Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dr Phil Show Mom Attempts to Take the Life of Her and Her Daughter. Is She a Monster or a Victim?

I got a message last night from my friend, "Did you watch Dr Phil today?" It was 11pm when I saw the message and things were very busy all evening in our house, so I just shot her a message back saying "No, but I have it PVR'd."

Then I got a call from her this morning. She told me I had to watch it, because it was about a woman who tried to commit murder/suicide. She couldn't handle her autistic child's violent attacks on her younger daughter, she felt had no resources available, so she tried to take her daughters life and her own. 

She also told me, "I get it. I would ever kill my autistic daughter, but I get the extreme hopelessness when your autistic child is beating the crap out of your younger child."

So when nap time came around today, I watched it and I had so many emotions running through me. I knew as soon as my boys were down for the night, I would be watching part 2. 

After watching both shows I felt for this mother who felt this was her only answer. I don't believe it was the right answer, nor could I image myself ever doing the same to my child. However I don't lay the blame in her lap, or her husbands. I blame the medical system and the government. When parenting leaves you with brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder there is something terribly wrong. 

Parents are left to the wolves on long waitlists. They don't have the skills to deal with these situations or the resources. Anything worth doing with children with Autism either has a REALLY long waitlists that you can age off, or a huge price tag. Insurance companies cover some cost, but just as it starts working, you hit your max for the year. Which seems to be what happened to this family on Dr Phil. 

When I found out the waitlist that my son would be placed on I remember speaking to Wes's service worker supervisor. I told her, mark my words, some poor family with no resources will snap under pressure and a child will be hurt. Little did I know, this had already happened. 

I have been blessed to have found alternative therapies that are working amazing for my boys. Early Learning, naturopathic/homeopathic therapies, diet changes, NAET, ABA therapy, just to name a few. But I should also mention, this puts saving for our retirement, family trips, our children's educations, etc on the back burner. These therapies help and they are worth it, but the financial burden on the family is extreme. 

However, I have hope. My boys are amazing children. I know in my heart all our efforts are helping. I know in my heart my boys will be awesome members of society. I know they will have careers, and wonderful lives. I pray everyday they will find love and have families of their own. 

I have hope. I don't care if the debt keeps adding up. I will find the money to keep fighting. 

After watching these two episodes, I hope Dr Phil can help everyone involved. I hope he can raise awareness. I hope we can start finding answers. I also hope that the people in power can look into these alternative resources and treatments. They have been life altering for my family. I wish they were available to everyone. 

So my opinion, Kelli(the mother in this story) is as much of a victim of autism as her daughter Issy. So are Issy's siblings and father. Lets hope though that through this and with the help Dr. Phil offers, they can be no longer victims, but survivors.

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe in Their Car Seats. Learn From My Mistakes.


Sitting forward facing, and was injured in a
minor car accident. (Whiplash) 

When Z was 18 months old, he hit 20lbs and was getting too big for his rear facing bucket car seat. So I thought, well the rules are if a child is 1 years old or older, can walk, and is over 20lbs its ok to change them to a forward facing car seat. Z met all these requirements so I thought we were good to switch him. Besides Wes was 13 months when I switched him(He was a big boy). Z got 5 more months rear facing, he must be ready.


4 months later we were in a car accident. An emergency vehicle was passing and I had slowed down with traffic to allow them to pass. Once they were passed I began accelerating to the speed limit, when out of nowheres, a woman went from the left turning lane, right into my lane. It was physically impossible for me to stop in time and I nailed her passenger side door. As we slammed into her I saw a 10 year olds eyes staring at me from the van's passenger seat. As soon as I knew everyone in our car was ok. I backed the car up a bit so I could open my door. I ran to the car and the child in the front seat was ok, and the woman was finishing her conversation on her cellphone!! Talking on the phone while driving is illegal in Manitoba, so to finish your conversation after you caused an accident is unacceptable. So I grabbed my phone and started taking photos. 


In the end everyone was ok, and she accepted responsibility. Luckily I wasn't going the speed limit as we had just slowed down for the emergency vehicle. Because if I had been doing 80km, a lot more damage would have been done. 


I hit the door during impact and got a pretty mean whiplash. Also because Z was forward facing, he sadly also suffered from whiplash. It wasn't until a few months later that I realized, if Z had been rear facing, he would not have likely gotten whiplash. 

Needless to say he got turned around that night. 

How can you keep your child as safe as possible in the car?

1) Buy a car seat that allows for your child to stay rear facing as long as possible. Don't change to the next stage until your child reaches the maximum height or weight.
Picture from
 http://www.besafe.com/en/i-size/rear-facing-car-seats-are-safer

Oh but they look so squished rear facing. My child's legs are too long. They don't like being rear facing. Well this is what I have to say to you. Have you ever seen the positions a child will get into while playing? Trust me they are not squashed. Would you rather your child have a broken leg or a broken neck? Also if they didn't having a bath would you not give them one?



2) Make sure your child's chest clip is where it should be, at the chest, not on the stomach. 
Photo from http://csftl.org/a-chest-clip-goes-on-the-chest/
According to Car Seats For the Littles website, if the strap is too low they risk being ejected from their car seat, and its too high they risk neck injury. 

3) Make sure your child's car seat straps are tight enough.

Do the pinch test. If you can pinch the strap, its not tight enough. You want to make sure to have the right fit, otherwise your child could wiggle their way out of the straps when you are not looking, not be held in tight during an accident and be thrown around in their seat, or worse case be ejected from the seat.  


4) Make sure your child's car seat is strapped tight enough to the seat, and it is in the proper spot. 

Make sure you cannot move your child's car seat more than 1 inch front to back, and side to side. While learning how to properly install car seats in my own vehicle, I found this Youtube video very helpful. 

5) Puffy snowsuits are a big no-no.

This one was news to me! Puffy snow are dangerous to wear in a car seat. This was hard to swallow for me, someone who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Heck our city's nickname is Winterpeg for crying out loud. 

Basically what happens is a bulky coat, will cause the straps to fit the child too loosely, making them less effective. 

You can read HERE, to see if your child's jacket is too big, and what you can do if it is. 

Please ignore the fact that my son is forward facing in this photo, However you can see that he is wearing a two piece fleece suit over his clothes. I always prewarm the car and cover him with a blanket once he's strapped in. But 9 times out of 10, he doesn't need the blanket and bunches it up to cuddle with.We also alway bring along his warmer puffy jacket in case we hit a ditch or the car breaks down.



Disclaimer: I am not a car seat tech, or car seat specialist of any sort. I am just a mom of two, sharing with you my discoveries through my own research online and while talking with insurance approved car seat specialist. If in doubt contact your local automobile insurance company and ask them where you can contact a car seat specialist in your area. Many times local fire stations also have trained car seat techs. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What does a parent do while they are wait for ABA services?

What does a parent do while they are wait for ABA services?

Here in our part of Canada ABA services are covered by Manitoba Health. While this is awesome because most US residents have to pay thousands, if not hundreds of thousands a year.

This is a wonderful blessing! However, the only downside is the long, long waiting list. Right now people are looking at 18 months to 2 years. IF you child does not age off the list at 5 years old. This is very stressful for parents, and it wasn't always that way. Back in August of 2008, I signed up then 3 year old boy up for the program and his first visit with his ABA Senior tutor happened in January of 2009. 5 months. That was it! Totally doable for anxious parents. However this time around I signed my youngest up for services in February 2014, and we will be LUCKY to have our first visit in September 2015. 19 months. More likely January 2016, 23 months. Terrifying for an anxious parent. 

