Autism Tips - April 2008

Each Day I will post a tip concerning autism. I will posts tips for Parents of Autism (PA) and also for Friends of Autism (FA). After each tip I will label which category the tip falls under. Hope you enjoy the tips - I would love to hear any tips you may have too. We can all learn from each other. I will just continue adding to my tips each day - but put the new tip in bold for easier reading.

1. Pray Daily for your child - Pray Audibly with your child - They need to hear us praying for them. Prayer is the key that opens locked doors! / *PA
2. Be an advocate for your child - but not with a chip on your shoulder / *PA
3. Daily try to entrench your child with the understanding of God's love. / *PA
4. Plan and Prioritize for quality time with the other children in your home. / *PA
5. Don't compare your child with other children / *PA
6. Believe the verse: "Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it." / *PA
7. Establish a routine / *PA
8. Give the Gluten Free/ Casein Free Diet a try / *PA

Autism Statistics

Current Statistics about Autism:

* 1 in every 150 children in the USA have autism

* It is estimated that at this time 1 MILLION people in the USA have autism

* 1 new case of autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes

* 24,000 children are diagnosed with autism each year in the United States

Autism is the fastest growing developmental epidemic effecting children today.

Helpful Websites About Autism:

Talk About Curing Autism Now - Taca - - (this is my personal favorite!)

Autism Society of America

The most common symbol for autism is a puzzle piece or pieces. Fitting don't you think?

Autism Awareness Month

April in national Autism Awareness Month - and as autism has challenged our home. I have decided to dedicate this month to posting on or about autism. I will start my autism posts on April 1st. and continue them throughout the month. I am looking forward to April - and perhaps to being able to meet other Christians whose lives have been challenged by autism.
A lot of my blog posts this next month will be about our journey through life with autism. I will not be posting as a Mom who knows all there is to know about autism - I DON'T! (In fact, this past week, I have found myself with more questions than answers and more tears than smiles.) It has been a difficult time in our home this past month because of autism.

Also, I wanted to post a tip each day concerning autism. Some of my tips will be geared towards parents, who like us, have been given the path of autism to walk along. Many of the tips will be thoughts that I find myself in need of remembering. I am wanting to be encouraging; and to keep our minds, in spite of the challenges, focused on the big picture.

For those of you who do not share the day to day struggle with an autistic child, I will include tips for you as well. Sometimes, seeing your friends struggle through a path you have never walked, causes one to be unsure of how to help. I want to provide you all with some thoughts on how you can be a blessing and help. God has blessed our family with so many loving caring compassionate friends - (I am forever thankful for your encouragement and love). Autism is a hard road, at times a lonely road and often a misunderstood road. I invite you to journey with us this month.

I try to participate in a few hosted weekly blogs ( Kitchen Tip Tuesdays and Show, Tell Fridays, and Children's Book Monday's). I will continue throughout the month to participate in these - but all from an autism view point. I think this will be fun

I invite you if you are fellow blogger, to post about my month and feel free to use the picture designed for the month. ( I have placed it on my side bar for you to copy) I want for those who are challenged with autism - to find a place where autism is talked about from a edifying Christian perspective. Please leave a comment to let me know you are posting about my site - so I can jump over and visit you to thank you.

Come journey with me. Laugh with me, cry with me - but walk with me. Autism has changed our life - but I know our life is exactly as God wants it to be. So though the path be different than any I have ever walked - I can rest assured that God is in control and His strength is sufficient.


Zak's Appointment

Many have contacted me and asked me how the doctor's appointment went for Zak this past week. I am sorry that I have not been able to post; but we had to leave town here this past weekend due to a family emergency. I am sorry about the delay.

Zak's appointment went VERY well on Thursday. We met with a DAN! doctor. (That is a defeat autism now doctor). He was wonderful and Zak seemed to really like him.

