Monday, January 01, 2007

Is Rudolph Real?

So we've had quite a Zen holiday. Usually, we go to California for holiday break. This means I must SSS (shop, ship, and stress) a couple weeks earlier. We also do Hanuka. House-sitters, mild climate clothing, and other logistics are a must but worth it. Last year Leo asked "Why don't we ever have Christmas in OUR house?" So I jumped on it.

Leo had begun questioning the validity of Santa just after his birthday (he received a globe and because he's a visual learner, he really "got" the concept of earth's rotation and our place in the solar system). Out of the blue, he states, "Hey Mom, I still believe in Santa, but I don't believe in Rudolph." Off I went with an Academy performance, chalking everying up to magic. He looked wearily at me, uncertain, but didn't bring it up again until about a week before the big day. Looking at me across the breakfast table, eating cereal (natch, GFCF organic), he says "Hey Mom, I think I know what I want to ask Santa for." Of course I'm thinking about all the gifts already purchased. I asked what, and he said "I want two things, first a real baseball bat made of wood that real players use. And second, a picture of the real Rudolph." He stares at me intently for my reaction, almost challenging me. I didn't know what to do! But then I began a story about how the real Rudolph's photograph is top secret, no one has seen him, just like the actual location of Santa's home and workshop. I told Leo he could ask, but Santa may say no. He seemed to buy it, mostly.

Leo had apparently taken notice of my several conversations about pianos, as Santa brought us a Casio-Key-Privia-Digital-Piano. Right after he woke up Christmas morning, he quickly ran back upstairs to tell me that Santa brought ME a piano, when in fact it was for them! Of course they couldn't care less about it, until two days later they became infatuated with all the sounds and the Bastian piano lesson guide. Now they both fight over the piano! And of course this is just the first week, so we'll see! And to my delight, Leo seems to have that ASD skill, an "ear" for music.

Surprisingly, we didn't miss CA as much as anticipated. Of course I spent about 4 hours on the phone Christmas day, and did have feelings of regret, but they were brief and infrequent. A week at home with just the 4 of us, well, it was unprecedented.

During the holidays, I take advantage of the time home (or at my sister's in CA)to do an annual detox for Leo. Because of his impaired GI and immune system, Leo cannot regulate organic and inorganic substances on his own efficiently, common with ASD, Down Syndrome, and other neurological disorders. Because of this, substances build up and eventually have a behavioral effect on Leo (spaciness, lack of focus, stims come back, lethargy, lack of curiousity). The test of time (4 years) has demonstrated that an annual detox helps minimize toxic load and build-up from the past year. And sure enough, Leo's dark circles have returned under his eyes (mild, but I can tell), the rigidity and focus on his preferred activities (football, soccer)has returned.

Leo is definitely an environmental kid (genes too, but), and this time of year we are reminded when these symptoms appear that yes, he has Autism, and yes, we must help him the best we can so he can feel his best. There are many days that go by that aren't Autism days. Just days with Leo, his uniqueness and all.

This time around, I'm attempting a different homeopathic protocol, and in total this should take about 3 months. I'm also doing this protocol right along with him so I can feel what he feels as much as a different person can. I also need this detox as well. We're aiming to go slowly with Leo so he would feel mostly well the entire time, and thus not affect regular life and school. As always with detox, there is a regression, a time where you really don't feel well since toxins are coming out of the tissues and organs and entering the circulatory system and eventually the lymphatic system and finally out. The pay-off in the end is renewed focus, energy, no dark circles, and increased health (details depending on the person).

So that's that!

School update: Nothing too exciting to report although to my surprise, he's no longer playing with The Best Friend every day at recess. This has been going on since Kindergarten, where they first met. They had different teachers for 1st grade, but preferred to play together at recess and their friendship continued. They are reunited again this year for 2nd grade.

Now, his Best Pal is really into Star Wars, something that Leo doesn't care about much. He also thinks his friend is "annoying about it", and whips out imaginary light sabers whenever possible, including music class and gym whenever the opportunity arises. He is also turned off by the fact that the Best Friend gets into trouble "a lot" in class, distracting Leo when he's trying to read or listen (both need undivided attention since he's not a natural multi-tasker).

To date, Leo prefers to play baseball with other kids in his class, along with one of the gym teachers pitching. Funny, how Leo works. He watched for the first couple of months, and finally had the courage to try it and risk failure in front of the entire 2nd grade class. He's still quite the perfectionist and now I see a competitive streak when it comes to sports. He really WANTS to be good.


Laura said...

Hi Ashley! I haven't read in a while, because of our trip, but I'm trying to catch up. :) What sort of detox did you use for yourself and Leo? I'm on a detox program right now for myself, but Hutton is definitely "off" from all the non GFCF food he was exposed to on vacation, and he usually has dark circles under his eyes. I'll need to figure out some new allergy treatment stuff, as well. I know he's got some food issues other than gluten and casein, but I don't relish finding out what they are, especially if it's corn or something like that! We're going to try to be puritanical GFCF again, but I have the Houston Enzymes, too.

Anyway, Happy New Year! The Rudolph story was cute. :)

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hey Laura, great to hear from you! We are using a homeopath that's located in NYC (about 1 1/2 for us), that designed a program for us. Since one can dilute the remedies, I doubled it so I could try it for myself.

The remedies are made by 2 companies, one called HVS, and the other is Energetix. It should take us about 4 months now since we are going so slowly. We did want Leo to get too tired where he'd get too sick to go to school.

Last year I used the the popular one for cancer patients (the name escapes me), but it's all herbal and you take a teaspoon a day if you can handle it. This one was rightous!

Have you considered Bioset? They can check you and Hutton on their computer (they have you hold a metal stick while they press a metal sensor into your palm to get readings. They can check you for food and environmentals non-invasive style. My kind of style!

It's expensive per hour, but one can find out a lot quickly.

Yeah, corn sucks!