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Posts Tagged ‘sensory issues’


Back from an amazing event!! On an AMAZING day. The 9 yr. anniversary of the most infamous day in U.S. history. For the country to have been put in such a position. The incredible strength and DETERMINATION this country has to have battled back from CATASTROPHE! That is the SPIRIT!! The spirit it takes to fight the good fight! The spirit we as ASD families must muster!! is so honored to have been a part of such fun and IMPORTANCE! “The fight to help spread AUTISM AWARENESS!!” Thank you so much to~THE Fun & Only~ California’s GREAT AMERICA in Santa Clara Ca.for holding this event!

It is opportunities like this that help the general public to realize that our voices matter!! We have ALOT to say AND We like to have FUN too ! ~’California’s GREAT America’~ is an AWESOME Park!! It is beautiful~ from top to bottom.The rides are thrilling and SPECTACULAR!! The grounds are SO… open, airy and green. WOW! Beautiful tall trees and coasters galore!! I must mention there is an amazing Wisteria~Vine TUNNEL!! I was enchanted by it!! It is so huge that it has many benches underneath! A sensory heaven for ANYONE!! ASD or NOT!! I am definitely booking a trip next year when it is in bloom!! WOW! That being said…

The AWARENESS EVENT was fantastic! Meeting the children and adults was such sweet fun!! I will love to do this at every turn! Talking to folks about ASD issues has become so important to me. The children and adults I met last Saturday afternoon were awesome!! Twice ~I learned of programs started by passionate families filling a NEED!! School programs which encourage understanding and the need to inter-act with others differently abled! “Kids helping kids” was what one program was called! Just, BRILLIANT. Exactly what our ASD Individuals NEED!! Their contemporaries being “right there” with them! The siblings informing me of this program were such amazing kids. I could literally see them beaming with pride when they told me of their groups. It makes my heart soar to think how the world could CHANGE when all kids feel that need. That unselfish need to be a part of something “bigger than their own egos.” I say the sooner they learn that concept the better. For kids to be so selfless and compassionate is a beautiful thing that should and WILL spread! I FEEL IT !!

AutismHWY will be working on helping that concept along HOWEVER possible! In our minds it is integral that our children peers UNDERSTAND A.S.D. ISSUES!! Even individuals with no direct experience. When our kids can just be themselves with love, understanding and acceptance…we will rest. It is not a lot to hope for. I believe in the human spirit wholeheartedly…and these kids are the embodiment of that! BRAVO to all involved with implementation of kids mentoring kids with autism! This will be a WONDERFUL NEW TREND I am sure!!

The partners at the event were also fantastic! I had so much fun talking to all that I could! I love being surrounded by Autism Advocates! Creative, caring and positive people to say the least!! Thanks for the day to ALL of you!!

Of course this AUTISM BLOG would not be worth it’s salt without some simple Autism Reality! Something I am fully prepared for as a rule…however, this one did surprise me.

As a lot of you know ~an Autistic person gets overwhelmed by environmental and sensory stimulus. This feeling of overload can send a person into a panic/ meltdown. Meltdowns escalate and de-escalate. It becomes a bit of an ART in interpreting the ways to deal with and or prevent these meltdowns! Well , about 2 hrs into the days events my son Wyatt had a doozy!!

The music was LOUD…my brother placed a wrist-band on Wyatt’s arm…who by the way, had been up early while we prepared for the day AND he hadn’t yet had his lunch. So all factors led to a bad result for…my arms!! Wyatt began his meltdown…I sprang into action and the PINCHING began!! lol… He is a bit of a crab. When he lashes out in “this mode” …pinching is his M.O.! Surprisingly, it took me 20 minutes to get him mellow!! I tried deep pressure…no results there`he was not amenable to being touched at that moment! Next wrist and joint compressions, which he at least allowed. At one point he held his arm out for more… OR it could have been to take off the wrist band? lol Not sure! However when that was done …he calmed considerably. Whew…After that the day continued nicely. His favorite swinging type ride was taken over and over again, giving him the time of his life!! & Sensory INPUT Deluxe!  We explored the rest of the park and the AMAZING ATTRACTIONS! Really larger than Life!! The bungee action rides will take your breath away!! That’s meant for the people WATCHING!! Imagine if that was you on the cord!!? WOW!!!

