Taking Awesomism to the Road!

In the middle of September Peyton will turn 18!  As with all my kids this birthday is a big deal. The 18th birthday is a beginning in many ways, of a new chapter in our lives. In most states you are considered an adult. I remember when each of my older kids turned 18 , I was happy and sad at the same time. I knew they were “grown up”, at least in the eyes of society. At the same time, I was sad that they were soon going to be on their own! I turned 18 while I was in college and remember thinking it was so awesome! While I am excited for Peyton, it also very much stresses me. I know he is aware that 18 means becoming “an adult” but he also realizes that he is limited somewhat as to what he will be doing, after he is 18.

Peyton like many autistic teens faces many obstacles, as he faces adulthood. According to a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis in 2012,unemployment and underemployment rates for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD, that is, they show up somewhere on the Autism spectrum) is at 90%. It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the US have ASD and about 80% of them are under age 22. Moneyish ran an article April 10, 2017 stating “There will be 500,000 adults on the autism spectrum aging into adulthood over the next 10 years. Yet a whopping 85% of college grads affected by autism are unemployed, compared to the national unemployment rate of 4.5%” These are staggering numbers and to be honest, are very upsetting to me. 

I started blogging almost two years ago and have come to realized so many issues that need to be addressed within the autism community. This one by far has me the most upset. As someone said to me other day, this is beyond comprehension that this issue isn’t given more attention. Many times these types of issues, when brought to others attention can find solutions or at least help try to find solutions. As someone who worked in grassroots for many years, I always like to try to connect directly with people. That’s exactly what we are planning to do starting in August! Mark, Peyton and I are going to go on an “Awesome Autism Adventure to turn Autism into Awesomism” we are going to put faces to stories..raising awareness to the unemployment rate that so many are dealing with….but don’t be mistaken, our journey is also to try to find solutions. We will be Travelling the Country, meeting people, talking about the issues and letting others know! We will be weaving together others’ life stories and building a beautiful “quilt” We will be blogging, periscoping , video taping and more as we travel and meet so many awesome people along the way! We would LOVE to have you get involved! I am a firm believer in a unified team approach. Together we can do awesome things! Please reach out and connect with us on how we can support each other on this Awesomism Journey. We would love to connect with you as we take our Awesomism to the Road!

Awesomism Quilt

 

THE AWESOMISM QUILT! 
Weaving Awesomism life stories together!
Follow us on our Journey to turn Autism into Awesomism!

Now that Peyton is 18 we want to show him America and meet so many Awesomism people along the way!

“Sharing a Coffee, Tea or Water can help take people from strangers to Friends! “

Overview:
Lynne has branded herself as ‘AwesomismMom’ with a website, social media accounts and even a book available on Amazon (Mom On An Awesomism Mission). She comes from an entrepreneurial family in Chicago which she leveraged into 25+ years of working in grassroots politics in Florida, while at the same time homeschooling all 4 of her kids, the oldest of which is 31, the youngest is 17 and autistic. Together with her husband, Mark, AwesomismMom is a family on a mission to help autism families. From this setting, she realizes that every person she comes in contact with has a story to be heard. Our primary focus is to help those who are teens and adults adapt better into the world that doesn’t always understand exactly what autism is.
Lynne has been featured by Flipboard both in print as well as was invited to speak to the company in Palo Alto, was a speaker at HECOA ( Home Education Council of America) , participated in several different autism fundraising campaigns, guest writer for Autism Parenting magazine, Woodlands Kiwanis Club, Underdogkids Foundation (of which she is now a board member) as well as several other groups ….for her work in the autism community. With an 85% adult unemployment rate among autistic adults, jobs and job skills are foremost to her Awesomism campaign.
Mark, Lynne and Peyton are taking to the road to meet, connect, help and tell the stories of Awesomism teens and adults. Human connection is very important to be able to truly understand others challenges. We will be sharing these stories and experiences through Blogs, social Media, flipboard magazine, newsletter, periscope and more!
How can you help? 
There are many ways you can be a part of our mission!
We are looking for Sponsors.. if you are interested please reach out and I will send you our sponsorship information.
We are looking for Awesomism stories, if you know of someone who has an awesome story to share please reach out.
We are looking for venues to connect with others such as groups where we can share our Mission!
We are looking for suggestions on towns and cities to head to as well!

 

Check out my book. “Mom on an Awesomsim Mission” available at:
AwesomismMom.com
LinkedIn: Lynne AwesomismMom
Twitter:@AwesomismMom
Instagram: @AwesomismMom
Flipboard: @AwesomismMom

Green Mason Jars & Father’s Day

Several years ago I was having a really bad day…woke up with a migraine, was tired, grumpy and stressed. Mark suggested I go and get a massage. I happily agreed. I find massage is a real help for my migraines…Mark drove me to the massage therapist and dropped me off. While I was getting a massage he decided to go run some errands. An hour later, he picked me up, after he asked me how I felt, he handed me a box. I opened it and to my delightful surprise was a set of green mason jars. To most this doesn’t seem like that awesome of a gift, but to me it was. I love mason jars and had told him how pretty I thought the green mason jars were. I was so excited he bought me them. You see it was the fact he listens, and no matter how small the gesture, he makes my world better. His ability to make me smile and laugh is awesome. They say to truly enjoy life, you need to truly enjoy the little things. I believe this and have really come to realize this even more since becoming the parent of an autistic teen. Mark has a lot of patience, and is a very calm person. This is very helpful having 4 kids, with one being autistic, I am used to a lot swirling around me.

