Monday, March 22, 2010

Vaccine answers

I know many people are concerned about vaccines and have lots of questions. I'm not a doctor but I can tell you that a celebrity or salesperson of a "alternative" treatment is not a good source of information. Vaccines are a big deal too, not a minor thing to skip. I recommend you visit to find answers to questions like:
*Are they safe?
*Why should you follow the recommended schedule?
*What's in vaccines today?
*Do they cause Autism?

And other questions. The site is easy to read and navigate and even includes a video FAQ with videos like this one:
Research on vaccines and autism

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was disappointed to hear one of the kids in the church class I help in was out because of bad allergies. I'm lucky that I don't have any allergies, but it seems like many people don't share my luck! So I figured I'd do a little research about allergies.

I knew about the pollen count already; which is how much pollen there is in the air. (the higher it is, the worse allergy sufferers will feel) It did not occur to me that trees and grass could cause allergy problems, I just assumed it was flowers. Also, I didn't know the pollen count is lower on rainy days and worse on windy days.

There are many different over the counter treatments you can try:
-Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching by lowering the amount of histamine (the substance produced during an allergic reaction) in the body.
-Decongestants clear mucus out of the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling.
-Antihistamine/decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.
Nasal spray decongestants relieve congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants.
-Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help prevent hay fever by stopping the release of histamine before it can trigger allergy symptoms.
-Eye drops relieve itchy, watery eyes.

However, big note: It's still a good idea to talk to your doctor, to see what is best for your kid or yourself; they may even recommend a prescription medication.

There are natural options; but be very cautious before assuming a herbal remedy is safe because it says "natural". If you are on other medications, it can react badly with some herbal treatments.

One suggest from the WebMD site is nasal irrigation:
"Nasal irrigation with a combination of warm water, about a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda may help clear out mucus and open sinus passages."
The pros and cons of nasal irrigation

One last interesting thing from WebMD was the suggestion of lots of spring cleaning; often. If you're the one cleaning and have allergies, wearing a mask is a help.

Of course I'm not a doctor (and you really should talk to one if it gets unbearable); but hopefully some of this can provide a bit of help.

My information from WebMD is from here:
Spring Allergies

Other links that may be helpful are: guide on allergies
-Preventing Spring Allergies by Mayo Clinic
-Seasonal Allergies by Physician's Desk Reference

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why does the sun shine?

"Why does the Sun Shine?" by They Might Be Giants (found the video on )

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Got something to say?

In April I am making an effort to include all sorts of opinions and interviews about Autism. So if you have a story to share, an article you want me to post as a guest post, or feel like I should interview you, please let me know. There are two rules: it must be about Autism and you may not use obscene language. Please be reasonable about length too.

I won't edit any articles; although I will put a disclaimer about it being your opinion and not mine if it is something I don't agree with.

Also, if you have a question you'd like me to answer or address; let me know. (either in the comments or by e-mail) I'll make an effort to answer them.

Oh, and if your blog is blogging about Autism in April, I'll be happy to link to you.

I have lots of great stuff coming up for April; ranging from fascinating interviews (including one with Liane Holliday Willey; the author of Pretending to Be Normal); giveaways of autism themed products, reviews, and who else knows what else. I've been busy getting things ready!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Autism and why you shouldn't rush to conclusions

Friday, March 12, 2010

GFCF can be yummy

I'm not on a GFCF diet but I know many families out there in the autism community are. So I poked around the Borders Gluten Free section. I found recipes in the Enjoy Life cookbooks that are so delicious I wanted to go make some myself! (honestly, the company has no clue I exist but I feel like sharing their books with everyone!) One nice thing about the recipes in all of their books are about a page long including pictures, no huge complicated ones.

Here's a glipse at some of their books and recipes in them:

Allergy Proof Recipes for Kids by Leslie Hammond-Pancakes
-Several kinds of frosting
-Cakes, including "Cream"sicle Cake and carrot cake
-Homemade Marshmellows
-Many "meal" items besides desserts

Cookies for Everyone
-Gimme S'more Bites
-No Bake Cinnamon Rolls
-Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar
-Sensational Snickerdoodle Cookies
-and of course lots more cookies!

