Monday, September 30, 2013

Masquerade Cocktail Party Fundraiser Oct 16 | @plaitheatre #NYC



UPDATE: PLAI Theatre has CANCELLED this event due to lack of funds, ticket sales and donations. 


This past year, I have become involved with PLAI THEATRE (pronounced PLAY). This group is a theatre company that works with people with special needs of all ages.  Last year, PLAI THEATRE gave people of all ages the opportunity to find the theater artist within them. PLAI THEATRE has worked with community centers, social aids and Resource Centers to bring theatrical sessions to people with special needs. PLAI THEATRE has brought all of this programming free to the children, teens and adults that seldom have the chance to explore their creative potential.

Today, I am asking you to help support PLAI THEATRE's upcoming programming which includes their fall theatre production with their Adult Ensemble, The Royal Players.  The Royal Players have been creating and rehearsing their original performance piece since April and are ready to share their hard work, thoughts and creativity with their friends, families and community members. They are also beginning a Teen Ensemble in Brooklyn with a full production in January.  PLAI THEATRE is also finalizing plans for an additional group for Adults in the Bronx as well as continuing our collaboration with Gigi’s Playhouse, providing free theatre sessions for children with Down Syndrome. 

Today, I am asking you to make a donation towards their upcoming programming.

The Adults are so excited about their production that they have created their own promotional video. Please enjoy their film on our website at www.plai-theatre.org.

As many of you know The Boy was diagnosed with autism 5 years ago. One of the hardest things was learning that he had no imaginative play skills. We’ve had to teach him how to pretend and it’s a skill we continue to work on.  
When you have a child with special needs finding appropriate, engaging and affordable activities can be a challenge. That’s why PLAI THEATRE is so special. The people who run the program truly get it. And what I love most about PLAI is that it focuses on building imagination through performance. Whenever The Boy participates in PLAI he has such a great time (he loves the puppets) and I am grateful such a program exists.

Please help PLAI THEATRE raise $9,000 by October 31 through online donations or attending their Masquerade Cocktail Party on October 16th.  PLAI THEATRE hopes to enable their performers with ABLE imaginations reach their goals and perform.  Every dollar helps brighten the spotlight on each performer.

The Royal Masquerade!
Hors d'oeuvres will be served as well as wine, beer and soft drinks. Tickets are $30 online and $40 at the door.
WhenWednesday, October 16
6:30pm - 8:30pm |  performance by the Royal Players will be performed at 7:30pm.

LocationThe Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 East 3rd Street
New York NY 10009




Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Parent's Guide to Special Education in New York City


If you live you in New York City and have a child with special needs A Parents Guide to Special Education in New York City and the Metropolitan Area by Laurie Dubos and Jana Fromer will be your bible. Especially if you are going through the Turning 5 process. I purchased this book more than three years ago and it's one I still go back to again and again. And it's one that I always recommend to parents.

So what's so great about this book? Well...it's broken up into 4 parts. Pay attention, these parts are important.

Part I provides an overview of special education in New York City. Talks about the children entering kindergarten and how they may be identified. It goes through the evaluation and referral process and the types of evaluations that are needed when applying to private schools. It also explains the difference between a Psychoeducational and a Neuropsychological. It breaks down the IEP and explains parents rights. 

Part II talks all about private school placement and the application process.

Part III is all about the schools. It provides all the key factors of the school - whether it's graded or ungraded, if it's 10 or 12 months, what kind of classifications they accept, what related services they offer and other critical information. If you don't know how to find a school - this is a great place to begin.

Part IV provides local resources: evaluation centers, therapists, medical professionals, websites and more.

A Parent's Guide to Special Education in New York City is a must have for parents and even for special education administrators and teachers.   

For more on the Turning 5 Process check out my new weekly series Turning 5 Tuesdays #T5Tue click HERE.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

3 Years Already?


Three years ago, I hit publish on this post. I threw together created this blog on a whim as part of a graduate school class assignment. There was no real thought process behind it. I didn't think about creating a brand or starting a business. I didn't know about SEO or HTML (confession: I still really don't), I had a Twitter account that I never used because I thought Tweeting was stupid (I know, I know...) and I didn't even know that blogging was a real thing. 

