Tag Archives: autism spectrum disorder

When Do You Find Time To Write?


writing on the road

Working on my next novel while running errands with my dad.

People still ask me how I find the time to write. To them, I’m quite a busy person.

“You’re a single mom with a special needs kiddo, you work full time, yet you have time to write and publish books? How do you do it?”

“Well, I make time,” I say with a shrug. “I love to write, so, I write.”

True, I have my hands completely full with my daughter. Being a special needs parent is a full-time job in itself, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m often approached by aspiring authors telling me that they don’t have the time to write, yet they want to write and publish a book. If you want to be a writer, then be one. Don’t sit on the sidelines saying how you wish you could be one. Make it happen. Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

I was going to college full-time, working part-time, volunteering, taking care of my daughter as a single mom, and helping my grandmother. In the middle of all that I had written and published three books; one of which was a novel.

I have been able to remove ‘attending classes, studying and doing homework’ off of my plate, but my plate is still full. Between IEP meetings (I’ve had 6 this year so far), meeting with someone from the school (a weekly event, if not daily), school events, afterschool events, daily life requirements of housework and errands, work (the main money-bringer), I still find thirty minutes to an hour, sometimes more, to write. If my daughter is at school and I’m off work, that’s plenty of time (8 hours, give or take time out for lunch) to write and get my errands and housework completed.

Being an author is a job.

Since starting my new job last year, I have had nothing but time to write, that I have made it my second job. Being an author is a job. You not only work on your next book, but you have to promote and market the work that you have published. How else are you going to earn an income from your work if no one knows it’s out there?

However, I tend to spend a lot of time writing than I do marketing. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m writing more, which means there will be more published works out there. The more you have published, the more your work will be noticed. I had also decided not to market as much until I had more published works out there.

I’m not saying all of this to brag, honestly! I’m trying to encourage others to make the time. I once used to look at published authors, wishing that I, too, could write and publish a book. I decided to tell myself that I could.

I started writing my novel, Chaos when my daughter was a few months old. I kept pushing it aside as I lacked the motivation to continue. My grandmother became my cheerleader, in a way, urging me to keep going. She knew I wanted to be a published author. I’m glad I listened to her.

Now that she is no longer here, I find myself thinking about her and what she would say each time that I need that little boost of encouragement. Or, I see the pride in my daughter’s eyes when she takes my children’s picture book to school to show everyone that her mommy wrote it. That right there is all the motivation I need.

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Today is National Autism Awareness Day


autism awareness

Today is National Autism Awareness Day, but to some of us, this is every day. However, I always wear blue on this day in support of my daughter who has autism, along with a long list of other spectrum related disorders.

For the past few years, there has been a controversy going around on Autism Speaks. Whether you support them or not, I believe you should spread the awareness on autism itself. Become a voice for someone who has autism. Educate yourself and spread awareness.

autism awareness 1

Fact: 1 out of 59 kids are diagnosed with autism. There is NO cure. However, there should be acceptance and not ignorance.

A Book is a Perfect Fit for an Easter Basket


Easter is April 1st this year. Dana’s First Fish is the prefect size for any Easter basket.
I only have a few copies left, so get yours today before they’re all gone.
Dana's First Fish

Love your authors? Leave them a review on Amazon and or Goodreads.

Amazon Kindle Fire for Kids


Kindle Fire

For Christmas my daughter (8 year old) and I each received a Kindle Fire. I needed one for myself for work and I thought I would get her one as well thinking that it was time for her to upgrade from her original Kindle. However, her older Kindle, which I had purchased back in 2012 still works, amazingly! I had written a post a while back on it, which you can read here. It is still going without any issues, scratches, or cracks.

Now, she has two.

Her newer Kindle is smaller in size, yet has some really neat features that her older Kindle does not have. There are two profiles you can switch to; a kid side and the regular side. The regular side you are able to set up a pin code to use to log into it. You can also have the parental controls set on this side as well, which is an awesome feature that I love! Thank you, Amazon!

The kid side is brightly colorful and very kid friendly. It has five features; home, books, videos, apps, characters, plus a camera and a search bar. The books feature is one of my favs, as well as my daughter’s. She can download whatever children’s ebook she wants to her kindle and read it anywhere we go. It’s just like using the Kindle Unlimited program, but with children’s books. You can download as many ebooks onto the Kindle, then once you’re done reading them, you can delete them off of the device.

My only recommendations is that if your child loves to read or play games, get the Kindle with more space, or buy an SD card (which is a new feature compared to her older Kindle that I love). Also, you can purchase a shock proof case with a handle, which is a nifty tool as my kiddo carries it easily wherever she goes.

