Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Something Happens Every Day

Today when we weren't looking, do they ever do naughty things when you are? We came into the living room to an usually sweet smell. Mary had something like lotion on her hair and hands. But, we were unable to locate what and where the source was.

We were to find... later, wet sticky spots on furniture, the rug and other locations. Robin did some cleaning in the living room a bit later in the evening and found a LOT of gooey stuff in the corner of the room next to the couch. We still didn't know what it was.

Later when we were gathering the children for family prayers, Sarah sits next to Mom on the arm of the recliner holding a plastic bottle. It was a nearly empty bottle of expensive natural hair conditioner that had been purchased just the night before. Where it had been hiding all that time we'll never know.

Mary fell asleep before we were able to wash out the conditioner. But, she sure did smell good!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Michael Savage Autism Comments vs. Wendy Fournier Statement

This is a must read for everyone involved with Autism. Michael Savage had a chance to redeem himself and become informed and completely failed as a media source and as a man! See our Michael Savage t-shirts. Wendy Fournier is an Autism hero. (My comments are in red) ~ Dad


A Statement from Wendy Fournier, NAA President (National Autism Association)

For the last week, our community has been completely enveloped in the Michael Savage controversy. It infuriates me that this one man has managed to take away so much of our already limited time and energy by forcing us to defend ourselves and our beloved children against his vile remarks. Amen

When I first became aware of Savage’s comments, I immediately got in touch with Mark Masters, the CEO of Talk Radio Network and Savage’s boss. Mark was aware of the comments but had not yet listened to the show. We spoke for a long while and I quickly came to realize that I was speaking to a kind and compassionate husband and father. Mark said that while he hadn’t yet heard the tape, he suspected that Savage was talking about one of the issues that bothers him most, the over-diagnosing and drugging of children in America, and that it was possible that his remarks were being taken out of context. Having dealt with the media and having seen the ridiculous way members of our own community have been edited to look like crazy, desperate parents, I was open to the idea that Mark’s suggestion may have been a possibility. Mark promised to speak with Savage and to give us the opportunity to refute his comments on the air.

On Monday evening, Mark fulfilled his promise and I was able to speak with Savage on his show. Leaving the door open to the chance that he was indeed taken out of context, I pushed my anger toward him aside and discussed with him many of his views about healthcare in America and the sad reality that families affected by autism face. Savage has several problems with the medical community in general that I personally agree with, the most frustrating of which is the over-zealous desire to drug our children.

However, when it came to Savage’s views on Autism specifically, he was completely misinformed and off the mark.

He believes that autism is being over-diagnosed. There may be a relatively small number of children who are wrongly diagnosed with an ASD, but for the most part, an autism diagnosis is not something that is given lightly. Those of us whose children have been through the evaluation process know that it is extensive.

On the subject of diagnosis, our kids are diagnosed based on observation of skills and behaviors. All the while, the medical community completely fails to investigate what might be causing those behaviors. This needs to change. We need research to turn away from number-crunching epidemiological studies and the search for the elusive Autism gene, and start looking from a biological standpoint at the children who are currently affected. She is so right! It may be nice to know for informational purposes, but now what. Now that we have an Autistic child what can be done? Your child may very well meet the current diagnostic criteria for Autism, but what if he or she is really suffering from heavy metal toxicity or auto-immune encephalopathy, for example? Those illnesses are known to cause symptoms of Autism. If your doctor kept digging to find the cause of your child’s neurological dysfunction, you would likely come out on the other side with a treatable illness and hope for the future, not to mention health insurance coverage for treatment. But instead, you are told that your child has autism, there is no treatment, hurry to get on a waiting list for behavioral therapies. If we have to stay in this 'too bad for you, life stinks' mode, progress for these children will never happen. Mainstream physicians need to start recognizing and treating the underlying medical issues that are causing the symptoms we collectively observe and diagnose as autism, only then will we start to make some real progress. My hope is that one day, no child will be diagnosed with “Autism”, that all sick children will be properly diagnosed and successfully treated for the illnesses that they truly suffer from.

