Wednesday, March 21, 2007

'Tis the Reason for the Blog

According to the Washington Post Article, posted yesterday, March 20, our "Mommy Time" with our children has increased since the 1960's from 10hrs/wk to 14hrs/wk....That is supposed to somehow ease our mommy guilt. I'm not certain I agree. Read the article and then we'll finish this story.

Mommy Guilt
by Washington Post
For all the rush of modern life, recent research suggests that mothers are actually doing a better job than they may think, at least by historical standards.According to a University of Maryland study, today's mothers spend more hours focused on their children than their own mothers did 40 years ago, often imagined as the golden era of June Cleaver, television's ever-cheerful, cookie-baking mom.In 1965, mothers spent 10.2 hours a week tending primarily to their children -- feeding them, reading with them or playing games, for example -- according to the study's analysis of detailed time diaries kept by thousands of Americans. That number dipped in the 1970s and 1980s, rose in the 1990s and now is higher than ever, at nearly 14.1 hours a week.

This is especially striking because it is at odds with how today's mothers view their own lives: Roughly half of those interviewed said they did not have enough time with their children.

The last sentence says it all. Think about it: 14.1 hours spent with our children in a 7 day time period??? That just doesn't add up to me. I spend tremendous amounts of time with my children - almost all of my waking hours when I'm not at work, and that still doesn't feel like enough. We have sports, scouts, therapies, extra time spent at home on projects, studying with my children, at-home occupational therapy that WE do with our son. All of these things take a heck of a lot more time in the week than 14.1 hours, but I, personally, don't feel like it's cutting it. Hence the title of the blog.

I'm taken aback at the stats from the 60's, though. We thought June Cleaver was the bomb! Donna Reed - I mean, who wouldn't want those mothers? They were always there at the ready, cookies baking, dinner ready, blah blah blah, and some of those images make the feminist in me cringe, but did all of THAT time only amount to 10 hours a week?

I would give almost anything to be able to stay at home with my children. I've said it before, I'm not a working mom by choice, but by necessity. If I was able to stay home, my GOD - I'd be able to spend so much more time with my children - or so it may seem. But really, would I?

All three of my children are in school. LargeBoy is a sophomore and is very independent. When he is home from school or not with his friends, he's usually hanging in his room with his iPod - either playing his guitar or bass, playing video games, or working on his next book idea (I wanted to say "novel," because they truly are "novels"). Girl is in 8th grade and quite the social butterfly. When she's not at school or with her friends, she's either at a sporting event - practicing or participating (in which case I'm there, but not WITH her), at a rehearsal for drama club, at a student council meeting, studying, on the computer, practicing the viola, or planning the next social event. SmallBoy, I will admit, gets a lot more of my time. I do most everything with him, but still, when he's not with me, he's playing video games or drawing - two of his favorite things. Would I really be spending more than 14.1 hours a week with them were I a stay at home mom? I don't know.

I suppose, when you look at the big picture, it does boil down to a few short hours per week. And no, that does nothing to ease my mind and make me feel less Mommy Guilt. I'd love to hear your comments & feedback.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Music Meets Autism Awareness

VH1 Classic Plans to 'Rock Autism'<

VH1 Classic announced on March 13 that it will launch its first-ever pro-social initiative geared towards raising awareness about autism. The "Rock Autism" campaign will kick off with a music star-studded public service announcement, or PSA, on April 1 to mark the start of Autism Awareness Month.

"Autism is such a devastating disorder for so many families, and its rate of prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate," said Tom Calderone, executive vice president and general manager, VH1. "VH1 Classic has dedicated itself to making an impact on autism because many of our viewers are parents who are now dealing with this issue. We've also found over the years that this disorder has touched the lives of m any of the artists and musicians that we work with at VH1 Classic."

"Rock Autism" will use the influence of VH1 Classic and its connections with classic rock artists to make a measurable impact in this field by bringing awareness to the facts about autism, and by raising funds for autism organizations. The first 30-second PSA features a lineup of classic rock legends including Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Roger Daltrey of The Who, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio, and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister.

The campaign will feature both on and off-air components, including public service announcements, VH1 Classic news breaks, and on-air fundraising stunts. The April launch will also include "Pay to Play," a fundraiser where viewers can go online and make a donation in exchange for VH1 Classic playing their favorite classic video. Proceeds from this element will benefit Autism Speaks. VH1 Classic previously used "Pay to Play" as a fundraiser after Hurricane Katrina to raise funds for Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian relief organization. This partnership with Mercy Corps was VH1 Classic's first public affairs effort and successfully raised over $150,000 for hurricane relief.