One Word Photo Challenge: Teal


This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is Teal; a beautiful shade found on the color spectrum of blue, can be found in the pictures posted below.

If you have never known the love of a therapy horse, or have seen the love expressed between horse and rider, then hopefully you can see that and more expressed in the photos.

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The ever so patient horse, encouraging the ever so gentle touch from a child with special needs is awe inspiring. Tears well up in my eyes with happiness, as I watch my daughter’s slow movements in her approach towards her therapy horse, Passion, who is moving in closer to my daughter for her to touch.

Horse/equine therapy, also known as Hippotherapy, has been very helpful with my daughter in teaching her to express herself more. Not only that, but it allows her to have a love for animals that she didn’t have before; she had expressed fear when any animal approached her, whether that animal was calm or not.

She expresses a giddy, “Hi, Passion.” before reaching up to brush her fingertips across Passion’s nose. Passion, a gentle therapy horse on Harmony In Hooves Farm, stands up to her name. Her gentle, calm nature would allowing anyone a chance to pet her. Horses can be very therapeutic and just being around her can be very calming.

You can check out my other blog post for more information on how horses can be therapeutic for special needs children.

The following photos is of some artwork pieces found in Bernice Gardens in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

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There is no such thing as an Autistic Adult


As a mother of an autistic daughter, I worry about when she won’t have the assistance she will need when she becomes of age. I can see that my worrying isn’t all for not, after reading what this blogger has gone through in her search for assistance as an adult with autism.

Pensive Aspie

Autism only occurs in children.  Because it is a childhood disorder, as an autistic child leaves adolescence behind, the symptoms of their autism will gradually decrease and disappear. By the time the person is an adult, they will be completely Autism-free. They will have no need for speech or physical therapy. No need for mental health services. They will be fully functioning adults – ready to get a job, go to college and begin their new life without autism.

Notme!

Of course this is ABSOLUTELY, 100% NOT TRUE, but this is something I am told every day by the media and organizations that claim to “support Autism.”

When I first suspected I had Asperger’s, I immediately began looking for more information about a diagnosis and support. A google search of Autism and Jacksonville, FL was hopeful. So many resources! CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities). The HEAL (Healing Every Autistic…

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Since becoming a parent, I never thought I would have to say…


Since my daughter’s Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder diagnoses, I have been spending a lot of time researching information on the two. I spend some time reading up about each one on Facebook groups specified for both disorders. Each child with Autism are different from one another, though they do have a few similarities. Spinning, meltdowns, self-hitting, rocking, hand flapping, to name a few that many Autistic children share with one another. That is why there’s a spectrum. One child can have a few autistic behaviors, but is still diagnosed as Autism, he/she is then put on one end of the autism spectrum. While another child has every one of the autistic behaviors, he/she is then put on the opposite spectrum as the other child.

I have learned that there are two sides to Sensory Processing Disorder, the either/or. Either they don’t like to be touched, or they can’t get enough of it. Either they can’t work puzzles or ride a bike, or they excel at it. Either they will only eat certain foods and very little of them (picky eaters), or they will eat everything in sight. Though both sides of SPD has similarities, doesn’t like loud noises, crowded places, won’t take naps or have a hard time going to sleep at night. They’re also excessive risk takers, such as jumping off of something and at times landing on the knees.

One thing that I have noticed from reading the support groups on FB, is that children with SPD has an odd behavior where they lick everything. At first I thought my daughter was the only one with this behavior. But after a post that was written stating ‘the one thing they never thought they would have to say to their child as a parent’. Many parents answered mostly the same thing, having to tell their child to stop licking this or that. We all found something our children have in common. Some parents commented that they thought their child was the only one that licked everything in sight. But after reading each comment, it was easy to see our child wasn’t alone in this behavior.

It’s at least fifty times a day I would have to tell my daughter to stop licking something, especially if we’re out and about. She will lick chairs, the grocery buggy, her TV, the table, her toys, the couch, just to name a few. She’ll even walk up and lick me. She also has to lap up the bathwater. I know what you’re thinking, “Ew gross!” I have the same reaction, especially when it comes to the grocery buggy and bathwater. I carry wipes to clean the buggy, though that sometimes doesn’t help as she’s gotten sick a few times from them. I do keep an eye on her and catch her in time. I carry suckers or candy with me for her to pop in her mouth, rather than the alternative.

Even though my daughter has a disorder, she is still a child. There’s quite a list of things I tell her to stop doing or not do that parents tell their children without disabilities or disorders, such as,  ‘stop jumping on your bed’, ‘stop jumping on the couch’, ‘stop running in the house’, ‘no throwing things in the house, you’ll break something’. Children with ASD and/or SPD are like any other child, just with a few extra things us parents have to tend to or look out for.