Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reconnect Testimony: Meghan's Story

Have you ever had that moment when you realized that you have been holding your breath…and you finally take that breath but you feel like you can't really trust yourself to remember to breathe, which of course is an involuntary function, but you still just can't trust it? So, you obsess over every inhale and exhale? Well, that is our story. Meghan's story.

In the summer of 2001 we welcomed our second child Caden into our lives. His big sister Madelyn was over the moon excited to meet him and so were we. Our family seemed complete. A little girl and a little boy just over a year apart. Caden was just six weeks old when I began feeling overtired and sluggish. Of course, I am the mother of a young family and that's what happens. When it didn't go away I decided to go to the doctor for a check up and routine blood work thinking that maybe my iron levels were low. Later that day I received a call from the lab congratulating me, I was pregnant ~ Again!

Not only were we surprised and in shock, but so was my body. It didn't seem quite ready to be pregnant again. While my husband and I were trying to wrap our heads around this, I was dragging through my days and I have to say that I had very few good days with this pregnancy. At almost 26 weeks my water broke, we were terrified and 50 miles away from my doctor and hospital. We made it to the hospital on that Saturday afternoon and they were able to hold off her delivery until Monday. After nearly three days, she couldn't wait any longer and at 1:35 pm on February 11, 2002 we met our baby, Meghan Gabrielle. She was born 1 pound 15 ounces but she was very fragile as the cord had been wrapped around her neck four times and with minimal amniotic fluid to cushion the force of the contractions she was in trouble. By the time she made it to the NICU she was under 1 pound.

For the next two and a half months we held our breath.

With all of the complications that she had due to her prematurity, miraculously, she had no signs of permanent damage and she seemed to be thriving. The NICU doctor had informed us that developmentally she may be behind by a few months but would eventually catch up and by age two she did. Although she was and is still small for her age she continues to prove to us how strong she is and there isn't anything that she can't do if she puts her mind to it. We always tell her that she may be mini but she's mighty. This mindset proves to be important for her ability to face the multitude of adversity that lay ahead for her.

The specialist at the hospital also had spoken to us about the possibilities of her showing signs of ADD, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Learning Disabilities, and Mental or Emotional Disorders.

She was almost three and she was perfect. No worries, we had beaten the odds.


Then she turned four and we enrolled her in preschool. Every mommy knows the anxiety that we experience sending our babies off without us and we know that it can be equally as hard on our children. At first we chalked it up to the fact that Meghan had never really been away from me because I own a daycare and I have been blessed to be home with her up until now. The separation anxiety that she seemed to be experiencing was overwhelming to say the least. It was heartbreaking.

Slowly we worked through it but everyday was a struggle and everyday we had to start over. Instead of progressing and working through the anxiety it only seemed to get worse. Any event that she would look forward to such as dressing up for Halloween or going to the zoo or a trip to see her grandparents in Cincinnati would cause a meltdown. When it would come time to get ready it would start. Her clothes seemed to be made of fire and she would scream and pull them off. If a brush touched her hair she would almost convulse and all the while punching and yelling with this guttural, blood curdling, throat burning scream. Who was she? Her face would change and I didn't recognize her. There was no calming her down or rationalizing. Once the episode started no one had control over when it would stop, not even her. It became so emotionally paralyzing that she would barely leave the house.

Fast forward to age seven. It came to the point that when she was having an episode it was becoming increasingly violent towards me, my husband and especially her older sister. She would break or try to destroy anything in her path and when it was over she was physically exhausted and sometimes she couldn't remember what had happened. She would become almost giddy afterwards and be almost in a manic, euphoric state. We would talk to her teachers and try to give them some insight on her behavior patterns at home in an effort to gain some perspective, but always their response is that they have never seen that side of her and can't believe we are speaking about the same child. She is a straight A+ student (not just an A student) and it seems to be effortless for her. Seems to be is the operative phrase here. Because you see, she also suffers from extreme OCD and is an unrelenting perfectionist. Unless you are talking about her brushing her hair or changing her clothes. I know, it makes no sense to me either. We finally decided to take her to see a pediatric psychologist and then a psychiatrist. Of course, their mainstream form of treatment consists of drugs first, a little therapy, a little higher dose of more drugs, a five minute session with the doctor every month and "Let's just stop this medicine and start her on this new and different drug." UGH!!

So, for the next two and a half years we held our breath.

When she was ten and the doctor had changed her medication again she was becoming depressed and acting out in ways that we hadn't seen before. What did we expect? She had been on seven different medications by this point. This time she tried to cut herself. Her daddy grabbed the knife from her and we all collapsed to the floor together and held each other and sobbed for what seemed like forever. I was crying for the daughter that I thought I was losing and I knew that we were not equipped to handle any episodes of this magnitude. The next day we had to admit her to the Children's Hospital in the psychiatric ward. That was the hardest thing I have ever done as a parent. I was determined to make changes, whatever it took. We ended up changing doctors and he has been a God sent. We changed her medications but with the end goal in mind to get her off of the synthetic drugs and on to natural supplements instead but it is a process.

