Walk for Autism and Wubbzy


If you’re a MommyQ blog fan, you know I have a young child with autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder). As a result, my whole family is dedicated to promoting awareness. MommyQ’s lil sis, Ms. Chatterly, will be participating in the Walk Now for Autism event in Denver, CO.


She is currently gathering recruits to form the most elite walking group ever created, Team Wubbzy. Yes, that funny one-of-a-kind yellow marshmallow-shaped dude, also known as Wub-Z, is the guy who is gonna bring all of this together. Visit Team Wubbzy’s page to donate to this important organization.  We’re hoping to raise $250! Help us reach this goal.

Swallow Your Pride: Get Your Toddler Speech Therapy

If you’re reading this post with tears rolling down your cheeks because your pediatrician just told you your child needs speech therapy, go get a tissue and take a deep breath. You’ll be fine. If you’re reading this because you secretly fear your child is having developmental issues in regards to speech & language, keep on reading. I’m not an autism expert, nor am I a medical professional. I’m just a mom who has “been there and done that” when it comes to this topic.

My reason for writing this post is two-fold. First, it’s my way of honoring and promoting Autism Awareness Day. Second, I want to reassure parents that the delays your child might have are not your fault and you need to put your ego aside in order to what’s best for him or her.

Some parents are comfortable accepting the fact that their toddler isn’t reaching language milestones. Others would rather live in denial thinking their child is just a “late bloomer” and any day now it will all “click.”  Before my oldest was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, my husband and I did a little bit of both. We realized he wasn’t talking and interacting like he should, but at the same time he was our first child – we had no idea what to expect. We kept thinking he’d start talking more next month or next month or next month. If it wasn’t for one of his Mother’s Day Out teachers bringing his communication issues to our attention in a rather blunt way, I’m not sure what we would’ve done.

It’s hard to stay on point in this post because there is so much info to share. The point is if you think your toddler might need help talking, interacting with peers and communicating ideas, there’s nothing wrong with seeking help from a speech therapist. If the therapist evaluates your child and says all of his or her issues are totally within the norm, then you have nothing to worry about. If the therapist thinks your child does need help, start as soon as possible. The worst part about getting my son’s diagnosis was realizing he could have gotten help much sooner.

You want to help your toddler before he or she becomes a preschooler. You would much rather deal with speech issues prior to kindergarten. And there is no shame in having a child in therapy whether it’s speech therapy or OT therapy. You didn’t pass on a “stupid” gene to your child or do something wrong during pregnancy. Nobody blames you for having a child with speech delays. And it’s nothing to be embarrassed about either! Your pride should always take a backseat to your child’s ability to thrive. Always! People are much more understanding and accepting than you think. Trust me!

You can learn exactly how speech therapy helps by reading a few testimonials  from other parents here. Occupational therapy is also important for children with ASD and autism, although  many children without autism also require OT therapy to help them with gross and fine motor skills. If your toddler flops around on the floor a lot or walks on tip-toes or skips around a lot – I guess you could say if they don’t walk with purpose, he or she might need OT therapy as well.

It may seem like a big deal now, but a few months down the road, this will be a blip on the radar. Your child will start making progress quickly and before you know it, the strides foward will outweigh the milestones misses.

Five Great Gifts for Autistic Preschoolers

As the mommy to a four-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I’ve discovered many wonderful  mainstream toys that are both fun and therapeutic. Toys that improve language development, sensory and motor regulation, build core strength, muscle tone and coordination. Toys that spark my son’s inner drive, encouraging more engagement and child-lead interaction.

Here are five of MommyQ’s favorite toys, from $18 – $300. Most of them are eco-friendly, which I personally love. I’m not speaking as a medical expert here, just as a mom. If you’re the parent, relative or friend of an autistic child, maybe this list will make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. I hope so!

Wheely Bug – If you haven’t seen these cute little ride-on critters, you need to check them out. I bought the cow for my boys last month and my ASD son loves it! (Also available in bee and ladybug!) It really helps him with coordination and balance, while building his core. We he first started riding it, he was wobbly. Now he can lift his feet and maneuver it around every corner. It has helped him adjust to motion that had bothered him in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best gifts for an ASD child. Make sure you buy the big Wheely Bug to get the most use out of it. Eco-friendly! $70

Breakfast Menu Set – These types of wooden toys are great for a variety of reasons. Many autistic children have issues with food due to textures. By incorporating pretend food into playtime, it seems to make real mealtime easier. You can ‘prepare’ the pretend food together and takes turns ‘tasting’ it. That way your child is more open to the idea of trying different foods. Manipulating smaller toys, like shaking the salt & pepper shakers, improves fine motor skills too. Plan Toys is a wonderful green company and makes a huge selection of incredible wooden toys. Eco-friendly! $18

LIKEaBIKE – This is a unique eco-friendly bike sans pedals! That’s because this bike was designed to boost your child’s confidence and comfort in riding a bike, while building their balance, core strength, etc. They start out slow, usually walking with it and then as they improve, they can go much faster. Obviously this is not great for hills or steep surfaces, but on flat streets, in the driveway or at the park, it’s a wonderful (and fun) toy. Our OT therapist has mentioned it multiple times. Eco-friendly! $300

Haba Ball Track Master Builder Set – Many autistic children love toys that spin and roll. My son does a variety of activities at OT therapy involving marbles, which is why I love this toy from Haba. Your child can build the track and then watch the marbles spin through it. This is the big set and Haba also makes a smaller set for $43. This toy is perfect for fine motor skill improvement and development. It also gets the imagination and interaction rolling. Eco-friendly! $200

Hopscotch Puzzle Mat – Another great toy for improving balance, motor skills, interaction and organizing thought processes is this cute Hopscotch mat by Alex. First you put it together like a puzzle, then you play the game. This gives you child a great opportunity to practice hopping on one foot and then jumping with two feet. It’s also a good game for ASD kids to play with their friends or siblings. $23

Read Ode to a Wheely Bug to see the cow in motion!

Autism Means My Son is Happy When He’s Flappy

In a conversation the other day, my best friend mentioned that her 4-year-old son gives directions to his school when his grandparents take him. “He can give directions?” I asked, amazed. Of course he can, I thought to myself. He’s four!

It’s always been weird for me to hear about the interactive things all of my friend’s kids can do because my oldest son is autistic. He has mild autism, but it’s still autism. My friends talk about how their kids come home from school and chat about what they did that day. Or their kids tell them when they’re hungry or what they want to eat. Their kids answer questions like, “How old are you?” or “What do you want to do today?” My son doesn’t. Their kids go on and on about a show or a movie or nothing in particular. My son doesn’t. Their kids initiate conversations and talk about what they like and how things make them feel. My son doesn’t.

We got the diagnosis about 4 months ago and it wasn’t a big surprise. We were expecting it. Although that certainly didn’t make it easier to hear. Part of me died of heartbreak that day. Watching my son happily flap and hop around the room while the word “autism” stung my ears… My husband and I shed lots of tears that day. We mourned for my son and for his little brother who might never understand him and for the uncertain future ahead of us.

Today autism is part of our family and we are trying to accept it. But I do find myself playing the “what if” game sometimes. What would he be like if he didn’t have autism? What sports would he like? What funny jokes would we share? What kind of big brother would he be? I know it’s useless to think such things, but it seems unavoidable.

I love my son and I’m trying to embrace his autism. Would I change things if I could? Honestly, no. My little guy is a sweetheart. He’s an incredible soul and has an exceptional personality that will take him to great places. He gives hugs and kisses and we even hear “I wuv you” now and then, so there isn’t too much to complain about. And besides, he’s happy when he’s flappy.