Knowing What He’ll Miss

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN The dream I had the other night was not for me. I think the dream was what I felt inside for Broden. He will miss it. He will miss the feeling of excitement of asking a girl to the dance and hearing her say yes. I had a strange dream the other night. I walked into an empty locker room to change my clothes. I grew frustrated because I […]

Giving Your Child A Happy, Healthy Start

Every mother and father wants to raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child. Service members are no exception. Since most healthy behaviors are developed in childhood, you can help your child get off to a good start with good habits, actions and choices to promote health and happiness. Here are some ways to help your kids get healthy and happy. START WITH NUTRITION Health and happiness begins with good nutrition. Healthy foods provide the building blocks […]

Helping Parents In Military Families To Decrease Stress And Anxiety

It’s all about putting the pieces together to build strong systems of support. BY ANGELA SHAW AND REANNA SHAW The implicit theme of the military family is one that tackles challenges head-on, thrives upon flexible thinking, and builds resiliency and independence, but the military life is packed with more than perseverance and adventure-filled moments. Though the military life is a fulfilling and exciting one, it is also a life that is in a constant state […]

Never Forgotten

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN Gram passed away Christmas morning. She was 101 years old. She was born in 1916, when people with disabilities were probably never discussed in public forums and the concept of inclusiveness wasn’t possible. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mark and I visited his Gram, Dorothy, in Montana because we didn’t know how much longer she would be with us. She was almost 100 years old, living alone […]

Resources For Military Families: A Path To Advocacy For Your Child

“Organizations are people, so as you move, conditions change, service options change, and the people that you are working with will change. Always remember this so as you are planning your transition, realize that you are building a new network of resources each time you move.” BY SHELLY L. HUHTANEN Military families are in a continuous mode of transition. Either a parent is training for a deployment, on a deployment, or coming back from a […]

Better Late Than Never

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN As I take myself back to the store the other day, dragging my dress behind me with my sunken eyes and my weathered face due to years of crying, laughing and smiling, I can honestly say I have tried. I have tried to speak up about what families with special needs children need. The other day, I did something I don’t do very often. I went shopping for myself […]

The Whole Story

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN This is the story of autism that we need to hear, not just the young adult with autism that is a surgeon… We need to hear the whole story, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I had seen the new show on television entitled The Good Doctor. I told them I hadn’t since I don’t watch too […]

Defining Resilience

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN I would say that raising a child with autism while serving in the military would fit the definition quite well. Resilience. I remember a good friend of mine sitting with me during a briefing, encouraging Army spouses to be more resilient and mentioning that our children were some of the most resilient individuals around. She reached over and whispered in my ear, “I hate the word resilient.” She had […]

The Big Cheese

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN Broden is the one that the smaller kids watch and look up to now… He’s the one who plops in the chair in the morning and yawns because he knows he’ll tackle this long day of ABA, just like any other day. It was the first day of school at the Autism Learning Center. Broden knew the drill as he slid out of his car seat and grabbed his drink. I followed behind him carrying […]

Recognizing The Signs Of Stress In Children After A Disaster

Even the most well-adjusted children may experience stress following a disaster or traumatic event. It’s important to understand how to recognize and address signs of stress so you can help your children cope with their feelings. YOUNG CHILDREN Young children don’t always have the words, or willingness, to express how they feel when something makes them feel insecure, scared or upset. After a traumatic event, you may notice the following signs of stress in your […]