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A Tale of Two Toxins August 30, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Health.
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Some of you are going to laugh at me. But it’s ok. After all, my husband did. My friends, however, knew better. I was a mom on a mission…

One of the many debates in the autism world centers on the role of toxins, environmental or otherwise, in the triggering of autism’s onset, or the worsening of its symptoms. At the risk of oversimplifying my own philosophy, I’ll just say that I think most children who develop autism are born with a genetic predisposition to get it and that for each child, the factor that triggers its onset is different. Maybe a vaccine, an antibiotic, a virus or infection, a diet or food allergy, a toxin. Any number of things that assault the immune system.

So back to my mission. I get an email from my senator at 11pm that my neighborhood was being sprayed the next  night with a chemical called Scourge  to protect us from West NIle Virus. (Scourge–could there be a scarier name?)  It went on to advise us to stay in the house from 7-11pm and for 30 minutes after the spraying ended. Close all windows. Air-conditioners to be off, with vents closed. Put away all outdoor toys, etc. Pick your garden’s vegetables!

I don’t know about you, but if that’s what the government is telling you, what are they holding back? I wasn’t sticking around for this. So I dutifully locked down the house, and put everything from the outdoors inside and then packed the family up and headed for an overnight adventure at the inlaws.

With my son on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I need to make him everything he eats. So I had all this cooking and baking to do, plus the packing. And little time do do it.

Finally, with the clock nearing 7:00 (I am always late!) and our car heading down the highway, I looked back half expecting to see some toxic plume in the rear view mirror. What I saw was the entire neighborhood obliviously going about their regular business. For the next hour or so, I had to endure my husband’s jokes. Things like jokingly hollering to other cars that they are going the wrong way. Follow us to safety. Etc…

But I slept well that night at the inlaws, comforted in the knowledge that I had protected my family from the surely toxic Scourge.

The next morning, we bid the inlaws farewell and headed out to the ocean for some fresh air, sun and surf. A due reward.

Not even 30 seconds and only 12 inches into the water, my son gets stung by a jellyfish. Go figure. After apparently “sleeping off” that  toxin for four hours on the beach, “Mr. Never Naps” seemed to be ok. It’s pretty scary out there. Natural and artificial toxins are everywhere.

Guess you can’t always protect them after all.


Autism vs. Autistic…There’s a Difference August 27, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Health.
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I have a son with autism.  I do not have an autistic son.

Time to air one of my pet peeves. I hate the word “autistic”–not that I love “autism”, mind you–but there really is a difference between the two terms…

One is a label. The other is a trait.

To say you have an “autistic daughter” implies that that is all she is–autistic.  That she is defined only by her autism. But, isn’t she really much  more than that? Of course she is.

However, if you say you have a “son with autism”, you don’t allow the disability to define the child. Autism becomes a trait, like hair or eye color.  Just one of the many traits that make up the whole child. The whole wonderful, challenging, beautiful, challenging, loving, challenging child. (Did I mention challenging?)

Seriously though, how people will respond to your child may be influenced by the words you use to describe his place on the spectrum. So, choose carefully.

I have a son with autism, twinkling green eyes, long brown hair, the cutest smile, an infectious laugh, and an apparent lifelong obsession for the freakin Wiggles. Not an autistic son.

See the difference?

Moon Over Autism August 24, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Health.
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Autism is chaos.

In setting up this blog, I was tempted to choose relaxing themes with soft color schemes to off-set the chaos. Something easy on the tired eyes of stressed-out parents of children with autism. But none of the standard willowy offerings seemed right. Then I found it…the moon.

Look at it up in the top right corner there. It’s perfect.

After all, it made me think about how we’re up all night so many times dealing with “night terrors”, bedwetting, or other sleep-stealing conspiracies.

It also made me think of how we’re all affected by the phases of the moon. Especially the full moon. My son’s chiropractor/naturopath, who specializes in treating children with autism, says that when the moon is full, his office is always full of youngsters whose parents say their autism behaviors are suddenly so friggin bad they can’t take it! Ever notice that?

But the main reason I went with the moon for my blog is because–like a cheesy line in a movie–we are all living under the same moon. Just like we are all living this challenging and often isolated life.

So, when you feel alone, remember StimTalk is here for you. And the friends you’ll meet here are sitting under the same moon. 

And we’re also wishing on the same star…