ASD · Autism · new blog · Thank you · website

New website in progress

Hi friends of Stim Soup Autism.  I have  a new website coming soon.  https://stimsoup.wordpress.com won’t be active much longer.  I don’t want to lose any of you.  There are many things I will be changing.  I will be keeping WordPress format though.  Just simple for you.   If you have any ideas of what you would like to see.  Just leave a comment.  I’d be happy to see what I can do.  I  have much in store, even a members forum.  So stay tuned and stick with me.  I have so much to share! Here is the new address, Just click on the link:

http://www.stimsoup-autism.com

Keep in mind, that I will be constantly changing things around and doing a lot of stuff until I can get things just the way I like it.  Thanks for following me.

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ASD · Autism · Autism Awareness · Autism Spectrum · Family · repost · Tips

Coping with the holidays – A Repost

5 tips

This is re-post from December 2014.  My advice for parents surviving the holidays with ASD. 

Now that the Holidays have arrived, how are you handling it?  Becoming stressed?  I can totally relate. The holidays may be stressful for everyone, but it can be even more overwhelming with families on the Autism Spectrum. i.e. Sensory overload, routines,etc. Here is something to ease your mind.

I have written for you 5 simple tips to get you through the holidays and actually enjoy them with your family.  I hope.

1. Don’t Over Do it.

It’s okay to say “no” to all the invites for holiday parties and gatherings.  Your child will be much happier and more comfortable celebrating in a place where he feels comfortable. If you are attending a gathering with friends or family, you may kindly excuse yourself and leave.  If you have to take two cars, do it! If they are accepting of the situation normally folks will not feel offended if you need to exit the house because your child has had a meltdown.

2. Plan Ahead (Prep, prep, and more prep.)

Definitely, have a plan in place. If you are traveling by any form of transportation and visiting friends or family, prepare activities for your child.  Have a familiar bag full of activities ready to go.  Also have a designated quiet spot for your child to escape to when it gets too much of you happen to be staying elsewhere. Write Social Stories for visits to i.e. “The Trip to Grandma’s House.” If you are flying contact the airlines and ask what their accommodations for passengers with Autism are.

3. Maintain the Routine.

Try to keep your child’s routine as normal as possible, this will make it less stressful for everyone involved.

4. Make Gift Giving and Shopping Simple.

I cannot stress this enough. Make this process simple. Prepare ahead, only spend a minimal amount of time initially, and then gradually increase the time you spend in the mall or store. Your child’s sensory expectations will change and probably heighten while you’re in the store. Make gift giving fun and simple! Frustration can increase when given too many choices.   Don’t make it difficult on yourself.  Basically think simplicity. If your son is like mine, he doesn’t know about writing a list. Gift buying might become more difficult for you as it comes closer to Christmas.  Stick with simple gifts!

5. Relax

I know it is easier said than done but if you are anxious, stressed and anxiety ridden, your child will sense that something isn’t quite right. They are wonderful at picking up ques. So take your own “time out” and enjoy the holidays!

Stim Soup Copyright 2015

Please share!

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ASD · Autism · Autism Spectrum · Newly Diagnosed · Parents

New to the World of Autism? Part Two

Question Two: Where do I begin?

 Your child recently has been given the diagnosis, and you have been able to at least grab hold of the situation, but you are unsure of really where to begin.

 If you aren’t sure, grab a cup of coffee, tea or what ever your pleasure.  Sometimes wine can help but make sure you wait for that in the evenings. 🙂 Begin by sitting down at your computer and just Google away.  Google terms, “Autism” and (your state).  See what pops up on the screen. Usually that can get you to a good starting place.  Don’t Google too much or you might suffer from information overload.

Do your research:  I highly recommend this.  Depending on how old your child is it can be frustrating or satisfying. From my experience, at the time my son was diagnosed I didn’t have the resources to do much of anything.

I spoke with my child’s pediatrician and he was able to give me a referral to my Area Regional Center and that’s what got the ball rolling. With this referral I knew this meant he might be qualified for services. Fair warning though, the process can be quite daunting.  There are a few steps you have will go through to be qualified;  Required written documentation, assessments, interview and orientation.

Things I discovered through this process:

1. Paper Pusher Extraordinaire: 

You will accumulate an incredible amount of paperwork.  If you are organized I envy you, because I am not in the least. The skill of organization will come in handy through your journey.

