Thursday, August 13, 2009


I know there are many differing opinions on taking vitamins, some even say that you just have expensive pee when you take lots of vitamins! I must say I completely disagree with this opinion. I have taken different vitamins from the drug store over the years and never felt that they made a difference. Then after reading Jenny McCarthy's book on her journey with her sons autism I decided to try excellent quality vitamins. The reason for the higher quality than you get in the drug store was to avoid things like gluten in the vitamins. All I can say is WOW! I could see a difference in the kids immediately and I felt the difference right away as well! Between the diet and the vitamins we all made huge improvements!

Here is a list of what we are all taking at the moment...

Essential fish oils
multi vitamin
Juice plus AM and PM

This list changes at times, sometimes there are even a few more and we are always adding new supplements to help out. If you are wondering how to get a younger child to take pills and let me tell you Kolton was not thrilled with the idea of taking anything at all! We simply let him put his capsules on a spoonful of applesauce and he downs them no problem!!

Happy vitamins!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Logic of an Asperger's boy

Good morning!

Kolton is such a logical boy even though he is only 8! I am sure he could be an engineer by next week!

He was complaining that he was bored and I suggested that he go and play with his toys in his room. He told be that he had no interest in those so I suggested that we should throw them out if they were so boring. He then asked me if I liked to scrapbook every day and since I don't scrapbook every day maybe we should throw out my scrapbooking supplies! I know when I have been "got", he did have a great point!

You just can't fight logic!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Some days 3 kids with challenges can be so overwhelming! Nothing major needs to occur, just life! I love the summer on one hand and other days I can't wait for it to end. Having the kids around everyday and all the assorted friends that come with them can be a little crazy! I am someone who loves peace and quiet, so having 3 highly energetic kids who all love to talk is not so quiet! At least when they are in school I have a chance to enjoy some quiet before the chaos arrives home again, but in summer it is hard to get that break.

I think as moms we need to make sure that we find time to work out, read, scrapbook, do whatever it is that fills your tank. This time that we all feel guilty for taking is so important and makes us better moms in the long run! It can be so hard to find that time, but it needs to be a priority for all of us!

Take time for you!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, but we have been away camping for a couple of weeks! I love camping with the kids since it gets us out into the woods where technology doesn't work too well! It forces my kids to let go of the X-Box, MSN, Facebook and of course the TV!! For a change they have to simply bike, swim, walk, read and sit around the camp fire! It is wonderful, they can't get away from us no matter how much they think we are annoying!

Camping before going gluten and dairy free was much easier, when we ran out of food we could simply run to the store for more and we kept is simple. Unfortunately most stores near the parks we camp at don't seem to carry the special things we need. So I do a lot of cooking ahead of time prepping so that we don't run out. The great part of this is that there is very little to do when we are there. I bake bread and hamburger buns and cookies before we go. We eat lots of salads and BBQ meat! I found some great salad dressings by Organicville that are gluten and dairy free, this was necessary since Chase will only eat Ranch dressing! Of course everyone was happy to hear that Kraft marsh mellows are OK! We even made a safe version of Graham Crackers so we could have smores!

All this stuff is lots of work, but it is worth it when your kids can do normal kid things and still feel healthy!

Happy camping!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Special Occasions and the diet?!

So what do you do on special occasions when there are temptations everywhere? Today is Chase's Grade 8 Grad and there will be all sorts of yummies full of gluten and dairy! Generally I only let them choose things that are on within our limits, but today is really special for him! Sometimes I will help them choose the goodies that have the least amount of offenders but just about everything there will have gluten and dairy!!

On a night like tonight I will let him have whatever he wants, but I will caution him to try and limit too many bad choices. For example, more than 1 piece of pizza would be a bad choice! Chase is very aware that whenever he cheats he pays the price the next day when he feels crappy. He usually gets a stomach ache and a headache, he also gets a little spacey!

Sometimes though, like tonight, fitting in with your peer group takes priority!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cosmic joke!

OK so seriously the universe is playing a huge joke on people in general! Whoever came up with the plan that has families living under the same roof when the mom is peri-menopausal, the dad is hitting his mid-life crisis and then there are teenagers in the house!!! Who thought this would be a great idea??? Lucky for me my teenagers are fairly reasonable, well at least for 3 minutes every day. And Larry has not gone out and bought a red sports car yet, although if he did I may run away in it! And in our house we have the joy of ADD, ADHD and Asperger's!! Some days are just exhausting and then I realize it is only 6:30am!!

I think it will be a very long summer, right now the teens are arguing over gum?! Why? How can you have a 1/2 hour long argument over gum? Really it should not be going on this long since they are ADD and ADHD, they should have lost focus about their topic 25 minutes ago!!

Well off to run away from home!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Must have chocolate!

OK as far as I am concerned the need for Chocolate is one of life's basic needs!! So if you are gluten and casein free, what can you do? I found some chocolate chips from Enjoy Life that are gluten and dairy free!! I get them from our local health food store and you can order them online ( With the chocolate chips you can work wonders! We melt the chips and add things like almonds and you have a chocolate bar. To make icing for our yummy chocolate cake I melt the chips and add rice milk and gluten free icing sugar until I get the right consistency! These chocolate chips are incrediably rich and sooooo good!! Apparently the Easter Bunny knows about them too and makes them into Easter eggs and puts them in plastic egg cases!

Happy chocolate!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best Gluten Free Cake!

Birthday's can be hard on the gluten, casein free folk in our family! Cake is the one of the yummiest inventions I have every discovered and I haven't met too many kids who don't love cake too!! So what happens when you go gluten and casein free? Well I have done some experimenting as the problem comes up more often than you would realize. Not only do you need an option for your own kids birthdays, you also need a solution when they go to other kids birthday parties!!

I tried baking my own cakes from scratch, but they just didn't cut it, nothing horrific, just not that great. OK so even my chocolate crazed kids wouldn't even finish the cake! Then we tried a Bob's Red Mills gluten, dairy free chocolate cake mix, home run with everyone in the family!! OK, it is not the cheapest cake mix out there, but sometimes it just doesn't matter. When it is your child's birthday you want to be able to give them a yummy cake! The really funny part is how much the regular folk love this cake too! I did get a little smarter this year with Chase's party, I made a regular cake and his cake. The other boys all had the regular cake so then there was lots of left overs after the party for my guys and I saved some $$$.

Next time I will share how to make the best chocolates and chocolate icing so no one feels deprived!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Living with a sugar junkie!

Living with a sugar junkie can be very scary! I know because I am a reformed sugar junkie myself! Anything sweet was my weakness, didn't matter what form it came in I loved it!! I drank coke and ate candy whenever I could! Every time I would start to crash I would be searching for my candy or coke or ice cream or .... (the list is endless). I recently gave up processed sugar and I was shocked at how much better I felt! It was even easier to quit than I thought it would be. My moods very quickly evened out and I wasn't getting wild energy swings anymore!

My problem is that Chase is an even bigger sugar junkie than I ever was! This boy takes the quest for sugar to a whole new level. Yesterday we all went to the town fair for his birthday. He started the day with an energy drink, then went on to downing 3 Arizona's! As I am lecturing him on self-control he informs me that they are simply a fruit juice drink so it is OK. He doesn't seem to care that they have 24 grams of sugar each (only half what is in a can of coke but still a lot of sugar). Then there was the birthday cake and who knows what else that I didn't see.

