Wordy Wednesday: Social Stories


20140312-160644.jpg

New experiences are scary. I get so nervous and frightened when I have to drive somewhere I have never been and approach someone I have never talked to. Yes, me who loves to talk, gets nauseatingly nervous to talk to new people. Knowing how I feel, I can’t begin to imagine and feel the anxiety and fear that builds up in my own children when they are experiencing something new. This similar thing happens a lot to our children. Luckily, there is a answer and a solution to help make new experiences a positive one. All we have to do is take away to fear of the unknown.

In comes the social story. It is just as it sounds; a story. What is great and impressive of this little aid is it can become completely customizable and a fun DIY project.

So what exactly is it? It is much along the lines of the Bearinstein Bears books. Each story can have your child as the character or another person. You write the story explaining all the steps (in simple detail) of all the events that will happen before, during and after the new experience.

There a multiple ways of creating one. Here are just a few:

1. Snapfish, Blurb, or any photo publishing site that allows book printing.

2. Purchase a cheap small 4×6 photo book and you but the author, artist and publisher.

3. Find clip art or other images online, copy and paste them into a word processing program and add text. Next print and I suggest additionally to laminate them. You can bind them with punching a hike in the corner and clamping with a binder ring.

4. Use a app or computer program, such as a Windows template for creating social stories.

Our ABA introduced them to use years ago to help with experiences from toilet training, air plane rides, new siblings and more. Since then, I have been using the above methods to create my own.

20140312-160708.jpg

20140312-160721.jpg

20140312-160740.jpg

Advertisements

Tip{py} Tuesday- Visual Cues


20140304-122752.jpg

We all need reminders. However, I have my limit at repeating myself 4 different times per person in this family. It gets old fast and I get annoyed even faster, especially with the 4 I have. I have also come to the conclusion that was a maid in a former life. I picture myself as one of the ones in Downton Abbey. Milling around a grand mansion striking soot off Persian rugs and helping the Lady pick just the right piece of flare for tonight’s dinner with the Earl. And then reality sets in and I am scrubbing pee off the toilets, using my nails as a abrasive edge to peel who-knows-what off the dinning room table, and the only piece of flare I get to wear is the splash of blueberry smoothie on my shirt…that I wore yesterday. I have hit that threshold of “no one appreciates me” yesterday when I said goodbye to a dozen small deadly little bits and pieces I sucked up with the vacuum. So today, I am doing something about it.

20140304-122807.jpg

Hubs and I have been battling in the past weeks on the next step with parenting. Our children are getting older, more responsible and understanding of the world around them and what we expect of them. It’s not cute anymore when they leave legos in the floor to be stepped on or when the sticker book threw up all over Diva’s room one afternoon. Actions will now equal consequences. We also decided it was about time the children start pulling their weight around here. Why else do you have kids? JK. However, the main battle we are having is should it be a paid system of chores or a list of household responsibilities?

I never got paid as a child for chores. I did what I was told with childhood resentment. However, it lead to adulthood gratification. I know how to clean a toilet, how to do the laundry and how to load a dishwasher with out looking for someone to hand me a quarter to do it. I was raised that it would your duty and responsibility to your home and your family to do your work.

This this is how it is gonna work. Everyone needs reminders. And from this point further I am going to stop verbally reminding everyone to do what they are suppose too (with the exception of SB). Yes, the rest of them has ASD and yes the rest of them have ADHD and see something shiney and there they go forgetting what they were suppose to be doing. But, I think it will benefit everyone in the long run and everyone will lead a much longer life. Even I have my own self reminders of work to do and things to remember. Don’t think this is just for little children. I am contemplating making one of these nifty do dads for Hubs.

I found the idea on Pinterest (who knew!). I adapted it to what materials I had on hand because I am thrifty like that. I used a diaper box we got from Costco and cut off all the folds with a sharp knife. Next, I took the chalk board door hanger off his door and used it as a template. However, if you do not have template handy you could probably do a “door hanger template” search on Google. After I traced out three, I used my sharp knife again to cut out the shapes. After that, I found some scrap scrapbook paper I had been saving and traced the template on the paper again. Again, I cut out the three paper templates. I grabbed my rubber cement and smeared some on both the backs of the cardboard and the paper templates and smashed them together. Lastly, I took my stash of Washib tape and clothes pins and got to work. I went on Pinterest again for ideas of responsibility, but mainly I just thought of what I had them doing daily already. We don’t have much time in the mornings so I left off any morning routines that needed to be followed. In the end it took about one hour to complete three.

