“Menu” Math for special Needs……what is out there for basic teaching material?r

We are a homeschooled family and love to learn new ways of teaching just about anything.  Having someone with special needs and teaching them has been interesting and also challenging at times!!!! One of the uniquenesses that our son has (or as we like to call them) is Autism and ADHD.  Now he also has a few other uniqueness….and roll them all together and you never quite know what you will have when you try to teach him.

Trying to teach the simplest things can be a big hurdle and we need to look around and always find new and different ways to approach things.

Our one goal has been as he gets closer to adult age is basic life skills.  How can he function the best he can in the “real” world as he get older? When he wants to be with his friends….how can he maintain as “normal” of a life as he can?  What can we do to assist him in learning how to feel like he can fit in?

We needed to make a list of areas in life where we needed to help him fit in the best he could.  One area we thought of would be when he goes to a restaurant.  I think we take things for granted and just maybe assume that reading and understanding a menu is the “norm”.  Well in fact I found out that it is not.  So in my search around I actually found math workbooks called “menu math” and we just love them!!!

Real life math…..with real life restaurant menus, it doesn’t get better than this.  We choose places that we frequent to make this as real and normal as we could.  Chick-Fil-A, MacDonald’s etc.…. here a few samples of what we choose below.  Stay tuned as to how we apply these in our homeschooling in my next blog.

Here are a few links to some places where I was able to purchase some great “menu math”… Let me know if you find any other great resources in the comments below.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:menu%20math

https://www.rempub.com/menu-math

https://www.amazon.com/Menu-Math-Grades-2-3-Martin/dp/0439227259

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

“Night to Shine”….. and that he did!!!!!

What an amazing night… What an amazing event! How many of you have someone with some type special needs and long for them to have a typical night like any other teenager could have such as a prom night? Tim Tebow foundation has created an event for people with special needs to have a prom like event for them to feel special for one night… and for them to “shine”!!!!

We were absolutely amazed at the organization, presentation, and variety of events put together in one evening. We arrived to find that girls were getting their hair, nails and make up done… while the boys were getting their shoes shined and their hair touched up. From there they went and met up with a buddy that they would have for the evening to keep them company. Then on to the horse and buggy carriage ride, and then to ride in a limousine! Once they departed from the limousine they were escorted to a red carpet where there were volunteers lined up on the carpet to root them on and cheer them on and take pictures. As our son said “I felt like a movie star”!!

Then they entered the gala… with white twinkling lights, beautiful tables decorated, a DJ, and I wonderful meal provided by Chick Fil A!

They could dance all night, they could be with their friends all night, they could feel as special as any other person ever felt on a prom night.

The final event… Would be to gather all the people with special needs and their buddies… They would be prayed over, and then everybody was crowned king and or queen of the prom with a beautiful crown or tiara.

No one was left behind and no one was left out during this beautiful moment. Everybody felt like they shined for this one special evening… our son came home feeling like he was worth something so special!!! This is one night he will never forget for the rest of his life!

Lynn A. C. Wilson– Resume of a Mother

Hands on Events for Autism….NO JUDGEMENT ZONE!!!

Well we are here and sitting at a museum with about 200+ Autistic kids and their families. WOW!!!!! This is an adventure to be with so many family and now friends that we have made.

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It amazes me while I sit and watch the differences in each individual who has autism or on the spectrum! My son for example has changed so much that next to most of these kids he almost seems average. There are families with kids having meltdowns of all ages. Kids wearing head phones to lighten the sounds and other kids walking in circles or having stemming issues. But all in all to watch all these levels get along and come along side of each other with NO JUDGEMENT!!!!!

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YES… I said no JUDGEMENT!!! Just the other day I had someone tell me point blank to “put him on a diet”. My son is far from needing a diet….his only thing is …is that he is tall. Then only a few days later I have someone tell him right to his face “did your head fall in a bucket of paint”. Yes he tinted the top of his hair red… and I ask you where is the crime in that?

What a JOY to be part of this awesome support group here in New Jersey!! We have been part of this group for about 5 years now. Some of the events have a charge and some are FREE like this one tonight.

Tonight our kids can run free through the hands on museum designed with sensory play stations of all kinds. From a restaurant to a climbing wall, a TV station to a doctors office, a pet shop to a nature center.

Our sons favorite is the basketball and dinosaur room.

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If you are not part of a support group you need to be!!!

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Surf Ups… Autism Day!

Many people are misinformed and have a distorted view of Autism, disabilities, and what can be achieved! We have told our son he can do anything he wants… he might need to do it in a different way, but he can do it!

We are blessed here in New Jersey with several organizations that help people with disabilities and Autism. We have an organization called POAC, NJ Autism Warriors and organization that has come to New Jersey for this event in particular called “Walk on water”.

This day was created entirely for people with Autism and disabilities to have the freedom to feel the Atlantic Ocean surround them… to allow them to learn how to surf with a professional by their side… and to allow them to have the opportunity to know that they can do anything when they put their mind to it.

