Saturday, February 23, 2013

Autistic People Should...

I saw this on Facebook today:

So of course I went to Google and typed "Autistic people should."  It auto-generated this: 

I'm not surprised after all the hatred that flowed toward people with Autism after the Sandy Hook shootings. I tried to ignore that. But this bothers me. So I'm creating my own post on what I think Autistic People Should Do. Because it's certainly not to crawl into a hole and die.

Here is what the Autism Society of America had to say about the discussion: 

Autism Society: No Link Between Autism and Planned Violence

December 18, 2012
By Autism Society 
The Autism Society continues to mourn the lives lost on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. We join the nation as we keep our collective attention focused on those directly impacted by this tragedy.

In the nation’s rush to understand the reasoning for such an awful occurrence, the conversation evolved to include the alleged shooter’s possible diagnosis on the autism spectrum. The Autism Society feels it is imperative to remove autism from this tragic story.  Race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are seldom, if ever, linked to the actions of an individual in a causal relationship.  It is imperative that developmental disorders and disabilities be treated in the same vein.  

Further, the Autism Society is committed to informing, educating and securing appropriate services by providing reliable and unbiased information. To that end, we are compelled to dispel any myths about individuals with autism:

No evidence exists to link autism and premeditated violence. Suggesting otherwise is wrong and harmful to the more than 1.5 million individuals living with autism in the United States.1

Individuals with autism and those with other disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than the perpetrators.2

Many of individuals with Asperger’s syndrome who have committed crimes had co-existing psychiatric disorders.3

Individuals with autism who act aggressively typically do so because they are reacting to a situation.

Please do not judge any individual with autism based on the discourse surrounding Friday’s tragic event. Instead, please strive to educate and inform your communities. Help the Autism Society ensure that individuals with autism are not marginalized due to a misunderstanding of a complicated disorder.  

Of course, it's better to use the words "person with Autism" instead of "Autistic." But since we want this post to show up on Google's feed, we'll use their terminology.

So here's my vote, to spread the flash blog and Hope for Autism.

Autistic People Should:

have a nice place to live (i.e., clean, safe, and cheery)
not be restrained or put in seclusion
receive proper medical, behavioral, social, and nutritional care
have a say in their own treatment plans
have a say in the laws that are made for and about them
participate in community and public events
be taught and encouraged to make positive choices in their life 
receive schooling and employment training in their least restrictive environment
have a job they enjoy, just like everyone else
be encouraged to live a happy, healthy, productive life, just like everyone else
be loved by their family
be free to find love

What did I forget? Do you disagree? Add your suggestions below in the comments. What do you think Autistic People Should Do? 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Welcome To Supplement Land

The supplements on the stove in the above picture are ones that need to be kept cold, so they're usually in the fridge. They came out of the Tundra for the picture. : )

Friends from another cabinet who were absent on picture day.

Tools of the trade. I try to keep these guys organized, like they are in the first picture. But usually they end up all haphazard like this.

The stickers above are great for labeling food. They dissolve in water so you don't have to worry about removing them before you wash the dish. 

Since Rylie is so little, I give her only a portion of the above supplements in her juice. This means I only use 1/3 or 1/4 of the capsule. I put the capsule back together and save it for the next time, since the supplements are so expensive. They each have their own container to live in so I know what they are, since the two on the right look very similar.

 I have a cup I keep in Supplement Land for the empty capsules, so I don't have to run to the trash after each one. I empty this each day. 

For vitamin A, which comes in a dropper, the dose is too large for Rylie. I use 1T of filtered water and 1 drop of Vitamin A. Then I use 1tsp a day of this mixture as her daily vitamin A dose, essentially dividing that drop of A into 3 doses. I make enough for several days and keep it in a glass container with a lid.

Vitamin D, grapefruit seed extract, and vitamin K also come in a dropper.

The majority of the supplements come in pill form, but I still get several in powder form since Rylie is too little to swallow pills. Vitamin C is one that I use for her in powdered form.

For the kids' medicines I use a syringe. Unless they are sick or have some type of yeast or bacteria issue, the only "medicine" they take on a regular basis is allergy medicine (generic Zyrtec), though some of their vitamins are prescription rather than OTC. 

My own supplements, since people often ask what I take. I keep these in a different cabinet.  I also take D, A, probiotics, enzymes, magnesium (my best friend!), grapefruit seed extract and yeast aid sometimes, and colostrum if I'm feeling sick. Melatonin is a must each night to help me fall asleep. I've always been one whose head hits the pillow at night and all the thoughts and worries won't stop swirling. Melatonin turns those off within half an hour so I can get to sleep. Hayden and Rylie haven't shown a need for it so I don't use it with them, except sometimes on holidays when they are ramped up and can't get to sleep on their own.

Hayden takes 8 supplements at school each day. This helps me greatly to try and get all of these into him each day.

For a while I was printing this sheet for each day and using a pen to check items off. Last week I decided to try putting the page in a plastic sheet protector and writing on it with a dry erase marker. You can see this in the first picture above. This way I only have to reprint the sheet when there are changes rather than every day.

More information:

Our Supplement Sheet  Or, "It's all worth it because... it's working."

(Including the video in which Hayden explainswhy he doesn't like to "take pills all day long")

Our Kids ASD is a great site for purchasing supplements

Nourishing Hope for Autism has some good videos to help you learn the science behind the nutrition-Autism link.  I highly recommend her book, as well

Supplements aren't regulated or tested. Many include heavy metals, mold, and common allergens. This is why it's important to purchase a brand that does thorough testing for contaminants

(Insert my usual reminder to make sure you are giving supplements under the direction of a dietitian or doctor. I can't say this enough times. Some supplements interfere with each other, or are dangerous at certain levels. It's important to consult with someone who specializes in nutrition, preferably a licensed dietitian who is familiar with the nutritional needs of people with Autism. :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Toothbrush Grew Legs

Once upon a time... I could set my belongings down wherever I wanted, say on a counter, or the table, or the couch, or the floor... and when I went back the next day... they would STILL BE THERE. Like, say, a toothbrush. Or an orange. Or my shoes. Or the remote. Or, I don't know, the can opener. Clean dishes. Bills. My computer mouse.

Since then, all my belongings have grown legs to move around, and brains to decide that the preferred spot for any belonging is always the floor, in a spot furthest from its original location. The pizza cutter likes the computer chair, for example. The bathroom is always a good relocation choice. Or in a pile in the middle of the kitchen while I'm cooking. Funny how they move like that while you're trying to get things done. 

I vaguely remember a time when I didn't have to wade through 1000 Lego body parts and 27 sensory toys to sit on the couch. Where I could simply sit without moving 3 naked babies, a stale cookie, Mario, Sonic, Iron Man, and 4 books about dogs.

That's ok... I kinda like it this way.