Friday, June 29, 2007
ANYWAY......after the little "moment" 2 days ago I made you come in.....and we talked about what you did wrong.....how you handled it.....how it would make you feel if someone did the same thing to you.....and it was like a "lightbulb" clicked on inside your head. You got it. I told you that night it would be nice if you apologized for your behavior to the little girl the next time you saw her.
It then rained for 2 days.
Today was a gorgeous day. You got to go outside and play with the "girls!" You came in all happy and announced that B. decided to take you back as a friend "once I apologized for yelling at her 2 days ago."
MILESTONE for you! You are starting to get very good at this and it is coming more naturally for you without prompting which is what we want!
We made more gingerbread cookies tonight......here are some of them:
I love you!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
You did work through all those emotions pretty quickly and ended up okay in the long run...so that is good.
Nothing new to tell tonight.
and I still love you.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
You picked out some beach shoes at the store yesterday......all excited about "your training" as you called your upcoming swimming lessons.
You have your mindset that you will be doing "all this training" to learn to swim. I think that is great and the perfect mindset to have and yes....it will be training!
Today will be another hot one. Maybe after I mow you can go swimming in the pool out back!
I love you
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
This is HUGE for YOU. I am thrilled.....I have told you for a long time now that my homemade gingerbread cookie dough tastes just like Pillsbury which had been the ONLY kind you would eat and you loved.
SO.....we made a batch the other night and you discovered I was right and now you love MY homemade gingerbread cookies!
I realize this seems insignificant to most....but this is HUGE for you.
I love you very much......
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses (mild)
6 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ginger
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Icing for decorating along with raisins or M&Ms and other candies
In large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. In another bowl combine dry ingredients. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough into thirds and wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough as thin or thick as you want....cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes till just starting to brown. Cool and ice and decorate.
We roll our cookies fairly thick....and do not bake them to get too crisp as we like them softer. This recipe easily makes 4 cookie sheets of cookies...if not more. You can also reduce the spices in this recipe to taste. Noah thinks they had a tad too much ginger. So the nice thing about homemade is we can adjust to our preferences.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Shot with DMC-TZ1. at 1969-12-31 (NOT sure where this information came from as it is not correct...the date anyway)
(Noah looks so serious because he was analyzing the ride and trying to figure out how it worked....that is what he talked about when he got off it.)
We had a BLAST! You got to ride a roller coaster for the first time in your life and LOVED IT. I watched your face going down the first hill and you turned so white and looked alarmed......so I just leaned over and told you it would be okay and fun and if it bothered you to watch it you could close your eyes......but that you might want to keep them open and enjoy it all because the ride would end so quickly. You kept your eyes open......and then just naturally without any coaxing by me.......raised your arms in the air and let go and SMILED. BIG BIG smiles.......and started laughing. Aunt Melissa was behind us with Audrey and they were screaming. I was laughing at you. I was THRILLED you had the reaction you did.
What impressed me more than anything......and I wish I could have captured it on film.......was AFTER riding the roller coaster.....walking out....you spied your other aunties and cousin....in line waiting on another ride......and you gave them all a TWO THUMBS UP sign.......to show you enjoyed the ride.
We went on the water rides.....and got soaked! YOU LOVED it. We went on White Water Rapids 3 times! We laughed so hard and got soaking soaking wet! I remember the days when you could not even tolerate ONE DROP of water on your clothes. Well we were SATURATED! NO problems! You rode little cars with Audrey. We went through Scooby Doo's Haunted House mansion....so many things.
There were places where you could actually eat food......because Kings Island is branching out finally and now putting in franchises of name-brand restaurants and such...like Chick-Fil-A, Subways, Skyline Chili....even Starbucks!
So you were able to eat, drink and enjoy yourself tremendously. We all rode up to the top of the Eiffel Tower.....and you loved it......not afraid of that elevator or the height at all! I know sometimes you don't care much for elevators.
You had fun in the arcade area.....I found out you were very good at tossing the basketball into those hoops! WOW you were amazing and seemed to have a natural ability!
All in all we had a fabulous day. You had NO meltdowns.....NO bad behavior. You listened very very well......and only cried when it was time to go home because you did not want everyone to leave....you wanted them all to come back to our house.
I was and continue to be thrilled! Each success like this just advances you to GO in my book......and builds your confidence......and makes it easier for you AND me to try the next new thing that comes up.
I love you so much....and am very very proud of the little man you are becoming. I wish I could have captured each moment on film yesterday....they will be forever emblazoned in my memory as I hope they are yours.
CLICK BLUE LINK BELOW to see Noah and Audrey ride the mini cars
(AND I want to thank a very special man I hold very dear to my heart......for giving me such incredible words of wisdom and a wake-up call. I will forever hear your words spoken to me......to have more faith in my son and to give him more credit and to NOT have a defeatist attitude. Those words replayed in my mind at least a few hundred times throughout our entire day...which I KNOW added to its success. I thank you for helping to keep us on the right path)
AND on another note....some of my thoughts while spending the day at Kings Island were this:
I think they would make a ton of money if they would set up a booth outside the water rides that sold mini zippered waterproof bags or even simple Ziplock baggies....
PEOPLE WOULD BUY THEM! They were all asking "honey did you bring the plastic waterproof bag?"
Same for socks on the way OUT of the ride.
A SOCK BOOTH.....EVERYONE who had socks on that got soaked wanted DRY SOCKS. KINGS ISLAND does NOT sell socks! So unless you bring a pair to change into.....you will get blisters walking in wet socks in wet shoes! I brought a dry pair for Noah to change into.....
OR sell those beach shoes.....cheap. WHY does Kings Island charge so much? It costs 3.39 for a BOTTLE of water! If they lowered their prices a bit......they would sell even more and everyone would be happier. Starbucks was the ONLY place we found that kept true prices even in Kings Island. EVERY other place JACKED their prices UP. And set up some duplicate MINI booths of some of the chains throughout the park so you don't have to walk 3 miles to get back to a place that sold something you wanted.....
SO I think a great money maker would be a sock booth, a baggie booth...and what happened to the Shuttles from the parking lot to the entrance?
THEY NO LONGER exist! It is quite a hike from the lots to the entrance! Why not offer a shuttle ride for 1.00 each? I mean they charge 10.00 for parking now......TEN DOLLARS!
AND they need janitors
to patrol the restrooms all the time! KEEP them clean. Some of the ones I was in were very messy and nasty. Not horribly bad but come on. Places like that should be spotless I think. AND you bathroom designers....should learn to make all stall doors open OUT not just handicapped toilets......so we don't have to walk in and STAND on top of the toilet just to GET IN the stall and be able to close the door. We don't want to have to TOUCH those when entering a stall.......the doors opening out makes entrance IN so much easier for everyone.
Not sure if they sell aspirin or Tylenol or things
like that at Kings Island. I always make sure to take my own. However.....many people do NOT take their own.....a mini drugstore or counter where small packages of such are sold would also go over big along with DRAMAMINE!
AND I am not complaining here...just some ideas that crossed my mind while there. I had a blast right along with Noah....and I am sure Kings Island charges what they do because they know people will have no choice but to pay it once IN! which they do! You can easily spend 50.00 for food and drinks and not have ANYTHING. Anyway.....we had a ball regardless.....and it will be great to go back again and ride even more rides next time!
OH......and another thing. Noah I THANK YOU for being so EXCELLENT at maps and highways and where they are and where they intersect. Without you yesterday we may have still been out there driving around....as I took a wrong turn and we got on the wrong road....but you helped me get back to the right road. It is amazing the knowledge you store up in your brain! YOU my little man are like MY personal MAPQUEST or navigator! By the way...when asked what your favorite parts of the day were.....you said
1) Skee-ball in the arcade
2) Fairly Oddcoaster
3) The Eiffel Tower elevator ride
Friday, June 22, 2007
Meanwhile he is excited about Kings Island tomorrow. He says he will ride the rides...and I believe him. SO it should be a good time.
AND that is all I am saying this morning.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Through the fence you look at me
Playing games and pretending to see
Things in the sky and under the trees
A tree that sometimes is filled with bees
Through the fence we meet to play
It's where we like to spend the day
Making tents though they may sway
Somehow we know it'll be okay
Through the fence I scoot up close
Sharing stories and wiggling toes
Licking Popsicles that touch our nose
Sometimes still out till the firefly glows
Through the fence I look for you
Calling your name till my lips turn blue
Wanting to show you something I drew
Feeling so lonely when you miss your cue
Through the fence reflects how it's been
Me on one side you watching me spin
Sometimes wishing I could touch your skin
And sometimes not wanting to let you in
Through the fence keeps us divided
Making everything seem so one-sided
And though we have things carefully provided
I sometimes wish it was all less-guided
Through the fence we share our drinks
Our hopes and dreams the things we think
Fingers reaching between the links
Wishing somehow we could remove the chinks
Copyright ©2007 man&SippingTheVastSpring
You have been very affectionate today...giving me kisses and telling me you love me.....and "a lot"......"without" any prompting.
You made friends with the neighbor's dog and was very very affectionate with it and thoroughly enjoyed his licks on your face and hands.
You ate 3 bites of an apple slice yesterday. FIRST TIME EVER!
You had a mini-moment today with the neighbor girls but recovered almost immediately and we then discussed how you SHOULD have handled it and you went immediately back out and tried it again.
We are going to sign you up for swimming lessons at the YMCA next week and maybe some other classes/camps which you are very excited about.
Your appointment with the urologist was today. I am still trying to digest all of that information. All I will say for now is you will have to undergo surgery....something I was hoping you would be able to avoid.
We have had a busy day and you are tired and so am I....but now I have to get back to work.
I love you too Noah....a lot.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We had a great day today. We got to go see Grandma C. for a visit and you got to share one of your favorite Peanuts books with her.
