I remember when my 20-year-old son was diagnosed with Autism when he was 4 years old and all the duties and responsibilities that came along with accepting his diagnosis. In addition to his doctors informing me on the next steps and what specialists and therapists to consider, but never have they warned me or educated me about possible poop smearing, and to be honest, I never brought it to their attention. I just dealt with it! I did not know what to expect from raising a child on the spectrum, but never have I thought I would be surprised with poop presents from him handing it to me or walking around our apartment to find it smeared on the floor or walls and I hate to say it, but even in his mouth, yes, pica issues! Trust me, there was a lot of runs to the bathroom for teeth brushing! I could not understand why he was doing this except the fact that it could have been due to sensory stimulation. After months of dealing with these poop behaviors, I realized that one day he just STOPPED. The fecal smearing nightmare came to an end, just of the blue. Good news is that if your experiencing this with your child, you are not alone and many other families and have survived this part of the journey. We just do not speak of it much and feel helpless.

    As busy and overwhelmed parents, we usually do not take the time or little moments to observe and research the reasoning to some of these behaviors. Temple Grandin said it best, “We can’t manage what we don’t measure.” There are several reasons smearing may happen, and these three variables may contribute to fecal smearing behaviors:

    • Medical problems

    • Sensory challenges

    • Behavioral factors

    These three variables are great to consider for all unwanted or unexplained behaviors and are the first steps in reducing or eliminating the behaviors. Keeping track of when the smearing happens in a written log of what happens before, during, and after each incident will help and speaking with a specialist (psychologist, functional behavioral doctor or behavioral therapist) to help identify the root of the fecal behaviors may be of tremendous benefit.

    Although it has been years since I had to deal with this type of behavior, I still remember what it was like and the struggle, frustration, and pain of constantly redirecting my son’s behaviors; the excessive cleaning or hiring cleaning companies to help remove the stains.

    With having a clothing line of adaptive wear, I had to create a product to better help eliminate smearing or easy access to diapers/undies. Adaptive and tight-fitting clothing are another route to take that limits access and keep little one’s hands free from getting to their poop. I came up with a concept to make one piece jumpsuits that looks like stylish clothes and can be worn during the day without kiddos being uncomfortable and not able to dig in their diapers/undies-  I hope these inescapable, hand-free onesies are a better and convenient way to make parents and caregivers lives much easier!



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  • Parents of Autistic Children are Soldiers!

     Parents of Autistic Children are Soldiers!

    Have you ever thought why your memory is so bad, why you are so tense even when you're kid free and in a relaxed environment or where the heck that depressive episode came from, out of the blue?! According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison, parents of children with Autism (particularly caring for teens and adults), have a higher stress level than parents of non disabled children, in fact we experience similar level of stress as soldiers in combat!

    In 2009, the University of Wisconsin Madison conducted a research that showed mothers of adolescents and adults with autism experience chronic stress comparable to combat soldiers and struggle with frequent fatigue and work interruptions. Researchers followed a group of moms who care for older autistic children for eight days in a row. The mothers were interviewed at the end of each day about their experiences and on the fourth day, researchers measured the moms’ hormone levels to assess their stress.They found that a hormone associated with stress, cortisol was extremely low, consistent with people experiencing chronic stress such as soldiers in combat."This is the physiological residue of daily stress,” says, Marsha Mailick Seltzer, a researcher at the University." The mothers of children with high levels of behavior problems have the most pronounced physiological profile of chronic stress, but the long-term effect on their physical health is not yet known.”

    Well, from my experience with Malik, these findings came as no surprise to me! After seventeen years of daily meltdowns, tantrums, aggressive behaviors, self harming and impulsive behaviors, I realized how much it has affected me (which is why I created a clothing brand geared toward affecting behaviors!).

    Rightfully so, over the years, I started to experience my own challenges, such as poor memory due to caring for a child who is severely developmentally disabled, in addition to having some medical issues since birth....this all was due to the acute stress; pressure filled workload; constantly worrying what's going to happen next; having to scan over a room like I'm in the secret service- I could process in seconds what could trigger Malik, who or what he would mess with and having to time us on how long we were at each destination (can't be anywhere no more than 30 minutes before he got bored or silly and following this comes a full on "show!") ........

     One thing that the research did conclude was the mothers they studied still remained positive and very supportive within their community, and I agree with having a positive mental attitude and self care are crucial to remaining sane- I highly stress the importance of creating a support team and carving out time for yourself on a regular basis, NO MATTER WHAT!!!

    Things you can do:

    • watch a movie - comedy or love film, not a thriller!
    • go to the spa- even if you cant afford it, make it a priority
    • date night- have a monthly date with a close friend or with your partner- try not to discuss your stressors
    • read a book- not about Autism, but more about personal development
    • exercise- go for a walk or do cardio at home or in the gym- release hormones
    • meditation- take time out 5-10 minutes a day of quiet time to clear your mind and think of positive  or spiritual affirmations
    • reach out to family for support - speak up and ask for a babysitter to give you a break! (ask those who you trust, of course)

    I would love to hear from you, can you relate?! Drop a comment sharing your personal experiences or thoughts!



    To find out more about this research:

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