Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

#1000 Speak Compassion-nurturing 

 At this moment in time I could use some nurturing. My heart has suffered from being judged, my body from pushing it to the limit of injury, my soul from putting myself last on the list of life’s priorities. It’s been my own doing, I put myself out there and recieved ridicule and embarrassment. I allowed it to hurt my heart and make me feel cheap, dirty, and ashamed. There is a thing about being too honest especially on social media.

I started a new workout routine as I’ve been living with chronic pain for the last five years. And slowly it’s grinding away at all the wonderful things I’ve accomplished over that time. The nurturing place where I housed my children and now my back is full of white hot pain if I do too much. Lifting my child who is showing all the signs of a sensory meltdown as he runs through a parking lot. Carrying him to bed after he’s so wound up from seeking sensory input all day he crashes in my arms on the couch.

Picking him up and cradling him like my little Joey and I’m his kangaroo Mama keeping him safe from a world that’s too loud, busy, bright, and at the same time beautiful in it’s simplicities and complexities. I exercise to keep myself fit, healthy, and fabulous. I started a new workout routine and matched the instructor for move for move. No matter how fast or extreme it would be in the long run. What the end result was an aggravated old back injury from a bulging disk, and not being able to walk properly for three days!!! What was I thinking I asked myself as I had to hobble around with a cane and parent from my couch?!

I wasn’t thinking about my age that’s for sure. I was thinking of who I was before when I was the fitness instructor with seventeen years experience. Who gave those intense workouts and also participated in them. It’s been a humbling experience as I recently started a fitness challenge and I’m on the sidelines cheering everybody on. I have an invitation to start a free one week bootcamp in my town. I look at each day mocking me and my lack of flexibility. How is it possible after ten years of teaching I could become so inflexible? Easy enough I allowed my mind to become that way being a right fighter, and my body became rigid and immobile.

I need to nurture that part of my myself that makes me feel whole again. I write, read, whine onto my digital paper and drink copious amounts of wine to dull my pain. Who knows of this push and pull existence that I put myself through time and  time again. It’s you my dear readers who have followed along with me on my journey through heartache, grief, self loathing, and sometimes redemption. I lay myself bare and venture out into the world when it seems to be less cold, hard, and judgemental. This is my life as a Mom with children with special needs.

You can’t see my son’s conditions but if you push them to the limit they’ll bleed through with their reactions to noise, over stimulus, and disapproving stares. One has a disorder called Sensory Avoidance. I refer to it as his needs are like a bucket of water and everyone puts in a cup throughout his day. When he’s home from school his sensory bucket is overflowing. and he needs to empty it out and self tegilate with calm and quiet time. I give him this time to decompress as I know it’s essential to his psyche and mental health!


My other son has the opposite disorder he is a seeker of sensory input and it’s referred to as Sensory Modulation. His condition I refer to as having an empty bucket that he fills with cups of water all day long with every interaction, noise, and stimulus. Each time his bucket is almost full he dumps it out and has to start all over again. So this is the push and pull of my son’s existence. One wants to avoid all contact until he’s regulated and able to fill up his bucket. The other is constantly dumping it out and finding new ways to fill it!

They both empty my patience bucket on a regular basis, and I need to fill it back up again with things that help. Like quiet time to myself, being able to read, write, soak in a bubble bath until  enveloped in the softeness and luxury. Closing my bedroom door each night and cuddling into my love my husband, my soft place to fall. He holds me and nurtures me and my hearts love bucket is full of self worth, respect, consciousness, and unconditional love. And I’m refreshed and restored and able to face another day. Whether it’s full of fighting, auditory hyper sensitives, food texture issues, sensory seeking, or sensory avoiding.

We all need to be loved, respected, accepted, loved, and nurtured. Please take that time to give your body, mind, and soul are crying out for. Don’t be like me who pushes and pulls into the core of my existence till my broken, weary, sleep deprived shell of a human body can’t take it anymore. Find those ties that bind you to the ones you love, absorb their love and strength, full that love bucket, and be more than, better than, stronger than the pain that threatens to grind you down. Love, nuture, take the steps to self care, and truly cherish that reflection that stares back at you from the mirror of your life.

