GFCF Recipes

GFCF Recipes


Fed court: Yep, vaccine caused autism

This from David Kirby on the Huffington Post. I'm sure you'll find it interesting. But, the question he raises is right -- what now?

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case in Federal Court - Now What?

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.

The child's claim against the government -- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism -- was supposed to be one of three "test cases" for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

Keisler wrote that medical personnel at the HHS Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC) had reviewed the case and "concluded that compensation is appropriate."

The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

Days later, the girl began spiraling downward into a cascade of illnesses and setbacks that, within months, presented as symptoms of autism, including: No response to verbal direction; loss of language skills; no eye contact; loss of "relatedness;" insomnia; incessant screaming; arching; and "watching the florescent lights repeatedly during examination."

Seven months after vaccination, the patient was diagnosed by Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a leading neurologist at the Kennedy Krieger Children's Hospital Neurology Clinic, with "regressive encephalopathy (brain disease) with features consistent with autistic spectrum disorder, following normal development." The girl also met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) official criteria for autism.

In its written concession, the government said the child had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was "aggravated" by her shots, and which ultimately resulted in an ASD diagnosis.

"The vaccinations received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder," the concession says, "which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of ASD."

This statement is good news for the girl and her family, who will now be compensated for the lifetime of care she will require. But its implications for the larger vaccine-autism debate, and for public health policy in general, are not as certain.

In fact, the government's concession seems to raise more questions than it answers.

1) Is there a connection between vaccines, mitochondrial disorders and a diagnosis of autism, at least in some cases?

Mitochondria, you may recall from biology class, are the little powerhouses within cells that convert food into electrical energy, partly through a complex process called "oxidative phosphorylation." If this process is impaired, mitochondrial disorder will ensue.

The child in this case had several markers for Mt disease, which was confirmed by muscle biopsy. Mt disease is often marked by lethargy, poor muscle tone, poor food digestion and bowel problems, something found in many children diagnosed with autism.

But mitochondrial disorders are rare in the general population, affecting some 2-per-10,000 people (or just 0.2%). So with 4,900 cases filed in Vaccine Court, this case should be the one and only, extremely rare instance of Mt disease in all the autism proceedings.

But it is not.

Mitochondrial disorders are now thought to be the most common disease associated with ASD. Some journal articles and other analyses have estimated that 10% to 20% of all autism cases may involve mitochondrial disorders, which would make them one thousand times more common among people with ASD than the general population.

Another article, published in the Journal of Child Neurology and co-authored by Dr. Zimmerman, showed that 38% of Kennedy Krieger Institute autism patients studied had one marker for impaired oxidative phosphorylation, and 47% had a second marker.

The authors -- who reported on a case-study of the same autism claim conceded in Vaccine Court -- noted that "children who have (mitochondrial-related) dysfunctional cellular energy metabolism might be more prone to undergo autistic regression between 18 and 30 months of age if they also have infections or immunizations at the same time."

An interesting aspect of Mt disease in autism is that, with ASD, the mitochondrial disease seems to be milder than in "classic" cases of Mt disorder. In fact, classic Mt disease is almost always inherited, either passed down by the mother through mitochondrial DNA, or by both parents through nuclear DNA.

In autism-related Mt disease, however, the disorder is not typically found in other family members, and instead appears to be largely of the sporadic variety, which may now account for 75% of all mitochondrial disorders.

Meanwhile, an informal survey of seven families of children with cases currently pending in Vaccine Court revealed that all seven showed markers for mitochondrial dysfunction, dating back to their earliest medical tests. The facts in all seven claims mirror the case just conceded by the government: Normal development followed by vaccination, immediate illness, and rapid decline culminating in an autism diagnosis.

2) With 4,900 cases pending, and more coming, will the government concede those with underlying Mt disease -- and if it not, will the Court award compensation?

The Court will soon begin processing the 4900 cases pending before it. What if 10% to 20% of them can demonstrate the same Mt disease and same set of facts as those in the conceded case? Would the government be obliged to concede 500, or even 1,000 cases? What impact would that have on public opinion? And is there enough money currently in the vaccine injury fund to cover so many settlements?

When asked for a comment last week about the court settlement, a spokesman for HHS furnished the following written statement:

"DVIC has reviewed the scientific information concerning the allegation that vaccines cause autism and has found no credible evidence to support the claim. Accordingly, in every case under the Vaccine Act, DVIC has maintained the position that vaccines do not cause autism, and has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination."

