Posted in Autism Support, Random nothings

Our Journey

I have so many people asking about our journey and asking for support. I know I should blog more – as it will be easier to just refer people here then! So here goes….. Be prepared to get some info people

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Posted in Money Saving Tips, Random nothings

How to survive Black Friday

Okay you all know that I am just a big sucker for a bargain. And speaking to my friends a lot of them feel the chaos is just not worth it. Lucky for me, I have an advantage over them. I am a big girl. Nobody is going to push this chick over, OKAY…. So hold my chocolate, I am going in…

So I thought it would be helpful to write down a few tips on how to survive if you are also planning on going to the shops on Black Friday.

  1. Choose 1 retailer. You don’t want to be running around from one to another. It’s chaos. And remember the criminals are also looking for their bargains. Buying a lot of stuff at one shop and driving to another or just putting it in your boot and going back into the mall is a huge risk. Do not get taken.
  2. Check all the ads before the time. I see a lot of the retailers already have their specials out. Those who don’t want to join the masses, be aware that a lot of the shops already have specials on and also – you can buy online.
  3. Don’t take your handbag. This is dangerous and will slow you down. I seriously don’t care how it looks, fanny back here we come. All you need is cash and cards and your phone. Put everything in there (Verimark sells a very dainty one that nobody can see under your clothes).
  4. Take a drink with you. It is going to be a LOOOONG day. Do not stand in a queue for hours without anything to drink.
  5. Take a snack with. A small pack of crisps or dried fruit can go into your fanny pack easily. Shopping while hangry (yes I do get VERY hangry) is never a good idea. That is how somebody gets punched in the face.
  6. Remember – it is just a special. If you loose out on something, don’t go ape on people. BE NICE!!! Getting in a fist fight about a 2 liter of soda is just not on – KAY?
  7. Check for coupons. They are in the local newspapers. Or download the shop’s app, you will get lots of freebies like that.
  8. Also, use an app like SnapnSave. You will get money back for just shopping. Wuhu is also a nice one to use
  9. Please don’t use a lot of perfume before the time. The rest of us really don’t want to smell you from the other side of the till. Clean will do. And please – spray some antiperspirant. Please. Pretty please.
  10. Go with a buddy. NOT YOUR HUSBAND. I am going in alone because I can do this… But if you are small or just very nice, take a buddy with you. Protection is always good. But do not, NOT I repeat NOT>>>>> take the man in your life. A special is not worth your relationship. And if I had to take mine with, trust me….. Nope, just nope.

So there you have it. Tips to survive. Be nice, but not too nice. And go them them girls…

Posted in Random nothings, SPD Tips

For a moment there, we were a normal family

We have discovered that Abby is a little beach bum! Yeah! So on Friday evening we had to drop something down at the beach front and the girls begged us to let them go to the beach. So we went down to the beach and they loved playing in the sand. We then went to McD’s for ice cream. Everything seemed so ‘normal’. And I sometimes wonder if parents realize that there are parents that would anything for this kind of normal. Abby did so well and we were so proud of her. She was out and about around people, no tantrums. NOTHING.

It obviously only lasted until we hit home – this is a normal situation for a lot of autism parents. As soon as they get back into their safe space they ‘let go’ and well, all hell breaks loose. She had a meltdown but we got her to bed quickly and I just held her until she fell asleep.

Tonight we went to the Boardwalk and she again did so well. My heart just wants to burst with pride. We came home and there were no meltdowns tonight. She just asked to go to bed as soon as we got home.

It is the small victories. 🙂

 

Posted in Random nothings

PnP “Spoon for Spoon” Sweetener – sweet poison

So I made a few dumb mistakes today. But even more dumb than getting a piece of yarn stuck in my skin that I had to go to the ER room to get cut off, is that I bought PnP Spoon for Spoon sweetener. I don’t drink sugar in my drinks but I just felt like something sweet – sweet curry to be exact. So according to the bottle the sweetener is ideal for baking and vegan friendly. The only warning on the bottle is that it is packed in a factory that uses milk and nuts. That is the warning on the bottle. Nothing else.

My first taste of the food I got a pain in my head. Thought it was the kids making too much noise and went on to eat my food. Within half an hour I was itching all over, my head wanted to explode, my throat was on fire, I had problem breathing. I was having a very definite reaction to the stuff. I always make sure of ingredients before I try them, I was just stupid to not check it. Well I checked it now and WOW!!!

So here is the ingredients.

Maltrodextrin

Sodium Cyclamate

Acesulfame K

Only 3 ingredients. So let’s go through them.

