memes

What's On Your Nightstand

Since my last WOYN post, I have finished 11 more books, bringing my total for the year to 71.

A couple of interesting things have happened this month on the reading front. Although I had been using Shelfari to keep track of my books, I decided to give Goodreads a try and am completely hooked. It’s the Facebook for readers, and I love it!!

Another thing that happened was my running across an intriguing young adult book by chance and being captivated enough to give it a read. It was an amazing book, and so I have decided to see what else I am missing and read through the Newbery Medal award winners. I checked out the 2010 and 2011 books today.

WHAT I’VE READ THIS MONTH – (click on the title for my review)

#61. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

#62. Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

#63. Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! by Diane Bahr

#64. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

#65. Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey

#66. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

#67. Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

#68. The Giver by Lois Lowry

#69. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

#70. The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Elwell Hunt

#71. Leaving by Karen Kingsbury


WHAT’S ON THE NIGHTSTAND

Fiction

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Separate Beds by Elizabeth Buchan
Healer by Carol Wiley Cassela
The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2010 Newbery Winner)
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (2011 Newbery Winner)
Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax

Non-Fiction

Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Manage Anxiety by Tony Attwood – just started going through the workbook section with Michael
The New Social Story Book by Carol Gray – reading through with Michael, we’re somewhere around chapter 3 and learning a lot
MoveAbout Activity Cards by David & Kathy Jereb – have tried out quite a few and need to go through all of them to see what might be doable at school
The Book on Writing by Paula LaRocque – read and loved it, but haven’t written review yet
Stress-Free Believers by Harold Metzel – one chapter in, not totally on the same page with his theology but interested to read more
Sensational Journeys by Hartley Steiner – am about halfway through and enjoying it so far

So, what book are you most glad you read this month?

To read more posts or join in yourself, visit What’s On Your Nightstand? at 5 Minutes for Books.

What's On Your Nightstand

Since my last WOYN post, I have finished 9 more books, bringing my total for the year to 60.

WHAT I’VE READ THIS MONTH – (click on the title for my full review)

#52. Chalk Line: A Ben Gallagher Mystery by Paula LaRocque ~ This is an ARC of her first novel, which is coming out on September 1st. I’m already looking forward to her next one. :)

#53. Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber ~ A Christmas novel from a few years ago that I just read on my iTouch Kindle app, thanks to my good friend L., who lets me borrow her books after she’s done with them.

#54. Time and Again by Nora Roberts ~ Romance novel with a time travel twist.

#55. The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs ~ A heartwarming story that makes you think about yourself, as a wife and mother, and as a person. without being preachy or pedantic.

#56. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde ~ The sixth in the tongue-in-cheek series about Thursday Next, ace literary detective, and her adventures in the BookWorld.

#57. On Christmas Eve by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer ~ Maybe if I keep reading Christmas stories, the 90 degree heat will go away! I liked this book a lot, as I have the first 10 in the series up ’til now.

#58. The Child with Autism Learns about Faith by Kathy Labosh ~ An ideal resource to share with your children’s director or pastor, with its warm and inviting style and tons of useful information.


#59. Unlocking the Mysteries of Sensory Dysfunction by Elizabeth Anderson & Pauline Emmons ~ A good book for parents who are new to the idea of sensory dysfunction and trying to get an idea of what may be happening with their child and what they should do about it.

#60. Insights into Sensory Issues for Professionals by Kathleen Morris ~ With over 30 articles pulled from the S.I. Focus magazine, this book provides a window into some of the current research and clinical insights surrounding sensory processing disorder.

WHAT’S ON THE NIGHTSTAND TO BE READ

After going through my TBR list and putting a bunch of stuff on hold at the library, I now have quite the stack of novels sitting next to my bed.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Separate Beds by Elizabeth Buchan
Healer by Carol Wiley Cassela
The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
Friendship Bread by Darien Gee
How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachel Herron
How to Knit a Love Song by Rachel Herron
Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Everybody Loves Somebody by Joanna Scott
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax

I have also been letting the non-fiction pile up and am determined to make a dent on them in the next few weeks. They are mixed between personal purchases and review copies that I have received.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood
Exploring Feelings: CBT to Manage Anxiety by Tony Attwood
Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! by Diane Bahr
The New Social Story Book by Carol Gray
Lost at School by Ross W. Greene
How Do I Teach This Kid to Read? by Kimberly A. Henry
MoveAbout Activity Cards by David & Kathy Jereb
You’re Going to Love This Kid! by Paula Kluth
The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque
Special Diets for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis
From Anxiety to Meltdown by Deborah Lipsky
The Hidden Curriculum by Brenda Smith Myles
Autism & Reading Comprehension by Joseph Porter
Sensational Journeys by Hartley Steiner
Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications for Kids by Timothy E. Wilens
Pretending to Be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey

To read more posts or join in yourself, visit What’s On Your Nightstand? at 5 Minutes for Books.

