Monday, August 4, 2014

Star Children: Our Super Natural Kids

Indigo, Crystal & Rainbow Children: The Exceptional Ones

I wanted to write this post for a long time, this is a topic I dabble in, and it really keeps me grounded and focused on the magic of parenting a child with autism. I'm not going to sugar coat it, our kids have health issues, and autism can be difficult on our kids and family. I often wondered, why are we chosen, why were we put on this path? Could it be Karma? Fate? An unresolved past life? I feel we are supposed to learn these lessons to help our souls progress. The reason may be different for all of us. I can't help but feel there is a message to the future living within our children. I think our kids are exceptional on a soul level, not because they have autism but because they are learning to thrive in a world which is uncomfortable, confusing and sometimes painful. An exceptionally difficult task. They may be placed into this reality to teach us what is not working in our world, to embody toxicity of the world to show us what needs to be healed, to teach unconditional love, patience, empathy, sensitivity, a new method of communication and paradigm. Our kids do not fit into the mold, they challenge us, and without change we do not grow. These children are here for a reason, they are beacons of light and transformation, and I believe they will be the key to bringing in a new energy to the planet.
Indigo children are suspected to have begun arriving on the planet in the last century, these are the first generation of star children. Crystal children are relatively young still, most arriving after the year 2000 (give or take a decade or so), and Rainbow children are the newest generation of exceptional kids arriving most recently.
Who Are The Indigo Children?
(often diagnosed ADHD)
  • They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).
  • They have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are surprised when others do not share that.
  • Self-worth is not a big issue; they often tell the parents "who they are."
  • They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
  • They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
  • They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and do not require creative thought.
  • They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (non-conforming to any system).
  • They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
  • They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
  • They are not shy in letting it be known what they need.
  • Have strong self esteem, connection to source
  • Have an obvious sense of self
  • Refuse to follow orders or directions
  • Get bored rather easily with assigned tasks
  • Are rather creative
  • Display strong intuition
  • Have either strong or no empathy for others
  • Develop abstract thinking very young
  • Are gifted and/or talented, highly intelligent
  • Are often identified or suspected of having ADHD
  • Are frequent daydreamers
  • Have very old, deep, wise looking eyes
Who Are The Crystal Children?
(often diagnosed with Autism)
• Have large, communicative eyes and an intense stare.
• Are highly affectionate.
• Begin speaking later in life, but often uses telepathy or self-invented words or sign language to communicate.
• Love music and may even sing before talking.
• Are extremely connected to animals and nature.
• Are often very interested in rocks, crystals, and stones.
• Are extremely artistic.
• Are highly empathic and sensitive.
• Are forgiving and generous to others.
• Draw people and animals near them and love attention.
• Often have good sense of balance and are fearless when exploring high places.
• Often see or hear angels and spirit guides - both their own and others’.
• Dislike high-stress environments with many distractions.
• Dislike loud/sharp sounds.
• Dislike bright, unnatural lights.
• Often enjoy choosing their own meals and/or when they eat them.
• Often speak about universal love and healing.
• Sometimes show healing gifts at young ages.
• Don’t react well to sugar, caffeine, or unnatural foods/chemicals.
• Dislike fighting or refuse to keep an argument going very long.
• Often show strength in telekinesis (or Psycho kinesis).
• Often amplify emotional energies they gain from their environment (such as negative energies).
• Can become uncomfortable when around electrical devices too long (watching TV, computer, etc.), sometimes resulting in a trance-like state.
• Sometimes seem ‘clingy’ to their parents until 4 or 5.
• Often stare at people for long periods of time (this allows them to read a person and find out more about them through their own personal memories and energy).
• Can sometimes be manipulative and throw tantrums if they cannot create a reality that is good for them.
• Are easily over-stimulated and need to meditate/be alone often to replenish themselves.
• Don’t usually have trouble with fear or worry.
• Enjoy discussing spiritual or philosophical topics.
• May appear to be looking at nothing or talking to no one (sign of clairvoyance and/or clairaudience).
Indigos and Crystals work together to tear down archaic systems and build up new ones. Again, parents of these special children need to realize that they agreed to bring these wise and powerful children into the world whose mission reaches out to the globe as a whole and not just individuals or individual families. They are also here to work on the energy grids, raising vibrational frequencies to help facilitate global changes for a more peaceful earth.
It is important to support these gifted young children and to be cautious not to stress them or put them in busy environments. Like Indigos, Crystal children will also help raise the vibrational frequency of their parents. Crystals have a way of drawing other people with the correct energy to interact in a family’s life. Parents of a Crystal child will benefit greatly from these incredible children through their powerful, loving, and creative energies.
These children, with their higher level of consciousness, should be considered equals in families. They should be involved in family issues and be allowed to give options and solutions to problems. Don’t forget that they are on a much higher vibrational frequency than many of their parents.
Who  Are Rainbow Children?
(the newest generation)
Very few currently incarnated.
Parents are crystal adults.
Never incarnated before.
No karma.
Do not choose dysfunctional families.
They are all about service.
May have big eyes like the crystal children, but they are totally trusting.
Entirely fearless of everybody.
Bringing in the healing rainbow energy previously brought through Reiki, QiGong, and Pranic healing and other hands on healing.
Crystal children can also be very high energy, have strong personalities, be creative, and can instantly manifest anything they want or need.
At a young age, the Rainbow children are able to express their needs and wants. These children actually own a great deal of personal power. Rainbow children may be misinterpreted as stubborn. However, that is our misconception. Rainbow children are born with knowledge on proper character integration. This will develop depending on their parents because the character integration will change if there is negative programming given to the child. As a Rainbow parent, the idea is to recognize what positive traits your Rainbow child holds.
Rainbow children will also have immunity against junk food. Most Rainbow children are able to handle mutated cells and food products, which may result in poisoning. This is considered a very important ability, as most people may not recognize the toxins contained in junk food and the Rainbow child can take and process these types of foods with no problem. This is because of the blood that the Rainbow child carries, which has the ability to cleanse the toxins and unwanted bacteria in the food and air. So a Rainbow child may have a lot of physical clearing in the beginning stages of life. This will change once they grow older and learn how to clear ethereally or spiritually.
Astonishingly, the Rainbow children come with no karma. Rainbow children will enjoy the life on earth learning with absolutely no strings attached to their past. This is because they do not really continue from any previous cycle of reincarnation. This is also why they have a very high-energy frequency and physical energy.
The rainbow child is very hyperactive. They can run the whole night and really tire you out. This is a problem that parents of Rainbow children might face.
The purpose of the Rainbow children is to complete the final stages of the foundation that the Indigo and Crystal children have made. The three children, Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow each have a specific task. The Indigo children are to break down the paradigm of the traditional thinking. Then the Crystal children will build their foundation on the broken paradigm. Finally, the Rainbow children are here to build on to what the Indigo and Crystal children began.
Few writers have written on the Rainbow children because of their current status as toddlers. However, it is important to know that these children will play an important role in the earth’s evolution.
Parents of Rainbow children should understand that their children are special and parents should appreciate the gifts they have. These gifts will help you evolve as they evolve with you.
The rainbow children are just starting to show up on this planet, although there are already some scouts around. More Rainbow children will arrive as children of the Crystal children and also when humanity raises their vibrational frequencies and universal consciousness of the concept of oneness.
Doreen Virtue says, “the Rainbow children are perfectly balanced in their male and female energies. They are confident without aggressiveness; they are intuitive and psychic without effort; they are magical and can bend time, become invisible, and go without sleep and food. The Crystal children’s sensitivities make them vulnerable to allergies and rashes. The angels say that the Rainbow children will have overcome this aspect… Rainbow children have no karma, so they have no need to choose chaotic childhoods for spiritual growth...The Rainbow children operate purely out of joy, and not out of need or impulse. The babies will be recognized, because their energy is one of giving to parents, and not of neediness. Parents will realize that they cannot out-give their Rainbow children, for these children are a mirror of all actions and energy of love. Whatever loving thoughts, feelings, and actions that you send to them are magnified and returned a hundred-fold.”

