What's the Hold Up? Private Donation For Autism Research

Start here by watching this powerful video made by a loving father who obviously cares very much about his daughter, her condition, and her recovery.  A man on a mission.

Here are some highlights, from the video, that I've typed out for you:

  • 1 in 110 children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) this year.
  • More kids will be diagnosed this year with ASD than AIDS, Diabetes, and Cancer combined.
Yet private donation totals remain lower than less prevalent conditions; for example:
  • Leukemia affects 1 in 1,200 Funding: 277 million
  • Muscular Dystrophy affects 1 in 100,000 Funding: 162 million
  • Pediatric AIDS affects 1 in 300 Funding: 394 million
  • Juvenile Diabetes affects 1 in 500 Funding: 156 million
  • Autism affects 1 in 110 Funding: 79 million
  • Autism research received .6% of the total annual budget of National Institute of Health in 2010.
So why do I think this is?  Some people won't like what I have to say.  If that's the case, I think it will largely have to do with me not wording myself right- let me throw that out here now. 

Cherish Your Friendships and Relationships

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth."
Robert Southey

Today I am sad because you are flying far away (You = You know who you are).  I will miss you so much.  You've been a second sister to me since we were seven.  You are the only friend I have held on to since early childhood.  I guess being raised together has kept us together.  Your family is mine, and mine is yours.

The Things Kids Say... ASD style

So then.  The title says it all.  If you are like me, mom to a child with Autism, you wonder sometimes about the things coming out of their mouths.  I am so so so grateful there is anything coming out of his mouth.  Before Early Intervention, Kekito was 20 months old and could say, "Ball, Blue, Ma, & No", all only very recent acquisitions at the time.  EI seemed to have unlocked his brain, because within 2 months, words started pouring out.

This one took a while to figure out.

Starting a Blog: Tips I Wish I Knew From the Start

Starting a Blog

Thinking of starting a blog?  Learn the things I wish I would have known beofre I started mine!

"Blogging requires a serious amount of learning. I feel like I still learn something new every week that I wish I had been doing all along..." -said Sommer (author of the blog A Spicy Perspective) recently, on a SITS Featured Blogger interview .  Boy did that resonate with me.  Then flash forward to the next day, I woke up to an e-vite to my neighbor's new blog.  He's been wanting to start it for a while and mentioned a couple times over the last year that he had a few questions about blogging.

So all this got me to thinking about the sort of things I wish I had known from the jump off.  What would I want to share with him to help?  Why not share it with everyone?  I am not a blogging genius.  Haha, that may be obvious, but even so like Sommer said, "...I still learn something new every week..." But I can at least try to share what I have learned.  I jumped into blogging at the suggestion of a friend, and it was unbelievably off the cuff.  It went a little something like this. I knew nothing and that was frustrating.

Kekito Loves Hats

The Toxin Eating You Alive

Curious what I am convinced is eating you from the inside out?   I bet you anything, you'll probably agree (at least somewhat).   I see it all the time, and I don't think I can honestly say I have a single mommy friend that hasn't confirmed it's presence in their lives.   It's something I just want to talk about because it's been on my mind like crazy.   I know everyone is aware of it.  I know no one will be able to eradicate it.  But I want to encourage all of us.   So... what is it???

Bellows AFB beach cabins (part II)

Adventure, I tell you!  Or, depending on how you look at it, sheer terror and sleep deprivation.  I see a little of both in it.
Did you know that Hawaii is home to amazingly awful centipedes?  It's true!  There is a price to pay to live in paradise.  I had thought when we first moved here, the price to pay was super super (super) high cost of living.  Turns out it also factors in a ton of bugs and other creatures that are nasty or annoying.  The centipede is the only one that actually scares me.  I know what you are thinking.  She has got to be exaggerating for dramatic effect.  So I dare you... Click here to see what these monsters look like.

Yeah.... monsters.

So night adventure number two started out with Danny waking up crying (mostly because he was sad about being in a new place).  I was able to settle him back to sleep on a bed with me, but there was no way he was willing to go back to his port-a-crib.  Maybe an hour later, Kekito woke up screaming.  "I need a band-aid!  Ooowww!  I need a band-aid!" Off I ran to lay with him.  He always says he needs a band-aid for his hands and feet when they go numb while he is asleep; so I asked him if that was what was wrong.  "Yes", he answered with a long sad little whine.  Every so often he kept shifting his weight and crying that he needed a band-aid.  Finally I started worrying about what may be wrong.  Nature called, so I asked Kekito to wait just a minute, and I would be right back.  I was worried about centipedes by that point, so I decided to flip the bathroom light switch just in case.  I am not sure if I am glad I did or not.  But there it was.  A long centipede right (enter PARALYZING FEAR) there about 4 inches from my feet.  Obviously I flipped the heck out and ran out to get Kekito and bring him into the light.  I had been sure this must have been the reason for his waking with a scream. 

