Category Archives: Alternative Therapies

Anti-Cancer and Autism – What’s the Connection?

By Shannon Penrod

A year ago, while Biomed Mom Joanne Allor and I were at the Fall Autism
Research Institute (DAN) Conference in Long Beach CA, I attended a talk about
Autism and the Immune system.  At the end of the session
the speaker urged all of the parents in the room to get screened regularly for
cancer.  In particular for breast, colon and prostate cancers.  For whatever
reason they were seeing a trend in their practice of parents being diagnosed
with these three cancers.  It sent a shiver up everyone’s spine.  Like it isn’t
enough to have a child on the spectrum – we need to worry about cancer too??

The reality is that cancer touches all of us.  Having a child on the spectrum
doesn’t exempt you. This was made painfully obvious to Joanne when she lost a
second sister to cancer this summer.  That’s when her son’s doctor recommended
she read “Anticancer – A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber.  On this
week’s Everyday Autism Miracles Joanne is going to join us to talk about this
important book and how is has changed how she looks at things.  She’ll tell us
why it is so important that we know this information and make changes in our
children’s lives to ensure they live longer and happier.

Of course we are also going to take a few minutes to celebrate the fact that
California has become the 28th state to pass Autism Insurance Reform.  They said
it couldn’t happen – but somehow it did!  Join us at 7pm EST and 4pm PST to hear
all the news.  Better yet, join the conversation at 877.864.4869.

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Filed under Alternative Therapies, Autism and Insurance, Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Funding, GFCF Diet, Stress Reduction

Paying for Autism

By Shannon Penrod

Even ten years ago it was widely believed that there was no help for Autism.  We still have many questions to answer about Autism, but for many parents the main question is now, “How do we afford the help that is out there?”  Today on Everyday Autism Miracles we are going to talk about the money side of Autism.  We’ll brainstorm ideas for every financial situation, because the truth is there is hope for Autism and there are people and organizations who are willing to help you fund your journey if only in part.

I have a friend who is fond of saying, “Show me the dollar sign over my child’s head.  I don’t see it.  But if you can show it to me I’ll shut up.” and then she keeps right on talking.  She’s been able to fund a great deal of treatment simply because she won’t give up.  Not giving up is a great skill to have when you have a child with Autism.  Tune in to today’s show and get some new ideas and new inspiration about how you CAN make this happen!  After all our kids are worth every penny!

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Filed under ABA Therapy, Alternative Therapies, Autism and Insurance, Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Funding

Everyday Autism Miracles is Moving to Mondays

by Shannon Penrod

Everyday Autism Miracles is moving to Mondays at 7pm EST starting on Monday Feb 7th on Toginet RadioRecorded podcasts of the live show will still be available for free, both on the showpage and on iTunes.  The Monday February 7th show will be the fifth in a six part series titled, “My Child Was Just Diagnosed with Autism; What do I do Now?”  Previous episodes have featured the topics Diagnosis, Dietary Interventions, BioMedical Interventions and ABA Therapy.  This weeks show will center on other forms of therapy like HBOT, AIT, Horse Therapy,  Sensory Integration, OT etc…  On Feb 14th, the final show in the series will focus on funding Autism.  It’s great to talk about the therapies and interventions that can help with Autism but if you can’t afford them what’s the point?  We are going to talk about all of the ways to fund your journey through Autism.  You won’t want to miss it!

You might be asking yourself why we are moving time slots?  Ahhhhh, well there is a BIG announcement that will explain all of that.  Tune in to Monday’s show to hear the big news!

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Filed under ABA Therapy, Alternative Therapies, Biomedical Intervention, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Funding, GFCF Diet

Dietary Intervention for Autism

By Shannon Penrod

When your child isn’t meeting all of the their developmental markers it seems counter intuitive to take away their favorite foods, maybe even cruel.  It seems that way but it isn’t.  The truth is that food is sometimes part of the problem.  If your child was recently diagnosed with Autism, you may have been told there are some dietary interventions that prove very effective with some children.  You may also have been told that it doesn’t work for all kids, or even that it doesn’t work at all.  I can’t speak for all children, but as a parent I can tell you that my child started speaking again when we took milk and wheat in all forms out of his diet.  If that isn’t compelling enough, it also changed his behavior so greatly that I was able to walk down the sidewalk and hold his hand for the first time.  It was so clear in our son’s case that milk and wheat made his symptoms of Autism worse that we were highly motivated to keep it out of his diet.

I remember my mother saying to me, “Isn’t he ever going to get to eat ice cream?”  I looked at my chubby cheeked three year old and told her, “He can have ice cream, he just won’t be able to talk or communicate for days afterward.  Ice cream is great but I’m going to choose being able to talk over ice cream.”  My mother looked like I’d slapped her, but she really “got it”.  I’m sure kids who have peanut allergies wonder what it’s like to have a peanut butter sandwich or to eat our without fear of contamination, but who would choose peanuts over breathing? Or ice cream over speaking.  In our case it was a no brainer.  Unfortunately, it isn’t always as cut and dried with other kids.

