*This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but we could earn money that will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure for further information. In our family, the only morning person is my dad. The rest of us are NOT morning people. Mornings can be really hard in our family as we would rather stay up late then get up early. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
We get it, life is busy and we all have busy schedules and it can feel like mornings are super rushed to get out the door. The last thing you need in your life is to be late to work or to school.
I wanted to share some time saving tips that myself and our family has been using to help our entire family have an easier morning, but we also wanted to share tips to help your teenager with autism also have an easier morning as well.
Strategies that we have used to help make mornings easier to SAVE time and allow us to sleep in a little longer 🙂
Set out your clothes the night before. We just use a table in my brothers room to lay his clothes on the night before so in the morning he can quickly grab and change his clothes. I have seen other examples of this where they even set out clothes for an entire week where they use a collapsable shelf that hangs in the closet where they have a shelf for each day of the week.
Prepare meals the night before for breakfast and lunch if needed. In our family we bring our lunches to work and this is a HUGE time saver! If it is already packed and ready in the fridge all you have to do is grab and go! You can do the same for breakfast as well if you are needing to eat on the go or even quickly at home. Some on the go breakfast or lunch items that we take are cheese sticks, yogurt, granola bars, and bananas.
Set your alarm 5 minutes sooner than when you need to get up for the day. I know this may not seem like a lot of time, but 5 minutes can be the difference between being late or on time to where you need to go. What if traffic is a little slower or you spill something and you need to quickly change. There can be so many what if’s in the morning that it is always a good idea to give yourself a 5 minute buffer.
Do not check your email or social media accounts when you first wake up. I know it can be soooo tempting to take a peek at your emails or what is going on with Facebook when you first wake up, especially if you use your phone as an alarm, but this can take up valuable morning time that you don’t already have. We can get lost in time trap of just scrolling and lose track of time. Instead I would recommend doing some morning stretches in bed, drinking a glass of water, or using an app where you can read a short prayer or affirmation for the day so you can start your day on a positive note.
If you really want to help yourself get up in the morning you can set up your alarm across the room, so that when it goes off you will have to physically get out of bed to turn off the alarm.
Maybe start your day off with eating breakfast first. I know there are many times when I skip breakfast because I ran out of time and then I am starving by the time lunch or mid morning hits. If you are more motivated by food, maybe try changing up your routine and start with breakfast first during your day.
Try to use a checklist to help you remember each step of your morning routine and so that you don’t forget something that you needed to take to school or to work. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to teach your child/teenager how to be more responsible for themselves in the morning and save mom some time in the morning with allowing the kids to be more independently. Place the checklist in a location the child/teenager will see it either in the bedroom or the bathroom or both locations. We have a created a FREE CHECKLIST for you to use for your morning routine that you can try to customize to fit your lifestyle and routine. Download your FREE Morning Checklist below by providing your name and email!
Our last tip is to find an alarm sound that can wake you up so you don’t sleep through the alarm. You may need to change the alarm sound up every so often so that your body doesn’t get used to the same sound over and over every morning.
Our family really dislikes mornings, but we hope with the help of these strategies together we can start to like mornings a little bit more 🙂 We hope you can find these tips helpful for your morning routine as a family and specifically to help give more responsibility to your teenager or child with Autism. Try out the checklist and we left some space for you to add in your own that are specific to your routine. We would love to hear if you have any additional suggestions or strategies that have helped make your morning routine easier.
This post was part of a monthly series by other Special Needs Bloggers where we all shared tips on Time Management! Check out their amazing resources below for further ways to help make life a little easier!
*This page contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure statement for further details.
21 Books to Help you Better Understand Autism
Our family has read many books over the years to help us better understand Autism and various perspectives to help us better be able to help my brother through his journey through life. We wanted to create a resource with various books that we have found helpful and highly recommended.
We wanted to create a comprehensive list that can provide you with a wide variety of options to help you learn more Autism and learn the world through their perspective and eyes. Our family has loved getting to read these books and we hope you will too. Please share with us books that you have enjoyed and if there are any that you feel should be added!
Has your child just received the Autism Diagnosis? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the information? We wanted to create a comprehensive FREE resource for you with tons of Autism and Special Needs Resources. This blog post is part of our resource where we provide you with information on tons of areas such as websites, books, podcasts, blogs, support groups, transitions into adulthood and MORE! If you would like this FREE download please provide us with your name and email address below to grab your FREE copy!
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or areas that we can help you with! We are here to support you!
Do you feel overwhelmed and tired, and just struggling to feel like you are making an impact with your child or adult with autism or special needs?
Today we wanted to share an amazing FREE resource we have created to help you feel a little less overwhelmed and more like you can take action on how you can find resources to help your family.
We get it, it can be hard to go through the every day tasks, especially when you are transitioning onto a new stage in life where you have to consistently learn new ideas and techniques to help your child succeed in life. We wanted to create the ultimate bundle of resources for you and your family to feel more confident in your stage of life and decrease that feeling of overwhelm.
This FREE Resource has over 180+ ideas from Autism websites, books, support groups, blogs by families and professionals, transitions into adulthood resources, podcasts, self-care tips, organization, ebooks, planners, calendars, & MORE!!
What resources will you get from this download?
Sensory Processing Books
Children with Disabilities Books
Transition into Adulthood Resources
Self-Care and Parenting Resources
Facebook Support Groups
Pinterest Group Boards with loads of Special needs content
Autism and Special Needs Blogs
Occupational Therapy Blogs
Speech Therapy Blogs
Help Around the Home Resources
Blogging Resources to start your own blog
We also share our blogging tips and resources if you are someone that is looking for help with blogging as a way to make extra income for your family or for a way for your adult child to create an at home online business!
We hope you find this FREE resource helpful as you are going through each stage of life whether you just got the diagnosis or you are looking for ways to continue to advocate for your child or adult. We are here to HELP!
Please leave a comment about what you think about the resources or if you know of any more to add! We would love to hear your feedback!
*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. If you would like read more here is our disclosure statement.
25 Ways to Show Support For a Family with a Child with Special Needs
This post was originally written about Mother’s day, but the more I thought about it the more I realized these are actions that we should do all year round for mothers, parents, and fathers of children with special needs. These can seem like such simple acts of kindness, but they can go a long way for a family.
Mother’s day can be a wonderful day where mother’s feel appreciated and loved for many, but sometimes it can also bring up pain and sadness depending on what memories this day brings to you. Maybe you recently lost a mother or you are a mother who lost a child. This time a year can bring back sadness and hurt.
Maybe you are a single mother or father taking care of a child that has complex medical needs or a child that needs a lot of attention and care. Or maybe you are a family trying to find ways to help your mother have a day where she can feel appreciated and loved for everything that she does for you. Whatever avenue you are on this Mother’s day, I hope that these tips can help all Mother’s especially those with a child with special needs feel loved and appreciated for all of their hard work. If you are a husband, loved one, or friend to a mother with a child with special needs, we hope these ideas can spark some inspiration to help make Mother’s day and every day a success!
This post is the first of many in the self-care series where we will provide you with resources and advice on how to help take care of ourselves as a parent. We need to learn to also take care of ourselves as a parent to be able to provide the best care for our children.
Help Provide Them with a Break
My mother is always wanting to do everything for her children. She is constantly putting her children and her husband first in her life and doesn’t always take time for herself. Helping your mother be able to take a break from the busy schedules can help reenergize herself so that she can be the best version of herself to help her family.
Ask Them How you Can Help
This is a BIG one…and as a mother you need to be able to learn to accept help as well. Ask her what she may need done around the house, or how you can help out to make this next week a little easier for her. Is there something you could help by taking care of her children or going with her to be able to go out in the community and participate in a fun activity with the entire family? There are endless possibilities of ways she may need help, but make sure you are there for her and ask her what she needs help with.
Find out an Activity They Really Enjoy and Do That with Them
Don’t be afraid to just ask her is there something you would really like to go and do? Find out from other family members what are some of her favorite activities to do and provide time for her to complete that activity with her. Now keep in mind you may have to also figure out child care for this mother if you are wanting it to be just the two of you. This may take some extra planning depending on her situation, so make sure you take that into consideration.
Listen to Their Needs (don’t judge or provide feedback unless they ask)
Maybe just taking the time to listen to her and allowing her to share her feelings and opinions without feeling judged is what a mother might need. Bring her a cup of coffee or tea and allow her the opportunity to just sit and chat in a judgement free zone. You never know how much of an impact this simple act can make for someone that may feel like they are alone.
Let Them Know You are Here for Them
Let your mother know that you are here for them as a loved one or a friend and know that you are available to talk or go do an activity with them. Let them know that they can call you if they are needing help or just need some advice. It is always good to know which friends or loved ones you can always count on to help you out when you need it.
Make a Meal for Them and Their Family to Share Together
For some mothers, cooking a meal can be very tough and frustrating. It can take a long time to create a healthy meal for a family to share together. You have to find the time to go grocery shopping, prep the ingredients, and then cook the meal. That can be very time invasive, so just the kind act of making an entire meal for this mother to be able to share with her loved ones can be a huge act of kindness.
Help with the Yard Work
Yard work is another chore that can be daunting and take a lot of time, which a lot of mother’s don’t have enough time. Helping out with mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, or watering the flowers can be a huge help for some mother’s and families.
Ask to Help Clean the House
The act of asking to help do the laundry or clean up the kitchens or bathrooms can also be a huge help around the house. This can help the mother’s have more time to spend with their loved ones doing something they enjoy together. I know if this was me, I would love to have someone help clean up my house.
