Friday, December 15, 2023

Response Video: DFBGuide - The Truth about Disney's Huge Money Maker - Disney Vacation Club

 The Truth about Disney's Huge Money Maker - Disney Vacation Club

Hey guys, Juan here with The Cost of Autism.  Now don't get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE AJ's Disney's Food Blog, but when I looked at her video about the Disney Vacation Club or DVC for short, it left me with the impression that the Disney Vacation Club is not really for everyone and is way too expensive.  

I have a very different take on this and if you give me a moment, I think I can show you that in reality it's actually the opposite.  DVC is really for people who LOVE going to Disney, especially Disney World here in Florida and want to SAVE money, while going to the very BEST resorts Disney has to offer.

My son Jonathan, who is now 19 years old is Non-Verbal Autistic and like practically any child ABSOLUTELY loves going to Disney.  Everything from the rooms to the pools to the parks, rides and roller coasters, they are ALL his favorites.  You never see Jonathan smiling more than when he's at Disney World.  Because of this I wanted to try to find a way to be able to afford to take him as much as possible.  One of the things we do is to get a Pixie Dust pass, which of course isn't good on the weekends or any other busy day such as Holidays and Spring Break, but for us honestly this is BETTER because it forces us to go only on days that are slower.  Like most Autistic children, Jonathan may have good days and he may have bad days where we can't really go to the parks,  so if that's the case we want to stay in a room that has a full kitchen and is more like a home than a hotel room.  Also if there's an issue in the middle of the day, we'd like to EASILY go back to our room, without fighting traffic.  That's where DVC really makes it special for us.

So according to AJ, the minimum cost to get into DVC is over $30K and you won't see any savings for 7 to 10 years, and while she does touch on the fact that you can buy DVC on the resale market, she doesn't really make it clear that this can REALLY save you a ton of money.  I'd like to go through an exercise with you so you can see what the real cost is of a DVC membership today, if you're willing to take a look at the RESALE market.  I'd like to actually compare it in real time to getting the same accommodations from Disney or possibly some sort of Travel Agent.  So let's get started!

I put together a hypothetical situation to highlight the difference between getting a DVC resale contract and just booking a room via the Disney website.  While this is hypothetical, I'm going to use real contracts and real financing that as of today, Dec. 14, 2024 you can ACTUALLY get.  Let's just say that I want to plan for Jonathan's 20th birthday in Sept. of 2024 and I want to do it over at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  As I've stated before,  I don't like doing weekends, it's just too crowded so I'm going to plan for a Sunday Through Thursday trip.  Keep in mind that Sept is not only the lowest priced in dollars for Disney Hotel rooms, but it's also the lowest in POINTS COST, which is what you utilize when  you're a DVC member.  Additionally Friday and Saturday nights cost more in both Dollars OR points so the comparisons I'm making here carry over to pretty much any other month or day.  So when I looked up a 1 Bedroom Villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge in cash, it worked out to $3168.00 including Tax, but not including parking, for those 4 nights of Sunday through Thursday.  That works out to $792 per night.  With Disney, you can usually pay 1 night as a down payment then spread your payments out, but it must be paid in full within 30 days of the date of the reservation.

So how much would that room cost you if you booked it with points?  $30K up front?  No!  Let's first take a look at one of my favorite sites,, these guys are FANTASTIC and they aggregate the listings of around 8 different sites and growing.  By the way, I have ZERO affiliation with the sites I'm mentioning today, they're just sites that  I love to utilize.

I looked up the cheapest Animal Kingdom DVC I could find and found one with 100 points at $107 per point or $10,700.  I'm looking for the lowest cash out of pocket and I don't want to run my credit so there's two options, either Monera Financial or Vacation Club Loans.  If I then look at Monera Financial and get a quote, since Monera will do it with just 5% down, even with no credit check AND they'll finance some of the closing costs, it says I would only need $1,862.20 cash to close and that includes pre-paying the annual dues in advance for 2024.  Total payments for 12 years at 17.9% is $184.47 per month.

The same loan on Vacation Club Loans can only be financed for only 10 years, requires 15% down but in exchange the interest rate is almost 3% less.  So the total cash you would need to close is a bit higher at $2515.06, but then your monthly payment is just $119.69 AND it's 2 years LESS so you end up saving thousands in Interest.  Considering that you only have to pay $652.86 more and your monthly payment is $777.36  LESS PER YEAR, obviously Vacation Club Loans is the no brainer here. 

So utilizing the numbers from Vacation Club Loans, I put together a spreadsheet that shows your cost per point the first year and then your cost per point in subsequent years, assuming a historical 4.1% annualized increase in Dues at the Animal Kingdom Resort and a historical 4.8% increase in Hotel Prices.

