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Autism Month Life as an Autism Mom THE TRUTH ABOUT ADDICTION

Raising a Low Media Child

Shared Child Care and how to make it work



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Conscious Life Magazine

Coconut Milk Baby Formula Recipe

If there’s a situation where a baby is not getting breast-fed or there needs to be an additional supplementation, this is a great alternative. It’s free of the chemicals and additives that are present in most formulas and full of nutrients every child needs to develop and grow. But I want to be clear, breast feeding is by far the best option if possible. Certain foods can increase lactation, starting with plain old water as many mothers are dehydrated and aren’t even aware of it. Even with adoption, there are cases, where mothers are able to start producing milk. Also, many new mothers struggle with getting their baby to latch properly, and the international La Leche League can possibly help, including finding a local lactation consultant. The following table shows a comparison of the nutrients present in this coconut milk formula recipe versus that of breast milk. The numbers given are approximations. Again, this is not intended as a replacement for breast milk. You can also check out other homemade formulas to compare the nutrition facts to.

Coconut Milk Baby Formula Recipe Total Time: 5 minutes Serves: 1 Ingredients:          

2 cups canned coconut milk 1/2 cup coconut water 1 tbsp. collagen hydrosylate 3oz (6 Tbsp) water (depending on thickness of other ingredients you may need to change quantity 1/4 tsp unflavored cod liver oil 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast 2 crushed desiccated liver tablets 5 lactose tablets or 4 Tbsp maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis 1 Tbsp grass fed butter, melted

Directions: Combine all ingredients into bottle and mix well.

Relight the Candle Five-year-old Tommy walked over to his mother, Judy. ”Write my name for me, Mommy.” ”Tommy, you know how to write your name.” ”But I don’t ‘member,” he said. by Maren Schmidt Tommy’s mother, Judy, phoned me, near tears, about this conversation. Judy’s concern was that Tommy had forgotten something as seemingly simple as the three letters in Tom. ”What do you think? Should I call my pediatrician? Do you think Tom has brain damage from falling off his bicycle two weeks ago? Should we get an MRI? A CAT scan?” ”Judy,” I said, ”I don’t think there is probably anything serious going on. I think what you are seeing is a normal part of learning. The candle blew out. Tommy just needs to review and relearn how to write his name. It’s very normal for children to forget things we think they have learned.”

As learning occurs we take in information through our senses and retrieve this information through the memory process. The first time we encounter information doesn’t mean we’ll remember or retain it. How many repetitions does it take to learn a new phone number? (Safety note: Cell phones seem to make learning phone numbers obsolete. Every five-year-old should know by heart his or her address and key phone numbers: home, parent’s work, grandparents, etc.) Some of us can hear a number or look at it once and have it in firmly in memory. For others it may take over a hundred repetitions. Learning theory suggests that most learning requires two hundred or more repetitions. The process of retrieving facts from memory after they have been learned is another obstacle to a person’s performance. For example, I used to know my chocolate chip cookie recipe without hesitation since I made them a couple of times a week. (Oops! My secret is out.) In the past three or four years, though, I’ve made a batch only once. As I pulled out the mixing bowl my mind went black. Use it or lose it, they say. How true it is for youngsters…and us older youngsters.

The more ways we can use information the better able we are to quickly access that information. When we can involve our hands in the memory and retrieval process, long-term learning is helped. Repetition is a vital key to learning, and the young child before the age of six enjoys doing the same activity over and over. How many times can a three-year-old watch a favorite video? No number that large? Repetition is how the child creates memory and retrieval skills. Sameness creates a sense of order in the child’s mind. Children over the age of six are more adult-like in their learning and demand variety in the presentation of information being acquired. How many times do adults like to watch a movie? Skill building weaves in and out of our memories, flickering at the flame of knowledge. At times due to factors in brain development not entirely understood, this flame grows faint or is extinguished. At these times we need to patiently present previously learned information to the child–perhaps dozens of times. At some point, the information will be firmly set in the child’s mind and will be remembered and easily retrieved.

The thousands of skills your child is acquiring take hundreds of repetitions each to become well established in the mind. Knowledge and skills will come and go as these hundreds of thousands of repetitions occur. Be patient and kind, and relight the candle. Make sure you have a big box of matches.

by Genevieve Hey mamas! I’m enjoying some downtime with my new baby girl here, so I have a few guest posts lined up from some of my favorite bloggers. Today I’m excited to share this comprehensive and creative post from Mindy Wood! Mindy writes about simple living over at Enjoy! We all know that screen time in excess can be harmful to infants and toddlers, and that it isn’t great for older children either. And I would guess that there aren’t too many parents out there that want their children to struggle with things like obesity, ADHD or or cognitive and language development; so why are so many young children still watching too much TV? Well, because parents are tired! Caregiving—especially quality caregiving— requires a ridiculous amount of attention, patience and energy. It’s totally understandable to want a few moments of peace every day to (gasp!) use the bathroom alone. So, are a few minutes of television going to irrevocably damage your child? Of course not. But what if you could have a break without using the TV or your iPhone to entertain your little one?

Luckily there IS a way to have a low media (or media free) child without losing your mind. The answer is…

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Self-directed play! Self-directed or independent play is play chosen, initiated and directed by the child. When your child is able to engage in independent play, being with your child becomes less demanding. You are no longer the entertainment. You can sit back and just observe what your child is exploring. You may be able to read, check your email, work, eat chocolate—whatever—and all while he plays and explores. What a relief! Cultivating intrinsically motivated, independent exploration does more than just give parents a break though. Self-directed play builds social and emotional health, confidence, creativity, self-discipline and problem solving skills. TV can’t even touch those awesome benefits! In fact, TV damages a child’s instinct for discovery and self-directed play. Not only is increased TV viewing linked to shorter attention spans, but TV viewing encourages the need and desire to be entertained over interest in discovery and exploration. So the more TV they watch the less they are able to engage in self-directed play and the more they “need” TV. Well, that’s a bummer. Luckily, self-directed play can take care of your need for a break as well as encourage your child to engage in more self-directed play! So, the 10 million dollar question is: how do you get your child to play independently?

Turn Off the TV As I said, watching TV can actually decrease children’s ability to engage in self-directed play so stopping TV viewing is an obvious first step. Some families will find that going cold turkey works best while others gradually wean TV watching out of their child’s daily schedule. It will also depend on your child’s age.

