8 Inspirational Autism Quotes

By on Monday, March 30, 2015 Be the first to comment!
I was never used to be inspired by quotes, but ever since my son's diagnoses, I have found support and comfort in words, especially on the hard days. Here are eight inspirational quotes about autism. I have paired them with some of my favorite photographs that I have taken over the past year as I ventured into the world of manual photography with my DSLR. Well, except for the Violet Stevens quote. That photo is a stock photo. All other photos used in these photo quotes (or quote-os as my friend Laura has called them) are my own. May you be inspired and comforted by these words.

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

8 inspirational autism quotes from And Next Comes L

Many of these quotes come from the amazing Dr. Temple Grandin. I recently attended a presentation of hers and even had a chance to meet her and briefly discuss hyperlexia. What an incredible woman she is! Check out the 5 Things I Learned About Autism from that night with Dr. Temple Grandin. For even more inspiration, here are 10 inspiring and encouraging reads for autism parents.
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How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015 Be the first to comment!
I'm so excited to announce my first eBook, How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger. Not only is it my first independent eBook, but it is also the launch of my future career as a hand model...haha...kidding. But seriously, that is my hand on the cover and I'm pretty sure I could rock the hand modeling world.

If you are a blogger, then you have likely heard about Google's new SEO update that is taking effect on April 21, 2015. Basically, whether or not your blog is mobile friendly is going to impact your rankings. So now is the time to make sure your blog is mobile friendly! 

The problem is that Blogger's default mobile template is a little lackluster. Don't worry, I'm here to rescue you from the Blogger blahs. How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger will walk you through the whole process on how to customize your mobile template. It uses lots of screenshots so that even those of you who are uncomfortable with HTML will be able to follow the steps. No technical jargon either. Just plain English, lots of pictures, and a conversational approach make this eBook easy to follow.

How to create a custom mobile template on Blogger {eBook} now available! from And Next Comes L

How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger

This eBook is for you if:
  • You use Blogger as your blogging platform.
  • You want a mobile-friendly version of your blog. Check here to see if your website is mobile friendly.
  • You are interested in creating a custom mobile version of your blog that matches your website design.
  • You require step-by-step HTML tutorials without the technical jargon.
  • You do not understand HTML.
  • You want to optimize your mobile earnings.
  • You do not have the budget to pay for a web designer.
  • You want to increase SEO rankings due to Google's search algorithm update that takes effect April 21, 2015. 

What You Get in this eBook

How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger is a 29 page step-by-step guide that will teach you how to build a custom mobile version of your Blogger blog in minutes. With screenshots of virtually every step in the process, you can easily transform your boring mobile site into a beautiful mobile site that matches your color scheme, highlights features of your desktop site, boosts pageviews, and optimizes your mobile earnings. So what are you waiting for? Let's get building it!

A look inside the eBook How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger from And Next Comes L


How to Purchase your Copy of this eBook

How to Create a Custom Mobile Template on Blogger is an eBook, which means you are purchasing a PDF copy of the book. That means you can read the book on any computer or mobile device or even print off a copy!

For one week only, there is a special launch price of US $3.99! Just use the code LAUNCH2OFF at checkout!


Add to Cart

How to create a custom mobile template on Blogger eBook from And Next Comes L
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Easy Shamrock Suncatcher Craft

By on Monday, March 16, 2015 Be the first to comment!
When it comes to crafts, I love using contact paper. The sensory experience of using contact paper by itself is awesome (just ask my three year old), but I love to combine it with transparent materials to make quick and easy suncatchers. Here's a super simple (and great last minute) shamrock craft for St. Patrick's Day. It's a great way to work on fine motor skills like cutting with scissors.


Easy fine motor shamrock craft for St. Patrick's Day from And Next Comes L
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5 Things I Learned About Autism from A Night with Dr. Temple Grandin

By on Friday, March 13, 2015 4 Comments so far
The other night I went to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak. I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to hear her perspective on autism. And there were so many things she said during that short period of time that I wish I could have scribbled notes down in a little notebook. Unarmed with any sort of writing utensils, I just sat and absorbed her reflections on autism and laughed along with the crowd to her amazing sense of humor. And I also got annoyed by the young woman beside me who texted throughout the entire presentation. That young woman seriously missed out on a fantastic presentation by Dr. Grandin.

Anyway, as an autism mom, Dr. Grandin was a delight and an inspiration to listen to. I found myself nodding along to a lot of things she said and I thought I would share some of the most inspiring points from her discussion. I've also included a free printable about these points. The link to download the printable is at the end of the post.

