Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Our daughter takes an art class at a local church which is a sprawling and captivating mix of tradition and innovation. Every Monday we penetrate the sights and sounds of fellowship in the welcoming lobby before class. It is warm and neighborly. I want to soak it all up and prattle with my friends who are homeschoolers like us.

But autism shows up, habitually changing the normal into chaos for my kids.

Lights become nagging and painful, friendly chatter becomes an echo chamber, the hubbub of bodies is claustrophobic, and decorations are a dizzy swirl. All are distressing at best and painful at worst for our daughter.

It is unbearable for Izaiah and having spent most of 2016 regressing, it became impossible for Izaiah to enter this house of God. 

Since I had failed at the duplicitous feat of entering the building with Ashi while not entering the building with Izaiah, I had no choice but to employ Daddy to help. (As if he were not already employed somewhere else, namely his Jay Oh Bee, but such is life with autism.)

Back inside the church, the students scuttle off to classrooms. I tag along with Ashi to assist her in class. The pandemonium abandons the foyer, leaving it sedated and lifeless. 

Once my husband receives the 'all clear' he brings our son inside the hushed space.  Izaiah meanders about, exploring the cavernous expanse with Daddy in tow for safety and camaraderie.
Their adventures were secrets until Izaiah shared one with me this Christmas Season.

Classes came to an end so the students departed through open doors, descended stairs, and drew life back into the sleepy lobby.

Izaiah insistently tugged my hand until I reluctantly went with him. I  was anxious, asking, "this? Is this what you want to show me? Here? Is this where you want to go?" I spotted a sofa he might want to posture on or perhaps he fancied a young girl's hair to stroke. But my guesses were all wrong. A typical failure with a non-verbal child.

He pulled me along looking back at me. His sweet face had an ambitious countenance. He was aware, he was determined, and he knew something I didn't.

We bobbed and weaved through chatting people and cut paths through mazes of furniture. It thinned and he confidently hauled me through a corridor, then a doorway. Then he stopped. We were there.

My mouth gaped open and I stared before me. Then at him. He was already awaiting my expression, my reaction, wondering:

"Do you love it, Mommy? Are you surprised? Look what I discovered! Isn't it amazing, Mommy! Come! It's beautiful, like you. Sit with me, Mommy. Are you proud of me?"

Yes! It all came together. I understood. His insistence, his expressions, his motions, his heart! 

My eyes welled with tears that would not be held back. Izaiah took my hand and we remained seated on a soft pew in the sanctuary. He wanted me to appreciate it the way he did. He kept checking my expression, my approval, my level of awe. 

We sat in the peace of the sanctuary. We could hear nothing outside the room. It was so still, the silence had its own sound. Even my dropping tears quietly obeyed. It felt Holy. 

We were enveloped by massive and exquisite stained glass windows announcing the powerful story of Christ. I was overwhelmed by Mary holding her baby boy, unaware of the struggles her son would endure. The elegant Christmas decor swallowed us entirely and the Christmas tree on the shiny, marble altar extended straight to Heaven.

I smiled at Izaiah through weeping eyes and thanked him repeatedly for sharing his majestic sanctuary with me. Over and over I communicated how thankful I am to have such a loving and kind son who recognizes such beauty and desires to share it with me.

We hugged each other tight and held hands and we prayed together.

This moment was enough to fill the gaping holes autism has dug into me and scarred me with this year. The whole moment is a sanctuary in my heart and mind and I've been there often since, to soothe my soul.

In Daniel, Chapter 9 we read Daniel's prayer and confession of sin.

He uses the words 'we' and 'our' and 'us' as he confesses the sin of Israel, that is, he includes himself. Even in verse 20 he says he was confessing 'my' sin referring to himself.

This was during the Babylonian captivity and nowhere in the book of Daniel do we learn how he sinned or what his sins were. Instead we only see Daniel as an incredible strong pillar for God as an adolescent boy straight into his very old age. Even so, he confesses his sin. I can promise you, if Daniel confessed his sin, you and I need to as well and to stand in front of our LORD defending ourselves is to slap the face of God.

