Thursday, December 31, 2009

New friend!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! I promise in the new year to try to post more!

In the past couple of weeks, my little Hammie has gone to heaven. So...I found a new hamster friend!

His name is Brownie. He is spunky, cute, and finds paper to be tasty. Brownie is friendly and will settle down and sit with me after I play with him for a bit. I purchased him from Animal Jungle and was very impressed with the store. It was clean, the prices were reasonable, and the animals seemed happy and healthy. The employee I spoke to in the hamster section was helpful and knew a good deal about hamsters. I'd really recommend the store if you're looking into purchasing a hamster around the Hampton Roads area. (no, they did not pay me to say this, in fact they don't even know about my blog) Their website is here:
Animal Jungle

And another hamster picture just because he's cute!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Safe Sunday-What to do if your child is cyberbullied

Cyberbullying is something that is serious to me.

And not just because of what is going on in the blogsphere. (scroll down to see that)

In high school, a teen who claimed to be my "best friend" ran a daily blog for 6 months that trashed me. I was so devastated when I discovered the blog that I attempted suicide.

Also, I have 4 siblings and I'd be furious to find out one of them was being cyberbullied.

What is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is...
*electronic bullying or online social cruelty, is defined as bullying:

* through email
* through instant messaging
* in a chat room
* on a website or gaming site
* through digital messages or images sent to a cellular phone

So, if you find out your child or teen is being cyberbullied; what do you do?

First, you need to gather proof. This means taking a screenshot, saving the e-mail(s), saving a log of the IM conversation, saving the text message; basically gathering as much of the proof of cyberbullying as possible. Talk in an supportive manner to your child/teen and get all the story you can from them. Reassure them this is not their fault and you will work together on this.

Now what? Well, if this is being done through school, many schools have policies against cyberbullying and will revoke computer use rights for students involved as well as possible suspension. So make an appointment ASAP with the principal and/or guidance department. Bring all of your proof.

If it is being done through Myspace, report it here: by going to the side and clicking "contact Myspace"

If it is on Twitter, ask your child/teen to contact the account.

If it is on Facebook, you need to e-mail

If it is on a Wordpress blog, you need to report it through here:

Sadly, Blogger will NOT remove personal attacks without a court order.

If it is elsewhere, you need to look for a "report abuse" section.

Several sites I have read say is NOT a good idea to go the bully's parents first.

If your child or you are being cyberbullied and can't figure out how to report, please do e-mail me at autielady[at] (replace the "[at]" with @) and I will try to assist.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cyberbullying is not "ethical blogger" behavior!

I don't normally get involved in blogger drama, but this just really irks me.

The blogger Trisha who is in charge of that shiny "Ethical Blogger" button you see apparently thinks cyber-bullying a teenager is okay. She took a "sneaky pic" of a random teenager at an airport and proceeded to insult her weight. Now I may be the one with social issues; but I'm pretty sure it's messed up and not at all ethical to be a 30 something year old making fun of a teenager.

I've been cyber-bullied as a teenager in high school and I can tell you it IS a big deal. It's not a laughing matter to a teenager. Don't we have enough teenagers doing this crap without an "ethical" mommy blogger doing it too?

Join me in boycotting MomDot. I've written to her sponsors and twittered (my twitter account is Aspergerskitty) with the hash tag #momdotsucks

ETA: Started a petition:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Operation Beautiful

I came across this and just have to share with my readers; it's awesome:
Operation Beautiful

Operation Beautiful is a mission to post positive post notes in random places to tell people they are beautiful. Why? Because the creator of the site is tired of Fat Talk and would like more people to have self esteem. I think it's great! The post its can say whatever but usually things like "you are beautiful"

It just takes a minute to put a post-it note somewhere, so why not?
Pic from their site

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Ahhh...summer was too short

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 21, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day

Today is World Alzheimer's Day.

*According to the 2009 World Alzheimer's Report, newly released today from Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), there are 35 million people with Alzheimer's or another dementia.

Myths about Alzheimer's Disease:
Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.

Reality: In the past people believed memory loss was a normal part of aging, often regarding even Alzheimer’s as natural age-related decline. Experts now recognize severe memory loss as a symptom of serious illness.

Whether memory naturally declines to some extent remains an open question. Many people feel that their memory becomes less sharp as they grow older, but determining whether there is any scientific basis for this belief is a research challenge still being addressed.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.

Reality: Alzheimer's disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person's identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home.

Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's can strike people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer's. In 2009, it is estimated that there are as many as 5.3 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. This includes 5.1 million people age 65 and over and 200,000 people under age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.

Myth 5: Aspartame causes memory loss.

