Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the category “books”

Sink or Swim, you’re on your own

This post is venting my frustration with the system

The system we call “school”

My teen, recently diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/Aspergers

is in that “system”

except I don’t think he’ll qualify for special ed so then we will need to set up a 504 which I think he does need and should qualify for….

but this is taking so much time

this is the point I’ve been at since diagnosis….which was 3 months post requesting an evaluation by the school and we are still sitting two (nearly 5 months total since first request for evaluation)months later with nothing in stone

yes

I could go to the DPI

Image result for dpi grievance

but that isn’t going to get things moving faster for this year

so

I take into my own hands

as most parents probably do or should do

and I research…

what can I do to improve his fine motor skills at home

like ideas from this site

and from searching on pinterest

borrow/rent/buy every book on High functioning autism I can find

then

move on and realize a couple books by Temple Grandin is enough for now.

and move on to reading up on IEP’s and 504’s

in an attempt to maintain sanity and know as much possible before the meeting occurs

It seems in this current culture

if a child is getting halfway decent grades and is not a problem in class

they are are not a concern for the school

the focus is on disruptive kids

and while they do need help

so do the high functioning kids

I don’t know the solution

or

how to change the system

but I do know

I’m going to teach my child how to “swim” in this world

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Wading through the books on Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism

There are hundred of books maybe even thousands  of books that are all about Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism.

Here is a list from good reads

another from autism resources

these lists are long but, I’m sure not full, as new books are published frequently

I’ve started with 3 just 3 books for right now

please don’t look at this so much as an endorsement…but more of a review on my thoughts on the books listed

I hope at some point in the future to create a chart rating the books on their features…but right now I have more reading to do

The following are the books I have started on.

Living Well on the Spectrum by Valerie L. Gaus. PHd

(think of this book almost an encyclopedia type guide to autism spectrum, it is filled with a lot of useful information…but also a lot you may never use depending on where you fall on the spectrum)

I personally think this book would be better if split into two books,

Book 1: the information

Book 2: more of an accompianing  workbook with  the quizzes, charts, and diagrams

one area of the book I found most helpful and plan to print and hang copies on my sons wall

is a gray box area called: A word about strangers and Aquaintances

this is an area that seems to be pretty common from what I’ve been reading on Autism and Aspergers

people on the spectrum are often too trusting

and

have difficulty defining relationships

also included in chapter 6 are several highly informative charts about how to discern if the person you are talking to or about is a friend or aquaintance, and how to talk to and converse with appropriately

Asperger’s Syndrome by

Tony Attwood

I

like that this book ends nearly every chapter with a concise, boxed in summary.

again not everything in this book applies to everyone on the spectrum, but much of this book applies to everyone(does that make sense?)

the book concludes with FAQ’s and resources, as well as information on diagnostic criteria, and a formal bibliography with other books you may find useful.

Asperger’s Rules by

Blythe Grossberg Psy. D

I decided to order this book, the other two I took notes on but this one is arranged in such a way that I want to be able to reference it more often…with my child.

It is comprised of many short “quizes” and by short I don’t think there is any quiz with more than about 5 questions

these quizes are meant to be

reflective of situations that have happened or

preparatory of situations that may happen

there are some great flow charts

sample/practice/what if dialogues

and is easy to navigate from one chapter to the next

or

to jump around as necessary

so here I am, digging in trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can, so we can move forward and prepare my child for the best future possible!

High Functioning Mild Autism/Aspergers

Yes that’s the very recent diagnosis of my 15 year old

something I’ve suspected for oh say 13 years!

because he followed the rules at school and got decent grades

but  was a beast at home fairly often, was not a concern of school personal

and by the way:

we’ve referred to him as Sheldon from big bang ever since the show came out!

but I’m getting off track…

in almost every book I’ve been skimming on autism,  that(different school/home behavior) is one of the most common things there is in autistics

they call it the Jekyll and Hyde symptom

you see they expend so much energy at school trying to appear normal, to perhaps not do their repetitious behavior or not speak out of turn by the time they get home they are mentally exhausted and cannot handle even the slightest stress, and they explode/tantrum/yell etc…

So what to do now??

for the last 12-13 years I have been his main source of therapy, talking about situations, and what set off the tantrum, and what he can do different next time but he is starting to need more than I can offer.

We are still waiting on the official report

so we can present it to the school, complete with suggestions for an IEP or 504 type plan.

which we’ll end up with … no idea…more later

I’ve just started wading through the books out there and one they all have one thing in common

way too much information.