There is one who kept every commandment and that was Jesus. He was the innocent lamb, led to the slaughter for the sin of all of us. When we repent, that is turn from our ways to follow Him, we do not return to our sin and we do not justify our sin, but we begin our journey of becoming Christlike. Becoming Holy. God doesn't care if we are happy. He wants us to be Holy.

The best any person can say of himself is that he is Saved. To rest in this is Sanctuary.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Propofol Fail

 I've read horror stories regarding dental sedation. I now have my own.  

If you go to a dentist who can perform dental surgery in-house, it can mean a service comes in and provides the intravenous sedation. My oldest daughter had this done three or so years ago and it was absolutely textbook and successful. She also has no severe food allergies.

Different story for Izaiah. It was traumatic for all of us and if you have a child with severe food allergies, keep reading the post. I'll be brief.

The conversation with the anesthesiologist went kind of like this:

Anesthesiologist assures me that propofol (with egg and soy) is always used with highly allergic kids.

I assured the anesthesiologist that Izaiah was allergic to egg and soy and this would not work.

She assured me that it is highly refined egg and soy proteins so it should work. 

I assured her that I have tried highly refined types of soy that he still reacts to, so I knew this would not work.

She assured me that she would do a test run first and watch for reactions and stop if she saw anything.

I assured her she would not see a reaction because it would happen days later and Izaiah would be covered in severe eczema, head to toe.

She assured me (read pressured me) that she believed none of that and that in a couple of hours Izaiah's dental work would be done and he would be fine. That was her experience with kids with severe allergies and we should give it a try.

I should've walked out.

Have you ever seen your child put under? They put Izaiah out as he lay in my arms. I thought they killed him. I turned so many shades of white a corpse would've looked sun-kissed beside me. I trembled uncontrollably and cried. They promised me this was normal, took him out of my arms, and made him comfortable in the chair. It was time for me to go and for them to get the work done.

I made my way to the restroom where the mirror reflected someone 30 years older.

I regained my composure and tried to look interested in Ashi's schoolwork. Forty-five minutes later the anesthesiologist rushed out to tell me that Izaiah had an asthma attack and they had to pull him quickly out of sedation for a breathing treatment. No dental work was done.

I won't go into my feelings but horror, shock, and "I told you so" were all front and center.

Fast forward a month and Izaiah still has eczema head to toe. It reared it's ugly head about 3 days after the procedure. It isn't severe anymore, but we haven't seen any of this since closely following the protocol of our bio-med doctor more than two years ago. Even though we know what it is, how to treat it, how to keep Izaiah comfortable; it angers me no end.

For more than 2 years Izaiah has had no egg and no soy. We have turned our lives upside down and spared no energy, effort, or monies in healing him; but just like the flip of a chart on a clipboard, one anesthesiologist can turn it into a vapor. And that's the end of that. No apologies, no recompense, no responsibility. Par for the medical and dental profession today. Not one care for how hard we worked, how hard it will be on Izaiah to recover from having his allergens injected into him. It's not their child, what do they care?

I have since found this case study regarding propofol and allergies. This is what happened to Izaiah.

Ultimately, I've located an holistic dentist an hour away from us who works with autistic children and will help me heal Izaiah's tooth naturally. 

Our bio-med doctor promptly communicated his heartfelt regrets over what happened, bless his heart. He knows how hard we've worked. He emailed instructions for detoxing Izaiah, but even still, it will take one to three months to get the infractions out.  If I could go back, I would follow my gut and WALK OUT.  Don't forget about that option.

I will update on the progress with the new, holistic, dentist at a later time.

Nothing goes perfect in this life. If we think it does, we are wrong. If we think because we love Christ and are a Christian that all things will be perfect, we are also wrong. If we think every decision we make that has no bumpy road is of God, I would question that. When things are perfect, we don't need Him. The only person who doesn't want us to need Him is Satan. So, if things are always going your way, I'd be a bit nervous, to say the least.

