Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shayne's Scooter Tricks

Shayne likes to do tricks and stunts a lot. He and I made this video together of some of the tricks he can do on his scooter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Adventure in Payson

So a little over a week ago we went camping for the night up in Payson, which only takes about an hour to drive to from our house. It was beautiful and we had a great time. The second day we went for a nice hike up to the top of a big hill, which was pretty. We got all loaded up to head back home around noon, and the car wouldn't start. It has never really given us any trouble, so we were surprised. We asked the ranger if he could give us a jump, and he tried, but that didn't work either. To make a long story short, 6 hours later, after we had tried several things, we had the car towed into a garage in Payson, right about closing time. The wife of the owner drove us to a little motel a little way up the road, where we stayed the night. The next day it was fixed by noon, so we left at that time. It was quite an adventure!

The bottom of the agave plant.

This is a blooming agave plant

This is an alligator juniper tree

Here is the same tree from further back. It is one of my favorites and is in the campsite we stayed at.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Starting with Biomedical Interventions

We took Maya to a great doctor on Monday. He is an integrative pediatrician who uses a lot of natural treatments for a variety of childhood illnesses, but one of his specialties is the biomedical treatment of autism. Very luckily for us, his office is only about a 15 minute drive from our house.

From everything I have read, there are a lot of varying theories about autism, how it is caused, how it can be treated, etc. There seem to be two basic schools of thought (from what I have read so far, maybe I am wrong...) One, that autism is primarily caused by genetics, and can best be treated through therapies such as speech, OT and ABA. The other camp believes that people have genetically predisposed vulnerabilities that can be "triggered" by toxins in the environment. I think a quote from the article, What Your Family Needs To Know About Autism Spectrum Disorders, sums it up well:

"While genetics play a role, our research and experience indicate that a web of interwoven variables-including environmental insults, gastrointestinal disorders, biochemical, metabolic and neurochemical factors, and/or immune system abnormalities--contribute to the development of autism in a genetically vulnerable child."

This is believed by many to be true of many other childhood illnesses that have reached epidemic numbers such as ADHD, asthma and food allergies. A great book on the topic is Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies by Dr. Kenneth Bock. It is a fascinating book and well worth the time, especially if one of your loved ones has any of those health issues. It is also important to note that doctors and parents who believe that biomedical interventions work (I do), do not discount the value of other therapies such as speech, OT and ABA, rather, they think that when children are physically healthy, they are much more receptive to therapies. This rings true to all parents and teachers, I'm sure. Another important clarification is that DAN doctors and integrative pediatricians like our doctor, do not oppose the use of pharmaceuticals, they just tend to use them as a last resort as opposed to a starting point. I have always thought that if any problem with the body can be approached naturally first, that is the best bet.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I will save that for the other make a long story short, we are beginning biomedical interventions with Maya, and we just got started Monday with our new DAN doctor , Dr. Barral. We had an intake appointment, where he saw us for about an hour, and we mainly discussed Maya's medical history, starting with the pregnancy. He asked what I think to be all the relevant questions. He seems wonderful, and Maya really likes him, in fact, she sat in his office for an hour with no resistance at all...virtually unheard of for us! He wants us to start 3 things, which based on what I have read, I think are great starting points.

1. A gluten and casein free diet (mainly no wheat, oats, barley, dairy or anything made with those ingredients).

2. A fairly potent multi-vitamin and mineral powder, formulated specifically for children on the autism spectrum.

3. Vitamin B-12 shots.

If you are interested, I will post more information on these three interventions as well as information on how it is going with the GFCF diet on the other blog.

School is Out for Summer!!

Friday was the official starting day of summer vacation! I am off work until July 21st!! My principal showed us this video clip on the last day. It's cute...