Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Horseback Riding

The physical and emotional benefits of horseback riding have been known for several hundred years. Therapeutic riding has been a widely utilized form of therapy for many years, first in Europe, then in the United States.

I am very excited to announce that I am now a participant and volunteer in sharing and assisting those with disabilities with the healing equine therapies at SIRE Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers.  I’ve have personally used their services and wanted to share this as it may pertain to the benefits along your journey.

At SIRE, they bring special people together with horses so they can ride beyond — beyond limits, beyond dependence, and into fresh air, freedom and a lifelong, Texas- traditional sport.  For SIRE’s clients, therapeutic riding not only increases strength and independence, it also provides more freedom and independence to their families. Moreover, it can initiate more effective interaction and education at school, work, and in other community settings.

I encourage you to check out their website to learn more about them sire-htec.org/

May 24, 2013

St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms: A State-of-the-Art Facility

Hello friends!  I invite you to visit St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms for thosest michaels pose times when you need quality, efficient emergency care.  They feature a state-of-the-art facility with a warm, comfortable environment.  St. Michael’s treats everything from allergic reactions and broken bones to high fevers and chest pain.  In other words, St. Michael’s is prepared to handle any emergency…without the wait. In most cases, patients are seen by a physician in less than 10 minutes.

Please visit their site at

  www.24hrer.com/index.php

for more information.

 

 

 

 

From child-themed rooms with murals, soft lighting, flat screen TVs and DVD players, to sports-themed rooms filled with memorabilia, St. Michael’s is designed to help patients relax and heal. St. Michael’s is equipped with an on-site, full service diagnostic lab, CT scan, x-ray, and bedside Ultrasound.

st michaels sugarlandFrontDoor

Amazing Feedback From Last Night’s Event

oab blog postLast night was an amazing event!  As you may remember, I was part of a panel discussion of other successful adults with HFA/Asperger’s who shared their personal journeys.  This was held at the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS – University Life Center.

I am getting a lot of great and positive feedback from the event.  People were thanking us for offering the event as well as giving them the opportunity to connect with us and have their questions answered.

There were so many amazing responses that I will be putting together a blog post with those points and in more detail of what I want to share that was discussed.  It may take some time to do but be on the lookout for that blog.

For now I want to thank everyone in attendance as the evening was a complete success!

Self-Determination is The Right of Persons With Autism

Society needs to protect those with autism in their way of being and from harm, this site is wonderful and I believe offers an expressiogood pic for oab or avin of choice insight and empowerment to advance those with autism into a stronger more solid life.  I want to share the resources of this site, and this page, even more in effort to bring forth clarity about the innocence of the trusting autistic mind.

 

Child-Autism-Parent-Café.com

Self-Determination

Self-determination is the right of persons with disabilities to make choices about their own lives, to have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else, and to speak and advocate for themselves.

Members of The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State describe Self-Determination as:

  • Having a choice;
  • Knowing more about ourselves;
  • Having dreams and goals and going after them;
  • Being in control;
  • Making our own decisions; and
  • Spending money our way;

 

To read more on this go to www.child-autism-parent-cafe.com/self-determination.html

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Sparkle!

Good Afternoon!  Just a little update on my training for Miami.workout and sparkle

With just a minor setback of strep, I am keeping in the game through applying mindful strategies to get well and remain steadfast for Miami.  I am healing with special help from Dr’s Kathi, Alexa and Bryan.  Thank you all for helping me feel better.

I will be back in full throttle soon with more updates…stayed tuned!

 

 

 

 

Transitioning the Aspie

DSC_0184Transitions 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had trouble with transitions and Asperger’s. Transitions (a change from one thing to another) I did not do well with.

Since I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 37. Many things were always just label as uncanny or unique about me. The foundation responsible in finding out the evident was in respect to the continuum of what Asperger’s is moving on into a different level of Autism and returning back into a HF reality that i went through. I didn’t know why I’d have so much anxiety and meltdowns at what most people thought were perfectly innocuous moments. But after getting my diagnosis and doing some research, it became perfectly clear to me. It became clear as to why I was so deeply impacted in profound ways. Each experience was imprinting me with a positive or a negative download; which of course is a whole other discussion.

I will try to help shed some light on why transitions can be so difficult for people with Asperger’s. First, let me say that no two people with Asperger’s are alike, and this will not apply to every single person on the spectrum. But it will likely apply to a lot of them

“What Is Coming Next?”

I always had to know what we were doing next. I was abstract in my thoughts and had a way of viewing reality. I did well if I knew when, and for how long, and what the exact details would be. It didn’t seem weird to me, it just seemed necessary. The details and questions, so many images and ideas would fly through my head that I wouldn’t be able to process them nor have enough time. I could not identify with any point of reference to bring ease into what may seem simple to the NT.

