1. I spent this afternoon making a weighted blanket for my daughter following directions I found here. For those who are not familiar with these, they are used by individuals who have sensory processing disorders to help provide calming input to aid the person in sitting calmly and quietly for a longer period of time. I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I had to dig out the book for the sewing machine to remind myself how to wind and load the bobbin, and how to thread the machine. However, using the instructions above I made a decent looking 4 lb. blanket. It was also not too expensive. I used an old flannel pillowcase that we weren't using for one side of the blanket, and bought a textured baby receiving blanket for the other (I figured some tactile input built in might be a good thing). I also bought some poly-pellets (for the weight), and some iron-on decorations. I'm not sure if this method would work for heavier blankets. My arms are quite tired from holding the blanket on the machine, but for a little lap blanket it was so easy and did not take too much time (maybe 7 hours total). My daughter was so excited that she actually helped make the blanket by running the foot pedal and helping put some of the beads in. Overall a very satisfying experience.
2. I have a birthday coming up this week and I'm feeling quite old. This Summer has really worn me out physically and emotionally. Yesterday I saw this give-away at Hopeful Parents, and wanted to let other special needs moms know about it. I know I tend to put my kids' needs first so much that taking care of myself, much less pampering myself with a new handbag drops way down on the to-do list. Enter for your chance to win this custom reversible bag by 1154 Lill Studio. Very chic, and roomy enough to handle all of your "extra" kid gear.
3. I've been following Specialgathering's blog for several weeks now. Earlier this week there was a post/comment discussion about appropriate worship for special needs members that I thought was really significant. The church spends a lot of time talking about making worship appealing to our culture and whether or not that is a good idea. This community of special needs adults is considering how to best meet their special needs culture in worship, and it seems an important step in the right direction to me.
4. School is starting soon. A friend of mine is planning to home school her two oldest children this year for the first time. We at one time were interested in home schooling, but given our daughter's special needs didn't think it possible. According to this article there is a subset of home schooling parents whose children are autistic. I'm still not sure it would work well for our family, but if you are interested there are some resources listed there.
5. And beyond school, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" perhaps a conversation starter for you and your special needs child. I think at last report our daughter wanted ME to grow up to be a firefighter...I'll have to see what she says now...
You can see a list of Sunday Digests (and other posts) here.