Such a similar story

I found this on a great website ( that I’m linked to on Facebook.  This is almost identical to our story, so I thought I’d share this here.  It’s happening everywhere… still today… and to us, it happened 15 years ago.  I don’t know Ellie and her son, but we’re still connected in so many ways.   

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Stories

My son was born with no complications and he hit every milestone on time until he started to lose skills around 13 months: talking, sequencing, responding to his name, etc and he was diagnosed with Autism at 2. Thousands of parents live through this exact story every day – the numbers of affected families is staggering – 1 in 84 boys.

I don’t think it’s classic autism. I think our kids are suffering from environmental impacts too great for their undeveloped immune systems to handle. My son began to present autistic-like symptoms but it is impossible for a child to develop normally on schedule without a healthy brain. His brain was once healthy but over time, his body could not process the toxic chemicals and metals we are all exposed to in our furniture, toys he chewed on, stuffed animals, bath gels, vaccine ingredients and everything else.

My son was only fed organic foods, lots of veggies and fruits but he has incredibly high levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminum, antimony and other toxic metals and chemicals in his blood and tissues. How is this possible?

It is impossible for America’s children to be getting so sick, so frequently diagnosed with diabetes, autism, ADD, ADHD, allergies, asthma and so many cancers at the rate that these are occurring… WITHOUT AN ENVIRONMENT CAUSATION.

The FDA, our government, congress – and citizens need to demand better for ourselves and our children. What is happening is disgusting and on all of our hands if we don’t change this.

Good, sustainable, responsible, ethical movements are happening everyday in the country and we should all be led by our government in good example.

ACT NOW to help me recover my son and help others to avoid what my family is coping with everyday.

Thank you!

Ellie Johnson
Raleigh, North Carolina

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday, Tony!


                   Don Pablos chips and salsa (check)

                   gluten free pizza  (check)

                   gluten free cake  (check)

          presents  (check)

         big brother home from college  (check)

         country music in the background (check)

         Beau wearing green color today (check)

         decorations (check)

         dinner together (check)

A simple 17th birthday wish…  just all his favorites in one place.  Tonight we will eat a combination of all his wishes and he will open his gifts with the joy of a small child.   Videos and books to add to his library.  He will be busy for days disecting the newest Classics, Pixar and Disney flicks to add to his collection. 

All this followed by a hot bath…

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?    If only it were….

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 9:00 am  Comments (6)  


1 in 91 Children
1 in 58 Boys
1 Child Every 20 Minutes
                    Is Diagnosed With Autism.

 ** stats from the TACA website (Talk About Curing Autism)

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Siblings and autism

I read an article today online that was published in the March issue of the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.  The findings show that some siblings of autisic preschoolers show signs of developing hyperactivity.  It also supports the notion that mothers of young autistic children experience more depression and stress than mothers of typically developing children (hmmm…  I’ll address this at a later time)

The article states that siblings of children with autism probably should be watched with appropriate academic supports in place, says Laura Lee McIntyre. “Our findings are rather positive overall, but these kids should be on our radar screens,” she adds. “It has been shown that around 30 percent of siblings of autistic children have some associated difficulties in behavior, learning, or development.”

Well… I’ll give you my professional advise on the subject.  Just some thoughts from a Mom who has lived with this subject for over 15 years now.

Siblings of a child with autism are a special breed.  They are thrown into a world of chaos and unpredictable moments.  Every trip to the grocery store, community center, or even restaurant is sometimes humiliating and extremely stressful.  Every holiday is an adventure in coping.  They are asked to help watch their sibling so the parents can run errands, or have a conversation, or work from home, or even take a bath.  They are asked to not talk loudly, play music, or watch a movie as it might upset their sibling.  They are asked to limit visitors to the house to avoid extra chaos.  They sacrifice their rooms, clothes, bathrooms and sometimes computers.  They watch in horror as a melt down occurs and try not to add to their parents stress. 

I see these siblings as incredible people.  They are exposed to more in their first 18 years than most adults in a lifetime.  They learn to accept people for who they are, and to not judge someone if they are different.  They learn to share.  They learn that life is not fair.  They learn that short term sacrifices will help achieve long term goals. 

They learn to not ‘react’ to their sibling.  Reacting just creates more chaos, more stress.  They know that their sibling does not ‘hear’ their words but only sees their actions, which just makes the unwelcomed behavior continue. 

Siblings change their diets so support their brother.  Siblings give up a saturday night with friends so their parents can get a much needed break. 

I don’t doubt that the above findings are true.  I’m sure they will find a lot of long term effects on siblings of a child with autism.  I just wish some of the studies would also ‘find’ the incredible, undeniable, God-given coping skills that these kids develop.  They are the true heros of autism.