MALTRODEXTRIN 

According to https://draxe.com/maltodextrin/

5 Dangers of Maltodextrin

1. Spikes Blood Sugar

Maltodextrin can cause spikes in your blood sugar because it has a high glycemic index, and this can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes symptoms or insulin resistance. Maltodextrin’s glycemic index is even higher than table sugar, ranging from 106 to 136 (while table sugar is 65).

Easily absorbed carbohydrates like maltodextrin and sugar get into your bloodstream quickly, and if the carbs aren’t used for energy, they’re stored as fat. This is very different than real complex carbohydrates from whole grains that are broken down and absorbed slowly, helping keep you feeling full and energized for a longer period of time. (4)

2. Suppresses the Growth of Probiotics

Maltodextrin can change the composition of your gut bacteria by suppressing the growth of beneficial probiotics. Research conducted at Lerner Research Institute in Ohio relays polysaccharides like maltodextrin have been linked to bacteria-associated intestinal disorders. According to researchers, the escalating consumption of polysaccharides in Western diets parallels an increased incidence of Crohn’s disease during the late 20th century.

A 2012 study found that maltodextrin increased bacterial adhesion to human intestinal epithelial cells and enhanced E. coli adhesion, which is associated with autoimmune disorders. (5) Even more research points out that maltodextrin promotes the survival of salmonella, which may be responsible for a broad range of chronic inflammatory diseases. (6)

A study conducted at the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center in Boston also indicates that maltodextrin impairs cellular antibacterial responses and suppresses intestinal antimicrobial defense mechanisms, leading to inflammatory bowel disease and other conditions that arise from an inappropriate immune response to bacteria. (7)

3. Made From Genetically Modified Corn

Although the Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), increasing independent research has linked them to a number of health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, kidney damage, antibiotic resistance, reproduction disorders and allergies.

According to research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, genetically modified foods have shown that they may toxically affect several bodily organs and systems, including the pancreatic, renal, reproductive and immunologic parameters. (8) Because corn maltodextrin is made by processing corn with enzymes and the United States Department of Agriculture found that 85 percent of corn planted in the U.S. is genetically modified to be tolerant to herbicides, it’s most likely that the maltodextrin you eat is a genetically modified food.

4. May Cause an Allergic Reaction or Side Effects

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminologyfound that maltodextrin consumption, especially at higher doses, may cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gurgling sounds, gas and even diarrhea. (9) There have also been reports of other allergic reactions to maltodextrin, such as skin irritations, cramping and bloating.

Maltodextrin is sometimes made with wheat, but the production process is said to completely remove gluten from the wheat, making it “safe” to eat for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance symptoms. During the processing of maltodextrin, all proteins are removed, including gluten, but there may still be traces of gluten in products containing maltodextrin. This can be dangerous for people suffering some celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

You may see maltodextrin listed with the product ingredients, but the name doesn’t indicate the source, such as wheat. Although maltodextrin is generally considered to be gluten-free, people with severe allergies should avoid foods containing this ingredient.

5. Has No Nutritious Value

A teaspoon of maltodextrin has about 15 calories and 3.8 grams of carbohydrates, and that’s about it. It’s so highly processed that it’s devoid of all nutrients. While it can spike blood sugar levels and promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, there are no health benefits that come with the consumption of maltodextrin. (10) When choosing foods to use as sweeteners, binders or bulking agents, pick natural foods that provide some nutritional value.

In short it is very dangerous for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. Where is the warning????

 

SODIUM CYCLAMATE

According to https://www.livestrong.com/article/332113-side-effects-of-sodium-cyclamate/

Sodium cyclamate is an artificial sweetener that’s 30 times as sweet as sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it in 1969 due to concerns about its safety after an animal study showed a potential increased risk for cancer. The FDA has yet to overturn this ban in spite of more recent research not showing this same risk, at least in part due to problems in determining a safe intake level.

Cancer Risk

In 1969, a study found that a cyclamate-saccharin mixture caused bladder cancer in rats, but since then numerous studies have shown no link between cyclamate and cancer, according to a review article published in Food & Nutrition Research in 2006. For example, a study published in Toxicological Sciences in 2000 found that high doses of cyclamate didn’t increase cancer risk or have toxic effects in monkeys. The National Cancer Institute notes that the FDA’s current concerns about this sweetener are not related to cancer.

Effect on Male Fertility

Although there’s some concern about the risk of cyclamate affecting male fertility due to the results of certain animal studies, a study published in 2003 in Food Additives & Contaminants didn’t find any effect of cyclamate on male fertility at the levels usually consumed by people in Spain, where this sweetener is legal. This concern came about after a study showed that cyclohexylamine, which is produced when cyclamate is metabolized, could cause testicular atrophy in rats.

