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If your honey bunny loves loves loves her/his fur baby, you can have slippers made to look just like Fido! It's gonna cost you about $200! So much better than chocolate!!
Here's more about them and how to buy.
Dove's Valentine's Day Pink Champagne and Milk Chocolate Swirl Heart.
Starburst Heart-Shaped Jelly Beans for Valentine's Day
Hershey's Kisses has a new flavor AND a cake recipe to go with it!
Cadbury's new mini eggs
Momma is suspicious if this is a real "thing". Why yes, yes it is!
I've conducted a number of assessments for students entering college, graduate school or taking entrance exams into law, medical, business school and even professional licensing exams.
Momma may want to check out this blog post I wrote that reviews these concepts. If Momma uses the search bar on the home page of DrClaudia.net and types in "college accommodations", she'll find a number of resources.
I referenced an organization, the Association of Higher Education and Disability, that may also help her.
But, Momma needs to go to her college's website and search for "disabled student services" or "student services" or "learning disabilities" or other keywords that will bring her to the section of the website that will outline for her their requirements of an assessment. The section will likely list the process of getting accommodations.
One of the most important points that I can make here is that just because there is a diagnosis, does not mean that accommodations are awarded. It is necessary to prove that students have "functional impairments" that keep the student from "showing what they know".
Just because you have a diagnosis of ADHD, does not mean that it is impacting your educational performance, although I've yet to see medication minimize the symptoms to a point where there is no interference.
She and his Dad notice that he's making more frequent comments about getting married and that he's taken to watching "chick flicks". He cries when he watches Sleepless in Seattle.
He is doing well academically, is not being bullied or rejected by others, seems to be valued at school for his performance in debate, the Academic Decathalon and Model UN.
They have no idea what his knowledge base is when it comes to intimate relationships or sex. They appreciate that the college atmosphere can be sexually charged and want him to be prepared.
This is a huge topic and I spent 3 segments discussing it because the topic doesn't apply only to those on the spectrum, but for those folks with a number of other issues related to social interactions and social relatedness. Those with intellectual disabilities or psychiatric conditions need this type of support.
I feel that his obvious interest in relationships is a positive sign of growth. Many of my students on the spectrum are "monastic" in that they prefer to be alone, but the higher they climb up the ladder of functioning, the more interested they are. Still, most describe themselves as "asexual" and wonder "what's wrong with me?"
I asked this Momma to consider the following plan:
- Contact the college he will be attending and ask them about resources to help guide them for the next two years. They've lived it and learned it, so they'll steer her in the right direction. They also know their students and the kinds of challenges that are faced by those on the spectrum.
- If he's been involved with a state agency that offers services to those adults on the spectrum, check out their programs to determine which ones may benefit him.
- If he participated in sex education in school, chances are, he didn't benefit from them as the pacing is typically too fast for those with learning and developmental disabilities.
Since those on the spectrum do not have access to "herd knowledge" which is that incidental learning that is shared among peers, he may not have foundational information, so how do you learn about what he knows?
Mother related that he has a good friend who is a classmate and who is also on the spectrum.
- Reach out to his friend's parents and ask them how they're approaching this topic.
- Host some very small gatherings in your home to see how he handles interacting with girls. Hosting these events will provide for a naturalistic setting where his anxiety will be reduced.
- Observe carefully and take notes.
- Conduct a "debriefing" afterwards to ask him about his feelings about the interactions.
- Begin training in those weaker areas that were observed.
- Ask follow-up questions to get a sense of how he conceptualizes friendship, romance, shared interests, mutual attraction, kindness, intimacy and sex.
- Be attuned to his self-reflection and insight or lack thereof.
- How well are his social language skills developed? Does he need to see a speech and language therapist to practice social pragmatics? Social pragmatics are those behaviors that lead to connectedness.
- Attend the chapter meetings at your local Autism Speaks organization. If there are none in your area, explore their website and ask questions on their blog. Parents are genius at divining the community resources.
Several folks commented that "soft porn" might be a sound teaching tool. For so very many reasons, it is not.
Several of my high functioning clients have been accused of stalking because of the element of "restricted interests" that impact them. You don't want your kid to be accused of sexual charges because s/he did not have the skills to negotiate the likely millions of nuanced interactions that can go awry.
Get a conservatorship over your son. Speak with an attorney about how to best to protect him from such situations and review the laws that protect him and anyone impacted by his behavior. Perhaps an attorney who handles special needs trusts can direct you to community resources.
Be prepared to act. Mistakes in judgment are made when parents are in denial about the potential for these events to happen and then, are forced to get help for their kids at a moment's notice. In my experience, this doesn't turn out well.
I saw an article about a film called, "Touch Me Not", which focused on the sexual needs of those with mostly physical disabilities. It might be worth a watch (you, not your kids) to get a real-life sense of how people deal with the "impossible". You may have wrong assumptions about how life works. Do your own research into the film and see it if you can benefit from the experience.
Last night, on my weekly KSUE segment, we discussed the benefits of a weighted blanket and I promised to put the information here on Show Notes today.
My only caution is to not use them on babies and to get your doctor's approval before using them with children. For children, typically, the formula for selecting a blanket is 10% of their body weight + 1 to 3 added pounds. If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor about the benefits or risks of using one for yourself.
Choose a cotton blanket as the synthetic varieties might trap too much heat.
I like the company, SensaCalm, the best. I have gotten the most positive feedback from families over the years about SensaCalm..
The concept of pressure as an emotional/physical benefit came from the work of Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal behaviorist who, herself, has serious symptoms of autism. She observed that when cattle needed vaccinations, they became peaceful and calm when put into a machine that gentle compressed their sides. She came up with the idea of weighted vests for kids on the spectrum.
As it turns out, there's some serious science behind weighted blankets. Here's the short-hand:
1. Helps stimulate the release of serotonin (naturally-occurring antidepressant) and oxytocin (the "love hormone") which enhances bonding and social receptivity. Yes, oxytocin is related to the synthetic oxycontin and you can appreciate the reasons for getting hooked on it. Oxytocin is necessary to start the labor process and if you don't have oxytocin, you won't have an orgasm. Powerful stuff.
2. Weighted blankets may help to establish and maintain the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm cycle which is important to metabolism and cardiac health. When sleep is compromised, blood sugar is increased and this increase compromises the immune system which is housed in the digestive tract.
3. Weighted blankets have been proven to help those with restless leg syndrome, insomnia, anxiety, fibromyalgia, autism and depression.
I'm thinking that the benefits from a massage are mimicked by the weighted blankets. We know the the "grounding" effect (pushing down) causes the release of beneficial brain chemicals. It just may be the case that the "grounding" effect triggers an ancient brain mechanism. Who knows?
I'm also thinking that our ancient brains just might resist relaxing to fall asleep because we're vulnerable when we're lying down and sleeping. A weighted blanket just might give us the feeling of protection.
So, to get a better night's sleep, consider the following:
1. Weighted blanket.
2. An adult bedtime story from the Calm app.
3. A warm bath to relax you.
4. A cool room (your body temperature needs to drop a degree or two before sleep sets in). Aaron recommended this and he's right on the money!
5. No drinks or caffeine at least a few hours before bedtime.
Have concerns? Check with your doctor first. You may have a medical condition that may not allow you to use a weighted blanket.
That's it for now!
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