My Autistic Son

…Ramblings of an autism mama living, learning, and loving life with my son.

B12 Shots Are a Pain In the Ass #autism

With the ringing of the new year, we also quit hemming and hawwing over our DAN doctor wanting us to do B12 shots with Wyatt.  We should have done this forever ago, but we just cannot handle hurting our kids.  Also, lets face it I can barely handle anyone giving myself shots!  So I finally said “We gotta do it,” and grudgingly we started.  It pretty much sucks…not going to lie.  It takes two of us, and Wyatt hates it.

Most people, even the hubs has said why do this?!?! Is it worth it?  Absolutely, in my opinion!

All I can say is that I love my son.  He is my entire world, I love his smile and hugs when he sees me.  My son is one of the most special, and loving people in this world. However, I want my son to have this whole world.  I want him to be able to have friends, girlfriends, go to college, get his first job, and just live his life.  At this point autism holds him back, and I just want to fight for him.  So many autism parents call this the “attack” mode, and maybe I am fighting because I have read and heard so many stories of recovery and improvement and it leads me to hope!  As a mom I just can’t ever close the door, and will probably always look for ways to help my son.

So as to the shots, what do I think?  Well, we have done the shots for a month and my opinion is that I am seeing improvement.  I cannot guarantee that the shots are wholly responsible, but it could be a perfect combination of therapies, school, and the shots.  Although, I will say this.  Before the shots, Wyatt was having increased tantrums and continued basic use of language (One word communications), however the last 30 days have been amazing.  We are seeing more communication, and appropriately used communication.  Wyatt also seems to have better understanding when we talk to him, and even follows our requests.  I feel like we have a little crack into the world of our son.

We have another month to do the shots, and I cannot wait to see if we continue to see continued progress.

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Oh The Things People Say…. #autism #autismmom

This last weekend I took on the adventure of craft fairing with team double trouble.  It wasn’t too bad considering I had each of them restrained tightly in the double jogger, but that didn’t keep hands from straying.  As I lingered over doilies and avoided the crazy man who demanded that I let him clean my glasses the kids picked on each other.  While Wyatt played on his iPad, little Deuce pulled on him.  When Deuce fell asleep, Wyatt bought the hammer of revenge down by giving him a smack.  I must say to the unknowing passerby I must have resembled a worn out squawking chicken.   Although, several equally worn out moms gave me the look.  The one that says “Yup, we feels ya sistah!”    So despite the craziness I enjoyed myself, however the day could never be complete without some odd comment made toward Wyatt.

The first scenario was when I parked my tired rear at a table to eat some lunch.  I kept the kids in their containment stroller and put snacks on both of their trays.  As it was a craft fair there were old ladies with horrid purses and equally bad kitten sweatshirts everywhere.   We were surrounded by sweet grannies, totally safe right?  As I quickly ate, an older lady at the table began talking to Wyatt who promptly ignored her.  His ability to shut her out did not deter her, and she asked him about his ipad and he continued to not respond.  Finally, a bit at my wits end I told her he had autism.  The shock passed over her face “Well, I would have never known. He doesn’t look like anything is wrong with him!” and I could only blink.  Should he be blue? or maybe have a huge A on his forehead?  I mean really what does autism look like?  I consider us to be an autism family so could you pick us out of the crowd?  Knowing she was just a nice old lady uninformed, I mumbled how he was very sweet, loving, and a happy little boy.  The next comment floored me, and mama saw red, not just red, but you know sparkling flames of rage red.  ”Well isn’t that a shame.”  As a mom my baby could be born with green skin, purple hair, and have five legs and the fact would remain that my baby is perfect.  I truly believe that God gave me Wyatt, because he is a gift.  He doesn’t fit any particular mold, and that is fine by me.  In fact he is one of a kind, and I would have it no other way.  So I let her know that I was proud of having him for my son, and that without him I would have never known my true strength as a woman, mother, and wife.  Shazam!!  Back peddling ensued.

The second scenario I didn’t witness, but heard about later.  A nearby vendor close to my sister’s craft booth made a comment along the lines of how I had the gaul to allow Wyatt to hit Deuce.  Oh yeah lady I am that kind of mother…yup go ahead knock the baby around.  Really?  Seriously?  My kids are clean, they are safely strapped into a stroller with food, beverages, oh and a four hundred dollar iPad…oh and guess what I am right there next to them.  I will admit that I fail at being a ninja mom, because those darn kids can sneak in a hit faster than a roach scurrying when the light comes on.  Oh and guess what!  Neither little ninja knows not to hit, we’re working on it lil miss judgmental lady skulking in the corner.