Mark brings calmness, happiness and love to me and my kids. He is beyond an awesome stepdad. It’s so touching to me how much all 4 of my kids love him. I look at his relationship with Peyton and I can’t express how thankful I am he is in his life. He teaches Peyton not only with his words, but with his actions. He explains things to Peyton in a manner that Peyton not only understands, but he also teaches Peyton. I tell Mark almost daily one of the things I love best about him is how much he makes me laugh. The truth is though, it’s not only how much he makes me laugh, but how much he makes my kids laugh, especially Peyton. Mark likes to tease and banter,but he does it in a sweet and caring way. Peyton enjoys his funny quips and it really warms my heart to see Peyton laugh. Mark is an awesome cook as well and one of his specialities is pizza, which just also happens to be Peyton’s favorite food! I love seeing Peyton light up when he sees Mark is going to be making Pizza. I also enjoy sending pictures of his kolaches, pizza, brisket, cinnamon rolls etc… To my older kids as they too can’t get enough of his cooking! 

Tonight Mark made calzones and pizza, both were awesome! I used my green mason jar as my water glass, as I often do. I couldn’t help but think as I watched Peyton light up that Mark was making his favorite food, and I was using my green jar…..just how lucky we are to have such an awesome man in our lives. So if it truly is the little things in life that make you happiest, I am ecstatic . Mark’s  everyday acts of kindness and love don’t go unnoticed. So as I write this and drink my water from my green jar, I hope Mark knows just how much we all love him, and how saying Happy Father’s Day may just be a small thing..but it’s filled with lots of love and just like my green jars..it may be a small gesture,but it means the world to be able to say “Happy FATHER’s Day” to him.

 

 

Summer Fun and Educational at the Same Time!

(With special thanks to Education.com)

Getting Stressed trying to figure out how to keep your kids occupied this summer? I will be putting out a few blogs over the summer with some awesome ideas. Yes, there are ways to have fun and learn all at the same time!

I have been a fan of education.com for years, I love their worksheets and have used it in my homeschooling. This website is great for homeschoolers, as well as a supplement for schoolwork. Here is an example of the type of items on their website. While this is for 4-6 year olds it can also be used for special-needs children of all ages. I love the versatility of these types of activities. Doing educational projects with Peyton is fun and lowers his stress level, all while he is learning. I really love this project as it incorporates math and art. Teaching creative ways to learn math, works very well with Peyton. This is a great example of helping turn autism into Awesomism!

Note: Some great worksheets for the following exercise can be found at https://www.education.com/resources/geometry/

 

Shape Art: Mix Art with Geometry!
Does the idea of taking your child to a museum sound daunting? Is the local art mecca too far away, or not too keen on pint-sized patrons? Create your own museum! Not only will your child get a chance to look at some pretty amazing art, you can teach some important concepts about shapes in the bargain.

If you’ve got a kindergartener, it’s likely that he can already recognize the basic shapes. But can he identify them by their attributes? Does he know that a triangle has three sides, or that a square is a square (not a rectangle) because it has four sides that are all the same length? Getting comfortable with the shapes and their attributes is a founding concept for understanding more abstract geometry later on. Here’s a fun way to sneak in some geometry, in an artistic way.

What You Need:

A computer
Paper
Water colors
Black permanent marker
What You Do:

Prepare Ahead of Time. You’ll need to do a little research before you invite your child to the “museum”. Take a trip to the library, or look up a few artists online. Whichever method you choose, print out some color copies of their work, or purchase a few posters or art postcards. Unsure which artists to choose? Kandinsky, Miro, and Calder all exhibit excellent use of shapes in their art. Once you have your pictures, find a blank wall and hang them up exhibit style, (at a kindergartener appropriate height!) Then issue an invitation to visit the museum.
Celebrate Museum Day. Tour your child through your museum. As you look at the pictures, ask questions like, “What shapes do you notice in the art?” Let her use her finger to outline circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, maybe even a hexagon or two. Talk about what makes a triangle a triangle, and what makes a square a square, as opposed to a rectangle. Point out some shapes that she may be unfamiliar with, like ovals, or octagons, being sure to give her some visual clues to make memory easier, like the fact that eggs are the shape of ovals, and stop signs are the shape of octagons. You can hop online for some more information about the artists, or more examples of their work.
Make Your Child the Artist. After your field trip, give your child the chance to make some art of her own. First, have her describe the attributes of a shape. As she describes it, draw it for her on construction paper, using a thick black permanent marker. Create at least three shapes. Then give your child a set of watercolors and set her to work. The thin paint will look beautiful against the contrast of the bold black shapes. The end result? A beautiful piece of art for your refrigerator and a deeper understanding of geometric shapes.