Saturday, July 29, 2006

Do you know what Autism is?

Autism is a neurological disorder that impairs Communication, behavior, and social skills. It is the nation’s fastest growing serious developmental disorder with new cases diagnosed almost every 20 minutes.

Do you know the early signs of Autism?

. No big smiles or joyful expressions by age 6 months.

. No babbling by 12 months.

. No back and forth gestures such as pointing or waving by 12 months.

. No words by 16 months.

. Any loss of speech or babbling at any age.

These are just a few of the possible early signs. If you have any concerns speak to your doctor about screening your child. Please do not wait!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Today she said Woody!!!

Hi, today Jess was at her weekly acupuncture appointment. As you know, She has been receiving acupuncture since May. It is an amazing thing that she will sit in a chair for one hour, and let the Dr. Stick her with 20+ needles. She watches Disney movies on a portable DVD player. I have been training her to wear earphones when she uses her DVD player. She hates stuff on her head, but will wear the earphones now. Anyway, she was watching Toy Story. She first was saying “pig, pig!!” This is not a new word for her. Then she started to say “Woody”! Now this is new!!! She is 14 years old, and may never be “normal”, (call me crazy but I am still hoping for a miracle). I am thanking God for every step forward! Today she said “Woody”!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

egg salad

Jessica has always liked to have lotion rubbed on her skin. Maybe it's the smell she likes? I think it's the texture! When she was younger she would take her diaper off and smear her poop all over herself (and the walls and the sheets). She graduated to toothpaste. We had to lock up the toothpaste or we would find her covered from head to toe with the stuff. All I could say is, tooth paste is much nicer to clean then poop! This morning Jessica found something new to add to her spa treatment. I had bought some very good egg salad with turkey for my husband Juergen. He coveted the egg salad. He would only let our son Philip eat a very small amount at breakfast this morning! Jessica found the egg salad, and I found Jessica covered with it! Poor Juergen! What a loss!!! It is interesting to note, there wasn't much egg salad on the floor. It must have been too good to waste!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The weather is hot in Germany. I can not stand to cook. We took the kids to McDonald s for dinner.
Jessica is no longer on a GFCF diet. We sat outside. She sat well at the table, amazingly well! When she was finished eating, she wanted to leave. Her brothers wanted to stay and play. I decided to take her for a short walk. I told Juergen to pick us up on the way home. McDonalds is about 3 miles from our house. Well, Jess wasn't happy to walk at first. I sort of had to drag her. But eventually she seemed happy and proud to be walking home. When Juergen showed up with the car, she didn't want to get in it. She seemed to like the idea of walking home. I tried to get her on the Street car. I thought she wanted to take the streetcar...but no. She actually wanted to walk. So Jessica and I walked home from McDonalds (nearly 3 miles). We stopped at the gas station for a soda. It was pretty hot out. She gulped that down. I am so happy I got her to walk! I wonder if I can get her to do it more often. She doesn't get enough exercise. She is getting a little fat. A 3 mile walk 3 times per week would do us both good!
Autistic brains 'never daydream'
People with autism do not daydream, a study has found.

The resting period usually gives time for areas of the brain to process emotional and reflective thoughts.

The University of California research, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, compared brain scans of people with autism and those without.

The scientists said the typical social awkwardness seen in autism may be due to this failure of this "daydreaming" brain network.

This study sheds further light on the neurological factors involved in autism
Richard Mills, National Autistic Society

Several regions of the brain are highly active during these periods - including the medial prefrontal cortex, the rostral anterior cingulate and the precuneus.

This activity is suppressed when the brain is doing something which demands understanding, or another intellectual process.

'Abnormal processes'

The researchers used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans to monitor brain activity in 15 people with autistic spectrum disorders and 15 without.

While in the scanner, each person carried out a counting task on the computer.

There were 12 30-second test periods interspersed with three 21-second rest periods, where participants were simply asked to look at a fixed image of a cross.

It was found that the activity during rest periods seen in people who did not have autism was absent in those with the condition.

Writing in PNAS, the researchers led by Dr Duncan Kennedy, said: "We speculate that the lack of deactivation in the autism group is indicative of abnormal internally directed processes at rest, which may be an important contribution to the social and emotional deficits of autism."

Richard Mills, director of research for the National Autistic Society and Research Autism, said: "The causes of autism are varied, complex and not yet fully understood.

"This study sheds further light on the neurological factors involved in autism and some of the possible implications for differences in the cognitive profile and social behaviour.

"Such findings will add to our understanding of this spectrum of conditions and it is hoped may also be utilised in the development of effective treatments and other approaches."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/05/12 23:10:32 GMT


Thursday, July 13, 2006

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger. 'Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecelia. Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.' Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles, 'Give her a handicapped child.'

The angel is curious, 'Why this one, God? She's so happy.'

'Exactly,' says God. 'Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.'

'But has she patience?' asks the angel.

'I don't want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live in her world, and that's not going to be easy.'

'But, Lord, I don't think that she even believes in you.'

God smiles, 'No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.'

The angel gasps, 'Selfishness? Is that a virtue?'

God nods, 'If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says Momma for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.'

'I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.'

'And what about her patron saint?' asks the angel, pen poised in midair.

God smiles, 'A mirror will suffice.'


When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a
fabulous vacation to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make
your wonderful plans.
The Coliseum.
The Michelangelo David.
The gondolas in Venice.
You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.
It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.
You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later,
the plane lands. The stewardess comes on and says,
"Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland??
I am supposed to go to Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy!
All my life I have dreamed of going to Italy!"

But there's been a change in the flight plan.
They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a
horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and
It's just a different place.

So, you must go out and buy new guidebooks.
And you must learn a whole new language.
And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have

It's just a different place.
It's slower-paced than Italy.
Less flashy than Italy.
But after you've been there a while
and you catch your breath,
you look around....

And you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...
and Holland has tulips.
Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...
and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.
And for the rest of your life, you will say,
"Yes, that is where I was supposed to go.
That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...
because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

If you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy,
you may never be free to enjoy the very special,
the very lovely things...
about Holland.

Heaven's very special child


A meeting was held quite far from Earth
It was time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the Lord above --
"This special child will need much love.
"Her progress may be very slow
"Accomplishment she may not show.
"And she'll require extra care
"From the folks she meets down there.
"She may not run or laugh or play
"Her thoughts may seem quite far away
"So many times she will be labeled
"'different,' 'helpless' and disabled.
"So, let's be careful where she's sent.
"We want her life to be content.
"Please, Lord, find the parents who
"Will do a special job for you.
"They will not realize right away
"The leading role they are asked to play.
"But with this child sent from above
"Comes stronger faith, and richer love.
"And soon they'll know the privilege given
"In caring for their gift from heaven.
"Their precious charge, so meek and mild
"Is heaven's very special child."