Notes on ASD: sharing diagnosis with child

The survival guide for Kids with autism spectrum disorders (and their parents) by Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve, M.D.

Sharing the diagnosis with your child (for parents) pg227

1.      First and foremost, know that it’s likely your child already has a idea that he or she is “different” in some way. The news may not be as shocking as you think Kids with autism spectrum disorders realize they struggle in certain areas, but they don’t know why. They may think, “I do everything wrong” or “It’s all my fault.” They may wonder why they’re in a special education program or why they see doctors and therapist a lot more often than other kids do…. it’s an opportunity for you to give your child n ot only the reasons but also reassurance. Children need to know that having a condition isn’t their fault.

2.      The most important thing you can do is to keep the conversation positive. Wait until you yourself are at a point of acceptance.

3.      How to keep the conversation positive? By making it clear that you’re there to answer questions, to offer support, and to always be a source of unconditional love.

4.      Look for signs of readiness. If your child says something like, “I’m so stupid!” or “I can’t do things, right?”

5.      Choose a good time: Home is quiet, child is calm, no pressing agendas are present.

6.      Autism spectrum disorders are considered medical conditions. Kids who have ASD need help, guidance, and support. Some parents make the3 mistake of believing that because a diagnosis will lead to a label, that label will then hold their child back in school, in social situations, and throughout life. But failing to acknowledge the condition doesn’t change the reality of it. Other parents attempt to soften the truth by telling their child he or she has a learning disorder or a developmental delay. This terminology may give children the impression that they’ll outgrow the problem or “get better” if they “do things right.” Avoiding the diagnosis or giving it a different name only postpones the process of getting kids the help they need and deserve.




This URL will provide information about my faith journey. I apologize ahead of time, that information may be posted at inconvenient intervals.

This additional blogsite to Sappy Happy Tales,  will be singular to my personal ‘faith transition’ or ‘post Mormonism’ content. The sole purpose for adding the site is purely for self-centered reasons. My life is full of wonderful things, but driving and seeing a therapist has yet to enter my schedule. I would like to have this resource, but until then-there will be “Journaling to Discover and to Express Faith.” I do not intend and most likely will not publish all my written experiences- there is at least 7 years worth.

An Exit From Fundamentalism

Jake and I value our relationship with family and friends. We strive to live in honesty and honor, while rooting our family in the unconditional love God gives. Sometimes joining these concepts within these mediums isn’t always clear on how to do it smoothly. Our family has resigned our membership to our religion, but not in our faith. It is difficult to know how open we need to be and with whom. Many aspects about being open with our transition makes me(Heidi) uneasy. A part of uneasiness comes from defining ourselves, which doesn’t align with my value of, everybody is on equal playing grounds. Any type of seclusion or separation of our Self depletes humanity. It would be nice if we all tapped into feeling and perceiving our fluid connection with Life. A natural progression to  personal communication with this topic is ideal. While other times may require the authenticity for Self to speak up. We imagine this news may be heart-sinking for some who know us and view this post. If questions arise, we are willing to respond with simple answers if that is your desire. Because we value our relationships, we have no intentions of persuading others to change their course of direction. A common misconception when people leave their religion is that they have been offended, are unhappy or desire to ‘sin’. But in reality, it is because they have a tendency to ask questions, seek truth, and want understanding to their cognitive dissonance. This transition to a new chapter in our family’s journey is hard-earned. We persevered in pondering, praying, searching biblical scriptures and researched most all controversial topics about our religion. We are happy with our decision and feel at peace. We continue-on, heeding God’s Divine Power to navigate our family with ‘special needs’ children. The ideology is to raise our girls in the healthiest way we know how and/or have parental control over. Undergoing this awakening of truth, allows our faith and spirituality to develop directly under God, who isn’t limited by anything Earthly. We wish for a dual acceptance in each of our life- journeys. We hope you will trust us over time that we are making the best decision for our family.

Warm Wishes,
Heidi and Jake

Flipagram: Tie-Dye

A deeply held belief of mine is that we all have a purpose here on Earth and God wants  us engaged with its discovery.  In my current frame of mind, knowing my purpose is a way of existing in life that feels like light and truth. Each new discovery adds more light and brings us closer to truth. Understanding how I operate spiritually and physically is an aide for this process and helps me connect to other peoples’ discovery-of-purpose.  It is through God and His son, Jesus Christ who have been my guide and in whom I put my trust. I give them full credit for providing me the enlightenment and motivating me to obtain a greater perspective.  If a creature like myself believes  God has a purpose for me, then it would only make sense for it to extend to every other living creature on this planet. They too are designed for a purpose their discoveries are equally important. This little girl Tie-Dye, has enriched the life of each member of our family. Did I ever think I’d have a Dubia roach colony in my daughter’s bedroom, or that I’d rather smell dog poop than dragon drop-drippings? Nope. Her stillness and observations grounds me to the present. When I watch her, I’m ‘in-love’, and ‘in-fascination’. Tie-Dye reaffirms to me that my spiritual being harmonizes with science. I don’t expect all humans to feel ‘in-love’ with tetrapod vertebrates, but I do hope these animals receive respect for their reptilian classification and be treated kindly.

