Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All natural Easter egg dying

This information courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens (

All-Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes
Use these all-natural dye recipes made from household ingredients to create Easter eggs in beautifully subdued shades. Leave eggs soaking in the dye in the refrigerator overnight for the richest colors.


1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar


1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar


1 cup strong coffee and 1 tablespoon vinegar


Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks. Add cabbage to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.


Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water. Bring to room temperature. Remove blueberries.

Dark Pink

Cut 1 medium beet into chunks. Add beet to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove beets.


Remove the peel from 1 orange. Add peel to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove orange peel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vegetable based icing colors and cookie/cake decorations!

Holey sweetness batman! Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love to bake and decorate cakes. I have tried over the years to use the all natural colorants found at some of the health food stores with disasterous results (think spiderman cake in a lovely pink shade rather than red). And I admit that I gave up, going back to the commercial Wilton colors and regular colored sugar sprinkles. But, the Age of Autism posted this link and I have to tell you, I am SO buying this stuff! Some of the items I have looked at do have soy which can be a concern for some, so read the ingredients. But, no LAKE colorants with aluminum, no high fructose corn syrup, hooray! Yes, it is sugar but we all need a cupcake once in a while and why should our kids have to do without the sprinkles and decorations that make them so much fun? So, for others out there wanting another option, check out their website.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

8 facts about Autism that the media is not covering, by Holly Robinson Peete

It took me a few days of briefly scanning Facebook and seeing this on many people's pages to actually sit down and read it. So now that I have read it, what can I say? Can I get an amen? I know all about the financial stress. I also know all about the strain on siblings, and add in a step-sibling factor and it makes the situation even more tense at times. The neurotypical siblings do feel that more attention is paid (because often times the child with Autism's SAFETY is in jeopardy and so logically that HAS to happen). And I have also had the unpleasant experience of hustling the whole family out of a place, usually the zoo for whatever reason, carrying a screaming child when a meltdown ensues. Then we started tag-teaming events and I could go to the car with M while my husband stayed with the girls. Sigh.... But what can I say? I am sure families with a child with cancer feel the pull in the same way. You would not compromise their treatment and I know that we would rally around the girls if there was an issue that needed to be addressed. My motto is we give the kids what they each NEED. Families aren't about being equal but rather FAIR and at any given time the kids need something different from each of us than their siblings do. The key is to recognize what they need, when they need it. So, we also work very hard at spending alone time with the girls to help with this. And as M has gotten older and his recovery has been happening, it is not such an issue. We still struggle with the normal sibling rivalries and jealousies that will always come from realizing you are not the center of the world and actually have to share with another human being, be that toys or parent's attention. Those are never easy lessons, regardless of Autism. And the issue of strain on a marriage, yes we have felt that too. I am so blessed to have my husband by my side. We are a great team and yet we have still felt this strain over the years. I think at this point we have dealt with many of the emotions involved and have come out the other side much stronger. I know that is not always the case. The negative emotions involved can get placed on the spouse, I know because I did that at first. No bueno. But I would not want anyone else by my side and our marriage is stronger now because of it, or in spite of it, whichever you prefer. But that takes focus and work too. A while back I felt that my whole life was Autism and that really, I could not have a conversation where it did not come up. I had to work at balance and not be so consumed with Autism. But, I was in warrior mom mode. But watching, and meeting, Adam's mom from Autism, The Musical really hit home. That was me, thwarted career woman, gave up career to focus on staying home and raising my baby, get Autism diagnosis, put that Type A energy towards helping child, ignore the rest of the world. It was like looking in a mirror. I can also relate to this article in the way that Holly Robinson Peete and Jenny McCarthy bonded. Every conference I go to, I inevitably meet another mom and have a heartfelt, deep conversation about this journey, to the level that I wouldn't even share with my best friends. Mainly because they wouldn't truly understand it, they would try but really some of this journey you have to experience to fully understand. And talking to another parent can be so comforting, it lets you know you are not alone, and boy can this diagnosis be isolating at first. This is complicated issue, so many ways it can impact a family, not even getting into the extended family and how they play into this. We all do the best we can, period. I loved her section on guilt too. What can I say on that? Not enough money to do what "could" help him more, not enough time or energy to do x, y, z. How we handled situations before we even knew what Autism was and that our child had it, I could go on and on. Not sure I have fully resolved that issue so we will just leave it at that. So here is the article, as copied from the Huffington Post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Over the years many parents have reached out to me for emotional support after their child was diagnosed with autism. I particularly remember getting Jenny McCarthy's phone call shortly after her son's diagnosis. Like most moms and dads, she needed to connect with somebody who knew first hand the swift gut-kick of this difficult diagnosis, somebody who had been in the trenches for 7 years already.

