Rex By: Kathleen Lewis

>> Monday, December 29, 2008

A story about a young boy who used the Grace of God and his exceptional talent with a piano to overcome the challenges of being multi-disabled. His mother, Kathleen Lewis, tells their story of the many challenges that were ahead, and the miracles of hope to come.

She was a single mother when amazing Rex turned two years old, adding to the trauma of being told her son was blind and later autistic when he couldn't develop any speech among other autistic traits.

I was asked to blog about a book and receive a copy to have as a gift. When I opened the envelope after being so proud it finally came, I saw a picture of a boy playing a piano. His eyes filled with the love he had for it's music. My heart melted and I instantly knew I would have a sense of understanding of this boy. Little did I know, it was on a much grander scale of my everyday life. I felt the pain that Kathleen was experiencing, yet a much differently emotional scale.

As I started reading, I learned of a child who was autistic and blind. And with me not knowing of this boy named Rex; I had no idea he was blind as well. Adding to the mysteries I would encounter next.

Kathleen had recognized his musical effect on her son when at age two when his father gave him a keyboard; therefore, becoming his love for music guiding his way to being "free to fly" as Kathleen had mention in the book. Together they learned their true purpose in life even after the trouble she had brewing with his schooling, piano teachers, doctors, and even television. Airing on a 60 minutes segment on Rex and his talent. Link to video is down below. Playing the piano was the one thing that made Rex feel alive...his music, the world and people who watched him , his ability to play. Kathleen stated in her book and I quote, " For those brief moments, it was as if the piano had freed him from the constraints of his body. It became his eyes, and the notes became his voice."

I absolutely fell in love with this book, and I know that you will too. Reading it before I even knew who Rex was except that he was autistic was the way I hoped it to have happened. The book made me feel as if I was watching along side Kathleen as she was living her life with Rex. It is a beautiful book indeed! "Go, Rex Go!" You are amazing!

Buy the book...Really,check it out

View 60 minutes video
09/28/03: Musically Speaking


A Child's Plea For A Change

>> Saturday, December 27, 2008

My little Dev had some ice cream, which I knew was a no no for some reason. He said," Mommy my tummy hurts. We need to take out all that bad stuff." I had told him that it was probably the milk. It was Breyer's chocolate ice cream. Once an active milk drinker is suddenly turned away from it because he ended up in the bathroom with a sick digestive system. A few days ago, He had some orange juice that was not on the Feingold diet. He was now complaining of it hurting him as well. I had showed him a bag of Doritos that was a big no no for the Feingold diet and GFCF diet. He said he didn't want those either. He is now sitting at the table drawing on a piece of paper being very good. As the days went by, I've noticed that he is learning what is not good. He is starting to realize all along what I've been telling him. These foods are obviously bothering him, and he just doesn't want anything else to do with it. I hope so anyways at least for home if not for school. Then again he is always full of surprises, and he may stay away since he knows what it makes him feel like. I'm not sure what Ed thinks about it. He never really said, but I can tell a difference when he isn't flooded with all the bad ingredients. Unfortuantly, I am having a hard time getting my husband to understand that modern day foods are filled with many toxins that can alter a persons behavior causing a variety of symptoms. I believe that it would help the entire family, but when you can't agree on something then there isn't much you can do. As far as the children goes, I don't think that it will be too hard to eliminate some if not all of the ingredients. I do have a list of all possible problems with chemicals from the Feingold diet. I will be more than happy to provide you with that list if you are wanting to see what is on it. Thanks again and see you all soon.


How We've Been...

