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by Cody Jordan on 16 December 2013 in , , , , with 0 Comments

As the parent of a child with autism, one of the overriding thoughts I’ve had (other than the initial “oh crap, what do I do now?”) was the long-term care of my son after I die.  I’ve heard Jenny McCarthy say the solution to this is just not to die.  As this may seem the only option and as good as it may sound, I’ve never heard of it actually being done.  So that still leaves me with the question of who will take care of my son after I’m gone....

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It's almost Thanksgiving time.  A time to recognize all we are thankful for....

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Jacob's Story

Sep 30

by Tina Velasquez on 30 September 2013 in , , , with 0 Comments

Below is the story of piano prodigy Jacob Valazquez's autism journey told by his mother Tina. A true mother warrior, Tina sought biomedical treatment for her son in the early stages of his diagnosis. Here is her tale of trial, error, and success. ...

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by JIll Tschikof on 27 September 2013 in , , , with 0 Comments

Every so often my husband gets that dreaded piece of paper notifying him of an upcoming deployment, instantly making me a single parent again.  Deployments can range from 4 months to 1 year in length (sometimes longer in certain circumstances) but can feel like a lifetime to those left at home.  We are definitely thankful for his job, but occasionally it can seem like the sacrifices we go through as a military family outweigh the benefits.  I am very lucky to have a great support system to help me through those tough times, and a husband who doesn’t think twice about serving his country.  All of the TDY’s and deployments we have conquered have made me a stronger, more self......

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by Generation Rescue on 17 September 2013 in , , with 0 Comments

Well-known autism advocate, GR supporter and Real Housewife Jacqueline Laurita recently shared her story of overcoming her fear of public speaking on Bravo's RHONJ  blog. Of challenging her phobia of public speaking for her son Nicholas and autism awareness, she says:...

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Today falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on the Jewish calendar. This marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and is a time to connect to what is sacred in our lives. For me, it is a time to take a break from our endless "doing" and connect to "being." When I say "being," I mean who we are right now -- not who we want to become. This seemingly simple task can actually be incredibly challenging. As a culture, we are continuously focused on moving forward, making new achievements, adding more accomplishments to our resume. We hope and believe that when we get THERE -- we will have arrived; arrived at a place of infinite joy, peace......

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When people asked me what we were doing for the summer, I was stumped at the question. You see, we live in summer all year long here in Malaysia -- and sometimes endure it, because the temperature can get really hot. The humidity is so intense that my hair would frizz and puff up like a bad 80s music video reject. On the plus side, it means swimming weather all year long, my daughters' Mei and Min Min's favorite summertime, well, all year-long activity. ...

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by Tali Berman on 6 August 2013 in , , , , with 2 Comments

Many of the parents I have worked with over the years have expressed an urgency they feel in seeing their child develop within a certain time frame -- trying to "beat the clock" before they lose the ideal "window of development." This can result in an anxiety-filled experience in the background, or foreground, of your everyday life....

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by Cody Jordan on 23 July 2013 in , , , with 0 Comments

As I begin my running, I think back to when my wife and I began biomedical treatment for Harrison. The first "biomed" practitioner we took him to was in Wisconsin, and it was in the month of February. Needless to say (for the Midwest), there was just a bad snowstorm, and I knew the roads (especially going into Wisconsin) were going to be pretty bad. But something told me I still had to go, and after looking at all the road reports, I decided that it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be manageable. The roads were going to be challenging, but it was kind of symbolic of Harrison’s road to recovery....

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Have you ever heard the term "trying to close the gap"? This is a term I hear often and it refers to closing the gap between a special child and his/her peers. While I certainly support the idea of helping every child to be able to fully integrate and succeed with other children his/her age, I think the goal of "closing the gap" poses a particular problem. With this goal in mind and with the best intentions in the world, parents may try to minimize the differences between their child and other children....

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You really wouldn’t believe how often I get asked that question. Sometimes it feels like it comes up constantly. Usually the question comes from parents with a slightly worried look in their eyes and a furrowed brow. I can tell they’re worried about their other children, and can see that they love them, but also want them to grow up normally and can see that is not possible. I don’t even know if the parents themselves know what exactly they’re worried about. For me, believe it or not, it’s a harder question than you would think to answer.  See, I don’t really know what a world without autism is like....

