“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

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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Epilepsy and Essential oils….does it really work?

I have dealt with my husband’s seizures and Epilepsy for over 30 years now.  His seizures have changed over the years from the type of seizure that he has, to the length of it and also what triggers it.  It has been a learning process for the both of us.

If you have seizures or live with someone with them….you know the drill.  You probably have struggled at some point yourself with the changes and where it takes you in life!  Let me say before I share any more….YES YES YES we live daily with everyone’s advice as to what meds, what foods, what life style, what we should and should not do etc.….. We are thankful for good friends and people who care, but when they have not lived with this….their advice can be like nails on a chalkboard!  Advice is great when you ask for it but not every time you see someone. Also, choosing a natural remedy… seems to ignite conversation in people who normally wouldn’t even talk to you. “Natural” seems to unnerve people and make them feel uneasy. In our family we tend to choose natural over Medical whenever possible. So this might be an option for you and then again possibly not if you’re not into any type of natural alternatives.

Ok enough with that…the purpose of this blog post is to share something with you about Essential oils that works for us.  This is not a medical diagnosis or a proven clinical fact…this is only what has worked for our family.

At this point in our lives….we have tried all the conventional ways and yes my husband is still on his meds.  But overall….he needs something else.  If you know Epilepsy….seizures cannot always be completely controlled and that is the case with him.

We have tried Essential Oils and we have found success!!!  Frankincense was recommended to us along with a few other oils.  What has worked and is working for us is “Oil of Oregano”.  Yes you might smell a little like a salad but who cares.  It works so well for us that we never leave home without it anymore.

When it is an “off day” for him, a long day, a rainy day, right before and even during a seizure….he/we apply it. You can use it straight on the skin (be careful since this is a hot oil), or as we have been using it ….we make up roller bottles with the oregano and a carrier oil.

Here are a few pics of what we use….I hope this helps you with either a new concept or at least to gives you an alternative to either try or just investigate for your own health.

You will see in these pictures… that you will only need four items. You would need the oil of your choice, a roller bottle, a funnel to help pour the oil into the bottle, and you would need a carrier oil. Once made… we use the roller bottle with the essential oil’s in it on his wrist, on the back of his neck and also down his spine every 2 to 4 hours or as needed.

Feel free to ask questions….if we can help we would love to share with you! We would love to get your feedback as well if you have tried essential oil’s have they been a success or a failure? Which oils have used and how do use them? Do you have a certain brand that you prefer over another and why?

Lynn A. Wilson (and hubby Graeme) – 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

I can’t find my cookbook…..

I know that I have been missing from the Blog scene for a while.  My plan was to have several blog posts per week, to be a huge encouragement to many of you and to get everyone excited about new things.  Well stop the train and let me off!!!!….

What happened to me is just crazy and somewhat simple to fix.  I needed to just get off the train….even jump if I needed to ….even when it doesn’t stop for me!!

If you have read any of my other posts than you will know how crazy my life is.  Seizures, Epilepsy, ADHD, Autism, full-time working mom, special needs wife and mom, blogger, speaker and the list goes on. But in addition to my normal crazy life I have been adding too many “sure I can help” etc… things to my schedule.

Life took over so much so that the “life train” ran so fast that I could not see what was happening to me.  I was simply enjoying life with my family, my work, my ministry…..but I kept on going, going and going.  My days would start at 5:30 am with getting up….then at work most days by 7 am.  Then home at 3 pm to pick up my son and husband and head out to an event that was carefully planned and something that we wanted/needed to do.  Next… run out for dinner….run to the next event, food shop, or help out someone else in need.  Then home anywhere from 9-11 pm…..change into PJ’s…..layout work clothes for the next day….hit the hay. Then start all over again. We have a phrase that we use all the time in our home….it is “drop and go”….we come in and “drop off” bags, misc things etc…. and then pick up the next several items that are needed and “go” to next event.

You can only do this so long….as I have been finding out. I found out how bad it had gotten for me when I went to make a recipe and I could not find my cookbooks.  On this day I stood in the room where they had been…then I remembered oh yes  …we moved them. So I looked and looked everywhere and I could not find them.  I felt like I totally lost the connection with my home, as a wife and as a mother….. how did I not know where something so simple was not where it was supposed to be. I walked away feeling down, discouraged and useless as the woman of my home.  You ask …was this simply all because of cookbooks?….Yes, this was a picture of who I had become and where my crazy life had brought me.

STOP the train and let me off I needed to spend the next few days reviewing why I had no idea even in my own small home, why I could not find my cookbooks.  What in the world was going on with me?  I thought maybe I am was just getting old, maybe I just needed a day off, maybe….maybe….NO, I had to take a good hard look at my schedule and make some major changes.

If you look at my planner….it is color coded, lines, circles, arrows pointing to numerous things.  Sticky notes on top of sticky notes with notes of “must do’s”, place to go, things to get done and some events noted that we have 3 or more things schedule at the same day and or time.

Well….the verse kept coming to me that I heard on a mini devotion from Andrea Mills on her You-Tube channel.  She explained the verse….”A wise woman builds her home….and a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands”.  Me talking to me….”Lynn grab hold”, stop the train, stop and write down priorities and what is really important to you! Right now for me it is important to stop being so involved in everything and regroup and gain control over the little things like cookbooks in my home.  This makes me happy, it makes me a better wife and mother, and it makes me a better Lynn.

I need to limit my “yes I can”…”sure I can add that to my schedule” etc.…. My husband and I sat down this week and reviewed what I need to tweak and reorganize in my life to satisfy both myself and our family. I must say that my life is not my own. My husband due to health issues cannot drive, and my son is too young and has autism and is not able to drive. So this puts me as the only driver. So the times where I would like to stay at home and get things done but they need to get to an event, puts me back in the drivers seat so my schedule becomes overloaded at times and not by choice. So updating my schedule, will not necessarily be an easy task with all that I need to include. And I go back to the verse in Proverbs… A wise woman builds her home and the Lord says if you lack wisdom ASK.  So I can pray, I can wait for the Lord to direct my steps, I can receive counsel from my husband and review my family’s needs and be the wise woman in my home that I have been called out to be! 

Hopefully….some of these changes in my life and schedule will allow me to blog and share some goodies along my life’s journey with you.  I still go back to my claim to fame….”I found my norm and it is a moving target”.  This seems to be a never ending reality in my life. Read my blog post about this if you haven’t already.

I would love to hear your comments where your life has brought you, and the changes that you have been able to make. What steps did you take along the way? Leave a comment below, and thank you for visiting with me today! 

 

Lynn A. C. 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