Sad part is ABA is most effective if started EARLY. Hence the title, Early Intervention. So parents CANNOT wait for services. Since the government doesn't seem to understand the seriousness of this, parents have to step up. This can be so scary for parents who have not been through this before. So I decided I HAVE to blog what we do in our home. Now while this might not apply to your situation, I'm hoping the resources I mention might have things that can help you. 
The BIG Book of ABA Programs :I call this book the ABA bible. It has a program written for each step of the ABBLS-R.
"The BIG Book Of ABA Programs After the ABLLS®-R has been completed, educators and parents are often left wondering how to transform the results into empirical IEP goals and quality ABA training programs. With the BIG Book of ABA Programs those concerns are a thing of the past. Each detailed program can be used with dozens of different children. Each program contains specific instructions for data recording and implementation for baseline and ABA teaching. Each program is customizable for different children and their unique settings, teachers, reinforcers, and steps pertaining to each program. Benefits Why pay a behavior analyst to write your programs? Why spend hours writing your own? The BIG Book of ABA Programs contains more than 500 precisely written, photocopyable, ABA program protocols for every teachable step in the ABLLS®-R. Each of the more than 500 photocopyable teaching programs contains: A well-written IEP and program objective A complete baseline implementation"

This book will help you get ideas of things you can do now to help your child while you wait for ABA services to start. 


 I highly suggest buying an 

Assessment Kit for ABLLS®-R, with Manual from Different Roads. 


I know it looks pricey. I will admit to ship it to me, but the end my bill was just shy of $1300. But that being said, during your child's three years in the Preschool Program, and three years School Age, this investment will be worth it. 
I wish I had know about it when Wes went through the program. 

I dreaded every clinic meeting because I knew I would be given a list of items, pictures, etc to find. And that program could not be started until I did so. So I spent thousands of dollars on dollar store items, ink for my printer, photo printing, things from the teachers store. Not to mention hours of time on the computer finding said pictures, and gas driving from store to store. I can't image how much easier it would have been to say, "Lets the bins and see what we have." Then been able to start the program that day! Instead of waiting till the next time the Senior tutor or Consultant came. 

I was talking to another ABA mom a few days ago. When I told her about this kit that I had bought for Z, she told me she wished she had know there was something like this available for parents, she would have likely made the investment too.

And lets say this is not an option for you to purchase outright, right this second. I highly suggest figuring out how many months you have on the waitlist, subtracting a few months in case you get in early, and figuring out how much money you have to put away each month to buy this kit. But if you can swing getting it ASAP, you will have more tools in your pocket to start working with your child NOW.

You might be thinking, there is no way I can run a 35 hour program on my own. I don't have the money for that kit. I work full time. Remember, every moment you work with your child it will pay off. Making time during meal times, before bed, in the car to daycare, every moment counts. So don't give up because you can't put in 35 hours a week. Yes 35 hours is the best. But 5 hours is better the zero hours.   

Activity Ideas:
- Verbally label everything.
- Do house tours labeling what each item is. 
- Make large clear written labels for things around the home. 
- Count everything. 
- Practice dressing skills. 
- Playing with Shape Sorters. 
- Puzzles

Flipping through The Big Book of ABA Programs will give you ideas on what skills your child might need to work on. 

Another thing worth suggesting is to start following through with everything. This is one of the hardest things for me to adjust to when my oldest was in ABA. Sometimes after a hard busy day, its just easier to give in. If you start following through with everything now, this is one last adjustment you and your child will have to make. 

Waiting for services is so frustrating. Trust me, I know, I'm there. But don't let your child rot waiting for services. Everything little thing you can do with them now, is one less thing your ABA term will have to do. Leaving them able to focus on the really tough stuff.

Good Luck on your journey!

What resources did you find helpful while you waited for services?

Back to Afterschool

Well Wes has been back to school for a little over a week and its going great! He has really matured over the summer months and is doing amazing in school.

Yesterday I attended his schools Open House BBQ. I got to meet his new principal who seems very sweet. As well has his classroom teacher. He is the only male teacher in the school, but the dynamics seem to work well for Wes. Plus he is doing amazing! What more could a mom ask for?