Meghan is twelve and she is still struggling. She seems so full of anger, like a powder keg waiting for a spark. I have tried to explain her outbursts to friends but it isn't quite the same as witnessing it, as my friend Carrie would find out. One morning before school Meghan and I were battling as usual because I asked her to brush her hair and I was trying to pull it into a pony tail. She was screaming and hollering obscenities at me and Carrie had come in and heard her. I didn't know until later how much that had effected my friend. Just weeks before I had attended a special event that Carrie had organized where the keynote speaker was Susan Richardson. I was so touched by her story and I sat with tears in my eyes as she spoke because I knew ~ she gets it. Little did I know how much that event would touch our lives. I had recently been introduced to Young Living Oils by Carrie and was using them at home with my family. I had the chance to meet and speak with Susan and briefly explain my daughter's issues. It was then that I first heard about the "mommy driveby". She gave me some valuable information about the oil that worked for her ~ Vetiver. I put it on my list right away and couldn't wait for it to be back in stock. In the meantime I was using Peace and Calming and Valor and Joy on a regular basis with my family and especially Meghan. (When she would let me.) After Carrie witnessed Meghan's episode up close and personal she called to ask if she could stop by that evening to talk to me. I can't even tell you how I felt when she revealed the reason for her visit. She had spoken to Susan and wanted to offer the Reconnect Blend for us to use in the trial. God works in mysterious ways for sure. For as much as I wanted to keep Meghan's meltdowns behind closed doors, it was because Carrie witnessed it that our guardian angels were revealed.

We began using it right away along with Valor. I won't lie…sometimes she still refuses to put it on when she is in the height of an outburst but when she applies it regularly, dare I say, it works!

If I wasn't sure before, I can tell you this. It was the last week of school and my little OCD perfectionist had no less than five big assignments due. I made sure that she applied her oils every morning and after school that week and she got through those projects like a pro. I don't think I could have done it. The one time that we had a huge, full-blown episode I was completely discouraged and deflated until I realized that she hadn't applied the oils for the past two days (I had left it up to her to do on her own). That was it. We got back on track and we have been steady ever since. She is completely off all medications and only taking natural supplements and using the oils regularly. Her life, our life, is changing for the better and I feel that Young Living has had a significant impact on that. Now, I'm not saying that things are perfect. She is definitely still a work in progress, but aren't we all?
But now, we can breathe…

Thank you Young Living ~ Kelly & Meghan

Monday, July 28, 2014

#1 Reconnect Autism Testimony

Reconnect Testimony (This is from a mom who was not previously using essential oils prior to our field study!)

I am the mother of a 12 year old boy named Logan that we adopted as an infant. When we adopted him at 7 weeks old we knew he had some medical issues. Over the years new diagnosis' would occur. His first was a traumatic brain injury, then cerebral palsy and on to sensory processing disorder. As a toddler we add anxiety disorder. In kindergarten comes the ADHD diagnosis and that is also when we learn he has short term memory loss. Then OCD. At 11 finally autism, which we suspected from a neatly age.

Over the years Logan has needed speech, physical, occupational and phycological therapy. This spring we started him on antidepressants to help him with his anxiety. All Logan's symptoms amplified. He now became very afraid, thought everyone was out to get him and his OCD went through the roof. Logan wasn't able to make it to lunch time at school without having a meltdown. He was having multiple meltdowns in a day. The day he told me in his 11 year old voice that he wanted to kill himself is the day I knew changes needed to be made. We immediately took him off his antidepressants. We talked to other people to get advice on how to help Logan.

It was during this time that a caring teacher of Logan's heard about Young Living and the work they were doing with autism and kids. She approached the distributor and shared about Logan. The distributor requested a meeting with me for May 29th. Now, if I didn't have so much respect for this teacher I would have never gone to hear this hokey pokey stuff. But I did go. I listened to the distributor talk about Mr Young's personal story, about the company and how the oils got there start. She shared about another mothers struggle to help her daughter with autism. She told me she had one sample bottle from the company. It was intended for another family and the same day my sons teacher approached her the other family decided not to give it a try. I decided it was worth trying and was sent home with Valor and (Reconnect Oil Blend) and instructions on how to use them.