Help Run an Errand
Depending on their situation, just finding the time to be able to leave the house for a simple errand, can be a hard task for some mothers. Asking to help go get groceries or drop off some packages can be a huge help for some!
Provide them with a Gas Card to help with Transportation to Appointments
Gas can be expensive, especially if you are a family where you are constantly driving to appointments for your child. A gas card could go a long way for some mother’s to be able to have sufficient funds to know she can get her children to their appointments on time.
Let them take a Nap or Sleep in
Sleep is one of those things that can be neglected when you are a mother to a child with lots of needs or just a very busy lifestyle. Help a mother out by offering to take care of the child for a while to allow her to sleep in or take a nap. Sleep is a necessity and can help a mother be the best version of herself with enough sleep and energy.
Provide Her with Opportunities to Listen to Books through an Audible Subscription
This one is a personal preference, as I love to listen to books on my audible app through Amazon. I am someone that doesn’t take the time to sit and read, so I love being able to listen to books on tape and I am able to multi task at the same time with either doing dishes or folding laundry. I also love listening to books in the car! This has opened up so many more opportunities for me to be able to catch up on reading that I otherwise would not do.
Ask if they Would Like to Do Something as Family Where Everyone Can Join in and Participate
Is there an activity that the whole family would like to be able to do together? Help them find a way to complete that activity where everyone in the family will be able to help participate with to help create fun memories for the mother and family to be able to cherish for a lifetime.
Provide Uplifting and Encouraging Books to Read or Listen to Help them Relax
Our family loves finding books where the message is uplifting and encouraging. Maybe there are other mom’s out there that also like to read encouraging books as well. Find out what your mom likes to read and provide opportunities for her to do that. My mom has loved watching and reading inspirational books by Joel Osteen.
Here are a list of possible encouraging and uplifting books
The special gifts could go on and on forever. Every person likes a special gift that comes from the heart. These are just some ideas to get you started in the gift giving process.
This post goes out to all mothers who work hard to provide for their families and work to take care of their children to the best of their abilities. I hope you can find some inspiration from the ideas listed above to show your love and support to all the mother’s in your life. This list is not just about mother’s but both parents or fathers who are just trying their best to raise happy healthy children. Is there something you would like me to add to this list of ideas? We would love to hear from you!
This post contains affiliate links, there is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family.
I believe that God has a plan for us and that we are to love everyone…Now you are probably thinking how does God fit into all of this? Well I believe that God has me here on this Earth for a bigger picture and that I am here to help others show love and acceptance to others.
Why is it so hard for us to understand something that is different from us? Why can we be so judgmental? Why is it easier to be sad or mean instead of nice or happy?
Everyone is Unique
There are a lot of why questions in life and every one of us has a unique answer to those questions. Everyone is UNIQUE. We all go through different experiences in this life that shape who we are as a person. Now you are probably wondering when is she going to start taking about Autism? First I want to paint the picture that every person has unique and different personalities. We can look different, think differently, like different things such as foods, and we all have different skills that we are either good at or bad at.
Every person is unique, just like every person with Autism is unique. No one person is alike, has different meaning for each person and if you have met one person with Autism, you have met only one person with Autism. Please do not base your opinions based on one experience you have had with someone with Autism.
These are views that I have learned along the way as a sister, a professional, and as someone who is wanting to learn more about the Autism world, so that I can learn their perspective and be able to understand their viewpoint better.
When talking to your children or loved ones about Autism come from a loving and positive viewpoint.
Here are some ways to help us understand Autism
We all see the world differently, but the world can look very different for someone with Autism. The brain is wired differently and different connections can work well or may have more difficulty working.
The senses may be wired differently as well. Sound, touch, taste, smell, or movement can feel much different for someone with Autism. We all have different sensory preferences such as the foods we like or the activities we enjoy. Respect everyone’s sensory preferences and differences.
Communication may be difficult and social interactions may be very hard for someone with Autism. Find ways to include someone with Autism in an activity in a way that they can handle the situation. In order to do this, you first need to get to know the person and understand their likes and dislikes.
The special wiring in their brain can make something that we may think as easy be very hard for them, or something that we may think as being hard, can be easy to them.
Someone may develop behaviors to help them cope with stressful or chaotic feelings due to being overwhelmed with an experience due to the their senses. When the brain and senses don’t communicate well the brain can become overwhelmed. These behaviors can look odd to us, but it can help them feel calm inside. The person may not be able to say out loud how they are feeling. From the outside they could look like they are fine, but on the inside they could be feeling chaos.
How we can learn to understand their point of view
Take the time to get to know the individual. Find out what they like and don’t like.
Find a way to be able to communicate with them. Do they talk verbally or use a communication device?