5 things I learned about autism & hyperleixa from a night with Dr. Temple Grandin from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

1. Teach Social Skills Like They're Living in a Foreign Country

Social skills are something kids with autism struggle with. My son certainly does. Dr. Grandin emphasized that we have to teach these kids social skills as if they were learning the rules and norms for a foreign country. We have to physically teach them these social skills.


2. Stretch These Kids!

We're not talking about doing stretches to warm up your body for exercising here. Instead, Dr. Grandin stressed the importance of stretching the kids to do things outside of their comfort zone. Pushing them to try different things. Dr. Grandin shared a story about how her mother was going to take her to her aunt's ranch. Dr. Grandin didn't want to go. So her mother gave her a choice: go for one week or go for the entire summer. Not going was not an option.

This concept of stretching is something my husband and I discuss a lot. We love to push J to try new things and have successfully pushed him outside of his comfort zone before (see here for an example). I have to admit though, that before J received the hyperlexia diagnosis, we struggled finding appropriate ways to stretch him. Now I know to use his hyperlexia to our advantage and help us guide him to try new things.


3. To Touch is to Perceive

Dr. Grandin also emphasized hands on sensory experiences for kids. I could feel her passion about this topic when she spoke and, obviously, sensory play is something I am passionate about too. Kids need to touch, feel, and experience objects in order to truly understand what they are.


4. Wait! Give Them a Chance to Speak

"Wait!" Dr. Grandin shouted. She said that waiting is one of the best things you can do to help your child learn to speak. You have to give the kids a chance to express themselves.

I like to think that I already do well with this point. I always give J an opportunity to answer a question. I wait for him to say something, even if it's not an appropriate response, because it is giving him the confidence he needs to learn how to have conversations. And it shows that I do value his input. And it shows that I will wait for him to try expressing himself on his own.


5. Use Short Concrete Narratives to Improve Comprehension in Kids with Hyperlexia

After the presentation, I had the chance to meet Dr. Grandin. I waited patiently to buy a copy of one of her books and I waited patiently again to get it signed by her. But what I was really hoping for was a chance to pick her brain, no matter how briefly, about hyperlexia. A few times throughout her presentation, Dr. Grandin made references to kids with dyslexia. References to dyslexia always seem to agitate me. Probably because in my head I am shouting, "And what about hyperlexia?!" Anyway, I was really hoping she could offer some insight into working with hyperlexic kids.

So I asked her, "What do you know about hyperlexia?" Dr. Grandin spouted off a very precise, textbook definition of hyperlexia. Then she went on to explain the importance of short, concrete narratives for these kids. She told me to avoid the abstract questions and focus on asking concrete and specific questions to help with comprehension. It may have only been a 1-2 minute discussion, but it was enough information for me to feel confident in raising a child with hyperlexia. She was truly inspiring! And so incredibly smart.

Don't forget that you can grab a copy of this free printable!


5 things I learned about autism & hyperlexia from a night with Dr. Temple Grandin from And Next Comes L



And just to sum up how amazing the whole night was, here's me being a total fangirl. Thank you to my friend's husband who snapped the photo. I had no idea that he was taking a picture, but I am so happy that he did!

A photo posted by Dyan @ And Next Comes L (@andnextcomesl) on

And look! I got a personalized autograph from Dr. Grandin in a copy of her book The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed.

A photo posted by Dyan @ And Next Comes L (@andnextcomesl) on


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DIY Math Cups

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015 2 Comments so far
We do math a lot. Like almost every single waking moment of the day. Like to the point I have to ask J to stop asking me so many math questions. His hypernumerate brain just keeps going and going. So I come up with lots of simple math activities to help quench his thirst for more math. Sure he's been skipping counting by obscure numbers for as long as I can remember, but sometimes he just needs the easy math games to keep him busy and happy. These DIY math cups are just one of those simple math boredom busters that I whip up for him. They're great for practicing skip counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, or even 25s. They're also great for practicing greater than and less than statements.

Practicing skip counting with DIY math cups from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

These math cups are easy to make. You'll need:


I made a whole bunch of them. Enough so that he could skip count by 2s up to 100, by 5s up to 100, by 10s up to 100, and by 25s up to 100. I didn't make every single number from 1 to 100. I'm not that ambitious. I also made some greater than and less than signs.

DIY math cups for practicing skip counting and other elementary math concepts from And Next Comes L

J is particularly fascinated with greater than and less than statements lately. Perhaps not as much as he loves fractions, but definitely a contender for his favorite type of math. He liked to set up the math statements horizontally and, sometimes, he would stack them into a tower.

Practicing greater than and less than math concepts with DIY math cups from And Next Comes L

Practicing greater than and less than math concepts with DIY math cups from And Next Comes L

And, of course, he did lots and lots of skip counting. These DIY math cups make multiplication visual. I can ask J, "What's 5 x 6?" and he will count out the first 6 cups in the sequence. Not that he needs to even count them out. Pretty sure he's known the answer to that multiplication question for over a year now, but, regardless, it's a great way to make math more hands on and visual.

DIY math cups for practicing skip counting and other elementary math concepts from And Next Comes L

Elementary math for kids: skip counting with DIY math cups from And Next Comes L

Elementary math for kids: skip counting with DIY math cups from And Next Comes L

Try out these DIY math cups on the light table or try learning how to tell time with this math cup variation.

DIY math cups for practicing skip counting and other elementary math concepts from And Next Comes L
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Invitation to Play: Magna-Tiles & a Magna-Doodle

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Be the first to comment!
If you are familiar with my blog at all, then you already know that we are huge fans of Magna-Tiles. Well, my oldest J also loves playing with his Magna-Doodle, which he got for Christmas. He has used it so much that I already had to tape the string back to the pen. One day I noticed him combining the two toys. It was a brilliant way to explore shapes, math, letters, and, of course his favorite topic lately, fractions. Simple math learning at its finest as created by my hypernumerate five year old.

Making numbers on a Magna-Doodle using Magna-Tiles from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. A big thank you to Valtech for providing us with the Magna-Tiles 100 piece solid colors set.

For this math and prewriting invitation to play, we used:


First, the boys created shapes by "stamping" the different shapes of Magna-Tiles on the Magna-Doodle. Then the boys would trace the shape's outline using the Magna-Doodle's pen.


Making shapes on a Magna-Doodle using Magna-Tiles from And Next Comes L

Exploring shapes using Magna-Tiles and a Magna-Doodle from And Next Comes L

The boys also stamped the side of the Magna-Tiles to create numbers and letters to trace.

Tracing numbers on a Magna-Doodle from And Next Comes L

Tracing letters on a Magna-Doodle from And Next Comes L

Then J started doing fractions. He started by stamping four of the small squares, but quickly realized that he could stamp a large square Magna-Tile and fit four small squares inside.

Exploring fractions on a Magna-Doodle using Magna-Tiles from And Next Comes L

Exploring fractions on a Magna-Doodle using Magna-Tiles from And Next Comes L

Then he moved to stamping triangles inside the large square's outline. He, of course, wrote the numbers for each fraction as he went along.

Simple elementary math activity for kids to explore fractions from And Next Comes L

Simple elementary math activity for kids to explore fractions from And Next Comes L

Simple elementary math activity for kids to explore fractions from And Next Comes L

There are so many things you can do with a Magna-Doodle and/or Magna-Tiles! Try out one of these other simple ideas:


Using Magna-Tiles and a Magna-Doodle to work on shapes, math, fractions, literacy, and prewriting skills from And Next Comes L
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Learning to Tell Time on the Light Table {Light & Reflections Series}

By on Monday, March 02, 2015 10 Comments so far
Ah, clocks. They are a passion for my five year old, but sometimes they are the source of frustration for me (see this is hyperlexia). However, we still like to do activities to encourage his love of telling time, such as this simple clock light table activity. Plus, this activity was a great way to introduce telling time to three year old K, not that he got to play with it much...

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Here's what you'll need to recreate this clock light table activity at home:


Draw the hours on the clear plastic plate using the permanent marker like you see pictured below. Label the bottom of the shot glasses to show the corresponding minutes (from 00 to 55). You'll then need to cut out a minute hand and an hour hand to finish off the clock. I chose two different colored transparencies so that it was easy to differentiate which hand was which. Not that J struggles with that (thank you, hypernumeracy). 

Materials needed for a clock light table activity that teaches kid how to tell time from And Next Comes L

"Oooh, a clock, mom!" J literally squealed with delight when he saw this light table invitation. First, he arranged the cups around the clock.

Learning about minutes and skip counting on the light table with this simple clock activity from And Next Comes L

Then we practiced telling time. I would tell him a time and then he would position the hands accordingly. We also did some 24 hour clock practice since he likes that kind of thing. He's more of a pro at 24 hour time than I am!

Learning to tell time on the light table from And Next Comes L

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

Want more math ideas? Try out these other ideas from this month's Light & Reflections series:

Hundred Chart Patterns on the Light Table from Still Playing School
Train Your Brain Number Trails from Frog in a Pocket

Art is the theme for next month, so please join us then! You can find all the previous posts in this series on the Light & Reflections Pinterest board.

Light & Reflections Series 2015 lineup at And Next Comes L

Teach kids how to tell time with this simple light table activity from And Next Comes L
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