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Autism and the Teenager March 17, 2015

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism activities, autism diet, autism teen, humor, Parenting, special needs, specific carbohydrate diet.
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He turned 13 this week. A teenager now.

Oh My God. How did this happen?

On one hand, I feel like it was yesterday when he was born, then diagnosed at almost 2. Maybe the fact that his autism had us locked into the “terrible twos” for ten years has something to do with my disbelief that my little man is now a teen. Yet on the other hand, I feel like I’m 102 and I can’t remember life before autism.

I had to laugh at all the Facebook friends who saw the birthday post that I have a teen… and started warning me to go out and buy hair color now. Hello? “Now”? “Now”, you say? Where have you been? Honey, I’ve been Clairol’s best customer for this whole 11 year ride. (Of course, I’ve been known to sport that gray “skunk stripe” more times than I’d like to recall when I didn’t have the time to get to the salon.)

Anyway, autism has grayed me, and aged me. And the teenage years to come scare me.

The hormones kicked in about a year ago, along with the teenage angst and the mustache. How is it that the kid has a mustache at 12 anyway? Seventh grade seems young to me for that. My boy. He is so gorgeous with his green eyes, slim build, long hair and ready smile. He could model…if only he could sit still and focus long enough.

I worry about his attraction to girls and their attraction to him. I see heartbreak and frustration coming. He isn’t “typical” enough for a relationship yet. Maybe someday. But he desperately wants to make connections and is trying so hard, though he lacks the conversational skills. His life-long desire to hug everyone, once cute, is getting awkward now as he grows to an already 5’4′ tall. Language is the one thing, no, the biggest thing, that prevents him from the breakthrough we all feel is right on the other side of that invisible wall.

He’s come so far though. I never thought he’d talk when he was first diagnosed. And while I can’t really yet imagine it, I am hopeful he will live a somewhat independent life someday. He takes dance and piano and acting lessons. He plays basketball, baseball and lacrosse on special needs teams. And in one of the greatest feats ever: He sang a two minute song…Do you Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables!…all alone with only an instrumental accompaniment while competing in a suit and tie in a local pageant on the stage of a large community theater. Massive accomplishment. Yet, he can’t hold a conversation.

You know what? Conversation is overrated. Today is a day to celebrate how far my wonderful teenager has come. And how bright his future will be. How bright all their futures will be.

* * * * * * * * * * *** * * * *

Brag on: What has your child accomplished that you never thought he/she would? Or what do you fear your child will never accomplish?

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Autism Diet Challenge: Just Try It! March 1, 2010

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, Parenting, specific carbohydrate diet.
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Right off the bat I want to warn you that I am sticking my neck out here in an effort to save the world, instead of  just worrying about helping my own son. And I’m sure someone is going to make me regret that I did, but I’m going for it so I can sleep at night…

Ok. I try to be open-minded, and I love a good debate. And I really try to be respectful of other people’s opinions when they differ from mine.

But if I’m being truly honest with myself, I need to face this one pet peeve I have that sort of deviates from what I just said.

I can’t for the life of me understand why parents won’t at least TRY an autism diet to see if it would help their child!

Let’s examine some top reasons why people won’t try it:

1. There’s no proof it works, and recently, there have been reports that say it doesn’t.

To that I say: Not everything, especially something like the implementation of a diet and it’s affect on behavior, can be adequately tested in a study. Is there anyone out there who wouldn’t trust their own gut and eyes over a medical report? Let’s not forget how many decades the government and medical establishment let us go on thinking cigarettes weren’t harmful…

2. It’s too expensive.

Yes, it is more expensive in the sense that you will spend more money on food for a special diet than a mainstream diet… unless of course your regular diet is one of take-out food. But, if your child felt better and behaved better, wouldn’t that be worth the cost? Maybe you’d offset the diet’s cost with the money you might save on other treatments that may now not be needed.

3. It’s too hard to do.

It is hard, at first. And at times, like parties and holidays. But parties and holidays with a wild child are hard too. What if the diet helped your child and you and he could enjoy the party for a change? In time, the diet  just becomes a part of life and that’s how you’d have to look at it. Look at it as a lifestyle choice, not a diet. Otherwise, like all diets, it’ll be doomed to fail. 

4. I can’t imagine “doing this to him” for his whole life!

First of all, take small steps. Tell yourself you’ll just give it a real try for 30 days. And then give it a real, honest try. Even when it’s difficult. And it will be hard at first…especially if it is working! No cheating. You will know in 30 days if there’s some noticeable improvement in your child. And when you see that change, that is where the strength to continue the diet comes from. And support groups online. For me, I saw improvements in my son within 2 weeks, but it took about 18 months on the diet before his gut healed enough that he finally had a formed stool…just days before his scheduled colonoscopy and endoscopy, thank God.

In my son’s case, we were fortunate enough to have very specialized labwork done through an autism study he was involved in (lab work you can’t just order from a local lab) and we KNOW he has some mutations and can not digest the proteins in certain foods. In fact, his body breaks them down into harmful opiates, which, when released into the bloodstream, travel to the brain and contribute to the autistic behaviors. For me, feeding him the typical American diet is like feeding him poison. What if your child has that kind of mutation, but you don’t know it?

5. He won’t eat that food. He’s picky.

Okay, who is the parent here? This is the time to get tough.  And the earlier you implement a diet, the easier it is to do. My son was just turning 3 and you have more control at a younger age. Plus the diet will be well established by the time he starts school and he won’t even remember McDonald’s nuggets, so he won’t long for them, though he may be curious about them.

Think of those processed foods as the enemy. Most kids are picky eaters. It’s in your hands whether you are going to let your kid’s chosen 4 favorites be healthy ones or not. If you stick to your guns, your child will eventually give in since his survival instinct will make him eat this way if that’s all you offer. Plus, some kids are actually addicted to foods their bodies are craving because bacteria in their guts need those foods to live. If that’s the case in your child, you need to break that cycle by depriving the bacteria from feeding. You do that by eating differently. You starve the bacteria and they die. And the gut heals.

6. It’s not healthy.

Come on. How balanced do you think the typical American diet of chicken nuggets, hot dogs and pizza is? With so many children becoming obese and diabetic, these diets are actually a gift of health that you can give to your child.

Even adults would do well on this diet. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet that my son is on has been helping celiacs, Crohns and IBS patients for over 50 years. Have you noticed how middle aged folks are suddenly unable to tolerate dairy or gluten? I’ve been told it’s because our bodies haven’t evolved fast enough to keep up with the processing of the foods we eat today. We so-called healthy people can’t break down these chemically-processed foods. How can our children then?

Under the supervision of a medical professional and with the proper nutritional supplementation if needed, these diets can resolve intestinal and digestive problems that you may not even realize your child is suffering from. Don’t you want to feed your child a diet that makes him or her feel their best?

7. My child doesn’t have any food allergies or sensitivites so he doesn’t need the diet.

Maybe. Maybe not. A doctor can give a diagnosis. But a mother’s instinct says a lot, too… if she knows what to look for. Does your child have any of the red flag signs of an allergy or sensitivity…such as red cheeks, skin rashes/eczema, dark or reddish circles under their eyes? Maybe constipation or diahhrea? Does he eat certain few foods to the exclusion of most others…almost like an addict? Can’t sleep at night?

8. I don’t know where to start.

First, find a doctor who supports autism diets. A recommendation from a friend is best, but failing that, look for a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor or chiropractor. Allergists and immunologists with autism practices may be able to help you. Some, but few, pediatricians may too. Be sure they have experience with autism diets.

Do some research. There’s a few different diets out there. The best one (in my opinion only) is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet  my son has been on for 5 years and you can learn all about it by reading the fascinating book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. SCD is like GF/CF to the extreme since it allows no grain at all and my challenge is to try this diet for 30 days if you think you can handle it! (For more info, see the Autism Diet Help tab in this blog). But there’s also regular GF/CF (gluten free/casein free) diets and the Feingold Diet.