Plan Ahead

In order to help with transitions and Asperger’s you need to take the time to tell your child with Asperger’s the plan way ahead of time. At the very least tell them the day before!

Your child needs time to process their thoughts and feelings about the upcoming activity. They need time to ask questions, and they need to know the plan in detail!!!

Switching Between Activities

One major issue that most parents will have with their child with Asperger’s is transitioning between activities. You will often experience resistance, anxiety, anger, plain out refusal and meltdowns. Let’s look at why…

Changing Gears

Anyone, whether adults or children with Asperger’s and high functioning autism get extremely into whatever they are doing and have a hard time switching gears.

An Asperger’s brain is not as fluid as the typical person’s. It can excel at individual tasks, but it focuses on these tasks so intently, with so much energy and absorption and focus, that it needs some time to rest and reset before it can switch to another activity. In my expression of this experience I literally reach a threshold. Then nothing occurs if I cannot regroup exactly when I know I need to or when I have a lot advancing me at once.

Processing Overload

In some cases people with Asperger’s take in so much information during an activity or interaction, especially emotions, that they’re not able to process it during the activity.

I know aspired adults that can hold off this need for processing until after the activity so that they can remain engaged and a participant.

As soon as the activity or social interaction is over however, all that extra information needs to be processed or the person will feel overwhelmed.

Let’s Talk About What Mean When I Say “Process”

An Aspie feels everything so intensely, that they almost have to turn away from some of it or not receive some of it in order to remain functioning. For me, I have what I call a block that occurs. Where I am just temporarily unavailable to absorb what is occurring. If it is more of an emotionally or sensitively based intensity it may be more of a protective response. Many Aspergers can attest to what this point of reference is as well and what it looks like for them in how they feel and the availability they have to filter any information and form it is put forth. All in all this extra information has to go somewhere, and after a certain amount of time of trying to ignore all this extra information, it needs to be dealt with.

Anxiety About What Is Next And How To Get From Here To There In A Space Of Clarity.

Sometimes, anxiety is about the activity that is coming next. And trying to figure out how to calibrate to the gap that is the “gap “in between where we are and where we need to get adds to the challenge.

If there are sensory aspects of the activity that can be changed to make the environment more favorable, this is something you should try to do. Like me I needed a quiet, routine environment. That I could anticipate in a space of ease and familiar constants. I need to know the steps of whatever is going on in an itemized way of identifying the process.

Preparing ahead of time and anxiety and stress reduction techniques should be practiced to help deal with this aspect of transitions and Asperger’s.

Now you know why transitions can be so difficult for people with Asperger’s. More often than not, those with Asperger’s syndrome react to their environment, and sometimes the reaction can be negative. They may be reacting to a sensory issue, and other times they may be reacting to a feeling of fear. The Aspie feels fear because of a lack of control over his/her response to the environment or because of a lack of predictability. More over the Aspie does best with clear structure and routine. A visual schedule can be helpful. Prepare for a schedule change in advance of the actual day of the change. Some possible strategies a teacher, paraprofessional, or parent can use: visual schedules, role-playing or preparing the student by discussing upcoming activities. Appropriate strategies are dependent on the age of the student and his/her abilities. Each will calibrate to this at their own rate of identifying, connecting, and understanding

As a teacher, paraprofessional or parent of a child with Asperger’s syndrome, it’s important to recognize the child’s gifts as well as limitations. Students with Asperger’s syndrome present a challenge for the people who work with them, but these children also enrich our lives. This child will grow up and make a contribution to our world in some way we can only imagine, and you can help this child.

Our Fear System is ‘Turned On’ in a Way a Normal Person’s is Not

This is  a continuum from my blog post on March 26, 2013 What Do Autism and Trauma Have In Common.

I am sure you all have come across this acknowledgment at some point pertaining to survival response.  About a year ago I learned my response is the “freeze” response and the most dangerous of the three responses one can have when it comes to trauma.  Inevitably it is a matter of time before there is an overload experience that interrupts the electrical system of the brain.  In my journey over the past few years of unbinding the layers of events that occurred in my life that blew all circuits, The path of restoration induced reflection in waves of the experiences true for me. And how I had downloaded them, and in a highly sensitively felt way. In my process to seek what i needed to heal, I observed and followed certain numbers and unique numerical configurations, and patterning. My life is seen by me in an abstract way; in a way to identify with a system that provided answers for me, in a clear and concise presentation that I could trust to assist me in navigating my healing and 3D existence; and through life in general…..

As you may know, Temple Grandin is autistic and has made a career working with animals, especially in improving conditions for farm animals raised for food. She writes: “This is what I have in common with animals. Our fear system is ‘turned on’ in a way a normal person’s is not. … If I hadn’t gone on medication I couldn’t have had a life at all. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to have a career.”

