In The Works

UPCOMING BOOK! The debut of Peace Through Pain coming soon December 2021!! Some of the things that I cover are how to survive stress when parenting a child with autism, moving through the pain and struggles, how to help your marriage thrive along with helpful scriptures and resources. 

Each month starting in January of 2021, I would like to treat my readers extra special and send one person a sweet gift. Shhh…It’s a surprise. I am sure you will like it and it could be a book, or just about anything. Want to enter? Just leave a comment below.

If you are interested in more information about how to stress less when caring for your child with autism I have written a FREE guide to help You with this! Please sign up for your FREE guide today at www.strategies2cope.com.

 

 

 

Are you finally burnt out? 3 tips for you and your child with autism

Whenever you have concerns about your own mental health you are probably right, so please do yourself and your family a favor and quickly get some help. Whether it be speaking to a trusted member of your church, work group or a counselor so that you can talk about all that you and your family are facing. It helps to have someone to talk to other than a family member because the advice will be based on the facts of what is going on in your situation. If you feel your problems go deeper than that then please head to your nearest ER department and get checked out. Do you have concerns about your child and their development or behaviors it’s important to take action right away. Parenting a child with autism can be very stressful, however you don’t have to be burnt out. We have lots that goes on in our family day to day and it varies in the severity of how things happen. We have gone through numerous amounts of appointments, hospitalizations, medications, therapies, familial issues you name it we have gone through it. Just this past week Jaiden had a toy thrown at him from a classmate, got stung by a bee, tripped and hurt his foot and discovered he could open a child proof bottle of Benadryl and drank it. The whole family was in the living room and we were all just hanging out and I said “Where is Jaiden?!” There ya go. Lots to handle in one week, however I did not go stir crazy nor did the GRAND parents 😉

Here are three tips to help you and your child with autism.

1. When figuring out the best interventions, medications, and therapies it is important for you to take a step back and take a deep breath so you don’t become overwhelmed. Every child has different strengths and different weaknesses. The therapies that you choose for your child should be suited best for them with the goals to improve whatever it is that they need socially, academically and behaviorally.

2. Work closely with professionals that are helping your child. Find good ones and if the ones that are paired up with your child are not the best for them then find others. Work with them closely to follow your child’s progress. It really makes a difference. If you need to find different professional for autism in your local area try looking at www.myautismteam.com.

3. Know that God is always with you during the trials. At times you may want to scream, run away and are driven to madness. God KNOWS your pain and will always guide you to help your family in the areas that you all need. Stay close to him, pray, praise and stay in peace.

I know you may feel like you may be losing yourself, your mind and your family. Don’t care about what anyone else thinks about your situation. Some days will be great and some day will hurt like hell. Keep yourself spiritually, mentally and physically fit. Don’t run from God and don’t run from your family. God will keep you in peace, run to him and take a break already.

jai

I wanted to do this blog to let you know that you are not alone. I wrote the book “Autism In Our Home, The Making Of A Bitter Sweet Family” to help you believe that with God NO THING is impossible when parenting a child with autism. I want those of you who feel like you don’t know where to turn after your child receives a diagnosis of autism to turn to God and start advocating for your child and then other families. I know for some of you, it’s very hard. You may have more than one child on the spectrum. Hold tight to God and don’t let him go. Keep believing the best in your child/children. We are praying for you daily. Have a blessed week!

I plan to have a book release party soon when the book is done and if you like, You may even be able to get a free copy to share.

Listening to: “Do it Again” Elevation Worship

Isaiah 26:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”

The Best Ever Solutions For Crappy Days

So I don’t know what I was thinking having history of back issues for a while now. I know a lot of people have back issues too I pray that you all have some pain relief!  I am by no means trying to magnify my pain. Here is this story…This mom came into the office where I work with her son with autism probably about 80 pounds 8 years old.  I thought I could help her with her son as I wanted to help her so bad. I saw him physically hurt her because he was so mad that she brought him in to the office and I know it’s not his fault either.  I could see the pain in her eyes as well however, the provider needed to look into his mouth to see if his throat needed to be swabbed for strep and I really thought I could help this mom with her son.

