Friday, November 30, 2007
I suppose that most of you are gearing up for the holidays, I am not however because I am agnostic so it will just be another day for me although I do allow Griffin to enjoy this time of year because he is a child and I believe that when he gets older he can decide what he wants to do with his spirituality and religious choices. I am not offended by religious holidays since I am a spiritual being it's just that it is really something that is very private for me and personal. I am offended by how commercialized Christmas and major holidays have become and I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to spending money on "stuff" for any given holiday just because society supports these celebrations sometimes spending such a great deal of money that it leaves them in the red for the rest of the year. Holidays, especially Christmas, can and does create a great deal of stress for family members, friends, and partners/spouses alike and I just believe that it is far better to give a gift from the heart for no particular reason throughout the year to show that you really care and that you are truly a thoughtful and generous human being.
Even though I tell everyone to not get presents for me I do give them permission to buy stuff for my little guy, this will only be his second Christmas celebration and I think that he is getting to the point of understanding what it is all about as far as the exchanging of gifts. I got him a really special gift which I am certain that he will enjoy, it is the V-Flash (by V-Tech) with 2 cds to go with it, one is Shrek and the other is Spongebob...........he is going to be so thrilled to have this item and I can't wait for him to use it. I believe that it will be challenging for him therefore it will hold his attention longer and at the same time it will be educational.
I have spoken to Griffin's teacher about doing ABA at home and she said that she believes that it will be too much for him and I agree. The thought had entered my mind as a friend of mine is doing it for her child but her child is not as high functioning as Griffin. A very dear friend of mine who has worked with Griffin since he was little bitty told me that Griffin needs down time when he is at home and that is why we have not done it in the past and now that I think of it, I am sure that it is still true. Griffin loves doing his homework and I am just going to leave it at that.
I hope that you guys are all doing well, I hope to receive comments from you or to get an e-mail as I will do my best to keep you updated on what is going on with us. Lots of hugs to you, my dear friends!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
URGENT - LEAD ALERT
IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED OR RECEIVED A WEIGHTED OR LEAD BLANKET FOR YOUR CHILD YOU MUST READ THIS
Parent Lois Smith, whose daughter was poisoned previously by an alleged “therapy” vest – which turned out to be a lead dental vest treated with antimony – has given us the following information of great concern.
On October 18, Lois was talking to a doctor at a hospital in Chicago about flame retardant and applications to medical devices. She followed up with calls to dental vest distributors to ask about flame retardant being used on a vest with foam backing. This led to Lois being led to the only company anyone knew of that made dental shielding vests with a foam backing (the type of vest that poisoned her daughter) Shielding International of Madras, Oregon. The woman who answered the phone asked why Lois wanted this information. Lois told her that she had a 5-year old daughter who had been diagnosed as autistic and, before Lois could continue, the woman said, “Oh, you have an autistic, then you want a leaded blanket.” Lois replied, “No, ma’am, I do not want a leaded blanket. You actually sell autistic children leaded blankets?” To which the woman replied, “Yep, for that weighted therapy.” Lois asked her if she was concerned about poisoning them. The woman said, “No,” that autistics do not eat them. Lois explained that it was her understanding that 67% of autistic children suffer from PICA and that they would indeed eat these and that her daughter had been poisoned by eating the foam on the backing of a vest. The woman replied, “You do not want to get the foam when you order this, you want to get a material covering.” Lois again said that she did not want to order a lead blanket; she just wanted the information on the foam component of the vests. The woman gave her the number of the foam supplier.
Lois was sickened by the possibility that children were being poisoned by these blankets, and the next day her 17-year old son offered his birthday money to help buy one of the lead blankets, which cost hundreds of dollars. Lois called back the company and told the woman she had changed her mind. The woman said, “Oh, that’s great, honey, what color would you like it in?” After the discussion about color Lois asked about ordering a lap pad, and then Lois explained there were times when she felt that more weight was needed, so she’d like to order an extra long so that she could fold the item in half and get double the weight. Lois was stunned when the woman said this was a great idea, due to the fact that the first rule of lead shielding is that you CANNOT fold it. Lois was directed to the representative for her state to finalize the order. Lois called them. They asked her what color she wanted. Lois gave them the dimensions and said she intended to fold it. The order was placed for a 5-year old little autistic girl to receive a leaded blanket with a hot pink material covering.
