Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rally at the Capitol regarding services being slashed

Whew!! What was supposed to be a rally from 11 am - 1 pm ended up being an all day event. Cindy and I headed down to the Capitol, picking up Hila on our way in a caravan situation. We navigated our way through and found parking and walked on over. The turnout was impressive. I am not good with crowd estimations so I won't even try. But, there were all disabilities represented it seemed. We realized a little late that the Senate was going to be in session and by the time we meandered over, the gallery seating was full. We eventually stood in the lobby and watched on TVs. There wasn't a lot we could hear or understand really. After their session we kind of wondered "well what now?" since it was about 12:30. Cindy and I walked over to move the car and decided to try and sit in on the House session. We got there early and got seats. It was anticlimactic to say the least. It seemed a little like the "bring your child to work day" episode. Certain legislators would get up and "introduce" their little friend(s) from the gallery. We had quite the showing of folks from the humane society as well as the senior citizens bus group from Tucson. I gave Cindy more than one "are you kidding me?" looks. It was pretty ridiculous at times. There was this auctioneer-type lackey who kept saying the motions like he was hawking some of grandma's old furniture at an estate sale. I had a hard time understanding him. The only person who acknowledged the presence of the disabled community was Krysten Sinema. I just loved her, more on why later. After that we kind of looked dumbstruck. We headed downstairs again and basically felt that both sides decided to "reconvene" on Monday, maybe they thought the angry mobs would have subsided by then and they could slash our budgets with nary a peep, who knows. So off to the kiosk we went where you can leave you comment on a bill or request time to speak on the floor. I did mine and while Cindy was doing her's I noticed that the budget appropriations committee was supposed to be meeting right after the house and senate were done with their earlier sessions. Off we went to find that room. The first 2 were full so they did an overflow for the crowds. We took seats right near the TV. It was delayed about 45 minutes due to a closed door session of the senate. And then once they did start we had to hear the 1st on the agenda, community college budgets. Then on to the main event. Here's a rundown:

Aboud - had to leave to catch a plane, pointed out that if we cut music therapy rates by 55% then some clinics will be forced to close and that is a doubly bad thing. Loved her.

Aguirre - had just met with music therapists and parents, understood the need for this modality. Loved her.

Sinema - She was a ball of fire, she stood up to those good ole boys and didn't let them jerk her around. And, I guessed that she was also a lawyer (in addition to being a social worker) because she did the old "only ask a question that you know the answer to" and pointed out the lunacy of some people's theories and ideas. You could tell it stuck in their craw that this little "girl" was in their building and not backing down. LOVED THIS GIRL!!!

Kavanaugh - Said that "maybe we should drop music therapy altogether", needless to say did not like this man and sent him an email "explaining" this modality since his ignorance was clear. Boo, hiss.

These people can be found on our state legislation webpage if you care to drop them notes about what is going on. Basically unemployment rates are rising which is causing a budget crisis. Our developmental disabilities agency was already facing a deficit, even before the rise in unemployment and recent cuts. But, I am not sure WHY unemployment insurance is lumped into DDD (dept. of Dev. Disability). Most (2/3) of DDD's funding is with federal money = they cannot reduce benefits or they lose that money. That would create an even bigger deficit. So.....they had to cut music therapy, CPS response to level 4 threats and of course homeless and administration meaning support coordinators, CPS officials, etc. Then Kavanaugh basically said "how DARE you cut CPS benefits!!!!! Kids could be at risk!!!!". Well, our kids are at risk for further delays if we slash our services too. And, this is the SAME body that charged DES with "figuring out" what to cut. So, you throw it on DES and then make THEM out to be the bad guys. I laughed because Member Sinema was the ONLY person to point that out, that group approved the cuts. They didn't care that 2/3 of the DES programs are basically untouchable and they needed to cut $150 million. It was THEIR job to figure it out and now take the heat for those decisions. And yes, I am a parent effected by this and NO I do not hate Dr. Blessings. I see this as an incredibly difficult and jacked up decision that must be made and I could see how hard it was for her. She wasn't the one who said things must be cut, she was just the one given the ax to do the dirty work.

There it is in a nutshell. We left early because it was already 5:30 and frankly I had a headache and wanted to see my kids at least a little before leaving for 4 days. So I can't tell you what else was said. I had really had enough anyways. So off of here to finish packing, see you guys on Wednesday or so. But here are some photos of the day:

Inside the House
Me and the Coester Cares Therapy Clinic Group (part of them anyways). I am standing next to Keith, Matthew's awesome music therapist. Brian, the clinic owner is next to him and then two other therapists.

Me and Hila in front of the Capitol

Me and Cindy in front of the Capitol

A look at one group of the crowd.

Vaccine court victory for one family

We have a victory of sorts, just weeks after the "vaccine court" ruled against families with children damaged by vaccines, they rule in favor of the Banks family for the same thing. They did it quietly, without all the fanfare of the previous rulings. Here's the article:

