Many Hats Mommy

live the Power of One


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5 Fabulous Reasons to Complain

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to focus on gratitude. Life doesn’t always go the way I want, and so I was working on shifting focus to what is good and right in my life. I was making an effort to notice how often I complain, including all the murmuring to myself in my head, and change that. Do you know what? That takes a lot of self-control.

Well, I’m done. All those people that go around talking about gratitude–they’re full of it. They must have perfect lives. I’m tired of being stuck inside in this winter vortex junk. Tired of life’s challenges. I’m going back to complaining.

I’ve come up with five, yes, five awesome reasons to complain. Who’ll join me? Continue reading


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10 Ways to Empower your Child with Aspergers Syndrome

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Life can be overwhelming for children with Aspergers syndrome.

As a special needs parent, I’m willing to bet you’d love to make life easier for your child. You watch his struggles and wonder how you can help. Since Dr. J just turned eight, I’ve been contemplating how far he has come in the last five years. By no means do I know everything, but these ten things have helped my son navigate life’s choppy waters, and they can help your child, too. Most of these will help other special needs children as well.

Use these tested tips to help your #specialneeds child! via manyhatsmommy.com

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12 Ways to Create Calm in 2014

Life is Stressful

Let’s face it. Life has a knack for being stressful, hectic, and chaotic. We face demands from our spouses, kids, extended family, friends, bank accounts, jobs, outside interests, and more. If you’re one of my special needs readers, that adds another layer of stress.

I can’t wave a magic wand and make your life calmer. I can, however, pass on things that help me deal with stress.

Use these tips to create a calmer 2014! via manyhatsmommy.com Continue reading

Click here to discover my top 5 posts of 2013! via manyhatsmommy.com


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Autism, Parenting, and Chocolate: My Top 5 Posts from 2013

Thanks again to all my readers for visiting my corner of the world. I didn’t write as much in 2013, but I still had popular posts. Wondering which ones were read the most? Think you missed one? Here are my top 5: Continue reading

3 Ways to Organize your Kids via ManyHatsMommy.com


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3 Ways to Organize your Kids

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from any items you purchase from those links. I recommend those products because I truly like them.

Matthew Newell of the Family Hope Center says our kids with ADD, autism, etc. need more structure in their day, not less. It helps them make it through the day. I have seen that true in Dr. J’s life, but I confess I’m not always the greatest at it.

“So why,” you ask, “do you say ‘help is here!'”?

Because I’ve found some things that helped Dr. J. It’s just my fault for not being consistent, or the needs in our family changed and I moved on to something else.

Here are three things that add structure to our home that have helped Dr. J.:

Perhaps they will help you to, or you can modify them to work in your home.

1. Dollar Store Sentence Strips

These are great for making a daily schedule, a school schedule, reminders–you are limited only by your imagination! I already wrote a post about this, so instead of reiterating it, you can read more here.

2. Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

If you look at organizing boards on Pinterest, you’ll find lots of ideas for shoe organizers. I don’t remember if I came up with this idea or my sister did, but it has worked well. The boys helped me put it together. Their room was a minefield of crayons, markers, scissors, and of course toys, so I hung this on the back of their door.

3 Ways to Organize Your Child via ManyHatsMommy.com

You need a shoe organizer, blank address labels, a pen, and your supplies. I used labels to avoid the “I-can’t-find-a-red-crayon” dilemma. You’ll see that I added some visual cues for my five year-old, like using the color of the crayon to write the word or the drawing of scissors. Their room is not as spotless as a surgery center, but it is much-improved since I did this, and we haven’t had arguing over who has crayons in their desk and who doesn’t. You can adapt this for lots of things!

3. Well Planned Day Student Planner

This worked really well, and I’m going to return to it in August or September. I used Well Planned Day’s student planner for Dr. J. I used it both for school AND home. If checklists make your child more comfortable and confident, then this will work really well for him. On the left side I put school assignments. These were things that if he completed, he earned five minutes of computer time for each check. The emphasis was on completion, not correctness. If he didn’t finish something, I crossed it out and he didn’t get to earn minutes for that item. This method controls tech time, gives structure, shows accomplishment, and more.

3 Ways to Organize your Kids via ManyHatsMommy.com

On the right side, I put things that Dr. J. has to do just because he’s alive–self-care, home tasks, etc. He didn’t earn any tech time for these. It’s simply a way for him to see what needs to be done and help him remember. I can refer him back to his planner if he’s off track or I know there’s something he’s supposed to be doing. Fewer raised voices and more productivity. I’d say that’s a good thing.

Now it’s your turn. What have you used with your children to help them stay on track or be more organized? Do tell!


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Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills

As an autism parent, have you ever felt at a loss for words when you try to explain a social skill to your child? For example, how in the world do you explain personal space to your child, especially if (s)he currently doesn’t care about people? Rebecca Moyes, MEd, wrote just the book to help: Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills.

Since kids on the autism spectrum usually need assistance in determining how to act in many social situations, and since they also need visual prompts, Rebecca Moyes created activities using everyday items to help them understand why a social skill is needed, and then how to perform it. She also gives parents and educators just the right words for explanation, without being overly verbose so that you lose the child. Continue reading


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Picky Eater? Here Are Some Tips!

Thanks to Future Horizons for providing us with this article about helping our picky eaters.

Autism Asperger’s Digest, March-April 2011 issue

Column: Sensory Smarts                  www.AutismDigest.com

 

How To Diversify a Diet When A Child Has a

Significantly Limited Food Repertoire

Do not withhold the few foods that are acceptable. If you take away that one brand of mac n’ cheese, you’re taking away one of the few sources of nutrition for your child, even if it is a poor one. Pizza can be healthy if you buy or make it with high-quality ingredients.

I start by identifying one food the parent would like to add to a child’s diet, typically a fruit or vegetable. If possible, the child selects the particular fruit or vegetable. Continue reading


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Teaching ASD Kids Organization

This article comes to us thanks to the July/August 2007 edition of Autism/Asperger’s Digest magazine. It is reprinted here with their permission. You may want to get pencil and paper ready (there is a copious amount of information here for all parents and teachers), and I’m sure you’ll find helpful tips for helping your child. The discussion is specifically about homework, but her guidance can be applied to many life skills all children have to learn.

Our daily lives are made up of an endless stream of thoughts,
decisions, actions and reactions to the people and environment
in which we live. The internal and external actions fit together, sometimes seamlessly sometimes not,largely dependent upon a set of invisible yet highly important skills we call Executive Functioning (EF). These skills, which involve planning, organizing, sequencing, prioritizing, shifting attention, and time management can be well-developed in some people(think traffic controllers, wedding planners, business CEOs, etc.) and less developed in others. They are vital in all parts of life, from making coffee to running a profitable business. The skills develop naturally, without specific, formal training, and we all have them to some degree – or at least, we all assume we all have them. Continue reading


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Wednesday’s Woman–Bobbi Sheehan, Author

Bobbi’s book is waiting in my stash from Future Horizons for review, and then we found each other quite “accidentally” on Twitter! So glad! Get ready for some smiles as you enjoy her sense of humor, and be warned you may need a tissue at the end. And now, here is Bobbi in her own words…

My name is Bobbi Sheahan, and I’m so honored that Jenny has asked me to be Wednesday’s Woman.  I never had My Very Own Day before!

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