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Archive for March, 2014

Firefighters Vs Autism

I have been wanting to post about a very special organization that is making great strides in helping in the fight to prevent autism related wandering incidents and drownings.  Firefighters Vs Autism is a non-profit organization which holds workshops to educate first responders as well as the parents and care givers of those on the autism spectrum.  The workshops provide valuable information on how to prevent the situations from arising.  The following is a quote from their website.

“Through various fund raising events and merchandise sales, we are able to host workshops for first responders and care givers, provide swim lessons and drowning awareness opportunities to families impacted by Autism, pool fencing to families who cannot otherwise afford it, and community wandering awareness seminars as well as therapy events for those effected by Autism.  We also provide education or counseling for those families dealing with an individual with Autism.

We are currently operating out of Tucson and southern Arizona but hope to expand into other communities across the nation.  We also plan on donating to other 501c3’s that share in our organizations mission.”

To find an organization such as Firefighters Vs Autism is a blessing.  There is so little information in the mainstream society regarding the dangers that those with Autism face in situations where they wander off.  About half of all those children with Autism will wander off at some point.  This isn’t due to lack of vigilance on the parent or caregiver’s part.  Imagine if you will, having your child playing contently in their room.  Your doors are properly latched and your child appears very involved in their activities.  You need to use the bathroom, so after checking to make sure the child is still content, you quickly go to the bathroom.  You are only gone for a minute or two.  When you come out, you find that your front door is open and your child is gone.  Yes, it can happen that quickly. You can do everything right and it still occur.

Autistic children often hav no sense of fear or caution for things that they should.  One example being that they may go up to any stranger as though the person is a friend.  They are also drawn to water.  They may have no sense of reservation about going into the water.  This is where a lot of the drowning cases come into the situation.  The child sees a toy floating on the water, or the sunlight sparkling on the  water and become to interested in it that they don’t think twice about stepping into a pool.

Knowing how easily and quickly an autistic child can wander off and find themselves in a dangerous situation is precisely why an organization like Firefighters Vs Autism is so important.  They are a critical resource in training first responders and parents/care givers in how to prevent these dangers.  The work that this organization is doing is a tremendous blessing to those who take advantage of the opportunities they provide.  So often, first responders and care givers have limited knowledge in this area.  The training can help prevent so many autistic children from being injured or killed from their wandering off or accidental drowning.

I strongly encourage you to consider supporting this organization.  If you are a firefighter or know one, you may consider finding out how to start a chapter of this organization in your own community.  Let’s give these guys the attention and support that they need to further their mission.

May the Lord bless Firefighters Vs Autism!  The work that they are doing is important to all of us who have autistic family members or are impacted by autism in other ways.  I am so grateful to have found this organization.  The work that they are doing is a blessing to us all.

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Last week, my husband and I took videos during the therapy sessions our son went to for OT and Speech.  Both therapists use the FloorTime technique to work with him.  I wanted to share the link here in case anyone were interested in seeing what his sessions were like.

Pookie is still in the beginning stages of learning to use sign language.  The signs that he uses are ones that are more based upon what activities the therapists are doing. For example, one of the first signs that he learned was “go”.  The purpose was so that as they pushed him in the swing (his favorite) they could stop it and wait for him to sign “go” before they continued pushing the swing.  Last week, he learned the sign for “car” as the therapist played a game using a car with him.  She placed the car at the top of a ramp and waited until he signed “car go” before letting the car go down the ramp.

Spontaneously, Pookie will sometimes say a word or two.  Far from being considered verbal, but it is a beginning.  The words that he uses are used in an appropriate time and context.  It gives us much hope that he will become more verbal in the future.

If you are curious as to how his sessions go, feel free to watch the videos.  I will be adding more homeschool related videos as well in the coming months.  The link for the videos is http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM1b09F5RKlUd758a7fUNxw/videos

Enjoy!

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Over the past week, I went on a shopping binge. Sounds bad, but in reality it was a great thing.  We were able to get the child credit when we filed our taxes. When the money came into our account, we allotted the entire child credit amount to be used towards the kids and their education.

I went shopping and bought all the supplies they would need for next school term.  Curriculum will be ordered next week after we get back from a trip visiting friends.  The shipping that I have done fills an 18 gallon size tote. I bought all their paper, pencils, supplies for making lapbooks and Little Miss’ notebooking, and art supplies.  The nail order items are the only thing left to purchase.

I am so happy to be ahead on this.  My dear husband is changing jobs after being a trucker and gone most of the time.  He is getting a local job and will be home each night.  Now that the school materials are taken care of, I won’t have to worry about budgeting for it and waiting for the sales this summer.

I was thrilled to find many items on clearance or at a sale price.  I even purchased two of the 10-drawer colorful carts for the kids to use as workboxes.  I found them for $24.98 each at Sam’s Club, a huge savings from the price at other stores.  I already have them assembled and the kids are enjoying them.  Even Pookie used his today and was curious to find what was in each drawer. 

It is such a sense of peace to know we will be done shopping for the school supplies once the online orders arrive.

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