OUR AUTISM STORY…
Please note, to make it easiest for you, I have listed ALL natural resources that have helped our son, on the “Resources” link, listed in the banner, so as not to interrupt the impact of this story for you.
We have four gorgeous and truly outstanding children. Each child is completely different, and unique. They range in age from 21 down to 11. Two of our children are more reserved, two are more outgoing. We’ve home schooled all of them until this year, when we were forced to look at other educational possibilities for our youngest, while we had to deal with a crisis for the child with ASD. Hopefully our story will impact others, and will help avoid or significantly reduce the pain and suffering that too many go through.
IMMUNIZATIONS, the CDC and ASD
We know for a fact that our child was injured through vaccines. Period. Though that may not be your story, it is part of ours. But please don’t stop reading, if it’s not YOUR story, because there is more that you need to know, in the hopes that your family won’t have to suffer as ours has, and/or in the hopes that there will be several take-aways for you, that will make all the difference to your child and family!
While I don’t discount other factors that may have played into it for our child, including those that may not be understood or known about yet, I know that immunizations played a BIG part in our child’s neurodevelopmental disability. When a baby receives immunizations, and immediately develops a super high fever of 105° F, and the fever stays that way continuously for close to or around two weeks, non-stop (all documented)…and when it happens every single time he is immunized, not only is there a correlation, there is direct impact. If you go back to the CDC’s explanation of what ASD is: “…a neurodevelopmental disability…”, and you realize that a tiny baby had these huge fevers for long periods of time,then you can connect the dots that this was certainly detrimental for brain development and function, because at high fevers, neural pathways are damaged!
At the direction of our Pediatrician, we sadly used Tylenol and Motrin constantly, to help keep the fever down, and also sadly received spinal taps (it has been normal procedure to give babies spinal taps, to check for meningitis…consider carefully, and decide if that is a procedure you feel is necessary, based on evidence). Our child was even held overnight at the hospital, only to find that “there is nothing wrong”…but they were the ones that were oh so very wrong!
We later found out that the CDC also states that if a patient shows adverse reactions to immunizations AT ANY TIME, they should never again be given ANY, and doctors’ office should be filing a CDC report showing such adverse reactions (which include high fevers, but are not limited to that). Not only did our pediatrician not tell us this, (they actively pushed us for continuing immunizations), but the clinic NEVER filed any papers with CDC…I wonder how many patients haven’t been properly directed in this? Thousands? Tens of Thousands? Hundreds of Thousands? Were YOU?
No wonder we don’t have accurate information about vaccines!! PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH! FOR SOME INDIVIDUALS, IMMUNIZATIONS ARE NOT OK! Watch for any of these reactions in your child, after vaccination: high fevers, blank stares, convulsions, seizures, regression in ANY milestones (Were they able to walk, yet lost it? Could they talk, then regressed? Were they correctly identifying and pointing to things, then unable? Did they stop smiling? Did they stop sleeping? Did they start raging? Did they show strange confusion, or sensory needs they did not have before?) If there is absolutely ANYTHING that is off in any way, from what you know to be how your child is, STOP IMMUNIZING IMMEDIATELY , and start helping your child’s neurological system detox and rebuild!!
Before I go on, please consider a few very important truths: up until the 1980’s, children were vaccinated against very few things…currently, babies are scheduled to receive over 70 different vaccines, by the age of 14!! REALLY????
I am an extremely healthy 50 year old, who only had 7 vaccinations in my entire life! Those who are pushing for a mandated 70+ vaccination schedule have only received between 1 and 12 vaccines IN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES! YOUR children are being required to receive OVER 60, before they are 4 years old, and most of them being injected into tiny babies, as combinations!! What about the ingredients to these vaccines? E. Coli, Formaldehyde, Aluminum and Mercury (both heavy metals, known to be toxic to the nervous system), and aborted fetal tissue, are all still listed as ingredients!! Want to know why they are compressing that huge amount into babies? Not because they need it, ( such as for the sexually transmitted hepatitis disease, which requires a boost after 7 years anyway), and not because that’s the best timing for THEIR health AT ALL, but rather, because they know that once a child is in school, as long as the child is healthy, parents don’t tend to bring the child in. WOW! Just WOW! Our immune systems can safely take care of natural exposures (I had the mumps, and now am forever immune to exposure…when immunized, it actually does not necessarily mean one is immune to developing that disease). I’ve had the measles…rarely are there dangerous outcomes…not so rarely are the side effects of the vaccines, though!
