Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The parents are not going away."

"The parents are not going away. The children are not going away. And I am certainly not going away." ~ Dr. Andrew Wakefield on The Today Show May 24, 2010.

I once read “adversity doesn't build character, it just brings it out.” Thank you Dr. Wakefield once again for showing us character. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

The easy route is always the one of silence. It’s much harder to stand up and question what the norm thinks. Dr. Wakefield is one brave man for doing it.

For those of you not familiar with The Today Show or Nancy Snyderman (who used to work for Johnson & Johnson a major maker of vaccines, can you say conflict of interest?) neither is very fond of those of us worry about the Vaccine/Autism connection people. So Matt Lauer’s response to this story is really not that surprising either.

I guess what surprises me is how few true people of character exist in the media now days. Where are the reporters that helped these famous whistleblowers? From http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/whistleblower/famous-whistleblowers.html ...

Daniel Ellsberg - a former State Department analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, a secret account of the Vietnam War and its pretexts to The New York Times, which revealed indemic practices of deception by previous administrations, and contributed to the erosion of public support for the war.
W. Mark Felt, (aka Deep Throat) - Until very recently, a secret informant who in 1972 leaked information about United States President Richard Nixon's involvement in Watergate. The scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of the president, and prison terms for White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and presidential adviser John Ehrlichman.
Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom and Sherron Watkins of Enron, who exposed corporate financial scandals, and Coleen Rowley of the FBI, who later outlined the agency's slow action prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The three were selected as Time's People of the Year in 2002.
Katharine Gun - a former employee of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a British intelligence agency who in 2003 leaked top-secret information to the press concerning illegal activities by the United States and the United Kingdom in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Joseph Darby - a member of the United States military police who in 2004 first alerted the U.S. military command of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison, in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
Christoph Meili - a night guard at a Swiss bank. He discovered that his employer was destroying records of savings by Holocaust victims, which the bank was required to return to heirs of the victims. After the Swiss authorities sought to arrest Meili, he was given political asylum in the United States.
Walter DeNino - a student who questioned Eric Poehlman's integrity
Paul van Buitenen - who accused European Commission members of corruption.
Jeffrey Wigand - former executive of Brown & Williamson who exposed his company's practice of intentionally manipulating the effect of nicotine in cigarettes on the CBS news program 60 Minutes.

Come on one of you all has to still be out there reporting and investigating? Why can’t you work for the Today Show? Isn’t there some new reporter who wants to be on that kind of list?

Maybe I am asking the wrong question, why isn’t there a news show that supports that kind of thinking outside the box reporting? Well I know the correct answer, its money!!! Big pharm companies bring big $ to news networks. Shame on you all for picking the money over your supposed love for journalism.

Don’t worry you pharma whore news shows, Dr. Wakefield is right, "The parents are not going away. The children are not going away”. The more in denial you are about this, the more money you take for them, it does not matter. The numbers of Autism is huge and growing day by day. You can deny us but we are here and we are not going any where. Just like 50 years ago when it was proven that smoking causes cancer, this too shall be proven!!! It may take years, but we will have our victory. I just hope you are alive to see it and that you all apologize for the damage you are doing to us now!!!

Until next time. PITAup! Its better then being a big fat coward like Matt Lauer and the Today Show!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Autism Speaks and Sprouts: Are they meant for each other?

To me, the simple answer is no. Sprouts supports things like healthy living, alternative medicine, vitamins, minerals, gluten free diets and many other things. Yet for some reason they are fund raising for an organization that has some big corporate pharmaceutical, vaccine, prescription pushing companies as sponsors.

Why is this?

Well rumor has it (from the Sprouts employees who are willing to talk when PITA parents have inquired about why it is corporate fund raising for Autism Speaks) is that some one at corporate has a child with Autism.

I am hoping that this means that this high up person in Sprouts is a parent that is new to the diagnoses. Since Autism Speaks is known nation wide, they are trying to give back and do not understand what they are doing. I also hope and pray that they are in a corporation that stands for very different values than those of Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks does not speak for the Sprouts consumer and they definitely do not speak for 90% of the people I know who have children with Autism.

In my humble opinion Autism Speaks is anti anything and everything Sprouts stands for and maybe Sprouts just needs to be educated that one of their core consumer bases is not happy with their choice of charities. Since I know most of my friends who are PITA’s are doing this locally, I think maybe we need to do this nationally; politely at the corporate level. I think it is time to mount a campaign for them to stop sponsoring Autism Speaks. So please ask everyone you know who does not think “Autism Speaks” speaks for them to tell Sprouts which Autism organizations actually speak for them. It is also good to include why Autism Speaks and Sprouts policies are completely diametrically opposed. Sprouts, in my opinion, as a corporation should not support a charity like Autism Speaks that is anti homeopathic remedies, local grown produce, natural cures, alternative diets, biomedical, and supplements,

If you agree can you please contact Sprouts via there “Contact us Form” or by phone at 888-5SPROUT and tell them you read my blog at pitaup.com, as always be polite.

