A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

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I downloaded a new app for Brody this weekend. It is called I Can Have Conversations With You! It intrigued me because it was designed to help children with autism develop naturally flowing conversations. Brody still struggles in this department, so I thought this app would be extremely beneficial.

The app was created by  Karen Kabaki-Sisto, an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and applied behavior analysis instructor. She has spent the last 20 years working with children with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and social (pragmatic) communication disorder.

I Can Have Conversations With You! is recommended for learners ages 6 and up, talk in sentences, read and are comfortable using the iPad.

For a video tour of the app click here.

We have only had the app for a few days, but Brody likes it and has used it on his own without me badgering him to do it. 

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16 years later

A Ventography!:

We thought this was a great post about reflecting on autism after living it for 16 years. The author gives an honest look at what it’s really like to deal with autism.

Originally posted on Lisa Ackerman - Real Help Now:


By Holly Bortfeld

My son Max was diagnosed with autism 16 years ago today, May 4, 1998. I have been mulling around in my head for a few weeks how I wanted to mark this anniversary of autism entering our lives and had drafted a blog but I didn’t like it. I kept poking at it and it didn’t get better. Just sadder. More bitter.

I was focusing on “lessons learned” in the autism community and frankly, it was just depressing. Little has changed for the positive, many things have gotten worse. Incidence has risen, funding has gone down, there is still a media blackout of the reality of “real autism”, our government hasn’t done anything, waiting lists are longer, services are cut everywhere, and our kids are still neglected, abused, bullied, sick, wandering and dying. Parents are still broke, exhausted, marginalized, heartsick.

I thought I’d take a break to…

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We love the apps from the Mobile Education Store. We have bought lots of their apps in the past for Annie and Brody. We were so excited to read about their newest venture – interactive textbooks. We can’t wait to be able to download them. Check out this video to see more about the future of textbooks.

Crack the Books™ is a series of interactive books. These revolutionary books are designed to improve reading comprehension in all students, from those with special needs to those with academic gifts. They are the first that can be adjusted for reading level without sacrificing curriculum content. Students can experience all the content presented to their classmates, while reading at a level that is appropriate to their ability. Targeting 3rd – 6th grade science and social studies concepts, our iBooks allow for reading level adjustment from 1st to 8th grade within the same book, making it possible for all students in a classroom to access the same curriculum content regardless of their reading ability.

Crack the Books is part of Mobile Education Store’s award winning suite of educational apps. MES has won over 50 app awards and has been named educational developer of the year in both 2011 and 2012.

For more information:

Newsletter signup: http://mobile-educationstore.com/signup
website: www.mobile-educationstore.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kyle-tomson/3/b7/514
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MobileEducationStore


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grocery copy

It turns out that a lot of banned foods end up in our grocery cart, and contain hidden toxic chemicals that increase your risks of disease, hormone disruption, and obesity.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news but… every day, Americans eat tons of dangerous banned ingredients, and chances are you’re one of them.  Below is a list of the top 5 most toxic ingredients that probably make it on your dinner plate:

1) Ractopamine (in pork)

  • Banned in the European Union, China, and Taiwan.
  • Consumer Reports found this dangerous drug in 20% of all pork products in America.

2) rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone – in milk)

  • Banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and all European Union countries.
  • rBGH, a hormone used to increase cows’ milk product, is still used in all 50 states.
  • The use of rBGH increases the levels of insulin like growth factor – 1 (IGF-1) hormone in the milk by at least 6 folds, increasing risks of various cancers.

3) GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms (in almost everything)

  • Over 50 countries require labeling of GMO foods, and many of them banned GMOs altogether.
  • In the US, GMO foods are NOT labeled – even if 91% of the population feels like they should be.
  • Because 90% of all soy, corn, canola and sugar (sugar beet) in the US is now GMO, Americans eat their weight in GMO foods each year.
  • The first-ever lifetime feeding study on the potential health risks of GMOs was published in September 2012. The results of feeding rats GMO corn for two years were frightening: some rats developed massive tumors that represent 25% of their body weight, liver damage was up to 5 times higher in the GMO group than in the non-GMO group, and female rats that ate GMOs had a 3X higher risk of premature death.

4) Potassium Bromate (in bread – brominated flour)

  • Banned from dozens of countries.
  • Called a cancer threat by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) since 1999
  • Used in bread as a dough conditioner and preservative.
  • When it combines with gluten it becomes even more toxic.

5) Chloramphenicol (in honey)

  • This is an antibiotic used on honey bees
  • It has been banned in the US for years, but can still be found in cheap supermarket honey (along with heavy metals) that comes from China.
  • A recent study found that 75% or more of all the honey in the U.S. may be Chinese honey sold as American honey.

Source: Nick Pineault, Author and investigator, The Truth About Fat Burning Foods

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"Girls' Night In" Salad

“Girls’ Night In” Salad

Last weekend, we decided to host a girls’ get together. But Molly and I could not decide on what to serve for dinner. A lot of our friends are “dieting” and we knew they wouldn’t want to eat anything heavy. So… we came up with a salad that has all of our favorite ingredients in it.


  • Green and red butter lettuce
  • Chicken breast
  • Cabot Alpine Blend Italian Style hard cheese (mix of Italian and aged swiss cheese)
  • Hass avocado
  • Marinated hearts of palm and artichoke salad mix
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Spice Islands ground rosemary/garlic blend
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

We served the salad with white wine and our girlfriends were quite pleased! It was a great night.




We have been talking about this topic since January of 2012 (click here for article). However, we were excited to see that today, 2 years later, the story has reached the mainstream media.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded from their study of 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002 that, “Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for Hyperkinetic Disorders (HKDs) and ADHD-like behaviors in children.”

This is not the first study to replicate the findings reported on by Dr. William Shaw two years ago. Dr. Shaw, in his recent newsletter, refers to a study reported on in the International Journal of Epidemiology between 1999 and 2008 on 48,631 children. They found that:

  • Exposure to acetaminophen for more than 28 days during fetal life increases the risk of adverse psychomotor and behavioral outcomes by almost 70%.
  • Exposure to acetaminophen doubles the risk of language problems in 3-year-old children.
  • In contrast they found no association between ibuprofen on the same neurodevelopmental outcomes, which suggests a specific effect of acetaminophen rather than a general effect of pain medicines.
  • Even short-term exposure (1-27 days) during pregnancy was associated with poor gross motor development.

Also in his recent newsletter, Dr. Shaw calls for a warning label be placed on all acetaminophen products intended for pregnant women and young children. His rationale for this is that acetaminophen has not just been linked to ADHD. It has been associated with:

  • increased rates of cancer
  • plausible causation of autism
  • plausible causation of brain damage (in vitro evidence associated with acetaminophen metabolites)
  • increased risks of testicular damage
  • asthma
  • allergy
  • language problems
  • adverse psychomotor and neurodevelopmental outcomes when used in pregnancy

To read more about the risks of acetaminophen, click here.


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