About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I took my son Kiernan, 9 as of Saturday....to his biannual Pediatric Neurologist appointment.
Kiernan was in a great mood and even though we had to park very far away...he followed
every direction given to him
When the doctor saw him he said..."Oh, my...he is in such a good mood, let's go ahead and
take his blood pressure"..
You see..usually, Kiernan does not like that little bit of pressure put on his arm.

Prior to going to our appointment, I had printed out an application for a disability placard and
license plates for Kiernan. He is so happy when we go shopping that sometimes he jolts out
into the traffic...I thought it would not hurt to ask so we could park closer for him...

The application stated "Permanent Disability" or "Temporary Disability"....

After reading the document...our doctor stated "this would be a Permanent Disability...
Autism is permanent..."

Of course...I had to open my big mouth...
I said,"According to Jenny McCarthy...Autism can be diagnosed , taken away, and then
re-diagnosed...depending on the "toxic overload (dontcha know ?)"..!!!

The great doctor said...."You know...she is not a scientist nor a physician, don't you?"
"The only reason they even print her is to sell the magazine"...!!

Did I tell you he was "BRILLIANT" ?

My children have a Permanent Disability....it is not a come and go diagnosis.
Any doctor that would actually diagnose Jenny McCarthy's son with Autism , un-diagnose him,
then re-diagnose him again (I guess depending on what book or television show she is selling) is not really a very reputable doctor after all, are they? I have my guess about what kind of DAmN doctor they are..., but there is no way in heck that a reputable doctor would diagnose a child with autism and then remove the label and then put the label back when it deemed necessary.

I accept my children's disabilities...
I know they have a long road ahead of them...
I will help them down every path that lies ahead for them...

In the Neurologist's office, while Kiernan and I waited, was a little girl. She was so tiny...maybe
18 months to 2 years old. She had a facial deformity and every one was staring at her.
She walked up to Kiernan, who was rocking in his chair....this little Angel touched his leg (she was aptly named Sunshine...you cannot make that up!!)...
Kiernan touched her face...
I said," Hey pretty girl...this is Kiernan"..
Her mother said, "thank you"....

Our children's disabilities may be permanent....

But, temporarily today, I saw two children who could care less that either one was permanently disabled in any way, shape, or form......

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Bonnie Skala Kiladitis http://survivingmotherhood-mom26children.blogspot.com/ Blogger mom whose 5 (of 6) kids have ASD. I've never read about someone so anti-biomedical. She's certainly earned her right to speak but she's quite negative towards DAN! (P.S. Certainly does not surprise me that it's an AOL article - they get $$$ from Pharma ads.)
March 14 at 4:46pm · View Feedback (2)Hide Feedback (2) · Report

Kim Rossi Stagliano
She appeared on Extreme Home Makeover - many of us (who found the GFCF diet ameliorated behaviors) commented on the grilled cheese sandwiches she was making as she spoke of her child who liked to break things. I wish them well - it's not easy to have more than one on the spectrum that's for sure. I have three. She has 5! Wow.
March 15 at 2:40pm ·

Marco Loretto
Good for her. Let her continue in her misery. Fact is she is like many who are too lazy to do what it takes.Only fanatics get to recover their kids.
Fri at 9:50pm ·
I just found this on the Generation Rescue Facebook site.....
I must comment...
First off...
Bonnie...Kim was also featured on the AOL Health site...did you miss that one?
Is she paid off by Big Pharm too???
Or is it because she is on your side...it does not matter that Big Pharma paid for
some ads on AOL ?
Kim...My son liked to hear glass break...He does not do that any more.
Is he cured?
Don't think so. But he has alleviated that behavior. He still loves his cheese, but
now prefers it on a tortilla now.
Do you know me?
How the heck can you call me lazy?
I wake up every day at 6 am.
I put my first child on the bus at 6:3o am.
I walk my second child to school at 7:30 am after I feed the 3 middle children.
My oldest gets on the bus at 8:30 am and then I am at work by 9:00am.
I work until 5:00 pm when I start dinner.
By 10:00 pm I am able to finish the dishes (no dishwasher thank you) and get
to take my bath.
I am very lucky to get to bed by midnight.
I am not complaining, by the way...just stating the fact that I am not LAZY....
My husband and I work our butts off to get our kids to school, school activities,
sports, therapies and other appointments.
They are amazing kids....
Sorry you did not get that from the interview...if in fact you actually read it...
Oh, and I am not miserable...btw !!!
Okay, I have let off my steam..
I did not name call...I just stated what the facts are...
I really don't care if any of these people see this...
This rant was for me....
Man...I feel so much better now....
Off to bed.
Back to school tomorrow..after Spring Break...6 am comes mighty early !!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Jenny McCarthy has an interview with Hollywood Life while attending Chelsea Handler's book
Ms. McCarthy states that her son has been "undiagnosed" with Autism...yet, and this is a HUGE
yet...he might get Autism back because Autism is toxic overload and you never know if he will be overloaded again...
Kind of hilarious coming from a woman who touts botox injections....(talk about hypocrisy)...!!!

