Helpful Writing Utensils

I was in the store recently and found some writing and coloring utensils that are helpful for encouraging small motor skills.  One of these items are crayola’s triangular crayons.  I picked up a box of these for my son to try and would rate them about a 7/10.

My son has used them and his coloring skills have improved a little bit but I’ve not noticed any major changes as of yet.  An article I read recently stated that for children with fine motor skills problems it is recommended to use jumbo size crayons for coordination until he improves his writing skills.

A word of caution though – I used to purchase quite a few dry/erase multiplication, handwriting and other helpful charts for my children to use as it was more cost effective than printing out worksheets.  I thought this was an excellent way to have our son practice his hand-eye coordination and writing skills until his OT (Occupational Therapist) told me that starting children out on dry-erase boards before they have mastered handwriting is not a good idea.  I was told that the surface it too slick and they cannot maintain proper control of the writing utensil.

It is recommended to use jumbo, stubby crayons or pencils until he/she has built up her hand muscles.

Also check out this website I just found for other great products in helping your child with sensory and handwriting needs.

They also offer  raised lined paper with or without letters and numbers for your child to learn how to write in the lines:


Alternative to the Z-vibe?

Have you been trying to get your son to increase his vocalization but having problems and can’t afford all the bells and whistles of speech devices?  If you are like me and you are struggling to make ends meet for your family then purchasing all the necessary equipment to help your child improve his/her speech can be stressful.

Our therapist have provided and suggested many devices for helping awaken the oral motor muscles.  His therapy initially provided a Z-vibe to use which is a great and wonderful tool for speech.  If you can afford it then I highly recommend that you invest in the product.  However, with most things, batteries and replacement parts can start to add up.  I thought the battery had run out so we purchased another one and when that didn’t work I gave it to the therapist to check out, after which she told me it was dead.  A full kit can cost about $40-$50 depending on style and model.

A cheap alternative that you can use for therapy is a motorized toothbrush.  You can purchase some from most retail stores for about $10 or less.   Try looking online or at various store outlets for oral motor tools that will help minimize your child’s oral defensiveness.  Some recommended items are whistles, harmonicas, chewy tubes, recorders, etc.

A note about chewy tubes – I have tried these items in many shapes and sizes, in almost all cases my son gagged and threw up and refused to chew on them.  He got a little clever and started to find ways to lose them.. 🙂 What I personally recommend on the chewy tubes is sticking to the ones that are not big and bulky.  Try finding some that are small and skinny, if you don’t you will engage his gag reflux and spend more time cleaning up messes that accomplishing any therapy or oral improvement.

The purpose of the Z-vibe is to stimulate the oral motor muscles to wake up and allow your child to speak and swallow without the gag reflex muscles being engaged.  Once again this is tied into his/her sensory issues.  If your child suffers from oral defensiveness, it means that the muscles in the mouth do not have the ability to discern when it should be working.  When you chew and swallow your food the muscles in the mouth automatically do what they are supposed to and keep you from choking.  A child with sensory issues do not know where the food is in the mouth, therefore they require techniques such as cold toothbrushes on the sides of the mouth, tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth, drinking through straws and chewing tools to keep the muscles engaged.  They might also have a problem controlling the muscles of the tongue and require exercises to help them.

I highly recommend the motorized toothbrush for your child if you can’t obtain a Z-vibe at this time.  It will in the meantime keep the nerves in the mouth awakened and diminish his/her apprehension the more times you use it.

Oral Exercises:

If you do the recommended exercises for oral motor – it is highly recommended to do so before a speech therapy appointment/exercise or right before eating.

*Use ice cold water on the tip of the tongue, on each side of the cheeks and on the roof of the mouth

* After you use the ice try to encourage your child to stick out his tongue (don’t be alarmed if he/she can’t, the purpose is to build up the tongue muscles)

*Model blowing kisses or bubbles and try to get your child to imitate you

*Have your child drink through a straw which also helps build up the muscles

*Give him cotton balls to blow across the table

If you have found any other exercises or oral motor tools that have helped your child, please share by comment or email!

Cilantro – Natural Chelation Therapy?

It is has been brought to my attention a couple of times the benefits of chelation therapy to autistic children.  However, this has been a therapy that I have not considered before simply because this therapy is not cheap and most insurance companies will not cover the expense.  If you are blessed to find a physician or specialist who is willing to get this procedure covered, the natural route may not be an option for you.

Just recently a friend mentioned the benefits of cilantro and how it can be used for chelation therapy.  I searched the internet and found a recipe that is recommended specifically for that purpose.

We just recently started this and will keep you posted on the results.

Cilantro recipes

Gardening, Homemade Recipes, Herbs

If you are interested in planting a garden this summer and growing your own food, making your own household cleaners, and finding what herbs just might help your some of your ailments; then be sure and check out this webpage for more information….

We have been blessed with various resources sharing this information with us that we have formulated into one page where you can view and learn more.

Our family is planning on having a normal sized garden this year and will share what we have learned in the process.  Last year we started out with topsy-turvy’s and a few plants in the planter but this year it will be a regular garden.  This is a very important step as you start to weed your family off processed food and also items that are heavily sprayed.  Growing your own produce is also a wonderful tool for your child to experience new sensations.  Some of my son’s therapist recommended putting together a rice and beans box for him to play in for his sensory needs, gardening is even better for sensory as he will have a result from the “playing”.

When my child was young he didn’t like playing in the grass as the feeling was unpleasant to him, however, the only way to help your child to overcome is to continually expose him to the uncomfortable sensation.  Start out with a few minutes and slowly build up the time.  He is now able to walk around in the grass barefoot without having any problems!

If your child doesn’t have any problems with playing in the dirt, great!  He/She is on the road to becoming a gardener! 🙂


DMAE – Learning Behavior and IQ Improvement/What is DMAE?

I’ve mentioned this supplement in my blog before, but I would like to share with you the information that a health food salesman shared with me.  This supplement has been a major help in our son’s cognitive functions. He seemed to start remembering what we were teaching him better than before we added this nutrient to his diet.

For more information on the scientific research of DMAE check out these websites:

….”Learning, Behavior, and IQ
DMAE has proven to be a valuable and safe alternative for certain learning and behavior problems such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and hyperkinesia (usually the providence of children but also known to affect adults). Unfortunately, amphetamine or amphetamine-like drugs are often used to deal with these problems. In one study, consisting of 25 girls and 83 boys, conducted by Dr. Carl Pfeiffer of the Brain-Bio Center in Princeton, New Jersey, DMAE was found to result in enhanced behavior in 2/3 of the boys and 3/4 of the girls. Hyperactivity was greatly lessened as attention span was lengthened, irritability was decreased, scholastic ability improved, and, in some cases, IQ was elevated.8

Similar results were found when 500 mg of DMAE was given to 74 children with learning problems, including many who were hyperactive. These subjects were screened for neurological or psychiatric illnesses beforehand. DMAE was given in a double-blind fashion for 3 months. Testing was done before and after treatment for behavior, reaction time, and a series of standard psychometric parameters. Not only was there significant improvement overall but DMAE was shown to improve performance in children with learning and behavior disorders.9″


“Dimethyl-amino-ethanol (DMAE) is a precursor of acetylcholine, a crucial neurotransmitter responsible for carrying messages between brain cells and from the brain to the muscles that control body movements. Unlike choline, it easily passes the blood/brain barrier where it stimulates the cholinergic nervous system.

A variety of cognitive and disruptive disorders may be caused or aggravated by a lack of acetylcholine. Since DMAE affects acetylcholine production, these issues may be improved with long-term, consistent DMAE use. As long ago as 1974, research was conducted showing that DMAE was comparable to some prescription drugs in improving learning and behavioral problems associated with shortened attention span.

Depression in older people also is often caused by lack of acetylcholine in the brain. In a controlled, double-blind study with normal human volunteers, findings demonstrated an increase in daytime energy, attentiveness and concentration, sounder but less sleep, and improved mood and personality. Additionally, in research and clinical practice it has been used to improve memory in older adults.

