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Adam Lanza and Asperger’s syndrome reports: Parents of children with syndrome worry about stigma

For Julie Shafer and her 10-year-old son, Caleb, a meticulous routine helps them maneuver through each day.

Wake up at 6 a.m. Leave for school exactly 95 minutes later. Spaghetti for dinner on Mondays. Hot dogs on Tuesdays.

The consistency comforts Caleb, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in March.

“The need for structure is huge in our lives,” Shafer, a single mother, said Wednesday. “He moves by his own clock and it helps him stay focused and at ease.”

In the days since the Dec. 14 deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Asperger’s has been thrust to the forefront because of reports about the 20-year-old gunman’s diagnosis with the autism spectrum disorder. Medical records have not confirmed it, though the discourse about the possibility the gunman had it has parents like Shafer concerned about the stigma the tragedy may bring to those who have Asperger’s.

Great Apps for New Year’s Resolutions

My heart is absolutely broken for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The unspeakable horror that has taken place is something no parent ever wants to spend a second preparing for. May God be with them and give them incredible grace during this heartbreaking time.

As we look to Christmas, it’s hard to imagine preparing for the new year already. Getting a head start on those obligatory “New Year’s Resolutions” will not only help you be more prepared to actually follow through, but will make them more meaningful as you take your time setting goals you can achieve.

Facing heavy odds, Thornton couple create educational children’s software program featuring healthy foods

Jennifer and Jonathan Fenske recently joined the long list of budding entrepreneurs that have hitched their wagon onto the digital gold rush otherwise known as the wide world of apps.

The Thornton residents, one an author and the other an artist, created an educational children’s software program that features healthy foods.

“A lot of the apps out there allow you to decorate a cupcake or a cookie, and we just thought there is an opening for having kids play with their food and play with fruits and vegetables,” said Jennifer, who has a day job in marketing for a Denver-based weight-loss company.

Denver’s Focus Points gets families active, educated

Finding a Zumba class in metro Denver is not difficult. But finding one that incorporates progress measurement, health lessons and day care with a nutrition curriculum for young children is unusual.

“Something we heard at the beginning of classes is, ‘Why is this class not offered every day?’ ” said Indira Galaviz, a family advocate, and program coordinator at Focus Points Family Resource Center.

The Active Families Program was created by the nonprofit as part of an effort to expand its work providing education to adults and their families.

Feeling grateful yet? Teenage poultry farmer dishes straight talk

Over the past year I have been trying to earn money. I have been doing this by helping plant a big garden and then selling lettuce and other vegetables that I raise at farmers markets.

I also have chickens and I sell eggs at a local dairy, farmers market, and from roadside signs telling people how to get to my house. I also sell live chickens and broilers.

People around me use words like “organic,” “farm fresh,” “local-food movement,” “free range” and “sustainability,” and

For the social athlete: Win an Apera Sports Bag worth $131

**CONTEST CLOSED**

Yeah, you need another bag.

Simple, sleek and uncomplicated, Apera’s new PureSport Sling Tote is my new go-to bag for the car with the kiddos. I know, it’s supposed to be a gym bag for the “social athlete” but it rocks for the car and children. With ample space for clothes, shoes, water bottles and easy-to-reach pockets for snacks, this bag stores all of my random necessities in an accessible location for the car.

What’s even better, the entire bag is antimicrobial, waterproof and comes with a small washable insert, extremely important for car trips when a rogue coffee spill might encounter the bag or a child’s juice cup with no lid. These things happen.

Working Mom vs. SAHM …and my modern-day superhero phonebooth.

Wise words by Christine Lagarde on the topic of career and motherhood resonated loudly with me recently. She explained, in a too often overlooked simplicity, the retort o’ day la touché of the ongoing – and ridiculous – debate of Working Mom vs. SAHM. Ms. Lagarde said, [brace yourseles]…

“We can’t have it all · ALL AT ONCE.”

It was the qualifier that really got me. We all know and somewhat understand the concept – we weigh opportunity costs daily, but to hear a successful, powerful, strong career woman AND MOM explain this profound notion so nonchalantly left me pondering. It’s kinda like Clark Kent and a phone booth. Now…where can I find a phone booth these days?

Wednesday Wellness with Leslie– Tips on stressing less and feeling more joy

Everyone has very full plates and activities have a way of just piling on. The effects of stress are harmful to your emotional and physical health (high blood pressure, digestive issues, heart disease), and it is your response to stress that makes all the difference. Some people are better equipped to deal with stress, while others simply give in to it. Which category do you feel like you are in?

I have definitely gotten better over the years, due to a lot of personal growth and development, but there is always room for improvement. I know when I am feeling maxed out I need to make some changes quickly. Everyone is going to encounter stress and stressful situations, it is how you react and respond that will differentiate the outcome. Do you have friends that seem to never stress out? They always keep it together and often seem to be calm and collected? They have probably fine-tuned techniques over the years that support them in handling stress more effectively.

Here are some tips to support you in dealing with stress in your life and avoiding emotional or physical ailment.

Fun activities and healthy snacks for your school’s Halloween party!

Once again, I am taking the easy way out.

Juice boxes.

That’s what I signed up to bring to my fifth grade daughter’s classroom Halloween party. In fact, this may be her last. They don’t dress up and eat treats in middle school, do they?

Anyway, more props to you if you are the mom or dad bringing snazzy treats and mind-bendingly creative craft and game ideas to your child’s classroom.

5 Healthy Halloween Tips

Halloween is just around the corner, which means this is the official start to the holiday sugar season.

The candy that our little Trick-or-Treaters accumulate on Halloween night and at Halloween parties is notorious for containing high amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This excess candy sugar can have direct correlations to weight gain, hyperactivity, and immune suppression to name a few.

I always tell people that healthy eating doesn’t have to equal deprivation; but when it comes to candy, the less you eat the better.

Here are some ideas to make this Halloween a bit more healthy: