Friday, November 30, 2012

Who Wouldn't Want to #Win an $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Just Before the Christmas Holiday?!?

     When it comes to money, every little bit helps especially during the Christmas shopping season! I am proud to be a member of the wonderful Giveaway Promote Community and love that this prize can be used for someone to shop online for either purchasing a loved one's Christmas present or something for their own indulgence!!
     Please take a moment to enter the giveaway and then to visit the right sidebar of my blog to check out the various articles written by myself or featured guest bloggers. Thank YOU for stopping by and I always look forward to hearing from my readers!

$25 Amazon Gift Card

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

WANTED: Coverage of the Congressional #Autism Hearings on "1 in 88 Children: A Look Into the Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism"

     This afternoon at 2:00pm, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding the Congressional #Autism Hearings on "1 in 88 Children: A Look Into the Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autism". Orginally, the witness list did not include any autistic witnesses but, now it seems to have changed. The following is an announcement from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN):

On November 29th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding a hearing on autism. Invited witnesses include people from government agencies, parent autism advocacy organizations, AND Autistic self-advocacy organizations. We are pleased to report that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform staff have just reached out to us to invite Autistic representation to this Thursday’s hearing.
Thanks to all of you for making your voices heard and to the House Committee for hearing the message Nothing About Us, Without Us! Whether you faxed letters of support for Autistic representation at the upcoming hearing or signed our petition, your voice has been heard. Now Autistic voices will be heard as well. ASAN President Ari Ne’eman has been invited as one of not one but TWO Autistic witnesses scheduled to testify at the hearing.
The journey doesn’t end there. Come join us in showing support to Autistic people speaking! We’ll be gathering together at the Rayburn House Office, Room 2154 on the day of the hearing. The hearing itself will begin at 2 PM, but as we anticipate a packed room ASAN will begin gathering besides the door to the hearing at 11 AM. RSVP via our Facebook event page.
You made this happen!
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

     Yesterday, I responded to the attention-grabbing request of a fellow LinkedIn member to contact CBS Evening News Network to cover the Congressional #Autism Hearings by either phone 212-975-3247 or email and I did. Can YOU? It's not too late to still get news coverage on the proceedings! I encourage you whether you are a parent of a child(ren) on the autism spectrum or even a professional in the education system to follow TODAY's Congressional #Autism Hearings "1 in 88 Children: A Look Into the Federal Response to Rising Rates of Autismlater this afternoon and become more involved. Thank you for taking time to read my post!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Schedule Your #Autism Friendly Photo Shoot to Benefit's 2013 PieceWalk and 5K


This will only be available for the next two (2), don't wait too long to "schedule" your Autism Friendly Photo Shoot or you will miss out!

This morning, my family enjoyed the comfortable and relaxed opportunity to get our assorted family pictures only took 15 minutes while the proceeds go to support the Autism Oklahoma's Piece Walk!! 

Email me TODAY at!!!!!

All proceeds for 2013 Piece Walk
Don't be shy to bring cranky kids or adults for that matter!!! We will work through it.
$25 cash 
Sitting Fee
Framed 8x10
Disc and copy rights

Outside country holiday! Very simple yet classy!
This will be inside a fenced backyard (safe for little ones or wanderers!)

Also, we are looking for any photographers that would like to donate some time! 
Please email me at or leave a comment below the post. 
We would really appreciate the help! Thank you!!

*Join Autism Oklahoma for the 2013 Piece Walk. Register today. Your participation helps sponsor important Autism research and programs throughout Oklahoma..

BLOGGERS > > HURRY!! Don't Miss Out On Registering for the Winter Wonderland Cash Giveaway Event!

If YOU are a Blogger, you need to come join the ... 

Winter Wonderland Cash Giveaway Event!

STOP what YOU are doing, visit HERE for more details and to register! 

Bloggers, join the upcoming cash giveaway event organized by Giveaway Promote!
This giveaway will be held from December 3rd-16th.
You can sign-up until November 24th.
We work with fabulous bloggers and our events get results.
We’d love for you to join us in the next big event!
You’ll increase your social media exposure and offer your readers the chance to win an amazing cash prize, just in time for the holidays!
HURRY!! I would hate for YOU to miss out on this opportunity!!
!Please make sure that you mention that Lorrie Servati @ "Nathan's Voice" sent you! 
Thank you for your support!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sit and Relax Hop! Open 11/22-11/29

Welcome to the Sit and Relax hop! I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving.