I have personally never surfed, but I have a few friends who have, and they said that there is nothing like riding a wave and the freedom it allows you to feel.

These kids were blessed one by one with riding the wave, winning an award, having a day set aside just for them and the list goes and on.

For one day they felt like they could be like everyone else. For one day they could feel proud. For one day they could feel like they were “all that”.

We were blessed to have such a special and awesome day for our family!!!

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Horses…therapy… & Autism. Finding peace!!!

We had been invited for the past couple of years to go horseback riding with one of our Autism support groups. It always seemed to fall on a day that either I had to work or we had other events going on, and honestly I didn’t think much about it. For some reason this year I felt compelled to make a point of attending. I was absolutely amazed and blessed after we went to see how beneficial it was!

This particular horse ranch is designed to assist people with any sort of disability and will teach them how to ride a horse in a safe environment. The trainers are certified and definitely know how to handle children with Autism! Our son found peace, he found joy, and I watched him actually be able to relax and be calm like I had never seen before. If you know anything about Autism in children this is very unusual!

When we arrived they gathered all the kids together and then they had them pick out their helmets for protection, before they could ride a horse. They then divided them into two groups and each group needed to find a buddy. Our son was in the first group… We started on the other side of the barn, where he was able to learn how to care and feed a horse.

Gavin was able to brush a horse named Lady, he was able to feed a horse named Terminator, he was able to talk to a horse named Finn and it was amazing to watch him and Finn together. The horse just stood there ever so kind, as Gavin just continued to talk and talk and talk to the horse. I watched a gentle and loving side of Gavin come out as he was able to connect with this beautiful animal.

In addition to brushing the horses and feed them…the kids were able to get some great lessons on the care of a horse in general. They then brought them to the next room where they lined up to have the opportunity to ride a horse.

One by one they brought them in and saddled them up with a horse based on the size of the child and the size of a horse. Once they were on the horse, two of the trainers walked them around three times in a very large enclosed barn. Gavin was able to also ride a horse as he did a gallop around the barn, which was a real treat!

I saw a different spark in Gavin’s eyes… this day was a huge blessing to him and I can truly understand why these beautiful animals are therapeutic.

We will continue with horseback riding lessons in this next home school year and Gavin also would like to volunteer there one day a week as well. Looking forward to some new adventures!

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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Chiropractor and Epilepsy..does it work?

Simple and Natural is how we look at this.  We get asked all the time if the chiropractor and Epilepsy really work well together.  Now let me say that I am not a doctor and I am not in the medical profession at all….but I live with my Epileptic husband for over 30 years.  With that being said…I know my husband better than any doctor.  I have been asked over and over to explain things in detail to the doctor (since my hubby usually doesn’t know himself), as to what is happening in his life and with his seizures.  Most times…the doctor remarks on how well I really know what is going on better than most “professionals”.

So getting back to chiropractors…..YES, YES, YES they really do work.  If you are not familiar with going to one, don’t be alarmed by them.  They are not doing anything against what your body was designed to do …quite the contrary.  The best way to describe it is that they will get your spine back in line which works hand in hand with your immune system and all your other organs in your body.

After my husband has had a seizure…..most times if he was walking or standing he will crash-land on the floor.  Then we will find that he has hit is head, twisted his body by the way he fell or what he fell into.  Sometimes…it is only a day or two later that he will notice that something doesn’t seem right.  For example….about a month ago he was walking in a restaurant….as he had a seizure he dropped his plate on the floor in front of him….then ended up taking a few steps backwards, and then we guess he stiffened up and fell straight back and slamming his head and entire body to the floor.   What a jolt his body must have felt!

We went for our monthly visit to our chiropractor and he asked my hubby how things were going….as my hubby explained what had happened, he realized that his jaw was also bothering him in addition to some other things.   The doctor had a look and said Graeme had the equivalent to whip-lash from the fall and had knocked his jaw out of alignment too. This is only one example of how it has helped him after a seizure.

The list for us goes on and on with the amount of help in getting these adjustments, and also just all in all general help and health.  He seems to respond well to an adjustment immediately and right after an adjustment he tells me he feels more relaxed and clear-headed.

It has been over 20 years now we have been going this route and with a few other natural alternatives such as vitamins, herbs and oils…..this too has been a great supplement to his seizure meds.

I hope this helps shed any light to anyone else who struggles out there with seizures, epilepsy, ADHD and or Autism.  Our family has been blessed to have these doctors in our life!

Comment below if this form of medical treatment has help you and or if you have found other alternatives that you can share.  We would love to hear from you.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Autism and Routine….