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We are all given struggles in our life. Some of them are life-changing. Some struggles we can look back on years later and safely say, "I was a different person before that happened."  ...

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by Cody Jordan on 11 June 2013 in , , , with 0 Comments

I’ve always said that I love being a father. My two boys have made me a much better person because they’ve taught me love and compassion in a way I would have not otherwise learned. I love everything about being a dad, even the fighting between my sons.  ...

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In life, there are moments when you know you are at the right place at the right time. This summer will mark my five-year anniversary as a staff member at Generation Rescue....

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The month of May includes a couple of very special holidays that my family looks forward to celebrating: Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. Mother’s Day is a holiday where you would expect to be pampered, spoiled, and celebrated -- however, for a military wife, that isn’t always possible.  ...

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It's been a very hectic couple of months for me. Hectic good. Not the bad kind of hectic. You know, the kind where I plunk myself down on the bathroom floor in a heap of exhaustion and weep kind of hectic that used to be my status quo in my previous life as a mother of two daughters with autism. Thankfully, those days are long gone. ...

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Mother’s Day holds so many meanings for people. It's a chance for us to honor and dote on our mothers, and for many of us, it's a chance for our kids to take a moment and really show us their love. My boys adore when there is a special holiday such as Mother’s Day. Their school makes a big deal about it and they always take time out of the instructional hours to create something special to give to their moms. I know this means so much to my little guys. It makes them feel like they have really put themselves into a gift for me....

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 Three years ago my family of four was gathered in Dr. Sletten's (DAN doctor) office.  We were discussing our son Anthony, and beginning our biomedical journey.  I will never forget something Dr. Sletten said at our first appointment.  He looked at my daughter Ashley, who at the time was only six months old, and he said "She's going to be really good for Anthony.  She's going to teach him a lot."...

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Hero is defined as “one of distinguished courage or ability.”  Inspire is “to produce or arouse a feeling or thought.” What this means to me is that heroes inspire hope in those who look to them.   They do this through finding success in the most challenging and difficult circumstances.  We even write about this in elementary school.  I remember getting that assignment at multiple grade levels, and my hero was always the same: my father.  That was then. . ....

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The National Institute of Deafness And Other Communication Disorders (NIH) says the following about Apraxia:...

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 27 March 2013 in , , , , with 0 Comments

“My, what beautiful daughters you have! Are they twins?” asks yet another person. I’m at the supermarket with my two precious daughters Mei and Min Min, browsing the organic produce section looking for something to cook for dinner tonight.“No,” I reply curtly, grinding my teeth. “Mei is seven and a half, and Min Min just turned six.”One could be forgiven for thinking my girls are twins. Mei is only a little bit taller than Min Min but otherwise, my two lovely girls could very well be identical because despite my very best efforts, I just  can’t get Mei to put on weight.Mei falls in the bottom 2 percentile of weight for her age....

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by Cody Jordan on 22 March 2013 in , , , , with 0 Comments

I don’t like to live my life with a bunch of regrets.  To me, regrets are unneeded emotional baggage.  However, there is one “take back” I wish I had.  It happened many years ago, before I was even married.  I was on a group date with my (then) future wife and a group of her friends.  I hardly knew anybody there, so conversation just wasn’t happening for me until I opened my mouth and said something, to this day, that I wish I hadn’t....

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When a child is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder it steers the family on an entirely different journey than they could have ever imagined.  Only another parent who has sat in a conference room hearing the words “I’m sorry, your child has Autism” could understand the feelings that go through your body… all at once… at that exact moment.  For me, it felt like time was standing still, I knew they were talking to me but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what they were saying.  I remember feeling hot, dizzy, confused, but most of all… scared.  I was scared for myself, scared to tell my husband and family, scared for my child, and scared of......

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by Cody Jordan on 14 February 2013 in , , , , with 0 Comments

Love.  It’s a word some of us sometimes try to avoid.  But as the parent of a child with autism, I try to make it a part of everything I do.  Love is the main driving force of surviving the trials and tribulations that being the parent of a child with autism can often bring....

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We recently came back from summer holiday Down Under this year. As usual, Mei and Min Min were great throughout the 8 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Australia. Seasoned travellers, the girls have been flying on planes since they were 3 weeks old. The girls were thrilled to be back in Australia. ...

