The Girl on Fire; a poem

the fire is something you’re born with
it’s not something you can learn
it can’t be taught
it’s a gift.
the fire is wild
red, free, destructive to anything in it’s way
the fire won’t stop just because people want it to; that is something that fuels it
people’s harsh words pour onto the fire like gasoline
expanding, growing, spreading
becoming a threat.
little girls who play with fire may get burned because they are ignorant
uninformed of the damage they may do
they mean no harm, but the fire doesn’t stop for anyone
so when little girls play with fire
they need to be taught where to direct their flames
only then is when the fire will burn in shades of bright blue.
the fire burns at all times
don’t touch the fire, and don’t try to stop it
don’t pour water on it, and don’t suffocate it
it will never burn out.
even if it becomes small, insignificant, and is forgotten
even if it becomes just a crackling spark on the ground
it will never die.

-something i wrote 3 years ago, but never had anywhere to put it.

Why Fidget Spinners Are Old News

Recently, fidget spinners took the world by storm. Kids all across America couldn’t get their hands on them fast enough, and stores everywhere struggled to keep up with the high demand for the toy.

But while these fidget devices are a “cool new trend” for the general population, people with Autism have been using them for decades.

(Other 2017 trends you probably own that began as therapeutic methods for people with Autism are featured at the bottom of the article!!!)

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The spinner was invented in 1997 by Catherine Hettinger. She patented it and started selling it locally. After 8 years, she could not afford the 400 dollar patent fee, so she was forced to give up her ownership rights.

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Until 2017, most of the general population had never heard of fidget spinners, or any fidget items, for that matter. However, “doctors have been giving them to kids with anxiety for Attention Deficit Disorder for some time” as they have the ability to help keep children focused.

“Occupational therapists have long used these for kids in the spectrum of autism, basic developmental disorders, in the spectrum of severe ADHD”

-Dr. Steven Shapiro, Chairman of Pediatrics at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health)

But why? How do they help?

I’m glad you asked.

When kids with ADHD use fidget spinners, they focus on using their fine motor skills and are able to avoid distractions and other temptations.

“When you’re fidgeting with something, your hands are feeding back to your brain, a signal that you’re involved in a repetitive task. That repetitive task frees up your mind.

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Because of the sudden, and drastic, increase in popularity, schools across the nation have gone so far as to ban fidget spinners, and many teachers claim that they are distracting.

However, this could have a negative impact on students who actually used fidget objects to focus in the classroom before society rebranded them to make them “cool.”

Other Things Autistic People Have Been Using Therapeutically for Years that Turned to Mainstream Trends in 2017

 

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Videos of people cutting through colorful sand, smashing glass, mixing different paints, and bending metal are only the beginning of what people have recently spent their free time watching. The possibilities are endless with this one.

Blog. fidget cubeThe Fidget Cube

These blocks have been used by therapists for years, but now they have been rebranded to the general population as “the ultimate stress relieving cube,” Each side is different, allowing you to keep your hands entertained for hours on end. They come in every color, and many people claim that they use them to get through long business meetings.

Blog. gravity.pngThe Gravity Blanket

This project was part of a Kickstarter campaign that raised over 4.7 million dollars and has almost 24 thousand backers. However, the idea is not original. Weighted blankets have been around for years to help with conditions like anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia, and OCD.

Hi readers!

I hope you liked this article! While I have your attention, I wanted to use this opportunity to encourage you take some time to learn more about Autism.

While there are many organizations for Autism out there, the most well-known one is Autism Speaks. Unfortunately, in a recent budget report, the organization’s profits totaled at 57.5 million dollars, and only 15.3 million went toward the direct aide of families and people with Autism. Basically, the majority of their money goes toward research.

Like I said earlier, there are many other organizations out there!! I’ll link some down below.

Autism Self-Advocacy Network

The Autism Women’s Network

Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Struggles of an At-Home Insomniac

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Okay, no, that isn’t me. It’s a random picture I found on Google, but it is 100 percent what I look like right now. As a matter of fact, that’s what I look like every time I blog. Unfortunately, that’s what I look like when I don’t blog, too.

What I mean by that, is it is currently 3:26 a.m., and I am not even the slightest bit tired, and I won’t be for a while.

This isn’t the same “I’m not tired” you used to get when you were having a sleepover with your friends, or when you drink a cup of coffee at 8 p.m. and wonder why you can’t fall asleep.

I am talking about a nightly routine of finally falling asleep between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.

I don’t know how many of you can relate to my situation, but I have had trouble with this since the beginning of high school. I actually used to post a daily “snap” on my Snapchat Story featuring a timestamp of when I was able to sleep.

My best friends and I would joke about how I never sleep, and they would ask what I possibly did for all of those hours. Eventually, they felt it was becoming a pattern, and they grew more and more worried about me.

I honestly started to believe that I had insomnia, as I was sleeping an average of 2-4 hours per night.

But there was an exception.

Every time I would spend the night at a friend’s house, I would fall asleep the second my head hit the pillow. Even as early as 9 p.m.? Yep.

I tested this theory many times, and every time, the results came back the same: sleep at a friend’s, able to sleep; sleep at home, not able to sleep.

I realized my sleeping problem was connected to my own home. 

Now, I thought this was strange, because I had heard of people not being able to sleep away from the comfort of their own home… but I was the opposite. I could sleep anywhere but my home.

When I started college at Penn State last Fall, I was anything but confident in my ability to wake up for my 8 a.m. class 3 times a week. How in the world am I going to wake up at 7:15 a.m. (without my parents there to physically shake me, like they did throughout my high school years) when I will have just fallen asleep 3 hours prior?!

The first week, however, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was sleeping 7-8 hours every night. I would wake up to my alarm every time. (Okay, okay, not every time. I missed class twice. Cut ya girl some slack.) 

I thought, “Oh, it’ll just wear off once I have been sleeping there every night, and I’ll be back to my sleepless nights in no time.” I was mistaken. I kept this pattern of getting a full night of rest for both of the Fall and Spring semesters.

I was so proud of myself. I was finally out of the rut! I no longer had sleeping problems!

WRONG.

The school year ended, so I am currently living at my home, and my night-owl self is back and better than ever! Unfortunate.

I have yet to figure out how to fix this problem, but you know what they say: the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one! Well, kids, looks like I’m on my way.

Onwards and upwards!

 

Hi readers!

Can you relate to this post? Leave a comment, or reach out to me! I’d love to talk more about this, and work together with you toward us both getting more rest-filled nights!

All About Me

Hi guys!

As you know, I just randomly decided (as of last night) to start blogging. You know that I am a female, due to the photo from my first post, and if you read that post, you know that I have a lot of crazy stories to tell.

However, that is pretty much all you know about me.

So today’s post is about getting to know each other. I feel like the best way to go about this is to use the good old classic bullet-point list, so without further ado, here are 15 basic facts about me, just to touch the surface.

  • I am 19 years old.
  • My home is in a small town in Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Pittsburgh.
  • I am currently attending Penn State, pursuing a major in Public Relations, but I actually started out in Kinesiology for physical therapy!Blog. Penn State.png
  • Traveling is one of my favorite things, and I have been to quite a few different states and countries.

    The states I can remember visiting are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania [duh], Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

    The countries I have been to are Anguilla, Austria, Canada, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Saint Martin, and the United States [again, duh.]

  • I am a Scorpio, if anyone is into astrology.
  • I am the oldest of 4 children. My sisters are twins (16, turning 17 next week) and my brother is 12. They’re my absolute best friends.                   Blog. Sisters.pngBlog. Charles.png
  • Just like 90 percent of the population, my right hand is dominant.
  • Teavana has a special place in my heart.
  • I stand at almost 5’8″ tall.
  • Health and fitness are super important to me, so I got pretty into lifting and started maintaining a fruit and vegetable packed diet…                                               Blog. foodBlog. food 2
  • … But when I decide not to be healthy, my favorite cheat food is definitely a heaping pile of cajun pasta with shrimp, because I love carbs, and I find that cajun flavoring is oh so addicting.
  • I was a major nerd in high school. My senior year GPA was a 4.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  • I require a minimum of 12 hours of sleep per night. I’m only half joking.
  • Finding Nemo is hands-down the best movie out there.
  • Anywhere with a lot of sun is great, but the beach is my happy place.                   blog-beach.png

Well, guys, that’s all I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me, because I had fun putting it all together. I know that my first few posts have been really light-hearted and random, but rest assured, the good stuff will be coming out shortly.

Thank you so much for reading! I’ll post my social media accounts down below so that you can follow me if you would like! See you on the next post!

Instagram: ohheycat_

Twitter: ohheycat

Facebook: Catherine Simms

Snapchat: ohheycatt

 

Today’s The Day

That’s right, folks. I finally did it. I started a blog. I now have a place to collect all of my thoughts/feelings/stories/ideas and so on and so forth.

Why did I decide to start a blog at 4:30 in the morning?

Great question. Maybe, by the end of our journey together, you’ll be able to figure that out. But for now, buckle your seatbelts, and get ready to read, because you’re in for a wild ride.