Routine is something hard to create and stick with in our lives….but it is a necessary thing.  I watch a You-Tube channel with “Andrea Mills”.  She talks about doing things routinely if they are important enough to you. Check out her website and channel for this topic and more.

https://www.andreamills.tv

With any type of special needs and we have two types in our family, I find as a homemaker that I need to create a way of organization for them; and not necessarily for me.  With epilepsy and Autism in our home, I find that this affects everything that we do!  For example, just leaving the house to go out for the day…we need to make a list on the back door of what we need to bring with us.  This way my husband who has Epilepsy, whether it be a good day or not, does not have to think about what to bring. Especially when it is an “off” day for him, he just looks at his list on the door.

(example list for the door)

  • travel bag
  • pills
  • water bottle
  • phone
  • phone charger

For our son has Autism.…so for his needs we have created labels in the refrigerator and also a routine of where to put things.  This way there is no frustration of where things go.  We also labeled where all of our coats go.  Again, this way it keeps things simple and organized!

We have created a “white board” system to help with all those daily questions that you find Autistic kids always asking.  They want to know what the next days meals will be 24 hours ahead of time. Our board includes 3 meals, 3 chores, 3 school events (we homeschool), and whatever the special event of the day is also.

This has proven to relieve many meltdowns, and crazy evenings in our home.  When he asks the questions that he always does by 5pm sharp, we can just refer him to the white board.

Special needs can be a struggle to the caregiver as well as the person who struggles with it.  Why not make life as routine as you can to avoid any chaos and confusion.  There will always be other issues to deal with, but when things are routine it helps out a great deal.

Lynn A. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Autism and Essential Oils

This past weekend has been so rainy and gray around our area.  My son has Autism and my husband has epilepsy and this weather really affects them both!!!

We belong to a support group for Autism. Last night I posted on the Facebook group site about this very thing. I asked them if any of them have family members that are affected by the weather.  I asked if anyone saw any mood swings that went from happy to angry in a matter of seconds.  I no sooner posted this question and I was getting thumbs up and comments being posted like crazy. Everyone agreed how they had family members with Autism who were struggling all weekend with moods too.

Is there anyone else out there struggling with this?  After we struggled through the weekend….I then thought I would try some essential oils.  I have used this on my husband and it has helped him with his Epilepsy.  So I grabbed my oil roll-on that I made for him and tried it on my son.  WOW!!!! Within 5 minutes or less ….his mood went from a loud, angry and stimming to a happy, chilled and quieter young man.

What I used was oil of Oregano….I have had so many people tell me to use Franchisee but we have found that Oregano works better.  (at least for us).  I made a roller bottle with 15 drops of oil and filled the rest with Almond oil (any oil will work), then shook it up.  I rolled this on the back of his neck, down his spine and on both wrists.

He later came to me and said that the oils helped him and his head didn’t feel so “shaky”.  What a relief.  Now this will be one of my go-to’s for when we have these types of days around our house.

Does anyone out there use oils for these types of neurology issues?  If so what do you use and how?

Share with us what you do so that we can all benefit from this!

Lynn A. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

It feels like Autism is contagious in our family…..

Autism is part of img_7357our daily life…..and we are still learning every day what this means to be a family of special needs!  We adopted our youngest son 13 years ago and we had no idea the ride we were in for!

Gavin has Autism along with other disabilities which can make it hard to know which issue he is having and which disability it belongs to.  They are can actually run together to make for a fun day at times.  It would also take us on many adventures and journeys that as a family we never knew we would go on.

In the  beginning he had “quirks” as img_8847we would say since we didn’t know that they were linked to being Autistic.  Things like loud noise, certain movements, lining things up, repeated show watching, talking to trees in back yard, repeating lines from shows he has watched consistently, eating certain foods and putting them on his plate in a certain order…. and many more things. I am sure if you have someone in your life who is Autistic you can relate to the above and probably add so much more to this.

A funny thing happened along the way…we have found that we too can no longer handle a certain noise level, crowds make us uncomfortable, we use the large handicap bathrooms instead of the regular stalls for more space to move around in, I find I myself lining things up on my desk and doing little crazy things like lining up my pen cap to the writing on a pen and other unusual things. YIKES….he rubbed off on us, and we love it!!!img_0315

At first we didn’t even realize what we were doing and how we were changing….but then after looking back we can see it more and more how we have changed.  You know what the best part about this is for us….is that we can relate to our son.  Even through others see these things as usual, we find them to be a gift and a blessing to better understand him.

Our son lives in a world that he cannot always relate to…he lives in a world that is backwards img_0324and inside out for him.  I heard the other day on a TV Christmas program…that if you don’t fit into the box….then get another box! Yes, yes, yes……that is just what we all needed to hear.  Gavin’s box or life is his own special package and that is how he was created to be.  Could the Lord have stopped him from being this way, absolutely….but he chose Gavin to have this gift of Autism and we feel that he is rubbing off on us so that we can relate  & understand him better and others with disabilities. To be able to share some of his struggles and in turn try to can help him learn to adapt to this world we live in, by finding the right size box for him!

Do you have a loved one that has Autism or someone who does not fit in a box?  Share you story with all of us in the comments below….I would love to hear from you!!

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother