Friday, April 30, 2010

Joey's 2nd EEG today

Children in the grip of Autism

Clip of the day:

Excerpt from story:

But, as many experts point out, autism is not simply "quirkiness" or an unusual personality trait, but a serious disorder capable of destroying families and children's futures. Like others with the condition, Adam's progress has been hard-won.

His struggles are increasingly shared by many across the United States as rates of autism continue to skyrocket. Some experts estimate that as many as 1 in 166 children born today will be diagnosed with an autistic disorder. Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability in children after mental retardation.

While the causes for the dramatic rise in cases over the past decade are the subject of much debate, one thing is certain: early diagnosis is crucial. By being aware of key symptoms to watch for, parents can help spot the disorder and, if necessary, ensure their child begins treatment.

“One of the factors in a good [autism] prognosis is early intervention,” says Dr. Sally Ozonoff, associate professor of psychiatry at the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis. “It’s been shown pretty clearly that starting an intervention at age 3 is better than 5, or starting intervention at 2 or potentially even earlier than that is better.”

But while most experts agree that beginning treatment for autism at an early age is important, the process of diagnosing children can be fraught with difficulty and makes the goal of early treatment sometimes easier said than done.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lincoln-Sudbury School Murder Trial Headed To Jury

It will be interesting to see the verdict of this case because it will set a precedent for murder trials with Autism as a factor.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

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Joey's Hope...Center?

Watching The Doctors the other day and learning about Stephanie's Day, founded by a father of a girl with Autism. It is not a center but a place for resources. They put on resource fairs and provide a fun day for children with Autism.

I've been thinking of what I could do in the future. I've long complained that there are no resources on the west side of Phoenix. I work for the farthest west center that provides behavioral therapy and they are located in central Phoenix!

Maybe I could open a center where parents can get therapy for less than $50-100 an hour, which is the going rate. Maybe I could start a foundation that provides the therapy for free, through donations, for families in need. Maybe it could be a center where kids can play and have social interaction without pressure.

I don't's just a of the many that swirl around my head on a day-to-day basis.

I entered this 2nd Master's program with the intention of helping families who can't afford behavioral therapy and that will always be my goal.

I like working for BISTA and hope to do a lot more with them once I get my BCBA. Maybe I can somehow tie in the two?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Autism on The Doctors today

I wanted to watch this show because Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh (PhD, BCBA-D), founder of CARD, was going to be on. I didn't realize how important this woman was until this week with this show and also getting the Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism book and seeing a chapter written by her (and one of my ABA professors from ASU).

Here are some notes from the show:

-The statistics now say 1 in 100 children are on the Spectrum. That comes out to 13 million families.

-Spectrum goes like this: *Typical//Asperger's//PDD-NOS//Autism*

-A functional MRI will show the difference between a typical brain and an autistic brain. The autistic brain has no function in the Amygdala, which is linked to emotions and agression.

-American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an 18 month and 24 month screen for Autism.

-Early intervention counts. The earlier the better!!

-Research shows progress with social interaction can be made with early intervention (5 year study at University of WA). Treatments can and should begin at 18 months of age.

-"Brains can heal" with aggressive treatment."

-6 warning signs: 1) little or no eye contact; 2) no smiling back or playing peek-a-boo; 3) delayed speech, no responding to name; 4) no pretend play; 5) don't point to things they want; and 6) regression.

-Trust your gut!!!

-For your insurance to cover it, it must be "evidence-based" therapy, like ABA. Currently, 17 states are offering insurance coverage.

-Organizations featured: HollyRod Foundation (offers funding for services) and Stephanie's Day (offers services from respite to legal advocates).

-The average family spends $50k a year for Autism services.

-ABA is the most common type of Autism therapy.

-Also talked about music therapy, equestrian therapy, hyperbaric chambers.

-Dr. Granpeesheh, "ABA works." Also, dietary change, medical, sensory integration all work in combination with each other.

-It's important to grieve. Don't feel alone.

-IPhone app for Autistic kids: Proloquo2go, helps kids communicate.

-Brain scans are being used to diagnose Autism. It's called magnetoencepholography(MEG).

-There is potential for a blood test to test for Autism in the future.

-Multiple studies show a common genetic abnormality; the gene identified affects the ability for nerve cells to communicate with each other.

-Books recommended; "Not My Boy," by Rodney Peete; "My Brother Charlie," Ryan Peete; "The Everyday Advocate," Areva Martin. Plus, check out the CDC's "Learn the Signs: Act Early."

