Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

How to Create an Instant Connection with Your Child

While some autistic, neurodivergent, and sensitive children are averse to touch, many enjoy physical contact. 

Loving touch is a powerful way to connect with our children.  It is an opportunity to be present, to really see and feel our children, and to heal.

The light touch associated with social interaction is usually what over-stimulates autistic children, causing a negative reaction.  The firmer touch of massage is often pleasant and calming.

Studies at the Touch Research Institute have shown that touch therapy has many positive effects.[1]

  1. Enhanced attentiveness and performance,
  2. Alleviation of depressive symptoms,
  3. Reduced pain,
  4. Reduced stress hormones, and
  5. Improved immune function.

When professional massage is not an option, we can incorporate basic massage techniques and loving touch into our daily routines at home and look for similar benefits.

Super-Basic Foot Massage

As our children are preparing for sleep and relaxing in bed, we can offer to rub their feet.

  • Place a small amount of almond or olive oil in your hands and rub them together.
  • Hold one foot firmly and begin stroking the foot from ankle to toes in long, smooth strokes.
  • Adjust the pressure of your touch to keep your child comfortable.
  • Use your thumbs to massage the sole of the foot.
  • Support the foot with one hand and gently wiggle and pull each toe.
  • Stroke the whole foot again, then do the same with the other foot.

As we massage our child’s feet, it is helpful to breathe deeply and slowly, to smile.  In doing so, the becomes a time to be together in a peaceful, loving way.


[1] http://www6.miami.edu/touch-research/research.htm

 

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One Cool Thing Schedule

What’s a mother to do when she wants to surrender to summer, to sleep in or read a book, to relax for once, and her children need her?

What’s a mother to do when she wants space, and her children want to cuddle and chat and play with her?

What’s a mother to do when she thirsts for peace and time alone, while her children seek interaction?

I once scheduled every minute of every day, but that method exhausted me. Letting my children do whatever they want all day left them so untethered, that everyone deteriorated into tears (me) or tantrums (them). I found a compromise. A simple, three-step plan.

  1. Plan One Interesting Thing
  2. Do It
  3. Relax

When my kids were of an age that they needed planned activities, I would schedule one thing to do per day. We would eat a good breakfast, then head out to do something interesting. Our things to do were not generally expensive, far away, or complicated. We might go to a park with great play structures, walk a nature trail, go to the zoo, or visit a museum. I usually ended our outings with a high-protein snack. When we got home, everyone had been sufficiently exercised, fed, and stimulated to happily do their own thing for a while.

Ideas for the One Cool Thing

10 Activities For Practicing Life Skills This Summer

82 Summer Activities for Families with Special Needs

14 Tools For Science Exploration In The Summer

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Super-Easy Homeopathic First Aid

 

My journey from shock and overwhelm (after hearing “We think she’s autistic.”) to acceptance and joy has been supported by energy-shifting tools such as homeopathy, meridian tapping, Matrix Reimprinting, and reading. This post is a a very basic introduction to homeopathy, 

Disease and disorder in the body is caused by the culmination of insults and injuries.  Today’s children tend to have bodies that are particularly sensitive.  They may experience unusually strong effects from traumas which, if left unattended, lead to disturbances and disease.  These traumas and insults include:

Common Injuries

  1. bumps and bruises
  2. burns
  3. cuts
  4. stings and bites

Emotional Stressors

  1. shock
  2. humiliation
  3. grief

Other Traumas

  1. chemical exposure
  2. vaccinations
  3. birth trauma
  4. accidents

With appropriate and prompt treatment, traumas can be healed before they imprint on the living matrix of our bodies. Thus, crystallization of the trauma in tissues and organs will not become an additional health problem to be dealt with later.

This article discusses homeopathic first aid for common injuries.

*Homeopathic remedies are effective and often produce amazing results.  However, they do not replace professional medical care.  In matters of health and healing, be fanatical about self-responsibility. Seek medical attention immediately for all serious or potentially serious injuries.

