Tricare/Therapy Thursdays- DIY Weighted Lap Bag


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Several times we have tried to use a weight lap bag or vest for Bug. Typically his teacher tells us its a distraction for fun time and plays with them more than it is helpful. But that is not the case for every child.

A weight lap bag can provide a grounding of sorts for the child. I have often heard Bug has a hard time with spacial awareness. He just isn’t quite sure where his little body is in reference to the world around him. He is everywhere! Upside down, right side up, hands in his mouth, head buried in a couch cushion and the list can go on. He often reminds me of a rubix cube someone is working to solve that is getting all twisted around. He just doesn’t understand where his body stops and the world begins. Having a weighted blanket, lap bag or vest can often help give them boundaries and make them feel safer in their environment. But their cost can be astronomical if insurance doesn’t cover it.

We use a heavy quilt during times of Bugs infusions to provide comfort and security for him. A friend of my moms makes “comfort quilts” for those she feels needs a little extra hug at times. Bug and Diva were recipients of them. Even though, at their age, they don’t understand the generosity of another individual; they know their quilts are something special and use them on a daily basis.

But enough about what a lap bag can provide for your child. Here is a great DIY lap bag idea I conjured up to make your own for home or school. And it’s so cute! I got the idea from Bugs school. They use some commercially made one. But I knew there was a easier, cheaper and DIY way to do it. Then I remembered the rice sock.

The rice sock is a great little invention our teacher told us about during our birthing class for Bug. She told us to fill up a tube sock with uncooked rice. Then instead of fumbling with cords of a hearing pad, to heat the sock up in the microwave. It is amazing and holds its heat for quiet a while.

So I took that concept and altered it a little. But the sock was too short. So I searched around for another source. We were playing with some neighbors dogs when one of them ripped all the stuffing out of their toy. Creating this long tube sock like casing. Ta da! All I had to do was go to the local pet shop and search for a similar toy to gut. The only other item needed was the rice. But it needed to be washable. So I looked up what was used in the commercial made weighted lap belts- poly pellets.

Next all you need to do is know the formula for your child’s weight vs the weighted item your making. Therapists say the most recent research suggests blankets should weight 10% of the persons body weight. However, since lap blankets are smaller and more condensed you can do 5% and make sure it weighs no more than 3 pounds.

All you need to do is add the appropriate amount of weight and sew up the open end.

**Update** After searching the web for a little more information on how to make these, I ran across Stacy’s at post at Starfish Therapies. Great minds think alike. She has some additional ideas on how to create one, materials to use, and other uses for the weighted lap pad.

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Tricare and Therapy Thursdays – Rubber Bands on Steroids


It’s has been a busy, yet productive, week in our house! I love these weeks and the weather makes it so much more enjoyable since I did a lot of running around. Rain boots clash with most of my outfits 🙂 Im always loving this weather in paradise. Also this week Bug started back to school!

Grades 1-5 started back on the 12, but our little wee ones did some small transition days into the classroom this week and start back next week full time. I am smiling ear to ear!

Bug, like most ASD kids, thrive on structure and he was thrilled Tuesday when he got to go to school. He asked to go yesterday and had a rough day when I told him he has to wait another day.

But then my mommy mind started buzzing with new thoughts about making sure my little bug was taken care of when I’m not with him. New school year means a new teacher. And Bug has a IEP and has a few tools he gets in the classroom. I know he isn’t even back to school full time, but I didn’t see any of his tools there are Tuesday.

One of the great tools we employ at school and home is the exercise band. It sounds so simple because it is. It helps his focus so much. Sadly, the one at home broke, but they are only a few bucks at Walmart.

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The exercise band is a simple massive rubber band. They use them in physical therapy and for working out. They are easy to take with you, easy to install and easy to use.

Bugs OT simple tied one between the chair legs on his seat at home. The OT at school did the same on his desk chair. It simple provides the user with a other way to focus their physical energy on something without taking away from their learning environment.

There are different resistances which is great as your child grows. And when they snap (think rubber bands) they are easy to replace.

Bug is able to concentrate more on his school work or task at hand because he can spend his physical energy flicking the band with his feet; which keeps his hands and mind more focused.

Tricare and Therapy Thursday…HANDWRITING!!!!


