Monday, August 30, 2010

Solving Sensory Deficits

Movement disorders, suit therapy and intensive integrated programs

By Therapies 4 Kids

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have significant problems related to sensory processing and sensori-motor deficits, even when their primary diagnosis is not sensory integration dysfunction (SID). Children with SID have difficulty registering or organizing and using the sensory information from their body and from the environment. When this process is disordered, problems in learning, development or behavior may become evident. Frequently, they show motor impairments, including poor muscle contraction around joints, low muscle tone, and decreased balance and equilibrium skills. Children with sensori-motor dysfunction typically have problems in accurately producing a movement or controlling the execution of a movement. Sensory processing, motor planning and motor performance delays are seen in young children with SID and ASD.

Rehabilitation center Therapies 4 Kids in Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers an intense and complex therapy program adjusted to the needs of particular patients with neurological disorders (e.g., ASD), CP and other neuromuscular disorders. This includes, when appropriate, suit therapy and intensive integrated physical therapy. 

PediaSuit™ therapy has been proposed as an alternative to conventional physiotherapy and is based on a suit originally designed by the Russians for use by cosmonauts in space to minimize the effects of weightlessness. Suit therapy or Dynamic Proprioceptive Correction (DPC), has been popularized as a treatment modality in Poland and the United States, and is focused on improving sensory stimulation and providing patients with the ability to stand and move through suit therapy resistance. This method allows a person to learn movement, standing posture and balance strategies.

PediaSuit™ consists of a vest, shorts, knee pads and specially adapted shoes with hooks and elastic cords that help tell the body how it is supposed to move in space. Therapists use the PediaSuit™ to hold the body in proper physical alignment. During specialized exercises, the therapists adjust the elastic connectors that topographically mirror flexor and extensor muscles, trunk rotators and the lower limbs. Additional attachments correcting the position of the feet, head and other areas of the body have also been designed. A patient, while wearing the suit goes through various exercises including “how to walk.” The suit works as an elastic frame surrounding the body and does not limit the amplitude of movement but adds an additional weight load on it within designed limits.

PediaSuit™ therapy increases proprioceptive awareness and positions the child in a more ideal alignment during various activities. Re-establishing the correct postural alignment plays a crucial role in normalizing muscle tone, sensory and vestibular function. The suit aligns the body as close to normal as possible and the idea is to move body parts against resistance, thus improving muscle strength. An attached series of elastic cords provides compression to the body’s joints and resistance to muscles when movement occurs. Through placement of the elastic cords, selected muscle groups can be exercised as the patient moves limbs, thus, suit therapy is a form of controlled exercise against a resistance. It is also claimed that the suit improves balance and coordination.

Intensive integrated physical therapy programs are customized to fit the needs of each child, with specific functional goals and usually involve a rehabilitation program that includes about 200 minutes of exercise per day for 6 days a week, including 90 to 120 minutes of the suit application. PediaSuit™ therapy is often used as part of a comprehensive program of intensive physiotherapy of five to seven hours a day for four weeks (UCP, 2003). It combines the best elements of various techniques and methods, and has a sound rationale based on physiology of exercises. It is important to note that use of the suit is only one component of an overall approach. Parental involvement is highly encouraged and parents are often part of the treatment program. It needs to be mentioned, however, that a true intensive therapy program is not merely doing the same exercise over and over again, but rather is a structured approach to physical activity with consideration to person’s individual cycles of progressive overload, fatigue and recovery. You can find this type of therapy at

The key element in an intensive plan is a strengthening and balance program established for the participant based on his/her individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. Increased strength is reflected in daily functional activities that usually follow or are combined with strengthening exercises. Elimination of pathological reflexes and establishing new, correct, and functional patterns of movements is of significant importance. A typical day of an intensive program may consists of warming up and deep tissue massage, tone reduction and sensory integration techniques, decreasing pathological movement patterns, increasing active proper movement patterns, stretching/strengthening specific muscle groups responsible for functional movement, progressive resistance exercise, balance/coordination and endurance training, and transferring of functional activities and gait training. Thus, intensive therapy is ideal for those looking to accelerate their progress in developmental and functional skills.

The Ability Exercise Unit (AEU) is also sometimes used to assist children in functional activities along with strengthening exercises. The AEU is utilized to isolate and strengthen particular muscles or muscle groups to help gain muscle strength, flexibility, range of motion, as well as functional skills. Children sometimes refer to the AEU as the “spider cage” because of the cords used. The children are hooked up in the unit with a belt around their waist that is attached to the cage using bungee cords. Just enough assistance is given using the bungee cords to allow the child the security and balance needed to practice activities on their own. The cage also allows the child and therapist to work on activities that would normally take two or three therapists to work on, by acting as extra hands. Children are able to accomplish activities in the spider cage that they are not able to do without the assistance of the bungee cords. Depending on the way the bungee cords are placed, one can practice sitting, crawling, standing, strengthening exercises and many other activities.

Children’s physical development and movement is linked closely to other aspects of their daily learning. It is influenced by their growing confidence and enjoyment of physical play, by their increasing ability to control their own bodies through movement and by their physical well-being and strength. As children develop physically, they become faster, stronger, more mobile and more secure of their balance, and they start to use these skills in a wider range of physical activities and also begin to become more aware of themselves as individuals. This developing sense of identity is linked closely to their own self image, self-esteem and confidence. 

For more information please call 954-491-6611 or visit their websites: and

Preventing Autism at Birth (Part 1 of 2)

(For Part 2, See - articles)

By Dr. Phil Bate

How about a really cheap, yet effective way to prevent autism?  Here it is.  Go to a discount store such as Costco or Walmart.  Get a bottle of 500 pills of 1000mg (1 gram).of Vitamin C.  It will take out accumulated mercury in the mother and protect the developing fetus from brain damage causing autism.

Start taking two of those pills at breakfast and two at dinner.  Take any vitamins, supplements or other drugs at lunch, so that any minerals in those aren’t taken out of the body by the vitamin C.  Total cost under $30 for the whole nine months. 

What this actually does is lower the toxic amounts in the mother (and baby) of mercury, lead, etc.  This allows a baby born with low toxins in the liver at birth, allowing the baby’s tiny liver to handle subsequent mercury loading from vaccines, etc.
Vitamin C does many things very well: 

1.  It “chelates” all minerals in the bloodstream combining with them into a harmless form that is water soluble, and this is filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys and out of the body via urine.  That’s important, because in the polluted world, the mother may have a near toxic level of mercury, or lead, or other heavy metal that can destroy brain cells.   She is not likely to even know this unless she has had mineral analysis by blood, urine, or hair.  By taking the amount above, for at least six to nine months, the mother’s toxic level (and the babies) will be lowered sufficiently, so that at birth the baby’s tiny liver will be able to handle additional loads of mercury from vaccines and other toxic sources.

2.  What some may not want you to know is that Vitamin C kills both bacteria and virus cells in the blood.  However to do this the blood has to be saturated long enough to kill all that are present.  With this amount, the blood is saturated twice a day.  This gives fair to good protection against colds and flu’s for the mother and the baby.  This also lessens considerably the possibility of high temperatures that may be dangerous to the fetus.  (In flu season, I up that to 3 grams at both times.)

