Because of autism in this family

Autism looks different in every family because autism is different in every person. My experience with autism is unique and different from my friend’s experience with her son with autism. There are similarities, yes. The frustration, and the damage to our sons’ brains is the same. But her son exhibits behaviors my sons don’t and vice versa. Raising identical twins with autism definitely had (and has) challenges. They are almost 22-years-old now, and many of these challenges have integrated so much into our daily lives, that I forget other families don’t live like we do. (Yes, the twins still live at home with us.) Because of autism, I have numeric key pad doorknobs on my bedroom and office doors. This is because autism in this house loves to rifle through closests and drawers. Most of the time it results in something being broken or ruined. It only took us 21 years to finally install locks. I don’t know why we waited so long. It has solved so many problems. Why a keyless entry? They can pick locks or twist the doorknob hard enough to get in. Also, keyless keeps me from having to carry a key with me all the time. Because of autism, my expensive watch (a gift from my husband) was broken the other day because I left it in the kitchen after removing it for doing dishes. Autism tried to wear it. A 22-year-old man’s wrist is a lot larger than mine. And I have exceptionally small wrists. I don’t know when I’ll ever have the time or money to get that watch fixed. Because of autism, I can’t leave my laundry basket in the laundry room when washing clothes. I have to lock my clothes up in my bedroom and take them load by load to the laundry room. Then, I have to guard the dryer very carefully so that nothing gets stolen. Autism loves the sensory input Mom’s soft, warm clothes provide. Because of autism, my husband and I can’t go anywhere alone because the twins can’t be left unsupervised. If they are, they could rifle through every drawer, eat every morsel of food in the fridge, or worse, burn the house down (they are fascinated with candles and, well, fire). Plus, if you’ve ever had twins, you know the nuclear fallout sibling rivalry can cause. They don’t know their strength. They are the best of buds when things are going well. But you never know when a fight over the remote can erupt into a firestorm. (There’s that fire thing again…) And yes. Sometimes? Autism sucks. But beause of autism, I get to laugh every single day at the funny things that happen....

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2017: Progress not perfection

I gave up on New Year’s resolutions several years ago. But I didn’t give up on choosing a theme or slogan for the year. For 2017 I’ve chosen “Progress not Perfection” as my mantra. This is because I tend toward perfectionism, which is a sin of pride, and also an excuse to procrastinate.  Example:”I can’t get all the laundry done in an hour, so I’ll wait until tomorrow when I have more time. ” Well, no, but I could do one load, right? Am I the only one who puts stuff off this way? Well, if I am, then I’m happy to write to myself because I have room for improvement here. Do you have something you’re putting off because you can’t do it perfectly? There are piles of things I avoid because I’m afraid of not getting them done “just right.” So silly. You’d think I’d approach life the same way I do writing a book. Bite by bite. Little by little. But I’m still learning to eat my elephants one bite at a time. One calorie choice at a time. One workout choice at a time. One household chore at a time. It bugs me when I can’t finish something or can’t see an immediate, lasting result, so I don’t start at all. But that only punishes me and makes me feel down. So, I’m learning to break huge jobs into small steps, just as I do when I write my books. I’m determined to focus on progress instead of perfection. For example, when I’m going to dig into a room to purge and clean it, I divide it into sectors. Then, I set the timer and tell myself, “You can do anything for 15 minutes. Just do it in this one small area.” Usually, I get to 15 minutes and find myself wanting to keep going. Getting started is the hardest part. Are you having trouble getting started on something God is telling you to do? Are you afraid to try because you fear imperfection? Why not join me in 2017 and embrace progress instead? Let me know in the comments below if you’re willing to make this your theme for 2017, too! I’d love to have a progress posse! Tweet this: Is there something you’re putting off? Progress not perfection....

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Autism: Not Different Enough

When I read Gloria Doty’s book about her daughter with autism, I felt a great kinship with her. As you know, my twin adult sons also have a diagnosis of autism. As we venture into adulthood with them, I found this book an absolute comfort. It helped me realize that I’m not the only one experiencing all these new adventures in many of the same ways. If you know someone with a child with autism, I hope you’ll share this interview with them. It’s such an important one, and helps parents understand the importance of getting guardianship for their adult child with autism. This is a beautiful book, and I enjoyed reading it. It reads fast, and it feels like you’re sitting with Gloria and having a chat. I loved it so much I had to do an interview. What follows is the delightful time I had with Gloria discussing this gem of a book. Tweet this: Autism grows up: a cautionary tale of hope and...