>> Friday, December 19, 2008

This week has been a busy one for us. Christmas is coming and the boys can't wait to see what they have gotten for Christmas this year. We did have a mishap with "Ed" at school one day this week. We had forgotten to give him his ADHD medicine that morning, and by the time he was a school for no more than two hours. His sensitive to sound struck him awful that day. He was having problems with the noise in the classroom during spelling as he sat at his desk with his head down and his ears covered. The intercom had interrupted his sensitivity as well. The teacher had to call in his therapist to the school to remove him from class. She immediately called me once she had talked with him for a few, hoping to relax him to where he was able to function again in the classroom. She asked me if anything was wrong at home. I said "no" as she explained to me what he was having difficulty with. I immediately went to the school with his medication, to meet with her about the situation. I instantly saw the difficulties he was having that day. He was twisting his hands together in his lap and moving his legs back and forth. As he was asked to talk about thinking about going back to class, he replied, "I don't want to be here." I explained to him how important school was and that he needed to try again once he felt calm enough to return." He didn't really have a reply to speak of. After we had sat talking for a while, it was time to go. She took "Ed" back to her room to finish playing hangman, and then allow time for his medicine to take effect. She had told me that she wasn't sure if she'd be calling me back. I went home in the rain and braced myself for another call that never came. I was happy to feel that somehow he was able to relax himself from all the noise for just a moment. "Ed" has always been the touchy type. Sensory issues that I felt were there from the time he was born or at least six months of age. Laying him down when he was asleep only left him to awaken as soon as I even tried to remove my hands from his body. His difficulty in sleeping took a toll on us all. Back then, we had no idea what he was really going through, and that made it hard for anyone to understand what was really going on. He still has problems relaxing to go to bed. Like now.... it's 10:40 p.m. and he will not accept the idea that it is way past his bedtime and all he can think about is the candy he couldn't find. How long have I been doing this...every night seems like. He has become an excessive talker even more so now than when he was younger. He will repeat what he says now stumbling somewhat over words until you answer him or pay attention to exactly what he is wanting you to know, hear, or see. I'm not sure if his stumbling ex. I...I..have....and so on is much of a concern, because most of the time he can speak normally. "His ADHD medication is helping with the ADHD, but it could be aggravating his autism symptoms." Lately, he's been very annoyed at the presence of loud noise, that interferes with what he is doing. Lot's of agitation and bickering. The boys are in desperate need to visit the DAN doctor and for me to come to terms on how I am supposed to transform their diets hoping that some of this would be put to rest. I'm trying to come up with a mental plan of my own, but it falls apart as my mind goes blank due to my own unique differences from the world around me. I feel like my mind is struggling in a way similar to the boys, but I'm not as broken as they are. I'm an overly emotional person, who finds it hard to comprehend text without reading the same sentence over and over again to try and understand it's meaning. I never learned how to multiply like most kids. My brain just couldn't absorb the memory necessary to complete it. It's the little things that I find in myself that allows me to put myself in their shoes with an understanding of how hard it is for them to deal with life and all it's fragile moments. I'd have to say they are doing well, if ADHD/autism could somehow be controlled to the point where they can deal with the difficult times. Hyperactivity is a major challenge for them, and they have a long way to go before they could even stay in a calm mood without being agitated with themselves to the point that they break down into a depressed state of mind. Their emotions still run high, and controlling those emotions will take time.
"Dev" has a new challenge now with a tooth. The poor dear. His bottom teeth (the first ones to come out) is just beginning to get loose; however, his permanent tooth is making it's way through the skin right behind his baby tooth. I can just imagine the pain he is in, but he doesn't seem to react to it much. I've been using orajel to help, so maybe it is more easy for him to deal with it. He's only requested it once since the first time I gave it to him, and I plan to have been handed the tube to help ease the pain. I haven't gotten a hold of the dentist yet, and hoping that he doesn't have to have it pulled out. Maybe it will continue to get looser and falling out on it's own. Only timing will tell, and I hope that it is on his side. Not having to go through that trauma would be a blessing.
Well, I guess I'll be signing off to regain my ground to fall asleep, and say good bye to this long day.


A Monday Night And ADHD

>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unfortunately, the kids had candy. Only 2 suckers, 2 jaw breakers, and 2 now and laters that only "Ed" had. Yet, it was a night of total chaos. Since the boys are diagnosed with HFA/ADHD, I feel it is sometimes difficult for me to distinguish the difference between the two, so to me I feel that they just go hand in hand. So what made them explosive...sugar or the colors added to the candy. I'd say both, but more so the colors. It was just one thing after another. Either we didn't have what they wanted to eat to being completely unable to be disciplined. "Ed " was upset from the start because he wasn't wanting to be line leader anymore at school. He said he couldn't hear because he was so far away. Guess that meant that he would keep walking once the teacher told him to stop. Not sure about that one. Took awhile for him to calm down and regain control of himself. Then he had candy to make it worse. After a while, I had calmed him down enough to get him on the computer to play a game to keep his attention on something while I was dealing with "Dev". He is another story in itself. "Dev" is the one who will go around bugging you I guess. He likes to be right by my side all the time and is frequently being somewhat of a bully. He will come up behind you poke on you, push you, and hit on you. I understand that he is only doing it because he thinks it is funny, but sometimes I feel like it's to the point were I say enough. It can be quite painful and with me suffering from undiagnosed joint pain it really takes a lot out of me. I'm having to watch out for scratching as well when I'm physically moving them ( yes, both) from one place to another to avoid more dangerous situations. This is pretty much how the entire night went until they were in the bed asleep. I see a lot of hyperactivity around here, and the autism silliness just flows around along with it. So I am doing a lot of overlooking with behaviors as long as they are not trying to hurt others which does happen frequently. It's always been that way around here even since they were little. I just pull myself together and hope I don't go nuts as well.


