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Julie Hornok

Guest Blog – Team Autism

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Team Autism
By Julie Hornok
Being extremely independent has always been one of my best traits, and yet at the same time, one of my worst traits. In my childhood, I tried every type of activity imaginable, but I never found a team that was worth staying on.
I tried soccer, but the thought of getting kicked in the shin wasn’t worth the lack of thrill I felt when someone else kicked a ball through a goal. I tried softball, but somehow standing in the outfield and ending up covered in fire ants took away any joy away from the fact that one of my teammates could slide into home plate. Acting was worth a try, but it turned out to be quite annoying when I said my one line, “I like porridge too,” and then had to sit around watching others talk for another hour and a half. Of course, drill team was sometimes fun, but even being with my friends at something they were good at wasn’t worth listening to the screechy voice of the drill team instructor.
Even with all my childhood lack of interest, I somehow grew up with a strong “can do” attitude. I was a firm believer that with enough will power and hard work, I could overcome anything. The power of positive thinking could and would beat the odds of whatever was put in front of me. And then I met Autism.

Guest Blog – The Magic of Christmas and Failed Expectations

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The Magic of Christmas and Failed Expectations
By Julie Hornok
Christmas is supposed to be magical. When we are little, we spend hours dreaming about the wonderful gifts waiting for us on Christmas morning. Our wish list is long, and our hopes are high. We even convince ourselves that an old man with a big fat belly flies around and gives every good little boy and girl in the whole world presents all in one night. We can’t sleep the night before, and we are giddy with anticipation for the morning to come!
Somehow as we get older the magic in life seems to slowly disappear. We become so focused on fixing our children with autism that we don’t have the time or energy to even think about magic. Magic to us is finding the money to pay for a new food dehydrator for a new diet for our kids or pencil grips to help our child’s handwriting!
So, how does someone find the magic in their adult life? Some say we re-live it through our children. But what if my child with autism has no ability to understand all the things I love about Christmas? What if she flat-out refuses to participate in all the traditions that bring me joy?

Guest Blog – Our Heroes & Temper Tantrums

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Our Heroes & Temper Tantrums
By Julie Hornok
I was watching a Dallas Cowboys game with my husband while scrapbooking, and I happened to glance up at the TV just in time to witness the most bizarre event.
Something had happened in the football game that had caused the football player to have a temper tantrum right there on the field over a call the ref made. Not only was I shocked that his behavior was unprofessional, but I was shocked that the crowd seemed to think his actions were justified! I could not believe this man was considered an American hero.
Just imagine you are sitting with friends around the kitchen table playing a deeply competitive game of Monopoly. Your friend, Tom, rolls the dice. It is an 8, but he needed a 10 to get onto Boardwalk. He goes ballistic! He jumps up from the table, throws the dice across the room and slams his Monopoly money to the floor. “It’s not fair!” he screams. “It was a bad roll! Those dice have been making bad rolls against me the whole game!!!”

Guest Blog – Good Naked/Bad Naked

submitted by juliehornok

I think you’ll enjoy this post from one of our newest guest bloggers, Julie Hornok. If you missed her first guest blog for us, you can read it HERE. Today’s post, infused with a fun dose of humor and balanced with common sense, explores why some of our kiddos are so strongly inclined to strip down and be naked. Enjoy!
Good Naked/Bad Naked
By Julie Hornok
Two decades ago, the Seinfeld show provided a visual of what we all knew existed when it comes to what is good naked and what is bad naked. Naked during sex or sunning on a private beach – good naked. Naked while eating a hoagie and doing strenuous household chores – bad naked. Seems simple enough. Rules to live by. Thank you for spelling it out for us, Mr. Seinfeld.
But what about when our children with autism constantly want to strip down and be naked? Is this good naked or bad naked or is this is a whole different realm of naked?

NAA-NT Autism Moms’ Day Out!

submitted by juliehornok

While I was away in Chicago for the Autism One Conference, mothers in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex enjoyed a special day of relaxation and rejuvenation thanks to Julie Hornok, the National Autism Association of North Texas (NAA-NT) and countless sponsors. AutismSpot’s Kent & Angie Potter compiled a touching video with local families which was shown at the event luncheon; you can watch Sharing Hope HERE. The event was a tremendous success and Julie Hornok graciously offered to share the experience with our readers via this guest blog.
I’d love to see Julie’s idea take flight in communities and cities across the world!

Guest Blog by Julie Hornok

“Make sure to take some time for yourself,” seems to be a phase well-meaning people flippantly say to moms with children with autism. I smile politely and nod my head, but inside I am mocking them because they don’t have the slightest clue. As if a day off would be easy; I wish I could declare a “me day” and go to the nearest spa without a care in the world.

Spotlight Series – Julie Hornok

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In the coming months here at AutismSpot, we’re going to be shining the spotlight on parents raising kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As we continue our “Spotlight” series in December, we’re featuring mothers from the Dallas/Fort Worth area found in the final photo of The Autism File Autism Mothers Unite Worldwide 2011 Calendar. Click here for more information about our “Spotlight” Series.
Today, it is my pleasure to share Julie Hornok’s candid, touching and thoughtful story. Julie is a tremendous mother and advocate. She’s also an avid blogger, making sure to share her daughter’s progress so that any parent in need of a little hope and inspiration to persevere (in the face of exhaustion and frustration) will be able to find it.
By Julie Hornok
I was the woman who glared at the kid misbehaving in Target.
I was the mom who was annoyed that my oldest son could no longer bring his favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich to pre-school because some kid was allergic to peanuts.
Then I had a child with autism, and another child with life-threatening allergies.

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