We cried. We cussed. We even managed to laugh. We spoke for eight hours. She was naturally frustrated with the lack of answers about autism. I was there for her as I'd be for any parent, and I told her she was blessed to get such an early diagnosis. Her passion was palpable and I could tell she was going to grab autism by the horns, making it her mission and focus. I knew she'd help spread autism awareness like nobody else could and the media would pay attention. Since that phone call, she has created a very successful platform with her powerful opinions, blogs and books on vaccine safety, diet and recovering her son among other things. It has been a courageous, controversial and fearless ride. Miss Jenny is not scared to get in the ring with the big boys!

Though I share many of same concerns, I feel compelled to shed light on the fact that families affected by autism are struggling on multiple levels. We need a shift of focus to share the spotlight with other often overshadowed issues that profoundly impact families daily.

To that end, below I highlight 8 things about autism the media is not covering enough. They are not hot-button, provocative or headline-grabbing, but with 1 in 110 children affected by autism (and rising), these issues desperately need more attention:

1. Autism Is Unaffordable

I'd love to see more media focus on how ridiculously expensive it is to treat a child with autism. You can counsel folks all day long to get early intervention, but who in the world can pay for it? Therapies can average over $100-$150 an hour - many require up to 14 or more hours a week. With insurance companies still not covering the vast amount of therapies needed, too many families are forced to pay out of pocket for much of these expenses. A 2006 Harvard study puts the average cost of services for an individual with autism is $3.2 million over his/her lifetime! A total of $35 billion a year is spent on services for individuals with autism in the U.S. The numbers have climbed since then...

Bottom line is treatment is completely and ridiculously unaffordable and can financially bring a family to its knees... even in good times.

Families live on pins and needles with hopes that they're doing the right thing. But the fact is for too many, the things we want to do are simply out of reach financially. I can think of no worse scenario than not being able to afford to help your child.

2. Parental Guilt

So if you are blessed enough to afford it, in my experience it seems that some kids can improve tremendously with a mix of intensive behavioral, biomedical and other treatments. But the fact is so many likely will never be "recovered" and nothing, I mean nothing, makes a parent feel more guilty than thinking you could've "fixed" your kid but... well you didn't or couldn't afford to. If you have a child who is non-verbal and severely impacted by autism, for example, and all you want to hear is him speak or just use the word "no" appropriately, it can be maddening to hear that someone else did x, y or z and now their kid is no longer on the spectrum at all. So many parents have shared with me how badly they feel about this. And although I personally have broken my butt for my son and though he has overcome many challenges we were told he would not, he still has autism. What could I have done better? Oh the guilt! Don't get me wrong, I am always elated for any child's success in this journey, but it can be very hard to swallow at times-making you feel like a failure. Just one mom's opinion, keeping it real...

Alas, accepting my son's progress or lack thereof is the key to moving forward with my head up.

3. Puberty Plus Autism Can Be a Volatile Mix

Our son is almost 13 and has entered puberty. Oftentimes kids on the spectrum can start puberty prematurely, and it can be an extremely jarring experience.

A dear friend of mine and autism "Superdaddy" explains puberty's effect on autism like this: "[Puberty is] an 'oy vey' for a normal child but it can send hormones racing in a child with autism that they don't know how to deal with."

The hormonal surge can cause violent and unpredictable behavior. Stress and depression can develop accompanied by social ostracism.

Our son has suddenly regressed recently after making so much progress, bringing us a new set of challenges we hadn't anticipated. We always always remain extremely hopeful and have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams with what he has been able to overcome to this point. But puberty has been a challenge more parents need to be prepared for. It can be a completely different dynamic at this age. Let's get that out there, please.

4. Minority Children are Diagnosed with Autism Years Later Than Other Children

There are a lot of mysteries about autism. But one thing we know, according to a study covered by CNN:

if a child is diagnosed with autism as early as 18 months of age, offering the toddler age-appropriate, effective therapy can lead to raised IQ levels and improved language skills and behavior.
That's why the fact that African American, Asian and Hispanic children tend to be diagnosed much later than other children (sometimes 2-5 years later) is extremely concerning and needs more attention. One reason these children are diagnosed later is that there are more barriers for socio-economically challenged families to access information. Certain developmental milestones are ignored, unknown or overlooked. Another part of the reason is that there are some cultural and social stigmas about mental health and a fear of talking openly or seeking help for them. So the hope often is that the child will just grow out of it. We just need way more infiltration of autism information and support in minority communities, which will hopefully result in earlier diagnosis. I've visited black churches with this message letting them know they can be extremely helpful in this effort. We can't allow the window for "age-appropriate, effective therapy" to close on these kids.

5. Autism Can Be Tough on A Marriage

Autism is not a divorce mandate. Often it can bond a family tighter. But too often the financial and/or emotional toll autism can take leaves some couples feeling distanced from each other. This was the case with our marriage. My husband and I narrowly survived statistic status. But over the last 10 years I have marveled at his ability to evolve as a father and husband during this bumpy ride that he chronicled in his new book Not My Boy! A Father, A Son, and One Family's Journey with Autism (Hyperion).

I want to shamelessly plug my former NFL QB's evolved, honest account of his pain of dealing with this diagnosis. His personal revelation was that he had to adjust his expectations of his son. Our hope is that Not My Boy! will help so many dads (and moms) confront these challenges without feeling so alone. Rodney has taught me that men process things so differently. I could have been more patient and empathetic with respect to that... a book like this might have offered me that insight earlier on.

Couples digging deep to find the strength and resources to take on this fight together may be rewarded by actually connecting more deeply through this journey instead of being fractured by it.

6. Autism's Effect on Siblings

We don't see too much coverage about what the siblings of autism endure.

Ruined play dates, family outings cut short due to a brother's or sister's public meltdown, feelings of neglect, life planned exclusively around the affected child, social stigma... the list goes on.

It can be devastating for a typical child to have to grow up in such an environment. Sibs are often overlooked and really need a bit of attention; parents need tips to help the siblings cope.

I'm so hopeful this will change a bit with the release of My Brother Charlie, a new children's book co-written by my daughter and me. (We've been a busy family!) Told from a sister's perspective, in My Brother Charlie Callie acknowledges that while it hasn't always been easy for her to be Charlie's twin, she advocates lovingly for her brother, letting people know about all the cool things he can do well. I pray this book will go a long way towards fostering autism acceptance among children and mainstream schools. We found it hard to believe that there wasn't already such a book in children's libraries, considering the rising number of children on the spectrum. We are thrilled that Scholastic stepped up enthusiastically to embrace this important effort.

7. Adults Living with Autism

The face of autism is changing. Our children grow up. Understandably, every parent stresses about what will become of their child with autism in adulthood. It's my own personal recurring nightmare. We ask ourselves: How will he make it in this cruel world without me? Will he live on his own? Will he ever get married or have meaningful relationships? Who will protect his heart? Our fears in this area can consume us.

Here are a few sobering facts:

•More than 80% of adults with autism between 18 and 30 still live at home (Easter Seals)

•There is an 81% unemployment rate among adults with autism (CARD)

•78% of families are unfamiliar with agencies that could help them (CARD)

•At least 500,000 children with autism will become adults during the next decade, and they will need homes, jobs, friends and a future

The good news is many adults living with this disorder live very fulfilling lives, but too many face a variety of difficulties including anxiety, depression, anger and social isolation.

We must create meaningful respectful futures for adults with autism that include homes, jobs, recreation, friends and supportive communities. They are valuable citizens!

How glorious would it be to get more media attention on this particular issue.

And bravo to Fox Searchlight Pictures for their beautiful and enlightening film Adam, which gave great insight into what it is like for a young man with Asperger's syndrome to live and thrive on his own.

8. Autism Advocates Who Actually Have Autism:

What a concept! Rarely do you hear any stories in the media about people actually affected by autism ever weighing in on the issues surrounding it. Because people on the spectrum may seem disengaged, they hear you talking about them and can develop frustration at not being able to respond to issues that affect them. We all need to remember that...

I have had some enlightening and profound conversations with folks on the spectrum who have made it very clear that they feel completely excluded from any national autism conversation. I've had some ask me to be very mindful about my language when speaking about autism. For example, several have said to me they cringe at the word "cure." Many have expressed that they feel this was their destiny, that they were born this way so stop trying to "cure me." Whatever our views or personal agendas, we have to respect that.

Others have been frustrated by the polarizing issues disproportionately covered in the media and would prefer for us neuro-typicals to focus that energy towards trying to understand their world, how they see things. "Come into my world!" one 25 year old young man with Asperger's told me passionately.

My friend, 14-year-old Carly Fleischmann, has autism, and has taught me more about it through her expressive writings than I've learned in any book! You go, Carly!

I am also so grateful to HBO for recently airing the sensational Temple Grandin, finally giving us an image in the media of an adult with autism advocating beautifully and articulately for others like herself.

Bottom line: Their opinions should be heard, valued and included.

So here's to breaking off 8 rays of the media spotlight towards some other important autism issues. Families affected by autism deserve more than just fiery headlines; we deserve a 360 degree, multi-faceted conversation. Spread the word!

Holly Robinson Peete
Actress, Author, Proud Mom of Four

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gluten free pierogies, gluten free chicken nuggets and gluten free Udi's bread

We had a chance to try some new products lately and I figured I would share what we thought of them. First up, the much anticipated Udi's bread. From what I have read, this is the holy grail of gluten free breads. Because of its egg content, we opted not to give it to M. While we do give him some products with egg, I really did not want to get him hooked on a product that could potentially be an issue on an ongoing basis. We use the Gluten Free Creations white baguette for him in his school lunches. But, my husband and I ate our sack lunch at his field trip. The texture of this bread is much like that of sourdough bread. But just the texture, not the taste. It was DELISH! I would highly recommend this bread. This will be a staple in our house now. You cannot tell this bread is gluten free in my opinion! I wish the slices (and loaf) were bigger but hey, I will take what I can get! We bought this from the Gluten Free Country Store but I hear you can also get this at Sprouts.

Next up, gluten free pierogies. Also a must try in my opinion. They were delicious, had a great texture and really good flavor. The only negative was that I like my pierogies sauteed with olive oil and onions. I first boiled them as per the instructions. Then when they were done I sauteed them. The dough was really ripping easily so we didn't saute them too long. So that was the main difference between these and ones with gluten. I found these at the Gluten Free Country Store.

Last up, Garrett County chicken nuggets, in the shape of dinosaurs. I do not buy a lot of processed meats. This bag said gluten and dairy free as well as no preservatives. I decided to give them a try because hey, we all need some convenience options once in a while. The kids LOVED them and so did I. Now, I have to disclose that last year there was some controversy over this brand (and their mother company) testing very high for gluten even though they list their products as gluten free. As a result Whole Foods had pulled them from their shelves after repeated customer complaints. From what I read on other blogs, they have corrected the problem but, buyer beware. If you have a child who is very sensitive, it may be worth a call to them yourself. My kids showed no reaction, nor did I but that doesn't mean your child won't. My son has also been very unreactive to infractions (a bite of a real Twinkie at school, before his Winkie could be given to him, another parent at school gave him a regular Twinkie and he promptly took a bite). I feel that his Respen-A has helped tremendously because previously even a small bite would have ended in behavioral outbursts, aggression, tantruming, etc. He had no reaction after the Twinkie. So, it could be that he was not reactive for that reason. My daughter has eczema flares when she gets gluten and immediately starts scratching her feet, that did not happen with these but you should be aware of what has happened in the past. I found these at Sprouts.

So, for what's it is worth, our reviews of a few gluten free products. I hope it helps!

Arsenic in apple juice

I blogged on this last year but it is worth reporting the latest data since apple juice is so widely consumed by children. This is not such a huge issue for our house since apple juice feeds yeast so we don't do apple juice. And, learning what I have about nutrition, we don't do any juice that is pasteurized, why bother? Many of the good, healthy properties (i.e. the reasons why you drink juice) are destroyed in the pasteurization process. So, we have a juicer and make our own fresh juice when we want it. But, this is a huge concern overall, especially the blase attitude of "oh well, it really won't hurt you". We take that attitude a lot and yet we cannot ignore the rise in disease and disorders, including Autism. We cannot live in a bubble and yet when we can avoid putting toxic chemicals into our bodies, I think we should, especially into our young children who are still growing and developing.


Study Finds Arsenic in Apple Juice
by Helena Bottemiller | Mar 16, 2010
A study released yesterday found over 25 percent of apple juice boxes tested contained concerning levels of arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause various types of cancer.

Florida's St. Petersburg Times commissioned an independent lab to test several nationally-recognized brands--Motts, Apple & Eve Organics, Walmart's Great Value, Nestle's Juicy Juice, Minute Maid, Tree Top, Target's Market Pantry--as well as a Tampa Bay company that supplies schools in the area.

The Times reported Monday that samples from three brands--Motts, Apple & Eve Organics, and Walmart's Great Value label--were found to have arsenic levels above the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) level of concern.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an established limit for arsenic in drinking water: 10 parts per billion (ppb), the same standard set by the World Health Organization. The FDA does not have a similar limit for fruit juice, but, according to the Times, the agency told fruit juice companies that arsenic levels over 23 parts per billion (ppb) would be at a "level of concern."

Motts, Apple & Eve Organics, and Walmart's juice were found to contain between 25 and 35 ppb of arsenic. Juicy Juice, Minute Maid, Tree Top, and Target's Market Pantry did not surpass the FDA's so-called "level of concern" for juice, but each surpassed the EPA's allowable limit for arsenic in drinking water, with 12 to 24 ppb.

Only the Tampa brand, which supplies directly to local schools, was found to have undectable levels of the heavy metal.

Though the study's findings will likely be alarming to many consumers, especially those with young children, FDA officials are not currently concerned about the public health risk.

"We don't have any evidence at this point to say that we feel there's a risk issue that you need to be mindful of," said P. Michael Bolger, FDA's chief of chemical hazards assessment, told the Times.

Although arsenic is naturally occuring, prevalent element, and minimal exposure cannot be avoided, there is strong public health evidence that suggests it is a good idea to limit arsenic intake.

How does arsenic get into apple juice?

Because arsenic is found in soil and ground water, there is bound to be trace levels of it in most food and beverage products, but not all of that arsenic is naturally occurring. Arsenic-based herbicides were commonly used in U.S. agricultural production until 1970, when more effective chemicals became available (though the chemical is still used in domestic chicken feed as a growth enhancer).

According to Charles Benbrook, a leading scientist at the Organic Center in Oregon, arsenic-based chemicals are still being used on many apple orchards abroad, and past chemical use on the fields can cause arsenic contamination.

"If the orchard was planted on a field that was treated six or eight or 10 times over the last 30 years, it would build up to a high level," explained Benbrook.

Over 60 percent of apple juice, made from concentrate, consumed in the U.S. is made from apples grown in China and much of the rest is made from apples grown in Chile, Argentina, and Turkey, according to the Times.

Several leading arsenic scientists believe additional precautions should be taken to minimize arsenic levels in juice, which is widely consumed by young children especially vulnerable to exposure.

"(Juices) ought to meet the drinking water standards," Allan Smith, director of the Arsenic Health Effects Research Program at the University of California Berkeley told the Times. "If they don't, that's where the pressure should go."

For more information on arsenic exposure, see the Department of Health and Human Services Website.
Tags: apple juice, arsenic
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gluten Free Country Store