BUT tell Sprouts why they should speak in support for Autism Charities that support parents of children with Autism and natural, biomedical choices and not for a group like Autism Speaks.

Until next time PITAup!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

To Dine Out or Not With Autism?

As the parent of 4 children I am often thankful that it is my youngest child who has Autism. Since the two older children are 10 and 12 years older then Austin, I think we put sometimes unfair expectations on Austin even with the autism. And by unfair I do not mean we ever pushed him to the breaking point, but we pushed him to very close. We pushed him to learn how to behave in public, including sit at football games, to behave at eating out and how to behave at amusement parks. It really helped that the two older children had really busy social calendars and even with Autism we kept doing those things on a regular basis.

While I do not think my child is anywhere close to the typical child with Autism, I do sometimes think that parents of small children with Autism think their child could never do “something”. My example of something for this purpose is sit at a restaurant for dinner. I often hear from my mentees that their 3 year old could never ever make it through dinner at a casual restaurant like Chili’s, Applebee’s, Bob Evans, Coco’s, etc. I also hear that because of diet they could never eat out at any of the above places.

I want to put both of those myths to bed. First and foremost just saying the words “the American’s with Disabilities act” generally makes anyone objecting to me bringing in food for Austin to stop objecting. If that does not work I will use the phrase “anaphylaxis” allergy and liable if injured or death occurs from food eaten at the restaurant, most managers then back slowly away and tell the server it is ok.

Yet this is not why I am writing this blog, it is more for the parents who tell me, my child would never sit through dinner. If you think that way your child will never sit through dinner. You will end up with an adult with Autism who can’t sit through dinner.

Now I am not suggesting you show up to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at 6 pm on a Friday night with your 3 year old with Autism. That would be stupid and a waste of money. What I am suggesting is showing up at somewhere for dinner at 3 pm, when the crowds are small and the servers have very few tables. Then if your child with Autism acts up you can redirect and work on the bad behaviors with less of an audience. You also can leave and take your food to go if necessary. Once you have done this successfully a few times you move the time slot to 4 pm. Now the 4 pm time slot along with the 5 pm time slot will be a tougher crowd. You may have the older people crowd who do not always understand autism and who may think you are not spanking your child enough. The plus will be that the restaurant will still be less busy, but a little busy and more stimulus going on so your child can work on learning the skills he or she will need to make it successfully at a restaurant at dinner.

Always be prepared when going out- place a bag full of items in your trunk. One's that your child doesn't play with at home or only see's when going out. Not only will they keep them occupied, the new toys/books will keep it fresh and fun! We used to always travel with a portable DVD player and lots of stuff to do. Now days we travel light with an iPod Touch and some fun inexpensive apps. Another great trick to helping children behave in restaurants is to pick a loud restaurant, one that plays music or has TVs are always good choices. Then the noise of a small child is less noticeable

After successfully getting through dinner, you can work on so many things when out in public places- sitting quietly, waiting, behaviors, manners, etc. Don't be afraid to go places with your child with autism - get them out into the world, the sooner you do the sooner you both will realized that it can be an enjoyable experience. You can have family time and eve a family meal in public. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go well the first time. Don’t give up on your child. They will thank you for it later :)

Until next time PITAup and make the world a little more Autism friendly.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How do you tell if your child has that problem and how does the gfcf diet help?

While searching for blog ideas, and what readers wanted to know about I was asked the following question…

“Some people believe that their kids autistic traits are caused by "gut" problems. How do you tell if your child has that problem and how does the gfcf diet help?”

For my child the answer was pretty easy. At 2 years 9 months he had never had a firm stool. So when we were given the diagnoses of Autism, we had already read about GFCF, and decided to start immediately. Within 3 months of starting diet, Austin had his first solid stool. For many parents constant constipation is also a sign.
This being said I have friends who swear their child never ever had gi issues and still benefited from the diet. Also children who will only eat gluten and casein filled foods as if they are addicted to them also seem to benefit from the diet.

In my mind every child with Autism and possible ADD or ADHD should try the diet for at least a year.

Since I really can only address how the diet has changed our lives here is some more about the diet from Talk About Curing Autism Now’s website.

