Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Innoculate This- Amanda Peet vs Jenny McCarthy

Innoculate this: Amanda Peet, Jenny McCarthy's verbal vaccine war

Whose side are you on, dear reader? Team Amanda Peet or Team Jenny McCarthy?
Amanda Peet, a spokeswoman for vaccine advocacy group Every Child by Two, recently referred to parents who choose not to vaccinate their children as “parasites” in an interview.
She has now apologized, saying, “I believe in my heart that my use of the word 'parasites' was mean and divisive; I completely understand why it offended some parents, and, in particular, parents of children with autism who feel that vaccines caused their illness. For this I am truly sorry."
But Jenny McCarthy, whose 6-year-old son has autism and who is fighting to educate parents about what she contends is a connection between vaccines and autism, is still really, really angry.
"She has a lot of [nerve] to come forward and be on that side, because there is an angry mob on my side, and I like the fact that I can say she's completely wrong,'' McCarthy tells the upcoming issue of Spectrum.
Autism United, a national advocacy group, is also angry and calling for a boycott of the actress’ movies.
"We want to send a clear message to her," the organization’s executive director, John Gilmore, told Fox News Pop Tarts. “Ms. Peet's comments are deplorable and an apology will not suffice. We applaud Jenny McCarthy's continued efforts and for speaking up for our community."
How did new mom Peet get involved with the Every Child by Two group?
Word is that the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a casting call for a star representative to combat McCarthy's anti-vaccine campaigning. Peet, in a word, auditioned for the role.
What do you think? Should children be vaccinated?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

corbin & homework

Older pics, older story- from the beginning of September but I just wanted to share. Corbin came home from his first day of kindergarten with a homework assignment! He hasn't recieved any since thankfully. I'm not sure if his teacher meant for the kids to actually write in the blanks or for them to tell the parents and for us to write it in but he wanted to write so I figured, why not? It was a little story about his first day of school- it took us, I believe, about an hour to complete the project but he was very proud of it afterwards, as was I! I'm not sure if you can see all the words in the picture or not so I'm going to share his story with you:

Today is Friday and it is my first day of school. I felt shy. I wore pirate coat. For breakfast I ate cereal. After that I was taken to school by a bus. My teacher's name is Miss ******. My friend named Cody is in my class. The first thing we did in school was hang bags. Then we sat on a rug. The part of the day I liked the most was when we recess. But I did not like to sleep. When it was time to go home I felt happy because I wanted to see Mom. Tomorrow I will play cars.

September 28, 2008 with a mystery involved

Kids are in bed, livingroom, kitchen, & hallway are put back into "order" and here I am to recap our day.

"Slept in" until 6:30 when Brian woke up- the kid needs to be dragged out of bed on weekdays at 7 am yet every weekend he is up between 5:30-6:30 just bouncing off the walls. It drives me crazy!

We all went out to breakfast where Brian devoured his scrambled eggs and Corbin ate a HUGE plate of french toast- I'm still astounded he even had room in his tiny stomach to fit it all!

Most of the day was cleaning up after potty accidents- we're in a bad week right now. Brian tends to do soooo well with the potty for a couple weeks and then have a week of 15 accidents everyday. On days like this I get so frustrated but try to remember that he has come a long way with the public restroom area. For soooo long he would not pee anywhere but at home and at school- not even grandparents that he sees very regularly. Now he's gone at the library, WalMart, the grocery store, restaurants, friends' houses, and yes, the grandparents :)

We downloaded some Disney music this evening and made a playlist for the boys on our jukebox. Corbin ran upstairs and grabbed their basket of instruments and we had a makeshift band performing in the livingroom. I always get a kick out of Brian when he recognizes the song- he stares and examines the speaker as if he can't understand why the song from one of his favorite movies is coming out of this little box rather than the TV. And when you start singing along he will stare so intently at your mouth with the same surprise. I always imagine what he is thinking- "How do you know all the words? How do you make them come out at the right time? This is amazing!"
Brian's receptive language has really made some major leaps & bounds recently and I sometimes find that I don't really pay attention to it as well as I should- or be as happy about it as I should as it can sometimes be overshadowed by negative things. Today after one of his aforementioned accidents I said "Brian!! Upstairs! And wash your underwear out!" We've been starting the washing out the underwear a couple months ago which he really doesn't like. I just said the whole sentence without really thinking he would do it- it was just a "word vomit" type thing- where it just spewed out because I was frustrated. He ran upstairs screaming and I grabbed the rug cleaner to start cleaning the carpet downstairs when I heard the water running in the sink upstairs. He had followed ALL the steps in my rant! The same thing happened a few weeks ago when my 10 month old neice was visiting- I said to Brian, "Brian, go get Layla some cars to play with" just having a conversation with him like I always do, not really expecting an answer or a reaction- but he surprised me again. He went upstairs, I figured to play trains or cars by himself, and three minutes later he came running downstairs with several of his beloved Cars (from the movie) with a huge smile on his face. He then proceeded to throw them at Layla but he definitely meant well! I'm so proud of his accomplishments- I can still remember the days when he didn't even react to his name or really anything I said to him. I can't believe the accomplishments he has made.

