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Nancy Clayburn's blog http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=blog/1 en The Puzzle Boy Goes to the Black Hills of South Dakota! Part II http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/421 <p>Through the storm we drove, then out of the storm we drove, then and hour later, in to a motel we went.&nbsp; Time to get some restful sleep for the night for tomorrow will be more adventures! What?&nbsp; Did I say a restful night?&nbsp; I don't think that happened!&nbsp; Just as I&nbsp;was drifting into &quot;never, never land,&quot; we heard some male voices at our door.&nbsp; They were trying to slip their key card in our door!&nbsp; Hubby to the rescue! &quot;This room is occupied!&quot; he hollered out at 10:30pm. I&nbsp;think it was of no avail as soon they were back at it again.&nbsp; Hubby once again went up to the door and hollered out as they were aimlessly wandering around in the hallway wondering why &quot;their&quot; card did not work in &quot;our&quot; door!&nbsp; Finally one of the bums said &quot;Hey, someone said 'this room is occupied!&quot; Off they trotted, down the stairs to find out why the card did not work.&nbsp; Again, they came back and finally, in their stupor, after 3 tries, left us alone.</p> <p>Ahhh! I lay my head down once again.&nbsp; Seth, The Puzzle Boy is sound asleep.&nbsp; Bless his little heart!&nbsp; I had previously read until I&nbsp;could stay awake no more, as is my custom.&nbsp; But, now I was wide awake.&nbsp; It took a good while, but sleep finally overtook me once again. But, alas!&nbsp; It was not to be!&nbsp; The excitement, driving, motel room etc. got to Seth and he had a seizure! Ugh! Awake once again, up out of my bed to help him out and resituate him.&nbsp; Now all seems calm.&nbsp; I rest, he has another seizure!&nbsp; What is going on?!&nbsp; This has not happened for a good long time.&nbsp; DejaVu!&nbsp; By the next day, we find out that in the process of getting out the door, he did not take his medicine that morning.&nbsp; You can bet we made sure he did the rest of the trip!</p> <p>After a Super 8 breakfast, we headed out the door and down the road.&nbsp; All seemed well.... Was it?&nbsp; Find out next time!</p> <p>Until Then, Enjoy your day and count your blessings!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/421#comments Wed, 04 Nov 2009 15:57:30 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 421 at http://thepuzzleboy.com The Puzzle Boy Goes to the Black Hills of South Dakota! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/420 <p>South Dakota. What does that conjure up in your mind? Hmmm, in my mind, I&nbsp;think of flat!&nbsp; Maybe sunflowers and gorgeous puffy white clouds that hang sorta low and make big shadows over the ground.&nbsp; How about Mitchell Corn Palace and Wall Drug??!! Oh, yeah! Wall Drug!&nbsp; Did you know that was the name of the town? Wall.&nbsp; Interesting.&nbsp; Oh, maybe you think of Custer's last stand or Indians.&nbsp; Ok, we are getting closer.&nbsp; How about Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Custer State Park?</p> <p>That is where we took the Puzzle Boy this time.&nbsp; He loved it.&nbsp; We loved it!&nbsp; What a grand adventure.&nbsp; We looked at the weather forcast for weeks before heading out as I&nbsp;know that heading north and west in the fall along with a mountainous area could prove to be a risky endeavor.&nbsp; The forecast did not look good. One day it showed we would have sun all week, the next day it showed rain and cold for a week. Then sun, then rain.&nbsp; I&nbsp;was feeling a bit disheartened.&nbsp; I could not imagine going on vacation, sleeping in a tent, and it be rainy and 36 degrees at night.&nbsp; Brrrr!&nbsp; I&nbsp;winter camped when I&nbsp;was a teenager, but this forty something year old woman was not really wanting to relive that! </p> <p>Well, I put my chin up high, prayed a lot, and packed anyways! I wanted to be positive about this time no matter what.&nbsp; If we had to stay in a motel or lodge, so be it, although I was really looking forward to sleeping in our new tent, on our self inflating luxury thermarest mats!&nbsp; I was all ready with sleeping bag liners and a goose down comforter. Long johns were also a part of the suitcase along with winter coats.&nbsp; The only thing I did not pack was mittens, boots and winter hats!&nbsp; I did throw in my bathing suit and shorts, believe it or not. Just in case! I&nbsp;had heard there was a place called Hot Springs.&nbsp; Sounded like a good place to head should things be less than desirable weatherwise!</p> <p>Our trip began sunny and warm&nbsp; We made it up to Souix City.&nbsp; Then, as evening arrived, big black clouds enveloped us and a storm dumped upon us....</p> <p>Until next time, hang on to your hats! Gulp!&nbsp; What happened next??</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/420#comments Autism autism vacations hiking and autism Tue, 06 Oct 2009 03:02:56 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 420 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Yet Another Incredibly Sad Autism Story http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/419 <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is the story of a precious boy named Ryan.&nbsp; Seth came and saw his picture and said &quot;This is me, right?&quot;</p> <p>I told him, no, it was not.&nbsp; However, I am amazed at how similar in looks these two boys are!&nbsp; Also, they are similar </p> <p>in disposition as Seth is a very spiritual boy also! My heart and my prayers go out incredibly deep to the Barret Family of New York! &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img height="400" width="553" src="http://www.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.1371830.1250389699%21image/1203158787.JPG_gen/derivatives/display_600/1203158787.JPG" alt="Ryan Barrett, 14, had autism " /> <!-- END id=134762644,level=0,parent=134762642,summary=cid=1.1371830, ot=newsday.Image.ot, mode=www, view=thumb:cache=MISS; times:ownTotal=2ms,ownRender=1ms,controller=1ms,cache=0ms;cacheMaxAge=60s;times:total=2ms, key=ModelKey:m/local/content/contentId='VersionedContentId(1.1371830.1250389699)', m/local/imageDerivativeKey='landscape_0', m/request/view='thumb', m/request/httpRequest/attributes/derivativeName='display_600', m/request/cssClass='NULL', m/request/derivativeName='NULL', --></p> <p class="caption">Photo credit: http://maryellenb.typepad.com | Ryan Barrett, 14, had <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Autism">autism</a> and had a history with seizures.</p> <div class="relatedMedia">&nbsp;</div> <p><span class="initial">It was the trip Lindenhurst </span> teenager Ryan Barrett looked forward to all year. On the annual father-son camping trip to the Catskills, the 14-year-old didn't have to brush his teeth or take baths, and he could just hang out with the guys.</p> <p>But soon after arriving Thursday at the North-South Lake campground in Haines Falls, Barrett - who had <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Autism">autism</a> and a history of seizures - went to play at a nearby creek and went missing. He was found drowned Friday morning.</p> <p><a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/New_York">New York</a> State Police scuba divers found Barrett facedown in a culvert in 3 feet of water. His parents, in an interview Saturday, said he had suffered a seizure, fallen and drifted downstream.</p> <p>Barrett had traveled with his father, David Barrett, 43, and his brother, Kevin, 6, to the campground with seven other families. They had been making the trip for years and others in the group accepted Ryan's quirks, his mother said Saturday.</p> <p>&quot;It was one of the joys of his life. He loved this trip,&quot; Mary Ellen Barrett said. &quot;It was what he talked about all year.&quot;</p> <p>After arriving Thursday afternoon, the group started to set up their tents. Ryan Barrett went to play near the shallow creek just 20 yards from the campground, a place where he had played many times before. They noticed him missing about 4:30 p.m., she said.</p> <p>&quot;He was there one minute and gone the next,&quot; David Barrett said.</p> <p>Members of the group immediately began searching for the teen and called State Police, he said.</p> <p>Mary Ellen Barrett had stayed home in Lindenhurst with the couple's six other children. But after an agonizing wait for news, she and a friend left at 4 a.m. for the campground southwest of <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Albany">Albany</a>. Meanwhile, friends set up an Internet prayer chain from <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Long_Island">Long Island</a> to <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/England">England</a>.</p> <!-- END id=134762647,level=0,parent=134762646,summary=cid=7.25512, ot=newsday.TopicElement.ot, mode=www, view=article (hit):cache=HIT; times:ownTotal=1ms,ownRender=0ms,controller=1ms,cache=0ms;cacheMaxAge=391ms;times:total=1ms, key=ModelKey:m/request/view='article', m/request/httpRequest/parameters/image='NULL', m/request/httpRequest/parameters/showAll='NULL', m/request/httpRequest/parameters/Topic='NULL', --> <!-- END id=134762646,level=0,parent=134762642,summary=cid=2.810, ot=p.siteengine.layout.Slot.ot, mode=www, view=article:cache=MISS; times:ownTotal=0ms,ownRender=0ms,controller=0ms,cache=0ms;cacheMaxAge=60s;times:total=1ms, key=null --> <p>The mother arrived at the campground around 8 a.m. Friday to join the frantic search. According to State Police Investigator William Fitzmaurice, police divers found Ryan's body about two hours later in the culvert, which feeds into North Lake.</p> <p>Suzanne Reek, president of the Nassau Suffolk chapter of the Autism Society of America, said seizures and drownings are not uncommon among children with <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Autism">autism</a>.</p> <p>&quot;Our hearts and prayers go out to the Barrett family,&quot; she said.</p> <p>Ryan Barrett was the oldest of eight children. All have been home schooled by their mother, who writes a blog about raising her family and home schooling them. She also writes a column for the weekly <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Long_Island">Long Island</a> Catholic newspaper. David Barrett works for C.E. Unterberg Towbin, an investment bank in <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/Manhattan">Manhattan</a>, according to records.</p> <p>Ryan Barrett had wanted to be a priest, his mother wrote in her blog. He loved Mass and all things associated with the church.</p> <p>&quot;Other boys dream of becoming a shortstop for the <a href="http://www.newsday.com/topics/New_York_Yankees">New York Yankees</a>. My autistic son dreamed of conferring sacraments,&quot; she wrote.</p> <p>He loved spending time at the family's church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst. On Saturday, the Rev. Anthony Trapani remembered him.</p> <p>&quot;Everything he did, he loved. He sang in the boys' choir . . . When the song was over, he would take these gracious bows. Everybody else would sheepishly walk off, and Ryan would just bow. He'd bow to the left, to the right and to the center,&quot; he said, chuckling.</p> <p>Then he paused, trying to compose himself. &quot;I cannot imagine that he's dead.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Autism drowning seizures Sun, 16 Aug 2009 21:11:02 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 419 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Oh No! Where'd His Tooth Go? Part II Living with Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/407 <p>As I ended Part I, I told you that the dentist office was very friendly. Well, indeed it was! I think it was the nicest one I had ever been to! The courtesy shown to Seth was outstanding! I had mentioned to them that Seth reacted terribly to regular novacaine. I believe it was to the Lidocaine in it. (Do I sound ignorant yet?) As you may have remembered from a previous posting, he ended up with about 6 weeks of seizures after a different dental appointment for a filling. I was apprehensive about going through that again, yet realizing he needed something as his teeth would be shaved and that root canal would have to be done.