Parenting

How one boy with autism and his parents found an education online

How one boy with autism and his parents found an education online

Baxter Wilson-Rul points out each letter on a letter board in his Cedar Park home, using it to say: “I meaningfully have great learning.” Meaningful learning is what he’s asked for for long as he can remember, except he didn’t know how to tell people, and he couldn’t say that he had all these sophisticated thoughts that he couldn’t express. In his school newspaper...
School’s almost out, now what? Fill week with family events, Dec. 17-23

School’s almost out, now what? Fill week with family events, Dec. 17-23

Holiday events Thinkery Gingerbread House Workshops. Traditional or Tot (ages 5 and younger) 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 4 p.m., Sunday and Saturday; 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. Dec. 24. $12 per person plus $20 house kit. Gingerbread Art and Architecture...
Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten treatment for sister

Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten treatment for sister

When his parents set out to raise $6 million in two years to fund a Food and Drug Administration clinical trial for a possible treatment for Batten disease, Garland Benson, 13, decided he was going to raise $1 million of that to help find a treatment for his sister, Christiane. He would do it, he decided, by asking 100,000 people to give $10. “One day I was like, this takes $6 million. That&rsquo...
What should you give the teacher this holiday season? We have tips

What should you give the teacher this holiday season? We have tips

There are certain times of the year when teacher gifts are kind of the thing to do. Think: Teacher appreciation week in May, end of the school year and the Christmas/Hanukkah/winter holidays. You don’t have to, but it’s good etiquette to do so. Even if you don’t love your child’s teacher or teachers, it’s nice to thank them for putting up with your kid. We hear from our...
Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin reaches 5 million ounces donated

Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin reaches 5 million ounces donated

As of Thursday, Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin officially has distributed 5 million ounces of breast milk to preterm and medically fragile babies since it opened in 1999. The milk has been donated by more than 8,000 mothers, and been given to more than 29,000 babies from around the country.  Katrina Hunt, milk processing coordinator, mixes milk from several donors...
20 things to do this weekend in Austin with your family, Dec. 15-17

20 things to do this weekend in Austin with your family, Dec. 15-17

It’s going to be a great Friday and Sunday to enjoy some holiday fun. Warning: There’s a 100 percent chance of rain on Saturday. Watch out! Here are 20 events you can try this weekend: Ballet Austin’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Choreography by Stephen Mills. Photo by Tony Spielberg. Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker.” See the holiday classic...
Five years after Sandy Hook: What has changed, what has not

Five years after Sandy Hook: What has changed, what has not

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., at Sandy Hook Elementary, when 20 students and six school employees were killed by shooter Adam Lanza. It has changed what happens in our schools. Students now do drills for fires, for severe weather and also for a lock down — when a school needs to close its doors because the students are in danger...
Is there a perfect way to be a parent? New Kraft video asks

Is there a perfect way to be a parent? New Kraft video asks

For Mother’s Day, Kraft gave us the gem “How to swear like a Mother” from swearing expert Melissa Mohr, author of “Holy Sh*t: A History of Swearing.” Kraft Now for Christmas time, the mac-and-cheese maker gives us a more sentimental gem, a video that declares, “There’s no one perfect way to do this.” It cites this statistic:...
Get ready. Flu season expected to be bad

Get ready. Flu season expected to be bad

Look out, Central Texas, the flu will be coming our way, and those epidemiologists — the experts in disease — believe it’s going to be a rough season. Doctors have  started to see increases of cases in Massachusetts and Georgia and in neighboring states Oklahoma and Louisiana. drian Tadeo, 7, grimaces a little as he receives a flu shot from nurse Tanya...
Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten disease treatment for sister

Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten disease treatment for sister

When his parents set out to raise $6 million in two years to fund a Food and Drug Administration clinical trial for a possible treatment for Batten disease, Garland Benson, 13, decided last March he was going to raise $1 million of that to help find a treatment for his sister, Christiane. He would do it, he decided, by asking 100,000 people to give $10. Garland Benson...
What should you give a teacher for the holidays?

