Category Archives: autism

Texture cards for sensory stimulation

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We have started a new therapy with the kiddos called Mendability. It is a sensory enrichment program that helps the brain make new connections between the senses.  We are introducing more fragrances, textures, art, music and massage into their daily environment. The therapy is individual for each child and will be adjusted as they make progress in problem areas. So far we are excited about the process and encouraged by the therapy support provided!

Today I made texture cards. I took different items (sponge, wood, pipe cleaner, plastic, textured paper, terrycloth, paper bag, etc.) and attached them to 4 x 5 card stock.

We use these in different ways with each child. For the little engineer, we stroke the bottom of his feet with a different texture on each foot and then switch the textures and do it again. He finds this very relaxing and loves it! Sometimes he wants it done on his back as well!

Drama girl smells a scent and feels two different textures with each hand (a total of four textures).  She thinks this is fun as well although she has a hard time smelling and feeling at the same time. She loves the smell so much she keeps trying to get closer and closer. Her little nose follows the cotton ball like a puppy following a piece of bacon!

We are listening to classical music in the evenings as the kiddos go through their exercises, bathtime and (quietly) as they are going to sleep. This has cut down on the tv/ipad time, but they are not complaining! It makes for a more relaxing evening for everyone!

Will keep you posted.


Evolution of an autism grandma

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015My granddaughter just turned 6 and my grandson will soon be 8. Our family has dealt with various aspects of the autism spectrum since they were born. It is simply the way their brains are wired. Of course we didn’t realize that right away. We noticed it with the little engineer when he was slow to talk and achieve other milestones that “normal” children do. We lost two years to denial and inexperience. And it wasn’t just our denial. The state early intervention worker who came out to evaluate him told us that “he’s just like most two year old boys, he just doesn’t want to cooperate.” And so we lost another year. He was four before we were able to get a diagnosis and start the maze of IEP development, speech, occupational and physical therapies through the school system, special diets, and insurance.

With my granddaughter, the drama girl, it was obvious she having difficulty from the day she was born. She cried nonstop for weeks. After being in a hurry to see the world, it was too much for her. This time we had a clue and as we were navigating the system for my grandson, drama girl was right there next in line. It still took almost two years and by that time she had no language and almost no eye contact. Where the little engineer had been frustrated by his inability to communicate and be social, drama girl was content to stay locked up inside herself.

Fortunately, these children could not have been born to better parents. My daughter-in-law is a critical care nurse and she had previous job experience dealing with people with special needs. She understands the medical terminology and she isn’t intimidated by forms, reports or school administrators. She knows that she knows her children better than anyone and she will fight for what they need.

And so I became an autism grandma.