</p> <p>I gently reminded the Dentist and he had remembered. I was able to sit right in the same room so I could be of assistance if needed. As the needle went into Seth's front upper gums, I cringed. Seth did fantastic! He held very still. I saw his upper lip swell very large. I was told it was because of the type of pain deadener. This one did not have the ingredients that would cause the heart to race. Interesting. I had no idea why the other caused seizures, now I knew that it excited the nervous system. Evidently this particular pain killer would not last as long, either. </p> <p>As Seth was being worked on, mouth gaping, he just had to try and talk. "Ah hea a nize!" (I hear a noise.) I try and tell Seth it is not time to talk. Mr. Dentist makes no bones about it. "Oh, he can talk! It gets rather boring around here if people don't talk!" So, Seth took advantage of that. However, when told to be very still and quiet, he also sensed the seriousness of that.</p> <p>I was so proud of him. The dentist and the hygienist were so pleased with him. Mr. Dentist said he was better than any patient he had that day or even during the week! All in all, Seth's mouth was gaped open while he was awake and eyes staring at everything that went on for 2 1/2 hours! I had been told by a previous dental visit with someone else, that Seth would have to go to the hospital and be put under to have the job done, the bill costing many thousands of dollars more, so you can see how happy I was to see him doing so well!</p> <p>At one point, as they were cutting skin away from all around his teeth, Seth said "It's hurting, it's hurting!" I interpreted for them as he had a hard time saying it correctly with his mouth wide open. Once they understood, Mr. Dentist said, "Oh, is it getting uncomfortable?" "Yes!"<br /> Ever after, as Seth repeated the story, he tells people, "It was uncom-for-ta-ble" He learned a new term. It was cute!</p> <p>We got through the dreaded root canal, he got on his temporary teeth, and I am sooo pleased with how it all looks! No seizures were to be reported! We went back 3 weeks later to get the new teeth. Seth spent another 2 hours in the dentist chair because the new teeth were not quite right. Not the right color or size. I really appreciate Mr. Dentist for pointing that out and being honest about it. They had to rebuild Seth's teeth so they could take another impression. Miss Hygienist was so sweet to Seth. She treated him like a gem. Seth gave her a big hug afterwards. So, we wait for the new ones again.</p> <p>Seth is oblivious. He probably does not even fully realize why we were there. He thought he looked fine before! Broken tooth and all! He accepts himself as he is. I think it has taken most of a lifetime for me to accept myself for who I am. Seth knows he is loved and does not even question that. Before our actual appointment, Seth made sure all the clocks in the office were on time and made sure all of their calendars were on the correct month. He seems to be able to get people to do what he wants them to do! It is uncanny! Thing is, most people seem to enjoy fixing those things for him. They get a real kick out of it! They are amused and amazed and love to watch and observe. On the other hand, if I went around demanding everyone change their clocks and calendars, I would be considered a Kook! So, Autism reigns again! Never fear, Autism is here!</p> <p>Did you say that your Autistic child could never sit still in a dentist chair? How old is he? Hmmm, pretty young! Mom, caretaker, keep being consistent, take good healthful care of your child. You may have to wait a few more years. Autism grows up. It just takes a whole lot longer! I waited many years to have this done. I just waited until I felt it was the right time. Keep loving him. He knows it! Keep being the mom you always dreamed of being. You will become even more. He will become even more. You will be so proud of your child! He belongs to you! As you tuck your child into bed tonight, maybe after a good long struggle of trying to get them in bed, pray for him/her. Tell them how glad you are that they are your child and that you are sooo happy they don't belong to someone else. Even if you don't feel like it. Then pray that God's spirit will come into their little lives. That they will grow up to be in favor with God and Man. Amazing things will start to happen. Never give up!</p> <p>Until Next Time, Keep prayin' Your prayers will be answered in ways you know not of! </p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/407#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2009 16:19:56 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 407 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Oh No! Where'd His Tooth Go? Part I Living With Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/405 <p>After driving for two hours to get to Springfield for Seth's neurology appointment, and doing a bit of shopping, we were hungry and ready to eat. Into our favorite fast food restaurant we went. Panera Bread. Notice I said fast food, not junk food! Panera is one of the best places a person could eat out quickly. I ordered our favorites, Mediterranean sandwich and Garden Vegetable soup with a salad, hunk of sourdough bread and chips. As I was quietly eating, taking in my surroundings, I looked up and imagined I saw an empty place in Seth's mouth. An area that appeared dark. I went about eating once again oblivious to the fact at hand until it was time to move along to the Doc's office. </p> <p>I grabbed a napkin so I could wipe off Seth's mouth when reality set in. There was an empty whole in Seth's mouth! Oh, no!!! Seth, where did your tooth go??? I was incredulous! This did not look good! I could just imagine all the places yet to go to this day, and the stares I would get! I hunted around and came to the conclusion he must have eaten it along with his sandwich. "Seth, did you feel anything hard in your mouth? Did you crunch on something?" I asked, pleadingly.</p> <p>"Maybe." Was his unobtrusive reply. He was full and content so didn't have a care in the world at the moment. All I could see was this gaping area with half a tooth broke off.</p> <p>Lest you think he just has weak teeth and how could such a thing happen, let me take you back a number of years. One pleasant day, as all was going well, suddenly Seth let out a scream and lept forward out of his green plastic chair he was sitting on out at the back patio. It was not a pretty sight that followed. He had had a seizure and went face forward onto the cement. What a mess. I will spare the details, but when all was said and done, his front teeth were loose, I could place them where I wanted to,(no braces for him now!) I think he broke his nose by the amount of blood and two teeth were chipped, one being the very front tooth broke in half. This did not happen once, but twice in his little life. Of course, I was horrified!</p> <p>Soon we were able to get him into the dentist who nicely filled in the area. He had to refill it four times over the years. Each time I was told it was only temporary and that Seth probably needed to have crowns put on his teeth. I was not ready for that. Seth was not ready for that. The first major dentist we were referred to gave an exorbitant estimate. We were told he would have to be put out under anesthesia and that this would have to take place in a hospital, so, you can imagine the cost involved with no insurance on his teeth. What if he fell again? Yikes! Seth had had some minor dental work done on a filling and the novocaine threw him into a seizure tizzy for six weeks. I did not want to go through that again!</p> <p>So here I sat, pondering what to do. I called a dental office. The secretary was blah and uninteresting in her discussion. She was vague and unanswering. I have learned over the years to pay attention to the upfront desk person. I believe that their attitude reflects the upper echelon. In this case, the dentist. I had no reference, yet I made the appointment with apprehension. I talked to my husband and he had an idea. He talked to a friend whose wife had some major dental work done in a nearby town. They highly recommended a different dentist. He happened to be practically next door to the previous one. </p> <p>I was pleasantly happy at the response of my phone call to this office. Extremely friendly, answered my questions without hesitation and good manners. Hospitality plus! This place sounded like a winner!</p> <p>Was it? What kind of a "winner" did we have here? Would they do a good job on Seth's front teeth? How would Seth do? A root canal??? Those things have really scared me. Would the dentist be patient? How will he rate?<br /> Stay with me and my next post will reveal the answers to these questions!</p> <p>Do you ever wonder if you will always feel stressed out over Autism? Do you ever wonder if you will ever get used to it? There always seems to be something you can worry over. Is it worth it? Are we really on our own with this whole fiasco? </p> <p>Until Next Time,<br /> Ponder these questions and anticipate the results! You may get surprised!<br /> Nancy Lynne!</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/405#comments Autism autism and dentists seizures Wed, 24 Jun 2009 12:01:20 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 405 at http://thepuzzleboy.com New Theory of Autism Suggests Symptoms or Disorder May Be Reversible http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/400 <p>I found this to be quite intriguing as I had noticed the same thing. I also noticed when Seth was young that he did real well when fasting. Seth also does not have seizures when he is sick, has a cold, or has had a broken bone. I would agree with this article except for the part that says this happens to the children of woman who lived through a bad storm such as a cyclone! I just get a "kick" out of some "scientific" minds. I never went through a major storm while pregnant for Seth. Did this happen to anyone else out there???</p> <p>ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2009) — Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have proposed a sweeping new theory of autism that suggests that the brains of people with autism are structurally normal but dysregulated, meaning symptoms of the disorder might be reversible.<br /> The central tenet of the theory, published in the March issue of Brain Research Reviews, is that autism is a developmental disorder caused by impaired regulation of the locus coeruleus, a bundle of neurons in the brain stem that processes sensory signals from all areas of the body.<br /> The new theory stems from decades of anecdotal observations that some autistic children seem to improve when they have a fever, only to regress when the fever ebbs. A 2007 study in the journal Pediatrics took a more rigorous look at fever and autism, observing autistic children during and after fever episodes and comparing their behavior with autistic children who didn't have fevers. This study documented that autistic children experience behavior changes during fever.<br /> "On a positive note, we are talking about a brain region that is not irrevocably altered. It gives us hope that, with novel therapies, we will eventually be able to help people with autism," says theory co-author Mark F. Mehler, M.D., chairman of neurology and director of the Institute for Brain Disorders and Neural Regeneration at Einstein.<br /> Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. It usually appears during the first three years of life. Autism is called a "spectrum disorder" since it affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. It is estimated that one in every 150 American children has some degree of autism.<br /> Einstein researchers contend that scientific evidence directly points to the locus coeruleus–noradrenergic (LC-NA) system as being involved in autism. "The LC-NA system is the only brain system involved both in producing fever and controlling behavior," says co-author Dominick P. Purpura, M.D., dean emeritus and distinguished professor of neuroscience at Einstein.