We went to a 3 day autism conference recently and learned a lot. One of the most amazing things we heard about was Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT). In mom language, MRT is pulsing a big, super strength magnet on your child’s forehead to re-set the brain’s electrical system. This therapy is very new and very expensive (one month is $11,500) so we won’t be using it with our children any time soon. But we wanted to make others aware of it, especially since Dr. Bradstreet is about to open clinical trials for this procedure. If your child is selected, the procedure will be completely free.
If you want to learn more about MRT, check out this website. They have information about the cost and side effects as well as video testimonials. Dr. Bradstreet said he will post information on how to apply for the clinical trial today on his blog. You can also scan here to look for information on the trial once it is posted.
You have to watch this amazing video of an 18-year-old boy with severe autism. Warning… the video is disturbing. In the “before” video the boy is violent… punching himself over and over and attempting to hit his mom. After MRT, he is able to play ping-pong, shoot hoops, and he can laugh! The quality of life for both the boy and his mother is remarkably improved.
Disclaimer: We are not patients of Dr. Bradstreet and we know nothing about the effectiveness or safety of this therapy. Please do your own research. We are simply passing along information.
Dr. William Shaw of Great Plains Laboratory recently published a new article about the connection of acetaminophen to autism, asthma, and ADHD. He will be holding a free webinar on October 30, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00pm CDT.
According to Dr. Shaw, it seems that the marked increase in the rate of autism, asthma, and attention deficit with hyperactivity throughout much of the world may be largely caused by the marked increase in the use of acetaminophen in genetically and/or metabolically susceptible children, and the use of acetaminophen by pregnant women.
Items he will be discussing are:
- Could the use of certain antipyretic drugs, especially in conjunction with vaccines, be a cause of autism?
- Metabolism of Acetaminophen
- Immune Abnormalities Associated with Acetaminophen Use
- Purkinje Cell Abnormalities, Autism, and GSH Depletion
- Special Concerns about the Long-Term Defective Quality Control of Acetaminophen Products
To register for the webinar, go to:
We attended Dr. Shaw’s first webinar on this subject, so if you are interested in this topic and won’t be able to attend the webinar, feel free to view our summary here:
We are embracing fall and love seeing all the pretty pumpkins in our local stores. That got us thinking… what delicious, gluten/casein free with no added sugar dessert could we make for our children with pumpkin? Molly had some left over Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour and Leah bought a pie pumpkin, so we decided to “put our heads together” and try to whip up a dessert our children can eat that won’t ruin the low carb/low sugar diet we’re on.
We are pleased with our creation (see above). Here’s what we did.
We started with a small pie pumpkin from our local grocery store. We cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and sprinkled it with cinnamon.
Next, we set up a steamer. We filled the pot a few inches deep with water, placed the strainer over it and turned the stove to high and brought the water to a boil. The water level should be just below the strainer so you’re not soaking and boiling the pumpkin. We then placed the pumpkin halves (you can cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces if it doesn’t fit your steamer) inside the strainer and sealed it with the lid.
After about 20 minutes, our pumpkin was soft enough to mash. Be sure to cook the pumpkin until the inside is soft. Our next step was to take the pumpkin off the stove, scoop it out, and put it in a blender. Then, we added 2 ripe bananas and 12 dates (these are our sources of sweetness so that we did not have to add sugar) to the blender and pureed.
Next, we put 4 eggs in a bowl and whisked them.
Then, we added 4 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 6 tablespoons of tapioca flour, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (add more to taste), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the 4 whisked eggs to a pot and put it on medium heat. We stirred the ingredients while they slowly came to a boil.
We then turned the heat down to a simmer and added our ingredients from the blender, 2 teaspoons of gluten-free pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of gluten-free almond extract.
We cooked the mixture uncovered, over very low heat for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Voila – it was done!
DISCLAIMER: We haven’t had sugar in a long time, so it tasted like a sweet treat to us. However, you may want to add coconut sugar or maple syrup if you want a sweeter taste.
Also, we topped ours with pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon, however, we think it would be scrumptious to top it with shaved, dark (unsweetened Ghirardelli) chocolate or toasted (salted) pumpkin seeds.
Serve warm or chilled (Annie preferred it chilled). Enjoy and happy fall!
