Almost Adulting – Part 2

So- when I posted yesterday (Almost Adulting) I was expressing my gratitude for the time and brain power (as in free from fibro-fog and ptsd fog for a significant amount of time) to get moving on the kids portfolio folders.  But since I have a few friends who would like to see what I put in them, I decided to put it here so I have a good way to save it.  So here we go… (warning, it’s longer)

Where it all begins.

My Big Folder isn’t really “Everything”- It’s just everything I need for a full year.  A copy of original diagnosis’ are there, but only the most recent IEPs.  All of the old stuff gets filed into their big school books with their school pictures and art and stuff. Even at that, it’s hard to keep it trimmed down enough to actually carry with me to the various meetings.  My project to split off copies for each kid had it’s seed when my older girl went thru regular mainstream 12th grade English (ahem, excuse me- language arts 🙂 ) She was my first one to manage that far, and it has been many many years since I did myself- so when they had their unit on preparing for college, I was really (REALLY!) grateful for all that info in one place and time.  But even tho I started to really want to do this project, nothing happened on it for a while,  while life smacked me in the face.  This year tho, I suddenly realized I have absolutely NO more IEP meetings to go to until/unless college happens.  (wow! super weird!)  The interesting thing is,

index page for my NT high-schooler

just because they hit the edge of “high school washes their hands of you”, doesn’t stop them from needing help, nor the resources available to move forward.  They will totally need all this info and need to know how to find it.  (They also need other helps, but that is another post altogether).  So- for all you friends out there in my boat- here is what I have put into this folder….

  • – I made these info pages a long time ago to fit into my day-planner.  Theyhave contact info on the left, and a record of doctor visits, etc. on the right, folded in half and hole-punched for me, and cut in half for theses books.
  • -I also made a spread sheet of all the contact info I was gathering for the various schools we have been comparing.
  • -I just finished catching up the first 3 kids’ resume’s. Even if there is not much info to put on it, it’s important that they feel professional and grown up. (and it will surprise you what you can add to it as time moves on- Service Missions have been amazing here.)  Also included in the original school unit was a sample cover letter to a college.  This also got copied and put in this area.
  • -The school records that they will need is different for each kid for us, as we have had needed several different paths to get thru the maze called School.  For instance– for one, it is simply his GED Diploma, Jr. College records, and Seminary Graduation Certificate.  For another it is a non-official high school grade transcript (with an official one in the original sealed envelope slipped in behind it.) Seminary completion papers by year (because she couldn’t finish the year of her surgery), certificates of completion of the computer game design course she took for fun, and a copy of her State Competency exams. It will also have her certificate of completion for her Technical college and High School diploma next year… It’s been a long haul, but the light is in the end of the tunnel.  The school assignment that started this all, reminded me to get each kid a letter of recommendation- I have that on my list of to-do’s still.
  • – Of course is medical… starting with the cover-page I already mentioned, and then I took all my personal records and made a timeline for each kid.  Something to give their selective, childhood memory a back-up in “it really happened this way”.  Also is IEP/504 docs for those who had them, and official diagnosis letters where applicable.  Also will be copies of birth certificates (I’m not yet willing to hand over the originals- don’t want them lost) Driver’s license, selective service letter, and all that legal jazz, including the power of attorney papers when we get that finished.
  • – This section is for copies of their patriarchal blessing and also copies of the annual letters I wrote for scout camps and girls camps.  You know- those bits of my heart that need to be there. I also included one or two of their own personal stuff, things that speak of their heart.
  • That original high school project also had worksheets on things such as a sample budget (which she could not do- it blew her brain circuits) I actually think this was so important that I will be working on it with all the kids in a separate “adulting” folder –not done yet, but I’ll let you know.
Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, resourses | Leave a comment

Sending moments of Awesome to all my friends



I had a revelation of sorts today-  and I’m writing it down, because in the mundane day-to-day survival mode of , well, everything- I don’t want to forget this.

It started with 2 different posts I spotted on my daily search for courage and help to get thru the tasks I have to do… and came to full-force as I came to the thought,  that “handicapped” is a frame of mind.