What should you give a teacher for the holidays?

There are certain times of the year when teacher gifts are kind of the thing to do. Think: Teacher appreciation week in May, end of the school year and the Christmas/Hanukkah/winter holidays. You don’t have to, but it’s good etiquette to do so. Even if you don’t love your child’s teacher or teachers, it’s nice to thank them for putting...
Enter to win tickets to “Pitch Perfect 3”

Enter to win tickets to “Pitch Perfect 3”

I don’t know why, but this one has my whole family excited. It might be somewhat inappropriate, but I know my whole Girl Scout troop loves this film and their mothers do, too. It’s PG-13, so let that be your guide. Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Beca (Anna Kendrick) star in “Pitch Perfect 3.” Quantrell D. Colbe You can win two tickets to see a 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 screening...
Wrap up these books this holiday whether the kids were naughty or nice

Wrap up these books this holiday whether the kids were naughty or nice

Perhaps you want to give something that will last longer than the latest electronic gadget. Maybe you just want to keep your young ones reading over winter break. Whatever your motivation, the solution beckons on these pages — new titles that entertain, inform and engage: Your holiday gift list starts here. Hortense finds her shadow tiresome. It constantly trails after her through the woods...
Buying toys for Christmas? Make sure they are safe

Buying toys for Christmas? Make sure they are safe

In the 1983 Christmas movie “A Christmas Story,” everyone warns Ralphie, “You’ll shoot your eye out,” when he asks for a Red Ryder BB gun. When he wakes up on Christmas morning and he is given a Red Ryder BB gun from Santa, what happens? He shoots his eye out … well, not really, but he does injure himself and break his glasses. Want to avoid that this Christmas...
What will you do with no school tomorrow? We have 10 ideas

What will you do with no school tomorrow? We have 10 ideas

OK, parents, what’s your plan? With Austin, Bastrop, Eanes, Hayes, Manor, Del Valle, Elgin and more districts canceling school on Friday because of the threat of ice, what will you do with the kids? First, there’s the EEK my kids have no school! We get to sleep in! Then there’s the EEK my kids have no school and now a three-day weekend. When will the choruses of &ldquo...
A perfect weekend for find some holiday fun in Austin, Dec. 8-10

A perfect weekend for find some holiday fun in Austin, Dec. 8-10

The sun will come out again this weekend and the weather will be warmer. There’s so much to do this week: many trails lined with lights, holiday plays, Santas to see. How will you choose? Friday Pictures with Santa. 10:30 a.m. Friday. Toybrary Austin, 2001 Justin Lane.  toybraryaustin.com Friday Movie Matinee “Home Alone.” 3 p.m. Friday, Old...
Buying toys for Christmas? Follow these safety tips

Buying toys for Christmas? Follow these safety tips

In the 1983 Christmas movie “A Christmas Story,” everyone warns Ralphie: “You’ll shoot your eye out,” when he asks for a Red Ryder B.B. gun. And so, when he wakes up on Christmas morning and he is given a Red Ryder B.B. gun from Santa, what happens? He shoots his eye out … well, not really, but he does injure himself and break his glasses...
Many Austin holiday family traditions this week, Dec. 3-9

Many Austin holiday family traditions this week, Dec. 3-9

Holiday events Austin Trail of Lights. The annual tradition begins. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Free admission Saturday. Zilker Park. austintrailoflights.org Zilker Tree. The tree will be lighted every night from through Dec. 31. Zilker Park. austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree Winter Wonderland at the Circuit of the Americas. See lights, go skating, enter the petting zoo and Santa&rsquo...
Uterus donation offers new hope for women to get pregnant

Uterus donation offers new hope for women to get pregnant

Just up the road in Dallas, a family is celebrating the birth of a new baby. That baby lived for nine months inside a uterus in her mommy’s abdomen, just like most babies, but that uterus originally lived in another woman. Will more women be able to become pregnant with a transplanted uterus? Photos.com You see, Baylor University Medical Center, has a uterus transplant program for...
Need diapers? Save the date for Austin Diaper Day

