I’m having a hard time giving up the Sunday newspaper. After the death of the last guinea pig (we shredded the black and white pages for Cutie’s cage), I tried to go electronic for our news, but felt like I couldn’t get the breadth of the information available in the Sunday paper quickly enough. There was also the social aspect of enjoying the paper, my family, and a cup of coffee that we couldn’t replace with the isolating computer screens. So we knocked it down to Sundays only.

Anyway, in today’s Natural Grocer’s insert, Jack Challem, author of the Nutrition Reporter, cites a Japanese study that showed the positive impact supplemental Vitamin D has on lowering the risk of getting the flu by 42% in a group of children ages six to 15. The kids took 1,200 IU of vitamin D3 for only four months, but they were the key flu season months of December through March of 2016. I thought that 42% was HUGE!

I’m a strong advocate of vitamin supplementation, especially for my Asperger’s child. He needs every tool I have to keep him together. Being sick impacts everyone, but I think it’s rougher on my Asperger’s kid who has the deck stacked against him in social environments.

He’s already quirky and stands out in a crowd. So, as a boy mom we’ve had a lot of pets. Did you know guinea pigs are considered “herd” animals? Stick with me on this thought! We started with two pigs and when Chloe ended up seizing and growing a tumor in her belly, Cutie basically pushed her out of the communal living space. Chloe was totally ostracized because of her sickness.

I’m betting you either learned through “The Lord of the Flies” or your own experience in middle school that people are basically literate herd animals. It’s only through morals and altruism that some are able try and ignore basic instincts to act the same way that guinea pigs do. We have to fight that instinctual repulsion against those who are systemically different.

So I take it as a personal mission to make my Asperger’s child as physically likeable as possible, and that includes trying to avoid snotty noses and obnoxious coughs. The older he gets, the easier it is. Perhaps that’s because he’s already had most of the local bugs. Maybe his immune system is better equipped to ignore or overcome them. It could be that his bronchial tubes and nasal passages are now large enough for better mucus maintenance. There are just too many variables to claim any credit for supplementation or nutrition, but we pay attention to those too. I don’t care why he’s healthier; I’m just thrilled it’s true. But Vitamin D is cheap, available, and goes down easy so if something that simple helps avoid the flu, so be it!

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