Alarming facts

Not a good night’s sleep last night. Had some horrible dreams about Tony being so vulnerable in the world. Can’t even talk about it…

Found this online: Here is a very alarming fact… Autism is just another pseudonym for toxic damage which is most commonly found in cosmetics, household products and vaccines. Still think you do not have to worry where you shop? Do you really trust the GOVERNMENT to protect you? Remember, there are no laws governing the ingredients of any products on store shelves. That blew my mind when I first heard it. I have made many changes for my family. I can help you do the same.

We are the ‘toxic experimental generation’ and our disease rate is proving that. Autism rates are rising at an alarming rate – 1 in 91 children, mostly boys, are affected… We are a smart nation – we HAVE to figure out what is happening to our children! Demand safer products! A simple switch in household necessity products which are free of harmful chemicals is a HUGE step in the right direction.

Just one less thing to worry about…

Daily Checklist for getting healthy from Dr Oz

• Walk 30 minutes: Working out has benefits for your heart, weight, even your love life. It may also help stave off Alzheimer’s, new research finds.

• Brush and floss: Brushing removes only about 60 percent of the germs from between your teeth.

• Drink two cups of green tea: Green tea may lessen the risk of some cancers, plus it lowers cholesterol levels.

• Take 400mg of DHA omega-3s, 1,000 IU vitamin D, and 1,000mg calcium: Omega-3s diminish cognitive decline; calcium and vitamin D boost bone density.

• Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night: Our bodies use downtime to repair cells, process information, and raise growth hormone levels, which can up bone density and decrease body fat.

• Meditate for 5 minutes: Yoga, prayer, meditation—they’re all key to reducing stress and finding purpose

• Read the whole article at http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/oz/getting-started.html

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Couple of rough weeks…

We’ve had some rough weeks around here… major meltdowns, running outside screaming, swearing, slaming doors, breaking things… none of us know how to help him. It’s so frustrating and so mentally exhausting. He seems like he wants to climb out of his skin. He can’t tell us how he feels… so we have to play these guessing games. He’s trying to run from us and just can’t seem to settle himself down. He’s immediately remorseful and sincere when he tells us he’s “so, so sorry”. But then he turns around and does it again a few seconds later.

Even Beau doesn’t know what to do.

Sometimes I just want to hide. Sometimes I just want to pout and scream myself. It stops me in my tracks and puts me in a state where I just can’t seem to focus. Where did my child go? Who is this?

It’s very sad and humbling to admit this, but I do mourn the loss of my son on a daily basis… and I’m reminded on a daily basis of just how different his life is from what I had imagined for him.

Is this the lesson I’m supposed to learn?

I Believe

I believe – that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I believe – that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I believe – that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
I believe – that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I believe – that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I believe – that you can keep going, long after you can’t.
I believe – that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I believe – that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I believe – that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I believe – that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and still have the best time.
I believe – that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I believe – that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I believe – that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I believe – that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I believe – that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I believe – that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I believe – that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I believe – that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I believe – that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I believe – that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I believe – that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
I believe – that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I believe – that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
~ Author Unknown

House Rules

I’m reading the book “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult. I’ve just started, but already a few pages have taken by breath away. It’s as if she took the words right out of my mouth: (quoted from her character Emma)

“Ask the mom of one autistic kid if vaccines had anything to do with her child’s condition, and she will vehemently tell you yes. Ask another, and she’ll will vehemently tell you no. The jury’s still out, literally. Even though a handful of parents have sued the govenment — alleging that vaccinations caused their children’s autism — I haven’t gotten my class action suit check in the mail, and I’m not banking on it.
Here are the facts:
1. In 1988, the Centers for Disease Control recommended a change to infant immunizations schedules in America, adding three hepatitis B shots (including one at birth) and three haemophilis B shots, all given before the baby is six months old.
2. Drug companies stepped up to the challenge by providing multiple-dose containers of vaccines preserved with thimerosal, an antibacterial made up of 49 percent ethyl mercury.
3. Although the effects of mercury poisoning had been identified in the 1940s, the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC didn’t consider the effects of the dosage that newborns would receive because of these shots. The drug companies didn’t raise a red flag, either, even though the new regimen meant an average two-month-old at a well-baby checkup got a single-day dose of mercury one hundred times greater than the government’s longterm safe exposure level.
4. The symptomology of autism looks an awful lot like the symptomology of mercury poisoning. To give you an example: when scientists studied the migration of mercury into the primate brains, they noticed that the primates began to avoid eye contact.
5. Between 1999 and 2002, thimerosal was quietly removed from the majority of childhood vaccines.

There’s the opposing argument, too. That ethyl mercury — the kind in the vaccines — leaves the body faster than methyl mercury, the kind that is a poison. That in spite of the fact that most vaccines are now mercury-free, autism is still on the rise. That the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine completed five large studies, none of which have found a link between vaccines and autism. Those facts are compelling, but the next one is all I needed to convince me there’s some sort of connection:

1. My son looked like any other two-year-old until he had a round of shots that included DTaP, Hib, and hepatitis B.

I don’t think it’s a casual link. After all, out of 100 children receiving the same vaccine schedule, 99 will never become autistic. But just like we probably all have markers for cancer in our genes, if you smoke two packs a day you’re more likely to develop it than if you don’t. Kids with a certain predisposition in their genes can’t get rid of mercury as easily as most of us can and, as a result, wind up on the spectrum.

I’m not one of those parents who swings so far to the other side that she eschews immunization…. in my opinion, the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks.
I believe in vaccines, I do. I just believe in spreading them out.”

Amen to Jodi Picoult and her character Emma. Well written on behalf of thousands raising children with autism.

Toxic Brew

Watch this short clip about the toxins in your indoor environment. This is why I’m so passionate about educating people on how to detoxifying their homes. Is it part of the problem leading to the outbreak of autism cases? Is it the leading cause of ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia and other auto immune diseases?

Send me your thoughts. I’d love some feedback.

Let It Be

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom… let it be.”

“And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom… let it be”

That’s one of my all time favorite songs. Tony and I were on our “field trip” today riding in my car with the top down, and he turned up the radio. This song was playing. He sang it to me — word for word — perfect pitch, while rocking softly back and forth. It was THE most glorious moment between a mom and her not-so-verbal son. His language was clear and he added vibrato (which he knows I love it when he does that). He has such a beautiful voice… as I was driving, wiping the tears from my eyes, he grabbed my hand and kissed it, as if to say “it will all be okay”.

These are the moments I treasure. Just the two of us, on our daily drive in our convertible. Something about the wind in his face — it’s such wonderful therapy for him. I’m sure it’s fulfilling his sensory needs, but I also find it fulfilling mine too. It’s very euphoric.

Take a minute and listen to the lyrics of this song as if it was talking about the mystery of autism.

“And when the brokenhearted people, living in the world agree — there will be an answer… let it be”

“And though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see… there will be an answer… let it be”

The song really takes on a new dimension. We are all hoping that these kids will not only “see” someday, but that there will be an answer in their lifetime.

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm  Comments (2)  

The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need

(Part of what I do is educate others on environmental toxins and how to detoxify your home. This article got my attention. In my research on autism, I have become passionate about this subject and am convinced it is a link to the outbreak of disease in the past several decades. Please email me your comments at rbecker@iglide.net)

Written on February 24, 2010 by In Their Health

Smelling good is not always good for you!
My eye was caught today on the yahoo news feed and I want to share this information with you. Most of the information has been around, but I thought this was a pretty good and simple article to read. It is amazing how much trust we put in our regulating government and how poorly they have failed us.

It’s become so common in our culture to assume we need things – a lot of things. Over-consumption is not only a strain on our bank accounts and environment, it can also be harmful to our health. Whether there’s a warning label or not (usually not), many of the things we buy have associated health risks.
Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don’t need. And, once you read about them, you probably won’t want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks.

1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Instead, ventilate well and choose natural deodorizers, such as zeolite or baking soda, which contain minerals that absorb odors. How to Freshen Indoor Air Naturally includes recipes for other homemade remedies. Plants are also helpful for purifying your indoor air.

2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners – and these are the three nastiest. Corrosive or caustic cleaners, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are the most dangerous cleaning products because they burn skin, eyes and internal tissue easily.

3. Canned food: It’s probably shocking to find a food item on a toxic product list, but it’s no mistake. Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Most experts believe this is our main source of exposure to BPA, which has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven’t found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes). Opt for fresh, frozen, dried or jarred foods.

4. Pesticides: This is a huge category of products, but they deserve inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They’re made to be. That’s how they kill things. But, solving your pest problem may leave you with another problem – residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds – next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.

5. Dry-cleaning: Okay, it’s a service and not a product per se, but the chemical used to do it, perchloroethylene, has been linked to cancer as well as nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive disorders. Even bringing dry-cleaned clothes home is risky. EPA studies have found that people who reported visiting a dry-cleaning shop showed twice as much perc in their breath, on average, as other people. EPA also found that levels of perc remained elevated in a home for as long as one week after placing newly dry-cleaned clothes in a closet. A Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc “to measurably increase their risk of cancer” – by as much as 150 times what is considered “negligible risk.” Try wet-cleaning, CO2 technology, or even hand-washing.

6. Bottled water: Most people buy bottled water thinking they’re avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water – just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution – making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.

7. Rubber duckies: How does such a cute toy end up on a toxic product list? When it’s made from PVC – the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle, according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ). When it’s in your home, PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) – contaminating air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product). If a plastic is not labeled, call the manufacturer. Learn more.

8. Couch cushions: No, you needn’t get rid of all your cushions and consign yourself to a future of discomfort. Just avoid cushions, pillows, and anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation. Don’t worry about increasing your fire risk, data does not show that this standard has resulted in increased fire safety. Look for foam and cushions made with polyester, down, wool, or cotton as they are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants.

9. Perfume and cologne: Colognes and perfumes may make us more attractive. But mixed in with the colors and scents are a wide variety of unattractive chemicals. Perfumes and fragrances can consist of hundreds of chemicals. Testing of Calvin Klein’s Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds. Among the chemicals of concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP) that is absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in human fat tissue. Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders.

It’s not so simple to avoid phthalates by switching products because they are rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Phthalates are claimed as a part of trade secret formulas, and are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.

10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options – ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax based wood finishes.

Healthy Child Healthy World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Learn more at HealthyChild.org

Chemical Controls

From the April 2010 Scientific American Magazine |

Chemical Controls
Congress needs to give federal agencies greater authority to test and regulate chemicals
By The Editors
Matt Collins

This January the Food and Drug Administration warned parents not to pour hot liquids into plastic baby bottles and also to discard bottles that get scratched. Otherwise, a potentially harmful chemical might leach out of the plastic. This warning was the agency’s first, tentative acknowledgment of an emerging scientific consensus: many widely used chemicals once deemed safe may not be.

But a warning was all the FDA could offer worried consumers. The agency does not have the power to force baby-bottle makers to stop using the chemical in question—bisphenol A, better known as BPA. Nor is the FDA alone. The Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator Lisa Jackson testified to Congress last September that her agency lacks the muscle to restrict the manufacture of BPA and other chemicals. The relevant law, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, is simply too weak. It must be strengthened.

As the law stands, the EPA cannot be proactive in vetting chemical safety. It can require companies to test chemicals thought to pose a health risk only when there is explicit evidence of harm. Of the 21,000 chemicals registered under the law’s requirements, only 15 percent have been submitted with health and safety data—and the EPA is nearly powerless to require such data. The law allows companies to claim confidentiality about a new chemical, preventing outside evaluation from filling this data gap; some 95 percent of new submissions fall under this veil of secrecy. Even when evidence of harm is clear, the law sets legal hurdles that can make action impossible. For instance, federal courts have overturned all the EPA’s attempts to restrict asbestos manufacture, despite demonstrable human health hazard.

Consequently, of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the U.S., only five have been either restricted or banned. Not 5 percent, five. The EPA has been able to force health and safety testing for only around 200.