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The timing was perfect.  I just got my first major winter snowstorm (11-13 inches), and my snow blower quit working.  I had no other choice but to get my shovel and dig my way out.  Shoveling that much snow gives you plenty of time to think, so I concentrated on warmer times and what they  brought in relation to Harrison....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 14 December 2012 in , with 0 Comments

Not too long ago my husband and I were facing yet another 10 to 12 hour drive to visit his family out of state. Let me be perfectly clear, I HATE THAT DRIVE. It is horrible. We travel through 5 states, up mountainsides, in crazy traffic, across boring stretches, you name it, and we drive it. So this year my husband decided to see what the plane fares were looking like. They actually were quite reasonable and we bit the bullet, so to speak, and decided this year we would fly!...

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 20 November 2012 in , , , , , , with 0 Comments

I have no other way to say it other than Matthew is now a Cub Scout! Can you believe it? I know I can’t. This was not a day we expected to see. We hoped it would come, but lying in my bed late at night, worrying over autism and what it was doing to Matthew, well, I never thought we’d get to Cub Scouts. ...

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by Kimberly Ruckman on 18 November 2012 in , , , , with 0 Comments

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. I love this time of year, and I am so excited, and almost giddy to be planning a family gathering in my own home. But like all holidays, there is just so much to do! ...

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Gratitude

Nov 16

by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 16 November 2012 in , , with 0 Comments

The season of giving and gratitude is upon us. Over the next month, families and friends of different faiths and cultures will gather to share traditions, exchange gifts and express thanks for the blessings that fill our lives. For those of us who are parents raising a child who faces great challenges, how does gratitude fit into the complexity of our emotional lives? Is it possible to be mad as hell at the causes leading to our children’s injury and simultaneously be able to open our hearts, offer thanks, and take in the joy of the season shining around us?I think so. In the early years when my son’s development went off track and we received an autism diagnosis, it......

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 8 November 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

"There was a star danced, and under that was I born." ~ William Shakespeare ...

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by Marissa Bashaw on 10 October 2012 in , , , with 2 Comments

Siblings are wonderful, they look out for each other, they offer companionship, support and unconditional love. But when both siblings are affected by autism as in Mei and Min Min, it was more a case of a sisterhood brought together by special diets, shared therapies, yucky supplements and scary visits to the doctor. There was a grim equality to it all; if Mei had to take yucky vitamins, so did Min Min. Neither were spared from the dreaded blood draws and MB12 shots. They went through it all together. Though circumstances often excluded them from birthday parties and playdates, they always had each other. Initially, the connection wasn't as apparent....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 26 September 2012 in , , with 1 Comments

Roll With The Punches (and Kicks, and Bites)...

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All of a sudden, my youngest is professing sudden stomachaches and sprained ankles. I try to look sympathetic and concerned, but in my mind, I’m thinking, “work it, work it”.  With big eyes this morning, he told me he’d give me a million dollars if he could stay home “just because.” To counter all this doom and gloom and the morose, self-pitying stares, I have a few tricks up my sleeves:...

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 19 September 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

"How will our children forgive us for autism and other preventable tragedies? Why is recovery not everyone's victory? Why is it not my family's happy ending?"...

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What If?

Aug 29

by Cody Jordan on 29 August 2012 in with 1 Comments

Ever since my son was diagnosed with autism almost five years ago, I’ve had uncountable amounts of questions enter into my head.  But there was one question that was more common than the rest: what if?  I’ve had many different answers to the same “what if” questions, and none of them ever satisfied me.  None of them ever gave me anything close to a resolution.  Autism is such an emotional rollercoaster, which is probably why I’ve answered the same questions in many different ways.    What if we hadn’t followed the vaccination schedule?  What if we had questioned it more instead of being so naïve about it? This question has brought a considerable amount of guilt into my life.  I was......

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 24 August 2012 in , with 0 Comments

Life can be challenging when you’re parenting a child who has special needs; sometimes, for me, that challenge can blur my perspective and lead me into an “us vs. them” state of mind. What I mean is—I’ll begin to categorize the world into those people who easily understand and relate to my experience—my fellow warrior parents, my son George’s best therapist, the pre-school teacher who still emails me regularly to see how George is doing. “Them,” depending on the day, might include the new teacher who writes less than detailed comments into my son’s communication book, the babysitter who doesn’t follow my instructions and the people staring at us in the movie theatre while my son is happily bouncing up......

