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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Autism Awareness Month

Did you know April is Autism Awareness Month?
Now you do!
Consider yourself aware!! (after reading this post, of course)
I have a huge heart for families who face the struggles of autism everyday.
Eli's Lids has always donated 10% of our profits to a great autism charity, ACT Today!
Through the awesome wonders of
Twitter I was introduced to Autism Momma, in real life Julee, and she agreed to do a little interview with me to help spread the word about autism...
When did your journey with Autism begin?
I’m not sure, haha. Alex is my oldest, and I always realized that he was “high-maintenance.” I guess my journey began when he was 4. I said, “Mommy doesn’t know what to do when you’re angry.” He got right in my face and yelled, “I’m not angry!” It was then I realized we needed help. He was diagnosed right after his 5th birthday.
Tell me a bit about Autism Momma?
My mission is: Helping Parents Help Themselves
After the diagnosis, I felt more empowered. I set out to find what I could to help make our lives easier. I could find suggestions for what might help, but no actual products, activities, or tools that were within any sort of reasonable price range. Since then, I’ve been collecting and testing what works.
Autism Momma will offer tons of ideas, activities, and tools—at a price that won’t break parents’ wallets. These parents already shell out a lot of money for therapy and other support tools that are not covered by insurance. Also, all kids are different; and all ASD kids are different. They need lots of ideas to try.
What is one of the most useful products you sell in Autism Momma store for other autism families?
I love my growing little store, and the sensory exploration and writing kits I offer are excellent. I do love the Lycra Play Sac. Alex plays in his a lot.
My biggest contribution will come with the launch of my website:
http://www.autismmomma.com/. I will offer activities to try with kids, checklists, planning materials, document templates (like writing letters to the school), and product recommendations to use everyday. I’ll focus on several areas: sensory, behavior, hygiene, social skills, time management, school support, and even “care for the caregiver” which is often neglected.
How can moms teach their kiddos to relate with autism kiddos?
Take a little time to learn about the disability and some characteristics of kids with autism and help your kids develop tolerance. Then your kids can accept and help kids with autism learn how to play and be social (mentors and models are an ideal way to improve). This also helps “neurotypical” children become leaders and good examples. I tell my 5-year-old that he needs to help his older brother learn to be social. I seriously consider it his path in life—as a sibling of a brother with autism.
What are the top 3 things you would want other moms to know about autism kids and families?
1. Moms and dads of these exceptional children do their best to juggle love, gratitude, stress, embarrassment, pride, disappointment, discipline, disability, and hope. The behaviors their children show are most often NOT a result of bad parenting skills.
2. Kids with autism want to fit in. Introversion and isolation are NOT traits of autism. They are often the psychological result of not fitting in. Try to develop extra patience for these kids, and let them into your social circle.
3. Autism is an open-ended disability. Don’t place limits on what these kids can learn, do, or achieve. They can continually improve socially as well as other areas.

About Autism Momma: Julee Adams is a mother of three little boys. Her oldest son has high-functioning autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She spreads her time between momhood and work; hoping someday her work will help the many parents and caregivers dealing with autism. She spent over 16 years in the training industry, creating self-help courses. Now it’s time for her to use her experience helping these special families make life easier for themselves.
See Julee blogging here.
Shop Autism Momma here.
Visit here soon-to-be-up site here.
Other AAMBs (Awesome Autism Mommy Blogs... ok ok... I made that up)
Adventures of Mr. Busypants - Jeannie candidly shares the antics of Mr Busypants... who happens to love cookie dough as much as I do! The Moments of Autism slidshow is just wild... pretzel art to rival Picasso!!!
Ode de Trio - Sunny has triplets (yes folks, that is 3 at the same time), 2 are autistic. Somehow she found the time to start a thriving cloth diaper business called Cutie Tooties (yes folks, she cloth diapered all three of those cute toots!).
Her Special Needs - J.L. has a great article on Savvy Auntie... who happend to do one of Eli's Lids' first reviews!! See J.L. blogging at The Disney Driven Life.


Olivia said...

Great interview questions! Autism is something I don't know much about, but I learned something today. You focused on children with Autism, but does Autism affect adults too?

Jon and Melissa said...

I am so glad to see autism being talked about more and more....That mama rocks for all the products and info she has...It is mom's like her that are in the trenches...

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