Monday, November 4, 2013

Break Through

Did he really just say that?

I ask myself this question frequently throughout our days now. "Did he really just SAY that?" During the 30 minute conversation that I had with Jonah after picking him up from school tonight, I asked myself that question at least 60 times. 

That's right, folks! I'm having 30 minute conversations with my son! 

Just so you know, these are not just casual conversations where I ask him questions about his day, and he gives me short quick answers. These are conversations where I ask my son what happened at school today, and then I can't get a word in edgewise for at least the next 30 minutes. I just sit there laughing at how amazing all the little details are becoming. 

He's telling me stuff that his friends say, who made good choices and bad choices, who he went to PE with. These are all details that have been emerging in his evening dialogue with me for the past several months now. The dialogue started small. I would ask him if he had a good day, and he would only answer with a "yes" or "no". 

Tonight when we walked through the door, Jonah stopped to check out a couple of his school projects on the table, and said "Whoa. It's my jack o lantern. I made it at school. Mommy, mommy. Look mommy. And it's a bat. Oh man! Where's my spider? I made a spider. I must have left it at school." 

He no longer refers to himself in third person as of about a month ago. He's using "I", "me", "my", "mine" appropriately.  Huge step in intelligible speech.

There is still difficulty in understanding some of his speech. Still some mispronunciation. Still some difficulty in building sentence structure. I couldn't give a shit about all that because my son is finally talking to me.

My Jonah is talking to me. Not at me, but to me. With me.

I can think back to a time not so long ago, When Jonah was almost 3. He said "Wow" at some bubbles during an ABA session. I thought to myself then "Did he really just say that?" That was exciting. 

As Jonah got older, he learned how to ask for things he wanted like milk. This is how it went down most of the time:
  1. He would just come up behind me and squawk or grunt. 
  2. When I would ask him what he wanted, he would answer quickly "milk." 
  3. I would have to say "Then, how do you ask?"
  4. Sometimes he would begin whining or grunting in an attempt not to have to say it, but I would push him until he asked...
  5. "I want milk, please?"
And, I would think, "Wow. Did he really just say that?" I was grateful for any words that came from his mouth. But there was no Jonah behind the words that he was trained to say, or the answers he was trained to give. His expression was always shining through in his cute mannerisms, looks, gestures, dancing, singing, vocal stimming, but not a lot of expression in his words until a couple years ago. 

A couple years ago, I was so convinced in the improvements I noticed in Jonah's behavior just by making organic & unprocessed foods a priority in our diets, that I dove head first into CEASE therapy.  I'm sure most friends thought I was losing my mind. Here we are over two years later, all of the hard work is paying off. Every day, I think "If he doesn't get better than this, I'm happy." But every day just keeps getting better. 

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's officially fall. I noticed last night that it was dark already at 7:30. Wow, that happened fast! We will be apple picking on Saturday (already). I can't believe how fast this year as flown by. We had a great summer, took a nice long break from CEASE. It gave Jonah a chance to rebalance again after finalizing the Hib clear. 

We are just about 4 weeks into a new clear. PCV or Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. So far, I couldn't be more impressed by the slow gains I am seeing. He is becoming more independent with everyday tasks like flushing the toilet. Hey... I have to be grateful for the little things, right?

Also, continuing to communicate more consistently and clearly.  He is vocalizing his thoughts, observations, and imagination more consistently and more clearly. He is maturing more. I've noticed huge leaps in his reading ability.  There is just so much good stuff developing over the past few weeks. So far, not too many aggravations or behaviors. I have noticed one or two nights of increased sweating, and he has been really itchy, although that seems to be diminishing over the past few days. It makes me so happy to see him doing so well. 

On our last appointment with Jonah's HP, we decided that we would clear PCV and then antibiotics. These next two could be big for Jonah. PCV is the last of the 4 shots he received at 18 months. Those 4 set into motion a prolonged regression that eventually led to months of chronic illness, decrease in appetite, and severe skin conditions. He was prescribed antibiotics for the skin condition around 27 months. 

I keep replaying those months over and over in my mind, trying to remember every piece of Jonah during his regression. He was still starting to say new words just before the antibiotics. I remember one morning when he was scratching himself like mad, and I was trying to help him. He said "Itchy" for the first time that morning. He was given antibiotics about a week after that. It was another 6 months after before I heard him say another word. 

So, once we get through PCV, we tackle antibiotics. And then we will see. The more Jonah talks, the more anxious I am to meet more of his true-self. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yobo

I had a conversation with Jonah tonight during our 5 minute cuddle time that wasn't possible before. To think that a couple years ago, he wasn't talking like this is one thing, but it's another to think that he wasn't even talking like this a month ago. A month ago he was saying things that were blowing my mind. 

The past two days, all he wants is to "watch school songs on compuper." There are Jonah-isms in our house that our family all have come to love. Watching school songs on the computer is about the sweetest thing ever because he cruises around YouTube watching stuff like this: 




He now knows how to type in the names of most of the songs he wants to watch, and when he doesn't know, he asks me for help, and I can spell it out for him while he types it in. Then he sings and does the little dances if there are any. He likes to cuddle and ask questions like "Wha-isit?" Jonah-ism for what is it. 

Tonight when we cuddled at bedtime (5 minute routine every night when he is getting tucked in), Jonah asked about going to touch the twinkly star (like the little owl in the video clip). At this point, it dawned on me that my poor urban child has probably never really seen the potential of the stars without the city light pollution. He loves the moon, but I doubt he's seen that many stars. I have to start traveling with him, and am hoping to plan a one-night camping trip in the fall whether I can afford it or not. 

He told me "Jonah want to go fry up in va hewicopter and touch va twinkwy stars." Wow! Imagination! 

A short minute later, I was wiggling his two bottom-front teeth that are loose when we got to talking about the tooth fairy. In an effort to prepare him for losing his teeth (something that he was scared of) I introduced him to the tooth fairy. Judge me if you want, but it works for him. He's really excited about it, and told me so tonight. 

Me: "You know Jonah, the Tooth Fairy lives on a star."
Jonah: Jumps up from seated position with excitement and says with a big smile "Yes. And va toof fairy is yobo* come down on a hewicopter yobo get my too - thh**." 
Me: "Oh really?! The tooth fairy flies on a helicopter?"
Jonah: "Yes. And va toof fairy is going to fwy on hewicopter yopo get your too-thh and bring presents."
Me: "That's right Jonah. The tooth fairy flies on a helicopter and brings presents and takes your tooth."
Jonah: "And yobo bring Jonah's too-thh to thhe stars. Ehhh. Jonah touch twinkly stars?" 
Me: "Jonah, do you want to go ride in a helicopter someday?"
Jonah: "Yes."
Me: "Well that is something we are going to have to make happen." 

