Martin’s day is governed by a ditto sheet. It’s a print-out that I designed.
At the top are spaces to note the date and day of the week, followed by how Martin slept the previous night. About half the page comprises a chart describing each of Martin’s sixteen HANDLE exercises and identifying the adult responsible—me, Adrian, or Samara—for completing the particular exercise. With each description is a box for the adult to write the time at which the exercise was completed, because some of them cannot be done too close together.
Below the HANDLE chart is an entirely separate graphic, this one devoted to Martin’s biomedical interventions and food for the day. The food is easy. I jot down what he eats for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner; nine times out of ten I’m just transcribing what appears on the typewritten menu I devise a week in advance. For the biomedical stuff, which along with the restricted diet is the heart of what I call Track Two autism treatment, I list each vitamin, oil, or supplement Martin needs to take, and when. Next to each of these is a box to check once the supplement has been administered. I check most of the boxes. Samara checks the rest, for the supplements she does mid-day.
Finally, at the bottom of the ditto is a space marked “Notes,” where I record how Martin’s day went, how he acted, his bowel movements, any remarkable developments, and so forth.
I am not going to list Martin’s supplements in this post. I don’t think that would be helpful to other parents/caregivers, because such a routine must be professionally customized. I will say that on Martin’s current supplements graphic are 46 boxes to check. Most boxes represent one item each—one pill, one capsule, one type of drops, one scoop of powder, one teaspoon of oil, one dab of cream, one spoonful of liquid. A few of the boxes denote “combos,” like eight types of homotoxicology drops combined, or three different phenol drops. Two boxes are checked only every third day. Many of the supplements I can combine and give at once, like vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K2 floating in a teaspoonful of MCT oil. The supplements chart represents everything recommended by Martin’s Track Two doctor, allergist, and homotoxicologist. Each of them knows what the others are doing.
Almost nothing we give Martin requires a prescription to purchase. It’s gentle and natural, like fish oil, parsley extract, probiotics, or digestive enzymes, stuff you might find in an organic grocery.
And getting through the extensive routine isn’t half as bad as you might think. It takes time, but the chart makes it easy to keep track of, and Martin helpfully swallows just about anything I or Samara pops into his mouth.
What is driving me bonkers, however, is trying to find a way to spread the supplements out as requested. Several of them are not supposed to be taken within 30 minutes before or 90 minutes after eating, and a couple are not supposed to be taken at the same time as other supplements. Martin spends about 12 of every 24 hours in bed. In the remaining 12 hours he eats three meals and at least one snack. In less than two weeks he also will be in school, or traveling to/from school, for seven hours each weekday. Seriously, there just are not enough hours in the day to get the supplements right. I have the chart divided into first morning, 10 minutes before breakfast, with breakfast, after breakfast, after school (this in anticipation of his new fall schedule; used to be with lunch), after bath, before dinner, with dinner, after dinner, and at bedtime. Even that is not sufficient. I cut corners on spreading everything out.
When we first began biomedical intervention, I stored Martin’s supplements in a wire basket on the counter. As the routine expanded the supplements moved into more spacious quarters in a plastic food-storage container (which I’m no longer allowed to use for food storage), and then two plastic food-storage containers, plus an in-door shelf of my refrigerator. By June the counter was getting so cluttered, I had no choice but to evict a couple stacks of dishes and surrender the entire bottom of my dish cabinet to supplements. That’s the picture below; most everything there is Martin’s, except for half a dozen bottles of my own vitamins, and a tube of poultry-flavored toothpaste for our cat Freddy’s at-home dental hygiene needs.
There’s one more box that gets checked on Martin’s daily ditto log: “brush teeth.” That means Martin’s teeth, not Freddy’s. Because in the course of an ASD-recovery day, it’s easy to forget the obvious.