<br /> The locus coeruleus has widespread connections to brain regions that process sensory information. It secretes most of the brain's noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in arousal mechanisms, such as the "fight or flight" response. It is also involved in a variety of complex behaviors, such as attentional focusing (the ability to concentrate attention on environmental cues relevant to the task in hand, or to switch attention from one task to another). Poor attentional focusing is a defining characteristic of autism.<br /> "What is unique about the locus coeruleus is that it activates almost all higher-order brain centers that are involved in complex cognitive tasks," says Dr. Mehler.<br /> Drs. Purpura and Mehler hypothesize that in autism, the LC-NA system is dysregulated by the interplay of environment, genetic, and epigenetic factors (chemical substances both within as well as outside the genome that regulate the expression of genes). They believe that stress plays a central role in dysregulation of the LC-NA system, especially in the latter stages of prenatal development when the fetal brain is particularly vulnerable.<br /> As evidence, the researchers point to a 2008 study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, that found a higher incidence of autism among children whose mothers had been exposed to hurricanes and tropical storms during pregnancy. Maternal exposure to severe storms at mid-gestation resulted in the highest prevalence of autism.<br /> Drs. Purpura and Mehler believe that, in autistic children, fever stimulates the LC-NA system, temporarily restoring its normal regulatory function. "This could not happen if autism was caused by a lesion or some structural abnormality of the brain," says Dr. Purpura.<br /> "This gives us hope that we will eventually be able to do something for people with autism," he adds.<br /> The researchers do not advocate fever therapy (fever induced by artificial means), which would be an overly broad, and perhaps even dangerous, remedy. Instead, they say, the future of autism treatment probably lies in drugs that selectively target certain types of noradrenergic brain receptors or, more likely, in epigenetic therapies targeting genes of the LC-NA system.<br /> "If the locus coeruleus is impaired in autism, it is probably because tens or hundreds, maybe even thousands, of genes are dysregulated in subtle and complex ways," says Dr. Mehler. "The only way you can reverse this process is with epigenetic therapies, which, we are beginning to learn, have the ability to coordinate very large integrated gene networks."<br /> "The message here is one of hope but also one of caution," Dr. Mehler adds. "You can't take a complex neuropsychiatric disease that has escaped our understanding for 50 years and in one fell swoop have a therapy that is going to reverse it — that's folly. On the other hand, we now have clues to the neurobiology, the genetics, and the epigenetics of autism. To move forward, we need to invest more money in basic science to look at the genome and the epigenome in a more focused way."</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/400#comments Autism Brain fever Health Thu, 16 Apr 2009 01:20:37 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 400 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Normal in Relationship to Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/399 <p>This book written by a young girl, Smantha Mcleaod, expresses my sentiments and what I have shared in previous blogs, exactly! I think it would be a book worth reading! </p> <p>Cary, N.C. — A book written by a middle school student is getting attention for its look at autism through a child's eyes.</p> <p>Samantha McLeod, of Cary, wrote "Normal" based on her experience trying to change her younger brother Tyler, who has autism, into a normal child.</p> <p>Samantha began writing when she was 9 years old. She said her brother's outbursts were embarrassing, and she began putting her feelings down on paper.</p> <p>"When they would go to the store, Tyler would make loud silly noises, and people would stare at him,” Samantha spoke while reading from her book.</p> <p>Samantha kept writing about how she wanted her brother to be normal. She saw so-called normal children, without autism, hanging their heads out of bus windows and talking in weird languages for fun. Those humorous accounts soon caught the eye of Samantha's former principal, Jan Hargrove.</p> <p>"I said, 'Sam, you really need to publish this,'” Hargrove said.</p> <p>It took four years to put Samantha and Tyler's story into print. The 13-year-old author also illustrated her book. So far, more than 300 copies have sold.</p> <p>“We have used it in classrooms to show children it is OK to be different,” Hargrove said.</p> <p>Samantha said she learned that there is no such thing as normal.</p> <p>"No one is normal. Everyone is a freak,” she said.</p> <p>You can buy Samantha's book "Normal," at Lulu.com. It won the 2008 P.A.L.s Autism Choice Award.</p> <p>Samantha is currently working on a second book, "My brother is not special." It is also a story she wrote when she was younger.</p> <p> * Reporter: Adam Owens<br /> * Photographer: Anthony Shepherd<br /> * Web Editor: Minnie Bridgers</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/399#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2009 15:57:19 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 399 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Waves of Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/391 <p>Have you ever noticed that your Autistic child will have good days and bad days? It is like the waves and tides of an ocean. There are high times and low times. Stormy times and calm times. Days where you feel you have it "all together" and times when it seems like everything you accomplished just fell apart!. Those are dismal days for sure! I have been contemplating such events. Where do they come from, why is it so? Guess what? I think it is more complicated than we can even imagine!</p> <p>First of all, do not get overly discouraged. Think of yourself. How well do you ride the waves? Do you stay calm and even constantly, or do you change? I have high days where I am feeling on top of the world. This may last a couple of weeks. I think I have "arrived!" I know how to manage my moods! Surprise!" One day I wake up and feel like crawling. My mind is not as clear. I have a harder time accomplishing all my tasks. Everything that I like to do, I now do not like to do. All can seem bleak and overwhelming. Too much input, too little energy to manage it.<br /> Then, when you think it must be old age, you have a resurgence and feel fantastic again? Why?</p> <p>Same reason as your Autistic child. The world, the ocean, the weather, and our body rhythms have something in common. They change. Unfortunately, for our Autistic kids, these changes appear very drastic to us. We "normal type" individuals have some "say" over how we feel. We can zip our lips, take more naps, drag on anyways, or just plain muster up our thought processes to get by. Our special needs kids do not have the same mental processes we do. They don't know why they feel a certain way. They just respond to it. No stops. We have to be their "stop gap" We have to view them and think, "hmmmmmm, I think my child has had enough today. I think that there is information overload going into his/her system, I better back off. I think I am pushing too much here, I better slow down." We have to be on the watch out.</p> <p>Another thing we have to watch is their intake of food, water, chemicals, pollen, noise and attention or lack thereof. I have noticed with Seth that he does fantastic in the middle of winter and summer. Spring and Fall and the edges of these seasons seems to be his worse time. It begins in February here in MO. I found out that during this month, even though it is cold here, down south is pollinating. Lo and Behold, I found out that pollens come up this way on the air streams and affect us in February. I looked up the pollen count for this area today. Guess what I found? Pollens are moderately high! No wonder Seth is clapping again. I thought that had ended long ago. Introduce spring pollen and it is here again. He is a little more spacey and has a few more seizures than he was having. Just when I thought I had all the answers! Funny thing is, I notice it in myself also. My eyes get "gunky" on some days and my stomach goes from flat to round! It tends to bloat up a bit. </p> <p>The immune system in our Autistic kids is not quite up to par. I think we all may know this. So, we have to be even more careful or find products that help us along when we see these symptoms taking place. Most people get runny noses, red, itchy eyes, hives, dark circles under their eyes or drag with exhaustion or perhaps even asthma. Our kids can "act up", or have more Autistic symptoms. They have to work extra hard to be "good." Maybe if we are more understanding, and do not get so stressed out, they will do better. I know that they feel our stress and act accordingly. What child doesn't?</p> <p>Seth's neurologist believes it could possibly be because in the spring and fall, the amount of light we are getting changes pretty drastically. This could very well be.</p> <p>I am so glad that my Heavenly Father understands the world in which we live. He knows when the pressure is too great on us. He holds out His loving hands and says, "Come unto Me all ye that are weary and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!" "Draw nigh unto me and I will draw nigh unto you." He knows we have limits, He offers us to come rest awhile, to come and drink of his "Living Waters." </p> <p>Take some time to stop and really listen. Pray often.</p> <p>Until Next Time, Be observant, cut yourself some slack, know your limits and your childs limits!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/391#comments allergies and behavior Autism autistic children Health pollens special needs children Mon, 23 Feb 2009 16:52:12 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 391 at http://thepuzzleboy.com The Puzzle Boys New Adventures for 2009! Autism Has a Right! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/369 <p>Have you ever noticed that Autism changes? It has many faces. Each day is new. You may gain some ground, then you may lose that ground. You have no idea why. It just happens. A few years down the road, you can look back and say, hey, even though we took steps backward, somehow we have gained ground! Nothing is stagnant, things change, move, grow. That is how it is with our kids. I am thankful for that! </p> <p>Quite a number of years ago, when Seth was 7 or 8, he had a little violin. He took violin lessons. He was so proud of that little half size instrument. He made it hum. Up and down went the bow. His little fingers would move over the strings, picking out Long, Long Ago. Every day we would listen to Suzuki music. Yes, that was long, long ago. Unfortunately, Autism and seizures took over the fun. If the grass was being mowed during his lesson, the grass allergies would get to him. He could not concentrate if there was any distraction at all. Seizures wiped out his mind too many times back then. </p> <p>Fifteen years have passed since then, with the little violin following us wherever we moved. Seth would proudly tell people all about his little violin. I guess we were still quite nostalgic about it.</p> <p>This brings us up to the present. Seth is 22 years old. He is a mature "child." Love reigns supreme in his heart and he loves music. Whenever he sees someone play a violin, he is all ears and all eyes and all smiles. Recently a young girl, age 5, in our church, has decided to learn the violin. She wanted a violin in the worse way. My heart went out, knowing about the little violin that resides in our home. I offered that perhaps she could use Seth's violin, if, that is, he would part with it. I did not want them to get their hopes up as I was not sure this would happen. I asked Seth, "You know the little girl in church? She would really like to play the violin. Would you want to share yours? She would keep it for awhile."