-Don't be afraid to ask for a 2nd opinion or to ask to see a specialist AND always be an advocate for your child!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism Book

I just received this information in an email. This book sounds great and is under $13 on

Here is the email:

Has anyone read or checked out this book? The list of contributors is amazing (including Jim Adams) and it is less than $13. Almost seems too good to be true. Here is the contributor list:

Dr. James Adams on chelation
Dr. Jeffrey Becker on vision therapy
Dr. Marvin Boris on allergies
Dr. Charles Chapple on CST
Ms. Judy Chinitz on parasites
Ms. Jenifer Clark on ABA and the future
Ms. Meghan Collins on physical therapy
Ms. Dorinne Davis on sound therapies
Dr. Michael Elice on IVIG and PPAR agonists
Dr. Alessio Fasano on probiotics
Dr. Mark Freilich on psychopharmacology
Dr. Richard E. Frye on mitochondrial dysfunction and AEDs
Dr. Michael Goldberg on neuroimmune dysfunction
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh on CARD
Dr. Lester Grinspoon on marijuana
Dr. D. Grodberg, Dr. A. Kolevzon, & Dr. J. Buxbaum on the Seaver Autism Center
Ms. Valerie Herskowitz on technology
Dr. Devin Houston on enzymes
Ms. Cindy Griffin and Ms. Lindyl Lanham on homeopathy
Dr. James E. Jan on melatonin
Mr. Markus Jarrow on OT/SIT
Dr. Betty Jarusiewicz on neurofeedback
Mr. Raun Kaufman on Son-Rise
Dr. Arthur Krigsman on GI disease
Ms. Mariah LeFeber on dance/movement
Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless on LDN
Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona on traditional healing and antifungals
Dr. Frank Morales on stem cells
Dr. James Neubrander on MB12 and HBOT
Ms. Lavinia Pereira and Ms. Michelle Solomon on speech
Dr. Sally Rogers on the Denver Model
Dr. Harry Schneider on restoring language
Ms. Karyn Seroussi & Lisa S. Lewis, PhD, on diets
Dr. Louisa Silva on massage
Dr. Fred Starr on Respen-A
Dr. Theoharis Theoharides on novel therapies
Dr. Lauren Tobing-Puente on parenting
Dr. Gil Tippy on DIR/Floortime
Ms. Ginny Van Rie & Dr. Juane Heflin on sensory therapy
Dr. Amy Yasko on nutrigenomics

Here is the link for the book:

Monday, April 12, 2010

6 month visit to Melmed: a day we've been waiting for!

This is my FB status right now:

Michelle Hogan is happy to report that Joey has an above average IQ, has tested and is ready for Kindergarten and may lose his diagnosis in the next year!

More to come....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fitting in

I worry so much about my son fitting in. I know all parents do but Autism adds a whole new barrier to a child fitting in with friends.

It hit me today just how much my son is loved in his classroom. He has really taken a liking to a little girl named Natalie. It's funny how her mom asked me one day if Joey was Italian. They are Italian and Natalie's dad told her to stick with Joey. I think she is taking his advice:) My son looks for her when we arrive at school and then insists on play time with her after school. I LOVE this!!!

Also, today, Matthew's mom told me a funny story. Matthew came in with the same super cute Lego Batman shirt that Joey's Neema bought him a few weeks ago. Matthew's mom told me that he was so excited when his Grandma got him the same shirt and said on the day he wore it, "I hope Joey is at school so he can see I got the same shirt as him." Joey is important to his friends. I love that!

I don't know what the future holds but I hope that his friends stay with him through school and grow up accepting each other. This way, they might always have each other's backs when they get older.

TLC needs new programming!

See...I'm not the only one confused!

Please join my group, TLC Needs To Do A Reality Show About Autism, on Facebook.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2nd ~ Autism Awareness Day

(My status on FB).

It is officially Autism Awareness Day. Please take a moment to think about the people you love who are affected by Autism. And if you are lucky enough to not have Autism affect your life, be grateful, look at your children and love them, and realize that no matter how bad you think you have it or how terrible of a time your kids give you....

...., you and your kids have it easier than someone else. And no matter how crippling you think your child's condition may be, there is someone out there who is worse off than you. Many kids with Autism are non-verbal and cannot do things like dress and go to the bathroom by themselves. They live in fear of their own environment. What would your life be like if your child had Autism?