Many MDs ignorant of the above facts still oppose this usage.  There are many false “horror” stories spread about vitamin C.  These include the following:

                a. Vitamin C causes abortion or miscarriage

F. R. Klenner, MD (( gave high doses (5000 to 10,000 mg/day) to 300 women during pregnancy with no miscarriages.  There has never been a true case of abortion due to any vitamin.

                b. Vitamin C causes Kidney damage and/or kidney stones:

Totally false – in fact, knowledgeable MD’s use vitamin C to help dissolve kidney stones, and to treat kidney and bladder infections. 

                c. Vitamin C is useless against viruses and bacteria:

This is supposedly backed by several “scientific tests”.  In such tests, these “scientists” used only 500 mg of vitamin C (that’s their definition of a megavitamin since the RDA is only 75 mg.  That amount will prevent scurvy, BUT, it isn’t nearly enough for good health!

The major flaw in that research is that 500 mg cannot begin to saturate the bloodstream to kill ALL the virus and bacteria cells.  Both multiply in a binary fashion doubling about every 20 minutes.  If 500 mg of vitamin C only kills half the germ cells present, 20 minutes after the vitamin C is “used up”, the germs are back to where they started and 20 minutes more and they’ve doubled again. 

The results of such a “scientific” test are not true, and their advancers know it, but they keep using such phony research as they will lose a lot of money if the true facts about vitamin C are known.  It’s much cheaper than their drugs, much safer, and at least as effective. 

Here’s a fact that’s true.  The only side effect of overdosing of Vitamin C is diarrhea.   Anyone who tells you different is mistaken, and probably misled by years of misinformation.  For more free information on this visit

Integrated 4 Part Therapy for Autism

There seem to be hundreds of therapies for autism on the market today and “on the market” seems to be the reason – money.  However, there is no real integration of any of these therapies and little information for the “poor” parents with an autistic child (and “poor” is often correct as autism is a “bankrupting disease”).
There are four different basic problems with four different therapies needed to solve them and work towards any cure or improvements.  These are:
  • Mercury and other heavy metal toxins
  • Allergies and food sensitivities
  • Digestive (gut) problems
  • Inadequate nutrition
Dealing with Heavy Metal toxicity.

This is the major problem and few doctors really understand it.   Measuring heavy metal, particularly in an autistic infant or child is no simple matter.  Few MDs are aware that the autistic patients are ALWAYS short in any chelating material in the blood, such as Vitamin C, or glutathione.  (At every autism conference, there are several booths, each extolling a different way to get expensive glutathione into an autistic child.  Vitamin C is cheaper and better.)  

The doctor takes a blood or urine sample, and runs a mineral assay, comparing the heavy metals to the nutritional minerals in the blood stream.  They believe that this is somewhat accurate, BUT IT’S NOT!

Understand that the function of the liver is to filter these toxic minerals out of the blood so that they cannot get to the brain where they can actually kill brain cells.  Once the toxins are filtered into the liver, some are gradually shifted to other safe storage areas of the body.  However, with a large load of mercury, such as multiple vaccines, added to what’s already in the liver, the liver may not be able to handle it all and brain cells are damaged or killed.  (Check the mother’s mercury level as well.)

The liver is under strict instructions NEVER to release these toxins until and unless some chelation material is present in the bloodstream.  A chelating material combines with the heavy metal, and converts it to a harmless chemical that is water soluble, and it can be filtered out via the kidneys and urine pathway. 

So, if blood is measured, what is actually measured is only what the liver can release (if a chelate is present, a short time after the chelate is sensed).  Blood then may contain at that time and for some time after, a reasonable amount of the toxin.  

Urine takes this similar amount out of the body after it has been filtered out by the kidneys.  (Adults may be measured more accurately by hair analysis.)  So, if you followed the above, you can see that with an autistic child it is more than likely any measurement of mercury or lead will show a false negative – that is actually below toxicity.

How can you get a more accurate or at least NOT a false negative reading?  Pre-load your child with Vitamin C.  I recommend vitamin C for several reasons:  It’s cheap; it’s antiviral and antibacterial; and the only bad side effect is diarrhea, even for infants.

Since vitamin C only lasts four hours, I would load up to 1 gram (1000mg) every four hours for every 50 pounds of child.  If, or when, the child gets diarrhea, lower that amount until just below the point where diarrhea starts.  (That’s called “bowel tolerance”). 
If the patient shows toxic for heavy metal, start chelating and continue until tests show a level way below toxic.  This may take up to a year or more.  Remember that this is very slow and safe, and it takes a long time to get all of it out of storage and released into the blood.  I’ve seen continued high heavy metal toxicity 6 months or a year after starting this chelation.

There are many different chelators on the market and some of them are advertised as fast.  I’m not convinced that these really are that fast, or they just get the toxin out of the liver, and leave it in the stored fatty areas.   I still recommend vitamin C as the cheapest and best chelator for the reasons above.  For chelation purposes, I used 10 grams per day in split doses for adults, and modified that for children, often using bowel tolerance as a measure. 

If every pregnant mother were tested for toxic minerals at start of pregnancy and started chelation if toxic, it could easily end this autism “epidemic”.    I believe that if pregnant women took 4 grams of vitamin C and a good multi vitamin all throughout pregnancy, they would have healthy babies!

Here’s some good news – using vitamin C this way, your child or even infant will probably not get colds or flu while on these amounts of vitamin C.  Nor will most pregnant women. (To be continued indepth in next issue of Autism Health and Wellness.)

It Takes A Zoo

By Monica Holloway,
Author of COWBOY & WILLS: A Love Story

The day Wills was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, I took him for a ride to Ben’s Fish Store in Sherman Oaks to buy a large fresh water aquarium. We picked up all the equipment; a ten gallon tank, a filter, multi-colored rocks to spread on the bottom, an imitation pirate ship made out of clay, tacky neon plastic plants, a large rock with a hole in the middle for the fish to swim through, fish food, a small green plastic net, a special siphon with a clear hose on the end to clean the tank and replacement filters. It totaled $462.84—a high price that I could barely afford to squeeze onto my overextended VISA. I didn't care; my 3-year-old had autism.

Wills was elated, I could tell. His eyes were flashing that clear blue twinkle I only saw when he was really happy. Sometimes his eyes were more like mirrors, my image bouncing back at me. Those were the times I was most panicked, watching Wills recede so deep inside himself that I saw no way to grab hold of his tiny hand and pull him back to me.

But when Wills was present, the world tilted toward perfection. It wasn’t that the diagnosis was a shock, we’d dreaded hearing it ever since we first took Wills to see Katherine, a therapist, a year-and-a-half before. He was a clingy, anxious baby who hadn’t hit a single developmental mark. But still, the diagnosis hit with the velocity of a cannonball.

My husband, Michael, and I focused on how smart he was—how advanced. Who’d ever heard of a toddler sitting still for a history lesson in aviation? He had an incredible facility for building things, creating forts, train stations and airports out of stacks of videotape cassettes and blocks.

