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    Southern roots have given my family a love of sitting down to eat good home cooked meals together. Flavor was never in short supply, although as a young child processed food was. I went to school with a hand packed lunch in my personalized lunchbox every day. As I moved into junior high, I began making poor food choices as the "SAD" diet (Standard American Diet) became convenient and ever present.

    At 20, I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. I struggled through poor health, daily medications, and eventually through a high-risk pregnancy. My son was diagnosed with Autism and Tourette's Syndrome at 6-years-old. The new challenges we faced led us to the GAPS diet, and down a nutritional journey as a family.

    Realizing that what we eat is foundational to optimal health I began researching, studying and cooking real food. I was led to the Nutritional Therapy Association to become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I followed that by becoming a certified Epidemic Answers Health Coach to learn more about the new childhood epidemics: Autism, ADD/ADHD, asthma and allergies.

    I am passionate about incorporating real food (that tastes good!) to achieve optimal wellbeing. Kids and families are my specialty. Focusing on growing families with preconception support, fertility enhancement, pregnancy, post-partum support and first foods for babies. Working with kids on the spectrum to improve digestion and blood sugar regulation so that they can feel their best. Nothing about my approach is a one-size-fits-all, each plan is tailor made for the individual and family. Long distance clients welcomed!

The Cause of Autism

Much like getting a shot, the great vaccination debate is a sore subject. I had not given it much thought until recently. Maybe it’s the Jenny McCarthy media storm vilifying them, or maybe it is because I have delved deeper into the Autism community lately; stretching for more people to connect with. We get asked a lot what we think the cause of autism is. Before I begin with our humble opinion, there are some points to go over.

1) Cullen followed the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, with the exception of flu shots. I even dosed him with Tylenol afterwards per the Pediatrician’s recommendations. However, I never noticed a turn toward autism with him. There was never a moment where I knew there was something going on, like some other parent’s have seen after vaccinating. For us it was a long, slow awakening that there may be something different about him. (More on how we found out in a later blog post). Our experiences with autism are unique to us, and every family has a different story, and I know a lot of parents see an immediate change after a round of vaccinations.

2) Peer-reviewed scientific research is not always “big pharma.” Also, “independent research studies” are not always reliable. But there’s merit in both. I don’t think I can paraphrase or explain it better than this article did below:

“Scientific research works like this:
You start with the specific questions “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?”, “Does the MMR vaccine increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease?” and so forth. You then design a study to test that question. It’s not starting from one “side” or the other, trying to seek proof for it. That’s the way politics works, not science. When you get an answer, it’s either “yes” or “no” (actually it tends to be “there is a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease” or “there is NOT a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease.”) Your results are submitted to experts for peer review. These experts then go over your results and methods with a fine-toothed comb, trying to find weaknesses in your approach, or over-interpretation of the results. They evaluate your statistics to make sure that they’re correct. If they decide that it’s acceptable (and this is usually a very hard test to pass), your paper gets published and is considered “peer-reviewed.” But that’s not the end.

Studies are then done by other research groups to both test and build upon your results. While the initial screen by peer reviewers is very stringent, it doesn’t always catch mistakes, and can miss identifying faked data. However, all scientific research is iterative–that is, it builds upon a foundation created by other research. So if your results are wrong, or faked, it will quickly become obvious to other researchers who try to replicate or use them. Scientific consensus is VERY hard to achieve. So when it happens, pay attention.” –From The Truth About Vaccinations: Your Physician Knows More Than The University of Google

3) We have a very close friend who is a scientific researcher in biology and genetics. His skills allow him to pull up the actual papers written on most of the blogs and read the actual research and the findings. This gives us an insight into the more relevant forms of research rather than what the bloggers are reading between the lines. He’s able to tell me when something is stretching the limits of scientific probability and when there might actually be some truth behind it. Which allows us to make a more informed decision. Which is what I think everyone should be doing. Taking time to learn both sides of the issue from an unbiased source.

4) No parent on either side of the issue is trying to harm their child or yours. They are doing what they think is right and we are all entitled to our opinion. Respect others and they will respect you… or you can block them, that usually works.

5) I’m not a doctor. I’m not a health professional. I’m not even an expert on autism. I’m an expert on my son with autism. Just a mom. Giving my two cents.