Salicylate.... A problem among us all

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

I was lucky enough to receive a packet from the Feingold Association Of the United States. Inside I found a whole new perspective on how companies alter foods with modern technology. Salicylate sensitivities also a common with children who have ADHD and/or autism, but anyone can have a sensitivity to it. My children suffer from both ADHD and autism. There are many symptoms of a salicylate intolerance. I found a good list of them at
Do you or your child ever have any of the following: Gets upset to easily; Distractible/short attention span; Impatient, doesn't seem to hear you; Aggressive or disruptive; Irritable, Difficulty sitting through a meal; Doesn't recognize danger; Nightmares/sleep difficulties; Bedwetting, daytime wetting; Runs, doesn't walk; Doesn't finish projects; Compulsively repeats actions; Talks too much or too loudly; Fights/argues; Overreacts to touch, sound, and lights; Accident-prone; Frequent or chronic physical complaints, such as headaches, stomach aches, asthma, hives, ear infections, or constipation and/or diarrhea. The list of symptoms I have provided to you is from a booklet I received from The Feingold Program, "This Child Needs Help." 1-800-321-3287. Also, The Feingold Program uses foods and other products that are free of the following: Synthetic (artificial) colors: Synthetic (artificial) flavors; Aspartame (artificial sweeteners): Preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ; Aspirin and food which contain aspirin-like compounds called salicylates (such as apples, grapes, oranges, tomatoes). Yes, even too much vegetables and fruits can be harmful due to naturally occurring salicylates. After a favorable response has been established, the salicylate-containing foods may be reintroduced one at a time and tested for tolerance. As always, consult your doctor for more information. Something else I want to mention about food colorings. Most food colors are derived from petroleum, and contain lead, mercury, arsenic and a variety of other harmful chemicals. Research shows that all the artificial colors cause DNA changes at low doses, and can damage nerve development dramatically when combined with other additives. Again, this is taken from the booklet from the Feingold Association of the United States. You may also become a member of the Association if you wish to get total access to all of their information you may become a member at their website: Feingold Association of the United States
Have a wonderful day and I hope you will consider what you put into your diet when there is so much out there that can harm us. Please keep researching this subject elsewhere on the web and you will be amazed at what you find. Thanks for reading as always, and I hope to turn on a few light bulbs with such a dangerous subject.

I am updating on the Feingold diet. Talking with the national director of the Feingold Association, I am understand that this diet is a choice for you and your family. There are no reports of a test to calculate probable sensitivities. She has told me by email that and I quote," The essence of the Feingold diet is that you ingest more of the good stuff and less of the bad." The bad being the food colors, additives, salicylates, preservatives, and other modern day technological advances in enhancing a foods taste, texture, or life of the product. Up coming post will include some of the behaviors my children are having problems with. See you all soon.


Christmas Joy For The Boys

>> Sunday, December 14, 2008

The boys have received some Christmas joy this year when grandma, great-grandma, and an uncle came to visit with a big tree including the lights, and decorations. The boys had a wonderful time helping put it together. Here is "Ed" doing his part. He was the one who worked on it the most putting all the decorations on except for what he couldn't reach. "Dev" helped too, but his attention span fell short so he just ran around the house. He is very good at that, and always pretending to be a car running up and down the hallway. It took us a good 3 or more hours to get it all done. To bad it was so big I couldn't fit it in the living room, so it sits in the kitchen. Strange place for a tree; especially the big one. I kept the small one in the living room and added another strand of lights to it so it looks even better now. Mom will be coming out next week I guess to see how we did while she heads south to pick up my sister's twins for Christmas. She will be very happy to see what the boys have done. This is our first year with a big tree so it really caught the boys eyes. It kept them very busy until it was bed time, and that made me very happy. Mom has also given me a singing Santa Clause that sings "Here comes Santa Clause..." "Dev" LOVES him very much and always wants to hear him sing. He goes around the house snapping his fingers in a unique way and dancing around the house. He is so cute be-bopping to music he likes. Well, I guess I'll be closing now since everyone else is in bed. Maybe I should be as well, take care of yourself and may all your dreams come true.