OK folks, I am feeling better and getting back to my old self finally. As such, had to run some errands today after dropping the kids at school. My first stop was the Gluten Free Country Store in Gilbert, AZ. I had heard about them but had not been in personally. When I was sick, I realized we needed "Winkies" (GFCF version of a Twinkie) for M at school for a cactus snack they were doing. Dear hubby was going to stop by Gluten Free Creations in Phoenix while he was out and about at work. Well, taking care of me, the kids, the house, etc. and guess what? Winkies got forgotten! The internal alarm goes off in my head at 5:00 pm the night before we need them. I quickly look some stuff up on my phone and see that the Gluten Free Country Store is now carrying many of the items from Gluten Free Creations. I quickly call them, speak to the owner Gary who tells me, yes, they do have Winkies and even better, they were open until 8:00 pm that night! Wow, a 10 minute car ride versus a 30 minute one, dear hubby loads the kids up, runs to the store and the snack is saved for dear M. One gold star for Gluten Free Country Store. So needless to say, I was anxious to get in there myself. I did today and I was not sorry. Not only are they expanding, adding in another freezer for more Gluten Free Creations items but I even found some new stuff! M's diet is more restricted than ours but since the whole fam is now GF as well, I have missed things like bean burritos and yes, even Pierogies! I could not believe my eyes, Pierogies? I had to buy some. And they carry the So Delicious Coconut milk we use (and it was CHEAPER than our co-op Azure Standard!). They had many, many mixes for do-it-yourselfers and a good array of premade items as well. They even carry the little snacky items that can be hard to find like gummy worms, jelly beans and fruit snacks, all gluten free. And Gary even said he wants to bring in vitamins and supplements! We are talking about him bringing in New Beginnings stuff. So, all you loyal New Beginnings users may not have to wait for your monthly shipments or if you are running low on an item, you may have a local source for that. Wouldn't THAT be nice? We all know that a special diet means more money, more time, more miles driving to find things. I think it is just fabulous that we have a great new resource closer to us in the East Valley! They even carry the much acclaimed Udi's bread. I have read really good things about this bread, that it is soft and spongie just like wheat bread. I am excited to try it and the pierogies. I will let everyone know how we like them. But for us, it is time to get ready for a field trip tomorrow so now I have my gluten free bread for our sack lunches tomorrow. And, if anyone out there needs some gluten free items, look no further than the Gluten Free Country Store, you will be glad you did! Click HERE for their website.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Respen-A Q & A

I apologize to all my blog followers, I have been very ill for well over a week now. I am feeling a little better but realize now too much stress and taking too many things on really have negatively impacted my health. So, I will be reducing my online time overall. I will still keep this blog going, don't get me wrong, but I have to reduce my work load at this point.

But, over the course of the week and a half or so, some great questions have come in about Respen-A and thankfully, a developer of the product, Elaine De Lack, has been reading my blog and the comments and have been answering them. Who better to get this info from but from the main person, so thank you Elaine! I am going to post the questions here so everyone can see them, not just those to read past posts and their comments so here goes.

Q: Do you need a camera/video on your computer to participate in a webinar or do you just type your questions?

Also...if your child is using respen-a do they have to stop taking vitamin D3? (it is in my child's multi) Thank you! more question. What type of calcium (and how much) do you give your son with the respen-a? Thank you! Walker

A: Hello Walker,

You do not need a webcamera on your computer to participate in the webinar. You can simply listen using your speakers and ask questions using a microphone that is attached to your computer or you can type in your questions or you can call the call in number that is given to you and you can listen in on your telephone and ask questions via your telephone as well. If you hae unlimited long distance this is the best so that you don't get feedback through your speakers. We encourage everyone to ask questions, or share comments as we are learning from you as well. In a universe that is in constant motion, everything is constantly changing, so my motto is, the day I think I know it all is the dumbest day of my life.

We had our first webinar on February 23rd and it went well I thought but we had trouble getting through the slides once someone asked a question. We are going to record and archive these webinars on our website so that people can go back and listen or people who weren't able to attend the webinar can still listen to them. So to make the recordings flow well, we are going to go through the slide presentation at the beginning of the webinar and then open it up for questions and it can be any questions, they don't have to be on the subject the slide presentation was on. Dr. Starr will be available as well as myself for questions.

The other thing I realized is that we need to break the slide presentations down thoroughly dissecting each symptom or topic. Many of the trends in medicine have come about from a marketing campaign because of a new patent and that doesn't necessarily mean they will or are producing the best health outcomes. I plan to expose these trends as well as they pertain to the various topics we will be covering. This way people can make informed decisions as to what treatments they want to pursue. So as for your question regarding vitamin D3 which is a topic we will be discussing during one of our webinars that came about from the new patent for cholecalciferol years ago, the answer is no. The amount of vitamin D3 which is usually about 400 IU is fine. It is the large doses of vitamin D3 that can decrease the effect of Respen-A.

