Thursday, January 28, 2010

Current Eco Friendly Obsession

My journey with autism in my family has taught me to look at earth conservation in a new light. I believe that many of our current epidemics that effect our children, (such as severe allergies, asthma, and autism,) are brought upon us by the environment, or our lack of care for it.

Here is my current eco friendly obsession. It is housing built from shipping containers. Steel shipping containers come to us in the form of imports. Once we take out the goods, these shipping containers pile up... it is simply not cost effective to send them back. Architects and builders are latching on to the idea of using them as building material. Here are a couple of links I found while searching "shipping container house" on Google. The photos on these links are great.


I made a little preliminary floor plan sketch based on 40' by 8' foot containers, using the method of just laying them on some type of leveled ground/foundation and cutting rooms between them. (And windows and doors, etc.) The really lovely thing about this type of building is that additions are easy to add as your family grows. The containers are all made the same and this makes them easy to stack.


I have all kinds of ideas for my container house should I ever have the opportunity to build one. The containers would be in a semi circle shape, which would shelter a green house that is glassed in the interior. Imagine, garden fresh organic vegetables in the winter! We would use salvaged and refurbished cabinetry, and sustainable bamboo flooring. I am sure there are so many other eco friendly things that can be used to make the container home very comfortable. I just haven't thought of them all or researched them all just yet.

Friday, January 22, 2010

School AGAIN?

This morning I looked in on Eli when it was time for him to get up. I thought I saw his little eyelids blinking, so I said, "Eli it is time to get up so you can get ready for school." As I walked down the hallway I heard him say, "Again?"

I laughed all the way down the hallway! Since I have only heard him say the word "again" only a handful of times, I wasn't 100% sure of what I heard. I went back to his room where he sat on his bed rubbing his eyes.

"Did you say 'again' because you are getting up for school again?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. He has a field trip today, so I told him that he was going to go to the fire station today and see the big fire trucks. I asked him if that sounded good. "Yes," he said, and he got up to get ready for school.

And I am still laughing....

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Toxin Tip and Canaries

When you are looking for the answer to a troubling question, and then you find it, you feel like it fits and you have a clarity of mind that tells you that you have found what you are looking for.

When I was in high school I did a research project on autism because I wanted to learn more about what made my brother the way that he was. At that time the sources I ran into said that the occurrence of autism was 1 in every 800. Just last month I was informed by an Autism Speaks representative that the Center for Disease Control has come out with a statement declaring the occurrence to be every 1 in 97. What an astounding difference! Even if the sources I read in high school were a decade old, and even if you account for better awareness and diagnostic methods in the medical community, there is still a ginormous increase that demands the question of "why?" Why is there a greater occurrence of autism today?

Dr. Bryan Jepson explains in his book, Changing the Course of Autism, that persons who become autistic have a lower toxin tip genetically. The increasing toxicity of our world, (plus medical interventions such as heavy metal containing vaccines,) causes toxin overload on their bodies. Because of their lower toxin resistance their body cannot deplete these toxins, causing autism.

Jenny McCarthy, while not a medical professional, had an interesting analogy in her book, Mother Warriors, that medical professionals specializing in autism use. Miners used to take caged canaries with them in the mines, she says, because the canaries were more sensitive to the lethal gases that could lurk in the mines. When a canary started having problems with the air, the miners would leave the mine quickly. In the sense that they are more sensitive to our toxins, and in the sense that they react first, the precious persons in our lives with autism are functioning as our canaries.

So why does cleaning up our earth matter? I think I just answered that question. In addition to the joy and wonderful abilities they bring to this world, our children are trying to show us what to do. Despite their communication challenges, this message could not be clearer. Let's listen, please.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pizza Recipe

This is our favorite pizza recipe. It is gluten free and yeast free, which is important for Eli's special diet. I am also gluten intolerant, but unlike Eli I do eat some dairy products. Usually I will cut one third of the pizza off after the first bake, before I put the toppings on. Eli gets the third with no cheese and Jason and I eat the rest.

Modified from "Pizza with Easy Tomato Sauce," page 153 of The Kid Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook by Pamela J Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.

1 1/3 cups garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/3 cups water

Blend all ingredients thoroughly, beating for two minutes. Cover pizza pan with parchment paper. Spread out the dough using a wet spoon back. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Take it out and add sauce and toppings. I use Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce. (It is sooo yummy!) Bake for another 15-20 minutes. It will brown very well around the edges.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Dear readers, thank you for a great 2009!


What a great goal raising awareness is for the new year. I love this necklace that my mother gifted to me for Christmas. It is true that when I wear it I am forced to tell curious people why I am wearing a puzzle piece charm around my neck, but really that is the beauty of it. It really is a pretty effortless way to raise awareness.

I am excited to continue my blog into the new year! This month marks my one year of blogging about my journey with autism in my family. My primary goal was to share resources with other parents, because I know how maddening it is to try to find out what your child needs when he/she has autism. I hope I have been successful in making the search easier for someone else this year. This blog has also also been a good outlet for me to voice my frustrations, AND to share some of my JOYS!

My journey with biochemical intervention started when I read "Changing the Course of Autism" by Dr. Bryan Jepson. After all the numerous experiences I have had with autism over the course of my life, autism finally made some sense to me when I read this book. I knew then that my son was meant for the DAN! program. I will forever be indebted to Julie of the Etsy for Autism Street Team for recommending this book to me. I have seen incredible improvement in my son's health and skills over the past year. Explaining it all would fill volumes, and I hope to continue to share the journey in 2010.

Best wishes to you all in the new year!

-Celeste Jean