Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

I know it's the end of April, but I wanted to focus on Autism Awareness Month for a minute and especially how it impacts those in the Black (African-American) community.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

Source: Autism Society - About Autism 

Many black children with autism, who, according to one study of children on Medicaid, are diagnosed on average about 18 months later than white children.

While a year-and-a-half may not seem like a long time, it is in the life of a child with this developmental disorder, which affects brain function and impedes social interaction and communication skills.

"It is crucial to identify children with autistic-spectrum disorders as early as possible, as studies have demonstrated that the provision of early, intensive, high-quality intervention services is associated with improved outcomes,'' said Dr. Thyde Dumont-Mathieu, a developmental pediatrician at the University of Connecticut with a clinical practice at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

A toddler diagnosed with autism may qualify for 15 hours of services per week through the state's Birth to Three program, Dumont-Mathieu said. If not identified, that same child may not get referred to the program, may receive less intensive services and may not benefit from the behavioral approaches recommended for children with autism-spectrum disorders.

Concern is widespread on both national and local levels about whether black children and other minorities are getting diagnosed early enough or are being misdiagnosed.

"It's a hugely important issue,'' said Marguerite Colston of the Autism Society of America in Bethesda, Md. "We have been crying out for attention to minority families with autism for years.''

Source: Charleston Daily News (29 May 2007)

Two African American stars that have children with autism are Toni Braxton and Holly Robinson Peete.

Toni Braxton frequenty partners with Autism Speaks.
 After Toni Braxton’s youngest son Diesel was diagnosed with autism at age three, she blamed herself - a feeling she still carries with her five years later. The Grammy award-winning singer opens up about her family’s journey, which reformatted her relationship with her husband Keri Lewis (they’re now separated) and strengthened the bond between her sons. And, she offers hope to parents dealing with the condition – her son is now attending public school thanks, in part, to early diagnosis.
Source: The Autism News
Holly Robinson Peete has her own non-profit, HollyRod Foundation.
When Holly Robinson Peete's son RJ was diagnosed with autism in 2000 at the age of 3, Holly and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, found their world turned upside down. They weathered a challenging personal storm and then decided to share their story to provide hope to other families. Through their HollyRod Foundation, which focuses on improving the lives of children with autism, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support of families affected by autism.

Holly Robinson Peete also has two awesome books on Autism. One is for children that was written with her daughter about what it is like to grow up with a sibling who has autism. The book is entitled My Brother Charlie. The second books is entitled Not My Boy!: A Father, A Son, and One Family's Journey with Autism and it is authored by her husband Rodney Peete.

Know the Signs: Early Identification Can Change Lives
Autism is treatable. Children do not "outgrow" autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects
 Source: Autism Society

Monday, April 11, 2011

Taekwando, Mommy Calling Cards, and Happiness!

Hi folks!

It’s been a while, but I’ve been trying to get my bearings in this new phase of my life. My new work assignment and the travel that goes with it have kept me pretty busy. On the home front things are going well and I think we’re getting accustomed to this new routine of ours.

In awesome family news, my big boy is starting Tae Kwan Do and we’re both UBER EXCITED! His first official class is tonight, but last week he got to view a class so he could get a feel for the rhythm of everything.

When I was signing him up the form asked out of a certain number of things, what were the two that I wanted him to get most out of it. One was better focus/listening skills and the other was for enjoyment. If I could have added a third it would have been for confidence. Now, the big boy is a pretty confident boy as is, but he can be shy in social situations that are new to him. I’m hoping that this activity will give him a bit more confidence as well as introduce him to some new friends. With spring here and summer approaching I can’t wait to make some play dates!

Speaking of play dates, I’m interested in getting some “Mommy Calling Cards”. I had thought about making my own, but there are so many cute ones on Etsy, that I think I’ll end up getting some from there. 

This one is calling my name- from Sara Tams

The baby boy is now sleeping solo in his own bed, so he and his brother are now officially sharing their room.  Let me just say that his transition was a lot easier; I’m thinking it’s because he can see his brother sleeping in his own bed and he’s not in the room alone.  So, I’m very proud of my baby man!

And that's what's been happening here lately!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Holy Hot Pink, Batman!