God didn't rescue the Israelites from slavery because they were having a good time. No, he heard their CRY unto Him.

Some days I swear I don't have the power to move even one more step or handle one more responsibility. Some days I feel like cooking one more meal, doing one more chore, getting through another day of therapy, school, and bedtime will literally burst me into a million pieces. A nap will not help. A vacation will not help. Even a major breakthrough in therapy will not help. There is only one thing that causes me to power up again and face my struggles with joy. And that is crying out to God and steeping myself deep into His Word.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hode Jue

Surprisingly this is not a new recipe crafted of bizarre ingredients. 

Or a new therapy or class we're doing in school. It's not a natural remedy or even a new illness. 

Very late last night I was putting Izaiah's laundry away (again) when his little feet padded up the stairs. He confidently handed me a video then headed out. I followed, draped in blankets, hoping bedtime was around the corner. 

The machine slurped up the DVD and I sank into the couch. My non-verbal child bounced off his trampoline, over the arm of the couch, eyed me and said, "hode jue?" I blurted, "yes!!! Hode jue!" My misty eyes and I hugged that little boy for dear life.

I've been around this autism block a long time so I translated "hode jue" as "hold you" because decoding words, verbal or non-verbal, is my secret power. And, I'm well aware that "hode jue" means "hold me" because this is what young autists do when learning language. They mix up their pronouns. Wow! Izaiah can mix up a pronoun! Yay!

I also know that earlier, upstairs, when I heard Izaiah's little feet travel the stairs, I had been dabbing up my tears with the laundry I was refolding for the 8th time. I was overcome with fear about who would care for him with all his auto-immune issues if I wasn't here. Who would methodically care for every cell of his eczema skin? Check and recheck all of his food for allergens? Who would cook using those never heard of ingredients? Who would compassionately tend to all of his sensory issues and faithfully keep his world from over-powering him? Who would sacrifice everything to make sure he is comfortable, help him learn at his own pace, and show him that he is valued and loved?

During that moment on the couch, when we made eye contact and Izaiah spoke to me, just for a second, I let "hode jue?" be about me. Yes! I need you to hold me! Big squeeeeeze, and I am again amazed at how God comforts.

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant."
Psalm 119:76 (KJV)

You can learn more about the Ashi's Gift Series of books about autism that also nurture parents at Ashi's Gift Website.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

9 Food Allergy Myths

Comprise 90% of food allergens
There are many misconceptions about food allergies. Sadly, I believed many of these myths before our own nightmarish trek.I hope this is an easy resource to help educate those in your sphere.

Myth 1: Food and allergies have no effect on autism. "It can't be that simple."
Myth Uncovered: It isn't simple, that part is true. Diet changes are hard. I used to be skeptical of a food /ASD connection. But uncovering food allergies is key to healing quite a number of problems like severe eczema, behavior problems, auto-immune disorders, headaches, sleep problems, mood swings, adhd, etc. I would go so far as to suggest removing allergens before seeking out therapy for autism.

Nightshades. All of them allergens for us.
Myth 2: Food allergies are a result of eating junk food.
Myth Uncovered:  Actually antibiotic overuse causing leaky gut will cause an auto-immune response to nearly anything eaten. My son is allergic to apples, bananas, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat, rice, oranges, etc. because that is what he ate with a leaky gut...none of those things are junk food.

Myth 3It's okay to eat allergens once in awhile.
Myth Uncovered:  Only if you want to eat poison. Allergens should be avoided at all costs. Allergy reactions cause itchy, inflamed, eyes; throat swelling shut, hives, eczema flares, behavior problems, GI pain and let's not forget, some allergic reactions are fatal. Having to use an Epi-pen and  ER is expensive. 

IgE prick test. IgA's and IgG's are done via blood test.

