THE A-WORD (blog)

Never-Empty Nest

on Sept. 22, 2014, at 8:31 p.m.
A few weeks ago my youngest sister moved out of our parent’s home to begin her journey to adulthood and independence. This was the first time in 32 years that she didn’t have children living at home. 32 years. My Mom was officially an empty-nester. I can only imagine how tricky that transition must be. Seriously, I really can ONLY imagine. The reality is I will most likely never have an empty nest.

6 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and You) Healthy This Year

on Sept. 18, 2014, at 4:23 p.m.
It’s that wonderful time of the year. Autumn. September. Beautiful changes in the leaves and the lovely smell and taste of pumpkin and apple spice. And back to school… oh no. The germs. The sickness. The change in the weather. Have you saved up your sick time for the winter? …
THE A-WORD (blog)

Cooperative Play, No Big Deal

on Sept. 16, 2014, at 9:06 p.m.
So, this happened tonight…   That’s Brian with the black hood on next to his friend Henry and two other kids he had just met. Nothing much to see here, just a few kids playing in the dirt, talking about strategies, giving each other instructions, and trying to make the largest …
Swedish exchange student Klara Vestman makes raggmunkar -- potato pancakes -- for her host family at their Holden home.

‘Every day is a new discovery’: John Bapst, Swedish students swap homes

By Natalie Feulner on Sept. 15, 2014, at 5:44 a.m.
Klara Vestman, 18, of Umea, Sweden, has on her phone a list of things she wants to experience during her 10 weeks living in Maine. It includes eating lobster and a Fluffernutter sandwich, watching “American” football, seeing a movie in a theater and attending a hockey game. She checked off …

US to resume Vietnamese adoptions

By John Boudreau, Bloomberg on Sept. 14, 2014, at 5:14 p.m.
HANOI, Vietnam — Americans will soon be able to follow celebrity couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in adopting Vietnamese children after alleged baby-selling led the U.S. to halt adoptions for six years. Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice will make an announcement about overseas adoptions Sept. 16 in Hanoi, U.S. Embassy …
THE A-WORD (blog)

Things I never thought would come out of my mouth

on Sept. 14, 2014, at 4:02 p.m.
Most of the time I don’t even notice when these type of things slip out of my mouth.  It’s our life.  It’s crazy, unexpected, and chaos.  But every once in a while, it will hit me, and I will shake my head as I wonder, “What did I just say? …
THE A-WORD (blog)

When A Bike is More Than A Bike

on Sept. 04, 2014, at 3:49 p.m.
Our buddy bike has finally arrived after a long road to obtain it! This adaptive bike has only been here for four days but I can already see Brian’s confidence grow. It’s more than just a bike when it can give your child control, freedom, and independence in a world that doesn’t offer him that very often.
OH, HONESTLY! (blog)

The Acadia Amazing Race

on Sept. 02, 2014, at 1:41 p.m.
What do you get when you mix a world famous chef with a local campground?
THE A-WORD (blog)

Ten Things I Learned From Our Vacation

on Sept. 01, 2014, at 10:17 p.m.
The idea of traveling in an RV from Maine to Washington, DC was daunting. Add in autism and I thought we might be certifiable. But overall it was an amazing trip and we are so happy we went. Here are the top ten things I learned from this vacation.
Dan Tierney, a farmer at Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra stacks vegetables at the Bangor Farmers Market recently. Packing a lunch with ingredients grown locally is now easier than ever. Vegetables like cherry tomatoes, carrots or cucumbers make great snack foods, but markets and farms throughout Maine also sell other foods like bread, meat and cheese.