Community Relations Class 2016:Outline Paper

My Community Relations class requires an outline on the dynamics between multicultural communities and law enforcement. A long list of options was provided and my choice of research is in the format below.

Heidi Huish

Outline for AJ 103

  1. Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Issues in Policing
  2. This outline will discuss the positive and negative relations between: transgender civilians with police departments and transgender law enforcement employees with management. Lastly, it will conclude with my opinion on this topic along with some personal experiences.
  3. Firstly, law enforcement officers in the past have not properly handled hate-crimes toward transgender civilians and are implementing laws to improve their procedures. Secondly, law enforcement employs people of transgender into a wide variety of positions. The challenges surrounding their employment need proper management and TCOPS is an organization supporting transgender to ensure a positive future.
    • An article on the FBI’s website, Law Enforcement and Transgender Communities, discusses law enforcement’s lack of appropriate treatment on cases with people of transgender. An example case was about Brandon, a transman (female transitioned to male) being assaulted and raped by acquaintances. Brandon reported the incident to local law enforcement and told them he was afraid the perpetrators would come after him again. The sheriff was crude and dehumanizing during Brandon’s report, didn’t provide him protection and the perpetrators went unpunished. In 1993 Brandon and two other people were murdered in his home by the same perpetrators. With the help of research, training, and community support, law enforcement procedures have improved regarding victims of sexual assault and people of transgender. A few written improvements are: U.S courts of appeals consider transgender discrimination to be “sex discrimination”. Directive 152 is implemented by the Philadelphia Police Department and requires their officers to use appropriate language, such as preferred pronouns, when talking with transgender individuals. This directive also allows transgender arrestees to be referred to by their preferred name and gender. Another improvement started in 2007, when Washington, D.C Metropolitan Police Department implemented the General Order PCA 501-02. This policy has extensive definitions and procedures, but one example is the requirement of transgender juvenile offenders to be granted medical attention, and allowed their hormone therapy.
    • When a transgender law enforcement employee is transitioning, it becomes a challenge for management. Thorough education and training is important to effectively equip them with the right skill-sets. Navigating work issues may encompass presumable contentious issues: name change on credentials and documents, addressing grooming standards and their presentation at work. Also, safe boundaries need clarified regarding restroom and locker room access. A peer support network identified as TCOPS (Transgender Community of Police and Sheriffs), consists of a variety of transgender law enforcement employees such as officers, detectives, forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, military etc. TCOPS’ plan is to integrate their network into a non-profit organization to help advance transgender’s employee rights.
  4. In conclusion, my opinion originates from personal experience and extends from legitimate online resources. I think it is best to respect all individuals and segments of society while not discriminating them from equal rights and opportunities. Throughout the last 20 years our society has improved the treatment towards members of the LGBT community and decreased hindering their rights.
    • While growing up in Utah, I had very little information about the LGBT community in the 80’s and early 90’s. Reasoning was partly due to time-period, culture, and my religion. I was part of the ‘hindering segment’ of society who needed to be educated and allow self-reflection. Since my senior year in high school I have been blessed with friends and co-workers who identify as gay or lesbian. My care for them motivates me to continue learning and lending my support through love. I have a trans-sister-in-law living in Seattle. She is in her 40’s and transitioning to female. My husband and I love and support her. We view her as a caring family member, a dedicated parent, a spiritual Hindu, and a person making positive contributions to society. When she came out as transgender to family, I was obsessed… or was it distressed? Either way, it motivated me to learn more about gender dysphoria. My research brought me closer to her and more certain to be an advocate. Many LGBT people experience negative hardships from different imposing factors that other segments of society aren’t faced with. It is easy to remain stagnant in helping their community when there is minimal personal connection. However, when LGBT people lack positive support, it may be the changing influence for them to act on suicide. As hard as life is, it is a gift and blessing; we need to do all we can to help individuals choose life. Currently Salt Lake City has a large LGBT community and improvements are implemented to support their rights.
    • As time proceeds, I foresee law enforcement continuing to make improvements in serving LGBT communities and building positive relationships. An incident happened on November 17, 2016 in the San Diego LGBT community that revealed how some members still distrust law enforcement officers. A transgender cop named Christine Garcia, helped plan and escorted the Transgender Day of Remembrance march. When the march was over, Marcia was denied entrance to the remainder festivities because she was in uniform. The incident created a platform where the two cultures came together to clarify how law enforcement has improved. Nicole Murray-Ramirez, the City Commissioner and LGBT activist, issued an apology and said law enforcement officers are always welcome into the community.

