The Thinking Moms’ Revolution is gearing up for our one-year celebration. Twelve months worth of blogs, videos, interviews, Facebook posts, Tweets and an upcoming book launch. That’s a lot of information, opinions, inspiration, calls to action, awareness, confessions and thoughts. Every day, I sit on my favourite chair with a cup of tea and my iPad, ready to read TMR’s blog of the day. I look forward to this quiet moment as I read the latest blogs from my dearest friends. I don’t know whether it will make me cry, scream in outrage, gasp with indignation or laugh. But I know there is always a takeaway lesson, and they always encourage me to THINK.
When I initially started writing this blog, I was going to share with you my top three favourite TMR blogs. It was rather hard to choose only three, so I decided, let’s make it top five instead. Very soon, it turned into Top 10. But how do I pick just 10 out of the 300+ blogs we have posted on TMR? Which blogs get the thumbs up? There are 24 Thinking Moms and Dad writing for the blog. Each has their own voice, style of writing, different topics of passion and their own personal journeys. So I decided to choose my favourite blog written by each member of the Thinking Moms’ Revolution.
Here are my favourite blogs and why:
This is the most-read blog on TMR [Editor’s Note: It has since been surpassed. The most-read blog at this point in time is How I Gave My Son Autism, by Mountain Mama], and for good reason. LuvBug scrutinises the Vaccine Information Sheet, also known as the patient’s or parent’s informed consent. On this sheet, the MMR vaccine is referred to as safe — not classified as UNAVOIDABLY UNSAFE as stated in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act itself. ‘The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act acknowledges that vaccine injury or death may be “unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and accompanied by proper directions and warnings.” 42 U.S.C. 300aa-22(b)(1). The “unavoidable” language in the Act is from the Restatement (Second) of Torts that applies to “products which, in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe.” Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 402A, comment k (1965). I’ve read the vaccine inserts many times, but I never thought to look beyond what was printed. Thank you LuvBug, for always doing your homework and sharing what you learnt with us. And for deconstructing something I find so intricate and confusing into simple, layman terms that even I with my doodle brain could understand.
Sunshine shares some of the less than kind (okay, downright rude) remarks others have said to her throughout her journey in recovering her son from autism. We can all relate to that; people can be so insensitive sometimes. And it hurts even more when you get it from well-meaning people, or worse from loved ones. At TMR, we refer to this privately as the ‘STFU blog.’ Frankly, I’m shocked that people have said these things to her. Sunshine is, well . . . she really lives up to her name. How can you NOT like her and be drawn by her warmth. My only gripe about her is she’s far too cheerful in the morning. Hah! Remember your verbal filter people. Good manners, politeness and courtesy go a long way.
MamaBear is one tough mother. She runs marathons, Super Spartan races, pushes her hot, well-toned body to physical extremes and does things I can only admire from my couch-potato existence. MamaBear participated in a twelve-mile obstacle course called the Tough Mudder Challenge. It not only challenged her physically but also forced her to overcome the mental aspects of the race. If you ever hear a Thinking Mom or Dad refer to ‘The Tunnel’ and wondered what we were talking about, THIS is it. I dare you to read this without tissues. Warning: may cause flashbacks, claustrophobia and extreme sobbing.
Sugah tells you why parasites don’t just happen to people who live in dirty places or third-world countries. If you’ve ever met the ethereally beautiful Sugah, you would never have guessed that one of her favourite topics of conversation is worms. We all envy her glowing skin. (I’m talking flawless. Flawless!! I bet she wakes up looking like a supermodel. Her skin care regime leaves mine for dead.) But bring up the topic of worms and she’ll surprise you with her passion for worms. More specifically, killing worms. Sugahlicious shares the truth about testing for worms, the different types of worms, pharmaceutical vs. natural anti-parasitic treatments, which doctors are passionate about killing worms, and why killing off parasites is one of the most overlooked treatments in autism. Do you STILL think you don’t have a problem with a foreign invasion of the wormy kind?
Blaze writes a poignant letter to her son P on his 12th birthday. She writes of his ‘different childhood,’ a childhood filled with confusion, pain and loss. A childhood that we are all far too familiar with. The list of interventions they did that brought him closer and closer to recovery. And the gains. The gains! You MUST read the list of P’s gains and progress. And THAT poo picture. The picture that says a thousand words. Blaze made a few promises to her son. “I promise I will never give up the fight for kids like you, and families like ours. Many awesome people helped us along the way, and I plan to pay it forward for life. This might be quite tiresome as our family moves away from the disability world, but I hope you will understand that, in your honor, in memory of your lost childhood, I will scream and fight and kick in hopes of preventing another family from going down our road.” Don’t be fooled by her Southern Belle charm and her honey caramel drawl (I could listen to her voice for hours!), Blaze is one determined mama and lives up to her promise every single day.
B.K. writes about the one person she holds most responsible for her son’s illness: herself. The anger and contempt she feels is unlike anything she has ever dealt with before. She wrestles with forgiveness and comes to the realisation that “I think, for me, forgiving myself will work much the same way. Just as awareness came trickling in for me, perhaps little by little, forgiveness will come the same way. In the meantime, whenever I start to feel angry with myself, I need to recognise that unlike the anger I have for the medical community, there is nothing useful about beating myself up about my past failures. In fact, it is only a barrier to recovery – my son’s and my own. I hope that one day I will be able to completely forgive myself and let it all go.” Autism mom, breast cancer survivor, devout Christian and kindness personified, B.K. lives up to her booty-kickin’ nickname.