I tried to teach the mother to place her arms underneath her sons armpits and we would do it together put him on the exam table and that didn’t work due to mom not being strong enough then I tried to sit in a chair with him And I wasn’t strong enough we both were not strong enough at all and I felt so defeated. I wanted to help her and her son so bad and I could not. What I ended up doing was well I ended up hurting my back in the process. So now I sit here thinking about how in the world am I supposed to help special needs families because it’s so hard sometimes isn’t it? I had a small pity party which I am human and have to change my mindset daily. I am a work in progress and that was one crappy day, just one.

On the next day, someone tried to tell me how they wanted me to do my job and I got irritated as I have been working in healthcare since 2004. I have a hard time working with people who just because they have a few initials after their name think they know everything and O-M-G that is one of those things that get under my skin. I wanna say to all you persons with professional credentials next to your last name, I appreciate your intelligence and love your wisdom however, learn how to treat people, be nice because nice truly matters and a little bit of nice and integrity goes a long way. After explaining to this coworker basically what a bully she was to me I felt vindicated. However, I felt a mess inside and that was now two crappy days.

Jaiden has had lots of outbursts this week, he kicked his little brother in the calf for just being in the same room, had a meltdown after a nice walk, chewed on a toy whale I just got him and drooled everywhere. I still can’t get over how he threw a half filled ginger ale pop can at me last week that got me a little wet because he was mad at my response to him which today it doesn’t even matter. Many crappy days eh?

It was a few crappy situations on different days! So what right?! We all have those times where we wanna run away from our issues so how do we overcome these crappy moments? I will tell you my two best ever solutions and those are to:

  1.  Get out and go spend some quality time with those you love. Those family members and friends that make it all worth living and help the crappy just melt away. If you cannot get out, Face Time them, call them get out in your backyard. Get the kids to sleep first in the evening if you have no help and contact a friend (Thank you Ashley) whom you trust and talk it out. You all know what I am getting at, make it happen.
  2. Go watch a comedy and laugh a lot. I did just that and felt one hundred times better. Thank you to Veronica and Mark for inspiring me to watch The Office on Neflix. Of course, I prayed first, sang all day and asked God to lead me to a place of peace before I snap on someone. Thank heavens he did:)

If you dwell on the bad moments, you will get stuck. God didn’t make us to stay stuck in the stressful moments or to ruminate on them. He created us to have and enjoy life even in those trials that we all face. Take some deep breaths, sing, dance, scream out loud if it makes you feel better. Try and do things a little differently and you will be glad that you did. 

Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Listening to: Matchbox Twenty “Unwell”

 

Autism In Our Home: This Week

IMG_3562

Strength, support, compassion from others is what I have been blessed with since my son Jaiden was diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t always like that especially in the beginning. I had to given up lots of my time to educate myself in areas of education for Jaiden, therapies, medications and now he is a tween going through the dreaded puberty.

I am super grateful for his educators and the lovely grandparents that have reminded me from time to time that Jaiden has lots of great things about him. I need to be reminded of the good he does especially when he is having screaming fits, meltdowns and acting out. How many times I prayed for a better way to parent him and the rest of my boys.

I like many of you at times will question my parenting skills. Am I doing the right things? Am I good enough of a wife and mother to continue doing this?

Today Jaiden had a meltdown when Sebastian our 6 year old was with me picking him up. Clearly, I know that the meltdown was due to a change in routine, but very hard for Sebastian to understand why his brother is pushing him around and screaming. The question arose again , am I good enough Lord, cause this is very hard at times. The answer I clearly receive from God is yes. Yes, you are good enough for your child and yes you will get through the hardest struggles like I did. Not without God almighty though. Praying, reading the word, and worship are crucial when developing your relationship with Christ. He is all you will need to get by when life hits you with a blow that hurts so bad you lose the wind in your gut.

At times, you will feel alone but you are NOT alone. Four important things for parental sanity lets get right to it.

1.Time…with God and your spouse if you have one

2. Support…from those who have gone through the same struggle, from professionals that work with your child and from friends and family that love you

3. Education…research, read and educate your mind about the struggles. Ask to visit your child’s school as well to see how they work with your child to get some tips.

