Mother's Day Special Edition
These moms know true love
Mothers face tough challenges in raising children with disabilities, but there are rewards in the role.
By Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times
Deedra Williams doesn't need breakfast in bed or a spa massage to celebrate Mother's Day tomorrow.
"Tears spilled down Gosnell's cheeks as she shared the story. 'Her progress has been so astounding in the last seven months, and everybody agrees it's because I'm home working with her. . . . I've learned about patience and love and how to give myself to someone else.'
She received her gift last weekend at a quiet Montecito retreat from 15 women who, like her, are mothers of children with disabilities.
They hiked eucalyptus-shaded hills, listened to music and made collages with pictures cut from magazines. They talked for hours about the challenges of mothering children who may never be able to walk or speak, to go off to college or get married.
And everyone knew better than to interrupt, criticize or offer advice.
"I never wanted to be different," said Eileen Sunderland, whose 7-year-old son has autism. "I wanted to fit in. . . . But you can't go to lunch with all the moms at preschool. You can't meet them in the park, because you always have a therapy appointment or a doctor visit to get to."
"No one tried to fix it here," explained Williams, a mother of two sons -- a "developmentally typical" 7-year-old, and a 14-month-old whose newborn jaundice left him with brain damage, hearing loss and cerebral palsy.
"We can relate to what each one is going through because we're all in the same boat," Williams said as we sat at table at La Casa de Maria Retreat with four other mothers.
"What I took away from this weekend," Williams said, "is acceptance."
And what I took away was a new appreciation for the unconditional mother-love that many of us give lip service to, as we continually push our children to improve themselves, carrying around our mental check-list of all their shortcomings.
"These women are not saints or martyrs. But they see gifts where others might see only hardships.
Click here for entire story.
Women's Health at Every Age
By Sherrill Sellman, ND
AN ANCIENT ADAGE from Chinese medicine says, “A doctor would rather treat 10 men than one woman.” In a way, this validates what women have always known—that we are indeed intricate creatures. At the heart of our complexity are hormones, their ebb and flow influencing all aspects of physical, emotional and mental well-being. When a woman’s hormones are in balance, she feels healthy, energized and vital. She is also far less likely to experience symptoms during her menstrual cycle or as she transitions through menopause.
|As we learn to listen to our bodies and adjust to the many changes experienced with each decade, we can gracefully dance through our transitions, savoring the gifts and wisdoms garnered from our journey through time.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one alteration to this perfectly orchestrated process for hormone havoc to ensue, transforming a reasonable woman into a screaming banshee (sound familiar?). Our modern lifestyles do not help either, and in fact have had a somewhat disastrous effect on hormonal balance. For example, stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormones in meat and poultry, estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our environment and the widespread use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), have contributed to some of the highest estrogen levels ever measured, according to researchers.
Click here for entire article.
Riley Jackson and Shane Perlow, both 7 and ordinarily full of energy, were lying on their backs and taking deep yoga breaths while little plastic frogs on their bellies steadily rose and fell. Soon, they were wobbling and grinning through "tree pose" and hissing enthusiastically for "cat pose." Riley, who has missing front teeth, gaily sang "London Bridge Is Falling Down" as he wiggled into bridge posture.
|Around Maryland and beyond, a growing number of kids with attention, anxiety and learning disorders, as well as...autism...are embracing yoga.
Yoga is a part of the boys' occupational therapy at Hands On Therapy in Pikesville, where Riley is being treated for a sensory disorder and Shane gets help for handwriting problems and some related spatial issues. As the half-hour yoga session ended, Shane, a sweetly polite kid with wavy brown hair, declared that he felt good. "I feel more quieter," he said. "More calmed down."
Click here for entire story.
TIP of the week - Reconnect with your kitchen
by Patricia Lemer, MEd, NCC
USAAA Advisory Board
Serve a varied menu of organic and home-cooked food. Reconnect with your kitchen. Buy cookbooks; taking a cooking class; download gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free alternatives from www.AutismNDI.com, www.pecanbread.com, www.gfcfdiet.com. Good quality “fast” food is available online, by mail order, and at local super markets. Avoid packaged, processed empty calories, the Golden Arches, pizza and pasta. Steam nutrient dense vegetables. Serve with the ancient gluten-free grains millet, quinoa and amaranth. Make soup. Crack young green coconuts and make natural probiotics with the water and immature meat (www.bodyecology.com).
—Patricia S. Lemer, MEd, NCC
"ENVISIONING A BRIGHT FUTURE: Interventions that Work for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders," by Patricia Lemer
Click here to buy Envisioning A Bright Future.
Ms. Lemer is co-founder and the Executive Director of Developmental Delay Resources (DDR), an international, non-profit organization integrating conventional and holistic therapies for children with developmental delays.
Here is a Mother's Day gift from USAAA:
Click here to read "Prioritizing Therapies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," that was presented by Ms. Lemer at recent USAAA conferences.
Quote of the week - "Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." —Zora Neale Hurston
Shop Online and Support USAAA
What if USAAA earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our USAAA? Well, now it can!
GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!
GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to USAAA! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting USAAA.
Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter US Autism and Asperger Association as the charity you want to support. And, be sure to spread the word!