We are now making plushies💕 

Hi everyone! Our journey has taken us further into toy making! As usual I follow Isabella’s passions and support them as much as I can. You can never learn to much 😊 Anyone that knows an autistic person probably has found out that some Autistic people go through a cycle of favorite things. (Makes it really hard to get rid of stuff😂) Isabella’s cycles through her toys where she’ll play everyday for a few weeks with one set being the “main characters ” of everything and she is now bring in other toys as “supporting actors” (not to long ago it was against her nature to mix toys during play so this is a big step!) then after a few weeks she’ll move on to her next collection that gets to play a leading role. During the times the toys get their “time in the spotlight” we add more to the collection 😊 at the moment she has gone waaaay back to a set that I thought would never make its way back into the cycle which are the “Super Why” characters. We never had toys for that just 4 cake decorations and through the years lost 1 and damaged another in the water. But it has been 4 YEARS since the last time she touched those well they’re back! And those toys are not way to expensive since they are discontinued. 

Okay so now that that’s clear I can get back to the plushies. We have been playing around with making dolls for years. Isabella designed and made her 1 doll at about age 4. Not pretty by a long shot but it did turn out exactly the way she designed it 💙 Needless to say now that our Doll and softie making skills have greatly improved we will be figuring out together how to make a Super Why set of dolls!!! Stay tuned for the design process 😍 I will post updates as they happen. 

In the mean time here are a few that we have already made. We did get her a new embroidery machine which has her pretty excited! It’s the 1st thing she asks for when she wakes up (even before asking for breakfast!)  

To order our plushies you can comment on a photo of the one you’d like on Facebook and we can send you an invoice via PayPal Our Facebook Page or shop on our Etsy page and follow us on Instagram for updates on sales, new products and GIVEAWAYS! @IsabellasSpectrumDesigns hope to see you there!  

Video

Meet Isabella

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

wpid-20140826_142919.jpg

Edit 1: Gosh already an edit. When I initially started typing up this post it was mostly to gather some information to help our  home school group Parents and the Children better understand Isabella. She’s had a very hard time with the transition especially in the class that I teach as I can’t be completely devoted to her in this new environment. I feel so blessed that this group is supportive and wanting info God definitely had a hand in guiding us to our 1st structured social experience since I pulled Isabella out of school. I can’t thank them enough. I was going to write a short and sweet summary add some video clips so that they could help their children understand. Some of the children are scared and that breaks my heart. I was ready to pull away the only thing keeping me was my commitment to teach a class. But I struggled internally you would think it’s because my daughter is having a hard time. But making her face biggest struggles is how I’ve gotten her this far. No my struggle was how much torture everyone is feeling while we are in the class. And just knowing that I was going to be asked to leave. So I was speechless when instead I was asked for information about Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. My short and sweet story has taken on a life of it’s own and I figured I’d be as transparent as I can be so that maybe someone else reading this that would like to explain to children what is Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder that maybe this post will give you a good start?!🙂

So before I go any further I was able to find these 2 short videos which I think will help the younger children understand a little better what is going on though no 2 Autistics will react the same to things. Video: Nick has Autism  Video: Arthur- When Carl Met George.

And here are a couple of very informative videos for adults or older children. Video: Ask an Autistic what is a MeltdownVideo: Ask an Autistic what is Sensory Processing Disorder,  Video: Ask an Autistic what is Scripting

Isabella Overstimulated and a Meltdown Diverted 

So if you are still with me at this point here is Autism and Sensory Processing disorder specific to Isabella🙂

Hello everyone I wanted to take a moment to introduce my Beautiful energetic smart Little Girl. Isabella has been cooking since she was 4 years old by herself. She sewed her first outfit completely alone at age 4 as well! She really like to cook and sew on my sewing machine. She has her own business where she turns old ugly furniture into beautiful one of a kind play kitchens! At one point we had so many of them that we opened a store front for her. She loved having a store and welcoming new customers and showing them the things she made. Isabella is very artistic and loves building. Gosh you should see her Lego collection! She is also very organized! Everything she owns is in its own special container so when she’s done playing with it it has gets put away till next time so her My Little Ponies are never mixed with her Littlest Petshop collection. If these get mixed up it gives her anxiety and she gets really upset.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Isabella is Autistic. I say this instead of Isabella has Autism because you can’t catch Autism like you can catch a cold. Autism is a part of her it will never go away. For us Isabella’s Autism is what makes her so special. Autism is a spectrum condition which means no 2 Autistic people will ever be alike. When we say Autism Spectrum Disorder we are referring a group of complex social communication difficulties  (According to the dictionary it is:  Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior)

