I have to share this little brag. Last Thursday I was sitting in an IEP meeting at Matthew's school. We were not doing a full IEP but rather transitioning him to the integrated class from the SPICE program (the Autism specific classroom). A year ago he was screaming as he walked by the integrated class on his way to the SPICE class, because he was so traumatized by it and overwhelmed because of his sensory processing disorder. Now he is a fully participating member. The few things that were discussed at the meeting were his auditory sensitivities, his auditory processing delay in the classroom environment and how he is resistant to do "work" at times. All in all, excellent progress in a year where he was not a functioning member of the class. All the teachers and therapists were amazed by his progress.
At the DAN! conference the comments that got the most laughter and applause usually involved the research "studies" and "experts" refuting the efficacy of supplements and special diets. I think this willingness by some mainstream doctors to dismiss diet is so detrimental to families with children on the spectrum. It destroys the hope that is so necessary on this journey. Yes, some children are not responders, but many are and really there is nothing to lose by giving it a try. The agreement at the DAN! conference was that we families really are the best research because we see the fruits of our labors daily. My family is definitely in that category. The proof is in the GFCF pudding so to speak. And, as you read through all the dismal reports (and this blog) and what we shouldn't do, eat, wear, use, etc. be mindful of the changes in your families and yourself as you implement some of these things. They do work. My Matthew is proof. Now he is social, loves other kids, affectionate, defiant, willful and making change over his environment. We are seeing his progress daily and know it in our hearts to be from the hard work he and we (parents, doctors and therapists) have done to help him. Even with all the bad stuff out there, good progress can come from small changes. And, be mindful of the blessings. Those words that may be slow to come but so sweet when you hear them. The eye contact that gets longer and longer, unprompted I Love Yous and hugs, and yes even the NO's that are so common in toddlerhood that we never heard until just recently. These are bittersweet things to cherish and spur you on to keep making these changes. Remember as you make these changes in your life and when it seems impossible to truly "protect" your child in today's toxic society, every little thing counts and be sure to recognize those blessings, they provide the motivation to keep going.
We are organic beings and so very resilient. Some kiddos on the spectrum have a real hard time detoxifying the way we were designed to so that is why these changes can be crucial for them. But this stuff does work. My son is proof and there are plenty of others out there. We need to cheer their accomplishments and teach the world about their gifts and to be mindful of their challenges. And above all, find a great DAN! doctor who can help guide your child's recovery. I think that is key. From there you enter the fast lane of progress. But again, maintaining that hope for your child's future is also paramount. The proof lies in the faces of thousands of children, healing every day. Do not accept the Autism diagnosis as a limitation on your child's future, do not accept that! Maintain that hope and even though their futures may be different than how you envisioned them at their birth, they can be no less spectatular and bright! Go Matthew, Go Tate, Go Jojo and all the other kiddos healing and progressing! They are the reason we keep learning and doing and sharing......there is hope for their futures.