O' Little Tree

>> Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Holiday's from out family to yours. I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who are helping us out this year for Christmas with the boys. So thanks from the bottom of my heart to all the teachers, their school therapist and her little helpers, and the Angel Tree (Salvation Army) donors. Christmas is hard to come by for some of us who live on a budget with nothing to spare. We have a small tree, but the love, help, and support makes it feel 10 feet tall. I am excited to see what they will receive from their true Santa Clause. They are two very lucky boys to be loved by so many. Boys, I hope that you get everything that you want for Christmas this year and so much more. We love you two very much, and hope all your dreams come true...just don't break anything. LOL


Feeling Lost With Doctors

>> Sunday, December 7, 2008

As many may know, my boys are dealing with rashes (eczema and psoriasis). I have taken the boys to a pediatrician hoping I would find the help that I need so much. Didn't get to far with that one, just learned I need to find a DAN(Defeat Autism Now) doctor. I turned to my yahoo group ASD-MS, and was told of one in Louisiana. I am not able to travel so far, so now I really feel lost. Before I just jump in to putting them on the GFCF diet, I need to know what they are allergic to (if anything). As far as the Fiengold Diet goes, removing the colors and dyes in their diet seemingly means that it would be my choice in doing this. I believe it would help them as well. I have asked a few people what my options are now with finding a doctor. Maybe they will help. If anyone who reads my blog knows of any options that I might have, please let me know. I am just wanting to care for them the way I should, and finding the right doctor to test them is my top priority. I will search the web and hope to find something, but I just don't know. Thanks for reading and I'll be happy to hear from you.


Food Additives and Your Child's Behavior

>> Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I was searching something to write about today and I found something on the food additives that so many companies put into food. So how bad it is...I'd say very. I came across the Feingold Diet .
I've never heard of this diet, but it makes such obvious sense. Part of the overview is this, and I quote,"
Numerous studies show that certain synthetic food additives can have serious learning, behavior, and/or health effects for sensitive people. The Feingold Program (also known as the Feingold Diet) is a test to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering particular symptoms. It is basically the way people used to eat before "hyperactivity" and "ADHD" became household words, and before asthma and chronic ear infections became so very common.
The Feingold Association believes that patients have a right to be given complete, accurate information on all of the options available in the treatment of ADHD as well as other conditions. Sometimes, the best results come from a combination of treatments. This might include using the Feingold Diet plus allergy treatments, or plus nutritional supplements, or plus a gluten-free/casein-free diet, or even Feingold + ADHD medicine. We believe that it's useful to start with the Feingold Diet since it is fairly easy to use, not expensive, and because removing certain synthetic additives is a good idea for anyone."
As I have addressed in previous posts that my children's therapist has always suggested removing the colors from their food and drinks. I suggest as well removing colors from other products as well. From medicines to play-doh. These colors really affect my kids in my own opinion. They usually get even more hyper when they eat or drink something with any colors in it. Talk to your doctor about removing colors from your/their diet. Explore all the possibilities of allergies and their source if possible. Every child is different so getting them tested will help you know what types of allergies they may have. Explore the Feingold Diet and see if you think it is right for your loved ones.


Staph In The Family..."Dev"

>> Monday, November 17, 2008

What was thought a spider bite, may in fact be a staph infection. "Dev" had a bump on his leg just above his knee which started to get infected. The middle is bright red and probably about the size of a half-dollar. The center was hot with a white inter-circle. As time went by, a large circular area around the center circle was red from infection spreading out into his leg. After having it for a few days, I took him to the Dr. In the trauma room, where they get your vitals, they immediately knew that it was staph since the center was not decaying like it would have been if it was a spider bite. So here I am giving him more antibiotics, and bathing him in bleach. (1/4 cup per tub of water). Cleaning will cost more due to washing everything in bleach; even the laundry. Information on staph infections is found at Kids Health. Which is one of my favorite sites for kids conditions. Staph infections are really something to look out for and spreading it to other family members is very easy. Be cautious and watch those bumps that you or your family may have. Keep well, and we will try here as well.


Government To Ban 6 Food Additives Linked To Child Hyperactivity

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

How many times have I heard from my boy's therapist at school that taking away the red and yellow artificial dyes away from their diet would help with hyperactivity, and now I can see why. Released on November 13, 2008 from Mail Online in United Kingdom is an article about the government banning these types of artificial colors or dyes in food. You can read the article here.