You had to stay inside today because of the intermittent bad storms in our area ...so you designed houses on your house design program on your computer. It is amazing to see some of the ideas you come up with and how you design the rooms.
You are very excited about Kings Island on Saturday....and already hoping the weather will permit the trip!
I love you very much.
"it is time to get him a more mature haircut-he is too old for the bowl cut-especially if he is going to go to school in the fall."
I did not post it as a comment.....but instead decided to post it here as part of a new post as it got me to thinking about some things.
First of all since you chose to be ANONYMOUS I have no idea who you are......your background, age...and awareness of autism or ignorance thereof. The matter-of-fact way you left the comment makes me tend more toward thinking you are perhaps more "ignorant" of autistic children than aware. Of course I could be wrong. Again I have no way of knowing.
BUT for some reason your comment pissed me off. SO I am addressing it here for all to see. I have tried to figure out all the WHYS of why it pissed me off so much. I think because it so clearly shows the mentality of the general population in our world today. I doubt you are truly concerned he will maybe get picked on one day probably by a child with opinions such as you displayed here.
Noah is a UNIQUE individual. His hair or lack thereof or hairstyle should make NO difference whatsoever in the grand spectrum of things. And yet for some like you ANONYMOUS.....it seems to be of grave concern.
I have no desire to mainstream Noah and turn him into a cookie cutter version of whatever is most popular in the world today. The way he has his hair is HIS choice and HIS preference....because he prefers things to remain the same. He has HUGE issues with scissors and razors and electric hair clippers. He will not let anyone touch his hair in that manner yet. One day maybe it will be no problem for him to walk into a Barber Shop for a regular hair cut like everyone else. For now.....at 8 years of age ...still a little boy.....having a bowl-cut hair style should be of no concern to anyone....his peers, teachers and especially adults. It does not affect his performance. It does not affect anything he says or does. I highly doubt any other child would even think about such things yet to make fun of about another child..or I can at least hope they have not. This is what is sadly so wrong in our society today. Our kids are being taught you have to FIT IN to be acceptable. Well I for one know that is a load of crap! I relish ANYONE child or adult who has the fortitude to withstand being unique in the world today despite pressure placed on them from all angles.
This is one reason part of me wishes I could just keep Noah in a safe place...away from crap like this that he will have to learn to face one day like I did and everyone else in the world does. ...sometimes turning people out just like ANONYMOUS......who are forever stuck thinking one MUST look just like everybody else or they won't fit in and be accepted.
Noah believe it or not is OBLIVIOUS to his hair.....or anyone else's hair. However he does not want anyone messing with it. He could care less what color a child is.....whether or not they are disabled......what age they are.......etc. He truly tries to see and find the person WITHIN the outer being....and that is what he focuses on.
I wish more of society would be like him in that respect.
To be honest......I am more afraid of him being made fun of for still needing help in the restroom by his aide even if they are female.......at 8 years of age.....than what kind of hair cut he has!
AND more importantly....I am thankful he has accepted his hair....because when he was younger he went through a period of pulling it out and he had little to NO hair on the entire top of his head.....
Monday, June 18, 2007
Consumers who have bought these toys should stop using them unless they are told otherwise by the authorities.
The toys affected are listed below. They are wooden vehicles, buildings and other parts for the Thomas and Friends train set which has the logo "Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway" in the top left hand corner of the package.
The manufacturing code is on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover. Those marked with WJ or AZ are NOT included in this recall, says the announcement.
The toys that could contain poisonous amounts of lead in their surface paint are:
* Red James Engine & Red James' # 5 Coal Tender.
* Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James' #5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender.
* James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors #5 Coal Tender.
* Red Skarloey Engine.
* Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach.
* Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck.
* Red Musical Caboose.
* Red Sodor Line Caboose.
* Red Coal Car labeled "2006 Day Out With Thomas" on the Side.
* Red Baggage Car.
* Red Holiday Caboose.
* Red "Sodor Mail" Car.
* Red Fire Brigade Truck.
* Red Fire Brigade Train.
* Deluxe Sodor Fire Station.
* Red Coal Car.
* Yellow Box Car.
* Red Stop Sign.
* Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign.
* Yellow "Sodor Cargo Company" Cargo Piece.
* Smelting Yard.
* Ice Cream Factory.
Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults. Lead poisoning causes vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, anemia, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, constipation, irritability, fatigue, constipation, difficulty sleeping, headaches and coma. It can be fatal.
There have been no reports of illness or injury so far.
The toys, which have been retailed throughout the US (and 90,000 in Canada) since the beginning of 2005 and sell for between 10 and 70 US dollars are made in China.
This product recall comes in the wake of several other health scares in the US involving imports from China, including pet food contaminated with melamine and toothpaste contaminated with DEG.
Consumers should take any of these toys away from children and they can contact the manufacturer for a replacement toy.
The recall hotlines are (US numbers): Firm's Recall Hotline: (866) 725-4407; CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772.
Lead poisoning is a bigger threat to children than one might think. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 million US children under 5 have high levels of lead in their blood, and more than 20 per cent of African American children living in old houses built before 1946 have high levels of lead in their blood.