</p> <p>Pause. "No, I really want to keep it here." was Seth's reply. Just as I had thought. Hmmmm. A thought popped in my mind one night. Do you suppose the violin teacher would want to teach Seth? Do you suppose Seth might want to take violin lessons again? He has been really progressing lately. His mind is much sharper, he has way less seizures, he is not distracted, he is much more focused than back then. It is funny how your mind stays in a certain path until one day you wake up and realize you need to zoom to fast forward. The following day I asked Seth "Would you like to take violin lessons again?" The answer was swift. "YES!" "Who would teach me?" "I already have a violin." </p> <p>"Seth, your violin is way to small for you now. You grew up like Joseph and the coat of Many Colors. Joseph grew up and the coat no longer fit. We have to get you a big adult size violin now. Would you want to sell your little violin to the little girl in church? Then we could put that money toward a larger one." Again, "Yes, I will do that. Let's go to town and find another violin!" I called Lisa, she was more than willing to teach Seth. She stated that she thought he was pretty smart and quite perceptive. </p> <p>In town, we found the music store and listened to each violin. We picked out the one that sounded good and had a reasonable price. Seth has collected lots of birthday money, and he was ready to spend in on this new adventure in his life! I believe he will be commited. When we brought the beautiful instrument home, we carefully took it out of its case, rosined the bow, put on the shoulder rest, an tried it out. Oh, it made quite a loud noise! I put it on Seth's shoulder, and helped him hold the bow. To begin with, he pressed down very hard. It took about 5 minutes of working with him for him to get a lighter touch and make a sweeter sound. We were so happy! He is teachable. Even if he is not a savant at the violin, if he can learn a few songs, it will make him happy. It will encourage his brain cells to synapse even more, it will add a sweet sound in our home. Our daughter would play the piano so beautifully when she lived with us. My heart would melt at her special talent and touch. We have missed that. I guess to fill the spot, I took up the hammered dulcimer, and the bowed psaltery along with my guitar. I pulled out the old wooden recorder and stare now and then at my clarinet. It needs a lot of work on it and I wonder if I want to really pucker my lips up that much anymore! I really want to get an Irish Whistle and learn that. My mother, at age 66 has also taken up the hammered dulcimer, and is having an Irish Whistle made for her. Who knows, with Seth at the violin, hopefully my dear husband will take the time to learn the Mountain Dulcimer, and with what all the others play, we can make beautiful music together!</p> <p>The little girl at church came this week to buy the little violin. I took a picture of it. If I can ever figure out how to download pics on here, I will post it. She is a happy camper. Everyone is ready for lessons!</p> <p>I hope that this year, you can find a special something for your Autistic child to do. Pray for an idea, it will happen!</p> <p>Next story, I will share our next adventure! I hope you are motivated to move forward, take a look at where you were and where you now are, reevaluate, and move forward!</p> <p>Sincerely Humming along,</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:29:46 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 369 at http://thepuzzleboy.com There is Always Hope When it Comes to Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/372 <p>Here is a story that will melt your heart. It is not written by me. I do not know the name of the person that wrote it, but I knew that you would enjoy this heartwrenching, heartwarming story. Read on...</p> <p>Meet Max</p> <p>Today at 10:57am<br /> Meet Max, he's chocolate brown, very soft and he sports a red golf shirt.<br /> Max joins a long line up of treasured toys singled out of probably<br /> hundreds, as a favorite.</p> <p>First, there was "Katie", the cheap doll Sarah had that was a token<br /> Christmas present from a distant relative. For some reason Katie<br /> despite her lack of glamor won over Sarah's heart. Sarah played with<br /> beloved Katie until her head fell off. Now I'm not sure if your<br /> child's toy has every gone through head trauma, but it is really<br /> distressing. We had to carefully package Katie up and airlift her to<br /> Grandma. (The only person in the family who still knew how to<br /> sew.)After a few weeks of surgery and rehabilitation Katie came back<br /> with a letter.<br /> "I feel much better now and I'm ready to play. While I was at<br /> Grandma's I asked Jesus to come into my heart!" Sure enough we lifted<br /> Katie's dress and in Raggedy Ann fashion, was a heart with "Jesus"<br /> embroidered in it.</p> <p>After Katie came "Kluto" (Pluto), because for our oldest son, every<br /> man must have a dog.<br /> When we first bought Kluto he could bark and do flips but after years<br /> of tired loyalty, his wires frayed from being man's best friend. We<br /> had to make the awful decision to either cut the wires or throw Kluto<br /> away. Once again, surgery was the only option. Sadly it left Kluto<br /> with the inability to walk but he was still toted every where and<br /> enjoyed much fun.</p> <p>Tiffany like her mother was a fan of stuffed cats. My own stuffed cat<br /> "Katherine" probably harbored billions of bacteria carefully cultured<br /> on her snout from the real milk I fed her everyday. Left over from my<br /> cereal bowl no less. To this day, I still don't know how my very germ<br /> conscious, public health nurse, mother let this go. I guess she<br /> understood that I could not live without Catherine the cat.<br /> Catherine had an array of surgeries that kept her going thankfully my<br /> mother had med surg experience! Catherine also occasionally flirted<br /> and married "George" my sister's stuffed male cat. Sometimes they<br /> repelled together on bathrobe belts down the staircase. So it was no<br /> surprise that Tiffany, my youngest, would have a pension for felines.<br /> Cats are always up for adventure and fear nothing - so similar to<br /> Tiffany's gusto to do all her older brothers and sister do.</p> <p>But Josh... he was a different story. No toy moved him. Despite many<br /> bought.<br /> In fact, Dave and I were cleaning the attic out after New Years and<br /> opened tote after tote of Autism toys. Specifically bought to pull<br /> Josh into our world and into a normal childhood. Instead our hearts<br /> broke as we would find him playing in the toilet or eating my make-up<br /> - throwing our fall pumpkins in the fish tank. Killing our sun fish<br /> with a deafening blow. No amount of Rescue Hero robots, "Toots" the<br /> Train or Fuzzy friends action would sway Josh back to the simple joys<br /> of childhood.</p> <p>If you want to have your heart broken in half stand in the living room<br /> at Christmas after you have been up half the night assembling toys and<br /> watch a child stare aimlessly at them. My Christmas from hell was when<br /> Josh was three. We searched the world over for toys he might like.<br /> Dave assembled a fantastically colored wooden play house til 2 in the<br /> morning. The other three kids tore out of bed screaming and squealing<br /> and Dave on video is heard coaxing Josh. Josh unfortunately, is<br /> completely spaced out. "Come on buddy how about the helicopter? Pull<br /> the paper off someone!" Dave begged. This Christmas morning, like<br /> birthdays, made us cry ourselves to sleep at night. Often I would find<br /> Dave slumped over a sleeping Josh begging God to give him his words.</p> <p>And then there was Max five years later.<br /> The symbol of hope, change and that God will never leave us or forsake us.<br /> Maybe it was the 5 hearts that we put in Max at Build A Bear that<br /> filled him with so much love. After 5 years of biomedical treatment<br /> and much prayer Josh finally has a Max.<br /> We often find Max carefully tucked in next to Josh at night and then<br /> up early at the breakfast table. Even patiently waiting for Josh, in<br /> his pint sized golf shirt, while the next level is mastered on the DS.<br /> In a matter of days Max, the discount Build A Bear, has become family.<br /> He is scooped up after school and consulted before major decisions.<br /> "Should I have a banana or rice bar Max?" I even catch him eying<br /> Tiffy's Bear as they have tea.<br /> Somehow Max for his 10 bucks and 3 dollar golf shirt has healed my<br /> heart and reminded me that God can do the impossible.<br /> When the neurologist told me Josh had Autism, there was nothing we can<br /> do. He flatly said "There is no cure"...scrape the unscientific<br /> diets...there is no hope. Just cope lady. Just cope. As he handed me a<br /> little white piece of paper with a psychiatrist's number on it. (I<br /> cried bitter tears all the way home.)<br /> The neurologist for all his beautifully framed diplomas was wrong,<br /> dead wrong. There was plenty of hope and restoration for little<br /> non-verbal Josh. We just had to look under some rocks. Scan the<br /> internet until we found other parents with healed kids and more<br /> importantly, doctors who refused to believe Autism was just some<br /> genetic anomaly.<br /> There *was* healing for Josh all along. Max is proof that there are<br /> silver lining stuffed with wishes. A friend waiting for you to come home.</p> <p>If you know someone recently diagnosed with Autism tell them.<br /> There is hope. There is healing. Dreams and destinies don't have to be<br /> derailed and lost.<br /> <a href="http://www.generationrescue.org/biomedical.html">http://www.generationrescue.org/biomedical.html</a></p> <p>Make sure to check out the above site. It has good ideas for everyone, in any condition!</p> Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:29:04 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 372 at http://thepuzzleboy.com About http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/102 <p>Welcome to The Puzzle Boy! Our purpose here is to encourage and inform you as you are daily walking in the throes of Autism! We understand the journey as we have been on it for 22 years! The younger years were tougher than anyone could even imagine, except for you! However, we have had our turning point in which we are finding unlimited joys and potentials as Seth grows and matures. </p> <p>Read the many articles that I have written describing our daily Living with Autism. Also, you will find photos and equally important, articles regarding Moms, Dads, and Caretakers. How to take care of yourself so that you can keep on keeping on! Don't forget to read the health articles and the information on products and nutrition that I have found to be vital! Look under "Categories."</p> <p> I have tried many, many things over the years and it is exciting to be able to share with you companies and products that are honestly good for you, and that will make a difference! I hope you enjoy this place and find a rich source of blessing and uplifting words that will carry you through. Check us out daily or weekly for new postings and information! Feel free to leave comments. </p> <p> Sincerely, Nancy Clayburn</p> Tue, 13 Jan 2009 21:14:42 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 102 at http://thepuzzleboy.com University of California Finds Rising CA Autism Cases Not Due to Better Counting http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/364 <p>(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - A study by researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute has found that the seven- to eight-fold increase in the number children born in California with autism since 1990 cannot be explained by either changes in how the condition is diagnosed or counted - and the trend shows no sign of abating.