Monday, April 30, 2012

The YuckMouth Mommy to I Wish I Didn't Have Aspergers

Recently another Bloggers blog was searched out and read by someone who used the Key Words "I wish I Didn't Have Aspergers" you can read about it here. Today as the last day of Autism Awareness Month there is a group of bloggers doing a flash blog in support of this random searcher. Here is my response to that.

Dear I Wish I Didn't Have Aspergers,

Recently you reached out to the interwebs, you were in search of something, while most of us don't know if you ever found what you were looking for, this time when you search you will be met with warmth. I want you to know that its ok to be scared, its ok to be afraid of what you feel about yourself. I have three children with special needs, as their mother I love them unconditionally, with every fiber of my being I make it my duty for them to never feel pain or sorrow. But with the reality of life I know that at some point that's not possible.

They will fly from my nest with unsteady wings and see the world for what it is. Sometimes it can be cruel, sometimes you will find the friendship and acceptance you need from it. I have made it my mission with my blog to make the world aware of what's coming. Its my job to make everyone aware of my boys and my daughter. To have the world accept them of who they are and who they will struggle and strive to be.

When I look at Racer, my 6yr old with Autism, I see a uncertain future. Sometimes I'm scared of that future because of the present. There will be struggles, there will be tears but there will also be progress. Because for every one stranger that gives that dirty look there is going to be someone there who will extend that hand to help.

I hope that you reach out again, I hope that you sit in front of the computer again looking for answers, looking for support. This time you will find what you need, you will find that you are not alone. You will find that while we all struggle from time to time in this spectrum we call home that we also have created an outstanding support system. A support system for parents, grandparents, friends, family and our children and their siblings.

We might not have all the answers, but we have the words to ease the hurt. Please know that you are cared about by a community of women and men who want you to know that they care. Thinking about that makes me a little less nervous about my own special needs children. I hope it does for you too.

The YuckMouth Mommy

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jars By Lisa Giveaway! Hosted by Living With Logan!

Mother's Day is just a couple of weeks away. I have the hardest time trying to figure out what to give my mother. There are so many things I see throughout the year that remind me of her, and I either don't pick it up, or I give it to her right away. This leaves me stuck when Mother's Day rolls around. There's this whole online shopping, scrolling through nine bazillion things that never quite seem right. I always want to present something that shows I've put a lot of thought into her gift, rather than just a card and a voucher for a facial or something. That always seems like such a cop out to me.

Jars by Lisa is the perfect solution! Lisa creates jars that can be customized for any occasion. Whether it's by using Mom's favorite colors, characters, photos, or even having her name put on, Jars by Lisa makes sure your order fits the person that will receive it.

There is something about a handmade gift. It's immediately obvious it wasn't made in Taiwan, it wasn't produced by the million, and a lot of thought and care went into the creation of the gift. Jars by Lisa is there to help every step of the way. From first email to finished product, Lisa works with her clients to ensure that the end result is everything they hoped for, and more. Take a look at a couple of the jars someone else is getting for Mother's Day! (Thanks for letting us peek, Lisa!)

The Mother's Day jars pictured above can be customized in a variety of ways, including changing the colors, up to four children's pictures can be added, the picture frames can be a choice of hearts, flowers, stars, or even puzzle pieces. The Lids can be painted to match, or be lined with a matching color of ribbon. And it can all be done for the bargain price of $14.00 per jar, not including shipping.

Liking what you see? Thinking of jars for another event or occasion? Well, Lisa does that, too. No matter the occasion, Lisa can help. From Autism Awareness, to birthdays and holidays, or even just because, Lisa has a jar for you. To see more pictures and ideas for jars, you can look through her albums on facebook. From glitter to graduation, Lisa has it covered.

Lisa offers custom jars like the ones pictured above for $14 each, Autism Awareness jars for $12 each, and standard holiday jars for $12 each. Discounts are given for bulk orders. Just drop Lisa a line through the "contact" tab on her Facebook Page for more information.

One lucky Living with Logan reader in the US will win a custom made Mother's Day jar in the color of their choice! Fill in the rafflecopter form below to enter. Please note, comments  MUST be within the form to count as an entry, unless otherwise specified. Entrants must be over 18 to be eligible. Giveaway ends May 6, 2012. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen.