Other sources of lead that children can be exposed to include: house paints, soil and dirt (especially near busy streets), drinking water (from old lead pipes) and a large range of other products, especially those coated with lead based paints such as imported window blinds. Take for instance a fisherman's lead sinker; it could be a fascinating play object that finds its way inadvertently into the pocket of a small child.
Lead poisoning can be subtle and many children do not show physical symptoms. The CDC now recommends children living in high risk areas should be screened.
Click here for more information on the dangers and sources of lead exposure for children (US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences).
Written by: Catharine Paddock
Writer: Medical News Today
Copyright: Medical News Today
On Father's Day we went to spend the day at you grandma and grandpa L.'s house for a cook out and your cousins were there. I took you kids to the park. Your cousin Audrey who is 7 and your cousin Alex who I think is 14 now.....soon to be 15.....came along with us to the local park. They have an amazing place there....with huge wooden castles and all these slides and sensory things you can play on. While there I was once again quickly reminded of how far behind you are developmentally physically. I know before when you were tested you were always at least 2 years behind where you should be for your age. Sometimes 3-4 years. You have come a long way....but today I noticed a few things. I am not going to compare you with your cousin Audrey who is 7 years old or your cousin Alex who is much older. Everyone is different. However....I noticed today some specific things about you.
I noticed you are still fairly physically uncoordinated and weak though you have made huge improvements. While you wanted to do many of the things your cousins would do you either could not or had a very hard time handling them for the duration.
For example......any upper body strength playground equipment such as monkey bars or triangles.....or pulleys.......while you want to do them....you physically are still just incapable. I usually try to support you from below while you hang on and feel like you are gliding or climbing across the bars with your hands and arms.
Even the boards that swayed while people stood on them......while you wanted to hop on with your cousins.......they would really bounce it around and you quickly panicked and started to reach a meltdown point.....I could see it building....because you just could not hang on or stand up or handle it. It was moving too fast or bouncing too much for you to easily be able to stand on and hold on at the same time. I was able to stop them so you could get off because I could see what was happening......as you were not even able in that type of situation to physically verbalize for help! Or to tell them to STOP!
This is the type of thing that concerns me when I am away from you.....while present I can see and monitor situations and stop them from escalating to a point where you cannot handle something. If I am absent.....you would be pushed over the edge.....even unintentionally.......and then you would likely lose it or get very hurt physically. When school starts this concerns me.....because they do not yet know you or understand what makes you tick. Not that they cannot learn....but someone will have to be present to monitor situations all the time and make sure you stay safe and keep your cool! In the past these situations would escalate till you have a meltdown or get hurt. Or you would push another child. You have never enjoyed playing with rowdy rough kids or been able to handle it well. You usually preferred playing with younger children or children less rough. AND many times this means girls or even handicapped children. You have always been drawn to handicapped children. Anyway.....
I also noticed you tire very easily still.....your endurance is lacking. You looked many times today like you were going to pass out or have a heat stroke. Grant it after it rained hard it was very very humid outside. All these things will need to be monitored. You so much want to fit in and do what everyone else is doing. However.....today it was once again obvious you physically just cannot always do so. I know one day you will be able to though. Today you about lost it on the tire swing. Alex was pushing you and Audrey a bit too high. You were having a hard time hanging on and you started to panic....you would have preferred just spinning on the tire swing. The bouncy board platform......you did better sitting rather than standing. You were drawn to some bells they had on clappers kids could play with. I did not take any photos of that because I did not have my camera. However.....you chimed and chimed away......saying different pitches reminded you of different RR crossing bells. You really enjoyed that.
Then you basically just did too much in one day. Next week they want to go to Kings Island. You are really excited about that.......but I am already worried it may just be too much for you. Walking all day in the heat and you without new orthotics yet.....etc. You wear out so easily so quickly. BUT we will see how it goes and hope for the best! I am hopeful we can all have fun!
I love you Noah. I am here to make sure you get what you need to become the best you can be.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
PIC of STINK HOLE
The smell underneath the pool smelled just like a stable full of wet straw with a dab of manure mixed in! We now smell like we live on a farm in the backyard......when the breeze kicks up over that area......I feel like I stepped right out onto Green Acres!
I got the hose out...cleaned the pool out and off and placed that into the sun to dry. THEN I hosed the entire grassy area off......hoping it would dilute the simmering stew somewhat......and now the sun is baking it dry. We have had NO RAIN for so long.....we are officially in a drought now I believe. EVERYONE's grass is yellow and dead/dormant. The only thing still growing are weeds and clover. I would feel silly running my mower just to mow down the clover!
Noah wanted to play with the girls next door......so I made tents for them between the fence with blankets and chairs. They laid down on sleeping bags and for 3-4 hours...they basically laid their like exhausted slugs....sucking down Popsicles as fast as I could carry them out to them...their little cheeks red with heat. THEY ALL looked like they could have a heat stroke!
