How to Follow the Autism ADHD Diet on a Budget

autism adhd diet

Have you ever considered following the autism adhd diet? Otherwise known as the gluten free casein free diet with your child? If so you are probably aware of the challenges it can be to follow the autism adhd diet on a budget as it can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Personally I was on this diet for a few years as a child, and now I’ve been on it again as an adult for the past 2 years. While it’s true that following the autism adhd diet on a budget can be challenging, I know it can be done. Here are some tips to help you avoid breaking the bank, while on this diet.

1. Plan ahead and then plan ahead again. I have a kindle ebook that I have put together that can help you. Advance preparation is a must for making the autism adhd diet work for you while on a budget. If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail not only in sticking with it, but you also will overspend. Spending a lot of money while on this diet is usually because you didn’t prepare, and ended up overspending on fast food or other quick food items.

2. Cook most if not all of your food yourself. Packaged food that is gluten free and casein free and therefore, okay with this diet, costs at least double if not triple the cost of food that you make at home.

3. Buy gluten free grains, nuts and seeds and anything else you can in bulk. This will save you a lot of money.

4. Take advantage of store sales. Many stores have sales where you can buy canned goods, or gluten free items, or other things on sale for 1-2 weeks. Usually these sales only happen 1-2 times per year so you need to plan in advance and budget for when these sales happen.

5. Grow your own garden so that you can get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of the autism adhd diet on a budget anyway. If you can’t have a garden at your house, see if you can participate in a community garden, or grow a garden indoors. You can use boxes, pots and more. See my post How to pretty up your space with a healing herb garden.

6. Invest in some quality spices when they are on sale. Spices last a long time and can help add flavor without a lot of cost.

7. Take advantage of discount stores like Aldi, Sprouts and Winco if you have them in your area. Sometimes target and walmart can have inexpensive and high quality food as well.

What if your biggest challenge when it comes to following the autism adhd diet on a budget? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Emotional wellness with essential oils for autism

emotional wellness with essential oils

Have you ever considered how to use essential oils for emotional wellness for autism? If not, you are not alone. This is not something that many people are even aware is possible. Yet emotional wellness with essential oils is not only possible but is one of the best ways to use essential oils. What happens in your brain when you smell your favorite cookies? What about the smells of fall? What about the smell of your favorite perfume? Something happens in your brain that creates a certain mood or feeling. The same thing happens with essential oils only they are much more powerful than many other smells. Have you ever tried cutting open an orange and smelling it? What about the smell of lemon in a clean kitchen? These smells have a tendency to make us feel happy and uplifted. Essential oils work in the same way. If you are feeling a bit gloomy, or sad, then there are essential oils that can help. People with autism often struggle with their emotional wellness more than those who are not on the autism spectrum. Emotional wellness with essential oils can help to provide a natural and healthy solution instead of turning to chemicals. To get a better idea of how essential oils can help with emotional wellness, watch the following video.

One of the main things that essential oils can help with is to help reduce meltdowns and temper tantrums. As any parent of a child with autism knows, these are one of if not the biggest problems that parents experience. It can also be difficult for people on the autism spectrum of manage and control their emotions. Personally before I used essential oils, I used to struggle with temporary bursts of crying over silly and petty things or I would get moody without any real reason. Using essential oils for my emotional wellness has mostly eliminated this problem. While there are lots of ways to control emotions, smells are one of the most powerful and essential oils have strong and powerful smells.

How have you used essential oils to help with emotional wellness? Share with me in the comments below. If you haven’t tried them yet and want to, contact me and let’s chat.

10 Books Every Autism Parent Must Read

autism books

What are the best autism books every parent of a child with autism must read? Here is a list of what I consider to be the top 10 autism books every parent must read.

1. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: This comprehensive book talks all about how to heal from allergies, asthma, adhd and autism without drugs. It also includes information on what the author who is a doctor believes is causing these disorders.

2. The Autism ADHD Diet– a book all about how to help reduce the symptoms of autism and adhd through diet, this autism book also has recipes.

3. The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder– A classic guide to helping you understand and work with your child’s sensory processing issues.

4. The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed– This is a great book by Temple Grandin foremost expert on autism all about the different kinds of brains of individuals on the autism spectrum and how to help each kind of autism brain to succeed and thrive in life. If you have a child on the autism spectrum and this is the only autism book you read, make it this one.

5. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism This is a great book on how to see autism through new eyes.

6. Engaging Autism: Using the Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate, and Think (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) Learn about how to use floortime therapy to help your child with autism spectrum disorder.

