Friday, February 27, 2009

Clay's Law

The most amazing thing is happening TODAY! In Utah, state senate is voting on Clay's law, which would require insurance companies to partially pay for behavioral therapies that many children with autism desperately need. Do you think this is no big deal because you don't live in Utah? Well just think of how ground breaking this is... and if it can happen here, surely it can happen in other states. I for one will be sitting on the edge of my seat to see whether this passes today.
My husband and I moved to Utah in the beginning of our marriage to attend college here. Little did we know that by the time we would almost be done with the college thing, that we would have a little son with autism. Although we always thought through these years that we would probably leave the state after graduation, if clay's law passes, Utah may not be able to get rid of us.

Read more at the Utah Autism Coalition blog:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cupcake Crayons


Here's a fun little activity that's great for creative children. I call them cupcake crayons, but they really are just broken crayons melted together in a muffin tin. I made mine out of the broken crayons I found in my son's stash that were too small for his little fingers.

First you take the wrappers off the broken bits and put them in cupcake liners in the pan. Since I had a hard time cleaning up my muffin tin after, I'd recommend using a "retired" one, or trying the aluminum Reynold's brand cupcake liners.

After placing them in the oven and baking at a low temperature just until they are melted, take them out and let them cool completely. They take awhile to cool, so putting them up somewhere where little ones can't tip them over is a safe idea.


When they are cool, take off the liner and turn them over! My favorite part is seeing how the colors melt together on the bottom! They really are beautiful. I went ahead and made another set for my son's creative young uncle. The really fun thing about this activity is that these new crayons you have just created can be used to draw in multiple colors.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eli's Trains

One day my son's preschool teacher told me there was just something with autism and trains. She said she'd get home at the end of the day to find that she had Percy in one pocket and Thomas in the other. Personally, I think it's the orderliness of how trains line up, and they also go! That part appeals to every little boy. Here's a picture that I took of my kitchen table one night after Eli went to bed.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


I remember the one time the school district's occupational therapist came to our home. Eli was about 2, before we had any idea of him having autism. He was in the school district's early intervention program, and it was obvious that he had some sensory issues. The vacuum cleaner made him scream bloody murder, even if he was on the other side of the house. He had a hard time being held. He could seem to calm himself down long enough to enjoy a hug. He had a very hard time going to sleep.

Eli screamed at the therapist and would not be in the same room with her, and he wouldn't let me be in the same room with her either. I had to plug him with a binky and have him sit on my lap on the kitchen floor while he ran his hands through a bucket of beans. She spoke to me from the dining room and explained to me that children with sensory processing difficulties have in a sense an immature immune system. She said that they need more sensory input than average children.

Here is Eli swinging happily about the time this took place.

It was spring and everyday Eli and I went to the park where he could climb. I put him on the baby swing and I would swing him hard for a long time. We did this every day that we could that spring and summer. We noticed changes over time. He was no longer upset and screaming at people who came to our house, but even began interacting with them. Bedtime also became alittle easier.