The suspected dyes that they are considering are as follows.

Tartrazine (E102); Quinoline yellow (E104); Sunset yellow (E110); Carmoisine (E122); Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura red (E129).

Here in the United States, most are know as just red and yellow with a specific number following such as 5 or 6. That is why I try to eliminate anything with either food color no matter what number it has with it. I can immediately tell a difference in their hyperactivity within minutes of them having a food or drink with these colors.
I suggest trying this just to see if it would help with your child's ADHD hyperactivity. Hopefully this is one more way to solving the mysteries behind hyperactivity and the way chemicals can have an effect on us.


GFCF As An Alternative Treatment

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

The GFCF diet is an alternative treatment for autistic children who apparently suffer from gastro-intestinal problems. This is a very difficult diet to follow and must be followed specifically, or all your hard work will not pay off. So where do you start? I suggest talking with a trusted Dr. or a dietitian. There are two blood test that can be done to check for problems. They are the IgG and IgE tests, that can be done by a pediatrician or an allergist, as noted here at TACA (Talk About Curing Autism).

Symptoms of gastro-intestinal problems (needing GFCF diet), are easily spotted. This reprint done by Jenny W. is my favorite place to view symptoms. Symptoms can be found all over the internet, but I will use these for today.
Does your child...
* Have a blotchy color to their skin over part or most of their bodies
*"Shakiness" before or immediately after eating
*Enjoys sweets before eating a meal
*Eating salty foods
*Drinks lots of fluids during the day
Other symptoms can include irregular stool patters, sinus and congestion, urinating more at night, history of psoriasis, eczema, and/or other rashes, ear infections and prolonged use of antibiotics. The list goes on and on so it's wise to read up on it. Especially when it comes on how to do the diet. It is recommended that you start out slowly to avoid withdraws from the foods that you are missing.
Friends have recommended to me to take out the casein before the glutein to allow time for their bodies to adjust. One friend removed the glutein after three months of being casein free. Noticing overall changes within six months of treatment.
Some of the best websites for the GFCF diet are as follows:
TACA Talking About Curing Autism
Nutrition and Autism

Groups also help when it comes to having questions and concerns. There are dozens of forums to choose from. I recommend the following:
GFCF Kids (Yahoo group)
GFCF Recipes (Yahoo group)
Autism Forum for autism

Choosing to go GFCF can be a difficult process, but with the help from your doctor, you can make the right decisions for you and your family. There are tests that can be done, but once you know the symptoms and how they affect your body, then you will know if it is right for you and if you need to have a word with your doctor. Thanks and have a great day. There is more to come later on about foods and what is ok and what is not.



11y/o high functioning autistic from Oregon...gone MISSING!!

>> Friday, November 7, 2008

As I was checking my emails, I had one from Google Alerts on high functioning autism. When I clicked on the message the first entry was on an 11 year old HFA (high functioning autism). My heart sank....Jonathan Rios was having an argument with his foster dad about a broken video game and when he left his 11 year old in the car to pick up another child from school, he was gone when they returned to the car. It is said that he does have a history of running away. This is from Oregon Live News.

My heart goes out to the family of this child and I hope that he returns to you safely.

Trouble with getting "lost" in public or running away is quite common among people with autism...especially children. When "Ed" was 4, he would unlock the front door and run out circling two or three blocks, and returning straight home after I chased him telling him to stop. I was terrified that he was doing this, and there was never a time when I actually caught him. He was too fast. I then had chains put on the front and back doors to prevent him from doing this. Just after that he didn't do it anymore. This is called "Environment and Surroundings: making them autistic friendly" from The National Autistic Society is well worth taking the time to read it. Here is another one from the Autism Society of Canada. Safety is a major priority when it comes to autism. Different environments affect them in certain ways that they just want to be away from it or to be drawn to something that interested in. I have never left either one of my boys out of my sight...because they were so prone to "run off". Well, take care guys and I'll get going. Amanda


Infants, Playtime, and Autism

>> Thursday, November 6, 2008

U.S. researchers have discovered that strange play in infants such as spinning objects and looking from the corner of their eyes at certain objects. So now the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that all infants be screened for autism before the age of 2. I noticed a change in "Ed",my oldest, after the first week of birth with not being able to sleep without being held. He began to look at things from the corner of his eyes by the time he was probably one, and did for many years after. Don't remember him spinning things though. "Dev" was doing this when he was six months old. I have seen the changes in play in the way this article
does with my own children well before they were two. Maybe we need to educate to be parents on the signs of autism. I knew they had autism once I learned how to see the differences in their behavior and their view of life, and what autism was in the first place. Once "Dev" started spinning puzzle pieces with the wooden peg on top on the floor, I immediately knew. I was telling my family that he had autism as well for several months to a few years (maybe 2), and all I was told was that he was fine. I knew better. It's a mother's instinct to see something different about their child. He was diagnosed about 2 years ago. My heart pours out for my boys, and I wish that they didn't have to have autism, but they do. They are my pride and joy, so I am being strong for them and hope that I can provide them with everything they need. Thanks again and have a nice night. Amanda


The GFCF Diet

>> Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well, looks like I am on my way to the gfcf diet that a lot of autisic children are on. A gfcf diet is needed when a child has gastrointestinal problems, and 80% of children with autism has a GI problem. It will take me a while to learn how to get it together and go for it. I am going to have to learn everything there is to know. I have provided a list of links to the side of my blog for you to enjoy. I have a friend that is giving me a bag of chickpea flour. I'll see what I can do with that. I'm just hoping that I am able to do it with ease. Planning will be the name of the game. Guess I'll be needing gfcf cookbooks for Christmas this year, a bread machine, and a grinder. Guess I need to ask what utensils are used in making flours and other things. Anybody have a suggestion? Leave a comment and I'll get back with you. Signing off until we get moved.... we finally got a three bedroom for the boys. They are having problems sharing a bedroom. Then "Ed"s therapist called me yesterday and said that his ADHD medication was aggervating his autism symptoms. So I still don't know what we are going to do about that. Still haven't heard from the Dr. Goodbye for now.


Detecting Autism Early....New procedure

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early detection for autism is very important, and today some are not diagnosed until they are at least three years of age or longer. There is now a new way to test for autism as early as 9 months, which is great. The researcher's at Canada's McMaster University has developed a computerized test to track the eye movements of an infant with sensors that aims to predict autism in children. It administers five eye-tracking tests over ten minutes. It measures the direction and fixation of a child's eyes to an image or human face. Yale's University's Toddler Developmental Disibilities Clinic uses similar techniques to study patterns in children ages three months to three years. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab has created a software and in-home recording devices that track the habits of a newborn, to find clues to detecting autism early on in life. I believe that this is great. Everything helps when it comes to diagnosing autism early, and I hope that they have great findings, and amaze the world. Here is the article from out of Abilene, Texas.


Learn Occupational Therapy At Home

>> Thursday, October 23, 2008

I came across this on occupational therapy videos and thought that I would like to learn how to do that. Occupational therapy helps people of all ages learn how to function and interact with others on a day to day basis, and is often used for children with autism. Here
are the benefits of occupational therapy for children with autism.

TRP Wellness launches new DVD series for children with special needs
. These DVD's are reasonable if you are interested in taking a look at these occupational DVD's .

Hope you will enjoy them.


Autism Support Network

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Autism Support Network has launched it's free online support community to help parents and others learn about the autism spectrum disorder. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article on it, explaining the opportunities that are available. To join in with the Autism Support Network, you can share your opinion and share your experiences with each other. Another one I recommend is AutismWeb. I currently have a poll up to see who all has had issues with Heb B shots, jaundice, and autism. Please sign up for this group and take my poll. There are lots of nice people there to talk to. I've noticed some parents are concerned with these three combined, and I'm hoping to find the end of the light for this. I appreciate any comments that you may have, and could use them on this subject.


