Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 in 88 ... how many until it's an epidemic?

I should be working on Evergreen today, but I have to speak out. I’m angered, saddened, and somewhat depressed about CDC’s new numbers of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It’s now 1 in 88, four times more likely to be boys than girls. But what’s even more maddening this is that it’s being swept under the carpet as status quo … why you ask. That’s a good question.

History shows Polio was an epidemic when the rate was 1 in 2,700. So, you’d think 1 in 88 should be an epidemic. Maybe? How did we go from 1 in 10,000 children born fifty years ago to 1 in 88 today? Why isn’t this an “urgent public health concern?” Why hasn’t the CDC chosen to advise new parents on measures they can do to help decrease the chance of a child developing autism? I know one thing they have done … I see it every morning on a beautiful billboard with a healthy baby and a big needle.

Maybe this is why: Ginger Taylor, Executive Director of The Canary Party, said:

"We hold the CDC accountable for failing to warn parents about the risks of these exposures, and especially for CDC’s own bloated, one-size-fits-all vaccine schedule – which exploded in the late 80’s after vaccine makers were indemnified against litigation by Congress.” 

But then the NY TIMES says:

 “The frequency of autism spectrum diagnoses has been increasing for decades, but researchers cannot agree on whether the trend is a result of heightened awareness, an expanding definition of the spectrum, an actual increase in incidence or some combination of those factors. Diagnosing the condition is not an exact science. Children “on the spectrum” vary widely in their abilities and symptoms, from mute and intellectually limited at one extreme to socially awkward at the other. Children with such diagnoses often receive extensive state-financed support services — which some experts believe may have contributed to an increase in numbers.” 

Excuse me??? Heightened awareness is increasing the numbers? As if people are just looking to exploit free services. Yeah… please. Where can I sign up for someone to tell me my son isn’t talking because he has autism and that the treatment is for therapists to come in my home 40 hours a week to work with him 1 on 1, not to mention the countless hours of collecting data, reports, paperwork, and the social worker monitoring everything because they have to justify paying for it. I’d like to wring the writer’s neck of that article and tell him it’s not easy to get a diagnosis and the tool used to figure it out has tightened up to better diagnosis kids. Just ask anyone in special Ed. This isn’t some glorified “diagnosis” to get extra attention. These kids are real and need help.

So, their solution you ask? Oh wait… it’s a doozy.

“Doctors working to update the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders have proposed significant changes to the definition of autism, due to take effect in 2013. If the changes are a carried out, experts say, they could significantly reduce the number of children being given a diagnosis.”

So, if you want to reduce the rate, let’s just reduce the diagnoses, right? Because that's the problem. Overzealous psychologists. In 2013 there will be a NEW tool used to diagnosis Autism: the DSM-5. And with this new “diagnosing” tool, kids like my son will magically be cured because they won’t be diagnosed on the autism spectrum as PDD-NOS, nor Asbergers. Isn’t that brilliant? My previously non-talking son wouldn’t be considered “bad” enough to qualify for services. We just underwent four years of therapy to catch him up so he can go to typical school with typical peers almost unsupported. He’s a prime candidate for success on the system. But to reduce the numbers, they’re sweeping him and “mute” others just so we DON’T have an epidemic. The thought of where he’d be today if we didn't get the service we fought for which pulled him out of his lonely speechless world sickens me. I probably wouldn’t have been able to have a quiet moment to write this article.

I guess that’s what you do when you can’t be sued, aren’t held responsible, hold the patients, and control the media. Push the problem onto someone else, which ultimately be you, dear tax payer, because the kids on the spectrum (who won’t be diagnosed anymore) won’t be silent, and if you've haven't experienced a tantrum, in a few years you will.

Something is very wrong and it’s so clearly points to something environmental (not just what’s in the syringe), and if you’re a parent or about to become a parent, these numbers should be very alarming to you and prompt you to research (and not just from those who profit from the herd or are penalized if you don’t do what they prescribe).

