The Car Wash

So, three years ago we took Reine with us when we went to the automatic car wash. It was something my other two kids have always LOVED. They thought it was the coolest thing ever! We thought Reine would like the colors the suds make.

It was the longest 5 minutes of pure terror that I have ever inflicted upon my child with the exception of blood shots (needles) and doctors appts.

The sounds that came out of her were enough to question if she had been taken over by a poltergeist. I could do nothing to stop the car wash or to make it go faster. I had no way to soothe her until the truck was done and the machine told us it was all clean. I sat and watched helplessly as I waited for her head to spin or her to pass out from pure exhaustion.I was so not winning the Mom of the year award. I honestly had NO idea that she would react to it like that or I would never have taken her. Needless to say, we both left it in tears. I vowed never to take her there again. Every time I went near it, she would cry and beg us to leave the parking lot.

A couple of months ago, Reine asked me to open the moonroof on my truck. It is one of her favorite things for me to do in my truck, as it opens all the back to the rear seat. Above her head, she noticed bird poop on my moon roof. She decided that we needed to take the truck to the car wash. Now, it took me 20 minutes and 2 meltdowns to figure out where we were supposed to take my truck.

My heart sank. My first thought was HELL NO!!!!! What if I scare the ever loving hell out of her again??? Once was enough to last me a lifetime. I told her we did not need to go to the carwash. The rain would wash off the poop eventually. Every day, a million times a day, for the next 2 weeks it was all she could talk about. When are we going to the carwash? Why haven’t we gone to the carwash yet? She was so hyper-focused on it. For the past year, we have been working with Reine to face her fears. I knew this was another fear that we could conquer together. I told her exactly what would happen and when to expect it.

As you can see, she enjoyed it and covered her ears from the loud noises it made.

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Mermaid Sensory Blanket

My Mom In Law, is an AMAZING seamstress and quilter. She surprised us this weekend with a busy sensory quilt for our amazing little autistic mermaid, unlike anything I have ever seen before. The amount of time, planning, creativeness, thought, talent, and love that went into this quilt is undeniable. I can not thank her enough for taking the time to create this one of a kind incredible quilt.

The quilt as a whole, is made with an underwater scene that anyone that is obsessed with mermaids can’t help but love. The back of the quilt is a maroon corduroy material. This will help with both durability and stains as well as giving yet another texture for our sensory seeker. The front of the quilt has pockets in different materials, sizes, and shapes. Each pocket has a different closure, such as velcro, snaps, buckles, or zippers. Everything on the quilt is secured with satin type ribbons that allow for easy detangling. And yes, Reine has already spent time some time untangling the ribbons. She has also twisted, “braided” and wrapped the ribbons into patterns. There is even a ruler for her measure things with on the quilt. One of the mermaids had to be replaced almost immediately as her tail was only held on by two tiny plastic nubs which broke off. Reine willingly donated a brand new “baby” mermaid from her collection to the quilt.

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Watching Reine explore all the pockets and things hidden throughout the quilt was truly priceless! Her smile and expressions say it all. I have decided that this quilt will stay in my truck for Reine to play with. We are often traveling to doctor appointments, waiting for her oldest sister to finish up at school or work, and there are times when Reine is not able to go into stores because she just way over stimulated. This will help her to wait patiently and love every minute of it.

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Reine’s Weighted Blanket

Our OT suggested that Reine might benefit from a weighted blanket. I had heard of them before, but had no idea what purpose they served to those on the spectrum. We were told that they provide a slight pressure, almost a hug like feeling. They are used by many to help soothe and sleep better. They are weighted depending on the person’s weight.

As the OT was writing her preliminary initial thoughts and recommendations for us, I quickly looked them up on my phone. I was in sticker shock to say the least. Many start at $90 for a small one (AKA lap blanket) and go up from there. Some as high as $250.

When the OT came back into the room, I asked her about making one (Mom In Law is an AMAZING quilter). I saw what seemed like a thousand DIY tutorials on them in my less than 5 minute search I had just done. I was surprised when our OT nicely said she does not recommend the homemade ones as they can pose health risks. She said many are not weighted properly and if one of the pockets were to get a hole in them, they would pose a choking hazard. OK, I can see her point.I even agree with it. So, time to think outside of the box.

I could not fathom paying over a $100 for something that may or maynot work for my daughter. There is a reason they say when you meet one person with autism, congratulations, you met one person with autism. Each person on the spectrum is different.You never know if what works for one person with ASD will work with another.

So, I started to look at weighted blankets sold from reputable autism sites.I knew that if this did not work, I was going to be stuck with a blanket so I had better like the design, print, style, size, and color. I happened to look down at my lap at that exact moment. I was snuggled into a throw blanket. Do they even make “weighted” throw blankets? Could this even be a possibility? Well yes, yes they do make them.

I did an online search for heavy throw blankets. I looked at the overall shipping weight generally listed under the description of the product.Some that claimed to be heavy were only actually 2 lbs. I needed to be between 3-5 lbs for Reine according to our OT. Imagine my surprise when I was able to find one that weighed 4 lbs and was less than $40. My bank account cried in delight. I know it would have also jumped for joy, sang at the top of it’s lung and placed me on a pedestal if had it actually could. I know wishful thinking, but seriously the price was awesome! The blanket is made of polyester and is a woven two-ply faux fur. I had 3 color choices of black, gray, or white. I opted to go with black. Remember I needed it to be able to use it in case she did not like it. The throw is 60×50 inches. Not a bad size at all, especially for a 5 yr old. It appeared to be super soft with a fur like texture that I hoped Reine would LOVE. I ordered it and prayed. The day it arrived, Reine was in INSTANT love with it. It has been the perfect snuggle, calm down, falling asleep blanket this house has ever used! The only con for us is that it is dry clean only.

Link to our weighted blanket can be found here.

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I also recommended it to a friend to try with her son that is also on the spectrum. She was just as hesitant as I was about it, but she bit the bullet so to speak and opted for the white blanket. Her son is in LOVE with it too.

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I think I maybe on to something here.