Sunday, July 30, 2006

Obsession With Corn Continued

So as I've mentioned, I've been reading my summer environmental book The Omnivore's Dilemma. It's making me a bit crazy, but that's why I limit myself to one doozy per summer. This book has made me understand how our food supply works and the history behind it. He even describes the history behind Cascadian Farms and Earthbound Farms, those companies that "tipped" organic into mainstream. Natch, he describes Big Organic of today versus Organic as it began.

Anyway, I read a quote from a farmer, owner of Polyface Farms that made so much sense to me. This quote answers the question as to why organic food is so "expensive". Here's what Joel Salatin, this farmer, has to say (note he's not quoted with quotes in the book, so the quotes refer to the book itself):

"all of the costs (of organic, local) are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illnesses, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water - of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food SEEM cheap. " And later, he says "take away the regulations, the subsidies, and factor in the health care and environmental cleanup costs of cheap food - we could compete on price with anyone."

And after that, Salatin explains "we Americans spend only a fraction of our disposable income feeding ourselves - about a tenth, down from a fifth in the 1950s. " "Centralized production, centralized processing, and long-distance transportation of food" is the reasons we are having an epidemic of food-borne illness.

And as we know from this book and others, such as Fast Food Nation, all of our beef and chicken are fed processed feces, feathers, ash, and the gutted parts of these animals. Because of recent regulations, cows can't be fed themselves, so they get dead chickens and those organs and parts. And visa versa for the chickens. Including old dairy cows. I know, we all think dairy cows don't get eaten, but think of what we are eating - all of their hormones for their milk as well. Passing giving processed cow parts to chickens and visa versa has spread disease across species as well as the myriad of problems these things cause. Lunch anyone??

Anyway, back to my book. It all makes sense to me. After I read these little "nuggets", pun intended, I went outside and made sure my vegetable garden had plenty of water! Hmm...maybe we'll build that chicken coop after all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fun With Feedback

Not that it's really feedback, but today I found myself with an hour to kill. I'm still pretty sore from my first yoga class in 2 years, so I thought I'd take a look at hiddenrecovery's mentions and links. Some of the comments I've seen based on links from my stats page (it tells you the website someone was at before they came to yours). The Autism Blogging world is amazing!

Not surprisingly, the links are representative to the feedback I get when people write to me directly. Specifically, I can count on one hand the negative comments I've received by email. The majority of feedback comes by questions or thank yous. Thank you's for convincing them to look into intensive intervention, for the viable treatment options I've explained, for how to find services. I hear from many people around the world about how, after conversing with me, they got their child a program or supports that are effective and meaningful to their individual child. They report their child is happier and is "learning how to learn". That a year later, their child has enough skills to go to school, to play with a sibling. Stuff like that.

Am I tooting my own horn? It may sound like that, but I'm not. I'm sharing my positive response in order to demonstrate a point - the knowledge that Recovery exists is often the fuel for action in parents. News for me! Fuel to a parent to successfully get through the lows of their day, to advocate productively. My intention was to be referred to as an informational site. I didn't expect to be refered to as an "inspirational" site, but this is what it's become, this is how I'm often linked. Weird!

We all have a fuel, don't we? Hate, God, Injustice, Love, Information, Anger. Those are common fuels I've seen. Denial is my favorite. Like "promises" in advertising on television, you can believe what you want to believe to make it work for you.

Indeed, there is a minority of people that take offense to Recovery. There will always be parents that get false hope from Recovery stories - and blame those stories for something in their life. Perhaps a choice they made. The point being that indeed these parents are in the MINORITY. People read into them what they WANT to read into them, that fits with their emotional state, with what is going on with them. ex: I can tell a parent - "don't think about Recovery, call that ABA program, try the diet" over and over again. I'll get no response but more emails over and over again containing recovery questions.

I hear parents say they read a recovery story, and went on to try ABA or the diet, or chelation, or RDI, as an example. When it wasn't the magic bullet, they turn around and blame the account they read. They shout "See? ABA is total crap. Therapy X only made minimal difference to my son. All that money was wasted." My questions are always the same. What about that minimal change? Why isn't that worth it? What if you never tried X, and it COULD have made a big change? What if you had the right people to implement X? What then could have happened? Why not try everything you can to help your child, regardless of the outcome? It'll be quite a while till we know why certain things work or don't work for various subsets of children, if at all.