Need diapers? Save the date for Austin Diaper Day

The Austin Diaper Bank is planning on distributing 200,000 diapers to the public Dec. 8. From 1-3 p.m. next Friday, you can get a package of 100 children’s diapers at Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Drive. Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center volunteer, Melinda Cook packs stacks of diapers for distribution on Thursday July 14, 2016 at the Austin Diaper Bank. The warehouse...
Fit4Mom founder wants to help moms become empowered in new book

Fit4Mom founder wants to help moms become empowered in new book

Lisa Druxman wants moms to pick up her new book — she wants them to give themselves that gift. Druxman, who lives in San Diego, founded Fit4Mom exercise program, which now has 300 franchises and helps new moms get back into shape after having a baby. Classes include such things as a Stroller Strides, where you bring the baby in the stroller; you get a walking exercise class. The Austin area...
What happens when unemployment happens to the stay-at-home mom

What happens when unemployment happens to the stay-at-home mom

Turns out, there are term limits to being a stay-at-home mother. This fact I ignored even though the graffiti was everywhere. How can I officially be in my house as a “stay-at-home mom” without a child breast-feeding or toddling or playdating or even attending elementary school? So after nearly a couple decades of holding down the job of full-time family caretaker of two kids, I have now...
How doctors treat your child who is overweight matters

How doctors treat your child who is overweight matters

Kids and their parents do not want to be told they need to lose weight. Their doctors might actually be encouraging weight gain if they aren’t careful about how they talk to their patients who are overweight — so found American Academy of Pediatrics research that has been turned into a policy statement. Austin doctor Stephen J. Pont, who is an assistant professor at the Dell Medical School...
Winter isn’t coming to Austin, but holiday fun for families is, Dec. 1-3

Winter isn’t coming to Austin, but holiday fun for families is, Dec. 1-3

The weather isn’t going to feel like the holidays this weekend — more like spring — but there are still many festive events to put on your calendar. Be aware, it might rain on Sunday, so if you’re looking at something outside, opt for Friday or Saturday instead. Santa will be showing up all over Austin this weekend, including the Caring Santa on Sunday...
Would you pay extra for a stamp to benefit Alzheimer’s disease research?

Would you pay extra for a stamp to benefit Alzheimer’s disease research?

The U.S. Postal Service has released a new stamp, which will benefit Alzheimer’s disease research. You’ll pay 60 cents for the first-class stamp, a 11-cent increase from the typical first-class stamp rates. Funds raised will go to the National Institutes of Health to distribute them. “The Postal Service is proud to issue this stamp today to help raise public...
Enter to win tickets to “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” at the Paramount

Enter to win tickets to “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” at the Paramount

It’s many a kid’s dream — to have real life penguins living in their house. Now “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” comes to the Paramount Theatre on Sunday. You might have seen the movie starring Jim Carrey or read the book by Florence Atwater. Now you can see it on stage. Jim Carrey starred in the movie version of  “Mr. Popper&rsquo...
When the “Frozen” short before “Coco” isn’t short at all

When the “Frozen” short before “Coco” isn’t short at all

Did anyone like the “Frozen” short before “Coco”? We’d love to hear it if your kids did. What we’ve heard is “Ugh! It’s awful.” “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” (Disney Pixar) “Ugh! It’s too long!” followed by “A short is supposed to be short.” “It should have been straight to DVD” followed by...
Doctors, be careful what you say to children who are overweight, says new American Academy of Pediatrics policy

Doctors, be careful what you say to children who are overweight, says new American Academy of Pediatrics policy

Kids and their parents do not want to be told they need to lose weight. Their doctors might actually be encouraging weight gain if they aren’t careful about how they talk to their patients who are overweight — so found  American Academy of Pediatrics research that has been turned into a policy statement. Austin doctor Stephen J. Pont, who is an assistant professor...
Dell Children’s now designated Level IV NICU center