He spent over 2 hours with us. Going through documents and charts. He was very detailed. He has put Zak on a Gluten Free / Casein free diet. He also ordered a whole range of tests that he wants done. We will get him in for lab work this week. We should hear something from those in about three weeks or so. Until then, we will be vigilant about his diet and see if there is any improvement in the next several weeks.

Please pray! It has been very difficult these past several weeks! Zak has had more challenges than we have ever encountered before. We are praying for wisdom and guidance from the Lord. Praise the Lord He knows!!

Thanks so much for all your prayers. They are a blessing to us. We will go in for his evaluation this Friday. This will be for his therapy and to get started training me on how to do the therapy with him. I am excited about this next step - as I feel we will see a lot of improvement because of the ABA therapy.


It's Beginning To Look Like Spring

I will spell out for you THE reason why Fall, Winter and Summer win out over Spring on my list of favorite seasons:

M - U - D = MUD!!

Hope you are staying - CLEAN and enjoying Spring.

Trusting God - Stepping Ahead - One Small Step at a Time

I wanted to ask you to pray for us on Thursday. This is the day
of Zak's appointment with an autism specialist. I have been
busy filling out paperwork and getting and accurate record of every test and procedure he has had done in the last 5 1/2 years. To date he has 14 different doctors - (there have been A LOT of phone calls made this week getting accurate information for the Thursday visit).

We made a decision 2 weeks ago to take him off all medication he was taking for the autism. He continues to take meds for his blood pressure. May I say, since taking him off his meds 2 weeks ago, we have seen HUGE changes. I am just amazed and praising the Lord!! One of the biggest changes has been that he is finally sleeping through the night and we are having to wake him up in the morning. What a change this has been!
I also have been praying and asking the Lord to give me wisdom in regards to his therapy's. We have wanted to do ABA therapy; but with us moving here soon, it was not advantageous for us to start a program; only to have to discontinue it in a few months. I have started my own therapy with him based on the ABA philosophy. It has been a daunting task and I have not been sure if I could do it. Currently, I am doing 3-4 therapy sessions with him each day. He is really enjoying doing the work; and we are seeing him catching onto some things even away from the therapy sessions. It has been exciting.


Even though I have started the therapy with him though, I have been concerned that I need to know more of the intricacies of how to do the sessions correctly. I just prayed and prayed that the Lord would open a door for me to learn about the therapy and know deep down in my heart and in my head that I was doing it 'right'. I got a call this morning from an organization that will test Zak and be able to show me exactly where he is in regards to his understanding. This will give me a clear picture of where to start him in the therapy. They will do an evaluation with him ( 3 hours long) and then give me all the information on where he is at . They will test language, hearing, and IQ.

I told them the evaluation would be great. Then I explained to them how I just was unsure exactly how to do the therapy and wished I had more knowledge and training that normal line therapist's have. That was when they told me that would be able to train me on how to do the therapy - I would essentially get all the training that their therapist receive! I was so excited!! I knew that God was answering my prayers. To top it all off, every single test and training will be covered under his insurance. PRAISE THE LORD!

So, if God lays it on your heart - pray for us Thursday as we see this specialist. I am excited to see what he has to offer for us. I know that God has a plan for Zak - and as his Mom I want to make sure that I do everything I can to make sure that he reaches God's full potential for him.

Thanks so much for stopping by - I am so glad you did.



A Drawing

A Friend of mine is having a giveaway in honor of her first year anniversary of blogging. Hop on over and enter into the drawing.

Baking Revisited

I thought this Tuesday for Kitchen Tips I would give you the link over to the posts I made on my daughter's birthday party. For her 12th birthday we hosted a Birthday Baking Party. Hope you enjoy - and perhaps get some tips for how you could do a party. It was a lot of fun.


*For you all who normally read my blog - bear with me - I did not want to write a whole new post for this Tuesday when I had a perfectly good Kitchen Tip with the party. :)

Thanks for stopping by for Kitchen Tip Tuesday. For more tips go to Tammy's. (Thanks Tammy for hosting!)



