Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
We have a contest at Age of Autism today CLICK HERE TO ENTER. Check out the entire Angela Moore catalog (link below.) Mother's Day is coming! :)
Our friends at Angela Moore have generously donated four items from their Autism Awareness Collection to Age of Autism. We'll be giving away one item each week in April! The Angela Moore "Autism Awareness" collection was created to help increase awareness in the treatment and understanding of autism. 15% of the proceeds from this collection are donated to the Autism Society of America including The Rimland Center.
For ponytails or pigtails, you'll tie things up perfectly with this Angela Moore double bead hair tie. Leave a comment AT AGE OF AUTISM to enter.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Check out this cool, free software for autism from Google!
Congratulations to SafeMinds President Theresa Wrangham on Project Spectrum. In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, Google is recognizing Project Spectrum on the Google home page. Click HERE for your FREE DOWNLOAD!
By Theresa Wrangham
Four and half years ago my best friend Sue Thomas and I gave an Autism 101 presentation to a local software company who had called our ASA chapter to ask why children with autism liked their software program - SketchUp. After looking at SketchUp, it was clear that this 3D modeling software used by architects, engineers, game developers and other design professionals played to the visual and spatial strengths of people on the spectrum. These humble beginnings led to so much more for children with autism. Following our presentation, we were amazed to learn that employees wanted to donate their time to work with our chapter to understand the needs of our children and they ultimately created "Project Spectrum" (HERE).
Along the way, this company was acquired by Google, which supported the continued efforts to introduce SketchUp to children with autism.
Today Project Spectrum is an ongoing initiative at Google working to provide people on the autism spectrum with software and guidance that may help them to express an idea or even develop a life skill, and the Boulder, Colorado chapter of the Autism Society of America continues to act as a resource for Project Spectrum. It was especially inspiring to our chapter that when the program was officially launched in 2007 and teachers from across the globe sent comments about how excited they were by the potential of this free educational tool.
How has this program improved the lives of our children – that is hard to gauge and I can only speak from personal experience. My daughter Rachel uses SketchUp at home to relax and as a way to relate to and engage with her sister, a budding architect. Recently her skills were recognized when she accepted a paid internship with Cornell University in which she used SketchUp to help a team design a video game to be used for autism-related research. For Rachel, SketchUp has given her career direction and this year she will receive her two-year certification in Multi-Media that will transfer as college credit for an Associate Degree in Multi-Media when she graduates from high school next month. As a result of this direction, Rachel has also been exposed to other graphics programs, has developed a portfolio that receives high praise and has placed in graphic design competitions.
In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, Google is recognizing Project Spectrum on the Google home page (HERE). With so many programs that could be chosen, I believe that this is an honor bestowed to few Google programs. I hope that many will join me in thanking Google for their efforts, as Project Spectrum is not a program that makes Google, or its employees any money, and is solely a philanthropic effort (HERE) for the benefit of our children.
Theresa Wrangham is the mother of Rachel, a teenager who is diagnosed with PDD/NOS, and Deanna. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Scott. She brings to the fore an experienced parent's perspective on raising a healthy child affected by ASD and the benefits of advocacy outside family needs. Theresa was appointed to the Board of SafeMinds in 2007 and currently serves as president. She served as a past Board Member with the Autism Society of Colorado and co-founded the Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC), serving five terms as president. She is currently the immediate past president. Theresa is also the Director of Educational Development and Conference Liaison for the US Autism & Asperger Association.
Back to the Future? Autism Research.
Please pop over to HuffPo to read my latest piece, "Conducting Autism Research like it's 1994" about the Autism Science Foundation formed by the Londons of NAAR, Alison Singer and Paul Offit. I sure would like 4500 comments, like Jim Carrey*! (Wake up, Kim!) Click HERE.
In 1994, the National Alliance for Autism Research was born. They were dedicated to genetics research for autism. Three years ago, they were absorbed into Autism Speaks. Now, fifteen years after their inception, millions of dollars spent and tens of thousands of children diagnosed with autism later, they appear to have extricated themselves from Autism Speaks and returned to the stage as the Autism Science Foundation.
Their mission? To boldly go back to exactly what they were doing before doctors and researchers and even some uppity folks at Autism Speaks started asking pesky questions about vaccines. (I've heard they have IBM Selectric typewriters on every desk and will serve Jello 1-2-3 in the caf!)
* Jim Carrey wrote a post questioning the mantra that autism and vaccines are not related and drew over 4500 comments. (HERE) Scroll through some of the comments to see the bitterness of the debate. There is great discrimination against autism parents who watched their kids disappear following vaccination. I think it's fear. No parent wants to believe vaxes could harm. And few want to make the tough choices on how/if to modify the schedule for son or daughter.
I'll leave you with this. The Catholic Church sex scandals raged on for decades because no one dared to believe such horror could be true. Trust, Faith, Respect got in the way of listening to the children. Why is it so hard to believe that vaccines don't also engender trust, faith and respect and that maybe, just maybe they aren't quite as safe as the ad campaigns and experts say?
