Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My New Hobby

I have mixed feelings about labels. I mean, they can be helpful, right? If I have a medical condition then the correct label/diagnosis is vital to my treatment and recovery. The problem comes in when labels are used as crutches instead of stepping stones. If I excuse an unacceptable behavior because of a label then I am doing a disservice to everyone. If, instead, I use that label to aid and define my research and I am able to find the proper treatment, then I have helped all of those involved.

Some people were against me going to the appointment last week. In their minds, I am doing fine raising my son, so all a label is going to do is serve as a crutch instead of a help. However, I have learned a lot from my aunt who has 4 children with full blown cases of Fragile X. My aunt knows how to push her kids to reach their potential and yet not expect more than what they are capable of doing. Even before our appointment last week this was the approach that I took with Tyler. My aunt has done this through knowledge of her children along with a lot of knowledge of FX.

One of my goals with the appointment last week was to figure out what path to take in helping Tyler reach his potential. So this past week I have found that I have a new hobby: researching Autism and how it is effecting my son. Autism is growing at alarming rates for reasons that are debated in many circles. I believe that it is a mixture of things. I don't believe that vaccines are the lone cause since I know more than one family with a child with autism that has never had a vaccine. However, I do believe that the vaccines can cause, or at the very least, tip the scale in many kids. I have another friend whose son still has the live measles virus living in his body and it is directly effecting his brain. This can obviously only be linked to his MMR vaccine.

In some of my research during the last week I was directed to the DAN! website (Defeat Autism Now!). In many ways this website has given me hope. Although it is a long road ahead no matter what path we choose, this path may lead to answers. Are there toxins in Tyler's body? Can they be flushed out? Is he sensitive to certain things in the environment? Is he sensitive or allergic to any type of food?

The Autism Spectrum is so broad and so wide that there is no easy way to go. Each child is different in what effects them, good or bad. In one family a gluten free/casein free diet did amazing things for one child, but it didn't do a thing for the other child. I'll admit right now that I would like it if that diet does nothing for Tyler since I don't want to have to go to that extreme. But if it helps then I cannot deny the benefits from him.

We leave for a trip home in a week and a half so I won't be trying anything until we get back. After we get back I'll be slowing trying some different diets and supplements to see if anything helps. I plan on getting guidance from our chiropractor or another doctor listed on the DAN! website.

For most of Tyler's life I have felt that if I just had the right keys then I could unlock his brain. Now I pray that I can just find the right key (or combination of many keys).


autumnesf said...

Refusing to have the people that spend the most time with our kids informed is crazy. Yes, its a label..but label can be outgrown and defeated.

Some people don't think of the little things that having that awareness can mean. For example, some kids with autism issues cannot handle a fire alarm at school without prior knowledge. Isn't it better for the school to be able to take the child aside and tell him that today there will be a fire alarm and reassure the child you will be there to hold their hand, they can cover their ears and it is just practice? A normal kid gets scared...some kids with autism issues break down under this kind of thing. It is just not necessary. And without the school being involved in this "label", they aren't going to make the effort -- not out of meaness, but out of the fact that it hasn't been addressed as a true problem in their records.

faerylandmom said...

Kim, you are right on target. Your trust in the God who made Tyler is leading you well. I'm so glad that you see Tyler's "Label" for what it is: a tool you can use to help "train him in the way he should go."

I'm always praying for you. :-)

Courtney said...

Hello! I stumbled across your blog somewhere in the big internet world. I am also a Ssgt USAF wife and mother of 3. I totally agree w/ this post and I am eager to read on more with your blog. =)