Onto my next treatment venture with the kid(s), treating the underlying medical issues that I believe to be the cause of most of their behavioral issues. For myself, also a fellow spectrumite (my word, I coined it, I think, don’t try to snag it, lol), I have always felt that for those with Autism the problematic behaviors were a symptom and not the cause. In other words, the acting out and acting up isn’t Autism but rather the result of discomfort and pain. At it’s core, Autism is a communication disorder, not a behavioral disorder…the behaviors are symptoms of something else, I believe, but not directly connected to Autism.
I have read book after book, attended conference after conference, attended meeting after meeting, e-courses, podcasts, etc and for the past year or so I have focused on the underlying medical issues that our children may have. Up to 70% of those with Autism have GI issues…there are countless studies on Autism and GI. “Ghetto Gut, Leaky Gut, etc.” Symptoms of these issues include, irritability, aggression, property destruction, sleep disturbances, reflux (which has a whole slew of symptoms on it’s own…and also contributes to sleep disturbances), hyperactivity, and so much more. And while many doctors know of such symptoms, they still attribute much of our children’s behavioral issues as Autism. They prescribe antipsychotics for hyperactivity, blood pressure meds for sleep, reflux meds, etc. But what if your child’s problems aren’t caused by Autism itself, but rather an underlying medical issue? At the end of the day, no therapeutic measure I place my child in is going to work if I cannot and do not address these issues (or at least try to). I read in one of the books I’m about to share with the class that we “ask our children to do their best when they feel their worst.” And on that, I wholeheartedly agree.
Now, I’m not one of those that just jump on wagons every time one rolls by, I document every single thing, I observe every single behavior both on medication, off medication, and so on. It’s a process and it takes a long while and I have to deal with and put up with a lot of hard times with my kids in the meantime, but I feel it’s going to be worth it in the long run. What I have found in my extensive, time consuming, mess of documentation is that my child is at his best behaved self when he is sick, when he is completely clear of stool and bloating, and when he was on the GFCF diet. When he is sick, he generally doesn’t eat as much and I figure he isn’t getting constipated as much and therefore the reflux isn’t present resulting in better behavior overall. So what this has told me is that these undesirable behaviors may be tied in with these underlying medical issues. I have sought to address this and I wanted to do so in a way that made sense to me and was easy to administer and keep up with. Do I feel that what I’m about to attempt is a cure or will actually even work? No, my child will still have Autism, I am just trying to make his life easier and free his mind and body from pain and discomfort so he would be better able to absorb what’s being taught to him to give him a better chance at independence in the future. I’m unsure it will work, but I’m optimistic because of what I have seen in those few moments of positive behavior. I connect dots well and it appears that my children can benefit from some GI treatment.
Now that brings me to the overall point of this long post, implementation of such a plan and the documentation of the process. I have stated before that I have read book after book and attended class after class and came up with a parent program (as I call it) that I planned to implement with the assistance of my son’s doctor, then I discovered this book, “The Un-prescription for Autism,” (Dr. Janet Lintala, I got it for 10.49 on the Kindle) and instead of fooling around for a year coming up with a plan that pretty much mirrored what was in this book, I could have just read this damn book. So instead of me just trying to put into words what enzymes, probiotics, and antimicrobials are and their importance and when and why you should give them to your child, I will just suggest you read this book. There is a calendar in which I’m going to follow her plan. I feel more confident in this process because I have come up with something so similar only I had not yet nailed down the administration schedule. I am planning on documenting everything during this process and will do so here, but mostly on my blog.
Now, y’all will know what I’m talking about when I post “Day one, enzymes with DPP-IV” and not look at the computer like, “wtf is she talking about?”
Wish me luck….or don’t, either way, I’m diving in. Stay tuned lovelies.