Easter Sunday Happenings

We had a lovely Easter Sunday. Such a meaningful day in so many ways. I love the Easter story and all that significance that surrounds my Savior's resurrection. Praise the Lord - He is risen indeed!
It is also a very meaningful day, because on Easter Sunday, 1982, my husband accepted Christ as His personal Savior. The resurrection became real in his life as a 15 year old teenage boy. Praise the Lord for His transforming power.

We had a lovely Sunday morning service this year. I sat in with Zak in his Sunday school class. I love to listen to the children's story as the Easter events from so many years ago are related to them. Oh how much He loves me!!
The Sunday morning message was a blessing to once again hear my husband give his account of salvation so many years ago. The story of a sinner saved by grace never gets old!

I came home eagerly awaiting the dinner in the oven. I was so looking forward to Easter dinner - and the special dessert I had made the night before. I walked into the house to the lack of odor coming from the kitchen oven. I sniffed and sniffed but there was no smell of baking meat leaving the oven door. Alas, when I got to the kitchen the oven was cold - and the meal completely uncooked. Time bake - had not baked in time! We had sandwiches and the dessert that had been prepared for the special meal - (the dessert tasted OK - but did not turn out the way it was supposed to - what can I say - it was not my day in the kitchen!!).

So, we are home from church this evening - supper eaten; and kids tucked into bed. Easter dinner is awaiting us in the fridge for tomorrow night. We will enjoy it then. The table is still set in the dining room for the meal - and it will remain that way until tomorrow evening. I am sure this is not an Easter we will soon forget.
I am so glad that the true meaning of Easter is not the lavished meal - or the dessert specially made for the holiday. Today - is the day we celebrate His resurrection - and the power that has for our Christian lives today.

Trust you enjoyed your day basking in the joy of life eternal - and the power Christ had over the grave.
"Oh death, where is thy sting - oh grave, where is they victory."


He Has Risen!!


He has RISEN!


Wishing you a blessed Resurrection Sunday. Of all the holidays this is the one I most cherish. For, had He not risen - my faith would be in vain. Through Him I have victory - I am most blessed!

I trust you know His resurrecting power in your life. If not, I would love to tell you how a relationship with Him will change your life forever.

Rejoicing in the Empty Tomb,

The Party

I wanted to post pictures from the party on Sunday. We had a great day. I had not heard that much chatter and laughing in a long time! It was great.

First, my husband dropped the girls off from church - (I had scooted home right away after church to get the oven started) - the girls came in and stood around a bit awkwardly not knowing exactly what to do or how to act - (do you remember those feelings when you were that age?) Here are all the girls together in their aprons:

We had everyone change into their play clothes and then we sat down to eat. We had pizza and chips - not nutritious at all - but it was a party!

After everyone finished their lunch we got out the Unscramble Baking Words game. The girls had quite a lot of fun trying to find out what the mixed up words were. As you can see, a lot of thought went into their answers. It was fun watching them work.

Then, we split up into groups. I had set up 'work stations'. We had a cake decorating station - (I had baked up "personal cakes" the night before for each girl to have her very own cake to decorate), a cookie decorating station - (Unique cookie cutters were used the day before on the sugar cookies. Each girl got a heart, a frog, a butterfly, a tee shirt , and a watering can), and a cooking making station - (all the ingredients needed to make up a batch of chocolate chip cookies were ready with the mixer for baking time). Each group got 30 minutes at each station. I figured this was the only easy way to make sure there was enough equipment to go around.

I needed a little time to regroup the kitchen before we had cake and opened presents. The kitchen needed a little bit of organizing before we started the next thing. The girls took UNO upstairs and played in the hallway while I did a quick wipe down of the kitchen and decorated Abbey's cake with the remaining frosting. I did a quick "put the dishes all into the dishpan and put it under the sink " cleanup. Novocain became the center of attention - and the UNO game never got finished.