 2. Be Patient:

 I can’t emphasize this enough.  During the entire process you will be doing a lot of “hurry up and wait.” Don’t be discouraged by this and throw in the towel.  The outcome is well worth the wait 100 times over. You will acquire a vast amount of patience over the years.

 3. Ask a lot of Questions:

Before my child was diagnosed, I was not one for asking questions.  Now seven years later, I question every single issue that arises.  If you are not sure, always ask. It is your child and you have every right as a parent.  http://www.wrightslaw.com/ Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Stay tuned for the third question in part three: What is Autism Exactly?

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ASD · Autism · Tips

New to the World of Autism? Part One

You have recently been told that your child has been diagnosed with Autism. Most of the time our reactions are disbelief, shock, and sometimes depression combined with being isolated from the outside world.  I won’t put it lightly…receiving the news stinks and it weighs heavy on your head night and day.  Who do you talk to now? What do you do? First of all ask yourself this question:

Question One: How Am I Doing?

 Are you down and just really depressed? Follow these tips:

 Self Care:

Take the time for yourself, listen to music, meditate, try to sleep when you can, hide in the bathroom, take up a new hobby, look at your life and just laugh at it. You will survive. 🙂

 Social Media & Facebook:

There are hundreds of personal Facebook Autism support pages out there.  I highly encourage you to head on over, check them out and like their pages. Try and develop a connection with a community that “Gets it.” Just knowing there are families, individuals, and services out there will give you a sense of well-being and help you cope. 

When my son was diagnosed over 7 years ago there wasn’t the presence of Autism as it is today. It much easier to connect these days. 

 Make the connection with Me>>

Facebook: You can like and follow my pages for the latest on my website. 
Twitter: follow me on twitter
Stim Soup:  A website just for you.

 Support groups:

There are wonderful meet ups just to chat, have coffee and a time or too have guest speakers. These groups can be based on the age of your children. If you cannot find a connection in your part of town where you live, my suggestion is to start one! 

 Social Groups:

These aren’t as numerous, these groups may have social outings with activities for children. Meet up groups for example. http://www.meetup.com/

But personally I am not much of social person, but once in a while I find it comforting to know that there is someone out there (parent or otherwise) who totally “gets it!”  That is such a nice feeling. 

 Stayed tuned for the next two parts of this article.

Part 2: Where Do I Begin?

Part 3: What is Autism Exactly?

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ASD · Autism · Autism and Pets · Companion Dogs

Autism and Pets: Considering a service dog?

Dog Therapy Session with BP

My son BP who is has Autism has been very afraid of dogs since he was very young.  Now at 13, It’s been a several step process to lessen his anxiety.   In the beginning, during his weekly Behavior Therapy sessions, we tried everything from outings to the park, making trips to the pet store, and even having one of BP’s ABA therapists bring in their own pet, which ended up not working.  After a few months of several attempts and putting our heads together, we contacted a local Therapy dog program. Perhaps, one that frequently would visit hospitals and veterans. Didn’t know if the idea would fly at all. We told them our story and asked if they might bring one of their dogs to our house just to make BP feel more comfortable around them.

They were gracious enough and said “yes!” We were elated!  This was something new for the dog Therapy program because they never encountered children with Autism before. This is a huge step in the area of behavior therapy. I think it’s a great concept.  They loved the idea of visiting our home to make a child happy and so do we!

Now a few months later, My son has made so much progress that he can actually be next to a dog with out anxiety for about 15 minutes! So parents, even if your son/daughter is not afraid of dogs.  This might be an alternative just to try.  Therapy, Companion and Service dogs can be wonderful for your child.

February 2015 Update:

We are continuing with the weekly Therapy Dog visits, Brutus, a sweet black lab mix, come to visit.  So very calm!

I am currently in the process of filling out an application for an Autism Service Dog thorough Canine Companions For Independence.  They happen to offer Service Dogs for no charge.  But they aren’t easy to obtain.  There is a several step process just to get approved for a dog: Interviews, etc. It will also require a few weeks personal time for intense training.  But right now we will see if we even get approved.  I will keep you posted!

 Note: M & M’s are a great motivating tool for BP.  But we never give them to doggies.