So, what’s your favorite book from the last month?

As I reflect on the first half of the summer, I am overwhelmed (in a good way!) with how free from worry it has been so far. In the past, I have often dreaded the arrival of summer, with its lack of structure and my anxiety about the next school year. I am so thankful for a number of factors that have brought much more peace to this summer than to previous ones:

  1. How well Michael has responded to the medication we started this spring. Notwithstanding a handful of difficult instances, he has been tremendously flexible and emotionally regulated.
  2. Having the same babysitter and summer program (and even van driver) as last year.
  3. Being able to attend therapy sessions on a more flexible schedule so Michael isn’t overloaded but doesn’t lose ground.
  4. Being able to bring out the summer packet without Michael falling apart and completely refusing to do it.
  5. Making fun trips to Hersheypark and Michael being tall enough to ride any roller coaster or ride he wants to.
  6. The fact that we have a solid IEP with a good behavior plan in place, as well as a gifted evaluation scheduled for the fall.

I am also greatly excited about the opportunity to attend the National Autism Conference the first week of August. Between the fee for PA families being just $25 for the entire four days, my brother-in-law’s family allowing me to stay with them in State College, my boss allowing me to take the week off and Michael getting into the Children’s Institute taking place at the conference site, it has all worked out incredibly well.

There are a lot of great speakers coming, and I am especially looking forward to the seminars on motor planning and on adapted physical education, both topics with which I am not as familiar. For anyone who is interested, both handouts and video of some sessions will be available within the next few weeks.

Of course, there are always things I can find to worry about, but I am choosing to focus on how many wonderful things have been happening for our family.

What are you thankful for today?

This month, Thankful Thursday is being hosted by Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Yes, this week I am thankful for a little yellow wristband that we got at Hersheypark.

Although we have been to the amusement park many times and even had season passes a few years, we had never taken advantage of the disability guest pass—until this Tuesday, that is.

When you request a pass, you get two things: a yellow Tyvek wristband worn by the disabled person and a small card used to obtain boarding times for the more popular rides. For those rides, the person manning the entrance to the line will write down a time on your card, and you can come back anytime after that to get on right away. For all other rides, you go directly to the exit and show them the wristband to gain admittance to the ride.

I had been hesitant about using this service, partly because I was worried about what people would think of us and partly because I didn’t want to teach Michael that he should expect preferential treatment because he has autism. Now that he is older and taller, however, he is primarily interested in rides that have much longer waiting times than he can tolerate.

We had a psychiatric appointment on Tuesday before heading over to the park, and the nurse practitioner encouraged me to go ahead and get the pass. He has plenty of opportunities to learn to wait, she told me, plus he really shouldn’t be standing around in the heat and humidity with the medication he is on.

And so we did.

The staff at the park couldn’t have been nicer to us. At one point, we went back for a second ride on one of the roller coasters. I let Michael ride by himself because I was too hot and didn’t feel like riding it again. They not only helped make sure his belt was tight enough, but one of the young men even offered me a cup of cold water while I waited. So thoughtful!

I didn’t notice if any of the other guests were upset by us being let onto rides without waiting in the regular lines. I only heard one person ask about it, and the staff person just said it was because he had a wristband. I did have one man ask me if there was a fast pass option he had missed, but he seemed understanding when I explained about the disability pass.

Although I realize not everyone would agree with my decision to use the pass or think it is fair to others, I do plan to continue getting the wristband for Michael when we take him to the park. I have never had a more enjoyable time with him—we walked around and went on rides for over four hours without a single complaint or outburst, which has to be a record for him!

In a world where “special needs” usually means behavior plans and IEP goals and lots of therapy appointments, I am grateful for a place where it simply means Michael gets to feel like he is special.

This month, Thankful Thursday is being hosted by Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists!

My Teaser

Right now I’m reading The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque.

…the fact is there isn’t anything very intelligent about pretentious and abstract writing. To the contrary, one hallmark of intellect is the ability to simplify, to make the complex easy to understand. Anyone can be unclear.

What are you reading right now?

Check out Should Be Reading for more Teaser Tuesdays!