Just for the heck of it, here are some pics from our northwest trip back in 2002

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Washington DC: Election Week

The week in Washington DC was challenging because it took me out of my comfort zone, was physically exerting, and made me wish my IQ level was much higher.  Jake works in this amazing city every other week, so the girls and I worked it into our school schedules to come out with him. It just happened that the best week for us was election week. I am so glad for the “perfect timing”. Conquering an unfamiliar city with three young girls was daunting and invigorating. The first day the girls and I had a conversation about “getting lost”. They were concerned and nervous. Their past experiences with my navigational skills wasn’t giving them confidence, nor should it have. So I had to think about what I could give them for confidence and said something along the lines of, “I’ve been getting lost since I was Ivy’s age (2) and I’m still here and doing fine. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world. You work through it and make it in the end.” Getting lost has always been incorporated into my traveling methods….or lack of. I’m used to it, but my kids weren’t. Jake does extremely well with finding his way around, and I do hope my kids latch onto this strength of his. Ivy had major meltdowns several times in every day. But it was something to see her confidence grow as she rode the Metro, and did so much walking without a stroller. Ayzia and Eden helped with navigation and felt grown up  when they got to stand on the Metro, opposed to sitting. They were motivated explorers in a new territory. Elementary age is the perfect age to go to the DC! I am not going to go too much into my observations and personal feelings about election week. The Nations’ feelings are still raw and tender with the event being current. My girls haven’t spoken much about their opinions regarding the election and what they witnessed. But hopefully when they are older and can articulate their feelings better, I’d love to know how it shaped them. Within our tight-knit little family, we had both Donald and Hillary supporters. For viewer information it doesn’t matter what family member was with what presidential candidate. But our family had the discussion after we found out who won, that it’s important to always vote for who they feel is the best candidate, regardless of what their parents think. We can still be a family and be friends!  I guess there is one personal experience worth sharing. I got an impression that it was important to express concern and empathy about Hillary and sorry that she didn’t win. (I was sincere, and was able think about their feelings.) Next, I want to mention something, but not sure how to articulate it so  I’m just going to say it; I loved being around the local Americans that were black. Every where I went, there was a black person laughing and in good spirits. I don’t know how this will come across to the viewers reading this, but in the  moments surrounded by black Americans, I was keenly aware of how calm, safe, loved, and “right at home” I felt. The diversity there in creed and color felt good within my soul. We are all one America, God bless our great country!

Waiting For the Metro

20161111_160301704_ios 20161110_143013533_ios 20161110_143008008_ios 20161108_144055957_iosWalking Around the City

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This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him. My judgement was that he was a little deranged, but it turns out, he is legit. Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him.  Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)


Despite the advertising on the packaging, the girls didn’t understand what it was made out of…That was until after the purchase and the cashier informed them, “Now you can write on elephant poo!” Eden’s face was priceless and we left the employee in her apologetic laughter.

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I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. :( The emotional eating was worth it though.

I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. 😦 The emotional eating was worth it though.


Good food! Ayzia loved the Thai Dumplings.


Eden and Ivy had spaghetti, Ayzia had buttered noodles, I had the Alfredo, and Jake had a sea food dish(Lobster, scallop) It was okay, but we have had better.


Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don't plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don’t plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)


Family History


My great grandparents lived here from 1929-1935 while my great grandpa studied law at George Washington University

My great grandparents lived here and started their family from 1929-1935 while my grandpa when to school.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won't be happening any time soon.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won’t be happening any time soon.

The building where Jake works

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends McKay's lent us their stroller.

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends, the McKay’s, lent us their stroller.


My great grandpa Stewart got his law degree at George Washington University

Arlington Cemetery

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20161108_160543142_ios 20161108_160534002_ios 20161108_160521759_iosMonuments that Were Planned to See


World War ll Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran's day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran’s day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.


This wasn't planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a "pick-me-up" in their moral.

This wasn’t planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a “pick-me-up” in their moral.

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

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I would like to recreate my back yard to have this kind of atmosphere.

I would like to recreate my back yard to have the feel this courtyard’s atmosphere has.

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Writing in their journals while protesters come and go.

Writing in their journals while protesters come and go in front of the White House

The White House

The White House

Natural History Museum

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Ivy wanted to walk through this over and over. Having to leave it behind triggered a 45 minute meltdown and ended with an ice cream sandwich from McDonalds that was outside and around the corner.

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They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy's tatrums and walking around.

They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy’s meltdowns and walking around.

Native Indian Museum

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The architecture is most intriguing. Both Jake and I have architects in our family and love to admire the structures of buildings. This is definitely interesting to reading over.


I haven’t quite figured out why, but this was my favorite quote. For me, it has something to do with, put in your best work while you are here on earth and having a fight for ‘life’ mentality.


It was so cute. One of the days we were there, the day Ivy and I got ice cream at Cold Stone. In the elevator on the way back to our room, Ivy and I stood in between a tall, well-suited black man and a sharp looking black women. Ivy lifted her finger towards the woman to offer her a sticker on her finger, “Here you go sissy.” I wasn’t sure if the adults could understand her 2 year old language so I repeated, “Aw, are you calling her sissy?” Ivy claimed, “Yes.” Again she looks up in pure delight toward this woman. I didn’t want the two adults to misunderstand her definition of ‘sissy.’ so I ask Ivy, “Is she your sister?” Ivy says with a big smile, “Yeah!” The woman gladly excepted and the man chuckled under his breath. There was so much to learn and feel in that moment. -Children are certainly God’s blessed-

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