7. Eating for Autism: The 10-Step Nutrition Plan to Help Treat Your Child’s Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD A comprehensive guide to nutrition and health for autism and ADHD. Learn about how to help your child with healthy eating and good nutrition.

8. Almost Autism: Recovering Children from Sensory Processing Disorder: A Reference for Parents and Practitioners This book was written by another Integrative Nutrition Health coach and is a great book for anyone with a child with sensory challenges.

9. Healing without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally and Effectively without Harmful Medications A comprehensive look at how to help treat autism and similar disorders without drugs. This book is especially interesting because it was written by a former psychiatrist.

10. Raising a Sensory Smart Child Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, Revised Edition-A great book for helping your child specifically with sensory issues.

Have you read any of these autism books? If so, which one is your favorite?

Do Autism Diets Work?

Do Autism Diets Work? There is a lot of information out there on autism diets as well as many claims about a certain autism diet did this, or that. Yet, do autism diets really work? Watch this video and learn about my 2 cents about whether or not autism diets work.

What has been your experience with autism diets? Please share in the comments below.

ABA Vs Floortime Therapy for Autism

ABA Vs floor time

Have you ever wondered what are the differences between ABA vs floortime therapy? This is a common question asked by many parents of a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

While I mentioned a few of the differences in the graphic above, here is a more complete list.

ABA Vs. Floortime Therapy

ABA

Based on behavior modifications- been used for a longer period of time

Requires a trained therapist

More scholarly research exists

Is more commonly used

Many adults on the spectrum aren’t fans of it if they had it as a child

Floortime

Newer therapy and less widely used

Prefered by a lot of adults on the spectrum

Can be done by a parent of a child once the parent is trained

Is a form of play therapy

Is based on relationships rather than behavior

More adults on the spectrum have good memories of it

While I personally only had Floortime therapy as a child, I’ve heard that many professionals are know encouraging the usage of both ABA and FloorTime rather than limiting your child’s therapy to only one. I think this makes a lot of sense for a lot of children.

Watch this video below to listen to Dr. Stanley Greenspan who created the FloorTime therapy method talk about how he created it and why.

Special Diets for Special Kids

The book “Special Diets for Specail Kids” is a nice big book with over 350 pages. Updated a couple of times, the most recent edition was published in 2011 however, the information is still very relevant.  This book is based on the idea that the Gluten Free Casein Free diet is the best one for children with autism, sensory issues and or ADD/ADHD.  The book starts with a very thorough introduction about why diet changes can help special kids as well as explaining the various ways to get tested for allergies and food sensitivities. The next chapter talks about nutritional support including an overview of the various vitamins and nutrients and the role they play in health. The next chapter is called How and What to Feed Your Child. This chapter talks about how to start the gluten free casein free diet and what exactly to feed your child.  The rest of the book is divided into chapters based on meals and types of food including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Also included are recipes on how to make dairy free milks, gluten free breads and recipes for holidays including Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The book also includes a CD at the back with the recipes in PDF format on it. While I’ve read a lot of books on special diets for special  kids I have to say this is one of if not the best one. The recipes are for the most part simple and made with ready to find ingredients. The book is made with pictures and bigger print making it easier to read and follow along. In fact, even some children may be able to follow the recipes if they are old enough and can read.

The biggest disadvantage to the book “Special Diets for Special Kids” is that the focus is exclusively on the Gluten Free Casein Free diet. While this is great for parents who are trying out or using this diet with their kids, there are other diets such as paleo and this book does not take these diets into account at all.

Buy a copy of the book here. Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes 1 and 2 Combined: Over 200 REVISED and NEW gluten-free casein-free recipes, plus research on the positive … ADHD, allergies, celiac disease, and more!

The Ulimate List of Healthy Eating for Autism Tips

healthy eating for autism

Does trying to make healthy eating for autism drive you nuts? If so, here are 25 of the best tips for healthy eating for autism to help you.

1. Go slowly. Avoid trying to force your child to give up all unhealthy foods at once.

2. When eliminating foods, eliminate one food at a time.

3. Don’t be afraid to sneak in vegetables into foods your child likes. For example, you can blend spinach into tomato sauce for pizza, or you can blend broccoli into cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese.

4. Try getting your child to drink fruits and veggies. You can make delicious juices and smoothies your child will love.

5. While too much gluten free breads, cookies and cakes are not the best choices, when first beginning a gluten free diet with your child, it’s better to start with them rather than create caos by not allowing them at all.

6. Pinterest and blogs can be life savers when it comes to finding healthy eating and recipes for your child with autism.