Our child actually received a brain injury as a baby and young child, due to the very high fevers brought on by the immunizations. Your story may be different. Your child may have had something else happen, or you may not be clear or believe that anything had happened, but there is a genesis, or a start to any neuro-developmental disability. ASD and other neurological issues don’t just happen! While there is always a reason, there is no fault-finding necessary! I find comfort in knowing two things: there was a genesis or a beginning or reason for it, ( even if it is just labeled as “genetic”), and neuroplasticity is able to bring brain function to levels we may not believe or understand the possibility of. That was our hope, and it has paid off in a BIG way! I hope it brings hope to YOU! Please know, it is a process, it has many ups and downs, and it will take an unknown amount of time.
Other Possible Causes for ASD
So, while it may have been high fevers, or metal toxicity (most if not all ASD patients show high levels of heavy metals), or chemical toxicity, (immunizations have been shown to be causal factors in both metal and chemical toxicity loads) or nutritional deficiencies or health problems before or at conception, or a harsh environment, or a long family history of nutritionally depleted individuals, or trauma to the mom and/or dad, during, or even before conception (did you know our bodies carry trauma and emotional pain in our every cell, unless purposefully addressed and dealt with?), or nervous system issues caused by a virus, bacteria or parasite (many brain function issues and misdiagnoses of mental, emotional and brain issues turn out to be a microbe of some kind!), it ultimately doesn’t matter. It may be one or more of those as part of the story for you or your child. I hope you find encouragement in the fact that the brain can and will rewire itself constantly and continuously, and over time that can make a significant difference, all based on what you do or don’t do! As humans we want to know HOW something came to be, mostly to try to prevent it, but in many cases, we may not have initial answers as to why or what happened, and we may never know. But it doesn’t matter, whatever it is, be encouraged, neuroplasticity and doing great things for the brain will have positive impact on the landscape of the brain, and the mind! Come back here after reading our entire story, and check out what Dr. Caroline Leaf’s lifelong Neuroscientific studies have revealed HERE! Back to our story…
CONTINUING OUR ASD STORY
While our other three children quickly progressed through all their milestones, one not only started lagging behind, that child also started displaying some of the more observable outward signs of ASD…losing interest in pointing at things somewhere between the age of 1 and 4 years old, flapping arms, holding ears closed at what most people would consider very little noise stimulation (child never had a problem with that in the beginning), stopped holding eye contact, and even personality changed: from a child who was happily jumping onto public stages, to someone who didn’t want to be front and center at all, beginning to display fear of being around others. This child even started displaying irrational fears, such as at the age of four, after the last set of immunizations, when no one could convince him that his shadow wasn’t out to get him. It was heartbreaking! In short, there was a turning point for this child, and as a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, I knew that the quicker I got on intentionally supporting his brain, mental, and emotional health, the better it would go. Meanwhile, the Pediatrician only requested some speech and occupational therapy, between 18 months and 3 years old, but would not diagnose ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), even with the numerous symptoms and repeated requests by us to please look further into it, so our son did not start receiving needed and helpful therapy at the young age he should have. If you KNOW something isn’t right, do whatever it takes to get your child the help he or she needs…even if it means changing doctors. I wish I had…
SOME ANSWERS FOR BETTER BRAIN FUNCTION
Thankfully, God in His grace had already shown our family the absolute best nutritional support system available, through Juice Plus+. Our son received it as a tiny baby through the breastmilk, and as soon as he had a few teeth, he started receiving it through the tasty chewables. Dense nutritional support is key for ASD! The brain MUST have dense nutrients on a daily basis, in order to make the best use of neuroplastic opportunities! You may have noticed people with ASD and other neurological issues have a taste and craving for colorless, processed, fatty and sugary things (can’t really call them “foods”), over the needed whole foods that grow from the ground.