</p> <p>Published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology, results from the study also suggest that research should shift from genetics to the host of chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment that are likely at the root of changes in the neurodevelopment of California's children.</p> <p>"It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California," said UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and an internationally respected autism researcher.</p> <p>Hertz-Picciotto said that many researchers, state officials and advocacy organizations have viewed the rise in autism's incidence in California with skepticism.</p> <p>The incidence of autism by age six in California has increased from fewer than nine in 10,000 for children born in 1990 to more than 44 in 10,000 for children born in 2000. Some have argued that this change could have been due to migration into California of families with autistic children, inclusion of children with milder forms of autism in the counting and earlier ages of diagnosis as consequences of improved surveillance or greater awareness.</p> <p>Hertz-Picciotto and her co-author, Lora Delwiche of the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences, initiated the study to address these beliefs, analyzing data collected by the state of California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) from 1990 to 2006, as well as the United States Census Bureau and state of California Department of Public Health Office of Vital Records, which compiles and maintains birth statistics.</p> <p>Hertz-Picciotto and Delwiche correlated the number of cases of autism reported between 1990 and 2006 with birth records and excluded children not born in California. They used Census Bureau data to calculate the rate of incidence in the population over time and examined the age at diagnosis of all children ages two to 10 years old.</p> <p>The methodology eliminated migration as a potential cause of the increase in the number of autism cases. It also revealed that no more than 56 percent of the estimated 600-to-700 percent increase, that is, less than one-tenth of the increased number of reported autism cases, could be attributed to the inclusion of milder cases of autism. Only 24 percent of the increase could be attributed to earlier age at diagnosis.</p> <p>"These are fairly small percentages compared to the size of the increase that we've seen in the state," Hertz-Picciotto said.</p> <p>Hertz-Picciotto said that the study is a clarion call to researchers and policy makers who have focused attention and money on understanding the genetic components of autism. She said that the rise in cases of autism in California cannot be attributed to the state's increasingly diverse population because the disorder affects ethnic groups at fairly similar rates.</p> <p>"Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones. We need to even out the funding," Hertz-Picciotto said.</p> <p>The study results are also a harbinger of things to come for public-health officials, who should prepare to offer services to the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism in the last decade who are now entering their late teen years, Hertz-Picciotto said.</p> <p>"These children are now moving toward adulthood, and a sizeable percentage of them have not developed the life skills that would allow them to live independently," she said.</p> <p>The question for the state of California, Hertz-Picciotto said, will become: 'What happens to them when their parents cannot take care of them?'</p> <p>"These questions are not going to go away and they are only going to loom larger in the future. Until we know the causes and can eliminate them, we as a society need to provide those treatments and interventions that do seem to help these children adapt. We as scientists need to improve available therapies and create new ones," Hertz-Picciotto said.</p> <p>Hertz-Picciotto and her colleagues at the M.I.N.D Institute are currently conducting two large studies aimed at discovering the causes of autism. Hertz-Picciotto is the principal investigator on the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment) and MARBLES (Markers of Autism Risk in Babies-Learning Early Signs) studies.</p> <p>CHARGE is the largest epidemiologic study of reliably confirmed cases of autism to date, and the first major investigation of environmental factors and gene-environment interactions in the disorder. MARBLES is a prospective investigation that follows women who already have had one child with autism, beginning early in or even before a subsequent pregnancy, to search for early markers that predict autism in the younger sibling.</p> <p>"We're looking at the possible effects of metals, pesticides and infectious agents on neurodevelopment," Hertz-Picciotto said. "If we're going to stop the rise in autism in California, we need to keep these studies going and expand them to the extent possible."</p> <p>###</p> <p>The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and by the M.I.N.D. Institute.</p> <p>In 1998, dedicated families concerned about autism helped found the UC Davis M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute. Their vision? Experts from every discipline related to the brain working together toward a common goal: curing neurodevelopmental disorders. Since that time, collaborative research teams at the M.I.N.D. Institute have turned that initial inspiration into significant contributions to the science of autism, fragile X syndrome, Tourette's syndrome, learning disabilities and other neurodevelopmental disorders that can limit a child's lifelong potential.</p> Autism California Fri, 09 Jan 2009 21:22:57 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 364 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Some of The Puzzle Boys Creations http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/362 <p>One of Seth's hobbies, or works of art includes doing Puzzles. I think they are masterpieces! He is amazing to watch as he flips the pieces round and round to find the perfect fit. What do you think?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/Blog_Photos/Italian%20City.jpg" style="width: 402px; height: 302px;" alt="" /></p> <p><img height="300" border="1" align="middle" width="400" alt="Deer Puzzle" src="/sites/default/files/Blog_Photos/deer%20puzzle_0.jpg" /></p> Wed, 24 Dec 2008 04:12:17 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 362 at http://thepuzzleboy.com What About You, Mom? http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/351 <p>As a Caregiver over a person with Autism, or a person with Dementia, or over a cancer patient, or any other such thing, I would like to ask you, "How are you caring for yourself?" This may sound a bit selfish. I remember a person storming into my son's hospital room while I was caring for him and being with him.</p> <p>She fairly screamed, "What are you doing for you?!!!! What are you doing for yourself?!!!! You need to be going to the mall, or out with friends!!!!" This felt like an outrage. It felt sacrelige to me at the time. Of course I was there with my son, what mother in her right mind could enjoy going to the mall or out with buddies while her baby was languishing in a hospital crib? I couldn't. It would not feel right at that time. And it was not the right time, either. The whole attitude behind those questions at that time were extreme to say the least. It did not sit well.</p> <p>I am not asking that question to you in the same manner. I am suggesting it as a way for us to consider deep in our hearts, what are we doing to take care of ourselves so that we can still be around in our middle and older years and not have reverse roles where someone has to care for us because we have neglected to care for our bodies. It is so easy to neglect our own health to the benefit of another. Is there a balance? Should we take care of ourself? Is it really selfish? </p> <p>Let's begin with our bodily health. The Bible says: "I wish above all things that mayest prosper and be in good health." I John 3:2 This is God talking to us. He wishes that for us. Will He force us to take care of ourselves? No. Will He force our lives to be joyful? No. These are things that He wishes we would do for <em>us</em>.</p> <p>He has outlined a plan, or an "owners manual" on how to take care of these fine working machines. He wishes we would! As we step forward, He will be right there with us, showing us more and more better ways and giving us the strength to to just what He wishes.</p> <p>I am going to be very brief here, but I would like to admonish that your diet is very important. If you keep going on coffee, it will eventually take you down. If doughnuts are added, this will also age you. Junky fast food will build up in your joints and make you very sore and arthritic over time. Stress will make you exhausted and have insomnia. Lack of water will cause all of the above, also. Coffee and soda dehydrates you. I bet you know all of this, don't you!? This is nothing new. What I hope will become new to those who have not tried, is to change the above for something far better!</p> <p>Personally, I try and drink nearly a gallon of distilled water a day. I have a water distiller and it saves me a ton of money, and the landfills don't get clogged up with toxic plastic. In the morning, when I first get up, I will warm up a quart of water. I add the juice of one half of a lemon. This clears the system and helps the liver do its job. It cuts mucus and is a great source of Vitamin C which aids the immune system. Other than that, I will put a green drink in my water for detoxifying. There are many brands out there, but I am very, very partial to <strong>Superior Greens</strong>! It actually tastes very good! Stevia is used as a natural sweetner along with licorice. These both help the blood sugar out. Diabetics will have no problem with this. Right away you will notice more energy and a sense of happiness. My husband takes it as well as our Autistic son, Seth. It keeps the body detoxed and helps the liver stay clean and functioning properly as well as loads of added natural vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals. There are other great things added to benefit your body. I like this green drink because it is devoid of some potentially harmful and allergenic substances that other green drinks have had over the years. Believe me, I have tried loads of them! Blue Green algea has been one of the worse things for us, and this product does not have that in it!</p> <p>I will drink another quart throughout the morning. I may add <strong>Superior Reds</strong> which is all kinds of red fruits and veggies all high in anti-oxidants. I notice that when I am in front of the computer a lot and my eyes hurt, I can take <strong>Superior Reds</strong> and my eyes feel much better along with a feeling of well-being. <strong>Superior Reds</strong> has added benefits for circulation and the heart. You can look in the <strong>Products</strong> section and find out more about both of these. Seth and I love the strawberry flavor. Everything is totally natural and helps your body rather than hinder it and clog it. </p> <p>I will get through another quart of water through the afternoon and then drink some more in the evening. Now you may think that is an awful lot of water. It may be for you. I gaurantee that if you add more water to the amount you are taking, and keep adding, you will crave the water and really enjoy it and find you can't live without it! Your body will love you for it! Another way I enjoy water is through green teas or other herbal teas. Coffee and caffeine do not count, so you want to make sure you have decaf green tea. It is also rich in anti-oxidants and helps keep you younger. </p> <p>This is one of the ways to take care of yourself. Rid yourself of softdrinks, coffee, tea, colas, and other such abominations and introduce water, a gulp at a time. I have also found that if you put a straw in your quart, it is much easier and more fun to get down!</p> <p>Until Next Time, I think I gave you enough to begin with!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> <p>Clayburn</p> Autism Caregiver Water Mon, 22 Dec 2008 01:08:30 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 351 at http://thepuzzleboy.com How are you caring for yourself? http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/352 <p>As a Caregiver over a person with Autism, or a person with Dementia, or over a cancer patient, or any other such thing, I would like to ask you, "How are you caring for yourself?" This may sound a bit selfish. I remember a person storming into my son's hospital room while I was caring for him and being with him.</p> <p>She fairly screamed, "What are you doing for you?!!!! What are you doing for yourself?!!!! You need to be going to the mall, or out with friends!!!!" This felt like an outrage. It felt sacrelige to me at the time. Of course I was there with my son, what mother in her right mind could enjoy going to the mall or out with buddies while her baby was languishing in a hospital crib? I couldn't. It would not feel right at that time. And it was not the right time, either. The whole attitude behind those questions at that time were extreme to say the least. It did not sit well.</p> <p>I am not asking that question to you in the same manner. I am suggesting it as a way for us to consider deep in our hearts, what are we doing to take care of ourselves so that we can still be around in our middle and older years and not have reverse roles where someone has to care for us because we have neglected to care for our bodies. It is so easy to neglect our own health to the benefit of another. Is there a balance? Should we take care of ourself? Is it really selfish? </p> <p>Let's begin with our bodily health. The Bible says: "I wish above all things that mayest prosper and be in good health." I John 3:2 This is God talking to us. He wishes that for us. Will He force us to take care of ourselves? No. Will He force our lives to be joyful? No. These are things that He wishes we would do for <em>us</em>.</p> <p>He has outlined a plan, or an "owners manual" on how to take care of these fine working machines. He wishes we would! As we step forward, He will be right there with us, showing us more and more better ways and giving us the strength to to just what He wishes.</p> <p>I am going to be very brief here, but I would like to admonish that your diet is very important. If you keep going on coffee, it will eventually take you down. If doughnuts are added, this will also age you. Junky fast food will build up in your joints and make you very sore and arthritic over time. Stress will make you exhausted and have insomnia. Lack of water will cause all of the above, also. Coffee and soda dehydrates you. I bet you know all of this, don't you!? This is nothing new. What I hope will become new to those who have not tried, is to change the above for something far better!</p> <p>Personally, I try and drink nearly a gallon of distilled water a day. I have a water distiller and it saves me a ton of money, and the landfills don't get clogged up with toxic plastic. In the morning, when I first get up, I will warm up a quart of water. I add the juice of one half of a lemon. This clears the system and helps the liver do its job. It cuts mucus and is a great source of Vitamin C which aids the immune system. Other than that, I will put a green drink in my water for detoxifying. There are many brands out there, but I am very, very partial to <strong>Superior Greens</strong>! It actually tastes very good! Stevia is used as a natural sweetner along with licorice. These both help the blood sugar out. Diabetics will have no problem with this. Right away you will notice more energy and a sense of happiness. My husband takes it as well as our Autistic son, Seth. It keeps the body detoxed and helps the liver stay clean and functioning properly as well as loads of added natural vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals. There are other great things added to benefit your body. I like this green drink because it is devoid of some potentially harmful and allergenic substances that other green drinks have had over the years. Believe me, I have tried loads of them! Blue Green algea has been one of the worse things for us, and this product does not have that in it!</p> <p>I will drink another quart throughout the morning. I may add <strong>Superior Reds</strong> which is all kinds of red fruits and veggies all high in anti-oxidants. I notice that when I am in front of the computer a lot and my eyes hurt, I can take <strong>Superior Reds</strong> and my eyes feel much better along with a feeling of well-being. <strong>Superior Reds</strong> has added benefits for circulation and the heart. You can look in the <strong>Products</strong> section and find out more about both of these. Seth and I love the strawberry flavor. Everything is totally natural and helps your body rather than hinder it and clog it. </p> <p>I will get through another quart of water through the afternoon and then drink some more in the evening. Now you may think that is an awful lot of water. It may be for you. I gaurantee that if you add more water to the amount you are taking, and keep adding, you will crave the water and really enjoy it and find you can't live without it! Your body will love you for it! Another way I enjoy water is through green teas or other herbal teas. Coffee and caffeine do not count, so you want to make sure you have decaf green tea. It is also rich in anti-oxidants and helps keep you younger. </p> <p>This is one of the ways to take care of yourself. Rid yourself of softdrinks, coffee, tea, colas, and other such abominations and introduce water, a gulp at a time. I have also found that if you put a straw in your quart, it is much easier and more fun to get down!</p> <p>Until Next Time, I think I gave you enough to begin with!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> <p>Clayburn</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 01:07:45 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 352 at http://thepuzzleboy.com How Might an Autistic Child Relate to Death http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/233 <p>Years ago, when Seth was about 5 years old, my dad had a cat and we had a dog. My dad's cat was a beautiful calico with long hair. We had her since I was a young child. It was surely a cat with 9 lives. Tiffany, our dog, which was a poodle had been around since before we had children. Back in B.C. (before children). </p> <p>One day the cat died. Seth wanted to see her get buried. All we had out in the woods was loads of rocks and boulders. So, the cat got a big rock marker. Back Seth treked after the sad deed was done. Nary a word. Then one very sad day, at 12 years of age, our beloved Tiffany died. She was a wonderful black poodle with much personality. She gave a lot to us. Actually, she was quite sick with congestive heart failure. We made an appointment to put her down. It crushed my spirits. I loved her soooo much. She followed me around the day before and just kept staring at me. The day of the vet appointment, she sat on the arm of the couch and never got up.</p> <p>Seth wanted to go with dad to see this thing take place. I thought that was kind of warped but chalked it off to being a bit young to understand. When the boys arrived back home, Seth said he thought it was very neat to watch Tiffany die. However, he thought that she was going to go flat when she died. He eagerly went out to the back woods where the cat was buried and grinned all the way home. Again, "Neat!"</p> <p>I was a bit disturbed by this behavior. Two weeks later Seth asked me, "Mom, when is Tiffany and the cat going to come alive again?" I replied that they would not come alive again. They died.</p> <p>"Oh, that is so very sad!" He lammented. Over the ensuing weeks he kept saying how sad it was that Tiffany would not come alive again. I felt better.</p> <p>This past week, my dad died at the young age of 65. It was a fast, sudden happening. It took an active, energetic man down within 2 short months. It was a very difficult thing to go through emotionally and otherwise for me. Especially since he was very far away in North Idaho. I am in the southern part of Missouri. I could only talk to him over the phone and heard him get weaker and weaker till he could hardly speak.</p> <p>I told Seth that Papa was very sick. "Oh, that's so very sad." I had him write a letter to papa. "Dear Papa, I am so very sad that you are so sick. When are you going to come and see me? I think you should pack up your bags and come and see me." This is the same one-sided conversation that he has had with him for years. "Please come and see me." It has not happened in over 10 years. The letters went back and forth monthly for a long, long time. </p> <p>Last Thursday I told The Puzzle Boy that his papa had died. "Oh, that's so sad." Then life just went on for him. No emotion. The night before when we told him that papa may not live, Seth had 6 seizures! We wondered what in the world was going on. He had not done that in years!</p> <p>I think that perhaps it was his way of processing the emotion. He has not shown any emotion hardly at all except for happiness, of which we are greatful. Life just goes on....I find it very interesting. I can't remember the last time Seth cried. The other night when I tucked him in bed, I asked him if he was sad about anything. "No, nothing." Was his honest reply.</p> <p>Until Next Time, if you have grandchildren, go and see them. Make a wonderful impact on their lives. Talk to them on the phone. If you have an autistic grandchild, keep a consistent relationship going also. Don't give up. Even if you think that it does not matter, it really does. Relationships are very, very important. Please, above all else, tell your kids, grandkids and whomever, that you are PROUD of them! </p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Autism Autism and Death Death Relating to Death Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:12:30 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 233 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Autism Steps out of Routine! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/235 <p>Thursday, March 20, 2008. We woke up as usual on that morning. We ate breakfast, as usual. Mark went to work, as usual. From thereafter, it was unusual. I started packing up our duffle bags and pulling hiking boots out and filling up our Camelbak water packs.</p> <p>This is when Seth decided things were not going to be normal. We don't tell him too far in advance when we are going somewhere because we don't want to stress him out. "Where are we going?" Came the inevitable question. "We are going to go hiking with our friends down in Arkansas for the weekend." I told him. "Why?" "For how long?" "Where will we sleep?" "How will we eat?" Then as we travel. - "When will we be there?"</p> <p>I can imagine that in his mind, unless I showed him everything on the map and gave him exact moments when we would arrive somewhere, it is just plain nebulus to him. At home he has exact moments of time all laid out. When to eat, when to sleep, when to brush teeth, when dad is coming home....</p> <p>"Soon we will be there, Seth. I know it seems like a long way." It truly did seem far. It ended up being 5 hours to our friends -friends home. They lived way, way, way far out in the boonies! And you thought <em>I </em>live far out! Oh, Hoooooe. Nope! These people did, though! We drove down, down down, then up, up, up over mountains that I did not know even existed in the state of AR! It was beautiful! Way, way, way back down the lanes, over the Buffalo River which was recently quite swelled by the incessant coming down of rain we recently had. We finally made it to their home after dark settled in. </p> <p>The M's were quite hospitable to us all! Food was prepared and waiting for us at their generous table. I think Seth was quite relieved when he saw that the place where we were actually had food for him to eat. Now he could really settle in! We were quite tired by now as the day had droned on for quite some time. It was 10pm. The M's brought us out to their guest apartment. The V's slept downstairs and we climbed the ladder to the upstairs room. It was all quite nice. Seth conked out pronto once his teeth were brushed and his pj's were on and the bed made up.