My Ten Seconds of Fame!

I made the news on Wednesday! I helped organize and run Sensory Night at Lumagination, with Autism Services.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Lumagination, it’s a really cool exhibit that travels to various locations, this one being the Erie County Botanical Gardens. The gardens are lit up with lasers, color-changing bulbs, and sculptures. Some of the sculptures this year were made by UB students. This year’s theme was “Earth.”

A statue of Mother Earth

For Sensory Night, some of my fellow staff from Autism Services and I set up a table of sensory items, an iPad playing the Autism Acceptance video put on by the students last year, and pamphlets illustrating the services we offer. We also provided sensory toys which were up for grabs for anyone interested!

Our table!

We had a great turnout! There was a little girl, about preschool-age, who really loved the sensory rice bin and came back to it about five times! She was so cute πŸ™‚ I saw some of the kiddos I used to work with in after school, too! It was so nice to see them and their parents. There was a boy who noticed the scented putty that we had on the table, and I showed him the glob I had been manipulating throughout the event. He said, “this reminds me of Sticky Tack. Did you know that I have Sticky Tack?” He was a very friendly, animated kid.

Towards the end of the night, I was interviewed by WIVB and Spectrum News! I talked about the event, and answered questions regarding the benefits of sensory environments, and what people can do both be sensitive to the sensory needs of others, and to help them cope. After that was all said and done, they only decided to air a short clip where I had talked about how I’m a sensory seeker, and how I’m not sensitive to lights and sounds, but rather smells, tastes, and textures, but it was still nice to be in the spotlight πŸ™‚ All in all, it was a lot of fun, and I think everyone who came to check it out would say the same!

A giant geode sculpture
A crystal sculpture

A Sunny Morning

Well, Christmas was a relaxing and fun day.

After presents and the beach, we went to see Little Women, which was a really enjoyable movie! I highly recommend it. We then went to dinner at JD’s Restaurant and Lounge. Funk Circle sounded excellent, from what we could hear, as they were playing on the deck and we were inside. I had a steak and asparagus dinner, which was delicious, and my mom had snapper, which she let me try a taste of. I actually liked it! I’m learning that I like different kinds of fish more than I had thought.

Then, we drove around the neighborhood to look at lights and listen to Christmas music. The temperature was in the low 70s, and felt perfect. I slept like a baby a little while after we got back to the condo.

The beach is where we’re headed again in a little while, and then it’s off to make another attempt to visit the DalΓ­ Museum. With no rain in the forecast, parking shouldn’t be an issue this time around! Hope everyone has a Happy Thursday πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! πŸ™‚ I’m having a great one so far!

Santa came to visit around 7:45am…I woke up and cleverly got my presents for my mom ready, hiding them around the condo kitchen, complete with notes telling her where to find the next one as she opened them. She loved it! My mom gave me some cute kitty pens and Sonic socks, plus some spending cash!

We ate breakfast on the patio, as it was finally starting to warm up. After relaxing by the ocean breeze, we set out for the beach! While it decided to turn cloudy after only about 20 minutes, we relished in what sunlight we could get! I then went for a swim, and we went back to the condo for a quick lunch.

This evening, we’re going to see Little Women at the Studio Movie Grill, followed by dinner at a restaurant called JD’s Restaurant and Lounge. There will be a band, Funk Circle, who I’m sure I’ll really enjoy! It’s one of my favorite music genres πŸ™‚

Hope everyone else has a very Merry Christmas! πŸ˜€

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve and the sun is BACK! It decided to rain for the better part of yesterday, and it was only in the 60s and VERY windy. The wind is still blowing, but the sun is shining brightly and hopefully today will be a beach day!

Yesterday, my mom and I went to St. Petersburg. I wanted to stop at a store called The Looking Glass to look at some more crystals and essential oils. It was a nice little spot, and the people working there were super nice. I found some heart chakra oil, an aquamarine beaded bracelet, and a really cool amethyst point pendant that has what’s called a “poison box” at the top: the part connected to the loop where the chain goes through opens up! It’s not unlike a poison ring, if you’re familiar with them. I’m fascinated by jewelry that has little compartments in it!