****I’ve always been an advocate of therapies that may improve the lives of our autistic children …so long as they do not have the potential for harm. These diets are healthy ways of eating for anyone. There is no harm if a doctor is on board with any nutritional supplementation. It may not make any difference in your child’s behavior, but it won’t hurt him or you to try it. 

But what if it helps him? What if it even recovers him?

Can you live with yourself if you didn’t take that chance? It could be the simplest of answers. Just 30 days to see if it may help. You don’t need Jenny McCarthy or me to tell you. You will know if it’s helping. And if it’s not, go off it with the peace of mind of knowing you gave it a real try, instead of living with the nagging wonder if you should do it.

By April 1st, those persistent red cheeks and shiners could be gone. Maybe even some language. Please trust me and just try it. And come back and let me know how it went!

What has your experience been with autism diets? I want the good, the bad, and the ugly…

Autism is like the Olympics February 24, 2010

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, Parenting.
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The Thrill of Victory…and the Agony of Defeat.

My last post was clearly a thrill of victory one.

This one  is more of an agony of defeat kind.

Been going through a rough patch with Fabio. I recently messed with his diet in one of my very rare attempts to broaden it ever so slightly. Nothing crazy or not permitted. Just some things high in salicylates, which he is kind of sensitive to…so we avoid them for long stretches of time and then periodically attempt to reintroduce them.

That attempt sadly sent my little guy over the cliff just like that Olympic skiier whose famous wipe-out in the 70’s lived on for decades as the “face” of the agony of defeat.

He’s been having trouble in school attending to his work and focusing. He’s been aggressive and often full of rage when the slightest demands are put upon him.

During the never-ending month long week the kids were just off from school, I finally took him to the DAN chiro, who took one look at his eyes and said, “What did you do to his diet?” Then he looked at my eyes, full of tears. All I could blurt out before they ran over was “One of us needs medication.”

Every minute of every day so often, I second-guess myself about the choices we’ve made regarding Fabio’s care. The natural/holistic autism course we’ve taken. But deep down, I think it was right … for us.  Is right, for us. To me, it is more important that we do no harm. Even if the choice means that he doesn’t advance as far, as fast. It’s so easy to imagine that the other road would have lead to a happier place when we hit a bump in the one that we’re on.

So …to continue with my cheesy sports analogies…we’ve decided to stay the course. When the going gets tough, the tough get going …  I’ve removed all of the offending additions from his diet, and finally after a freakin week of insanity am now seeing  my happy little man emerging from the edge of the cliff he’d gone over.

So I’m forced to face that as Fabio’s coach and biggest fan, I can dictate the course of his daily routine and diet, guide him as best I can, and cheer loudly from the sidelines as he works so much harder than the average person, day in and day out. I can triumph in his victories and cry over his setbacks along the way. I can help make him the best that he can be. But there are factors out there that I can not control. All any of us can ask of ourselves …and those we love …is to try our best.

And if he doesn’t get on the podium this year, there is always next time. Training begins hard… again… tomorrow.

Autism and the Nursery Witch October 19, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Family, Health, special needs.
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No sooner did I wrap my mind around the first article with the big jump in autism stats…1 in 100 instead of 1 in 150…but right on it’s heels comes the latest figures. 1 in 91.

1 in 91.

Anyone else feeling sick?

It brings a recurrent and ridiculous vision to my mind.  I am standing outside the glass of an insanely large maternity ward, looking in at rows and rows of newborns… with their cute smooshed faces and their arms tightly tucked into their cocoon-like wraps. Soft little beanies of pink and blue atop misshapen little heads. There’s about 100 of them all lined up. Or should I say 91 of them.

And like some sick, twisted fairy tale, there’s a witch hovering over one of those beanies…a blue one… casting a frightening spell that will manifest itself in about 18-22 months, upon the happening of a certain event.

I want to shoo the witch away, but I am too late. I want to hear what she is chanting, but the glass is too thick. I need to know what will trigger the spell to come to pass.  Some environmental toxin? Some vaccine? Some seemingly safe food that wreaks havoc on the digestive and immune systems…not too far off from the poison apple?

There are still days that I can’t believe that my blue beanie was the one.

I remember shortly after Fabio was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago…before I told anyone but the closest  family and friends… I was at a carnival and spotted a woman with a boy about 5 years old. She wore a tee shirt with all the stats about autism on its back dating  from the time it was 1 in 10,000 until the present. At that time, the most recent stats were 1 in 250.  It cryptically stated: “Your child could be next”.  I could not take my eyes off her, her child, or her shirt.

Back then, I was haunted by that shirt and so worried about my son’s future. I still worry about his future…every day as a matter of fact. But the idea that the numbers of children being diagnosed with ASD are rising too quickly to even make up such a tee shirt…now that’s a scary thing. 

At this rate, it’ll be 1 in 75 by Christmas.

Someone really needs to kill that nursery witch. Fast. The survival of all our beanies depends on it.

Regression by Strawberry May 2, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, school, specific carbohydrate diet.
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Gotta love those care-free days of youth and all the fun school projects you do in special ed first grade. You’ve got the non-edible projects with macaroni and glue. And, occasionally, you get the edible ones.

And when your kid is on a totally restrictive special diet from hell , these projects are the ones that make you want to kill somebody. Or kill yourself. Oh, and it’s extra special when you get only one night’s notice about the project…

So the note comes home:

We’re going to be making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in class tomorrow. Can you send something in so that Fabio can participate?

Unlike the hundred of thousands of kids who’d die from it, it’s not the peanut butter that’s a problem for Fabio.  I have a special organic peanut butter with no additives that he loves.

And it’s not the bread. I make Fabio bread from cashew butter, eggs, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt. 

It’s the freakin jam/jelly that is the challenge.

I’ve been canning jams and jellies for competition for almost 20 years, so thankfully, I have a leg up on most folks in that area. And I can substitute honey for sugar in the recipes. The trouble is the fruit options.

Fabio can eat many fruits, but not the ones that make popular jams. He can’t tolerate berries, grapes, or apples due to their high natural salicylates and/or phenols. And what’s worse is…he loves them. If you put out a bowl of blueberries and a cake, he’d go for the berries every time.

When he eats these fruits, he is in heaven. Until the next day. And the five to ten days thereafter. Yes, you heard me. The effects far outlast how long the food was in his body.

It’s like a Jeckyl and Hyde thing.

He regresses across the board. Total loss of eye contact and any functional language. Very bad behaviors. Repeated tantrums. And it goes on for days! Of course, it’s never worth the moment of pure joy he had while eating the coveted fruit. And yet again…

Still, every 6-12 months a situation will arise when the temptation is too great. When heroic efforts would be needed to avoid the fruit. When just enough time has elapsed since the last time to let me forget how hard those several days of hell are going to be on all of us.

When you think that maybe… just maybe… this time it will be different because maybe… just maybe… he somehow outgrew this allergy.

So I stay up til 2 am making this gorgeous, ruby-red strawberry jam for my little man. And I bake him a fresh loaf of his bread and slice it a bit thicker so he’ll be able to spread on it without ripping. And I packed a little container of his peanut butter. And I crossed my fingers.

Sleepyhead walks in to the kitchen at 7am, sees the jam in his lunchbox, removes the container, and says very nonchalantly: “No thank you.”

Umm… No freakin way!!! I thought. And… with the look of daggers coming from my tired eyes as I replaced the container in the lunchbox… I said through gritted  smiling teeth:

“Mommy made you yummy jelly to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches today at school.”

“No thanks.”  As he removes it again.

Okay, this is going nowhere. So, I give him a tiny taste. And in one instant a memory awakened inside him. And his green eyes widened. And he smiled. Big.