</p> <p>The wind howled through the night. "OooooooOOOooooo!" it sounded through the windows and across the screens and around the cracks and in the pines! We slept well and awoke to the peace and serenity that surrounded the countryside.</p> <p>What would happen today? Find out next writing!</p> <p>Until Then, Find a peaceful corner, stop, pray, and Thank Your Heavenly Father for the freedoms you have and for the people that are special to you!'</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:11:15 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 235 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Help with Autism! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/236 <p>It's now Friday morning. I still hear the wind howling through the white pines out our window. It sounds cold. Are we ready for what lies ahead? The great unknown! Not ever explored by the Clayburn Family! After lazily taking our time getting up and around as we thought the others were still sleeping, we finally made our debut only to find out all the others had been up and ate breakfast already! </p> <p>Breakfast was quite hardy with homemade waffles, granola, fresh cream and fruit. We were ready to go! First off we checked out the M's location. They had a mile and a half trail surrounding their property. They had planted hundreds of white pines as they do not normally grow in these parts. It reminded me of growing up in New York state! I loved those sappy trees!</p> <p>After our warm up trek, we made the final bathroom breaks and made sure all was loaded and ready to go as we were headed to a rental cabin for the next 2 nights. We would have only traveled about 16 miles to our next hiking destination, but due to the torrential rain and ensuing flood waters, the road was avalanched in with mudslides and busted off. So, we had to travel over an hour of scenic road to our destiny. Yep, it was waaaay out there! The first trail we hiked down was not even a blazed or marked trail, so I guess I can't even call it a trail. Sylvia and her boys led the way while we filed blindly on....</p> <p>Through to woods, down, down, down the steep incline. We heard the roar of the falls. On we walked a bit more. I was concerned about Seth, The Puzzle Boy getting down safely. Mark and Sylvia worked him on down without a problem. Once we got down to where we could oversee the gorgeous falls, it was suggested that we go down an even steeper rocky incline right next to the falls. It was a nicer, flatter place to eat our lunch. I was a bit worried about getting Seth down there and back up again. He was so hungry, I was hoping he would have enough energy to get there. You know how when you are hungry, you can't focus as well and don't have as much strength. My mommy instincts are still steel strong! I needn't worry again. With Mark and Sylvia's strong 6'6" boys along, no problemo! These boys are used to hard work and hiking and working out! They proved that to me! </p> <p>So, we all made it safely down to our resting spot. We had a wonderful lunch sitting there watching the falls roar down their well developed pathway. The sun was shining, it was warm, and you would never know it was windy and cool up on top!</p> <p>After we ate, took numerous pictures, and rested a bit, us ladies wanted to trek on down the river to see another falls. The men went back up the mountain. Sylvia's one son came with us three ladies for protection. The men spent a couple hours whittling walking sticks for us and shooting the breeze while us ladies and one young man tripped over rocky outcroppings and balanced over a fallen log at least 15 feet above the swirling waters below! It was farther than we thought, but we made it. The falls were 150 feet across. A couple of kayakers were there doing their stuff. So cool to watch them fall down the falls! Their kayaks were so short and cute. Never seen them so small. Much easier to handle on the rapids.</p> <p>On the way back, a poisonous snake lay curled up on the narrowest part of the trail. Excellent, we had Daniel along to push him out of the way! Now where did that ugly snake come from???? Crossing over the tall log on the way back was scarier for me. I panicked! I felt like crying. My resources were wearing down, I did not have enough water with me and all I could see was the swirling water beneath. Sylvia saw the problem and came up behind me. She put her hands on either side of my shoulders to give me a positive and secure attitude again. She said she was fine. I walked on without a hitch. Amazing what a little bit of guidance will do. A firm grip, a secure and solid landing!</p> <p>Becky followed behind and just zipped on across! Bravo, ladies! I am glad that The Puzzle Boy was not along as my heart would wear thin! I was already concerned about him making it all the way back up to the top! Why???? Again, a Mother's Heart!</p> <p>Climbing back up the steep slope was no easy task. It was at least a 45 degree incline. Up, up, up. The sun was beating down on us. Thirst. My liter of water was not enough. I thought the hike down and back was going to be quick and easy. We went farther than I thought, and did not bring more. The others were getting thirsty also. Water really gives you the energy to keep going. Kind of like gasoline in your car. You fatigue easier without it. I have accustomed myself to plenty of water each day without hiking, so with that, I needed more! Once at the top of this particular incline, Sylvia and Daniel remembered a creek. On and on we went. Finally, with no trail to travel on, these 2 found the creek, filled the water bottles and put in water purification. MMMMM, good as gold! Yes! We finally made our way back to the men who were just about on their way for a search!</p> <p>It was much farther than I thought coming back. It is so easy coming down as you talk and visit, you forget how far it is.</p> <p>Now, you are wondering why in the world do we put ourselves and our Puzzle Boy through such things!</p> <p>Good question. First of all, we like adventure and exploring. Second of all, if you quit using it, you lose it! We have found that so true for our Autistic son. If we allow him to sit around, or allow ourselves to sit around, we "stove up" as they call it in these parts. You weaken, you lose your balance and now you become handicapped! I will share more on our next adventure as to WHY! There is more to come. This was just the beginning!</p> <p>For now, it is evening. It has been a long day, and our hour drive to the cabin turns into two hours. It is long past dark when we arrive. The Puzzle Boy is starving and exhausted. After he eats, he immediately falls into a deep, deep slumber.....</p> <p>Until Next Time, happy dreaming!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:10:32 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 236 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Autism Does its Thing! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/240 <p>The second day of our Adventurating with Autism via The Puzzle Boy began in a good way. The sun peered just over the horizon creating a golden backdrop for the sillouette of 5 deer grazing along the green hillside just above our cabin. Sylvia got some pretty nice shots of it. I would call her our in-house photographer! She finds the sights and is quick to take advantage of it!</p> <p>After a hearty breakfast, singing some beautiful praise songs to God for the beauty that surrounded us and donning on our beloved hiking boots, we gathered our lunch and camelbak water packs full of 3 liters of fresh spring water and loaded up the vehicles once again. It was still a bit brisk out that cool spring morning, but by the time we arrived at the trailhead, we were shedding our coats as the sun was promising to warm us up. I am really glad we did that as it warmed up pretty good. I still had a sweatshirt and my pack to put that in if I needed to.</p> <p>The trail started out pretty flat and scenic. With the leaves still off the trees, it was easy to see the lay of the land and the greater hills beyond. If the trees were in fact laden with their green clothing, that is all we would see! Trees! Soon the trail headed down. Down and rocky. Seth was bearing the lead. This was his usual position. He has a great stride! I was in the back, making sure that everyone was taken care of. (Hmmmm!) My short legs and sore ankles were keeping me there, I think! Anyways, conversations amongst us all was good! Because of this, we became, at least I became oblivious to the trail we just took. This hindered me in the return visit! It was a loooot farther than I remembered. Over all, it was an 8 hour hike on the trails this day!</p> <p>We soon came to a fork in the trail where everyone so kindly waited for me! haha! So nice of them. We took off to the right. Before we did so, we were warned that the trail from then on became quite dangerous. Seth would have to be seriously watched out for and he could not take the lead. This was a bit of a challenge. "Seth, you need to stay near us!" We tried to hold his hand, but he felt that was not needed. (Independence Day has arrived!) We hung onto his backpack, but then we could not see where we were going. The path soon narrowed. We could see far below us. We must have been 1500 feet to a straight down shot of the Buffalo River! It was gorgeous as it weaved and meandered in its turquoise path contrasted with the gray of the trees!</p> <p>Seth is pretty sure-footed and focused, yet it was easy to be uneasy! We do not live in his head! That is impossible. We can guess what is going on, but we don't know everyting. Autism thinks a little bit differently. I don't know if he was concentrating on the trail, or concentrating on getting up front and wanting to be first. Mark really worked with him on the narrowest of trails. I think he understood the possible danger. It was rewarding to see Seth look at the scenery and point to the canoes far below with wonder. Even the birds were flying below us. The trees were below us. At one point, there was a hole in the rocks where you could climb through. Seth was pretty intriqued by that hole. I think he wanted to climb through it. His pack would not allow for that. However, Mr. V. took off his pack and climbed through rather than around to humor Seth. Oh, Seth <em>was</em> humored! He really liked that! I got a picture of it!</p> <p>It was pleasant eating our lunch under the trees overlooking the 3-D scenery. Reality struck once again as we had to travel back across the narrow, rocky Goat Trail to the fork in the path. This time we turned down the other rocky trail. Down, down, down we obliviously hiked. We found Grandma's deserted cabin at the bottom. It was fun daydreaming about what it must have felt like living there far from anywhere in the 1920's. On the wall was tacked all kinds of wallpaper, cardboard and newspapers from the Roaring 20's. I even found a piece of feedsack fabric stuck to the walls.</p> <p>Why do we take all these adventures? What is the purpose? Well, it keeps us alive and young and the adrenalin pumping, of course! Not only that, but it is soooo good for Autism. It keeps the neurokenetic flow going between the mind and body. It develops skills. It develops the relationship between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It developes small muscle tone. It gives variety so he does not become stale. Seth needs to be with other people to keep developing social skills. I really <em>do</em> feel sorry for new people as they get initiated, however. When he finds a new listening ear, they have to hear when everyones birthday is, how old they are or will be and then when everyones half-birthday is. He has it all down. Numbers are his "thing." Birthdays and dates on the calendar for holidays are his "thing." Just like you like to talk about and inform everyone about<em> your thing,</em> Autistics love to tell about <em>their thing</em>!</p> <p>Actually, when you hike along with others with an autistic child, you can learn a lot about them, also!</p> <p>Until The Next Day's Adventure,</p> <p>Have a super day, night, afternoon, wherever you are, and Praise God for it!