We do try very hard to limit his junk intake but he goes out of his way to sneak anything he can get his hands on. He even resorts to eating straight out of the sugar bowl when he can't find anything else (yuck)! Just what an ADHD kid needs, straight sugar! All we can do at this point is fill him full of probiotics (we take Theralac) so we stop the massive yeast growth that must be happening in his body with all that sugar. The probiotics are brilliant since the yeast overgrowth can cause so many symptoms like...

abdominal gas
excessive fatigue
cravings for alcohol
cravings for sweets
inability to think clearly or concentrate
mood swings
sinus inflammation
poor memory
persistent cough
low sex drive
muscle weakness
learning difficulties
sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals
cognitive impairment
athletes foot
sore throat
acid reflux
chronic pain

Pretty frightening list! The problem starts with these kids when they end up taking antibiotics, due to ear or throat infections and then the sugar just gives the yeast a happy place to grow.

Maybe a sugar intervention will be in our future.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Challenges of Being Organization

Organization is not my strong suit to say the least!! I can honestly say that I am organizationally challenged! Now how does the organizationally challenged manage to teach her ADD and ADHD kids to be organized?! It is like a toddler trying to teach adults to drive a tractor trailer!! I really do try hard to be organized and I start off well, but it goes rapidly downhill. Then there is also the fact that when I do achieve some sort of organization, others in this house declare war on it and wreck any progress we have made!

Well imagine my shock last night when I happened upon Ashlynn's planner for school and it was perfectly organized!! She had all her homework listed, she had her extra stuff in there and she had her workout schedule there too!! I just about cried. I know how hard this is to do for me let alone for her with her ADD!! Maybe I can learn from her!


Monday, June 1, 2009

I am getting to spend the day with Kolton who is home sick today! We are snuggling on the couch and watching "Bolt" (again)! Kolton gets sick a lot, which always freaks me out. Ash and Chase were sick when they were small, all the normal stuff like ear infections and throat infections. Luckily they grew out of it and have been very healthy. Kolton since birth will suddenly spike a fever of 104 to 105 completely out of the blue. There usually aren't any other symptoms to go with the fever. When he got so sick at 3 it scared us to death! He was in hospital for over a month, they took out his appendix and he had another procedure to put a pick line in to feed him. He had a rare thing called HSP (couldn't possibly spell the full name). It was his body's autoimmune reaction to something. His head swelled so much he couldn't see, he couldn't walk, his intestines shut down. The doctor's at Sick Kids told us that normally when a child gets HSP they get 1 or 2 symptoms, are sick for a few days and then they are fine. Kolton got every symptom to the max, they said they never see such a severe case.

The reason I am sharing this is because it seems like he has a very strange immune system which I believe is somehow related to his Asperger's. I believe that all of these kids with ADD, ADHD and Autism have sensitive systems and they can't handle all of the crap in our environment, our food etc... I don't have a degree in anything that would qualify me to know what the heck I am talking about, but sometimes common sense can tell us so much more!

Well back to snuggling and "Bolt"!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Life with Asperger's

Wow I had no idea that living with a child with Asperger's could be so interesting! Kolton is so smart about certain things. He has such an engineer's brain and can think things through 20 years down the road. Then he shocks you with the fact that he doesn't even know what the kitchen sink is, he calls it the cleaning bin!

His anxiety is the hardest part for me to deal with. He is so anxious about everything!! Whenever it is windy he thinks it is a tornado, when the fire alarm goes off when I am cooking he stands outside (with the dog, maybe the dog has asperger's). He is convinced that there are ghosts in our house and that someone will come and kidnap him. He is terrified of bees/wasps and can run like the wind when he sees one, yet he gets stung every year at least 6 times.

The social part of life is difficult for him! I remember taking him and his best friend Shannon to a baby reading and singing group when they were 2, what a shock. Every child in the room was listening to the stories and singing the songs and dancing. Kolton sat on my lap doing nothing except looking like I was torturing him. When he joined Beavers I watched while he just did his own thing, he would not actually talk to anyone or participate. He does have some friends, so long as they are willing to do what he wants to do. He seems to find the other kids who have the same obsessions as he does.

