Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

9/30/2011

College Park Patch: Educating the Staff at School

This article was originally published on the College Park Patch as part of the weekly column by Gretchen Schock, Parenting on a Tightrope


Backpacks ... check.
Lunch boxes ... check.
School supplies ... check.
As I make my list to get ready for another school year my heart begins to beat a little quicker. Recently I shared my youngest son's concern about taking the leap and meeting new friends.
I will admit, I am just as nervous about the beginning of another school year. Especially for L, my oldest son, who is on the Autism Spectrum. It takes him longer to adjust to environments even though he's familiar with the setting since he's been enrolled in this school for four years.
The faces will be different as he looks around his new classroom. The teacher, of course, will be new to him. The simple act of eating lunch at a different time throws his world off. It's like throwing a pebble into a calm lake. One action creates a ripple effect. That is what eating lunch at a different time can be for him -- it can influence the outcome of his entire day. To continue reading click here.

9/29/2011

College Park Patch: Taking the Leap Into a New School Year

This article was originally published on the College Park Patch as part of the weekly column by Gretchen Schock, Parenting on a Tightrope

It’s that time of year; the buzz around everyone’s dining room table is about school starting.
In our house we are dealing with a lot of anxiety about that first day. The mere mention of school triggers tears to well up in L's eyes. He’s worried about his teacher ... Will she yell? Will his aide be returning? Will he know anyone in the class? The list goes on and on.
Z doesn’t display the same outward anxiety, and instead quietly bows his head and stops talking -- a sure sign that something is abreast because this child never stops talking.
He’s changing schools this year and I know he’s secretly worried about it. When asked, he acts as if he doesn’t care … It's not a big deal. But that is just the front he puts on to the general public. As the mom, I can tell there is something more brewing under his nonchalantness. To continue reading click here.

9/28/2011

College Park Patch: A Special Date with Mommy

This article was originally published on the College Park Patch as part of the weekly column by Gretchen Schock, Parenting on a Tightrope

My youngest son, Z, has spent years sitting in waiting rooms while his brother has speech therapy, behavior therapy or occupational therapy sessions. I’ve always tried to make the wait enjoyable, packing special toys just for him.
I've spent countless hours worried that Z would resent his brother. It often feels as though our world revolves around the Autism Spectrum and doing things that L will be able to tolerate or that he will be able to be a part of without feeling inadequate. To continue reading click here.

9/27/2011

College Park Patch: You'll Never Know, Unless you Try

This article was originally published on the College Park Patch as part of the weekly column by Gretchen Schock, Parenting on a Tightrope

My hobby is photography; I have a camera on me at all times. I once read a book where the author insisted that you would not get good at something unless you do it everyday and that really spoke to me. So I carry around a camera everywhere I go in hopes of becoming a better photographer. Practice makes perfect, so they say.
My youngest son is often asking, “Can I have a turn?” To continue reading click here.

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