Create a Safe and Engaging Environment The way you design your environment will depend on many factors but here are some guidelines to get you started. Don’t be overwhelmed; there are many inexpensive ways to create an appealing environment for your child. Be creative! Safety is the number one concern. If you want to be able to leave the room or focus your attention elsewhere, the environment must be 100% safe. This might mean gating off unsafe rooms or gating an area of your living room for the child to enjoy. If you can, an outdoor space is wonderful! If you have an open floor plan, a wood stove or lots of stairs it can be challenging but gates, outlet covers and drawer locks are your friends! Organize your child’s play space so that it is engaging and orderly.

Children are especially sensitive to disorder. Keeping things neat, tidy and uncluttered (as best you can!) helps your child to stay focused. Instead of putting toys into large toy boxes, place materials in smaller baskets, on trays or on shelves. This makes viewing and choosing materials easy (learning to put them away is much easier too). Make sure all materials are accessible to your child (they don’t have to ask you to get something down) but remember that if they are not using a material appropriately you can always put it away for another day. Find a balance between enough toys to offer choices but not too many so that your child feels overwhelmed or overstimulated. When there are too many toys children tend to play with each one for a shorter time. You can store excess toys and rotate them out depending on what she is most interested in. When you rotate these toys back in it’s like having brand new toys! Child sized tables and chairs are a great addition to the play space. When a child sits in a chair that is just his size he is more confident and able to focus on his activities. Child size furniture can be expensive but you can save a lot by finding them used or you can get creative and use what you have available (we used a file folder as a mini table for the longest time!). Stools are great for cultivating independence as they help your child to do a lot for themselves that they would otherwise need help with (reaching the sink, removing clothing, helping with cooking).

Choose Toys Wisely When selecting or deciding whether to keep a toy remember that simple is good. Choose toys that will foster imagination and discovery rather than toys that move or make noise. In fact, get rid of (or take the batteries out of) all battery-powered toys. As infant expert Magda Gerber said “Active toys make passive children; passive toys make active children.” And active children are wonderful at discovering fun and entertaining activities that will keep them engaged! Here are some ideas for toys and stations that you can incorporate into your child’s play space.

   

Montessori style grasping toys Montessori (rolling cylinder) Textures basket Containers to be opened and closed. Recycled food containers are great for this.  Art table. Add crayons, paper, stickers, and scissors in neat containers. You can opt for washable crayons, for easier cleanup.

        

Dress up basket. Collect old clothes, costumes, scarves etc. Nature tray. Go outside and pick up a few leaves, pinecones, rocks etc. Blocks Cars or trains Books Musical instruments Kitchen with play food, pots and pans, broom and dust pan, and dust rag. Puzzles Sensory materials that your child can put her hands in. Offer different spoons, cups or other tools for her to manipulate the materials with. Some ideas: sand, rice, water, beans, play dough.  Sorting or matching trays.

How to Cultivate Self-Directed Play Observe and follow your child as they explore their surroundings. You will learn more about which materials she enjoys and which ones she ignores (those can be put away). Resist the urge to help. Allow your child to struggle a bit. It’s all part of learning. Don’t show them the “right way” to use a material. Let them explore! If you choose materials that are age appropriate then your child will be able to use them without your help anyway. There will be times when you may need to offer some support and that’s ok too. Don’t interrupt. Children are doing very important work when they are playing. When you let them explore their environment on their own terms they are learning that what they are interested in is worth being interested in. Trust him. Let him decide what to play with, how to play with it, and for how long. Some days he may focus on one toy for a long time, others he may jump from one toy to another. Both are ok. The important thing is that he learns to follow his inner compass and develop the ability to direct his own play for long periods of time. It will take time and effort but soon you will find that your child is so focused on what she’s doing that you can read a few lines of the newspaper, get dinner started, or just relax… Phew!

What about you? How do you limit screen time and encourage actual play in your home?

Contact: 083 327 7062

Conscious Life Magazine

By Angela Watson Robertson

This Is How My Husband and I Pulled Off 50/50 Shared Child Care With Our New Baby When I was pregnant for the first time, I started to talk to other moms to prepare myself for welcoming our first child. I wanted to know how I could have an equitable situation regarding child care responsibilities with my husband. These moms gave me a funny look. I was told that I shouldn't expect my husband to help out very much with our newborn. That men just "aren't good with babies," or "they can't help much because they can't breastfeed," and "it's just the way that it is." Most of these women were exhausted, fatigued, and angry, and I could see why. I was overwhelmed and upset at the thought that all of the child care would be solely my responsibility simply because I was the woman in the relationship or because I could breastfeed. Yet I was determined, and I searched for another option.

I was well aware that a 50/50 share of child care isn't always realistic or possible, depending on work hours and jobs, personal strengths and weaknesses, and of course, the whole I-haveboobs-and-he-doesn't piece. Regardless, I wanted to find a way to work with my husband as a team instead of falling into typical gender roles of child rearing. Plus, throughout our pregnancy my husband and I had talked ad nauseam about how we'd like our relationship and our parenting to work once the baby arrived, and I knew he wanted to be really involved in every aspect of caring for our baby. So, together we made a plan—and then we changed the plan over and over and over as we learned and made mistakes as new parents. Now, as my baby is 13 months old and I have the benefit of hindsight, I'm passing on a few things I learned along the way in the hopes they'll help you on your own journey to find equity in your own household:

1. Talk to other parents. Talk to other parents and find out what their experience has been. What has and has not worked for them? Brainstorm options and come up with some new ones of your own as a couple based on the feedback you hear. It's helpful for both of you to do this—have Dad talk to other dads, Mom talk to other moms, and make sure Mom hears from dads and Dad from moms. This way both of you can hear the perspective of what it's like to be the other person. Talk about the tough stuff. How did they get sleep? When did they make time for each other? How did they decide who does what and when to care for the child? What do they wish they had done differently? Additionally, read books and articles and listen to podcasts about parenthood and taking care of a young child. If this is your first child, you'll probably find out there are a lot of things you don't know yet and would never have imagined could happen.

2. Talk about sleep. This was a huge oversight on our part as we knew in theory that we'd get less sleep, but we had no idea what that meant. In my experience, our baby didn't sleep more than an hour or so at a time for the first three to six weeks of life. How the heck do you deal with that? Well, for us that meant several weeks of misery with nobody getting any sleep. We literally became the worst version of ourselves, and when I think about that time, I get shivers down my spine. It was horrible. Things improved once we started taking shifts. One of us would take care of our baby girl for eight to 12 hours (while the other slept, or made food, or went to the gym, or shopped for groceries, or walked the dogs), and then we'd switch. This was really hard on the person who was "on," but at least one of us was getting some sleep each day. We would alternate who took the night shift each night as well.

This worked for us, as my husband had six weeks off of work. Yet when he went back to work, it wasn't working anymore (I had to take on more), so we had to make a change. We hit a breaking point, and our baby had to sleep more or we wouldn't survive. So we signed up for an online sleep training class (not a cry-it-out method, mind you), which transformed our lives. Baby started sleeping eight hours a night starting at around 10 weeks old. It's also super important to talk about sleeping arrangements. Do you and your partner want to co-sleep with your baby, or would you like your baby in a crib in your room or in their own room? Many couples do not see eye-to-eye on this. Talk through it and compromise; then try different options once baby arrives.

3. Get help. (Lots of it.) Seriously, if it is at all possible, get some help! This could come from grandparents or friends, or a hired nanny or postpartum doula—but make it happen and get it scheduled and set in stone ahead of time. Remember this: Grandma or your close friend saying "I'll come over sometimes to help" doesn't cut it. How many hours will she/he be there and for how long? Will it be a gift, or will you be paying them? If they can't plan it out or tell you the answers to these questions in detail before baby comes, don't count on it. Hire someone. For the love of God, hire someone. It will save you and your relationship. Many parents I talk to say they are putting their child into day care at 6 weeks old and assume that covers it, but what about the first few weeks before that, or what about when your baby is sick and can't go to day care, or on nights and weekends? Even if you have your baby in day care full-time, my guess is you'll still want to talk through all the other times when it'll be all on you. For us, this meant hiring a postpartum doula for several months. This was a big investment, but it saved us. We interviewed several doulas when we were pregnant and set the hours and budget prior to when baby was born. Though my mom was able to be with us a lot the first week and visit for a few days each month, we needed someone who was trained in taking care of a newborn who could teach us and give us a break on a regular, scheduled basis. (And guess what we did when she was there? Sleep!) Note regarding hiring a postpartum doula: We went way over our estimated budget. You will want more hours than you expect! We ended up needing help from her at least 12 hours per week and some overnights, plus she cooked food for us on off days. This was a lifesaver and the best decision we made. After the first few tough months, and in addition to help from family occasionally, we have also found it super helpful to have a part-time nanny. I highly recommend it, and we've moved mountains to be able to make that work within our budget.

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Picture this scene: You’re on the school pick up loop. You picked up child #1. He immediately begins (literally) begging you to go to his favorite pizza place for dinner, which is not going to happen for reasons known to him. Obviously a bit “hangry” (cross between hungry & angry), I suggest he take a look at the items left in his lunchbox. Oh, man, was I asking for it. Finally, we arrive at child #2’s school. He doesn’t even ask me any questions, just launches into whining, sighing, and foot stomping the moment he hops into the car. He wants a snack, needs a snack, desperate for a snack. I make the same suggestion: “Anything left in your lunch box? Maybe you could have a snack.” If I hadn’t learned my lesson a few minutes ago with child #1, I learned it with child #2. Salt in the wound. That moment, fraught with noise and overstimulation for any one trying to focus on driving, was actually quite calm. I felt a sense of peace. I knew what I needed to do.

Tip for Getting Kids to Behave in the Car The tip is so simple. It requires a bit of time so hopefully you worked in a bit of a cushion. Trust me, the learning curve is steep. Here we go: pull over. I confidently pulled over to the side of the road (in a safe spot), turned off the engine, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and then I waited for them to notice. My older son stopped immediately. His younger brother looked at me with evil eyes. “I need to be able to focus on driving. So, I pulled over. As soon as you calm your body, I will continue going.� The longer we waited on the side of the road, the prospect of satisfying any hunger seemed further and further away. Here is the deal: my oldest son knows better. He has the self-regulation. He was caught up in the moment. He was trying to pull a fast one on me. His younger brother is working on self regulation. He is also a rigid, explosive child who (with the guidance of his parents) is training his body to recognize when his engine is high and which tools he can access to help him calm his body down. Kind of a painful process, but so gratifying to watch as he progressed. Pulling over, for him, was a trigger and it also stopped the car from moving which enabled him to sync back up with the world. We’re in the car a lot. I need to be able to focus. My kids need to be able to learn how to control themselves. Pulling the car over to the side of the road and stopping the engine is my no fail trick to getting my kids to behave in the car. Be calm. Be confident.


10 Assumptions We Should Stop Making About Boys One of the things I have learned from raising 4 boys is that each child comes into this world as a completely unique person with their own personality and interests. But, I have found that there are several generalizations and assumptions that people make of boys. By Kara Lewis 1- ALL boys are athletic One huge misconception that people have about boys is that all boys live for sports. Newsflash! Not all boys like sports. My oldest son loves sports and would play every sport under the sun if I would let him and if time and money allowed, but my other boys are really selective of which sports they want to play or if they want to play any at all. Now, I will say that I think sports are great for both boys and girls. I lived for softball when I was young and I’ve even written about The Benefits of Playing Sports, but not every child likes sports and that is okay. If a boy doesn’t like sports, there is nothing wrong with him! We should help our children to develop the interests and talents that they have, not the ones we think they should have.

2- Boys need to be tough all the time Research shows that boys are just as vulnerable and sensitive or even more so than girls and we need to stop diminishing their emotions by telling them things like, “Man up”, or “Take it like a Man.” They are not men, they are boys, and when we minimize the emotions that they are feeling they might learn to hold them in and may have problems expressing themselves later on in life. It’s okay for boys to show emotion and it is okay for them to be sensitive. We should be encouraging our boys to work through their emotions and express them in a healthy way.

My boys are as different as they could possibly be. I have boys who are reserved, and a boy who lives for attention and makes friends with everyone. I have boys who are athletic and a boy who would rather read. I have seen that even within the same family, kids are born with unique identities and we need to stop assuming that all boys are the same.