Here is the excerpt:

Jenny McCarthy couldn’t be happier with her son’s marked improvement. Although recent reports suggested that her 7-year-old son, Evan, was wrongly diagnosed with autism in 2005, Jenny insists to us exclusively that her son DID have the disorder, but has since been cured thanks to advances in treatment.

“My son is completely better…You wouldn’t be able to tell!” Jenny, 37, raved to us at her friend Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang book launch party at the Beverly Hilton March 17. “I think autism is toxic overload … it might come back. But for now, he’s undiagnosed.”

Watch the video to hear Jenny discuss some side effects Evan is still experiencing, including ADD-like symptoms, as well as where she sees her son’s diagnosis in the future.

Now see...this is the type of statements made by Jenny and her crew that really gets my
blood boiling.

Autism is a diagnosis that has been so misused by people who are so desperate for a "cure"
that they actually think you can remove the label....

In the interview..Jenny states he is a bit ADD, but that is it....
Hey Jenny....!!!
ADD is a behavior with Autistic children...

And, if this is true, why is this young boy still being taught in a school for Autistic

And Jenny....Autism does not come and go...that is just pure crap...

I just wish you would mind what you say before you open your uneducated, misinformed,
brain-washing mouth.
Parent's like myself, who are out there fighting every day for services for our children are
getting a bit ticked off because you make Autism seem so nonchalant....
Easy come...easy go !!!!

For all the parents out there that think Autism is "toxic overload" or "mercury poisoning"...
do me a favor...
Remove the autism diagnosis from your child now.....
that way more services will open up for our children who respond to the proven therapies
that work.
Autism is not a diagnosis to play with. We worked hard to try to get the diagnosis for our oldest daughter over 18 years ago. It was not an easy diagnosis to get from even a neurologist. But, the diagnosis meant the door opened wide for better services and more of them.
18 years later, I have to beg for these services. I have to sit and watch as my daughter's therapies were cut in half due to lack of funds.

If you watch the interview with Jenny...you see that she states Evan speaks, has eye contact and makes new friends....
So do my autistic kids....
My kids relish hugs and kisses...they love to grab my face and look at me and others.
They love to maintain contact with us and those around them.
All but Kiernan are verbal...and believe me, we know what he wants when he wants it...

Don't get me wrong...I am thrilled Evan speaks and maintains eye contact....that is wonderful.
But, please...and I mean PLEASE....
Don't use the Autism label as a label that can be put on a child and taken off just because their
"toxins" are overloaded....
that is doing harm to parent's who are really trying hard to maintain services without disrupting our children's lives.
Autism is not like a bandage...you don't put the label on when it is deemed necessary and remove it when they are "better".


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Almost 6 months ago, I began a new chapter in my life....I started working full-time
after being a stay-at-home mom for over 10 years.
Yeah, I had some part-time writing gigs with some internet companies, but to be
fully employed with benefits was a huge step for me and my family.

First off, I had to find someone I could count on to help me care for my amazing kids while
I was in training and while I am upstairs at work....Enter Helen Hutka....
She came in and filled in...
From day one...when I had to go in-office to work for training...I did not worry one little bit
about my kids.

Second, I had to adjust my daily cooking schedule. Now, I spend most of my days off
making the meals for the week. It works out well. Not really a big deal after all.

