Tampa Bay Families of Children with Autism Turn to Medical Marijuana for Effective and Life Changing Results
Over the years, the public opinion has taken a noticeable shift in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. While many opponents continue the long and wasteful debate over marijuana being the gateway drug to addiction or worse (because prescribed opioids or other narcotics aren’t, right?), more cases are proving – undeniably - that medical marijuana is changing and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands across our country and around the world.
You may have heard or read about how scientists have been researching stem cells and their potential for treating, healing and curing certain ailments. While I may have heard of stem cell research and cord blood banking a few times over the past decade, there has never been such easy access to this important information and research like there is today.
CBR (Cord Blood Registry) is the world’s largest newborn stem cell company with certain information and resources to help your family’s journey into a future of possibilities.
It has been 14 years since my son Richie was diagnosed with Autism. When he was two years old, I received the news many parents in my same situation may have long suspected but dreaded. When you first hear the words, “Your child has autism,” it is a life-changing moment. It’s important to understand that the grief cycle that comes with the autism diagnosis is not a process. A process, by definition, is a series of steps that lead to an end. Please note that my son’s diagnosis is NOT all gloom and doom – it certainly isn’t. I get to experience many moments of joy and happiness that are unmatched to those of parents of children with no disabilities. I write this in hopes that friends, family members, and other members of our society read this and express sensitivity to all parents of children with autism and essentially all special needs parents – because after all, the feelings experienced are almost universal.
The holiday season is once again upon us and with it comes thoughts of togetherness, celebrations, and gatherings to look forward to. Thanksgiving festivities are among the first to kick-off traditional gatherings, shopping rituals, and preparing classic meal favorites. However, this time of year may look a little different for special needs families as they experience different types of challenges. Children and adults with disabilities may have sensory issues, socialization or communication challenges, and other issues that make holiday gatherings something they might prefer to avoid. Parents of children and adults with disabilities may experience anxiety, worry, or possibly isolation. Here are some ideas that may help with having a fun and memorable gathering without anxiety or dreading the event happenings.
When most of us begin teaching our children about identifying their bodies, it usually sounds a little something like this:
“Touch your nose. Touch your arm. Touch your eye. Touch your cheek,” and so on.
Many parents don’t ever mention the penis, vagina, bottom, or breast - yet, they too, are parts of our anatomy. It’s important to teach our children as best as we can about identifying body parts and their changing bodies, as well as the difference between safe and appropriate touches from inappropriate and dangerous situations.
The opportunity for individuals with disabilities to save, plan and look forward to the future was once a scary thought. Being hopeful about the future seemed less promising for members of the disability community because many barriers made planning and saving impossible. A recent survey conducted by America Saves, states that only 40 percent of households are making good or excellent progress in saving, and more than 27 percent report no progress at all. The numbers are even more dismal for the disability community – the National Disability Institute reports that an estimated 1.9 million households that include an individual with a disability do not have a checking or savings account. Before ABLE United’s program, some were not even provided the same opportunities to save as the general population.
Some of us feel a little apprehension about starting a new school year alongside our children. This can especially be difficult for parents of children who struggle with reading, writing, math, staying focused or being organized.
What does it mean to have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
You may have heard the terms, “sensory processing disorder, sensory integrated dysfunction, or sensory related issues.” Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition that causes the brain to have difficulty with receiving and sending messages with other senses. You may have heard the term, “sensory overload.” This phrase is often used to describe what a child or adult is experiencing when there is too much information for one or more of their senses to process. Children and adults who experience issues with sensory processing disorder may struggle with academic performance, making friends, diet and eating, participating in the community, challenging behavior, and more.
#ABLEUNITED is Celebrating its First Anniversary as the Savings Difference Makers in the Disability Community
It’s been a year since I opened my ABLE United account for my son Richie and not only has our family been able to save and plan for Richie’s future, we have something we’ve never had before. We have peace of mind.
