Dear Scientists,

There has been much news this week swirling around autism.  There have been stories saying that the MMR vaccine has not been proven to cause autism.  There have been stories about restrictive diets, such as a gluten-free/casein-free (gfcf) diet, not proven to help people on the autism spectrum

Just because you haven’t proven something, doesn’t make it less true.  Just talk and LISTEN to the hundreds, the thousands of parents, who have seen their children slip away after the MMR vaccination (often given in combination with other vaccines).  The MMR vaccine alone may not cause autism, but children with underlying conditions not known about are not the same after their vaccinations.  Something is going on.  These parents are not all nuts.  I am one of them.  We just want answers.

The same holds true of restrictive diets, like GFCF, SCD, etc.  You may not have proven that they are helpful, but there are thousands of families across this country that have benefitted from these dietary changes.  Some families have had miraculous results, while others have seen none, and some have been in the middle.  That doesn’t mean that dietary changes don’t work, they just don’t work the same for everyone.  (Much like medications — some medications work for some people better than others.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t work at all.)  I am a parent who has seen the benefit of a GFCF diet.  My son is less aggressive without the casein and participates much less in self-stimulatory behavior without the gluten.  His diet restrictions are not the only tool that we use to help him, but it is an important part of our kit.

Perhaps, some day you will prove these things.  I will not hold my breath.  But I don’t need proof to know what is happening to us.

Sincerely,

Christian’s Mom

I’ve never fully admitted to this guilt before.  The guilt of the mother who held her child down while the nurses poked her son with five different needles.  The guilt of the mother who then saw her son slowly slip away over the next month.  The guilt of the mother who didn’t need to have the vaccinations administered on that particular day after that particular illness.  The guilt of the mother who didn’t want the inconvenience of driving back to the doctor’s office on a different day.  The guilt of the mother who didn’t listen to that “little voice,” but instead quieted it and covered it up with the doctor’s “Everything will be fine.”  The guilt that my son was never the same after that day.  The guilt that it was my choice.  The guilt that I didn’t make a different choice.  The guilt that things could have possibly been different.  Just guilt.  That I could have done something different to have prevented my son’s autism.

I’m hoping that this admission of this guilt will be the start of me forgiving myself.  For everything happens for a reason.  And I have learned so much (already) on this journey.

Here’s a vaccine question posed by the National Autism Association.  Click here to check it out.  Something to think about.

I have so many different topics running through my head that I’m going to try to get them out in one post…

This morning, against my better judgement, I took both kids grocery shopping.  Thankfully my list was fairly short and it was early in the morning (not many shoppers), so it took us only about 25-minutes to get everything we needed (and some popsicles that we didn’t).  Thankfully Christian rode well in the cart today.  (Unlike Monday when I took both of them to Target and he hopped out of the cart five times sending me sprinting through the store at top speeds and leaving Olivia back with the cart.  And then on our Monday trip to the library, Christian picked a fight with Olivia, knocking over a whole shelf full of DVDs and then running away as I was picking them up and screaming and dropping to the ground when I caught up with him…Hence, my hesitation to take both kids shopping this morning…)  So, we get to the cash register and the lady gives me this look because I hand her my reusable bags.  I know they’re not the most convenient things to work with, but come on, I bought them at that store!  Why do most of the cashiers there give me dirty looks when I hand those over?!?  Olivia was happily wearing out the batteries in all of the little electric toys by the check-outs.  As I was unloading the groceries, Christian hopped up on the conveyor and sat down.  And then screamed at the top of his voice, “Check it out!”  Awesome!  I was SO laughing on the inside as the cashier lady shot me another evil look, as I smiled, picked up Christian, and said, “I guess she isn’t going to check you out today.”  😉  What are you going to do?  I thought it was hilarious!  🙂

Our visit to Christian’s classroom on Monday afternoon went better than I expected.  The social story by Miss J must be paying off.  He seemed to remember the room and his teacher.  Brian (and Olivia) were able to come along to meet and see everybody/everything.  (As I usually attend school meetings on my own.)  We probably spent an hour there — letting Christian explore the classroom (and his teacher’s computer), touring the school (all of the different classrooms Christian will be in), and meeting all of the different teachers/assistants/library personnel/office workers/principal/etc. who will be working with Christian during the year.  It was a great visit.  Christian and I are going back tonight (for the school Open House) just to get in there one more time before school starts next Tuesday.  (And I was able to get pictures of the bathroom to make a social story about using the bathroom at school.  I hope that helps so that he doesn’t try to hold it in ALL day!!!)

I had Christian up, fed, toileted, and dressed by 7:45!  That is a big improvement.  We just need to shave another 1/2-hour off of that and we will be fine.  I’m glad we have until Tuesday to do that.  I think I’ve figured out that I need to be up and moving a 1/2-hour before I try to wake Christian, so that I’m ready to help him by the time he gets up.  (And I need to figure out a way to get Christian up without waking Olivia.  She is whiny and demanding upon waking, which TOTALLY annoys Christian.  (I don’t blame him.)  We’ve had lots of 45-minute tantrums this week because I will not let her eat popsicles, Starbursts, or suckers for breakfast.  (I know, I’m SO mean!  hee hee) 😉 )  A work in progress, but we are getting there…

Funny yesterday, Christian was working with therapist AB in the afternoon.  Christian was kind of all over the place, having a hard time focusing (on what she wanted him to work on), so she asked him what he wanted to do.  His reply — “Let’s go to lunch!”  🙂  Awesome!  I love it!  She was telling me about it later and not sure if that was what he really said, when he repeated it.  Christian is just TOO funny!!!  🙂

On a heavier note, I have heard new numbers in the autism statistics.  Instead of 1 in 150, they are now saying 1 in 100.  Wow!  Scary!  We need to find out why there is such a rise in these numbers!  This isn’t just coincidence…  And then there is the swine flu vaccine.  And states starting to mandate that their populations HAVE to get it or face heavy fines and/or jail time.  I’m praying that doesn’t come to pass here.  Seriously, the government is rushing to get this vaccine out to the public, but it hasn’t been totally proven safe.  (Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the swine flu vaccine of 1976 anyone???)  I am not ready to risk my children’s safety on this vaccine when my son already does NOT handle the “regular” flu vaccine well.  This talk of forced vaccinations makes me very nervous.  Praying hard…

Happily Christian slept for eight hours again last night. Unfortunately, he started that sleep at 5:30pm. Yikes! We have to work on that one yet! I was so no ready to get up at 1:30am! (I think that it will be a coffee morning!) I was so tired that I started dozing at 4am while he was watching the commentary about the making of the Bee Movie. (We had rented it for the week – pretty cute movie.) Anyway, he was waking me every few minutes so that I could push the button on the remote to start the next section. I was so glad when he fell back to sleep at 5:30!!! I still feel like I haven’t slept all night. I’m hoping for a possible nap later today!

HBO is currently showing a documentary called “Autism: the Musical.” I watched part of it on the web page. It is very interesting and seemed very real as to what some families affected by autism go through on a daily basis. I keep hoping that I’ll connect with someone I know who has HBO who could tape it for me. I would like to watch it all the way through sometime.

Olivia has her two-year-old well check-up this week. She is not going to be very happy that it is vaccination time again. (I imagine that this is the face she will make it me!) She is still pretty far behind on her vaccinations and probably will be for awhile because we are breaking some of the combined vaccinations into their separate components and then only doing two of those at a time. I’d rather be cautious and not have to wonder again if I could have prevented something from happening to my child! Christian has more lovely shots coming up at the end of April, we are planning to resume his vaccinations with the same kind of idea. We are just so fortunate that we found a doctor who doesn’t think that we are totally crazy and will back our concerns by taking everything nice and slow…

Dear Olivia–

You are a true blessing from God! 🙂

 Today you were in for your 2-month old check-up.  You are growing well — almost 13 pounds already and 23 inches long!  You had to get 5 shots today.  Oh, how I hate to have to hold your hands while the nurse stabs you with the needle, but hopefully these will keep you from getting any further illnesses.  You screamed, but have been sleeping ever since you calmed down.

We had quite the scare with you a few weeks ago.  Your doctor put you on Zantac (heartburn medicine) to help your reflux not bother you as much.  The pharmacist for the prescription wrong, so you received 20 times the amount that you were supposed to get.  Thankfully it was only 5 doses and I had the feeling that something was wrong.  I called the pharmacy and doctor and got the dosage straightened out.  We had to get your heart and liver tested for possible damage.  Praise the Lord that everything was fine!  Lesson to be learned — ALWAYS check with your doctor as to what medication you should be receiving with what dose!

I want to leave you with a Bible verse today: Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. -Psalm 128:1  Olivia, I pray that you will always follow in the path the the Lord lays out for you.  He knows what is best for us, even if we don’t always agree with it.  Trust him!

All my love, Mommy