OK  actually just enough information

but the way some of the books present it is overwhelming to wade through

that said I have started compiling information and making small decisions of “therapy” I can start to  add at home

like:

  • exercises in making eye contact
  • story sharing,  what would you do if…etc…
  • more dialogue practicing
  • more review of how day went(we already do quite a bit of this…now it will be in a different way)
  • and that’s enough of a start for now.

 

look for reviews of books I find most helpful to follow in the future.

Parenting without Panic…..yeah….right….well…maybeeee….

I just finished reading about halfway through the book

Parenting without Panic,(a pocket support group for parents of children and teens on the Autism Spectrum)

by Brenda Dater

We’ve often wondered if our oldest is somewhere on that spectrum

but that aside

as I read this book

I realized that there is great advice in here

not just for parents of Aspergers/Autism Spectrum kids

but for all parents.

If we can figure out what makes our kids tick(some days I feel like I’m close….other days I feel like I’m lost in a spiral of trying to” figure out”)

We can then adjust our responses and reactions to the behaviors in our children.

In some ways I found the book annoying….like….gee….how am I going to come up with those catchy phrases in the middle of dealing with a disagreeable child

but I think its about mental practice

thinking to yourself….”this is what I”ll do the next time this situation pops up”

Her “key tips for interpreting your child’s behavior is not just for “spectrum” kids/teens but really all of us(parents/caregivers)

she says:

-Consider the context

-Acknowledge developmental delays

-Acknowledge and recognize strengths

-Check your assumptions

-Apologize when you overreact

-Manage your own emotions

-Acknowledge effort

more about Brenda Dater the author

her facebook

If you are a parent consider reading this book! nah…don’t just consider it….do it….it’s an easy read…take from it what you need….you won’t be disappointed!

Yes …..even this busy mom finds time to read

I recently read ( and reviewed) a book titled “Jewel” by Bret Lott.

and if you are at all into reading (it’s an Oprah’s book club book) I highly recommend you pick it up at your local book store or library.

If you are now or have ever dealt with an ill child that required all your time and devotion  whether that illness was acute or chronic  this book will fill your heart with all the words and emotions you think but have never quite been able to put words to.

read my review here

 

This book especially spoke volumes to me as I have 3 children,

2 of them have food allergies one to dairy, eggs, tree-nuts, and peanuts(and one just eggs, tree-nuts and peanuts)

the one with slightly fewer allergies also fights asthma and eosinophilic esophagitus.

its been a long 11 years some times

and I wouldn’t trade any of them

 

but again

 

this book gets to the heart of a mom

the sacrifices she makes in regards to her marriage, and her other children

all to help the one child get the best help possible

 

If you are a parent/mom/grandparent   or even just human

you will find yourself feeling what Jewel is feeling…..

empathizing with her

despising her

loving her

and in the end

respecting her.

 

do yourself a favor….read the book!

 

Let it Go…(Really I don’t have to run the show??)

(originally posted on my book review blog)

Let it Go 

How to stop running the show and start walking in faith

By Karen Ehman

As parents but mothers specifically there seems to be a desire (in many parents)to live for our children

and be so involved they don’t have chances to

make choices

make mistakes

live for themselves(note I’m not saying selfish though they  may be)

In “Let it Go”

Karen takes us

from micromanaging to mothering

from being over-involved to learning to let go

complete with questions/answers at the end of each chapter  “Let it Go” would make a great book club for moms book

Check out Karen’s Website for more great information

now I must confess I am not much of a housewife

but.

I do find myself hovering in other ways

part is do to the kids food allergies and as a  parent the fear that accompanies that.

but

part of it is personality

wanting to be everything to everyone

then

getting burned out(which is good for no one)

Karen’s book walks you through the ages and stages of letting go.

in her book she quotes Psalm 62(among other bible passages I will end with that passage here:

Psalm 62

Song of Trust in God Alone

To the leader: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

How long will you assail a person,
    will you batter your victim, all of you,
    as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
    They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.Selah

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.Selah

a NEW dish: Baked Sausage and Pepper Ziti

I love cook books

to me they are more than

getting a recipe for supper

or dessert

they are for reading.

perusing

over

and

over

looking at the pictures

analyzing the recipes

so.

like any good

cookbook

connoisseur

I check them out from the library

I salivate over

new recipes

(even the ones I could never make for my kids because of nuts or egg whites or whatever)

but yesterday I saw one from a good housekeeping cookbook

and the recipe is on their website!

and it is ….

tada

Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti

the house still smells like it!

(it does contain cheese..so I save some out for my dairy allergic child prior to adding the cheese so he can try some!)