After a thorough hand washing - it was time for cake. More giggles and stories around the table. It was fun listening to them talk with each other.

We opened presents then in the front room. Everyone gathered around and had fun guessing the presents before they were opened. By the time this was finished, I was left with a little more time than I had anticipated. I figured this would be a good time to get the kitchen in order and dished washed. All the girls grabbed a dish towel and I washed. My oldest put the dishes away as they were dried and we were done in no time - and had a clean kitchen to boot. (I was so thankful for the extra time - as I was not looking forward to coming home to a messy kitchen after church that night).

I then got the cake boxes put together - ( I was able to find take home cake boxes for each of the girls) and all the girls put their cookies and cakes into their box, changed into their church clothes, and headed out to the van. It was a great time. I was so glad that everything went well.

I hope the girls had a good time. I really enjoyed planning the party - and listening to all of them be little girls! I will say though that I am SICK of frosting - and don't care if I see any for awhile. One can only handle so much sugar and food coloring in one day!

Thanks so much for stopping by - I am glad you did.


A Recipe for Great Memories

We are getting ready for a birthday party here at our house. Abbey celebrated her 12th birthday this past week. We had planned on having a little get together the Sunday before her birthday; but with everyone getting sick, we had to postpone our plans.

So, I thought I would share with you the invitations that we got sent out this week. I really really enjoyed putting the together. I think we are going to have a great time on Sunday afternoon with all these little girls around baking.

Abbey chose to do a baking party. I thought I would make the invitations out to look like recipe cards. We then attached them to a spatula with a ribbon and on the utensil we wrote: You're invited and then the guest's name.

Here is a picture of the invitations: ( I tried to get close enough so you can read the 'recipe')

So, tomorrow afternoon while most people are taking their Sunday afternoon naps, I will be here with the girls baking cookies, decorating cakes and cookies - and hoping that we can get to church on time that afternoon. Be sure to come back and check out the pictures from the party.



Rocking Once Again

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

I thought this Friday I would show you the rocking chair that I recently purchased. I LOVE rocking chairs. The one I had received when Rachel was born finally bit the dust last year - leaving me rocking 'chair-less'.

Some of my fondest memories growing up were of my Mom or Dad rocking me. When I was little they had a rocking chair that would squeak every time you went forward. How the squeaking noise could settle a restless child and bring the rhythm needed for sleepy eyes to finally close! Even as a teen, I would love to sit in the chair and rock back and forth, listening to the squeak as it went back and forth.

Due to all those heartwarming memories, I found myself really wanting a rocking chair now that ours was gone. However, since there are no little tiny babies in the house at the time - it was not an urgent need. Yet, when my eyes spotted a rocking chair at the thrift store - my heart skipped a beat. After a "comfy" check (to see if it "felt" right); I quickly went to retrieve my husband from the book section of the store and show him my find. He agreed that it was a good deal. So, after spending $14.99 our home once again had a rocking chair. A half and hour with the carpet cleaner attachment from our vacuum and I had a "new" rocking chair.

I love it! Now all we need is a baby - I am not thinking I will find one of those at the thrift shop; but if I do I will make sure I show it for S&T!!

Thanks for stopping by - hope you are having a good week enjoying God's blessings.

Blessings to you,

Happy Birthday, Abbey!!


Happy Birthday. We love you with all our hearts! We are so thankful that God gave you to us. We pray you grow up to serve Him with all of your heart. You will never regret a life lived for Him. We hope you have a Happy 12th Birthday.


Mom and Dad

Visit Our New HomeFront

We are continuing to make preparations for our new ministry change coming here in a few months. Seems that there is more things to do - than there is time to do them all. There are seems to be more questions than answers left for us at this time. We are thankful that God knows the future; and for every unknown that we have - God already knows the answer. We are trusting Him to work out all the details.

