Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Autism Recovery

Yesterday my friend Tyler Dahm asked a great question in a Facebook group, what does autism recovery look like to us? It is something I have blogged about many times, I think I even did a Thinking Moms Revolution blog on the topic. It can be touchy. There are those who may say if your child still needs a special diet or supplements, they are not "recovered". You could find a million ways someone may justify that a child is not recovered. I say, look at where they are and see them where they can be and then tell me. There may still be stims or scripting, or social challenges. This is real life and if we pause a moment and realize just what these individuals have overcome, we stand amazed at their capacity to heal and grow despite their underlying metabolic challenges.

So, I had a few minutes before heading out the door so I chose to ask my son himself. He is the one recovered from autism. So here is his perspective, in his own words.

It is always hard to tell people where we came from. My son was largely non-verbal for years. He could not sleep more than a few hours per night and no more than 2 hours at any one time. He screamed, a lot. He would sit on the floor and spin Tupperware lids rather that interact. I would call his name and get no response, to the point where we thought he might have hearing issues. I found this video from early in our biomedical intervention years. In this video my son is almost 5 years old (just 3 months shy of turning 5). You will notice he is still in pull ups. He carried around a fake lemon. He started out obsessing on a real lemon but you can imagine what happens when someone carries around a real lemon 24/7. Notice that he never responds to a request or question of mine. He does his own thing and does not even appear to hear what I have to say. And then check out my daughter, who was 1 1/2 at the time. She responds when I speak to her, says HI when I ask her to. The difference is huge and heartbreaking.

I think seeing where a person came from is just as important of seeing where they are now. I have met readers of my blog in real life and they think I must be talking about a child other than Matthew when they meet him. Especially if they have read earlier blog entries. It is hard to believe that he is the same child. But, I need families to know it IS possible. We found what worked for him after years of trying, and trying, and trying. We trusted our gut. We work with a physician who works with us. Never give up. Recovery is out there!

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