Aug 21

I am beginning to wonder about the evolution of Autism and it’s root cause. I am not a researcher but I keep going back and wonder if the root cause of Autism is related to the food we eat.

Everything we eat is contaminated:

  • Preservatives
  • Pesticides
  • Taste enhancers – even bottled water makers add chemicals to enhance taste
  • Baby formula has chemicals to simulate natural elements babies lose when mothers font breastfeed.
  • Chemicals are passed down from the mothers to their children through breastmilk.

I also wonder how or if sperm is affected by the foods we eat. Are the chemicals we men eat adjusting the quality of our sperm?

I think food is the culprit behind autism. One day I think science will prove it. Our lives have been enhanced with technical advances that make our lives easier, but it is this reliance on technology that is probably the root cause of all our health issues.

Thoughts?

 

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Aug 16

I would first like to thank my friend and former co-worker Gerard for showing this to me last year. This is Eli’s second year attending the one day camp and we have loved every moment of it.

The camp is amazing. A huge number of volunteers come out and teach kids with Autism how to surf. It is such a confidence booster and is life altering. The volunteers are amazing. They just know how to connect with the kids and it is really awe inspiring.

We came to camp this year a bit early showing up at 8:30 so Eli and Zach could have some time relaxing in the water prior to camp starting. Things were a bit slow starting but eventually the event was in full sprint.  Eli surfed a few waves and then spent some time playing with his brother in the waves. It didn’t take long for his instructor to disappear which was disappointing but to the rescue came is instructor from last year who spent considerable time with Eli and got him to ride a bunch of waves. Eli was having a blast and where last year he was done after a few, he wanted more. I think we counted 12 waves before he decided playing in the sand and surf with his brother was more enjoyable.

We spent quite a long time at the beach but the kids were getting tired and hungry at about noon. Shockingly they asked to go home so I obliged. They both passed out in the car within two minutes. Sun, Sand, Surf wipes kids out.

When we got home, Eli said he wanted to do Surf Camp again next year. Awesome!

As for the camp itself, it was amazing. The volunteers are amazing and to see the kids shine the way they do is amazing. Every kid learned to surf. Every kid had a smile on their face. Truly an outstanding event!

It just goes to show parents that even though your child might be on the spectrum, does not mean they can’t do everything and anything they want. You never know what unlocks the potential of your child. It might just be surfing!

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Aug 15

Each year around this time I get nervous for Eli. School is about to start and he has had his normal summer regressions due to the lack of structure. This summer Eli has tortured by his little brother day and night and has melted multiple times per week (per day sometimes) because Zach wants to be near him. In fact, Zach has made it an art to try to get under his brothers skin.

Eli still has his issues, and this is the year in which I fear he will start getting bullied. This is the first year I fear he will be attacked by the kids who find him weird and this is the first year where girls will reject him. How will Eli deal with all of this?

How will his new teacher deal with his over achieving mind but inappropriate social behavior? Will Eli melt each time things do not go his way?

As a parent of a special needs kid the start of the year is always a time of great anxiety. Eli needs to work hard at controlling his emotions and not alienate himself with his mannerisms. He needs to find a good friend this year and mature quickly.

I wish I could protect him this year from all of the bad things that could happen. I need to sit down with him and prepare him without freaking him out.

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May 23

Thanks to everyone who was posting me messages about the extended outage of the site. It turns out that my hosting company shut down the site because even though I was up to date on payments and I didn’t owe any money, they needed validation of my information that was already up to date. This is great because now that the site is not being blocked I realize that all of the posts that I had been doing for the last six months are now gone. This is disturbing and wrong.

I can’t really blame them for this of course, because it is not their fault. I should have been paying more attention and realized that the site went dark around May 7th (according to the stats). Unfortunately I have been busy with a new job, traveling and adjusting to having three kids instead of two.

Either way, the idea that once I did get an email saying the site was down, and I looked, it took way too long to fix the problem. Not having 24/7 support is a game changer for me. Anyone have any other good hosting sites they can suggest?

So let me do a quick summary of all that is missing:

Makenzie is growing like a weed. Development appears to be normal. She is standing and babbling, has two teeth and should be walking shortly. She is now 10 months old!

Maggie passed away. She was not even 6 which is very sad. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a short lifespan but hers was shorter than normal. She was a solid 100 pounds one week and then 30 pounds lighter the next and gone. The family misses her greatly.

We have a new dog named Cosmo who we rescued from Brookhaven Animal Shelter. He is a Pitt Bull Mix and is wonderful. Already I have a love for this dog like no other. Such a great member of the family.

Eli is doing great. Academically he is way ahead of where he should be and socially he is great. He still has his breakdowns but has accepted the fact that he has Aspergers Syndrome. I guess this is where the most frustration is in the missing posts. I argued with the community about how and when I should tell him and to make a very long story shorter, he approached Jodi and I and said that he knew he was different. We explained it to him and now he understands. Took it like a champion and now even uses it as an excuse every now and then which is very clever. He is about to turn 9 years old in a few days. I am thankful he is who he is and I love him dearly. Greatest kid a dad could have!

Zachary is awesome as well, he is a troublemaker and loves to make people laugh. Scary how much he reminds me of myself when I was growing up. I need to keep an eye on this devil. He shows no signs of Autism and has developed normally. He is a grazer and loves to eat and eat and eat. Kid is going to be solid 200+ pounds, I just hope he gets taller (shrimp).

More to follow, I have submitted a ticket to the hosting company to investigate the lost data. They won’t do crap probably but it is worth a try.

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Dec 15

Makenzie is 5 months old now, but here is a picture of her. She is a very easy baby (knock on wood). Loves to smile and adores her older brothers.

EliMakIt is hard to believe that I started this blog before Eli was born. That is over eight years ago. Long before I knew he had Aspergers. It has been such a joy to be a dad, crazier now that I am a dad to three kids, but the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  Watching him now is such an eye opening experience. He is becoming a young man right before my eyes. He is long past the baby, little boy and now leaving the boy stage. I physically feel how strong he has become, how independent. It is scary. He told me today in a few years dad I am going to be a teenager. What are you going to do then. As I sit down writing this I finally know the answer. Eli I am going to cry. I am going to cry because I love you more than life itself. I love you because you are amazing and I know that you will be ok in life.

I wish those same thoughts to ever parent who struggles to raise their kids with PDD-NOS and other spectrum disorders. If you fight for your child, you give them the best future possible.

 

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Dec 15

As the regulars to this blog will know I have been very inactive lately on posts. I attribute this to a lot of changes in my life. I have been battling some very serious stomach ailments of late and have had a new addition to the family as well. Makenzie was born on July 12th, 2013 and is our third child. Eli who was originally diagnosed with PDD-NOS but as been re-classified as Aspergers Syndrome, Zachary who has developed quite normally and made us realize a lot about what we missed when it came to Eli and now Makenzie who is developing even faster than Zachary. We are truly blessed.

I think it brings up a topic I would like to discuss with the reading audience: Realizing when something is wrong. This is a hard topic because nobody wants to think their child has a problem or is different, and more importantly to first time parents who do not have a sibling to compare to, seeing a problem is nearly impossible. So what is a parent to do? How do you know?

I think the answer really comes with whether or not you are asking the question. The reality is if you are concerned, even about the smallest thing you probably are picking up on something that is real and not imagined. So instead of being the proud parent and dismissing it to normal parental worry start asking yourself serious questions and looking at your child with an open mind. The best thing you can do is get help, the worst thing you can do is say they will outgrow it. Let me restate that a different way: Getting help early is the best chance at your child having a normal life. If you ignore the signs, are blind to the flashing red light or deaf to the sound of developmental delay you have done your child a tragic thing.

Parents. Look at your children. As the tough questions. Get the opinion of others, and do it soon. The best bet is to go through your school system to get help. Most states have amazing support systems available and be prepared to fight for your child’s right to services. Do not reject a diagnosis, welcome it and even if they are wrong, the support only accelerates your child in the complex process of social learning and traditional education. Remember a diagnosis is sealed, and there is no stigma to it.

 

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Nov 22

There are times when you stick your neck out for people in your life, knowing all to well that in the end they will probably never appreciate it, or become so confident in their self superiority that they didn’t ever need you in the first place. It is these people who tend to fall on their face and never recover. I know such people, those who I have helped in unbelievable ways.  But there comes a moment where these people have a choice: Defend the integrity of the friend  because it is the right thing to do, or add to the chaos because  it is easier and feels more rewarding in that fleeting moment.

Friends defend friends, especially when the friend has saved their ass countless times and brought them to a more successful spot in life. I should feel shame for helping these kinds of people, but I don’t because no matter the betrayal after the fact, the intentions on making them better are much more rewarding then the reality of what they have done. I only hope these people find their way again, realize what they did and in the end do the right thing to salvage their own soul. Because once you betray a friend it tends to haunt you forever, and more often then not, it comes back to bite you long after the dust has settled.

“Only yesterday I was no different than them, yet I was saved. I am explaining to you the way of life of a people who say every sort of wicked thing about me because I sacrificed their friendship to gain my own soul. I left the dark paths of their duplicity and turned my eyes toward the light where there is salvation, truth, and justice. They have exiled me now from their society, yet I am content. Mankind only exiles the one whose large spirit rebels against injustice and tyranny. He who does not prefer exile to servility is not free in the true and necessary sense of freedom.”

Kahlil Gibran

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Nov 18

Because there are so many people who are just pieces of crap out there I had to remove the chat feature on the right hand side. Amazing how rude and truly evil people can be in this world.

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Nov 18

one of the greatest things that Eli has done over the last few years was join the Boy Scouts of America. He started out as a wolf and has now progressed to a Bear and I see a long and happy future. So much so that I have volunteered my time to be an assistant den leader for both the Tigers (1st graders) and Bears (3rd graders).

One thing I have noticed is that scouts is a perfect setting for a child with PDD-NOS and Aspergers syndrome because it offers the child a chance to gain so many necessary and vital skills, as well as be put in a social situation where they can learn from other kids on and off the spectrum. The scout promise is simple:

I promise to do my best, To do my duty to God and my country, To help other people, and obey the Law of the Pack.

So what does this mean to the scout and their parents? It is contract that your child will never take the easy way out, they will always put in a honest days work and effort in everything they do. The scout will honor his parents, his friends, and do the right things instead of the bad things. The Scout respects all religions, and will never be a bully towards anyone else and above all be a good citizen. These lessons are enforced in all activities and sets the stage for success in the child’s life.

How does these values help a special needs child? It gives them an opportunity to learn, to be social, and most importantly to be socially appropriate. Scouts teach each other more than the parents and leaders teach. It is a very cool social dynamic. Everyone wants each other to succeed. It is pretty cool to watch.

There are some negatives of course with scouting. Some parents just don’t want to partner up with their child, and think that it is the den leaders responsibility to babysit their kids or be the only disciplinarian in their lives. I watch parents sit in the back and let their kid run around like a madman and say nothing? Why? Because it gives them a chance to relax and not be so focused on the child. For the parent, it can be a great social hour.

The great thing about Scouts is the rewarding feeling the kids have at achieving goals. Each time  your child earns a belt loop, a bead, a pin or a patch it fills them with accomplishment and pride. Something every kid enjoys. If you have not checked out your local Scouting pack maybe you should. It will help your special needs child a lot and give you the opportunity to help your child grow

 

 

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Jun 26

I guess I am crazy. Jodi is literally days away from giving birth to our third child and this morning was a perfect example of why people stop at two. Eli and Zach have been fighting like cats and dogs lately. It starts out as fun rough housing and play. They each pretend they are one of their favorite super heros from TV and the next thing you know one is crying and claiming the other hit them. Sometimes Zach wins, other times Eli wins, but do you know who loses? The parents!

I have tried to tell them that their little sister is coming and they better learn how to buddy up and survive together, and how brothers don’t hurt each other. I remind them that in just a few weeks a new ruler of the house will arrive and we all need to stick together. That does not help of course. Boys will be boys, the scrapes, bumps and occasional bloody noses will continue.

Such is parenthood, and I have the third to add to the mix. I must be crazy.

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