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S.M.A.A.R.T.Moms DON'T Just Roar....
WE ROAR , FLAP, AND JUMP!

Join Me @ The Autism Support Network

Join Me at The Autism Support Network!

Friday, November 19, 2010

"An Autism Hello Book? " Video: S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom's November Online "Mommy Time-Out" Video: Altering Autism Behavior "The Hello Book"

                                                                                      Click on The Hello Book
                                                                                         Below to Watch Video 

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Gathering@ 2010' Zoo Boo Water Ball Bash Video & Pictures!" : Mini-Moments brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom

2010' Halloween Zoo Boo Bash! Starring Batman BooBear in a Bubble:) Truly the Highlight of his day!

Dustin Having A Ball in A Bubble (LOL)
"Click on Batman to Watch Boobear Video"

A Very "Calm" Batman Ready to Dine-In At McDonalds with Robin Mommy:)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Haircuts & Altering Autism Behavior Videos" : S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom's October Online "Mommy Time-Out" Videos 1 - 4



Altering Autism Behavior "HaircutsVideo     (Make sure you watch all ( 4 ) Videos ( Parts 1-4 )


        Click On Pic Below / Intro Video/ Part One:       



                         Click On Pic Below / Before Video/Part Two:  


  Click On Pic Below / Intro After Video /Part Three: 

                    

                           Click on Pic Below / Final  Video/Part Four:

                     
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Autism? Are you a S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom?  "Strong Mothers Altering Autism's Reality Together"
My son is fourteen years old and of course becoming a young man. I knew this day would come however,
I don't think I was expecting to find a huge lack of resource when it comes to the behaviors that come with autism.
That resource would be other mothers with children,teens, or even adults that have autism. So, I decided to create a different kind of Support Group for those moms out there who feel how I do. S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom is held at random coffee shops once a month. And no I don't charge ANY cost. I don't believe one should pay for a most needed support. On my "A Way Through Autism" journal/site I have posted (also to the right) where the "Mommy Time-Out" gathering will be each month. If you add yourself as a follower of S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom you will  automatically get updates of new entries/videos, autism activities I attend, and of course when the next Mommy Time-Out is. Again my goal is to finally seek out those moms walking in my shoes. Mommy Time-Outs are held during a time when our kids are in school so no need for looking for a babysitter. Just bring some change for a coffee and donut and of course yourself. This a chance  to express your helpful ideas/ issues you may being having with your autistic loved one. If you're not the type of person who is used to thinking outside the box; you will be after joining us:) Oh, yes I forgot to mention. If you attend ( 3 ) Mommy Time-Outs I'll give you FREE ( 1 ) S.M.A.A.R.T. Mom t-shirt that I designed. Consider this a gift from me to you reminding you that you are a part of something special and that you're never alone. Please note ( 1 ) shirt per mom. Just to note quickly, November's Mommy Time-Out is on a day for local counties to Lake that will be held on a day your kids are IN school. I'm so sorry I didn't realize the date was not for all moms. To the moms that wanted to be here; please try and see me in November. If I'm not local to you; it doesn't mean I'm not there for you. So for those S.M.A.A.R.T. Moms  I'm creating monthly video of before and after examples of ways you CAN Alter autism behaviors. I hope they will be helpful to you if not inspirational at the least. Stay Strong . You're Not Alone. I'm always here for you.
Angela:)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Special Olympics 2010' Bowling Pictures" : brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom

Hope you enjoy the photos:) To hear more about our day....
Read the post before this one or "Click" on the "Dustin Enters Another (county)Special Olympics" link to the Right>>>>
Oh Yeah! Did I mention that Boo Bear's Score was  "111"  ! Awesome:)!



STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Special Olympics Event Short Story" :Dustin Enters Another (County)

Well I'm back! Dustin's surgery went wonderful! AND as it turns out; the doctor ended up NOT having to put tubes back in either ear. Great News!You must have been thinking of us:) Today I just had to add to the new experience I had with Boo Bear this year at Special Olympics (county games; not state). This isn't our first experience in Special Olympics ;"SP". However it was for the unbelievable behavior I actually had to endure. Everything was going so well even in spite of how LOUD it was. You see this event was held at the Bowling Lanes. Now imagine a very Packed building full of Families, Coaches,etc. I know these type of places are extremely difficult for Boo Bear; but anyone who has come to know me....well, Dustin and I try our best to experience and get through it the best we can. When things get to be too much; and that's usally easy to figure out; WE LEAVE. Well this was going to be a two hour event. I was uncertain how Dustin would do, but I had to try. So I packed a bag with any and everything I could think of to help calm him if I needed to. I even let him take his favorite Looney tunes  and his Nick Jr Bumper drawings he did. Anyway, very shortly after I went down to where we sit to bowl. I was approached by I guess one of the "other schools" in charge people. Without even looking to see if I had a Coach Ribbon (Which Allows me to stay with Dustin to help him) She told me I had to leave that area and sit where I'm supposed to. I showed her my Coach Ribbon; it seemed to make her a bit annoyed? O.K. that was odd I thought. Kind of rude even. But I shrugged it off. Well again very shortly after the game starts I'm told by a timid young woman that she was instructed to tell me that I couldn't help Dustin with the handicap ramp by the same woman who was rude to me before. I said, "Excuse Me?" At this point I just smiled and said ;"I apprecaite you passing on instructions; but I'm sure the woman who told you to talk to me can come see me herself. Thank You for letting me know though, Sweetie:)" Again trying not to let this woman bother me for GOD only knows what reason! I took a deep breath and remembered ....I'm here for Dustin. This is his day and I'm not missing it. Nope......believe it or not again I was approached by this woman. At this point she TELLS me I CAN'T move the ramp for Boo Bear and that other parents are getting very upset with me! (To Note: I was already given the o.k. by our school that I could help Dustin because he was not going on to state s.o.'s) She then Tells me that these parents have been doing this for years and that there are parents here that are very competetive and want their child to go on to State Special Olympics! At first I was just taken back with the unbelievable behavior I was seeing first hand. But after her basically scolding me in front of All of the parents I had allegidly T-ed off; well I wasn't going to take it any more. So considering it was a loud place I spoke up and TOLD her with a Smile but very firmly," I am a Parent of a child with Autism and my son and I have every right to be here just like your other parents. This isn't our first time participating in a Special Olympics event. If your parents have a problem with me helping my son move his ramp;if they feel it's unfare.....By all means have them come help their child with his/her ramp too. As for my child affecting their child's chance to go to State S.0's .....I don't understand what the problem is . My son can only handle County S.0's. So he isn't a threat to anyone's childwho is wanting to go to State S.0's. I think it's wonderful that there are parents who can do that. However, if these are the same parents that are here today with you expressing issues they have with me; well I think it's real sad that they feel that way. I brought my son to Special Olympics because of what I read on their website. Maybe I should have suggested for them to re-read what caught my eye at the Special Olympics web site.  (This from their "ABOUT" Tab. Scroll down to the Families section.This is what caught my eye.)

 http://www.specialolympicsflorida.org/about-overview/about-special-olympics-florida.html