Back to Savage and his misconceptions, this one is almost amusing. He actually thinks that having a child with autism opens the door to free medical treatment and services from the government, suggesting that parents might actually push for a diagnosis in an effort to screw the government and our fellow taxpayers. Yep! That's what we are all in it for THE BIG BUCKS! ~ I hope you noted the dripping sarcasm. Those of us in the trenches know that the word “autism” is the last thing a parent wants to hear. Savage’s implied freebies are nowhere to be found. The minute your child is diagnosed, you need to fit yourself with a suit of armor, a shield and a big-ass sword, because you have just taken the first step into a never-ending fight to get the services and medical care that your child needs. Our kids are placed on waiting lists for services that can be years long, our health insurance companies turn their backs on us, and our overwhelmed and under-funded school districts I do feel for our school district. Last year our elementary became the headquarters for Autism in the city. There are other affected children at our school, but with our three at that school alone, I'm sure they felt the need to make that their main district location. force us to fight for even the most basic services to help our kids. The number of families facing bankruptcy and losing their homes to provide their children with the care they need is staggering.

Savage also thinks that greedy lawyers are somehow involved, looking for ways to milk the pharmaceutical companies for families who claim that vaccines caused their child’s regression. He is completely ignorant to the fact that manufacturers are protected from all liability on vaccine injury claims thanks to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. I tried to point this out to him, but he pushed on with this false assumption. What I didn’t realize until hearing the show later, was that my phone line was completely muted when Savage was speaking. There were several times when I tried to interject and disagree with him, and I was simply not heard. This is misleading and my silence could be interpreted by some of his listeners as agreement. I’m not happy about that. We learned about how that works also with our Larry King interview.

Savage’s producer asked me to have several other guests from our community standing by to be interviewed during the show. I did that, and not one of them was included. Not that big of a surprise really. Just seems to be a part of media's "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality. And it looks like some don't care if our children are the ones bleeding. The callers who were put on the air appeared to be hand-selected to participate in the show with the sole purpose of allowing Savage to backtrack and basically cover his own behind.

Savage claims to be an advocate for children’s health. One might think that instead of ranting about bad parenting, he would be questioning why we have so many sick children in this country. Coinciding with the increase in recommended vaccines, we’ve had an increase in chronic diseases including Asthma, ADD, ADHD, Juvenile Diabetes, and yes, Autism. Why do our government health agencies refuse to compare the overall health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children? Why do they continue to inject our babies with substances that are known to be toxic to the developing brain and immune system? Why is our government being allowed to treat an entire generation of children like lab rats, by requiring an ever-increasing number of vaccines and conducting absolutely no safety studies on their cumulative effects?

Last night, I received an email with a link to a new website, savageonautism.com. He’s got a website for this now? On this site, there is a link to an audio clip of my discussion with Savage. It noted, “Savage speaks with Wendy Fournier, President of the National Autism Association who says that she has much common ground with Savage”. Again, misleading. I do not appreciate the implication that I am in any way on his side and I will not be used as a pawn in his attempt to backtrack on his comments. I contacted Talk Radio Network about this and the reference was promptly removed.

Mark Masters from TRN has offered to air public service announcements on their nationally syndicated shows in an effort to educate listeners on the reality of autism. For that I am very grateful. I hope that it will undo some of the damage that has been done. I hope that they follow through on their offer. We've had a number of 'offers' that were never fulfilled.

That damage is very real, and it frightens me for our children. I just got a phone call from a 74-year-old lady from California who was literally screaming at me, saying that we are a bunch of hysterical mothers who refuse to discipline our kids. She could barely catch her breath, and she’s calling us hysterical? I ended up hanging up on her and she’s called back 6 times already - that’s how fired up and anxious she is to criticize us as parents and the children we love. This is the damage that Mike Savage has done, And I for one, will do my best to help reverse his damage also. whether he meant to or not is completely irrelevant. There are people out there who are taking his words at face value and his message is one of hate.

To the fine people who are sending me hate mail about freedom of speech, you can stop. I’m all for it. You can say anything you want to in this country, but if you choose to attack our kids, be ready to defend your comments. Ditto!! We’re already suited up and are getting pretty good at wielding our big-ass swords.

