Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's Make a Change in the Statistics by Becoming Supportive of Each Other and by Reaching Out to the #Autism Families in our Surrounding Community

I am always shocked when I hear about a story like the one that has been in the news the last few weeks. My first response is that if this mom had a family member and/or friend in the community, she might have been able to cope with whatever overwhelming feeling that she was experiencing at the time, and have been able to avoid this whole unfortunate situation. I am not making excuses for this mother, or any other individual who has made an unforgivable choice as she has made. I'm just reminding us that all parents of special needs children have felt overwhelmed and/or isolated at one time or another and need the support of those around us! It is important that we all have someone that is close enough to us to make sure that we get the "Me" time that we need, whether it is weekly, twice a week or maybe after the children are in bed each night.

Even though we are occasionally faced with some of the most challenging situations, we are all personally responsible for our actions and the decisions that we make. There is absolutely no excuse for any parent to let his, or her, feelings of despair build up to the point that they don't reach out for help, or assistance, before taking the life of the person they feel is causing their world to close in on them. Most of you know exactly what story I am referring to. It is devastating to read the details of such a story and it takes everything for me to not scream at the individual who took the life of the very child who loved and trusted her to protect him. It infuriates me, it saddens me but, it reminds me how very thankful that I am because I have such a loving husband that supports my physical health, as well as my mental health. I know that I can depend on him to tell me when I need a break. 

Everyone needs someone who they can talk to and with about what's going on in their life, whether it's good or bad. Who do you have? If you can't answer that question, please reach out to and make contact with the person you trust the most, or contact your local community parenting assistance center. Please don't let you and your family become a statistic like the family which I have mentioned. You are too important to those family members, and friends around you, to not take care of yourself and enjoy the life you have been given! Take a moment and read one of my previous posts, "Pockets of Patience", for some ideas on how to handle stress. Grab some tissues and be prepared for a walk down memory lane with me! If you have time, please leave me a comment below. I always look forward to hearing from my readers and featuring a special story of survival on my autism resource blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

If YOU are a Parent of a Child with #Autism or #SpecialNeeds, "QR Code iD" is now "If I Need Help" and a 501 (c)(3) charity YOU Really Need To Check Out!!

It is an honor to be invited back to Nathan’s Voice. So much has happened since being here last. To start with we have changed our name from QR Code iD to If I Need Help and have become a 501(c)(3) charity.  

As you may recall our son Jay has Autism and was lost a couple times in the past so we wanted to create a way to communicate for him.  Our solution was to make personal wearable QR codes.  When the code is scanned or manually entered into the site a profile appears.  It has a picture, name, contact, emergency and behavioral info along with a password protected secure section where more personal and medical records can be stored.  All of the info can be edited in real time.  For instance when my son went on field trips with his day camp I just added his aide’s number as a contact and deleted it afterwards.

Also, a new feature is that you can send the profile to others in an Emergency email when a search is needed. We have been offering the codes on patches, pins, clips and adhesives. Already people who were lost have been reunited with their families because someone saw their code and used it to contact the family. The most recent one was on Halloween. The Mom put the patch on the back of her son’s costume. While trick or treating, he was separated from his parents and ended up with another group of kids. The Mom of that group started asking him about himself. He could say his name, and half of his phone number, but he could not say his address at all. She saw the If I Need Help patch and used it. He was back with his Dad in under 10 minutes. The boy has Epilepsy requires medication often. His Mom was relieved to have him back so quickly.

ID cards have just become available after months of development!! An If I Need Help member with high functioning Autism struggles with anxiety attacks. Even though she is usually conversational these attacks escalate rendering her unable to communicate. People around her do not know what is happening or how to help her so she has experienced some bad situations. She encouraged us to make the iD cards. They are custom made with name, number and bullet points that are printed along with the personal QR code. About a month ago she felt an attack coming on so she handed her card to a staff person who did exactly as the card instructed her and it worked more smoothly than she ever expected.

We are in the process of adding iD tags for shoes and necklaces (military style, etc.) and for key chains.  

