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.