In closing, I have listened with an open mind to Savage’s claim that he was taken out of context. My personal conclusion is that he was not, he’s lying to us. There are several reasons why I don’t believe him, but I keep coming back to one very significant quote. Savage claims he was talking about the “misdiagnosed”, not kids that truly have autism. But during his deplorable rant he said, “What do you mean they scream and they’re silent?” He was talking then about children who are silent, children who are non-verbal, children who are severely affected by autism, children like my beautiful little girl.

Michael Savage, take your father’s advice. Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Whether you actually meant to hurt suffering families or not, the simple fact is, you did hurt us. And for that alone, you should man up and apologize.

Wendy Fournier, PresidentNational Autism Association

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spongebob and The Great Giggle Box

A couple of nights ago, the night after our PARTY FOR THREE, Mary, 3, woke up crying. I sort of woke up from it, but then staggered to bed when I saw John awake. I assumed he was going to deal with her. In time, I kept hearing John moan and groan as Mary kept crying. John was too tired to be very patient, and was letting her cry for a time seeing if she would fall asleep again, like she usually does.

Well, Mary kept crying and John was losing it. So, I got up and told him to go to bed, I'll deal with her. I asked Mary "You wanna hold mama?" She said "Mama hold you." Sometimes mom is the only thing that will make a child happy. We had to put on a Spongebob DVD because that's Mary's current obsession. It used to be Blue's Clues and Elmo. She won't watch Blue anymore, and Elmo not so much, it's almost always "Bah Bob on DVD!" now. As John and I were talking in the middle of the night while I was changing Mary and getting her ready to sit with me, from down the hall we heard a little "Hee hee!" We kept hearing it over and over again and were looking at each other like "Uh oh." So, John got Sarah, 6, our little giggle box, and brought her into the living room to change a rank bomb in her pants. He then went to bed as me and the little girls had a slumber party. Sarah bounced and frolicked around giggling like there was no tomorrow. She likes to get real close right in my face and roar with laughter, nearly making me deaf in the process. I tried to sleep in the recliner, but couldn't get comfortable enough. Mary finally passed out cold and laid down on the couch. Sarah was still bouncing off the walls in a jovial frenzy with more "Hee hee!"'s in my face. I was so wasted, I'd had enough. So, I replayed Spongebob and made sure the room was safe--the dividing wall up and the bathroom locked--then I went to bed.

A few hours later, I came into the living room to check on them. Sarah was leisurely sitting in my recliner, and as I looked at her in the dimly lit room, she looked right at me as her mouthful of teeth emerged, her eyes lit up and twinkled and she went "HEE HEE!"

She started to nod off about then, but then perked up again. She giggled all the way to the bathtub and in the bathtub. Later, when I called her name a few times to tell her I needed to dry her hair, she said "Say ah, Say ah." She's never said her name so clearly before!!!!!

Here's Sarah after she got home from school yesterday....

By the way, Ammon, 4, is progressing so well in his communication. After he had his after school snack, he comes up to me and sticks his finger in my face with gooey and chunky brown stuff on it--and I didn't give him chocolate. Hey, at least he didn't wipe it on his clothes and not tell me about it. For that, I totally couldn't get upset with him, I was just SO PROUD of my boy!!!

Sniff sniff...


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Party For Three

Hi folks!

Please forgive me for not writing much lately, I'm just so tired most of the time, argh. Well, I just had to tell you about some of our latest adventures with the little ones around here....

We were invited to a neighborhood block party yesterday evening. We were looking forward to it. So, although I could picture in my mind how it was going to be with our little ones once we got there, we chanced it anyhow. After all, we like being social, we really like our neighbors and we don't get out much. We made sure not to forget to put their autism bites shirts on as well since we may not already know everyone there.

So, we put Ammon, 4, in the stroller, Mary, 3, walked with Nephi, 9, and Sarah walked with me holding the side of the stroller as we moseyed down the street. We went into the back yard where we saw two guests that had arrived so far, and the children immediately went into a frenzy on the teeter totter and trampoline as these guys looked on in awkward silence. However, Sarah, 6, went straight for the flower garden until the dogs came excitedly running out. Sarah then screamed loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear, which made the dogs even more excited as they ran up to her this time going "Ar ar ar ar ar!!!" So, Sarah continued to scream bloody murder. The dogs soon ran off elsewhere while Sarah was still shaking in her sneakers, but then...."Ar ar ar ar!!!!" again. The owner of the home then came out and loudly exclaimed something like "Don't run from the dogs or yell and scream because that just makes them get louder and more agitated!" Well, I stood there stunned. Well, it was private property and a happy event, so I kept my emotional reaction to myself and quietly started taking off with Sarah and Ammon as fast as I could. As I was leaving, the wife of the home kindly told me that they put the dogs in the house. I said something like "Oh, it's okay. She pulled up some of your flowers too."

