Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19th - Talk Like A Pirate Day

Yes, it is really "Talk Like A Pirate Day"!

I kept coming across this throughout my blogland travels today.

After the Krispy Kreme free doughnut, I had to share....
Talk like a pirate and get one free Krispy Kreme Doughnut
and if you dress like a pirate, you get a free dozen of doughnuts!!!

Pirate Translator    Type the words you want to say and this site will translate "in Pirate Words". 

Wondering if Family Fun Magazine had this site listed?

I think this would be a great activity with our kids!!! 

Skills that one might learn:

Looking up the words and/or phrases on the Pirate Translator  above
computer keyboarding skills (motor planning)
spelling (cognitive)
fun (teaching spontaneous seeking enjoyment)
social skills interactions (with peers, siblings and adults-parents)
social skills turn taking

Making your own memory board game pieces (one master set)
Ideas for pieces/cards:
  write or trace a pirate word or phrase on some pieces
  draw or finish a picture of a pirate 
  make a mini sticker scene or use one pirate sticker
  place the letter "P" and "p" for Pirate (if you are learning/maintaining letters)
  place a number on a card or an addition/subtraction fact 
  Nouns/reading:  picture/word of pirate lingo
  those are just a few ideas....
fun (teaching spontaneous seeking enjoyment)
social skills interactions
social skills turn taking
cognitive skills using child preferences or thematic approach 

Going to make a copy at an office supplies store
community interaction 
social skills story - hearing noises (babies crying, sound of machine, etc)
receptive language commands and understanding - helping to make a copy of each board game piece  
  "put paper here"  "push green button" etc.
paying (money skills) -teaching basic money exchange or actual coin addition for the total

Don't forget to add the best part:  Make the pieces sensory for added interest and fun!!!!!
some ideas:  
use puffy paint on two matching pieces
color code with bright neon markers on edges of pieces
adding glitter and glue to fill in the letter O's or P's
adding colored sand and glue to make a swirly or outline a letter
add sandpaper pieces (use hole punch) for a fun background
glue velvet or satin material tiny swatches on some matching pieces
bubble wrap or aluminum foil (crunch first - then open and glue)
add drop of lavender, lemon or vanilla  to two matching cards

fun (teaching spontaneous seeking enjoyment)
social skills interactions
social skills turn taking
cognitive skills - memory 
attending skills - increasing attention to task via time or turns
social skills - win/lose 

Having fun is the key - you don't even realize you are learning!

and finally for Talk Like a Pirate Day:  

Shiver Me Timbers!!

Ahoy Mateys!!!

Yo Ho Ho

Blow Me Down!

Thar She Blows!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fun with money!

Danny and I

 I had so much fun with this website that I absolutely have to share! 
I made all sorts of personalized money!
There is money from Antarctica to Yugoslavia!  

Mona Lisa $2 Bill

I made directions so you can make your own whether it be to practice money skills, addition, artwork to frame, etc.

Click here on this website:  

The menu shows several options that you can personalize:
festisite    money    cardgame    logos    iphone    poems     text     layout 

click on ‘money’.

Find the type of money you want to use looking at the upper right corner (scrolling from left to right).

Press ‘enter’ on the money you want to personalize.

Your selected money choice should now appear in the main window.

Click the blue ‘photo’ button below the main screen.

Click on ‘choose file’.

Find your personal photo from your computer and press ‘enter’.

Press ‘upload’.

Once the photo uploads in the main screen, you can use the ‘up/down’, ‘left/right’, ‘zoom’, ‘enlarge/shrink’, ‘+/-’ to place your photo.

Once satisfied with your placement, you can ‘download’ the file or choose to ‘share’ on facebook or twitter.

I made artwork to frame,

One in a Million

coupons for our jewelry, 

Dannylions Pieces For Autism

 and had a blast!

'Danny' S. Grant

Hope you make your own and have fun while doing so! A great family activity!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Unique One of a Kind, Imperfect Perfection and Perfectly Imperfect


When asked, "Why would I purchase something handmade from your son whether it be from his etsy shop, facebook page, at a craft show, or in person when there are so many other choices out there?  
The above picture, in short, simplifies the answer!  Everybody is different and unique. No two people are exactly the same.  No one is perfect!  We are all gloriously perfectly imperfect! 

I have been re-taught by others and by Danny himself, to focus on the positive.  When I watch my son stringing beads and/or creating, he defines perfection in its highest form possible!  Danny can achieve anything he sets his mind to, of miraculous proportions, if the desire is present. Many professionals and individuals look at my son and see nothing but "severe".  I am told to place him in a full blown institution because "there would be no group home that would accept him due his high level of need. The extent of the negative is so horrid, I try not to focus on it. Danny is what makes our shop separate & apart from every other shop.  His hands either made each piece or had a part in the creation of the piece. He is what makes the jewelry so unique. Each piece of jewelry is imperfect perfection or perfectly imperfect! Either way - it means the same to me!

Danny fulfills his own inner need to create things of beauty with his hands because he utters a particular squeal of delight when he hands me each completed string of beads. There is nothing that fills my heart more, than when I hear his happy noises! Many professionals and published materials on autism note that emotions are not able to be felt with the multiple medical diagnosis that Danny has.  However, quite the opposite is true.  Danny experiences and feels extreme pleasure while he creates! 

Fast forward after learning Danny's high preference to create jewelry and string beads came to be (another longgg blog entry)... 

My son can and loves to create, string beads and make jewelry.  
I have been asked, "Does he really do this?" 
My answer is fast for the nega-thinkers, "Yes, he can."
FYI, I take pictures of him beading and making one-of-a-kind pieces for our own purpose ( "What did Danny do today?  mm-dd-13)! 

Making jewelry by beading and hand stringing centers Danny.  
He can create ooak jewelry.  

Danny prefers certain beads and he is extremely picky with the beads he will use. There are some days he simply refuses to create because the beads are non-preferred.  Simply stated, he doesn't like cheap beads. 

Given a choice, he chooses faceted beads vs. non faceted.  The price difference for faceted beads is obviously higher because it takes much more (whether it be by hand or by machinery) to create precise cuts in each bead.  A faceted bead increases the refractive index (shine).  The higher the refractive index the more pleasing to the eye.

When given a choice of faceted shapes: bicone or round, Danny always chooses the faceted rounds because there are more facets/cuts in the rounds [higher flashes of light to the eye are pleasing] vs. bicones.  The price difference between Swarovski crystal rounds vs. bicones rounds is astoundingly higher.

When given a choice of different types of crystal (being the same shape), Danny will always choose Swarovski crystal (vs. Czech or Chinese).  Swarovski crystals are the heaviest of crystals and are known as leaded crystal beads. Why would Danny choose a leaded crystal bead? Swarovski crystals (lead crystal beads have a high percentage of lead oxide in the glass formula which increases the refractive index (shine)!  

When given a choice of faux or the "real thing", Danny not only chooses the "real thing" but always the higher grade (AAA vs a lower grade).  I think he has an inner sense of knowing.  He loves rubies, emeralds, carnelian (orange being his favorite color), labradorite and so many more.

It will always be a continual effort to ensure that I understand his most favorite materials he prefers to work with (as Danny grows, he changes some of his likes). The examples given above require thought processing skills. Danny can use cognitive function skills to choose his beads.  

Danny and helping him to survive in this world centers me.
I can help prepare him for his future by always keeping his desired preferences forefront in his life.  I must "listen, observe, and allow Danny to be Danny".  When I do this correctly, I can make best educated guesses for him.  The things I can help with are:
-Marketing: by getting his pieces out there via pictures and descriptions using social media (facebook business page, etsy shop, personal facebook page, twitter).  It is quite obvious that I am also holding him back by the amount of backup inventory because each piece awaits pictures, descriptions, and listing.  I am also his caregiver.  For example, his medical care requires a huge amount of my time.  
-Wholesale supply: (both cost effective and high quality) I also help him by taking him to all the big bead shows in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware and some day, New York. 
I have created a federal tax identification number and am working on finding physical locations to sell his pieces.  