7. Don’t be afraid to use bribery and rewards to encourage your child to try new foods.

8. Involve your child with the cooking.

9. Show your child pictures of fruits and vegetables and ask him or her which ones he or she wants to eat.

10. When it comes to healthy eating for your child, you the parent are ultimately responsible. If your child is a brat who only wants fries or cookies, you created the problem whether you realize it or not.

11. Healthy eating or unhealthy eating with a child with autism can be at the root cause of allergies, asthma, digestive issues, behavior troubles and sleep issues plus much more.

12. You may not be able to do it all on your own so don’t be afraid to reach out to a health coach like me, a nutritionist or other professional for help.

13. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stress and just get back on.

14. Having the full support of the rest of your household including other children who aren’t on the autism spectrum is a must.

15. Taking the extra time to look for store specials and sales, find coupons and deals and exploring online options such as Amazon and Vitacost is worth the effort to same money on healthy foods and on gluten free and dairy free options.

16. Think simple. A one pot meal of sauted veggies and chicken can be a delicious and healthy option that is simple to prepare and serve.

17. Get a crock pot and rice cooker and learn how to use them.

18. Avoid having your child watch food commercials as much as possible.

19. Find other fun activities to do that don’t involve food.

20. Teach your child how to cook healthy meals so that he or she will know how to cook and will enjoy healthy cooking.

21. Realize that all children and adults have taste preferences. Once you know your child doesn’t like a certain vegetable, stop forcing him or her to eat it. That said, you need to make sure first that your child really doesn’t like it and that he or she has tried it at least a few times.

22. Plan ahead with a grocery shopping list and menu plan.

23. Having a costco and or sams club membership can be a life saver especially if there are more than 4 people in your household.

24. Plan ahead. Then plan ahead again. Seriously though planning ahead will save you a lot of time, money and headaches. It will also make it more likely that you stick with healthy eating with your child even when it’s hard.

25. Think about the big picture. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish with healthy eating for your child with autism?

Which tip is your favorite? Have any healthy eating for autism tips to share that I missed. Share them below in the comments.

How to Deal with Autism Meltdowns Without Going Crazy

What do you do when you child with autism has a meltdown? Do you know how to handle them without losing your hair? Do you know how to parent your child with love without turning him or her into a spoiled brat by always giving in in order to avoid an autism meltdown? If you are a parent who could use some help in learning how to deal with autism meltdowns without going crazy then keep on reading.

Yes I know autism meltdowns are awful. I remember having several when I was young and I’m sure they were really bad for my parents. One time in particular I cried on the kitchen floor for hours until I feel asleep because I refused to do the dishes because they were “yucky” and I didn’t like the feel of them. However, I survived and so did my parents. The reality is that like it or not, autism meltdowns are okay and in fact, if you always try to avoid them, you will end up with a brat for a child. Furthermore, what young child without autism doesn’t throw fits from time to time? None. All normal children have fits too.

That said, there are ways to limit and control meltdowns.

1. Teach your child that he or she will not always get everything he or she wants. Make sure that you don’t give in, no matter how hard it may be. Your child will learn over time that having a meltdown is not a solution to the problem.

2. Encourage your child to use words rather than over-reacting. This is even more important if your child is older and is verbal.

3. Establish a system with rewards for good behavior. Avoid overdoing it with bribery but know when to offer your child a reward for being good.

4. Know that many meltdowns are caused by sensory overload and as annoying as they are, they are a normal part of autism.

5. Find ways to stimulate your child’s senses. There are sensory toys and activities that can work well. Things such as balls, play dough, and silly putty can work well.

6. Consider using ear phones to help block out too much noise if loud noises are bothering your child and contributing to his or her sensory overload.

Keep working with your child slowly and you will over time watch the meltdowns happen less frequently.

Why a Health Coach for Your Child With Autism?

Have you ever considered working with a health coach for your child with autism? Many parents haven’t and yet a health coach can help you and your child in ways you never thought possible. Watch the video below about why and how a health coach for your child with autism can be life changing.

Check out these other blog posts for more details on health coaching and why you should consider it for you and your child with autism and really for your entire family.

Why Hire a Family Health Coach

Why working with a health coach can change your life

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Health Coach

Want to chat? Schedule a time now with me at: Free Wellness Consultation

50 great work from home ideas for moms of children with autism

work-from-home-ideas-for-moms-with-a-child-with-autism

1. Ebay Have you ever bought or sold anything on ebay? Whether you have ever used the site before or not, why not make extra money selling on ebay? ?While there are a lot of ways to make money on ebay, here are a few of the best ideas. Find items on wholesale online and sell them on ebay. If you do this you want to stick with 2-3 main niches or kinds of items. You also want to find a place that will drop ship to people so you don’t spend lots of time at the post office. I also recommend that you find a few books on selling on ebay and that you read them first so that you can learn to use ebay effectively.