So, I took them to our favorite hamburger joint, Arctic Circle. I prayed mightily to God that they would behave there, especially since it was just them and myself. On the way in, Ammon ran around some cars in the drive through, but we otherwise made it in alright. Ammon immediately went to the play land, and Sarah sat at the high table patiently waiting--I think God is very generous with tender mercies, especially when they are much needed.

A young family was sitting in the booth Ammon usually sits with us at. He tried to sit with them and started going for their food when I said "Nuh uh, Ammon" as he smiled slyly, then went off to the play land. Sarah and Ammon soon inhaled every last morsel of their fries and chicken rings. With Ammon, when he finally joined us, he started scooping his food up with his hands. I looked away for a moment and when I looked back, it was ALL gone. I looked to see if it was on the floor, then noticed that his cheeks were stuffed full as he was quickly and carefully chewing it all before it went down the hatch.

They soon were playing, and then Ammon was playing with the door. A 7 yr old boy with high functioning autism next to us told me that my son was at the door. I thanked him for telling me, that he's a good helper. Ammon had vanished right before that in what seemed like an instant. The 7 yr old boy's mom and I started visiting and by the time Ammon ran to the drive through for the third time, I had it. I gave Sarah what was left of my pop so she wouldn't fuss and I scooped up Ammon and we went to the car....Back at home, I watched them play outside in the back yard. In a first, Ammon kept coming up to me with a big sweet smile and taking his hands behind my back and butt to try and bring me to the swing where I had to swing him for like an HOUR. He was quite the laughing, happy boy as Sarah frolicked around the yard trying to eat dirt and unripened fruit from the trees.

...We may very well have to wait for the next life to be able to have and go to parties like everyone else. Oh well, this life is real short compared to eternity anyhow....

Robin Kirton.....the mom

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michael Savage Autism Comments

As many of you know we like to say how we feel on t-shirts. We have come up with three shirts that tell Michael Savage exactly what we think.


Autism Parents 'Infection Risk'

I've been wondered why we seem to get sick way too often. The color comments are mine.


Caring for children with developmental problems such as autism or Down's syndrome can weaken parents' immune systems, research suggests.

Researchers at Birmingham University found they had a poorer immune response to a vaccine against pneumonia.

It appears that stress causes the immune system to function less efficiently, the team wrote in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Charities called for better support for parents struggling to cope. (Hello, I'm over here ~ hand waving frantically)

Previous work has shown negative effects in elderly people caring for a spouse - but this is the first time that a similar result has been seen in a younger, healthier group providing round-the-clock care, the researchers pointed out.

A total of 60 parents received the pneumococcal vaccine as part of the study - half of whom had children with developmental disabilities.

Blood tests showed that those caring for a child with developmental disability had lower levels of antibodies to the vaccine than those whose children did not have such difficulties.

After one month, 20% of parents providing long-term care had an ineffective immune response, compared to 4% of the control group. At six months this had risen to 48% while the levels in the control group remained the same.


Study leader Stephen Gallagher said low levels of antibodies suggested parents' ability to fight infection was weaker: "This is a good indication that their immune systems are not functioning efficiently." (Knock me down with a feather!)

Stress was likely to be responsible for the immune deficiency, he added. (Stress? Do any of you get stressed?)

"These parents are sometimes extremely stressed and what they need is appropriate help and training." (Helloooo... me over here again)

Co-author Dr Anna Phillips said parents caring for these children are "incredibly dedicated" and not in a position to take time off. (What's time off? Was it sunny of rainy today? I just didn't get a chance to even look outside today.)

"However, knowing the effects that providing round-the-clock care can have on their health may help raise awareness that these parents need help (helloooooo?) to manage their burden of care."

She said the parents should be added to the list of vulnerable groups eligible for vaccinations such as the flu jab. (no thanks!)

