Posted in Autism, Homeschooling, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

Daily Life Therapy: An Autism Teaching Method

I recently came across a “new to me” idea for teaching kids with disabilities while searching educational methods that might help my daughter, Bethany, who is an autistic brain tumor survivor, learn better.

It’s called Daily Life Therapy, which is apparently an innovative, holistic approach to teaching autistic children and young adults!

It was first established in 1964 when Dr. Kiyo Kitahara began using her method to teach her kindergarten classes in Tokyo, Japan.

Her ideas quickly spread throughout Japan and then eventually made it all the wayacross the ocean to Boston in 1987.

The three key components or “pillars” of the Daily Life Therapy method are:

  • Building physical stamina: The theory is that vigorous exercise can help regulate biological rhythms thus benefiting physical health, mood, awareness of one’s surroundings, and one’s ability to concentrate.
  • Promoting emotional stability: Teachers form a tight emotional bond with their students which promotes trust and emotional soundness.
  • Providing intellectual stimulation: Students are provided with a broad based, age appropriate curriculum.

It seems to me that while good and effective on their own, most other methods of teaching children with autism focus solely on teaching academics and life skills.

Most do not even consider the importance and benefits of incorporating movement and exercise into a student’s educational program, despite the fact that Dr. Temple Grandin repeatedly stresses the importance of autistic kids getting enough physical exercise.

When Bethany was having so much trouble all those years with debilitating seizures, it was difficult, but not altogether impossible to ensure her emotional well being and keep her brain somewhat stimulated.

However, it was impossible for her to get  up off of the couch to do much of anything even remotely physical.

But, I can with all honestly and much enthusiasm attest to the fact that as soon as Bethany’s seizures were under better control and we were able to get her involved in all the fun fitness activities at Flash Club and the YMCA, not only did her physical stamina improve, but so did her emotional health and her ability to learn!

So to say that I am excited about a teaching approach that addresses the students emotional and physical well being, as well as academics and life skills is a huge understatement!

My only disappointment is that according to their website,  presently this approach is only being utilized in day programs or residential programs at just two campuses in the entire world: one being in Boston and the other being in Japan.

It would be awesome if they eventually make resources available for creating home programs using this method.

I plan to do a little more research into this exciting new autism educational method to see how I might incorporate some of its key ideas into Bethany’s homeschool program!

I’m going to start my research by rummaging around on their website: Boston Higashi School and visiting their Higashi Kids Wiki Space where they offer academic resources and games!

You might also be interested in:

4 Common Autism Teaching Methods
Autism Thinking Styles and Educational Thinking Styles
TEACCH Principals in Special Needs Homeschool Programs

*A version of this post was first published in March 2016.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

If you have a minute, please check out our Etsy Shop where you can purchase handcrafted junk journals, instantly download prints of vintage ephemera and copies of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Autism, Bethany Moments, My Vlogs, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Helping My Autistic Daughter Cope With Change

One of Bethany’s most significant struggles as a person with autism is handling change.

She wants everything in her life to always be the same!

A change in her routine, throwing away old, worn out clothes and accepting new ones are tough on Bethany.

Even a change in her environment, like getting a new kitchen table, for example, can be extremely hard on her emotionally!

Our recent move into a new house in a new city has sparked a bit of anxiety for Bethany, even though she had been looking forward to it for a very long time!

For the first two weeks, she coped with her new environment amazingly well!

Before we moved, I had shown her pictures of bunk beds online and asked her if she wanted one for the new house and she did!!

She talked excitedly about getting her new bed for days and when we finally got it she was thrilled!

My husband and I anticipated that she would have a change of heart when we took apart her old bed and drug it away.

She shocked us, however, by excitedly climbing up to the top bunk and happily settling in.

She even slept all night, which is highly unusual!!

She also surprisingly, had no issues with getting a new couch.

But then one day we decided to hang up curtains and for reasons known only to her, she freaked out and had a very aggressive and potentially destructive tantrum.

She did not want those curtains hung up and she let us know it!

However, we didn’t back down and  a month later, other than occasionally asking if I can take them down and me telling her no, she has accepted them being there without further incident.

At about the same time as the curtain incident, Bethany started waking up twice a night, every night.

Her need to control everything has also magnified, especially her need to try to control me.