How to Make It All Better When Your Child is Hurting

Homeopathy is a system of medicine used throughout the world.  (Here’s a new link to a slightly more technical, but still easy to understand, Primer on Homeopathy.)  Very dilute substances are used to treat disease symptoms in accordance with homeopathic principles.  Homeopathic remedies are manufactured in accordance with FDA regulation and are safe and effective.

Homeopathic first aid produces amazing, often instantaneous results.  (See examples from my family’s experiences at the end of this post.)  By administering homeopathic first aid remedies when needed, parents can offer rapid relief to injured children and minimize or eliminate long-term effects of trauma.

Remedies come in the form of small lactose pellets.  They taste sweet and most children are happy to take them.

Homeopathic remedies are

  • ultra-safe
  • ultra-effective
  • used by millions of smart mothers throughout Europe, India, the United States, and the world

Here’s a picture of my tiny, take-everywhere homeopathy kit. All the remedies I carry fit on a business card.

Using Homeopathic First Aid Remedies

Getting Started Guide

Where do I buy homeopathic remedies?

Homeopathic remedies may be purchased at most health food stores or through websites such as 1-800homeopathy.  At the website, enter the remedy name in the search box and select the 200c potency.  Note:  200c potency remedies are excellent in first aid situations.  They are not suitable for frequent use.

What is the number after the remedy name?

The number after the remedy name is the potency.  The higher the number, the more dilute and potent the remedy.

How do I use homeopathic remedies?

Open the remedy vial.  Shake 3-4 pellets into the cap from the vial.  Tip the pellets into the mouth without touching the cap to the mouth.  Allow the pellets to dissolve in the mouth.  Giving the remedy very soon after the injury or onset of illness leads to rapid healing.

Improvement of symptoms should be evident within 10 minutes.  If no results, repeat the remedy.  If the remedy helps for a while then the pain or condition returns, give another dose of the remedy.  If there is no relief after three doses, try a different remedy if it is indicated.  If the injury is serious and not responding to remedies, seek medical attention.

Which remedies should I buy?

The remedies below are those that I almost always have with me.  I carry them in a small pouch in my purse or pocket and have had many occasions to use them.  A few success stories follow the list.

Remedy Indication
Aconite
  • Shock
  • First signs of illness or flu (for this purpose, a 200c potency is needed)
Arnica
  • Head Injuries (Head injuries are a very serious condition.  Seek medical help immediately. If your child suffers a blow to the head, even if he or she feels fine immediately afterward, stay alert for signs of discomfort and consider being evaluated by a physician if they feel anything out of the ordinary.  Even a mild headache that comes on after experiencing blunt force to the head should be evaluated by a doctor.)
  • Cuts and Scrapes
  • Bumps and Bruises
Apis
  • Bites and Stings, including bees and jellyfish
Arsenicum Album
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea from Food Poisoning
Belladonna
  • Sunburn
  • Sunstroke (This is a very serious condition.  Give remedies on the way to the emergency room.)
Hypericum
  • Injuries to Fingers, Toes and Nerve-Ending Rich Areas
Ledum
  • Puncture Wounds