This is a No Rules hop. Just link up your blog and enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Please Join "Nathan's Voice" by Walking or Making a Donation In Support of the Upcoming 2013 AutismOklahoma PieceWalk

     The fourth Annual Oklahoma PieceWalk will be May 4, 2013 which is the first Saturday of the month and it is organized by the PieceWalk Committee of, a local non-profit. Our Family and Friends Autism Team "Nathan's Voice" will be walking in support of our son, Nathan, and everyone affected by the autism spectrum disorder. The Piece Walk and 5K is the largest single autism event in the state of Oklahoma. The 2012 Oklahoma PieceWalk was attended by over 6,500 people, with over 500 runners in the 5K. The Annual Piece Walk and 5K generates monies back into the Oklahoma community in the form of grants or special projects and provides basic operating funds for Our Family and Friends Autism Team "Nathan's Voice" is very excited to be a part of such an AWESOME opportunity to "pay it forward" in the autism community!!  
     Nathan, our nine year old son was diagnosed with Autism almost five years ago. Please consider walking with and/or supporting our Family and Friends Autism Team "Nathan's Voice" by walking with us on Saturday, May 4, 2013 and/or making a donation towards the 2013 Autism Oklahoma Piece Walk, through our team's participation. You are welcome to follow our autism team on twitter @NathansVoice for updates on the upcoming walk.
     If you are wanting to start your own team, it is FAST and EASY! Walking in support of Autism can be fun especially with people that you know!! So get your friends, family and co-workers signed up to be a part of your team today. Have fun, get more people involved in the effort and raise money for Autism programs right here in Oklahoma. To get started, register, create a team name and then get started recruiting team members. Let's Walk!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Join the Special Family Support Group Tomorrow Night for a Special Presentation on Working with Autism Children that have Challenging Behaviors

I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that Annie from the Oklahoma Autism Network will be making a special presentation to the Special Family Support Group tomorrow evening @ 6:30pm at the New Life Covenant Church located in Purcell, OK at 224 West Apache. If you are a teacher please pass this along. Annie will have helpful tips on challenging behavior. If you work with, or may end up working with, a child on the spectrum this would be helpful. This will also be helpful to parents raising a kiddo on the spectrum or just a strong willed child. 

If you are planning to attend tomorrow night's meeting, please leave a message on the event page so that they will have an accurate head count. Thank you for sharing this with someone in the autism community!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Salute to Our Nation's Veterans, Including My Oldest Son

     I want to recognize all of the many veterans that have served, or are still serving, our great country. No matter in which branch of the military that you served, Thank YOU for your service! Families across America appreciate everything that our dedicated servicemen and servicewomen do to protect and defend our country. 
     I am proud to say that my oldest son is currently serving in the United States Army. Nathan, who has Autism, and his older brother Vincent are both really excited to see Paul, their oldest brother, when he comes home for a visit this Christmas. 
     Please accept the gratitude of this Army Mom, everyone in her family and her closest friends. Thank YOU and God Bless YOU!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Be Sure to Go See "Wreck It Ralph" Tomorrow as AMC's #Autism "Sensory Friendly Film"!!

If you haven't had the chance to enjoy a "Sensory Friendly Film", you may want to try to get your family out of the house just a little earlier tomorrow morning! The new Disney movie "Wreck It Ralphwill be showing at AMC Quail Springs 24 and AMC Crossroads 16 Theatres tomorrow, Saturday, November 10th at 10 a.m. We hope that your family will be able to make it out tomorrow morning...see YOU there!

AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. In order to provide a more comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing - in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned. For more information and to find a theatre near you, click here.
You can follow @AutismSociety and @AMCTheaters on twitter.

Make Plans Now to Attend the Limited Premier of the New Movie, "SWANKY: the Most Awesome Art Show Movie Ever Made by Everybody!"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What I Learned at The Oklahoma Statewide #Autism Conference to Help My Son Learn to "Self-Regulate" His Own Behavior

     Last month, I attended the Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference which was information packed between the speakers and the resource booths. The keynote speaker that they had for the full first day was Tony Attwood, who creatively captivated his audience as he spoke on Asperger's Syndrome! He had a way of explaining the autism spectrum disorder so that anyone could understand what they were dealing with. It was amazing! The second day of the conference was set up where everyone could listen to that day's keynote speakers and then choose from six consecutive classes, for each of the three training sessions throughout the day. I couldn't attend each of the sessions that I was interested in because most of them were unfortunately scheduled at the same time, and were only available at that particular time. We were told that most of the speakers would make their hand-outs available online for those of us that couldn't attend all of the ones that interested us. 

