Archive for June, 2010


Many parents cannot even contemplate the idea of traveling and enjoying a family vacation with a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While not all kids with ASD exhibit the same behaviours, most are only comfortable within the confines of a very structured, predictable environment. Changes in routine and environment are likely to produce anxiety and meltdowns, so many parents either forgo family vacations altogether or leave their child with a qualified caregiver while the rest of the family vacations.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Now, I am not an expert in the field – I am just a parent who has been there, done that and learned a lot along the way. With a good deal of preparation (because don’t kid yourself – this will require work!), our family has been able to enjoy several vacations together.

By now, you are probably (through sheer necessity) an expert on anticipating your child’s needs and preparing to meet challenges in advance. The first step is to research every aspect of your itinerary such as airlines (or other forms of transit like trains, buses or cars), hotels and attractions. When booking flights, for example, always let the airline know that you will be traveling with a special needs individual and require pre-boarding. This is not enough however; as soon as you arrive at the gate, introduce your child to the gate attendant and remind them that you require assistance.

I recently learned this lesson the hard way – when a gate change was announced giving us a mere 10 minutes to get to a new gate about ½ a mile away. Because I had neglected the above step, we ended up frantically racing through the airport with our carry-ons and the inevitable melt-down ensued. Had I informed the gate attendant when we arrived, they would have been able to arrange for transportation for us to the new gate. Sorry Sea-Tac – I understand why we are not particularly welcome back…

I also research every aspect of the accommodation. My son likes to swim and use the hot-tub. Does it have a pool? What hours are the pool and fitness centre open to children? Does it have a small fridge (kids with ASD are notoriously rigid in their diets and will only eat certain things – it pays to ensure that you have their comfort foods readily available). Once we were invited to a luxurious fishing lodge with a group of families with special needs kids – I called ahead to see if there were televisions in the room. Good thing I did – because there were no TV’s or even clocks or radios in the lodge. So we packed his portable DVD player and a few favourite DVDs, because at the end of a tough day holding it together my son needs the downtime to relax away from everyone.

This brings up another important point. Recognize that wherever you go, your child will need a private space to take a break, to stim, to retreat from the social world. Plan this in advance. I have gone so far as watching the 360 degree views of the hotel rooms when booking to anticipate exactly where we can create a quiet space for my son to retreat. When he was smaller, behind the curtains of the room’s bay windows with a few pillows and a book were all he needed for sanctuary.

Once your itinerary is established, create a book for your child that lays it out both in pictures and words. We are fortunate enough to have a computer program called Boardmaker and a laminator which have proven to be indispensable for this – check with your local Autism society for access to them if you don’t have your own. We literally lay out each day of the vacation for him pictorially, including creating avatars for family/friends we may be joining, all activities and an accompanying story that not only reassures him that he will have fun, but also that because this is a vacation it is time to relax and not worry about changes in the itinerary. Introduce the idea that factors such as weather may mean we need to change the plans and that this is ok. We then include all the step-by-step strategies he is familiar with to help himself relax. We introduce the book to him several weeks in advance of leaving and go through it together usually twice a day, practising the self-calming techniques together.

Whether it’s a car-trip, or by train or plane, ensure that your child with ASD has a backpack of essentials – favourite stim toys, DVD player or tape player with headphones, books, favourite snacks. While this is common sense for travelling with any child, it is particularly important that kids with ASD as they require the ability to block out their surroundings should they become overwhelmed. For older kids – it pays to check their bags or suitcase to see exactly what they have packed. Until we were detained by security, I had no idea that my son had a tucked a metal clock in the shape of a dachshund in his luggage. In the scanner, it pretty much looked like a handgun…

If you are planning on visiting any attractions, theme parks, aquariums etc, it pays in advance to have your child’s physician write a brief note advising that you child has a disability and cannot wait in lines due to anxiety. March straight to Customer Service when entering the park/attraction and present the note – most have special passes that allow your child and anyone accompanying him/her to by-pass the line ups, or use special entrances. Sometimes they will give you a discount as well. Keep extra copies of the Dr’s note in your luggage – they are indispensable!

Do not over-book your days. Be mindful of the fact that your child with ASD is easily overwhelmed. If need be, one parent can always take a break with him/her while other family members head out to (or continue enjoying) an attraction. There’s always next time – no need to sabotage the peace you have worked so hard to create.

Most of all – HAVE FUN! If you approach the vacation with dread, your child with ASD will undoubtedly feed off your anxiety. Rest assured that you have now planned for as many contingencies as possible and can approach your adventures together with a positive attitude. You have the tools to manage any situation. You will discover what a joy it is to create special memories for your entire family – including your child with autism.



