Saturday, September 26, 2009


This was in my gmail. Could someone alert the Ghanamanians (what do you call them?) that I stopped selling ASI and T-shirts about a decade ago.

Ministry of health Social welfare department P. 0 Box m44 ministries Accra, Ghana tell/fax +233248646213 Email


the ministry of health and social welfare of the republic of Ghana through the Government of Ghana has received grant and loan from the international Development Association and international fund for social welfare Development respectively toward healthcare improvement and social welfare project, and we intender to apply part of the proceeds of the grant and loan to payment under the contract for procurement of two million pieces of t-shirt for the campaign against HIV/AIDS.2.

Having known your company as one with international recognition we intend to contact your company to supply the required t-shirt to this organization with 100% advance payment by us upon fulfillment of our official obligation. We shall send our official requirements and specification of the desired t-shirt to you once Acknowledgment letter is received. If you are interested in this contract please reply within 24hours of this letterRev. Mr.mark kwesi frankSecretary (S W DEPT

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Poopin' with Jenny McCarthy

Last night I dreamt about Jenny McCarthy, Mom, actress, author, child health and safety activist and advocate and funny, funny lady. Men who dream about Jenny get the sexy part. Women who dream about her might be looking for hair or makeup tips, or info on how to help their children. Most women, that is. Me? We compared poop.

I was a party at Jenny's house. She was not there. I had to use the bathroom and I snuck away to her bathroom for privacy - and I think to run away from my children for a moment. Now, if you are like me (and most women, I'm convinced) pooping is reserved for the home field. Pooping in public places is verboten. The newswoman on Howard Stern Lisa G admitted to pooping at work occasionally and the team immediately came up with an intro song for her that sounds all proper and newlike except the lyrics are "Lisa G Take Shits at Worrrrrrrk."

There is a product selling like gangbusters to address this tissue issue - check it out, it's called Poo Pourri. I kid you not. Mark knows the woman who invented it. It's essential oils you spray onto the toilet water before using the toilet. People think you just crapped an orange when you leave the stall.

So, back to the dream. I am on the toilet when Jenny walks in. She is surprised. As am I - and apologetic. Then she says, "Wait, are you pooping? Here, look at mine!" And somehow her poop appears on the counter. And we compare.
This is what autism Moms do. We examine our kids' poop all the time. For texture, color, smell (it's hell but the off smell off the offal off smell can really tell if you're child is well) and creepy critters. Yes, worms. We rarely examine each other's though.

Tonight, maybe I'll just stay awake.
(My apologies to the Coprophilia crowd who is now sorely disappointed in this post.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saving ben Win Dan Burns's Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism

We're giving away TWO free copies of Dan Burns's, Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism. Click HERE to enter at Age of Autism. (If you've any trouble commenting, you can enter by sending an email to

If you don't win, you can order a copy at a 30% discount by clicking, HERE, select "add to cart" and use discount code 3B. You can also order the book at Amazon. Visit Dan's website at SavingBenBook. Here's a letter from the author.

Hi Age of Autism Reader,

I’d like to tell you about my book, Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism. People Magazine called it “A wonderful read that will make parents look at their own children, disabled or not—and find so much to cherish” (Sept 14, 2009).

Other reviewers had this to say:

  • “Powerful and inspirational, filled with and tragedy and triumph, it’s the story of one father's journey to hell to rescue his son from the grips of autism. I could not put this book down.” Nancy Master, AoA reader and mother of a formerly autistic child.
  • “A great read, and inspirational, teaching us that we can overcome obstacles with faith, hope and determination.” AoA reader Lisa Hunter Ryden of the NAA Central Texas Chapter.
  • “This book is not just about autism. It is about struggling against prejudice. It is about trying to access information clouded by egos and stereotypes. It is about fighting an archaic system. And of course, it is about the strongest force in the universe: the love a parent has for a child.” Sylvia Pimentel, AoA reader, moderator of the Sacramento Autism Biomedical Group and parent of two boys with autism.

