On the Road With Autism

My journey of discovery. I welcome your comments!

Keeping Your Apple Barrel Full (Well-Being)


We must take care of ourselves so we can take care of those we love or work with who have complex special needs.

  • Certified Mental Health Counselor, Lee Schnebly has a beautiful image for all of parents & health practitioners
  • She asks us to see ourselves as an Apple Barrel. If we give all our apples away (to our children, clients, students, neighbors, friends) & we are totally out then we will be unable to function effectively until we fill them up again. These apples represent our emotions.
  • They are many types of apples available. We ourselves have the responsibility for getting whatever apples we want & keeping our barrel full.
  • Our life’s activities can fill our barrel & also take away our apples
  • It’s all about balance & attitude
  • These Activities May Give us Apples: (Add them to your barrel)
  • Going to a favorite place
  • Reading a favorite book
  • Time with close friends
  • Time with family
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Spending time alone
  • Eating Ice Cream
  • Dancing or Singing
  • Walking on the Beach or Mountain or Forest
  • A child learning, therapy working
  • A parent happy & satisfied with our work
  • Fair compensation for our work
  • Exercising
  • Finding a special someone in your life
  • Sleeping in once in awhile
  • BUT there are ACTIVITIES THAT CAN TAKE OUR APPLES AWAY (be aware)
  • Overworking/tired
  • Getting Sick
  • Having an argument with a loved one
  • Letting down a Family
  • Not being able to help everyone
  • Not making time to do our favorite things
  • Holding in feelings & not sharing
  • Being angry, anxious & confused
  • SO
  • Be sure to check in on how full your barrel is & make sure you are keeping it reasonably filled with the right kind of apples
  • Then you are developing well-being & when you are playing your best game, your child, your student or your client will benefit from all your efforts

Well-Being For Those Who Care for, Teach, Love someone with special needs

Each of us has to find our own ways of creating Well-Being. When we support, love, teach or care for individuals with special needs we truly need to develop a Wellness Plan. Here are a few ideas for your plan

  • Join or create a support group for likeminded providers
  • Do things you love (movie, massage, music lessons, gardening, concerts)
  • Exercise (Walk, bike ride, swim, dance)
  • Spend time in Nature
  • Spend some time in Silence
  • Laugh more: “Laughter is inner jogging: 100 belly laughs are the cardiovascular equivalent of 10 minutes of rowing”
  • Write it down: Take a minute & write down what is stressing you. Make two lists, things which you can control & things you cannot. Focus on those you can control
  • At the end of each day write down the positives of the day
  • Learn to say NO
  • Spend time with people who do not drain you but energize you
  • MEDITATE
  • Did you know that meditation actually increases the thickness of the prefrontal cortex & slows down thinning that occurs as we age?
  • Did you know that University of California in Los Angeles USA, found mindfulness & meditation helped lower feelings of loneliness?
  • Did you know that the University of Michigan in USA documented lower levels of post-traumatic stress disorder after mindfulness in their military veterans?
  • Did you know that researchers at North Carolina University in USA found there was an increase in positive emotions when people practiced mindfulness, acceptance & good physical health?
  • Did you know that in Silicon Valley, in California, USA at the General Mills, company they have set up Meditation rooms in every building?
  • Did you know that Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Team in USA, encouraged longer sleeping & mindfulness for his players?
  • Did you know that Dr. Levy at University of Washington, USA says that Meditation is like doing repetitions at the gym, it strengths your attention muscle?
  • Dr. Schuller said, “Optimism produces health, healing, energy & power
  • Here are a few of his wisdoms
  • We have the choice to look at any situation and take it with a negative or positive attitude (choose positive)
  • Look at what you have left, not what you have lost
  • Keep your optimism growing by tapping into positive memories? Recall them, especially successes, learn from them, they can bring you power
  • Calm down. Relax. Think. Don’t make key decisions at a low point in your life
  • Believe things are possible. Set clear goals so life can improve. Devote time to these goals
  • Start small. Think Tall. Take small steps at first but never lose sight of the end results you want
  • IF WE FOLOW Dr. Schuller’s wisdoms we are helping achieve better health, increasing our energy & developing power to help those who need us to help them.
  • Robin Sharma is an author, speaker and coach. He believes that to be our best we will want to:
  • Focus on the things we do best
  • Be Kind
  • Give sincerely from the heart
  • Make choices that are right not just easy
  • Keep a journal of experiences & evaluate them & learn from them
  • Have bravery to try & fail than never to have tried at all
  • Take a weekly sabbatical & be alone for a few minutes
  • Have a Grateful Mantra & say daily
  • Learn to ask for what you want
  • Read great books
  • Forgive
  • Drink Fresh Juice
  • Develop three great friendships
  • Stop Complaining
  • Savor the simple stuff
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself
  • Live each day in a worthwhile way

Wellness & The Flock of Geese

Weather you are a parent or professional supporting children, teens or adults with autism or any other special need it is important that you develop your plan for Wellness.  I am going to share with you some suggestions on how to do that. In today's blog I share the story of the teacher, her students & the Geese

  • There once was a kindergarten teacher who took her children outside when they became restless & lay down on the grass & watched the clouds. She made up stories for them while they watched
  • One day they watched a flock of geese fly by, honking. The children would look up & they would even make up names for the geese with their teacher
  • The Teacher’s husband made her study geese so she could make up informative stories about geese for her students
  • Here are the lessons she taught her children, lessons that can help us develop Wellness & positive outlooks on our lives
  • Lesson #1: Each bird in the V formation creates uplift to keep them flying. Together the flock creates 71% more uplift by staying together which keeps them flying longer (Work collaboratively, share a common direction)
  • Lesson #2:When one bird gets tired, they fall back in the V formation to take advantage of the lift from others (accept help from others who have a similar vision for they will help us as well)
  • Lesson #3: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates its lead. (Take turns on hard tasks)
  • Lesson #4: Geese are always honking because they are thanking the leader for flying so fast & strong. (It is important for us to encourage others for jobs well done)
  • Lesson#5: When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two others drop off one on each side & take the sick or wounded to the ground to protect. They stay until the goose is well or dies.    Stand by each other in difficult times as well as when you are all strong.