So go ahead and click on my spreadsheet and let's look together.  It may surprise you to find that there actually 3 different ways you could book a 1BR Villa at Animal Kingdom Resorts.  Of course the most popular way is via Disney's website, but as you can see in 2024, that cost would be $3168.  A lower out of pocket way to book would be via Davids or another travel agent site.  The Advantage you generally have with booking direct via Disney is that you can cancel your reservation up to 5 days in advance without losing a penny and 4 days up to the day of the reservation only loses you a single night.  Davids and other travel agents or even agency's like Expedia and others let's you book at a discount but it's usually non-refundable. About the only site I've ever found where you could possibly get some value back is the DVC rental store.  But even with them, you're not getting money back they just allow you to change your reservation to something else and the amount they will give you back depends on how far in advance you cancel.

You guys can let me know if I need to dive deeper into any of these things and I'll put together another segment giving you the goods.

So if you're looking at the spreadsheet and you wanted to come along with me and not sure what to do, your choices are pretty clear.  If you're only doing a once in a lifetime trip, you go with Disney if you want the flexibility to cancel and get ALL your money back.  However, if you're willing gamble that you're not going to cancel and rent through Expedia, DVC Rental Store or Davids or another discount site.  However, if you've decided to stay in the Disney Bubble your next option would be to consider buying DVC.  So AJ already told you, that's going to be VERY expensive direct.  So should you consider a DVC resale contract?  Let me explain this spreadsheet.

As I've stated before, financing via Vacation Club Loans between the down payment, the dues and loan payments, it works out to almost $4K.  That's $2515.06, which includes the down payment and the Maintenance fees for the year, plus that 4K INCLUDES monthly payments of $119.69.  As for the savings, vs Disney it's actually $784 MORE.  VS the Travel Agents, it's like DOUBLE!  

Beginning the second year, you're ALREADY ahead of Disney, but it's going to take a few years to be ahead of booking through Agents.  Now I know what you're saying, well for that I'll just book through Agents, but here's the problem.  Sites like Expedia will SOMETIMES beat Disney, but very often if the demand is high enough their price ends up right around the same price as Disney or only slightly below.  There's no guarantee they'll always give you a good deal.  Especially if it's a room that's already sold out on Disney's site.  Sites like Davids and DVC Rental Store rent points from members and resell them to you.  This means there's usually a bit of a lag between you requesting a room and they actually booking it.  That lag time is usually 24-48 hours, and longer on weekends.  This means by the time you pay them for the room, it may be already booked by another member and you're out in the cold.  Especially hard to get rooms or hard to book times like spring break and Holidays.  Your BEST BET for getting the room you want is to own at that resort and book right at the 11 month booking window.  This way you're practically guaranteed that you get the room you want.  For those of you who say, "I don't plan that far in advance" ... Give me a break!  You don't know when your kids birthdays are, or when they have spring and summer break?

Clearly owning a resale contract after just a couple of years is MUCH better than annually booking via Disney's website.  However even when compared to the Travel Agents, there's a huge financial advantage to owning at DVC and that comes down to the Equity you're building.  If you're paying cash to either Disney or an Agency, that money you've spent is gone and has done nothing for you, other than your one time stay.  However when you own at DVC a portion of that monthly payment is going towards your principle so you end up owing less and less every year.  While the value of DVC has gone up by over 35% over the past decade, I've only included a 3% growth rate in my spreadsheet because we really don't know what the future holds.  But you know what, even at that modest growth rate, after just a few years you can see that you can end up selling your contract for thousands more than what you owe.  In essence actually PROFITING from your past vacations.  Obviously, once your loan is fully paid your cost per year is FAR LESS than either Disney OR the Agencies.  

One final huge advantage that you have with owning at DVC is that as AJ was explaining in her video, you can bank or borrow points to combine multiple years points into one big vacation, such as if you want to do a Family Reunion at a 3 Bedroom Grand Villa.  Additionally however, if you decide not to take a vacation for a year or more, you could also RENT your points, which usually more than covers the Annual Maintenance.  

Of course, there HAS to be a downside, why would people buy direct from Disney when they can get these resales so much cheaper?  Simple, what Disney has done is make it to where if you buy a resale today, you can't use it at any of their new properties.  Normally, if you buy at say Animal Kingdom Resorts DVC, you can go book only at Animal Kingdom Resort at 11 months ahead BUT, at 7 months out, you can also book at Old Key West, Boardwalk, Beach Club and any of the 14 Legacy DVC resorts.  By Legacy I mean the ones built before Riviera.  Any new DVC associations created after Riviera can't be used by a DVC resale.  If you happen to purchase a Riviera contract on the Resale market, it can ONLY be used at Riviera!  Additionally, there are other restrictions such as the inability to exchange points for Disney Hotels and Cruises, but those are very poor usages of points anyway.

