App State Hosts 2nd Annual Autism & Neurodiversity Conference

Conference Title: “My Autism Journey: Various Perspectives”

Location: Alliance Bible Fellowship: 1035 North Carolina Hwy 105 Bypass, Boone

Overview: Second annual day-long autism and neurodiversity conference for professionals, family members, people with autism or other disabilities, as well as ASU faculty, staff and students. The conference keynote address, entitled “My Autism Journey: Various Perspectives,” is designed to celebrate adults and children with autism by recognizing their authentic contributions to our communities. Breakout sessions during the conference will provide education and skill development in a variety of areas including technology supports, anxiety and autism, and tools for conquering daily transitions and change.

Fees (includes lunch): $20 for professionals (Certificate of Attendance upon request); $10 for students, families and community members

Click here to register.

Locally Made Body Wash and Lotion for Sensitive Skin

I know there are many families dealing with sensitive skin and eczema. You will enjoy this post.

Recently, I was contacted by a local mom to inform me about a new product line in the High Country. Wild Mountain Ash is a globally inspired, locally formulated essential body care. My oldest daughter has extreme sensitive skin and we are not able to use any perfumes or “nice smelling” products on her. You can imagine our reaction when we heard about Ashley Furman, Pharm. D concoctions for sensitive skin.

Wild Mountain Ash

There are two concoctions, Safi and Abhaya. My daughter really enjoyed the smell of Safi. She has been using the Safi body wash for about a week and half and in her own words say, “it’s so refreshing.” In the description on the website, Safi essential care products are formulated with gentleness and restoration in mind. The clean scent balances the delicate and the sensual, while smoothing and soothing skin. The purity of the oils in this formula evoke a sense of modesty and the sweet kiss of salty ocean air. The big amazing news is she does not break out with this scent. Do you know how many products we have tried for her? Also another bonus is the scent stays with you unlike other body washes. The bathroom door will open after my daughter is done with her shower and the scent begins to fill the house. It is glorious and refreshing. Yes, I will admit I will walk by her to just smell her skin. It truly smells that excellent! Both the body wash and lotion will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. My daughter is happy to finally have a product that has a scent that will cooperate with her skin.

The Abhaya is a scent that I find theraputic which is exactly how Ashley describes this scent. The Abhaya products are formulated to rejuvenate and soothe. The calming and uplifting essential oils meet to balance your mood and provide therapeutic, warming moisture to your skin. Created with ingredients that clarify skin and improve elasticity, Abahaya is the perfect choice to relax your body and mind.

All products can be found at Boone Drug on King Street. Ashley uses natural bases and essential oils in all her concoctions. It is safe to say, your skin will thank you for applying these products to your body!

Nominations Accepted: Children’s Playhouse Great Friend to Families

Great Friend to Families

Now in its seventh year, the Great Friend to Families award is given annually by The Children’s Playhouse to recognize sustained contributions by individuals to the well-being of young children and their families in the High Country area.

They accept nominations in four categories: the Helping Hands, the Helping Hearts, and a new category for 2015, the Young Hearts (nominees aged 17 or younger).

• Helping Hands awards celebrate professionals who over the course of their careers have shown extraordinary dedication to improving the lives of children and families.

• Helping Hearts awards recognize individuals who have touched the lives of children and families through generous philanthropy and/or outstanding volunteerism.

• Young Hearts awards spotlights the helpers of the future, young people aged 17 or younger who have already made significant efforts outside their own family to help children and families in the High Country.

How the winners will be honored:

The Children’s Playhouse will honor award winners in each category at the luncheon on Saturday, March 21st and overall winners in each category will be further recognized as the 2015 Great Friends to Families.

The adult Great Friends to Families award-winners (one Helping Hand, one Helping Heart) will be announced at the luncheon and will be presented with a pieces of local art and $200 each to donate to the High Country nonprofit of their choice. The overall Young Heart winner will receive a gift certificate and $100 to donate to the charity of their choice. All nominees will receive individual recognition at the luncheon.

How to nominate your “Hometown Hero”:

All nominations must be submitted Monday, March 9th. The award-winners will be selected by an outside committee of distinguished local leaders. Click here to submit your nomination.

All nominations must include full contact information for the nominee and nominator, a one page nomination statement, and the names and contact information for at least 3 people outside the nominee’s family who support the nomination.

The Children’s Council Hosts Free Parenting Classes

The Children's Council of Watauga County


The Children’s Council has opened up registration for their parenting program. Incredible years is a free parenting program for parents of children ages 3 to 5 years old. Parents talk about:

  • Why kids act the way they do
  • How to discipline your child without spanking
  • How you can get kids to do what you want them to do
  • How to feel good about yourself and your child

Classes will begin March 4th at a location near you. Program includes 14 sessions. Each session is two hours and there is one session a week.