Last week, I attended the LATISM conference (in my hometown of NYC) and was recognized - for the 2nd year in a row - as a Top Bloguera. Three years ago, I had know idea that there was this whole world of Latina bloggers waiting to welcome me and accept me as one of their own.  

When I think about where I was then and where I am now...DAMN! I've come a long way. In three years I went from wanting to be a writer, to being a writer. A real writer. I graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts degree and used this blog as my thesis. And I believe that one day, it will be published.

There are so many people in my life who don't get what I do. And there are some people who sort of smirk and roll their eyes when I tell them I write a blog. 

But in these last three years, I don't think I've ever worked as hard. Blogging is hard work. And it's the most rewarding work I've ever done.

Three years ago, I started this blog because I was in the midst of a crisis - I didn't know it then. (That's a whole other blog post...coming soon.) I had fallen down this rabbit-hole and was trying to claw my way out. The more I write, the more years go by with The Boy and the more I learn about autism, I feel less and less like Alice.


Thank you all so much for your support, your words and your advice. I couldn't have gotten this far in my journey without you. 

***

Learn More About Us:
Lisa Trivia: If you follow me on Twitter my handle is @LaliQuin. I created it before the blog. I tried changing it but AutismWonderland is 1 letter too long and I'm too lazy to start over or think of another handle. So why LaliQuin? Many of close friends call me Lili or Lali and Quin is the first 4 letters of my maiden name. Hence LaliQuin


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jodi Benson aka The Little Mermaid (OMG - I MET HER!) #FindYourVoice

Disclaimer: I was invited to a Disney Q&A Event with Jodi Benson and provided with a complimentary Blu-Ray DVD of The Little Mermaid. All opinions (and gushing over Jodi Benson) are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 



Earlier this week I attended a Q&A with the Jodi Benson - the voice of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. It was an afterwork event and usually I have to pass on these events but this was an opportunity to meet Jodi Benson. And I have to go. 

I showed up more than an hour late and out of breath. (I literally ran out of my office to the Empire Hotel.) But Jodi greeted me and asked my name. She was talking about her childhood dream of being on Broadway, even though she grew in Illinois and had never seen a Broadway show. Jodi confessed that she never wanted to be rich or famous, she simply wanted to be a working actress. 

I remember going to see The Little Mermaid, I wasn't a little girl - I was 13 and it was the first movie I took my little sister to. I remember sitting in the theatre and just being mesmerized by Ariel's voice and the story. As a 13 year old girl, the story was totally relatable...I mean, except for the fact that I was a human, not a mermaid but you know what I mean. And one of my favorite Disney songs is "Part of your world." 

The Boy hasn't seen The Little Mermaid yet and I haven't seen it in years. I asked Jodi how/if it could appeal to boys. She said the action scenes were fun for boys, as well Ursula, the Sea Witch and the underwater world.

After the Q&A, Jodi autographed copies of The Little Mermaid Golden Book. I was torn whether I should have the book signed to me or The Boy. In the end, I had her dedicate the book to The Boy.

Then Jodi asked me about The Boy and we started talking about autism and parenting. She asked questions and was genuinely interested. I was moved by her sincerity and concern. I had always loved the voice of Ariel but after meeting Jodi Benson, I admire her as a person.

I can't wait to sit down and watch The Little Mermaid with The Boy. The movie means so much more to me now and I want him to love it as much as I do.

Are you a fan of The Little Mermaid? What's your favorite scene? 


With its unforgettable characters and thrilling adventures, The Little Mermaid has been spectacularly transformed for the first time on Blu-ray with digitally restored picture and brilliant high-definition sound! The Little Mermaid will be in stores on October 1st, 2013.        

Disclaimer: I was invited to a Disney Q&A Event with Jodi Benson and provided with a complimentary Blu-Ray + DVD combo of The Little Mermaid. All opinions (and gushing over Jodi Benson) are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Finding The Appropriate School When Your Kid Has Autism #T5Tue

It's TURNING 5 Tuesday - did you miss the first post? Catch up HERE




My search for the "appropriate" school placement began in the fall of 2010 - the same time I started this blog. The Boy was going to start kindergarten in September 2011 and I wanted to weigh all the options. I wanted time. 

If you have  child with special needs who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2014 - NOW is the time to start the process

That's right - a whole year. Because it's a long process. So where do you start? I would suggest starting with schools. In New York City - there's a lot of school. Well, not a lot, but enough to keep you busy.

Because you'll need to tour. Gather paperwork (and possibly evidence). Apply. Wait. Cross your fingers, light a candle, say a prayer. And if your kid gets in...be prepared to prove to the Department of Education that it's the most appropriate.

Let me back up...because I can hear all the questions you're yelling at the computer. 

What schools should I tour?  
ALL of them. Seriously. If not all, then as many as you can. Public, private and even the ones you can't afford. Do your research. Ask questions. Browse school websites.

Where do I find special needs schools?
Believe it or not, there are a few ways to find schools that provide special needs services. I started with A Parent's Guide to Special Education in New York City - it really helped. I read through the book, took notes and did further research. 

Then, I attended a special needs school fair at the JCC in Manhattan. This year, it's being held on Thursday, October 24, 2013. You can register for the event - HERE. At the fair, I was able to schedule an appointment to tour, speak to school representatives and get applications. And it was a good way to weed out the schools I knew wouldn't work for The Boy. 

But the best way to find out about schools is to talk to other parents who've been there, done that. If you've never been to a support group - now would be the time to go. For Bronx parents - check out the Bronx Parents Autism Network. There's a meeting on October 8th. Don't be shy about asking parents where their children go to school. 


What about the local public school?
Visit your zone school, even if you know it's not appropriate for your child - just go to say that you did. Visit the DOE website. Make an appointment to tour local District 75 schools. And check out other special education programs like the ASD Nest Program or ASD Horizon program. Visit the NYC Resources page for more information - HERE.

What paperwork do I need? What do I include in the application? 
Most school applications require a recent evaluation (more on that next week) as well as past evaluations. Some applications will ask current teachers to fill out some sections. Applications can be 3 - 15 pages long (yes, I'm serious) and most have a fee (save your money) and a deadline of when to apply. Many schools will like the application before the Christmas break. 

I can feel your head spinning so I'll stop here. Remember the Turning 5 process is a lengthy process and I want to help. There will be more information regarding schools and the application process. So check back every Tuesday. 

And don't forget - there's a FREE Turning 5 Talk on 9/25 and 10/16 - click HERE for more details.    


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Immigration Story: I Am Not an Immigrant, I Do Not Look American

My parents were born in Puerto Rico in the 1940s. For those that don't know, Puerto Rico is a small island in the Caribbean. The island became a United States territory in 1917 and Puerto Ricans became United States citizens.  


My parents arrived in New York in the late 1950s (obviously, not together - they were children and they hadn't met yet). They arrived by plane without passports; they arrived as United States Citizens. My mother spent her early years in downtown Manhattan (Chelsea), my father in The South Bronx.  

I was born on September 18th in Bellevue Hospital. If you know anything about Bellevue, it probably explains a lot about me. (That's NYC humor...) My mother likes to tell the story of how I was almost born in a New York City cab. It was the age before cell phones and beepers. My father was at work and couldn't be notified that his second child was about to be born. 

By definition, we are not immigrants. We are American.

But we don't look American. Not by some American standards. Our hair, eyes and skin is too dark. Our names are too long. Our clothes are too colorful. Our language is too loud. And our food has too much saz√≥n.

I am not an immigrant but so often I feel like a foreigner in my own country. 

And there are times when I don't know where I fit in. 

I may not have a true understanding of the immigrant experience. But I understand the immigrant plight. The want for more. The need to do better. The desire to keep going even when society seems against you. The dream of opportunity. 

This country was built by immigrants. It was built on a dream - millions of them.

It's what I love about America. It's the land of opportunity. And New York - it's a city of bright lights and big dreams.  

No matter what country we are from, no matter what language we speak, no matter what color our skin - we all have a dreamAnd we should all have the right to pursue them. 

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." -
Norman Rockwell painting in United Nations

***
  
I am honored to have been recognized by LATISM as a Top Bloguera for the 2nd year in a row. Today the Top 100 2013 Blogueras visited the United Nations to discuss immigration issues. We were encouraged to share our immigration story. And later this week, we will attend the Latism13 Conference.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is Your Special Needs Child Turning Five? #T5Tue

When I started this blog three years ago, I was going through the Turning 5 process. And - not to scare you - it was probably the most stressful two years of my life. The first year, searching for an appropriate placement and the kindergarten year realizing it was a mistake and trying to get The Boy out.

I wanted to write about our experience but Turning 5 isn't something that can be covered in a blog post or two. So I thought I'd start a new series on the blog - Turning 5 Tuesday [#T5Tue]. I'll share tips, resources, information seminars and our personal experience. If you have a specific question, leave it in the comments section and I'll try to answer it. 



If you have  child with special needs who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2014 - NOW is the time to start the process.

And where should you start? Well if you're in New York City - you should start with talking to a Special Education advisor and Special Needs Advocate. You probably have a lot of questions.     

What kind of elementary program will be right for my child? What are our rights and options?

Educate yourself! Come hear a free presentation with Sarah Birnbaum (Parent Advocate and Special Education Advisor, New York Special Needs Support) on how to:

  • Learn about educational options, public and private
  • Obtain the best evaluations and guidance
  • Find an appropriate kindergarten program
  • Understand your legal rights
  • Get through the Turning 5 process and create an IEP

Date: Wednesday, September 25 
6:00-8:00pm

Location: Bankstreet College of Education

610 West 112th Street, main floor auditorium


Date: Wednesday, October 16 
6:00-8:00pm

Location: The SMILE Center

171 Madison Avenue, 5th floor

Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 TV Shows I Can't Wait To Watch This Fall

It's Sunday night and I'm watching The Husband watch Football. There's nothing new on TV that I care to watch. I mean, my go to channels are Food Network and HGTV but I don't really cook and we live in an apartment so...there's only so much of that you can watch. 

And I don't know about you all, but I'm ready for some Fall TV. I've been ready for weeks if you must know and here are my Top 10 TV shows I can't wait to watch this fall. I am only talking about shows that I know and love. Honestly at this point, I can't commit to watching a new show. 



How I Met Your Mother. It's one of the few shows The Husband and I enjoy watching together. And I don't know about you but I'm so ready for Ted to meet the "Mother." It's time. It's actually a few seasons over due but whatever. New season begins Monday 9/23 on CBS.

Law and Order: SVU. Because what's going to happen to OLIVIA! I don't think I can handle it. New season begins on Wednesday 9/25 on NBC.



Nashville. You know what...don't judge me. I like this show. A lot. It's a captivating storyline and the singing/song writing is spectacular. If you haven't gotten into this show by now. You should. There's time to catch up. You won't be sorry. New season begins on Wednesday 9/25 on ABC. 


Modern Family. I have a serious girl crush on Sophia Vergara. And the show is funny as sh*t. And it's a another show The Husband and I enjoy watching together. I suspect he may like Sophia too. New Season begins Wednesday, 9/25 on ABC.   

Glee. When Cory Monteith (Finn) died earlier this summer, I cried. And as much as I can't wait for the new season to start, it's going to be hard to watch without Finn. I love Glee for so many reasons. But I love it because it reminds me so much of high school...well not my high school but the high school I would have liked to attend. And just between us - I like singing along to the songs that they cover. Sometimes I even get up and dance. I'm just kidding. I don't really dance...or do I? You'll never know. New season begins on Thursday 9/26 on Fox.

Big Bang Theory.
Sheldon. Period. New season begins on Thursday, 9/26 on CBS.


Parenthood. Sigh...I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I really really do. I love some of the characters and some of the characters annoy the crap out of me. And I love that there's a character on the show with a form of autism but I kind dislike how they handle it. New season begins on Thursday, 9/26 on NBC. 


Once. I cannot stop talking about this show. It's so good! If you love fairy tales, you'll love this spin on all of your favorite stories and characters. What I really appreciate about this show is seeing a different aspect of the tales I grew up with. Everyone has a backstory, Once, not only explores each characters backstory but it takes them to a whole new level. New season begins on Sunday 9/29 on ABC.


The Walking Dead. And this is the show that just pisses me off. I mean, I watch this show and I am literally yelling at the TV screen. HOW COULD THEY BE SO STUPID!? And Andrea...I was so happy when they killed her off the show. I was over her. But you know who I live for on this show? Daryl (Norman Reedus) - he's one of my favorite characters on the show and I can't to see what happens this season. New season begins on Sunday, 10/13 on AMC. 


Downton Abbey. I know, it's not fall TV. But I am having serious Downtown Abbey withdrawal. I've started watching it from the beginning. I won't go on anymore...just watch the trailer for the upcoming season. New season begins on Sunday 1/5/14 on PBS. 




What shows can't you wait for? Am I missing out on some great TV watching? Let me know...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Out With The Old

It's Saturday and I'm cleaning out closets and trying to organize. Trying because even though I know it must get done, it's difficult. 

I started with my closet and I don't know why I have such a hard time letting go of clothes that no longer fit. Clothes that have seen better days, clothes that no matter what happens or how much weight I lose I cannot see myself wearing ever again.

 As I was sorting through a bin of clothes, I came across two pairs of maternity jeans - one pair still had the tags. I bought them during my second pregnancy. And then after I lost the baby, I didn't have the heart to give the jeans away. I was hoping that I'd need them again. That was three years ago. I haven't needed them. They've just been taking up space. And they remind me of a time when I was hopeful.

I decided it was time to let them go.

And the maternity jeans that I never got a chance to wear was put in the pile of size 4s. Because chances are, I'll never be a size 4 again. And I'll probably never be pregnant again. I have't lost hope. I'm trying to be realistic. And I'm okay with that. 

I threw away shoes that hurt my feet. Shoes that had collected too much dust. And I tossed out dresses that had seen exciting Saturday nights. My Saturday nights are spent at home or with The Boy - those dresses were just taking up space.   

And then it was time for The Boy's room.

Last night The Husband went to Ikea to buy The Boy a new desk. It was time. Long over due, if you want to know the truth. 

Today The Husband assembled The Boy's new desk. I folded The Boy's table and chairs. We bought them five years ago, shortly after The By was diagnosed with autism. The ABA therapist said she needed a table and chairs to work.

Folding up that table and chairs was tough. I don't know why but it was. Well, I know why. Back then we believed that if we did everything the therapist suggested, The Boy would be okay. He'd be "fixed." Today I folded them up knowing - and accepting - that there's no quick fix for autism. There's no coat of paint to calm or a table and chairs to cure. I know that now. I'm okay with that. I have accepted that.

But that doesn't mean, it doesn't hurt. And it doesn't mean I've lost hope.  

Over the last five years I've watched The Boy's progress with awe. It was at that table, that I heard The Boy say his first word and complete his first puzzle. I can't even count the hours of time spent at that table. It was at that table that I got my first glimpse of hope. 

But The Boy is going to be eight in a few months. He's too big for that table. It's time for us to move on. And I look forward to all the new things The Boy will accomplish at his new desk.

It is time for a new beginning. For The Boy and for me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating National Breakfast Month {Autism Style} Week 2

September is National Breakfast Month, I'd thought I'd try something different on the blog and share some of our favorite breakfast recipes. 

We don't have The Boy on the GF/CF diet but sometimes we like to go with a raw diet you know? 

Fruit & Nuts
Rinse your favorite fruit and serve with your nut of choice. 
Great for a Sunday morning, when you're on the go or when you're too tired to think of anything else.




And in case you missed it...Celebrating National Breakfast Month {Autism Style} Week 1

Come on back next week to see what's for breakfast. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering The World Trade Center

It's been twelve years since the day that changed New York City, our country, our world forever.