Bellows AFB beach cabins (part I)

One word: Breath-taking.  Is that technically one word?  Oh screw it...  Breath-taking, beautiful, amazing, awesome, wonderful, peaceful, adventure-filled.  So many words once you really sit and reflect.

We went to stay for two days at a beach cabin and, as I posted on Facebook that same day we arrived, "I think we found Heaven".

I had to make a little joke about that thought the next day... while the environment was serene and awe-inspiring, we had a rough and tumble adventure.  Absolutely memory building and bonding as a family though. I told Sergio that God must have decided to remind me that I was wrong- we weren't anywhere near the beauty of Heaven!
The first night was rough due to the fact that Kekito was on the tail end of a stomach bug, and I am forgetful when things don't follow routine.  Long story shorter: we moved bath time to just after beach time; which was too far before bed time for a diaper.  See where we are headed?  Yeah... that's right, I put Kekito to bed with out a diaper while he was having diarrhea struggles.  Mommy of the year award... Sorry if that's too much for you- if it is, stop reading.  Now. You can just look at the photos!

Potty training a toddler with Autism:

Could anything else be more frustrating?  Maybe. I am not sure; but I will let you know if I find anything that takes more time and patience!

I am sure everyone has heard all the same stories I did: "We did it over a long weekend before he started day care.", "She just woke up one day and said, I want to use the potty and wear princess underwear.",  "They just need to be naked outside for a couple days.", "It took a long time, probably an entire month!", and most of all "When he is ready, he will just do it on his own."  I am not sure if these people were just amazingly lucky?  Or if that is something I have to look forward to with Danny hopefully?!  Or maybe they are full of bologna or fuzzy memories?

Healthier baked donughts

3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c wheat germ
1/4 c ground flax seal meal
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 tbsp. corn starch

1/2 unsweetened almond milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted
3/8 c clover honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray doughnut mold with nonstick spray.

Sift the flour together with the other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and stir until just combined. Fill each compartment of a doughnut mold about half full using a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag with tip cut off). Bake for approximately 4-6 min until doughnuts spring back when light pressure is applied.

"Yummy Pasta Salad"

Yes, that's really  the name; and yes it does live up to the hype!

This is a really interesting pasta salad that my friend Casey introduced me to.  I've never had one like it before.  It is on the sweet side which is new to me; but oh so tasty! It is the perfect pasta for a hot summer BBQ or picnic!

Main ingredients:
2 c grapes cut into halves
2 c torn spinach
1 bag "Wacky Mac" noodles 
1 c diced cucumber

1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced onion
1 tbsp lemon juice

Make dressing first, mix well, and set aside.
Make the salad, then toss with the dressing and chill well.

(Extra tasty on the second day!  Great news if you are looking for something good to make ahead!)

I'm just going to sit here and look pretty.

Today started out beautifully; but as is usual lately, it's kind of fallen apart by mid day. I think one of the things that frustrates me about living with Autism is how hard it is to ever have a really nice day ALL DAY. I know it's not all that common for most families with ANY small children to often have smooth days. But I FEEL like with Kekito it may be harder. I feel like instead I live in beautiful moments, which I have learned to be mostly ok with. But I don't think it's as easy as that for everyone around me. K is so easily set off by so many things and I always wonder if the stress will make us all weaker or stronger. I feel like with everyone in my world I am responsible for ensuring they have a good time while also looking out for K's triggers and good time. I want to be consistent with him even when it's awful and hard. But i end up feeling like I burst other peoples bubbles on the way. I need to get off the tight rope. If you have any suggestions, or feel the same, please feel free to comment! I'd love to hear, learn, and commiserate! While we drive to labor day weekend BBQ, I will just sit quietly cutting out pretend M&Ms (I will explain that later), while I silently pray persistantly for a peaceful ride and evening. If I get the answer I want, maybe you will get to see some pictures! :)