So he happily went off to school with the promise of more jam in his future. And I met him up there later to give him some enzymes to help him digest the berries. And he came home begging for more PB&J sandwiches…which I gave him… until the small allotted amount of jam was gone. And he was in heaven.

Until the next day when regression set in.

But I’m happy to say that it is less severe than it’s been in the past. He has more language now and has retained it. Eye contact is okay for the most part. The bad behaviors are only evident when demands are placed on him that he doesn’t want to do and even then, not as bad as before.

It gives me hope that my boy will someday be able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Like fresh strawberries in the summer.

And maybe a friend to share them with.

Drop Those Peeps You Pesky Wabbit! April 12, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Parenting, special needs.
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Ahh. Autism and Easter.

It’s hard enough to deal with the regular holiday stresses, and the challenge of the stiff clothes. When there’s a special needs kid in the house on a restrictive diet… like Fabio and his Specific Carbohydrate Diet… life is just that much more challenging on a day like Easter.

Sure I’ve done my share of almost heroic attempts at making a homemade candy or confection that is legal on this diet. Sometimes, they are even edible. Sort of.  But, I’ve burnt gallons of honey along the way too. I’ve made lollipops and marshmallows from scratch. I’ve made animal crackers, painstakingly cut into mini-animal shapes.  But Fabio never eats any of these things. Maybe it’s a texture thing. Maybe they just suck.

In any event, we have become a candy-free Easter house. And we like it. We have our own traditions that work for us and keep things stress-free. Well, you know what I mean…

“The Rabbit” …as my mom always referred to the Easter Bunny… always brought me stuff in an interesting, reusable container of sorts…but NEVER a basket. Things like a kiddie plastic wheelbarrow or, when I was older, those funky round holders for your stacks of 45 vinyl records…Oh my God, I am ancient!  (It’s true, the first time I saw a microwave was in college… and it took up that rich kid’s whole closet.)  Anyway, the tradition of “no baskets” continues in our home.

Daughter’s computer game and theater tickets and small trinkets are beautifully held by a funky painter’s style cap she can wear later. Fabio’s got a CARS pail full of garden tools, CARS die cast cars he’s been asking for, kooky pens, and a computer game he’ll love. No one will miss the basket… or the candy. 

The egg hunt for plastic eggs filled with coins, stickers, tattoos, and trinkets of the non-candy variety is yet another great tradition that we’ve gently tweaked to be sweet-free, but still fun.

I do confess that while shopping today, I bought a Lindt chocolate bunny specifically because 10 cents of my purchase (never mind that that one bunny came to freakin $8.00…) was being donated to autism research. It’s a win-win-win, right? Lindt gets $7.90. Autism gets 10 cents. I get another two pounds heavier. Can you say sarcasm? I don’t mean to sound like an ingrate, or to look a gift horse in the mouth, but can’t Lindt do a little better than one dime out of $8.00? Fine. I’ll be quiet now. In fact, you won’t get a “peep” out of me…literally!

So I am wishing you all a Happy Easter. One free of sugar rushes and allergic reactions to colors and dyes and other candy ingredients…or at least free of the stresses that often come with holidays. And for anyone who is so inclined, feel free to share your Easter traditions or tips for special needs family fun.

100 Days of School February 9, 2009

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So, this week we celebrate the 100th Day of School. Around here, it’s a big deal, but …thankfully… it is only celebrated by the first graders. (I know there’s other states that have each grade celebrate it each year.)

When my typical daughter had to do her project, we did this pretty fancy thing involving painting a wooden plaque, screwing 4 hooks into it, threading 25 colorful beads onto 4 wires (100 beads), attaching the strands to the hooks, and placing sticker-letters on the plaque proclaiming her name and the school name and “100 days of school”.

