Monthly Archives: October 2013

PEERS in Orange County begins Nov. 12, 2013! ONE SPACE REMAINS!

There is ONE spot left!
Now is the time to register if you are still considering this wonderful program!

Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for teens who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends.

The  next session of PEERS offered by Dr. Alexander Gantman and Kimberly Orliczky, BCBA in Orange County is scheduled to begin November 12, 2013!

Topics include:

  • How to use appropriate conversational skills
  • How to find common interests by trading information
  • How to appropriately use humor
  • How to enter and exit conversations between peers
  • How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
  • How to handle rumors and gossip
  • How to be a good host during get-togethers
  • How to make phone calls to friends
  • How to choose appropriate friends
  • How to be a good sport
  • How to handle arguments and disagreements
  • How to change a bad reputation

Give your teen the tools he/she needs.
What:  PEERS Program
When: Tuesdays at 6:00pm for 14 (90 min) Sessions
Where: KLO Consulting – Irvine Office

Contact Kimberly Orliczky at 949-607-8560 or for registration information.

Next Time the Doc Says ‘It’s all in your head’ He’ll Have a Solution

I see this as an important step in the right direction. I hope their tests go well so more states and professionals will be willing to give it a try.

Doctors Enlist Therapists To Deliver Better, Cheaper Care

by Kristian Foden-Vencil

OPB – October 22, 2013

The state of Oregon is trying some experiments to bring different kinds of medical professionals under the same roof. Patients can see different kinds of doctors in one visit, and the hope is it will provide better patient care, eventually at less cost to the state….


Common Core for Uncommon Students

Common Core State StandardsI recently attended a school district meeting that presented Common Core. But it was to a group of Special Education parents. When I asked how teachers were going to be trained to teach our kids with ASDs, I wasn’t given a satisfactorily concrete answer. It was rather abstract, come to think of it. I guess everyone drank the Kool-aid.

Here’s a really concise explanation from Barbara Boroson:

Autism Spectrum Meets Common Core…Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Please share your experiences with Common Core!


GFCF Haystacks I’ve taken the basic chow mein noodle with melted butterscotch chips recipe and modified it to suit my GFCF family. The result is a no-bake treat that no one can resist. INGREDIENTS: 1 (10 ounce) package ENJOY LIFE … Continue reading

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 29 | 6:30pm-8:30pm

Aaron Likens, author of “Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger’s Syndrome,” will speak on “Building a Foundation of Hope” at Concordia University.

Tuesday, October 29th

6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Mr. Likens was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 20 and has since become an accomplished public speaker, author and blogger. Now, a decade later, he is a recipient of the Mental Health Champion award given by the Missouri Department of Mental Health and is a Life Skills’ Autism Ambassador, sharing with the world how the Autism Spectrum Disorder mind works.

This event is free and open to the public. Click here for flyer.

Outlets for Anger and Anxiety

October 8, 2013

If your child tends to tantrum, explode or go ballistic, teach him ways to relax.boiling-point-thumbnail-298x300 And help him learn how to implement them before he reaches his boiling point.

Maybe it’s a certain kind of music, a yoga pose, going outside for a walk, throwing/bouncing a basketball or jumping on a trampoline.


As a teen, I would go to the piano and pound out Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor when I was angry. [I found that was more acceptable to my parents than slamming doors!]

Keep a menu handy, listing four or five calming options for your child. And encourage him to use the info before he explodes.

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Banana Pumpkin Muffins – deliciously moist and GFCF, too!

I got this basic recipe from Anissa from [], but I’ve made a few alterations and adaptations to make them more moist and a bit tastier. Also, I replaced the 3/4 cup sugar with 1/2 cup raw coconut nectar [100% organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, fat-free, Vegan, low glycemic and more nutritious than Agave]. Besides, we don’t use refined sugar anymore. These have become a staple at our house! Enjoy.

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup 100% pumpkin [not pie filling mix]
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean paste [my favorite is Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste—yum!]
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil [allow it to cool so it doesn’t cook the egg]
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups flour [I use Better Batter All-Purpose GF flour]


1.             Mash bananas. Add pumpkin and stir.

2.             Add coconut nectar and slightly beaten egg.

3.             Add melted coconut oil.

4.             Add vanilla and almond. Mix well.

5.             Then add the dry ingredients: flour, soda, baking powder and salt.

6.             Mix well.

7.             Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

RECIPE: GFCF Meatloaf with Mushrooms


My son absolutely loves my meatloaf. Well, actually, he likes pretty much anything I put in front of him, but he scarfs this down with a smile on his face. And I just love that.

I got the basic recipe from ridestherange (Kim) on, but because of our food allergies and sensitivities, I had to re-work it quite a bit.

meatloaf with mushroomsAnyway, here’s my modified recipe for GFCF Meatloaf with Mushrooms.


1 lb lean ground beef

½ lb ground pork

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups GF bread crumbs [Udi’s bread is our favorite—4 or 5 slices]

5 tbsps flax meal mixed with 6 tbsps water [to replace 2 eggs] – whisk flax and water together until gelatinous, much like an egg white.