**disclosure** I was not compensated in any way, either monetarily or with free product, for this post. All opinions stated within this post are my own. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook or twitter. **

Want more entries? You can enter on the form over at Special Happens, for double the chances of winning. Want TRIPLE the chances of winning? Enter over on 7 Yuckmouths and Autism, too!

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Hey Girl" Ryan Gosling Special Needs

 Haven't done a "Hey Girl" in a while, but this one got my creative juices flowing so to speak lol. Go check out Sunday and whats she's been up to with the "Hey Girl" series!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What an Autistic Adult Wants You to Know About Your Child on the Spectrum By Arman Khodaei

Recently we've all read an article on eHow about how to get your autistic child to stop stimming. A lot of parents were upset, I for one said some things that while weren't entirely rude...had I known the whole story and who wrote it, I would have rephrased what I wrote in response to the article. In addition to that were lots of parents attacking. It caused the writer of the article to post a public apology and even post video. When I saw that my heart broke, I saw my future Racer trying to succeed in a world that won't always understand him. So I reached out to that writer, I asked him if he would be interested in guest posting for me. He said yes and so now I bring you.

Here is his website if you want to check out some of his stuff

What an Autistic Adult Wants You to Know About Your Child 

on the Autism Spectrum 

My name is Arman Khodaei, and I am a 26-year-old with mild autism. Being a parent can be quite the challenge. A lot of parents question whether they are doing the right thing, and what is the right thing to do, and what is the best strategy to help their child.

Growing up, there were not the same amount of resources on autism as there are today. For starters, fewer books existed, Temple Grandin was one of the only autistic people representing people on the autism spectrum, and there was no Internet. There weren't articles, blogs, and books like there are today to tell parents how to raise their autistic child. 

When parenting an autistic child there are a few factors that need to be considered. First, you need to look at where your child is developmentally. Some children are more impacted by autism than other children. For other children, autism is sometimes a gift. And, for some children, autism can severely affect that child in profound ways.

The second factor you need to consider are your own beliefs. Some parents believe in rewards based systems. Other parents feel that rewards don't work and punishment, such as taking away privileges, is more effective. I am not here to say one parent is right and another wrong. However, some parents do question if they are doing the right thing. 

This is a touchy topic. Ultimately, as a parent, you want the best for your child. You want them to become successful, you want to see them happy, make friends, and even get married someday. That is the dream. Although, sometimes, it is easy to give up on your dream, especially if your child is severely impacted by autism. Sometimes, it is hard to face reality.

My mom was tough on me. She punished me, and over time, her methods were effective. She grounded me. She spanked me. And, she sometimes, took privileges away. However, she also did reward me, and overall, she was a nice person. 

Perhaps, the single most important thing that my mom did was to always push me outside my comfort zone. She wouldn't let me get away with not saying “hi” to other kids. She had me join activities and meet other kids. She saw a bright future for me. She expected the best out of me, and when I didn't perform my best, she sometimes showed disapproval. Although, this was not always the case.

More than anything, my mom knew I could improve my social skills. She knew that I had what it took to learn appropriate social behaviors. In my teenage years, I avoided my peers, and when I did engage in a conversation, I only discussed my passion, Star Wars. Sometimes, in class, I would raise my hand and say something strange that startled my classmates such as my belief that aliens might exist and could visit our world or that someday we might download ourselves into the Internet. Yes, I did not filter what I said. I spoke in monotone. My voice was soft and no one could hear me. I did not look people in the eye and sometimes had conversations with my back turned.

But, my mom worked on pointing out what was and wasn't appropriate social behavior and that helped a great deal. After some time, I pursued improving my social skills on my own, reading books on body language, taking an interpersonal communication course, and even forcing myself to have conversations with strangers. But, that wasn't parenting. That was my own decision. And, perhaps, there lies the greatest lesson: You can't make your child do something they don't want to do. The ultimate goal is to make your child want to do it.

You see, if a child is unwilling to learn, you have an uphill battle. Things are going to be tough. My mom fought many of these battles. Sometimes, she lost. But, she won a lot of the battles as well, but at what cost? If tension can be lessened, then results can come more easily as well, but at the same time, you don't want your child to get away with inappropriate behaviors, and sometimes, your child may not know that a behavior is inappropriate. To them, what they are doing might be perfectly normal.
Stimming behaviors such as had-flapping is something I often get asked about. Parents worry about their child being made fun-of in public or at school. For me, when I flap my hands, I do so because it offers me a rush of excitement. It feels good. Some autistic people stim because it calms down. Spinning in circles or rocking back and forth are especially soothing. In the end, I think the goal should be to teach your child how to manage their stimming behaviors so they don't do them in public. However, stimming is also a good way of dealing with anxiety and being overloaded, and in many autistic individuals, anxiety runs high. So, in my opinion, stimming should not be entirely taken away.

Other social behaviors can be a bit of a challenge to teach your child. For example, how do you teach your child to make eye contact? Well, to be honest, I sometimes find eye contact to cause me anxiety. I feel uncomfortable and other autistic people have told me the same thing. But, there is a technique that you can use to help your child. The primary technique involves making eye contact with news reporters on TV. Because the news reporter is not physically in the room, the child most likely won't feel as uncomfortable as they would trying to make eye contact in real life.

The list of behaviors goes on and on, and the question also remains do I try and change my child, or do I let them be? My belief is that if the child is mildly impacted by autism that they have great potential to live an amazing life. But, in order to live an amazing life, you have to be willing to compromise in some ways to fit in with society. Some autistic people don't like hearing those words, but it is true, well, usually. You are expected to sometimes engage in small talk and be nice and not just talk   about yourself. You are expected to make eye contact and to speak clearly. You are expected to have some degree of social skills. Society has expectations.

So, then, what do you do about your child? How do you prepare them for the world, especially if they have their own vision of how the world works and there own goals which may seem unrealistic to you? The answer is that you believe in your child, and you try to help them achieve their goals. But, you also tell them that in order to achieve their goals that they will meet people somehow. Even a writer has to interact with a book publisher, give speeches, and do book signings. No matter what career you have later in life, you will meet people.

In some cases, you might be lucky and have a teen that wants a girlfriend, and I say you're lucky because that presents a most excellent opportunity to teach social skills. If your child wants a girlfriend, awesome! You can then tell your child what is and isn't appropriate social conduct and your teen might take your advice because they want to be successful!

In short, what I am getting at is that the best parenting is where you and your child are on the same page. Your child has their goals, and you have your goals, but you learn how to meld your goals with their goals. In other words, don't be one-sided as a parent. Sometimes, especially if their child is more impacted by autism, I tell parents to enter their child's world. If you're kid likes Spider-Man, then get a Spider-Man costume and have Spider-Man talk to your kid and tell them what is and isn't right. They will respect Spider-Man more than they will respect you, especially if Spider-Man is their hero, the biggest thing to them. Also, try to be as passionate about your child's interest as they are. If you are passionate about their likes, then that shows them that you are a part of their world. For most autistic people, our passion, is who we are!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not Fair

Today I feel like a little girl, I got distressing news about my dad. But it literally feels like my world is crumbling. Its hard to explain, its not because he's dying, but its because its quite possible that the man he was once will no longer be.

I'm sitting here, wondering how the world can keep turning when my daddy won't be ok. How can the world go on, its not fair. Its not fair that life handed my son Autism, its not fair that my dad is sick.

I don't want to be strong, I'm sick of fighting. Sick of fighting things I can't control anymore. I'm sick of life just not being fair anymore.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sticker Printing Giveaway From Uprinting!

Today my dear readers I bring you something fun! As a blogger and trying to run my small business I'm always looking for ways to show off my "brand" or name as you will. I recently happened upon Uprinting! They have some really great products and today I get to giveaway some of their stickers!

 One of my lucky readers will get to win a set of 250 stickers from Uprinting!

They are a great and functional way to show off your business or even your blog! Go here to look at their sticker printing and check it out for yourself! So good luck and get to entering!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kyle Tomson on Lifetime!

Something special is happening for one of my favorite app developers. I've blogged about him before and his daughter you can read about it here. Kyle has also recently come out with Rainbow Sentences app, developed to help his daughter in the next stage of her needs.

Today I want to talk about something special Kyle is doing! He is going to appear on "The Balancing Act" on April 17th, 7AM to 8AM ET/PT time, on the Lifetime Channel. You can watch the promo video for that here.

Very excited for Kyle and the apps he has created and I hope it brings more awareness to what he is doing. I hope you can all tune in and watch. Post your feedback here on the blog or on his Facebook page, I know he'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Its Her Birthday!! ~Review and Giveaway~ From EpilepsyBlogger

          Good evening ladies! (And gentlemen too!) As some of you may or may not know, it's a special girl's BIRTHDAY this upcoming April 21st! Mandy Krzywonski, AKA EpilepsyBlogger, will be 19 years old!!! Since she has a lot of fans, she wants to share her birthday with everyone somehow... So she's decided to hold a contest with quite a pun! She's giving away a FREE 21 oz. tub of Cake Beauty's 'It's a Slice' Smoothing Brown Sugar Scrub - Creamy Orange and Vanilla Scent!

         Her Review: 
"I've loved this stuff since I tried it for the first time. It is by far the best scrub I have ever used, and really leaves your skin feeling silky to the point where you only need to use it once a week (if that). It also moisturizes your skin, so there's no need for lotion after use if you're in a rush. I prefer to use it before shaving to get a more smooth shave, but it's great on elbows and feet! Made from turbinado sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower seed oil, olive oil (yes, yes, yes!) and coconut oil (oh, just kill me now!).

          No, I am NOT advertising for the company. I just decided to buy a product that I already love, and one that I figured a lot of YOU would love as well. I didn't have to think too hard because I talk about this stuff all the time. Plus, it's definitely on the expensive side ($32.00 - $34.00 store value) so I wanted to save all of you some $$$ and give you something special. Plus, who doesn't love CREAMY ORANGE AND VANILLA?"

  • NO Parabens
  • NO Sodium
  • NO Chloride
  • NO Phthalates
  • NO GMO's
  • NO Mineral Oils
  • NO Petrolatium
  • NO Gluten
  • NO Triclosan
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
- Complete the mandatory tasks to unlock even more chances to win!
- Tasks must, Must, MUST be successfully completed. Failure to complete tasks results in deleting entries.
- Entries are checked daily, so I know who is phony and who isn't!
- Winners will be chosen on my birthday! April 21st, 2012 at 11:59pm!
 - U.S. and Canada participants ONLY! Sorry, already spent $34.00 and shipping will be too expensive to ship elsewhere.
- Shipping is paid for by myself.
- Allow 4-7 days for shipping after April 21st.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Books in Review ~ Autism, Seriously Funny Too By Zidlow Marx

Today dear readers I want you to meet someone....he is @zidlow on twitter. He is also the author of Autism, Seriously Funny Too! I reached out to him on twitter and offered to read and review his book, which is part two of Autism, Seriously Funny

I have to say, I LOVE the book. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me think that sometimes....Autism, can be funny. His son Elijah reminds me of a younger version of Racer in some ways. Zidlow's strength as a father and as a man is amazing and is a great reminder that there are good make that great dads in the world who care and love their children regardless of Autism. 

Autism, Seriously Funny Too, takes you on a humor filled ride to understand some of the in's and out's of Autism, but also shows you the heart of a parent who struggles with it just like we all do. Its refreshing in a world of women writers to see one of the men take a stab at it and how they view their sides of the world. Any parent can take to heart what Zidlow and his family experience on their version of what Autism is for them. 

I enjoyed this book, I know my readers will as well! The YuckMouth Mommy gives it two thumbs up!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Apps in Review and Giveaway!~ Lost Larry By Wasabi Productions

Something exciting today readers!! We have a great app to read about and a giveaway!!

Lost Larry for iPad is about a lizard that has lost his way and only you can help bring him home! Its an amazing interactive book written by Graham Nunn, I really love the narration as well, easy to understand and it just sounds wonderful!