Myth 4: A child will be undernourished.
Myth Uncovered:  The type of testing required to identify food allergies/ intolerances is performed by professional doctors, many of whom have a lifetime of experience substituting food that is not toxic to the body yet nutritious. They will test various body cycles to determine what supplements are needed by the body to fill in the gaps. Most likely, you will eat better and healthier than ever in your life. Our son, on a very strict diet, has gained 11 much-needed-healthy-pounds in the last 9 months.

Myth 5: It's okay to serve known allergens at the same table the child will be eating.  
Myth Uncovered:  If allergies are severe, the risk of contamination is great. For us, the risk is entirely too much. The allergy is to the protein molecules of the foods. Those proteins can be attached, even to your fingerprint, and that is enough to cross-contaminate other foods, utensils, dishes, table-tops, clothes, towels, etc.

Myth 6:  But the food is good for them!  
Myth Uncovered: Known allergens are poison to the body. It doesn't matter what nutritional content they have, if they are an allergen they can be deadly.

Myth 7: Mom believes everyone will respect her child's allergies.
Myth Uncovered:  For many of us, our friends and families have not endured the years of sleepless nights, behavioral problems, illnesses, emergency room visits, GI problems, severe eczema, night terrors, and endless doctor bills that you and your child have suffered while trekking from doctor to clueless doctor until you finally get answers. Watch out for schools, teachers, and churches because there is always some 'sweet lil' person' lurking around the corner to hand your child a 'treat' or a 'sample' without asking Mom first (the gall!) so never assume others 'get it.'

Myth 8: Just a little won't hurt.
Myth Uncovered: Yes, just one can hurt; yes, just a little can hurt.

Myth 9: I tried gluten and casein free, it didn't work.

Myth Uncovered: Gluten and casein are often just the very tiny tip of the iceberg. It's a good start, but getting testing done, both prick test for IgE's, and blood test for IgA's and IgG's is necessary if you really want to get to the bottom of it. Most likely you will need to also remove soy, yeast (and foods yeast feed off), and there could be a multitude of foods and food families you will have to eliminate. GF/CF just really doesn't cut it. 

Just a couple of notes:
1. Cleaning supplies such as Dawn dish soap, Procter and Gamble products, and others can contain peanut oil. By law they do not have to supply an ingredients list including allergens.

2. Celiac disease also can be flared by even a crumb of wheat (gluten), so do be very careful.

3. Allergy shots are for environmental allergies, not food allergies. 

4. Getting rid of yeast means all breads and deserts that rise, and cheese. It includes foods that feed yeast like sugar, dried fruits, berries, sugar, sugary snacks, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, etc. A probiotic is essential and maybe even a script for nystatin to help kill and control the yeast. Stevia, to my knowledge, does not feed yeast.

Dealing with food allergies is a time of adversity and trial. Conventional doctors who cannot see beyond the prescription pad are no help and don't mind robbing us blind. May I suggest finding a DAN or MAPS doctor in your area or nearby state? It's not uncommon to travel to find one. They will go the distance conventional doctors and allergists refuse.  Our DAN has literally transformed our son's life. They treat autism, adhd, behavioral issues, PANDAS/PANS, Mitochondrial disorders, eczema, sleep issues, GI issues, allergies, and more.

You WILL get through this adversity and you will be victorious! After every difficult day or night His mercies are fresh with the sunrise. “It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lamentations 3:22-24 KJV)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fresh Finds

Garden Gloves. An excellent fidget for kids who like cloth. They have neat plastic 'nubbons' for texture. These cost just $1.97 each! I can't find many fidgets for that price and I can stock up when they go on clearance this fall.

Little 'nubbons' feel great!  A cute photo of Izaiah very serious about his fidgeting!

Another idea for cloth lovers is thermal shirts and/or pants. They are longer for folding and halving and have an interesting texture.

Rutabagas. If you have an allergy to potatoes this is the perfect replacement! They have a natural butter flavor and are easy to cut up and cook. I like to cook them with onion, salt, and garnish with parsley. You can boil them or bake them like fries. With 2 growing seasons you can have a good harvest if you garden. You can store them in a cool, dry place over the winter. They will keep for about 4 months! TIP: let them warm up to room temp before peeling.

