Friday, June 30, 2017

On Netflix: Okja

If you are an insensitive person, watch Okja.

If you need a reminder of how cruel the human race can be, watch Okja.

If you are overly sensitive (like me) with a gentle heart, you may want to save yourself some heartache and tears - and sit this one out.

This is a movie that needed to be made. A way to be on the outside looking in at cruelty. Common cruelty. Okja may be CGI, but her message is very, very real.

I shouldn't have stopped being a vegetarian. I feel like a hypocrite.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

You Want a Piece of Me?

If you thought the title of this blog might also be the lyrics to a Britney Spears song were right! Sorry that it will be in your head all day now 😬

Anyhoo, I just wanted to chat about my opinion of the symbol for Autism, the puzzle piece. This is **just** my opinion and I am by no means trying to throw any sort of shade or spill any kind or flavor of tea. I am actually VERY thankful for the puzzle piece because it is a symbol that makes people think of Autism and isn't used by any other group. For example, the primary colors are also used for LGBTQ+ people and the color blue is used for several other types of awareness.

Now that that's out of the way, I want to explain why I'm over the puzzle piece.

Initially Autism was even more misunderstood and incredibly difficult to pinpoint or even define than it still is today. It totally makes sense - we need to complete the puzzle - we don't know why/how/what Autism really is. It's a puzzle and we need the missing piece(s).

There are so many theories and studies being done because we still don't know everything about Autism. However, we know a lot more than before and for that I am truly thankful.

I guess what I'm trying to state is, I'm not looking for a piece of my son that's missing. My son has Autism and if he didn't he would be a completely different child. I don't want a completely different Boog, so I have all my pieces - does that make sense?

Now that I've been an Autism Mom for several years, I look at the spectrum in a much different way. Yes, I do want science to continue to come up with ways that make life easier for people with Autism. Things like communication, sensory issues, socialization and more. If you think about it, that statement could be used to describe a million other things. We know it's there, we want to help, we need to go forward to help.

I choose to use "Neurodiversity" as my focus. To me it means that there are many, many people of whom think "differently" and we need to celebrate those thought processes too. Neurodiversity isn't just for Autism, it's also about supporting people with ADHD, OCD, BPD, Aspergers, and about a thousand other things that make people who they are. These diagnoses describe a part of who that person is and if removed, most would be a different person.

Here is a partial explaination via Wikipedia:

The entire definition/explaination can be found on Wikipedia here.

Look, I am no scientologist trying to say that mental illness doesn't exist or need treatment. I'm also not going to jump on Oprah's couch or call anyone "glib" either. I just mean that we're starting to understand just how many people think differently. Those people shouldn't feel they are beneath anyone else. Different does not mean less. 

I can look back at my high school and college days and think of so many kids that were just thought of as extremely shy, when in reality they may have had Aspergers and social situations were very hard for them.

So by celebrating and supporting neurodiversity you're including many types of people under that umbrella. Good news: the umbrella is massive and we have room enough for all.

So basically less this:

And more this:

***Again, this is just my very humble opinion and I have absolutely no intention of offending anyone***

Peace, Love & Acceptance,
Boog's Mommy

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Water Safety

Please share this. So many kids with Autism are attracted to water.

This is a real danger when kids play in water. It's not hard to notice, but here are the signs: 

I made an image of the warning signs you can save, print and share:

There's no such thing as being too safe!

-Boog's Mommy

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Friday, June 2, 2017

A Real American Girl

When you think of the word "bravery" several things come to mind; soldiers, people protesting, a fireman leaving a burning building with someone safely in their arms.

But actually, that's just a couple types of bravery.

Sometimes bravery comes in forms you wouldn't expect. I read about some today and wanted to share it.

There is an incredibly kind, interesting and bright girl that runs a very popular American Girl news website. She is often the first to have pictures of new outfits, information on sales and exciting details  of upcoming events. She also just happens to have Autism.

I'm going to link a post below that she made recently about being at school and someone calling her the "r-word". If I could erase one word from existence it would be that word.

We Are Special - by Sydney

I get praise from others for fighting for my son, standing up and making people listen.

Do you know what's braver than that? Facing that ignorance in the face and having the courage to know that person is wrong.