20140304-122738.jpg

They are so cute hanging on their doors…until Diva when to close hers and broke the clothes pins off in the door jam. So new solution? I grabbed a couple small 3M command hooks and slapped those babies on the front lower middle of the door and hung their reminder charts there.

 

 

Tip{py} Tuesdays: How to Be the WANT in Your ASD Child’s Life


20140204-143619.jpg

It is mentioned over and over again that one of the amazing characteristics of ASD children (and adults) is their true nature to latch onto a topic or hobby and emerge themselves in it becoming a subject matter expert. Sometimes they even mature into self taught masters of a skill or talent. Everyone needs to start somewhere. We, as parents, can choose to simply admire their capabilities or engage them in them. Personally, there has been a time with each child that I find it hard to relate to them on a personal and most basic level. I admit, I still have this issue with Diva. With Bug, he is a boy, and it was harder for me to relate to him based on gender and the ASD. With Diva, it is the ASD and just her. I struggle every day to figure out a way to connect with her. So I took a step back and looked at what I did to forge a bond, that I felt should have been natural, but was forced with Bug.

I remember watching him one day. I wanted to sit next to him so bad and play what he was playing. I wanted to talk to him about dragons and ninjas and simply have a conversation with him. However, ever time I walked near him and his playing field, he would yell at me and tell me to go away. He wanted nothing to do with me; I didn’t interest him. And due to the ASD, I never would. But I love him. I wanted to be accepted into his world. So I sat and thought. Until I realized I needed to interest him. I didn’t need him to need me, I needed him to want me. I think as parents we all want that feeling of being wanted. You need air to survive, but you want the things that make you happiest in life. I needed my son to want me. So, I found a way into his world.

Last week, Diva came into our den and sat next to me staring at my hands as I did some cross stitching and then some hand embroidery work. She sat and sat, watching my hands move the needle and floss in and out. Eventually, she ran off. A little while later she came back to show me something. She had found the crayons and paper and drew, what to her, was a copy of the project I was working on. So then I knew a way into her world.

Like her mama, she loves arts and crafts. She draws dozens of pictures every day, staples stickers to every flat surface she can find (thank you Goo Gone!) and will literally fall apart if she sees one of her masterpieces fall into the trash. The next day I went to Wal-Mart and walked into the joke of a craft section. Picked up supplies and brought them home. Super Bowl Sunday we sat down on the couch in the den together and worked on her first cross stitch. It wasn’t easy, but she did a few stitches. As soon as I saw her getting frustrated, I told her to go watch TV for a minute. So off and on we worked on a few stitches at a time. At this rate I think we might finish the one simple heart in a year. However, everyday since she has asked to work on it; if only for a few minutes and stitches at a time.

Tip{py} Tuesday: DIY Diaper Changing Table


20131210-092828.jpg

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my pretty thrifty; I’ll even say I’m cheap. I feel if there is a way to save I’ll try and do it; but extreme couponing- no. I also like to repurpose and make a challenge of it. I also like to save my furniture and decor. One thing I have learned from moving so many times is not all your furniture may for in this house but it can in the next. Also, not every bathroom you have will be completely pink (walls, tile, floor, toilet- you get the picture). So I have a few totes full of different color pillows, curtains and bathroom ensembles. I try to make all my furniture fit some how just in case I have an office in the next house I lack in this one. Which is how the office desk got turned into a diaper changer.

It really was quiet simple and totally reversible. I did think about painting it (which you can. There is a great spray primer out there that would cut time in half) but realized I hate pink (the color I would do) and I would just have to repaint it ever time we moved to match the next house. Way to much effort. So here’s how I did it-

Supplies
4 cafe rods
Fabric
Sewing machine or no sew tape
Nails
Hammer

Took our old desk we had no room for in our new home. It was a $100 Sauder desk from Walmart with a hutch and a lower cabinet for the computer.

Next, I went to our local, and only, fabric store with height and width of the desk measurements from the floor to the top of the desk (not top of the hutch). Remember to measure the front and sides. I hit up the back room where they have bundles or fabric remnants and bought in bulk. I always want extra fabric to make coordinating projects. And buying from the remnant sections allow me to buy extra.

After I got home, I whipped up a couple of hems on my measured out fabric. I used the hem as the pocket to run the rods through. Once I got the fabric panels on the rods I told my curtain rods and nailed them to the front and sides on the desk top.

20131210-093540.jpg.

As a disclaimer please watch your children when they are being changed. There are little white straps on most diaper changing pads that allow you to screw them to the changer as a anchor. Additionally, you can cut a few pieces of scrap 2×4, paint it and attach it to the top of the desk to create a lip to keep the pad on and adds a little more security.