The next wave of grace came in the form of specifically branded essential oils (Trust me, just like a Yugo is NOTHING like a Mercedes car, essential oils run the spectrum from not helpful at all, to magical in how they work). There are specific ones that help oxygenate the brain, increase good circulation, and allow the body to better build neural pathways. We found those in 2010. To say they had an impact on our child’s brain health is an understatement…it was HUGE! We saw changes right away, especially in area of relaxation and response. Real supplements and essential oils should NEVER be purchased over Amazon, as sellers are fully able to open and reseal products, and legitimate companies will never honor product guarantees when purchased through Amazon, by a third party seller. Don’t do it, your health and that of your family is too important! Clean, therapeutic, high quality products are essential and key to optimal brain health. Our child was displaying such high functioning, that doctors continued to be unwilling to diagnose ASD, and even family friends had a hard time being able to see the atypical processing issues he had.
SOME WARNINGS ABOUT ASD AND MENTAL HEALTH
Towards the end of 2016, God took us on a journey we were not planning for…a perfect storm that would cause further neurological damage: raging hormones of puberty (These can cause a nervous breakdown in teens and pre-teens even if they have normal brain function!), high activity resulting in low BMI, the tendency of obsessiveness in connection with negative thoughts aimed at self and others, and a sudden and significant increase in sugar intake, alongside overstimulation of the brain, and lack of sleep, causing no rest to the mind (unbeknownst to us, and uncertain for how long, as child apparently would lay in bed still, yet not sleep). As all those situations merged, our son sustained further neurological damage, and he ended up having a nervous breakdown.
Additionally, our family had inadvertently participated in and added to his personal pain prior to the breakdown, because we just didn’t understand in what ways ASD was still causing him to struggle in his mind and with his own behavior. (Remember, he was displaying extremely high function). All the negativity had started in his mind, through his ASD processing issues, and ultimately built up extreme levels of anxiety. Along with everything else, and lack of sleep (stemming from anxiety levels), it was more than the mind could take…and you know what? It’s far more common than we are EVER told!! “Happens all the time”, and “We see this daily”, were just a few comments from hospital staff! (I now get calls and texts routinely, asking for resources for a teen or pre-teen, who is experiencing a nervous breakdown. Our hearts are broken!)
So while we were feeling frustrated, and exasperated, and sometimes that came out in how we spoke, we also thought that we were helping by trying to teach him proper actions/reactions, etc…unfortunately, us not checking our frustrations, caused him to internalize that as feeling less than, or not good enough, or not able, and it only added to his mental anguish. (I share that in the hopes that you make sure to do differently.)
At that same time, we had started him on some well-meaning occupational brain therapy, which ended up not being what he needed at all. It further confused the neurological workings of his brain…we later learned that since the brain is constantly building neurological pathways, based on what our thoughts are, our child had been inadvertently building toxic, negative pathways, through the way he was processing events. What he heard, and saw, and the negative conclusions he came up with (in his case, due to ASD, but ASD not a requisite to allowing negative thoughts to reign wildly), caused negative pathways to form, along with too much brain stimulation, hormonal influx, and previously listed situations caused a build-up of great anxiety, which then also resulted in severe lack of sleep, and BOOM!
Nothing can prepare a family for this, and no amount of detail can express the pain and horror of walking through this terrible time…NOTHING! Those of you who already have, or are walking through it know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, even though there are individual differences to each case. Desperation might sum up the rollercoaster of feelings, but it doesn’t give you even a glimpse of the chaos and pain we all endured…and what you may have or may be experiencing right now. Can I just say, our hearts go out to you, because we do truly understand what you are going through. It’s exhausting, it’s painful, and it is indescribable. If your child has not yet hit puberty, please keep reading, as I hope to spare you what we had to walk through. There are signs!
