This Momma has the Privledge of Learning More About the Autism Spectrum

     Unless you have had the chance to read about us from the beginning, our youngest son, Nathan, was diagnosed almost four years ago. My husband and I have an older son besides the two older children I have from my first marriage. My eighteen year old son has enlisted in the military and goes off to basic training in February. My twenty-two year old daughter has blessed me with a grandson who just turned two years old. She is pregnant and patiently waiting to deliver my granddaughter about the same time her own brother is leaves for basic. It is an understatement to say that I am running around in circles, especially since I am trying to make this holiday season one for our family to remember. 
     Besides being "mom", I am a substitute teacher and the PTA unit Treasurer for my boys' local elementary school. I am also an advocate for autism awareness, understanding and acceptance in our area. I have been reading RULES a book by Cynthia Lord to Nathan's 3rd grade class this year as a way to help them understand that everyone is unique and special. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my children. I am constantly searching for ways to help Nathan feel comfortable and included wherever he goes. With the support of his teachers, regular and intervention, he has made tremendous progress in the last three years.
     I began blogging six months ago and I have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful parents of children on the spectrum. My intention was just to share our story with others and have something for Nathan to be able to look back at when he gets old enough to appreciate the progress that he has made. I then added a few resources that I thought would be of use to those that took the time to visit my blog. I decided that a giveaway would be fun and as part of the "prize pack", I offered a Featured Guest Blogger spot. Not sure of what kind of response I would get, I tried to not let myself be set up for disappointment. This is how I jumped in with both feet and am proud to say I am glad that I took the chance to step outside my comfort zone! I don't have as much time to write as I would like but, having a monthly Featured Guest Blog spot and the fantabulous giveaways provided by sponsors, I am not as stressed to return to the late nights I used to keep inorder to roll out a story! Whew!!
     This last weekend I was socializing with the founder of a local autism organization on facebook. We were discussing the aspects of my blog and her website being linked to one another when she asked me a question that took me out of my comfort zone. I suppressed the urge to tell her that my son needed me so that I could escape and answered her question as calmly as I could. All that she had asked me was if I would be attending the annual Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference. It wasn't something that I should be ashamed of but, since I haven't been working as much as I am used to, money was an issue. I had missed the first conference because at that particular time it was impossible for me to spend any amount of time away from Nathan and then the second one last year because I was fulfilling a long-term substitute assignment. I had received all of the emails about this year's conference but, had subconsciously dismissed the idea of going. It took this very special friend, that asked me if I was going to attend the conference, to make me realize that this opportunity to absorb all that I can possibly learn from so many experienced speakers only comes around once a year. With her persistence, I talked it over with my husband, registered online for the conference and applied for the Family Stipend that was being offered. The conference is scheduled for this coming weekend and I was afraid to get my hopes up but, I received confirmation that I am eligible for reimbursement of part of my registration cost, afterwards as long as I attend both days of the conference. Every little bit helps! SO, this momma is excited about going to the Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference this Friday and Saturday to learn as much as she can to help her son and share with her readers!! Pray for my husband as he gets our two boys ready for school on Friday morning, drops them off at school, works and then remembers to rush to pick them up that afternoon...there just might be a story of their adventures, also! *winking*

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Tags: Autism, Conference, Oklahoma, Statewide, adventure, advocate, autism, blogging, children, family, More…finances, friends, learning, progress, support

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