She even tries to dictate to me what outfit I should wear each day, including what color underwear she wants me to wear!!!

TMI, I know!!

The latest issue we’ve had actually happened just yesterday.

We bought a new smaller kitchen table and chairs that fits better in our new smaller house.

Bethany watched Malcolm take apart and remove our old table and chairs without a problem.

She watched him put together the new one without even so much as a hint of distress.

It wasn’t until we put the new table and chairs in place that she blew up!

She wanted the old table and chairs back and was willing to fight for them!

She threw a few things around and threatened to pinch me.

Her tantrum didn’t last long, thank God, but she was grouchy for the rest of the night.

She kept moving the new chairs into another room.

My husband and I decided to leave them there and he would put them back in place before she woke up and he left for work the next day.

It’s now 3:30 the next day and she seems to have accepted them.

Anyway, that’s what I’m optimistically assuming because she hasn’t said a word about them all day.

With all that being said, when I know a change in Bethany’s life is imminent,  I’ve learned to try to prepare her ahead of time for the transition.

A feat which can be tricky, because there is a fine line between giving her enough time in advance to successfully process the change, while, at the same time, not giving her too much time to stew about it, which can end up causing her even more anxiety!!

I’m certainly not saying we’ve cured Bethany’s dislike of changes, but below are some suggestions that have helped and might help others with autism cope with changes in their lives as well.

      • Social Stories: I am a big fan of social stories. In Bethany’s case I use photos or realistic drawings to explain to her ahead of time what kind of change she can expect to happen soon.
      • Timers: For transitioning from one activity to another in her daily schedule I’ve had great success using the Time Timer. This timer lets Bethany see time passing. She knows she must change activities when the red part is all gone. I have to be careful to put the timer up high enough that she can’t reach it though, or she’ll keep giving herself more time!!
      • Create a fun transition signal: I use counting to prepare Bethany for changes in activity.  For example: When it’s time to get out of the tub, I tell her that I will count to 20 twice, say, “Peek a boo Bethany”, ( She likes to hide behind the shower curtain while I count) then it will be time to get out.
      • Practice changes: Practicing the gradual acceptance of small changes in Bethany’s routine, activities, and environment has proven to be very helpful in helping her deal with the more significant changes in her life that cannot be avoided.

I truly believe that Bethany’s attendance at Flash Club, a social club for children with autism, has played a huge part in helping her accept changes better.

She participates in several eight week sessions of activities on a rotating basis. At first changing activities was very stressful on her. She melted down a lot!

But concentrating on one activity for eight weeks gives her plenty of time to enjoy each activity while also processing the idea that a change is coming.

Now she realizes that changing activities gives her more fun things to do and she looks forward to each new activity.

In the video below, my husband and I discuss the potential change to Bethany’s environment!

* A version of this post was previously published in February 2015.
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Thanks so much for stopping by!

If you have a minute, please check out our Etsy Shop where you can purchase handcrafted junk journals, instantly download prints of vintage ephemera and copies of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Autism, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

New Year, New House, New Adventures!

We’ve been living in our new house for little over a month now!

It’s crazy how fast the time has gone by!

We’ve been busy making the house our home and settling nicely in to some new routines.

Unfortunately, however, not all of our new routines are nice ones!

Bethany has taken to going to bed, then getting up again about an hour later.

Of course, she wakes me up in the process.

She goes back to bed just 30 minutes later, but then wakes up again about 3 hours later.

Needless to say, it’s getting on my nerves!!

Her OCD and control issues have ramped up quite a bit too.

So even though she very much wanted to move, it’s clear she’s experiencing some stress and anxiety.

The boys have learned the bus system and have been applying for jobs.

No luck yet, though, I’m afraid!!

I’ve been keeping busy changing over our primary care doctors, having all our prescriptions transferred to our new pharmacy, and all the tedious administrative work that goes along with relocating.

I think it’s so weird that our new doctor’s office is in a shopping center next to the Dollar Tree!

And what’s even weirder is that it’s only a 5 minute drive from our house!!

In fact, just about everywhere we need to go is only about a 5 minute drive from our house!

It feels so good to know when we’re done shopping or with appointments, or whatever, that it won’t take to 30 minutes to 2 hours to drive back home!!

Everything is literally just around the corner!!

