Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2018

Hello there and welcome!  This is my very FIRST Blog Hop EVER!!!  I am super excited to join in the fun because Autism is something that is near and dear to my heart!  I hope that as you read my story, you would consider donating so that more research and more help will be available for all of us who have had Autism touch their lives in one way or another.

Here are our Twins - Gavin & Kylie.  They're just finishing their official 1st year of school currently and we couldn't be more proud of them!

We've been having them attend Speech Therapy since they were 18 months because as you may have guessed, Twins typically arrive a little early and with that can sometimes come a little bit of delay with milestones.  We intervened very early to stay ahead of any issues that may become larger down the road and I have to say we are so glad to have chosen that path!

Fast forward a few years and pretty soon we land in the Public School system for Speech and it has been a literal nightmare to get qualified help in the area of Speech and Language.  Our District has only 1 SLP (Speech and Language Pathologist) and she hardly has her head on straight because I've been in the sessions and her communication skills are sadly missing so it's a wonder any of the kids she works with can gain anything from the time they spend together.

In 2016, our Daughter was given an "unofficial diagnosis" of High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD).  When someone tells you that your child has a "Disorder", that has to strike a cord, at least it did with us.  I really don't care for the labels and honestly didn't really see a clear idea about whether she fit much of the criteria or if she just was somehow immature among her peers.  Without real clear signs, she fit just a few of the check list symptoms but really didn't show typical signs so when the school told us that, we were kind of wavering with the idea...."Really?"

As any Mom would do, I began researching Autism and found many resources that share how broad the Spectrum is.  I also found a lot of frustrated families and even within our own school, there are many kids who need an Aide or extra help and are not having their needs met without a fight.  This is so disheartening.  As ASD is becoming much more common because, I believe, families are a lot more aware and proactive these days in getting their kids looked at for things like this.  It most certainly helps kids to be diagnosed earlier vs later so they may access resources to help them instead of hating school.

So our sweet girl who hugs everyone she knows and has clear conversations about important things in her life has this label?  I'm still not certain but it really doesn't matter to us because she is AMAZING!  I wish I had video of her ability to put together 3 puzzles simultaneously or to be able to share with you the deep questions she asks or the insights she reveals when asked everyday questions.  Our Girl is a an amazing thinker and looks at life in different ways than most - I adore that about her!

We are still going through Assessments at this time with both her school and her M.D. to see if she really does fit the diagnosis.  Our reason for the revisit is due to her classwork and that she is a little behind but so is half her class....that's a convo for another time!  If she is properly diagnosed, we can possibly get her more resources to make school a little easier for her.  Then again if it turns out that her M.D. doesn't think she fits criteria, well then, we keep working to help her along.

My point in all this and the relevance to my card design is that for our Kylie, whether its Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder or something we have yet to uncover, what I do know is that everyone of us is beautiful and special in their own way.  She has shown me that sometimes, the answer you come to expect is not her answer at all or perhaps what she sees is much different than one would anticipate but in the end, it is usually very insightful! I adore this special quality she has and don't find it to be a "disorder" at all but honestly just a different way, her way and we couldn't be more proud of her beautiful mind :)

I started out with some Blue Brusho on my block and mixed in a little water to create my background using the Aquapainter onto some watercolor paper.  I did blot off the excess with paper towel and repaint areas to get my desired effect of light to dark.
I inked up my butterfly stamp from the Watercolor Wings stamp set in Marina Mist ink and added that over my background.  I then used the overlay stamps (wing outline, body and antennae) from the same set to get a silver heat embossed look to my focal image.
I used my leftover Brusho on my block as an ink to apply the stamp from the Butterfly Basics stamp set to add some texture but still keep my watercolor look 
I pulled my sentiment from the Butterfly Basics stamp set as well and inked it up in Basic Gray onto watercolor paper.
Punched out using the Everyday Label punch
 Borrowed the heart image from the Tabs for Everything stamp set - because to me, Autism Awareness is LOVE (showing love and acceptance for all)
  My finished card once again.
 I hope you can feel what I was hoping to convey and have a stronger awareness of the many ways Autism can affect families and loved ones.  If you feel so inclined to donate, here is the link.  Your tax deductible donation will go directly to Organization for Autism Research.  Thank you!
Please feel free to share or pass along this post and/or Blog Hop to others you know that would find this cause important enough to support as well.  Thank you so much for stopping over and I do hope you take the time to view all the other wonderful cards and stories my fellow Demonstrators have so lovingly prepared.

Adrienne West

You Are Here Adrienne West