There is more and more reason to celebrate how great things are turning for us. I think we have finally finished with the Hib clearing. (We were running close to 5 months on the Hib clear.) Summer is here! I have a normal schedule. I'm better rested, and working on developing a consistent schedule with Jonah. The aggravated behaviors have virtually disappeared. He is still demonstrating them at times, but they are much more manageable than before. (Another reason why I am better rested.) 

I am happy to feel happy. To feel things lining up, opportunities for both of us falling into place. Is it just CEASE helping Jonah? I can't say for sure, but I would certainly be surprised if it wasn't. There would really be no explanation for the growth that I am seeing in him aside from his diet, but we were seeing gains before going gluten free. I feel a GF diet has definitely been beneficial for him. 

In general, Jonah is sharing facts about his day with me, with details that he wasn't able to express before. He is showing more attachment for others, like Imo & Scotty, and friends at school. He is playing by himself. Not just sitting on the floor, or rolling around and looking at objects, scattering and throwing objects. No. He is now actually playing. Like on the 4th of July, when he pulled out a board game and asked me to play. I told him that I needed to make treats for our 4th of July party, and he asked if he could play by himself. I said sure. The next thing I saw was Jonah, sitting on the floor with all the cards and fake money spread out before him, as he vocally prompted a sequence of actions. It was 'The Game of Life.' A game that we have tried to play together, but since it is meant for a 9+ audience, Jonah's maturity is not at a level to understand and play the game thoroughly. Instead, he created his own little system. 

These are slow, steady and consistent gains. If this is as good as the gains get, they have exceeded my expectations.    

*To fill you in on some Jonah-isms... "yobo" is Jonah's way of saying 'you have to' as an instructional term. Since he has difficulty in the maturity of his speech, he will often say "yobo go..." as a statement when talking about his schedule. If he is talking about another person, he will still give you the direction like "Yobo go sit down." He is in the early stages of learning how to reference himself appropriately as he often talks about himself in first person. He is working on correcting himself while speaking... "Jonah got 6. No. I got 6." These are all very recent and increasingly consistent gains that we are seeing. While we have always worked on helping him to correct his speech, Jonah was often intimidated by it and would get upset or angry after trying a few times and failing. Now, he is prompting and correcting himself. The "yobo" is a term that he has self-corrected a couple times, and when it disappears from his language as so many of the Jonah-isms are starting to disappear, I will miss the sound of it in his sweet little voice. (Incidentally, yobo is a casual term of endearment in Korean and a word I grew up familiar with thanks to my grandparents.) 

**(That thh is to emphasize the effort Jonah is demonstrating unprompted to more clearly pronounce the sounds he has difficulty with. He normally pronounces the th sound as an ef sound.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

How do I prepare for that?

We have been on the Hib clear for just over 4 months now. Jonah has gone from never calling out to me for attention, to constantly calling out "mommy, mommy, mommy." Now, over the past two days, it's just "mom." 

Going from "mommy" to "mom" is not something I'm prepared for. He has two loose teeth. I'm not quite prepared for that either. What's the going rate for the tooth fairy these days? When I was a kid, you were lucky to get a $1 bill. 

I'm not prepared for my baby to grow up. 

So fast. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"Brave"

Jonah has had a movie revival with the Pixar/Disney film "Brave" over the past few days. I have to admit, this flick made me cry when we went to see it in the theater the first time. He talks about going to see the movie and the friends that we went with. Evidence that he is now able to express his memories from a year ago.

Tonight when the movie was at the finale, Jonah started getting really emotional. His eyes started to swell, and his bottom lip started to pout out (the sweetest, cutest, most precious sad face you could ever imagine). He looks at me and points to the movie, voice cracking, "That's her mommy."

I said, "Yes, Jonah. That's her mommy. Do you feel sad because she loves her mommy?"

He said "Yes" and started wiping at his eyes.

I told him it was okay if it made him feel like crying. So he cried. I scooped him up and he wrapped his arms and legs around me so tight, buried his face in my neck, and cried so hard. He has so much empathy. He said "I love you mommy."

Just another amazing difference I see in him that I wanted to share.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Grass IS Greener On The Other Side

I am happy to report that I think we are starting to see some more small breakthroughs to round out the end of this Hib clearing. While he has been doing incredible at school, Jonah has been demonstrating extremely difficult behaviors at home for the past several weeks. I am happy to report that it has been 41 hours since his last break down.

I'm celebrating!

Jonah has been able to indicate to me on a few occasions over the past couple weeks when he is beginning to feel aggravated. He is answering my questions very promptly and politely. Example:
Me: "Jonah, do you want some milk."
Jonah: "No thank you, mommy."
He answered so promptly! No delay in response!! I only had to ask him one time!!! The regularity of his responses are increasing dramatically. Before, I would have asked this question several times, and then prompted a response after the 3rd time. His reading ability has picked up dramatically! Reading speed has increased, and he is now implementing phonics. He is starting to read signs out in public. He is sounding out words he would not have been able to sound out a week ago.


Lots of talking! Lots of expression! This morning he wanted to go out to the garden, and look at all our vegetables growing. He loves rubbing his fingers on our tomato plants, then holds them up to me and says "Here, mommy. Smell the tomato plant. Mmmm. It smells so yummy." As he rubs his belly in a circle.

Just the sweetest!

I'm feeling so much better as well over the last few days. My energy and motivation is slowly picking up; sensitivities and anxieties are diminishing. There were fleeting moments over the past few weeks when I thought I was autistic. It's like the fog is lifting from around us.

The promise of recovery is possible. I'm so grateful for how far he has come.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grief & The Rantings Of A Woman Pissed Off At The World

CEASE Update... We are still on Hib. I've lost count of the number of weeks, and I don't feel like looking back on my notes. This has been a stressful clear for both of us over the past few weeks. We have finally moved up to 10M dosing and I think we will be finishing this clear by the end of the month. Fingers crossed.

I am ready to move onto a nice little break from CEASE. I think I will take 4 weeks off this summer, and really try to get a feel as to how his GF diet is benefitting him. We went into GF transition right around the same time we started the Hib clearing, and it's been hard to determine what is diet, and what is CEASE as far as the gains that he has made. I am hoping to refine our eating a little bit more. I've been researching all the diets that claim to be incredible for autism, and I'm not sure which path we will take yet.

I've been looking at GAPS for the past several months now. The before GAPS/after GAPS videos of autism kiddos online has definitely been compelling me. However, I joined an online GAPS group, which has probably been the best source of information. Concerns have been raised about the diet for me by GAPS dieters discussing issues like tooth decay or hair loss. Something about both of those potential side effects is an indicator that it might not be the best choice for Jonah. I think we will skip the GAPS train, although I do like the principles behind gut and psychology. We will likely continue to remove grains slowly, work on reducing sugar and eliminating casein for a bit to see how it goes. I am game to try it in hopes that it helps Jonah more. If it doesn't, at least I know. I don't think Jonah has a sensitivity to dairy, but then again I didn't think either of us had issues with gluten. We clearly did. I can still hear his sweet little plea "bread?" when we were going through yeast die-off. This kid didn't really like bread to begin with, but he asked for it constantly during die-off. I craved it constantly, so I understood immediately what he was going through.

As difficult as the behaviors with the Hib clear and DTaP before that have been, we have been seeing some tremendous gains. When he isn't aggravating, I've been catching these glimpses of a normal kid. Normal- as in nuero-typical. Speech, although still difficult to understand at times, has been sounding clearer. He's been super motivated for interaction with me via playing board games again, or tag. Every evening when he comes home from school, he reads 5 books for 10 chocolate chips. He's been drawing and demonstrating imaginative play. He loves to help make his lunches and is showing more signs of independence. He is generous, sweet, and compassionate. I get this peak of gestures and expressions that look and sound like things a normal kid will do. It lasts for just a few seconds.

And then he gets a maniacal look in his eye just before he giggles, darts and lunges toward the kitchen counter in hopes of grabbing the glass of water next to the sink and hurtling it across the room.

And then, I get PISSED OFF at the world. The world as comprised of a closed-minded subset of people that makes up the majority of the American culture. The people that follow doctors orders and eat nothing but Special K for breakfast because they are on a diet. The people that have a prescription for EVERYTHING. The women who drive luxury cars and carry designer purses, but are concerned about the price of organic foods. I could go on. This is the mindset that I was a part of and I hate it. I resent it. This is the life that brought me to where I am today as a mother. This is the lifestyle that robbed Jonah of a normal childhood. This is the commercialized, processed, over-prescribed, standard-American-B.S. that has robbed (and will continue to rob) countless children of a normal life.

I get so PISSED that my child has to go through this. That my child is sick. That my child was sick and I didn't even know it. 

"It's just kids being sick." 
"It's just eczema." 
"Kids are picky eaters." (He wasn't picky. He just wouldn't eat. He wouldn't eat ANY-F-ING-THING!)
"Kids get colds all the time."
"Some kids don't grow much between 2 and 3 years of age." (2 lbs?! That's it? Is that normal? Sure didn't seem normal, but why didn't I question it!?)

I was so stupid. How could I have been so stupid? The whole reason I chose our previous pediatrician was because of this as follows... I asked him about the concerns regarding mercury in vaccines. At the time, I didn't know much about it, and had only seen and read small little blips about it in the mainstream media (which really means that even though I was asking about it, I had no idea what I was asking about). He reassured me that vaccines were safe, and that they had low-dose thimerasol vaccinations on-hand. Well, that sold me. 

At one of his vaccine appointments, the nurse complained that I chose to go with the low-dose thimerasol vaccines because it required 5 injections instead of the 3. I actually rolled my eyes over at my friend who had accompanied us on the visit and responded "Well, it's better than risking my child develops autism." 

I was so fucking stupid. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

To Those Beginning

I'm curious to know how many of you reading are parents of children with autism? Im curious to know if some of you are here because you are using CEASE Therapy, or looking in to CEASE Therapy? Or considering another alternative therapy for autism?

I realize now that I started this blog and CEASE not really knowing what I was getting myself into, which set us into motion on an evolving path. I did months of reading and research in preparation for starting CEASE. I prepared a ridiculously thorough account of all our emotional and physical injuries that could possibly have attributed to my child's condition for our new HP. I had a list of questions prepared. Essentially, I had my feet in the water for months before I decided to dive in to the pool. 

I am still learning. 

To round out Autism Awareness Month, I want to address those of you that have come here because you are considering CEASE, maybe you just started, or you are looking for something and you don't know what it is. Here's what I have to say to you, from my heart...

This shit is hard. This may be the hardest thing you have or will ever have done. When I say 'shit', I mean any recovery therapy in general. Not only is it hard, but it's scary. It's scary to let go of every thing conventional that you thought you knew. It's scary to learn how toxic our environment is. It's scary to learn just how compromised our children are. It's simply going to be the hardest and scariest shit you may ever do in your life... next to fighting in a war. 

But, this is a different kind of war. This is a war against our environment. Our government doesn't seem to care or understand what could be intoxicating us to the point that our children are growing up in an environment that has literally scrambled their brains.  The autism community is significantly split between those that still believe autism is only psychological, and others like me who believe autism is a medical condition that can be treated by restoring the natural balance of our children's bodies. And, then there is the general public, who really have NO CLUE what is happening to our children. I ended up here writing this, because I was once one of those people who had NO CLUE.

It's been right around a year and a half since we started CEASE. From what I can tell, with 3 vaccines nearly down, we are about half way there with no determined end in sight. There have been ups and there have been downs.  The downs are really bad. I know I've moped on this blog about it enough. I struggle through each clearing with Jonah. It effects me. His moods effect me. When he is aggravating during a clear, expressing physical, emotional and mental distress, it makes me feel sick and depressed. While I am trying to handle his rage, and remaining patient myself, and working through the explosive tantrums, and balancing discipline, and making sure he doesn't do anything that could be dangerous to himself, I feel sick. I can only imagine how he is feeling if I feel as crappy as I do. Trying to figure out what is causing the aggravations, trying to help the aggravations, trying to calm and soothe and maintain a structured environment at home and in the outside world that is supportive to him is a constant job. 

I'll also give you fair warning, nothing is scarier than the fevers, rashes, and other physical symptoms that can occur. Conventional wisdom would have you just give tylenol, advil, benadryl, or put a steroid cream on it. But... not on CEASE. On CEASE, you are supposed to ride it out, and be ready to jump if something is significantly wrong. You will be on pins and needles the entire time because of fear that the physical signs could be an indication of something worse, so you will want to make sure you are working with a CEASE practitioner that you can rely on and trust. Of course there are natural and homeopathic remedies that can be used to help ease these physical signs, but it's scary not to do what you have always thought was okay to do. 

For us, physical aggravations have mainly been rashes, which have subsided after completing the DTaP clearing. Not before he was sent home from school last year because they suspected it was impetigo. He is still feeling itchy, but his skin doesn't rip like lace the second he scratches it anymore. I've actually noticed that his complexion seems a bit darker, although I don't have an explanation for that. Jonah has always been super fair. We refer to his complexion as translucent since you can see his veins. I know in homeopathy, this is silica, but we have not treated it with a silica remedy. Since removing gluten from his diet and starting the Hib clearing, the veins seem less noticeable on parts of his body. He could also just be getting tan.

On the positive side of CEASE, there are the moments that make it all worth it. The gains that have developed for us with CEASE are slow and consistent. The gains emerge gradually, until suddenly you notice that your child is bonding with peers and sharing stories with you about his/her day. Suddenly, they are playing with toys appropriately, using imagination. Suddenly, they are able to tell you they love you unprompted. If I only ever heard that one time, it would make it all worth it. Luckily Jonah says it frequently now, but there are parents out there who have never been able to hug their children, or kiss their children, or expect to hear 'I love you' because of autism. 

There is more to CEASE than just homeopathy. You will need to clean house, removing all those elements that could possibly cause risk for exposure to environmental toxins such as beauty products, cleaning products, and plastics. You will need to clean up the diet and throw out the microwave. You will need to be careful to think about how everything could impact your child's development, which will make you slightly paranoid and neurotic (like me). You will be forced to learn about all the garbage we are exposed to on a daily and consistent basis from the air we breath, to the water we drink, to the food we eat. This is a new level of self-concsiousness.

Here is where I am in my evolving thoughts regarding autism. I liken the debate on autism to a game of 'Pin the Tale on the Donkey.' Everyone wants to stick their pin on it in just one place, and say that it's right. "It's the MMR shot!" or "It's vaccines." or "It's Antibiotics."or "My child was chosen to be special by God." In the mean time, no one has taken a step back and looked at the entire jack-ass system. The toxic load that has become a physical burden to those becoming parents transfers from the parents to the child. Our children inherit their toxic load from us. As this toxic load continues to build generationally, we will continue to see these health deficiencies increase. The rate of increase over the past few decades is just the starting point, as demonstrated by the rapid increases in prevalence that we have seen just in the last 5 years. I find this similar scenario more and more in my reading and research, and it just makes sense to me.

If the rate of autism and developmental disabilities in our children isn't enough to convince a person that a sickness is consuming us as a culture, perhaps we should consider some other health issues that have been increasing. Let's take a look at Alzheimer's and other dementias. I liken it to autism for the elderly. Not only is prevalence increasing at a rapid rate, with younger on-set, but according to conventional medicine, there is also no known reason why there has been such an increase. Did you know that Alzheimer's mortality rates have risen 68% in a decade? Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans will die from this? 

Our children are literally losing their minds, and our elderly are losing their minds. See a trend? What happens to the body when it gets old? It's less likely to detoxify substances that have accumulated over time, thus building to a level of toxicity that causes neurological damage to the brain. This is very similar to what happens to our children, because their tiny bodies are not always best prepared to handle the toxicity we subject them to. It's overload. The vaccines, antibiotics, prescription medications, GMO seeds, processed foods, fluoride and chlorine in the water, hormone disruptors in our make-up, carcinogens in our lotions, etc. are all just a catalyst that sets it off.  

After being a witness to perseverating for the past few weeks at a grand scale, I can tell you the behavior pattern is very similar to behaviors that are often demonstrated in Alzheimer's patients. Jonah has been obsessed with past events (mostly 'bad choices') trying to replicate them while in a tantrum. I call it a tantrum, but it's really those moments that my child becomes removed from himself, and starts making irrational choices because he can't help it. He knows better than to throw glass jars, but he can't help laughing about it, talking about it, and going so far as to try it again. He talks about these things constantly. He says the same thing over and over again, and when I try to ignore it, he has repeated it countless times and is now screaming that line at me until he is acknowledged. What likens Jonah's perseverating behavior to Alzheimer's for me, is the level of recall. He doesn't focus on things that happened yesterday. When I question him about yesterday, he will answer my question with a list of 'bad choices' he made 18 months ago. It's like he is mentally stuck in that time frame for moment. I've seen this similar behavior in the couple people with Alzheimer's that I have known.

There is an overall decline in health, despite every medical advancement in research that has been achieved. People are getting sicker, with rarer illnesses become more prevalent. While England is in an uproar over the measles outbreak and attributing it to a higher rate of unvaccinated children, personally, I think they should be worried about the illnesses that are actually shortening life expectancies at much higher rates. I read recently that autistic children have 1/2 the life expectancy of a nuero-typical child. To that I say "Over my dead body".

I know CEASE won't work for everyone, but CEASE has been amazing for us. Just this weekend, Jonah demonstrated several gains, from imaginative play and new expressions. He actually asked my sister if she was excited to go to the baseball game today. I know that doesn't sound like much to some, but for us, it is huge. He has never asked anyone anything like that I know of. He has never told me he was pretending to make a soup with his bath toys before this weekend either. He has never spent hours drawing at our kitchen table like he did this weekend, creating little word monsters by writing out the words he knows and drawing little faces on them. These are the cute, normal things that a kid his age should be doing, that he hasn't been able to do. Now he can in part because of CEASE. 

When we started CEASE, I knew no one else like me.  There were people out there, but they weren't in the autism community I was previously a part of. You know, that conventional medicine community that just gives you a diagnosis and points you toward the door. On the other side of that door are the parents who look at you with shame because you can't just accept your child's condition. This is the older generation of autism parents. Now, there is a younger, newer, rebellious generation of autism parents searching for answers. If autism was cancer, would you just accept it or go down fighting for your child's life?  

CEASE has really only just begun to emerge, and there are more families trying it. There are support groups, filled with parents who are willing to try anything, fighting tooth and nail to save their children. While some of them have moved on from CEASE, there are other methods of therapy that they are finding effective. The resources that are developing are endless. The one thing that we see working that these alternative therapies all have in common... restoring a natural balance to the body. 

I'm not a doctor, nor a scientist, nor a practitioner of any kind, so I can't tell you what to do here. Instead, I share with you my opinions that have been formed from extensive research and I hope they lead you on your way to searching for answers. Make sure you ask questions in your search. And once you have completed your search for answers, keep searching for answers. 

Most of all, follow your heart. 










Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fishy Fish

With the US FDA closing public comments on GMO Salmon tomorrow, I thought I would take the opportunity to share this documentary with you.

www.salmonconfidential.ca

The documentary raises some very serious concerns about what farmed salmon is doing to the ecosystem in Canada, and putting sick and contaminated fish in our food supply. This is just a glimpse of the broader problem that will very likely develop if we approve GMO salmon for production.

I urge you to start paying attention to what you are eating. I urge you to start caring about what you are eating. I urge you to start doing something about it.

http://action.greenamerica.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10106

I'm going to be redundant here to make my point. Over the past 2 years I've done a ton of research on diets, conventional medicine, alternative medicine, and health in general. I would like to say that it was prompted by Jonah's autism, but it started with sustainability. I developed a passion for sustainability when I was working on my interior design degree, which covered sustainability in the built environment. This led me to want to understand sustainable lifestyles. You can have the greenest LEED Platinum Certified building on the planet, but it won't do much for you if you don't know how to use it.

I work with a variety of professionals and know a variety of people who think that they are desperately considerate of the environment. For most people, what you think is healthy for the environment is not. In the long run, it's even worse for your health and the health of your loved ones. All of it starts with food.

What I have determined is that in the end, it all comes down to quality of life. We can not sustain a quality of life for ourselves or our children in the current state of the environment that we are in. I always point out to my clients that we only need 3 things to survive.

1. Clean Air To Breath
2. Clean Water To Drink
3. Clean Food To Eat

As these 3 things become increasingly less sustainable, so does our quality of life.

The more people that are aware, the more people that will help to create change. Autism and developmental disorders in our children are just one side effect of the increasingly unsustainable environment. The biggest thing you can do to create change is think about what you are eating and know everything you possibly can about what you are eating. If you know more about fish farming in general and the potential of GMO Salmon, you aren't going to want to eat it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Awareness Month

As a follow up to my last post, I should say that the aggravations we were experiencing have passed for the most part. Jonah has been doing exceptionally well for the past week and a half. There have been just a handful of tantrums, but they are gradually getting much more manageable. His demeanor overall has improved dramatically and he has been exceptionally happy and lovable.

I've been working on a blog post for Autism Awareness Month. I wanted to share what I felt about the public perception of autism with those of you who read this blog. However, I feel the events of this past weekend more relevant to what I am facing as the parent of an autistic child in recovery therapy, and the problems we face as a society in relation to autism. So, the other post will have to wait.

We received tickets to the Padre's baseball games Saturday and Sunday as a gift from a dear friend. I decided that I would take Jonah on the trolley for the Saturday night game. This was a brave step on my part, but I felt that his behaviors had calmed enough that it should be manageable. Plus, Jonah was very motivated and excited to ride the trolley. (I shamefully admit that I have not taken him on the trolley, but it is something I would like to do more with him. I've been hesitant to do so in the past because the trolley scares me a bit. I've heard horror stories about people who were beat to crap while other trolley riders looked past it. Shocking, right?!)

Back on topic... Jonah was super excited to ride the trolley. See...


And posing with his "Cute Little Baby Green Bear"...



Getting downtown, and all activities prior to the game starting went flawlessly. When I told Jonah we were going to the baseball game a few days before, he immediately requested cotton candy. I was so impressed that he remembered and asked for it instantly, of course I said yes. I know this stuff is bad for you, but I believe that you have to allow for little treats here and there. Plus, watching him eat cotton candy is the highlight of every baseball game I've ever been to with him.


He did end up having a difficult tantrum around the 6th inning. He was definitely over stimulated, and I'm sure the sugar didn't help. He wanted to start throwing objects, particularly a cup with ice leftover from a beverage. I ended up wrestling him in the stands for about 5 minutes while every one kept glancing over to see. He was trying to hit and scratch, and bang his head on concrete, all in an attempt to get a free hand and fling that cup with ice into the crowd in front of us. The guys that were sitting next to us needed to exit the stands, and I apologized to them, explaining that he is autistic and having a tantrum. This announcement seemed to ease the crowd. 

I decided it was time to leave once he had calmed down. When we got to the trolley stop, most people were leaving the game early too. There was a group of rowdy guys that were heavily intoxicated. I'll just go ahead and say it bluntly. They were drunk and they were Marines. If it sounds like I am suggesting that a drunk Marine is worse than a normal drunk person, then that is exactly what I am suggesting. It's shameful that a select few can generate such a disgraceful opinion on my behalf of drunk Marines in general, but they would exceed my preconceived social expectations of how drunk Marines behave.

I took Jonah past them, and he sat patiently and waited on the bench for the trolley to arrive. We were lucky to get seats. Once the trolley arrived, I snagged a seat next to a sweet young woman who was very complimentary of Jonah's cuteness, and Jonah snagged the seat across from us next to her friend. The trolley was crowded, lots of people standing. The doors were closed, and then they opened, and the drunk Marines came crowding in. 

They were excessively loud, demonstrated all ranges of profanity, pushing each other, making everyone else on the trolley uncomfortable. There were children right next to them, and they would not let up on the vulgarity. The family that was standing next to them started to urge their kids to move toward the back of the trolley when three of the guys started wrestling and pushing in our direction toward Jonah. I immediately went into protective mode, and said "Excuse me. My son is autistic, and I would appreciate it if he was not subjected to your behavior at this time."

They stopped quietly. People around us started nodding at me in approval. The father of the family that was next to us mouthed "Thank You." 

And then I heard the guys chuckling and saying something about autism. The guy sitting next to Jonah started shaking his head and getting upset. I asked him, "Did I just hear him say something about autism?" 

He nodded yes and said "I'm about to say something." 

I put my hand up and asked the guys "Do you have something to say about autism?" 

Busting out into a loud group chuckle, one guy turned to me and said while laughing "I just don't understand what your kid being autistic has to do with anything."

Now, I could see the trolley passengers getting uncomfortable again at the thought of the confrontation that was about to unfold. Steam was literally coming out of my ears. I said "It's because he is disabled, and I don't want your behavior to harm or upset him." 

They stayed quiet after that, and the girl next to me reassured me that I did the right thing. She told me that the group of Marines sat next to her and her family on the trolley to the game. She told me the guy that made the insensitive comment had shared with them that he had a 6 month old daughter, and we both agreed that he was an asshole for acting like this while drunk in public. After a few stops, I noticed that the group of guys had left. In fact most people had. And then suddenly, they came back on. 

They sat down and were fine. The one guy even smiled and nodded at me. I smiled back to be polite. We were only two stops from home when I heard the group of guys chuckling, and one of them again saying "autistic"with a slow slur. I put my head back and waited a moment to see if I would hear it again. He said it again, and they started laughing again. 

I said very loudly "1 in 50! That's how many kids are estimated to have autism right now. There will be more children diagnosed with autism this year than any other illness combined. You guys think it's cool to sit there and act like a bunch of drunk assholes, but it might serve you to know a little about what is happening to our children." I turned to the guy with the 6th month old daughter, and said "You should know that there is no known cause for autism. You should learn more about these issues so you can keep your daughter healthy and safe, instead of acting like a drunk asshole." 

He was pissed. His buddy had to stand up and block him to keep from coming back toward us. "You don't talk about my daughter. Keep my daughter out of your mouth. I swear to God..."

I came back "I'm only advising you to keep her safe and healthy, unlike the way you are mocking me and talking about my son." 

I wanted to ask them who their CO was. Like they would have told me. 

I didn't want to let the bad end to the evening spoil the fun we had already had the rest of the day, especially since we had to go back to another baseball game in the morning. Back to back baseball games are exhausting, but my sister and her beloved were able to join us for the game. Jonah was excited and in an excellent mood. We had a great Sunday morning, and he had already finished another cotton candy when we set out on a hunt for a gluten free hot dog. 

As we came down an escalator, Jonah recognized a water wall/fountain that he ran to see. He was so excited, saying "Wow. Look it. That's awesome." I agreed with him and let him know that we would need to go in one minute. Then he said "Okay. Mommy, I want to take a picture. Give me the phone, please."

My jaw dropped. I hurried to get the phone in disbelief of what I had heard him say. When I handed him the phone, he steadied the camera and snapped this image...



 Then, I asked him if he wanted me to take a picture of him sitting in front of the fountain, and he said very happily "Okay. Yes please!" and sat down and posed. He hasn't posed like this for me in years.


I gave him the phone and asked him if he wanted to see it, and he looked and said "Oh so cute. Now Mommy, it's your turn. Sit." So I sat, and he held up the phone, said "Say cheese" and took this...



I was on the verge of tears. I could not believe what he had just been able to communicate with me. To think that was not possible a year and a half ago when we started CEASE. It was not possible last month even. Amazing. I want to cry writing it. It's just so exciting. Not to mention, one of the best photos taken of me in a long time. 

The experiences of this past weekend are why I work so hard for Jonah. These are the reasons why we need to raise awareness for autism. The encounter on Saturday is just evidence to the insensitivity that exists in our society regarding autism. Of course the group of Marines were mocking me, because they didn't understand that my concern was preventing Jonah from getting hurt or upset by their rowdiness and perhaps melting down with another tantrum. How are they supposed to understand autistic sensitivities? The public is not prepared for the challenges that this generation of children will face. And, how are we supposed to prepare our autistic children for what general society has to offer them? How are we suppose to teach them to protect themselves, let alone their best interests? And our government certainly isn't doing enough at this point because the rate of diagnosis keeps climbing up.  This is why we need autism awareness. 

We need more awareness for what is working. Things like CEASE therapy, diets, bio meds, etc. Without CEASE therapy, I don't believe the last three pictures of happiness in this post would have been possible. So, I'll keep fighting because those are the moments that make it all worth it. Increased awareness brings hope.  Jonah is my hope. He's happy and making amazing progress right now. This is why we need autism awareness. 

What are you doing for autism awareness? Write your local representative. Share your own story. Share this blog. BE a voice for our children.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Difficult Times

This past week has been difficult. Jonah is demonstrating major regressive behaviors at home. The very difficult silly tantrums have returned... Laughing hysterically or shrieking with anger all while throwing things, hitting, kicking, knocking over furniture, punching, spitting, scratching, trying to throw glass jars and drinking glasses, putting garbage in his mouth, hitting himself. Tonight as he took his bath, I caught him drinking his bath water, which he hasn't done in months. He knows it's bad for him. And as he was getting out of the tub, he thought it would be funny to pee on the floor. The Hib clear is proving to be challenging and exhausting for both of us.

He is remembering things from months ago, specifically all the bad choices that he made then. He talks about them constantly. CONSTANTLY! "Remember when Jonah made bad choices throwing glasses with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Pam? Yah. Jonah breaking glasses. Remember Jonah throwing lotion all over the old house. Yah. Mommy have to clean it up." This is an event he talks about constantly. I hear him say that exactly at least 150 times a day right now for the past 7 days.

It's driving me crazy. To think there was once a point when I had dreamed of him talking so much, and I couldn't have dreamed it could be this annoying. It's actually pretty comical when I think about the incident he is referring to. My dad and step-mom came to visit us from Minnesota for Jonah's 6th birthday. We were all able to go to Disneyland together, which is another memory Jonah is sharing. Tonight he asked to "Go ride pirates with Grandpa Bob again?" It's actually so incredible that he is able to express such affection. He really has made amazing progress.

Back to the incident Jonah keeps talking about... On the 4th and final day of their trip, I left Jonah alone with my dad and Pam for the first time while I ran to Trader Joe's for about 45 minutes. I was on my way home, a block from the house when my dad called to see how long it would be until I got back. My heart dropped. I asked my dad "What did he do?"

My dad said "He was good the whole time until about 10 minutes ago. Then all of sudden he came into the kitchen and just picked up a glass and threw it on the ground. So I sent him to your room so he wouldn't get hurt while we cleaned up the glass. Then he got a hold of some lotion and he has it all over your bedroom."

When I ran into the house, I could hear Jonah laughing in the bedroom. I went in to find him still flinging the bottle at the wall, the lid off, and small globs splattering out of the bottle onto the wall. It was everywhere. I mean, on the walls, the windows, the floor, the blinds, the closet doors, the clothes in the closet, the blankets, the bed, the furniture, the ceiling, the pillows, inside my dresser drawers kind of EVERYWHERE. I went into the kitchen and poor Grandpa Bob and Grandma Pam seemed pretty frazzled. Of course, this weekend was their first glimpse of autism.

