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Autism is like the Olympics February 24, 2010

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, autism diet, Children, Health, Parenting.
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The Thrill of Victory…and the Agony of Defeat.

My last post was clearly a thrill of victory one.

This one  is more of an agony of defeat kind.

Been going through a rough patch with Fabio. I recently messed with his diet in one of my very rare attempts to broaden it ever so slightly. Nothing crazy or not permitted. Just some things high in salicylates, which he is kind of sensitive to…so we avoid them for long stretches of time and then periodically attempt to reintroduce them.

That attempt sadly sent my little guy over the cliff just like that Olympic skiier whose famous wipe-out in the 70’s lived on for decades as the “face” of the agony of defeat.

He’s been having trouble in school attending to his work and focusing. He’s been aggressive and often full of rage when the slightest demands are put upon him.

During the never-ending month long week the kids were just off from school, I finally took him to the DAN chiro, who took one look at his eyes and said, “What did you do to his diet?” Then he looked at my eyes, full of tears. All I could blurt out before they ran over was “One of us needs medication.”

Every minute of every day so often, I second-guess myself about the choices we’ve made regarding Fabio’s care. The natural/holistic autism course we’ve taken. But deep down, I think it was right … for us.  Is right, for us. To me, it is more important that we do no harm. Even if the choice means that he doesn’t advance as far, as fast. It’s so easy to imagine that the other road would have lead to a happier place when we hit a bump in the one that we’re on.

So …to continue with my cheesy sports analogies…we’ve decided to stay the course. When the going gets tough, the tough get going …  I’ve removed all of the offending additions from his diet, and finally after a freakin week of insanity am now seeing  my happy little man emerging from the edge of the cliff he’d gone over.

So I’m forced to face that as Fabio’s coach and biggest fan, I can dictate the course of his daily routine and diet, guide him as best I can, and cheer loudly from the sidelines as he works so much harder than the average person, day in and day out. I can triumph in his victories and cry over his setbacks along the way. I can help make him the best that he can be. But there are factors out there that I can not control. All any of us can ask of ourselves …and those we love …is to try our best.

And if he doesn’t get on the podium this year, there is always next time. Training begins hard… again… tomorrow.

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Getting Ready to Dive! November 3, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Health, special needs.
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Quite a day today. It started out early with a team meeting at ‘C’s school before the buses arrived. Lots of women with lots of titles and different roles in helping my boy navigate his way through the school system. Some I’ve known longer than others, but overall they are a really good group. But I am always the somewhat guarded type. Can’t help that.  Thankfully, the meeting went well. 

I was more nervous about tomorrow’s new adventure…’C’s first hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) session. Or, in keeping with the lingo of the hip folks, his first “dive”!

Lots of juggling of the schedule to do. The place is kind of far. The treatment is long and potentially hard on the ears from what I understand. Tons of paperwork. 

But hope is great.

Please keep us in your thoughts. And stay tuned…

Autism and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy October 24, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Health, special needs.
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I’m breathing easier today…literally.

I am surprised and happy to report that our insurance company (to remain nameless) has approved our request (from June!) for ‘C’ to receive Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). Although the company is only willing to approve 10 of the anticipated 40 treatments at this time, that’s 10 more than I thought they would approve. Hence, my sigh of relief.

Since I am trying to do the holistic thing with ‘C’, I really love the idea of HBOT. It’s oxygen, for God’s sake…long recognized as a good thing!  No nasty or prolonged side effects to worry about, unless you’re prone to seizures (which is not the case here). I’ve read that HBOT can stir up some yeast issues in the gut, so I’ve waited to get that well under control before starting and will keep a close eye on that as we proceed.

Some people get pre- and post-brain scans done so they can have actual proof of any changes in the brain. I’m not doing that because it’d be too difficult to accomplish without  knocking him out…twice. I’m hoping that the changes will be evident to everyone.

The place we’re going allows me in the chamber with him (so long as I have a chest x-ray first). Hey, maybe I’ll come out of this looking better. Maybe, in addition to improving ‘C’s life, it’ll take away the effects autism has had on my tired old body. A two-fer.

