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Interview With First Autistic Presidential Appointee

Here’s a very informative interview with Ari Ne’eman, an autistic 22 year old who was recently appointed by President Obama to the National Council on Disability. Some salient points: Autism Speaks raises lots of money through their walks for a cure, but only four cents on every dollar goes to services for autistic individuals and [...]

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Watercolors and Crystals

Highlights November 14 – November 20, 2010 Sunday It’s a slow day today. Kamikaze spends a few hours playing outside and then goes to friend’s house. Sweet Coco watches a DVD about kittens and then paints with watercolors. Tremendo takes advantage that Kamikaze isn’t home and enjoys full use of the PlayStation. Vic and I [...]

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There is no limit to the sky.

Weekly Review November 7 – November 13, 2010 The only limits are, as always, those of vision. – James Broughton When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller Sunday-Tuesday Unfortunately I didn’t make a note of [...]

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Crayon Craft for Tactile and Sensory Seeking Children

Crafts, Sensory Integration Comments (2)

Furno motorcycle

Tremendo's creation- Furno rides a motorcycle while on fire.

My kids each went through a phase where they would peel and break crayons. When I was a new mother I was slightly appalled at this. I hated coloring with broken crayons as a kid. I found however, that my kids either didn’t care about coloring with broken crayons or they didn’t care about coloring much at all. Later I learned that coloring with broken crayons helps one to develop the coveted tripod grip that you see with most writers. I let the whole thing go and focused on having the child responsible for peeling and or crushing the crayons sweep up the mess. Occasionally I would replenish the most used colors in the crayon box.

I came across a great project in The Story of the World, Activity Book 1 that allows one to create something with these crayon scraps and allows children with differing tactile and sensory needs all find an aspect of it that they can enjoy. (You can find it in the activities for Chapter 15- The Phoenicians under the heading Craft Project: Make Pretend Colored Glass.) This activity allows children who don’t color to have fun with crayons as well as help build the skills that one gains from coloring. Coloring helps develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor control as well as helps strengthen the hand muscles for writing later.


Sweet Coco's car

  • You need…

    Crayon shavings
    Wax paper
    Colored Threads
    A picture to decorate
    Iron + ironing board
    Old newspapers

  • 1. Cut out two identical shapes of wax paper. (We used pinking shears on some to have a cool border.) You will place your picture in between these pieces so make sure that they are larger than the actual photo. The melted crayons will bleed a little.

  • 2. Place the picture on a piece of wax paper then decorate it with the crayon shavings and colored threads. When it comes to adding the shavings be careful, less is more. Too many shavings and you will blur the original photo beyond recognition. Alternatively you can skip the picture and see what happens when you arrange the crayon shavings and threads in a free-form manner.

  • 3. Put the second piece of wax paper on top.

  • 4. Put a layer of newspaper on the ironing board, put the project on it and then place more newspaper on top.

  • 5. With the heat setting on low, carefully iron the project to melt the shavings and thus “glue” the project together.

  • 6. Trim edges and hang once everything has cooled.

  • crushed shredded crayons craft

    Crushing and shredding the crayons was Tremendo's favorite part.

    The kids who love peeling crayons have fun peeling them while at the same time honing their fine motor skills with their use of the pincer grasp* to rip the paper off.

    The kids who love crushing crayons into little bits have their fill with shredding crayons onto a white paper plate. Holding a crayon bit while you shave it with a dull vegetable peeler also helps to strengthen the muscles in the hands.

    The kids who like eying things closely love picking up the crayon bits (developing the pincer grasp) and arranging them on their photo (developing eye-hand coordination). Hang your pictures in the window and enjoy the sun’s cool effects on your art.

    crayon craft tactile children

    Our pretend colored glass was hung up on the back door.


    Kamikaze's master sword creation. Note the tri-force shaped background.


    Another master sword


    My setting fall sun

    This whole project took about two hours from start to finish because the crushing/shredding of the crayons turned out to be rather time consuming but if your kids like crushing crayons on a regular basis, simply save the bits in a jar for when you’re ready to craft.

    * pincer grasp- possible when the thumb and forefinger can work independently from the other fingers on the hand; This skill is the foundation for many other skills such as self-feeding, buttoning clothes and writing.

    Suggested Materials:

    Get more craft ideas by checking out Magic Marker Monday at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

    © copyright 2012 Crayon Craft for Tactile and Sensory Seeking Children

    Ingrid @ March 18, 2012

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    Surviving Halloween Without Candy

    Autism, Diet, Holidays Comments (4)

    Naruto Leaf Clan Jack-O-Lantern

    Naruto Leaf Clan Jack-O-Lantern

    Surviving Halloween Without Candy- A dramatic story of upheaval and food.

    The Legend of Zelda, Dark Link

    Kamikaze as Dark Link,

    Naruto, Sasuke, homemade costume

    Tremendo as Sasuke,

    Super Mario Brothers, Mario

    Sweet Coco as Mario,

    Night sky, female night costume

    and yours truly as Night.

    Act 1: The Upheaval & The Food

    On November 22, 2010 our family embarked on a massive lifestyle change. In short, we began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Following the SCD basically means that you forgo virtually all processed foods, all grains, all starches, and all sweeteners except for honey. Because gums and starches are considered illegal (and are added to most prepared foods in some way, shape, or form) most of the food you eat on SCD must be made from scratch. Want ketchup for your squash fries? Make it with tomato juice and sweeten with honey. Want mayonnaise in your sandwich (with bread made from pecan flour)? Make it with eggs, oil, and vinegar in your food processor.

    What does this mean for the person who’s the primary meal maker? It means that I spend an average of 4-5 hours per day making the food that we will eat. Since I was never someone who liked spending much time in the kitchen there was a significant learning curve. The depth of which ate up most of my spare time and explains my prolonged absence from blogging.

    In June of this year I finally figured out what I needed to do so that I didn’t have to spend my most productive hours in the kitchen every day. I basically do a massive preparation of all vegetables and proteins (chicken and or fish) on Sundays and then all I have to do during the week is cook the actual food at meal-time. I’ve also pretty much given up on condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise etc… As time goes on I’ll be sharing more and more about why and how we are embarking on this journey.

    Is all of this stress worth it? Hell Yes! I saw MAJOR behavioral and communication gains three weeks into the diet. There was no turning back, we were going to be that family who has to bring their own food everywhere and who doesn’t let their kids eat anything.

    Act 2: The Surviving Thriving

    The point of sharing this was to provide context for the amount of stress I felt as this year’s Halloween approached. Not only did I have the usual costume making to do (with much less time to do it) but how was I going to handle the CANDY???

    We decided to forgo trick-or-treating this year and sent Kamikaze out to trick-or-treat with his friends. (Kamikaze, Vic and I aren’t strict about adhering to the diet unless we are with Tremendo and Sweet Coco.) Instead, we bought some SCD legal treats from Digestive Wellness and I baked pumpkin muffins. We went to a nice hiking spot and took pictures. We came home and hung out in our costumes. We became THAT HOUSE as we handed out stickers, pencils, tattoos, erasers, mini mazes, and plastic ninjas. Since we only had about 4 trick-or-treaters it may take a while for the news to spread. Sadly, those kids were disappointed. Their parents seemed happy though.

    Perhaps next year we’ll try the whole “trick-or-treat but trade your candy for toys” thing (we did do that with Kamikaze this year) but we decided against it for this Halloween. I wasn’t sure that I could keep them from eating the bad candy while going door to door. I felt we had to totally disengage from the previous years before I could expect that degree of self-control, and as you’ll read more about in the future, I didn’t want to risk the reactions that said candy would produce in my kids if they got to have any.

    All in all, it was a peaceful and pleasant time. Tremendo and Sweet Coco didn’t even seem to mind that we didn’t trick-or-treat. Yay for new and healthier traditions!!!

    Night falls upon the warriors.

    I think the sword and shield sets were in large part why the kids didn’t seem to register the lack of candy.

    There are more pictures on Flicker.

    Here’s a link for those of you looking for more ideas about how to do Halloween on SCD.

    © copyright 2011 Surviving Halloween Without Candy

    Ingrid @ November 3, 2011

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    Your Autistic Child Reaches Adulthood

    Autism Comments (0)

    Susan Senator, author of Making Peace with Autism, has written an excellent post on her blog sharing some basic information about what to consider if your child still needs support upon reaching adulthood.

    © copyright 2011 Your Autistic Child Reaches Adulthood

    Ingrid @ January 14, 2011

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