Autistic Children and the Strain on Marriage

Unfortunately, in modern times, many marriages end in divorce or separation. This statistic rises even higher when you mix in an autistic child. No matter how loving and understanding you both may be towards your child, the truth is that autism is a very difficult matter, and strain on the marriage is not uncommon. By trying to stay positive about your situation, and by working to keep your marriage healthy, you and your spouse can avoid marital problems and hopefully survive the trying times of raising an autistic child.

Why did you marry your husband or wife? By asking yourself this question often, you can focus on the good things in your marriage. Raising a child with autism is stressful, and if you are stressed, you have a tendency to snap at another person for the smallest missteps. Instead of focusing on these bad qualities, take some time to enjoy one another the way you did at the beginning of the relationship. This may include spending some time apart from your children. When you find out that your child is autistic, it is beneficial to make sure that you and your spouse are not the only two people with whom your child will respond. A grandparent, aunt or uncle, mature sibling, or nanny are good people to have in your child’s life in the most intimate way possible. This way, alone time with your spouse is possible.

Work together with your spouse to help you child, instead of fighting with one another. It is very likely that you will have different ideas about what to do in certain situations, so be prepared to compromise and always seek professional consultations before making any medical decisions for your child. By working together, remember that you are giving your child the best opportunities. Try to set apart time every week to spend together as a family, especially if one parent or the other is the primary caregiver.

Lastly, seek help when you need it. Part of any successful marriage is spending some time apart to focus on individual needs, and it is no different when you have an autistic child. However, if you find that you and your spouse are not happy unless you are spending time alone, it is time to reevaluate the situation. A family or marriage counselor can help you and your spouse get back on the right track to a happy life together. It might also be beneficial to meet other couples raising autistic children. You are not alone, and it is never easy. By making an effort to keep your marriage happy, even when you are stressed with the task of raising an autistic child, you and your spouse can ensure that your marriage does not end in a messy divorce.

Are We There Yet? Family Vacations with Autistic Children

Although planning a family vacation with children may make any parents pull out his or her hair, it can be a rewarding experience for everyone in the end. It is no different if you have an autistic child in the family. The important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared for whatever life throws your way. To an autistic child, vacations can be scary and confusing, or they can be a great learning experience, leaving behind wonderful memories the entire family can enjoy.

First, choose your location based on your autistic child’s needs. For example, if he or she is sensitive to sound, an amusement park is probably not the best idea. Quieter vacations are possible at small beaches and by going camping. Overall, you should be able to find a location that everyone in the family enjoys. Once there, plan out your days accordingly. For example, you may want to see attractions very early or late in the day to avoid crowds. You also might want to consider taking your vacation during the off-season, if you children’s school work will not be disrupted. These gives your autistic child more comfort if he or she is nervous in crowded situations, and provides you with piece of mind. When choosing a location, also note how far it is from you home. How will you get there? If you have to deal with an airport, remember that security may have to touch your child and be prepared for this.

Choose a location and activities that everyone can enjoy, but also that provide learning and social interaction opportunities for your autistic child. For example, a child that does not like touch sensations may enjoy the soft sands of a beach, and the waves can provide a very different kind of feeling for him or her. Being outside, a beach is also a great place for your child to yell without disrupting others. Children who are normally non-responsive may benefit from a museum , where they can ask questions and you can ask questions of them.

Remember that most people on vacation at the location you choose will have never dealt with autism before. Try to be understanding of their ignorance-but also stick up for your child if he or she is being treated unfairly. Know your child’s constitutional laws, and also be willing to compromise. For example, if a restaurant is reluctant to serve you after your child caused a scene there last night, explain the situation and ask if it would be possible to take your food to go, even if this is normally not done. Try not to be rude to people; staring often happens, but instead of snide comments or mean looks, ignore them as much as possible and focus on having a good time with your family

Achieving Self-control with Autism

Self-discipline is a skill that most autistic children have trouble acquiring. This includes not only inappropriate outbursts, but also habits that can be potentially dangerous, such as being aggressive towards others or causing harm to themselves, such as banging their heads off walls. To prevent these and other behaviors, one technique parents and educators can use to control autistic tendencies is self-management. Giving the child power over him- or herself is often the key to keeping control over violent situations and may be a positive step towards learning other behaviors as well.

Self-management works because the child is no longer fully controlled by others. By teaching self-management during specific times of day, such as while the child is at school or therapy, the child will be more likely to continue to practicing self-control during all times of the day. The key is to implement a program in which he or she monitors his or her own behavior and activities. Begin with short amounts of time, and continue to monitor the child from a more passive standpoint. Every ten to fifteen minutes remind the child that he or she is in control and needs to monitor and be aware of good and bad behavior.

This monitoring is a form of self-evaluation. When a child is in control, he or she may think more closely about behavior in the past and present. Set clear goals with the child-for example, an afternoon with no aggression towards others or a day at school with no self-injury. Every fifteen minutes ask the child how he or she is doing. Is the goal being met? If the answer is no, perhaps the child is not ready for self-management, or perhaps the goals are too unattainable. You want to make sure that the goals are easy to reach at first, and then move the child towards more difficult goals in the future. When a child is successful at self-monitoring, he or she will have a more positive attitude towards the experience.

Of course, an important part of self-management is a rewards system. Have the child come up with his or her own reward, depending on interest. Reinforcement will make these good behavior goals more clearly marked in the child’s mind, and by choosing and rewarding him- or herself, the child will feel completely in control of the self-management system. Choose simple rewards to start, such as smiley faces for every goal met and sad faces for every goal not met, and work up to a larger goal, such as a special activity or new toy when a certain amount of smiley faces has been attained.

These types of programs do not develop overnight, so it is important that you and the child have enough time to devote to a self-management experience. By reinforcing good behavior with rewards, as determined by the child instead of by an adult, he or she will be more likely to carry this on even when not participating in the program. If your autistic child is mature enough, this could be a good treatment program to try.

Baby Shower: The Welcoming Committe on Board

Finding out your pregnant is the best news of all. Well, second to hearing the grand proposal of a lifetime. After a successful wedding ceremony, hearing that your love has borne fruit is the icing on the cake. For first time expecting mothers, it is a difficult and herculean task to search and look for all the right stuff and equipment the baby will need. Moms-to-be need to list down all the things the baby would need at the soonest possible time so that little by little, each item can already be purchased and readied for the baby’s arrival. But there is another easy way to almost have it all, without getting too much headache over it. The solution is to hold a baby shower party! The only headache mom-to-be would have is the menu she would have to prepare on that day and that is easier for her.

Now the burden of searching and looking for baby stuff is passed on to the invitees. But another concern is raised. How will the baby shower go about? The best answer there is, is to have a theme that would guide the flow of the baby shower. There are several ways of choosing and deciding on a theme. Do you want it to be based on color? In case you already know the gender of the baby, pink or blue is used to universally represent a baby girl or a baby boy. Or baby items such as a pacifier or a baby bottle? How about character-themed baby shower such as the Sesame Street, Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory or the Looney Tunes? It could also be a time-of-the-day baby shower whereby each invitee is tasked to bring something the baby would need or use during that time of the day.

From http://www.best-baby-gift-guide.com, it suggests wonderful baby shower gift ideas such as a baby gift basket, a layette gift set, vital baby equipment, beautiful baby linen, a baby massage set, or a baby gift certificate. Each gift idea is unique. For the baby gift basket, some ideas they suggest is to create your own baby gift basket or go for the classical clothing baby gift basket where you can never go wrong. You can also go for monogrammed baby gift baskets, fun baby basket, mother and baby basket, gift basket for twins, or a pampering baby gift basket. They also have different suggestions for baby girl and baby boys. For the complete descriptions for each item, just visit their website and read on to find fantastic baby gift ideas.

