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.