Friday, March 28, 2008

Kids Helping Kids, Tic Relief, and My Love For Chemicals

This week has been a good week. I've been down hard with the flu. The silver lining of the flu is why it's been a good week....I've been upstairs in bed for 4 days has made me realize that all our hard work has paid off. Without mom, they can take care of themselves. They've made themselves eggs, cereal, and heated left overs for dinner (DH at work). Sydney said Leo helped her pour the milk....Showered themselves without complaining (they usually do), and remembered to pack snacks for the next day. My DH can make lunches and get them to the bus in time. I guess if I die from this flu everyone will be just fine!

It all started downhill after I threw up in the car on the way to pick up the kids AND A PLAY DATE from school (our bus is allegedly, and I say allegedly, too small). Did I mention it was a busy road and I had to quickly dart over to the side? (I know, insert violin music here). The mom picked up Leo and his friend and had the play date at the other house.

I'm finally turning a corner thanks to my homeopathic remedies - I think perhaps they've shortened it a bit (4 days?). I usually don't "do" the flu, so I don't know if that's short or not. I was really sleepless and in pain for those days. But, the BIGGEST thank you goes to my NEW BEST FRIEND AND ADDICTION.....Gatorade (insert "Hello Darkness My Old Friend"). Chemicals rule man! I got teary when my last bottle of the blue one (yeah, way natural), was gone. I do love Fruit Punch & Berry though I have to say. Without the chemicals, sugar, and oh yeah, the electrolytes, who knows where I'd be. Those Excitotoxins will be hard to get out of my tastebuds, but I'll worry about that later. I love Gatorade and who gives a shit! But seriously, is there a healthy alternative? Please let me know if you have one!

To my relief I found a remedy to really work for Sydney's mouth tic. Incredible! There's just a tiny hint of it when she eats, but other than that it has disappeared. Two for Homeopathy for this week. Sydney was so happy, as the tic was really bothering her. My normal onslaught of immune boosters didn't nip it in the bud like it did last fall. It is a different tic I believe associated with Fifths Disease. I've posted about the kids' reaction to strep as facial tics before, and the mouth tic for Syd has been around for a few weeks.

My conferences were scheduled for yesterday. I didn't cancel, hoping I'd feel a bit better since I just didn't want to wait to hear how Leo was doing. After all, I've been waiting for 3 years for this moment. The conclusion of this marker year. Will he need services in the near future? So I busted out the Vitamin I (Ibuprofen), and threw back three, and took a shower. I felt pretty good, just clammy, so I went on to the conferences. DH was away.

Sydney's conference was first: Everything was great across the board. A good student, a good listener, ahead academically. I asked the teacher about her attention since she seems a little disorganized for her age. She said she is a little messy, stands up for cutting and gluing, etc. Teacher said, "Interesting to see in a girl. You really don't see that." In my mind I shouted "It's totally normal when you are wired like our family is!" She goes on to tell me she recently partnered Syd with a girl that is a little behind the class. The teacher says, "She gets to play "teacher" to her. She's very helpful and patient with her." I was pleasantly surprised to hear this. She doesn't show a lot of patience at home, and she's all about chatting away with her friends. I'm very proud of her, she's becoming so mature! But my DH pointed out how she grew up with therapists teaching in the house. That's been her example her whole life.

Insert nausea and constant sweating for Leo's down the hall. Everything was great across the board here too. Doesn't seem ahead academically, just a 3rd grader in the top groups. I don't want to say the n word, it's just to foreign to me. Normal? I don't know. Nothing to say about the standardized testing or anything else. His handwriting great (still amazing to me since he could barely grasp a marker at 4). Socially, great, although he has to "watch the chatting". She went on to say she moved his seat because of the chatting (my frightened little boy who feared other kids).

She moved his seat next to a boy she says needs a lot of support and that it's been working out nicely for both. Leo gets to help out his friend when he needs it. "Leo is a very good example for Marshall, a kid that needs extra help", his teacher says. "Leo is always there for him, saying positive things. He is always reaching out to others to help at any time. He has such empathy for others, a very sensitive boy. And, he never seems to have a bad day."

Such nice things to hear about kids, let alone your own. So both my special kids are helping their friends in class. I couldn't be happier right now.


Jenn said...

"Handwriting great...chatting...reaching out to others....empathy" All of those words jumped out at me when I was reading Leo's report. I'm beaming from ear to ear for you!

Kudos to Miss Sydney as well! Hope you are feeling better. Have a great weekend :)

Ashley loves Leo said...

Thanks Jenn. I'm very proud of the brood.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in recovery from true autism and feel that kids, such as yours, would have done well no matter what. I have seen several kids diagnosed when they were very young and (unfortunately) received no therapy but managed to emerge from the diagnosis anyway. I think there is a population of children like this that are truly not autistic. I have also seen other kids that are given years and years of high quality therapy and make very little progress at all. Anyhow, congrats on the fact he is doing so well.

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hi Anon. Thanks for your congratulations. I really appreciate it. I too have seen kids get "everything" but with very little improvement in removing their disabling symptoms. It goes to show you how different every person is, which is why looking at all the viable options regardless of presentation is important in my book. A tall order during these times of demand exceeding supply, usually a hard fight to find and fund.

I haven't seen spontanious recovery as you've described, but have heard it happen in a tiny percentage. That's interesting you've seen it, very cool. Always good news to see progress! Unfortunately, Leo wasn't one of these kids you describe.

For us, Leo made no progress without the aggressive 24/7 biomedical and therapeutic intervention. I saw time stand still and often regress without it when there were gaps, problems, etc. We've lost 6 months to a year's ground on occasion. Summers, a common complaint, I'd feel ill just preparing for. Once Leo went catatonic going off the GFCF diet for just one day. Very sobering.

The good news is that dramatic progress can be made these days by wonderful treatment that's been tried and true - not EVERYONE as you've pointed out, but for many many children. Each day I celebrate progress in all ASD kids.

Laura said...

That's great to hear! Not about the flu, but the conferences. And great that Sydney's mouth tic is going away! I hope you are fully recovered from flu now.

The chemicals - I have recently discovered how little I can handle them, or artificial stuff. I had some of Harrison's Starburst jelly beans from his Easter basket last week and got a headache within minutes. I tried again the next day -- same outcome. No more artificially colored junk for me. Not that I really will miss it, but I used to be able to suck down the junk without a care!

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hi Laura. Thanks for the positive comments!

My old favorite chemical food is Hot Tamales. I can wolf down one of those boxes during two installments of General Hospital any day! Sure, can't quite feel my tongue the next day, but who cares? I've noticed I've become more reactive in my old age. I'm trying to reverse that with doing various detox. It's really helped my energy level and mood swings.

Oh, and the mouth stuff has come back - a littel different now. I think we've unleashed something that's bothering her - a virus, a parasitic something. I am trying to get to the bottom of!

Kristin said...

Hi! I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading a bit of it. Congrats on the fantastic conferences...that always makes a momma feel good! And hey, when you have the flu, you're allowed to ingest chemicals; anything to get through it!