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To the woman who judged me #mommitment 

To the Mother who judged me, I lay awake thinking of what you said. How you blurted out your casual comment not knowing it was like a serrated knife to my heart. Or maybe you did know that and didn’t care. It felt like you had an agenda the first time you laid eyes on me. We were on a busy commuter bus, going to the same destination; and I thought I’ll never see you again. But I asked you to back off and you didn’t. This is me wearing my heart on my sleeve and pouring out my pain in that moment. 

The Judgement Bus

How can you sit there and judge me? 

While people just stop and stare. 
I’m shocked by what you said to me. 
I didn’t ask you to share. 
You don’t know me or my child, or what’s his story. 
You just spouted off your ignorance and didn’t even say sorry. 
I was staring at the smugness on your face. 
I said he has autism and his meltdown I wanted to erase. 
I didn’t know what to say as my hot tears stung my eyes. 
I could see you watching my child with disgust, which was no surprise. 
I’ve seen people like you where I have to hold my anger inside. 
Buckle up son, it’s the judgment bus coming through. 
And it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I won’t let them see that one shining tear. 
As I could fill an ocean of denial.  Sadness lives here. 

As I look back and read this poem, tears are streaming down my face. I recently became a proud member of The Mommitment Movement, dedicated to putting an end to “Mom Wars.” Its mission is to promote love, acceptance, and kindness instead of judgment. 

I’m adopting the motto, ‘I won’t judge you as a Mom, so please don’t judge me.’ We all came into this world the same way, with a beautiful newborn baby – without an instruction manual. The experience I had on the bus made me realize how much I have to reinforce this positive message in my life. I immediately wanted to hurt her like she hurt me and my pride. My son wasn’t even bothered; just happy to have a seat, and to watch life out the window.  I won’t change my thinking, my thin skin, or the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will abide by this code in my backyard, while I tend to the flowers I’m growing. I’ll respect your right to tend to your flowers however you see fit. 

After the bus incident, I’m more committed to Mommitment than ever. I can’t change the world around me. I can’t make people accept my son and his special needs. But this is Autism Awareness month, and I can help change his world by spreading more awareness, education, and understanding. Having the force of the proud and powerful Mommitment movement along with a parenting support network behind me, I finally don’t feel so alone on this journey. 

To learn more about this game changing campaign, please read the post that started it all.   

And here you can sign the pledge and be part of Mommittment. ❤️

Next Life, NO Kids
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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday

I light up Blue

  

This has been my submission to https://silverthreading.com for Writer Quotes Wednesday. Please check out her gift of words and all the other talent who link up. Thank you. 💙

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Fridays Feats and Fails

It’s Friday one day closer to the weekend and wow what a week it’s been!!! I’m excited to share it with you. So let’s get to it shall we? I’m so happy and honoured to be co-hosting Friday’s Feats and Fails with the awesome Ash from http://www.morethancheeseandbeer. This is a new adventure for me so I feel giddy with excitement. 😃🎉💃

FEAT-Amazing Grace

My beautiful cousin brought her baby into the world and I haven’t stopped crying since! Amazing Grace was diagnosed in utero as having mosaic triploidy. According to Wikipedia.org research Triploid syndrome is an extremely rare chromosomal disorder. Individuals with triploid syndrome have three of every chromosome, i.e. a total of sixty-nine rather than the normal forty-six chromosomes. There are only sixty recorded cases across the world. Thanks to the research I found on http://www.mommiesofmiracles.com I’m understanding a lot more. These children are blessings, and although there genetically different abled, they are beautiful gifts to the world. 

A Mother’s Love 💗

Amazing Grace was brought into the world on Tues, March. 10 th at 6:04 am she had a healthy delivery and Mom and baby have been doing well. Grace had a defect with her heart diagnosed in utero and no one has known how long she would be earth side. After receiving a heart scan yesterday my cousin was happy to report this morning, that there are NO signs of the defect!!! God is creating miracles for my family daily as Amazing Grace has been defeating the odds against her since her conception. Just yesterday she opened up her eyes for the first time her Uncle held her. Oh and what a beautiful moment that was!  There has been an amazing photographer that has been capturing Grace’s journey with her Mom and Dad. All images are by Love by Krista Evans Photography and she and my cousin have allowed me to share them with you today. 💕

A Father’s Love ❤️

I read all the updates eagerly each moment that my cousin posts them. Today Grace will have a brain scan as she was also diagnosed with agenisus of corpus callosum. According to research from Wikipedia.org (ACC) is a rare birth defect (congenital disorder) in which there is a complete or partial absence of the corpus callosum. It occurs when the corpus callosum, the band of white matter connecting the two hemispheres in the brain, fails to develop normally, typically during pregnancy. 

Amazing Grace is being tested and evaluated in preparation to going home! She’s  classified as a strong baby, despite the disorders and her early arrival of eight days before her due date. The amount of love and prayers that are surrounding Grace and her parents is incredible! Thanks to Krista at Love by Krista Evans Photography 12,000 people have seen my family’s pictures. To me that means that 12,000 people are joining in prayer power! You can view Krista’s amazing body of work here:

https://www.facebook.com/lovebykristaevansphotography


The love, pride, and powerful energy emanating from this family fills my heart to the brim. 💖

FAIL

I’ve been keeping as positive as I can considering how precious life really is. And my own son has to undergo genetic testing for Fragile X and ASD. According to Wikipedia.org Fragile X  is a genetic syndrome. Nearly half of all children with fragile X syndrome meet the criteria for a diagnosis of autism.[1] It is an inherited cause of intellectual disability especially among boys. It results in a spectrum of intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe as well as physical characteristics. I’ve had my moments when I’ve dissolved into tears, yelled, cursed, and locked myself away in my pity party of one.

My incredible family has shown me I can have those moments but I just can’t unpack and live there. So other than not cleaning since last weekend, not keeping up with folding my laundry as that relentless bitch is owning me. I’ve been enjoying the sunshine, adventuring with my kids, and counting my blessings. And really appreciating the miracles in life like Amazing Grace’s journey with her phenomenal parents. The strength they’ve shown has been remarkable. In my cousins words to prepare for a life half way through pregnancy, then a possible death, back to preparing for her baby’s life is an extraordinary blessing. I know God will continue to watch over and bless them as they are all miracles of the heart.  💞

Amazing Grace.💖

FEAT

My Captain’s hockey play off round ended for him last Saturday. It was a disappointing loss with some questionable referee calls that ended in a 2-1 loss. It was an exciting game, but I’ll be honest and say this part of being a hockey Mom really sucks. It was so hard to see those disappointed expressions on those sweet children’s faces. They played a great game though and they still have their practices, parents against the kids game, and windup party to look forward too. It was Father son time the next day as my husband took our Captain to work. They both looked so handsome as they dressed up in a shirt and tie. I haven’t seen my son dressed up since his first communion last year. It struck me how fast he’s growing up! I’m so proud of his accomplishments on and off the ice. ❤️

I have so much pride for my Captain and his team. 😃

We also had a major accomplishment as my little Mad dog and I attended the play group specifically for children with special needs. He loved it there as it was fun and manageable with a small group of kids. The most touching moment was when my son thanked me for his happy. I was in awe of him and his gift of understanding in the moment. After the group we attended the indoor playground and he did very well being around more children and some noise. We were both happy to nap when we got home. 😴

“Thank you for my happy Mommy.”

So here we are back to Friday and since our Netflix is M.I.A. due to Mad dog resetting all the information we’ll be watching movies. My wonderful husband picked up Night at the Museum for family movie night and Mocking Jay Part 1 for after they go to bed. Thank you for being here today and please check out everyone else’s post who links up today. 💕

That’s my Friday’s Feats and Fails how’s your week been?

This is going to be an amazing weekend of watching the currents and the classics. 😃🎉


It’s link up time! Don’t mind the HTML code I couldn’t convert it back to text just click on the link below that say inlinkz. 😉

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Ready, set, go! 

I have so much to do and I’m already overwhelmed thinking about it. I have never ending overflowing laundry baskets and I’m totally my laundry room’s bitch for the past two weeks. I’ve got a wicker basket full of stuff I need to do, and the paperwork monster is threatening to grab me in a choke hold till I cry uncle! I know I can take things one day at a time but it’s my brain that never shuts that doesn’t get that message. 

Last week I had a meeting with my respite worker she asked me if I was a list person. I replied yes I love making lists, a lot of my blog topics start out that way. She asked me to write things out instead of using my notes app. So I did and it’s amazing how something so simple, can be so affective. Today I made another list and each day I cross off my accomplishments. It feels good to see that I’m taking care of things, but my overwhelm is with all the things I still need to do. It’s easy for me  to dispense out advice to friends and say look after your priorities and the housework will be there tomorrow. Like death and taxes laundry will always be something you can count on happening. 

