Saturday, March 24, 2007

Biomedical approaches?

My husband brought home a Discover magazine which has a very intense article about autism.

Much of it concerns the possiblity that many cases of autism are caused by an interaction between genes and environmental toxicity. The article also has a lot to say about DAN doctors, chelation, dietary approaches and supplements.

I have mostly focused on behavioral approaches (PECS, Floortime, etc.) so far, because I find the biomedical approaches so overwhelming. I did take B. off of dairy products for three weeks, but I almost felt that it had a negative effect.

It's so easy for me to get caught up in thinking "Am I doing the right thing?", "Should I be doing more research?" and on and on. I know that getting really anxious does not help anyone, so I need to calm down, think things over, and make decisions gradually.

It doesn't help that my husband so far wants me to make all the decisions, because I have my masters in Special Ed. That is too much responsibility for me. Sorry if you are reading this, honey, but it's how I feel.

Just had to vent. Having a negative moment.


WarriorMom said...

Thank you for mentioning that article. It's exactly what I've been looking for!

I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing, too.

Anonymous said...

Read and toss... think and decide...

I haven't done chelation, nor will I. My kids have all the shots, except chicken pox (which they now have had) and littlest needs the Meningitus one.

Eldest is off of dairy but he had diahhrea, nightmares/terrors which it helped instantly. We tried gluten for a year and no difference. We tossed that one.

Youngest is mostly off of dairy b/c now that he's had minimal since 6mths old (grilled chse sandwiches/mac and chse) and it makes no difference, but too much dairy gives him diahhrea but he's missing the enzymes in his stomach to digest it.

Did IBI/ABA b/c there was no other therapy available here that's funded. Honestly, they did nothing to improve my views (I'm not impressed with it) while they were in my home.

I have read Floortime and incorporate it into my daily routine.

School uses TEACCH and more pec's than I do.

We live with it not for it.

As for the parental guilt... 5 yrs later... I'll tell you when it stops... In the meantime.. you do what you and your family can live with and only what you can live with. It's your house, your life, your routine, your choices... and that should always come first and always be respected by others.

Go hop through the ASD links on my blog... I have tried to add some articles as well. The Time magazine page is a good one "the tale of 2 schools".


Christine said...

My critical thinking skills never got such a work out before autism came into our lives. But it does get easier. Trust your instincts and you'll do fine.

Mom without a manual said...

I know what you mean. This is so much responsibility. What to do? How far to go with things? How are we to know? I guess it comes down to you do what you can! Plain and simple.

I read your post last night and it plagued my sleep. I spent all day trying to piece together my thoughts. Unfortunately, it came out very lengthy. If you have the patience please visit my blog.

I understand your concerns and how overwhelming it is. I decided last night that I should share our story so that there might be a few "meek and mild" voices out there in the midst of all the passionate rants. I have avoided the biomed talk because it almost always brings out the nasties in everyone.

Of course, not all of our peers who are exploring biomedicals are experiencing the same gains. And we all know that what works for one child may not work for another. But we have dealt with everything from supplements all the way to chelation. JP has made amazing progress. Now I also need to add that we have been doing a verbal behavior program and LOTS of other things. However, I know that the biomedicals have been an integral part for him.

I regret that the only people out there talking about biomedicals tends to be the radicals. And the radicals (on both sides) tend to chase the rest of us away.

Anyway, for my 2cents visit my blog.

Karianna said...

I am pretty convinced that certain symptoms of ASD are caused by environmental factors and/or toxicity.

I don't think ALL kids will be helped by certain things, but I do think that some things are worth a shot.

Frankly, I am scared of chelation because of the side effects, but we've had great success with the Feingold Diet (eliminates chemicals found in processed foods, plus salycilates. Salycilate has a similar structure to norepinephrine, interestingly.)

All of the possible "causes" and "cures" can get so confusing. Sometimes it seems that no matter what we decide we could "do more." But you just continue on in the hopes of helping your kids.

You are doing a great deal already, so don't feel guilty.

mcewen said...

I think we should take a poll - is there a mother on the planet who has a guilt free existence?
There again, I doubt if there would be any takers!
Cheers dears

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

I wonder that too about Gabe. I haven't tried any biomedical, because Gabe has so many allergies. His body, to me, is so unpredictable. I could actually make it worse by putting more things in it. *sigh*

My husband's the same. I'm more agressive and persistent than he is. He takes the wheel when I feel like I am loosing my mind, which happens frequently :o) I was an elementary teacher, my husband is a middle school teacher, so I have the wheel now, but I feel that when Gabe gets older, I will be passing the baton.

I think you're doing great!

Steve said...

these are some very tough decisions to make - there is no doubt about that.

There are definitely kids who have improved tremendously from the "biomedical" approach. Others have seen no improvement at all. We're somewhere in between, but we have definitely seen improvement w/ diet, supplements, and chelation.

My advice, to all who will listen ;) ...
Before you try any diet or supplements, have your child tested for allergies and toxins. If you can, find a DAN doctor that has good references. If not, you can order most of the lab tests yourself. It turns out our son had very high levels of lead and above-average levels of mercury, as well as a few severe food allergies.
But, if your child has no food allergies or no high levels of toxins, it's definitely better to know that from the testing rather than radically altering his lifestyle for nothing.