Healthy Low Calorie Oatmeal Cookies

It took several tries, but I was able to come up with a healthy, low in calorie, low fat, and high fiber oatmeal cookie.


1/2 Cup EggBeaters

1 Cup Applesauce

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Blue Bonnet Light

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 Cups Oats

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Cup Polaner Sugar Free with Fiber Concord Grape Jam


Combine sugar and wet ingredients, butter, applesauce, jam, eggbeaters, vanilla, in a bowl.  Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Using a melon scoop, scoop batter onto a baking sheet and flatten each one out.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Baking time may vary depending on how hot your oven cooks.  Makes about 39 cookies.

Nutritional Information:

Based on 39 cookies.  One cookie has:

52 Calories

6 grams of carbs.

2 grams of fiber

0.5 grams of fat



Do You Have Plans For Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day will be here soon, and I don’t have plans.  Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day?  My husband and I can’t go out for the evening, because we don’t have a babysitter for the kids.  It’s difficult for parents of an autistic child to find a babysitter.  I’ve given up.  When I am lucky enough to get a family member to watch my kids, I feel like I’ve won a great prize.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen a lot.  I think my husband and I managed to get one or two nights to ourselves last year.

For me, Valentine’s Day is just another day.  Same with my husband.  We don’t need a special holiday to show each other how much we love the other.  We do it everyday.  Valentine’s Day is a bigger deal for my 8 year old daughter.  I have to get her Valentine’s Day cards, and help her fill them out.  I also have to buy candy for her to take into school.  I don’t buy cards for my son, but I do get candy for him to take to school.

Would I like a night out with my husband on Valentine’s Day?  Of course I would.  It’s not going to happen, so I don’t expect or wish for it.  If we do anything for this upcoming holiday, it will be dinner out with the kids.  Would I like flowers from my husband on Valentine’s Day?  Of course I would, but I don’t expect them.  Actually, and this may sound strange, if my husband were to spend money on me, I would prefer it to be in a practical gift.  A nice food processor, painting supplies to paint the bathroom.  Flowers will die and get thrown away.  A practical gift will be around for a long time.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

When Your Child Lies and Steals

We keep a jar on top of the refrigerator that my husband empties his change into everyday. I use the change for giving the kids lunch money each day. Sometimes, things get hectic in the mornings, and I have my daughter get her own lunch money out of the jar.
Saturday, my daughter was spending money at the bowling ally and the restaurant. Not much, a total of about $1.00. My husband asked her where she got the money. She said it was money she had left over from last year. It was money she had been saving. It didn’t sound right. My daughter can not save money for the life of her. As soon as she has it, she has to spend it.
We were in the car when this all came out, on our way home from lunch out. By the time we reached home, and parked, I was determined to get the truth out of my daughter. One thing I will not tolerate is having my kids lie to me. My husband and son went into the house, and my daughter and I stayed in the car. It took awhile, but I finally got the truth out of her. She had taken some change out of the change jar.
That upset me, because it was stealing, and I taught my daughter better than that. It was her that lying was wrong. I knew why she lied. She was scared. She knew she had done something wrong, but wasn’t sure why it was wrong. In her mind, it should have been alright for her to get money out of the jar. But, deep inside, she knew it was wrong. Her inner voice had told her it was wrong, but she didn’t listen. She lied to me. That hurt me the most. How can I trust her, if she can lie to me? It wasn’t the first time she had lied. Children lie. They have to be taught that it is wrong to lie. Little things like, “Brother did it.” “I don’t know.” Brother didn’t do it. They do know. Not a big deal, but my husband and I would call her out on the little lies, explaining the importance of always telling the truth when we ask her a question. The last time she told a little lie, I told her she would be punished if she were to lie to us again.
This time around, I don’t consider this a little lie. My husband and I had asked her straight out if she had taken money out of the jar, and she said no. Twice asked, and twice denied. My heart broke. It was all I could do to remain calm, and not cry. I wasn’t angry. I was hurt and disappointed.
She was punished. She has lost her TV and computer privileges for a week. She tried to negotiate a lighter punishment, but it didn’t work. I explained to her that if she hadn’t lied, her punishment would have been lighter. She stole from us, and she lied about it. Very serious. Now she has to deal with the consequences. Now I have to deal with whether or not I trust her.

Boardmaker Pre-Made Activities Now Available

I have used Boardmaker with my son almost 10  years.  I have the versions of Boardmaker, and have taught myself how to make communication boards to use with my son.  My son is completely nonverbal, and they have helped a lot with him.  For those that don’t have the Boardmaker software, you can now print out some helpful, already made, communication boards for your child.  The pricing on the downloads of these range from $2.99 to $24.99.  They also have a free 7 day download so that you can try it out, and make sure that the program is compatible with your computer.