Therapy Session Therapy Session2

If you are thinking about getting a service dog for your son or daughter, I would highly recommend it! Don’t be discouraged by the process of obtaining one, because it’s going to so worth it in end and having a service animal will certainly improve the life of your child in ways you could have never imagined!

Autism Service Dogs can provide a calming sense of security, decreased meltdowns, anxiety, and reduced stimming. They also can increase social interactions. Improve and encourage verbal communication. Total companionship. An unconditional friend, they can also help with daily living skills and will help increase your child’s sense of independence.

 A few tips and recommendations:

A.  Do your research: There are many wonderful organizations out there who train Autism Service Dogs.  Google it and see what you come up with.  There are several different options.  Assistance Dogs International has a great site to search by area for organizations or programs.

B.  Have Patience: Obtaining a Service Dog can sometimes can take up to two years. It won’t happen over night. It’s a several step process that will require your constant effort. Don’t give up.

C.  Talk with your family: Having a service dog is a life long commitment.  Are you as a caregiver or parent willing to take care of the Dog and keep up with training?.  A service dog is not considered a pet but, a companion assigned to your child and actually chosen specifically for your them. 

D.  Talk to your Child’s Doctor: Do you feel your child would benefit from a Service or Companion Therapy Animal? Perhaps they might write a prescription letter stating your child would benefit from having such an animal.

I apologize for not updated posts.  But will be keeping up as much as I can.

Thanks.  Have a great day!

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ASD · Autism · Autism Spectrum · Holidays · Tips

Surviving the Holidays

5 tips

Now that the Holidays are here, how are you handling it?  Becoming stressed?  I can relate. Christmas time may be stressful for everyone, but it can be even more overwhelming with someone on the Autism Spectrum. i.e. Sensory overload. Here is something to ease your mind.

I have written for you 5 simple tips to get you through the holidays and actually enjoy them with your family.  I hope.

1. Don’t Over Do it.

It’s okay to say “no” to all the invites for holiday parties and gatherings.  Your child will be much happier and more comfortable celebrating at home. If you are attending a gathering with friends or family, kindly excuse yourself and leave.  If you have to take two cars, do it! If they are accepting of the situation normally folks will not feel offended if you need to exit the house because your child has had a meltdown.

2. Plan Ahead (Prep, prep, and more prep.)

Have a plan in place. If you are traveling by any form of transportation and visiting friends or family, prepare activities for your child.  Have a familiar bag full of activities ready to go.  Also have a designated quiet spot for your child to escape to when it gets too much of you happen to be staying elsewhere. Write Social Stories for visits to i.e. “The Trip to Grandma’s House.” If you are flying contact the airlines and ask what their accommodations for passengers with Autism are.

3. Maintain the Routine.

Try to keep your child’s routine as normal as possible this will make it less stressful for everyone involved.

4. Make gift giving and Shopping Simple.

I cannot stress this enough. Make this process simple. Prepare ahead, only spend a minimal amount of time initially, and then increase the time you spend in the mall or store. Your child’s sensory expectations will change and probably heighten while you’re in the store. Make gift giving fun and simple! Frustration can increase when given too many choices.   Don’t make it difficult for yourself the gift giver either.  Gift buying might become difficult for you as it comes closer to Christmas.  Stick with simple gifts!

5. Relax

I know it is easier said than done but if you are anxious, stressed and anxiety ridden, your child will sense that something isn’t  quite right. They are wonderful at picking up ques. So take your own “time out” and enjoy the holidays!

Stim Soup Copyright 2014

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ASD · Autism · Caregivers · Educators · Parents · website

Stim Soup has a new website

ss logo 6

News! I have a new website that is still underdevelopment. I am currently working on all the kinks and bugs.  It will have resources for the new Parents who have recently found out their child has Autism. Information and tips for caregivers, and Educators alike.  A page for newcomers. It’s a big venture and my goal is to make it simple just like this blog.  If you know of someone who would benefit, kindly let them know.

If you have any Autism stories or would like to submit a blog or resource, simply click on the links provided on the Home Page.  I’d be happy to read them.

Just a note: All material is subject to approval.  Nothing offensive. No spammers, trolls, etc.  You know the drill.

So if your interested, head on over and check it out. Stim Soup.  Spread the word to people everywhere!

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