Our Opinion:

Vaccines have been on the brain lately as many of our friends have started their families and started asking questions about where we stand, and also as we consider adding to our own family. Beyond preparing my body with the GAPS food plan, Nourishing Traditions recommendations, and supplementation, I have considered what we would do differently the next time around. Hospital Birth vs. Home Birth? Vaccinations vs. Unvaxed? Formula vs Breastfeeding? What about ultrasounds? What about my high mercury load? The list goes on and on.

A little personal history is required here… bear with me. I developed an auto-immune, hyperactive thyroid disorder called Grave’s Disease at 18-years-old. My paternal grandfather had also struggled with the same disorder decades earlier when the standard treatment was radioactive iodine to essentially kill your thyroid function. I refused this treatment and was put on two different types of medication to control my thyroid and my rapid heart rate. For years I took 10 pills a day. My cardiovascular abilities were severely limited, I struggled with fatigue, shaking hands, pounding and racing heart beat, and constant trips to the endocrinologist to  monitor my thyroid levels and liver function. My doctor continued to push for the radioactive iodine, telling me that it was the best course of action, that my body would eventually reject the medication or my liver would be compromised. The thing about that treatment is once it is done you become dependent on thyroid hormones in a pill form, because you have killed the gland that produces them naturally. I was the opposite of “healthy” in those days, but this plan of action went against what I thought was right. I knew that maintaining proper thyroid levels was a delicate dance that usually results in the patient becoming overweight, obese or even developing diabetes. I researched the disorder and found that, while the roots were probably genetic, it could be triggered by a traumatic event (which had happened), and that there was a small chance that your body would figure out it shouldn’t be fighting itself and the condition would dissipate. I was willing to wait it out and see what happened. Luckily for me I did eventually normal out.

Not before I became pregnant with Cullen. Because of my thyroid problems I was classified as a high-risk pregnancy. I continued with my thyroid medications AND during this time period discovered that one of the medications was causing tooth decay. So I had multiple (well over 10) amalgam fillings performed before and during my pregnancy. I was breathing in all of those mercury vapors when they were working on my teeth. Wonderful. We know that mercury passes through the placenta barrier to the fetus, so Cullen may have started out with a higher mercury load than his body could effectively deal with. In spite of that, he was quite healthy. I went to full-term, and didn’t have a cesarean. He had a mild case of jaundice, but all-in-all no serious concerns. I was unable to breastfeed, which would have bolstered his developing immune system.

Here’s where I switch gears to the immune system. According to the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book, the immune system begins in the gut. An infant gets it’s gut flora from it’s mother. It happens during the birthing. Up until this point the baby’s gut is sterile it has to be populated with beneficial bacteria that will protect the baby from pathogenic bacteria, infection and disease. Breastfeeding continues that population of the gut flora and provides antibodies that are in the mother’s body as well. Here is where it gets interesting for me. Genetics play a part, but the health of your mother, and her mother, and her mother before are directly relational to the types of immune responses you have. Of course dad’s genetics play a part as well without a doubt. I think this is a lot of why we are seeing a spike in the increase of autism and all kinds of other auto-immune disorders. The rise is also attributed to better diagnostics, and a better understanding of what the Autism Spectrum is and what it looks like. 30 years ago a kid with autism may have been called weird or quirky, or mentally challenged. But wouldn’t the diagnoses have leveled out by now? They are continuing to rise! So are life-threatening food allergies.

So what is the common thread? Not vaccines. There are many children who have never been vaccinated that still develop an Autism Spectrum disorder. I think it’s the way we eat! The infiltration of processed food into our lives has become prevalent since the 1950’s, and we are seeing direct decreases in the health of our gut. Foods loaded with sugar, preservatives, chemicals, genetically-modified ingredients, and harmful additives have become the norm not the exception. We have migrated from a traditional diet consisting of plants and animals (the WHOLE animal, not just the lean parts) to a diet full of grains, dead dairy products, unhealthy fats, estrogen-disrupting soy, and high-fructose corn syrup. We are essentially feeding the bad flora, and not replenishing the good. Eating yogurt every day is not enough. You need a nutrient dense diet that focuses on building good flora through fermented foods. Let’s follow the progression. Great-grandma starts buying cereals, Bisquick, and canned food. Grandma has minor allergies. She starts including freezer meals, more dinners out, candy at the movies and occasional trips to the ice cream shop. Mom has somewhat worse allergies, maybe some eczema and mild depression. She starts including 2 processed food meals per day, sodas, high-sugar coffee drinks and lots more fast food. You have food allergies, acne, IBS, an auto-immune disorder and migraines. You eat fast food more than you eat home cooked meals. Your home cooked meals consist of low-quality meats, a box of something that looks like a starch, but you cannot pronounce the ingredients much less identify them, and a cans of vegetables. You follow all of that up with caffeine and hfcs loaded beverages and frankenfood snacks. You can’t control your weight, so you go to fat-free foods and cut all types of fat out of your diet even the good ones, but you still can’t drop the extra weight. You might switch to soy based products and then struggle with fertility. Each generation dilutes the health of their gut flora and passes it on to the next. Conservatorship of your body and immune system are equal to teaching your children what healthy food is. You have to protect it in order to pass on something worthwhile to the next generation.

We’ve established that my immune system was compromised, that my heavy metal load was probably high. My diet was severely deficient in nutrients. You can get an idea of it in a previous post here. The other factors I know now is that my paternal side has a strong genetic predisposition towards the spectrum. My dad was definitely ADD, and his brother could arguably be considered to have a mild case of Asperger’s, my sister as well, and I think I am half Aspie. I would never be diagnosed with it now, but I have learned to cope and get around my social quirks and shyness. When I’m stressed I think I feel a fraction of what Cullen feels on a daily basis. I never thought twice about vaccines. I just followed the advice of our pediatrician. Do I think that vaccinating Cullen caused his autism? No.Would I do it again? Probably not. I would follow the advice in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book, which recommends a test to determine the health of the gut to begin with. At the very least it recommends waiting for the infant to be much older than your pediatrician recommends to start immunizations if you are going to give them at all.

In our opinion it comes down to compromised immune systems due to the quality and types of food we are eating, the chemicals we are exposed to in the environment, in cleaning products and in personal care items. In Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, there is a compelling passage, “A compromised immune system is not going to react to environmental insults in the normal way! Vaccination is a huge insult to the immune system. The manufacturers of vaccines produce them for children with normal immune systems, which will react to these vaccines in a predictable way. However, in our modern society with our modern way of life, we are rapidly moving to a situation where a growing proportion of children do not have a normal immune system and will not produce an expected reaction to the vaccine. In some of these children vaccination, putting an enormous strain on an already compromised immune system, becomes that “last straw which breaks the camel’s back” and brings on the beginning of autism, asthma, eczema, diabetes, etc. In other children, whose immune system is compromised to a lesser degree, vaccination will not start the disorder, but it will deepen the damage and move the child closer to it. However, if the the child’s immune system is severely compromised, then the child will get ill even if vaccinations are completely avoided. […] It is the state of the child’s immune system that appears to be the decisive factor, not the vaccines.

“Following all the scandals around vaccinations it is no surprise that a lot of people around the world believe that we should abandon childhood vaccinations altogether. What these people forget is that before the vaccination era it was quite normal for every family to lose one, two, three and sometimes even more children to childhood infections, like measles, rubella, mumps and others. This is the natural selection law, which Mother Nature has imposed on all living creatures on earth. […] In our modern world we humans are not prepared to obey this law. No mother would allow her child to perish, when there are ways to let the child live. […] Vaccinations are one of those ways we humans have invented to allow our weaklings to survive. So, we cannot abandon vaccinations altogether unless we are prepared to obey the laws of Nature. We have to come up with a more rational approach to vaccinations.” From Gut & Psychology Syndrome

You would have to read the book yourself to form your own conclusions, but it recommends an immunological survey with stool and urine analysis performed to determine the risk for a dysfunctional gut. If the mother, older siblings or the child present any forms of autoimmune or neurological disorders vaccinations should be withheld and the child retested at a later age; vaccinations should be administered separately when possible. As of right now we are leaning toward an alternative vaccination schedule, which would most likely include none of the “new” vaccines like chicken pox, and no flu shots. According to the GAPS plan a second child should not be vaccinated. If we choose the unvaccinated route then precautions have to be taken to make sure there was lower risks of infection; for instance, I don’t see how a traditional daycare setting would be safe with other children potentially shedding live viruses. And breastfeeding for a longer period of time than is considered “normal” today would be required.

Friends of mine have recommended a class at Dragonfly Natural Health for anyone in the Los Angeles area that provides an enormous amount of information about how the immune system works, childhood illnesses, different types of vaccines and the concerns that go with them, the standard vaccination schedule and how to alter it for your child, how to make them easier on your child, and how to protect an non-vaccinated child. It presents every angle of both sides of the issue. They go into which vaccines contain live viruses, why mercury and aluminum are used to carry the virus, and how to make an informed decision.