I feel like I’m at the start of the race and I’m waiting for someone to be standing there with a pistol saying ready, set, go and I’m off like I’m lit on fire when I hear that shot go off! On one side of me is my calendar jammed with appointments, and on the other is my phone loaded up with texts, emails, and blog topics I need to return and write. At times we’re neck in neck and I literally feel the sweat pouring down my brow. Then I’m wiping it, dying of thirst, and I fall behind and struggle to keep up. 

There are many phone calls to be made, test results to track down, letters to be written, paperwork to be signed, and faxed. I’ve literally been held paralyzed with anxiety that I have to complete all the things and do it record time. The finish line appears to be so far away and my eyes are getting blurry as exhaustion starts to overtake me. Must be the fact I’m dehydrated and in need of something to quench my thirst. And that pesky cataract starts to bother me when I’m tired. So I start veering off the track and daydreaming while I can scarcely see my opponents in the distance. My vision doubles and I start to yearn for my couch. 

There I can have my fuzzy blanket and security while watching Lawrence of Arabia and enjoy eating a bowl of ice cream. This parenting gig can be hard at times. Add in a list of objectives, goals, and lists and you’ve got another job. Sometimes I just want to say &@@@ it and leave for someone else to do. But if I do that then my children won’t get the services they desperately need. I can’t miss out on that, no matter how mentally, emotionally, and physically, exhausted I am. It’s not fair to them or to me if I fail, there’s a lot of resources and a lot of families in need as well. The autism journey can be a bumpy one at the best and worst of times. I’m learning new terminology everyday and as my brother says ATL’s (another three lettered acronym). 

He told me that last week and I laughed so hard, for about fifteen minutes as my life has become all about the letters. When will it all begin, when I’m assessed for funding, get a case worker assigned to me, or get a therapy team in place. There will be more people joining our small circle, lots of transitions, more appointments, and more trips into the city. I will be requesting a lot of home visits in the beginning. Getting my youngest son prepared for these upcoming changes and strangers in our reclusive world. This is never easy and I can use all the PECS (Picture Example Cards) available, but if he has anxiety about it all it’s just not going to happen. 

I honestly don’t know what to expect from branching out into this new world of programs, people, and personalities. I’m thinking as positively as I can and preparing and educating myself as well. So off I go into the sunset leaving worn out ideas, speculations, and false truths behind. From now on its facts, concrete results, and verified diagnosis’s that will matter. I owe it to my children to get them all the help I can. And I owe it to myself to know and believe this age old wisdom from Yoda. That little green guy’s wisdom has touched my life with its simple but gifted advice more times than I can count. Special thanks to http://lindaghill.com for the writing prompt. I couldn’t think of anything to use it for till now. It’s funny  how I just looked at this picture and words started flowing. Green man wisdom for the win!

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Open 

Trigger alert: If you’re suffering from any mental health issues pertaining to cutting or suicide. Proceed to read with caution. I discuss both in text openly. 

My life is an open book I’ve acted like I’ve had together but I really don’t. I’ve found out it takes a village to raise a child. And how lonely life can be when you don’t have a village. I’ve been open about not feeling like an adequate parent, good wife, or being a lousy friend. I have retreated into my world of words and writing, and have tried to make sense of the chaos before me. I’ve advocated for mine and my children’s mental health and have been told to hurry up and wait. Last week after an epic blow up between my oldest son and I, I put all my fears aside and phoned the mental office office. I was told to come down between the hours of 11 am to 3 pm and someone would have a meet and greet with me. 

This is how mental health is dealt with in my province. You’re set up to meet with someone who greets you and sees if you meet the criteria for obtaining services. So I went down there last Friday only to be told the Doctors aren’t seeing anymore walk ins today. That’s the worst lunch bag let down for the week. After talking my son into agreeing he does need help I leave empty handed. Today after battling with him to get up and go to school he decides not to go. I can’t deal with it after being up late myself with his brother having nightmares. I go back to bed, only to be woken up and blamed by my oldest for not going to school.