Tonight’s project with Fabio was simply to glue 100 things onto the big piece of construction paper the teacher provided with a big “100” in the center. Easy, right? Well…

First I made the mistake of taking Fabio to the craft store to pick out what he wanted to glue on. I had already decided on those foam stickers that you just peel the back off and they stick on anything. If I had to deal with glue for 100 items, I’d surely have passed out from the fumes…

So, Fabio was a pain in the butt in the craft store. It didn’t help that I had a return to do there first and the clerk was slow as molasses.  Fabio’s rarely good in the stores. Which is why I rarely bring him. Which is why he isn’t good there. Vicious circle.

So we grab the foamies and get home and get started.

By the time we got to about 40 items, I was losing him. And we had 60 to go. Lots and lots of re-directing later, and the masterpiece is done! It’s covered with fish, alligators, turtles, frogs, dolphins, penguins and lots of stars!

The thing I hate more about the 100th day of school celebration than the project is the traditional McDonald’s Happy Meal party they are having in Fabio’s class to celebrate on Thursday. ARGH!

The form came home last week requesting $4 if you are participating. Fabio can’t eat anything that I don’t make for him…so McDonald’s is OUT. But how do I handle this? I can’t have him eat his regular food when his class is all eating happy meals. Do I keep him home?

So here’s what I came up with. On Thursday, Fabio will have a happy meal…sort of. I bought one this weekend and kept the McNugget container, the cup/lid/straw, the apple dippers bag, the happy meal bag, the boy toy. I will make him nuggets for the teacher to heat up and sneak into this container, a peeled and sliced fresh apple to sneak into the apple dippers bag, his own juice to put in the cup. His meal will look like the others. I think it’ll work.

Its times like this that it’s so hard to have a kid on the spectrum on a diet.

New Autism Diet: GF/CF… and B/F? January 8, 2009

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People think I’m crazy. They do.

When I explain the diet that ‘C’ has been on for almost 4 years…the Specific Carbohydrate Diet…I always get that same slack-jawed, glazed-over look. It is because SCD is like GF/CF on steroids!

He has no gluten…in fact, the has NO GRAIN AT ALL. No dairy. No sugars…in fact, no sweetner of any kind except honey. No yeast, soy, corn, flavors, colors, dyes, preservatives, yada yada. Nothin. Surprisingly, he can have nuts and eggs. But he can’t tolerate legal SCD foods which are naturally high in phenols and salicylates either.  It’s a bitch. But it’s worth it.

But this post is not about that… Its about Delthia Ricks’ article on page A4 in Newsday yesterday.

Are you wondering what “BF” stands for?

It’s for Bug Free… BUG FREE! (Yes, I just said freakin BUG FREE!)

Would you believe that food manufacturers are allowed to use bug-based dyes in our food, drink, and cosmetics and merely label the dyes as “artificial color” or “color added”!  Better think twice before guzzling that ruby-colored grapefruit beverage you love for breakfast. Or feeding your kid some popular brands of yogurt.  Or even kissing your mother with that mouth.

Apparently, it will take another two years before the food industry will be required to disclose on its ingredients labels an extract made from the crushed wingless beetle-like creature known as a cochineal. Two more years.

Now, I consider myself to be a pretty damn savvy label reader. And my gut can withstand the most fiery, spicy food. But the thought that we have been allowed to consume pulverized bugs …and that we’ve unwittingly fed them to our potentially immune-challenged children…is enough to make me toss my tacos.

Really….Would anyone KNOWINGLY ingest bugs? I bet the people who make that stuff don’t eat their own products! And it has no nutritional value.  It just provides lovely shades of red, pink, orange and purple to your food and cosmetics.

But it gets worse. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA in July 1998 to create a new labeling rule regarding this bug use because some people had suffered severe…even life-threatening… allergic reactions after consuming or using products containing the bug-based dyes!

11 YEARS of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions… well, make it 13 by the time the new law takes effect. WTF?!

Some companies already list the dye, but not using words that would be a red-flag…or a Black Flag!… to the average label reader who doesn’t have a bug-ology degree. So here’s what you need to watch out for if you want to avoid consuming dead bugs:

  • carmine
  • cochineal
  • E-120

Is it any wonder that people are starting to consider that in some children there may be a link between autism and diet? Do we really need to color our food or our lips with crushed Peruvian beetles?