Scentsy Burner.  Super popular, but  unfortunately can wreak havoc for those with sensitivity to the wax they burn and the fake scents.

I've been using mine with essential oils instead! I use 2 or 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil in the top container as a 'carrier' oil. Then I add a few drops of our favorite essential oils. Currently we are using lemon, lavender, and peppermint to help with environmental allergies.

Lava Lamp. We snagged this from Toys R Us. Not really anything new, but this is a smaller version so less pricey.

Now that we have Izaiah's allergies all figured out, all of our food is cooked fresh. Not only do I do this for meals, but for snacks too. Since I can't just go out and buy crunchy snacks like crackers, I have to make my own. Here is a great recipe from Cats in the Kitchen Blog My changes are only for our allergies. I can't recommend this blog enough for help in the kitchen when there are multiple allergies including yeast. 


Allergy Free, Organic Crackers and Dip
Ingredients for Crackers
1 cup zucchini chopped
1/2 cup bok choy chopped ( feel free to use carrots if not allergic!)
1 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds ( sunflower seeds can also be used!)
1 T hemp seeds
1 T chia seeds
1 T amaranth flour (or coconut)
1 T grape seed oil (or olive oil)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cilantro or basil leaves (optional )
1/2 tsp salt 
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 to 3 TBSP of water (start with 1 add more if needed when blending)

1. Blend all in a food processor or Ninja. Mixture will be thick.
2. Grease a cookie sheet. Then with wet fingertips, spread dough into the shape of a rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 thick. It should be thin, but no holes.
3. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until just very slight brown can be seen around the edges. 
4. Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares and rectangles and using a metal spatula, flip the squares over.
5. Continue drying them for another 20 minutes. Flip again if needed. Keep drying and flipping until you get your desired cracker crispness. 

Dip Ingredients:
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 - 3 leaves bok choy, beets, or kale
1 lemon (juice of 1 lemon)
1-2 T chopped onion (optional)
If desired, add seasonings for flavor such as salt, cilantro, cumin, coriander, bay leaves...if you use the crackers above, the seasonings are already in the cracker so the dip doesn't need them.  

Mix all  ingredients in a food processor or Ninja.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Meltdown Helps

Izaiah becoming more social!
Izaiah is feeling so much better with a healing GI system. His immunity has improved remarkably too.

Even so, we still have sensory needs and meltdowns.

Here's some super easy meltdown tips:

Dark room and pressure. We head up to Izaiah's room and I pull all the drapes so it is dark. I put one drop of lavender essential oil on each foot and then we crawl underneath his covers and snuggle. I might just hold him, lay a pillow on him, or use a weighted blanket. It takes about 10 minutes or less for him to be calm- no kidding! Doing it without lavender will work but takes about 30 to 40 minutes for the melties to subside. The lavender speeds it up 3 to 4 times! 

I'm battling environmental allergies with essential oils too. Diffused lemon, lavender, and peppermint have a dramatic impact. They clean the air during the day and aide sleeping at night. Reduced allergy problems make a big difference in the number of meltdowns we have.

We bought this sensory swing from IKEA. Izaiah will swing in it and soothe himself when he feels overcome by a meltdown. Once he settles down, I swing him face to face and this is the best time for eye contact! I also count as I swing him, sing songs, and read books. This great investment helps meltdowns, provides sensory integration, and if you have a kinesthetic learner (as it is becoming apparent that I do!) this is a big help for school.

Sometimes we just need a whole scenery change so we head outdoors and jump on the all important trampoline.

We also found this great trike. It's the closest we could come to a handicap trike without spending hundreds of dollars. It was about $70. We are able to steer and push from behind while Izaiah can practice pedaling and steering. This will last up to 60 lbs.

Fidgets. Izaiah loves fidgets. Thankfully he's not picky. Fabric is his favorite, especially Mommy's silkier type shirts...naturally. 