When Isabella was almost 3 we were told that she would never speak and that if she did it would be only a few words that wouldn’t mean anything because it would be echolalia which means repeating or echoing things she hears. Isabella does this a lot! She will watch cartoons or commercials on cleaning products and repeat them all day. Well our response was to teach her to communicate through sign language and we used her gift for being able to memorize everything she watches or hears and turned it into communication. Since I’ve also memorized most of her “scripts” I help her use them in useful ways. Such as Dora the Explorer always starts with “Hi I’m Dora and these are my friends….” Isabella scripts this all the time so I’ve used the script and turned it into communication “Hi I’m Isabella and this is my friend Mom”

We were also told that she would likely never make a meaningful relationship with someone other than myself. At age 3 she still wanted nothing to do with her grandmothers which adore her, no one at the daycare all she would do is cry or try to run away. So I’ve made it a point to be right next to her until she feels safe enough to interact then I know I can step away. She has an unbreakable bond with her grandparents, and a few friends that understand her so she trusts them. Usually her interaction begins with parallel play (playing next to but not with) and as she starts feeling at ease it will turn into interactive play with friends.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were told that she would never be independent and would likely need us to care for her her entire life or go to an institution. So from an early age I started having her fully involved in everything that it takes to run a house and earn money. I have lists everywhere that shows step by step how to do each and every task in the house with pictures. Because she has an awesome memory she can now do the laundry, cleans, folds clothes, She has been able to cook an entire meal for the family since she was 4 all by herself! When we go out I make sure to use self checkout registers and have her go through all the steps from making a list of what we need to finding and paying with a debit card (we’ll get into cash at another point in her life) She also has her own business. (I know I mentioned this above in the introduction but wanted to add the backstory)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Her teachers at school kept her in a special classroom. The classroom was full of yelling, hitting, biting, throwing children which all had their own challenges. I tried to have Isabella placed in a regular class because just like she learns how to repeat things she sees on TV well she started behaving like she saw children at school behave. We were told she couldn’t be in a classroom with the “typical children” because she was unteachable. This was the day we pulled her out of school and began our homeschool journey. Isabella is still traumatized from the school environment. I know this because in our journey things have been going so well. She has educationally speaking caught up to her peers in a matter of 3 months. She can read, do her math work (doesn’t like these to but can do them lol) she is a sponge for her history lessons and science lessons.

Now those were the challenging parts of Isabella’s Autism and every day we work on helping her manage the difficult parts by using her strengths

Now on to Isabella’s Struggles aside from Autism Isabella has ADHD, ODD but her strongest struggle is Sensory Processing Disorder (SDP). This affects 7 of her senses. We are all familiar with 5 senses Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste and Smell she struggles with all of those as well as Vestibular and Proprioceptive. Then when all 7 are fighting for the front position at the same time a Meltdown happens. Most of the time she is fine because we keep her Sensory System well Regulated during the day through the use of her Sensory Diet. Which begins at wake up with a deep pressure massage followed by a brushing technique called “Wilbarger Protocol” and Joint Compressions. Through the day she takes lots of breaks to jump on the Trampoline and Swing on the indoor Swing and Swing on the hammock we also have indoors. Isabella seeks a lot of Proprioceptive input to put this in the simplest term would be any input that puts pressure on her joints. Jumping, carrying heavy items, pushing weighted items, Stomping, squeezing. The proprioceptive system tells us where our body is in relation to our surroundings. When Isabella isn’t regulated or anxiety has hit the point of no return she seeks desperately some proprioceptive input. At this point she is in pure panic and when in this state she doesn’t always seek the safest or quietest form of Proprioceptive input. Once she even darted (ran really fast) into a parking lot and almost got hit by a car parking! But usually she will jump up and down stomping or push against me because she knows I will pull her in and she gets her input by trying to push me away. She is not hurting me she is just trying to get what she needs though it may look or sound scary. We work daily towards helping her manage her Sensory Needs in more appropriate ways.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On Monday I will be bringing my tool kit. Honestly everything that has happened recently has been my fault. I put my sweet baby girl in a new situation, with new people, completely out of our routine with no calming tools and expected her to go with the flow. Sometimes because she is doing so well I forget she is doing well because she has calming tools readily available. Isabella really is a happy loving sweet little girl. There is so much more but I really wanted to get this information to you before Monday and it is really late. Please revisit at your convenience for the completion of this post🙂