I wanted to invite you once again to visit our ministry website. We have it almost all completed. We will add and tweak it here and there - but it is out there now. I wanted you all to go and visit - and fill me in on any input you may have. We have never designed our own website before - and so what may look OK to us amateurs; may need some improvements to those of you who do web designs more frequently.

Let me know what you think and were we can improve. Also, your prayers for us and our family are greatly appreciated.

Later this week I will do a post on our prayer list and needs for the ministry. Thanks for any input you have - we would greatly appreciate it



Influenza Changes Everything

The sickness continues to spread. Three visits to the doctor in one week - with three different children. (At least I am not sitting around here bored!) The major strain of influenza has hit the kids hard - one by one! Zak is showing small signs of it - and he is the one I most worry about; as sickness seems to set him so far back in so many different areas. So far though, he has just a cough occasionally and a low grade fever. James seems to be on the mend - with Rachel and Abbey in the midst of the worst of it - (fevers of 104 are never pleasant).

I wish I could say that with our kids sick and lying around I am getting some much needed things done around the house - (say for instance - laundry). However, I am finding myself coming and going and not getting much housework done. The kitchen seems to always have something in it that needs to be done. Glasses that need to be washed -(I am becoming obsessive about this!) Kleenexes that need to be found - ("Abbey, where did you put the box of tissues when you had them last?") And, out of schedule feeding that seems to never end - (seems when one is eating the other one does not feel like eating; but then just as soon as that one is done eating yet another one seems to feel like eating a little something).

New to the Spurgeon house this week:

*NyQuil - (Yeah, I know it will not cure a thing; but for the older one's I am hoping that it will put them to sleep long enough to get some much needed rest - for them and me!)

*Chloraseptic spray - (it's been sore throats for all - but this stuff did not seem to do a lick of good; and made one of them almost throw up on the kitchen floor. If you are interested, I am sure we will have a nearly new bottle still here when this thing passes through our household. Let me know though - I may try selling it on eBay if none of you grab it!)

*Cough drops - (I bought the natural kind - with herbs and honey. They were not a hit with the kids as they "don't taste good". That is fine by me though, I get worried when they start eating cough drops like candy!)

*Herb tea - (OK, the kids are divided 1/2 on this one. Two do NOT like herb tea - two LOVE herb tea. NOTE: neither group is getting better any faster than the other group)

*Vick's Rub - (They all seem to think this is great stuff. I am guessing that it is because this stuff gets Mom upstairs a little more often and a little more one on one with each sick patient! Another reason why the laundry....)

So anyway, I thought I would share with you my To Do List for the day. (I am a to do list type of girl - so much so, that often the first thing on my to do list is: "make a to do list for tomorrow!) For the time being, my to do list has shrunk - I have tried and tried to keep my normal lengthy to do list up - and it is NOT - I repeat - NOT working. (I am close to needing counseling here!!) So - rather than feeling like a failure; with so much still on my to do list when I go to bed at night, I have decided to shorten it until this sickness exits the premises. I will leave you with my revised to do list.

*Do enough laundry for Rob to have something to wear to church tomorrow

Only our church members will know if I got the to do list done. For all the rest of you - perhaps tomorrow would be a good day to visit our church. It might be the first Sunday a Baptist pastor has been at the pulpit in sweat pants. (By the way, we have a guest speaker for tomorrow - so sweat pants wouldn't be all that bad; would they?) I think I better stop blogging and start ironing.


Sick Days and Memories

I have a sick boy here at our house. The doctor appointment has been made for this afternoon and he has been resting in bed throughout the day. Jell-o made with apple juice is in the fridge chilling for a afternoon treat. The rest of the family is continuing on as a normal day; but the Mommy in me wants to keep running up and checking on him - just one more time. So you will find me tonight snuggled up to my boy on the couch. Perhaps if he is up to it we will read a little of Tom Sawyer together. Fun times make memories; but sick times do to. Looks like we will have a memory making couple of days here.
Trust you and your family are in good health there; and if not - trust you are finding the time to make a few memories.