The downside for most of us is that many of us didn't see dramatic changes after vaccines, or we noticed changes but they were brushed off by our pediatricians and we didn't think to follow up with EEG's and MRI's. What about all the environmental crap that our kids have been exposed to before we knew just how dangerous these things were and got them out of our food and homes? In this day and age, why is it so hard to understand Autism is in part environmentally caused? How can we continue to pollute our bodies with bad food with additives we can't even pronounce, GMO food, pesticides, herbicides, toxins in our baby bottles like BPA, etc. etc. without ramifications? Unfortunately for us, the list can go on and on too with toxins. There has been a recent concession from the National Institute for Health (NIH) saying the further research of vaccines and environmental toxins as antecedents for Autism in a specific subset of kids with mitichondrial disorders. That catch phrase has gotten a lot of attention and is still promoted as "rare". I would say less rare than people think. My son, very mild end of Autism, DOES indeed have a mitochondrial dysfunction. You know what? So do I more than likely. Kids get their mito from moms. Got chronic fatigue?? Then you have a mito issue too. I have joked for years that I have chronic fatigue. Maybe it wasn't just trying to do too much and "in my head". I have started some of the same mito support supplements as my son. Do you think insurance would give us a 2-for?? Probably not. I am getting at the point that I rejoice that some families are getting settlements and even more than that, vindication for us all that this aggressive vaccine schedule and other environmental toxins DO contribute to Autism. But for the majority of us, we are neurologists with access to testing like John Poling, we didn't suffer seizures in our child that required heavy medical documentation. We experienced small changes, hints that told us something was taking our kids away from us. So we persevere. We challenge "modern" medicine with our hokey witch doctor tactics (said completely tongue in cheek in case you are unaware of my use of heavy sarcasm) and we trudge on. We probably won't ever get a big settlement. That is OK by me. What I hope in all of this we gain recognition that we are not crazy and an understanding and awareness of what we are doing to our kids. And with that said, off to the Capitol for a rally to save our music therapy!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Organic Acid Test results and yeast/bacteria and gut dysbiosis

So...I know I have been lagging on posts, I apologize. Life has been super crazy and will be even crazier as I plan to head out of town this weekend, alone, no kids! Did you hear my little cheer right there? I love my family but it has been a while since I have been away from them with no other purpose than pure enjoyment and relaxation. So I am super excited. But, I needed to share what else I am cheering, M's recent Organic Acid Test (OAT) results. We got them back last week and had our follow up call with Dr. Woeller yesterday. Since June he's had 4 elevated yeast markers. As of last week we have just 1 elevated marker (and it wasn't even Arabinose, the biggie we were really fighting) and it is just slightly above "normal". His clostridia bacteria was still quite elevated but was half of what it was in the last testing period (October 2008). I am confident in saying that his gut dysbiosis is very close to being healed, HURRAY!!! The next step is to add in ACTOS which is for brain inflammation. That is the off label use, it is usually prescribed for diabetics but the "side effect" has been very effective against brain inflammation. I am so thrilled to be progressing so well. We are close to the end of the treatment protocol schedule. In about 6 weeks we may be able to tackle viral issues which I truly feel are the heart of my son's Autism. He had chicken pox twice, 6 months and 3 years of age. Viruses, specifically Herpes which is what chicken pox is, have been shown to spark Autistic-like symptoms in children. We also have a history of viral issues on both sides of our families. I feel this is key for my son. My husband asked me this morning "so what does that mean if we are the end, do we stop everything?". My assumption is then we do the testing thing. We try removing some supplements and see what happens. We try adding in "no-no" foods and see what happens. I am just so thrilled to be so close to the antiviral approach. We had LOTS of work on M's gut before we could even think about antivirals and we are almost there. I can't smile big enough. It has been hard work, between the diet and supplements but it has worked and more than the lab results, EVERYONE notices what a different child my son is now. He loves playing with kids and he is so expressive and does the "normal" 20 questions with everyone now. And people poo poo biomed? We would be no further than we were last summer without biomed. We are not at the end of our journey by any means but I think it is so crucial to celebrate each small milestone. A new word, heck even a new sound! A new food that is tried, a new attempt to reach out into their little worlds, all great things to celebrate as we all work towards the goal, getting rid of Autism in our kids. I know the road will still be very bumpy and we are not over every last hurdle but I need to take the time to celebrate how far we have come!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Safer bath products

Here are a few recent questions:
Hi Terri! What cream do you use in addition to the salt baths? My daughter has very sensitive skin and usually always breaks out with any soap or creams we use even with shampoo! any suggestions on what to use and where to get them?Thanks! Kristy
Well Kristy, I have not made the Epsom Salt lotions myself but when I do I plan to use either pure cocoa butter or some pure Jojoba or coconut oil. The skin is the largest organ so using products you would feel ok eating is best. The fewer chemicals being absorbed into your child's body is best. I try and limit any petroleum products and all the products with lauryl sulphate and laureth sulphates. The pure products are easier for the body to absorb and less likely to have a reaction. Emu oil may be another very good alternative. We use a prescription medication called Low Dose Naltrexone and it is in an Emu oil base and it has a lot of success as a carrier oil without any negative reactions. I get my stuff at either Sprouts or Whole Foods, I need to check Azure Standard to see if they carry them. I hope that helps!!
Hi Terri! You don't know me but I was referred to your website from Shari and I find it very informative. I am trying, one thing at a time, to become more conscious about what I am putting into and on my boys bodies. I want them to be healthy and strong and to live to their potentials. I truly appreciate all the research and work that you do to help inform others. Anyways... my questions are: What do you feed your children for lunch? and What products do you use to wash their bodies, brush their teeth, lotions, etc?

Hi Taryn,
Thanks so much for the great comments. And good for you for caring about this stuff. Your boys are very lucky!!! I covered a little about lotions above. I use California Baby body wash/shampoo/conditioner for my kids (see pictures above). I have also used some Burt's Bees stuff too. I use Spry gel instead of regular toothpaste, we avoid fluoride for the kiddos too. The Spry gel uses Xylitol which inhibits bacteria growth = inhibits cavities.

