Tag Archives: spectrum

New Book Release – Sharing Stories on Our Autism Journey


June is a great month. It official marks summer break from school, as well as the first day of Summer. It is also my birth month, which is why I decided to publish The Road I’ve Traveled on my birthday.

The Road I’ve Traveled is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Its official release date will be on the 19th of June.

I absolutely love the cover. The anchor represents my time in the Navy. The color blue represents my love of the ocean, as well as autism awareness.

The Road Ive Traveled

The Road I’ve Traveled is a compilation of poems and short stories Jennifer wrote during moments of her life where she felt the need to get it all out. She writes about being in the Navy during the tragedies of 9/11, having to deploy to New York where she and her shipmates stayed in New York’s harbor for three weeks, guarding the coastline in hopes of preventing any further attacks.

She writes about loss, love, heartbreak, family. You can see the fondness she had for her grandfather as she includes a heartfelt eulogy she had written moments after his passing.

She also writes about being a single mom, as well as a mom to a child who is on the autism spectrum. The journey they have endured together has been bumpy, but they continue to plow through life, learning about autism and sensory processing disorder as they go.

You can find all of my books, recently published and upcoming, under my name and my pen name, posted on my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com/books
Or, you can find them on Amazon:
For all books published under my name, Jennifer N. Adams on Amazon, click here.
For all books published under my pen name, J. Raven Wilde on Amazon, click here.
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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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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.

In search for the right daycare


Since I’ve been told my daughter is on the Spectrum I have been curious. Curious on how she would be treated, how she would fair in a regular daycare, how she would get along with other kids who aren’t on the spectrum. It is a fear of mine for her to be held back because of how delayed she is. But what people don’t see is how smart she is. She knows her colors, letters, shapes, how to count to at least fifteen. She can even count to ten in Spanish. She’s non-sociable with kids around her age only because she’s used to being around her older cousins. She is particularly hard to deal with for some people when it comes to them not knowing how to communicate with her. She isn’t that verbal and when she is, some people have a hard time knowing what she’s saying. This leads to meltdowns. I’ve been approached many times on how to deal with this when she does that, or how do I do this when she does that.

Well, some of my fears have come true. I found out a few weeks ago that she’s been held back in her daycare due to the fact that she’s still in diapers. Instead of being in the classroom with the 3 1/2 and 4 year olds, she’s in the classroom with the 2 year olds. Why had I not paid attention to this sooner? Well, with the high over turn in teachers, and the fact that she was moved around twice since putting her back in daycare a few months ago, had me thinking she was in her proper class. I did not find out she was in with two year old until I was signing her field trip form and it had what class she was in. I was not happy and even expressed this. Because I can’t get her to be fully potty trained, this causes a problem with the daycare she’s in.

This past week one of her specialist handed me a list of daycare’s to look at. These are daycare’s that have pediatric services. Daycare’s that have qualified teachers who specialize in areas for kids with special needs, such as Autism, down syndrome, delayed development, etc.  I have checked out at least two of them on the list and one of them I like already. I especially like that it has proper security measures, such as a door you have to push a button to request getting in and press a button to get out. At my daughter’s current daycare you can just lean on the door and it opens without issues. This becomes a problem with me as my daughter is a runner. She has on a few occasions gotten right to the busy street before I catch her. I swear I lose five years off of my life each time she heads for that door.

Upon checking out one of them, the one that I like the most, I have seen so many things that would benefit my daughter and her sensory needs. For the past month she’s been giving everyone a difficult time due to the fact that she’s in need of sensory input and I just so happen to be picking her up after a few hours of her having a lengthy meltdown. No one knows what to do for her when she has a meltdown, nor do they recognize that she’s even having an meltdown or the fact that she’s requiring some sensory input. Instead, they put her off to a corner and tell her to play by herself. At the daycare I checked out the nurse giving me the tour showed me all kinds of sensory toys. Thinks for yoga balls, slides, trampolines, ball pits, special swings, you name it, they had it and my daughter will benefit from these items as I’m sure she’ll be using them on a daily basis. This will also help me when I come to pick her up, as she won’t be cranky and out of emotional balance.

This daycare also has a wonderful staff that I had the joy of meeting. Their classrooms were much bigger and situated differently than the daycare my daughter is in currently. I noticed immediately that I was in a classroom for children that require structure and stability, something that my daughter needs. Actually I think every child needs structure and stability. I was also told that she will be placed in a classroom with her peers. I think my heart leaped with joy when I heard that. There are a list of other things that I liked with this daycare, though I still feel the need to look at a few others before I make my final decision. I’m sure I’m already biased in picking which one I want her to go to already.

Autism and Ignorance


Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.

Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.

There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.

My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.

Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.

Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.

A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.