 I tell him just go eat and get dressed you’ll only be a little late. Then the fight begins that I failed him yet again, and he’s not walking into school late! I get a much anticipated call from my respite worker and I end up telling her everything that I didn’t get to tell her yesterday, with both of my children being home. My Captain (my oldest son, if you’re new to my blog) has been off for a week of school. This has been due to a teachers convention and after eight days of constant battling I NEED A BREAK. Yesterday I drive around in a new neighbourhood looking for a birthday party he was supposed to attend. I couldn’t find the location and my GPS was zero help.

 So I only had respite for a short amount of time as I had my youngest at home. I came home feeling defeated and tried to throw myself into busy ness of housekeeping so as to not start yet another arguement. There’s always something brewing on the horizon and then it came time to get ready for hockey practice. I asked my Captain to get his gear ready, while I quietly and quickly got his brother and I ready to go. We were set to leave when the comments started we’re going to be late, I wish Dad was here, I don’t want to go to hockey. I’ve been walking the thin parenting line between crazy and sane and I blew up and said get out and get your gear in the truck. He refused so I threw his bag on the lawn. Then I proceed to chase my youngest son down the block as he just wants to run away from all the noise. In the midst of my incessant parenting tantrum I lose my keys so I’m frantically looking for them.  

I find my back up set but it doesn’t allow me to lock my door with the key. Useless I know but key fobs are expensive to replace. So my crazy train is loaded up and we arrive at practice. Yes we’re five minutes late, and I just want to run away and hide somewhere. On the way home after practice I encounter a near accident as a racing truck passes five vehicles and is on coming into my lane!  I’ve got my music cranked and I’m singing Paradise by the Dashboard light. When the part of the song sung by the female lead Patti Russo comes on and says Stop right there, a voice inside my head screams the same. So I slow down and head towards the ditch just in time to see this truck fly past me and into the other lane. 

I’m literally shaking as I get home and start preparing dinner for my kids. I listen to them outside chatting while they gaze at the stars. Soon it’s bedtime and I settle in trying to process my day.  Thinking about everything crammed in my brain, it took me a long time to stop shaking and fall asleep last night. Hearing the alarm go off at 7 am after maybe four hours of sleep is like a jackhammer in my head. This morning when my son refused to go to school I said fine you don’t go to school then you go talk to a therapist. I arrive at the office only to be told they are full with walk ins. I don’t take this well at all, I complain you told me this last week and now you just opened up and your full? I have and will always be the squeaky wheel who gets the grease so I continue to triade. The receptionist sees I’m not leaving so she phones the office down the hallway to let them know I’m there.  

I walk over there with my shrieking sensory child who just wants to go home and explain I want to see someone. I’m once again told I can’t and to come back tomorrow. Well the quickest way to ignite the Irish fire inside of me is to tell me I can’t do something. This is unacceptable for urgent care should I be a cutter or slit my wrists would that get me seen faster? That line of questioning and behaviour got me seen faster than taking no for an answer. I have a therapist come to meet me who says I have a few minutes of her time. So I proceed to get my kids in the office while they play with Lego. So I tell her the quickest way to get help is to act crazy. She appears taken back at my honesty, so I spew on and say I’m an open book what do you want to know? I introduce her to my kids and proceed to tell her of the life we’re living.

 I’m told I’ve come to the right place, I’m very well versed, and educated. In another time and place had I known if I’d be walking this path to mental health, I would’ve studied to be an neurologist. Anything to do with the brain fascinates me, neurological disorders, psychiatric illness, all the labels and letters associated with mental illness.  I research about them all and I just want to know more. Being educated, articulate, well versed, helps me as an advocate for mine and my children’s mental health helps everyone. Now I walk a different journey to allowing this help to transform my family. From chaos to calm, from anger to happiness, from power struggles to peace. I’ve found the quickest way to get help is to stop acting like I have it altogether. So why do I tell you all this today? Well it’s simple I live my life like a open book, I can’t hide away from it anymore welcome to my book of life. Today I start to write a new chapter of hope, help, and resolution. I really think my guardian angel drinks if I was her I would too. Cheers to you Mom and thank you for saving our lives. ❤️

This has been my submission to Ash’s Sunday Confessions on http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Please check out her story, the anonymous confessions, and all the other talent who link up. Thank you for following along on my journey. 💓

Today I’m linking up with http://silverliningmama.com for her conquer challenge for the month of February. 