"We are continuing this work by looking at how sleep patterns affect the rates of infection in these parents," she added. (Sleep? Do people really NEED sleep? That's funny, I thought that needing sleep was a myth.)

Amanda Batten, head of policy and campaigns at the National Autistic Society, said: "Carers often display great strength and resilience whilst coping with this complex disability, but many receive very little help and support, and are under considerable stress as a result. (Glad someone out there realises this)

"It is imperative that carers are given access to services such as short break schemes to help them before they reach a crisis point." (Are there such services? We haven't found any.)

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, added: "I am not surprised at the results of this study. It just confirms what we already suspected might be one of the consequences of the constant stress that families have to endure." (Amen brother... I mean sister!)

Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/7513661.stm Published: 2008/07/19 23:29:32 GMT© BBC MMVIII

Can we all shout out a big Hallelujah !?! Looks like the British are getting this figured out. Hope we can have more of the same over here soon.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Autistic Parents Polling Results

The results are in from the last two polls that we've had here. Actually the first poll has been done for over a month now but I'm just getting to it. The first poll is:

Parents of Autistic Children Only: How do you support your family?

1. Dad works regular job <107> (82%)

2. Mom works regular job <49> (37%)

3. Receive gov't help (SSI, etc) <38> (29%)

4. Relatives give cash regularly <7> (5%)

5. Relatives give cash sometimes <15> (11%)

6. Mom or Dad work 2nd job <13> (10%)

7. Doing eBay sales <7> (5%)

8. Doing direct sales (i.e. MLM) <5> (3%)

9. Selling something else (i.e. t-shirts) <4> (3%)

10.Would like to belong to 'Parents Group' to buy and sell with each other <15> (11%)

Total votes: 130

Here's how I fit into the poll. I used to work a regular job until last October. I drove a 17 ton dump truck for a excavation company. I had this job for about a year and a half and referred to it as the job where 'I didn't have to think', I just worked. This is the job I had during all of our struggles with the state of Utah. The owner was very understanding about our situation, but toward the end he just needed someone that could keep the truck running 10-12 hrs a day. That didn't work very well with me needing to help Robin and all of the other needs of the children. In case you didn't hear about our 'state problems' from past blogs or media articles, this is where we had the children taken away for 2 weeks, having our lives turned upside down to comply with the state juvenile court system, etc. for 11 months.

The "thinking" job I had before that, I worked as a 'lease banker' for a capital equipment leasing company. I was there just 6 months when we found out about Sarah being classic Autistic. I was worthless as an employee most of the time after that and when my father died that December it kind of pushed me over the edge of despair. I asked my boss, one of the VP's, if I could adjust my work load or anything else to keep the job and continue to provide for my family. He was aware of our newly discovered Autism situation as I had let him know months before (initial school evaluation). But, he said that he would 'accept' my resignation. I had not offered it, but I found out (later) that he had told his boss, the president, that I had quit. I could have fought it to get unemployment I guess, but I didn't have it in me at the time.

So when the dump truck job was coming to an end I looked for something else and did do a brief stint of 3-4 weeks, but the hours were messing up the family life again. So I'm where I'm at today. We manage by doing 3, 5, 8 and 9.

From the results it looks like it's kinda tough for the families out there. Nearly 40% the Dad and Mom are working. Then 3 of 10 families don't earn all that much and qualify for SSI. Not a lot of financial support from relatives with barely 1 of 10 getting some money. Then 10% have one parent working two jobs. This has got to make it hard on the child(ren) who already have difficulty forming relationships, where one of the parents are hardly at home. Very sad. A ray of hope is that some are looking beyond the traditional job and being some what of entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, it's less then 5% in 3 different areas.

The last question tells me that we have too many 'lone rangers' out there. We should help each other so that if one of our group can provide a service or product that we could use... use them. Of course family members would be first in this situation, but if they don't... let's use one another.

Next poll: How many Autistic children do you have?