If they would have scrolled down to Families; I think it would have summed things up. I instead said to her; " Apparently I'm not here for the same reasons everyone else is here for. I wanted to give  my son the opportunity to experience has much as he can . Every Child here in this Alley has some type of disability; however, some of these disabilities make "certain enviroments" very hard to endure for some of these kids; such as the ones here with autism. I will not have you or other parents here make us feel un-welcomed. I brought my son here to show him that He Can Do This, to See and Learn Good Sportsmanship, Compassion for others and what their daily lives must be like ,and  Friendship with people who may be looking for someone that can relate with us." She then replied that her and the parents are there for the same reasons.It was then that  I summed the conversation up with," Well if this is true, then why is it that I find myself cheering, rooting on, and praising ALL of the kids. It doesn't matter to me what team each child is on or what school they represent. These kids ONLY want to bowl a pin down and how many they get; it doens't matter. They just want to have FUN. Now if you will excuse me. I'm here to make new memories with my son and I'm done with people such as yourself taking that away from me. Your're wasting your time and mine." At that point I guess she realized that she was getting no where with me and walked away flustered. But she left me alone the remaining time we were there. Thank God!I must admit after Boo Bear and I left and headed to McD's for lunch it did cross my mind to never participate in Special Olympics in the future. But then I thought to myself.....Are you CRAZY?! First of all I don't walk away from ANYTHING! And as I ordered our lunch the cashier made a comment about the shirt I was wearing. She said she just LOVED it! It Read: "I'm a Mom with a Black Belt in Autism and I Have Strengths you can't imagine!" It was then I remembered that I was a Strong Woman with Beliefs I will not back down on. So with a Smile. I will bring Boo Bear back to Special Olympics for the next event he is offered. I love him with All My Heart and I will do this for HIM. I guess if I have any unexpected encounters again ; I hope their prepared for me to Smile back because that's my style. I refuse to behave on their unacceptable level. Besides that, I know their are wonderful people that do enjoy Dustin and I joining the S.O. events. We've been so blessed with an ENTIRE STAFF of people at my son's school. And I won't mention names, but I'm sure you know who I'm talking about.....Ms.A , Ms. B, and My Always Smiling Greeter at the school.  I just want to tell you How Wonderful I think you are! Between being there for us at the school and at the Special Olympic events.......HATS OFF TO YOU THREE AMAZING WOMEN!! Your Hearts Truly Warm Ours:)  We Appreciate you taking time for us and all of the other children you've been there for as well. We look forward to the next event:) In the mean time check out my next entry. I've posted some great photos from our Bowling event.(I did Salvage some Special Moments:)(LOL) Out of two games....I did catch Boo Bear's ONE Strike! Way To Go Boo Bear!! YOU ARE SOOOO AWESOME!

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Autism & a Unique Way to Teach Video" ;. Check out Think-It-Through Tiles. Brought to you by S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom

I would try to explain how this works, but showing you is so much better. Below is a link to this product if you would like to get this for someone you know who has a child/teen with Autism.

http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/esuite/control/category?PURCHASE_STATE=STANDARD&category_id=S_Age_SchoolYears&VIEW_SIZE=15&VIEW_INDEX=1&style=red

There are many books to choose from and a nice range of levels. Plus every booklet can be used with the Tiles. It can be challenging sometimes but focusing is easier because of the short time it takes to do one Tile Activity and it is Hands-On. I'm always trying to find original ways to teach Dustin. Staying on one learning task can be an issue, so when I first sat down with Boo Bear's Therapist and we did a Tile Activity; I just had to get one and tell others about this Wonderful Teaching Tool! Did I mention it's Portable:)
Just to note....I did Buy the Tiles and some of the books at Ebay and did save some money. However, Math books were no where to be found so I did buy them at the Discovery Toy site. Price was not as bad as I thought.

video

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Dustin's "14th" Birthday Cake Party at THE FARM ! (Pictures) :) brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom

Well it all started Friday as we headed out at 5am straight to GA ( 7 hrs & 10mins). Checked into a hotel and went swimming. The next morning we had breakfast, packed up, and headed off to Six Flags where even in spite of the upper 90's weather we still ventured off on All the rollercoasters and rides that we could. Finally when the rain started to come in we said our Good-Byes to Bugs Bunny World at about 5pm. (LOOOONG DAY) but even still we got in the car and drove 4 hrs straight to the Farm from Six Flags. It was difficult to wind down from all of the excitement at Six Flags, but finally we did. When getting up the next morning everyone was extremely tired but..... it was Dustin's Birthday and getting up on the Farm always puts Boo Bear in a Very Happy mood. But TODAY was even more special.Happy "14th" Birthday Sweetie! He had a great time,but I think once you  look at the photos of Boo Bear's Party; the last and biggest photo I posted clearly shows Dustin's Favorite Birthday Present ....Don't you Agree?:)


"Dustin Gets Wet @ Six Flags Video" : brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom


video

Monday, July 26, 2010

"The S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom Autism Shop" : A Way Through Autism is to Venture Out in to Public and NOT Having to Worry or Have to Cope with Melt-Downs or Inconsiderate People.