Dell Children’s now designated Level IV NICU center

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has achieved a Level IV designation for its neonatal intensive care unit from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It’s the 12th NICU in the state to be given that status. “This designation highlights our commitment to providing a full scope of medical and surgical services to newborns who need ...
Holiday family fun all week long in Austin, Nov. 26-Dec. 2

Holiday family fun all week long in Austin, Nov. 26-Dec. 2

Holiday Zilker Tree Lighting. Live music and your first chance to take a spin under the tree this year. 6 p.m. Sunday. Zilker Park. austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree Driskill Hotel Tree Lighting. See the grand tree turn on in the lobby. 6 p.m. Tuesday. Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St. driskillhotel.com. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10...
New research done in Austin helping more women get and stay pregnant

New research done in Austin helping more women get and stay pregnant

Couples trying to get pregnant, there’s even more hope on the horizon. At the recent American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress & Expo in San Antonio, doctors and scientists presented their research. Seven of those studies were being done here at Texas Fertility Center. “We’re excited about what we’re doing,” says Dr. Kaylen Silverberg. He likens getting...
Fill your December with magical events for families in Austin

Fill your December with magical events for families in Austin

December is filled with holiday-themed family fun. Plug these events in your calendar. Pay special attention to those weeks when kids are out of school and day cares might be closed. There’s a lot to do. Go out and do it. Holiday events Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature&rsquo...
Let the holidays begin this week of family fun, Nov. 19-25

Let the holidays begin this week of family fun, Nov. 19-25

Holiday Events Turkey Trot and Kids K. The Kids K starts this Thanksgiving tradition. $10. 8:45 a.m. Thursday. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thundercloud.com/turkey-trot Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Buy Christmas trees beginning Friday. On the weekend, paint pine cones and roast s’mores. Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. elginchristmastreefarm...
Start a new family tradition with these Austin family events

Start a new family tradition with these Austin family events

Our list of fun holiday events for families in Austin keeps growing every year. Check out these events that are sure to create memories. Holiday events The Zilker tree will be lighted on Nov. 26. SUZANNE CORDEIRO/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade. Bring an unwrapped new toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa while you see the floats go by. Free...
Looking ahead: Plan your December full of family events

Looking ahead: Plan your December full of family events

December is filled with family fun, especially holiday themed. Plug these events in your calendar. Pay special attention to those weeks when kids are out of school and day cares might be closed. There’s a lot to do. Go out and do it. Holiday events Elgin Christmas Tree Farm. Ride a hay ride to the Christmas tree grounds and select your tree. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Elgin...
How to reconnect with estranged family members for the holidays

How to reconnect with estranged family members for the holidays

“The holidays can be an excellent opportunity for reconnection,” says psychotherapist Kathy McCoy. In “We Don’t Talk Anymore: Healing After Parents and Their Adult Children Become Estranged” ($16.99, Sourcebooks), she writes about why parents and their adult children sometimes lose that connection and how they can reconnect. She also warns that the holidays can be a difficult...
A dozen family events to start your Thanksgiving break, Nov. 17-19

A dozen family events to start your Thanksgiving break, Nov. 17-19

The weather will get slightly cooler as this weekend goes along. Is it possible that Thanksgiving is around the corner, followed by Christmas? Get in the spirit this weekend with many family events that are holiday-themed. They’re great ways to start your Thanksgiving break. Jasper Czysz, 4, holds onto his Hot Wheels toy he is ready to donate, but first watches the annual...
Santa is coming this weekend to local malls

Santa is coming this weekend to local malls

Not only will Santa be making his way down Congress Avenue at the Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade on Saturday, but by this weekend he’ll be at all of the malls near you. Get your children’s picture taken with Santa. You can reserve your spot. Santa began showing up at Simon Malls, which owns Barton Creek Square, The Domain, Lakeline Mall and Round Rock...
Austin’s Rooster Teeth raises $1.2 million for Dell Children’s

