People have been asking what Rambling Mom is supposed to be about and hopefully this post will help show our mission for 2014 and clear some things up. I am a mother of 3 and an athlete. Our household lives with diseases where much is unknown – I have eosinophilic gastroenteritis (a rare gastrointestinal disease) and our middle child, our son, Tedy is moderately autistic. Though I’ve been a lifelong athlete, having swum on a team from youth through college as well as playing field hockey from junior high through college, as an adult I turned to running and more recently to triathlons. This year we (Troy, the Rambling Dad and I) seek to raise autism awareness, our athletic pursuits are an outlet for this as well as the Rambling Mom Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blog pages. I do this because it helps with my overall well being. It helps me to not just sit around and be all woe-is-me. I also hope that Rambling Mom opens people’s eyes to what Autism is and to show how beneficial being a fit family is for your health. I don’t work in the traditional sense anymore but I do make hand made goods such as medal hangers, rambling bands (head bands) and tag blankies to help cover the costs of races as well as therapy costs (yes we have Tricare but having to have additional autism specific therapies costs additional money every month we are lucky it’s not as high as others but it’s still been an adjustment and me now WAHM [work at home mom] helps with that).
I recently posted a picture of one of the tag blankets I made and I had a friend ask what they’re for and it got me thinking a bit more. Sure tag blankies are a cute toy for babies but there’s a bit more to them. They’re also great for sensory development. Tedy loves tag blankies (he’s not a baby anymore) it helps him with his sensory diet.
[Baby You Were Born To Run Tag Blankie Pictured Below]
This led me to want to inform my readers about Sensory Processing Disorder. Many people do not know this and we don’t often talk about it but our oldest child has SPD (Tedy does as well) yet SPD isn’t a recognized stand alone diagnosis yet though many medical professionals think that should change. What that means for our family is that we have to do many things on our own to help Sophia because she does not qualify for occupational therapy (Tedy does because he also has an Autism diagnosis). Sensory Processing Disorder is when the brain does not properly respond to a certain sense. Like autism there is a broad spectrum to how people (typically seen in children) respond. Some may be under stimulated where as others may be over stimulated by the sense. Please take a moment to check out the articles I’ve linked and read up a bit more on SPD. I’ll admit that as a parent of children with SPD sometimes I just would brush it off and want her to “get over it” and “suck it up” yet now I’ve learned that’s not a realistic approach. For example, Sophia cannot wear jeans. Even the site and thought of jeans starts to send her into a tail spin.
“Do not ignore the signs. Some of the symptoms of SPD are speech delay, poor coordination, poor balance, avoiding touch or seeking touch in extreme ways, extremely picky or extremely messy eating, irritability or a “difficult” personality. SPD is often misdiagnosed, especially in older children or less severe cases, as ADD or emotional problems.” – from “Your Child” by Jennifer Shaw – A Song to Celebrate Life (a blog post found on the Autism Speaks website)
This brings me back to tag blankies and other sensory toys. They’re great for all kids. You can purchase a tag blankie though Rambling Mom [check out www.Facebook.com/RamblingMom3 for details on how to order – ETSY shop will be opening soon].
For other sensory toys for kids of all ages please check out my friend Alicia’s ETSY shop and Facebook page, Bella Boo Toys. We have a set of sensory bottles and the kiddos all love them. Even Troy and I enjoy trying to find all the little toys in one of the bottles. They are great addition to a kids sensory diet.