Bethany is loving the new pool at our new YMCA!

It even has a basket ball hoop in it!

So, now she can enjoy both or her favorite sports at the same time!

I even got a swim suit and have been getting in the pool with her and she is loving that!

Me not so much!

I’m not a fan of being in cool water!

I want my pool water to be hot!!

But I can make that sacrifice for her!!

One of the best things about moving here is that we have already found a new aide for Bethany!

We knew it would be easier to find help in the city, but we honestly didn’t think we’d find someone we felt we could trust this quickly!

She will officially start working with Bethany 30 hours a week mid-February!!!

We’ve never had an aide work that many hours before.

This will be quite a change for us, but it will also be a good transition to get Bethany ready for the time when Malcolm and I are too old and eventually no longer here anymore to take care of her!!

The new aide is already working for the disabilities agency that Bethany is associated with, so she has been through the vetting process and has a few years of experience under her belt.

Plus, she came highly recommended by a friend.

So, hopefully that will all work out!

My birthday flowers!

As for me, I just turned 60 and am still battling with depression.

Now that we are near a mental health facility, I think it just might be time for me to do something official about that.

It’s not fun being sad, anxious, and worried most of the time.

My time here on earth is nearly up and I can’t stop worrying about what could happen to Bethany when I’m no longer around to keep her safe.

Well, I think that’s about it for our new year update!

I hope your year has been going well so far and that you are all happy and healthy!!


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

If you have a minute, please check out our Etsy Shop where you can purchase handcrafted junk journals, instantly download prints of vintage ephemera and copies of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Autism, Holidays, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Our Huge Secret Reveal!!

Finally, we reveal our huge secret!!

If you haven’t seen our secret reveal video on YouTube yet, than you might not know that we sold our old house, bought a new one and have been living in it for 2 weeks now!

We actually accepted an offer on our old house that we had lived in for 32 years and put in an offer on our new house on the very same day which was October 5, 2018!

We chose to keep it all a secret just in case it didn’t work out!

But on December 27, 2018 we closed both deals: selling our house and buying our new one all in the same day!

We were actually homeless for about an hour and a half that day!

I must say though, that as much as we have been wanting to move to where life will be easier for all of us as we all get older, the process was not without it’s anxious moments and panic attacks!

There were so many unexpected glitches, negotiations, and last minute financial responsibilities that threw us into quite a few panic attacks!

To be honest, I became an even more anxious and depressed mess than normal!

I spent three months worrying about how we would come up with money for unexpected expenses, where we would live if we sold our house before we could move into our new one and how Bethany would actually handle leaving the home she was born in and never going back!

As it turned out, our attorney was able to set both house closings to be on the same day!

The owner of our new house graciously allowed us to move our belongings in before we actually bought it which helped tremendously!

A couple of ladies Malcolm knows from the Post Office really saved the day when they showed up with a truck and willing bodies to help us move our stuff out!

They even took all our junk to the dump for us!

We literally could not have pulled this move off without them!

The house had to be empty by 10:00 a.m the day of the closing, so Malcolm, Bethany, and I did have to spend one night in a hotel and we farmed the boys out to their siblings for the night!

It was crazy and hectic, but we managed it!

After moving into our new house, Bethany did quite well the first few days.

Then she suddenly had a major temper tantrum because she didn’t want us to hang up curtains.

She remained upset and angry for a couple of days which did worry me at first, but although her emotions have been up and down, for the most part she’s actually been handling the changes quite well!

She has never once asked to go back to the old house , so that’s a huge relief!

We are all really enjoying living in civilization close to Josiah and Katy and friends!

The convenience of being able to pop over real quick to the grocery store, movie theater, medical care, and to get a bite to eat is awesome!

We are attempting to get Bethany motivated to try out a new day program which we hope she will enjoy and I’m looking forward to begin attending the special needs family support group that I’ve signed Malcolm and I up for!

Unfortunately, we lost Bethany’s aid, Connie, in the process of moving, so that has been hard, but we do believe we may have found a new one to help out a few hours a week already.

In fact, she is an old friend who was actually Bethany’s Sunday School aid when we used to attend church many, many years ago!

We hope to begin implementing our plan of turning one of our apartments into a mini group home for Bethany and roommates to live in forever with in the next 5-10 years.

