Rough week/Autism/200 Squat Challenge!

Hi All-

Monday’s Bombings at the Boston Marathon hit home in a few different ways.  As I have said before, running is my therapy, it’s my safe place, it is where I feel at peace.  I also had a few colleagues running the race.  One girl had recently lost her dad (the week prior) and she was running the race in honor of him.  Her mom and brother were close to the explosions, but no one was hurt.  I am sure we all know someone that was there or have a friend of a friend that was there, but regardless of knowing someone or not we were all horrified and saddened by what happened.

I think a lot of you know that I teach students on the Autism Spectrum.  I work with higher functioning students that are in general education classes (some of them advanced classes), but struggle with the appropriate social skills, especially difficult situations.  On a daily basis my job is to try and teach students the appropriate coping skills for difficult social situations and to function as socially independent as possible with their peers.  Teaching appropriate coping skills was going to be hard this week because I was having a difficult time myself….how do I cope when my “safe” place was shaken.

This led to a discussion in my LLS (Life and Learning Strategies class) with my students on the Spectrum.  I explained to them that I was bothered that somewhere I thought of as “safe” place had been taken from me (although I’m not going to let it) by an evil person.  I asked the question, “Where is somewhere you feel safe? Has it ever been threatened?”  Please note, I never know what some of the responses may be and when I ask a question the response may not be what I am looking for.  I was amazed by the responses.

The first student replied, “Yeah, the movie theatre”.  I was confused.  I asked, “Why the movie theatre” and as she answered it clicked.  Every weekend this girl goes to the movies either by herself or with her mom.  She answered, “The Zero Dark Thirty movie theatre shootings.”  How scary for a teenage girl who enjoys going to see movies, especially scary movies, to step back into the theatre.  The girl went on to explain that she knows that there are evil people out there, but she can’t let them control her or what she enjoys.  Another student replied, “I’m scared to go back in my house, we were burglarized five years ago.”  This boy is 14, he was 9 when it happened.  He said, “Every time I walk into the house I have to look around and make sure nothing was stolen.”   One of the other students replied, “Me too, I worry someone will break in again.”  It was amazing the support the students gave to each other.  By the end of the conversation, they were convincing me, the teacher, that I had to keep running because if I didn’t I would be letting the BAD guys win!

If you are not aware, April is Autism Awareness Month!  As much as I love to plan hard workouts, this week was a reminder of why I love to teach.  My students are the BEST!  At times when I worry they won’t say the most appropriate or socially expected statement, they say the most PERFECT, HEART WARMING, HONEST responses of them all!!


I guess it’s the new thing to do…and I love a challenge so we are in!!  We are starting at 40!!  So, starting tomorrow, at the end of the workout we will do 40 Squats in a row.  At Tuesday’s class we will do 45.  At Wednesday’s class we will do 50.  At thursday’s class we will do 55.  On Friday 60.  On Saturday 65.  On Sunday you will do 70.  On Monday we will do 75.

You get the point!  Each day the number goes up by FIVE.  If you do not have class you still need to do your squats so that you can keep up with us.  Does this make sense?  Our goal is to do 200 Squats in a row by Friday (Saturday for some of you), May 25th!  IMAGINE THAT BOOTY LIFT!!

I’m Going To Try This:


Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets
Servings: 4 1/2 • Size: 2 omelets • Old Points: 4 • Weight Watcher Points+: 4
Calories: 167 • Fat: 8.5 g • Carb: 5 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Protein: 18 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 317 mg (without the salt) • Cholest: 170 mg


  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 whole large eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar (Sargento)
  • 1/4 cup good grated cheese like pecorino romano
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Steam broccoli with a little water for about 6-7 minutes.
When broccoli is cooked, crumble into smaller pieces and add olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Spray a standard size non-stick cupcake tin with cooking spray and spoon broccoli mixture evenly into 9 tins.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.


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