– Free Childcare!
– Lunch or dinner provided!

For more information or to register please call Lynette Walker @ 828-262-5424 or 828-964-3877

Watauga County’s Kindergarten Orientation Announced

crayonsKindergarten Orientation is just around the corner in Watauga County. The dates were announced by the county office for children that will start Kindergarten in August of this year (2015).  Your child will need to be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2015. Children can be enrolled in kindergarten only at the school in their assigned attendance area and parents must attend orientation at that school. Parents who are uncertain which school attendance area they live in should call Transportation Director Jeff Lyons at 264-6391.

Parents need to bring the following documents to register children for kindergarten:

1. A certified original birth certificate; proof of immunizations
2. Two previous month’s power bill or other proof of the current address
3. A copy of a physical exam completed since August, 2014.
4. Proof that the following immunizations have been completed: 5 DTaPs, 4 Polios, 2 MMRs, 3 Hepatitis Bs, 4 Hib, 2 Varicellas, and 4 PCVs

Please contact the school your child will attend to confirm orientation times and any additional registration information you will need to bring to the orientation.

2015 High Country Kindergarten Orientation


Per Watauga County Board of Education Policies, “Watauga County residents with children of kindergarten age and planning to attend kindergarten in a Watauga County school may only attend Kindergarten Orientation at the school in the domiciled attendance area.”

Huggies MomInspired Grant Program

Calling all High Country Moms! Lots of talented moms living in the High Country. I am always amazed at the products that I see at craft shows and pictures that pop up in my news feed on Facebook. When I heard about this grant program from a  fellow mom and great friend, Maria Bailey, I knew that I needed to alert you all. She is always giving back to other moms and this grant program proves her golden heart. She thrives each and everyday to help make moms successful. Believe me, I am speaking from experience. She teamed up with Huggies(r) to create the Huggies Mom Inspired Program.


The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program – now in its fourth year – is here to help turn your dreams into a reality. Huggies will award $15,000 grants to up to 12 people to explore and grow their innovative product ideas that help make parents’ lives easier. The winners will receive business advice from Maria Bailey, as well as support from Kimberly-Clark.

“The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program was created because we saw the need to help fund women-owned businesses and start-ups, but the grant is open to anyone who has an innovative baby or child care product or idea – it is not limited to only Moms or women,” said Kelly Stephenson, Huggies senior brand manager. “We are looking forward to adding a new group of creative winners to the Huggies MomInspired family and giving them the opportunity to grow their innovative ideas and businesses.”

Apply Now:

· Who: Anyone with an original, innovative and viable new product idea to help make life easier for parents; must be 21 and older and reside in the United States

· How: Log onto and submit application, including the idea and business plan

· When: Now through July 31, 2013

· Why: For the chance to receive $15,000 and advice to help start or grow your business idea

Now is your chance to make your product idea shine. Don’t put it off as the application process is ending very soon!

Parent Review: Britax Pavilion 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat Review

I was given the chance to do a full product review on the Britax Pavilion 70-G3. It is amazing how car seats have transformed since my girls were babies and toddlers.

As soon as the box arrived, we immediately had to place Jackson in the seat in the living room to get his reaction. He  seemed to have found his comfortable spot.

Here is a glimpse into some of the great features with the Britax Pavilion.

 Not stated in the video, but I love how under the fabric there are two clips that holds the seat belt very securely. Definitely a great feature.

A recap of the product features:

Two new features with the Britax Pavilion 70-G3:

1. HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology are affixed to the seat shell to ensure proper positioning while SafeCells compress to manage energy and provide resistance to the forward movement of your child in a crash, reducing the risk of head injury

2. EZ-Buckle System retains the harness buckle in a forward position and prevents the child from sitting on the buckle when boarding

– Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat

– Click & Safe® Snug Harness Indicator is an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness

– Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness distributes crash forces across the strongest parts of the body and provides a secure fit

– 70-pound Weight Capacity for safety and comfort as your child grows

– Rear and Forward Facing Recline for child comfort and positioning

– High Density Comfort Foam provides an extra layer of padding to gently cushion your child

– Plush, Easy-Remove Cover with matching comfort pads and infant body pillow to provide extra comfort and easy cleaning without disassembling or uninstalling the child seat

– Two Buckle Positions offer a snug and secure fit for your growing child


I think the above picture speaks for itself. Jackson loves being able to look out the window. We are very happy with Britax Pavilion 70-G3!

Disclosure: We were provided the above car seat in order to facilitate our review. All thoughts and opinions are of our own.

How To Protect Your Baby’s Teeth From Cavities

Did you know that cavities are caused by germs that are passed from adult to child?