We were also going to go to the DalΓ­ Museum, however parking was very limited, and we didn’t want to chance parking as far away as we would have had to, given the rain. We drove around St. Petersburg and enjoyed the scenery. Back in Indian Shores, we relaxed and had dinner right at the condo. A little later, we watched a Christmas movie on Lifetime called A Very Vintage Christmas, which was an entertaining and happy story.

Today is going to be fun! Hopefully we’ll catch some rays, and then it’s off to Mass at 6, followed by a surf and turf dinner at Aqua Prime Seafood and Steaks! After dinner, my mom and I are going to drive around and look at some of the lights in the neighborhood. Hope everyone enjoys their Christmas Eve! 😊

The Annual Christmas Eve Eve Post!

A photo came up in Google photos that reminded me of something… it’s already another “Merry Christmas Eve Eve!” I’m relaxing at the condo after another good night’s sleep. It’s supposed to rain today, but I’m still hoping to catch some pool time!

Yesterday, my mom and I went to a few shops, and then to dinner at a neat place called Frenchy’s Outpost. I had a delicious skewer of coconut lime shrimp. We then drove around and admired the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Once back at the condo, we sat on the patio and enjoyed the fresh air, even if it was pouring!

Today, we’re just going to play it by ear. If it decides not to rain, we’re going to head down to the beach! Tomorrow we have lots of fun lined up! 😊

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we went to St. Pete Beach! Reflecting on the past year, I’d say that it’s been a decent one. While we are still missing Dad and Grandma, and think about them every day, this year did bring some good things, the highlight being my new job. Here’s to a happy 2020! I can see it clearly…see what I did there? πŸ˜‰

Hello from Indian Shores!

My mom and I landed in Tampa around 7 last night! We are staying in a BEAUTIFUL condo in Indian Shores.

We ate dinner at an awesome restaurant called Miller’s Ale House. I noshed on filet mignon and then we stopped to pick up some food items for our stay. Once back at the condo, we basked in the salty air for a little while, and then it was time to hit the hay.

I slept in till about 9:30, and then played New Super Lucky’s Tale on Switch. My mom made us scrambled eggs for breakfast, and now we’re sitting on the patio and gazing at the ocean! I’m so happy to be in paradise πŸ™‚

My New Gig

Life as a Behavior Management Coordinator has been treating me very well! I’m two weeks into it now, and I absolutely love it.

So far, I’ve begun meeting some of my new peeps, all of whom seem really nice. They have various developmental disabilities. One of my roles is to assist in developing the behavior support plans, which my supervisor, who is a Behavior Intervention Specialist, writes. I can give my input on what seems to be working or not working for my peeps. I also travel to the group homes on my caseload for clinical meetings, where appointments and medical information are discussed, and for life plan meetings. These consist of the big picture; life plans encompass all of the services a person receives, and list their skills, needs, and preferences. I’m in charge of the behavior support book at each house, which includes the behavior support plans and any tracking sheets a person may use.

Back at the office, I’ve been setting up my laptop. We use a system in which we can document any pertinent information, and upload the life plans and other documents. We also have a shared drive which we use to organize each of our caseload’s files. Google Calendar has also been my best friend, as always! I seriously don’t know how I survived before it existed, haha!

My coworkers are AMAZING. I decided to go against the original rule of thumb I had told myself I was going to go by, which was to wait about a month before disclosing that I’m autistic. Opportunities came up which opened the floor, so I took them. Everyone was very receptive to this information, and accepted me as I am, with open arms. It seems like they understand how important self-advocacy is to me, and they are rooting for me on my next endeavor, which is to hopefully be a presenter at DD Day in May! πŸ˜€ I received an email from the person in charge, who asked if anyone had ideas they would like to submit…more on this later πŸ™‚ Right now, all I can think of is that warm Florida sun I’ll be soaking up after my arrival tomorrow! 🌞😎