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Most and Least

This has been the most stressful week I’ve gone through since I got the call that my Dad was in hospice. I believe the feelings that are swirling around in my body and brain are the same. This week I had to sit there while the Paediatrician said “I’m going to say some things that are difficult to hear.” So I replied “just say it Doc I’ve lived through a lot.” So she said I want your children genetically tested and evaluated for ASD.

I didn’t know what to say except I agreed and thanked her for being honest with me. Inside I felt like she had just ripped the bandaid off my broken heart. And it was oozing out the pain I was keeping in there awaiting healing. I walked out of her office feeling the most vulnerable I had ever felt in my life. My kids are my world, and when I first found out that I was expecting each of them I prayed for a healthy pregnancy. I never wanted to see them in pain, suffering or feeling powerless.

So this is the least of their worries as I just allow them to just be kids. They don’t know of the stress, the sleepless nights, the times I’ve spent crying. They know that they get frustrated easy, nightmares awaken them, and change is difficult to comprehend. With my oldest I tell him all our brains are wired differently. He can’t always help what comes out of his mouth, but he should say kind things.

He sometimes asks me why he can’t let go of a thought bothering him, or why he needs his homework to be perfect. The only answer I have is God made us all unique and different. There’s things that really bother me too. But I concentrate on the things that I can deal with. And let go of the things I can’t and let God take care of them. I will admit though this is the most I’ve had to absorb in one day in one week. So I’m praying for strength and acceptance so I can infuse that in my sons.

So where does this leave me? I will be applying for funding, and getting the most help I need for my children, as well as myself. I’ve joined a support group online and I look forward to meeting these other Moms. I’ve also been attending my support groups locally and it’s so gratifying to meet other parents that are walking the same path as me. After the paper work’s completed, and the appointments are made, then I’ll see where we’re at with getting help.

I’ve never been a fan of labels, but in this case it will be what’s needed in order to move forward with a diagnosis with funding. These labels will not define my children or change who they are. They will not change me or my husband either. They will make us the most devoted parents with advocating for them. They will still be happy, healthy, fun loving kids with a few more letters of the alphabet applied. And most of all they’re our gifts from God that were bestowed on us.

I wouldn’t change any moment of their lives or mine. We get the hand that’s dealt to us in life. We can let it define us or let us rise to the occasion. I prefer to feel my pain for a moment, embrace it, and keep moving forward. I owe it to my family to do so, and it’s the least I can do after they blessed me when they made me their Mom. 💖

This has been my submission to
http://lindaghill.com/2015/01/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-january-2415/ for Saturday Stream of Consciousness and the prompt was most/least. Using one or both words.

Please check out her gifted writing and all the other talent that links up. Thank you always dear readers, for your love and support. 😊

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Guest Blog with Loorducation-Sensory Learning

I am honoured today to present my very first guest blogger. I have so much love and respect for this very talented woman. She’s filled my heart with love, education, and understanding, not to mention nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogging award! I had nominated her two weeks ago for her kindness, talent and inspiration. With an educational background with a Masters in education concentrating on teaching and learning, and Bachelor of Sciences in child studies majoring in early childhood education. I first came across Danielle’s Facebook group

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

and my mind was blown with all her wonderful creative ideas for sensory based play. Which led me to her
amazing blog:

http://Loorducation.wordpress.com

I then saw where her passion for all things children and education lied with her sweet, creative, son who has autism. Danielle works with the approach to child led learning through the gift of her son. And she has helped me immeasurably with my own son’s journey with SPD. She is a blessing and gift to me and the world! The true epitome of an amazing teacher, I’m excited to introduce her to you dear readers, happy reading and learning.

Sensory Learning

Children love to explore and when they are given freedom, they sure love to learn. Children learn about the world through their senses. Hands on learning, – experimenting with different textures using their hands. They touch, feel and scope out different sized and shaped items sensing if they are soft, rigid, slimy, fuzzy – among many other feels. Children can tell a lot about something by using tactile learning. As well, this type of learning can soothe distressed children especially those on the autism spectrum. There are many types of sensory learning items that I make that can be used for exploration and relaxation when needed. There are sensory bottles, sensory bags, and sensory bins. There are many, many ways that I make them; I use kinetic sand, colored water, shaving cream, corn starch – just to name some things. The items that I use to create these sensory learning products are easy to find and cost little money. Below are some examples of the creations that I have made. They all can be custom made, according to the needs of the child.

