Sunday, February 26, 2012

Helping Your Autistic Toddler to Recover

Silas was our fourth child and from very early on we knew something was different about him. Much to our dismay he did not want to cuddle, he cried constantly, broke things, and at 23 months still could not talk. We had him observed and were not surprised with the diagnosis of autism. We enrolled him in an early childhood intervention program but he was not progressing and was still tantrumming many, many times a day. We decided to look further for some help for him.

Here are some of the therapies/treatments that have been successful many times over in recovering autistic children and they have helped Silas wonders!

Methyl b12 supplementation - By far the most successful in treating autism. I know it sounds scary but the "methyl" part just means that it has already been processed for their body. Typical bodies methylate b12 from vitamins and food, for some reason autistic children are unable to do this process. B12 is necessary in aiding the body in toxin removal. We started with a dissolvable pill and gave it everyday. We now give him a b-12 shot every three days. The shots have been shown to be far superior to the pills. Silas responded quickly. Within ten days he finally mimicked two of my words and he was making eye contact with us. As the days went by, he noticed his brothers and sister and he began to enjoy us in little bits. He is now turning 3 and talks almost non-stop. He laughs when something funny happens and he can now be in a crowd with minimal fear. He is counting down the days until his birthday party. Of course we will have a big one this year since he has been terrified of his party in the past!

Liquid Multivitamin with borage and fish oils - I found a liquid multivitamin on-line that included trace minerals and borage oil. It also includes enzymes to aid in digestion. Fish oils and borage oils have also been reported to be in short supply in autistic children. They help with language and learning skills. Find a multivitamin that is food derived, not mechanically formed.

Get rid of toxins! - Autistic children have been shown to be in toxic overload. For some reason, they are not able to get rid of their toxins at the rate of a typical person. This causes all kinds of behavioral and immune problems. Install a reverse osmosis water filtration system in your home. Chlorine, fluoride, and the other elements present in water are toxic to your child! Replace home cleaning supplies with naturally derived cleaning supplies. If you need a "clean smell", use essential oils. Use natural bath soaps and for detox, add 1 cup of epsom salts to every bath. Read food labels; if they contain words that you cannot pronounce, put the food back on the shelf. Eat fresh vegetables and meats whenever possible, food preservatives are toxins!

Melatonin supplementation - A large number of children on the spectrum do not sleep much. Silas happens to be one of these. He stays up late, finally goes to sleep only for a few hours, and is up around two in the morning ready to start the day. Melatonin not only helps him to sleep but is required for the brain to produce glutathione (helps rid body of toxins). This is a two-fold benefit for autistic children. I give Silas 6 mg of Melatonin every night.

Gluten/Dairy free diet - Because of their sensitive and weakened immune systems, autistic children cannot tolerate gluten and many times cannot tolerate the dairy protein casein. Some children have been reported to start talking only after dairy was removed from their diet. This diet can be very difficult at first, it requires some creativity. As long as you stick with mostly fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables, you will be gluten free. Gluten is found in wheat, barley (malt), and rye and some oats. There are so many options these days for other types of flour, even ways to make your own. Some examples of substitute flours are sorghum, bean, rice, corn, flax, almond, etc. There are even gluten free sections in most grocery stores and superstores.

Even harder for us was the dairy free. We drink and cook with almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk. What Silas misses the most is cheese. The health food stores carry some cheese substitutions and some grocery stores carry soy or vegetable cheese. This diet is very important for Silas's immune system. Gluten and dairy cause inflammation in his digestive system which then triggers an immune response. Silas is then highly susceptible to strep and other viral infections. The immune response can also cause swelling in the brain. The swelling in the brain causes the autistic behaviors. Those are scary words and are the reason we have decided it is worth the inconvenience of the diet!

Raising an autistic child has proven to be the most difficult task of my life. It is a long bumpy road and sometimes it seemed there was no reward for our efforts. It is stressful controlling everything that enters his body and dealing with his behaviors but he is now making progress that astounds medical doctors.

For additional information on recovering autistic children, check out the resources below:

TACA - Talk About Curing Autism

AutismOne -

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