TGIF- Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading…

Spring Weekend

Ahhh…the weekend is finally here and spring is not only in the air it is evident in the beautiful flowering trees and the blooming tulips and daffodils here in Chicagoland. Sunday we will have some April Showers, so it will be a great day to catch up on some reading…come join me.

This piece written by a mom really made me think about just how versatile and useful
“Siri” can be. Of course, there is no substitute for a relationship with a real life friend but for a child with autism, I think you can appreciate the value of having Siri as a BFF.


Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:


Sibling fighting can drive a parent to distraction and although there is good reason not to intervene most of the time, there is also good reason according to today’s literature to stop some sibling battles so they do not escalate into bullying.

Toddler Approved discusses this age-old problem and also does a review of a new upcoming book that I would love to read by Dr. Laura Markham, “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings“. This book is available for pre-order and will be out in May.

Based on this information, my favorite tip to stop sibling fighting is to regulate myself as a parent! I need to be less reactive and more peaceful!


“The truth is we can’t make another human being do what we want. We can only help them want to.”


Sometimes a long weekend is a time for travel and there is nothing I can say about traveling with kids except that it can be difficult and even more so if a child has food allergies.

Many parents deal with this on an every day basis and coping with an allergic child on a plane where people are not so understanding can be a challenge, especially when your patience and coping skills are being tried to their limits. I love the “Scratch or Sniff” website and this piece is an example of why it is one of my favorite weekend reads.

This week, I suppose it might be helpful to share with you some of the steps I take to make flying with Z a safe experience for him. If you haven’t flown with your food-allergic child yet, hold on tight to these recommendations and know you’ll be okay!

Book with the right airline. If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, take a moment to review this comprehensive chart from Allergic Living magazine, which shares an in-depth report on the policies 11 major airlines have for working with food allergies. Follow the guidelines of your airline’s policy to get the most accommodation for your flight.


Okay then…have a nice weekend and stop to enjoy and smell the roses or whatever else it is that you are doing.

Spring has Sprung!

Autism Awareness Day

Autism Awareness and Children


autism awareness


I met Julie Cole at a blog meeting a few years ago…she was outgoing and welcoming. Since I felt like a “fish out of water” as I was new to blogging and was about 20 years older than the average blogger at the meeting, her smile and friendly hello put me at ease.

I learned about her company Mabel’s Labels and it changed my life as far as labeling goes…you see, I am grandmother and I do a fair amount of the labeling of clothes.

In addition, my granddaughter has food allergies so lunch labels were a great idea even though her school is nut free.

Shoes and especially boots were particularly problematic as many children had the same ones. Mabel’s Labels eliminated all of our lost clothes worries. If they were misplaced the Mabel’s Labels has made it easy to find in the Lost and Found!

Over the past three years, I have followed Julie Cole on Facebook and have become a Mabel’s Labels Affiliate.

Today is Autism Awareness Day, and Julie is writing about it on her blog. She is personally familiar with this syndrome as her son has been diagnosed with it.

Here is an excerpt from her blog:

From the heart, Julie shares some really great information about support for parents with an autistic child


“It has been 10 years since my son was diagnosed with

autism at the age of three.

Back in those days, you got your diagnosis and you were sent on your way to deal with it. Very little information regarding treatment, agencies, education or help of any kind was provided. It was pretty much a “Yes, your son has autism… don’t hit yourself with the door on the way out” kind of an approach.”

via The Mabelhood.


I hope you enjoy Julie as much as I do.




Answers to common vaccine questions

Child vaccinations

Vaccinations…a dilemma for some parents. Get some more answers from a doctor and a parent in the link below.

via Answers to common vaccine questions.

Here are some of the most common questions I encounter regarding vaccines and my answers.  I’m writing this post, from a parent to a parent, because I want to equip you with accurate information to protect your children.

Prenatal vitamins and autism risk…

FROM NEWS MOMS NEED:via The March of Dimes

Prenatal vitamins and autism risk

Use of prenatal vitamins before pregnancy and during the first month after conception may significantly reduce the risk of having a child with autism, according to a new study.

Researchers of the UC Davis MIND Institute interviewed approximately 700 families in California who have children aged 2-5 years who have been diagnosed with autism. They found that mothers who took the prenatal vitamins for three months before pregnancy or during the first month of pregnancy were only half as likely to have a child with autism as those who didn’t take them. For mothers who began taking them in the second month of pregnancy, there was no effect, however. This suggests that by the time most women learn they are pregnant, beginning to take the vitamins will provide little or no benefit in terms of autism. This underlines the importance of women taking prenatal vitamins when they’re just thinking about having a baby.