3) If the government is claiming that vaccines did not "cause" autism, but instead aggravated a condition to "manifest" as autism, isn't that a very fine distinction?

For most affected families, such linguistic gymnastics is not so important. And even if a vaccine injury "manifested" as autism in only one case, isn't that still a significant development worthy of informing the public?

On the other hand, perhaps what the government is claiming is that vaccination resulted in the symptoms of autism, but not in an actual, factually correct diagnosis of autism itself.

4) If the government is claiming that this child does NOT have autism, then how many other children might also have something else that merely "mimics" autism?

Is it possible that 10%-20% of the cases that we now label as "autism," are not autism at all, but rather some previously undefined "look-alike" syndrome that merely presents as "features" of autism?

This question gets to the heart of what autism actually is. The disorder is defined solely as a collection of features, nothing more. If you have the features (and the diagnosis), you have the disorder. The underlying biology is the great unknown.

But let's say the government does determine that these kids don't have actual "autism" (something I speculated on HuffPost a year ago). Then shouldn't the Feds go back and test all people with ASD for impaired oxidative phosphorylation, perhaps reclassifying many of them?

If so, will we then see "autism" cases drop by tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people? Will there be a corresponding ascension of a newly described disorder, perhaps something like "Vaccine Aggravated Mitochondrial Disease with Features of ASD?"

And if this child was technically "misdiagnosed" with DSM-IV autism by Dr Zimmerman, how does he feel about HHS doctors issuing a second opinion re-diagnosis of his patient, whom they presumably had neither met nor examined? (Zimmerman declined an interview).

And along those lines, aren't Bush administration officials somewhat wary of making long-distance, retroactive diagnoses from Washington, given that the Terry Schiavo incident has not yet faded from national memory?

5) Was this child's Mt disease caused by a genetic mutation, as the government implies, and wouldn't that have manifested as "ASD features" anyway?

In the concession, the government notes that the patient had a "single nucleotide change" in the mitochondrial DNA gene T2387C, implying that this was the underlying cause of her manifested "features" of autism.

While it's true that some inherited forms of Mt disease can manifest as developmental delays, (and even ASD in the form of Rhett Syndrome) these forms are linked to identified genetic mutations, of which T2387C is not involved. In fact little, if anything, is known about the function of this particular gene.

What's more, there is no evidence that this girl, prior to vaccination, suffered from any kind of "disorder" at all- genetic, mitochondrial or otherwise. Some forms of Mt disease are so mild that the person is unaware of being affected. This perfectly developing girl may have had Mt disorder at the time of vaccination, but nobody detected, or even suspected it.

And, there is no evidence to suggest that this girl would have regressed into symptoms consistent with a DSM-IV autism diagnosis without her vaccinations. If there was such evidence, then why on earth would these extremely well-funded government attorneys compensate this alleged injury in Vaccine Court? Why wouldn't they move to dismiss, or at least fight the case at trial?

6) What are the implications for research?

The concession raises at least two critical research questions: What are the causes of Mt dysfunction; and how could vaccines aggravate that dysfunction to the point of "autistic features?"

While some Mt disorders are clearly inherited, the "sporadic" form is thought to account for 75% of all cases, according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. So what causes sporadic Mt disease? "Medicines or other toxins," says the Cleveland Clinic, a leading authority on the subject.

Use of the AIDS drug AZT, for example, can cause Mt disorders by deleting large segments of mitochondrial DNA. If that is the case, might other exposures to drugs or toxins (i.e., thimerosal, mercury in fish, air pollution, pesticides, live viruses) also cause sporadic Mt disease in certain subsets of children, through similar genotoxic mechanisms?

Among the prime cellular targets of mercury are mitochondria, and thimerosal-induced cell death has been associated with the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane, according to the International Journal of Molecular Medicine among several others. (Coincidently, the first case of Mt disease was diagnosed in 1959, just 15 years after the first autism case was named, and two decades after thimerosal's introduction as a vaccine preservative.)

Regardless of its cause, shouldn't HHS sponsor research into Mt disease and the biological mechanisms by which vaccines could aggravate the disorder? We still do not know what it was, exactly, about this girl's vaccines that aggravated her condition. Was it the thimerosal? The three live viruses? The two attenuated viruses? Other ingredients like aluminum? A combination of the above?

And of course, if vaccine injuries can aggravate Mt disease to the point of manifesting as autism features, then what other underlying disorders or conditions (genetic, autoimmune, allergic, etc.) might also be aggravated to the same extent?

