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MORE EMPOWERMENT

Posted by Chari Reynolds on January 28, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

#4 Don't compare yourself- Run your own race

#5 Shore Up Spiritually

#6 Live in Gratitude/Give Back

#7 Recognize your gifts

These are steps 4-7 of gaining Empowerment

Tonight I want to focus on number 4. Last night my son and family were able to partake in a basketball skills class aimed at the special needs individual. From the get go, it was not smooth sailing my son. It was an assault on the senses, and unfamiliar, which is usually a guaranteed anxiety attack. At first I was not sure how to feel about the situation. A room filled with people and tears streaming down my boy's face. But I soon realized the power of being in an accepting environment. Although there was protest, things changed at the end of the night. My son attempted to dribble the basketball down the court next to his father and shoot a basket. He did this all with no tears, but there were many cheers. I was in a room full of people that recognized "the race" my son had run that night. It was about moving forward and making progress with no comparisons. It taught me a valuable lesson. We need to remember to be easier on ourselves, focus on moving forward inch by inch. Run our own race, or tip toe slowly towards that basketball hoop and give it all we have.

 

Empowerment 1-3

Posted by Chari Reynolds on January 5, 2014 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I appreciate the opportunity to blog here. I often blog on my family site, sharing pictures and feelings about life, it has always been very therapeutic for me. Blogging here from time to time is exciting and different, because it is more about other people. Our founder has been hard at work. She has BIG dreams, not to mention the BIGGEST heart, for this cause. Ultimately helping other people allows us to heal, allows us to become better people, and makes the world a better place. Corny but true. Please stay tuned to see where the next adventure takes us.

 

Recently my son's ABA provider sent me a note entitled The Steps of Empowerment. Well I had never heard of such a thing and I decided to read on. They seemed straight forward enough but it struck me if I had mastered any of them??? Especially in regards to having a child on the spectrum.

 

 1) Accept and Embrace this Challenge- 

 

My son will be 10 this year. I still struggle to accept that Autism is a part of my life. Honestly months go by and I think the hurt has past, and then, when I least expect it, it sneaks up on me. Obviously I still struggle with Accepting, but what if I embraced this as the defining moment in my life?? I'm going to give it a try. Onward and Upward

 

 

2) Educate yourself

 

I have this one in the bag! Or do I? Knowledge is power. I know this to be true. After our Autism diagnosis I dove in and read until my eyes were blood shot. After a while, I could not stand to read anymore Autism books. I got complacent in my knowledge and go tired of knowing more than everyone else. Ha ha ha! Enter Alex. She reminded me of the value of constantly learning. So I dove in again. I am more discerning now, but sometimes I get hit with a stoke of genius from my reading, and that leads us to a new mile stone. Onward and Upward

 

3) Get Support

 

What is it about this one? It is tough to find support. At my husband's recent nursing graduation the key note speaker said, "you can not really care for another, unless you care for yourself". I know this. Having support is part of caring for my mental well being. Support helps me DEAL with ALL of life's challenges better. Even if support comes in the form of chatting with a friend over an insanely long dinner inhaling mac n' cheese. And maybe at the end, your reminded "your not alone". Onward and Upward

 

 

We will be posting more through out the month. Whatever your goals are for 2014 we wish you the very best and offer our love and support.

 

Our Deepest Gratitude-

 

ONWARD AND UPWARD 2014

 

The long and short of it .... First event

Posted by Chari Reynolds on October 10, 2013 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Treats4Treatments

Our first event was held to help a sweet boy named Dustin.  It does not hurt to mention he is super cute.  Dustin is currently in California receiving treatments to help with Autism. The long and short of it, he is responding to these treatments and making progress. So worth the sacrifices that Dustin and his family made to get to this point.  We need to provide these opportunities for individuals. Money should not be the reason these wonderful children go without. This sentiment echoed in my head as I set up our first event.   The Sun coming up over the trees as I nervously set up tables lined with a variety of baked goods people had donated.  Would people come?   Would people give? The long and short of it, yes!  Not shortly after I set up the treat tables, a man in a truck pulled up and started unloading garage sale items all to benefit this family.  My heart was touched.  That would not be the last time that day.   I was touched as I stared at the baking talent on the table, the cost of flour and chocolate all donated to make delectable creations to raise funds.  I was touched at the vibrant help I received by two gorgeous ladies in Dustin Defender's t-shirts selling goods with a smile.  I was touched when one of the most giving and joyful teenagers I've ever met, loaded up a basket full of goodies and started walking the neighborhood selling to people shopping the community sale.  I was touched at the lady who got out of her car, looked around did not buy anything, and handed me 2 dollars and said, "I have an adult son with Autism and I want to help".  I was touched by the two men who got out of their truck, bought 2 cookies, handed me a $20 bill and told me to "keep the change".   The willingness of people to give touched my heart in a way I will soon not forget.  Thank you to all you who gave.  Whether it was with your time, service, donation, it meant something to us, and most importantly to Dustin.  Our most deserving recipient.