Real Stories:  Homeopathy Saves the Day

  1. My daughter, then 2, was jumping on the bed.  I was right there watching her and we were having great fun when she somehow slipped from the bed and hit her head on the edge of a dresser.  Immediately, a swelling the size of an egg appeared at the back of her head.  She was screaming.  I was terrified.  I was certain that I would need to go to the emergency room.  I was very new to homeopathy when this happened but I did suddenly remember arnica for bumps and bruises.  I gave her a dose of arnica.  She started to calm down and the swelling began to shrink before my eyes.  I did not entirely believe my eyes so I kept feeling the bump which did seem to be getting smaller.  15 minutes later, I gave her another dose of arnica.  By this time, she was fine and wanted to keep playing.  I was still panicking.  I called my homeopath and told him what had happened and what I was doing.  He calmly listed the signs of concussion and instructed me to watch for those and to proceed to ER if these should appear.  He told me to keep giving arnica every 30 minutes for two more doses then every hour for 2 doses and to call him if I had more concerns.  Within an hour of giving the first dose of arnica, the swelling was almost gone.  When I really felt for it, I could detect it, but my daughter was acting normally and seemed entirely unaffected by the incident or its dramatic aftermath.
  2. We were on family vacation and walking on the beach in the evening.  My husband injured his toe.  He was in great pain and said it had bent all the way back.  I pulled out my pocket homeopathy kit and gave him a dose of arnica.  Five minutes later, he was still sitting down and holding his very sore foot.  He thought that the toe was broken and that we should go to an urgent care facility.  The arnica wasn’t helping!  We were in a strange city with two small children.  By this time, I’d seen a number of arnica miracles and could not believe that he didn’t get instant relief.  Then I remembered that the remedy for injured fingers and toes is hypericum.  I gave him one dose and within a few minutes he was flexing his toes.  I gave him another dose five minutes later.  At this point, the toes felt only slightly sore and we resumed our walk.
  3. My children were playing outside on a beautiful summer day.  Suddenly, my son started screaming and grasping his eye.  No one seemed to know what had happened and we couldn’t tell what he was saying between screams.  I gave him a dose of aconite for shock.  He calmed down slightly but continued to scream.  Now, we could tell what he was saying:  “Bee bited my eye.”  I quickly gave him a dose of apis, the remedy for bites and stings.  He stopped screaming and moved his hand.  I could see the rosy red swelling around his eye (another sign that apis is needed).  The redness and swelling started to diminish and he went back to playing.  Another day saved.
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Tapping Script for Choosing Joy

I just went through and did this using your script. What an amazing experience! I’ve looked into EFT for a few years now, but never really took the time to DO it. I was always so intimidated. You helped change that. Thank you.–Laura

My journey from shock and overwhelm (after hearing “We think she’s autistic.”) to acceptance and joy has been supported by energy-shifting tools such as homeopathy, meridian tapping, Matrix Reimprinting, and reading. This post is a how-to for one of my favorite techniques.

The “Choices Method” is an EFT technique developed by Patricia Carrington, Ph.D. It is one of my favorite meridian tapping techniques because I find the wording “I choose” so empowering.

Try out this tapping script.  Adjust the words so that they accurately reflect how you feel.  (See the Super-Easy Tapping Guide for a quick how-to.)

Begin by considering the statement “I have this difficult life.”  On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how true this statement is for you.

Tap on the Karate Chop Point while saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.

Now tap through the points. (If you need directions, see the Super-Easy Tapping Guide.)

TH: This path of suffering.
IE: I give everything for my children.
OE: I have a difficult life.
UE: This path of suffering.
UN: I give everything for my children.
CH: I have a difficult life.
K27: This path of suffering.
UA: I give everything for my children.
TF: I have a difficult life.
IF: This path of suffering.
MF: I give everything for my children.
RF: I have a difficult life.
LF: I have a difficult life.

Tap again on the Karate Chop point saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.
TH: This path of suffering.
IE: I choose to forgive myself.
OE: I’ve been giving up everything for so long.
UE: I choose to love myself.
UN: I have this difficult life.
CH: I choose to experience joy every day.
CB: This path of suffering.
UA: I choose to forgive myself.
TF: I’ve been giving up everything for so long.
IF: I choose to love myself.
MF: I have this difficult life.
RF: I choose to experience joy every day.
LF: I choose to experience joy every day.

Tap again on the Karate Chop point saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.
TH: I choose to forgive myself.
IE: I choose to love myself.
OE: I choose to experience joy every day.
UE: I choose to forgive myself.
UN: I choose to love myself.
CH: I choose to experience joy every day.
K27: I choose to forgive myself.
UA: I choose to love myself.
TF: I choose to experience joy every day.
IF: I choose to forgive myself.
MF: I choose to love myself.
RF: I choose to experience joy every day.
LF: I choose to experience joy every day.

Reconsider the statement “I have this difficult life.”  On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how true this statement is for you now?