3-All boys are rough and tumble

Not all boys love to play rough. My oldest son was never aggressive and would much rather build something cool than wrestle/play with other kids. My third son has always been an energetic kid and loves to play rough. It is fun for him to get down and wrestle. He always has scratches, bruises, etc but, I have had to explain to him that not all kids like to play rough. Having four boys has made me realize just how different each boy can be.

4- “Boys Will Be Boys” One of the main types of comments I get on my blog is that people appreciate that I can show the “good” side of raising boys and that boys are not just little hellions who can’t control themselves and who destroy everything on contact. Even the most energetic of boys can learn what is acceptable behavior and learn to be respectful of house rules and other people’s property. Boys can be taught manners and common courtesy and definitely can learn to control their “wild tendencies” if they have them.

6-If a boy plays with a doll, it will affect his gender identity I will never understand the assumption that letting a boy play with a doll could somehow affect his gender identity. My husband is very hands-on with my boys and I want my boys to be like him when they have their own children. Each of my boys played with a doll at one time or another and they loved to dress, feed, and push them in a stroller or swing. Normally this came right before or after I had a baby and they saw me and my husband doing those things with their brothers. Playing with dolls will not change their gender identity and teaching boys to be nurturing is a good thing.

7-All boys like to be dirty

5-Because my son doesn’t say much, he must be shy I consider myself an outgoing introvert. I love people and I love socializing, but I can only take so many people at a time before I need my space. A couple of my boys are the same way. They aren’t shy, but they just might not be comfortable with people that they don’t know being in their space. Now, because I know the feelings they experience in those types of moments, I have coached them on how to be polite, even if they are uncomfortable, and they are improving as they get older. When they were younger, even extended family dinners were a nightmare for us because they would get very overwhelmed with people. But, that doesn’t mean they are shy and people constantly telling them that they are can make them feel as though something is wrong with them.

This is definitely not true! I have two who love being dirty and I have two who would flip out if their hands had a little bit of dirt on them when they were younger. I still remember a visit to the beach when one of my boys was about 3 year old. He had a miserable time because he hated getting the sand on him. Some boys like things clean and some don’t mind getting right in and rolling in the dirt. My youngest loves to make “angels” in the dirt since we don’t have snow. He would live in a dirt pile if I let him, but that doesn’t mean all boys like being dirty.

9-Boys aren’t as smart, cool, fun, etc as girls.

10- Boys will all grow up, leave and never come back

You don’t have to look any further than popculture to see that boys are portrayed as less than girls in terms of smarts, wittiness, popularity, etc. Now, I am thrilled that there are wonderful movements out there that are working to empower girls, but can’t we empower girls without putting down boys? If you look at many of the popular shows among tweens and teens, you will see that the girls are often portrayed as popular, funny, smart, etc while the boys are the class clown, the nerd or the joke of the show. We should be just as concerned about a boy’s self-esteem as we are that of girls.

I know that I am not at the point of life where my boys will be moving out any time soon (thank goodness) but one thing I hear over and over is how I won’t have anyone to take care of me when I am old because all boys move out and never look back. Luckily I have good examples in my life to show me that this doesn’t have to be true. I watched my own father serve and take care of his parents everyday until they died and I watched as my mom treated them as she would her own parents and how they embraced and loved her as their own. So, even though I don’t have experience in this subject yet, I have hope that we will stay a close family as they get older, even if we are separated by distance.

Conscious Life Magazine

My Everyday Life as an Autism Mom

By Lisa Quinones-Fontanez When my son, Norrin, was diagnosed with autism my mom told me, "you don't have to tell everyone about it. It's no one's business." I just didn't see the point of keeping it a secret. From the beginning, I was open about it, willing to talk and answer questions. And as a blogger, I really open myself up for discussion — and scrutiny. Having a child with autism, people often have questions and opinions about what my life is like as a parent. Our parenting is often judged. From other parents, to family members, dealing with the Department of Education to the moments that matter most… here are some common reactions you may have seen from an autism mom like me. 1. On your way to (another) meeting with school district... Meeting with the school district to discuss your child's needs and services can be stressful. But no matter how you're feeling you, you go prepared and you have your game face on.

2. How you feel when you've gotten every service you requested... Dealing with the school district is never easy; you're basically sitting in a room full of strangers who feel they're best suited to determine the needs of your child — sometimes without actually knowing your child. Walking out victorious is worthy of a dance.

3. When your mother-in-law or some other family member says, "All your kid needs is a few months with me and I'll straighten them out." Autism isn't something that can be beaten out of our kids or "straightened out." So if that's what you think, please keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you.

4. When a parent of a typical kid says, "Oh, that's all kids." If my kid is having difficulty sitting down to do his homework, or separating from me, or potty training, it's not just a "kid" thing. It's often an autism thing. So don't dismiss our concerns because they are often a little more complicated.

5. When you see another online article about autism and what it may be linked to. It seems like every other week there's some new study claiming to discover the autism link. I think the last one I read was linking autism to circumcised boys. (P.S. My son has autism and isn't circumcised.) These studies do nothing to serve our community in any way — except to scare new parents.

6. When someone says, "You really should teach them how to..." As if we haven't tried to teach our kids how to [fill in the blank]. As if it's that easy to teach a child with autism something. But that person giving them their words of wisdom? Bless their heart...

7. "Are you sure? Your kid doesn't look autistic." This person is trying to give your kid a compliment by pretty much saying your kid looks normal. Autism doesn't look like anything but they don't know that‌ so you just smile and say that yes, you are quite sure.

8. When someone uses the R-word or makes a joke about kids on the short bus. There is nothing cool or funny about using disability as the punch line or as a insult. And if you know I have a special needs kid and you use this language, be prepared for what I will say next.

9. When someone says, "Oh I saw that Temple Grandin movie. Have you seen that yet? You should." People who don't always understand autism want a way to connect. It's nice. But most autism parents have heard of Temple Grandin. They've probably read her book and have seen her biopic or have chosen not to. The reality is, not every kid with autism will grow up to become a Temple; they won't even come close. And that's OK.

10. "Do you think the vaccines have anything to do with your child's autism?" NO. No, no, no. Nope! Because nothing makes an autism parent feel better than being blamed. And for the record, vaccines do not cause autism. Please educate yourself.