Izaiah really struggles with barometric pressure. The weather this Spring has been tumultuous including tornado conditions, hot weather, cold weather, drops in barometric pressure; they have all vexed him this season. It has caused pain, irritability and meltdowns; so, if you are wondering what in the world is going on at your house, this could be the culprit.

Two problems that seem to affect almost every autist is hunger and thirst. Always have snacks and drinks set out or packed if you're on the go. 

Izaiah will sometimes have transitional meltdowns, those seem to be the worst. And we seem to just have to ride those out. Often he will allow us to hold him or I put him in the tub with Epsom salts and a couple drops of lavender. to help.

Undergoing testing to uncover food allergies
and intolerances and eliminating them has taken the punch out of meltdowns. It doesn't take away autism, but it sure does make it more tolerable.

Of course when it comes to meltdowns no two kids are alike. Even my own 2 autists are very different from each other in this department. These thoughts might resonate with you or get you thinking on your own ideas.

Garbanzo Bean Brownies - this is for people with severe allergies and/or who are unable to have sugar.

Credit goes to Sheree Welshimer over at Cats in the Kitchen. The recipe is perfect the way she has it outlined and I've tweaked it a bit only for our tastes. If you have severe food allergies or battle yeast and must get sugar/carbs out of your diet then I urge you to follow her blog. Not only is it saving me in the kitchen and keeping my kids fed, it is also keeping me from ripping my hair out! Her recipes are accurate and work exactly as they are supposed to. 

Preheat oven to 480 degrees. It takes awhile, so go ahead and do this first!

2 cups garbanzo bean flour
3 T cocoa powder
1/2  tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 cup organic sugar OR 1/4 cup Truvia blend OR 1 to 2 drops Stevia liquid OR No sugar at all 

Mix the dry ingredients well with a fork.

Add 2 T Grape Seed Oil and mix with the fork - it will be very dry.
Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir again with the fork, it will be very wet. 
Stir in a couple of squirts of Agave syrup (optional)
Set batter for 5 minutes to thicken.


Spray a glass baking dish,  9 X 13, with oil and add 1TBSP Grape Seed Oil to the bottom.
When the oven finally heats up to 480 degrees, put the dish inside to let it and the oil warm up for about 8 minutes. 

Remove and carefully pour in the batter.  The oil will be hot, but it helps to cook the brownies from below. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove. Let it cool for just several minutes and voila! brownies are ready. No waiting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

World Autism Day: Easy Therapy Items

Happy World Autism Day to you!

Our journey with autism has spanned just over a decade and two kids. One of my favorite pastimes is turning simple play into therapy for the littles. So often Moms look to professional therapists not realizing that they themselves are the best therapist around! Here's some easy ideas:

A very simple shape sorter. Any kind will work and they are so easy to find! I like ones that are colorful and have just a few shapes. Circles, ovals, and smoothed edge pieces are always easiest while angles and sides are more difficult.  We always start easy because of short attention spans. Izaiah can now pay attention for a few minutes (with cues) to complete a task. 

This kind of activity teaches colors, shapes, numbering if you count. It also requires eye-hand coordination and uses tactile senses.  It's also just good for practicing sit down activities which is good for learning readiness.  You can work on stretching that attention span by dumping them out and starting all over again! Be sure to talk out loud, always identifying the shapes and colors and cheering (quietly for sensitive ears) as the shapes land in their correct places.


This is another inexpensive and easy toy to find. It has stack-able cups that also nest. This one doubles as a shape sorter.  Be sure to count them, identify colors, talk about smallest to biggest, hide the shapes in and under the cups. Be animated when your child finds treasures inside! Toys like these are great for the tub too.  

This is the same toy, but stacked.  This is a fabulous exercise in fine motor control and attention span. It's also rewarding to build the tower and then knock it all down too!

You may have heard the term 'self-stim' before. Our kids like to keep their hands busy. They love feeling objects running through their hands, over and in between fingers.

They may like to squish and squeeze soft plastic items. Izaiah loves to wring cloth in his hands. Socks are his favorite 'go-to.' We often find our drawers raided!