 

November 24 to December 28

Tags

, ,

imageI hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a prosperous New Year.
So updating our blog over the holidays has proven to be next to impossible. So now that I have a quick moment to myself before the kids wake up I thought I’d jot some thoughts down.

The biggest change that we have had is that finally 5 months after I applied I was approved to volunteer in Isabella’s classroom. At the moment we are using me being there as a “prize” she has to earn throughout the day. When she earns all of her tokens the teacher sends me a text and I come in at the end of the day to spend some time with the class. The goal is though for me to be there during the day to help with the day to day. I would like to play the role of her ABA Therapist which is only there 2 days a week for 3 hours each visit. But she isn’t in a place that she will let me go quietly just yet.
image

During Christmas break I noticed she was a lot more conversational than I’m use to. Very animated and asking questions. She didn’t have any meltdowns even with all the craziness and crowds looking for last minute gifts. Stuff that made me anxious she was handling like a pro. At the stores she would approach the staff and ask for stuff such as 1 yard of fabric please! She loves to sew and really loves picking out her fabric. But what the staff didn’t like was her ringing the bell to get their attention. She was pretty awful to my daughter even after I explained her condition and that she is actually really wanting a yard of fabric. Still attitude so we walked away and spoke with manager (which turns out has 2 autistic children so he wasn’t to happy) But Isabella didn’t have a meltdown because we left without the fabric proud of my baby girl. So we went to very very crowded Walmart and she picked out fabric there where the staff know her and respect her.
image

On Christmas Eve she was so excited! And as we went to bed we realized that we forgot to put out Milk and Cookies for Santa. Couldn’t count on Brothers they were sleeping so it was up to Isabella and I. But to our surprise we heard a bustle in the Living room. Isabella went to find out what it was. IT WAS SANTA! We caught him again this year! She has never been more conversational as she was with him it was great to watch. Here is the video for you to enjoy!
image

Video: Visit from Santa captured!

Week of November 17 Personal Growth

Tags

, ,

image

image

This week I’ve seen her get way more involved in her shop (the garage) caught her a couple of times just going out by herself to work on her puzzle piece wreaths and jewelry. I wouldn’t mind so much but it was freezing and she went out in pajamas.  The concentration that she is able to acquire when she is squeezing out the glitter glue onto the puzzle piece is amazing and the pride when she is done. I only wish that when she is coloring on a coloring book she would use several colors like she does with the glitter.

Her speech is awesome!  So clear and she properly uses some very big words. I like how she throws in adjectives. “Mommy isn’t this a spectacular pony palace?” She amazes me.  And her memory is immaculate.  She can watch just about anything and memorize it after seeing it a couple of times. All instructions I give her I say clearly and have her repeat she understands way more than people give her credit.

This week we had to drop her off at my friends house for an hour because we had an appointment we both had to attend.  This is the first time someone other than grandma has watched her. She had such a wonderful time that she cried the whole way home. She played together with her son and even let him hug her! A year ago had a child gotten that close she would have pushed him clear across the room. So this is a major growth!

She also had a great week at school I haven’t had to walk in with her just walk her to the door. Friday was a iffy day with screaming.  Even when she was doing what she wanted to do. Ex: screaming what’s the matter Isabella?  I want to swing! But you are swinging!  Ohhhh noooooooo but I want to swing!  Not sure what happened so wish I could be there to translate.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Pretend Kitchen Giveaway!

wpid-img_20141107_205526.jpg

Hi everyone to thank everyone that reads my posts and my awesome supporters I have decided to do a giveaway just in time for Christmas! To participate you must be able to pick up the Kitchen set yourself as I can’t cover the shipping sorry😦

