minutes per week.  Without demanding these services legally, they will not be granted, especially if you live and attend school in a low-income area of the district.  These findings were reported in the LA Times also, so it is not just heresay.

So my advice to all you Super Parents for the day is this:  Put on your combat gear and get to work if your son or daughter is simply attending the district's Special Day Class and receiving only the minimal services, just to finish the school year.  This is a huge DISSERVICE to your child and he or she will not become independent if you roll over ad take what is given.  Only you know your child's needs and it is up to you, since you are the mouthpiece for your child, to demand these services by any means necessary.  Time is of the essence!

Peace, love and happiness to you all!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Importance of Routine

Today I realized the importance of keeping Junior on a routine.  If he demands to stray from what is required of him, for example demanding pancakes from McDonald's instead of eating the school breakfast, he will always make this demand upon my giving in to it.  He is a creature of serious routine and I must do my part as a parent to ensure he sticks to the right one, simply put.  The ancient scrolls say that we are all creatures of habit, and encourages us to replace bad habits with good ones in order to live the most fulfilled life.  While Junior may make demands, he may NOT stray from the requirements of behavior that  his society dictates.  This is something I foresee being a problem later, as he may clash with authority if I do not establish the importance of following rules, and hence the proper routine, right now.

Therefore my advice to you Super Parents today is this:  Make only one demand of your autistic child, and that is to stick to the routine that will teach him or her the proper behavior to get along in life.  With proper behavior, he or she will survive and perhaps thrive in society, and isn't that what we want them to be able to do?  Stay firm, stay focused, and stay on the right routine!

Peace, love and happiness to you all.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


My son's behavior resembles a puzzle.  Its intricate parts are loosely patterned and specifically intertwined to work together, all to form one whole that, by definition, is circularly represented by its parts.  My son works very much like a puzzle:  a patterned maze of parts, parts that range from easy to difficult, from large to small, and that flows both vertically and horizontally.  He is as complex and simple as a puzzle, and coping with his behavior is as intriguing and frustrating as it is to complete one.  This is a surprisingly interesting comparison, true; but it is an accurate description of his personality and all of its dimensions.

The puzzles of our lives make us stronger individuals who can analyze, feel and judge better than we were able to before. - Unknown

Be strong, Super Parents, and let's keep enjoying life as we put together the pieces of our puzzling and puzzled children and selves.  Peace, love and happiness to you all.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Finding Balance

Roulette, red wine, pilates, meditation, friends, swimming, a day at the beach...these are the other end of the spectrum of my life.  They are the Russia to my North American reality; the sky to my underground whereabouts.  I yearn for them but can never quite reach them.

This is why I need to find a balance.  Of course, self-indulgence is not the goal, but a little escaping reality is always good for the soul.  I say to all parents, whether your child is autistic or not:  find a balance, or your see-saw of a life will eventually crash you into the ground and spiral you into the unknown air, and no one wants to lose that kind of control.  Parenting an autistic child will make you feel the ride more than ever, true; but no one can take away your right and ability to find your personal sense of balance on a daily basis - whatever that may be for you.  Find it, love it and live it -- it is all we have left of ourselves to give to ourselves, so for the sake of you and your child, please do not hesitate to do this.  Balance is what it's all about.

As always, peace, love and happiness to you all!