Lunches usually consist of a combo of protein, fat, veggies and fruit:

* Applegate Farms Hot Dogs
* Applegate Farms lunch meats
* Low oxalate diet black eyed peas burgers with shredded veggies
* Left over dinners like chicken, spaghetti, salmon, bean burritos with rice tortillas, different rice dishes, etc.
* Applegate farm bacon

* Steamed and mashed sweet potatoes
* Steamed and mashed acorn squash (add a little cinnamon for a sweeter/different taste)
* Cucumbers and tomatoes
* Carrot sticks and celery with peanut butter
* Bubbies pickles
* Broccoli "trees" with a little ketchup for dipping

* Mainly pears or mangos because we are fighting yeast
* Sometimes apple slices
* Fruit cup in pear juice

My son won't eat avocado but my daughter loves them so she eats sliced avo frequently at lunch. They are so healthy with great fats. They also love yogurt (coconut milk) with lunches as well.

I hope that helps!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to find out what toxins are in your child

Stacy asks "I have recently been turned on to your blog from the enlightened homemaker's blog whom I don't know personally but I am drawn to her knowledge as I am yours. I have two sons and one daughter. I don't see signs of Autism in them however my youngest is only 7 months and at 5 months I did take him to get his first set of vaccines. My oldest completed the series and I believe he is fine but then I wonder, he is so sensitive to the wind blowing and has melt downs over it. He also has meltdowns over water being too hot or cold (when everyone around him would be fine about the temp) too much noise or attention bothers him. Anyway, whether or not he is on the spectrum he probably has toxins in him. I am a big juicer, gardener, essential oils user but I feel I am lacking in so many other ways and now I am having discussions with my husband as what to do with our youngest son to finish his vaccines or not. I probably need to go back and read every post you have written, thank you so much for this blog as it has made me more introspective and aware. Where can I start? Where do you take your kid to see what toxins are in them? Sorry this is so long, I have so many questions but I guess I'll begin there. Thank you again!"

First off, thanks for reading my blog and asking questions, I love it! And way to go for delaying all vaccines until 5 months with your youngest!! That alone is a good thing!! It sounds like you are on a great path already with juicing and essential oils use. Your oldest son sounds like he may have some sensory issues. I am not an OT and this is just my opinion. And EVERYONE has sensory issues to an extent so do not take this to mean there is anything "wrong" with your child. But, those issues you describe (sensitive to wind, temperature, and noise) are all very indicative of sensory issues. My son has many of the same ones, especially noise. We did the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol years ago and that helped him a lot in calming down his nervous system. But, some kiddos are just a little more "sensitive" than others. Seems like maybe your son is in that category.

Moving on to how to find out whether your child has toxins in them. Tricky, tricky. Unless you want to start seeing a naturopath and doing a blood draw (which is not fun, speaking from personal experience here) I would suggest a different route. I would suggest maybe finding a good naturopath in your area. We started seeing Dr. Carrie Rittling at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors ( But, my personal Naturopath suggested to give Thuja to my son and daughter, it is a homeopathic remedy designed to help the body handle and excrete the toxins from vaccines. Dr. Matthew Baral, head of pediatrics at the School for Naturpathic Medicine here in Tempe is in charge of bringing in what vaccines. He spoke at a local support group meeting the other night. He touched on this issue. He he also has a clinic for Autism treatment here, partnering with Dr. Jeff Bradstreet. He stated a few things, some I did not catch fully. He stated that they do a Vitamin A protocol along with other supplements.

Here are some things that I would recommend:

* No vaccines before age 2.
* Never give vaccines on a day where your child is showing signs of illness (any runny nose, any fever).
* Never give vaccines on a day where your child is showing signs of an allergic response (food allergy, eczema, etc).
* Give support supplements at the guidance of your naturopath to help mitigate the negative reactions of the vaccines.
* No flu shot, ever.
* No Rota virus vaccines, ever.
* No Hep B vaccine, unless of course your child is having unprotected sex or sharing needles with others on the playground.
* Epsom salts baths or creams. Epsom salts really help detox your body. We do nightly baths for the kids. About a 1/2 cup per bath, waist deep, as warm as they can tolerate and hopefully for at least 15 - 20 minutes. You can also do a cream.
* Big one for helping detox is just keep the junk out. No hydrogenates oils (trans fats), reduce preservatives, dyes, etc. What you cannot pronounce and do not know what it is / does should not go in/on your body. Reduce toxic load in your house, use safer cleaning products, lotions, shampoos, nothing with parabens and lauryl suphates, etc. You skin is your largest organ, choose healthy things to put on it, the junk does get absorbed. Do no buy "flame retardant" sleepwear. It is treated with arsenic. That gets absorbed into their little bodies while they sleep, when they should be regenerating. If you really worry about your kids burning up in a house fire, maybe you have a little work to do around the house to make that less likely. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for peace of mind and leave the toxins out of their sleepwear. Old Navy has non treated sleep wear. There are many, many other things but these are big ones. Reduce the plastic usage in your house, get rid of teflon, go organic if possible. All these little things help keep your body functioning and removing those toxins.
* Make sure your child is having regular bowel movements. This is HUGE. If they are not, get them some magnesium citrate. This is a huge way to get the junk out of their systems. Pee, poop, sweat, the ways we detox. Good exercise is also helpful.
* If you really want to do testing for heavy metals, you can do a hair analysis. It is not 100% reliable and the lack of metals in the hair will actually tell you more. We excrete metals through our hair so you often will find a sibling of a child with Autism who has higher levels of metals in their hair because their body is actually getting rid of them, and the child with Autism's body will hold onto them. But this is the least invasive test.
* Seeing a holistic health professional will be your best bet to maximize your body's detox pathways though, I highly recommend a naturopathic doctor.