11. "Aren't you scared to have another baby? What if that one has autism, too?" Yes — there WILL be someone who asks you this question. During my second pregnancy, I got this question a lot. I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks. If I ever got pregnant again, it wouldn't be autism that I'd fear.

12. When your child does something for the first time. Having a child with autism, you watch them struggle to achieve the things that come so easily to their peers. When you see them do something for the first time, you know the work they put into it. So you laugh, you cry, you clap and tell everyone you know.

What if.. bully awareness video

Ryan Patrick Halligan (December 18, 1989 – October 7, 2003) Ryan was an American student who committed suicide at the age of 13 after being bullied by his classmates in real life and cyber-bullying online. According to the Associated Press, Halligan was repeatedly sent homophobic instant messages, and was "threatened, taunted and insulted incessantly". He was from Essex Junction,

Early life Halligan was born on December 18, 1989 in Poughkeepsie, New York, the son of John P. and Kelly Halligan. His family moved to Essex Junction, Vermont, where Halligan attended Hiawatha Elementary School and, later, Albert D. Lawton Middle School. He was described by his father as a "gentle, very sensitive soul," who experienced some developmental delays affecting speech and physical coordination in his early school years. Although he overcame those difficulties by the fourth grade, "He still struggled; school was never easy to him, but he always showed up with a smile on his face, eager to do his best," said his father.

Bullying 1999-2000 When Halligan was 10 years old, he suffered bullying at the hands of a group of students at his school because of his learning disorder and because his passion for music (drums and guitar) and his love for drama set him apart. His father said that when Ryan told him he was being picked on, his initial response was to ignore the boys, as they were just bullying him with words. The family said later in a short documentary that Halligan enrolled in counseling, with little success. After that he moved up to middle school, where the bullying continued on and off for the next 2 years. 2002-2003 In December 2002, Ryan told his father that the bullying had started again. He asked for a Taebo Kick Boxing set for Christmas in order to learn how to defend himself. At first his father wanted to go to the school principal and sort things out, but Ryan wanted to learn how to fight, believing that complaining to the school about the boys would make things worse. After Christmas, Ryan and his father developed a routine of practicing downstairs in the basement for 2 hours every night. After Ryan had learned to handle himself, his father told him not to pick fights at school, but said that if any student ever touched him aggressively, Ryan had his father's permission to defend himself as best as he could. In February 2003, Halligan had a fight with the bully, which was broken up by the assistant principal; after that, the bully stopped bothering the boy. Toward the end of 7th grade, Halligan told his father that he and the bully had become friends. But, after Halligan told the boy about an embarrassing examination required after he had stomach pains, he learned that the bully misused the story to spread a rumor that Halligan was gay.

Summer 2003 According to his father and news reports, during the summer of 2003, Halligan spent much of his time online, particularly on AIM and other instant messaging services.

Halligan did not tell his parents about this. During the summer, he was cyber-bullied by schoolmates who taunted him, thinking he was gay. Ryan was also bullied at school about this; his father later learned that on one occasion, Ryan ran out of the classroom in tears. As Ryan had unintentionally archived these online conversations on his hard drive when he installed DeadAIM, his father was able to read these discussions. Ryan had deliberately saved transcripts of online exchanges in which Ashley, a popular girl whom Halligan had a crush on, pretended to like him. Later at school, she told him that he was a "loser". According to an ABC Primetime report, she had once been his friend and defended him when the bullying first started; when she became more popular in middle school, she left him behind. He found out she only pretended to like him to gain personal information about him. She copied and pasted their private exchanges into other IMs among his schoolmates to embarrass and humiliate him. Mr. Halligan said that he was proud of his son sticking up for himself. After the girl had called him a loser, Ryan said, "It's girls like you who make me want to kill myself." His father found out about this later because it was a matter of record with the local police. Halligan's father also discovered some disturbing conversations between Ryan and a boy with a screen name he did not recognize. Halligan began communicating online with a pen-pal about suicide and death, and told him he was thinking about suicide. They had been exchanging information they had found on sites relating to death and suicide, including sites that taught them how to painlessly kill themselves. The pen-pal answered "Phew. It's about fucking time," shortly after Ryan told him he was thinking about suicide, two weeks before he killed himself. This was the last conversation he had with the pen-pal.

Halligan found out, contrary to popular belief, Ryan's pen-pal was a boy Ryan knew up until third grade when the boy and his parents moved away. When they found each other online, they reconnected. The pen-pal had, according to Halligan's father, turned into a very negative person with a bleak outlook on life. Online the boys discussed how much they hated their popular classmates and how they made them feel. The penpal suggested suicide as a way out, writing, "If you killed yourself you would really make them feel bad." Ryan's father said that the boy was the worst possible friend that Ryan could have had at that time. The parents acknowledged that Ryan had discussed some of his worries and brought up suicide. He had told them his report card would be bad, and worried that his parents would be disappointed in him. One night he asked his dad if he had ever thought of suicide, who responded that he had, but also said, "Ryan, imagine if I did do that. Look at all the things we would have missed out on as a family.“

Suicide and aftermath On October 7, 2003, John Halligan was away on business. Early in the morning, when family members were still sleeping, Ryan Halligan committed suicide by hanging himself. His body was found later by his older sister.

