About Me

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Orem, Utah, United States
My name is Annie Campbell and 9 years ago my son was diagnosed with Autism. Over the years of treatments, therapies and schools (with my son) I have learned countless techniques for dealing with children with special needs. Through my experience in primary, I have come up with some specific tips to create a happy atmosphere in church.
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Autism Awareness Month

Hello again!

Sorry for the delay, again.  I have decided to go to school to get a Masters in Occupational Therapy.  When you have not been to college before, it's a long process. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know, I will be speaking at the UVU Autism Conference on April 12, 2013.  My presentation, along with Kianna Collier-OT, is about how to "Become a Floortime Family".  If you are unfamiliar with Floortime, it's considered a play/developmental therapy.  We have used it in our family for years and had amazing success.

I also wanted to share one thought I heard from a friend of mine: "If you don't label it, others will and it may be wrong and hurtful".  I've shared this advice many times, and used it myself as well.  I know many parents don't wish to "label" their child.  Please let others know what is going on with them.  Why are they acting the way they are.  It will only create a community of understanding and concern.

Along with that thought, I always try to match my expectations to what the child is capable of.  I never want to expect things from the child that they are not able to do, right now.  That expectation changes as the child changes.  Our house motto is "always try your best".  My best is different than your best, and it's not fair to expect the same out of us.

Hope things are going well for everyone!  Please let me know if I can answer any questions or help in any way!  I LOVE children on the Autism Spectrum and want the best for EVERY ONE.

*Here is the link for the UVU Autism Conference 2013

Monday, January 30, 2012

Use your resources

I know! It's been forever.  I'm sorry.

I presented at a teaching workshop yesterday for my primary and something that hit me, was that no matter where you live, you have access to resources.  Of course, there is the internet.  Some great books, one by my friend "disAbilities and the gospel", but one we don't think about often enough, is who do we know?  In my ward, I have a neighbor who teaches Special Ed, another that teaches preschool, a mom who has survived four VERY ADHD boys, and many more.  Use their knowledge and experience!  There is no ONE professional that can do it all.  But if you ask for input and help, I think you would be surprised with how much info you would get.  I have collaborated with many teachers to find something that would fit a particular child.  It's important to remember that each child is an individual and they need to be treated like one.  What works for one child, may not work for another.  That's ok!  Heavenly Father doesn't try to teach us all the same way and we should follow his example.  An awesome side effect of asking for help, is that you will get it!  If other teachers know the situation you are dealing with, they will most likely help during sharing time, either with that child or with the class.

We have one boy in our ward, that I love dearly, but he does try to play adults against each other.  He's really a brilliant boy!  If we are not working together, he will run us over!  Luckily, the whole presidency and his teacher, all communicate and work together as a team.  Because of this, he knows that the rules are ALWAYS the same.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random info for parents

So just a couple things that have come up at our house.

First, I explained to my 9 year old that he has Autism and what that means.  I am a big believer in labeling what's different.  An amazing mom I know say's it this way: "People will label what they see so it's important, as parents, that we give the proper label".  I feel like it's better to be labeled with Autism or Aspergers than rude or weird or mean or even stupid.  It also explains why the child feels like things are harder or like she/he doesn't understand others emotions.

My son is very artistic and visual so I talked about how he can see in his mind the Lego pirate ships he builds and how it's because his brain works differently.  Most people, like me, can't do that.  Our brains can't remember every Lego piece and where it goes.  But, also because his brain works different, sometimes school can be harder.  He now understands why he is different, but different is ok.

Also, I found some awesome DHA chews for kids that my son LOVES.  Most parents have probably heard about or tried biomedical treatments.  We did a lot when Jackson was little with some success. Actually, the diets and supplements helped him a lot.  After a while though, he refused to take omega 3 anymore.  Frankly, I couldn't blame him!  It's yucky oil!  A neighbor/friend of mine told me about these omega 3 purple chews to try again and I'm seriously impressed!  Jackson thinks they are candy and since he's started taking 4 a day, he's more emotionally stable, sleeps better and has fewer stomach issues.  I just thought I'd share this info for anyone that wanted to try omega 3 but has had a difficult time getting the child to ingest it.  Check it out at www.anniesnutrition.com

Last, I wanted to share this adorable video of my son Jackson.  Call it my mommy bragging moment.  Sorry about the little girl complaining about eye pain.  My daughter had rubbed her eyes with lotion on her hands and was still struggling with the idea that the pain would take a while to go away after washing hands and washing her eyes.

I hope everyone is doing well and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help make primary or school a little easier and more successful!

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's with the puzzle pieces?

Recently, I have needed to give a brief explanation of what Autism is to my daughter and my son's best friend (Alex).  It happened when Alex noticed that I wear a puzzle piece necklace and Jackson has a cape (that he wears A LOT) with a puzzle piece on it.  Alex asked me why and I told him that the puzzle piece is the symbol for Autism.  He thought for a second and then asked what Autism is.  After the first question, I was expecting it.  Here is what I said:

"Autism means that someone's brain works differently than yours.  Not bad, but different.  It means that some things are much harder for Jackson than you and some things are much easier for him than you.  Jackson has a hard time understanding jokes.  But he can remember movie lines forever."

My Jackson showing off his cape!
This was a quick explanation but it was enough for 9 year old Alex.  I wanted to give this example because as teachers and parents, we sometimes need to explain why things are different for one child than another.  I hope this helps if your ever in this situation!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lesson help

So when I started this blog, I said that I would never give lesson advice but I'm about to do just that. Over the last 4 almost 5 years of teaching very young primary kids I've learned something. I always try to make my lessons interesting but some are better than others. What I've realized is that the best lessons are when I'm animated and try to make the scripture stories more like a super hero type story. The last one I did was the story of King Noah and Abinidi and Alma. I could tell the kids were going to be lost and bored right away if I didn't do something drastic. So I acted it out. It's horribly embarrassing but completely worth it if the kids are listening and get something from it.

Tis last lesson I tried something different. There was a story about a boy who took something from a store without paying. So I asked a boy in my class, who usually doesn't pay much attention to the stories, what his favorite name is. He responded with "Indiana Jones". My story sounded something like is: "Indiana Jones didn't like that his mom said he couldn't have the toy he wanted. So guess what he did? He watched his mom and as soon as she turned her back, he took it and put it in his pocket. But when he got home and started to play with it, Indiana didn't feel very good. Why do you think he didn't feel good?". All the kids thought it was hysterical that I used that name. But they also listened.

Just a couple thought!

I hope things are going well for everyone and that your having a good summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just keep swimming

Sorry about the long break between posts!  I started school for the summer semester and my nephew was recently diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder.  So it's been crazy at our house.  

What I wanted to talk about was something that happened yesterday at church.  I was waiting for my son to do the scripture in primary and an older man that teaches primary in our ward, came to me and said that the training I gave a couple months ago was the best training he's ever been to in all his years of religion.  He went on to say that it changed the way he taught and saw the kids.  WOW!  That's all I could say.  I hoped that it helped people look at things a little differently.  You just never know who your going to help. So, in the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, "just keep swimming".  Everyone can make a difference! 

Also, I just learned that the diagnosis of Autism/Aspergers/PDD-NOS will be changing.  Here's a link with more info!


Hope your summer's going well and let me know if there is anything I can do to help!