As I have been to many bead shows, Danny and I walk up and down the aisles noting the huge crowd of handmade artists. I consider Danny and I being in a different league - all our own, planet .  I am proud of everything we have gone through and continue to do, on a day by day basis. It is imperative that he continues to find joy in his "creative work" and I find joy in "helping him make his own choices in his life" and letting Danny be Danny!

Beading/stringing seems to relax his mind. It allows him to focus his energy on things of beauty and think nothing but happy positive thoughts.  I've been asked numerous times, "How do you know all this when he can't speak, or understand what is being said to him?"
My answer is short and to the point, "He makes happy noises."  
Truth be told, on the days that he beads, there is less anti-anxiety medication needed.  

Danny is my fuel for living.  

What makes things work has been keeping Danny's preferences forefront, looking for the positives, at what he "can do" vs. can't.

In all honesty, this has taken me years to understand, let alone learn

Life is so much easier focusing on the "can-do's" vs the "can't s"!

Don't ya think?

Trying to scatter kindness along the way,
Sue and Danny xox

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Vintage Wood Stain

 I tried it and one word - A M A Z I N G!

 I have some lovely vintage graphics that I wanted to frame and give as gifts for Valentines day.

I bought some cheap wood frames from Walmart, printed my vintage graphics and followed these easy directions:

Some additional ideas:

a.)  old windows:

b.)  repurposing old shelving units:

c.)  old bed frames:

Thank you Honor @ !
I encourage you to check out all of her tutorials.  Each one is better than the last one!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Signs of Autism

I wanted to pass this on.  
I found the words pretty accurate.  

The information was obtained from:  

First sign of Autism/Asperger’s in babies and toddlers-text book language

 Doesn’t make eye contact when being fed or changed
 Doesn't smile when smiled at
 Doesn't respond to his or her name to the sound of a familiar voice
 Doesn't point or wave goodbye or use other gestures to communicate
 Doesn’t follow objects visually
 Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out
 Doesn’t make noises to get your attention
 Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling
 Doesn’t imitate your movements and facial expressions
 Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
 Doesn’t play with other children or share interest and enjoyment
 Doesn’t ask for help or make other basic requests
Early signs of Autism/Asperger’s in babies and toddler-parent language

 Can have a large head circumference
 Can have tongue tie
 Feeding problems-breast and bottle; arching body away from nipple
 Gastric reflux
 Arching body backwards when picked up (from 1 month)
 Bathing problems-not liking baths or hair washing (from birth)
 Sleep  problems-not sleeping for more than an hour at a time
 Crying isn’t soothed by parent picking up
 Light sensitive
 “Flat” facial expression (facial affect)
 Easily startled by new objects or sounds
 Frequent ear infections
 Texture affected with solid food
 Needing to stand up to poo (in the same spot in the house)
 Lining up cars and other objects
 Likes to do things over and over-robot like actions
 Likes to watch spinning objects-fans, wheels on cars
 Doesn’t learn from other children modeling e.g. how to ride a tricycle
 Wanting to wear the same clothes every day
 Distressed by changes in routine

The following list of developmental delays do warrant an evaluation by your child’s pediatrician:

By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions
By 9 months: No back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial  expressions back-and forth
By 12 months: Lack of response to name
By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk”
By 12 months: No back and forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
By 16 months: No spoken words
By 24 months: No meaningful two word phrases at don’t involve imitating or repeating

I hope this helps identify those first signs.  Remember the best outcome is with early intervention.  
©Nelle  Frances  2013

If this helps just one person - one child... 
Early intervention is the key.  The earlier the better!