Wednesday, February 15

MMR vaccine and Autism

I have read many articles about the link between the MMR vaccine and Autism and in my opinion I think there is something to be said for this. DJ has always been a very lively happy healthy little boy who was developing well and reaching all his mile stones on time. As I have said in previous posts he said a few words like "Shoes" and "Dad" but then he seemed to regress and get sick a lot after his MMR vaccine. I am not by all means saying not to have this vaccine but what I would say is do your home work, watch this video Here and make up your own minds. What the DR's don't tell you is you dont need to have the MMR vaccine all at once. You can ask to have them separately. So its not so hard on your babies developing immune systems. 
I don't know if this is what caused DJ's autism or not but there are a lot of things that I personally think point to this. Like all new mums I trusted the system and went along with what the DR's recommended. I just wish I had known about this before. 

Sunday, February 12

Fun and Games

We started speech therapy for DJ a few weeks ago, and its been amazing for me to watch DJ interact with  our speech therapist ( a lovely lady called Amanda) and also to learn how I can help DJ on a daily basis.
I wasn't sure how speech therapy was going to work, especially with a 2 year old, so I was surprised to learn that its actually just a lot of fun and games.
So I thought  I would share some of the things we have been doing and why they are good and will help your child to communicate and eventually speak.

Blowing Bubbles

Amanda starts by showing DJ the bubble bottle and saying "Bubbles" 3 times, she then starts blowing until the bubbles start flowing out. DJ of course goes crazy and tries to pop them. Once all the bubbles have evaporated she waits for DJ to "ask " for more. So in our case DJ would jump up and down and flap his arms, Amanda would then say again " Bubbles" 3 times. Its important to say things 3 times and only 1 or 2 words at a time.  By the 5th time DJ was actually pursing his lips together and blowing to get Amanda to do it again. Each time she repeated the words "Bubbles" (after week 2 of 2 sessions a week DJ was starting to make the Bu Bu Bu sounds which is so encouraging) Also what is important is to know when something is going to end,as with all autistic  children DJ don't know when to stop. He would literally want you to keep going all night. So to stop repetitive behavior its important to but a time limit on things. After about 10 min we would count back saying "Ok 3 more times, 2 more times" and then finally" 1 more time" and say bye bye to that game / toy. Of course this is never easy with any child. Expect a few tears but have the next game ready to play.

Building Blocks

Building a tower is meant to help children with coordination and its oh so fun to knock down after counting to 3.
DJ loves building blocks up and then knocking them down again. We count as we stack them up and its a great way to interact with them, and to play along side them. I put the first one down DJ puts the next one down and so forth.

Singing Songs

Singing nursery rhymes that end in something fun are always a winner. Such as
" Zoom Zoom Zoom, were going to the Moom, Zoom Zoom Zoom, were going to go soon, 5,4,3,2,1, BLAST OFF " to which point you throw them in the air. ( I do this on my back with DJ on my legs like super man as he is a very heavy toddler now)
You pause after you have down the count down to give your child a chance to say blast off , or motion for you to throw them in the air. DJ just squeals but this is good enough for me, were getting there

Messy Play

Any messy play is great. DJ has a problem with getting his hands dirty, he doesn't like the feel of things. So getting him to play with sand or water or even dry rice in a pan is great. If you put an object that they really like, for DJ its his toy cars, in the sand or water or in the pan full of rice. It will encourage them to put there hands in to get out there favorite toy.

These are just some of games that work for DJ and I learning more every day so will post some more games when I learn them ;-)


Let them Eat Cake (If its gluten free of course)

It has been almost a month since DJ was diagnosed with mild autism. In a bid to do what ever I could do to help him, I decided to change his diet and take him off Gluten, wheat and dairy. While there is no scientific proof to date that there is link between diet and autism I thought there was no harm in trying and I would document his behavior.

Week One.
Maybe its in my mind but I am sure I can see a difference in DJ this week. He seems calmer and a lot less agitated. He is sleeping better and seems to be listening a little more. Finding it difficult to find things with out Gluten in it though. This makes meal planning a little harder.

Week Two.
I found out that Asda has a whole section on gluten and wheat free products including things like stock cubes , soya sauce, flour baking powder you name it they have it. Making my life a lot easier. The whole family is now on a wheat and gluten free diet, and we are really enjoying it. Pasta Tastes just the same, the bread just tastes a little lighter, and I am less bloated. Bonus!
I am defiantly seeing a change in DJ. Lots of eye contact, and babbling.  Started speech therapy this week as well and he started to mimic the therapists actions. When I was blowing bubbles he would come up and mimic me blowing so I would do it again. Close family are also commenting on how DJ seems calmer and seems to be concentrating more.

Week Three.
Went to Paris this week and although I tried to keep him on his diet we slipped slightly. How could we go to Paris and not indulge in some French Baguette and croissants? I didn't think it would effect him that much. However 24 hrs later he was back to his old ways, not listening, seemed to be back in to his own little world again. Not babbling as much, not trying to talk just making a whine like sound and dragging us to where he wanted to go, instead of pointing and trying to tell is what he wanted. If I was skeptical before about the diet, I am now convinced it is having some form of positive effect.  While I know the diet alone is not going to just "cure" my child,  I do believe it is helping him concentrate and to be less distracted, there for helping him to learn to speak.

Its DJ birthday next week so I have no stocked up on all the Gluten and Wheat free goodies for his party next Saturday. I even have a my gluten and wheat free chocolate cake mix ready to make.


Thursday, February 9

J'Adore Paris

We have just returned from a much needed trip to Paris. My favorite city of all time. Full of charm, romance and mystic. Even though the temperature never made it above -1 and we wore practically all the clothes we bought all in one go, we still couldn't wipe the smiles (semi frozen) off our faces..
                                                        First Breakfast in Paris
                                                      DJ feeding the birds
                                                             The Gang

                                          Lock Bridge, lock in your love and throw away the keys.
                                                    Finding a babysitter

                                                            Grown ups night out
                                                     Sleepy after a long weekend away



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