Many Hats Mommy

live the Power of One


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Share Your Strength

Yup. The holiday season is here. Autism parents, rejoice! When most people look at the picture below, they have warm, fuzzy feelings. When we autism parents look at this picture, we think, “HA! A centerpiece on my table? Yeah, right. My child would dismantle that in ten seconds flat. Pumpkin pie? I’ll be lucky if she eats her traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. No way are you getting that texture past her lips!”, or whatever else comes to mind…

However, we do have things to be thankful for. I was mulling over some recent destruction in our home the other night, trying to come up with ways to avoid it in the future, and I remembered a discussion on our local support group’s Facebook page. Someone asked,

“How has autism made you better?”

Did you hear that record skip and slide? Birds or crickets chirping? Silence? Continue reading

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Remembering Veterans Day through Literature

I love historical fiction. My favorite era is World War II. I’m not quite sure why–maybe there’s the underlying theme of saving the world. Today we have a guest post from Tricia Goyer, an author who writes historical fiction, among other things. I found her through my new job with Home Educating Family (she writes in their magazine). I can’t wait to read some of her books!

Stories Inspired 

by Tricia Goyer

When researching for my first novel From Dust and Ashes, I heard the story of a group of prisoners at Mauthausen Concentration Camp that greeted American GIs by playing the United States’ national anthem. This one story became the building block for my second novel, Night Song. In my research, I also came upon another Nazi camp that not only held musicians within its walls, this camp was also used to fool the Red Cross. Continue reading


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Wednesday’s Woman–Heather Von St. James, Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor

Today’s Wednesday’s Woman approached me about something else for my blog. When I heard what she had to say, I decided she needed to be a Wednesday’s Woman! And now, here is Heather in her own words.

My Name is Heather Von St James. I am a mesothelioma cancer survivor. When I was just 36 years old, I was diagnosed with this killer.  Mesothelioma claims the lives of 90-95% of those who have it. I am one of the very few lucky ones to have beaten this disease. Continue reading


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Vaccine Injury Awareness Month: Update on John

Remember John from last week? I posted the beginning of his story. Today, on the last day of Vaccine Injury Awareness Month, his mom shares an update to let us know where he is, sixteen years later. (If you have not read John’s story, you should read Part One and Part Two first, so you can appreciate how far he has come.)

Cheryl has one last thing for you to know before you read her story. She says, “This year both a neurologist in one state and a developmental psychologist in another, without either consulting with the other, both said John was not autistic at all. Both agreed he had suffered a vaccine injury that resulted in brain swelling and encephalitis resulting in the loss of acquired skills, leaving him permanent brain damaged. What we see and deal with today is the result of that brain injury. It’s a victory to hear such, and yet still a stab in the heart.”  

Now grab a tissue and read how John has gone from where he was in Part One and Two to where he is today.

A couple of months ago my baby turned nineteen. This is the last year of his teen years and I am starting to realize, I am no longer thirty something. I think that for a long time, I have lived my life in a strange form of twilight nowhere land, waiting for my life to become normal again. I did that because I was waiting for John to be, well, John again.

You see, I see my son as two people. The child he was born to be and the child he became. John, was vaccine damaged as a tot and went from normal, speaking in complete 3-5 word sentences, asking and answering questions to a non-verbal, deaf-like individual with physical and health issues. I used to call him my breathing blob of humanity as there was nothing about him that was normal. Oh he looked pretty, very china doll like with his very pale skin and glass eyes that stared in a fixed position, but the life you expect in a child, just was not there.

Once you hit pit bottom there is just nowhere to go but up. Continue reading


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Vaccine Injury Awareness Month–John’s Story, Part 2

As I reread over Cheryl’s words, my heart breaks again. God has given her a strength unknown to many, to most. Let’s continue John’s story. (If you missed Part 1 yesterday, click here.)

Within three months I was starting to worry. The autistic like trance I had seen John slip into would be repeated over and over, out of the blue with no warning. It would last only a few minutes and then the happy go lucky toddler would come back to play. I said nothing to anyone, until the morning his preschool director called. She asked me to come in and sit outside the classroom door and watch what John was doing. I told her I knew, he was going into some kind of spell and loosing contact. We talked as I watched John hide under a table and rock and cry for a few minutes.

“That’s autism.” I said slowly

“Can’t be, I mean he was not born autistic.” She said

“I know, but that’s what that is, something has caused it.” I said.

“Well I never heard of that, but it’s getting worse and more frequent here, and he is loosing his speech.” She said staring into the room and not looking at me.

“I know, I just don’t know what to make of it.” I said back, also staring straight into the room and not looking at her. Continue reading


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Vaccine Injury Awareness Month–John’s Story

If you’ve been around Many Hats Mommy for a while, you know I pretty much stay away from political stuff. I just don’t have the energy to deal with figuring it all out and the snarky comments that could come my way. Fibromyalgia, autism, parenting, and life in general occupy my time.

Dr. J was never vaccinated, so that is not the cause of his autism. However, I cannot discount those who have watched their children disappear after a series of shots. Therefore, I’d like to honor those families. Here is one story. John is the son of my dear friend Cheryl. He is now 19, and Cheryl has been a true warrior mom to get her son where he is today. I’m sure she had many moments over the last 17 years when she felt like giving up.

I know many people who are thankful she didn’t. Here’s part one of John’s story. Continue reading


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Wednesday’s Woman–Bobbi Sheehan, Author

Bobbi’s book is waiting in my stash from Future Horizons for review, and then we found each other quite “accidentally” on Twitter! So glad! Get ready for some smiles as you enjoy her sense of humor, and be warned you may need a tissue at the end. And now, here is Bobbi in her own words…

My name is Bobbi Sheahan, and I’m so honored that Jenny has asked me to be Wednesday’s Woman.  I never had My Very Own Day before!

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