Then there is the obsessions! Kolton's first obsession was anythings to do with trains, this one lasted for the first 3 years. Then daddy introduced him to Star Wars!! The obsession was all consuming for the next 3 years, our whole life revolved around Star Wars. That was all he talked about, played with and watched. He would even hum Star Wars theme music in his sleep!! For Halloween when he was 4 I had got him a cool Buzz Lightyear costume (pre Star Wars). I insisted that he had to use the costume we had once he got obsessed with Star Wars much to his dismay. During the school Halloween parade people would go "there's Buzz Lightyear" and he would reply "I'm Luke Skywalker"!! These days his obsessions change but they are intense. His current obsession is Webkinz, there are 30 Webkinz now living with him in his bedroom!

Kolton's other Asperger trait is the non-stop talking about what he wants to talk about! He can't seem to grasp that he just talks over others. He has no interest in talking about what anyone else wants to talk about. He just doesn't pick up the social cues that people are giving him. He even talks all night long while he sleeps every night! This is definitely and area that we are focusing on with him!

Routine is so important to him! If the teacher changes anything at school it throws him off for the whole day! And if we do things differently at home he gets so upset. If we go on vacation he is fine for about 2 days and then he wants to come home and see his stuff, even if we are at Disney World!

I have learned so much from living with Kolton, patience being the main one! All of my kids are teaching me so many life lessons! I certainly can't talk to them about how great these life challenges are for teaching them and then get upset when life challenges me!!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gulten Free, Casein Free

So how do completely change the eating habits of a whole family without total mutiny?! Let me tell you, they were not thrilled with the changes I wanted to make and I was not thrilled with the idea of making the changes. In fact I was completely overwhelmed with the whole concept. I had no idea that gluten was in just about everything, even things like make-up, glue on envelopes, play-doh, it goes on and on and on!! Starting with one meal at a time was a sanity saver for me and it is not good to go cold turkey as it is too hard on the kids! Going to our local health food store was easy as they have a whole gluten free section and most large grocery chains have a health food aisle.

We started with changing breakfast for a week then adding in dinner and then lunches and then snacks. I did find some cool cook books for cooking gluten and casein free. Also Clean Eating and the Looney Spoon series also have a lot of great recipes without gluten or dairy. Larry and I also decided to eat the same diet so that we weren't eating forbidden foods in front of the kids.

Of course there was some very unhappy kids in our house to begin with, actually Kolton told me I was ruining his life. Chase was cheating whenever he got the chance and of course his friends at school thought I was torturing him and kept giving him the forbidden foods. His teacher could tell when he had cheated at lunch as he came back to class and just sat with his head on his desk! The easiest way to get the teenagers on board was to take advantage of the cheating. Whenever they cheated they usually felt horrible afterwards! Pretty soon they put two and two together and realized that cheating was not worth how it made them feel. Now they tell others how great the diet is and suggest that they should try it. Of course there are still temptations, but overall they stick to the diet.

As hard as it was to get this going, it got easier quickly. I also am thrilled when one of the kids teachers or activity leaders comes to us and tells us what a huge positive difference they see in my kids! I think it is worth a try, if it doesn't work then you simply go back to eating the way you did before!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Research shockers

So where do I go from here, the Internet of course!! I started surfing anything I could find on the Internet and reading any books I could get my hands on. I was mainly researching Autism/Asperger's since I had the other 2 well managed, but I knew very little about Autism. During my reading though I noticed a pattern of talking about ADAH and Autism together. I also noticed there was a fair amount of overlap of symptoms. I started to realize that whatever I tried for Kolton I could try for the other 2 as well.

