-Caregiver Support Group: Monday, March 20 at 7pm.
We will now be updating all records each month by asking for a copy of your child's insurance information. Please make sure to have this information on hand at all times. Thank you for your cooperation with our efforts to stay up-to-date!
Please remember that we have kiddos with severe/life-threatening allergies attending therapy sessions at Greenhouse each week. We can no longer allow food or drink (with the exception of water) in the clinic. We appreciate your help with keeping all of our children safe!
Place the printed page on a piece of foam board, cork board, or cardboard box.
Push toothpicks into each dot on the arcs of the rainbow & gold coins as indicated in the picture.
Child places colored cereal, pony beads, or perler beads on top of the toothpicks.
Use different colors to make a rainbow.
Use yellow to make the gold coins.
Meet Ms. Chelsea!
Chelsea is our current fieldwork student. She is in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at TCC. She will be with us for 8 weeks. When Chelsea finishes her clinical with us, she gets to graduate and join the wonderful profession of Occupational Therapy!
Raising Special Kids Support Group
Every Third Monday of the month
Whether your child has autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, or any other of the myriad of challenges many of our kids face, as a parent or caregiver you face many difficulties day-to-day that the average parent does not. You don't have to do it alone! Come join us as we meet monthly to share our experiences - the struggles, the victories, the disappointments and the joys.
We are now taking applications for our
Summer Semester of TEENHOUSE! Teenhouse is designed to provide support for our kids in the 11-14 age range. Teaching will take place in a small social group setting and will include tasks designed to promote socialization and improve self-awareness. Minimum number of attendees required for each group. Teenhouse will meet every other week for 12 weeks (6 sessions). $250 to attend. No application fee. Contact the office for more information or click below to also access the application.
It’s Not About the Muffins or
Suspecting Your Child is on the Autism Spectrum
Without an “Official” Diagnosis!
Muffins. Chocolate chip muffins. Who knew that chocolate chip muffins could have so much power over one little boy - taking over his emotions in such a powerful way?! Yes, this morning my son had a meltdown because his brother ate the last package of muffins.
"Well, that sounds silly," you say…."muffins shouldn't have that much control over someone and their emotions."
But, to me it’s as normal as getting dressed in the morning is to you and a part of every day life raising a 7-year old boy on the spectrum.
You see, my son, Brody, processes his emotions and responds to them differently than you and me. That’s because he is on the autism spectrum.
The kicker is this, though...He has yet to receive an official diagnosis.
When we run out of chocolate chip muffins or brother eats the last one, his reacts as if his world has ended and life as we know it is over. Just over. Often there is nothing that we can do to make him happy when this occurs. This, of course. is but one of many examples I could use to describe his daily struggles to just…well…do life.
Because it’s not really about the muffins.
All parenting is difficult, but raising a child on the autism spectrum (or with any other disorder that dysregulates the sensory system) can make a parent feel helpless, confused and even unfit for the task at hand sometimes.
I used to think that maybe Brody would grow out of these meltdowns, yet here we are at seven years of age, and he is still having them. I’m sure in time he will learn to cope to some degree. But for now, it’s a real part of our lives. It’s real. It’s scary. And it’s hard.
There is nothing quite like feeling helpless for your child.
The morning of the "muffin incident", I pulled out all my tricks and not one of them worked. Not one! I dug a little deeper into my "COTA mommy" therapy bag trying distraction, redirection, labeling emotions, and even providing some calming proprioceptive input. And still…nothing.
Tears. Anger. Tears. Uncontrollable tears.
Why get so worked up over your son's muffin meltdown, you ask?
Well, for me, it’s not about the muffins.
It’s another painful reminder that my son is different than others; that life for him is super hard; and that life will most likely always be hard to some extent.
Understanding people is hard for him. Coping is hard for him. Dealing with a broken Pop-Tart, a “broke” chicken finger that is no longer any good, or a shortage in muffins is hard for him.
Since Brody's spectrum-ness is not super obvious to most, and he doesn’t have an official diagnosis of ASD, it can be difficult for friends and family members to understand the struggle. For me, it's okay if they aren’t believers quite yet. I’m confident someday they will be.
As his mother, and as an experienced COTA, I can see that he has numerous similarities, deficits, delays, and several red flags that are super spot on with an autism diagnosis.
So I get it. I believe it. And I am just seeing it before anyone else.
Knowing “the why” of his meltdowns allows me to give my son the supports he needs even though I am not able to fix it every time. I can't run to the store and buy more muffins the moment we find we are out...but when I can’t help him, I can at least believe him. I can acknowledge that this is extra hard for him. For me, knowing “the why” behind the melt-downs makes it a little easier.
I know there are others out there that understand that your child is different even though you don’t necessarily have an official diagnosis. There are many of us that feel our child may have been misdiagnosed, but know that we won’t likely get the true diagnosis until our child is older and appears more “quirky” with age, when the social gap is much bigger. Autism presents differently in different individuals. Many kiddos are often too “high-functioning” to present as autistic to the untrained eye. Being patient for a diagnosis can be very hard. For parents, this is a lonely and frightening place to be at times. We sympathize with our spectrummy kids. We hurt for them.
We know it's not about the muffins.
So, if you are finding yourself reading this and feel that you might be in my shoes….know that you are NOT alone.
You are enough. You can handle it.
Even when you can’t fix a muffin shortage, you are the right person for the job.