Thank you! Thank you!

 

Thank you!!!

 

 

"A great day" ??

Posted by treats4treatments on September 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

"A great day"...a common phrase heard across the country by many autism parents doing pick-ups from schoool and or therapy.What exactly does that mean?? I have had this conversation with many parents over the years. My explanation of a great day in my mind...No behaviors ...No potty accidents ...No outbursts...NO RESTRAINT AND/OR SECLUSION...participated....learned something new...had fun...made a friend ...ate carrot sticks at lunch...had some more fun...( i know that is a HUGE picture!!) A teacher , therapist , or your explanation of a great day might look NOTHING like that. I know some parents are content with that explanation ...just happy their child appears to have survived the day or session. I NEED MORE!!! How are we to help our kids navigate through life if we don't know what to work on with them. Sometimes that little extra practice at home on those missing or not quite developed skills makes all of the difference in the lives of our children. On a small scale.... the difference between more functional main stream time ....on a big scale searching for alternative living placement when they are to big to handle during meltdowns .We as parents must find a way to have open and descriptive communication with the amazing people who work so hard with and for our children. Choose a way that is easiest for you. Email is a great way to have documentation you can refer back to if needed to look for trends in good /bad patches . Create a folder/binder with daily or session notes. You can customize these around the concerns you have specific to your child. Now get out there and "HAVE A GREAT DAY" :)

This vs. That vs. This

Posted by Chari Reynolds on August 6, 2013 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (1)

This vs. That vs. This

In the ASD community sometimes there are divides. Which is really.... well..... just silly.

For this reason.

**** If you have met ONE person with Autism, then you have met ONE person with Autism****

 You've probably seen that a number of places

So what does that really mean? Well, we are individuals, even if we have the same diagnosis. Certainly not a new thought, but a well intentioned one. In the Autism world you will read and hear strong opinions about treatments available for those on the spectrum. So strong in fact, that some of these opinions dismiss specific treatments with fervor. I find this unfortunate. In my own life I have found that there is not always one right way to do things. I am happy to help close the divide. In fact, I am excited that there is more than one treatment available to improve the lives of those with Autism. More TREATMENTS, more HELP, more HOPE.

That's my two cents on the matter.

*Check out the Resource Page*

No one is destined to fail by Chari

Posted by treats4treatments on July 22, 2013 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I've sat down to write Treats4Treatments’ first post a number of times. I thought...should I introduce us, talk about our kids, diagnosis day? I was not sure. So I am going to go with the emotion I have at the moment, excitement, I am excited about what Treats4Treatments is going to do. Ultimately its about helping our beautiful children who are so deserving of it. I feel honored to be a part of an organization whose sole desire is to help, and help far more families than just our own. There are science-based treatments out there that can really make a difference for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. This is awesome news; however, the unfortunate part is that although proven to work, these treatments are costly. It is unfair that some families have to choose between putting food on the table and treatments for their child. We need more solutions, and this is where Treats4Treatments can help. Either through donations or by purchasing a yummy treat, you will help someone in a very big way even if the dollar amount is small. I hope this blog will be a place of information, humor, love, and gratitude. This is only the beginning of this journey, and we are determined to see it succeed!

I'll end this first post by sharing a personal moment - One day I was feeling low, like us "Special Moms" do from time to time. I went looking for something to hold on to. I found a talk written by a spiritual man who travels the world giving service. I'm paraphrasing, but it went something like:

"People are different, every single one of us, we ALL have a contribution to make. No one is destined to fail."

At that moment there was a change in my heart, I honestly had never heard those exact words. I assure you, moments before I read that I felt destined for failure. To hear that someone believed the exact opposite was a relief, and better yet, I suddenly knew I believed it too. I know our children are destined for great things, but they need help reaching their potential.

---- Thank you for being part of the solution.

A new day!!

Posted by treats4treatments on July 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Today we are starting to build a web page for treats 4 treatments.Our hope is to raise funds for alternative treatments for our son Dustin and his friends with autism. It is an exciting and scary all at the same time.Please know that i am new to creating a resource like this so it will take me some time(and lots of mistakes) Thank you for coming along with us on this journey.Today is a new day!!


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