National Autism Conference-Getting There.

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We are blessed to be able to attend the National (and there are inter-national attendees here as well) Autism Conference at Penn State University this week! I thought I would blog nightly and reflect on the things from each day.

So now, I will back up and start at the beginning of this story :-)We never know how things are going to play out with our son in any given situation.  We have been prepping him all summer about this trip, but we cannot be sure how he is interpreting any thing. He is typically not happy about any plans we make that he hasn’t made, and he always complains, so we are used to that! We have to sell him on any thing we do except anything having to do with eating or playing video games of course!!

About 30 minutes into our trip a few incidents happened that made my husband pull the car over in a fury and make me want to say; “take me back home, I don’t want to go with either of you!” Sometimes it is one thing after another with our son. Things that make sense to him I guess, but drive us absolutely bonkers and add an incredible amount of stress to our marriage. During this frustrating scenario that was going on, my husband bit his own tongue by accident, enough to make it bleed!! It was just all so awful! I was angry and frustrated, they were each angry and frustrated, and then my heart went out to my husband because things like this happen so frequently. There was just nothing to say that was going to be helpful, I could only sit in the salty silence of acceptance. My flesh wanted to go home but I got out my guitar instead and started singing my songs.20170730_200513

We got through unexpected traffic and dinner ,which continued the “ordeal”, and made it to our room. The pool at the hotel is very nice and relaxation came, when we all got in the whirl pool. Peace…

When our son hit the bed, with all of it’s hotel comfyness and pillows, it didn’t take him long to go out! He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, all of that frustration he deals with in a day  fades away and it is well with my soul.20170730_223916

 

 

 

 

Remember to Keep Going!

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If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been on a personal journey the last few years. Through that time, my husband and I were separated and every thing in the fabric of my life seemed to be pulling apart.

The way we parented, or did not parent our youngest, autistic, son together, was a definite strain on our marriage. You have these imperfections in marriage and parenting, but you can slough them off easier, I think, with “typical” children. But these inconsistencies will glare in the face of a special needs child and cause you to grow together or apart.

So, as we came to the bottom of everything we thought we had, and I personally was in the lowest place a person could be- I relinquished control. I told God, if He cared about me, and about this Holy Union He named Marriage, He was going to have to make something out of broken pieces. It has been a painful process, dying to self usually is! For if we are going to make something beautiful out of broken, it has to be sorted out, cleaned out, rebuilt and it won’t happen with resistance.

In the process, I approach my children differently. I am approaching my special needs son slower. I am more conscious of my being just a “vessel”, and I can pour out love to him, or frustration. I am in his life (and everyone’s for that matter) to pour out love, power and a sound mind. This is a work of The Holy Spirit- I do not have this kind of supernatural-ness!

Last night he asked me to pray for him and read the Bible to him, he was troubled in his mind. I was so blessed that he would even ask me to do that! At one point, he started kissing my hand, I asked him why he was doing that and he said; “your awesome”. Taken aback, I asked, “why?” He said; “because you are trying to help me!” How beautiful, how simple, how divine.

I was reminded of my friend buying me this Keep Going mug and how I would use it every morning and read it’s truth. When you  bottom out in life, it is not the time to quit and give up! It is the time to ask for supernatural help and run with endurance. There are Always second, third, tenth, hundredth chances. God NEVER gives up on you! Even if others do, and they will, you are there to be awesome for some one else. Keep Going- I am right here with you cheering you on!!

Perspective

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I think this is a great reminder for all of us, not just how we see the people in our lives, but in how we look at ourselves! Perspective matters.

I’ve been meditating on the fact that I am deeply loved, fully accepted, completely forgiven, and fully pleasing to God. I can often forget that when I see myself through the filter of my mistakes. But if I look at myself through that truthful perspective, I tend to see others through it as well.

Perspective and perception have even more to do with holistic health than what supplements and essential oils you use. You can be literally “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

So today, take some time to encourage those around you in their strengths. Think about people’s strengths and tell them about it! We all get encouraged when we hear those things.

What are your strengths? What are your loved ones’ strengths? We want to hear from you today!

It Took Nine Years to Go to a Restaurant!

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Our youngest son is autistic. When my mother-in-law was alive, her love language to us was taking us out to eat at a restaurant, and I would be so torn.

