I have been in the Autism-Biz for about 30 years. I don’t count the time before we realized anything was wrong because that was Happy-Land and Baby-Land and Everything-Is-Great-Land. I remember, vaguely, how it felt to have a perfectly formed little boy whom everyone thought was adorable. Those are misty memories and that young mother I was, was a wimp.
After our diagnosis, then what? You must think back in the days before autism was trendy (yep, being flip but just follow along here)there were no therapies and certainly no therapies such as we have today. You would be wrong. Many of therapies in use now (they usually have different names) were in use back then. And we must have tried them all!
There were plenty of treatments to sort through and Hubby and I came up with a system how to decide what try. He is a scientist and I am a teacher so we divided the therapies–anything medical or diet related, he would research and anything educational or speech related, I would. However, if one of us came across something promising in the other’s category, we would ask them to research it. We had a *smell test*…if it didn’t smell right to us, we wouldn’t try it.
Since hubby was in grad school and we lived in a university town, there were many wonderful programs Son One was eligible for. Early intervention and multiple times a week speech therapy (his former speech therapist developed her autism protocol using her work with our Kid), Early Childhood Education were all the basics we had in place. We tried Son-Rise therapy–which meant we spent hours in a dark bathroom. We tried sensory integration therapy and music therapy and play therapy and social stories, all of which helped a bit. What really worked for us is now called ABA.
Vitamin therapy was a disaster for a lot of reasons. He ended up in the hospital with one…..that story will be a future blog post. He refused to take another, very expensive vitamin powdered version we decided to buy instead of the huge tablets, no matter we sprinkled it on his favorite chocolate pudding or apple sauce or orange juice…what a mess!
We must have tried five different diets. The elimination diet was six of the longest weeks of my life because with three kids, the younger two being gifted and questioning, we had to put ALL of them on the diet. And the now common GFCF diet, which is now pretty standard to use for kids with autism, was miserable. Whatever we tried, diet-wise, didn’t work. But try it yourself, it might work for you.
Believe it or not, when the Kiddo was in his late 20s, we decided some of his acting out behaviors seemed to be pain related and tried an anti-migraine diet and…ta-da….he is 95% better than he has ever been! Being tenacious has paid off, big time, with the diet issues. We didn’t give up, so you shouldn’t either!