Beau Becker II

This is Beau.  We got him in Feb ’09, after 3 years of working with a behavioral therapist.  You see, Tony had such a phobic fear of dogs, that it was truly jeapordizing his quality of life.  He wouldn’t go outside, or even get out of the car until the garage door was shut.  For some reason, he had developed this intense fear over the years.  He wouldn’t walk in the neighborhood and anytime he ran into a dog, it set him back for months – behaviorially.  It was incredibly stressful on all of us.  We avoided dogs at all costs.  In fact, the last time I brought him to Great Clips, prior to getting Beau, Tony had a complete, fearful meltdown in the salon in front of a lobby full of parents and kids.  Someone was outside with a dog (who was on a leash), but he was so scared that he started screaming.  Here was this almost 6′, 190lb young man, scaring even the dog.  

Through a small miracle of people, patience, methodical and intentional conversations about “our dog”, Tony started to come around.  We talked about “our dog” just about every day and posted pictures on the ‘fridge.  We manifested it.  At night, when I’d tuck Tony in, we’d talk about dog names and look at pictures of our old dogs (Beau and Buddy) that Dave and I had when we were first married.  We eventually fenced in our back yard so that we’d be ready for a dog — and mostly so that Tony would feel brave enough to go outside again.  I can remember the day the fence was finished.  I called Dave literally crying that Tony was outside, walking the perimeters of the fence and singing a song.  A neighbor even called and said “it’s so great to see Tony outside!” 

After all our hard work, I fell upon a website one day while researching ‘therapy dogs’ online.   Not only was there a 5 year waiting list for an autism-trained dog, but they were wildly expensive.  I found a breeder in southern MN that had yellow labs — they were white in color — and they were going to be ready in 2 weeks.  It was early February, but we decided to jump in.  Now was the time!

In the next two weeks we prepared Tony for the dog.  We bought his kennel, food dishes, dog food, toys, and leash.  We let Tony name him.  🙂   On the actual day of pick up, Tony was pacing nervously in the kitchen before we left.  I said “are you ready, Tony?” and he said “Sure.  Are you ready, Mommy?”  Tears filled my eyes.  Another breakthrough.  An actual conversation about a subject that we had worked on for quite a few years.  We both took a big breath and we all got in the car.

My youngest son, Joey and I actually picked Beau out of the litter.  He was the chubbiest one and the naughtiest one.  Loved that!  We knew he would be playful yet trainable.  And we wanted a big dog — a weighted blanket — so he could someday sleep with Tony in his bed. 

Beau cried all the way home.  Not even a mile down the road, Tony said “OK!  You can take him back to the farm now!”  We all gasped.  “No, Tony.  We are his family now.  I’m his Mommy and you are his brother.  Beau is going home.”   So Tony put on his headphones and kept looking back at Beau giggling.  For the next few weeks we heard Tony sing “You’re my brother”  or  “I miss my Mommy”, or “You’re so naughty, Beau” — he’d sing them over and over to the dog. 

Beau grew into a 100 lb lab – just like we wanted.  He’s been a complete joy to have around.  Tony and Beau are inseperable, as are Joey and Beau.  The dog didn’t even know his fate, yet he took to Tony’s disability like it was second nature.  He protects Tony, responds to Tony, sits outside Tony’s room when he’s having a tough time, and barks a “special” bark when Tony leaves the house.  It’s like having an extra set of eyes, which is a huge help to all of us.

We call Tony and Beau our “two toddlers”.  And they can get into a lot of trouble together!  But it’s a very special bond that, just a year ago, we didn’t think was possible.  So I’ll put up with all the dog hair, the paw prints, the chewed up blankets and socks and additional work it takes to have him… cuz we love our Beau and can’t imagine our family without him.

Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm  Comments (3)  

Meet the family

My incredibly supportive family…  I would not be ‘sane’ without them!  Here we are after the Steps of Hope Autism Walk in February.  We raised a good sum of money for the cause.  Thanks everyone!  Love you all!

Tony is 3rd on the right (going down the stairs). 


Published in: on March 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Am Autism

Found another great article — this is written by Marty Murphy.  He is an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder who was born and raised in central Illinois.
I Am Autism

Hello. Allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is Autism. Perhaps you know me or know of me. I am a condition, a “disorder” that affects many people. I strike at will, when and where I want.
Unlike Downs Syndrome or other birth “defects,” I leave no marks on those I strike. In fact, I pride myself on the ability to infiltrate a childs life, while leaving him or her strikingly handsome. Many people may not even know that I am there. They blame the child for what I cause him or her to do.

I am Autism and I do as I please.

I am Autism. I strike boys and girls, infants and toddlers. I find my best victims to be boys around the age of 2, but any child will do. I like children and they are always the true victims, though I take hostage the others in the child’s family as well. It is a bit like getting two for the price of one. I affect one child and infect the entire family.

I am Autism. I strike rich and poor alike. The rich combat me with education and therapy. The poor shut their children away and cannot afford to fight me. I am able to win in the lives of poor children more than I am of the wealthy, but I will try to take root anywhere.

I am Autism. I am an equal opportunity disorder. I like whites, blacks, Mexicans, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Slavs, Japanese, Koreans and Fins. In fact, I strike everywhere on earth. I know no geographical bounds. I am Autism. I do not discriminate based upon religion either. I strike Jews and Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, Atheists and Agnostics, Hindus and Rastafarians. I do not care what religion a person is or what beliefs he may hold. When I strike, there will be little time for any of that anyway. When they find me, they will question everything the believe in, so why would I strike any one group? I have affected followers of every religion on the planet.