Cupcake is right in saying that many of us are guilty of not looking outside the parameters we create. Thinking outside the box – good! Thinking outside the box, but getting stuck in your own box that you create? Bad! If she hadn’t dared jump ship and looked outside of the box she lived in, she may never have found the new regime which brought such vast improvements to her son. If you ever feel that you have exhausted all your options, Cupcake reminds us to, “Stop and look outside of the box. Think outside of those parameters set before you.” I’m always a big fan of thinking outside the box. And this is an important reminder for everyone not to fall into our comfort zones. Especially for me, I’m far too comfy and need to step outside of my outside box. Cupcake reminds me to step outside of my comfort zone, that there may be something wonderful to be experienced with trying new things, even if they seem super scary. There’s just something about Cupcake that makes me want to give her a big squashy hug every time I see her. No one puts Cupcake in the box!
Goddess knew her son Harry, diagnosed with autism and apraxia, had the capacity for speech. She just needed something to open it up. Super relaxed and laid-back, you’d never guess Goddess is a mom of three, has a full-time job and is the president of this bunch of rabble rousers called TMR. But she admits she is obsessed with speech. “I mean, I NEED to hear what this sweet child has to say… even if it’s ‘Get that f*cking nasty a** supplement-filled syringe away from me already woman, and squirt it in your own stupid mouth! And stick a b-12 shot in your OWN damn butt for a change!’ OMG would I LOVE IT if he said that. I really, really would.” After trying various treaments and therapies, where did they end up? Nagalese tests, high neopterine, low Vitamin D levels, GcMAF and jellyfish goo. And yes, speech. Finally.
Twonk recalls her son’s regression into a clinical autistic state. The National Health Service in the U.K. diagnosed her son with autism. Another doctor gave him a second diagnosis of ‘unlucky.’ “The truth is, my son wasn’t given a diagnosis at all, he was given a prediction of what he would become if left untreated. After raising the alarm I wasted a year waiting for help to arrive. Help which was never even deemed necessary, let alone dispatched.” So did she sit back and keep waiting? No! What’s a mother to do? Move to the U.S. of course. “It wasn’t until I came to America that I started to understand the full extent of the damage which has been visited upon my child.” Twonk doesn’t let something as trivial as geography stop her from recovering her son. If help doesn’t come to you, then you have to go chase after it and hunt it down if you must. I love her super-sharp wit, and she’s absolutely fearless. Our resident Brit, Twonk brings her own brand of British cool with a dash of Cockney to TMR.
In her journey recovering her son Nick from autism, Mama Mac confessed, “I have always harbored a suspicion that there is another autism mom, one smarter and more organized and more up on the science, who would have healed my son by now.” She fell into the trap of the mythological “Martha Stewart of Biomed.’ There’s a lot to be learned from Mama Mac. Never afraid to admit to her own mistakes, Mama Mac always rises above it and takes it as a learning experience. Always honest, always authentic, always herself. By the way, my favourite Healing Idea is Number 4: “Don’t stay with a provider that you aren’t seeing results from. I get attached to the providers as people and it’s hard for me to say goodbye. Also, don’t work with jerks!” You said it right Mama Mac, don’t fall too much in love with a provider to the point where you are unwilling to move on, even though all signs tells you to ditch ’em.
When you have a medically fragile child with autism, you can’t help but be a stalker. “Stalking a child’s development sounds so negative, criminal even. Call it whatever you want – lurking, inspecting, investigating. However it’s termed, I just know that I have to be several steps ahead of what my son is going to need so I can provide care, support and resources suited perfectly for him. So stalk I must, and stalk I will.” But Mamacita also looks beyond her own children and home. How can she not notice the dark circles, the sensory issues, impulsivity, defiance and other behaviours that are becoming all too common in children nowadays. I confess, I still stalk my daughters. I am no longer as hypervigilant as I used to be, but I will never ease up on the eagle eye. Like Mamacita, I too can’t help but notice the other kids. The autism, ADHD, OCD, allergies, chronic illnesses and other symptoms and behaviours in children that I see wherever I go. Mamacita doesn’t stalk for voyeuristic pleasure, her stalking comes with a purpose. For Mamacita, autism stalking comes with a moral and social responsibility to prevent the rise of autism. She is not the type to watch, then look away. She will come up to you and start a conversation. Mamacita has this wonderful ability to talk to anyone, open up their minds and make them THINK.
Many of us have children with sensory processing disorder. And most of us are on a very tight budget too. As usual, Money uses her creativity to create a sensory room that her daughter would love without breaking the bank. Actually, instead of just limiting it to one room, she found creative ways to meet her daughter’s sensory needs in multiple rooms throughout the house. How smart is that? I’m sure my kids would love to visit her house someday; it looks like so much fun, right? The extent of my sensory tools for my kids? Err . . . I have a mini trampoline, and sometimes I wrap them up in a comforter and tickle them; does that count? If you know Money, you’ll know she’s kind of an overachiever. I always feel a teensy bit awed in her presence. She’s one of those women who truly does it all. Autism mom with a super successful career and a string of accomplishments to her name — not only does she do it all, she does it so brilliantly. Super smart, super fit, she hits the gym regularly, and she’s so humble and down to earth to boot. So when Money decided to write a blog about sensory needs, it’s no surprise that this made the Top 3 list of all-time most read blogs on TMR.
Stay tuned for more, I will be sharing the rest of my top picks soon. To be continued . . .
~ Dragon Slayer
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