Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If at first you don't succeed . . .

I thought I'd list out some different things we've tried in our journey towards seeing Zachariah healed. At some point, I may try to list out the research behind these different approaches, but for now, I will link a blog which spells it out for you:
I have heard about the writer of Moose Moms for years (through a friend who has been a guide to me through this process after her son was healed of autism several years ago), but I finally got to meet her and hear her speak this fall. She has a medical/scientific background, and I am so grateful for the hours upon hours of research she's poured through and summarized. For now, I will leave it at a basic link to her blog. Later, I hope to link specific posts that have been helpful to me.

*So, what are some things we have done with Z over the past year?
Gluten Free-Casein Free diet
Gluten seems to act as an opiate in the systems of some autistic children, which means that A. they essentially become addicted to it, and B. it dulls their interaction with the world. Casein can cause allergic reactions that have negative effects on kids, as well.

We went GFCF as well as we could (for Z only) for about 8 months. And, can I say, if you think GFCF is expensive in the States, try paying those prices plus import fees for any specialized food. :-/
I say "as well as we could," because foods are not labeled in nearly as detailed a way where we live, so there was no way of knowing whether the catsup had gluten or not, for example. But I estimate we were 95-98% GFCF, which our biomedical doctor in the US (more about that later) said was adequate to see the result.

And that result was: while Z made significant progress during those months, he did not stop progressing when we reintroduced gluten and casein.

And I can't say that I was disappointed. Doing GFCF was torture, especially towards the end as Z became more and more aware of his surroundings and what he was missing out on (remind me to tell you sometime about baking a regular cake and a GFCF cake for his birthday and trying to do the bait and switch; or not). Would I have continued with GFCF if it had helped Zachariah? Absolutely. But I admit to being relieved that it didn't.

Now, I will say, if you're looking for an intervention that will potentially help your child, this one is one that I've heard over and over and over again makes a huge difference. For a lot of children. And if you're going to try it, you have to really throw yourself into it and totally clear out their diet, or it will still be in their system, and you won't see the actual results. It's worth it. Please don't let its lack of affect on Z dissuade you from trying this option.

Okay, so I think I bit off more than I can chew. The natives are restless, and I only touched on one intervention we'd tried. I'll list some more here as a reminder to come back and write about those. If you're reading along and want to hear about a specific one, let me know.
- cod liver oil
- quality multi-vitamin
- ABA parenting
- play therapy
- ABA therapy
- inclusion Pre-K classroom
- public school speech therapy

Interventions that we're in the process of starting:
- university speech department speech therapy
- chelation
- methyl B12 injections

Ones that we'd like to/hope to try:
- hyperbolic oxygen chamber

*Caveat: I have neither a medical nor a scientific background. I am not promising that I'm going to explain all of this correctly. I will try, though. For a more specific explanation (and the research behind it), please see the Moose Moms blog.



  1. I am glad to see you back here, and glad to follow along. You know the similarities to my Adventurer, and that we have a lack of resources as well as other hinderances to any formal testing, and I will be drinking up, soaking up, catching every word I can as you detail all of this. You know, when you have the time. hugs my friend. Thank you so much for detailing this for us. (hint - I'm TxHeather on SL, in case you had no idea who The Reader is....)

  2. Oh, Heather, I'm so sorry I'm just now seeing this! Something's wrong with my notifications.

    Anyway, I'm hoping (again) to be posting more. I am realizing that I'm just now coming out of about 18 mos. of mild depression (starting around the time of Z's diagnosis through a move, a birth and lots of other changes). I just thought I was being lazy. :-/ All of a sudden, I have the energy to keep up with the dishes and the laundry and actually make blog posts again. It's amazing. :-P

    And I'm glad I put the list in this post, because it gives me something to work off of.

    And it helps to know that someone's actually reading. :-) Especially someone who could really benefit from hearing what we've done.