See if there is something that you can do together that you both would like to do.
If someone is talking mean about someone with Autism, stand up for the person and say something positive about them.
I have heard many times that people with Autism just want to feel understood. In order to do this we need to take the time to learn the world from their perspective and not be quick to judge or place opinions.
I loved this quote from the video Amazing Things Happen, “People with Autism are not ill or broken, they have a unique view of the world.” If we take the time to learn and share the world from their point of view, we may be able to see the amazing things they can do.
If you are looking for a video to be able to share with your children or loved ones about Autism, I highly recommend this video from Amazing Things Happen! Amazing Things Happen is the creation of independent animation director Alex Amelines. Here is the link to the Facebook page for Amazing Things Happen.
If you found this post or video helpful please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!
If you are looking for further resources to help you better understand Autism, here are a list of books that may be helpful!
Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!
*This post contains affiliate links. When you click on these links there is no extra cost for you.
How to Advocate for Children with All Abilities with an Interview from Heather Avis
Life is such a precious gift and every day I like to be reminded of the positives that we can experience every day. We just need to take the time to reflect and seek out positives in each situation. These past weeks I was so thankful that I came across a book that I feel I was meant to read. I actually listen to my books through my Audible app and I love it! When listening to the book The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places, I was moved by Heather’s experiences and loved how open she was with sharing her life with all of us. She writes with such honesty and talks about how God influenced her journey. She talks about how she felt that she had the plan of becoming a mom with biological children, but how we can never know what the future with hold for us, but we can learn from these experiences and learn to love the process and end result. I love how Heather has been such a huge advocate for children of special needs.
Heather is an amazing advocator for children of all abilities. I love how she talks how every child has unique abilities and we need to cherish every child’s unique and amazing abilities and personalties. Every child is a gift from God. Heather has an amazing website and you can follow her HERE.
After finishing Heather’s book I decided I needed to reach out to her and let her know how much positive influence she had on me while listening to her story. I wanted to share this amazing story with others as well. I wanted to understand her perspective on the questions below to help our family, but our followers as well. Below are the questions I asked Heather and her direct response back to me.
4 Questions with an Exclusive Interview with Heather Avis
1. Why did you decide to share your personal story with the world through this book?
The honest answer, become someone asked if I’d like to! Beyond that I recognize I could have said no, but I knew there was a time in my life I needed to hear a story like the one God was playing out in my life and so it has been an honor to get to share my story with the world.
2. What advice would you give to families with children with special needs?
Every family’s situation is so different and there are so many details with each family it is difficult to give “blanket” advice. Because I am raising children with Down syndrome, I have a better understanding about Down syndrome than I do other different abilities. When I talk with families who have a child with Down syndrome my biggest piece of advice is to find the fine and blurry line between allowing your child with Down syndrome to be exactly who God created him/her to be, and pushing your child to be their best (via OT, PT, Oral Motor Therapy, ST, etc.). So often I meet families who are feeling immense amounts of pressure to make their baby/child more like typical babies/children. I believe that should never be the goal. Our kids with Down syndrome have so much to offer the world just as they are. So as we pursue all the therapy and tutoring etc, we need to make sure we are doing it so our child can be the best version of themselves, not “less Down syndrome.”
3. What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
This past year we’ve had annual passes to Disneyland and we LOVE to go to Disneyland. We go at least a couple times a month, it’s a blast. We also love to go to the beach or the park. Our weekly family movie nights are a favorite with the kids. We order take out food and get to eat dinner while watching a movie. None of us are homebodies so we love a good adventure.
4. What are some ways that we can be better advocators for our children (or if we don’t have children with special needs how can we advocate for this population)?
We need to insist that the people around us see our kids as “perfect” just as they are. We need to be insisting that our schools and churches and communities etc. create the spaces our kids need to be the best versions of themselves. This can be hard work depending on what part of the country you live in. For us, we work closely with our IEP team helping them see the worth of our kids. I make sure to develop good relationships with the other kids and parents at the schools, setting up playdates, etc. We put our kids in local dance classes and gymnastics classes. We go into every situation assuming our child is competent and expect those around them to assume the same. If you do not have a loved one with different abilities I think it’s important to be intentional in developing relationships with the people in your community who are different than you. If your child does not have anyone in their classroom who is differently abled go to your district and administration and let them know this is unacceptable. Recognize how much we have to learn from people with different abilities and how our world is better off is we are doing life side by side.
Heather, thank you so much for opening up and sharing your story of your life experiences! You are such an inspiration and I hope to have the ability to touch others lives in a way that you are able to reach out to others in your book. I would highly recommend this book if you are a family that is going through some struggles or some hard decisions, especially if you are dealing with infertility or thinking about adoption in your family. Heather is a wonderful person to look up to and I cannot say enough great things about her book and the person that she is!