The True Blessings of Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

The True Blessings of Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

The Blessings of Homeschooling a Special Needs ChildHomeschooling my son Austin has been just that, a True Blessing!

Some of you have been following our successes, but for those of you that are new to our story, you may want to read this About the Trayer’s and you may also be interested in hearing how we overcame nearly 97% of my sons autistic and asperger tendencies here:

Schooling today is a difficult subject no matter if you have a special needs child or not and no matter if you are homeschooling or your child is in a public school! Our son was part of the public school system up until he finished his 7th grade school year.   We then relocated from PA to ID in 2010 and Austin was again scheduled for the public school here in ID.

Now let me jump back in time a bit here. We had a LOT of struggles, especially in Austin’s early years, but one thing that stands apart from those struggles were the angels that we were blessed to have cross our path.

Every school he attended and every teacher and principal he had were amazing and together we worked as a team for the betterment of Austin. We were blessed and I know this does not happen for everyone. So if you are reading this and your child is in a public school and you are NOT able to homeschool for whatever reason – I’d like to encourage you to make amends with the teachers and principals and try to work together with them and with your IEP. If you do not have an IEP you need to get one – it is an Individualized Education Program which should be designed to help your child grow in a positive way in the public school system. There are often times county programs available to your child as well such as speech therapy, mobile therapists and more. Please check to see what is available to you during this time. The more you put in place while your child is still young the better the improvements and successes will be. Another thing I would like to encourage is to NEVER give up on your child!! If one thing doesn’t work find something that does, if one person is not working well with your child seek another and the same goes for a doctor. I also found that kindness on my part and a positive spirit got me so much further and more than anything I wanted the best relationships I could get with the individuals that would be caring for my child!

I also found that holding my son accountable both at home and at school for his mistakes and poor behavior at school made a big difference. I also did not allow the school to change the rules for him at school – for example he got very upset when playing games when he would lose so they wanted to change the rules to the game to make it easier. I would not allow that because I felt they were setting him up for failure later in life when he would expect rules to molded to him. If he was going to live a real life he needed to live with real rules – no false hopes. This may sound harsh, BUT it made him accountable for his actions and it instilled in him a reason to work harder.

Now let’s jump ahead again to 2010. Austin was tested at the new school in Idaho and again we were blessed with teachers and a principal that were REALLY going the extra mile to help us out. I have always thought about homeschooling my son, but because I am a self employed web designer and a writer I did not want my work to jeopardize his education so being afraid that I would not be able to give him enough time I refrained from doing so.

Now we are not your average American family. We call ourselves EMBRACERS! When God opens doors for us, we are good and obedient and we jump in with both feet and scream hallelujah. In moving to Idaho in 2010 we arrived at our overgrown raw wilderness land with no utilities that we purchased site unseen from PA, setup an 8′ x 14′ canvas wall tent that we called home for the next 8 1/2 months. This adventure started in May, so when the school contacted us and informed us that Austin’s bus stop was at 6:30 am more than 3 miles from our home this started us thinking. We were still living in the wall tent, still building our home ourselves, we did not yet have running water on site so showers were definitely not a daily thing and our lane wasn’t passable in the Spring and Winter months SO we decided that this was God’s time for me to start homeschooling! We did move into our home that December on Austin’s birthday and we are living a 100% off-grid lifestyle with solar power.

Honestly, this was the BEST thing I could have ever done for my son. Being a part of the public school system was very overwhelming and overstimulating for him. When we arrived here in Idaho he was going into 8th grade, but was academically between 3rd and 4th grade so he was also very behind due to all the distractions.

I had several friend’s using Alpha Omega Publications and the Switched On Schoolhouse program. This is available in both textbook or software programs. I chose the pc version of the program because Austin was a very quick learner on the computer and from the start he LOVED it! This program allows your child to work at their own pace. Austin loved it so much that the 1st and 2nd year using the program he actually did two school years in one!! Woot woot! So we quickly started filling the learning gap that had formed. He enjoyed what he was doing, we found a location that worked for him and he was determined to do well. I think often our children’s biggest struggle in the public school system is their unhappiness with themselves because they want to do well and have a hard time doing this with so many distractions in big classrooms. Austin was blessed to be in a classroom of eight, but even this was too distracting for him.

