Hello and Welcome to the 7th Monthly Newsletter of HSSNTidbits!

At the time you are reading this the Thanksgiving Holiday will be in full swing, and everyone will be shopping for their turkeys, ham, tofurky or however you celebrate your holiday. We are still planning ours and are not sure what is going to happen, but I definitely have started my Christmas shopping already and in a hurry. Shelves seem to be emptying faster than usual and everyone is stressed (sound familiar). However, you celebrate or not, I hope you are safe, have shelter, food in your belly and that you are loved.

Enjoy today’s HSSN News.

Autism Parenting

The Holidays are Upon Us

In a household, such as ours, where feelings can get hurt easily and most people have a bit more anxiety and stress, especially with a special needs individual in the mix, you have to be creative around the holidays.

The holidays are all about being with family and enjoying the festivities. This can be very difficult for a child with Autism. This does not mean the holidays are ruined, it just means that as a parent you will have to take some precautions.

Here are 5 Tips to Get Through this Autism Holiday Season

Spread holiday activities out over a few days. This way your child does not become too overwhelmed. There is no rule stating that you have to visit all the family in one day. They would much rather see your child in a happy mood than in the midst of a meltdown.

Plan visits with family and friends for short time periods. If you plan short visits your child is less likely to get over tired or overwhelmed. Keep the visitors to a few at time.

Do not force your child to participate in activities they do not like. If you are having a family dinner and your Autistic child does not want to sit at the table with a lot of people let them sit where they are comfortable.

Consider opening a few presents at a time. Opening Christmas presents is very exciting to a child. To an Autistic child the excitement can become overwhelming. An autistic child often has issues with over stimulation. By opening a few presents at a time, the child does become to overwhelmed, and can enjoy their gifts.

Last and certainly not least, Remember the reason for the holidays. They are meant to be spent with family and loved ones. Enjoy the holiday with your Autistic child. Be thankful for all you have in your life.

Homeschooling High School Students

Many times, children are homeschooled beginning when they’re quite young and, as they reach high school age, they’re enrolled in a high school. This can be done for many reasons. A child may be very talented in a particular sport that they cannot play and be considered for a scholarship unless they’re playing for a school team.

It may be that the parent can no longer challenge the child when it comes to learning and making it interesting for him or her. It can also be that the child just decided that he or she wants the experience of going to a public school. If this is the situation in your home, then you and your child will want to talk this over seriously so that the best decision is made.

On the other hand, if your children are quite content to continue homeschooling at a high school age, there are ways to make things more fun and exciting as well as helping them meet the requirements for getting into a good college. As children get older, their subjects are more difficult.

The good news is that they can do more independent study on their own. They’re not going to need for you to be peering over their shoulder and supervising everything they do now. This gives you a bit freer time to do other things but always be available in case they have a question for you. While they may be missing things like the prom and other school events

it’s very easy to throw them a prom of their own. Your kids are going to have friends of their own and some of them may also be homeschooled. So, your first step is to find out how any kids would be interested in attending a homeschool prom. Once you have your numbers in hand, all it takes is finding the location, getting a DJ or a band, and working out decorations
and refreshments. It can be a lot of fun for everyone.

When your children have met all graduation requirements, they usually can sit for a GED test and take it. Passing this will give them their diploma. Many public schools will allow homeschooled students in their district to attend graduation ceremonies so that they will be able to celebrate this milestone in life. If you don’t have a school near you that will allow this, throw your own graduation ceremony. Contact the parents of other homeschooled students that are ready to graduate and get them involved.

Homeschooled graduates can even take the SATs so that they can get into a good college. If your children have missed out on those, there are other tests they can take through different colleges and community colleges that offer these tests for a fee. When those have been satisfactorily passed, acceptance into college can be accomplished.

When it comes down to it, there’s really nothing that kids in public school have that homeschooled kids cannot have. You just have to know the right questions to ask and the right people to go to for the answers.

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Every month I post a monthly blog about raising my special needs son and what we are up to. It can be very interesting and sometimes I may post extra depending on what is going on personally or while homeschooling. Just Click on the picture below and it will take you directly to my blog.

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Butternut Squash Soup (Life Skill)

~Instant Pot Version

Instant Pot Butternut Soup


1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded and diced)

1 apple ( cored and diced)

2 carrots ( peeled and diced)

1 white onion (diced)

4 garlic cloves( peeled and minced)

1 sprig of fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

2 cups water

1/2 cup coconut milk

Required equipment:

immersion hand blender

instant Pot Optional garnishes:

extra coconut milk on top , sprinkle of cayenne or smoked paprika, sage leaves


1. Add all ingredients, except the coconut milk , into your Instant Pot pressure cooker and close the lid, ensuring the knob is set to “sealing”.

2. Press “Manual”, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 8 minutes, and let the Instant pot cook. Then carefully turn the knob to “venting” for a quick release and then remove the lid.

3. Remove and discard the sage leaves. Stir in the coconut milk.

4. Use an immersion hand blender to purée the soup to your desired smoothness. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper or cayenne if needed. Serve with optional garnishes if desired.

Makes 6-8 serving. #instantpotbutternutsquash#instantpotrecipes#francineshuen


P.S. I was going to put pictures of the ingredients but thought that the video example did an excellent job of showing all of the ingredients very well.

Take Care of Yourself