You know what's even braver than that? Posting about it on the internet so it might help someone else with Autism.

Thank you Sydney, for being BRAVE and for being YOU - the best example of an American Girl 💗

-Boog's Mommy

P.S. Don't forget to tell any doll lover in your life to check out Sydney's awesome site! She works very hard on it and it shows:

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Rock Solid Success

If you're not aware of who Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is, you have been living under a rock (complete pun that was so intended).

I've loved him since he was in his wrestling years. I can remember being a young girl and getting the biggest kick out of his catch phrases "jabroni", "roody poo candy asses" and when he would just refer to someone as "boy". The fact that he's very easy on the eyes was an added bonus.

Fast forward years later and this guy is the definition of success. Movies, popular tv shows, and endorsements galore.

This morning I read a post he made about his incredibly humble and hard beginnings:

Yes, things get hard.
No, you don't deserve this.

At some point a parent of a special needs child makes a decision. After the initial fear, hopelessness and grief you stand at a crossroads.

Am I going to let this destroy me?
I've seen what making this choice looks like. A parent who just lets their child with Autism run wild. Never digs in and does the hard part. Uses any situation to pawn them child off and get them out of the house. This choice most often creates a point of no return where the child is too far gone to ever make things completely right again. The bad behavior has been ignored and reinforced for so long that the child cannot be controlled. This choice is made out of pure selfishness.

Am I going to mourn, get on my knees and pray, and somehow pick myself back up?
This decision is so much harder. So much. You give up the majority of your life. Your time is spent learning, trying, thinking, praying, crying. I'm not going to lie, it's much easier to ignore something than to face it and it's brutal truth. If you choose this path it will wear you down. You will probably lose a lot of friendships. You will even feel like you've lost yourself at times. So why do this? Why go through so much? Because this choice gives your child their BEST CHANCE at succeeding. This isn't about you - this is about that little baby you promised to protect, love and stand up for no matter what.

So what will it be, giving up or diving in? The choice I've made has changed every aspect of my life, but I know I would have never taken that easier way out. I know things slowly become easier, hard work pays off and eventually some of the biggest fears and obstacles you've had are behind you.

And that is how I decided I'd never be a candy ass - but I still enjoy the occasional candy bar 😉

-Boog's Mommy

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stress Does What?

Sometimes it can be easy to forget a special needs child is within earshot. I myself have had to make changes, not in what I say in front of Boog, but of including him in conversations and asking more questions. I also make sure to compliment (brag) on him to others when he can hear me. He needs to know how proud I am of all he does just like any child.

I recently read a study on the effects of childhood stress manifesting into actually physiological changes/disorders. Meaning kids that live in frequent stress can end up with things like asthma. Seriously. Children with Autism often deal with much more stress than neueo-typical kids. The stress of not being able to do what a teacher requests even after trying for weeks and weeks. The stress of not being able to, in detail, tell someone how you feel and what you want.

The study discusses children that are born into a family life of abuse, but I think it still holds value. It's a great reminder that what's going on now greatly changes the future:

"The science to support my claim is documented in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study – epidemiological research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. This study documents the undeniable link between toxic stress caused by experiences such as family addiction, abuse, dysfunction, violence, and divorce in childhood, and adult chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes, some breast cancers, and a host of autoimmune diseases."

I will link the study below and think it's a valuable read for any parent.

Terrifying Children into a Life of Asthma

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

A United Front

A United Front.

Right now those three words have multiple meanings.

1. The airline, United, is currently putting up a Front that they're remorseful for the severe beating of a defenseless man. In reality it's big time damage control.

2. A United Front is required to hold companies accountable. If we don't point our finger, tell our opinion and boycott, then our voice is never heard and we are invisible.

I have friends of all races, colors, creed, age, body type, social standing and sexual orientation. Why? Because a truly good friend is a very hard thing to find. Why would you limit your chance of finding people you care about and will be there for you when you need them? Exactly.

The man recently attacked by employees of United Airlines is Asian and believes that played a part in why he was chosen. That is incredibly scary for anyone of a cultural/national minority.

What does this have to do with Autism?
Because Autism is invisible.

Autism is found more in males, but it definitely doesn't discriminate.