Now my real challenge began. If you know anything about autistic kids, they don't like change. I had to convince my son to give it a try. I was instructed to use Valor in the evening and both oils in the morning. So I went home with some doubt. That night I convinced my son (actually threatened to ground him from his electronics) and put the oil on. He went from protesting and yelling at me to protesting in a normal voice in just a few minutes. I told him the oils must be working already and he asked me how I knew. I told him he stopped yelling and calmed down. He realized he did and went to sleep without another word. The next morning he pulled those little feet out from the covers and request me to "put on my oils". That day he had a really great day at school. The first time in a long time. After school he had speech therapy for an hour. I asked the therapist how he did. She said "he did good, no, he did better than good". I was happy. But could this have just been a good day for Logan? I just didn't know. My husband and I kept hashing this out saying it couldn't be just the oils. He had a great day Saturday. It happened again, a great day Sunday too. Even when he got switched to a new Sunday school class he did great. This continued into the next school week and we were amazed. I'm not saying he was "perfect" but a whole lot better. We went from 7-10 big meltdowns in a week to only one. That meltdown happened at school when another child was picking on him.

Logan only had the oils for the last week of school but it was the best week in the entire school year. Autistic kids do not like change but change is what Logan experienced that last week. From class trips to assemblies and field fun day. It was amazing to hear my son interacting with typical kids on field day. Logan typically would have avoided this activity at all costs. That day he participated in every event. Something unheard of in Logan's world. That last day of school, Logan did have a melt down after school. It took a while but Logan was finally able to express his feelings. After school it had dawned on him that he would not longer be attending the same school and would not see his old teachers again. This hit him hard emotionally.

The day after school was out Logan had an occupational therapy appointment. When that appointment was over the therapist came to me with a big smile on her face. She said Logan had the best session ever. He wanted to start right away, kept focus, did not get upset when he did work wrong and behaved like a champ. It was then I told her about the oils and she was amazed.

I have noticed a relationship change between Logan and his older sister. They are playing together more and a lot of laughing is going on. I asked his big sis what she thought and in her teenager words she said "Logan's not a jerk anymore and he is more fun to be with. Those oils are helping him a lot". She has become a Valor user herself as she suffers from scoliosis and wears a back brace to bed every night. The first night she she used it she was amazed how quickly she fell asleep and did not wake till morning.

I know my husband likes the new Logan. That next weekend he took Logan to stay at the cottage. On the way home he realized he forgot the oils there but it was already late. The next day after work he made the hour drive right back to the lake to get Logan's oils.

The best part is Logan knows the oils are helping. When he feels more stressed he will ask for an extra dose of Valor. This is where we have adjusted the oils for him. On days that the air pressure drops, Logan suffers more. This happens with kids who have traumatic brain injuries. We just increase the oils from twice a day to 3 times a day.

In 2 weeks time I've gone from not believing in this hokey pokey stuff to becoming a distributor. As a family we look forward to trying other products. I feel much better giving my children something natural than drugs with such harsh side effects.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Splash!! Zoombezibay Autism Style

10 things about our Zoombezibay (water park attached to our local zoo) trip that were notable today!!

1. Sahara can wait in line without prompting or support !! When did this self control and awareness happen?

2. Self advocacy Rocks.. she verbally asked the life guards the rules and corresponded with many of the lifeguards about how she was feeling and what she was doing.

3. Sahara' gross motor skills improved... as demonstrated by her deliberate moves on the rope course.

4. Okay.... Nuerotypcial kids sometimes push my buttons... where are the manners of children today!?! Cutting lines. Staring. Pushing. Yes, My Mama Bear flared a bit.

5. Can a water park be too wet? Holy splashing and spraying and squirting in the new kids area... which tells us that sensory issues are resolved. TY Young Living!!

6. EPIC -- Sahara went down the big water slides in the double raft with me.... HOLY COW!! I have put this off for 3 years bc of communication barriers and core strength issues. She screamed, "We are going to dieeeee!!" The whole way!! When we got to the end she said, "Emily, that was so cool!!" 

7. When you see a child have a meltdown, staring does not help. Nor does reporting the parent to security.... apparently we need more awareness in our community. Bc someone apparently thinks me standing near my child, talking softly, making sure there is no self injurious behavior or danger near by... is questionable behavior. After I explained to the security gal that she was having an autistic meltdown, she smiled and walked away... but the woman who reported me stood there glaring at me.. really!?!?! Because a screaming and crying child is so novel?

8. Said meltdown was precipitated by a mock drowning in the wave pool.... training lifeguards, which freaked her out... writing them a letter to better make the public with impressionable children and concrete thinking children can be removed from that scene!!

9. Thank God for YL Lavender Essential Oil.... used on Emily's bruises she acquired while chasing Sahara during the meltdown. And again used in the car... to which she stopped screaming within 2 minutes of Emily wafting it to the back seat.

10. Finally, I have the patience of a saint.... taking an autie and an aspie who are over tired to the water park.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I am Back ... Autism and YL Essential Oils Journey!!

