Together we WILL make a difference

Together we WILL make a difference

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SLEEP-May the odds be ever in your favor.

Insomnia, sickness and racing minds cast aside, sleep can still be the most terrifying word in the mind of an autism parent. I am sure everyone reading this blog knows exactly what I am talking about. The day-the long, hard, day-is done. Dinner has been cooked-even the special second dinner you had to cook for your picky and/or diet restricted kid. It was even served at the table with the family eating together, well mostly together. You had to keep redirecting your child-you know which one-to sit down, on his bum, in the chair. The kitchen is clean-and you even took the extra step of teaching your child to help clear the table-a task made five times as daunting as simply clearing it yourself. Today was especially successful because you even cleaned up the mess that was made while you were cleaning the kitchen. You know, the one your kid made getting into the stuff you thought you had hidden from him but obviously didn't. Tricky smart kid! Bath time. . .happened. 'Nuff said. And this was a relatively easy evening. (We won't even mention the ones that involve cleaning bodily fluids-and not so fluids-off walls and, how that heck did that get up there, ceilings.)

Now with the kids in bed all you can think about is your own pillow. You can even hear it silently chanting your name. But you know, as well as I do, that the games are only beginning at this point. You are a Tribute in the arena of sleepless nights. And your nemesis is your own offspring. If only someone would parachute a good nights sleep to you, just once. But you put your kid back to bed every 5-20 minutes until about midnight. (And if you kid is anything like mine you have to turn the bed right side up again and redress the mattress each time you put him back to bed.) When you are finally convinced he is asleep, you race to bed, eager to capture what may easily be your only window. Then, around 3:00am your kid is up, yep, for the day-and so are you.

While I do not have a miracle solve all solution for this and other problems I can share with you something that has helped tremendously. (And I am not talking about using ratchet tie downs to keep his mattress on the bed.) I am talking about Essential Oils. I use a few drops of Lavender Oil in Bren's bath each night and follow with application of 4 other Essential Oils that aid in calming and soothing. Since I have been using these, it is not uncommon to find Bren asleep by 10:00pm (as opposed to midnight or 1am) and not wake until 5:00 or 6:00am (as opposed to 3 or 4am). There have even been a couple of times I actually had to wake him up to get ready for school. I about fainted on these rare mornings.

I also use oils to help Bren focus, reduce stimming and more. I use these oils to aid in a variety of family health issues from stress and depression to ear aches and tummy aches. If you want to learn more about these oils there will be a class held at the CCAC this week with a guest speaker.

When: Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time: 6:00pm (Child Care Provided)

Where: Kremen Ed Building Room #54

I hope you find these oils a helpful, all natural, non-drug alternative to help your child. See you Thursday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How Important Is The Future?

There are exciting developments a foot with the CCAC, the Charter School and the Booster Club. All of these developments will affect you and your child. Dr. Adams and I have discussed the need to empower all the parents with this information. Since there is A LOT to talk about, and most of the topics will undoubtedly come with questions, we agreed that the best way to inform everyone would be at a meeting. We as parents can have a strong influence regarding much of these developments, but not if we are uninformed or silent.

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
9:00am to 11:00 am
ED Room 54 (Kremen Education Building)

Childcare will be provided


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our virtual meeting place

My eyes are burning and the keyboard looks blurry. I guess I better go to bed. But first I wanted to quickly let you know about our online Google Group. This should be a more open communication board. (Let's face it, you are all probably sick of hearing from me. My announcements, my opinions, my endless blathering.) It is a private group so you will need to request an invitation. I felt private would be more appropriate for us as we will hopefully do a lot of planning and organizing and even posting the minutes from our meetings.

But like I said, I am tired. So here is the skinny:

If I have your email address I probably already sent you an invitation to join. If you did not receive an email invite, (please don't cry-we want you there, we just don't have your email) you can  request an invitation. Then check your email. It is that easy. The web address is:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

There is Power in Numbers

I will not bore you with my usual prattle tonight. I am much too tired and ultimately focused. I will speak my mind bluntly and concisely.  Our Parent Booster Club is in its infancy. But we have the potential to be an amazing force for good in the lives of our Autistic children. But right now a small group of parents is deciding the fate and direction of this group.And let me tell you, this group is here to stay. We mean business and we will grow into a strong force and a giant voice.

Do not miss our upcoming meeting. We have some big decisions that require input and VOTES. As a parent at the CCAC you are entitled to a vote. Carve some time on Saturday morning to join us.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Kremen Education Building Room 54

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What now?

Autism awareness month has come and gone. So what do we do now? Rest!

If you are able to sit back and rest than you are probably not a regular reader of this blog. Autism awareness has no end. The world needs to know-deserves to discover-the astonishing individuals surrounding them that makeup "the spectrum". This can only be accomplished when they and we, their parents and loved ones, speak up. But we have another calling, one that tragically gets over looked all too much. In our mad race to help our children progress and grow we sometimes forget to tell our kiddos how great they are. And I am not referring to how I tell my family and friends how amazing Bren is, all the while callously talking about him as if he weren't right there with us. So here is my first, of hopefully many, attempts at redemption.

To all the ASD individuals out there I say be proud of yourself. You are the hardest working people I know. You are the least judgmental people I know. You are the most rewarding people to know. Make an effort to tell the ASD(s) in your life how incredible they are.  Then take it one step further and help us build an even better CCAC for them.

Our next Parent Booster Meeting is just around the corner.

Saturday, May 12, 2012
9:00 am
in ED Room 54

Mark your calender. The 2013 Gala planning has officially begun. And this is going to be our best year yet. But we need help, ideas and resources. 
Here is to hoping you can make it.

P.S. Our meetings are held regularly on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. In May the 4th Saturday falls on Memorial Day weekend. For this reason we are canceling the meeting scheduled for May 26. Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Amazing Things

When amazing things happen, people take notice. What we as autism parents learn is that everything has the potential to be truly amazing. I mean who knew that saying "hi", making eye contact, or trying a new food would be considered miracles?

During this month of Autism Awareness I hope that we take the opportunity to tell the world that while we work our butts off (funny mine still seems ample and healthy) helping our kids, we are grateful for the lessons and the miracles that autism brings. There are countless things I would have journeyed through life and completely taken for granted had autism not commanded my attention. For those wonderful lessons I thank Bren. He is a tremendous teacher and example.

On that same note of amazing things, I am sure you have seen the video Chris made for the Strike Out Autism Game. If you haven't...then you must. It is, simply put, perfect. He, again, did a wonderful job. Pass along the link to family and friends.

Thank you Chris!
CCAC Parent Booster Club Meeting
Saturday, April 21, 2012
9:00 am
Kremen Education Building, Room 54

The Parent Booster Club is currently in need of an attorney, CPA or anyone with information or experience in creating a corporation and/or filling for non-profit. You guessed it. We are trying our darndest to go official. If you or anyone you know has experience in this sort of thing, please contact me. Our goal is to be a driving force in the community that can raise awareness and funds for continuing programming.

But we have a lot more to discuss at our upcoming meeting. We invite EVERYONE to attend. Even if you feel you do not have a lot of time or resources to offer help. We invite you come and hear about what is going on. Lend a helping hand where you can and let us know when you can't. We are an understanding bunch of parents who are hoping we can get a few more to join us in our crusade.

See you Saturday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Parent Booster Meetings

Don't you just hate it when someone changes plans on you? You have your schedule set. Everything's a go. And then someone buggers it all up by throwing you a proverbial curve ball. Well, hold on to your bat.

The CCAC Parent Booster Club has standing, ongoing meetings every 2nd and 4th Saturday morning. We meet shortly after 9:00am when our kiddos are dropped off for therapy and we have parked our cars and walked down to Room 54. This was to be steady so our attendance numbers could build without confusion.

But, due to the MANY activities going on in April (Autism Awareness Month), we are having only 1 Booster meeting and it will be on the 3rd Saturday. We will resume our regularly scheduled meetings in May on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

Here is the short version:

CCAC Parent Booster Club Meeting
Saturday, April 21, 2012
9:00 am
Kremen Education Building, Room 54

This is for anyone with a vested interest in seeing the CCAC grow and succeed. So, yes, that means you should be there.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Results on Autism Study make the news

I will not retell the news report. But I will share with you my version. I got a call from ABC30 Action news this morning asking if I would go on camera and share my reaction to a new study coming from UC Davis. The study showed that pregnant women who are obese are 60% more likely to have a child with autism than their non-obese counterparts. I had not read the study but assured the reporter I would before she arrived at my house an hour later.

During the interview I told her I thought it was a little premature, from my read of the study results, to really make any clear connection between the two. I am happy to see research being done but there seems to be more factors in play. I know "skinny"/"healthy" people who have children with autism and "obese" people who have absolutely no children on the spectrum. Anyway, see for yourself.

Watch the ABC Action News report here.

And my last comment is more of a question. Is this really the best news story they can come up with during Autism Awareness Month? I mean in her short visit to my house this morning, the reporter saw Bren use sign language and his iPad to communicate with me at least a dozen times. In my mind he is a much better story to share. I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Perspectives of Autism

Click on the image to make it larger.

Strike Out Autism 2012 Game

April is here. Already. How did that happen? Fast, that's how. Remind your family and friends that they need to order their Strike Out Autism Grizzlies Game tickets by April 9. That is just 5 short days away.