So come on folks…quit with the comments.   A lesson to think before you speak, or you may just get a fired up mom barking back at you.

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The Adventure Begins: Treating Autism Using DAN Protocol #autism

We have begun the long journey of treating Wyatt’s autism.  I have met with and spoken to so many people who have told me again and again that autism isn’t treatable.  However, I just don’t believe that.  It would be so easy, and relieving to be able to just turn off my mind and accept life as we know it.   This is truly something I will never be able to do.  As a mom, I will always seek answers for my son.

Our new approach is using the DAN Protocol.  DAN stands for “Defeat Autism Now” and it was created by a Dr. Bernard Rimland.  This approach is not widely supported by doctors, and insurance does not cover most of the tests as it is a biomedical approach.  While it isn’t a guaranteed cure, there are many testimonials of improvement in people with autism.  Some people even report their children no longer show signs of autism.  While I would love to be one of these lucky lucky families I will just be happy if we see some improvement.  My goal as a mother is to do absolutely everything to ensure a good life for my children.

Last Monday we traveled to Tempe, Arizona and met with Dr. Matthew Baral, and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to talk to someone who just got it.  He wasn’t pushing me meds for Wyatt.  He wasn’t telling me my theories are bogus.  Also, he most certainly didn’t push AAP and CDC scripted responses on me.  The wonderful man just listened, asked questions, and ultimately offered me hope.

Autism is a spectrum disorder.  As it is so diversified we cannot expect that it can be treated in one way.  This is where the DAN doctor comes into play.  We have lab work in, and some more to submit for analysis.  Dr. Baral has Wyatt on a gluten free and now dairy free diet.  We are also starting B12 shots in his BUM…not liking that one.  It will be a slow process, and I pray so much that it pays off big for our little guy.

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The Question You Should Never Ask a Parent of an Autistic Child

There are a million questions you can ask me  as an autism parent.  You can ask me what it is like changing the diapers on a three and a half year old, what my stance is on vaccines, or even why my son still has a binkie.  However, please for all that is holy do not ask me if my kid will ever be able to function in society.

This question keeps coming up in idle conversations about my son and all I can do is blink at people as my brain spins. How do I even answer this?  You can see my child.  He is laughing, singing, playing, and smiling like any kid his age.  The only difference is he is more aware of the sensory world, and oh yeah he doesn’t really talk a lot.  He has autism, but I will bet every last penny I have that his intelligence surpasses the “typical” three and a half year old.  He is AUTISTIC, it isn’t some deadly disease.  There is a world of possibilities and so many unknowns that no parent can answer that question.  Honestly why would any parent want to answer  that question.  As a parent I have to be full of hope, and no matter what happens I am here to see this little guy into the world.  If I am seventy years old I will still be taking care of my kid if he needs it.  The fact remains that we parents aren’t psychic, we are in a constant state of worry about our kids already so lets not ask this question.

I know for a fact none of the people who have posed this question meant any harm.  They just don’t know better, because they aren’t informed about autism.  If they saw our family on our good and bad days they would know that we live in a state of hope.  Ask me if my son will ever be potty trained? Will he ever actively call me mama? or if he will ever eat a french fry?  All I can say is “I hope so,” and while you may be wondering if my kid will ever live on his own, go to college, have his own job deep down just know my answer will be the same “I hope so.”

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Baseball and Autism = Awesomeness!

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Normally I would say a major league baseball field and autism isn’t a good mix for our family.  Large crazy crowds, confined seating, and lots of loud noise don’t exactly add up for a good time with Wyatt.  As most people only see a “bratty” kid, and not necessarily a child with autism we have avoided going to the games.   However, today is different!  Major league teams across the United States are hosting autism awareness nights.  They are rolling out the red carpet to welcome people with autism, and making it a game where people understand that it is okay to be different.

I know I sound crazy to the typical family, but seriously I can’t wait to go to the game and see other autism families!  We will all be juggling our sensory overloaded kids who will stim with excitement over all the lights and loud music.  For a night we won’t be the odd ones in the crowd, but we will be the crowd.  Also, if ANYONE dares comment how we need to control our child they will be met with hundreds of mama and papa autism grizzly parents.  Woot!

Yes, I am just a little excited!  Today we celebrate our son Wyatt!  It is his day.  His day that the world changes to fit his needs, and not the majority.

PLAY BALL PEEPS!  PLAY BALL!

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DAN Isn’t just a name in this house.

Okay okay…so when it comes to autistic families we all are different.  There are those that believe that autism is genetic, some of us think it is environmental, some blame vaccines, some blame our food, and more recently the theory is that it is developed from abusive grandparents or some silliness such as that.  My stance is that it is a bit of everything, with the exception of the crappy grandparents.  In our case, I really do think Wyatt should have never had vaccines.  NOT because they cause autism, but because some of our bodies just can’t handle them.

So here I am, with my nicely written diagnosis for my son, a pile of autism books next to my bed, and way too many bookmarked websites on my computer.  A lot of research has been done, and it is time we put up a bigger fight against autism.  Our family has decided to go with the biomedical approach.  What this means is we are going to treat the symptoms one by one, and maybe just maybe it will break down that wall a bit.  I have made an appointment with a doctor in Phoenix, who is classified as a DAN Doctor.  This stands for “Defeat Autism Now” and is a doctor who takes a holistic approach to treatment, and doesn’t just buy into the no hope connection with autism.  Honestly, I have no idea what the heck we are doing, as this is uncharted territory for a mom who is used to fixing everything.  However, this is what my heart tells me to do.   Perhaps, it will be a pipe dream and won’t help.  However, maybe Wyatt will soon have a story of coming out of the world of autism like so many others who have traveled this road.

I am not sure what is ahead for us.  The only thing that is guaranteed is I will do ANYTHING for my kids, and I have a three-year old little boy who deserves everything life has to offer.

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Understanding The Autism Family #autism

Sometimes I truly do daydream of those days before kids.  Those sweet wonderfully ignorant days when I could get dressed in fifteen minutes, and if I was tired I just took a nap.  Those were beautifully ignorant days.  I often rolled my eyes at tales of puke, poop, and pestering.  Kids were lovely and fun little creatures…and then the fact is I became a mom.  My point is that it took becoming a parent to finally “get it”

So when it comes to understanding an autistic family, you probably won’t unless they loan you their kid for at least a month.  Since that is hardly going to happen, I suppose as a mom to an autistic child I will give you some insight to ponder.  I call us an Autism family because that is what we are now.  We all have a heightened sensory awareness…even our the baby!  If you give any of us a hug expect to get a tight almost jarring squeeze back, because that is exactly how our kiddo likes it!  I have actually apologized for patting people too hard on the back, but that’s just what we do around here.  We all go through therapy sessions, slowly repeating words and blowing lip shaped kazoos during OT sessions.  You can find us all sitting through DDD meetings, counting down the minutes till we can go back to or crazy little life.  Our son may have the medical diagnosis of Autism, but we do things together as a family around here.

The fact is we are all about our unit.  We stand together, and everyday holds a routine, agenda, and goal.  Everything is scheduled, and allotted for in a nice google calendar.  After all, we are busier than most families having two full-time jobs, preschool, speech therapy, occupational therapy, DDD meetings, and school meetings.  Of course there is also the battles with school boards, Autism awareness campaigns, research of new treatment methods, signing petitions, and connecting with other families.  Within this craziness is also extended family and friend time, household duties, and maybe in my case a bubble bath soak!  We are busy, exhausted, and truly overwhelmed happy parents.

I am writing this because the fact is so many people do not understand why we don’t visit or hang out much anymore.  They don’t understand why we miss birthday parties, or why last minute events are impossible.  It isn’t because we don’t want to see you, or go to your tupperware party.  It’s just that everything is planned down to who can handle watching our kiddo, or will we honestly have the energy to extend our already crazy busy day.  Kids are tough, but everyday is a strategie with an Autistic child.  As an Autism family we all play together, or we don’t play at all.

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…and so a site was born!

A website dedicated to my son, and all the other autistic children in this world has been a dreamed project of mine for a few months.  I initially began blogging about my son on my other blog Mandalyn and The Stinky Cheese, but soon realized I needed this special place for my son and I to call our own.  So thus My Autistic Son was born.

This blog is to help and connect with other families who have an autistic child.  So whether you are an aunt, uncle, mother, father, or grandparent to an autistic child this is your place!  We all have different stances on this disorder, and lets face it the medical community doesn’t have answers so lets share ours! After all, in my opinion WE are the experts.  We live, breathe, and love a special child with autism and doctors often forget this.

So welcome, and bear with me on this site.  I am a bit of a novice when it comes to website design, so this site will come together eventually.

-Amanda

 

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