Crazy Busy Life and Fall DIY Project Roundup


20131104-132128.jpg

Mrsmissioncontrol has been taking a little leave from the blog and as you can see, I have not done very well without her. I need her and I missy her so much! So I apologize for not keeping up daily with the blog as I could have. But enough with the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. Today is a new day and a new week and only a short while until Thanksgiving! Eek! So I thought id share some DIY fall craft project I also was able to enslave the children into. What’s the point in having children if you can’t put them to work? Jk. But not really.

Below are the fall diy projects I have created around our home. They can also be found on our Pinterest page (did you know we even had one?!). So go, follow us on Pinterest, pin our pins and share some love.

DIY FALL TWIG FRAME

This was actually a past project I had done earlier in October. Super easy and super cheap! Read all about how I did it and enlisted my kids to help.

20131104-132151.jpg

DIY FABRIC SWAG

These are all the rage right now (at least in my little world) and simple to make. I simply bought 5 coordinating fabrics to get started. I like to mix up texture, patterns and solids. I think it gives a good variety and depth to the project. I used some burlap, cottons, and other material I honestly don’t know the name of. I started a cut with a pair of scissors then ripped the material. Each strip I made was approximately 1 inch wide by 6 inches long. How many strips you need will depend on the length you want to create. Generally I double the length and add a few extra inches. So my entertainment cabinet was about 3 feet long, so I made my swag 6 feet when done. The final piece is to take some twine or jute cord and cut your length. From there you tie a simple knot in the middle of the fabric pieces. So about 3 inches hung down from the twine.
20131104-132159.jpg

DIY “GIVE THANKS” BURLAP SWAG

If you own a cutting machine or know someone who does (become best friends with them!) this project is so much easier to complete using one. I do know that at our local and very crappy craft store, you can use their cutting machine in the store for a small fee, so if owning one isn’t in the cards, then try your local craft store. And if you are looking for a reason to purchase a cutting machine, use these crafts as your reason. Best money spent ever!

For this project I bought burlap at my fabric store. Next, a friend free handed a banner icon. Using this icon, we traced and drew out then icon on our burlap and cut them out. You basically can make your banner say anything. “Happy Birthday”, “welcome home”, “merry Christmas” and the list can go on. I hate decorating for each individual holiday. I don’t have time or the energy to make projects for them all. So I multitask and make projects that can be carried out and used for a few months at a time. So instead of saying “Happy Halloween”, I went with the generic “Give Thanks”.

After cutting out our banner icons, I went to my cutting machine and easily typed out the letters. The only issues I had were getting the letters the right size to fit the way I wanted to on my banner icon. After I achieved the look I wanted, I heated up my Walmart hot glue gun and glued the letters to the burlap. I did use a heavier weighted card stock for it to hold up. I was a little worried about the strips of hot glue showing through the card stock, but since I opted for a heavier weight paper, I didn’t have that issue.

After I was done with gluing the letters, I used the same roll of twine from my last project and hot glued the burlap banner icons onto the twine.  When I was all finished I hung them on our door with the 3M adhesive removable hooks.

20131104-132207.jpg

DIY FALL GARLAND

I was trolling Pinterest and spamming multiple people’s boards with some easy fall crafts when I ran across this one at A Glimpse Inside. I loved that I was upcycling things I already had which equaled free. But I did not have enough toilet paper rolls for the fullness I wanted. So I improvised. I also saved my paper towel rolls. When I was ready to do the project, I followed the directions for the toilet paper roll pumpkins and apples. As you can see, I only did the pumpkins. I used my cutting machine again to cut out some leaf shapes that I got for free as a “free weekly shape” on the Silhouette sight recently and lastly used left over scraps of fabric from my DIY fabric swag to finish it off. I attached everything with either a knot or hot glue and hung it in our entry way.

20131104-132215.jpg

DIY “FALL” PROJECT

Again, if you don’t have a cutting machine here is another reason I am giving you to run out and buy one or befriend someone who owns one. It will make your crafts so much easier to accomplish and make your house look like a cover of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine with all the cuteness you are creating.

I, once again, used the left over fabric from the DIY fabric swag and the DIY fall swag to line the back of the photo frames I got for a steal at Goodwill. The frames were still in their original packaging, so I know they came from Ikea. Then I used my cutting machine and cut out the letters in 4 different fonts. The last thing I did before assembling was to paint the frames. They were a unfinished blonde wood and I hate blonde wood. So I dry brushed some brown craft paint on them. I didnt want to perfect, so I loved how the wood grain shows through slightly.

20131104-132451.jpg