The Early Years With My 7y/o

>> Monday, October 20, 2008

I had the flu when I found out I was pregnant with "Ed" my 7y/o. I was given antibiotics to help with the kidney infection that I had as well. My pregnancy went great no morning sickness at all. Everything was going well, then later on in my pregnancy, I found out that he had choroid plexus cysts. I was almost terrified to learn they wanted to do a down's syndrome test on the amniotic fluid. I didn't however... who would? There has been questions raised on this type of cyst, and autism, but there isn't much relivant information on it. When he was born, he had jaundice pretty bad. This caused him to sleep most of the time during the first week. After he had gotten better, sleep would almost never happen. I could hold him and rock him to sleep, but once I put him down, he immediately woke up. We'd be up all night trying to get him to go to sleep...everything from 2:00 a.m. car rides to sleeping without putting him down. Here I was trying to sleep as well with a baby having to be held to sleep. He continued this until he was 18 months old and "Dev" was born. I was trying to get him to sleep the morning I went to have "Dev". Once "Ed" was 6 months old he was already becoming a vilolent child. Kicking me to change diapers, and standing up in his crib falling face forward into the crib mattress, just to name a few. By the time he was one, he began to throw huge toys at me just for fun. He was still not talking by this time. I would sit in front of his high chair and say "mom" over and over again, but wouldn't get a response. I started crying wondering why my child wouldn't talk. I had no idea what autism was, and never seen the movie, "The Rainman". I was stuck and didn't know a thing about what was going on. It wasn't until a nurse from the health department came to check on "Dev" was had just been born that I learned that "Ed" needed to be evaluated. This took a couple of months as well. He was evaluated by a rehab center and was in need of a specialist for his toe walking. The specialist basically told me that he should come out of it once he grows, then he gave me the options if he didn't. I didn't like those options, and glad that he did out grow it. He was put into therapy for his speach for about 2 years. It wasn't until time for preschool that I didn't get a diagnosis of autism for him. We had an appointment with the special education director of the local school system that he got to see a psychologist and had tested him for autism. From the school, I received a diagnosis for him. He went to preschool and started showing bad behavior. The schools over looked it leaving me to find other help for him. By the time he was in kindergarten, his behavior grew worse. His regular teacher had said that if he doesn't get his behavior under control, she would have to take him out of her room and keep him in special ed. all day. I felt bad for him, and still I had no where to turn. Then he went to 1st grade, and I found out that the local mental health agency had a therapist that went to schools was available to him. I signed him up, and now he is doing better. I did put him on medication, because if I didn't the behavior would not have ended. He is currently on Vyvanse and Clonidine which works well for him. He has previously been on Adderall-XR and Focalin. The Adderall-XR made him loose his appitite, and the Focalin made him unfocused and not understand what was going on around him. He is doing very well on the Vyvanse, and doing much better with his behavior. He is continuing his good grades in school making mostly A's. He has come a long way and I'm very proud of him.


McCain, Obama go head to head in last debate!!!

>> Sunday, October 19, 2008

Politics and autism is a main political point in history. Autism is big news, and there is much to know about the conditions that affect so many people today. Research is still on going for thousands of researchers around the world. There has also been a lot going on in the United Kingdom as well as other countries. It is spreading all over the world. Could it be an epidemic like some say...I wonder. I am quoting the first paragraph of a face off between Barack Obama and John McCain. It's a transcript for that debate. HEMPSTEAD, New York (CNN) -- Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and Democrat Sen. Barack Obama faced off at Hofstra University Wednesday night in their last debate before Election Day. Bob Schieffer of CBS was the moderator. Here is a transcript of the debate.
It is quite lengthy so I would allow time to read it. About 20-30 minutes. This is what I thought:
CNN Presidential Candidate Debate Transcript

John McCain said about autism:

"She'll be my partner. She understands reform. And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children."

This is very well put.
What Barack Obama said about autism:

"I do want to just point out that autism, for example, or other special needs will require some additional funding, if we're going to get serious in terms of research. That is something that every family that advocates on behalf of disabled children talk about."

This to me doesn't seem right. I quote, " If we're going to get serious in terms of research." I felt like he doesn't think it needs to be a serious thing. This is my opinion only.


Have a Heart Horse Rescue

>> Friday, October 17, 2008

On October 6, 2008, an article in the Tupelo Daily Journal was published about a women named Sheila Horton. She has a non-profit organization in Baldwyn, Mississippi for the benefit of rescuing horses from abusive owners. She currently has a total of 18 horses and one maybe two are pregnant. Her maximum is 12 horses at a time. She is making this her full time job to care for these animals. She is in desperate need of funding due to a rise in the cost of feeding and vet care. When I read this article in the newspaper, I felt that there must be something that I can do. I contacted her to see if she would allow me to post about her organization. She agreed, and even invited my boys out to see them. I am hoping that you will feel just as concerned as I am and will donate to help keep these horses safe and healthy. The article in the newspaper can be read here. The web site for her is as follows Have A Heart Horse Rescue.