- 6 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 dates
- 2 ripe bananas
- 4 whisked eggs
- 1 small pie pumpkin (or if you’re lazy like Molly, get 2 glass jars of organic, pumpkin purée)
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon organic, gluten-free vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon of gluten-free almond extract
- Ghirardelli unsweetened, dark chocolate
- Toasted (salted) pumpkin seeds
- Drizzle of maple syrup
- Sprinkle of cinnamon mixed with coconut sugar
As some of you know from reading, I have Annie on a rotation diet due to her numerous food allergies. I have been dying for her to eat something different, so I hopped on google in search of a gluten-free recipe for salmon burgers that I thought Annie would eat. Above is the picture that lured me in… they looked so good I could almost taste them. Here’s the recipe:
- Two 6oz cans (BPA free) of wild caught sockeye Alaskan salmon
- 1 whole, ripe avocado (you can substitute a cooked sweet potato)
- 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning (more if you really like the taste)
- 3 tablespoons of coconut flour (or almond flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill (or fresh dill if you’re an ambitious chef like Leah)
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green onion (I didn’t have this so I used 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder)
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped celery (I didn’t have this so I used 1/4 teaspoon of celery salt)
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley (that’s right, I didn’t have this either so I used 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley)
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of coconut milk (or almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for frying)
Place the chopped veggies/herbs, avocado, seasoning, salmon, and coconut flour into a bowl and mix. Add 3 tablespoons coconut milk and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide mixture into 6 burgers and put them on a plate and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
To cook, heat coconut oil in skillet over med heat. When the oil is hot, add burgers (don’t overcrowd the pan). Fry 4-5 minutes per side, flipping only once (make sure first side is crispy and golden brown before flipping).
Unfortunately, this method did not work for me. I think it’s because I cook in pans made of enamel coated cast iron (which are a real pain and very sticky but supposedly healthier to cook in than aluminum, stainless steel, or teflon). Anyway – here is what my fried salmon burger looked like.
As you can see, it has an unappetizing green tint to it – I think this is because I didn’t follow directions. I mushed the avocado instead of just chopping it. My creation started off as a burger, but as I went to flip it, it turned into what I affectionately named “Scrambled Avocado Salmon.”
Luckily, Annie’s reaction to the salmon fiasco was “mmmm, mmm, mmm!” She happily ate it but I was repulsed by the look of it. I decided to try cooking the rest of the burgers in the oven. I heated my oven to 400 degrees and cooked my remaining 5 burgers for 30 minutes (cook the burgers until they look brown and crispy on the outside). Here’s what they looked like… not beautiful like the recipe picture, but good enough that I would serve them to my family and friends.
We recently had “coffee” with some girlfriends and the conversation centered around the changes we’re all experiencing from aging. Everyone had their own theory on how to combat the aging process from miracle skin creams, juice cleanses, hula hooping for weight loss, Botox, Spanx, and the list went on.
We thought more about it after we left and came to the conclusion that perhaps the most important thing we can do to fight the aging process is to improve our digestion. The reason we say this is because we’ve seen what a difference good digestion has made for Annie and Brody. We realized we need to “practice what we preach.” In the past, we’ve eaten the same way as our children for short bursts of time. But life, the expense, sheer laziness all got in the way. We felt great when we ate like our children and are striving to get “back on the wagon.”
We believe you have to start from the inside out. Then, all the interventions our girlfriends spoke of would be more effective and longer lasting.
Digestion is critical to good health. Poor digestion can lead to bigger problems than physical discomfort. If your body isn’t breaking down food properly it is impossible to get the nutrients you need, even if you eat a healthy diet. Poor digestion can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and indigestion. It also directly affects your hormones, immune system, and emotions. If you improve your digestion, many times your body will fix the negative health symptoms you’re experiencing.
We have been googling good digestion and the top foods, herbs, and supplements that keep popping up are:
- Prebiotics and Probiotics- Prebiotics create a healthy environment in your gut so that good bacteria can thrive. Probiotics add good bacteria to your gut so that your digestion, immune, and neurological systems are improved.
- Fermented Foods - Fermented foods are pre-digested and therefore, don’t strain the digestive system. They also enhance good bacteria. Examples of fermented foods are: kefir, sauerkraut (non pasteurized), yogurt (low sugar), and kimchi.
- Digestive Enzymes - Improve nutrient absorption. Leah loves TriEnza with DPP-IV by Houston Enzymes because it works amazingly well for Brody (and she has tried lots and lots of enzymes).
- Zinc - Zinc is required by your body to make its own digestive enzymes. A simple blood test will tell you if you have enough zinc for your body to work properly. If your body doesn’t have enough zinc, you will have to take more and more digestive enzymes to compensate.
- Alkaline Foods – Most of the foods we eat (especially processed foods) are acidic. If your body’s Ph level is overly acidic, you will kill off your good bacteria and digestive enzymes. Therefore, it is important to eat alkaline foods every day such as: kale, kelp, spinach, parsley, broccoli, and sea vegetables.
- Limit Processed Foods, Dairy and Gluten – The reason for this is that they are all hard to digest and often cause bloating, inflammation, skin break outs, fatigue, heart burn, mood swings, and other dysfunctions. If you can find the strength to eliminate these foods all together, that would lead to the most drastic improvements.
- Herbs -
- Chinese Cardamom – raises antioxidant levels and boosts the immune system
- Cinnamon – soothes discomfort, improves digestion, and balances blood sugar
- Ginger Root - improves digestion, reduces inflammation, increases antioxidants, and boosts immunity
- Chamomile and Mint - comfort the stomach and soothe the muscles of the digestive tract
- If you don’t use these herbs in your cooking, you can take the easy way out and do what Molly does… drink organic herbal teas (they come in tea bags). She boils several cups of water, mixes all the types of tea bags together, lets them steep for 15 minutes, adds cool water (to taste) and drinks the iced tea all week-long.
- Fish Oil – Reduces inflammation, helps heal the lining of the intestines, improves nutrient absorption, balances hormones, improves brain function, and strengthens your immune system.
- Fiber – You need fiber to keep regular. If you are not regular (regular means going at least once a day http://www.healthinducedautism.com/bristol-stool-chart.html) then toxins will build up in your gut which then turns into a breeding ground for disease.
In addition to changing what you eat, it also helps to change how you eat to improve digestive health. Here are some tips:
- Don’t eat 2-3 hours before bed.
- Eat slowly and thoroughly chew your food.
- Get tested for food allergies/sensitivities and eliminate those foods.
- Drink lots of water (half your body weight in ounces).
- Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake because they damage your good digestive bacteria.
Changes are happening in my house. Roles are shifting and I am unsure of my place or the direction the changes will take me.
Life continues to bustle around me, but I want it to stop…just for a brief moment.
I have grown too comfortable in the individual roles each family member has taken and I am not ready for a shake up in the family dynamics.
I need a little extra time to take a breath, make peace with the fact my children are growing up, exerting their individuality and my role of mom is being transformed.
I feel like a kite in the wind that has been pulled from the security of an owners hand. I am now flying uncontrolled through the air, destination unknown. I fear the unknown and I am just not ready to face the winds of change.
My oldest son is about to leave the nest and start a new life as a college freshman. My middle son is close behind, embracing his sports and high school life. I am frightened that my children will no longer be under my roof, and somewhat under my control.
I am now closer to 50 than 40. The reflection I see in the mirror does not always please me…wrinkles, sagging skin and grey hairs.
And then there is Brody. Brody, my naughty little caterpillar emerging from his cocoon… knocking on the door of puberty.
So what exactly is my issue? What is at the root of my angst?
Is it the loss of control?
Is it that my children are happily cutting their umbilical cords, becoming independent?
Is it the loss of my youth?
To be honest I think it boils down to … autism and puberty. It scares me.
What is in store for me, for Brody?
Puberty with the first two boys came and went. Not much fan fare or hoopla. There were no worries of privacy or inappropriateness. Girl crushes, the first broken heart, peer pressure were just part of the process. We rolled with the punches.
Will “the process” be the same for Brody? Will he have the same experiences? Or will he be unfairly judged, ridiculed, and made fun of as he attempts to find his way through the ugly jungle of adolescence?
We all know what a difficult time it can be muddling through the new rules adolescence brings…especially if you are so-called “different.”
I can’t keep him confined in my tight grasp forever. But can I let go?
It is time to embrace the winds of change. Face my fears.
I can not change change or control what is happening. I am only capable of doing what I can.
I give myself permission to allow the wind to take me to new places…unknown. To dance among the clouds.
I am a kite in the wind.
One of the questions we get asked quite frequently is about how to control yeast, so we thought we would write a post to give you our latest thoughts on the topic.
Yeast, in our opinion, is one of the hardest health problems associated with autism to beat. We can’t say that our children are 100% yeast free. However, with a recent discovery of a new product we feel like we’ve made some significant progress on killing off our children’s yeast. Prior to using this product we felt like we did nothing more than manage their yeast… we just kept it status quo (i.e., it didn’t get worse but it didn’t get any better either).
We know a lot of the DAN! doctors prescribe Diflucan or Nystatin. Leah tried Diflucan for a couple of months when Brody was first diagnosed with autism and she really didn’t see any gains. She stopped giving it to him after a few months because she wasn’t comfortable with the potential side effects and long-term implications.
Molly never went this route because she read that once you take children off the antifungal drugs, the yeast comes back with a vengeance (i.e., it mutates and comes back even stronger and more resistant to treatment) and then it is almost impossible to eradicate. Also, she read that it is not healthy to leave your children on these antifungals for long periods of time. Doing so can weaken children’s livers and other organs.
Molly tried many of the natural antifungals on the list but to be honest, they did nothing more than keep Annie’s yeast in check (i.e., they didn’t kill off any of her yeast, but her yeast didn’t get worse either).
We lived with years of frustration, fighting a losing battle against yeast. We figured our children would have to suffer through the side effects of chronic yeast for the rest of their lives. But then, Molly discovered a new product that worked wonders for Annie. But Leah needed convincing before she was willing to open her wallet. She wanted Annie to be the “guinea pig.”
Molly has now been using this product for Annie for over a year and Leah has used it with Brody for a few months. The product is called Yeast Management.
When Molly started using it for Annie, she saw an incredible burst in language and social skills. In addition, she saw a big improvement in her bowel issues. When Leah started the product with Brody, she too saw a burst in language and noticed that his tongue was no longer white (i.e., covered with yeast).
Our kids did not experience die off from using the product. But we believe this is because they had eaten a “clean diet” for over four years before introducing the Yeast Management.
If you start it, we strongly recommend going really slow to minimize die off. Start with a ¼ teaspoon, once a day, mixed with a bit of water (Molly squirts it in Annie’s mouth with a syringe and Brody just drinks it for himself).
If you are seeing good things, then continue to increase the dose by a 1/4 teaspoon every week and work your way up to 1 tablespoon. We are not doctors. We are just telling you about what we did. Please don’t take this as medical advice.
By the way, if you order the Yeast Management, you will see on the label that it contains sugar and vinegar. Don’t be concerned. First of all, it has a very small amount of sugar/vinegar. Second, the sugar/vinegar is what baits the yeast. The yeast eat the product and then “blow up” (excuse the “mom lingo”) from the inside out. That’s why the product works so well.
Product info: Yeast Management 1.800.405.2827 or email Trsproducts@embarqmail.com. The company doesn’t have a website because they sell wholesale to doctors and their doctors don’t want them to have a presence on the web. They don’t usually sell direct to the consumer but because they are sympathetic to the autism cause, they will sell direct to anyone who mentions they have a child with autism (at a discounted price). With discount, the price is $39.95 a jar and $8.95 shipping (in the U.S.).
When we heard about the tragedy in Connecticut, we like most people in America, were deeply shaken. But for us, the feelings of sadness were more than being parents and relating to the victims’ families. It was more than sadness over the loss of innocence of the survivors. We felt physically sick. We had an uneasy feeling.
When Leah heard that the school principal and school psychologist were shot, she immediately said that she thought it was the parent of a child with special needs who was fed up with “the system.”
We had a sixth sense that some how special needs was involved. When we heard the word autism connected to the shooter, it knocked the air right out of us. If you think about it, there but for the grace of God, any one of us could be Adam Lanza’s parent.
But, we do not want this incident to become the definition of autism. We do not want people to assume all people with autism are violent and someone to be feared. Our children are isolated enough as it is. Will children on the autism spectrum be even more discriminated against because of the actions of Adam Lanza?
When we saw this article, we were so impressed by Liza Long’s courage. She discusses the fears that many of us keep quiet and shove way down into the depths of our hearts.