As a parent of a child in this “group”, I demand that government call this an epidemic and take action to make our air, water, foods, medicines and vaccine program safer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Onyx Talisman Blog Tour! 3/19 - 4/6

Yay! It's finally here... the blog tour for Onyx! I'm excited and so pleased to be partnered with the greatest group of book bloggers EVER! Here's all my fabulous bloggers:

March 19- Jaime @ Two Chicks On Books (hostess who's the  mostest)

March 20- Nicole @ Books Complete Me

March 21- Krystal @ Live to Read

March 22- Audris @ YA Bookmark

March 23- Jessica @ Confessions of a Bookaholic

March 24- Heather @ Proud Book Nerd

March 25- Eleni @ La Femme Readers

March 26- Yara @ Once Upon A Twilight

March 27- Katie @ Katie’s Book Blog

March 28- Kristie Cook - Author

March 29- Heather @ Nightly Reading

March 30- Valia @ VLSimplicity

March 31- Book Reader Addicts

April 1- Emily @ Red House Books

April 2- Reader Girls

April 3- Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

April 4- YzhaBella’s Bookshelf

April 5- Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

April 6- The Bursting Bookshelf

And we have fabulous prizes!!! And you can tweet once a day to add an entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leprecaun Hop for Talisman Trilogy 3/17 - 3/22

Hi hoppers! Thanks for stopping by! I'm giving away the Talisman Trilogy (for Nook or Kindle) which consists of: The Emerald Talisman, The Sapphire Talisman, and The Onyx Talisman.

If you enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Vampire Diaries, Morganville Vampires or Blood Bloods, you'll enjoy the Talisman Trilogy.

To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

This Hop Starts at: 12:01 AM EST on Saturday, March 17th 
Ends: midnight on Thursday March 22nd

Thanks to Kathy at I'm a reader not a writer, and Author Cindy Thomas for hosting this wonderful hop!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Makeover for the Talisman Trilogy

Soooooooo.... I have some exciting news. After much waffling, I've decided to give The Talisman series a makeover.

Many of you know I was the designer of the original covers. I wasn't sure what I wanted the cover to say when I designed The Emerald Talisman two years ago for it's release. Now, that I'm a little more seasoned in my craft (I think) I stumbled across an image I loved (the emerald talisman cover now) that depicted Julia like nothing else I'd seen and wanted to use on Onyx. But the issue was putting a girl on the cover wouldn't match the rest of the series. So, for fans, I kept the same theme and used the beatiful pink/orange sunset. But still, that cover nagged at me to use it. So when designing my swag for my upcoming conference in Chicago April 11th-15th, I had a perfect opportunity to debut the new covers. I've learned you can't shut up characters and apparently you can't shut up covers either.

So.... without further ado, here they are:

Ebooks will have the new covers this week, but the physical books may take a little for them to change. I plan to have the new covered Onyx Talisman's for the RT Booklovers Conference in April if you want to see me and get your signed copy, April 12th. Personally, I can't wait to see them all in print! Eep!

What do you think? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Or... torn because you loved the original ones? Me too. The originals will always have a wonderful place in my heart!

Hugs, Brenda

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winner for Tatchi's Novella

Talk about a close race between Everkiss and Everlost, and I appreciate the championing behind each title which was very impressive. I'm happy to announce the wining title:


And the first person to suggest Everlost was:

So, Amanda, you need to contact  me so I can send you your gift card! Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Stay tuned... tomorrow, I reveal the NEW covers for the Talisman Series!!!

Hugs, Brenda

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gearing up for Chicago -- RT Booklovers Convention

Photo courtesy of RT booklovers
April 11 - 15, 2012 
Are you going? 
I am and I can't WAIT!

Booksignings, Teen day, parties, reader programs, writer programs ... I tried to print out the entire agenda and found it would be 75 pages long! It's a jammed packed weekend.

I'm signing on Indie day (Thursday from 4-6pm) with my bestie author friend, Kristie Cook of the Soul Savers series, and quite possibly on Teen Day (Saturday 11am-2pm)! The good news is, if you can't attend the entire time, you can buy tickets to particular events.

So... I'm hoping you'll come join me. I'd love to meet you!

Are you attending? I'd like to make a list! Leave a comment below if you are are coming, or will be there in spirit. I'll be sure to tweet and take lots of photos the entire time!
So far we have...