2. Etsy Etsy is like an ebay for crafters. If you are crafty or artistic you can do quite well here. You can sell all kinds of things such as homemade soap, baby blankets, weighted blankets and more.

3. Catering. If you love to cook and you are good at it, there are lots of people who would love to hire you to cook for their family reunions, family parties, birthday parties, weddings and more. You can do this part time very easily by letting your friends, family and neighbors know that you are willing to cook dinner or other meals for them as needed.

4. Photography. This is another great one. If you have a good camera and some experience you can make money taking pictures of people. Many people just need someone to take a good family photo, or some nice looking pictures for the web or for other personal or business users. There are also stock photo websites that will pay for photos that you take and upload to the site.

5. Direct Sales. This is my personal favorite, however it is not for everyone. If you do want to try it, then you need to choose a company that you are passionate about and one that has products that you love. You can check out the national site at http://dswa.org for ideas, companies and training. Ask around and see what options are out there before you choose one. If you want to work with me you can learn more about what I offer at
http://healthandwealthwithoils.com

6. Scrapbooking
How many people do you know that have boxes of photos in their basement? Many people gave them. Why not offer to put these together for them for a fee?

7. Doing research- many companies have needs for information and you can get paid to help them find it.

8. Tutoring
Many children need tutoring and if you have skills and education in any of the main subjects you can do this part time and earn an income. This is especially true if you are good at math or science. There are also options for teaching ESL and other subjects online.

9. Birthday Parties
Many parents are busy or get stressed out planning birthday parties for their kids and don’t want to do them themselves.

10. Pizza Deliveries
Many pizza companies hire drivers to do deliveries part time and they are busiest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. For most moms, this is a time when you could work and find someone to watch your child. While not a work from home option specifically, it does offer more flexibility than most other jobs.

11. Mystery Shopping- You can find lots of these jobs that you can do when your child is at school or when you have someone else to take care of him or her. Never pay a fee to access these jobs though.

12. Typing
There are many business owners and busy people who would love to hire someone to type letters, and other documents.

13. Special Needs Daycare
While this might seem difficult, I have met a few parents who have done this. You can find a way to take care of 1 or more other special needs children along with your own. Either all day or for just a few hours.

14. Run Errands
Run errands for people. You could combine them with your own errands to save time.

15. Sewing
Depending upon your level of sewing, you could either sew clothing for people, or you could just do simple alterations such as hems on pants.

16. Piano Accompanist
If you can play the piano well, you can earn money accompanying children and adults who are playing the violin, cello etc at recitals and concerts.

17. Frozen Meals
This is similar to catering, but a bit different. You can make extra food every time you cook dinner, then freeze it into meals and sell these meals to people who are busy and don’t have the time to cook themselves.

18. Writing and Selling Ebooks
This is another great way to make money. You can easily write these ebooks based on topics that you have experience with and then sell them online to people who need the information. See the article below for tips. You can also use the site http://e-junkie.com to collect payment and manage how they are distributed to your customers.
http://socialfresh.com/ebook-how-to/– a great article on how to get started with this.

19. Insurance
Many insurance agents have a lot of leads they need to call and if you are good on the phone you could get paid to call them or to answer the phone when leads call.

20. Apartment Manager
If you could use housing as well, why not find an apartment that needs a manager and you can usually live there for free and get paid.

21. Book Reviewer
Many websites, magazines and newspapers need people to read books and review them. Look online to see if you can find any that are hiring.

22. Blogger
Why not blog and then get a large audience and you can sell ads and make money. There are lots of moms who do this. For example, check out http://specialhappens.com or http://5minutesforspecialneeds.com

23. Hair Stylist
You can formally go to school for this and open an in home salon, or if you already know how to do it you can cut the hair of children and get paid.

24. Virtual Assistant
If you have computer skills and marketing skills you can do quite well at this. You can do it as a formal business or just on the side part time working on whatever tasks people ask you to do that you know how to do.

25. Social Media Marketing
Lots of business owners need help with their social media marketing so why not do it for them? You can do simple things such as creating facebook fan pages and opening up twitter accounts, or you could do more complex things such as installing wordpress blogs. To make this a success you will need to get some training and experience yourself but this can be quite profitable.

26. Nails
You can get formal training as an esthetician or you can learn how to paint nails and other similar tasks and many people will be willing to pay you for this. One company that sells nice looking nail products is called Jamberry.

27. Makeovers
Many people need someone to do their hair, makeup and other similar things for weddings, photos and other special events. You could offer this service and get paid to do it.