That's all I have for today guys and thanks for joining us here at CostOfAutism.  I've recently started a Patreon Page for those of you who want to support what we're doing here.  Membership starts at just $3, 100% of which goes to Jonathan's Special Needs Trust or his ABLE account and of course you can cancel any time.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Creatine - A Strong New Hope for our Non-Verbal Kids


Research in Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes has found that certain people are born with the inability to transport Creatine, a byproduct of the ATP Metabolic Process, into their brains.  There are several different types of Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes or CCDS, with the majority of individuals with the subtype, "GAMT" deficiency have a behavior disorder that can include autistic behaviors and self-mutilation.  Another subtype, "SLC6A8" deficiency in males ranges from mild intellectual disability and speech delay to severe intellectual disability, seizures, and behavior disorder, all characteristics of Autism.  Females usually only suffer from the subtype "SLC6A8" deficiency may have learning and behavior problems.

Diagnosis / Testing.

Here's the best part, it's fairly easy to test your Autistic Child for CCDS with an MRI, which can then be confirmed with a blood test.


100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate
GAMT deficiency and the much rarer AGAT deficiency are treated with oral creatine monohydrate to increase cerebral creatine levels. Treatment of GAMT deficiency may also require supplementation of ornithine and dietary restriction of arginine. Unfortunately, in males with SLC6A8 deficiency creatine supplementation alone does not improve outcome (other than perhaps better muscle tone, for those suffering from low muscle tone) and does not result in increased cerebral creatine levels; likewise, high-dose L-arginine and L-glycine supplementation did not improve clinical or biochemical outcome. One female with intractable epilepsy responded to high-dose L-arginine and L-glycine supplementation with cessation of seizures.


Whether early treatment prevents disease manifestations is unknown; however, newborn sibs of individuals with AGAT or GAMT deficiency seem to benefit from early treatment.

For the full details of the NIH Article by Drs' Saadet Mercimek-Mahmutoglu, MD, FCCMG, Sylvia Stöckler-Ipsiroglu, MD, PhD, MBA,FRCPC, and Gajja S Salomons, PhD. click here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Published Study Verifies Andrew Wakefield’s Research on Autism – Again

Controversial Doctor and Autism Media Channel Director proven right - MMR Vaccine Causes Autism & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Two landmark events – a government concession in the US Vaccine Court, and a groundbreaking scientific paper – confirm that physician, scientist, and Autism Media Channel [AMC] Director, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.
In a recently published December 13, 2012 vaccine court ruling, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi, [i] whose parents described how “MMR vaccinations,” caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).”
Later the same month, the government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism. The cases follow similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling [ii], Bailey Banks [iii], Misty Hyatt [iv], Kienan Freeman [v], Valentino Bocca [vi], and Julia Grimes [vii]) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.
And today, scientists and physicians from Wake Forest University, New York, and Venezuela, reported findings that not only confirm the presence of intestinal disease in children with autism and intestinal symptoms, but also indicate that this disease may be novel. [viii] Using sophisticated laboratory methods Dr. Steve Walker and his colleagues endorsed Wakefield’s original findings by showing molecular changes in the children’s intestinal tissues that were highly distinctive and clearly abnormal.
From 1998 Dr. Wakefield discovered and reported intestinal disease in children with autism. [ix] Based upon the medical histories of the children he linked their disease and their autistic regression to the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR vaccine). He has since been subjected to relentless personal and professional attacks in the media, and from governments, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. In the wake of demonstrably false and highly damaging allegations of scientific fraud by British journalist Brian Deer and the British Medical Journal, Dr. Wakefield is pursuing defamation proceedings against them in Texas. [x]
While repeated studies from around the world confirmed Wakefield’s bowel disease in autistic children [xi] and his position that safety studies of the MMR are inadequate, [xii] Dr. Wakefield ’s career has been destroyed by false allegations.  Despite this he continues to work tirelessly to help solve the autism catastrophe.
The incidence of autism has rocketed to a risk of around 1 in 25 for children born today. Mean while governments, absent any explanation and fearing loss of public trust, continue to deny the vaccine autism connection despite the concessions in vaccine court.
Speaking from his home in Austin, Texas, Dr. Wakefield said, 
There can be very little doubt that vaccines can and do cause autism. In these children, the evidence for a n adverse reaction involving brain injury following the MMR that progresses to an autism diagnosis is compelling. It’s now a question of the body count. The parents’ story was right all along. Governments must stop playing with words while children continue to be damaged . My hope is that recognition of the intestinal disease in these children will lead to the relief of their suffering. This is long , long overdue .”
Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a best selling author, [xi] founder of the autism research non profit Strategic Autism Initiative (SAI), and Director of the Autism Media Channel.


[iv] Vaccine Case: An Exception Or A Precedent? February 11, 2009 3:20 PM CBS News By Sharyl Attkisson
[ix] Wakefield AJ. Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines – The Truth Behind a Tragedy. 2010. Skyhorse Publishing, NY, NY. Chapter 1, footnotes 1 & 4, p.20
[x] For Affidavits see
[xi] Wakefield AJ. Waging War on the Autistic Child. 2012 Skyhorse Publishing NY, NY. Chapter 2, footnotes 2 11, pp. 255 256
[xii] Jefferson T et al, Unintended events following immunization with MMR: a systematic review. Vaccine 21 (2003) 3954–3960
Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research:
  1. The Journal of Pediatrics November 1999; 135(5):559-63
  2. The Journal of Pediatrics 2000; 138(3): 366-372
  3. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003; 23(6): 504-517
  4. Journal of Neuroimmunology 2005 
  5. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 1993; 7: 97-103
  6. Pediatric Neurology 2003; 28(4): 1-3
  7. Neuropsychobiology 2005; 51:77-85
  8. The Journal of Pediatrics May 2005;146(5):605-10
  9. Autism Insights 2009; 1: 1-11
  10. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology February 2009; 23(2): 95-98
  11. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2009:21(3): 148-161
  12. Journal of Child Neurology June 29, 2009; 000:1-6
  13. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders March 2009;39(3):405-13
  14. Medical Hypotheses August 1998;51:133-144.
  15. Journal of Child Neurology July 2000; ;15(7):429-35
  16. Lancet. 1972;2:883–884.
  17. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia January-March 1971;1:48-62
  18. Journal of Pediatrics March 2001;138:366-372.
  19. Molecular Psychiatry 2002;7:375-382.
  20. American Journal of Gastroenterolgy April 2004;598-605.
  21. Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003;23:504-517.
  22. Neuroimmunology April 2006;173(1-2):126-34.
  23. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol Biol. Psychiatry December 30 2006;30:1472-1477.
  24. Clinical Infectious Diseases September 1 2002;35(Suppl 1):S6-S16
  25. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2004;70(11):6459-6465
  26. Journal of Medical Microbiology October 2005;54:987-991
  27. Archivos venezolanos de puericultura y pediatrĂ­a 2006; Vol 69 (1): 19-25.
  28. Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303

Vaccine Epidemicby Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland J.D.
Vaccine Epidemic bookcover New Published Study Verifies Andrew Wakefields Research on Autism   Again
 FREE Shipping Available!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

