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One Way to Handle Holiday Temptation: Help an Autistic Child Instead!

Posted Oct 05 2011 10:35pm
With the holidays right around the corner, low carb folks will soon be talking about how to handle holiday temptation. The solution varies, depending on whom you talk too. Right now, we’re starting into the curve known as Halloween; that means candy, candied applies, donuts, spiced apple cider, and other holiday goodies.

Some of them can be given a low carb twist, sure, but let’s be honest: with all of the genetically-modified corn and soy running around these days, the high volume of wheat protein in low carb products, the dairy, and the high glycemic sugar alcohols in sugar free candies – diet twists aren’t necessarily more healthy than the high carb foods they’ve been designed to replace. Low carb junk, and low carb frankenfoods in particular, are still junk!

Now, if we’re serious about making low carb eating a lifestyle, we can’t cave into the coming holidays without getting lost in one holiday after another, one party after another, one excuse after another – or we’ll find ourselves, come January, a little bit heavier at best. And at worst? Back to where we were when we first started low carb dieting. Course, giving in to a treat or two won’t make you fat; but, I’m not talking about controlled, flexible dieting such as that described and recommended by common-sense folks like Lyle McDonald.

No…I’m talking about individuals who find their cravings ignite with a single cheat. One piece of Halloween candy, a little hard apple cider, a couple of bites of a sugary hot-and-cinnamon-y red candied apple, and they wake up the next morning face-down into the white-flour pancakes swimming in imitation maple syrup.

Okay, maybe you’re trying to control yourself with a stack of low carb pancakes and diet maple syrup, but still…most folks struggle to apply the brakes for days afterwards, if they allow themselves a free holiday meal or dessert.

I haven’t been as devoted to my Facebook account lately as I should be; partly because my health has been downright crappy this past year, and partly because I’ve been spending hours upon hours researching the medical possibilities. But I happened to be on there the other day, and noticed that David Berkowitz, president and founder of Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone Inc., had posted to my wall. (I’m talking about my personal Facebook account, not my author’s page.)   

I first met David on Twitter where he asked me if I ever wrote articles about autism companies, explaining what they were currently trying to do. So, I checked out his website, did a little bit of research on him, and he gave me an interview. The result was two articles for Suite 101:

They explain in detail who David is (an Aspie dad trying to raise three aspie sons), and what he’s trying to do with his recently formed company (get iPads and other forms of technology, music, and the arts into the hands of autistic kids whose parents can’t afford them). However, despite his good intentions and hundreds of hours of devotion and time put into trying to get his company into the air, he’s bucking a lot of wind.

As he said to me on my Facebook wall, he’s holding a Rubios fundraiser at all three of the Rubios in the Las Vegas – Henderson area on 10/21/2011. Those who live in that area, or plan to be in that area on the 21st of this month, can help support autism’s cause by downloading the pdf version of a fundraising flyer on his website, and then go to one of the three Rubios on the 21st to help support the cause.

For those who don’t live in the Vegas/Henderson area, they can easily make a donation through David’s website, Technewszone . Only, according to the post David made to my Facebook account, NO ONE has donated anything yet. So I was thinking… (yeah, I know that can be dangerous, but…)

Maybe, instead of cheating on our low-carb diet this holiday season, we can donate the money we would otherwise spend on illegal goodies (or even a portion of the legal ones) to help non-verbal autistic children get the iPads they need to learn how to communicate. It’s a fallacy that because many children with autism can’t talk, that it means they don’t know what’s going on. They do.

Autism is a brain malfunction that often leads to developmental delay and sensory issues, but these kids still have ears that work just fine. When given the opportunity to learn how to communicate through visual means like iPads, computers, picture cards, and sign language they can make dramatic, significant headway.

So think about it. We spend tons of money on the holidays. We decorate the house with holiday décor. We buy Halloween costumes, pick out giant turkeys, and spend hours in the kitchen whipping up tons of food for a 30-minute Thanksgiving dinner. We buy Christmas trees, Christmas and Hanukah cards, party fair, and make platefuls of cookies, candies, and other Christmas and Hanukah goodies. We buy new clothes. And yes, we buy presents.

So if you want to do something just a little bit different this year…why not give up all of those extra pounds of fat we all tend to put on during the holidays, and instead of over-indulging, why not find room in your heart to brighten up the life of an autistic child? It doesn’t have to be money. is about getting technology, music, and the arts into the hands of autistic children. They accept all sorts of non-monetary donations: Anything an autistic family may not be able to afford to buy, due to the high costs of therapy and specialty diets.

So check out my two Suite articles linked to above, think about adding the cause of autism to your holiday list, and then do something to help. As David’s website says, if everyone who visits this blog donated only 50 cents, then together we could bring a miracle into the life of an autistic child.
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