Intake Considerations

The European Union has set the acceptable intake level for cyclamate at 0 to 7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or between 0 and 3 milligrams per pound of body weight. The problem with cyclamate is that although most people don’t metabolize or absorb it, some people do metabolize it, and this variation makes it hard to determine what levels are safe for everyone. Drinking 1.5 liters of soda sweetened with cyclamate can cause people to reach the acceptable intake level set by the European Union.

When words like cancer and infertility is being thrown around, surely we need to know about it when you add it to our food???

ACESULFAME K

According to https://www.medicinenet.com/artificial_sweeteners/article.htm#neotame_what_are_the_pros

The problems surrounding acesulfame K are based on the improper testing and lack of long-term studies. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans. There has been a great deal of opposition to the use of acesulfame K without further testing, but at this time, the FDA has not required that these tests be done.

Once again words like cancer, mental issues, liver and kidney issues…..

So I am sitting here with one hell of a headache and I’m not sure who I am more angry at, myself for not reading a label or for Pick n Pay for putting this poison on their shelves. We need answers PnP….

Posted in Random nothings, Sensory play

How does an older sibling deal with a special needs sibling

I get asked that question a lot and my answer is always the same – I do not know how I would have coped with Abby, without Sky. She might only be 2 years older than her, but she is such a mother hen to her little sister. She makes sure Abby does not get into things she should not – and trust me that is very very often. She makes sure Abby is safe when she is out of my sight. She makes sure Abby wipes  – long story but she has appointed herself as toilet police!

This morning our garden services arrived. I did not really expect them, so I was caught off guard. Any parent that deals with a child that is noise sensitive knows garden services are the pits. And noise sensitive autistic children really takes it bad. Not only is the noise crazy for them, but also having to deal with strangers in their space. Abby goes into total panic mode. She holds her ears, cries, runs, hides and she is shaking from pure fear.

She hold on to me for dear life and everything comes to a hold. The whole household goes into action to make sure she is okay.

So me being caught off guard, I had to run to open the gate for them. Take down wet washing I just put on the line. I was worried because now Abby is alone with Sky in the house. I get inside, run to her, just to find Sky (my FOUR year old) has taken her into their room. Closed the door. She could not find Abby’s earphones and phone to block the sound out, so she took her own phone that she HATES sharing, put it on full volume to block the noise from the machines out and is sitting on Abby’s bed, holding her.

I just cracked. I burst out in tears. I could not have asked for a better older sister for Abby than Sky. She really made this momma proud. Yeah for older siblings!

Ps, don’t be fooled into thinking that they get along. They are real siblings that fights about everything!

Posted in Random nothings

Living with Autism Level 1

Autism Level 1 also known as Aspergers or High Functioning Autism, is a complex syndrome. You aren’t ‘autistic’ enough for people to realize you have it, but you aren’t normal enough for people to not notice you are ‘weird’.

And that is where we are right now. Abby’s results came in and she has Aspergers (yes we have know the whole time, but an official diagnosis was needed). So the official diagnosis really does not change anything, we are treating her the same, loving her the same and struggling with the same things.

Just an insight into her ‘world’ – she is 2 years and 10 months old – but her mental capability is that of a child 19 months older than her. So she is extreme intelligent and has the vocabulary of a child older than 4. But emotionally, she is only a year and a half. And this extreme gap causes her to have the knowledge of things around her, but not have the ability to react to it. Think – Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory. So yeah us, we are raising a pretty, girly Sheldon that is in love with dinosaurs and trains!

We are carrying on with therapy and I will blog more on what I found is working for us and what is not at a later stage.

I am really feeling for her at the moment. The last 2 weeks I have been very busy and there has been a lot of customers coming in to pick up products. This has totally thrown her system out. By Saturday evening she was a total mess as I have been at a market the whole day and she was left with hubby. Sunday she was even more clingy and slept with me the whole night, holding on to me. We wanted to go out for some ice cream but I realized that taking her out in public the way she was, would be a disaster. So I sent hubby to do the ‘chores’ part of our trip and stayed with her. I wanted to brush her (I will explain brushing in a different post) but her brush just felt too hard for me. I was desperate to give her input, so I remembered a back massager  that my sister in law gave me as a gift a few years ago. I found batteries for it and gave it to her. The amount of instant relief it gave was amazing. She was rubbing it on her legs, arms, tummy and even put it in her mouth. She loved the input she got. By the time hubby got back, she was calm and we could go out and have ice cream. She was VERY busy while out, but on average, it was a good outing. So yeah for massagers!

Today she was very needy. I had to stop my work often and go to bed with her. She just wants to be in bed hugging me. And it so difficult with a cheeky 4 year old in the mix that demands attention. But hey, tomorrow is a better day. Also – as an Aspie parent, you are always tired. Like always. So send coffee!! And chocolates!

We really want to thank Lorryn at The Mouse House. She has been amazing with Abby and we could not have asked for a better person to do the evaluation.

Posted in Random nothings

A day in the life….

I am pretty sure I am living in a bad sitcom. Nobody has this much chaos around them in a ‘normal’ household.

My day started just before 5am with a very warm feeling down my back and Abby screaming: Mommy I’m wet!!! I got up, cleaned the bed (thank goodness for waterproof covers), cleaned us, got her back in bed. She then asked for a bottle so I went to get her a bottle. We slept for a while after that again. She woke up just after 8 and was in a horrible mood. I had to rush to the bank to deposit some money. Those who knows me, know I don’t drive. I have this irrational fear of driving. There is a word for it, but let’s just keep it at ‘fear’. So I take the Uber to the mall. Get to the mall, realize that I forgot the bank card on the dresser. Luckily I had the bank details and could make a deposit. And yes, I did put in the reference as “Dumbass” while making the deposit…. So now I have no money with me except for a bit of cash that I had in my purse. I take the Uber back, no point in staying at the mall.

Get home, all my wet washing is on the grass. The washing line snapped. I call our carer to come help. I have to hold the line with wet washing up while she takes it off the line. The two girls join in, hanging on the line that I have to keep up. Running under the wetting washing playing hide and seek.

Get everything under control and go into my office, after telling the girls to play outside and stop watching Youtube. 10 minutes later I am on the phone. Sky comes into the office and starts demanding to talk to me. I put the phone call on hold (luckily it was my mom). She wants to watch Youtube. I swipe her out of the office and carries on with the phone call. Finish the call and comes into the house. As I step into the house I see my wings I use for props on the kitchen floor. I get into the dining room, there is clothes and toys everywhere. Sky has trashed the house because she was upset with me. I follow the trail of toys and clothes to her bedroom, she is in bed (this is now 11am) with her wet grass feet, watching Youtube! I ask her what happened in the house. She starts crying screaming she will fix it. I am so upset that I walk out to my office. Sometimes it is just better to walk it off.

Lunch time Abby refuses to eat again. I tried giving her a sausage. She took the sausage and broke it into tiny pieces and covered the dining room table with it. We clean up and I go back to work. They played outside for a while with lot of screaming and fighting between the two. Every few minutes Abby comes into the office and demands I pick her up. Cries until I give in and picks her up.

I have customers coming in and out the whole time in this chaos. Orders streaming in for Father’s Day. I have to print and take orders and answers phones.

Hubby gets home and Abby asks for a smoothie. I make us all smoothies. Abby walks into the lounge with hers, slips, hurts her toe and spills everything on the floor. We try to give her some of ours, she refuses. Screams like somebody is killing her. She is so upset about the smoothie that she pukes. So now I am covered in spit, puke and smoothie.

Before dinner I quickly have to go drop a few things all over town and I go with my friend while hubby keeps the children home. Before the first stop hubby send me a message. Abby in pain because she asked Sky to stop playing her little guitar, it was hurting her ears. So Sky hit her with the guitar. Leon punished Sky now both girls screaming.

I just stopped at the first stop and hubby send me a message again. Abby’s safety / comfort toy broke. It is a soft toy and the tag (it is the tag that is the most important to Abby) broke off. I just dropped another item and rushed home. I phoned home in the mean time and talked to her. She was sobbing so much she could not really hear me. We rushed home and I fixed the toy. At least hubby got her to hold the tag while waiting for me and it did calm her in the mean time.

At least we are at dinner now. I dish out. Kids see there is broccoli on the plate. Abby starts: I don’t like broccoli, I hate it, it is yukky. Sky sits with a long lip, she hates it as well. Abby spits all the food except the chicken out. Now she demands my chicken.

She finishes my chicken and now wants to do their stickers (they get stickers every night to put into their sticker collection). But Sky is sitting on her plate like she has nowhere to go. (She can go 2 hours without a problem). We carry on with the stickers and Sky joins us later. Abby has mostly duplicates and now demands her sister’s stickers. There is some slapping and screaming.

It is 8pm now and I am done. Forget bathing them. They are both in bed by 8:15.

Screw this day, Screw screaming kids. Screw life….