We had a delicious BBQ Picnic in the immaculate Picnic Grove!! Charlie Brown came by and had some “one on one time” with Wyatt!! It was so cute he saw Wyatt playing/stimming with his whiffle ball. After high-fiving Wy, he reached out for the ball. Instinctively Wyatt recoiled. After he thought a moment, or two he held it out to Charlie Brown!! Funny enough… Charlie tapped and stimmed, communicating volumes to my sweet non-verbal boy!! You are a “good man”…Charlie Brown!! BRAVO!! We can’t wait to come back again SOON!! There will be ALOT MORE Ground to cover FOR SURE !!!A VERY SPECIAL Thanks to Miss Ashley Chapin! You are a Joy and a Pleasure to work with! Your skills with organization and communication go far beyond your years!! AutismHWY takes it’s hat off to you for this day being so pleasurable for ALL!! You are an Autism Angel for sure!!

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Is what Grampa Bob began calling Wyatt. I can’t remember exactly when that started. It was clear though that Wyatt liked to rub his skin, your skin…a random strangers skin! WHOOPS…Wyatt! “Get back here”…Wrangle wrangle! That has happened before. Beware of Tactile A.S. individuals when you wear those summer tank-tops LADIES! Wyatt will put his lips on the soft skin of his own under-arm. People think he’s smelling his arm-pits! Makes me think of that crazy actress on Saturday Nite Live!

It can be COMICAL…but, really not a laughing matter. JUST a big thing for A.S.D. (Autism Spectrum Disorder) INDIVIDUALS.~~”SENSORY ISSUES!”~~ I mean, WE ALL have them BUT, people on the SPECTRUM really have them! We as people love to be TACTILE some MORE THAN others!! (lol) Touching, and being touched! There is alot to be said on that subject !! We as people are VERY SENSORY ORIENTED! Really, if you think about it ALL LIVING CREATURES ARE!

Mechanisms for survival ALL stem and revolve around the 5 senses! Taste, Touch, Sight, Smell and Sounds! People on the SPECTRUM will have different degrees of “caliber” on this 5~sense system. That is part of what people “don’t get” about Autism. Individuals are JUST THAT …Individuals with greatly varying degrees of impairment! Most OTHER ” Syndromes”… or “Diseases”can be generalized. People “afflicted- suffer” in the same degree for the most part.Not with AUTISM and that is only a small part of it’s COMPLEXITIES!

However, realizing THAT CONCEPT alone IS KEY! Because it is pervasive and underlying! A great start in UNDERSTANDING this “many- headed animal! ” Wyatt’s proclivity toward rubbing his SKIN was a subtle CLUE! I never knew it at the time…but, I SEE IT NOW. His tactile needs were presenting themselves. His lack of “Central Nervous System CONNECTORS”…had him seeking out EXTRA STIMULATION! He would be on the concrete patio rolling around in his walker BACK & FORTH through the sheets drying on the line! So CUTE…I thought.

Anytime we would enter a building with a huge TILED FLOOR…down he would go. Laying as much of his skin as possible on the cool flat sensation! LIKE A CAT… Wyatt would sprawl! I found him like that in the bath tub a time or two! I really did’nt think ANYTHING of it! Looking back now …I SHOULD HAVE! He was walking, talking hitting the milestones. He’s fine, SO WHAT if he morphs into a “CAT” every now and then!!? My kid feels the world through his skin…”SO~ WHAT?” At least he did’nt put everything in his mouth! ….. I THOUGHT !!

Imagine your body has the NEED TO FEEL in ways that typical people cannot fathom… Everywhere you go you have these urges to FLOP AND DROP. Or shake and wiggle HANDS & ARMS to feel SOMETHING! Generally society does’nt understand this! More than likely they will assume the individuals are just spoiled brats, acting -out ,acting “inappropriately! ” When in REALITY…they were witnessing the whole OTHER ANIMAL that we are DEALING WITH ! ~~AUTISM~~ Until there is some kind of way to re-route electronic brain signals…we will just have to continue DEALING with our kids “unorthedox need to feel! ” The matter at hand is to get dialogues going to PROMOTE FRIENDSHIP through COMMON UNDERSTANDING! This NEEDS TO HAPPEN…Sooner than Later!!


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LOOKING OUR WAY~ Each and every single day! As Wyatt and I travel our daily HIGHWAYS & BYWAYS ~ It is VERY Interesting watching these curious youngsters. I study them…study him. You can actually see the wheels spinning, SERIOUSLY! Think …Indy 500. They wonder? About Wyatt~ his actions, his autism …its an issue that has NOT really BEEN broached. Why is that…I wonder? THEY Wonder, I Wonder…WE ALL WONDER!??