Hair is not found on the surface of the skin only, it goes deeper than that. In order to understand how to take better care of our hair, we also need to understand what it consists of, its growth stages and rates, and what affects it. Hair plant roots are an important part of the hair and play an essential role in growth. If the roots somehow disintegrate, then there will be no growth in it.

Hair strands are made up of keratin, which is a scleroprotein. Each has a root that is contained in the follicle. A follicle is a component of the skin that is responsible for growing hair. The follicle is connected to the sebaceous gland that is responsible for producing sebum or oil. Sweat glands and hair muscles also form part of the structure of the follicle. Hair muscles called arrector pili which makes the hair stand at a perpendicular angle. Found at the foundation of the hair follicle is a papilla which consists of connective tissue. The papilla is encased in the matrix of the hair. This is the part of the hair responsible for cell divisions. It consists of epithelial cells which are an integral part of the plant roots and hair fibers. The matrix also contains melanocytes, cells responsible for the production of hair pigment.

The hair begins to grow after the formation of the follicle. This often begins during the embryo stage. This is why babies are born with hair. As they grow, they lose the silky hair termed the lanugo, and begin to grow coarser hair. At the puberty stage, there is hair growth on the pubic area, in the armpits and on the face for males.

Hair grows in stages. The rate of growth tends to vary with age. The growth stage is termed the anagen stage. This stage is active for different periods of time for the different sites of hair growth. During this stage, the plant root cells rapidly divides in a process called mitosis. After every 56 days, the hair would have grown about an inch long. The length of this stage depends on the site of hair growth. On the head, it can last up to seven years whilst on the face it can last up to seven months. After the anagen stage, the hair goes into a stage called the catagen stage. In this stage, the hair will either regress or curl forming a club hair. This stage is very short, lasting up to a month. After this stage, there is the telogen stage when the hair follicle goes into resting. The club hair here has fully developed.

It is rather important to keep the hair follicle as healthy as possible. In this way, there will be no loss of plant roots and subsequent loss of hair. It is best to avoid using chemical products on a frequent basis as well as shampoos that contain alcohol.



To prevent sweating can be a challenging task especially in the summer months. Imagine wanting to ask that cutie out for a date, but before doing so you contemplated long and hard because of that secret problem that you think nobody knows about. The last thing you want is to be at dinner sweating like a pig. Unfortunately, if you are one of the thousands of people who suffers from excessive sweating, below are a few tips that will help you to prevent sweating from getting the best of you.

Summer Months Sweating Tips

Most people do see an increase in the amount that they sweat in the summer months, however, for those people who have excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, your sweating may be serious enough to cause serious emotional or social problems and can also lead to physical problems like clogged pores and acne, especially in those who are prone to that condition as well. How to dress? When it’s hot it is best to wear loose fitting clothing, or thin, breathable materials. This will keep you from getting sweaty and then having to stay in sweaty clothes all day. Here are a few other methods you can use to keep cool such as; using a portable misting fan or splashing cool water on your face from time to time. Also you may want to invest in a stronger antiperspirant for the warmer months. Again, this may help to prevent sweating, even if you do not need it at other times of the year.

Face, Hands, Feet, and Soles

Hyperhidrosis can cause excessive sweating all over the body as well as sweating that is more localized in nature. Some of the most common places for this sweating can include the face, the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. If you sweat in your palms, you should wipe them frequently and avoid using heavy moisturizers which normally makes the problem worse. If your excessive sweating gets in the way of you during your job, or other problems, you should consult with your doctor.

For sweating in the soles of the feet, the problem can become serious especially if it causes you to have blisters from slipping shoes. And enclosed shoes can cause your feet to sweat more. In addition to being a perfect breeding ground for a number of foot conditions such as athlete’s foot and others. You can use a moisture absorbing powder on your feet as well as cooling foot sprays to prevent sweating during the day. You should also wear cotton, moisture absorbing socks and breathable shoes as much as possible. It is very important that you wash and thoroughly dry your feet at the end of the day, be sure to check for injury or signs of infection while you do so.

Will I Need to See a Doctor?

You may need to see a doctor if your sweating has suddenly increased in amount or in aroma without obvious reason, especially if you are an adult. Your doctor will want to rule out any of the major causes of excessive sweating before laying out a plan that can potentially prevent sweating from ruining the rest of your days.



If you are particular about health stuff, you must know that diabetes is one medical condition that can be fatal, if not debilitating. What’s worse is that the symptoms of diabetes may not be immediately visible or felt, and even if they were, they could easily be mistaken for something else. The only good thing about diabetes is that it can be controlled, and if truth be told, it’s quite easy to control given the advancements in technology and science. Unfortunately, for quite a lot of Americans, around 16 million of them, in fact, control measures may come too late already.

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent the occurrence of deadly diabetic complications. That is why it is very important that you know the signs and symptoms associated with diabetes for you to be able to take immediate actions. When you are thirsty all the time, urinating more frequently than before, having blurry vision or are experiencing sudden weight loss and fatigue, consult your doctor without delay because you may be having diabetes. A series of tests may be conducted to confirm the incidence of diabetes.

The reason why diabetes presents with these signs and symptoms is because of too much glucose in the body following insulin resistance. Normally, insulin which is produced by the pancreas, converts glucose into glycogen, but for a person with diabetes, insulin is not able to do its task well or the body itself rejects insulin, that is why unconverted glucose pools in the bloodstream. In response, the body needs to dilute the excess glucose in the body. This explains why you get thirsty and why you need to drink more water.

It is vital that you understand the warning symptoms of diabetes so you can get immediate medical attention. Although diabetes is not in itself deadly at first, unchecked or uncontrolled diabetes can cause debilitating illnesses involving various organs of the body such as the kidney, the eyes, the heart, and the nerves. In worst cases, these complications can lead to death.

The need to constantly monitor blood sugar levels cannot be overemphasized, either. It is very important that your blood sugar levels are always within the normal bounds for diabetics. There is a diabetic chart that you can refer to so you will know if your body is responding well to the treatment or not.

Usually, the recommended treatment for diabetes involves eating foods appropriate for diabetics, exercising regularly, and taking the right medications. You need to understand, too, that certain foods, most particularly those that are high in fat and sugar content may cause spikes in blood sugar levels and must therefore be avoided. In many cases a diabetic dietician or nutritionist can help you prepare your daily menu so you can be sure that you are getting essential nutrients without increasing your blood sugar levels.

Prevention is better than cure, they say, but even if you already are afflicted with diabetes, there are many things you can do to control it and be on top of the situation.



The basic answer to ‘what is congestive heart failure’ is that it is the condition in which the heart’s capacity to pump oxygen-rich blood to all the parts of the body has decreased. There are two distinct types of congestive heart failure. They are classified according to the two actions involved in the heart pumping.

When the heart is not contracting adequately to supply blood it is termed systolic dysfunction, or systolic heart failure. This may result in the inability to circulate blood adequately. Conversely if there is a dysfunction in the relaxing action the failure is termed diastolic dysfunction, or diastolic heart failure. This dysfunction can result in inadequate amounts of blood being taken into the heart to supply adequate circulation. In some cases the tissues of the body may need more oxygen-rich blood than the heart can supply. This can also result in a form of congestive heart failure.

There are a number of different causes for this condition. These include numerous diseases that impair the contraction or relaxation of the heart muscle. As a result of the important role that the heart plays in the body, congestive heart failure is a condition that can cause diverse symptoms and problems.

The symptoms that are experienced by individuals that are suffering from this condition vary also. They may include a number of symptoms directly related to inadequate blood supply. In some cases organ damage can lead to other symptoms as well. The severity of some symptoms may be a direct result of the function capacity of the heart.

There are also a number of treatment that can be used. The particular treatment that is used is often based on the present condition of the heart and the cause of the congestive heart failure. Sometimes the damage that the heart has suffered is not reversible. Treatment may improve the quality of life even in those cases where damage is permanent. In the worst cases a heart transplant may be necessary.

Early diagnosis can be helpful in protecting the heart from further damage. Among the most important factors in protecting the heart is maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. A doctor should be consulted to establish a diagnosis or plan treatment. They should also be able to answer any additional questions you have regarding ‘what is congestive heart failure’.



Pretty contrary to famous notion, the difficulty of anxiety is attacking the youngsters too. Just take a look around and you will find many teens struggling with anxiety. Right from peer pressure, to academic performance, the causes of stress in youths are aplenty. If you also are a teenager battling stress, don’t fret as the problem could be readily tackled. Here are some stress management points that can help you out to a brilliant extent.

The 1st thing that can support you do away with anxiety from your life would be to comply with a regular workout routine. Exercise is known to be a brilliant stress buster. If you think that you’ll have to enroll in for a gym membership to get your daily dose of exercise, you’re mistaken. Going for a brisk walk of thirty mins everyday could do all the wonders for you.

You need to find immediate treatment in case you are battling from any health difficulties. Left untreated, these health issues can add to your general stress and even exaggerate it further. You may battle usual medical problems such as yeast infection successfully with highly beneficial medical solutions such as the Yeastrol Yeast Infection Treatment.