As for your calcium question, we are going to discuss in depth the calcium issue this Tuesday, March 2. If you would like an invitation to the webinar, just email me at and I will email you an invite. But in short, the answer to your question is we have found most people do the best with calcium carbonate but there have been a handful that need the calcium citrate instead. Because the majority do the best with the calcium carbonate, that is what the pharmacy sends out for free with the first prescription of Respen-A. We are working to get this in a capsule form so that people can open the capsule and mix the powder inside the capsule with applesauce or pudding or something their child likes to eat. We had this supplement in a capsule originally but it also contained copper and zinc. We don't want to contribute to the high copper levels autistic children have so we are getting a new formulation made that doesn't have copper or zinc but it will have some magnesium in a 4;1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. How you know if your child is absorbing the form of calcium they are using is if they display increased aggressiveness or irritability then they most likely aren't absorbing the calcium well and you should switch to another form of calcium such as calcium citrate. If it was the calcium you should see an improvement in the aggression and irritability within 1-2 days of changing the calcium. If your child is happy, in a good mood but showing hyperactivity, this usually isn't a calcium issue, but rather a sign that the dose of Respen-A is too high and cutting the disc in half usually resolves this.

Elaine DeLack

A: Hi Walker, as my own note, we've been using the liquid calcium and the powdered magnesium citrate from New Beginnings Nutritional for my son and he is doing wonderfully on them both. For more info on the calcium, click HERE and for more info on the magnesium, click HERE. And, since the flu has been running through our home, I have once again pulled out the vitamin D to supplement my son to try and fight this bug as he has now shown signs of having. This is day 2 of large dose supplementation and have not noticed a regression from our Respen-A gains. I do not intend to make this a long term thing but I also believe that D3 can be a powerful ally against the flu so I am using it on him now. I will tell you how it goes in the next few days. Thanks! Terri

Q: Are these webinars on the Autism Action site? Or will my e mail request be acceptable? Tawyna

A: Hi Tawnya,

The webinars are done through our GoToWebinar (GoToMeeting) so you will need to send me an email requesting an invitation. My email is In the very near future we will have a webinar page on our website where you can request an invitation and listen to recorded archived webinars. Our website is

By the way, we will be presenting at the AutismOne conference in Chicago May 24-30.

Elaine DeLack
Q: I can't wait to hear more about this. If i get this prescribed, could I ship with you or can they ship to AZ now? Shari

A: Hi Shari, yes we finally can ship into AZ. There are only 5 states we can't ship into now, and they are Vermont, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, and North Carolina. We are working to get a pharmacy on board that is licensed in these states as well. To be licensed in the various states the pharmacy has to take the law exam in each state and pay a fee. Unfortunately to expand to get Respen-A available in more states, the pharmacies demanded a higher price or they weren't going to continue to make the product. The discs are very time intensive to make. So the price has gone up to $82 for a month's supply. I am working on a means to make the discs easier and so maybe in the future we will be able to get the price to come down some. I am limiting the number of pharmacies that make the Respen-A so that I can better insure the quality of the product.

Elaine DeLack

A: Hi Shari - here is the name and phone number of the pharmacy that can ship to AZ now:

Key Pharmacy, 206-878-3900. They are in Seattle. Terri
Q: Hi- I am the mom of a 7 yo with Aspergers- we see dr. Rossignol in Melbourne Fl-- and I just spoke with Elaine this evening about Respen-A. It's really heartening to hear of positive results. I am really hoping for improved social behavior and lessened sensory issues. I am considering relocating to Tuscon and was told that I have to live in the Foothills school district. I was hoping you might know something about the schools in this area? Also, Syndion is not on my list of "suppies", what is it? Thanks!

A: Hi Terri! I don't know anything about school districts in the Tucson area, I am sorry. If you need info on Phoenix area schools I can give you some info. Syndion is a comprehensive multivitamin, multimineral designed for kids on the spectrum. It helps normalize sulfation and methylation pathways and help the body detox. Click HERE to read more. It is formulated by Jim Adams out of ASU, I love this product for my son!