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.   

 

http://www.childlawhelpcenter.com/divorce-and-children-with-autism

WHY YOU SHOULD READ A BOOK A WEEK

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.

(https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/08/19/16/19/bible-896220_960_720.jpg)

#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!

Bio:

Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from https://bestessay4u.co.uk/. 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 MyGrants.co.uk.  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 Blakethedev.com.

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.

Gold Mom’s Choice Award achieved!

5077 Moms Choice Certificate-04th February 2016

We are delighted to have achieved the Gold Mom’s Choice Award.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of items from more than 55 countries.

Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media look for the MCA mother-and-child Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality products and services for children and families.

DATA PRIVACY DAY

Kids Need Stories of  Bristol, UK, a leader in the online privacy arena, celebrates Data Privacy Day on January 28

The app developer members of Know What’s Inside, including ‘Kids Need Stories’ of Bristol, UK, creators of ‘Time For Bed Little Ted’ extend support to Data Privacy Day, an annual event promoting data privacy education. Members of Know What’s Inside are thrilled to participate in the effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy online.

“I love making apps for children. My business has prioritized the privacy of our users from day one. I’m pleased to support the efforts surrounding Data Privacy Day to help bring awareness to the importance of data privacy.” said Kryssy Hurley of ‘Kids Need Stories’. “I stand today with my fellow members of Know What’s Inside as we continue to emphasize user privacy and complete transparency about data practices so parents and teachers can know, up front, what’s inside my apps.”

“Know What’s Inside members are excited to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Our members have pledged to take online privacy very seriously,” said Sara Kloek, executive director of Know What’s Inside. “Their apps are designed especially for children and prioritize protecting user online privacy. They believe in the importance of protecting children’s privacy and educating others by being transparent about their apps and their data collection policies.”

Know What’s Inside is the largest community of family-friendly, educational app developers in the world. Over 500 companies from around the world are dedicated to helping parents and teachers find apps that follow best practices around privacy and comply with privacy rules, including the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). The program provides companies with guidance on best practices, and requires each company to implement those best practices in order to display the Know What’s Inside seal on their apps. For more information, visit knowwhatsinside.com.

SENSORY RESOURCES

I’m constantly on the look out for useful resources to help with my son’s special needs. I’ve recently purchased disco lights for the bath, as my son finds having a bath incredibly hard at the best of times, a sensory black-out tent and a bag of sensory goodies to take with us when we do manage to go out.

 

Recently, I was recommended the following site for training and resources.

http://www.hirstwood.com/about-us/

Any other sites or resources gladly received and will be shared if I think they might be useful.

Is your computer keeping you awake? f.lux: Change the colour of your computer screen depending on time of day

f.lux software site asks us if we’ve ever noticed how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow about them!

Perhaps you wake up ready to write down your Next Great Idea but get blinded by your computer screen?

f.lux explains:

“During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

f.lux

f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.”

I have already downloaded this on all our laptops.  I am researching gaming glasses for my son to use when on the XBox.  Any recommendations in this area would be welcome!

Great new website for existing and aspiring teachers!

http://tobecomeateacher.org/

teacherbanne

A NEW PLATFORM FOR ASPIRING AND EXISTING TEACHERS

tobecomeateacher is a new site which offers educators an easy to navigate platform, from which to learn more about teaching careers, training opportunities and specific resources.

The site is user friendly and contains a wealth of information for both aspiring and existing teachers.  Particularly helpful, in my opinion, is the fact that there is a panel of educators to impart teaching tips and career guidance.  A super resource – I’m sure this will prove valuable to many!