They call each treatment session a “dive”. It supposedly feels like the pressure you get when diving deep or flying in a plane. It takes 10 minutes to get to the right pressure, one hour at pressure, and 10 minutes to de-pressurize.

For the best benefit, the treatments need to be done pretty close together. We’re doing 2 the first week, then 3-4 per week from then on. It’ll be a nightmare on the family schedule, for sure. And its 45 minutes away from home.

I plan to report on ‘C’s progress as we go, so anyone interested in going diving with us, please mark your calendar for November 4th.

That’s when the next leg of ‘C’s journey back from autism will begin…

Approaching Autism Holistically…The Use of Elm October 21, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Health, humor, Parenting, special needs.
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Ok.  A little disclaimer before I get going since I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.

Nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice or should be attempted without first discussing it with your own doctor and only then, with his or her recommendation and supervision. GOT IT?

Like any parent, I am trying to make the best decisions for my son’s recovery. For me…over the last few years… that involves a holistic approach to not only autism, but to ‘C’s wellness in general. And we are so happy with the results so far.

Because he is on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (See “Autism Diet Help” Page), he takes several vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure his nutritional needs are met. There are enzymes on occasion to help him digest certain foods. Fish oil. The versatile Natural Cellular Defense drops to boost immunity and pretty much cure anything short of cancer.

Over time, this regimen has brought him from a sickly, red-cheeked, dark-eye-circled toddler hunched over from chronic gastrointestinal pain, and suffering from night terrors…to the happy, healthy-looking little boy who walks upright now, can sit and attend without distractions from stomach pain, and who sleeps through the night. In short, it’s given him his life back.

So, physically, he is doing much better.

But he happens to be an anxious kid. It’s the biggest obstacle to his mainstreaming. It goes against everything I am trying to do, to consider giving him a prescription medication to alter his behavior. I am just not the Ritalin type. I will stop short of saying “Never” to medication, but I just can’t see that happening for my son.

And I don’t judge those who do medicate, so please don’t judge me for my choices. As long as parents’ actions and decisions reflect what they truly believe to be the best thing for their child…and not the best thing for themselves… who am I to judge? We get enough negative shit from the general public already, so we should just support each other.

So, I wanted to share a holistic remedy/aid for “naturally occurring nervous tension” that ‘C’s chiropractor/naturopath suggested we give to ‘C’ to help with his anxiety…its a flower essence of ELM.  We started him on this just over a week ago and the results have been amazing! 

I know what you’re thinking. By nature I’m very skeptical about all this holistic stuff, too… it always sounds kind of hokey to me.. but time and again, I have been proven wrong. And it seems this is another time.

‘C’ wasn’t behaving as well as he usually does a few weeks ago. It was also around the time of the funky toe infection. So once I discovered the toe, I wondered if that was the cause of his sudden tantruming and difficult transitioning in school. Or is he just anxious with the new teacher? Or is it just another freakin unexplainable part of autism and it has no trigger?  So the elm was worth a try.

He is a different kid. There really is a calmness about him. He seems able to stop himself from melting down when faced with the exact same circumstances that would always cause a melt-down. Things like when the friggin balloons he displays all over the kitchen either blow away or get moved so we can, um, EAT … Now, instead of the world falling apart, he just gets this exasperated look and goes and fixes them again.

And he can actually be pried away from the computer now so the rest of use don’t have to listen to the reggae background music of the Freddie Fish game for hours on end. Wow. Taking turns. What a concept.

So, things are much better in school. Things are strangely calm at home.

There’s just one thing that still sets him off: When his dad changes the channel from Noggin to the game. Even putting the game on picture-in-picture is not acceptable ( “I want little TV-OFF!” ). ‘C’ even moves the remote away from hubby’s reach…which cracks me up. (I’ve been trying to wrestle that thing away for 20 years!)

So my dejected hubby wanders off to the kitchen to watch the game on the little TV.

Either that, or he’s upping ‘C’s dose of ELM…