Sunday, March 28, 2010


Melatonin is something that our bodies produce to regulate our sleep patterns. People who have autism often have insufficient levels of melatonin in their bodies. One of the first things that we did when our son was diagnosed with autism was put him on a nightly little dose of melatonin. When I finally got my hands on Changing the Course of Autism by Dr. Bryan Jepson, I saw that melatonin was one of the suggested biochemical intervention treatments. I thought, Oh good. We are already going something right.

We were both working at the time and my husband was going to school full time. We were desperate to solve the sleep disturbance issues that Eli had that went along with his condition. He was constantly getting up in the middle of the night and staying awake until the wee hours of the morning. We were so tired!

We got the idea of using the small dose of melatonin from my mother. My brother with autism has been using melatonin most of his life, and without it his sleep is very disregulated. We started with a quarter of a milligram dose and worked it up by small increments night by night until he was ready to go to bed half an hour after taking it, with his regular bedtime routine, of course. In the beginning I think he only took like one tablet each night, which was half a milligram.

Looking back, I realize that the smartest thing to do would have been to consult his doctor. The problem was that his pediatrician, who was really quite good, knew little about autism. He could not tell me what to do for Eli's diarrhea or other symptoms. He did know enough to recognize some of the autistic behaviors in children and send us to get a diagnosis, and for that we are ever so grateful.


We like the Nutrition Now Melatonin. We like it because:

-It is in a chewable peppermint tablet
-It is easy to split with a pill splitter
-It is in a half milligram dose, which makes it easy to give only the littlest dose needed.
-Nothing artificial and no gluten, milk, or soy

Nutrition Now used to sell their own products on a very nice site and with great service. Now it is only available through supplement distributing companies. The site I currently use is HerbsMD.

I am providing this link for some friends who have asked to have this address.Click here to go to the Nutrition Now Melatonin listing on

Disclaimer: As you may be aware, I am not a medical professional and I am not qualified to give medical advice of any kind. I am providing this information for my readers as a piece of our autism journey.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eli is 5!



After having a bit of technical difficulties, it is so great to be able to post a couple of pictures of Eli's birthday from earlier this month. He was so excited about his birthday this year. I wrote it on the calendar for him, and he showed everyone that came to the house his birthday on the calendar.

Eli read a book about Thomas the Tank Engine's birthday about a week before his. He decided that because Thomas had balloons and silly hats for his birthday party, that he needed them for his birthday party, too.

The desserts we have for birthdays at our house always require a bit of planning. Usually we avoid sugar for him like the plague, because his stomach is so sensitive to it. For birthdays among the three of us, however, we make an exception for small portions of the birthday treats for him. They are always GF/CF, of course.

If you were looking at his cake closer and right-side up, you would see it is a homemade cake with a simple glaze that was baked in pan the shape of a simple train engine. I found the recipe for his cake in my cookbook, "Cooking Free" by Carol Fenster. The recipe is called "Apple Spice Cake." I chose this one because it was lower in sugar than the other recipes I saw. Of course, like always, I made it my own way by eliminating walnuts and raisins and adding a small can of crushed pineapple. EVERYONE complimented us on the cake, not just my sister in law with celiac! It was moist and yummy! We served it with Bryer's all natural vanilla ice cream and we had a small serving of Berried Treasure sorbet from Ben and Jerry's for Eli.

Another fun thing we did for Eli's birthday was take him to the arcade. Yes, that was major over-stimulation, (he was jumping up and down excited!) but he had a blast and had no melt downs. Here's a pic of his dad helping him play skee ball for the first time. We played everything, even air hockey, (where he would score on himself and then say, "I did it!") Near the end he had singled out the racing games as his favorite. Some of them were car racing games and some were motorcycle ones. That's my five year old. All boy!

Eli's birthday was a reflective time for me. When my husband and I got married, we figured that by the time we had a five year old we would probably live far away from our college town, own a house, and have more than one child. In our family we are constantly reminded that life simply does not always happen the way we plan it, and it is ok. Life is much more like a journey than it is a destination, and we have so much joy in that journey together!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Have Been Published

A new, local online magazine has published an article on my work in it's March edition. It is about sustainable fashion and how autism is my motivating drive to create it. To see the article, click on the link below and go to page 22 of the magazine.

Thank you, Rebecca, for allowing me to be a part of this and for helping me spread the word!

Click here to see Provo Orem Word