Monthly Archives: August 2016

You’re Never too Old

Learning  a new task  or skill comes easy to many people, but for other’s it can be a challenge.

At 51, I had thought I had learned everything I would ever need to know to make it in life. I was wrong. I am now learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am learning that there are many different aspects of ASD and that what one person struggles with on the spectrum, may look totally different for another.  Learning about ASD requires patience, finding resources that are reputable and are knowledgable about what they are teaching, as well as learning how to advocate for the person that has this disorder.

I have immersed myself into learning about how someone with Autism is affected my Sensory Processing Disorders/Sensory Overloads and when you are out in public, what may appear like a parent not taking control of their child, because the child is literally having a meltdown, it makes me stop and think now, before passing judgement. It could just be that the child really is having a tantrum (something they do when they don’t get what they want); when a child that has a neurological disorder succumbs to meltdown status (they have no control over how they respond, even though they wish they did).

As a person that has never relied on structure or any type of routine, I have learned how very important it is to have structure and routine, to be able to prepare our grandson, who is affected by ASD what will happen next. Learning about strategies in Autism is not just something caregivers should just glance over, it needs to become as much a part of you, as Autism is to your loved one. Because our grandson is non verbal, at the precarious age of two, I have had to learn what PECS means. I have had to learn about reinforcing behaviors and try to get into his world, at his level-instead of him in mine. And that’s okay, it’s just hard for me to get on the floor and play with him like I need to, but one way or another, we figure it out.autism

The PECS system is awesome. PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. I am looking forward to getting some PECS from a friend later this week as her child has outgrown some of them.  When he Autistic person needs or wants something, if they do not talk or sign, that’s where the pictures come in. They have the ability to look on their PECS board or in a binder and find what they want to tell you. When they hand you the picture, you can reinforce that is what they are asking for and take care of the request. Then the next step is to thank them and praise them for a job well done.

We also do a lot of motor skills play, learning to stack things and put objects in their correct location, working on cognitive functions as well as five million other things that neurotypical people (those without Autism or Developmental Delays) do automatically.

When our grandson was first diagnosed, it was overwhelming. More than I can even describe because I don’t know how to pour out those emotions on paper. I knew one thing for sure, though, I would do whatever was necessary to aid in his learning what he needed to learn to succeed in life.

So, the next time you are faced with learning a new task or skill, don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. Even if you don’t get it right the first time, keep trying. Many successes that people have achieved have happened as a result of failures and lessons learned.

May you be blessed and remember Jesus Loves you!

 

 

 

Woo Hoo!!!! It’s Friday!

So many people get excited when Friday comes, because that signals the end of their work week and make plans for the weekends to get away with family and friends or do projects around the house, or if they are smart, just rest up and gain strength and energy to make it through the next week.

When I was still working outside of the home, Friday was just another day for me. My days off were Sunday’s and Tuesdays. I didn’t have the same pleasure as most of my other friends when Friday’s arrived.

I think it’s great that there is one day a week that people are jubilant about; but what about the other six days? We should be just as excited for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Shouldn’t we?

Do you think when God created everything, he had it in mind that only Friday’s should be celebrated? More than other days? Doubtful. If we only look forward to one day of the week and miss out on the other six, what does that say about us? We just trudge through the rest of the week until Friday rolls around and then we start all over again, looking forward to just that one day?

I look forward to Saturday’s and Sunday’s now, because that is when my husband will be home and we can have quality time with one another. We can laugh and be silly, lean on one another, share our hopes and dreams and concerns and I am once again whole. For the past month and who knows how many more weeks or months, he spends the week with his father, taking care of him, due to Alzheimer’s and the distorted reality that he lives in. EVERYDAY is precious because you see glimpses of the man he was before the disease reared its ugly head. And we are thankful that when those glimpses come out, he can laugh and not be fearful of something his brain has conjured up.

Sunday is day celebrated in my heart because that’s the day I get to go to church and worship and enjoy the presence of the Lord with my church family. I become refueled for the week ahead and am encouraged by others and the testimonies they share of how Jesus has changed their lives! However, worshiping the Lord is a daily event for me. I sing his praises every chance I get, every day. I sing for him and he still loves me~I imagine he hears perfection when others hear an off tone, loud, obnoxious voice. My grandmother used to say you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I didn’t care.  Jesus loves when I sing for him. That’s all that matters.

Monday is a day to start fresh, wipe the slate clean from the previous week when things didn’t necessarily go as you planned and pray this week will look better than the last. I will admit most people I know frown when Monday appears, it means back to business, no more playtime- except for the DSM team at my church, (Dayton Street Ministry) -this is when they gain joy and not only bless the homeless and hurting in the city-but are also blessed. Rain or shine, freezing temps or sweltering heat. Every Monday. No exceptions.Lives our touched.  We all seem to forget, that God’s mercies are new every single day.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are days set aside for Therapy and Medical appointments. Tuesday is for me, my appointments, time with friends, running errands, grocery shopping and all those other “fun” things that we must do to make sure our family is taken care of and the house gets taken care of. I used to be able to dust, wash walls, clear the pesky cobwebs and so many other things to give me a feeling of job well done! Now if I get the dishes done, it’s a win.

