Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Autism Treasury in Treasury West

I have just been made aware that there is a new treasury in treasury west that is centered on autism awareness. It was so thoughtful of Cape Cod Consignments to create this treasury!

If you are unfamiliar with let me explain. Treasury West is an alternate treasury to the one on the etsy site, although just as popular. Treasuries last afew days, and when they expire, users can claim a spot and create a new one. It is not an easy thing to claim a treasury spot, and once claimed the creator fills it with creations found on etsy. I personally find it to be a great honor when someone chooses one of my items to fill a spot in a treasury they create.

Many of the etsy sellers in this treasury are autism parents and/or supporters of the cause. Many belong to the street team Etsy For Autism. Use the search "Etsy For Autism" in the search bar to see other handmade items by these team members.

CHECK IT OUT! It lasts until Saturday:Autism Treasury

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Eli came home from school one day dressed like Rudolph with his lunch on his face and a big smile! Too cute.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I have blogged on this topic before back in July, but I didn't feel like I had good resources for new parents who had concerns about vaccinations.

I have a new niece and my sister has asked me for an alternative vaccine schedule. My first response was, "There is no alternative schedule, because the American Pediatrics Association does not recognize that there is a connection between vaccines and autism because the CDC denies that there is a relationship!" Ok, so I am alittle bit passionate about this.

After deciding to take a look anyway and see what I could find, I DID find some resources for my sister. Here they are.

This one was given to me by my son's DAN! doctor: A User-Friendly Vaccine Schedule

This one I found on Ginger's blog: Generation Rescue's Vaccine Page

And lastly I'd like to share Ginger's blog. She is not a medical professional, but an autism mom who writes about the current controversy surrounding this subject as it relates to autism: Adventures in Autism

Monday, December 14, 2009

Conventional Cotton

My journey with autism in my family has taught me to look at earth conservation in a new light. I believe that many diseases, including autism, are brought upon us in part by our environment, or rather, our lack of care for it.

I was playing with google one day and I came up with the stats that only 5% of all crops are cotton, yet 25% of all pesticides/fertilizers are used to produce commercial cotton. Also that the production of three conventional cotton t shirts require the use of one whole pound of pesticides and fertilizers. I am not bothering to cite sources on this one because I found these same stats on MULTIPLE sites.

In my little family we are doing some small things to try to combat this issue. First of all, we shop thrift stores first. Thrift stores have more variety and they are easier on our budget. More importantly, buying second hand prevents use of more harmful chemicals for the creation of a new outfit, and that fact alone gives us so much pride in our thrift store purchases! We do not have any sources of organic clothing in our area as far as our knowledge goes, which is really very sad. If anyone knows of one, or of a good online source, do tell.

Recycling pre loved fabrics is something that I do in my studio and I am very grateful for my family's support in this. I make clothing items out of old worn out fabrics. Recently I made myself a long sleeved t shirt out of afew of my husband's old t shirts that would have gone in the trash. I find using preexisting fabrics to create new fashions very exciting because, once again, reusing fabric prevents the use of harmful chemicals. Some of my creations I post in my etsy shop.




Sunday, December 6, 2009

Speech Progress!

Autism causes caused developmental delay that often severely tampers with speech development. Our son not only has autism, (inherited from the family,) he also has additional issues with speech. (Also inherited from the family.) He has had many "Eli" words for many of his favorite things for a long time. For example, "Go-Go" was Gordon the train from Thomas and Friends for quite a while. I just had to write a little post to say that we have had some things going for us in the speech department lately.

Eli's doctor has put him on a pretty high dosage of vitamin E, which of course he monitors. He said that it helped with speech development. Also, at Eli's new autism preschool he receives significantly more speech therapy than he used to. (Next week the speech therapist is even meeting with me to teach me things we can to at home with him. Exciting!) The result of these changes has been just pure awesomeness. Yesterday after some coaching Eli learned how to say "Thomas" correctly. He has always loved Thomas the Tank Engine, but for the longest time he has called him "Boo-Ess," then he was "Mum-Ess." Now at age 4 and 1/2 he can finally call him Thomas! We could not be prouder. Now if I can just get him to stop saying "Bups" for "Grapes."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Neighbor Boy

My son has a little friend in our duplex who is just his age. For being only 4, his little friend has been pretty understanding and patient with Eli. They run around together in the yard we share and ride their bikes up and down the driveway together. Sometimes his friend comes over and they watch TV or watercolor together.

Just recently though I have been noticing that his friend has been starting to take advantage of the fact that Eli has a hard time communicating. On acouple of occasions very recently Eli's friend has done little naughty things to him, like taking things from him, when I am not looking. Once I noticed a little smirk on his face when Eli couldn't tell me what was wrong.

Now of course I am not mad at the little neighbor boy. He is probably behaving age appropriately for whatever typical 4 year old phase he is going through. Most little boys probably would have started this type of behavior long before now. I should probably explain to his mother because I happen to know it is very important to her that her son learn how to interact and have patience with people who have special challenges. I know she will be able to gently explain to him why his behavior is not appropriate in a way that he can relate and understand.

I am finding myself upset about this today because it's alittle bit traumatizing to me. It makes me scared for my son and how people may treat him in the future. If you are familiar with the play, "Flowers for Algernon," you'll remember that Charlie, the man with special challenges in the play has coworkers who he says are his friends. All these men do all day is poke fun at Charlie and laugh at him. Although Eli is very bright and I hope for much recovery for him, I do not know what level he will be at socially when he is, say, a teen. Or when he enters the work force. It makes me afraid of people taking advantage of him because of his challenges.

Dear God, protect him. Even from his friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eli's Toy

We call this Eli's "P" toy. I give it to him on days when he is having a hard time keeping his fingers out of his mouth. I ordered this for him some time ago so he could have a chewing outlet without reverting back to the binky. It is just a therapeutic orange "P" that he chews on... it keeps him from chewing on his fingers, the playstation cord, etc.


