Where have I been, these two months?
Let’s talk hard truths.
I’ve been dealing with Martin, who’s been nowhere near where I’ve wanted him.
Over this summer, something went awry, and his progress hit a plateau. I did not see significant improvement.
Honestly, I don’t really recall seeing any improvement. We had some firsts, like supermarket walking and approaching a stranger. At the end of July, a friend sent me an email stating that her husband, upon interacting with Martin for the first time in several months, “thought he seemed great—real improvement since last time!” But the jagged ascent to which I’ve become accustomed—progress, little setback, progress, little setback—evaporated. At times the summer felt more like uneven descent: no progress, little setback, no progress, little setback.
Finding My Kid is “a parent’s real-time blog of autism recovery.” It’s hard to post reports when no recovery is evident. It really is. It’s even harder when the author descends into hopelessness, into questioning whether she’s abandoned her career, her church work and activism, and large chunks of her social life in pursuit of a goal that never will be reached.
Then, two weeks ago, Martin tanked. I mean, tanked. One day I felt like, though progress had leveled off, at least I had a child without perceptible autism, and the next day I had a child with myriad classic signs of the disorder. In our apartment Martin ran compulsively to and fro, chanting “d-d-d-d-d-dah, d-d-d-d-d-dah.” He lost eye contact and name responsiveness. He threw tantrums when not allowed to watch one video repeatedly. Echolalia resurfaced. It was as if a year of progress disappeared overnight.
I consulted with his doctors and therapists. The prognosis was unanimous: stress. Adrenal stress, systemic stress from doing too much. Martin’s delicate system cannot keep up with the amount of detoxification we’re imposing.
We pulled back immediately. I took him off almost every agent meant for detoxification, whether heavy metals, parasites, viruses, or otherwise, and I kept him on only supplements and agents meant to support his adrenals.
With those changes, Martin shows signs of improving again. The repetitive behaviors, though still present, are diminishing. He’s making eye contact, albeit unsustained. Adrian and I are subjected to near-constant whining (hey, Martin is a four-year-old, after all) but fewer tantrums. I’m not going to say Martin’s recovery is back on track. I’m not even going to say we are where we were a month ago, when I already was unhappy with his progress.
I will say that, I hope, the ship is turning again.
So why recommence blogging now?
Because I have no excuse not to. Finding My Kid comes with an honesty pledge. Posting reports only when recovery is proceeding apace—well, that’s just not honest.
See you soon.
[Addendum: If you’re taking the time to read Finding My Kid, you probably already saw the piece in this morning’s New York Times about the the links between autism and immune disorders. I’m always happy when the mainstream press edges toward acknowledging that autism is medical and should be treated as such.]
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