Taking the Scenic Route

Autism, saw a lecture on enzymes

29th February 2008

Autism, saw a lecture on enzymes

Last night I went to a lecture at one of the local Health Food Stores, where they had Karen L. Defelice, the author of Enzymes for Autism, there.  She had written an updated version and was doing a book tour.  It was really great. 

I had the older book on my shelves, and had skimmed through it, and it was something we were considering doing, but I didn’t really understand it well enough to feel comfortable doing it.  Listening to her lecture, all of this old information I learned in my college A&P class flooded back into my brain, and it clicked for me.  I can’t believe I was struggling with it before. 

We were going to start trying to implement a GFCF diet for him soon, although we weren’t sure how we were going to be able to afford it because we were going to have to put the whole family on it.  To add to this, I generally am not very comfortable with removing entire food groups, even in healthy adults.  Plus, he is a kid that really would starve rather than eat something he doesn’t want.  He is already pretty thin, and I was genuinely concerned about ending up with a g-tube before it was all over just to get some nutrition in him.  All the research I have done with GFCF says that you usually also need to eliminate Soy, and often Corn, and there is often a rise in other food intolerances, and that is a HUGE concern when I have a family history full of allergies.   Oh, and the local Developmental Ped doesn’t really support diet changes and he would need to be under medical supervision to do it because he is so skinny already.

So, a diet like this involves things like having to make Almond / Rice / nut milk yogurt for him from scratch to replace the yogurt he eats (one of his few foods), and trying to find bread he will eat using obscure flours (some of which I can grind in my Vitamix) and trying to get the science of bread making down while using alternative, well, everything.  I can’t afford to buy the loaves from the grocery store.  (that alone would almost be our entire food budget, so home made was the only way to go for us).  It is an expensive PITA, but we were gearing up to try it.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to the subject at hand.  The enzymes, although they can be used with the diet, are usually successful without the diet, and those that are on the diet can often return to eating “regular food” again after using the enzyme regimen.  The big plus, as opposed to the diet, is that we will know in a much shorter amount of time whether it is worth pursuing.  In a month, at the most, if there isn’t any improvement (that can be dismissed simply by maturity), then it can be dropped.  The diet takes a lot longer to see results.

Also, if it is working, we can then add in enzyme therapies (along with some allopathic/Western medicines) to see if there is a yeast, viral, and/or a bacterial overgrowth, all somewhat common in autistic kiddos. 

I really don’t expect any dramatic things, but want to make sure that if he is in pain from gut issues, that he feels better.  There are a lot of gut issues in my family especially, and there are some related things in Zach’s family (things like migraine headaches, IBS, arthritis are related heavily to gut issues and can be addressed with enzymes, and although my family tends to have it all, Zach’s family does have some here and there too)  I know how much pain my mom was in for much of her life with gut issues, and if I can prevent that for my kids, I will do whatever I can.  I am thinking of trying it myself, actually, because there are a lot of things on “my list of complaints” that look like could be helped.  First Zane though…we are really going to be struggling to afford his, and anything else is can be explored later. 

I won’t deny that I have a spark of hope that it will produce more dramatic results, but I just don’t want to focus on that.  I want to focus on him feeling better, because that is what is most important.  At any rate, we went back to the HFS and bought 2 bottles of enzymes, the first step in the process, and started giving them to him today.  There is zero reaction so far, either negative or positive.

On a different note, the meeting itself was interesting.  I didn’t realize just how many people I knew until I got there and knew about 10 people there by name, and recognized some others.  I sat next to Carrie, Zane’s first ST (who’s wedding we went to), ran into the Grandma of the girl Zane has been doing friendship group with, and saw quite a few people from the support group. They also gave out the book to everybody attending, so I didn’t even have to buy the new book.  We also learned that the person who wrote the book does all of the touring on her own dime, and refuses to take freebies from the products she mentions in the book because she wants to remain objective.  As she put it, “I have a job, this is what I do to help others, I don’t want to get paid for this.” and “the only reason I can do this is because my boys (now teens) don’t have to be scraped off walls”, although she is not sure she enjoys teaching them to drive.  lol.

posted in Autistic Life, Biomed, Friends | 3 Comments

26th February 2008

Taking the Mercury for her first Check-up

As we were driving out to the farm we realized that we haven’t been there in almost a year because of the car.  Zane was totally excited when we got there.  He remembered it well.  Zora, on the other hand, seemed a bit amazed that Grandma and Grandpa were there.  I don’t think she realized that they “lived” anyplace, she just knew that they came to our house.  lol.  Both really enjoyed the squishy ground and exploring the farm. 

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Dad and my brother Steve gave the new vehicle a good check, changed the oil, and made some minor repairs.

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Zora was totally captivated by the cats and chased them around in glee.

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She was suprised and happy to see Grandma come home from work.

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And finally, the short video of Zora trying to coax the cat out of the house. 


It was a great day.  We are excited that we have the ability to go out there more often now.


posted in At the Farm, Cars, Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | 1 Comment

23rd February 2008

Let it Snow!

It snowed this evening, but since it is forcasted to be 50 degrees tomorrow, we made sure the kids got out there to enjoy it, even if it was getting a bit dark outside.  The flakes were big, fluffy and white.  I love snow like that.

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posted in The Kids, Winter | Comments Off

22nd February 2008

Snow Globe Disaster

Zane accidently broke his snow globe tonight.  It has always been in his room and was a baby gift from one of my coworkers at the last job I had, when I was pregnant with Zane.  He really loves his snowglobe and was just heartbroken.  Much more heartbroken than we were anticipating when we cleaned it up and threw it in the trash.  So, Zach came back up from putting him to bed and pulled it out of the trash to see if he could fix it. 

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Tomorrow we will have to either find a way to get the glass shards still glued to the base off, or we are going to just put a huge glob of silicon gel over it so that Zane can’t get hurt with it.  (or, we will figure out another solution). 

What a great daddy.

posted in Zach, Zane | Comments Off

21st February 2008

New Car Love

The new vehicle meant that instead of having to cancel the two ST appointments (and still be charged for them), the Reading Explorers playgroup (and still be charged for it), and the autism parents support meeting, we were able to attend them all and had a great day.  The roads were icy, but the Mountaineer handled them great.  In fact, I was shocked at just how slick it was when I got to the meeting tonight and about fell on my butt when I stepped out of the vehicle because I didn’t have any problem parking.

I also didn’t realize how much my old car affected my driving.  I expect the vehicle to stall out every time I come to a stop…at lights, in turn lanes, waiting to turn a corner…and was always careful to leave myself enough space to have time to restart the car if I have to cross traffic (so I needed a HUUUUGE break in traffic to enter the road).  Now I can just go.  It is weird to have a car that responds.  I also didn’t have people pulling in front of me and cutting me off on a regular basis.  In fact, it didn’t happen at all today, and I drove in heavy traffic.

It’s a new world, and I am liking it.

posted in Cars | 1 Comment

21st February 2008

First Ride in the Mercury!

After my folks left and Zach warmed up, he got out the carseat and car manuals to figure out how to get the carseats installed.  After considerable effort in the cold, we had them arranged correctly.  Zora’s is forward facing for the first time.  She was a half inch too tall to be rear facing, so that was exciting for her.

When the car was all ready, we got the kids ready and left to go out for a drive to IHOP for pancakes.  Neither of the kids had seen the new car, so we enjoyed seeing their faces.  Zane stopped short as he rounded the corner, and then walked slowly, confused.  I asked if he wanted to take the gray car or the white car?  He looked at me, and I could see the realization go across his face, followed by an enthusiastic “WHITE car!”  Zora was excited too.  It was hard getting them in their car seats because they were both so excited.  Zane kept giggling and flapping with glee as we drove down the road. 

We stopped at IHOP and the kids got “funny face” pancakes, we got coffee and a breakfast.  We had such a fun time.  It was perfect and wonderful.  Zane was almost as excited as we drove home, and both of them were singing “Old McDonald” in the back seat.  It was so sweet and happy.

posted in Cars, The Kids | 1 Comment

20th February 2008

Yeah Us! *wild clapping*

UJ10993This isn’t the actual car because it was too dark to get a picture of it, but this is like it.  A 1998 Mercury Mountaineer!  My parents, brother, and brother’s in-laws all have/had one and my dad knows them inside out and can fix them pretty easily, so it was a good choice for us.  It runs really nice and means we won’t be stuck at home when it rains or snows (unless it gets too much, of course) and shouldn’t leave us stranded.  I am SO relieved and happy.  It gets better gas milage than the compact car that we are currently driving, and it doesn’t rain or snow inside the car.  Yeah!

On a funny note, there is a fish on the back of our car.  (that is coming off as soon as it is warm enough to want to stand outside and scrape it off)  However, instead of the big fish, it is a really little fish.  More of a minnow.  Must have been owned by Minnow-nites.  lol.

A part of me feels weird having an SUV, but truly, it is what almost everybody around here drives (unless they are in a van or truck).  We were the only family on our block with a small vehicle and I was sick of being scared for my life every time I drove it.  I felt like a squirrel in a herd of elephants.  It isn’t even close to the biggest vehicles, but it isn’t small either.  I am very happy.  It was also at a great price with minimal financing, so I won’t be a bundle of stress about payments either. 


posted in Cars | 2 Comments

20th February 2008

Excited, hopeful….

My parents are at the car lot, looking over the vehicle we will probably buy one more time (we test drove it yesterday, among a bunch of others…spent all day looking at cars, Mom took care of the kids for us).  My husband is at the bank seeing if we can get a loan with our bank.  If not, we will have to go to my old bank/my parent’s bank, but it is an hour away and I really don’t want to drive there if I don’t have to.  lol.

Hope all goes well.  If I have the energy to, I will write about our day yesterday.  We learned a lot from Dad about car shopping.  The main thing we learned is that it is best to have somebody like that with you when you are looking at the cheaper end of used cars.  There is not a salesman that is able to push my dad around because he knows so much more than the salesman do about the cars.  It is actually rather amusing.

Cross your fingers for us! 

posted in Cars, Money | 1 Comment

14th February 2008

AAhhhhh….what a great brother!

Zora was throwing a huge tantrum when Zach left to run to the store.  She was inconsolable.  A few minutes pass, then Zane walks up to her and hands her one of his valentine’s cards (we made for his therapists and friends at Reading Explorers and the other kids in his group speech therapy) and tells her “Happy Valentine’s Day” and then goes to get a lollipop for her and brings it to her.  It stops her in her tracks and she becomes the happiest girl ever.  I look at the card he handed her and realize he actually filled it out and folded it up like they are designed to do.  On his own.  Totally.  Not only did we not prompt him in any way, we didn’t even know he was doing it.

Two for one. 

One card,

a happy little sister, and a teary eyed, overwhelmed Mom.

I love my little guy.

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posted in The Kids, Valentines | 5 Comments

12th February 2008

Smart Little Stinker!

Zach wanted a short nap.  Zane wanted to play a game with Daddy.  Zach laid down on Zane’s bed and said “When it is 4:00, wake me up and I will play a game with you”  (15 minutes).  It was quiet a few minutes, and Zane came over and told Zach to wake up.  Zach opened his eyes and saw that Zane had taken down the clock and moved it to 4 so he could play a game.  lol

posted in Zane | 2 Comments

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