Autism Independence Day

I absolutely love the Fourth of July, it is one of my favorite holidays…

I’ve never been one that has done a lot on it other than celebrate it with family and friends… When I was growing up my parents had a summer home in Holland, Michigan… And I remember having awesome memories with my dad on the fourth… Who would’ve been 95 on July 3… And it is July 3 today, as I am writing this blog…

I miss my dad very much, I loved my dad he had a very strong influence in my life. He died in 1982 and I miss him every day.

But on to happier topics… The Fourth of July has always symbolized America’s freedom! the freedom to be your own person, the freedom of speech… the freedom to say what and who we believe in… The freedom to worship and many more freedoms… I’m not gonna go into some of what I see eroding right now, because I don’t want to turn this into a political message.

I am writing this because I want to talk about something very important to me and my family…  Autism Independence!

Right before Peyton was about to turn 18, I said to him aren’t you excited you’re going to be an adult? he never really responded and finally one day, I sat him down and said…Peyton please aren’t you excited you’re going to be an adult? he started to cry and said no… I couldn’t figure out why.

I finally got him to admit to me that he was so afraid he was going to have to move out, when he turned 18… I never made any of my kids move out at 18, but they also knew that there was a certain amount of responsibilities that came along with them being adults.. such as going to college and or getting jobs etc…… Basically being an adult.

Peyton realized that he may never have that for independence, because he is an autistic adult. This broke my heart, I talked to him and told him he can live with his dad a.k.a. Mark and I for as long as he had to.

If that’s forever than that’s fine. There are many things that Peyton is very independent with, he designs websites, he builds graphics, he does PowerPoint… he cooks.. he cleans… he does laundry.. he writes blogs, he does all kinds of things!

I don’t know that Peyton can actually ever really truly live on his own. There’s no shame in that, because as I have always said Peyton is an autistic adult.

One of the things that Peyton brought up to me was, who’s gonna be there when his dad and I are gone… I’m lucky that I have three older children, who have all promised to be there for Peyton forever… But this is some thing that really lays on the hearts of so many autism parents, as it does land mine and Marks heart as well…

For Peyton his adult Independence is having his own room.. his own Studio/man cave and other awesome things… this may not be everyone’s definition of Independence but it is Peyton’s.

So while we celebrate the Independence Day for our beautiful country, the United States of America… Let’s remember that independence isn’t the same for everyone.

Mark, Peyton and I will be hitting the road in mid September… To share our stories, as well as many other’s stories and how we are working to Turn autism into Awesomism.

Be sure to sign up for our email list, so that you can be up-to-date on our travels, as well as be involved in our upcoming zoom calls, some exciting giveaways and much much more!

Have a Safe and Blessed 4th!

Lynne

The Rocking Chair

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I have always really loved rocking chairs, I think there is something soothing and calming about rocking… sitting and thinking.

I rocked all four of my children to sleep when they were little… Peyton loved it the most. He always love the motion of rocking… Even many times when I was standing, I would rock back-and-forth with all my kids, but especially Peyton.

Rocking has been proven to lower ,stress anxiety and calm you down.

I really don’t ever remember a time in my life… as either a child or an adult… that I didn’t have it rocking chair in my house. We even have rocking chairs on our back patio. There are some days when I’m extremely stressed, that I just go sit outside and rock in those chairs… and it really calms me down.

For centuries rocking chairs have been one of the most popular pieces of furniture. Many look at them as a very iconic piece of the American culture.

Some believe that it was Benjamin Franklin that invented the rocking chair… Although, others disagree.

The design of the rocking chair was actually inspired by rocking cradles that date back to ancient times.

So if you really think about it, it makes sense that the rocking chair would be calming… As it was used to calm babies when they were in their cradles.

I remember as a kid my grandmother sitting in her rocking chair and knitting… It was like an iconic American moment.

Many nursing homes and mental health facilities to this day have rocking chairs of some form, in there facilities.

There are all kinds of chairs, nowadays that rock… You see them in just wood, you see them in plastic, you see them in fabric etc. etc. so why am I writing an entire blog about a rocking chair?

Because one of the things associated with rocking chairs aside from having a very calming and therapeutic attached to it, they were used many times, and still are for front porch talks…

Where people come together… friends… family… neighbors and talk!

Talk about everything! about the weather, talk about life, talk about their families, about their work, about their likes, their dislikes etc.

I wish I could take America and put it in a big round circle of Rocking chairs and say let’s sit for a spell… Let’s grab a lemonade, or hot tea or cold tea, whatever you choose and TALK!!