However even though he is attending a great public school, I do not leave his education completely in the hands of the government. As much as I would love to homeschool, right now thats not what is best for Wes. He needs the structure of school right now. Maybe in the future, if he would like to accelerate through high school to be able to focus on a trade training, become an entrepreneur, go to university or college early, then we might switch to homeschooling. Right now Afterschooling seems to be cutting it. 

What is Afterschooling?

To my family afterschooling is teaching my child academic activities before and after school, on the weekend or during school holidays. 

These subjects are:
- to help support what he's learning at school, 
- things that are not being focused on at school (Like spelling and math facts)
- Or to pre-learn math skills so he can succeed in his studies at school. I believe kids are not being challenged enough these days. When you look at what children were being taught in the late 1800s to early 1900s, and whats being taught now... its terrible. 

Oh my gosh! Why don't you just let him be a kid? 

Trust me. He has lots of time for that. Wes sleeps in each morning till about 1 hour before he needs to leave for the day. He gets up gets ready and comes down for breakfast. While he's eating his cereal, he does a lesson of Click N'Spell. If he has time he does a few questions on Dreambox Learning. Once he has his jacket, shoes and backpack on I show him and Z a quick 1-2min lesson of Visual Geography. Which he begs for another every day because they are so quick (I stick to one lesson a day to keep him interested). Then he's off to school for the day. 

My son does not get homework from his teacher. In the next few years when he enters middle school this will all change, and if he has never had do work after school I could see it being a big learning curve. So I have choice to be proactive. 

When he gets home I usually still have an hours and 15mins of daycare left. So by giving him these tasks to do during that time, I am keeping him busy, educating him and he still has from 5-8pm to do activities he might like to do. 

A typical day might look like:
- Get home
- Eat snack while reading for 20mins
- Practice piano
- Sit at the kitchen table while I dictate Saxon 5/4 questions and math facts to him from the stairs. This works on his writing and listening skills. (I sit in the stairs and supervise my daycare kiddos during free play)
- Bit of Dreambox
Once 5-5:15pm rolls around, he is done.

I read a blog a few years back that talked about how 2 hours and 20 mins a week of afterschooling would add 2 extra years to your childs education. I don't want to copy and paste what she wrote so check out the blog post HERE.

But it goes to show you, that a little parental involvement goes a LONG way. During the summer I'd say Wes was averaging 9-12 hours a week. Do I feel like I robbed him of his summer? No way! He was up for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.
14X7= 98 awake hours
98-12= 86 hours to still be a kid.

Believe it or not his printing is actually improving because he has to
each problem out by hand instead of just filling in the answer.
Since the end of June, he has completed 41% of the grade 4 math curriculum on Dreambox. As for Saxon 5/4(designed for advance 4th graders or average 5th graders) he is 21% completed. 

Overall I believe this little extra bit of learning is great for my son. He does better when kept busy. He also does piano once a week year round, and is starting swimming and Zumba once a week as well for the school year. He was so proud of himself yesterday when he came home and told me, his teacher gave him math problems using letters(adding missing addends) and knew how to do it right away without being told how. 

I love empowering my children with education. Do you afterschool your children? If so how do you do it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Local News. My story about pacifier safety and the Mommy Wars

Well last night I was on the evening news. No I didn't break the law or anything like that. I was telling my story I shared on Facebook that went viral. 


It was the beginning of August. My family and I were at our local Superstore doing our Sunday grocery and it had taken a bit longer than usual. We heard over the loud speaker that the store would be closing in 15mins, so we hurried to the tills to pay for our items. While we stood in line I realized we would not have time to stop for soothers before the other stores closed for the night. Here in Winnipeg most stores close at 6pm on Sundays. So I left hubby and the kids in line and I ran to the baby sections to grab some soothers. The only orthodontic tip soothers they had available that night were the PC brand. So I grabbed a pack and ran back to the till.

