Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mother of six pursues psychology degree to better understand her sons’ disorder

Mother of six pursues psychology degree to better understand her sons’ disorder 


Over the past 12 years, Utah's Sharla Jordan has seen four of her six sons diagnosed with autism. Witnessing one diagnosis after another, Jordan spent many of those years experiencing a wide range of feelings.
"I have gone through all kinds of emotions," Jordan said. "I have gone through anger, denial, blame, sadness, acceptance. It is never just one, and I probably cycle through those emotions every time something new comes up."
After receiving several misdiagnoses from doctors and struggling to understand the ins and outs of autism, the stay-at-home mom began researching the disorder to improve her knowledge of how she could best help her children, even publishing a book in October. Then, after years of research, Jordan decided to go back to school and pursue a bachelor's degreein psychology, as it would allow her to further her understanding of autismwhile earning credits.
Although it had been more than 10 years since she had earned an associate's degree, Jordan began taking classes toward her bachelor's degree last fall. So far, she said the experience of being an adult learner is different than being a younger student.
For example, as she is now raising six children between the ages of 4 and 16, Jordan must find fool-proof ways to manage her time. Currently, she is taking advantage of her college's online and independent courses, which allow her to stay home with her youngest son while also working toward a degree. When her son is old enough to go to school for the day, she plans on trekking to campus to complete her courses.
Although going back to school is a daily challenge, Jordan does not regret her decision. For adults who are thinking of making the same life change, she says it is important for them to think about why they are going back to school and use that as motivation. Of course, for Jordan, the thought of being able to better understand her four autistic sons is enough to keep her focused.
"If they have that desire or motivation, go back and do it," Jordan said. "It's never too late to go back to school. If you have finished a degree in something you can always go back and do something else. Just because we seek out to do one thing, 10 or 20 years later there may be a totally different road that we've taken since then." 

ABA Therapy approved by the Federal Government

Thank you Autism Speaks!

Autism Speaks Hails Landmark Federal Decision Calling Key Autism Therapy a ‘Medical’ Service Eligible for Insurance

NEW YORK, NY (May 30, 2012) -- Autism Speaks hailed today’s announcement by the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the most widely used behavioral intervention used to treat autism, is a “medical” therapy that qualifies for health insurance coverage, rather than an “educational” service.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Camp K - Family Fun Day

More info at

Summer Fun 

Be sure to check out the page under More Stuff to see adaptive recreation opportunities - and don't forget to get you FREE National Parks Gold Access card -

You can get an Access Pass to gain FREE entry into National Parks
There is no fee for this pass
You will need proof of disability
There is a list of offices where you can get your pass on the website

The Play Project

Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 6:30-8pm 
1385 South State Street, SLC

Please Join Easter Seals-Goodwill for an informative evening with Dr.Richard Solomon and a panel of local parents discussing the fundamentals of autism and play-based intervention therapy. (This is the P.L.A.Y. Project Intervention model.) 

Please RSVP by May 29th to Janet Wade at 801-633-2091 or 

The Healing Power of Horses

Here is an article from BYU's "The Universe" about Hoofbeats to Healing. Wonderful benefits have come for our boys riding there.
Hoofbeats to Healing is an organization founded 15 years ago by TameraTanner, and is designed as a therapeutic horse ranch dedicated to improving those with physical and cognitive disabilities.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Poop Page - from TACA

I read this article and found the information helpful understanding my sons tummy troubles. I hope it helps you too.

The “Poop” Page

By Lisa Ackerman and Linda Betzold

Dedicated to fellow “poop peepers” like me!
Many children with autism suffer from many issues involving the gut and their bowel movements (or lack there of). So much so that not a meeting goes by, nor a support phone conversation, that does not involve a discussion of “how are your child’s poops?”
Based on the obsession to help children “go” daily, one would conclude this process is a newly found hobby. Many TACA families take great care in discussing, analyzing and fretting over their child’s poops! (So you are not crazy! Join the club!)
For our kids (and all humans) moving our bowels daily is a key component to basic and good health. If a child:
  • Is having loose bowel movements that happen too quickly after eating (for example less than one hour) — there are issues to address.
  • Is having bowel movements two, three, four or more days apart; then they are not stooling often enough — there are issues to address.
  •  Is having bowel movements that contain undigested food particles, and you recognize the good in the toilet or diaper — there are issues to address.
  • Has a bloated belly beyond the age of two — there are issues to address.
  • Performs self stimulatory behaviors such as toe walking, flapping or posturing just before or while stooling (posturing appears to provide comfort and may include applying pressure to the abdomen by leaning against a blunt object, like arm of sofa, therapy ball, mom’s knee, etc.) — there are issues to address.
  • Alternates between constipation and diarrhea — there are issues to address.
  • Produces stool that has a very odd odor, color and/or texture — there are issues to address.
  • Has fallen behind or hit a plateau on his/her growth chart — there are issues to address.
  • Has been unable to potty train passed a reasonable age (6, 8 10 years of age) — there are issues to address.

If your child is pooping daily and still seems uncomfortable, he or she may not be getting enough stool out every day. It is important to consider these suggestions with your doctor and make sure that your child is having complete and regular bowel movements.
A few more thoughts …
  1. Stool impaction is incredibly painful, and it sometimes happens to our kids. An exam and x-ray of the abdomen (called a KUB) can help diagnose an impaction, which will likely require MEDICAL ATTENTION. Watch for distended tummies, night waking because of pain, and sometimes dramatic changes in behavior as clues. Sometimes children with stool impaction will produce thin, ribbony stool in the toilet, another clue that there may be an impaction. Sometimes children with an impaction may have diarrhea every day or every few days. It can be a little confusing or misleading, but diarrhea is the only thing that can squirt around the impaction. This can be another clue that there is an impaction. Please see a doctor for help immediately. A good gastroenterologist can make a huge difference in finding and solving the root problems unique to your child.
  2. The best pediatric gastroenterologists that understand and treat the GI issues of children with autism are Dr. Arthur Krigsman of Pediatric Gastroenterology of New York and Texas,, and Dr. Timothy Buie at Massachusetts Hospital for Children, a teacher at Harvard Medical School, In many cases, if children on the autism spectrum are experiencing severe, prolonged GI-related problems, a trip to either one of these professionals is recommended.

Read More Here