When Jonah isn't aggravating, he is the sweetest, cuddliest, cutest little guy. He's funny and charming, and I just want to smooch his cheeks constantly. One of his favorite things is to play cuddle, where we snuggle in blankets and mostly I tickle him. He has got to be the best kid to tickle. He is hands down the most amazing person.

When he is aggravating, it's enough to make me question my entire existence. Am I doing the right thing? Am I a bad mother? I find myself feeling lonely because no one in our lives really seems to understand the depth of what we are going through. We are alienated from the public and friends because I can't always predict his behavior and constantly consider our dietary restrictions. I have a handful of friends left, and go figure they are the ones that have been around the longest. Of course, they all also live very far away, and I start feeling sorry for myself.

I hate feeling sorry for myself. If I say that I am a single mother with an autistic child, people look at me with pity, which I hate. I don't say it so people will feel sorry for me or for us. I say it because it defines my strength and my character. When I am feeling sorry for myself, I have to stop and remind myself that I am doing something that not many people could do. I am raising a child on my own, under difficult circumstances, with few resources for outside support, and I am recovering my son from autism.

Not many people can say that they ever did something so big.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why

Totally awesome development in conversational speech over the last few days. Just a one word statement that Jonah has never used before. "Why?" He's been asking "WHY"! 

Amazing how one little word has seemingly changed everything.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Year of the Snake

Did you know that this is 'The Year of the Snake'?

I, just so happen to have been born in the year of the snake. Indicating that perhaps this will be my year.

TO DO LIST:
Start my career as a Sustainable Lifestyle Designer... DONE!

Yes. That's right. I took a huge leap last year. HUGE. I jumped off a cliff in a bad economy from a horrible job that was killing me and started working for myself. It has been an incredibly-crazy rewarding journey these past few months. I have had struggles (I'M BROKE AS HELL!),  but struggling builds strength in character, and I am going to need a tremendous amount of character for what I have planned. I was broke and miserable when I had a salary, and I'm broke and happy now. I get to tuck my son in bed every night, and wake him up every morning. That's more important to me than anything, especially when there were so many nights and mornings I had to miss out on because of work. Now, I want to help people. I get to help people. I want to raise awareness to the importance of sustainability. Stay tuned for more to come from me in my career.

I have come full circle to an understanding of my life over the last two years. First and foremost... I have been through way too much shit in this life to let it all be for nothing. It all has to be worth something! And it is worth something, because... all the shit that I have been through will give me a strong voice to stand up for what happened to my son. And, to stand up for countless families that battle health problems. That's right. I said it. Autism is a health problem. Just like cancer is a health problem. Just like diabetes is a health problem. Just like heart disease and obesity and food allergies and asthma are health problems.

At the top of my goal list for this year, is to establish Mission: Jonah as a non-profit. It is my mission to build awareness to the issues that we face as a society if we do not demand from our government that our children be protected from those things that may be causing autism and other health complications, and that we take immediate action to prevent further on-set of this epidemic.

It's not just autism. It's our lives. It's our world.

This world is imploding on us.

Over two years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever. I went vegan for sustainability. I wanted to learn more about sustainability. I wanted to learn how sustainability would impact me. When I was finishing my degree in interior design in 2009, I learned about sustainability in the built environment. It became important for me to understand how sustainability would impact behavior. Every one was talking about being green, but were they living it?

We live in an extremely wasteful society. The average American consumer generates something like 22000 pounds of waste per year. Our society is structured to promote this lifestyle, and we lack the tools needed to improve upon bad habits. I began to think about sustainability in relation to design and architecture. I realized that you can build LEED certified buildings all over the world, but if no one understands the benefit or how to use it, what's the point. And, to be quite frank, those that stand to benefit the most from sustainability have the least access and education to do it. Like me, for example. I am a lower-middle-class, single mother buried in student loan debt beyond comprehension. I needed to be more sustainable, but I couldn't go buy a hybrid car or a LEED certified house.

So, I gave up meat and travelled down a new road.  Being that I was a food-addicted-emotional-eater, I thought I was going to be in for a challenge. I started with an 8 week transition in my diet. Every week, I phased out one item:
1. Beef
2. Pork
3. Chicken
4. Seafood
5. Soda
6. Eggs
7. Dairy
8. Dairy (I had to hold on to butter and cheese for an extra week)
This was carefully planned, with the first week starting right after Thanksgiving in Dallas. I was able to indulge on any kind of meat that I could have hoped for or wanted.

By the time I hit 8 weeks, it was a new year, I was suddenly a vegan, and I already felt dramatically changed. I decided early on in the transition that I would maintain the full vegan diet for an additional 8 weeks. If I didn't like the lifestyle I would stop. But, I loved it, so I carried on.

I know I've written about this period of my life before. I was a vegan for a year, and it put me on my path to healing. Part of Jonah's healing will require me to heal. Had I not recognized early on that food was helping to heal Jonah, I would not have stumbled on to CEASE. I felt incredible! I lost weight, had tons of energy. I was motivated, inspired, and ambitious. Depression and anxiety were things that I had battled for years, and they went away with the bad food.



Jonah responded to the lifestyle change positively. He still ate meat, but I removed most processed meats and started using organic meat. I noticed he was calmer, less fussy, and suddenly willing to try new foods again. As an infant, (pictured at 13 months above) Jonah was plump and happy. He ate everything. By the time he was 2, he wouldn't eat anything. I would struggle to shove 10 cheerios a day down his throat. Despite picky eating, one thing Jonah would always do is try food samples at Trader Joe's. He tried frozen mini beef tacos when he was around 3 and loved them. I was so relieved after months of him not eating to finally find something he would eat other than handfuls of cereal and crackers. He started eating eggs and frozen hash brown patties, sometimes he would eat berries or a banana. NO VEGETABLES.

My sister took him to McDonald's one day, and discovered that he would eat chicken McNuggets. We were so relieved, we would feed him chicken McNuggets and french fries 4 times a week or more. He was a french fry king. In hind sight, frozen mini beef tacos and chicken McNuggets may have saved him from starvation, but he was malnourished despite my best efforts.