We often put this on a nylon cord as a very loose necklace for him when we go places with it. Last week I went to my mother's with Eli and his "P" necklace. My 16 year old brother, (who also has autism,) was very concerned. "What does that P stand for?" He was very interested to know. I told him that it didn't stand for anything, it was just Eli's toy to chew on. "OH!" He said with very obvious relief. "I am so glad that it does not stand for anything inappropriate." I love you Jared, you are hilarious!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Art About Autism

I am very proud to show off my latest piece. It is called, "An Autism Sibling's Childhood." It is about my childhood in Oregon. We had picnics at the coast, trips to the mountains, and of course, autism with all of the unique, beautiful, and sometimes complicated characteristics that go along with it.

The medium is a linocut print. I carve these in an artist linoleum and hand print and pull them. It gives them an irresistible rustic look. Every print I make from this block will be unique.


View listing by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Am a Kirkman Mom

My son is on a small collection of supplements which are monitored closely by his DAN! doctor and they really do make a difference for him. I have discovered that most of his supplements I can simply get from one place online, Kirkman Labs.

I thought I would share the site there in hopes it would be helpful for other parents. The great thing about them is that their supplements are made for people with food sensitivities. There is no gluten, casein, sugar, or other reaction triggers in their products. I have also found them to be very reliable.

One thing that I love about this company is that this year they were named one of the "Oregon Top 100 Green Businesses" which they have to meet high standards to qualify for. They also have a line of products called Kirkman Kleen and which are natural, safe cleaning products. Go Kirkman!

Kirkman Labs is on Rosewood Lane in Lake Oswego, Oregon, near to the place where my uncle and aunt lived when I was a child. We lived across the river and we visited them often, so I suppose that is another thing they've got going for them in my book. :)

Check it out here:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Parent Training

My son's autism preschoool has parent training nights and I think it is so wonderful because parent education makes all the difference. Tonight after coming home from one, however, I have to admit I am alittle frustrated. Some parents were discussing "the diet" and basically putting down biochemical intervention. It was obvious that they had not tried to educate themselves on it. I told them I have been doing biochemical intervention for a year, I told them about the monumental difference (his social smile, understanding discipline, etc.) I said there is a book they can read, (Changing the Course of Autism, by Dr. Bryan Jepson,) and that I am willing to talk to anyone about it. After that I tried to keep my mouth closed. It was hard because I feel like even if they choose not to do it, they should not discredit it. To me that is wrong. One parent approached me afterward, and she understood exactly how I felt! "Some people are so ignorant about food," she said. I can't explain how relieved I am that there is another parent like me in the group and I look forward to talking to her again on the subject.

One of the handouts we got tonight was a little story. I read it once in Jenny McCarthy's Mother Warriors book, and I have to tell you it never looses significance for me. I think the author got it head on.


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Pictures Don't Lie

These are snapshots I took of Eli's preschool pictures. In the first one he is barely 3, and in the second he is 4 and 1/2.


This one with the glass glare was taken early in 2008. Although not really smiling, he is looking in the general direction and seems to show curiosity on the photographer.


I was so shocked and pleasantly surprised to pull this packet out of Eli's backpack last week! What a difference! Here he is obviously engaged... what progress.

Biochemical therapy has made him so much more available for learning. His schooling, and life experiences, and activities with mom and dad have been more beneficial for his learning than ever. His academic progress has been phenomenal. (He can read many words.) But it is his social progress that makes me the most proud of all, and these pictures are a clear documentation of that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I am an autism sibling. I've had lots of my experiences come to mind lately as I've been thinking about what my family may be like in the future. I live in a very family oriented part of the country. It is not uncommon to see a woman my age or even younger tote three or four children to the grocery store. When people see that I have a four year old and no other children and no signs of expecting, I get asked, "Do you want more kids?" Rude, I know.

I have a memory bank full of experiences of what it is like to be an autism sibling. I wouldn't call my teenage years "normal." My brother is classically autistic in the moderate range. While there were definitely rewarding experiences, there were also lots of challenges.

This is a story I wrote for autism siblings in a previous post. Even though I am not much of a writer, I feel like for this story I included a good balance of the good and the challenging.
Read The Chocolate Effect here.

I did have some friends that were like the Allison in the story and I will always be grateful. (Admittedly though, we would usually hang out at other places besides my home.) My most Allison like friend, (as far as the purposes in the story goes, anyway,) was the young man that I eventually married. When we were just friends in high school Jason would invite himself over and hang out. He put up with my brother's antics marvelously. My sister and I coined the challenge of our brother with new people "The Jared Test" and when we were young adults we used it on all our dates. We learned quickly which of the young men were most patient. It turned out to be a very viable test.

So as I have my memories running through my head, and my future family before me, I've been feeling like I am missing a perspective. That is the one of the parent of the child that has the autism sibling. Are there any parents out there who are willing to share? What do you do with your autism sib kids to help them learn from, be patient towards, and in some cases, have normal social lives despite their challenges at home?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hepatitis B Vaccine

My sister sent this link my way. Especially with my family's history of autism, I wish I would have known this four and a half years ago. Every medical intervention costs the body something, even if that something is meant to prevent. This article also states the rate of autism as 1 in 63. Astounding.

Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples the Risk of Autism in Infant Boys

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dr. South and Recycled Clothing

It has been alittle while since I have updated. Even though Eli has been in school, I have somehow been very busy. One thing that has been occupying my time is creating products for the upcoming Beehive Bazaar in Provo this next month. I was so thrilled to be accepted because it is a very trendy artsy type of show.

The products I am submitting are eco friendly. I am producing clothing made from pre existing fabric. Most of it is from donated pre loved clothing and linens. I was required as part of the application process to tell them why I do what I do. The answer is simple: Less toxins in our environment means less cases of autism, and as an autism sibling and mom that is important to me.



Acouple of weeks ago I went to a meeting all of the Giant Steps parents were invited to on BYU campus. The meeting was led by Dr. South and his students in the psychology department. At this meeting I learned that the Giant Steps program is in constant danger of losing funding, and has been threatened especially so this school year. The research that Dr. South and his students do is in part right in the preschool program. I am so excited about this because if they can come up with the actual documentation to show how essential the program is to the kids, it is far less likely to get funding cut because the results are then proven in numbers.