2 or 3 garlic cloves

1 stalk celery

1 small yellow sweet onion

3 or 4 small fresh mushrooms

Parsley flakes

Celery flakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk flax and water together until gelatinous, much like an egg white. Set aside.

In a food processor, chop the bread to make bread crumbs. Set aside.

In a food processor, chop garlic, celery and onion. [I pulverize it!]

Combine all ingredients—except the mushrooms—in a large mixing bowl, mixing with your hands. Form into two loaf shapes.

Spray two 8-inch loaf pans with GF cooking spray.

Clean the mushrooms [Be sure to wash away all dirt.] Press mushrooms into the top of the loaf.

Bake in center of oven for 1hr, 20 min. Enjoy!


He’s His Own Man—Already (No, mom’s not ready)

ARM recently returned from a family vacation and it was wonderful in so many ways. A change of scenery and some R&R is always heavenly; then we sprinkled in several growth opportunities for an overall spectacular time.

My teen possesses [an interesting mix of] anticipatory anxiety seasoned with a love of travel. Figure that one out. He’s a homebody who enjoys visiting new places, staying at hotels “with room service and a concierge” and ordering surf and turf in fine restaurants. What kind of human have I created?

As we approached our downtown hotel, my son excitedly announced that an AMC movie theater was two blocks away and a Barnes&Noble was one block away. The wheels started turning. And from that moment, the rest of the trip [heck, it had barely begun!] centered around AMC and B&N. For him, anyway.

I’m writing this after the fact, with valuable perspective. I so wish I’d had this perspective while on our trip because it probably would have helped calm at least some of his concerns and uneasiness as we went about our planned sightseeing itinerary. An itinerary that did not include AMC or B&N. [But all was not lost.]

After the first day, we realized he wasn’t as excited as we were about some of the plans we’d made—even though he was in on the decisions. And he kept asking when we could go to B&N. So one evening, my husband and I went across the street for a nightcap and our son went to the bookstore. Alone. Relax! The city has great police presence, he has a phone, it was just one block away, he’s almost 17, he stands 6’2”, do I have to continue?

I texted once, got no response and figured he was deeply immersed in some film book. As we left the restaurant, we decided to swing by the bookstore to peek in but it was 5 minutes until closing time. I called his phone, which went right to voicemail. I knew he’d turned it off. Oh great! Well, he wasn’t in the store so we were pretty sure he had returned to the room. In the meantime, we ran a quick errand and then went back to the hotel. At the door to our room I could hear the TV blasting, and I sighed a huge sigh!

We entered the room to find him sprawled out on the bed, arms behind his head, watching some world destruction movie. Phew! I was so relieved, so proud, so happy—yet so angry that he had turned off his phone. I tempered my anger by ducking into the bathroom first and getting a drink of water.

After I had re-grouped, I joined the guys and asked my son if he saw any good books at the store. After he told me about a new book that he absolutely needed, I mentioned that I tried to call him but his phone was off. Then he explained that he turned it off when he got back to the room. [Just as I suspected.] So I nonchalantly suggested, “Hey bud, when we’re away from home and you’re not with one of us, your phone must remain on until we’re back together again. Barely tearing his eyes from the TV, he uttered, “Oh, yeah, sure mom. Sorry about that.”

The next night he wanted to go to the movies, so building on the bookstore success, we said sure. He wanted to see it badly enough, so he decided it would be fine to go alone. Again. What a big guy! And what a relief to me because I did not want to go to a sci-fi movie on my vacation. I guess I just don’t roll that way. And besides, he needs to get used to doing things without his parents [at least that’s what our therapist advises].

So off he ventured, knowing the rules about his phone and general personal safety. He seems to really enjoy his independence, which is great. But all evening I kept looking at my watch. I guess I’m not totally enjoying his independence, but that’s probably pretty typical. As it started to rain I urged my husband to go and meet our son. Besides, it was very late. So his dad was there as he walked out of the theater. They strolled around a bit in the light Seattle rain, then returned to our hotel.

These adventures allowed my son to recharge and have energy to indulge us and cooperate with our sightseeing. I think the sweet liberation even put him in a better mood. A learning experience for all of us.

By the time we flew back home, got unpacked and finally settled at home following the trip, my son was somewhat changed—and so was I. He was doing more and more things without us, many times at our urging. But each time he was triumphant, and, well, success builds on success.

I feel like an empty-nester each evening that he goes out. This new experience is helping to grease the skids for when my husband and I are truly living in a nest that’s empty and echoing.


So Socially Suave!


This recent find is exciting on so many different levels. First, Daniel Wendler’s story is extremely inspirational. Second, his website shows that you can turn a deficit into an advantage. And finally, Daniel proves the point that once you discover your passion, the rest follows. Mr. Wendler is building his career on the fact that he’s different from others—but he’s doing so in such an appealing way that we, well, at least I’m drawn to it and to him.

elephant  His message is truly compelling.

I’m thrilled to have stumbled onto this website and I can’t wait to share it.