I am Autism and I am strong and getting stronger every year, every month, every day, every minute, and every second. I am concerned that money might be alloted to combat me and my takeover of children, but so far I have little to fear.
Some countries, like Kuwait, are spending quite a bit of money to assist those who I have targeted and some, like the United States, would rather spend money on such ludicrous things as discovering the number of American Indians who practice voodoo, as opposed to combating me. In an atmosphere as that, I can flourish and wreck havoc at will. In places such as that, I rub my hands with glee at the problem I can cause to children, families and to the society at large.

I am Autism. When I come, I come to stay. I take the dreams and hopes of every parent and trample them with glee. I see the fear and confusion in the eyes of my victims and I see the formation of wrinkles, worries and ulcers and the pain on the face of their parents. I see the embarrassment their child causes because of me and the parents unsuccessfull attempt to hide their child and, me. I see tears and the parents cry and feel the tears of their child.

I am Autism. I leave sorrow in my wake.

I am Autism. I taketh and give nothing but bewilderment and loathing in return. I take speech and learning, I take socialization and understanding. I take away “common sense” and if I am allowed to flourish, I take away all but their physical life. What I leave behind, is almost worse than death.

I am Autism. I fear nothing except courage, which I thankfully see little of. I fear those who take a stand against me and attempt to fight me and bring others into the fight as well. I fear those who try to make it safe and easier for my victims in the community, and their families. I fear those who push ahead, despite the fact that I am in tow. I fear the day that I will be eradicated from the planet. Yet, I do not fear too much right now. There is no need.

I am Autism and I bet you know me or know of me. If you don’t, you probably will soon. I am marching forward faster than I ever have before. I am looking for new children all the time. I dread the day I will be looked on with pity, or worse yet, understanding, for that day, is the day I will begin to die. But, I don’t think that will happen for a long long time though, do you? In the meantime, I prowl onward, looking to cause pain and suffering wherever I go. I have so much work to do and thankfully, no one is stopping me.

Hello my name is Autism. Perhaps you know me or know of me…

written by: © Marty Murphy.

Published in: on March 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’d like to thank the Academy

It’s the Academy Awards night!  For those that know me, I’m a huge fan of the movies  and everything Hollywood (ok.. not everything, but I do love the world of make believe).   I used to imagine myself accepting an Academy Award and when I played as a child, I was always “acting’.  Maybe it was a foreshadow to what my life would be like raising Tony. 

To live in our house, you have to speak “Hollywood” because most of our conversations with him revolve around movie quotes.  Now, they are always appropriate answers, but most of them can be traced back to movie lines.  And remember — Tony is a man of few words!  So when he talks, it’s very exciting to us.  His favorite is old Hollywood — Audrey Hepburn especially.  I’ve had to really study those movies. 

We are watching the Academy Awards “together” this year.   He’s in my bedroom with pictures of movie stars laid out all over the bed (from his People magazines).  I’m in the basement with my glass of wine.  Every commercial, I run upstairs to ‘talk’.  He points to his list of winners (he keeps track) and says “Ok!  You can leave now!”  He flips back and forth between this show and Turner Classic Movies during commercials.   He is an eternal romantic.

I just ran up to check on Tony and he was standing up clapping – participating in a standing ovation for Monique in the movie “Precious”.  I was too!  🙂

I love this night… not because it’s about the award show… but because, for a brief moment, Tony and I are speaking the same language.

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  

This really frightens me

  • In 1901, cancer was rare: 1 out of 8,000.  Since the Industrial Revolution, the cancer rate today has risen to 1 in 3 and by the year 2020, it will be 1 in 2.                                                                        [Source: The American Cancer Society]

 The top 6 cancer-causing products (called the “Dirty Dozen”) in the average home include the following:

  • Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder w/Talc
  • Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste
  • VO5 Hair Conditioner
  • Clairol Nice-n-Easy Hair Color
  • Ajax Cleanser
  • Lysol Disinfectant

[Source: The National Cancer Prevention Coalition]

  • Liquid dish soap is the leading cause of poisonings in the home for children under the age of six (over 2.1 million accidental poisonings per year).  Most brands of liquid dish soap contain formaldehyde and ammonia.


  • Of the chemicals found in personal care products:
  • 884 are toxic
  • 146 cause tumors
  • 218 cause reproductive complications
  • 778 cause acute toxicity
  • 314 cause biological mutations
  • 376 cause skin and eye irritations

[Source: United States House of Representatives Report, 1989]

This is WHY we choose to buy our products from a responsible manufacturer that does not use harsh chemicals of any kind. 

 Think before you buy any product on store shelves just because it’s on sale or because you like the commercial you see on TV.  There are NO government regulations on any of these types of products…  that is just wrong.   We are given a false sense of security by creative marketing.  Buyer beware! 

Published in: on March 6, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment