I just looked at the date of my last post and realised that it’s been nearly 2 months since I updated everyone on our little guy’s progress. Things have been going so well, that there hasn’t been much to say other than ‘he is totally awesome!!’ – and that would get a bit repetitive after a while.
So, onto our latest news….The Little Dude had his fifth birthday last week and, well, I think this picture says it all really…. :)
This is my happy, chatty, inquisitive, affectionate son – being able to enjoy a chocolate mud cake made with lots of wheat and loaded with real cream – and have no reaction to it! Yes, my friends, I think it’s safe to say that his gut is healed and Autism is a thing of the past in our household. (Of course, I wouldn’t let him eat this kind of food every day but it was a special occasion and it’s wonderful that he can now have the odd bit of wheat and dairy without any noticeable affect on his cognitive function). I also continue to be very vigilant with the probiotics… we won’t be giving them up for a very, very long time.
There are plenty of other indicators of his recovery too, some of which are:
- His kindergarten teacher recently prepared his transition statement for school next year. On all psychological and social measures he is demonstrating school readiness, with ZERO delays or deficits identified! (At the start of this year, he didn’t have the confidence to engage with his peers at kinder at all).
- His Speech Therapist said that he is now on a par with his peers in terms of speech and language, and actually further ahead than many with his vocabulary. (At his first assessment, 18 months ago, he was scored as ‘severely’ delayed and, at the time, he was eligible to apply for a specialist Autistic school. He has since been taken off that enrolment list!!)
- His Occupational Therapist is confident that his sensory processing is typical for a child of his age, and that he shouldn’t have any serious challenges in a classroom environment. (Until around 4 years of age, he would regularly – almost daily – experience such a high degree of sensory overload that he would vomit. He often had his hands cupped over his ears whenever we left the house and was terrified of anything that might emit a loud noise).
- This weekend just gone, we celebrated his birthday in a big indoor play centre, with LOTS of screaming kids and general chaos. He took it all in his stride, threw himself into all the games, chatted happily to all his friends and had an absolute ball. (This is in contrast to his Big Bro’s party last year, where The Little Dude needed an adult with him at all times, had to wear ear muffs when he was amongst the kids, could barely converse with them, wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone and had to have quiet time in his room every 15 minutes or so).
I could also rave on about how impeccable his memory is, how advanced his drawing, reading, writing, and analytical skills are, how conversant he is with computers and skilled at using them to source information as well as play creative games at a level well beyond his years… He is clearly a very clever kid who, without early interventions, may never have emerged from the fog of Autism.
It’s not my intention here to brag about his accomplishments or his abilities, and I apologise if there is any hint of that tone here – I just want to highlight how ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL it is for parents to access early interventions for their children with Autism; and to point out how much of a difference it can make to their lives.
If your child has a diagnosis, then I particularly encourage you to explore the possibility that a damaged/unhealthy gut could be a major contributing factor. I believe that the changes to The Little Dude’s diet have had the greatest affect on his progress, and allowed him to gain the most benefit from other therapies. There are hundreds of thousands of other parents who will say the same.
This will probably be my last post for a long time, but I’ll leave this here as a resource to any families that may need some direction. If you happen across this blog and you have any specific questions, you can contact me via www.auptimism.com.au
All the very best!