Now did we struggle once we started homeschooling? Yes sometimes, but not near as often as we had previously done just trying to do homework. He was so wore out from school, trying to do homework was a complete nightmare. Something else that often would happen and I am sure that you can relate is Austin and I, as we coined it, would disconnect!

Often times our children are trying to tell us something and we are not always listening OR they are not telling you directly what the problem is so you have to learn to read between the lines. We need to become very good detectives, super good listeners and accumulate a LOT of patience, love and kindness!

When Austin is learning something new I can usually count on some sort of a struggle. Now with his current age he is able to tell me better what is bugging him, but sometimes his frustrations were not clear so when this would occur I would give him 15 to 20 minutes doing something physical such as riding a bike, going for a walk, or jumping on a trampoline because it would get his endorphins moving and clear away his stresses. 9 times out of 10 he would come back refreshed and with his brain functioning in high gear. Don’t let situations like this get heated, just give them a few minutes and yourself a few minutes and see what happens. We would often times even go for a walk together and by the end of the walk we were both laughing and having a good time so my endorphins were moving too! 🙂

Something else I found is that our children learn differently. Most times they are more visual learners and I found a GREAT tool for when my hand drawn graphics, diagrams or problems were not getting through to him, I would open up and search their learning files for their version of what I was trying to teach. What is funny, is several times Khan Academy was doing the same exact thing, but he got it! So don’t wear yourself out, use other resources that are available to you.

Something else to remember, if you are having a bad day or your child is having a bad day and it is not looking like there will be recovery from your child’s maybe overstimulation or being overwhelmed, there is no sense pushing forward because nothing productive will come of it. End your school day there and maybe teach a life skill. Go for a walk together and come back and make a dessert or dinner together and start fresh the next day.

The trick is learning what works best for your child and also keep in mind that as your child ages, their approach and methods may change. This also applies to you – do what works best for you and maybe your methods will change as you go. You are the teacher now, so be creative, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff!

Do you have questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me…


Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
What We Have Learned and Conquered with Autism

What We Have Learned and Conquered with Autism

What we have learned and conquered with autismIf you have a child with a special need, you know how precious they are!  Yes, they may require a bit more of our time, but I feel that as a parent I was specially chosen for my child!   God blessed me as the caretaker of this beautiful, kind hearted young man that I am raising and I take this role very seriously!

Meet my son Austin!

What we have learned and conquered with autism 3

My son may require a bit more of my time, but I feel this is a blessing to me! Why, you ask?   Well you see, during the extra time spent with my son he teaches me a LOT!   Just as I am guiding and teaching him, he is doing the same for me!

My son Austin is high functioning autistic with asperger tendencies.   He is perpetually happy and has a BIG heart!   At age 7, I wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to speak in a full sentence or if anyone other than myself would be able to understand him. Today, at age 17 1/2 he has overcome nearly 97% of his autism and asperger tendencies and he is walking around with his Idaho issued learner’s permit in his wallet in his back pocket! (Cheering and Tearing).   There is hope….

What we have learned and conquered with autism 5  Mountain Boy Journals Willy

PLEASE read on to see what worked for us, just maybe these same things will work for you and your child!

God blessed me at an early age with a desire to fight for what is right, seek knowledge in an effort to educate myself on things I did not know and instilled in me the spirit that no mountain was too wide or too high for me to climb!  I learned to adjust my path not my goal!  I am the forever optimist and live by extreme faith!

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

This mind set was a gift that aided me in helping my son overcome 97% of his autistic and asperger struggles.  I would like to mention that I was determined to help my son without medicating him and finding natural treatments and we were very successful this way.  The 1st two things that got us on the path to recovery was a gluten free and casein free diet and 7 months of twice weekly hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What we have learned and conquered with autism 4  What we have learned and conquered with autism 2

What is a Gluten Free and Casein Free Diet?

Let me share some details on both.  A gluten free and casein free diet means NO dairy and NO wheat flour.  I would highly recommend that you try this with your child.  As I mentioned, my son is such a happy go lucky fella, but when he is given dairy (even as little as a teaspoon) it caused him to have excessive outbursts of anger, caused him to be oppositional/argumentative and caused him to completely lose the sensation of his bowls.  This was drastic!!   So if you have a child that is argumentative, has stomach and bowel issues and is on a roller coaster ride of emotions you can assist your child greatly by eliminating the dairy.  The key to this is by removing 100% wheat and dairy from the diet. If you allow them to have a little here or a little there you are actually doing more harm then good and you will see full results by doing this 100%.

