Counting Green Stars

Exploring a spectrum of possibilities

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Challenges & Blessings

Dr. Temple Grandin sits down with Nancy Asplaugh-Jackson from Autism Live to discuss children on the milder end of the autistic spectrum. Very informative and inspiring.


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Miami’s Autism Card

The University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) partnered with the Coral Gables Police Department and the Disability Independence Group (DIG) to create ID cards so people with ASD can present themselves as such when interacting with law enforcement.

The idea came about after some young adults with autism were arrested for exhibiting “suspicious” behavior after being pulled over while driving when, in fact, they were simply responding with behavior that is characteristic of ASD.

With the help of the ID card, police officers will be able to know why a person may not be making eye contact, speaking, or reacting in an expected way.

The card features a bio-dot section, which allows drivers with autism to show how they are feeling by pointing to one of four options: relaxed, calm, nervous or tense.

I love this idea because it not only gives people with ASD a tool, but increases law enforcement’s awareness of ASD with that same tool. I think every state needs this!

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“Autism Balm”

Dr. V. Ruth Pinney has been researching and working with autistic individuals’ brain chemoreception pathways with a view to changing the reactions to the specific sensory perceptions.

About one-third of people on the autism spectrum are hypersensitive to odors, and these reactions can lead to eating disorders and other behavior disorders. Hypersensitive autistic smellers and tasters tend to have poor appetites, gag easily when offered food and eat only a few foods that they can tolerate the smell of. Even normal or pleasant odors may be perceived by them to be malodorous and disturbing.

Dr. Pinney created NOXO Sensory Balm™ to help “tone down” the perception of smells by the brain by providing a scent that is calming to the brain’s emotional centers. When this balm is applied topically, under the nose, an individual can find relief from odors that trigger coping responses.

This balm was first marketed under the name “NOXO Autism Balm” because of the obvious application for those on the autism spectrum with sensory integration difficulties who need to eat a greater variety of nutritious foods. It is reported to be safe, easy to apply, and non-invasive.

I’ve not yet tried this product, so I welcome the feedback from parents who have. Please let us know about your experience. It truly takes a village…

[Click on the image for more company information]

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Vaccines and Autism

CDCSenior CDC researcher Dr. William Thompson has just released a press release/statement regarding the possible link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Apparently, the vaccine research he has been involved in at the CDC since 1998 hasn’t been accurately reported.  It will be interesting to watch what ensues.

Click the graphic to see the whole statement.

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Road to Recovery

For anyone who has not yet heard of Ethan Fox, he hit the news and Internet about three years ago with his mother, who explained how changing her son’s diet to gluten- and casein-free recovered him from his autistic spectrum disorder.

This is one of the news reports that interviewed Ethan, his mother, and his physician, who did a good job explaining the gut-brain connection and why diet has an impact on neurology.

I strongly disagree with the use and inference of the word ‘cure’ in the video. But ‘reversing’ and ‘recovering’ are wonderful reasons to explore all the options. I believe with all my heart that parents of children on the autistic spectrum remain on the frontlines, demanding, questing, ever-searching for answers with our outside-the-box thinking.

After watching the four-minute video, be sure to check out the Operation Clean-Up steps we’ve taken and continue to take with Corban, and see how much diet has affected his autistic symptoms.