    Questions or comments? Write to me at For more details, see my website at I hope you enjoy Saving Ben: A Father’s Story of Autism.


    Dan E. Burns, Ph.D.

  • Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    STEPHEN PARRISH (click that name, it's a link.)

    Remember that name - his book "The Tavernier Stones" is coming out next year. THE TAVERNIER STONES, "a fast-paced story involving a cartographer and jewel thief who join forces to recover legendary, lost jewels and solve an ancient mystery," will be published in 2010 by Midnight Ink.

    Stephen lives in Germany - he knocked my socks off with this post. Please read it, don't be put off if your politics differs - read to the bottom. Get a tissue.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Set Your Snark-O-Meter to Kill

    Quiz time! Two kids had a birthday today! Two Moms sent goodies to school. Can you guess which Mom is Kim? And which goodie went straight into the trashcan while a 13 year hollered, "THAT'S JUNK!" And how many children sat nicely in class today? Fewer than a non-birthday school day? Probably, if they ate that chemically artificially colored toxic crap masquerading as food. Those cutsie Teddy Grahams? Unbleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, Folic acid, graham flour (whole grain wheat flour) soybean oil, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, dextrose, honey, maltodextrinm calcium carbonate salt, baking soda, soy lecithin, zinc oxide (OOH! SUNSCREEN!) reduced iron.

    Skittles? Well, after 42 clicks in the Skittles site - I got to their Wiki page, where the decline to tell you what's in their cruddy candy. (Which happens to be a FAVORITE of autism ABA therapists although GOD only knows why you'd ply a child with neurological differences a ball full of chemicals and High fructose corn syrup and then EXPECT THEM TO BEHAVE!!!

    I found a list of ingredients though: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Apple Juice from Concentrate, Less than 2% Citric Acid, Dextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Coloring (includes Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1)Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

    Those not quite as attractive, far less colorful and probably mostly thrown in the trash by the children who barely recognized them as edible, even though they cost a small fortune to bake cookies? White rice flour, evaporated cane juice (unprocesses sugar) sweet rice flour, potato starch, cream of tartar, cocoa, vanilla powder (gluten free) xanthan gum, baking soda, arrowroot.
    Birthday Girl

    Today is Bella's birthday. Nine years old! We lived outside of Cleveland when I had her. My OB suggested I come into the hospital to deliver her the night of one of my last appointments. He didn't think I'd make it to the hospital if I went into labor at home. No need in having a child named, "Grand Caravan Stagliano," eh?

    Bella was breach. We did an in utero inversion - flipped her using brute force. I regret that. I think we injured her. I sure do. She's not the same as her sisters. Her "autism" is not the same.

    My Mom jumped on a plane, as usual. Her cab driver to the airport got a flat! My sister in law came over to watch Mia and Gianna, who were four and five years old. I used the same birth doula who'd helped me deliver Mia. No drugs. Bella was born in about 3 hours. She was much bigger than her sisters - almost a pound! Who knew a few ounces could make such a difference.

    At the end, my OB yelled at me, "GET THIS BABY OUT!" I was struggling and frankly, by the third, the pain was fiercer than ever and I was just so damn tired from being Mom to Mia and Gianna. They'd just been diagnosed with autism ten months before and I'd started an intense in home therapy program.

    They say every baby is born into a different family. Too true for Bella. Five months after her birth, Mia started having Grand Mal seizures - and I pretty much ignored Bella while panicking over Mia's health.

    She's a beautiful girl, Bella. Perhaps my prettiest child, and Mia and Gianna are no slouches in the looks department. She's eager to engage you - her eyes pull you in.

    Mark and I have never heard Bella speak - she's said a few words, has a couple she can repeat. But imagine nine years and you've never heard your child's voice. It stings. Can't lie. It sure does sting.

    Happy birthday, Miss Bella Michelle Stagliano. I'd like to wrap up recovery for you, honey. Speech first. I'm still working on it. I won't give up.


    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    From our Superintendent. Thank You.