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:08:34 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 240 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Awesome! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/244 <p><img src="http://thepuzzleboy.blogharbor.com/_photos/CMV0308-9948.sized.jpg" alt="" /></p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:06:29 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 244 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Resting From Hiking http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/245 <p><img src="http://thepuzzleboy.blogharbor.com/_photos/CMV0308-9901.sized.jpg" alt="" /></p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:05:42 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 245 at http://thepuzzleboy.com How an Autistic survives a Tornado Warning http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/246 "There is a tornado watch in the area. Circumstances are favorable. Go to your basement. If you have no shelter, lay face down in a ditch or a low area. Stay away from windows. The winds can be in excess of 70 mph....." On droned my weather radio. We sure have had our share of inclement weather warnings this year! I feel like I am in Florida dodging hurricanes or something. "Seth, come on! Get your clothes. The storm is coming. We need to go downstairs!" He remains sitting on his bed reading his Bible chapter. He is reading a chapter a day. Nothing stops him. I take the Bible from him and hold it out like a carrot in front of his nose so he would follow. It worked. He was soon sitting at the bottom stair, still in his PJ's, reading once again. Totally oblivious. Storm? Tornado? Hail? So what! I am in the middle of reading and here I sit. There is no thought. Just basic, childlike trust. No fear. I think he could be in the middle of a tornado, twirling around, land in a treetop and still keep reading! Really! Hence, our Autism friends really <em>need</em> us caretakers. They are precious, naive, trusting, secure. It reminds me of the story of Jesus on the boat. The storm is blasting all around. His followers are afraid for their very lives. Jesus is sleeping in the boat. Totally oblivious. His friends holler for him. Finally he wakes up in His own good time and is not at all fearful. He knows His Father in heaven is all powerful and will take care of them. He uses that power and says "Peace be still." The storm halts. All is calm. The wind came blasting upon us, the trees tossed and turned, the birdfeeders swung and nearly flew off their hooks. The chimes are clanging and banging. Two of them lost their hook and landed. I found them later. I was not afraid, just cautious. Soon it all ended. The peace came. All was well. Seth took off up the stairs when he was done reading. "I think I would like to take a shower now" He announced. Ok, sure. Go ahead. Peace be still. Maybe he is all right after all! Maybe I am the one that needs the caretaking. I do. I need my Savior to protect me from myself! Arrgh! I looked at Seth as we took an evening walk, in the sun, in the warmth and in the calm after a stormy day. Wow! He's a handsome dude! If he grew like normal and matured out like normal, he'd be a fantastic catch for some young lady! It struck me just yesterday, however, that after all these years of longing for him to be "normal," It just is not in the cards. Truly a miracle would have to take place. I just can't go there. I have to be so proud of who he is, of the good decisions he makes and appreciate how much he loves me. Too bad for the special young lady who missed out! We get to keep him!<img src="http://thepuzzleboy.blogharbor.com/_images/emoticons/em.icon.wink.gif" alt="" /> Until Next Time, Start reading your Bible, a chapter a day. Food for the soul. Be thankful for the blessings you have. Don't dwell on what you don't have, it will only crush you. Nancy Lynne! PS, my webmaster says that The Puzzle Boy book is nearly ready for download. Keep watching! Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:05:03 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 246 at http://thepuzzleboy.com The Puzzle Boy Story about Autism http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/247 <p>I am soooo excited! <strong> The Puzzle Boy</strong> has finally made its debut via the website! <a href="http://www.thepuzzleboy.com">www.thepuzzleboy.com</a> . I invite you to check it out. I have a place where you can sign in and read the first 10 pages for free! It has been 21/2 years in the creating of my book. I hope it will be worth it and benefit many, many people that are struggling with the issue of Autism, or any other malady for that fact. It is our story. It is the nitty gritty of what we have been through to get where we are at today. </p> <p>When you have a child, it is difficult enough to keep them going in the right direction. Throw in Autism Spectrum Disorders and it magnifies one hundred fold. You can be on your knees 24/7 just to make it through each day! Let me encourage you, it can get better. You need perseverance. You need strength beyond what you have. </p> <p>Our Puzzle Boy has been a teacher to us. He does not know that. He still thinks we are<em> his </em>teacher. That is fine. That is how it needs to be, but yes, indeed, for those that want to learn, there are powerful lessons in character building that has to take place. (Evidentally, I needed lots and lots! Boy is it a painful thing to go through!)</p> <p>Anyways, please let me know what you think. I value good, honest input.</p> <p>Until Next Time, Happy reading! </p> <p>Nancy Lynne</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:04:40 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 247 at http://thepuzzleboy.com A Gift Worth Giving! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/248 <p>On friday morning, Seth's faithful teacher came at 10:30. Right on the dot! Seth was outside on the porch anxiously waiting for him. He hadn't come for a couple of weeks. First time, Seth was just out of it from a few seizures. Second time, Mr. Wells had family visiting. This time, however, even though there was not school for the public sector, he came for Seth's sake. We really appreciate him coming. Seth feels so good to have that kind of one on one teacher attention! Even though Seth has turned 21 and there is no more reponsibility on the part of the school system, Mr. Wells could not just "leave" Seth. Seth was very happy to have him keep coming each week.</p> <p>In due appreciation, Seth wrote a letter of thanks to Mr. Wells. He read it right away when he arrived. Seth made sure of that! On the table was a paper bag. On the bag, it said "To Mr. Wells" Mr. Wells picked up the bag. It was light. Not much to it. He opened it up and a face peered back at him. "Gasp!" "What in the world? I thought it was a cat!" He pulled out a coonskin cap! "I have always wanted one of these! Ever since I was a kid and lived in Kentucky and watched Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, I wanted one of these!" He roared, laughing the whole time.</p> <p>"I am going to put this on my head! Look, Seth! It fits! I must look funny! Wait til my wife sees this! My daughter will laugh, my grandkids will love it! Thank you sooo much!"</p> <p>I went to Seth's room and brought out his coonskin cap that Sylvia had given to him when we visited in Arkansas last month. She makes them for thousands of people! Renaissance, Boy Scouts, Coon clubs, you name it. She has quite a business making people happy! <a href="http://crockettcoonskincaps.tripod.com">http://crockettcoonskincaps.tripod.com</a></p> <p>Once they both were donned with hats, I proceeded to get some shots of them. Seth had a great time with it all, but he was ready to get back to work! "I have my workbooks out, Mr. Wells, let's do them!" suggested Seth. "Boy, I wish all my students liked school like you do, Seth! In 22 years of teaching, you are the first! " boasted Mr. Wells.</p> <p>Until Next Time, see how you can make someones dreams come true! sign up and read the first 10 pages of The Puzzle Boy at <a href="http://www.thepuzzleboy.com">www.thepuzzleboy.com</a>! Live today like you had one month to live! Laugh!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:04:10 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 248 at http://thepuzzleboy.com Of May, Autism, Birds and Gardens! http://thepuzzleboy.com/?q=node/250 <p>"Happy May the first! Happy the month to plant gardens!" Seth's voice came muffled from behind his closed bedroom door at 6:15am then became clear and louder as the door opened and he popped into our room with a big grin on his face. "Did you like what I just said" he queried? "When can I put shorts on? Can I wear a T-shirt today?" We all know that it is spring and "supposed" to be warm out. Unfortunately, spring has been taking its time here in Missouri. The wind is blowing away full speed. It has not been consistently warm.</p> <p>"No, not yet. I know what the calender says, but it is not that warm out. Come here and let's blow your nose!" The pollens are heavy. Pollens seem to make me drag! I feel as if a weight is upon me. I wake up feeling old and decrepit as I work out my sore joints. This is not normal for me except when something like pollens are attacking.</p> <p>Seth used to have a runny nose and a cold of some kind continually as a baby/toddler. When the seizures hit, that all seemed to go away. I see them coming back now and perhaps the seizures being not as many. I hope it is a sign that things are reversing! Always hoping, always looking for a brighter future for my son.</p> <p>We are on a new protocol with him. We did the blood and saliva testing. Most everything is in excellent condition. His cholesterol, heart, blood, lungs and such are in fantastic shape. Doc said he will never die of a heart attack! His problems have showed up mainly in pancreas and some liver and then the adrenals. Makes sense. Hopefully as we turn those around, things will improve even more for Seth. He has improved tremendously since he was young. Even as far as allergies go, he has only a few problems, such as eggs, soy and most of the gluten grains, but not all. Then there are the bean stragglers including pinto, navy and kidney. I am thankful that there are so many different kinds of beans such as black, cranberry and white beans that we can still enjoy!</p> <p>I believe he is doing way much better this pollen season than he has ever done before. I am grateful! </p> <p>Back to May day. We already have lettuce, beets and spinach growing along with potatoes. We extended the size of our garden. I think that is a good thing to do with the precarious food and gas prices, don't you? At least have a potted tomatoe plant on your patio. It will produce till frost for you. Greenbeans are another good thing to have that proliferates quite well and is easy to grow along with cucumbers. You can grow them in a pot and have a trellis for them to climb. I hope I have inspired you!</p> <p>Right now I am smelling Cranberry beans cooking in my crockpot. Mmmmm! Smells so good. Seth can't have eggs or wheat, or white flour, so I have had to make up a way to make cornbread. I grind or blend barley into flour and it works just as good as white flour with the cornmeal. I put some ground flax in to replace the eggs. It kind of acts as a binder. Tastes fine!</p> <p>I hope May brings many surprises for you. We have put out grape jam and are seeing lots of Baltimore Orioles and Orchard Orioles. Rosebreasted Grosebeaks, Indigo Buntings, Gold finches, Titmice and the such are gracing our bird feeders and rock area. Oh, and I can't forget the tiny hummingbirds! I try and get Seth interested at least in the colors. I think if I set him to counting how many of each, he would take a greater interest! Numbers are his "thing!" Yesterday morning we had 3 deer, 1 turkey, 1 possum and loads of birds. It was quite enjoyable!</p> <p>Until Next Time, get some seeds, plant some food, and feed the birds. Remember to get grape jam for the Orioles!</p> <p>Nancy Lynne!</p> Mon, 22 Dec 2008 00:03:47 +0000 Nancy Clayburn 250 at http://thepuzzleboy.com