On one hand, I had four children and helped care for her, so it seemed like a wonderful idea to not have to cook one meal out of the thousands I had prepared over many years of marriage and motherhood! But taking along extra “special” food for my “special” son who had a “special” diet, along with the struggle of trying to combat his behavior the entire time, wasn’t worth the stress I felt. These are one of the many struggles those who care for a special needs child face.

It is so easy to feel entitled. “I deserve a dinner out without our son knocking over his hundredth glass of water and exasperating everyone at the table, dammit! I deserve to relax with a night off!”

After all, I’m not a masochist. I mean, Jesus retreated often and prayed! I need my rest. Oh buddy do I need my rest! But I also chose to receive my children and raise them to the best of my ability, and it is my responsibility to take care of them. However, if I keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, I will drive myself crazy!

So I decided I wouldn’t do that anymore with him. At some point you have to pull back and ask yourself what is best for everyone involved. I would hate myself for how stressed I was, how stressed I acted, and especially how I treated the rest of my family because of my stress. It was a lose-lose situation. I would leave the house loading my stress trigger, hoping this time he wouldn’t do a, b, and c. Then I would be totally rigid and on edge while we were out, then beat myself up for several days afterward because I felt like a failure… again.

It was not until our son started going to a vestibular therapy that was a bit of a drive from our home that I started rewarding him with a dinner out, if he did well at therapy and behaved while we were there. We have left many restaurants before, and I’ve gotten our food to go more than once. But this restaurant we chose had gluten-free items, which was a real treat! He started understanding that it was worth it to him to behave so he could have a special date with mom and eat his own gluten free favorites. He was nine years old, and I was like, wow! we can do this sometimes!

Since then, we have had some horrible experiences as a family. We have left restaurants as a family. But with every day that passes, these things are farther and farther behind us. Living with autism or behavioral issues is often like constantly looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing what road you have covered. It never feels like you have arrived at your destination; you just have to remember where you started and throw yourself a little party that you are not still “back there!”

As we left our family therapy session today, I was considering these things. We went out to eat, no glasses were spilled, no major behavior issues were exhibited, and we even enjoyed a few laughs together.

Happy dance!<3

 

Perspective

As I was getting ready this morning, I decided I needed a new perspective! I decided to look these up and was encouraged as I read them. I hope they are an encouragement to you as well!

Honest Aromas

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I think that is a good reminder for all of us for any one in our life! Even when we look at ourselves! Perspective matters.

I have been meditating on the fact that I am; Deeply Loved, Fully Accepted, Completely Forgiven, and Fully Pleasing to God. I can forget that when I see myself through the filter of my mistakes. But if I look at myself through that truthful perspective, I can tend to see others through it as well.

Perspective and perception have even more to do with holistic health than what supplements and essential oils you use. You can be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

So, today, take some time to encourage those around you in their strengths….think about other’s strengths and tell them about it! We all get encouraged when we hear those things.

Have a great Thursday, we want to hear from you today!

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Essential Oils and Autism

This week we’ve been talking about our personal story of having a son who is autistic. Today I want to highlight some ways that essential oils can help people who struggle with autism and special needs in general.

One of my favorite blogs about autism and family dynamics is Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland. Penny gives so much honest and insightful information into a journey not a lot of people know about.

One post of her’s that caught my attention is “Using Essential Oils for Autism“, which is full of great information on how to use EO’s to calm and focus special needs children. As an aromatherapist, I do want to say that using oils, especially on children, and especially on special needs children, must come with caution. Dilute oils to stay safe and pay attention to how they affect your child! What works for one person may work differently or not at all for another, and of course stay aware of allergies and sensitivities. An essential oil will have no benefit if it’s causing an allergic reaction!

One oil that helped Penny’s daughter was peppermint. It reduced a fever she had and it helped with focus.

I wanted to reach my little girl, so I was willing to try nearly anything. I was shocked to find out that peppermint helped increase her ability to focus. It helped a LOT!

Peppermint is an amazing mind-clearer, great to awaken and boost creativity. We featured a post on Peppermint back in the summer, and it’s so wonderful to see how it’s been helpful to someone else too!

Check out Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland, and let us know if you’re interested in peppermint or any of the other oils we’ve covered that are great for special needs. We are here to offer the best information and help we can!

Have you ever used EO’s for special needs? Have you ever tried peppermint? Would you?