Monday, 17 June 2013

Who Knew That a Pain in my A** Could Lead to a New Autism Theory to Research??

Yeah, that probably doesn't make much sense.  So I'll start at the beginning.  I have this tendency to move heavy things.  By myself.  My husband has a truly bad back, and if I wait and ask for his help, well, he helps me, and then he is in massive pain.  So I do it by myself.  You know, things like, ummm, moving elliptical machines from the house to the garage, and moving play kitchens into the rafters in the garage.  Just little stuff like that, ha.  Stupid yes, but I like to think of it as loving stupidity.About 6-8 weeks ago I started having major lower back pain on the right side. I suspect this started right after one of these hauling "incidents" but honestly can't pinpoint one.  Anyway, it's gotten worse as time has gone on, no doubt because I still lift Nate way too much.  The simple act of twisting to put him in his carseat has become excruciating.

Over the past week, John has heard me repeatedly yelp "ouch", when I appear to be sitting perfectly still.  Turning my head hurts my lower back.  I have been scrunching my way out of bed like I did when I was 9 months pregnant.  Putting on my pants with one arm because it hurts too much to turn my body in the other direction.  I think my breaking point was when I was driving the car and yelped when I pushed my foot down on the gas pedal.  That sh** hurt!!!

The good news is that I decided to do something about it.  I called a chiropractor, and went to see him for the first time this morning.  I was worried sick to be honest.  I don't like the idea of my back "cracking" even if it is scientifically proven to be effective.  I made the chiropractor aware of this fear immediately and he went pretty slowly (I think, remember, first time).  Parts of the session were pretty painful, but over all it wasn't too bad.  He asked what "I did to myself" and I told him I thought that part of the problem was carrying my 3 year old around too much.  He started lecturing me about the fact that my kid can walk perfectly well at this age.  At that point if occurred to me that one of the main reasons that I am still carrying him this much is because I feel very protective of him.  I expressed that to the chiropractor and explained that Nate has moderate to severe autism.

Something you may have realized by now (I'm hoping) is that there is no definitive treatment for autism.  Every modality has their thoughts on autism and what "needs" to be done.  Turns out chiropractors are no different.  This chiropractor has been studying the work of "brain balance" centers throughout the US.  This type of practice was started and written about by a Dr. Melillo who is a chiropractic neurologist.  Mouthful right?  The chiropractor who was working on my back said that he could actually deal with most of my lower back pain with eye exercises, because it's all about brain balance.  He said it would take a few more sessions than traditional chiropractics, so I wasn't biting, haha.  A little more general info

The whole theory behind this type of practice is that in autistic children there is an imbalance in the way the two hemispheres of the brain function and thus they do not communicate with each other well.  The therapies work on balancing this out, and involve many exercises. But they also involve many nutritional interventions as well such as gluten and casein free diets, and the use of supplements.  What?  How bout that.  Seems like everyone is kind of moving in the same general direction, and that is pretty hopeful.
Here is the main site for this program:

Their explanation of the problem:
Understanding the Underlying Problem
A properly functioning brain communicates between both hemispheres as well as within each hemisphere at lightning speed. Think of these communications like runners in a relay race: They connect, pass on information, and release, repeating this process millions of times a minute. In a poorly functioning brain, these runners are often out of sync, missing each other or passing on only partial information. This miscommunication is called Functional Disconnection and is at the root of all types of neurobehavioral and learning problems.

There are centers in Delaware and Pennsylvania and home treatment programs are available even though they prefer to have their patients come in approximately 3x a week.  The assessments are less expensive than those at a MAPS (or DAN) doctor.  I don't know quite how I feel about it just yet, but I do think it's worth reading more about. 

Here is the main book:

So I guess I am adding that to the pile :-)

Everywhere I go, people are offering suggestions on how to help my kids.  Many times I want to throttle these people (set more limits for your child, just don't give it to him until he says it- umm, we would still be standing there NOW you do realize that??), but sometimes, like today, someone offers a thought that might be useful.  And since I need to go back several more times at least (seriously my back is a MESS) I am hoping to ask a bunch more questions.

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