I hope that helps Stacy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paul Offit sued for "Autism's False Prophets" - VERY LONG

I had already started thinking of a blog this morning in the shower, before reading about the lawsuit against Paul Offit. Last night I was reading Age of Autism's articles on the recent proceedings of the GMC regarding Andrew Wakefield. Here is the story:

If you don't know who Andrew Wakefield is and you are touched by Autism, you should. The Reader's Digest condensed version is he is a gastroenterologist who did a study in the UK on kids with severe gut issues who also were on the Autism spectrum. He did biopsies and had them (independently) tested and was the first to show vaccine strain measels embedded in the gut lining of these kids. Vaccine strain, not community acquired. You see, vaccines can go a little haywire when you bypass the "normal" immune response of acquiring a virus through mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes, etc). When it is injected, the body doesn't always know what to do with it and sometimes the viruses can do things viruses do, wreak havoc in the body. So, anyways, he was the first to put the connection together between the MMR vaccine and Autism. He was (is) vilified and tried both in the press and the courts.

Smells a lot like the Valerie Plame-Wilson affair here. Remember Valerie Plame-Wilson? She was the CIA operative who was "outed" by our own government because her husband exposed a lie that former President Bush told about weapons of mass destruction. Joe Wilson was a former ambassador who was asked to do some recon work while on an unrelated trip to Africa (I believe, all facts should be double checked, my brain is full and tends to forget small details that are not immediately necessary). So, when Bush went on to have a press conference about weapons of mass destruction supposedly being bought by Saddam Hussein, he lied about the threat level. Since Joe Wilson was the one to provide the real data to the CIA/White House officials (that the threat was absolutely empty, no such transactions were happening), he wrote an editorial exposing that lie. Well, in return for his service to our country, he was vilified, his wife outed and potentially exposed, their lives and safety were threatened, they were professionally black balled and all clients of Joe Wilson's business were "encouraged" not to do business with him. Old school Mafia style here. All because he was exposing a lie that was fed to the American people. Now I have to say, I hate that kind of thing. The big guy squashing the little guy when he has truth on his side to cover up and make sure their cash cow doesn't dry up. Some members of our government tried to shut them up by these coercive techniques. It didn't, they held their ground, and suffered for it. God bless them. Many would not have had the fortitude to withstand what they did. Read her book "Fair Game" for a much better account than I gave.

This whole business with Andrew Wakefield, and now Paul Offit, sounds very similar. Why is Paul Offit being sued? He used a fabricated email "conversation" in his book, "The False Prophets of Autism". He puts together two things that never really happened together for the purpose of making a pro-biomed parent/activist look like a raving lunatic. Read more here:

He needed a juicy plot and since he didn't have one in real life, he created one. You know, this guy is the co-inventor of Rota-Tec, the rotavirus vaccine. Do you think he will say anything other than vaccines are safe??? So, this all started when a member of Generation Rescue posted data about the school she worked for on the Generation Rescue message board (a private board btw). She did not use her name, her school name or any children's names. She just used statistical data about Autism rates at the school where she worked. However, someone took it upon themselves to track down personal info about her, her daughter, her daughter's therapies, and presented the info all to her employer. They tried to say she had questionable judgement as an employee and as a mother. The co-founder of Generation Rescue found out about this and was understandably upset. Generation Rescue was fonded by parents of a child with Autism intent on helping other parents who want to use a biomedical approach. They pair people up in their areas so they have a mentor so to speak. You can read the rest of what happened in the link above.

I am asking my fellow Autism blogging mamas (and dads too!), how would YOU feel if someone read your blog, disagreed and then decided to track down personal info about you, your child, the rest of your family and tried to jeopardize your career and your family? We are all at risk with these dirty, shameful tactics. All in the name of protecting the already soiled name of vaccine safety?? Really????? We cannot stand for this. We are an ever-growing community. We need to stick together. This pisses me off. To think someone would question someone's parenting for using biomedical treatments???? What next, banning Centrum and vitamin C from Wal-Mart shelves??? Why are so many children progressing after years of stagnation on "traditional" pediatric advice (get some speech and ABA and hope for the best)? Why is Jenny McCarthy's son healed and no longer diagnosed with Autism? Whether you like her or not, impressive what she has been through with her son. And my own friend, a Generation Rescue Angel whose story I shared recently on my blog, what of her son who also has lost his diagnosis? IS THIS NOT SCIENCE????? Is my son not proof enough?????? A year ago he was screaming with anxiety and fear of going NEAR the integrated class and now he is a fully participating member, no extra assistance required. The only change? Biomedical treatment protocols overseen by a LICENSED PHYSICIAN whom I trust. Replenishing your child's needed vitamins and minerals and understanding the normal detox pathways and encouraging them rather than clogging them with toxins should be the norm, not the unusual. Understanding the role of yeast, viruses and bacteria in the gut process and how they can hinder brain function is not a crime!! Why is the statement "you are what you eat" so scary? Why is removing certain offending foods from our children's diets (without ANY harm or nutritional deficits) criminal? I would wager that my children are healthier than most American children based on what I have learned through this journey with Autism. I do not say that in arrogance, but with humbled thanks at how much I have learned about ingredients in the mainstream food supply. Why are there more preservatives and chemicals in food today than real whole food ingredients? What happened to meat, veggies and fruit? Why must this movement be vilified? Because it defies "conventional" doctrine? Because it may cut into vaccine profits? Shame on you, those who engage in this kind of villainy.

