Faith – Autism and Family Relationships

Family Picture

Family Picture

When you hear the diagnosis of Autism applied to your child, your whole world changes. At first you think that only your life has changed but that is not true. Your whole family dynamic changes and that includes the grandparents as well.

“It’s not what you thought your life would be like,” says Kathleen Patrick. Patrick is vice president of services for Easter Seals New Jersey. Her son, Adam Martin, 11, has an autism spectrum disorder known as pervasive developmental disorder — not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Her other son, Mark Martin, 9, is developing typically.

It’s not horrible, just different, Kingsley writes. She suggests that if you spend your life mourning the lost trip to Italy you will never enjoy the special qualities of Holland. After you’re there a bit, she says, you notice the charm –tulips, windmills, Rembrandts.

Whether the child with autism is the first-born, in the middle, or the baby, parents often worry about the effect that dealing with the autism — and the time commitment it involves — will have on the other children. “I think most parents bend over backward so it doesn’t affect the other children,” says McCarton.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,researchers compared siblings of autistic children with siblings of non-disabled children and found those with the autistic sibling were actually better adjusted psychosocially and emotionally. They did find, however, that it’s more difficult for the non-disabled child to cope with the autistic sibling if multiple risk factors such as low income are present.

Sarah's Sisters - Marci and Anna

Sarah’s Sisters – Marci and Anna

Exactly why the siblings of autistic children scored better isn’t known. Wright says they may have a higher level of maturity from observing and being involved in the care of a child with autism. “The message is,” Wright tells WebMD, “lots of siblings are doing OK.”

Marci visiting from out of state on Sarah's birthday.

Marci visiting from out of state on Sarah’s birthday.

Dealing with a diagnosis of autism puts a strain on any marriage. Men and women tend to react to the news differently, according to McCarton, and that can add to the stress.

“Women are profoundly sad. But they hit the ground running,” McCarton says, referring to the typical reaction women have on hearing the diagnosis. “They mobilize. Men often retreat into work.” Also, men often question the diagnosis or deny it.

This is what happened in our family. We had a lot to overcome.

The solution is to make time for each other, which is more easily said than done. Families are already time-strapped dealing with behavioral therapists, many doctor appointments, and above-average financial stress. Even so, experts say, couples have to feed the relationship — even if it’s watching a video together or talking after the kids are asleep.

It is kinda hard to find any time for each other but you must. Our Sarah only required 3 hours of sleep a night, so sleep for me was almost nonexistent. The only time Robert and I had anytime together in the early years was when respite or my mom would babysit. Most of the time it would be my mom, because the people at respite that would babysit would only do it once LOL.

It’s also crucial to steal solo time just for yourself, McCarton tells parents. She asks them: “What were the things you loved before?” When parents protest they have no time or money to indulge themselves, she says: “It doesn’t have to be expensive or take up hours of the day. It can be going to Starbucks and having a cup of coffee by yourself for half an hour. It can be taking a shower for 15 minutes.”

In our family the only alone time I had was when I was in the bathroom. I loved my showers and baths. They did not last long, but they were very much appreciated.

Many people deal with those challenges by opting out, according McCarton, which, she says, is a mistake. She says it’s important to think through what can be done to make the child with autism — who can become extremely upset by changes in routine that come with vacations — more comfortable on a trip.

We traveled a lot, always looking for a better place to live where all of our kids would get the best education and living atmosphere we could find. We were the family that seem to think the grass is always better on the other side. Sarah actually come to like the traveling and she learned to accept different types of people with know judgement. In other words she became a little more flexible.

With more awareness about autism and what it is, parents may expect friends and acquaintances to be accommodating to their autistic child’s needs. Maybe not, says Wright. “People are more aware, but I am not sure they know what to do or how to support” families dealing with it, she says.

Even with the awareness, people can stare when a child with autism displays what they consider odd behavior. “You get to the point where you get a thick skin,” Senator says. “You don’t care if people are staring at your kid.”

I personally never got to the point of having thick skin. I have however had a few confrontations and lost a few friends. My attitude was that if you didn’t accept my child you did not accept me. Maybe I did get a little thicker skin, but not much.

You learn, she says, to take control — even if you don’t feel so in control.

Letting go of that image of what the “ideal” family is can help

“Let yourself go with that and not worry about being a Hallmark card. Nat has taught me to be less uptight about those kinds of things. You can find enjoyment in odd places with these kids.”

Grandma (my Mom) and Sarah.

Grandma (my Mom) and Sarah.

Above all else always remember there is the God factor!

Spiritual life can be an important aspect of overall quality of life – for individuals with autism and the families who support them. Dealing with a disability does not reduce the need for a spiritual life. For some, in fact, the role of faith increases significantly when overwhelmed by the challenges a disability can bring to one’s life or family. A faith community is a cornerstone for spiritual support, and more critical support at a time of crisis. But these communities offer so much more than just support, as they are also a social network hosting activities and events for education, entertainment and relaxation. Additionally, a variety of ministries and volunteer options typically invite members to contribute their time and talents to give back to the community in a meaningful way. Families dealing with autism and developmental disabilities may struggle to feel welcome in these communities, accentuating the already existing feeling of isolation from the community at large. http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/family-issues/autism-and-faith.html

 

 

Autism Linked to Rare Disorders

Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autosomal dominant pedigree chart. In Autosoma...

Autosomal dominant pedigree chart. In Autosomal Dominance the chance of receiving and expressing a particular gene is 50% regardless of the sex of parent or child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The oldest known case of Noonan syndr...

English: The oldest known case of Noonan syndrome, described in 1883 by Kobylinski (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I would put this information out there to my readers that are in this current situtation. If you are in this situation, I am praying for you.

About one in four people diagnosed with a group of rare disorders have autism, according to a study published 7 October in the Journal of Medical Genetics1. The disorders all affect the same cancer-related pathway, driven by a protein called RAS.

The four rare disorders — neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Noonan syndrome, Costello syndrome and cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome (CFC) — are bound by one common theme. In each case, a single-gene mutation enhances the signaling of a pathway driven by RAS, earning them the moniker ‘RASopathies.’

Of the four disorders, NF1 has the strongest documented links to autism2, and there are a few reports of autism-like features in people with the other disorders. The new study is the largest to look at the connection, however, and the first to look across multiple RASopathies.

For each participant, caregivers filled out the SCQ or the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) — a parental questionnaire that rates the severity of autism symptoms. The researchers have data from both questionnaires for 439 of the 521 participants.

Based on SCQ scores, the researchers found variable rates of autism among the four disorders. For example, 54 percent of people with CFC have autism, compared with 11 percent of those with NF1. These differences may reflect how severely the disorder disrupts the RAS pathway.

As with autism in general, symptoms of autism are more prevalent in men than in women with RASopathies. However, this also varies across the disorders, with NF1 showing the strongest gender bias (about one-quarter of males and no females with the disorder have autism) and Noonan syndrome showing none.

You can learn more about these rare disorders at this link. https://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2013/cancer-pathway-connects-autism-to-set-of-rare-disorders

It is a great article for which I have taken the above info. from.

 

 

DIY Smell Goods for Sarah

Ok I think everyone knows that I am on a quest to make some good smelling lotions for Sarah. She loves the cocoa butter smell.cocoa butter

 

She also loves the smell of vanilla and gingerbread. Sarah loves to smell good. The problem with lotions that she can afford to buy out of the store is that the ingredients in those lotions are not good for your body.vanillabeans-250x166

 

 

 

Sarah’s skin is almost translucent. She always has been pale in color.

 

 

 

Sarah has always had hypersensitive smell, sight and hearing. What ever I make her is going to have to be sensitive to her sensitive skin.gingerbread_man_ahero

 

 

 

I am getting some good advice from Tonya Hamilton creator of Createdtofly and my sister-in-law Che’ri Frare creator of Cherlyn Products.

 

 

 

I have written down some recipes an I am open to more recipes for DIY cocoa butter lotion or possibly vanilla and gingerbread. So if anyone else can help me, please do.

 

 

 

Sarah loves vanilla bean candles. I have never made any candles but I might tackle that later.

 

 

 

I so admire my daughter Sarah. Even though she was diagnosed with Autism, Tourette’s, Schizophrenia, Bi-polar, Partial Seizures ect…. It has never diminished the fact that, first she is Sarah a 24-year-old young lady who likes what every other 24-year-old young lady would.

 

 

 

Know matter what your child or family member is diagnosed with, remember that is what they may have at this time, but that is not who they are.

Have a Blessed Day🙂

 

 

 

Homemade Lotion for Sarah

2005-10-16 21.32.47

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Sarah has always been very sensitive to smell. Today she and her staff came over and we had a cook out. The visit went really well. Sarah is very curious, so when she went into our bathroom she wanted to … Continue reading

Essential Oils Break Through – Vanderbilt University Medical Center

I am a firm believer in the benefits of Essential Oils. I am so happy to find out that RN nurses Tonya McBride and Teresa Sturges who work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are open-minded enough to recognize that Essential Oils in the work place really do make a difference.

“Through our own experiences of enlightenment, we now have a unique perspective for both traditional and alternative modalities.  We have witnessed a new era developing among physicians, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who have a willingness to explore the therapeutic value of essential oils.”

Through the wellness committee, the use of essential oils was approved and defined within a research model to analyze the direct effects of diffusing essential oils in the hospital environment for the perceived outcome of stress reduction and increased energy levels.  Our staff was surveyed for 30 days pre and post implementation.  Before the use of essential oils 41% of the staff felt work related stress very often, after the use of essential oils only 3% felt work related stress very often.  The feelings of being overwhelmed changed from 25% very often before implementation to 2% after implementation.  Feelings of being well equipped to handle stressors at work changed from 13% very often before implementation to 58% after implementation.  Perceptions of staff optimal energy level increased from 33% to 77%.  Following the implementation of the essential oil initiative, 84% of the staff strongly agreed and 10% agreed that diffusing essential oils contributed to a more positive work environment.

You can read more of this great article at https://www.aromaticscience.com/essential-oils-opening-closed-minds/

I am very encouraged by this information and I feel very fortunate to be on the ground floor of getting the healthiest most natural ways out there to my readers who have a challenged family member.

If these nurses can make a difference in their work environment with their co workers using Essential Oils then it makes me wonder what impact they could potentially have on there patients at the hospital. Maybe doctors will now not be so closed-minded when we take our challenged family member in for a doctor visit and mention an alternative medicine instead of using a traditional medicine.

essential oils lavender, lemon and sweet orange

essential oils lavender, lemon and sweet orange (Photo credit: How to be Sustainable)

 

Bi-Polar – Traditional and Holistic Treatments

bipolar-quotes-02-300x240

bipolar-quotes-02-300×240 (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

There are now proven links that if you have been diagnosed with Autism you may also have Bipolar. There are numerous traditional medicines out there that claim to help Bipolar disorder behaviors.

Not surprisingly, the symptoms of bipolar disorder in someone with autism are likely to look different than they would in others. They commonly include “pressured speech” (rapid, loud and virtually nonstop talking), constant pacing, an abrupt decrease in sleep and increased impulsivity leading to aggression. Psychiatrists often prescribe psychoactive medications to treat bipolar disorder. Lithium is one of the most common treatments. Unfortunately, lithium often produces significant side effects. They can include thirst, excessive drinking and bed wetting, shaky hands and even life-threatening toxicity. This is of particular concern with individuals who have communication difficulties, as they may not be able to alert caregivers to the side effects they’re experiencing. Studies suggest that anti-seizure, mood-stabilizing medications such as valproic acid may be a safer treatment for those with autism. We’ve also seen success with a combination of a mood-stabilizing medicine and a low dose of an antipsychotic medication. The atypical antipsychotics risperidone and aripiprazole are both FDA-approved to treat irritability in children with autism ages 6 and older. However both tend to produce significant weight gain and diabetes risk. Therefore, their use requires close monitoring. (For further guidance, please see our recent blog on “Behavioral Medication Side Effects.”) – See more at: http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2013/04/19/there-connection-between-autism-and-bipolar-disorder#sthash.WkmjgITI.dpuf

There are so many side effects to these medicines. So many side effects that I wanted to look at a more natural way to control these Bipolar behaviors. This is what I found.

First, it is very unwise to rely solely on alternative measures to treatbipolar disorders, with the possible exception of mild cyclothymia orseasonal affective disorder. The risks of going without medical treatment include death by suicide or accident, and the terrible personal consequences of self-injurious behavior, manic spending sprees, hypersexuality, and all the rest. Parents must be especially careful to ensure proper medical care for bipolar children and adolescents, as minds and bodies cannot develop properly when a child is in the throes of depressionmania, or psychosis.

Second, there is much misinformation regarding alternative treatments. Botanical formulas can differ wildly in their potency, both from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from vial to vial. There is also a potentially dangerous lack of scientific and regulatory oversight in this field, and sometimes a blatantly anti-science attitude. Some alternative practitioners are well-trained and highly competent, while others are charlatans.

A holistic approach to health takes into account all aspects of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. That’s important when treating bipolar disorders because of their far-reaching impact on personal functioning. You can complement pharmaceuticals with some alternative treatments, often reducing the dose and thereby eliminating some of the dangers and side effects carried by many psychiatric medications. This combination approach is called complementary medicine: using the best of what medical science has to offer, and complementing it with less invasive techniques.

Occasionally a patient will have very valid health reasons for giving up pharmaceutical treatments that are actually working. For example, almost all of the medications used to treat bipolar disorders are believed to cause birth defects, so pregnant girls and women who are bipolar can find themselves faced with a terrible choice. Temporary reliance on alternative methods under careful supervision, with a return to the use of effective medication as soon as possible, can protect both the developing fetus and the mother’s health. Should your child develop another serious health condition, such as cancer, conflicting medications might have to be temporarily discontinued during chemotherapy, preparation for surgery, or certain types of medical treatment. So even if alternative treatments are not right for your child now, they might be useful someday.

Alternative treatments rarely produce dramatic changes. When they work, they usually assist your body’s own self-righting mechanisms, promoting better sleep, fewer and less severe mood swings, improved general health, and a better frame of mind.

To get the clearest picture possible of any alternative interventions, you must introduce them independently of each other, and independent of pharmaceuticals or therapeutic interventions. Obviously, this will often be impractical–you wouldn’t stop lithium just to see if B vitamins might be useful.

Barring the one-thing-at-a-time scenario, keep careful, daily records of supplements and dietary changes you introduce, when they are given and in what amounts, what brands you used, and any visible effects that you observe. If after four to six weeks you have not seen improvements with a supplement, it’s unlikely that it will be of benefit. Dietary changes, bodywork, and other interventions may take much longer to bear fruit.

Remember that many parents report initial problems with supplements and dietary changes, and some children may be resistant to bodywork at first as well. Don’t gloss over dangerous side effects, but expect to weather some behavior problems for a couple of weeks.

If you can convince your physician to make alternative therapies part of his prescription, you’re in luck. Some actively oppose them, and that may force you to find a new doctor. Whatever you do, don’t operate behind your doctor’s back in any significant way. If you’re philosophically incompatible, you should simply part ways — but you need a medical expert on your team.

Exercise and proper diet can help with any condition you have been diagnosed with. It especially helps people diagnosed with Autism and Bipolar.

Please be very careful in deciding what to do about your condition. Do your own research as we are all uniquely made and what may work for one may not work for you.

I am just putting this out there so that we all can be better informed. God Bless You All.

Tourettes and Homeopathy

I have been writing mostly about Sarah’s walk with Autism. Today, I want to bring more awareness to another diagnosis she has and that is Tourette’s.

Homeopathy is great for many different things and Tourette’s is one of them. Let me explain what Tourette’s is.

The most severe of tic disorders, Tourette syndrome is characterized by the presence of both motor and vocal tics. Although known to occur in adults, symptoms typically present between ages 5 and 18 and last for a minimum of one year. The symptoms often reduce into adulthood. Tics that begin in adulthood are generally not considered symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, and usually have a secondary cause.

Sarah has always said that it is not the Autism that bothers her so much as it is the Tourette’s that bothers her. She has also said that having Tourette’s embarrasses her. She is on traditional medicine for it right now. Personally, I would like for her to be off traditional medicines and completely on natural medicine.

I have been on a quest for a long time searching out what natural medicines are out there for people who are diagnosed with the same diseases as Sarah has. I want Sarah to be comfortable in her own skin.

The main thing that embarrasses Sarah about having Tourette’s is the Tics that sometimes come with Tourette’s.

Conditions other than Tourette Syndrome that may manifest tics include developmental disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and stereotypic movement disorders. In addition, tics can also be a part of Sydenham’s chorea, idiopathic dystonia, Huntington’s disease, neuroacanthocytosis, Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Wilson’s disease, and tuberous sclerosis.  Other possibilities for tics include Down syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, XYY syndrome and fragile X syndrome.

Tics can be induced by prescription drugs, the use of “street” drugs, head trauma, encephalitis, stroke and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even low levels of thyroid hormone (Hypothyroidism) are known to cause tics. Tics are also associated with certain emotional disturbances, such as OCD and hypochondrical phenomena, as well as some seizure activity.

This is how Homeopathy can help. Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted substances that challenge the known laws of pharmacology. Critics often dismiss the positive effects of homeopathy as merely due to placebo effect. And yet, according to homeopathic doctrine and 200+ years of experience, the more diluted the substance, the more potent it becomes.

The vital force is the healing power or energy that exists within all living things. Chinese Medicine calls it Chi, while Indian Ayurveda refers to it as Prana.  The vital force fuels our mind, body and emotions. It keeps us healthy and balanced. When the balance of the vital force is disturbed by factors such as stress, pollution or improper diet, it becomes weakened and susceptible to illness.

A homeopath’s task, in any illness, is to find a substance, or homeopathic remedy, that corresponds to the sufferer’s physical and emotional health.  The correct remedy unlocks the healing power of the vital force, allowing the organism to do what it does naturally – heal itself.

Whether you are suffering from tic disorders, headaches or anxiety, homeopathy offers solutions.   A homeopathic remedy is prescribed based on your unique symptoms, feelings and experiences.  This remedy resonates with the energetic vibration of your illness and sets you on your path to recovery.

 

Visit Home and BBQ Time

All of my apprehension was for nothing. Sarah came for a home visit and we partied. We had a great bbq and then we went to the lake.

Sarah did not want to go down to the water and that was ok, maybe next time.

This time I did not let anything rob me of the joy I felt at having one of my daughters home with us even if it was just for a visit🙂

So, I thought I would share some pics of the good time we had. Thank you Jamie for all of your help🙂2005-09-13 21.06.26 2005-09-14 00.04.01 2005-09-14 00.06.05

Apprehension as Guilt and Anxiety Tries To Creep In.

All week I have been saying to myself and everyone else that I am looking so forward to this Saturday. It’s true, I am.

I was doing really good until today when the old familiar voices of Guilt and Anxiety tried to sneak in. This is because Sarah is coming home for a visit.

This will be the first time she has been home since she went to PCL almost 3 years ago. I started to have very much apprehension about this even though I am looking forward to seeing her.

I have come to learn that I don’t want to listen to those those voices because they rob me. Resist the devil, I resist his voices as well. I will not let anyone rob me of my joy any longer. I am worth more than that and so is Sarah!

We are going to have a great time🙂

A Broader Life Than Autism

Today I want to write about the circumstances around Autism. What I mean is that most of us who have a child diagnosed with Autism have other children as well.

We have two other beautiful daughters. One of our daughters is married and has two sons. We have two grandsons🙂 Sarah has two nephews🙂 One day Sarah will be introduced to her nephews Conner and Kyle.

What I am saying is that we have had Autism in our lives for 24 years. Even though we have had Autism in our lives for so many years it has not been the only thing in our lives.

Sarah’s sisters are very accomplished young ladies and they love Sarah very much. The reason why Sarah has not met her nephews yet, is because she has a problem with children’s noises and they live 3,000 miles away. One day she will meet them and they will have a great time together.

So, until she gets to meet her nephews face to face and not just through the phone and pictures, I would like to introduce you my fellow readers to Sarah’s nephews Conner and Kyle.1273680_4608764836482_951894484_o1270719_4574583661974_411855060_o

We have a broader life now. For so many years Autism was the only focus I had, but not anymore. When my focus shifted to a broader spectrum I was much happier, therefore I had a much more happier family, and now I have been blessed two amazing grandsons.  Sarah’s life is much broader also because she has a better understanding in her faith walk and she has more family and friends to love her.

Sarah has asked me from time to time if Conner and Kyle are ok, meaning that they don’t have Autism. I reassure her that they are just fine.

Just want to let you know…….

2005-09-06 22.34.40I just want to let you know that Sarah’s Voice has a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SarahsVoice

Come by and check it out. I have lots of information about Autism and lots more pics and videos about Sarah and the family.

You are always invited🙂 Thanks🙂

Great Day Autism Or Not

I am not writing about anything in particular other than we had a wonderful day with Sarah at the park today.

There was a live band and great food. We also had live entertainment and Sarah won herself another bag.

We were at the park for 4 hours and having a wonderful time. Partners for Community Living Rocks!!! Thank you all for giving and caring that your clients have a great time🙂2005-09-06 22.34.40 2005-09-06 21.05.11

Autism and Autoimmune Disease

A new, large-scale study of more than 2,700 mothers of children with autism shows that about one in 10 mothers have antibodies in their bloodstream that react with proteins in the brain of their babies.

Some 50 million Americans live and cope with autoimmune disease (AD), 75 percent of whom are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65. It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.

What are Autoimmune Diseases?

Our bodies have an immune system, which is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders. At the core of the immune system is the ability to tell the difference between self and nonself: what’s you and what’s foreign. A flaw can make the body unable to tell the difference between self and nonself. When this happens, the body makes autoantibodies (AW-toh-AN-teye-bah-deez) that attack normal cells by mistake. At the same time special cells called regulatory T cells fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease. There are more than 80 known types.

What are autoimmune diseases affect women, and what are their symptoms?

Disease

Symptoms

Alopecia areata (Al-uh-PEE-shuh AR-ee-AYT-uh)

The immune system attacks hair follicles (the structures from which hair grows). It usually does not threaten health, but it can greatly affect the way a person looks.

  • Patchy hair loss on the scalp, face, or other areas of your body

 

Antiphospholipid (an-teye-FOSS-foh-lip-ihd) antibody syndrome (aPL)

A disease that causes problems in the inner lining of blood vessels resulting in blood clots in arteries or veins.

  • Blood clots in veins or arteries
  • Multiple miscarriages
  • Lacy, net-like red rash on the wrists and knees

 

Autoimmune hepatitis

The immune system attacks and destroys the liver cells. This can lead to scarring and hardening of the liver, and possibly liver failure.

  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged liver
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach pain or upset
Celiac disease

A disease in which people can’t tolerate gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, and barley, and also some medicines. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products that have gluten, the immune system responds by damaging the lining of the small intestines.

  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Infertility or miscarriages
Diabetes type 1

A disease in which your immune system attacks the cells that make insulin, a hormone needed to control blood sugar levels. As a result, your body cannot make insulin. Without insulin, too much sugar stays in your blood. Too high blood sugar can hurt the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. But the most serious problem caused by diabetes is heart disease.

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very hungry or tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Losing the feeling in your feet or having tingling in your feet
  • Having blurry eyesight
Graves’ disease (overactive thyroid)

A disease that causes the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone.

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Sweating
  • Fine brittle hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Light menstrual periods
  • Bulging eyes
  • Shaky hands
  • Sometimes there are no symptoms
Guillain-Barre (GEE-yahn bah-RAY) syndrome

The immune system attacks the nerves that connect your brain and spinal cord with the rest of your body. Damage to the nerves makes it hard for them to transmit signals. As a result, the muscles have trouble responding to the brain.

  • Weakness or tingling feeling in the legs that might spread to the upper body
  • Paralysis in severe cases

Symptoms often progress relatively quickly, over a period of days or weeks, and often occur on both sides of the body.

Hashimoto’s (hah-shee-MOH-tohz) disease (underactive thyroid)

A disease that causes the thyroid to not make enough thyroid hormone.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle aches and stiff joints
  • Facial swelling
  • Constipation
Hemolytic anemia (HEE-moh-lit-ihk uh-NEE-mee-uh)

The immune system destroys the red blood cells. Yet the body can’t make new red blood cells fast enough to meet the body’s needs. As a result, your body does not get the oxygen it needs to function well, and your heart must work harder to move oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Paleness
  • Yellowish skin or whites of eyes
  • Heart problems, including heart failure
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (id-ee-oh-PATH-ihk throm-boh-seye-toh-PEE-nik PUR-pur-uh) (ITP)

A disease in which the immune system destroys blood platelets, which are needed for blood to clot.

  • Very heavy menstrual period
  • Tiny purple or red dots on the skin that might look like a rash.
  • Easy bruising
  • Nosebleed or bleeding in the mouth
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

A disease that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s (krohnz) disease and ulcerative colitis (UHL-sur-uh-tiv koh-LEYE-tuhss) are the most common forms of IBD.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea, which may be bloody

Some people also have:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Mouth ulcers (in Crohn’s disease)
  • Painful or difficult bowel movements (in ulcerative colitis)
Inflammatory myopathies (meye-OP-uh-theez)

A group of diseases that involve muscle inflammation and muscle weakness. Polymyositis (pol-ee-meye-uh-SYT-uhss) and dermatomyositis (dur-muh-toh-meye-uh-SYT-uhss) are 2 types more common in women than men.

  • Slow but progressive muscle weakness beginning in the muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Polymyositis affects muscles involved with making movement on both sides of the body. With dermatomyositis, a skin rash comes before or at the same time as muscle weakness.

May also have:

  • Fatigue after walking or standing
  • Tripping or falling
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
Multiple sclerosis (MUHL-tip-uhl sklur-OH-suhss) (MS)

A disease in which the immune system attacks the protective coating around the nerves. The damage affects the brain and spinal cord.

  • Weakness and trouble with coordination, balance, speaking, and walking
  • Paralysis
  • Tremors
  • Numbness and tingling feeling in arms, legs, hands, and feet
  • Symptoms vary because the location and extent of each attack vary
Myasthenia gravis (meye-uhss-THEEN-ee-uh GRAV-uhss) (MG)

A disease in which the immune system attacks the nerves and muscles throughout the body.

  • Double vision, trouble keeping a steady gaze, and drooping eyelids
  • Trouble swallowing, with frequent gagging or choking
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Muscles that work better after rest
  • Drooping head
  • Trouble climbing stairs or lifting things
  • Trouble talking
Primary biliary cirrhosis (BIL-ee-air-ee sur-ROH-suhss)

The immune system slowly destroys the liver’s bile ducts. Bile is a substance made in the liver. It travels through the bile ducts to help with digestion. When the ducts are destroyed, the bile builds up in the liver and hurts it. The damage causes the liver to harden and scar, and eventually stop working.

  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes
Psoriasis (suh-REYE-uh-suhss)

A disease that causes new skin cells that grow deep in your skin to rise too fast and pile up on the skin surface.

  • Thick red patches, covered with scales, usually appearing on the head, elbows, and knees
  • Itching and pain, which can make it hard to sleep, walk, and care for yourself

May have:

  • A form of arthritis that often affects the joints and the ends of the fingers and toes. Back pain can occur if the spine is involved.
Rheumatoid arthritis (ROO-muh-toid ar-THREYE-tuhss)

A disease in which the immune system attacks the lining of the joints throughout the body.

  • Painful, stiff, swollen, and deformed joints
  • Reduced movement and function

May have:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Eye inflammation
  • Lung disease
  • Lumps of tissue under the skin, often the elbows
  • Anemia
Scleroderma (sklair-oh-DUR-muh)

A disease causing abnormal growth of connective tissue in the skin and blood vessels.

  • Fingers and toes that turn white, red, or blue in response to heat and cold
  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of fingers and joints
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Skin that looks shiny on the hands and forearm
  • Tight and mask-like facial skin
  • Sores on the fingers or toes
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Shortness of breath
Sjögren’s (SHOH-grins) syndrome

A disease in which the immune system targets the glands that make moisture, such as tears and saliva.

  • Dry eyes or eyes that itch
  • Dryness of the mouth, which can cause sores
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Loss of sense of taste
  • Severe dental cavities
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fatigue
  • Joint swelling or pain
  • Swollen glands
  • Cloudy eyes
Systemic lupus erythematosus (LOO-puhss ur-ih-thee-muh-TOH-suhss)

A disease that can damage the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, and other parts of the body. Also called SLE or lupus.

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue
  • “Butterfly” rash across the nose and cheeks
  • Rashes on other parts of the body
  • Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Chest pain
  • Headache, dizziness, seizure, memory problems, or change in behavior
Vitiligo (vit-ihl-EYE-goh)

The immune system destroys the cells that give your skin its color. It also can affect the tissue inside your mouth and nose.

  • White patches on areas exposed to the sun, or on armpits, genitals, and rectum
  • Hair turns gray early
  • Loss of color inside your mouth

 

Women with autoimmune diseases can safely have children. But there could be some risks for the mother or baby, depending on the disease and how severe it is. For instance, pregnant women with lupus have a higher risk of preterm birth and stillbirth. Pregnant women with myasthenia gravis (MG) might have symptoms that lead to trouble breathing during pregnancy. For some women, symptoms tend to improve during pregnancy, while others find their symptoms tend to flare up. Also, some medicines used to treat autoimmune diseases might not be safe to use during pregnancy.

 

If you want to have a baby, talk to your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Your doctor might suggest that you wait until your disease is in remission or suggest a change in medicines before you start trying. You also might need to see a doctor who cares for women with high-risk pregnancies.

 

Some women with autoimmune diseases may have problems getting pregnant. This can happen for many reasons. Tests can tell if fertility problems are caused by an autoimmune disease or an unrelated reason. Fertility treatments are able to help some women with autoimmune disease become pregnant.

If you have an autoimmune disease, please get the proper care that you need especially if you plan on having children.

 

Bowen Therapy – Animals and Challenged Individuals

I have been keeping up on the research of Bowen Therapy and how it works for challenged individuals. As it turns out Bowen Therapy is very beneficial for animals as well.images (1)

Bowen Therapy is a very non evasive technic. Now, Sarah has been to traditional doctors that put her on traditional medicines that she needed at the time. Sarah has also been to chiropractor’s that have really helped her along the way also. Now Sarah has been diagnosed with arthritis in her knees. The traditional medicines that she is on are just a band-aid and not getting to the root of what is really going on in her body. chiropractor’s are to evasive for her now because of the arthritis.

I am encouraging the Bowen Technique for Sarah more and more. I am astounded at the success they are having with people with special needs.

Bowtech (the original bowen therapy) is a ‘complementary’ modality in the sense that it enhances and complements, but does not interfere with, traditional medical attention. Bowtech’s input to the nervous system is very subtle, and the body responds over time. For that reason, it’s best to avoid other manipulative therapies for several days before and after a Bowtech session lest they interfere with the body’s response to the Bowtech.

Before the session
The ideal time for a Bowtech session is immediately after an injury. That way, your body can overcome the trauma before it begins to compensate for it. (The compensations often create more problems in the long run than the initial trauma itself.) If you can’t get to a Bowtech practitioner immediately, the sooner you can, the better. Within three days is ideal for the quickest and most complete recovery.
Many people don’t find out about Bowtech until weeks, months, or even years of trying other approaches or learning to live with it. If that’s the case with you, you’ll get the best results from your Bowtech if you:

Don’t have any other forms of bodywork for four days beforehand.
Avoid heavy exercise on the day of your session.
Don’t use ice or heat on the site of injury.
Wear or bring light-weight, loose-fitting clothing that your practitioner can work through. Or be prepared to be worked on in your underclothes, under sheets or blankets for modesty and comfort.bowen_child

This is a testimony of how the Bowen Treatments can work for children with special needs.

Thomas – developmental and learning difficulties

Thomas is my 8 year old son, who has special needs. He has global developmental delay, moderate learning difficulties, low muscle tone, lax joints and speech problems. He attends a special needs school.

About four months ago, Thomas’ teachers and myself were very concerned about his behaviour. He was very disruptive in class, displaying inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour, with temper tantrums and making noises. The problems continued onto the minibus which transported him to and from school. Thomas had also started pulling out his eyelashes. This was very distressing to see.

One of his teachers suggested we pay a visit to the Bowen society. She had heard that the treatment technique used was very beneficial for special needs children and seemed to calm and soothe them. I had not heard of this treatment before and did not know what to expect, but we decided to give it a try. I’m so glad that we did!

Thomas has now had 8 treatments, with remarkable results. He visits every other Saturday with each treatment lasting about 45 minutes. The treatment consists of very gentle (but very powerful) movements all over the body, as necessary. The therapists are very kind and gentle and treat the children very well. Thomas looks forward to his treatment and says it makes him feel relaxed and sleepy.

I never would have believed the change in him in such a short time! It’s nothing short of a miracle! Thomas is now like a different child. after only a few visits the teachers asked had anything changed with his routine, as Thomas was much improved at school. now they say whatever we’re doing – keep doing it!

Thomas has asthma and has frequent chest infections, requiring lots of antibiotics and steroids. One of the Bowen therapists, who is a nutritionist, recommended Thomas take certain supplements, which would improve his health and boost his immune system. He was very underweight and frail with a very poor appetite. He needed daily medicine for severe constipation. Since having Bowen, his appetite has improved, and at last, he has started to put on a little weight. Best of all, he no longer needs his constipation medicine.

Due to his joint and muscle problems Thomas didn’t take his first steps until he was three years old. He has painful joints, particularly in his legs. As a result, he can’t walk very far without pain. He uses a large buggy when required. Since having Bowen treatment he has much more stamina and is able to walk further without feeling pain. He recently was able to walk twice around the lake without complaining.

His balance is also greatly improved. He enjoys visits to the farm where he likes to have pony rides. I always had to help him to sit upright in the saddle and walk alongside supporting him. The last few rides he has been able to sit up perfectly, with no need for me to hold him. He was told he’d make a great jockey!

Thomas’ behaviour has improved dramatically. He has settled down at school and is behaving well. He is kind and helpful with his class mates and at home. He no longer pulls out his eyelashes. He no longer causes trouble on the school transport (in fact, when another child on the bus spoiled a cake he had made he just ignored them and looked away. Previously he would have made a scene.) He is much calmer and happier, which makes for a more relaxed home life for the whole family.

He now concentrates for longer periods and is now more able to write his name clearly. He is now able to colour in pictures competently and is producing some lovely pictures.

Thomas has speech problems and lacks confidence as he knows his speech is not always clear. He has been reluctant in the past to speak in front of the whole class but recently was able to stand up in front of the whole school and sang a song on his own. He also has a small speaking part in a play.

We have had more help from the therapists at Bowen than we have had from the numerous doctors etcetera that we have seen at numerous hospitals over the years. I can’t thank them enough and very much appreciate their work with Thomas.

The Bowen therapists are angels and they can work miracles.

This is how Bowen Therapy can work to help animals;

The Bowen Technique is a minimally invasive, highly relaxing and low stress therapy. The work is so gentle and non-invasive it can be applied to animals in traumatic situations.

It can be used for both large and small animals, domesticated and wild animals, those in rehabilitation, or suffering from injury, abuse or disease, and is currently in use in veterinary clinics in the U.S. and Canada.

Types of animals successfully treated with Touch Balancing have included: horses, dogs, cats (large and small felines, birds, cows, pigs, llamas, emus, foxes, coyotes, wolves, iguanas, chameleons, opossums. 

Animals treated with the Bowen Technique show a general improvement in well-being and may experience relief from lameness, malaise, digestive problems, allergies and skin conditions.  Bowen may also help improve negative emotional states and behavior.  It is also extremely effective at calming anxiety, fear and aggression.

The Bowen Technic is very beneficial. I have had it done to me after my car accident in 2000. It took some time, but my body was able to heal naturally with this non evasive technic.

This video shows just how non evasive the Bowen Technic is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9tXvN2Xlp0

Make That Time Count – The Lighter side of Autism

1185909_395897613845200_548738667_nJust because your child may have been diagnosed with a challenge such as Autism or anything else does not mean that you have to toss away all dreams for them.

Autism is just a blanket diagnosis. There is still a child in there that has hopes, dreams and has a personality to boot.

Even though the tough behaviors of your child seem to overtake your entire household, just remember when the good behaviors come out and you see your child’s personality come through cherish it and hold on to it.

I remember not to long ago, when Sarah seen me put on some chap stick, she grabbed my hand and told me not to put it on. I asked her why and she said because it might hurt my lips. I told her that it would be ok because I had been using it for a while. She told me ok, but don’t come crying to me if it hurts you and she walked off in her own teenage way. It took me a while but then I realized we had a regular Mom and daughter moment.

Now, I don’t know about you but when the good moments came I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don’t do that! That kind of thinking will rob you of the joy you felt when your child’s personality came out.

I remember another time when Sarah was abt. 6 or 7 years old. We lived in South Dakota. It was during the winter and the snow drifts were high. Sarah and her sisters were playing outside. Anna was trying to wipe off the snow on the propane tank and Sarah went running over to her, took her hand off the propane tank and told her not to touch it because the tank was hot.

Sarah knew propane heated the house so she assumed that the tank would be hot, out of concern for her sister she pulled her hand off the tank and said what she said. Right at that moment Sarah and Anna had a real sister moment.

Now maybe your child is nonverbal, maybe your child is physically challenged as well. Now matter what they are awesome children of the Lord, so enjoy them! Build them up. Edify them! They are only with us for a short period of time.  Make that time count!

Mother murders her Autistic son

I have read about Dorothy Spourdalakis’s unwavering pursuit to get her son the help he needed. I am sorry that she felt she had no other choice but to murder her own son whom she tried so hard to advocate for.

Let me tell you, for a mother to get to the point where Dorothy Spourdalakis was is horrifying. She had been trying to get help for her son but there was none. Finally all hope had evidently gone from her and she took the only avenue she thought in her disturbed exhausted mind that would put an end to the pain. That was to murder her son Alex who was diagnosed as severely Autistic.

This is a very sad and tragic situation and I am concerned that situations like this will become more and more evident if something is not done to help families that are caring for an Autistic family member.

When your child is diagnosed with Autism there seem to be all sorts of resources for them unless they are to challenged. When they are to challenged with Autism then professionals will mention that the only way you may get help is if you put your child in a state institution under the psychiatric ward.

They can be in the psychiatric ward for usually no longer than 3 or 4 months. If they are not under control by then and are rejected for group home placement ect…. they will get to go back home and then you are back at square one.

I know this from experience and it is one of my guilt factors that I have to press through every day.

I am in no way excusing Dorothy for what she did. What she did was wrong on many levels. I do however understand the exhaustion and frustration of trying to help your challenged child and getting either no response or the run around. I am so grateful to God and my family that I did not get to the point of hoplessness.

People, when you see a family going through this situation don’t scowl at them, help them. A kind word and kind actions go a long way. Just remember this could have been your family just as easily as it was theirs.

1 in 88 or even 1 in 50 diagnosis of Autism is way to many, and it seems to be rising at a rapid rate so don’t ever think it won’t happen to your family.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/mother-murders-severely-autistic-son-cops-article-1.1371310

Don’t Let Guilt Rob You

Having a great time :)

Having a great time🙂

I have been reading a lot of blogs about us mothers feeling guilty when we make decisions for our children challenged or not. It seems like we as mothers feel really guilty if we don’t seemingly make the right choices concerning our children.

I have been going through these same feelings of guilt even though Sarah has been out the house for a couple of years. Some people might say that I have too much time on my hands and I am thinking too much.

They might be right, but the fact of the matter is, is that I have been trying to write a book about my experiences with Sarah and her different challenges. I have gotten to a particular area in the book I am writing that has put me on this roller coaster ride of emotions.

Let me tell you something about guilt. It is a snare and a trap. No matter who you are or what you are going through guilt will try to rob you of everything you have. As my daughter Anna pointed out to me yesterday “You made the choices you had to make at that time and back then the choices were limited.” She’s right.

Guilt will try to rob you of any kind of happiness that you ever hope to have, even what small windows of happiness you have with your child/children.

Sarah doesn’t hold any animosity toward the decisions we have made concerning her and her life. She believes the decisions that we have made concerning her has helped her on the path she is on now, which is a good path for her.

Don’t let guilt rob you of your happiness. Our children need us to be well-rounded so they can be well-rounded, and that includes us being happy. If you have to, look for your happiness, search it out, you and your family need you to do that more than they need you to try to fix what may or may not be a problem for them.

{love and happiness}

{love and happiness} (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ADHD and AUTISM

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the lit...

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

People are really making so-called educated guesses on what causes Autism. Now so-called professionals are saying that there are more links seen between Autism and ADHD.

 

I am all for doing research to find out what is causing the Autism epidemic or any other mental health crisis that is going on. In my humble opinion pretty soon they are going to be saying Bacon causes Autism, anyway I digress.

 

I do believe that there may be a significant attachment between Autism and ADHD. I have a step daughter with the diagnosis of ADHD but I do not believe she has Autistic symptoms.

 

Please everyone use caution when there is new breaking news about Autism or any other news about any other mental health challenges out their. I am just throwing this news out there in blog land because it may help someone. 

 

Helping and Educating families/people on the Autism Spectrum about Autism is what Sarah and I want to do.

 

MONDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) — Kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 20 times more likely to exhibit some traits of autism than children without ADHD, according to a new study.

 

One of every five ADHD kids in the study exhibited signs of autism such as slow language development, difficulty interacting with others and problems with emotional control, said study co-author Dr. Joseph Biederman, director of the pediatric psychopharmacology unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

“The genetic markers for ADHD have also been associated with autism,” he said. “These autistic traits may be present in other conditions as well. I am quite convinced that these traits may be present in children with mood and anxiety disorders.”

 

Again, I want to say be cautious and do your own research about this.

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Oil Can Get You Off Your Thyroid Medicine

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:...

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:Thyroid). To discuss image, please see Talk:Human body diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew Coconut Oil was good for you, but I did not know it was this good for us.

Sarah and I both share a Hypothyroid issue so I thought I would share some information on how Coconut Oil can help or maybe get us off of the Synthyroid that we take.

There are many published studies on the relationship between coconut oil, metabolism and weight loss. Research shows that coconut oil contains unique fatty acids that stimulate metabolism, supply the body with tremendous energy, and promote weight loss. Most people are unaware that hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease and this is one of the main reasons why conventional pharmaceutical treatments are ineffective for more than 80 percent of patients with sluggish thyroids.

Why Thyroid Medication Does Not Work

Taking replacement thyroid hormones without addressing the underlying immune imbalance is like trying to change the type of oil in your engine with the hope that your transmission will stop failing…useless.

The ultimate effect of hypothyroidism, whether it’s caused by iodine deficiency or autoimmunity, is to decrease the amount of thyroid hormone available to the body. The conventional approach is to simply replace these hormones with either synthetic or bio-identical forms.

Patient doesn’t have enough hormones? Give more hormones. Simple, right? Not.

Once again the conventional approach falls short because it ignores the underlying cause of the problem.

Even the best thyroid treatment may not work if underlying adrenal and hormonal problems are not dealt with effectively. If your doctor is not looking at your adrenal and hormonal situation, then an important part of your health is being overlooked.

In autoimmune disease the body attacks itself. It does this the same way it attacks foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses: with T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T cells. The immune response also involves proteins called cytokines, chemical messengers that pass messages between cells.

A team of scientists from Yale University recently reported that junk food diets and processed foods could be partly to blamefor autoimmune diseases.

Thyroid Hormones

The production and use of thyroid hormones is a complex and important process:

  • An understanding of the complex thyroid hormone process begins with iodide, a salt that is extracted from the blood and trapped by the thyroid gland.
  • Iodide is converted to iodine in the thyroid gland. (Here, 80% of the body’s iodine supply is then stored.) Iodine, in turn, is the raw material used in the manufacturing of thyroxine (T4), the key thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroxine itself is converted into triiodothyronine (T3) , which is the more biologically active thyroid hormone. (Only about 20% of triiodothyronine is actually formed in the thyroid gland, however. The rest is manufactured from circulating thyroxine in tissues outside the thyroid, such as those in the liver and kidney.)
  • Two other important hormones in the process are thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH).
  • TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production.
  • This hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland and monitored by TRH, which is produced in the hypothalamus gland. (Both the pituitary and hypothalamus glands are located in the brain.)
  • When thyroxine levels drop even slightly, the pituitary gland goes into action to pump up secretion of TSH so that it can stimulate thyroxine production.

Any abnormality in this intricate system of glands and hormone synthesis and production can have far-reaching consequences.

To Address The Thyroid You MUST Understand Inflammation
This self-attack by the immune system increases inflammation. And inflammation has a profound effect on all aspects of thyroid metabolism and physiology.

First, inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. One study showed a single injection of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha reduced blood levels of TSH, T3, free T4, free T3 and TRH for 5 days. This shows inflammation disrupts the production and regulatory mechanisms of thyroid hormones. Thyroid medication will increase the levels of T4 (and possibly T3), but it doesn’t address the other effects of HPT axis suppression.

Second, inflammation decreases both the number and sensitivity of thyroid hormone receptors. If there aren’t enough receptors, or they aren’t sensitive enough, it doesn’t matter how much thyroid medication we take. The cells won’t be able to use it. It’s like when my grandpa used to turn down his hearing aids while he was watching the football game. It didn’t matter how much my grandma yelled at him — he couldn’t hear a word she said.

Third, inflammation decreases the conversion of T4 to T3. T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. The body has to convert it to the active T3 form before it can be used. Most synthetic hormone medications on the market are T4. If you give a T4 medication (like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid, etc.) to someone with inflammation, it’s not going to work because they can’t convert the T4 to T3.

A TSH test is just one part of the overall picture. You can have a TSH that falls in the “normal range,” or is in the higher or lower end of normal, but you can actually have a thyroid problem or autoimmune thyroid disease. A good practitioner doesn’t rule out a thyroid condition solely on the basis of a TSH, but instead, runs additional tests, such as Free T4, Free T3. Thyroid antibodies can diagnose autoimmune conditions long before other blood values become abnormal. AND, treatment for people with antibodies can actually help forestall full-scale development of thyroid disease in some people!

Long-term suppression of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) causes cardiac side-effects and contributes to decreases in bone mineral density (high TSH levels are also well known to contributes to osteoporosis.) It may also cause elevated blood glucose levels, heart failure, coma and adrenal insufficiency. TSH directly influences the whole process of iodine trapping and thyroid hormone production so use of synthroid directly affects how the body metabolizes iodine.

The only way to do that is to address the problem at its root by regulating the immune system and decreasing inflammation.

Other Causes of an Unbalanced Thyroid?

A sluggish thyroid may be triggered by many unseen causes, including…

  • MSG and bad fatty acids, so common in our diet, can weaken your thyroid.
  • A deficiency of iodine is on the rise, and without enough iodine, your thyroid won’t produce the hormones you need.
  • As you age, your risk of an unbalanced thyroid dramatically increases.
  • Popular prescription drugs for your heart, bones and blood sugar can lead to a sluggish thyroid.
  • Exposure to too much fluoride or chlorine in drinking water can interfere with normal thyroid function.
  • Menopause or pregnancy and treatments such as Estrogen Replacement Therapy can throw the thyroid out of whack.
  • A family history of thyroid concerns may cause thyroid dysfunction.
  • Autoimmune health problems can cause your thyroid to go haywire.

Coconut Oil Regulates The Immune System and Decreases Inflammation

Coconut oil has always received a criticism because a group of scientists had incorrectly promoted that it increased LDL cholesterol. However, it never did increase LDL cholesterol, but it did increase HDL or good cholesterol. That distinction was never corrected in the mainstream press and the misconception still continues to this day.

“Why the mainstream persists in this delusion of criticizing coconut oil is beyond the understanding of many in the natural food industry,” said raw food expert and retailer Ian Macdonald.

“You know you’re on to something healthy when national and international health agencies are advising AGAINST it,” Macdonald stated. “This is typically due to influences from pharmaceutical and high profile corporations who strive on keeping the population sick and diseased,” he added.

For example the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), International College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetic Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), British National Health Service (NHS), and Dietitians of Canada all simultaneously recommend AGAINST the consumption of coconut oil. Unfortunately, and against the better interest of the public, none of the above organizations have a track record of recommending healthy solutions for the public, so Macdonald suggests that when these organizations recommend against something, “that is your cue to incorporate it into your diet, with proper research of course.” Coconut oil may be the perfect example.

50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth!

Nigel Turner and Jiming Ye from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets.

“The medium chain fatty acids like those found in coconut oil are interesting to us because they behave very differently to the fats normally found in our diets,” said study leader Turner.

“Unlike the long chain fatty acids contained in animal fats, medium chain fatty acids are small enough to enter mitochondria – the cells’ energy burning powerhouses – directly where they can then be converted to energy.”

Coconut oil has a direct effect in suppressing inflammation and repairing tissue, and it may also contribute by inhibiting harmful intestinal microorganisms that cause chronic inflammation.

Many people who have suffered with inflammatory conditions of the intestines like Crohn’s disease have successfully used coconut oil for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

The medium-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides found in coconut oil are the same as those in human mother’s milk, and they have extraordinary anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. By disrupting the lipid structures of microbes, they inactivate them. Lauric acid, its metabolite monolaurin and other fatty acids in coconut oil are known to protect against infection from bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and parasites. While not having any negative effect on beneficial gut bacteria, coconut oil inactivates undesirable microbes.

An excellent study that reviewed many previous studies on this topic was published in the Journal of Nutrition (Vol. 132, pages 329-332). This study was conducted by researchers at McGill University. They reported that several different studies have shown weight loss equivalent to 12 – 36 pounds a year simply by changing the types of oils used in everyday cooking and food preparation.

Most of the oils that we use to cook food and those used in commercially-prepared foods also have a negative affect on the thyroid. These are known as polyunsaturated or vegetable oils. They may in fact be the worst villains in the spread of thyroid diseases.

The thyroid, though small otherwise, is one of the largest glands in the endocrine system. Diseases of the endocrine system are mostly caused due to production disorders that lead to inadequacy or excess of hormones or inappropriate response to hormones by tissues.

Is coconut oil a thyroid cure? Not by itself. Can it help people with low thyroid function? Yes, because it stimulates metabolism and boosts energy. For this reason, coconut oil has been a blessing to many people who have been able to abandon their medications with the right combination of exercise, removal of processed foods, and a balanced diet.

Read the Full Article Here: http://preventdisease.com/news/13/032113_Get-Off-Your-Thyroid-Medication-And-Start-Consuming-Coconut-Oil.shtml

Mother Slain and her family kicked out?!!!!!

Can you believe this? A woman Sandra Roskilly was senselessly murdered on her front porch by gunman Daniel Abeyta and now the family members that were living with her which were her elderly mother and her autistic son are being kicked out of their home!

Three days after a Denver woman was brutally murdered, the city’s housing authority evicted her family because the slain woman was the only one on the lease.

Just days after losing a loved one, the victim’s mother and autistic son are now homeless, sleeping wherever they can after they were booted from their own house.

“We haven’t processed that Sandy’s gone yet,” the victim’s sister-in-law, Letta Campbell, told KWGN. But the family wasn’t even allowed to mourn before receiving the eviction notice from the Denver Housing Authorityon Monday. Roskilly died without a will, which legally transfers all of her personal belongings to a public administrator.

Since the shooting victim was the only one on the lease, Roskilly’s family members were forced to vacate the house less than six hours after receiving the notice. Doris Kessler, the 70-year-old mother of the victim, as well as Roskilly’s 18-year-old autistic son, were forced to leave the house on Monday. After kicking them out, Housing Authority officials changed the locks.

This is just blatantly wrong! I hope that the people of Denver rally around this family and do the right thing by this family.womanslayeddenver

 

Autism and Different Areas of the Brain

DTI image

DTI image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autistic individuals tend to use different are...

Autistic individuals tend to use different areas of the brain (yellow) for a movement task compared to a control group (blue). Powell K. Opening a window to the autistic brain. PLoS Biol . 2004 ;2(8) :E267. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020267. PMID 15314667. PMC 509312. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Men and women are very different in many different ways, that is a given. Just because a person may have a challenge of some sort like Autism, Cerebral Palsy or microcephaly ect. does not mean we are biologically going to react the same.

Everyone is an individual with individual needs. Men and women with challenges are no different in their “differences” than anyone else.

It is interesting to me however, is the people who are researching the differences of the Autistic male brain, and the Autistic female brain are finding some amazing results.

“We compared the brains of male patients with and without autism, so we have a pattern to demonstrate how autism manifests in the brain, and then do the same thing for females,” Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai, who led the research project, told FoxNews.com. “So if autism manifests the same for males and females, then the (patterns would be) quite alike. If it manifests differently by gender, then the two patterns would be quite distinct. And that’s what we found.”

Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers scanned and compared the brains of 30 male and 30 female autism patients between the ages of 18 and 49, none of whom had intellectual disabilities. The brain scans were then compared to those of 30 male and 30 female control patients, who were considered typical developing adults.

As expected, the tests found that the brain anatomies of females with autism were substantially different when compared to the brains of their male counterparts. In fact, a completely different set of brain regions were implicated in the male autism brains than in the female autism brains.

The brain imaging revealed that females with autism showed what the scientists referred to as neuroanatomical “masculinization.” meaning areas of the brain that were atypical in adult females with autism were similar to areas that differ between typical developing males and females. This brain difference was not seen in the adult males with autism.

“The key message is that researchers should not really assume that what we know about autism in males will always be applicable to females,” Lai said. “We need to pay more attention to the female population, looking at males and females separately and jointly. We have to identify both similarities and differences.”

Siblings of Autistic Sisters or Brothers

This is something that I have thought a lot about.  I have one step daughter with ADHD and I have three biological children the youngest is Sarah who was diagnosed with Autism.

My step daughter was born in 1984. My 2 biological daughters were born in 1985 and 1987 and they had no health issues. Sarah was born in 1989.

Therese K. Grønborg, M.Sc., of Aarhus University, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based study in Denmark of all children (about 1.5 million) born between 1980 and 2004. They identified a maternal sibling group derived from mothers with at least two children and a paternal sibling group derived from fathers with at least two children.

“To date, this is the first population-based study to examine the recurrence risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), including time trends, and the first study to consider the ASDs recurrence risk for full- and half-siblings,” the authors note in the study.

The study results suggest an almost seven-fold increase in ASDs risk if an older sibling had an ASD diagnosis compared with no ASD diagnoses in older siblings. In children with the same mother, the adjusted relative recurrence risk of 7.5 in full siblings was significantly higher than the risk of 2.4 in half siblings. In children with the same father, the adjusted relative recurrence risk was 7.4 in full siblings and significant, but no statistically significant increased risk was observed among paternal half siblings, the results also indicate.

“The difference in the recurrence risk between full and half siblings supports the role of genetics in ASDs, while the significant recurrence risk in maternal half-siblings may support the role of factors associated with pregnancy and the maternal intrauterine environment in ASDs,” the study concludes.

This is a very interesting study. I no that our middle daughter is watching her two sons to make sure they have known Autistic characteristics. We had Sarah’s DNA checked and they said that there is no abnormalities in her DNA to cause her diagnosis.

This is something that I have thought a lot about.  I have one step daughter with ADHD and I have three biological children the youngest is Sarah who was diagnosed with Autism.

My step daughter was born in 1984. My 2 biological daughters were born in 1985 and 1987 and they had no health issues. Sarah was born in 1989.

Therese K. Grønborg, M.Sc., of Aarhus University, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based study in Denmark of all children (about 1.5 million) born between 1980 and 2004. They identified a maternal sibling group derived from mothers with at least two children and a paternal sibling group derived from fathers with at least two children.

“To date, this is the first population-based study to examine the recurrence risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), including time trends, and the first study to consider the ASDs recurrence risk for full- and half-siblings,” the authors note in the study.

The study results suggest an almost seven-fold increase in ASDs risk if an older sibling had an ASD diagnosis compared with no ASD diagnoses in older siblings. In children with the same mother, the adjusted relative recurrence risk of 7.5 in full siblings was significantly higher than the risk of 2.4 in half siblings. In children with the same father, the adjusted relative recurrence risk was 7.4 in full siblings and significant, but no statistically significant increased risk was observed among paternal half siblings, the results also indicate.

“The difference in the recurrence risk between full and half siblings supports the role of genetics in ASDs, while the significant recurrence risk in maternal half-siblings may support the role of factors associated with pregnancy and the maternal intrauterine environment in ASDs,” the study concludes.

This is a very interesting study. I no that our middle daughter is watching her two sons to make sure they have known Autistic characteristics. We had Sarah’s DNA checked and they said that there is no abnormalities in her DNA to cause her diagnosis.

Autism and Genealogy Fixations

Clarissa Wooster and John Mike. Sarah's great great grandparents.

Clarissa Wooster and John Mike. Sarah’s great great grandparents.

I don’t know about you but Sarah would get fixated on certain things. Her fixations usually would be on mechanical things like vacuums and smoke detectors.

Well, imagine my surprise when Sarah started asking me what was your grandparents names, your great grandparents names, your great great grandparents names ect…..

I am a family historian and have been for many years. When Sarah started asking me these questions I brought out the pictures that I had of the grandparents she was asking the names for.

When I brought out the wedding picture of her great great grandparents (my great grandparents) John Mike and Clarissa (Wooster) Mike, Tuenge she immediatly fixated on the picture. Mostly she was fixated on the image of John Mike. She asked me what his parents names were and I had know answer for her. John Mike has been my brick wall genealogy wise for a very long time.

Sarah was fixated John Mike so much I had to make many copies from the original picture so she could have it with her all the time.

I don’t know if anyone has ever had their child with Autism ask so many questions about who their family is. I think it is great that Sarah asks me these questions, but as of yet I still have know answer for her concerning our John Mike.

So, I thought I would put our John Mike information out their and see if someone can help me answer Sarah’s questions about who John Mike’s parents may have been.

Name – John Mike

Born – 1889

Place of Birth – Hungary

Married – Oct. 15, 1908 to Clarissa Wooster

Place – Pine County Courthouse, Pine County, Minnesota

Occupation – Laborer

Last known address – Bovey, Minnesota

Date of Death – ?

Place of Death – ?

Parents – ?

The story that has been handed down through the generations is that John Mike left for work one day and never came home.

The wedding picture that I am posting of John Mike and Clarissa Wooster is the only known picture of John Mike.

If anyone can help me answer Sarah’s questions about her great great grandpa John Mike it would be very much appreciated and thank you.

 

Cannabis and all the fuss – Autism

I found this on cannabis.org:

 

This one comes from our brother in arms; Dr. Lester Grinspoon, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He stated the following in his Oct. 1, 1997 testimony before the Crime Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives:

“Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never cause an overdose death.”

 

http://now.msn.com/marijuana-affects-autism-by-helping-brain-signals-get-through-says-stanford-study

 

Hope for autistic children might lie in medical marijuana, study says

7/28/2013

 

Stanford University released a study that will most likely add more fuel to the already contentious debate over medical marijuana, especially regarding its possible use by kids. The study, released in April, shows that cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis, might help treat autism. In the human brain, endocannabinoid signaling affects memory formation, learning, and other processes, but forms of autism can block these signals. When cannabinoids were present in the brains of mice being studied, these signals were able to get through. While more research is needed, autism groups are hopeful about the possibilities of medical marijuana. As the Autism Daily Newscast put it, “Many children with autism are already given cocktails of drugs that may be even stronger than marijuana, with serious side effects and limited results.”

Tell me what you think.

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland, California (Photo credit: Rusty Blazenhoff)

 

 

 

Autism, Fun and Epic Motorcycle

Normally I never see the words Autism, Fun and Epic Motorcycle in the same sentence. So, I just thought I would  put it as my title.

I came across this picture and I just had to share it. This picture represents a breaking out point to me. No longer is Autism being pushed aside and ignored.

This picture is outside the box thinking completely. This picture is support and saying you are not alone in this journey of Autism. This picture of this beautiful motorcycle has an in your face boldness to it.

Autism is not being kept quiet any longer! I am so grateful that parents and individuals are speaking out and boldly going forth about getting the awareness of the Autism Spectrum out there.

The boldness of this Epic Motorcycle speaks volumes. The awareness of Autism is not just being shared just on the social media. Now the awareness is on the road🙂 Not only on the road but having fun!Epic Cycle

Medical Marijuana and Autism

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland, California (Photo credit: Rusty Blazenhoff)

 

English: Medical Marijuana surrounding a vapor...

English: Medical Marijuana surrounding a vaporizer for healthy intake of the medicine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am sure that everyone has their opinions about Medicinal Marijuana, and what affects it could have on a person with Autism. What would you do? Would you consent to Medicinal Marijuana being a medicine for your family member with Autism? Or would you still go with the traditional medicines that have all kinds of awful side effects?

 

People say that Marijuana is a gateway drug. Now I don’t know if those particular people are just referring to plain off the street Marijuana, or the Medicinal Marijuana. A gateway drug? Hummmm……maybe to the refrigerator.

 

There is no doubt that Marijuana has some side effects, but to me they don’t seem nearly as detrimental as the traditional medicines that our doctors want us to take. Just a thought.

 

I am not a doctor, nor am I saying that Marijuana is a cure-all. What I would like, is some feed back as to whether anyone else has thought of this as an alternative medicine, and does it work to calm down, some of the behaviors that people with Autism have to endure on a daily basis?

 

To my knowledge (such as it is), Medicinal Marijuana has had no adverse affect on the majority of responsible adult people who use it. I have been told that you can’t die from an overdose of Medicinal Marijuana, you just go to sleep if you have had to much of it.

 

So again I ask, could Medicinal Marijuana help people with Autism, if it is prescribed and distributed responsibly? Please tell me what you think.

 

 

 

GMOs Not Good for Anybody!

 

Gmo's No good!

Gmo’s No good! (Photo credit: rockymountainhigh)

 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (Photo credit: live w mcs)

 

 

Many thanks to my sister in law Cindy who shared the following information with me;

 

TLB Note: The video contained in this article has many eye opening points and facts concerning Monsanto, GMO’s, Vaccines, Chemtrails, Bill Gates and their connections. Many of us who are aware know or suspect there is a connection (the big picture) but lack the tie points. This video provides some vital tie points and the possible motive! This video is not extremely detailed but does give references you can research (so be prepared to hit the ‘pause’ button). We have and it scares the hell out of us, but you judge for yourself …

 

Please go to this web site to get the full article and video…It is truly enlightening.

 

http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/2013/07/02/bill-gates-monsanto-chemtrails-vaccines-the-critical-tie-points/

 

GMOs are not good for anyone! To think the government has been using GMOs for years.

 

I do not know about you but to me it is a no brainer. I really believe that GMOs are one of the major causes of the rise in children with Autism and other challenges.

 

Please go to the link above and educate yourself on this distructive path of GMOs and see if you don’t agree with me. If you disagree with me please tell me why. If you do agree with me please tell me.

 

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Sarah

Through these 24 years of having our daughter Sarah blessing our life, people have asked me what was it like raising Sarah? To which I reply “What do you mean was?” We feel like we still are raising Sarah even though she is an adult and living in a fully staffed home.

We see Sarah a lot and we are still her guardians and have the final say so on her care. We call her nearly everyday and if we don’t call her she calls us. So it still feels like we are still raising her to a degree. That is ok though because we want the final say.

So, raising Sarah has been a great challenge in our lives. When she was diagnosed with Autism back in 1991, we had no clue what that word meant.

I had no idea on how to handle this challenge, and I am not sure anyone is quite prepared to hear the words “We believe your child has Autism” or any challenge for that matter. When I heard this I went numb and in over drive, because I was going to find the cure for this Autism word that doctors say my perfect little girl had.

My husband went into complete denial saying, he believed that she was just slow and would overcome it. He of course learned what Autism was and has dealt with it as best as any of us can.

That is how we started out on this ever-changing but very routine walk called Autism.

Our two older daughters bless their hearts were stuck in between the craziness of their whole world being changed, and trying to have some normalcy lives.

Sarah was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism with low IQ and low muscle tone. Later she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, Bi-Polar, Seasonal Effective Disorder, Partial seizures and Psychotic Episodes.

We have gone through all of the craziness of doctors and teachers that did not have a clue on how to help Sarah because her needs were so many. I on the other hand thought that the “professionals” should know exactly what to do for her and help me make Autism go away.

We have gone through the meltdowns and being kicked out of stores and Churches (yes, I said Churches) because of those meltdowns. I would get up everyday determined to be the happy mother I used to be before the Autism word was in our lives, and everyday I would fail in epic proportions.

We have also gone through all the times that Sarah would just take off. She only required 3hrs of sleep and on those odd occasions when we would drift off to sleep she would figure out the locks on the doors and windows and she would be gone. Amazing that she was diagnosed with low IQ but she could figure out intricate mechanical things……..hummmmm.

I think one of  the hardest things to go through on raising Sarah was when she would have psychotic episodes and try to harm herself or us. We then had to make some very tough decisions, because at that time our health was not very good.

Raising Sarah has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my life. If I can help anyone that is going through these trying times right now with their family member I will.

I am not claiming to have all of the answers, but I will never stop researching and finding things that will help Sarah be comfortable in her own skin.

People have told me that Sarah would not be as well off as she is, had it not been for us working with her day and night. People have also said that they were sure that they could not handle something like that. Most of the time people would just give us demeaning cruel looks, or make snide remarks.

I have to tell you, it is only by the Grace of God that we all have gotten as far as we have. Sarah knows that God has protected her on a lot of occasions and she thanks him for it. Her faith is remarkable.

The next time you see a family going through a crisis of sorts in a store, church or another place. Don’t ridicule them, have compassion on them and ask them if their is anything you can do. These families/children will often feel isolated so an act of kindness would probably be greatly appreciated. I know it would have been for us.015

Earlier Autism Identification

This is incouraging news for the Autism community. Even though I do not like labels, I do encourage early detection and awareness.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers released today in the journal Autism the results of a three-year study that evaluated the effectiveness of a training program designed to enhance autism spectrum disorder (ASD) identification and assessment within community pediatric settings across Tennessee.

After participating in training to learn strategies for conducting rapid diagnostic assessments following positive ASD screenings, pediatricians reported significant changes in their screening and consultation practices, with 85 percent reporting an increase in numbers of children with autism evaluated within their practice. The study also found that pediatric providers were nearly as accurate as specialists in their diagnoses, with agreement seen in more than 90 percent of all cases.

Sarah was diagnosed when she was 2yrs old. I believe that had she had an earlier diagnosis it would have been much better on all of us.

Key findings:

  • Community pediatric providers were more likely to conduct independent autism assessments within their practice, rather than referring the child for outside evaluation.
  • Community pediatric providers showed high agreement in ASD classification with expert clinicians.
  • A dramatic shift was seen in pediatric providers’ sense of the appropriateness for a child to receive a diagnosis from his or her primary care provider, without or before a comprehensive evaluation.
  • A dramatic shift in the comfort level of discussing ASD diagnoses with caregivers was seen.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of diagnoses made within respective provider practices.

This study builds on pilot findings from 2009 by presenting a more comprehensive evaluation of the training model and utilizing a broader sample of pediatric providers.

Rest In Peace Terry Smith

I was so in hopes that Terry Smith Jr. would be found alive and well, unfortunately that was not the case. authorities believe that they have found Terry’s body in a shallow grave on his families property. They also believe he was murdered by his 16-year-old half-brother.

Terry Smith Sr. the father of Terry Smith jr. says that Terry jr. did not have Autism. He believes he may have had ADHD because he was a hyper little boy.

Many parents who have children with the diagnoses of Autism, traveled to help with the hunt for Terry. They believed and were told that Terry had Autism.

Some of the parents were angry when they learned that he may not have been Autistic. They feel that they were possibly lied to.

To me it really does not make any difference whether a child missing has Autism or not. The fact that a child is missing at all breaks my heart. All children are fragile in the fact that they could be abducted at any moment.

I agree to the fact that if these caring volunteers were lied to, that was not right.

In any case, there was a 11-year-old boy named Terry Smith Jr., who may or may not have been challenged that was murdered. May he rest in peace, and may justice prevail for this young man who can no longer speak for himself.

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace

 

Bowen Therapy for Autism

Years ago, I had Bowen Treatments because I had severe whiplash. At first I was sure the chiropractor was doing nothing, but by the time I got home I was feeling almost euphoric.

I thought if these treatments were working so well for me, then why not have a go at it with Sarah? It couldn’t hurt right? Sarah had been to a chiropractor before and had cranial work done on her. This was when she was little.

Cover of "The Bowen Technique"

Cover of The Bowen Technique

Back then Bowen Therapy was not recognized by Sarah’s insurance, so all we could afford were one or two treatments for her. One or two treatments are not enough to really get the full effect of the Bowen Treatments.

I had not thought of Bowen Therapy for many years, until my mom slipped and fell down some stairs. Her Naturepath started doing Bowen Therapy on her and she healed up much faster than she would have normally.

Then I got to thinking again about Bowen Treatments for Sarah. Sarah is older now and has her own money. In my mind it is never to late to help Sarah in any way I can so that she has the best quality of life she possibly can.

At her last meeting I brought up the fact that I was looking into Essential Oils and the Gluten and Casein Free Diet for her. I must admit I got some strange looks, but her case worker is very willing to look into it and make sure that she mentions it to Sarah’s doctor. Sarah has a very good team, we as her parents have the final say and everyone is looking out for her best interests. I have not mentioned the Hyperbaric Chamber yet as I am still researching on that.

Before I mention Bowen Therapy to the team I need to make sure and do my research on this technic. When I had it done to me it was 13 years ago. I am sure there is much more research done as to how Bowen Therapy has helped many people with Autism.

This is what Bowen Therapy is;

Bowen Therapy is a holistic and multidimensional approach to pain relief and healing that has achieved remarkable results over the past 50 years. It is based on the recognition by Tom Bowen, its originator, who lived and practiced in Geelong, Victoria, that the underlying cause or source of many musculoskeletal, neurological, neuromuscular and other health or pain problems could be found in the soft tissue or fascia. Fascia is a specific type of connective tissue that forms a three-dimensional web surrounding every tissue in the body. Fascia is the body organiser embracing all nerves, bones, arteries, veins and muscles. Therefore fascial dysfunction can affect every structure, muscle, nerve and organ in the body. Fascia has become the subject of increasing research and recent studies have shown it to be the largest sensory organ in the body. It is rich in a range of receptors that powerfully influence the body’s neuro-muscular physiology in many and complex ways as can be seen in the Bowen Studies section.

Bowen Therapy, through specific soft tissue or fascial release and integration techniques, stimulate specific receptors that enable the body itself to correct dysfunctions and restore homeostasis (balance) on a holistic level. Through treating the cause rather than the symptoms Bowen Therapy has consistently shown it can haveprofound and permanent healing and pain relief outcomes. This relief is experienced by many people who present with a wide range of painful conditions, even where other modalities or treatments have resulted in transient or little improvement. Importantly, Bowen Therapy, being holistic, does not rely on a detailed diagnosis of the problem and its origins, which is often costly and indeterminate. Bowen Therapy treats the whole body, and its holistic effects are apparent in patients who find a resolution to problems above and beyond those for which they have sought treatment, for example lack of energy, stress or emotional issues.

What is Bowen Technique?

A Bowen Therapy session encourages the body to reset and heal itself. It consists of a series of gentle precise moves on skin(or through light clothing),applied to muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, fascia and joints.

How long will it take?

A Bowen Therapy session usually lasts from 45 minutes to 1 hour and frequently results in a deep sense of overall relaxation, allowing the body to recharge and balance itself.

How does it work?

There are many theories as to how Bowen Therapy works, but none completely explain it’s holistic effect and often outstanding results. In particular I have found Bowen Therapy appears to be very effective at treating back aches and pains.

Bowen Therapy does not impose a particular approach on the client. Instead it encourages a gentle response which empowers the body’s own resources to heal itself. Bowen therapy moves are a study in delicacy, being light, gentle and very precise.

It may help many conditions from sports injuries to log standing complaints

There is no vigorous manipulation

Its gentle stimulating and healing

It improves mobility, balances the body and de-toxifies

It improves circulation, lymphatic and venous drainage

It helps address both physiacal and emotional issues

Substantial relief is often achieved after only one session

Will it take a lot of treatments?

The Bowen Therapy Technique is not necessarily a ‘long-term’ treatment program. Most clients find that a small number of treatments, for example 3, are adequate even for long-standing complaints.

Ask anyone who has had a Bowen Therapy session and they will tell you how amazed they were with the results. Most people are initially skeptical about it as Bowen seems so gentle, when compared with some other therapies. Yet it works extremely well and most clients feel significantly better immediately after the first session – depending on the type and seriousness of the injury.

Many athletes find that a regular Bowen Treatment once a week can be very useful in healing sports injuries and helping to prevent further injury.

The Bowen Technique can enhance sports performance and ipmprove balance to the body.

This is what I have found for Bowen Treatments for people with Autism;

  Quieter, happier children

  Better concentration

  Some play engendered / and with pets

  Loss of some obsessive / repetitive behavior

  Sleep patterns greatly improved

  Rage episodes lessened

  Abusive behavior much reduced on self / property

  More instances of language use

  More eye contact – coming out into the world

  Parents’ load relieved – family togetherness enhanced

I will definatly look more into this treatment and let you know what I find out. This is very intriging to say the least🙂

 

Essential Oils and Mental Health – Robert Tisserand

The more I do research on Natural Alternatives for Sarah the more excited I am getting. There is so much more help out there than there was 20 years ago.

 

 

There is a man named Robert Tisserand that has been researching the many healthy ways that Essential Oils and Hydrosols help many people. He has been studying Essential Oils since the 1960’s. I want to share some of his findings with you.

English: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Ess...

English: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Essential Oil in clear glass vial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

First of all he of course has his own webpage – roberttisserand.com which is a wealth of information.

 

 

Robert Tisserand is one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. He wrote the first comprehensive book on aromatherapy in English in 1977, and The Art of Aromatherapy is still published in 12 languages. In 1974 he established the first company in the UK to market aromatherapy products, promoting the now industry-leadingTisserand branded products. Robert was the publisher and editor ofThe International Journal of Aromatherapy, for 12 years and in the 1990s, he orchestrated three international AROMA conferences at British Universities.

 

 

He is highly articulate and published with worldwide lecturing experience, and his library includes several thousand journal articles. He has a personal collection of some 500 essential oils, absolutes and CO2 extracts, and has created many “functional fragrances” for products that combine perfumery principles with the therapeutic, hygienic, and dermatological properties of essential oils.

 

 

Today Robert lives in the United States where he continues to follow his passion for aromatherapy by working as an independent industry expert consulting to practitioners, colleges and corporations around the world.

 

 

The blood-brain barrier
Christy C. Tangney is quoted on WebMD as saying: “More study is needed to see how, or even if, rosemary affects how quickly and accurately we perform mental exercises.” Tangney is an associate professor of clinical nutrition at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She feels that the findings could be due to chance or something else besides the fragrance. “There is something here. I don’t know that I could conclude that it is the aroma of the rosemary that is associated with improvements though” Tangney says.

 

 

On the face of it this is an odd comment, since the researchers were at pains to clarify that it is not the “aroma” of the rosemary oil that is producing the effect, it is the fact that constituents of the oil enter the bloodstream, and thereby produce an effect. But, Tangney probably meant simply that the rosemary oil might not be doing anything at all. I suppose someone has to be the designated bearer of the “it’s only placebo” message.

 

 

As small, fat-soluble organic molecules, terpenes like 1,8-cineole can enter the blood stream via the nasal or pulmonary mucosa. We know they can cross the blood-brain barrier (i.e. move out of the cerebral blood vessels and into the brain), as interactions with various receptor sites in the brain have been seen after administration (Aoshima and Hamamoto 1999, Elisabetsky et al 1999). In a German study, whether mice were given rosemary oil orally, or it was evaporated in their cage, similar blood levels of 1,8-cineole were detected. This was associated with an increase in ‘locomotor activity’ – spontaneous movement – thus demonstrating a stimulant effect from inhalation of the oil (Kovar et al 1987). This shows that inhalation of rosemary oil produces an effect on the nervous system that is not purely psychological, or due to expectation. We don’t know whether mice like rosemary oil, or whether it might improve their mathematical skills. I’m just saying…

 

 

Acetylcholine
1,8-Cineole is found in many other essential oils including eucalyptus, sage, laurel, myrtle and cardamon. Previous research has shown that it inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) enzymes, which are important in brain and central nervous system neurochemistry. Acetylcholine is the principal neurotransmitter in the brain, so when the enzyme that breaks it down is inhibited, there’s more acetylcholine to help those synapses fire. The most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for treating loss of cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are AChE inhibitors, also known as cholinergic drugs.

 

 

A rosemary oil with 44.4% 1,8-cineole and 12.6% a-pinene inhibited AChE and BChE (Orhan et al 2008). All three of the major constituents of rosemary oil individually inhibit (AChE), as do three of its minor constituents. The AChE inhibiting effect is especially strong for 1,8-cineole and a-pinene, and less so for camphor. These three, and other constituents, act synergistically to produce the effect (Savelev et al 2003). There are several chemotypes of rosemary oil. The one used by Moss in all his research (fromTisserand Aromatherapy) is a 1,8-cineole chemotype. A typical analysis for this type of oil is shown in the Table below.

 

 

 

 

In a Japanese study, 17 AD patients were exposed to the vapors of rosemary and lemon oils in the morning, and lavender and orange oils in the afternoon for 28 days. Compared to similar pre-treatment and post-treatment periods, aromatherapy resulted in significant cognitive improvements (Jimbo et al 2009). In other clinical research, 11 AD patients were given small oral doses of Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) oil, which is chemically very similar to the type of rosemary oil used by Mark Moss (see Table). Again, there were significant cognitive improvements (Perry et al 2003). When Spanish sage oil was taken orally by 24 healthy young volunteers in a placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial, both speed and accuracy significantly improved in tests of cognitive performance (Tildesley et al 2005).

 

 

Cholinergic function is surely not the whole story, and a number of other mechanisms are likely at work. For example, cognitive impairment in AD is also associated with low dopamine (Wolfe et al 1990), and 1,8-cineole increases dopamine release in brain cells (Kako et al 2008).

 

 

Summary
Taken together, the evidence for a positive effect on cognitive function by rosemary oil, and similar oils, is strong. Effects are due to synergistic interactions of constituents. Since both rosemary and Spanish sage oil have similar effects, the precise composition of the oil does not seem to be critical. Whether the perception of the rosemary odor produces contentment or relaxation may not be directly relevant, since taking the oil orally has a similar effect. This gives credence to Mark Moss’s contention that it is blood-borne essential oil constituents that affect mental function.

 

Rosemary (given name)

Rosemary (given name) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you looking for specific effects from specific oils, or is it all basically ‘feel-good’, or do you use fragrance to anchor feelings?
I use essential oils for specific effects, such as enhancing mood or alleviating anxiety or insomnia as well as to counteract certain side effects of medications. What you refer to as ‘feel-good’ I see as the enhanced sense of well-being that clients get from regaining a sense of resilience and improved coping skills with regards to their symptoms and life stressors. This also allows clients to shift from being symptom-focused to being ‘strengths based’ or ‘recovery oriented.’ In many cases, I tell clients to think of an intention or positive thought when they apply the essential oils, so in addition to the specific effects, the oils can thereby anchor feelings and intentions, or, more broadly, an enhanced sense of self-efficacy.

 

 

The situation for aromatherapy is much better today than it was when I started in the 1960s and 70s, and aromatherapy is developing in its different facets. Today there are more medicines being developed based on essential oils. We have seen a tremendous development in skin care products over the last 20 years. We are now seeing interesting possibilities with environmental fragrancing, not just in terms of mood, but also in terms of hygiene, and both of those together. So I think there are a lot of very exciting developments!

 

 

I tend not to go by just one persons research or opinions. I have done my research on Robert Tisserand and I have seen his references. He is a very formidable and credible person as far as I can tell now.

 

 

I will keep researching as to what scents Sarah will like and what EO’s and Hydrosols will help her. My goal is to see her completely off of her traditional medicines, and take all natural stuff if she needs to. At the very least have the EO’s and Hydrosols work in conjunction, with her traditional medicines and perhaps lower her doses.

 

Autism not only affects your child/adult, it affects your entire family. The least stress there is on Sarah the least stress there is on the family. I am very much a nurturer, and if I can help Sarah be comfortable in her own skin then I will. This has been a quest of mine for 22 years and I will not stop!Sarah and Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://roberttisserand.com/blog/

Essential Oils for Autism

English: Leaves of Eucalyptus olida packed int...

English: Leaves of Eucalyptus olida packed into steam distillation unit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As I said before I am researching any and all natural ways to help our Sarah with her struggles with Autism and other challenges. Right now I am taking a closer look at Essential Oils.

 

 

 

I found this information through Wikipedia and thought it would be helpful for you my readers as well;

 

 

 

Essential oils are generally extracted by distillationSteam distillation is often used. Other processes include expression or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumescosmeticssoaps and other products, for flavoring food and drink, and for adding scents toincense and household cleaning products.

 

 

 

Essential oils have been used medicinally in history. Medical applications proposed by those who sell medicinal oils range from skin treatments to remedies for cancer and often are based solely on historical accounts of use of essential oils for these purposes. Claims for the efficacy of medical treatments, and treatment of cancers in particular, are now subject to regulation in most countries.

 

 

 

Interest in essential oils has revived in recent decades with the popularity of aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that claims that essential oils and other aromatic compounds have curative effects. Oils are volatilized or diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air by a nebulizer, heated over a candle flame, or burned as incense.

 

 

 

The earliest recorded mention of the techniques and methods used to produce essential oils is believed to be that of Ibn al-Baitar(1188–1248), an Andalusian physicianpharmacist and chemist.

 

 

 

The recondensed water is referred to as a hydrosol, hydrolat, herbal distillate or plant water essence, which may be sold as another fragrant product. Popular hydrosols include rose waterlavender water, lemon balmclary sage and orange blossom water. The use of herbal distillates in cosmetics is increasing. Some plant hydrosols have unpleasant smells and are therefore not sold.

 

 

 

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine in which healing effects are ascribed to the aromatic compounds in essential oils and other plant extracts. Many common essential oils have medicinal properties that have been applied in folk medicine since ancient times and are still widely used today. For example, many essential oils have antiseptic properties. Many are also claimed to have an uplifting effect on the mind. Such claims, if meaningful, are not necessarily false but are difficult to quantify in the light of the sheer variability of materials used in the practice.

 

 

 

The potential danger of an essential oil is generally relative to its level or grade of purity. Many essential oils are designed exclusively for their aroma-therapeutic quality; these essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in their undiluted or “neat” form. Some can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and, over time, prove hepatotoxic. Non-therapeutic grade essential oils are never recommended for topical or internal use.

 

 

 

Now this is what got my attention;

 

 

 

Toxicology

 

 

 

The following table lists the LD or median lethal dose for common oils; this is the dose required to kill half the members of a tested population.LD is intended as a guideline only, and reported values can vary widely due to differences in tested species and testing conditions.

 

 

 

Common Name Oral LD50 Dermal LD50 Notes
Neem 14 g/kg >2 g/kg
Lemon myrtle 2.43 g/kg 2.25 g/kg
Frankincense >5 g/kg >5 g/kg Boswellia carterii
Frankincense >2 g/kg >2 g/kg Boswellia sacra
Indian frankincense >2 g/kg >2 g/kg Boswellia serrata
Ylang-ylang >5 g/kg >5 g/kg
Cedarwood >5 g/kg >5 g/kg
Roman chamomile >5 g/kg >5 g/kg
White camphor >5 g/kg >5 g/kg Cinnamomum camphora, extracted from leaves
Yellow camphor 3.73 g/kg >5 g/kg Cinnamomum camphora, extracted from bark
Hot oil 3.80 g/kg >5 g/kg Cinnamomum camphora, oil extracted from leaves
Cassia 2.80 g/kg 0.32 g/kg

 

It is important to understand that the foregoing figures are far less relevant in everyday life than far smaller, often localized levels of exposure. For example, a dose of many an essential oil that would do no harm if swallowed in diluted solution or emulsion, could do serious damage to eyes or lungs in a higher concentration.

 

Essential Oils Box

Essential Oils Box (Photo credit: luxomedia)

 

I figured that Essential Oils would be toxic to a degree. Then I think about the traditional medicines that are being prescribed, and how toxic they become over time.

 

 

 

As with anything you have to be very careful and responsible. Essential Oils can get in places of the body faster, in a way that traditional medicines cannot penetrate.

 

 

 

So much of Sarah’s issues are neurological. I am seriously thinking Essential Oils is the way to go for her. I did introduce her to certain oils when she was little to the degree of which she could tolerate, but they were mainly for fragrance and not for medical issues.

 

 

 

I sure wish I would have known then what I know now. That is ok though, better late than never🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Alternatives For Autism

Sarah HerbertAlthough Sarah is on prescription medicines, I am constantly looking for natural alternatives that may take the place of those prescription medicines. I would rather her be on natural stuff than anything that may harm her in the long run.

 

There are all kinds of different natural alternatives for many different things. I try to find natural things specifically pertaining to what Sarah has been diagnosed with on the Autism Spectrum, and outside the Spectrum as well.

 

I am also looking at things that she now enjoys doing. She has recently taken up painting, which tells me that she is much more tolerant of smells than she use to be.

English: Glass vial containing Fleabane Essent...

English: Glass vial containing Fleabane Essential Oil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)e is much more tolerant of smells than she use to be. 

 

Sarah has a collection of different lotions and she is taking much more interest in flowers. It is like she is noticing the beauty around her. She often picks wild flowers for me, or she will go to the store and buy me some pretty fake flowers.

 

So with all of that in mind, I have been collecting different Essential Oils. Essential Oils are very concentrated oils that must be diluted before you use them. I have also been looking at Hydrosols also. Hydrosol is the water that comes from making Essential Oils and you do not have to dilute it, as it is not as strong as Essential Oils.

 

I know there is a lot of hype out there with MLM (Muti Level Marketing) companies saying that they have the EO (Essential Oil) or Hyrodsol you need for your child’s challenge whatever it may be. I am very skeptical when it comes to what Natural Alternatives I give or do with Sarah.

 

Sarah has been diagnosed with a wide range of challenges besides Autism. Although she is considered High Functioning her IQ was low (by their standards) and she has low muscle tone, plus the challenges of Bi-Polar, psychotic Episodes, Schizophrenia, Seasonal Effective Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome ect…… I look at everything natural that pertains to all of her needs and not just Autism.

 

Essential Oils is not the only thing I look at for Sarah. I look at certain vitamins that will help her also and lets not forget diet and exercise. I believe the Gluten and Casein Free Diets could really help Sarah a lot and that will be brought up at her next meeting.

 

Exercise is really not one of Sarah’s favorite things to do. Her staff got the creative idea to put letters in the mailbox everyday for her, so she would have to go outside (with supervision of course) and get the letters. This excites her a lot and she is willing to do that. Through this she gets some of her exercise.

 

This year Sarah is really excited about going to Camp Attitude. We also plan on camping a night or two with her. The more she is outside experiencing the natural beauty around her the happier I think she is.

 

I still believe Hyperberic Chambers would be good for Sarah as well. After all, what is more natural than pure oxygen right? There are so many alternatives out there and I have not even skimmed the surface yet!

English: A boy with autism treats in his perso...

English: A boy with autism treats in his personal hyperberic chamber. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been researching all of the above alternatives for Sarah. I will blog about more I’m sure as I learn more. I would really like to know what others that are going through these challenges or know of anyone with challenges think about Natural Alternatives compared to the Traditional Medicines.

 

If you would like you can follow us on our Sarah’s Voice Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SarahsVoice please do🙂

 

I am the administrator of her page and we put lots of interesting stuff on it.

 

The more likes the better!

 

You can also follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/Sarah’s Voice. Come and join us on our adventures🙂

 

 

Can you outgrow Autism?

autism advert

autism advert (Photo credit: natalia love)

Can you outgrow Autism? If you can outgrow Autism, then will you lose your diagnosis altogether? These are questions I have often wondered about.

Of course if you lose the Autism diagnosis, then you lose some if not all of the government and state benefits you may receive and will the person with Autism now feel like they have lost a part of their identity if they no longer have Autism? So, I am on a quest to see what others have to say about my question and this is what I have found out.

In the new study, published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryWednesday and supported by the National Institutes of Health, Fein and her colleagues looked at 34 “optimal outcome” individuals between 8 and 21 who were previously diagnosed with an autism disorder, but are now indistinguishable from their non-autistic peers. They showed no problems with language, communication, social interaction and “facial recognition,” which can be difficult for individuals with autism.

Fein and her colleagues are currently exploring why some children shed their autism diagnosis as they age, relying largely on parents’ reports about the treatments they received. The researchers also use brain imaging to see whether their brains have normalized, or if they are somehow compensating for the disorder.

The study also found, not surprisingly, that having a higher IQ was associated with optimal outcomes. “It is possible that above average cognition allowed individuals with ASD to compensate,”

“Most of us in the field certainly agree that the most important outcome is happiness, functionality, and high quality of life,” Ozonoff says, “We do not mean to imply that OO (or recovery) is the only outcome worth working toward. We do not want to suggest that any other outcome is tragic and hopeless. There are many very special qualities and ways of being that autism can bring to individuals and to all of us in general.”

The researchers also caution that most autistic people will continue to have symptoms: earlier studies, which may have included inaccurate diagnoses, have suggested that only about 3% to 25% children who receive a diagnosis will eventually lose it.

Ok, so some people can lose their Autistic tendencies when they get older. That is great, but according to Dr. Fein they are usually the higher functioning autistic or Aspie’s that do. At least that is what I got out of her findings.

So I wonder, if your child could be cured of Autism and all that is associated with Autism. Would the person who has Autism like it or not? I suppose if you just naturally out grow Autism it would be ok because I am sure that it would have been done over a long period of time.

As parents we want what is best for our children whether they have challenges or not. Sarah has always told me that it is not the Autism that bothers her so much as the Tourette’s  and Schizophrenia does. 

I know that Autism is pretty much a blanket diagnosis, but if a person with an early diagnosis of Autism did not have Autism when they grew older, would you not feel like part of your identity was gone? I only ask that because there are a few people with Autism that have embraced their diagnosis and seem to miss it when it is gone.

 

Autism and Summer Things To Do :)

Wow, summer things to do with children/adults with Autism or any challenge is a challenge within itself.

 

Autism Family Camp Weekend 2009

Autism Family Camp Weekend 2009 (Photo credit: Camp ASCCA)ith people that have Autism or any challenge is a challenge within itself! It seems as if everything that you think would be fun to do sends a challenged person into a frenzie.

 

Never fear though, there are things that both of you can do that will be fun if you are creative and patient. We have done some of these things with our children. A lot of things are hit and miss, but pretty soon you will have more hits than misses.

 

Don’t give any attention to people around you that make you or your child feel uncomfortable. Where ever you take your child to have fun your attention should be on them and not other people. Don’t let other people destroy your fun. I did that for many years and was miserable and made my family miserable too.

 

Naturally some children that are diagnosed with Autism have sensory issues and sometimes other issues as well. Just take them or do something with them that they feel comfortable doing.

 

Safety Sunday

 

1. Teach your child his or her full name.
2. Teach your child your full name.
3. Have your child memorize your home address – show where the house number is located outside and show where the street name.
4. Have your child memorize your phone number. Practice reciting key information.
5. Learn how to cross the street safely.
6. Practice an escape route in case of fire.
7. Practice saying “no:” make it a game in which you take turns asking each other to do increasingly absurd things.
8. Play hide-and-go-seek to teach your child how to remain calm while looking for you.
9. Teach your child the buddy system.
10. Teach your child what an emergency is and how to call 911.
11. Practice asking for help with things that are hot, sharp, dangerous or too high to reach.
12. Start swimming lessons.

 

Make Something Monday

 

13. Arrange 5 or 6 photos to make a poster or scrapbook page.
14. Sweetened condensed milk makes a beautiful, edible fingerpaint. Sarah liked Gack.
15. Plant a seedling outdoors.
16. Dig for worms – it’s a great exercise for fine motor skills and tactile defensiveness.  Re-home the worms next to that seedling you planted.
17. Bubble snakes.
18. Make a leaf scrapbook.
19. Color the sidewalk with chalk.  Wash it all away with water. Sarah loved this.
20. Paint using different types of paintbrushes: a fly swatter, a flower, a cotton swab, a sponge, a leaf, etc.
21. Build an obstacle course with hula hoops, lawn furniture and empty boxes.
22. Tie-dye some t-shirts.
23. Make a magic wand using all available materials.
24. Build a “fairy house” outdoors with sticks, pebbles, pine cones, bark, leaves and other natural materials found outdoors.

 

Time to Read Tuesday

 

25. Sign up for your local library’s summer reading program. Did this and it was fun. Even if it was for 5 sec. it was still fun.
26. Read a book under a tree.
27. Read all but the last page of a storybook and ask your children to suggest an ending.
28. Have your child dictate and illustrate a story, and read it together.  It’s OK if the story is 1 or 2 sentences long.
29. Make a home video of your child reading a story aloud, or of you reading aloud to your child.
30. After you finish reading a book such as The Lorax, go see the movie.
31. Read some books on a specific topic, such as insects, then do a related activity such as a bug hunt or catching fireflies.
32. Have your child create a summer schedule for the family and read off the schedule every morning.
33. Check out a book of simple science experiments and try some of them at home.
34. Check out a book about a historical figure and play dress-up at home.
35. Have your child write out a checklist for a scavenger hunt, and find everything on the list together. Sarah loved this.
36. Swap favorite books with your friends.

 

What’s Cooking?  Wednesday

 

37. Fruit smoothies in the blender.
38. No-bake oatmeal cookies on the stove.
39. Pizza. Sarah liked to make Mac and Cheese as well.
40. Spinach-artichoke dip in the blender.
41. Banana muffins.
42. Roll-up sandwiches.
43. Fruit kebabs.
44. Chicken soup in the crock-pot (plug it in on the porch so that it doesn’t heat up the house).
45. Roasted marshmallows.
46. Scrambled eggs and pancakes for dinner.
47. Lemonade from scratch.
48. Guacamole.

 

Thoughtful Thursday

 

49. Wash the car together.  No driveway and no car?  Then wash the toy cars.
50. Call someone just to say hello.
51. Pick some flowers (dandelions and clovers are OK) and give the bouquet to someone who isn’t expecting them.
52. Write a top ten list of a person’s best attributes and give the list as a gift to that person.
53. Write a thank-you letter to someone and mail it.
54. Donate clothing, books and toys to charity.
55. Teach your child to do one chore.
56. Give someone a homemade art project.
57. Volunteer at a food bank.
58. Collect bottles and cans, and donate the money to charity.
59. Pray for someone who needs a prayer. We did this a lot.
60. Hug someone who needs a hug. Sarah learned to love to give hugs.

 

Somewhere Fun Friday

 

61. Petting farm or petting zoo. Sarah loves to do this.
62. A playground in a different neighborhood.
63. An art museum – check first to see when general admission is free!
64. The beach. This is a problem with Sarah because the Ocean is so loud.
65. Pick fresh fruit at a local farm or visit the farmer’s market.
66. Ride a train.
67. Find a carnival or a street fair.
68. Ice cream shop.
69. Waterpark or sprayground.
70. Visit a friend.
71. Nature trail or botanical garden. Sarah loves this.
72. A skyscraper or another high place with a grand view of the world.

 

Social Skills Saturday

 

73. Tell a story from your own childhood. Have your child tell a related story from his or her life experience – yes, even if your child is nonverbal.
74. Lie in the grass and take turns looking for shapes or pictures in the clouds. This is fun.
75. Go around and ask every family member at home the same silly question, and share the answers.
76. Look at some old family photos and name all the people in them. Sarah always loved to do this.
77. Practice making emotional facial expressions on cue with your child: neutral, happy, sad, fearful, angry, disgusted, surprised.  Take turns and make it fun. We did this.
78. Practice listening skills by responding only with nonverbal communication for 1 to 5 minutes – then switch roles.
79. Be someone’s mirror: imitate a person’s actions as if you are that person’s reflection in a mirror for 1 minute.  Then switch roles.
80. Play Follow the Leader.  Match the leader’s pace for as long as possible, then let a new leader take over.
81. Play the statue game: one person freezes like a statue and the other person has to make the statue laugh.  Take turns.
82. Develop family traditions: sing a song together, recite a poem, say a prayer that has special meaning to your family. We did this.

 

You could try white water rafting or camping or anything!!! Just because your child may have been diagnosed with a disability does not mean you are victims and should be shunned! You take the dis out of that word and help your child recognize their own abilities.

 

 

 

Hyperconnectivity and the Autistic Brain

Autistic individuals tend to use different are...

Autistic individuals tend to use different areas of the brain (yellow) for a movement task compared to a control group (blue). Powell K. Opening a window to the autistic brain. PLoS Biol . 2004 ;2(8) :E267. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020267. PMID 15314667. PMC 509312. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the online issue of JAMA Psychiatry on June 26th The findings come from MRI brain scans of 20 children with autism spectrum disorders and 20 children without autism. Researchers found that those with an autism spectrum disorder showed “hyperconnectivity” along five major brain networks.

Menon’s team found that the more hyperconnectivity kids with autism had in the salience network, the more severe their “restrictive” and repetitive behaviors. They are thinking that these findings may be a hint as to what is going on in the brains of children with Autism.

Another possibility, he added, is that hyperconnectivity is involved in the exceptional skills seen in some kids with an autism diagnosis — like being a whiz with numbers. For now, though, that’s an “open question,” Menon said. They are also thinking this could be a starting point of sorts.

The children that were studied were between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. They also were high-funtioning with normal IQ’s and language. The only challenges these children had was socialization.

Last week, the same Stanford team found that children with an autism spectrum disorder showed weaker connections between certain other brain areas — namely, areas that process the human voice and those involved in feelings of “reward.”

They speculated that these children may get less pleasure from the sound of the human voice, and that might help explain some of their communication difficulties.

“I think there will turn out to be an interplay between hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity” in the brains of children with an autism spectrum disorder, Menon said.

I remember Sarah had always told me that if she could just take her head off she would be fine. She did not seem to connect the idea that she could not live without her head.

I hope that recent studies such as these will be such a starting point as to which there will be a strong spring board! I remember that I would get so tired of dr.’s wanting to do test after test on Sarah, and she would get tired of it too.

Sarah kept thinking maybe this test or that test would help her. Or maybe this pill or that pill would help her. She is always having her blood drawn and has had countless MRI’s and CAT Scans. She never gives up. The most important thing she does is pray. She has never given up on herself or God.

3-D MRI of a section of the head.

3-D MRI of a section of the head. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Autism, Prescription Meds, and Weight Gain

I don’t know about you, but with Sarah weight gain has been an issue since she was a teenager. When she was little food was not very important to her, that is except her favorite food such as  boxed Mac and Cheese.

Sarah had (and still does to a degree) texture problems and you just could not get her to eat much. When she became a teenager we pretty much had know choice but to put her on prescription meds. for her different challenges.

Happy

Happy

The medicines made her eat more, and helped her to try different foods BUT…… they also made her more hungry, and made her gain weight at a phenominal rate. We honestly concidered putting a lock on the refridgerator, because she would raid it when we weren’t looking.

All Sarah knew was that she was hungry all the time, and could not comprehend why we wouldn’t feed her what she wanted when she wanted. Of course when she didn’t get her food, that would just lead to a meltdown of major purportions. The doctors didn’t seem to be concerned about her weight, but we sure were.

Now however, I am very pleased to report that she is on a strict diet and she exercises. On 1-29-2013 she weighed 195. On 5-21-2013 she weighed 172.60. I am so proud of Sarah and her staff working so hard to get her eating healthier and getting her weight down.

This has taught me that even though she is on medicines that make her gain weight, she can still lose the excess weight. Or at least keep her weight under control.

 

How HBOT can help many with Challenges

The more I think and read about the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for people who have challenges such as Autism, the more I like it. I do wonder why this Therapy is not more widely used.

While the HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) may not be a cure all, I think it would be safer than all of the prescription drugs that doctors try to put us on. I don’t know why insurances won’t cover this therapy. I suppose when you boil it all down it just comes back to money and greed.

“Someday, when HBOT is an established part of accepted medical care, historians of twentieth century medicine will wonder how so much supportive research could have been published by competent medical researchers and then be scrupulously ignored by the guardians of our health. By that time, most of the individuals who attempted to keep HBOT on the fringe will probably not be alive to blush, sparing them extensive embarrassment.”

HBOT can help many many people that have;

(* Conditions marked with an asterisk below are sometimes reimbursed for a short time by Medicare and other medical insurance in the U.S., but only if strictly defined diagnostic criteria are met.)

EMERGENCY CONDITIONS

Air or Gas embolism* (in divers, but can also occur during bypass surgery)

Bends in divers (Decompression sickness)*

Burns* (thermal burns)

Carbon monoxide poisoning* (Insurance usually stops paying before all brain injury has fully improved)

Cyanide Poisoning*

Cerebral edema

Closed head injuries (traumatic brain injury)

Crisis of sickle cell anemia

Exceptional Blood Loss Anemia*

Blast injury

Gas gangrene*

Hydrogen sulfide poisoning

Near-drowning

Near-electrocution

Near-hanging

Peyote poisoning

Severed limbs

Smoke inhalation

Ileus

Stroke (cerebral infarct, with benefit even long after the event)

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion*

NEUROLOGIC CONDITIONS

Autism

Air embolism*

a. Decompression induced (divers)

b. Iatrogenic (bypass surgery, injected, etc.)

Cerebral edema

a. Toxic encephalopathy

b. Vascular compromise

c. Traumatic

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss*

Spinal cord contusion

a. Physiological transection

b. Partial motor or sensory loss

Early organic brain syndrome

a. Small vessel disease

b. Multiple small infarcts

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Stroke (acute and chronic residuals)

Vegetative coma (acute and prolonged)

a. Closed head injury

b. Hypoxic encephalopathy (suffocation, drowning, strangulation,

Cardiac arrest, near hanging, near choking, lightening strikes, etc.)

a. Acute

b. Relapsing/ remitting

c. Chronic progressive

Brain Dysfunction following Bypass Surgery and Angioplasty

Cranial nerve syndromes

a. Trigeminal neuralgia

b. Vestibular disorders (vertigo, tinnitus, Meniere’s syndrome)

c. Sudden deafness

d. Brain stem syndromes (ischemia, infarct)

e. Retinal artery occlusion

f. Acoustic trauma

Peripheral neuropathy

a. Charcot Marie’s tooth disease

b. Radiation myelitis

Traumatic Brain Injury

Near Drowning

Sympathetic Reflex Dystrophy

ORTHOPEDIC CONDITIONS

Crush injuries* (vascular compromise)

Soft tissue swelling

a. Traumatic

b. Cellulitis* (infection/mixed flora)

c. compartment syndrome*

Acute necrotizing fasciitis ( so-called “flesh-eating bacteria”)*

Necrotizing soft tissue infections*

Clostridial myonecrosis* (gas gangrene)

Severed limbs and digits*

Acute and chronic osteomyelitis* (bone infection)

Bone grafting

Fracture healing and nonunion *

Aseptic necrosis

Tendon and ligament injuries, post-surgical repair

Delayed wound healing

Stump infections (following amputation)

Edema under cast

Sports injuries

MISCELLANEOUS CONDITIONS

Peripheral vascular ulcer*

a. Arterial (atherosclerosis)

b. Decubitus (bed sores)

c. Neuropathy related (diabetes)

d. Venous (deep vein thrombosis complication)

e. Diabetic

Gangrene (wet and dry, atherosclerosis, more common in diabetes)

Compromised Skin Flaps and Grafts*

Autism

Abscesses* (intra-abdominal and intracranial)

Buerger’s disease

Biliary atresia (after surgical correction)

Carbon tetrachloride poisoning

Fibromyalgia

Frostbite

Diabetic retinopathy

Glaucoma with visual field loss

Diabetic ulcers*

Gulf War Syndrome

Retinal artery occlusion

Retinal vein thrombosis

Lepromatous leprosy

Lyme disease

Melaney ulcer* (flesh-eating bacteria)

Meningitis

Migraine 

Osteoradionecrosis* (post radiation damage)

Pancreatitis

Pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis

Pseudomembranous colitis

Plastic surgery (speed healing, reduce scar and infection)

Rheumatoid arthritis (acute)

Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Scleroderma

Sickle cell crisis and hematuria

Peptic ulcer

Plastic Surgery, speeds healing with less scar

Myocardial infarction

Slow healing wounds

Potentiate antibiotic therapy

Post-cardiotomy and low output heart failure

Radiation cystitis and enteritis*

Refractory mycoses* (fungal infections)

Suturing of Severed Limbs*

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Cerebral palsy

Post-polio syndrome

Cirrhosis

Immune System Enhancement

Crohn’s disease

Ulcerative colitis

ALS

Parkinson’s Syndrome

I would encourage many people that have been/are or know of any family who is afflicted with any of these diseases please, do your own research on the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and persue it.HBO_Chamber

DSM-5 Good or Bad for Autism?