I have taken a long time off from blogging.... that happens in the world of Autism. Life is busy. Lack of Sleep Exhausts you. IEP Meetings Consumes you. Therapy. Advocacy. And, Oh, the list goes on...... But some amazing things have happened I want to share and I am feeling a huge pull to start writing again. So I am back!! 

I want more than anything to help inspire other families on the autism spectrum to know there is hope!! That was why I started this blog in the first place. (Aside it was free therapy in those early years....)

I have been all about Natural Approaches to health and wellness... and of course AUTISM. And One of the things I have been really embraced over the years is the integration of Young Living Essential Oils into my home and with my daughters on the Autism Spectrum (classic infantile autism and aspergers)... what an amazing journey this has been!!

It has been 1 week since I came home from the Young Living Convention in Utah... and I am still on a high!!! For those of you who don't follow me on facebook... Over the past year I have been collaborating with the founder of Young Living, Gary Young, about autism!! (Amazing, huh!?!?) 

Last year he heard about our story through the YL grapevine and called ME (wow) and asked what I needed... I told him to help to me help Sahara and we would take the information to the masses and help other kids on the spectrum!! And he said OKAY.

So, Over the year I have gained so much respect for Gary and his team.. their brilliance, compassion and dedication not just to Essential Oils... but to the Autism Community... My Community... My Daughters' Community!! And that means more than anything!!!

This past year has been the year of milestones for autism in our home... we were on essential oil blends that Gary specifically blended for Sahara ... they were not yet available to the public. I kept it quiet partly because I felt bad we had something others couldn't access.. but now you can!!

I swear I want to go on roof tops and tell everyone what these oils have done for us.... and other kiddos who were able to also try these oils over the past year!!! 

Last week, I told 9,000 people at the YL International Convention our Autism and YL story... I guess that is a good start!!! I cannot wait until Sahara is old enough to understand how she has impacted this community and how that is going to ripple out to the masses!!

I am so excited that the RECONNECT COLLECTION was released at convention and now everyone can have access to the oils we are using!! God is so Good and has definitely had a hand in this journey... I am so full of gratitude. I know we have a long way to go... but we are on the right path!!! xxoo

It feels good to be back!!

Next Post... What is this Reconnect Collection and How can it Help your Family too!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