7) What are the implications for medicine and public health?

Should the government develop and approve new treatments for "aggravated mitochondrial disease with ASD features?" Interestingly, many of the treatments currently deployed in Mt disease (i.e., coenzyme Q10, vitamin B-12, lipoic acid, biotin, dietary changes, etc.) are part of the alternative treatment regimen that many parents use on their children with ASD.

And, if a significant minority of autism cases can be linked to Mt disease and vaccines, shouldn't these products one day carry an FDA Black Box warning label, and shouldn't children with Mt disorders be exempt from mandatory immunization?

8) What are the implications for the vaccine-autism debate?

It's too early to tell. But this concession could conceivably make it more difficult for some officials to continue insisting there is "absolutely no link" between vaccines and autism.

It also puts the Federal Government's Vaccine Court defense strategy somewhat into jeopardy. DOJ lawyers and witnesses have argued that autism is genetic, with no evidence to support an environmental component. And, they insist, it's simply impossible to construct a chain of events linking immunizations to the disorder.

Government officials may need to rethink their legal strategy, as well as their public relations campaigns, given their own slightly contradictory concession in this case.

9) What is the bottom line here?

The public, (including world leaders) will demand to know what is going on inside the US Federal health establishment. Yes, as of now, n=1, a solitary vaccine-autism concession. But what if n=10% or 20%? Who will pay to clean up that mess?

The significance of this concession will unfortunately be fought over in the usual, vitriolic way -- and I fully expect to be slammed for even raising these questions. Despite that, the language of this concession cannot be changed, or swept away.

Its key words are "aggravated" and "manifested." Without the aggravation of the vaccines, it is uncertain that the manifestation would have occurred at all.

When a kid with peanut allergy eats a peanut and dies, we don't say "his underlying metabolic condition was significantly aggravated to the extent of manifesting as an anaphylactic shock with features of death."

No, we say the peanut killed the poor boy. Remove the peanut from the equation, and he would still be with us today.

Many people look forward to hearing more from HHS officials about why they are settling this claim. But whatever their explanation, they cannot change the fundamental facts of this extraordinary case:

The United State government is compensating at least one child for vaccine injuries that resulted in a diagnosis of autism.

And that is big news, no matter how you want to say it.

David Kirby is the author of "Evidence of Harm - Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, A Medical Controversy" (St. Martins Press 2005.


GFCF Pizza wrap

So, now that we know how to make a GF wrap that bends, here's one yummy way to make a great dinner for the kids. First, you have to make the wraps. Second, you make a 10-minute pizza sauce, and the recipe's right here. Third, you make the filling. For now, I'll show you my favorite, which is what I like to call Pizza Burger filling. But, remember, you could plug anything in here you want -- pepperoni, salami, chicken, turkey, hot dog, avacado, lettuce, lunchmeat, tomato, onion, etc. Be creative. But, for the pizza burger, you want to make a double batch of the pizza sauce. And, brown about a pound of ground beef in a pan. Drain the grease. Stir in half of the pizza sauce, sprinkle with some sea salt, chili powder, ground red pepper.

Now, take a wrap, spread some sauce on there like a pizza, plop a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle, add diced onion, lettuce, tomato or any other fillings your kids love (none if they don't), and fold the wrap. Serve and eat.

Make sure to save a couple for your lunch.


Study shows link between mercury and autism

I don't jump on every study or finding that pops up about autism, mostly because I find the waves of hope and dispair too stressful. But, I found this recent study interesting, mostly because it gets to the heart of the million dollar question -- can mercury cause the problems our kids are struggling to overcome? Sure, all the medical groups and the feds tell us "no." Then, they chastise us for even considering the possibility. Why don't they instead say, "Gee, we're not really sure. So, instead of guessing, we'll study the possibility in an open, nonpolitical environment and let the world know our findings." Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming. Anyway, here's a link to the Rutgers and UMDNJ study and a few lines from the summary.


"We have shown that mice exposed to either methylmercury (MeHg) or valproic acid (VPA) in early postnatal life display aberrant social, cognitive and motor behavior. Interestingly, early exposure to both compounds has been clinically implicated in the development of autism. We recently found that Trolox, a water-soluble vitamin E derivative, is capable of attenuating a number of neurobehavioral alterations observed in mice postnatally exposed to MeHg."
Oh, and to put this into perspective, here's a little tidbit from a USAToday series on pollutants.