That night I got back home and washed them according to the package and of course inspected them for defects. Z used them that night and the next day would a hitch.

The problem happened the next day at nap time. As usual I get all my daycare kids ready for nap. I had changed and pottied Z first so I put him in his playpen with the soother and blankie. I had quickly checked it like I do everytime I give it to him and it was intact. Then I took the other children to their beds for nap. 

When I came back upstairs to grab Z to do our usual little lessons and story before nap, I found him struggling. I looked down on the floor and there was the base of the soother, but no nipple. Luckily I was able to get it out of his throat by flipping him over and giving 2 strong smacks to his back. When I took him to his room I went and looked at the soother he had used the night before and it was separating from the base as well.  

When my hubby got home I took my son and the pacifier to the store I purchased it, since it was a store brand. The manager on duty was shocked and was just as angry as I was. He suggested I call the number on the package and he would have the store manager call me when he got in the next afternoon. 

The head office contacted me first. They made arrangements to pick up the soothers via Purolator to send to the manufacturer for testing. Shortly after I spoke to them, the store manager called me back. He was glad I was being taken care of by head office, and that was who he planned to contact.

Weeks later I got a phone call from the company. They said it was because my son bit it off and no fault of the product. They were going to send me a $25 gift card to cover my refund and whatever was extra was in good fate. I tried to explain that my son had never done this to a soother before and not since. I didn't believe he bit it off. ESPECIALLY in all of 5 mins. This was a new soother, not one that was months old. I asked to speak to higher ups, but was told that they would tell me the exact same thing. So I told the woman that I would have no choice but to go to the media. We ended our conversation. 

So I went to my computer and turned to social media. Luckily I had taken photos of the soothers before I sent them to the company. I wrote what happened and how I was treated by the company. Honestly I am not out for money. I didn't even care if I was refunded for the soothers. I just didn't want another child and parent going through what I had. But the fact they just felt $25 was a good enough bandaid for the situation was a slap in the face. What that what my child's life worth them.

The what ifs haunt me. 

-What if I just put him to bed and not in the playpen to wait for me to be read to read stories and do lessons? 

- What if I froze and he choked to death?

-What if this happens to another mother who is not trained in First Aid CPR?

So I turned to social media on the Friday and made my post. I posted it to my wall, and 2 local groups and asked them to spread the word. I also posted it on the Loblaws website. I don't think I fully understood the power of social media. I saw it was getting shared and I was satisfied. If I could warn a few moms about this that is all I wanted. 

 On Monday I was getting ready to take my son and daycare kids for a walk when my hubby called. "Did you give my work number to a reporter from CTV names Beth?" I told him of course I didn't. Then my Facebook messenger went off. It was a woman from my Daycare Providers group on Facebook. She had received this message to her Kijiji ad.

Hi, I am contacting you from CTV News in Winnipeg. I am looking for a woman in Transcona who has a home daycare called Monique Dupuis. She had a big problem with pacifier she purchased recently. Hoping you can reach our to me as soon as possible if you know this woman or how to reach her. My phone number is(phone number). Thank you! Beth Macdonell | Producer & Reporter CTV Winnipeg |

I went into my Other folder on Facebook and found her message. I messaged her back and told her my hubby and I would be happy to talk to her that night and give her his cellphone number. Honestly my hubby is a better speaker then I am. Heck thats what he does for a living! But she wanted the interview with me and asap. Hubby and I decided that I would do it alone once all my daycare kids were down for a nap. 

Before the interview I checked to see how many people had shared my picture. I honestly thought it was shared maybe 200 times. I was shocked to see if was at 6,000+.

After the interview was over I noticed I had missed a call from the company. But my phone was acting weird and it appeared they had not left a message. When I called the number back I needed to have an extension, so I figured they would call back. 

That night 30mins before the 6pm news, Beth called me and said they needed to polish the story and it would not air that night. I was a surprise because a girlfriend had told me she had seen me on the preview for the evening news before Dr.Phil.  

That night while I was waiting for Wes to finish piano lessons, I noticed a missed voicemail. It was a rep from the company I called them back and left a message, but obviously at 7pm no one was in the office.

The next morning a rep called me. We spoke on the phone for 20mins or so. She went on to apologize for the incident, and if I felt attacked by the last rep to contact me. They do not blame the baby. They were speaking with quality assurance teams as well as the manufacturer to see what had happened and what to do to prevent it. They told me that soothers were very regulated and they had to pass 10lbs of pressure to break it. When I asked her then how my 23lbs child could produce such pressure she had no answer for me. Apparently I was the only person to report this issue, and so they feel the product as of now is safe. I told her if it happens once its too much. I was able to get her to pass my information onto the vender to contact me. Whether they do or not is another story. She also told me she was passing on the additional details that I provided to her that were not in the original report to share with the quality assurance team. At this point I felt I have done about all I could. I informed her I had already spoken to the media. But now even though I'm not 100% happy with the results of the conversation, I feel a bit more like they are taking a few more steps and I don't feel like they are blaming the victim, my son. She told me she still wanted to send me the gift card for the refund and she was going to send me a gift basket full of their line of clothes for all three of my children. Not to sweep it under the rug, or minimize what had happened. But as an apology gesture from their family to ours. 

That night the interviewed aired. I was surprised when hubby yelled out, "Turn on channel 5!" His coworker had seen the preview for the story. My phone started going off. "Is that you on TV?"

Overall I'm really happy how the interview turned out. But it was only 3mins long so how could they get the whole story. I guess that is why I am writing this. I feel a bit slapped in the face that the company still seems to stand by that it was Z's fault. But the word is out. The doctor said that parents should use one piece pacifiers. Basically saying indirectly, don't buy this brand. As of right now the post I shared on facebook has been shared 12,497 times, meaning AT LEAST that many people have read my warnings. Plus my story was played on the 6pm, 8am and 12pm news feeds. My story is out and I feel I can back off knowing I did what I could do to get the word out. Life goes on.  

 You can watch the interview HERE.

Pacifier Safety Tips:

Check your child's soother/pacifier every time you give it to them for holes, rips or signs of wear.

Change soothers/pacifiers every 2-3 months.

Never tie a soother or pacifier around your child's neck

Finally use a ONE piece soother. They are less likely to break off like my son's did.



 Since the incident, I found some nice solid one piece pacifiers that I trust for on son. In the past when he was a newborn we used Avent Soothies or Gumdrop soothers. Thing is once he was a few months old I switched to and orthodontic tip soother and I wanted to stick with that. Then I found the Munchkin Latch soother. However it just seemed too thin for my liking. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with it, but after our experience I wanted something I could feel 100% confident in. Then I found the Born Free Bliss one piece pacifier. Now this is a heavy duty soother with the right tip!

I made one mistake throughout is whole process, I went and read the comments on Facebook and on CTV's website. Oh yes, everyone has an opinion and it seems to be to blame the victim. I was reminded of all the Mommy Wars talk. It seemed several of the commenters thought Z is too old for a soother. Oh my image if I told them he still nurses 1-3 times a day and I still babywear him.

Each child is very different. My oldest came off the soother the day his 2 year molars came in at 25 months old. He needed it to keep is fingers out, otherwise he'd stick them so far back he would make himself vomit. 

Z is 28 months old. But he is still very oral. As a former pediatrician dental assistant I see a slight over bite from it, and so does his dentist, but overall it hasn't altered the development of his palate. His occupational therapist agreed with us that it was a good block to keep other things out of his mouth. And the 2 speech therapist we have seen don't feel it is affecting his speech as he has a HUGE vocabulary and clear speech for his age. 

There were no age limits on the package of soothers or I can assure you I would have followed the guidelines. However for all these people to immediately attack my family with their ideas that all children should be off soothers "when they can put them in an out themselves", "1 year old", "as soon as they cut teeth", and so on shame on you. Each child is different, and each circumstance is different. When I read about babies who have chemical burns from diapers or wipes, I don't troll and say, "Oh well they should be in cloth diapers and that would have never happened."