June 17, 2014
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old.
This image depicts the transmission electron micrograph of a cell mitochondrion.
Credit: Thomas Deerinck, NCMIR, UC San Diego
In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old.
The findings, published in the June 17, 2014 online issue of Translational Psychiatry, follow up on similar research published last year by senior author Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology, and colleagues.
Naviaux said the findings fit neatly with the idea that autism is caused by a multitude of interconnected factors: "Twenty percent of the known factors associated with autism are genetic, but most are not. It's wrong to think of genes and the environment as separate and independent factors. Genes and environmental factors interact. The net result of this interaction is metabolism."
Naviaux, who is co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego, said one of the universal symptoms of autism is metabolic disturbances. "Cells have a halo of metabolites (small molecules involved in metabolism, the set of chemical processes that maintain life) and nucleotides surrounding them. These create a sort of chemical glow that broadcasts the state of health of the cell."
Cells threatened or damaged by microbes, such as viruses or bacteria, or by physical forces or by chemicals, such as pollutants, react defensively, a part of the normal immune response, Naviaux said. Their membranes stiffen. Internal metabolic processes are altered, most notably mitochondria -- the cells' critical "power plants." And communications between cells are dramatically reduced. This is the "cell danger response," said Naviaux, and if it persists, the result can be lasting, diverse impairment. If it occurs during childhood, for example, neurodevelopment is delayed.
"Cells behave like countries at war," said Naviaux. "When a threat begins, they harden their borders. They don't trust their neighbors. But without constant communication with the outside, cells begin to function differently. In the case of neurons, it might be by making fewer or too many connections. One way to look at this related to autism is this: When cells stop talking to each other, children stop talking."
Naviaux and colleagues have focused on a cellular signaling system linked to both mitochondrial function and to the cell's innate immune function. Specifically, they have zeroed in on the role of nucleotides like adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and other signaling mitokines -- molecules generated by distressed mitochondria. These mitokines have separate metabolic functions outside of the cell where they bind to and regulate receptors present on every cell of the body. Nineteen types of so-called purinergic receptors are known to be stimulated by these extracellular nucleotides, and the receptors are known to control a broad range of biological characteristics with relevance to autism, such as impaired language and social skills.
In their latest work, Naviaux again tested the effect of suramin, a well-known inhibitor of purinergic signaling that was first synthesized in 1916 and is used to treat trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease. They found that suramin blocked the extracellular signaling pathway used by ATP and other mitokines in a mouse model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ending the cell danger response and related inflammation. Cells subsequently began behaving normally and autism-like behaviors and metabolism in the mice were corrected.
However, the biological and behavioral benefits of suramin were not permanent, nor preventive. A single dose remained effective in the mice for about five weeks, and then washed out. Moreover, suramin cannot be taken long-term since it can result in anemia and adrenal gland dysfunction.
Still, Naviaux said these and earlier findings are sufficiently encouraging to soon launch a small phase 1 clinical trial with children who have ASD. He expects the trial to begin later this year.
"Obviously correcting abnormalities in a mouse is a long way from a cure in humans, but we think this approach -- antipurinergic therapy -- is a new and fresh way to think about and address the challenge of autism.
"Our work doesn't contradict what others have discovered or done. It's another perspective. Our idea is that this kind of treatment -- eliminating a basic, underlying metabolic dysfunction -- removes a hurdle that might make other non-drug behavioral and developmental therapies of autism more effective. The discovery that a single dose of medicine can fundamentally reset metabolism for weeks means that newer and safer drugs might not need to be given chronically. Members of this new class of medicines might need to be given only intermittently during sensitive developmental windows to unblock metabolism and permit improved development in response to many kinds of behavioral and occupational therapies, and to natural play."
Co-authors are Jane C. Naviaux, Michael A. Schuchbauer and Susan B. Powell of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry; Kefeng Li and Lin Wang, UCSD Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center and UCSD Department of Medicine; and Victoria B. Risbrough, UCSD Department of Psychiatry and San Diego Veterans Affairs Center for Excellence in Stress and Mental Health.
Funding for this research came, in part, from the Jane Botsford Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (grant MH091407), the UCSD Christini Fund, the Wright Family Foundation and the It Takes Guts Foundation.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health SciencesNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. J C Naviaux, M A Schuchbauer, K Li, L Wang, V B Risbrough, S B Powell, R K Naviaux. Reversal of autism-like behaviors and metabolism in adult mice with single-dose antipurinergic therapyTranslational Psychiatry, 2014; 4 (6): e400 DOI: 10.1038/tp.2014.33

Cite This Page:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healing Spices for Autism

When I first started putting together some recipe's to make my son's foods that he could actually stomach, I paid very close attention to the spices I was using.  I realized that certain spices like Black Pepper, didn't agree with him and usually caused him discomfort, so I read as much as I could about all the other spices I was finding in the Recipe's I was choosing to for him, and low and behold to my surprise, not only were some of the spices I found better for him in that they calmed his stomach, they actually have healing properties.
Here's a list of some of the spices that I've started using for my son, along with their healthful properties.
Health Benefits: Balances Blood Sugar and preliminary results from test tube and animal studies suggest that cinnamon oil and cinnamon extract have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties.  Candida is a Fungus that normally inhabits all humans, but in kids like ours that rarely have balanced diets, candida can easily flare up out of control, especially those on high sugar diets. Study after study has shown that cinnamon can play a role in the everyday management of blood sugar (glucose) levels and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.  
As an example of the effectiveness of Cinnamon, in a recent U.S. study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 109 people with type 2 diabetes were divided into two groups, with one receiving 1 gram of cinnamon a day and one receiving a placebo. After three months, those taking the cinnamon had a 0.83 percent decrease in their A1C, a measure of blood sugar. (Seven percent or less means the diabetes is controlled, and a decrease between 0.5 and 1.0 percent is considered a significant improvement.) Those taking the placebo had only a 0.37 percent decrease in A1C blood-sugar levels.
Cinnamon May also help prevent and treat:
Cancer, cholesterol problems, food poisoning, heart disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, stroke, ulcer, vaginal yeast infection, wounds.
How to buy cinnamon:
Ground cinnamon begins to fade in flavor after a few months, so it’s best to buy whole cinnamon quills (or sticks) and grind as needed. The quills are somewhat tough, so you’ll need a sturdy spice grinder or fine grater.

Turmeric and Curcumin 
Health Benefits: Reduces Inflammation!  Inflammation is a huge issue with kids with Autism.  Studies have shown that kids with Autism have larger brains than normal and many physicians believe that this is caused by inflammation, so anything that can help reduce inflammation will help children with Autism.  Curcumin also helps with the cure and prevention of Cancer and reducing Candida outbreaks.
Turmeric is widely used in India, in just about every dish the populace prepares.  Researchers, have observed that the incidence of chronic illnesses among people in India is significantly lower than in most Western countries, especially the United States.  The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin, but they can be bought separately and have different characteristics to bring to the spice table.
The best part about Curcumin is that it's even more powerful than drugs like Advil or even prescription medications in reducing inflammation (thereby reducing pain), without the nasty side effect of killing your liver!
May also help prevent and treat:
Acne, allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer, cholesterol problems, colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), cystic fibrosis, depression, dermatitis, type 2 diabetes, eczema, eye infection, flatulence, gallbladder disease, gout, gum disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, itching, liver disease, macular degeneration, obesity, pain, Parkinson’s disease, pollution side effects, psoriasis, rash, scleroderma, stroke, wounds.
How to buy turmeric:
If possible, I recommend buying turmeric from Alleppey, since it has nearly twice the curcumin of Turmeric sourced anywhere else.
Health Benefits: Eases Digestive Discomfort
People often confuse coriander with cilantro, but while Cilantro comes from the strongly scented leaves of the coriander plant, The spice coriander comes from the seeds of the plan. The seed also contains linalool and geranyl acetate, which are powerful antioxidants. They’re the secret behind many of coriander’s powers, including its ability to soothe digestive ailments.
May also help prevent and treat:
Bloating, cholesterol problems, colic, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, diarrhea, eczema, flatulence, high blood pressure, IBS, indigestion, insomnia, lead poisoning, liver disease, psoriasis, rosacea, stomachache, ulcer, vaginal yeast infection.
How to buy coriander:
Coriander seeds come in two main varieties: European coriander — which accounts for the majority of the U.S. market — is spherical in shape and more flavorful because of its higher concentration of volatile oils. Indian coriander is more egg-shaped and contains some oils not found in European coriander, resulting in a more lemony scent. Both are pretty interchangeable in cooking. Coriander is also sold powdered, but it’s best to buy whole seeds, as the oils dissipate after a few months once ground.
Fennel Seed
Health Benefits: Calms Colic in Baby's along with Menstrual Cramps
Fennel has also been shown to calm colic in babies. In a study, doctors treated 125 infants with colic, dividing them into one group that received a product containing fennel seed oil and one that received a placebo. The fennel seed product eliminated colic in 65 percent of the babies given it, compared with 24 percent of the placebo group.  We all know that with our kids, they're often suffering from one stomach ailment after another and anything that can help them out, while adding a nice licorice like flavor has to be good!
May also help prevent and treat:
Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), dementia, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, unwanted hair growth in women and stroke.
How to buy fennel seed:
Fennel seeds are sold whole or ground. Whole fennel seeds are yellow and tinged with green, which indicates top quality. Ground fennel starts to lose its flavor after six months, while whole fennel seeds keep for three years, so it’s best to buy whole and grind as needed.
Health Benefits: Quiets Queasiness
For thousands of years, traditional healers worldwide have turned to ginger to help ease nausea of all kinds. For the past few decades, scientists have been proving that ginger works.
A team of gastroenterologists from the University of Michigan and National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan decided to study the effects of using ginger on 13 people with a history of motion sickness. To do so, they asked the people to sit in a spinning chair. They all became nauseated. When the volunteers took 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of ginger before they sat in the chair, it took them longer to develop nausea, and the nausea was also less intense. (Both doses worked equally well.)
In their study, the researchers also measured blood levels of vasopressin, a key hormone they theorized might play a role in nausea from motion sickness. They found ginger limited the release of vasopressin. The researchers also measured electrical activity in the stomach during the spinning and found that ginger kept the activity “relatively stable” as compared with “chaotic” activity without the spice.
May also help prevent and treat:
Arthritis, asthma, cancer, cholesterol problems, heart attack, heartburn, indigestion, migraine, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, stroke, elevated triglycerides.
How to buy ginger:
Opt for fresh gingerroot over the dried, ground stuff, which has a less enticing aroma and far less zip. When buying fresh gingerroot, look for knobs (called “hands”) that are firm with smooth skin. Store fresh, peeled ginger in a paper bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep for two weeks. You can also keep unpeeled ginger indefinitely by freezing it in a freezer bag.
I've just touched the tip of the iceberg here, there are literally dozens of other spices and foods that can help out with ailments, just look around, keep an open mind and enjoy the new flavors in your life!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Jump Zone Autism Play Date

Jump Zone Autism Play Date
March 11th 3PM to 7PM
  • Come Join FAN for a fun-filled JUMPING afternoon in a safe, accepting environment!
  • Kids ages 2-12 are welcome to jump!
  • Jump Zone is offering our kids a discounted price of just $5.00 per child for this event.
  • Kids don't forget your socks!
Jump Zone Sunrise
(954) 703-1330
10064 W. Oakland Park Blvd
Sunrise, FL 33351

