Friday, April 29, 2011

Kids Will Be Kids and Then There's Autism

When I was 5 years old, I bit a girl on the bus.  Let's say her name was Ann.  She was really shy and had droopy cheeks.  And one day on our way from school I leaned over and bit her cheek - hard.  The next day Ann's mother and two older brothers were at the bus waiting to confront me and tell my mother.  Ann's cheek was purple and blue.  My mother was furious.  I got smacked in the face right there on the corner of Britton and Gleane.  And much worse when my mother decided my punishment was to stay home with her.  The next day when I returned to school, my mother sent a note to my teacher - telling her what I did to poor little Ann.  And I was put in a corner with a dunce cap.  It was after all the late 70s, early 80s.

So in a way I get when people try to comfort me and say "kids will be kids"  or "all kids do that."  But usually there kid isn't like my kid.  And I wonder if corporal punishment and humiliation would work on The Boy.  Probably not.  Not that it's even a option.  I'm just saying...

The Boy is having a hard time lately.  5 SEITs since January.  We're currently waiting for SEIT #6.  Spring Break and going to the baby sitters.  The break in routine is starting to take its toll.  And he doesn't have the language or cognitive ability to articulate the frustration he may be feeling.  

Tonight I got home and checked The Boy's notebook.  Today he threw an object at a staff member's face.  When redirected, he urinated on himself - even though he's potty trained.  Earlier this week, he punched a classmate in the eye and he pushed another.  He never used to do these things.  These are behaviors that have increased since the disruption in home-bases services.  And I need to get him back on track.  But I don't know how.  

I'm worried about September, when he starts a new school.  What will that change bring?  Will the behaviors get worse?  And will we have the support to help him?

Yes.  All kids go through a stage where they hit, kick, throw and bite. Yes it's typical.  But when our kids do it - it's different.  Where is the line between behaviors associated with autism and age appropriate behavior?  Is there a line?  Or is it invisible like The Boy's disability.  Because I can't discuss it with The Boy.  He can't talk to me about what he's feeling.  I mean, I try.  But does he get it?  Is he listening?  Is he angry?  Sad?  Does he miss SEIT #1?  I don't know.   I ask him questions.  But he begins to stim and I get jargon or scripted speech in return.    

This is the feeling The Boy posted on his wall calendar: "Today I Feel Sad."  And if it's true, if that is how he's feeling.  I have no idea why.  

Autism and Parenting: 5 tips to reduce stress by Laura Shumaker

My heart was racing.

I was stuck in traffic in San Jose and it was clear that I'd be late for a meeting at Matthew's program in Santa Cruz at 3pm. I had another at 4pm with his psychologist across town, and needed to get on the road by 5:00 at the latest so I could be home in Lafayette for my youngest son's high school talent show.
Just as I started wondering if I could figure out a way to be two places at once, (I actually thought I could figure it out) my phone rang. It was Matthew.

"I'm in a seriously bad mood. No one understands me. After your meeting, can you take me out for pizza and french fries? Please?"

Research indicates that parents of children with autism experience greater stress than parents of children with intellectual disabilities and Down Syndrome(Holroyd & McArthur, 1976; Donovan, 1988), and I concur.

We are overwhelmed with managing our grief, grinding though assessment and therapy appointments, managing peculiar behavior, adjusting to strange sleep patterns, paying for therapy, and balancing it all with the needs of the rest of the family. We're trying to make each moment a "teaching" moment, and we are running out of steam.

If you are reading this and you are nodding and tears stream down your face, let me tell you some STRESS busters that have kept me safe and sane. You'd think of them yourself if you weren't so stressed out:

1) REDUCE your load. If you get up in the morning and see a day like I have described above, pare down your commitments to one or two a day, and give yourself PLENTY of time in between. Scheduling anymore than that is not only stressful, it's dangerous. You are more likely to go around a corner a little too fast if you are in a hurry or STRESSED.

2) Be selfish, not selfless. Everyone needs you RIGHT now, but they can wait. You won't be able to give much of yourself if you are burnt out.

3) Learn to say no. Someone else can drive on a field trip, someone else will be happy to assemble gift baskets for the auction. If three therapy appointments a week are pushing you to the edge, just do two. Pare down.

4) Find a great helper, one that you really like. This was one of the best things I ever did. I hired mostly college guys who could double as mentor/ friend types and babysitters. They will help you solve the "being two places at once" problem.