Research by Dr. Harumi Jyonouchi shows that 91% of people with ASD who were put on a strict GFCFSF diet improved. Jyonouchi’s papers say that ASD children have an aberrant immune response to the dietary proteins found in gluten, casein and soy. This peer-reviewed research merely backs up what parents have been saying for more than 10 years. Countless parents report that the diet is dramatically beneficial for their child. The most common comment we hear from parents is that their child “came out of the fog” when we started the diet. Many parents report that their children began to talk or increased their speech with the diet as well. Although this is anecdotal evidence, the preponderance of is it massive and consistent, and deserves a trial by families.

While we would like to have more double-blind studies to back up the diet, the truth is that it’s a very hard thing to study and make sure compliance was 100% in both groups without putting each in a controlled environment. Most parents would not allow this. The few recent studies that have been done were designed to fail as they didn’t run for the full 4 month trial period (most just a mere few weeks), although parents report that 4 months is the turning point. Additionally, those trials still allowed soy and unlimited high-sugar foods.”

You can read more about this at TACA

For my child diet has not meant recovery, he is still non verbal and has Autism, but it has dramatically improved Austin’s quality of life as well as our family’s quality of life.

We received the diagnoses on June 15, 2004 and started GF the next day and the next day after that we went CF. At that time Austin was 2 years 9 months old. He slept 2 hours a night, he spinned, colored, and ran full force into walls the other 22 hours of the day. He never ever stopped moving. He also was a huge poop smearer. Austin had no eye contact and thought of us as nothing more then the furniture in our house. If we were not needed for feeding him or giving him a drink he would have never acknowledge us. He also would only eat wonder bread, macaroni and cheese, cereal, cheese and milk. We went through a gallon of milk every other day.

About 2 months into the diet I was about ready to give up, I really was not seeing anything, but everyone around me was. We had a play group that met once a week that summer to go to the beach, each week the other mom’s would comment on something new Austin was doing. As I was just about to give up, I like to say God intervened and handed Austin a piece of Wonder Bread. Within 20 minutes of that one slice of bread Austin started spinning again and started coloring on the wall. Two things I had not noticed had disappeared. I now know that I have learned nothing from the diet, but I learn everything from infractions. Things just seem to fade a way so quietly that you miss them.

Fast forward almost 6 years later, and now GFCF, egg free, apple free and on Houston Enzymes TriEnza chewables, and many vitamins and supplements. Austin is still non verbal, but will now sit down and watch a football game, a movie, and play with toys with very few times to get up and stim. His eye contact is amazing. He hugs and kisses his family, his eyes light up when he sees someone he knows. Austin knows a half dozen American Sign Language signs, and is now learning to communicate with the aid of an iPod Touch and Proloquo2go . He is mainstreamed and working on social skills 1/3 of his school day. At his birthday party last September it was his first year that he opened presents and enjoyed it. He loved finding new toys in every package. It was the first year he ever really played with any toy purchased for him. He may not always play appropriate, but he plays with them.

He is truly a different child then the one I had 6 years. It simply amazes me how many parents won’t try the diet because in their minds it is too hard. As the parent of a not recovered child with Autism, I can’t imagine not doing the diet. I can’t imagine how bad Austin would still be right now had I not reached out side my comfort zone and given it a try.

Here are a few books I recommend on this topic. They are easy to read and not like reading a medical journal, they are great starter books to introduce parents to diet and why it works for some children:
Healing Our Autistic Children: A Medical Plan for Restoring Your Child's Health by Julie A. Buckley

Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions: Updated Third Edition by Karen DeFelice

Talk About Curing Autism Now’s section on GFCFSF.

If you’re on the fence about diet and enzymes, I highly encourage you to step out side your comfort zone and give it a try. It might surprise you.

So until next time PITA.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog ideas

I am looking for blog ideas. As a parent or a parent of a child with Autism or a parent of a gluten free child, or as a parent of a child with food allergies, I want to know what questions do you have for other parents? What other random thoughts pop in your head that you wish some one would give you insight to?
Honestly I love helping other people find solutions to their problems. Unfortunately everyone’s problems are not always apparent to me. So I am giving everyone on my blog, Facebook, & twitter page the opportunity to tell me what they need help with. I know I do not know it all, even though I do often act like a “know it all”, but I know I have friends who might be able to help you.

I am a problem solver, I like to find solutions to peoples problems and maybe I can do that for you. I will never claim to know the right answer for you, but I am willing to help you try to find some solutions for your issues, you just have to ask.

Questions, comments, and thoughts can be sent to pita_up@yahoo.com

As always PITAup and change the world, because only you can change the world you live in!!!