It's been twelve years and yet I remember that day so clearly, like it was yesterday.

Today, in addition to honoring all the lives that were lost, I'd like to remember the beauty of the World Trade Center.




Tuesday, September 10, 2013

{I'm Speaking at #Blogalicious5} Spreading a Message, Sharing a Mission: A Conversation About Awareness Blogging


For the last few years, I've heard great things about the Blogalicious Conference. And this year not only do I get to go, but I'm also speaking on a panel. I am so excited about this conference because it's an opportunity to connect with friends and to meet new bloggers.

I am especially excited to meet Maggie Mason (Mightygirl.com) - she's one of the Blogalicious All Star Keynote speakers. I just read her book, "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog" and am so inspired. If you love blogging like I do - you'll want a copy of her book.

I'm nervous about leaving The Boy for a few days - I haven't left him since LATISM12 where I got stranded in Texas. But I'm so excited to be going to Atlanta - I've never been. And I'm really eager to learn more about blogging, writing and building my brand.

Will YOU be at Blogalicious 5 - if so, I would love to say HI!

So...yeah, back to I'm speaking on a panel. Here's the info - hope you can make it :)

Spreading a Message, Sharing a Mission: 
A Conversation About Awareness Blogging

Friday, October 4 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Blogging about difficult topics or heavy issues carries a unique set of considerations and approaches. This panel of experienced bloggers and cause brand representatives will cover techniques on how to draw and keep an audience while covering weighty issues on your media platforms. Discussion will include: 
  • The importance of tone and how you can vary it from post to post while still maintaining the seriousness of the issue; 
  • The power and importance of an authentic voice as the creator of your content; Making your content and delivery different from others who cover the same subject; 
  • Building awareness through networking on and off line; 
  • Developing partnerships that fit your brand and can help spread your message; and
  • Promoting your message on and off line.

For more panel information (including the other amazing female panel speakers): http://sched.co/143cdcz

To view full agenda: http://blogaliciousfive.sched.org


Monday, September 9, 2013

The First Day of School and Goals for a New School Year


"Do I have school today?" The Boy asked as soon as his eyes opened. It's the same question he's asked every single day for the last 4 weeks. 

"Oh yes you do!" I may have said this with much more enthusiasm than necessary.  

The Boy didn't cry or protest. I prompted him through his morning routine. When I asked him to put on his socks and shoes he did so independently. Okay, he put on one sock and one shoe. But he did it on his own.

And when the bus came, he stepped right on without looking back and took the first free seat. 

It's the 5th of his short life being put on a bus to school. His 2nd year at this school. If The Boy were a 'typical' kid he'd be heading to 2nd grade. Instead, he'll go back to the same classroom with 5 of his peers, a teacher and 2 assistants. It's comforting to know he'll be with the same teacher and most of the same students (their ages ranging from 6-8 years old). 

And because of The Boy's 'severe cognitive disability', he cannot participate in the standardized assessment. Which means, no additional pressure. (I hated standardized tests and assessments as a kid.) Some of The Boy's goals for the year include:

  • verbal social interactions with peers
  • following a variety of 2 step commands containing basic and linguistic concepts
  • comprehension and responding to WH questions 
  • reading a passage and answering multiple choice and short answer questions
  • listening to the teacher read a story and answering 5 WH questions
  • attending to a task without distraction for 5 minutes 
  • decrease self-stimulatory behaviors
  • display appropriate coping skills to deal with changes or disappointment 
  • writing sentences using proper sentence structure and grammer
  • solving 2 digit addition and subtraction problems with regrouping and;
  • engaging in cooperative play skills.


It may not have been the place I imagined he'd be, but it's the right place for him. And I'm grateful that after two long years of searching, such a school exists. They understand him. They care about him. They know how to teach him. The Boy's learning and he's happy. That's the most important thing.

What goals are your kids working on this year? 



First days pics from years past

Sunday, September 8, 2013

AW Sunday Review | The Sensory Child Gets Organized

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of  The Sensory Child Gets Organized  for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 



Tomorrow is the first day of school for The Boy. It's time to get back into a routine and try to provide some kind of organization. So when approached to review The Sensory Child Gets Organized by Carolyn Dalgliesh, I jumped on the opportunity.