    Dear Parents,

    As you may have heard, President Obama is planning to address the nation’s schoolchildren for approximately 15 minutes at 12:00 noon on September 8. According to a letter to school principals sent by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the President intends to “challenge students to work hard and take responsibility for their learning.”

    Although we certainly support such a message, the airing of this live broadcast on the White House’s Web site has raised some concern throughout the country. I do not want this issue to become a distraction to our academic focus or take away from our superb opening of school.
    In keeping with the district’s bipartisan policy, I am advising the Trumbull Public Schools to routinely address this program as it would any other educational topic of interest, such as a rebroadcast of the State of the Union Address, an important debate, or a space launch. I would ask building principals and their teachers to determine if, and in what manner, the program will be shown. School staff know the curriculum and content best, and can utilize whatever segment(s) they believe might result in a positive learning experience for their class.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,Ralph M. Iassogna

    Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    Thank you Michael Stipe.

    Health insurance should be affordable and accessible. I've felt the sting of being turned down by insurance. The panic of not being able to pay the COBRA premiums. The worry of having yet another job and another company and a larger deductible to meet. Please. Open your hearts. Those of us on the outside of insurance are not the enemy. We're your neighbors and friends and family.

    Monday, September 07, 2009

    Blue Means Chemicals!

    My Gianna's speech is booming! Heck, Mia has had some keen improvements too. I'm thrilled. Today Mia said, "It's my Mommy." Usually she says, "It's the Mom." Like "It's the first day of the week," or "It's September. As a label. "It's my Mommy," is a monster leap.

    Back to Gianna.

    Mark took us out for an end of summer ice cream treat tonight. Enzymes swallowed, coconut ice cream packed for Bella and a trip 3 tenths of a mile up the street to Sunny Dae's.

    Gianna carefully carried two cups of ice cream to our table. She noticed the very young child at the next table. He was eating a soft serve (yuck!) ice cream cone dipped in blue stuff. (Autism moms, can you see what's coming?)

    "Blue!" she declared in the only volume with which she's equipped, foghorn. "Blue means chemicals!"

    Mark locks eyes with me from across the table. (Please, in our life this qualifies as foreplay, let me have my moment.) He smirks. I giggle. Gianna bellows again, "Blue means chemicals!"

    By now, my shoulders are boinging up and down and tears are streaming out of my eyes. My back is to the table with the chemical licking child and his parents. Thank God.

    I've taught Gianna that we don't eat colored foods - the unnatural ones. Sure, we'll sneak a bag of dark M&Ms when Grandma comes over - that's always her treat and I'm not a complete martinet.

    Grocery store? Same thing. Gianna eyeballs foods and what's in carts. "Mac and cheese! YUCK! Chemicals!"

    Speech. Ain't it grand?

    Sunday, September 06, 2009

    Sunday Cooking!

    I love the Fall! September through December is my favorite time of year. And Sunday means "cooking." Today's menu includes a giant batch of GFCF meatballs and chicken cutlets.


    4 pounds meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal, beef, available everywhere in the NE, not sure about elsewhere.)

    4 eggs
    fresh parsley and oregano (dried if off season) I use a cup of each if fresh, 1/2 cup if dried
    2 cups GFCF breadcrumb of choice. Today I'm using Costco's Brown Rice Chips w/ Sea Salt crushed to smithereens. Sometime I use Nature's Valley Rice Squares cereal. Commercial GFCF crumbs are a fortune - and I like to beat the bag to a pulp with my rolling pin.
    2 cups DariFree or water - warmed, more or less depending how moist you like the meatballs
    Palm-full of salt
    1/2 palm full of pepper
    2 tablespoons at least of garlic - I use the kind in the jar, already prepared, from Trader Joe's or Scalfani, any brand w/out preservatives will do. Or fresh cloves minced or dried to taste. I like a ton of garlic,
    Take off your wedding ring

    Mix all ingredients in a giant bowl or even a pasta pot, squish to your hearts content.

    How to cook? Some will fry their meatballs. At least in my family we always did. My FIL's recipe calls for broiling. I've also baked them (easier than broiling.) Today, I shall fry them into succulent balls of goodness. My, that sounds naughty.


