Autism recovered?

Medical experts say it's not possible to recover autism. We have living proof in the form of three children, that it IS possible. In my blog you will find recovery stories, along with information regarding health that I have learned over the years. And sometimes just snippets of life to give hope that yes, life can be normal after the hard work is done.

Sit back, enjoy, and be hopeful! RECOVERY HAPPENS!

**Kids names have been changed to protect the innocent and naughty alike. ;)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Laurie Berkner

Have you guys heard of Laurie Berkner? She's absolutely fantabulous with childrens songs! A long time ago, when there was only Tony & Grace...and autism, they would zone out in front of the TV for hours at a time, not interacting (with Blues Clues for goodness sake! How can you NOT talk to Blue & Steve?) in any way... just little zombies. I would sit with them and try to get them to talk back to the TV but... nothing. It used to make me sad to see them sitting (or laying) there, just staring at a show that was supposed to be interactive. I had a ton of sing along videos that I just knew they would love, but they got the same reaction. Staring and zombie faces. I would put fabulous childrens music on the CD player. Again... nothing. No reactions. Then one day, someone told me about Laurie Berkner and we bought a CD with a bonus DVD.

That day is etched in my mind forever. Tony & Grace sitting on the couch in their usual position, I put in the Laurie Berkner DVD and UP THEY BOUNCED, dancing and playing and laughing and all the reaction you expect out of children when music is involved. I joined right in of course and we stomped around like dinosaurs, we wore pigs on our head, we had songs in our tummy, and we sat under a shady tree. It still brings tears to my eyes to remember the looks on their faces, the interaction we had that day over music. THAT was a good day.

We, like any good parent, went out immediately and bought every one of her CDs. We played them constantly and Daddy and I memorized them all in no time. When I was lonely for my children to come away from their perservation, or spinning or whatever they were stuck in, I would sing Laurie Berkner songs and sometimes they would join me in play.

It's funny, we moved recently and those CDs were rediscovered. Daddy put them in the player the other day and everyone started singing. They aren't new to Kate but we hadn't listened in a long time so she had forgotten them, but not the other two. They immediately started kicking their legs and singing at the tops of their lungs, faces shining, eyes lit up with delight. What a joy it has been to revisit something so precious!

And yes, in case you're wondering, we've listened to them so much in the last two days that Kate now has a few of them memorized. She was singing them to our doctor tonight during allergy treatments. And then she sang them to the next innocent bystander (patient) who walked in behind us.

Ah, I love Laurie. :D

A moment at Whole Foods... or as we know it, Whole Paycheck

We shop at Whole Foods about once a week, normally on the weekend but this weekend is weird so we did it today. While getting meat at the counter, we had a new lady who doesn't know us. Now you need to know that almost everyone at Whole Foods knows us. Well they know the kids and we're the grownup faces that comes with them. ;) The kids are extremely outgoing and friendly and new cashiers and baggers always get an exhuberant greeting and chat about whatever is on their minds. And all our regular friends there get shouted at from a cross the store. Ms. Pier, Justin, Heath, Tyler, Lynda, the other Justin... all make a point of coming to see the kids for at least a second if they're too busy for a long chat. They all know the kids are recovered from autism and just love to see what new things they have to say. We love Whole Foods; it's one of the social highlights of our week. Which may sound pitiful but when you have kids who are allergic to touching food... trying to socialize in a food-centric country is not easy. They miss alot so WF is a treat because everyone there knows not to touch them with food on their hands and treat us like completely normal people.

Bwahahahahahha... normal... whatever!

Anywhoo, so this new lady got us our cut of meat and I saw the board she used was right next to the board our regular guy was using and he was making beef patties with cheese. So I asked her if there was any chance in the least that their meat could have touched his board or work area. She went over and showed me the two areas were seperated, I just couldn't see it and then our regular guy said he was sure it didn't touch. So she came back to me and asked why. I told her the kids have fatal allergies to dairy and I just needed to make sure they didn't get any on their meat, not even the essence of cheese needed to be on the cutting board, etc. She looked very skeptical and said "They can't even touch it?" (Funny it didn't occur to her that if it touched their meat they would later injest it.) So I showed her our epipens and told her that Tony could die from touching it and Grace went anaphylactic in the store last week from getting too close to the peanuts and smelling them. Her eyes got very wide and she asked a few more questions. She was asking in a way that showed she wanted to understand, not in an unbelieving or mocking way. I love when people ask questions! When we were done talking, she told me about some products in the store she thought the kids could have (I already knew of them but thanked her for her kindness anyway). What a sweet lady!