4. Commitment…love your child, spend time with them, believe the best in them, though they will drive you mad at times.

This has been an interesting summer. I have been working, taking care of the family when not working, trying to start a ministry and am just finishing my first book. As a matter of fact, it’s in the cover design process at the moment. I have been super excited, down at times and elated after going on a trip with my husband Kevin of 10 years. Have any of you experienced any ups and downs this summer? I am sure you’ve got some great stories.

Kevin is a cast your care, have some fun kind of a guy whereas I’m a what about this? What about that kind of girl? I started writing a few years back to help others move toward a change for their lives as I love to help people and I didn’t think I would be ever finishing a book, or starting a ministry. God has pushed me through so many obstacles, he has been there through so many screams, bed wetting, hair pulling, toy throwing moments.

I wanted to do this blog to let you know that you are not alone. I wanted to write the book “Autism In Our Home, The Making Of A Bitter Sweet Family” to help others believe that with God no thing is impossible when parenting a child with autism. I want those who feel like they don’t know where to turn after receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child to turn to God and start advocating for their child and then other families. I know for some of you, it’s very hard. You may have more than one child on the spectrum. Hold tight to God and don’t let him go. Keep believing the best in your child/children. We are praying for you daily. Have a blessed week!

I plan to have a book release party soon when the book is done and if you like, You may even be able to get a free copy to share.

Psalm 62:2 AMP

” He alone is my rock and my salvation, my defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened”

Listening to: Citipointe Live into the deep

4 Powerful things Parents can do to lead the way when a diagnosis of autism has been made

Focus on your resources. 

You will be coming in to contact with so many resources. Lots of websites, books, blog posts, and social media all have a ton of information that will help you on your journey through helping your child with autism. A parent’s job doesn’t begin and end with research you have to put into practice with your child the things you find that work. Focus on three things, master those and then move on to the next three. Please remember this, God will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go we must trust God in the process (Psalm 32:8-11).

Know who you’re taking your child to see.

Knowing exactly who you want to help your child empowers you create the village you need to help your child succeed with their therapies. Do they need speech, occupational health, medication, music therapy, aquatic therapy? Are there certain family members that your child adores? It’s important for you to know the names of the professionals that work with your child, what is their approach in helping your child and even if they are a good fit to work with your child.

Learn from your experiences.

Some of the best insight you can have when parenting a child with autism is to watch and see what made it a good or bad experience for your child? Did they learn anything, are they having a hard time? How do you decide what therapies are best, what therapists work well with your child? What are some of the details that make that experience positive or negative? So in reverse, think about how you can make the experience for your child a good one. www.myautismteam.com is a great website to connect with other parents to find out what health care professionals get good reviews and which therapists may be helpful for your child.

Your time and attention to your whole family is extremely important.

When parents have invested their time with their child with autism some may tend to focus so much on how to help their child they lose focus of the whole family unit. Be more eager to spend time with God first in prayer asking for his leading and wisdom and with your spouse if married, so you two can be on the same page. Share your hurts, wants and needs with each other, pray together and definitely have a date night if you can set up a babysitter, if not take advantage of school hours when they are school aged and have day dates!

Remember that there is no shortage of information out there in the world for you to consume. To have the least amount of anxiety, be sure to understand that where there is no peace in any situation that is a warning for you to take a step back and reevaluate what to do next. No peace…No go…

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” Psalm 32:8

Now I want to hear from you! How do you parent your child with autism and keep it together? Which of the four points do you feel have helped you? Let me know in the comments below! 

Listening to: Shawn Mendes “In My Blood”

Blended Families Read This!

IMG_2157

 

When you come into a marriage and one or both persons have had a previous relationship where there are children its gets tricky. However, what if the children are both great kids and one is with autism it gets even trickier. When I met Kevin I was super excited to meet such a great guy with such great energy. When he met my boys I was like a lion read to pounce if he made one mistake concerning them. He was great all around with me and with them. If I needed something for Julian he was readily there, When Jaiden was diagnosed with epilepsy he was there, when I had to medicate Jaiden for the first time he was there, when I found out Jaiden would need therapies he was there and after Jaiden was diagnosed with autistic disorder he was there for not only me but Julian and Jaiden too. My behaviors after the initial diagnosis of Autism was to delve into as much material as I could to find a “cure” and when Kevin didn’t join in I punished him.