Some of the senior students of Dr. South's presented research on how autistic children reacted to trials differently then typical children. Their findings were interesting, but I kept thinking to myself, autism effects the whole body, not just the brain! Being a parent who is a biochemical therapy convert is maddening at times. I feel that more answers could be found if only all symptoms were taken into account.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eli's First Day of Giant Steps

Today is Eli's first day of Giant Steps. We took some pictures this morning while waiting for the bus. He was very happy to show off his spiderman backpack.



It is strange for me to be at home so long by myself when I am used to having Eli with me, and I miss him, but thank goodness for Giant Steps! I have met the staff and peeked in the classroom during work time. It is going to be so good for him and I look forward to documenting lots of progress!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We have been looking around to see what the best option available is for our son's education once he is done with his specialized preschool program. Should we stay here in the area we live now, the Clear Horizons Academy looks like a very promising option. We are going to go tour it soon and start the application process so our son can be on the waiting list.

The exciting thing about this school is that it works on the DIR, or relationship based model. The preschool he will be starting next week is ABA model based. Although I can't remember what ABA stands for at the moment, I know that it works on a rewards system. Things are about routine and memorization. We believe that our son will make many gains with this model in this coming school year.
However, we have been considering for afterward the Clear Horizons Academy for it's relationship based program. Although the program he is in this year uses the DIR model to some extent, the idea of an educational program based on it is very interesting to us. The DIR model is child directed and it focuses on building in the children that kind of social addiction that most of us just seem to be born with. Example: With the DIR model you play, and that play is directed by the child. If the child is banging blocks together instead of stacking them, you bang blocks together. Eventually you are taking turns banging blocks and here we have communication circles opening and closing, and opening and closing.
There is a certain acquaintance of ours who tells us that there is a particular family in the area who flies the husband to California each week for work and the rest of the family stays here in Utah, all because of the Academy. I am thinking, if the school is that good, we are going to look into it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why, Mom?

My son approached me while I was at the sewing desk, so I greeted him and told him what I was doing. "Why Mom?" was his response, so I calmly told him more about it. Really, on the inside, I was just thinking, "DID HE JUST SAY THAT??"

By the time most children are the age of four, they have already been tormenting their parents with the 'why' question for quite some time. I just heard it from my son for the first time about 2 weeks ago when this incident happened. Parents of typical kids: be grateful to hear the perpetually asked question. Apparently it is very important for a child's development. I haven't yet learned all the details of 'why' yet. :)

In the meantime, I am hoping to encourage the 'why' question more often.

In other news, this week is another Low Dose Antigen (LDA) injection. My son's DAN! doc is the only one that does these, but he is very active in the conferences and so I hope that many other doctors learn about it from him. The LDA helps my son not be so sensitive to things in the environment and also foods that bother him. It is very safe, it simply helps him build a tolerance. Parents of autistic children know: These kids are sensitive! A special test showed that my son was sensitive to many common foods, and soy especially was almost off the chart!

Preparing for the LDA includes eliminating fish oils from supplement regimen two days before, and eliminating supplements all together for three days, the day before, the day of, and the day after the injection. Fish oil is still avoided during the week after. Also during the supplement free days, he has to be off of chocolate, eggs, wheat, sugar, corn, and milk. I have to admit though, that we usually never give him those things anyway, except the egg. I'll have to remember that when I'm making pancakes in the morning...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Move

I haven't posted for awhile because of all the chaos of our recent move. It is all over though, and we are happy with our new place! The reason for our move was the autism preschool located in Orem, Utah, called Giant Steps. It is public, but it is funded by the Wasatch Mental Health Department. Translation: it is free and the program is cutting edge. The downside is that our son had to be on the waiting list for this program for 2 years. We had to be living in Utah County for him to attend, but that was OK because anything out of the county was just too far to commute for a one car family. So here we are! This program is totally worth the move and we are pumped! It is an ABA based program, (although they will use whatever method works for the individual,) and it is four days a week, with full school days!
Our last move was back at the end of December of last year when we moved north in order to complete hubby's education. That move was hard on Eli, as you would expect for a young one with autism. We had lots of uncooperative behavior, vocal outbursts, sleep disturbances, etc. He stopped being manageable with taking supplements for a while there, too, but we kept trying. Once we started getting the supplements down him again, things started getting better, and then he started school at the public school there, and things got even better. We have kept with the biochemical intervention for this whole year this last month and let me tell you how great he is doing! Eli now calls me "mom" and his dad "dad." His vocabulary is growing everyday. If he is looking for a favorite toy train he will say "Gordon go?" He tells me about things in his little shows he likes to watch. He is starting to have more and more of a social smile. This recent move has been such a switch from the one back in December! No regression at all.
Eli had some very kind little friends in our town we lived in up north who taught him so much about interaction, playing and friends. We miss all of you sweet little people! These are some pictures to show his friends how happy Eli is at the new place. There is a swing in the backyard that is cut from an old tire.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The BEST Gluten Free Cookbook

Several months ago I went to a "gut" specialist for the aching and tiredness I was experiencing. He decided we needed to do a procedure so that he could see my stomach and intestines. After the procedure he said he may have seen possible celiac disease, so I went home and stopped eating gluten, and started feeling better. I went back to see him only to hear him say that the test was negative for celiac and to take a prescription for the aches the may be caused by a "non celiac gluten intolerance." I went home confused. If gluten was making me not feel well, it was obviously not being handled by my body properly and should be avoided. I have been eating gluten free ever since and have been feeling great.
Although I had already been cooking gluten free for my son with autism for the better part of a year, this experience led me to search for even better gluten free baking recipes. I worked in bakeries for 5 years. I had to be able to bake things that I would really enjoy!

That is when I found the ultimate gluten free baking book: Cooking Free by Carol Fenstar, Ph.D.

This book is AWESOME for baking for persons with autism, because many of the recipes have included alternatives to the major ingredients that many persons with autism have problems with: sugar, eggs, milk, and of course gluten.

The best part of this book is that the recipes are good! The ones I use most are the pancake recipe, the basic chocolate cake (it's great for family gatherings!) and the sandwich bread recipe.

