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. ❤️

It takes a village

I recently took a physical for life insurance purposes. My nurse was kind and polite and when I was asked why do I take an anti-depressant when your otherwise healthy? I simply replied “I’m a special needs parent who’s always advocating, teaching, learning, researching, and loving my family I have to cope somehow.”

The look of surprise that crossed his face was something that I’ve seen before. I’ve had people ask me how do you do it, deal with autism, ADHD, ODD, SPD, and a genetic neurological disorder that affects everything from motor skills, to recessive language delay, to selective eating issues due to textures, smells, and shapes of food.

I have no other answer other than I don’t think about it I just do it. All of it needs to be done always. I need to advocate for my children so that they can have access to resources, funding, and therapy inside the school system and outside within the community. I need to keep up with the latest research on my son’s genetic disorder so I know how to help him specifically and what other co-morbidities I need to be aware of. I also need to teach him about number and letter recognition so he can begin to print what he knows. I have to deal with regression as it’s the part of his brain that’s affected by his micro-duplication.

I need to check, double check and help my son re-learn when he’s lost his ability to process what he’s learning in school. He’s come a long way with his progress from screaming if I tried to help him hold a crayon in preschool to printing his name confidently in elementary school. Now his world’s growing bigger as he attempts to make sense of all those letters on the page and learn to read. I remember what joy I felt when my Mom introduced the magical world of books to me.

I long to see that light in my son’s eyes that I know appeared in mine. Yet I see him stumble on three and four letter words and in frustration throw the book across the room. At the moment we’re working on his reading comprehension so that he can create the story from what he sees illustrated on the page. As for the phonics and word recognition I’m using a multi-sensory approach as well as his special education resources teacher does in the classroom.

1. First I print the word then I get him to to tell me the letters and we sound it out and say it together.

2. Next I have him build it with his alphabet letters on the line below.

3. After he prints the word with his pencil.

4. Then we go over the word and use it in a sentence and repeat with the remaining words.

Sometimes he only has enough patience for three words but to me it’s quality over quantity. I learned the Write, build, print method from an amazing website called Understood. I love this website as I now have a resource that’s there to help us both on our learning journey.

When I see the furrow in my son’s brow as he concentrates to maintain his alligator grip on his pencil I marvel at his independence. He sings a little song as he does so. Alligator grip then my pencil doesn’t slip. Then when he’s completed his task his beautiful smile makes his whole face light up. I’m excited to incorporate building Lego into his learning as we work on math next.

I have five months to prepare him to catch up with his peers and continue onto the next grade. He has an excellent team at school who’ve been there to help with his frustrations, transitions with the use of visuals and successes. My son teaches me just as much as I’m teaching him this why I choose medication for myself and seeking the guidance of a therapist.

No parent is an island and it takes a village to raise a child. When it’s a child with special needs it takes strength, courage, and a bigger, non-judgemental village. I need to be able to cope with this roller coaster of a life we lead. I need to stay on task and ten steps ahead of a sensory overloaded meltdown. Most importantly I need to take care of myself and repair what I feel is broken. My mental health and the well being of my children depend on it.

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!

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Hotel living 101-special needs parenting

A month ago I embarked on a journey to pack up my truck and my kids and headed out on a new adventure. My husband has been working away for 3 months and after solo parenting, recovery from a broken arm, and listing our house for sale I was done! I counted the days till my kids were out of school and got out of dodge.

Once we arrived tired, sweaty, and dis regulated late at night that's when the real fun began. It was a long trip and after listening to my kids nit picking each other for 7 hours. I arrived disheveled and I needed a time out. I love my children but I was "needed out" and wanted to forget my name was Mom. But who would answer if I don't? My husband was off limits as he was attempting to sleep with working the next day. I went into action mode and set up the pullout couch for the kids. I jumped into my pyjamas and crawled into bed. My youngest son was stimming and in need of sensory input and regulation so we needed to fill that asap!

I walked around the hotel and read books and gave him deep pressure hugs that only his Mama can give. Inside I was praying for him to go to sleep as he jumped out of my lap and rolled around on the floor. I felt the need to explain to the front desk hotel staff that my son has autism and not able to follow the quiet time rule after 10 pm rule. He gave me a nod of understanding and I carried on with my regulation methods.

Finally by midnight my son was sleepy so I put him to bed. Meanwhile my brain was on hyper drive as the events of the day piled up and reduced me to tears. I lay there on the cold bathroom until my crying subsided then fell into bed into a deep sleep.

I woke up in the morning feeling like I had ran a marathon then someone had run me over and left me for dead. I needed to eat, shower, brush my teeth, and unpack. Breakfast was complimentary and a Godsend. My youngest son was fascinated with the pancake machine as he pushed the button an they fell onto his plate. Thank God for these little gifts as this held attention long enough for us to get through breakfast and back to our room.

5 ways to survive hotel living special needs style

*Beforehand research your list of hotel options and book one with pool, gym, and spa facilities. Luckily my husband's company took care of that for us in advance.*

  • Swim daily and spend as much time there as you can in order to wear your children out. That includes numerous trips to the water slide and to the hot tub. Water can have a regulating affect on children with sensory disorders if there's no Sensory Defensiveness present and they're comfortable being immersed in a pool.
  • Invest some time in the gym. I go there weekly with my kids to work out. Even at the ages 10 and 6 there's machines they can use like the treadmill, elliptical, spin bike, and free weights. It's a wonderful way to feel healthy and deal with stress.
  • Provide sensory friendly cut up fruit and vegetables for snacks. The crunchy foods provide the sensory seeking benefit as well as toning the jaw muscles. With my sons hypotonia condition in his jaw this is a huge benefit to his sensory diet.
  • Cut back on junk food for snack time. My kids tend to be sponges for everything they absorb like sugar and food dyes. Trust me you don't want a sensory overloaded mind and body meltdown within close quarters in a hotel room!
  • In one word Netflix plus additional DVD's, colouring books, crayons, felts, wipe board books, and washable markers on those inside days when you're too tired to move.

Maintain your children's sensory diet even while on vacation. Move as much as possible explore your local parks, playgrounds, and the city itself. On days when the weather's miserable have board games, puzzles, crosswords, and structured time on electronics. I stress this one as you don't need to struggle with the affects of a dopamine crash after a limit is not followed. We also signed up for the Kids Bowl Free summer program and that's fun for the whole family.

My kids became very creative through the pleas of I'm bored and built themselves and indoor bowling alley that kept them entertained for a few hours. They also did some crafts, painting, and worked on maintaining fine motor strength playing with thinking putty and play dough. Our favourite thing to do is play make believe as they pretended they were superheroes and the world was being covered in lava. I watched my kids jump from bed to bed and marvelled at their imaginations.

After a month of hotel living I'm confident I made the right choice to reunite as a family. I wanted my kids to have a fun summer instead of being stressed about keeping a clean house for showings while attempting to sell. Now I spend my spare time reading, writing, organizing housing information and counting off the days till our new homes possession date then the fun starts again with packing and unpacking. Whatever comes our way we'll get through it as being together as a family is the best place to be.

Come to the Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop. A monthly gathering of posts hosted by the http://www.thesensoryspectrum.com/and http://www.thejennyevolution.com/category/voices-of-special-needs/

Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo. From Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next months Voices for Special Needs Blog Hop. Click http://www.thesensoryspectrum.com/sensory-blogger

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Autism and my family’s journey 

It’s been almost 1.5 years ago that my youngest son was diagnosed with autism and a rare neuro developmental disorder called 16p11.2 proximal duplication. Which makes him so rare is that not all 16 th chromosomal abnormalities develop into any other genetic anomaly and in some cases it does. He’s in the 1 % where the duplication develops into autism affecting his central nervous system, auditory system, visual system, as well as his sense of taste and smell.

Essentially the disorder means that he has an extra band of DNA in the 16 th area of his chromosome. We all have one individual band on each side of our long and short arm of our chromosomes.  In my son’s case he has 3, one on his left arm and 2 on his right. All this extra genetic material can manifest into other disorders such as ADHD, ODD, OCD, and mood disorders such as bipolar depression, schizophrenia, and learning disabilities.

My son can also be affected medically with auto immune disorders, spinal growths known as chiarri and a possibility of tumours. I just learned of his diagnosis almost 1.5 years ago which led to the diagnosis of autism level 3 stated in the DSM 5. Which means he’s needing substantial support for resistant and persevasive behaviours.

I will admit when I heard his pediatrician give his diagnoses I cried and I shook so hard that I fell off my chair! I completely lost control while the doctor said she was sorry over and over again. What was she sorry for? Her world didn’t change in an instant? This is my first time writing about it as I had to process it.

In the meantime I’ve gone into my “Mom research mode” and learned more of how to help my son.  I recently met with a geneticist for counselling and she provided me with some more information.  She was impressed that I was aware of so much already. I was left on your own after my son’s paediatrician left her practice so I didn’t have a choice.

I’ve always referred to my son as my SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) Superhero now he’s my champion. I never knew what his life would hold for him as I held him in my arms when he came into the world. He was a tiny 6 lb, 2 oz bundle of joy with a fighting spirit. Now he’s grown into a strong, independent, precocious, fun loving, six year old boy. He has had a lot to contend with in his young life. Along with his autism and rare diagnoses he also has other disorders.

