Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making new things and keeping busy

This past month we have been getting ready for a May craft show.  We have some nice new things, yummy Citrus soaps, all  hand made, and fresh and pure.  Hand made by a local craftsperson it is fresh made and delicious to smell. 
Two new soaps, citrus orange and grapefruit with fresh orange peel, and lemon poppyseed.

Andrew is making some new things for spring and summer, uplifting and  fun, simple flower gift tags, each  hand cut and hand made, cheerful and happy they will light up your package or gift.

Andrew hand cuts each shape and I help with the hot glue.. I hope you enjoy our new  products. Each and every product is made with love and care. Each sale includes two paper flowers and two color coordinated gift tags!  Sure to lift your spirits with their cheerful colors and happy spirit.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Help me, Please

This past 18 months has been a long hard climb for us as an autism family. Filled with joy, hope, despair, frustration and determination.

Today for the first time in many many long months, my son said to his teacher, "Help me please"  as he stood in front of a closed door.

I was very taken back by that comment since he has not spoken in this last year and  a half and I sensed in a truly  heartfelt way that he was asking her more than help with the door. His doors have been closed for a long time, and this new teacher has opened his eyes and his heart to new possibilities.

I think "help me" is the anthem for the majority of teens with autism .. I wondered how many people are listening to this world of quiet thoughtful  autism whispers.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Broken pieces - new life

It is often diffficult to make sense of senseless things and/or see the beauty in destructive acts, but when living with an individual with autism you have to make sense where often there is no sense.  Andrew has cycles of breaking things, mugs, cups and plates  - indiscriminate items that have a large shatter effect - pieces flying everywhere. 

I recently took some of those broken pieces and turned them into garden ornaments. A terracotta pot now holds court in a flower bed, stenciled with hopeful sayings and optimism.

Life is not a clear cut road, there are many detours.  One can drown in the pessimissim or try and attempt to rise above ...making lemonade out of lemons is a theme  especially with a disability that oftentimes makes absolutely no sense..


broken pieces - hope springs

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Autism awareness month - Our next donation

Things have been busy in the little shop here in the barn. We have labeled our soy candles and gotten them ready. Looking into some craft fairs to attend to spread awareness and continuing to look for ways to engage Andrew in a positive way.

This month we will be donating money from the shop to the SJ Children's Trust -  I spoke with the representative there and that will be our directed donation.

Many thanks as well to one of the members of our listserv for being so generous.  In her honor we will be donating the money in honor of Jackie P!   Giving in the most positive way from one autism family to another.

God bless and Happy Easter


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How do we engage a teen with autism?

We are not alone in facing some incredibly challenging times this past   year and one of the biggest has been engagement  for a teen with autism. How does a parent or a professional turn downtime, nonengaged time, destructive time into positive engagement and positive activities.

Many individuals with autism struggle as they reach this new mountaintop. They have climbed the educational ladder only to find that once at the top they don't know what to do with their skills..

It is with that intention in mind that we began this business - both as a means to engage Andrew, who is 17, but also to engage him in useful creative areas that would lead to employment for him and also raise money and awareness of the difficulties faced by teens with autism.

Our shop provides engagment for andrew while also raising money to buy communication devices for teens and adults with autism.   Our missions are simple, creative employment, fund raising, and donations of communication devices, either IPADS or IPODS with communication software.

Depending on our funds ( which is completely tied to in-store sales), we   donate at least 20%,  usually more,  toward our goal of funding the next communication device.

getting candles labeled

To put Andrew to work, he is now shredding and using his shredding skills to make custom ribbons.

It is a job that he LOVES and uses his superior shredding skills.   He is also in the candle selling business now and has a very good time putting labels on candle jars, and getting them ready for sale. 

Putting on the labels

shredding finally  has a purpose!

Jeremy's climb

I received a picture from a young man. His mom sent it to me, and it shows a beautiful kid with a giant smile on his face.

His mom entitled it "Jeremy's climb" - she was referring to his rope climbing adventures.

However, I think Jeremy's climb refers to much more - his climb through life is precarious  - lots of traps, and craters, pitfalls, and mountains to climb just to do what other young boys his age can do easily and without assistance.

He is hanging onto ropes in this picture with a harness and has two spotters on the ground. 

It is symbolic to me how many people are needed to help a person with autism "climb."  We need teachers, and doctors, behaviorists, support personnel - these people are our daily "ropes" just to get us to the next steps.

I hope that we can all celebrate Jeremy's climb and pray for his climb to continue and that he gets the assistance he needs from all those people that  he and all our kids need to make each day successful. 

With love to Jeremy and his mom Barbara - who is his daily climb "instructor."