About Us

Hi!  My name is Sheila Hughes.  I worked for 10 years in the Chidren’s Mental Health field with Catholic Charities, initially as a Recreation Specialist in residential care at a psychiatric treatment unit, before becoming a outpatient Children’s Case Manager, and later, a Foster Parent Trainer and Licenser.   I come from a large (thank goodness) Catholic family of 8 kids.  I’m lucky number 7 and an identical twin (#6).  Due to our family size, it was normal for me to be raised learning about gardening vegetables, raising meat rabbits, chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  My dad went hunting to help fill up our freezer and my mom made a lot of food by scratch, canning, making home made bread, getting milk from family friends who owned two cows, and got us into using Shaklee products, which were environmentally friendly.  We weren’t entirely organic or environmentally conscience, growing up in the late 60’s, the 70’s and early 80’s, but I got a taste for what it was like to have a healthier lifestyle, which was a result of simply being what we could afford on one income.  Going to McDonald’s was a rare treat and what I really cared about was dessert, anyway!

Bryan and I started off our adventure together after getting married April 17, 1993, meeting in Bellingham, Washington.  Bryan studied history in college, but has been a self taught man with many gifts.  While I have worked in the mental health field, Bryan has worked in restaurants cooking, started a cleaning business and then went into cooking, again, coincidently, at a cafeteria at Microsoft.  Prior to us starting our family, he got into computers and managed to get himself some contracting jobs before getting hired on at Microsoft as a software tester.  He has since left Microsoft, venturing off into the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) field, putting his love of research together with computers, now working as a lead SEO specialist, in Spokane, Washington, while also working on his own SEO businesses in his off hours.

We are blessed to have 4 awesome kids,  starting with Sarah Anne, in May 1999, followed by Rachel Marie in April of 2001.  Our boys came next, first with John Michael in October 2004 and rounding it out with Joshua William, July 2006.  I have been home schooling the older kids since Michael was born and due to Joshua’s special education needs, now have one foot in both educational worlds, which has actually been a blessing helping me be a strong advocate for his needs.  Being a former social worker doesn’t hurt, either!

This blog is a journal of sorts, detailing what we have experienced since we got the diagnosis that Joshua had autism, and what we have learned along the way.   I have a strong leaning toward the biomedical approach when it comes to treating kids with autism, as well as the rest of my family.  In fact, I am actually grateful for autism in one way only:  it has taught me how important it is to take good care of our bodies and do what we must, with eating healthy, in order to have a healthy body.  With all respect to the medical community, it only makes sense that how healthy the body is will influence neurological behavior and since we know that autistic kids can’t handle toxins, it only seems obvious that the abundance of toxins in their system has affected their neuro-development.

My goal is for Joshua to recover, Lord willing.  We need to get Joshua’s body as healthy as we can, help get the toxins out, and minimize his exposure to additional toxins so all the therapeutic interventions we are doing with him will be the most effective and beneficial for his life.  Along the way, I am also working with the rest of my family, to help us all make healthy choices so we too, have optimum health.

My hope, too, is to inspire others to make the necessary changes for their kids’ sake, and their own.   Companies that have been allowed to put more and more toxins in our food supply need to be held accountable and frankly, run out of business, but that takes advocacy and “voting with our dollars” and essentially, living as our ancestors did.  The convenience of “convenience food” has turned out to be a bad investment and has caused more harm than good.  The science involved in manufacturing food and household goods is to benefit our society but when health is put at the expense of profit, things need to change.  I’m not confident in our politicians taking action due to how entrenched these companies are in making policy.  However, encouraging the consumer, and those 1 in 88 families affected by autism, to make healthier choices, yes, even though it is hard, is what I hope I can do.  It can be done, and if we don’t want those numbers to go even higher, we can’t wait around for science to catch up.  We need to take action.  In the end, simplifying our lives, slowing down just a bit, does a lot of good for us all.

Thank you for joining us on our journey and please, if you have anything you would like to contribute, please comment.  If  you find anything helpful, please feel free to pass it along, but also let me know how you have been blessed.  I’m not done learning, either, so any suggestions you may have are also welcome.

This blog is dedicated to Joshua and all those who suffer from autism and is only possible by God’s grace.  He gets all the glory as He is the one who has placed people in our path to learn from and be blessed by as we travel this Journey with Joshua.