And most scarily, what other petitions about other dangers impacting our autistic kids are sitting around in the FDA…that we won’t learn about for another 11 years?

It makes my skin crawl.

Oh wait…it was just a Peruvian cochineal.

Picking a Perfect Autism Birthday Party Place January 6, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, humor, Parenting, special needs.
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How’s that for a tall order?

Is there even such a possible thing as the perfect place for an autistic child’s birthday party? Well, we’ve got to try, right?

We’re about 2 months out from ‘C’s 7th birthday. Seven! “Holy crap” as my good friend would say.  Where did the time go? Wasn’t he just two, like, yesterday? No, he was just acting like two yesterday… In any event, it’s time to book something. But what?

As much as my screaming wallet wants one, the home party is out. First of all, we spend way too much time at home all year, so a party here would be no fun at all. Second, I’d have to clean. And I hate that. Really. And most importantly, while ‘C’ would love to go to a friend’s house and play nicely with their toys, I think he’d rip the face off have a problem with his friends playing with his stuff. He’s not that strong of a sharer just yet.

We’ve had great success with indoor swimming parties. Like three in a row for birthdays 3, 4, and 5. Yep, nothing says FUN better than a bitter winter day and wet heads and slippery bodies and strep and swim diapers. Plus my friends really love it when they have to put on their swimsuits right after Christmas and go in the pool with their kids. The alternative is staying behind on the pool deck melting in your wool sweater in a 90 degree room.

Last year’s bowling party went well. Sorta. The kids were great at sitting and waiting their turns. Sorta. They really flung  rolled the ball down the next person’s  their lane. Sometimes. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the bowling alley pizza. Yet, ‘C’ really loved that party. And any party will have me bringing ‘C’s food and cake anyway. 

Do I venture into another venue? Stick with the tried and true?

Anyone have any suggestions? What were the best and worst parties you’ve hosted or gone to?

The Kidnapping of Father Time December 23, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, humor, school, special needs.
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Don’t you just love the way all the classic horror movies have the dumb teenager walking toward the killer instead of running away screaming?  And the way nothing good ever comes out of a dark alley? There’s always a murder or a mugging going on in the alley. You can count on it.

With autism, you can’t count on a lot. Much of life is unpredictable. Often chaotic. But there is one thing you can count on around the holidays…

There is no freakin time.

Seriously, its like someone mugged Father Time in the back alley. Which just adds even more stress to the generally high level of stress that the holidays bring (See 12 days of  Christmas post for refresher).

While my keyboard has been gathering dust (along with the rest of the house), I’ve been desperately trying to do all the crazy last minute holiday prep that normal people do…and they have the nerve to complain about how hard it is for them (don’t ya love that?) 

But then I have to add stuff like creating a new treat for ‘C’ for his party at school tomorrow so he won’t feel sad and frustrated over his special diet. Why else would I be up typing this post as the experimental gingerbread man cookies are filling the house with great smells at friggin 3 am?!

Oh, I meant to get to this earlier tonight, but I was busy wrapping and tagging the 402 gifts for my kids’ teachers, aides, busdrivers, etc. And I have to be at a closing tomorrow this morning in about 6 hours. Not to mention that daughter has dismissal at noon and I have to swing by to get her on the way to ‘C’s party at school at 1:00.

By 3:30 tomorrow today, the endless vacation will have begun. Two weeks without services. What is that? Like 3 years in real time?

Time.

Right now, there’s not enough of it to get ready for the holiday. Like somebody mugged Father Time. And we need to get him back right away.

Time.

There’s too much of it when school’s out and there’s no vacation planned. 

Note to his kidnapper: Please return Father Time ASAP. He is seriously overdue for a butt kickin’ for messin’ with my life.

So…what’s the one thing you know you won’t get to on your “to-do” list this year because you ran out of time?