In addition, a website will be created at where viewers can access information on autism, link to autism organizations, and learn about upcoming fundraising events and auctions in conjunction with the initiative.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Autism Research Survey that YOU can Participate in

II hope that some of you are able to utilize this and help aid in the research. There's a brief bio below on the woman who is doing the study and compiling the data. I promise I'll get back to posting more once this New Country Starcontest with the band is over (which reminds me, click HERE to vote!)

Informal Survey on Therapeutic Approaches in Use By Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Launched March 15, 2007
Please Respond by April 15, 2007

Three Ways to Respond: Email to: Fax: 1-202-318-7557 or Mail: 3470 Olney Laytonsville Road #187, Olney, MD 20832 USA

Beth Clay became involved in autism policy in 1999 when she led the Congressional hearings and investigation with Congressman Dan Burton. Now in the private sectgor, she is conducting an informal survey to learn more about the therapies that families living with autism spectrum disorders are using. The findings of this informal survey will be made public by year’s end. Please post this survey on your discussion groups and share freely with families living with autism spectrum disorders. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

I. Responder Details:
Survey Responses Prepared by: ___ Self ___Mother ____ Dad ___ Grandparent ____ Other Caregiver

II. Individual: This individual lives in _____________________ (City, State, Country)

Actual Diagnosis: ______________________________________ Current Age: __________

_____Classical Autism (from Birth) or _____ Acquired Autism (Age of Onset ____)

Other Medical Conditions Diagnosed: __________________________________________________________

Age at Diagnosis: ___________ Gender: ___Male ___Female
Culture/Race: _______________________

Verbal: ___ Yes _____ NO ____ Limited

How Many Siblings ___ brothers ____sisters
If so: Are any of these siblings diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder? ____ or ADD/ADHD? ____

III. Behavioral Therapies Currently in Use:
1. Please list the current behavioral conditions (such as Lovvas or ABA).

2. Provided by _____public school system _____ private school program _____ in the home _____ in a medical or treatment center _____ by parent or family member
3. Payment _________ covered in IEP __________ covered by insurance _____ covered by MEDICAID _______ paid for out of pocket _____ services donated
4. Explanation if desired:

Behavioral Therapies Previously Used:

5. Please list the previously used behavioral conditions (such as Lovvas or ABA

6. Provided by _____public school system _____ private school program _____ in the home _____in a medical or treatment center _____ by parent or family member
7. Payment _________ covered in IEP __________ covered by insurance _____ covered by MEDICAID _______ paid for out of pocket _____ services donated
8. Explanation of why treatment was suspended or changed:

9.What objective measures do you use to measure success of behavioral therapies? (i.e. additional words in vocabulary, ability to dress, use the toilet, etc.)

IV. Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements (vitamins, herbs, minerals, etc.) are widely used in the autism community. Please provide a list of products current being used and specific condition or behavior you are using the product to address (vision, chelating metals, behavior, specific diagnosis, etc.)

10. In Current Use

Product Dose per day Brand Condition

11. Previously Used:

Product Dose per day Brand Condition Age and Duration

12. If you previously used products that are no longer in use, did you suspend use because the condition __was resolved, ___ because you felt the product didn’t work, ____because of an adverse reaction to the product, or other reason? Please explain:

13. How do you generally decide to use products?
_________Prescribed by a Physician _________ Prescribed by another health care professional _________ Recommended by a friend _________ Heard about it on the internet _________ Heard about it at a Conference ____ Speaker ____ Booth ___ Attendee _______ Read about it in ____ book ____ magazine ____ newspaper ___ catalogue
Other, Explain if desired:

14. Do you want the National Institutes of Health to conduct or fund research evaluating the _____ safety and/or _____ efficacy of dietary supplements in relation to autism spectrum disorders and related conditions? If so, on a scale of 1 to 10, how high a priority is this for you? ___________

15. Do you want the autism and disability philanthropic community (such as ASA, Autism Speaks, etc.) to fund research into the _____ safety and/or _____ efficacy of dietary supplements in relation to autism spectrum disorders and related conditions?

