School Starts Social Skills Class for Students #autism

I am all about getting a full education, I believe school is the place for children to learn, thrive to be individuals and be encouraged to think outside of the box. Last year I heard about a social skills course that was going to be offered for some children who may benefit from such a class, of course my Aj was considered as one to take this course. It’s a great idea based on social thinking and it’s basically a means to teach children, sometimes specifically autistic children, how to be social in our every growin social society. I was in love with this idea, after all Aj’s counselor had mentioned this is really our next area to address. Hearing the school offered such a course, one day a week at lunch time, I was all for Aj taking part in this!

Social Skills Class offered at Elementary School #autism

So Aj had his first class with the teacher for Social Skills and I had a little chat after homework was done about the session. Aj seemed to be happy about attending and I took this moment to discuss what social skills are. Aj wasn’t’ quite sure what it was all about and what social skills means per say, since he was in a talkative mood and ready to listen, I explained…

I told Aj that when we are out in public and a person waits on us at a store or restaurant or a person holds the door for us when we walk into a store, we are suppose to say thank you, right? He says, no. I had to giggle at this point because all of my examples I cited as a means to show how we should be polite in society, were making him give me silly looks! Aj flat out was like no way are we suppose to thank these people nor speak to them. That got me wondering, what in the world is going through his mind, he knows manners, so why does he not “get” this concept. So I did what I always do, I asked what was his view on this subject, and that is when he said …

Those people are strangers and we do not speak to strangers.

Ah, I got it! For those not familiar with how autistic kids/adults tend to work inside their brains, they are very literal. Aj has always been taught not to speak to strangers, from a young age, as are most of our children, right?! Well to him, it’s that literal, there are no exceptions and no grey areas. Aj was told and taught to not speak to strangers so using manners in a social setting to a stranger, is going against all he has been taught. I had this “ah ha” moment, because it made perfect sense to me, however, he still does need to learn the difference between being an active, polite part of society such as saying “thank you” to a stranger that serves us or holds a door open and the rules of not speaking to a stranger when it’s a “stranger danger” scenario.

This social skills class will hopefully assist in allowing Aj to take a more open mind approach to my parenting guidance on this topic when I work with Aj. I am hoping it will open his mind up a bit more to the idea of how our society works. I am sure Aj will still have his own way about him, but maybe just maybe, we can at least get him being more social on a peer to peer level and for an occasional thank you to a person who waits on us. It’s all a work in progress, this parenting gig, but I am so happy to know the school is taking the full boat of education seriously with this social skills class. No more having children fall behind socially, I just hope it’s taught in a “real world” way, because I do not raise any of my children to think life is fair and everyone will like them. Sometimes, the school systems are like that and it’s not reality. So as long as Aj is benefiting from this and it’s a boost to go hand-in-hand with the parental work I do at home, it’s a win-win!

 

{Wordless Wednesday} Random Photos of Family Moments #ww Linky

Wordless Wednesday at Happily Blended Blog

Happiness

 

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Call Me Crazy, But I am The One to Raise My Kids and I have Rights

What happened to the good ole days of parents raising their children? While this is more so about parents fighting for their role as the parents and less to do with how other people parent, I do agree we have a culture of sheep that allow others to raise their children because they either do not know any better, don’t care or feel as though it is everyone else job to raise their kids. When I became a parent for the first time, I was about to turn 21 twenty days after her birth, I had run a ruckus of a life up until that point and I didn’t much correct myself for a lot of months after her birth because I needed therapy to guide me properly. With that being said, I worked my butt off to be MOM, because as soon as you give birth to a child, and don’t put them up for adoption or have a reason that another person has to assist or raise the child, then it’s your duty to be that MOM. Always. No Excuses.

Raise your KidsSure, I have issues with both of my parents, there are days where some deep memories hit the surface and I get a little sad or concerned, but then I realize, I have grown up. What my upbringing was like or anything that happened back then is in the past, it happened. Those things cannot be changed, but I can change the pattern and I can change my life. I live each day to be that changed person, the positive outgoing and involved parent. I am not a helicopter parent by any means, I believe in trust building exercises or situations if you wish to call them, with my children. I believe in giving a bit of lead way and allowing them to show me I can trust them. That’s how I believe all parents should be, utilize your parental role as a means to guide your child(ren) into adulthood.

One thing that baffles me is all of the parents who do not have a clue what is going on in their children’s lives. How can you be a parent and not have a clue? I guess that stems from not building the bond from a young age or maybe scenarios have happened outside of your control causing you to lose that connection as a parent, but still, even then, work harder! I am a hard ass, the only reason I say that word is because it’s the only definition that fits. I am that type of person and parent; I am hard on myself to be better each day, to be the right example for my children and others. I am also a hard ass on other parents that are close to me, because I know they can be the same way. No, they don’t need to be the parent I am, that may not work for who they are or who their kids are; but they need to work hard to be the PARENT.

I shake my head at the words I have heard so many parents say “well the school can deal with them” or “well the police can deal with them”, is that really the society and future we are creating for our world? No parent is being held accountable to parent their child. No parent is standing up and saying “hey I am the parent, I have rights”. I do not understand this concept; in my opinion, parents are to be the parents and outsiders are to be whatever their role is. Let’s say school for example; my children are sent to school to LEARN, not be PARENTED, not to have decisions made for my children without my knowledge. That is unacceptable.

Since when do so many parents just let the school systems raise their children, take their children out of classes for various activities without the parents knowledge nor consent? I guess, when you place your child into the hands of a public school system, you are indeed entrusting your child with that school system for the length of the school day and school year, however, you are not handing over your rights and responsibilities as a parent. You still have the right to say “no thank you, that is not part of a normal education for my child and they do not need that” you also have a right to speak up and stand up for injustice that may be happening to your children. Do not become another sheep, do not follow the crowd. Do not be scared to speak up for what’s best for your own child, I am so sick of watching other children be raised by people who shouldn’t be raising them, I am so sick of watching things happen under the nose of parents because the parents just openly trust anyone.

We no longer live in a society where you can trust everyone, sure this makes it difficult to know who you can trust, but if you are involved, have open communication and engage in being a part of your child’s day to day activities at any level you can {even an email to the teacher to know how the day went or a letter, etc} then you will be one step ahead of the rest. Do not allow school systems or other provides for your child raise them, you have rights. You  need to fight to be the parent, to be respected as such and to have a say in all that your child partakes in every single day of their adolescent life!

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Making the Most of your Retirement

Are you looking at ways to make the most of your retirement? Whether you’re approaching retirement age or whether you’re currently in retirement, there are things you can do to make the most of it. From taking care of financial planning to activities you can enjoy; your retirement should be the time of your life. The tips and ideas below will help you to ensure you enjoy retirement to the max.

Sorting out your finances

Financial planning is one of the most important things you need to do to ensure you can live comfortably throughout your retirement. Ideally you will save as much as you possibly can towards your retirement fund before you reach retirement age. The earlier you can start saving the more comfortable you will be.

You need to think about how much you need to live comfortably. Take into account the lifestyle you hope to lead as well as the cost of living. This Is Money has an excellent pension’s calculator you can use to work out how much you need.

You need to decide whether you want to place your savings into an actual pension account or whether you’d prefer to put the money into a savings account. There are pros and cons to each option. With specialised pension savings accounts there’s always a risk you could lose some of the money you put away. This is because the money is invested and there’s always a risk the investment could lose money rather than gain it. If you’re unsure which option would be best for you, MoneySavingsExpert has a great guide you can check out.

Understanding what you’re entitled to

Did you know that you might be entitled to certain benefits? Pension credits are used to top up your state pension. Not everybody has the opportunity to save a lot of money towards their retirement. You may also be entitled to winter fuel payments. Keeping the home warm in winter can cost a fortune and you tend to feel the cold more as you age. So winter fuel payments could prove to be really useful.

It’s always worth looking into the benefits you might be entitled to. You can find out both online or from your local council.

Activities you can enjoy

One thing you might be worried about when planning your retirement is keeping yourself busy. This is an ideal time to take up a new hobby. It’s not all about gardening and knitting; you can be as active or as inactive as you like. There’s bound to be groups you can join in your local area.

Overall planning for retirement helps you to save up for the lifestyle you want to enjoy. The earlier you start to plan, the more comfortable you will be. Why not make use of the pension calculator to see exactly how much you’d need? There’s plenty of advice available online and you could even join a forum to get advice from other seniors. Start planning today to make the most of your retirement.

We Have No Secrets

From the day each of my children were placed upon my chest in that hospital room to nurse from me, I have been their first and foremost advocate. As a parent, I work hard. Every single day from that first breath they took of air I have been the most loving, supportive and open minded parent. I have had to make tough decisions based on what’s best for each of my children and I have had to give some tough love from time to time, but it’s been the outcome of all these decisions that warms my heart the most. I have three very amazing, unique individuals for children. I have a bond so tight that it is left with no cracks for anyone else to tear apart. Sure, I am biased, however, I have been told how amazing my children are by others on more than one occasion, this is a reflection of their parents.

What really warmed my heart the most, to share a recent memory, is when my first born was relaying how our home works, how I have parented her and her brothers and how I am always there for them. No matter what. To hear my daughter explain that I do my best to always be there for the kids, no matter what. To hear my daughter say; we can tell Mom anything and she will listen, she will hear you out, even if she doesn’t always understand or “get” what the big deal is, she is there, no matter what. To hear my daughter say; even with Aj being special needs and requiring a lot of attention and with K-man being basically ADHD, Mom is always here no matter what. All of those words warm my heart so deeply and bring tears of happiness in my eyes and pride in my soul.

 

The biggest and most important part of what my children think of me as a parent is that they trust in me and have enough respect for me to always be honest. My children are not afraid to speak their mind, and I have taught them how to do so in a respectful manner. My children are not afraid to tell me everything, down to a recent crush, to something that happened at school or on the playground. These three children of mine have been raised to have such trust in me, that I feel as a parent, I did and am continuing to do my job right.

For the most part, I don’t have to worry much about what’s going on with my children when they are away, because they tell me everything. Sure, sometimes that everything is things that I don’t really need to hear; such as the boys obsession with telling me the color, shape and size of their poop, but if it takes listening to that to get my kids to realize I am there always, no matter what, then so be it. As a Mom, I have worked harder than any other job I have held in my whole life. The best moments about working so hard is that at the end of the day, I will eventually hear everything my children have to say, each get set time with me to talk, ramble, laugh and vent. I am their shoulder, I am their heart and I am their supporter! That is how all parents should be, I only hope every child on this planet can someday have the love that I provide to my three and I do so hope that my fiance’s daughter who just moved in, will grow to feel the same way my children do about me, even if it’s mainly with her father, because every single child deserves these feelings of happiness, love and support in their home! Every child deserves to feel like they are free to be who they are without judgement nor ridicule in their own home.

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