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How to Help Your Child with Autism Thrive



Knowing how to support your child isn’t always obvious. Every kid has different needs and it’s up to you to figure it out; there is no universal parenting manual to make your job easy. 

However, when your child is neurodivergent, it’s even harder. Kids with autism need more support than their peers and they require early intervention to thrive.

Have a child with autism? Here’s some advice to ensure they get the best possible start in life and learn the skills they need to thrive as an adult.

1. Start therapy early

Intervening early with therapy will give your child a good start in life and will aid them in reaching their full potential. It’s important for kids to learn foundational skills early, like communication, following directions, and performing simple tasks. Studies have shown that the ideal age for early intervention is 2 or 3 years old. This is when the brain has the most neuroplasticity and can be more easily molded.

Many parents get their child with autism into Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy as young as three years old, and it really helps develop the positive behaviors kids need to be successful in the world. 

ABA therapy also aims to decrease unwanted behaviors; this is accomplished through a reward system based in operant conditioning. If you’ve avoided exploring this option because it seems too harsh, rest assured, punishment isn’t part of contemporary ABA therapy.

No matter how old (or young) your child is, get them into therapy as early as possible. When fundamental skills are developed at a young age, they become habits sooner and your child can strengthen them over time. By the time they become an adult, they’ll have some solid tools to navigate the world easier, including school and the workplace.

2. Be patient and generous with time

Some kids with autism need more time to process information, whether you’re asking them to perform a task or communicating something basic, like asking what they would like to eat for dinner. Extend infinite patience to your child when you engage them for any reason. They might need time to comprehend your words, or they could be confused and you’ll need to restate what you’ve said in a new way.

Being patient without showing signs of frustration will keep your child calm. If you become visibly upset, it could make them anxious enough to stop listening and they may engage in destructive behaviors. Allow your child all the time they need to process information and respond, but also check in with them to figure out what’s going on so you can reiterate your communication if necessary.

3. Understand the dynamics of a meltdown

Unlike tantrums, meltdowns are the result of overstimulation that builds up in the nervous system until your child explodes. A meltdown is not something your child does to torture you or embarrass you until they get their way. It’s a visceral reaction to stimuli that their body can’t process.

It’s important to know the dynamics of a meltdown because they don’t come out of nowhere and often ratchet up throughout the day, long before you might think. For example, a child triggered by loud music who has a meltdown in the grocery probably had a full day’s worth of overstimulation that led to that breaking point. On any other day, that same loud music would agitate them, but wouldn’t push them into a meltdown.

You can’t prevent this from happening all the time, but you can mitigate some of the overstimulation that leads to meltdowns once you know how your child gets triggered. For instance, if large crowds are a trigger, don’t take your child to multiple public places in one day. If you see a movie, go home for dinner and skip the restaurant. Don’t go to a movie, eat at your favorite Italian place, and then go out again for ice cream.

Since meltdowns aren’t an intentional act of defiance, make sure you don’t treat them as you would a tantrum. Never punish your child. Instead, talk to them and let them know you want to help them feel better. Look into strategies like diversion, distraction, and fidget toys.

Seek professional advice

Being a parent isn’t easy, but when your child has autism, you have a few more challenges. Don’t be afraid to seek out a local support group or online community to learn more about resources for kids with autism. 

Be willing to accept that it will take time to find the right strategies to help your child and you might require some assistance.

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Conquer the Summer: Embark on an Off-Road Adventure to Remember




Once you’re bit the off-roading bug, it can feel impossible to think about anything else. There’s nothing like relying on your knowledge and gear when you’re off the beaten track. Understandably, you may want to hop in your 4×4 and start your next adventure immediately. But planning helps build excitement before you hit the road while minimizing risks.

Find Your Vehicle

Jeep Wranglers are always classic, but Toyota Land Cruises and Ford Broncos are also popular choices. Consider price, performance, and technology when thinking about purchasing a vehicle for trips. Some people swear by the newest models, while others trust their budget 4x4x when off-roading. The terrain will often inform your purchase.

You might also consider:

  • Comfort

  • Fuel efficiency

  • Repairs

  • Customization

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few 4x4s, it’s time for a test drive.

Choose Your Destination

If you’re more interested in a photo shoot, uncovering a site’s archaeological value, prospecting, or exploring caves while off-roading, researching destinations and routes ahead of time will point you in the right direction. Topographical maps, or “topos,” are especially helpful for discovering geographical features that might be worth your time and planning routes between them. Google Earth’s satellite imagery is similarly useful, especially because it provides exact coordinates.

Don’t overlook tried-and-true information from those who have come before you. Local forums can connect you with those who have personally experienced the conditions you’ll be entering. Log books are a rustic way to learn from others who enjoy exploring as much as you do, and face-to-face conversations with Off-road trail guides are less personal but no less useful, and you might even find a hidden gem in a local history or nature book. Take warnings seriously and be realistic about your ability to deal with difficult terrain or longer trails.