Right before our child’s nervous breakdown, God allowed us to learn about Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist who travels the country and world to share these simple truths that all parents need to know: toxic thoughts grow toxic neural pathways in the brain, and it is these pathways that change behavior and thinking, but it is the negative thinking that builds the negative pathways! Learn from us! Don’t let your child go down that road!!
We didn’t know what exactly was going on in his mind, or what he was thinking, but we suspected that something was happening that wasn’t positive. No amount of asking was giving us the picture…we just felt it. But because our child was also receiving occupational brain therapy, we thought that may have had something to do with it. His processing started to visibly deteriorate. He started doing something called “word salad”, and started displaying manic, repetitive movements, which really scared us. The Psychiatrist labeled that Bi-Polar. We saw it better aligned symptomatically with Reactive Attachment Disorder. But regardless, we were beside ourselves! At that time, we did not know how our super quiet, happy, non-confrontational child ended up riding this rollercoaster. Now we also know that ANY neurological or psychiatric diagnosis is just a label that really doesn’t mean anything except the outward expression of mental anguish and emotional pain…and that ANY label can be changed or gotten rid of.
At the time, we were scared, exasperated, exhausted (we couldn’t sleep well ourselves), and the stress caused numerous other physical, mental and emotional issues for the entire family. We were unable to concentrate, focus, or recall things. We lost entire days, forgot what we would say or do, and couldn’t memorize anything at all. Our emotions would well up suddenly, and we didn’t seem to be able to help ourselves.
We absolutely believed there would be full and complete healing, but that didn’t reduce the pain and anguish of walking through this. We also fully believed in God, and that He was able to heal and redeem all the pain we were walking through…that didn’t diminish the agony and sorrow that seemed to hang over us like a heavy blanket: we felt like we were suffocating. While natural resources certainly helped, (Goodness only knows what this situation would have been like, had we not been doing the really great home therapies), we didn’t realize what we were really dealing with, the mechanics, and what had been happening in the background, until it was too late to specifically address it naturally. Natural means are great to support good function, and increase proper function, but there is a point of no return, that when not addressed early enough, cannot stop the eventual breakdown. Therefore, one of the warnings is this: be consistent and persistent in addressing all health and wellness issues, BEFORE they develop into something that is beyond the ability to take care of them by natural means!
As he was headed to the obvious final destination of a mental breakdown, even believing there would be full healing, didn’t give us a date of when all of this would turn around and be over. Of course, we wanted it to be yesterday…we wanted it not to be happening at all, but he had reached a point that all my holistic knowledge couldn’t address. We didn’t know WHEN it would turn and be different, and that was just awful. We were all walking through unprecedented pain…hell, really. Although we knew deep down, that all of what our child was experiencing had answers and that the neurological issues and damage could be undone, the mental health “experts” did not agree, and frankly, that was a huge disconnect (and super unhelpful), which easily could give way to fear, and for periods of time, it did! This really could’ve been a different story, had we known to watch out for, and diligently address his processing issues, and all the different other issues listed earlier…especially hormonal influx! So, please, please, learn from us! (And medications do NOT address the underlying problems, so they will NEVER heal an anguished mind or painful emotions or traumas.)
EVERYONE BECOMES MENTALLY ILL AT SOME POINT
Before we go further, please understand this: we ALL either have been, are, or will be mentally ill (or better expressed as mentally dis-ordered) at some point in our lives, (and even multiple times in our lives) because mental illness (or a mental dis-order) can be as simple as this: focusing on ANYTHING NEGATIVE long enough. Period. Now, hear me on this: ASD is NOT mental illness, it is a processing disorder, HOWEVER, when the processing disorder causes thinking that is not positive or builds up, then it is causing thinking that is negative, and tears down. This is even true of non-verbal individuals, because it is all in the thinking and processing. But it is also that much harder for those who are non-verbal as well. Having said that, please RUN, don’t walk, to get ABA therapy for yourself or your child! Neurobiofeedback is also indispensable to change the course of thinking in unproductive ways!! There are other things that can help professionally. Those happen to be the top two which helped our son. And do note, I am NOT saying only everyone with ASD develops mental illness when thinking negatively…
ALL OF US, you, me, your family, your friends, EVERYONE develops mental illness, whenever we focus on and obsess about anything negative, and/or whenever we encounter deep emotional pain, trauma, abuse, or we don’t get enough rest, or proper nutrients for the body, or whenever we are exposed to a number of toxins, or when we have managed to pick up any of a number of viruses, bacteria or parasites, which affect the nervous system. Mental illness can last for just a few minutes, days, weeks, months or years, based on how we address the nervous system issues. I say the following with all the love I possibly can: To say that we do not walk through mental illness at some point, or multiple points throughout our lives, is to be dishonest, unaware, or in denial. We need to think of mental health along the same lines of physical health, for that is factual. There is healing, and not matter the label, there can be FULL recovery.