The first discovery after his assessments was Global Developmental Delay. Meaning he has a severe deficit in two or more motor skills. This label phases out after the age of 5 developmentally as a child ages. My son has a severe recessive speech deficit and moderate expressive language, as well as severe fine motor skills and moderate gross motor skills delay. He’s verbal but needs instructions broken down for him in a way he can understand. All this new information leads to yet another diagnosis of Intellectual Development Delay

For eg: First, Then, and After. Which helps him process things better with his executive functioning skills. He also has asthma and Obstructive Sleep Apnea that’s controlled with medication. He’s a sensory seeker and has sensory processing disorder, in particular Sensory Modulation Disorder. He can’t spin in a circle in one direction for too long as it overstimulates his vestibular sense. I have to make sure he spins clockwise and counter clockwise or he’s crashing into walls and people. When he was a toddler I used to have to duct tape a body pillow to the wall so he wouldn’t injure himself!

His proprioception sense is weaker so I use a lot of visual spatial concepts and cues to help him understand. He gets very visually overstimulated so I use a white board or visuals to help keep him on task. He’s also wearing his glasses in school to help with that. He has also completed a one year developmental therapy contract having a Behavioural Aide and psychologist working with us in our home. As well as an Educational Aide at school and a Community Aide to help with the social and behavioural aspect.

We use a white board inside and outside the home using the first, then, and after sequence of events. We visual cues (tapping body parts), stating the name of each body part in motion, and crossing the midline, and using visual pictures. My son responds very well to all the above as well as repetitive speech. I’ve seen him struggle with leaving the house to happily going on an adventure.

Every Dr’s appointment, geneticist visit, hospital checkup, and ride to school is an adventure for him. The reason why is because I make it this way by using social stories, sentence strips, and role playing to help him motor plan and process the visual and auditory information. We work diligently to not overwhelm or overload him sensory wise. Our life isn’t easy by no stretch of the imagination but it’s manageable and we share love, laughter, learning, and joy.

From the first time he opened his eyes and looked at me I knew it would be him and I against the world. Now with support, education, awareness, and acceptance we’ve found our special needs village and for that we’re grateful.
Welcome to the Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop. A monthly gathering of posts hosted by the Sensory Spectrum and Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo. From Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next months Voices for Special Needs Blog Hop click Here.

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Release Blitz and Solis book review by L.B. Dunbar (writing as Elda Lore)

Title: Solis
Series: Modern Descendants #2
Author: Elda Lore (L.B. Dunbar writing as)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Blurb

Veva Matron is a feisty girl raging with suppressed anger and distrust of men.

Solis Cronus is a blindingly beautiful, Greek god of a guy, who likes to play women.

An electric hatred thunders through each of them about the other until one night, lightning strikes. A world of secrets reveals the destiny of two at odds with one another, and clouds the line between love and hate. Can a lively girl find calm in the stormy tension of a boy made of sunshine and sin?

The mythical tale of Zeus and Hera reignites in this modern interpretation of enemies to lovers. Full of flirty sexual angst and teasing temptation, Solis might be the one man who can extinguish Veva’s angry fire and ignite a different sort of flame: desire.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK
Author Bio

Elda Lore is the alter ego of L.B. Dunbar. A writer of mythical tales in the modern world.

Author Links
FACEBOOK
GOODREADS
AMAZON

Solis Book Review

I have to share my heart was captured when I first read Hades by LB writing as Elda Lore. She took my love of Greek Mythology and the supernatural and turned it into something magical for my eyes and ears to experience! I was eager to read the continuation in Solis and soon fell in love with the book’s new characters. I love a strong female character in whatever genre I’m reading. Seeing what made Viva tick and how her upbringing left her jaded towards men made me feel a kingship with her. Before I met and fell in love with my husband I felt this way myself. She always preferred to be the heartbreaker than being heartbroken. Then along comes Solis Cronus who’s a gorgeous blonde Greek God who exudes sexuality and confidence. She has no time for him as her main concern is enjoying her summer break with her best friend Persephone. Who’s heartbroken after her love Hades returns to the Underworld without her. The story of the Modern Descendants flows beautifully from the introduction of Solis and his family to the conclusion of who will fall in love, lust, or out of Zeke Cronus’ good graces.  Secrets, love affairs, mythology, and modern times mix together to entice the reader and leave them eagerly awaiting the next sequel to the Modern Descendants series. I loved this book and look forward to losing myself in the next adventure of Hephateus coming soon. 
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Celebrate Blogging Linkup Party #20

WELCOME TO THE PARTY!!!
Is it just me or is November flying by?!
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than a couple weeks away.
This past weekend we did our thankful jar and made some
leaf rubbing books. 

I also did a little Christmas shopping! I got the kids Christmas
pajamas, Christmas books, advent activity books and other little things.
I love a Target Christmas run…don’t you?!-Arianne

LET’S START CELEBRATING…!
Grab a button for your blog sidebar!

CELEBRATE BLOGGING LINK-UP PARTY!

CELEBRATE WITH US…JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP:
FOLLOW OUR PINTEREST BOARD:
We pin every link to our board every week!!!