The book provides a clear sense of what a "sensory child" looks like and helps parents assess and understand how their child learns best. Through objective observation and journaling behaviors, parents can determine their child's learning preference: Visual, Auditory or Tactile.     

Once a parent understands their child's learning style, organization can begin. Dalgliesh breaks down how to design a room based on your child. She encourages parents to let go of the "specific vision of how our child's room should look based on a magazine picture" and to create a room tailored to meet the child's specific needs. 

The section on "Sensory Organizing and Storage Systems for the Bedroom" was especially helpful. I've written how I've organized The Boy's room but it needs to be maintained and obviously there's always room for improvement.

The other chapter that will be useful for us is "Connect with Your Child." In this section, Dalgliesh shares tips on creating structure and routines in the home. This is something that we constantly struggle with. Before I was a mom, I didn't follow a routine - it's just hard for me and even harder for The Husband. However, I've learned that The Boy thrives on structure. And we need to do a better job of providing it for him. (I think many parents will benefit from The Homework Plan.)         

What I really love about this book is that it goes beyond organization within the home. The last chapters of The Sensory Child Gets Organized focus on helping your sensory child tackle the great wide world. 

The Sensory Child Gets Organized is an excellent resource for parents and provides real solutions and suggestions that any family can follow.


About Carolyn DalglieshCarolyn founded Systems for Sensory Kids, LLC, a leading edge organizing model that bridges the gap between clinical support and practical in-home solutions for rigid, anxious, and distracted kids. In addition to her sensory organizing work with families, she has published numerous articles and presents regularly at conferences for parents, caregivers, and educators.

The Sensory Child Gets Organized is available on paperback and Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of  The Sensory Child Gets Organized  for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.     

Saturday, September 7, 2013

4 Miles of Hope in Central Park: I Ran My 1st #NYRR Race



Today we ran our first race as a family. We've been members of the New York Road Runners club for years but really only The Husband runs. The Boy ran his first kids race earlier this year but me? I've never run a race. 

This wasn't just any race. This was the 1st New York Road Runners Autism Speaks Race. The Husband said I had to do it. Those were his exact words: You have to do this

Now I'm not the kind of woman to feel obligated to "have to do" anything, especially if my husband tells me. But this I knew I had to do.

I'm not a runner. I've never run four miles before. But it motivated me to go to the gym and really hit the treadmill. I got up to two miles. The most I've ever done.

Today I ran four. Okay, okay...I walked most of it. But I did it.

PROOF!
By mile 2, I was done. The Husband and his cousin had finished their race. They were waiting for me at the finish line. But my friend (and skilled runner) Rosa talked me through the whole 4 miles, encouraging me the whole time to keep going. I am so grateful. Had she not been with me, I really would have quit.
Rosa: Come on Lisa! You're almost there. We gotta hurry up or else we'll miss Norrin's race.
Me: I've seen him run before. (Towards the end, not even my kid could motivate me.)    
I didn't think anyone could be so chipper while running up and down the hills of Central Park. But Rosa, she was pretty chipper. Even while I was complaining and cursing The Husband for making me sign up to run 4 miles.   
Rosa aka "Coach Cookies" got me through it! Thank YOU! 

It was such a beautiful day in Central Park, the perfect day to spend with family and good friends. I feel extremely lucky that our friends came out to run in support of autism. They not only cheered me on but they cheered The Boy on.  

The Family That Runs Together Stays Together.
With "Uncle Julio," Rosa,  The Husband and The Boy
And then it was The Boy's turn. He did such an awesome waiting his turn and following the directions. He had his moments but all in all - he did great. I'm proud. This race was longer than the last. And I ran along beside him (that was the stretch that did me in). 


The Boy was so happy with his ribbon.
I didn't think I could do it. But The Husband believed I could. Belief is what keeps our little family going. Because we believe, we can never lose hope. 


And maybe, just maybe, I'll run again.