Blog

RPM Helps Another Student

January 25, 2013

Hi My name is Samuel.

I am 16 years old ans I live in California. I also have autism. My mom read your poetry and book to me. I was.very encouraged and uplifted. I am going to meet and work with SOMA in May! Please pray that I will learn how to express myself through the rpm method. I am able to speak but not enough to communicate deeper things and personal thoughts and feelings.

I trust the Lord and look to Him for everything. Thank you for sharing your heart and life in order to help others. It has helped me.

A friend, Sam

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Thank you for writing, Sam!  I am always excited to hear about RPM helping another student, verbal or non-verbal.

For those who are interested in learning more about the Rapid Prompting Method, go to the Resources tab and Education sub-tab on this website.

Blessings, Ginnie

Helminth Therapy

January 24, 2013

Ginnie,

I would like to find out how Judy got porcine whipworms.  My grandson has Crohn’s Disease and those whipworms are supposed to lead to remission.

Thank you, Kathleen

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Kathleen,

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you.  We have been overwhelmed with responses to Elizabeth’s book.

There are many scientific Here is a site with lots of information on helminth therapy:  http://helminthictherapy.com/.  This site talks about Ovamed as a porcine whipworm provider.  That is where we got ours.  In our book, we talk about Judy starting with whipworms but then moving to hookworms because they are more cost effective.  You can get hookworms from:  http://www.wormtherapy.com/ or http://autoimmunetherapies.com/helminthic-therapy-worm-therapy-index.html.  They can now ship them into the US so it makes them easier to get.  (You don’t need to go to Mexico as Judy did.)

I believe that autism is an autoimmune disease and Elizabeth has been going to an immunologist who has been treating her with multiple antibiotics and IVIG.  It is really helping to calm down her immune system.  So, if the worm don’t work, you may want to look into this approach as well.

I hope this helps your grandson.

Blessings, Ginnie

Elizabeth Writes a New Poem

September 6, 2012


Friends,

We were blessed to see Soma this weekend and Elizabeth wrote this poem.

New Blue

Always in the blue
Birds of nowhere
Come and go
I am still
In my air
I am growing
My own shadow
Of a new blue

Her reflection is “My voice is changing as I grow.”

We hope that Elizabeth will be inspired to write more poetry now that she is feeling better.

Blessings, Ginnie

Question from Cheryl: What’s a Great iPad Application for Typing?

August 30, 2012

Cheryl writes:

Hello, my son Alex 12 years old has been doing rpm with stencils for two years with soma and me and teachers. It has been amazing, he has spelt out I am smart, and that he has two brains one happy brain and one sad. We are trying so hard to get him to a keyboard on iPad. He is using the app that is not very good. Not everyone knows how to do stencils any suggestions on apps for his iPad with keyboard? I feel he is so traped. With soma he gets out so much, with us words. We are all trained by soma but are trying so hard to get him on iPad so everyone can ask him things. Thanks for any help!


Cheryl,

You are so right! Soma makes it look easy because she is such a master at understanding our children’s stims and how to substitute herself. It has taken us a long time to transition Elizabeth from the letterboard to her iPad. One big help came with the iPad app called iMean. It was written by the father of one of Soma’s students and it makes the iPad have the largest possible letterboard (either QWERTY or ABC) with a single line that shows what has been typed and voice output. And it only costs $4.99 at the iTunes store.

I hope this helps you and your son to continue to communicate. Remember what Soma says: the student’s success is most important. So, if you need to use the letterboard and only substitute the last letter of every word on the iPad, that is a good first step. First letters, then words, then sentences. It takes time but you will succeed if you persevere.

Blessings, Ginnie

Terri, Ginnie, Elizabeth and Charles at Stonehenge

August 28, 2012

Friends,

We just returned from a week in the UK. This trip has been a dream for Terri for a long time. (Terri is Elizabeth’s long time aide and dear friend.) Terri is a history buff with Scottish, English and Welsh blood in her. We have talked about taking this trip for many years but Elizabeth was not well enough to go. When I made the reservations in January Elizabeth was doing quite well but then, as I have already written about, she got exposed to some virus or bacteria in June. I was afraid that our trip was going to be lost. Thankfully, our new doctor and antibiotic treatment made it possible.

We all had a wonderful time including Elizabeth and Charles. We did a quick tour of London for the first two days seeing Westminster, St Paul’s, the London Eye, the British Museum, Harrods, the Tower and the National Gallery. Then it was on the train to Edinburgh for a day and a half there before heading back to London. (Both kids love the train. The UK is great because of all the modes of transportation: the Tube, doubledecker buses, trains and boats. We did them all.) From there we drove to Stonehenge, Salisbury and the Cotswolds. It was a whirlwind tour but that is the way it works best for us.

We are thankful for all of your prayers and support.

Ginnie

A Note on Elizabeth

August 7, 2012

Hello Friends,

bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

The bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Elizabeth hasn’t been feeling well.  The good news is that we have seen a new doctor, an immunologist, who I believe is getting to the root cause of what ails her.  One of the first things he said was that autism is an autoimmune disorder.  Given our family history and that of so many families we hear from, I believe it and have for years.  The bad bacteria and viruses in our children’s dysfunctional autoimmune systems cause their immune systems to attack their brains.  This is what happens in PANDAS (caused by an exposure to Strep), Lyme and many others.  He has prescribed high levels of three antibiotics which are likely to be taken for months, if not years.  He said to prepare for her to get worse before she gets better due to the die-off.  And that’s what happened.  We had nine very difficult days.  She is more stable now but still not well.  This will be a long battle of getting rid of the invaders and then building her immune system back up, probably with IvIG.  As Elizabeth gets better, I hope to have her be able to write more for herself.  In the meantime, I will keep you posted.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Blessings, Virginia

Geoff: Inspired in Maine Group Home

July 27, 2012

Hello Elizabeth,

I just finished reading your book, I read it all in 5 days and have a full cup of hope, joy and inspiration. I have worked in a group home in Maine for 3 years and have enjoyed the company of many beautiful people with autism. I currently work with two boys with autism and wanted to let you know how much you have helped me see that they are “in there” and they are beautiful. They do funny things that I couldn’t understand before and probably never will, but now I can at least appreciate them and not try too hard to understand it all. In your “me” poem on Page 23 you explained that you want people to be heard and respected, especially people like you. I am writing to you to let you know that thanks to you and your book, NJ and JT are being heard and respected and I believe they have expressed their gratitude for my new patience and understanding! Unfortunately for NJ and JT, living in a group home does not provide the same amount of persistent love and devotion that your mother is able to give. Please pray for NJ and JT and the staff here. I am passing the book on to my coworkers who are eagerly waiting to learn as much as I have through your story. Many staff and clients will be blessed by your book. I praise God for you and thank our Lord Jesus for your testimony and will keep you in prayer.

God bless,
Geoff

ps – here’s a poem for you:
Like a beautiful flower
quiet and light
you dream of your future
a star shining bright
you are a beacon of hope
to those who are silent
the powers of illness
will have no triumph
if you look in the dictionary under “those who have conquered”
surely you’ll see Elizabeth Bonker

pps: I know you love nature so if you’ve never been to Maine I would certainly recommend it! we’ve got more coast than california, plenty of mountains short and tall, and lots of lakes and rivers big and small


Geoff,

I must say that your email greatly touched my heart. It has taken me a while to post it because I wanted Elizabeth to respond as well, especially since the email is addressed to her, and she has not been feeling well.  But she did answer it today and wrote:

Geoff,

Thank you for the nice poem. I am glad there are people like you that work with kids like me.  Thank you so much.

Elizabeth

Blessings, Ginnie

Please share your story with us: Our children are “in there.”

July 25, 2012

Hi Virginia,

This morning, flipping through channels, I stumbled upon your touching interview on the 700 club. I sat here in tears as I read through the excerpt from the book.

Reading Elizabeth’s comments throughout made me know my daughter must be having similar thoughts.

My daughter Lindsay is 23 and non-verbal. I know on a deep personal level what you know – that she is IN THERE. Like you and Elizabeth, Lindsay and I share an inexplicable bond. She is my world – I am hers. I am so grateful for that.

I just wanted to say thank you for your work. I went from WHY to HOW about 10 years ago, a step that allowed us to move forward.

Please let Elizabeth know her helpful words traveled to South Carolina :-)

Gods blessings,
Mary Ellen
Lindsay’s mom

Mary Ellen,

Thank you for sharing your love for your daughter with us.  Love comes through so much more than just the spoken word.

Have you found a way for her to communicate with you her wants and needs?  If not, many people start with YES / NO cards and then I would encourage you to look into the Soma’s Rapid Prompting Method under Resources on this website.  Of course, there is other information about biomedical strategies under Resources as well.  We are big believers in educational and biomedical interventions at any age.

It warms my heart to hear you say that you found a way to move forward by deciding to change from being a WHY person to a HOW person.  We each have that choice every day.

Blessings, Ginnie

Christianity Today Article

July 13, 2012

Friends,

I wanted to share with you this great piece Christianity Today wrote on Elizabeth. Truly, I was touched. You can view it here.

Blessings,
Ginnie

Update: AutismOne / Generation Rescue Conference

July 12, 2012

Friends,

Elizabeth and I attended the AutismOne/Generation Rescue conference in Chicago in May. We will give you a link to our talk as soon as it gets posted on the conference website.

In the meantime, we want to share a blog post written on the Generation Rescue website about our talk (http://generationrescue.org/latest-news/inspiration/run-your-own-race/) and this fun photo of Elizabeth and me with Jenny McCarthy. (Elizabeth is really hanging on to her!) We are blessed to have Jenny’s endorsement for I Am in Here.

Peace, Ginnie