Puzzle Me: Volume 1

Use scanning to solve colorful puzzles!


Social Support Stories: Volume 1

Learn important social skills with these interactive stories!


Poetry Pack: Volume 1

Perfect for your little poet!


Greetings Me to You: Volume 1

Send a card for every and any occasion!


Number Sense: Volume 1

It’s a countdown to mathematical learning!


Storybook Writing Extensions: Animal Friends

Discover the wonders of writing!


Just install the CD or complete the download and your activities are ready.
No Boardmaker Authoring Software Needed.




Healthy Lifestyle Versus Diet

When I hear the word “diet”, I cringe.  The first thing I think about is what I can’t eat.  When I hear “healthy lifestyle”, I think about things that I can eat, only less of them.  I prefer to think that I am living a healthy lifestyle, instead of dieting.  Dieting has always meant to me, temporary.  Something you do to lose some weight, and then you go back to eating the way you were.

I don’t want to do that.  I want to eat healthy, lose weight, and then maintain my weight when I reach my goal.  In order to do that, I have to eat healthy.  I have been doing this for a little more than 4 months, and have lost 35 pounds.  The weight is coming off slowly.  I have more energy.  I feel better.  I am also exercising.

There isn’t a food group that I can’t eat.  There are ways that food are cooked that I need to avoid.  Chicken and fish are great proteins to eat, but the worse thing to eat if they are fried.  I don’t eat fried foods anymore.  Sweets are bad for you in large quantities, because of the sugar in them.  But, if I pick sweets that have a low sugar content, and limit the amount I eat, that is fine.  Also, I have found that if I make my own sweet desserts, I can eliminate some of the sugar content normally found in that item.

I have reduced the portion sizes of the foods I eat.  I use a smaller bowl, or dish, to eat out of.  I also eat slower, and drink water before I eat.  This helps to fill me up faster.  When I am in the kitchen, and go to reach for something to munch on, I stop and ask myself two things:  1.  Am I hungry?  2.  Am I reaching for something to eat because I just want to munch?

For either question, if the answer is yes, I reach for something that is healthy.  Carrots are my go to snack when I have the munchies.  A bowl of vegetables and fruit if my stomach is telling me I am hungry.  It’s all about the choices you make   when you go to reach for food.  I am always eating something, but I am eating healthy.  Now that I am used to eating this way, I have found that I don’t ever feel like I am starving.  I eat small meals, and snacks, all through the day.

If you are thinking about going on a diet, don’t.  Instead, change to a healthy lifestyle.  Healthy foods and exercise. are what you need.  Think long-term.  You have a better chance of succeeding if you don’t eliminate food groups from what you eat, just the way they are prepared.

First Day Of School

I was looking back at some old pictures, and found this.  It’s the first day of school for my daughter.  She was starting Kindergarten, and waiting for the bus.  She was so excited.

New Definition of Autism Will Do Harm

An expert panel, appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, is working on a new definition for autism.  They are working to narrow the criteria for autism, in order to lower the rate of autism spectrum disorders diagnosis.  They are working towards excluding high functioning autism (PDD-NOS and Asperger’s) from the spectrum.

Under the current criteria, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting 6 or more of 12 behaviors; under the proposed definition, the person would have to exhibit 3 deficits in social interaction and communication and at least 2 repetitive behaviors, a much narrower menu. – NYTimes

If these proposed changes were to happen, many children and adults will lose their much needed supports.  In my opinion, this would be disastrous. It takes a lot of paperwork, time, and money on the part of parents, to get a diagnosis for their child.  Then, it takes a lot of time and paperwork to get the services needed.

If these proposed changes were to happen, our children could lose their health coverage, therapy, community supports, and even their secure classroom.  Without the diagnosis, children with an IEP based on an autism diagnosis, could lose the protection of an IEP.  They would be completely lost in the public school settings.  It’s hard enough for our children to get their needs met in school, but it would be impossible without an IEP.

I think that the government is scared about the rise in Autism rates.  I believe that they don’t want to spend the time and money to help families with autism, and to find out what causes Autism, so they are using the American Psychiatric Association to lower the Autism rates.  This is horrible!  Changing the definition of autism will not help.  It will cause a lot more harm to the number of children and adults that are currently diagnosed with autism, as well as those that will no longer be diagnosed (but need to in order to receive the services needed to help them) with autism.

Leave the definition of Autism alone.  Instead, find out what causes it and how to help those who are diagnosed with autism.