Happy Father’s Day to all The Special Needs Dads Who Turned Challenging Times into Special Blessings
Raising children with special needs can be as challenging as you might imagine it to be. You’ve seen us from time to time. We’re the ones walking past you with the scratched arms from frustrated pinching. You’ve seen us lifting our child out of the car and gently placing them onto their wheelchair. You’ve seen us leave an entire cart of groceries in the middle of the isle because our child was about to have a major meltdown. You’ve watched us chase our kid down the street after they've masterfully escaped from our home. Maybe, you were the neighbor who brought them home to us when we thought he or she was sleeping soundly in their bed! Perhaps you’ve spotted us sitting in our car alone crying or just taking a moment of nothing eventful to ourselves. You may have wondered, “How do they do it?”
When it comes to ABLE United, great news just keeps on coming! Don’t miss out on your chance to jump-start your savings plan for the future today. ABLE United is offering five eligible Floridians with disabilities a chance to win a $500 contribution to their ABLE United savings account! Enter today and visit daily for extra chances to win – but hurry, this fantastic offer ends June 15, 2017!
If I had a quarter for every time someone said they were sorry after learning I have a son with autism, I would have a small fortune! It’s true that having a child with autism has its challenges, but because of a supportive family, great friends, the expertise and guidance from colleagues, and a team of compassionate and talented educators, Richie is doing great. And all is good because we see the positive side to family life with autism.
Why I'm Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance!
Our family has been active members of the autism community since Richie was diagnosed at the age of two - thirteen years ago!
Since April is World Autism Month, our family will #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. Of course, it should go without mentioning for those of you who visit my blog often, that this is a deeply personal topic for me as a mom of a teen with autism. It's highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism's prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.
Recently, I wrote a post about how the Americans with Disabilities Act has made many life-changing improvements that have successfully increased the participation of individuals with disabilities in their communities. However, there is still much work that needs to be done.
My Journey to Improve my Son's Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 7 - Managing the Positive Behavior Support Plan
I can’t tell you how excited I am to reach our final segment of this series. It has been an extraordinary experience for our family. Using the positive behavior support process, we have watched Richie’s transformation from being someone who only knew to express himself with aggressive fits of anger to someone who controls that urge and replaced it with other ways to communicate his frustration.
Managing the positive behavior support plan is a crucial component for it to continue to work successfully. From the beginning, all team members agreed to commit to fulfilling the expectations of the PBS process.
All family gatherings are special. The fall season is upon us and brings with it the Thanksgiving holiday. Families come together to celebrate and be thankful for having one another in each other’s lives. Special needs families prepare to celebrate the season’s festivities. Although our experience is a little different, we are grateful for many things.
Halloween is a fun holiday favorite for many kids, but for kids with sensory issues and special needs, it could be a night filled with discomfort, anxiety and fear. I learned over the years with Richie that it was okay to get him to try new things on Halloween, but I would never push him to go beyond his comfort level. My son has autism and with it comes many sensory related issues. This includes changes in routines, fear of sounds, uncomfortable clothing and more. I found these tips to work well with us, hopefully they’ll work for you too!
The word is out! This year, ABLE United started a program that allows individuals with disabilities and their families to plan for the future by saving money and building assets without losing their benefits. You might remember my previous post highlighting the launch of this beneficial program and how you and your family can start saving like we did!
If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, then odds are you’re dozing off while trying to read this post! Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Raising a child with special needs comes with overwhelming love, but that’s not all. We experience incredibly stressful situations and we are in constant worry mode, which means our mind is always racing even when we’re trying to relax.
#Florida Individuals and Parents of Children with Disabilities Can Now Ensure their Financial Future: #ABLE United is the Answer
Special needs planning for the future has unique challenges
There is one common concern that causes great anxiety and sleepless nights for parents of children with disabilities. It’s the unstoppable future. Who will care for our children? Where will they live? What will their lives be like when we’re no longer around?
Future planning was never easy for members of the disability community. If individuals and parents of children with disabilities want to keep their Medicaid, Social Security benefits or other disability services, they cannot have savings that exceed $2,000 in cash value. Our choices were limited to either giving up our benefits or the opportunity to save and plan for the future.
Author: Christine Goulbourne