So follow me for a minute:
Airline employee tells random person they have to give up their seat.
Person "refuses".
Person is then humiliated, harmed or both.

The following is included in the description of Aspergers on Wikipedia:

So what do we learn here? That someone with Aspergers or Autism can have difficulties in basic social interactions. They may have problems making eye contact or responding to someone's questions. They may inadvertently make a gesture they cannot control that could very well be misinterpreted.

Now do you see my fear?

If a PHYSICIAN couldn't make these horrible people listen to him, what chance does someone with Autism have?

Thank you, United Airlines, for giving us yet another reason to fear for our loved ones who are on the spectrum.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Barnes Being Very Noble

I love bookstores. Something about being able to browse real books while I drink a light, sugar free, no whip mocha is awesome. I also end up reading more real books than I read using the kindle app. I guess I'm old school - or instead as I prefer to call it, being an "OG".

Barnes and Noble is doing something awesome this summer for kids in grades 1 through 6. Basically you:

1. Check out the list of books for your child to read this summer from B&N's list (you can see the lists by grade here).
2. Have your child journal about each book (or you guys journal together). The journal can be printed HERE
3. Bring the journal to your local B&N between May 16 - September 5th
4. They get to choose a free book!

Encouraging reading and something free = fantastic. Boog loves to read and I'm very, very thankful for that.

For all of the specifics, look  HERE

This is really a great opportunity..... But you don't have to take my word for it! (ten points if you know where that phrase is from).

-Boog's Mommy

**This is not a sponsored post. I just like spreading the word on fun things.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Autism Awareness - Free Printables!

Boog's elementary school is beyond amazing and supportive. Not only did we decorate for Autusm Awareness Month, but

Students are encouraged to wear blue on Fridays
Teachers are creating a dialogue with students about Autism (grades k-6!)
I created a booklet that explains common situations dealing with Autism

I found facts online, free clipart and creativity to make this up. It took a long time, but was so worth it. Please feel free to print/save any of the pages as long as it is for no personal gain, monetary or otherwise. The following are available for educational purposes only:







Hopefully this can be helpful to some of you guys out there. 

Have a great week!

-Boog's Mommy

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Go Ahead and Toy With Me

Children with Autism usually have a very hard time with imaginative play, i.e. a farm set is ignored because it doesn't "do" anything. Unless a toy moves, has buttons or lights up it just sits there.

Boog has been doing so many new things lately. I'm thanking God a lot these days. I should be thanking Him a lot everyday, and I'm working on that.

This would just look like a box of stuffed toys to anyone else, but to me it means the world.

These are all toys Boog picked out by himself. And it's not like before when he would just get a toy to appease me. He likes these toys.

At night right before bed I give him the box and he picks out who needs to come sleep with him that night. And I couldn't be happier.

Thankful, Blessed and so Appreciative,
Boog's Mommy

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Autism Awareness - Is There Adult Awareness?

Autism Awareness Month is mostly focused on the children/adults with Autism. Often forgotten are the mothers, fathers, family and caregivers behind the person they love.

I hope thie following article can shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes.
Autism Mom's Have Stress Similar to Combat Soldiers

This is not a cry for attention or request for pity. I'm presenting it as more of an explaination. Why is that Mom always late? Why does she look deshelved? Why was she short with me? Why did she forget our lunch and not show up?
No, we don't need sympathy - empathy. There's a big difference.
This is from

"To sum up the differences between the most commonly used meanings of these two terms: sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another."

Like it says, please don't feel sorry for me. My child is amazing. Feeling sorry or having pity means there is something wrong. There's nothing wrong, it's just different and a lot more.

Please feel free to send this blog post via email or share it on social media. I think it could really help.

- Boog's Often Tired, No Makeup, Yoga Pants Wearing Mom

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pins but Definitely No Needles

Hey, you should check out my Pinterest. Seriously! I've pinned over 500 very useful items on topics like:

Educating neurotypical children about Autism
Sensory activities that don't break the bank
Free apps that could greatly benefit your special needs child
IEP information and tools
Autism Awareness ideas for decorating your home/class/school
Gluten free recipes
Saving money
Marriage and having a special needs child

and most importantly...


So go check it out! You know you wanted to waste time on Pinterest anyway 😉

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