And really- I knew this already;  and have tried to instill it with my kids.  Sometimes it shows up at odd moments such my kids enjoying telling people that they are not “normal, ’cause normal is boring”,  and sometimes it’s a bit more or a bitter moment – such as like last spring, when my older daughter had to do a 10th grade research paper on Autism- and it was the first time she had ever heard or seen the word “disability”  in the same reference with ‘Autism”; we really had to work thru that moment of feeling broken for the first time.   And sometimes my own fatigue and moments of health flareups can make it hard to remember that feeling of  “Warriors in the service of Heaven”.    So I’m going to share the links I found today-  sending feelings of awesome to all my friends.

“Never say can’t” video clip–

A research paper on the new thinking about Autism isn’t a low-neuron problem- it’s an over-neuron problem–

Categories: Courage quotes, Midnight musings, resourses | Leave a comment

Tech Saturday

So-Today I spent the day listening to conference talks, scouring u-tube videos, and learning how to make a good  “About Autism and Bullying” power-point for peer-teen classes at church  – (Not bad for coming up thru the ranks since the Apple 2)- Major blessing- a lot of comfort to lift me at the end of a hard week—fringe benefit; staying homework savvy for my kids!  🙂  Next Job, of course, is figuring out how to put it on this post, even better if I manage it before midnight; ’cause then I can say I did it all in one day (hee hee)

Hmmm- nope- tired got the best of my brain finally.. I’ll work on it soon- in the mean time- Here’s the conference address I started with… for all our hearts.  Good night!103-800

The Works of God

James E. Faust- Oct 1984

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, resourses | Leave a comment

Getting Thru Down Time (or When the Road Ahead Seams to Crumble)

There should be some sort of cliche phrase to mean “The month before back to school;” maybe it would end up as the title of a soap-opera.  🙂 or maybe a miracle.


This month the phrase at our house would be “Down-Time.”   First our oldest son’s computer fried, then the second’s went down to a trojan horse.  My sweet hubby sighed and took it on at nights, even tho he was fixing major down times at work.  So when my computer started slowing down, I was afraid to say something.  But eventually, it was taking a full minute or more to recognize keystrokes- so I told.  That awesome Aspie just gave me a sad little smile and added it to the pile.  Only asking for extra hugs to keep him going.  He is so good to me!

In the mean time, I have been trying to figure out my own health– I feel like my computer did, so slow and sluggish.  I used to be able to say, “I’ve got my kids clean, in clean clothes and fed and homework done, what more do you want”  but even that is getting monumental.  So while we were all waiting for our life to return to normal, (picture 4 Autistic kids in a house where everything is suddenly not only a different routine, but broke) I took the 3 younger ones to pizza places and to the bookstore and such.  Then several things happened almost at the same time;  I got told all my blood tests are normal, I’m technically “healthy”, I found a research comment on the internet, I found a book, and back to school schedules started getting filled up (I have only forgotten one so far)  But the book and the article have lifted my spirits tremendously.

The article-

is the second time I have read about Special needs mom showing stress symptoms that looks like Battle Fatigue- YES!  Finally a real life validation for how I feel.  The article posed the comment “but the long-term effect on their physical health is not yet known.”  I can tell them… and I found a book that expounded.

The book- “Adrenal Fatigue- the 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.

the cover says “What it is and how you can recover Energy, Immune Resistance, Vitality, Enjoyment of Life”  and the example subjects in the introduction could be a hidden camera of me.  I devoured the book in just a day- And my first thought was that every special needs mom should be gifted this book on the day her child gets diagnosed. The lift to my heart pulled me thru this last week or so, even tho my energy and health is nose diving– I really am excited, I think there is a way out not only for me, but for for all my kiddies who need me strong and sane enough to help them pull thru.

All things told, I started this month thinking that Down-Time was a dreaded thing; and it is pretty awful–something like feeling your whole road ahead crumble.   But there have been some powerful and some subtle but profound blessings, kinda like a special detour route set up by my loving Heavenly Farther.  I haven’t really been up noticing before, but as I sit here with my fixed laptop, it’s time to look back, and it makes me grateful 🙂 … Our family is not only intact thru the stress, but happy!  And the oldest has spent more time with siblings and also been open more to talking about his future wishes and past learning difficulties, something that very seldom happens.  My Hubby (he’ll credit leaning hard on the Lord) has solved some astoundingly huge problems at his high-end engineering job, even while taking a few flex-days off to solve computer problems at home… definitely in the miracle category.  And I have some directions to move forward- huge sigh of relief.  Oh!, and school starts next week (yay!) so- I bought a few more scooby-doo videos to keep the boys going for one more week, and off we go– Great and Glorious adventures, look out,  here I come!


Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, resourses | 2 Comments

Great News!

😀 Just a note to share some great news!

The Church is working really hard to update and make easier to find all of it’s helps and resources for working with disabilities… this is a great leap in their sincere efforts to care all the members.   Here’s a few helpful jumps to their site.

Disability Resource menu page;

Introduction to the calling of stake and ward Disability Specialists:

link aimed at help for the teachers who find a special need in their class:

Drilling down from the Disability Resource page, to the “List of Disabilities”, you will find pages for many different specific needs- one is for Autism… make sure you scroll all the way to the end- they have some links to some really good and reputable resources.

Categories: resourses | Leave a comment

Needing An Overabundance of Good!

It seems like bad press just needs one person to swamp everyone’s memory of good.  Take the recent tragedy in the news.  No one wants to say there are good people and bad people in every sect, language, group, or category you can think of– they want someone to blame, and take the rap.

So I thought it was time for a little good to be remembered too.  Here’s a list I found of notably good people who also have Aspergers and High functioning Autism.

Asperger’s syndrome

High-functioning autism

High-functioning autism is an informal term, not an official diagnostic category. Compared to diagnostic criteria for the official ASDs, descriptions of HFA tend to align most closely with Asperger syndrome.

Autism spectrum

Further information: Autismautistic savant, and autism spectrum

(Found here, including the references -

And that’s not even counting the famous ones from history- so I looked them up too, although I’ll let others write about them, or post it later.

Categories: resourses | 3 Comments

“What is so great about Autism?”

Marvelous little clip about the positive side of Autism Spectrum–

Categories: Courage quotes, LDS Mom of Autism, resourses | Leave a comment

High Functioning Autism and Aspergers- an overview

As the wife and Mom of 5 wonderful friends on the high end of the ASD spectrum, this is the site that describes my life pretty thoroughly… browse the whole thing, it has tons of info for all sorts of places on the spectrum.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, resourses | 1 Comment

Gluten Free Halloween

So, I was thinking about a friend’s little Celiac girl this week.   As I started thinking about a what I would need to know, I thought about writing a post on having a small stash at trunk-or-treat this year, and at home, so she and others like her would be safe.   When I asked around to see if anyone was interested, I got two comments.  1-“Isn’t most candy gluten free?” and 2- “Yes, I think that is a great idea! It spreads awareness thru and thru.”  It really set me back; but I have decided that all the cool the stuff I found was well worth sharing.

Gluten is an amazing substance. it is versatile, stretchy, in fact it makes the world go ’round, so to speak– and is used in the most amazing places, from our vitamins to imitation crab meat, binding and thickening foods, and finding it’s way into many more things– but it is mean and nasty for those who can’t tolerate it.  On the other hand, I there are many more options and better labeling than ever before.  So kids big and small can have just as much fun, with a little bit of attention to details.

I found some great ideas, and recipes- some of which I’ll include here– but I was also happy to find that not everything has to be mail ordered or home-made.  In fact, here’s a list of some of the more popular (and easy to find!) treats for your special little Trick-or-Treaters.

* Swedish Fish
* Runts
* Fun Dip
* Pixy Stix
* Sweetarts
* Nerds
* Sour Patch Kids
* Super Bubble Gum
* Trolli Gummi Bears
* Jujyfruits, Jujubes
* Brach’s Candy Corn
* Lemonheads
* Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
* Jelly Belly, Jelly Beans
* Dum Dums Lolly Pops
* Dots
* Starburst
* Skittles
* Lifesavers Hard Candy
* Lifesavers Gummies
* Bottlecaps
* Everlasting Gobstoppers
* Spree
* Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
* York Peppermint Patties


Easy Party Snacks——-

1. Gluten-Free Chex Party Mix. Thanks to clear labeling on all Chex cereals, this classic is easy to prepare. The recipe is almost identical to the original. The exceptions for a gluten-free batch are to skip the wheat cereal and substitute the pretzels with a gluten-free brand or simply leave them out.