August 30, 2013 - 9:06 am

Bethany Barton - My friend is so smart.

I have questions for you! Is the GAPS vaccine protocol in the Gut & Psyche Syndrome book? I want to check that protocol out.

August 30, 2013 - 9:11 am

Aspieventures - Yes it is Bethany! It is pretty close to the one you outlined from your workshop with the exception of the immunological survey and stool and urine tests done before deciding to vaccinate. I’m sure that our GAPS certified nutritional therapist at Selah Wellness, can order these tests.

Also, the GAPS book would recommend that you and I wait until our babies were older to consider vaccinating based on our history, and in my case an older sibling with autism. Measles is pretty serious though and I for sure would give that one.

August 20, 2014 - 1:59 pm

Anonymous - Some common threads on autism I wish people would address more: The coincidence that usually the first born son is the one to have autism (hence in the old days autism being called "juniors disease) and the coincidence that there is more often than not someone in the family tree that had autism within a couple of generations.

Soup – The Low Down

The number one thing I get questions about on “The Food Plan” is soup. When you’re on the GAPS diet you should try to eat soup at least once a day, and then you add bone broth or meat stock on top of it. If you are starting the GAPS Intro, Stage 1 is nothing but soup. Yes. Soup for 5 days; morning, noon and night. You kind of hate your life, but then you start to feel really good and suddenly the soup doesn’t seem so bad; and then one day you realize that you haven’t had soup in the last 6 meals and you start to crave it.

I have a cohort of fellow GAPS followers in Tennessee who sent in some very specific questions, which I am going to answer to the best of my ability and then give you my latest soup recipe. [It was amazing and I am a little bummed that I used up the last of the leftovers today.]

1. What is the difference between bone broth & meat stock?

The short answer is the amount of time it is cooked. Bone broth requires 12-24 hours depending on the type of bones you are using. Meat stock can be prepared in about 2 hours. Either is interchangeable in recipes.

The long answer is the mineral/nutrient value is different. Meat stock is the starting point for someone with a dysfunctional gut, it is easier to digest and contains more gelatin and free amino acids like proline and glycine. These nutrients help heal the gut wall, and promote the excretion of hydrochloric acid – the protein breaker-downer for your stomach. Gelatin is an anti-inflammatory. Because bone broth is cooked longer, the gelatin is broken down more and free glutamates are released into the broth. If you’ve got a problem with MSG you may have a reaction to bone broth, and you should avoid it until your gut is healthier. Cooking on low heat at a slow simmer can reduce the amount of glutamates in the broth. Bone broth can be seen as a replacement for pasteurized dairy as it contains all of the minerals and nutrients needed for strong bones and healthy teeth.

2. Are there any tricks that speed up the 36-72 hour simmer time?


-You can use stock to make your soup instead of broth. (See above).
-You can make large batches of stock/broth once a week and save it in your fridge or freezer to use in soups. I have a 20 quart cauldron, I mean stock pot, that I purchased at Target for $50 to make stock/broth. I make 2-3 gallons of stock at a time. This will last me usually about 2 weeks using it as a beverage and in my cooking.
-You can use a crockpot to cook veggies and meat to add to prepared stock. Or to add all the ingredients to and let cook all day.

3. Do you prefer making soup with chicken or beef broth?

My all time favorite stock so far has been goose. We roasted a goose for Christmas dinner, and I saved the carcass to make broth. It was amazingly rich and flavorful, and I wish I had known then that I could reuse bones more than once for stock. I was sad when it was all gone. Beyond that I really prefer chicken stock for drinking because of the flavor, but beef broth is better in soups and stews. The other thing to consider is what quality of meat and bones you are getting. I can get high-quality, grass-fed beef bones at reasonable prices, but it requires a long drive or ordering them from my CSA. Chicken is available at Trader Joe’s, but it isn’t soy-free, so there is a trade-off. I usually will make a combo with chicken, lamb and beef. Any combination of the 3. Beef stock/broth is very bland, so I like to add some lamb bones or a turkey neck for some flavor. Lamb can be quite strong and if you don’t like the flavor of the cooked lamb, you will not like the broth. I haven’t mustered the courage to make fish stock yet, but I have cioppino on the list of things to try so we’ll see if I can handle the fish heads (eek!).