Please RSVP to, as Jump Zone will add a staff member for every 20 children attending!  Parents must remain onsite to supervise their children.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FREE CARD soccer clinics

CARD, along with Tire Choice and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, are sponsoring a second soccer clinic FREE for families registered with CARD. The clinics will take place from 10AM-12PM on March 22 and March 29th, 2014 at Christ Church, 4845 NE 25th Ave. Ft. Lauderdale FL 33308

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vegan Soy Free Pizza Cakes

Lately my son has been having some issues that were very similar to back when he was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis.  In other words, I think he's starting to get ulcers again.  I'm partly to blame I've been adding so many new foods to his diet, and there's a possibility that he's reacting badly to some of those foods, so I decided to try more Vegan Soy free stuff.  (Since in addition to being allergic to Milk & Eggs, he's also Allergic to Soy and has low tolerance for Peanuts.

I was looking around the Internet for some inspiration and came across these Pizza Bites, but after making them they seem more to me like Pizza Cakes, hence the name of the Post.  At any rate, I modified the recipe a bit to fit Jonathan's needs.
  • 2 Cups Grated Cauliflower (washed, dried and grated using a food processor or cheese grater by hand until rice-like or thinner – Note – Approximately one head of cauliflower)
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Parsley
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 Flax Egg (1 Tbsp Flaxseed plus 1 Tsp of Egg Replacer and 3 Tbsp Warm Water)
  • 2 Tbsp of Earths Best Soy Free Margarine
  • 1 Cup Chickpeas (Cooked and Drained)
Your first step in this process is to Grind up the Flaxseed.  (I found it easiest to first mix it with the Egg Replacer and Water, then grind it up (I used my wife's RX mixer).

Your second step is to grate the parsley into something that looks like Rice. (Think I'll make Cauliflower "Fried Rice" for Dinner tonight)

Your  Next Step is to take all the ingredients and mix it all in the Blender.
Here, I mix it in High Speed, then normally you would have to remove the mix and mix thoroughly with the Cauliflower, but in my case, with the Ninja, I simply add the rest and blend at Low Speed.
Your Next Step is to put the mix in a muffin tin, sprayed with a good cooking spray.  Make sure you pack it in.  (I had originally filled in Six, but after packing in and scraping off the top, I filled in another two).

The Final Result is what you see on the first picture on this page.  Bon Appetite!  And guess, what Even my Pickiest Eater, Jonathan ate them!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Disney To End Guest Assistance Card