But when Wills was 3, it was getting harder to ignore his idiosyncrasies. He was extremely sensitive to textures and noises, a flannel shirt gave him “the goose bumps” and bubbles in the bathtub actually “hurt” his skin. If we strolled by someone in the park and they bent down and said, “What a gorgeous little boy,” his thrashing legs and ear-piercing screams sent his admirer bolting in the opposite direction.

As Wills slowly navigated the preschool minefield of noises and messes and crowded hallways, my animal fixation persisted. With every new problem Wills encountered, I bought him a new pet. We now had six hermit crabs and two hamsters. I cruised Petcos the way drunks frequent bars.

In December of Wills’s kindergarten year, we finally went to the pet store to pick up a new golden retriever puppy, whom Wills had already named Cowboy Carol Lawrence.

“Is that your dog?” a woman with perfect blonde highlights and a Birkin bag asked Wills. I instinctively stepped forward to rescue him from the awkwardness of talking to a stranger, but I didn’t need to.

“Yes,” he told her, turning so she could see Cowboy’s face. “She’s a cutie.” “She sure is,” the woman said. Then something happened. It was so small that nobody in the store would have noticed it. But to me, it was extraordinary. This woman, a complete stranger, patted Wills’s shoulder—and he didn’t bristle or bolt out of the front door in an absolute panic. He just stood there, staring at us with a shy, “what do you know?” smile. Somehow, with this tiny heart beating next to his, Wills had stepped a little further into the world.

Cowboy’s arrival signaled the beginning of many firsts for Wills, but none was more significant than allowing other children into his life—opening him up to the possibility of having really close friends.

The transformation began with kids calling to ask Wills if they could come over to play with Cowboy. Knowing they wanted to play with Cowboy made him feel safer, because it was once removed from them wanting to play with him.

When Wills was anxious or sad about something, he confided in Cowboy. Sometimes I’d hear him in his room or the backyard telling Cowboy all of his troubles. There were too many positives to count: Wills, who could barely say hello to a stranger, proudly leading her around the school so the kids could pet her; Wills’s first swim in the pool because Cowboy was swimming; him sleeping in his own bed with Cowboy spooning him; Cowboy sitting outside the restaurant so that Wills could sit inside, tolerating the noise and the people; the red-and-white doggie pajamas we’d ordered her from a catalog that matched Wills’s pajamas exactly.

When Cowboy was 2 years old, she became very ill and developed a terrible rash. Dr. Graham, the vet, called me while I was making French toast for Wills. He’d finally gotten enough information from all the tests he’d been doing on Cowboy to confirm a diagnosis.

“I can definitely tell you that Cowboy has Lupus,” he said.

“Is there a cure for this?”

“No, I’m sorry, Monica,” he said.

The loss would be unthinkable—that Wills would lose his right arm, his silly sister, his trampoline buddy, the one who’d given him the confidence to be seen and heard.

As Wills got braver, Cowboy got weaker. He responded by thinking of ways to make her life easier. Empathy had arrived. Wills built a wooden ramp to help her walk up to the couch or get to his bed. He also cut up old t-shirts to make her a pillow, which he sewed together with large, loopy stitches and stuffed with paper towels.

September came, and Wills started third grade without a fulltime aide. We decided we couldn’t let Cowboy suffer any longer. “We’re going to have to let Cowboy go very soon,” I told him, tucking his hair behind his ears. He hugged her so tightly, that her face was all bunched up.

“Cowboy’s third birthday is almost here,” he cried. He was right, she wouldn’t make it to 3. “What about her birthday cake from Bones Bakery?”  He was hiccupping and crying at the same time.

“It feels horrible, unthinkable, that Cowboy will die,” I said. And then using Katherine’s words, I told him, “It might even feel like you can’t live through it, but you will.” He wailed even louder. I was inadequate. There was nothing I could do to help my son. Nothing I could say to make this any easier. I had run out of words.

My impulse, of course, was to run out and get a new dog right away, but Katherine said that Wills needed time to grieve. So we compromised—two months, at least, before I’d go anywhere near a breeder website or a dog adoption shelter.

Wills was right; there would never be another Cowboy. She was his first love and his first love lost. Heaven knows, she left an indelible mark on all of us. But with that unimaginable loss, came an incalculable lesson: we all have to learn to say goodbye. It doesn’t mean we don’t miss her or that she could ever be replaced—of course, she never could. It means that his new puppy will be the next generation—not the original, but unique just the same—to teach Wills that nothing, not even cancer, can destroy love.

Cowboy & Wills opens the day after Holloway’s adorable three year-old son Wills is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Monica Holloway is the critically acclaimed author of Driving With Dead People, a book that Newsweek called “unforgettable,” Glamour christened “a classic,” and the Washington Post deemed “irresistible.”

Sleep Tight - One mother’s solution to keep night-wandering children safe in their beds.

All parents harbor fears that something might happen to their child at night, as the rest of the family lies sleeping. But for parents of special needs children who wander, that fear is chillingly real.

Consider single dad John. He lives in Long Island, New York on the water. Fearing the boy would wander outside at night and in to one of the local canals, John hadn't kept his son overnight for over a year and a half; heartbreaking. Across the country in Texas, Heidi faced her worst fear late one night when a neighbor woke her up, holding on to her 10 year old son, Luke. “Luke had walked into his house, through their back door, went up stairs, and got in their bed,” she said. It was the first time she learned Luke could unlock doors…and walk nearly eight blocks before entering a near-stranger’s home.

Sleeping Safe

Rose Morris shares the same fears as John and Heidi. Her five-year-old son Abram has wandered at night since he was very small. Even if he couldn’t get out of the house, Rose feared Abram would hurt himself when he got out of his room at night. The Morris family never slept well, always on guard.

Doctors recommended medication, while other implied that poor parenting skills were to blame! Rose, a resourceful stay-at-home-mom, came up with a solution.

“Looking for another way, I gathered canvas, polyester netting, sturdy metal tubing and zippers and set to work creating an enclosure for Abram’s bed,” she says. Her creation looks like a camping tent that fully encloses a mattress. It’s a permanent fixture in Abram’s room, but also folds down and can be transported with an air mattress when the family travels. “At night, we lay in bed together, read a story, then I zip Abram in and we rest peacefully knowing that he’ll still be in bed in the morning.”

The effects of Abram’s new bed were dramatic. Rose, her husband Jeff (who travels frequently for work), and her two other children are able to sleep soundly. Abram has benefited immensely as well. A good night’s sleep helps him tackle 30 hours per week of ABA style therapy as well as 12 hours per week in both typical and special needs school settings. "This bed does more than just physically enclose Abram so he can’t get out; it acts as his personal boundary," says Rose. "It calms his sensory needs by reducing all the massive amounts of external stimuli in his room. He is eager to climb in when it's time to sleep--even he understands how much this bed helps him!"