Below I have made a sensory bin with kinetic sand and added plastic dinosaurs. This is great for early hands on math where the children can search and sort by color and make patterns with them as well.

I have packaged up some hand made play dough that is great for children to use and roll between their little hands, squeeze, make shapes out of and so much more. The soft texture can be calming and different scents, such as lavender can be added for tension and stress relief.

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Here I have made some colorful sensory bags that are great visual for the eyes and can get the children to focus. These sensory bags are great too because they are cool to the touch and may be scented as well for an ultimate sensation of calmness and learning. Inside the bag can hold tiny items that are suitable for your child. I use beads, dry macaroni, small figures, etc. They are portable and can be taken on long car trips and to stores or anywhere that a child may need to help them focus, keep them busy and help them in cases of being over stimulated by bright lights and loud noises. These work nicely for all children especially those on the autism spectrum and / or have SPD – sensory processing disorder.

In the next picture, I have made a small sensory bin with kinetic sand. In it I have added plastic insects, The pic in the middle is a sensory bin with different shapes of dry macaroni and in it I have added some small creatures and toys that my son really likes. This can be used for search and find, mix and match and other math and science activities.

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Here we have some cloud dough and in the next picture is some play dough. The cloud dough is made of shaving cream and flour. It is great for the sense of smell and it feels really silky and smooth. The combination of the two, makes for a nice soothing experience that is a great stress reliever when a child may be worked up over homework or other situations. It is great for an in between break as is the play dough.

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Kinetic Sand sensory bins are versatile, here I made a fun one with cowboys and Native Americans from a set my son had. The children can play search an find, math, or just dig them up and pour the sand on them again. Any way, it is soothing for little hands. The next pic is a sensory table that I had set up. On it there is some play dough, cloud dough and some slime or flubber. All home made. The slime is one of the biggest hits. It is cool to the touch and can take many forms in which the kids love seeing. I made orange this time. It is easy to add any color that is desired using food coloring. Having a small table set up gives the children choices and enables them to make their own decisions as to what they want to learn with at a certain time. I use all types of learning tools with it such as cookie cutters and google eyes for open ended learning.

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Here I made dirt and worms. A yummy tasteful treat. Let the kids help. Hands on fun that they get to eat afterwards. Make some pudding, they can mix and add ingredients for early math and science. They can help crumble up some cookies and add worms. A great learning experience that they will be proud of. The next pic is a robot. I have a few arts and crafts bins with a variety of learning tools. They are great for exploration and provide for a great stretching of the imagination too. When a child has choices, he or she will feel more open and therefore able to express his or herself fully through hands on creativity. The tools used here are a shoebox, clothes pins, pony beads, craft sticks and more. Set up an invitation to play and watch what children are able to create.

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A light table works wonders. Here he is drawing put many items such as paper, small plastic toys, bead (you name it) can be placed on this portable light table and used for endless fun and learning. The next pic, I made some green flubber and we put small plastic colored rings in which were used to make matching pairs and patterns as well as sorting. Great sensory play for early math learning.

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Here I made a sensory bottle. Great for on the go! Easy and fun. Fill it up for endless possibilities. Can be used for seek and find. Here I put some random stuff such as google eyes and squinkies. Add water, food coloring..even glitter. Many ways to create. Seal the top with glue and ready to go. Next, I made a geo board for hands on early math learning. I used a cork board, push pins and rubber bands. This can even be used to make different types of sounds and rhythms.

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Here I made a dry macaroni sensory bins with different shaped pasta. I added some plastic animals. The pasta can also be dyed. Next is a simple sensory bin with marbles. Great for textile and sounds.

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Sensory learning is an awesome way for children to experience the world around them. There are endless opportunities and possibilities when it comes to sensory creations. They are suitable for all children especially those sensory seekers, ASD children and SPD children. Sensory “toys” are great fun to make and sparks creativity. It promotes healthy learning and works on fine muscles that benefit children when they are learning how to write, hold scissors, open stuff such as juice boxes, zippers, buttons etc.

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Learning should be fun. The goal is to get children to love learning and we may achieve this goal by providing them with different opportunities that make them feel well. When children feel well, they will learn well. Sensory is key!! It opens up many doors. 😉

Peace, love, and education.

xxoo

Dany

Danielle Loor- M. Ed, BSCS

https://www.facebook.com/loorducation

Founder and creative director of Loorducation.

Making learning fun.

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