The basic flour blend recipe that is the staple for all the recipes in the book is a flexible one, meaning you can use the flours to best suit the recipe to your taste. I find that bean flour in the mix makes a better flour for pancakes and sandwich bread, while corn flour (not corn meal) instead of the bean flour portion makes a better blend for sweets, like the chocolate cake. I just mark my two quart ziplock bags "corn flour blend" or "bean flour blend" and I am stocked and ready to bake anytime.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Chemical Free Step

I have heard that persons with autism should only eat organic foods. My thought was, that's nice, but who can afford that? I began washing our produce with special wash from the health food store and took pride in the fact that I had washed off waxes, sprays, and other contaminants.
I recently read this book:Photobucket
The Organic Food Guide: How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier
by Steve Meyerowitz, and it's a great find on Amazon for under $10.
For being a short read, it explains a variety of topics concerned in the choice of whether or not to buy organic. I found the chapter on labeling very helpful. He tells the many reasons organic foods are better for us, and why all those nutrients in healthier soil makes the food taste better.
I took it for a test. I have been buying organic apples for weeks now. I can honestly say that I enjoy apples more now that I have found apples that are generally better tasting. Knowing I am avoiding chemicals and contaminants probably doesn't make them taste worse, either. :)
Now I want to buy nothing but organic. It is true that it does not always happen. Organic varieties are not always available, or always affordable. However, my family and I are taking steps to make it more of a priority to buy organic. Right now it is all of our produce, plus other products here and there. Here is a little collection from my own kitchen.Photobucket
My efforts to provide organic foods for my family are in an effort to lessen the chemical burdens on my son. I believe that his predisposed little body contracted autism under the burden of environmental contaminants. Anything I can do to lessen the load on his sensitive body makes him a happier boy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Face of Autism


This is just a fun little project that included everyone in the family. My husband shot this photo while doing an Eli "photo shoot," meaning stalking him with a camera until a picture of his face is obtained. (He also managed to get one with a big smile!) I did alittle photo editing on the photo. (I did tons of photo editing in college... already getting rusty!) It is still overexposed, etc, but I found the end result with his little gaze to be pretty meaningful. I can also imagine my brother at this age looking at me with his own gaze which somehow still looks at me and through me at the same time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I had an experience afew weeks ago that I have been thinking about ever since.

I went to see a friend who is an autism sibling like me who had a new baby, about one month old. That little guy was such a doll, and so aware. He could tell that someone that was not mom or dad was holding him, but he decided he could tolerate me after afew minutes. I felt such a connection with the little guy, with the exception of weight and looks, he was just like my little boy at that age... behaved in the same ways. I was so excited I told my husband all about him when I got home. Then he asked me, "Have they been doing immunizations?" And that was all it took for me to sit on my couch and cry for awhile. My husband understood what was wrong and just lovingly sat there with me.

I've spoken before about how I sometimes think about things I would have done differently as a parent in my Mother's Day post. Immunizations is one of those things. I wish I had not been so unaware. Maybe my son would have had less symptoms and had been able to enjoy life more from an early age if I had waited and watched him for symptoms first, waited for safer immunizations, or simply avoided immunizations all together.

Eli has been in biochemical intervention for one year this month. Biochemical intervention has made a difference, even though we can't afford even half the therapies we wold like to have him in. None of his therapies are covered by insurance, and his diet and supplements are hard for us to keep up with. Despite this, Eli can interact in ways he couldn't before, and finds happiness in things he didn't before. (During the drafting of this post he signed "dance" along with a verbal approximation and he grabbed my hands and we danced around the living room!)Previous to Eli seeing a DAN! doctor, his father and I read "Changing the Course of Autism" by Dr. Bryan Jepson. The experience of reading this book was amazing. It is such a compilation of research. It explained to me things that I saw going on with my son and my brother, and the autism community in general, and I was instantly converted.

Now understanding the connection between genetics and autism, and also immunizations and autism due in part to heavy metals, I am appalled to admit that Eli has had the "full schedule" of shots up until the age of 24 months, flu shots, plus he was enrolled in one immunization study. (The doctor, who had children of his own, said that the study was one he would do, and I was way too trusting back then.) My son now has an immunization waiver which allows him to attend public school.

To all the people reading this thinking, "this girl is off her rocker," I want to tell you something: I was once you. Consider the big business that has been built around the immunization program, and what the business implications may be to said big business if each child in the country had one less mercury infused immunization. Consider the government all these years in supporting this big business by requiring children to have a full schedule of immunizations in order to go to school. Then consider that the CDC can't seem to recognize the evidence right in front of them. So I put it to you, I am not a professional after all. Tell me, do these dots deserve to be connected?

Here's an interesting video of CDC accidentally admitting there is a link between autism and immunizations. (I am indebted to Ginger's blog, for this link.)

Parents, please educate yourselves. Let your mother/father instincts guide you.

"The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief [. . .] of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense."
Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Friday, June 12, 2009

Little Lifesaver in a Jar


I'm not talking about the candy. I'm talking about the little jar of stuff pictured above--- Ghee! This great stuff has been a lifesaver for me with my son's GF/CF diet.

I went to my local Good Earth store one day looking for this because it was the mysterious ingredient in some of the recipes in this book. One of the managers knew what and where it was... it ended up being clarified butter. I almost passed it up... butter is not ok on my son's diet. She explained that clarified means that all proteins are removed... meaning no casein is in it.

Why is this so great? Well, on top of GF/CF my son limits his own diet quite a bit. Margarine, even canola marg is out of the question. No one should eat hydrogenated fats. Bottom line is that this Ghee stuff helps my son accept some foods he normally wouldn't. I stir a teaspoon of it in his GF noodles with some steamed veggies and some salt. He won't eat spaghetti, but he will eat this. (I love it that I can get some veggies down him this way!) At $8 a jar it sure is not cheap, but this little jar has lasted a long time and has flavored many meals of pasta and vegetables and some of brown rice. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Backyard Pictures

Eli makes me laugh. He is very interested in the camera, and he notices when I take a picture. He wants to see the picture on the little screen of the camera every time. The funny part is that for all his interest, he sure resists being photographed! Here is one of him hiding his face and running around when he saw me with the camera.


