Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Santa Claus and a Special Needs Child

Boog has friends with mitochondrial disease and was tested for it himself via a muscle biopsy when he was only two. This makes me very sad for this mother. She just wanted a photo like any other mother. 

Mothers of special needs children miss out on so many things, so the things we can do we cherish. We are blessed to know an amazing couple that take wonderful photos of Boog (including pics with Santa). Seeing this article, I appreciate them even more. I pray this mother gets the photo she wanted.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Guilt Tactics Aimed at Moms Yet Again

I'm so tired of the media constantly bringing up small one-time studies or theories with no basis on what causes Autism. You know what those news stories don't do? Stop or decrease Autism. You know what they do accomplish? Making parents (mostly mothers) feel guilty about decisions they have made while pregnant. Decisions that every mom makes that are recommended by nearly every pediatrician.

Your child must be vaccinated to prevent them from having horrible things like polio and whooping cough that can permanent disable a child. They also are required to be vaccinated to attend school. Now the media loves to say vaccines and Autism have a link (thanks, Donald Trump and the idiot Jenny McCarthy!). This information is based on a BS theory from a man that no longer has his medical license. 

This information is taken from and can be verified in countless medical journals and statements from the Center for Disease Control to the American Association of Pediatrics:

The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children.
The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet.
Nonetheless, the hypothesis was taken seriously, and several other major studies were conducted. None of them found a link between any vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism.
Today, the true causes of autism remain a mystery, but to the discredit of the autism-vaccination link theory, several studies have now identified symptoms of autism in children well before they receive the MMR vaccine. And even more recent research provides evidence that autism develops in utero, well before a baby is born or receives vaccinations.

Now, as if that's not enough guilt caused by incorrect data made up by a quack doctor, now there has been a study that claims there MIGHT be a link between mothers on antidepressants while pregnant and Autism. It was on the Today Show this morning and they made it sound like some study found a solid link between the two. They even said there's a link between moms with depression and Autism. Really? Hmm. Well, let's look at what that study ACTUALLY found:

Berard's team studied more than 145,000 children born in Quebec between 1998 and 2009. They found 4,700 babies, or 3 percent of the total group, whose mothers took some type of antidepressant while pregnant.
Only 31 babies, or 1 percent of the group whose mothers took antidepressants in later pregnancy, were later diagnosed with Autism.

Wait a minute. The media piece on the show made it sound like there was a link between these antidepressants and Autism... Yeah, now you're getting it. 
Let's break this down:
145,000 children studied 
Of those 145,000, only 4,700 or 3% of the group were children with mothers that took antidepressants while pregnant.
Of that 3% only 31 babies were found with Autism.
So only ONE PERCENT of the children studied had both a mother that took antidepressants and Autism. One percent?!

If you've ever taken a statistics class you can see what this is: complete crap. You could take that exact data and show anything you wanted. You could show numbers and suggest mothers with brown eyes have a higher chance of having children with Autism. You could suggest that mothers that are left handed and have freckles are more likely to have a child with Autism. It's a joke! And any educated person can see that it is. The Today Show just wanted something sensational to report on.

This is why you cannot trust what you hear on tv or read. Do your research. Do not take what one study or one opinion as the complete truth. 
And please, do not blame yourself for something you could not control. 

-Boog's Mommy

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Helping Santa with Some Special Toys

Finding toys for the holidays is stressful enough, but throw in finding toys for special needs kids and you may get a migraine. To help Santa this year, I found some really creative and not very expensive toys at Fat Brain Toys that can be enjoyed at any ability (I wasn't compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own).

1. Teeter Popper $36.95 found here

From Fatbrain's site:
ASTRA's Best Toys for Kids Award 2014

A NEW instrument for play... how it's used is up to the kids!

Whether they rock it, roll it, sit in it or stand... kids want to move with Teeter Popper! How wildly fun 
it is! 

“POP-POP-POP... POP-POP-POP!” Senses go for a ride every time they play.

A cinch to maneuver - stand, sit, rock, tilt, wobble, wiggle, spin. How children play is however they choose.

Hand kids a Teeter Popper and walk away... but don't look away. Seeing the curiosity, the surprise, the concentration on their faces as they attempt new movements is something you don't want to miss. 
Teeter-popping excitement is catching, (so are their giggles).

Kids find themselves teetering on the brink of perfect physical play. No special skills needed. In playful exploration, Teeter Popper improves core strength, stability, leg strength, balance, coordination and gross-motor skills.

Curiosity wakes up, senses come alive, imagination engages, and creativity gets moving! 

2. Bilibo $26.95 found here

From Fatbrain's site:

Children have an amazing talent for finding unusual uses for their toys or, more inconveniently, finding interesting new uses for your property – mostly at the exact same time that you need it.

If you have given a present and found that the kids play more with the box or, like me, have despaired at spending Christmas Day watching the children use the tubes from the tinfoil and the wrapping paper as swords, whilst ignoring all their carefully selected, non-violent toys, the perfect present has arrived. Say hello to Bilibo.

Tortoise shell and sand toy, swing and spinner, cradle for dolls and a shell to build with in the snow – Bilibo is all this and much more. So what exactly is a Bilibo? Well one clue is the fact that it does not come with an instruction manual. Kids can do what they like with it!

Says Alex Hochstrasser, Swiss inventor and designer of Bilibo, “When I introduced the prototypes at the kindergarten of my hometown, the little ones were astonished at first. But then a boy sat down in 
and started spinning, a girl turned Bilibo around and tried to balance on him – after that you 

just could not stop them any more.”

This shell is made of high density polyethylene which is shock-resistant, weather-proof, food safe, completely recyclable, and comes in Eight bright colors. Bilibo is big enough that kids of different ages can sit in it comfortably. All this, and friendly too -Bilibo has two holes at the side which look like eyes and give the appearance of a smiling face on the shell.

3. Plui $12.95 found here

From Fatbrain's site: 

A rain ball for bath or pool - Plui is one unique little creature.

Immerse Plui in water to fill him up and then plug your finger over the top hole as you raise it up 

Lift your finger from the nozzle and water falls like rain. The only difference - You get to control the downpour!

Plui stimulates the senses and discovery of basic physical principles.

So sleek, round, and rare - kids everywhere (even big kids) love to get their hands on Plui!

4. Mirari $25.95  found here

From Fatbrain's site:

Turn your little musician into a pop star pianist!

Press the keys to hear exciting sounds - Bells, whistles, laughter, and more - With a big surprise, a bulky, colorful star goes flying through the air.

Keep playing and exploring the sounds. After every note, the flying stars fall back into the pipes, ready to be launched again.

Then, switch up the sensory fun with two more ways to play!

Flip a switch beneath the keyboard to change the sounds from silly to classic piano.

Designed to inspire cause-and-effect learning while exciting the senses with fun sounds and brilliant colors, the Mirari Pop Pop Piano inspires smiles and giggles every time.

**I also found a couple coupon codes:

$10 off a purchase of $100: GQ-7632

Free shipping with $75 purchase: BU-2464

With the $10 code, you can get all the toys listed above shipped for $106 (not bad!). 

I hope this might help Santa a bit :)

Merry Christmas,
Boog's Mommy