In adults, high-dose DMAE is especially useful in lipofuscin dissolution. Lipofuscin is a brownish cellular pigment consisting of molecular waste formed by the inefficient metabolism of fatty acids, resulting from oxidative stress. In the skin, especially the back of the hand, this debris manifests as either “age spots” or “liver spots,” which act as a sentinel for lipofuscin potentially present inside the body, including the brain, neurons and heart.

DMAE has the ability to dissolve lipofuscin and can work both inside and on the body. The mechanism for this action is fat emulsion. DMAE has properties similar to that of lecithin. Lecithin emulsifies fat in the liver and both of these substances produce acetylcholine in the body. However, DMAE and not lecithin is capable of lessening lipofuscin. The oral dosing of DMAE must be between 1,600 to 3,000 mg per day. One should start with a low dose of DMAE and slowly work up to this higher dose. Once the high dose is reached it must be maintained for five to six months for effects to be noticed. A well balanced multivitamin such as Optimum 6, Optimum Silver, or Women’s Essentials should be taken along with high dose DMAE to avoid any imbalance in acetylcholine production with other neurotransmitters. Some people experience stiff neck or headache with doses of DMAE at 3,000mg per day. If this occurs, the dose should be reduced and 400 to 800 mg per day of magnesium added. DMAE actually can help cells utilize magnesium more efficiently. Since magnesium must be present for many enzymatic reactions to occur in the body, the two elements work synergistically to help clear lipofuscin.

In other research, topical DMAE has been found to be effective and safe in the improvement of wrinkles and skin firmness. The mechanism of action is related to the fact skin cells contain acetylcholine receptors as well as DMAE’s anti-inflammatory actions and its ability to scavenge free radicals.

Because of DMAE’s free radical scavenging ability, when it was added to the heart’s pumping cells (myocytes) in another in-vitro study, they were protected from damage caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the heart (ischemia).

High-dose DMAE can help protect against accelerated aging by removing cellular debris caused by many factors present in twenty-first century daily life.”

Free Educational Software Download!! Extended until Feb 13th

The FREE Educational Software Download has been extended until Feb 13th, after that time they will dramatically reduce their prices…


Our mission is to provide an affordable reading program for anyone who needs it.

During January 41,900 people downloaded our
program for free.
NOTE: If you received an email indicating how to download your free copy of Funnix, you may download the program through February 13.

Currently we are revamping our website and will open our
with dramatically reduced prices.

Our new pricing and product line:

Funnix Beginning Reading and Funnix 2 Reading Program DVD package — $25.00
(previously $249)

Funnix Beginning Reading bound version of Workbook (optional)–

(previously $15)

Funnix 2 bound version of Reader (optional) —
(previously $22)

Aluminum – the dangers to Cognitive Health

Several months ago it came to our attention the dangers of aluminum.  Some children with learning disabilities may have a possibility of high levels of metals in their system.  Aluminum is one of those metals that can be found in many foods and cooking ware, utensils, canned foods, deodorant etc.

When your child is already suffering from mental cognition the less metals and toxins you put in his/her body is better. We switched from teflon coated pans to iron skillets, and from pots and pans to pressure cookers and ones without any coatings on the bottom.

All of these changes may require you to search high and low for these items that are slowly fading into existence, but the health of your family depends on it.

Items that need to be adjusted and possibly eliminated from your child’s diet include:


*aluminum pots and pans

*aluminum foil

*baking powder

*baking soda

* some medications may contain aluminum


It is also important to look at baked goods (breads, tortillas, crackers etc.) for any ingredient listing with the word “aluminum” in it.  Store bought canned food is probably one of the biggest sources for aluminum.

For the health of your child and family, try learning how to can your own foods in order to limit your exposure to aluminum.  Homemade items are much better than packaged food.

Red Bob Mills Aluminum Free baking powder and baking soda are some recommended products.  Some retail stores and local health food stores carry these items.