Monday, 27 February 2012

Happy Anniversary Autism Diva Help

It's been a year now since I started Autism Diva Help.  Looking back, I remember a scared mom, wondering if she can make a difference of any kind in this corner of the world.  I honestly didn't think I could do this.  My friend Dani on the other hand, never doubted me.  She kept telling me to do this, and I tried (well, kind of) and just kept giving up.

See, I kept thinking that it was so easy for Dani to tell me to "just do it," as she is an amazing writer, and she's not only a blogger, but a published writer.  She can do things on a computer that would "google" your mind.  When I watch her work, I literally see smoke come off her laptop.  I miss my friend dearly.  She lives a seven hour drive away from me, yet she helped me start Autism Diva Help through that distance.  She encouraged me every time I felt like giving up, and kept telling me to just keep going, going, going...  She is my Nemo, and I am...  what's my name again?

Anyways, without Dani, there would be no Autism Diva Help.  I would have quit a long time ago, or never had started it in the first place, so for that, I must thank my good friend Dani, as well as you guys...  Autism Diva Help has had over 22, 800 hits in one single year. Holly cow!

As for my goals...  I will let you look back at one of my earlier posts and let you score my goal list...  Here it is:

Goal 1:  Finding a better school, one that can handle Dayton's disability...  I haven't switched to another school, but the school that Dayton has been attending got a new principal and Dayton has a new teacher and aid...  what a difference!  We're having a much more successful year thanks to their efforts, without one single suspension!!!  I would have to say that I have met this goal, what do you say?

Goal 2:  Finding daycare...  Yeah, that's a literal impossibility in this area of Winnipeg.  Instead of finding a daycare, I'm using my respite hours to work...  Now the challenge is finding a good respite worker that is available for me to be able to work like regular people out there instead of the split shifts that I have been working...  I would say I've met this goal 50% - at least I'm using my respite, something I haven't really used  before.  Will I find a daycare for Dayton before he turns 12?  Hmmmm, probably not likely.  I'm going to have to re-evaluate this goal and fine tune it to finding a respite worker who is able to watch Dayton after school.  Sounds good to me, what do you think?

Goal 3:  Finding a play group for Dayton...  I've created PACE with the help of SuperDad, and we've had two successful play dates so far:  one at a McDonald's and the second one at our new home that we got a week and a half ago.  We're doing our third gymboree tomorrow night!  I say mission accomplished with this goal!

Goal 4:  Checking out the YMCA for programs for the two of us.  A family membership is $75.00 a month...  Ouch.  Met the goal as I DID check it out, but not joined as it's too expensive.  Goal met.

Goal 5:  Not bringing work home to take time away from Dayton.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!  I've found a better job, one that requires me to leave home, but once I do get home, I don't bring work with me.  I'm all Dayton's!!!  And the best part, I LOVE MY NEW JOB.  I actually get to interact with my colleagues, my employer is fantastic, and I get to do what I've been teaching for the last three years.  I'M NEVER LEAVING PHARMACY AGAIN!!!

The road has been bumpy, with lots of twists and turns.  Thank goodness I wore my seat belt for this drive, as it's been full of missions!

I just have to remember the pictures of success:

Consider yourselves hugged,



  1. Hi,

    You mention that you are using respite hours to
    work. I was wondering how many hours you get?

    We have two children with Autism, one that is
    severe and non-verbal. We get 5 hours a week
    respite and were told CSS that is max. that
    can be given out to a family. Even with Doctors
    saying we need more. Do you get more than 5
    a week?


  2. Hello!
    I am a mother of 2 wonderful autistic boys ages 4 & 7 years old. My youngest is currently enrolled in the ABA program. I am a registered nurse,(R.N., B.N.,) who has decided to stay home to care for my 2 boys. Seeing as it is very difficult to both work and have a child in the preschool ABA program, I have decided to try to help out some other families in the same situation. I am able to care for 2 children who are enrolled with full time service, in the preschool ABA program. As I already have one child in the ABA program, I am very knowledgeable about how the program works. I have a lot of experience with autism and I believe that I can be a great support to 2 families who really need to work, but might be unable to both work and have their child in the program. I also will be able to care for your child if your tutor calls in sick, eliminating the stress of trying to find someone at the last minute, or having to call in sick yourself. My house is very suitable and safe for children on the spectrum and I will be able to help with materials that might be needed for programming. I currently have a small home based business in which I make sensory tools and other specialty items for children on the spectrum or who have other special needs. I will help accommodate clinic meetings, if you would like them to be at my home you will be welcome to hold them here, or I will sit in if you are unavailable to attend and pass all of the information onto you. I am able to start taking kids ASAP. I live in the South St. Vital area. If you know anyone who might be interested and would like to know more details, or if you have any good ideas how to get this information out to the small population of families who I can help, it would be greatly appreciated! I have already contacted MFEAT and placed an add on Kijiji. Both ABA and CSS are unable to help me due to confidentiality issues. If anyone is interested, I can be contacted at anytime. or 782-5750
    Thanks, Michelle

  3. Hi Kevin...

    I currently get 20 hours of respite a month... Every family is different. I know of one gentleman, SuperDad who has five children, 3 of which are on the autism spectrum, and I believe he gets 12 hours a week... I know for sure he gets 9 hours on Saturdays and then a couple of more hours on Thursdays. It really all depends on the individual family and their needs. My advise is to ask for a new worker. Your worker is obviously not working for you. Unfortunately, that is the case here in Manitoba. When we lived in Calgary, I was getting 35 hours a month, and the only diagnoses Dayton had was global developmental delays and ADHD. Alberta has set a much higher standard in education for their kids, and I would love to be able to move back there.

    Michelle, I am so giving you a call girl!!!