7 Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common nervous”disorders” that many Americans face; regardless of race, gender or economic status. It’s characterized by nervousness, worrying or just generally “fearing” the outcome of a situation. Yet anxiety is actually a great thing, in moderation that is. Its motivating and keeps us on our “toes”. Like when we have a big test, we worry so much that we study so much to prepare. In turn, we are actually more than prepared to ace the test because we are ” fully alert.” Or having anxiety can signal something that isn’t right and that we must pay attention.Whether its because we are in danger or we are in “mama bear mode” trying to protect “our young”. Anxiety is good in the right amounts; too much can drive you “crazy”. But there are ways to keep anxiety a healthy level.

  1. Quit or reduce smoking and avoid alcohol. It can aggravate or make anxiety worse.
  2. Reduce stress in your life, as it only makes you worry more about things you cannot control.
  3. Avoid people, places or things that might “trigger” your anxiety. Particular those who have threaten your safety or well being. Whether verbally, physically and mentally.
  4. Eat a healthy diet, reduce caffeine consumption and sugar intake. You are what you eat.
  5. Always take deep breaths and analyze your thoughts. Separate the irrational thoughts from the rational ones.
  6. Engage in productive activities that relax your mind and feed your soul.
  7. Have a good support system of family and friends who can help keep you grounded.

A Real Man Knows. . .

. . . .Not to “raise their hands”to a woman because he respects her and values her life.

. . . .A queen when he sees one; he understands her worth and will never take her for granted.

. . . .To put their children first before themselves; for they understand life isn’t about them anymore.

. . . .How to take care of ” home” before he does for others outside his home.

. . . .The difference between a real mother and a “wanna be mama.” Just by watching her and the way her children respond to her.

. . . .When to ” shut up” and “swallow” his pride for he knows it does not make him any less of a man. In fact this is what separates the real men from the fake men.

. . . .That although he may be the father, he can never do what the mother can do; and for that his respects doubles for her.

. . . .Knows the definition of loyalty and will not stray from his family or “circle”; for no one.

Raising Autism and School Performance

When it comes to raising autism and school performance; the parents’ and family’s involvement is a direct reflection of their child’s success. The ability to run a “team” of people; designated to see “you and your child(ren) win.” Which means getting the evaluations done, following diets and making sure your child attends their therapies on a consistent basis. Doing all the little work that many don’t see or cant even begin to understand.

Like helping them with their homework for three hours or having IEP meetings to discuss services rendered in school. Writing notes back and forth to the teachers, so that everyone is on the “same page.” Being there before school; when they need you the most; as you prepare them for the long day ahead. After school; when they are overwhelmed by the day; as they transition from the school to home setting. Giving your child that extra TLC they need to prevent regression and to live a quality life on the autism spectrum.

Raising autism began when I was 19; with my first child and only  daughter. Who is now 10 years old heading to 5th grade. She was diagnosed with autism PDD-NOS (mild form of autism) and ADHD at the age of 3. She has over came so much; especially having two neurological conditions.From not being to walk, talk, eat or live a “normal” life. Having to attend speech, OT and PT for many years.Today she “looks” like she has never even had autism. Now in puberty;she loves art, music and basketball; and anything “girly.”

My oldest son is 8 years old with aspergers; a high functioning form of autism. He is already heading to 4th grade. A straight “A” student learning in “traditional” classroom who has never needed speech or special education services. Musically talented, loves biology and music. He’s just considered “annoying” and “talkative” to his peers; although he struggles to connect with others. So even when my son comes home saying he has “no friends” or that he upset because he was alone at recess. I continue to do my best to help him better understand himself and the world around him. So he can build his social skills and make strong connections he needs to learn and grow. 

So even on OUR rough days, I keep it pushing. As I continue to raise my children without the use of medication. Just talk therapy, diet and support services. Finding new ways to battle autism on the home front. For my children and all of those living with autism. As autism has no ” particular face” nor “must” they be medicated to succeed in school or at home. Its all in how we you teach, love and nurture our children. For who they are; not for who we want them to be.

I remember… #raisingautism #2013

I remember a time, when I was so overwhelmed; I thought Id never survive. Living in  homeless shelter; finishing my pre-nursing prerequisites. At the age of 25, I was raising four kids under 6 years of age. A 6 year old with autism and adhd receiving services and a 4 year old with aspergers, starting kindergarten. Plus 2 month old twin boys (one with autism), new to the world. Life seemed to be more than I could I handle, but instead of “folding”; I put on my “superwoman cape” and got down to business. 

I remember sitting on the bed; laptop and textbooks open. Studying all night; with the twins “sleeping” between legs. Afraid to “move” or turn a page too loudly; for fear I would wake them up. As the two hour feedings and diapers changes; consumed my “study breaks”. Yet all I could think about is; I hope I don’t fall asleep before I finish this research paper. I hope I don’t have to fight the older two to get ready for school in the morning. After I had already been up for three days straight. 

Yet before I could catch a good 2 hours of sleep; it was already time for the next day to come. There was no time to complain or think. It was at this moment in time, I began writing. Originally it was just an outlet. But it quickly turned into a way to educate and inspire women and children. I guess there is something about adversity that drives a woman to do great things. For a mother is only as strong as her team; her children. Children have a way of motivating us in ways nothing else in this world can. 

 

Autism in the Teenage Years

Autism is a neurological condition, that will NOT go away as our children get older. It’s a mental condition that affects social communication and activities of daily living. So many struggle with self control, communicating their needs and hygiene; among other deficits. In the teenage years, the “face” of autism sometimes takes a “ugly” turn due to puberty, peer pressure; as well as many other factors.

Therefore puberty can have a profound effect on teens with autism. As they are already struggling to “fit in”, trying to keep up with their books and “pretending” to be like a “normal” teenager. Thus having autism in the teenage years can be depressing and overwhelming. Where aggression is high, moods will vary and the running away begins. Its just that teens with autism, are highly sensitive. As their bodies are changing and their hormones seem to “rage” a little different. So one day they “hate” you and the next day they love you. After all, they are like any typically developing teen. Its just that they process the world differently. A lot times they just see “black and white”; no gray or in between. Its all or nothing at all. Until you teach them otherwise; through love, structure and consistency.

Thus regardless of your teenager’s diagnosis; they are still just like any other growing teen. So not every thing your child does is related to autism. Sometimes they are just going through “growing pains” or being a typical teen. Which is why distinguishing what is “normal behavior” and “autistic behavior”; can be difficult; yet so important. Its how they learn to distinguish right from wrong. Through what you will and will not allow them to do. Through words and actions. As autistic teens tend to imitate others around them

Thus making parenting and discipline, confusing. As parents don’t want to punish their children for things that can’t help. But at the same time autism isn’t a “free pass” for teenagers to do wrong. As autism is only a condition, not who they are. Yet teens will imitate what they hear and see; because they “think” that is what they are supposed to do. Or what they see others do and accept around them. Raising teenagers on the autism spectrum takes a nurturing heart; one that knows what accomplishing an organized desk at school means. That when their teen might not respond to their expressions of love; they know their child does love them no matter. Teens with autism just express love differently; whether its in excess or not. Its how teens with autism give and receive love.