Category Archives: Parents

TUCK – Advancing Better Sleep

TUCK – Advancing Better Sleep

If you’ve not come across this site I urge you to check it out! The quality of our sleep has such a profound effect on all of us, children and adults alike.

As I get older I have experienced various sleep issues myself, and my autistic son has recently completed a sleep programme with Cerebra to reprogram his sleep cycle. This website is probably the most comprehensive one I’ve come across in all my ‘sleep research’ for easy to understand information around sleep problems and resources which may help.

The link to the site is as follows:

The site also includes an interesting section on bedtime stories, with a selection of useful suggestions for parents.

Autism and Sleep

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Thanks to Jenny Thompson at Best Mattress Reviews for the following link:

I know what it’s like to have a child who struggles with falling asleep and staying asleep and from talking to other parents of autistic children it’s certainly not unusual. Some of the things that helped my son were; a routine, a calming sleep environment, a bed tent (which made him feel secure) and story CDs. My son seems anxious to let go and allow himself to fall asleep and, once asleep, he wakes often.

I found this article interesting and very relevant to our needs. I also checked out the sleep blog on the site which I found of personal interest. Do message me if you have any further ‘sleep gems’.

More links and Resources from Caring4OurKids

Thank-you for these additional links and resources, Cyrus Dylan:

Legal Resources for Special Needs
Keeping Disabled Persons Safe While Remodeling
Creating a Home Where Your Disabled Child can Thrive
Teacher Resources for Special Needs
Disability and Credit Scores
Home Accommodations for Special Needs
Disability Resources from the Department of Labor
Tips for Disabled Persons to Declutter and Organize their Home
Financial Planning for Special Needs

Divorce and Children with Autism

Divorce is not an easy transition for any family, but for those with children with special needs there are additional factors to be considered.  Whilst most parents hope that their children may become self-sufficient, this is often not a reality and steps need to be taken during the divorce process to protect and plan for the child’s future.

The NAS provides useful advice, including solicitors specializing in special needs, for parents residing in the UK.  However, I am aware that much traffic to this website comes from the US and include a link below to a useful article for those parents/carers.


In between current personal and professional projects I am always trying to read more, so I was interested in this guest Blog post by Lucy Adams.   Reading has always been part of my life –  an enjoyable habit, but recently I have set myself the task of reading for research and this post has some useful pointers.  I also find myself trying to encourage my teenage son to read a small amount of pages daily, whilst not making it too much of a chore, and I am always on the look out for good teen fiction.

If you find this article useful you can follow the link at the end to read more from Lucy.  


Why Should You Read a Book a Week?        By Lucy Adams

In the middle of the last century, a young man named Earl Nightingale got inspired to change his life after reading one of the Napoleon Hill’s books. He decided to devote himself to self-development and enthusiastically began to study all the available material on this and related topics. However, he was sure that by studying an hour a day, in three years one can become one of the best specialists in the field, in five years – an expert of a national scale, and in seven years – one of the leading professional in the niche.

What results has he achieved? Well, Nightingale is now called “the dean of personal development.”

Later, this reading practice was followed and popularized by Brian Tracy, even before he became one of the best consultants for self-development and management. Was the “1 book per week” system a key ingredient in the recipe for success? It’s hard to say because usually, such recipes consist of several ingredients. At the same time, Brian Tracy highly appreciates the role of this reading strategy.

In 1992, the idea to read a book per week was taken by Steve Pavlina, one of the most popular American bloggers, an expert in the field of personal development. In 2005, he published a report on ten years of following this advice with the intention to show “what lies beyond the habit.” He’s not talking about the impact of this technique on his career and success but rather shares his vision on how reading changes, disciplines and teaches to think productively. According to S. Pavlina, the main advantage of reading a book per week is that the person receives new information and becomes an expert in the field, as well as that the brain gets used to the constant load.

And it’s hard to disagree. When you read one book a week, you train your brain to process new information. Your thinking becomes fresh and sharp. Your brain analyzes new ideas and compares them with the already accumulated knowledge. Every day your brain systematizes new information and lays it out on the shelves in your internal database. Systematic reading provokes the activity of your brain even when you’re not reading!

