Tuesday, November 16, 2010

(E.V.A.N.) Meeting

E.V.A.N. (East Valley Autism Network)
Meeting tonight at 7pm at Holly's house.

We will have three moms sharing how essential oils and other natural, health products and remedies have improved the health

of their child with Autism as well as their other children.


We will have samples to share, TONS of handouts, and lots of amazing information to help you and your entire family stay well this flu and cold season. Bring your friend, spouse, mother, sister, neighbor, etc. so they can share in the knowledge and information together!


EVAN (East Valley Autism Network) Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of every month at Holly Reycraft's home in Gilbert


Come learn about the natural ways to take care of your family this cold and flu season by using essential oils and other natural remedies and products with three Autism moms. Come and meet a wonderful 9-year old and hear his story of healing with the essential oils. This will be a fun, informative, and casual way to connect with each other and learn how to protect our loved ones at the same time. This is Autism specific, but appropriate for all, so bring a friend! This is one meeting you don't want to miss!!

2140 S 141st Street

Gilbert, AZ 85295

(480) 726-7205

Gilbert/Williamsfield cross streets

Still SMILE(ing)

About 2 years ago, while shopping at Walgreen's , I started visiting with one of the assistant managers. At the time, she was seriously troubled with her son. He was violent, angry and had very limited ability to communicate.

Within a few minutes, I recognized many of the symptoms and challenges she was facing.
At the time, her only hope was medication. And her biggest obstacles was financial.
I told her about The wonderful developmental preschool my son attended, talked about occupational therapy, speech therapy, respite, and hab. that Alex received every week. All at no cost to our family. She could hardly believe this was possible. I gave her my SMILE card with this blogs URL.
Just last week I ran into this same mother, her son is now receiving all these Therapies right out of her home. She works all day and at night she gets to be a part of her son's life. She has found a new hope.
My heart was warmed by her story. If this blog has helped only that one Mother is is worth the time I have invested.
There are so many women out there who are still struggling without the resources they need for themselves and their children. It is my hope that we can make a small difference by being a beacon of hope.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autism Speaks Walk 2010

Previously posted on the Blog : Footeprint:

WalkTober 31st, as my Dad named it, we completed our 1st Autism Speaks Walk with 23 of the most wonderful and supportive family members you could find!

Most of us rode the light Rail to this event. As I waited to get on the train, my eyes teared up. Looking at so many members of my family wearing t-shirts that I had designed.
Shirts that were carefully ironed on by my sweet mother and dear friend Jamie. Finishing at 11 pm the night before.

When my Mom noted the little tears, I told her, this is a dream come true. To feel that kind of love and support from our family was so special.
Autism has been a huge challenge for our family. Walking together chanting Just 4 Feet... JUST 4 FEET.... warmed my heart, as I realized the blessings that have been poured upon us.
From amazing teachers, therapists, respite,& hab workers to family members who have held our crying children when Matthew and I have had nothing left to give.
Thank you for being there and helping us not only get through the walk, but also get through ever single day.
Love you all!
Sarah Foote

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

We Need YOU!

There are wonderful things happening all around us!
I would love to share your stores and the stories of people you know who are thriving amidst challenging circumstances.

Now more then ever, we need to focus on what is positive about our lives.
There are so many tulips to be found when we take the time to look for them.
This year, it is my goal to post a minimum of one of your stories each month.

The more stories I receive, the better!
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a "Reason to Smile" Every Week and eventually every day!

Thanks for your input!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Meet Our Co-Founder

Kerry Draney, MT-BC is both a music therapist and life coach. Kerry has been working with children and adults who have developmental disabilities for the past twelve years. Kerry has been focusing on the use of music to address spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychosocial needs. Kerry is currently the director of Music Therapy Works, and agency providing services for families with children who have developmental disabilities. Additionally, she provides music therapy to adult and pediatric patients at Banner Desert Medical Center where she uses music as a tool for relaxation and wellness. Her favorite intervention there is song-writing, a very special and even healing experience for her patients. Kerry also enjoys all aspects of life coaching, especially in relation to personal and family relationships. Kerry is excited and honored to be a part of this wonderful organization and looks forward to this journey we will be taking together.

The Origin of SMILE

The creation of this group was inspired by mothers everywhere.
Mothers naturally love, nourishment & care to their children on top of the other responsibilities we have.
There are numerous support groups for parent of children with just about every type of developmental disability.
Unfortunately, instead of finding support & love in these groups, many women leave more overwhelmed then ever!
Every meeting or website provides us with an additional list of things we"must do" to make our situation better. These things are just heaped onto our already overwhelming list of responsibilities.
Other women have completed the list and, unlike the Jenny McCarty, their children still are effected by autism or other developmental disabilities or disorders.
The day after I started this blog, I was speaking with my son's Music Therapist.
She started talking about her desire to start a support group for for moms. I instantly got goosebumps as we realized that share many of the same dreams.
Our Primary goal is to create a safe place for women to come, share their feeling and find the resources they need. We hope you will share in our dream, as you become a part of SMILE.

Welcome to Holland

Warning Ladies, if you have not read this before,

you may want to tissue handy (just in case)

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

This Essay was written by Emily Perl Kingsley c1987 by . All rights reserved

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reasons to Smile

I am not teenager anymore however, it doesn't take raging hormones to know that this is a reason to Smile.
In many ways, Jessica is your typical 12-year-old. However, in many other ways she is exceptional.

Here are just a few of Jessica's achievements.

* Jessica has a 4.7 (ish) GPA at Gilbert Jr. last quarter
* Served as the youth ambassador the 2008 Step Out For Diabetes
* Is this Gilbert's Citizen of the Month & with have the honor of meeting the mayor.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, last month she met, LIVE, IN PERSON, The Jonas Brothers!!! Does it get any cooler then that?

As amazing as these accomplished are, not one of them would be possible if her mother, Cathy didn't wake her up at least once in the night to poke her finger, check her blood sugar levels and administer insulin as needed. In a typical day, Jessica requires a minimum of 6-8 insulin shots for her body to function.

Every time Jessica eats, her mother must calculate how many carbohydrates are in the food she's eating & administer insulin, (aka give her a shot). All of this is necessary to stabilize her blood sugar.
Eating 3 meals a day isn't really an option either. "Just in case," Jessica must carry snacks all of the time. If her blood sugar drops super low, she will become seriously ill.
Cathy, is a close friend of mine, and I want you to know she is amazing!
In addition to taking care of her family, she spends countless hours fund raising for the American Diabetes Association, home schooling her 4 daughters and taking them to dance classes.
Her second oldest daughter, Allison, is also a gifted dancer. Last summer, she qualified to compete on a cruise and won 1st & Gold for the duet dance she performed.
Yes, I think it's fair to say that Cathy has given all of us many reasons to Smile!