Third, I had to learn to use my time more wisely. I am still working really hard on this.
It is getting better...but, I have more to learn on this subject.

So, after 6 months and one promotion...yep, I got promoted in February...it seems that this
is the career for me for many years to come.
I am so happy to have a career at the tender age of 49.
Gone are my days of obsessing over the internet and who is writing what about who on
the Autism web sites. Gone are my days of the petty bickering on the autism forums...
and frankly, I do not miss it one bit.

I work from home, so I get to see my kids during my afternoon break. I get to ask how their
days were and what is for homework....
I get smiles and hugs...
Who could ask for more than that during a work day?

Most of all....
My family has stepped up to the plate to allow their middle-aged wife and mom to fulfill
her dream to actually work a corporate job and be really good at it. They don't question my
hours (which I get to set, btw) and know when my door is shut...it stays shut.
They take care of each other very well....I am so very proud of how they have matured in
the last few months. I hope we had taught them well....and I guess this proves it.

This last Sunday, my interview with AOL Health was posted on the front page of AOL. I had
many people complement me. I had a couple of nasty remarks on my blog, but just a couple.
What surprised me the most was a couple of family members who emailed me and questioned
my motives along with a couple of friends who decided that they did not like that I got some
attention....that is okay....
I had a friend remind me that true friends celebrate our highs and help us through our lows...thanks Kim ;)

In the long run...it is my friends and family who stand by us when we are at our highs and our
lows...who realize the amount of work it takes for our family to be the amazing family we are.
We could not have done it without the family members and friends who have become our family who stood by us for many years. It is you guys who make us complete....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I was not born Irish, not by any means...but, I did marry into a 100% Irish family.
So, the traditional Irish fare is in order for tonight.
I worked a full day, out of the house today...ran to Randall's (our grocery store), bought
some Irish cheese, Guinness Stout beer, cabbage, potatoes and yes...the corned beef (which
is now filling my kitchen with the aroma of St. Paddy's Day).

You see...I have to St. Patrick's in this house...and they love their day.

So, as they are out practicing with Little Pat's baseball team..I am making sure they will
have their "Saintly" dinner.

My only dilemma...do I really want to make the Irish Soda Bread??

Do I really have a choice ??


because after all...today we are all a bit Irish, aren't we???

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


After spending all day yesterday with my son Patrick, 10 and my mom Gloria (no age inserted) attending a funeral in San Antonio, Tx...I just want a very relaxed, very much earned, calm day off.
Yesterday, we went to the burial of a life-long friend of my family's. He was probably the nicest, kindest man I have ever met, short of my own father. Bill was married to his wife for 52 years and the devoted father of 2 girls.
We were raised with this family as if they were our true relatives. We would take camping trips as far away as Wyoming with them. We loved and fought like sisters.
Every New Years Day was spent watching football at either their home in San Antonio or our home in Austin.
My son, Patrick, was the most patient I have ever seen him. He sat for over 3 hours. He had never been to a funeral...I tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted.
Patrick shook hands with the men and hugged the women. He even put a flower on the casket at the end of the funeral.
While eating lunch a bit later....Patrick thanked me for letting him come with his memaw and myself. He was happy to have experienced something that he had never experienced before.
I am very glad I took him.

So, back to today....
Caitlin has earned her reward for the month by doing the "right" things. You know...no unwarranted tantrums, no pulling out her hair in huge clumps, taking care of her personal needs with little or no help (now, that is a HUGE deal for her), etc.
Off we go to Target to get her YuGiOh cards. She is so happy !!!
When Caitlin is in Target, she is oblivious to her surroundings...she is on a mission...
She walks past this mother with her teenage son and daughter.
As Caitlin passes, she gently nudges her children out of Caitlin's way...you see, Caitlin is humming and flapping....typical shopping Caitlin...
Her children look at Caitlin and start snickering...they are amused by her. I have to admit, it is quite different if you have never seen it before.
Caitlin got her cards and I said to her, "Great job Caitlin"..."you are such a good girl"...
Caitlin says, "Yeah"..."lets go mom"....