An easy first step was to add quality supplements. We take so many supplements we look like a bunch of 90 year old's with our pill cases. The one thing that kept popping up during my research was about diet changes. I dismissed it right off top because taking all gluten and casein (dairy) out of their diet seemed impossible. I also knew that with 2 teenagers, there would be a huge challenge to get them to cooperate. I also doubted that I could get Kolton to go along with the diet as he is one of the world's pickiest eaters!! However the more I read the more the diet changes kept coming up. I decided that we needed to give it a try but I didn't know how to start. The best information I found on changing the diet was on a website called . There is a whole section on changing the diet slowly, it would have been hard to do it all at once. So we started our changes one meal at a time, breakfast was the easiest and supper wasn't too hard. Lunch was a challenge and of course the biggest challenge was getting Chase to not cheat whenever he could. Kolton wasn't as difficult as I thought since he must follow all rules and the diet was a new rule!!

Despite almost hoping that the diet wouldn't work so I wouldn't have to keep doing it, it was a huge success!! Each one had a different positive reaction which surprised me. I always thought Kolton had bad rough skin, but with the diet change his skin went smooth and he stopped itching all the time. The dark circles under his eyes disappeared and the biggest change was that he started looking us in the eye for the first time!! Ashlynn used to have headaches almost daily and they disappeared! The biggest shock for me was that Chase came back from space and now he talks constantly and he is completely present. We also were able to get him down to the lowest dose possible of his medications!!

We have been on the diet for over a year now and it is just a part of our life. I'll tell you more later on how the teenagers got on board with our restrictions! They even tell others now about the diet and suggest that they should try it too!


Monday, May 25, 2009


I am the lucky mom of three lively high energy kids!

Ashlynn is 16 and was diagnosed with ADD when she was 10.
Chase is 13 and was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7.
Kolton is 8 and was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 7.

When testing suggested that Ash had ADD we went ahead and got chase tested at the same time since he obviously had the same lack of focus combined with literally climbing the walls and anything else he could climb! I knew nothing about ADD and ADHD at the time, just that I thought I was a horrible mother since it seemed like I couldn't "control" my kids!! I was such a quiet well behaved kid that it was a huge shock that they were not the same as me. Ashlynn simply could not do her school work and Chase was constantly in trouble at school! I never saw the inside of the principle's office in school, but he seemed to be there everyday. I remember looking in the class one day when he was in grade 1 and the whole class was working quietly and Chase was crawling around on the floor driving his eraser under everyone's desks.

After being diagnosed we decided to try medication despite protests from extended family, you would have thought we were giving them a lobotomy!! Within half an hour of their first pill it was like a miracle had happened, even Ashlynn told me how wonderful it felt to be able to sit and do her homework. Homework that day took half an hour, it normally took 2 to 3 hours!! Chase stopped spinning, literally and there were no more trips to the principle's office!!

The ease of taking a little pill everyday was so easy that we settled in and started just enjoying life! There were some small issues along the way with Chase, the Dr. kept increasing his medication, which I didn't like but it seemed necessary to keep him on track at school. Ash stayed on the lowest dose possible and was doing well.

Then Kolton started school. We knew he was quirky as we called him but school really emphasized his differences. He had a major health issue at 3 and was hospitalized for over a month and had 3 operations. For a kid who would not take Tylenol or wear a band aid, this was a major trauma, so we put his differences down to this experience. We got through JK and SK then grade 1 happened. Going to school everyday seemed to overwhelm him and he did not like all the distractions in his class. He would actually ask to go work at the office so he could focus. So we took him to the Dr. to see what the issue was. The pediatrician jumped right to ADHD and prescribed medication. This didn't seem right to me since I already had a ADHD and they were very different kids. Our family Dr. who knows Kolton well as she is at our house weekly to scrapbook and his teacher both came to me and suggested Asperger's. So I started my research and Asperger's seemed to make way more sense than ADHD. After extensive (and expensive) testing it was confirmed that Kolton did have Asperger's.

With this third diagnosis I really started questioning what the heck was going on in our family!?! At the same time all this was happening we began to really worry about Chase because while he wasn't getting in trouble at school and he was getting his school work done he had retreated into himself. There was a body moving around the house but there was no life in that body, there was literally a shell! So I started intensive research and made some changes that had a huge impact on each of our kids and on us!!

More tomorrow on what I found and what I tried.