Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How common is it?

I sat in on three IEPs today here at school and in each of those three meetings when the parents were asked about concerns for their child on the autism spectrum guess what each of them said? Feeding! Everyone of them talked about their child being a picky eater and only like certain things.

Hmm, is it just me or is there a connection here? I've been saying this for the last year, but as each day passes and I talk with more and more parents I am convinced that a vast majority of our children on the autism spectrum have feeding difficulties. Hence the many e-zine articles that I have written over the past two months, but this is a real issue.

I haven't quite figured out what to do other than assessing and working with children in my area to improve thier difficulties, but for those of you who live at a distance I am still pondering how to best help you.

I will think of something it just might take me a bit longer. For now if you have a chance take some time to check out my archived e-zine articles. I am going to start keeping data in this area just for my own knowledge and maybe I'll come up with something I want to do with it in the future. If you have thoughts or suggestions I'd love to hear them.

Talk to you soon,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is it enough?

Recently I had a mom ask me “Am I doing enough for my son?” She then went on to say that she didn’t feel like she could ever do enough. I am sure many parents feel that way. I had another parent say to me that even though she felt that her child was making progress she can still see all of the areas that need improvement and that can feel overwhelming.

Is there always more that could be done? Absolutely, but this is true in many aspects of our life. I truly believe that as parents we make choices about what we do for our children and our family and it should be about the quality of those choices not the quantity. I also know that sometimes the choices we make can seem overwhelming especially if the choice involves a lot of work or will take an extended amount of time to accomplish.

I think that is one of the great things about the mission previews we have families write as part of their RDI® program. It allows the parent and consultant to get a big picture while taking the baby steps to get there. It is the final destination with some pit stops along the way while the objectives in RDI® program is road families travel to get to that end point. Sometimes I think that we get lost on the road and then begin to question whether we are doing enough or we become overwhelmed. This the point at which we need to pull over and look again at the stops we want to make along the way our final destination and ask ourselves if we are still on the right path. What we may be surprised to find is that we have already passed some of our pit stops without realizing it or that we have made some stops that we were not expecting. If we have veered off the road then this is a great time to examine how we get back on the right path.

The only way to know if we are doing enough is to know where we want to end up and then decide what we need to do to get to that ending destination. If you haven’t taken time to think about what you would like for your child in the future I encourage you to do that. Once you have done this take some time to decide if you are on the right road or if a course correction is needed.

Talk to you soon,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Safe Cleaning With Kids

I hate to clean. There, I've admitted it. I love to organize and straighten and get a great sense of accomplishment from those activities. But, when it comes to really cleaning stuff, like with a scrub brush and cleaner, I hate it. Over the past couple of years I've read many magazine articles and seen things on TV about the dangers of most cleansers we use in our homes and workplaces. There are many nasty chemicals in them that have the potential to create all sorts of health problems. I felt vindicated in my hatred of cleaning because I could tell myself, "See - it can make a person sick!" Well, I can no longer use that as an excuse. With the new wave of environmentally-friendly everything has come a new generation of cleaning products. And they are completely non-toxic, leaving me to come up with another excuse for why I don't like to clean.

On a recent Target outing (the place you run into for a "few necessities" and leave with $80 worth of assorted items you never knew you needed but suddenly do) I found a newer brand of cleaners called Method. I recognized them, as I'd seen them advertised on the Today show and in some magazines. What struck me initially was the interesting scents listed on the bottles - pink grapefruit, eucalyptus mint, and cucumber. Hmmm...sounds more like a spa than a bathroom cleaner...we may be onto something here. As I read the containers I found that all the products were made of natural ingredients, and the containers are all made from 100% recycled materials. The cleaning clothes are particularly interesting as they are made from bamboo (a renewable resource) and are flushable. They had an assortment of cleaners in many different scents. Since they were on sale 3 for $8 I decided to throw a few in my cart to see how they worked.

I've been using the products in my kitchen and bathrooms for the past week, and I have to say I love them! Don't get that confused with the actual cleaning - that I still hate. Yet, I somehow find it a bit easier to tolerate now that I get to smell things like ylang ylang while doing it. And, my house smells great when I'm done. I also don't have to inhale all kinds of nasty chemicals while cleaning or worry about getting everything off my hands, keeping the stuff away from the kids, etc. I know that many of you are like us and have your kids help you with chores around the house. These cleaners are great for involving the kids because you don't have to worry about exposing them to toxic chemicals. And they actually work, which is, of course, not a minor detail when you're putting the effort into scrubbing stuff!

I went online and found the Method website here. Hopefully you can find some places near you that carry these items and check them out for yourself. Let me know what you think, and if you have any other fabulous cleaning products or strategies feel free to share! If you need cleaning ideas to inspire you and your kiddos, check out our Do Something Daily calendar.

Until next week,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Time Well Spent or Time Well Wasted?

As I sat waiting for an appointment today, I realized all of the short increments of time that we have each day to either use wisely or waste. As I jotted a list of things that I needed to do, I realized that I could accomplish several of those items in the few minutes that I had to myself. It became apparent to me how effective small moments of time can be during the day. It would have been easy for me to take a break or chit chat, but instead I chose to be productive and complete a few quick items. As I pondered this, I thought about all of those times I have during the day with my son and how I choose to spend them. Sure, some I waste by talking on the phone or watching TV, but others I choose to spend playing with him. Every parent in today's society is crunched for time, but I assure you, there are times in the day when you can spend a few quality moments with your child. How will you choose to spend your time today? What will you do with those few short moments? Will it be time well spent or time well wasted?

Have a great week!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. ~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul

On this mother’s day let me take a moment to thank my mom for being such a wonderful person. She is the inspiration in my life and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. She definitely embodies the quote I chose for this week.

On this Mother’s Day here’s to all of the mothers out there. To new mothers, old mothers, mothers to be and all of the mothers yet to come. Thank you for loving your children so much that they are able to achieve their “impossibilities.”


Talk to you soon,

Monday, May 5, 2008


As parents, we have the greatest and yet most difficult jobs of all. We are role models, caregivers, and friends to our children. But of utmost importance, we are their guides. I came across this quotation this week and found it inspiring. I would dare to change the last word to "guide," as I feel it is our most important role. Enjoy!

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus (also attributed to Maimonidies).

Thursday, May 1, 2008


As I walked past the fence surrounding the construction zone outside of the elementary school where I spend part of my time each week I noticed they were working to dig the holes for laying the new foundation today. This started me thinking about foundations in general.

I spend a lot of time talking with new parents about building the foundation that will support the rest of their RDI® program. We talk a lot about the fact that without a solid foundation the treatment process is doomed to fail from the start. For the consultants at Horizons a solid foundation is built on a well established master/apprentice relationship and a commitment to experience sharing communication as the main mode of communicating within the family. These principles make up a majority of our parent readiness and cluster coaching sessions. Without this foundation the house will eventually crumble.

I found this quote which I think speaks to the topic of foundations in relation to the RDI® program and what we at Horizons are striving to achieve with the parents and families we work with.
“The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.” Thomas Kempis

To me this quote says it all. Depending on the quality of life each parent wants for their child the more solid the foundation will need to be. As far as I’m concerned the sky’s the limit! Now that spring has arrived and warmer weather is upon us and many new construction projects are springing up it might be an excellent time for you to think about the foundation you are building for your child. Is your foundation solid enough to support your lofty building? If not what can be done to firm up that foundation? Are there things that we at Horizons can do to help you establish a firmer foundation? Let us know how we can help.

Talk to you soon,