In college, I believed my ex-boyfriend really loved me when he cheated on me. I believed it because I HAD to, to get through my finals, until I had time to process it.

It's funny, inspiration. I was never a person that read other parent's accounts. I only read clinical, therapy related materials. Everyone has a fuel to keep them going, and mine was information. Information information information! Maybe the underlying theme was CONTROL for me. For other's, it's the mystical place where all is perfect, where it all "goes away" and this "bad dream" is just a dream. Other's drink a bottle of wine every night. Others take it out on their SPED directors (this was me too). Anger worked for me, it made me very productive. And it's worked in helping me help others, if that makes sense.

As we all know, we find support in others online, and feedback from other parents is often the best source, parent-to-parent. I talk to many parents - most of them bounce therapy ideas off of me. Others, want to know about recovery and if it's possible for them. I tell them to focus on maximizing the potential of their child, not so much as this "thing" going away. Giving your child choices, opportunities, and the best blend of therapy for their unique child. I talk about acceptance, denial, intensive intervention, the gamet.

For the record, my goal once Leo was diagnosed was NEVER recovery. I didn't know about it until years later. It was the happiness I've discussed on . I didn't know anything about recovery until 2 1/2 years after my son was diagnosed. The first mother I spoke to with a recovered child that was at that time 9 years old. I thought she had lost her mind. I never read Maurice or Serrousi to this day. I have the books, but it's just not my thing. They are my peeps, I think they are fantastic, but their stories weren't my interest. My fuel was my desire to make Leo happy. God, he a miserable little boy. I wanted to give him choices in life. My desire as a parent, to "make it all better", that gutteral (sp, help Anon) instinct we all feel when we hear a child cry.

But as time went by, I realized she wasn't crazy, and that there were many more that I describe on my main site. I didn't really occupy any of my thoughts on anything other than the present - what did Leo need TODAY? And be damned if he didn't get it. If he had one bad day out of a whole week, it put me out for days. I was all consumed with his overall welfare. Not until we were discussing a fading plan during one of our last clinics, did I realize ending therapy was a reality. I couldn't believe it. And the aftermath? That' s a whole other story I describe on

Indeed, life wouldn't be as interesting nor would I learn as much if if weren't for the disgruntled fans. I have a "fan" that has posted many times by the name of Anonymous. Anonymous even bashed my anonymity! The irony, I know. In a nutshell, this person(s) has criticized me for my spelling, my anonymity, and that I discuss the topic of recovery. I'm sure there's way more that I've missed and I'm sure there's way more about me that Anon doesn't like.

I really like Anonymous - this person is a reminder for me about what many people think, and the emotions that come up when "recovery", and the factions within the Autism community. I only wish my admirer would actually read my website. I have a whole page dedicated to Anonymity, and why we are. I don't expect everyone to "get"where I'm coming from, and I truly empathize with those that get upset by my writings.

Anon. says I call myself an expert in DTT. This is confusing, as my whole site is dedicated to NET. (Anon. had scolded my spelling of "discrete" incorrectly - I am the worst speller!) Anon. made assumptions I didn't want my son unless he was recovered. I'm not sure how Anon. extrapolated this one out of anything I've written, but I'm sure she/he has her reasons. Anon. states my Resource page should be taken as "a grain of salt". I find this interesting, as many of the books on my site are on Anonymous's approved sites she/he blogs on. At any rate, my hope for Anon is that I've at least provided an outlet for those negative emotions. I truly hope I'm helping!

Diets and Smoothies

Almost every day I make "smoothies" for the kids and myself. They vary day-to-day, but the base is organic frozen blueberries and strawberries along with a squirt of honey, and a handful of shredded coconut. Sometimes I add an unedible banana (any skin with a hint of brown), mango, peach, and any uneaten pieces of pear or apple from breakfast.

Naturally this is the perfect solution for supplements. I pour just a small amount to mix with enzymes and other vitamins. Once they finish up their "enzyme smoothie", they get to have "regular smoothie".

When Dad is home, he'll join in the fun - taking his "Men's Multivitamin" from Trader Joes (argh), and his Cod Liver pills (no one but me likes fish, sheesh!).

Today, I poured Dad his ration (it's summer Friday, afterall), and he politely declined because he's put himself back on the South Beach Diet, for the 3rd run. Fruit's not aloud for the first 2 weeks. Leo and Sydney poke fun at the amounts of brown rice, chicken, and salad he eats.

After several attempts by all of us to coax Dad into drinking his portion, Leo replied "I hate South Beach, I really do." What is he, 25?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Slumber Party Milestone

Friday was my birthday - yes, I'm a ripe ole age of 41. Tradition calls for cake and dinner for our little family of 4 at home. We even have a hat and a plate that goes right with it. Tradition had to be postponed for a special invitation that Leo received - a slumber party.

Leo's friend Peter got to invite 3 friends over for a sleep-over after Peter's 7th birthday party. Leo was so touched that he was one of the 3. One parent declined , so it was just Leo, Peter and one other boy Aaron. The threesome went to bed a 10:30pm and woke up at 6am. He told Peter's mom - "I'm having so much fun. I'm going to tell my Mom I had a blast!". Later, Peter's Dad heard Peter and Leo talking at 4am. He went in and said, "Hey, guys, okay now let's go back to sleep". All heads were in the middle, bodies in their sleeping bags - Leo, Peter, Peter's little brother, and Aaron. Adorable.

I happened to drive all of the boys over after the party. Those precious conversations I'll never forget overhearing - "Do you have a guy, you know a stuffed animal to sleep with?" And later - " Yeah, I do. Let's all get our guys out for the movie, okay?" And sure enough, peter's mom said they watched Sponge Bob with their "guys". Later, the picture showed them all crashed with their stuffed animals.

The amazing news is this - Leo is strong enough to handle less sleep, and sleep out of the house on the floor in a sleeping back, and some non-GFCF, processed foods. The old Leo would have been "put out" for days if he had bad food or less sleep. He is so strong now! I am confident he'll get his needs met. I am confident he'll call me if he's sad or needs something. I am confident I am truly blessed. Sure, we all thought it was weird that he wasn't home that night, but it was great.

The Mom and I discussed the food options and planned accordingly - enzymes included. She was the perfect first host for this milestone. She was sensitive to his needs "right food right time", since he's very hypoglycemic as well (duh, right?). Leo has also spent a lot of time at Peter's house and with Peter in general. Perfect! And for the record, she doesn't know of his past diagnosis or differences.

I also must comment it was a milestone for me. My challenge each day as a parent is to balance my personal issues with parenting. I strive to make smart choices for my children without my issues interfering.

I had a BAD BAD BAD childhood. Let me say it was just BAD! So it was huge for me to let Leo sleep over with another MAN in the house, a potential predator. Natch, we adore Peter's dad, but how can we ever know for sure he's okay? Or even Peter's mom? I think about this stuff every day - I think about how Leo's elementary school doesn't have a fence around it - anyone could walk out of the woods at any time during recess and grab a kid and disappear. I think about the loose security about pick-up and drop-off at school and now at summer camp. True, this IS Wisteria. True, safety is the main reason why I chose this town we live in, but STILL.

Indeed, I casually quizzed Leo about the camp counselors - did they see him change into his suit? What did they do in the pool? I am lucky Leo is very open and descriptive - those early intervention hours are still paying off!

To top it off Leo, chose to have a nap the next day, which secured the likelyhood he'd have a better day. What good choices! What a little man!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Physical Side of the Spectrum

Yesterday marked my bi-annual check-in with the medical community. What does this mean? Twice a year I must take my children to see our western pediatrician for a Well Visit, and yesterday was Sydney's 5 year Well Visit (the typical one). Don't you love this word? The irony!!!! So many thoughts come to mind I get dizzy just thinking how to arrange and dicipher them. Their definition of "well" is quite different than many parents with our kids. Indeed!

Don't get me wrong - I don't HATE western medicine. Quite the contrary, it's just not the be-all-end-all, one-stop-shopping. We do need it. I need it, but that's not all. If it wasn't for western medicine - neither of my children would be alive. Both were C-Sections, Syd had life-threatening bouts of the croup and survived by orapred and albuterol, and it would've been unlikely I would have made it back from my fall into major depression (thank you, Lexapro and Wellbutrin).

The days of western medicine ONLY are clearly over. Today we need nutritionists, primary care physicians and various specialists - heart doc, knee surgeon, neurologist, and chiropractors to get through our year. Don't you all remember when chiropractors were in the Voo Doo category? Economics have brought them mainstream via insurance companies seeing they work, as well as other alternative methods.

To make it bearable for me I prepare in two ways:
1) prepare a mantra for the vaccination spiel
2) select one or two questions that would be FUN to ask a western doctor

1) Mantra in mind, I sort of listen to the vaccination spiel, first from the nurse, then for our ped. The nurse says Sydney will need vaccinations, and I respond calmly and non-threatening "We don't do vaccinations, but thanks." The nurse responds in a scolding tone" OH, well she's going to really need them for Kindergarten - they simply won't let her attend". With no confrontation in my voice, matter of factly I say, "She doesn't need them for school. It's quite easy to sign an exemption form. Really, it was no big deal, pretty easy." Quickly, she backed down realizing I was simply hopeless. And of course she knew the options herself.

My mantra while my ped did his speech: "He is a good man. I know I'm doing the right thing", while remembering to breathe. Focusing on my breathe really calms me right down. When he finishes, he looks at me, hesitantly. Curiosity gets the best of him, each year. It's actually quite endearing. He says, "So when, if at all, do you plan on vaccinating?"

I say what I say each year, "We'll have to see what they learn about Autism over the next couple years. I'm a very conservative person. Until they know more about the GI and immune systems of our ASD children, I will wait."

He knows the rest, over the years we've bantered back-and-forth about it all. The subsets of Autism. That I refuse to add to my children's toxic load. I don't care only about mercury. I care about cadmium, alluminum, flouride and other metals. I care about the viruses (envelope, live viruses, however they are delivered), and how they impact our children's unique systems. I consider the whole child and the impact of living on this earth. Other questionable substances have been discussed at length: grocery store sunscreen, conventional produce, processed foods, GMO's additives and preservatives. I am thinking about new info I heard from my Bioset allergist - that 'Big Organic' is requesting to spray MSG on fruits and vegetables. What? I'm not kidding around here. Can we all shout endocrine disrupters? Anyone, anyone?

2) I ask him if there's anything to do to "counteract" the effects of chlorine since the kids will be in the pool all summer. He said that chlorine doesn't affect them systemically, so as long as you wash it off topically, we should be fine. Interesting response! And that was what I was looking for, entertainment.

All in all, the visit was a positive one - Sydney did great with the eyes, ears, and prick test for iron. She's really shot up this year - 90% for height and weight. Leo and his dad are very tall.

Syd hands our ped a bag of leafy veggies we picked that morning (chard, spinach, lettuce, basil, and peppermint). A piece offering I suppose. He was delighted. Ithink of our ped's OWN daughter, they are almost the same age. I wonder what's in THEIR fridge. I wonder what her little brother will be like.

He sees us pay, and he can't resist. He comes over and casually asks how Leo is. I chirp back "He's doing great! He's loving summer, and he's in camp right now." Maybe he's thinking about the 10 other ASD children that go to his practice and their quality of life. Who knows.

This experience reminds me how different each person on the spectrum is. Each person is their own special blend - we can't make blanket statements about treatment options. For more on this subject see and click on Therapy Bashing.

I think we were lucky - some kids are SO sick physically. More environmental, less genes/wiring I suppose. And some get better! I was chatting recently with a fellow recovered parent. Her son was SO sick physically. We didn't have that, it was pretty mild. With homeopathy, she was able to make him better physically. Because of this, he lost his autistic symptoms.

My friend has unique insight. Recently we were discussing those factions that dismiss any reference to Autism as an illness. For some, part of it is - hence providing another example of how different each person is on the spectrum. For us, if I didn't explore our biomedical options such as chelation, enzymes, and the GFCF/SCD diets, etc, Leo would still have communication and social problems. Was I wrong in doing these things? I don't think so! If I accepted his condtion 'as is' without exploring the viable options out there, he wouldn't have maximized his potential. For us, these things made an impact, a huge one. Again, Leo will always be wired differently, but today he is a healthier happier Leo.

My friend said, ' The fact that my son did get better proves it was not who he is. It was something that affected him.' And then later, 'Before the homeoapthy really kicked in, there were days when I questioned what I was doing and whether I should just give in and maybe consider it was just who my son was and then there would be glimmers of who he could be and I knew I couldn't do that. I couldn't just give up on him." And today her son no longer has an ASD diagnosis.

Today, both Leo and my friend's son are as healthy as they can be - we try every day.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Life Cycles and Summer Camp

During the last days of 1st grade, Leo talked compared his life to the life cycle of the butterfly. He explained that he wanted to "start over as a chrysalis and go back to Kindergarten and 1st grade again" with his same teacher that he's pining over. Indeed, he was sad his time with 1st grade was over. Finally, he's happy that he's going to be a 2nd grader, and now appreciates his summer time off.

I was thinking about this while waiting in line to drop off Sydney (2 1/2 years younger than Leo) at that very same camp Leo did for years. That learning environment - so critical for his success. That foggy chronic blur of anxiety that lasted forever it seemed. And here I am again, like the butterfly, with Syd. Here she is, her rite of passage, ready to bound out of the car, Care Bears back pack, ready for her day in the sprinklers.

I look in front of me and get a wave from Caleb, a fellow ASD child that is in Leo's former shoes. He's anonymous like Leo, and his mom is in that mood state I know only too well.

For the first time, Caleb is going to camp BY HIMSELF. We celebrate! But, I get a wave of nausea, and after a couple minutes it passes. It's just as hard, you get to this point and now you don't have all the information you are accustomed to - a beautiful full page of notes. You have nothing but faith and your child to count on that all is well.

Leo and Caleb's former shadow, Laurie, is behind me in HER car, waiting to park - we exchange a nod. She's been coming here for years now, and today she begins with Brian. Laurie is a butterfly too. I wonder what she's thinking as she smiles at Leo who is hanging out the window talking to some kids. She spent all that time with him, she knows him so well. And ditto for Caleb. And here she's starting over with Brian.

I see all of these cars with people that have a different life than mine, Caleb, and Brian's. They are in the dark about what's really going on with some families - the struggle, all that stuff we all know too well. Yet, here we are, peppered all over the parking lot of this camp. All over town, all over the world, going about our day, no one the wiser.

Each day continues to be a gift. Leo's smile, his confidence, his desire to do things, to learn, to put himself out there. This reminder, although bittersweet, is a necessity - I don't want to ever forget.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Corn and the Chicken Nugget

So I'm reading this great book, The Ominvore's Dilemma. It's another book about the industrialization of our food supply, and how since 1980 corn is the "corn"erstone to the food we eat today. These books always fascinate me because of the association between the environment and our kids.

Did you know that the McDonalds Chicken McNugget has 38 ingredients? That 56% of those ingredients are corn? Here they are for your review, quoted from this book:

*Corn-fed chicken
*modified corn starch (to bind meat)
*mono and tri diglicerides (emulsifiers)
*chicken broth (for flavoring taken out by the processing)
*yellow corn flour
*corn starch
*vegetable shortening (from corn)
*citric acid (from corn)
*corn oil
*leavening agents (not food but synthetic) like sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate.

*antifoaming agents (not food) which are all listed as carcinogenic
TBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is derived from petroleum and is a form a butane (lighter fluid).

Did you know that 60% of our bodies are derived from corn? That basically most of what we eat is corn? Why is this bad? Anyone ever heard of a wide variety diet? Maybe people think they are eating a varied diet diverse in all sorts of food. Not anymore, unless you cook from scratch and buy organic, grass fed animals (including eggs, cheese, and other dairy products). And then the public wonders why this generation will NOT outlive our parents and cancer and disorders like our Autism are epidemics?

I know. You think you are reading untruths written by some crazy mom that's just about had it. But this is all well documented and known. I only wish.

The Autism Gods didn't consider that I have a research background when they decided Leo will be in my family!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Can't She Or Won't She??

I just got home from a play date for my younger child Sydney. The friend has an older sister that I recently learned has ADHD. I had my very first "real" conversation with her. What an insightful, self-contained, amazing person she is. Her whole world is 4 legged and the sky (animals and the solar system). And what a beautiful world it is.

This girl has academic struggles and social struggles at school After reading Out Of Sync Child, the parents have made some changes that have helped her in that area. And more importantly they respect her preferences for sunglasses 24/7 and tag-free clothing. Phew!

She seems like a very content person to me - with my "snapshot" of times spent with her. She takes care of herself - stays in her room at parties, very selective at invitations, declined camp this year to just stay home.

Her parents struggle with this question - can she or won't she relate to others? Do they have trouble accepting her or does she not have the skills to join in if she wants to?

Can't She Or Won't She? I hope she has a choice. I don't know.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The New Normal: Stats from our typical classrooms

6/22/06 - The new normal is amazing, isn't it? They are much higher in the younger years like this and taper off as you look at middle and high school.There is also a great stat from the American Acad of Peds that states one in 6 kids born today have a developmental disorder or developmental delay.

Here is what my son's typical playgroups and classes looked like through the years so far:

New Mommy Group 0-1 year old:10 kids in total (natch, they all didn't have a dx then):2 kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2 kids with ADD, 2 kids with Sensory Integration Disorder (he had a real panic attack while eating a bagel with cream cheese. The cheese was all over his tongue and he didn't like it), 1 kid with a speech and fine motor delay. The speech kid couldn't be understood by his peers until he was 5 years old, so it wasn't a redefinition of criteria.

Preschool: Class of 18 kids: my kid with Autism, 3 kids with a speech delay, 1 kid with sensory integration, one kid with ADD.

Kindergarten: 20 kids total in typical classroom in a public school. 2 kids ASD, one kid ADD, 3 kids speech and OT delays. Again, the speech and OT delays affected their ability to be understood and do any projects. The teacher had been doing the "same ole" for 20 years, so it wasn't a change in criteria here anyway.

1st grade: 22 kids in total. One kid Autism, one kid Down Syndrome, 3 kids with a behavior plan, have IEP - unsure of an actual label, 2 kids speech, 1 kid OT, and 4 kids get pulled out of class for reading help 2 times a week(they are barely reading, criteria could be argued here?).

In total, in our little po dunk elementary school, 12% of all kids attending have an IEP. And this doesn't include the kids that we all know need one.


I started this blog because I was inspired by fellow A Bloggers like Kristina Chew and 29 Marbles. They rock! I have learned a lot about their unique perspectives. I am no writer compared to these two professionals. But hey, ya gotta throw it out there and hope no one winces.

My website is still intact and up, the very long long long Intervention Summary and articles written by me, the Crazy Old Lady That Lives in the Woods. Well, I AM 40 going on 41. An exercise in perspective taking I guess would make this old or not.

One of the biggest challenges I have as an Autism parent is that I find it difficult to find support from other parents. If you are, or know of a parent with a recovered child - I'd love to talk with them, to find support.

I am an Autism parent, no different than anyone else. We all have unique situations and we all do things differently. This discrimination makes me lonely at times for others to talk to about my issues. I talk about more of this on original site. As a parent of a recovered child, many people always have gobs to say against me and my family. Others think I'm the be-all-end-all, others think I have all the answers.

It's hurtful to be misunderstood. The assumptions people make about what I think about various factions of Autism are hurtful and incorrect. People assume I advocate for a cure, for our children to be fixed. That I reject Autism.

Quite the contrary is true. I don't go crazy over NAAR or CAN or any other gene "factions". I can only think of what's in front of me - countless ASD kids NOT getting the therapy they deserve or paid for. I think all bread should be buttered, but the preference when it comes to resources should go to treating the children we have NOW. It's a crisis, a pandemic for God's sake!

For the record, I am PRO-Autism. I am pro all things human, no matter how the come packaged. I embrace all factions of Autism - I think it's people's own business how they conduct their lives. The choices they make for themselves, for their children, are their own to make. We have no business judging other parents for their choices. We all do things differently.

I love my child. Autism is a part of who he is, only a part. I adore the parts that make him unique, the good parts that celebrate the differences in humanity. I don't like the parts that make/made life challenging for Leo, that caused stress or anxiety, that kept him from doing the things he wanted to do. Isn't that the goal of ANY parent?

My intent is to raise awareness about the existence of the HF mainstreamed child and their challenges. For those that are quick to make false assumptions - this doesn't exclude those that reside along other parts of the spectrum, since the whole point is that all kids on the spectrum are kids on the spectrum, each unique with their own challenges and gifts and outcomes. I'm sure I've forgotten other disclaimers and caveats, so please, I hope people read this with an open mind.

A child that is HF and can be mainstreamed is the area of my expertise by default, which is why all I write about or recommend is based on my experience. I think we are all experts when it comes to our direct experience from home, don't ya think?

While our kids may function on different parts of the Autism spectrum, what unites us all is the love we feel for them, and the deepest desire in every parent that their child can enter adulthood equipped with skills to succeed in life. Let our love unite us, not divide us. We all need to be supported.