Active in her local community, Rose knew her solution could offer similar improvements to other families with night-wandering kids. So she set out to offer her bed, which she calls “The Safety Sleeper,” to others who benefit from it. Rose set up a non-profit organization to distribute the Safety Sleeper. At, she details how the bed works, and offers links to other resources related to many special needs issues. Rose has also been active in helping families find ways to pay for the bed, which retails for $1549.99. Rose provides a number of resources, such as how to file for Medicaid help, connections to regional charities that have been helpful to families, and information about grant funds that help customers offset the costs.


John finds the Safety Sleeper solves his concerns about his child’s safety at night. For John, the bed travels with his son when he comes to visit. John loved the bed so much and how it enhanced his life with his son, he ordered a bed to stay at his home. John received his own bed in October 2009, the father and son have finally been able to spend weekends and even holidays together. “We wake up, and have breakfast together,” says John. “I feel it’s given my son back to me.”

“You just can’t imagine the fear that goes with having a night wandering child," says Rose. "My son would throw himself into the walls to stimulate himself and help keep himself awake. He easily could have severely hurt himself, especially if he collided with a window. For customers like Heidi, they’ve worried for a full decade! I value the peace of mind The Safety Sleeper offers my family, and I am so grateful to offer that same security to other families. I’m looking forward to helping many kids and their parents enjoy happier mornings after a good night’s sleep in the Safety Sleeper!”

For more information on the Safety sleeper, log on to Or, contact Rose Morris directly at or 412/580-6537.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bringing Art Therapy to Special Teens

A new organization is addressing the need of young adults with autism to develop life skills, social skills and on-premise job training, which will be catered to the individual level of the adult’s skills. 

Studies have shown more than 44% of mothers and 28% of fathers of children with autism have been professionally diagnosed with depression, and need the help, encouragement and willpower to prevail and see the brighter side of the picture. 

Art Possibilities curriculum includes:

·         Drawing
·         Painting
·         Cartoon making as behavior modification methods
·         Comic strips
·         Photography
·         Illustration for children's books
·         Humorous characters
·         Techniques for murals
·         Mixed media
·         T-shirt painting
·         Greeting cards
·         Computer animation
·         Documentary and Film making
·         Art shows

Founder Mayra Ron Talks About Her Experiences With Art Therapy:

Twenty-two years ago, when my son was diagnosed with autism, not much was known about his prognosis. Such was the state of affairs at that time that I was recommended to institutionalize him. I was also told that he "may never read, never potty train, never speak." Despite the odds, he speaks, writes, reads and was potty trained both day and night well before regular kids - at the age of two. Yet, that was many years ago when one in 10,000 were diagnosed with this ailment.

Today, autism is rampant. One in every 150 children has some sort of this disability, yet all the resources and grants go to the small children -- those who have the chance for early intervention, in the hopes that they may be cured. Millions go into new studies, new diets, new advances to discover the why - treat and eliminate it. And that's wonderful.

Art Possibilities addresses another matter... one that's been locked in the annals of our attics ~ what to do with the millions who, like my son, were diagnosed 22 years ago? Those that did not incur in the privilege of all these medical advances and are now in 'nowhere land.' With a special diploma to their credit, they have truthfully nowhere to go. A job opportunity seems obscure since most do not understand the concept of time nor money, cannot take breaks during work hours for they do not comprehend an activity can be interrupted before it's finished.

They do not fit into a Day Training Facility where many Down Syndrome adults feel comfortable, since they do possess other abilities and are bored there, thus causing behavior problems or isolating themselves. It seems society has forgotten them. And that's where the dream of Art Possibilities was born. I call it a dream for still, after so many years that this malady has existed, no provision has been made for those who aren't healed from autism when they attain adult age and are out of our school system.

There is no "right place" for those who advance wonderfully, as my son, yet cannot blend as "normal" into society. What to do with those thousands? Do we shut our eyes to them, as has been done, and allow them to stay at home watching TV all day, accompanying their parents everywhere, forcing one of the couples to retire from their day job to keep them company, or stick them in a Day Training Center that's honestly not appropriate for them? So these older counterparts are the forgotten ones; the reason why I wrote my first book, "Can You See Me?" They are the ignored ones. Those this world has decided not to see.

So, I've chosen, just like many other parents with me who have adults like my son, to scream and ask, "What are we to do with these? ... Do they not deserve to live a fulfilled life? Why must they be hidden away and why must it be all our responsibility? Why did all those agencies that promised us a smooth transition from high school to adult life not tell us the truth: we do not have a place for them."

If you read my son's biography, you'll notice he didn't paint until he was 17. He has no apparent ability that caused the world to notice him; no strength. He liked super heroes and one day, I found out he liked to draw them - very childish drawings, but he liked it!! He liked something! He could actually spend hours drawing very awkwardly, but through repetition, heartfelt teachers and 10 years later, he can draw and paint.

No, as I say in his biography, he's not a Picasso, but so what? He's Christian - that's his name and he's found a place in this world. And that's what Art Possibilities' mission is: to find a place where our adults can transition. Not an hour and a half art class, but a place where they stay all day. Clean, well arranged, with art teachers and trained professionals, where through vision, behavior and speech therapy, fine motor exercises, repetition of lines, eyes, faces - they learn to express themselves while utilizing the right side of the brain - the non-verbal side... the neglected area the school system, with its left-side and analytical teaching, pounded on them for years.

As a non-profit organization, Art Possibilities helps address the need for adults and teenagers (children 10 years and up) with autism to develop life skills, social skills and on-premise job training, which will be catered to the individual level of the adult’s skills.

Art Possibilities’ website is  They can be contacted at 954-682-3264 or

Nut Butters As a Health Food

Futters Nut Butters brings the largest variety of pure natural and organic nut butters to the market. Armed with a nutrition background and a buyer of organic foods for 32 years, the president’s mission is to offer vegan, gluten free, peanut free and dairy free nut butters and other products to the public. From the start, the company was not set up as another peanut butter company. All the nut butters are in glass jars so there is no leaching of plastic with it’s harmful and toxic chemicals. The emphasis is on healthy products, taste and freshness foremost.

Buying from the orchards and suppliers working directly with the farms makes that possible. The nuts come in and leave almost as fast- freshly made to order. Nothing sits in warehouses or distributors’ trucks. The large variety of nut and seed butters helps those in needs of rotation of foods.  A good portion of the customers are food challenged in many ways. The purity and freshness targets those wanting an unusually high amount of vitamins and minerals in one food. The basic nut and seed butters have nothing but the nut or seed in them. There are no sugars, salts, preservatives etc. The gourmet offerings such as chocolate walnut has dark chocolate and walnuts. That’s it. Cherry almond has a cherry flavor oil and almonds. That’s it. They have the least amount of ingredients that are needed for their superior taste.

The fats are mostly monounsaturated, so the benefits for the brain and heart are paramount. Even the fats in the macadamia butter help metabolize fats in the body. The proteins are sizable for the amounts per serving. Pumpkin Seed butter has 10 grams per 32g serving. All the carbs are low, and there’s plenty of good fiber. This is a food endorsed by medical professionals for optimal health.

Futters Nut Butters’ basic varieties include such wonderful nut butters like almond and hazelnut which are high in calcium and magnesium. The hazelnuts have a very rich taste and aroma and are grown from beautiful trees in Oregon. The raw pecan butter is naturally sweet with an almost maple essence. Pecans are high in antioxidants, which few know because berries get so much of that attention. Brazil nut butter is high in selenium and zinc with an almost tropical flavor. They are actually a seed, grown wild in the Amazon rainforest from extremely tall trees that can be up to 1000 years old. Futters nut butters are ground at room temperature so the raw versions are still raw, fitting into raw foodists’ diets as well. There is minimal processing to keep the integrity of the nuts. Futters Nut Butters is certified kosher and organic. Both with certifiers of  social conscience and responsibility.

Futters has it’s gourmet line that includes Cinnful Pecan. With a slight sweetness to it with only 1 gram of added sugar, it’s a combination of cinnamon and allspice that enhances fruit like sliced apples to waffles, hot cereal, pancakes, toast and more. All the chocolate versions have a high quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content that adds antioxidants/flavonoids helping to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and reduce blood clotting. It also contains resveratrol which is a cancer fighting plant phenol and heart healthy commonly found in wine. The taste is divine and literally can be eaten on a spoon straight from the jar by itself. The chocolate pecan tastes like a chocolate “turtle™” with none of the corn syrup or milk products that the candy is made with. There are chocolate, almond and hazelnut versions as well.

Much information is on the website, Recipes simple and complex using the nut butters as substitutes or enhancements of other foods can be found there. Some are savory such as the stuffed mushrooms with pistachio butter. Some sweet like the brownie recipe that uses the nut butters as a replacement for real fat/butters with their smooth textures instead of chopped nuts.

Easy Wrap that’s gluten free. Futters walnut, pumpkin seed or almond butter spread on a lettuce leaf (or any large green of choice), topped with shredded carrots, sprouts and sliced cucumbers. A bit of salad dressing will enhance the veggies. Roll up and see what a familiar taste this is. If you’ve ever had a salad with a few nuts or seeds on top, this is it. Call 877-772-2155 with questions, checkout our ad for an interesting offer, look us up at

Domata Living Flour

Domata Living Flour™ was developed in the year 2006. We were directed to do something about the high cost of gluten free foods. We chose All-Purpose Flour with the commitment to produce a “Cup for Cup” flour exchange with Wheat, Barley, and Rye flours that would make any recipe a Gluten Free recipe. We were very blessed and lead to create a masterful blend of Rice, Corn, and Tapioca flours.  In the end, our flour is a direct exchange with wheat flour.

Today we are the low cost producer and henceforth the low cost seller of Gluten Free & Casein Free All-Purpose Flour in the world. Our testimonials affirm our outstanding performance and quality. Select “Further Processers” produce Pizza, Pasta, Pretzels, Boneless Chicken Bones, Cookies and the like.
We are the number #1 provider of Gluten Free Pizza Shells in America, proving the flour to produce custom pizza for chains like Godfather’s Pizza and select retail stores like Sam’s Club.

Domata and the Autism/Special Needs Community

We believe and understand that the controversy between autism and its connection with Gluten Sensitivities is real and does exist in some children with autism.

We also do understand one thing for sure; those families who are customers and are facing Autistic challenges everyday are experiencing reductions in autistic characteristics in their children, because of putting them on gluten free diets. Warm chocolate chips arriving home after school are a super treat for them.

Our goal is to be there for them with an affordable Gluten Free product for these families.

Domata Special Offer

Domata (Ancient Greek meaning: Gift of God) wants to suggest that local autism support groups join forces in a united front when purchasing our Gluten Free Flours & Mixes. Even an order of 250 lbs allows us to ship LTL (Less then a Truckload) and gives you the opportunity to buy at wholesale pricing. You can even do this by partnering with local organizations. This represents significant savings and a blessing during these difficult economic times. Please call for wholesale pricing at 417-654-4010 or review our website at

Domata New Developments

Our Marketing approach is very simple; we point all of our efforts in developing new Gluten Free Foods for our Children. Gluten Free Pizza, Pasta, Boneless Chicken strips, Pretzels, Cookies (including chocolate cookies) and Cake Mix already exist. Corn Dogs, & wonderful Multi-Grain bread & rolls are soon for production.

Being of service to you and building long lasting brand loyalty is our utmost desire!

GF/CF Recipes

Picnics on the gf/cf diet

By Michele Weppner

It’s the first day of Spring 2010 and it is a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and with a slight breeze, oh how the snowbirds are jealous.

I’m sitting outside watching my son have his horse therapy session and watching the Goodyear Blimp land. It’s a great afternoon. The only thing missing is a great picnic. Spring is about being outside and having picnics and BBQ’s with your family and friends and long days at the beach, even on the GF/CF diet!

My family loves pasta salads, vegetable salads, toss salads and fresh fruit (lots of fresh fruit)! Lots of vibrant colors of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, kiwi, grapes (red or green), oranges and apples just to name a few or whatever you like. If your child doesn’t like fruit try one thing first, he/she will find what he/she likes I promise. My kids love fruit and ask for it everyday. My son loves to open the fridge and grab a handful of fruit.

®Black Bean and Corn Salad

You can buy dry beans and cook as directed or you can buy organic canned beans.

* 2 cans of black beans drained
* 2 cans of corn drained
* Combine them together
* 1 jalapeño cut in half seeded and diced
* ¼ cup diced red onion
* ¼ cup of fresh chopped cilantro
* 1 lime cut in half and juiced
* Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients. Toss and serve.

Enjoy a great colorful and tasteful salad made simple!

® Fresh Steamed Asparagus

* 1 Package of asparagus, washed with stems cut off

* Steam the asparagus in ½ cup of water until tender and then drain.
* Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

My son loves asparagus and he likes to twiddle them with his fingers because he is very sensory.

®Pasta Salad with Fresh Veggies

Yes Gluten free pasta is available at your local health food store. Here are some brand name products to look for

* DeBoles
* Lundberg
* Mrs. Leepers
* Tinkyada Pasta Joy Ready (That’s my favorite brand because I love the different shapes they offer!)

* Cook pasta as directed and then set aside.
* Add ¼ - ½ cup of dried red onion
* 1 cup of broccoli steamed or raw
* 1cup of shredded carrots
* 6-8 Asparagus steamed. Cut in half
* ½ cup of grape or cherry tomatoes cut in ½ or whole
* ¼ cup of chopped black or green olives
* Add to pasta

For the dressing whisk the following ingredients together:

* 1 lemon
* ½ cup of olive oil
* Salt and pepper
* Clove of garlic minced
* Fresh herbs – Basil, Chives, Oregano, Cilantro (whatever you like) Dry herbs are ok but the fresh herbs just have more flavor.

®Chicken Drumsticks

What’s a picnic without drumsticks?

You can either buy drumsticks already made, or if your child is like mine and is allergic to soy as well as gluten and casein, you always have to make them fresh. It’s not hard to do.

At your local grocer, buy a family pack of fresh drumsticks (legs), usually 12-14 in the package. It is important to read the labels because even though it says fresh they may contain unwanted preservatives.

* Rinse the drumsticks and pat dry
* Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper
* Dredge them in either: G/F crushed potato chips or crushed Envivo Kids Gorilla Munch.
* Sauté in hot olive oil and garlic 7-8 minutes on both sides
* Transfer to hot oven for an additional 20 minutes

They can be served either hot or at room temperature. Whatever you decide to take on your picnic, remember GF/CF can be done and can be very tasty.

Like my mother use to say to me - “if you don’t try, you will never know what you like or don’t like”

Have a great spring and enjoy your picnic!


Futter Nut Recipes

Stuffed French Toast

Use nut butter, not cream cheese. Very versatile and great for slowing the carbs in bread from turning to sugars.

Take 2 pieces of bread (multigrain or gluten free), and spread nut butter between the slices like a sandwich. Cut sandwich in half. Put in shallow bowl that has a mixture of 1 beaten egg (or liquid replacement) and an ounce or 2 of water, or milk of choice. (Almond's good).Turn to coat both sides.

Heat oil (olive or grapeseed are good) in frying pan, then put dipped/coated sandwich in. Turn when slightly browned like french toast.

Take out and top with fruit. Good unique combos-Futters Walnut butter inside, topped with bananas (could be fried with a touch of vanilla or rum). Futters Pistachio Butter topped with pears and/or berries (any kind)

Ants on a Log (Fun Food for Kids)

Take any Futters Nut Butter and spread it in a stalk of celery (the log), and top with a few raisins (the ants), or Futters dried cranberries or cherries (red ants). Kids like to make their own.

Good combo-Futters Sunflower Seed butter with Futters raw unsweetened cranberries and coconut.

Call 877-772-2155 with questions, checkout our ad for an interesting offer, look us up at

Gluten Free Creations


Blueberry Shortcake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 7” round pans or 8 muffin pans.

1 cup white rice flour

¼ cup brown rice flour

½ cup tapioca starch

¼ cup sweet rice flour or cornstarch

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup whipping cream or rice milk

2 Tbsp melted butter or margarine

2 Tbsp sugar

Stir together all the dry ingredients

Gently toss in the blueberries until they are lightly covered with flour.

Add the liquid and mix with a fork or your hands until all the ingredients come together.

Pat into prepared pans.

Brush the top(s) with melted butter or margarine, then lightly sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes for muffins or 35 minutes for cakes.

Remove from oven and allow cooling for 5 minutes.

Remove from pan and enjoy warm or wait until cool before wrapping.

Gluten Free Donuts

When was the last time you enjoyed a good donut? For people with celiac disease, those with gluten sensitivity and some children of autism, wheat-laden donuts and most breads and baked goods are not options. For their health, they must follow a strict wheat, barley, rye (and some oats) lifestyle.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance vary widely and range from life debilitating to mild discomfort. Some studies found gluten-free diets are especially beneficial to individuals with auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, candida, migraines, and even fertility problems. In addition, children with autism and attention deficit disorder may experience functional improvement while maintaining a gluten-free diet.

Not that long ago gluten-free items were difficult to find and they tasted more like a box than like food. But those days are rapidly vanishing.

Now you can find gluten-free items on most health food store shelves, in regular stores and in specialty gluten-free bakery shops that ship across the country, like Gluten-Free Creations Bakery in Phoenix.

Gluten-Free Creations Bakery is one of the few certified gluten-free facilities ( that also caters to people with other food allergens like dairy, casein, soy, nuts, peanuts, fish or shellfish.

Their lineup of fresh baked items includes donuts, bagels, cookies, cakes, breads, baguettes, éclairs, pot pies, pizza crust and even a gluten-free casein-free ‘Winkie’ – their popular version of Twinkies©. In addition to their 150 ‘standard items,’ they create seasonal wonders like stuffings, decorated cookies, and other special occasion tasty sensations.

LynnRae and Vern, owners of Gluten-Free Creations Bakery have introduced nutrition, quality and variety with their Gluten Free Creations Bakery. Most gluten-free baked items are void of nutrition.

“That’s why we add the important B vitamins, iron and folic acid as an ingredient in all our baked goods.” says LynnRae. They also add whole grains like teff, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum and bean flours to many of their breads. “We like to keep pushing the envelope further because our customers deserve nutrition along with flavor in their safe gluten-free foods.”

As a diagnosed celiac, LynnRae knows first hand the challenges of living the gluten-free life. After her diagnosis over 10 years ago, she helped form support groups, wrote three books on the gluten-free lifestyle, developed gluten-free recipes for food manufacturers, launched a cooking school and founded the Gluten-Free Creations Bakery.

“Some of my greatest joy is hearing mother’s talk about their child’s success while on a gluten-free diet. Usually it is with a tear in their eye that they talk about how their child went from non-verbal to being able to say Mama.” Of course not all children respond as favorably, but I know most parents are grateful for the opportunity to easily try the diet for their children. We help make that happen.

Most people that frequent their bakery, or other health food stores, have more than one food issue. Frequently they cannot have cow dairy, are allergic to soy or cannot eat peanuts. Perhaps one out of 5 people come into the bakery saying being gluten-free is their only dietary restriction. “When they say all they need to be is gluten-free, I tell them how lucky they are. Enjoy a donut. It’s free of wheat, wheat, dairy, corn, soy, yeast, nuts or peanuts. It is also low fat.” Once they taste it, the common reply is, “Wow, this tastes good!”

Side Notes:

What exactly is gluten? Gluten is the generic name for the protein component of grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is a binder, helps breads rise, and contributes to the consistency and texture of dough.

LynnRae's quest is simple. She wishes to make life easier and tastier for family, friends, and customers. As author, she wrote, "What? No Wheat? A Lighthearted Approach to Living the Wheat-Free Gluten-Free Life," and "Delicious Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Breads for the Bread Machine and Oven." She also published "Waiter, Is there Wheat in My Soup? The Official Guide to Dining, Shopping and Traveling Gluten-Free and Free-of-Common-Food-Allergens." She is currently in collaboration with a physician's health care consortium, naturopaths, and physical trainers. Shortly, she will be offering her spring cooking classes at her very own Gluten-Free Cooking Club/School of Arizona incorporating gluten-free cooking with ancient and whole grains, such as sorghum, teff, and millet. Information regarding seminars on cooking and baking wheat-free, gluten-free and allergen-free is available on the bakery website

Gluten Free Casein Free Diet Help

Find the information you want, the foods your child will eat and the savings your wallet needs

Although the experts don’t feel there is enough solid evidence that the gluten free casein free (GFCF) diet helps children with Autism, there are a lot of personal anecdotes out there, so more and more parents are thinking it’s worth a try. What has others hesitating, is the cost.

As you may have already noticed, GFCF products can be more expensive than their gluten-full/casein-full counterparts. This is mostly due to the GFCF manufacturers being smaller so they don’t have the volume, and therefore the pricing, that a large mass producer can offer. In addition, a more careful manufacturing process is necessary to avoid cross-contamination, they must test for traces of gluten/casein, and raw ingredients for these foods can be more expensive as suppliers who provide these ingredients must follow the same strict regulations.

