My Little Technology Monster so-to-speak #AutismAwareness

As we move further into the month, I am still talking about Autism Awareness because well it’s important alongside many other topics, but this is the one I am learning the most about this month with the recent DX of my son. Today, I discuss the technology addiction my son has always had and was easily confused in the beginning with an ADHD type of child.

autism awareness month

Aj has always loved electronics, video games could have easily ruled his world back in the younger days, ages 2-5. Then he got older, he learned about MineCraft and YouTube. Most days you will find my son in front of YouTube doing his research, as I like to call it. YouTube has become my son’s television so-to-speak, but he doesn’t just watch any old videos.

Aj enjoys watching videos that teach him something, that allow him to work deeper with his current loved video game, MineCraft.

The counselor, Aj’s Dad and I have all discussed this electronic “addiction” that Aj has and from time to time it had become quite the monster of his world, keeping him from interacting with his family on a more one-to-one basis. Then as time went on, I realized that Aj wasn’t using the laptop for the purpose of game playing, I realized he was showing a high level of interest in learning how to manipulate games or coding to make the game work in ways it wasn’t built from the “box” to do. It seems Aj has a bit of his father in him, his Dad loves to build computers and different things like that so it fits the mold of “like father like son” for sure.

In the past couple, almost three, months of having Aj off of medications, I have noticed that his brain is just intrigued by how things work, not necessarily the hands on building like his brother, but more so the “behind-the-scenes” of how things work and Aj gets it! Aj picks up on things that most of us don’t as it pertains to mathematics or how technology works. Aj seems to me to be that child who will grow up with a love of programming. Instead of doing what we had previously thought to be the right decision, keeping Aj from electronics, my ex husband and I have allowed the computer to be an open access item for him at both our homes. We have found in the past few months that Aj will not use the computer beyond a decent level of time, eventually Aj will bore of not being able to find just the right YouTube video for his needs and will see his family is interacting playing tag or Lego’s and want to join in with us.

I love that Aj is starting to take an interest in family life. I love that, while he isn’t as into the physical play like his siblings, he does take a part in it on a daily basis for a limited amount of time. Upon discussions with the psychiatrist who diagnosed Aj, she stated it is fairly common for autistic people to have a high level of interest in mathematics, and usually do end up in the field of programming. It seems we found just another area where Autism Spectrum – High Functioning makes sense for Aj’s diagnosis.

What are some things that your child just adores and makes you wonder why he/she is sooooo fixated on that area of their world?

 

My Juggling Act – Making Time for All Children

I have three children, for some that seems like a lot to keep up with while others have far more children than me and see it as less of a challenge. Having children, no matter how many can always lead to a juggling act. Some are juggling work, family and home while others juggle home and family only. Whatever you are juggling, we all know as parents that a 12 hour day doesn’t ever seem long enough. I am here to share with you what I do to ensure I make time for each of my children, specifically  my youngest, as well as share a few tips on how I make it all work!

How to Make Time for Each Child

With my  middle child being different than my other two, having a previous mood disorder & anxiety diagnosis but awaiting an autism evaluation, you can imagine my hands are full. It’s often difficult to realize I haven’t paid one ounce of positive attention to my other two children because Aj had me so preoccupied tending to his needs. Due to Aj needing so much of my attention, energy and strength I have to be very conscious of paying positive attention to my other two children; why? Because it’s important that my other two children know I do love them just as much as Aj and that they are just as important. It’s also important to pay positive attention to my other two children because I don’t want them to start to have bitter feelings towards myself as a Mom who may not pay them enough attention nor having those feelings about their special needs brother. It’s not Aj’s fault he requires more attention and time from me, it’s no one’s fault.

How To Juggling Your Kids

For my youngest it’s easy to spend positive attention time with him because he is pretty simple. At age 5 the most important thing you can do for K-man is to pay attention to what interests him. K-man doesn’t really care if you are truly interacting but he does care that you are physically and mentally there in the moment playing cars, Legos or blocks with him. Our most recent time together involved him setting up his many vehicles in his room and me attempting to make a race track for him. We had a blast and it only required about 15 minutes of my time before dinner. That’s another good point; the amount of minutes per child doesn’t seem to have mattered to my children. Just a simple 15 minute time allotted for each child to have your undivided attention makes for the difference between a child acting out to get any form of attention versus a child who can have patience knowing they will get the positive attention at some point that day.

Making Time for All Children is Important

I must admit spending a minimum of 15 minutes positively interacting with each of my children really changes their moods. My K-man tends to enjoy any attention he can get and if you are not giving him enough positive attention, he will seek out the negative attention. Aj is more simple, he doesn’t seem to feel the need for a lot of one on one time but I am working on getting him to be more interactive at a comfortable-for-him level. My oldest and only daughter tends to drift off the grid a bit when her brothers are requiring more time from me, but I do ensure that my daughter and I get a Mom/Daughter day every so often and I also make sure to spend 15 minutes minimum with her at end of day after her brothers are asleep. This has helped us build a bond stronger than a herd of elephants.