There is a story that is pretty appropriate here:

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain? The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me." " I cannot be bothered by it."The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. "Be assured you are in my prayers." The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose." So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

When one is threatened, we all are threatened. Are the days coming with vaccinations at gun point? Will CPS be called because we give our children supplements? What next? Our civil liberties and our abilities to care for our precious children must not be taken away. Meet a "warrior" mom or dad and you will meet a parent with fire in their hearts and eyes to help their child(ren). They will stop at NOTHING to ease their child's pain and suffering from unseen causes. They will stop at NOTHING to heal their child and give them the chance every child in this world deserves, a healthy body and normal development not marred by toxins. You can tell us by the bags under our eyes from sleepless nights from being up with their child who will not sleep, or from researching and reading more ways to help our children once our child(ren) finally do sleep. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders after watching our children slip away or never progress as expected at all. We have cried the tears that come from hope that starts to slip of the future we envisioned for our children. And then we cry even more tears at the idea that those futures ARE just as bright as we first thought, just with more work involved to get there. We struggle with stares and frowns when our child melts down in public because their sensory system is too overwhelmed, others chalking it up to bad parenting. We endure criticism from the very group designed to help us, our mainstream pediatricians. We look "outside of the box" out of necessity. We read research which takes us weeks to really understand. We learn neuro chemistry as our side job. We become experts of our children. We know our children in ways others will never. Do we need to preface our blogs with "These are my own personal statements and do not reflect the feelings of anyone else and please don't twist them and use them against me to the detriment of the very people I am attempting to help in this journey". All families touched by Autism should be watching what happens.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quality supplements

Tiffany asked a great question, how do you find good quality supplements. That can be a tricky navigation. Here is an article about how supplements are regulated:

If you are asking what we do, then here is my answer. First off, my son's specialist recommends a certain company, New Beginnings Nutritionals and that is where we buy most of his supplements. They deal with only reputable companies who can provide certificates of purity, etc. These folks specialize in the Autism spectrum so you are going to get supplements free of wheat, dairy, corn, soy and yeast most commonly as those present challenges to children on the spectrum. However, there are several supplements we can't get through those companies and here's what I do. I head to our local health food store (like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Henry's, Wild Oats). There you are presented with a plethora of options. Ask for the manager of the vitamin/supplement department. They are usually very knowledgeable about the brands they stock. As them for their recommendation. If that doesn't work, I look for brands that I know and trust and that have the USP endorsement. I also look for supplements without a lot of extra "stuff". For example, Tiffany you mentioned Wal-Mart. We started using Aloe Vera juice as a digestive support for our whole family. I found a brand, George's, that is pure aloe vera. But, if you look at a brand wal-mart carries it has citric acid and I think sodium benzoate. Now, from a previous post you would know that both ingredients are undesirable, especially in a supplement. But, the combo is AWFUL. Citric Acid + Sodium Benzoate = Benzene which is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) that our body only excretes VERY VERY slowly. GREAATT. So, you've got this cancer causing agent that now is floating around in your body for a long time because your body can't get rid of it quickly. Yeah, sign me up! Not. The same holds true for ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and sodium benzoate. When you see those 2 combined, run far away. Check your Sprite can....and many sodas actually. Good times, good times....

Supplements are tricky, I totally get that. I look for bottles with purity statements, the USP endorsement and basically JUST the herbs you want and the cellulose capsule as ingredients. I don't buy supps at Wal-Mart so I don't even know the deal there. My guess is not high quality. Naturopaths can also point you in the right direction for good brands and many even stock supplements in their office (at least ours do). I feel that a good quality supplement can go along way towards preserving your good health. Pharmaceuticals generally have many side effects. Take Lipitor for example. My husband was on that for about a decade. We started seeing a chiropractor and he was the first to tell us all the side effects (as opposed to the doctors who put my husband on it in the first place). Lipitor can weaken muscles. Well, the heart IS a muscle. So when you look at what Lipitor is for, reducing cholesterol to avoid a heart attack, you are reducing the risk of heart attack from one problem (cholesterol) but increasing it due to another (weakened heart). Seems rather counterproductive. We started seeing a naturopath who recommended Niacin, one of the B vitamins. You have to look at the upside and downside to pharmaceutical treatments. These changes are not for everybody.

Now on to your question of how to get your husband on board. Wow, if I had a quarter for every wife/mom who asked me that. Even with dietary changes for Autism, men seem so much more reluctant. I am lucky, my husband knows I am a research freak, if I say it is safe that means I have researched and researched and researched again and feel comfortable, which means a lot for me. He is on board. I have actually MADE him read studies/data instead of just going along with my suggestions which he is inclined to do. I feel that if someone reads the data and understands WHY we choose these changes, they will stick with it. With my son's diet, my husband sees what happens when my son gets something he is intolerant of, he becomes a lunatic, screaming and melting down at the drop of a hat (my son, not my husband, lol). The extra work of his diet is worth it, I'd rather spend that time cooking/shopping than dealing with meltdowns all day. For some people (and I know many) they don't buy it. I don't know your husband so it is hard to give any input there. I guess it depends on what you are trying to change. If it is supplements, maybe ask for a trial period. You try something for a time and then evaluate how effective you think it was, no harm, no foul. Supplements are not like pharmaceuticals, they take longer to work so several weeks may be warranted. And, if your body is heavily polluted with toxins from poor diet, pharmaceutical use/etc., some natural remedies like homeopathy won't seem effective at all. Many people blow them off because they "don't work for me" when in reality if they had cleaned their body a bit they would find effectiveness. When you body comes to rely on pharmaceuticals, that is what it will need. But, if you clean it up, it will respond to more natural remedies.

