Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Smart Apps For Kids Giveaway!!!!!

So, Smart Apps For Kids is doing a Giveaway. A really awesome one. What are they giving away that I'm praying I can get my hands on really really really badly?! SOCIAL EXPRESS!!!!!!!!! Yes folks, Ron is giving away 5 codes to Social Express! Social Express is an educational app for children and young adults with social  learning challenges. In other words, this would be the perfect app for Grace. It just popped up on my radar a short time ago and I've been chewing on it ever since. It's not a purchase you make easily. At $90 it's not an app you can purchase on a whim. 

Please consider heading over to Smart Apps For Kids and checking out the app further and Ron's giveaway! Thank you!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 6- Finding "Your thing"

Sorry about Day 5, I got a migraine and after it left I felt too numb to get my brain in enough working order to write complete sentences that people could actually understand. So here is day 6! :)

Day 6

So, what do I mean by your thing? Well, as special needs parents we often don't get a lot of opportunities for "breaks".  I know myself personally, would sell my left arm (I'm right handed) for a week long vacation to an all inclusive resort where the only thing expected of me was to lounge in a pool with a swim up bar. I've never been to a place like this, but I hear they exist. I've never left the country, ever. I rarely travel outside of my state, unless it is to visit family in a state that borders mine. My life is boring in the traveling sense. Honestly because the idea of traveling with special needs children in exhausting, not to mention we just don't have the means to do it. So I am forced to find my happy place right here in my own home. 

What makes me happy? Music. Specifically? Country music. More specific? Country music the way it was meant to be heard, not this Taylor, who put all this pop in my country, Swift. Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, George Straight, Miranda Lambert. And I sing, a song here, a song there, I sing a little all day long, if I really need to de-stress I can turn on my playlist and have my moment of zen. My real therapy comes from performing on stage. Which I don't get to do often since I got out of doing it when I had kids. Slowly but surely however, I'm getting back into it. Boy, does it feel good too. Ironically enough my Aspie girl LOATHES when I sing. You'd think it was nails on a chalk board to that child. She can't stand country music and it breaks my heart. She likes Taylor Swift, go figure, Lady Gaga, hey I can get down with her every now and then, but thankfully we've found some common ground in Adele. THANK YOU ADELE!!!

Where I'm going with all this is, if you can't get out every now and then for a date night, a coffee date with a friend, something to get your mind off the day to day of dealing with all that is we deal with you need to find SOMETHING that makes you feel like you. And I'll admit. Music isn't the end all cure all for me. But it is the one thing I can call mine. Some it is scrap booking, some knitting, some Farmville, some barrettes ;) So do me a favor. If you don't have "Your Thing" find it. Everyone needs something they can claim as their own.

***And BTW before I get hate mail about Taylor Swift. I think she is a fine young woman who writes her own songs and sings. However, I do NOT believe she belongs on country radio. Thank you very much :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 4- Wandering

Wandering/Elopement is a common occurrence in the Autism and Special Needs community. A 2007 online pool through the National Autism Association, indicated 92% of parents reported that their child/ren with autism have a tendency to wander, but no formal estimates are available.

I honestly can not explain what wandering is any better than The Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response and Education (AWAARE) site. So I will direct you to them to find out more about it. I will link you to their FAQ page and encourage you to tinker around their page further :)

So what can you do if you have a child that wanders? Heck, I suggest this for any child that cannot communicate their name or phone number in the even they get lost and cannot find their way back home or to an adult they know. First step, a difficult to remove ID bracelet. Simple, low tech. Alert, Disability on the outside, Name and phone number on the inside. If your child has acute medical needs obviously you can expand on this. 

Some good sites for bracelets....

N-Style ID
Call them, they might give you a discount code ;)

American Medical

They are running a special right now for Autism Awareness Month
Enroll your child in MedicAlert Kid Smart* membership for $29.95 and receive your child's basic** ID plus a sports band ID. 
Annual renewal is $20/year

For a child that likes to strip their clothes or frequently remove their bracelet/anklet consider temporary tattoos! This is a link I found but I believe there are companies where you can customize your information. Be careful with these however. You don't want the information to be displayed in a way that a stranger could  learn the child's name and lure them away from you. Be safe, use common sense.

Tracking Devices

Here is info on Project Lifesaver and LoJack SafteyNet

Project Lifesaver

SafetyNet by Lojack

For those that do NOT live in a coverage area...this device may or may not be helpful. 
No, it isn't waterproof, it's kind of like a cellphone, but not as fragile. If you have a computer or smartphone, or even if you don't it's kind of like OnStar but for your kid. As long as it is in an area with a GPS signal they can find your child. They or you can even speak to your child to try and keep them calm. Your child can speak back. It is under $100 and there is only a small monthly service fee.

And finally if you've made it this far and you don't have a child that wanders, thank you for reading up on the subject. I'd also like to point out something else. If you've never had a child that wanders you will never know the shear terror that strikes your heart in the moment you realize your child is gone. Therefore if you see a child out in public wearing a "leash" you cannot assume it is due to lazy parenting. It may just be that parent's way of assuring their child doesn't end up on the 10 o'clock news. Could it be a parent that just doesn't want to watch her kid? Sure, but it could also be a parent that has had one too many heart attacks that day and just wants to keep her child safe. Let's try less judgement, more understanding. The world will be a better place if we all just try that more often.