1. 1 <67> (61%)

2. 2 <22> (20%)

3. 3 <7> (6%)

4. 4 <5> (4%)

5. 5 <1> (0%)

6. 6 <4> (3%) (Note: The actual vote total was: <3>)

7. A mix of both <25> (22%)

8. Would like to work from home if the money was right <25> (22%)

Total votes: 109

To explain question #6: One day while looking at this blog the poll on my screen showed that I had not voted. I assumed that some sort of glitch had occurred and voted as having 6 ASD children. Now it added my original vote and this new one and I was not able to fix it.

We had heard there are other families that may have had as many as us, but really did not KNOW. With this poll it looks like there are two other families just like us, unless someone out there had a glitch or a slip of the mouse. However, if there truly is more like us we (my wife and I) would like to know you. Please write to us at our email: autism_bites@yahoo.com I promise to not reveal to ANYONE here on this blog, email or ANYWHERE who you are if that is your desire.

Now I know why so many other Autistic parents have told us that: (1) we inspire them (2) give them hope (3) wonder how we can do it (4) etc. It appears that 81% of the families have just 1 or 2 Autistic children. Now let's not get any feathers ruffled out there. We know that even 1 Autistic child is a tough job... we know. But, when we have 6, 1 to 2 to us is 'just'.

Please comment, so we know you are alive. These polls prove that at least 130 couples or parents visit here monthly.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Government's Defense Of Mercury In Vaccines Shaken By Withdrawal Of Expert Reports

Found this VERY interesting bit of news (highlights are my own):

PRESS RELEASE CONTACTS: For Immediate CoMeD President [Rev. Lisa K. Release Sykes (Richmond, VA) 804-364-8426] July 13, 2008 CoMeD Sci. Advisor [Dr. King (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) 973-263-4843]

WASHINGTON, DC - In the United States Court of Federal Claims, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the contention by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism, has suffered an unexpected setback. In a June 27, 2008 Autism Omnibus Proceeding (OAP) conference, attorneys for the DHHS announced that they were withdrawing two key written reports and any statements which relied on those reports. Those key reports, written by two world-renowned toxicologists (Dr. Laszlo Magos, formerly from the Medical Research Council Laboratories, England, and Dr. Thomas Clarkson, from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY USA), were the toxicological pillars underpinning the government's claim that Thimerosal does not cause autism.

On July 3, 2008, the three OAP Special Masters recorded that they had granted the DHHS' request to withdraw the expert reports of Drs. Magos and Clarkson. In addition, their court order[1] stated: ". respondent would be permitted to withdraw any reliance on those two expert reports, and that we would not consider those reports at all in resolving those test cases."

Ironically, though Drs. Magos and Clarkson were expected to testify to the safety of Thimerosal in vaccines, their previous publications clearly document its significant toxicity. For example, Dr. Clarkson, working under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), essentially declared that organic mercurial antiseptics, including Thimerosal, should be heavily restricted or withdrawn, "as the fact that mercury readily penetrates intact membranes and is highly toxic seems to have been forgotten" in a peer-reviewed study published in 1977.[2]

With the recent publication of studies proving a link between Thimerosal exposure and autism, the current exodus of experts who are willing to testify for the DHHS that Thimerosal does not cause autism appears to be escalating.

Tellingly, Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, also recently said: "I think the government or certain public health officials in the government have been too quick to dismiss the concerns of these families without studying the population that got sick."

Our opinion? Autism is a spectrum disorder caused by a spectrum of reasons such as genetics, environmental and/or vaccines.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

ANWR Oil - I Need Some, What About You?

I apologize for being a bit 'political' here. However, the truth is the truth and I have a family that has needs. And when politicians want to play politics that affect my family's well being... I get a bit hot under the collar.

I've taken this info from a recently received email. I've heard the statistics but these pictures and facts really bring it out. I have 6 children and we NEED our large 2002 Chevrolet Suburban to get them safely and comfortably around our city. See why I know the government could be doing better for us ALL. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you know what ANWR is? ANWR = Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Now, a comparison...

And some perspective.

(it's in the "ANWR Coastal Plain")



Do you remember the map? The map showed that the proposed drilling area is in the ANWR Coastal Plain. Do those photographs look like a coastal plain to you? WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?





*The Prudhoe bay area accounts for 17% of U.S. domestic oil production.



Remember this???