I know when I was pregnant with my oldest, I had very clear ideas how I was going to raise my child. Out of diapers by 18 months, no soothers EVER, I was going to breastfeed till 1. Then he was born and shit got real. My son was potty trained a month after he turned three because he has severe digestive issues. The day we got home from the hospital he started sucking his thumb, thumb habits were harder to break then soother habits so I sent his father out to buy some soothers. I breastfeed for 3 weeks before PPD took over and I could not handle it anymore. 

At the end of the day. Please learn from my story. If your little one doesn't need the soother all the power to you. If they do, please find a solid one piece soother and inspect it every time you give it to your child. Also brush up on your First Aid/CPR, you never know when you will have to use it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NAET Allergy treatment... Does it really work??

I'm sure my regular readers know that Wesley has been gluten and dairy free for as long as I can remember. Well actually we eliminated dairy from his diet when he was 15 months after a series of allergy test at the allergist. Then on suggestion of his naturopathic doctor, at the age of 2.5 years old we removed gluten.

Well once you get use to reading ingredients, figuring out secret industry names for gluten and dairy, it's completely do able. Especially if they are removed before your child really knows what they are missing. 

The problem comes when they are older. Birthday parties become a nightmare, playdate, family gathering. Will meaning family member or friend try and get something your child can have, only to find out that they don't know the secret code that the industries use to hide these items in our food. Now you have to tell them, even after all their efforts your child can still not eat it. 

Next think you know, no one is inviting you over for meals anymore. Your child is not getting invited for sleepovers or birthday parties because the parents are worried they will feed your child something they shouldn't. No one wants to be the parent to have to call an ambulance to pick up someone else's child right?

7+ years later, I stumbled upon somethings very interesting while I was reading a book called Naturally Better: Dramatically Improve Your Child's Life Naturally. I was introduced to something called NAET, aka NAMBUDRIPAD’S ALLERGY ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES.

Instantly I was on google learning as much as I could about this technique. And oddly enough, it seemed to have way more positive reviews than negative. Could it be true?

I started chatting about what I had discovered with my youngest son's cranio sacral therapist. She told me one of the woman in my Facebook Attachment Parenting group had done NAET with her child and it worked. So I contacted that woman and chatted with her for a little bit. It seemed promising. Her son could not have any dairy or citrus, otherwise he's get terrible blistering diaper rashes. After a few treatments with this woman he could eat both triggers and had no reaction. 

So I made a phone call. As soon as I started talking to her, I was instantly reassured, this sound like the real thing. 

So at our first appointment we tested the basic 15 items. To my understanding, these items have to be cleared for the body to run properly and before any other specific treatment to trigger allergies can be treated effectively. This does not mean you have to have 15 treatments first before starting, each person is different. Z reacted to 8 of the 15 and Wes reacted 6 of the 15. 

In order to tell if your body reacts or doesn't react the NAET practitioner did muscle testing on me while I held my son's hand and he held a vile of the allergen. At first, I thought this was to much to believe, until my boys were holding a trigger for them and my arm turned to jello and I could not keep my arm up when the practitioner was pushing my arm.

You can read more about what NAET is and the process HERE.

Since starting our NAET sessions two and a half months ago, Wes was cleaned for his 6 of the Basic 15 he tested positive for. Then we started working on Gluten and Dairy. Gluten was a tough one. The first time we treated him for it, he had to avoid ANY contact with it for 25 hours after the treatment (which was fairly easy since he was gluten free already.) The following week we retested and he was not clear, so we would do a boost, and then we treated something else as well. Gluten took one treatment and 2 or 3 boost. Wes had tested positive for casein, whey, cheese, milk protein, basically anything dairy related. We treated him for casein and then did one boost and he cleared it. Best part was, we retested all the other dairy related items and he cleared them too. 

We are also working on treating Wes's reactions to immunizations, heavy metals, etc. He seems more focused now and is loving the freedom of trying new foods. This evening at a family birthday party, it was the first time since his 1st birthday he could participate in birthday cake. He was so delighted and everyone there was so happy to see him allowed to live! Auntie Kathe even negotiated him a second piece. 

Wes enjoying his first chocolate bar


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.

What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??

#1 Sing to them!

Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don't feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, "The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!" and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.

#2 Label EVERYTHING

Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don't need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don't want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.

When your out with your baby talk about what's happening. "Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?'


#3 DVD and Computer programs
Technology is not bad. It can be used for the wrong reasons, yes. However I believe it can be a powerful tool to help educate our children. I know what the AAP's stand is on screen time before 2. Thing is I'm not one to let to government tell me how to raise my children. Yes, I follow car seat safety rules to the tee, but we don't vaccinate. I choice to educate myself, and make a decision for my family. Not blindly follow like sheep.
My personal experience is, if you choose high quality, educational materials, screen time can be very helpful in educating my children. It's something you will have to look at for your family. I should also point out I am talking about real educational materials, like Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, and Monki See just to name a few. 

#4 Tablets
If you have access to a iPad, take advantage of it! Baby Z learned so much from several apps. Even though many of them were WAY beyond his ability, we did them for him and had him watch. Input, input, input! When he got a bit older I took his hand and made his little hand operate the app. (with his cooperation of course.) Then eventually he was able to operate several of them without my help. This is an awesome way to teach your young child colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, sight words, etc. 

Stay tune! I am compiling a list of AWESOME IOS apps for babies and toddlers.

#5 Carefully picked toys
  

If you step into the toy section at Walmart or dare to enter Toys R Us, you can easily see there are many, many options for toys for your young child. Not all toys are created equal. But there are certain brands that are usually a pretty safe bet like Leap Frog and Melissa & Doug. But the best places I have found GOOD quality toys are thrift stores and garage sales. With a little soap and water they are good as new and a fraction of the price.

Letter blocks, matching games, stacking cups, etc are all great toys for little hands. These toys are perfect for little hands to explore on their own when you are making dinner or need two seconds to eat the said dinner. Also they a great to play together with your child.

Watch for an entry about great education toys that we love!



#6 Flashcards


 This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.

A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)


How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn's Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)

These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)

How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)

Now it should be noted that Doman's method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman's method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc. 

There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8x11 works well too.  

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old. 

Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids! 

My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what's in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.

What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:

  • read any 3 letter word he is presented
  • know all his colors
  • know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.  
  • know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
  • knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
  • know how to read more words then I'm able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
  • understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
  • Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
  • Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
  • Counts to 30 by 2s
  • knows his days of the week and months of the year
  • and much much more
I'm not listing this to brag, nor do I think my son is special. He has just grown up in an enriched environment and was exposed to this stuff in a fun way. ALMOST ANY CHILD CAN LEARN THIS STUFF TOO! Even children with special needs.

When people asking me, "Why teach them to read?" I ask "Why not!" It opens a whole new world to them. 


A few weeks ago we were at Shoppers Drugmart, and I was wearing Baby Z on my back in an Ergo carrier. We were waiting in line when he noticed the words over the cooler and started pointing at it and yelling, "Water! Water! Water!" I walked up to pay for my items and gently said "Yes sweetie there is water in the cooler." The older woman behind me said with her jaw dropped, "No! He's not pointing at the water in the cooler, he is pointing at the word. I think he just read the word water. Can he read?" I just brushed it off that he knows a few words because I didn't have time to have a conversation. But if I had time I might have gone into details if the woman was open to it. Who knows maybe she has grandchildren. 

The point of this story is, instead of Baby Z just being able to look into the items around the store and try and figure out what they are that way, we have given him another piece to the puzzle. The ability to read what the words are.