If you are interested in learning more about Star Children, I recommend reading these books:

The Children of Now: Crystalline Children, Indigo Children, Star Kids, Angels on Earth, and the Phenomenon of Transitional Children by Losey, Meg Blackburn

Indigo, Crystal, & Rainbow Children by Doreen Virtue

The Crystal Children by Virtue, Doreen

Children of the Fifth World: A Guide to the Coming Changes in Human Consciousness by Atwater L.H.D., P. M. H.

You can find many articles and books available online on this topic.
The following is a documentary on Indigo Children, called the Indigo Evolution:

And here is a video which I absolutely love, taken from the Abraham Hicks video by the name of The Autism Evolution. There are a series of videos by Abraham Hicks touching on the topic of autism, evolution, and spirituality.


What do you think? Do you think you have a Star child?

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies!

Green Smoothies are a great source of nutrients and enzymes and an awesome place to hide supplements. I make these with homemade almond and brazil nut milk, juice from greens, celery, carrot, and pineapple & an avocado and banana. Some days Violet doesn't really want to eat much (she goes through phases), but I feel good that she's getting what she needs as long as she's drinking these all day. I don't use protein powders, but occasionally blend in some nut butter. I also pop in a tbsp. of coconut oil when its blending, and you'd never know it, it mixes right in. She loves them so much that she doesn't want to drink anything else. I make a batch of them daily. What a great way to get your fruits and veggies in. In the past I've just used a regular blender (love the Vitamix now). The trick to the almond milk is soaking the nuts overnight, then rinsing them and blending them with the greens, celery and carrot in some spring water (I use FIJI water). I then drain it through a nut milk bag (I bought from a health food store) but you could use cheesecloth. I make the almond milk because the store bought contains carageenan, which can be inflammatory to the gut and is not allowed on the SCD diet. After I drain that, I use the rest of my water to blend up the rest of it and add the two liquids together. I blend in all the supplements for the day in there too.

Here is an article I found and thought I'd share, to help you get started with green smoothies, step by step...

Fruit and green smoothies are quick and easy to make and only require a blender, a sharp knife and cutting board. Making a delicious smoothie with a thick, creamy texture is an art. Fortunately, it’s an art anybody can learn. Once you know the basics, you can make your own creations and never get tired of the same recipes day after day.

Step 1 – Add A Liquid

Liquid is necessary for helping your blender to mix the ingredients. It’s impossible for most low-end blenders to make a smoothie without some added water. Not adding enough liquid might make the smoothie too thick.
The amount of liquid you will need to add will vary depending on your blenders make and model. I have found that high-powered blenders like the Vita-Mix need slightly more water than lower-end models. This is because a high-powered blender does a better job at pureeing the fruit and greens and it needs more water to thoroughly mix them. A low end blender doesn’t blend as thoroughly and may produce a slightly chunky smoothie where separation occurs.
I used to only add about four ounces to my old blender, but my new Vitamix needs eight ounces since it blends much more thoroughly.

What Liquids To Use

Filtered Water: I like to use filtered water when I make a green smoothie. It doesn’t affect the flavor and doesn’t detract from the flavor of the fruits from coming out.
Coconut Water: If you want to give your smoothie a tropical tone, use young, Thai coconut water straight from the coconut itself. You can find young coconuts at Asian markets or at certain health food stores. Each coconut contains about 16 ounces of delicious, sweet water and the meat is soft like hard-boiled egg white. Not only can young coconut help improve the texture of your smoothie, it adds a wonderful flavor to any tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, papaya and oranges.
Fruit Juices: I don’t recommend using commercial fruit juice in your green smoothie because commercial juices are not fresh. They have also been pasteurized which has exposed them to heat and therefore reduced the vitamin content and enzymes that are normally found in the whole fruit or freshly squeezed juice that you make at home.
You can use your own, fresh squeezed fruit juice. Oranges, grapefruit and other juicing fruits are perfect. Use the same principle of flavor combining as you would with flavor fruits. Juice fruits that will complement the other fruit you put into your smoothie.
Milks: My personal philosophy about green smoothies steers me away from using animal milk as a liquid. The reasoning is that green smoothies are the perfect detox food, and dairy products interfere with that. If you are tempted to add milk in order to boost the calcium content, remember that many fruits and vegetables, especially greens, are rich in calcium. It’s actually quite easy to make a smoothie with more calcium than a glass of milk!
If you do want to use milk as a liquid, I recommend trying plant-based milks made from hemp, almond, oat or rice. You can find certain brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. I personally do not use soy milk due to the health controversy surrounding soy products, but that’s another option if you choose.

Step 2 – Pick Your “Base” Fruit

Base fruits give your smoothie that creamy smoothie texture. Otherwise, it will be too runny or you’ll end up with pulpy fruit juice (like if you blended oranges and grapes together).
For a perfect, smooth texture, use “creamy” fruits like banana, mango, peach, pear, apple, papaya and durian.
Avoid water-rich fruits like watermelon, grapes and oranges (you can use them in a smoothie, but not as your “base fruit”).
If you want to make a smoothie using more than one fruit, like a banana and strawberry, then use slightly more banana than you would strawberry. For example, two bananas to one cup strawberry would provide a nice flavor combo while preserving the smoothie texture.
Avocado and coconut meat can also help thicken your smoothie while adding more calories and healthy fat for a meal-replacement shake. I typically only use no more than ¼ of an avocado in any smoothie recipe I make.
Greens will help thicken a smoothie as well, so the more greens you add, the less base fruit you will need. You shouldn’t rely on greens for a base, though.

Step 3 – Mixing Flavors

Flavor fruits are optional. They do enhance the flavor of your green smoothies as well as boost the overall nutrition. I like to use berries, citrus fruits, pineapple or other strongly flavored fruit. I like to find fruits that will complement the base fruits I use.
It’s easy to come up with ideas by looking at the fruit juice aisle or the yogurt section in the supermarket. Millions of dollars in product research has done the legwork for you, so just look at what popular flavors of juices and fruit-flavored prepared snacks are and make your own smoothies based on those combinations.
I’ve even gotten smoothie ideas while looking at scented candles. A wonderfully fragranced peach-ginger or a citrus-cilantro candle stirs up curiosity and ideas for new smoothies to try.
Use your taste buds as a guide and don’t be afraid to let your whimsical side shine when you’re at your blender. I blended a crisp Fuji apple with young coconut one time and it came out well!
My favorite flavor combos are:
Banana (base fruit) with strawberry
Mango (base fruit) with pineapple
Pear (base fruit) with orange
Apple (base fruit) with blueberry
You can get creative with your smoothies by flavoring them with vanilla bean, clove, cinnamon or even cayenne pepper (great with chocolaty smoothies made with raw cacao). Flavored protein powders will also change the overall smoothie flavor so keep this in mind when mixing fruit.
Now would be a good time to blend your fruit and liquid together. Just hold down the “Pulse” button on your blender until the ingredients are lightly mixed into a “sludge”. Doing this before adding the greens will make it easier for you and your blender.

Step 4 – Add Your Greens!

