Recognizing the signs of autism early on
Dear Readers: April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH. Autism is the term for a group of developmental impairments that can cause people to have difficulty interacting with others. Its symptoms can include avoiding eye contact, having sensitivity to light and sound, and exhibiting repetitive mannerisms and motions, among many others.
Early diagnosis is key; look for these behaviors in your child or grandchild. Visit www.autismspeaks.org for helpful information, resources and support. There’s also a toll-free telephone line, 888-AUTISM2 (888-288-4762), for general questions and hints to help. — Heloise
IT’S A DATE …
Dear Heloise: A question for your readers: When was the last time you checked the “use-by” dates on items in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry, including spices, medicines and even makeup?
I was surprised that even flour, sugar, baking powder and salad dressings have them. When I purchase replacements, I mark their dates on them with a permanent marker and label everything with names and dates. — Elaine H., Port Charlotte, Fla.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Dear Heloise: A simple way to clean my sliding glass door track: I pour plain water in the track (a generous amount) and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I take a roll of paper towels and unfurl a good amount onto the track to absorb the water. An old toothbrush can loosen any grime.
Caveats: My flooring next to the track is vinyl, not carpet, and gloves are a good idea.
Messy? Maybe, but a clean track results, just in time for spring, and no harsh chemicals are used! — Mary R. in Florida
Dear Heloise: We read your column daily and find great hints. When remodeling or building a home, think about a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom with a walk-in shower and taller toilet. Even younger folks may have a need after surgery or illness. In our case, my husband and I wanted the extra conveniences following surgery, and the taller toilet came in handy during visits by senior relatives with mobility issues. — Paula T., Spokane, Wash.
WRAP IT UP
Dear Heloise: I think all of us have problems using plastic wrap to cover food. A simple solution is to keep it in the freezer until needed. No more sticking together. — E. Reid, Clear Spring, Md.
Dear Readers: When navigating the bus routes in your city, keep this in mind: The direct route usually means fewer stops and a faster trip. Check out the bus system’s website to map out yours. — Heloise
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.