So, if you focus on something negative long enough, you WILL develop any one or more of the following labels: anxiety, depression, wrongful body image (Anorexia, Bulimia, over-eating/under-eating), Bi-polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, OCD, ODD, Suicidal tendencies, etc…) There are nutritional deficiencies as well as any of a number of deficiencies the body requires, that will also cause mental illness. For more in-depth instruction and information on how negative thinking impacts mental health (which absolutely everyone MUST KNOW), please go to: Dr. Leaf’s YouTube videos here . Be ready to take some serious notes!! It was the only thing that gave us the first glimmer of hope!
We had a wonderful child going through a very tough time, and as much as we never wanted to even consider any kind of medication, we were not able to find something that could calm his body and mind down enough to the point it had gotten to, in order to allow for natural recovery to take place…we didn’t catch it in time, and with the severe lack of sleep (which we didn’t realize was happening, because he apparently just lay in bed all night long, without getting up), natural resources were not able to address these issues. I remember sobbing without being able to stop, and praying for God to show me what to do, and how to do it.
If I can be completely honest, I had moments of locking myself up in my car, and screaming at God, at the top of my lungs! (Hoping the neighbors wouldn’t hear) Moments that felt like total despair, and times of total ugly crying as I heard God reaching out to me in song, and via other people’s prayers, and their willingness to help. We were scared out of our own minds, and it took friends, God’s Word, and each other, to keep getting on the right train of thought and belief…Believing not in what is being witnessed, but in what is truth and possible!
God also brought several amazing things into our lives during that time: A medical team of mental health professionals at Arlington Hospital; A truly caring and loving psychologist (Thank you, Dr. Vincent Ramos); The support and prayer of countless friends; A church leadership who loved us dearly (Thank you, Arapaho Road Baptist Church); Our family, who prayerfully stuck together, and walked through hell on earth (Thank you, Bemonts!); An amazing Neurologist (Thank you, Dr. Jonathan Walker); An uncommonly knowledgeable Neuroscientist, who has been fighting the good fight of truth in neurological repair and the destructive practices of current psychiatric thinking (Thank you, Dr. Caroline Leaf). God’s truth that we could stand on, even when things don’t seem great or even remotely good at all. A support group of deep friends who did their very best to be there for us. And God’s fabulous creation of plants, for our health and healing. For it was because of and with all these pieces of information, therapy, and love, that allowed us to understand that God’s promises are ALWAYS true, and there is healing at every point.
Throughout history, the world has operated on wrongful theories, until after much fighting and sacrificing, finally truth was acknowledged and acted upon by enough people, that the wrongful thinking was able to be changed. Conventional medicine is the worst in this area! They seem to want to continue operating on old information, even in the sight of obviously correct new information. Just a small example: The conventional medical community was unwilling to wash their hands, between patients (even between birthing babies, and dealing with dead cadavers), because they REFUSED to believe that good hygiene had anything to do with illness or contamination…to the point that the first medical doctor to be a proponent of this idea was laughed out of his position, was completely discredited by entire organization, and became mentally ill! Walking through mental illness is not different than having to walk through physical illness. And you don’t have to wait for slowness of society to act NOW, and reap great benefits from more correct application of truth. Your mind and your loved one’s mind can become disorganized at any time…becoming mindful is all about learning and applying to take every thought captive to Christ, and not allowing the enemy to gain a foothold in the mind. For those of you who are not Christ-followers, simply put, you need to reign in your mind, and not dwell on pain or negativity of any kind, or your thinking patterns will start deteriorating.
MEDICINE AS LAST RESORT, BUT NEEDED
We never thought we’d go the medical route, but we were simply unable to handle what was happening. We had to get our child well by allowing his mind to rest, and retrain his mind to think differently, in order for him to heal. Conventional medicine and caring healthcare professionals could provide emergent care, afterwards we could provide the retraining. We needed to rest ourselves, in order to keep going. It was needed, but it was heartbreaking and we were just wrecked! We had already taken him to the ER on a previous occasion, and were close to doing so on several other occasions, but our hearts were wrestling with that decision. In the end, we were too exhausted, and at the end of our own means. It was time to do what we knew we needed to do, as much as we were torn about doing it. He was away from us for one week… the longest week of our lives. Dreaded, but needed. Anyone walking through this, hang in!!
Be forewarned, there are very few mental healthcare providers, including counselors for ASD, period, and even fewer who believe any kind of real healing or reversal of issues is possible. So seek before you really need it, and don’t listen to anyone who says that long-term medication is the only answer! Counseling in particular, is a need throughout life, not just as a last resort. Medication can be helpful in an emergency or acute situation, but it does nothing to heal the mind or emotions…in fact, it gets in the way of the brain being able to rebuild healthy connections, long term.
OH, BUT GOD DOES REDEEM GREATLY!!
Our family makes very big changes. We implement a completely different way of communicating with our child, and responding to him. I give up my home office space, so he can have a much needed personal space, and it can reduce any obsessive thinking. I ask our communities of church, school and friends to send him encouraging notes, and to be extra kind to him. THAT was HUGE!! We cannot express our gratitude well enough to our church body, and to our dance teacher (Thank you, Ms. Tiffany) and dance students at Rowlett Dance Academy…what those notes of healing did for our child is impossible to explain.
We continued on his Neurotherapy sessions, to train the brain to lower anxiety and toxic stress levels. We are very intentional in the use of good nutritional support systems, as well as the use of emotional and mental support through essential oils. We do positive affirmations and daily devotional readings out of “Start Your Day Right”, and “End Your Day Right”, with Joyce Meyers. We eat foods that build the brain (see “Anti-inflammatory Foods” blog entry). We do EVOX therapy, which helps reframe emotional perceptions, and allow to think through things in a different way. (I purchased that technology, and offer it to others in the DFW area as well).
We are purposeful in daily detoxification, and we consider every input our child receives with great care. If it isn’t positive in nature, he does not watch it, listen to it, or participate with it. To the best of my ability, I stay alert and aware of his communication with others, and provide insight and a way to think of things in positive light. He goes to bed by 9:15pm every day and sleeps a good long time. He sets his own sleepy time essential oils diffuser in his room every night, and takes specific nutritional supplementation to facilitate neural reconnection and reconstruction. We are seeking EMDR therapy, and have friends sowing into his heart and mind about his value and his importance (seems to be heard more if it doesn’t come from mom and dad). We work with him to set goals to get back to doing things he enjoys, or start new adventures, that he may be actively looking forward to the future. We look for ways to reaffirm him and his great value, and we help him consider things from different angles. We have learned to celebrate every little victory, in a super, over the top kind of way…this has been extremely helpful to him! Whatever it is that will grow positive neural pathways, we are there, and boy, is it paying off!! We are doing everything I mention on the blog titled “Top Brain and Mental Health Resources”
We are praising God for His goodness, even through all the pain, and give Glory to Him above all! We would’ve given up, and felt complete hopelessness, without believing in God’s promises for us. He allowed us to find, learn about, understand, and implement the many resources, to be part of amazing communities of love and care, and to find caring counselors and healthcare providers. He gave us hope, and guidance, and sent us encouragement at our lowest times. He brought us the most amazing people for our son’s every need. He exposed us to the right information, and the right products that would make a difference. He has allowed us to grow a community of caring friends, and I cannot even recount the number of people who have and continue to sow into our lives.