For those of you who don’t know Isabella’s Spectrum Designs is a tool that we are using to teach our daughter through something she loves to do.  She loves to cook, paint and sew. A year ago she barely spoke a word and had absolutely no interest in any back and forth interaction other than with her daddy, brothers and me. 2 years ago she asked for a play kitchen she was almost 4 and taller than most 4 year olds. I bought her a plastic kitchen and after I assembled it she was so happy she helped assemble it but when it was time to play she was on her knees and was still to tall! We paid close to $100 for it! She lost interest in it really fast. Then she asked me her favorite question “Mommy can we build one?” There began the internet searches which lead me to repurposed furniture! I got excited and showed her several pictures and then we were on the hunt. The hunt is where her curiosity finally peaked! Going to thrift shops was like a candy store for her. She was finally I interested in knowing objects around her. “Mommy what’s this called?” She would ask about everything see saw. So I took it as a chance to teach her. Every single question was answered in a full sentence. “Isabella that is a vintage baby stroller for mommy’s to push babies around a long time ago.” When we looped all the way she would want to go back except this time she would grab or point the item and she would tell me what it was. Her face has never been more animated but when I say its time to go hmmmmmm guess I should have thrown in a transition item because she was not happy! Anyway we finally found the perfect piece at the perfect price and started the project she wanted to help so I’d let her. And I would talk about the steps that we take and why. She soaks it all in. We worked for 3 weeks and finally in time for Christmas it was ready. When she woke up it was assembled and fully stocked with food, pots, pans, utensils and appliances! She was so amazed loved it and now 2 years later after many many hours of play she still loves it and it still looks great!

So time for the giveaway. To join you must be able to pick up the Kitchen if you win. Also these kitchens my have small parts that although we do secure them as best we can we ask that if you occasionally check them as they could pose a choking hazard. If you win I would love a picture of your child playing with it! For your entries you must follow us on Facebook and for additional entries visit and follow my sponsors below and comment on their page that Isabella’s Spectrum Designs sent you. Good luck everyone!

Click on the link below to go to the giveaway entry form🙂

Continue reading

Survival tools: Tonsillectomy Adenoidectomy & Turbinoplasty: A living nightmare for my 4 Year old daughter

Tags

, , , , , ,

Image

Photo above is Pre-Op Appt….. Still a happy girl

We are on Day 7 post op of my daughters Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy & Turbinoplasty I still haven’t written posts on Days 1 through 6 as I was going to start that today. But 1st I want to list some of the things we’ve tried to easy the pain as I know as a parent when I’m searching for info the 1st thing I want to see is possible methods of relief. Especially since our procedure was done as a last minute change of procedure. We were discharged with VERY BASIC post op info and since we didn’t know we were going to have this procedure done we hadn’t done any research.

Now these are items that we have tried some work some don’t I will list our results. Again this is OUR experience and everyones will be different. Don’t take any of this as medical advice as I have noooo medical background all I have is Mommy background!

