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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So I'm off on the interwebs debating people on the new Mayo clinic study that found no connection between autism and GI problems. It's exactly like LBRB says. The argument is "That can't be, my kid has a gluten allergy! This study is wrong!"

Ok, let's take this one step at a time.

People can have autism AND allergies or food intolerance. However, having autism doesn't make you any more likely to have them than the general population. It just means you got two challenges for the price of one.

It means tinkering around with GFCF diets as a matter of course is not necessarily helpful unless you're noticing physical symptoms like rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, etc . And by "not necessarily helpful" I'll say that making complicated, time consuming, and expensive changes to your child's diet, especially when they may already have feeding issues? Probably not wise.

Also, Wakefield = Full of shit. But that one was pretty much a given. Special GI symptom causing autism? Uh, no. Special colonoscopy causing researcher, more like.

Now there's another study on GFCF diet specifically and whether or not it helps improve problem behavior. I'm expecting it to have the same results as a smaller scale study, in that GFCF diets didn't help, but parents thought they did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stupid in My Inbox

Yeah, I'm not sure why I end up on mailing lists sometimes. Someone sent me an invitation to this conference. It wasn't to a newsgroup or something. They sent it directly to me. Odd.

Anyone who has talked to me for more than two seconds would probably know that this conference? Do. Not. Want.

Doesn't it look nice and professional? I particularly enjoy the gigantic and random fonts used everywhere. Yeah, ok, I'm a design snob sometimes, but make an effort, people!

Anyway, the list of speakers is like a who's who of people who make me angry they're getting a platform to speak. Seriously. The Geiers? Of chemically-castrate-children with Lupron fame? Lisa Sykes, the sue-happy-go-lucky mom who thinks this Lupron and chelation stuff is awesome? Lori Knowles and Dr William Shaw, who are also trying to sell you crap science in a bottle? BTW, she's another example of someone who uses conventional speech therapy and dietary woo and credits the success to the woo. Now she'll happily sell it to you! Oh, and there are more pill pushers there, too. But don't let those evil pharma shills attend the conference with all their science and reason. They're just trying to sell you drugs, man.

So I should ask for the time off work, hop in the car, and shell out $100 by August 1st so I can get the "free" copy of the Geirs/Sykes book, right?

Let's Internet Diagnose Everyone

I guess I've finally "made it." I got a comment in my last entry with a link to an Amanda Baggs denier. Amanda Baggs, for the uninitiated, is an autism rights activist. She lives independently with a lot of supports and speaks out about her experiences. She shot to e-fame when she created this video:

And then she was on CNN and CBS. Where they, btw, interviewed her state-supplied caregivers. If she's faking it, damn, she's good. She's just like Obama with his ability to go back in time and make Hawaiian newspapers print birth announcements.

Amanda Baggs has a lot of strong opinions, which she makes in both video and written form. I don't necessarily agree with all of them, and I don't necessarily disagree with all of them. She is a person with opinions, and they are informed by her personal experiences.

I guess, however, that sometimes the easiest way to disagree with opinions of a disabled person is to decide that the person making them must somehow be faking it. Deaf people couldn't possibly mean it when they say they don't want to hear, and that they are proud to be Deaf right? And yet, they do. And sometimes they even *gasp* express opinions on how hearing people should raise Deaf children. Are Deaf people faking it? So why should it be any different when someone who is autistic says they don't want to be cured?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Queen for a day

Having a child with autism is nothing like having a child with cancer. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, there's a pile of bitter vomit over at AoA. Thanks to Countering Age of Autism and Gonzolog for the link.

Holy fuck, woman! Get some damned perspective. And some therapy, stat. Yes, it's harder than some people realize to parent a child with autism. Yes, there are extra expenses you didn't consider. Speaking of dead children and mourning for your very-much-alive child that is "dead" in your eyes at age eight is just, just... wow. I think you get the new refrigerator and the crown!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The health and insurance debates are making me a little depressed. I keep getting emails to "call Speaker Pelosi" and tell her to cover autism. Right now, I'm just not sure if scraped knees are really going to get covered.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy 4th

So we took the kiddos for a long day of fun having. One of the firecracker stands near us has camel rides. Go figure. Anyway, took the kids there. I suppose a less paranoid mom would have just let both kids ride at the same time, but I was concerned that the boy would not keep his hands on the handlebar. It's a long drop. Didn't feel like risking it. Plus? Camel ride. ;-)
\Then we were off to the downtown activities, including a bouncy castle, a carnival ride type thingy with suspended chairs that twirled around, and a bouncy obstacle course.

Guess who absolutely loved each and every ride or event and absolutely melted down with each turn waiting in line and each time his turn ended? Uh, yeah. But our boy tends to have short meltdowns that make it possible to go to something, say sorry about the crying, and go on to the next thing. I figure eventually he'll catch on to how it all works.

Then we ate fried oysters, went home to take a nap for the big event. We got the boy to shout "Boom!" at the fireworks. He, of course, loved them. Loved the colors, loved the loud noises, loved the whole thing. The girl did, too. I was a bit concerned that she'd be upset at the loud booms, but she was fine with them. It's interesting what sets her off and what doesn't. Don't even try to flush the toilet before she gets her ears plugged.

Anyway, the kids came home very tired and very happy. The girl wanted to make sure we'd get to do this again next year. I think we will.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Progress and the Boy

It's been a while, so here's what all's been going on.

The boy will have his AAC. Insurance is even paying for it. Wow. We can use our family grant money to cover the initial exam and possibly some training on how to use it with him, yay.

I don't doubt that it will be a tool to get him to talk more, not a permanent substitute for vocal speech. He may need some sort of AAC forever, we'll see, but he's definitely making more and more strides toward actual understandable speech.

He's picked up on my repeated attempts to get him to add adjectives to his noun labeling, so he'll point and say things like, "Blue fish. Green pants. Red bird." He actually seems to get some facial expressions. He's been playing a lot, and his favorite game is now the "All About Me" module. He's learned "boy" and "girl," though he doesn't always label correctly. He's learned happy, smiling, sad, and grumpy, and he'll make facial expressions to match. They're still exaggerated, but that's some big progress there!

I don't have to watch over him constantly to make sure he doesn't run away at events and in the store. He'll actually walk next to the cart. He told us he was ready for that step, and he was. Please, please, please let him tell us he's ready to potty train next!