So now that we are taking care of our kids. . .

Parents who are in full swing taking care of their children with autism, often forget their own health in the process. I've written and spoken at length of this crisis within the crisis; describing parents in our community as the new "collateral damage." And yet, for all of my own preaching about care for the caregiver I have recently found myself once again on the receiving end of my own advice.

I wrote an article for Autism/Asperger Digest titled "Remember to Breathe"(7/2007), which detailed how easy it is to miss the symptoms of a health crisis in the making. Of course I wrote about my own experiences, which eventually landed me in the hospital for stress related heart condition. And yet, even though my son is fully recovered from autism, I find it is easy to slip back into bad habits of not paying attention to my own health issues.

The irony of it all is that I was recently diagnosed with food intolerances and yeast. Yes, all of the diet-related health conditions I fought so valiantly with my son now became a part of my own karma. The underlying cause was an autoimmune disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Yet, I missed all of the symptoms until my immune system began to overtly react to most of the foods I was eating. I had body aches, strange rashes, digestive issues, fatigue and headaches. It gave me a whole new sense of what our kids must go through on a daily basis, only they can't necessarily tell us.

My quest these days is to ring the alarm of this crisis in the making. . .the declining health of the parents. I'm now working to recover my own health and learn from this ongoing process. Gone are sugars, gluten, yeast-making foods, and 35 other foods. In place I am eating a lot of lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Basically, what we should all be eating before a health crisis makes us change.

Just as Daniel is forever GFCF, I realize this latest health wake up call is perpetual. It's saying CHANGE NOW, or realize consequences later. Hopefully this next battle cry will begin to ring universally within our community. Parents, you are important too!!

Mary, I know how tireless you

Mary, I know how tireless you have worked to help children and I could not be more delighted you are now focusing your energy in another direction.

We are looking at a catastrophe in the making. If mothers don’t start taking care of their own health in a very short time the autism epidemic will become an epidemic of middle-aged moms suffering from every chronic illness imaginable and many dying.

We are involved in a life and death struggle. Autism is not an inconvenience or an annoyance or a label some parents choose to get school services, as some would contend.

The stakes could not be higher. Thank you for leading this crusade, Mary.


I’ll admit that I am guilty of putting myself last. Over time I started having sever anxiety issues, which I was trying to dismiss to the doctor. I tried to convince him this had to be wrong; I don’t have anything to worry about. He turned to me and said, Julie, you live in world of unknowns, unforeseen extremes, and the rug is constantly being pulled out from under you. You have a child that you have no way to know how tomorrow will go, nor are you able to step away or slowdown,and you are now standing over a black hole of uncertainty since his return home came months before it was suppose to happen .

I didn't expecting him to be so blunt but it wasn’t until I seen my situation from the outside did I realize he might be right.

I agree we parents often take a back seat

I to have experienced the body aches, strange rashes, digestive issues, fatigue and headaches, I just wasn't paying attention to myself, my focus was always on my child!
I am now on my own road to education and recovery so please do continue to share(:
I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.