  • ENT Doctor discharged us with Tylenol (Acetaminophen)  and Motrin (Ibuprofen) . These maybe great if your child is willing to swallow. Our expierience she spit most out we never knew how much she actually would swallow but I would imagine not enough because pain was non stop but we couldn’t take chances and give her more before next time. We were told to alternate every 4 hours for the 1st few days (at day 7 we are still doing 4 hours to control the pain and stay as ahead of it as possible)
  • My family doctor prescribed us some Tylenol Suppository (Acetaminophen Suppository) now we have the 325 mg ones and they also have the 120 mg this is something your doctor should advise you on again all kids are different age and weight has a lot to do with it. Our daughter is 4 and 48 lbs and we could give her the 325mg every 4 to 6 hours. This was great for us for the 1st 4 days because there was no longer guessing how much she took since it is administered through the rectum (including our extended stay at the hospital more on that on post of day 2). Unfortunately the Ibuprofen doesn’t come this way.  Our daughter quickly became dehydrated and pain wasn’t going away at all!
  • Baths for whatever reason putting her in the warm water would sooth her. Not exactly sure why but she has always been a water baby. I would keep her in one around the clock except for she would fall asleep in there!
  • Driving around also soothes her for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the movement or because she is upright but whatever the reason I feel its worth mentioning.
  • Homemade Ice Packs: I’m sure store bought ones would be good as well. But since I’m kinda housebound I had to do what I could as I googled and googled and googled for relief. Whether you go with store bought or homemade please make sure that they are soft frozen and moldable. The recipe I went with was: 3 parts water 1 part Alcohol. So for example if you use 3 cups of water you will add 1 cup of Alcohol. I had both 50% and 70% alcohol at home and the 70% made more “slush” that lasts longer cold (all night last night and was still cold) From what I’ve read this should only be used for 20 minutes at a time (worth mentioning). Not what I’m doing though. She wants something cold ALL the time on her neck so I’ve made 3 batches of these ice packs which I’ve made bags as little as Snack Size ziplock and as large as gallon size. The best has been the Gallon size since I can mold it around her neck. Yes I already know that this can be a hazard which is why I keep a very close eye on her. When you get to the part where your child is complaining about an “Ear Ache” “My Ear Hurts” You have reached the point that will test you. I’ve been pretty strong but day 5 broke me! This has been the most excruciating part of post op so far. In most cases it’s isn’t an ear infection from all the searches I’ve done. It’s part of the healing process and it’s by all accounts the worst. And in a child like mine with Hypersensitivity this pain is magnified 10 fold. The nerves are all connected I’ve read and it’s not really the Ear that is hurting. The pain is coming from the throat but is being registered by the brain as an ear ache. So even when your auto response would be to apply the ice pack to ear don’t it won’t help instead apply the ice to the throat and you will see her calm down (at least for us this is working) The ear pain seems to be worse when she has to swallow. She soooo wants to eat and drink but when she tries she really suffers EXCRUCIATING PAIN this includes when she has to take her meds. At this point the suppository Acetaminophen isn’t working. We have started giving her Elixir.
  • Another med our family doctor prescribed was Elixir: This is by prescription ONLY! If you didn’t walk out of the hospital with this or another form of strong medicine I would recommend asking for it WAAAAAY before you need it so that you have it on hand when the time comes. We didn’t need to start giving it to her until Day 5. Knowing now what I didn’t know then I probably would have started her on it at the end of Day 4 which is when she started complaining about ear hurting but it still wasn’t excruciating and she had done so well that whole day that I thought we were on our road to pain free recovery instead it was the “Eye of the Hurricane” (will post about that later as well) Again I’m not a doctor PLEASE do not take my experience as medical advise. Your doctor is the only one that would be able to tell you if this med is right for you. Elixir is Acetaminophen with Codeine and is considered a narcotic medicine.  I’m mentioning it because we weren’t given this by our ENT doctor and the only reason I knew this was an option was because of my endless Google searches for answers. Thankfully our family doctor worked with me and provided me with this medicine and the Suppositories which we didn’t even know existed
  • A syringe with a catheter Your child may be afraid to swallow or it may hurt to much. We have a giant syringe (got it at the hospital while she was hospitalized so not sure where you can buy one) One of the nurses rigged one up with a long catheter. Remember you have to keep your child’s throat wet. Hard to do when they won’t swallow or drink and in our situation she doesn’t understand us when we say drink to keep your throat wet so you feel better. So with this Syringe we are able to put the catheter in the mouth between teeth and cheek about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches in and slowly squeeze fluid in doesn’t matter if she swallows we just want to keep her throat wet. Especially when she wakes up. The 1st thing I do when I see it’s time to wake up or she is stirring in bed is start squeezing water in her mouth before she tries to swallow. From what I’ve read about adult experiences waking up and swallowing is the worse and feels like “swallowing a box of thumbtacks” “swallowing a mouth full of broken glass” “Swallowing a box of nails” So knowing this and my daughter doesn’t speak much on a good day due to her speech delay I can only imagine she is feeling this. So even though she hates it and we have to restrain her (she’s really really strong) I still squirt water in her mouth and after a while she relaxes and lets me keep going>.
  • Ear Drops Not sure if this does anything for her but since it’s not an ear ache medically but since mentally to her it’s an ear ache I think it gives her a sense of relief that I address her concerns. The drops I have are over the counter ear drops for ear aches that I had on hand for my son
  • Humidifier or Vaporizer!  Dry throats are a recovering persons worst nightmare so anything at all that you can do to minimize the dry must be done. We don’t have a humidifier but do have a Vicks Vaporizer so I’ve added more than a pinch of salt so that it makes more steam in the room. Not sure if this is a good thing but seems to help my daughter sleep soundly. We still have the irritated throat thing going but at least while she sleeps she sleeps well.
  • A bell and/or baby monitor Another thing I’ve read is to minimize talking (reports from adults) So our daughter speaks very little as it is on a normal day even less now but all her crying is still taking a toll on her throat. I have provided her with a nice bell that rings loudly ours is pewter and even though it’s tiny it rings solidly and loudly so we can hear her in our large house without a problem. And yes sometimes she rings it just to ring that’s ok come to her every single time. She needs you and even though you are beyond exhausted and overwhelmed your baby is too and nothing brings her more comfort than to know you are there.