Mystery of the day:

Early afternoon I noticed this redness around Brian's bellybutton. At first I thought maybe he was grabbing it or pinching it with his fingers as he did have an unusually high frustration level today. But after the bath tonight he still had it, making it about 7 hours now that it's been there. Brian has always had sensitive skin- trouble with different baby wipes, body soaps/shampoos, laundry detergent, even sunscreen. But we've been using all the same products for over a year now without a problem. I'm wondering if he ate something he wasn't suppose to- which in turn could be the problem for the bellybutton AND the frustration level that had both Josh & I scratching our heads today. He's just never had a skin reaction to food before so this is definitely something new and something I'll be keeping an eye on for tomorrow.

Autism x 6

Make sure to check out this hour-long special airing on the Discovery Channel about a family with six autistic children. It airs on October 1st at 8 PM.

Here is the article about the family & the show:

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- When John and Robin Kirton
first married, they knew they wanted to have a large family -- but like many
couples, they had no idea what they were in for. Today, the Kirtons are the
parents of six children -- each of whom has been diagnosed with autism.
Discovery Health presents an intimate view of life with multiple autistic
children in AUTISM x6, an hour-long special premiering Wednesday, October 1,
at 8 PM (ET/PT).

To say the Kirtons live modestly would be an understatement. The entire
eight-member Kirton family resides in 1,100-square-foot house with a single
bathroom located outside of Salt Lake City. Caring for the children's special
needs requires round-the-clock supervision, making it impossible for either
parent to have a permanent full-time job and causing financial resources to be
scarce. Autism x6 takes viewers into the Kirtons' world and offers a view of
John and Robin's daily struggle to maintain order in the midst of chaos, where
the household can spin out of control the moment they turn their backs.

Considered to be a spectrum disorder, autism ranges from severe to mild --
and the Kirton children span the entire spectrum. Viewers will meet --

-- Mary, 3: Diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise
specified (PDD-NOS) -- the least severe form of autism

-- Ammon, 4: Diagnosed with classic autism -- the most severe end of the

-- Sarah, 6: Diagnosed with classic autism

-- Nephi, 9: Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome -- a high-functioning form
of autism

-- Emma, 10: Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome

-- Bobby, 14: Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome

AUTISM x6 is the portrait of a resilient family coping with the struggles
of each day by rolling with the punches and maintaining their sense of humor.
The documentary also serves as a profile of the unconditional love that
parents feel for their children.

"We did not choose to have autistic children, but they are here," said
John. "We love them, and we want to do the best we can for them. That's the
right thing to do."

Online at discoveryhealth.com, visitors can learn more about the Kirton
family as well as access a variety of resources for more information on

AUTISM x6 is produced for Discovery Health by Figure 8 Films. For
Discovery Health, Alon Orstein is executive producer. For Figure 8 Films,
Bill Hayes is executive producer and Monica Lange is producer, writer and


The Kirton family have a blog that is actually in my Autism Blog list on the right side of the page as well as a site, Autism Bites, that sells their great t-shirts!

Jenny Mcarthy

A while ago when I first heard about Jenny Mcarthy coming out about her child with autism I was deeply skeptical. This was going to the be the new spokesperson for autism? All I really knew her from was frankly, Playboy, and some crazy reality shows on MTV. Could this crazy, flimsy lady be strong enough, and sorry to say, smart enough to relay what all of us in the autism world needed to be relayed?

I have to say that my perceptions of her were totally wrong. The more I hear her speak the more proud I am of having her as an advocate for our children. She is always concise, accurate, and most of all puts all of her heart into it. It's so great to have our opinions, our thoughts, our accomplishments with treating biomedically get a public face!

Jenny is now promoting her new book, Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds. She was on Oprah last week which I sadly missed but here is her upcoming media schedule.

• Mon., Sept. 29th
Good Morning America - LIVE

• Tues., Sept. 30th
Canada AM - LIVE
CNN American Morning -LIVE

• Mon., & Tues., Sept 29th & 30th
Access Hollywood

• Thurs., Oct. 2nd
KTTV/Good Day LA

• Fri., Oct. 3rd
Ellen Degeneres

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Father & Son Rescued At Sea

This video touched my heart- I know it will yours too!

Apple Picking & more....

We were soooo excited to go apple picking last weekend with my mother and sister, Lucy. We're always looking for family adventures that Brian can really enjoy, not just be a tagalong which unfortunately sometimes happens. Brian LOVES apples- his body, on the other hand, has had a love/hate relationship with them.

A little history on the apple front: Last year at this time he was just starting a new preschool and was eating apples a LOT as the gluten-free lunches he was getting just weren't cutting it past his picky nature. He was also throwing up and having awful BMs every day or two which was something we hadn't dealt with since a year before that when we successfully switched to a GF/Casein-limited diet. After seeing undigested chunks of apples in the mess we decided to cut apples out of his diet and just like I thought the yucky side-effects ceased. After a few months we carefully and slowly added them back into his diet and were glad to see that on an apple a day he did not have the digestive problems again. Apples have always continuued to be his favorite snack- the way he wants them goes through cycles though- sometimes he'll only eat them cut up, sometimes with no peel, sometimes only whole, sometimes he even wants to eat the whole thing- including the core. But his love of apples has never changed. In fact as of right now Brian has a list of twelve spontaneous words/phrases: mama (my favorite of course), Tings, up, bye, hi, ju (juice), bubbles, car, no, yah, all done and apple.
So like I said this was an adventure I was positive he would enjoy. I had never been to the apple orchard part of the farm we went to and Corbin, who had been there on a preschool field trip, was delighted to be the leader (who would've thought?) and showed us the way. Brian came along a little hesitantly as the path followed alongside a busy road- he loves vehicles but being that close seemed to be a bit too loud for him on that particular day. I immediately showed Brian the trees and he said "Ahh-pu" and I showed him how to pick one off the tree. The apple instantly found its way into his mouth and that was that. No more picking for Brian. Why pick some to put in the bag? He had his one and only and that was all he needed!

Corbin continued to pick until our bag was almost too heavy to carry!

I tried to do a photo shoot but of course the one elusive shot of me and my boys- all looking at the camera and all smiling- was not going to happen on that day. I did get some nice shots though.

notice the Rubicks cube toy that was his "hand toy" for the day

After we had our fill of apples we went into the shop to see what yummy snacks we could find. After picking up a bunch of fresh green beans, ears of corn, flowers, gourds, and of course a bag of sesame seed/honey candy (my favorite), we joined the growing checkout line- as it seemed we of course managed to get there during their peak business hour. It became very crowded as my mother, sister, myself & the two boys waited in line to check out. In the meantime, the woman at the cash register dropped a beet and it rolled right to Brian. Well what a wonderful thing to happen to a little boy who was at any point going to lose his cool in the congested area. A ball came right to him! What a lucky day! He kicked it, not one, not twice, but three times before I could manage to reach him and stop it. The beet was under a display shelf at this point and honestly, I could've cared less- I was pretty much giggling over the scene playing out in front of me but by the look I was getting from the cashier I could tell she didn't agree. I picked up Brian to bring him out of the tiny area so we could wait outside at the same time that the cashier was leaving so she could get her customer a new beet from one of the bins outside. She got held up a bit behind us as Brian was NOT happy with the idea of leaving his ball behind and was being a bit vocal about it. She made it quite apparent she wasn't happy with us by rolling her eyes very obviously, over & over. I did not see this, thankfully as I might've lost my cool at that point, but my thirteen-year-old sister did and of course she was very upset about it. We talked on the car ride home a little bit about how people don't always know Brian has autism and may just think I'm an awful mother who can't control my "spoiled" child.

On a good note when I did get Brian outside of the tiny shop he decided he wanted to explore the pumpkins and was really able to calm himself after the disapointment of losing a ball by rubbing his hands and face on the smooth hard skin of the pumpkins- he was crawling all amongst them and trying to squish himself in between them. And I finally got some really good shots of him looking at the camera.

an afternoon nap

I came home from work, had a brief conversation with Jen, Brian's one-on-one, about his day and then settled into my couch to cuddle with my big baby and just unwind for the day. Despite my efforts to get Brian to lay with me he kept going over to our box of blankets and trying to squish himself into them all while sucking his thumb. Definitely a sign he's tired- sounded good to me as I wouldn't mind an afternoon nap before picking Corbin up off of the bus. I brought him to go pee so I could try a nap in just his underwear as he usually wears a pullup for naps and bedtime. I tucked Brian into his bed, first with his Thomas blanket, then his quilt, and then of course his weighted blanket. He didn't argue at all and I felt so blessed to get a little rest in. I went into my room and although I didn't sleep I felt rested 45 minutes later when I decided it was time to go wake up Mr. Brian so we could get Corbin. I opened the door to his bedroom....

...and found him running his favorite Thomas the train through his poop which was all over his carpeted bedroom floor.

Instinctively I yelled "BRIAN" and he looked up at me and smiled. At this point I had about 8 minutes to clean him up, get him dresssed, walk to the bus stop and get there in time for Corbin not to panic that his mother forgot about him. Forget about cleaning up the carpet and trains, that would have to wait.

Fortunately for me, Josh came home right at that moment and I ran downstairs, said "Run a bath for Brian he just pooped all over his room and I need to get Corbin" all while running out the door leaving him scratching his head thinking, "what a great way to come home from work." LOL