5) You need sleep. If your child is keeping you up, discuss the issue with his pediatrician. If worry is keeping you up, discuss the issue with your doctor.

How did I solve my super-stressful stuck in traffic, late for meetings, phone call from Matthew day?

1) I told Matthew I'd call him back.

2) I got off the freeway and called Matthew's program and his psychologist and told them there was too much traffic and that I'd have to reschedule.

3) I called Matthew, who was already in a better mood, and told him I'd see him another day.

4) I got home in time to go out to dinner with my husband and my son before the talent show.

5) And I had a good night sleep.

Laura Shumaker is the author of A Regular Guy: Growing Up With Autism and is a City Bright for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has contributed to several anthologies, includingVoices of Autism, A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs,Writin’ on Empty, and the forthcoming Gravity Pulls You In. She is a regular contributor to NPR Perspectives and a columnist for 5 Minutes for Special Needs. Laura’s essays have appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa TimesLiterary Mama, the East Bay MonthlyThe Autism Advocate and on CNN.COM.
Laura speaks regularly to schools, book and disability groups.
She lives in Lafayette, California with her husband Peter and her three sons.
Visit her Facebook Fan Page!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Revisiting Dr. Oz

Back in February I posted an open letter to Dr. Oz - - regarding his show on autism.  The show immediately sparked something in the autism community and months later we are still talking about it.  Overall I believe it was a wasted opportunity.  Rather than promoting hope the show instilled fear. 

Recently I connected with another blog writer who was actually in the audience. Christine, is a thirty something New Yorker - her blog is called How to Apply Lotion to a Moving Target.  Christine's most recent post is about being part of the audience on the Dr. Oz show.  She writes:
When I received an email from my son’s school that the Dr. Oz show was going to do an Autism Town Hall Meeting, I was so excited.  I immediately responded with a yes and gave them a small write up about my son and how autism has changed our life.  I quickly emailed my childhood friend to see if she wanted to attend the taping with me.  She has a 12 year old son with autism, ADHD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and ODD verging on Conduct Disorder.  We were both so excited to go and had not seen each other in over 20 years.  After we were seated, the person who gets the crowd all psyched up told us that the topic of the show was going to be “What Causes Autism?”  I groaned.  Not this subject again. 
To read the rest of Christine's post please visit How to Apply Lotion to a Moving Target.

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Appreciation is a Wonderful Thing."

It is Administrative Professionals Week and another Secretary's Day is upon us. As a secretary, I know it's our day to feel appreciated for all the grunt work we do throughout the year.  Yes, I'll bring you your paper.  Yes, I'll type that memo.  Sure, I'll google that thing you saw in a magazine last week.
But there is a whole population of Administrative Professionals that are completely overlooked:  the Mommatary.

As a mother of a child with Autism, I never knew how valuable my multi-tasking and organizational skills would be. When The Boy was first diagnosed, I wasn't prepared for the amount of paperwork that would be involved.  No one tells you that you will be spending a lot of time on the phone.  No one tells you about the never ending list of emails to send out.  The letters you'll write.  No one tells you about all the appointments you'll need to schedule.  The seminars you'll attend.  The amount of research that is required.  All the books you'll read, the documentaries you'll watch, the diets or methodologies you'll google.  All this, while juggling the parade of therapists coming in and out of your home. 

Having a good memory - will not cut it.  And you will get to the point where I am right now.  If I don't write it down - I'll forget.  I used to be all about Excel spreadsheets and lists.  And those are great.  But I've reverted to good ol pencil and paper.  I have a monthly planner where I write it all down.  Every meeting, therapy session and appointment, every call, email and reminder to follow up.  Every person I meet or website I've visited.  Everything gets written down in the big black book.  I have alarms on my phone to remind me to check the book.  And I keep several To Do lists.  Because let's face it - there is always something to do.

It's very easy to see why so many moms quit their day jobs or as I like to say, the job that pays in money rather than poop diapers and kisses.  Having a child with special needs goes beyond any stressful full-time job.  Moms naturally take on the brunt of responsibility.