Although Halligan left no suicide note, his father learned of the cyberbullying when he accessed his son's computer. He had checked his son's yearbook first and found the faces of the bullying group scribbled out. Halligan had scribbled over the face of the ringleader (the same boy who fought Halligan, befriended him, and then started the gay rumor) so aggressively he had torn the paper. John Halligan accessed his son's computer and first learned of the cyber-bullying when his son's friends told him. When he learned that Ashley was being blamed for Halligan's suicide, John Halligan had her brought over to his house. He reportedly said to her, "You did a bad thing, but you're not a bad person." She appeared with John Halligan on ABC's Primetime to speak out against bullying. Although the Halligan's moved out of Vermont, she still maintains contact with them. He confronted the bully who had started the gay rumor after he found out he had made fun of how Halligan killed himself. At first he was so angry he wanted to go to the boy's house and "crush that little jerk," but he had time to think while stuck in traffic. Halligan reportedly said to the boy, "You have no idea the amount of pain you caused my son. And you're still bullying him now even when he's defenseless and you are still lying to your parents about it. I refuse to believe that you are so cruel and that you don't have a heart." Shortly afterward the bully broke down in tears and repeatedly apologized for what he did. John Halligan wanted to file charges against the bully but the police said there was no criminal law that covered the relevant circumstances. Halligan forgave the boy as well as Ashley. After learning the name of the penpal, Halligan's father went to his house and talked with his parents. Halligan said that he did not want the penpal to use the conversations for "something dark.“ While at the penpal's house, John Halligan learned that the boy's father never received any hard copies of the conversations. The penpal's mother came and pulled out the hard copies from under the sofa, showing them to the father for "what appeared to be the first time." While the father was looking at the copies, the mother threw John Halligan out. Halligan said that he never got a satisfying response from the boy or his family. He still visits the boy's website, which contains several references to death and suicide. The senior Halligan began to lobby for legislation in Vermont to improve how schools address bullying and suicide prevention. He has also given speeches to schools in various states about the story of his son and the devastating effects of cyber-bullying among teens. Vermont enacted a Bullying Prevention Policy Law in May 2004 and later adopted a Suicide Prevention Law (Act 114) in 2005, closely following a draft submitted by Halligan's father. The law provides measures to assist teachers and others to recognize and respond to depression and suicide risks among teens. Halligan's case has also been cited by legislators in other states proposing legislation to curb cyber-bullying.

Halligan's story was featured on a Frontline television program entitled "Growing Up Online", produced in January 2008, by WGBH-TV and distributed nationwide over PBS. In it, his father recounts his shock upon discovering the extent of the abuse his son endured, saying he believes that bullying on the internet "amplified and accelerated the hurt and pain he was trying to deal with, that started in the real world." Halligan's story has also been featured on Oprah in a report they did on a rise in homophobic teasing in schools. In addition, he presented his powerful assembly to many schools across the country.

The Shocking Truth Of What Causes Addiction

By Dylan Harper

What is Really Behind Addiction? Ever notice how frequently the word “addict” is used? Just do a Google News search on the word and you’ll be shocked at just how often it’s used in a headline. Articles are plastered with mentions of drug addicts, sex addicts, gambling addicts, food addicts, shopping addicts, work addicts and internet addicts. “These people” are painted as out-of-control and often menaces to society who need to be stopped, jailed, medicated or otherwise cut off. But what if those diseased people weren’t sick at all? What if you suddenly realized you were one of them? Well, that’s what happened to me. In preparation for this podcast, I realized I’m an addict. I’m an addict who comes from other addicts, who has passed it onto my kids, too. I’m constantly looking for a way to not be with myself, a way to avoid the pain that I have, of not having meaningful bonds.

A Different Way of Looking at Addiction Physician and best-selling author, Gabor Maté, shares the shocking truth about what causes addiction and the things we can do to address the problem. What’s cool about Gabor is that he avoids quick-fix thinking when he tackles things like addiction, ADHD, sickness and the human spirit overall. Rather, he shines lights on the often uncomfortable truths that live at the root of these things. Born in Hungary, Gabor survived the Holocaust, became a doctor and worked for over 20 years with patients with hard-core drug addictions, mental illness and HIV before writing In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, When the Body Says No, Scattered Minds, and Hold on to Your Kids (you can learn more on his website

Our brief but information-packed conversation even helped me understand why I love podcasting. These conversations are sort of accelerated intimacy that create quick bonds with each person I talk to and anything that helps me bond, lessens the painful void I have from having that very thing growing up. I remember hearing somewhere that the purpose of life is to create meaningful connections with others. After this conversation with Gabor, I know you’ll have a new point of view of exactly why that’s so important and how and why we as individuals, families and cultures have strayed so far from it.

Published on Oct 9, 2012

Canadian physician Gabor Maté is a specialist in terminal illnesses, chemical dependents, and HIV positive patients. Dr. Maté is a renowned author of books and columnist known for his knowledge about attention deficit disorder, stress, chronic illness and parental relations. His theme at TEDxRio+20 was addiction -- from drugs to power. From the lack of love to the desire to escape oneself, from susceptibility of the being to interior power -- nothing escapes. And he risks a generic and generous prescription: "Find your nature and be nice to yourself." Dylan Harper Dylan is a 32-year-old surfer from California. He traveled the world, rode the waves and learned the universal concept of oneness. He is a vegan for over a decade and, literally, wouldn't hurt a fly. He was reunited with his twin soul in Greece, where they got married and settled... for now. Dylan is a staff writer for and teaches surfing to children.

EST. 2005


Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children

Gross Motor and Fine Motor Skills are an important part of a child’s development. Understanding what those terms mean is very important and key to your child’s successful progression. Jungle Gyms are Internationally recognised by occupational therapists as the best form of developmental play structure for young children. Gross Motor Skills are defined as movements of the large muscles in the body such as the arm and leg muscles. These types of movements are easier for children to control and usually develop far faster than fine motor skills. Some of the movements that are considered gross motor movements are: • Running • Walking • Swinging • Sliding • Skipping • Climbing (over complex structures, obstacles and up ladders) • Crawling (vertical and horizontal) • Rope Climbing • Jumping • General Adventure Play …to name just a few.

You can help your child develop these skills by providing activities that encourage large muscle movement. Encourage them to climb (Jungle Gyms are ideal) and be active in a safe environment where they can run or walk and generally move their little bodies around in a busy kind of way. If your child is younger, encourage them to roll over, sit-up, to crawl or walk is also a great way to help develop gross motor skills. Fine Motor Skills are movements of the small muscles in the body such as hands and fingers. These are the most challenging skills for children to develop because in order to develop fine motor skills, you have to have developed good control over your body. Young children do not tend to have as many fine motor skills as gross motor. Some of the movements that are considered fine motor movements are: • • • • •

Writing Pointing Grasping Holding and Reaching.