This artificial sweetener, marketed under such brand names as Nutrasweet and Equal, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in all foods and beverages in 1996. Since approval, concerns about aspartame's health effects have been raised.

According to the FDA, as of May 2006, the agency had not been presented with any scientific evidence that would lead to change its conclusions on the safety of aspartame for most people. The agency says its conclusions are based on more than 100 laboratory and clinical studies. Read the May 2006 FDA statement about aspartame.

Myth 6: Flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Reality: A theory linking flu shots to a greatly increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed by a U.S. doctor whose license was suspended by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. Several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and overall better health.

* A Nov. 27, 2001, Canadian Medical Journal report suggests older adults who were vaccinated against diphtheria or tetanus, polio, and influenza seemed to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those not receiving these vaccinations. The full text of this report is posted on the journal’s Web site.

* A report in the Nov. 3, 2004, JAMA found that annual flu shots for older adults were associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes. The abstract of that report is posted on PubMed.

Myth 7: Silver dental fillings increase risk of Alzheimer's disease

Reality: According to the best available scientific evidence, there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer's. The concern that there could be a link arose because "silver" fillings are made of an amalgam (mixture) that typically contains about 50 percent mercury, 35 percent silver and 15 percent tin. Mercury is a heavy metal that, in certain forms, is know to be toxic to the brain and other organs.

Many scientists consider the studies below compelling evidence that dental amalgam is not a major risk factor for Alzheimer's. Public health agencies, including the FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization, endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive material for dental restorations.

* March 1991, the Dental Devices Panel of the FDA concluded there was no current evidence that amalgam poses any danger.

* National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991 funded a study at the University of Kentucky to investigate the relationship between amalgam fillings and Alzheimer's. Analysis by University statisticians revealed no significant association between silver fillings and Alzheimer's. The abstract for this study is posted on the Journal of the American Dental Association Web site.

* October 30, 2003, a New England Journal of Medicine article concluded that current evidence shows no connection between mercury-containing dental fillings and Alzheimer's or other neurological diseases. The abstract for this study is posted on the New England Journal of Medicine Web site.

Myth 8: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease

At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow worsening of symptoms for about 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them.

For more information and how to help (or to get help); visit the Alzheimer's Association at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Review: "Reasonable People" by Ralph Savarese

I checked this book out from the local college library and boy am I glad I did!

The book is long (400+ pages) but fascinating. It's recommended by both Temple Grandin and Donna Williams.

It follows the life of Ralph Savarese and his adopted son, D.J. D.J. is a non-verbal autistic who learns to use facilitated communication. I have to admit, before I read this book I was very skeptical of facilitated communication. I figured it was a case of parents acting for the kids. Well, now I can see it isn't that in most cases. Facilitated communication isn't just somebody moving a kid's hand; it could be a simple finger on the shoulder. I really was rooting for D.J. as I read the book and was pleased that by the end he wrote a whole chapter of the book! D.J. was thought to be profoundly mentally retarded and by the end of the book he is making great grades in a regular school. I always wonder how many autistics who are labeled retarded are really just unable to communicate well enough to assess their I.Q. properly.

The other important part of the book is dealing with the abuse D.J. had from both his biological mom and while in foster care. It made me quite sad to read about this and also the attitude of the biological father. The biological father rejected D.J. because of his autism but took his "normal" sister. How sad!

I do need to warn potential readers there are parts that talk about D.J.'s abuse so if you are unable to handle stories of that it may disturb you.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book. Perhaps it is in your local library!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Must you act that way?
Okay, I'm fairly sure most of the readers of this blog know I don't believe in any connection between vaccines and Autism. I really didn't see anything shocking in the article. But that's not what I'm annoyed about.

Anyways, the thing that annoyed me is the attitude towards a diagnosis of Autism; especially from Lee Grossman of the Autism Society of America. Who is he helping by using such a negative attitude? I don't think the idea of more Autistic people is "terrible" or "unfortunate". What's wrong with Autistics existing? I can expect this attitude from Kirby, but a leader of an organization like the ASA should not act this way. (especially considering there are actual Autistic members of ASA)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Master Baker

Think of God as the Master Baker and us as cookies.

He has millions of cookie cutters, tons of different doughs, and infinite adornments. When He is making cookies though, he treasures even the odd pieces outside of the cookie cutter lines. He adorns these odd pieces lovingly and finds them as beautiful as the cookie cutter cookies. He never tosses out any cookies, they are all precious to Him.

