Autism, through the eyes of this mommy

When you think of the word autism what do you think of?

I grew up around remarkable people with all different types of disabilities. These individuals have always inspired me in my own physical battle of living life after a stroke. But my understanding of autism and the impact it can have on individuals and families faced reality when my own child was diagnosed with autism himself at age three.

Autism through my eyes

We knew the signs. I saw more and more as time went on.  We went forward with the testing and I’m glad we did. Since Connor’s diagnoses, he has grown by leaps and bounds academically and in the day to day life skills that every little boy needs to know. The biggest improvement that Connor has made is communication. At the time of his test we could hardly get one word out of him, and now he is speaking complete sentences. We can’t get him to stop talking most days.

Having a puzzle piece as the sign is completely fitting for autism. There is no one person alike in this world. That is the same for autism. Thus, the reason for the puzzle piece.

The days with Connor are filled with every emotion. God made Connor exactly how he was supposed to be, he doesn’t need to be fixed. Autism isn’t something you cure. It’s a part of the person that God made Connor to be. And that is beautiful. Period.

There are many moments in life from time to time that remind me of just that. One being a couple years ago on Sunday morning in church. On this day his Sunday school teacher showed me an art project he did all by himself. This may seem small but this one little art project that morning brought me to tears. That’s right, a small art project made with yarn, scotch tape, and two popsicle sticks brought me to tears.

What I haven’t told you yet was that the school week before was a very difficult week for all of us. The end of semester academic evaluations were sent home that same week. Seeing how far behind my son was in the world’s view of where he should be sent anxiety and stress through me like shock waves. In that instant I began to believe the lie that Satan had been telling me, “Connor won’t contribute anything to society.” This is a lie. I was buying into that lie until Sunday morning when I saw the beautiful hand-crafted art piece that Connor made.

In that moment God showed me that it really was going to be okay. We may have crazy not so awesome moments in life. He may lay on the floor in the crowded fellowship hall of a church because he didn’t get to race a car screaming and hitting. Yeah, those moments will and have happened but light shines through like the moment with the art project that confirms in our human hearts time and time again that Connor was created for a purpose. God has great plans for his life.

When we tell people that Connor has autism we often get with a head tilt, “Awe, I’m so sorry.” I know this is said with good intentions but if you take one thing from reading this post today please remember this:

AUTISM IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE. IT IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE SORRY FOR. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PART OF PERSON THAT IS FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE WITH A PURPOSE DESTINED BY GOD.

Always remember, every puzzle piece fits somewhere.

Gift Guide for Kids on the Autism Spectrum or ADHD

Christmas is around the corner. I love to shop but shopping for a child on the autism spectrum or attention issues can be a challenge. I have a 5-year-old with autism and a 4-year-old who struggles keeping focus and attention. These boys can at times be a pretty hard puzzle to figure out. We like to use every opportunity we can to help our boy’s personal development and education. So, because of that mission, we like to get gifts that can be both fun and help growth take place.

20 Gift Ideas for Kids on the Autism Spectrum or ADHD

  1. Connect 4– I love this game for my kids. It helps them practice patience, counting, as well as the social skill of sharing and interacting with others.
  2. Spinners By IN Global Cube Edition Black Fidget Cube– These fidget cubes help kiddos and adults like my boys to keep their hands busy so they can focus on the task in front of them. My kiddos love these
  3. Lego Chain Reaction– Lego Chain Reaction kits is a great way to the let the builder in your child come out. This kit promotes creativity and focus.
  4. Melissa & Doug Products– Melissa & Doug products are always a great option for any child.
  5. Jenga- This game is great to promote focus and concentration.
  6. Yeti in the Spaghetti– My boys love this game. They don’t even realize they are learning focus and concentration through this game.
  7. VTech Write & Learn Creative Center (Frustration Free Packaging)
  8. Sketch Wizard – Draw Anything Like a Pro, Easy Tracing Drawing Sketching Tool, Gadget for Kids and Adults
  9. Kid’s Calendar– Having a calendar has helped my boys tremendously with day to day tasks, as well as special events.
  10. Magnetic building pieces– Magnetic building brings out the creative side in my children. They love to build. This activity helps to grow so many needed skills.
  11. Lincoln Logs– Build, Build, Build… My kiddos love to build.
  12. School activity books– My boys love to do these activity books. I love it too because the books help me teach my boys concepts they will need for school. The beauty of these books is that you can find them for all ages.
  13. Toy from a favorite show- My kiddos favorite shows are Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, and Sophia the First.
  14. Sports Equipment- My son loves sports of all kinds.
  15. Swing
  16. Beanbag Chair– My boys love the feeling of a bean bag, especially when the boys need time to calm down from a meltdown.
  17. Doctor Kits– Getting kid’s doctor kits has helped our kiddos not to be as terrified when they have to go see a doctor.
  18. iPads or Tablets– iPads and Tablets have been extremely helpful to many with autism. It can be a huge difference maker to break down a communication barrier.
  19. Music- Music speaks volume to my boys. I’m a firm believer that a musical life is a great life.
  20. Experiences- Kids won’t necessarily remember every toy we ever buy them as parents, but they will remember the memories we made together. Consider instead of buying a huge “big” present to maybe pay for a new extracurricular like martial arts or take a big vacation this summer.

Every child is different. It’s all about knowing your child and his or her talents so you can help to expand the talent or interest. There are great options for every budget. Happy Shopping!