Once the baby shower is finished, take stock of what is already there and not. For those items still missing from your list, make the necessary arrangments to have it readily available once the baby arrives.

Just some last few tips for a successful baby shower: hold it four to six weeks before the due date, establish a theme, write down the guest list, set the tone and size of the baby shower, plan the games, plan the menu, create baby shower party favors, and last but not the least, set the time and location, if it will not be held in your residence. Remember, baby showers are a fun way to welcome the baby that would be coming soon enough.

The best baby gift ever is just a click away!

Tired of searching for that perfect baby gift for someone special? Fear no more! Here is the rundown on where and how to have the most perfect baby gift of all time. As I have searched the world wide web for the best sites that would answer my need, here are the more user-friendly sites that I find to give the best baby gift ideas around.

As with Linus in Peanuts, a baby blanket is a perfect baby shower gift to give that is full of love and thoughtfulness. Having it personalized is even nicer. For those with more formal tastes and preferences, monogrammed baby linen would give that sense of tradition. While those with eclectic tastes and full of adventurous spirit, baby shower gift baskets, wall art for the nursery room, personalized baby gift items are just some of the baby gift ideas that you could give. Each baby gift suggestion can be found in http://www.best-baby-gift-guide.com where they give a fine description to each item.

Baby gift baskets come in all shapes and sizes and they speak of your thoughtfulness for putting it all together. Baby gift baskets are so unique because you can personalize it, make it blue or a pink basket depending on the gender of the baby, you can make a gourmet basket, or a food baby basket or even a baby bath gift basket. There are a lot of ideas you can think of to make it a unique baby gift.

Another good site that you can visit is http://www.babyshowers.info where they list all the possible things and other necessary equipment that the baby might possibly need. This site narrows down your choices since it would constrain you to search for items that are within your budget for those budget conscious spenders. Each item is under a heading such as clothing, nursery, bedding, meal time, play time, keepsake, jewelry and other items. If you have the funds, why not start the baby in a starter savings account? The receiving parents would surely appreciate this baby gift that would start their baby in his or her million dollar goal at 12 years old!

A click at http://www.enactwi.org for those who are into the environment or into organic stuff suggest some baby gift ideas you can give as they are easy to make since the materials used are very accessible in stores and groceries.

Visit http://www.kiddiegiftidea.com to find an extensive choice of baby gift stuff that you can never go wrong with. Its product index extends to more than two pages to view all of its offering so there are a lot of items to choose from.

Baby gifts are the best when the gift-giver poured love and attention to give that very special baby gift. It is not that difficult to look and search for baby gifts as some would think. It is just a matter of creativity and time to think what the baby might need or use in the future. There are other web sites and web links that you can visit and find other good ideas for that perfect baby gift to give away. There are also web blogs of parents that provide not only gift ideas but other concerns regarding on how to take care of your baby better.

Baby Game Shower: Baby games to play at the Baby Shower

Babies are so much fun. But baby games shower are much more fun since moms-to-be, godparents, grandparents, and other invitees in the baby shower can get to play childish games again. Some of the baby game shower that can be played include Sing It, Baby!, Measuring up Mommy, Here’s Looking at You, Kid!, Don’t Say Baby, Baby Truth or Dare, The Seventh Gift, and Dig out the Pins.

These baby games are the common baby game showers usually played. They are a great way that would let the guests mingle and get to know each other, if they aren’t acquainted yet. This is also another great way to give honor to the mom-to-be for having that precious baby on the way.

How do we play these baby game showers? Here is the run-down on how to play the baby game shower and create good memories of a great baby shower.

In Sing It, Baby!, the guests participants form a circle. They can sit or stand. Then, each guest must sing a line or two from a song that has the word “baby” in it. When the first game player has finished, the next person seated on her right has ten seconds to sing another “baby” song. “Baby” songs cannot be repeated, thus, participants who repeat a song or cannot think of a “baby” song gets booted out of the game. Last person singing in this baby game shower wins the prize!

How big has mommy become? Measuring Up Mommy is the baby game shower to play as this gives the guests the freedom to measure mommy’s size. Have a couple of toilet paper rolls ready and ask each participant to estimate the size of mommy’s girth by cutting the toilet paper to their guess size. Then each one wraps around the new mommy’s stomach the toilet paper they cut. The nearest length approximating to the mommy’s stomach wins the prize!

Remember how you looked when you were a baby? This game takes you down memory lane as you need to dig up those baby pictures of yours. Because you need them to play the baby game shower Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid! Before the party itself, request all the guests coming to bring the cutest baby picture of themselves. Upon their arrival, secure each baby picture and assign a number per picture. During the game, lay all baby pictures and give each participant paper and pen and ask them to identify as many baby pictures as they can. The guest with the most number of correct guesses is the big winner.

This baby game shower makes you NOT say what you are suppose to be attending to! The game Don’t Say Baby is precisely that! Don’t say “baby” during the entire length of the baby game shower for the diaper pin that was given to you upon your arrival will be taken away from you. The person with the most number of diaper pins collected at the end of the shower party wins a prize.

This baby game shower is for those who love baby trivia and the like. Play Baby Truth or Dare by writing down some baby trivia, some correct and others purposely written incorrectly. During the baby game shower, ask randomly if the baby facts are either true or false. Those who guess correctly gets a prize while those who don’t will be dared to perform in front of everyone else.

We all know that the single lady who catches the bride’s wedding bouquet is said to become the next bride. In The Seventh Gift, it is not so much a baby game shower but more of a fable that says that the giver of the seventh gift unwrapped will be the next expecting mother. However, avoid “planting” the seventh gift.

Last but not the least, Dig Out the Pins is the baby game shower that tests the agility of the guests as they fish out the most number of diaper pins from a large bowl filled with uncooked rice and diaper pins in under two minutes. The participant that has the most number of pins brings home the prize.

The Baby Bedding Challenge

Having a baby is the most wonderful experience a woman can have as it is a fulfillment of the biological function of the female species. After the giving birth process, the real work begins. Feeding bottles, diaper changes, immunization records are just a few of the things the new mom have to learn quickly. And one important thing to consider in the arrival of the baby is the kind of baby bedding he or she will use. According to Dr. Mark Brandenburg (http://www.baby-place.com/crib_safety.html), the number one rule to follow in choosing the right baby bedding for your precious infant is safety. The second rule says safety and the third rule emphasizes safety. We are to conclude that it is not enough to say it, it must be emphasized that baby bedding is critical for the comfort of the baby.

In his article on how to find the perfect baby bedding, it must be neither too hard nor too soft. In the past, sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS was attributed to very soft baby bedding. This happened when the baby’s mattress is too soft that his nose and mouth gets covered and the air he exhales is the air he breathes. This is dangerous for him since he would breath carbon dioxide rather than oxygen and the effects could lead to drowsiness, coma or even death.

There are a lot of styles and makes in choosing the baby’s bed. And with that, it follows that the baby bedding must be a perfect fit with the chosen equipment. The three major selections are: a bassinet, a crib or a cradle. What differentiates one from the other? A bassinet is an oblong-shaped basket that serves as a bed for an infant. But sometimes, round bassinets are also available. A crib is a bed that is flanked with high side bars for a baby or young child’s safety. Cribs are usually more economical since the baby can use it from infancy to two years. While a cradle is a small low bed that an infant uses that has rockers on its stand. In all these, the material used to make the equipment should alert and signal to the mom how much safety precautions are needed.

Bassinets are usually lacey and full of trimmings. The baby bedding must fit the bassinet so that the baby’s space is enough for him or her to be able to roll from side to side. The crib is usually square, thus, mattresses can be fitted to the size of the crib. The baby bedding usually is a set of coverlet and small pillows. Hotdog pillows can also be placed inside. However, the pillows should not be more than two or three lest the baby can stand on them and could fall over. The cradle can come in various sizes and shapes. Some moms prefer cradles so that when the baby is cranky, he or she can be rocked to be calmed down. The baby bedding for a cradle should follow the shape of it. Not much can be placed inside it since it is used mainly to rock the baby to sleep. However, one need not the three to keep the baby safe, warm and secure. One will do and this would depend on the parent’s preference. The most preferred would be the crib since it can be used for a long time.

Now that we’ve covered the basic equipment, how do we furnish it with baby bedding? We have already established that the baby bedding should fit the sleeping equipment to avoid accidents and other untoward incidents. The most suitable material to use is cotton as it is absorbent and cool to the baby’s skin. Different designs must be used to stimulate the baby’s color and pattern recognition. Therefore, the baby bedding is a crucial factor in keeping the baby happy and healthy.

Baby beanies: The baby toy of all time?

Baby beanies haven’t been around that much since they were “born” only in 1994 when Ty Warner introduced the first baby beanies in the market. Not many people know that a baby beanie or more officially known as beanie baby were first made by him. He made the baby beanie to be more lifelike by giving it more air. In other words, there was less stuffing inside each baby beanie. The usual baby toys were stuffed to the hilt and they were stiff. While Ty’s beanie baby was half filled with stuffing and half filled with beans. Hence the name beanie baby. Other competitors sneered and said that his toys would not last long. But exactly the opposite is what happened!

Now, the “original nine” as they are officially referred to are the first nine baby beanies Ty Warner made. These are the Spot the dog, Squealer the pig, Patti the platypus, Cubbie the bear, Chocolate the moose, Pinchers the lobster, Splash the killer whale, Legs the frog and Flash the dolphin. Collectors have dubbed them as such since these where the first baby beanies available that were selling at less than $5.00 each. Each baby beanie comes with a short poem to introduce it to the toddler. This was written on a red heart-shaped tag that is attached by the animal’s ear.

Not much is known how many baby beanies are totally in existence since there are lines developed that create a family of baby beanies. The most famous is the teddy-bear baby beanie that was created. The basic pattern was just re-used and different colors were utilized to create a family. Different names were given to each teddy bear in keeping with the tradition of having a name. Some teddy bear baby beanies are usually used for commemmorative uses such as in the Fourth of July or there is a Diana, the Princess of Wales have been made as a commemmorative collector’s item.

However, the official baby beanies were mostly animal shapes such as cats and pigs, dogs and hippopotamuses. These are usually brightly colored and stylized to make them pleasing in the eye. The official baby beanie comes with his or her own name. It has its own date of birth. And most important of all, a short poem that describes its personality.

The baby beanie crazed happened in the late 1996 when a frenzied collection of baby beanies started. This prompted Ty Warner to retire some of the baby beanies to hype up even more the sales and marketing side of his products. There were people who bought wholesale in anticipation of the possible future value of a single baby beanie. However, as with other fads that easily rise and can be easily forgotten, the baby beanie craze was just another fad that quickly fizzled. Or what the expectation of those “investors” did not materialize at all.

Inspite of what happened, baby beanies are here to stay since babies usually prefer soft toys that they can easily hug and bite and hold easily in their hand. Baby beanies need not be in the same family of baby beanies to be appreciated. A colllection of baby beanies show the kind of personality the baby has or it speaks the kind of personality the giver has.

One Baby Bash Coming Up!!!!

Birthdays are one of the most important events in our lives. This day signifies our arrival in the world and the celebration of it is a commemmoration of that first time we’ve ever came into the world. Most especially for our precious baby.

Here are some tips to get that baby bash on the roll and be the talk of the baby land for a week or so. One, preparation of the baby bash is extremely important! Create a theme that you would like to follow. Would you like your baby bash to be a sci-fi adventure? Or would you want your baby bash to be a costume party? Or rent even an amusement park complete with the merry-go-round and a clown or two. Whatever you decide, the baby bash needs to be well-thought of to keep it organized as well as the safety of the guests can be assured.

The baby bash depends on the age of the baby. For one year olds, clowns would do so that he or she can facilitate the party since the most important guests would be the little children. Magic shows and puppetry would be sufficient to keep the children interested and satisfied. While for two years old and older, since by this time, they are already mobile and have learned to walk, a costume party or an amusement park theme would be the solution to keep the kids happy. Balloons to keep them preoccupied, cotton candy to keep them busy and lots and lots of kiddie food.

Second, sending out the invites. It seems that babies are conversational pieces. Thus, your network of friends increase since you meet other moms and dads who have babies near your baby’s age group. They can become your buddies, swapping babysitting time when you need to unwind and relax. Their kids are your guests in the baby bash and not the parents. Thus, the baby bash must be geared towards the kid’s enjoyment.

Third, preparation of the food. Since this is a kiddie party, finger foods should comprise most of your menu. Kids easily tire of food and so small portions must be served at them. If possible, separate the food of the parents with the kids, if the parents were invited.

Sometimes, a baby bash becomes an adult get-together when there are no other babies that could be invited.

Whatever you have decided what the baby bash must be like, keep in mind that the baby’s comfort is more important. Sometimes, there are babies who are afraid of clowns. You must have an alternative activity in mind in case this happens.

Fourth, post baby bash activities. After all the food, the favors and trimmings gone, it is time to clean up. The most convenient way to finish all the food left is to ask mothers to take home a portion of the food served. This not only minimizes food spoilage, it would also keep the kids occupied during the drive home, in case they start asking for food. Because there are kids who play all throughout the party and do not pay attention to the food. But once they have settled down, usually during the ride home, then they start to feel hunger pangs. Thus, you would be helping parents keep the kids behaved during the ride home.

Then baby bash need not be a strenuous and nerve-racking activity that moms would rather not plan for. It could also be enjoyable for the parents as well.

A Gift of Sight: Visual Perception Treatment for Autistic Children

Autism effects every child differently, so it is difficult to find the exact treatments your child needs to cope with his or her symptoms. One thing that effects some autistic children (though, not all) is problems with visual perception. By using some standardized methods to help improve visual perception, you can give your child the ability to see the world more clearly, making learning and comprehension easier and possibly curbing some behavior problems as well.

Autistic children mainly have problems with sensory overload and distortion. These are some of the same problems many people not suffering from the disorder develop, and so many treatment options have become available. Individuals with autism often find, however, that the sensory overload of the world due to light, colors, contrast, shapes, and patterns, is too much to handle, causing them to act out or shut down in general. This is sometimes a genetic condition that is simply enhanced by the autism, so if the child’s parents have trouble with reading or have been otherwise treated for visual perceptive problems, there is a good chance that the child needs help as well.

The Irene Method is one effective way to treat visual perception disorders. This method uses color to create a more harmonized world. You may have heard of these methods if anyone has ever suggested using a color filter over the page when reading to be able to read better and more quickly. This method is proven to work, and if your autistic child is at the maturity level of reading, you may want to try these color filters to see if there is a difference in speed and comprehension. However, it is more likely that your autistic child will benefit from color filters during the entire day, not just when reading. Special glasses have been made using colored lenses to conquer this problem. Not every child responds the same way to every color, so it is a process of trial and error to find out which color is the one blocking the harmful light. You can also choose to use colored light bulbs in your home to help autistic individuals with their visual perception problems.

This method mainly helps children in 4 areas: depth perception, social interaction, learning, and physical well being. The colors help the child determine how far he or she is from an object, and the world becomes more three-dimensional, helping depth perception. Social interaction also improves because the child feels as though he or she is in a calmer world and can more clearly see and interpret facial expressions. The colors make it possible to learn, especially when reading, and overall, the child will feel better, because it helps reduce headaches and dizziness. By testing this technique and others to help visual perception problems, you can help your child better cope with the world and his or her autism.