So this is all I have for now I know I’m long winded but I really want to help someone anyone everyone! But also I’m overwhelmed as well and need to distract myself with what I like to do most… Help people…

Below here is just a repeat to help with search engines and will be on each of my posts:

This will be a very long post or series of post not sure yet how I will post them. I’m not a professional writer so don’t need or want grammatical criticism. I’m simply writing this to get my thoughts and experience out in the open with the hope that my experience will help someone with their child.

The Procedure: Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy and Turbinoplasty

Female Age 4 Healthy 48 lbs 3 feet tall

 No two cases will be alike I guess so this isn’t the end all be all nor am I a doctor and do not take these posts as medical advice. Just take it for what it is MY experience. There isn’t much information available that truly describes possible outcomes. Especially in babies and toddlers. In our situation our 4 year old daughter is on the Autism Spectrum and has Sensory Processing Disorder.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Week of 11-10-2014 Personal Growth

Tags

,

image

11/10/2014
Today Isabella sat outside with her “Front Porch Store” with bedhead and Pajamas she ate her breakfast on a blanket next to her product line. She waved at cars going by and would greet people walking by. It was heart warming to watch. She then got a little restless and started raking leaves then jumping in the piles. We practiced some volleyball in the driveway a short while before then she went in for a snacks.  Later she came back out and played with her brother and one of his friends. I love that she is now SEEKING interaction with other kids and communicating.  It’s still rough around the edges but A LOT more understandable. Also did a little training session with her on safety and let the ball roll sown the driveway towards the street to see if she would chase it. I am proud to say not once did she chase it! She would freeze and cover her mouth and say “Oh oh”. Later in the evening we as a family were roasting marshmallows and Isabella refused to get close to the fire because “It is dangerous” even when I offered to hold her at a safe distance! She put a marshmallow on a stick and pretended from afar as on the motorcycle. She also would lay back and find the constellations she’s a smart little girl. I’m glad she has the “fear factor” and uses it to be safe.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Week of 11-3-2014 Personal Growth

Tags

, , ,

image
This week has been awesome for Isabella.  She had a pretty decent week at school with only about 2 meltdowns and they only lasted about 5 seconds each. On November 4th since there was no school she had an in office ABA therapy session which she was completely compliant with the demands. I did take my binder for the therapist to do the tasks I expect of her and she has memorized the majority of my cellphone number. I’ve been working hard on teaching her because God forbid she ever separates from her caretakers or me I want to be sure she can give my number when asked. This week we will start working on address! Also on November 4th I took her for her 6 Month dental and normally she sees a pediatric dentist but they stopped accepting our insurance so I figured we would at least try to take her to our family dentist Carolina Dentists. They are NOT pediatric dentist but they were able to accomplish something that her regular high priced pediatric couldn’t.  And mind you she’s been seeing her other dentist since her 1st tooth came in before she was 1 year-old! We finally got X-rays just the front top and bottom but baby steps right?! It was so interesting to watch her pick her prize. She picked a ball that had a bunch of stretch rubbery strings. Not sure what they are called but it was the kind I have been looking for to add to the sensory bucket in her calm down corner. When we got home without me telling her she took it straight to her bucket! That is such a positive sign for us in my opinion. On more than one occasion I have noticed that she goes to her corner on her own and will pick an aide to calm herself down when she knows she is feeling anxious or upset. Will write a post soon describing our calm down corner it is even a place our 11 & 12 year old boys have gone to when they think we aren’t looking.🙂

Posted from WordPress for Android

Isabella’s Play Kitchen Brag Book!