To help Lost Larry get home you have to use your finger to trace the path Larry needs to get home. Like with 10 Giggly Gorillas, Lost Larry is drawn beautifully. The pictures are engaging and bright, each page has objects you can touch and interact with.

While its a great book to read with your children, it can also be read to them. There is an option to have hints on for younger children. Its been a huge hit in my house and sure to in yours as well. It also great because of the fine motor use of using your pointer finger and tracing the laid out path to help Larry. 

This part is my kids favorite, it wasn't until I got a hold of the app and played with it myself did I realize what they were doing. See if you don't tap it again then Larry falls, he makes this funny sound when he does, but it makes my kids laugh every time lol. 

In all its another great app from Wasabi Productions! Plus they have given me three codes to giveaway!! So please make sure to stop by their Facebook page, and their Twitter, also if you don't feel like waiting to see if you won a code or if you don't win. Here is the link to buy your very own copy! Lost Larry on iTunes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Hate April ~30 Days of Autism~

I used to like April, it meant rain and rain means flowers and crap like that. About three years ago we found out Racer had Autism, it felt like the whole world turned on its head. At that time I was active on Myspace, but I disappeared on myself. I withdrew and didn't really know where to turn.

I remember maybe a year into I was reading a blog on Myspace about my friend who also recently found out her daughter had Autism as well. I found it odd that neither of us had reached out to give strength, but I think its because neither of us knew what to say. I remember texting her and reaching out to her about our children, I remember finding the strength to get back online and research and find support. That lead me to facebook and twitter.

Twitter was my first home for support, the amazing parents I found there, the things I learned it was wonderful and I started being able to open up about Racer.

It was also the first time I had heard about Autism Awareness Month. I really wanted to be a part of something big. To spread awareness, to help share what Racer was dealing with along with my family. That was almost 4yrs ago now. Sadly I've come to hate April, last year I was extremely gung ho about raising awareness. But I think I realized something. People are plenty aware, everywhere you turn its there, on TV, in the movies, in books. What bugs me now, what I think we need more then anything is understanding, our children need acceptance.

If I had  a dollar for every time I heard someone say "Oh you mean like Rainman" or "well he doesn't look like he has Autism", I'd be a very rich woman. If I had a dollar for every time the school district fights me on services or denies services, because he tests really well 1:1, I'd be able to sue them for better services. Who doesn't test well 1:1? If I had a dollar for every stranger that gave us dirty looks or for every time a child got bullied, I'd be able to build my own school for Racer and children like him to attend.

I'm sick of awareness, I want people to understand now. I can walk down the street and ask a random stranger "hey you ever heard of Autism before?" chances are that they will say yes, but the likelihood that they don't truly understand what it means aren't good odds.

Will I go on a crusade to bring understanding? I might, but I do that every time I blog, but how do I reach that clueless few? Do I bother? Won't they be clueless no matter what I say or do?

I was really excited to be part of this 30 days of Autism series. But I've been struggling with it emotionally, I'm at a loss for words, I live in Autism 365 days a year. How do I get everyone to understand in 30 days what I blog about year round?

With all the bickering lately within the community, I feel the greater understanding needs to come from within, before I can push it out to the rest of the world.

Friday, April 6, 2012

~30 Days of Autism: Day 6~ Its Ok To Say.....

So I'm a tad behind in the blog posts....4 days to be precise. Its been a crazy week from hell and I just haven't found the words to explain it all here in the blog.

But lately the news has struck me, I'm in mourning for the loss of family, friends and special needs children. In all of that I've thrust myself into work, into crafting and reading. I had stayed off the internet slightly, mostly lurking and reading but not posting. I have done myself a disservice by doing that though.

I have managed to surround myself with some really great friends, some of which I would consider family or as close if not closer then that. By being away from them, I have let my emotions consume me a bit. Its been hard to sleep, and just be, because I realize that I NEED them. I need to be ok in saying "I need help, or I need support"

I have learned that its ok to lean on others, the friends I have won't judge me as a horrible person or parent if I reach out and just say " I need help". That's what my friends are for and in turn its what I do for them. I may never be able to physically hug them when they need a hug or sit next to them in a coffeehouse while we laugh about the days events. We may never be able to take our kids at the park for playdates without judgement. But I know I can turn on my computer, I can log on with my phone and my friends are there. I can take them where ever I go. I can vent about the meltdown in the mall, I can cry when we get bad news from the doctor, and I can just scream when the school just isn't doing what needs to be done.

