Asperger’s Syndrome, The Second Amendment, and The Value of Life.

I went on The Dana Show during the second hour of the radio show, which is now broadcast on TheBlazeTv, to talk about Asperger’s Syndrome.  Once again, Asperger’s has been thrust into the national limelight under the worst circumstances.  I’m not even going to link to any of the myriad of news articles all screaming “The killer had Asperger’s! OMG! He wasn’t taking his medication!” As I explained to Dana, it’s all a load of bull-puckey.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is NOT a mental illness, it is a neurological difference.  There is no medication for Asperger’s Syndrome.  Let me repeat that.  There is NO medication for Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is often co-morbid with other issues that would be medicated, but Asperger’s Syndrome has no cure.

(Check out my “Not weird, just wired differently” line at Cafe Press)

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of high-functioning autism.  Technically, after the latest updates to the DSM-5, Asperger’s is no longer an official diagnoses, but I digress. Typically, what separates an Aspie from a higher-function autistic person is their language skills.  Aspies can talk, quite well. Aspies tend to be very literal, and have to learn sarcasm.  They don’t generally look people in the eyes, often because the amount of emotion and input in the eyes is overwhelming.  Aspies also don’t pick up on social cues, things like body language and facial expressions, which makes them generally outcasts or targets for bullies.  Some Aspies pace, or flap their hands, or clap, scream, or whatever when overly emotional or over stimulated.  For me personally, I close my eyes to talk to shut out other stimuli so I can concentrate on what I’m saying.  I also tend to use headphones and music to block out the world when I’m overwhelmed or need to shut out distractions so I can stay on task.

I also struggle with depression. Depression is just one of several issues that can coincide with Asperger’s Syndrome.  I am well aware that Depression lies. In my case, I’m medicated.  My “Happy Pills” help me to keep my emotions level.  I’m blessed to have an amazing support system.  My husband picks up the slack around the house when I’m struggling to keep myself together. He’s always there to talk me through the worst of it.  A few weeks ago, I hit a rough patch where I just had too many feels.  He let me rant, rave, and cry.  My mom is amazing, and has talked me through some tough spots, and reminds me that I need to take care of the one that needs me most at the moments, and sometimes, that’s me.  My family has always been ready to pitch in and lend a hand when I need them, just as I do for them when they need help.

When I see people declaring that we need restrict the rights of the “mentally ill”, I get concerned. Ya’ll are talking about me. As I told Dana, I believe the real conversation needs to be the value of life. America no longer values life. As long as we continue to treat life as disposable, these types of tragic events will continue. 

 

A New Cause of Autism?

I am autistic (Asperger’s Syndrome), so stories about autism always catch my attention.  When I saw this one, Inducing Labor May Be Tied To Autism Study Says, roll through my facebook feed, I had to stop and read.

The biggest study of its kind suggests autism might be linked with inducing and speeding up labor, preliminary findings that need investigating since labor is induced in increasing numbers of U.S. women, the authors and other autism experts say.

It’s possible that labor-inducing drugs might increase the risk — or that the problems that lead doctors to start labor explain the results. These include mothers’ diabetes and fetal complications, which have previously been linked with autism.

Like most research into autism causes, the study doesn’t provide conclusive answers, and the authors say the results shouldn’t lead doctors to avoid inducing labor or speeding it up since it can be life-saving for mothers and babies.

I have 3 kids with varying degrees of autism. But the one that is most affected, was NOT induced. There are plenty of factors in play when it comes to Autism.

One is genetics – it runs in my family.

Two is environment. There are way too many studies that show groupings of learning disorders and disabilities that appear in certain places, for instance near a power plant. There are also groupings of issues that crop up within certain occupations of the parents.

Three is medications taken while the mom is pregnant. There have also been studies proving that drugs in general can have a lasting affect on the DNA of developing babies in utero. A while back it was determined that a drug commonly used to stop preterm labor – Terbutaline – was linked to Autism. Because of this, it is no longer used to treat pre-term labor. I have had terbutaline, but again, my most affected child is NOT the one I had the terbutaline with.

Four is vaccines. I’m not anti-vax, I just believe that we load them in way too much and way too early. There is solid proof that the govt admits that vaccines play a role. The heavy metals and even residual DNA from cows, pigs, & even the aborted fetal cell lines used to make the vaccines can all play a role in what really should be called “vaccine-injured” kids. Thing is, if word got out that a small percentage of kids got injured by the vaccines, parents would refuse them more often. Big Govt & Big Pharma can’t have that now. So the vaccine-injured kids get labeled Autistic, and Autism becomes a huge cash cow as research try to figure out why there are so many different factors and potential causes.

Truth is, they don’t know what really causes it. So many of the neurological issues have VERY similar symptoms. Autism is likely several different neurological issues all rolled under the one banner, because they don’t understand any of them.

I have the best kids in the world!

I just have to brag on my kids, and maybe encourage some of you.  Just a brief reminder, I’ve got 3, all on the spectrum. My 12 yr old has Asperger’s Syndrome, Dsygraphia, & ADHD. My 10 yr old has High Functioning Autism, and some sort of processing delay – it take her longer to catch on to things than the others.  My 8 yr walks the line between Aspeger’s & HFA, and also has Sensory Processing disorder, & ADHD.  I myself am an Aspie with Dysgraphia & maybe some ADD.

Some of you know, I am HEAVILY involved in my city’s politics. I was brought into the local tea party in October to be their social media person.  I’ve since been named Vice-Chair. Our city is nearing the end of the yearly budget battle.  I’ve been actively fighting a tax increase & a water fee raise, by writing articles for the local paper & organizing our little group as best I can.  This past week has been the final push to do anything about these increases.

In the past week, I met with the city’s budget director & spent about 3 hours going over the budget with her & my Tea Party chairman on Monday.  On Tuesday, I spent several hours at a TP meeting, grilling the Asst. Superintendent of the school system on his budget, & putting out the results of our meeting with the Budget Director.  Then last night, from 6 to midnight, I was out at the city’s public hearing, and talking to people about the budget.

All that to say this:  I could NOT have done any of this a year ago. This week, for the first time since we started homeschooling 7 years ago — all three of my kids have done their schoolwork everyday this week, without being prompted, without having me sit over them, constantly reminding them what was next.  They didn’t give their father a hard time about anything on the days he was subbing for me. Just woke up, did their school work, and went on about their day.

Then last night, there was a 2 hour window between when I had to leave for the council meeting, and when my DH would get home from work.  Not only was I able to leave the kids at home, and trust they would feed the dog & not kill each other — My 12 year old cooked dinner for the other two – Kraft Mac & Cheese, Scrambled Eggs, Hot Dogs, & Toast. *S*  I’m so proud of him! And so proud of my littlest guy, who for years has struggled with separation anxiety that was near crippling, but was able to kiss me good bye last night, and has not freaked out about any of this.  Also, I’m proud of my Diva, for holding her ‘tude in check & not fighting with her brothers over stuff while I was gone.

Last year, none of this would have been possible.  We still have our issues. But I’m so proud of my kids.

My Kids

Autism, the CDC, and more.

So, I watched the House Oversight Committee hearing on Autism.

My takeaway – CDC & NIH are in total denial on mercury/vaccines & the role they may play.  They aren’t even looking into it.  As far as CDC is concerned, once your autistic kid is out of high school, you are on your own.  They have no idea why the rate has spiked so high so fast, and don’t really care to find out.  They are focusing on Genetics & Environment – but not the possibility of Mercury in the environment.  At one point, the lady from the CDC said that all mercury, aka thermiserol, had been removed from all vaccines EXCEPT the flu vaccine since 2001.  The crowd laughed at her.  It was also pointed out by members of the committee, that the CDC’s reasoning for ruling out vaccines & mercury relies heavily on studies done by a fraudster who embezzled grant money from the CDC, then gave them the results they wanted to hear.

The Representatives on the panel wanted to know why babies are loaded up on Vaccines so many so fast – the answer from the CDC – because not everyone goes to to the doctor on a regular basis, so we want to make sure we get them all, consequences be damned. Many of the Reps questioned the why the CDC refuses to even study the possibility of Vaccines in the equation, while clearly stating that were not ANTI-Vax, they just think that there needs to be studies & perhaps spread the shots out better instead of tripling & quadrupling up on shots.

At least one Rep mentioned diet as a cause/treatment. He asked what the CDC was doing on the end, and was told… um… yeah… we’ve heard that, but we’re focusing on the genetics & environmental stuff.  NIH guy just stammered around the importance of gut flora, but never answered the question.

The various groups who had representatives there are frustrated by the Govt’s (aka CDC & NIH) lack of cooperation & coordination.  Also seem to point the fingers at the CDC & NIH and say they are VERY close-minded to anything that doesn’t line up with what they have decided (genetic or environmental) causes Autism.

Personally – I want to know why the CDC is ignoring the impact of Vaccines & medications on genetics. I have one story from Britain that proves a specific drug altered the genetic code of the children of the pregnant women given it, and has caused a specific birth defect in their sons.  There have been NO studies on the possibilities of vaccines altering our genetic code, which – knowing what I know now about fetal dna in the vaccine – is a real possibility.

I’d also like to see the CDC study the impacts doubling, tripling, or more the number of vaccines in one dose. I believe that we pump way too much way too early into our babies.  I’d like to see the vaccine schedule revamped, and the doses spread out over a much longer period of time.

What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear it.

A Very Aspie Rudolf

My 11 yr old decide to re-write Rudolf. I like his version better.

 

Rudolf the red nose reindeer, had a very shiny nose,

And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer, judged him from the outside,

They bullied poor Rudolf, forcing him to run and hide.

Then one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say,

Rudolf with your nose so bright,

Won’t drive my sleigh tonight.

Then all the reindeer loved him, and learned a very good lesson

Don’t judge by the outside, it could be your destruction.

 

Surviving the Holidays with Aspie/Autie kids

Today I’m a guest on the Children’s Express BlogTalk Radio show.  Below is my notes for the show:

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I found this — http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/special-occasions-and-special-needs-kids/ — Good article, lots of good ideas.

Mainly – in our house – we take the entire holiday season – Thanksgiving through til just after New Years – off from homeschool…. Mostly because it’s such a stress-filled time for me.  We fill the time with games, crafts, and Christmas movies and just relax.

As far as tips::

#1 — Trust your instincts.  You know your kid.  We all have someone related to us who thinks this whole autism thing is a bunch of hooey, and they know just how to fix ur kid.  Ignore it.

#2 – be ready for the meltdown.  The noise, the people, the lights, the music, the smells, maybe even the unfamiliar surroundings….  It’s too much. At some point, your kid will go on overload.  Watch for the signals.  Have a plan in place.  Find a quiet room, or even walk outside, or go for a drive…  have the familiar comfort items nearby.  It maybe a good idea to get a hotel room, instead of staying with relatives in an already crowded house – just so you and your child will have a quiet, clean, clutter-free place to retreat to when things & people get too overwhelming.

#3 – if you are traveling a long way, have a small gift – like a book or toy – ready, and give it to your kids around the halfway point.  It will help keep them occupied, and keep you sane.

#4 – if you are flying, don’t forget to pack the Dramamine or Tylenol.  I found that one out the hard way.

#5 – always do your best to prepare your kiddo’s for what’s coming.  Let them know ahead of time the when, where, and how of the up coming visit.

#6 — If you have a Cheek-pincher in the family, prepare the kids for that.  But be ready to intervene when your kid meets the Cheek-pinchers.  Be up front with MeeMaw, and tell her not to touch your kid’s face/hug/etc, that he doesn’t like it.

#7 – Celebrate the holidays at your own pace, in your own time.  One year at a FLY Fest (a Flylady convention) Kelly, Flylady’s right hand woman said, “Its not about that one day. Celebrate with your family whenever you get the chance.” That stuck with me.  We’ve had times in the past when we lived closer to extended family and were expected to be there for holidays.  So we held our own holiday on a different day, IE: Christmas.  With all the gift-opening & new things…  it was too overwhelming to have the kids rush through our tree, leave all their new goodies to go do it all over again at Gramma’s house.  So we began treating Christmas Eve as “Christmas” in our house, with the opening gifts, and the big dinner, and the fun.  Then we went to Gramma’s house Christmas day.  Result = less meltdowns due to overstimulation.

#8 – Don’t rush your kid through “Present time!”  —  this took us years to understand.  Let them open a gift. If they want to take it out of whatever packaging and play for a while before opening the next one… let them.  Give them time to process things and enjoy the gifts and the day.  There is no hard and fast rule that all gifts must be open by a certain time.  Don’t push.

#9 – Try to remove as much of the pesky packaging as possible before wrapping the gifts…  and have wire cutters & scissors on hand Christmas morning.  This will save you a world of time trying to untwist all those wires holding the toys to the box, and the tape and whatnot holding items & tags to the gifts.  Remember – the key is to make this as stress-LESS as possible for YOU and your child.  The faster you can get those toys/goodies out, the better.

#10 – In our house, we leave the stockings at the foot of our sleeping children’s beds.  They are free to wake up and rip into their stockings (usually filled with some trinkets, candy, scotch tape, etc.) and play whenever they like.  But they aren’t allowed out or to wake up mom and dad before 7am.  The stockings give the excited kids something to do with that pent up excitement, and the 7am rule allows mom and dad to get some sleep after a late night of last minute wrapping.

#11 – I got this idea from Dana Loesch, back when she used to have a mom-blog called Mamalogues. We give each of our kids 3 gifts.  Because that’s what Jesus got, & if it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for my kid.  J  Combined with each kid giving the other’s a gift, that’s 5 gifts for each of them…  throw in whatever Gramma and the rest of the extended family give them… and it’s a decent Christmas without being over the top.

That’s pretty much it.  Remember, h8rs gonna h8. Don’t worry about the negativity of others.  And above all —- Trust your instincts!!

I get a gold star!

I did not react when the Grumpy Ol’ Fartknocker in the Food Lion Aisle was overly rude.

Backstory: Today is errand day. I take my younger two (Diva, 8 yr old high-functioning autistic, & BigBoy, 6 yr old very ADHD & Aspie/HFA-I’m not sure yet) shopping.  We normally go to the Super Walmart, then Food Lion, but today we had to stop at Hair Cuttery first because BigBoy said his hair was bothering him.  So, we finished the Hair Cuttery & Walmart. Diva got upset because I wouldn’t take them to Hallmark to shop for their annual Ornaments.  But those are supposed to be a surprise, so of course I won’t go when she’s with me!  Anyway, she was already upset with me when we got to the FoodLion.  BigBoy was overly antsy, and was dancing around the aisle just in front of the cart, and “making music” by tapping out rhythms on the shopping cart. This highly offended Diva, who was already upset at me. She started talking to BigBoy very angrily.

Now, we have a daily power struggle with Diva. I am constantly reminding her, “I am the mom. Not you.” So I let her know that her brother was not harming anyone or getting into trouble, and she needed to calm her self down.  I said this as we rounded the corner of the aisle where the Grumpy Ol’ Troll had decided to take up residence.  As we passed him, I him mutter, “He needs to stop too.” I didn’t know what to make of that, my boy wasn’t bothering him, and was further up the aisle at the point, so I moved both children up the aisle away from him.

But, the Guy was standing right in front of an item I needed.  So I walked back, alone, walked around him, said, “Excuse me,” grabbed the item and went back to my kids.  As I walked away, the Grump hrumphed, “Guess I need to watch my back now.” and then maneuvered himself with his back to the shelf & his cart sticking out into the aisle.

I thought about asking him if he had a problem with me or my kids… I wanted to tell him off…  but I didn’t. I just finished our shopping and came home.  I was good.

I'm no wierdo! – Guest posting at Many Hats Mommy

My son’s psychologist diagnosed me after observing and talking to me for more than an hour. It was a bit of a shock at first, but it made my whole childhood suddenly make so much more sense. A great feeling of relief washed over me. I’m not a weirdo; I’ve got Asperger’s Syndrome. …

Read the whole thing over at Many Hats Mommy.