But the big question arises: Is it possible for an average person whose abilities are much more modest than Tracy’s and Pavlin’s, and who need time for work, family, and leisure?

As practice shows, such fears are always with us, but for someone who has clearly set a goal and planned it properly, there’s nothing impossible. Not to say it’s easy, especially if you don’t read regularly, but the goal is achievable, even not taking into account the methods of speed reading!

And, what’s more important, this way of reading was many times applied to practice. The love of people to different kind of contests made “a book per week” something akin to a call. Many authors and public figures, including Claire Diaz Ortiz, J. Smith, and A. von der Heydt share their experience, while on such websites as Goodreads and Read52booksin52weeks, you can find a lot of stories from “ordinary” followers of the idea.

How to Read 50 Books in 50 Weeks?

#1 Find a Reason

Find a good reason; in other words, answer the question: Why am I doing this?

Maybe, you want to increase your knowledge in a particular field or just test yourself. Recall this reason every time you want to quit. It will be the best motivation.

After all, it’s not so difficult to find a motive. A much more complicated task is to convince yourself do it every day. The desire to quit will be great, but on the other hand, such an ambitious target can change you for the better.

#2 Read More than You Need

An average book contains 250-300 pages. Therefore, to cope with it, you need to read about 50 pages a day. Not too much, right? But that’s not the point. To train yourself and be disciplined, at first, you should read these pages at once, without breaking reading into a few stages. Later, you’ll have enough experience to split the volume and combine it as you wish.


#3 Make Reading a Habit

Make reading not an obligation but a physical habit, like waking up in the morning. Daily reading should become a ritual. Read wherever the opportunity arises – in a subway, in a queue, during the lunch break, etc.

#4 Put Aside Uninteresting Books

It happens that the book seems too boring. In this case, you mustn’t torture yourself – just skip it and start reading the next one. Finally, you can always return to it later.

I wish you best of luck in your reading endeavors!


Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from She prefers topics on literature, writing, and education, but from time to time, puts them aside and switches to other intriguing areas. Frankly speaking, Lucy is a generalist. You can always share your ideas with this diligent blogger and get at least one high-quality post in return.


Grants For Autistic Children

Another website I have recently discovered is  This website is easy to navigate and includes a whole range of useful grants for disabled adults and children.  I have used Family Fund to buy sensory equipment for my son but was unaware of many of the other grants listed here.  There are some great links, all easy to follow – wish I’d found this site sooner.  The site includes links to  advice on disability law, holiday and equipment grants and grants for carers.  Well worth a look!

Time for Bed Little Ted App Review

Check out Touch Autism’s recent review of ‘Time For Bed Little Ted’:

Time for Bed Little Ted is a sweet and helpful interactive bedtime story for tucking in your kids. It offers a calming and cute bear that has to get ready for bed. The child will help the bear as he puts his toys away, gets his pajamas on, and brushes his teeth. As he works through the steps of a bedtime routine, the interactive activities are simple and engaging to the story. As bedtime can be a challenging task each night for many young children, this app can help as a social story schedule and to better support a typical nightly routine. It also is very calming and perfect as a bedtime story.

The beautiful story was written by Kryssy Hurley. You can read more about her journey on creating this app on her website, Time for Bed Little Ted. She talks a little about being a parent of a child with ASD and her focus on finding a story that can support all children. She also talks about how this sweet story evolved into an Ebook and now an app that is available on an Android and the iPad. The hand drawn illustrations are done by Monika Suska. Other contributors for music, narration, and development include: Dan Budd, Jasmine Hyde, Antenna Studios, Alejandra Labraga Arbelo, and

They also have some fantastic apps on their site to support children with autism.  I have recently downloaded ‘Staying Safe and Safer Strangers’, an app which teaches about stranger-danger.  It uses social stories to break down social and behavioural skills into smaller steps that are simple and easy for a child to understand. “Talking about getting lost and teaching about community safety can be a scary, or daunting task. These two social stories teach what to do to stay safe in the community with simple descriptive language and fun illustrations. These social stories provide a vocabulary for you to talk about these important skills.”

I am also intending to download ‘Visual Timer’ and ‘Calm Counter’, both resources which I think would work well with my son.