Discussing Autism Prevention: Where to Begin?

As I have recently announced, my blog has a new focus, preventing autism.  This is such a broad topic and I am struggling with where to begin.  My initial thought was to follow Gloria Lemay’s 7 Steps For Scramblng the Brain of a Baby.  I could go through each item and discuss how it may have played a role in causing my sons autism.  But I would really feel like I was riding her coattails if I were to take that approach.  I thought, maybe I could just tell the story of my pregnancy with my first child, and what I personally feel may have lead to his Asperger Syndrome.  Not sure what the reader reactions would be on that one.  Would they be judgmental, patronizing, or argumentative?  My desire is to invite neither criticism nor debate,  but to encourage my readers to consider carefully each decision they make while they grow their families.  Not to simply take the word of your doctor, your mother, or your friend as factual but to research and to own each choice that you make along the way.

Technology can be useful, even life saving.  But it is generally not the best approach, in my experience, when it comes to promoting wellness.  Health begins with nutrition, but the industrialization of farming has robbed us of what we really need to build healthy families.  To make matters worse, our busy lifestyles often coerce us to make poor choices about food.

When I discussed my plans to start a family with my obstetrician, he never asked me a thing about my diet.  When I became pregnant with my first child, the only information I received on nutrition was a list of foods not to eat, and a prescription for prenatal vitamins.  At no other point during the pregnancy did my doctor discuss what I was eating.  But technology was a prominent feature in my routine, low risk prenatal care and in the birth of my children.  It is our responsibility as parents, or prospective parents, to learn which foods to eat to build health (and where to buy them), and about the risks and benefits of each test and intervention that our health care provider recommends.

So that is my short introduction.  In addition to my new focus, I also plan to move all autism prevention and related blogs to a new platform, which is now located here.  If I continue with this platform as well, the topic here will be more focused on homeschooling and parenting special needs children. Stay tuned!

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A difficult week

Jamie is continuing to do well with music, handwriting, and math.  But reading is such a struggle.  He is pretty capable, but he just won’t keep his eyes on the material long enough to accomplish much.  I’m thinking to taking him to a behavioral optometrist to see if there is a visual problem.  His OT also suggested this might be an issue, since he can’t maintain focus while playing catch either.  In the meatime, I’m thinking of writing some words on index cards and scattering them on the floor to make a game.  Like, pick up all the cards that use ai to make the long a sound.  Or something along those lines.  Maybe pick up all the words that are animal names.  I think he would like that better, it would get him up and moving.

Jamie is enjoying his swim lessons.  He now jumps into the water independently, ducks his head under, etc.  He needs to be reminded to hold his breath underwater.  He doesn’t want to wear his water wings in his grandparents’ or his cousin’s pool because he can touch the bottom with his toes now.  He would do better if he would close his mouth and breathe through his nose.  It makes me nervous hearing him cough and sputter. 

 Little Samuel is having an exceptional week of being terrible two.  Every time I am not looking he goes and chases my 14 year old cat around the house.  I tell him she is too old to be chased, she is tired, stop chasing her, etc.  “Why?” he says.  Eventually I get to “Because I said so!”  LOL.  This week Samuel has not been doing well using the potty.  He had a bout of diarrhea one day, which I think may have been a food reaction.  But then after a few attempts on the potty, I put a diaper on him and he had a big, formed BM.  Maybe he was blocked up?  I’m not sure what to do with him.  I started giving him probiotics again yesterday.  He developed a horrible rash which was not responding to natural things like coconut oil, so we had to go back to topical antifungal cream.  I tried leaving his bottom bare today to help the rash, and he rewarded me by making an awful mess on the carpet while I was working on reading with Jamie in the playroom.  Of course he always manages to soil his feet when he does this.  Then he went chasing the cat behind the couch before I discovered it.  What a mess!  I cleaned him up in the shower, with the water a bit on the cooler side.  Then I had him sit on the toilet while I cleaned up his mess.  He got an earful about this one, LOL.  I sure hope he can go to headstart in the fall.  I need a break from this toddler thing!

 The worst thing is I can never complain to my husband because he will just remind me that I wanted kids.  It’s the same if I complain about the dishes, cooking or housecleaning.  He ties all that to the kids too.  But I still want to try again for a girl.  I just wish you could skip from age 1 to about age 5.  It would be so much easier that way.