I was just lucky to get this next one, I guess. It does drive me alittle bit crazy that he won't just give me one of his gorgeous smiles for a picture, but his pouty face is just as cute! He may still be working on the language, but he is extremely expressive without it. (You should hear his pouty "aaaaoooowww" expression that accompanies this face.)


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Signing Time

Signing Time is a series of products that were started by a Utah family in an effort to share sign language, the language of a young family member named Leah, with their friends and the rest of the family.


My son's first words were "car" and "ball" but they were not consistent, and after a time disappeared. His first consistent communications with us were signs that he learned in part from volume one of Signing Time. His first sign was "more." Then came "milk." It was like a mini miracle. Our son was talking to us with functional communication!

If you are not a parent but have a friend, niece, nephew, or grandchild who is struggling with language development, why not surprise the parents with the first volume? I have learned from them myself, and I have been so grateful for the miracle of that first little sign my son made.

My son is still learning from the Signing Time videos at the age of four. (Animals, colors, and letter signs.) We started out with just the regular volume one. We have never used any of the other products, just the original series.

I probably live relatively close to these people, but I don't know them and I am not affiliated with their company, I'm just sharing what has worked with my autistic son's language development.

Image used with permission.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Chem Free Idea


Here's my son's used, beat up tube of toothpaste. He has actually been using this type of toothpaste for quite some time. I guess this one was a no brainer for me since it goes in his mouth and he swallows it. It is completely natural, and I opt to give him the fluoride free version. Why? I guess I am skeptical of this fluoride stuff when it comes to my sensitive little boy. I mean, if the label of fluoride toothpastes say that poisoning can occur if more than a pea sized amount is swallowed, it can't possibly be safe for his delicate system. That's what my fears have been, anyway.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yet Another Book I'd Rather Not Live Without

It's about time I updated that book list of the books I have found helpful. So far I have posted them in the order that I acquired them.

To keep a running total of my book list, the first was Changing The Course of Autism, by Dr. Bryan Jepson. Read my post here.

The second book I blogged about was Life Tastes Good Again, by Kristi Kirkland and Betsy Thomas. Read my post here.

The third book I got my hands on was The Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet, by Pamela J Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.


I found this one day while browsing and decided I had to have it. I have been very pleased! Only half of this book has actual recipes. The first half of the book contains these chapters:
Chapter one: Food Reactions: What they are and how to test for them
Chapter two: The Culprits: Glutens, Casein, Soy, and others
Chapter three: More Culprits (this chapter explains diets and who they help)
Chapter four: Eater Beware! Improving your nutritional IQ and shooting down myths
Chaper five: Yes-there is plenty left to eat!
Chapter six: Getting started and bumps along the way
Chapter seven: Dealing with the diet and common concerns

The second half of the book covers the practical side of the diet... what and how to get the right nutrition down our kids! It features ideas, strategies, and recipes straight from parents. I have found it very useful.

I'd have to say that my favorite part of this book are the "blue boxes," the little tidbits here and there that are quotes from the parents, or the children themselves. From those I learned that for some kids there is dramatic, almost instantaneous improvement, and those are the ones I often hear about in many sources. That has not happened in my house, however. But from those parent quotes I learned that many parents also see steady improvements that happen over time... that is what I have been seeing! It has been very encouraging to see others having the same challenges but seeing results as they stuck to it.

My son started on the diet in July of last year. Now he is starting to say 2-3 words together... functionally!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

For me Mother's Day was pretty retrospective. I thought about the last four years that I have been a mother and how much joy it has brought to me. I thought about how much I have learned along the way, about being a mom, and about autism. Somewhere in a dark quadrant of mind I also began to think about what I would do differently if I could do it all again. I was thinking that just maybe, if the me now could go back in time, maybe I could save my son from classical autism.


Of course that was the point where I had to tell myself to just snap out of it. Guilt is just something us moms do to ourselves, but why? I have no way of knowing if doing anything differently would have made a difference. I don't know what it was that tipped him into autism. It was likely lots of things. Except for the protection of possible future siblings of his, I need to learn to not think about what I would have done differently.


What does matter: That I do what I can to help my son now.

I will remind myself of that when I groan to myself over supplement time, or when I am running across town to the natural foods store to get the gluten free pasta mix to make the dish that he loves. Or perhaps when he comes to me at the end of a frustrating day with his blanket in tow saying "mom, mom, mom" and curls up in my lap.

My son is so sweet and I love him and all the happiness he brings to his dad and I. Every progress he makes is monumental to us, and progress keeps coming and coming!

We will do everything we can for you son, and we are excited to grow with you and someday see the man that you grow up to be!

Happy belated Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's the Dirt on Synthetic Soap?

Lately I have discovered natural mineral makeup. People who sell this stuff claim that the norms in the commercial world are toxic and we absorb these things in our blood stream. I believed these statements after perusing some ingredient lists and running some of them through Wikipedia. I am an avid makeup wearer, and it's amazing the amount of these chemicals I have been putting on my face all these years. To start combating this problem, I've just ordered some lovely samples from etsy seller

This experience led me to think about what other toxins I am exposing myself to voluntarily and what is my sensitive son with autism being exposed to in our home? If food additives and pollution can bother him, what is he absorbing into his bloodstream through his skin?

I can only attack a question like this bit by bit. My main focus lately has been soap. I have been searching for a natural supply of soap that is affordable for us. The natural food store has some, which are kind of spendy. I love the handmade soaps on etsy, but I can't always afford the $5 a bar plus shipping. I was thinking of learning how to make it myself. I have been reading a book called Essentially Soap by Dr. Robert S. McDaniel. He has some great recipes I want to try someday. Also in his book he explains how during WWII the oils and supplies to make soaps were scarce, and so synthetic detergents were used, and it has remained that way to this day. So I have been washing my son with synthetic detergents. Great.

Making my own soap would require quite an investment in materials and having enough time Eli-free to handle the dangerous lye without him around. Those things are not happening right away. For the long term plan, I still intend to be a soaper, so watch out friends, you may be the unlucky recipient of mysterious samples. :)


Just when I was getting frustrated, I found this bar at my local Macey's grocery store. It was 99 cents! It is Kirk's Original Coco Castile. Castile means it is made with plant based oils. I wish they would name it something else, because if I hadn't known the word Castile, I would have looked over it easily. I washed with it last night, and it was NICE. So much lather and moisture, something a synthetic soap cannot give. Here are the ingredients:

Kirk's natural formula includes: Coconut soap, water, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, natural fragrance.