Little blankets, wash-rags, small and twisty stuffed animals can also be rustled up. Even the task of  finding their 'stims' is therapeutic. Izaiah also enjoys paper towels and toilet paper, which I often find littered in tiny little pieces about the house, which is not so fun, but take heart, these days do not last forever! 

Plastic sensory bin
Wooden Box

You can also use 'sensory tubs.' Turn any little box - plastic or wooden, or even a large mixing bowl into a sensory tub. I have two examples here, one is a plastic tote and the other just a wooden box.

The plastic tote is filled with pegs and foam shapes, the wooden one is filled with plastic buttons and wooden letters.Fill with beads, buttons, marbles, rice, pebbles, pasta, coffee grounds, cotton balls, ice, whatever they might like to run their fingers through. Just be sure to watch age appropriateness and allergies - you don't want choking or allergic reactions! 

Other toys that are useful are cause and effect toys like hammering a ball
through a maze, or levers that cause action or music to play. Little trains that run on tracks or chunky toys that aren't overwhelming but have parts that your child can get a reaction from by pushing, pulling, pressing, or hammering. Soft lights and sounds are good.

I hope you are enjoying reading and researching all about autism! I will have more up and coming during this season of awareness and acceptance so watch for my posts about Meltdown Tips, Bio-med Treatments, and some recipes for super-sensitive, allergy riddled kids.  

If you're needing more advanced Therapy Play click here.

Being parents of special needs children means lots of changes. If you are here, most likely you are just beginning your journey. You will learn that it isn't the children we are trying to change. It's we parents who do most the changing.

During the course of those dramatic changes most of the world is not changing with us. Our world skids to a stop and when it picks up again, our priorities have changed. What took precedence before no longer carries an ounce of weight. New things that matter weigh us down so hard, it nearly breaks us. Our families and friends go about their lives, leaving us behind, even if unknowingly, it still hurts. The feeling of being left with little comfort can lead to bitterness and unforgiveness. If you are there, you're not alone. The parable about the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35 sure helped me let it go.  I hope it helps you too. 

I'm paraphrasing the story here but, Jesus told of a thieving servant who owed his king more than he could ever repay. "Ten thousand talents" in fact, was the sum. That was like saying a bazillion, gazillion, trillion, dollars!  What was stolen could NEVER be repaid. Yet the master took pity on this servant and forgave him the astronomical debt.

Then, this same thieving servant found one under him who owed him 'an hundred pence.' In today's money that would be about $1.63 or so. Easily repayable! yet the forgiven servant did not take an ounce pity on this man! He threw this servant under him into prison for $1.63 directly after being forgiven a debt of a bazillion, gazillion, trillion dollars. Unthinkable!

When the king learned of all this, he turns the ungrateful servant over to his creditors. He would have been jailed, in fact, his whole family may have been enslaved. Forever! Because, this debt was more than could ever be repaid. He would never work hard enough to earn a bazillion, gazillion, trillion to pay the debt. His family would work all of their lives but still, it could never be repaid, yet they would die trying.

The king in the story is God. He is so merciful to forgive us our sin which is so much, it is a bazillion, gazillion, trillion. But, He forgives us our debt and even supplied the cover for our sin who is Christ alone. If we do not accept Christ as our only Lord and Savior, we will spend an eternity in hell trying to repay that debt, the bazillion, gazillion, trillion,  but it will never be enough. All eternity in hell will not be enough time to pay off our debt.

Our friends and family are like the servant who only owed $1.63. Since God has forgiven us our enormous debt surely we can forgive our friends and family! The price is so small yet it hinders our communion with God. God is not obliged to hear our prayer when we are filled with bitterness and unforgiveness inside.

This parable touched me in a new way recently and I asked God to bring to mind all those 'servants' in my life and one by one I have been freeing myself of bitterness and unforgiveness. Our journey through autism can be a mighty tough one but it is so much better when we are free of the burden of bitterness.  We are never alone, God is always there with us and he will supply what we need to get through.