ARIANNE FROM FAMILY JOYS:

JEANINE FROM JSACK’S MOM’S BLOG

BIBI FROM SIMPLE SUMMIT:

SHANNON FROM CRAFTY MAMA IN ME:

MARILYN FROM FINANCIALLY SHOPPING:





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photo
Arianne
Family Joys

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Monday Musings-The Aftermath of Time

It takes two minutes to return a smile, a lifetime to grieve a loved one, and thirty seconds for panic to set in when your child’s missing. People can vanish without a trace, be lost and never found, die of sudden or natural causes and we’re left to wonder about time. The time we could’ve spent sharing our love and appreciation with that person, a better use of the time spent with them not knowing it would be the last time we would see them. 

It’s happened a lot in my life-loss and the grief’s felt like a never ending cycle of turmoil and pain. Ever circulating and appearing in my life for a personal loss of life or one shared with a friend. Time where you wish you hadn’t said words in anger, fear or mistrust. When you could see past your very human ego to forgive instead of forming the words of negativity and pain. Forgiveness really is an art form, to move past the pain inflicted on your psyche and spirit. To turn the other cheek and give kindness when in your heart you know it’s the right thing to do. Forgiveness solves many problems but what happens to the person who releases the one who caused the indiscretion in the first place? 

Do they simply forgive and forget words that sliced through their heart like a serrated knife? Do they move on and feel their spirit lighter with an air of peace? Does the simple act of saying “I forgive you” imply that they understand why the hurt was inflicted upon them? Here lies in the struggle, I personally find it difficult to forgive. I was raised with an armour of stubbornness and tenacity that’s made it difficult to make that choice to forgive. I feel weak and vulnerable, to relent to pain caused to me. I’m human yet moving past the pain to divinity is better for my soul. 

I recently had an argument with my son and in his preadolescent mindset he chose to walk away then help resolve it. We were in a city we had never been to before and on our way back to the hotel we were staying at. He thought his Dad and I were being unfair so he stomped away. I had no idea where he was going or if he knew how to find his way back to our hotel. It was a dark yet a well lit parking lot but to see him run away like that was heartbreaking. I was feeling more scared then angry as I ran after him and he disappeared!  

My family and I entered the hotel and I couldn’t find him anywhere. My lungs were ready to burst as it was cold night and my asthmatic symptoms were setting in and I frantically searched for my son.  I asked the front desk staff if they had seen him and they replied they had not. The woman said “do you need a key card” and I replied “no I just need my son back now unharmed!” I made my way to the elevator to see if he was waiting for me while my husband and youngest son went ahead to our room. 

For fifteen heart stopping minutes I had no idea where my oldest son was. Was he hurt, was he kidnapped, was he lost and searching for me? By the grace of God he was found when another friends parent saw him waiting in the hallway and took him back to our room. I quickly jumped in an elevator and as my mind raised all I could think of was the last time I saw him. The hurtful words that were exchanged, the look of anger on his face, and how lost I felt when I couldn’t find him. I should’ve took back those spiteful words of anger said, I should’ve recognized he was frustrated and needing to be heard than reacting to his outburst. I needed to make better use of my time with him letting him know even though I disagreed I still loved and respected him. 

When I got to my floor I burst out of the elevator like I was on fire and ran to my room. I opened the door and grabbed my son up in my arms in a hug that needed to last a lifetime. He squirmed away from me then eventually relaxed into my embrace as the tears flowed. I tried to talk but my words were halted by my sobs. 

What I managed to convey to him was that I was so worried that something could’ve happened to him. With the last words we had spoken to each other in emotion were not what we meant to say. Yet it’s true as the adage says we always hurt the ones we love. Why is that easier option then to just agree to disagree and come up with a solution? There were apologies given and received and for the rest of the weekend he wasn’t out of my sight. Except to play hockey and use the dressing room facilities. Forgiveness was difficult but necessary to give in order to value each other and our relationship. 

I never want to go through that heart wrenching experience again! I feel like it aged me by ten years and took time off my lifespan. It all begins and ends with time.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson to curb my temper and refrain from spouting words of anger and angst in the heat of the moment. My son has learned that a moment of negativity can cause him to make a poor choice yet he’s willing to admit his mistake and learn from it. Time it’s the deciding factor of all our words, actions, and transgressions. And I for one will be using my time more wisely with my friends and loved ones. You just never know when that time will run out and regret will take its place. 

Would you like to take part in #MondayMusings? Our host is Everyday Gyann read her post to see how to slow down and get creative. 
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Ten Things of Thankful-Some kind of wonderful

It’s time to join up with the merry band of thankful crew. I’ve been on a little hiatus due to back to school craziness. It’s been a wild month of keeping track of all school responsibilities and I need to dive waist deep into some thankfulness. This is where my heart is and always will be whether in participating in the TTOT linkup or just reading all the wonderful talent that reside there. 

