Friday, March 28, 2014

Change AGAIN!

Photo from

This summer our life changed again. Our son has had ADHD his whole life and has been in therapy and received treatment for it for about six years. Two years ago, we had him tested again because his therapist said she thought there might be something more going on.

Two years and many tests later, we found out she was right. Now as I see the hints of this new diagnosis all around, I wonder why it took so long to figure it out. 

Part of it was that the person who tested him at first got him at a very low time in his life and she saw that instead of truly seeing him. When she came back to us with her results and said he didn’t even have ADHD, we were shocked. It didn’t make any sense. His teachers had pointed out his problems with concentration, control, and so on since kindergarten. It seemed impossible that everyone who had ever been around him for long was wrong. 

We had to get a second opinion. Our son’s current doctor told us never to listen to someone who doesn’t describe your child when she is supposed to be talking about him!

I don’t want to share too much about the particulars of our son’s condition because he is now a teenager and is way more sensitive to what I say about him.

I will say that he is autistic and the symptoms of it surround us every single day. How could we have missed it?

That’s why I am talking about it and our experience, so others will learn something that might help their children, too.

Autism awareness month is April and World Autism Awareness day is next Tuesday, April 2nd.

WebMD explains that people with autism have common core symptoms in the areas of social interactions and relationships, verbal and nonverbal communication, and limited interests in activities or play. Here are more details from WebMD.

Social interactions and relationships. Symptoms may include:

*  Significant problems developing nonverbal communication skills, such as eye-to-eye gazing, facial expressions, and body posture.

*  Failure to establish friendships with children the same age.

*  Lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people.

*  Lack of empathy. People with autism may have difficulty understanding another person's feelings, such as pain or sorrow.

Verbal and nonverbal communication. Symptoms may include:

* Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak.1

* Problems taking steps to start a conversation. Also, people with autism have difficulties continuing a conversation after it has begun.

* Stereotyped and repetitive use of language. People with autism often repeat over and over a phrase they have heard previously (echolalia).

*  Difficulty understanding their listener's perspective. For example, a person with autism may not understand that someone is using humor. They may interpret the communication word for word and fail to catch the implied meaning.

Limited interests in activities or play. Symptoms may include:

*  An unusual focus on pieces. Younger children with autism often focus on parts of toys, such as the wheels on a car, rather than playing with the entire toy.

* Preoccupation with certain topics. For example, older children and adults may be fascinated by video games, trading cards, or license plates.

* A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.

*  Stereotyped behaviors. These may include body rocking and hand flapping.

This is just a little information about autism but it’s a start. If it sounds familiar to you, then ask your doctor about it or do a little research yourself. Believe me, it will affect your child’s whole life if he has it and even more if he doesn’t know he does. God Bless!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Test Time

It’s just a simple little test. That’s what they all say, right?
This one could help save you and you don't have to give blood for it. Answer some questions about weight, age, family history and some other risk factors. Risk factors for what? Diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes is projected to increase 165%, from 11 million in 2000 to 29 million in 2050. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 10 U.S. adults has the disease now but that could grow to 1 in 3 in the next 40 years. The disease also presents serious threats to health, including increased risk of heart attack, kidney failure, blindness and many other complications.

With so many Americans overweight and obese, the number of people with Type II Diabetes keeps growing.

Tuesday, March 25, you can find out if you might be one of them one day and at the same time, $5 will go to the American Diabetes Association when you do.

It is all for Diabetes Alert Day.

Boar’s Head Brand® will donate the money for each test taken March 25 through April 25, up to $50,000.

Also, Domino Foods has offered a matching gift to any donations made to the American Diabetes Association through May 15 up to $50,000. 

Take a simple test that may help you see what’s ahead and get some preventative tips while helping the American Diabetes Association provide services for those with diabetes and research for a cure.

God Bless!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reverse Lent

There’s a new way to do Lent, not give something up but add something new. I heard about it from Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 ministries.

I had decided this year to add a new morning and evening prayer for the 40 days of Lent and then I heard of Karen Ehman’s idea of Reverse Lent.

Ehman suggests doing one of five things:

1.       Writing a note each day to tell someone thank you or share a memory.

2.      Call someone each day to tell him or her you’re glad he or she is in your life.

3.      Do something to lighten someone else’s load. Help a family member, friend or coworker by doing a chore that is usually theirs.

4.      Help a stranger.

5.      Serve someone who usually serves you, like the postman, a teacher or pastor.

I think it’s a great idea! Everyone is talking about what they’re giving up and I absolutely love this idea of adding something to recognize and help others.

And it’s not too late to give it a try! God Bless.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Everybody Needs an Atta Boy

Yesterday, I started calling businesses in the area asking for donations. This month is American Red Cross month and next month is Volunteer Appreciation month. So, since I have been helping the Red Cross with their volunteers, I offered to get some goodies to give to them next month!

About 96 percent of the services the Red Cross provides are done by volunteers. At our local Red Cross of Northwest Florida which covers four counties, that means just seven people are employed by the Red Cross. Everyone else is a volunteer. That’s awesome!

All those people come together to help others at a moment’s notice in their time of need during a disaster.  The mission of the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. It completes its mission well with the help of more than 13 million active volunteers.

I want to give a shout out to Olive Garden and Red Lobster who immediately gave me $25 in gift certificates each. Chili’s said they would give me something as well. I will see what some other chains will do such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Cracker Barrel, Dairy Queen, Another Broken Egg CafĂ©, Ciao Bella, and Firehouse Subs, all of which have restaurants in the local area.

March is also important because March 24 is Tuberculosis Awareness Day. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Societies is involved in the fight against TB.

It’s hard to believe when 85 percent of all TB cases are curable that a new person gets TB every second and around two million people die from TB every year according to the IFRC and Red Cross websites.  

I didn’t know those numbers before, but I also did not realize that HIV and TB together is so prominent and deadly. According to the Red Cross, one third of the HIV positive people in the world have tuberculosis and tuberculosis is the most common cause of death for people with HIV.

Volunteers with IFRC help identify those in need of treatment and provide health education. They also provide social care after treatment, answering questions and making sure patients follow through with treatment and get enough good quality food.

According to the Red Cross, what is essential is to complete the entire course of treatment. Because of poor instructions and follow-up as well as side effects of the medication, many patients with tuberculosis stop taking their medications when they come home from the hospital and start feeling a little bit better. The disease becomes more resistant against medication and the healing process becomes more difficult. Red Cross volunteers help educate the sick and their families so they finish the treatment correctly.

The national Red Cross Red Crescent Societies also communicate with national authorities, policy-makers and the public to ensure that the necessary resources are available to control TB.

It’s time to give all these Red Cross volunteers an “Atta Boy” and “Atta Girl” for helping these people whose lives may be changed forever if they get TB and don’t get the proper treatment. Thank you, volunteers. God Bless You!