I used sweet italian sausage(the recipe says to use either sweet or hot)

and I used penne pasta as that was what I was able to find at the store

but it is super simple and could easily be made in a dutch oven!(a one pot meal is always appreciated)

to make in one pot cook the pasta first then set aside

then follow recipe as written

and …my photo:

YUM!

enjoy…I know what we’ll be having for left overs today…

my oldest says this recipe is a definite MAKE AGAIN!

His Brain/Her Brain….well….duhhhh…

Originally blogged on my book review blog but

because of the nature of this blog…

being a mom, and wife

and the daily struggles and joys of those two things

this book has been so helpful to me

and perhaps it will be helpful to you too

His Brain,

Her Brain

How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage

by Walt Larimore, MD & Barb Larimore

I’ve been hearing for years how boys and girls think differently….Then I had 2 boys and a girl…and….they do…think differently.

not always

and not everyone is the same

we are created unique within God’s image of course

This book, although geared for husband/wife can help you think about and understand your children as well.

I don’t agree with 100% of what they say but I agree with enough for this book to make it to this review.

Now there is a myriad of explanation in to the structural differences and chemical processes of themale and female  brains…if this doesn’t interest you skip over to the reflections on why this is important.

Even if you don’t ascribe to a religion you are probably in a relationship of some sort…or have been….or will be….and …this book may provide some insight into the why’s of

how (men and women) respond differently to a variety of what life hands out

look at the chapter titles:

  • chapter 3: Differences in how we perceive our world
  • chapter 4: differences in how we process input from our world
  • chapter 5: differences in how we communicate without world
  • chapter 9: his brain-conquest Her Brain-Nurture
  • chapter 10: his brain- provision her brain- security
  • chapter 11: his brain-respect her brain-love

The fact is that whether we biologically male or female does have an influence on

what we do ,

how we act,

how we interpret,

how we respond

to the world around us.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, administrator, manager, this book can give you insight on the hows and whys of your interpersonal relationships with the other “gender” in your life.

The book is complete with tables and charts that cohesively bring together the information in the book for easily comparison of the female and male brains.

This book would make an interesting book club read

imagine if a group of spouses participated in the reading of this book, then divided into a group of males and a group of females tro discuss and then came back together as a full group for insight.

could be interesting….

Perhaps the most interesting analogy is the one highlighted in Chapter 13

“The Marriage Box”

Essentially you can only get out what you put in

(but their descriptions are much more eloquent.)

Dr. Walt has a site…of course

and on it is a link to chapter 1 of this book

so …

dig in…

and you might learn something

about yourself.

Paper or Digital…..oh the tragedy….yet…oh the convenience

I like books

I like holding them in my hand

I like using post it notes and highlighters

I like books

and

I like magazines.

I like reading them

I like clipping articles and recipes

but recently I discovered

DIGITAL EDITIONS

where through your local library you can download(if you have an account) books fiction, nonfiction, best sellers, old classics

the downfall

you need a decent reading device or computer

you can’t make easily accessible notes you know  there’s the sticky note open up and there’s the highlighted section

you need internet access and relatively good access at least till its downloaded to your computer

 

then there’s the waiting list….some books have none some books you may be 51 out of 51 with the library owning 4 copies so be prepared to wait.

but….then I discovered ZINIO

if your library has access to it go to your local public libraries website

you can create an account

sign in

and check out

and read magazines….full magazines online

and if you have a snip it type tool you can clip and those phrases and recipes you love !

all from the comfort of your own home

so while I love paper books

and continue to find best sellers at garage sales

thrift stores…etc

I am slowly finding a second love

online reading.

added bonus I can be perusing while doing laundry without wasting gas to get to the library

 

future post: placing a hold request

 

Books you must read

The Art of Racing in the Rain(there is a youth addition{Racing in the Rain} of this one so you read the adult one and then discuss with your child)

by Garth Stein

Garth Stein has his own website(as does half the world these days..but if you want to know more check it out) His website has a guide for readers if you want to use the book in a book club.

No Spoilers here

Enzo is the Dog, and he is reflecting on his life with his owner. Again the two versions are slightly different in that the youth version changes the story somewhat to make it more appropriate for youth. My niece said it “made her cry”  and  “It’s the best book I ever read”

———————–

The Shack by William P. Young

This book is too intense for 1-8 grade in my opinion so use discretion and read first before letting a child read it.

But it is theology like you’ve never imagined it before

In the midst of tragedy (no spoilers here) God Presents himself to a man

in different forms(think Holy Trinity) but in ways that will touch your heart and your mind.

and by the end of the book the man undergoes a transformation of heart and soul that will rock your world.

*****

keep reading….more to come

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