Now more ways to pack lunches chock full of local ingredients

By Natalie Feulner on Sept. 01, 2014, at 8:35 a.m.
When Whitney Bonacorsi moved to Bangor from southern California a little more than a year ago, it was was important for her to keep buying most of her family’s produce and food from local farms. So every Saturday, her family of four goes to the Bangor Farmers Market. Her 2-year-old …

The Night I Let My Daughter Win…

on Aug. 29, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
Before I became a parent, I remember seeing kids misbehaving and thinking, “Oh I don’t think so. Not my child.” It’s almost as if I imagined these tiny little creatures being little soldiers or clay that I could mold into perfection. There was no way I would ever let my …
THE A-WORD (blog)

Days 2 & 3: Boston and New Jersey

on Aug. 28, 2014, at 7:56 a.m.
Bare with me,  my computer has died on this adventure and I’m attempting to write this from my phone, in the dark by the campfire, while sipping a beer…. Day Two: The next step in our adventure was a trip into Boston to visit the aquarium and possibly a whale …
After Life Academy announced earlier this week it was closing, Kim Armell (left) had to start searching for a new place to send her children, Henry, 4, and Hazel, 18 months. Armell talks with Hilltop School's Lynn Gould about possibly sending her son to that facility.

Parents scramble to find spots for children after Bangor day care announces closure

By Natalie Feulner on Aug. 27, 2014, at 4:56 p.m.
Brewer mother Kim Armell gripped a notebook full of lists of preschools and her eyes welled up with tears when she talked about finding a new place to care for her two young children. But it’s a reality she and more than 100 other local families are …

Bangor’s Grace Church to cease operations, including day care

By Dawn Gagnon on Aug. 26, 2014, at 9:42 p.m.
Leaders of Grace Church issued a statement Tuesday announcing plans to cease operations, including its day care, because of decreased membership that has in turn resulted in a loss of charitable income. “It is with great regret that the board of directors has resolved to close Grace …
Katie Bilodeau gives her 11-month-old son Carter a bottle before he takes an afternoon nap at their house in Gray on Friday. Bilodeau and her husband Chad follow napping routine advice from child sleep consultant Jessica Begley.

Gray mother turns sleepless nights into consulting business

By Natalie Feulner on Aug. 25, 2014, at 1:43 p.m.
Jessica Begley geeks out about sleep. At least she does when it comes to helping parents and children have more rest-filled nights. Begley, a mother of two, recently became Maine’s first certified infant and child sleep consultant after graduating from the Family Sleep Institute’s Certified Child Sleep Consultant certification program. …
THE A-WORD (blog)

Day One: Epic RV Adventure

on Aug. 25, 2014, at 7:09 a.m.
Day One of our Adventures: From Maine to Massachusetts. Just a few tears, mostly smiles. Read on to figure out what our 1st Obvious Piece of Advice is for those travelling with Autism! AND help us name our RV!
THE A-WORD (blog)

The Unknown

on Aug. 21, 2014, at 8:56 p.m.
When you’re welcomed into the World of Autism, you are more or less being welcomed into the World of the Unknown. Unknown in what causes it even though there are plenty of theories floating around. Unknown in how to treat it- hundreds of different therapies that all have different results with each different child with autism. Doctors tell you there is no way to know what your child’s functioning level will be as an adult. Every day is an unknown, as the thing that didn’t set your child off yesterday just may set them off today.
THE A-WORD (blog)

Guest Post: SPD & Anxiety

on Aug. 20, 2014, at 7:38 a.m.
Guest post from Fun and Function addressing sensory processing disorder and anxiety. Also, an exclusive code just for The A-Word readers to get 10 percent off their next order!
THE A-WORD (blog)

The Protector

on Aug. 13, 2014, at 1:36 p.m.
Apparently Corbin was playing outside with his aunt, brother, and cousins yesterday afternoon when a neighborhood child asked, “What is wrong with him?”. My sister and my niece quickly answered with the correct answer, “Nothing is wrong with him. He just has something called autism.” The child replied, “What is that? Some kind of stupid disease?”. Corbin has definitely had children ask him about his brother on many occasions and he usually does a wonderful job using it as a teaching experience. But we all have those days where our limits are already maxed.

5 minute edible fingerpaint

on Aug. 13, 2014, at 9:42 a.m.
My little one puts everything in her mouth these days. So paint I don’t have to worry about her eating? Perfect. What you’ll need:  2 cups of flour** 1/2 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of salt 1 cup of hot water 1 cup of cold water Food coloring Directions: Mix …
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