When you are making bone broth the cooking time for chicken is 6-12 hours vs. the 24-48 hours for beef bones. We don’t feel comfortable leaving our gas stove on for that long so the process becomes much longer with the refrigeration and bringing the pot back to a boil.

4. What are your favorite soup recipes?  What are the best ones to start with? Last favorite? 

Our family’s favorites are the standard chicken soup (sans noodles I typically add carrots, peas, kale, onion, celery and zucchini. Garlic, pepper, salt and organic seasoning mix from Costco get thrown in too), and leftovers soup. This is where I take stock and whatever meat I have in the fridge that the family won’t eat because they are weird about leftovers and any veggies I have lying around. I can hide all manner of sins in these soups.. pot roast that was overdone, gristly lamb legs, organ meat, etc. If the meat was tough or too fatty I will blend it into the stock with my immersion blender and then add some veggies to simmer. I once added cut up meatloaf!

Best ones to start with depend where you are on the food plan. If you are on stage 1 of the Intro there isn’t much I can recommend. The ingredients are all the same, so you have very little room for creativity. My favorite intro soup I created out of desperation for something other than cruciferous vegetables and boiled meat. I boiled carrots in meat stock (I think a chicken/beef blend), In a separate pot I simmered meatballs mixed with shredded carrots, zucchini and garlic. Once the carrots were done I blended them with 2 large spoonfuls of goose fat (the goose didn’t produce a lot of meat, but I got my money’s worth!) Then I added the meatballs to the carrot puree. It was incredibly good and I think could benefit from some fresh herbs like sage or thyme.

My last favorite is the recipe below. I threw the ingredients in the crock pot before a wedding job, thinking Mike and I would eat it for dinner, when we got home we were exhausted and full from the dinner I had packed. I put the crock pot in the fridge and saved it for the next day. I reheated it again, and realized that the 12 hour work day and kind of overcooked my chicken. Not to fear! Soup to the rescue!!


4 Bell peppers
1 Anaheim chili
1 Whole chicken 2 Onions, quartered
1 28-oz can of San Marzano Tomatoes
3 Carrots, peeled and roughly quartered
2 cups chicken stock

Taco Seasoning:
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
5 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed
1 Onion, diced
3 Carrots, diced
1 cup chopped kale

Optional raw pepperjack cheese for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Arrange peppers and chili on a baking tray and roast until skins are blistered.
  3. Deseed and roughly chop.
  4. Place whole chicken in crock pot and surround with roasted peppers, chili, onions, carrots and tomatoes.
  5. Combine the taco seasoning in a small bowl. Rub into top of chicken and sprinkle on top of veggies.
  6. Pour chicken stock on vegetables
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is done.
  8. Remove chicken from the crock pot and let cool. Remove meat from bones. Reserve bones for more stock.
  9. Using an immersion blender puree everything left in crock pot.
  10. Pour mixture into a stock pot and add squash, onion and carrot. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add chicken and kale when vegetables are tender.
  11. Serve with optional cheese if desired.

If you have more questions please post below!

June 3, 2013 - 3:02 pm

Danielle - Another fantastic article! Have you ever considered adding avocado chunks as a topping (of sorts) to your stew? I make a type of tortilla-less chicken tortilla soup which is similar to your stew (minus the squash)and avocado makes it soooo good. BTW, I like the new layout of this site! The photography is pretty sweet too.

June 3, 2013 - 3:03 pm

Aspieventures - Thanks Danielle! I always forget about avocado! It would have been amazing on top.

One of Those Days

It has been one of those days. You know the ones. A bad one. I am left feeling ineffective, alone (with my husband), and low. I want Google to turn into my fairy godmother and magically show me the answer to getting our 8-year-old to stop peeing and defecating in his pants. As embarrassing as it is to admit, our 2nd grader cannot control his bodily functions and we are at wit’s end; as in the end of intelligence. My brain has nothing left to try; no clever phrase to make him “get it.” Dad stopped on his way home to pick up some pull-ups. I am tired of the smelly kid, the extra laundry, and throwing away underwear that have too much dried poop in them to wash. Which leads to buying more underwear.