As a society, we are failing children who have special needs. They are not being educated properly, they are bullied unmercifully, they are often abused by people in authority (the very people they are supposed to be able to trust), they are often times being improperly or over medicated, there are few jobs available for them after graduation, and the older they get people become afraid of them.
In addition, many times it is a single parent doing their best to raise a child with special needs. But even when two parents are involved, they often feel abandoned…left to fend for themselves. They turn to their family, friends, neighbors, and churches for help and nobody knows what to do. So the children continue to fall through the cracks.
We fear there will be more Adam Lanzas if something is not done.
But what should be done?
That is the million dollar question. We asked ourselves, if we had all the money in the world, what would we do to help? Many people are focusing on gun control, but we don’t think that is getting to the root of the problem. The root comes from the break down of the family unit and that we no longer have the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality in America. Many children are not getting the love and guidance they need at home nor in schools.
We don’t have all the answers, but we know one thing we would do is revamp the school systems. Perhaps, if teachers were given proper training and support and if students were taught from an early age to include children who are different from them, we could make a positive impact.
So, fellow bloggers in the autism community, what do you think? If you had all the money in the world to devote toward this problem, what would you do? Do you think this will lead to increased discrimination against children on the autism spectrum?
Liza Long said in her article, “This problem is too big for me to handle on my own.” She’s right, she can’t handle this on her own. Nobody could. Currently there are no good options. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… the autism community is screaming out for help. We need to support each other (instead of tearing each other down for our varying views) and we need society to stop trying to sweep us under the rug.
1:88 is not going away.
We shared last week that we have been heavily engrossed in starting a school program for Annie and Brody. In keeping with that theme, this week we’d like to tell you about our top 5 educational apps. In no particular order they are:
BrainPOP was conceived by Avraham Kadar, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician, as a creative way to explain difficult concepts to his young patients. They have a BrainPOP Junior version for kindergarten to 3rd grade and another version for older children. It’s great because it covers every subject imaginable: science, social studies, english, math, arts and music, health, and technology. Currently, we are both are too cheap to pay the monthly subscription price so we just have the free version of the app. However, we plan to get the full access subscription for Annie and Brody as Christmas gifts. http://www.brainpop.com/
Great for children with auditory processing issues and receptive/expressive language delays. The children are presented with real life pictures and are asked to record their own sentence(s) based on the picture. There are 3 different levels of difficulty and the children can get a visual or verbal hint. Cheapskate Leah actually splurged and spent $9.99 on this app and she feels it has been well worth the money. Even more shocking, she might open her wallet again and spend $19.99 on Conversation Builder (see below). Consider that a strong endorsement! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/languagebuilder-for-ipad/id405801365?mt=8
Good for children who struggle to carry on back and forth conversations. The app shows images of children in social settings and the user is prompted to initiate a conversation (by recording his/her voice) to join in on what the children are doing in the picture. Hints are provided if needed. If the user is successfully able to join the children, (s)he is then asked another question by the children in the app. In this way the user gets to practice peer interaction in an engaging and non-threatening way. Annie has used this app with her ABA therapist this school year and she loves it! She requests to talk to her “kid friends on the iPAD” every time we go to therapy. I (Molly) truly feel it has helped Annie get better at initiating and maintaining conversations.
Empowers kids to draw, animate, and narrate their own cartoons and share them. But this isn’t just about children creating fun cartoons. It teaches them the fundamentals of story telling (setting, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution). We both especially love this app because it’s… FREE! http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toontastic-play-create-learn!/id404693282?mt=8
SpellingCity is a fun way to learn spelling and vocabulary words by playing engaging learning games using any word list (i.e., you can type in your child’s spelling list given to you by the school). Annie’s favorite games are: Missing Letter, Word Scramble, and Hang Mouse. It is a pain-free way to get her to practice her spelling/vocabulary words. Another fabulously free app! Leah doesn’t have it yet and will be downloading the app as soon as we finish writing this post. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spellingcity/id538407602?mt=8
Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite apps, we need your help. Brody is a math “genius” (Molly is saying this, Leah disagrees with this statement and is very uncomfortable right now) but Annie really struggles with math. She says she can’t do it and she is “stupid” in math. Both Leah and I are desperately searching to find a good math app that our children will do without us torturing them. The app doesn’t have to be free, we’d even cough up some money for this one. Has anyone come across such an app? All recommendations are welcome!