Sunday, November 11, 2007

Concerned Father of One

My one and only child was born to us on 9/20/05. His name is Nicholas, a beautiful and handsome boy. I was 52 years old at his birth and now 54, his mother 44 at his birth, now 46.
Some troubles at birth with jaundice but otherwise things appeared normal. Not a good sleeper from the beginning. Always has been breastfed and now at 25 most still needs breast feeding to sleep and sleeps with Mother. At 13 most begin to show repetitive behavior, obsession with looking at signs, sometimes over and over for 30 minutes at the time.

I have a niece and nephew who are autistic, high functioning and intelligent children but did not have an intense knowledge or appreciation of the condition as I do now that Nicholas has been diagnosed, which occurred at 16 mos. He has been in early intervention therapy since and actually has progessed well with social behavior. Quite improved over the earlier months when he would not tolerate the presencen of human beings for the most part other than his parents. Now he looks forward to his CDSA thereapist coming twice a week, goes to the gym for play time 2-3 times a week and has some small friends who visit from time to time.

Whether coincidental or not, his "autistic" behavior seemed to manifest itself most after his 1 year vaccinations, after which time he became sick with a high fever for 3 days and appeared to have Rosella virus according to his Pediatrician. After that sickness we noticed his repetitive behavior starting and that he lost the speaking of several words he previously spoke.

With that might wife was convinced of something being wrong so we had him evaluated and snce the 15-16 mos time frame he has been in early intervention therapy.

In addition to the repetitive behaviors were the fact that he was fussy quite frequently, and always demanding breast feeding when his mother was around for consoling himself. I could only distract him for so long before he turned back to his mother.

My wife discoverd Dr Jaquelyn McCandless who has a book, "Children with Starving Brains" and we are following her recommendations for biomedical treatment.

After several months on the GFCF diet and using the vitamins and supplements at a slowing increasing rate, Nicholas demeanor was much calmer, his eye contact much better and finally at 23 months he addressed him parents as Mama and Papa. He also began to assimilate words very rapildy, loves music and began to decrease some repetitive behavior.

Of course with the biomedical treatment there is the long regimen of pills at every meal and we are doing B-12 injections every 3rd evening.

While I have gone along with the treatments, wanting to improve the quality of life for my little boy as much as possible, I have been the skeptic and pulled along by my wife who has no tolerance of any point of view other than our son can and should be cured. She is also bent on eventually suing the Pediatrician and drug companies who allegedly damaged our child with improper vaccination. Maybe indeed this is the reason or a high contributor to autism but it is hard to filter through all the information that is currently being brought to visibility in today's world.

My son in the last month has been becoming increasingly less tolerant of swallowing all the pills he takes with each meal, most of which we try to hide in his food so he swallows but he has gotten wise to the technque and now sucks the food through his teeth to try to block the pill and then spit it out.

Most recently in the last week he has had a bad cold and cough and temperature for several days hovering around 101 but up to 103 a couple of evenings and with this has refused to take his vitamins and supplements almost entirely except those we can mix with his juice, like amino acids and vitamin A. His behavior has also become more fussy and aggressive. I attribute much of this to his being sick and not feeling well, but the wife has put her foot down and said if he does not return to swallowing the pills on his own we will force them down with a syringe.

Maybe this is necessary but it does bring one to the point of wondering what is really helping and what is doing more harm. Is it really the vitamins and supplements that progressed his improvements, or was it more his own development as he continues to get older and more exposed to other social opportunities. How would he be if he gets over his cold and cough and returns to feeling normal and we no longer give the vitamins and supplements.

Also his next step is supposed to be Chelation. While my wife has discoverd many examples of benefits on the Internet and talked with the parents first hand was it really the Chelation or some other factors that spawned improvement.

I love my little boy, and yes he is differnt and at times very difficult but he is obviously intelligent and entertaining and at times can be very sweet and affectionate. He loves being bounced and singing and music and is typically in constant motion. Indeed he is by default my personal trainer as I have to stay in shape to keep up.

In his Mother's favor she has steadfastly breastfed him and gone sleepless so many times, probably not slept normally since the beginning of pregnancy to date, 3 years. We have not successfully weaned him from breastfeeding, fearful of the stress it would bring for him to cry constantly through the night. Not that we have not tried on several occassions because we have. Each time he seems to regress dramatically.

While I am trying to remain supportive of the biomedical regimen and stay the course I am asking myself more and more what is the real truth, what is the real need and benefit. Am I helping or hurting my son?