Monday, 8 April 2013

Dusting Off and Getting Back Up...

Right before we left for the TACA conference I got an email from Nate's teacher.  It felt like I was being dealt a huge blow.  And I can't really explain why.  In her email, she said that she was trying to "plan" for next year.  And that she felt strongly that Nate would benefit greatly from, wait for it, "additional adult support."  In case you've missed it, I have been all but begging for this for Jack this entire year (and yes, we have it).  And now it's being handed to me on a silver platter for Nate.  1:1 support in the classroom.  So why does it feel so unbelievably crappy?  I have been struggling with that for the past several days.  I think I was just hoping that Nate could get through this program without needing extra help (any more than he's already getting).  Frankly, I didn't even know that extra help in a classroom that is already special education by definition was an option.  I thought that he was getting exactly what he needed.  And now I am hearing that it's still not enough for him.  It could be worse, he's not being transferred to the "special school".  Not yet.  They apparently still think that he can succeed in his current setting.  So that's good.  But as with any discouraging news related to the boys, it feels like a knife in my heart.  Of course I want to hear that he's making great strides and blowing his teachers away.  So I need to bring my expectations and hopes down a notch....for now.  And I need to refocus on what I can do. Time to pick myself back up and get moving.

This past week was excellent in terms of gaining new knowledge.  As I mentioned in my last post, I feel pretty overwhelmed.  I feel that familiar panic that comes on whenever I realize how much I want to do in my efforts to help the boys.  And I want to do it all RIGHT NOW.  I know this is of course impossible.  Step by step. 

One of the first things we need to do is take our gluten and dairy free living a few steps further.  Eating crappy gluten and dairy free junk food does not help the kids much more than eating regular stuff.  Especially with Nate's yeast issues.  As Dr. Usman said at the conference, we need to go "caveman".  What does this mean?  Think meat, protein, veggies, fruits. Fewer pretzels, cookies, sweets, snack food in general.  Carbs are carbs, gluten free or not, and yeast feeds on sugar.  That was the premise of Nate's previous regimen, the specific carbohydrate diet.  I'm not planning on taking it back to that level.  Just fine tuning some.

Another huge issue is our food source.  We need to be very careful about this- these kids are clearly unable to clear toxins in the same way as the "typical" kid.  Things just affect them more.  Meats and eggs need to be specifically growth hormone and antibiotic free.  I mean, I am supposed to give Nate nystatin when he is on antibiotics right?  So if he is getting meat or chicken that has been given antibiotics, he basically should just be on nystatin forever?  We have found a dairy, courtesy of a mommy friend, that delivers fresh meat, eggs, chicken, dairy, yogurt, butter, etc as often as weekly for a less than $5 charge.  I "applied" for service today, we just have to ensure that we are on one of their routes.  Also, plan on seeing me at the farmer's markets this summer.  Even organic fruit that is stored in plastic can be leaching chemicals from the plastic.

Which brings me to my next point.  We are going to eliminate plastic as much as possible.  And this is for selfish reasons, not because I am protecting the environment, although that's a nice added bonus.  It's because of all of the chemicals that can leach into the nice fresh food we are providing.  Yes, most things are bpa free now, but there are other chemicals in plastic, plenty of things to avoid.  Why go to all of the trouble of going organic if we just pop this healthy food in plastic?  Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

I never thought I would take this type of intervention so far.  I scoffed at all of the "clean living" stuff, the green containers, the safe cleaners, etc.  But Dr. Usman said something that just keeps echoing in my head.  I think it will have the same effect on my readers.  She said "There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic."

It would take hundreds of years for the incidence of autism to increase as greatly as it has in the U.S. in the past 20.  Here are a few articles related to this:

So once again I am confronted with that whole darned concept of....why the hell not?  How much more effort will it take for us to make these changes?  And as always, one of my biggest considerations is, will this hurt them?  Absolutely not.  It will help them, and it will help me and my husband. 

Some people think that all of these theories are ridiculous.  I beg of them, please give me some other explanation for what is going on with my boys.  Please tell me what YOU think is going on.  That's right.  No one seems to have a logical explanation for the explosion in numbers.  And I used to think "oh it was just under diagnosed before". Bull pucky.  If someone had seen Nate 15 years ago, they would NOT have looked at him and thought, oh he's just a late talker.  He would have been diagnosed.  No doubt in my mind.  It is clear to me that the incidence of autism truly is increasing at the rate that's being reported.   So bye bye antibiotic fed meat, plastic, carbs.  If you are on the list of possibilities, you are not welcome here any more!

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