April 24, 2016

Vocabulary With Style: Vocab T-Shirt Design

Looking for a something more interesting to teach vocabulary?  Writing the words and copying the definitions is booooring!  My students created their own t-shirt designs to represent our vocabulary words in Social Studies for this week. I just googled "t-shirt outline" and printed one out for the students.

They created rough drafts for all seven of our vocabulary words so they could come up with a visual representation for all of our words.  They picked their favorite one, and created a larger design with some color!

Check out what my 4th graders came up with!

April 23, 2016

New Blog Design... Thank you Blog Queens!

I have my new blog design!  Why the new look and URL?  I was never really in love with my blog title.  I also started teaching and often found myself wanting to write about that.  This blog is for YOU, but it is also for me.  So, I wanted to keep the autism blogging going primarily (don't worry...that is still the main focus!), but I also wanted blog about another very important part of my life, and in important part of who I am: a teacher.  Finally, I also wanted to have a place to show of products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store,

After two hours of playing around on GoDaddy to not only get this new URL to work, but to get ramblingsofaspecialmom.com forwarded over here, I'm FINALLY back up and running!  That was SO stressful!  Getting the new blog design was super easy though.

Blog Queens did a wonderful job.  They were fast, friendly, and cost effective.  Loved working with them!

April 17, 2016

Our Happenings: Autism Awareness Month 2016

I teach at a wonderful school.  Its a supportive environment that is just second nature to the faculty and staff.  In support of autism awareness month, the teachers had our students each chose a word to represent autism.  Check out what they came up with!

Thank you to A Traveled Teacher for this awesome Autism Awareness Packet you can purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers!

We're going to the Autism Tennessee Pieces of Hope Benefit next weekend.  I'm so excited!

PLUS, this month I also got some free swag from Autism Speaks at autismspeaks.org.  Check it out!  You can find this shirt and may other products by clicking here or going to shop.autismspeaks.org.

April 16, 2016

Batter Up!

Life is getting a lot more exciting around here. Brandon had his first day of baseball! He shocked me. He played second base and although he played in the dirt and tugged on my hand quite a bit, he pretty much stayed there for 30 minutes! The ball was hit to him and he picked it up and threw it towards second base. What!? I was in awe. He also hit (tapped) the ball off the tee and holding my hand, we ran all the way to third base. Once we got to third, I let go of his hand and he ran halfway to home plate, then back over to first. :) I ran with him back over to home plate and stomped my foot on it! He did the same. Home run, Brandon! 

April 14, 2016

Ready for a Night Out! Pieces of Hope Benefit for Autism Tennessee

I am so excited for the Autism Tennessee benefit next weekend!!!  Tickets are $100 each.  That may seem like a lot, but this includes appetizers, dinner, drinks, and a band!  Not to mention, it's for an awesome cause!

All proceeds from Pieces of Hope go to support Autism Tennessee’s advocacy, service and education for individuals living with an autism spectrum disorder, their families and their surrounding communities.

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2016

Time: 6:00 Cocktails Served, 7:30 pm Event Begins

Attire: Cocktail

Location: The Factory at Franklin, Liberty Hall, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064

• Appetizers and Dinner provided by Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

• Desserts provided by Seay Catering & Events

• Full-Bar Service

• Beer provided by Rock Bottom Brewery

• Specialty Drink provided by Blue Chair Bay Rum

• Wine Tasting provided by One Hope

• Live & Silent Auctions

• Client Testimonials and more!

April 12, 2016

It's Official! We're Getting an Autism Service Dog!

It's official!  We are getting an autism service dog for Brandon through 4 Paws for Ability.  We are in the December 2017 class which seems like forever away, but it will be worth the wait. Thank you for all of the love and support!

April 3, 2016

Autism Awareness in the Classroom: Some of My Favorite Links

Along with being an autism mom, I am a fourth grade teacher.  I have taught my students all about autism, and try to nurture their sense of acceptance an compassion for all people.  They have been very receptive to learning about autism, knowing that their teacher is so close to it.  Their enthusiasm melts my heart.  I have a whole-class behavior management system, and when they earn it, they can choose their own incentive.  They decide what to vote on and they usually choose extra recess or lunch in the classroom...stuff like that.  The other day, one of my students said she wanted to add "Brandon comes to school" to the list.  It was nearly unanimous.  They've heard lots of quirky stories about Brandon, and they're dying to meet him!  One of my students actually ran into me and Brandon at the grocery store and bragged about it at school the next day.  He's like a little celebrity around here.

I've compiled a list of some of my favorite autism resources that teachers can use in the classroom.

The first resource I want to share is from A Traveled Teacher.  She created this with input from an autism mom.  "The unit is designed to raise awareness to all students, so that they may see autism in another light and understand it so much better.  This unit gives kids with autism a voice."  I bought it to use in my own classroom, but it would be a great gift for your child's teacher!

Here are the rest of the links!  There are so many resources out there...these are just a few of my favorites!

Sesame Street and Autism:

Storybook: We’re Amazing 1, 2, 3 This is a read aloud storybook featuring Elmo, Abby, and a girl named Julie who has autism.

Nasaiah’s Day (4:46) This video is a day in the life type of video of a little boy with autism.

Thomas’s Story (6:27) This video shows children how some nonverbal children with autism can communicate.

A Sibling Story (4:35) This video shows what life is like for the siblings of a young girl with autism.

A Boy and His Dog (1:32) This video is about an autism service dog!

Upper Grades

How Much Do You Know About Autism? – Quiz and Answers with Explanations http://www.buzzfeed.com/autismspeaks05/how-much-do-you-know-about-autism-28o3j

Temple Grandin Explains How Her Brain Works Like a Search Engine (Video – About 5 min) http://themighty.com/2016/03/temple-grandin-explains-how-her-autistic-brain-works-like-a-search-engine/

Autism and Sensory Sensitivity: Experience 60 Seconds of How it Feels to Live with Autism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycCN3qTYVyo&feature=youtu.be


Family Friends Words from and autism mom

Then Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew By Ellen Notbohm

Facts and Statisticshttp://autismtn.org/about-autism/facts-and-statistics/

April 2, 2016

Potty Progress

We have progression the potty!  Brandon will be 5 in August, and is still not potty trained.  The other kids his age have definitely noticed, and some innocent comments have been made.  (Heartbroken mama right here.)  He's getting to an age now where his delays are apparent to his peers.  We are fortunate that he has a class with children who love and accept him for who he is, but kids are curious and of course don't think before they speak. They are only 5, after all.

It's not that I want him to be like all the other kids, necessarily.  I just want him to be happy!  And lets be honest, who is happy walking around with a full diaper!?  Actually, some kids are perfectly fine with their soiled diapers, but Brandon isn't one of them.  Just trust me on that, and I'll leave out details!

He has gone on the potty every single day for a couple weeks!  Yesterday he went five times, and didn't go in his diaper, except for a teeny tiny tinkle!

The secret to our success is this:  He was finally ready!  We fought about the potty for a while, and one day I just looked at my husband and said, "He is not ready.  We need to wait until he is."  There was no point in stressing him out, or stressing us out.  We pretty much gave up, then started again when we thought he could do it with more more ease, and less struggle.  This started to happen when his receptive communication started growing.  The second key is: consistency.  Once we've got the potty down, I'll write a post on exactly what we've done.  I don't want to to a post on it until we're truly successful with it.

Happy Saturday...and AUTISM AWARENESS DAY!

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