Notice any changes in your feelings.  Note any feelings in your body.  Consider tapping on any memories or sensations that come up.  If you need support or direction for optimizing your tapping time, considering working with an energy psychology professional.

Prepare to be Amazed as Your Life Gets Easier with Each Session

Did you try the tapping?  Did you notice anything?  I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.
If nothing happened, please see

The Difference Between Mundane and Miraculous EFT: One Session with a Pro can Change Your Life

and read how I went from EFT skeptic to convert.

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Surrendering to Summer

When my children were young, experienced mothers offered me  suggestions for the school to summer transition.

  • “Schedule your doctor and dentist appointments for right after school gets out.  That’s what mothers-in-the-know do.”
  • “Pick up summer bridge books to give your child a head start on the next grade level.”
  • “Sign them up for lots of day camps to keep them busy.”

IMG_6144Memories of Summers Past

I had my own ideas of how summer should look, based on my idyllic childhood experience.

  • Running around outside,
  • Riding bikes,
  • Climbing Trees,
  • Swinging,
  • Playing in the sand, and
  • Swimming.

Surrendering to Schedules

Turned out the summers I remembered were not for babies, toddlers, or children who thrive on routine.  My young  children woke early (6:00 a.m. was sleeping in). They were hungry soon after, and needed activities to keep them busy.

I’d venture a one-eyed peek at the clock, knowing I must get out of bed.  I’d hope that they would go back to sleep or allow me to lie on the couch. Eventually, I’d become alert enough to begin our daily program:  breakfast, a long walk, a snack, reading, playing on the outdoor gym, lunch, and so on.

The children were happiest when they knew what to expect and one activity flowed smoothly into the next.

Surrendering to Self-Directed Activity

Years later, I was surprised to notice that I did not have a daily schedule and that my children were resisting my attempts at structured activity. After breakfast, they yearned to open the door and just go – wherever they chose.  They returned when hungry.

My main tasks were meal preparation and housekeeping.

Whatever!

The key to enjoying summer with children is willingness to provide children with what they need.  Some children feel good with schedules and structure.  Others prefer having freedom to do what they want, when they want, without adult intrusions.

What works will probably change year to year – or even day by day.  Our willingness to go with the flow makes summer living easy and fun.

IMG_20110808_111243

If your children need scheduled activities and structure, check out Karen’s post at the Friendship Circle Blog.

14 Tools For Science Exploration In The Summer

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The Difference Between Mundane and Miraculous EFT: One Session with a Pro can Change Your Life

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but my first experiences with EFT, a meridian tapping technique, were rather uninspiring.  When I first heard about tapping, I still thought it was my job to fix my children.

I was always looking for ways to change and improve them.  Somewhere I read about using the EFT technique to help children manage their emotions and avoid intense outbursts.  I decided I needed to teach my children this technique.  The testimonials were quite convincing.

EFT On My Own

From the written instructions, I wasn’t entirely sure how the process was supposed to work.  I found the whole tapping thing odd and complicated.

Not surprisingly, my results were unspectacular.  I got out what I put in – not much.  After one attempt to tap on my children, I placed the book on a bookshelf and deemed this another over-hyped modality.

Often, a technique or remedy is not right for us and our children.  Sometimes though, there is a timing issue.  We may not be ready or the moment might not be ripe.

When the time is right, a teacher will appear.

A year or two later, a group of mothers at an on-line forum I frequented began discussing EFT.  Coincidentally, a woman I knew contacted me and told me her friend wanted to practice EFT on a mother of an autistic child.  “Are you interested?”  she asked.

While I was pretty sure this tapping thing would not work for me , the offer came during my darkest days.  I was desperate and willing to try almost anything.

EFT with a Practitioner

When I walked into Linda Kent’s home office, I did not know what to expect.  I was surprised to learn that this technique was not about fixing my children.  It was about helping me feel better.

Linda asked me a number of questions and then started tapping on me.  She explained that I might feel sensations in my body or remember incidents from long ago.