    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Is it Wrong to Drink Pumpkin Spice Latte While Wearing Tooth Whitening Strips?
    Recently, my sister told me she was taking her son to the dentist for a teeth whitening process. He has had some staining on his teeth since he was a tot. White strips didn't help. Not sure if the dental version will, I hope so.

    This got me to think of of my own teeth which are, shall we say, oversized. Think Marie Osmond having mated with a set of dominoes. That kind of large.

    I drink a ton of coffee. And now Starbucks has brought back the pumpkin spice latte, the only latte I'll drink. Venti. 3 pumps (instead of 5, too sweet) skim milk.

    I figure my teeth my be stained by now. My eyes aren't reliable. But I'm assuming they are.

    So I bought Target white strips for $15. I wasn't springing for the Crest brand at close to $40. Forget the $200 or $300 or $500 dentist version. I popped on a set this afternoon. Then remembered I'd bought my latte earlier today. Dayum.

    I drank the latte while whitening my teeth. Not quite smoking during chemo, I realize. But still, maybe kind of dumb?

    Town hall stage At the Congressman Jim Himes Healthcare Town Hall

    (read more about the meeting in The Connecticut Post HERE,)

    Last night, my husband, three daughters and I attended the healthcare town hall meeting in Bridgeport, CT, hosted by our Congressman Jim Himes (D.) We couldn't get a sitter, so we decided to bring the kids along rather than miss the event. After all, healthcare for children is of paramount importance (right Elmo?) I packed GFCF pretzels and a portable DVD player for the kids. Locked and loaded!

    The evening began with a few words from Congressman Himes about his desire to see all Americans with healthcare coverage and his honest appraisal of where he felt some of the faults in the system are today. Aging population requiring more healthcare, higher mortality rates and worse outcomes per dollar spent than other nations, spiraling healthcare costs, and a system created after WWII where employers, who once took care of employees from cradle to grave, are the keepers of health insurance.

    In today's world, a worker is likely to change jobs several times over the course of a career. The days of Dad packing his lunch every day for 45 years at the same factory or office and getting a gold watch upon retirement are long gone.

    Town hall kim Then began the Q&A. Now, Bridgeport, CT is in Fairfield County, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest counties in the nation and home to Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien and other towns that conjure images of gardenparties with gin and tonics and Range Rovers in every driveway. Bridgeport ain't Darien. It's a working class city without a lot of jobs left.

    The crowd was primarily in favor of President Obama and a revised healthcare plan for the nation. There were, however, lots of folks who were against a public option, felt that American health care in its current form is fine the way it is and who vocally derided every pro-change citizen who posed a question. Hey, that's democracy. We each get a voice.

    Town hall mark and bella And I did too. After two hours of channeling Arnold Horshack (Ooh! Oooh! Pick me!) I got to ask a question. It went something like this.

    "Hi, I'm Kim Stagliano and I live here in Fairfield County. Last year my husband lost his job. We couldn't afford COBRA. We applied for private health insurance. We were turned down because our three daughters, who are seated behind me, have autism. Will you make certain that people with autism are not turned away from healthcare? Also, we are, I believe, the only nation that allows direct to consumer ads by pharmaceutical companies. They spend billions. Could we tap into that dollar pool to help pay for healthcare? Thank you."

    Congressman Himes answered that just last night he'd spent the evening with families who have children on the spectrum and he was shocked to learn about the financial devastation that never seems to end. So "yes" was his answer, he would include autism in healthcare. At that point, I kind of zoned out and didn't catch his answer on advertising dollars from pharma.

    Everyone clapped, I got thousands of eyes giving me the, "Oh honey, how DO you do it?" look as I walked back to my seat, where I hugged my girls who were well behaved for over two hours, sitting quietly (ish) in their seats.

    How do any of us "do it?" How do we love and adore and raise our kids with autism? I never seem to have an adequate answer for that. We just do it, don't we?

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    On Deadline!
    Chapter 1 of my Kimoir, "All I Can Handle. I'm No Mother Teresa." is finito!