From the beginning of the downturn in 2016 to now, there has been such a dramatic change, that I can only attribute it to all things working synergistically together, and allowing that neuroplasticity to go into full gear. I personally give glory to God for all of it.
It has not been, and continues not to be easy. On too many occasions, we have been at the end of our rope, cried hopelessly, and felt completely lost and alone…we were not…you are not! We were just focusing on the wrong things. Every time we focused on the problem, or the pain, it magnified it to the point of desperation. God has been teaching us to trust Him, and to walk by faith towards healing and positive changes. It takes action, it takes decisions, it takes resolve to forget what is before your eyes, and believe what can be.
We’ve been doing that enough such that accumulated changes are being noticed by everyone around us. The changes have been so dramatic, in fact, that the outcome of the ARD meeting in May was no longer applicable in August! In May he showed several and severe challenges in learning and was scheduled to be pulled from most mainstream classes. By August, new ARD meeting showed regular class attendance throughout the day, with only limited pulls for tutoring and additional help in English class only, and only for quizzes and tests in Math class. SERIOUSLY!! WOW!
Astounding! The obsessively focused discussions have come way down. He is able to have good, logical and flowing conversations! He is making friends! He is sharing deeply from his heart, and is even sharing what he has been thinking about, and how he sees things. He is showing abilities to consider and understand different perspectives! His eye contact is at 80%. He talks about goals and plans for the future. He is willing to step out on faith for social gatherings! (What the What???) He is considering input and direction, without instantly dismissing. He is able to calm himself down very quickly. He recognizes anxiety, depression and negative thinking, and is working at changing the direction of those paths! He is displaying boldness, by being willing to be in the same space with people who have hurt him deeply. He shows willingness to forgive. He is getting idioms, expressions, sarcasm, and hyperbole. He is starting to enjoy and share good jokes. He is willing to apologize.
WHERE CHILD STARTED
While I cannot possibly list every issue that our child was dealing with, here are highlights:
* Typical ASD symptoms, including lack of social skills, flapping of arms (which went away with nutritional support), inability to get sarcasm, jokes, or inferences; hard to make connections with others, lack of interest in social situations (yet hurting and wanting friends), sensory issues (which significantly diminished with dry brushing and other home therapies), and lack of neurological connectedness when requests were being made (directions were not being heard, understood, or processed correctly). All of above since very young (after 2 year old vaccines); Extreme or irrational fears (noticed at 4 years old).
* Negative, anxiety producing thoughts start springing up. (2014)
* Putting self down in thought, ascribing others’ actions as unkind, unloving or neglectful towards him. (2014)
* Sadness at not being able to “get” social cues (2015)
* Loss of main friendship circle caused severe emotional distress (Towards end of 2016)
* Occupational brain therapy confuses thinking ability. (Towards end of 2016)
* Stopped being able to write properly February 2017
* Speaking non-stop without syntax or context (word salad: recalling all facts in mind, in jumbled manner) May
* Unable to stop moving (labeled as “manic”) May
* Expressing constant and unrelenting physical lack of well-being, specifically hurting in throat area, and stomach…no physical reasons for such, therefore all emotional/anxiety May
* Unable to think (blank mind, blank look, and constant tiredness/wanting to sleep, brought on by medication prescribed at first counseling, alongside wrongful diagnosis…medication only stayed on for 2 months total)
* Suddenly being drawn to consumption of massive amounts of sugar
* Oppositional to anything that was said. June 2017
* Wanting to isolate. August 2017
* Full scale raging, and screaming out emotional pain and what he’d been negatively thinking about for the last two to three years. October 2017
* Building up of anxiety over many things. November 2017
* Stops sleeping properly, gets very little rest. November 2017
* Completely stops sleeping. Sometime in January 2018
* Experiences Nervous Breakdown, End January 2018
* Does not speak through all of February 2018
Inventory of strides made since February 2018:
* Able to calm his own mind, tries to help others through emotional upset or anxiety
* Has logical, meaningful conversations
* Is understanding sarcasm, hyperbole, and other figures of speech
* Able to learn and apply information
* Not only reads well, but comprehends, can contemplate and discuss at deeper levels
* Aware of and working on trying to understand others’ point of view.
