Tag Archives: Autism

Meet Julia, “Sesame Street’s” First Character With Autism

Meet Julia, she has dazzling, red hair and loves her stuffed toy rabbit. Julia is the newest character on Sesame Street ,and while she has been part of the Sesame Street family in their books, she has just been added to the show.

Adding Julia to the cast is being hailed as a great decision that will spur conversation about autism. It is also helping kids understand and interact with peers with autism. Beyond that, it is inspiring for kids with autism to see a character represent the way they may act or feel.

 
I think Sesame Street has been around so long, almost 50 years, because they adapt and include real issues, situations and difficult subjects into their show. Keeping things real is what they have always done.

On Julia’s first episode, they will show what autism can look like. Big Bird thought Julia did not like him because she ignored him. In helping Big Bird understand that it was not that Julia did not like him, but that she has autism, and it sometimes takes her a bit longer to do things.

I think it will be good for kids to see how they may misinterpret actions of their peers with autism and teach them tolerance and acceptance. What do you think?


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How To Live The Life You Never Expected- #lifeweneverexpected #FlyBy #Giveaway

As we go through life, I have found that many things we worry or have anxiety about never happen. Then sometimes in life something totally unexpected, the curve ball hits us, and knocks us for a loop. It was that way when my teenage son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

It was completely unexpected and certainly not anything the surgeon who removed his enlarged lymph node even felt was a remote possibility. When she called that morning it was obvious she was as shocked with the pathology report as I was. Thankfully my son is a survivor and his cancer was caught so early that it did not show on the Cat Scan or tests he had prior to the removal of the lymph node. I was very aware after his diagnosis how life can turn on a dime at any instant.

Life We never expected cover

Andrew and Rachel Wilson were hit with something unexpected that turned their lives upside down when both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. It was not something they thought was in the realm of possibilities either when they started a family.

This book takes a very honest look at what it is like for them raising two special needs children. The highs and lows, coping with all kinds of suffering, their personal stories and the encouragement that keeps them going that is rooted in the truth of God’s word.  Andrew and Rachel focus on lessons they learned when fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials. They focus on how Christ, the One who promises to make all things new has been such a support to them on this journey.

the life we never expected back cover

The authors tell it like it is, this book is raw and very helpful in showing the very real side of raising children with challenges. Even if you do not have a special needs child, this book is powerful in helping you to understand the trials and suffering your family members or friends may be facing with their child. It can help you be a support to them and lend them compassion and comfort in weak times. I think everyone can benefit from reading this book.

You can find this book is available on Amazon. For a chance to win a copy, just enter the giveaway below.

Giveaway:

One lucky blog reader will win a copy of  The Life We Never Expected.  Giveaway Open to US residents. Cannot win on more than one blog giveaway. All winners subject to approval by the sponsor.  Good Luck!!!

The Life We Never Expected Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Measles Cases Rising And Junk Science Is To Blame?

vaccine 1

So unless you’ve been under a rock, you’re well aware of the measles outbreak that started in Disneyland and has now spread to 121 cases across the U.S.  Doctors, the American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC, and more are urging parents to get their children vaccinated.

This has created a storm of opposition from the anti-vax parents.  Seemingly unconcerned with what they deem a mild or non-serious illness, they are defending their rights not to vaccinate.  They feel they are protecting their children from autism which they believe is caused by the MMR vaccine.  The study that perpetuated the myth was retracted and deemed junk science. Regardless, they remain steadfast in their decision not to vaccinate despite increased concern of a measles epidemic.

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I thought I would research the answers to questions that people have been asking regarding all this debate.   So let’s look at what perpetuated the notion that the MMR vaccine was causing Autism?

We need to go back to 1988, when a doctor in the UK by the name of Andrew Wakefield published a study with just 12 child subjects. The children were brought to his clinic suffering from diarrhea and/or abdominal pain.  These children were said to have a history of normal development but subsequently lost certain skills.  When Wakefield was gathering their medical history, he asked the parents when their child received the MMR vaccine and how that correlated to their loss of skills. Based upon this data, Wakefield believed there was a connection between the vaccine and autism.

However, there was no objective scientific data to back his theory up, it was based on the recall of the parents. Given that some of the vaccines were administered as much as 9 years prior, there is reasonable concern about the accuracy.   What is even more troubling, is that Wakefield, claimed that the bowel dysfunction was caused by the MMR vaccine which then caused the autism, even though 4 of the 12 children in the study experienced behavioral disorders prior to the bowel issues.  This fact alone refutes Wakefield’s theory.

There was also no control group, a critical omission casting more doubt on his findings.  A good standard of science, is that the findings can be replicated in a separate setting.  After sharing specimens with colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in London, Wakefield’s findings could not be replicated.  His study was later retracted from the Lancet where it was originally published.

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The doctor’s troubles did not end there, a paper in the Journal of Molecular Pathology written by Wakefield in 2002, was found to be critically flawed.  A recent study in the British Medical Journal found no rise in incidence of autism in children who received MMR as compared to those who did not. The authors also showed that in autistic children (both ASD and classical) the age at which a child received MMR did not affect the age at which the diagnosis of autism was made.

So why then do some parents so vehemently claim that the MMR vaccine caused their child’s Autism?  Autism is most often first identified in toddlers aged 18-30 months.  Since the MMR vaccine is administered just before this peak age, it causes some parents to link the two together.  There is no medical evidence to support this.  Extensive reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that there is no proven association between MMR vaccine and autism. Dr. Wakefield has since lost his license to practice medicine.

So what does all this mean to the anti-vaxers? Are they changing their stance?  No, they are not and they are just as steadfast in their decision not to vaccinate.  Many claim that the diseases that the vaccines have eradicated are not that serious. Really?  This assumption is based on what?  Their opinion?  The AAP does not take the stance that the diseases are harmless.  In fact they warn parents of the risks and urge them to vaccinate their children.  Some pediatricians are refusing to treat the children of parents who refuse to vaccinate.  They do not want their patients to be exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases in the waiting rooms.  There are also many calling for a ruling that unvaccinated children not be allowed to attend public school.

I wonder what these parents are going to think in 15 or so years from now when their daughters and sons are dating and moving toward marriage.  Have they thought that their sons could contract mumps and be sterile?  Or that their grandchild may suffer debilitating birth defects or be stillborn because their mother contracted measles during pregnancy?  Have they thought that far ahead, or do they plan to rush out and try to get their child exposed to these illnesses so they have natural immunity?

Will their pregnant daughters live in constant fear of contracting Rubella?  Will they suffer the grief of losing their baby or caring for a child with severe birth defects stemming from a medical decision based on flawed science?  Will their daughters rush out and get immunized to protect themselves after seeing the results of primary Rubella infection in unvaccinated pregnant friends and family members? Who knows what they future will hold for them.  It’s scary to think about.

While many are still touting unfounded fears linking vaccines to autism, Autism Speaks chief science officer Rob Ring, has released a statement saying vaccinations cannot cause the disorder — and telling parents to vaccinate their children.

So why do they say the measles is a harmless childhood illness?  The majority in the anti-vax movement were born after the vaccine, so they have no first-hand experience.  Prior to the vaccine, measles killed 500 people a year in the U.S.  Measles infection caused 48,000 people a year to be hospitalized and 4,000 experienced encephalitis, a dangerous condition that causes the brain to swell and caused 400-500 deaths.

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases because it’s airborne and lingers in the air causing it to spread quickly.  People can spread the disease for four days before they develop any symptoms. Highly contagious, 90% of people not immune will contract the virus if exposed.

So how do you feel on the issue?  Let me know, but please keep your comments respectful.

go vaccinate your children


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