Pinocchio DSM 5

Pinocchio DSM 5 (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

I really wish that people would not change things concerning the diagnoses of Autism, and the different categories on the Autism Spectrum. I researched a bit to find answers to some of my questions about the new DSM-5.

The clearest and most understandable answers to my questions about DSM-5 came from About.com. I always try to give credit where credit is due. Below is the list of Q and A. It was really helpful to me and I hope it will be to you also.

1. Are Clinicians Required to Use the New DSM-5? No. The DSM has no legal authority over anyone. It is a “guide.” Thus, while practitioners are “highly encouraged” to use it, and are expected to understand it, they are legally and morally entitled to use any designations they prefer. In fact, according Alicia Halladay, Autism Speaks’ Senior Director, Environmental and Clinical Sciences, “Because of some of the backlash over this version of DSM, there has been effort from various states to make use of the DSM5 optional. There’s no law behind use of DSM – rather a sort of guidance.”

2. Do Top Mental Health Experts Agree that the New DSM-5 Represents the Best Thinking of the Day? No. There are many major thinkers, including the head of the National Institutes of Mental Health (Thomas Insel) and one of the creators of the DSM IV, who think the DSM 5 is poorly conceived. Dr. Allen Frances, of DSM IV fame, has this to say to clinicians in an article in the Huffington Post: “My recommendation for clinicians is simple. Don’t use DSM-5 — there is nothing official about it, nothing especially helpful in it, and all the codes you need for reimbursement are already available for free on the Internet or in DSM-IV. New codes will go into effect in Oct 2014 — but these will also be free online.” Clinicians do have that option.

3. Will People Who Have Existing ASD Diagnoses Lose Those Diagnoses Under the New DSM-5? Yes and No. The new ASD diagnosis replaces five prior diagnoses: Asperger syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Autistic Disorder. If you have a pre-existing diagnosis of any of these disorders, you are automatically considered to have an ASD diagnosis. In fact, Dr. Bryan King, who helped write the DSM-5, says “There is a statement written into the DSM5 that ‘individuals with a well-established diagnosis of any ASD disorder should be given the diagnosis.'”

4. How Will Medical Codes Work with the New ASD? We don’t really know. The new ASD carries a singlemedical code (as opposed to the multiple codes provided under DSM IV). This should help people with prior Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS diagnoses to get the level of services they need – fingers crossed. But it is not yet clear how insurers and other providers will handle claims under the new ASD. Since it incorporates all the diagnoses of the old ASD, things should remain more or less static – but the jury is still out on that issue.

5. Is the New Social Communication Disorder Likely to Be a Positive Addition to the DSM? It’s unlikely. People who are being newly diagnosed or re-evaluated, and do not fit into the new criteria for ASD, may wind up with a new diagnosis: Social Communication Disorder. This seems to be a sort of “lite” version of ASD (without sensory issues or repetitive behaviors) – and is similar in many ways to the old PDD-NOS. There are serious concerns that people with this diagnosis may NOT have access to services and legal supports provided to people with ASD diagnoses.

6. How Will Differences Among People with Autism Be Described Under the New DSM-5? Carefully, or not at all. Distinctions among levels of ASD are to be described individually, by clinicians, using a fairly complex set of “functional levels” and “specifications” (such as non-verbal, intellectually disabled, hyperlexic, and so forth). While the idea is great – after all, people with autism do differ from one another radically – there is a real danger that clinicians won’t take the time to gather all the information needed to create unique diagnoses for each patient. Even if they do, there’s a danger that schools, therapists, and service providers will see “ASD,” and stop reading.

7. What Will Happen to Asperger Syndrome? Asperger syndrome is not gone – but it no longer carries a medical code. Everyone, including Autism Speaks, expects that the term will be used for the foreseeable future as a tool to define and describe a community of people with particular strengths and challenges. Here’s how Halladay describes the future of Asperger syndrome: “People with Aspergers who want to maintain that diagnosis and label – because there is a community that identifies with that label – we support that. If they want to use that label and identity, they should be able to do that. It has nothing to do with DSM5. It may not be a diagnostic label. We have an Aspergers toolkit, and we’re not changing the name: we’re adding new information and explaining how that maps onto the DSM5. As time goes on, that term may or may not be used in the future.”

8. Will the Number of People with ASD Rise or Fall with the DSM-5? It depends on who you ask. It is not yet clear whether the number of people with ASD diagnoses will rise, fall, or remain static with the DSM-5. Several fairly large studies have come out with completely different answers to that question. So, once, again, the jury is still out.

9. How Will Clinicians Determine Whether Symptoms are Severe Enough to Warrant an ASD Diagnosis? Good question. The diagnostic criteria state “Symptoms need to be functionally impairing and not better described by another DSM-5 diagnosis.” What does this mean? Apparently, the answer will be different for each clinician, and each patient. For example, being non-verbal is obviously functionally impairing — but is difficulty in understanding idioms or sarcasm also functionally impairing? Some clinicians will say yes, others will say no.

10.Is The DSM-5 Version of Autism Likely to Change Yet Again? The DSM definition of autism has changed in the past, and will change again. At one point, there was only “autism” and no “autism spectrum.” Later, with DSM IV and DSMIV-TR, Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS were added to the mix. Interestingly, the reason why this version of DSM is written as the Arabic “5” rather than the Roman “V” is so it will be easier to create versions. Expect to see DSM 5.1, 5.2, and so forth!

It is VERY IMPORTANT to know that the new DSM specifically states that anyone with a well-established autism spectrum diagnosis — including a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or PDD-NOS — need not be re-evaluated.  Their diagnoses should simply be re-coded under the new Autism Spectrum.  If anyone tells you otherwise, be sure to refer them to the DSM-5.  If anyone insists that you are wrong, be sure to report the incident to the autism organization of your choice (Autism Speaks, Autism Society, etc.), most of which are collecting patient anecdotes relative to the new DSM.

Don’t let anyone run over you. I am sorry to say that many professionals may try to tell you that you are wrong. Remember nobody is a better advocate than you are for your child. I would like to express my appreciation to Lisa Jo Rudy for putting this information in a much better prospective.

All Autistic’s Atheists? NOT!!!

Ok, this subject really bothers me. I cannot believe that some leader in any country would say that all autistic individuals are atheists. I am glad he apologized.

The head of an autism association in Turkey has apologised for suggesting that autistic people were natural atheists, and that atheism could be a form of autism.

Sociologist Fehmi Kaya, head of the Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children, was reported in numerous Turkish media outlets as saying autistic children were “atheists due to a lack of a section for faith in their brains.”

“That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.”

“Autistic children were atheists from birth without being aware of it,” he was quoted as saying. “Research says atheism and autistic children are linked. Researchers in the USA and Canada say that atheism is a different form of autism.”

“We cannot expect a child who cannot recognise a picture to recognize God. We need to help the autistic child recognise objects through therapy by targeting areas of senses in the brain.”

As I said before, I am glad that he apologized. I have to wonder though at the damage he may have already made making those untrue statements.

Our daughter Sarah is a verbal high functioning Christian young lady with the diagnosis of Autism and other challenges. She knows who God is because she has a relationship with him. She prays to God and believes Him and in Him. I admire her faith in God.

Just because Autistic individuals are stereotyped as logical thinkers does not mean that they are stuck that way. Do not underestimate people diagnosed with Autism! They may know more about God than any of us so called “Normal” individuals.

Leaders of our countries, think before you speak……on second thought pray before you speak! Your words can produce life or death.

Autism and Socializing

31 Bags Party

31 Bags Party

Happy Hostess

Happy Hostess

Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady.

Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady.

This past Tuesday we had the honor of being invited to our daughter Sarah’s very first 31 Bags Party. Sarah was the hostess and we all had a great time.

Sarah has always been a people person. She has always wanted to be social, but having sensory problems it was hard for her to even be around people.

When Sarah was little she would try to make friends but found it very hard to do. Children would sometimes try to be her friend, but most children would just bully her. Now, she has chosen not to have friends, only acquaintances.

Even though Sarah has chosen to have acquaintances that is a good thing. Years ago she would not even want that.

When Sarah was home, we would take her on outings and she would just go ballistic. Pretty soon it was just down to me going to the grocery store a few days before we would all go, mapping the store out, making a list and knowing right where everything was.

So when it came time to go on an outing to the said grocery store, we could go in and get out as fast as we could. Some grocery stores even do the shopping for you and bag it so all you have to do is pay for it and take it. Now of course you can shop online and have most things delivered to your door.

I thought is was very important for Sarah to be out in the community as much as she could tolerate. We all had to ignore the rude stares and nasty comments of people. We all have a right to go where we want when we want, no matter if we have challenges or not!

Being around different people helped Sarah to better read people’s reactions. She still struggles with this but she is doing much better.

Now she is beginning to host her own parties with her staffs help and enjoying it. She is also enjoying different things like painting and flowers.

What use to be nearly impossible is now becoming possible for Sarah. Maybe one day she will consent to having friends of her own. In the meantime I am enjoying the fact that she is knocking down all the walls that people said would be impossible for her to do.

You go Sarah! God and your family are your biggest fans!

 

 

Parenting Girls with Autism

Having a great time :)

Having a great time🙂

When you are told that your precious baby girl, that you are holding in your arms has Autism, a whole range of emotions go through you. My first emotion at being told Sarah had Autism was shock and numbness and at the very end of the emotions was relief.

I felt relief because I thought maybe now with a name or label we could find a cure for this Autism.I had no idea about Autism, the Autism Spectrum or anything.

I did however know something about girls. First of all I am a girl and I had 2 previous girls before Sarah was born.

I had a lot of rude awakenings while raising Sarah. I have to say though, Sarah was pretty patient with me in some areas.

Raising Sarah was not easy, but overall it was not extremely hard either. Once I learned to love her for who she is I was on a much healthier journey with her.

Back in 1991 when Sarah was diagnosed with Autism, I thought that the baby girl that I gave birth to had died and was replaced with this monster called Autism. I grieved a lot during this time. Pretty soon I was just looking at the Autism and not Sarah.

I really thought I was to blame some how in all of this. After all most of the people that we would encounter would give me that certain look or actually say “Can’t you do something about your child”? or they would do or say much worse things that I will not repeat. Pretty soon I got tired of the negativity and decided to not let what other people think or say (that are not in my family) bother me.

After a lot of years, I finally began to see Sarah as she really is and the Autism monster started slowly going away. I began to see her strength and her inner beauty. Once I started seeing that in her, she started seeing that within herself.

I began to understand that she really does care about other people and that she really does want to be independent like her sisters. She goes through the same female things that we all go through, only maybe more extensive.

As you can tell I have learned a lot over the years about Sarah and I would not trade her for the world. She has taught me a lot about myself…..the good, bad and the ugly.

For any parent out there that has just found out their child has been diagnosed with Autism, or you are raising a young one diagnosed with Autism. I just want you to know, I am here for you. Our family has gone through a lot and if I can help anyone else, I will. Just let me know.

Autistic View of How Sensory Overloads Feel

Bruegel d. Ä., Jan - Allegory of Sight and Sme...

Bruegel d. Ä., Jan – Allegory of Sight and Smell – 1618 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was just on facebook and this very interesting writing came up on my timeline. It is from Luke – Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I know my Sarah goes through these same things. To hear Luke describe the feelings is really powerful. I have learned a lot!

Thank you Luke🙂

Sensory Dispositions and Over-Loads

I have sensory Dispositions which can be very uncomfortable, painful, distressing and disorientating; I have learned many key skills over the years in managing my sensory issues, mainly avoidance. I will go on to explain how these heightened senses affect me in the worst case scenarios so that you may understand a little bit more what it is like to have these disorientating issues…

So what is a sensory over-load?
It is when our senses become over sensitive to the point of being disorientating, our hearing, touch, smell, taste and vision becomes intensified 50 times more stronger that normal. I am lucky as I don’t have a consistent sensory disposition like many although my senses are more heightened / sensitive than most, instead my sensory over-loads are induced by certain situations / environments, so therefore I can avoid certain situations and environments reducing the risk of these sensory over-loads most of the time.

Hearing,
Imagine there are 100 TV’s in a small room, each one of those TV’s is set to maximum volume, Now try to imagine all the TV’s are broadcasting the same show but at slightly different time intervals, you are unable to hear or listen to any of the words because the T.V sets are all slightly out of time which amalgamates all the sounds into one big noise. This creates a consistent noise within my head, I can feel it ringing and reverberating around my brain, even when I leave the situation I can still hear the noise left in my brain like an imprint that can last for hours after. Even the sounds of people rustling carrier bags in a shop can disorientate me. If you can, take hold of a really rustley carrier bag and hold it up to your ears so it is touching the ears and then rustle the bag, does it sound really loud and does it feel like the sound is scratching the inside of your ears, now add all the other noises and try to concentrate on a conversation, you may find it difficult and this is what it feels like to me during a sensory over-load but only much worse. It almost feels like a hundred fire alarms going off simmultainlesly and you are unable to escape the noise, which in turn will drive me to explosion within my head and body if I can’t escape the situation / environment.

Touch,
During these times of heightened senses my sensation to touch can be immensely intensified, I can feel everything on and under my skin, I do not like to be touched during these times as it can be disorientating, upsetting and even painful. If someone were to grab my arm, go to cuddle me or even go to shake hands, I will step back and try to get away as it makes my head boil inside. When someone touches you, say with just one finger on the forearm for example, it feels like a shockwave travelling through my whole body which makes all my blood feel like it is boiling, It feels like someone is making a permanent imprint on your arm, you can feel it spread through your whole body at times like a constant fire burning under the skin, I can be left with an imprint on my body of someone’s touch which can last for hours, days and sometimes weeks and months. I find myself trying to brush off the sensation wiping my forearm with my hand and have even tried to wash the sensation away as it can be discomforting, I feel it under my skin like a scratch / itch I can’t quite reach. Imagine you are nice and relaxed, and then someone jumps out on you to scare you, your whole body feels a sensations of an uncomfortable itching / tingling for about a second or 2, now multiply that sensation by 50 with the notion that the sensation won’t go away, the sensation constantly stays with me for anything between 10 minutes too hours and sometimes days, Pain is also intensified dramatically during these spells of heightened sensory dispositions.

Smell/Taste,
During these periods of heightened senses, my smell and taste become distorted and intensified as well, I cannot eat or drink during these times as everything can become too much. After sensory overloads have dissipated and worn of, I am unable to eat for hours and sometimes days after as a result. It almost feels like all my taste buds, digestions system and throat have to reset themselves before I can eat, more often than not, if I try to eat during these periods my body will reject food such as vomiting. It almost feels like eating rocks and acid at times and will often put me of certain foods for years if I try to eat them during a sensory overload as the tastes and smells can be very overpowering. Smell is also heightened by these sensory overloads, things I really enjoy smelling like strawberries, oranges lavender etc, become overwhelming. Even the slightest of smell in which people don’t notice will effect me, I will often smell bad things as well more so than normal during these periods. These smells make me feel claustrophobic, sick and even dizzy and feel I can’t escape them, you can feel it behind the nose and physically feel it in the brain and almost feel it on my skin. I smell things like peoples feet and odours, even when outside, smell the leather of peoples handbags, smell drains, gas, pollution, and what people have had for lunch etc, everything is intensified and inescapable. Try and imagine you are in a car with all the windows shut, the heating has been on full power for hours, and you find it hard to breath due to the lack of moisture in the air, you are gasping for breaths and can feel the back of your nose closing up, Now add the worst chemical smell you can think of that makes you feel dizzy and not being able to escape from it, that is almost what it can feel like.