Personally I have a hard time delegating and I am always over worked and exhausted.  Because in addition to keeping track of The Boy's schedule and the family schedule, I do the food shopping and cooking.  I take care of the laundry and the cleaning.  I make sure the bills are paid - sometimes they're even paid on time.  And while at work, I manage my bosses schedules. My day begins at 5:30 am every morning and it often ends at about 1:30 am.  That's usually about the time when I fall into a deep sleep and my mental to do list shuts off.  Heck, I need someone to manage my schedule! 
Yeah, yeah yeah - Mother's Day is coming but that kind of appreciation is not the same thing.  The Mommatary deserves a day off but never gets one.  She rarely gets a thank you or a thumbs up for a job well done.  Nor does she expect it.  But still - it's nice to hear.

So to all you Mommataries out there - Thank you & Great Job!  Treat yourself to something nice - a manicure, a bouquet of flowers, expensive chocolate, a new dress - it's well deserved.  And pencil it in, that way you'll be sure to remember.    

Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.  ~Voltaire


Saturday, April 23, 2011

6 Times a Charm?

Okay - so just got an email from SEIT #5, there's been a change in his schedule and a new SEIT will need to be assigned after the Spring Break.  But hey!  At least I got an email from SEIT #5 and not a text.

It will be the 6th SEIT walking into our home since January 2011.

I am so tired of this.  CPSE SUCKS!  Like big time.  And I am sure The Boy will totally be in WTF mode when he sees the new SEIT.  Considering he's still asking for the last 3.

I am hoping that SEIT #6 will be better than SEIT #s 2, 4 & 5.

But I ain't placing any bets.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Autism Ain't for Wimps

Growing up I was sort of a wimp - just a skinny girl with a squeaky voice who really didn't threaten anyone.  Everything scared me and I grew up not knowing how to fight, throw a ball, ride a bike or swim.  I don't get on roller-coasters.  I don't watch scary movies.  And I absolutely refuse to learn how to drive.  Why?  I'm a wimp.  About most things anyway.

Yesterday I took The Boy for his first haircut.  The Husband was working and I had to handle The Boy's first cut solo.  (The haircut is a whole other post - wait for it, it's coming soon.)  Anyway the woman who cut his hair was really great, very patient.  A mother of 5 kids she said to me: You must be really strong.  I don't think I could handle it. 

It wasn't the first time any one's called me strong or brave.  I've even been called a "hero" and being referenced as any one's "hero" makes me uncomfortable.  Because I really don't consider myself to be any of these things. 

I have moments where I completely lose it.  Where I lay on my sofa and cry.  And it's the ugly uncontrollable cry when I feel like I can't breathe, snot is dripping from my nose and all the tissues in the box aren't enough.  I have moments when I want to throw the phone across the room because I'm tired of making phone calls or leaving voice mails.  Moments when I wish that things weren't so difficult.  Moments when I'm exhausted, frustrated and far from strong.

However, these are just moments and they really don't make me a wimp. They make me human.  I'd be a wimp if I stayed on the sofa crying or if I threw the phone across the room and never made another phone call.  I keep on keeping on.  Because when it truly matters, I let go of my inner wimp long enough to get what needs to be done, done.  Not because I'm this incredibly strong person or super heroine.  Not because I have to.  Not even because it's what a mom is supposed to do.  I do it because I want to.
So I will proudly claim my wimp crown about everything else but when it comes to The Boy - I will and can do absolutely anything.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

S-O-S Best of the Best, Edition 5: $1,100 Giveaway Bonanza!

I am especially proud to be among the blog writers in the 5th Edition of S-O-S Best of the Best Book Review and Giveaway Bonanza.  

In honor of Autism Awareness Month and with respect to other Invisible Special Needs (ADHD, SPD and mental illness), Danette M. Schott, M.A. (founder of S-O-S Research) united bloggers from all over the country to review over 50 books, DVDs and even a b-Calm.  Many of the blog writers are hosting giveaways of the products they've reviewed - totaling $1,100 in giveaways!  Are you feeling lucky?  Below are links to my reviews and giveaways but you can check out the full list at S-O-S Best of the Best Book Review and Giveaway Bonanza.