Tags

, , , , ,

image

After months of hard work treasure hunting, brainstorming, designing, sanding, painting, sewing, cutting we finally have the “1st Wave” ready to show! We are very proud of these pieces. Together we brainstormed and though I’d get her started she would do the work and sometimes even though the idea was one thing a mistake would take us into a much better direction. You will see quite a few imperfections and I have no intentions of perfecting. She can’t sew the straightest lines and she hasn’t learned how to fix the jam in the sewing machine but she is so proud of her finished product that I don’t have the heart to rip out seams and sew them straighter. There were many moments where she would just work on the piece for 5 minutes and say “No more I go play now” and others were we would be out there for hours. My favorite part of working with her is listening to her tell me the steps as they need to happen it tells me that she will easily be able to handle this little business when she grows up. She knows all the steps! Now my next mission for the “2nd Wave” is to start explaining Why each step needs to take place. I don’t expect her to understand this part yet but then she always exceeds my expectations so we’ll see🙂

Isabella’s brothers also take part in helping her in a way that only siblings can. I love that they don’t really do anything FOR her they do stuff WITH her. To them she is just another sibling in this family they don’t challenge her like I do but they don’t give her special treatment for things they know she can do. They help roll out her pieces to the driveway in the mornings and help roll them back to the garage in the evenings. They compliment the work and her face lights up with joy and pride!
image
Each of these pieces perfectly imperfect are for sale. A portion of the proceeds will go towards raising money for Autism Awareness in our community and hopefully creating programs that our kids want to do but aren’t exactly welcome. Such as Sports, Dance & Drama. We want to make a monthly meeting at the Farm so the children can be themselves free of judgment and just relax. And so many more things but one step at a time we will make a difference🙂 Here are some shots of the recent pieces and our 1st pieces. If you are interested in purchasing please contact us. If you would like one custom made for you we will happily brainstorm with you and hunt for a pieces to suite your needs. These would make awesome Birthday and Christmas Gifts. These would be great in a preschool class or daycare. They are taller than the standard store bought play kitchens since they are geared towards lasting a lot longer and target children like my daughter which wasn’t interested in pretend play (preferred the real kitchen) until she was 4 and by then all the plastic kitchens were so small she had to play bent over or on her knees. We will ship anywhere in the US but because of the size and weight it may be a little costly. So ask for a quote on shipping and I can find an estimated cost for you. Also these will arrive fully assembled and I can’t take them apart to ship. If you are local you can just come on over to our Front Porch Store and pick up for FREE!🙂 We are doing a Giveaway of the Red and Gray Kitchen. Before you enter the Giveaway please know that I cannot ship so you must be local or if you aren’t and you win you can tell me to donate it to a local person or business you may also pay the shipping costs and I will happily mail it to you. We just can’t cover the shipping ourselves. Stay tuned for details on the Giveaway and how you can get extra free entries by just sharing my post and the pages of my wonderful sponsors which helped me get started.
Follow us on our Facebook Group: http://www.Facebook.com/groups/IsabellasSpectrumDesigns
image

image

image

image

image

How I taught my nonverbal autistic daughter to talk in 3 Months!

Tags

, ,

By age 4 my daughter could say words but her vocabulary was that id a 2 year old and she definitely was putting sentences together.  She started speech therapy when she was almost 3 but no real progress and lots of frustration, screaming and crying when she knew we were making the turn that would take us to the therapists office 3 times a week. She had been diagnosed with developmental speech delay. I knew there was more to it but the doctors just wouldn’t listen. Next I took her to a weekly play group that was run by therapists OT and Speech there was just her for a couple of weeks which she was ok with but then they brought in several peers and it became a serious task getting her to group every week. The screaming could be heard through the entire school. It was only 2 hours long but it would feel like an eternity to me. Especially since this girl of mine was NEVER left my eye site. Well I must say there was very little improvement in her speech and communication after several months of play group and then came summer vacation.

Throughout the summer we worked hard at getting her to make and maintain eye contact. And even though this little girl was use to just going into the kitchen and preparing her food we started requiring her to verbal ask for what she was looking for. We would take her to the park and try to get her to play with others but she still had no interest. But on the other hand she would try to play with her brothers friends ages 11 & 12. There her eyes would light up and you could hear her squealing with such joy playing tag, hide and seek and on the see saw where 1 friend would spot her to make sure she didn’t fall and 2 boys on the other end pushing the seat down and up. This is where I really saw she could socialize but what I also saw was in this situation the boys weren’t trying to hold her hand and make her play baby doll. Most of the kids her age were way to touchy feely and she would naturally pull away. So I filed this observation away for future use🙂

Summer is over Isabella now can speak words but just the ones that she needs definitely not conversational. Her eye contact is awesome. She started preschool. This preschool is an Inclusive preschool with both neuro-typical children as well as special needs. The my baby girl hated this school! Or maybe I shouldn’t say school but she didn’t like the new environment and really disliked the teacher. (I will elaborate on that on another post as I really think there are a lot of warning signs parents need to look for before placing your child in the wrong environment as their 1st experience away from their home) But to sum it up the teacher had no desire to teach preschoolers let alone special needs. No this isn’t me coming up with my own conclusions she told me this herself after I had been there for a few months. You see my daughter had such a hard time that I decided to volunteer to stay all day everyday for a few months and I believe after a while the teacher forgot I was a parent and not a staff so when I asked about it she let it slip that she was forced there and much preferred 5th grade where she had been for 16 years. So now I am more involved than ever but after a while they asked me to stop coming. I would pull her out early (after lunch before nap) because I felt there was no reason to keep her there to sleep and eat a snack. But from the time she woke up to the time she went to bed at night I played a special dvd series on every TV in the house and car.

So before I reveal the DVD I want all of you to know that this is a series I use religiously and no I don’t get one penny to say this. I am passionate about this find because it gave my daughter a voice and in 3 months she her vocabulary went from 20 words to at least 300. I have to say she is still not conversational but she can follow a conversation her responses verify that she’s heard and understood what I’ve told her but if she’s nit interested in the topic she will give one worded answers. For example: Tell me about your day at school? Good. What did you do today? Play games. So what I’ve done is take her answer and form a sentence for her and make her repeat. I had a good day at school. I played domino math game with my teacher. Now when I ask her questions she will normally answer me in full sentences unless there is something distracting her. I don’t force her to have eye contact some of the best communication that we have had has been while she is playing with her toys as long as she’s engaged with me I let her be but if she’s to distracted I take it away and then she earns it back by speaking. Ok so the DVD series is called “Signing Time” it is a fun catch way to learning ASL (American Sign Language). Every single dvd focuses on one thing such as Happy Birthday every word that she teaches has to do with birthday parties gift cake candle etc. She teaches 3 words at a time and each word is repeated a lot there will be about 10 different kids typical and special needs of all degrees signing the word and visually the kids will be doing whatever the word is in different places. A cake is a cake no matter who’s house and what color and size it’s still a cake. Then also the word C-A-K-E will be spelled at the top of the screen. Most autistic people are very visual so hearing the word seeing the word in action and seeing how it’s spell over and over again really helped my daughter put it in her memory bank. So they teach 2 more words like this and then she adds it to a song and every time the words come up you sign them together with her. Then she moves on to the next 3 words and repeats the process. Other parts of the DVD will include things that are on every DVD the intro song very catchy you will be singing and signing this song everywhere cause it’s sticks! The alphabet and counting in sign. She always signs the alphabet now as she sings it in class. When she gets nervous and overwhelmed she goes straight to signing. She may not speak when she’s scared but she will sign. The only problem I’ve come across is not everyone that takes care of her can understand sign language. But we are working hard on her speaking as she signs. So there you have it in a matter of one year now she can speak conversationally, Sign, read and spell (writing she can but not willingly so I won’t add that to the list :P) Now her conversational speech is on what she wants to talk about so if it’s a topic she’s not interested in we go back to one worded answers ….. baby steps

These DVD’s are not cheap they run about $300 for a whole volume. But to make it more affordable you can buy 1 DVD at a time or buy used lots on Ebay. I was able to purchase mine for $99 The seller wanted 200 obo so I made an offer and he took it! And they have a lot of mini clips on YouTube I will link to one below.

Please feel free to ask questions below. I may not know all the answers but maybe someone passing through will see the question and have an answer🙂 Oh and also I type most of my blog posts on my cell phone when I get a chance here and there so if I have typos please understand that I’m trying to get my experiences out to my readers so if you see typos sure let me know🙂

Here is a sample clip of Signing Time I found on YouTube