I’m thankful for having a more organized week and making each appointment and having my sitters lined up for the last week. My kids enjoy spending time with these special caregivers and I’m grateful for some me time and a date night with my handsome husband. 

I’m thankful for celebrating 11 years of marriage. There are times when life beats me down and I feel overwhelmed. I look towards my husband and he’s always there cheering me on and believing in my inner strength that I know I possess but need a reminder of when I’m feeling clouded by doubt. 


I’m thankful for the wonderful friendships I have in my life. I’m never without a kind word, strong shoulder, or zany sense of humour from my tribe. The real life friends make me feel so loved and appreciated. My online friendships have grown and have taught me to believe in myself and the power of my words. Words that can make a difference and be the change I wish to see in the world. 

I’m thankful for a successful week of charting and tracking my daily life habits. I’ve had 3 successful weeks of tracking my behaviours of food, mood, anxiety, sleep, and OCD I’m a journal. I’ve begun to see patterns of my behaviour that I can now work on changing and revitalize my self care regimen. 

I’m thankful for my behavioural therapist that I’ve been seeing for the last month. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the game changer in my life and I’m looking forward to more successes that I will accomplish with her support and expertise. 


I’m thankful for my sons doing well in school. It’s only been a month but they’ve both felt positive about being in their classrooms. Soon I will find out what funding is available for my youngest with autism and a teacher conference for my oldest to see how he’s doing in school. I’m proud of them both and the resilience and inner strength they’ve shown me. 


I’m thankful for a wonderful day spent at the women’s show. I met a lot of different vendors and listened to an amazing guest speaker. I sat in the sunshine and painted a wine glass and met some very interesting kind people. It was a rewarding day of being social followed by a 3 hour successful theatre practice. The most memorable part of my day was signing the poster asking the question in one word describing myself. I chose to say I’m inspirational and the loving energy that poured out of me from that moment onward was incredible. 

Speaking of theatre I’m thankful that I was cast in the lead role of the pantomime play! I was going to be brave and try out for a bigger role than in the previous years and I did. I’m memorizing a lot of dialogue, dances, and really enjoying my character. Performing is where my heart is when I’m on stage I feel like I’m invincible. 

I’m thankful for autumn days and walking along the river with leaves crunching under my feet. The pictures I take at this time of year thrill me as Mother Nature decorates these beautiful tapestrys of colour and wonder. 

I’m thankful for all things pumpkin now that it’s October. Halloween is a big deal in our household so let the dessert making and decorating commence. Stay tuned for guess what Halloween costume I’ll be wearing coming soon. 

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Sensory Processing Disorder in the classroom

My son has had a long journey in his five years. He was born a month premature and didn’t open up his eyes for his first five days on the earth. Even back then he knew he was sensory overwhelmed with his welcome to the world. Most Moms have babies crying when they make their exit from the spa into the brightness of a hospital OR. Not my son he was sleeping in my OB’s arms as he was brought over the sheet to check his vitals. 

From that day forward he found his voice and expressed himself fully with the power of his lungs. He was a cuddly baby that never like to be put down to sleep and was rolling back and forth at 4 days old! Then he grew into a bash and crash toddler that scared me with his antics of climbing up a five shelf bookshelf and jumping onto the couch. Now he’s grown up so much I wish time could slow down and I could swaddle that sweet baby he used to be. 

He’s 5 now and recently diagnosed with autism and co-morbidities to watch out for, and attending kindergarten and I have routine  that I do for him in the morning to prepare him for the day. He’s not a morning person after two years with obstructive sleep apnea so every morning is a little more jarring to his central nervous system. We start slow and easy in the morning with the routine of wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and get his backpack ready for school. All shown with his visual pictures to keep him on task. 

Regulation 

 He needs to be emotionally and physically regulated with his central nervous system before he steps into his classroom so I have a morning cuddle with him and give him a deep pressure massage to wake up his senses slowly. He then gets fed, dressed, washed, and then coat, shoes, backpack are put on. If he’s feeling antsy I have him jump on his minitramp for 1 minute. That amount of time can balance him out and then crab walks to the door with some heavy work to prepare him for sitting. 

Stimulation

Now that’s he’s awake and ready to start his day he can become overly stimulated by what he sees around him. I help him focus by putting on his glasses so he can single out each object. His classroom is a busy place so I know this cuts down on all the visual distractions. Noise and commotion are difficult input for my son to process so he has his noise cancelling headphones in his backpack to block out the overstimulation. If he doesn’t wear them he will stim and compete with the noise with his vocal power to cancel out the offending auditory trigger. 

Oral Fixation

My son tends to chew on his sleeves, cuffs, collar of his clothes so after he’s dressed I make sure he has his chewlery. He’s a shark and ocean marine life lover so he has his shark on a cord and wears it as a necklace. He doesn’t always like to wear it but I tell him that sharky’s there to help if he feels nervous. It saves his clothes and gives him the sensory input he needs for his low muscle tone in his jaw. 