Source: Posh Tots

Holy Hot Pink, Batman! This baby changer has a whole lot of style and is sporting one of my favorite colors in the world, BUT...they cannot be serious with this price $1,195.00!!!! Um, this thing better change and breastfeed my baby for that price. And it doesn't say it does that in it's description:

The Kendall Changer is pure modern elegance for the nursery. With small drawers for supplies and two bigger drawers for larger items there is plenty of storage for diapers, blankies, layettes, and toys. A removable changing tray securely holds a changing pad. The beautiful luster is from multi layered washed walnut and classic lacquer drawer fronts shown here in Hot Lips. Drawers have under mount, smooth glides and interiors are finished in orange. Rectangular polished nickel hardware adds a sophisticated finishing touch. Made in the USA out of sustainably harvested hardwoods and with hand-applied, water based, non-toxic lacquers. Please note that in hand crafted finishes beautiful natural variances will occur. Green Changing Mat not included.

Although this is (IMO) a ridiculous baby purchase, it has given me an idea for my Campaign dresser in my entry!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Things...

At work I was doodling on a Post-It of how I'd like my gallery wall above my sofa to look.  Don't laugh!

On my way home I stopped at a furniture consignment store and got a Campaign dresser!  It's a bit rough right now, but I'm going to snazz it up. 

And last, but not least I sewed some cafe curtains for my kitchen window last week.

Those are my little things for tonight.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pillow formula

I love the way some people mix patterns with their throw pillows (I'm looking at you Jamie from isuwannee). I tragically came from a home where you match things by golly! So my mix-matching skills are slightly lacking.  So, as Stacy and Clinton from WNTW would do, I made myself a PILLOW FORMULA! I have come to the conclusion that the perfect pillow pattern formula is:


Por ejemplo:

Source: All from isuwanne

I currently have made some African Wax Print fabric pillows, that's my ethnic, and I will be adding something graphic in either vertical stripes or chevron stripes. I am still undecided on a floral right now, but I'm thinking about a Suzani pillow, that's kind of floral-esque.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fit for a Queen

As I told you last week, I've partnered with some wonderful guys to sell furniture that they buy at storage auctions and I've just listed a lovely Queen Anne sofa.  It would be fine left as is or personalized by reupholstering in some great modern fabric.

Here are the deets - Gorgeous Queen Anne Style sofa upholstered in a Jacquard blue fabric and lovely tufting. Generous length of 7'8" and a height of 2'7". Here's the Craig's List Ad.

A little history- Queen Anne furniture came about at a time when American colonists had more money to spend on furnishings for their homes, which is why so many pieces of furniture were made in this style at the time. This furniture that was crafted in America was made in various places, such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. While the style was very close to the versions from England, there is a bit of difference that can allow you to easily distinguish between the English and American versions of this type of furniture.

One of the key designs that was seen in Queen Anne furniture happens to be what is known as the cabriole leg, which would end with a carved webfoot or what was known as a Dutch foot. This leg and foot style would be used on various pieces from this time period, including bed frames, chairs, day beds, tables, desks, lowboys, chests, and more.

Today Queen Anne furniture, espscially Queen Anne sofas can fit in decor styles from traditional to modern. Here are some awesome Queen Anne Sofa revamps (all from Design*Sponge, I love that site!):

Source: Design*Sponge

Source: Design*Sponge

Source: Design*Sponge

Source: Design*Sponge
Here's the Queen Anne Sofa I have

Personally, if this bad boy were mine I'd go with this fabric and totally put a bird on it!

Source: Hawthorne Threads

If you live in the Washington, DC area or the Shenandoah Valley Area and would like to purchase, you can email me at kn.williams [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, April 1, 2011

This is not the sofa...

I am UBER EXCITED because I've been given a great opportunity. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you how it came to be:

Last weekend I headed out to pick out an antique mirror I saw on Craig's List (blogged about here), first of all I was so glad it hadn't sold yet because I saw it a month ago, but with my travels for my job hadn't had the chance to offer to buy it.

So, I go to a beautiful house up on a small mountain (it's mountainous here, y'all) and after being turned around because mountain houses are not numbered numerically, I met the lovely people selling the mirror.

They asked me was there anything else I was looking for, I told them I was really interested in mid-century modern furniture...they had no idea what I meant, so I talked to them about it. To make a long story short these two friends bid on items in storage facilities and auctions for the fun of it, but they have no idea what's good and what's not.

So, they asked me if I'd like to partner with them by researching and listing their stuff for sale. WOULD I EVER! They also said if there was something that I could improve by painting or reupholstering or whatever they'd front those costs and then we could sell it. *do you hear that? I think it's angels singing!*

That is the great opportunity and I am UBER EXCITED!

Currently they've given me a Queen Anne style sofa to sell; I will be doing a post on it and posting it on CL, this weekend!


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