One of the things that I keep hearing and seeing on Facebook and other Social Media sites, is that they've called Walt Disney World and they're being told that nothing has changed.  The reason is simple.  For now, the GAC Card is only changing at DisneyLand and Great Adventure, both in California.  The fear is that if we don't stand up now and make sure that Disney understands that this is unacceptable, they will eventually implement these same changes at Walt Disney World here in Florida. found this article that explains everything, but the long and short of it is that you should go to the Petition Page and PLEASE SIGN IT.
If your family is anything like mine and you’ve visited the Disney Parks here in Anaheim, you’ve more than likely used the Guest Assistance Card program available at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.  This program has been a major lifesaver whenever we’ve taken our special needs son Andrew to DL or DCA. Without it, we wouldn’t have lasted more than an hour before having to turn around and head back home in total defeat.
The card has been a game changer for our family and now, much to my chagrin, I’m sorry to report that it’s on it’s way out. I first learned of this disappointing news today, via Aunesty Janssen over at Temporary Tourist.
“Well Disney has done it, they have come up with they think to be a better system for Guests with disabilities.  I say think, because I can spot some immediate issues with it. “
My heart sank as I read the rest of Aunesty’s post. I quickly logged onto MiceAge’s Disneyland Updates to read the news myself and sure enough, there it was:
Guest Assistance Card will cease to exist on October 9th. In its place will be an entirely newprogram called the Disabled Assistance System (DAS). The DAS will work similarly to the “return passes” issued at popular rides like Star Tours 2.0 and Radiator Springs Racers, where currently a GAC holder gets a Fastpass-style return time hand written on a card based on the current Standby wait time. But with DAS, that concept will be rolled out to several dozen high-wait attractions in Anaheim.
“Instead of going to the actual ride to get a return card, a DAS holder will report to one of several Guest Relations kiosks that will be set up around the parks, with a current plan to have four kiosks in Disneyland (Fantasyland alone gets their own kiosk) and three kiosks in DCA. The DAS holder will present their card and tell the Guest Relations CM which attraction they want to ride, the CM will look at the current wait time via the official Disney Mobile Magic app on an iPad, and will then write out a return time for that attraction and subtract 10 or 15 minutes to make up for the travel time to and from the kiosk.
Only one ride reservation on a DAS card can be made at a time, so if the current wait for Space Mountain is 90 minutes and your return time is written for 75 minutes later, a DAS holder will not get another return time printed on their DAS until the first one has expired. A person with a DAS card could go and do anything else in the park in the meantime; watch a parade, see a show, have lunch, go on low-wait time attractions, pull a regular Fastpass for any other attraction, etc. But only one ride time can be reserved at a time with DAS, unlike the existing GAC which serves as basically an open Fastpass for any Fastpass lane in the park or an access card to go up the exit on any other type of attraction. The DAS changes that quite dramatically.”
In the meantime, let me count the ways that this new system won’t work for our family:
This is as good as it gets in line at DL or DCA. And this was a good day, with a Guest Assistance Pass.
This is as good as it gets in line at DL or DCA. And this was a good day, with a Guest Assistance Pass.
1. Andrew has autism. His particular brand of the diagnosis means he has zero tolerance for waiting. Crowds overwhelm him as do certain sights and sounds. The DAS program does nothing to address these needs. Are we working on waiting with Andrew in therapy? Sure. We’re up to about 10 seconds on a good day. And that’s waiting for something simple, such as watching a favorite video. At home. I cannot fathom Andrew having to wait longer than what’s already necessary with the Guest Assistance Card at either of the Disney parks. And the sensory overload while he’s in these lines or going from kiosk to kiosk. Dear God.
2. Andrew is severely cognitively delayed. When he sees Radiator Springs Racers, all he knows is“OMG! MY FAVORITE RIDE! OMG! OMG! OMG LET’S GO ON MY FAVORITE RIDE, WAIT WHY  AREN’T WE GOING ON MY FAVORITE RIDE?!!!!”He does not understand the concept of having to check in at a designated kiosk in order to get a designated time to return to his favorite ride on the planet, only to have to go back to another kiosk for another designated time for either the same or different ride. He certainly can’t comprehend why in the world we’ll have to spend the majority of our day walking between a bunch of stupid koisks just to get on a damn ride (can you see how well I’m taking this?).
3. Going to Disneyland is expensive. Over the years we’ve invested in the annual passes because we could justify them, knowing we were getting our money’s worth. The Guest Assistance Card made our visits possible. It was an accommodation we never took for granted and in exchange, we spent our hard-earned money at the parks. The Guest Assistant Card almost guaranteed that meltdowns would be minimal and rarely did we leave the park in turmoil. It was efficient and it made the rides accessible for our child in a way  the Disabled Assistance Pass will not. I’m not trying to #$%& on anyone’s parade here, but watching the parades may be the only thing we’ll be able to do when this thing is implemented. Which means we just won’t be going to Disneyland anymore. We could barely afford it before but now it won’t even be worth the scrimping and saving we have to do to walk through those entrance gates.
Listen, I’m not refuting that there are a lot of problems with the current system. I was enraged back in May when major media outlets broke the story of wealthy moms hiring disabled guides in order to benefit from the “perks” of the Guest Assistance Pass. Overhaul of the current program is necessary if such blatant and rampant fraud is ongoing. But I’m getting really tired of these rotten apples ruining it for the rest of us, especially when it comes to something as important as accessibility.
Maybe the Disabled Assistance Pass will benefit some people, and for them, I say hooray. But for families like mine, where the special needs of our loved ones are varied and require specific accommodations, this new system will be nothing short of a nightmare.
And that’s going to leave a whole lot of folks – myself included – pretty damn grumpy with The Happiest Place on Earth.
Andrew kisses the tractor at Radiator Springs in DCA.
Andrew kisses the tractor at Radiator Springs in DCA.
Interview with CBS Los Angeles:

UPDATE: There’s a gazillion conflicting reports on the internet so I want to go on record and say this: This post was written as a reaction and response to information I received from two different sources, both of which I link to in the beginning of this post. I WANT to be wrong. My family LOVES Disneyland. The reason I’m upset at these proposed changes is because if they are in fact going to be implemented, my family will no longer be able to enjoy the Disney parks like we have been over the years. If this turns out to be a crazy rumor, or if there is a new policy put in place that takes families like mine into consideration, I’ll be more than happy to eat crow. The end.
UPDATE: Aunesty Janssen of the Temporary Tourist, received an official statement from Disney today and she’s posted it on her site. Head over to see what Kathleen Prihoda, Manager for External Communications for Walt Disney World Resort told her. It’s at the bottom of her post.

Response Video: DFBGuide - The Truth about Disney's Huge Money Maker - Disney Vacation Club

 The Truth about Disney's Huge Money Maker - Disney Vacation Club Hey guys, Juan here with The Cost of Autism.  Now don't get me wro...