Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April 2 ,World Autism Awareness Day ! 1 of 150 kids has it or more ?

Unless someone like You cares a whole awful lot , nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~Dr. Seuss


First let me say Thank you for coming by to hopefully learn more about Autism. Please know I have found all of this information online trying to learn more myself about this Disorder .  Disorder not Disease! One thing I have learned is this is effecting more children than we know . I have seen stats saying 1 in 150 kids with be diagnosed to 1 in 110. I wonder how many will never Be diagnosed? Out of stupid shame or just plain ignorance ? 
This is some of the places I have learned from. Feel free to add comments to links of more places to learn. Peace

What is Autism?
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not
Otherwise Specified), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders.

How common is Autism?
Today, it is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism. Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually. There is not established explanation for this increase, although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered. Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism.

What causes Autism?
The simple answer is we don't know. The vast majority of cases of autism are idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown. 

Here is a link to a brochure that has a chart to see signs.

The more complex answer is that just as there are different levels of severity and combinations of symptoms in autism, there are probably multiple causes. The best scientific evidence available to us today points toward a potential for various combinations of factors causing autism – multiple genetic components that may cause autism on their own or possibly when combined with exposure to as yet undetermined environmental factors. Timing of exposure during the child's development (before, during or after birth) may also play a role in the development or final presentation of the disorder.

A small number of cases can be linked to genetic disorders such as Fragile X, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Angelman's Syndrome, as well as exposure to environmental agents such as infectious ones (maternal rubella or cytomegalovirus) or chemical ones (thalidomide or valproate) during pregnancy.

There is a growing interest among researchers about the role of the functions and regulation of the immune system in autism – both within the body and the brain. Piecemeal evidence over the past 30 years suggests that autism may involve inflammation in the central nervous system. There is also emerging evidence from animal studies that illustrates how the immune system can influence behaviors related to autism. Autism Speaks is working to extend awareness and investigation of potential immunological issues to researchers outside the field of autism as well as those within the autism research community.

taken from http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/index.php

here is a link to a blog from a Father of a child dealing with Autism .
I found this statement on his blog I thought should be repeated , read it then go visit his blog. 
One aspect of autism awareness events that puzzles me about autism awareness events is the extent to which they don't really raise awareness about the realities of autism disorders.  In many cases there will be no mention of the fact that autism disorders are exactly that ... disorders ... diagnostic categories listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.  As the father of  a son with Autistic Disorder and "profound developmental delays" .... intellectual disability .... I have long been annoyed by the persistent attempts to hide under euphemisms like "profound developmental delay" and under blurred professional terms like "co-morbidity" the obvious fact that Autistic Disorder is actually a form of intellectual disability.  I am not just talking about IQ test scores although I am not a member of  the trendy IQ scores don''t count crowd.  Serious functional impairment in daily life is a real characteristic of Autistic Disorder. 
Facing Autism in New Brunswick

Other ]laces to learn  about Autism, 


places that try to help ...
CAN-TR is the only equine-assisted riding program in Chatham County with NARHA-certified instructors and Physical Therapy that offers hippotherapy, therapeutic riding and mentoring to children and adults with special needs, in an inclusive setting when possible.
We work through a network of farms, which means that there's probably a CAN-TR riding program near you. It's easier than ever to bring the benefits of equine-assisted therapy to your child.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The luck of the 4 leaf clover

Since I was young I have always loved flowers . My Grandmother always had something growing in the small little trailer-home she had all winter and outside the rest of the year. She did not have the sense of smell ? She would have us grandchildren to tell her "what things Smelled like by thinking of a taste ! I remember " A rose was sweet like Juicy Fruit gum , the marigold was bitter like spinach ." 

Once in my early twenties, I lived in a big city and did not have a place to plant that Spring . I had some plants inside my apartment but nothing outside but tailored boxwood and grass. Tended by the landlord not allowing anything else.
I often walked down the railroad track behind the prison nearby, a shortcut to many places including the park. I often brought a bag to pick up trash to keep the area cleaner. After a while folks seemed to not throw so much there !! 
So by Spring I scattered seeds of wildflowers on the side of the path. I would buy seeds at the Woolworth's Store and walk the rails . They mowed there every Fall.
 The third year you could see the spread of wildflowers from one bridge to the next. Along with that I knew these seeds had also traveled the rails with the train as I had dreamed of doing sometimes!  
South End of John Frank's Layout
this is the way I sometimes image it to have looked like by now !
The Wildflower Garden on John Frank's Garden Railroad
This picture reminds me of the patches of flowers the 3rd year
I can't imagine not seeing flowers growing and 4 leaf clovers !
The clovers are truly the first thing I remember pressing.
Funny thing as many clovers as I have picked I have never  took pictures? had to borrow from Flickr

I remember finding one and being told it would bring me good luck and to put it in a book so I could keep it ! I lost it ? 
That was not good luck?
But I kept finding more and that was luck enough to me . I have found 100's in my day , some with as many as 7 leaves.
Well after finding many and hearing other people say they had never found one ?
I decided it would be nice to put them in 'other peoples' books , then that would bring them luck!!
I continued this though my twenties , sometimes spending an hour searching before going to the library . (Hint if You find one there is probably at least 1 more growing from the same stand!)