If that doesn’t work out for some reason, there are lots of other options and disability agencies and services in this city which we can access if needed!

I am so thankful for all the help we had making this move happen and am looking forward to all the new changes life will bring us!


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, an autistic and  brave brain tumor survivor !

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Holidays, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

We’ve Got a Huge Secret!

Happy New Year everyone!

If you celebrate Christmas I hope it was a happy one for you!

To be honest, I do believe this was the worst Christmas I’ve ever had and it’s all because of the worries, fears, anxiety and panic attacks that I’ve been experiencing in recent months.

You may have noticed I’ve been AWOL around here and on other social media since just before Christmas!

That’s because of a huge secret that I’ve been keeping from you all since October 5th!

I’m not going to reveal what that secret is just yet, because I want to do that on my YouTube channel first, as soon as I get the chance.

If you’ve seen my Instagram lately though, you might have guessed what it is already!!

Anyway, now that my big secret is actually a done deal, I’m feeling much better about life, although I doubt I will ever be totally without any anxiety!!

However one can always hope and here’s hoping for a happy, healthy, prosperous, anxiety free and worry free 2019 for all!!


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, an autistic and  brave brain tumor survivor !

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Bethany Moments, Holidays, Siblings of Special Needs Children, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Our Autism Friendly Christmas Festivities

Each year, just after decorating our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving, I start thinking about what holiday activities our daughter, Bethany might enjoy and be able to tolerate.

For those who may not know it, Bethany has autism.

She’s also a brain tumor survivor and has developmental disabilities and seizures.

Even though she’s 20 years old now, she still usually enjoys little kid stuff!

Though sometimes she does surprise us by enjoying more age appropriate activities.

So, it’s not always easy to come up with activities she might enjoy doing.

We usually figure it all out by trial and error!!

When Bethany was younger she loved visiting Santa, so we took her every year.

But last year, whenever we drove past Santa’s igloo and asked her if she wanted to go see him she said no every single time.

This year, however, when we drove past that old familiar Igloo and saw Santa walking down the sidewalk, she got super excited and wanted to go see him.

Luckily, he was heading straight toward his igloo!!

She had a blast visiting him and in fact, the very next day she asked her aide take her to see him again!!

For those that may live near Norwich, NY,  in my opinion, this Santa is the best one to take kids with disabilities and little kids to.

There is almost never a line and Mr. and Mrs. Santa were super sweet and accommodating!

autistic girl sitting on Santa'a lap

For many years, Bethany also enjoyed riding the Christmas Carousel in Johnson City, NY.

This is just a fun night time ride with Santa.

They turn off the overhead lights during the ride so everyone can enjoy the Christmas lights better!

But two years ago, when they turned off the lights, Bethany flipped out and changed her mind.

She refused to ride and actually let it ruin her whole night.

Because it’s so far away and Bethany still hates having the lights turned off, we’ve decided not to try again for awhile

No sense in chancing making her miserable again.

Happy to be on her way to the party!

But one Christmas activity we can always count on Bethany enjoying is our annual ugly Christmas sweater cookie decorating party with her sister Rebekah and brother-in-law, William!

This year was no exception!

She was so thrilled to give Rebekah and William the presents she had made for them.

She enjoyed eating her 5 pieces of pizza and feeding Sophia the hamster some treats!

She especially loved checking out Rebekah’s manger scene and little Christmas village.

After watching, The Christmas Chronicles, on Netflix, she and William had a little dance party, then we all settled down to decorate our cookies and gingerbread house!

Keeping the gingerbread house from falling apart proved to be a bit frustrating, but brother, Jeremiah solved that problem by duct taping the insides of the walls together!!

All too soon, the party was over and it was time for us to say our goodbyes.

But we’ll all see each other again on Christmas Day for dinner at brother, Josiah and sister-in-law, Katy’s house along with a whole bunch of other people Bethany loves!

Do you have any holiday traditions you enjoy doing each year?

 


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Holidays, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Bethany’s Thanksgiving 2018!

I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving!

I’m delighted to say that we sure did!

This year our holiday was quiet, calm and relaxed.

Just the way we like it!!

It was just the seven of us, Mom; Dad; Bethany; Nate and Jerry, plus Rebekah and William.

