Come see me! Awareness Event in Tacoma - TODAY!

Are you in the Puget Sound area?  Come see me signing books and spreading awareness today at the Barnes and Noble in Lakewood!  Here's more information about this great Autism Awareness Event in Tacoma, WA!

From the Exceptional Families website:

The Exceptional Families Network and PAVE are excited to announce their partnership in bringing you the second annual Autism Awareness Day! 

Friday, April 27th 

3:00 - 7:00 pm

Barnes & Noble
Lakewood Towne Center


        This family-friendly event will feature:
         - vendors that serve the local autism community
         - book fair fundraiser...all of your purchases in the store and online will raise money
         - demonstration of helpful apps on the Nook tablet device
         - book signings by local authors
         - children’s activities
         - giveaways
         - scavenger hunt

On the day of our event, please enter our voucher number when you shop! All purchases made online, in the store, and at the on-site Starbucks will help raise money. Proceeds will go toward local families affected by autism and served by the Exceptional Families Network and PAVE. We thank you for your support!

                      VOUCHER # 10719128

We are grateful for the opportunity to once again have Autism Awareness Day at Barnes & Noble and we anticipate a great event!  

A DOUBLE Good News Day!

I love days that have good news and I DOUBLE love days that have DOUBLE good news!  And ya know what, I got me one of them. :)

Yesterday my dear friend Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy posted on my Facebook letting me know that I had the honor of being included on's Top 30 Autism Blogs.  I was, in all honesty, totally surprised and very flattered!  So a big thank you to the Babble panel who nominated HLW3B and selected me for the list!  If you have not seen the full list, please take a minute to go through each blog - it is worth the time!

Oh Ya Baby!
I am going to add to their list though, so please forgive me.  There was one blog I love that should be included on that list, in my (not so) humble opinion, and I feel it deserves a shoutout.  Any guesses which one?  Yep, that's right...

Try Defying Gravity written by the talented and insightful Alysia Butler!  So, as far as I am concerned, her blog is the UNofficial #31. :)  Also, in case you are wondering, the hilarious Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy isn't on the list ONLY because she was on the panel for Babble nominating and judging, and it is just poor form to insist you make your own list.  Bummer.

But being included on the Top 30 Autism Blogs list is just the first part of the DOUBLE good news!

"Sensory Issues for $1000"

I’ll take Sensory Processing Disorder for $1000, Alex.” 

I like to pretend that my self-taught ninja-like parenting skills in Sensory Processing Disorder will someday help me win a bunch of money on Jeopardy, but it’s not likely.  That’s OK, because in many ways, I’ve already won.  I just didn’t realize how lucky that first diagnosis was.

The Lucky Diagnosis

When my oldest son Gabriel was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in 2005 I was honestly relieved.   I had finally got an answer that explained his insane meltdowns, his obsession with eating hot salsa (while tears rolled down his face and he begged for more), and some enlightenment for all of the crashing, climbing, jumping and falling.  But more importantly, the diagnosis gave me direction on how to help him.   At the time I had no idea that it would be the first step in learning how to help all three of my sons.  What a stroke of luck.

The Education Begins

That year I began learning all I could about SPD.  Google became my best friend and I relied heavily on parenting groups and websites for information.  First I had to learn what exactly Sensory Processing Disorder was.


According to the SPD Foundation, “Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses.”
The messages from my son’s senses were not being processed correctly by his brain, which caused what pioneering sensory Occupational Therapist A. Jean Ayres called a ‘virtual traffic jam’, leading to my son’s often inappropriate motor and behavioral responses (like giant meltdowns or running away).  This revelation gave me a better perspective of my son’s behavior.  Another piece of the puzzle was recognizing there are eight senses (Surprised? So was I!).  Learning their names and how they were affected gave me a deeper insight into what my son was going through.