Good bye Lever 2000, we are never going back.

I'm sure I'll be continuing this topic in another post, because trying to rid your home of chemicals is a big task!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Playground Drama

Anyone who has a child with autism knows that the playground can be like whatever a place of unagreeable people producing a series of untimely events would be like.

Today on the playground I was informed by a 10-12 year old girl that "your kid is weird."

OK so he was chewing on a low hanging branch. Any parent of a child with autism knows that you just have to pick your battles or you battle all day. So instead of telling him not to, and trying to force him not to, and having him do it anyway, I had fun with it. This particular girl and her friend saw a four year old boy chewing on a branch with his mom nearby asking him if it tasted good.

I saw them laughing and smiled. It was funny, I couldn't blame them. Then came her comment. She had no way of knowing at her age how offensive that was to me, so she got a polite little smile and we were off having our next playground drama adventure.

Maybe I'll save that one for another time, or more likely I'll have a new one by then. It all ended like it sometimes does, me carrying a struggling, screaming boy into the apartment to have a sit on the rocking chair with mom, (AKA "Dads," AKA "Daddys") and blanket.

My relax routine lately after a day like this is a work out routine after he is in bed and a hot bath with my lovely lavender-oatmeal soap bar that I bought from Just the thought of bathing with this soap gives me the warm fuzzies. No wonder, I just learned today that lavender is known for its' relaxing aroma therapies. I'm ready to try other applications for this essential oil! I simply love it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Word About Heavy Metals

Here's some things I understand, (or think I do,) about heavy metals. Please consult scholarly sources for more info. (Such as my standard Changing the Course of Autism by Dr. Bryan Jepson.) These are just the types of things I've been finding myself telling my mother about lately as she eases my brother back into biochemical intervention.

Heavy metals get in our kid's systems and they cannot secrete them as easily as other children. There are some everyday things we can do to fight this battle, and more extreme measures we can take. Here are some of the simple everyday ones.

One surprising source of heavy metals is often fish. Yeah. It's because of all the pollution in our oceans. I've heard that canned tuna fish and that top of the food chain predator fish are the worst. My brother actually has a "bad behavior" reaction after eating canned tuna fish. The nutrition of the fish is so important though, so what do you do? Well, I supplement my son's diet with fish oils, according to the advise of his DAN! doctor. They have to be guaranteed contaminate free to be safe for persons with autism. This usually makes them cost 2 to three times more. Don't even be tempted to get the cheap stuff. My brother has the same above said reaction to cheap fish oil supplements.


Another thing we can do everyday that is actually really simple is to filter our kid's water. Surprisingly, regular tap water can quite easily carry heavy metals.
Heavy metals cause our kids to not feel as well as they can. And that is my little sugar coated heavy metal post.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recycling and Raising Awareness

Here's my autism awareness head scarf that I made and love. I have some similar ones coming to my etsy shop soon. I use the puzzle piece because it is the most easily generally recognized image for the cause.


Also, since the last post I did regarding the environment, I thought of another idea I wanted to post, and that is reusable shopping bags. I have a collection of these reusable shopping bags from various stores that I always try to use when I shop. My newest and most favorite one is a messenger style bag that I made from two old pairs of pants. Let me tell you, it is a sight, but so comfortable to wear. You can't see it in the picture, but I used the waistband of the tan colored pants for the strap.

Generally we use cloth towels in our home, but once in awhile a paper towel comes in handy for oiling the cast iron. So today the "new" shopping bag carried home Natural Direction 100% recycled paper towels. The two rolls will last us a month or two, and because paper towels are not recyclable, it's at least better that they are made from reused materials.


Sunday, April 5, 2009


Sensory issues make haircuts an event at our house. I finally got tired of his hair being scraggly in the back and flapping over his ears in the front. I tried the clippers again, just because it had been so long that I thought that for sure he could handle them by now. The minute he saw those things and heard the buzzing sound he hightailed it to the other side of the room and hid under a blanket. So I reached for the scissors.


I don't like cutting his hair with just the scissors because it takes so much longer and I am not trained to do that. I got his baby fine hair pretty choppy looking, but blending scissors helped alot. The only way that I pulled this off was by sitting him in my lap in front of the TV with Blue's Clues on and making it clear by afew trial runs that if he moved too much that it would be turned off. It took two episodes to finish the haircut, but I think we got his best haircut yet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poor Earth and Poor Us

I've been thinking lately about how toxic our earth has become. In Jenny McCarthy's book, Mother Warriors, she quotes this story about how back in the day miners used to take canaries with them into the mines. The birds were far more sensitive to toxins in the air, and so when a canary kicked the bucket, the miners quickly got out of the mine. Her conclusion is that occurrences of autism should be a 'toxin indicator' for us. If you are like me and believe that autism is often triggered by toxins in genetically prone people who reach their "toxin tip" earlier than most of us, this all makes sense. (I was persuaded to believe in this theory by Dr. Bryan Jepson in his book, Changing the Course of Autism.) For example, when I was a junior in high school, I did a pretty big report on autism for biology. (Well, ok, so it was big for high school.) My sources then said that autism occurs in 1 of every 300 children. Now if you follow studies of any kind, you know that most sources nowdays state something around 1 in 100. Granted, my sources in high school may have been dated at that time, but the change in occurrences is still phenomenal. I did not graduate from high school all that long ago!


So in view of these facts, I was going to write a blog about how frustrated I was when I looked at my kitchen garbage container one day to see what is pictured above. Yeah, a garbage can full of recyclable items. I was alittle shocked to realize that it was mine! For awhile there I could not find a recycling drop off site in this new city I have moved to. I tried the phone book and looking it up online. I was getting pretty frustrated and was wondering where the local pro-earth friendly groups were. Then I discovered I recommend it! I now will be doing some of my shopping at a grocery store that isn't that convenient, but they take recycling, and I support that.
Not that I think that just recycling is going to solve our problem, but it is a small step that many of us can take, and I hope to discuss many more earth friendly ideas here in the future. Just think of the things that would happen if everyone made earth friendly tactics more of a habit.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Before the month ends, I had to mention that my baby boy turned 4 on March 9th! Where has the time gone? This is him wearing the crown that the preschool gave him when he went to school on his birthday. They really try to make it a big deal. He got to pass out little gifts to his classmates, he got to blow out a candle, and he came home with a matchbox car in his backpack.