16. Do you have a priority for specific products you would like evaluated? ___ YES _____ NO
If so, which product(s):

17. Current Approximate Monthly Cost for Dietary Supplements: __________
18. Is this more or less than this time last year? __________

V. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Therapies
19. Do you now or have you every included CAM therapies in your treatment regimen? ___ YES ____ NO

Please check if the following therapies are being used or have been used and the approximate age of use and whether you had a positive outcome with the treatment. (Feel free to elaborate as to desired outcomes, actual experience with practitioner, and other details as desired.)
20. Approach Age Positive Outcome?
_______ Acupuncture
_______ Biofeedback (or Biofeedback accessory devices)
_______ Chiropractics
_______ Homeopathy
_______ Music Therapy
_______ Massage Therapy
_______ Rolfing or other body based therapies
_______ Hyperbaric
_______ Reiki, Touch Therapy or other Energy Healer
_______ Ayurveda
_______ Sweat Lodge, Sauna, or other sweat inducing protocol
_______ Traditional Oriental Medicine
_______ Traditional Medicine of another culture ______________
_______ Colonics
________ Other, please detail:

21. Do you want the National Institutes of Health and its National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to conduct or fund research evaluating the _____ safety and/or _____ efficacy of CAM theraies in relation to autism spectrum disorders and related conditions?

22. Do you want the autism and disability philanthropic community (such as ASA, Autism Speaks, etc.) to fund research into the _____ safety and/or _____ efficacy of Cam therapies in relation to autism spectrum disorders and related conditions?

23. Do you have a priority for specific therapies you would like evaluated? ___ YES _____ NO If so, which ones:

24. Where you referred by: ____ Physician ____ Other Health Care Professional ___ Family Member ____ Other Autism Parent ___ Conference _____ Online ___Self Referral____ Other Please Explain:____________________________________________________________________________________________

25. Where these treatments paid for by _______ Insurance ________ Medicaid ____ Out of pocket _____ donated __________ Other, Please Explain: __________________________

26. Was the use of a CAM therapy specifically for the diagnosis of autism? _____ YES ____ NO
(Chiropractic for back pain for example would be a non-autism diagnosis) .
27. Approximate Cost for last 12 months for CAM therapy Use: ________

VI. Special Dietary Approaches
28. Is the individual currently on a special diet? ______ YES _____ NO
29. Type: ____Gluten Free ______ Casein Free ______ Organic Other: _______________
30. How long on the diet? ________ Are their noticeable improvements in symptoms? ______ YES _____ NO
31. Is this diet the result of a diagnosed food allergy (i.e. celiac disease) ______ YES _____ NO
32. Have you previously tried a different dietary approach? ______ YES _____ NO
31. How long was the previous approached used? _________________
32. What precipitated the change? ______________________________________________________________

VII. Physical Therapy and Exercise
33. Are any physical therapy, occupational therapies currently used? ___ YES ___ NO Please describe:

34. Trampoline ___ YES ___ NO
35. Participate in any Team Sports ___ YES ___ NO Please describe (including where offered – i.e. school, club, non-profit like NYFAC or YMCA, etc.):

37. Individual Sports ___ YES ___ NO Please describe:

38. If school age, has the individual involved in any sporting events in school? ___ Yes ___ NO

VIII. Spirituality and Religion (for parents response only)
39. Do you consider yourself a religious person? ______ YES _____ NO _______Spiritual but not Religious
40. After having a child who was born with or developed an autism spectrum disorder, did your church attendance change? _____ YES _________ NO (______ Increased ______ Decreased ____ Ceased)
41. Do you find comfort in prayer? _____ YES ___________ NO

IX. Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs 42. Are Any Drugs Currently Prescribed? ____ Yes ___ No Please List:

43. Approximate annual cost for medical serivces, drugs, and therapies. _________________
a. ____ % insurance b. ____ % MEDICAID c. ____ % out of pocket d. ____ % donated

X. Please check all that apply 44. I believe this individual developed autism as a result of a vaccine injury. ________
45. This individual has been diagnosed with mercury toxicity. ________
a. Other metals as well. ______________ (Please List.______________________________________________)
(Please describe how verified.______________________________________________)
46. This individual is using or has utilized a)___ Chelation Therapy. __________ b. ___ IV Chelation c. ___ Oral Prescription Chelator d. ___ Oral Dietary Supplement Chelator e). ___ Topical Chelator f. ___ Suppository Chelator g. ___ Other (Please explain)

47. This individual has been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel condition. _____
48. This individual has been diagnosed with post MMR measles infection. _____
(Please describe how verified.______________________________________________)
49. This individual is currently on a Medicaid waiting list? _____
50. The parents of the individual with autism remain married (or together). ________

Please Respond by April 15, 2007 Three Ways to Respond: Email to: Fax: 1-202-318-7557 or Mail: 3470 Olney Laytonsville Road #187, Olney, MD 20832 USA You assistance in this is greatly appreciated. All individual-specific information will remain confidential. Please do not worry if the formatting becomes distored. Feel free to insert additional lines or information. If you wish to receive information as a follow up, please insert an email address here: _______________________________________

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Hi Guys! I know I've not really been around, but I've been busy doing band stuff, SmallBoy stuff, work stuff, and well, life stuff. Head on over to my NEW CHICAGO PARENT blog for the latest on SmallBoy at the Bulls game - I'll post it here sooner or later, but if you want to read it sooner, pop over there!