I just heard a mainstream doctor talking this morning about the common cold lasting 1 1/2 weeks. Friday I felt a cold coming on. No surprise, I have a child in preschool and am around a lot of kids coughing and sneezing, plus therapy clinics, social groups, etc. Germs are plentiful. Add to that I have been partaking in some pre-Valentine's day treats, running full speed, staying up too late, etc. I started pumping the Vit. C, olive leaf extract and going to bed early. I took advantage of yesterday and took it easy, lots of vit c, supplements, epsom salt baths with eucalyptus oil, and rest. I feel better today and if I don't push it, I bet by tomorrow it will be practically gone. This is only my 2nd tiny cold this season. Not bad considering I have friends battling the same cold for weeks, even needing steroids and a nebulizer, YIKES. Can I get hit with that? Absolutely. I am just as likely to come down with the flu as anyone, it all depends on the strength of your immune system. Listening to your body and pumping it full of stuff that helps fight off viruses and bacteria will go along way in preventing you from getting sick and healing you faster if you do. And loading your body with toxins (poor diet, soda's, etc) means more work for your immune system which then takes away its ability to fight cold and flu viruses.

I hope that helps. And I appreciate your questions, you don't learn if you don't ask!!!

What if the First Child had Autism?

OK - so this came out on January 21st and I am just getting around to blogging it, such is my life....just trying to keep up or at the very least, not fall too far behind. So, a little less timely than I would have wanted but it was a great story, pretty accurate if you ask me, and I still wanted to share it. I have seen more mainstream portrayals of Autism lately, and as long as they are accurate I love it. Anyone catch Grey's Anatomy lately? I have missed the last few months but caught an episode last night. The doctor who has Aspergers was still there I was pleased to see. When she arrived on the scene I could spot that she had Autism right away. Last night I was watching as she "lost it" and was trying to pull her coat around herself and I said aloud "she needs deep pressure" and sure enough, a few seconds later she explains to Bailey that she needs deep pressure to calm herself. How many times have I told my son to come over for a "hug" and by all appearances, that is what I am doing. Who knew a simple hug, tight provides the deep pressure necessary for some to calm themselves? Maybe that is why hugs are so comforting, we are providing some proprioceptive input without even knowing it. Not only is it showing of affection and love but provides that pressure our body (and brain) needs to calms itself. I love seeing these in mainstream media. I love that it is not just "rainman" or other portrayals which does not represent the majority of people who have Autism. They are not all savants, they all don't rock and bang their heads. Some just have a harder time in groups, with peer interaction, with eye contact, and with sensory input. My son has very acute hearing, he hears everything and is very distracted by it. So many of these little things that most of our brains can tune out, sometimes theirs can't. The more people know about the disorder, hopefully the more understanding our society will be. One day there WILL be a First Child with Autism. The numbers are growing at such a fast rate that the probability is high this will be a reality. And maybe that is our only hope of appropriate funding and treatment. I certainly hope not but how long before the story below becomes reality?

Kim Stagliano for the Huffington Post

If the First Child had Autism.

As a Mom, one of the highlights of the inauguration was watching the first children, Miss Malia and Miss Sasha Obama, revel in their father's day. They were poised and yet still childlike. Eyes bright. Smiles wide. Their mother, our elegant new First Lady, was able to fully share the day with her darling daughters. Did you notice the glances and grins they shared? I sure did.
And then I became sad. As an autism Mom, I thought about how different the day would be if the First Lady had a child with autism. Here's one scenario:

The First Lady is holding her child's hand tightly as they walk toward their seats, her smile tempered by the interference from her autismometer, the scanning system she uses at all times to gauge her child's mood, temperment, ability to manage the input and to anticipate a meltdown. In her other hand she holds a metal ring on which hang dozens of plastic cards with simple pictures and words. It's an odd accessory. The boy is wearing a pair of bulky, Bose noise canceling headphones to help him tune out the roar of the crowd. His eyes are cast down to the floorboards. The lines laid out before him capture his attention. He stops. He sits down.
A brief look of panic crosses his mother's face. She erases it. Then gently, lovingly signs, "stand up." He lies down. She flips the pictures to the word "stand" and shows it to him.
He covers his eyes. She starts to perspire despite the cold, turns to her Mom and nods. The older woman responds and reaches into the bag she is carrying. She hands the child a Thomas the Tank engine toy. He accepts it, clutching the toy, waving it in front of his face.
He stands. His mother's shoulders drop a few inches as they make their way to their seats.
She tries to watch her husband, to admire his handsome face and take note of his momentous day. This is his day. But autism is along for the ride. As always. When the speaker (who was it again?) finishes, her son's voice rings out amid the cacophony of applause, "A clue! A clue! We need our handy dandy notebook!" She breathes out -- shows her son another small card. "Quiet." He squirms. Her mother hands her a small surgical brush with which she strokes her son's palms. Her husband is about to take the oath. He looks at her with his, "Are we OK?" expression. She will not add to the gravity of the job he is about to accept. She will not cloud his day. She smiles and winks. She takes her son's hand and together they stand. Her mother wraps her arms around the boy, applying pressure to his torso. The President takes his oath. "Elmo Loves You!" cries the boy. The crowd emits a nervous laugh. The President bends to his son, kisses his head. The new First Lady takes her child's hand and fights back tears, praying her face reveals nothing but love and pride. The First Family waves to the throng of supporters. To the world. The boy waggles his fingers in front of his eyes. His head nods to a song only he can hear. The First Lady kisses her husband, her hands cup his face for a moment. In that second, the boy bolts up the aisle. There is a large, wet stain on his pants as he scrabbles toward an exit. The day is simply too much for him. His grandmother is right behind him. Leaving her daughter and son-in-law, now the First Lady and President of the United States. The next day, the President announces an initiative to study every possible cause of autism from genes to vaccines and to spend millions on treatment. In four years, he plans to have his son speak at the inauguration for his second term.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our Crop!

Sorry for the folks reading my blog through my automatic feed on my Facebook page, this will be old news to you. But, for the people who read just my blog, here is our recent harvest.