These findings appear to be especially relevant for genetically susceptible mothers and children. The study found an increased risk for women who had one of two particular gene mutations (MTHFR or COMT) who did not take prenatal vitamins early on (4.2 and 7.5 times greater risk, respectively)

This study, soon to be published in the July issue of the journal Epidemiology, is the first to report such findings. While the report is quite promising, further research is needed to confirm the results.

Tags: autism, COMT, MTHFR, prenatal vitamin

via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Prenatal vitamins and autism risk.

Vaccine controversy…history repeats itself…

DESPITE overwhelming evidence to the contrary, roughly one in five Americans believes that vaccines cause autism — a disturbing fact that will probably hold true even after the publication this month, in a British medical journal, of a report thoroughly debunking the 1998 paper that began the vaccine-autism scare.

That’s because the public’s underlying fear of vaccines goes much deeper than a single paper. Until officials realize that, and learn how to counter such deep-seated concerns, the paranoia — and the public-health risk it poses — will remain.

via A Century of Vaccine Scares –

Vaccines have always carried with them an underlying fear…what if you get the disease from the vaccine is a question I hear very often when the flu shot is offered every fall. ” Oh, the only time I got the flu is right after a flu shot…so I don’t want to get it again.”

For those of us in medicine and who work in hospitals the flu shot has become mandatory in recent years otherwise you cannot work. Only those with an allergy to eggs  or who have had a reaction to the flu shot in the past are exempt from getting the vaccine. With so many adults fearful of a flu shot, why is it that we are surprised when parents do not want their children vaccinated?

I am not quite sure.

As for my own history with vaccines…I can remember when the polio vaccine trials came out  in the 1950’s. It was being offered in public schools in New York. Many parents allowed their children to receive the vaccine at school.

My mother however, did not go along with mass inoculation trials at school. I personally remember the chatter among family in our living room. Most of it centered around whether or not the vaccine was safe. “What if you could actually get polio from the vaccine?” Polio could be deadly or severely crippling. My mother wanted to wait and see for herself.

“The report”, wrote the New York Times, “was a medical classic.” Dr. Francis reported that the vaccinations had been 80 to 90 percent effective on the basis of results in eleven states. Overall, the vaccine was administered to over 440,000 children in forty-four states, three Canadian provinces and in Helsinki, Finland,[3] and the final report required the evaluation of 144,000,000 separate items of information. After the announcement, when asked whether the effectiveness of the vaccine could be improved, Salk said, “Theoretically, the new 1955 vaccines and vaccination procedures may lead to 100 percent protection from paralysis of all those vaccinated.”[18]

via Jonas Salk – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

When it seemed that all was safe…I received the polio vaccine at my pediatrician’s office.

So with a history of fear surrounding vaccines there is no wonder that parents are nervous when it comes to the relationship of autism and vaccines. This fear will not easily be put to rest…but parents must be judicious and not expose their children to other deadly diseases if there is not a valid connection between vaccines and autism.

With the new findings concerning the study of MMR vaccine and autism it seems that this fear should be put to rest…however it may be very difficult for that to happen since the public has been duped once by medical researchers in this case and now they may be fearful for another reason, unethical behavior on the part of researchers.

So who are parents supposed to believe?

It is my feeling that because there has been a long time with out an outbreak of some of these very serious and deadly illnesses parents have become somewhat cavalier about the actual need for all children to receive immunizations. Healthcare professionals need to do their homework and talk to parents about childhood immunizations before we do succumb to another epidemic of one of these horrible diseases.

More on Vaccines and Autism from “March of Dimes”

More information on this very important topic…if you have been plagued by questions of whether or not to vaccinate your children being informed may help you make this very important decision regarding the health of your child.

Vaccines and autism

As you undoubtedly have seen in the news lately, the controversy around vaccines, particularly the MMR vaccine, and a possible link toautism is yet again a hot topic.  We reported last February that The Lancet, the journal that originally printed Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 original study that implicated vaccines as a cause of autism, had issued a complete retraction after finding several elements of the research were flawed. This week, the British Medical Journal and investigator Brian Deer uncovered “clear evidence of falsification” of Wakefield’s data, which studied only 12 children.

Dr. Wakefield’s research has been questioned for years, and the ethics violations that have come to light are further sad indications that vaccines do not cause autism. As reported previously, the courts and several large-scale studies since have found no evidence of any link.

There are many children suffering from autism and other health disorders. More research must be done to find the cause and cure of this and other health conditions affecting children. One might say that sadly, well over a decade of time, energy, funding and other resources has been spent embroiled in the vaccine controversy. Others, however, feel that Dr. Wakefield’s publication created intense focus on one possible cause of the complex problem of autism, a condition that greatly needs scientific research.  Hopefully, future efforts will be more productive.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at 1:40 pm and is filed under BabyHot Topics. You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.