     Each of the sessions that I attended on the second day of the conference were on different evidence based strategies that I can use to help Nathan learn to monitor his surroundings and control his reactions to stimulus. If he is able to learn to self-regulate his behavior, it will benefit him, wherever he goes. I have also learned that if he has an incentive to work towards, he will make an effort to adjust his behavior. It will be a challenge getting the new teacher and Nathan to give each other a chance because of the rough start they had, during her first week together, right before Fall Break. She told me that she has a friend that has a child with autism. I shouldn't automatically assume that she has any training in that area but, I did offer her assistance in working with Nathan. I will not be offering from this point on...everything will be "this is what works with my son" or "this is how we need to prepare him in order not to disrupt the rest of the class". She will have to "learn" to modify her curriculum and how she interacts with Nathan, to accommodate him. If Nathan needs to remove himself from or "op-out" of a classroom situation because the stimulus is too much for him to handle, he will have to be given the "break" that he needs to cope with whatever was affecting him, and then the time to transition back into class-rotation. 

     I will be giving each of his teachers and school faculty the information that will help Nathan have a more productive and successful school year. If they are not able, as a team or individually, to modify to accommodate my son, within a reasonable amount of time, then I will have to take it to the school board, along with an advocate. Unfortunately, Nathan has not been given an permanent location to "calm" and time to process the reason why he needed to "op-out" of the classroom activities/environment. It is very important for him to understand how to know when he needs to remove himself from an over-stimulating environment and what may have happened to create the feelings he had. Something happened to "trigger" him to feel either embarrassment, frustration and anger. Any combination of these feelings can "cause" an uncontrollable situation where a child with autism is already challenged enough without being able to process the incoming stimulus. Nathan is constantly aware or reminded of his differences. When Nathan is in school, trying to get the education he deserves, and he is not given the appropriate time to "calm" down, away from his classmates, it undoubtedly affects his self-esteem and his overall temperament.  

     I know teaching is a unappreciated profession but, teachers should be required to have more training in the area of working with children on the autism spectrum, identifying different behaviors when it comes to these unique children being in an "inclusive" classroom, and modifying how they themselves interact with each of these complex individuals on a daily basis. I shadowed Nathan at school last Monday because his rotation schedule changed where he will stay in his homeroom classroom the first half of the school day. After lunch, he will be in the new teacher's classroom for the last half of the day. Just before it is time to go home, he will return to to his homeroom so that he can gather what he needs to bring home. It will be an adjustment period but, I have confidence that Nathan will be able to handle it with our help. It is more of a question of time but, I fully intend to start campaigning for Oklahoma Teachers to be "required" to have supervised "hands-on" training with children on the autism spectrum, in both "inclusive" and "self-contained" classroom environments. Not all children with autism have the capability to express themselves verbally and these teachers may need to be trained on augmentative devices in order to communicate with these children. Learning sign language would be essential just in the event that the batteries, for the child's electronic device, die and replacements are not readily available. 

     I can vividly remember how frustrating it can be working with a child that is "difficult" and not being able to understand everything about that child. You have to take everything minute by minute just so that you don't crack or have your own meltdown! It is character building while at the same time it is physically and emotionally exhausting. Parents don't have the choice when it comes to autism being a part of their child and their family but, those who choose to work in Special Education need to be better prepared for what they will encounter. Not knowing enough about autism and behaviors could be detrimental to everyone involved...the students and the teacher. It wasn't until we lost our Special Education Teacher and Case Manager, due to her military husband's transfer, that I realized just how special she was and how much she did to try to prepare Nathan and each of his many teachers for the school year. I am learning to become a better advocate for Nathan because the school has not hired anyone to fill her vacancy. The school has let the remaining Special Education Teacher assume the responsibilities of teaching the students that belonged to the other teacher, while still trying to manage the students that she works with. If they aren't careful, the school, and the district, will lose her due to a physical, mental and emotional "burn-out"! 

     I will try to keep everyone up-to-date on how Nathan's days go. I will be sure to share which Evidence Based Strategies or Practices work and which ones weren't as successful with him. Each child is unique in what may work with one child, may not work with another child! I am starting to stock up on my patience levels as I am preparing myself for the long-haul!