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Karla Teaches

As you may or may not know, I’m nearing the end of my journey toward my degree in Special Education! If I make it through student teaching I’ll graduate in December. Yay! If you’d like to follow my adventures, you can do so here at KarlaTeaches.com  If you have ever been a student teacher and have tips for me, I welcome them! I could also use your prayers for stamina. I sold my book on autism right before student teaching started and edits are due very soon. All I need is a clone, right? Anyone know where there’s a good deal on one? Tweet this: Superpower: teaching; passion: writing, sleeping:...

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You are being manipulated. Here’s how.

Let’s get something straight right up front. I love technology. Not only for how easy it makes my life, but mainly for how it can be used to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the birth of Christ, nothing has given us a bigger platform to share the love of Jesus than the Internet. Nothing. However, saying something is one thing. Getting heard is another. And the ones with the power are the ones who manipulate what is seen and heard. Search engine algorithms can be designed to filter out anything pertaining to Christ. Money and the prince of the air think they’re in control. (But seriously, we know Who really is, right?) You think you have a plethora of choices? You do. But not really. Those who own the algorithms are the ones who decide what your choices really are. Truth has never been more relative than it is today. If people believe what comes up first when they’re doing a search, (on Google, Siri, Bing, etc.) are they living in reality? Or the reality that the search engine created? Not only do search engines and Amazon filter what’s seen at the top of a search, so do advertisers. Add to that the government accessing your search stats and freedom flies out the window only to be captured and shackled. Oh, oh, oh, and what about when you’re browsing for say,  a pair of shoes, and you’re reading the news on another site and the ad for the shoes shows up. How intellectually free are you? I mean, really? Is this freedom or manipulation? Amazon manipulates its customers. You might not think so, but take a gander at this post on the Hoosier Ink blog by Joe Allison: Amazon Restricts Promotion of Books with “Religious or Spiritual Content” I mean, c’mon, we all know it happens, but do we remember when we’re searching for things, that our choices are limited to what those in charge want us to see and find? Or are we lulled into intellectual laziness and put discernment on the back burner? Please tweet: Are we intellectually lazy and easily...

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The best time of day to write

All my adult life I’ve felt guilty about my circadian rhythm. Add to that the knowledge that my favorite authors rise and shine in the wee hours of the morning to write, and I feel even more guilty for being a Night Owl. I capitalized Night Owl because the Night Owl is actually my college mascot. Something tells me I’m not going to escape this particular identity. I was discussing this issue with my son. Since I start student teaching next week, I’m a little freaked out about when I’ll be able to get my writing time in. I’m a true believer in “you don’t find time to write you make time.” But, as someone who lives with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I’m aware that my body will only allow me to be alert so many hours in the day. The way I often get through the day is that I have to take a 20-minute nap in the afternoon (or longer depending how bad I’m feeling) to get through the rest of the day. I then take a B-12 vitamin and move along. I can usually squeeze out an evening of writing that way. But many of my favorite authors are morning authors–Kate DiCamillo, for one (I love her voice!).  Wouldn’t it be better if I was more like her? Over and over again I’ve beat myself up for not being up with the robins getting that worm. (Okay, so I don’t like worms, but my worm would be a manuscript.) Does the fact that I’m not a morning writer mean I’ll never be a best-seller? Not according to this amazing infograph: Opposite Habits of Famous Writers. Is this cool or what? I’ve got to grasp the fact that it doesn’t matter when I write. It only matters that I write. Every day. For several hours. (Excuse me while I grab another cup of tea, and pet my dogs and cats, sit very still in the light of the moon, and write very, very slow.) If you want more proof it’s okay to be a night writer, check out this awesome blog post by Jeff Goins here: Why You Should Be Writing at Night. When is your favorite time of the day write/craft/read good books/do what you love most? Please tweet: When is the best time of day to...

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