Another easy way to bring down the stress levels is to watch your diet. Steer clear of the calories packed fast food. Rather, select sensible food items comprising of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and plenty of more. This will aid enhance your energy levels which are frequently dropped down because of stress.

It’s frequent sight to see teens seek respite in smoking when unable to tackle the increasing anxiety in their life. Never make the mistake of depending on smoking as a stress management measure. Reason being smoking could bring along several fitness issues too. Moreover, smoking could provide only a temporary relief from stress. It is always in your interest to swap to successful alternates to beat stress like acupuncture, aromatherapy, deep breathing and many more.

Learning to manage your thoughts may also go a long way in battling stress. Constantly harping on negative thoughts can up your odds of suffering from the situation. Your perspective to several conditions and folks frequently decides your stress levels. Hence, the perfect method to overcome it is by implementing an positive approach to the majority of things in your life. Focus just on the things which you could control and let go of all others which you cannot.

It is very essential for you to learn to manage stress appropriately. Left unchecked, it could affect you physically and mentally and psychologically. Stress could also result in skin problems and ailments such as acne. However, you can tackle this latter problem with the help of efficient skincare solutions such as the Exposed Anti Acne Treatment that can help you get rid of ugly pimples and zits.

Hence, it is wise to put in a bit of effort to keep stress away. By adhering to the mentioned ideas, you ought to manage to do so easily.


Several of us are aware of anti-inflammatory medications, but have you heard of pro-inflammatory foods? The foods you consume actually do have an impact on how you feel and will affect your health and body’s capability to heal. Pro-inflammatory foods increase inflammation, increase your pain from the inflammation and may even raise your chance for long-term disease.

Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar, fast foods and fried foods will increase inflammation in your body. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, particularly trans fats and saturated fats. Processed meats such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites, which are linked to increased inflammation and chronic disease.

Saturated fats are found in meats, dairy products and eggs. Although these foods are an important source of minerals and vitamins, they contribute to inflammation when eaten in excess. These foods also contain fatty acids called arachidonic acid. Even though some arachidonic acid is important for your health, too much may make your inflammation worse. Opting for low fat milk and cheese and lean cuts of meat is very important, as they will not increase inflammation.

Vegetable oils that are high in Omega-6 fatty acid, such as safflower, corn and sunflower oils, margarine and many additional types of plant oils, will increase inflammation in your body.

When suffering from arthritis it is important that you maintain a low calcium to phosphorous ratio; if phosphorous content is high then additional calcium will be lost from your body, thereby aggravating your arthritis problems. Foods that are rich in phosphorous are red meat, red flesh fish, organ meat like kidney, liver, processed meat, and soft drinks. Red meat also contains high levels of uric acid, which worsens the condition.

Whole fruits and vegetables are important for their vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants. Yet some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne, could actually increase your pain from inflammation. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which commonly triggers pain in some people. Although there aren’t any formal research findings that back the claim about nightshade plants, many people report great relief from the symptoms of pain and inflammation when eliminating them from the diet. Green and sprouted spots on potatoes usually reflect high alkaloid content, and due to this should always be carefully removed.

Gluten found in wheat, barley, and oats aggravates arthritis for many people and it is therefore recommended to reduce their consumption. Researchers discovered that participants who ate a well-balanced diet, free of animal products and foods containing gluten, increased their levels of antibodies, which could protect against inflammation.


An allergy is generally referred to as the disorder of the immune system, wherein the body generally reacts to any harmless external environment and causes some kind of discomfort. An allergy is something that is very common and can be treated perfectly well, if detected effectively. It is referred to as one of the four forms of hypersensitivity of the skin and is also characterized by the excessive activation of a certain white blood cell called mast cells. Allergies can be mild and sometimes can be severe too; but they need to be treated well, based on the causes of the allergy. Most of the allergy has no specific cause, often the cause is rather unknown or goes unnoticed; however an important diagnosis includes examining the symptoms of the allergy and then treating it thereby. There are many symptoms for allergies, some of them are –

• When there is an allergy that generally surrounds the nose region, there will be a prominent swelling of the nasal mucosa; which is a good enough symptoms to make sure that proper treatment is provided.

• The sinuses generally respond to allergy in a manner that causes several allergic sinusitis attacks; this gives an account of the symptoms that occur in this region.

• The eye of a human being is also extremely prone to allergy. The allergy that occurs in this portion generally causes a lot of irritation and itching sensation. Its symptoms include redness of the eye and also itching of the conjunctiva.

• The airway is also prone to allergy and most of the allergy in this region is recognized by the following symptoms; sneezing, coughing, asthma attack, bronchoconstriction, wheezing, swelling of airway known as laryngeal edema, etc.