Well it's the week of our trip to Six Flags for Boo Bear's 14th Birthday. I still can't believe he will be 14.
I have always tried to be courage's and venture out to places I know may be difficult for Boo to take in....but Good or Bad I have to try. In the beginning of his autism he was and still is afraid of animals (Just to Note: He has never had a traumatic encounter with any animal). Nevertheless, he has this fear. When I took him to the Zoo or to Sea World especially..... I felt so bad at first and cried myself. I guess it was too much because he became very anxious,agitated,upset, and then aggressive with me. I stuck it out as long as I could but after about  30 mins later we HAD to leave the Zoo. Sea World I managed 3 hrs. Thank God I paid a discounted ticket price through ASGO.org; regardless, I knew I needed to take him home. I kept on and still continue to go to these places especially. It has become easier because I have made these places "Familiar" to Boo Bear. Consistency is the TRULY the key ...along with a Huge dose of Patience & Unconditional Love for our son. He has really progressed to the point that we can spend 2 hours at the Zoo now:)  and ALL DAY at Sea World:) well at least until 6:00 pm "We eat Dinner @ McDonald's" instead of the park. (Have to have McDonald French Fries;) I do think the clothing I have designed helps him & I when we go out and about. It's a tough call; but like it or not Advertising my son's disability makes every outing more pleasant. I don't recall the last time I had an encounter with an inconsiderate,rude, or not so understanding person.  THEY ARE OUT THERE:( You would think as Autism Rises that the Awareness would as well. But there are people out there that don't know the signs and behaviors of autism. I was actually inspired by an elderly woman at a Goodwill (Boo's favorite place). We were waiting in line and she was standing Behind us a little Too Close; at that moment Dustin  was very calm and still . Well not thinking about it.....Dustin out of the blue starts his innocent and  very  Typical Jumping and Flapping. This poor woman was so taken by surprise and clearly did not expect this person to express this behavior. She jumped back startled to death and almost fell back in to the clothes hanging on the rack. I immediately went to her and  said I was so sorry for her fright and continued to explain that my son had autism. She was extremely sweet after she was informed and I introduced her to Boo Bear. In spite of this elderly woman's comforting understanding I couldn't help it ; I kept thinking the whole ride home that My Son Should Come With A WARNING:) Thus an idea was born. So I came up with this wonderful shirt for Boo and WOW what a difference it has made. So many  people  have  Smiled and Commented  on this Unique Informant. So now I guess it's your call....can't hurt to try,Right? What have you got to lose. At the very least check out my online store...forward it to family and  Friends. The next time your child's birthday or Holiday come around....Maybe no one knows what to get your son or daughter. Give them your child's clothing size and send them to my store. I know it's helped my son and  I . I'm certain it will do the same for you. Going out doesn't mean you have to anticipate a "Mommy Crash". Been there, Done That:)
Here is one of my favorite shirts and now you know the story behind this shirts inspiration:)

      (Click On The Autism Shop to See Some Unique Autism Clothes & Other Items)


                          
Below is what the Front of the Shirt Looks like and of course the Back of the Shirt is the one that Reads: WARNING!                                  
                                                                             


     

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"A Unique Autism Awareness Card" : brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom




Going out in Public with Boo Bear can be difficult.So I decided to enlighten People:) MY AUTISM CARD: Whether they are Curious or Just Plain Rude.
                                                               

                                                                                 
       

"Occupational Therapy & Autism"Photos: brought to you by, S.M.A.A.R.T.Mom


Occupational,Music, and Speech Therapy have been a weekly outing since Dustin was diagnosed with autism at the age of 15mos. I can't express enough how helpful it has been to retreiving what we could of our baby boy. Considering he had some speech, eye contact, on target mile stones and then to have all of that diminish before your eyes only to have your son only say "MMMMM' sounds, no eye contact, and very sentitive to touch & sounds. I had plenty of "Mommy Crashes" thoughout the years but I stayed consistant. Detemination was the only word for me; regardless. It's been a LONG up & down adventure, but soooo worth the wait. We've still got a long way to go. But he does talk now, it's still hard to conversate, but that's ok we're working on that. We NOW have eve contact, hugs are no longer painful, and it still brings tears/smile when Boo Bear says "Mommy" ot "I love You". There were times I felt hopeless, but you have to hang in there. Hard work and consistancy WILL be REWARDING.