Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Starting with Research

When Connor was "diagnosed" seven years ago the first thing I did was go to the computer to find out all I could on autism. Since I had never heard the word autism before, I had no idea what to expect. I had watched "Rain Man" with Tom Cruise but didn't even know that his brother was autistic.

Connor is a regressive autistic, meaning that he was a typically developing child who regressed into autism. I knew that he was typical at one time and that he could be typical again. I knew that to be true. I never doubted that with enough hard work and research I would find our little boy again. Because of that belief, I never had Connor formally diagnosed. I had to fight to have our pediatrician send us to have his hearing tested, and when that came back ok, I had to fight to have him send us to a speech therapist. When the speech therapist saw him, she knew immediately that Connor was autistic. He was a classic case. He lined up cars instead of playing with them. He didn't respond to his name. He didn't notice who was in the room or if anyone was talking to him. He didn't make eye contact or point...etc. I could go on and on. When the speech therapist told me all of this I knew it to be true.

Instead of spending the time and money on having all the formal tests done, I decided to invest in his recovery. I started searching the internet for recovery posts. The first positive thing I came upon was diet. People were talking about this crazy miracle diet that was curing autistic kids. I started the mind set then (and have continued it to this day) that if it won't hurt him and may help him, it's worth a try.

I know it seemed like the end of the world at the time that he couldn't have cheese or bread. We couldn't do Papa Murphy's pizza on fridays anymore. I wondered about birthday parties and school lunches. Then it hit me, it's only food! I know most of us have food baggage, but is that what we want for our kids anyway? Do we need to pass on the "need" to have a donut every time we go to the grocery store? When our kids fall down or get their feelings hurt, do they need to have an icecream? Maybe starting this diet with my son would help me seperate my needs from my wants. I stopped getting milk delivered to the house. I started shopping for basic food needs like fruits and veggies. CRAZY! I didn't need to buy Nestle chocolate milk?! I didn't need parmasian cheese on my spaghetti?! I could do it! I knew it was the right thing to do, not just for Connor, but for all of us.

That was the beginning of the gluten free, casein free diet.

Creating a blog

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a few weeks. Since my son was diagnosed with autism seven years ago I have spent much of my day researching ways to help him. I had no idea when we started this journey where it would lead us. I am grateful for the opportunity to be Connor's mom. I know he chose me to go on this journey with him. He has touched so many lives and our lives our richer for having known him. Some days are better than others, but I know in the end I will only remember the golden moments.