Apr 25, 2009
Apr 21, 2009
Apr 20, 2009
Apr 16, 2009
Antique baby dress--Hunter tried to put it on and ripped the delicate fabric
Laptop--Hunter put a magnet on it
Breadmaker--Ryder pushed it off the counter
George Foreman grill--Ryder pushed it off the counter
Books--Ryder bites on them CD's, DVD's--Ryder chews them, Mason can't get them out of the packaging and breaks them
Ceramic tile--Ryder and I don't know how...
Bathtub finish--Ryder bangs objects on it
Casing around windows--Ryder flicks the blind cord back and forth very fast
Plants, flowers--Hunter and Ryder
Computer screens--Hunter with the cat
TV screens--Hunter with a hammer
Windows--Bill and Ryder Telephones--Hunter and Ryder, both cases involved toilets
Lots of toys--Hunter and Ryder
Lots of spilled cereal boxes--Hunter, Mason and especially Ryder
Arm--Hunter tripped over a toy shopping cart
Light bulbs, lamps--Hunter, Ryder
Tea set--Hunter remembers this one (I don't)
Ceramics--Hunter and Ryder Walls--Bill Head concussions--Bill (I've lost count) He usually runs into something accidentally, or one of the kids headbutted him when they were a toddler, or basketball induced
Right now, I'm looking at our office chair that has bite marks on the arms and the back is falling off due to a lost screw. I've asked Bill to screw it back together, but the timing was wrong. He was too engrossed in a project on the computer. *Asperger's* Of course, I can fix it. But I'm always fixing things and that is something Bill can do and then he will feel like he did something right for once, so I let him. I just hate being patient about it.
I'm sure these aren't the last of the broken things, but it's good to be reminded now and then that these are just things, they can be replaced or fixed. As much as I try to "fix" my children and hubby, I need to remember they aren't exactly broken. Just wired differently...which reminds me, a month ago, Bill was switching out some outlets (I thought an easy job) but when I went to turn on the garbage disposal, the fridge would turn off. Typical. Another day in the life of loose screws and crossed wires.
Apr 14, 2009
Apr 10, 2009
But he DOES have better eye contact, better attention, and less pain, since implementing the GFCF diet, I thought to myself. He pointed for the first time ever- two days ago. And last week he went potty in the toilet for the first time. And at school yesterday, he said, "I want" to the teacher--very clearly. It's so easy to take for granted that a child's ability to learn is a gift.
Apr 9, 2009
So today, I took Mercedes to the orthopaedic doctor, and he knew right away what her problem was. So tell me why we had to go down to Salt Lake City to Primary Children's Medical Center, for an x-ray and MRI, **twice** when all the while we could have just stayed here? Again, a doctor problem. Instead of what they thought was Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, she has PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome which is common among 12-16 year old girls because of their body alignment, knock-knees, and changes in their hips, etc., as they grow. He recommended intense physical therapy, and said it should go away by itself the older she gets. If not, she may have to have a lateral release. (Bill had that done too, in college, and I guess it can be genetic). Now we can breathe a sigh of relief and Sadie can start physical therapy with Ryder this Summer. We should just hire live-in therapists. That would make things easier. Why do we always have medical things happen to us?
Apr 7, 2009
On December 11, 1999 my youngest son, Nathaniel, came into this world, a perfectly normal beautiful gift from God. With pride I watched him meet all the normal developmental milestones. By eighteen months of age he was naming TV shows and calling his brothers and sisters by name. But he was also becoming a constantly sick child, going to the doctor two to three times every week. There were unending fevers, ear infections, and colds. He cried constantly, had a bloated stomach and continually covered his ears with his hands. Shortly after receiving the MMR his left eyelid began to droop and his language disappeared. He no longer made eye contact, could not attend to any task, and developed many typical autistic behaviors. Local doctors finally recommended a psychological exam at age three. The psychologist was the first to mention the “A” word. A team examination at the University of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 2003 resulted in the official diagnosis of Autism.