Wednesday and Thursdays are devoted to Tyson’s speech therapy inside and outside of the home, along with the Play Project which we will be starting soon. Although daily therapy is done, he isn’t aware we are “working”, like he does with the structured therapy appointments.. I am working on teaching him simple signs (American Sign Language) to request his wants and needs along with PECS, a communication system using pictures exchanged between Tyson and others so he can tell people what he wants or we can tell him what’s next in his day.

I am trying to celebrate every single day. Yay! I woke up, I can breathe, I can walk, I can laugh and I can cry. Yay! That means my work here on earth is not done. God still is willing to use me and stretch me and mold me to carry out the plans he has for my life!Jeremiah2911A

The moral of this story, is live life to the fullest. Enjoy every day as a gift. Trust that if you are still here, than your work is not done. And don’t take it for granted, it could be gone in a split second. Tell others how you feel, love on them, encourage them, hold them up, ask for help when you feel overwhelmed or lost or alone. Don’t wait to tell someone something that they need to hear, because you are waiting for the right time~you may not get the chance. Be someone that embraces each day with an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. We all have at least one thing to be thankful for. And if you adopt this practice, you will see how very blessed you are and in turn can be a blessing to another human being.

And yes, I am excited it’s Friday. Tonight my husband comes home. I can’t wait!

Celebrate your life; your losses and your wins. They make you into the person you are right now. A great place to start celebrating is using the 100 Days Gratitude Journal from iBloom!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy EVERY day! May you know that Jesus loves you! Blessings, Carlene

 

 

Creating & Living the Life you Love

YAY! I’m sooo excited to partner with the iBloom Team to revolutionize the way women do business and live life!

I-heart-iBloom-2
I came to know iBloom when I ordered their Life & Business Planner. I have always searched for Planners that would take the place of several. This planner makes me think about the woman I want to be and what are my goals short and long term. There is just so much covered in the planner, along with Scriptures and areas for being intentional in your actions an life! I love it and I am so excited to be on this journey with iBloom! They offer so many coaching and business resources for women. I have partnered with them and look forward to sharing the products they have available as well as Freebies that can help you have a simplified productive life.. As promotions become available, I will be posting on this site, as well as my Facebook page.

Please stay tuned! Many Blessings, Carlene
To learn more about iBloom, go to https://ibloom.co/?partner=126

Memory Loss

When did I become so reliant on this device that I lost my mind? I wish I could give you an answer, but I actually have no idea when that happened. What is really amazing to me is that I can still recall the phone number that I had growing up, but I can’t remember the number I called yesterday to make a doctor’s appointment. my phone

I bring all this up because this love of my life, who is smarter than I ever
imagined can operate a smart phone, better than I can. He’s 2. He loves to watch kids videos on my phone and play educational games I have loaded on the device for him. He also thinks it’s quite cool to send text messages to many people at once. Mind you, you would have to know his toddler language to read the messages, they appear to be encrypted in some type of secret code. And he knows how to find my favorites in my contact list and make random calls and as soon as someone answers, he hangs up the phone!

Listening to him watch videos on the phone, little did I know that he had also opened my contact list and in a matter of seconds had deleted all but 6 contacts out of my phone! YIKES! I was in panic mode. I didn’t have those numbers saved anywhere else, or so I thought. Even numbers of family members, except for my mother and immediate family, had vanished!

After searching through emails and online accounts and reaching out to friends and family on social media, I was able to retrieve over 250+ numbers. And I learned how to use the backup software on my phone to make sure I am prepared if this should ever happen again.

What amazes me the most is how much I rely on my little handheld computer to keep me connected to people who matter in my life; that I stopped using my brain to store the information and started relying on a device to do it for me.  If I have taken for granted that I would always have a strong mind, than what makes me think something else couldn’t be so devastating?

I also learned there are apps to protect the apps on your phone so something like this never happens again. I had no idea. I know my phone is smarter than me on some days and, it appears so is my 2-year-old grandson.

Memory loss of any kind can set you into panic mode. I’ve seen it in myself and family members. Losing cognitive functions can be just as disturbing. You know that you used to be able to remember names and faces, places you visited, a skill you learned and your mind falters. You chalk it up to old age-everyone has forgetful moments, but what happens when your mind starts playing tricks on you?

alz

Watching our loved one go through the debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s puts into perspective losing all my contacts. At the time it happened, I was in panic mode, but I knew how to get them back, it would just be time-consuming. To think that someone who has Alzheimer’s can’t get their memory back or make sense of something as simple as realizing milk goes on cereal but orange juice does not; that’s scary.  Or hallucinating, thinking people are in your home, when you are the only one there. Paranoid to the point of thinking someone is out to get you and hurt you. This is what is truly sad.

I continue to pray a cure will be found for this mind altering disease. I pray for those that are suffering and for those that have to sit by and watch and feeling so helpless there is nothing they can do, but continue to love their family member or friend with an unconditional love.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Blessings to all, 

Carlene