Apps for Autism

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Oliver’s incredible Special Educator shared with us a link to a very detailed list of apps that have proven helpful for children on the autism spectrum:

The apps are organized by their purpose, including picture communication, memory match, learning games, text to speech, verbal storytelling, auditory processing, cause and effect, social stories, and more. This was a useful resource for us, so I thought that I would share it with all of you.

Oliver’s Christmas Morning

Here are some Christmas morning photos of my sweet little train lover. We were very blessed by our community with lots of gifts for him. Thank you so much, Sky Valley Community Outreach, Hopelink, and friends for making Oliver’s Christmas an amazing one! I have many other photos, but he was so excited that they came out blurry.

Two Words You Should Say to Someone Facing an Autism Diagnosis

Included in this article are some of the most common responses that you’ll here as a parent with autism concerns for their child. Some of these include, “I’m sorry”, “He’ll be fine”, “Really? He seems so normal.”, and “Oh, I hope not.” While all of these responses are said with good-hearted intentions, it isn’t always what we need to hear. The two words that you should say to someone facing an autism diagnosis are “I’m here”. I’ve heard most of these and didn’t feel offended whatsoever because I know that every comment came from a good place, but I am agreeance with the author of this piece that “I’m here” is the perfect response to such a delicate situation.

Read the full article here:

The Seattle Times Interview


Savannah Slone and her two-year-old son Oliver read a book at the end of class at Kindering Center in Bellevue. Oliver is in a class with other toddlers with autism (diagnosed on the autism spectrum). Fund for Needy story about Kindering Center in Bellevue. Oliver’s mom Savannah Slone is a 20-year-old single mom who lives in rural Skykomish. Kindering is a godsend for her as there are no similar services near her home.

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by The Seattle Times regarding Oliver’s progress. We discussed my initial concerns, where he’s at now, and where I see him going. My blog was also discussed and quoted in the article, so that was pretty excited. Check it out at the link below!

Today is Oliver’s 2nd Birthday!

2 whole years ago at 11:02 a.m, Oliver was born… WOW! I can’t believe how quickly time has passed and how much excitement, surprise, and love has filled every passing moment. Oliver has been blessed with a caring and compassionate community and, for that, I couldn’t be more grateful. He is a sweet, funny, musical, cuddly, dancing, clumsy, spirited, deep thinker of a little boy and I am so fortunate to watch him grow each and every day. He has come so far in such a short time– I can’t wait to see what this upcoming year will bring for us! Also, it should be noted that we went to the aquarium yesterday with zero meltdowns and endless amounts of fun. To end the day, we ate at a restaurant (for the first time in a year and a half) and he did amazing. He blew me away!

Wish my sweet boy a ‘Happy Birthday’ in the comments, if you so desire.

The Gruffalo is Changing the Way Oliver Reads!

Oliver is really loving this short film on Netflix titled The Gruffalo. While watching, he signs fish and bird, sniffs when the fox sniffs and says “Jump!” and “Weeeee!” when the mouse jumps or is flying through the air. When it comes to movies, he isn’t usually interactive, so this one is very different. I found out that The Gruffalo is based on a children’s book and immediately ordered it from our local library. I went in and checkout out the book and he was beside himself while we read it. I tried to mock the animal’s voices from the movie as closely as possible and that left him  engaged and knowing that this book was just like his favorite movie. When typically reading books, Oliver is more interested in turning the pages and not comprehending anything on the pages, but he sat still, pointed, signed, and spoke at the same parts he does while watching the movie. I’m thinking that I will have to purchase this book and may even use it as a calming aid. I also feel that this may be the perfect transition into him enjoying books more thoroughly.

Bully (A Documentary)

I wanted to share this trailer with all of you. If you are a student in the public school system, a parent, an educator, work with youth, etc., you need to watch this and share it with your children and/or your students. It broke my heart, inspired a constant stream of tears, and sparked an unwanted sense of fear for Oliver to go to school, but it is real, raw, and needs to be addressed. While it wasn’t disclosed in the film, my suspicions led me to further investigating, and I found that several of the young people in the film are on the autism spectrum– knowing this made it hit home even more so.  Add it to your Netflix DVD Queue or order it from your local library!