Thanksgiving turkey

(*The following links are affiliate links.)

As our kids have gotten older, moved away and started their own families we have had to accept that they will not all be coming home for every holiday.

But that’s okay, because even though we miss are married kids and grandkids dearly, we don’t mind sharing them with their in-laws every other year!

And some of our kids, like our daughter, Rachel, who is a missionary in Japan, live too far away to come home for just one day in the middle of the week!

This year, once again, we had a blast playing Apples to Apples, our favorite holiday game by far!

Of course, the funny things Bethany says in all her super adorableness are always great entertainment for us, too!

Since most of our kids have grown up and moved away, we have established the new tradition of setting up the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner with whoever is here to help us!

This makes decorating the tree so much more fun for Bethany and even Jerry!

This year I decided to try flocking our Christmas tree and recruited Rebekah and Jerry to help me.

Bethany even wanted to join the fun!

If you’re not familiar with what flocking a Christmas tree is as I was not until recently, I’ll briefly explain what it is.

Basically it is sifting fake snow through a strainer while at the same time spraying the snow with water as you drop it on the tree.

This process is supposed to make your tree look like it has snow on its branches.

It didn’t actually work that great for us but that may be because I forgot about the strainer part!

Most of our snow did not stick to the branches!!

We sure did have a lot of fun trying, though!

The branches got so wet we decided to unplug the lights.

We certainly didn’t want to get electrocuted on Thanksgiving!!

Of course, all too soon it was time for Rebekah and William to go home and Thanksgiving 2018 was over!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Autism, Special Education, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Autism Music Class

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Bethany’s first experience participating in a drumming circle and how much we all enjoyed it.

I mentioned how I thought it would just be a bunch of people sitting in a circle banging on some drums, but that it ended up really being so much more than that.

It’s not just about the drums.

It’s actually all about the music, lots of different instruments, making up silly songs, dancing, having fun, smiling, laughing, trying new things and being together with our friends enjoying spending time together!

This past Sunday, Bethany had so much fun playing instruments that we had never even heard of before like the Shruti Box in the photo below!

shruti box

She really like holding and strumming on the guitar, too, as well as all the instruments you see her holding in the photos below.

Most of them we don’t even know the names of.

All we really know is that Bethany loves drumming circle/ music class and Jimbo, the man who makes it all happen!

Even though this class is not technically music therapy, the results of participating in it are like music therapy for Bethany!

Because of music class, Bethany is adding new words to her limited vocabulary, like “instrument” and I believe it’s also drawing her out of herself a bit as she makes up sounds to share and notices the other participants’ contributions.

Being involved in drumming circle also gives Bethany the opportunity to practice important life skills such as learning to respect others’ belongings, taking turns, and sharing when she would really rather keep all the goodies for herself!

Of course, it’s no big secret that music can also reduce stress and anxiety and even lower blood pressure!

So, call it whatever you want: drumming circle, music class, or music therapy!

It doesn’t really matter, but I call it great because it’s good for Bethany and it’s making her happy!!

 


 


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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Specialized Adaptive Clothing for Special Needs

Finding just the right clothing for children and adults with disabilities can be difficult.

Manipulating buttons, zippers, and snaps can pose quite a problem for many individuals with special needs who would like to become more independent by being able to dress themselves.

Likewise, parents of children with disabilities and special needs who may never be capable of dressing themselves, often find trying to dress their children in clothing designed for the non-disabled to be difficult and cumbersome

Others who have sensory processing disorders sometimes find standard clothing irritating and uncomfortable.

Seams, certain fabrics, and tags can all make traditional clothing a nightmare for people with sensory processing issues

For such individuals, adaptive clothing may prove to be very helpful!

Adaptive clothing is specialized clothing designed with the unique needs of individuals who may not have full range of motion, the ability to dress themselves, have feeding tubes, or who have sensitive sensory systems.