* Showing great empathy, and wanting to find answers for others’ pain and problems.
* Able to draw geometric shapes as well as other conceptual art
* Able to write at only two grade levels below where should, and improving daily.
* Learning to understand abstract thoughts and ideas.
* Experiencing positive thoughts and feelings: wanting to correct his own (and others’) negative thinking mindfully.
* Enjoying jokes
* Asking for and attending social situations, even where he does not know anyone…AND NOT WANTING/REQUIRING ME THERE!!
* Self-regulating sugar intake
* No physical symptoms of throat or stomach pain (when it shows itself, he helps himself get rid of anxiety).
* Enjoying deep, restorative sleep.
In a dis-ordered, or neurally disconnected mind and brain, the above was impossible for him to do. As we have been faithfully, consistently, and patiently working on things, we have seen miraculous changes! Sometimes I still have moments of wanting to beat my own head against the wall, when I forget that it’s a process, and that meaningful connections take time to rebuild. But I get back up, and work on not giving up and continuing all the amazing therapies needed for continued developing those changes. I know there will come a day when doctors will even question the ASD diagnosis. But for now, I’ll take the responses of shock and amazement at how far our son has come in even such a short period of time!
Our child is able to process things emotionally, without going overboard more often than not, and we’ve learned how to manage our environment so that it is helpful and conducive to continuing building positive connections which will be life-giving to him. He has much lower symptoms of ADHD. Absolutely ZERO issues with negative/destructive to self thinking, NO reactive disorder, or oppositional defiance. ADD issues down to less than half. And add that to all the changes above, the differences are like night and day!
It is worth to put the effort into helping build brain function. It is a process, and sometimes it feels like the changes are not happening fast enough, when you are in the thick of life. But it is worth to hang in, and it is imperative to find and use the brands and purchase channels that assure purity and stability of products, as you choose your helpful therapies, as well as providers that not only know what they are doing, but care and go beyond minimum required. It is absolutely necessary to find the therapies that work for your and/or your child, because it really does make that much of a difference!
To start with, don’t get overwhelmed! Check out the “Recommended” tab, if you want to see some of the things we recommend. If you want to see specifics of what we used, and did, check out the “Top Brain and Mental Health Resources”. Those are the products and therapies we used, which allowed for our child’s optimum brain function and improvement over time. I worked long and hard to exactly list and catalogue what we used, so that you can easily follow, if you wish. Those are the things that allowed our child to experience such great brain improvement over time…for some of you it will take a shorter time, for others longer…but be patient, catalogue current state of being for you and/or your child, and what all you are incorporating, take inventory of differences every time you see them, and over time, adjust if necessary! I’m excited for your journey, for I know that there are great strides ahead for your child and your family! Don’t give up! Worth it!!
To God be the Glory, Amen!
**Please note: everyone’s optimum brain function looks different, and depends on many variables, including, but not limited to: How long someone has been on medication, and how that medication may have impacted the brain; How disciplined one is with therapies and use of necessary nutrients and other helps; How disciplined and willing to change diet and things that have not been helpful so far; How disciplined and willing one is in limiting and removing negative emotional and mental input; How patient and loving in tone, voice and body language, as well as how inclusive and caring the family environment is, including how organized or cluttered the home is (clutter dis-integrates orderly thinking); How willing and able family is in intentionally building up the person needing the help. How consistent the positive input, including positive affirmations, are being done. And if you are not yet a Christ follower, please know this process will be infinitely harder. There is nothing that can replace being lifted up by the creator of everything, when your whole world is crumbling all around you, and you are literally unable to find peace in yourself or anything else. So I do hope that you at least start exploring the love of Christ, and what it could mean to you not only for eternity, but also for the here and now. However, no matter where you or a loved one finds themselves at this very moment, the hope lies in the truth that the brain can and will rewire itself, given moment by moment input.