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It’s Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces

Posted by on 6:18 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces

It’s Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces

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Winner’s Choice Raffle

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Winner’s Choice Raffle

Please support families living with autism by purchasing raffle tickets for the LoveU2Pieces 2016 Winner’s Choice Raffle! The lucky winner will choose one trip from these four incredible options!   CANCUN COASTAL ADVENTURE Sightseeing Catamaran Cruise, Snorkeling, Parasailing, 4-Night StayWestin Resort & Spa  with Airfare for 2 This Experience Includes: Full day Sightseeing Catamaran Cruise includes snorkeling, open bar, lunch and dancing Parasailing Adventure 4-night stay in a deluxe ocean view guest room at the Westin Resort & Spa Cancun Daily breakfast for 2 Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to Cancun, Mexico Winspire booking & concierge service  VALUED AT $8,050 Click HERE to learn more about this experience.   TOUR THE VINES OF NAPA VALLEY Chauffeur, 3-Night Stay Meritage Resort and Spa with Airfare for 2 This Experience Includes: 3-night stay in a standard guest room at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley Daily continental breakfast 6 consecutive hours of chauffeured luxury sedan service Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to San Francisco or Oakland, CA Winspire booking & concierge service VALUED AT $6,152 Click HERE to learn more about this experience.   Monterey Golfing Experience Round of Golf on Del Monte Golf Course (Pebble Beach, CA), Golf Cart Rental, 3-Night Stay Hyatt Regency Monterey with Airfare for 2 This Experience Includes: One round of golf for 2 including golf cart on the Del Monte Golf Course, Pebble Beach 3-night stay in a standard guest room at Hyatt Regency Monterey Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to San Francisco or San Jose, CA Winspire booking & concierge service VALUED AT $5,400 Click HERE to learn more about this experience.   SCOTTSDALE DREAM GOLF GETAWAY Round of Golf on TPC Scottsdale Champions Course, Cart Rental, 2-Night Stay Fairmont Scottsdale (AZ) with Airfare for 2 This Experience Includes: 2-night stay in a standard Fairmont room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Daily breakfast for 2 Round of golf for 2 including greens fee, cart, and practice balls at the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to Phoenix, AZ Winspire booking & concierge service VALUED AT $5,210  Click HERE to learn more about this experience. 1 ticket for $20 or 6 tickets for $100   BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!        ...

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When Someone “Gets It”

Posted by on 4:11 pm in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, Family Dynamics, Home & Family, Just for Dads, Just for Moms, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Relationships, Stories of Hope, Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Someone “Gets It”

When Someone “Gets It”

It’s amazing when you are in the midst of a struggle and another person just seems to appear in your path at the perfect time. You know the feeling… when you are maybe a little bit down, feeling like more things have gone “wrong” than “right,” and you are wondering if things will improve, or if the current state of affairs is your new “normal.” Then you make a connection with someone who actually “gets it.” He or she understands where you are, because of being there at one point, past or present. Suddenly, a bit of the weight has been lifted. It doesn’t mean that automatically, life is bliss. But it does mean that you are not alone, and that, my friends, holds a lot of power. I recently spoke with a friend whose heart was heavy because she had again experienced a form of social shunning of her daughter. The experience was nothing new… something she has experienced for some years as she has observed both children and adults alike having little patience for her daughter’s special needs. As a parent, it never gets any easier to hear first-hand a child’s words about the hurt feelings and pain endured from social rejection. When the rejection comes from another adult, it just tends to leave you astounded. As she and I chatted, I found myself sharing an experience from my past where I felt those similar feelings of hurt for my child, helplessness in trying to remedy the situation, and disappointment in another parent’s response to my child. While the experience was 8 long years ago and life has changed dramatically since this day, sharing it again had me in tears as I remembered the enormity of what I felt that day. I was surprised by how emotional I became and as such, found myself needing to share it with readers for a couple of reasons. First, many people have happened along my path over the years and provided that lift that comes with connection and understanding, for which I am eternally grateful. Second, I know there are MANY parents out there who have been or are currently in this same place right now… whether related to autism or any other issue. I just felt the need to put this experience out there and for readers to know there is someone else who “gets it.”   My husband and I had just received a diagnosis of Autism for our 28 month old son on Monday. While the diagnosis was no surprise to me, I was still functioning in a bit of a fog as I was adjusting to leaving career life to stay at home with our kids, juggling the usual for a mom with two children 19 months apart, and handling the daily meltdowns of a child who clearly had something to say, but was unable to say it. Our son had about 10 words in his vocabulary, but would use other sounds as his method of communicating. Day in and day out, he would be reduced to tears because I couldn’t understand what he was trying to communicate. It would be several months before we would be able to start any formal training in how to most effectively meet our son’s needs. Until then, we just continued with life as we...

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Can Food Impact Mood and Behavior?

Posted by on 1:28 am in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, Events, Family Resources, Home & Family, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum | Comments Off on Can Food Impact Mood and Behavior?

Can Food Impact Mood and Behavior?

Absolutely! Research abounds identifying the manner in which food and nutrition affect the health, learning and behavior associated with many disorders. Current understanding of the gut-brain connection maintains that giving special attention to the food and nutrition one receives ~ or in some cases, does not receive can improve overall health and happiness, in addition to improving symptoms of these disorders.  Join us on Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30pm to hear more about keeping our children with ASD, ADHD and other related disorders healthy and happy! Please RSVP for this FREE presentation by clicking...

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Screenings for Winter Social Connections Groups

Posted by on 12:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Screenings for Winter Social Connections Groups

LoveU2Pieces is currently scheduling screenings for our winter Social Connections Groups! Our therapists will be screening new potential group members on Saturday, November 14 between 9:00-12:00. The screenings take approximately 30 minutes. To schedule a screening, call Leigh at 314.952.5072, or email...

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A Visit with Shawndrea Thomas at Fox 2

Posted by on 3:52 pm in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, About LU2P, Events, Family Resources, Home & Family, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum | Comments Off on A Visit with Shawndrea Thomas at Fox 2

A Visit with Shawndrea Thomas at Fox 2

It was a wonderful morning at Fox 2 News this morning! Leigh Rolnicki was invited to sit down with Shawndrea Thomas to talk a little bit about the new LoveU2Pieces Play and Learning Center and our upcoming golf outing at Tapawingo National Golf Club tomorrow! See the video clip here. Thank you for reaching out to LoveU2Pieces and we look forward to your visit to our Play and Learning Center!

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LoveU2Pieces Play and Learning Center Dream Becomes a Reality!

Posted by on 7:44 pm in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, About LU2P, Family Resources, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Relationships, Uncategorized | Comments Off on LoveU2Pieces Play and Learning Center Dream Becomes a Reality!

LoveU2Pieces Play and Learning Center Dream Becomes a Reality!

LoveU2Pieces is thrilled to announce that after 5 years, we are opening our first Play and Learning Center! We have designed a gorgeous space for our families to connect, play and learn! The LoveU2Pieces Play and Learning Center is designed to nurture the development and resilience of families living with autism spectrum disorders. More specifically, we specialize in children who are functioning at a high level on the autism spectrum. While these children may excel in the academic realm, we find that social interaction is an ongoing struggle, even into adulthood. One myth which exists for this population is that they do not want friends or relationships. On the contrary, these kids want friendships, they simply lack the collection of skills needed to initiate and maintain those friendships. Many are not completely without skills, but merely have “holes” in their development. As such, we work hard to provide opportunities for our population to socially interact while learning and practicing skills in a supportive and fun environment. They learn and grow by receiving ongoing feedback which parents can then integrate into the home setting. All of our groups are developed by a team of licensed therapists and educators, and are informed by current research. Please see the flyer below and share with anyone you feel would benefit from these types of groups. Our first screening is scheduled for Saturday, May 23rd. Please contact Leigh if you are interested in getting your child screened for the summer groups. We look forward to seeing and working with...

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A Little Rest Goes a Long Way

Posted by on 8:13 pm in About LU2P, Family Dynamics, Family Resources, Home & Family, Just for Moms, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Relationships | Comments Off on A Little Rest Goes a Long Way

res·pite [res-pit] Noun:  A delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief Verb: To relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying; give an interval of relief from No matter how you say it – stay, hiatus, rest, recess, postpone, suspend – respite is something that all parents need from time to time. It’s especially true of parents who are raising one or more children on the autism spectrum. If this describes you or someone you know, then you’re probably already aware that caring for a child on the spectrum can be rewarding one day and devastating the next. In fact, those emotions and more can be experienced within the same hour some days. It’s common that a lot of responsibility and taking care of children (on the spectrum or not) falls to the mom. This doesn’t mean the dads aren’t involved, but as moms we often take on more because that’s who we are and what we instinctively do. We love our children and want what’s best. And sometimes what’s best is for us to take a break away from our special needs child to recharge and refresh. Thinking about doing this can make many women uncomfortable. That’s OK. But there are some compelling reasons as to why this is not only good for you, but also good for your child on the spectrum, and other neurotypical children you may have and marriage. What is Respite Care? At its simplest, respite care is a break from the action. It’s a stepping back so you can catch your breath, recharge your batteries and spend a little bit of time caring for yourself. It can be time to hang with your other kids if you have them, visit with friends, be with your significant other conversing beyond, “How was your day?” It sounds great, but many parents, especially moms, fight respite care. It may be hard to walk away from your enormous responsibility of caring for your child, but doing so can make a world of difference in how you interact with him or her when you return. There’s no shame or guilt in taking a break – everyone needs one now and then. Try thinking of it this way. If you’ve flown on a plane, then you know that flight attendants always instruct that parents should put on their oxygen masks first before they put a mask on a child. This at first sounds counter-intuitive and uncaring. No parent wants to see her child struggle for breath in a scary situation. But it makes perfect sense – take care of you first so you’re able to take care of your child. Respite care is the same thing. But it’s not all about you. Your child may also benefit from a break. While routine and familiarity is what children on the spectrum favor, it’s a good thing for them to expand their relationships beyond their direct family to other caregivers. Not only might it encourage a bit more independence, but also provide successful solutions to matters where the child might have become “stuck,” such as going to the bathroom instead of using a diaper. Sometimes someone different can coax out behaviors that the child won’t do for the parents. Length of Time...

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Joy, Happiness and Hard Work – Helping Taylor Reclaim His Voice

Posted by on 10:05 am in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, Family Dynamics, Family Resources, Home & Family, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Stories of Hope | 0 comments

Joy, Happiness and Hard Work – Helping Taylor Reclaim His Voice

It’s an all-too familiar scenario: Family welcomes new baby into the household Baby grows well physically, mentally and emotionally Baby turns into a happy, loving toddler And then, something happens. That “something” is a diagnosis of autism. Then, the world as the family knew it is gone. This is what happened to the Crowe family after son Taylor, a happy, verbal, well-adjusted toddler, began to change into a mostly silent, withdrawn and frequently inconsolable child. After seeing doctor after doctor, they finally received the autism diagnosis from a psychiatrist. He painted a bleak picture of what Taylor’s life would become, suggesting that they consider institutionalizing him when he was older. David Crowe, Taylor’s father, said of the assessment, “No parent should have to hear that about their child.” Compounding the difficulty the Crowe’s had in grasping the situation was the lack of information on autism. Today we take for granted that we can jump on the Internet and find any number of resources, books, blogs and educational pieces about autism. But Taylor was diagnosed in 1985. Crowe said he spent about a year after Taylor’s diagnosis simply looking for an adult with autism to better understand Taylor’s future. He couldn’t find one. Not willing to give up, the Crowe’s took an unusual step in advocating for their son. They enlisted the help of other families with children Taylor’s age to befriend him. “We were told he wouldn’t be comfortable around peers or interact socially,” said Crowe. “We early on started with children of friends. We explained to the kids that Taylor was a child like them, but that he might not be able to do everything they could do.” Taylor’s world expanded with the inclusion of these new friends, who helped teach him how to be a child again. Crowe added that it wasn’t always easy for these children, but they were patient and understanding with Taylor – and this was in kindergarten. The advocacy didn’t stop there. Crowe continued to champion for his son, helping the special education and regular classroom teachers determine when it would be best for Taylor to participate with the other kids in his grade. As Taylor aged, having friends became an even bigger necessity. Before he entered fifth grade, Crowe again appealed to the parents of children in Taylor’s grade asking that they talk with their kids about being a friend to Taylor. The reason for this was twofold:  1) to continue to develop Taylor’s social skills and 2) give him a circle of friends who would be able to shield him from the kids who might make fun of or torment Taylor because he was different. It worked. Taylor’s newfound “rock star” status changed the complexion of the entire fifth grade that year, which carried forward in each subsequent year. At a young age, Taylor’s artistic talent was already evident. This became the perfect backdrop for Taylor to continue developing his social skills. Crowe hired an art tutor to give direction, guidance and hone Taylor’s creative talents. Instead of staying at home, however, Crowe requested the tutor take Taylor into public spaces to work. The goal was for Taylor to engage others in conversations about his art. “[Taylor] was so easily overwhelmed by conversations,” said Crowe. “But he could talk about art;...

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Just 15 Minutes – Taking Time Out only for You

Posted by on 10:05 am in Just for Moms | 0 comments

Just 15 Minutes – Taking Time Out only for You

Women are marvelous jugglers. We raise families, hold full-time jobs or run our own businesses, manage our homes, volunteer, act as chauffeur to our children, are caregivers when someone is sick and, more frequently, care for aging parents. Essentially, it may feel like you’re on the go 25 hours a day (if that were possible). It’s exhausting and dangerous for your physical and mental health. While you’re taking care of everyone else, the one person who needs the most care is ignored – you. If you’ve flown on a plane before, you’ve likely heard the flight attendant advice for parents traveling with small children. Parents should put their oxygen masks on first. While great advice, most women, on a daily basis, put everyone else’s oxygen masks on them and ignores her own need for one. As a mom, wife, daughter, sister and volunteer, you breathe life into so many other people and things that it’s easy to forget or ignore the fact that you need to be restored, too. It’s easy to forget that, if you become drained by all of your responsibilities, you will eventually burn out. Being burned out can show up as illness, fatigue or resentment. When this happens, you’re probably not a lot of use to anyone. How can you possibly take time away when you’re needed in so many places and by so many people? It may not be reasonable (or affordable) for you to lounge at a luxurious spa for a week, but could you take 15 minutes up to an hour to pamper yourself without the blaring of stereos, dinging of emails or the tearful cries of “Mommy!” in the background? If your answer is, “no,” then there really is a much bigger issue at play here. Everyone needs a timeout, especially an overworked, overstressed mom. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to do for those 15-60 minutes, here are 25 ideas to jumpstart your brain. This means you must stop thinking about everything else for a minute and consider how taking just a 15-minute break would help you to reconnect with your needs, lower your stress level and allow you to experience a few precious moments of peace. Just 15 minutes can make a difference. Read a book Listen to your favorite music Take a walk in your neighborhood Sit in the sunshine Weed your garden Take a drive Play with your dog or cat Take a bubble bath Sit in a favorite chair and stare out the window Call an old friend and catch up Sing! Rollerblade Make your favorite dish (just for you!) Reacquaint yourself with a favorite hobby Pray Ride a bike Make a cup of your favorite drink, put your feet up and sip slowly Do some simple stretching exercises to loosen up tight muscles Journal about all the things you’re grateful for Have a meal with a friend Window shop Go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls Dance around joyfully Buy some flowers Build a snowman (if you’re in the right climate at the right time of year) What creative ways can you spend 15 to 60 minutes just for...

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