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It's been a tough few weeks in the Baggy household. Both Mei and Min Min caught a particularly nasty bug that's been going around town. We've been dealing with fevers and bronchitis for what seems like forever. Though in reality, it was only 4 weeks. I threw every arsenal I had at it; Vitamins, supplements, herbs, Epsom Salts baths, rubbing Oil of Oregano on the soles of the feet, wet sock hydrotherapy, homeopathy and just about every natural remedy I could think of. But despite my best efforts, this time we finally had to resort to antibiotics. I was disappointed we broke our antibiotics-free 1 year streak, but you gotta do what you gotta do right?For many families, no hospitalization......

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A few years ago, at the 2010 AutismOne conference, I went to a presentation by Stephen Shore, EdD, and it was about taking a look at your own autistic characteristics to gain a better understanding of your autistic child. This presentation probably made one of the more profound impacts on me and how I understand my son.  It turns out that we are not so different, autism and all.    I think that one of the main characteristics of autism is the lack of eye contact and desire for social relationships, and my son is (but almost “was”) no different.  I am very similar to my son in this aspect.  I often find it difficult to make eye contact with people......

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 4 July 2012 in , with 0 Comments

“A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” - Eleanor Roosevelt Autism demands a life of calculated hypervigilence. Always alert, always equipped, always prepared. We sleep with one eye open, one ear cocked, ready to jump up at the slightest noise. We build up an arsenal of ‘weapons.’ We are armed with syringes, jars of supplements, stacks of lab results, towering piles of medical journals and the many accoutrements that makes up an autism parent’s armoury. I accessorise myself with a supermom cape, truth goggles, big girl panties and b***! boots. At times, my thinking cap is replaced by a tin-foil hat....

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 28 June 2012 in , , with 0 Comments

Last month, I had the inspiring experience of participating and presenting at the AutismOne/Generation Rescue Conference in Chicago. I was only able to be there for two of the five days of the full conference, but in the time that I was present, I was able to connect with many other parents, attend informative, inspiring sessions and visit the many vendors whose products I hadn’t been familiar with before the conference, I gained so many new resources for my son George’s healing journey.There were so many sessions to choose from, that I used my intuition to guide me to what I needed to hear. Two sessions that stood out for me were with Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson and with Virginia Breen and......

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 14 June 2012 in , , with 3 Comments

I think I have finally gotten over the anger stage when it comes to Matthew’s autism. It has taken me 6 years to get here, but I have finally arrived. I used to be angry and hurt all the time, and it was exhausting. I just couldn’t live that way anymore, but it wasn’t that easy to simply put my anger away and be on with my life. I’ve had to do a ton of soul searching and a lot of change. That was the hardest part; making that change. I can’t exactly tell you how I did it, but it has been a conscience effort on my part to focus on making our family healthier, better and happier....

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by Cody Jordan on 13 June 2012 in , , , with 2 Comments

Being a father is one of the greatest things I have ever done.  Being the father of a child with autism is even greater, and I love every minute of it.  I remember holding my son in my arms just minutes after he was born when he first looked up at me.  It was at that point when I realized just how important my role as a father would be, and everything I did as a father would be based off one word: love.I remember getting his diagnosis paperwork in the mail.  I remember staring at it and wishing those words off the paper.  I was then faced with a decision.  I could just learn to deal with my son’s......

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 11 June 2012 in , , , with 1 Comments

My cupboards are full of supplements, medications, homeopathic remedies and herbal tinctures. Us biomed mums stockpile everything; especially precious supplements that help improve the health of my two girls. When you live as I do in a country where ASD-specialty supplements are not easily accessible and must be specially imported at great expense, buying in bulk is a necessity. Apart from the cupboards, I also have 'the bookshelf,' where discarded and unused supplements go to gather dust and wither. The bookcase is crammed with numerous autism books, old therapy data sheets, medical reports, conference notes, ASD product literature, leftover jars of supplements, my paperbacks and Hubby’s serious non-fiction books....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 11 May 2012 in , , with 0 Comments

As I was contemplating Mother's Day and what it means to those of us who are proud to be called Warrior Moms, I began to think about what it really means to be a Warrior Mom, someone that fights every day to help our children reach their greatest potential. ...

