April is Autism Awareness Month or should it be renamed Autism Acceptance Month?
April has been slated to share two acknowledgments to Autism, World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month but what does this really mean. With 1 in 36 children being diagnosed with Autism, is there really anyone left who is not aware? With 1 in 36 is there a person who has not been affected by autism? A family member, a friend, someone who bags your groceries at the supermarket, the person who refills your drinks or cleans your table at your favorite restaurant. Everyone is aware, but have we accepted that this is the future?
Research dollars are raised and spent every year and we are no closer to an explanation for the annual rise in the autism rate. Why does this sound so personal to me? Because it is!
My family recognizes Autism Awareness/Acceptance Day every day. My amazing 24-year-old son Steven is an adult living with autism. Autism took away his ability to have a “normal” life, but he has a happy life surrounded by family and friends that love him for the incredible person he is and together we have supported him while creating a life that re-defines “normal”. Steven is a talented musician, he plays baseball, basketball, golf and he is on a bowling league. He volunteers at Save A Pet, works at his parent’s insurance agency when appropriate projects are presented, is in a book club, takes nature classes, loves classic cartoons, enjoys social activities with friends and loves his family. Most recently, Steven had the opportunity to attend the Campus Experience at Stony Brook University College. He works hard learning to express himself like others around him through Speech Therapy and continues to make strides although the reality is he will never be able to have a conversation. That has not stopped him from participating in the activities he loves, making his intentions clear to all or to express love to the many people he cares so much about. Steven teaches everyone around him that autism means he is differently abled but not less. He approaches every challenge presented to him and gives it his all. Steven has a happy life and is rarely sad. He has been an active part of creating a life that is perfect for him. Steven may not ever be a full-time college student or get married but that is not what he was meant to do. I believe he is here to teach acceptance and for that, I am extremely proud! Steven starts each day with his three words, handsome, smart and strong. Saying these words give his life meaning and purpose and he carries his purpose in all that he does. That is Autism Acceptance and this is what the world needs more of.
So the next time someone asks you if you’re going to wear blue or “Light it up Blue for autism, make the choice instead to share Steven’s Story. It is a story of acceptance and not awareness. People are aware but that doesn’t stop the finger pointing, judgment, and unrealistic expectations. It’s harder to learn to accept and be part of the much-needed change, a movement toward Autism Acceptance!
by Denise Visco
#WellnessWednesday #AutismAwareness #AutismAcceptance#ILoveSomeonewithAutism #AprilisAutismAwarenessMonth#DifferentNotLess #challenges #hope #dreams #recognition #StevenVisco #StevenMVisco #AcceptallofUs #DeniseVisco#LongIslandInsurance #CHEdwardsInsurance
Are you feeling a little run down? Spending more time indoors and less outside soaking up the sun may leave you vitamin D deficient.
Have a delicious lunch packed with Vitamin D! Vitamin D fuels your body’s T cells, which fight bacteria and viruses. Research shows that nearly half of all people have a D vitamin deficiency by the end of the Winter.
By eating foods high in Vitamin D you will get closer to the 600 IU daily allowance per day. Fatty fish is a good option. 3 oz. of salmon has 479 IU and 3 oz. of canned tuna has 154 IU. Other good sources are milk (1 cup=115-125IU), eggs (1 large with yolk=41IU)and D-fortified orange juice (1 cup=137IU).
Give it a try and see how good you will feel. Soon enough we will get that extra dose from being outside in the sunshine!
by Denise Visco
Keeping Pets Safe this Holiday Season
Our pets are part of our family so it isn’t unusual for them to join in our holiday festivities. Even though they are part of our family, pets have special needs that don’t allow them to celebrate in the same way we do.
Pets like to sit under the dining table in hopes that they will pick up a scrap or two. Sharing your meat scraps with a pet can be ok if no seasoning is used. Ingredients like onions can cause fatigue in pets, raisins in fruitcake can cause kidney failure as well as garlic, nuts, and nutmeg that can cause a variety of GI issues Be careful with the foods your pet may pick up or given.
Pets also like to linger around the Christmas tree trying to get a few sips of the water used to keep your live tree fresh. Although it seems harmless, Christmas trees leach out fertilizer and other toxic chemicals into the water. Standing water becomes a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria. It is best to keep your pets out of this water no matter how cute it may seem. A suggestion would be to cover the trees water basin with foil or plastic wrap to keep your pet safely out of the water.
Pets are also one of the most requested gifts from children. How do you know if your child is ready for a pet? Ask yourself this question first. How good is your child at reliably completing chores? This will tell you how likely they are to help with the pet. This will also help you understand how much your child can do on their own and how much help you need to contribute. This should be a family decision as your new pet will become the newest member of your family.
Wishing you and your pets a safe and happy holiday season.
by Denise Visco
For all your insurance needs, visit our website at www.chedwards.net
Having some trouble staying happy this holiday season? Try some happiness helpers.
Are you having a tough time being truly happy this holiday season? You’re not alone. The holidays are often a difficult time for many. Try some of these research-based happiness helpers.
1. Set an intention to enjoy the holidays. When making a conscious decision to be open to happiness, you are more likely to be more aware of uplifting moments.
2. Take a break to regain focus. If you are feeling completely overwhelmed by your to-do list, stop and take a moment to do something you enjoy. Have a cup of tea, take a bath, go for a walk, try some yoga, talk to a friend or watch a movie. Leave the holiday mode for a bit and just relax.
3. Practice gratitude and generosity. Don’t take good fortune for granted. Reflect on your good blessings and let your loved ones know you appreciate them. Everyone feels the joy of a loving connection. Neuroscience research suggests that performing an act of generosity lights up the same pleasure centers in the brain as food. When an impulse to be generous arises, act on it and notice the feeling.
4. Lastly, play and have fun. The holidays give us a reason to let ourselves act and feel like we did when we were kids. Take time to be around kids. Take delight in their enthusiasm. Singing or dancing is a great way to get out of our head and open our hearts to really experience joy.
Happiness is contagious! If you are happy, family and friends around you are more likely to experience your happiness and be happy too.
This Wellness article offers suggestions and does not replace the advice of a trained professional. If you feel prolonged sadness or the inability to find happiness this holiday season, please contact a healthcare professional.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.
For more information on Home, Auto, Business or Life Insurance, contact C.H. Edwards, Inc. at www.chedwards.net.
by Denise Visco
#WellnessWednesday #SpiritRockMeditationCenter#NaturalAwakeningsMagazine #AwakeningJoy #generosity #gratitude#Happiness #LongIslandInsurance #CHEdwardsInsurance #Farmingdale#WadingRiver #DeniseVisco #StevenVisco