2. Caramel apples. This traditional fall treat that’s naturally gluten-free is almost too good to be true! (Just be certain to check the labels on the caramel just to be certain.) Whether the apples are skewered on a stick and the caramel is set or if the apples are wedged and caramel is provided for dipping, this treat is always a crowd pleaser. They’re messy, but a favorite!

3. Rice Krispy Treats. Kellogg’s has begun labeling and ensuring that their rice cereals are gluten free. This recipe is a traditional favorite at costume parties, and now it can continue to be served even if there are gluten allergies to be wary of. They’re also fun to dye, and you can use cookie cutters to make Halloween shapes like ghosts or pumpkins.

4. Popcorn hands. With these you’ll have a craft and a treat for your party! Using clear food handlers’ gloves, gluten-free candy corn and plain popcorn, a festive and relatively healthy snack becomes a hit at the party. Use just 5 pieces of candy corn as “fingernails” and place them at the tips of the glove fingers and then fill the gloves with the popcorn, and you’ve created a ghoulish hand to share with guests.

6. Crustless Pumpkin Pie. There’s nothing more traditional than pumpkin pie in the fall. When there’s a gluten allergy you can still enjoy it with a crustless pie. One of the greatest things about pumpkin pie is that all the delicious filling is completely gluten free. And when the middle is so wonderful, the crust will not be missed. Many recipes allow for the dessert to be sliced and served like any other pie, making it very simple to dish out at any party.

7. Apple cider. It’s just not a fall celebration without warm apple cider to sip. It’s simple, and many brands are guaranteed to be gluten free. Kids will surely enjoy this special treat as they celebrate with their classmates.

(from  7 Gluten-Free Halloween Party Snacks for Kids (and Kidults!)

and for baking fun——————

Gluten Free Pumpkin cookies

Gluten-free pumpkin cookies are filled with a cinnamon-flavored cream cheese filling in this special treat.

30 min.prep time 1:05total time
2 dozen sandwich cookies


2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Powdered sugar


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine flour blend, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.Combine brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add pumpkin, milk, egg and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed.Drop batter by level measuring tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned around edges. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.Combine all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar, beating well after each addition until creamy.

Spread 2 teaspoons filling onto bottom-side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom-side down. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Sprinkle filled cookies with powdered sugar.

**Substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.

Gluten Free Scary Spiders

Make sure the licorice laces are cut and ready so they can be inserted into cookies as soon as they are baked.

60 min.prep time 1:45total time
4 dozen cookies


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black decorator sugar


Gluten-free red or black licorice laces (string),cut into 192 (1 1/2 to 2 inch) pieces, if desired
Decorator gel or frosting
Decorator candies (candy eyes, red cinnamon candies, mini chocolate-covered candy pieces, candy sprinkles, etc.), if desired–* always check candy labels to be sure it’s gluten free


Heat oven to 375°F. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour blend, baking powder and salt. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in black sugar to coat entire ball. Place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until set.Immediately insert 4licorice pieces into each cookie to form legs. Move cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely.To add eyes, place a tiny dab of decorator gel or frosting onto cookie; gently press on candy.

Store between sheets of waxed paper in containers with tight-fitting lid.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.

Recipe Tip

– If necessary, poke toothpick or skewer into cookies so licorice pieces can easily be inserted for legs.

– Place black decorator sugar in a clean, dry, glass bowl. This prevents sugar from getting too greasy and allows it to stick to the dough. You may need to occasionally start with fresh sugar if sugar isn’t sticking. Do not let the sugar get wet or it will dissolve.

– Use any color decorator sugar to roll the dough balls to create a variety of bugs.

– Cute candy eyes can be found at cake decorating stores. They are inexpensive, easy to use and add the perfect touch to these cookies.

Gluten Free Sparkling Candy Corn Cookies

These bite-sized treats resemble candy corn and have a hint of orange flavor.

45 min.prep time 3:25total time
15 dozen miniature cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Orange paste or gel food color
Yellow paste or gel food color
1/2 cup sugar


Line bottom and sides of 9×5-inch loaf pan with waxed paper or plastic food wrap. Set aside.Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, orange juice, orange zest and salt. Continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour blend and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of white dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Place another one-third of dough back into same bowl. Add small amount of orange food color; mix until color is well blended. Press orange dough evenly over white dough in pan. Place remaining one-third of dough into another medium bowl. Add small amount of yellow food color; mix until color is well blended. Press yellow dough evenly over orange dough in pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl; set aside.

Heat oven to 375°F. Invert loaf pan to remove dough. Peel off waxed paper. Place layered dough onto cutting surface. Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using sharp knife, trimming edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 6 wedges. Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Immediately place warm cookies in bowl with sugar; roll in sugar to coat. Place cookies onto wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Store in loosely covered container.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.

Chocolate Candy Corn: Prepare as directed except stir 1 (1-ounce) square melted semi-sweet baking chocolate into one-third of white dough. Tint one-third of dough orange and one-third yellow. Place chocolate dough into prepared pan; layer with orange and yellow dough. Bake as directed.

Recipe Tip

– Fill cellophane gift bags with cookies and give as Halloween treats.

– Gel or paste food color is found in the baking isle of many supermarkets or cake decorating stores.

– These cookies can be made ahead and stored in the freezer up to 1 month. Store in container with tight-fitting lid.

(all recipes from

(note- this post is meant as a guide only- always read the labels and check with your physician if you have any questions)

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, recipes, resourses | 1 Comment

To Gluten or Not to Gluten- That is the Question

And I still haven’t answered it–
Well, when I first learned of Autism and Asperger’s, 3 years ago, I also heard for the first time about the “GFCF”,  which means “Gluten Free, Casein Free” special diets.  So like the good little researcher that I am, I started adding to my reading list.  As I looked up Asperger’s, Autism, Dyslexia, Sensory integration, and Special needs,  I also looked up GFCF and special diets of all sorts.  I read through Dr. Posts, and Blogs; bought books and magazines,  (and I’m now teaching myself to read medical journals and medical college research papers)  and basically read enough in those first several months to write a Master’s thesis.  I read so much that I felt stuffy headed, like cramming for college finals, and I still feel like I have barely scratching the surface.  Then reality jumped into the mix, teaching me the rituals and red-tape of Specialist Dr.s,  getting IEP’s , the difference between IEP and 504, teenagers with Autism, and all of the sorts of schooling needs and difficulties that comes with 4 kids on the spectrum plus one more not to forget about.   At this point, I became so, um, barely hanging in there, that the thought of trying to reconcile the diet with the word of wisdom, and re-learning how to cook was just more than I could tackle…  Plainly put– I got completely scared to death.

So, I haven’t jumped in yet.  But I have learned a few things…

I have learned that the GFCF diet either really really helps Autistic kids, or does nothing at all,  with pretty much no “sort of helps a little bit” in the middle, and that even though it’s the cool thing right now, it is truly still in the research stage.  I’ve learned that for the AS kids who need GFCF–the difficulty is not an allergy,  it is a little closer to Celiac disease, which is actually a specific damaging of the intestines, but it’s not the same thing as that either.  It has to do with the way their intestines digest (and don’t digest) and absorb proteins, especially the ones in milk and gluten.  Lots of people have written very good and accurate articles on this problem, doing the subject much better justice than I ever could,  so I am not going to try to write more about it here.  If you are interested, some key-words to look up are “Leaky Gut”, and “peptides.”   But the Gluten Free challenges of cooking and getting the right nutrition are shared by anyone who needs this special diet.  And because of the nutrition issues, this is not a diet to be taken lightly, or on a whim,  but preferably with a doctor’s advice.

Lately, I have had to shift my concentration to Migraines, and Autism with migraines; what they are, and what trigers them.  I have learned that along with bright lights for both of my children who suffer; ultra refined foods, and preservatives are very high on my son’s  list.  So- I am reading lots of product lables and learning to cook a lot af things from scratch (I make a mean spagetti sauce) And we have had a fair amount of good results with magnesium, especially with my littlest.

So anyway, through all this I have decided I need to share a bit. Hope it helps.  And maybe the process of sharing will help me have the emotional energy to be in the kitchen in the first place. 🙂

(The Recipie books have been moved to my list of “Favorite books”)
Also- Check out these websites….(not linked- sorry- still working on that)

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, resourses | 2 Comments

Blog at