That being said, there are several tips, tricks and resources for parents on a budget:

· Local and online support groups

· Local food co-op

· Join email lists of manufacturers and retailers you frequent, often they will send coupons and special offers.

· Check the circulars at your local health food store to see what’s on special.

· Make friends with the owner and/or staff of your local independent natural foods store.

· Read online reviews of products you’re considering before heading out to shop – if the general consensus of reviewers says the product is good, your child’s chances of liking it are higher.

· Some products come with a money back guarantee – you may be able to return the product to the store for a full refund if your child won’t eat it.

· Unprocessed meats, fruits and vegetables are naturally GFCF.

· Blogs and websites with some great tips including ways to find coupons and free samples

Recommended GFCF Blogs

Recommended Websites

Find a local Autism Society chapter to join for support, and many times GFCF manufacturers will send samples for the meetings.

If you don’t live in an area with an Autism Society chapter or GFCF support group, join an online support group like GFCF Kids.

This is great for basic info on the GFCF diet. They also have some really nice success stories to read from other parents.

TACA is an excellent resource with lots of tips on saving money, and just about anything you’d want to know about the GFCF diet. They have even figured out how a family of 4 could afford to follow the GFCF diet on food stamps, complete with meal plans and shopping list.

Sign up for their newsletter, tell them your dietary preferences, and they will send you custom newsletters with coupons and special offers plus mail free samples to you, all based on your child’s special dietary needs.

Once you do find a few favorite products that your child will eat, you can buy them by the case at a discount, with free shipping.

Bakery On Main

It all started in 2003 in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Founder Michael Smulders thought that no one should have to suffer because of a food allergy or other special dietary need, and made it his mission to create products that were good for them but taste like they aren’t. Today, their gluten free casein free granola is made in a 34,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Located just a few miles down the road from the original bakery, the plant maintains the small bakery quality by continuing to bake in small batches.

Bakery On Main sends monthly coupons and special offers to members of its Eat Better Live Better club. Learn more at


CALL (860) 895-6622


Teaching Baby to Sign

As if being born with Down syndrome and the complications that go along with that wasn’t enough, adding the diagnosis of autism added another interesting piece of what makes up my boy, Chad, who I fondly refer to as Potts.

I remember 18 years ago this past February when Chad was born and the doctor came into the delivery room to tell me he had Down syndrome as if it were yesterday. I don’t remember any sadness about it, but I do remember telling myself that whatever our lives would be like, we’d have a sense of ‘normal’ even though it would not be the typical ‘normal’ most families enjoy. The fact that he is my only child has shielded me from experiencing what it must be like to raise a child without special needs. In my mind, I think ‘normal’ families just don’t know what they are missing!

I was fortunate to be able to work with therapists that work in children’s rehab when Chad was in kindergarten. After observing other small children coming in for speech, occupational and physical therapy, I saw the importance of taking a more personal role in my son’s development outside of what he was receiving at the school. We had a waiting list for children who were diagnosed with autism and wanted to receive sensory integration therapy.

One of the occupational therapists had a wonderful reputation in the area and her personal waiting list was nearing a year.  

Chad had some signs of autism at that time demonstrated by the spinning of pot lids, glow sticks and his love for the sit and spin. I was able to have him assessed by this very popular occupational therapist, but she found no evidence of autism. It was when my son was a teenager that a doctor made the diagnosis for us.

Chad has very low muscle tone and that made ‘brushing’ impossible to help with his sensory needs. In fact, he was discharged from all disciplines for lack of progress. The one thing he hung onto was his ability to communicate using sign language. His skill to communicate so well was probably one of the reasons his autism diagnosis went unnoticed for as long as it did. And this is where our story really begins.

When Chad was a few months old, I started going to a support group for parents who had their own babies with Down syndrome. The one thing I remember hearing was having a child with special needs would bring out the ‘warrior’ in me. And that it certainly did.

Chad’s first special ed teacher suggested we use sign language for his communication needs. I am a single parent who works full time because it is our only means of support. My time is spread between working full time and managing both medical and educational needs at school.

When was I going to have time to attend a sign language class? I learned that most personal care attendants and paraprofessionals at school had little sign or none at all. My son continued to build his language and I was running out of people that could communicate on his level. I brought in a professional advocate from PACER and a parent advocate to help me battle the school so that they would teach him sign language and provide a format for teaching me as well.

At the end of the year, we were all exhausted and I had an ulcer. But we won! By the time my son finished fourth grade and was ready to leave that school, he had 400 signs. One of his classmates also had autism. By default, that little guy learned to communicate by signing as well.

Every IEP written stressed meeting his communication needs via signing. I learned that using pictures is not a language and if he could use his hands to sign, he should be able to learn the language of sign to express his needs and wants.

In the second grade, my son’s male paraprofessional was arrested for molesting children at a daycare. The fact that our children grow up to be vulnerable adults only fuels my passion to make sure my son can communicate.

Last June I published a book to help parents learn and teach sign language while reading stories to their babies/toddlers. It is the start of a series that will help parents control their child’s communication needs beginning with early childhood by teaching ASL and keeping everyone involved with their child. The book promotes literacy for our children and introduces sign language without watching videos on TV. I am proud to announce the book is a 2010 Mom’s Choice Awards® winner for Education Products category. Check us out at

Nathan’s Voice

Seated in her workshop, Vicki Sotack completes the finishing touches on a special pendant designed for a mother of twins with autism. Keeping two pair of needle nose pliers steady, one in each hand, she closes the final jump ring and exclaims, “There! It’s begun!”. “Didn’t she just finish the piece?” one might wonder. She did, however, when Vicki nears completion of one of her keepsakes, she finishes the piece thinking, or saying aloud, “It’s begun.” In her mind, what has “begun” is the constant expression of support one projects for a loved one when they put on sterling silver awareness jewelry designed by The Hope Chest Keepsake Jewelry, (Vicki’s “labor of love” for the autism community).

As a parent herself of a young child with autism, Vicki had an incredible desire to express HOPE for her own afflicted child in a way that he was certain to understand. Her young son, Nathan, incurred what she believes to have been a vaccine injury and lost his ability to speak entirely. Amazingly, he has proven himself exceptionally bright and quite linguistically inclined, despite having developed autism, immune issues, and a complex seizure disorder. Although Nathan is non-verbal, he has an incredible ability to read, and possibly in more than one language. With this unique ability in mind, she came up with an idea!

An Evolving Idea

With jewelry making as a favorite hobby, Vicki designed an inspirational necklace which included the written word “HOPE” in the center, to signify the ongoing commitment she has to her afflicted child. She thought that a constant visual reminder would reinforce the special message she wished to relay to her son - that she would never give up on him and that she had endless optimism that recovery from autism was possible. Soon, she found herself using the written word in many of her pendant designs to express messages of LOVE, FAITH, or HOPE to her son. Over the course of about a year, Vicki channeled her emotions over the trials and triumphs experienced in confronting Nathan’s autism into her creative outlet of jewelry making. After sharing some of her creations with other “ASD moms”, and at their urging, The Hope Chest Keepsake Jewelry was born.

Idea into Action

Today, Vicki designs what she affectionately coins “Journey Necklaces” in support of those touched by autism, (as well as other hope-inspired collections found on her website at Her “Autism Journey” collection is her largest line and was clearly inspired by her son, Nathan. To further honor him, she often says, “I am his voice. He is my heart.” It is obvious to all whom know her that she truly feels that way, and her dedication to him, and to the autism entire community, is apparent in the efforts she makes on their behalf.

In Her Own Words…
One of the most important things I have learned from my son on our journey through autism is that his autism, though affirmatively present, does not dominate the very core itself of his being. His incredible personality and a wonderful heart define him much more than the affect autism has on “who he is”. Likewise, his autism is not solely the apparent, undeniable, or permanently crippling disability once thought. Instead, it is a complex and unique “shell” of sorts…an oftentimes-puzzling outer layer. Once peeled away, an incredible brilliance shines through…and I am left standing in awe.
Certainly, autism is treatable, and Nathan is living proof of it. His progress toward healing demonstrates that the efforts invested to help him have not been in vain and that overcoming autism is not only a dream, but is his very agenda.
I am confident that God has an incredible plan for our little boy, and for all of those whom accompany our family on this challenging journey. We are committed to the belief that, “Through Him, ALL things are possible”…even recovery. It is because of that belief that we will NEVER give up.
Our family presses on, hand-in-hand with Nathan through the many corridors of autism and we are not alone. Instead, we have the company of a handful of amazingly committed doctors and research scientists, many incredibly dedicated teachers and therapists, and literally countless undefeatable parents of children with autism, just like me.
There is a familiar saying that states,
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Today, like many parents of children with autism, I have on my running shoes. HOPE, I promise you, is forever present.
May God bless each individual with autism, and all of those who love and care for them.
-Vicki K. Sotack, “Nathan’s Voice”
Visit us online at and begin your personal expression of HOPE or “fan us” on Face Book at for all relative “happenings”.

Baby Posh in Aventura

Baby Posh Garage, a new consignment Boutique boasts that moms can now have a POSH baby at GARAGE SALE prices selling New and ‘Pre-Loved’ children’s items at up to 75% off retail!

According to a US consumer expenditure survey, It has been estimated
that a dual parent home, with an average of $65k income will spend
over $249,000 raising a child !

This mommy owned shop demanded relief! Julie Tenenbaum put her $800 bugaboo Stroller on consignment and watched customers fly through the door! Spending zero dollars in Advertising, the word is spreading like the chicken pox!

Mommies on the move, share good baby bargains faster than any tabloid could spread a rumor. Owner, Julie Tenenbaum explains how she spreads the good word mainly through ‘mommy & me’ classes and by consignors themselves. “our consignors are our best partners; Moms drop off their gently used items, most of which still have original store tags on them, and wait to get paid 50% of the selling price—They cant wait for our store to grow, it means dollars in their pockets”!

They have even had several A-list Celebrities visit with the hopes of
avoiding the larger baby stores, and with the hopes of finding unique
gift items! They’ve created baby gift baskets for these special
guests, and have helped organize donation items for their fundraisers!
Aside from the commercial toys, car seats , baby gear & clothes :
Like Boys Prada shoes for only $24.99, Christian Dior Baby clothes
for $16 or strollers starting at $25.

This upscale shop offers local designers and artists a shot at selling
their unique baby goods. High traffic exposure, allows small start ups
in the baby product industry to hit it big, like their latest Organic
line from Venezuela who plants a tree for every item sold!. They have
openly welcomed handmade baby items, like stroller liners, decorated
wipey cases or fancy hair clips and helped them to expand.

“The uniqueness of the store is what I love most about coming in
everyday” says staff member Liz Cohen. We receive about six consignor drop off’s a day, ranging in items from Europe , Africa & Australia. The clothes are immaculate and the feeling of shopping second hand never crosses your mind. We have pink crystal hanging Chandeliers and a hand painted cloud ceiling, shedding a boutique style glow on our Swarovski encrusted Pacifiers—what part of that sounds like a consignment shop?”

We also receive overstock merchandise from local kid’s shops. Out of
the 11 Children stores in our area, 9 consign with us! Our customers
are getting high end items at below cost! In addition to the new
items, buyers enjoy spotless, pre loved, current toys, clothes and
accessories, some selling for less than $1.

Charity event Gift Certificates & Special prices may be available for
Foster parents, birthing centers, Orphanages and Moms in Distress.
Inquire for details.

Baby Posh Garage is doing its share in local charities, benefiting
local kids programs, School fundraisers and larger groups benefiting
victims affected by HIV. Even the owner’s kid supports her mom’s
boutique by promoting with her “LOVE YOUR MAMA” T-shirts, that also refer to how important it is to recycle the plastics we find
in toys and strollers! It’s all in all, a great place to visit. Pack a
sippy cup, dress the kids—and follow the trail of organic Cheerios all
the way down Dixie Hwy.

Julie Tenenbaum
Baby Posh Garage
18060 W Dixie Highway
Aventura, FL 33160
305.932.9655 Tel
305.675.4646 Fax

Store Hours:
Tue-Fri 10a-5p
Sat 11a-6p
Sun 12p-5p
Evening & Private shopping by appointment

It Is Well Worth Your Effort to Invest in Your Health

By Dr. Scott Herman, Tropical Chiropractic

Everyone wants to grow their bank account. We know our financial health is usually estimated by the level of our resources. The more money in the bank, figuratively speaking, the more secure we feel. If our resources include stocks, bonds, and property, we are even more secure. We can use such fiscal accounting as a metaphor for our physical health and well-being. The more resources we can accumulate in our "health account" the healthier we'll be.

What kinds of things can we deposit into our health accounts? We can easily list the most crucial of these - quality food, exercise and rest. What you may not know is that Chiropractic care is another source of "income" for our health accounts. Regular chiropractic care helps a person maximize the value of the food, exercise, and rest he or she is getting. Chiropractic care helps people get the most out of their health resources, becoming more efficient and effective in terms of physiology, health, and well-being.

One person who understands this is Dr. Scott Herman of Tropical Chiropractic Group & Spinal Decompression Center. Dr. Herman's patients are assured of receiving only the finest quality care through the use of modern chiropractic equipment and technology. Combining skill and expertise that spans the entire chiropractic wellness spectrum.

Dr. Herman is committed to bringing better health and a better way of life to all by teaching and practicing the true principles of chiropractic wellness care. He has been doing just that for more than eleven years at Tropical Chiropractic Group & Spinal Decompression Center, located in the heart of Coconut Creek at the Township Plaza. In addition to providing excellent chiropractic care, spinal decompression, physical therapy & massage therapy, Dr. Herman encourages all of his patients to eat quality foods on a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get sufficient rest. Take the time now to replenish your health account, it will enrich your quality of life, long-term health and well-being. To schedule a visit with Dr. Scott Herman, please call 954-917-4343.