  • Reviewed by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez at Autism Wonderland. “The quotes Price has selected will provide even the seasoned parent new insight into the world of autism. While her reflections following the quotes provide comfort to the parent who has recently heard the words: your child has autism.
Off We Go to the Grocery Store, Off We Go to the Dentist, and Off We Go for a Haircut by Avril Webster
  • Reviewed by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez at Autism Wonderland. “Avril Webster’s social story series, ‘Off We Go,’ published by  Woodbine House focus on everyday situations that children will eventually need to experience: going for a haircut, to the grocery store or to the dentist."
This is Gabriel Making Sense of School: A Book About Sensory Processing Disorder by Hartley Steiner
  • Reviewed by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez at Autism Wonderland. “Steiner makes SPD easy enough for everyone to understand."
The Other Kid by Lorraine Donlon (giveaway closed)
  • Reviewed by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez at Autism Wonderland. “Targeted for children between five and twelve years old, The Other Kid, validates the complex feelings of being the sibling to a brother or sister with special needs."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gov. Cuomo - In case you forgot, it's Autism Awareness Month.

‎"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

This afternoon my best friend, recieved a letter in the mail from Birch Family Services School for Exception Children.  Her daughter, Livi, has attended Birch Early Intervention program, since March 2011.  The letter stated that as of May 31st, Early Intervention classroom operations will be discontinued.  Why?  Budget cuts.  

The rate of reimbursement for Early Intervention (EI) services controlled by New York State has not been increased in 16 years.  And as of April 1, 2o11, NYS reduced EI rates by another 5%.

Devastated does not describe what my friend is feeling.  And she is only one parent.  There are other mothers and fathers of Birch kids - feeling just as devastated.  Where will their children go?  And will they find appropriate placement as mandated on their IEPs?    

Talk to any parent about Early Intervention and they will tell you - it works.  It makes a difference.  When I think of The Boy before and after EI - it's like two different kids.  Before EI, The Boy had no language, no eye contact, imaginative play or social skills.  And once he had the tools he needed to learn, he thrived.

I want Livi to thrive too.  I want her to have the same services The Boy received.  I want my best friend to recognize the difference EI can make.  Because the impact of losing services after the slightest progress has been made could cause serious regression.  And nothing pains a parent more than seeing your child reach a milestone,  and then having your child's progress become stagnant.

For parents to receive a letter stating that their child's program is closing during Autism Awareness Month is beyond insulting.  It says that our government - does not care.  That their child is not worth it.  That their child is not entitled to a free and appropriate education.  That they might as well give up on their child.  Because government has given up on their children.

Maybe this petition won't make a difference.  But it's time to say - our children are worth it.  They are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education.  We will not give up.  And Early Intervention services is something worth fighting for.  We must fight for our children, until they are able to fight for themselves.

Sign the petition here - 

Thank you!

Will Talk for Books

The Boy loves Barnes & Nobles.  So yesterday after lunch at City Island we decide (at The Boy's request) to head to Co-Op City.

This Barnes & Nobles revamped the kids section and it's a pretty cool place to hang out. There's a whole Thomas the Train section.  A Leap Frog wall.  A Spongebob wall. A Crayola wall.  Over stimulating much?

As soon as we walk in, The Boy is flapping with excitement and even though I'm holding his hand, he's trying really hard to wriggle free.  

The Boy gravitates to all the books he loves (and has): The Cat in the Hat, Chica Chica Boom Boom, Dinosaurs Love Underpants. But I like to introduce new books.  Because seriously, how many times can one read Green Eggs and Ham.

And then we see this book - Mater's Treasure of Tall Tales.  And walking out of the store without it, seems impossible.  And it's all he can talk about while we're in the store. I decide to buy it and save it for his Easter basket. Foolishly I believe he will forget about me buying it. So to make sure he doesn't get to it - I leave it in the car. And as soon as we walk in the apartment...

The Boy: Mommy I want the Moon Mater book please.

Me:  I left that book at the store.

The Boy:  It's in the car.  We have to go to the car.  For the Moon Mater book.  It's in the bag.

Me: No. That book is in the store.

The Boy: Let's go to the store.  Let's go to the store to buy the book.  We have to buy Moon Mater book.

Me: Really?  Do you have money to buy it?

The Boy: Yes. I do.

Me: Where? Show me.

The Boy walks over to my purse and unzips it. 

The Boy:  It's right here - in your bag.  Let's go to the store and buy the Moon Mater book.

Do you realize how tempted I was to go back out to the car to give him the book? What will your kid talk for?        

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Big One

Yesterday was the day.  The one I've been preparing for since October.  The one I've been warned about since The Boy's diagnosis.  The mother of all meetings:  The Turning 5.  The first of many meetings with The Committee of Special Education.  The induction into "school age" 5 - 21.   I walked in nervous, but confident since I was with "M" The Boy's teacher and "G" - our EI ABA therapist.  I went in prepared with notes, specific goals and my copies of Part 200 (Student with Disabilities) and Part 201 (Procedural Safeguards for Students with Disabilities Subject to Discipline) and the  Advocates for Children - Turning 5: A Guide to Transition from Preschool Education to Kindergarten.
Didn't matter. 

We arrived at 1pm.  And the meeting started off nicely.  The "Committee" consisted of a Social Worker, a Special Education Teacher,  a Psychologist and a Parent Member .  The Social Worker began by saying we will discuss the needs for The Boy.  The Committee were so impressed by The Boy's cognitive skills they initially thought he was could placed in a typical kindergarten class or a CTT (Collaborative Team Teaching classroom. CTT classes have a mix of students in general education and special education, and each class has two teachers, one with special education certification.)

Then they read the rest of his evaluations and determined: No Way - off to District 75!  They agreed a typical environment would be too overstimulating for The Boy.  He needs a smaller classroom setting.  And his socialization skills hold him back.  Two keys things to remember:  Socialization and Sensory Processing hold The Boy back from progressing. 

That's when I suggested the District 75 school that I toured and believed was the most appropriate.  I stated I called  a few other schools - one didn't have an OT.  The Boy cannot function in a school without an Occupational Therapist on site. 
Psychologist: No - we can't make that recommendation.  The Placement Committee does that.  Once you are placed you will have to call the school and see if they have an OT.
Me: If The Placement Committee recommends a school that isn't appropriate for The Boy, how long will it take before another is recommended?  
Psychologist: I don't know.  (She got up with a piece of paper and ran out of the room.  Ten minutes later she returned.)  Yeah, I don't know.

Me: Well -  don't you have to make a recommendation by the end of June?
Psychologist: Anytime before the end of the year. 

Me: June 15 - appropriate placement needs to be made by June 15th.

Psychologist: That date can be pushed back, we're really backed up.

Moving on...

We proceed to The Boy's related services.  The Psychologist reviewed The Boy's current related services.  She went on to approve the related services he would receive in September: Speech, OT & PT.  

Psychologist: Are you okay with that uh, uh Miss uh...

Me: Lisa.

Psychologist: Sorry - Miss Lisa.  Are you okay with that?
M: The Boy should have 2 group sessions of speech and 1 individual.  He needs the group sessions for socialization.

After a discussion, The Committee actually agreed.  But in the end it had to be changed to 3 individual  sessions because the 'new system' wouldn't approve it 2 group and 1 individual.        
My team  stated that The Boy needed OT to address his multi-sensory needs.  M stated that he NEEDED OT.  M & G agreed that The Boy didn't need PT as much as he needed OT.  Whatever his PT delays are, can be addressed through more OT.  

Me:  Currently he receives outside OT  at a Sensory Gym.  His evaluations reflect that it is a service that needs to be continued.  

Psychologist:  Whatever school he goes to, they will often offer workshops to help the parent deal with the autistic youngster.  

Um...wait?  Workshops?  Who the hell said anything about a workshop.  And wait?  Why does she keep referring to the boy as "autistic"?

Me: He has no sense of danger.  He is easily distracted.  He cannot function without appropriately without OT.  His OT services at a sensory gym need to be continued. 

The Psychologist runs out of the room again.  Returns a few minutes later.   

Psychologist:  Whatever school he goes to, they will determine what his needs are.

Moving on to goals...

This is when the fun really begins!  Apparently, the districts are moving to this 'high tech' computerized system.  So this whole time, the Special Education is sitting at a computer.  What are the Social Worker and Parent Member doing?  Hmmm...oh yeah, that's right - not a god damn thing.  Seriously.

The Special Education Teacher starts reading through The Boy's goals. 

Special Education Teacher: Norrin will demonstrate improved sensory processing in order to be more attentive during school activities.  

What the hell that even mean?
G laughed out loud.  M looked confused. 

M: Did you read through the goals from his last IEP?  Most of those could be carried over. 

The Special Education Teacher asks M to come over and type out goals.  So now, M is sitting at the computer typing out The Boy's goals.  We continue reading through.  But I have goals of my own that I want to add.  And by this time, M has gotten up and the Special Education Teacher is back in the chair typing.  But then she asks me to type in my own goals. 
I start typing.  

Special Education Teacher:  Wow.  You're fast, want to come back next week?  (giggle giggle)

They manage to skim through the rest of the goals.  And the Psychologist, Parent Member, Social Worker and Special Education Teacher clustered around the commuter trying to figure out how to print a copy for a good 15 minutes.  Then the Special Education Teacher and Psychologist start talking in Spanish and I have no idea what they're saying.  
Me: I'd like to leave with a draft copy to review with my husband before I sign off.  

Psychologist: It needs to be finalized now.  Otherwise nothing will happen.  You can read it now and just sign.

Me: No - I'd like a draft copy to review at home.  

We went back and forth for a few minutes.  Did she really think I was that parent to be pressured to sign?    

Psychologist: Okay, take the draft.  But it's final just not really final.  So let your husband read it and just call me up so I can finalize it.  

Home girl wasn't even entertaining the fact that I would have any change to it.  HA!  She's funny.  And I pretty much walked out with my draft copy because it was 3:22 and the Friday before Spring break.  Otherwise, I probably would have been pressured to sign it. 

So after 2 hours, we walked out without an appropriate recommendation for a school placement.  Without the proper support.  Without appropriate goals.  And more importantly without a Behavioral Intervention Plan. The Social Worker stated that we were there to discuss the individual needs of my child.  However the Psychologist had everything written down 

And where was the woman who originally scheduled the meeting?  The one I left 3 voice mails for.  The woman I am certain was the one the Psychologist kept running out of the room to ask. She never showed up.  I saw her as she walked out of the building at 3:35 pm while I standing outside bewildered.

It was a meeting where I heard a lot of "I don't know" which for me translates to "I don't care enough to find out."  And in the real world - where people are held accountable - it doesn't work like that.  If you don't know about something someone is asking you about the correct is: I don't know but I'll find out.

But it's okay.  If they won't find out.  I will.

(I'll revise any mistakes later.  I'm getting worked up about this all over again.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Off We Go" book series by Avril Webster (book review, giveaway - CLOSED

Avril Webster's social story series, "Off We Go," published by  Woodbine House focus on everyday situations that children will eventually need to experience: going for a haircut, to the grocery store or to the dentist.  

Social stories may be used for children on the autism spectrum and/or other related disorders to walk a child through an unfamiliar situation. The purpose of a social story is to detail step by step a new experience.

Written in a clear and simple language, the illustrations are kid friendly and "uncluttered." Each series takes the child through a "predictable sequence."  Children with autism and/or other related disorders need to know what's coming next.  Webster's series provides the comfort of what's next without overwhelming the child with too much information.  

Webster offers suggestions on how the series may be used and encourages parents/caregivers to "change the text as you read aloud to reflect the language that you use in your home" and to "bring the book to the actual event."  The series, above all else, is a guide to help your child to cope with and successfully navigate a potentially stressful situation. I think it's a series that may be used by  parents, caregivers, therapists, teachers and siblings.

As the mother of a special needs child as well as "typically developing" children, Webster understands the importance of preparing before an outing.  Her books not only provide comfort, but they promote inclusion so that children may participate in day-to-day family activities.    

While The Boy is familiar with the sights and sounds of the supermarket.  He has yet to experience a haircut or the dentist.  I am confident that these books will help us through.     

Webster's series may be purchased on Woodbine House - and for the month of April for Autism Awareness month, all Autism titles are marked 25% off (online only).  But if you are feeling lucky - you can win this amazing series here!     

Enter this give-a-way up to 3 ways

1. Follow this blog; and/or
2. Follow me on twitter - @LaliQuin; and/or
3. “Like” the AutismWonderland Facebook Page.

Every time you enter one of the three ways above, you MUST post a comment. It is very important that you post a comment for each entry. Comments will be numbered in the order they are listed and a random number generator ( will be used to select the winner. If you combine entries into one post, you will only have one chance to win rather than up to three. Give-a-way is open to U.S. residents only.   

If you are already signed up for any of these, no problem. Just post a comment and you’re in the giveaway!

This giveaway will end Saturday, April 30th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced on Facebook & Twitter by Monday, May 1st.  I will contact the winner and you will have 24 hours to reply. 

Feel free to contact me at with any questions.

note:  A complimentary copy of the series was provided to me by Woodbine House.  The thoughts are my own and have not been influenced in any way.