There is one efficient way that I have found to predict if your child could benefit from one of the dietary interventions for Autism:  Look at what and how your child currently eats.  Is your child addicted to colorful candy?  They don’t want to eat meals they just want to snack on colorful sweets?  Chances are that your child could benefit from a version of the Feingold Diet.  Does your child live on crackers and milk, or mac and cheese and chicken nuggets?  They don’t want juice, but they crave milk?  Your child is a prime candidate to improve on the gluten free, casein diet.  Is your child in love with potatoes?  French fries for lunch, tater tots for dinner, mashed potatoes at restaurants and potato chips in the car? They don’t want water, but they love juice and crave fruit of all kinds? Odds are your child could benefit from at least a modified version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Does it all sound scary and overwhelming to you?  You aren’t alone.

In this week’s show we are going to talk about dietary interventions, what to try, how to do it with very little fuss and what it can mean for your child and your family.  Have questions or want to tell how dietary intervention helped your child?  Call in during the live show on Friday at 2pm EST, 11am Pacific Time at 877.864.4869.

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Filed under Alternative Therapies, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, GFCF Diet

Getting Kids with Autism Ready for College

By Shannon Penrod

When the pediatrician looks at your child and says the word “Autism” thoughts of college don’t necessarily go away, but they frequently go on a back burner.  When you have to worry about kindergarten, college can seem like a long way off.  Dr. Sarita Freedman has written a wonderful book, Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, which helps us to prepare our children no matter what their age or where they are on the spectrum.

Dr. Sarita Freedman will join us on Everyday Autism Miracles this week to talk about all of the skills that our children need in order to get them ready for college and at what age we can start to build these skills.  She also has a great deal of information about how to advocate for your college age child in order to make their experience of college more successful.  For more information visit www.collegeonthespectrum.com

Joining us on this episode of Everyday Autism Miracles will be two of our Interns, both who are college students with ASD.  Biomed Mom Joanne Allor will also join us with new tips on interventions for our kids and tune in to hear how Jem is doing on his Methyl B12 shots!

The live show airs Fridays at 2pm Eastern time, 11am Pacific.  Call 877.864.4869 with questions and comments.

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Filed under Alternative Therapies, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show

Our Week in Autism

By Shannon Penrod

This week, which already seems 3 weeks long, started with a visit to YNN in Albany to do a piece on Autism Symptoms in young children.  You can see the finished piece here http://mohawkvalley.ynn.com/content/512850/parents-of-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorders-remain-hopeful/?ap=1&MP4  I loved doing the piece, it is a subject near and dear to my heart.  If I had known that any loss of any skill at and age was a cause for concern I wouldn’t have listened to our pediatrician and my child would have started therapy 6 months earlier than he did.  If I can spare one parent that pain, I will sleep better at night.  On a much lighter note, after taping the piece we got a tour of the YNN Studio.  This was more fun that Disneyland!  I’m not kidding.  My son had so much fun doing the weather in front of the green screen!  There were four adults there and our faces hurt from smiling.  I seriously think Disneyland needs to incorporate an interactive news studio into their theme parks.  It was soooooo much fun.  Thank you to the folks at YNN and Tammy Palmer for making it such a gas!

On Monday we flew home.  We were on one plane from NY to LAX for over 5 hours.  Right as we stood to deplane my son had his one and only meltdown and started to whine loudly.  Everyone turned around and looked at him.  It was such an interesting moment because I wanted to say to them, “Seriously, isn’t this what we’re all feeling?”  But then I realized they had turned around in shock because they didn’t realize they had been flying all these hours with a relatively young child!  It was a small victory.

On Tuesday we heard that one of our heroes, Dr. Ivar Lovaas had died.  I never got to meet the man, but his work lives on in the superheroes and superheroes in training who come to our home every week to do ABA therapy with our child.  God Bless Ivar Lovaas and all who study him in order to give us back our children.

On Friday we will finish out the week by having the lovely Monica Holloway on Everyday Autism Miracles.  She is the author of Cowboy and Wills, a loving memoir of her son’s relationship with his dog Cowboy.  It is a journey through Autism that is poignant and beautifully written.  I can’t wait to talk to Monica.

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Filed under ABA Therapy, Alternative Therapies, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show

What’s Stress Got To Do With It?

by Shannon Penrod

Let’s face it parenthood and stress go hand in hand.  If you are a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum chances are that you are stressed and wishing you could find a solution to your stress that won’t take you away from your child’s needs.  On this week’s Everyday Autism Miracles we are going to be talking with Marla Tabaka.  She is a certified EFT practitioner who is going to share with us how EFT is helping parents of kids on the spectrum manange and reduce their stress!

EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, sometimes referred to as tapping is a therapy tool that has been around for decades helping patients to overcome traumas and phobias.  Through gentle tapping on specific points of the body in specified sequence negative emotions can be released and eradicated.  This simple, drug-free technique can easily be learned (even over the phone/internet radio waves!) and practiced in the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to reduce your stress without taking a pill that “fuzzes you out” you’ll definately want to check out this show.  Everyday Autism Miracles airs live every Friday at 2pm Eastern Time, 1pm Central Time, Noon Mountain Time and 11am Pacific Time!  The live show can be found at www.toginet.com.  To call in during the show for comments and questions dial 877.864.4869

The live shows are recorded and available as a free download at www.toginet.com/shows/everydayautismmiracles.  The recorded shows are also available as a free podcast on iTunes by visiting: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/everyday-autism-miracles/id356451530 Subscribe to the show to recieve free weekly podcasts and you will never miss another episode!

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Filed under Alternative Therapies, Everyday Autism Miracle Radio Show, Stress Reduction