When you come into a marriage with kids the non biological parent has to show ownership of those children. I understood they were not Kevin’s children to begin with, but I wanted him to show he was ready to be a dad and a family man. I had displayed favoritism when it came to my kids and that was wrong. Marriage is trust and I will say if you don’t trust a man or woman with your children NEVER marry them. Jesus said ” A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Kevin had already made the decision to love my boys when he met them and I was emotionally a mess from being in my previous relationship and didn’t believe anyone would love my kids as much as I did. The truth is Kevin was and is the best gift that God has ever given me and my kids. Though Kevin didn’t have the natural love I have for my boys he did love my boys and he did so by choice. Divorces happen when a spouse says “You will not be around forever but my children will be and if there is a choice I will choose my kids.” That is terrible mistake, ownership needs to be shared by both parents. Kids need to see parents operating as team. From the moment I met Kevin all he did was preach “WE, WE, WE” I come from a blended family and growing up with a stepfather I always saw my mom and stepfather working as a team when it came to my sister and I. However, my emotions did get the best of me, I was strongly opinionated and when things got tough in our marriage instead of going to him and loving him I chose to go against him. Don’t go against your spouse, you  are to leave your father and mother and CLEAVE to your spouse. 

Once I figured this out everything fell into place concerning our marriage. I needed a break away from our marriage to pray, get closer to God and quiet the noise that was going on all around me and my family.  Everyone at some point in their marriage will come to a place where they will not be able to solve a problem on their own. Getting help from a pastor, counselor or coach is sign of wisdom and not a sign of weakness.  I highly encourage those of you who are at odds with your spouse now to PLEASE have a teachable spirit and get some outside help. Once we both got some outside help things began to shift in our relationship. I began to have more faith in God and in turn started to see Kevin in a different light. You have got to trust Kevin with your heart and your kids is what I kept hearing God tell me, having time away from Kevin I realized that he isn’t the biological father of Julian and Jaiden however I knew that he loved my boys and I wanted to repair our marriage not only for Julian and Jaiden but for our biological son Sebastian, for all of them to see how we are a team.  All of our decisions are made together and we don’t choose sides. We want for our children to see that God is first and foremost, we are solid as husband and wife and in turn our family is on solid ground because of that.

  • Love God, trust that he has a plan for your marriage , read the bible, go to church, prayer groups, worship events and in time he will begin to show you what that plan is
  • Love your spouse, pray they have a peace that surpasses all understanding make time for one another, go on dates and be playful with one another especially in front of your kids. Be a team, united together always and honor each other in front of your children.
  • Love your kids, pray for them, show them what is truly important when it comes to family and later on they will show the same exact thing when they are faced with similar moments.

Remember it is God that enables us to be parents they are a temporary assignment. We need God and his direction and once your priorities are right everything else becomes right. Get right with God, spend time with him, trust him in the process and your family will be secure, blessed and at peace.

Have a blessed week!

 

img_0810

 

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

How to help your child stay safe at home when he is a runner

My son was diagnosed with autistic disorder at the age of two. He displayed a slew of behaviors that a lot of kids with autism have such as insistence on sameness, meltdowns, biting on things that he shouldn’t be biting on, and bolting. Before Jaiden was born I had only my son Julian and I would go to a lot of different places and some of the places you guys are familiar with, such as the grocery store, the mall, the post office and even church without any worries of my child fleeing. Jaiden was an active little child right from the start and when he started walking he had this so many interesting things. He took much interest with spinning objects such as a cartwheel spinners on lawns, doors that would open and shut, lights that would flicker on and off, ceiling fans and shopping carts.

