A National Phenomenon: The Kindness Rocks Movement

 

Many of my readers know that I have a little business called Alleluia Rocks in which I sell painted rocks and stones offering words of encouragement, faith, and affirmation. I also specialize in Story Stones for children, which helps promote language development, social interaction, and pretend play. All of which tie into my journey through autism in different ways.

Rock painting relaxes me and allows me to share words of encouragement with others struggling with similar difficulties. The story stones allow me to help therapists and families come up with activities that keep autism children busy and also encourage growth and development.

I am not alone in this venture to spread encouragement and affirmation through painted rocks.  There is a movement – a national phenomenon, if you will, called The Kindness Rocks Project.  It’s a truly amazing endeavor that is spreading kindness to strangers around the country.

Read my summary of The Kindness Rocks Movement at my Alleluia Rocks Blog, and then get your own DIY Kindness Rocks kit to join in the movement!

kindness kit

Here is link to my Kindness Rocks Kit (includes 10 stones prepped for you with pretty colors and designs, a Sharpie, and 10 muslin drawstring bags).

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The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 4: He’s Naked Again!

Have you ever had a nightmare about showing up to school in your pajamas, or being on stage in just your underwear?  Do you remember the feeling of horror and shock, and wanting to BOLT?  Yeah, lots of people have those nightmares.  It involves acute embarrassment due to something that’s totally inappropriate socially.

Well, guess what?  My little brother will never have that type of nightmare.  How do I know this?  Because he often takes all his clothes off and runs around the house totally naked.  As in, his clothes are in a pile on the floor in the living room, and he is elsewhere.  He does not think this is strange.

While my brother and I cringe in dismay and run to hide (as usual), Peter continues to play with his iPad or whatever, totally unfazed.  I guess when he’s hot or uncomfortable, his solution is to remove whatever is causing the discomfort:  his clothes!  In a way, it makes sense.  Why wear them if they don’t feel good?

We are used to this situation in our house, but this can be a real problem in public.  You can imagine.  My parents, of course, always try to quickly re-clothe him and try to explain that he must keep his clothes ON, but most of the time he just doesn’t get it.  I don’t feel bad for him, though, because in truth he doesn’t CARE what anybody thinks.

This, apparently, is a major issue for people with autism:  they are unable to empathize (understand what other people are thinking or feeling) and as a result, they are completely oblivious about what other people are thinking.  So Peter has no clue that people might think it’s completely strange and crazy for him to run around in his birthday suit.  He’ll do other clueless stuff like try to put his head under your shirt (while you are wearing it!) or try to put his shirt over your head!   He just doesn’t realize that most people don’t do these kinds of things.

And you know, this makes him totally free!  If you could go to school and not care a bit about what your fellow students think of you, wouldn’t that be the best kind of freedom ever?  You could have messy hair or ratty jeans or stinky shoes or a smelly lunch and you wouldn’t have a care in the world.  Wow.  Hard to imagine that kind of freedom from self-awareness.  Peter is lucky that way.

The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 3: We Need More Duct Tape!

Probably our family should invest in the Duct Tape stock market, or however that works.  Also packing tape, superglue, and batteries.  When we say that Peter wears out his toys, we really mean it!  At our house, you’ll see toys all over the place in various states of destruction – wheels missing from trucks, gouges and scratches on plastic toys, and pages torn or missing from books.  Peter is destructive.  He doesn’t do it on purpose, that’s just the way he is.  He likes to pull things and smash things and rip things.  He also likes to chew on books.  He’d rather chew on a book than on real food, like an apple or a carrot.  This is another example of him being unaware of what is socially unacceptable.  Do I rip my textbooks up at school and pull apart my classmates’ backpacks?  Do I chew on the corners of my Algebra book? No way, because I know that’s not the way to act at school. Peter doesn’t have that awareness, so he does whatever he feels compelled to do. Continue reading “The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 3: We Need More Duct Tape!”

The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 2: Tell Me What You Want on Your Talker!

NOTE: See the Introduction for an overview of this “manuscript” told from a sibling’s viewpoint.

Though Peter is 9 years old, he has never said one word.  Like, ever.  He can’t talk.  Nobody knows why.  Doctors have done all kinds of tests on him, and we know that he can hear and see just fine.  He makes sounds so he’s not mute.  He just can’t seem to speak. Continue reading “The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 2: Tell Me What You Want on Your Talker!”

The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 1: Hurricane Peter Has Struck Again!

“Why do you even bother making Peter’s bed?” I asked my Mom the other day.  She was in Peter’s room, putting things in order for about the seventh time that day.  When I say things like this, just assume I am NOT exaggerating.  This is what happens day in and day out: Continue reading “The Funny Things You Hear in Our House-EPISODE 1: Hurricane Peter Has Struck Again!”

The Funny Things You Hear in Our House: Introduction (sibling viewpoint)

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION:  Having spent the better part of two years trying to find a publisher for this manuscript, I decided to give up and instead post this work, one section at a time, on this blog.  One chapter a week. What better platform that one that is already devoted to revealing what it’s like to be US?

This book is told from the sibling’s point of view (think of Thomas, our middle child, when you are reading).  It’s meant to be a lighthearted work for siblings and their peers that promotes an understanding of autism through anecdotes.  It’s intended to teach teens or ‘tweens about autism through the eyes of a brother.  Please share with any teens or ‘tweens you know!

I KNOW there is an audience out there for this work.  If any of you has a connection to the publishing world, by all means feel free to share these “chapters”!  The more people that read about Life with Autism, the better to promote awareness and acceptance.  Continue reading “The Funny Things You Hear in Our House: Introduction (sibling viewpoint)”

Special Needs Binder: The Great BIG BOOK of Everything About My Very Special Child

After Peter’s autism diagnosis at age 2, I had to learn very quickly how to organize the incredible amount of information that began to pile up. Each time we visited a new doctor or specialist, I found myself scrambling to gather files, to look up data and facts, to remember dates and phone numbers and names and insurance information. I nearly pulled out my hair one day trying to find the scrap of paper on which I wrote a specialist’s contact information.  I realized that I needed to get organized or I would drive myself crazy in an environment already leaning towards lunacy.

So I created this printable “binder” in order to have all of the information I needed in ONE place. Now I’m offering it to other families through my Etsy shop in the hopes that it will ease a tiny bit of the burden and stress that comes with the job title of Special Needs Parent.   (NOTE: Family Life Printables is my NEW Etsy shop, the first being “Alleluia Rocks.”  This new shop is meant to offer fun ways to organize family life.  There are only a few listings thus far, but I’m working on it!)


This listing is for a PRINTABLE DIGITAL FILE that you print yourself on normal printer paper or card stock. (NO PHYSICAL ITEM WILL BE MAILED TO YOU.) The PDF file contains 45 non-editable 8.5 x 11″ pages. Print the entire file OR only the pages you need. Print some pages multiple times; you may print as many times as you like for your own personal use.

The photos shown are selected pages from the “binder.” The entire binder contains the following sections:

1. Cover Page
2. The Basics (Name, Insurance Info, etc.)
3. Family Information (members & extended family)
4. Family Medical History
5. Child’s Medical History (birth, milestones, growth & development, physicians, specialists, screenings, diagnosis, medications, Prescriptions Tracker, allergies & food aversions, hospitalizations & urgent care visits, Notes)
6. Therapies (Early Intervention, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Music Therapy, Other)
7. Weekly Therapy Schedule table
8. Daily Schedule table
9. Educational History
11. Skills Trackers Charts (fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory skills, social skills, speech & communication skills)
12. Legal Information (wills, power of attorney, guardianship, Special Needs lawyer, Special Needs Trust)
13. Respite Information (local & state agencies, respite caregivers)
14. Safety (accommodations & considerations, local law enforcement contacts and resources)
15. All About My Child: For Caregivers and Babysitters (communication, abilities, behaviors, likes and dislikes-toys, likes and dislikes-foods, tips & tricks, routines)
16. Reflections
17. Notes


NOTE: if you have ideas or suggestions for additional pages, please let me know!

I sincerely hope my BIG BOOK of Everything helps parents to feel secure about having key information at hand.  One less worry!  That’s the goal.

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