She tapped on me and helped me formulate set-up phrases like those I use in the demo.  I was convinced nothing was happening, but sat there politely while she tapped and talkead.

I no longer remember what we were tapping on, but when she said, and I repeated, “Even though I feel so alone, I deeply and completely love and accept myself,”  something deep inside of me cracked opened. My tears flowed and flowed and healing began.

It was then that I understood the power of EFT.  In that moment, something shifted.

That first session was transformative for me.  It took me on a journey of deep healing.  It led to my studying EFT and Matrix Reimprinting and using them often for myself and others.

Please don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel much the first few times you tap.  I believe that the early sessions “prime the pump.”  They start balancing and opening energy channels.

Stick with it, work with a practitioner or try a group session.  When it starts working for you (and for many people this is during the first session), you will be forever grateful to have this handy tool in your pocket. I plan to resume group and private tapping sessions soon. Comment if you’re interested in experiencing meridian tapping for better, easier parenting.

In the interview below, I talk to Annabele Fisher about my journey with EFT and Matrix Reimprinting.

Be the Best Mother You Can Be with Matrix Reimprinting and EFT

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Why I Refuse to Worry About My Children’s Future

wor·ry [wur-ee, wuhr-ee]

–verb

to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

Worry is a useless emotion.

Why should I torment myself and suffer about what may or may not be? Why should I assume the worst possible outcome, when I can find comfort in a joyful scenario?

Bleak Future

I have taken a whiff of the statistics about independent living and employment prospects for autistic adults, but the statistics are meaningless to me. Only 1% of children have an autism diagnosis. We won that lottery, and we can win again. In fact, we win every day. I love my life and am grateful for exactly the children I have. Thanks to autistic self-advocates and allies, the world is changing. Allistic people are working with autistic people and people of various neurologies interact in many places. People are starting to understand that we are all interdependent. We are all valuable.

. . . trying to “fix” today’s world by repairing the system is somewhat of a waste of time. Simply, because the current institutions (politics, economy, education, and healthcare among others) and their mission are the cause of our pending extinction. . .  Our evolution is dependent upon the collapse of our current society with the opportunity of rebuilding a new world based on a sustainable foundation that is in harmony with the planet.

— Bruce Lipton in his August 2010 Newsletter

Anything is Possible

For the past 13 or so years, my children have been actively showing me that things are not what they appear. I wasn’t very quick in paying attention, but eventually, I could ignore them no longer. I began to actively change my beliefs. Even as I establish new ways of seeing and being, I am open to ongoing change.

Where There is Movement, There is Life

If you have ever seen a still pond or a little segment of a stream where the water does not move, you have noticed how life there begins to decay. Even decay is movement and change, and necessary at times. But, if I can choose (and I always choose my own adventure), I choose joyful, active movement.

I choose to be a rushing stream or a shimmering lake, not water covered with green and brown scum.

Autism as Evolution

The world is changing very quickly. Maybe, by the time my children are grown, they will not need language to communicate. Maybe, my own reliance on spoken and written words will hold me back in the next phase of evolution. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I am open to a brilliant future for my children and for myself. Even if I cannot imagine what it will be and how it will come about.

What If I’m Completely Wrong?

What if a good command of language remains necessary? What if flicking and stimming are not accepted or forever viewed as weird? What if Daniel grows up and cannot make life in the world work for him on his own? Then, I will figure out what we need to do.  I will cross that bridge if I come to it.

For now, I support him and guide him to prepare for life as we know it, knowing that great changes are afoot. Worrying and torment do not help him or me.

I will continue to build castles in the sky, and to put foundations under them.

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Doing It My Way: I’m No Mother Warrior

How do you label a child who, before kindergarten, has the vocabulary of a seventh grader but can’t cut with scissors?  In 2002, nobody knew. Where do you put her? In a regular classroom, where she is alternately bored by the basic reading and writing instruction, and frustrated by cut and paste time.

