Friday, July 21, 2017

Purchase a #DairyQueenBlizzard and Support #MiracleTreatDay July 27th

Who doesn't like a good chili cheese dog, french fries and a Blizzard from Dairy Queen? My family doesn't get to eat at DQ as often as we would like to but, today we made plans to have lunch there. My son, who is a sophomore in high school, and I enjoyed a late lunch at Dairy Queen in a neighboring city. We both made sure to save room for one of their famous Blizzards before leaving. There are so many different ones to choose from that it was difficult for us to decide! I'm sure that even YOU have a favorite one that comes to mind when reading this...

     Please mark your calendars to purchase a Blizzard from Dairy Queen next Thursday, July 27th in support of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on #MiracleTreatDay!! Dairy Queen will donate $1.00 or more from the purchase of each Blizzard sold that day. Dairy Queen has been supporting this cause for the last ten years. and they raised over four million dollars last year to help the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals! So, invite a friend to join you for lunch or dinner at a local Dairy Queen next Thursday, July 27th. A Dairy Queen Blizzard is waiting for YOU to claim it in support of the 2017 #MiracleTreatDay to help raise funds for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Applying My Critical Thinking Skills to What's Important to Me

     I know that it has been a while since I last posted. My young men and my husband have been keeping me busy. I have also been trying to spend time with the four grandchildren. Another priority that I have been focusing on is taking as many of the online courses that I can towards my associate's degree. Starting this fall, the courses that I have left are only available on campus during the day. It will be quite the experience for me to be able to feel the energy of a college student, even at my age!

     The course that has been especially helpful in preparing me for the future is the Critical Thinking course that I have been taking this summer. It is an accelerated course because the summer semester is only half as long as a traditional spring or fall semester. Even though I only have eight weeks to complete the coursework, I have successfully managed to stay on schedule by completing an average of four assignments each week. The coursework requires you to use your skills to observe, analyze, interpret, evaluate, reflect and problem-solve. The intensity of the coursework has sometimes left me with the equivalent of a brain-freeze but, in a good way!

     The most recent assignment that I was asked to submit had to be about something "Near and Dear" to me. I'm sure that most of you know what that is. My professor requires us to formulate and submit two full paragraphs, and he considers a full paragraph between eight to twelve sentences. I had no difficulty making the minimum requirement when writing about the subject I chose. My dilemma was how was I to know how much I should share about the topic. I didn't want to overwhelm the other students in my class, only give them a little insight. And you know me, I try to keep everything light-hearted while serving up the facts!

     I took one of my personal speeches that I wrote for a fast-track class about a year ago, modified it, and updated information pertaining to my family. It was originally a five-minute speech that I had to give in front of the class I was in at the time. The facts haven't changed, nor has my perception of how important the support of family and friends are to the survival of the immediate family of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Whether you are familiar with what autism is or not, please read what I shared with my peers. I am curious to see which of my classmates will choose to respond to my forum discussion post topic. I hope that you will take something away from it...

     Autism Spectrum Disorders, also known as ASD, is a group of neurological disorders which affect the behavior, social interaction, as well as both verbal and nonverbal communication in individuals. Raising a child with autism consists of long hours, almost no sleep, frequent meltdowns, constantly having to explain to strangers why your child misbehaves in public, and did I mention almost no sleep? Yes, I can laugh now but, it’s not so funny when you are caught up in a disaster that looks like it will never end! I was fortunate to have a husband, who didn’t just step back and leave it to me to handle the mess, but one whom jumped right in and helped give me the break that I desperately needed. Most families are not prepared for a diagnosis of autism, and what it means for their child's future. That was the situation my family faced when our youngest son received a diagnosis of autism nine years ago. If it hadn't been for the support of our family and friends, we wouldn’t have had a chance of surviving the challenges of raising a child on the spectrum. It is important, for the families of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, to know that they have the support of everyone around them. 

     Parents have to find ways to help their child to adjust to their environment and make the best of their situation. What works as a solution right now, may not work the same way five minutes from now. It is exhausting trying to maintain your sanity, keep a positive attitude about what lies ahead for your child, while protecting him from himself and others during a meltdown. I kept waiting for someone to issue me combat gear, or at least provide me with hazard pay! It was challenging but, I quickly found time for myself and ways to boost my patience levels. When we were having a difficult day, I would frequently have to put myself in time out. You are probably thinking ‘how bad could it have been?’ There were times that we didn’t leave the house for days because it took too much energy to get both of us, and his slightly older brother, ready to go anywhere. Sometimes, all I ever really wanted was the chance to take a nap before anything else happened! It is the support of my husband, family, and friends that have kept me anchored throughout the storm of raising a child with autism spectrum disorders. Our son has come a long way since being diagnosed just before starting Kindergarten and he will be a freshman in high school this fall. He has made tremendous progress and is learning to self-regulate through daily challenges because of the support we have received from our family and friends. We have had the extraordinary privilege of being his parents and advocates. It has given each of us a unique strength, a purpose in life, and has motivated me to become a counselor to help individuals with special needs.     