He was so happy with his presents. His Aunt and Uncle brought him a Tobey, which he calls "coo-key." Mom and Dad got him a Duck and a large wooden track set to match the small one he has already. Now he can easily extend his track across his bedroom, and he does. He prompted me to take this picture of his trains on the track set after I took the one of him in his school crown.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fever Talk

Why is it that children with autism become more talkative when they have a low grade fever? My son has a chest cold. Last night I checked in on him, and he was quite warm, partially because of conditions and partially because of a low fever. I was taking his temperature, holding the thermometer under his arm pit. He started fussing and saying, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom!" Now that may not be so weird for a typical four year old who is feverish and half asleep, but two days ago I could not get him to say mom. I was daddy all day. I kept reminding him that I was mom. He would not say it. Granted, yesterday was better. I got called mom afew times, and he even pointed to a picture of me and said "mom." But to repeatedly say mom practically in his sleep was something else.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Chocolate Effect: A Story For Autism Siblings

This story is my own material. Although it is fictional, (and admittedly still needs work,) it is based on my own experiences. I am NOT an author by any means, I just wanted to try doing something for young autism siblings out there. They need to know that they are not alone.

We autism siblings learn the value of true friendship young. We have experiences of both frustration and joy that many of our peers many not understand for many years. But most of all, we know how to love and we fight for our siblings with autism.

The Chocolate Effect

Yesterday when I saw my little brother walk out of the kitchen with an odd high pitched giggle and something brown around his mouth, I looked in the kitchen. I found a chocolate candy wrapper lying there on the floor by the cabinets. I was angry. Who left a piece of chocolate candy where he could find it? I knew then that the next day, today, was going to be a bad day.

It just happened to be clothes shopping day. We had planned to all go shopping at the Emporium. So, off we all went on an afternoon shopping trip, mom, my sister, my brother and I. It took more than one of us to keep up with my little brother. He was weaving through racks and climbing underneath them. It is hard to shop that way. I started loosing hope of getting a new shirt. Then we all smelt an especially messy, well, messy. Mom took my brother to the restroom to change him. She called to me to get more wipes. I was embarrassed, but I sensed her urgency and I ran out to the car to get more. When I got back there were some fashionable teenage shoppers in the restroom. “Eew, what is that smell?” one of them said, and they giggled as if the girl had made a good joke. I could have climbed under a rock. I gave the wipes to mom and the teenage girls left. We went home.

Later that evening my best friend Allison came over to work on biology with me. She was my lab partner and we had a write up to do. The minute she walked in my little brother was clinging on her arm, blowing in her face, and getting upset if we tried to ignore him. It was time to do the thing that we were often compelled to do in such cases. Allison and I ran into my room and locked the door behind us. This usually led to 15 minutes of my brother pounding and screaming at the door. It was always so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk. Today it was 20 minutes of screaming and pounding. We tried to ignore it, and when he finally found something else to interest him, we could talk about how bad the day had been.

The next day when I came home from school, I walked in the door and heard a high pitched giggle. Oh no, I thought, left over chocolate effect. But the little person of my brother ran to me smiling. I could tell this day was going to be better than yesterday. He handed me a crayon and pulled me by the hand to the kitchen table that was scattered with paper. He wanted me to color with him. So I did.

When Mom later discovered us coloring at the kitchen table, she told me that she wanted to go to the grocery store for some things to make dinner. So, once again, we all went on an afternoon shopping trip. There we all were walking along at the grocery store, mom, my sister, and me, all except my little brother. He was galloping along with us, waving his arms around, and jabbering to himself and anyone walking by. Sometimes we held his hand, but he stayed with us. All except for the time he ran off to look at the lobster tank. On our way out, some older boys from my school were walking in, and they looked at my brother as if he was bothering them. I ignored those boys and their lip and eyebrow ring faces. Then, I felt sorry for them. I thought about how much they were missing. Their reaction made me think they would probably never take the time to get to know a person like my little brother.

Later that afternoon, Allison came over again. We had work to do to make up for not doing it the evening before. My little brother clung on her arm, but he was not blowing on her face today. It was a nice day outside. We went out to the backyard with our papers and got my brother up on the trampoline. He actually separated himself from us and jumped, and jumped, and jumped. Allison and I got our write up done. Allison is a true friend.

After Allison left and we went in the house for dinner, my little brother gave me a hug. I hugged him back, because I know how sincere he is. I looked down into his hazel eyes. I remembered the day when he was a baby and I told mom that he would have hazel eyes like mine. She insisted they would be blue and wouldn’t believe me until one day, they just were. I thought about the day when he was a toddler and my world fell apart alittle when I learned of autism. I thought about my joy when he eventually learned to hug me and show me that he loves me.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's New With Us

We are doing alittle shameless self promotion here. My newest item in my etsy shop is the beginning of what will hopefully be the first of many. It is a collaborative painting between my son and I. My four year son Eli has autism, and as a result has limited speech. He draws on at least one paper everyday, and that really is an important form of expression for him. I am trained in art at a university, and I find many of his shapes and compositions just astounding.


The first time I really realized this talent of his was the time he filled a whole lined spiral notebook full of "pod" shapes. Now that notebook is my treasure and I have used it to start our collection with a little "Notebook Pod" series. This painting is "Notebook Pods #1."


My part of the process is to transfer a photocopy of his work onto a professional surface. From there I add texture and color glazes. I'm afraid that the glazes make photographing the painting very difficult. (I am willing to take suggestions.) The true colors of the piece are more fresh and bright.

I hope you enjoy viewing our work! Click on the image of "Notebook Pods #1" in the column on the left of my blog to view more pictures.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Praise for Another Book I'd Rather Not live Without

To keep a running total of my book list, the first was
Changing The Course of Autism, by Dr. Bryan Jepson.