We’ve tried everything: rewards for dry pants, reminders to go every hour, making him use his allowance to buy the replacement underwear. Nothing works. He might make it a day or two, but it inevitably returns. We’ve asked the doctor and the nutritionist for help. The doctor said it is not a medical issue, that he is just refusing to stop what he is doing to go; which makes sense since he never has an accident during the night. He gets up a minimum of once per night and stumbles to the bathroom. The nutritionist says it might be a taurine deficiency.. to eat more red meat. Increasing our beef intake hasn’t helped. I can’t tell if he can’t recognize his body’s signals that he needs to use the restroom, or if he consciously realizes he needs to go, but decides what he is doing that moment is more important. He shows remorse at times, but other times there is a nonchalance that is disturbing. He will sit in wet pants (or worse, with a triangle poop in his butt) for hours. He knows enough to try to hide it from friends and teachers, but wouldn’t most kids want to get out of smelly, wet clothing? We’re not trying to cure cancer, or invent the new latest and greatest gadget. We’re just trying to raise a good human. He makes it so hard sometimes.

This isn’t the kind of thing you ask your Facebook friends for help with. It’s not even something you can ask Google!! Not and get a clear response anyway… I’ve tried. The whole situation makes me feel like a failure. It makes me angry with him. It makes me want to curl up in my hammock for the next 3 days and ignore the problem (unfortunately not an option). We have to push through it. Walking the delicate balance between explaining the severity of the problem, the importance of hygiene, while not destroying his self-esteem. It is so easy to think, “What is wrong with you?” I would give anything to find out. I would give anything to be Professor Xavier. Complete control over his mind!!! Or at least a little insight.

The Plan:

Step 1: Remove all electronic stimuli. No tv, no xbox, no tablet.
Step 2: Wear Pull-Ups for 14 consecutive days with no accidents.
Step 3: Wear a watch with an alarm to remind him to use the restroom.
Step 4: Develop better bathroom habits. Waiting for all the pee to come out. Wiping better after a bowel movement.
Step 5: Listening to what his body is saying.
Step 6: Eat more red meat… just in case.

Any suggestions?

May 16, 2013 - 3:53 am

Alexa - Have you done ABA therapy or would that be something you are interested in? Is it diarrhea? Aspie kids often have serotonin imbalances, and serotonin is found in the stomach and gut, so this imbalance can manifest itself as constipation and then diarrhea.

May 16, 2013 - 4:00 am

Aspieventures - Alexa! Thank you so much! I’ve looked at ABA but there isn’t covered by our insurance (or at least it wasn’t last I checked). I also want sure if it would help much. There’s a therapist close by that does “brain reconnection therapy”. I’ll check into it again.

We have been doing the GAPS diet which focused on resetting his gut balance. He hasn’t been irregular or constipated in months. They are well-formed movements but the amount varies.

May 16, 2013 - 10:48 am

Stephanie Goad - Hey There, I know it’s so frustrating and we have been doing this with Madison for a long time only difference is our kid wont wear clothes:)Madison is autistic is turning 10 soon and with her, it was all about the being to busy with the computer or her movies and would just go on the floor were ever she was. We have many toileting stories and they aren’t for he faint hearted.
Different story at school though, she would just hold on all day or use there toilet. Madison is in a special school and we have been working on the toileting thing for as long as I can remember. Hang in there, I feel for you. I still find nuggets of poop hidden in her room all the time, can usually tell by the not so pleasant smell.
My daughter Jaimee calls her a squirrel that stores nuts for winter, haha! Your not alone, just remember that! I wish you well and fingers crossed for you it will just one day click for him and the pressure will be off. Take care of you

May 16, 2013 - 2:01 pm

Aspieventures - We find nuggets of poop everywhere! But we think they fall out of his pants. Thank you for sharing. It is so nice to not be alone in this.

May 16, 2013 - 2:34 pm

Mom - Hi Boo, I have been thinking about you all night. So, I’m going to run this by you again. I understand that the professionals don’t agree with me, but I still think that this is a control issue with him. (That then becomes a practice) . At 8 he shouldn’t have a lot of power, but maybe a little would encourage him to stop making you crazy. Because however much he loves you, he does have that superpower .
Maybe you guys could ad to your plan something like…
No accident for 2 days he gets to plan 2 meals
No accident for 5 days he gets to choose the route to school
he gets to choose what you wear, or bedtime, or whatever will give him some sense of winning. I think he needs to get something for good habits . Other than just the show he gets when he presses your buttons. Just a thought, I love you, and Mike, and The Boy ( poop and all) Mamma

May 16, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Aspieventures - Thanks mama. Those are good suggestions. Consider it added 🙂

May 16, 2013 - 10:37 am

Jacqueline - man. life is so crazy. I am thinking of you and Mike and Cullen. you are amazing. I wish you could run our country.
I would give you some suggestions, but I have not a clue. I guess the incentive most kids get from not pooping or peeing their pants is the social repercussions of doing so. ie. I remember a friend of mine accidentally peeing her pants while crossing the monkey bars one day in 3rd grade. she cried her eyes out b/c everyone saw and kids can be mean and she was embarrassed. if Cullen doesn’t feel this way, it’s a different game. on the same token, not caring what other people think is like super awesome.
I don’t know. I’m still trying to learn how to take care of myself. love to you all.
ps- do you have any animals over there? how’d the fish go? (my cure-all… not necessarily a cure-all)

May 16, 2013 - 10:44 am

Aspieventures - The fish is still alive and well. It’s actually the friendliest beta fish in the world. Or it just always wants to eat. I’m going to go with friendly. We (as parents) don’t have time for anything requiring more care than the fish. He does enjoy going to Oma’s farm and helping with her animals.

With the Zero Tolerance for bullying I don’t think kids are allowed to be as mean as when we were kids. He hasn’t said that anyone is teasing him, and he doesn’t think anyone can smell him (which I know they can for a fact). But he does try to hide it so I don’t know.

July 12, 2013 - 7:52 am

Crystal - My aspie son went through this for a thankfully brief time at day care. He was younger but no less frustrating to have your perfectly potty train child at home still not even starting to potty train at daycare a year latter!The only potty control he showed at day care is occasionally when made he would poop in an inappropriate corner! My solution was a combination approach I combined big rewords with big punishments. If he used the potty I would give him a treat that he liked immediately not from a star chart think something like cookies or candy or there equivalent preferable this would be something your son believes is a no no food a food he cant get any other way so if you don’t do cookies in your home make cookies(just don’t tell him there healthy). You get the idea. 1 “cookie ” for each success. Combine this with a punishment the punishment should be two part in nature one your son should hand wash all soiled clothing and hang it to dry as well as have to clean any other mess he caused by his “accident” secondly he should receive a small punishment for the accident with the message he is to old to be pottying in his pants and knows better (assume he knows better and act as if you believe he knows better whether he does or not as he is getting his message from you if he thinks you think he cant he wont). I chose a spanking as the punishment but it can be a time out or a loss of a privilege until the next time he uses the toilet correctly. Depending on your family discipline methods. I know one mom who would ground her preschooler to the toilet until they made a pee or poo to me that was a bit harsh but worked for them. Whats important is that you reward every success and punish every accident as soon as possible afterwards and send the message that he can and should be pottying in the bathroom. This combination worked for my 3 year old son with the consequence and reward happening when I picked him up at the end of the day instead of at time of accident as he was in daycare and I wasn’t there during day. our routine was hug, tell him I missed him ask if he used the potty if no accidence Id hand him the treat If accident Id pull him aside away from the other kids and Id spank him. It took me three times of spanking him to totally potty train him. We also used this method on my 5 year old highly autistic nephew who at 5 is just starting to talk. and it worked for him with rewarding and punishing every time.

July 12, 2013 - 7:54 am

Aspieventures - Thank you so much Crystal!

Periodic Table of Cleaning

Last week I adapted a cleaning chart from Real Simple. I saw it pinned on Pinterest, but was unable to find the original, so I recreated it specifically for our daily, weekly and monthly chores. I posted a picture of it on our Instagram [@aspieventures] and it got so many likes and requests for copies that I am making it available for you here. I made it in photoshop, but it could easily be done in Excel or Word with a table insert if you want to customize it more for your family. I color coded ours by morning/afternoon, daily, weekly and monthly. I also have different colors for my chores and for Cullen’s. Dad pitches in around the house a lot, but his aren’t scheduled.

Part of our routine after school is for Cullen to help with chores, but I am usually fixing dinner when he’s helping so I am making up chores as I go. He really likes to know what needs to be done and do it without being asked. I have a hard time remembering to dust or vacuum, so my kitchen is usually clean and the floors get ignored. This chart helps make sure everything gets done, gives Cullen a little more independence and hopefully will get him into the habit of keeping his house clean on a regular basis instead of a mad dash to clean up whenever people are coming over.

To print, click on the image below and it will open in a larger view. From there you can save or print as needed.