They are all in now taking a break. I left the tents out there for now....maybe they will play in them again later tonight.
SO......it is actually nice outside even if a bit warm.....because we have NO humidity......
now if I could decrease the funky barnyard smell a tad from the yard. I certainly don't want to sit outside and then go to a store and smell like a combination of manure and wet hay!
Noah took his Peanuts books out to his homemade tent to read early this evening.
Friday, June 15, 2007
We played Mexican Dominoes before that sitting outside. The weather has been absolutely beautiful! Nice and warm during the day but not too hot...and LOW LOW humidity! VERY VERY NICE! This is the kind of weather it could be all summer and I would be happy.
You have not gotten back in your swimming pool but once since you went swimming with Audrey. SO I am draining it tonight.....will move it and clean it out and refill it with air and water again when you think you are ready to swim again. No sense filling it and letting it sit.
You seem tired lately. We had some errands to run today and you pooped out pretty quickly. I don't think you got enough sleep last night.
Well...I need to get to bed too. I love you Noah!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The words said:
Here I am far away
hundred miles and oceans from you
feel the need to cry out loud
I want you to know
oh, you're all I care for
oh, you're all I care for
oh, you're all I care for
you're all I need
I asked you what it reminded you of or made you think about. You said "daddy and being away from him." I asked you how that made you feel....you said "sometimes sad......sometimes happy.....what is the word for a little bit of both?" I said "melancholy?" .....and you seemed happy to know this.
Needless to say it made me also feel sad and happy. Happy to know you understand words now so well and they are really starting to mean things to you. Sad because I also realize you probably have more crap going on in your head than any of us around you ever know.....and I am sure this only scratched the surface. You are very very deep and we can forget that as it is so easily disguised in an 8-year-old little boy's body. But your mind is mature beyond its years in understanding love and the things important in life.
This is a song by the group Gotthard.......and the entire lyrics are listed below.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SONG as you read along All I Care For
Another day before us
and we're ready for the show
across the land of mystery
everyone with their own dream
sometimes harder than they seem
Here I am far away
hundred miles and oceans from you
feel the need to cry out loud
I want you to know
oh, you're all I care for
oh, you're all I care for
you're all I need
Soon I will be back again
I know, it's hard to love a kind of man
always on the line
always out of time
just one thing I know for sure
Here I am far away
hundred miles and oceans from you
feel the need to cry out loud
I want you to know
oh, you're all I care for
oh, you're all I care for
oh, you're all I care for
you're all I need
I love you very much Noah......you are such a precious little boy.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
It sounds like they are equipped to handle all your needs....or can be. They have restructured the schools too so you will be getting some of the very best. One teacher actually has an 8-year-old autistic son herself. SO......she is very understanding of your needs.
Anyway......we will find out more later. We need to get you enrolled...and review this summer before August rolls around and you are tested. That will be pretty involved it sounds like and many will need to participate. THEN we would have to draw up an IEP for you.......and get all your needs met. BUT so far it sounds pretty promising.
You have been pretty worn out the last couple of days since your big swim on Sunday. You found out your grandma C. went home today......so you would like to visit her at her house tomorrow!
Sweet dreams my little man....I love you lots!
Monday, June 11, 2007
The water was quite warm today though and felt like bath water. PERFECT....and another beautiful day!
Memories FUN WITH AUDREY
if you watch the clip carefully......Noah sucks in some water after the first big splash....and sits in the pool a few minutes....but soon recovers and gets up to go at it again. He actually went UNDER the water a few times.....the first time scared him to death. I worked with him about holding your breath and it being OKAY to go under the water....and have water up your nose....etc.
He went under the water about 3-4 times yesterday....COMPLETELY.....and became very excited he could do it and was no longer afraid. I want to teach him to swim....because there are times he forgets you cannot just breathe under the water like you would out of the water. Overcoming his fear of being wet....on the face.......is huge......and he accomplished that in one afternoon.
I am proud of you Noah....and I love you very much!
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that severely impairs a child's ability to communicate and interact with other people. Although the precise cause of autism is unclear, a plethora of theories have been suggested. One theory suggests a genetic link, while another holds vaccines containing mercury as the culprit. Parents of autistic children are now seeking legal recourse on whether mercury in vaccines caused autism in their children.
Thimerosal is a preservative in vaccines that contains 49 percent ethyl mercury. Mercury is a known neurotoxin or in other words is a chemical that causes untold harm to the brain, especially a child's developing brain. Scientists thought that autism might be one such toxic manifestation of mercury in vaccines. In 2002, thimerosal was phased out of childhood immunizations mainly because the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics advocated it.
However it is possible that the mercury in the vaccines administered to children before 2002 did play a role in the development of autism. In the present case Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington is all set to hear data that vaccines containing mercury are a causal factor in autism.
The case will be followed very keenly because there are another 4,800 such cases pending before the court.