Now I am not an individual whom needs medication to manage my world. I am self-aware, and I know what people and environments are healthy for me and do not induce stress that pushes me to my sensory threshold. It is mindful to know when it is applicable and why….. I share that identifying with the energy or electrical system within the autistic presents a whole new understanding of the respective label itself. The energy of the attie is a much different frequency than the NT. This heightens the sensory impact of all life events and extreme overload induced neurologically.

In Animals in Translation, Grandin and Johnson write: “It seems likely that animals and autistic people both have hyper-fear systems in large part because their frontal lobes are less powerful compared to the frontal lobes in typical folks. The prefrontal cortex gives humans some freedom of action in life, including some freedom from fear. As a rule, normal people have more power to suppress fear, and to make decisions in the face of fear, than animals or (most) autistic people.”

Regarding the frontal lobes, Grandin and Johnson write: “The frontal lobes fight fear in two ways. First, the frontal lobes are the brakes. The frontal lobes tamp down the [action of the] amygdala …. The amygdala tells the pituitary to pump out stress hormones such as cortisol; the prefrontal cortex tells the pituitary to slow down.” The position of the amygdalae within the temporal lobes can be seen in the MRI to the right (image links to NIH source). The MRI shows fMRI activation of the amygdalae highlighted in red.

Grandin and Johnson point to a core difference between animals and autistic people on the one hand, and normal people on the other. “Animals and autistic people are splitters. They see the differences between things more than the similarities. In practice this means animals don’t generalize very well.”

Regarding savantry, Grandin and Johnson point to the research of Allen Snyder and D. John Mitchell who propose that “all the different autistic savant abilities come from the fact that autistic people don’t process what they see and hear into unified wholes, orconcepts, rapidly the way normal people do.” Grandin and Johnson explain that a normal person doesn’t become conscious of what he’s looking at until after his brain has composed the sensory bits and pieces into wholes. The authors point out that an autistic savant is conscious of the bits and pieces. They note Snyder’s and Mitchell’s conclusion that “the reason autistic people see the pieces of things is that they have privileged accessto lower levels of raw information.” Snyder’s article, “Explaining and Inducing Savant Skills: Privileged Access to Lower Level, Less-Processed Information,” is available on the web.brain-anatomy-amygdala

The New Definition of Autism…

Autism awareness1When a rewrite of psychiatry’s diagnostic guide is released in San Francisco later this month, it will include a revised definition of autism, expanding it into a full spectrum disorder that can range from mild to heartbreakingly severe.

This new and already controversial fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will add the term “autism spectrum disorder,” which is currently used by many experts.

Asperger’s disorder or syndrome — a condition where people often have high intelligence and vast knowledge of narrow subjects but lack social skills — will be dropped and incorporated under the umbrella austism-spectrum diagnosis.

Autism is now felt to be a common neurological disorder. Estimates of the number of people afffected by it range from one in 200 to one in 300, according to a study by the National Epidemiological Database for the Study of Autism in Canada.

In the U.S., the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimated last year that one in 88 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That represents a 23 per cent increase since 2009 and a 78 per cent rise since 2007.

“Some of the increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their local communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown,” the CDC said.

ASDs are nearly five times more common in boys than in girls, the CDC noted.

To read more of this article, click Here.

Welcome to the Team! 1st Class of Elite Physiques 2013 Fitness Competition Team

good pic for oab or avi

I am honored to have been selected as one of the 1st Class of Elite Physiques 2013 Fitness Competition Team. The class of 2012 has already accomplished so much, and with teamwork and mentorship from the Veterans, the 2013 team will be able to accomplish so much more in the future.

The selection process was based on personal accomplishments, attitude, work ethic and the drive to do more than just be a competitor. The desire to become a better athlete and better person is a start, but many must possess motivation to inspire people they come in contact with.

EP stands for class, sophistication, and professionalism. They set themselves apart by conducting themselves as the ‘Elite’ of the fitness competition world. Everyone on the list below has shown these exact qualities thus being chosen to Elite Physiques. Let’s continue making headlines, working together, and making history!

Please welcome the new teammates!!!

1st Class of 2013

Amber Black www.facebook.com/AmberBlack37?fref=ts

Bridget Therese – www.facebook.com/BTFitnessModel?fref=ts

Frank Hieden – www.facebook.com/frank.hieden?fref=ts

Priscilla Gonzalez – www.facebook.com/priscorpus?fref=ts

Kaleigh Huff – www.facebook.com/Kaleigh120?fref=ts

Laurie Wolfe – www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000070360627&fref=ts

Tanya Colbert – www.facebook.com/tanyatrainer?fref=ts

Josh Burton – www.facebook.com/josh.burton.5283?fref=ts