Friday, April 17, 2009
But you can win an advance copy now! Details at Kimberly's blog: http://apenandanest.blogspot.com
I adore these books for kids. Piper is a pip of a kid. And a great role model - even when she's a bit naughty! Check out all the Piper Reed books.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Pro-Life doesn't end after birth. Neither does Pro-Choice. If you don't have Hep B and don't think your newborn will be having unprotected sex or using IV drugs, you might want to reconsider that Hep B at birth, for instance. Maybe you want your child to get Chicken Pox and immunity naturally. Perhaps you have a family history of egg allergies and need to avoid the flu shot - and maybe you don't love the mercury in the flu shot.
You do have choices - whether you want to fully vaccinate your child with the 36 vaccines the AAP now requires, or slow down or even skip some/all. Exemptions vary by state and some are easier to get then others.
This is AMERICA and you are in charge of your child's healthcare.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Dr. Bernadine Healy on Vaccines, the AAP and the Urgent Need for Safety.
Here are two excerpts from Dr. Bernadine Healy's blog at US News. Read the full post HERE. Dr. Healy cites Generation Rescue and WHO comparing vaccination rates in the US versus abroad. As a parent, you should demand informed consent and a philosophical exemption - BEFORE vaccine injury earns you a medical exemption.
...pediatricians might do families a great service if they could work with them to loosen up the schedules to accommodate reasonable concerns and allow more choice. Some already do—say, by spacing out shots that are normally given in one visit, particularly those that contain live viruses like measles, mumps, and chicken pox and tend to deliver strong immune reactions. Or delaying hepatitis B until school age, at least. The goal is to get all kids appropriately vaccinated, but the pace for that might vary.
Finally, are certain groups of people especially susceptible to side effects from vaccines, and can we identify them? Youngsters like Hannah Poling, for example, who has an underlying mitochondrial disorder and developed a sudden and dramatic case of regressive autism after receiving nine immunizations, later determined to be the precipitating factor. Other children may have a genetic predisposition to autism, a pre-existing neurological condition worsened by vaccines, or an immune system that is sent into overdrive by too many vaccines, and thus they might deserve special care...
...Paul Offit, an infectious-disease expert from the University of Pennsylvania who has been a frequent spokesman and adviser on vaccine policy (and by his admission has become wealthy by developing the now mandated rotavirus vaccine), has said on more than one occasion that the infant's immune system can handle 10,000 vaccines. If that's where we're going—and it has been estimated that there are more than 100 new vaccines in the pipeline—the national investment in vaccine safety had better get on steroids fast.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
I reined in my Warrior Mom voice and wrote a pleasant post for Betty Confidential making suggestions as to how to help a friend with a child with autism. I kind of wanted to say, "Just f-ing DO something." But that wouldn't be quite right on Betty. Veronica? Oh yeah. But not Betty. ;)
Click HERE and if you have a moment to leave a comment, that would be great. Thanks. KIM
Friday, April 03, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
So here it is, April 1st. The kickoff of "Autism Awareness" month. I'm going to do my best to never refer to these 30 days as being about awareness. If I am "aware" that a child is drowning in my pool and do nothing I'm off to jail for negligence, right?Welcome to "Autism Epidemic Action Month." Pick up copy of Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel's new book HEALING AND PREVENTING AUTISM and give it to someone who has a child with autism but who does not yet know autism is treatable. Call a friend who has a child on the spectrum and tell her you're coming over for two hours to watch her child while she goes out for coffee or tea or simply crawls into bed. Send a few bucks to http://www.lend4health.org/ to help a family pay for biomed treatments. Pop into school and offer to laminate PECS for a few hours. We're doers - not do-gooders. There's a difference. Awareness is no longer enough. It never was.
I wrote this for HuffPo last week about the Sky Walker Matricide case and what it feels like to know I'll die and leave my girls behind. (Hint, paralyzing.) I hope you'll go over HERE TO HUFFPO and leave a comment. This is what I, and thousands of other parents, wrestle with every day. It's terrifying. Autism is neither pretty nor easy nor wonderful - don't kid yourself or let anyone pull the wool over your eyes. Are the kids pretty and sometimes easy and wonderful? You bet your sweet ass.
You think wrinkles and gray hair are the scourges of aging? Try imagining your child with autism as an adult and at the mercy of a state run home, an institution or even prison while you're slumbering away in a pine box.
I'd be happy to look like a Shar Pei if I could stop worrying about what is going to happen to my girls when I die. I sit at Church on Sunday and listen to my priest tell me about the joy that awaits in heaven. "Are you crazy?" I think to myself. "What will happen to my kids?" I know won't be the only Mom up there (hey, a girl can hope for the best) who is wracked with worry. We'll wear holes in the clouds as we pace.