The private company that had previously identified the vest in Lois’s home that had poisoned her daughter tested the outside of the package containing the lead blanket with an XRF (X-ray fluorescence) machine. The inspector was astonished at how high the readings came back and stated that there was an extremely high level of lead in whatever was in the package. Subsequently, a lead inspector for the State of Michigan opened the package and tested the blanket inside, getting higher readings. He also dust-wiped for surface lead. The inspector said that with all of the recalls for lead poisoning items, that this was a “lead death” item, and that it would be like a giant “Hershey Bar” to autistic – or even neurotypical children – due to the fact that it has a sweet flavor and that if the outside was compromised a child would have access to massive amounts of lead.
Lois has made the observation that the stitching was done right through the lead. She observes that if pets get a hold of this, it will be further compromised by claws and teeth. Lois wonders if an autistic child who has suffered from seizures goes to the emergency room with seizures from a massive poisoning, will they suspect lead?
And today, the test results of the dust wipes are in. The outside of the blanket is lethal. According to the inspector from the State if Michigan, a child could die from licking the outside of the blanket.
If your child has been exposed to this type of blanket, take precautions, package it, and remove it from the living space of the interior of your home.
Autism One Radio is planning on airing an interview with Lois Smith, the videotape of the initial inspection of the blanket, and test results as they become available at www.autismone.org/radio. Our thanks to Lois Smith for her continued efforts to protect children.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Griffin just looks like such a big boy in this picture and lately it is becoming harder and harder to get him to snuggle with me but I manage to get short/temporary snuggles here and there which I am ever so grateful for no doubt. I have to face it, he is growing up and things are going to change with time. I have noticed that he is wanting to be more independent and to have privacy while using the bathroom which is a great sign of growth and it makes me very proud of him. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining but it is bittersweet this growing up thing and in some ways it breaks my heart and in others I am very excited for him.
It has become so much easier lately when we go out in public he is so well behaved and doesn't have any meltdowns for whatever reason and boy does that make life so much easier and much more simple. I actually wait to go shopping at certain stores that I know he will enjoy going to with me. I think that part of it is because I am more patient with him and I tend to spend more time explaining things to him and giving him more credit for understanding what I am telling him. Griffin is a progressive young guy who is raising the bar on how a nearly 6 year old must conduct himself when out in public and even when he is at home. I have moved my buttons around and he does not push them as much as he used to. I will take credit for part of it but most of it is because I am taking the Risperdal, it has helped me change in so many wonderful ways and created a loving, tolerant, patient, affectionate, tender, and attentive mommy.
I am still going to the gym every day but so far there have been no positive results, I have been careful what I eat and spend 30 minutes - an hour on the elyptical equipment but it is all in vain I suppose. At least I haven't gained any more weight, I am staying exactly where I have been and I would love to get back down to the size I was before taking the Risperdal gosh darnit! I wonder how hard and long I will have to work out to keep from gaining weight after the holidays!!!! OMG, it might just be an uphill battle, we shall see I suppose.
Nothing else to report, the weather is absolutely gorgeous and mild and I am still enjoying it! Hugs to you all, leave me a comment if you have a moment to spare, I would love to hear from you and to know that you were here. Happy Holidays!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Here he is doing an excellent job of decorating his gingerbread house all by himself. It was so great because he didn't even try to eat any of the candy, he totally understood what the purpose of the candy was and did not need to be reminded of it. It was a great exercise in patience and a great opportunity to be creative and enjoy the outcome of his efforts. He was so proud of himself and seemed to be so happy with the finished product, it is tempting to buy another one so he can use his creativity again but he will get to work on another one at school when he and his classmates work on the ones that I bought for the class.
I sat and observed Griffin in his speech and O.T. sessions on Tuesday and he did quite well. In speech he was asked to answer "how" questions and to list the "first, next, and last" with each task pictured on the card. He did struggle a bit with most of them but his speech path. was very good at helping him to answer the questions and keeping him from becoming frustrated. In O.T. he first played in the room with a slide, swing, and a huge pad to jump into, then they worked on his handwriting and he is really doing much better while holding his pencil correctly, slowly but surely his handwriting is improving with the proper grasp. What is most important to me is that he looks forward to going each week because it is pleasant for him and I do believe that a happy camper is one who learns the most and gets the biggest benefit out of his education.
Ta Ta for now! Guess that I should get up from here and be productive somehow. Hope that all of you are very well and having a great week. Hugs to you, my blogging friends, thanks for stopping by!
