Monday, July 30, 2007

What I learned at the Dentist's office

I went to the dentist office this morning with the kids. Visits like this always lead to interesting reading adventures because I am forced to read lots of stuff I normally wouldn't. The reason this happens is because I usually forget to bring my own book.

So I learned today that according to Redbook magazine, you can become even, "bigger for your big life." How do you do that? Well it's easy you just make your lips, hair and boobs look bigger. There you have it- a bigger life. Speaking of hmmm boobs, breasts, I'm not sure of the pc term for the sisters... Anyway, there has been quite a bit of controversy swirling around because someone wrote about Hillary Clinton's cleavage. Outrageous, yes, but will she use this to get sympathy votes???

Then I read the following quote, "Maybe you can't prove God in a tube, but you can find him in your soul. When he's missing, you can feel it in your gut." Shortly after reading that my kids came out. They had no cavities but I had a headache.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SID, DSI and now SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder

While everyone agrees on the term "Sensory Integration Therapy" there are several terms floating around regarding the name of the actual disorder that causes the need for SIT. So here is a little background on the name "Sensory Processing Disorder" that I hope will clear up some confusion. Jean Ayers originally recognized that some children have a neurological disorder that resulted in an impaired ability to process sensory information. She came up with the term “sensory integration dysfunction.” I talked with some researchers about the name morphing phenomenon and it started because the initials for “Sensory Integration Dysfunction” are the same as SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” and they didn’t want to cause confusion… (OK I’m so tempted to comment, but I won’t because I like these people…) So then some researchers started referring to the condition as DSI and the name has been morphing since.

Recently, they all got together and decided they will uniformly refer to this condition as “Sensory Processing Disorder” or SPD. The hope is that the condition will be formally recognized in the DSM as many children have only SPD while others have co-conditions like Autism and SPD. For a thorough discussion of the name morph you can visit:

So SID, DSI, SDI and now SPD it’s all the same condition. I hope this helps, I'm going to go take a nap.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Look out Martha Stewart!

Today was G's birthday, only two more days to the great star wars party. Instead of a cake we made clone trouper cupcakes. Tomorrow we plan to make the death star pinata if all goes well.

GA had to pbs tonight at her swim meet! Go GA Go!

Becoming Counter Cultural

Often I make decisions based on what is urgent, rather than stopping and asking is this really important. Have you ever just found yourself caught up in stuff. Then when all of the "stuff" is over you can't really even recount what it was you did...

As I pondered priorities I remembered a passage from Matthew 22. The Sadducees and Pharisees got together and asked Jesus, "which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

The more I think about it, these commandments challenge us to become counter cultural. Not in a moralistic, legalistic manner but in an intentional relational way. We need to reject the cultural norm of jamming our schedules full of activities in order to create time to love God and people.

So many parents are struggling raising kids with special needs. What would happen if people came alongside these neighbors and loved them? For example, made time for play dates with their children so they could have lots of interaction with typical peers. Or ran a simple errand or two when their lives got hectic. Or how about just taking the time to tell them they are doing a good job... I would love neighbors like that! On the other hand I hate being judged, but that's another subject...

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Great Star Wars Party is Coming

I have been all over town today visiting countless dollar stores inumberable discount and party centers looking for one thing, one thing I tell you: a balloon punching ball. Finally, I found one: at the grocery store *ONE* block from my house! >:-(

Why the insanity you ask? The great Star Wars party is coming this Friday night. G is turning 12 and he has created a fabulous agenda for his party, which happens to include a "Death Star" pinata. You see a regular "oval" shaped balloon would not work for the pinata since, as G so fervently kept on stating, "everyone knows the Death Star is not oval it is round." Along with the pinata there will be incredible party games including a Jedi challenge, hit the water balloon with the light saber, a proton torpedo toss and more.

The food is what will be really interesting we will be eating saber dogs, sith speeders, a mustafar cake and possibly Wookie cookies (we are still negotiating).

If I make it to Friday I promise to post some pictures...

Coffee I am currently enjoying Seattle's Best Decaf House Blend.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hope and Reality

I was thinking today there is a tension between hope and facing reality. What I mean is I am constantly trying to remain hopeful while confronting facts and preparing for the future. For example, while at the Autism Society Conference I learned that it is believed that around 25% of children on the spectrum develop seizure disorders when they hit adolescence. I thought that sounded odd and dismissed it. Then I came back home and found out on Friday that a mom I know (who's son is the same age as G) has just developed a seizure disorder. He had the seizure at night and it was so severe that he hasn't had the strength to walk around for the last few days. Truth be told that scared the heck out of me. What would I do if that happened to us? How do you help your child? That forced me to do some research just in case.

As I was thinking of all of this I remembered Psalm 23. I decided to look it up in several versions.* I liked the New Living Translation:

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Some say faith is a "crutch" I would agree in my case. Life often breaks me and I need my faith to keep walking..

(*There are different versions of the Bible that are written in more contemporary formats or formats for children.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Walking With God

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to "walk with God." What does it mean to live life with the idea that the creator of the universe loves you, will guide you and will interact with you throughout the day. Today I read something from Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost For His Highest" that I wanted to share along those lines:

Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— "We will not fear, even though . . ." ( Psalm 46:2 )— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, "He has been here all the time!" At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, "Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that." Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

There are a lot of things going on with G right now, I'm looking for answers and trusting God that He will guide us as we try to help him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hair Twirling

Well we've got a new issue going. My son has been growing his hair out. This is great because his peers all have longer hair so he is noticing the trend and wanting to fit in. I was so happy about this b/c usually he could care less what others are up to. However, now G is in the habit of twirling the hair on the back of his head. He is twirling it so much it is creating a bald spot. So the last few days have consisted of me constantly saying "G please don't touch your hair." He is getting frustraited AND SO AM I!!! So now when I remind him he is yelling "OK" or "I WASN'T" (now why would I want to provoke him? I mean honestly I love him and I love peace and quiet and sanity...)

Anyhow, I'm reminding him that I don't yell at him and I would like him not to yell at me. I'm encouraging him to keep a fidget in his pocket. This morning I helped him fix his hair and I plastered it with hair gel and that seems to be helping. He looks like he's got helmet hair but hey if it works I'd rather have this than male pattered baldness at 12!

On a lighter note, coffee I am currently enjoying is Starbucks Decaff House Blend I don't want to add anymore caffine to my nerves... >:-l

Monday, July 16, 2007

Working Smarter Not Harder

Someone asked what my presentation was on at ASA. My presentation is called: Working Smarter Not Harder Integrating Sensory Activities Throughout Your Day. I shared a variety of sensory activities that you can do throughout your house, sensory strategies for various times of the day and ideas to keep kids motivated in therapy. Some of the organizations I have spoken for are ASA, the National Fragile X Organization, Future Horizons, and Sensory Resources. I enjoy speaking to parents and professionals and learning from them.

Coffee I am currently enjoying is Peerless Coffee's Chocolate Macadamia Nut - Yummy!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back from Autism Society Conference

I'm back from the conference and it was AWESOME! I have so much fun stuff to blog on where do I start?!
I got to meet up with Temple Grandin again, which was fun we both chatted about HOW IMPORTANT it is to address sensory issues for people on the spectrum. It was a bummer that there were only two sensory talks for the whole conference. My talk was well attended and a lot of fun. I was fighting off a cold, but we still had a great time.

I found tons of incredible products and this week I will set up some new links on my website. I have ordered two things from South Paw products including Moon Sand, and "Snow" this stuff is incredibly awesome. As soon as it comes in I will post pictures.

My family misses me so I have to go now, but more to come soon!

Coffee I am currently enjoying: Peerless Coffee's French Roast, not bad!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Leaving for ASA tomorrow

I am flying to Scottsdale AZ for the Autism Society of America's annual conference tomorrow. My workshop is entitled "Working Smarter, Not Harder, how to incorporate sensory activities into your day." I'm speaking Friday afternoon, if you go come and say hello! It should be fun although with all of the airline restrictions I'm not going to bring many toys. Last time I flew I was held up because of a rubber chicken! Honestly, who would hold someone up because of a rubber chicken? What kind of dangerous activity could one plan with a rubber chicken? Hmmmm, let me think, nothing comes to mind.

Anyhow, back to the conference I plan on spending a lot of time with all of the vendors looking at all of the latest and greatest gadgets and attending any and every workshop possible on adolescence. Best of all I get to see the hubbo who has been gone most of this month. I hope to have lots of interesting stuff to blog about when I get back.

Currently I am not enjoying coffee as I am getting over a cold. It has been hot tea and lemon for me.

Monday, July 9, 2007

"Cool" Sensory Activity

An OT shared this activity with me last year. With summer here it seems appropriate.

What you need is:
Hot Wheels or similar plastic car tracks
Action figures with their feet frozen in ice cubes

Place the action figures on the tracks and let your kids whiz them all around the tracks. This is excellent for helping kids cross the midline.

Visit National Autism Resources for more fun autism materials.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Knowing God's Love

Someone recently shared with me Zephania 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." What an incredible verse, it stands in stark contrast to what I sometimes feel God is like. Sometimes I feel God is just waiting to punish us when we blow it. Instead, God says like a loving parent He "delights" in us. He delights in us so much that he "rejoices" over us with singing. I remember when my kids were little, I rejoiced over them with singing. I would sing to them in the car, I would sing to them as I put them down to sleep, I would sing over them without even thinking about it because they filled my heart with such joy. This is the kind of love God has for us when we are his. Words can't describe the peace and joy my heart feels knowing this.

Today I am drinking Peerless coffee's Macadamia Nut blend. Its tasty as a cold coffee drink with a splash of milk. I'm drinking iced coffee today as I anticipate our temperature here to go over 100.