Fine motor skills can be very hard for children to learn because they require a lot of control. Some of the first fine motor skills you can help your young child to learn can be helped by encouraging them to reach for objects. You will see a lot of baby toys that dangle down over the baby. This is because it is meant to attract the child to reach for things. While they are sitting in a high chair placing small objects for them to reach for is a great way to stimulate movement. Older children develop fine motor skills by writing, drawing, painting, putting puzzles together, etc. You will notice as children get older, their toys get smaller and this is primarily because they can manipulate objects with more ease. When working with your child on either gross or fine motor skills, it is important to keep in mind that each child is different. Your doctor will be able to tell you what benchmarks they should be attaining and at what age. Giving your child something that is too hard for them to do will only cause frustration in the child and they will become uninterested. You would want activities that are challenging but not impossible. This is why play is so important for a child! You can help your child develop these skills by providing activities that encourage large muscle movement. Having small things they can climb, a safe place where they can run or walk and even trips to the playground are great ideas. If your child is younger, encouraging them to roll over, sit-up, to crawl or walk is great ways to help develop gross motor skills. That is why it is important that even a baby isn’t in a baby chair all day or in a swing. Letting them learn and stimulating movement is important for their muscles to strengthen as well.

“Experience childhood as it was meant to be... Outside in the garden, getting exercise and having fun!”

Conscious Life Magazine

Potato Pancakes Potato Pancakes

Baking potatoes, often called russet or Idaho potatoes, make the best potato pancakes. Potato pancakes are a perfect example of how a few simple ingredients can make a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serves 4 - 6.

Ingredients •

• • • • • • • •

3 baking potatoes Peeled (about 4½ cups grated potatoes) 1 green onion thinly sliced 2 eggs beaten ¾tsp salt ¾cup whole wheat flour ¼tsp freshly ground black pepper 1tbsp vegetable oil Additional vegetable oil for cooking 1cup sour cream (optional)

Instructions Grate peeled potatoes directly into a bowl of water. Transfer the grated potatoes into a colander and press them to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. Add the flour, whisking to combine. Add the potatoes and sliced green onion and mix well. Heat a skillet over high heat. Spread a small amount of oil evenly over the surface. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture to form each potato pancake. Flatten the pancakes with a spatula and cook until dark golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Serve immediately topped with applesauce and sour cream, if using.

Breadsticks Breadsticks It is believed that breadsticks were first made in medieval times. The Italian word for breadsticks is grissini. These crispy breadsticks are fun and easy to make. Makes 32 breadsticks. Course Side Dish



• • • • •

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let sit for 2 minutes, until the yeast is dissolved. Add the olive oil, honey, rosemary or peppercorns, salt, and whole wheat flour, stirring well. Add the white flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until a stiff dough forms. On a clean, lightly floured work surface knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth.

• • •

1¼cups warm water 2tsp baking yeast 2tbsp olive oil 1tbsp honey 1tsp dried rosemary or ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns 1cup whole wheat flour 2½ cups white flour Additional olive oil and kosher salt

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a circle about 3 inches in diameter. Now divide each piece into 4 equal pieces. You will have 32 pieces in all. Roll each piece of dough into a cylinder about 8 inches long and place on baking sheet. Lightly brush the breadsticks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt as desired. Bake the breadsticks for about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once during the baking, until lightly browned and almost crisp. Let the breadsticks cool before serving.

Sugar- and Flour-Free Chocolate Brownies This is such an unexpected way to add healthy fibre and minerals to your sweet treat! Don’t tell your kids the secret ingredient – let them wonder! Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups raw cacao nibs 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained ¼ cup raw cacao powder 2 eggs 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted ¼ t cinnamon 2 t vanilla extract ¼ t Himalayan rock salt ½ t baking powder 1 t instant coffee 1 T xylitol / granulated stevia


Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour onto parchment paper in baking dish and smooth out batter to edges of dish. Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out perfectly clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove by holding edges of parchment paper and lifting out. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool before slicing on a cutting board.

Green Popsicles for Kids Sneak in some greens with this delicious recipe: your kids will be none the wiser. Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas 1 medium pineapple 2 cups spinach 2 T chia seeds (optional – these simply improve the gelatinous texture of the lolly) Approx. 1 cup water


Blend all ingredients, adding in water until you get your desired consistency, Pour into molds and freeze. Easy, huh!

Having a selection of snacks ready and available for the kids when they come home from school can be an effective way of saving time during the busy weekdays. If your family is stuck in a snack rut, it may be time to try mixing things up a bit by adding some more variety. This list contains enough snack ideas for 10 days or 2 full weeks of school without repeating the same snack twice. Get the full list here.

"I'm scared I'll forget you..." From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help in the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved - a friend, family member, or even a pet. A parent guide in the back includes information on helping children manage the complex and difficult emotions they feel when they lose someone they love, as well as suggestions on how to create their own memory box. The Memory Box is a 2017 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards winner--a contest intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading.

The reds, the yellows, and the blues all think they're the best in this vibrant, thought-provoking picture book from Arree Chung, with a message of acceptance and unity. In the beginning, there were three colors . . . Reds, Yellows, and Blues. All special in their own ways, all living in harmony―until one day, a Red says "Reds are the best!" and starts a color kerfuffle. When the colors decide to separate, is there anything that can change their minds? A Yellow, a Blue, and a never-before-seen color might just save the day in this inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences.

Conscious Life Magazine

A strong appeal from the owner of Vondis By Paul Jacobson

Education is the path to enlightenment and with enlightenment we can derive at the correct and informed decisions. I have no doubt that most consumers, nowadays, acknowledge the benefits that are derived from a healthy life style. I have no doubt that we all understand that a wholesome diet, preferably organic, has a major impact on well being, health and longevity. The conscientious shopper also now looks for grooming products and remedies that are free from chemicals and poisons. I also have no doubt that with the enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act, we have become more familiar with understanding product labels and we have become more vigilant when it comes to accepting some of the dubious ingredients that are listed therein. Yet, and this seriously confuses me, when it comes to caring for our dear beloved companion animals we do NOT apply the same and equal health principles. Is this because the naming of this living being, “cat and dog” is so dry and insensitive? Does it not evoke emotion and passion? Worldwide pet guardians are referring to their animals as “beloved companions”, “members of the family”, “fury children”, “our babies”. Perhaps then, the treatment of our animals will be no different to the way that we look after ourselves and that the same principles of healthy living that we strive for, will apply to our “fury friends”.

Yet, for now:  We are throwing food in a bowl that is highly preserved, that sits unaffected in it packaging for 24 months. This despite us understanding the inherent negativities of preservatives.  We are feeding a diet that is highly processed and is exposed to cooking temperatures reaching 200 degrees. This, even though we know that vitamins, minerals and protein structures are denatured when exposed to heat.  Despite us following various diets, Prof Tim Noakes, Paleo, Atkinson’s, etc which all warn against refined carbs, when it comes to feeding our pets we throw down dried food that is mainly carbs. We know refined carb are acidic in nature and likely to affect skin allergies and arthritis and yet we still persist.  We are feeding a dry diet that is devoid of moisture, even though our cats and dogs are struggling with renal and bladder complications.

 We have forgotten how we used to bond with our parents at the dinner table, enjoying moms favorite spaghetti bolognaise, Indian curry, tomato bolognaise. Now we throw down food for our pets without love and attentions and yet we still expect respect and good behavior.  We are even applying flea poisons despite the warning on the packaging that this could be extremely harmful if comes in contact with your skin and that it is advised not to pat your “furry friends” for 48 hours. This despite the fact that after reading the labeling we understand that the active ingredients are a harmful poison.

Now if our companion animals were in prime condition and not struggling with skin aliments, digestive issues, cancer, diabetes, renal complications, arthritis, obesity, heart decease, epilepsy and behavioral issues, then perhaps there would be no need to write this editorial piece. The reality is that almost every pet is struggling with an array of human ailments and that longevity has been reduced. Changing your own life style and diet is always difficult. It is even harder when one has to make changes that affect the well – being of your companion animals. I believe that the psychological terminology for this conflict of change is called “cognitive dissonance”. However, it is necessary, ethical and fair and in deriving at the correct decision and enlightenment, the responsible consumer and pet guardian should apply these three basic mediums: 1.

midst all the marketing jargon one should apply logic, common sense, intuition and gut feel.


there is a wealth of knowledge on the net and in printed material that it is inexcusable not to undertake the necessary research


in an environment when corporate have become zealous without consideration for the public nor environment, the responsible consumer must understand labeling and ingredients. You have the right to know!!

I have no doubt that for most we understand the principles of healthy living and the benefits derived there from. I therefore, have no doubt that if we deem our pets to be companions and members of our family and that we have applied the mediums above, then we MUST derive at the conclusion that “natural” in better than “unnatural”, that wholesome foods are better than processed and that “preservative and chemical free diets and remedies” are a better option than preserved and chemically based.


• • •

We are the zoo that comes to you, first hand encounters without the stress or hassle of organising expensive field trips. Close and personal encounters without the glass separating you from these vibrant exotic animals. Interactive learning where you don’t just watch a snake move, you feel a snake move, great for kinesthetic learning. The opportunity to speak face to face with experienced animal handlers. When visiting a zoo little time is often spent with the keepers, during our visit we are present to answer questions. Tailor made and customised experiences that best suit your learners in an environment that best suits you. An opportunity for students to learn about, the importance of wildlife conservation. Suitable for all age groups, book us for the day and we cater from Pre-primary, Primary and High Schools. OR

WHY not bring your picnic basket and visit our Parks for the day! • • •

Hartbeespoort Aquarium Chameleon Village Reptile & Conservation Park Bird Park

For additional information contact us on 012 253 5119 / 082 469 2979 or email us on


“Look into my eyes and you will see the same expressions of pain, despair, hunger, happiness and love that other little babies feel”. Many of us get hit by cars, shot with pellet guns and often watch our mothers die on the side of the road. Luckily for some of us we are rescued and end up in the care of Tracy, who takes us to Aunty Dr Kerry Eason in Durban for our injuries. Tracy is an angel to us, she cares for us and makes us feel better – we love her. We need all the same things that human babies need like bottles to feed us warm milk, blankets and other baby items.

Tracy Rowles This amazing woman dedicates all her time to the rescue and rehabilitation of vervet monkeys on the KZN coast, in and around the Umkomaas area. She is on call 24/7, caring for the injured babies and often the older monkeys. She sees the horror of what these animals go through when they are injured – she also feels the joy when her little monkeys get well again.

Its all about saving furry babies

Umsizi Umkomaas Vervet Rescue Centre

Watch Tommy get his balance!

CONTACT DETAILS Tracy Rowles Mobile: 072 883 5119 Email:

ADOPTING A BABA Would anyone like to be Tommy's Adoptive mommy and support his care and feedings. R200 per month and you get a certificate, visiting rights as well as tagged in all his photos and updates. He is our first orphan of the season this year and after a traumatic past he needs all the milk and spoils of nice toys and blankets to keep him a happy baba. There will be lots more babies up for adoption.

An Invitation to a Baby Shower with a difference "You are cordially invited to Umsizi's Vervet Rescue's baby shower. We at Umsizi are throwing a baby shower to try get together all our needed items before the little ones start arriving so that we can offer, not only all our love and attention, but the best possible care and enrichment for these traumatized little souls. With their mothers gone forever they need all the light and joy we can give and we need the your help to do that To donate your items you can deposit in our bank the amount chosen with a list of the items you want to see purchased. Any left over money will go towards monkey food of course. You may also drop off donations at Scottborough Vet or directly at Umsizi, just please phone Tracy to arrange before arriving. You can follow our progress on Facebook as to how the basket is filling up, and also meet our new babies.

Bank Details and a list of items and prices are below: Bank: FNB (non profit) Chq Acc No: 624 987 321 58 Branch Code: 250 655 Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ

Items Needed: Price list: Small Lactogen 1 R 160 Large Lactogen 1 R 280 Porridge small R 30 Porridge large R 60 Fluffy blankets R 50 Towels R40 Toys R 10 and up Wet wipes R 35 Bottles R 36 (Available at vet) Meds R50 and up

Thanks so much to all our supporters . Tracy is working really hard to make a difference for these guys - let’s help as much as we can!

with much appreciation to our advertisers, contributors, endorsers and our readers namaste

Profile for 2luni & Vinloco Media

Positive Parenting Free Online Magazine Edition 52, April 2019  

Life as an Autism Mom; The Truth About Addiction; How To Raise a Low Media Child Without Going Insane; and much more. Click on the cover to...

Positive Parenting Free Online Magazine Edition 52, April 2019  

Life as an Autism Mom; The Truth About Addiction; How To Raise a Low Media Child Without Going Insane; and much more. Click on the cover to...