Prepare for Your Adventure

Once you’ve set your agenda, it’s time to prepare your gear. When offroading, you need to plan for potential vehicular emergencies as well as personal ones. If something goes awry, you’ll regret not checking tires, suspension, brakes, and engine, so consider those a must. An extra vehicle might be a lifesaver in an emergency. Take your destination into consideration when packing recovery tools, such as winches. Include fully charged battery packs or replacements to ensure you can use your devices. Finally, your offroading gear should include food, water, and first aid supplies.

Navigation tools, both hard copy and digital, and, potentially, satellite phones can keep you healthy and safe, especially in remote areas. It’s also important to get to know your tools, whether an app or a map, before you’re in a high-stakes situation. Although the worst-case scenario often only requires you to turn around, personal injury and vehicular damage are always a real risk. You can always try a tougher route the next time.

As always, remember to respect your surroundings. Your goal should be to leave no trace so that the next people can enjoy their offroading adventures as much as you did. Pack out whatever you pack in.

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The Pride of the South: The Kentucky Derby




For the last 150 years, Louisville, Kentucky has taken the center stage for the Kentucky Derby. This horse race is the longest running American sporting event and is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year in the sports world. This race is the first event in the American Triple Crown series, and is usually the most watched among fans. Although the race itself usually finishes in about 2 minutes, celebrations can last a whole day. 

Kentucky Derby party planners are already beginning to ideate their celebrations for such a momentous anniversary. Obviously, the first step in the planning process involves sending out invitations to prospective guests. These invitations have to include important information such as the time and date, the dress code, the event’s address, and the RSVP information. 

Next involves planning the food and events that will dominate the day’s festivities. For food, hosts can contact catering services to supply the party with some of the South’s favorite cuisines, such as fried chicken, fried okra, and buttermilk hush puppies. Activities and games can range from Derby-themed Bingo to extravagant hat contests. Decorations should pay homage to Southern culture and include a touch of roses, as the nickname for the Kentucky Derby is “Run for the Roses”. There is much to plan for this exciting day, but it is sure to be an exciting event for everyone involved.

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How To Have The Summer Of Your Life: Safe Drinking Tips




As summer approaches, social gatherings, beach parties, and barbecues become the norm, marking the season of relaxation and fun. However, amidst the excitement, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about our drinking habits to ensure our summer memories are joyful and free from regret. To help you navigate the sunny days ahead responsibly, here are 10 tips for safe summer drinking fun, presented in collaboration with the Barone Defense Firm, your ally in promoting responsible and safe drinking practices.

1. Stay Hydrated

Alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it leads to increased urination and can quickly dehydrate you, especially in the hot summer sun. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water or sports drinks can help keep dehydration at bay.

2. Don’t Drink and Drive

Perhaps the most critical advice is never to drink and drive. Designate a sober driver, use public transportation, or take advantage of ride-sharing apps. The Barone Defense Firm stresses the importance of planning your ride home before you start drinking to avoid making impaired decisions later.

3. Understand Your Limits

Everyone has a different tolerance to alcohol. Knowing your limits and sticking to them can help prevent overindulgence. Pay attention to how your body feels and recognize when it’s time to stop.

4. Eat Well

Eating a good meal before you start drinking can slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Opt for foods rich in proteins and carbohydrates to help mitigate the effects of alcohol.

5. Pace Yourself

Try to limit yourself to one drink per hour. This pacing gives your body time to metabolize alcohol and can help prevent you from becoming too intoxicated too quickly.

6. Choose Your Drinks Wisely

Not all drinks are created equal. Be aware of the alcohol content in the beverages you choose and remember that mixed drinks can contain more alcohol than you might realize.

7. Avoid Mixing Alcohol and Water Activities

Swimming and boating while under the influence can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Save any alcoholic beverages for after you’re done enjoying water activities.

8. Use the Buddy System

Having a friend to keep tabs on each other can be a lifesaver. They can help you make safe decisions and ensure you get home safely.

9. Respect Non-Drinkers

Not everyone wants to drink, and that’s okay. Respect others’ choices and don’t pressure anyone into drinking. Offer non-alcoholic options at your gatherings.

10. Know When to Say No

There’s no harm in turning down an invitation or choosing to leave early if you feel uncomfortable with the drinking situation. Trust your instincts.

Know When To Call Barone Defense Firm

Following these tips can help ensure that your summer is filled with fun, safe, and memorable moments. Remember, responsible drinking is not just about protecting yourself; it’s about keeping everyone around you safe too. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need legal advice regarding alcohol-related issues, the Barone Defense Firm is there to support and guide you through the process, promoting safety and responsibility above all.

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