101 Uses for the Young Living 9 Everyday Oils Kit

The Everyday Oils Kit contains nine bottles of therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living, and access to many health and life-enhancing experiences that you’ll find nowhere else.
Here’s a list of the oils in the kit and a few possible ways you might decide to use them:
LAVENDER – (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. It has been prized historically for the skin, but is also famous for its relaxing and mood elevating effects. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing — physically and emotionally. This plant is grown and distilled at the Young Living Farms in the U.S. and France.
  1. Rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow, or just put a few drops directly onto your pillow or the back of your neck to relax into sleep
  2. Mix a few drops of Lavender oil with a pure vegetable oil for a calming massage for your whole body.
  3. Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching and reduce swelling.
  4. Drop Lavender oil on a cut to stop the bleeding and help heal the wound, or on a burn to help heal it quickly and reduce scarring.
  5. Rub 2 – 4 drops of Lavender oil around your armpit area to act as a deodorant.
  6. Rub a drop of Lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
  7. Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a cotton ball and place in your linen closet to scent the linens and repel moths and insects.
  8. Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a wet cloth and throw into the dryer, which will deodorize and freshen your laundry.
  9. Diffuse Lavender oil to relieve stress, lift your spirits, or relieve feelings of sadness.
  10. Massage a few drops of Lavender oil with a few drops of massage oil onto sore muscles for relief.
LEMON – (Citrus limon) has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function. Most people, and especially children, react with delight to the citrus fragrance. NOTE: Citrus oils should NOT be applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light within 72 hours.
  1. Use a few drops of Lemon oil directly on sore muscles to help them relax.
  2. Use a few drops of Lemon oil to disinfect and shine chrome on fixtures and appliances in your kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Use 1-2 drops of Lemon oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots or crayon from jars, glass, plastic containers, counter tops, etc.
  4. Use 1 drop of Lemon oil to add flavor to baked goods such as cookies and cakes.
  5. Make refreshing lemon water to accompany your meals by adding a drop or two of lemon oil to a pitcher of cold water (or make it into lemonade, with sweetener).
  6. Rub a drop of Lemon oil on a corn, callous or bunion mornings and evenings for relief.
  7. Add 2-3 drops of Lemon oil to water in a spray bottle, and spray as an antiseptic cleaner on counter tops, appliances, utensils, toys, etc.
  8. Soak your dishcloth overnight in a bowl of water and 3 drops of Lemon oil to disinfect and kill germs.
  9. Add a drop of Lemon oil to your dishwasher before the wash cycle for added cleaning and sparkle.
  10. Rub a drop of Lemon oil on your hands after using a public bathroom.
  11. Add a drop of lemon oil to gift packages to send a cheery message.
  12. Rub two drops of Lemon oil topically to help clear athlete’s foot.
  13. Diffuse lemon oil in the air at home, office, or schoolroom for an uplifting, energizing feeling.
PEPPERMINT – (Mentha piperita) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. Jean Valnet, M.D., studied peppermint’s effect on the liver and respiratory systems. Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati studied peppermint’s ability to improve concentration and mental accuracy. Alan Hirsch, M.D., studied peppermint’s ability to directly affect the brain’s satiety center, which triggers a sense of fullness after meals. Peppermint is grown and distilled at the Young Living Farms.
  1. Put a drop of Peppermint on your tongue and/or one under your nose to increase alertness and concentration-very helpful if you’re starting to feel tired when driving!
  2. Rub 4-6 drops over your stomach and around your navel to relieve indigestion.
  3. Add a drop of Peppermint oil to water or herbal tea to relieve heartburn or nausea.
  4. Massage several drops of Peppermint oil on an area of joint or muscle injury to reduce inflammation (around, but not directly on, an open wound).
  5. Rub several drops of Peppermint oil on the bottoms of your feet to reduce fever.
  6. Apply a drop of Peppermint oil topically on unbroken skin to stop itching.
  7. Inhale Peppermint oil before and during a workout to boost your mood and reduce fatigue.
  8. To relieve a headache rub a drop of Peppermint oil on your temples, forehead, over the sinuses (stay away from the eyes) and/or on the back of your neck.
  9. Diffuse Peppermint oil in the room while studying to improve concentration and accuracy; then inhale Peppermint oil while taking a test to improve recall.
  10. Place a drop of Peppermint oil on your tongue, or put a drop in your palm or on a tissue and simply inhale the aroma to relieve congestion from a cold or sinus problem.
  11. Add Peppermint oil to food as a flavoring and a preservative.
  12. To deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, smear a few drops of Peppermint oil along their path or point of entry to deter them.
  13. To kill aphids add 4-5 drops of Peppermint oil to 4 ounces of water and spray the plants.
  14. Drink a drop of Peppermint oil mixed in a glass of cold water to cool off on a hot day.
  15. Place a drop of Peppermint oil on the tongue to stop bad breath.
  16. Inhale the fragrance of Peppermint oil to curb the appetite and lessen the impulse to overeat.
FRANKINCENSEFrankincense is said to have been traded in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula for over 5,000 years and has been used in Asian traditional medicine for arthritis, digestion, and as an insect repellent as well as for religious rites and spiritual purposes. A search on Frankincense reveals that contemporary scientists are discovering positive effects of frankincense essential oil in mice and ‘in vitro’ on such diverse conditions as arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, depression and anxiety, and cancer cell viability.
  1. Diffuse in your environment for an uplifting, spiritual feeling.
  2. At first sign of a cold or flu, rub a few drops on the soles of your feet, and repeat 3 or more times a day to support your immune system.
  3. Help improve focus and memory by rubbing one or two drops of Frankincense oil behind your ears.
  4. Put a drop or two of Frankincense oil on Christmas cards or in gift packages.
  5. Before meditation, put a drop or two of Frankincense oil on the soles of your feet or the back of your neck.
  6. Use one or two drops of Frankincense oil with Lavender oil on skin tags or growths.
  7. For female health, mix 2-3 drops of Frankincense oil in carrier oil and rub gently around adrenal glands, breasts, and ovaries.
  8. Drop on to minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to reduce redness and discomfort.
  9. Inhale or diffuse to deepen breathing and induce calmness.
  10. Put a drop behind your ears or across your forehead to enhance concentration while working.
Essential Oil Blends
THIEVES – This blend was created based on research about four thieves who, during the 15th-century plague, used cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics to protect themselves while robbing plague victims. Thieves blend is a proprietary combination of pure essential oils tested at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and found to have a 99.96 percent effective rate against airborne bacteria. Thieves blend contains the essential oils of clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Because it’s “spicy” and can feel somewhat “hot” on sensitive skin, don’t put Thieves on skin that is thin, damaged or irritated. It typically works really well on the soles of the feet but also, perhaps surprisingly, in the mouth.
  1. At first sign of a cold or flu, rub 3-4 drops of Thieves blend on the soles of your feet several times a day.
  2. Add 2-3 drops of Thieves blend to 2-4 oz. of water and gargle for a few minutes to help fight a sore throat, or
  3. Put a drop of Thieves blend on your thumb and rub it quickly over the back of your throat to kill microbes and relieve the burning sensation of a throat infection.
  4. Add ten drops of Thieves blend to about 8 oz of water and use to spray wherever there is mold.
  5. Diffuse Thieves blend at night for 15 minutes or so in your bedroom before going to sleep whenever you are sick.
  6. Put a drop of Thieves blend in warm water and swish around your mouth for a powerful, refreshing mouthwash.
  7. Put a drop of Thieves blend on your toothbrush (even right on top of your toothpaste) and use it to add powerful anti-microbial power to your daily dental hygiene routine.
  8. Spray water with a few drops of Thieves blend to your lunch box/bag or garbage container to fight bacteria and odors.
  9. At first sign of a gum infection put a drop of Thieves on your fingertip and rub it right on your gum at the site of the infection. You can do this several times a day.
  10. Put a few drops of Thieves into a spray bottle and use it to disinfect counter tops and bathroom fixtures.
VALOR – A blend of spruce (Picea mariana), rosewood (Aniba roaseodora), blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum), and frankincense (Boswellia carteri) in a base of almond oil, Valor blend is an empowering combination of therapeutic-grade essential oils that works with both the physical and spiritual aspects of the body to increase feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem. It has also been found to balance the nervous system and align energies in the body.
  1. For whole body relaxation, put 4-5 drops of Valor on the sole of each foot and lie down for a few minutes to feel the effects most acutely.
  2. Gently rub 2-3 drops of Valor at the base of your neck and base of spine for an achy back.
  3. Use 2-3 drops of Valor on your shoulders or “wherever it hurts” for muscle tension.
  4. For performance or test anxiety, rub 4-5 drops of Valor on the back of your neck and breathe the aroma.
  5. For relieving symptoms of traumatic memories, rub 4-5 drops of Valor on the sole of each foot and/or on the back of your neck.
  6. For centering, put a drop of Valor in the palm of your hand and cup your hands over your nose to breathe in the aroma
  7. For any disturbance to your nervous system, apply and breathe the aroma of Valor.
  8. Keep a bottle of Valor next to your bed to apply just before going to sleep.
  9. For stress or when feeling overwhelmed, put Valor on the back of your neck, or your shoulders, or just breathe the aroma.
PANAWAY – A blend of wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), which has an active constituent similar to cortisone; clove (Syzygium aromaticum), which contains eugenol, used by dentists to numb gums; peppermint (Mentha piperita) which is calming for nerves; and helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), which is soothing for localized discomfort.
  1. Apply PanAway directly on an injured joint to reduce inflammation.
  2. Apply PanAway on sore muscles after exercising.
  3. Rub a drop of PanAway oil on the temples, forehead or back of the neck to relieve a headache.
  4. Mix PanAway oil with a vegetable oil or massage oil and massage on location to relieve growing pains.
  5. Rub 1-2 drops of PanAway on arthritic hands to lessen burning sensations and/or tightness.
  6. Rub 2-3 drops of PanAway at the base of the spine to relieve achiness.
  7. For arthritic pets, massage PanAway diluted with V-6 Vegetable on location.
  8. Rub a few drops of PanAway on a “tennis elbow” to relieve discomfort.
  9. Mix a few drops of PanAway with vegetable oil and apply to a black and blue mark.
  10. Mix a drop or two of Panaway with vegetable oil and massage on joints that are used repetitively.
  11. Mix a drop or two of PanAway with V6 or vegetable oil and apply to a Baker’s cyst.
  12. Apply a few drops of Panaway to a blood blister.
PEACE & CALMING – A gentle, fragrant blend of tangerine (Citrus nobilis), orange (Citrus sinensis), ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), patchouly (Pogostemon cablin) and blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) specially designed for diffusing. It promotes relaxation and a deep sense of peace, helping to calm tensions and uplift spirits. Children love Peace & Calming, and will often relax very quickly when it’s in the air or applied to their feet.
  1. Rub 1-2 drops of Peace & Calming oil on the bottom of your feet, on your shoulders, over your heart, and/or over your abdomen before bedtime to relax into sleep.
  2. Diffuse Peace & Calming oil in the room to calm overactive children.
  3. Mix Peace & Calming oil with massage oil for a relaxing massage.
  4. Put Peace & Calming oil mixed with Bath Gel Base in warm water for a relaxing bath.
  5. To help stop nocturnal teeth grinding, diffuse Peace & Calming oil while sleeping.
  6. Put a few drops of Peace & Calming on the pillow of anyone who snores.
  7. Put a few drops of Peace & Calming oil in the sleeping area of pets who may be agitated.
  8. Put a few drops of Peace & Calming on your hands or on the pages of a story book while reading to children who need to go to sleep.
  9. Before a performance, put a few drops of Peace & Calming behind your ears or on the back of your neck.
  10. If you ever feel anxious, put a drop of Peace & Calming in the palm of your hand, rub gently over your heart and breathe in the aroma.
PURIFICATION – An antiseptic blend of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida) and myrtle (Myrtus communis) formulated for diffusing to purify and cleanse the air and neutralize mildew, cigarette smoke and disagreeable odors.
  1. Diffuse Purification oil to neutralize odors in the kitchen, bathroom, or workshop.
  2. Put several drops of Purification oil on a cotton ball and place in the air vents in the home, office, hotel room or other enclosed area to kill mold and freshen the air.
  3. Put a few drops of Purification oil in house paint to reduce the paint smell.
  4. Put a drop of Purification oil on insect bites to cleanse and stop the itching.
  5. Rub a drop of Purification oil on your neck over the area of a sore throat when it is first beginning.
  6. Spray several drops of Purification mixed with water on your skin to repel insects.
  7. Mix a drop of Purification with ½ a teaspoon of vegetable oil, put a little on your thumb, and smear gently just inside the ear of your pet cat or dog to eliminate ear mites.
  8. Use a few drops of Purification on your pet’s bedding to repel fleas.
  9. Mix a little purification in an atomizer and spray lightly on airplane seats backs when you travel.
  10. Sprinkle purification on your pillow linens when staying in hotels.
  11. Spray purification in your kitchen trash can to keep it smelling fresh.
A Few Common Sense Guidelines
Start by Diluting Your Oils. If you’ve never used essential oils before, start by combining them with an equal amount of pure vegetable oil-either V6 Oil from Young Living or a nice quality olive oil (or any other pure vegetable oil). When using essential oils with children under the age of seven, always dilute essential oils with a pure vegetable oil (aka a “carrier oil”). Likewise, dilute them even more for pets.
  • Diluting is easy- place both carrier oil and essential oil in the palm of your hand. Stir the oil in one hand with the fingers of the other, and then apply.
  • First-time users may wish to test for skin sensitivity. Just place one drop of essential oil on the inside of your forearm or other area of your body where the skin is thinner than other places. If the skin feels hot, then add 2-3 drops of V-6 mixing oil. If you wish to dilute your oils, we suggest using a mix of 2:1, twice as much carrier oil as essential oil.
  • Use the “hot” spice oils (like Thieves blend, which contains cinnamon and clove) on the soles of feet where the skin is less delicate.
Never place essential oils in your eyes or ears. Fumes from certain oils, such as peppermint, can feel surprisingly irritating to the eyes. But don’t worry! If you do get fumes or some amount of essential oils in your eyes, simply put a generous amount of vegetable oil on a tissue or other soft paper product and gently dab your eyes. You will get relief within seconds.
If you accidentally get a ’spicy’ oil in your eye or on other sensitive tissue, do not use water to get it out or dilute it – Use vegetable oil. Vegetable oil dilutes essential oils.
The content of this post is not intended as medical advise, treatment or diagnosis... please consult your primary health provider. *This article was given to me by another Young Living Independent distributor, I do not know it's original author.

