Flipping Autism into Awesomism

Last week Mark, Peyton and I had the privilege to meet the awesome people at Flipboard. We love Flipboard in our home and are always spreading the “Awesomeness” of Flipboard to everyone and anyone who will listen. I find most people know of/use Twitter, Facebook, snapchat etc etc…but haven’t heard of Flipboard. This is a shame for so many reasons, but most of all because it truly has the ability to change the world. I know this may seem like an over statement, but let me explain why I say this. image

Mark Twain said “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read” Reading is an important tool to learning about so many subjects that we may never otherwise be exposed to. I remember as a kid reading the covers of so many magazines, in stores and having them peak my interest in subjects. I taught my older kids to be inquisitive, and trust me they are..in fact there are times I get frustrated by their questions, and yes they are now adults : ) When Peyton was young I never saw  that desire in him. As I have stated before these were all warning signs to me. I knew I would need to help develop that desire in him to learn. With Flipboard I can teach him more than I can with other similar venues. When he was young he did “magazine therapy” We would sit for hours and I would teach him facial expressions, common words etc…this was a great way for him to recognize not only emotions, but also to build his vocabulary. I truly wish I had Flipboard back then, as I could and would have designed magazines that would have been even more helpful for Peyton. One of the most beautiful things about Flipboard is that I can have pictures, blogs and videos all in a magazine that can and do help Peyton learn. He has his own magazines and they help stir his creativity and promote learning. Not all autistic teens and adults learn to read and that’s where Flipboard can really help. While it is a “reader” it allows for beautiful pictures and videos as well. We all learn at a different rate and in different ways. Flipboard allows for many of those different learning styles” to be used!

I truly believe in the advantages of Flipboard, I see it as a not only a learning tool but as a social connector. Many autistic teens and adults have subjects they really love..such as weather, cartoons, stop motion etc….Flipboard allows for them to make a magazine filled with their passions. They can invite others to contribute as well. We have set up a Flipboard magazine called “Flipping Autism into Awesomism” and we invite you to check it out and see first hand how awesome Flipboard is! Another great thing about these magazines is they can be made private. This way if you want to use them strictly as a learning source for just you and your child, you can. There is so much available on the web and the ability to put it in a well organized format that can be looked at over-and-over is awesome. Repetitive viewing can help take away some of the stress as well. Your magazines are easily retrieved for future viewing.  I think even Mark Twain would love Flipboard!


See also: What is Flipboard and why you should care.

Mike McCue talks about us at Cannes-Lions 2016




Guest Blog From Mark

One constant around our house is sports. I used to play a lot, now it’s just the occasional round of golf or tossing the Frisbee, tho the tv is frequently tuned to whatever game is on. I’m a big believer in using sports to teach greater life lessons such as performing under pressure, teamwork and accountability. Peyton doesn’t have much of an affinity for playing sports and we haven’t pushed it on him. One sport we have encouraged him to partake in is bowling. I bowled as a kid (a fat kid at that), and always had fun, made friends and Continue reading

Grassroots support for Awesomism

When I was thinking about what I wanted to write for my next blog, many ideas popped into my head. One of the struggles is to make sure my topic means something to others, not just myself. Having a grassroots background, I know finding that commonality among others is important. I truly believe that if a blog even touches just one family, I consider it a success. I know first hand the ups and downs of living day by day with Awesomism, and sometimes just a kind word can help! I have had my share of days where I just wanted, needed advice, a shoulder etc…from another Awesomism Parent who had been through what I was going through. Continue reading

Expressing himself in nontraditional ways!

When Peyton was young he had his own language and many times I didn’t know what he was telling me. At one point my third child seemed to be the only one who could understand him at times. I felt so bad that I wasn’t always able to understand what he was he was telling me. We relied on pointing or me guessing until he shook his head in approval. I know it frustrated him as well and I could tell at times when Preston was called into the room to “interpret” it hurt him, he saw the rest of us communicating and he wasn’t able  to. I would repeat back to him what he had said hoping that it would improve his skill set. I had wished he could write down what he was feeling, wanting, thinking etc…. Since he couldn’t read I knew this wasn’t possible.

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How Closed Caption made my life easier!

One Issue so many fellow Awesomism families ask me is “how did you get Peyton to read so well?”  When I answer them I get responses that vary from ‘WOW!’ to ‘hmmm need to try that’….mixed with skepticism.

Let me start from the beginning. When I realized Peyton was going to encounter reading issues that I had not dealt with my older 3 before, I approached it the standard way. I went out and bought just about everything I could get my hands on, from Leap Frog to books that had the letter buttons. None of these worked. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with him and both of us were in tears because he just couldn’t get “the reading thing” down. My older kids would step in and try as well, yet nothing seemed to work. I even tried singing books to him thinking it maybe would help to have a rhythm attached to the words. I was about ready to give up, Then the most amazing thing happened, Peyton figured it out for himself. He did something that was so simple yet no one I spoke with had suggested…….he turned on closed captioning on the TV, Continue reading