Cauliflower growing, you can see the hint of white

And the finished product!

Broccoli plant

Broccoli growing

One harvest
We also grew lettuce and spinach along with some herbs. Anyone can do this, even inside, in pots on a small patio, anywhere. I challenge you all to grow just ONE thing this year. It is a great feeling to know where your food came from and to know it is healthy and nutritious, no pesticides or herbicides. And, that you are eating it while it is still fresh and its nutrients intact!!

More immune boosters

There are so many things I forgot in my very looong post about immune system boosters. A few more natural, remedies, antivirals and antibacterials are:

1) High dose Vitamin C - like grams, keep dosing until bowels start to loosen
2) Olive Leaf extract - very good antiviral, here is more info on it:
3) Vitamin D - get out into the sunlight. 15 minutes in prime daylight (10 am - 2 pm) can go a long way to boosting your immune system.
4) Elderberry syrup - very effective against the flu, 1 tsp up to 6 times per day
5) Vitamin A - very good for respiratory issues (and also skin issues like eczema). However, vitamin A is fat soluble which means you need a doctor to recommend dosages because you CAN get too much. And it is recommended that you have an accurate amount of vitamin D with Vitamin A. Getting a good quality Cod Liver Oil - like Carlson's brand - is a GREAT start. It has the right ratios of D to A plus all the awesome Omega's your body/brain needs!!
6) Epsom salt soaks - if you have swollen lymph nodes in your throat/neck, soaking JUST your feet in epsom salts will draw the toxins down and relieve the backlog in your higher nodes and keeps things flowing, relieving some of the discomfort and releasing those toxins and clearing them out. Regular soaks in epsom salts is a GREAT way to detox your body everyday and increase your sulfation.

These are safe, no worries about over dose (except Vit A), and readily available (cheap too!!).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Apple Juice from China?

How many of us have really checked to see country of origin on our kids' juice boxes? Hands please....yeah probably not many. While in with M's awesome Speech Therapist, Dawn Winkelmann, last week she showed me an article she found. Most of our apple juice comes from other countries. What's the big deal you ask? Well, even though I don't think our FDA does what it should to protect our food supply, it does regulate our water quality in relation to food and drink production evidently. Other countries don't regulate their water supply as much and China is reported to have the most polluted water source (including arsenic which is now found in rice from China and also apple juice). Yummy. I could not find Dawn's original article (may have been from a Speech Therapy magazine) but here are a few I did find on the subject.

I checked the only apple juice we had in the house, Fresh and Easy brand organic, yep, concentrate from China. Great. We don't give apple juice anyways, feeds yeast, and I was never big on juice for kids anyways, the whole tooth decay thing. But, he has had some....yucko.

Personally I think that outsourcing to the lowest bidder is not smart when it comes to food - milk chocolate with melamine from China anyone?? And then add in the issue with the carbon footprint and the impact on our environment by shipping all this stuff across the globe. I am reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver right now so expect a few more posts about food production/etc in the near future. I think we need to eat locally, eat in season and learn how to preserve our own foods. And most importantly, grow your own garden!!!! Then buy a juicer and make your own juices, no pasteurization which kills all the beneficial enzymes, so much healthier for you and you know exactly what is in it!

How to keep your kids from getting a disease

I got some comments on my last post. First off, thanks Brian for your support!!

Kristy, I do not mind at all if you link my site on yours. I would love it. And your comment reminded me that I need to get to Pizza Fusion soon with the kids, they will LOVE it! And I will definitely call your doctor, I am going to email you first to talk more about her.

I got another comment which I will post, with the exception of some personal info:
"Terri, I came across your blog blogsurfing. I have some questions. I only have one child, but have heard many stories about children and vaccinations. I personally am VERY afraid on not getting my children vaccinated. I didn't have a choice with my daughter. She was a preemie and they would not release her from the hospital {our stay was 3 months} until she was vaccinated. I made them give them to her one at a time and wait a few days in-between each shot. My question to you is how do you prevent something {disease} from happening to your children? I am asking in all sincerity. I am not judging for any choice that you have made, I just want to know what you are doing to protect your children? I am very into holistic medicine. If there is a better way to go about it, I want to know. Please if you have information for me I would love to know


I read the comment last night and have been swamped all last night and today and yet have been thinking of just how I would answer this (this is long). I don't think there is anyway to "prevent" disease, even in your vaccinated children. Children still sometimes get chicken pox even with the vaccine, same for all the other diseases. The real issue becomes, how do you bolster your child's natural immune defense to fight disease easily and thereby becoming stronger against future attacks. That is the hope for us all, that we encounter these threats (which we do DAILY) and our immune system is functioning well enough that it is not even a blip on our radar. For example, I now know that when I start feeling really, really tired I need to slow down, go to bed early, watch my nutrition, boost up my immune support (vitamin C, zinc, multi-vitamins) and drink plenty of water. So if you look at ways to make sure your immune system is in good working order here's what I think is best:

1) Sleep - the main way our body restores and recharges itself, it needs plenty
2) Water
3) Nutrition - Most of our immune system is located in our gut. It knows how to handle invasions from the mucous membranes. Good nutrition can bolster it and poor nutrition can hinder it. Refined sugar (as little as 1 tsp) can suppress the immune system for hours. Think about when the flu/cold season hits, October when we are deluged with candy from Halloween and it is carried through the holidays where we eat our way through Nov/Dec and then into Feb where we show our "love" through behemoth boxes of chocolate. Our sugar-heavy months are also the biggest for colds/flus. Also, eating seasonal foods will help. Did you ever wonder why the oranges are overflowing when we need vitamin C the most? I laughed when a neighbor brought us a huge bag of oranges, love it when nature gives us what we need when we need it!
4) Supplements - there are many, many supplements to fight bacteria and viruses. Did you know the supplement Lysine is effective against herpes (including chicken pox)? There is also an herb called Larrea Tridentata which you have to buy a specific form ( that is AS EFFECTIVE as valtrex? In an herb....hmmmm...maybe our ancestors wheren't so dumb in understanding herbal medicine. Virastop is an enzyme we use that actually is supposed to break down the cell wall of viruses (comprised of a hard protein coating which protects the virus from our immune system and allows it to replicate quickly) which allows your body to kill it in the way it was designed. There are many, many other supplements which can effectively fight viruses. So then why don't mainstream doctors tell us this? Unless you see an naturopath, you are likely to believe the old story of "well, it is viral, nothing we can do but ride it out". Not true.....Aromatherapy and essential oils are key in our house. Steam inhalation with tea tree and eucalyptus has resolved more than one of my developing sinus infections, no antibiotics necessary. Tea tree oil has been studied in hospital settings since it is a natural disinfectant. It actually is so strong it kills even HIV. That is a lot safer for use around kids than bleach which creates dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that hovers right around calf level. Vapors you cannot see but your little ones are breathing after "cleaning" your home to protect your kids from evil bugs. Dioxin has been referred to as the most toxic synthetic chemical known to man (

See, we NEED bugs to some extent. And I am not saying all antibiotics are bad. I think they are good, when they are truly needed. Reaching for them at every chance just creates super bugs that are resistant to what we have and breaks down the body's ability to fight this stuff on its own. And that should be the goal. Every now and again we need a little help. I am not saying throw out all modern medicine, I too reach for an Advil and Nyquil to get me through a bad patch when I am just done with a bad cold/flu. But, lets look for more natural ways to increase our immunity through health preservation.

I am just a mom who has spent almost every "free" waking moment once the kids go to bed researching why my child has Autism and what I can do to undo the damage. And my child is my child, I know him. I do not profess to know everything about Autism. I know about my son's Autism. And for every 1 thing I know about his body, there are probably millions of things I don't know. The human body is too complex to figure it all out. If I can do just 1 thing with this blog I will teach other parents to read and know what we are told by our doctors. Read the inserts and find out what are in those vaccines. Here's a great link:

My kids have most of their vaccines. Do I wish I had read those inserts and more data about their safety prior? Yes. Would I have made a different decision? I don't know, I just wish I had the knowledge to make the decision that was best for my child with the right knowledge to refer to. And, remember, WE are in control of our childrens' health choices. No one can force medical care on you or your child to my knowledge. Although I have heard of forced vaccinations at gunpoint in Maryland and also the forced flu vaccines in NJ. To my knowledge though, you still have every right to refuse medical treatment for your child, until you are found to be neglectful and they are removed from your care. However, there are many, many people who have babies in mainstream hospitals who refuse vaccines. YOU have the final say. Our responsibility to our children are to hear both sides of the argument and to make the decision that fits with our family values and goals. For many families involved in the Autism community, we have looked into our kids bodies and seen the high levels of aluminum. My son is one. Now, could he have just as easily gotten the aluminum from his environment? Maybe if I was tested I would have levels just as high. Who knows, but here is a great article from Dr. Mercola:

Here are some other great articles from his site:

There are so many more, just like me, trying to understand and balance modern medicine and a more holistic approach. I was 100% pro vaccine until just about a year ago. I have read, and read, and read more, talked with people in the more holistic health field. I mean I was so against not vaccinating kids, I really was. So for me to do a 180, it should tell you something. Just read, research and learn as much as you can. Each child is so different. With my daughter she breezed through her shots, including RSV since she was a preemie. My son was another story. He screamed for hours and hours and stopped sleeping after his 4 month shots. I speak to so many other parents with similar stories and yet my doctor at the time said "how odd...". I think vaccine reactions are so much more common, maybe not to the level of qualifying as "vaccine damage" at the time but what are the unseen consequences? Do we think its ok to shove aluminum and formaldehyde into our children's body, around the normal immune system, which remember, is mainly in the gut, vaccines go directly into the bloodstream and bypass the gut = bypassing most of the immune system? I knew nothing of this when my son was born. Even when my daughter was born 2 1/2 years later I knew none of this. And our decision is not right for everyone.

Sit in a room filled with parents of children with Autism. 1) you will have the biggest grouping of informed, researched parents who know more about neuro chemistry and biology than you would ever care to meet and 2) you will have a group of people who largely avoid further vaccines because of what they have learned. Contrary to what some would have you think, the people who refuse vaccinations for their children are usually very well read and very intelligent. Even though most are portrayed as back country idiots who don't know what they are doing to their kids. Talk to a chiropractor. Every chiropractor I have ever known is 100% against vaccines. Talk to a Naturopathic doctor, most advise you to refuse vaccines. And yes, there is the word doctor in the name naturopathic doctor. They are not quacks or charlatans. I know vaccine talk creates lots of controversy and I hope to avoid most of that quagmire. I don't think really debating the issue is productive-however I would LOVE to see Andrew Wakefield debate Paul Offit, I really would-but that is a different subject altogether.

What I hope is that people understand there is more to health of their children than just vaccines (if they so choose) and to read and understand the normal body processes that either preserve or compromise health. Everyone has to make their own decision. I just hope that sharing some of what I learn can help people make better informed decisions. And yes, a holistic lifestyle is now the norm for us. Will I run to the doctor when my child is ill? Absolutely, after I have used all the tricks in my bag. I think modern medicine and holistic medicine can coexist. My dream is for it to coexist as the norm, not just in our household. Thanks for reading and asking questions!!