For a limited time, we would like to offer a free patch to families, who follow Nathan's Voice autism resource blog, when they do the free sign up. On the 2nd line of the address section, write "Nathan's Voice" along with the color choice of one of the following colors: blue, green, red, grey, or white. This offer will expire the end of 2014 and we hope YOU will take advantage of the offer NOW!!! Also, PLEASE take the time to share this post with others in the social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) which you frequently visit! 

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments or if we can help out.

Erin Wilson
A 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization
Twitter: @qrcodeid1

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bullying Prevention Should Be Year Round, Not Just in the Month of October

It is no secret that I have made some great friends through social media networking over the last several years. One of those special relationships is with the Founders and Owners of Sentio Life Solutions, Ltd and Special Needs Book Review, Lorna d'Entremont and her daughter, Pierrette d'Entremont. I had the privilege, and my first experience, of participating in a Tweetchat on The Coffee Klatch with Lorna, shortly after having made connections her in the summer of 2011.

Lorna and Pierrette have definitely made me feel welcome by rolling out the red carpet in featuring my guest post, Neutralizing Negative Messaging about Children with Autismon their Special Needs Blog. Please take a moment to stop by to read it, and then take a look around their site before returning to check out mine. Have a fabulous week and be sure to #share this post with someone you know in the special needs community!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

If YOU are a Parent, Caregiver, Service Professional or an Educator of a Child on the #Autism Spectrum in #Oklahoma, Mark Your Calendar for this Event!

As a parent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I have made it my goal to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of individuals like my adolescent son. I have spent many hours volunteering in my son's classroom and the office at his school so that I was in close by if needed to assist his Teachers. I eventually became a supply teacher, or what is better known as a substitute teacher. Most of my assignments started out in Special Education at a local middle school but, I wanted to be more involved in my son's elementary school. The support of others prompted me to pursue my certification as a Paraprofessional, or what is better known as a special needs personal assistant. It was through the numerous changes in this journey that I decided to return to college to acquire my certification to become a Special Education Teacher. The crazy-paced and calendar-challenged schedule that I have taken on is not one I would have even considered ten years ago. I have to remind myself that once I have achieved my teaching certificate; my time will be redirected to maintaining my classroom, instead of the hours of college classes it took for me to get to there.

Our family has made use of the various resources that are available in the community, but, we know that it isn't always easy to locate everything that we need. It is important to know where to look for assistance or support. I am extremely fortunate to have a network of resources available to me as a parent and the Coordinator. As a parent, I know how difficult it can be to attend certain functions or events, like the upcoming Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference, that offer the chance to collect the information about these resources. If you can afford to register and take off work for the event, I strongly encourage you to do so. The magnitude of the experience is epic, until its record in your memory is replaced by next year's experience! I will be writing more about this in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back or subscribe to follow my blog through emails. You never know, YOU may know someone who may benefit from the information being shared through our blog. 

I have been working to create a Community Resource Fair for Parents, Caregivers, Service Professionals and Educators of Children who have Autism, or those children whom are in the stages of being diagnosed. This event is just around the corner and is being hosted by

at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, located at 222 NW 15th Street, near downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday, October 23, 2014 between 6:30pm - 8:30pm. This particular Community Resource Fair will offer information from a variety of resources in our surrounding community shown in the image below: 

For more information about the AutismOKC Community Resource Fair, to volunteer to help us during the event or to register your child for childcare so that you can check out the resources, please email by no later than Monday, October 20, 2014 so that we can confirm childcare coverage for your family. We appreciate your help sharing the information on this event with anyone you know who might be interested in attending it, and we look forward to seeing YOU at the upcoming AutismOKC Community Resource Fair!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Shining a Spotlight on A Great Camp for Children with #Autism to Attend"

If you live in Oklahoma, and have a child with Autism, you may already heard about or at least know about Camp C.A.N.O.E. which is located just southwest of Frontier City on I-35, on Hefner Road. Please read the article which I wrote about this awesome week-long, day-camp, that offers children with Autism Spectrum Disorders an opportunity to enjoy the same outdoor experience as the other children who attend the summer camps at Camp DaKaNi through CampFire Heart of Oklahoma. I encourage you to #share it with someone you know, whether it be a friend or family member, because there is a chance that they may know a family touched by Autism or Aspergers.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Would YOU Have Taken Advantage of an Opportunity Like This To Raise #Autism Awareness Around You?!?

I was approached almost a year ago about being featured in the online magazine, Leaders Across America*, as a spotlight on my Advocacy for Autism. This project was supposed to have been published in April 2014 so, it was a pleasant surprise when I was notified that it had finally launched this afternoon. I hope that whether you know me, or not, that you understand this was an effort to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of individuals with Autism, in both our surrounding communities and in the social media outlets. Please share this article with anyone you want and know that together we can help everyone #ThinkDifferently about #Autism! 
*You will save some time looking for my article if you enter my first name "Lorrie" just below the magazine and click "go".

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nathan's Voice is hosting a Virtual Book Tour Stop for "My Peace Place"!

A Parent on My Peace Place - Guest Post by Mari L. Barnes

Today, FlyingTurtle Publishing’s destination is Nathan’s Voice, created and administered by Lorrie Servati. In addition to her roles as wife, mother and “Nana,” Lorrie is a dedicated Autism Advocate. In April 2012, Nathan’s Voice was nominated as one of the “Top 10 Autism Blogs of 2012”! 

How does My Peace Place relate to autism? Tammy Hastings left a comment on Flying Turtle’s Facebook page. She thought the book would be beneficial to her daughter, Katelyn, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Tammy’s post opened my eyes to new possibilities for helping children.

My co-author, Lori Bortnick was the catalyst for this book. For more than 15 years, Lori has been an early childhood educator in inner-city schools. She sees the effects of environmental stress on very young kids every day. Lori wanted to create a book that encouraged children to practice self-regulation — calming, comforting and centering themselves.

Tammy agreed to share some thoughts about My Peace Place.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 41 years old, I had Katelyn when I was 36; she is an only child. I love to read when I get the time, most of my time is spent playing or taking care of Katelyn's needs.

2. What would you like us to know about Katelyn?

Katelyn has autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder. She is verbal, can read and write and is very sociable.

3. What kinds of activities do you and Katelyn enjoy?

We paint, go swimming and play at the park. She loves pretend play with her Barbies and stuffed animals. We read stories and sing songs.

4. What causes stress reactions for Katelyn?

Katelyn gets easily stressed out about certain TV commercials and shows. She doesn't like yelling or fighting even if it's just pretend. Or loud noises such as sirens, fire drills at preschool, motorcycles and fireworks. She is very sociable, but will sometimes get stressed out at large gatherings of people.

5. What did Katelyn most enjoy about My Peace Place?

Katelyn really enjoyed the rhyming. She loves to rhyme and tries to make words rhyme all the time.

6. Do you and Katelyn have a favorite technique from?

I just think the whole book is wonderful in trying to teach children about coping skills. Katelyn has a very hard time understanding and processing coping skills. With this book being a rhyming book, it is something that Katelyn loves and very much takes an interest in. It therefore allows her to understand and process the meanings a little easier.

Thanks for your insights, Tammy and thanks for sharing My Peace Place with Katelyn’s class.

As they grow, children continue to benefit by the knowledge that they have the power to control the anxiety caused by stress. They learn that they don’t need to look outside of themselves for peace. Here’s to helping our children grow in confidence!

Mari L Barnes writes for children under the pen name of Mari Lumpkin and for adults as ML Barnes. Her books, Parting River Jordan and Crossing River Jordan are proof that church can be funny. Mari’s company, Flying Turtle Publishing, specializes in books that families can share. Be sure to check out Flying Turtle Publishing on Facebook and follow @flyingturtlepub on Twitter!

Click here to find out how to get a Flying Turtle Publishing’s Blanket Fort Club certificate for your child. PLUS, subscribe to Turtle Talk and you’ll automatically be entered to WIN a $10 Amazon Gift Card in our monthly drawing.