Sunday, March 29, 2009

Game Giveaway - Janes Hotel FREE

Today's game is Jane's Hotel. It gets difficult at the end, but is a pretty fun time management game. Try it, what do you have to lose? Except time and room on your computer...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm In Love with Enhansa!

I never thought I’d be in love with a bright orange capsule – but I am, and it’s the real thing! We have had Michael on Enhansa for well over a month now, and have seen incredible results. But, let me start with a little background information.

Michael has been battling systemic yeast his whole life. We’ve tried Yeast Aid, Diflucan, Ketokenazole, you name it. Each would help for a little while, and then the yeast would come back in force. I had researched the anti-candida diets, but just couldn’t do it. Michael is so skinny to start with; I just couldn’t take away any more carbs.

This calendar year we started off with the Diflucan and then switched to the Ketokenazole. Toward the end of the second prescription, the yeast was under control but I was terrified of what would happen when we stopped taking the medicine. Plus, I was afraid of what damage taking such strong antifungals could cause long term.

I had heard really good things about Enhansa, and was perfectly primed to try it. So, when we started, the yeast was mostly under control, but still there. We started Michael with one 75mg capsule in the morning for a week. We added one capsule a week until we are now at 2 in the morning and 2 at night, for a total dose of 600mg a day.

It’s like we have a whole new child. He was doing great when we started, but his social interaction is really taking off, and his OCD is much better. Right now he and Steve are playing Mario Kart on the wii. They are talking back and forth about the game, strategies for doing better, and unlocking levels. It’s so nice to hear a back and forth conversation that is related to what they are doing together! Add in that he’s sharing and taking turns, and I’m completely over the moon.

Spring is staring and Michael has been asking to go to the park. Last year, he would go on a lot of the equipment, but shied away from a lot of the more challenging tasks. This year, he is doing absolutely everything. He’s still a little intimidated by walking over a mesh bridge that is at least 20 feet off the ground, but he does it. He’s still a little more cautious that most of the other kids, but he’s catching up fast. It’s so wonderful to see.

Even better, he’s starting to interact with some of the younger kids. He generally feels comfortable with children about 2 years younger than him – they tend to be quieter and move a little slower. He’s played on the teeter-totter a few times, and shared some of the equipment that requires sharing. It’s so awesome to watch.

The very best result by far though is that Michael is a much happier child. He smiles more, and laughs a genuine laugh. I was so used to the hyper yeast laugh (other parents of yeasty kids know what I’m talking about) that it was a surprise to hear a genuine, happy laugh. I think he’s feeling better overall, and is less bothered by what’s left of the OCD.

I’m tempted to bump him up one more capsule to 750mg a day, but we haven’t decided yet. For now, we’re holding steady at 600 and seeing a happy, connected child. What more could I ask ?

I do have one footnote to add. Through all of this we’ve been seeing an absolute angel of a CranioSacral therapist. She has worked wonders with Michael both before and during our Enhansa experience. So, I can’t say for sure what is due entirely to the Enhansa, and what to the CranioSacral. I tend the think the two work synergistically, so it’s not a very big footnote.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another great kids game! FREE!

Here is a wonderful, FREE, game for little kids and older kids alike. It's a totally nonviolent bubble shooting game called Aqua Bubble II. Have I mentioned how much I like Game GiveAway of the Day?

We have a busy day planned - Cranio Sacral Therapy this morning for Michael and then he wants to go to the park and run around. He's been playing Mario Party 8 on the wii lately, and has decided that some of the wood playground equipment at the park is really Donkey Kong's Treetop Temple. It's very cute, but he can get very impatient!

Some of you know that I've had a lot of distraction in my life lately, but that is has finally taped off some. So, I'm hoping that I'll have more time and energy to devote to Michael, but maybe some extra to update the blog site, and start a new and very exciting project. I'll fill you in as details become availble!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A very important anniversary!

I realized this week that we hit a major milestone -- Michael has been gf/cf/sf for a whole year now. What a year it's been! He has come so far, and has made tremendous gains in so many areas. I love how connected he is, how he is starting to play games appropriately, and how he is finally asking 'why' questions. We still have a long, long road ahead, but this year it seems much less rocky.