Does it have anything to do with that HOT POTATO “Theory”I mention in the blog titled… “Why DOES Wyatt DO that?” PASS that PUPPY off! …” We just don’t have time right now”…”It’s too complicated…we’ll never be able to understand that”…”Oh yeah, and did I mention we were busy.” We know life is crazy, busy at times but, this REALLY IS important. The COMMON UNDERSTANDING is the first step we need to take. If the adults are TOO BUSY

No problem, I’ll skip right to a much MORE RECEPTIVE audience ANYWAY!! Why is it that CHILDREN are always much more open and able to recieve NEW IDEAS? Plus they are not running around trying to get a paycheck and a million other things done everyday. THAT HELPS lol! They definitely have the time to learn. So I will just see what I can do about that! The 3 stories I have written are WYATT INSPIRED...So you know they are SWEET !

I cannot WAIT…until everyone can see them!! We have been working closely on all the concepts and we are getting close to production for BOOK #1 “WHY does Wyatt DO THAT ?” ‘making friends with autism’ !! Working with…my illustrator, RACHEL WALKER is incredible! Not only does she have MAD SKILLS...she is just such a positive and naturally inspiring person! You will be AMAZED at the range of her TALENTS when you visit her website HERE>

When we started the project Rachel had very minimal knowledge concerning AUTISM. She has not only understood my vision…She has taken it upon herself to learn as much as she can about the SPECTRUM! I will take a little credit on that front. Being exposed to the books explained some concepts to her & wet her appetite on others… I am hoping that this is the case with everyone that reads it! When the PARENT, TEACHER or CARE-GIVER read the book to their “charges” ~THEY WILL LEARN as well!!

Just a few cute discussions about SELF-STIMULATION…SENSORY ISSUES and SELF INJUROUS BEHAVIORS. 3 OF the ” BIGGIES“…I thought, a very good start! These things seemed SOoo MYSTERIOUS to me at one point in time! NO LONGER! I am over “IT” as they say! I no longer allow AUTISM to BULLY me …I have gotten aquainted with this PUNK! I’ve said it before ~HE was nothing I asked for…but, I accept that He is here.We will continue to expose his SECRETS & Our lives will be HAPPY, FUN and SUCCESSFULREGARDLESS !!

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WHY does WYATT do…”tHaT”?!!

That’s a GOOD QUESTION! Which is exactly what I tell the kids in the new books about “Wy-Wy” coming SOON! For years now I have seen so many beautiful little “QUESTIONING EYES” looking our direction. It’s always the same …Wyatt’s self- stimulatory hand actions will catch the youngsters eye. From there its eyes to me then back to him ,etc… etc… etc… just like watching a tennis match! Sometimes the child will ask their parent why Wyatt is doing what Wyatt is doing?? I’d say 7 times out of 10 the parent will “hush” the child and pretend the question was never asked.

I assume that they must feel uncomfortable. I have to ask those people…can you think of any other questions your child asks that you just don’t address?! Is autism the proverbial “Hot Potato” ? Keep passing that sucker off …can’t get caught with that. Don’t want to “Go There.” Whatever… you want to call it. It seems to me ,to be a …”too busy” thing. People have seemingly always been too busy to “try” and understand the syndrome. Heck how many years were wasted considering it mental retardation?

That’s annoying to think of. So, moving on …to my passion! (some may say… MY obsession.) The passion I have to see people understanding and accepting of our autistic community! There are alot of issues that can “layer-up” on these kids. Some will have higher degrees of “said” issues than others… and vice -versa. In the books I keep it fairly simple and describe self- stimulating behaviors & sensory issues. That is the best start in my mind. If we can get the children to understand that Wyatt’s behaviors are driven by his “need to feel”, rather than just random outbursts. I believe that a calm understanding can begin for everyone. Autism is intimidating to some people. YES , WE GET THAT!!

So it is impairitive to make the knowledge common! Strip the mystery and take away its overwhelming POWER. Taking away part of that mystery is how we can accomplish that…and so it starts with the education of everyone. Especially the kids! Our kids…PEERS. I trully believe that we can wait no longer! Once we shine the light on AUTISM the world will be a more a well- rounded place!


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