Babies are born without the bacteria that causes caries- the disease that leads to cavities. They get it from spit pediatricdentalthat is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own. Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing saliva- by sharing spoons, by testing foods before feeding it to babies, by cleaning off a pacifier in their mouth instead of with water, and through other activities where saliva is shared.

These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth, so it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby right from the start. See below for more tips on how to keep your baby- and your baby’s teeth- healthy and happy.

For you:

  • Eat healthy foods to reduce the cavity-causing germs in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Do not put anything in your baby’s mouth that has been in your mouth including spoons or a toothbrush, do not blow on your baby’s food
  • Do not use your spit to clean your baby’s pacifier – use water instead.
  • If you have bleeding gums or cavities, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.

For your baby:

  • Before your baby’s first tooth becomes visible in the mouth, you should wipe the mouth every day with a soft, moist washcloth. As soon as teeth become visible in the mouth, brush the teeth with a small soft bristle toothbrush that contains a pea-sized smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Encourage your baby to spit out the toothpaste.
  • You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice each day – once in the morning and once at night. Remember, the most important time to brush your baby’s teeth is right before bedtime.
  • Talk to your baby’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your baby. Ask if your child should be brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Avoid giving your baby sticky foods and unhealthy snacks like candy, soda or juice in between meals. Instead, give your baby healthy snacks like cheese, yogurt or fruit. Only give your baby treats or juice at meal times.
  • Establish bedtime routines that do not involve using the bottle filled with milk or juice to soothe the baby to sleep. Also avoid having the baby sleep with a bottle filled with milk or juice as the natural sugars in these liquids will get changed to acid, which will rot or decay the teeth and lead to dental infection and pain. Avoid having your baby drink from a sippy cup filled with juice between meals.
  • Do not give your baby juice until he is 6 months old. Do not give your baby more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day.
  • If you see white spots developing on your baby’s teeth, then take your baby to a pediatric dentist right away. A white spot is often the first sign of a dental cavity.
  • Schedule your baby’s first dental visit with a pediatric dentist when she is one year old. Pediatric dentists have additional training beyond dental school working with babies and young children. Remember – first tooth, first birthday, first dental visit!

Thank you to our site-wide sponsor, Drs. Hardaway and Conn at Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway, for providing this helpful advice to High County Parent.

Sippy Cups and Your Child’s Teeth

sippycupAs soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk factors for early childhood caries (sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids, such as fruit juice, milk or formula, which all contain sugar.

Tooth decay can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle. Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed. Because decay can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child, you should encourage your children to drink from a cup by their first birthdays.

Many training cups, also called sippy or tippy cups, are available in stores. Many are “no spill” cups, which are essentially baby bottles in disguise. “No spill” cups include a valve beneath the spout to stop spills. However, cups with valves do not allow your child to sip. Instead the child gets liquid by sucking on the cup, much like a baby bottle. This practice defeats the purpose of using a training cup, as it prevents the child from learning to sip.

Don’t let your child carry the training cup around. Toddlers are often unsteady on their feet. They take an unnecessary risk if they try to walk and drink at the same time. Falling while drinking from a cup has the potential to injure the mouth.

A training cup should be used temporarily. Once your child has learned how to sip, the training cup has achieved its purpose. It can and should be set aside when no longer needed.


For sipping success, carefully choose and use a training cup. As the first birthday approaches, encourage your child to drink from a cup. As this changeover from baby bottle to training cup takes place, be very careful:

  • what kind of training cup you choose
  • what goes into the cup
  • how frequently your child sips from it
  • that your child does not carry the cup around

Please go talk to pediatric dentists, Drs. Hardaway and Conn at Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway for more information. If your child has not had a dental examination, schedule a “well baby checkup” for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association says that it is beneficial for the first dental visit to occur within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday.

Parenting Classes Announced at Watauga Medical Center

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System holds frequent classes for all parents. High Country Parent will keep you updated with all classes. Please continue to keep a check on the website and/or our Facebook page.


April Classes:

Prepared Childbirth Class

Date: 4/8/2013 – 5/13/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Every Monday for 6 weeks)
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This is a six-week class. Topics include what to expect during labor & delivery, the hospital experience and pain control strategies for labor. Class includes a tour of the Birthing Center. Course recommended for all births and those planning to use an epidural. Registration recommended by 20 weeks. (Medicaid accepted & scholarships available) FEE: $90.00

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.

Buckle Up Kids (Car Seat Safety) Class

Date: 4/2/2013
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Place: Watauga Medical Center – Boone, Marchese Birthing Center

This class offers a complete instructional guide to proper car seat use. Watauga County residents who receive Medicaid receive a free car seat if class is attended. Taught the first Tuesday night of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 at Watauga Medical Center in the Adams Classroom. No registration necessary.

For more information, call (828) 262-4100.