While you can make a smoothie with just fruit, I consider greens an essential part of a healthy smoothie regimen. Greens are essential because they play a vital role in overall nutrition and should make up a significant portion of your diet in order to achieve optimum health.
Before you wrinkle your nose at the notion of drinking spinach, let me tell you that when blended in a green smoothie, the fruit masks the flavor of any veggies you put in. I’m serious! Give it a try! It’s a perfect way to get your greens without tasting them. You can even sneak them into your kid’s diet too!
I started off with fresh baby spinach and now use primarily dandelion greens, romaine lettuce (I stuff the entire head in my blender!), kale, chard, parsley and any other organic leafy green I can find. (Read more about suggested smoothie greens.)
Fresh baby spinach has a mild flavor, so start with that and gradually increase your dose to a large handful or two in each smoothie. Your body will thank you for it!
The recommended percentage of greens to use in a green smoothie is 40% greens to 60% fruit. You can start at a lower percentage and work your way up as you get used to it and even boost your greens beyond to 50, 60 or 70%.
Blending greens in a regular blender can be hard. We have a Vitamix blender and we LOVE! It easily blends greens into a creamy smoothie without leaving chunks and it does it in half the time of a regular blender.

Step 5 – Now Blend It Up!

Depending on your blender, you might need to hit the “Pulse” button a few times to mix the greens before hitting any pre-set “Smoothie” buttons. Otherwise, blend on high for anywhere from 30-60 seconds or until all ingredients are whirling away, your smoothie turns bright (or dark) green and it’s smooth as silk!
Unless you have a high-end Vitamix or Blendtec blender, you might need to chop up your greens rather than adding whole leaves or large bunches. If you have large chunks of fruit that won’t blend, try cutting smaller pieces and leave out tough bits of core from pineapple and other fruits.
Try not to over-blend your smoothie. It might take a few times to get the hang of it, but once you do, aim for blending your smoothie enough to drink through a straw, but don’t leave your blender whirling the ingredients for more than a minute at most to reduce oxidation and nutrient loss.

Optional Smoothie Additives

Your green smoothie is nutritious enough on it’s own. But if you really want to go all out for a healthy kick, you can use your smoothie to deliver extra protein, vitamins and superfoods to your diet.
Protein Powders: Your options for protein powders are numerous. I use Epic Protein by Sprout Living. It’s a high-quality, organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, sprouted protein that has up to 23 grams of protein per serving and you can get in several flavors. I actually use the plain flavor. It does not make the smoothie chalky.
Hemp protein is also an excellent, quality protein choice. It is more expensive than rice protein, but you can find brands that are certified raw, which is important if you are following the raw food diet.
Spirulina is a good source of protein. It’s a blue-green algae that is widely praised as a super health food. It is quite expensive and you don’t need to add much.
I don’t recommend soy protein as I have read research suggesting that soy protein isolate is not a healthy protein choice. You can do your own research and make up your own mind. Soy protein is the least expensive protein option and is widely available.
Any protein powder should work in a smoothie, although some types or brands might be more chalky than others.
Green Powders: I’m on the fence about green powders. I used to use Complete Greens which is a green powder made from a variety of herbs, grasses, vegetables, algae, probiotics and trace minerals. This was before my green smoothie days. I really liked the product but I no longer use it because I can’t justify the expense when I get so much nutrition from all the fresh, organic greens and fruit I drink every day now.
Powdered and Liquid Vitamins: Personally, I don’t believe it is necessary to use a powdered multivitamin if you are drinking two, high-quality green smoothies every day and you make healthy dietary choices. Green smoothies are such a rich source of most vitamins and minerals that it doesn’t make sense to add synthetic versions into the mix as well.
If you are a vegan supplementing with vitamins B12 and D, or another vitamin/mineral supplement, adding it to your green smoothie is a convenient way to take it.
Superfoods: Superfoods are great additions to green smoothies. I sometimes use powdered maca root and cacao in mine. Ground up Goji berries blend well too. You can easily add phytoplankton or whatever you want.
Omega-3s: Just one tablespoon of flax seeds have over 100% of your recommended daily value of Omega-3 fatty acids. Grind up whole seeds in a coffee grinder before adding them to your smoothie.
Sweeteners: When you are new to green smoothies, you might find that the fruit is not as sweet as commercial juices or drinks that you are used to. Try to only use fruit that is in season and ripe as it is at it’s nutritional peak, fullest flavor and sweetest.
If you feel that you need to add a sweetener to counteract the bitter greens, I encourage you to use just a little bit with the idea of weening yourself off of it as soon as possible. Your taste buds will adjust and you will enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit.
For sweeteners, I recommend adding extra banana or a couple dates to your smoothie. Otherwise, try agave nectar, honey or stevia. Avoid table sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

Green Smoothie Troubleshooting

What if your smoothie is too sweet? Sometimes you add too much fruit or you simply feel overloaded with too much berry sweetness. If that is the case, adding a pinch of sea salt, an extra handful of greens or a stalk or two of celery will cut the sweetness.
Make It Colder If you are using fruit that has been ripening at room temperature, you might find that your smoothie is not cold enough for your liking. If this is the case, simply add a couple ice cubes or frozen berries to give your smoothie a more satisfying chill.
Too Bitter? You can sweeten and hide bitter flavors with additional sweet fruits, especially bananas, pineapple, oranges and ripe berries. Dates are also a great way of sweetening up a smoothie without adding extra bulk that you have to drink.
Storing Your Smoothie I strongly recommend that you make your green smoothie fresh each day and that you drink it immediately after making it. The longer your smoothie sits, the less nutritious it becomes.
You can keep leftover smoothie in a sealed container in the refrigerator and have the rest with lunch or dinner, or make it the night before and have it ready for you in the morning. Be sure to shake it well when you are ready to drink it as separation of the juices and fiber in the fruit will occur.

Potty Training Strategies

Potty Like A Boss...

I have some strategies for potty training I was taught recently when I attended the Son-Rise Program training.  

1. Get excited about potty training your child, put your energy into it and keep trying
2. Teach your child to be aware of the sensation, talk about how it feels in your tummy when you have to go
3. Show your child step by step, and explain what you're doing, meaning bring them in to the bathroom and let them see you go, our kids are not used to actually seeing pee and poop in the toilet, so they don't realize that's where it actually goes
4. Announce how proud and excited you are that YOU (mom) went to the bathroom, do a happy dance and celebrate, or for that matter when dad goes too, tell him to come out of there saying he's proud of what he just did, lol. Bring your child in, show off, let them help flush. Then give a high five and celebrate.
5. Talk about going to the bathroom at other times, when you're not in there, make it a topic of conversation and not so private
6. When they go in a pull-up, take the poopy diaper and shake it into the toilet and then get them to help you flush it, saying that's actually where the poop goes!
7. Stop using the really super absorbant diapers, they wick away too much moisture so they don't get that wet feeling.
8. Put on underwear and let them get wet, resist the urge to change your child immediately, let them feel wet for 10-15 minutes, to realize the uncomfortable feeling of it.
9. Get a camping toilet to put in your play area, so that its easily accessible at all times (they are bigger than a toddlers potty) just until they learn.
10. Never get upset about it, always make it fun and without stress. Expect some messes.
11. Make a huge deal about it if they even try to sit on the potty, dance, jump around, sing a song about the potty, make them excited to do it again.
12. Be patient and keep trying :)

Other helpful stuff

Potty watch timer to keep trying at set intervals (ebay: link)
Potty training social story video for Aspergers:
PECS Potty training kit (etsy: link):

Potty Training Apps for iPad (link)

MTHFR, Methylation & Detoxification

MTHFR, Methylation & Detoxification
So here goes, my understanding of MTHFR: (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is an enzyme encoded by the MTHFR gene. This gene plays an important role in the methylation pathways of the body, and is essential for production of certain key nutrients and neurotransmitters (like dopamine and seratonin, the feel good chemicals in your brain). MTHFR is needed for DNA reproduction and is essential for folate metabolism. MTHFR can block B12 and glutathione production, which are your bodies primary mode of detoxifying, this cycle of repair in your cells affects every area of the body. If one cog in the wheel does not turn, the entire system can become clogged, and poor health and disease can result. 
Your gene sequence does not necessarily guarantee you a life filled with disease, nor does it automatically guarantee protection from disease and illness. How your genes are expressed, referred to as epigenetics, indicates that the influence of diet, toxicity and environmental factors may be more influential than your fixed gene sequence when it comes to your health. 
Nonetheless, inherited gene mutations in your gene sequence certainly may predispose you towards developing certain health issues. Inherited gene mutations are a weakness and may increase your vulnerability to certain disease processes, especially when coupled with an epigenetic trigger such as an environmental toxin or a nutrient deficiency.
It is believed that as much as 50% of the population has some type of MTHFR mutation. Some mutations are more serious than others. Autism specialist, Dr. Amy Yasko says she has not seen an autistic child who did not have one or more MTHFR gene mutations. Very important information I found recently is that MTHFR can actually cause death if exposed to nitrous oxide, you know the laughing gas a dentist uses, so please if you never choose to look into this for your child, never opt for laughing gas just to be on the safe side.
If you have an MTHFR mutation, it is just as important to know if other mutations exist. Other genes that are significant in the methylation cycles besides MTHFR include: CBS (cystathionine beta synthase), BHMT (betaine homocysteine methyltransferase), MTRR (methionine synthase reductase), SUOX (sulfite oxidase), to name just a few.
It's important to be tested appropriately to determine if and where the MTHFR is mutated, and protocols will differ depending on each area its deficient in. Here is an example of a basic protocol for the C677T Mutation (link) You'll notice things which are often recommended for recoving a child biomedically from autism, such as:
  1. Eliminate Gluten from your diet – especially wheat.
  2. Eliminate or reduce Dairy from your diet.
  3. Sauna or sweat somehow (epsom salt baths, sports, yoga..) at least once to three times a week.
  4. Limit intake of processed foods
  5. Increase intake of whole foods and home-prepared meals
  6. Eat the Rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables – daily
  7. Castor Oil Packs over your abdomen daily during times of pain, soreness, cramps
  8. Vegetable/Fruit Juice Diet with Chia Seeds during times of pain, soreness, cramps
  9. Coffee Enemas during times of detoxification or pain
  10. Filter chlorine from your drinking water, shower and bath.
  11. Drink at least two liters of filtered water daily mixed with vitamin C and electrolytes.
  12. Remove mercury amalgams and root canals with a trained biological dentist.
  13. Avoid cooking, drinking, storing and heating in any type of plastic container.
  14. Use an air purifier in your home and office
  15. Eliminate carpets from your home and install low VOC wood or tile flooring.
  16. Eat grass-fed beef, free range, hormone free and antibiotic meats and eggs
  17. Cook with electric stove and oven and remove gas stove and oven.
...Just to name a few! I'm sure we could all safely do these things I just listed for our health regardless but for more specific protocols, speak with your doctor. Though you may think you're giving the right supplements, they can vary greatly depending on which area is missing, and the test results can be difficult to interperet without an expert in the area of MTHFR or biomedical treatments.
Testing
MTHFR testing can be done through certain labs. The most thorough test is done through 23andme.com and is fairly inexpensive ($100 or so plus shipping). I was told to be sure to use an alias to get this test done, as it could affect your ability to be insured in the future. They have a child's version of the test done by scraping the inside of the cheek. The adult version uses saliva.
SpectraCell Laboratories also does a test through blood for MTHFR genotyping only, for $195. (link)
Speak to your biomedical doctor for any suggestions they have for where to have testing done, or if it seems appropriate for your child.

Some conditions a MTHFR mutation can attribute to: From MTHFR.net
Updated: December 6, 2012
  1. Autism
  2. Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
  3. Down’s syndrome
  4. Miscarriages
  5. Pulmonary embolisms
  6. Depression in Post-Menopausal Women
  7. Schizophrenia
  8. Fibromyalgia
  9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  10. Chemical Sensitivity
  11. Parkinson’s
  12. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  13. Pre-eclampsia
  14. Stroke
  15. Spina bifida
  16. Esophageal Squamous cell carcinoma
  17. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  18. Vascular Dementia
  19. Bipolar disorder
  20. Colorectal Adenoma
  21. Idiopathic male infertility
  22. Blood clots
  23. Rectal cancer
  24. Meningioma
  25. Glioma
  26. Congenital Heart Defects
  27. Infant depression via epigenetic processes caused by maternal depression
  28. Deficits in childhood cognitive development
  29. Gastric Cancer
  30. Migraines with aura
  31. Low HDL
  32. High homocysteine
  33. Post-menopausal breast cancer
  34. Atherosclerosis
  35. Oral Clefts
  36. Type 1 Diabetes
  37. Epilepsy
  38. Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma
  39. Alzheimer’s
  40. Tetralogy of Fallot
  41. Decreased telomere length
  42. Potential drug toxicities: methotrexate, anti-epileptics
  43. Cervical dysplasia
  44. Increased bone fracture risk in post-menopausal women
  45. Multiple Sclerosis
  46. Essential Hypertension
  47. Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
  48. Prostate Cancer
  49. Premature Death
  50. Placental Abruption
  51. Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
  52. Methotrexate Toxicity
  53. Nitrous Oxide Toxicity
  54. Heart Murmurs
  55. Tight Anal Sphincters
  56. Tongue Tie
  57. Midline Defects (many are listed above)
  58. Behcet’s Disease
  59. Ischemic Stroke in Children
  60. Unexplained Neurologic Disease
  61. Asthma
  62. Shortness of Breath
  63. Bladder Cancer
  64. Anecephaly

Further Reading:

TACA: Detoxification & Methylation important information for individuals on the Autism Spectrum http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/detoxification-glutathione-autism/

Autism Epigenetics Project: http://autismepigenetics.org/

Dr. Amy Yasko: Overview of Methylation Cycle and How SNPs Interact with Health http://www.dramyyasko.com/methylation-diagram/




Methylation: Why You Should Be Concerned:                                 http://vimeo.com/25540555

Essential Oils For Autism

Essential Oils smell great, but more than that they have been used in treating Autism/ADHD to support:
  • Focus, concentration and learning challenges
  • Hormonal balancing
  • Reducing stress naturally without side effects
  • Immune system strength & improvement
  • Cleansing the body of toxins
Essential oils work by oxygenating the body’s cells, including those in the brain.  They can help to clear cell membranes of toxic chemicals that may be interfering with proper neurotransmitter and hormone balance.  They can help to heal emotional traumas and clear emotional issues that may be keeping children from thriving.  It has even been postulated that certain essential oils may help to heal issues on the level of the DNA.
Here are some interesting resources:

Young Living Essential Oils for Autism:


Essential Oil Protocols for Children With Autism-blog series (link)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shamanic Healing, Horses & The Power of Prayer

Shamanic Healing
 

 
Jhaimy Alvarez-Acosta of the Children of the 7 Rays:Shamanic Healer from Peru www.childrenofthe7rays.com

Interesting Links: 

The Cause Of Autism, A Soul Level Perspective

Autistic Children Are Awesome, Have Many Hidden Talents, and Have Shamanic Tendencies

Shamanic Healing For Autism

Discovery Health: Can Prayer Heal People?

The Horse Boy
The Horse Boy is the title of an autobiographical book and a documentary feature film that follow the quest of Rupert Isaacson and his wife to find healing for their autistic son Rowan. After discovering that Rowan's condition appears to be improved by contact with horses and other animals, the family leave their home in Texas on an arduous journey to seek help from the traditional shamans in Mongolia. The book and film follow the family as they travel via the UK by plane, van and on horseback in an attempt to treat the boy's condition with shamanic healing. Trailer here:

Link to full movie -US viewers only (here)

I'm actually not a very religious person at all, I like to think of myself as spiritual, and I very much believe in the power of positive thought, regardless of your faith. I truly love science and find it fascinating, and as I read about quantum physics and the true nature of the universe, I do see how interconnected we are. I kind of sit on the fence between science and spirituality, that is me. I loved the movie The Horse Boy, and that's what got me thinking about shamanic healing. We took my daughter to see the shaman from Peru (above) and although there were no "miracles" that took place immediately, we did have a positive feeling from the experience. The healing we truly needed was more between my husband and myself (very true), and we needed to shift our energy to positively effect my daughter's energy to a calm state. I can say we are all more calm now. He left us with a chant to do daily as she's sleeping, and we left him with a photo of her to use in his prayer ceremonies. All in all I really enjoyed the experience. I like to keep an open mind, especially when its not going to harm anybody involved. To this day we do the chant before we go to sleep, and at the very least its a reminder that we hope for healing and send positive thoughts to our daughter.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Food Blogs For Special Diets (SCD, GFCF, Sugar Free, GAPS, Paleo)

 OM NOM NOM
Here is a great list of food blogs which cater to gluten free, grain free, (usually dairy free), sugar free, SCD or GAPS, Paleo diets. I either add them to my Pinterest or subscribe to them by email for inspiration. So many great recipes to choose from...(click on the titles below)



Empowered Sustanance
Gluten Free, SCD and Veggie
Whole New Mom
Against All Grain
The Coconut Mama
Paleo Cupboard
Mommypotamus
The Nourished Life
Civalized Caveman
Ancestral Nutrition
Girl Meets Nourishment
The Humbled Homemaker
The Healthy Home Economist
The Tasty Alternative

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keeping Back To School Safe, Delicious & Toxin-Free


I know July is just wrapping up and some of us don't even want to think about school yet, but now is the time to place your online orders and get everything ready for September. I got a bento box for my daughter's lunch when she started school last year, its wonderful, less waste and I can use it again and again. My daughter is on the SC diet, so I generally pack a lunch which contains: half a grain-free pancake, pork rinds, apple sauce and a green smoothie. I got a note from my daughter's doctor stating that if she was exposed to gluten, that she could be given Gluten-Ease Digestive enzymes asap. (It will not always take away the gluten reaction, but it can reduce it).

Here are some helpful links (click on the titles):
I would suggest you also pick up a good gluten-free hand soap (like Dr.Bronners) and send gf bubbles for blowing too (you can use Palmolive dish soap to make your own). I know my daughter will react to the least bit of gluten, even on her skin, so be sure to hand out the TACA guide (link above) to your child's teacher(s) and explain how important it is to not cross-contaminate.

School Lunch Special: Ensure your kids fill up the right way with these easy lunch ideas.


Lunch is such an important meal—in fact, it’s the main meal that needs to sustain your child during the day until he or she gets home from school. As parents, we’re often not around during lunch (unless we homeschool), so we are not there to encourage our kids to eat. We have less control, so in some ways we need to be more resourceful—to make meals enticing so they will want to eat it themselves.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for making lunch time fun, delicious and nutritious—and within the parameters of your special diet.
Bento Boxes
Bento is a single-portion meal (either home-packed or takeout) that is a common Japanese tradition. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables. It’s typically served in a to-go style, box-shaped container. These containers often have a lid, and range from one single container space to options with many small compartments.
Bento is known for its creative and fun use of food—for example, rice mounds and hardboiled eggs in various shapes, or food decorated with eyes and a mouth cut out of a nori seaweed sheet (see 8 Fun Bento Ideas). Bento is fun and it’s conducive to special diets. Special diets are often choices other than sandwiches and frequently require a container for your food. For example, “fruit chews” do not require a container since they come in a plastic wrapper (not recommended); while a more nutritious choice of cut up mango would require a container with a lid. Consider:
Traditional bento Chicken; rice; green beans or freeze-dried veggie mix; pear with sunflower butter.
-GF/CF bento Sausage; potato pancakes with shredded veggies; frozen peas; strawberries with chocolate nut butter dipping sauce.
-GF/CF egg-free bento PB&J with sunflower butter or nut butter with jam; carrot/parsnip chips; freeze-dried blueberries.
-GF/CF egg-free and nut-free bento Sandwich with sliced lunch meat free of nitrates/ites and gluten; celery sticks or other veggies for dipping in non-dairy ranch dressing or hummus; apple kraut; coconut date balls.
-Grain- and starch-free bento Beef burger; fruit, such as golden delicious apple sliced with sunflower butter dipping sauce; spaghetti squash; nut or coconut muffin
-Specific Carbohydrate Diet bento bean burger wrapped in kale or lettuce leaves; hardboiled egg, butternut squash; mango; frozen, thawed green peas.
Additives To Avoid
Keep in mind that certain common additives can aggravate your child’s sensitivities. Be careful about checking labels so that you can eliminate as many artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives as possible from your child’s diet.
Also avoid trans fats (look out for hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil, margarine, mayo, and commercial peanut butters); artificial sweeteners; high fructose corn syrup; monosodium glutamate (MSG); hydrolyzed vegetable/soy protein; autolyzed yeast and yeast extract; soda and carbonated beverages (unless naturally sparkling); and lunch meats that contain sodium nitrite.
Choosing A Lunch Container
Lunch containers need to be functional, as well as fun. Consider the style of lid it has—some have seals that are difficult for children to open, and others have easier flap styles that don’t require as much dexterity. Toxicity is another issue to consider, since many lunch boxes are made with PVC plastic that has toxic vinyl as well as lead—these should be avoided. For safe lunchbox (and reusable lunch bags), and beverage container choices that are BPA-, phthalate-, and lead-free, check out:

Mimi the Sardine (www.mimithesardine.com)
Crocodile Creek (www.crocodilecreek.com)
Skip-Hop (www.skiphop.com)
PlanetBox (www.planetbox.com)
LunchSense (www.lunchsense.com)
LunchBots (www.lunchbots.com)
LunchSkins (www.lunchskins.com)
SnackTAXI (www.snacktaxi.com)
Lifefactory (www.lifefactory.com)
Savory Lunch Pancake Sandwiches
This lunch uses pancakes for bread because pancakes are a more forgiving “bread” choice for people with multiple food restrictions, and they are easier to make. These “sandwiches” are made with two pancakes as the bread (any non-sweet gluten-free option will do). Chickpea pancakes are delicious as a spicy pancake with green chili peppers, or without the green chilis as a savory (but not spicy) pancake.
Filling/Spread
-Hummus
-Nut butter or sunflower seed butter
-Finely chopped egg salad “spread”
-Finely chopped chicken salad
-Avocado sliced or smashed

-Tuna or salmon salad
-Non-dairy Ranch Dressing
Vegetable/Fruit Filling
-Raw sauerkraut
-Shredded carrots
-Thinly sliced celery half-moons
-Mini arugula
-Thin pickle slices (naturally fermented)
-Banana slices
Sandwich Combinations
-Chicken pancakes with hummus and shredded carrots
-Chicken pancakes with avocado slides and arugula
-Chickpea pancakes with egg salad and thin layer of pickle slices
-Spicy chickpea pancakes with chicken salad and non-dairy ranch dressing or a drizzle of sour yogurt (if not dairy-free)
-Lentil pancakes with salmon or tuna salad and thin celery slices
-Coconut pancakes (plain or sweet) with sunflower butter and banana slices

Balanced Snacks
These snacks each contain some protein and good fat to make a more hearty, sustainable snack.
-Hardboiled egg, deviled eggs or egg salad with sliced cucumber
-Apple or celery with almond butter or sunflower butter (if nut-free)
-Hummus with crunchy raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, jicama
-Walnuts or pumpkin seeds and a baked apple or applesauce (no sugar added)
-Avocado and sardines or tuna salad on gluten-free crackers
-Roasted chicken leg or chicken wings and carrot sticks with dairy-free ranch dressing
-Chicken pancakes and pear sauce (as dip)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Son-Rise Program Miracle in Progress

I recently went to The Autism Treatment Center of America in Sheffield, MA to learn the The Son-Rise Program®. I attended the Start-up, a 5 day training to learn the basics of the program to get you started with this therapy. I met some wonderful people there, there were 127 people in my class, from 25 countries! I was able to get a grant, which helped me attend, and drove for 8 hours from here in Ontario to get there. It was packed with great information, inspiring and life changing. I highly recommend it to any parent of a child with special needs, there were parents of kids as young as 3 and as old as 35, from non-verbal asd to high functioning aspergers.

The program began in the 1970's when Bears and Samharia Kaufman had a son, Raun, who was diagnosed with autism, and were given no hope for his future, and told to merely focus on their other kids because he was a lost cause and would need to be institutionalized in the future. They refused to believe that their son, who they felt was a blessing, was not able to be helped. They got to work with a program they created, which was different than anything else available. They joined their son. Where Raun spun plates on their edge for hours at a time, content to be absorbed into his own world, they would take him into an environment devoid of any distractions and spin plates with him. In doing that, they established his trust, and created a feeling of predictability and mastery over his environment. As days went on like this, he slowly started noticing his parent, he would have moments of eye contact as he became interested in what "our world" was. He began to find his parent more interesting than his own world, and that was the key. Join their world to bring them into ours. After continued work with Raun, for a period of approx. 3 years, he was no longer deemed autistic. He was indistinguishable from his peers, and went on to do well in school, have relationships, graduate a prestigious university with a degree in biomedical ethics and eventually came full circle and became the director of the Autism Treatment Center his parents had started.

Over the years, they have helped parents learn techniques to help their children, often with great improvement if not full recoveries. What I find so different about this therapy is that it does not rely on an outside agency, its done by parents and sometimes volunteers (who the parent trains). No waiting lists for services! It's child centered, so you meet your child where they are, and expand on their interests. It works on social, verbal and relationship skills first, as they see these as the base that every other skill is built upon. Academic skills tend to come easily to a child with autism who is accepted, connected, communicating and interested in the person explaining them, so they are not the focus of the program. Attitude of the parent is a huge part of the program, because if we can let go of the negative emotions connected to the child, feel and project love and acceptance, excitement, enthusiasm and energy into every interaction then it will create an atmosphere of creativity, and through this comes reaction and independent thinking.

I want to share with you some of the most important things I learned about the program:
  • connection with your child is the key
  • be authentic, don't fake it, be honest with others to be able to let go of negativity that could be holding you back
  • celebrate every achievement
  • a parent is a child's best teacher
  • when to join my child (green light/red light)
  • eye contact is so important
  • live in the present, don't worry about past/future
  • make yourself the most interesting person in the room
  • set up a room with no distractions, with toys on a shelf that your child must request verbally or non-verbally by involving you in the process
  • recovery is possible
  • set goals
  • choose happiness, your child can sense your emotions
  • motivation, not repetition holds the key to learning
  • your child's potential is limitless, don't apologize for believing in your child. There is no such thing as "false hope"
  • each stim (or ism as they call it) has a purpose and value, that is how your child has learned to cope and there is a good reason for it
  • Son-Rise works best combined with biomedical, sensory therapy and dietary changes. (SC diet most effective) 
  • Be flexible
  • Be persistent and patient
  • Live in gratitude for everything you have, your child is a blessing, believe in your child! 
 I have included a video I found that is informative, there are hundreds available on you tube and on the Autism Treatment Centre of America website.

Getting Started: Autism Solutions
 

It's been a month since I returned from learning the Son-Rise Program, I wanted to share the progress we've made since. All of these things are NEW!
-eye contact is better than ever, we actually have moments where we just gaze into each others eyes, sometimes for several minutes at a time (its a borderline staring contest, lol)
-language has improved, she's been spelling out words and singing non-stop, words are coming out very clearly
-she's been calling me "friend" and excited to "play together" in the playroom

-she bonked me in the eye yesterday by accident, and then came over and kissed my eye to make it feel better

-she's been using please, thank you, and sorry (and we don't push that usually, she's doing it on her own)

-she's been giving me long hugs, one day we hugged for literally 10-15 minutes

-she's following instruction better, I asked her to find something in her bed the other day, and she went and retrieved it and brought it to me

-she's asked to "draw a picture" twice in the playroom, and then did a few scribbles (this is something she had only done one time, reluctantly, in her life before!)

-she successfully attended a wedding as a flower girl, and walked around the reception saying "hello, how do you do?" to everyone

-she's waving and giving high fives, and saying hello and goodbye, something we've been working on for years.

-she will request things from me in the playroom, asking for a "rub" to rub her back, a "tickle", or "sunshine" for me to sing you are my sunshine to her, or "squish" to squish her on the yoga ball, or "swing" to play on the swing.

-she's stopped needing to touch us to ask for things she needs (she used to tap us) now she just asks for things with her words.

I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting, but not bad for a month, hey!? I'm so proud of her!!!

If you want to know more about the Son-Rise Program, visit the Autism Treatment Center of America website (link).





Finding A Biomedical Doctor



Since its establishment in 1967, the Autism Research Institute (ARI) has had as a major priority the tracking of promising treatments for autism. Autism is not caused by a deficiency of Ritalin or Risperidal, it is a whole body medical disorder. Intensive study of the scientific literature, and analysis of case reports from thousands of parents of asd children have shown there is much that can be done NOW to help many children with autism.
Parent Ratings of Biomedical Interventions www.autism.com/pdf/providers/ParentRatings2009.pdf

To accelerate the development and dissemination of information that will be helpful to many families of autistic children, the Autism Research Institute convened the first Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) conference in Dallas in January, 1995. Thirty carefully selected physicians and scientists, from the U.S. and Europe, with special expertise in autism research and treatment, attended. Psychiatry, neurology, immunology, allergy, biochemistry, genetics and gastroenterology were among the fields represented. There was a cordial meeting of the minds and a very rapid consensus among the participants.

Defeat Autism Now! conferences (NOW called ARI) are held each Spring and Fall to further advance the treatment of autism. The conferences have produced a large base of physicians who wish to employ rational, scientifically sound approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of autism, and who regard psychoactive drugs as their last choice, not their first.


A Summary of the (ARI) DAN! Protocol by Miriam Jang, M.D. : http://www.miriamjangmd.com/DefeatAutismNow-protocol.html


ARI’s focus is on evidence-based treatments.

ARI is a major proponent of the biomedical approach for autism treatment, compiling evidence from autism research experts and parents to share information about the most viable treatments for common autism symptoms. The premise for integrative medical intervention is that certain neurological disorders, including autism, might be caused by environmental triggers that compromise the gastrointestinal, immunological, and neurological systems; gastrointestinal, in that those with autism tend toward constipation and/or diarrhea and often have abnormal cravings or abhorrence for certain kinds of food; immunological, in that many have poor regulation of the immune system; and decreased ability to fight infectious diseases, and some are prone to allergies; and neurological, in that hypo- or hypersensitive to sensory impressions is very common. Proponents of integrative medical intervention claim that children with autism generally improve the health of all three systems with an adapted or 'special' diet, or with the addition to their diet of certain dietary supplements, nutrients, and enzyme supplements. Based on this premise, what is often diagnosed as autism or PDD is seen as a physiological syndrome involving many parts of the body that could be treated as a physiological disorder.

What started out as the “Defeat Autism Now!”(DAN!) movement, then morphed into the Autism Research Institute or ARI (which continues to support autism research and provide needed information and support for families and individuals with autism spectrum disorders), has finally become a full-fledged medical society “for the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders and chronic special needs.” MAPS (Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs)

What is MAPS?

 The Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) program has been developed by leading physicians, scientists, researchers and experts in the area of pediatric special needs, environmental medicine, GI issues, pediatrics, neurological disorders, genetics, nutrition and mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as other related fields.

Answering the call of both parents seeking qualified genetics care for their special needs children and doctors seeking further education in the field, we have come together to provide comprehensive education and fellowship of medical professionals for the treatment of children with Neuro-developemental disorders and related chronic complex conditions associated with autism spectrum disorders.

Many of the DAN! doctors are now going through the MAPS fellowship training, however those who are not can still be a valuable resource for continuing the DAN! biomedical protocol.



If you can't find a doctor in your area through the following lists, then do your own research and search your area through google

DAN! Physician Referral List: http://www.autismtoday.com/clinician-list.html

Generation Rescue's Find A Physician List:
http://www.generationrescue.org/resources/find-a-physician/

MAPS (Medical Association of Pediatric Special Needs) Clinician List:
http://www.medmaps.org/clinician-directory/

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What is Autism To Me?


Autism to me is like the volume is turned up on life, its like living with one foot in another dimension. I don't attribute my daughters loving nature to autism, I think she would be destined to be that whether she had autism or not. I don't mind the thought of her being attuned to the nature of the universe, I think that is a very advanced character trait, but I do want to help her cope with the world in the way it exists now. I wouldn't be sad if the autism was not part of her and she recovered, because I believe it makes her world overwhelming. Her spirit does not have autism, her spirit is limitless. I help her cope, learn and overcome as many of the difficult aspects of autism, and respect who she is by letting her be happy however she can. If that means flapping and saying eeeeee or being squished between the couch cushions, I will flap with her and squish her. I will help her make friends and connect, and if she doesn't want to that's ok too, I want her to feel free from judgement. She is just perfect to me.

I'm not terribly religious, but more spiritual. I think there is a plan for the world and everyone has a purpose. The grass doesn't envy the trees, the seagull doesn't envy the peacock, the dolphin doesn't envy the whale. Its just who they are. Every one and every thing in this world is here because it makes the universe complete. I also believe our spirit lives on, this is not all there is to existence. I think there is karma, or life lessons to live through, and its been put into our lives to help us evolve. It definitely can be a challenge, but I also feel very special to have been chosen to carry out this very important role in the universe.

I'm not even going to get into the "why" of autism today, because its not fair, and hindsight is 20/20. I can't dwell on that.  My daughter has toxins and yeast, has gut issues and allergies, and I will always help her be a healthy person as best I can. Its my mission in life now, and I am up for the challenge because she is worth every drop of energy I can give her. Our life is happy, its not ordinary, its extraordinary.


Friday, March 1, 2013

First ABA Session Left A Lot To Be Desired...

Violet's PECS Board

Ok, so I had high hopes I suppose, we have been waiting 9 months to start, but I feel really disappointed. Violet started ABA today and we got into the place, all was fine, she was happy. Well, we shook hands with the woman doing her therapy and she lead us into her office. When Violet is in a new place it takes her time to take it all in, and she doesn't like to be put on the spot, especially from people she doesn't know. I was told that today would just be a half hour of introduction and we could talk about scheduling and I could ask questions etc.

Well...she just jumped right in, we had literally just shut the door and she was pulling apart a puzzle and telling Violet to put the pieces in. Of course Violet wanted nothing to do with it, she hadn't even had a moment to look around. So Violet sits down beside me and starts scanning the walls. So then she pulls out bubbles, nope. Then she pulls out the iPad, well of course Violet likes the iPad because she uses it at home. Problem is, the therapist just wanted her to say what was in the picture, not to go to other apps. Yeah, so Violet says "pig" all pissed off because she can't play with the iPad and then she sits back down. So therapist gives her the iPad, and Violet starts scanning through her apps. So for some reason she only had like 10 kids apps, most of them not the full version, so she spent the next 10 minutes watching Violet click through the apps, trying to buy the full versions and having therapist say "no don't click that" and the frustration was just building, even for me! Buy the damn apps, they're like $2.00 maybe!!

So she gives up on the iPad, and asks me what my goals are. Well, I said Violet has no problem speaking, she knows many words, she knows what they mean but just doesn't speak in sentences, so my goal is to get Violet to communicate better I say. So she says to me "Well that's just autism, that's what it is, so that's like a life long goal" ...Ok, so I'm thinking what the hell are you good for?!

Anyways at this point Violet is pulling me toward the door and whining to get out, and therapist is saying "its too bad she can't tell you what she wants" and I'm like, ok well I can tell what she wants, she wants to go! She wanted to know what a motivation would be for her, like a food, and I don't really like the idea of using food to perform, to me its like training a dog and sets one up for food issues in life (just in my opinion) Its hard because what Violet likes one day, she won't like the next necessarily. I said I could bring pork rinds and bubbles, but that may or may not motivate her. She's not motivated by food.
Lastly I was explaining about how I use PECS with Violet and have drawn the cards and made a board and she's very good with it, saying what each card is when she hands it to us now and has become more verbal because of it. Well therapist says that I should use Proloquo2Go on her own dedicated iPad. Like I'm supposed to buy her another iPad??!! And then pay $200 for the app, I dont think so. And why would I want her to use an app which communicates for her when she is already speaking what is on her cards? So I said that was not my goal, I want her to verbalize, not to use the computer. OK. So the last thing she says to me is that she can put together a proper PECS board for me, with actual pictures of things on a nice board. Are you kidding me? My board is nice. Is it not better that Violet is able to recognize drawn pictures representing things, rather than the actual thing, its abstract thinking and using her imagination more?

This is so long winded, I just felt really let down after today, I hope it gets better. I just needed to vent, I just fear that Violet will lose her self confidence & happiness. She has been doing so amazingly well in my opinion for the last year. Frustrating.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Updates, Snowflakes And The Difference A Year Makes

   
    I haven't updated in a while, and so I thought it was a good time. We have had such a long cold and snowy winter here in Ontario, I am so ready for the spring to start. Spending time indoors is not fun, we are a beach loving family and love being outdoors as much as we can. Its been tough because we have been sick several times, and Violet regressed terribly during the Christmas holidays after a bout of the flu. We are back to where we were before the holidays again, and then some. She bounced back within about a month, thank goodness. Scary stuff. She didn't lose any words, but her behavior was as bad as a year or more ago, as if we had lost all we had worked on. It made for a memorable Christmas in all the wrong ways, but you win some, you lose some I guess!

     So Violet had started school, junior kindergarten and is absolutely loving it, she has a wonderful one on one aide and really has a good rapport with her. She has started using PECS and really got the hang of it. She uses them in school too. Since starting with the picture cards, she has opened up more verbally, now when she hands us a card she will also say what is on the card, and it seems to have alleviated the meltdowns to a great degree. We are continuing with biomedical treatments with some great success. The biggest gains seem to be from adding Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Neuroprotek I would say. Its hard to pin down exactly what is helping, its kind of a symbiosis of everything working together I believe. Violet is now on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and eats only organic, grain free with no sugar or prepared foods. I do give her pork rinds as a carb free treat, because every kid needs a little treat, and they do contain cholesterol which is essential for her diet. She eats eggs, nut butters, fruits and veggies and drinks green smoothies though out the day. We use coconut oil in the smoothies and to cook with. Its just a simple, clean diet.

     We heard from the speech pathologist recently. He wants to set up another evaluation to see how she has done in this past year. His evaluation in Dec 2011 was what had convinced me that Violet had autism, and it was difficult to read, because at the time she was 3 and was estimated to be at the level of a 9-12 month old.

     Anyways, fast forward to today and oh how things have changed! 2012 was a long year, one evaluation after another, a formal diagnosis, diet change, supplements, speech and sensory therapy and floortime and junior kindergarten starting in September. Lots of ups and downs. So, we got to talking about how Violet was doing while he had me on the phone, and it made me realize how amazing she is doing now, and he was shocked at how far she had come. Here are some of the things we have gained in a year:

  •     probably 400 words, as opposed to just a few
  •     words used in context, not just random gibberish
  •     mastered picture exchange, now can name each picture
  •     strings together 3-5 words
  •     uses yes and no
  •     uses I to refer to self
  •     has imaginative play
  •     less frequent meltdowns
  •     about 50% less sensitive to sensory things
  •     self aware
  •     good eye contact
  •     good listener, will come when her name is called
  •     able to be around other kids playing, occasionally interacting with them
  •     expresses emotions she is feeling
  •     can feel when things hurt, not dull to pain anymore
  •     wants to play with mom and dad
  •     learned abc's and counts to 20
  •     has read several words  
   
I really am so proud of how she's doing, and how far she has come in a short time. We are starting ABA this week, so that will be a whole new experience. I feel she is open to learn now, and can't wait to see how it goes. I will blog about her ABA sessions in the next few months.

Love and Snowflakes,
Violet's Mom     


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nightshades - Inflammatory Foods

Nightshades are new to me. I read a lot about special diets and foods that should be avoided for health issues, but I admit I had googled what a nightshade was and thought there is no way I could fathom cutting out these from my diet. I hadn't stopped to read why they are a problem, they are inflammatory, somewhat toxic and can actually leach calcium from your bones. Since autism is associated with inflammation, it got me thinking. I'm not saying we definitely have a problem, but its worth investigating further, perhaps allergy testing, or we may try the six week elimination of them altogether. We have been GFCFSF (gluten, casein, soy free) for months now, and recently added SCD (specific carbohydrate diet, grain and sugar free) to our list of letters, its hard to find much of anything that's actually okay to eat anymore.

      One thing I always have noticed is when my daughter is given ibuprofen, an anti inflammatory, she shows improvement in behavior and language. We are working with a DAN! doctor to figure out ways to reduce inflammation naturally, through supplementation and foods. As with autism treatment, its a roller coaster of recovery, ups, downs, twists and turns and some days it makes me question if we're ever going to get off this crazy ride.  I am searching for the piece of the puzzle which fits, and its possible nightshades could. Autism is associated with many allergies and so are nightshades. Cutting out nightshades has been said to greatly improve Arthritis, MS and IBS among other ailments. A proper explanation of what nightshades are, and why they pose such a problem can be found at: This Website and This Website.

I should specify what a nightshade is, most people consider potatoes, peppers and tomatoes to be nightshades, but the list doesn't stop there. (Naturally if they are gluten or carbohydrate containing then they are already excluded in our diet), here are some others I have discovered may be a problem:

Main Offenders:
Eggplant
Potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay)
Sweet and Hot Peppers
Tomatoes

Alphabetized List:
Ascorbyl Palmitate (it’s potatoes)
Ashwagandha
Baking Powder?  (according to this website it says “All baking powder [...] seems to contain potato, though it is not listed on the label.” I don’t know, though… there are some with corn starch instead of potato or the generic “starch” on the label)
Banana Peppers
Cayenne
Chayote
Chili Peppers
Datil
Eggplant
Goji Berries
Habanero
Hot Peppers (hmm, a generic catch-all, I think)
Jalapeno Peppers
Modified Food Starch (watch out for starch if it doesn’t say where it’s derived from)
Palmitate Vitamin A (I found this in margarine and milk, it’s potatoes)
Paprika (seems to be in all sorts of things: mayo, hotdogs, mustard, sausage)
Pepinos
Pickles (I’ve found that most pickles contain peppers :-( )
Pimentos
Potatoes (sweet potatoes are okay)
Shellac Wax (comes from Lac beetle that feeds on Wolfberry plants, found on shiny fruit and veggies, commonly not listed in ingredients)
Solanum
Starch (if it doesn’t say where it’s derived from, check with the manufacturer)
Sweet Peppers (black pepper is okay)
Thai Peppers
Tobacco
Tobasco
Tamarios
Tomatillos
Tomatoes
potatoes)
Wax Peppers
Wolfberries
Yeast (according to this website “Most yeast contains potato, both baking yeast and beer yeast. Red Star yeast does not contain potato.”)

Herbs / Plants:
Banewort (another name for nightshade)
Belladonna / Atropa Belladonna (used in Homeopathy, found in Viagra)
Bittersweet (Atropine Belladonna)
Brugmansia
Datura
Devil’s Cherries (another name for nightshade)
Devil’s Herb (another name for nightshade)
Divale (another name for nightshade)
Dubiosia
Dwale (another name for nightshade)
Dwayberry (another name for nightshade)
Great Morel (another name for nightshade)
Henbane
Hyoscyamus
Jimson Weed
Mandrake
Mandragore
Nightshade / Deadly Nightshade
Petunias (yes, the flower)

Unsure of these:
Kava Kava – I saw this in a nightshades list somewhere else, but I’m thinking it’s just in the pepper family and not actually a nightshade.
Artichokes (I read that they contain solanine, but lost my source)
Blueberries (I read that they contain solanine, but lost my source)
Cherries, ground (this is “ground cherries” as in cherries that grow close to the ground – not chopped cherries.  It was mentioned in a forum somewhere)
Huckleberries (I read that they contain solanine, but lost my source)
Okra (I read that they contain solanine, but lost my source)
Vitamin A Palmitate (I read on a website somewhere that it’s potatoes, but recently have been told it could just be from Palm.  I’ve found in margerine, milk, ham, heavy cream, whipped cream, cheese)

Questionable(check with manufacturer to see where derived from)
Cellulose
Dextrins
Dextrose (can be potatoes, check your salt and baking powder ingredients!)
Lactic acid (generally made from fermented corn or potatoes)
Magnesium Stearate
Maltodextrin / Mdltrin  (can be derived from potato or corn)
Starch

Chemicals / Drugs / Medicines:
Acrylamide
Aspirin – can contain nightshades?
Atropine
Chaconine
Hyoscine (another name for scopolamine)
Nicotine
Scopolamine (common in motion sickness meds)
Solanine
Viagra (contains belladonna)

Also toxic:
Brazilian Pepper
Cauliflower (contains nicotine)

There is some debate as to others which could be added or subtracted from the list, I am no expert, so if I have forgotten any I apologize. I would suggest researching if any of these foods seem like they could be irritating yours or your child's system. It may just be another piece of the puzzle.