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 2 May 2012 in , with 0 Comments

My husband and I are coming up on our eleventh anniversary this June. Like many brides, I thought that on my wedding, I knew well the man I was committing my life to. What I’ve learned since that day is that every wedding is a leap of faith and that as much as I thought that I knew my husband well through our years of dating and engagement, it is the joys and challenges that life brings that really reveals the true nature of your partner.Like other families whose child has been diagnosed with autism, my husband and I shoulder big responsibilities: finding the best therapies for our child, navigating the school system, planning for his future....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 30 March 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

Does your child have any item they truly love playing with? Something that isn't electronic? Something that they play with appropriately? What about pretend play?  That has been a hard one for us. "Play," such a small word, but one that holds so much impact in development. We are all told how important pretend play is, but until your child doesn't do it, you really don't understand just how important it really is.This weekend we had the most wonderful experience, one we really have been hoping for but hadn't happened as of yet. Matthew engaged in a long, uninterrupted, non-directed session of pretend play! He grabbed some small Legos StarWars figures and started to mess around with them....

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 26 March 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

It has been six years since my son, George, was diagnosed with autism. Like so many parents receiving this diagnosis for my child, my initial reaction was one of deep despair, matched with a sense of total overwhelm. It took me several months to sort through the myriad of therapy options to treat children with autism and to ultimately choose the healing path of diet, supplements and RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) that started to give my family a sense of hope. But what has taken me a longer amount of time to discover has been something less tangible and something that I have only been able to find by looking within; it is a deep truth about my son--that though......

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by Amy Waczek on 5 March 2012 in , , , , with 1 Comments

If you’re lucky, you have a few people in your life that can offer true guidance. I just lost one of the wisest women I’ve ever known – my darling mom. For the remainder of my life, I now have to ask myself, “What would mom say?” There is an old African proverb that relates the death of an elderly person to the loss of a library. I’ve read most of her books and perused her card catalogs of advice, but I know nothing will replace the sheer comfort and joy of hearing my mom’s words from her own lips.With the physical loss of someone so dear, so valuable and wise, I find I look for wisdom in other places now....

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 17 February 2012 in , , with 2 Comments

People often ask why I still read up on biomedical treatments, research alternative therapies and attend autism conferences. Why do I still implement dietary intervention, biomedical supplements and homeopathy?...

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 10 February 2012 in , with 0 Comments

Like many of you who are committed to keeping the level of toxins in your home as low as possible, I am conscious of only using green cleaners and buying organic produce and grassfed meat. Knowing that it is harder for my son who has autism to detox from the toxins that are so prevalent in our environment, taking this step helps to keep the toxic level in our home as low as possible.But in the last few years of our healing journey, I have become aware of another area in which I need to consciously keep our toxic level low: toxic people. It might sound harsh, but you know like I do—supporting our children as we remediate their autism......

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Proud Warrior

Jan 25

by Maryann DellaRocco on 25 January 2012 in , , , , with 0 Comments

The other day I came across a blog by a mom who has no desire to be called a "Warrior Mom." She feels as if the term "Warrior" makes it seem as if she were at war with who her child is. She does not feel she needs to medically treat (as in biomedical interventions) her daughter's autism, instead she looks upon her daughter's disorder as simply who her child is and she wants to work with therapists to optimize her child's potential with out changing or "fixing" her child.It is a lovely idea, but not one I can personally put into practice. I wonder if there is something less enlightened about me because I can't see the beauty in autism....

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 23 January 2012 in with 0 Comments

2012 is the Year of the Dragon in the lunar calendar. A divine creature, the Dragon is a symbol of good fortune, power and superiority in Chinese astrology. The Oriental Dragon is a revered, mystical creature, unlike the beastly, menacing Western Dragon. So expect grand success and good luck this auspicious year.Like all parents with children on the autism spectrum, good health and recovery for my children is predominant in my New Year's resolutions. This year, I also include taking better care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Throughout the years in my children's recovery journey, I poured every fibre of my being into recovering Mei and Min Min. Until there was nothing left of me. I was drained, exhausted, TKO'ed....