In the meantime, I need to do some shameless campaigning for our band. One of our fans thought we were pretty good and entered us into a contest to be New Country Star's Favorite New Country Artist/Band! You can listen to a bit of our song, "Pick the Tune," written by our bass player, Peter, and if you love it, you can vote for our band once every hour through the month of march.

There is a great deal of phenomenal talent in this contest in all categories, Female Vocalist, Male Vocalist and Band/Duo. Click on the link above or on any of the pics below (or even of the pic of PC & me on the sidebar) and vote. A lot. Here's the band!

CHRISTINAImage Hosted by

MIKEImage Hosted by

SCOTTImage Hosted by

PETERImage Hosted by

JOEImage Hosted by

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Get Your BookMarks & Your BookClubs Set

It's getting time to pull out the summer reading again, and boy do I have a great one for you! Following up her first book, Confessions of A SuperMom, Melanie Lynne Hauser is releasing SuperMom Saves the World. Super Mom picks up after the Horrible Swiffer Accident, and has our main character, Birdie (and her alter-ego, SuperMom) struggling with many things: The Phantom of the BallPark and the Secret Super Duper Swiffer, her ex-husband, her fiance, the Astro Park-O-Dome that seems to be an all consuming thing for the town, and a teenager who drives.

I haven't finished yet, but reading it is so much fun, I hate putting it down. I MUST go back and read her first book! What I really enjoy, aside from the fact that I can relate to Birdie, as she tries to do 12 things at one time. Go to Amazon NOW and order this book!!!!

My next MUST HAVE book, I recommend on a personal note. I know the author well and can tell you, without ever having read the book that it's fabulous, because I'm extremely familiar with the story. The book is called, Daddy's House by Jane Meadowcroft. It is the story of a little girl who lives with her mom. She visits with her daddy every weekend. Jane's book tells about all of the adventures the two have in their precious time together. It is the story of a beautiful relationship between a girl and her Daddy. It is a story of love, unconditional and from a bit of a unique perspective. This is a perfect book for families with children who travel between two houses. Check out Jane's book. You can buy it at Author House. This book is soon to be followed up by the story of a Prince Charming who sweeps an exhausted over-worked, underpaid mother of three (with one child on the Autistic Spectrum) off of her feet, and how they all begin, as a family, to grow together and create a whole new life.

I have more - but I haven't finished. I've been trying to read multiple books all at the same time and am still finishing a few. I'll keep them coming for you, though, I promise. Check out these books and let me know what you think!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Can They DO This?

"They" being the legal system, the special ed teacher, the school. I found this through the myspace site that I write on and was just floored. Can they REALLY do this?


Evelyn Burgo
Patricia Genders

6-Year-Old Autistic Boy Charged with Assault II
WHO: Evelyn Burgo
WHAT: Disabled child charged with Assault II for jumping on teacher
WHEN: February 26, 2007
WHERE: Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
WHY: Child attacked special education teacher after repeated warnings from mother of his violent nature

On Monday, February 26, a 6-year-old autistic boy was read his rights and charged with Assault II for jumping on his special education teacher. This arrest was made when he and his mother went to pick up some files at the Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Police Department.

This same special education teacher took out a Temporary Restraining Order against this student and his mother.

Ho'okena School, as well as the teacher and the District Superintendent are well aware of this child's violent outbursts. In the past, he was moved out of a summer school class because he attacked other students. Prior to jumping on his teacher, he was removed from his current classroom because the staff was worried he would hurt himself or others, and kept him in time- out from 10:55 a.m. until his mother picked him up at 2:00 p.m. The school has been asked repeatedly to at the very least provide a one-on-one aide that is trained in the art of dealing with autistic children, or move him to a school for autistic children.

Even with all of this, the school contends they can handle him. All the testing says that this child is at a pre-K level. But he should be at a first grade level.

His mother, Evelyn Burgo, says: "I am at a loss as to what to do. I feel my son needs help, not punishment, and he needs it now, as the window of opportunity to help him is running out.

Many people have told me that I need take this to the media to finally get the help we need, and that is what I hope to do. I have done everything the school has asked and tried to work with them, to no avail. Now, here I am with a disabled 6-year-old with Assault II charges against him.

We are filing for a Fair Hearing. But I understand this will take months and my child is not being educated nor is the school providing any help with his education, even though they know neither he nor I are able to go on school grounds because of the temporary restraining order."

What can Mom do? Anyone? Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't this be something for which the special ed teacher would be prepared, especially working with kids on the spectrum? I'm appalled.