So its ok to be weak sometimes, its ok to cry and just throw your hands up. But its never ok to take on the world alone. Because you are not alone, I'm not alone......I have you.

We are here, you are not alone.....remember that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Autism Judgement's

April 2nd...World Autism Awareness Day

So far all I've seen is fighting, so today we are showing the world that while we want society to accept our children, we turn around and bash each other and there is NO acceptance for each other.

I'm pissed, I think I'm beyond I warn you, this post might be curse laden and it might not be. But I promise you its important that I say what I feel.

As a usually home bound momma *for many reasons* I turn to the internet for friendships, advice and compassion.  I have found greats friends, men and women alike who without judgement have found friendship with me as well. Each and everyone of us different and with those differences we have found that we don't need to judge each other.

*When you've met one child with Autism, you've only met one child with Autism*

The same goes for Special Needs parents, there are no two alike, and for that reason it makes us wonderful. It means we can share, we can support and we can love each other. But there will always be that one person, or even few people who think that their opinion is right, while it is....its just right for them.

As adult we should be grown enough to put aside the differences and support the parent who needs it more. Because while my version of Autism with my son might seem easy to some and maybe it is, I can never judge a parent who's Autism is maybe horribly tragic. I read some blogs and I feel the struggle, I feel the pain, what I want to do is wrap my arms around that parent and just hug them, because that is what they need. They don't need someone slapping them in the face of their own pain.

*here comes the cussing*

It makes me fucking sick to my stomach the fighting I have seen. You know what...your version of Autism, well its so fucking different then everyone else's and that's just end of the conversation. In that version there is NO room for judgement, because until you walk in my shoes you don't fucking know shit about it. Just can't justify hating something you know nothing about.

Until your child with Autism literally beats you senseless you have no room to judge that parent, you can't even judge them if they say they hate Autism. Its ok to hate Autism and its ok to love Autism, my child is not going to suffer if I sit here and bitch about hating Autism because I LOVE MY SON. I love all my children! Hell my fucking teenagers, they suck....I HATE TEENAGERS. They are crazed and stupid and well I love my kids but seriously teenagers need to get a fucking grip.

Its like my mom always used to tell me "I will always love you, I may hate something you did...but I will always love you"   *simply put*

To those with Autism, I have the up most respect for you, but to those that blog, to those that hold jobs and have children and get married and live meaningful are the perfect example of what EVERY parent with a child who has Autism wants for their own children. BUT in that same regard, you have no idea what those violently SIB Autistic children deal with. The ones who are non-verbal and violent because of it. You don't know and you can't judge.

The outside world has enough hate for us and our the drama for them, save the hate for them. We need to come together and accept each other no matter the differences....we can't expect the outside world to accept us if we can't accept each other.

*To the judgmental pricks....FUCK YOU*

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cookie Cutter Moms

Yes, I know today is the first day of Autism awareness, well today I want to bring awareness to this Autism mom!

In the next 30 days I will be bringing you 30 Days of Autism, from myself and some really great parent bloggers!!


I recently had the pleasure of being kicked from a Mom's group for Autism parents.





Seriously right?! I mean not to toot my own horn but I can be pretty awesome! Now that being said lol I probably fanned the flames a bit. Maybe my brand of honestly wasn't what the wanted to hear? I am always nice I am always kind, I will never shame you for your parenting style BUT I also won't buy into it without doing some research.

Because my momma always taught me to be me....not to be like everyone else!

Welcome to cookie cutter moms and why I won't ever be one!

For one that shape is totally boring! The dress does nothing for my shape! Plus I'm way to old to follow the leader!

What's wrong with a lil healthy research? What's wrong with sharing the information I find? Sorry if it made you feel like shit but oh well? haha That's the way the cookie crumbles!! *yet another reason not to be a cookie cutter mom*

This is going to be a two part series....because while this was sorta funny? I have a very serious issue I want to talk about next.