I also wanted to point out that now is the perfect time of year to start the diet. Because Passover is approaching, the Kosher supermarkets are carrying many gluten and casein free foods. I don't understand why, but they are even carrying more soy free foods than normal. It's a great time to stock up! Today, Steve came home with a stash of chocolate chips, various flours, and even a chocolate bar. He said there were some delicious looking cakes that were gf/cf/sf, but way out of our budget. They stayed at the store.

So, if you are thinking about starting the diet, now is a great time to start. There are so many resources to help you, and I love talking about it. If you have any questions or need a cheerleader, just ask me, or leave a comment.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Game Giveaway!

Wow, a weekend with 2 kid appropriate games! Today's Game Giveway of the Day is Golden Age of Prague. It's a hidden object game that gets progressively harder. I have never been able to finish it, but it is a lot of fun. Not Michael's favorite, but your child might like it!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fun Giveaway Game Today

Today's Game Giveaway of the Day is Jane's Hotel. It's a time management game that gets a little hard toward the end, but is pretty easy at the beginning. Michael likes to play the first several days, then start over. But, it's free and kid friendly. What more could you want?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Parents are Visiting

My parents are here to visit this week. They live several hours away, so a visit is quite a treat. I had told Michael Tuesday morning that they would be coming to visit after school that day. His first response was "I want them to visit BEFORE school, not after." But, he eventually settled on the idea that he would have to wait a few more hours.

When they finally arrived, Michael was so happy to see them. He ran to the door as soon as he heard the doorbell, and spent most of the evening jumping up and down in excitement. Michael normally does not like to perform, but he went through every word and phrase he'd been learning in Spanish, just to impress his grandparents. They were so thrilled.

On Wednesdays, Steve picks Michael up from school a little early and takes him to OT. I warned Michael yesterday morning that Grandpop would be going to OT with them. I didn't mention anything about him coming in to the school to sign him out. When he got close enough to the office that he could see who was there, he proudly told his teacher "That's my Grandpop!!". She was floored since Michael seldom shows excitement, much less tells her anything he cares about!

Every time I hear about how kids with autism aren't affectionate and don't form attachments, I think of Michael with my parents and Steve's mom. It's so wonderful to see him so engaged and happy. On one hand, I hate that my parents can only visit every so often, but on the other, it's awesome for them to see how much he grows in between visits!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poor little guy, but wow...

Michel just got over a really bad cold. Tonight he was kinda sluggish lying on the couch and wanted to go to bed early. Then he came back down wimpering - the wimper that always means he's about to toss his cookies. Tonight, he had to deal with constipation first, and then an upset tummy.

To his credit, he took care of everything he needed to, and then wanted company to go back to bed. I never thought I would see him so independent when he's not feeling well. I never expected to be beaming with pride over a doubly upset tummy! It's very confusing to feel bad for him, and so proud at the same time.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thank you for the Laugh, AoA!!!

OK, if you know me at all, you know that I can be quite the cynic. And, that I love a good laugh. So, while this post over at Age of Autism actually does address a very serious issue (glutathione depletion), I laughed my way through the post and really enjoyed all the comments. So, if you need a chuckle (and know what glutathione is) I highly recommend it!

p.s. Steve is looking for grant money to determine if snow really is made of frozen water crystals!

Really Nice Weekend

Michael and I are finally starting to feel better. Of course, that means that Steve is starting to get sick. It will be nice when all of us are healthy at the same time!

Michael's been extra sweet and cuddly today. Steve thinks it's because I've spent so much time sleeping this past week that he hasn't gotten as much fun time with mommy. And, I enjoyed the extra cuddles, so that's definitely a good thing.

I've been working on teaching him spanish, and also got him the Hooken On Spanish computer program. It was really cool today - when the lesson he was working on showed the narrator painting with the various colors, he wanted to paint too. It's the first time in ages that he's wanted to paint. Now, he only put a dab of each color on the paper and wanted to say the spanish word for the color, but it's progress. And, we both had fun for a while.

Other that that, it's been a pretty uneventful weekend. Michael and I did go to the apothocary yesterday to pick some stuff up. He had great behavior for the whole trip, but then had a meltdown when it was time to come back in the house. I guess he was tired of being cooped up all week, too! I definitely want to take him with us on errands more often, just so he gets used to being out of the house and not on the way to school or therapy. It would be nice for him to get used to small outings being successful!