When Nathaniel was three I became a single parent with sole custody of my son. He was making no progress in Pre-K. I was desperate to find help for my son. Through the Internet I located the NE LA Autism Society and arranged a meeting with Lynda Huggins. I was literally in tears as I asked how I could help my son. After discussing Nathaniel’s history Lynda urged me to take my son to a DAN! doctor. She told me about an upcoming Mini-DAN conference in New Orleans. I attended and met Dr. Stephanie Cave, a DAN! Practitioner from Baton Rouge. She agreed to see Nathaniel. In February of 2004 Dr. Cave did extensive testing on Nathaniel, prescribed several daily supplements and said that I should put him on a Gluten-free, Casein-free diet immediately. Within days of starting the diet there was improvement and school reports reflected progress. In April, when test results were completed, Dr. Cave started Nathaniel on a chelation regiment. For many months, it was not an easy or pleasant experience for either Nathaniel or me. I had to literally hold him down to get the pills down his throat. But the progress I saw motivated me to follow Dr. Cave’s instructions to the letter.
I was attending monthly meetings of the local autism support group and began to feel that I was not alone in this battle. When I mentioned my lack of success with potty training, the group suggested the wonderful book/video & bear entitled “It’s Potty Time”. Amazingly after watching the video and reading the book, Nathaniel trained himself within one day! I captured his joy at success with a Polaroid camera and that picture served as a reinforcement, which he took with him to school. I began to realize the communication power of pictures! Since Nathaniel could not express his needs or desires verbally, I cut pictures from magazines for him to show me what he wanted to eat, to do, etc. Within a few months, his language began to return. It was as if he picked up right where he lost his words. His first clear complete phrase was “I love you Daddy” - what a wonderful reward for the months of special diet and lots of pills! School reports included “speaking more and more.” By the end of that school year the school reported “You need no progress report to tell you how well Nathaniel is progressing.”
Imagine not having the ability to express your likes or dislikes, your fears or joys, what you do or do not want to do. How frustrating it must have been for my son. But he found ways to get his point across – like throwing three pairs of new shoes (which he obviously did not like) out the car window as he traveled in his car seat behind me. He traveled with me during the summer months and once stripped butt naked in the middle of a business meeting at a fancy restaurant. During our travels he knew exactly where he had visited a Toys ‘R Us store - months earlier and pointed excitedly as we approached the correct exit. He had so much to tell me – but could not speak the words. And there were many humorous times. He decided the Blues Clues potty seat resembled a hat and a hacksaw was required to remove it from his head. The noise of my windshield wipers was evidently painful to his ears so he simply removed them (with a screwdriver) and hid them from me. Yes he found ways to tell me many things.
This past December Nathaniel celebrated his sixth birthday. You could not have picked him out of the group of kids as a child with autism. He was just a normal 6-year-old joyously tearing into gifts, eating lots of pizza and cake and playing appropriately.
Throughout the past three years I have been blessed with wonderful support from family and friends and the skilled medical guidance of Dr. Cave. Nathaniel’s grandmothers have followed my every direction for diet and pills and each instruction for working with him. In the last two years (and since six weeks after beginning chelation), Nathaniel has had only one doctor visit. That was for the removal of his tonsils. That doctor voiced his opinion that Nathaniel’s droopy left eyelid might have resulted from a minor stroke (at around age 18 months).
There were many stressful times. It was especially difficult as a single parent to hold a job requiring extensive travel, arrange all the doctor visits, follow all the doctor’s instructions, and endure the bizarre behaviors. Many times I felt that I was at my rope’s end. After one particularly long and exhausting day, when I finally got Nathaniel down for the night, I sat down and began to write. The words that flowed from my mind that night – “Now I lay him down to sleep, I pray Dear Lord my son could speak” - surely came from above. As I thought about what I had written I decided to contact my life-long friend and recording artist, Mark Leland. Together we expanded upon those words to write the song “Missing Pieces”.
These many months later as we are completing a video of “Missing Pieces” I know that God has led me through this experience for a purpose. It is my hope and prayer that the song will generate funding to assist families in obtaining the biomedical treatments that can help these children. My miracle son is proof that recovery is possible. The song tells of the pain of watching a child slip into the autism abyss and of a parent’s determination to pull him back. Now I know there are so many more like Nathaniel who need our help to win this war. Together we can help them make it through. The missing piece is me and you.
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