Autism Child and Technology

I think it is amazing how well my son is doing with his new Colby Android Tablet.  Having a child with autism can be challenging.  He is low functioning, and nonverbal.  Teaching him the most basic task takes a lot of time and patience.  So when he can pick up a piece of modern technology, and learn how to operate it on his own, I get really excited.

It took him two days before he started getting the hang of using his new tablet.  He is now able to pull up anything on YouTube that he wants to watch.  That’s where his interest takes him.  He loves watching music videos, elevator videos, and old television shows.  He has it set up where he can bring up the keyboard on the screen, and select a letter to bring up what he wants to watch.  If he wants Bear In The Big Blue House, he selects B, and the search shows a list of the Bear In The Big Blue House searches.  If he wants Rolly Polly Olly, he selects R.  For Shania Twain, S.  His tablet remembers what he has viewed previously, and that’s what comes up first in his search.

He also takes really good care of his tablet.  He is gentle with it.  He puts it away when he is finished.  The only thing he has trouble with is turning it on.  You have to hold the power button down until it turns on, and he has figured that out.  Yet.  He knows which button is the power button, and will push it, but doesn’t hold it down long enough to turn on.  When he wants to use it, he’ll bring it to us to help him.  Then he is off to use it.  He knows how to connect to the internet with it.  He knows how to go straight to YouTube.  He absolutely loves it.

I’m so happy to see him expanding his interests with it.  When he uses it, I get to see where his interests are at the moment.  I learn what things he likes and doesn’t like.  The best thing is when I hear him giggling.  The sound of his laughter is the best medicine in the world.  If I am feeling depressed, or upset over something, hearing him laugh picks me right up and makes me smile.

A NJ Disabled Child Denied A Transplant

The parents of a 3-year-old New Jersey girl say she’s being denied a kidney transplant because of her mental disabilities, but experts caution the situation may be much more complex. – WRAL

Rivera wrote that a doctor, whom she did not name, told her and her husband, Joe Rivera, that Amelia wouldn’t be eligible for a transplant because of her quality of life and her mental condition.

“I put my hand up. ‘Stop talking for a minute. Did you just say that Amelia shouldn’t have the transplant done because she is mentally retarded. I am confused. Did you really just say that?'” she wrote. “I begin to shake. My whole body trembles and he begins to tell me how she will never be able to get on the waiting list because she is mentally retarded.” – MSNBC

After reading these articles, I looked online for Chrissy Rivera’s post.  I wanted to read what happened in her words.  I found it, and it really angered me.  I’m not sure if it was the doctor’s words or the social worker’s words that upset me more. Just the knowledge that there are people out there that think this way scares me.

I understand how Chrissy feels.  She is fighting for her child’s life, and is facing a battle of bigotry.  I have had doctors that don’t understand my child.  That have said that I need to “make” him do something, or not “let” him do something.  I have never had to face this kind of battle.  With all of my son’s developmental problems and health issues, none have been life threatening.

In my opinion, a child’s mental status should not factor into a transplant.  It’s her health status that should matter.  Is she physically able to survive a transplant?  That’s all that matters.  It sounds like Chrissy is a lot like me.  She will do anything for her child.  I can understand that.  What she is going through is difficult enough, but to add to it with this kind of treatment from “professionals”?  It’s sickening.

Proper Bowling Etiquette

We do a lot of bowling.  Living in a small town, there’s not a lot you can do as a family.  It’s too cold to take the kids to the park.  It’s too cold for camping.  We all like to bowl, so that is what we do.  When you are bowling, there are certain things that are considered proper bowling etiquette.  There are also certain things that are unspoken rules.

First, when you are done bowling, put away the house balls that you used.  If you don’t, then the next players have to do this.  I find it very irritating to have to put back 10 balls in order to have a place to put down our bowling balls.

Second, when you are bowling next to another group, please don’t just run up and throw your ball when the person next to year is lining up and getting ready to throw their ball down the lane.

Third, when you are done bowling, leave the area.  Don’t hang around the counter where you were bowling.  There are tables and chairs you can socialize at.  If you feel you have to continue hanging out at the counter, move around to the other side.  It’s very irritating to have someone standing, and blocking the way, to us trying to put your bowling balls back and preventing us from storing our purse or bowling bags.  We like to place them under the counter, under the racks of bowling balls.  We also like to have something to drink while we are bowling.  We could not do that yesterday, because the previous group was hanging around, and had the counter filled with their stuff.

I know this may sound petty.  But when you have an autistic child, it’s not.  We have our routine at the bowling ally.  It makes things a lot easier when other people are courteous of others.  Even when my son isn’t with us, it makes our bowling experience better when the people around you are respectful.