Vision,
My Vision can be impaired dramatically when having a sensory over-load, it is very disorientating and uncomfortable. My vision is impaired in several key ways such as, the intensity of light and the movement of things around me. With the intensity of light factor, everything becomes so much brighter and it feels like the light is penetrating through your eye’s and shining on your brain, it feels like someone has a magnifying glass up to your eye burning and scolding the inside of my brain, it literally feels like my brain is burning. Imagine it is the sunniest day you can imagine, very dry, bright and no place for shade, you are strapped to a seat pointing directly towards the sun, your eyes are streaming and sore due to the intensity of light and the wind blowing in your eyes but can find no refuge from these elements, now multiply that by 10 and that is a rough idea of how it feels, minus the burning sensation in the brain of course. Flashing lights etc, also can disorientate me as you can imagine. Also with vision, I have an issue with things moving around me as do many others on the spectrum. Cars driving past, people walking by, and things going past me as I walk by and even something minor like a laser dot moving on a wall. These movements can make me feel dizzy and sick and can often leave my whole body feeling discomforted. During these heightened senses, when people walk by, it seems like they are walking past a millions miles an hour but it seems to last for ages like time stands still while they are still appearing to move really fast. It almost feels like vertigo. Imagine you are on a roundabout being spun around really fast and you then go dizzy, it makes you feel sick and you can’t focus on anything. This is almost how it feels during a sensory overload with movement of light, the only difference is that I don’t get a spinning round and round sensation unless the object is spinning or I am spinning, instead the motions is in the direction of what the object is moving, for instance; if someone is walking towards me it seems really distorted, out of focus and looks like trails due to fast movement even though they may be moving slowly in reality, every movement can also feel imbedded in the brain like someone is scratching / tracing it in your brain with a blunt object. In a basic term try and imagine, when you get off the round about you are still affected by it for a few minutes and struggle to gain focus, balance etc, It is almost like the same thing when I see someone or something travel past me, The movement makes my brain go dizzy in the same direction from whatever the original movement travels, this feeling of motion / movement imprints on the brain and can often leave me disorientated for hours and sometimes days as it feels like it is embedded in my brain.

Causes and Consequences,
There are many different environmental factors that can cause a sensory overload, some may seem trivial to many but can affect me and many others dramatically. If I am in a noisy environment, if I am in a busy environment, if I am in a brightly illuminated environment, if I am in an environment with strong smell etc. basically if any of my senses are over stimulated I can fall into a sensory overload. Other ways sensory over-loads can be induced are, trying to keep a conversation going, listening to people talk whilst trying to follow conversations and instructions, trying to keep eye contact for to long, stress and anxiety, doing things I am uncomfortable with, re-call memory, thoughts that don’t sit right in my head, upset and torment, worry and even uncompleted task as well as many other different key environmental factors. If I don’t find a quiet place to relax, desensitise and decompress, I will end up breaking into a meltdown which feels like a fire spreading through your brain and body waiting to explode at any given minute. After a meltdown the sensory dispositions will last longer than they otherwise would if I took myself away from the situation to prevent them in the first place. A melt down will prolong the effects of a sensory over-load so to speak. In worst case scenario of having a sensory overload whilst not being able to escape that environment / situation can induce an epileptic fits, epileptic fits and sensory over-loads are very closely linked together and often go hand in hand. After I have had sensory over-load, I may feel very tired, lack of energy, depressed, confused and even on occasions over active such as hyperactive.

Prevention,
As I have grown older I have learned to notice subtle indicators that I am about to have a sensory over-load, when I notice these changes I will take myself away from the situation and decompress, the earlier I manage to catch it, the quicker it is for me to reset my brain. Normally when I catch it early enough it may take anything between 10-30 minutes to be feeling ok again, if I leave it for two long it can take hours for my brain to reset back to its normal state of awareness. I have learned over the years what effects me most, so I avoid most of those situations if I can as a preventative. Prevention I have found to be the best strategy so far, I find I can sometimes recover quicker if I am lying down and staring at a gentle colour changing light such as colour changing led eggs in which you can buy on e-bay

Many Individuals on the spectrum will have these sensory overloads 24/7, it really is hard enough coping with them even though mine are not 24/7, although they can be induced 24/7 so to speak. Some individuals are consistently in a state of a sensory overload from which they cannot escape, I am lucky because often I can choose to leave or avoid situations that can sometimes prevent them, but many people do not have that option.

Regards; ♥ Luke ♥

 

Gluten and Casein Free for Autism

A choice of savoury and sweet gluten free crepes

A choice of savoury and sweet gluten free crepes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Company's Website Logo

English: Company’s Website Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to be honest. I have heard of Gluten Free, but not  Casein Free diets for children diagnosed with Autism.

When Sarah was growing up there was not much mentioned about her diet. We just wanted to try to make sure that she was getting the nutrients she needed.

Changing Sarah’s diet was very challenging and time-consuming but worth it. If I would have known about taking Gluten and  Casein out of her diet, I would have done it.

I am so glad that there are some professionals out there, that are willing to work with the parents and schools about these unique children and their diets.

Below is a link to a very informative video that explains everything about changing your child’s diet to Gluten-free and Casein  free. I am definitely going to bring this up at Sarah’s next meeting with her team. She may be 24 years old but it is never to late to start.

http://blip.tv/ptct/ask-the-naturopath-autism-a-natural-approach-apr-28-2009-2063102

I hope that some of the below articles will help you also. I know they will help me:)

As with anything to do with any changes or treatment of Autism or any other disorder, please talk with your doctor first.

Cooking gluten-free shortbread cookies.

Cooking gluten-free shortbread cookies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Microcephaly and Autism What To Look For

When we took Sarah to a neurologist a few years ago, he said “Did you no that Sarah has Microcephaly ?” I said “Excuse me, I have know  idea what that is.” He proceeded to tell us what Microcephaly (aka Small Brain Disease) was and that Sarah had a slight case of it.

I remember thinking to myself “What else is my child going to have to endure?” Well, I got the answer to that question not too much longer afterward.

I do not personally know any parents with a child with microcephaly, but I wish I did. Like with the word Autism, I had no idea what the word microcephaly was.

I had to research this new word and diagnosis and like the word Autism it scared me. The reason it scared me was because Autism mainly deals with your social, mental and cognitive abilities. Microcephaly basically deals with all of that and your life expectancy.

This new diagnosis really scared me, but I figured knowledge is power so I trudged on, trying to keep my head above water. I am so pleased that there is new information on Microcephaly out their that is less scary than what I went through.

No matter what always try to find out as much information about your child’s diagnosis as you can. Do not just try to pretend that the diagnosis will go away. Remember, the river of denial is far and wide!

Here are some of the causes of microcephaly that I have found;

Microcephaly usually is the result of abnormal brain development, which can occur in the womb (congenital) or in infancy. Microcephaly may be genetic. Other causes may include:

  • Craniosynostosis. The premature fusing of the joints (sutures) between the bony plates that form an infant’s skull keeps the brain from growing. Treating craniosynostosis (kray-nee-oh-sin-ahs-TOE-sis) usually means your infant needs surgery to separate the fused bones. If there are no underlying problems in the brain, this surgery allows the brain adequate space to grow and develop.
  • Chromosomal abnormalities. Down syndrome and other conditions may result in microcephaly.
  • Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain (cerebral anoxia). Certain complications of pregnancy or delivery can impair oxygen delivery to the fetal brain.
  • Infections of the fetus during pregnancy. These include toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, German measles (rubella), and chickenpox (varicella).
  • Exposure to drugs, alcohol or certain toxic chemicals in the womb. Any of these put your baby at risk of brain abnormalities.
  • Severe malnutrition. Not getting adequate nutrition during pregnancy can affect your baby’s development.
  • Uncontrolled phenylketonuria (fen-ul-kee-toe-NU-ree-uh), also known as PKU, in the mother. PKU is a birth defect that hampers the body’s ability to break down the amino acid phenylalanine.

In Sarah’s case, she did not have enough oxygen during labor and she had a careless doctor, but that is another story.

Depending on the severity of Microcephaly as with Autism, the degrees of symptoms are going to be different. Some children with Microcephaly will have normal intelligence and development. The latter was never told to me, but I am glad to find it now. Some other complications are

  • Developmental delays, such as in speech and movement
  • Difficulties with coordination and balance
  • Dwarfism or short stature
  • Facial distortions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mental retardation
  • Seizures

So please, if you see any of these symptoms in your child, take them to be evaluated. Sarah’s head always seemed a little big to me. It did not occur to me to look at the back of her head which is much smaller.

I was also told that her facial distortions were because of the Tourette Syndrome, maybe so, but I do wonder. According to the Cleveland Clinic for Children, children with Microcephaly can have a reduced life expectancy. You know what, God is in control of how long we live, and I believe that Sarah is now living a good quality life.

MRIs of a normal individual (left) and a patie...

MRIs of a normal individual (left) and a patient with microcephaly caused by an ASPM mutation (right). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

GMOs, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Autism

A father and his son inside a hyperbaric oxyge...

A father and his son inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The boy is being treated for autism spectrum disorders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a person who looks for the best all natural stuff there is out there for my family. I have looked into special foods especially for Sarah. At first Sarah (being on sensory overload most of the time and certain textures she would just not tolerate) would eat nothing but Kraft Mac and Cheese. Now I find out that Kraft Mac and Cheese is being made with GMOs! 

She still likes Kraft Mac and Cheese but she has broadened her horizon in these later years. GMOs have been found to cause many harmful health issues to our human bodies. You wait, one of these days they will say it has also caused many mental illnesses including Autism and everything that is on the Autism Spectrum.

GMOs have been commercialized since the 1990s, but have been around longer than that. As you can probably tell GMOs is a very hot topic for me.

I see no reason to put our children on prescription medicine, that has horrific side effects, unless of course your child absolutely needs them. We did not allow Sarah to be on prescription medicine until she was older.

So how about this Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autistic individuals? It seems to me that is about as natural as you can get and it has met with some success. Why do they not make a Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank that is affordable for people who are diagnosed with Autism? Why is there such debate over whether insurances will pay for some of the treatments?

Sure, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has not had to many tests done, but neither has most of the prescription medicines that the doctors expect us to give our children. Prescription medicines have known horrible side effects, Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank does not have side effects that have been confirmed.

If a Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank can help Diabetic Foot Ulcers heal faster, help people get over carbon monoxide sickness faster, and help people with Brain Injuries heal better, why is it not a huge factor in the treatment of Autism? It is just my opinion but I think the Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank should be looked into a whole lot more than it is for treating Autism, and possibly other disabilities as well. Just a thought.

Sarah’s Nerium EHT Progress Continues

I am so excited about Nerium’s EHT and Sarah’s progress since taking the supplement!  Here’s what happened!!! While everyone was enjoying the Easter holiday, our Sarah was doing something that she could never tolerate before. This is something that is so huge for Sarah, she went to the movies!!!received_1176755319004197

Her staff member said that they took her to the movies and she did really really good!!! This is a HUGE thing for Sarah!!! She went to see the movie Zootopia at about 11:00 a.m. Their were about 15 people in the theater. She sat through the movie and was really focused on it. She had popcorn and clapped and laughed. After the movie she had a discussion about it with her staff members! For someone like Sarah who has major sensory issues this is a really really big deal!!!received_1176755372337525

The other day Sarah wanted to meet up with us at Jamba Juice. Sarah (with her staff worker beside her) ordered her own juice and tolerated (even though it was hard for her) the loud music, the noise of the blenders and the other customers. The workers at Jamba Juice even said that they would turn down the music. We asked Sarah if she would like the music turned down she said no thank you. When things looked like they were getting to much for her, we would ask her if she wanted to leave and she would fold her hands together and take deep breaths and tell us that she wanted to stay. This amazed me because noises like that would have sent her into a meltdown of major proportions before.IMG_20160322_183019068

I wish that everyone could see me jumping up and down with excitement with Sarah’s progress. Since Sarah has been taking Nerium’s EHT  we and her staff have noticed marked improvements in her focus, eye contact, cognitive skills, better sleep and I personally would say social awareness. We are excited for Sarah and we believe that her overall quality of life is better because she is taking Neruim’s EHT brain supplement.EHT BenefitsNerium-EHT-Supplement-450-450x450

I feel so blessed to share Sarah’s progress with all of you. I have waited for so long for her life to be easier and it seems to be happening for her. I truly believe that if EHT can help Sarah who has been diagnosed with multiple brain disorders, it can help anyone. EHT can help you even if you have a healthy brain to keep it healthy. Even people with healthy brains have reported more focus, energy, alertness, better memory recall ect… We as a family started taking EHT before we had Sarah take the supplement and noticed better memory recall, focus and sleep. My husband does not even snore very much anymore since he has been taking EHT brain supplement.

If you would like to find out more about Nerium’s EHT please feel free to contact me. I would really like to help anyone that I can find out for themselves how effective I believe Nerium’s EHT brain supplement is.

Our website is – https://www.livingthegoodlife.nerium.com

 

Sarah’s Nerium EHT Update

It has been nearly 2 months since Sarah has been taking Nerium’s  EHT supplement for the brain. I have waited this long to write about her progress because it has just been unbelievable.

I have to tell you that when you have been waiting for certain things to happen for Sarah for 27 years and they start happening as a mom you are blown away. Even though I was personally raised with vitamins and minerals and the whole natural way of life, I thought that prescription medicines were stronger than vitamins as a whole. I am finding that way of thinking is not true in some cases.

Let me get back to my update on Sarah. I personally was noticing some suttle  changes that I thought was wishful thinking on my part until, I asked her staff if they had noticed any changes and they had above and beyond the things I had noticed.

One of the first things that her staff noticed was that she started sleeping better. Now most of the time she is sleeping through the night!!!! This is a major thing since she was only sleeping 3 maybe 4 hours a night practically since she has been born!!!

Her eye contact is better. Her focus is improving and the staff is having to redirect her less and less. One day her staff took Sarah out in the community to go grocery shopping. They went to 3 different stores and were out for 6 hours. During that time Sarah had no behaviors and no tics! Sarah has always had an issue with going out into the community. We were the family that tried to make it in and out of stores in 15 min or less. If we could stay for 15 min that was a good day. We have been kicked out of so many stores because of meltdowns that I lost count.

This last week her staff took her grocery shopping and Sarah is the one who put her food in the cart. When she was done she put her food on the conveyor belt to be checked out. She has NEVER expressed and interest in doing these things let a lone do them!

A few days ago we seen Sarah and she made a small attempt to discuss the weather with me. She has never done that before. She welcomed us with a big hug and squeeze. Usually we get a hug but very rarely a squeeze with it. I have also noticed that she is not calling us as often, which tells me she is being more busy and independent.

I am very much looking forward to seeing the progress that next month is going to bring. I know that EHT is not a cure for Autism, but if it helps my Sarah to live the best life that she can it is well worth getting. I also know that Sarahs results are not going to be the same as others and others results are not going to be the same as hers. As I have said before it is my mission to help my daughter Sarah to be the best she can be, and if you are reading this maybe EHT can help you or a loved that has a brain disorder.

If you would like to go to my website – http://www.livingthegoodlife.nerium.com   I have more information about EHT and it’s benefits. 10301453_995753617139831_6404245985294331998_n

Nerium EHT and Autism

imagejpeg_0As you all know, I have been researching the best ways to help our daughter Sarah. In the past I have worked on making products for her which includes the wonderful essential oils. Making the topical remedies has been really good for her as long as she could tolerate the smell and texture, which is not always an easy task.

I have always had Sarah on vitamins and when she was younger it was recommended by Dr. Bernard Rimland that she take a lot of vitamin b and magnesium. He also recommended Dimethylglycine (DMG). Through circumstances beyond our control we could only give her these supplements for a few years.

It has taken many years, but not to long ago our daughter MarciAnne recommended that maybe we should give Sarah EHT supplements. She said that this now 4 year old company called Nerium has worked with Princeton University and developed this EHT. Here is what EHT is:

WHAT IS EHT®?

The aging process can take a toll on brain function. Over time, vital neuronal connections weaken, which can cause memory loss, slower reaction times and diminished alertness. EHT® Age-Defying Supplement helps protect against mental decline with a groundbreaking formula that includes our exclusive, patented EHT®extract, a natural mixture of bioactive molecules isolated from coffee. For a full list of ingredients, click here. Fortified with other rejuvenating ingredients, including vitamins B6, B12, D3, magnesium citrate, selenium, Huperzine A (which increases focus) and the antioxidant lipoic acid, this supplement:

• Promotes better cognitive function and overall brain health
• Combats oxidative stress and chronic inflammation
• Fortifies and strengthens natural brain functions
• Protects and supports neuronal networking
• Enhances the body’s natural energy stores
• Boosts the body’s immune system
• Increases focus

I was very curious at this point and did a lot of research on EHT. I found out that many sports figures (especially in football) were being helped by EHT.

Below is a short video on how Nerium EHT helps the brain.

I will give further updates on how Sarah does with this exciting and revolutionary new supplement.

 

 

Sarah’s Encounter – Good Samaritan The Army Medic

I want to write about something that happened last night. We went to meet Sarah at Kmart. They were closed so then we decided to go to Walmart, BIG mistake.

As everyone knows there are tell tale signs of when a person diagnosed with Autism is having a hard time and about to go into behaviors. Unfortunately last night we did not heed the signs.

As we were at the cashiers, Sarah had enough and went into a complete meltdown. We had tried so hard to get her out of the store before the meltdown but to no avail.2013-12-24 16.57.48

Most of the time when these things happen we get the usual dirty looks and snide comments.  As we were trying to get Sarah up off the floor and protect her a man by the name of Paul came up to us and offered to help. He stated that he was an Army Medic and knew how to deal with crisis situations.Army Medic 1Army Medic

Paul was able to help us reason with Sarah enough to get her into the electric cart that Walmart provides and get her out to the van. Thank you and God Bless You Paul. You went above and beyond. There are not very many people that have offered to help in situations like ours. I thank God that you (Paul) were there to help us last night.