The Stories Of Our Lives

Stimming & Sensory Stimulation Triggers

Brooklyn when excited and over-stimulated, tends to cope in many different ways.  Stimming being a big part of it. Stimming is defined as making repetitive movement with your body, making sounds, and pacing. I try to think of it as being overwhelmed and struggling to cope with your emotions, not a fun thing! Brooklyn uses repetition as one of her key ways to de-stress, with her hands repeatedly covering her face, pacing back and forth and replays of a scene on her iPad. Myself being irritated by hearing the scenes play over and over, I grab my earplugs to help …

The Stories Of Our Lives

Safety In The Home Is a Must

In a prior posting I talked about bolting and outside safety. When a stereotypical child starts to approach their terrible 2’s, it’s time to start building the safety boundaries in the house. Common problems that can come about include, falls, burns and scalds, drowning, poisoning, strangulation and suffocation. Obviously severe injury or death are not the only worries, destruction of items is a key problem as well. These are concerns with all children but with supervision and redirection, typical children can be taught safety. The concerns can be addressed much earlier than a child on the Autism spectrum and modifications …

The Stories Of Our Lives

Early Intervention Services Are So Crucial!

In Washington state, the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) administers services for eligible children from birth to age 3 through Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT). Families can contact ESIT directly, or they can reach out to their local school district to request an evaluation to determine eligibility and consider what support a child might need. The ESIT website includes videos to guide family caregivers and a collection of Parent Rights and Leadership resources, with multiple language options. As soon as my daughter was diagnosed on the Spectrum I started making lists and researching different options. The birth to 3 …

The Stories Of Our Lives

Next Step After Diagnosis? Determine If Eligible For SSI Benefits.

My story titled:  “Brooklyn’s Autism Diagnosis” talks about the first steps I took in getting her diagnosed. The biggest question then was what is next. The doctor at Children’s Village gave me many flyers talking about what services thru the state and government may be available. The list was very detailed and hard to know, where to start, so I took the stack home, did research galore, and came up with what worked best for me. What are the benefit of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? SSI provides monthly cash payments to help meet the basic needs of children …

Brooklyns Younger Years
The Stories Of Our Lives

My Unafraid Adventurous Daughter

As a parent you are taking on a full-time 24/7 job but as they get older, they become more self-sufficient and the job becomes a little less time consuming. However, as parent to a child on the Autism spectrum it can often feel like 3 full-time jobs and you wonder if it will ever become easier. Although autism can be fatiguing physically and mentally it can also teach us a lot about ourselves.  Which helps us be a much more patient person, which is required as a parent. One of the scariest places for me to be with Brooklyn is …

The Stories Of Our Lives

The Steps To My Daughters Diagnosis

I am known to be the type of person who tackle’s things as soon as possible. The faster I can address the problem then the easier life will be. It is so much better to get the worries off the list because I know there will be more to come. I am incredibly lucky to have been born into a hardworking family. My father was a farmer and my mother handled 2 jobs and 4 children. Being raised in this type of environment has made me become a strong, independent woman. Thank goodness my parents raised me this way because …

The Stories Of Our Lives

The Week Before Encephalitis Hit

Everyone has a different story to tell. Where we were born, how we were raised, and the most important stories are the ones we have survived. My journeys have not been easy to make it through, but I have, and I am so much stronger because of it. I always focus on the positive and make sure and grow from the experience. I was lucky to have been raised as a hardworking, independent woman. In my early years, my father was a farmer for Agri-northwest in the Umatilla area. It’s a large agricultural business that grows corn and potatoes. Oh …

The Stories Of Our Lives

My brain before and after Encephalitis

I noticed during my research of the brain that it is not typical for people to share their medical history and never did I think I would be in this position. However, the diagnoses I had are interesting and a little rarer than the ordinary. Two in a million people get HSV1 Encephalitis and if they are not treated within a few days then it can result in death. There are several variations to Encephalitis, some treatable and some not.   My optimism in sharing this is so that others can get a better grasp on how fragile our brains …

The Stories Of Our Lives

The Complexity Of The Brain

As I wake in the morning, I start to think of the piles of to-do’s encompassing me. My Heart rate amplifies, my shoulders tighten, and I tell myself “Jen Breathe”. I truly accept that life has many adventures, some very, very, difficult. However, the difficult adventures can help us learn and grow. My goals are to make sure my unexpected adventures end with bright smiles. That I will learn and grow along the route. Not that the pathway is not tough, some-days tearfully tough. Every morning I wake and tell myself to slow down and focus on the beauty and …