Cupcakes for Everyone
-Chocolate Chip Scones
-Chocolate-filled Vanilla Cupcake
-Blueberry Crunch Muffin
-more cupcakes and muffins

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hamster video

This is not my hamster, just a video on Youtube I love. (and I have writer's block today)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Online resources for parents

I just wanted to list a few sites that will help parents of special needs individuals:
Special Mom Talk(dads can join too!)

and I'd like to point out that the Autism Women's Network always welcomes family members and friends of those on the autism spectrum.
Autism Women's Network

If there's a site you would like to share for other parents, please leave a comment, I'm sure others will appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review: Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

I literally liked this book some much I read it all in one day.

"Born on a Blue Day" is a memoir by autistic savant Daniel Tammet; who also has synesthesia. (synesthesis is when your senses are a bit crossed; like associating colors with numbers or hearing tastes)

I could relate to some of the things in the book, like prefering nonfiction over fiction; the tendency to hoard 'odd' objects, and the struggle to become independent. In fact, I'd love to be as independent as his is; where he has gone to many countries and runs his own language teaching website. I actually laughed when he mentioned his hatred of brushing teeth but doing it anyways. People don't talk about that much, but I can relate! I do get confused when he starts talking about math equations. (I'm terrible at math) However, I love how he puts this to good use. Since he had seizures as a child; he helped fundraise money for the National Society for Epilepsy by reciting 22,514 digits of pi, which beat the record for England. He does various other things to increase awareness and help out others.

He astounds me by his ability to not only learn over 5 languages but use them to express how his mind works.

Overall, I'd say it's a great book if you are an adult on the Autism Spectrum, want a good read, interested in savant syndrome, or are interested in adults on the Autism Spectrum.

Monday, March 8, 2010

You've got to see this!

Okay, I was wandering around on YouTube and found this video, and wanted to share it. Make sure you watch it until the end, otherwise it's a depressing video.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don't Forget!

It's never too early to prepare for April, which is National Autism Awareness Month. There is many different activities you can plan for April. Here are a few suggestions:
*Hold a bake sale or car wash to raise money for your local Autism Society of America (they help people ALL year long, not just April!)
*Plan to write an article in your blog in April about Autism
*Call or e-mail your local Autism Society of America to see what events they have planned and see if they need volunteers
*Rent a movie about Autism to watch with your family and discuss (Some suggestions would be Miracle Run, Adam, or Mozart & The Whale)

You can find your local Autism Society of America through this site:
Find State

Or you could pass around this video:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The good and the bad of autism community meetings

First, I'll say the bad; it does not actually involve me but makes me angry. You remember me recommended the blog Autism News Beat ? Well, it is run by a parent of an autistic person. So logically, you would think they would be welcome at a Talk About Curing Autism Now meeting after paying $50, right? No, they denied access to them because they were "disruptive" at the last meeting. Apparently, having a dissenting opinion about vaccines and autism is "disruptive". I fail to see what sense this makes, and besides, if TACA has solid proof of the "vaccine connection", wouldn't they jump at the chance to prove it to somebody who runs a well read site about autism?


And the good: I was delighted to be invited to attend Virginia Beach's Autism Stakeholders Meeting. Basically, it is a group of people meeting to find out what resources are already out there in Virginia Beach and brainstorm what needs to be added and improved. I am just over the moon happy at how JoAnn Bryant from the Autism Society of America felt I would be a good contribution to the meeting. I have to say, everybody at the meeting was respectful to me and valued my opinions. I wish more organizations would try to include people on the Autism spectrum in important meetings like this.

I learned quite a few fascinating things, including that the public schools are teaching fourth and fifth graders about Autism in order to lessen bullying. I also learned a lot about different resources out there in Virginia Beach. I will be researching them in more detail and writing about them.

Also, if you are looking for resources in the local Hampton Roads area or in the United States, here is the link:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Want to attend church online?

Do you want to attend church but just can't seem to find one that "clicks" with you? My church has started to put their 11am services online. It's a contempoary Baptist church, with entertaining services. Give it a try here: