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Finding Our Way

Posted by on 6:16 pm in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, About LU2P, Family Dynamics, Family Resources, Home & Family, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Relationships, Stories of Hope | Comments Off on Finding Our Way

Finding Our Way

LOVEU2PIECES·THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017 April is Autism Awareness Month. While the month is generally focused on raising awareness and funds in support of these families, it can be an emotional time for those who are living the ASD journey. When a fellow Mom on this path shared a beautiful moment she experienced with her family on Sunday, I felt it deep in my soul. With her gracious permission, I am sharing it with you today. Her story so poignantly expresses an example of the multiple perspectives of this interconnected journey which we travel daily… In this snapshot of time, the isolation, the helplessness, the ferocity of love, hope and pride are all powerfully experienced. If you’re anything like me, yesterday was an extra emotional day. So I had to share this story. After dinner last night, my NT 7 year old daughter was drawing on a dry erase board. My ASD son was telling her what to draw… silly things … typical fecal humor stuff.  When my daughter asked “what should I draw you doing?” My son erases the board and tells her, “draw me alone cuz I’m lost.” I stopped what I was doing and asked him why he wanted his sister to draw him that way. My daughter and I kind of shared a look, but predictably he couldn’t explain why. So my daughter starts drawing and this picture is what she drew. Then she says “you’ll never get lost Ty, you’ve got us.” Obviously I had to leave the room for a few minutes! When I think about siblings of children with autism, I think of sacrifice, I think of, because of circumstances, having to grow up a little faster than their peers. I think of the guilt we feel as parents on days where our ASD child consumes so much of us, we feel like we have nothing left to give to our other kiddos. I curse this journey all the time, and it’s easy to forget that ALL our kids are on it with us. I’m so proud of my daughter for making this picture, for it’s also because of this journey that I know my son’s sister and brother will grow up to be a little more compassionate, a little more patient and understanding, a little more willing to look for the beauty in others, a little more willing to accept that love is UNCONDITIONAL. And hopefully a little more willing to fight for what’s right. Take comfort in this mommas! Has to count for something, right? When I launched LoveU2Pieces in 2009, I had spent my previous two years graduating with my Ph.D. in counseling, getting married, and becoming a mother of two. When my son was diagnosed with ASD, it’s no secret why the family as a whole was front of mind. As my team discussed the need for our organization, we had these thoughts: Raising a child on the autism spectrum brings with it a unique set of challenges… Not just for the child, but for parents, siblings and friends. By helping provide respite care, family and community education, and opportunities for connection, LoveU2Pieces is committed to putting a focus on fighting the autism battle by supporting the families living with it every day. I can – and do –...

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LoveU2Pieces Family Connections Program

Posted by on 8:51 pm in About Autism Spectrum Disorder, About LU2P, Family Dynamics, Family Resources, Home & Family, Living on the Spectrum, Parenting on the Spectrum, Relationships, Uncategorized | Comments Off on LoveU2Pieces Family Connections Program

LoveU2Pieces Family Connections Program

A diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder can bring with it many challenges, not only for the individual, but also for the family members. Building and supporting communication skills through our LoveU2Pieces Social Connections Program is one way to move toward thriving with autism spectrum disorder. Our therapists provide specific weekly feedback to parents so they can support new learning and consistent response and terminology in the home. Sometimes, individuals and their families need additional support and specialized programming to build stability and connection to move toward this goal of thriving. Our LoveU2Pieces Family Connections Program provides the opportunity for more intense therapy with a licensed therapist to address a specific area of need, a detailed plan for addressing the issue, and ample time devoted to meeting the family goal. Family Connections Counseling can take place in our offices at an agreed upon time, or may be contracted to take place in the home. In-home counseling allows the counselor to observe the parent-child relationship in action, providing insight into family dynamics. An ongoing goal for LoveU2Pieces is to provide the support families need to effectively manage their home environment and stress levels so that everyone can thrive. To learn more about the Family Connections Counseling Program, you can contact Colleen Matlock, MA, LPC at 314.807.7354 or Colleen.Matlock@gmail.com. During the initial meeting, a family assessment will be completed used in conjunction with parent feedback to determine treatment goals. Our therapist will provide parent-coaching, family and individual therapy, as well as case management during the 6 week session. Each session runs one hour at a rate of $50 per...

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Register Now for Trivia 2017!

Posted by on 12:53 am in Events | Comments Off on Register Now for Trivia 2017!

Register Now for Trivia 2017!

      LoveU2Pieces Trivia Night is always a fun evening spent with family and friends! Start gathering your group now to join us this year at a new venue with new games! The best news? We are playing for the same great cause, with the same great emcee… Bob Huff! See the details for this event below and click HERE to register! See you January 21!   Click HERE to...

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It Really WAS Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces!

Posted by on 4:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It Really WAS Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces!

It Really WAS Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces!

Saturday night, August 13, marked a significant event for the St. Louis Autism Community. American Airlines and LoveU2Pieces partnered to host It’s Cool to Fly American event at Lambert Airport. Participants were treated to a curb to plane simulation where they were able to “practice” the steps of air travel. The airport can be daunting for anyone, but when you add an autism spectrum disorder to the mix, it can sometimes be painful. Many families who live with autism spectrum disorders are trekking across the country on family vacations in the car, fearful of the outcome if they attempted air travel. American Airlines recognized these concerns and would like to smooth the process for families who would like to attempt flying for the first time. The result: It’s Cool to Fly American with LoveU2Pieces. Participating families brought carry-on bags, garnered boarding passes, passed through security, and made their way to the gate for a brief reception before boarding the plane. Guests were treated to gluten-free snacks, water, organic juices and organic fruit snacks. Once boarding the plane, they proceeded through the instructional process with flight attendants and taxied around the runway. It was a wonderful experience for all who attended! KSDK joined us for the event… take a LOOK  ...

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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

Posted by on 5:55 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winner’s Choice Raffle

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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