By first grade, we realized that even the schools that claimed to work with all of a child’s abilities – including Montessori and Waldorf schools – were doing more harm than good. At this point, the Warrior Mother would have started scheduling meetings at the public school and engaging advocates and lawyers to ensure that her child gets what she needs. She would have created a gifted program for first graders in her school system, brought in a cut and paste advisor for her child. I was no mother warrior.

“I won’t put my energy into fighting,” I told my husband. We took our child out of school and I began homeschooling.

A few years later, our second child “graduated” from the amazing autism program where he’d been thriving for three years. He no longer belonged in the specialized autism classroom. He spent his kindergarten year putting in a full day, half of it in a regular classroom (no aide) and half in a room for cognitively impaired kids. That was the best the school would offer, though he is not cognitively impaired. I knew that what worked in kindergarten would not work in first grade. There would be more verbal instructions and more demands for independent work. If I wanted an aide in the classroom for first grade, I’d have to fight for it. I had not developed any warrior skills in those years. I started homeschooling two children.

This worked for me and for my children. Another family, another child might need a Mother Warrior. My children got a different kind of mother, one that works for them.

Though I am not nor do I desire to be a Mother Warrior, I have great respect for most Mother Warriors. They do what they need to do for their children. I do what I need to do for mine. There is a place for warriors, and a place for peacemakers.

Curbies on Autism

I learned the term “curbie” reading Kim Stagliano’s memoir All I Can Handle:  I’m No Mother Teresa. Kim is the mother of three girls with autism and “a curebie.  That’s an autism parent who believes that, in our lifetime, we will be able to bring these kids to point where they blend in with their peers and can live full, independent lives – through a combination of medical treatment, therapy, schooling, and a rosary that stretches from Connecticut to California.” Stagliano adds, “Call it recovery. Call it cure. Call it remission. Call it pasta e fagioli. I don’t give a crap what it’s called…  I just want Mia to be able to live a garden-variety, normal live without needing an adult to keep her safe…  I want a cure for her, damn right. What kind of parent would I be if I didn’t?”  (p. 19)

The Neurodivergent Camp

I am not a curebie. I excelled at blending in and doing garden-variety my whole life.  When I heard the terms neuroatypical – and later, neurodivergent – I fell in love and embraced the concept with my mind, heart, and soul. The idea that it was okay for my children to be themselves was freeing and exhilarating. (Could this liberating idea mean it was okay for me to be myself too?)

Many Flavors of Autism, Many Flavors of Mothers

My experience of autism is not the same as Kim’s. In one of my favorite passages, she says that autism is like Bertie’s Every Flavor Beans from the Harry Potter books. She points out that some autistics got raspberry cream or root beer flavor. “They can speak eloquently, write blogs, move out on their own…”  “Others with autism, like my three girls, got the ear wax/vomit/dog poop flavor. They need help 24/7 to navigate the world. When I talk about autism, I mean the version that my three girls have.” Obviously, that is simplified, but it makes the point that if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.

I hear and understand what Kim wants. Though we use different words, and I do not want my children to be indistinguishable from normal (whatever that is), Kim and I mostly want the same things for our children. We want our children to live comfortably in the world, to enjoy life. Kim wants that through recovering her children. I want it through transforming the world into a place where we all live in harmony.

Getting to this place of acceptance has been a journey. I wrote about it in my book, Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children.

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Ordinary Autism

I revel in the amazingness of human beings. I love the video clips and drawings and music that show that autism is really awesomism.

  • I cry each time I watch the YouTube video of Carly Fleischmann, typing “hurt” and “help” at age 11 when, until that moment, she had been presumed to be cognitively impaired and unaware of her surroundings. I love that, after refusing to type on demand for the television crew during an interview, she types “Is he cute?” when the reporter mentions that he has a son. (Carly has a website and inspires people all over the world.)
  • I love watching Clay Marzo surf and hearing his mother talk about how he is at home in the water, but struggles for air on land. Many of us could learn volumes from Clay’s authenticity and honesty. (You can see more in the movie Clay Marzo, Just Add Water.)
  • I am blown away watching 13 year old Jake Barnett, a college sophomore and a math and science prodigy, who says autism is the key to his success. Knowing that a child that stopped speaking just before his second birthday is now an articulate, innovative researcher is amazing and inspirational. That Jake is writing a book to help the rest of us overcome our fear of math is another indicator of how cool he is.
  • I am in awe of Lyrica Mia, a non-verbal, autistic adult, who, together with her mother, Gayle Barley Lee, wrote , Awetizm:  A Hidden Key to Our Spiritual Magnificence. Lyrica has discovered/revealed that autistic beings have unique gifts and wisdom beyond this world and is leading the world is seeing these gifts.

