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My eleven year old son, Austin, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) at six years old.  Since then, he has been kicked out of two schools due to his behavior and many teachers don’t “understand” him.  Many of his symptoms mirror those of Asperger’s Syndrome which is on the Autism Spectrum.  Austin has trouble with sensory integration.  People, especially children, within the Autism Spectrum do well with a sensory room.  Since Austin shows many of the same symptoms as a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have undertaken the task of creating a sensory room for him. 

To list just a few of his problems with sensory integration:

  • Austin makes me cut out the tags from all his clothing. 
  • If his socks aren’t adjusted just right he’ll spend the next twenty minutes fixing them; whether he’s going to be late for school or not. 
  • Cannot wear turtlenecks or anything else close to his throat.
  • Prefers to only wear his boxers around the house.  He usually strips down to his boxer shorts as soon as he walks in the door.
  • He overreacts to sudden loud noises or too much noise at one time. 
  • He talks excessively, loudly, and without concern of the other person’s interest in the subject. 
  • When he’s bored or aggravated he swings his arms or spins in a chair.  It seems to calm him down. 
  • Whenever he tells me or someone else what he likes he then turns to me and says, “right mom,” even though he has stated this multiple times.  He needs constant feedback and redirection.
  • If things aren’t done a certain way he becomes easily frustrated.
  • He doesn’t like to be hugged unless it’s from me.  However, it’s limited contact.
  • Does not like to be around a lot of people.
  • He loves vibrating or strong sensory input.

Okay so it’s a longer list than you expected.  That’s only part of the list.  There’s so much more.  But, I’ll spare you any further details.

A sensory room is very good for children and adults with sensory processing disorders.  It is usually tailored to an individual’s sensory needs to either calm or stimulate them and usually includes equipment or items that calm or stimulate the 7 senses (listed below).   A sensory room should NEVER be used as a form of punishment.  It is intended to calm the over stimulated or to stimulate the under stimulated individual.  If discipline is needed, do not use the sensory room for this.

Senses and things to include in your sensory room:

1.   Vestibular–  swings, slides, balance boards, tubes to roll in, rocking horses, hammocks, or a sit and spin,etc.

2.   Visual– Controllable light source, no fluorescent lights, Christmas lights (that don’t flash if it bothers individual), play tents, lava lamps, tabletop water fountains, etc.

3.   Smell-  Scented oils, scented candles (is safe for individual), scented markers, scented playdoh, potpourri or sprays.

  • Calming scents- Vanilla, lavender, peppermint, and jasmine.
  • Stimulating scents- Cinnamon, floral scents, spices, and strong sour or sweet scents.  

4.   Taste–  A variety of foods, liquids, gum, or textured food is a great activity to include in your sensory room.  Use supervision depending on the individual.

5.   Proprioception-  Anything that allows the individual to be “hugged” or comforted via pressure works well.  Examples include: bean bag chairs,  weighted vests and/or blankets, squishy beds or sofas, therapy balls to roll on top of them, etc.

6.   Touch- Many things have texture; playdoh, funny foam, textured balls, textured wallpaper, textured puzzles, coloring over textured materials, finger paints , koosh balls, using various materials such as  satin, carpet swatches, silk, lamb’s wool, washcloths, cotton balls, etc., massagers and vibrating kids toys.

7.   Auditory– Soothing sounds CD’s, nature sound machine, white noise (ie. Fans), classical music.

I hope this information will help you or someone you love and/or care for.

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My youngest son, Austin, was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six. Considering that he was so young, I wondered if he had been mis-diagnosed. But, he has shown signs of ADHD since birth and it does run in the family. Over the last 5 1/2 years he has shown no signs of growing out of his behaviors. He has been kicked out of three different schools.  He is easily distracted. He can be very hyper at times; so much so that I become exhausted just trying to keep up with him. And, he talks incessantly and loudly.

 

Austin is an intelligent, loving boy. Most people can’t see that side of him because he has ADHD. What they see is a difficult, hyper, annoying boy who can’t stay still. If they would look below the surface, they would see the same wonderfully amazing child that I see. Dealing with a child who has ADD/ADHD is never easy. It can be very frustrating, exhausting, and annoying. On the other hand, it has been one of the most rewarding learning experiences of my life.

 

Yesterday, I took the kids out shopping. It was very frustrating at times. Each child wanted something different and they just couldn’t wait for the other one to pick out their gifts. But, Austin finally picked out a DS Lite. Since his last DS went to technological heaven, he decided that was what he wanted most. I think that he’s been lost without it. At least all those games that we bought for his last DS aren’t wasted money. It’s one of the very few things my ADHD child can concentrate on.

 

His new DS came with a few rules, however. Being that he does have ADHD, he doesn’t think before he acts. I don’t know how many times I found his last DS on the floor, in the couch, in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. That is the reason why his last DS is in technological heaven. I discussed with him the importance of taking care of his things like I’ve done so many times before. He promised me that he would take care of it. So, I decided to make a few disciplinary actions that I would put into effect.

 

The first time that I find his DS where it doesn’t belong, I would take it away from him for two days. The second time would result in double that time. He would then have to wait four long days without his DS. By the third time, I would take it away for a week. Each and every time after that it would be taken away for a week.

 

I think that, considering his inability to think properly before acting, this is quite fair. I will give him reminders if I see him playing his DS. This gives him a better chance at successfully caring for it better. I can’t expect him to automatically care for his things without some kind of help. This afternoon, while watching an “I love Lucy” marathon, Austin sat next to me on the couch. During commercials he would play his Pokémon game on his DS. “So, where are you going to put that when you’re done playing,” I asked him.

 

“In my room on my dresser,” was his reply.

 

“Very good,” I replied.

 

This is an ongoing task with everything that he does. I have to keep on him all the time and redirect him many times a day. Without proper guidance and patience, he will be doomed to failure. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen. I think that with little prompts here and there, behavioral training, and a lot of love he can be successful at anything.

 

For more information about ADD/ADHD in children, visit WebMD.

 

Here is a list of signs and symptoms of a child with ADD/ADHD 

 • Are in constant motion.

 

 • Squirm and fidget.

 

• Do not seem to listen.

 

 • Have difficulty playing quietly.

 

 • Often talk excessively.

 

• Interrupt or intrude on others.

 

• Are easily distracted.

 

• Do not finish tasks.

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****This tip is for viewing purposes only!****

I always view someone’s profile before I follow them. On some profiles, I’ve noticed that the background image is a larger picture and a lot of it gets hidden by the tweeting area. I design most of my own Twitter backgrounds to fit the area allowed. But, if you want to view “the larger picture” of that persons background here’s a neat little tip: (I’ll use my own profile as an example)

P.S.~ If you want to try it out on my twitter profile background, there’s a hidden message for you.

You can click on the images here for a larger view.

Once your on the persons’ profile page:

Profile Page

  • right-click the background area (not the tweeting area)

Right-click view

  • click on “view background image”

AND…

Voila!  The full image opens up for your viewing pleasure.

Full background image

I've designed my own backgrounds to fit Twitter.



However, please, please, please…DO NOT save the image as it may be a copyrighted image.

****This tip is for viewing purposes only!****No stealing graphics or images****

Enjoy!

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One of the best pieces of writing advice that I have ever received is…

Show don’t tell.

What, you ask, is “show don’t tell?”

When writing fiction, you want your readers engaged in your story. You want them so enamored that they can’t put your story or book down. If you want to get across to your readers that it’s cold outside then you need to give them some information that they can relate to personally.

Tell Example:

It was cold outside.

Okay, so we now know that it’s cold outside. But, to put it nicely, that’s boring. Telling can be useful in some areas of writing, such as, letter writing or business proposals. But, if you’re writing a work of fiction, you want to engage your readers so that they’ll keep reading. Let’s face it, you’re not writing fiction so that your reader will toss your story or book aside. If you just TELL them it was cold outside you’re loosing valuable readers.

Show Example:

The crisp air stung my nose and made my eyes water. As I exhaled, my breath morphed into white clouds that swirled around my face.

Now that’s more like it! The reader can actually visualize that it was indeed cold outside. It makes for a much better read.

Try using all of your senses. You need to be able to see, hear, taste, smell and touch the world that you’re writing about.

Tell Example:

Alexa stepped outside to a beautiful day.

That’s all well and good. But, that doesn’t tell me how the day was beautiful. Use your senses!

Alexa opened the door to the warm sun splashing on her face. The sweet, clean scent of lilacs tickled her nose as the birds whistled their “good mornings” to each other.

There are so many examples that you can use for your senses. I hope that this helps you with some ideas on how to “show don’t tell.” Happy writing!

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