Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dirty or Clean?

There is so much to say about education and prevention, starting with what we eat. We have been marketed to select our fruits and vegetables based on their perfection in shape and color and size. Some distributors are even 'teasing' us with convenient packaging (e.g. grapes in plastic-holed containers for ease of rinsing or 'pre-washed' spinach).

Rinsing is simply not enough! It is not surprising that many families, especially from inner-cities, are not aware of 'the clean 15' and 'the dirty dozen'. We must all increase the quantity of fruits and vegetables that we consume, especially families raising children with ASD's, but let's not forget that harmful pesticides are toxic and a big contributor to shape, color and size.

Learn more about food toxins. Do you know which list your favorite fruits and veggies are on? Find a guide for shopping and learn which ones to consider buying 'organic'.

Option: Grow your own. Share your experiences and suggestions for growing your own fruits and vegetables.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can Nonprofits Survive Isolation...

Today is a day when I heard an interview on the radio which has stayed with me to this moment. Now the title of this post "Can Nonprofits Survive Isolation" was lifted by me from an email (which I have not yet read), but it stuck with me also. You may know me (founder of WIYLBOX), and you may also know that I tend to always remain optimistic; I'm wired that way. But that does not mean that I don't have opinions about politics, parents, nonprofits, isolation and the topic of autism. Gee...did I just string those words together without meaning? NO!

Okay, so what did I hear on the radio? An actor, who is pretty high profile, with a successful T.V. career, spoke about his right and obligation to speak his mind, especially when 'things or actions' impede upon his career (or the careers of others) when it has taken hard, hard work to establish a career. I totally agree with that; especially when he followed up with an example: Why would someone want to have Kim Kardashian on their hit show, simply because she is riding the tide as a professional personality (without talent??); or, have you ever seen Prince invite a 'hotty' on stage and hand her a guitar? The answer to both is that such actions undercut the industry, and one's professional integrity.

So where am I going with this? This actor spoke his mind. I need to voice my thoughts also. Nonprofits (not mega-agencies) that provide support and care and services for children and their families living with Autism are suffering from isolation. Our organizations are silently bearing the crushing weight of our nations inability to do the right thing: Who's in this lineup?

1. Insurance carriers - they can't even create a code (80256???) to support wellness programs that align families with ASD children with what's being done for the rest of the nation.

2. Mega Agencies - I could name a few, but so could you; these are the ones that are too big to fail - but do! Yet, they continue to receive funding while you get no services.

Are there ordinary people at the insurance companies or at these big agencies? When will they get onboard with speaking their minds and doing what we all must to do to make a difference in the Autism community? It's called "collaboration", folks. It means that you have to think of ways to creatively get out of your boxes - otherwise you're dead weight, and frankly, unable to serve.

My challenge to you (those on the above list) is to challenge yourself, and let me know what you come up with. Images are important too, and good ones are uplifting.

I remain optimistic.
Deborah Tucker

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WIYLBOX Coast to Coast....

We "Thank You" for your support....

I am from Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, my daughter who will be 4 next month was diagnosed with Autism fall of last year, we had our own suspecions. I was reading into your site and I am so impressed! I would love to start something in my community, but I am not really sure where to start. I know of a few families that have a child with Autism, and we don't really have many support groups, especially in our town. If you can give me some advie as to where I should go or what to do that would b great.

Thank you for your time,
Kit Spayd


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sweet Potato Muffins That Enrich Your Lunch Box

We're sharing Jesse's recipe from our Nutrition and Cooking program on April 9, 2010.

These delicious gluten-free Sweet Potato Muffins helped to demonstrate how a family's "Sunday Dinner", can jump-start 'nutritious' meals using leftovers. With smart and deliberate shopping, purposeful meal planning and the desire to reprioritize nutrition, you really can get more 'cluck from your buck' and have quality time at home with your family. From Sunday's leftovers we made meals for Monday, Tuesday, with these scrumptious muffins for breakfast or the Lunch Box on Wednesday. Their nutritional value is boosted by the sweet potatos, Picabi's Sparking Apple juice (loaded with vitamins), flaxseed and cinnamon. You will love them.