Modifications made to  traditional clothing designs could include:

  • Replacing buttons and shoelaces with velcro
  • Placing closures on the back rather than the front of garments
  • Front closing bras
  • Side opening pants
  • Clothing made with special fabrics
  • Seamless socks
  • Tagless shirts
  • Weighted vests
  • Compression garments

If you or someone you know could benefit from adaptive clothing and would like to purchase some specialized garments, here are a few tips to keep in mind while shopping:

  • If you are shopping for someone else, be sure you know what types of modifications that person needs and wants, their size, and color preference.
  • Also, try to take that person along with you if possible, so they can pick out clothing that appeals to them.
  • Make sure the items you choose are similar to the popular styles you see people wearing today.
  • Be sure the article of clothing is sturdy and made to last, so look for high quality fabrics.
  • Look for soft fabrics

*(The following link is an affiliate link.)

Sometimes, we can even adapt regular clothing to be used as therapeutic clothing!

My daughter Bethany, loves how tight fitting clothing feels against her body.

We discovered this fact quite by accident when she refused to wear the wet suit I bought her to swim in, opting instead to wear it all day long around the house!

In fact, she loves her wet suit so much that she now has four pairs in different colors and funding to purchase more when she needs them has actually been written into her individualized supports and services plan!

Bethany wearing her yellow wet suit!

Below are a few resources for Adaptive Clothing:

For a list of special needs clothing resources please see this list on The Disability Information and Resources website.

For a list of special needs fashions for children, check out the list on the Children with Special Needs website

Adaptaware: Clothing for Care (UK)

Rackety’s: Clothing for children and adults with disabilities

Adaptive Clothing Showroom: Clothing for disabled adults and children

Tommy Hilfiger’s Runway of Dreams: Adaptive clothing for kids

Tummy Tunnels: Clothing for kids with feeding tubes

More resources for kids with feeding tubes

Silvert’s: Wheel chair clothing for men and women

Kozie Clothes: Adaptive medical and sensory clothing

EZ Sox and Undeez: Socks and underwear for sensory kids

Independence Day Clothing: Adaptive clothes for teens, tweens, and young adults

*(A version of this post first appeared at the Firefly website.)

Posted in Bethany Moments, Childhood Brain Cancer Survivors, Day in the Life, Siblings of Special Needs Children, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting

Day in the Life of an Autistic Adult

Last Sunday was a great day and not only for my  daughter,  Bethany, who is autistic and also a brain tumor survivor!

It was actually an awesome day for me and my husband too, because when Bethany is happy, everybody is happy!

(*This post contains affiliate links.)

As a matter of fact, making Bethany happy is what life is all about for us!

Bethany woke up on Sunday morning happy and in the mood to be social and that does not happen very often, trust me!

So, when she asked to go to the park in a nearby city we were thrilled and jumped at the chance to get her out into the fresh air!

Malcolm and I love to spend time outdoors!

Bethany, not so much!

Most of the time, she’s more of a indoorsy, couch potato kind of a girl!

Now, our son and his wife just so happen to live in the city where the park is located, so I quickly hatched a plan to make the day even more special for Bethany!

I secretly called my son and his wife to let them know we’d be in town, then we came up with a plan to surprise Bethany with a visit to their house after we took her to the park!

This particular brother and his wife are two of Bethany’s most favorite people in the whole world and she loves loves their dog, Oliver as well!!

So, we arrived at the park.

It’s not really a new park for us, but it had recently been completely demolished and rebuilt, so the playground equipment was brand spanking new to us!

This playground is so awesome now!

Bethany and Dad had a blast climbing around and trying out everything!

I feel like it was set up as a sort of obstacle course with all kinds of weird and funky ways to climb up and maneuver around!

It was great exercise for Bethany!

When she was all done at the park she asked to go to the store and that’s when we told her about the surprise visit to her brother’s house.

She was ecstatic!

We decided it would be cool to go to Dollar Tree and get Oliver the dog, some treats and a toy!

Bethany was quite particular about what she wanted to get for Oliver!

We also enjoyed looking around at the Christmas stuff.

I was shocked at how patiently she waited in line!

Usually she wants to wait out to the car with Daddy while I stand in line to pay!

With our items purchased, we headed over to Oliver’s house.

We all had fun showing him his new purple zebra striped bone and feeding him snacks!

Funny, but when it was time to go, Bethany wanted to take the bone and the remainder of the treats back home with her!

I guess she wants to hold onto them for safekeeping until the next time we visit him!!

So, once again, we all had a fantastic day out in the community and hanging out with family!

And that’s just one way of turning the crappy situation of living with a brain tumor and a seizures into a happy life!

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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

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