The Spectrum

It is wonderful that the world is recognizing that autism is a spectrum. It is leading to the awareness that humanity is a spectrum: a distribution of energies, gifts, challenges, abilities, and goodness. Since I’ve noticed my children’s uniquely wonderful ways of being, I’ve realized that there is no such thing as normal or average. We are all Uniquely Magnificent.

My children don’t have skills or abilities that are television-worthy. Their needs are not particularly demanding. They simply, extraordinarily, amazingly, are the way they are.

There was a time when I would have asked: When will my child start typing or talking in full sentences? When will his gifts be revealed? When will he surf, play piano, write poetry, or solve complex equations? Why doesn’t he communicate with me telepathically(When will he say a few words? When will he stop wetting the bed? When will he learn to tie his shoes? When will he be able to eat comfortably?) I was envious of the Magnificent Autistic Beings that awe, inspire, and delight us.

The thing I finally understood is that there is no contest. There is no competition. In watching the video clips linked at the beginning of the post, I notice Magnificent Individuals fully and authentically being themselves. They do what they love. They are who they are. They derive their magnificence by tapping into and being themselves. And that, is available to me, and to us all.

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Don’t Forget to Breathe

It’s easy to see the best in our children (and ourselves) when things are going smoothly. But how do we deal with the bumpy days? How do we create days in which all flows (more) gently?

Throughout this blog, I write about my favorite tools for making life easier: homeopathycell salts, and Matrix Reimprinting. My intention is to help you recall your own wisdom — those things you know but that have been buried by the weight of sleepless nights, angry words, tantrums, kicks, punches, and embarrassments.

My hope is that my words will become the ladder you can lean against the wall of the dark, lonely, uncomfortable pit where you might find yourself at times.  I will lean over the side and hold a lantern to light your way. I will reach out a hand and pull you up to the freedom of the surface.

Today, I offer this simple but effective tool for reclaiming your own center: breath.

Even if this suggestion seems uninspiring and overdone, I urge you to try it for three days. Once per hour, take three full breaths.

  • Imagine that your abdomen is a cylindrical container.
  • Breathe in through your nose. For a count of three, feel the bottom of the cylinder pushing down.
  • Continue to breathe in for a count of three more as you feel the sides of the cylinder expand.
  • Continue to breathe in for a count of three more as you feel the top of the cylinder push up.
  • Reverse for the exhale:  top pushes down, sides push in, bottom pushes up.
  • Repeat so that you complete three full breaths in and out.

I downloaded an application for my cell-phone called the Mindfulness Bell. Once in each hour, a gong sounds to remind me to take three deep breaths.

I also love this song (free download) of a beautiful, gentle song that reminds us “don’t forget to breathe.”

Breathe Now, in sync with this gif

breathe-gif.gif

Daniel:              I can’t, Mr. Miyagi, not today.

Mr. Miyagi:     Why?

Daniel:              Because my whole life is goin’ out of focus, that’s why.

Mr. Miyagi: When you feel life out of focus…always return to basic of life.

Daniel:              What, praying?

Mr. Miyagi:     Breathing. No breathe, no life.

Oy. Come try it. Out of mouth. Breathe in through nose. Breathe out of mouth. Breathe in. Breathe out. Oy. Now how feel?

Daniel:              I feel better.

Mr. Miyagi:     Good. Come back to work.

from Karate Kid 2

When you have a few extra minutes, consider lying down and following a short guided meditation.

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