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So, my two boys are definitely outdoor types, love to get in the dirt, and rough house.  Sitting still, (except when watching a favorite movie), is no fun for them.  That said, they are usually not very interested in fine motor activities, arts and crafts, etc…Learning how to write and practicing handwriting for them has been one of the things we’ve had to work hardest on, with their ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapists, at school, and at home with Daddy and I.  One of the therapy (and IEP) goals is for my oldest to write his first and last name.  His preschool teacher was sending home these awesome worksheets that had his name preprinted on them, and I just had to share the website because I think it’s too cool 🙂

http://www.kidzone.ws/TRACERS/NONE/index.asp

You can choose what your child practices writing, it could be a series of the same letter, several letters, their name, address, you name it.  It prints your desired text in upper or lowercase which is also super cool and gives you four lines on a page.

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This is nice because it can break up the practice so it’s not too overwhelming for the child.  For my son, I know we would have him write his name once, (one line’s worth), then he got a short break to do a preferred activity like play with dinosaurs, watch a short clip on youtube, etc…Now he has done all four lines before needing a break and we are so pleased!

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If you are working on cursive with your kids (I can’t say I’m looking much forward to that, honestly) here is a cool site that will generate practice cursive pages with the letters connected:

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I’m glad that handwriting is not a completely lost art in this age of technology.  I firmly believe it does wonders for fine motor development as well teaches children patience, skills of observation and perseverance.

Another program that my children’s OT (occupational therapist) has used with my son is called Handwriting without Tears.  You can find more info here, at http://www.hwtears.com

Have a great day!

We Hit a Growth Spurt!


If this is your first time finding us welcome! You can learn more about us and who we are under “Crazed Authors”. If this isn’t your first time here you may notice a few changes, in particular, our categories and blog mission.

We changed our focus {mission}. We started this blog with a few ideas and just wanted to see how far those ideas could take us. It took us far! Farther than we expected. However, after a few months I realized I hadn’t really hit the head on the nail. In other words; I didn’t accomplish what I had intended to do. So this past weekend I went back to the drawing board and with the help of the amazing Mrsmissioncontrol; did a little fine tuning.

{Mission}
We’ve noticed a shortage on blogs about military families who deal with the day-to-day of having kids with special needs, and autism in particular. We want to try to fill that space and maybe offer hope, share our lives, and encourage some other families out there.

Additionally, we decided to go to a “theme day” format. Why? It will help us focus more on the topics we intended to write in relationship to our blogs purpose. I restructured the categories to help include all the facets of life we deal with as military families and families of special needs kids (focusing mainly on Autism); from explaining military terms, insurance lingo, new Tricare updates and more.

New categories –
Mommy Moment Mondays: Monday mornings can be rough for everyone, including us. We will try to help you ease into the week, share our new fave finds, and discuss some of the crazy trials and tribulations of parenthood. If nothing else, maybe you can get a laugh as we share an embarrassing story or two. Or twelve.

Tip{py} Tuesday: Tuesdays will bring useful tips in the world of cleaning, parenting, and basically running the world. This is also where we will share any cool DIY projects we have done or hope to do.

Wordy Wednesdays: Alphabet soup anyone? ABA, DONSA, EFMP, ASD, PDD-NOS, IEP…WHEW! Between special education and military life, all those acronyms can be confusing!!! We will run the maze with you as we try to decipher this whole new language.

Tricare and Therapy Thursdays: Insurance and therapy are two very important things for special needs families. Thursdays are when we will cover important Tricare information and news, as well as information we have come across regarding the numerous therapies (namely occupational, speech, and ABA) for kiddos with autism and PDD-NOS.

Foodie Friday: We’ll head into the weekend with great recipes, especially those for those on a gluten free (GF) or gluten free casein free (GFCF diet). We don’t post recipes unless we’ve made them, so rest assured they are mom, kid, and family-tested and approved.

Whatever Weekends: We are tired too, so no promises for specific topics here. We’ll share when there is something worth sharing and take a break when there isn’t.

I am sure this won’t be the last growth spurt we have. So please be patient with us as we learn and grow. It is like when your kids finally learn to button their shirt…the day they grow out of it.

The Financial Costs Of Autism


I find our life situation to be blessing. Due to Hubs line of work, the insurance it provides covers all of our children’s therapists and doctors fees. We live in a area where the therapists either come to our home or have access to our children at school. However, I know when we move from here there are areas where the services won’t meet me at our door steps and that scares me. But after reading the following article I realize I should be thankful that we are not asked to pay any sizable amount out of pocket.

Following is a article published by Parade magazine about a family’s financial cost of having a child with Autism.

As always, if you borrow or reblog, give us credit.

How One Family Struggles with the Financial Costs of Autism

http://www.parade.com/8465/viannguyen/how-one-family-struggles-with-the-financial-costs-of-autism/