Friday, November 09, 2007
ELA (reading and writing) - A
Math - A
Science - A
Social Studies - B+
Griffin's teacher has reported that he is showing progress academically and behaviorally, he is attending and staying on task much more than previously in the nine weeks. Way to go buddy! He is really growing up and has a great propensity for learning which makes mommy so very proud of him.
Just yesterday at swimming Griffin showed progress as well, he floated on his back unassisted for several minutes and held his breath for a few seconds as he went underwater, keeping his mouth closed which was a great achievement because he usually smiles and laughs so much that he would inadvertently get choked on the water he aspirated. Griffin is kicking really well in the water and exerting a lot of energy but he needs to work on moving his legs from the hip and not just from his knees so we are going to practice walking backwards to develop the muscles and the use of his entire leg rather than just the lower part of his legs. His O.T. was really excited about his progress yesterday and I believe that Griffin was feeling pretty proud of himself too.
When I went to pick Griffin up from his after school program he was interacting with his little friend, who is a few years older, they were hugging each other and saying good-bye. It was such an adorable sight to see them together and patting each other's back. I look forward to seeing Griffin interacting with other kids more and more with each day. A few days ago Griffin and I were in K-Mart and I saw that they had gingerbread house kits and I called his teacher and asked if she would like some for the classroom to work on together and she gleefully replied that she thought that the kids would love that so I bought four of them for the classroom and one for Griffin to do at home. I can't wait to be there with the kids as they work on putting them together, I plan to take lots of pictures because it should be a really fun project for them.
The weather has been really cool and pleasant and I am enjoying seeing all the different colors of autumn and I just love wearing my sweaters again. There wasn't much of an autumn in Anchorage usually the gold leaves of the birch trees would last maybe a week and then it was winter so this is a refreshing change for me as I was in Alaska this time last year. Next month will be a year since we moved and boy has the time passed by quickly and what a difference there is in Griffin since our move.
I have lots of e-mail to catch up on so I guess it is time to get to it so that my friends don't think that I have forgotten about them, my motivation has been quite low still and I am making a gallant effort to stay focused and to stay on task today while I am here at the computer.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Griffin and I went to Wisconsin to visit our friends Amy, Luke, and Noah and we had a wonderful time! Griffin got to help Amy make cupcakes and as you can see he was thrilled with it and seemed quite proud of himself. We all went to the pumpkin farm and Griffin really enjoyed riding the pony, eating caramel popcorn, and going on a hay ride. We also went swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel and of course he loved that because swimming is most definitely one of his favorite activities. The best news of all is that Griffin and Noah played together, talked to one another, and shared with each other just as if they were two best friends who have known each other for years. Griffin did a great job of communication and initiating conversation with Noah who is 11 years old and also has autism. At times one might have believed that they were just two NT kiddos carrying on with the business of being social. I was thoroughly impressed with how well Griffin followed along with Noah as they went trick or treating door to door in the neighborhood with a constant smile upon his gorgeous little face.
By the way, the pictures, as you may have noticed, are not in order because I never seem to be able to get them in the place where I wish to insert them into the paragraph (oh well).
Griffin was a champ at the airports and on the plane, he traveled just like a pro! I had requested to have a wheelchair waiting for us at our destination in order to have help and so that Griffin didn't have to walk such a long distance. It sure did make the whole trip so much easier and much more pleasant, I highly recommend using a wheelchair for those kiddos who have difficulty in airports. Griffin was quite calm and relaxed on the airplane because he had his DVD player and a plethora of DVDs in tow. It was such a great relief for him to act like such a big boy during the entire trip and I must say that I will eagerly travel with him again if the opportunity ever presents itself because he has most definitely proven himself to be a great listener!
While in Wisconsin I found the article in the November edition of "People" magazine that has my name in it about the trial that I had gone to in Anchorage, I had done an interview with them over the phone. Before going to Wisconsin I flew to Manhattan (NYC) alone to be interviewed by "Inside Edition" but I don't know when it will air, I need to call them to find out. It is a trial that got lots and lots of press throughout the world and I wouldn't be surprised if it is made into a "made for TV" movie it certainly has all the makings for it. Incidentally, for those of you who are familiar with it, the defendant was found guilty of first degree murder!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled that the jury saw the truth and that my dearly departed friend's family may feel that justice has been served.
I will post some more pics of my beautiful child Griffin Blaise soon, thanks for reading my blog and sharing in the joy of all his great accomplishments. I just got his progress report and I will post about that as soon as I can, I haven't completely read it yet but will get right to it today. Take care my dear friends, hugs and smiles to all of you! Hope you have a wonderful day & weekend.