Friday, April 14, 2017

Autism Awareness Month - Day 14 Our Story - Final Installment

If you are just now joining us, please take a minute to catch up on our story thus far before heading into our final installment.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Photo Credit
We left our last installment with a big question: NOW WHAT?

The first thing I did was play with my son. He was so young, structured learning would come later. I took him for walks, Daddy took him for long walks, and we just really got into nature and our world.

I also was in super research mode. I wanted to find good learning techniques for a child on the spectrum. But, during this research, I came upon people who talked about healing and Autism. Many weren't saying cured, just feeling better and getting skills back. This interested me so I ventured down that path. Again, I was taught news terms like biomedical, DAN (Defeat Autism Now), supplements, and more. This sounded too good to be true and I figured my husband would think I went off the deep end, but I figured I would present it to him.

Not only did he not think I had gone batty, he was fully on board before I was even convinced. He said it made sense to him. I found a group that had local Moms with kids on the spectrum and began to ask who we should see. One name kept coming over and over, so we chose him and made an appointment.

This M.D. spend a great deal of time with us asking so many questions. I walked out of that first appointment mentally exhausted. He didn't care about the labels as much as he cared about the symptoms. I liken it to a broken bone. If I tell you I have a broken bone, you know very little. You have no clue what bone is broken, how severe the break is, how long ago it happened, how much pain I am in currently, etc. You need to know more. We walked out with a few tests we needed to do (urine collection) and he drew a bunch of blood from our son.

We also walked out with one prescription. He said he normally waits for labs to all come back because he needs to see what's going on inside the body, but our son's symptoms screamed a need for B12. He prescribed MB12 injections to be given twice a week. We went home, waited for the script to come to our mailbox (we sent off to a pharmacy for them) and I got brave and gave him his first one. We waited for the labs to come back (took 2 weeks for some and 4 for others). During that time I kept giving him his shot.

10 days after starting his shots he was 24 hours past his 3rd shot and he and I were in the living room puttering around. He was at the sofa and I was sitting in the chair across the room. Out of nowhere I heard a voice. It was my little dude. He looked in my general direction and said, "Can we take a picture of that". It's like time stood still.

Did he just speak?

Did he really just speak a complete sentence?

Am I asleep and dreaming this?

If so, can I please not wake up?

It finally hit me that my son had just spoken, but I still wasn't sold. I asked, "what did you say?"

He said, very slowly, like I was an idiot that didn't understand the English language, "Can ... we ... take ...  a ... picture ... of ... that". He then looked across the room at an object (can't remember what it was) sitting on the end table.

I about hit the floor. My baby boy had just spoken. Not only did he speak, he spoke a full sentence and it made sense. I couldn't get to my phone fast enough to text my husband (yes, we used pagers back then). I needed him to call me immediately. I needed someone to share this with. He called me back and I think I screamed into the phone what just happened. He was shocked figuring I had just kind of misunderstood. I told him wait until he gets home.

He got home and my son turned and said, "Dadddyyy" when he walked in. That was it. He believed me. We told no one what we were doing. But through that week we would see various people in our lives and our son spoke in front of them. I remember my Mom looking at him and back at me many times and her say, "what did you do? what did you do?" Ha ha. We told her what our doctor had done. It was amazing.

We have been using biomedical interventions for over 6 years now. We have changed doctors a few times as our needs changed or our need for a more skilled doctor changed. But, one thing hasn't changed and that's our son's improvement. He's slowly but surely feeling better. We have lost almost all constipation, his eating is starting to improve, his eye contact is nearly normal, he engages at will and purposefully, he's reading and writing, he loves to draw (and is very talented in that area), and he feels a lot better. We have a long way to go but he has come further than I ever imagined that day when we lost him.

Through all of this I have learned a few things.

  • This is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. There are no words that can explain what it's like to have a child who is not healthy. We were blessed with two children, but we also have two kids with medical issues and special needs. The term roller coaster is nothing compared to what we have ridden. 
  • This has taught me more than anything else I have ever gone through. I had to reach down to levels of myself I never knew existed. I had to learn about strengths I never knew I had and weakness I wish I could have kept hidden.
  • When so many marriages break apart with even one child with special needs, ours has grown stronger. Oh, believe me, that wasn't easy. There were lots of short tempers, gripe fests, and tense times. But we came out on this side of it better for it.
  • I have learned more about God than I did the first 30 some odd years of my life. I have deepened my faith and passion for God because, honestly, there were times (days, weeks, months!) where His strength and His mercy were ALL the kept me going because all of my ability had been used up. The Bible verse that states, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) is not just a pretty saying to put on a wall hanging. It holds so true and is never felt more deeply than when you have NOTHING left to give. 
I hope you have enjoyed this short series on how we came into this world and are now living in this world we call Autism. It was a ride I never wanted a ticket for, but one that has proven to mold us and shape us into the people we are today. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but am glad to know I have fellow Autism parents who understand. I hope I can be that to at least one person during my life. 


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