Jonah had just turned 5 when I went into my first vegan transition. It was tricky to get him motivated to eat better. The turning point was the night I decided to make our dinners food sensory sessions. I made a giant bowl of pasta, and let him have fun eating the pasta plain. I added 3 different sauces on spoons for him to smell and touch. There was special cheese sauce (cashew cream), magic green sauce (basil pesto), and super purple sauce (purple kale pesto). He started dipping his pasta into the sauces and eating ferociously. I cried as I watched him eat. This was the moment that I knew there was a natural path to healing my son. I started involving him in the kitchen more, and the activity of cooking with me helped him to open up to food. Instead of buying chicken McNuggets, I made them.  He wanted to smell everything and touch everything. Suddenly, his favorite foods were eggplant tacos. No more mac-n-cheese from a box... now he loves eating pasta with cashew cream and pesto. I worked hard to develop his healthy relationship with food, and I'm proud of it. 

At the end of that year, we bought a free-range, organic, wild turkey for Thanksgiving. My sister and her man-friend killed it. I cooked it the next day. The best part was rigor mortis setting in unexpectedly.
I had to shove the bird into the oven sideways. It turned out delicious. Since it was a wild turkey, it was leaner, the meat was denser, with a rich flavor. A bit dry because I actually tried to cut the legs off after this photo was taken. 

I couldn't resist Thanksgiving dinner. A year of no meat, and I blew it on this bird. It was so good. I justified eating this turkey since it was almost as sustainable as I could get for a Thanksgiving turkey. I felt a little sluggish after the meal, but I kept eating meat for another year. I tried going back to a vegan diet a couple times during the first few months. I would get through about 3-4 weeks, and then break down in food cravings and eat fried chicken. It probably did not help that I was employed by a restaurant that is my food nemesis. 

After multiple failed attempts of reverting back to a vegan diet, I decided around April of last year to run a social experiment on myself. I decided to commit to finishing the year eating to my hearts content. I gained 25 pounds by the end of 2012. I was depressed again with increased anxiety. It was physically one of the worst years of my life. To completely revert back to where I was before was a disappointment. But I did it because I wanted my experience with food to make a difference. 

It is important to me that I commit to living as healthy a life as possible for Jonah. The definition of sustainability is 'the capacity to endure.' I have to find a way to out live my son, because my one desperate fear is that something will happen to me and he will not be able to take care of himself. It's important for Jonah to learn to be healthy by the example I set for him. If I fail to establish these skills and passions in him, then I have failed to teach him to care for himself. It is my dream that he one day be an independent, healthy adult. That's only what every decent parent wants.   

At the beginning of this year I started another 8 week transition back to a vegan diet, adding gluten to the list. For the record, I hate to say diet. I am happy to report that since surviving gluten-withdrawal, I am finding my life balancing in another direction. My diet right now is about as clean as it has ever been in terms of unprocessed food (minus rice cakes and tortilla chips). Gluten withdrawal was worse than quitting tobacco. I came out on the other side of it with an increased clarity about the food that my body needs. 

I am not off all animal product as of yet, and don't know if I will be anytime soon. When I was a vegan before, I consumed a lot of bread. It was probably about 30% of my diet. Without gluten, I feel I am more balanced in responding to what my body needs for nourishment. More importantly, I am looking at the nutritional benefits of everything I eat. At this point, I don't see myself going completely vegan again. Honey and bee pollen have too many benefits and I intended on keeping those items in my diet from the beginning. After years of not caring for eggs, I find myself craving one every couple of days, which must mean that I need it. I am making our own nut milk again. I am now cooking strictly with ghee or coconut oil. Food is so beautiful when you let it be. Mentally and physically, I am slowly coming back into balance.  I am feeling as great as ever. Finally. Feels good good to be back where I was 2 years ago.

Jonah is now gluten-free, which is why I did it. I can now state that food is an essential part to this healing process for both of us. Jonah is finally past DTaP clearings. The last one was a doozy! To be honest, the past year was garbage. Mostly because of the DTaP clearing. We have so many gains and improvements now, it was completely worth it. Looking back at the misery of going through that clearing is a bit overwhelming. It was not easy seeing the open eczema sores again. It was not easy going through the tantrums and mood swings again. The DTaP clearings literally sickened me. I hope to never go through that again, but I know as we move on with clearings, we have some challenging vaccines ahead of us. I am most scared of varicella and MMR. 

For now, we are back on Hib. We did an 8 week clearing for Hib last summer between DTaP clearings. There were noticeable gains in socialization, expression, speech, and fine motor development. By the time summer was over, Jonah had a nice strong grip on his pencil, and was making new friends. I saw some of the Hib speech and socialization gains diminish when we went through DTaP again, but I felt that there was a block preventing further progress with the Hib clearing, which is why it was important to battle DTaP again. We just started the 4th week of Hib, and the past few weeks have been amazing. His gains from the previous Hib clearing have been surpassed. 

I am happy to report that my son is talking more than ever. With improved clarity! For example, this morning, he said 'computer' crystal clear, where as before he said 'conpuper'.  It's incredible to get to know more and more of my son after all this time of dreaming about it. He continues to grow into the sweetest boy. He has been so independent and eager to help. It's really a magical period for the two of us right now. Of course we have always been extremely well bonded but it's hard to say how well we know each other. I finally see my son getting a chance to know me and understand me. I feel like we are the best we have ever been in terms of health. 

I am so grateful!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from this experience and to share it in hopes that it might inspire someone else. If just one person is changed by this, I will be fulfilled. I am not saying everyone should go vegan. I am saying that everyone needs to take a hard look at their lifestyle and determine what active steps they can take to improve it. Pay attention to politics and the corporate slaughter of our environment and economy. Get involved in your community. Start recycling. Shut your TV off and go for a walk outside. Spend time with your kids. Grow something and eat it. Do something that contributes to a positive change in yourself. 

Our society needs to learn as I did that their are 3 essential for survival:
1. We need good food to eat.
2. We need clean water to drink.
3. We need clean air to breath.
Our resources for these essentials are becoming more and more limited. The evidence is in the staggering decline in the health of our society. If you've come across this blog because of autism and read this far, you are likely a victim to it. We are all victims to what is increasingly becoming an unsustainable environment.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friends and Family

Jonah and I have been pretty lucky lately when it comes to the generosity of friends and family these days. It has to be said that I am slacking on distributing the thank you cards. I can promise that those are on a priority list for this weekend, along with spending time catching up on Jonah, work and myself this weekend. It never ends.

We are winding down on this last DTaP clearing, which has been going on for months now. We've seen a lot of great gains. A lot of challenging behavior.

The holidays were really wonderful for us. We had so many generous gifts from amazing people. We were given a 52" TV, an X-Box 360 Kinect, and games, and toys, and gift cards, and a trip to Disneyland. We had family and friends visit us from far and wide. It's amazing to know that so many people love us.