Susan Richardson, Silver Young Living Independent Distributor Sponsor #1183617

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Respite For Ohio Autism Moms

We are Ohio Autism Moms.... we are motivated to make the lives of our children better. We live our lives around autism 24/7 for the safety, well-being, education and development of our kids. We tirelessly advocate for services, education, 
sensitivity, understanding and equality. (Google Autism to learn more.)

We realize that this journey is taxing emotionally, physically, spiritually financially, and socially on us and our families!! The important part is that we recognize this and are doing something about it.

We recognize that in order to better care for our children, that is imperative that we care for ourselves too. This event is our second annual respite weekend. Last year we met at a spa for... pedicures, manicures, haircuts, massages and pampering. We came out glowing!!! We then moved on to the hotel where we laughed and cried the whole evening. We later had dinner, hot tubing, wine and conversations that only other mother's with children on the spectrum could understand. We talked about our fears, frustrations, hopes, aspirations, dreams...... and ourselves. We we came home feeling empowered!!

This year we have expanded it to 48 hours!! Please help lessen the financial burden of this respite event. Our goal is to sponsor 8 moms. And if we raise enough.... to get our husbands some pizza money for them and the kids. (LOL!!) With their support we can get the essential respite we need to come back better mothers and wives.

Our event will take place in March 2013!

Any donation will help... thank you!!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Gender Differences

Halloween will be 4 years since our youngest daughter was diagnosed with infantile autism. 4 years!! It seems like we have lived an entire lifetime since. There are moments I still get angry about getting dealt the unexpected life and there are times I am completely at peace with it. 

I mean, the 'white-picket-fenced-happily-ever-after' really doesn't exist anyways, does it? (But no one ever prepares you for that!!)

I get fired up when I tell our story and how it took us 4 years to get Sahara diagnosed; she was non-verbal and catatonic at the time... and we noticed symptoms at 5 months!! Sure we had some denial, but we also kept asking professionals what was wrong! A mother just knows!! Why didn't 'they' listen to my concerns? I often note that we were told many times, “Autism is a boys disorder... it can't be that.”

I am here today to say... AUTISM AFFECTS GIRLS too!!

As we mucked forward in her treatment and advocacy, we started to note markers in our older daughter as well. But she was fully verbal, quirky at times, but nonetheless, definitely not autistic, right? In fact, had I not been engrossed in the world of autism, the quirkiness and challenges would have likely fallen off the radar as well.

We have been asking educators to help us figure out what was going on with Emily too... for years she has struggled academically, socially, and emotionally. I often associated it with the effects of being a sibling to a child w infantile autism. Life hasn't always been easy.

But 2 weeks ago the diagnosis came. I expected it.. yes, was even prepared this time. Sahara's diagnosis hit me like a ton of bricks!! I was crushed for days... maybe weeks... I can't really remember. Back then I was exhausted and the verge of a break down of my own... that is, until I decided I could wallow in self-pity or pull up my big girl pants and change the gloomy prognosis by getting her skills and supports to keep her out of an institution.

Institutionalization? Yes, the diagnosing psychologist told us to go home and put our affairs in order to have her institutionalized... We fired her! In hindsight, I am sure it was a power play to try to scare us into utilizing their program, but that only inspired me more to prove this system wrong... and to do it my way. A gamble? Perhaps... but it was better than the alternative. 

When we saw the word ASPERGERS written on the psych report for our oldest daughter... I was not completely crushed like I had been four year prior. OK, maybe a little, but not nearly to the degree I was with the catatonic infantile autism label.

I knew... and somehow the last 4 years have definitely prepared me to the concrete realization I have two kids, not one, on the spectrum... opposite sides, but regardless... here we are.

Aspergers! It does Answer a lot of questions for us. VALIDATION!!

SO I found myself, again, asking…


I started to think, would it have taken this long for either of my children to get a diagnosis had they been boys? 1:88 children are diagnosed with Autism today... 1:54 boys. I have said all along that there are definitive gender differences in girls vs. boys..  across the spectrum.

With a girl on the aspergers side of the spectrum... it looks different than with a boy. The girls get focused (aka obsessed) with gender appropriate toys... so a sweet little girl lining up her stuffed animals all over the front room is socially acceptable and this activity can be mis-interpreted as a tea party. OR the appearing to be a shy little girl hiding under her mothers shirt or behind a chair is somehow expected.. and by the way, isn't that adorable?  Or somehow that quirky little girl sporting her pony tails and dress becomes just so cute, feisty, or spirited.

Then around the 3rd or 4th grade... when the academic piece starts to fall apart, it is easy to brush it off as she is just becoming 'boy crazy' (Yes, an intervention specialist told us that once! I was so angry... because my child was not interested in 'boys' like the other girls... another huge red flag.)

Or she just isn't trying hard enough... you don't discipline her enough.... you let the tail wag the dog.... she is so stubborn.... etc etc etc

Then when the asperger adolescent hits puberty... hormones surge. The hormones coupled with the new demands on an adolescent girl with social expectations changing rapidly.. gets shrugged off as anxiousness.... when in fact, they don't know how to navigate the social constructs and inside are drowning. They are excellent observers and imitators... but If you watch closely you can see them 'playing the part' on the edge of the social circle.


2 years ago we had Emily evaluated by another psychologist and she said, “I would have given her the asperger diagnosis, but she scored too high in self care.” Are you freaking kiddin' me?? We lost 2 years of intervention, because they look at the diagnostic tools established based on male autism attributes.

Just because females attend to their physical appearance and space, they get ruled out? No wonder there are more boys formally on the spectrum than girls.

So, here I am... at another epic crossroad in my complex life... I can choose to loathe in self-pity and blame, or take action to give my girls the support and skills they need to navigate life.

I choose empowerment.

And so, the unexpected life continues w a new chapter, this time with the realization I not only have 2 kiddos on the autism spectrum... but 2 girls. 2 girls that manifest it very differently from each other.. yet, very much the same and much differently than their male counterparts.

Jeneen Interlandi in her article, More Than Just 'Quirky, states this concern of mine more precisely:

It's not uncommon for girls with Asperger's to go undiagnosed well into adulthood. Like heart disease, this high-functioning autism spectrum disorder is 10 times more prevalent in males, so doctors often don't think to look for it in females. But some experts have begun to suspect that unlike heart disease, Asperger's manifests differently, less obviously in girls, and that factor is also causing them to slip through the diagnostic cracks. This gender gap may have implications for the health and well-being of girls on the spectrum, and some specialists predict that as we diagnose more girls, our profile of the disorder as a whole will change. Anecdotally, they report that girls with Asperger's seem to have less motor impairment, a broader range of obsessive interests, and a stronger desire to connect with others, despite their social impairment.”