The Best Gift We Can Give Our Children with Autism This Holiday Season

BY: - 17 Dec '13 | Parenting

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FacingAutism

As parents of children with autism, we often wonder what to get our children for Christmas. Some of our children are verbal and can tell us what they want. Some of our children are nonverbal or have limited communication skills, so they can’t tell us what they want.

As we fill our carts with clothes, gadgets, and toys, remember that the BEST gift we can give our children this holiday season is an unwavering commitment to be their strongest advocate.

What does being our children’s strongest advocate mean?

  1. It means making sure our children have all the therapies and services they need to continue to grow and progress.
  2. It means being an active participant in our children’s education at home and at school.
  3. It means being an active participant on our children’s *IFSP or *IEP team.
  4. It means knowing our rights when we are told that our children can’t get something they need.
  5. It means learning the system and remembering that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
  6. It means attending workshops and networking with professionals and other parents to learn all we can to become informed.
  7. It means having fun with our children and exposing them to every opportunity possible.
  8. It means knowing when to ask for help because we know our journey is not always easy.
  9. It means being aware of our children’s unique needs including sensory.
  10. It means loving our children unconditionally.

*Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
*Individualized Education Program (IEP)

BMWK: What does being a strong advocate for your child mean to you? What would you add to this list?

About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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Parenthood: Will I Ever Have Any Money?

BY: - 18 Dec '13 | Parenting

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TNMFamilyMeetingMom

Being pregnant with each of my kids was the most exciting time in my life! I was also happy to nurse them for the first few months to a year for health reasons and to also avoid buying baby formula. As they got a little older, I remember my husband and I saying,

“Can’t wait until they’re out of diapers/Pull-ups.”

Then, it was,

“Whew! Can’t wait until we’re done paying for day care.”

But, something happens…All that money we wish for? It never really seems to appear.

To me, parenthood in all of it’s beauty, is like having your wallet on permanent SUCTION! Don’t get me wrong, I understand and appreciate that it is truly a blessing to have three healthy children, but man…it never ends. They are precious, but still expensive! For instance, just the other day at breakfast, this happened:

Me:(to my 13 year old): “Why are you wearing those jeans? They are too short.”
Son: “I know Ma. But you just bought these.”
Me:(gasp….sigh) “Wow.”

I want to blame it on all of the FOOD he eats. Dude needs a job! This “growing boy” of ours never stops eating. And shoes? Let’s not talk about shoes. I’m wondering if it’s too late to bind his feet like they did in the ancient Chinese culture? (Googling, right now.) I know I’m not the only one, I get it. Kids eat. They grow. They get bigger. I get it, but it’s mind-blowing how fast these kinds of things happened. But I digress…

Like most parents, my husband and I want our children to be well-rounded and acculturated little citizens, so we involve them in music, sports, traveling and miscellaneous entertainment activities. This isn’t so bad, because we get to see the return on our investments rather quickly. It’s when I hear people talking about their college-aged kids who are STILL in the wallet suctioning game, I start feeling hopeless. When do these children of ours ever get out of our pockets? Or what about weddings? Oh Lord! THREE weddings?! As the mother of one son and two daughters, I just have one question. Will I ever be able to afford my dream car and not be too old to drive it?

All jokes aside, with our 3rd child, we are not wishing for time to pass so quickly. We know now that we will never actually grasp that “magic amount” of money, that we try so hard to while we’re investing in our babies. We are trying to live in the moment and enjoy all of the precious milestones that parenting has to offer, but we still wish these kids weren’t so darn expensive!

BMWK – Can you relate to this?

About the author

Sheree Adams wrote 117 articles on this blog.

Sheree is a wife and WAHM of three who passionately blogs about marriage, family, health tips and more as Smart & Sassy Mom. Sheree is committed to helping blended families and keeping marriages strong, healthy, fun and SPICY!

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