I never thought that I would ever have to hold onto my child for dear life when with a group of friends at church, at the zoo or at a childs birthday party. I found myself super stressed out whenever going to these places as Jaiden would just bolt out of nowhere. My husband and I would find out the hard way that Jaiden needed constant supervision after he would flee from our presence out into a neighbors yard because he liked the door or the porch lights. This did happen on a handful of occasions thankfully. Back then when he was young I didn’t know that this was called “elopement”. I would then frantically secure Jaiden with various items after figuring he could at any time just leave us. These items are more for the 4 and under group of kids and these items to note are:

  1. I used a monkey back pack leash Animal 2 in 1 Harness http://amzn.to/2q8PUPX he was so in love with it I couldn’t stand It cause I used it for safety he was just using it for tug of war!
  2. I used a chair with a strap and tray, looks like a big high chair what’s called Rifton chair http://www.abledata.com/product/rifton-toddler-chair-models-e760-e770-e780 we used for meals and story time because he could not sit still I thank God for Andrea who was Jaidens occupational therapist at the time as she was the one who recommended we get this for Jaiden.
  3. We loved to take the family on walks by the lake as we lived right across the street from it so we would keep Jaiden secure in a  Maclaren stroller http://amzn.to/2poeQGc We used this stroller for years and well past the age of four for him though he looked big in it. I was thankful we were able to have something like this as I feared for his safety daily when going out on trips to the park, zoo etc.

It took a lot for my husband and I to go anywhere with the family because of how out of nowhere Jaiden would just get up and run or have a huge meltdown when we stopped him until we started to understand what his running, bolting and elopement was all about. According to research done on children with autism it is said about 49% of kids with autism elope. It is a scary thing for parents especially when you have a child who is newly diagnosed you may have a child that bolts, but I want you to understand that it is not your fault and that it is truly something that happens to our kids with special needs and autism. It is the scariest thing for any parent, stepparent, or caregiver to go through. There are stories all over the news where kids with special needs and autism are found in lakes and rivers because they have just left with no notice and wander off.

The way that I have dealt with the bolting, running and the wandering is that I have made sure that Jaidens areas are secure. That is making sure we put in a fenced in yard, placing locks on gates, locks on doors and windows to where he can’t reach them. Jaiden also has some great help from his teachers at his school in Westlake, Ohio where they do applied behavior analysis (ABA) which is a form of behavioral therapy that rewards them with a reinforcement upon achieving a desirable goal. More on ABA therapy in another blog to come.

The national autism association has an article about the percentages of our kids that flee, run, wander and or elope. Please educate yourself and others about this as you will be helping a family that may not know the risks. The article is found here:
http://nationalautismassociation.org/new-study-highlights-lethal-risks-of-missing-persons-with-autism/

Working with our Police Departments is also another great way to inform your community if you have a child with autism and you can explain that you are new to the area or that you have a child who is at risk for wandering. I would always keep their safety first and ask if you can have them fingerprint your child and update dental records just in case your child does go missing. I know this is a lot to take in for some of you, however it is a MUST if you have a child who does wander off.

As my son Jaiden has become older, he understands more now that he cannot wander off and he does know that he can get into all sorts of troubles if he does. It is hard for both kids that are non verbal and verbal to understand safety when they are young. As time goes on my hope is that you and your family find ways to help your child and keep him safe. Rely on God and run to him when you are in distress. Have a great week! 

“Those who know your name trust you, O LORD, because you have never deserted those who seek your help.” Psalm 9:10 (GW)

The Importance of Being a “Special Needs” Parent


There is no higher calling than that of a mother or father. I was listening to Alistair Begg truth for life podcast and he explained the life of a mother and the importance she brings to family. I also want to add that there are wonderful fathers out there that take the time to do what they have to do to make sure their children and stepchildren are taken care of.  I bring this up as the last blog for May in the series of information I have about families and autism.
Parents together are so important in the lives of their children as they are the ones who teach their children right from wrong, life skills, to love, know God, how to pray and to be nice to others. We teach them so many important steps to take in life and pray that when they grow up they will take these lessons to heart. At least that is what I strive to do for my guys. Having three boys, one with autism has taught me about what is most important when it comes to parenting them. A few important things are :