Here is the number two book that I acquired and found very useful:

Life Tastes Good Again, by Kristi Kirkland and Betsy Thomas.

These women are actually locals to the place I was living when I found this book at my neighborhood natural food store. These women have family members with celiac disease. They not only have developed some great recipes, but they also give some practical tips on how to get started, where to try eating out, etc. Because the book is written for celiacs and not those with autism, you really do need to be on your guard for things like milk products. Many of the recipes do work well with non dairy substitutes. Rice or apple cider vinegar needs to be used when the ingredient is "vinegar." I have also substituted a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some of the recipes that are naturally sweetened with fruit with good results. My son loves the chicken nugget recipe that I changed slightly to meet his diet needs.

You can get this book or some of their recipes free here:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Parent's Rights

Today was my son's second IEP meeting. At the meeting his teacher gave me a booklet that covers a parent's rights. She said that even though the law always holds them accountable for how they teach my son, as a parent of a special ed child, I can hold them accountable, too.
So what did I do? Well, like a child, I was alittle testy. They outlined the goals that they had for him. Attention goals, looking and following directions, and academic ones, like naming body parts. Those were good goals, and I look forward to seeing him meet those, but I felt like we were missing something. I told them I wanted social goals. I wanted him to learn to initiate interaction with other children and learn how to turn take with them. All the academic success he has will not make him successful without basic social skills.
So what did they do? They made a plan of how to make progress measurable, they put it in the computer on the new IEP, and we all signed it. Parents, stand up for your kids and educate yourselves so that truly you are the one who knows what is best, and then go and get it for your child. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Clay's Law

The most amazing thing is happening TODAY! In Utah, state senate is voting on Clay's law, which would require insurance companies to partially pay for behavioral therapies that many children with autism desperately need. Do you think this is no big deal because you don't live in Utah? Well just think of how ground breaking this is... and if it can happen here, surely it can happen in other states. I for one will be sitting on the edge of my seat to see whether this passes today.
My husband and I moved to Utah in the beginning of our marriage to attend college here. Little did we know that by the time we would almost be done with the college thing, that we would have a little son with autism. Although we always thought through these years that we would probably leave the state after graduation, if clay's law passes, Utah may not be able to get rid of us.

Read more at the Utah Autism Coalition blog:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cupcake Crayons


Here's a fun little activity that's great for creative children. I call them cupcake crayons, but they really are just broken crayons melted together in a muffin tin. I made mine out of the broken crayons I found in my son's stash that were too small for his little fingers.

First you take the wrappers off the broken bits and put them in cupcake liners in the pan. Since I had a hard time cleaning up my muffin tin after, I'd recommend using a "retired" one, or trying the aluminum Reynold's brand cupcake liners.

After placing them in the oven and baking at a low temperature just until they are melted, take them out and let them cool completely. They take awhile to cool, so putting them up somewhere where little ones can't tip them over is a safe idea.


When they are cool, take off the liner and turn them over! My favorite part is seeing how the colors melt together on the bottom! They really are beautiful. I went ahead and made another set for my son's creative young uncle. The really fun thing about this activity is that these new crayons you have just created can be used to draw in multiple colors.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eli's Trains

One day my son's preschool teacher told me there was just something with autism and trains. She said she'd get home at the end of the day to find that she had Percy in one pocket and Thomas in the other. Personally, I think it's the orderliness of how trains line up, and they also go! That part appeals to every little boy. Here's a picture that I took of my kitchen table one night after Eli went to bed.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


I remember the one time the school district's occupational therapist came to our home. Eli was about 2, before we had any idea of him having autism. He was in the school district's early intervention program, and it was obvious that he had some sensory issues. The vacuum cleaner made him scream bloody murder, even if he was on the other side of the house. He had a hard time being held. He could seem to calm himself down long enough to enjoy a hug. He had a very hard time going to sleep.

Eli screamed at the therapist and would not be in the same room with her, and he wouldn't let me be in the same room with her either. I had to plug him with a binky and have him sit on my lap on the kitchen floor while he ran his hands through a bucket of beans. She spoke to me from the dining room and explained to me that children with sensory processing difficulties have in a sense an immature immune system. She said that they need more sensory input than average children.

Here is Eli swinging happily about the time this took place.

It was spring and everyday Eli and I went to the park where he could climb. I put him on the baby swing and I would swing him hard for a long time. We did this every day that we could that spring and summer. We noticed changes over time. He was no longer upset and screaming at people who came to our house, but even began interacting with them. Bedtime also became alittle easier.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Book I Would Rather Not Live Without

Nearly a year after our son was diagnosed, we still felt like we were floundering when it came to treatment. He was going to special ED preschool and we were trying to have him on a healthy diet that avoided preservatives and food colorings, but other than that we were at a loss because it was obvious that he was still suffering from physical symptoms.
I sent out a big cry for help in the wonderful ETSY for autism street team. I thought that with all those parents there someone would have some ideas. Julie came to my rescue by recommending "Changing the Course of Autism" by Dr. Bryan Jepson. It is an excellent synopsis of all the current research and treatments. I have lived with autism in my family since I was 12 when my baby brother was born and this book explained to me so many things I never really understood before.


This book caused us to seek out a doctor for our son that participates in the DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) program. Our son is so much healthier and communicates with us so much more and we have only been doing the program since July. Thank you DAN! and Thank you Julie!

I ordered my copy on is also a great ordering option if you are unfamiliar with

Visit DAN! website: click on "find a clinician" to find a DAN! doctor in your area.

Visit Julie's daughter's website:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Look at us Now

Hi my name is Celeste and this is my little red head Eli. Eli was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and a half back in 2007. I was just looking over his diagnosis report. I got it out because we just moved and his preschool teacher needed a copy. I was reading about how at the visit he was moving my hand and placing it on top of the toy he wanted me to help him with. Eye contact was fleeting. The part that makes me smile is "Eli displays a mild upset ness to the examiner."
From this recent photo you can tell what a long way he has come. I have learned so much and I hope that through this blog I can share our journey with you.