• In the ear region, the symptoms are feeling a sense of fullness, severe pain, impaired hearing. This impaired hearing generally happens due to eustachian tube drainage.

• Skin is yet another prominent area for the cause and presence of allergy. The allergy here is generally characterized by rashes like eczema, etc. Skin is the most prone to allergy and skin allergy is very common among people.

• Allergy also happens in the gastrointestinal tract. Here the symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, etc.

Besides just being aware of these symptoms, you have got to have certain knowledge on how to treat these allergies as well. Knowing about symptoms is not enough; you have certainly got to know the cure for such disorders as well.


Acne is a common skin condition that can affect people of all ages however, it is most common in teenagers. There are many factors that cause this embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. Many medical experts agree that the amount of hormonal changes that young teenagers go through is one of the biggest causes of acne. Many of these hormonal changes happen during puberty when teenagers bodies start to develop.

Acne occurs when the skin pores become blocked and infected. The skin pores are blocked when the sebaceous glands that lie underneath the skin produce and over abundance of substances called sebum and keratin. As these two substances build up and harden they increase the risk of becoming infected. As pressure builds up around the skins pores the area becomes inflamed and the red sores appear on the surface of the skin.

As well as hormonal changes in the body the diet you eat can also increase your risk of getting acne. For example, a diet that is high in saturated fats and processed foods will certainly not help in clearing up the skin pores. Also, if you eat a diet that is insufficient in certain essential vitamins then this can also make the condition of acne worse. A lack in vitamins such as vitamin A can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections.

However by changing your diet you can help to clear up acne. A healthy diet that is rich in nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals will increase your capacity to reduce the affects of the hormonal changes in your body. A healthy diet will also help you fight off skin infections more effectively.

The key vitamins that help clear up your acne are the vitamin A and the B complex vitamins, vitamin C and E. In terms of minerals, zinc and niacin have good skin cleansing qualities. For helping to increase the healing process use vitamin E.

While eating a healthy balanced diet that includes the essential nutrients you should also acquire good cleaning habits. You will increase your risk of infection if you do not wash your hands and face on a regular basis.

In your diet eat plenty of fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Drink plenty of water each day as this will help to cleanse and detoxify the skin. Introduce foods that are high in sulphur as they can help the condition. These include foods such as eggs, onions and garlic. A teenagers diet is notorious for being high in junk food and sugar. If you suffer from acne it is better to drastically reduce your intake or cut these foods out completely.

If you have any food allergies or suffer from a medical condition then consult your doctor first before you change your diet.



Cherries are they the perfect health food. Not only are they beautiful to look at but they are tasty to eat. Cherry come in a variety of ways including fresh, frozen, cherry juice, cherry powder, cherry extract, cherry salsa and more. But prior to being transformed into a tasty snack or delicious main course, they start as a ruby red fruit about the size of the quarter.
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The cherry is a very delicate fruit that is very perishable and that is why you can’t find the cherry in the produce department of your local grocery store year round. This fruit is usually harvested from late June until Mid-July, yet these few short weeks produce over 250 ton of the tangy and tasty fruit.

  • How Cherries are Harvested
  • The cherry is harvested by a machine called the shaker. Once the machine grabs the truck of the cherry tree and large upside down umbrella surrounds the entire tree and then the fun begins. The machine gently shakes off the 7000+ cherries from the tree. The upside down umbrella catches all of the fallen cherries and they are then transported to the washing stations. Once their they are placed into big containers of water to keep the freshness of the cherry. After soaking the freshly picked fruit is transferred to several additional processing stations including the separators. This is where the premium cherries are separated from the lower quality cherries. After this the cherry begins the transformation from a fresh fruit to one of many alternatives including juice concentrate, dried fruit, canned fruit and many more tasty alternatives.

  • The Natural Health Benefits of Cherries
  • More and more research on the natural health benefits of the tart cherries are coming to light, including the ability to fight joint pain due to gout and arthritis due to the naturally occurring antioxidants in this fruit. Research points to the presence of powerful anthocyanins that are only responsible for giving the cherry its color but its joint pain fighting properties.

  • So Where Can You Get Cherries?
  • You can get the fresh fruit during the summer harvest months at your local grocery store. However, if you want the year round health benefits and great taste of the cherry consider adding the juice, the dried or the capsules to your diet. One source for cherry juice, dried cherries and powder is Traverse Bay Farms. The company will even ship product to your door free of any shipping or handling charges. You can also have the fresh fruit shipped to your door from The Miller Family Farm. They are based in Ohio and offer the fresh fruit during the summer harvest season.
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