If you need help with this, PLEASE email me at  We have been on this diet for over 10 years and I can make many recommendations and stay tuned for my Gluten Free and Casein Free Diet 101 post that is coming next.

What it Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is done via what they refer to as a chamber. It looks like a long canvas barrel laying on it’s side. You climb in from the top and lie down and they zip up the chamber and pressurize the chamber with oxygen. You can either lie there and sleep for the hour, watch a movie, read or because I needed to enjoy this treatment with my son we would sit up (I had to hunch over a little bit) and we would play games to pass the time.  While you are in the chamber all you do is breath!  This high pressure oxygen travels through your body rejuvenating your organs and your brain.

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be very costly, but it is well worth every penny I spent.  If you are aware of other children in your area that could benefit from this treatment, you can rent a chamber and divide the cost and use amongst several families which make it more affordable.

Austin went from a pre-primer reading level at the beginning of those treatments while in third grade to a high 2nd grade reading level in only 7 months!!  (BIG cheer)  You will not find someone who likes to read more than he does….  That was a pure blessing, but he also began speaking in full sentences as well….  (Tears)

Let’s talk about metal detoxing?

Often times autistic and asperger children have high levels of metals in their systems. Heavy metals alter neurotransmitter activity and have been associated with behaviors of inattention and lack of alertness.  You can have a hair and saliva analysis done to see what things look like for your child. It is very helpful to rid your child of these toxins which will open up new doors for your child’s progress.  We are currently using essential oils for our metal detoxing, see below.

Bowel and Intestine Troubles

Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia and Non-Specific Colitis is common in children with neurological disorders such as autism and aspergers.  This is due to inflammation of the lymph nodes.   You can find more detailed information in the webinar link below.  We have utilized essential oils to remedy this, see below for our essential oil protocol.

Let’s talk about supplements

Another thing we did was add several daily supplements to our son’s regimen which also helped him considerably. We found with our son that he had a hard time storing calcium. Calcium is our bodies insulation from the stresses that we receive daily. Without the calcium buffer for these children they are typically over stimulated and overwhelmed which can be greatly aided by adding these simple supplements to their diet and routine. Below you will find a list of the various over the counter supplements that Austin takes on a regular basis. Unlike myself, where a B12 vitamin picks me up, it has a calming affect on my son and together with the other supplements they allowed him to stay focused and really helped him when he was having a bad day as well.

Chewable Calcium Magnesium

Calcium Metabolizer Spray

Chewable Zinc Tablets

Probioitic Acidophilus Liquid

Probioitic Acidophilus Chewable Tablets

Vitamin B-12

Now there were also some very wonderful supplements that we use that help greatly with aiding brain function, digestive health and amino acid therapy, but it is necessary to get them from a licensed practitioner.   Dr. Harold Grams is the doctor that helped us with the hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the GFCF diet and the supplements.   He can be found at   He does offer phone consults and has been helping children and adults with autism for over 35 years to which also includes his very own granddaughter.

What We Learned and Conquered with Autism

Books I Would Recommend

No Greatness Without Goodness:  How A Father’s Love Changed A Company and Sparked A Movement by Randy Lewis

Meet Jamie Now:  A Life Free Of Autism by Krista Vance



Interview with Author Randy Lewis

Interview with Author Krista Vance

Interview with my son Austin of

Vickilynn Haycraft of and interviewed me



Homesteading and Survival with a Special Needs Child by Tammy Trayer in Self Reliance Illustrated Issue #20

Goodbye Gluten by Tammy Trayer in The New Pioneer Magazine Issue #177

Webinar – Essential Oils and the Brain

I just did a webinar as of late with Danielle Daniel’s. She shared her knowledge on how essential oils can assist those with autism, aspergers and ADHD. The webinar was an educational on essential oil basics as well as how essential oils can affect the brain, here is the post if you missed it:  I would HIGHLY recommend taking the time to listen and watch this webinar.  I think it will shed a lot of light for you.

For Overall Good Health

Our families has fully removed all processed foods from our diet which has made such a huge difference.  We make everything from scratch – EVERYTHING and if we are traveling and have to eat out or eat something packaged we can be certain that we will be sick for at least 3 days as our bodies, no longer used to all the toxins, has to process the food we ate.

We focus greatly on good health and here are a few things we do:

  • Reduce inflammation in the body & intestines
  • Reduce the growth of bad bacteria in our intestines
  • Increase good bacteria in our intestines with homemade water kefir soda, milk kefir smoothies or shakes or kombucha (Recipes coming soon – let me know if you are interested)
  • Cleanse body and internal organs of toxins & heavy metals (liver, kidneys, intestine, colon)
  • Strengthen and heal the lining of the intestines and cleanse internal organs
  • Healthy diet – everything from scratch, non-gmo ingredients, whole foods
  • Natural health, foraging from the wild, making our own teas, tinctures and salves
  • Good Vitamins – you can get more details on what we use here
  • Essential Oils – (see our protocol next)

Our Essential Oil Protocol

Our focus with the essential oils is to use what God has provide for us just as we do when we forage the plants from the wild and we are using the essential oils which is the purest form of the plant.  We utilize essential oils aromatically, internally and topically.

PLEASE NOTE:  You do need to take great caution with Essential Oils.   Not all oils are used the same,  so for example one may be able to be taken internally and another may not.   It is important that you do your research and know how to use your oils.  I can help you with this as well.  Do not leave children unattended with essential oils.

My Suggestions For Getting Started

Now I listed quite a few options for each bullet point, but my suggestion to get started with the oils and the protocol would be to get Lemon Essential Oils, Detoxification Blend of Essential Oils, Digestive Blend of Essential Oils, Focusing Blend of Essential Oils, Supplements or the Chewables.

Also because your days are often like mine, I would recommend you use the same Supplements I do to help you through those stressful days.  Honestly,  they have been the best thing I have found for myself.  The beginning of this year I was really run down and was struggling with adrenal fatigue and was having a really hard time getting back on track.  I was very skeptical in trying these because I have had troubles my whole life with vitamins.  Often times they just made me sick versus helping me, but I started taking these and I was WOWED!  I have not felt this good in such a LONG time so I truly recommend these.  Also please know that I will never recommend ANYTHING to you that I do not personally use and can honestly recommend.

Oils Are Available Through Trayer Wilderness

Just a little side note, if you are interested in the oils and incorporating them into your routine, email me at and I will be happy to further discuss the specifics of what we use in detail and help you get started.   You may also be interested in receiving your oils at a discount.  If you are interested in a discount, please email me at and in the subject line add I Would Like A Discount on Oils.

If you have any questions, thoughts or needs, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out to me or leave a comment below.  Our children are special and so are you my dear friend!  You were placed on this earth with a very special job to care for such a unique individual(s).  Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that my son and I can be an inspiration to you and help you to enjoy this journey called life!  My next post will be on our experiences with schooling and homeschooling.

~ Just remember there is HOPE, NEVER give up and keep the FAITH! ~

God Bless!

Tam † ♥

 What we have learned and conquered with autism

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Recorded Webinar 1: Essential Oils and the Brain

Our 1st essential oil webinar was a great success.

Below you will find the link for the recorded webinar so that you can now watch it from the comforts of your home at your convenience.  Please read this whole email prior to watching the video, if you would please.

Here is the recorded webinar from today:

Please enjoy and when you are finished I would love for you to email me with your questions, what you might like to learn in my upcoming webinars and how I can be of more assistance to you.

For those of you that were interested in essential oil basics and education in general, please stay tuned for more upcoming webinars, YouTube videos and educational Google+ Hangouts  I will be doing a lot as we progress through this series and I look forward to showing you my herbal pantry and sharing all my recipes, medicinal survival kit in my pack and knowledge with you.