When I walked away I went over to Tim, who was keeping the kids away from the cheese section (why do the meat and cheese sections always have to be in the same area?) and told him that it still surprises me that people don't automatically know what I'm talking about when I say the kids can die from touching food. Seriously, it takes me by surprise every.single.time. It's so weird. I suppose it's because we've lived with it being a daily reality for 10+ years so it's normal for us.

I look forward to the day when I don't have to say that anymore. We're just a few weeks away from finishing our allergy treatments and we will see if their immune systems have been calmed down enough to let go of it's over-reactions. I am so hopeful!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The most commonly asked question

So, people are always curious about how we eat when there are so many food allergies between the three children. First let me say, the big kids allergies are so severe that merely touching dairy residue left on some surface is enough to kill them. Both big kids have had far too many epipen emergencies, although Grace is the top scorer on epipen useage. They have a few other severe allergies and multiple ordinary allergies as well as some intolerances. Between the three kids the allergies are: dairy (all children), eggs (all children), gluten (all children + mom), nuts (all children), beans (one child), coconut (one child), millet, amaranth, buckwheat (one child), soy (one child), zucchini (one child), squash (two children), sugar (all children + mom) and probably others that I'll remember after I hit "publish now". :) So what does a family with such a conglomeration of allergies eat?

Real food.

Isn't that weird???!! Simple though!

Somewhere along the line in the last 60 years, people have gotten away from what grows in the ground to what comes in a package. I know it was a matter of necessity at times but now a whole generation of people have immune systems which are totally ruined because we have forgotten how to nourish our bodies. Every single thing that goes in your mouth affects your body in some way. There are no inert foods, only foods that heal and foods that hurt. We have made the choice to use food to heal. It's not always easy but their allergies have taught us how to do it!

Soooooo... what does real food look like in our house you wonder? A sample menu for summertime is: fruit smoothies with hemp protein & avocadoes for breakfast, some form of meat and veggies for lunch, fruit and protein of some sort for snack and non-glutenous grains and veggies for dinner. All these foods are REAL foods. The veggies are as local as we can get and the meat is grass fed, also local. Now sometimes we do have vegetable chips for a snack when we're out. After all, there is something to be said for having something I can get at the store when we are out longer than expected and I forgot to bring their food; but convenience now takes a back seat to our children's health needs and chips are a rare treat. And my kids LOVE the way they eat. We teach them about the healing properties of the foods on their plate and they have learned, even at the tender age of 4, to enjoy real foods for the sole purpose of nourishing the body. And lest I sound high and mighty, it was not easy and I know it is a daunting task for anyone, especially someone with super picky eaters!!

A long time ago, when my children still had autism, they ate chicken nuggets, oreo uh-ohs and spiderman poptarts every day. Yep, that's what they lived off of. Horrifying isn't it? lol But their food allergies have taught me that we had to look deeper than filling a belly and instead nourish the body. And only real food does that. As we nourished the body, the brain started healing. When they were eating chicken nuggets, oreos and poptarts, they got sicker and sicker; they aquired more and more food allergies (Tony started out with only 2 allergies that have expanded over the years) and were harder and harder to connect with. Keeping a food journal showed me exactly what foods were going in the mouth and exactly what crazy behavior was happening afterwards. THAT was an eye opener! I never imagined food was so powerful. But it is.

And yes, all the food the kids eat is organic. We give weekly to Whole Paycheck... urm, I mean Whole Foods. It's not fun to pay big bucks to feed our family but the payoff is wonderful. My kids are fabulous. Just ask their grandparents. :D

First REAL birthday cake!

Kate has multiple and severe food allergies. Every year for her birthday so far, she has gotten a great big watermelon cut in a circle shape with a candle in it. Fortunately she has a summer birthday so we just take our party to the outdoors and make a day of watermelon and water parks. But this year, we have been doing allergy treatments using a BAX3000 system. This is based on homeopathic principles but uses a cold laser to deliver the frequency. Very awesome stuff. So by the time her birthday got here this year, both girls had cleared enough of their allergies for me to make a cake! Woohoo! Now we still can't have eggs so the cake was a bit gummy by regular standards but to kids who haven't had a cake in years, it was awesomeness itself. It was gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, soy & nut free. It was a rousing success and I may even think about making another one...


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