This 'n That

It’s been an action-packed summer but it’s time to start easing back into a routine. I’ve missed “blogging” and may yet find time for a little “What We Did On Our Summer Vacation” creative writing, but not until the summer harvest is dehydrated or properly pickled (fermented) following time-honored traditions. I’ve been trying to devote some time, each day, to favorite research topics – food, food politics, recipes, and autism – which all fit neatly together. I use my blog as an archive for intriguing information and articles. Here are a few worth digging into when the weather turns cooler, possibly giving me more time….

Confusing Labels

I miss the simple days when chicken tasted like chicken, and kids who seemed just a little bit off were, well, just a little bit off. In this increasingly complex world, factory-farmed chicken slowly poisons your system with accumulated arsenic, courtesy of the FDA who ruled feed must contain arsenic. And the kid who is “off” now comes with ten DXs, eight RXs, their very own team of OTs, and psycho-therapists as well as a detailed IEP courtesy of IDEA. And if you haven’t a clue as to what most of that meant, you’re “lucky”. Those of us who frequent “special needs” lists, have developed short-hand tags, our own special “secret language” to reduce keystrokes.

I Get It

Six years ago this month, we walked out of a Florida adoption agency completely unaware how deeply our life would be impacted and changed. On that day, our son was doubtless saved from a condemned life that would have never provided enough emotional or intellectual stimulation, structure, regular routines and pathetically little in the way of nutrition for his body or soul.

I’ve never been one to need people to “get me”. It’s one of my quirky character traits that no doubt keep me strong in my faith in Christ. I have to say, though, when it came down to my son and having to deal with a multitude of “professionals” (yes, I’m using that term very loosely), I have finally found someone who “gets it”, “gets” me.

Bitter or Sweet?

Einstein would have loved this latest research which takes a deeper look into what might seem ordinary – the often taken-for-granted ability of our tongues to distinguish flavor. For decades, people have been protesting that tongue “maps” are a throwback to misinterpreting early 19th century research. And in a way, there is something odd in the fact we have better maps of the moon and Mars than we do our tongue. Nonetheless, researchers finally seem determined to venture where no man has correctly gone – to the last great frontier known as Tastebuds. -Sharon

Autism World Loses A Giant: Bernard Rimland

Dr. Bernard Rimland, died at the age of 78 this week. His contributions to our modern understanding of Autism are great. He’ll go down in history as one of the “giants” of the Autism “awareness” movement, “who ended the dark ages of autism….”

Here’s one of many articles being posted to Autism lists this week, commemorating Dr. Rimland’s work….

The Truth About Vitamins in Nutritional Supplements

During a camping trip, after everyone had stuffed themselves with a gourmet campfire breakfast of organic sausages, farm-fresh eggs, fruit and yogurt salad, buttermilk organic-blueberry pancakes and maple syrup, our friends ran to their tent, retrieving a small suitcase. They returned, laying it on the picnic table, opening it to reveal a bounty of nutritional supplements in every imaginable form. “One for me”, the husband, looking like a woodsy pharamacologist said, “and one for you,” sliding his wife’s allotment across the picnic table…

Congratulations, Eric!!

Nearly one and one half decades ago, a mother listened with a heavy-heart to the doctor’s diagnosis of her 3-year-old son, “Severe Autism – he’ll never have an IQ over 50…probably never walk or talk…it might be best for you to consider institutionalizing him”. She didn’t spend the following days mourning, or throwing herself into researching the institution which would best fit his needs. Instead, she prayed – seeking the Lord’s will and desire for her son’s life. The Lord’s answer, very different from the doctor’s, was for her to continue to hope in Him, seek Him in all her ways, sell her psychiatric practice, homeschool him, and devote every ounce of energy to pulling her son from the abyss of his dark, silent world. Unbeknownst to her, she’d spend five of those years waging her own brutal battle against cancer. This week, she and her son stood victorious at his high school graduation, giving thanks and praise to the Lord for the road they’ve traveled together, for all they’ve learned, especially about the never ending mercies of a gracious God who will surely walk with them on their next journey when her son attends a top-notch California university, majoring in linguistics. I’m blessed, beyond measure, to call this woman a friend, and a Sister in Christ. With her son’s permission, I’m honored to share his uplifting Valedictorian speech presented this past weekend. -Sharon

Autism Ministry

My father-in-law sent me this encouraging piece from The Evangelical Covenant Church website. A ministry started Journey Covenant Church, specifically for families with special needs children. What a wonderful ministry! More information about the Huberts, one of the original families who joined, can be found at and search the archives for August 8 and 9 front page articles.

Tiny Moments

When Daniel, my soon-to-be 6-year-old, stood in front of me this morning working out math problems on the whiteboard, I reached out, straightening the collar of his special “dress-up favorite” shirt. I’ve straightened and tidied his clothing on many occasions, but this one gave me pause. We’re working as diligently as we know how, to guide him through the maze and tangle of Autism.

It’s a day-by-day process with some days giving me hope his future will be bright. Other days, I sink into the pit of despair, wondering if he’ll ever be independent, living a “normal” life.

In that tiny moment of straightening his little-man plaid corduroy shirt, my mind wandered toward the future, straying from the Lord’s command to not worry about tomorrow…..

Drive-In Nightmare

What a dreadful night. This one takes a while to get going because I first need to set the stage, as it were…..

Since the adoption of Daniel into our family, 5 years ago, my husband and I haven’t been out to one, single solitary dinner together, without children. We also haven’t been out to a movie alone together. Then again, I’m “picky” about restaurants, and if we’re going to go through the hassle of a babysitter, the only good restaurants are over an hours drive away, “down” in Boston. As far as movies, “G” and “PG” are fine with me. But at the core of the issue is Daniel’s Autism. I’m simply not comfortable leaving him with babysitters – even with friends.