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 9 January 2012 in , with 2 Comments

Recently, Mei’s school presented awards to exceptional students in each grade for various scholastic excellence. Out of the 60 first graders, Mei received the award for Excellence in Reading and Speaking Expressively. This coming from a girl who was barely verbal 3 years ago. A girl whom everyone said had no hope, no future, no chance of a normal life. She proved them wrong....

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by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer on 5 January 2012 in , , , with 0 Comments

As the author of “The Kitchen Classroom: 32 Visual GF/CF Recipes to Boost Developmental Skills,” I frequently write about cooking with your children as a wonderful way to connect and communicate and build social experiences for our children who are struggling to create relationships. When I started cooking with my son George, 9, when he was four years old and we had just started the gf/cf diet, my daughter June was 18 months old and she wanted to be part of the cooking process with us. Many afternoons, George would stand on a step stool mixing batter with me and June would sit right on the countertop, taking turns dumping in ingredients and stirring with her brother....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 9 December 2011 in with 3 Comments

I have never had strangers throw me dirty looks, accusing me of being a bad parent and my son of bad behavior, but I have heard of many autism parents having to deal with those reactions. Especially when they are out in public and their child starts screaming because they turned the wrong way in the mall or the restaurant was out of their favorite food. Matthew has always been pretty easy out and about, he did get upset if we drove home the wrong way but no one else was around so I never felt judged.But recently I did feel judged. Let's just say I was made to feel as if I don't know how to parent my child,......

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 5 December 2011 in , with 2 Comments

The 80s Brit Pop and New Wave music era were a major influence in my teens. Though American Top 40 music is equally popular in Malaysia, the British music scene fueled my teenage fantasies. I saved my allowance to afford subscriptions to British pop magazines. I re-winded tape cassettes to listen to my favorite songs again and again. Posters of pop stars smoldered on my bedroom walls, their music were the anthems to my youth. I wanted to be a Bananarama and I wanted to marry a Duran Duran.20 years later..... MTV stars no longer inspire me, instead they’re replaced by the rockstars of the autism world. Renowned doctors, scientists, researchers, superstar moms and iconic dads....

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 18 November 2011 in , with 0 Comments

“Your two girls are the equivalent of four boys!” A good friend said this to me a few years back. I agree because it validated my feelings at that time. Mei and Min Min were not the passive, silent version of autism. They were the angry, hyper, out of control version of autism. Their tantrums were legendary, life was filled with many berserker moments. To say they were a handful is a major understatement, they were the equivalent of four angry, hyper boys. We’ve had our share of manic trips to the hospital emergency ward for injuries, pneumonia, severe gastrointestinal pain and viral infections.  But this is the first time we needed stitches....

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by Marissa Bagshaw on 9 November 2011 in , , , , , with 1 Comments

Birthday parties used to be sensory hell for Mei, she couldn’t tolerate the overwhelming attack on her senses. The crowds, loud music, clowns, magicians, bouncy castles, even lighted candles were a sensorial attack. The few parties we attended were miserable failures. After turning down several party invites, the invitations dwindled down to nothing. Even the girls’ own birthdays were a disaster. There are no GFCF bakeries in Malaysia, so I baked and decorated GFCF cakes which usually tasted as bad as they looked. We invited the girls’ one remaining friend and sang Happy Birthday in our quietest voice to the accompaniment of Mei’s shrieks and Min Min’s sobs....

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by Amy Waczek on 24 October 2011 in , , , , , with 0 Comments

Let me just warn you...I love Halloween. Not the gory Freddie Kruger stuff with gross out bloody masks with all manner of hardware and veins popping out, but the whimsical Halloween with witches, ghosts and caramel dipped apples. My kids were early converts to my love of All Hallow’s Eve, but my husband is a hold-out because of all the aforementioned gore. Each year, he turns into the Halloween version of the Christmas Grinch. So each year, to seduce him over to the (highly decaffeinated) dark side, and to thrill my kids, we throw an old fashioned Halloween party.Complete with a bean bag toss, eyeball-in-a-spoon relay race and a tootsie roll toss, we decorate brown lunch bags with washable markers,......