Motor Planning

He has difficulties with  transitions so I make sure that I use visual supports to keep him on task. First we use his visual picture cards so he can see his morning routine. Then I draw them on the white board in a 3 step format of first, then, after. As he completes each task he erases it feeling accomplished and ready to start his day. 

Zones of Regulation

Each day my son and I will go through the zones of regulation where he will tell me what each colour is to express a feeling or action. When he’s unable to express how he’s feeling verbally he will tell me a colour. 

  • Blue is feeling sad or tired. 
  • Yellow is feeling scared or nervous. 
  • Green is happy and smiling.
  • Red is angry and frustrated. 

Verbal Diahrrea 

My son enjoys talking so I need to show him how to take turns with having a conversation as his receptive language skills are severe. He can have tunnel vision and want to be the only one talking and expressing his thoughts. I have a Popsicle stick that he coloured with one side is red and the other is green. He holds the stick and when it’s green he’s a go for talking. When it’s red then he has to stop and let someone else talk, namely his teacher. 

The visuals keep him on track and help with his slower processing time. We all know the adage it takes a village to raise a child. When you have a child with special needs that village grows. Now we prepare for him to be assessed by the school psychologist so he can qualify for an aid in the classroom. It’s not an easy process because sometimes my son doesn’t want to be organized and given direction so it becomes more of a dance. He takes a step and we each take turns leading. One thing I know that everything we do is to prepare him for success in the classroom. 

Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthlygathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution  . Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

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Krystal Blue book review

I love to read as much as I love to write so I feel such joy when I’m wrapped up in a good book. That is where my heart lies so I became a beta reader for the author Destiny Hawkins. Now this talented woman can spin a great story, and quickly too. As soon as I finish up a book she’s loading up my Kindle app with another! Not that I’m complaining though I really get wrapped up in her characters as she writes so vividly of their lives, loves, and stories.

Amazon Link:

Synopsis:

Krystal Blue is a young college student with the good looks of a Californian blonde beauty. Her life is far from perfect growing up in the foster system and afraid to get close to anyone since her life was struck by tragedy. The story weaves the tale into Krystal navigating college, finding employment, and saving enough money to stop living in her car.
The author Destiny makes you feel sympathetic to Krystal’s plight as a young woman just trying to make her way in the world. Then she throws in a super natural twist and a love triangle as I was reading my head was spinning from the excitement. I I stayed up late late night after night reading this book as the twists and turns piqued my interest and left me wanting more!

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review and like all of Destiny’s books I loved it! I received it in instalments so I eagerly read them wanting more information as the mystery slowly unravelled to who and what Krystal Blue really is. This book was the first that I had read in a LGBTQ genre but the sexual orientation was written in such a way that that the love interests never overshadowed the driving plot line. This book had me on the edge of my seat with how much the story line evolved from Krystal Blue being weak and powerless to discovering an inner strength she never knew she possessed! 
The storyline had me at the introduction of Krystal and her brothers relationship growing up in foster care and having no one but each other for comfort and support. Next I was taken on this wild ride that the author Destiny Hawkins is well known for. There were some many twists and turns on a personal and paranormal level I found myself feeling anxious like I was the main character! I’m very excited to continue the next book as this is book one of the Blue Moon series I look forward to more adventures with Krystal Blue.

Author Information


Destiny Hawkins is the author of Krystal Blue Book one of the Blue Moon Series. She’s also written Caged, Caged 2, Angels Blade, Aveena City of Gold, and a children’s book Hide and Seek-the Okavango Delta. When she’s not writing she’s thinking about new characters and plot lines to devise. You can follow her on social media here.
Facebook
Amazon Author page

Stay tuned to a work in progress coming soon from Destiny Hawkins creative mind! 

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A Journey of Self Discovery Preorder Review Tour~East-A Novel by Peri Hoskins

East-A Novel

By Peri Hoskins

@PeriHoskins

Preorder Now

Amazon Link
End of August Release

I really enjoyed this book set in Australia in the style of Jack Kerouac On the Road. Peri paints a picture of a dissatisfied lawyer, named Vince who decides to pack up his car and head east for new adventures. He comes across many interesting characters each impacting his life in their own ways. He’s 30 years old and searching for his life’s purpose after leaving his promising career in law. He sets off on his soul searching journey to find himself and gets entwined in the lives of the supporting characters. Staying with friends, youth hostels, and camping he finds his nomadic journey to be come a spiritual quest and opens himself to whatever will meant to be. I would recommend the reader have a dictionary handy as I wasn’t familiar with the British or Australian slang. I appreciated learning something new though with the author Peri’s use of it. I became invested in the main character Vince and wanted him to find happiness and his purpose whatever direction that takes him in. I found him to be an open hearted beautiful man who is desperate for his soul to heal. Each night he scribbles away in his travel journal about his adventures intent on writing his book while finding meaning for his life.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s a traveller or has felt like they need to change up their world and start a new chapter in their life’s diary. Peri Hoskins has an excellent  writing style I didn’t want to stop reading. I look forward to reading and reviewing his first book Millenium-A Memoir next. 

It’s 1994. Junior lawyer, Vince Osbourne, leaves behind a small, mean and viciously circular life in the city representing petty criminals and takes to the road. He’s lived 30 years. The wide continent of Australia is out in front. He’s almost young. Where will the road lead?

 

East takes in sunsets; rain in the desert; a five-year-old girl on a bike; a battered former thief and jockey; old-timers; young lovers; beautiful women, and aboriginals in public bars. The open road connects many vignettes making a rich tapestry of human encounters.

 

East is poignant, gritty, funny, sad and above all: human. Hoskins’ laconic prose captures the harsh, arid country in all its big, empty beauty along with quirky exchanges with strangers, travel buddies, shop assistants, workmates, and friends old and new. A journey without and within, East taps into the spiritual realm that lies beneath this land and its people.

 

(#travel & Adventure, #Travel, #Aus, #RPBP, #preorder, #ebook, #NewRelease)
 

​A Journey of Self Discovery

This intriguing book is based on the author’s personal memoirs and although it is described as fiction it feels very, very real.

Vince has reached a stage at 30 when he wants to break free from a life that seems to be suffocating him. He has been working as a junior lawyer but needs to do something different and this book tells of his travels towards the East of Australia.

His journey draws you along with him as he discovers himself and realises that he can achieve so much more than he previously thought possible. He settles in places with people from his past that he sees in a new light, along with their prejudices.

Then there are the long and testing journeys across the deserts of Australia, meeting a fascinating mix of people along the way. Vince’s observations on the Aboriginal people, being of Maori origin himself, are extremely revealing. The back breaking work he takes on in a mine, to earn some extra money, couldn’t be further removed from his previous work as a lawyer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys travel writing and journeys of self-discovery. ~Robert Fear 8.10.16

Leaving

The bonnet in front of me is big and white. Rain on the windscreen – the wipers sweep it away. The clouds are grey, the road is grey, the suburbs are grey and I am leaving. There is joy in that. I’m leaving it behind – a life – small, petty, viciously circular. Out in front is the road and I don’t know where it will end. I am free. I’m almost young.
A beginning. Renewal pulses in my blood, pumping out from my heart, through my veins, feeding me, making me new again, a keenly conscious being reaching out to the uncertainty. This road will lead me to places that I have not seen – to people I have not met. There’s no place I have to be and no time I have to be there.
I drive on and on leaving the city far behind. The rain clears. Sunlight glints on wet grass and trees. I see farmhouses, fences and cows. The gnawing in my belly eases as I’m gently enveloped by the freedom of the great mystery now upon me. The shackles of the old life fall away, for I’m shedding a skin – dry, worn, old and scaly. I found the courage to step into the dream. And the dream has become real.
The life of a suburban lawyer is behind me. Small decisions. Small repetitions. Which tie to wear today. Pay the electricity bill. Sunday – iron five shirts for the week ahead. See the same people. Say the same things. Hear the same things said. In that life I wondered whether I had it better than the petty criminals I represented in court. Some had no job and no home. They pleaded guilty and I said what I could say, for something had to be said. And then the court, that street-sweeper of humanity, tidied them away. For there must be a place – there must be somewhere for them to go: a prison, a halfway house, a drug rehab centre. There must be a place for everyone – somewhere. These people had fallen through cracks and become untidy. Did they envy my tidy life, those that I helped to tidy away? Did they see my life as I saw it – not a tidy life, but a tidy prison?
Tidiness. I had been taught to lead a tidy life. What was it they had said – the teachers, the headmasters? Work hard at school. Get a good job. Be a good employee. Pay your taxes. Mow your lawns. Be a good neighbour. Be a good citizen. Lead a tidy life. Not a full life, a varied life, a great life – no, a tidy life of small neat circles. I have lived thirty years.
As the trees and houses and petrol stations whistle by, the reasons for leaving once again crowd my mind. At thirty, life no longer stretches out before me like an uncharted great ocean. If I live to be eighty, more than one third of my life is spent. Where am I? At a time of life when I’m supposed to be somewhere – I’m nowhere I ever wanted to be. I’ll taste the last drops of youth before the cup passes from my lips, forever. The familiar yearning claws at my insides again – but it’s different now – it’s happy knowing I have been true to it – finally.
The yearning … a murmur in a corner of my soul … that’s how it started … a couple of years ago … I pushed it away. I was busy; there were things to do. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger: a growing gnawing that would not be denied. The day I turned thirty, I came to know what it was, finally. It was the feeling of having missed my destiny. At one of life’s important junctures, I don’t know when or where, I’d taken the wrong turn.
So maybe that’s what it is: a journey back down life’s highway to try and find the turn I missed. A journey to reconnect with who I am and what I should be doing here – in this life. Did I ever really want to be a lawyer? Maybe I did it because my father didn’t finish law school. Maybe I did it for him, and not for me. Didn’t have the courage to find my destiny and follow it … settled for safety and caution. 

