Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Mexico Diary: Space And Sand And Fun All Around



Our second day in the New Mexico sunshine began with a trip to the New Mexico Museum of Space History (that's it above), which also houses the International Space Hall of Fame. Alamogordo is rich in its history of rocket development and testing, and this museum is a must-see if you're in the area. Lots of cool exhibits inside and out, including a moon rock!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Found A Great YouTube Channel For Kids On The Spectrum



Today, I want to share with you a terrific YouTube channel that a friend shared with me recently. Autism Brain Boosters has several simple, effective videos presented in a visually effective way that cover everything from alphabet letters to shapes and cause-and-effect scenarios.

This is their video for "Positional Words" (something David really struggled with for a long time):





David couldn't figure out which was top or bottom, or which item was between, in front of, or behind. Autism Brain Boosters uses visually recognizable items to create interest, and then repetitive, simple words to reinforce.

Check out all their videos on their YouTube site.

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Ellie's journey with her son David has been one of joy, patience and discovery - one that changed the very framework in which she used to view autism. Through David's eyes, she's learned that an autism diagnosis isn't the end of the world - it's just the beginning of an interesting new one.
Available at Amazon for Kindle.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun On A Friday: Time For Another Edition of "Today In The News"


It's Friday, folks, and other than the Olympics, the news rarely brings us much joy anymore, does it? That ends today because there's always something worth reading when I handle the news...

There's a story behind this one. I'm sure of it...



 You don't say.





Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Mexico Diary: Pistachios, Burgers and Technicolor Sky



Our New Mexico odyssey began at the Albuquerque Airport (or the Albuquerque International Sunport, it's official name that sounds nothing like an airport so I didn't use it), then into a rental car and down the road we went. We have Anna's best friend, J, along for the ride, and the two girls and David were loving the scenery and the big stretches of nothing between towns....

For exactly twenty minutes. Then they all crashed out, a combination of having to get up at 2:45am to drive to the airport to catch our plane, and the altitude change. I spent a couple of hours in silence just loving the drive, but I woke them up near Carrizozo to experience Valley of the Fires State Recreation Area. Sometime between 5,000 and 1,000 years ago, this was an active lava field, and the rocks are really cool. We hiked the trail for a bit, the kids climbed some lava rocks (like the ones pictured above) and then back in the car we went.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: From The Dust It Rises


There was a time 
When I couldn't wait to shake the dust from my feet
Leave this place
See the big, wide world
Yesterday, my feet were in the dust again
Relishing the heat
Seeing its beauty through much more appreciative eyes
Realizing that no matter where I go
Some part of this will always be home for me
And that's a fine and a good thing
The dust flows in my veins
And strangely, it's cleared my eyes as well

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What Do You Love Or Miss About Your Hometown?




As you read this, my children and I (and Anna's best friend) are in the air and on our way to my beautiful home state of New Mexico.

Oh, it feels good to go home again. It's been three years for me, but for my children, this is a first visit of sorts. I say "of sorts" because Anna has been here before - but she was 20 months old when my mother died and we returned for the funeral, so she hardly has a memory of it.

It'll be interesting to fly from the crushing humidity into the clear, dry air. To feel truly scorching heat and see craggy, jagged mountains instead of gentle, rolling hills. My hometown is surrounded by a wealth of natural wonders (as is my current home, to be fair) but they're different and exciting and familiar in a wonderful way for me.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Autism? There's An App For That!



I wanted to pass along this fantastic list of 11 Expert Recommended Autism Apps For Kids.

So many of these are helpful - I wish I could have taken advantage of some of these when David was first diagnosed but that was before the age of smart phones and tablets, so apps weren't an option.

I especially love the First Then Visual Schedule - I  used cartoon pictures and First-Then labeling to chart David's days for him when he was younger with tremendous success. If he could have had an iPad (which he LOVES) then and an app he could access, he would have been even more invested in it.

The age of technology has brought in so many ways to help our children navigate with autism, and I am so very glad we have these kinds of resources.

Do you have any autism-related apps (or mainstream apps that you've found to be helpful) that you'd like to recommend?


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Ellie's journey with her son David has been one of joy, patience and discovery - one that changed the very framework in which she used to view autism. Through David's eyes, she's learned that an autism diagnosis isn't the end of the world - it's just the beginning of an interesting new one.
Available at Amazon for Kindle.