Autism-vaccine links emerged in the late 1990s when the State of California released a report suggesting a 273 percent increase in the number of persons with autism between 1987 and 1998, the New York Times reports. The cases of autism are definitely on the rise in American children, whether it is due to improved diagnosis or due to other factors remains unclear.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine examined data on links between vaccines containing mercury and the incidence of autism and found no evidence linking thimerosal to autism. The Institute of Medicine's panel based its conclusions on five large studies conducted in United States, Denmark, Sweden and Britain in 2001. These studies examined thousands of children, but failed to find any link between autism and thimerosal.
The IOM report said it was an undisputed fact that high doses of mercury did cause substantial neurological damage. However no symptoms resembled that of autism, the report suggested. It added that genetics was the main causative factor as many studies had noted that autism started prenatally.
A review by the Environmental Working Group suggested that autistic children had a biomarker that rendered them susceptible to mercury and heightened their risk of developing the neurological disorder. The report cited a study by Dr. Jill James of the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, which found that children with regressive autism had high levels of oxidative stress, which made it hard for their bodies to get rid of mercury.
The study cited the following factors as well (as available on www.ewg.com)
* The indisputable toxicity of mercury to the brain, particularly the developing brain (Limke 2004, Clarkson 2002, Mahaffey 1999).
* Peer-reviewed reports showing that autistic children are extremely poor at ridding their bodies of mercury as measured by mercury hair levels (Holmes 2003).
* The recent finding that autism-like symptoms are triggered by thimerosal in mice with a predisposition to autoimmunity (Hornig 2004).
* The fact that the prevalence of autism in boys is four times that in girls, and that boys have elevated incidence of damage from mercury exposure in epidemiologic studies (Vahter 2002).
The study said that it did not find a credible link between mercury in vaccines and autism, but there was sufficient evident to suggest mercury played some role.
This theory was reinforced by a study in 2006 which showed that autism cases declined when mercury was banned from vaccines. Using data from CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS), lead authors David A. Geier, B.A. and Mark R. Geier, M.D., Ph.D found that autism rates hit a high of 800 in May 2003, but dropped to 620 in 2006.
The authors suggested that the 22 percent decline in autism cases was mainly due to the restriction of mercury in vaccines.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in every 150 children has autism and that 560,000 people aged till 21 in the United States have autism.
Experts have tried to dispute the vaccine-autism link by suggesting that children are naturally distressed by shots and that this is the age when autism is first diagnosed leading parents to believe that the vaccines cause it.
It will be interesting to see what the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rules in the autism-vaccine case pending before it. This ruling might set off a legal time-bomb if it decides that mercury in vaccines is indeed responsible for autism. However a battery of scientists is also ready to give the flip side of the opinion.
The case is expected to last for three weeks.
Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post
For more than a decade, families across the country have been warring with the medical establishment over their claims that routine childhood vaccines are responsible for the nation's apparent epidemic of autism. In an extraordinary proceeding that begins today, the battle will move from the ivory tower to the courts.
Nearly 5,000 families will seek to convince a special "vaccine court" in Washington that the vaccines can cause healthy and outgoing children to withdraw into uncommunicative, autistic shells -- even though a large body of evidence and expert opinion has found no link. The court has never heard a case of such magnitude.
The shift from laboratory to courtroom means the outcome will hinge not on scientific standards of evidence but on a legal standard of plausibility -- what one lawyer for the families called "50 percent and a feather." That may make it easier for the plaintiffs to sway the panel of three "special masters," which is why the decision could not only change the lives of thousands of American families but also have a profound effect on the decisions of parents around the world about whether to vaccinate their children.
A victory by the plaintiffs, public health officials say, could increase the number of children who are not given vaccines and fall sick or die from the diseases they prevent.
Economics and politics intersect in the case with questions of health and the deepening mystery of soaring autism rates. Advocates of the vaccine theory have argued that the increase in cases was triggered by a mercury-based preservative in vaccines that, they say, is toxic to children's brains.
Under pressure from the advocates and to keep the issue from disrupting vaccination programs, U.S. officials began phasing out the additive, thimerosal, in children's vaccines around 1999, while maintaining that there was no hard evidence that it was dangerous. But thimerosal is still used in vaccines across much of the developing world. If the vaccine court decides that the preservative caused autism, parents of children in poor countries are likely to protest its inclusion, but removing it would make vaccines much more expensive and potentially put them out of reach for many.
Gary Golkiewicz, chief special master in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, where the case is to be heard, said he is aware of the larger ramifications. But the court's job, he said, is only to focus on whether plaintiffs show a plausible link between vaccines and autism.
About 20 experts are expected to testify in the case, which will involve a staggering amount of complicated epidemiology and biochemistry. Golkiewicz said a ruling could be a year off.
Experts for the government will argue that a range of epidemiological studies found no link between vaccines and autism, as the prestigious Institute of Medicine concluded in a 2004 report.
Congress set up the vaccine court to provide compensation for individuals harmed by side effects, because lawsuits were threatening to put vaccinemakers out of business.
The law requires people claiming they were harmed by a vaccine to bring the case in the special court first, but if they lose, they can still file suit in civil courts.