And the small repetitions of the safe life had closed in and were suffocating me. Don’t know if that’s what it is … I had to go – I know that much … it was the most honest thing I could do. And now it’s real: this journey with no end and no decided route. It’s a big country. Yeah, I’ll head east … And in my travels maybe I’ll find something of the soul of this land and its people … 
I have been at the wheel for four hours. The muscular movements needed to keep the car on course have become automatic. My thoughts drift freely now, first to the future – new, pregnant with possibility – before anchoring in my childhood. I recall a long-buried idea – from a time of wonder at a world full of possibilities. As a child I thought I could see into people, a kind of second sight.
Memories flow into my mind – sharp, clear, focused. I see things now as I saw things then. I am a small boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car. My father is driving. We approach an intersection. A policeman is standing in the middle directing traffic. He signals the car in front to stop. The policeman fascinates me – his neat blue uniform, high black boots, long white gloves – his precise hand signals. He makes cars stop and go by moving his hands like the man who made the puppets move at the fairground. The gloved hands move and the cars obey, crossing the intersection, slowly and respectfully passing the uniformed man.
From above I hear the noise of a plane. In the eye of my mind as a child I see the silver wings and fuselage. The policeman’s eyes turn skyward to the plane I see clearly in the window of my imagination. The officer’s long-gloved hands slowly fall to rest at his heavy belt. Cars bank up at the intersection. The driver in front looks at him for directions but he gives none. Unconscious of the traffic, his attention is focused in the sky above. The face of the policeman loses form and I see into him. First I feel his discomfort in the hot uniform, the dryness in his throat and the tiredness behind his eyes. Gradually my perception deepens. I sense the numbed heart, the thwarted ambitions – the hopes and dreams unrealized and gone awry. He doesn’t want to be here, directing traffic. The past has cheated him. He is disconnected from the present and fearful of the future.
A car horn honks from behind. A driver doesn’t know why the traffic is not moving. The policeman’s eyes return to the traffic, his arms snapping up with military precision. As he waves us on, the look of purpose clothes his face once again and the moment of seeing into him has passed.
The second sight would come to me without warning and always just for a fleeting moment or two. I would see my mother trying to hide an emotion or catch my father unguarded, looking into the distance. In the moment of second sight the physical would melt – the body become transparent and amorphous. Instead of seeing the person I would see into the person – reach inside to the heart, sense the fears, touch the dreams – see the humanity, raw and struggling. 


  
Peri Hoskins is the author of ‘Millennium – A Memoir’, a travelogue memoir that has received many five star reader reviews. 


Christopher Moore of the New Zealand Listener had this to say about ‘Millennium – A Memoir’: 

‘Written with perhaps the merest of bows to Joseph Conrad and Robert Louis Stevenson, the book’s colourful cast of characters come together to greet the dawn of the 21st century. It’s a vigorously written sly-humoured account of human encounters in a small place lapped by the tides of change…It’s a genial well observed book that insinuates itself into the affections.’

~Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, 2 August 2014.
​Peri Hoskins was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the second son of a family of five children, four boys and a girl. He is of mixed Maori and Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Peri grew up in Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand, a provincial city then home to about 30,000 people. He was educated at Whangarei Boys’ High School where he twice won a national essay competition. After completing high school and winning the school prizes for English, History and Geography, Peri went to Auckland University where he studied law and the humanities, including history and English literature.
Peri was substantially based in Australia between 1985 and 2005. He completed his study of law and the humanities at the University of Sydney including several courses in philosophy. He worked as a lawyer in New South Wales before embarking on a 1994 five-month road trip all around Australia. This road trip comprises the material for his soon to be published second book, East. Peri subsequently worked as a lawyer in both New South Wales and Queensland, and developed his current specialisation in legal work – civil litigation. In December 1999 Peri travelled to the Kingdom of Tonga to be in the first country in the world to see in the new millennium. The diary of his three weeks in Tonga has become his first book, Millennium – A Memoir. In 2004 Peri completed a post graduate diploma in film and television production at Queensland University of Technology.

Peri now lives, writes and works as a barrister (being a self-employed lawyer) in Northland, New Zealand.

 

You can connect With Peri Hoskins here:

Website/ Facebook / Twitter / Linked In / Pinterest / Amazon Author Page

 

 Read an interview with author Peri Hoskins here:

Meet The Author


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