28. Personal Shopping
Busy people and especially corporate executives need someone to do their shopping for them. If you have a sense of style and fashion this can be even more profitable.

29. Gift Wrapping
Wrapping gifts at Christmas and for other holidays can be very time consuming. You could arrange to offer this service for a few hours each day around all the major holidays or all day long every day the week or 2 weeks before Christmas and earn some extra money.

30. Editing
If you have good English spelling and grammar skills many people will pay you to edit and proofread anything from papers, to rough drafts of books.

31. Translating. If you have foreign language skills, this can be quite profitable.

32. Dance Lessons
If you have dancing skills and have taken ballet or other dance lessons, many studios hire people part time to teach dancing, or if you are very good you could open up your open studio and it could be at home depending upon where you live and any available space you have.

33. Foreign Language Lessons
Again this requires foreign language skills but if you have them and are good at it, you can offer this service to all kinds of people. Lessons for adults or young children are in especially high demand.

34. Cleaning
Who do you know who really enjoys cleaning? Not most people. If you enjoy it or if you are good at it, many cleaning companies need temporary help especially around the holidays. You can find cleaning companies and call and ask if they need help, or you can let everyone you know that you are available to clean for parties, special events and whenever they need their house or office cleaned.

35. Used Book Seller
You can find all kinds of great used books that people would be happy to pay a lot more for by looking at library book sales and yard sales. Then you can resell them on amazon or half.com

36. Antique Dealer
You can find all kinds of antiques and other treasures at yard sales and estate sales and then resell them on ebay or other auction sites or at your own yard sale for a profit.

37. Painter
If you have painting and art skills you can paint and sell your paintings. You could maybe even find a local art gallery to partner up with.

38. Event Planner
Whether its family reunions, high school or college alumni events, large family parties, business conferences or other events.

39. Video filming and editing
This one requires some equipment and skills but if you have a video camera and a computer with at least basic video editing software, you can make money doing this as well.

40. Ghost writing
Many people need articles, blog posts, newsletters, letters, books and other things written for them and they may not have the time to do it and they will pay you to do it as long as they can use their name on it. If you have good writing skills this can pay very well.

41. Graphic Design
This is another one that requires a few skills. However, if you have access or you can purchase adobe photoshop and painter for your computer you can learn how to make and sell graphics. You can also use free sites such as bannerfans.com and xheader.com to make banners for websites and sell them.

42. Web Design
While creating large sites is quite complicated, there are many people and businesses who would love to pay you for a simple web site and you can learn how to create these quite easily.

43. Host an Online Radio Show
This one will require some work but it can be quite profitable. You can start your own show for free at http://blogtalkradio.com and if you work it consistently and you provide value and a show that people want to listen to then you can eventually start charging for advertising and make money.

44. Food Sampler
You know how when you go shopping on weekends at grocery stores or at clubs like Sams and Costco and you see people giving out food samples. There are always companies looking for people to do this and the pay is pretty good too. If you are available on weekends and can find someone to care for your child or children you could make money this way and be home with your kids during the week.

45. Yard Sales
Host your own yard sales. Keep an eye out for bargains at thrift stores, at other yard sales and wherever else you can and collect things to sell. You can then have your sales every Saturday during the Summer and you can potentially make enough money to last you the entire year.

46. Ironing and Laundry
Who really loves to do this? Not many people that I know. So if you can handle doing it or maybe you do even enjoy it, then you can get paid to do it for people.

47. Filing Taxes
You have to be careful with this one since you need training and certification to do taxes for people who have businesses, who own rental properties or who have other complex items on their taxes. However you could do them for people who just don’t want to do them themselves or for teenagers who worked just one job during the year. You can get paid to these simple tax returns for these people. You can figure out how to do them by reading through the tax booklet forms and looking online on the IRS website.

48. Jewelry Repair
Many people have jewelry that gest broken. You can figure out how to repair it or how to get money for the gold and silver by taking it to a reseller and then charge them a fee.

49. Dog walking
Many people have dogs who need walking but they just don’t have the time to walk their dogs. You could become a dog walker and offer this service for a fee.

50. Pet Siting
Just like dog walking many people need someone to care for their pets while they are on vacation or even in some cases while they are at work. Dog kennels and other pet sitting companies cost a lot of money and so many people would be very happy to have you care for their pet or pets and to pay you less than a kennel but enough that it can give you some much needed income. Furthermore, many special needs children can really benefit from having the company of a dog, or other pet so this can be an added bonus and your child could even help you care for the pet or feed it.

These are just a few ideas for making money while working from home with a child with autism. Some of these will require some outside of the home time and others less. Some may work from you and others not, but hopefully you have found at least a few you can try.