Scientific advocates for the vaccine-autism theory, such as the father-and-son team of Mark and David Geier of Silver Spring, Md., say fears about damaging public health programs have prompted scientists and the government to hide evidence of a problem. Many of the families believe that the medical establishment and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have conspired in a massive coverup.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Because his cousin Audrey and Aunt Melissa will be coming over to spend the day and Audrey will go swimming with him in his new pool...WHICH we are presently draining because it was sitting on a slight incline and seemed to sag too low on one side when I filled it with more water. I had no idea how many gallons of water were in that pool. I feel it was a waste of water and the water was PERFECT for swimming. Nice and warm....
so....it is draining. Every so often I go out and dump more buckets out...I want to fill it back up tonight so it can warm before the sun goes down and in the morning before Audrey gets here. AND if it does the same thing again...oh well. They can still have fun swimming in it.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Yesterday you played outside all day with the 2 girls next door. You all stayed up late and were outside last night till 9:45 p.m. chasing fireflies. Yes....fireflies are out and you were all so excited!
THEN to top off your perfect day.....you came in with a huge smile on your face saying "Jennifer said I love you to me tonight and Emma kissed me!"
I asked if you told her I love you back and you said no, you would tell her tomorrow.
You were beaming because you said this was the FIRST TIME she had ever said I love you to you. You are all so cute together. Love is a powerful thing. I hope and pray you will never be afraid of it. Take the chance. GO FOR IT....life is way too short not to.
The other morning before your visit to the Children's Medical Center I told you the night before that appointment I would wake you up in time to get ready to go. The next day I woke you up and you so sweetly THANKED me for REMINDING you of your appointment and getting you up on time. This reminded me of how you always seem to wake up very HAPPY in a good mood and ready to begin the day. I cannot recall a time even as a baby and toddler when you woke up angry or in a bad mood. You are always happy and wake up smiling and usually come out and hug me and tell me good morning and that you love me. I am thankful for that and I pray that ALL your mornings will continue to be that way for you....for your entire life. You are such a sweet, loving, polite little boy.
I love you very much Noah Wesley...always will. Forever.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
He has directed music videos...public service announcements, features, shorts, documentaries and film. Anyway...he left some nice comments about Noah's stuff on You Tube. You can check out more information on him and his new film "Normal Folk"
if you click here NORMAL FOLK
Be sure to check out all the links at the top to learn more. It is quite interesting.
I did enjoy one video he had posted and I am going to share it here. Autistic Motivational Speak Marty Murphy speaks about Autism. Dec 2006, Normal Illinois. Born in 1963, Marty grew up in Normal, Illinois. By the time she was 5, it was clear that she was a child of special needs. However, more functional than one with stereotypical autism, she fell through the cracks of the school system. By the time she was nine, she was led to believe she was mentally retarded, marginally surviving mainstream schooling.
She furthered her education in Bloomington, Illinois where she was determined to have ADHD, autism, dyslexia and dyscalculia.
In 1988, she furthered her graduate studies at the University of Arizona. Through a series of unsuccessful college transfers, and part time jobs, she was informed by a doctor that she had a disability; "High Functioning Autism" also known as "Aspergers". She indeed had ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia, but most surprising, she was not retarded.
Marty went abroad, attending the Ballymaloe Culinary School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland, to which her schooling gave her an opportunity on the open seas as a chef, but alas social circumstances were not a good match for her. Returning to Normal, Marty was in the darkest part of her life, as a selective/elective mute with a clear diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
But being properly diagnosed made great differences in her life. Doctors found success in medications that finally helped her. Doctors encouraged her to get active in the local autism organization, and it was that advice that changed her life forever. With over seven total years of being mute, the program brought a comfort level that eventually led to Marty finally speak again. As a result, Marty not only speaks, she is now a prolific poet, author and public speaker. At age 39.
Now 44, Marty spends her free time as a highly sought after public speaker, offering first hand perspectives on autism. She works with school districts across the country to help put supports in place for particularly challenged children.
Marty Murphy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Illinois as well as the Autism Society of McLean County. Through these two organizations, she finds she can finally help put direct support in place for children and families who struggle with autism.
Marty was recently quoted as saying "I have spoken to legislators about the tremendous needs that our communities have and will continue to have without increased funding, and hopefully I am helping to shine a positive light on the life long possibilities for individuals with autism, about who they can be and what they can achieve given the right supports".
She is very funny just naturally.....hope you enjoy it as much as I did and check out the link to Normal Folk.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
When I asked "wouldn't you miss me?" you promptly replied "COME ON! I still love you.....but I could love you both!"
You then said you thought it would be an even better idea...if we could connect our two houses...and make a NEW street address...one IN BETWEEN both our current addresses.
Yeah...you are ready. You are over-ready. You have been ready but I have just chosen to ignore it all this time.
To tomorrows Noah....may they be bright, beautiful and filled with plenty of
laughter, love, happiness, and joy!
all my love always
It is funny because once you found out her daddy was not going to be coming to see her for a month you wanted her to come spend the entire month! AND SO DID SHE! That would be a blast...BUT her mommy would miss her a lot and I imagine she would miss her mommy!
SO she will have to pop over a lot for visits and cook outs and swimming! We can take her with us to the Drive-In....there are many things we can all do together.
I am thankful to God you are finally seeming very ready to get out into the world and explore it! To NOT be afraid. To try new things. THIS IS A VERY GOOD THING! You have always been such a loving gentle child. You are so friendly and seem to love ANYONE. That is good and bad in this world we live in today...because you sometimes have to be very careful. But I am thankful you are filled with love and acceptance to give to others. It is what makes you such a special little man.
AND I just realized ....I guess it was ME who was afraid to LET you explore the world more on your own unsupervised....you never had any problems with it. Not even as a toddler. I was the one who was hesitant and cautious. I am trying to NOT be afraid now....so you are free to spread those little wings and start flying!
I love you to the moon and back again!
Monday, June 04, 2007
Today was your first appointment at the Children's Medical Center. We got there in plenty of time but they have certainly changed things a LOT since I worked there 10 years ago! It is an amazing place and you and I had a great time looking at all the art work inside and out.....and just getting to know the place. It is obviously very KID friendly....which makes it a great place to go to if you have to.
You had your visit with the orthopaedic surgeon who was amazed at your extreme flexibility. He could not believe how extreme you can externally rotate your ankles and feet as well as your legs/knees and hips and even your wrists and fingers. He said your fallen arches/flat feet were really bad......and because of your low muscle tone and hyper-flexible joints...you just cannot support your ankles and stance like you should.
SO he is ordering some much needed physical therapy which I am thrilled that you will be receiving as this means we will be strengthening those muscles so you may not need orthotics forever! AND we will go to a new place for fitting you for new orthotics.......he does not think you will need anything clear up over your ankles anymore....just something down inside the shoe. There is also additional funding to pay for those if our insurance will not always cover it since you are growing so fast and can outgrow these before a year is up!
We also know where the dentist clinic and urology clinics are now in the hospital.
We passed an amazing play area off the cafeteria for kids to play outside. It was incredible! SO beautifully landscaped with cafe tables and benches set up.....and then an entire area of swings and slides and playground fun! You started to play and another little boy came out and played with you. You two had a ball! You did very very well today at your appointment, acting so much better than I have ever seen you act yet! I visited with the mother. I could not remember the last time I did something like that!
We stopped by to see Grandma C. at the rehab center again on the way back home. It was on the way and you wanted to go. While there a nurse's aid came in and told us a man was going to be coming in to play the banjo in the dining room area so if you got bored and wanted to walk down you could....and listen to him play. You were impressed she spoke to you and said "NOW she knows me!" and you walked with her down to the dining room area all by yourself. You then sat in the dining room area and listened to the man play the banjo and sing. I stayed and talked with grandma. I checked down the hall every so often and the nurse's aid was making sure you were okay too. You were very good and well behaved again and sat still for the banjo playing and conversed with the aid like a well-behaved child should. Very mature even! You were delighted to come back and tell me they were playing Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz on the banjo!
Next my cousin Debbie (a nurse there) popped in for a visit so she walked you back down to grandma C.'s room. We had a nice little visit with her too. Grandma got her lunch and it was not long before it was time to go.
We did some shopping and even stopped by K-Mart to pick you out some new undies and socks and sandals for summer and swimming trunks and the new swimming pool. You also picked out a new train set made by Lionel! You also picked out a very soft blue POODLE pillow for your bedroom.
We had a very busy day.
I have realized recently you are really starting to grow up! I often wondered if I would ever know a day when you would be more settled down and focused and listen better. You are really starting to do it now and with more ease each time!
I am proud of you. I love you immensely!
P.S. One hilarious thing happened today while you were at the orthopaedic doctor's office. He had just finished examining you......and you were sitting on the table and then stood up and started to unsnap your pants and say "Oh I guess it is time for this!" and proceeded to try to take your pants off thinking he was going to check your private area. I guess you got him confused with the urologist! I explained that this doctor was not there to check your penis or testicles...that was another appointment. You said "OH!" and snapped your pants back up.
In the tub last night you started to cry and said to me "I don't want the doctor to cut my testicles open and take the old ones out and put in new ones!"....mortified about that prospect. I have been trying to prepare you for your visit to the urologist, explaining they will want to check that area...and make sure everything is okay....because your testicles do not stay down where they should...and you could just have what is called retractable testicles...but we need to make sure that is okay. IF NOT ......sometimes surgery is required to fix that. I guess you thought that meant they cut you open, take the old ones out that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and then put new ones in. I asked if you wanted to have kids of your own one day. You said yes, four! I said it was important then to have all that checked out now....to make sure they work correctly...so one day you could have children. We talked about sperm....having babies....how babies are made.....etc. In your mind you have 2 sperm. One from each testicle.
I remember you have anxiety disorder so I try to never set that off. Maybe explaining too much is not always a good idea though either.
I love you Noah Wesley!