In the year 2000, (the very first day of his presidency), George Bush was talking about our energy crisis and the need to drill in ANWAR. The oil, (conservative projections say 20 Billion Barrels), would now have been flowing to the U.S. over the past 2 to 3 years. (That is enough oil to allow us the option to import 0 (that's zero, zilch, none, nada!!!) barrels from foreign countries for a period of 30 years, hum???) Perhaps it's time we get started going after some of our own energy resources...

Did you know that other countries, (including Mexico and Cuba), are drilling just 90 miles off shore of Florida and California? We let them do that, but our own Government won't allow American Companies to do the same thing. I would trust U.S. Companies over Mexican and Cuban Companies any day of the week to do it wiser and safer. Did you know that the 'Green Peacers' have not allowed us to build a single oil refinery in this country in the last 35 years? And we wonder why the price of oil is so volatile.

It's time to drill here, drill now, and pay less. Think about it when you vote in November...


The CAPS in this story were there from the original and I didn't feel like taking the time to decap it and tone it down a bit. But, I'd say that I'd agree with nearly 99% of the story in total. I've written to my senators and congressman. We are the greatest and most powerful country in the world. We COULD have $1.00 a gallon of gasoline again IF we went after what we have right here in our own country.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~Edmund Burke


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Autism Myths

I've had a good reason this time for being gone the last week or so. Somehow I got either a bad case of food poisioning or the worse stomach flu I've ever had in my life.

It started last Thursday and I was just starting to feel like myself again yesterday when my head got clogged and the nose started running. Waaaaaaa!!! Today? I'm probably at 90-95% of normal.

I found this info and thought I'd pass it along:

Autism Myths

A diagnosis of autism is not the end of love and hope. But media stories thrive on the most overwhelming and horrifying circumstances. Here are just a few of the myths perpetuated by TV, magazines and movies:

1. Autistic People Are All Alike

Myth: If I’ve met an autistic person (or seen the movie Rain Man), I have a good idea of what all autistic people are like.

Fact: Autistic people are as different from one another as they could be. The only elements that ALL autistic people seem to have in common are unusual difficulty with social communication.

2. Autistic People Don’t Have Feelings

Myth: Autistic people cannot feel or express love or empathy.

Fact: Many — in fact, most — autistic people are extremely capable of feeling and expressing love, though sometimes in idiosyncratic ways! What’s more, many autistic people are far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express their empathy in unusual ways.

3. Autistic People Don’t Build Relationships

Myth: Autistic people cannot build solid relationships with others.

Fact: While it’s unlikely that an autistic child will be a cheerleader, it is very likely that they will have solid relationships with, at the very least, their closest family members. And many autistic people do build strong friendships through shared passionate interests. There are also plenty of autistic people who marry and have satisfying romantic relationships.

4. Autistic People Are a Danger to Society

Myth: Autistic people are dangerous.

Fact: Recent news reports of an individual with Asperger Syndrome committing violent acts have led to fears about violence and autism. While there are many autistic individuals who exhibit violent behaviors, those behaviors are almost always caused by frustration, physical and/or sensory overload, and similar issues. It’s very rare for an autistic person to act violently out of malice.

5. All Autistic People Are Savants

Myth: Autistic people have amazing “savant” abilities, such as extraordinary math skills or musical skills.

Fact: It is true that a relatively few autistic people are “savants.” These individuals have what are called “splinter skills” which relate only to one or two areas of extraordinary ability. By far the majority of autistic people, though, have ordinary or even less-than-ordinary skill sets.

6. Autistic People Have No Language Skills

Myth: Most autistic people are non-verbal or close to non-verbal.

Fact: Individuals with a classic autism diagnosis are sometimes non-verbal or nearly non-verbal. But the autism spectrum also includes extremely verbal individuals with very high reading skills. Diagnoses at the higher end of the spectrum are increasing much faster than diagnoses at the lower end of the spectrum.

7. Autistic People Can’t Do Much of Anything

Myth: I shouldn’t expect much of an autistic person.

Fact: This is one myth that, in my opinion, truly injures our children. Autistic individuals can achieve great things — but only if they’re supported by people who believe in their potential. Autistic people are often the creative innovators in our midst. They see the world through a different lens — and when their perspective is respected, they can change the world.
Autism Myths by author Lisa Jo Rudy. She also wrote Top Terrific Traits of Autistic People.