Click on the image to make it larger.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Red Hot News Coverage

Chris and his one dad bike-a-thon made ABC channel 30 news. Make sure you watch the story clip on his blog.

Thank you for inspiring us Chris.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Comments Please

A family issue pulled me out of town this weekend. I missed the carnival. And I am sad. I am hoping those of you did attend can leave some messages below and let me know how it went. Did the community attend? Did the games go well? What did we learn to do differently next year? What should we do the same?

Let me know.

Friday, March 30, 2012

In case you haven't heard...

In less than 72 hours the world will be invaded by autism awareness. And no, I'm not assuming the entire world will know about our carnival (although that would be great.) Autism Speaks, an organization much larger than ours, but I venture to say with similar roots, has a "Light it up Blue" campaign that seems to be spreading like wildfire. Iconic landmarks around the world have pledged to Light It Up Blue in support of autism awareness. Schools and Universities have pledged to participate. Even individuals can go online and pledge to Light it up Blue.

Here is where Fresno Fell Short. The very university that houses the Central California Autism Center is not on the pledge list. With April 2nd right around the weekend corner I fear we are way too late to make it this year. But next year we better make sure there is a different story to tell. And I want to send in the pictures to prove it.

It is not too late for you to pledge. My kiddos and I have a date this afternoon with a few light bulbs and some blue paint.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Power of Parents

What won't a parent do for their child? Especially the child that fights daily just to function in a world that seems set-up simply to sabotage them. The answer: Nothing. And here is the proof.

I won't even try to retell his touching story. It's all there on his blog and it is A MUST READ. Please pass on his link to family and friends. Perhaps their hearts will be touched and they will contact the CCAC to make a donation. Perhaps it will help his cause and spread some awareness about Autism where it may not have been spread otherwise.

Then I challenge you to ask yourself what are you doing to help spread the word about Autism Awareness? If after your inner reflection you feel your falling a little short, do not fret. We have PLENTY of opportunities for you to participate in spreading te word during April, Autism Awareness Month. How? Well, thanks for asking.
  1. Pie sale deadline has been extended to tomorrow. (This is due to an unexpected lack of pie sales. Make a few phone calls tonight and turn your forms and money in tomorrow. Who doesn't want an Easter pie?)
  2. Invite people to the Kick-off to Autism Awareness Carnival.
  3. Sale tickets to the Pasta Feed. (You can sign out tickets at the CCAC Office)
  4. Pass out flyers to the Strike Out Autism Game and encourage people to pre-buy tickets with the form so the proceeds go to CCAC. (It is opening day for the Grizzlies. That means TONS of fun and even fireworks. C'mon, easy sell right?)

This is my top 4 list,. Check back tomorrow (if I am on schedule) for the next few ways YOU CAN SPREAD AUTISM AWARENESS.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I am very tired tonight, even more than usual. So instead of my playful bantering you get a list of announcements.

  1. Pie orders were due today. (This announcement is rather late and for that I apologize. I hope your pie orders got turned in so the CCAC can get the proceeds.)
  2. The Autism Awareness Carnival is on Sat. Keep bringing in your donations of bottled water and soda.
  3. Bake sale items for the carnival can be dropped off to the office on Thursday or brought to the carnival on Sat. morning.
  4. We are in need of two kiddie pools to fill with bubbles for the carnival. Let me know if you have one and can bring it in.
  5. There is a parent meeting this Thur. March 29 at 6:00pm in Kermen Education Building Room 54. Please RSVP the office if you will be utilizing the childcare so they can plan accordingly.
  6. SELL, SELL, SELL. Strike Out Autism Flyers and Pasta Feed tickets are available in the office. The more we sell the more we raise.
  7. If you or someone you know has experience in setting up a corporation/gaining non-profit status please contact me. The CCAC Booster Club is seeking to go official and we need legal guidance and counseling.
  8. THANK YOU all for the time, energy and resources you put into the CCAC.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where is my whiteout?

I have made a blunder. Please accept my apologies.

The CCAC will be closed on Friday, March 30. So, bring your donations and bake sale items to the office by Thursday, March 29 or to O'Neill Park on Saturday morning before the carnival.

I really need to budget time to proof read these BEFORE I post them and not after.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Our Month to Shout

Autism Awareness Month is rapidly approaching. And I, for one, am stoked.


adjective Slang
1.exhilarated; excited.
2. intoxicated or stupefied with a drug; high.

YES, STOKED! (Any word with stupefied in its definition should be associated with autism one way or another, right?) We have so many amazing things happening and an amazing team working on it all. We have one month every year that has been designated as our time to shout to the world. Lets make it count.

DISCLAIMER: If you feel like we just keep asking you for donations, time, etc. remember we are in full blast through April. We cool our jets in May giving everyone (including you) a break for a while.

But before I ask you for something else (and yes, I will be asking), I first want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has brought in donation items for the carnival. And if you haven't yet-I know your heart is in the right place-it's not too late. Bring them to the office anytime up to Thursday and even to O'Neill park on Saturday morning.

Now, here is our request:


They can be dropped off to office on Thursday March 29
or brought to O'Neill Park on Sat. morning, March 31

We want
to have delicious, sugary treats people can buy as snack items at the Carnival. Items such as:
  • cupcakes
  • cookies
  • muffins
  • candy

We also need two small kiddie pools for bubble ponds. If you have one you can lend please let me know. And remember, the Carnival is all about Autism Awareness. It is free to all. So spread the word.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Parent Booster Club Meeting

Saturday, March 24
at 9:00 am
Kremen Building Atrium
(ED Room 54)

We have a small yet dedicated group of active parents that are regularly coming out to the meetings. And to them I say thank you. To the rest I say we miss you.

Some of you may be thinking things like...
  • I haven't been coming and they seem to be doing fine without me.
  • They don't need me there. I have so little to offer.
  • I am too busy to come to meetings.
  • What if I go and get sucked into a gargantuan commitment
  • etc!

Here are my humble replies:

  • We are such an infant organization and making tiny strides toward a long goal. We are anything but fine.
  • No matter what talents and resources you bring-big or small-WE NEED YOU. Alone our voices are meek and lowly squeaks. Together our squeaks unite into a ROAR that gets attention. We can only help our kids by getting the world to pay attention to them. Let's start with our own little corner here in the valley.
  • Schedules and lives are hectic, I know this first hand. Come to as many meetings as you can. No one expects more than you can give.
  • When you do come, only volunteer to help where you are able. The more parents that participate in the Booster Club the more we can accomplish and the less burden each person has to bear.

Okay, I am officially putting my soap box away. You get the point.

See you tomorrow morning (in your PJ's if need be).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


What do bouncehouses, face painting, music, food, games and autism all have in common? Why a carnival, of course!

This year we have hijacked the CCAC's Autism Awareness Field Day. Not only have we moved it to O'Neill Park (on Barstow behind the Science II building) but we are inviting everyone and anyone to attend. That's right. The carnival is an Autism Awareness Event and is kick-ing off Autism Awareness month-April.

WHAT: Carnival to Kick Off Autism Awareness Month
WHEN: Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 11:00am-4:00pm
WHERE: O'Neill Park
WHO: Everyone

In order for this to be a success we are going to need some help from you, the parents. A long list was sent home a couple of weeks ago with items we needed. The good news is we now have a lot of those items. The bad news is we still need a few more things. If you have not dropped of donations or are able to drop-ff a few more we have a newer and shorter list for you to work from.

You can drop off any of the following items to the CCAC
office anytime up to Friday, March 30.

Drink Sale Items
  • Bottled Water
  • Bottles or Cans of Soda
  • Juice Boxes

Dollar Store Type Prize items for Carnival games
  • Small Toys and Party Favors
  • Individually Wrapped Candies
  • Stickers, erasers, pencils, etc.

Bake Sale Items
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Muffins

Thank you all for your support and dedication. Together we can help awareness and fundraising events to be huge successes. And this can only help our little ones to also go on to be huge successes themselves.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Am I simplifying or complicating things?

The path of least resistance is the easiest to follow, right? Well, for those of us who have a front row seat to the autism show on a daily basis that road is difficult-darn near impossible-to find. So it is no surprise that as we push through the final minutes of the day we realize there were so many things we meant to do, but alas, they never got done. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way. And if I discover I am you may just find me balled up in the corner crying for myself. If you do...slap me to my senses. Then apologize for slapping me.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog may just fail-and mightily. But I am willing to give it a go anyway. What purpose you ask? I assume if you have managed to read through my ramblings this far you are curious. So here is:


I sat at my daughters t-ball practice this afternoon, freezing my hiney off on the metal bleachers, and thinking. We have sporadic parent meetings (and mind you I am trying desperately to get a system set-up so we will know exactly when those meetings will be), but is that enough? If we really want to help the center succeed-and I believe we all do- then we have to up our game. Then it hit me-we can meet on line. A blog home for us to share news, event info, ask questions, etc.

So I say welcome. Welcome to those parents interested in communicating via this blog. Welcome to those who may not be interested today but may be tomorrow. If this turns out to be a success than I will do my part and keep it going. Give me a shout if you are one of those interested. Share this with other CCAC parents. Make it a habit to check in regularly and this just might work. Good night!