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mentioned in a Post on LinkedIn

I have been so busy with work, college, as well as attending middle and high school baseball games that I had forgotten to share something exciting that happened a few weeks ago. I routinely receive email notifications to check out posts on LinkedIn. When I received this particular email notification from LinkedIn, I checked it out. Imagine my surprise when I found myself mentioned and tagged, at the top of the posted article, along with several others, as being a behavior expert!

The article is Parents Can Learn How To Prevent Anxiety In Their Children and I hope that you will take the time to read the article. I had no involvement in the collaboration of the attached article. I was named only as one of the individuals considered to be experienced in the area of behavior intervention...but, it was quite flattering!

Friday, December 23, 2016

#FREE Holiday Printable Gift Tags

     If your family celebrates Christmas, then you are most likely in the final stages of preparing for the big day! I stumbled across these fantastic FREE Holiday Printable Gift Tags and I wanted to share them with you. I don't always like the ones available at the store but, I don't have the time to make homemade ones. You can print these gift tags in full-color on white cardstock and #share with everyone where you found them. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Recognizing and Acknowledging Our Limits

     I would never have imagined that the last year could have flown by as fast as it has for my special needs family. It was a difficult decision to step down as the volunteer coordinator of the parent-led autism support group which had occupied the last three and a half years of my life but, spending more time with my family was more important to me. Unless you had any prior knowledge about the autism diagnosis that my youngest son, Nathan, received almost nine years ago, you wouldn't be able to tell that he was any different from the rest of his classmates. He is currently taking Pre-AP classes in all four of his required core subjects in eighth grade and is receiving compliments from his teachers all of the time. His older brother is also doing well with the advanced classes he is taking as a freshman in high school. 
     While spending more time with my family, I have made it my goal to be a good role model by working to finish my college education. In the last twelve months, I have completed seven college courses towards my associate's degree which I should acquire by the end of my Spring 2018 semester. That fall, I will transfer to a local four-year college to finish my bachelor's degree in Psychology. I love learning about the brain, what makes people do what they do, and how we can help them correct certain behaviors. The information that I have learned from my Psychology courses in the last twenty-four months has given me the insight to prepare Nathan for situations he has, and will, encounter as he approaches adulthood.
     The adjustments that we have made have been challenging but, I know that I can always count on the support of my husband. I love him more now than when I married him almost sixteen years ago. He is ten years older than I am, so keeping him healthy is important to me. Our family has been trying to eat healthier, to exercise more, and to maintain a stress-free schedule. It's not as easy as some might think but, we haven't given up! I remind myself regularly that as humans, we have to recognize and acknowledge our limitations. We also have to set realistic goals to accomplish what we want in life. Please make time to take care of yourselves, as well as those whom you love and want to be in your lives!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I Apologize for Not Having Made the Time to Post Something Before Now...

It's been quite a while since I have been able to share what has been happening with our special needs family. We are currently experiencing some major changes in multiple areas of our lives. I want to thank you for your continued patience, as we work through each of these changes and how they will affect our daily routines/schedules. Just so that everyone is not too shocked, I will most likely be updating the website over the next few weeks, and possibly "shaking it up" a little more than I have in the past...

Friday, July 3, 2015

PLEASE #Share This Post and Eat at the Southside OKC @SBBurgerjoint Tuesday July 7th to Support to My Almost Blind 3 y/o Granddaughter!!

My sweet 3 year old granddaughter is going blind without any hope of a transplant or cure. She currently still has her peripheral vision but, it doesn’t help much if her eyes are crossed trying to compensate for the loss of her central vision. In an attempt to help my precious granddaughter, I created our Family & Friends Team “Kickin’ It With Kairi”, and she will be the featured recipient at the S & B Burger Joint, located at 7745 S. Walker Avenue in OKC, this next Tuesday, July 7th, 2015. This event will help raise the necessary funds to assist Kairi’s family in helping her adjust to the changes that are ahead of her such as having to learn Braille so that she can read and communicate with others around her; to gain the ability to depend on her remaining senses in order to lead a productive life; and to have access to a school that will facilitate and enhance the education she needs to thrive in society. Please show your support to Kairi by visiting the Southside S & B Burger Joint, located at 7745 S. Walker Avenue in OKC, this next Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 and by inviting all of your family and friends to join you in supporting a great cause!

If YOU are available to help me, for any length of time during the fundraiser event, please email me at ASAP so that we can coordinate the details. Thank you to everyone who is planning to come by the southside S & B Burger Joint location to show your support to my sweet granddaughter!! I will always accept help from anyone will to ‪#‎share the event through social media and/or by way of email to friends...I have also created a flier if you are interested in putting them up at various locations in your area. Just let me know!

*Here is a short note of gratitude written by my daughter, Candace, Kairi's mother...
"I am so excited that S&B Burger Joint is giving Kairi Lynn Husmann this opportunity to meet new people who care and support her through this transition in her life. It has been almost a year since Kairi was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. It has been difficult on the whole family, not only adjusting to her needs but understanding what she is going through. We appreciate the time and support of the Okc Metro community. Please join us and enjoy some delicious burgers."