Austin’s Rooster Teeth raises $1.2 million for Dell Children’s

Austin online show production company Rooster Teeth helped raise $1.2 million for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas through the Extra Life online gaming tournament last weekend. Through the tournament fans donated more than $770,000. Rooster Teeth provided a match as well as donated money from merchandise sales. Rooster Teeth raised $1.2 million last for...
Kids have allergies? We’ve got tips from American Academy of Pediatrics

Kids have allergies? We’ve got tips from American Academy of Pediatrics

Think your child might have allergies? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these seven tips and suggests you start with a pediatrician, who can then refer you to an allergy specialist: If allergies seem to be happening to your kid, keep these thing sin mind. Getty Images/iStockphoto ...
Chuy’s Christmas Parade and more family fun this week, Nov. 12-18

Chuy’s Christmas Parade and more family fun this week, Nov. 12-18

Events ATX Think Bilingual Fair. Learn about programs and resources for bilingual education. 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road. austin.thinkbilingual.org Chuy’s Children’s Giving to Children Parade. It’s early this year, so set your calendar now. Free. 11 a.m. Saturday. Bring an unwrapped new toy to donate to Operation Blue Santa while...
Two tales of awkward teen years, one in Houston, one in another world

Two tales of awkward teen years, one in Houston, one in another world

Taja isn’t sure what to think. Her parents expect her to fulfill her promises to God. But Taja has her own thoughts about God, and her own wishes that don’t always mesh with the prescriptions of their church. Her growth from middle-schooler to prospective college student is underpinned by journeys both spiritual and secular in Liara Tamani’s Houston-set debut novel, “Calling...
Jack Hanna brings his wild life (and animals) to Paramount Theatre

Jack Hanna brings his wild life (and animals) to Paramount Theatre

You know zoologist Jack Hanna for his appearances on David Letterman’s TV shows. While Letterman was reacting with fear or annoyance to whatever animal Hanna brought on the show, there was Hanna, delivering information about the animal. It was all part of Hanna’s ultimate goal of educating people about animals to help them develop a lifelong love of them and want to practice conservation...
15 things to do with the family this weekend, Nov. 10-12

15 things to do with the family this weekend, Nov. 10-12

It should be a beautiful weekend Friday and Saturday with a chance of showers on Sunday. Pollyanna Theatre Company’s “Chicken Story Time.” Here are 15 family-friendly events to check out: Veterans Day Parade. Celebrate veterans while the parade goes down Congress Avenue downtown. 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.  austinveteransparade.org ...
What? Chuy’s Christmas parade is before Thanksgiving?

What? Chuy’s Christmas parade is before Thanksgiving?

Yes, it’s true. The annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade is a weekend earlier. Instead of being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s Nov. 18, the Saturday before. Jasper Czysz, 4, holds onto his Hot Wheels toy he is ready to donate, but first watches the annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN...
Looking for kids’ pajamas for Christmas? Try local brand PJ Obsession

Looking for kids’ pajamas for Christmas? Try local brand PJ Obsession

  If you’re the family that always gives your kids new pajamas for Christmas or Hanukkah, you might want to take a look at local brand PJ Obsession. Austinite and University of Texas graduate Amy Brown has created pajamas in fun geometric patterns that focus on comfort and work for both boys and girls. PJ Obsession is a unisex brand of comfortable kids pajamas for...
New Central Texas quintuplets on TLC’s in “Hodges Half Dozen” Tuesday night

New Central Texas quintuplets on TLC’s in “Hodges Half Dozen” Tuesday night

Will you watch “Hodges Half Dozen” on TLC Tuesday night at 9 p.m.? The new show features Liz and Daniel Hodges, who this March had quintuplets Teagan, Connell, Liam, Nolan and Dillon. They also have older brother Rowan. The family lives in Temple, but the babies were born in Austin at Seton Medical Center. Daniel and Liz Hodges, of Temple, along with their two-year-old...
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