I remember lying on a blanket at one of my favorite spots to find them. I was going to see how many I could find without getting off the blanket... at one point I was stretched over the ground with one foot still touching the blanket trying to make 100! Then a shadow  came up over me and asked if I was Okay ? I guess I did look strange to the rest of the world crawling around on my belly looking for a four leaf clover ? You should have seen his face when he saw my basket of clovers !
not same basket (smile)
 Now I press everything I can and have recently realized I owe a lot  to the clovers. Yet I have very little here to be found?
So this year I am planting a patch of clover in my yard ! 

I have always tried to grow something where ever I have lived. 
I like the feel and the smell of dirt . I like seeing that first leaf or bloom  ! 

These are a few plants I started last fall and pressing all through the winter too!
I would rather walk through the woods than any Mall. 
I collect vines, wildflowers, mosses , mushrooms ,leaves , feathers and sometime bones. 

I also bring an extra bag to pick up trash from the woods , creeks plastic is awful it stays around forever and it is so dangerous for the animals .

and lost balloons . Yes lost balloons , I would not be scared to say I have retrieved 100 Mylar balloons in my days of hiking if not more.

  My middle son did a sit-in protest at his school when his 5th grade class sent balloons up with messages on them for a class project ! His idea not mine ! I was shocked when the teacher told me about it.
Then showed me the research he had found ,telling her he knew for a fact that they float to the woods because "We had found some on hikes and in the river fishing !" 
found this online

1st butterfly of the year !
Wishing you a wonderful Spring 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I made the International Philadelphia Flower Show Competition !

Well I did not make it to the flower show in Philadelphia but my work did! 
The Wall of  International Philadelphia Flower Show Competition
 I found this picture on http://mickiart.blogspot.com/
It has been a while since I have had any real creative mojo going on other than little projects for almost a year. 
I have pressed enough for me and many more yet created very little?
I have had some luck starting a blog honoring  
World Wide Pressers and Artist.
I am very proud of how well it it going , a new interview every week with a variety of artist.
As a lot of You know I belong to the wonderful Guild at
 World Wide Pressed Flower Guild .org 
Well some of us there started talking about the Philly Flower Show back in Oct or Nov . Who was going , who was entering etc.
Well one thing lead to another and I thought what better way to make myself get serious again about this art than to actually sign up for competition . I knew the spaces where limited so I decided to sign up for 2 hoping I may get 1 open spot since I signed up just days before deadline. 
Well I got both spots so I went for it ! Due in 2 months !!
The theme was "Spring in Paris " , and each class of pictures had a theme to go with it . 
The first one I did was called "LES FLEURS
 Create a scene containing a vase filled with flowers. A minimum of five different types of flowers must be incorporated into the art. Open only to exhibitors who have not won a blue ribbon in the Pressed Plant Classes of the Philadelphia International Flower Show prior to 2011.   
   Sounded easy enough till I got reading all the rules and realized I had a lot of flowers that may not pass ? 

I decided my goal this time was not to stress on competing with the others but to focus on making a piece worthy of competition !  I knew I could finally say I had entered and made it to the wall of the  International Philadelphia Flower Show !  
Well here is what I came up with ! You can click any of these pictures to make them bigger.
I can honestly say this is prettier in person 
The white dusty miller came from a Presser in Canada named Dee.  The table cloth was made from purple basil .
Everything else was pressed by me from our yard. 

Then for the second picture class was " Vin" 
Create a scene of with Wine as the main subject , vineyards or anything to do with wine! 
 This was fun and hard too. 

This is a close up so you can see the corkscrew and cork I made to fill space on the table, instead of a glass. I knew I should have taken that class at WWPFG 
Rose in a Glass
Creating a realistic transparent glass, a rose using birch bark, and lacy elements.
Instructor: Irina Orlova , I will order it soon at http://wwpfg.org/store/workshop

To see some the rules and a lot of the pics from the Philly Show,
You can visit Kate's blog ,she posted 4 blogs on this !!
at Kate's Pressed Flower Art 
also go by Micki's blog at http://mickiart.blogspot.com/ to see more too. 
Thanks for stopping by and please let me know what You think?
Peace and Happy pressing! 

here is the link to PFS rules too , tough job for the judges

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jungle Animals made with plant pressings

I made a little slide show I put together to show one of my latest creations . I tried to post it here but it did not work? grrr You can see the animals on separate on different backgrounds with music!
Jungle Movie For Blog
Ben's Jungle .

This was made for my newest grandson Benjamin Cooper .
But it has inspired me to continue making more animals and hopefully have a book of animals one day for all my grandchildren.

Feel free to show this to others but Please don't print or copy the images!

Let me know what You think.

Peace and thanks for stopping by!