Concerned about Vaccinations

>> Monday, October 13, 2008

Many are concerned about vaccinations causing autism. My husband and I think our two boys was caused by genetics. That is what I was told by a few psychologist. I don't know about any family history on either side, but do see characteristics of possible problems on my husbands side. I am adopted, so sadly I don't know anything about my genes. But who really knows if it is completely genetic or not. I haven't really made up my mind on the issue yet, and I'm still learning everything I possibly can about this condition that affects so many precious lives. I am sending out word on what I can find on the subject, but leaving it up to you to decide for yourself and hopefully help you in making a decision on what you feel went wrong. I'll explore research, opinions, evidence, etc.
First off we will discuss vaccine concerns. These are from
Dr. Ari Brown's Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby's Shots
This is an in depth report on why vaccines do not cause autism. The next one is the The following list of studies published in peer-reviewed journals is provided so that parents and practitioners can themselves compare the balance of evidence about MMR and autism. MMR vaccine does not cause autism examine the evidence.
There are other articles to read concerning vaccines on their website. Here is something on WebMD Autism-Vaccine Link: Evidence Doesn't Dispel Doubts
, but let's take a look at the genetic research on the issue. A gene has been found to a possible link to autism. The researchers have identified that the chromosome 11 gene may be linked to autism, but it can't be pen-pointed. They have also found 5 or six more genes that are linked to autism susceptibility. There are as many as 30 genes that can be identified with a link to autism. Article on Gene That May Lead to Austism.
Check out related stories in this article for more. Searching
for autism will give you lots of news about autism and science. Here is a pdf of autism genes 2005 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development .
Parents have may idea's on what causes autism, but I on the other hand has accepted that my boys have autism. To me it's not about what causes it, but more about what I can do to make it better for them. That is my goal, and not to blame a bunch of vaccine preservatives, or worry about the genetic science of autism. Accepting is the main part instead of having my head spin on looking for it's causes on how my boys have obtained the condition. For other parents out there, you may have decided what causes your child's autism, but for the proof of mine I don't know. I have given you the research and now it's your turn to decide for yourself. Thanks again, Amanda


Autism Survey

>> Sunday, October 12, 2008

Elizabeth Allen is needing a survey of parents who have children with Asperger's Syndrome. If you would like to take the survey for about 20 minutes or so please do so. This is the note she sent to my group ASD-MS at yahoo groups. Thank you for your time and hope that she will receive lots of responses.

My name is Elizabeth Allen and I am currently a
special education
graduate student
at KU. I am currently working on my masters project,
which is a transtion survey specifically designed for parents with
children with Asperger's Syndrome. I am looking for organizations who would be willing either to email this survey to parents with children with Asperger's Syndrome, or to post it on your site.


Autism and Toys

>> Friday, October 10, 2008

When it comes to autism, there are groups of children who have sensory problems of all kinds. I believe that toys for autism spectrum disorders, will give the children the necessary skills at home that they can receive in therapy. Now you to can have toys like these to soothe your child during the tough times. My two boys have angry bears that their therapist gave them at school. They are not allowed to stomp or throw them, but use them when they are angry and wanting to hit others. Instead, they hit on the angry bear to release the angry that has overcome them. I at home have used them as all feelings bears. Mine have feeling of sadness, frustration, anger, lonely, and so on. My 5 year old uses his as a love bear. He plays with stuffed bears with a babyish talk. He's cute. They also have a great deal of silliness. So therefore, toys like these can be found here and other sites as well Toys For Autism.


What is Autism

>> Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's very important to know the sign's of autism spectrum disorders. Some children may have only a few and some can experience most or all of them. It is very thorough on the signs of autism.



>> Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I believe in this story from It's about how having autism may mean more intelligence. My oldest son who is in the 2nd grade is highly intelligent. He is in the top of his class. He is an excellent student in Math, Reading, and Spelling. He usually has 100 average in those classes, and in spelling he gets the bonus points as well. He retains information very well, and even so over a long period of time. My youngest son is still learning in kindergarten and is receiving occupational therapy for his handwriting, and is experiencing delays in reading sight words, and sequencing. My husband is also highly intelligent. He is going to college for computer programming and has been in college for two years. He will graduate in 2010, and is maintaining a GPA of 4.0.



>> Monday, October 6, 2008

Hello, my name is Amanda and I have two boy's ages 7 and 5 who are both diagnosed with high functioning autism and secondary ADHD. I will be going thru headlines bringing you information on Autism. I will be talking about everything related to autism, and it's scientific aspects as well. These are only my opinions and experiences that I have with my two boy's, so I hope that you will enjoy them. Thank you and hope to see you in the future. I am still learning so it may take some time for me to get adjusted to the blogging world. Please bear with my while I learn everything and get adjusted.