BPA is a case study of what has gone wrong. Although scientists identified potential problems decades ago, regulatory changes have been slow to follow. First synthesized in 1891, the compound became essential to the plastics industry as a building block of the polycarbonates in our eyeglass lenses, the polyesters in our clothes and the epoxy resins lining our cans. In the 1930s BPA was identified as a potent mimic of estrogen; it could bind to the same receptors throughout the human body as the natural female hormone. But the Toxic Substances Control Act explicitly allowed chemicals already employed at the time of the law’s passage—BPA and more than 60,000 others—to continue to be used without any evaluation for toxicity or exposure limits.

Nor did the act give the EPA the power to reevaluate chemicals in light of new information—such as the concerns about BPA that emerged in the 1990s. Researchers in a genetics laboratory noticed that a control population of mice developed an unusually high number of chromosomally abnormal eggs. The reason? BPA leaching from their plastic cages. From this serendipitous discovery, scientists began to explore anew BPA and other chemicals like it, known collectively as endocrine disruptors. Studies since then have linked BPA to asthma, behavioral changes, some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The National Toxicology Program warned in 2008 that “the possibility that bisphenol A may alter human development cannot be dismissed.” Some health effects from BPA may even be passed from one generation to the next, and in contradiction to textbook toxicology, low doses of BPA may be as harmful as high doses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 93 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA by-products in their urine.

This problem is not confined just to BPA. New evidence is emerging about the dangers posed by the chemicals used to make plastics flexible or retard burning, among others. Although most chemicals are presumably safe, the lack of testing and ongoing bureaucratic delay imposed by existing legal requirements pose an unreasonable risk. It should not take decades for government agencies to catch up with the latest findings of science.

So the EPA is gearing up to try to regulate chemicals, establishing a list of “chemicals of concern” that echoes a similar list developed by regulators in the European Union under a recent law requiring that chemicals be tested for safety before being sold. Congress has begun to debate how to support this effort. It should begin by reforming and strengthening the Toxic Substances Control Act to require reviews of chemicals for safety, force manufacturers to provide adequate health data on any chemical under review, and empower agencies to restrict or ban the use of chemicals with clear evidence of harm. Industry groups such as the American Chemistry Council have recognized that such measures are needed to ensure public confidence in their products. Ultimately, the goal of oversight is simply to reflect the best available science, so that people are protected from the demonstrable risks posed by chemicals such as BPA and can rest assured that the chemicals industry says are safe really are.

Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

A breakthrough day!

Tony had a breakthrough day last Friday. Not sure why or how. He decided to start to use the telephone. He’d spent the last two days reading the new local telephone book (page by page – like it was a novel) Then last Friday, he called Shari early in the morning to ask for a video (twice) and even had her deliver it while I was gone (which she did – how cute is that?). Then he call 911… which ended up to be a great teaching moment. The gal on the phone was so nice and asked him questions (which he didn’t answer) and then asked him to give his Mom the phone – which he did. She told me she made a note of his name and disability and said we could call the non-emergency number anytime to ‘practice’. She said he did a great job of listening. Wow… that could have turned out much differently!

THEN he called my neighbor Nikki and asked if her new puppy, Maggie, could come over and play (2 month old yellow lab). THEN he called Grandma and talked about Easter. For over 10 minutes! She was thrilled!!! THEN he called Michael and asked when he’d be home and actually had a nice conversation! THEN he called my neighbor Laura and asked about her trip to Mexico. THEN, a few hours later, he ordered himself a gluten free pizza and had it delivered. The only way I found out what calls he made was to use the ‘redial’ on the phone. He did this all from his bedroom while reading a magazine and watching a movie.

OMG! WHAT?????? He had a huge smile all day. I was SO proud of him!! He’s never used the phone before and has never been able to carry on a conversation – we assumed it was because he couldn’t ‘see’ the other person on the phone. He’s even gone so far as to hide all of our phones!

SO…. Now there’s another thing to watch, but more importantly, another breakthrough!

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm  Comments (5)