Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great Spices for Cooking / Grilling

I had a great experience with a company today. We've been using John Henry's Pecan Rub on our burgers for a long time. Unfortunately, the company we were buying it from went out of business, so we lost our source. I found my way to the company's website and found all sorts of products I wanted to try.

The only bad thing about the website is that it didn't list ingredients. So, I called the number on the contact us page and left a message saying that I was interested in allergy information. John Henry himself called me back within a few hours - on a Saturday! He explained that none of his products have wheat, dairy or soy. But, 3 products have herbs in them that could be related to wheat, so he recommended staying away from Papa Charlies, Texas Chicken Tickler, and another product that had herb in the name. He was so nice!

So, I am guessing that one Steve has a chance to peruse the list of products, we'll be getting some new rubs and marinades in. Just in time for summer grilling season!

Around the World In 80 Days - Free Game!

Today's game giveaway is a great game for the moms. And potentially for the kids too. It's Around the World in 80 Days, a standard match 3 game but has beautiful graphics and a cute story. If you like free games, this one is definitely a keeper. I even got my mother in law hooked on it.

Sorry for the Hiatus...

It's been a really, really rough month around here. We had Michael's IEP earlier this week, and a couple appts with a developmental optomotrist. The DO was finally able to identify a problem that we've suspected for several years (Michael just would't cooperate with prior exams) but doesn't think that he's ready for vision therapy to help correct it. Grrr. I know he's right since Michael barely participated in the exam, but it's still frustrating!

Anyway, Michael has convergence insufficiency, which means that his eyes don't work well together, and it makes close work extremely difficult for him. No wonder he doesn't write well, like to read books anymore, and hates working on worksheets at school. So many problems that we thought were behavioral can be tied back to the CI. Now, I don't know how much is the vision problem and how much truly is behavioral, but it's a huge clue.

Once the county has a chance to review the report and suggested accommodations, we'll have to go back for yet another IEP meeting to discuss how to change the IEP to include the new information. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, but it's yet another meeting.

Anyway, we have seen a lot of good things this month. Michael's language is getting more fluent, he's making all sorts of wonderful connections and is just generally sweet and lovable. Of course he's had his moments, but when I look back on the month, the good ones stand out the most.

I have two other posts in mind for today, so I'll be making up for lost time! But, right now Michael and Steve are busy making fudge, so I have some time to write.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Amazingly Clear and Logical Vaccine Interview

This is an interview with a pediatrician, David Berger for a Florida TV station. It is one of the clearest, most powerful arguments for a safe vaccine schedule that I have ever seen. Please, please watch it! Please encourage anyone considering the 'standard' vaccine schedule to watch it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Autism Yesterday Video

This is a wonderful video put out by JB Handley, from Generation Rescue and Age of Autism

"AUTISM YESTERDAY" Autism is Reversible from JB Handley on Vimeo.

Left brain vs Right brain

Two weeks ago, Michael had a complete meltdown during a CranioSacral Therapy session. It’s very rare for him to have a meltdown like that outside the house or car. As embarrassing as it was, it gave the therapist some insight into how Michael’s brain is working during the process. One of the things she explained to us is that there are times when Michael’s right brain (which is responsible for aggression and agitation) fires uncontrollably, and the left brain can’t get any signals out. She demonstrated that if we can just force the brain to access the left side, he can pull himself out of the meltdown.

For the past two weeks we’ve been asking Michael to do math with us whenever we get the hint that he is ‘on the edge’ of a meltdown. The amazing thing isn’t how well it works, but that Michael seems to understand that it works. There have been a few times when he was getting agitated that he came up to me and asked to play the math game. Or, if I slowed down, he asked for another problem. Why didn’t anyone ever tell us this before?

I’ve generally been able to tell the difference between willful acting out and a meltdown that was beyond his control. Now, I have another powerful tool. If he is willing to do math games, I know it’s a meltdown and he wants it to end as much as I do. If he refuses to even try to access the left brain, I know it’s willful behavior.

We’ve also been seeing some other fantastic behavior the last couple weeks. Mostly, we’ve seen an increase in flexibility and imagination. Michael has been enjoying going to the pool lately. On Friday, it was fairly empty, and he was daring enough to finally try some of the slides. He worked up his courage, and ended up going down all the small slides. (There are two mammoth slides that scare me!) The best part was how he explained it to me when they got home. He was so happy to go down the slide and have Steve catch him at the bottom.

My favorite flexibility part came on Saturday. He had been begging to go back to the pool, and had really good behavior, so we wanted to take him. The problem was that the open hours were very small, and conflicted with other errands that needed to be done. I asked him if it would be OK to skip the pool on Saturday, if he went on Monday instead. I was so shocked when he agreed! It’s so nice to see him understand a schedule change and just go with it. No fussing, no pouting, just talking about Monday. I guess we’re really lucky it’s spring break!