Sweet Potato Muffins (Gluten Free)
Recipe courtesy of Jesse D. Smith,
What’s In Your Lunch Box?, Inc.

• 2 cups “gluten-free” flour (note: some of these flours require adding xanthan gum.)
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (optional)
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or light olive oil)
• 3/4 cup Picabi 100% Sparkling Apple Juice
• 3/4 cup sweet potato (1/2 cup boiled/baked to soft consistency + 1/4 cup raw shredded or grated)
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon of vanilla powder

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Wrap one (1) medium-sized sweet potato in foil, place directly on rack in oven and cook for 45-55 minutes or cover with water in pot and boil on stove top until soft throughout. Line muffin pan(s) cups with paper liners; set aside.

Combine flour, xanthan gum if needed, baking powder, salt and flaxseed meal in a large bowl. In a separate, medium-sized bowl mix the brown sugar and eggs. Then add the oil, Picabi apple juice, vanilla and cinnamon blending until combined. Add the brown sugar mix to the large bowl and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in the prepared and shredded sweet potato.

Spoon batter into baking cups filling about 2/3 full (an ice cream scoop works too). Bake at 350° for 20 – 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Yields approximately 18 muffins.

Remove muffins from pan immediately and cool on a wire rack. Store muffins in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag to preserve freshness. Muffins may also be frozen and warmed when ready to eat.

*Cook's Note: Add a sprinkle of Turbinado sugar to muffin tops before baking for a crunchy texture and hint of sweetness.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Following the Crowd or Reprioritizing Nutrition? Keep a Balanced View

When science is slow to take the side of good nutrition for children with ASD's as a viable way to support improved health and development, keep a balanced view and look to studies reported by families that have tried special diets for their children; particularly studies on gluten and casein free diets.

RESEARCH: Parents Try Alternative Treatments for Autism Research Shows Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Diets Are Among Treatments for Kids' Autism

HealthDay News - About one in five children with autism uses alternative treatments to help with the neuro-developmental disorder, most often a special diet, a new study finds. Of 1,212 children with an autism spectrum disorder included in the study, about 17 percent were on special diets.

Read more... By Jenifer Goodwin

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Behavioral Science Research Identifies Autism Much Earlier

If you are pregnant with your first child, it is likely that you will not have a guide or familiar tracking of what new babies do. What are the common "interactions" from a six month old? If you knew that there was something different or something odd at this very early age, you would have gained important time for intervention. Read more about this UC Davis UCLA research.

Infants at Risk for Autism: A Longitudinal Study

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's the Reality? California, that is.

If we don't pay attention, we will miss the unfolding story of what we are being told, and where our thoughts are being guided on this journey of discovery about our children with ASD. How much is politics guiding this outpour of recent studies on Autism? What is real? I recently heard someone comment that people in Los Angeles are more prone to have back-surgery vs people in Manhattan. And, with California's evaporating economy and as budget cuts to vital services continue to rollout, a harsh reality takes hold. This Wall Street Journal article is worth reading and offers further insight on the layout of Autism in California.
(copy and paste the link in your browser)

L.A. Confidential: Seeking Reasons for Autism's Rise
(February 1, 2010; by Melinda Beck)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gastrointestinal Symptoms...Evidence-based Guidelines? What Do We Do and Who Do We Listen To?

January 2010, consensus guidelines are documented by The American Academy of Pediatrics in its publication of "Recommendations for Evaluation and Treatment of Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with ASD".

This publication is very important -

1) Masses of information flood the internet, and without 'evidence-based' guidelines for the evaluation of gastrointestinal symptoms for ASD children, who range from 9% to 70% or higher in presentation of GI symptoms (abdominal pain, constipation, diarreah and reflux), things can become very complicated. And, although concensus guidelines for management of these common GI symptoms have been developed for the mainstream pediatric population, few if any publications address modification in the diagnostic evaluation of the unique ASD population with disabilities such as impaired language skills.

2) The publication endorses the need for 'EDUCATION' - Educating Parents and Caregivers of children with ASD to enhance their knowledge, their ability to understand, identify and react to the 'Red Flags' related to GI symptoms. Education is prevention and ultimately will support the health and development of these kiddos.

View the full article on consensus recommendations go to:

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