Food for thought!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Specialisterne values Autistics as employees

Thorkil Sonne has a son with Autism and he's the founder of a computer company. What do these have to do with each other? Well, his company Specialisterne has over 40 Autistic employees! This company acknowledges the fact that although Autistics aren't the best at interviews, they can be great employees. Also, they adapt to some of the problems facing Autistics in a workplace, like an upset in routine or sensory stimuli. Autism Europe says 62% of Autistic adults do not have jobs. Right now this company is only in Denmark, but I think it's a wonderful idea! Hey, maybe a computer company here will catch on...

Computer Company Opens Doors to Autistics

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thief locks hamster in glove compartment...

Hamster found locked in car of suspect in theft

Poor hamster, this idiot locked a wet, scared hamster in a 90 degree car glove compartment. The hamster was taken from treatment and the thief is being charged with cruelty. What in the world is wrong with this dude?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Prayers please!

Please pray for my friend's little girl and her family. The little girl is under going experimental chemo for retinoblastoma (eye cancer). On the 12th they will know if the chemo is working. I am praying that the chemo is working, that there will be no long term side effects, and that the little girl remains the wonderful, sweet little girl she is. I'm not giving out too many personal details but I know every prayer is helpful and needed.

Also, I'd like to give a little information on retinoblastoma, so that others will know.
Retinoblastoma Info

What is it ~
Retinoblastoma is the most common eye cancer in children. It is a life-threatening cancer of the retina within the back of the eye. Retinoblastoma is generally discovered in babies between the ages of 6 and 24 months, although it can be found at earlier or later ages. Retinoblastoma occurs in approximately 1 in 15,000 live births, and it is estimated to affect approximately 250 to 300 children each year in the United States. Worldwide, about 5,000 children develop retinoblastoma
each year.

Who gets it ~
Retinoblastoma occurs equally in boys and girls and it is seen in all races. Retinoblastoma affects only one eye in about 70% of patients and it affects both eyes in 30% of patients. In some instances, there is a family history of retinoblastoma in a parent or relative, but in the majority of cases, there is no other member of the family affected with the tumor.

What causes it ~
The cause of retinoblastoma is unknown. It has not been related to nutrition, smoking, drinking, or any maternal problem during pregnancy. It is not related to environmental toxins. It can develop in an otherwise
healthy child despite a normal birth and
early development.

What does it look like ~
Retinoblastoma develops from a single affected cell in the retina and it is invisible at its inception. Later, a small white nodule is noted in the retina, but this is not visible to the parents and it does not affect the child at this point. With time, the tumor grows into a larger white vascular tumor that causes the child to painlessly lose vision and this can manifest with a drifting eye or an eye with a white or glassy-appearing pupil. At this point, the tumor is visible to the parents or grandparents and the child is typically taken to the doctor.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Autism quotes...

“Autism is not a puzzle, nor a disease. Autism is a challange [sic], but certainly not a devistating [sic] one.

Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive… It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world… It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps.

Autistic beings develop and bloom if their spirits, talents and self-esteem are not destroyed by bullies, prejudice, ‘doggie-training’, and being forced to be ‘normal’.” ~Trisha Van Berkel

"If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not - because then I wouldn't be me. Autism is part of who I am." ~Temple Grandin

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen giveaway!

I am pleased to announce a giveaway from Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen! What lovely prize can you win, you ask? This:

What is it? It is Rebecca's handmade, cold process Big Lick Sea Salt Soap!
Here's some nifty facts about it:
*Great for both women and men
*Contains sea salt (known for healing)
*weighs 4oz. - 4.5oz.
*Contains an abundance of skin loving oils such as Olive and Rice Bran
*Contains both shea and cocoa butters

So how do you win this lovely prize?
*You MUST tell me what item you like best from Rebecca's Spa Deli at

Extra entries:
*Grab my button (link please)
*Write a blog post about the giveaway (link please)
*Tweet about the giveaway (link please) (1 per a day)

Leave a comment for each entry!

This giveaway will end at midnight on August 31st, 2009.
If you e-mail address is not in your profile, please leave it in your comment like this: email[at]

Wordless Wednesday: Alex, my sister's hamster

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On the lighter side...

Figured with all the somewhat depressing posts, I should lighten things up with sharing some of my favorite humor blogs...

The newest one I found is Kitchen Retro; which I found through Kitchen Retro has vintage/retro ads and hilarious commentary. Seriously, it's way more funny than I can explain. It's got everything from an ad for a thumb sucking prevention device that looks like a torture device to leg paint for ulcers.

Another blog I like is You Suck At Craigslist; which has an odd assortment of real Craigslist ads you wonder exactly what the people were thinking when they posted. I'd highly recommend checking out the blogs that are linked too, they are pretty funny.

Giveaway on Multiple Blessings

Just a heads-up to people on gluten-free diets, my stepmom is holding a gluten-free baking giveaway on her blog; Multiple Blessings. Although we're not on a strict gluten free diet; we're experimenting with different gluten-free foods to see which ones are good tasting.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A little sad...