Four Tips on How to Ensure your Children Get Positive Parent Time

  • Know Your Children – Out of everyone in the whole world you should be the one person who knows what makes your children happy.  If they enjoy Legos, play Legos. If they enjoy chatting about their life, listen to them chat. If they want to read books, pretend play or so on, do that with them. Ensure you are engaging in one on one time that is based on an activity your child loves to do.
  • Realize It’s Quality not Quantity That Counts -  Spend a minimum of 15 minutes each day with one on one time. The magic number I have found that works best is a minimum of 15 minutes each day per child. Be sure to set a timer so that when it beeps they know their time is up. Also be sure to set aside your cell phone and give your child your 100% undivided attention. Kids know when you are not “really there”.
  • Remind Your Children to Respect Their Sibling’s One on One Time – Be sure to get your other children engaged together or individually with something that will allot you the 15 minutes with their sibling. Remind each child that they too will get your undivided attention on their turn. This teaches the skills of manners, family bonding, and taking turns.
  • Get in Touch with Your Inner Child – During these one on one time sessions remember, while you are this child’s parent, that this particular time with your child is all about having fun, being silly and connecting with them on their level. Have fun with it, be silly and creative, should I dare say be goofy?! It’s suppose to be fun one on one time, make sure that it is!

There you have it, a few ways I have ensured that I am raising my children to be happy and healthy. I hope these tips will assist you in gaining more positive one on one time with your children which will increase the bond you two have from now to forever.

Legos Bring Kids Together – Eternally Grateful For Legos

A local father to a boy who used to go to the same school as my daughter dropped me a message on Facebook asking if my boys liked Legos. Of course my reply was, “yes they do!”. Later that day, to my surprise, the local friend dropped off this gigantic tote of Legos. I honestly am amazed at how many kind, thoughtful families there are in my town. This particular man and his wife are absolutely sweet, they both are friends with me on Facebook and I admire them lots! I am now eternally grateful to them because dropping these Legos off meant more than just items for us!

HappilyBlended.com Legos Bringin Kids together for Ages

I honestly had to pick my jaw up off of the ground when he arrived to hand me this huge tote of Legos. This is a lot of Legos. These were dropped off on a weekend when no kids were here, I couldn’t wait for Monday after school to arrive so that my three children could see the amount of Legos we received.

HappilyBlended.com Legos Bringin Kids together for Ages

I knew that my boys would be over the moon happy but what I didn’t realize is how happy my daughter would be. We have quite a few Lego sets around here but none that are geared towards girls, all themes are Star Wars or other Shark Type themes for the boys. It seems very few times does anyone think to buy Girl Theme Legos, but see I didn’t realize up until this past Christmas Season that my daughter even wanted Girl Lego Themed Items. Well, girl theme or not, apparently having this gigantic bucket of Lego’s made her day too!

HappilyBlended.com Legos Bringin Kids together for Ages

All three of my kids have never, ever played so nicely … okay except the times they are playing the MineCraft Demo on PS3. This is more than just a video game though, Legos have brought my children together to use their imagination and creativity in a way that no video game can compare to.

HappilyBlended.com Legos Bringin Kids together for Ages

Nothing makes me smile more than watching my three children work together to play Ninja games with the Legos we received. I am so happy that we received such a kind gift because it really has brought our whole household together for fun days and evenings. Thank you to the Family who gave us this Lego supply, we appreciate you!

BK Crown Creation and What’s LegoLand

Burger King is having a “Design Your Crown” contest where kids can create their own BK Crown design and if their design is chosen then they win a VIP Family Trip to LegoLand Parks.

In all honesty I had no clue about this contest, but my daughter who has her computer time while I am doing my sons’ bedtime routine found this contest and decided to enter.  I came upstairs to grab Aj’s water cup for bedtime when Miss Ki called me into the room.

Ki was so excited and happy that she designed her own crown then excitedly she states, “If my crown is chosen then it may be found in a Burger King restaurant AND I win a trip to LegoLand … what’s LegoLand?”

I cracked up laughing because she was so extremely excited yet had zero clue what LegoLand was….

Kre-O Transformers Fun For the Family

My kids love building things and it is one of the few toys that I can rely on to keep the kid from arguing while playing. Kre-O sets have been a hit in the house and this time around we tested out the Kre-O Transformers. We received a set that can be put into a robot or an ambulance making two times the fun for the price of one set!

Our Kre-O Transformer

About Kre-O

  • Value:  KRE-O construction sets are compatible with other leading construction sets available, so users don’t have to invest in a new brick system. Expand the brick collection you already have at home and don’t worry if bricks get mixed together in the toy chest!
  • Action: Build favorite characters from the classic Transformers universe, including Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, in either robot or vehicle mode
  • Fun: Collect and build unique, poseable KREON figures in both robot and human form
  • Deals! Add KRE-O TRANSFORMERS playsets to your construction collection with a Coupons.com coupon for $5 off your KRE-O purchase of $20 or more! {enter search under coupon codes for Kre-O to find coupon}

The current Kre-O collection features 12 popular Transformers characters and
each character can be made into a robot or a vehicle, in true Transformer
fashion.  These sets are so fun and versatile and are  compatible with all
popular construction brick sets.

Win a Kre-O Set

There is one Kre-O set being given away every hour on the Hasbro Kre-O website. Spin to win. This is open 7 days a week for 7 weeks total. Ends December 9th at 11:59pm E.T.

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