For those of you that were interested in learning more in relation to autism, aspergers and ADHD, etc. you can also stay tuned for more specific webinars, YouTube videos, educational Google+ Hangouts where my son will join me and we will go over the varying things we did that helped him go from being almost completely non-verbal at age 7 to a 17 1/2 year old self reliant young man who just got his learner’s permit to drive in Idaho.  He has a lot to share personally and I would LOVE to educate you on our whole foods and gluten free and casein free diet, supplements, herbs, schooling, exercise and how it all has helped him greatly excel and overcome 97% of his autism and asperger tendencies.
One of my greatest struggles as a Mom of a special needs child, has been people telling me they have found great things to help their child, but never referred me to the product or how to get it.  I just want you to understand that my passion has been for healing my son and because of the knowledge I have – I focus very heavily on sharing that knowledge with others so their children too can live a very full and self reliant lifestyle.  I am so very proud of my son and without all my angels that God had cross my path sharing such valuable information, my desire to help heal him and my determination not to medicate him he would not be where he is today.  So this webinar was meant as a way for me to open a new door and begin to share my knowledge in an effort to help.  Be sure to continue on this journey with me as I share my knowledge and passions with you.

I encourage you to email me at and let me know what you got out of the webinar, what you would like to see in upcoming webinars and how I might be able to further assist you.

Again, I greatly appreciate your desire to join me and I hope that you will also join me for my future webinars.

If you are interested in receiving my families weekly newsletter on homesteading, wilderness survival,  gardening, raising animals, self sufficiency, recipes, gluten free and casein free diet, my weekly radio show and more, you can subscribe  right here:

Thank you again for being willing to join me today.  
I really appreciate your willingness to take the time out of your schedule.


Tammy Trayer ~ † ♥

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

(FREE) Webinar: Essential Oils and the Brain

Please register for our FREE Essential Oils and the Brain with Danielle Daniels

webinar on June 18, 2014 12:00 PM PDT below:

Please register for Essential Oils and the Brain on Jun 18, 2014 12:00 PM PDT at:

Danielle Daniel is a Doctor of Psychology student and is presenting this webinar on essential oils and the brain. Essential oils have potent natural chemical compounds that impact our health. This webinar will cover from basic uses to chemistry for the brain and intestine in improving symptoms of ADHD and Autism

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Brought to you by GoToWebinar®
Webinars Made Easy®

This will be the 1st of many free webinars to come on the uses and benefits of essential oils.

As most of you know, educating on our successes with autism and aspergers is something that I hold near and dear to my heart.  My son and I both receive great pleasure when we are able to help other individuals to overcome the autism and asperger tendencies that can make life hard.

We have been very blessed in how our son has overcome SO many of his struggles by means of his diet, supplements and herbs, our lifestyle and the use of essential oils.

So please help us reach as many people as we can and share this post with your friends.

You can find additional resources here on our page for gluten free recipes, interviews I have done with my son on my radio show and links to our video channels where we have done many varying videos on the subject.

There will also be more resources coming ahead where he and I will cover the additional protocols we have used that helped him immensely!

We appreciate you following our adventures more than you will ever know! ♥

Blessings to you and yours,

Tammy Trayer † ♥

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Podcast #53:  Interview with Krista Vance author of Meet Jamie Now

Podcast #53: Interview with Krista Vance author of Meet Jamie Now

Meet Jamie Now:  A Life Free of Autism - Krista VanceJune 4, 2014: In today’s show I had the extreme privilege to speak with Krista Vance, author of Meet Jamie Now:  A Life Free of Autism.   Krista has an amazing personality and the desire to share her love and knowledge in an effort to help others.

You can find Krista here:




Meet Jamie Now:  A Life Free of Autism


To purchase the Meet Jamie Now book click here.

To purchase the Meet Jamie Now e-book click here.




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Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
Podcast #50:   Interview with Randy Lewis, Retired Walgreens Senior Vice President

Podcast #50: Interview with Randy Lewis, Retired Walgreens Senior Vice President


May 14, 2014: In today’s show I had the extreme privilege to speak with Randy Lewis, retired Walgreens Senior Vice President and author of “No Greatness Without Goodness ~ How a Father’s Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement”.  I heard of  Randy’s story on Moody or KLove Radio and was so touched and inspired that I tracked him down for this interview.  His story, his son Austin’s successes with Autism and the brilliant and amazing door he opened at Walgreens.  His book is a must read – No Greatness Without Goodness.

You can find me here:

email trayer wilderness Trayer Wilderness on Facebook Trayer Wilderness on Google+ Trayer Wilderness on Twitter Trayer Wilderness on Pinterest Trayer Wilderness on YouTube Trayer Wilderness on Instagram Mountain Woman Radio from Trayer Wilderness on iTunes Tammy Trayer of Trayer Wilderness on LinkedIn  Trayer Wilderness RSS Feed


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Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.