Friday, May 2, 2008

Biomedical Intervention

Soon after I started the gfcf diet with Connor, I heard about a local autism conference that was going to be held. One of the keynote speakers was Lynn Hamilton. She had written an amazing book about recovering her son with a combination of diet, supplements and ABA. ABA is Applied Behavioral Analysis. She talked a lot about ABA and how well it helped her son. I was very interested in starting ABA with Connor, but I knew that would take time to learn how to use this particular teaching strategy.

At the end of her lecture she was asked if she had a local doctor who helped with her son's recovery. She pointed to a tall, thin man in the corner of the room. She said he was her son's DAN doctor and that he was helpful in running test for her and guiding her through his "biomedical" aspect of recovery. I was intrigued. I knew I had to meet this doctor and have him start this "biomedical" stuff with Connor. After the conference I got his information and immediately made an appointment with him.

I never do anything without researching it first. I don't buy toilet paper without knowing which brand is the best. So before going to see this mysterious DAN doctor, I decided to do some research on what exactly DAN means.

I credit DAN (I know now is Defeat Autism Now) for the info I used to do much of Connor's healing. It was the first association started with the idea in mind that autism is treatable, if not curable. It is a group of doctors and researchers and parents working together to find a way to help these children.

I saw our DAN doc for the first time not long after that conference. I had done some research on biomedical things being done to help autistic children. The biggest one being talked about at the time was chelation. Chelation is the pulling out of heavy metals. Since most (if not all) autistic children have severe heavy metal poisoning, it is the belief that by removing the metals, the body can start to function on its own to rid itself of toxins again. We started chelation treatment with Connor just before he turned two years old. I wanted to wait a full six months with the diet before trying anything that invasive. I wanted his body to be as "healthy" as it could be before potentially ripping it apart with chelation. VERY soon after starting chelation therapy, we started to notice words again. Connor was actually starting to talk again. Before he regressed (around 12-15 months old) he had about five or six words. Since his regression, we couldn't get him to say anyting. The diet cleared his mind in a lot of ways, but it didn't allow speech. Now we were getting five to ten new words a day. Soon he started speaking in short sentences. We were ecstatic by the results. We really saw the light at the end of the tunnel. We thought it wouldn't be long before he was playing typically with his peers and carrying on typical two year old conversations.

Not long into the therapy (maybe six months) I started to wonder what it was doing to Connor's body long term. I could see he was doing better externally, but what about his inner body? That is when I decided to take him off the therapy. I wanted to try nutrition and natural remedies. Many of you may wonder why I would mess with something that was apparently working, but my instincts told me it was the right thing to do.

I don't regret any decisions I have made with Connor. I followed my instincts and did a lot of research before doing anything with him. I continued to follow the DAN protocol. I went to their conferences in California and Oregon. I learned a lot about chemistry and anatomy (both of which were my worst subjects in school). I continued to see improvements with Connor. Each time I tried a new vitamin or added or removed a food, I saw a change. Not all changes were good with Connor, some changes made him worse. He was talking more and learning more, but he was still very obsessive compulsive and still wouldn't make eye contact. Everytime I thought we were getting closer to the end of the journey, I would see how far we have yet to go. Children are complicated beings. It is hard to see all that they are. Since I didn't have any other children at the time, I didn't know all that he wasn't doing.

I was randomly google-ing something one day when I came across a web-group of people following a protocol from a doctor. I was intrigued. It really seemed to make sense. The doctor was having people run genetic tests on their children to determine what supplements were right for them. It was very child specific. That was always my complaint with DAN. I felt they were throwing darts at a dart board. Now and again it would hit the target for your child, but you never really knew if it was going to be the right thing for your child. With this new protocol, I felt like we weren't guessing. I read the suggestions from the doctor on what I should do for Connor, just Connor, based on his genetics. It has been a relief every since.

Dr. Amy Yasko is the doctor, and the Yasko protocol is what we now follow for Connor.

1 comment:

Aran said...

it is so remarkable everything you have done for Connor. you have researched on your own, knocked on doors, tried new things... never giving up. true inspiration for all of us.