While we’re rocking and calming down, let’s truly talk…. let’s open our hearts, open our ears and listen to one another and talk.

The days of people really getting together an conversing and accepting and caring about each other… seems such a distant memory.

I for one am not willing to just let that go… So I hope each and every One of you who is reading this will join me… Open your heart, sit back relax and talk…..with your neighbors, your family, your friends, even somebody you don’t know! but you don’t feel like you have much in common with… because let me tell you something, when you start talking to people… you’ll be amazed at how much you have in common.

Love, compassion acceptance and caring is what is going to carry us through these rough times, so let’s all grab a rocking chair.. sit down via phone, face to face… anyway that we can connect with other and rock in a rocking chair… and let’s start spreading positivity, love and kindness…

As always, thanks for reading my blog!

Here is an event Peyton and I will be hosting on June 29… we would love to have you be a part of it!

Lynne AwesomismMom

* Thank you Montgomery Bakehouse for letting us sit on the rocking chairs!

A LOVEly Garden

I absolutely love gardens, I have quite a few of them at my home… My favorite one that I started this year is a large wild flower garden.

I am much more interested in starting my garden from seeds and bulbs than I am going and buying flowers and planting them.

There’s something magical about planting the seeds/bulbs and watching them grow… It always amazes me how just a little seed, that you can barely see.. Can turn into something so beautiful and so amazing.

 

Nature for me is very calming, I not only love to have flowers in my gardens, but I also love to have cut flowers in my home. There is something so beautiful and uplifting about see beautiful flowers all around. I especially love it in the winter when it is cold, and in the summer when it honestly is almost too hot to go outside.

Many times we associate flowers with love… You see pictures of flowers when you’ll see people promoting love, or you see flowers on greeting cards… when you are sending them to somebody that you love.

Many of our most prominent “love” holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. we really promote sending flowers… To someone to make them feel special.

With everything going on in the world right now… All the anger, all the hate… so many people just telling other people what to think, and how to feel and what to do… I’ve seen people point blank say if you don’t say this, you’re no longer my friend… That’s hurtful because we are all individuals and we all express ourselves differently.

This is especially upsetting to me because Peyton… Being an autistic adult, doesn’t always use words in the way that other people use them… He has seen some of this on social media, and it’s really hurt his heart.

The other day when I was outside in my garden looking at all the beauty and just trying to sit there and calm down… I thought you know we take these tiny little seeds and these bulbs and we plant them in soil, and we nourish them and we water them etc. etc. and they grow into these beautiful flowers.

Wouldn’t it be really awesome, if we as humans, stopped for a few minutes and realized that instead of planting seeds of anger and hatred and distrust… We stopped and listened to one another truly listened… Each one of us has a different life experience, and we can learn so much from that by sharing with others… truly sharing and listening and opening our hearts.

Imagine if we all decided to plant the seeds of love… Of listening… Of compassion… Of understanding… How much better we would feel… How much better we would be… And how much more beautiful the world would be!

I challenge each of you.. every time you see a flower.. to think about where can YOU plant that seed of love,acceptance, understanding, compassion and listening.

Together we can do better, together we can be better,but most of all together we can grow into something beautiful.

As always thanks so much for reading my blog!

Have an awesome and beautiful day!

Sunday Throwback: A Proud Profession

This is a Blog I put out May of 2017 and thought I would share again… this Mother’s Day… Also, please check out my Mother’s Day Podcast at the end of the Blog! Thanks so much and have an Awesome Day!

 

 

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a Mom…I remember when I was younger I wanted to have 6 kids, I came close, I had 4. I love the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”.  I love being a Mom, my kids have taught me so much and continue to do so. I remember when my oldest was born, thinking that I couldn’t love anyone more than I loved him. As each child was born, I felt exactly the same way, my love and devotion was there with each child. When Peyton, my youngest was born, my emotions were even stronger, including feeling a strong sense of protection as well. I could also tell that something was different. I couldn’t place my finger on what was different, but I felt it instinctual. His birth was a hard one, but so were my other kids. Peyton seemed to struggle with things that my other three kids did naturally. He never seemed to react to my smiles and one-on-one time, as my other kids had done. He never wanted to sleep in his crib, rather, he only wanted to sit in a swing and sleep. I noticed other differences with him too, but wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. When Peyton was diagnosed with Autism, all the pieces fell into place. My “momma bear” personality kicked into overdrive as well. Everyone who knows me, knows how deeply and unconditionally I love all my kids.  

I have watched Peyton struggle and at times my heart has hurt for him beyond words. He is such a sweet young man and his sweetness is what everyone notices when they first meet him. When other kids his age were talking, he wasn’t, and I would see the hurt and struggle in his eyes. He would get frustrated when he did speak as he couldn’t convey what he wanted to say. I remember when he would say his prayers every night and always end his prayer with “please help me talk better”. No matter how many times I heard him say it, I always teared up. Being a Mom I wanted to wave a magic wand and help him, of course I knew that wasn’t reality. Instead, myself and my three older kids spent countless hours helping Peyton, we bonded together and knew our common goal was, and is to be his support system. Peyton’s struggles became our struggles, we took on each one and united to help him overcome each bump in the road. Peyton showed strength taking on everyday issues that each of us so often take for granted. I tried to balance my wanting to fix everything for him, versus knowing he needed to learn on his own. While the struggles were real, so too were the successes. They may have come at a different timeline and effort level than my other kids, they were no less awesome. As his mom, I swelled up with pride as he accomplished each and every hurdle life has thrown at him.

Peyton is 17, soon to be 18, and I know he has many struggles still to come in his life. I also know this… he is an awesome young man and he wants to succeed in life. His idea of success may not be that of what others define as success, but that’s just fine with me. I have seen my older three kids show Peyton, patience, understanding and most of all, unconditional love. I have seen them defend him and others with Autism, without hesitation. My daughter worked at a law firm in which one of the attorneys was autistic. She not only befriended him, but helped others understand him better. This led to friendships and a better work environment for all. She has also defended autistic adults at other places she worked, when they were bullied. My third child works at an animal shelter and has experiences where he has helped volunteers who are autistic. This has helped with lowering the stress level for all involved. I could see how most employers could benefit from having some type of autism advocate in their workplace. As the mother of an autistic child, their future happiness and security is what concerns me most. Seeing my older children take their empathy for Peyton and show it to others with Autism, these actions makes the “momma bear” so proud. I love my kids and am proud of each of them no matter what they do in their lives, because at the end of the day they have each learned the most important lesson….how to love others unconditionally and without boundaries. I often worried that having me being so focused on Peyton would make them feel left out, or angry that we couldn’t do some of the things other kids were doing. I was a single mom for many years and my older kids had to “step up” and take on responsibilities that many their age didn’t. I now see that those worries were unfounded. They have each grown into caring and responsible adults, Being their mom certainly merits the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”

Also, here is the latest episode of my podcast on Anchor: Cup of Awesomism selfcare Autism & Anxiety: Mother’s Day.

Anxiety, Autism and Zimpli Kids

Several weeks ago I was approached by Zimpli kids to test out some of their products… These are great products for sensory issues.

I deeply appreciated them reaching out to me and seeing if Peyton would be interested in trying these… I think these are an awesome product for Autism.

Part of the reason why I appreciated it so much is because having GAD… General anxiety disorder… I also love sensory products. There are times when my stress level and anxiety gets so high, and stress balls and sensory Products are very calming and soothing for me.
We received three different product lines from them, and I have to tell you I really liked all three.

Peyton thought they were absolutely awesome. Their texture is wonderful they are easy to deal with… Easy to clean up after, and they even smell really good! They are 100% safe and they are so versatile and all you have to do is add water!

They come in a dry powder,they are so easy to make! Which makes Parents even happier!

Kids can use it, as well as adults. You can do slime sensory trays, use it as messy play outside if you want, or make it in a tub…. you can even slime yourself…

You could find fun games and challenges to do with friends and family…or you could just do it as a full-time sensory product.

I think one of the things that I love best about this product is, it’s not only great for kids… I really wish I had had this for Peyton was younger,but it works just as wellnow.

He loves it, but I’m going to confess… I love the product line as well. So often adults with anxiety &/or severe anxiety like I get, are overlooked. This product line is great for everyone, it’s even fun for people that just want to use it for their kids. Their kids can have fun in the bathtub or play outside or just use their imagination…

I would highly recommend it for a preschool, or at home or when kids are coming over and playing with your kids etc.

I can’t thank Zimplikids enough for asking us to test their product because I now have found a new product for me and Peyton!

We can use when we are really stressed.. other than just stress balls.

Give them a try here is their Facebook page… their Instagram and their Twitter as well as their website

As we said in our video we give this 10 thumbs up and that’s both Peyton and I!

If you have any questions or you’d like more information about all the different things we did with ours, please feel free to reach out to us… We’re gonna be doing another video in a couple weeks with it.

As always… Thanks for reading my blog and here’s to less anxiety…

And a big thank you to the companies, like ZimpliKids that put products out that HELP us every day!

Lynne

Please check out this short video we made about the product!