I am so glad that she is oblivious to the curiosity around her. It is not for her to educate the world about Autism...that is my job. Caitlin is to be focused on school, home and the occasional treat she has worked so hard for...
I cannot expect the shoppers at Target, or their children, to understand my daughter.
Caitlin tries very hard to conform to the rules that are given to her...most of the time, she is
right-on target....but today, in Target....she was on a quest for YuGiOh...and she conquered !!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

MY AOL HEALTH Interview...


On her frank and funny blog, What Are They Thinking?, 49-year-old Jeanette O'Donnell chronicles her life as the mother of six children, five of whom are autistic. O'Donnell, a hotel reservations clerk who works from her Austin, TX, home, details her children's remarkable progress and challenges in school and makes an argument against invasive medical treatments and for neurodiversity -- the belief that autism is not a disorder and that people with autism have a different sort of order that should be respected and accepted, not pathologized. So how do O'Donnell and her husband, Patrick, the manager for a printing company, maintain their positive approach to raising children? We spoke to O'Donnell to find out.

AOL Health: Five of your six children are autistic. What role do you think genetics play?

JO: I believe that in my family, it's genetic. Kiernan, my youngest and my most severely affected [Kiernan is not verbal], has never had a vaccination. I didn't vaccinate him because when he was born, I was sure that it was vaccinations that [caused autism]. And three of my daughters were born in a birthing center, so they had no medical interactions.

AOL Health: You view autism as an incurable neurological disorder, while other people see it as curable and linked to external causes. Can you explain your perspective?

JO: They believe it's a vaccine injury -- that the measles germ from the measles vaccine settles in the gut and you get leaky gut syndrome. I believe that it's a neurological disorder, that you're wired differently. You can train a brain to rewire itself, but you can't cure autism. Since I had Caitlin 19 years ago, I've seen 19 causes of autism: It was the mother's fault; it was breastfeeding; it was vaccines; it was environmental. And I don't buy it. We took the focus off what caused it and put it on how to make these children very functional. And now we have five very functional children.

AOL Health: You are opposed to certain aspects of the biomedical approach to autism. Why?

JO: I don't believe in chelating [a controversial process that removes heavy metals from the body with side effects such as fever, headache, vomiting and convulsions] or performing colonoscopies on a kid. I don't believe in freaky diets like the elemental diet [an all-liquid nutrition therapy] that forces a child to follow a liquid diet. I don't believe in administering B12 shots or suppositories that supposedly pull out metals. I don't believe in IVIG infusion [a blood product administered intravenously] unless they actually need it [for inflammatory or autoimmune disease]. A lot of the parents have been told by a DAN [Defeat Autism Now] doctor that their child needs these treatments and that you're not being a good parent unless you do everything to cure your kid. These doctors are so invested financially and emotionally in these programs that they can't stop or they think they will have failed the children. I know a woman whose son is on the elemental diet and sits in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and is chelated. She puts a nicotine patch on his butt to help his hyperactivity, which, to me, is child abuse.

AOL Health: Aren't these parents just desperate to help their kids?

JO: The media needs to quit making autism so desperate. You don't see the stories about hope and happiness. People want to see a cure. [O'Donnell's 10-year-old son] Patrick lost his diagnosis of special ed last week, but nobody in those communities wants to hear about it.

AOL Health: Why not?

JO: Because it took hard work. Because Patrick worked his butt off. The media should show him, not kids who get the metals pulled from them and still don't talk. It takes dedicated kids and supportive people to see progress. These kids want to be functional, too. If you take a 2-year-old diagnosed with autism in five years, you will see a change, but not by sitting in a room and watching him rock. You have to work with him.

AOL Health: Studies show that 10 percent of kids can be cured with intensive behavioral therapy. How do you explain it?

JO: I say 10 percent of those children grew up and matured and became better. I have a cousin that didn't talk until he was five; he used to rock and bang his head. He's now a bank president. I know a girl who had cerebral palsy, and they said she would never walk, and she's in ballet and tap now. I learned a long time ago that doctors aren't always right.

AOL Health: You discuss how your children have improved -- how Caitlin, your eldest with severe autism, will be capable of living on her own, and how two of your children who previously had severe autism now are diagnosed on the very low end of the spectrum. What led to such improvements?

