Saying a Heart Felt Thank You

Salutations! Things are sure buzzing around my house these days! Getting ready for the holidays – keeping fingers crossed that eBay, er… um… SANTA will deliver the kids’ goods on time – and preparing for the launch of my new site, Autism Support Now. It’s still under construction, but I’ve posted a Holiday Safety article with tips for helping your child survive the chaos that often accompanies this time of year.

More importantly, as I shift into a place of really serving families that need support and information, I want to say a great big THANK YOU. Each and every one of you that takes the time out of your day to read my articles, comment on the blog, “like” my Facebook links and status updates, and Retweet me… I am blessed to have connected with all of you. I know that as I literally kick myself out of my comfort zone and answer the call to share everything I’ve learned these past five years, I look forward to bringing solutions and support to as many families as I can reach that are looking for a way out of confusion.

I was at my rope’s end so many times with no one to turn to, receiving conflicting information from everywhere I sought help. It is my mission and commitment to keep parents out of that dark place and armed with a clear-cut plan to bring out the best in their little angels.

I am also creating a more accessible training program for Emergency Responders, so look for more information on that soon!

So, from my family to yours, a huge THANK YOU for being you and dancing with me on this journey. Have the warmest and most blessed holiday!

Debi, Dorian, Justin, and Juno

Trippin’ Over Road Trip FAIL

So… what do you get when you cross a small Ford Focus, three children (one of which likes her music LOUD), a 125+ lb. Alaskan Malamute in heat, a child with Autism and Sensory Processing issues, and a last-minute four-hour road trip? Road trip FAIL.

At least I can laugh about it now. Let’s hope my son can, too!

You see, I knew better. I KNOW better. I post daily inspiring tips, quotes, and updates on Facebook and Twitter about how to prepare for doing virtually ANYTHING with your Autistic child. Yet, here I was – frenzied, overbooked, and trying to leave town at the last minute – totally unprepared.

The problem? I didn’t arm him with any necessary tools or supports against the boredom of a long trip, his sister’s loud music, being cramped and unable to stretch out when his body needed it, the lack of available favorite snacks and drinks on the road, the chaos of a hotel room, and the absence of a schedule while there.

The result? A child that screamed, threw toys around, harassed the dog, twisted himself up in his seat belt, and repeatedly kicked the back of the driver’s seat while I was trying to safely operate our vehicle. In the hotel he was hyper, loud, and severely discombobulated when it came to what he expected would happen while we were there.

What my daughter, her friend and I saw and were annoyed by, of course, can’t possibly compare to the discomfort, frustration, and confusion he experienced from being thrust into this situation unarmed. Oh, and when you ask your child if they want to bring their favorite supports and they say “no” – PACK THEM ANYWAY! They don’t know that they will need them!

So here’s a look back at what I could have done right (and will do next time!):

Weigh it out

I was so concerned with getting on the road on time that I did not prepare. How long would it really have taken for me to pack additional items and take the time to talk to him about what was happening? How much time would it have added to our trip to make a few more stops? I’m sure the dog would have appreciated it, too!

For a few extra minutes of planning and preparing, I could have avoided frustration for all of us during this trip. LESSON LEARNED!