"Mercury is 13.5 times as dense as water. If all the mercury released into the air by U.S. coal-burning power plants in 2005 48.3 tons could be captured and stored in one place, it would fit into the back of a large SUV such as a Chevy Suburban or Ford Excursion. By contrast, depositing just 1/25th of a teaspoon of mercury into a 60-acre lake could contaminate the lake to the point that fish caught there would be unsafe to eat."

Sources: University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center; North Carolina Divsion of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance


Stealing an autistic child from his home

Has anyone out there seen this? Very disturbing -- from Sunday's Orange County Register -- Opinion writer Steven Greenhut.


Sunday, February 17, 2008
Child abuse by the government
Government rips an autistic boy from his home because it prefers a different treatment than the one offered by the parents.
Sr. editorial writer and columnist
The Orange County Register

What kind of society rips a 17-year-old autistic boy from his loving home and places him in a state-run mental institution, where he is given heavy doses of drugs, kept physically restrained, kept away from his family, deprived of books and other mental stimulation and is left alone to rot?

Certainly not a free or humane one.

Yet that's exactly what has happened to Nate Tseglin, after a teacher called Child Protective Services, the county agency charged with protecting children from many forms of abuse and given power to remove children from their family homes in certain circumstances. The teacher reported seeing self-inflicted scratches on Nate's body and complained about the doctor-approved arm restraints his parents used to keep Nate from hurting himself. Nate remains in Fairview Developmental Center (formerly Fairview State Hospital) in Costa Mesa, labeled a danger to himself and others, while his parents fight a lonely battle to bring their son back home.

Isn't there anyone out there who can help them?

After the complaint, social workers intervened and decided that the judgment of a psychologist who examined Nate's records but never even met the boy trumped a lifetime of treatment and experiences by his parents, Ilya and Riva Tseglin. Without prior notice, "the San Diego Health and Human Services agency social worker, with the aid of law enforcement, forcibly removed a struggling and terrified autistic boy … from his home, while his mother and father, who are Russian Jewish immigrants, and Nate's younger brother stood by helplessly," according to the complaint the parents, who have since moved to Irvine to be near Nate, filed with the court.

The forced removal came after the Tseglins came to loggerheads with the government over Nate's proper treatment. The parents are opposed to the use of psychotropic drugs and argue that Nate has had strong negative reactions to them. They point to success they've had with an alternative, holistic approach that focuses on diet and psychiatric counseling. The government disagreed, so it took the boy away from home and initially placed him in a group home – where he had the same negative reaction to the drugs that his parents predicted would happen.

Of course, once social workers are involved in a family, they are reluctant to relinquish their power – something I've found in every Child Protective Services case I've written about. And even though the court determined "the evidence is clear that the parents have always stood by and tried to help their son," the court sided with the government. That's another common theme from these closed family-court proceedings – the social workers' words are taken as gospel, and the parents are treated like enemies and given little chance to defend themselves.

The details are complicated and discouraging. But, essentially, the parents were cut out of any decision-making regarding their son. They were given only short visits with him. After he ran away from the group home, the government transferred Nate to a mental hospital. The Tseglins say the drugs the hospital gave Nate caused him to have a "grand mal" seizure, and his health has continued to deteriorate while he languishes in a government mental facility. When they visited him over the summer, they found his face swollen. He faded in and out of consciousness and was suffering from convulsions. They believe he has been beaten and are worried about sexual abuse, given that he is housed with the criminally insane.

The Tseglins claim Child Protective Services has told them they have the "wrong set of beliefs" and even threatened to force them to undergo court-ordered psychological evaluation. The agency at one point suspended the parents' visitations as a way "to assist them in coming to grips regarding their son." The Tseglins, as former citizens of the Soviet Union, have good reason to be fearful of the authorities. But they tell me that they experienced nothing of this sort in the former communist nation. If their descriptions are correct, then the Soviets weren't the only ones who know how to create a totalitarian bureaucracy.

The family's legal argument is persuasive:

"Riva and her husband have cared for Nate, in their home, for his entire life, until he was dragged kicking and screaming away from his parents. … The court found that it was very impressive that the parents 'were able to maintain Nate in the home for the better part of a decade when he was having some severe behavioral difficulties.' … The court found further that when the parents put Nate on a 'more holistic approach' and ignored the professional opinions, that 'for a period of time, Nate responded very well to that.' Even though Nate subsequently deteriorated, the court found that he fared no differently using the more traditional medical approach.' …

"In short, this case turns on value judgments, such as whether it is preferable for Nate to be maintained in his own home, subject to occasional physical restraint, surrounded by the love and devotion of his parents and brother, or whether Nate should be placed in a locked facility, subject to occasional physical restraint and constant chemical restraint, surrounded by strangers and a burden to the California taxpayer. … The real issue in this case is that the agency and some medical personnel believe their opinions regarding Nate's treatment are better than the parents' choices, and have sought the judicial intervention to override the parents' decisions regarding their son."

In a free society, individuals and families get to make those judgments and decisions. As the Tseglins argue, "Riva has a right to raise her child, Nate, free from government interference, as long as he is not at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect or exploitation."

Sure, the state can and does intervene when parents are accused of abusing or neglecting their children. There are many problems and injustices even in those cases, but at least it's understandable when the government intervenes to protect a potentially threatened child. But in this case, the state is simply saying that it knows best, that no matter how diligently a boy's parents have worked to provide the best-possible care for him, that officials get the final say. And the government's choice of mandatory incarceration seems harsh and cruel, which shouldn't surprise anyone, given the basic nature of government.

At last check, autism is not a crime. It's time to free Nate Tseglin and return him to the love and care of his parents.

Contact the writer: sgreenhut@ocregister.comor 714-796-7823


Crok pork roast -- an easy gfcf dinner

Now that my children are a little older -- 4 & 6 -- and not so stuck in the burger, nuggets, sticks phase -- I've dared to experiment a little, branch out our taste buds into some more adult areas. Like pork roast. Why? For a few reasons, and some very selfish. I'd like my kids, who would love to eat chicken pieces and potatoes for the rest of their lives, to learn to appreciate other foods. I know this will be a challenge. Like so many of our kids, mine are stuck in a rut. Deviation from their menu will not be accepted lightly. But, I've learned a few tricks over the years. The one that works best is to make my plate first, sit and eat while their food continues to "heat up." They always, well 75% of the time, want to try my food. So, here's a recipe I'm going to try with them. I chose it because I miss roasts -- beef and pork. They are delicious and often very simple in terms of time and ingredients. That's the selfish part. I realize some younger kids may not digest the beef, so wait until they can. And, I know some kids actually have a white pork intolerance. So, beware of that too. But, most will be able to handle this. I'm making the crok pot version, since that is the easiest.

Ingredients are simple:
-- pork roast: any size
-- Carrots, cut up, or the small salad size
-- onion, chopped into halves
-- 1 apple, any kind
-- Potatoes, cut into quarters
-- water, 1 cup
-- garlic: powder or minced will do, or two real cloves, crushed
-- salt and pepper to taste

Wash off the roast and place it in the crok pot. Wash the carrots and dump in as many as desired. Cut onion in half, toss in. Cut apple into quarters, toss in, pitch core. Add garlic, salt and pepper if desired and the water. Cook on low anywhere from 6-10 hours, based on size of the roast. Add the potatoes in the last two hours so they cook through.

I'll let you know how my experiment works. Either way, I'll be sure to enjoy it. If the kids don't -- hot dogs :)


GFCF Sandwich Wrap

Like many of you, I've had a difficult time getting my kids to eat a GF bread, whether it's store-bought or homemade. My youngest has eaten Noah's Bread at times, but not regularly. I created a deviation of Tom's Bread that I dubbed Lindsay's Bread that she once ate but wasn't overly fond of and eventually got tired of it as a lunch bread. So, I've figured the best thing for my kids is variation, having a few breads that I can get them to eat if I mix them up and don't serve them daily. I know, it's a real pain. But, by using them sporadically in lunch and dinner menus, it's not that bad. So, that brings me to this very simple recipe for a sandwich wrap. You'll find many variations of this recipe on websites and in cookbooks. I use a mashed potato base. That's essential to give the wrap some flexibility. Without it, you come up with a dry tortilla that easily cracks. Here's how I make it.

Ingredients are potatoes, salt, Darifree (or milk sub), 1 cup gf flour, xanthan gum, water.

First, boil enough potatoes to make two cups of mashed potato.

Next, when done, take two cups of the potato in a bowl and mash them, adding enough Darifree or milk sub to the mix to make them "mashy" but not too wet. Add 1/2 tsp salt in the process.

Now, heat a pan on high without oil.

While heating, add the cup of flour. I use 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup corn meal. You can use any mix you want. If you're corn and rice free, consider using sorghum and tapioca mix.

Add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.

Now, mix the flour in and start making a dough. Add water by the tbsp if necessary.

When the dough is ready and the pan is hot, sprinkle some tapioca flour on a surface, grab a handful of dough (like 1/4-1/2 cup), and with floured hands (or a floured roller), flatten into a circular shape, but not too thin. When flat, put it in the pan. Heat a couple minutes on both sides until they start to brown. Continue doing this with the rest.

All in all, this is a very easy recipe and becomes very versatile. I have a pizza wrap recipe I'll post soon. You could use this with lunchmeat, ground beef like a taco, etc.


Stop the presses! You can treat autism through diet!

Yeah, there's a little sarcasm there. You may have seen this item from the Feingold organization circulating across webland. If not, save these links, print out the article and post it on the fridge. Yippee.

A doctor from Children's Hospital in Boston wrote an article for the American Academy of Pediatrics' AAP Grand Rounds publication on the impact that food additives have on people with ADHD. Those of us dealing with the spectrum know how additives, colorings and preservatives really can screw your day up.

So, here's the links for you to enjoy.

-- the actual AAP article is at this link:

-- a previous study on this issue published in Lancet, in the UK, is at this link:

-- the Feingold write-up on this is at this link:

-- Feingold's "Behavior, Learning and Health" publication is at this link:

I'm not a strict follower of Feingold but we certainly share many of its beliefs.


Burger King and the pirate ship

My wife, kids and I took a very important outing yesterday. We stopped at Burger King on the way back from a doc visit. Why Burger King? Gluten-free fries, of course. If you missed my GFCF restaurant post, don't panic, I've put a permanent link down the right side of my blog. Or, just click here. This was the first in a very long time that the four of us actually sat and ate at a restaurant. The kids got a plain burger, no bun, that they put in a plastic salad plate. And, they got small french fries, which are cooked in a dedicated fryer. Water to drink. Heinz ketchup packets (gf). We got a window booth and the kids pretended they were on a pirate ship and the sea was out the window. They had a blast. It really is a test run for us. First, we want a fast food place that we know we can rely on when traveling or visiting out of town. I think Burger King is that place. Plus, we want to try other restaurants in our area that provide GFCF options. There are a few. Check out that previous blog post. But, those aren't really fast food and we need to be on our best behavior there. So, this was our test. They were well-behaved, until the end. They didn't want to leave. My oldest stuck her tongue out at mom. That didn't go over well. So, now she has to earn the restaurant outing back. And, she will. She's very determined. This was a big step for us after feeling nearly like hermits for the past six years. I hope it helps open a new chapter in our lives.


Autism and chiropractic help

You might find this interesting. It's a blog entry from a Colorado chiropractor about the use of chiropractic with autistic patients. We take our daughters to a progressive chiropractor for spinal adjustments using the Activator method, which uses less force to manipulate the spine. It's not necessarily the best, but it works for us and the kids don't object to it since it's not very intrusive. We believe this helps. We're also involved in some other treatments there, which I'll write more about later. They have helped (and I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes). One treatment has helped my youngest daughter shed some of her food intolerances. Really. No "regular" docs were able to do that -- or even willing to try. The author of this is my brother, who you'll find is very informed. Enjoy.

Can Chiropractic Help Children With Autism?

(here's a paragraph - link to read the entire entry)

... A paper published in the March 2006 issue of Clinical Chiropractic reviewed past studies and found that children with Autism are helped with chiropractic care. Furthermore this study found that most children with Autism had problems with their upper cervical (neck) spine[10]. Another study found that 80% of children receive damage to their upper cervical spines due to birth trauma[11]. The upper cervical spine is so important that the two vertebrae located at t he top of the spine have their own names: Atlas and Axis. All the other 22 vertebrae just have numbers assigned to them such as the third thoracic vertebra and the fifth lumbar vertebra. The Atlas and Axis are so important that an entire chiropractic discipline, called Upper Cervical Chiropractic, was established by B.J. Palmer (the Developer of the Chiropractic Profession), simply to restore proper function to that area. Working with the Atlas and Axis directly effects the function of the nervous system. Autistic children have a neurological component to their disorder. It makes sense that Upper Cervical Chiropractic would help them...


Dairy-free, gluten-free ranch dressing in your grocery

That's right. You can buy this in your local grocery, or if not, online from anywhere at the Walden Farms site. It's pretty good stuff too. It's marked right on the label -- kosher and gluten free. I've sent the company an email with some questions. They assure me the ingredients listed are really what they are. Try it out.