  1. Taking care of myself I have learned over the years to manage my emotions when parenting my kids, however I still lose it from time to time and when I do I apologize love them and move on. It can be hard parenting let alone parenting three different boys and I know how to take care of each of them in their own unique ways. I have the energy to do that only when I am putting God first praying, reading the word and worshipping, getting adequate rest, eating well and getting physical exercise. This is what I do to take care of myself and it is what works for me. My husband will watch sports, take some time to play basketball with friends and will go to our local rec center to relax and unwind in the pool and hot tub. Whatever works and helps you to de-stress. Check out www.theautismdaddy.com he is one of my favorite parents that talks on all kinds of subjects concerning having a child with autism. He also works with Sesame Street which makes him even cooler.
  2. Participating in their activities This can be hard for working mothers, however it is still manageable when you prioritize your week. I do my best to find out what each of them is interested in and then when I am not working will make time to be involved in those activities with them. Jaiden loves swimming, music and food 🙂 Sebastian loves sports, going on walks and games and Julian loves movies and gaming. They all bring something interesting to our family and it is so much fun to hang out with them individually when we do have that chance. Doing family activities together is a challenge but also worth it and so much fun.
  3. Asking for help when needed I used to feel bad asking family for help as time has gone in in order to stay sane I now ask for help. If my family cannot help out I have a caregiver lined up just in case because when you need an extra hand it makes parenting so much more peaceful when you have the help you need.

I am blessed beyond belief because I have a good support system or a “village” of people to help out when I need it, I hope if you are reading this that you and your family are ok and that you are not stressed. If you are, I pray that God bring you a village of people who care. I know life can get rough at times and having family or friends that love your kids as much as you do is such a blessing and it makes it more manageable for the family as a whole.

There will be times when you want to punch, kick and cry it gets so bad and I know it does and will for some of you. That is why it is important to have those in your child’s corner and yours to help when the going get crappy rough. It is a challenge for most parents when raising their children and it is an even bigger challenge when you have a child with special needs. Keep loving your children no matter what and tell them that too. Have a blessed week.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

www.strategies2cope.com

GETTING PAID TO TEACH IN YOUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE

3D803CDA-0476-46ED-968D-27A6D4D70BF7.png
Hi All!!
I attended two great events in Franklin,Tennessee which is near Nashville, Tennessee. They are called Coaching with Excellence and the Coaching Mastery Program. These are two great conferences that helps you to hone your skills in whatever it is you may be doing in your current situation. Dan Miller is the founder of Coaching with Excellence and also has a podcast online called 48 days to the work you love. I have found that life is so much more than busting your butt everyday, getting a paid check and living your days over and over like a robot. For some people it is okay and it suits them well, but for some like Dan and myself you start to feel suffocated and as if you are not living out your purpose. We all have a purpose and a plan from our heavenly father and I have a passion to help and sing! What about you?!
Some top take-aways from attending the Coaching with Excellence Conference and Coaching Mastery Event are:
1. How to define your areas of Expertise
2. How there are multiple streams of income for your area of expertise
3. How to create a marketing plan to build your area of expertise

I highly encourage anyone looking to improve their business or career to listen to Dan Miller as well as taking some time out for prayer and really listening to God and I promise you he plants seeds of wisdom concerning career, work and family life. He should ALWAYS be number one.
Since then, I have been motivated to do so much and have been working on a few things. The one thing which I made a post about a few weeks ago is working on a class called Skill building for Caregivers of Children who have Autism.
I just yesterday published the first Course on Udemy.com, and I could really use your help.

My goal is to get 50 students into my course and 10 course reviews by next Friday. I worked really hard on the course, and I think you’ll get something out of it (even if it’s just a good feeling from supporting me 🙂 ).

Here is a discount code for you to enroll for FREE right now:
https://www.udemy.com/autismskills/?couponCode=FREE4FAM.

After you check the course out, you will be able to leave a review, as well, which I would really appreciate.
(I have a quiz only for those wishing to receive a Certificate of Completion for their employers).

Thank you all for your continuous support and prayers!!
They are much needed:)

Maritza Molis

Image