Author Archives: roppel

Become A Mentor

In a small condo outside Disneyland, an Indian man I’d just met urged my son, my husband and I to eat the yogurt, lentils and hot naan bread his wife had prepared. Her long skirts swished as she served us, … Continue reading

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Caretaker Parents of Children with Autism Need a Break Now and Then

Caring for a child who has autism is the ultimate labor of love. Your child always needs you and you need to be there for your child. Yet despite your best intentions, there are recurring moments in every parent or … Continue reading

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Epilepsy and Autism: Our Experience

Epilepsy occurs at a much higher rate in children with the diagnosis of autism. I have a 7-year-old son with the diagnosis of PDD-NOS. After hearing Michael Chez, MD, speak about the high rate (about 66%) of abnormal EEGs in … Continue reading

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Home From Home Care: Created By Parents to Make a Difference

In June 1979, Paul and Ann de Savary were elated by the birth of their daughter, Laura, but when she was 6 months old, their world was shattered by the devastating news no parent wants to hear: Your daughter is … Continue reading

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Has Your Child with Autistic Symptoms Been Properly Screened for a Subset of Mitochondrial Disease Known as OXPHOS?

Autism secondary to mitochondrial disease (AMD) was once thought to be rare. However, several recent research articles suggest there is a cohort of ASD children with underlying mitochondrial disease. Some geneticists believe that the rate of mitochondrial disease may be … Continue reading

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Healthy Gluten- and Dairy-Free Eating Tips – Good for the Whole Family!

Healthy eating has been the subject of debate among parents, dietitians, physicians, and chefs for years. Each group, having studied their particular belief, is confident that they are correct. And there are facts to back up many points of view. … Continue reading

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Practical Approaches to Taking Care of Nails and Hair: Training Away Fear and Resistance

Imagine having someone come at you with scissors to cut your nails or hair. Imagine someone turning on clippers to give you a buzz cut. Imagine the metal glint of the scissors and the menacing drone of those clippers. Now … Continue reading

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Creating Successful Opportunities in School and at Home for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders − the Smallest Details Make the Biggest Difference

Probably the biggest change we experienced as a family with a special needs son was puberty. With puberty and adolescence came more passive-aggressive behaviors. With age came strength. Now, put the two together, and you have more aggression, whether shown … Continue reading

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Hope On Horseback

When I think about all the therapies and interventions we’ve tried over the years to help my son, Leo, who has autism, I have to say that therapeutic riding ranks up there at the top of my list. It’s hard … Continue reading

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