JO: Erin, our 13-year-old, was diagnosed as severely autistic at 18 months. They said to not expect much from her. She smeared toothpaste, shampoo, poop. We were prepared to have the worst time with her. So we sent her to therapy [occupational, speech, and physical] five days a week until she was 5, and then we added play therapy. She got to kindergarten, and she was put into the regular kindergarten, and she started talking. By the end of kindergarten, though, they were going to hold her back because she couldn't read. When we told her why she would be staying back, she taught herself, and by the time she got reevaluated, she was above and beyond her reading level. She has straight A's with no help from anyone. One of the teachers in middle school last year said, "Thank you for raising such a lovely child, so smart and so pleasant." I wanted to take credit, but she had done it all. She thought there was no reason she couldn't.

AOL Health: You send your kids to public school rather than homeschool them or send them to a special school. How do you make this work for them?

JO: When Caitlin started school, we didn't have a choice. She was the first autistic child in the elementary school. She thrived there because she had interaction with kids who didn't have autism. She knew colors and numbers that we didn't know she knew. She's had an aide since kindergarten. Now, she needs the aide only for safety reasons because she is easily misled. Someone could say, "Come here and pull your shirt up," and she would do it. But she goes to classes by herself and her true grades are A's and B's and she can graduate this summer.

AOL Health: Do the kids behave themselves in school?

JO: Society doesn't have to accept my kids, but I have to make these kids accept what society expects. They have to live by society rules, and that means no meltdowns in public. Years ago, we had a behavior therapist for Caitlin, who was coming home and tearing clothes out of closest and drawers while behaving well at school. The therapist said, "What would you prefer? For her to be loopy at school or home?" They need an outlet, so they have one at home. They can jump and flap and hum and do whatever they want around here.

AOL Health: As someone outspoken and opinionated, you've received criticism in autism circles. What do you say to your critics?

JO: I am 49 years old, and it took till I was 40 to not care what other people thought about me. I've been accused of not having autistic kids, of being a media whore, and I've been called horrible names on the Internet. But you're not walking in my shoes. I don't feel bad for my kids. They're not damaged, and they don't need to be cured. Here in Texas, we say we cure our meat and recover our furniture. We don't do it to our children. That said, anyone can comment on my blog. Usually they're a parent with an autistic child, and they have to [be] heard. I just do what works for us.

AOL Health: What is it like for 12-year-old Meaghan to live with five autistic siblings?

JO: For a while, she was a little bummed out that she didn't have autism because they were getting all the attention. But there is no "poor Meaghan." Meaghan is very nurturing and loving. She has slumber parties, and she plays the bassoon at school. She has a normal life and normal teenage angst.

AOL Health: Raising six children would be difficult for any mother, but when five are autistic, it's especially challenging. How do you cope?

JO: Caitlin gets community living assistance. That means she gets massage therapy once a week. Wouldn't we all like that? And a helper named Helen comes for 30 hours a week to help [Caitlin] rinse her hair and brush her teeth. [Helen] helps [Caitlin] in the kitchen, since Caitlin sometimes has to help me prepare dinner. Someone else paid by the county comes by for 48 hours a month -- usually from 3 p.m. to 5:30 pm on school days -- to give respite care to the others. That's great because I work out of my house. The rest is up to us. My husband drives Erin to choir practice; Meaghan to band; Erin to student council, where she's the treasurer, and Dierdre to church functions and to orchestra, where she plays the violin. Patrick goes to baseball. They all have friends who come over, except for Kiernan and Caitlin who don't care much about that. On any given day, I have 8 or 10 kids in my house, and I'm cooking for all of them!

... But you still haven't asked the question.

AOL: What is the question?

JO: People ask why I had six when I knew the first was autistic. First, the doctor told us there was no chance that a second kid would have it, so we didn't know. But I want the people who question them to meet them. And I want them to tell me which one shouldn't be here. Every one of my kids belongs. They are here for a reason. I don't know what it is, but there's a reason. Well, actually, I do know the reason.

AOL: What's the reason?

JO: So I could be their mama, that's why they're here! It's very selfish. No, the truth is: They're gonna teach the world a lot.