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by Maryann Della Rocco on 5 October 2011 in , with 0 Comments

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I am officially obsessed with my hair right now. I have naturally curly/wavy hair and for all of my adult life I've worked to smooth those curls out and have nearly straight locks. Well recently I found out about the curly girl method and have actually been trying to nourish my hair into beautiful curls. There is this whole science associated with successfully treating curly hair involving removal of bad ingredients, adding nourishing products, using said products in the correct combination, determining whether your hair likes protein or not and conditioning appropriately, applying coconut and other healthy oils, even the meteorological dew point!  Sounds a little like biomedical treatment, doesn't it? (And don't baulk about the meteorological connection to biomedical,......

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 2 August 2011 in , , , , , with 2 Comments

Life never takes a break. Sometimes I imagine that since we have autism in our lives, then the rest of life should take it easy on us. But that is never, ever the case, is it? Life always seems to have something up its sleeve....

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Be Here Now

Jul 07

by Diane Hunter on 7 July 2011 in with 0 Comments

Our nightly ritual involves ordinary magic.  Our family gathers at the dinner table to share stories about the day. We clear dishes, brush teeth, read bedtime stories, sing “Edelweiss” and “Memories” and my husband and I kiss our two boys good night. Tonight, however, my older son Ian is a little restless and lingers in the living room.  To sooth himself he hums and rubs his hands rhythmically against the wall and carpet.  He eventually settles down on the couch, flopping side-to-side, and after an hour falls asleep.  Thirty minutes later, I help him walk sleepily up the stairs to his room and onto his bed, but he won’t lie down.  Normally, he’d plop right down and settle in for......

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 11 June 2011 in , with 5 Comments

Matthew was our first child. The day he was born it snowed, a big East Coast snow, but I didn’t care I was getting my baby boy. When he was born he was purple. When he was born he was silent. When he was born he wasn’t breathing. I thought he was going to die. Within hours of this traumatic birth he was given the Hepatitis B vaccine. He could not breast feed, he would rarely wake up, he was jaundice and something just wasn’t right. We took him to myriad of doctors and specialists trying to figure out why he couldn’t breastfeed, why he couldn’t pass stool, why he couldn’t hold his head up, why he startled at every......

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The word “exciting” would be a definite understatement for expressing the course of events at where I work. After nearly six months of employment for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, I got the chance to share my knowledge of the disorder during an open house event attended by parents, practitioners and the press. When I wrapped up the presentation, I could hardly believe the vast number of attendees that stayed for an extra hour to have a word with me. I found myself spending the rest of the evening sharing ideas and advice with parents and professionals from a deep pool of backgrounds in the field of autism (something I truly enjoy doing)....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 5 May 2011 in , , , with 6 Comments

I’ve never done anything really BIG in my life. I don’t think my name will be recalled in great debates long after I’m gone and I’m pretty sure you won’t find any of my writings being discussed on college campuses. But I dream BIG. Before autism entered our lives I dreamed of being a supermom. You know them, right? They always look put together with perfect hair, great figures and always the right shoes. They say the perfect things, their kids are star athletes, and for some reason they are always taller than me. What is up with that?...

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 29 April 2011 in , , , , with 0 Comments

If your community is like ours, you probably have been inundated with flyers for camps, classes and activities all geared towards summer fun for your children! I am torn when it comes to summer plans for our autistic son. On the one side I don’t want to hold him back by not putting him in a general camp for normally developing children, but I also don’t want to put him a group where the instructor doesn’t understand his needs and therefore he doesn’t get much from the experience. But on the other side I question his need for a special needs camp? He is extremely high functioning and interacts with other children very well, so special needs camps seem like......

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by Tim Welsh on 31 March 2011 in with 0 Comments

Tanner spoke, chewed, played, dreamed, shot the basketball and road a bike. That all went away that day. His regression took him backwards to the abilities of a toddler. It changed our lives forever. I hope I can relate our mission to help Tanner, others, educate and search for answers through this blog with Generation Rescue. One more time for those who do not know our story, I will tell it again. I am not sure why this has been one of the hardest blogs to write. I have penned more than 500 blogs and posts. I have been a little over the top with more than 40,000 posts to twitter....

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by Maryann DellaRocco on 30 March 2011 in , , with 0 Comments

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