I'm a little sad. September 1st the pet store I love and visit every week is closing at the end of the month. I really enjoy as part of my "going out" routine going there to see all the hamsters. Hamsters are my special interest and it was disappointing to hear the store is closing; the lady takes excellent care of the hamsters there. She's also friendly even though I'm sure I come across as odd and a little obsessed with hamsters. (I did tell her I'm autistic)

I hope the economy improves so more small businesses don't have to close, it is quite distressing when a store I like closes. I don't like changes in my routine.

I did pick up several books on autism at the college library; look for reviews in the weeks to come.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Measles mess, mumps misery, and rubella

Here's information on what the MMR vaccine prevents. Now keep in mind by not vaccinating, these could all occur in your kid.


Symptoms usually begin 8 - 12 days after you are exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.

Symptoms may include:

* Bloodshot eyes
* Cough
* Fever
* Light sensitivity (photophobia)
* Muscle pain
* Rash
o Usually appears 3 - 5 days after the first signs of being sick
o May last 4 - 7 days
o Usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, moving down the body
o Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas (macules) and solid, red, raised areas (papules) that later join together
o Itchy
* Redness and irritation of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
* Runny nose
* Sore throat
* Tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)

Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death

Approximately 20% of reported measles cases experience one or more complications. These complications are more common among children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 years old.

Measles causes ear infections in nearly one out of every 10 children who get it. As many as one out of 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, and about one child in every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis. (This is an inflammation of the brain that can lead to convulsions, and can leave your child deaf or mentally retarded.) For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

*No treatment, but can be prevented by the MMR vaccine


Mumps is an illness caused by the mumps virus. Mumps causes

* Fever
* Headache
* Muscle aches
* Tiredness
* Loss of appetite
* Swelling of the salivary glands

Serious problems are rare, but can include deafness; swelling of the brain, spinal cord, testicles, breasts or ovaries; and pregnancy loss.
*No treatment but can be prevented by MMR vaccine

* Fever
* Headache
* Malaise
* Bruising (rare)
* Inflammation of the eyes (bloodshot eyes)
* Muscle or joint pain
*Patients can take acetaminophen to reduce fever.
No other treatment, but can be prevented by MMR vaccine

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Oh goodie...

Get out the pitchforks and torches if you're part of the anti-vaccine mob...

Mercury doesn't cause autism. But there's still a bunch of people who refuse to accept this. So...we're going to be hearing for years I'm sure about "The Swine Flu vaccine gave my kid autism!"

Yes, the new swine flu vaccine will have Thimerosal.
Swine Flu Vaccine Contains Thimerosal

The response should be "So?" but I'm sure it'll be mass hysteria for years.

Please people, be rational. Who is more likely to be telling the truth about mercury....doctors and scientists OR a supermodel, lawyers, and a discredited doctor? I'm going to go with the doctors and scientists.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Autistics might be...

At the store, can you spot the autistic person?

They might be shopping with an aide for groceries...
They might be buying a gift for their daughter's first birthday...
They might be stocking the shelves...
They might be the owner of the store...
They might be buying their wife a 20th anniversary gift...
They might greet you warmly on your way in...

You just really don't know!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pets and Autism

Animals and Autistics seem to be a match made in heaven. Now, I'm not saying every Autistic is going to be like Temple Grandin and have her incredible ability to understand cows and other large animals. But animals don't pose the same things that cause problems when Autistics interact with humans. Animals couldn't care less if you remember to say "Hi, how are you?". Animals have their own rules, but they are a lot easier to figure out than humans! For example, my best friend is this hamster:

It's easy to figure out her mood. If she's chattering her teeth and ears are flat; she's upset. If she's got her ears up and is running around; she's happy. Eyes closed mean she's sleeping. There's no complicated hidden agenda, she'll never bully me, and the worse thing she can do is bite me. (which she usually doesn't)

I felt very proud to follow instructions on how to add onto her cage and was pleased at the end result (mainly because it made her happy!)

For me, she is also a bit of a sensory outlet. I love to watch her run around; especially spinning in her wheel. I like the little noises she makes and her wheel's steady noise. It's wonderful to pet her and hold her. (I'll give warning though, hamsters are not always pets that like to be held; Hammie just happens to be one that does)

So, I think animals can bring a lot of benefits to anybody with Autism, just consider the person carefully and do your research on what kind of animal you are considering. Also consider if the animal might scare somebody, because I know large dogs can scare me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New home..same blog

This is the new home of More Than A Number. Why? Well, because WordPress is much harder to work with than Blogger. It's still the same blog, just new features.

You can see my old blog at: