Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taking the Week Off

It’s a few days before Christmas, and I’m taking the week off. If I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that I still take on more than any sane soul is capable of conquering. And if I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that trait isn’t changing any time soon. But I am going to stop for a moment, take a break, smell cookies as they bake, and stare at the glowing lights that calm the soul during times of stress and unknowns.

copyright 2011 Julie Clark Art
My daughter is growing up so fast. And I need to stop, take time for her (and my husband). The to-do lists will still be there. Articles to write, books to ponder, and bills…oh, those bills…they never go away, do they? But a few days unplugged are welcome, and I hope you are able to do the same.

So, for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy this time spent with your family.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ten Parenting Tips to Consider. Don’t be Caught on Santa’s Naughty List!

For those who celebrate it, are you ready for Christmas? Are you ready for time off from school? For company? Or are you the ones traveling this year? Is your shopping done, gifts wrapped?

Or is your anxiety increasing as you read the above?

Here’s a quick tip list, in an effort to keep mom and dad off Santa’s Naughty List:
  1. If your child wants to wrap gifts, let her – and don’t criticize how “sloppy” it might look. Remember, many of these kids have gross and/or fine motor skill concerns. And, whatever you do, please, oh please, resist the urge to “rewrap” it. (Unfortunately, I know folks who would do just that…*sigh*)
  2. Does your child want to wrap gifts, but the perfectionist nature of her makes it a stress-ball, ending in meltdowns and tears? Make sure she has the proper tools and an adequate work space. Be prepared with calming activities, and refrain from matching her level of intensity while she’s in the middle of a difficult situation.
  3. Practice gift giving and opening time. Remind your child it is ok to dislike a gift, but it is not ok to act rudely, and a “thank you” is still due. And telling your child (very loudly in a very strong voice) that she is being rude and disrespectful, well…ahem… :)
  4. Be prepared for the Holiday dinner and parties, and consider her sensory world, which includes the menu. For many, an empty stomach is a recipe for a meltdown, any day! Don’t expect her to fail, but don’t expect her to “suck it up and deal with it”, either.
  5. Stick to (at least some of) her wishlist. Aspies like surprises like my husband loves tofu. (Somehow, I still think I’ll convert him. Silly me.)
  6. Going caroling in the cold, snow and freezing temps? Make sure to bundle your child up, especially if her sensitivity to cold (and wearing mittens) is lacking.
  7. Get to know the amygdala. It’s the part of the brain that has the fight or flight response and is what causes our kids to go from sweet little angels to snapping zombie turtles in a millisecond. The amygdala loves this time of year. Yelling feeds it – don’t feed it.
  8. Did your Aspie give you something off her Special Interest list as a gift? You know, that Special Interest that is, shall we say, well loved and all but worn out? Yep, mom, time to practice #3, ourselves, huh?
  9. Don’t make your child hug anyone as a gesture of “thanks”. For some kids, hugging is hell, and not equated with caring.
  10. Take time to sit back and enjoy this time spent with your immediate family. At the end of the day, kids are just that – kids. People who grow up and become adults. And that day is approaching quicker than we’d like to let it.
Ok, your turn. Have any tips you’d like to share?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Handmade Giveaway

With the splitting of this blog into two, I'd like to let you know of a giveaway over on one of my fave blogs, We Know Stuff. The giveaway is a small way to celebrate this change! They are hosting the giveaway of one of my handmade sets, designed and made this fall. And, yep, these guys are on the small side. The aqua mint mini tote is great for carrying keys and your phone for a quick dash out, and the coordinating coin purse fits snuggle-y inside it, as well. 
Handmade by Julie 2011
Due to all the legal bits, only residents of the USA are eligible to win. But, for those interested, if you head over to the We Know Stuff blog, and read the giveaway article, you'll find a coupon that anyone can use, good for my Etsy shop, no matter where you are!

As this blog will now be focusing primarily on Asperger's, head over to my new blog, One Clever Cottage if you'd like to stay current on news, product lines and other information regarding my handmade artisan business, "Julie Clark Art". Or stay right here, for more on life, living and Asperger's.

Or join me at both places. I'd be honored.

The drawing is THIS Friday, December 16, 2011. Feel free to pass it along to friends and family.

Thanks, again, for following along!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Asperger’s in Pink on Facebook

Not too long after Asperger’s in Pink was published, I started a (minutely) small business. Shortly afterward, a Facebook page appeared for each, along with this blog, which was used for both. But promoting Asperger’s awareness while growing a small artisan business eventually meant the two needed their own spaces. If you regularly read this blog (many thanks!), you already know I recently started a new blog, One Clever Cottage, which focuses on life, living and “Julie Clark Art”, keeping this one’s focus mainly on Asperger’s.

Say “Julie Clark Art” three times fast, and it sounds like “aardvark”…

Or a barking froufrou dog.

Yeah, should have thought of that before I started out, huh?

Live and learn.

As much as running two blogs seems like even more work, it’s actually very freeing and has reenergized me! In fact, I want to take a moment to talk about Asperger’s in Pink on Facebook. Have you checked out “the Page”? It’s meant to be interactive. It’s meant to be a place where we can talk, grow, and learn from each other. Have a question? Ask it! If other mom’s don’t see it, I will try to repost it. Have Asperger’s, and want to give your viewpoint on anything? Please do! Want to share a relevant link – or even something that put a smile on your face? Asperger’s in Pink on Facebook is meant to be a positive place to land.

Do you have Asperger’s, and don’t like how others talk about you, as if you have something “wrong”? One thing I am very sensitive about it taking an “us vs. them” approach when talking Asperger’s. “They” are people. “You” are a person. “We” are no better, no smarter. In fact, some of “us” may have Asperger’s, too.

I’d be honored if you’d join the page, and share it with others. It’s open to all – moms, dads, teachers, Aspergirls – and boys.

See you over on “the Page!”